Throughout our travels we live incredible and unforgettable experiences. However, the most challenging and absolutely magical experience we live was in Nepal, during the ABC trekking to the Himalayas.
Nepal is known for its green landscapes, endless waterfalls, and, of course, for its snow-capped mountains, known as the Himalayas.
Certainly, at some point in your life you set the goal,”One day I will visit the Himalayas!”.
And now we ask, what are you waiting for?
In this article, we will explain step-by-step everything you need to know and do before this great adventure!
Take note, the licenses and the itinerary, we deal everything in Pokhara and not in Kathmandu.
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1. TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management Systems)
To do this trekking you need some licenses. These licenses, better known as TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management Systems), cost $ 45 USD per person without tour guide.
What do you need:
– Original Passport
– Policy No. and Insurance Contact
– Two passport size photos
Annapurna Circuit is one of the best known trekking circuits in Nepal, where you can do it with or without a guide.
To apply for TIMS you can go to a local agency in Pokhara.
In our case, we went to Step-by-Step Treks & Adventures. The service was excellent. Krishna (owner of the agency) helped us make a plan, explain all our doubts and in the end we exchanged contacts and today we still talk.
In addition, the other agencies charge a fairly high commission for the service.
Related Post: TRAVEL INSURANCE- WHICH IS BEST FOR YOU!
Remember a Travel Insurance is VERY important!
2. OUR ITINERARY
After the licenses it’s time to make the route! We recommend you to buy a map from any bookstore in town.
Now, the route always depends on the days you have to do the trekking. The trek we did was 7 days but you can do it in more days.
Our plan was as follows:
DAY 0. POKHARA → KIMCHE
From Pokhara Lakeside we toke a taxi to the bus station, the price is 300 NPR (approx. € 2.40). There we toke a bus to Kimche, the price per person is 500 NPR (approx. € 4.00).
Once in Kimche we walked to Ghandruk, where we spent the night. Accommodation here ranges from 200 NPR or 400 NPR. However, when it is low season one can negotiate with the owners. In exchange for all meals at the accommodation, the room is free.
The price for meals (lunch, dinner and breakfast) was 2000 NPR (approx. €16.00) for both.
Usually, people drop off in Nayapol, where is the TIMS checkpoint, and then start trekking to ABC. But we decided to go further in the bus to save time, and not lose all our energy on the first day!
The price of the bus to Nayapol is 200 NPR (approx. € 1,60) per person.
DAY 1. KIMCHE → GHANDRUK
After a 3 hour walk from Kimche, we arrived at Ghandruk. It is one of the villages of this circuit that still offers plenty of accommodation.
As we arrived relatively early, we took the opportunity to visit this small village, socialize with the locals and take pictures. The landscapes are amazing.
DAY 2. GHANDRUK → CHHOMRONG
We woke up early and full of energy for this new day.
When leaving in the village of Ghandruk, there is a TIMS Check Point. The signal is not very clear, so watch out before you leave Ghandruk.
This day was long, we thought it was one of the most challenging. There are many uneven stairs that make you work harder to keep your balance.
Along the way you will find various locals in their daily life, waterfalls lost through the green of the mountains and suspended bridges!
After a long 6 hour walk (including lunch break) we arrived at Chhromrong. Village where we spend the night.
DAY 3. CHHOMRONG → DOBHAN
After a yummy breakfast with incredible mountain views, we set off for another hike.
The way from Chhomrong to Dobhan is easier compared to the others. It took about 5 hours in total including lunch break. We decided to rest here, however we felt good to walk at least another hour to the Himalayan village.
Tip: Once you get to Dobhan, and you still feel good to walk another hour to the Himalayas village, do so. So the next day is one hour less of walk.
DAY 4. DOBHAN → MACHHAPUCHHRE BASE CAMP (MBC)
Maybe the most anxious day you’ll be! We were! This day means your ultimate goal is getting closer and closer!
We left at 7:00 in the morning from Dobhan and ready to start another day!
