Snuggling among the majestic Himalayan ranges of northern Nepal, the Annapurna base camp trek has been consistently topping the “must-do adventure” list of trekkers and adventurers alike. Moreover, many people have bookmarked March month to make this thrilling adventure come true. The biggest reason for preferring the Annapurna base camp trek in March is the spring welcoming month, March itself.
When the temperature starts to increase gradually after transitioning from the minus degree of freezing winter to blooming spring during March, the white blanketed snow starts to recede, revealing the breathtaking dramatic landscapes of the Annapurna region. On top of that, nature draws the attention of trekkers worldwide by spreading its liveliness and allure to the diverse ecosystems, quaint villages, and thrilling trekking trails.
The excitement and anticipation of reaching base camp at the foot of the majestic Annapurna massifs make March a perfect season for those looking for an outstanding trekking adventure in the magnificent Annapurna region of Nepal.
Highlights of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in March
- Trekking through the dry trails, enjoying the mild sunlight temperature and occasional showers
- Enjoy the rhododendrons and wildflowers blooming
- Discover diverse wildlife in the Annapurna Sanctuary
- Enhance your knowledge about Nepal by interacting with the Gurung and Magar community
- Learn and respect different cultures, traditions, and rituals of the people inhabiting the region and immerse in their warm hospitality
- Soul-soothing bath at the hot springs of Jhinu Danda
- Unobstructed views of the Himalayan ranges, including Annapurna massifs, Pisang Peak, Gangapurna, Manaslu, and Dhaulagiri
Brief Itinerary – 13 Days Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Day 01: Arrival In Kathmandu And Transfer To Designated Hotel In Kathmandu.
Day 02: Sightseeing Day And Making Necessary Preparations
Day 03: Drive From Kathmandu To Pokhara By Tourist Bus.
Day 04: Trek From Pokhara To Tikhe Dhunga.
Day 05: Trek To Ghorepani.
Day 06: Trek To Tadapani.
Day 07: Trek To Chhomrung.
Day 08: Trek To Dovan Or Himalaya Hotel.
Day 09: Trek To Machhapuchhare Base Camp And Annapurna Base Camp
Day 10: Trek To Bamboo
Day 11: Trek To Chhomrung
Day 12: Trek To Ghandruk
Day 13: Trek To Pokhara
Annapurna base camp trek overall is considered a moderate difficulty level trek. In comparison to other major mainstream trekking in Nepal, this trek is comparatively easy, but it doesn’t mean that the trek does not possess its own difficulty-escalating factors.
As you follow the trails to the base camp, you will climb to a higher altitude of 4,130m/13,549ft at the base of the Annapurna massifs. Moreover, the rugged trails, along with the ups and downs, play a vital role in increasing its difficulty level. Moreover, the Annapurna base camp trek in March requires you to hike for a long duration of about 6 to 8 hours. If you are a novice trekker, then these long-duration hikes over the stairways and steep ascents can test your patience and endurance level.
However, glancing at the panoramic views of the mountains, smiling, and dancing along the moving twigs of the rhododendron tree can somewhat decrease your exhaustion from trekking.
Why Annapurna Base Camp Trek In March
Spring Is In Full Spirit
The invigorating month of March brings the vibrant renewal of nature. The dramatic landscapes of the Annapurna region transition from the bleakness of winter to a bright sea of green. As nature comes out of sleep from the winter slumber, it unfurls the leaves of the plants and trees, creating a lush green canopy.
On top of that, when the sun’s rays grow stronger, bringing a sense of warmth and rejuvenation, the flowers bloom in the forest and hillsides, adding new excitement to the trekking trails of the Annapurna region. Rhododendrons, with their striking shades of pink, red, and purple, dominate the lush forests, while wildflowers like Primulas, Orchids, and Edelweiss make you realize the beauty of March.
