The Annapurna Sanctuary & Annapurna Base Camp

Annapurna Base Camp Trekking Adventure Tour

About the Annapurna Base Camp

What’s the best way to describe Annapurna Base Camp? We have the enviable job of cataloguing thousands of incredible images from our trips, and we can say with certainty that the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, ‘AST’ regularly tops the popularity list in terms of jaw-dropping visuals. There’s something about Machapuchare (one of the three Annapurna Mountains, also known as ‘Fish Tail’) that will leave a lasting impression as it stands tall on its own on the horizon. And then, of course, you have the sanctuary itself, a mesmerizing amphitheatre deafening in its silence. So go ahead, and have a look at our Annapurna Sanctuary Trek.

Annapurna Base Camp Trekking Adventure Tour

Why choosing to trek the Annapurna Sanctuary, over trekking to Everest Base Camp?

For trekkers, the Annapurna Sanctuary is definitely the path less travelled, compared to the more popular Everest Base Camp Trek. At a glance, it’s obvious to see why – Mt Everest is the tallest mountain on Earth, so the bragging rights are irresistible. But if the EBC ‘brag’ isn’t your primary focus, then you can’t surpass the beauty of the Annapurna Sanctuary. The quieter trails lead you deeper into the Nepalese lifestyle, connecting with the local culture while experiencing a wider variety of Nepal’s most beautiful landscapes. The Annapurna region is decorated with ancient jungles, lush meadows, and jaw-dropping mountain vistas, while the EBC route is 100% alpine - from the moment trekkers arrive in Lukla.

Guided Trips of the Annapurna Sanctuary

Himalayas

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

4.62

  • Duration 14 days
  • Travel Style
  • Activity Level Level 4 
    • Activity Level 4

      Challenge Accepted

      I'll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it'll be tough, but the views will be worth it.

    Read more about the Active Range

Throughout your Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, you'll hike up the glacial Modi Khola River gorge, pass through tiny Gurung settlements and into an alpine area that will take your breath away. Upon reaching Annapurna Base Camp, you'll be rewarded with 360-degree views of mountains all around you.

Trip Start: Kathmandu Trip End: Kathmandu

What Our Guests Say

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- July 2020

Annapurna

"Beautiful country and great guides. read more

"Beautiful country and great guides. read less

4 Stars (280 reviews)

Jo, United States

- December 2019

Karen, Canada

"Koru and Shree were amazing! Koru has an amazing personality and made us feel… read more

"Koru and Shree were amazing! Koru has an amazing personality and made us feel like close friends. We enjoyed our dinner conversations with him, learning about the Himalayas but also about New Zealand. He even partook in learning some new Canadian card games with us in the evenings. He has a pleasant,caring, genuine personality and we would love to have him as our guide again.
Shree was fun as well as a wealth of knowledge of Nepal culture, politics, traditions as well as patiently and repeatedly told us the names and spellings of all the mountains. Both Shree and Koru guided us to the best deals for quality items in both Pokhara and Kathmandu. Shree organized great tours of Kathmandu.
Our porters were also very polite, attentive and fun. We had a night of dancing to native music where everyone joined in the fun. These guys went out of their way to make our trip memorable. read less

5 Stars (280 reviews)

Karen, Canada

- December 2019

Trip of a Lifetime

"This trip has been on my bucket list for awhile. I couldn’t have asked for… read more

"This trip has been on my bucket list for awhile. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Our guides were fabulous, our porters extremely helpful and everyone always had a smile on their faces. The views were stunning! We were looked after from the time we arrived until the time we left Kathmandu. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone. read less

5 Stars (280 reviews)

Barb, Canada

- November 2019

awesome and inspiring

"Loved this trek! DK, our guide was wonderful. I really felt that he would… read more

"Loved this trek! DK, our guide was wonderful. I really felt that he would get us through any hardships that we might encounter on our journey - his connection the porters was extraordinary and i loved the fact that he was able to communicate with them in their own language. Due to his language abilities and his relationship with his team members, we were able to gather a much deeper appreciation of the culture than we might otherwise have experienced.
This was my second trip to nepal and second annapurna trek and this trip was so superior to my first journey (which was not associated with active adventures) I came away from this adventure with a much deeper appreciation of the nepalese people and the himalayan mountain range. I can't wait to take another active adventures trip! read less

