Annapurna Circuit Trek
Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the most rewarding treks in Nepal, circling around the Annapurna massif passing through the famous Thorung La Pass. Annapurna Circuit Trek has always been famous for excellent mountain sceneries, that includes varying angled views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and the magnificent Nilgiri. The trek is particularly known for the way the landscapes, flora, culture and climate zones changes as the trek progresses. Fertile villages with Hindu inhabitants and terraced fields at the start is slowly replaced by arid valleys full of Buddhist stupas and mane walls during the trek. The trek also has parts with totally isolated moraines at an altitude of 5000 meters with a stunning backdrop of high cliffs and mountains.
Once, this trekking trail was one of the most popular trekking destinations in world, with diverse landscapes, vegetation, weather and culture. A newly constructed road has shortened the trek, resulting the trek to lose its previously held charm to people visiting the region. Because of the road, instead of starting at Besisahar, people can easily drive to Chame, administrative headquarters of Manang. However, trekking through local villages of Upper Pisang, Gyaru and Ngawal, villages untouched by the driving road, still makes it an exciting trek. Hiking thorough these village also provides an opportunity to experience Manang people’s culture and lifestyle.
One of the most amazing experience (it is a strenuous climb at an altitude above 5000 meters) of the trek is crossing the 5416 meters high Thorung La Pass. This eventful and scenic day perfectly sums up the trek as well. In a day, the trek goes from arid valleys of the upper Manang, home of Tibetan Buddhists, down to the Hindu pilgrimage site of Muktinath, in the windy Kali Gandaki valley. Annapurna Circuit Trek also offers a side trip to Tilicho Lake, highest lake in the world located at 4949 meters with towering Tilicho Peak (7134 meters) standing right beside the lake. Milarepa cave and Ice Lake are the other exciting prospects available on this trek. Annapurna Circuit Trek also has a natural hot springs at Tatopani. Here, a couple of days of trek of old days is replaced by a days bumpy ride. But this also has added a different edge to this already exciting trek. The striking views of Anannapurna and Dhaulagari Ranges from Poon Hill provides a fitting climax to Annapurna Circuit Trek.
- Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu (1335 meters).
A representative from Visit Himalaya Treks with the company’s display board will greet you outside the arrival terminal and transfer you to your Hotel. The trek leader will meet the group for a meeting and provide a detailed briefing on the trek. All the required information regarding the trek would be provided. (Overnight at Hotel)
- Day 02: Drive to Dharapani (1960 meters) via Besisahar.
After breakfast, a private vehicle (car/bus) will pick you at your hotel. We drive to Besisahar via the Prithvi Highway, following Trishuli River for most part of the drive. It takes around 6 hours to reach Besisahar about 5 hours. After lunch now take a local jeep and drive to Dharapani on a secondary road. The road at times passes through the settlements of the old Annapurna Circuit Trail. It keeps following the Marshyangdi River for the whole day. This bumpy and exciting ride will take around 4 hours. (Overnight at Teahouse. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
- Day 03: Trek to Chame (2670 meters).
The trek starts on the secondary road and does so for the most part of trek until the trek reaches Manang. The road passes the villages of Bagarchap and Danaque. The trail gets briefly off the road and starts to climb through the woods to Temang. Stunning view of Manaslu (8136 meters) opens up at Temang. The trek returns back to the road and goes through the small villages of Thanchok, Koto and finally reaches Chame. Chame is one of the big settlements of Manang region and is also the administrative headquarter. A nearby hot spring just a few minute away from the town can be enjoyed in the afternoon. (6 hours) (Overnight at Teahouse. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
- Day 04: Trek to Pisang (3200 meters).
The trek continues on the road by the Marshyangdi River and goes through small ancient looking houses at Bhratang. The road passes under an interesting huge rock face and continues to move into the valley following the river. After crossing the river, a brief climb leads to Dhikur Pokhari and offers an amazing view of the rock face of the Paungda Danda, standing more than 1000 meters from the river. An easy walk with the picturesque views of the valley ends at Pisang. (6 hours) (Overnight at Teahouse. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
- Day 05: Trek to Ngawal via Gyaru (3670 meters).
The trail leaves the road, crosses the river, and moves on the alternative route. This less travelled route undulates through a thin forest, a small pond with the reflection of Annapurna II (7937 meters) and Annapurna IV (7525 meters), some mane walls and crosses a suspension bridge in the morning. A good steep climb leads to the Gyaru Village, one of the two medieval villages on the day’s route. The views of the valleys and Annapurna II (7937 meters), Annapurna IV (7525 meters) can be thoroughly enjoyed during the whole day on this route. More undulating trail follows as the trail also passes by some ruins of forts and reaches the second medieval village, Ngawal. (6 hours) (Overnight at Teahouse. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
- Day 06: Trek to Manang (3540 meters).
