Annapurna Base Camp Trek for Beginners | Everything You Need to KnowNovember 5, 2023
Annapurna Base Camp Trek for Beginners
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular trails in Nepal and takes you on an amazing journey amidst the Himalayas of the Annapurna Region. The major highlights of this trek are the stunning views of the mountain and rhododendrons in their best seasons.
Are you a traveler who loves to wander around different locations to experience the environment, views, etc.? If you are then, look no further than kick-off to your trekking experience in Nepal with Annapurna Base Camp Trek. In this blog, we will provide an ultimate guide to the Annapurna Base Camp Trek for beginners.
But why is ABC Trek popular? ABC Trek is popular because it is relatively easy, provides the best experience of trekking on the lands of Nepal with its stunning views and atmosphere, can be completed within 7 days, and is fit for every age group, even beginners.
If you are a beginner, the journey to Annapurna Base Camp awaits you, offering you stunning mountain views, picturesque villages, lush rhododendron forest and opportunities to learn more about the unique cultures of the region.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek Overview
Annapurna Base Camp Trek, also called the ABC Trek, can be both a short trek of 6–7 days and a long trek of 10 days. The trek starts in the beautiful city of Pokhara, which is one of the most popular tourist hubs in Nepal.
Starting from Pokhara, you can complete the trek within 7 days. The duration of the trek depends on the itinerary you choose. With Blue Lake Adventure, you can get the 6, 7 and 10-day Annapurna Base Camp Trek package. To learn about them, click here.
For a 6-day trek, the distance is approximately 110 kilometers (68 miles). This includes the distance between the starting point in Nayapul and the ending point in Jhinu Dada, as well as the distance covered in the side trips to Deurali and Macchapuchhre Base Camp.
As you start the journey from Pokhara, which is located at an elevation of 822 meters (2,700 feet), to the ultimate Annapurna Base Camp, which is located at an elevation of 4,130 meters, you will gain an altitude of over 3,200 meters in this trek.
As you gain altitude each day of the trek, acclimatization is important to avoid the symptoms of altitude sickness. As a beginner, you must be aware of the difficulties within the trek, which include altitude sickness.
During this trek, you will be offered stunning views of the different mountain ranges, including the Machapuchhre, Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Gangapurna, Hinuchuli, etc.
Other than the Himalayan views, you will also get to see several rice paddies and villages, waterfalls, rhododendron forests, and hot springs. Each offers the best experience and photographic opportunities.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek Itinerary for Beginners
While trekking to ABC, choosing the best itinerary is important. You must choose one that offers opportunities for stunning views, has well-maintained routes, and is less difficult.
As for beginners, we have the best itinerary that can be completed within 7 days.
Day 01: Drive to Nayapul and Trek to Chomrong Village
- Picturesque countryside with lush green fields and terraced farms
- Rich biodiversity and natural beauty of Annapurna Conservation Area
- Stunning views of the surrounding peaks, including Annapurna and Machhapuchhre
- Getting a chance to immerse in the culture of Gurung and Magar communities
Day 02: Trek to Dovan from the Chomrong Village
- Chomrong, a beautiful Gurung village, offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains
- Crossing several suspension bridges
- Trekking through dense Bamboo forest
- Blooming of beautiful rhododendron forests (usually in spring)
- Encounter several animals like monkeys, birds, and other wildlife
- Dovan, last point before entering the Annapurna Sanctuary
Day 03: Trek to Machhapuchhre Base Camp from Dovan
- Trekking through rugged and challenging terrains while ascending higher
- Beautiful waterfalls along the trails
- Trek through Hinku Cave, a sacred cave to the Nepalese people
- Spectacular views of the Annapurna and Machhapuchhre mountains
- Stunning Himalayan sunrise over the peaks of the Annapurna Sanctuary
- Unique landscapes and mountain views for photography opportunities
Day 04: Trek to Annapurna Base Camp from Machhapuchhre Base Camp
- Stunning amphitheater of Annapurna South Sanctuary
- Annapurna Glacier, one of the largest glaciers in the Himalayas
- Annapurna Base Camp, at an elevation of 4,130 m, offers stunning views of Annapurna I.
- Trek through a variety of landscapes, including forests, meadows, and rocky terrain
- Pass through several villages, offering a glimpse into the traditional Nepalese way of life
Day 05: Trek to Bamboo Village from Annapurna Base Camp
- Beautiful sight of the Modi Khola river while trekking on the trails
- Several hotsprings along the way offer a relaxing point to trekkers
- Stunning views of the Annapurna Range from Bamboo village, located at an elevation of 2,310m.
Day 06: Trek to Jhinudanda from Bamboo Village
- Several waterfalls along the trek, including the beautiful Jhinu Danda waterfall
- Hot spring in Jhinudada where trekkers can relax and soak their tired muscles
Day 07: Trek to Nayapul from Jhinudada and Drive back to Pokhara
How difficult is the Annapurna Base Camp Trek for beginners?
