Annapurna Circuit Trek

Annapurna Circuit Photo

Overview

thorong la pass photo

The Annapurna Circuit takes you right around the Annapurna Massif. It is widely regarded as Nepal’s ‘trek-with-everything’.Green forests, tremendous mountain scenery with a mosaic of fascinating cultures, from Hindu farmers to Tibetan Llamas.

The trail leads northwards initially through some fascinating villages, crossing fields of paddy before dissecting the Marshyangdi river gorge.
The ascent towards The Manang Valley is fairly steady before it eventually emerges into the valley with a dramatic change of scenery. The valley is predominantly Tibetan in lifestyle and outlook, the following few days are spent traveling through some delightful Tibetan like settlements with tremendous views.
A day is taken side trekking for acclimatisation before the taxing ascent of the Thorong-La (5416 m). This day over the pass is a long but a very rewarding one, with splendid views of Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri and Dhampus Peak, among others.
From the pass, a steep descent of two to three hours leads to the pilgrimage site of Muktinath. The settlement has been a holy place for both Hindus and Buddhists for many centuries. Our return follows the Kali Gandaki River gorge (the deepest gorge in the world) through some very interesting Lower Mustang and Thakali villages. Kagbeni for example has great Tibetan style architecture and culture. Marpha is renowned for its production of world class (and extremely potent !) brandy and Tatopani (which means ‘hot water’) is a great place for food and also where you can take a bath in the hot springs..
Tatopani has been a stopping point for pilgrims for many years, it has been regarded as an idyllic halt for trekkers since trekking began to become popular in the early 1980s.
We spend a day enjoying the hot springs – and some great food before a further two days hike upwards to Ghorepani.
The next morning we need to be up early for the trek to Poon Hill, one of the best spots to see and photograph the sunrise over the Himalayas.
On our return we rest for our final night in the beautiful large Gurung village of Ghandruk.
The last day is an easy descent to Nayapul where transport awaits for the one and a half hour journey back to Pokhara.

A. Itinerary in Detail (17 Days)

Day 01 : Arrival in Kathmandu
Arrival and pick up from airport /  transfer to Hotel / leisure time followed by an evening welcome dinner at a typical Nepalese Restaurant / overnight in Kathmandu (1,000m).
Day 02 : City tour of Kathmandu Valley
A full days sightseeing of the Kathmandu Valley to include all important heritage sites / overnight Kathmandu
Day 03 : Kathmandu-Besisahar: 7- 8 hour drive
An early start to Besisahar (850m) / starting point of the trek / overnight in Besisahar (830m).
Day 04 : Besisahar to Bahundanda: 6-7 hours (Trekking times only; stops not included)
first day walk involves crossing a few suspension bridges /  waterfalls /  several up and down hill sections / across rice paddies and subtropical forest. villages. Overnight in Bahundanda (1,310m).
Day 05 : Bahundanda to Chamje: 6 hours
Trek through amphitheatre-shaped rice terraces /  along a steep vertical cliff / lush forests / culturally intriguing villages. Overnight in Chamje (1,410m).
Day 06 : Chamje-Dharapani: 5-6 hours
Enter the Manang district / past fields of corn, barley, potatoes /  forests of bamboo and rhododendrons. Overnight in Dharapani (1,960m).
Day 07 : Dharapani-Chame 6-7 hours
Negotiate a few steep forested ridges along with several landslides on route / superb views of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, and Annapurna IV (7,525m/24,688ft). Small hot springs. Overnight in Chame (2,710m).
Day 08 : Chame-Pisang: 5-6 hours
A steep, narrow path through a very dense forest will bring you to the dramatic curved rock face, rising 1500m from the river. As the trail opens up you will be surrounded by majestic Himalayan Peaks. Overnight in Pisang (3,700m).
Day 09 : Pisang-Manang: 4-5 hours
Enter the upper Manang region / vast contrast with the landscape and vegetation / cold, dry climate creates a much harsher environment / Incredible views of the towering Himalayan Peaks. Overnight in Manang (3,500m).
Day 10 : Manang: Rest
Rest day for acclimatization / village wonderful culture / possible side trips to Bhojo Gompa or Gangapurna Lake and Glacier. overnight in Manang (3,500m)
Day 11 : Manang-Yak Kharka: 3-4 hours
Today short walk up to Yak Kharka a small settlement set at 4,110m/13,484ft /  Gradual ascent needed to avoid altitude problems / overnight in Yak Karka (4,110m).
Day 12 : Yak Kharka to Throng Phedi: 3-4 hours
Trek to foot of the pass Throng Phedi small busy settlement caters to the needs of trekkers and climbers . Overnight in Throng Phedi (4,600m).
Day 13 : Thorong Phedi to Muktinath: 7-8 hours
An early start is important / long day`s trek over the pass / over Throng La pass (5,416m) / outstanding high Himalayan scenes / overnight Muktinath
Day 14 : Muktinath  Kagbeni Jomosom
Easy walk down / pass Jharkot / Lunch Kagbeni interesting old place last village before Upper Mustang / Trek on to Jomosom/ overnight Jomosom
Day 15: Early morning flight to Pokhara / transfer hotel.
Day 16: Drive back to Kathmandu / transfer hotel /
Day17: Transfer to airport for onward destination