See also: Annapurna Base Camp Trek in Spring
One of the major reasons for the Annapurna base camp trek in March is its excellent visibility. The skies are generally clear with low or almost no clouds, allowing you to enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountains and the surroundings. Moreover, the crisp air along with low humidity, enhances the visibility to appreciate the panoramic vistas of the stunning peaks of Annapurna, Machapuchare, Dhaulagiri, and other Himalayan to the fullest.
The prominently standing mountains against the blue sky create awe-inspiring sights for you to witness the grandeur of the Annapurna region and capture unforgettable moments in photographs or simply savor the beauty with your own eyes.
March is the festive month when Nepalese people celebrate different festivals like Holi, Lhosar, Ghode Jatra, and Chaite Dashain. Therefore, when you plan your Annapurna base camp trek in March, you will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy the diverse culture and traditions of the Nepalese people.
This cultural experience provides you with a wonderful opportunity to explore the beauty of festivals along with the taste of a wide variety of regional foods. The festival of color, Holi, is sure to add the dynamite experience of fun and exploration to your trekking journey.
Moreover, you will make your way to the Annapurna base camp passing the villages inhabiting the Gurung and Magar people. Most of the homes in these villages are the families of ex-Gorkha armies, which will allow you to hear the stories of their bravery alongside their warm hospitality experience.
Trekking to the Annapurna base camp during March is truly an enchanting chance for trekkers and nature enthusiasts alike. After a deep sleep in cold winter, animals come out of their hibernation, allowing you to witness the diverse range of wildlife in the trails of the Annapurna conservation area.
While making your way to the base camp, you can hear the buzzing of the insects and birds migrating from one place to another. It is rare to witness endangered animals like red pandas and snow leopards, but you can observe animals such as Eurasian Otters, Himalayan/Asiatic Black Bear, Jungle Cat, etc.
People aren’t fond of trekking to the Annapurna base camp in early March since there are still some winter aftereffects. As a result, the paths are relatively quiet with fewer people, giving you a good opportunity to appreciate the trek by taking your time.
Additionally, you can take more leisurely breaks and moments of tranquillity to devour yourself in the breathtaking surroundings. Moreover, you do not have to worry about people coming into the background while capturing the best trekking experience of your life.
More time to explore
Because of the extended hours of sunlight in the Annapurna region, the days are considerably longer in March, allowing you to make the most of your time enjoying the solitude of the snow-capped mountains. Furthermore, you may utilize that time to visit surrounding sights like monasteries, hot springs, and waterfalls to make the journey more rewarding.
Is the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in March Appropriate for Me?
If you are aspiring to conquer the base camp of the Annapurna massifs, then all you need is a good health condition with basic physical fitness and some mental endurance.
In case you are thinking that you are a novice trekker who does not have any experience in trekking, then do not worry, this trek is appropriate for novice trekkers like you. However, it is better to prepare yourself beforehand with some physical strength and cardiovascular exercises like running, swimming, hiking, etc.
Moreover, the trails of the Annapurna base camp are rugged, along with stony staircases, so you need to be mentally prepared for the long hours of hiking and the fatigue of trekking.
Furthermore, the trek to Annapurna base camp escalates you to a higher altitude of 4,130m, so there is a slight chance of altitude sickness. However, you will be trekking from the lower altitude of 1,010m, so there is enough time for you to acclimatize and adapt your body to the increasing altitude. Hence, you do not have to worry much about altitude sickness by preparing yourself with the necessary precautions and safety measures.
If you wonder what important things you should prepare for the Annapurna base camp trek in March, then permits are one of them. Yes, plural. To complete this amazing trek, you shall acquire two permits.
As you will enter the Annapurna Conservation Area while making your way through the rugged trails, so the first permit you need to acquire is the Annapurna Conservation Area permit. (ANCAP). This permit will be checked in certain outposts along the trail. The cost of ANCAP for foreign nationals except for SAARC nationals is Nrs 3000 per person, while for SAARC nationals, it costs Nrs 1000 per person.
The second permit, i.e., TIMS card, is compulsory documentation that every trekker shall carry while trekking in Nepal. Nepal Tourism Board and Trekking Agencies Association in Nepal has implemented the “Trekkers Information Management System(TIMS)” for the safety and security of trekkers. There are two types of TIMS cards: blue and pink.
