Hike the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek in Nepal

An epic hike in one of the world's most magical places: Nepal! The Annapurna Sanctuary Trek takes about two weeks. You basically hike in the valleys below the majestic peaks of the Himalayas in an ‘ampitheatre' surrounded by the Annapurna mountains (South, I and III), Gangapurna and Machapuchare (Fish Tail).

Explore bustling,mind-blowing Kathmandu before your trek to begin your acclimatization.  Everyone tells me they feel like they are on another planet!  Once you've had your fill of the temples and markets of Kathmandu, you'll fly to lakeside Pokhara at the foot of the Himalayas.  Then you'll begin your trek up the glacial Modi Khola River gorge, witnessing breathtaking scenery that just gets better every day!  Stay in local Gurung ‘tea houses' with the locals at the end of each incredibel day!


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FREE Annapurna Travel Planner


Just click on the picture to download your free planner (newsletter subscribers: this planner will come to you automatically with the monthly newsletter).


It's loaded with helpful tips and links to help save you time and effort in planning your epic adventure.


ATA Recommends using our affiliate partner of a similar name:  Active Adventures.


Active Adventures offers AMAZING guided tours in Nepal, New Zealand (their home base), Europe, South America and soon:  North America!


Active Travel Adventures highly recommends using Active Adventures for your Annapurna adventure!


You begin your adventure by arriving in Kathmandu. You'll get acclimated to the higher altitudes and have time to explore the bustling capital of Nepal. Visit some of the temples and markets for a mind-blowing experience.  From Kathmandu, you'll fly to the lakeside town of Pokhara to begin your hike.

Here are some of the highlights of your Himalayan trek:

Trek to ABC along the Annapurna Circuit Trail
Visit Gurung settlements and local villages
Soak in natural hot springs in Jhinudanda
Explore the bustling city of Kathmandu
Walk to Swayambhunath “Monkey” Temple
Explore Pokhara and the Himalayan Mountain Museum
Watch the sunrise over Machapuchare

Here's a recommended itinerary for your Annapurna hike:

[Following each destination is the hiking distance and day's end elevation]

Day 1 Arrive Kathmandu: na 4600'/1400m
Day 2 Visit SwayambhunathTemple ; fly to Pokhara: na 2713'/827m
Day 3 Hike to Kyumi: 7.5mi/12km 3937'/1200m
Day 4 Hike to Chhomrong: 5.6mi/9km 7120'/2170m
Day 5 Hike to Dobhan: 7.1mi/11.5km 8530'/2600m
Day 6 Hike to Deurali: 3.1mi/5km 10,500'/3200m
Day 7 Hike to Machapuchare Base Camp: 3.1mi/5km 12,140'/3700m
Day 8 Hike to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC: 8.6mi/14km 8530'/2600m)
Day 9 Hike to Jhinudanda: 6.2mi/14km 5840'/1780m
Day 10 Hike to Tolka: 5.6mi/9km 5580'/1700m
Day 11 Hike to Phedi; Journey to Pokhara: 6.8mi/11km 2720'/830m
Day 12 Free day in Pokhara: na 2720'/830m
Day 13 Return to Kathmandu: na 4600'/1400m
Day 14 Depart

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Stay in local ‘Tea Houses'

Not only will you enjoy some of the most gorgeous scenery on the planet, you'll also have plenty of opportunities to meet the locals! You'll stay in the local ‘tea houses' owned and operated by the Nepalese people, whom you'll find to be friendly and gracious.

Recommended Tour Company

If you want to do this adventure, I would recommend going with my affiliate, Active Adventures. I know our names sound similar, but we are two different companies.

At Active Travel Adventures, I strive to provide you with the information you need to leap into adventure travel with confidence.  I offer unbiased opinions of what I think is good or not.  Some of my recommendations are affiliate partners, which means that at no cost to you, I might earn a small commission or free/discounted travel.  If you use one of my recommendations, please use my links to show your support of ATA – thanks!  Kit

Check out my other Nepal episode:

Nepal Podcast

SHOW NOTES: Annapurna Sanctuary in Nepal


Episodes mentioned in today’s show:

012 Patagonia
014 Machu Picchu
017 Nepal
023 Kilimanjaro (for altitude prep info)
021 Dolomites (Italy)

Tucked away in the Himalayan mountains of Nepal, this lesser known but just as stunning trek showcases the spectacular Annapurna mountain range.

We’ll hike in the valley below a circle of mountains, most higher than 20,000’! We’ll visit the crazy Kathmandu and Pokhara, stay in local tea houses, and climb the countless steps to the Annapurna Base Camp at dawn.

We talk about the pros of adventure travel and why we do it, even when things go wrong, and why that’s not a bad thing (and it’s also where the stories come from!).

Subscribers to our newsletter will receive the FREE Annapurna Travel Planner in the monthly newsletter or you can download it directly from the website.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 Intro to Annapurna
03:00 Intro to Stan
03:28 How Stan got into adventure travel
04:58 Why Stan chose Active Adventures as his tour company
06:28 Benefits of adventure travel
06:52 Why Stan chose Annapurna
08:33 How Kit learned to run (the light post trick)
09:16 How Stan trained
09:53 Annapurna overview
12:27 Kathmandu
14:50 Locals
15:49 Tough first day
17:21 The trails described (stone steps 90%)
18:00 Summit!
19:10 How Stan felt about the adventure
19:31 The “Fishtail” called Machapuchare
20:30 Hiking the basin and the 8000m mountains
22:26 Tea houses
23:54 Stan describes his hiking group
24:24 The porters
25:06 How the porters carry the gear
26:22 Pack animals?
27:10 The trail and roads
27:30 Stan describes the ‘villages’
28:40 The landscape
29:25 The Monkey Temple
30:10 Stupas
32:01 Hot spring option
33:33 Day 5: Altitude sickness and dehydration
35:35 Water bladder is recommended
36:43 ‘Button’ and the guides
39:17 Using a tour company
40:50 What surprised Stan
42:19 Any advice to folks thinking about Annapurna?
43:12 Stan ranks for difficulty
43:38 Stan favorite memory
44:16 Stan ranks this adventure for difficulty
46:00 Stan’s fitness at 72 and his heart stents
47:14 Final words of advice
48:12 When things go wrong and why it’s good
50:19 Stan’s doing the Dolomites next
51:18 Kit’s Mom in her mid-80’s
52:07 Kit’s takeaways from today’s interview

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Nepal's Annapurna Sanctuary Trek by Active Travel Adventures is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://activetraveladventures.com/hike-nepals-annapurna-circuit.
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