Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA) is the largest of Nepal’s 15 protected regions and offers some of the most dramatic and easily accessible high mountain scenery anywhere in the Himalayas. This 80km range forms a dramatic backdrop to the north of the industrial and tourist city of Pokhara in central Nepal and is reached by a 6-7 hour scenic road trip through the forested and agriculturally important middle hills or a 30 minute flight along the Himalayan chain.
Mountain Mart Treks (MMT) offers a choice of 13 treks to this region ranging from short treks to interesting viewpoints for those with limited time or energy, to longer more demanding tea house treks or full camping adventure treks to outlying destinations. Local porters will carry your luggage: you only need to carry a light day pack with warm/waterproof clothing, water, camera, sunscreen and hat. Each of our trek packages is inclusive of all meals, accommodation, drinking water and hot showers.
Due to the nature of the terrain, all treks start from the plains then climb through the middle hills towards the higher regions. You will pass through numerous villages and experience the warm, welcoming charm of gentle peoples from various harmonious Hindu societies and higher up mix with Buddhist peoples of Tibetan origin. With altitude the flora, fauna and architecture gradually changes, as do the agricultural possibilities, making for a rich experience over and above the scenic splendours of the Himal.
This region, more than most, has adapted to the tastes and requirements of “the foreign palate” and the tea houses offer a variety of dishes in addition to the tasty local fare. They also offer boiled water for safe drinking or you can safely use clear unboiled water with the addition of iodine drops, tablets or treat it with an ultra-violet lamp kit.
No matter where you trek in this region, you will eventually pass through Pokhara. The town is famed for its beautiful lake, Phewa Tal, and more recently its string of impressive hotels, restaurants and countless tiny shops offering clothing, books, jewellery and art works. Being at a lower elevation, the city is warmer than Kathmandu.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek has long been considered one of the world’s great treks. It takes you around the back of the Himal, usually in an anti-clockwise direction. Like all great journeys, the trek reveals itself gradually, ascending through subtropical valleys and terraced farmlands to high valleys in the rain-shadow, north of the Annapurna Himal. From Manang, the largest village behind the peaks, the trail passes over the high Thorung La (5416m) before dropping down to Muktinath, a major Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage site. This leads into the great Kali Gandaki Valley, a desert-like Trans-Himalayan region; once a vital trade corridor to Tibet. A bus ride will take you from Jomsom back to Pokhara, or to Tatopani (Hot Springs) from where a glorious path through magnificent rhododendron, oak and bamboo forests, leads back to Pokhara via Ghorepani. Numerous interesting side trips are possible along the circuit, and can be added to the standard route.
On the southern slopes, facing Pokhara; the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek (Base Camp) climbs, through foothill villages up the forested gorge of the Modi Khola, into a magnificent mountain amphitheatre housing the Machhapuchhare and Annapurna base camp This spectacular shorter trek offers many rewards and surrounds you with a ring of sheer ice peaks, viewed from the moraine of the impressive Annapurna glacier.
The new Mardi Himal Trek lies off the beaten track and offers a short circular route, through rhododendron and oak forests to high alpine scrub, in an unspoilt region away from the crowds. It is an ideal trek for ‘first timers’ and presents spectacular scenery including views of Dhaulagiri, four of Annapurna’s peaks, Hiunchuli and the Fish Tail while introducing you to the warmth and hospitality of the local peoples. Although reaching an altitude of 4120m, the route is designed to give you time to properly acclimatize.