Blue TIMS cards are given to those trekkers who are group trekkers, i.e., under the license guide. Meanwhile, the Pink TIMS cards are given to the nationals of the SAARC nations.
Cost of TIMS card
Foreign nationals who are group trekkers: Nrs 1000 per person (about $10)
SAARC nationals who are group trekkers: Nrs 300 per person
In order to obtain these permits, you are required to show the photocopies of your passport along with passport-size photos. You can acquire these permits either in Kathmandu or Pokhara, but you have to pay the amount in Nepalese currency.
Weather And Temperature
March welcomes the spring season in Nepal, offering an ideal atmosphere to witness the 10th-highest peak in the world. With the entry of March, the days get warmer day by day. You can observe the huge weather difference between the first and third weeks.
Until mid-March, the weather can be a little chilly in the morning and at night. However,. the days will get more pleasant as March progresses, with temperatures gradually rising. In general, the daytime receives an average of 7 hours of sunlight, providing a delightful sight of mountains basking in the rays of the sun.
The temperature at the lower elevation of the Annapurna region can range between -2 to 21 degrees Celsius. However, one of the major factors to determine the temperature in the Himalayan region is its altitude. So, as the altitude rises dramatically, you can notice how the temperature drops significantly. The more altitude you gain, the colder it is expected to be. The temperature at the higher altitude of the Annapurna region can average between -6 to 10 degrees Celsius.
As March falls at the start of the spring season, the weather is dry and stable; however, some aftereffects of the winter season can still be visible. According to the previous year’s data, there is a minor chance of precipitation and snowfall. So, it is always better to go prepared rather than panicking when such situations arise.
Accommodations And Foods
As the Annapurna base camp is counted as one of the most popular trekking trails in Nepal, the accommodations and food are both top-notch in terms of quality and quantity. Moreover, March is one of the peak seasons for this trek, so teahouse and lodge owners are more than prepared to provide quality service to the trekkers worldwide.
There are a number of teahouses and lodges along the trails of the Annapurna base camp. The rooms that teahouses provide are twin-sharing with two or three adjacent beds. Furthermore, the beds are well-equipped with mattresses, blankets and pillows.
The lodges in the lower elevation may provide you with attached bathrooms of Western style. But as you progress the trek to a higher altitude, you can find the traditional squat-style bathroom that needs to be shared within the same vicinity.
These teahouses have the additional services of hot showers, Wifi, and recharging of electronic devices, but you will have to pay the additional price to have access to these services.
The teahouse and lodge owners have a diverse range of menus that can accommodate the different taste palates of the trekkers. You can enjoy regional foods, traditional Nepalese foods, and even Tibetan, Indian, and other foreign-inspired cuisines.
However, it is recommended that you should intake those kinds of foods that will give you enough energy for 6 to 8 hours of trekking daily. Moreover, you must have heard of the 24-hour power of daal bhaat in Nepal, so why dont you try this food to know if it is just a funny thing or a real estimation?
You can have toast bread with butter or jams, eggs, puddings, Parathas, cornflakes, pancakes, oats, cereals, soups, congee, muesli, Sel roti, puri tarkari, and many more for breakfast.
Likewise, you can eat daal bhaat tarkari, thakali khana set, gundruk dhindo, thukpa, pizza, momo, chow mein, pasta, spaghetti, dumplings, roti tarkari, etc. for breakfast and dinner.
Moreover, these places offer you a wide range of beverages and drinks like tea, coffee, cold drinks, and even hard drinks. But we recommend you skip hard drinks because they can delay your acclimatization process, hindering your whole trekking journey.
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Necessary Precautions And Safety Measures
Plan Trip Accordingly
March is considered one of the peak months for the Annapurna base camp trek. So, there are high chances for the teahouses and lodges to be completely packed. So it is better to inform the teahouse owners prior to your arrival so that they can make the necessary arrangements in time. Additionally, during peak season, domestic flights are usually packed so it is better to book the flights early rather than making last-minute alterations in your plans.
