Also great as a private trip. Call for details

A jaw-dropping trek into the Annapurna Himal with the Himalayan adventure experts since 1970!

A hike to the Annapurna Sanctuary, the shimmering mountain-ringed glacier basin in the heart of the Annapurna Himal, is one of the most intensely scenic short treks in Nepal, offering great cultural and geographical diversity as well as outstanding mountain views. We are the best company to get you there, with over four decades of leadership trekking this challenging terrain. Our veteran MTS guides are extremely knowledgeable; they will explain all the details of what you see every day on the trail and make the whole experience come to life. An expert crew takes care of all the trek details, preparing excellent food while camping and seeing to it that you stay healthy.

This 11-day journey is just as much a cultural encounter as it is a true expedition. We’ll hike through the lowland villages of the Gurung and Tamang clans while taking in breathtaking views of this trekker’s pilgrimage. One of the more appealing aspects of the trip for serious hikers who are short on time is that the huge glacial cirque can be reached so quickly—it takes only five days to arrive. Thick forests of bamboo, abundant rhododendron, and oak adorn the way as we follow the intricately terraced hills…then before you know it, we’ll finally reach the glaciers and high mountains.

Once at the Sanctuary, we’ll be surrounded by the highest peaks of the western Annapurna Himal, including Annapurna South (23,814'), Annapurna I (26,545') and III (24,787'), Gangapurna (24,458'), Fang (25,089'), and Machapuchare (22,958'), the “Matterhorn of Nepal.” The 360-degree views are beautiful beyond words, especially at sunset, when the peaks glow with molten radiance. Weather permitting, we’ll have the chance to take an optional hike to Annapurna South Base Camp at 13,435 feet, set below the towering, near-vertical south face of Annapurna, made famous by Chris Bonington’s 1970 expedition. We then return to Pokhara via a slightly different route.

We have not become the leading adventure travel company in the Himalaya without considering our responsibilities. That is why we work closely with the staff and guides, provide training for cooks and sirdars (chief of Sherpa staff), and encourage professional development of Nepalese guides. We ensure our porters are properly fed, clothed, and well paid. We also adhere to the strictest environmental standards to minimize our impact on this precious place. You can count on us to provide the best, most memorable experience under the most respectful and socially conscious conditions.

NOTE: Reaching Annapurna Sanctuary is subject to weather and safety conditions being favorable for our trip members and porters. It is the only trekking route in Nepal that has a significant risk of avalanche. (Trekkers have been stranded in the Sanctuary for days when the trail has been closed due to avalanche danger.) If the trip leader determines it is not advisable to continue to the base camp, we will offer alternative hikes before returning to Pokhara.

Activities

11 days moderate to strenuous hiking at medium elevation (maximum 13,435')

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Make a rare trek to Annapurna Sanctuary—one of the few places in Nepal where you can surround yourself by the majestic Himalaya without having to worry about altitude
  • Relish the intense scenery of the Annapurna Himal, an ideal trek for those short on time
  • Hike to Annapurna South Base Camp in the footsteps of legendary mountaineering expeditions, following our professional mountaineering guides
  • Enjoy meeting some of Nepal's remarkable ethnic clans in hillside villages and along the trail

Duration: 15 days Start Location: Kathmandu End Location: Kathmandu

Download Detailed Itinerary
Itinerary
  • San07_fam
    Day 1 : Arrive in Kathmandu

    Arrive in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.

  • San_fam_koramonk
    Day 2 : Pokhara (2,800’)

    Morning visit to the key sights around the Kathmandu Valley, then fly westward about 100 miles to Pokhara.

  • San_fam_climbtofishtail
    Day 3 : Begin trek

    Trek to Ghorapani (9,400'), with spectacular views of Annapurna South and Hiunchuli.

  • Day 4 : Ghorepani (9,400')

    Make a steep ascent through forests of magnolia and rhododendron to the Magar village of Ghorepani, a popular resting stop for caravans of pack animals carrying cargo between Pokhara and Jomsom.

  • Day 5 : Tadapani (8,900')

    Early morning hike to Poon Hill (10,475') for sunrise views of Dhaulagiri, Hiunchuli, Annapurna I, and Annapurna South. Continue to Tadapani (8,900')

  • San_fam_bedtea
    Day 6 : Chomrong (6,759')

    Hike to Chomrong, a Gurung village that is the highest permanent settlement in the Modi Khola Valley. From here you'll have tremendous views of Annapurna South, which appears to tower above the village, and spectacular Machapuchare across the valley.

  • Day 7 : Doban (8,628')

    Hike up and down through bamboo and rhododendron forests to Doban (8,628'), our last stop before the Sanctuary itself.

  • San_fam_abcgroup
    Day 8 : Machapuchare Base Camp (12,204')

    Climb steeply on a high trail, , passing the “gates” to the sanctuary at about 11,700 feet. After arriving in camp, we'll spend time exploring the surrounding area.

  • Day 9 : Annapurna South Base Camp – Machapuchare Base Camp

    A day to explore the Sanctuary and admire views of snowy summits and plummeting glaciers. Optional morning walk to Annapurna South Base Camp (13,435') below the towering, near-vertical south face of Annapurna.

  • Days 10 - 11 : Chomrong (6,759') via Bamboo (7,675')


     

  • Day 12 : Ghandrung (6,000')

    The trail climbs up to a ridge with a spectacular view of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Machapuchare, and Annapurna III before making a gradual descent to the sprawling village of Ghandrung (6,000'), second largest Gurung village in Nepal.

  • Day 13 : Return to Pokhara (2,800')

    Hike to Ghandruk and meet the vehicles for the return drive to Pokhara.