5 Stars (280 reviews)

Marilyn, United States

- October 2019

ABC Trek October 2019

"This trip was fantastic. So well organized--excellent and amazing guides and porters, that were so… read more

"This trip was fantastic. So well organized--excellent and amazing guides and porters, that were so friendly and prepared and easy to get along with, willing to answer every question and meet every need. Accommodations were great, food was amazing throughout, and the camaraderie was top notch. Mother nature helped with warm temps, lots of sun and not a drop of rain. I can't say enough about Arjun and Kim, we all thought they were fantastic. Our porters: Sarki, Batri, Davindrah, Jilki, and Ganesh were fantastic, and our final night dinner and dancing was such a blast. This was a first Active Adventure vacation for my wife and I, but won't be our last. I felt like I left a piece of myself behind in Nepal, when all was said and done.This was a life changing experience for certain. read less

5 Stars (280 reviews)

Stephen, Canada

- October 2019

Memorable trip

"Met my expectations. read more

"Met my expectations. read less

5 Stars (280 reviews)

Fred, Canada

- October 2019

Awesome Annapurna

"The Annapurna Sanctuary Trek is a great adventure for anyone who wants to see gorgeous… read more

"The Annapurna Sanctuary Trek is a great adventure for anyone who wants to see gorgeous scenery and experience the hospitality of the Nepalese people.
Our guides and porters were a wonderful cheering squad who made sure we made it to each stop. read less

5 Stars (280 reviews)

Kirsi, United States

- October 2019

Challenge yourself with the Annapurna Trek

"Wonderful experience with Active in the Himalayas. The scenery is indescribably beautiful and the… read more

"Wonderful experience with Active in the Himalayas. The scenery is indescribably beautiful and the mountains surround you everywhere. read less

5 Stars (280 reviews)

Cole, United States

- October 2019

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

"Fantastic trip. Really well organised and led by Kim and Gokul. Nothing was too much… read more

"Fantastic trip. Really well organised and led by Kim and Gokul. Nothing was too much trouble and resulted in a fantastic experience. Dealing with Active staff online and before the trip was a pleasure. Keep doing what you're doing guys! read less

5 Stars (280 reviews)

James, United Kingdom

- September 2019

Stairway to Heaven

"The time spent in Nepal is truly eye opening. The trek to Annapurna takes… read more

"The time spent in Nepal is truly eye opening. The trek to Annapurna takes you through a progression of landscapes and genial towns. Breathtaking views! read less

5 Stars (280 reviews)

Chester, United States

- July 2019

Team Bonding!

"Kim led an awesome trip. It was so nice to have great hikes each morning… read more

"Kim led an awesome trip. It was so nice to have great hikes each morning and then have a group that ended up feeling like family each afternoon (dhumbal!). read less

5 Stars (280 reviews)

Becky, United States

- July 2019

Super Trip

"This was a great hike with a very skilled and personable guide.
We were
This was… read more

"This was a great hike with a very skilled and personable guide.
We were
This was a great hike with a very skilled and thoughtful guide. Everything was well planned and organized. I'm so happy I was able to be a part of the group. read less

5 Stars (280 reviews)

Margie, United States

- June 2019

Great Team!

"The ABC trek was incredible! I have a few "bucket list" trips on my list… read more

"The ABC trek was incredible! I have a few "bucket list" trips on my list and this was one of them. These types of trips can be tough to plan and organize but the people at Active Adventures were there to answer all my questions every step of the way (thanks Miriam and Tory!). The support in Nepal was great as well--from the guides, to the porters, to the drivers, to the tea houses! The trekking can be strenuous at times , so I really appreciated the teamwork that made the experience seamless and memorable. read less

4 Stars (280 reviews)

Jen, United States

- May 2019

Active Adventures go Above and Beyond!

