ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT TREKKING
" 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
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.
Best Time For Annapurna Circuit Trekking
Autum ( September to November)
Spring ( March to May)
Winter ( December to Februrary)
Monsoon ( June to August )
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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