Trip Facts

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Trip Duration 15 Days
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Trip Difficulty Strenuous
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Maximum Altitude 5,416m /17,769 ft.
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Best Season To Visit March to May, Mid-September to November
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Average Group Size Min. 2 pax

Trip Highlights

  • Max altitude :  (5,400m/17,716ft)
  • Suitably designed itinerary for acclimatization
  • Accommodation in the best-selected lodges and tea houses along the trail and in Kathmandu
  • Crossing Thorong La, one of the most challenging pass
  • Views of Annapurna Range, Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Gangapurna and Tilicho Lake
  • Traditional villages inhabited by Gurung, Thakali, Tamang, etc
  • The fauna found in the region- pika, blue sheep, and Himalayan Tahr.
  • One of the most popular trekking route of Nepal

Trip Overview

Annapurna Circuit Trek in Nepal is considered one of the best long treks in the world. Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) completed an alternative trekking route in 2006 and named them NATT (New Annapurna Trekking Trails). And finally, back in 2012, NATT was renamed Natural Annapurna Trekking trail.

Since the Annapurna Circuit opened to foreign trekkers in 1977, this trek has become renowned as one of the most spectacular trekking routes in the world.  It incorporates dramatic deep gorges, high mountain passes, Buddhist temples, and rustic villages. Moreover, you will get to see a superb view of the Annapurna Massif and Dhaulagiri. The variety of landscapes ranging from subtropical through alpine peaks to an arid semidesert is another highlight of this trek.

The climax of the trek is crossing the iconic Thorong La Pass (5,416 m). The view of the numerous peaks like Annapurna I-IV, Annapurna South, Gangapurna, Nilgiri, Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri, and other adjacent peaks from the pass is extremely dazzling.

Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek in Nepal consists of a circular route around the Annapurna Massif. It follows a path that will take you to the Marsyangdi Valley to the north of the main Himalayan range and crosses a Throng La Pass. Further, the trail descends onto a high-altitude plateau that takes you south along the remarkable valley of Kali Gandaki.

Besides, a varied landscape and majestic mountains, the walk passes through the typical villages of diverse ethnic groups such as Gurung, Magar, and Thakali.

This is a sample itinerary of Annapurna Circuit Trek in Nepal. We can tailor-make the program as per your needs and preferences.

Note: Below trekking hours, altitudes and distances are approximate, and absolutely for the general idea only.

Trip Itinerary

Day 01:  Arrive at Kathmandu airport

Altitude above sea level: (1,302 m)

Accommodation: ***Hotel Tibet or similar

On arrival at Tribhuvan International airport, our representative will be awaiting you to cordially welcome you with great hospitality. The representative will be displaying the “Nepal Sanctuary Treks” placard outside the airport terminal. You will be then escorted and transferred to the hotel in our private vehicle.

Further, you will be given a brief description of the activities that will take place during the upcoming trip and a preliminary briefing on hygiene and safety by our representative.

Day 02: Cultural Introductory Tour

Altitude above sea level: 1,302 m

Tour Duration:  Approx. 8 hours

Accommodation: ***Hotel Tibet or similar

Meal: Breakfast

9:00 AM: After breakfast, we start our guided cultural tour around Kathmandu Valley. On this cultural tour, you will experience the numerous colors, sounds, and tastes of authentic Kathmandu and its surroundings. Our experienced tour guides will tell you all you need to know and answer all your curiosities regarding those sites.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

You will head towards Kathmandu Durbar Square, also called Hanuman Dhoka Durbar. This ancient site used to be the residence of the Nepali royal family and administrators. It incorporates an architecturally extraordinary complex of ancient palaces, temples, courtyards, and shrines dating from the 15th to the 18th century.

The prominent sites of Kathmandu Durbar Square are Kumari Ghar or the house of the living goddess.  Kasthamandap is a huge rest house that is said to have been built with the wood from a single tree and is the source of which Kathmandu valley got its name. Other sites around Kathmandu Square are the ferocious Kal Bhairab – the red monkey God- Hanuman, hundreds of erotic carvings, temples, and statues dedicated to different deities.