  • Day 14 : Return to Kathmandu

    Return flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu.

  • Day 15 : Depart Kathmandu

    Depart Kathmandu, or join one of our extensions in Nepal, India, Vietnam, or Cambodia

Download Detailed Itinerary

DATES: Best time to go: March, October Departures: Oct 4 - 18, 2014 Oct 25, 2014 - Nov 8, 2014 Mar 22, 2015 - Apr 5, 2015 Oct 4 - 18, 2015 Oct 25, 2015 - Nov 8, 2015

PRICING:

2014 / 2015 Prices
$3,795 (10-14 members)
$4,195 (6-9 members)
$240 internal airfare – Kathmandu/Pokhara/Kathmandu - subject to change
$700 single supplement

  • Yak & Yeti Hotel
    Kathmandu, Nepal

    A 5-star deluxe oasis in the heart of Kathmandu, the Yak & Yeti is the perfect blend of contemporary international standards and time-honored Nepali tradition. Guests will find refuge among antique fountains, gilded temples and emerald gardens, while enjoying a state-of-the-art gymnasium, spa, shopping arcade, atrium, tennis courts and swimming pools.

  • Shangri La Village

    Shangri~La Village, Pokhara is a discreet, compact resort which is a 5 minute drive from the airport and 3km from the Phewa lake, with 65 meticulously designed rooms surrounded by spacious landscaped gardens and a panoramic view from every room.

Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.

Expert Leadership
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.

  • Lhakpa Norbu Sherpa

    Lhakpa Norbu Sherpa was born in Namche Bazaar to a mountaineering family. (His father was a climbing Sherpa and went to the South Col on several expeditions, including the 1963 American Everest expedition.) After completing his education, Lhakpa tried mountaineering on Kanchenjunga (the world’s third highest peak), but decided that he prefers trekking and now limits his climbing to trekking peaks like Mount Mera. Lhakpa has a deep interest in environmental issues and has been associated with Mountain Travel Sobek since 1983, first as sirdar and now as a trekking guide. He speaks Nepali, Sherpa, and Tibetan as well as English.

  • Pranoy Rai

    Pranoy Rai was born in Nepal, studied in Darjeeling, India, and is a travel enthusiast who has always been keen on adventure. Working as a trekking leader since 1999, he has an enormous experience in the field, having led numerous treks and tours to Nepal, Tibet and India. Pranoy successfully completed his basic mountaineering course from the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute of Darjeeling with grade 'A' certificate. He has been trained in wilderness medicine by Dr. Jim Duff, an expert in wilderness first aid and co-author of “First Aid and Survival in Mountain and Remote Areas.” In addition to being fluent in English, Nepali, and Hindi, he speaks basic Tibetan and Chinese. Pranoy is very keen on birds, plants, and flowers, and has acquired a very good knowledge in them that he looks forward to sharing with you on trek.

  • Sanjeev Chhetri

    Sanjeev Chhetri is a graduate of Delhi University, India, and has been leading treks in Nepal, Tibet, India and the Alps since 1990. He is an avid bird-watcher and very well traveled, with time spent in India, Tibet, China, England, Ireland, France, Thailand, USA and Switzerland. He lives with wife and son in Kathmandu. Sanjeev is very knowledgeable of the cultures, religions, and traditions of the countries he leads trek for and enjoys sharing his experiences with you.

  • Gyamcho Wangdi

    Gyamcho Wangdi has led treks for Mountain Travel Sobek since 1988. A Bhutanese, he grew up in the small hill town of Kalimpong in the Darjeeling District of India and received his schooling from a Scottish missionary school. He studied botany and zoology and was a naturalist at Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge in Nepal for eight years. While working at the park, he greeted VIPs and other celebrities such as Princess Anne, the late Rajiv Gandhi (former Prime Minister of India), King Gyanendra (present King of Nepal), Bjorn Borg (former #1 tennis player), Reinhold Messner (Everest summiteer), and actors James Coburn, Robert Redford, Goldie Hawn, and Carrie Fisher. Gyamcho’s passions are seeing new places, off-road driving, interior design, and drawing cartoons (he has published a cartoon book on the Yeti called "Mysterious Mystical Yeti," which became a hit among Nepal trekkers). His gentle, courteous manner, amusing anecdotes, and overall knowledge of Bhutan and Nepal are the key to the success of your trip. He is fluent in English, Hindi, Nepali, and Bhutanese.

photo credits: ©Christopher Bettencourt



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Itinerary for Nepal: The Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

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Activity Ratings

Easy

Many activities are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. Includes less demanding sea kayaking and river rafting trips with Class I-II rapids.

Moderate

More active trips involving hiking over moderate terrain, usually - but not always - with vehicle support and at elevations less than 10,000 feet, or trips with long hiking days, multiple sea kayaking days, wilderness camping, or other invigorating activity. On many trips, you can elect to skip a day's activity, depending on logistics. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips and river rafting trips with Class III rapids.

Strenuous

Hiking and trekking over steeper or more rugged terrain or where elevations may exceed 10,000 feet - often several days in a row. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips (4-5 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

Ultimate Challenge!

Our most demanding trips: trekking over steep, rugged terrain at high elevations (no vehicle support) or with substantial altitude gains and losses; trips to remote, extreme wilderness; mountaineering trips. Includes our most demanding sea kayaking (5-7 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

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Departure Dates

Oct 4 - 18, 2014 Oct 25, 2014 - Nov 8, 2014 Mar 22, 2015 - Apr 5, 2015 Oct 4 - 18, 2015 Oct 25, 2015 - Nov 8, 2015
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