Annapurna Circuit Trek is an astonishing walk around Annapurna Himalayas and has been one of the major hiking destinations for travelers visiting Nepal. Get indulged into diversified natural settings from tropical dense green rhododendron forests to alpine surroundings. Walk across the suspension bridge enjoying waterfalls, glaciers, Annapurna Himalayan range and interact with local people that will make your hike extra special when you get opportunity to feel friendly hospitality served with smile on a face.
Basically, our circuit trek circumferences Annapurna that starts from Besisahar lying at 800m elevation and goes up to height of 5416m at popular Thorong La Pass. This beautiful Annapurna walk takes us around three weeks to complete approximately 150 miles route. We shall relish relaxing landscape terraced farming views, culturally affluent villages and get close to numerous snow capped Himalayas. Namingly: Manaslu (8156 m), Annapurna 1 (8,091 m) and Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Mt Annapurna II (7,940m), Mt Annapurna III (7,550m), Mt Annapurna IV (7,525m), Annapurna South (7,220m), Tilicho Peak (7,135m), Nilgiri (7,040m), Mt. Fishtail (6,998m), Lamjung Himal (6,985m), Himchuli (6,445m) and Tukuche Peak (6,920m).
Usually, we leave dense magically blossoming rhododendron forests behind when we hike across Manang. And enter into Tibetan alike geographical surroundings with prayer flags, monasteries with Tibetan influenced culture and tradition. After crossing Thorong La Pass, Annapurna circuit trekking route takes us to Hindu pilgrimage site of Muktinath. Muktinath holds great religious importance for both Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims. In this way, eventually, we walk further lowlands through rice, wheat terrace farmlands and apple orchids. During the ending days, we shall enjoy excellent sunrise/sunset views of Poon hill and drive to Pokhara which ends our one of a kind, Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Is Annapurna Circuit Trek for me?
Traveling Style: Annapurna Circuit Trek is an outdoor adventure that involves trekking, hiking and exploring opportunities while circling around Annapurna. It is a tea house trekking adventure, where you spent a night at different tea house / lodge every day. Start a journey early in the morning and have an amazing trekking experience.
Service Level: There are comfortable and clean hotels, private and public transportation with numerous other activities to offer.
Fitness Rating: It is a challenging trek that possesses crossing high altitude passes in a diversified topographical structure.
Annapurna Circuit Trek – 19 days Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu (1338m/4390ft)
When your flight touches Kathmandu Airport (TIA), your plans of trekking Annapurna Circuit finally comes into play. First of all complete your visa and airport custom formalities; then you will meet our office representative holding a display board with your name on it at the arrival gate. He will then transfer you to your hotel and assist you in checking into hotel with few refreshments. Enjoy your first night stay at hotel in Kathmandu in comfortable manner.
Day 2: Kathmandu sightseeing and trek preparation
Kathmandu, the cultural and economical hub of nation is popular site with plenty of UNESCO world heritage sites. Basically, we shall go for sightseeing around these heritage sites from Kathmandu Durbar Square (or Patan Durbar Square), Swayambhunath Stupa, Boudhanath Stupa and Pashupatinath Temple. Get plenty of cultural influences, witnessing the jatras, festivals that happens during most of the time, enjoy visit to Hindu temples, Buddhist monasteries and stupas.