Swayambhunath:

Swayambhunath (monkey temple), is the magnificent ancient religious architecture and center of faith of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its lofty white dome and dazzling golden spire are visible from far and wide. Swayambhunath is the ideal place to observe the religious harmony in Nepal. In the shadows of the imposing structure and besides the integrated architecture can be found the daily surge of devotees faithfully offering their prayers to the gods. Upon arriving at the top, you can hear the Buddhist song “Om Mani Padme Hum” resounds everywhere. The candles and the aromatic fragrance of incense that burns constantly create a serene vibe and enormous prayer wheels which encircle the stupa.

PM: Boudhanath

Then we drive towards Boudhanath.  From the moment you step into the sanctuary, you’ll immediately feel the spiritual energy that comes from the place. Boudhanath is one of the biggest stupas in Nepal, built in the 5th century and listed on the world heritage list by UNESCO in 1979. The surrounding area is a central spiritual hub of Tibetan life and culture in Nepal. You can see the beautiful dome-shaped structure stupa surrounded by brilliant colorful prayer flags. It is believed that prayer flags convey mantras and prayers into the universe while fluttering in the wind. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of Kassapa Buddha.

You can witness monks draped in maroon robes rolling the prayer wheels, burning incense, and flickering butter candles. Moreover, it’s fascinating to see the people feeding grains and maize to hundreds of pigeons around stupa areas. The devotees turn the prayer wheels & chant, which is humbling to see such dedication to their beliefs.

Delight in the serenity as you hear the Buddhist mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ being chanted by devotees, alongside the echo of music streaming out from the nearby shops.

Pashupatinath

Moving on, you will visit the Pashupatinath temple, a Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva located on the bank of the Bagmati River. The word Pashupati means “the king of animals” and the temple is famous for its monkeys. You will be visiting the Pashupatinath area to indulge in a spiritual journey.

Pashupatinath is more than just a religious destination. It is a combination of religion, art, and culture. The temple, spread across 246 hectares of land, abounds in temples and monuments. Hundreds of rituals are performed here every day. You will get to witness people performing the religious ritual and funeral pyres burn at open-air cremation. Also witness elaborately dressed holy men meditating outside the temple and pilgrims placing offerings at the shrines. After touring around prominent sites, you will be transferred safely back to your hotel.

Day 03: Drive Kathmandu-Jagat

Altitude above sea level:  (1,300 m) Jagat

Driving duration: 8-9 hours, approx. 204 KM

Accommodation: Tea house Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After a hearty breakfast, we take a long scenic drive to Jagat. As you leave Kathmandu, you can find the road winding as you cross several hills, beautiful farms, and various communities. Driving to the south of the Himalayan highlands, you cross several rivers like Trishuli (the most popular of all rafting rivers in Nepal) and Marsyangdi. These rivers originate from the glacial peaks of the Himalayas in the north.

After driving for several hours, you reach Dumre and head out to Marsyangdi Valley. Then continue your drive to Besisahar before reaching Syange. You will see a beautiful high waterfall here. Eventually, you reach your today’s destination -Jagat. Jagat was a toll station in medieval times. It also was an ancient salt-trade route to Tibet.

Day 04: Jagat-Dharapani

Altitude above sea level: (1,940 m) Dharapani

Trekking time: 6-7 hours approx.

Accommodation: Tea house Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After having breakfast, you will leave Jagat behind and trek to Dharapani. Initially, the trek takes you downhill before you trek uphill to get to a rocky forest. As you trek through the forest, you will get to Chamje, which is a little Tibetan village. Hiking further from Chamje, you will reach a suspension bridge over the Marsyangdi River.

After crossing the bridge, you will trek up a steady uphill to Tal (1,700 m). This is a lovely small village and was a former lake bed. From Tal, the trek takes you to some barley, wheat, and potato fields. You will also come across some pine forests before you encounter Marsyangdi River again near the settlement of Khotro.

Soon after leaving this village, you ascend the narrowing valley and downhill to cross the river at Dharapani.

