Annapurna Base Camp Trek in March
Annapurna base camp trek never fails to captivate people’s hearts with its unparalleled beauty. The trekkers remain more spellbound when the beauty of the Annapurna region is enhanced by the dazzle of spring during March.
When March plunges into Nepal, the desolated and unoccupied trekking trails start the hustle and bustle with trekkers, mules, and porters after the off-season of winter. The foothills of the Annapurna mountain begin to sprout green weeds and grasses. The lush, deep wood begins to chime with the beat of animals wandering and birds tweeting.
Moreover, the mild temperature and clear skies will make people dance as they soar high toward the mountain’s foot. So, are you ready to sway and twirl in the Annapurna region after the rhythm played by the harmony of March?
Table of Contents
- Discover the unique culture, tradition, and hospitality of the Gurung and Sherpa communities with the twist of intermingling Hinduism and Buddhism.
- Panoramic views of Annapurna massifs, Pisang Peak, Gangapurna, Manaslu, and Dhaulagiri
- Traversing through the lush forest of rhododendrons and oaks
- Spectacular view of sunset and sunrise
- Insight into the traditional Nepalese life that reflects simplicity
- Walk inside the Annapurna Conservation Area
- Releiving bathe at Hot Spring in Jhinu danda
Outline Itinerary – Annapurna Base Camp Trek in March
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu [1345m/4411ft] and transfer to the hotel
Day 02: Sightseeing around Kathmandu and welcome dinner cum interaction
Day 03: Drive to Pokhara and trek to Ghandruk [2,012 m/6363ft]
Day 04: Trek to Chhomrong [2340m/7675ft]
Day 05: Trek from Chhomrong to Bamboo [2335m/7658ft]
Day 06: Trek from Bamboo to Himalaya Hotel [2920m/9577ft]
Day 07: Trek from Himalaya Hotel to Annapurna Base Camp [4130m/13546ft] via Machhapuchhre Base Camp [3700m/12136ft]
Day 08: Trek back to Bamboo [2335m/7658 ft]
Day 09: Trek to Hot Spring (Jhinu Danda Hot Spring) [1610m/5280ft]
Day 10: Trek to Sauli Bazaar and Drive back to Pokhara by jeep
Day 11:Travel back to Kathmandu
Annapurna base camp trek is considered to be a moderate-level trek that can elevate you to the highest altitude of 4,130m/13,549ft in Annapurna base camp. The total distance to be covered in the Annapurna base camp trek is about 115 km. So, you will have to cover about 15 km per day, which requires 6 to 7 hours of hiking.
Though there are no technical difficulties that will be obstacles in your trek, traversing through rugged terrains and climbing steep uphills in the mountainous path itself requires huge effort and determination.
Additionally, walking these long distances will be tiring, but the stable weather and lively nature during March will help to boost your energy for trekking.
Weather and climate
March indicates the blooming spring season in Nepal. After the cold, freezing winter, when the March ushers in with the spring season, the temperature of the lower Annapurna region averages between -2 to 21 degrees Celsius. The more you incline the altitude, there will be drop in temperature.
At the higher altitude of the Annapurna region, the temperature ranges between -16 to 10 degrees Celsius. The days start to get warmer while the night and morning still will be some what chilly.
The weather transitions from dry, cold weather to spring, so the precipitation probability is basically low as the monsoons are weeks away from March. The precipitation percentage in the preceding years was around 39% to 42%. However, there can be unpredictable occasional snowfalls at higher elevations until mid-March.
Why Annapurna Base Camp in March?
March Madness: Weather Delight
As the temperature starts to rise gradually, the days will be much warmer. The daytime will be longer, with about 7 hours of sunlight on average. This will provide you with more time to explore the Annapurna region at your own pace. After a long day of hiking, you can enjoy the cool breeze to forget the hike fatigue. Moreover, there will still be deposits of snow in the valleys and trails, making the Annapurna base camp trek in March look more pristine.
Likewise, the warm sunlight begins to melt the snow, encouraging the glacier waterfalls and streams to move swiftly. All these nature’s magic during the March will make you feel more connected with nature.
Symphony of Beauty: Exploring the Mountain Vistas and Valleys of the Annapurna Region
The skies are usually clear during this time of year, flaunting its deep blue color. Moreover, the visibility also increases, offering spectacular views of Himalayan vistas, including Annapurna I-IV, Hiunchuli, Machhapuchhere, Gangapurna, etc. However, when the weather at higher altitudes gets aggressive, the views can be obstructed occasionally by clouds and haze, so it is better to witness the panoramic mountains early in the morning.
From Rhododendrons to Orchids: Floral Charm
When spring arrives, it brings vibrant color to the atmosphere, contrasting with white winter snow. The greenery of the lush forests comes back, which will give the visual contrast to the different shades of blooming rhododendrons.
On top of that, the petals of several wildflowers, like orchids, primulas, Waldheimia glabra, and Arenaria glanduligera are scattered along the trails, providing a carpet of splendor. These vibrant colors of wildflowers are like color light that will brighten the whole environment.
As you climb higher in elevation, the landscape changes to alpine meadows and shrublands. You’ll come across unusual alpine flora that has adapted to the severe mountain environment. Moreover, you can witness how bryophytes like Mosses, lichens, and miniature plants are dotted on the rocky ground. This displays nature’s adaptation and tenacity, and it makes you understand how hard an individual works continuously to attain their life objectives.
Ecological Marvels: Introduction to Biodiversity
During the month of March, when hiking across the Annapurna conservation area, you may come across a rich array of wildlife. This contains birds like the Himalayan Monal, Satyr Tragopan, Black-headed Shrike Babbler, and Blood Pheasant, as well as mammals such as the Eurasian Otter, Himalayan/Asiatic Black Bear, Jungle Cat, etc.
Annapurna base camp trek in March offers you sightings of colorful butterflies, bees, and beetles, which add to the natural beauty of the surroundings. While endangered species like snow leopards and red pandas are uncommon, their presence adds more pleasure and excitement to discovering the region’s wildlife. Moreover, the grassy lands of conservation areas are made short, so you can have a better view of the rhinos.
Dancing to the Rhythm: Festivals Reflecting Cultures and Traditions
Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp during March, when festivals like Holi and Lhosar are celebrated, offers you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to immerse yourself in local culture and experience the celebrations.
You can watch cultural processions and traditional dances and taste exquisite traditional cuisine, all of which provide you with a greater knowledge and respect for local traditions and customs. These festive encounters not only add a dimension of excitement and cultural immersion to your trekking experience, but they also generate unforgettable experiences and connections with the local populations along the way to Annapurna Base Camp.
Escape the Crowd: Enjoy Every Moment
As the fragile cold still exists during the first weeks of March, Annapurna base camp trails will be peaceful, with not many trekkers. This will allow you to enjoy the beauty at your own pace. Moreover, you dont have to wait for people to move from the background to capture a perfect picture.
Annapurna Base Camp in March Difficulty
The moderate-level difficulty trek does not have a particularly challenging factor, but the steep and rugged terrains somewhat enhance the difficulty level of the Annapurna base camp trek.
Moreover, you will climb an altitude upto 4130 m, so there is a good probability for you to suffer from altitude sickness. This probability can increase if you do not acclimatize your body properly. Therefore, to be safe from altitude sickness you will have to walk at your pace and take rest from time to time if you feel shortness of breath.
Furthermore, long hours of hiking might make you want never to go trekking again. You can feel like, “Why am I doing this to myself?” Therefore, you have to rest enough hours so that you do not overwork your body and enjoy every moment of the trek.
Are Permits Required for Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp?
One of the major reasons why it is said that trekking requires meticulous preparation is that you are not allowed to enter certain areas without proof or some kind of documentation. Likewise, to complete the Annapurna base camp trek, you must obtain two permits.
Since the Annapurna base camp is under the Annapurna Conservation Area’s supervision, the first permit you need to acquire is the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP).
Cost of ACAP
For foreign nationals except SAARC: Nrs 3000 per person (about $30)
For SAARC nationals: Nrs 1000 per person (about $10)
Another document that you need is more like a compulsory paper for all the trekkers rather than a permit. Nepal Tourism Board and Trekking Agencies Association in Nepal has implemented the “Trekkers Information Management System(TIMS)” for the safety and security of trekkers.
Cost of TIMS card
For foreign nationals who are group trekkers: Nrs 1000 per person (about $10)
For foreign nationals who are free individual trekkers: Nrs 2000 per person
For SAARC nationals who are group trekkers: Nrs 300 per person
For SAARC national who are free individual trekkers: Nrs 600 per person
These cards can be obtained from Kathmandu or Pokhara, wherever you feel is easy and most comfortable.
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What Are the Necessary Preparations for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in March?
You can feel burdensome when people share their trekking journey and describe how trekking was difficult for them and why they came back halfway through. But you have to remember that every individual is different.
Furthermore, the Annapurna base camp trek in March requires only a basic level of physical and mental fitness and has a success rate of 98% to 100%. Even novice trekkers can easily complete this trek. Moreover, there are no issues with weather or trails during March, so it will be more comfortable for trekkers.
Despite being paranoid about others’ experiences, preparing yourself for the journey is always better. So you can try some physical exercise or go on some high-altitude hiking. On top of that, you can try cardiovascular exercises like walking, running, and swimming to boost your stamina.
Additionally, you should be psychologically prepared for long hours of hiking and flexibility in unpredictable scenarios so that when it happens during the trek, you do not panic or stress out too much.
Packing Right: Necessities
It is often recommended to pack light, but while thinking about packing light, you should not overlook the essential things. Moreover, the packing for the Annapurna base camp does not vary much on the season because it is important to be ready for all types of circumstances.
In case you feel like you are missing out on some things, then feel free to check this reference.
- Moisture-soaking base
- Insulating layers of fleece
- down jacket
- Waterproof and windproof outer shell of a jacket and pants
- Convertible trekking pants and shorts
- Long-sleeved shirts and T-shirts
- Sun hat, woolen beanie
- A couple of pairs of socks and underwear
- Pair of gloves
- Extra pair of socks and underwear
- Sturdy and waterproof-fitting boots with good ankle support
- Comfortable sandals or shoes for evenings
- Trekking poles
- Duffle bag, packing sack
- Binoculars, camera
- Sleeping bag
- Headlamps and extra batteries for it
- UV-protective sunglasses
- Water-purifying iodine tablets
- Solar charger
- Power bank
- Universal charging cord
- Reusable water bottles
- Thermos flask
Toiletries and Personal Hygiene
- Toothpaste, toothbrush, facewash, hand sanitizer
- Sunscreen, body lotion, lip balm
- Soap, shampoo and conditioner
- Quick dry towels, toilet paper, Wet wipes, and face towel
- Deodorants, vaginal wash
- Foot powder
- Personal medication (if any)
- Small first aid kit with all basic medications
Accommodations and Foods
As March marks the peak season of spring for the Annapurna base camp trek, the facilities and services can be expected to be top-notch as the teahouses and lodges are operating at full scale.
Teahouses and lodges are the common modes of accommodation in the Annapurna base camp trek. These teahouses typically offer a twin-sharing room equipped with blankets, mattresses, and pillows. Some teahouses may have attached bathrooms, while others have to use the shared bathroom in the same vicinity.
Moreover, teahouses will have a common dining area and fireplace where you can get the opportunity to socialize with other fellow trekkers.
Being one of the mainstream trekking in Nepal, the Annapurna base camp trek allows you to taste a wide range of delicacies, including traditional Nepali food, Indian and Tibetan cuisines, foreign delicacies, and, foremost of all, regional foods. The teahouses will have veg, non-veg, and vegan options.
