You cannot count the number of reasons why the Annapurna region is one the world’s most beloved places to trek. Rivaling the Everest region as the top trekking destination in Nepal, Annapurna is also consistently ranked as one of the world’s best places to trek. Over 100,000 visit this geographically and ethnically diverse place each year. Ask anyone about their Annapurna trekking experience, and they will likely say it was one of the best experiences of their life, truly.
The region boasts the 10th highest peak in the world, Annapurna I (8091 meters/26,545 feet). Most trails weave through the numerous environments revolving around this peak. West of Annapurna I lies Dhaulagiri, another spectacle to be seen.
Trails in the Annapurna region embark from Pokhara. This lakeside city is an entire experience in itself. Whether you’re taking a boat ride on Phewa Lake, or perusing the shops on the main strip, it is impossible to be in a bad mood in Pokhara. The city just carries a positive ambience.
From Pokhara, trips enter the Annapurna region. Become enticed by the scenic villages, which are mostly inhabited by the Magar and Gurung ethnic groups. Connecting with the locals makes the treks all the more meaningful. Become enlightened by their kindness and hospitality while learning about their daily lifestyle.
Humans are not the only ones living within the Annapurna Conservation Area project. Trekkers get the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife, including several types of deer, the Himalayan black bear, blue sheep, snow leopard, Himalayan tahr, and langur, among others. Keep a lookout for these animals lurking in the thick rhododendron and bamboo forests.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek is the region’s quintessential journey. Trek up through typical hillside settlements and their photogenic terraced fields. As you hike higher, entering the Manang area, the landscape gets more desolate and simultaneously more appealing. The trek’s climax comes as you cross the famous Thorong La Pass (5416 meters/17,769 feet). Wake up at the crack of dawn for the thrilling journey, which exposes you to an unbelievable mountain vista. The descent passes through the Mustang region – one of Nepal’s cultural and geographic treasures.
The Mustang region has a mystical appeal. Explore the flourishing pocket of Tibetan culture in Mustang. The landscape as well is similar to that of the Tibetan Plateau – arid and barren. Find caves mysterious stuck high up into the walls of cliffs. All around are rolling reddish orange and grey hills, carved by the Kali Gandaki River. Still, the ever-present Himalayan peaks remain in the distance.
Regardless of the Annapurna trek that you choose, the experience will exceed your expectations. The scenic Annapurna Base Camp Trek leads you right to the foot of the looming Annapurna I peak with cascading waterfalls and mountain views throughout the journey. The short and sweet Poon Hill Trek is suitable for trekkers of all experience levels and is perfect for those who are short on time in Nepal. In less than a week, see a panorama of the snow-white mountaintops and experience traditional Gurung culture.