Day 05: Dharapani-Chame

Altitude above sea level: (2,630 m), Chame

Trekking duration: 5-6 hours

Accommodation: Tea house Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After having a hearty breakfast, you’ll start today’s journey trekking uphill and downhill where you get to witness varied types of flora and lovely landscapes followed by magnificent views of mountains. At the start of the trek, you will see the Marsyangdi River swerve to the left, where Annapurna II becomes visible.

Then, you hike through a beautiful trail all the way to Bagarchhap. It is a village known for traditional Tibetan architecture and its abundance of colorful prayer flags. You can see a snow-capped peak looming in the distance from here.

From Bagarchhap, continue ascending through the forest of oak and pine trees as you pass through Dhanaqui.  Then, you will get to the alpine area where the air gets cooler, passing through farmland and pine forest. Trekking ahead, you will head into the gorge where the trail involves steep stone steps. From here, you will witness the commanding views of Manaslu.

As you take a trail that takes you along the upstream of Marsyangdi River, you will come across villages like Ratamanang and Koto. After trekking gradually for half an hour from Koto, you will reach Chame. It is the headquarters of the Manang district and a central marketplace in the region.

Day 06: Chame – Pisang

Altitude above sea level: (3,190 m), Pisang

Trekking duration: 5-6 hours

Accommodation: Tea house Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Enjoy a hearty breakfast, before hitting the trail to Pisang. Today’s major highlights are the huge apple farm, Paungda Danda rock, majestic mountain vistas, prayer wheels, and deep pine forests. The initial trek rewards you with the incredible views of Manaslu and apple orchards before reaching Bhratang. Bhratang is a place where you can try freshly squeezed apple juice and bakeries. Further, you hike under the Lamjung Himal along the vertical rocks of the Marsyangdi valley near the Paunda Danda Rock. This rock face rises 1,500 m from the river, and locals refer to it as the “Gateway to Heaven.”

Following these spectacular views, you head off to lower Pisang. The path is simple and easy compared to other days. Then, you hike through the pine forest, all the way to Upper Pisang.

Day 07: Pisang – Manang

Altitude above sea level: (3,500 m), Manang

Trekking duration: 6-7 hrs trek

Accommodation: Tea house Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

We set off today’s trek to Manang with a hearty breakfast.  You hike along a mild single-track path along the north side of the valley.  The trail offers you incredible views of the Annapurna peaks at every turn.

Along the way you passed chortens, small stupas with prayer flags, and Mani walls carved with the “Om Mani Padme Hum” and other Tibetan scripture.

After weaving gradually along the mountainside, you traverse over a bridge and take a steep ascent toward the village of Ghyaru. The reward for reaching Ghyaru is the absolutely magical panoramic sights of the mountains in front of you. It is a typical village, with most houses having flat roofs. The village comprises several fields of buckwheat and barley and gompas.

From Ghyaru, you head towards Ngawal. The trail ascends towards a pass marking the highest point of the day, but it’s a much steadier incline. Take a moment to savor jaw-dropping views from Annapurna II and adjacent peaks in the distance to the extensive valley below and forest-covered slopes. Further, the trail headed gradually down towards the village of Ngawal.

After having a local lunch at Ngawal, you take a shorter descent to rejoin the main trail and continue to trek towards Braga. Braga itself is small, but there is a famous monastery above the village, as well as a beautiful stupa just to the side of the road. You get an opportunity to explore Buddhist culture in a short visit to Barge Monastery.

After an hour’s walk, ultimately you reach Manang. As you enter the Manang valley you can see ancient times monasteries, cave dwellings, and majestic mountain vistas. Further, you pass yak meadows with shrines in the center, and signs displaying Ice Lake and Milarepa Cave.

Day 08: Rest and acclimatization day in Manang

Altitude above sea level: Manang (3,500 m), Gangapurna Lake (3,540 m) Chongkor view point (3,900 m)

Accommodation: Teahouse Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Today is an important day for acclimatization, as in the next few days you will trek in higher altitudes. You can spend a day acclimatizing in Manang exploring Manang village, and the traditional culture of Manangi people.

After a delicious breakfast, you set off on a short hike to explore Gangapurna Glacier. The glacial lake sited at the altitude of 3,540 m is formed from the glaciers of Mt Gangapurna (7,454 m), Annapurna IV (7,525 m), Khangsar Kang and Glacier Dom. This is a beautiful lake with blue and icy water in the foothills of the Himalayas.