A descend down to the valley and an easy terrain joins the trail back with the road near Mugje. After passing through Mugje, the road leads to the village of Braga. Braga has two contrasting parts, an ancient looking village with a monastery a few minutes away from the road and new modern facilitated teahouses at the other side of the road. An easy walk on the road and a final brief climb ends the day at Manang. The road also ends at Manang and the trek will only get back on road after the Thorang La. (4 hours) (Overnight at Teahouse. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
- Day 07: Acclimatization day at Manang.
There are few options for the acclimatization day at Manang. If one wishes to have a full day of good trekking, Ice Lake and Milarepa Cave are the best options. If one wishes to do both in a day, it will take a very long day. A short hike near towards Gangapurna Glacier is another easier option. (Overnight at Teahouse. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
- Day 08: Trek to Tilicho Base Camp (3734 meters).
The trail now separates from the regular Annapurna Circuit and heads into a different valley. A descent leads into the river and turns into an ascent for the next few hours until Khangsar. After the Khangsar the trail gets narrower and crosses through a scree in the latter part of the day. A flat grassy area with a small stream finally leads to the Tilicho Base Camp. (6-7 hours) (Overnight at Teahouse. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
- Day 09: Trek to Tilicho Lake and trek back to Khangsar (4990 meters).
The day starts with a steep climb and then turns into an easier ascent. More majestic views of mountains start to appear in every direction as the trek slowly and continuously keep on climbing. Gangapurna (7455 meters), Annapurna III (7555 meters) and several unnamed peaks starts to show themselves as the climb continues. The huge lake finally starts to appear as the terrain slowly starts to turn easy. Tilicho Lake is highest lake in the world located at an altitude of 4949 meters. We return back to Tilicho Base Camp and continue to return towards Khangsar via the same route taken a day ago. (6-7 hours) (Overnight at Teahouse. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
- Day 10: Trek to Yak Kharka (4018 meters).
The route again changes as the trail now heads towards the Thorung La. A steep climb crosses a ridge and the trek now starts to descend down to a small stream at the bottom of the valley. Another climb follows at the other side of the river leading to the Yak pasturelands of Yak Kharka. (6 hours) (Overnight at Teahouse. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
- Day 11: Trek to Thorung Phedi (4450 meters).
The day begins with a gradual uphill as the valley starts to get narrower with each passing hour. The trail passes through some teahouses at Ledar and drops into the river only again to climb at the other side of the river. The trek continues to undulate and enters into a rocky moraine. The valley gets narrower and finally ends at Thorung Phedi. Thorung Phedi is enclosed by huge rock faces and is located on a sloped rocky moraine. (4 hours) (Overnight at Teahouse. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
- Day 12: Cross Thorung La (5416 meters) and trek to Muktinath (3800 meters).
An early start to the day leads to a steep climb that continues to the top of the pass. The top offers views panoramic views of Annapurna IV (7525 meters), Annapurna III (7555 meters), Chulu West (6419 meters), Chulu East (6584 meters), Tilicho (7134 meters) and many more. A steep descent starts from the top and continues to the very bottom of the pass. Couple of teashops at the bottom finally marks the end of the steep drop. The terrain is now more easier but still continues to go steadily downhill. The day finally ends at Muktinath, one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites of Hindus. This is also one of the longest day of the trek. (7-8 hours) (Overnight at Teahouse. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
- Day 13: Trek to Kagbeni (2800 meters).
After a late breakfast, the trek once again continues to go down in the valley. The descent leads down to Kali Gandaki Valley and only ends at Kagbeni. The Kali Gandaki Valley is also famous by the name of the windy valley as strong gusts travels through the valley every afternoon. Kagbeni is located on the banks of the Kali Gandaki River and is also the entry point to Mustang, the forbidden kingdom. (3 hours) (Overnight at Teahouse. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
- Day 14: Trek to Jomsom (2720 meters).
The trek now returns back to the road and follows the river towards Jomsom. The trail closely follows the river for the whole day, staying on the road and passes through Ekle Bhatti. The day ends at Jomsom, the biggest town and also the administrative headquarter of Mustang. Jomsom is also famous for apples and is also known as the apple capital of the country. The apple and apricot brandy from the region is also very popular. A visit to Marpha Village is also an interesting option for the afternoon. (3 hours) (Overnight at Teahouse. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
- Day 15: Drive to Tatopani.
We drive to Tatopani on a local bus passing through many settlements that used to be the part of old Annapurna Circuit. A long and bumpy drive of around 5 hours in the newly built secondary road finally ends at Tatopani. Afternoon can be enjoyed in the famous hot spring of Tatopani. (Overnight at Teahouse. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
- Day 16: Trek to Ghorepani (2850 meters).