B. Itinerary in Detail (22 Days)

Day 01 : Arrival in Kathmandu
Arrival and pick up from airport /  transfer to Hotel / leisure time followed by an evening welcome dinner at a typical Nepalese Restaurant / overnight in Kathmandu (1,000m).
Day 02 : City tour of Kathmandu Valley
A full days sightseeing of the Kathmandu Valley to include all important heritage sites / overnight Kathmandu
Day 03 : Drive Kathmandu to Besishahar (790m).
About 5 hours scenic drive by car / van. / overnight at Guest House.
Day 04 : Trek from Besishahar to Bahundanda (1310m).
Besishahar / trail makes climb to Khudi at 790m / first Gurung village (many of Nepal’s Gurkha Soldiers are Gurungs) / continue from Khudi / fine views of Himalchuli and Peak 29 (Ngadi Chuli) / trail climbs to Bhulbhule at 825m / on to Ngadi before reaching Lampata at 1135m and nearby Bahundanda at 1310m /overnight at Guest House.
Day 05 : Trek from Bahundanda to Chyamje (1400m).
Today trail drops steeply to Syang 1070m  / from Bahundanda cross the Marsyangdi River /  suspension bridge / follow the river to the stone village of Jagat  / before climbing through forest to Chyamje at 1400m / overnight at Guest House.
Day 06 : Trek from Chyamje to Bagarchhap (2160m).
The day begins with the rocky trail / following the Marsyandi River / steadily uphill to Tal at 1675m / first village in the Manang district / make a traverse crossing a wide, flat valley /  climb a stone stairway to 1860m till another stairway / up down up down / to Dharpani1890m / stone entrance chorten typical of the Tibetan influenced villages / from here northwards to Bagarchhap 2160m / typical flat roofed stone houses of local Tibetan design /  overnight at Guest House.
Day 07 : Trek from Bagarchhap to Chame (2630m).
Often rough and rocky /  trail climbs to Tyanja at 2360m / continue through forest /  near the river / to Kopar 2590m / on to Chame, the headquarters of the Manang district / fine views of Annapurna II as you approach Chame /  two small hot springs by the town / overnight at Guest House.
Day 08 : Trek from Chame to Pisang (3300m).
The day starts through deep forest in a steep and narrow valley, crosses a river on a long bridge at 2910m. We then cross another bridge at 3040m, from there the view of the soaring Paungda Danda rock face really begins to appear. From there the trail joins to climb to Pisang, which sprawls between 3200m & 3300m.
Overnight at Guest House.
Day 09 : Trek from Pisang to Manang (3500m).
Continue through the drier upper part of the Manang district / region cut off from full effects of the monsoon by the Anapurna Range / People many herd yaks & raise crops for part of the year / they also continue to enjoy special trading rights gained way back in 1784.
Leaving Pisang / alternate trails north and south of the Marsyangdi River / meet up again at Mungji / southern route via Hongde, with its airstrip, at 3325m /  involves less climbing than the northern route via Ghyaru / better views on the trail that follows the northern bank of the river / from Mungji, trail continues past the picturesque, partially hidden village of Bryanga at 3475m / to nearby Manang at 3500m / overnight at Guest House.
Day 10 : Trek from Manang-Acclimatization day
A day acclimatizing in Manang / fine day walks / magnificent views around the village / overnight at Guest House.