"Nepal was everything I expected and then a whole lot more. Yes, the mountains were… read more

"Nepal was everything I expected and then a whole lot more. Yes, the mountains were huge, the colours vibrant and the trekking sublime. But also, the local Nepali people were beautiful, friendly and generous. Nepal is one of the poorest nations on earth, but you wouldn't know it when you sit down and have a masala tea with the porters and the tea house staff. Their nature is to treat you as a welcomed guest and when you make a little effort to learn their language and interact, it makes the whole experience so much richer. The best part about travelling with Active is that they have developed an amazing model where a western (usually Kiwi) trip leader works alongside a Nepali guide and team of porters - this balance works so well to bridge the cultural gap and educate us (the guests) on a deeper level. I'd go back in a heartbeat! read less

5 Stars (280 reviews)

Paul, New Zealand

- May 2019

Annapurna Base Camp or Bust

"This trip exceeded all my expectations - guides, the scenery, the difficulty, the camaraderie, the… read more

"This trip exceeded all my expectations - guides, the scenery, the difficulty, the camaraderie, the people and the pure awe of the Himalayans. Nepal is a poor country that is rich in tradition, humanity and pure beauty. The Nepalese are so very generous and showed their kindness every day. The guides and porters made sure everyone had the best experience. They were always supportive, engaging and encouraging. This was definitely an once in a lifetime experience I will never forget. read less

5 Stars (280 reviews)

Terry, United States

Active Adventure Assurance

Our Active Adventures Assurance

If your plans change or you decide to travel to another destination, you can change your trip to any of our departures in any destination or request a refund (less deposit) up to 90 days out from your original trip start date.

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Safe travel v3

Keeping you Safe: COVID-19 Safety Measures

We believe our small group, off-the-beaten-track adventures are the safest way to travel. To keep you, your fellow travellers, our guides and the communities we travel in safe, all adults over the age of 12 (i.e. 13 years and above) must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

To keep you healthy during your trip, we follow all ATTA, WTTC, Qualmark and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) health and safety guidelines, as acknowledged by their stamps.

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Annapurna FAQs

Is Nepal a safe place to visit?

Yes! People in Nepal have a strong belief that guests are equal to God, so all visitors can expect the warmest of welcomes. This also means that Nepal is very safe place to travel and the crime rate is very low. The only real concern to a traveller is petty theft, so we recommend taking the same common sense precautions you would in any other city. Don't bring valuable things with you unless necessary for your trip. Keep your money and other valuables in a money belt or pouch under your clothes. Lock your bags and luggage and leave valuable items you don’t need for the day (e.g. passports and credit cards) in the hotel safe.

 

How safe is a trip in the Himalaya mountains?

Safety is a priority on all our trips, though understandably it's a question we field more frequently when it comes to the Himalaya region. Here are some of the key steps we've taken to ensure your safety whilst trekking in this incredible region:

  • We select experienced Active Adventures guides who've already completed comprehensive training (with us) in New Zealand, and have seasons under their belt.
  • Our guides work as a team alongside Nepali guides and porters, ensuring an excellent mix of maturity, leadership and local knowledge.
  • We limit group sizes to 10-12 to ensure a high guide to guest ratio.
  • In addition to Outdoors First Aid training, our guides are also skilled to identify symptoms of high altitude cerebral edema (HACE) and high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE). In addition to the medication that you may be carrying with you, we also have access to oxygen and a Portable Altitude Chamber (PAC) at certain parts of the trail.
  • We do our very best to match our travellers to the appropriate trips. Our aim is to inspire and challenge you, so finding that balance of effort vs reward is at the heart of what we do. So, on trips such as this one, before you even arrive we will have asked you a series of questions to determine if this trip is appropriate, as well as providing comprehensive gear lists and training plans.
  • Our guides carry satellite phones.
  • We provide a high quality super-down jacket, 4 season sleeping bag and hiking poles free of charge, to ensure all trekkers have the appropriate essential equipment. These are selectable through our online booking information process

Is food expensive in Nepal?

The average cost of food in Nepal is 750-1000NPR (US$8-10) per day per person. A meal in a regular restaurant is roughly 250 NPR, a coffee will cost roughly 126 NPR (US$1) and a can of beer about 300-400 NPR (US$2.50-3.30)

What is the best time to visit Nepal?

