Overview The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a captivating journey that takes trekkers through some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes of the Annapurna region in Nepal. Spanning approximately 300 kilometers, this trek also offers a remarkable blend of natural beauty, cultural immersion, and thrilling adventure. The trek usually begins in the vibrant city of Kathmandu, where trekkers make their way to the starting point in Besisahar. From there, the trail also winds through picturesque villages, lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and terraced fields, gradually ascending towards the majestic Himalayan peaks. Annapurna Circuit Trek: A Journey to Majestic Peaks and Cultural Marvels As…
The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a captivating journey that takes trekkers through some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes of the Annapurna region in Nepal. Spanning approximately 300 kilometers, this trek also offers a remarkable blend of natural beauty, cultural immersion, and thrilling adventure.
The trek usually begins in the vibrant city of Kathmandu, where trekkers make their way to the starting point in Besisahar. From there, the trail also winds through picturesque villages, lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and terraced fields, gradually ascending towards the majestic Himalayan peaks.
As trekkers ascend higher, they also get treatment with breathtaking vistas of snow-capped mountains, including the iconic Annapurna massif, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail). The high point of the trek is the Thorong La Pass, standing at an elevation of 5,416 meters, which offers unparalleled panoramic views and a sense of triumph upon reaching its summit.
Apart from the stunning natural landscapes, the Annapurna Circuit Trek also provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich local culture. Along the way, trekkers encounter diverse ethnic communities such as Gurungs, Thakalis, and Manangis, each with their own unique traditions, architecture, and cuisine. This cultural tapestry adds a fascinating dimension to the trek, allowing for interactions with friendly locals and visits to ancient monasteries, prayer flags, and chortens.
Accommodation options also vary from teahouses along the trail to basic lodges in the remote villages, providing a glimpse into the rustic mountain life. Delicious Nepali meals like dal bhat (lentil soup with rice) and momos (dumplings) fuel trekkers for the challenging days ahead.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek typically takes around 15-20 days to complete, depending on the chosen itinerary and individual pace. It is recommended to undertake this trek during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons when the weather is relatively stable, offering clear skies and moderate temperatures.
Overall, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is a truly transformative adventure, combining natural grandeur, cultural richness, and physical endurance. It is an experience that leaves trekkers with lifelong memories and a profound appreciation for the wonders of the Himalayas and the indomitable spirit of Nepal.
The key highlights of the Annapurna Circuit Trek include:
We take a bus for the five-hour drive to the end of the road, either at Besi Sahar or a bit farther depending on the road conditions, where we stay the overnight. At Bhulbhule.
After early breakfast we hit the trail. We have about three hours of hot but pleasant walking; we are trekking in the typical Nepali middle hills now, and the scenery is gentle, muted. After crossing a suspension bridge at Bhulbhule, the trail passes a cascading waterfall, and as we traverse the rice terraces, the views of Manaslu are magnificent. Following a gentle incline we come to the village of Ngadi with its picturesque shops,From here we climb, steep and hot, to Bahundanda. Bahundanda literally means “hill of the Brahmins” and it is the most northerly Brahmin settlement in the Marsyangdi Valley, situated high up on a ridge.
A steep trail descends from Bahundanda through green rice terraces before crossing a stream at the bottom of a small waterfall. It then climbs again and traverses the hillside high above the river before reaching the village of Hani Gaon. Ahead, the Marsyangdi valley forms a steep V-shape, and we follow the winding mountain path down through Syange and along the river for some distance. The trail then climbs steeply and the path is cut into the sheer cliff-face some 200-300m above the riverbed. Eventually we descend to the atmospheric village of Jagat, situated on a shelf which juts into the precipitous Marsyangdi valley, where we spend the night at a Tibetan-run lodge.
We awake to a morning climb, head steeply up through a forest to a wonderful teahouse just before Chamje and marked by a magnificent waterfall on the opposite bank. Chamje is an atmospheric village of traditional-style teahouses, often packed with saddled local horses. After descending to the river and crossing a suspension bridge, we begin a steep climb to some small teahouses at Sattale. After chai, we continue on an undulating path above the river, climb the switch-backing path to the top of the hill, and are treated to the sight of Tal below us on a wide plain by the river. Though it is enclosed by cliffs, the level area is reassuring after the slightly harrowing mountain paths on which we have just traveled. Beyond Tal and the checkpost, the valley narrows and the path becomes high and winding, and in several areas is actually hewn from the rock. Beyond the small village of Karte, there is a bit more exposed trail walking before the path drops again to the river. We cross a suspension bridge, and climb the short distance to the stone kani marking the entrance to Dharapani
Continuing to climb through forests of pine and oak, we pass through Danagyu before coming to a thundering waterfall, where we turn left and head up the high trail to Koto. After an hour of lovely, open forests, we reach a clearing at the top of the trail and a charming Tibetan teahouse where we will stop for a break. Pausing for breath, we can look back for views of Manaslu. An hour away is the wonderful Gurung village of Timang, where the villagers might be harvesting their crops of buckwheat or stuffing local sausages. Heading back down to the village of Koto Qupar, our base for the trek up to Nar Phu, we can look straight up at nearby Annapurna II – a stunning sight convincing us that we are deep in the Himalayan mountains! Many of the villagers are the from Nar Phu valley; this is the gateway to their region. Less than an hour brings us to Chame, the local administrative center of Manang, and a large village packed with small shops and tea-houses, an army post and a large school. We bed down here for the evening.
It’s a beautiful walk from Chame to Pisang, through woods with some small ascents, and wonderful views of the peaks soaring above us. It’s just a five hour day, so we’ll have the afternoon in Pisang to explore the village, with it’s Tibetan mani stones and gompa, perhaps taking a walk up to Upper Pisang for amazing views of Annapurna II and Annapurna III. Overnight.
