Annapurna Sanctuary in Comfort13 Days & 12 Nights
- Taking in the majesty of the Annapurna Sanctuary
- Experiencing village life as you trek through the terraced fields of the Annapurna foothills
- Watching dawn break over Annapurna South, Annapurna 1, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna, and Machhapuchhre
- Kathmandu; Durbar Square and Boudhanath
- Discovering Nepali village life as you walk from lodge to lodge
What To Expect
Private Guided | Alone or with your chosen companion(s), benefit from a private guide throughout most of your trip.
Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night
This trip is suitable for:
Ideal if you have an interest in:
- Spiritual Journeys
- Personal Growth
- Luxury & Unique Stays
Grade & Terrain
This holiday is graded moderate to strenuous, due to the fairly long days at high altitude. You should be in good physical fitness and have experience of multi-day trekking or walking prior to undertaking the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek. The effect of altitude should not be underestimated and prior experience of walking at high altitude is helpful.
The trails are generally well maintained and a good walking surface, although the going can be slippery and wet in places and some short sections can be steep so walking poles are helpful.
During your trek you will be accompanied by an experienced guide so you do not need to navigate.
On this in-comfort trekking trip we have carefully selected high quality accommodation both on trek and in Kathmandu.
During your trek you will stay three nights at Ker & Downey’s acclaimed trekking lodges in the Annapurna foothills. Ker and Downey lodges offer guests the opportunity to experience the magnificent scenery of the Himalayas in style and comfort whilst staying in en suite rooms with comfortable beds with sheets, blankets, down pillows, hot showers and hot water bottles.
For seven nights on trek you will stay at carefully chosen local trekking lodges. Although more basic we carefully select and book the best lodge in each location for you. You will stay in twin-share rooms where possible but during peak trekking season you may have to stay in rooms with up to 4 people.
In Kathmandu you have two nights at Gokarna Forest Resort. Situated within the city limits of Kathmandu Gokarna Forest Resort is located inside the serene temperate Gokarna Forest, the former private Royal hunting grounds of the Kings of Nepal.
You may wish to extend your stay with a few nights in Pokhara, where we recommend you stay at the Temple Tree Resort and Spa.
Single Rooms and Solo Walkers
Unfortunately this trip is not available to solo walkers, however if you do require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you, although there is a single room supplement payable.
Alternative Kathmandu Hotels
If you would prefer to stay in the heart of Kathmandu just let us know and we can book your stay at the Yak & Yeti Hotel or Annapurna Hotel for a small supplement. If you would like a touch of luxury in Kathmandu I would suggest booking the historic Dwarika’s Hotel, undoubtedly the finest property in Kathmandu. There is an additional cost for this.
Meals & Drinks
All meals except lunches and dinners in Kathmandu are included as is tea with meals. For three nights when staying at Ker and Downey lodges an evening happy hour includes local soft drinks and local alcoholic beverages. Other soft drinks, water and alcoholic drinks are not included.
- All airport and internal transfers in Nepal
- Return internal flights from Kathmandu to Pokhara including taxes
- 2 Nights accommodation at Gokarna Forest Resort in deluxe rooms including breakfast
- Trekking permits
- 10 Days guided trekking to Annapurna sanctuary with guide, porter (1 porter per 2 clients : luggage allowance - 15 kg per person)
- 3 Nights at Ker & Downey’s Lodges
- 7 Nights at the best available local trekking lodges including all meals
- Half day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu visiting Boudhanath and Durbar Square
- Detailed pre-departure information pack
- International flights to/from Nepal
- Lunches and dinners while in Kathmandu
- Travel Insurance
- Personal equipment
- Nepal Visa
- Extra drinks and snacks, hot showers, laundry
- Excess baggage charges for internal flights
- Tips for your trekking crew (expected, but not mandatory)
- Accommodation upgrade in Kathmandu
- Additional Nights
When To Go
The trekking season in the Annapurna region runs from the end of September to May. The most popular times are October/November, when the post monsoon mountain air is clear and fresh, and March to April when the weather is dry and pleasant and the rhododendrons bloom. You can start your trip on any date in the season.
Average daytime temperatures between October-November and April-May range from approximately 25c in Kathmandu to approx. 14c at 3000m, and approximately 3c at 5000m. From December through to April, the temperatures will be about 5c lower. Night time temperatures are lower and will get to below freezing once above 3000m.
Getting to the Start
Flights to Kathmandu are available daily from the UK and Europe via the Gulf or India. Airlines include Jet Airways, Emirates Airlines, Gulf Air, Qatar Airways & Etihad Airways. Kathmandu is also very well served from North America and Australasia.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.
The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, (for example, proper rain gear jacket and pants, sun hat, sunscreen). Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes or the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.
Altitude Sickness & Trekking at Altitude
Acute Mountain Sickness or Altitude Sickness is a major concern when trekking in Nepal and although our itinerary is designed to minimise the chances of you suffering from AMS each individual is affected differently by altitude. The majority of trekkers will suffer from at least mild altitude sickness.