The best time to visit Nepal is between September and December, festival season! The rains have eased off significantly, and autumn (mid-September to mid-November) is a time for celebration in the predominantly Hindu country of Nepal, as well as having the best day time temperatures. Spring (mid-March to mid-May) in Nepal is also a great time to travel there , and is characterised by the striking colours of blooming rhododendrons in the valleys, gardens, and hills.

What if I'm a solo female traveller?

Nepal is a safe country for all travellers, including women, however, women should still be cautious. Some Nepali men may have peculiar ideas about the morality of Western women, given Nepali men's exposure to Western films portraying 'immodest' clothing and holiday flings with locals. Avoid unwanted attention by dressing modestly; a good rule in Asian countries is cover your body from your elbows to below your knees. This means wearing clothes that cover the shoulders (no singlets) and thighs (no shorts) - take your cue from the local people if you need to gauge what's acceptable. You might find that a long skirt or sarong is very useful when visiting sacred sites.

Do I need a visa to visit Nepal?

Yes, everyone visiting Nepal (except those with an Indian passport) will need to apply for an entry visa upon arrival in Kathmandu. You will be issued with an application form either on your flight, or at the airport when you arrive. There is often a queue at the airport in Kathmandu as immigration officials check through passports for previous visas, so get in the queue quickly and prepare for a bit of a wait. You’ll need US$25 cash (for up to 15 days) or US$40 cash (for up to 30 days), a passport that’s valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival in Nepal, and 2 passport photos for your visa application to get a multiple entry visa.

Do I need any immunisations to travel to Nepal?

Nepal does not officially require any immunisations for entry into the country, but the further off the beaten track you go, the more necessary it is to take precautions. Travellers who have come from an area infected with yellow fever are required to be vaccinated before entering the country. For our trips to Nepal (less than a month long) we recommend getting vaccinated against Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Polio (infectious hepatitis) and Tetanus. These are our guidelines only and you’ll need to check with your local travel clinic for the latest advice. We also recommend recording all vaccinations on an International Health Certificate, available from a doctor or government health department.

Is tipping expected in Nepal?

Tipping is accepted in Nepal (and appreciated!). Your loose change (or 5%) is fine in cheaper places; around 10% in more expensive restaurants. Round up the fare for taxi drivers. Most people do choose to tip their Active Adventures guides at the end of an awesome trip. Up to US$100 each for your Active Adventures trip leader and Nepali leader and up to US$100 (10,000 Nepali rupees) to be shared amongst your Nepali porter team seems to be the norm, however less, more or not at all is also fine too. Tips are gratefully accepted in either their local currency or US dollars.

Do you recommend buying travel insurance?

As an Active Adventures traveller, It’s essential you take out travel insurance to cover the likes of personal injury, medical expenses, trip cancellation for your travel with us. Please head to our Travel Insurance page for more in-depth information and insurance provider options. It’s also important to check your insurance covers all the activities you’ll be partaking in, in case you’re travelling to altitude or looking at extreme sports.

Can you help me find international flights to Nepal?

We recommend booking your flights through our preferred travel partner – Fuzion Travel. They’re our experienced hand-picked experts in travel, passionate about what they do, and will tailor-make your flight itinerary to match your Active Adventures tour. Get in touch with them directly by email – [email protected] fuziontravel.co.nz or on +1-833-244-5886. Let them know your preferred travel plans, including any stopovers or extra nights’ accommodation, and they’ll put everything in place for you. They offer a total travel solution and five star service that you’ll want to tell your friends about!

What's included on your Himalayas trips?

Accommodation

All accommodation on your trip is provided in Kathmandu and on your trek, so you don't need to worry about a thing. You'll stay in a local Guesthouse in Kathmandu run by our operating partners. When you're out trekking you'll stay in guest houses also known as 'tea houses', with shared bathroom facilities. They are fairly basic by western standards but the location, views and warm Nepalese hospitality make it all part of a wonderful adventure. There is always an area to socialise with your fellow travellers and eat, drink, relax, read and rest your feet after another amazing day in the Nepalese Himalayas.

Meals

All your meals are provided apart from on your free days when we find most people enjoy checking out the variety of things on offer in the bigger towns. On your trek you'll eat in the local hotels (known as tea houses) with the main dish on offer being 'dhal bhat' a sturdy meal of lentils and rice that will set you up well for your day of hiking. If this doesn't take your fancy there is plenty of choice on the menu from chapatis, curry, rice, potatoes and even pizzas in some places! We recommend avoiding meat in Nepal and sticking to vegetarian fare so as to avoid any stomach upsets that may impact your experience.

