Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trekking Itinerary with Children

Here in this article, I will share how we (basically I did everything, they just followed my itinerary) planned for Annapurna Base Camp trekking in Nepal. This trip lasted for 3 weeks in total. My husband (55), our son (9), myself (50), and a neighbour Rex (58), went on this fun journey. Let me introduce you to the itinerary and schedule of this remarkably fun journey (and why even our neighbour participated in the family trip?). Oh forgot to add, this is my 50th birthday present trip from my husband.

Annapurna Trekking Routes and Itinerary

This trekking itinerary was fairly slow, spanning 13 nights and 14 days. While most routes typically take 7 to 10 days, we adjusted our schedule considering our age and, especially, our 9-year-old son’s capabilities. I asked the trekking company to advise us on putting together a suitable itinerary, taking into account our ages and fitness levels.

Regarding the trekking routes to Annapurna Base Camp, there are two main options: the Annapurna Sanctuary and the Annapurna Circuit. The Annapurna Circuit is a longer route, typically taking 2 to 3 weeks or longer to complete. And Annapurna Sanctuary can get shorter routes but essentially, there are two basic routes to choose from.

We decided on the trekking route to Annapurna Sanctuary, which would lead us to Annapurna Base Camp, the highest point. When deciding on the duration, my husband advised a 2-week trek. This Annapurna Sanctuary route could go within 7 to 10 days from my internet research, but drawing from his experience Napel trekking (he’s done over 20 years ago), he considered the challenges and the risk of altitude sickness, given that we would be trekking to a mountain over 4000m. Taking into account our physical abilities, especially our son’s, we chose a two-week trek.

When I contacted the trekking tour company, they suggested that a 2-week duration would be perfect for an enjoyable trekking experience and assured us that they could plan accordingly to manage altitude sickness.

I just realised that I have a great husband who has travelled the world for more than 15 years and has been to Nepal 4 or 5 times for trekking. haha

However, this route was the first time for him. The last time he tried to trek this route was about 25 years ago. He was there with his Canadian girlfriend and his friends (a couple), but on the second day, she became unwell and didn’t want to continue trekking, so they decided to go back the way they came. Well, she was complaining about feeling sick in the morning, but by the time he returned to the town, she was pretty good and happy for some reason. That’s what my husband told me. So, both his friends and he became suspicious, wondering, ‘Why are you so energetic?’ hahaha, probably she wasn’t sick.

  • DAY 1 : Drive from Pokhara — Hille (1460m) — Banthanti (2210m)
  • DAY 2 : Banthanti (2210m) — Ghorepani (2860m)
  • DAY 3 : Ghorepani (2860m) — Poon Hill (3210m) — Gphrepani — Dobato (3426m)
  • DAY 4 : Dobato (3426m) — Chuile (2245m)
  • DAY 5 : Chuile (2245m) — Chhomrong (2170m)
  • DAY 6 : Chhomrong (2170m) — Bamboo (2400m)
  • DAY 7 : Bamboo (2400m) — Deurali (3200m)
  • DAY 8 : Deurali (3200m) — Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3650m) — Annapurna Base Camp (4130m)
  • DAY 9 : Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3650m) — Bamboo (2400m)
  • DAY10: Bamboo (2400m) — Chhomrong (2170m)
  • DAY11: Chhomrong (2170m) — Jhinu (1780m)
  • DAY12: Jhinu (1780m) — Hot Spring — Landruk (1565m)
  • DAY13: Landruk (1565m) — Australian Camp (2100m)
  • DAY14: Australian Camp (2100m) — Kaanre

The itinerary was sent in advance and the original plan was to stay at Annapurna Base Camp (ABC). However, depending on my 9-year-old son’s condition and the weather what Mr. Ram explained to us when we started to trek.

The options for us;

1. stay at MBC (Machhapuchhre Base Camp) then walk to ABC to get sunrise (2 hours walk each way, total 4 hours).

2. Stay in ABC one night then see the sunrise there.

3. Stay in MBC then do whatever we can.

We decided to stay at MBC which is a little lower altitude then went to ABC, no sunrise at ABC (doesn’t bother) but saw a lovely sunset in MBC.

Is It Safe for Children to Trek in Nepal?

OK, this trekking trip was for my 50th birthday present from my husband. Let me share why Nepal trekking for that.

My husband, who is 5 years older than me, requested to go to India for his 50th birthday present. So, I took him to Japan instead, where we stayed in luxury 5-star hotels and enjoyed excellent food. Hahaha, I just didn’t want to go to India at that time. He had also always complained about not going to Kyoto and Nara with me (I went there with an Australian friend, not him). Well, he was a bit disappointed, but he enjoyed his special birthday trip with just me, no kids. Then, for my turn, I asked him to go to Italy… and here we were, talking about India, not Italy!

While we were discussing going to India (to be fair to him, I agreed to go to India), our family friends just came back from their trip to India. We asked them how their trip was, and they enjoyed it so much. However, they didn’t agree with us taking our son. As they thought he was too young. They also mentioned concerns about noise and crowds of people, as there were a lot of people everywhere!

That’s right. Our son is sensitive to sounds. Whenever someone honks at him, he jumps up, and he doesn’t like crowds. Bugger, I was almost convinced myself to go to India.

That’s why we decided to go trekking in Nepal; my husband knew they were friendlier, slower and fewer people than India.

