Annapurna Circuit Trek – 23 Days

Annapurna Circuit Trek – 23 Days

Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of most celebrated treks in the world which takes you into the heart of the high mountains of Nepal. This trek has only been possible since the mid 1980s when the Manang area was officially opened to foreigners. This is definitely a strenuous trek, taking about two weeks to complete, starting from 760m (Beshisahar) and ascending to 5416m (Thorong-La Pass, the highest point of this trek). During the trek you will be able to enjoy: dramatic mountain scenery; alpine deserts; rice terraces, the Tibetan plateau; turbulent rivers with deep gorges; crystal clear lakes; waterfalls and a wide variety of vegetation. In addition, you will be able to observe different cultures and ways of life of people who live in this region, as well as different birds and animals. One of the highlights is our visit to the well-known Muktinath temple used by Hindus and Buddhists. Certainly the ‘peak’ experience will be ascending to the Thorong-La pass where the views are superb. This could be one of the highest elevations you would attain during your traveling life.

This classic circular trek is a reasonable proposition for a first time visit to Nepal, completing an epic journey through a wide variety of terrains of the Himalaya.

You don’t need any previous mountaineering training or technical experience for this trek as the terrain is not very difficult. However, some vigorous hiking experience and good physical condition is very useful.

  • Total Days: 23
  • Trekking Days: 18
  • Hotel in Kathmandu: 4 Nights
  • Hotel in Pokhara: 1 Night
  • Trek Grade: Strenuous
  • Altitude Maximum: 5416m (Thorong-La Pass)
  • Type of Trek: Lodge
  • Best season: Spring / Autumn
  • Walking Time: 4-7 hours each day

Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu airport and you will be transferred to the hotel by one of our representatives. Welcome dinner at one of the traditional Nepali restaurants in Kathmandu.
Overnight: Hotel
Elevation: 1334m.

Day 02: Visit Swoyambunath and Patan: start our tour visiting magnificent Buddhist stupa, Swoyambunath. Then we drive to one of the oldest cities of Kathmandu valley, Patan; a true open air museum with its pagodas, temples, and monasteries.
Overnight: Hotel
Elevation: 1334m

Day 03: Drive Kathmandu to Besisahar (760m): The Annapurna Circuit trek begins with a road journey to Besisahar which takes about six hours.
Overnight: Lodge
Drive Time: 6 hours (170Km)
Difference in Elevation: - 574m.

Day 04: Trek Besisahar to Ngadi (920m): The real part of adventure starts from Besisahar. We set up early in the morning on fairly easy trail, which provides you good opportunity to get into trekking rhythm. We follow the Marshyangdi valley, inhabited by Gurung people. After crossing couple of suspension bridges and some narrow tracks we reach Ngadi in about 5 hours.
Overnight: Lodge
Walking Time: 5 hours
Difference in Elevation: + 160m.

Day 05: Trek Ngadi to Jagat (1290m): Today we walk through villages with richly cultivated fields, rice terraces and a deep gorge with cascading waterfalls.
Overnight: Lodge
Walking Time: 6 hours
Difference in Elevation: + 370m

Day 06: Trek Jagat to Dharapani (1860m): Today the trail continues turning to the North West as it follows the Marshyangdi valley entering Manang District.
Overnight: Lodge
Walking Time: 6 hours
Difference in Elevation: + 570m

Day 07: Trek Dharapani to Chame(2670m): As we continue our trek, the Annapurna range offers splendid view of Annapurna II (7937m) and Annapurna IV. Initially the trail climbs through the forest to Dhanakyu (2290m) and continues steadily to Timang. The track continues through a dense forest to reach Chame (2630m). Chame is administrative headquarter of the Manang District.
Overnight: Lodge
Walking Time: 6 hours
Difference in Elevation: +810m

Day 08: Trek Chame to Pisang (3200m): Today's trek is a bit shorter so we can enjoy wonderful scenery as we cross the northern side of the river and trek west on the fairly easy trail to the Bhratang village (2840m). From here the valley is steep and narrow leading through dense forests until we cross a suspension bridge which is situated at 3040m just before Pisang (3200m). Pisang is a large traditional village and has been divided into upper and lower parts. You will be able to view Pisang Peak (6091m) directly in front of you along with unforgettable views of other famous peaks.
Overnight: Lodge
Walking Time: 5 hours
Différence in Elevation: +530m