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is relatively easy if you have a good fitness level and can hike for an average of 5–6 hours per day. Considering it for the beginner, it can be a bit challenging to maintain the stamina because of inexperience in trekking in the Himalayas.
Basically, if you have a better stamina level, you can easily complete this trek without any difficulties. By the way, since you are a beginner, trekking in the best seasons will be easier compared to off-seasons.
As the ABC trek involves trekking at a higher altitude that takes you to an elevation of 4,130m, it can be quite challenging for beginners if they are not acclimatized to the altitude.
Lastly, the trails of the ABC trek can be challenging at times, with steep ascents and descents as well as rocky and uneven terrain. It is crucial to adhere to the guide’s path tracing in order to prevent any problems during the trials.
Best time to Trek for Beginners
If you are a beginner, then we suggest you do the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in the spring and autumn. Those are the best seasons for trekking, with better weather, a warm temperature, and stunning views.
It is not recommended for beginners to trek in the off-season, which is the monsoon and winter. The monsoon season receives heavy rainfall, so there are high chances of landslides and slippery trails. Furthermore, the clouds totally obstruct the views, making the train ride to the base camp unpleasant.
Similarly, the winter season has colder nights and the temperature reaches below freezing point. Since you are a beginner, you might not be that aware of altitude sickness, so it is better to avoid the colder nights, which creates an even greater possibility of getting mountain sickness.
Among the best times, April is one of the best times to have the Annapurna Base Camp. Find out here why ABC Trek in April is considered the best time.
Spring (March to May), whereas autumn (September to November) offers stunning views of the snow-capped mountain peaks, rhododendron forest, alpine meadows, and Annapurna Sanctuary. Do you know? The view of the sunrise from the Annapurna Base Camp is a fascinating experience for many trekkers.
For the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, you need to obtain the TIMS (Trekkers’s Information Management System) Card and the Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit (ACAP).
You can obtain the TIMS card either from a trekking agency or the Nepal Tourism Board. For SAARC applicants, it costs only NPR 1,000, whereas for others, it costs NPR 2,000 to obtain the TIMS card.
Similarly, to obtain the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit, a foreigner has to pay NPR 3,000, NPR 1,000 for SAARC nationals, and NPR 100 for Nepali citizens. You can easily obtain this permit from the NTB or from the Pokhara Tourism Board.
Fitness Level and Preparations
Whether you are a beginner or not, you need to have a good fitness level to make the trek even easier and more comfortable. To maintain better physical fitness, you can engage yourself in exercises like cycling, swimming, short walks, short hikes, etc. before 2/3 months of the trek.
With better physical fitness, any age group can complete the Annapurna Base Camp Trek within days. A strong cardiovascular system and being able to walk for several hours a day are crucial for beginners.
As pre-trek training exercises, you can engage in cardiovascular fitness, including activities like jogging, cycling, etc. Also, strength training, stair climbing, yoga or stretching, and practicing trekking with a loaded backpack are beneficial if you are not physically prepared for the trek.
For preparations, you can get a better packing list. Here are some suggestions that are important to have during your trek to ABC if you are a beginner
Packing List for Beginners on ABC Trek
- Moisture-wicking base layers (tops and bottoms)
- Insulating layers (fleece jackets, down jackets)
- Waterproof and windproof jacket
- Waterproof and breathable pants
- Long-sleeved shirts for warmth
- Hiking socks
- Trekking pants
- T-shirts when it’s warmer
- Thermal underwear
- Gloves and mittens
- Warm hat and sun hat
- Sunglasses with UV Protection
- Buff or neck gaiter
- Sturdy, waterproof trekking boots
- Lightweight camp shoes or sandals
- Comfortable trekking backpacks with rain cover
- Trekking poles
- Dry bags or compression sacks
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Reusable water bottle or hydration system
- Warm sleeping bag
- Passport and permits
- Cash (Nepali rupees)
- First aird kit
- Charging Cables
- Trekking guidebook and maps
- Ziplock bags
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
Accommodations and Foods
While trekking to Annapurna Base Camp, you will have different accommodation and food options. To embark on the trek, you have to start from Pokhara, as pre-planning is necessary. During your stay, you can book a lakeside hotel in Pokhara.
At higher altitudes, the accommodations available are teahouses. There are lodges and guesthouses too but they are expensive in comparison to teahouses.
Tehouses in Annapurna Region are basic and run by family members that are commonly found on the trekking route. They offer dormitory-style rooms or private rooms with shared bathrooms. Although they are basic, they are comfortable and they offer meals and snacks during the stay.