6 hours walk past a series of unique and colorful chortens to Manang, at 3500m, a village of 500 or so flat-roofed houses, the headquarters for the region, and an interesting village packed with trekkers, bakeries and lodges. Manang is dominated by high peaks – Annapurna III and Gangapurna tower over it, and a dramatic icefall sits just across the river. There is an old gompa on the edge of town, many local teahouses, and some atmospheric, winding streets in the village leading out toward the Thorung La. Finally, guest houses, showers, cold beers! There is a 3 o’clock lecture on altitude by the Himalayan Rescue Association for anyone interested. Overnight.
Today is our acclimatization day, with lots of options; a long day-hike to the Ice Lake, a visit to the ‘Hundred Ruppee Lama’ at the cave gompa above Manang, a two-hour hike to Milarepa’s cave across the river from Braga, the HRA talk, or a tour of Manang’s many bakeries. A hike up 300 meters or so for acclimatization is recommended, but nothing too strenuous is required. The guest house is wonderful, a sunny and warm place to gaze at the peaks in the afternoon. Overnight
It’s not a long day today, but we gain some altitude, so should take it slowly. En route, we will undoubtedly be passed along the trail by galloping Manangi horses, saddled with wonderful (and expensive) Tibetan wool saddle blankets, and their jubilant Manangi riders, bells jingling as they gallop by. We climb past Tengi and Gunsang to Yak Kharka. Overnight.
An easy two or three hour walk up to the Thorung La Base Camp Hotel at Thorung Phedi, and after an early lunch, another hour or so to hike up to the lodge at High Camp, where we will stay the night, getting to bed early for our early morning start the next day; pass day! If anyone is having problems with altitude, we have the option of staying at Thorung Phedi Base Camp, where we had lunch, a nice spot to spend the afternoon with its glass windows. Overnight.
Up early for the three or four hour walk to the top of the Thorung La at 5400m, where we are treated with spectacular views over Mustang and the surrounding peaks. The descent is almost as demanding as the ascent to the top of the pass, so a cup of chai and a snack at the local tea house at Chabarbu, at the bottom of the descent, is a required stop. And on to lower Mustang, which we have actually reached just after the pass, and the serene temple complex of Muktinath.
Muktinath is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Hindus situated in a tranquil grove of trees, and contains a wall of 108 waterspouts in the shape of cows heads spouting sacred water, the Jwala Mai temple with a perpetual spouting flame and the pagoda-styled Vishnu Mandir, all of which make up the auspicious combination of earth, fire and water. We stay just five minutes down the trail from Muktinath at Ranipauwa.
We have a nice morning’s walk down the Kali Gandaki riverbed, looking for saligrams along the way, to Jomsom, the administrative center for the region. The Kali Gandaki valley gets incredibly windy in the early afternoon, so important to arrive before noon; we’ll have lunch in Jomsom, and there is a bank if anyone needs to change money. Here there is an airport with regular flights to Pokhara, a bank, post office, hospital and few hotels. Permits are checked here.
Later confirm the flights to Pokhara Take a Shower , Rest day, Sightseeing around etc Overnight in Jomsom Hotel.
Early morning wake up and take the 25 minutes flight to Pokhara. The flight operates only in the mornings before the wind blows up. Pokhara, at 915m, is the country’s second largest city, located on the West bank of the Seti River. Only foothills separate Pokhara from the full height of the Himalayas, and the magnificent 8000m peaks of the Annapurna range. It is a vacationer’s paradise with its crystal clear lakes and fantastic views of the Annapurna range including the Fish Tail Mountain.
Upon arrival, check into the Hotel.
The rest of the day is free to roam the lakeside bazaar with its quaint shops and the lakeside restaurants.
Early morning we return back to Kathmandu on a tourist bus or private Transport. The 200 km route first goes along the Marsyangdi River and then the Trishuli river giving us a good look at the natural scenery and farmland. The bus makes one last climb and we are back in the valley of the gods, Kathmandu. We wish you have a memorable journey trekking Annapurna Circuit.
In the Above Cost It Includes:
1. Airport Pick-up and Drop Off,
2. Licensed and trained trekking guides,
3. potters for carrying goods and supplies,
4. 4 Nights Accommodation in the 3 Star Hotel in Kathmandu with B & B. (Bed
5. All accommodation during the trek.
6. All meals and hot beverages during the trek.
7. Transportation to and from trail head.
8. All necessary documents and permits for trekking (where applicable)
9. National Park/Conservation Area entry Permit, Equipment such as tents And Mattresses, Cooking Equipment, Camp site charges, Insurance, and
equipment for the staffs.
10. Coordination of quick Rescue service (Costs covered by your Insurance Plan)
11. Trekking staffs wages etc.
12. 1 hr. trekker massage after your trek.
Services and Cost Does not Included in Price:
1. International Airfares,
2. Travel/Trekking Insurance,
3. Excess baggage charges More than 16kg and hand bag more than 5 kg in
4. Visa fees.
5. Airport Departure Taxes.
6. Drinks (Cold and Alcoholic) Rescue charge.
7. Tips for The staffs.
8. Expenses of Personnel nature and Permit and Liaison officer fee (where Applicable.
9. Meals during stay in the Kathmandu.
10. Domestic Ticket Etc.
The trek starts from the town of Besishahar and takes around 16-21 days to complete, depending on the route and pace of the trekker. The trek takes you through the Marsyangdi Valley and over the Thorong La Pass (5416m), which is the highest point of the trek. Along the way, you will pass through traditional Gurung and Thakali villages, where you can experience their unique culture and traditions.
Overall, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is an unforgettable experience that combines adventure, culture, and natural beauty. It is a must-do trek for anyone looking to explore the Himalayas and experience the best of Nepal.