After completion of our sightseeing program, meet Icicles Adventure representative and your trekking guide for a brief trip discussion. They can assist you with checking your gears and you may hire/buy any equipment that seems missing in your pack. Stay overnight in hotel in Kathmandu. Included Meal: Breakfast
Day 3: Drive from Kathmandu to Besishahar and to Syange (1100m/3600 ft)
Today we shall take a comfortable and scenic country side drive from Kathmandu to Besisahar via Kathmandu-Pokhara highway. Leaving Kathmandu behind you drive through snaky mountain road. You cross several small streams and run parallel to Trishuli River. You may see people rafting in the Trishuli river. After you cross the bridge in Mungling, we drive parallel to Marshyandi River. We some time see beautiful views of snow capped Himalayas most of which belongs to Manaslu range and surrounding peaks. After nearly 7 hours of drive, with quick stop for lunch along the route, finally we reach Beshisahar which is also the headquarter of Lamjung district. It used to be the starting point of trek until couple of years ago, but at present condition due to road being constructed further, we prefer to drive up to Syange. Almost every supplies to higher altitude valleys and villages passes through this route and we can see local marketplace here carrying out their deals on commodities. We stay overnight at local teahouse. Driving time: 7-8 hours drive. Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4: Trek from Syange to Dharapani (1960m/6100ft)
Just after getting up at Syange, we enjoy hearty breakfast. Our trekking route comprises gradual descends through beautiful forests. Crossing a river over suspension bridge, we start to ascend to Tal. After walking along the narrow cliffs and ridges, we find ourselves around the rocky settings, and further crossing local village of Karte, we will again gradually descend to riverside. After crossing the river over beautiful windy and slowly swinging from steps of people passing by, we spot a mani stone marked with matras and chants on it. This place is called Dharapani and we stay overnight here at one of the local teahouse. Walking time: 6 to 7 hours, Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5: Trek from Dharapani to Chame (2630m/8890ft)
It shall be around 500m gain in altitude today while we make more of ascends with few descends from Dharapani to Chame. Our trekking day begins as we slowly hike up through beautiful refreshing pine and oak trees that leads us to Danaque. Further we do cross small wooden bridge and it will be steep ascend to Temang which is situated at base of Lamjung peak. From this point beautiful views of Manaslu Himalayan range is visible and also couple of teahouses here are available, we have our lunch over here and path turns into more flat and straight from there. After about an hour walking easily, we cross Thanchok settlement over there popular for Apple products and thirty minutes from there takes us to Chame. Chame is the headquarter of Manang district. Walking time: 5 to 6 hours, Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6: Trek from Chame to Pisang (3200m/10824ft)
Our morning at Chame would be beautiful and sparkling as warm rays of sun sparkles nearby Lamjung Himal (6894m). Boarding on from our teahouse on our foot, taking steps enjoying the natural settings and surroundings, we take steep climb to a place called Bhartang. We take on that challenge and pull it off with help of trekking leader’s recommendation, decision and followon through jungle walk in between trees, floras, faunas entering into the valley at end of the day called Pisang. We see Pisang peak(6091m) with other nearby Annapurna Himalayas today and stay overnight at local lodge. Walking time: 5 to 6 hours, Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7: Trek from Pisang to Manang (3540m/11611ft)
As we cross 3500m of altitude today, we can see slight change in our topographical surroundings. The trekking route is much drier at upper half of Manang district. Yak herding and local agricultural farming are major practices and occupation of local inhabitants. Leaving behind Pisang, we climb steep ridge that allows us to enjoy great views of Manang valley. Further taking the southern route through tiny airstrip at Hongde(3325m) gradually, we pass through Ngwal village. Marshyandi river that we see again meets us at Mungi. In this way trekking for further an hour take us to Manang where we shall stay two night for acclimatization. Overnight stay at local lodge. Walking time: 5 to 6 hours, Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8: Manang Acclimatization Day (Optional hike to Gangapurna lake or Melarepa cave)
Proper acclimatization is important as it helps us to avoid altitude sickness usually seen commonly during high altitude treks. Therefore assisting acclimatization and letting our body adapt the change in surroundings is what we do today. We shall do scenic walk around Manang village and do hike upto Gangapurna lake or Melaripa cave so that we reach at higher grounds and return to lower ones for sleep. This process is considered as the most effective way to tackle acute mountain sickness. At Manang there is also Himalayan Rescue Association and if you are interested in volunteering then you can also assist western doctors here who are basically there to create awareness on altitude sickness and challenges that we have to face in coming next few days while crossing Thorongla pass. Later today we return to our tea house at Manang and stay overnight there. Walking time: 3 to 4 hours, Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 9: Trek from Manang to Yak Kharka (or you can push up to Ledar) (4110m/13484ft)