Transport

You're mostly using the trusty transport of your own two feet in Nepal. There aren't too many roads in the Himalayas! You'll be using local trade routes and come across many local people selling their wares along the way, delivering goods by foot to businesses further up the mountains and travelling to visit their families. To get to the trek starting point we travel by plane to Lukla for the 'EBC' Everest Base Camp and Khumbu treks, by plane to Pokhara and on to Jomsom for the Mustang trek, and by plane to Pokhara and then bus to the 'AST' Annapurna Sanctuary trek.

Guides

You will be accompanied on your trek by an Active Adventures guide and a local team of guides and porters. They will work closely together to ensure your trip is special, fun, hassle free, safe and successful. From organising your lodgings each night to carrying your gear, this is a team you couldn't do without. They are used to working together, have a great team bond and are always looking for ways to make your trip special. They will keep you entertained, motivated and happy, even on the most challenging days. We are extremely proud of our guiding team in Nepal and the way they work together, and we look forward to you meeting them on your adventure.

How many people are there on each of our Nepal trips?

We take up to 10 people on each Everest Base Camp Trek, and 12 on our other Himalayas trips. All our trips have an excellent guide leading the way along with a team of porters. We have found that our trips tend to attract people with fairly similar interests and many people have commented that the social scene was one of the highlights of their trip!

What rooming is provided on your Nepal trips?

Our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate (two people per room), and in the tea houses we will endeavour to place you in rooms of two people. However on the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek ‘AST’ there are regulations which restrict the number of tea houses and rooms that are allowed to be built above the town on Chhomrong. For this reason, there is limited space and during peak season expect to be sharing with fellow Active Adventures group members where there will be four to six people sharing a room.
Some of the main lodges and hotels have a double bed option for couples, though the tea houses are usually twin share beds only, and some tea-houses may have bathrooms down the hall from your room or a few metres away from the main building.

Do you charge a forced single supplement if I'm a solo traveller?

We don’t believe in charging you extra for travelling alone and we have lots of single travellers on our trips. There’s no forced single supplement if you don’t mind sharing a room (you might even get a room to yourself sometimes). If you prefer not to share a room at all, you can upgrade to a single room.

If your trip uses lodges and tea houses that are either twin share, or sometimes even more people sharing, then the upgrade cost will reflect this.

How much luggage can I bring on the Nepal trip?

You'll need one medium sized piece of luggage and a daypack. Your main piece of luggage can be anything from a backpack, to a sports bag with wheels or a suitcase and a good quality daypack 25-30 litres (2000 cubic inches) to use throughout the days on the trails. 

In Kathmandu we'll give you an Active Adventures Himalayas porter bag of around 50L of space for your sleeping gear and teahouse clothing. Your main bag will then be left in the hotel in Kathmandu in secure storage with anything you need at the end of your trip. Your daypack should be big enough to fit your rain gear, camera, water bottles/hydration system, and anything else you need during the day while you're hiking.

What kind of clothing should I be packing for my trip to Nepal?

Once you've booked your trip, you'll have access to a gear list in your portal on exactly what to bring along. The gear list is carefully thought out to provide you with everything you need to be warm and happy, or cool and relaxed, whatever the weather! So it is best to bring everything we recommend along, if you don't bring everything you need, we can't guarantee your comfort.

Do I need hiking boots or are hiking sneakers okay?

You will need proper hiking boots - trail shoes are not good enough. We'll be taking you to some awesome places where you'll be hiking over a variety of terrain, therefore your boots should have full ankle support and a stiff sole with a high profile tread. It's also important that whichever footwear you decide to bring that it's well broken-in and waterproofed before you come down. If you have good ankles that will be able to cope pretty well with varied terrain, then good hiking shoes should be fine, but if not then hiking boots will give you better support.

What is the food like in Nepal?