Day 09: Trek Pisang to Manang (3440m): We take upper route through Ghyru and Ngawal which offers you spectacular view of Annapurna range. Our trek takes about 7 hours to reach today's destination, Manang (3440m). Manang is a fairly large traditional village and it is significantly important point as it is the gateway to Throngla pass.
Overnight: Lodge
Walking Time: 7 hours
Difference in Elevation: + 240m

Day 10: Acclimatization day in Manang (3440m): Spending two nights in Manang allow you to become adjusted to thinning air and lessening pressure. It is really necessary to spend some time here to acclimatize for further climbs. In the afternoon, we can visit the clinic (run by Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) Centre) to get more information about high altitude trekking. They provide some vital information about mountain sickness. It is also worth visiting Manang Gompa (Monastery) if it is open.
Overnight: Lodge

Day 11: Trek Manang to Yak Kharka (4018m): We continue our trek slowly towards the pass letting our body to adjust with the altitude. We go through Tengi (3620m), Gunsang (3930m) and continue to Yak Kharka enjoying the magnificent Mountain View all around us. It is a short trek to Yak kharka which gives us more time to do some day hiking for further acclimatization.
Overnight: Lodge
Walking Time: 3-4 hours
Difference in Elevation: +578m

Day 12: Trek Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi (4450m): Another short trekking day to reach Phedi, about 3 to 4 hours. We do some day hiking in the afternoon as final preparation for Throng-la pass. Thorong Phedi (4450m) is our last stop before crossing Thorong-La (Pass), we use Phedi as a base camp. The lodges here are usually very crowded, but there is an air of excitement as trekkers congregate when they arrive at lunch time.
Overnight: Lodge
Walking Time: 3-4 hours
Difference in Elevation +432m

Day 13: Trek Thorong Phedi to Muktinath (3760m): Today is the most challenging day of this trek because of the altitude and long hours of walking (as we ascend almost 1000m and descend about 1600m). Hence, we set off about 4 or 5 AM in the morning and start the long climb up to the Thorong-La Pass (5416m). You need to have plenty of water and a warm outfit to keep your body warm and comfortable. The trek Phedi to Thorong- La takes about 4-5 hours, depending on your fitness and acclimatization level. Upon reaching Thorong-La, we come across the traditional chorten, cairn and prayer flags. We can take a short break here before descending to Muktinath (3760m). The panoramic view from Thorong-La is superb. Once you start descending towards Muktinath, a great view of Dhaulagiri and Tukuche (6920m) to the south west can be seen.
The descend is long and tiring (about 4 - 5 hours) but offers great view of the surrounding peaks and Mustang valley.

Muktinath is a fascinating and a well-known place for Hindu and Buddhist religions. You may see lot of pilgrims bathing in the holy water flowing from the 108 spouts carved in the shape of cow's heads surrounding the Vishnu Temple. The temple is built in Tibetan style and contains huge brass idols of Shiva, Vishnu, Kali and Brahma.
Overnight: Lodge
Walking Time: 9 -10 hours
Difference in Elevation: - 690m

Day 14: Trek Muktinath to Kagbeni (2800m): As we continue our descend, we go through an old and traditional village, Jharkot, which used to be a religious administration for this region. The trail continues descending to Kagbeni for about two and half hours. Kagbeni (2800m), located near the Kali Gandaki river, is a very interesting medieval village with stone houses, narrow alleys, green fields and view of the high mountains. The trek is short today, so you will have lot of time to enjoy this legendary village. Kagbeni is gateway to legendary Upper Mustang and Lo Monthang.
NOTE: Upper Mustang is a controlled trekking region so a separate special permit is required to travel there.
Overnight: Lodge
Walking Time: 3 - 4 hours
Difference in Elevation: - 960m

Day 15: Trek Kagbeni to Marpha (2670m): Now we start following Kali Gandaki river enjoying the view of Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri and Tukuche peaks. We walk through district administrative headquarter of Mustang district, Jomsom (2750m). It is a fairly big village with numerous modern facilities, including a small domestic airport (which is only connected to Pokhara). We continue walking about 2 hours to Marpha (2670). Marpha is a small charming village of Thakali people and all the houses are made by mud and stones with narrow street paved with flat stones. Marpha is very popular for its apples, apple Raksi (spirit) and apple cider. We visit the Marpha Monastery as well.
Overnight: Lodge
Walking Time: 5 - 6 hours
Difference in Elevation: - 130m

