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Annapurna Circuit Trekking

Annapurna Circuit Trekking

Overview And Highlights

TRIP FACTS

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Accommodation Tea House
Max Altitude 5,416 m / 17, 872 ft
Best Season Spring / Autumn
Trip Duration 15 Days
Trip Grade Adventurous.
Meals All inclusive

" A TRANSFORMATIONAL JOURNEY – breathtaking magnificence. "

The Annapurna Circuit Trek became accessible to trekkers in 1980 and has since become one of the world's leading trekking destinations. This route traverses through Rhododendron forests in the lower sections of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, providing splendid vistas of peaks such as Annapurna I, II, III, IV, Dhaulagiri, Machchhapuchhre (Fish Tail), Annapurna South, and Manaslu.

Annapurna Circuit excursion is well-suited for individuals with a moderate level of physical fitness. This journey guides you through the Kali Gandaki Gorge, which is recognized as the world's deepest gorge, as well as the world's highest lake and the remarkable Ruptse Falls, standing at an impressive height of 300 meters. Within the Annapurna Conservation Area, you'll encounter an array of natural wonders, including more than 100 types of orchids, Rhododendron forests, sub-tropical marshes, valleys, bamboo and oak woodlands, alpine meadows, and a diverse range of wildlife, such as Martens, deer, Langur monkeys, and even the elusive Snow Leopard. Amidst the rich variety of flora and fauna, you'll also experience the warm hospitality of the locals in the villages and towns along the trek.

The Annapurna Circuit expedition provides awe-inspiring views of numerous towering, snow-capped peaks and guides you through high-altitude passes, including the renowned Thorong La Pass, which sits at an elevation of 5,416 meters.

Highlights Of Annapurna Circuit Trekking

  • Grand panorama with array of world's highest Himalayan peaks and crossing high Thorang-La Exploring traditional Mountain villages of immense Buddhist culture and custom of Manang.
  • Walking into lovely forest covered with tall rhododendron, magnolia, oaks and pines tree lines.
  • Daily views of mountains walking on both sides North and South of Annapurna massive range.
  • Walk from low warm paddy fields to alpine temperatures to arctic zone of ice and glaciers.

Equipments

The next details will provide you with a basic understanding of what you should carry for the trek. It's crucial not to overlook the necessary items, as they will impact your comfort and safety during the hike. It's just as vital not to weigh yourself down with unnecessary gear during the trek.

  • A pair of half-golves
  • A pair of Woolen shocks
  • A wool jacket or pullover, Water and Windproof shell jackets
  • long sleeve t-shirts
  • Windproof and Waterproof Trousers (warmer), Comfortable trekking pants
  • Water Trekking Boots/  Pair of sandals
  • First Aid kits and Medicine
  • Backpack with rain cover
  • Water Bottle
  • Headlamp or torch
  • Sunscreen / Sunglasses / Sunhat
  • Sleeping bag 
  • Trekking Poles
  • Chapstick
  • Camera & Batteries
  • Power adapter and chargers
  • Travel Towel
  • Toiletries

Best Time For Annapurna Circuit Trekking

Autum ( September to November)

  • This is one of favored season for the Annapurna Circuit because of the clear skies, mild temperatures, and limited rain. You'll relish magnificent, pristine vistas of the Annapurna range and nearby peaks. Daytime temperatures are pleasantly mild, with chilly yet manageable nights. Anticipate more fellow trekkers on the trail, so it's wise to secure your accommodations ahead of time.

Spring ( March to May)

  • The scenery bursts into vibrant colors with rhododendrons and wildflowers in full bloom, creating a colorful show for trekkers. While you can generally enjoy clear views, occasional afternoon clouds may appear as May approaches. Days are warm, but as you ascend, nights can get quite chilly. Birdwatchers will have a fantastic time, as migratory birds are active during this season.

Winter ( December to Februrary)

  • The upper areas, particularly Thorong La Pass, can become covered in snow and may become inaccessible after heavy snowfall. The skies are usually clear, providing sharp views of snow-capped peaks. Lower elevations are cool to moderately chilly, while higher altitudes become extremely cold, especially at night. If you're trekking in winter, ensure you have the right gear and verify the pass's conditions.

Monsoon ( June to August )

  • During this season, there are frequent heavy rainfalls that make the trails slippery and attract leeches in lower areas. You can anticipate cloudy skies with reduced mountain visibility. Certain regions face a higher risk of landslides. While the weather is warm, humidity levels rise. The valleys are lush and verdant, making it a culturally vibrant time to explore, especially if you're interested in experiencing the daily lives of the locals without the tourist crowds.