For acclimatization, you hike above the lake, where there is a Chongkor viewpoint. The walk around 30 to 45 minutes to reach the viewpoint of the Lake. From a vantage point, admire the Manang Valley view, Annapurna range, Braga Village, and the way to Tilicho Base Camp and Thorong La Pass as well.

Towards the end of the day, you will retrace your steps back to Manang.

Day 09: Manang – Yak Kharka

Altitude above sea level: Yak Kharka (4,090 m)

Trekking duration: 3-4 hours

Accommodation: Tea house Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After a hearty breakfast, you hit the trail to Yak Kharka.   You cross a stream and ascend to Tenki village where you will get a closer vista of the Annapurna, Gangapurna, and Tilicho peak. You may encounter more animals than usual today. Apart from yaks, mules, and rodents, keep an eye out for eagles circling magnificently above.

Further, head out of Marshyangdi valley northwest up Jar Sang Khola valley. The trail ascends slowly as you head northward and pass a few meadows and juniper trees. Thereafter, you will pass through a small village called Gunsan with houses made of flat mud roofs and then pass pastures with yaks and horses. The trail remains to weave its way up, with remarkable views of snowy peaks in the distance.

After Ghunsang it levels out and while there are typical ups and downs, it’s a fairly easy hike all the way to Yak Kharka

Day 10: Yak Kharka – Thorong Phedi

Altitude above sea level: (4,490 m), Thorong Phedi

Trekking Time: 3-4 hours trek

Accommodation: Tea house Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After a hearty breakfast, you set off for today’s hike to the foot of Thorong La pass, Throng Phedi. This is a small yet busy settlement catering to the needs of tired trekkers and climbers

From Yak Kharka, you ascend up to a ridge, then take a descent and cross the Marsyangdi river on a wooden bridge. After a short ascent up the mountain trail, you follow a narrow path across an unstable spree slope and then descend to Thorung Phedi.

Once you reach Thorong Phedi, you can either hike up to Thorong High camp for acclimatization or rest in Thorong Phedi.

Day 11: Thorong Phedi – Thorong La – Muktinath

Altitude above sea level:  (3,800 m) Muktinath,  Thorong La Pass (5,416 m)

Trekking Time: 8-9 hours

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Today’s the most challenging part of the trip, we cross Thorong La pass, one of the highest points of the trek. You have to wake up in the very early morning to cross Thorong La. The trail becomes steep immediately after leaving camp, but as this trail has been used by local people for 100 years, the trail is precise. The ascent then eases and after around 4 hours of gradual uphill, you reach the chorten and prayer flags of the pass. From the pass, you will witness the panorama of majestic Himalayan peaks extending northwards into Tibet, at the back you can see numerous of the main peaks of Annapurna. After enjoying the breathtaking views, you descend all the way to Muktinath. It is a sacred place for both Hindus and Buddhists. The Buddhists considered Chumig Gyatsa, which in Tibetan means “A Hundred Waters”.

Day 12: Muktinath – Jomsom

Altitude above sea level: (2,800 m) Jomsom

Trekking duration: 3-4 hours

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After a hearty breakfast, you explore the Muktinath temple. The temple’s walled complex has a Buddhist monastery and Hindu shrines, 108 bathing spouts, and even an ‘eternal flame’.

After exploring, you start your return journey down the valley and gradually join the Kali Gandaki River valley bottom and the trail to Jomsom district headquarters of Mustang.

Day 13: Flight Jomsom-Pokhara

Flight Duration: Jomsom-Pokhara (25 minutes)

Accommodation: *** Hotel Mount Kailash or similar

Meals: Breakfast

After having an early breakfast, walk up to the airport nearby the hotel in Jomsom. Take a last glimpse of the breathtaking Himalayas. You will take a short flight to Pokhara.

After check-in at the hotel, spend your afternoon at leisure. You can experience a tranquil boat trip on the beautiful Phewa Lake. In this lake, you can involve yourself in various activities like boating, sailing, bird watching, etc.