During March, the temperature is usually not as hot as it is in the summer, so you may not sweat as much. In this case, your body’s water percentage may not fall as quickly, and you may not necessarily feel thirst
However, you must stay hydrated throughout the day and should drink 3 to 4 liters of water every day. Dehydration is one of the major causes of altitude sickness. So, do not be careless about essential stuff. If you feel like you cannot drink the water from the teahouse, then you can use bottled water or water purification tablets.
Get Your Travel Insurance Beforehand
Getting insured by travel insurance is not only being practical but it’s like carrying a key to share your financial burden and risk. Moreover, your travel insurance is checked while providing you with permits. Therefore, you need to be covered by the policy that covers all wide limits of your medical expenses, evacuation costs, air ambulance, and hospital bills. Moreover, March is the peak season, so there are high chances of cancellation of your flights. So it is better if you take cancellation insurance too.
Carrying cash and cash equivalents in the functioning currency of the same nation is one of the most efficient ways to avoid the inconvenience of money while trekking to another country. You can find plenty of ATMs in the metropolis of Kathmandu and Pokhara that can provide you the Nepali currency. However, you can only find ATMs at the trail of the Annapurna base camp upto Ghandruk.
Therefore, it is always better to encash the money when you have plenty of options to access rather than searching ATMs at the last moment. Furthermore, money exchange booths and ATMs follow the idea of daily fluctuations in exchange rates. Thus, the rate may alter daily. Furthermore, most shops do not take Visa or MasterCard, and if they do, they will charge an extra 3% or 4% fee for each transaction. However, ATMs accept Visa and Master cards, but they have limits on each withdrawal.
Similarly, money changer booths may only exchange hard currency for Nepali rupees. For your convenience, carry some US dollars, British pounds, Australian dollars, Singaporean dollars, Euros, and Malaysian rings.
The first weeks of March can be chilly so it is better to prepare accordingly. Moreover HImalayan is notorious for changing weather in the blink of an eye, so you have to prepare yourself for all sorts of circumstances.
Clothing And Shoes
- Moisture-soaking base
- Insulating layers of fleece
- Waterproof and windproof outer shell of a jacket and pants
- Convertible trekking pants and shorts
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Sun hat, woolen beanie
- A couple of pairs of socks and underwear
- Pair of gloves
- Buff or gaiter
- Extra pair of socks and underwear
- Sturdy and waterproof-fitting boots
- Comfortable sandals
- Trekking poles
- Duffle bag, packing sack, Backpack
- 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
Tips For Annapurna Base Camp Trek On March
- Make sure you get enough sleep, allowing your body to rest well
- Start the trek early in the morning and take necessary short breaks to reduce the chance of altitude sickness
- In case you feel any discomfort, you have to immediately inform the guides so that they can give you an immediate response.
- Rather than dressing up in a bulk jacket, it is better to dress up in layers.
- Carry some basic medicines with you
- Remember that the Annapurna base camp trek is not a marathon, so make sure that you walk at your own pace.
FAQs On Annapurna Base Camp Trek In March
How can I communicate during the ABC trek?
You have to buy the sim of NTC or Ncell to communicate during the ABC trek. The network reception is quite stable at the lower part of the Annapurna region while it can fluctuate as you ascend to the higher altitude.
What is the Annapurna base camp trek cost in March?
The overall cost of the Annapurna base camp trip varies depending on the route and highlights you select. However, the price per person often ranges from US $700 to $1500.
How long will it take to do the Annapurna base camp trek?
Since there are various routes for the Annapurna base camp trek, you can complete it within 5 to 14 days.
Is trekking experience required for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in March?
Even though prior trekking experience is beneficial for trekking in the Himalayas, it is not compulsory for the ABC trek in March.
Is it chilly in the Annapurna region in March?
The daytime is mild and pleasant, while the morning and night can be somewhat chilly in March.