Itinerary Expand All Close All

Starting wonderful Annapurna Circuit Trekking adventure with an interesting overland drive towards Nepal mid west, leading to Besisar town (headquarter of Lamjung district). From here transfer to another vehicle and continue drive on dirt road passing villages of Khudi, Bulbule and Ngadi following the Marsyangdi River upstream.

Drive continues through rice terraces fields and villages to Dharapani a small village for overnight stop in the comfort of nice lodge.

Dharapani a nice village with Buddhist culture, situated on the junction of Annapurna circuit and Manaslu trekking trail.

Food
Breakfast
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
1920

Start the morning walk a into cool rhododendron and pine forest passing villages of Bagachap and Danque, then to Timang village from here onwards into more Buddhist area, with super view of Mt. Manaslu 8,163m / 26,781ft, from this village few hours trek leads to a large town at Chame for overnight stop, a major town and headquarter of Manang district.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
2670

From here air gets cooler as the walk leads closer into mountains through beautiful forest of rhododendron and pine trees, following Marshyangdi River upstream to Bhratang village.

From this village an uphill into pine trees to Dhukure Pokhari a small place with few lodge and views of Chulu and Pisang peak, after a lunch stop walk downhill to Pisang village for overnight stop.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
3230

Pisang village located within Manang valley with stunning mountains views as altitude gains for here onwards.

Walking into forest with short uphill with views of Annapurna II and III, Gangapurna Chulu and Pisang peak, then reaching Hongde village with a small air strip, from here tree lines fades to barren, arid landscapes.

On route Manang village visit old Braga monastery with Buddhist relics, ancient wall painting, frescos and super panorama of Annapurna Himalaya, from here an hour walk to Manang village.

The houses here are of traditional Tibetan style with culture and traditions.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
3450

An important rest day for acclimatization before reaching high altitude and up to Thorang –la, here with short hike exploring Manang village beneath towering Annapurna and Gangapurna peaks, a nice short hike up for views of Gangapurna Glacier and the Manang glacial Lake.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
3450

After a good rest at Manang, walk towards Yak Kharka, an interesting high altitude walk with views of mountains, crossing small streams to reach at Yak Kharka, a small settlement with incredible views of Gangapurna, Annapurna III and Chulu Peaks.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
4110

Morning walk leads closer to Thorang-la as the walk progress crossing a bridge and then a climb along the Jarjung River, then leading at Thorang Phedi for short rest and then climb the last hour uphill to Thorang High Camp for overnight stop.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
4600

Start the early morning walk on this Big Day! A thrill and highlight of this great adventure, after breakfast a long climb up to Thorang-la with steep haul to reach at 5,416 m / 17, 872 ft on top of Thorang-la decorated with Buddhist prayer flags.

Highest point of our adventure, offers superb vista of beautiful landscapes and snowcapped peaks, from here a long descend to Muktinath at 3,800 m.

Muktinath a holy place for both Hindu and Buddhist the word Muktinath literally means ‘the place for Nirvana or Liberation’.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Tented Camp
Elevation
5416

After Muktinath, rest of the journey is easier with moderate walks all the way with a big drop of 1,200m downhill to Kaligandaki river valley, this pleasant walk leads to Kaligandaki river valley, from here walk to Jomsom, headquarter town of Mustang area with a small airstrip above Kaligandaki River.

After Jomsom walk to Marpha, one of the most charming village with white painted houses, paved streets and well kept lodges. At Marpha celebrate with local apple products cider, brandy and juice this area from Kagbeni to Larjung is famous for delicious apples.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
2715

From Marpha onward, walk is enjoyable following Kaligandaki river downstream with views of Tukuche peak, Dhaulagiri and Mt. Nilgiri walk to Larjung village, after few hours walk getting back into tree lines of pine, oaks and rhododendron forest and then reaching at Kalapani village, another lovely village with grand views of Mt. Annapurna I, Nilgiris and Dhaulagiri, a short downhill brings at Lete village for overnight stop.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
2480

Walk from Kalapani and Lete onward leads to dramatic change in vegetation and climate, as walk leads between two giant peaks of Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna forming world deepest gorge.

First two hours of trek leads through Ghasa village with view of snow capped peaks into forest.

