Based in central Nepal, and open to global trekkers since 1977, the Annapurna region is a much-loved choice for mountaineering teams from around the globe, thanks to its outstanding natural beauty, fascinating history and the unique challenges it offers to even the most experienced mountaineering teams on its harder routes.
Featuring the tenth-highest mountain in the world, Annapurna I Main, at 8,091 metres above sea level, this mountain range is not for the faint of heart or beginners to the world of mountaineering. Contained as part of the Annapurna Conservation Area, the latitude and longitude of Annapurna itself are 28.5961° N, 83.8203° E. With multiple peaks topping 7,000 metres; this range has plenty of challenges and exciting climbs to enjoy.
With the standard hike taking around 17-18 days to complete of the full Annapurna Circuit, there are plenty of opportunities to take in the local culture of Nepal, in addition to experiencing some of the most unique and beautiful nature views in the world, in addition to flora and fauna native to the region. These are just a few of the reasons why the Circuit has been top-rated for many years and continues to be a favorite for those looking to experience adventure and trekking in the heart of Nepal.
Alongside the traditional climbing and hiking routes, Annapurna also features a bustling base camp, with plenty of opportunities to learn more about the local culture and geography from trail experts and experienced mountaineers. With the classic Annapurna trail including a variety of different landscapes and temperatures, from humid jungle to stark snowy peaks, one of the largest draws of this route is the variety along the way.
One of the reasons that Annapurna is so famous is the sense of community that comes with the climb; with over 40,000 mountaineers and trekkers choosing the circuit each year, it's anything but a solitary journey. Many veterans of the circuit return year after year to enjoy the comradery and the chance to meet new, interesting people each time. There's also plenty of opportunities to integrate into the local culture, from enjoying local foods to discovering the many villages and settlements along the way.
For those considering the trekking circuit, a good level of fitness is required - though there is plenty of opportunities to pause for breaks and take the trail at your own pace, with much to see and do in the local area. For climbing expeditions, Annapurna can be a great deal more difficult, and a good amount of experience with difficult climbs is advised before taking on the peaks.
From June to September is Monsoon season in Nepal, and it's likely not the best time of year to take on Annapurna, with 70% of the annual rainfall occurring between these months. October through to March is generally considered the ideal time of year to experience Annapurna at its best, as well as reducing the chances of being rained off the trail, especially considering the difficulty of some areas.
Laid back, community-driven, and never the same twice, Annapurna is a truly unique experience for any interested hikers, mountaineers or culture-seekers. From the stunning natural beauty of the area to the friendliness of fellow hikers and climbers as well as the local villages, Annapurna is more than just an average hike or climb. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience.