The tiny Himalayan nation of Nepal has some of the best trekking in the world. Trekkers are mesmerized by stunning mountain vistas; and the friendly locals help one feel at home. Although there are hundreds of trekking routes all across Nepal, we present the top 3 here.
Everest Base Camp Trek is the most well-known trekking route in the world and arguably the most popular as well. It gives you a chance to be as close as possible without actually climbing the highest mountain on earth – Mount Everest (Sagarmatha in Nepali language). The EBC Trek starts in the tiny mountain town of Lukla, which is a 35-minute flight from the capital city of Kathmandu.
- An ideal trek is 12 days long – 8 days of ascent from Lukla (2860m) to EBC (5,364m) and 4 days to trek back down. This can vary depending on your speed and whether you take side-trips.
- The best time to go on an EBC trek is October and November when there is no rain and it’s not too warm. February-April is also a good time.
- This route has lots and lots of well-established tea-houses. The food is basic but fancy cuisines are also available in some places. The sleeping conditions are adequate.
- Porters are not essential but you may choose to take one depending on your budget and your fitness. Guides are highly recommended, primarily for safety reasons.
Annapurna Circuit Trek is known for stunning mountain views and various flora and fauna that can be seen along the route. It is a mostly moderate trek suitable for first-time trekkers also. The ABC Trek starts from Nayapul (1011 m) which can be reached first by taking a bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara (5-6 hours) and then from Pokhara to Nayapul (1 hour).
- The ABC Trek is 17-25 days long depending on your speed and whether you take side-trips. The highest point on the trek is Thorong La Pass (5416m) and the Base Camp sits at an elevation of 4130m.
- October-November and February-April are the best times to go on an ABC trek when there is little to no rain and it’s not too warm. The passes may be closed due to snow during the winter months of December and January.
- The ABC trek has many tea-houses along the route; most of them are an hour or two apart. The food is mostly basic, but some places have fancy cuisines too. The sleeping conditions are fairly good in most of the tea-houses.
- Porters are not essential but you may choose to take one depending on your budget and your fitness. Guides are highly recommended mainly because of the many alternative trails that spur from the main circuit.
Manaslu Circuit Trek, with its extremely varied landscape and ecosystems, is perhaps the most beautiful of the three treks. This route has only recently been open to international tourism hence it offers a genuine adventure unspoiled by the effects of tourism. MCT circumnavigates Manaslu Himal (8156m), the eighth highest peak in the world. The trek starts from Soti Khola (710m) which can be reached in about 10 hours on a bus or Jeep from Kathmandu. The roads are mainly paved but the last section is unpaved and bumpy.
- The Manaslu Circuit Trek is 17-20 days long depending on your speed. The highest point on the trek is Larkya La Pass (5125m) and Larke Phedi (4460m) is the highest point where you spend a night.
- October-November and March-April are the best times to go on an ABC trek when there is hardly any rain and it’s not too warm. The passes may be closed due to snow during the winter months of December and January.
- The Manaslu trek has many tea-houses along its route now and there is no need to bring camping equipment as was the case a few years ago. The food is very basic and the sleeping conditions are fair.
- Porters are not essential but you may choose to take one depending on your budget and your fitness. Guides are highly recommended because there are some sections where tea-houses are few and far between.