The Annapurna Sanctuary, an aptly named mountain-ringed amphitheater in the heart of the Annapurna Himal, is one of the most spectacular places on earth, with a 360-degree panorama of snow-covered giants including Annapurna I (26,545')—whose name in Nepalese means the Goddess of Abundance—and Machapuchare (22,943'), a sacred peak whose distinctive unclimbed twin summit remains forbidden to mountaineers. On this Private Journey in an intensely scenic high-altitude realm, immerse yourself in the full spectrum of Nepal’s glorious scenery, from dense bamboo jungles, magnificent stands of rhododendrons, and the timeless villages of the Gurung and Tamang clans to the alpine world above treeline, as you enter the sanctuary “gates” to behold this renowned mountain cirque. Along the way, you’ll stay at rustic yet comfortable mountain lodges situated in picturesque villages that offer amazing panoramas of the mighty Annapurnas.
The trip was a wonderful adventure and we will remember it forever.
— Jon S., Orlando, FL
Enjoy a tour of Kathmandu with your private guide, exploring its extraordinary Hindu and Buddhist temples and vibrant, colorful bazaars.
Trek into the Heart of the Annapurna Himal
Fly to Pokhara, meet your guide and porters, and begin trekking up the Modi Khola Valley, enjoying spectacular views of the snowy giants of the Annapurnas including Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, and the sacred 22,943-foot spire of Machapuchare, whose twin summits remain off limits to climbers. You'll follow trails through lush forests of bamboo and rhododendron festooned with ferns and orchids, neatly terraced rice fields, and picturesque hamlets that are home to the Gurung and Tamang clans.
Machapuchare Base Camp, Annapurna Sanctuary
From the settlement of Dobhan (8,350'), follow a trail that emerges above treeline to Panchenin Barha, the natural "gate" to the sanctuary, and on to Machapuchare Base Camp (12,150'), site of a 1957 British Expedition to Machapuchare that climbed to within 200 feet of the summit. From your mountain lodge, enjoy an incredible view of the west face of Machapuchare, which often glows with the light of the setting sun long after dusk.
Annapurna Base Camp
You have two full days to explore and feast your eyes upon the full glory of the Annapurna Sanctuary. In this extraordinary mountain cirque ringed by Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Fang, Annapurna II, Roc Noir, Glacier Dome, Gangapurna, Annapurna III, and Machapuchare, the views in any direction are indescribably beautiful and ever changing. Optional day hikes take you up to the sanctuary's high ridges and toward Advance Base Camp on Annapurna I. At evening, gaze in wonder as sunset paints the summits pink-the sight of alpenglow on Machapuchare is amazing!
Trek to Pokhara
Descend to Pokhara by a slightly different trek route. The finale is a relaxing overnight at the Shangri-La Village Resort, with its landscaped gardens, swimming pool, and views of the ice-hung southern ramparts of the Annapurnas.
Return to Kathmandu for last minute shopping in the bustling lanes of Thamel and to explore among the carved wooden temples and vibrant markets brimming with spices, flowers, textiles, and dyes of every color. Depart on Day 16.