The staple food of Nepalese people is "daal, bhaat, tarkari" (lentil soup or curried vegetables with rice) and this hearty meal is something that you’ll certainly enjoy whilst out on the trails. The food in Nepal is healthy and nutritious, with things like lentils, potatoes, rice and vegetables making up the most basic meals. The restaurants in Kathmandu are varied and plentiful - you’ll find various restaurants serving Italian, Chinese, Thai, Mexican, Indian and all sorts!

 

What if I need a special diet?

We can deal with all sorts of different diets during main meals, like…

  • vegan (no meat or animal products)
  • vegetarian (no meat products)
  • pescatarian (vegetarian, but eat fish) • no red meat (eat chicken & fish)
  • no red meat (eat chicken & fish)
  • gluten intolerant (no wheat, rye, barley or oats)
  • lactose intolerant (no dairy products)

We recommend everyone sticks to vegetarian fare (even if you’re not usually vegetarian!) for the duration of your trekking trip to avoid any stomach upsets. Your guides will let you know if there’s anywhere in particular to avoid meat.

Also if you have a sensitivity to dairy or gluten, and you have a favourite snack or brand of snack which suits you at home, we suggest you bring some along. There are meal options for you and a plenitude of food however gluten/ dairy free biscuits, chocolate and muesli bars are hard to come by. Some long-life probiotics might be handy to bring along too (ones that don’t require to be kept in the fridge only!) to take one each day you’re away – this may help your stomach and is good in places when you cannot have yoghurt.
Bring alcohol-based hand wash, and wash your hands constantly to avoid stomach upsets. Your guide will also provide soap to properly wash hands at each stop.

There are a few local customs to be aware of with regard to food and meals in Nepal:

  • Always use your right hand for eating and handling food. The left hand is considered dirty, so don’t use it to eat or pass food to other people.
  • It’s important not to touch another person’s food.

Can I drink the water in Nepal?

Being in a tropical environment and not treated by the government, the water in Nepal contains different bacteria to what we’re used to at home. We highly recommend you to not drink it or use it for brushing teeth, even in Kathmandu. Use treated water at all times. This also applies if you’re travelling through a developing country on your way to Nepal.
Plastic bottles are causing a huge environmental impact in Nepal, with plastic bottles littering some of the highest and most stunning places in the Himalayas. We’re sure you’ll agree with us that this is heart-breaking to see, so please use treated water rather than buying plastic bottles, or reuse the same bottle. Our purification tabs work perfectly, we’ll provide these for you at your trip briefing, and treated drinking water is provided in the hotels where we stay.

What is the currency in Nepal?

Nepal’s currency is the Nepalese rupee - US$1 is worth about 97 Nepalese rupees (at the time of writing). 

How much spending money should I bring and where do I get local currency?

We recommend you bring a variety of payment options with you to Nepal. US dollars are most easily exchanged, and a Visa Debit ATM card and a credit card should be carried in case of emergency. Nepalese rupees are the standard currency and are hard to sell outside of Nepal.

Cash is the easiest option and most widely accepted form of payment in Nepal. Visa and MasterCard are accepted in some places, with additional transactions fees. Be sure to let your credit card company know you are travelling to these countries. If bringing US dollars to Nepal, bring brand new & good quality notes, the bigger the denomination the better.

Except in Solu Khumbu and on the Annapurna treks, changing foreign money is likely to be very difficult if not impossible, so bring enough money for the whole trek and don't count on being able to change Rs 1000 notes except in Namche Bazaar and Jomsom. Away from major centres, changing a Rs 1000 note can be very difficult, so it is always a good idea to keep a stash of small-denomination notes. Even in Kathmandu, many small businesses - especially rickshaw and taxi drivers - simply don't have enough spare money to allow them the luxury of carrying a wad of change.

We recommend bringing about US$15-30 (or equivalent) cash with you per person, per day. It should be plenty for extra food or drinks, bottled drinking water and to charge up your cameras in the tea houses as well as any souvenirs you would like to buy. Drinks and things tend to get more expensive the higher into the mountains you go, so be prepared for the different prices in different places.

Is altitude a concern in the Himalayas?