After Ghasa a southern end of Mustang area mostly dominated by Thakali people ethnic tribe till Tatopani village.

This pleasant walk continues leading back to paddy fields in warm sub-tropical climate to Tatopani passing beautiful waterfalls of Rupsi.

Tatopani (Hot Spring) village the valley is quite constricted and it is quite warm with sub-tropic climate and vegetation, Tatopani is another nice village with large hot spring pools just by the bank of the River Kaligandaki.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
1190

After a wonderful time at Tatopani, trek continues on the nice winding trail for an hour, our route diverts heading uphill with steep climb then with gradual up all the way through dense forest to reach at Chitre, from here an hour climb to Ghorepani village with fantastic views of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Annapurna South with Vara-Shikar known as Annapurna Fang.

Ghorepani famous and popular for hike to Poon Hill a view point offering super wide views of world’s three highest peaks and range of other mountains with striking sunrise and sunset.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
2750

Morning an hour hike up to Poon-Hill at 3,210m, offers fantastic sunrise views over array of mountains from Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Manaslu to Annapurna and as far to Ganesh Himal in the far eastern horizon including the majestic Mt. Machhapuchare “The Fish Tail”.

From here walk through lovely rhododendron forest, and then with long descend from Ulleri village to Tirkhedhunga for last overnight stop in the hills of Annapurna Himalaya.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
1500

After Tirkhedhunga, last day walk of this adventure leads downhill most of the way through farm villages, then finally reaching a nice village at Bhirethati by the river Modi, from here a short walk to Nayapul ending the final walk of this great adventure with a drive of two hours to Pokhara for the overnight stop by the Lake Phewa.

Pokhara, a popular touristic city, where the peaks of Annapurna Mountain range reflects on its beautiful serene lakes of Phewa and Begnas.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
1500

Morning a drive to Kathmandu after a wonderful experience on Annapurna Circuit trekking, on reaching Kathmandu transfer to your hotels with the afternoon free at leisure for individual activities and shopping.

(Flying options 30 minutes of scenic flight to Kathmandu from Pokhara)

Food
Breakfast
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
1350

What Is Included ?

  • Airport Pickup and Drop 
  • Teahouse accommodation during the trek
  • Three meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner) during the trek
  • Transportation by Local Bus to Syange 
  • Tourist Bus Ticket (Pokhara to Kathmandu)
  • Hotels in Pokhara with Breakfast (Twin Sharing)
  • English Speaking Trekking Guide with Insurance, Transportation, Food and Accommodation
  • All Trekking Permits (ACAP and TIMS Card)
  • Daily seasonal fresh fruits after dinner 
  • A first aid kit carried by the guide (Oximeter to measure your oxygen and pulse in high altitude) 
  • All Government and Local taxes

What Is Excluded?

  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for the guide and porter(s)
  • Any additional costs incurred during the trek, such as hot showers or extra nights in guesthouses.
  • Other costs not mentioned in 'Cost Includes' section

Annapurna Circuit Trekking Altitude Profile

FAQs

The trek usually takes around 12-21 days, depending on the route and pace of the trekker.

The best time to go is during the months of September to November and March to May, when the weather is clear and the views are the best.

The trek is considered strenuous and requires a good level of physical fitness. It involves a lot of uphill and downhill hiking at high altitudes, and can be challenging for those who are not used to strenuous activity.

You will need proper hiking boots, warm clothing, a good backpack, sleeping bag, and a good quality down jacket. You should also bring a first aid kit and a water purification system.

While it is possible to trek independently, it is recommended to hire a guide or porter, especially if you are not familiar with the area or the language. They can help you navigate the trail, find accommodations, and provide valuable information about the local culture and customs.

The cost can vary depending on the route, the duration of the trek, and whether you hire a guide or porter. The average cost is around $1000 to $2000 USD.

As with any trek at high altitudes, there are risks associated with altitude sickness, hypothermia, and frostbite. Additionally, the trail can be slippery and dangerous during bad weather. It is important to be well-prepared and take necessary precautions.

Yes, it is mandatory to have TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System) and a permit to trek in the Annapurna region. The TIMS card can be obtained from the Nepal Tourism Board or the Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents, and the permit can be obtained from the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) office in Kathmandu or Pokhara.

Accommodation during the trek is available in the form of teahouses or lodges. The teahouses are basic but provide a comfortable place to sleep, hot meals, and basic facilities such as toilets and showers. Some teahouses may also have electricity and Wi-Fi.