Your leaders are all trained in dealing with AMS but your health is your responsibility and you should educate yourself on AMS. If you have any pre-existing health conditions that you think may make you more susceptible to AMS we recommend that you consult your doctor before booking this trip. You should also report any illness to your guide right away.
Your Guide & Porters
Quality guides make the difference between a great trip and an unforgettable experience. Our Nepali guides are qualified and trained. All have many years experience of guiding trekkers in Nepal, and speak fluent English.
They bring a wealth of knowledge to your journey, opening your eyes to the legends, culture, food, flora and fauna of the Himalayas. Additionally they are first aid trained and trained and experienced in dealing with cases of Altitude Sickness.
Your luggage will be transported by porters (1 porter between 2 people).
Air Travel in Nepal
Due to the nature of our treks in Nepal, access to the start point is often only possible by taking an internal flight. Flying in Nepal is an acknowledged risk due to the changeable nature of mountain weather and the fact that the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal does not operate to the same standards as those of the UK and other western nations.
However, we have taken steps to ensure that our customers travelling to Nepal are as safe as they can possibly be by becoming stakeholders in an independent air audit of Nepal airlines undertaken by UK tour operators in 2015. This audit deemed several airlines as safe to fly to with including Yeti Airlines and Tara Air, and our itineraries will only include flights with these particular airlines. Tara and Yeti Airlines have also fulfilled the IATA Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA) which is a new global safety standard for commercial airlines operating smaller aircraft.
Whilst we have taken the above steps, you should be aware that flying in mountainous areas like Nepal does carry with it a certain amount of risk.
If you would like to find out further information on flying on Nepal and the associated risks, you can read advice on the UK Foreign Office Travel Advice page - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/nepal/safety-and-security.
Please be aware that you need a tourist visa for Nepal to enter. You can get this upon arrival at Kathmandu airport, where a few forms need to be filled out before you can go through customs. You will need to make sure you have the right amount of USD with you and two passport photos in order to obtain your visa. Alternatively Nepali embassies will also issue visas.
Extra nights and extensions
If you would prefer a more relaxed trek to Annapurna Base Camp we would recommend adding an extra night at Annapurna Base Camp which allows for some wonderful walks in the area. On the way down an extra night at Himalaya and Ghandruk make the descent much easier.
You should also consider adding additional nights in both Pokhara and Kathmandu to allow yourself extra time to explore. Other popular extensions include Chitwan National Park, Birethani and Seti River rafting/float.
While trekking you will only have to carry a day bag with water, snacks, spare clothes and your camera. Your main bag will be moved by a porter. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 15kg per person. It is possible to store excess luggage at your hotel in Kathmandu. You will need normal walking and travelling gear as well as a sleeping bag and warm clothes. We will send you a comprehensive packing list on confirmation of your booking in your pre-departure information pack.
Trekking equipment is also available to hire in Kathmandu.
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the region is extremely popular especially over October/November and March/April. However, we will always try our best to accommodate your plans.
Annapurna Sanctuary is graded moderate to strenuous so you need to be relatively fit and have some experience of multi-day walking.
Your bags will be transported on trek by local porters. We have a strict porter protection policy and, for this reason, we ask you to keep your baggage weight to a maximum of 15kgs per person. If you do want more luggage than this for your trip it is possible to leave items you will only want for Kathmandu at your hotel, thus helping to decrease the weight of the bag your are taking on trek.
Your detailed information pack will be sent to you after you book. This has a detailed equipment list which includes standard trekking gear such as good walking shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack. Remember when you are staying in the trekking lodges you will need to have your own sleeping bag.
The trekking season in the Annapurna region runs from mid-September to May. The most popular times are October/November, when the post monsoon mountain air is clear and fresh, and March to April when the weather is dry and pleasant and the rhododendrons bloom. Trekking is possible from December to February but it can be cold at night at high altitude.
The affects of altitude vary between each individual; all our itineraries are designed to minimise the chances of you suffering from the symptoms of altitude sickness. We take rest days in order for your body to acclimatise, and our leaders are fully trained and experienced in dealing with issues related to altitude, should it affect you. The Annapurna Sactuary trek does not go quite as high as some of the treks in the Everest region; therefore there is less risk of feeling the effects of altitude here.
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive Kathmandu
Upon arrival at Kathmandu Airport you will be met by our representative and transferred to the Gokarna Forest Resort.
Gokarna Forest Resort is located inside the temperate Gokarna Forest, the former Royal hunting grounds of the Kings of Nepal. A winding road climbs through the forest, up to the main complex, comprising a mix of subtly majestic Malla period architecture, Rana period lodges, and sanctuaries harmoniously blending with nature.
After an optional early morning flight to Mount Everest, you fly to Pokhara (1000 m). On arrival you will have a briefing at our office before you transfer by road (1 hour) with guides & porters to your trek start point.
Today your walk will follow a ridgeline in the lower foothills of the Annapurna's with wonderful views of the Pokhara Valley. The route then drops to the Modi River Valley, where Ker & Downey's Sanctuary Lodge is located. Lunch is at the lodge followed by an optional walk to the nearby village of Birethanti or the afternoon is free to explore the surrounding river valley.