The road starts to get a little harder here! You’ll find areas with frozen avalanches so you have to be very careful!
The journey from Dobhan to Machhapuchhre Base Camp (MBC) is 8 hours (including lunch break). Once you get to MBC the feeling is relaxing, because you can already see ABC closer and closer to you.
Tip: Try to get to MBC as early as possible, because from 16:30 it starts to get dark!
At 5:30 pm an incredible phenomenon happens! The sun is beginning to hit the mountain tops and you can see snow vapor melting!
DAY 5. MBC → ANNAPURNA BASE CAMP (ABC)
And the moment we were looking forward finally arrived!
We woke up at 4:30 pm to watch the sunrise! But if we knew it we would have woken up earlier! The MBC ride to Annapurna Base Camp is 2 hours!
The path is ice! That’s why you use some walking sticks as an ice support and footwear!
The landscapes are absolutely AMAZING !!! Take your time to enjoy them!
And the time has come… After 5 days of hard work we arrived at Annapurna Base Camp (4130 Mtrs altitude). It is a difficult feeling to explain with words!
Unfortunately, a few months ago, there was a fairly large and strong avalanche and destroyed the entire Base Camp. And the locals are trying to rebuild again!
Spent almost 2 hours here, we decided to go back, because it would be a long day!
After 2 hours getting down to MBC, we had breakfast, grabbed our backpacks and started off!
DAY 6. MBC → BAMBOO
They say that down, all the saints help! In this case it was not like that! The path from Base Camp MBC to Bamboo is quite complicated as it is quite bumpy!
It took a total of 8 hours to get down (including lunch break)!
Tip: If you think it’s a lot of effort to Bamboo, you can rest in Dobhan.
DAY 7. BAMBOO → JHINUDANDA
After a beautiful night’s sleep and recovered energy we move on to the last day of trekking. That’s right, this great adventure was coming to an end.
The journey from Bamboo to Jhinudanda is 6/7 hours (including lunch break).
We arrived in Jhinudanda, put on our swimsuits and walked about 20 minutes to the Hotsprings. The price per person is 100 NPR (approx. € 0.80). It is a must place after these intense days! We take the opportunity to relax in the warm water coming from the mountain!
The next day we woke up early and caught a jeep to Pokhara. The price per person is from 1000 NPR (approx. € 8,00).
You have the bus alternative to Pokhara but you have to walk to Landruk (approx. 3 hours).
3. ALTERNATIVE ITINERARIES AND BEST SEASON
→ POON HILL TREK
Duration: 4 – 5 Days
Difficulty: Considered easy and suitable for families.
Circuit: Nayapul → Ulleri → Tadapone → Ghandruk → Pokhara
You can add this circuit to the ABC circuit, so once you get to Ghandruk, instead of taking the bus back to Pokhara, you start the ABC circuit.
→ ABC TREK
Duration: 7 – 8 days
Difficulty: Many stone steps and from Deurali becomes steeper, with snow is slippery. Most popular circuit.
Circuit: Nayapul → Ghandruk → Chhomrong → Dobhan → MBC → ABC → MBC → Bamboo → Jhinudanda → Pokhara
Duration: 10 – 12 days
Difficulty: Many steps.
Circuit: Nayapul → Ghandruk → Chhomrong → Dobhan → MBC → ABC → MBC → Bamboo → Jhinudanda → Bhedi Kharka → Pothana → Australian Camp → Kande → Pokhara
Duration: 10 – 12 days
Difficulty: Many steps.
Circuit: Nayapul → Ghandruk → Chhomrong → Dobhan → MBC → ABC → MBC → Bamboo → Jhinudanda → Bhedi Kharka → Pothana → Dhampus → Phedi → Pokhara
Season 1 – Late September to November: Best views and no rain.
Season 2 – Late February to April: The peaks are overcast at the lower altitudes, there is more flowering vegetation, which is beautiful, and the weather is warmer as well.