Day 16: Trek Marpha to Kalopani (2560m): We continue our trek enjoying the Marpha valley through the Apple gardens and following the Kali Gandaki River passing through several Thakali villages. As we approach to Kalopani, we can have a great view of North face of Annapurna I (8091m).
Overnight: Lodge
Walking time: 6 hours
Difference in Elevation: -110m

Day 17: Trek Kalopani to Tatopani (1190m): As we continue our trek, we descend steeply through forest of Ghasa (2080m) and go through several small settlements. Tatopani is situated at the end of the deepest gorge in the world, Andha Galchi. Tatopani means "Hot Water" in Nepali language, named after a natural hot spring down by the Kali Gandaki river.
Overnight: Lodge
Walking time: 6 - 7 hours
Difference in Elevation: -1370m

Day 18: Trek Tatopani to Ghorepani (2860m): Today we leave the Kali Gandaki valley behind and climb towards Sanctuary valley. We continue our climb passing through many villages including Ghara, Sikha and Chitre. It is one of the longest day of the trek taking about 7 - 8 hours but the scenery of the landscapes and mountain views are absolutely stunning throughout the whole day. Ghorepani is one of the well-known destinations for the short trekking in Nepal, where you would be able to enjoy its breathtaking views.
Overnight: Lodge
Walking time: 7 - 8 hours
Difference in Elevation: + 1670m

Day 19: Trek Ghorepani to Tikhedhunga (1540m): In the early morning we hike to Poon hill (3210m) for the wonderful mountain scenery at sunrise, including Dhaulagiri( 8167m), Fishtail(6998m), Annapurna I (8091m), Annapurna II( 7939m), Annapurna III(7555m), Annapurna IV(7525m), Himchuli(6441m), Annapurna South(7219m), Tukuche Peak(6920m), and Lamjung Himal(6986m). From Poon Hill we retrace our steps back to Ghorepani. After breakfast we continue our trek, descending to Tikhedhunga (1540m), walking through rhododendron forest. It is downhill trek for whole day.
Overnight: Lodge
Walking time: 6 hours
Difference in Elevation: - 1320m

Day 20: Trek Tikhedhunga to Nayapul and drive to Pokhara (820m): Today is the last day of our trek taking us down to Nayapul where we catch our vehicle to drive back to Pokhara.
Overnight: Hotel
Walking time: 5 hours
Driving time: 1 ½ hours
Difference in Elevation: -720m

Day 21: Flight Pokhara to Kathmandu (1334m): A scenic flight back to Kathmandu.
Overnight: Hotel
Flight Time: 30 minutes
Difference in Elevation: + 514m

Day 22: Visit Bhaktapur: We drive for an hour to visit an ancient city, Bhaktapur.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 23: Transfer to the Kathmandu airport and departure

Note: Drive-able dirt road has been built in some parts of this trek so you might see some vehicle movements at the beginning and end of the trek.

Cost Includes

  • Transfers airport / hotel / airport
  • Welcome dinner at one of the traditional Nepali restaurants
  • Hotel in Kathmandu and Pokhara on twin sharing BB basis
  • Transport, guided visits & entry of the monuments in Kathmandu
  • Private vehicle Kathmandu - Besisahar
  • Domestic flight ticket Pokhara - Kathmandu as per Itinerary
  • Domestic airport taxes
  • Trekking permit /TIMS, and conservation entry fee
  • A professional tour / trekking guide and porters.
  • Meals Full board during trek
  • Drinks (Tea and Coffee only)
  • Accommodation in Lodge during the trek
  • Your international flight re-confirmation
  • All necessary documents and government tax
  • Insurance for all staff (including guide, porters, assistant guide)

Cost Excludes

  • International Flights
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory and we strongly advise you to take out to cover accident / repatriation helicopter / medical care)
  • Personal expenses such as snacks, cold drinks, mineral water, alcoholic drinks, telephone etc
  • Emergency evacuation rescue charge, if needed
  • Alternative / additional transportation (flights / vehicles), accommodation in case of bad weather, flood, landslide, heavy rain, strike, road blockade etc
  • Tips for trekking staff or car / bus driver

Special Note: This Itinerary can be customized according to the duration of your holiday. The Trek can be operated with Lodge/tea house and /or camping accommodation, based on your preference. We have many options for shorter visits based on your interests and budget. For the Pokhara - Kathmandu segment, we can depart by flight or by bus / van.

NOTE: The price of the tour will be adjusted according to the group size.

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