Trek: 3 - 4 hours
Overnight Height: 1150m
After breakfast, you leave Sanctuary Lodge walking out through farms following the Modi River Valley. Soon you begin to climb out of the valley & up towards the mountains. The trail passes through small hamlets, terraced rice fields and forests with spectacular views of the surrounding valley. Snacks are provided along the trail. Hot lunch is served on arrival at the lodge in the early afternoon.
Located at over 6,500 feet in the shadow of the Annapurna, the Himalaya Lodge overlooks Ghandruk, once a popular recruitment location for the Ghurkhas. With 11 comfortable rooms and stunning mountain views the Himalaya Lodge is a favourite amongst our trekkers.
Trek: 5 - 6 hours, 900m ascent
Overnight Height: 2012m
Leaving Ghandruk your trail heads steeply downhill to the Kyumnu Khola, a tributary of the Modi Khola, where you will stop for lunch. In the afternoon, you climb to a ridgeline on the west bank of the Modi Khola, gaining a spectacular view of the Matterhorn-like spire of Machhapuchhare. You continue along to Chomrong, the last permanent village below the Annapurna Sanctuary, set at the base of Hiunchuli (6300m).
Trek: 6-7 hours, 770m ascent, 480m descent
Overnight Height: 2170m
Hiking through lush rhododendron forest festooned with ferns and orchids, you reach Kuldi Ghar, a small settlement perched on the steep-sided valley. You descend quickly across rock slabs into a bamboo forest. The trail continues through a dense bamboo forest, often over a tangle of roots and fallen bamboo.
Trek: 3.5 - 4.5 hours, 610m ascent, 510m descent
Overnight Height: 2540m
The day begins with the trail winding through bamboo forest, before you climb gradually but steadily to the open spaces above treeline. After hiking across a grassy pasture at Tomo (8,400 / 2545m), you reach the narrowest point in the canyon, Panchenin Barha, the natural “gate” to the sanctuary, with its small trailside shrine.
Before 1956, no one of low caste, no foreigners, and no “impure” foods such as pork, beef, chicken, garlic, and eggs were allowed beyond this shrine into the sacred confines of the Annapurna Sanctuary.
Trek: 3.5 - 4.5 hours, 750m ascent
Overnight Height: 3230m
This day is shorter, to aid acclimitisation. The gorge widens as you finally feast your eyes upon the full glory of the Annapurna Sanctuary. Ahead of you lies the lateral moraine of South Annapurna Glacier, with the Modi Khola flowing to our right.
Reach your home for the night, Machhapuchhare Base Camp (3680m), site of a 1957 British Expedition to Machhapuchhare that climbed to within 200 of the summit. Because the peak is sacred to the Gurung people and considered the home of a Gurung goddess, Nepals government subsequently declared it off limits to climbers and it has remained unclimbed since.
The is the option a walk in the afternoon, up the trail, to aid acclimitisation.
Trek: 2.5 - 3 hours, 500m ascent
Overnight Height: 3680m
Wake up early in the morning for your final ascent to Annapurna Base Camp. The trail contours the broad, grassy, and sometimes snow-covered valley. When you reach base camp you are surrounded by a 360-degree panorama of incredible Himalayan peaks: Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Fang, Annapurna II, Roc Noir, Glacier Dome, Gangapurna, Annapurna III, and Machhapuchhare. After some time taking in the incredible views, begin your descent. Pass back through Machhapucharre Base Camp and, after you enjoy our last views of the Annapurna Sanctuary, head out the “gate” and follow your outward track back down the valley to Himalaya.
Trek: 6.5 - 7.5 hours, 500 metres ascent followed by 1220m descent
Overnight Height: 2920m
You will have a number of steep ascents and descents today to Sinuwa, passing through spectacular Rhododendron and Bamboo forest.
Trek: 5-6 hours, 970m descent, 510m ascent
Overnight Height: 2340m
You continue downhill, then detour off our former trail and head steeply down to the "New Bridge" on the Modi Khola. From here, the route flattens out somewhat until reaching the small settlement of lodges, known as Jhinu Danda. There is a small hot spring so bring a bathing suit if you’d like to take a dip!
Trek: 2 - 3 hours, 560m descent
Overnight Height: 1500m
You join the main trail again today, trekking mainly along the flats until you reach the Ker & Downey Sanctuary Lodge, for a final night on trek.
Trek: 5 - 6 hours, 1000m descent, 300m ascent
Overnight Height: 1150m
You walk down to the road head near Birethanti and continue by private vehicle to Pokhara. Once back in Pokhara, bid farewell to your trekking staff and return to Kathmandu by air.
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you'll visit Boudhanath: the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal. You'll then return to the hotel, and your evening is free for you to explore or relax.
Trek: 2 hours
Transfer to the international airport for your final departure from Kathmandu (B). Post and Pre-nights can be arranged in Kathmandu and/or Pokhara.
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