4. IMPORTANT INFORMATION + MATERIAL
Base rule go at your own rhythm. If you have no experience in trekking, take your time. Avoid exhaustion of your body so you can enjoy the trekking. Good overall health is necessary, but not specific physical preparation.
Known as mountain sickness, they are changes caused by altitude. These are mild symptoms such as breathlessness, headache and dizziness. They usually start from 3000 meters in altitude. Solution: Stop and take a medication (Zolamide) that helps with these symptoms.
It is not necessarily required to go guided with this trekking. The routes are well marked and you will also always see groups doing the same circuit as you.
However, if you are not comfortable doing it yourself, hire the guide service.
HOW TO CONNECT TO THE INTERNET OR MAKE CALLS:
You can buy a SIM Card (the best Nepal Telecom or NTC), however, from a certain point on trekking you will no longer have service.
In the guesthouses, where you will be staying, they have WiFi. The connection is not very regular, but it works for the basics, like sending messages via Whatsapp. Please note that to use this WiFi service you have to pay an extra 300 NPR (approx. €2.40).
Warn your family that you will be unreachable for the circuit. In fact, it’s better, so you enjoy more of this experience.
CHARGE ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT:
There is electricity all the way. BUT… they charge for this. The price is between 200 NPR (approx. €1.60) to 400 NPR (approx. €3.20) per device.
Tip: Take a power bank with plenty of capacity and charge whenever you can.
Every 2-4 hours of the route you will find villages with accommodation. The accommodation is basic and shared toilet.
The price ranges from 200 NPR (approx. €1.60) to 400 NPR (approx. €3.20)
TAKE BATH WITH HOT WATER:
Yes, after a long walk it feels good to take a hot shower! However, you have to pay extra for this service. The price ranges from 200 NPR (approx. €1.60) to 300 NPR (approx. €2.40).
WATER TO DRINK:
In large cities it is very easy to fill the bottle with water for 10 NPR (approx. €0,08) per liter. However, in the Annapurna region, the price per liter is 100 NPR (approx. €0.80). Purchase a Water Term, so you can carry it and refill it whenever you need it.
The best option is a filter term, so you can fill it from the tap or from a source; Or, buy some Aquatabs tablets to purify the water. Avoid buying plastic bottles, waste management is a huge problem in Nepal and around the world.
You will not starve! There is plenty of variety, from pizza, Italian pasta to Nepalese food. In the Annapurna region, local accommodation menus are set by the government, so the price is very similar all along, but they are quite expensive.
One meal per person is an average of NPR 500/600 (approx. €4.00 / €4.80).
We recommend taking some food with you to give you extra energy:
– Muesli Bars (Mountain Man are very good!);
– Dried Fruit
– Long sleeve thermal sweater
– Thermal pants
– Polar coat
– Rain coat
– Backpack rain protection
– Trekking pants
– Trekking shorts
– 2-3 t-shirts
– 3-4 pairs of trekking socks
– Trekking shoes
– Neck buff
– Hat / cap
– Sleeping bag
– Trekking sticks (in stores at Pokhara 500 NPR (approx. €4.00); 2nd hand 200 NPR (approx. €1.60) or ask the room you are on if there are any extras)
– Aluminum Water Bottle
– Power Bank
– Universal adapter
– Photographic Camera
– Toilet Paper
– Hand disinfectant
– Moisturizing cream
– Baby wipes
– Sun cream
– Mosquito repellent
– Lip Balm
– Hydration Tablets
– First aid kit
The costs depend greatly on person to person and the time of year you are going, for example, if you go in December, you will need more warm clothes.
In our case, as we travel at low cost, we try to save the most. We split some meals which reduces our spending.
We consider that individually you should consider a daily expense of between €20.00 and €25.00 to go comfortably and also for any unforeseen events you may have.
Remember to withdrawal enough money in Pokhara, because during the circuit there are no ATMs or places to pay by credit card!
We hope this article will be useful for your great ABC Trekking adventure and share with us your experience !!
Safe and Happy Travels Everyone ✈
SARA & JORGE