Our Nepal treks will take you to higher altitudes, so it’s important to be aware of the causes and risks of altitude sickness, and how we manage them. You’ll be accompanied on your trip by a very experienced guide and we’ll be taking all the recommended (and more!) acclimatisation days to allow you time to get used to the higher elevations. Altitude sickness is something that can occur above 2,400m or 8,000ft and affects everybody differently regardless of fitness (after all no-body is the same). Unless you live somewhere with high elevation, it's difficult to predict how your body will react to the higher altitudes, though there are some things you can do along the way to help you acclimatise.

One of the most important of these is to walk slowly and drink plenty of water – it’s really important that your body stay well hydrated at all times and you never over-exert yourself. Also, eat light meals to make it easy for your body to digest food, avoid coffee and alcohol which dehydrate you and slow your breathing down, take plenty of rests and keep yourself warm at all times. If you are concerned or have any problems, then tell your guide straight away. If you are concerned, chat to your doctor about a prescription for Diamox which is proven to help with altitude. If you need any other information please get in touch – we know the place well and we can give you plenty more specific advice.

Learn more here about dealing with altitude

What time zone is Nepal in?

Nepal Time (NPT) is the time zone for Nepal. It is +5:45 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). 

What types of plugs and voltage do you use in Nepal?

Nepal operates on a 220 volt / 50Hz syetem with round two- and three-pin plugs (C, D and M).

Will we have access to eletricity everywhere we stay?

Electricity is becoming more available throughout the Himalayas, however it’s still unreliable in many places. Local residents here usually have solar chargers they offer to recharge your devices (iPods, cameras, etc.) for around US$5-7 per device, depending on power availability. Some people bring their own solar charger though this is not mandatory. 

Will I have access to the internet and WiFi in Nepal?

Most of the places we go are pretty remote so WiFi is not always available though it is available at the teahouses in Namche Bazaar, Deboche, Periche and Kumjung at a charge ~ around US$5-10 per day. WiFi is also commonly available throughout the Annapurna Valley.
As far as internet access goes, there are internet cafe’s at Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Dingboche and Khumjung so you should be able to check your email at least once or twice during your trip as well. Phone centre’s are also available at Namche Bazaar and Dingboche.

What cultural practices should I be aware of?

Nepal has numerous cultural practices that are unusual to foreign visitors, so being aware and following them, when you can, will add so much to the whole experience. In the busier tourist areas, like Kathmandu or Pokhara, there is a high degree of tolerance towards visitors, but when we head further afield and away from these places, you should be sensitive to local customs. For example, shaking hands is not a common form of greeting; instead make a great first impression by pressing the palms together in a prayer-like gesture and saying Namaste (nam-ast-ay).
A few social conventions we recommend to follow are:

  • Women should dress conservatively and keep shoulders and legs covered (a good rule of thumb for Asian countries is have your elbows to knees covered)
  • Permission should be sought before taking photographs, particularly at religious sites
  • Public displays of affection between men and women are not seen as appropriate
  • Footwear should be removed when entering houses, especially kitchens, or shrines
  • Seek permission before entering a temple, and do not take leather articles inside them
  • Remember not to point with a single finger but use a flat extended hand especially to indicate a sacred object or place

What is the weather like in Nepal?

Nepal has a huge variety of weather conditions throughout the year and as a result of having one of the largest mountain ranges in the world its weather can also change very quickly as well. As Nepal sit in the tropical belt and the mountains here are very steep, it means quite often on your trip you’ll experience hot and humid tropical climates right through to sub-zero alpine climates. We recommend you follow the gear list closely and pack for all situations. You may not have to use everything in your bag, but at least you have it just in case.

Any good books or videos about the Himalayas?

There are so many great stories to come out of the Himalayas, probably because the landscape and the people inspire such creativity and adventure. Here is a list, gathered from across the Active Adventures family, of recommended reads:

  • Seven Years in Tibet and the sequel Return to Tibet. Two autobiographical travel books written by Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer. Seven Years in Tibet is based on Harrer's real life experiences in Tibet between 1944 and 1951 during the second world war and the time before the Chinese People's Liberation Army invaded. The book quickly became a best seller and has now sold millions of copies and been made into a movie twice - most recently in 1997, starring Brad Pitt!
  • The Snow Leopard is an account by Peter Mathiessen, of his and George Schaller's 1973 journey to Crystal Mountain, in the Dolpo region on the Tibetan Plateau. They went in search of the extremely rare Snow Leopard that exists only in the high parts of Asia. Published in 1978, The Snow Leopard is regarded as a classic of modern nature writing. 
  • A more recent book, Michael Palin's Himalaya accompanies the successful 2004 BBC series. If you're looking for a great coffee table book to help get you inspired, this is it! There are some awesome images by Basil Pao interspersed regularly with Palin's fantastic sense of humour and easy-reading stories. 
  • You can't go past Into Thin Air, by best selling author Jon Krakauer. This is a hair-raising tale of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster when eight climbers were killed and several others were stranded during a rogue storm. Whilst a little more 'extreme' than our Everest Base Camp trek, this book definitely portrays another element to mountaineering in the Himalayas! Since it was published it has raised many questions surrounding the morality and competitive nature of summiting Mt Everest.
  • For those interested in Tibetan Buddhism, The Path to Enlightenment by the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso is a must read. In 1959 the Communist Chinese Government forced the non-violent Tibetan Buddhist Government into exile. Having spent the majority of his life in India, the Dalai Lama, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has spent this time advocating for Tibetan's inside and outside of Tibet. Along with defining the Lam Ram, which are the stages on the spiritual path, the Dalai Lama describes the difficulty of attaining Nirvana (full Buddhahood), but urges determination.
  • Sherpas: Reflections on Change in Himalayan Nepal by James F Fisher is a fascinating snapshot of how tourism and modernisation have affected the traditional way of life of the Sherpa people - both positively and negatively. Fisher first visited the Sherpas of Nepal when he accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary in 1964, to help build school houses. One of the by-products of this new school building was a small airstrip, which dramatically increased tourism to the area.
  • Touching My Father's Soul by Jamling Tensing Norgay offers a great insight into the Sherpa world. Jamling Norgay was a mountaineer in his own right, who was a climbing leader on the ill-fated 1996 Everest IMAX expedition. As well as a first-hand account of the 96' tragedy, this book also tells little known stories of Tenzing's historic climb. 

What kind of things are there to do on my free day in Kathmandu?

There are heaps of activities to enjoy and places to explore in and around Kathmandu, whether you want to experience some of Nepal’s rich culture and history, take some time to relax and reflect upon your time in this amazing country, or keep the adventures coming! If you’re keen to stick to the city, then you could head out and explore the vibrant streets and shops of Thamel, browse for souvenirs and relax with a cheesecake and cup of Nepali tea up on one of the rooftop cafes. Or you can choose to escape the hustle and bustle and soak up the serenity of the Garden of Dreams, just a 2 minute walk from hotels in Thamel and a million miles away from the city. There are also some awesome day trips just a short bus or taxi ride away. Patan is famed for its local arts and craft scene and museum, or you can wander the cobbled streets of Bhaktapur, the country’s best-preserved medieval town. Or head for the hills! Hire a guide and go for a day hike up Nagajun hill!

If you fancy getting a glimpse into the beautiful melting pot of religions in Nepal, visit the spectacular Pashupatinath (Hindu) or Bodhnath (Buddhist) temples, just on the outskirts of Kathmandu. Nepal is also famous for being one of the world’s best outdoor adventure destinations, which is one of the main reasons we love it here so much! So if you’re keen to hit that adrenaline high or try something a little different whilst you’re here you’ve got heaps of options to choose from – take to the water and learn to kayak, or go white water rafting on one of Nepal’s mighty rivers; mountain bike in the Kathmandu Valley, bungy jump 160m at the Last Resort, go canyoning and abseil into a waterfall, or hone your climbing skills at the climbing wall in Kathmandu and imagine yourself summiting one of the many famous peaks you’ll have seen along the way!

Is there a number to call in an emergency? How can my family, friends or colleagues contact me

Please contact our New Zealand office using the details below. If the office is unattended (outside of New Zealand business hours), please leave a message so we can pick it up and respond as soon as we can.

Free phone 1 800 661 9073 (USA, Canada & Australia)
Free phone 0808 234 7780 (UK)
Free phone 0800 234 726 (New Zealand)
Worldwide +64 3 450 0414, ext 1
Email: service@activeadventures.com

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