You can expect bread, eggs, puddings, cornflakes, pancakes, oats, soups, congee, jam bread, muesli, paratha, Sel roti, puri tarkari etc for breakfast.
Likewise, you can expect daal bhaat tarkari, thakali khana set, gundruk dhindo, rildok, thukpa, tingmo, pizza, momo, chow mein, pasta, etc. for breakfast and dinner.
Furthermore, you can get a variety of options in beverages, too. From freshly squeezed juices to all sorts of hot, cold, and hard drinks, you can enjoy your trek to Annapurna base camp. However, it is better for you to skip hard drinks because they will hinder your acclimatization process, making your trek more challenging.
Precautions and Safety Measures
Usually, the temperature is not as high as in summer during March, so you may not sweat much. In this situation, the water proportion in your body may not decrease faster, and you may feel like there is no need to drink water.
But you must be hydrated all day and should not skip intaking about 3 to 4 liters of water daily.
Be Aware of Altitude Sickness
It is normal to fall prey to altitude sickness while inclining to higher altitude. So, you should not ignore any symptoms like headache, lack of appetite, short breaths, or insomnia that make you feel discomfort. You should immediately inform guides about your symptoms so that they can help you in time.
If you are going on a trek to Annapurna base camp and haven’t taken any insurance policy, then you are missing out on the most crucial things. Any sort of mishaps or accidents can occur during the trek.
Therefore, it is very important for you to be insured by the policy that covers all your medical expenses, air ambulance, hospital costs, evacuation expenses, and even cancellation costs. Taking travel insurance will help you mitigate the risk and share the financial burden in case of accidents and immediate cancellations.
Considerations While Trekking
During your trek to Annapurna base camp trek in March, you should be mindful of the environmental safety of the region. The mountain sites are usually fragile; hence, go with the motto “Leave no trace” and dispose of the waste properly in the designated dumping site or dustbins.
Moreover, you should not do any activities that can damage the ecosystem of the flora and fauna of the Annapurna region. You are totally banned from killing or hunting animals. Moreover, if you witness wild animals and birds, do not try to approach them, as you are unaware of their nature.
Additionally, you can try to be respectful of the culture and tradition of the region. You can try learning a few words or phrases in the local language and show how genuinely you want to connect with them.
Tips for Annapurna Base Camp
- Carry some basic medications with you
- It is better to take guides and porters with you.
- Group trekking is more comfortable than solo trekking.
- Do not ignore any indications of AMS
- Carry a trek map
- Stay alert and cautious
- Move early in the morning
Faqs Regarding the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in March
What month is suitable for the Annapurna base camp trek?
Although the trek to Annapurna base camp trek is open all year round, spring (March to May) and autumn(September to November) are preferable for exploring the Annapurna region.
How Annapurna base camp trek and the Annapurna circuit trek are different?
The Annapurna circuit route goes through more diversified terrain in comparison to the Annapurna base camp trek. The highest altitude in the ABC trek is 4130 m at the Annapurna base camp, while the highest elevation at the Annapurna circuit trek is 5416 m at Thorung La Pass.
What is the Annapurna base camp trek cost in March?
The total cost of the Annapurna base camp trek may vary by the itinerary and highlights you choose. However, the price usually ranges between US $700 to $1500 per person.
How many days will it take to complete the Annapurna base camp trek?
It will take about 7 to 14 days to complete the Annapurna Base camp trek.
Which trek is better to do in March, the Everest base camp trek or the Annapurna base camp trek?
Both the treks are mainstream trekking in Nepal. Since March indicates the spring season, both trekking trails are ideal trekking options, surrounded by the prisitine Himalayan ranges. If you are a novice, it is better to go first for the Annapurna base camp trek, and after gaining some experience with higher altitude, you can go to conquer the Everest base camp. In case you are an experienced trekker, both trekking will be easy for you, so you can choose that on your own.