We leave behind Manang village today crossing over the river stream. It shall be challenging walk as mostly it is climbing activity through tough terrains above 4000m of altitude. Then we shall arrive at small Tenki village settlement from where we descend towards Jarsang valley, again cross the river, have our lunch at nearby lunchsite and take on the streneous steep climb towards Yak Kharka which is basically a Yak grazing field or in simply words Yak pasture land where we can see few Yaks grazing on grounds. Above this point there are no any greenery, we feel like we have entered into alpine surroundings now after. If you can and is interested then with consultation with our professional trekking leader, you can hike upto Ledar today. We stay overnight at local lodge at Yak Kharka. Walking time: 4 to 5 hours, Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 10: Trek from Yak Kharka to Thorang Phedi (4420m/14501ft)
Thorang Phedi can be also considered as base of Thorongla pass or popular stop before we cross that high altitude pass. Today we leave behind the Yak Kharka, initially there is short descend towards riverside of Marshyandi River passing. Here after this riverside lunch we ascend towards Ledar and at the end of day, we arrive at Thorong Phedi at 4600m above sea level. According to season, your fitness level and level of interest, you might also take a step forward towards Thorong high camp for night stay. But most of the time we stop at Thorang Phedi. Overnight stay at local lodge. Walking time: 4 to 5 hours, Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 11: Trek from Thorong Phedi, cross Thorongla Pass
(5416m/17769ft) and trek to Muktinath (3800m/12467ft)
Today shall be the most important, challenging as well as rewarding day as we cross Thorong La Pass, the highest point of this trek, and heavenly site at 5416m elevation standing tall at eye level with Annapurna Himalayas. We start our day early today before sunrise between 4 to 5 AM as reaching we target to arrive at high pass before 10 am. Strong wind and clouds are common phenomenon at that point after noon, so we try to avoid that as far as possible while taking the best views like never before. This part of the trail is quite dangerous too, as heavy snowfall may cause interruption to plans and worst case scenarios, therefore according to weather condition of that exact time, with consulting your trip leader and following his instructions is compulsory. Don’t simply follow your instincts or other group members. Always trust experienced and professional trekking guide leading your group. From Thorong La pass we can see panoramic views of Annapurna Himalayas, surrounding us from all directions including other peaks like Yakgawa Kang, Khatung Gang, etc.
Further gentle descend changes to steeper one and we slowly approach popular pilgrimage site of Muktinath. Muktinath is well known religious site for both Buddhist and Hindu followers. There we get an opportunity to visit temples, monasteries and major Muktinath temple with 108 surrounding water spouts is the major one. Jwala Mai temple is another attraction of the pilgrimage site. We stay overnight at local lodge in Muktinath. Walking time: 8 to 9 hours, Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 12: Trek from Muktinath to Marpha (2660m/8250ft)
Spiritual essence circulates around our atmosphere as we shall visit holy temple of Muktinath early in the morning today. We shall have our breakfast and walk gradually downhill to Ekley Bhatti. It is quite a steep walk down the trails, so careful and proper use of trekking poles along is required. Take one step at a time, don’t rush; simply enjoy the serene surroundings around and comfortably reach at Ekley Bhatti. Further we push ourselves towards Jomsom, very windy place where you need to have full face mask and wind stopper jacket to avoid windblast. Wind forming across the Valley Mountain and gorges, blows even more strongly at afternoon; therefore we try to cross the downstream of Kaligandaki and arrive at Marpha before noon. This local village of Marpha is popular for apple products and we shall surely taste few. Walking time: 4 to 5 hours, Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 13: Trek from Marpha to Kalopani (2530m/7848ft)
After celebrating apple day at Marpha, we make our way along few local tea shops commonly called as bhattis. Tasting few apple brandy, tea or coffee would be better choice over there. In this similar manner, while comfortably walking on flatter surface, we also get quite splendid views of nearby Dhaulagiri Himalaya. Further we cross Tukuche village and see famous Dhaulagiri icefall where we might stop for a while to take some pictures and enjoy beautiful landscape settings. Our walk then continues towards Largung and Kobang village on more or less flatter surface trail to Kalopani. If you are interested then we can also do some industrial visit to Tikuche Distillery that supplies the drinking water to nearby villages and towns. Walking time: 4 to 5 hours, Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 14: Trek from Kalopani to Tatopani (1190m/3690ft)
