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Annapurna Circuit trek

Annapurna Circuit trek

Annapurna Circuit Trek

One of the world’s best trekking and walking areas popular by the name Annapurna, which is part of the Himalayan chain, located in the western part of Nepal. Depend with the availability of the time there are various routes like just to cover the glimpse of Annapurna or going around the Annapurna or going to the basecamp so one can see the unparalleled beauty of the mountains and local lifestyle of mountain people. Is practically a land of gurkhas as well as many of the gurkha soldier coming from these areas. Depend with where you go but the gateway to Annapurna is Pokhara, a fertile valley with a million population except you want to make Annapurna circuit. Annapurna circuit trek start from Beshisahar, is a small hill town located in the hilly area of western Nepal. Mostly the trail passes through the mountain village, terraced farming, forest and on the higher elevation may be some pastures as well.

Annapurna circuit trek start practically at low elevation Beshisahar (830m.) and reach up to highest pass of the area Thorung La (5416 m.). This gives opportunity for the trekker see the lifestyle of people behind these eight thousand meter peaks, specially a rain shadow area, visit popular pilgrimage site and sacred temple of Muktinath and discover the world’s deepest gorge in Kaligandaki valley.  Flora and fauna, mountain lakes and glaciers as well as glacial valleys and talus deposits are of special interest to people.

Highlight of the Annapurna Circuit Trek

An included sightseeing in Kathmandu that gives opportunity to discover the famous monuments in Kathmandu and recover from Jetlag before starting the trip and even prepare for the trek like gears shopping, hiring etc.

The world famous Marshyangdi valley is traversed all the way almost up to the starting point of the river. Trekking in the valley is the best way to observe the valley made by river and the landscape made by the river.

To see all the terraced farming, once was a river flood plain but now a day developed a farmland with irrigation facilities and they can grow rice twice a year which helps feeding the people.

Annapurna circuit trek gives opportunity to discover the rain shadow area behind the mountains. As all the rain bearing wind is blocked by these giant mountains, the rain bearing wind which start in Bay of Bengal collided against the mountains resulting the front side of the mountains where it rains more in Nepal and back side of the mountain where they receive very less rain and most of the time with dry air.

As the trek offers the views of Annapurna Mountain all around the trek is equally popular by the name around Annapurna trek. The views of Annapurna peaks are even better from backside as the distance are very short from the trails.

Annapurna circuit trek takes to the one of the highest pass in Nepal Thorung-La with an elevation of 5,416 meter above sea level and give opportunity to observe the breathtaking views of surrounding area.

Annapurna circuit trek gives opportunity to discover a popular glacial lake of the area Gangapurna which often change color with different season.

Annapurna circuit trek also pass through the village of Muktinath and Muktinath considered spiritual and pilgrimage center for both Hindus and Buddhist. Many Hindus offer a special prayers and memory day for deceased member in the family at Kagbeni . Organizing a memory day there the deceased will secure good position in the heaven.

The apple capital of Nepal, Marpha is on the way so one can get opportunity to observe the apple farming in the area.

The world’s deepest gorge is located in the trek as the Dhawalagiri, one of the eight thousand meter peak rises up the valley of Kaligandaki which is deepening day by day. From the bank of Kaligandaki river they collect ammonite fossils which they consider was a life in Jurassic time at the sea bottom.

The Annapurna circuit trek includes the best point to observe the Annapurna range, Poonhill , which is even a highlight of many treks in Annapurna area.

Annapurna circuit trek covers most part of Annapurna Conservation Area which is preserved by Annapurna Conservation Area Project and the ACAP is one of the successful projects to preserve biodiversity, vegetation and culture of the area. The entry fees they collect from the trekkers are partially utilized for the betterment of the society in the conservation area.

Annapurna circuit trek passes through different villages which follow different religion and the villages of different ethnic groups which give opportunity to mingle with vivid culture of all these ethnic groups.

Annapurna circuit trek end in Pokhara, the second important tourist town in Nepal after Kathmandu. One can have some free days to observe these touristic city or just chill out at the shore of the lake with your favorite drink observing the lake and one can stroll around the lake observing the serenity and calmness of the lake.

Demerit of Annapurna circuit trek

Everywhere up to Manang from Beshisahar and from Muktinath up to Tatopani they made the rough road which is not blacktopped and lot of trails now coincides with the rough road they made and as people are walking they got distracted by passing vehicles frequently killing the beauty of walking in that area. In summer days even it is full of dust in part of the trail.

What are the alternatives?

Instead of doing the whole Annapurna Circuit Trek one can take a drive for part of the sections like from Beshisahar to Chame and even from Muktinath or Jomsom to Tataopani  and rest of the trails which are beautiful to walk. If you are lacking time then you can also take a flight back to Pokhara from Jomsom.  As the trekking contain a high pass of Throung-La, driving all the way to Manang and continue the trek might result in unsuccessful trek or incomplete trek due to acute mountain sickness. If you do not have a prior exposure to high altitude we don’t recommend you to drive beyond Chame for successful completion of your dream trek. If somebody worries about taking the small planes from Jomsom to Pokhara one can take a jeep or local bus depending with how thick your wallet is for that part. From Pokhara one can go to Chitwan National Park before returning to Kathmandu.  

  • Itinerary
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Annapurna Circuit Trek Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1300m.).
Meet and greet by our guide or representative and transfer to your hotel.

Day 02: Sightseeing of Kathmandu.
Introductory trip to Kathmandu including sightseeing of one of the old palace complex, popular by the name Patan Durbar square, a Buddhist temple popular by the name monkey temple among the foreigners but is called Swoyambhunath and a Hindu temple Pashupatinath, a popular cremation ground for many hindus of Kathmandu. All these places are listed by UNESCO as world heritages. Afternoon time free for doing trek preparation.

Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Beshisahar (830m).
After leaving Kathmandu road follows Trisuliriver downstream then immediately it follows Marshyangdi river upstream to reach a hill town Beshisahar. It might take 7-8 hours in the bus as it depends with traffic condition more than the distance.

Day 04: Trek from Beshisahar to Bahundanda (1350m.), 5-6 hours of walking.
Take a walk in a rough road to Bhulbhule and continue ascending to Bahundanda, as name suggests a settlement for Brahmin people from Nepal. One can observe nice terraces and if weather permits some snowcapped mountains.

Day 05: Trek from Bahundanda to Chyamje (1310m), 6-7 hours of walking.
Trail descends to Syange located on the bank of river. One can see some waterfalls, rice growing terraces and some gurung villages then slowly gains altitude as you go upstream.

Day 06: Trek from Chyamje to Dharapani (1960m.), 5-6 hours of walking.
Ascends up to a small valley called Tal, literally meaning Lake. From Tal continue walking until you reach Dharapani, a meeting place for the people who completed Manaslu trek.

Day 07: Trek from Dharapani to Chame (2710m), 6-7 hours of walking.
Going up following a small trail and some dirt roads take you to the one of the biggest village of Manang. Chame is the districts headquarter also, so most of the administrative offices of the area concentrated in Chame.

Day 08: Trek from Chame to Pisang (3200m.), 5-6 hour of walking.
An isolated village of Buddhist people one can reach making some ups and downs. Normally crosses a pine forest popular for chir pines. One can climb up to upper Pisang observe some Buddhist monastery and do some acclimatization.

Day 09: Trek from Pisang to Manang Village (3500m.), 6-7 hours of walking.
The trek ascends gently to reach Humde where small STOL airport located for some charter flight. Pass through a Braga village, housing pattern with mud roofs frequently displaying a collection of firewood on the roof top. After reaching Manang one can get a breathtaking view of Annapurnas, Gangapurna and a greenish blue lake on the other side of the river.

Day 10: Acclimatization day at Manang Village.
As one of the fertile and biggest village behind the Annapurna one can go around to observe the daily life and take a rest. One can walk to a small monastery located to the hill side where couple of monks stay there normally invites for foreigners for a cup of tea. One can cross the river and go to see the Gangapurna Glacier on the other side. 

Day 11: Trek from Manang to Yak Kharka (4110m.), 3-4 hours of walking.
As altitude going high and prepare for doing a pass, this is one of the easy day and afternoon free to relax.

Day 12: Trek from Yak Kharka to ThorungPhedi (4400m.), 3-4 hours of walking.
Phedi refers foot of any of the mountain. Before arriving to ThorungPhedi still has good views of the mountains.

Day 13: Trek to Thorunglapass (5416m) and descend down to Muktinath (3800m.), depend with the season and condition of snow it might take 8-9 hours to do the whole trip. Suppose to start early in the morning to avoid the chilly air at the pass. There are normally people selling tea at the top of the pass.

Day 14: Visit Muktinath and trek to Marpha (2670m.), 6-7 hours of walking.
Muktinath is famous pilgrimage center for both Buddhist and Hindu people and has a temple of Vishnu. Hindus take a holy dip in a small pool of the water after taking shower at 108 natural water spouts available there. Next to the main temple, there is a monastery with continuous eternal flame. Treks descends to Jharkot, one of the greenest villages of the area due to their poplar trees and still continues to Jomsom, the headquarters of Mustang area and descend down to Marpha considered as apple capital of Nepal.

Day 15: Trek from Marpha to Ghasa (2120m.), 6-7 hours of walking.
After leaving Marpha, follow the kaligandaki river downstream passing two of the important Thakali villages Kobang and Tukuche. Thakalis are famous for cooking dalbhat, a typical Nepali food consisting of rice, lentil and vegetables with probably chicken curry or mutton curry.

Day 16: Trek from Ghasa to Tatopani (1200m.), 6-7 hours of walking.
Continue descending, following the bank of Kaligandakiriver until reaching Tatopani. Tatopani in Nepalese signify hot water and this place is very famous for having natural hot spring. Afternoon time can take a bath in one of the pool of hot water.

Day 17: Trek from Tatopani to Ghorepani (2850m.), 7-8 hours of walking.
The day pass through world’s deepest gorge in Tatopani as the difference between height of Dhawalagiri and Tatopani is the heighest of the world. One of the difficult days of the trek as more or less all the trail goes up until reaching Ghorepani. The trail pass through villages and rhododendron forest.

Day 18: Hike to Poonhill (3210m.) early in the morning and trek from Ghorepani to Tadapani (2540m.), 4-5 hours of walking. Poonhill is the popular Mountain View point including Dhawalagiri, Annapurna South, Fishtail and Annapurna I with small peaks. After the sunrise trip to Poonhill, start doing trekking towards Tadapani, the village located totally inside the forest of rhododendron and has a spectacular view of Hiunchuli, Annapurna south and Fishtail.

Day 19: Trek from Tadapani to Nayapul and drive to Pokhara, 6-7 hours of walking and 2 hours of driving. The trail descend down to Ghanduk, a typical Gurung village of the area, further sharp descend to Syaulibazar and follows the bank of Modikhola until reaching Nayapul. Take a transport from there to reach Pokhara.

Day 20: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu.
6-7 hours scenic drive on Prithvi highway to reach Kathmandu.

Day 21: Departure from Kathmandu.
On your proper timing you can go to airport or take some side trips like doing a sightseeing or may go for safaris if time permits.

Price Includes:

Airport transfers including pickups and drop in private vehicle.
Descent accomodation in Kathmandu.
Teahouse accomodation during the trek.
All meals during the trek with a cup of tea, coffee, hot chocolate every meals.
Welcome dinner.
Introductory city tour as per the itinerary.
Monument admission fees as per the itinerary.
Experienced English speaking local guides.
Porter (Every 2 trekker 1 porter and carrry about 25 kg of weight.)
Staff's expense.
Down Jacket and sleeping bag for use during the trek.
A comfortable Duffel bag for the trek.
All permits and fees.
All government taxes.

Price Excludes:

  • Nepal Visa fees. Most of the countries obtain the visa in the airport. Visa fees are $30 for 15 days, $50 for one month.
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu except mentioned in itinerary
  • Bar and beverage bill during the trek
  • Hot shower and battery recharge during the trek
  • Insurance for evacuation and medical facilities
  • Expense of personal nature like phone calls, laundry, extra porter
  • Tips for guides, drivers and porters (you can see the tipping guideline in our tipping page)
  • Trekking equipment like trekking poles, water bottles etc.

One of the world's nicest hikes and the trek goes around the Annapurna range. The trip give idea of different type of landscape at front and back side of the Himalayas.