Day 11 : Trek from Manang to Ledar (4250m).
leave Manang /  trail makes an ascent of nearly 2000m to / The Thorung La pass / make the climb steadily through Tenki / leaving the Marsyangi Valley / continue along the Jarsang Khola Valley / reach Ledar at 4250m / vegetation steadily more sparse. Overnight at Guest House.
Day 12 : Trek from Ledar to Phedi or High camp (4600m).
The trail descends to cross the river at 4310m / climb up to Phedi 4420m /  High Camp elevation of 4600m / some good Guesthouses / overnight at Guest House.
Day 13 : Trek from Phedi or High Camp to Muktinath (3710m).
From Phedi “foot of the hill” to 5416m Thorung La pass /climb steeply / regularly used and easy to follow / however / problem may arise due to the altitude and snow / sometimes problem to cross the pass /  four hours climb up to the pass marked by the chortens & prayer flags / magnificent view from the top / steep descent to Muktinath ( approximately three hours) / overnight at Guest House.
Day 14 : Trek from Muktinath to Marpha(2600m).
Continue to descend past Kagbeni / on to Jomosom in Kali Gandaki river valley / on to Marpha / famous for apple brandy / also 2 monasteries, and one apple brandy factory / overnight Guest House/
Day 15 : Trek from Marpha to Ghasa (2100m). overnight at Guest House.
Day 16 : Trek to Tatopani (1200m) .
famous for its hot spring / great place to relax / overnight at Guest House.
Day 17 : Trek from Tatopani to Ghorepani. overnight at Guest House.
Day 18 : Hiking to Poonhill – back to Ghorepani / trek downhill to Tikhedhunga. overnight at Guest House.
Day 19 : Trek from Tikhedhunga to Birethati, and drive to Pokhara. overnight at hotel.
Day 20 : Pokhara at leisure / Relaxation/overnight Pokhara
Day 21: Drive back to Kathmandu by tourist bus / transfer hotel
Day 22: Transfer to airport /  for onward destination

Cost Includes

  • Accommodation in Kathmandu on bed and breakfast basis as per the itinerary
  • City tour in Kathmandu with guide by private car
  • Entry fees when sightseeing in Kathmandu
  • National Park Trekking/Entry Permit
  • Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) registration fee
  • Round trip / internal flights / overland transport / if needed / as per the itinerary
  • Accommodation in guest houses/lodges during the trek
  • Three meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) a day during the trek
  • Qualified and experienced trekking guide and porter services
  • Transportation, accommodation, meal allowance, equipment and insurance for trekking staff
  • All the official paper work and all the applicable government taxes
  • Airport transfers for internal flights
  • Sleeping bag, down jacket and rucksack if required
  • Airport pick-up on arrival and drop-off on departure 

Cost Excludes

  • Meals other than breakfast when staying in hotels
  • Personal expenses and bar bills
  • Clients’ travel insurance
  • Tips and gratuities

Important Note and Optional Activities

Please note: All the trekking itineraries are flexible and can be revised in order to best meet your requirements i.e. your time, interests etc. Please make contact with us if you have any special requirements or interest.

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