We shall get wonderful views of Mt. Annapurna I and other surrounding peaks from Kalopani. Today we will however move towards Tatopani which is more than 1000m down in elevation. Firstly we have our early meal and descend to Dana where we shall be stopping for lunch and we get to see deepest Kaligandaki gorge of the word. Further trekking mostly downhill for 3 hours takes us to Tatopani. From here also, we get to see nice views of Nilgiri and other surrounding peaks. There is natural hotspring at tatopani and we shall take a dip there for relaxation. Later we return to our local lodge at Tatopani. Walking time: 4 to 5 hours, Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 15: Trek from Tatopani to Ghorepani (2780m/9480ft)
Trekking around Nepal Himalayas brings us lots of ups and downs. And as are at 1190m of elevation today, we take a challenging ascend to 2780m hike to Ghorepani. This challenge we are taking also brings lots of cultural and natural influences along. Basically, we cross the villages of Ghare, Shika, Phalate and Chhitre today where most of the local inhabitants are from Magar and Gurung communities with few mixed groups. With quick stops in a middle of trails, jungle walk, narrow paths, we also get fine views of Annapurnas today, however the best view is seen next day from Poonhill viewpoint. We go to bed little early as we need to wake up before sunrise tomorrow. Walking time: 6 to 7 hours, Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 16: Hike from Ghorepani to Poonhill (3210m/10531ft), descend to Tadapani (2630m/8626ft)
Today we hike up early in the morning towards Ponnhill viewpoint before sunrise to see panoramic views of same Annapurna Himalayas. The views will be from different side and gives us new beautiful perspective to snow capped peaks. After approximately 45 minutes to hours of hike to top of hill, we wait eagerly for that magical moment to happen. Then sun rises slowly above Annapurna Himalayan range and worth watching it. Few moments later, we return to Ghorepani for breakfast and continue our trek towards Tadapani.
On the course to Tadapani, we cross beautiful rhododendron trees, see langur monkeys hanging around, with bamboo forests as we arrive at Deurali. We have our lunch at Banthati and take around 30 minutes of climb to arrive at Tadapani where we will be staying in a local lodge today. Walking time: 5 to 6 hours, Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 17: Trek from Tadapani to Ghandruk (1940m/6360ft) and drive to Pokhara
Our more than two weeks of wonderful trekking activity comes to conclusion today. In the final day of walking, we hike from Tadapani to Ghandruk witnessing more of cultural insights of local Gurung communities. Most of the Gurung communities join Gurkha Army at British and Indian Special Forces. Gurkhas are well known for their bravery in battle field and joining Gurkha Army is like tradition of local people living here. So, this place was also close to Prince of Wales Charles who had visited nearby villages during 80’s. And in recent year, in2016, Prince Harry also visited Gurung villages as he also has been close to British Gurkha Army.
In this way, after witnessing plenty of local cultural and natural highlights with stunning views of Machhapuchre, Annapurna South and Himchuli, we walk little down to Pokhara Baglung Highway and take couple of drive towards Pokhara. We stay overnight at comfortable hotel in Pokhara. Walking time: 3 to 4 hours, Driving time: 3 hours, Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 18: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
With take a tourist bus ride to Kathmandu today early in the morning around 7 to 8 AM and arrive at Kathmandu, just in front of Icicles Adventure Office. You can then visit our office and share your Annapurna Circuit adventure or our office representative will assist you in hotel transfer (check in). Later you are welcome to join our farewell dinner at cultural restaurant in Thamel. Stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu. Driving time: 6 to 7 hours, Included Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Day 19: Airport drop and international departure from Kathmandu
After 19 amazing days of your Nepal trip with Annapurna Circuit Trekking adventure, the time comes to leave this beautiful country and fly to your onward destination. Today we will transfer you from your hotel to TIA airport in Kathmandu 3 hours prior your scheduled international flight. And finally we hope that we have been successful in offering you with wonderful travel memories, see you again soon. Farewell. Included Meals: Breakfast
Trip Extension & Excursion Note: We would like to inform you that you can also extend your Annapurna Circuit Trek for extra days at beautiful lake city of Pokhara, or take few hours’ drive to Chitwan for Jungle safari, take scenic Everest flight, tour around Patan/Bhaktapur and/or add some extra thrill by going for bungee jumping, rafting and other adventurous activities.