The image of the Fishtail Mountain in the crystal clear and calm water of Phewa Lake is something not to be missed. In the middle of the Lake, you will be landed on the island of the Barahi temple, which is the major attraction of the tour.

Day 14: Flight Pokhara-Kathmandu

Flight Duration: Kathmandu-Pokhara (25 minutes)

Accommodation: *** Hotel Tibet or similar

Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, you take a short flight to Kathmandu. Upon reaching Kathmandu and you will have free leisure time either to rest or explore Kathmandu Valley. You can spend the day resting or catch up on some last-minute shopping or shop for some locally made handicrafts and souvenirs.

Day 15: Final Departure

Meal: Breakfast

It is time to fly back home, keeping all the terrific experiences of Nepal in mind. The representative from Nepal Sanctuary Treks will transfer you to TIA airport, where you should check in 3 hours prior to your scheduled flight.

Price Included

What's Included

  • Private Airport Transfer
  • Internal flight Jomsom-Pokhara-Kathmandu
  • Private Transfer to Jagat
  • 3 nights *** hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast
  • 1 night *** hotel in Pokhara with breakfast
  • Tea house lodge accommodation during trek on full board
  • Permits & Annapurna Conservation Fee,
  • Staff insurance on the trek,
  • Trek guide and porter

What's not Included

  • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu (approx. US$ 20 per day)
  • Beverages,
  • Personal equipment,
  • Personal bills,
  • International airfare
  • Excess baggage beyond 15 kilos, including day pack
  • Visa fee: US$ 30 for 15 days and US$ 50 for 30 days and US$125 for 90 days for multiple entries
  • Insurance (for cancellation, accident, health, emergency evacuation and loss, theft of or damage to baggage and personal effects), liability insurance
  • Tips

Faqs

Why choose Annapurna Circuit trek ?

The Annapurna Circuit is a trek within the Annapurna mountain range of central Nepal. The trek is considered one of the best treks in the world as because of the scenery the trek offers. You will trek through a wide variety of climate zones and cross Thronog La pass, experience Tibetan culture of Manang and lower Mustang. The trek offers much more than just trekking.

How fit do I need to be for this trek?

You will be walking for minimum of 5 – 7hrs a day, you don’t have to really fit but the minimum level of fitness is required as the trek is not an easy one. You do have to be healthy and mentally prepared for trekking in this region although it doesn’t require mountaineering skills.

What is the best time of the year for this trek?

The trek is possible throughout the year. However, autumn and spring are the best seasons; choose to trek in autumn (Sep-Nov) as spring is busy with expedition stuff.

Why should I trek with Nepal Sanctuary Treks (NST)?

We (NST) believe in socially and environmentally responsible, sustainable tourism. Our personalized services are guided by these principles and our 27 yrs of experience in the field of trekking is invaluable in giving our clients quality service. Our itineraries are suitably designed for acclimatization and we use the best selected lodges through the trail and in Kathmandu.

Can children trek in this region or are there any age restrictions?

Yes, children can trek as there is no age restrictions. Nepal Sanctuary Trek can design suitable trekking itinerary for all age group above 8yrs. However, for children fewer than 8 can have high time trekking for longer period of time and altitude sickness can be a problem.

What to take for the trek (clothes, personal kits)?

To make it easier for you Nepal Sanctuary Treks have prepared you a kit check list, you can have a look at it below:

Do I need travel insurance covered while trekking/traveling in Nepal?

Insurance is a compulsion as anything can happen in the trek; for emergency rescue, personal liabilities, cancellation, loss of luggage and other reasons if necessary.

How much weight do I have to carry or how much will my porter carry?

You can bring as much as clothes you want but extra luggage is not required for the trek, you can leave your extra luggage in Kathmandu or Pokhara’s hotel. For the trek you can carry enough clothes you require in your backpack or carry only the camera, water bottle few clothes etc in your backpack. The potter can carry your extra duffle bag clothes which can weigh up to 15 to 30kg and a camping porter carries up to 30kg. However the local domestic flights allows maximum of 18kg per person.

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Annapurna Circuit Trek