Annapurna Region gets it name from Mt Annapurna (or Annapurna 1) which at 8091m is the 10th highest mountain in the world. Also features in this region are Mt Dhaulighiri 8167m (7th highest) and Machhapuchre otherwise known as Fishtail (6993m).
The starting point is Pokhara, located 200km from Kathmandu and easily accessible by shirt flight or bus from Kathmandu. Pokhara is the holiday place of Nepal, a laid back town on the banks of Lake Phewa it is picturesque and relaxed. The mountains are so close here that it is hard not to stop and photograph them from the airport on arrival. And there are so many stunning vantage points from the lakeside area. It is the adventure capital of Nepal so if you want a bit of variety you can choose from many including paragliding or the worlds longest zip line.
Annapurna Region is the busiest trekking region in Nepal accounting for around 60% of all trekkers It can become busy particularly in the autumn (Oct/Nov) and spring (April/May).
Annapurna is known for rhododendron trekking so April trekking to Poon Hill can be spectacular. The region is known for its bright red rhododendrons which cover the hillsides of the high hills (around 3500m) in spring.
Annapurna has some of the most accessible easy trekking routes in Nepal. So if you have only limited fitness or time you can easily do a short 3-5 day) trek at a slow pace and still get to see some epic scenery and villages.
Annapurna Base Camp is one of the most beautiful places in Nepal. At fairly low altitude (4025m) it is surrounded closely by 7000m+ and 8000m+ peaks. In other regions you can only see this at much higher altitude. So it is possible to get very close to high peaks very quickly.
Annapurna is home to the highest mountain pass (Thorongla at 5416m) and also to Muktinath which is a holy pilgrimage site (but which is covered in more detail in Mustang Region info).
This region is less remote than many other trekking regions. There is good power and wifi access at most of the villages in the lower hills. However in the higher more remote villages access will be more limited.
Here are some highlights of the Annapurna Region:
- Pokhara and Phewa Lake – this is probably the most photogenic “city” location in Nepal. The classic boats on the lake photo is literally at the doorstep of most of the tourist hotels in Pokhara. You can also enjoy a boat trip on the lake as well as a host of adventure activities with Pokhara being the adventure capital of Nepal.
- Easy grade trekking close to Pokhara with magnificent views of the Himalayas.
- Poon Hill – Arguably the best view of the region. With views to both the Annapurna and Dhaulighiri Ranges it makes the perfect sunrise location and is incredible for rhododendron trekking in spring (April).
- Beautiful waterfalls and forest trekking.
- ABC (Annapurna Base Camp) is arguably one of the most beautiful locations surrounded by massive peaks.
- Thorongla Pass – The highest mountain pass in Nepal.
- Muktinath Temple – Holy pilgrimage site for Hindus.
- Tibetan culture in Mustang region on the Annapurna Curcuit (can also be experienced on our Mustang Region trips)
Not recommended for:
- People who have trouble climbing stairs
- People who want a “quiet” trekking destination.