The trek can be done during the winter, but it is important to note that the trail may be covered in snow and the weather can be very cold. It is also important to be well-prepared with the right equipment and clothing, and to have a guide who is familiar with the trail during the winter months.

Phone signal and internet access can be limited during the trek, but it is possible to find signal in some areas, particularly in the lower elevations. It is recommended to bring a local SIM card for better connectivity.

It is recommended to be up-to-date on routine vaccinations and to consult a healthcare professional for advice on additional vaccinations and preventive measures. It is also important to be aware of common illnesses such as altitude sickness and to take necessary precautions.

 

Some teahouses along the trail have electricity, but it may be limited and not always reliable. It's a good idea to bring a portable power bank to ensure that you have a reliable source of power for your electronic devices.

Annapurna Circuit trekking routes are in the Annapurna Conservation Area, which has implemented a rule to reduce the use of single-use plastics. Trekkers are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles and to avoid buying products packaged in single-use plastics.

Yes, it is possible to do the Annapurna Circuit trek independently, but it is highly recommended to hire a guide or porter, especially if you are not familiar with the area or the language. They can help you navigate the trail, find accommodations, and provide valuable information about the local culture and customs.

Teahouses along the trail provide meals, but if you have specific dietary needs or prefer to bring your own food, it is possible to do so. It is recommended to bring lightweight, non-perishable food items such as instant noodles, energy bars, and dried fruits.

ATMs and money changers can be found in Kathmandu and Pokhara, but are limited in the trekking areas. It is recommended to bring enough cash to cover your expenses during the trek, as not all teahouses accept credit cards.

There are no official age restrictions for the Annapurna Circuit trek, but it is a physically demanding trek and may not be suitable for children or older adults. It is important to consider your own physical fitness level and to take necessary precautions.

Yes, it is possible to shorten the Annapurna Circuit trek by taking alternative routes or by hiring a helicopter or jeep to cover some of the distance. However, it's important to note that the shorter routes may not offer the same level of scenic beauty and cultural experiences as the full circuit trek.

Yes, there are several cultural and religious sites to visit along the Annapurna Circuit trek, such as the Muktinath Temple and the Braga Monastery. These sites offer a glimpse into the local culture and religion of the region, and provide an opportunity to learn about the history and traditions of the local people.

There are no official restrictions on photography during the Annapurna Circuit trek, but it is important to be respectful of the local culture and customs, particularly when visiting cultural and religious sites. It's also important to be mindful of the environment and avoid disturbing wildlife and plants.

Yes, it is possible to combine the Annapurna Circuit trek with other treks in the Annapurna region such as the Annapurna Base Camp trek or the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek. It's important to plan your itinerary and consider your own physical fitness level before embarking on multiple treks.

There are no official restrictions on music during the Annapurna Circuit trek, but it is important to be respectful of the local culture and customs, particularly when staying in teahouses and villages. It's also important to be mindful of the sound level and avoid disturbing other trekkers and the local residents.

Client Reviews

Rupak Neupane

Rupak Neupane

Nepal

Great Experience !

7th May, 2023

We booked our Annapurna circuit trek with Annapurna Encounter in Thamel and had an amazing experience. Knowing that our guide, Bishnu Lammichane, had done this route more than 25 times was very reassuring from the beginning and his experience was obvious when we saw during the trek other guides were consulting with him. We explored many Buddhist monasteries and temples along the way and Bishnu was well versed on them or was quick to ask locals to get us the information. I highly recommend Annapurna Encounter and Bishnu. We are already planning other treks with Bishnu for our next visit as he has done many other routes such as Everest, and Manasalu circuit.

Amit K

Amit K

United States

Annapurna Circuit trek

9th May, 2023

We booked our Annapurna circuit trek with Annapurna Encounter and had an amazing experience. Since this was my first trek around Annapurna, there were many unknowns for me in terms of terrains, food and accommodation. We were lucky to have a guide like Bishnu Lammichane who was well versed with this trek having done it a few dozen times. He not only knew the terrain extremely well but was also very familiar with the lodges at different locations, knew the people there and was able to get us well set up with food and accommodation. In addition to guiding us, Bishnu was also our dedicated photographer and knew exactly which shots to take and where.

This was one of the best trek I have done and I highly recommend using Annapurna Encounter. We are planning for more treks in future and will definitely book it through this company with Bishnu as our guide.

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