At the same time, we were also asking our eldest son to come with us, but he is a typical Australian high school student, and in the end, he went to Schoolies in Byron Bay with his friends. Fair enough, I would do that too if I were him.

Anyway, the question here: is it safe for children to trek in Nepal?

The answer is YES! But there is a condition applied.

Do Not Bring A Kid Who Can Not Communicate

Recently, I have seen some trekking companies advertising on Facebook about trekking with families with little babies, less than one year old I think. That shocked and terrified me, and I hope the parents won’t believe it’s okay to take a baby with them and book to go ahead. Trekking is a very fun and incredible experience, but you still need to be careful of altitude sickness, which can sometimes lead to death either quickly or slowly.

Our trekking guide, Mr. Ram, told me a story about guiding a family with young kids, around 3 years old. At 3 am, the child became very sick and started vomiting. His parents woke Mr. Ram up and asked for help. Mr Ram thought it might be altitude sickness, which could lead to dangerous situations like brain swelling. He quickly put the child on his back, tied him tightly, and ran down the rocky stairs in pitch darkness. He saved the child’s life. Mr Ram mentioned it was lucky, as he had seen children or babies die in the village during previous treks. Therefore, the trekking company would refuse to go with children who cannot speak or communicate well, at least if they mention having a headache. So, if you want to go with your children, wait till they are old enough.

What to Do Before You Head to Nepal with Children

Ok, my son was 9 years old, and he could tell us what he felt so go for it. As always, I was the one to research for this, our first-time family trekking trip, ensuring child safety and determining the appropriate age for what we need. Then I came across an internet blog about a Japanese family who went with their kids (8 years old and 11 years old) on exactly the same route. The Japanese family completed their trekking trip with only a few dramas, but overall, there were no major problems with their 8-year-old child. I also noted down the details of the trekking company.

I need to clear all these checks:

  • Air tickets to Nepal
  • Trekking Itenaly and fees
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Trekking equipment and clothes
  • Preparation for vaccinations and chronic diseases

I found out that the trekking tour company the Japanese family recommended, and after researching and reading other reviews, I asked them to make individual arrangements for us.

Up until this point, we had planned for me, my husband, and our 9-year-old son, totalling 3 people. Then, after a conversation with our neighbour Rex, we decided to let him join us, telling you how he joined us, family trip, my 50th birthday trip, hahahaha.

A group trip will be a better choice

It all started when I was talking with our neighbours in the back lane. We have maintained a good relationship with them for many years. Then I told them that we changed our trip plan; we were not going to India.

At that moment, Rex was there and asked me, ‘Well, we’re not going to India anymore? Where are you going then?’

I answered Rex that we were planning to go to Nepal. Then I saw his face, disappointed and sad. I was just…????? Then Rex started to tell me about the conversation between my husband and himself many months ago. Nepal was on Rex’s bucket list, and my husband had told Rex his wonderful trekking stories when we were drinking in the back lane months ago. I don’t remember exactly when. So Rex was quite sad that we were going without him.

I said to Rex, ‘OK, I will talk to my husband and see how it goes, okay?’ After my husband got home from work, I told him what Rex said. My husband had no memory, not even a little bit! Typical. He asked me if I wouldn’t want Rex to come, he would tell him we would go next time. But I had already seen Rex’s sad face, and I love Rex; he’s such a lovely guy. So we decided to take him with us, hahaha. And when we told him that he’s allowed to come with us, I can’t forget his such a happy face!

This is the story of why our neighbour came on our family trip, especially my 50th birthday trip. However, it was great fun. He was the perfect person to trip with: easygoing, funny, caring, and if he wanted to be alone, he just went to his room. It was perfect; I can’t imagine that trekking could have been better without him.

So, I recommend going with people who truly enjoy and share your experience. Trekking is quite challenging, so having distractions would be the key… think about it.

Costs For 14 Days Trekking

Now, talking about the cost of 14 days of trekking in Annapurna Sanctuary to ABC. Of course, it depends on how many days, people and how many porters you need. But hope it will help you with your next plan to go to Nepal trekking with your children. Please note, this itinerary is in 2019.

Price included: 13 nights 14 days

adult:US$770 pp, child:US$577 pp

  • Professional trekking guide grade A + Ram San
  • Three meals along the trekking trails such as breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is an open menu you can choose your food from the food menu
  • Accommodation along the way
  • Trekking permit (ACAP) Entry permit
  • TIMS card (Registration card)
  • Trekking supporter to carry your bag pack you are three adults and one 9 years so we provide you two
  • Both-way transportation (Starting point/ ending point) Private Jeep
  • Sleeping bag, trekking pole, water-purified tablet
  • Guide and supporter are insured
  • Guide and supporter are equipped
  • hot water for drinks
  • the hot shower wherever possible
  • charging your Device /mobile accessories
  • all necessary entry tickets for poon hill/hot pool etc
  • trekking energy bar and Snickers etc

Price does not include:

  •  Your insurance/ evacuation
  • Your gears
  • Tipping for your guide and supporter
  • Bar bills such as beer rum whiskey etc
  • Bottle water( no plastic causes pollution)

You could compare the prices from a few trekking companies. I have asked a few and received quotes, but none are as good as the prices offered by Eastern Light Trek. There are so many trekking companies in Nepal so you could get better but make sure you check the reviews.

If there are any questions about going to trekking with children, feel free to contact me via email.

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