Lodges, on the other hand, offer a higher level of comfort than teahouses, with private rooms and bathrooms. Other than the basic facilities, they often have amenities such as hot showers and Wi-Fi.
|Accommodation during Annapurna Base Camp|
|Accommodation||Shared rooms with basic furnishing||Private rooms with En suite bathrooms|
|Food offered||Dal Bhat, noodles, soup, momos, and fresh fruit||A wider variety of dishes, including western cuisine|
|Bathrooms||Shared squat toilets||En suite bathrooms|
|Charging||Extra cost||Generally available|
|Hote shower||Bucket showers (extra charge)||Showers available|
|Wi-Fi||Limited availability (extra charge)||Generally available|
|Amenities||Dining area, communal lounge||Dining area, lounge|
|Payment||Cash (Nepalese rupees)||Some accept major foreign currencies|
|Overall experiecne||Basic but comfortable||More luxurious|
For food, you can also choose from a variety of options, whereas dal bhat is the most common food available in the Annapurna Base Camp. It is the national dish of Nepal and is a popular choice for trekkers. It consists of cooked rice, lentils, vegetables, pickles, etc. However, you are not allowed to have non-vegetarian items at the destinations above Bamboo Village.
Other than that, the teahouses offer a menu with a variety of food options, including Nepali, Indian, and western dishes. You can expect noodles, soup, momos, fresh fruit, omelets, pizza, etc.
For breakfast, there are options that include porridge, eggs, toast, and tea or coffee. Also, for lunch and dinner, you can choose from a variety of options like soups, curries, rice, and noodle dishes.
If you are a beginner trekking to Annapurna Base Camp Trek, then we suggest you carry light snacks such as chocolate bars, energy bars, and packaged goods. They will help you gain some energy while trekking.
For water, you can carry a hydration system or reusable water bottles so you can fill up the tap water available on the route. Make sure you use any filter method or water purification tablet for purification.
The teahouses offer hot water but they charge an additional fee. It can be ideal to carry a thermos with you so that you can carry hot water for a longer time.
Tips and Recommendations for Beginner
After you have successfully planned the trek to Annapurna Base Camp Trek, including the itineraries and days for the trek, these tips can help you get a better experience during the trek.
Haven’t you planned the trek yet? Get the 7-day Annapurna Base Camp Trek package with Blue Lake Travels & Tours, and let us plan everything for you according to your preferences.
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Tips and recommendations for beginners on ABC Trek:
- Involve yourself in a fitness regimen several months before a trek, including cardio workouts, strength training, and endurance exercises.
- Take acclimatization seriously. Spend a day in each higher-altitude location to help your body adjust to reduced oxygen levels. Stay hydrated.
- Pack light and bring only essential items, and make sure to pack for all types of weather.
- It is important to obtain the necessary permits and after you obtain them, make sure you keep them in a zip-lock bag to protect them from water.
- During the trek, walk at your own pace that is comfortable for you. Don’t try to keep up with other trekkers.
- Eat plenty of foods; choose nutritious foods that give you energy, such as dal bhat, noodles, and fresh fruit.
- If you are a solo trekker and a beginner, hire an experienced guide or get the package from an agency.
- Buy better footgear that is made of good quality and is waterproof.
- Be flexible. Weather conditions can change rapidly in the mountains. Be prepared to adapt your plans if necessary.
Overall, the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the best experiences you can have in Nepal, with stunning visuals of the mountain ranges and glimpses of the rich natural and cultural beauty of Nepal.
Although it is a relatively easy trek, it can be quite challenging for beginners to adjust to the higher altitudes and get used to trekking for 5–6 hours each day.
But, with the information and tips we provided, you can make your trek easier and more comfortable. Make sure you consider the minor difficulties during the trek and listen to yourself while trekking.
Choose the ideal accommodation option for your budget and eat plenty of food during the trek. Light packing is beneficial as you can walk freely. If you have more backpacks, hire a local porter.
Also note that solo trekking is banned in Nepal so better hire a government-licensed local guide, as they are well-versed in the routes and weather of the Annapurna region.
Now that you are thinking of having the ABC trek, plan for the best seasons and plan early. Spring and autumn are the best seasons, so book in advance for better plans.
After you finally fix the date of the trek, involve yourself in the physical fitness activities before the trek, which will help as you are a beginner.
Do you have any questions or would you like to book a package with us for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek? Contact us through our contact page or simply send us a message through WhatsApp or email. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, +977 9851076943
Do I need prior trekking experience for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
No, prior trekking experience is not required, but it can be helpful. The trek is suitable for beginners, but you should be physically prepared and acclimatize properly.
Is it necessary to hire a guide or porter?
Hiring a porter is optional but as Nepal has banned solo-trekking in Neoal, you are required to hire an experienced government-license-holder guide. If you have a lot of packing items, hiring a local porter will be beneficial. Do you want guide and porter service for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek? Get it here.
How difficult is the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is considered to be a moderately difficult trek. It is not as challenging as some other treks in the Himalayas, such as the Everest Base Camp Trek, but it is still a long and arduous trek. You can minimize the difficulties by following the safety guidelines and tips and choosing a short trek. As a beginner, having a good physical condition is required.
What is the best time to do the Annapurna Base Camp Trek as a beginner?
If you are a beginner, then you should avoid trekking in the off-season. The best times for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). During this season, you can have the best experience of trekking to ABC with fewer difficulties and better views on the trails.
What should I eat on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
There are many different food options available on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. You can find a variety of local dishes, such as dal bhat, noodles, and momos. You can also find Western cuisine at some of the lodges. Be sure to eat plenty of food to fuel your body on the trek.