A long day’s ascent of nearly 2000 meters through the villages of Ghara, Shika, Chitre and rhododendron forests (towards the end of the day) keeps the adventure intact. The day begins with a steep climb and passes through terraced fields and villages throughout the morning. The terrain becomes more easier but still remain steep for the whole day till the day’s trek finally ends at Ghorepani. (8-9 hours) (Overnight at Teahouse. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
- Day 17: Climb Poon Hill (3210 meters) and trek to Tadapani (2600 meters).
An early morning uphill hike to Poon Hill (1 hour), one of the best viewpoint of the region to enjoy the sunrise above the spectacular mountain ranges of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. We return for breakfast at Ghorepani and then trek towards Tadapani, climbing a gentle ridge of yet another Rhododendron forest with the views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Ranges still delighting us. The trail leaves the ridge after Deurali and starts to descend down steeply to Nange Thati. A steady and easy walk is soon followed again by another descend down to a small stream with a final climb in the afternoon finally ending the day at Tadapani. (5 hours) (Overnight at Teahouse. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
- Day 18: Trek to Naya Pul (1000 meters) and drive to Pokhara (900 meters).
The day starts with a descent through the jungles passing through couple of teashops at Bhaisi Kharka and continues to drop steeply to the famous Gurung village of Ghandruk. The steep descend still continues and finally leads to Syauli Bazaar. The path joins with the newly built road and stays on the road until Birethanti. A short walk to Naya Pul finally ends the trek. A private vehicle awaits and a couple of hours drive separates you from the city and its luxuries. (6 hours) (Overnight at Hotel. Breakfast, Lunch included)
- Day 19: Sightseeing at Pokhara and fly back to Kathmandu.
A half day guided tour to the most popular and historical sites of Pokhara and a late afternoon flight back to Kathmandu. (Overnight at Hotel. Breakfast included)
- Day 20: Sightseeing at Kathmandu.
A half day guided tour to several of historical and spiritual attractions enlisted under the World Heritage Sites. (Overnight at Hotel. Breakfast included)
- Day 21: Departure.
A representative from Visit Himalaya Treks Pvt. Ltd. will check your flight tickets and transfer you to the airport before two hours from your flight with a hope of seeing you again in the future. (Breakfast included)
ALL ITINERARIES CAN BE CUSTOMIZED AT YOUR REQUESTS ACCORDING TO YOUR CONVENIENCE.
- Arrivals and departure transport by car (We will collect you from the Kathmandu international airport) and transfer to Hotel.
- Half day sightseeing in Kathmandu (Boudhanath and Pasupatinath) with city guide and necessary transport.
- 4 nights accommodation (2 persons per room) in Kathmandu and Pokhara in a 3* standard Hotel with breakfast.
- Kathmandu - Besisahar land transportation in a private car. Other sections will be in a local bus.
- Pokhara - Kathmandu airfare including airport taxes.
- Accommodation and all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) while on trek in normal teahouses.
- Salary, insurance, food, accommodation for guides and porters.
- A porter to carry your luggage on treks (Per person 15 kilogram luggage).
- National Park entry fee and Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS).
- Group First Aid Kit.
- Government taxes and service charges.
- Nepal entry Visa Fee.
- Personal Travel Insurance (Compulsory).
- Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
- Entry fee at the sightseeing sites.
- Personal expenses like beverages (mineral water, alcohol, soft drinks), telephone bills, laundry, bar bills, personal tips etc.
The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. The packed weight of your trek bag while trekking should be no more than 15 KG.
Trekking trousers / pants
Waterproof overt rousers / rainpants
Casual shirt and/or T-shirts
Fleece jacket or warm jumper/sweater
Warm and waterproof over gloves or mittens
Headtorch/Headlamp with spare bulb and batteries
Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
Water bottles 1 L.
Sleeping bag 4 or 5 season * (rated down to – 20ºC)
Warm jacket (down)*
Small, personal first-aid kit. (Simple and light)
Aspirin, first-aid tape, and plasters (Band-Aids)
1 skin-blister repair kit
Cough and/or cold medicine
Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetylzolamide
Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin, etc. Do not bring sleeping pills as they are a respiratory depressant.
Water purification tablets or water filter
1 set of earplugs
Extra pair of prescription glasses, contact lens supplies.
Note: Walking pole, down jacket, sleeping bag, etc available on hire in Kathmandu or request we will provide it.
Trip cost will vary depending on numbers of travelers, duration/days of trek, standard of hotel in Kathmandu before & after the trip. Please contact us to GET a Custom Quote.