The Annapurna Circuit is a trek within the Annapurna mountain range of central Nepal.
Annapurna Circuit trek is considered as one of the best long treks in the world. Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) completed alternative trekking route in 2006 and named them NATT (New Annapurna Trekking Trails) and finally back in 2012 NATT was renamed to Natural Annapurna Trekking trail. Nepal Sanctuary Treks use new NATT trail to trek to south of Annapurna and to avoid the road.
The scenery is outstanding with a wide variety of climate zones from tropics at 600m to arctic at 5416m at the Thorong La pass and cultural variety from Hindu villages at the low foothills to the Tibetan culture of Manang Valley and lower Mustang.
Annapurna Region offers a true cross-section of Nepal from lowland rice plantations,deep forest, snow capped mountain range, with beautiful sunrise and sunset view to the arid terrain in the Himalayan rain shadow. Trekking with us will give you the opportunity to experience different trek through isolated/different routes amongst the local cultures.
We can see the extraordinary mountain views from Poon Hill and explore the scenery of Annapurna Circuit. Furthermore, Annapurna Circuit Trek also takes us to Manang, Jomsom and the Muktinath region which again gets us acquainted with the diverse Nepalese landscape and culture.
Note: Below trekking hours, altitudes and distances are approximate, and absolutely for the general idea only.
- Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu airport (1,302m/4,270ft)
You will be received and escorted to the hotel by our staff, refresh yourself and take some rest or explore the area around your hotel. Overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu.
- Day 02: Kathmandu valley sightseeing and Trek preparation
Kathmandu is the cultural heart of Nepal and has been a famous destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its borders to visitors. Today after breakfast we will explore Kathmandu valley, a guided tour will be conducted to major world heritage sites inside the valley. As Kathmandu valley is a beautiful combination of Hinduism and Buddhism we will visit historical sites like; Durbar Squares, Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath (monkey temple) and Buddhist shrine of Boudhanath which is one of the largest stupa in the world. After the tour you will prepare yourself for the trek, will be briefed about the trek; buy all the trekking equipments required and overnight at hotel.
- Day 03: Kathmandu – Besi Sahar (760m/2,493ft) 6-7hrs drive – Ngadi (880m/2,887ft) 2-3hrs trek
Early morning after breakfast, we will head to Besi Sahar on a private vehicle arranged by the company, a long scenic ride along with few mountain views. We will meet our accompanying trekking crew there in Besi Sahar and after a short briefing about the trek we will leave for Ngadi, the trail starts descending and climbing steeply through the deep gorge. We will trek through fields, tropical forests and the village of Khudi, a major trek start point for Annapurna circuit. We will see a fine view of Manaslu range from Khudi. Continuing our trek for few hours until we reach Ngadi by evening, where we will be accommodating in a lodge.
- Day 04: Ngadi – Jagat (1,250m/4,101ft) 5-6hrs trek
With an early breakfast we rejoin our trek and head towards our next destination, Jagat. As we trek up the valley the sides will begin to narrow and increase in height. Along the route we pass through many fields and villages, crossing a suspension bridge we climb up to Lampatta followed by Bahundanda and soon the trail descends to the valley floor and crosses another suspension bridge across the Marshyangdi to Syange. Few more miles from Syange will take us to the village of Ngadi for overnight stay.
- Day 05: Jagat – Dharapani (1,940m/6,364ft) 7hrs trek
Today we will enter the valley of Manang district and as it is a long trek day we start off early. Firstly, we climb up to Chamje, We pass by villages and small terraced farms of barley, potatoes and corn. At end part of trek we will leave the farms behind as we enter rhododendrons and bamboo forest while we climb the narrowing valley and descend to cross the river at Dharapni. We will accommodate the night in Dharapani.
- Day 06: Dharapani – Chame (2,700m/8,858ft) 5-6hrs trek
Today’s trek will reward us with great views of Lamjung Himal (6,983m), Annapurna II and Annnapurna IV through the trail. We will first follow the south bank of the river climbing to Syal Khola (the river of jackals) at 2210 meter, after which we will cross the river over a cement bridge near a spectacular waterfall. The route crosses several landslides as it works its way uphill through a walnut tree forest and aside apple orchards. We will come across many hot springs before reaching Chame for overnight.
- Day 07: Chame – Pisang (3,190m/10,465ft) 5-6hrs trek
Our trek today starts through deep forest in a steep and narrow valley, we will pass the older part of Chame and climb up to Telekhu and continue with a long pleasant and mostly level walk through the forest to Brathang. We will cross Marsyangdi Nadi for several times. The trail will rise 500 meters above the river as we move upward in the valley. After the suspension bridge the valley widens and Pisang Peak will be visible to us, we will reach the village of Pisang after a short walk.
- Day 08: Pisang – Manang(3,500m/11,482ft) 6-7hrs trek
Today, leaving Pisang we trek to major villages of Manang district, the environment will become colder and drier as we climb upwards. There are two ways to reach Manang; we will take the upper trail asit offers us the best views of the mountains, if you wish to take the lower trail it will take (5hrs) to reach our destination. On the way we will visit Braga monastery, the largest in Manang District. We will reach Ghyaru from where we follow a high level trail to Ngawal the next village. Finally we descend back to the valley floor and rejoin the main trail to continue to Braga and Manang for overnight.
- Day 09: Rest and acclimatization day in Manang
Today is an important day for acclimatization as the next few days we will trek in higher altitudes and altitude sickness can be a problem. Day treks around Manang will be organized today, the best options for today’s trek are Khangsar village on the way to Lake Tilicho or if you want longer one than Ice Lake above Braga. Other option could be visiting gompa above Braga as well or attending the Himalayan Rescue afternoon lecture on altitude and acclimatization.
- Day 10: Manang – Yak Kharka (4,090m/13,418ft) 3-4hrs
We head towards Yak Kharka after an early breakfast, it is shorter trek today so that it helps everyone in acclimatization and reaching Yak Kharkha earlier will give us the opportunity to explore around the village. We can either walk up the valley and back to the lodge or climb the ridge behind the village. We will rest the night here.
- Day 11: Yak Kharka – Thorong Phedi (4,490m/14,730ft) 3-4hrs trek
Today is another short trek day; the trek takes us to the foot of Thorang La Pass at the busy little bazaar of Thorang Phedi. We reach Letdar and from Letdar we will continue to climb along the east bank of the Jarang Khola to Thorung Phedi, after crossing the river there is a climb to Thorong Phedi where we will spend the night.
- Day 12: Thorong Phedi – Thorong La (5,400m/17,716ft) – Muktinath (3,800m /12,467ft) 8-9hrs trek
We will leave Phedi early in the morning for the challenging trek through Thorong La, Crossing the pass early would be a better idea as the weather can affect the trek during noon, it will take us 4 to 5 hours to reach the pass. At the Thorong La pass, with its traditional prayer flags and stone cairn we will have outstanding views. You can see the Annapurna, Gangapurna and Khatung Kang, a heavily glaciated peak. We will reach a tea shop from where we start to descend, after the trail becomes less steep we will enter grassy fields and cross meadows to our final destination of Muktinath where we will spend the night.
- Day 13: Muktinath – Jomsom (2,800m/9,186ft) 3-4hrs trek
Muktinath is a holy place for both Hindus and Buddhists. Today we will have an opportunity to visit the sacred Hindu temple. Leaving Muktinath the trail will passes down Kagbeni and along with Kali Gandaki down to the town of Jomsom. We will reach Jomsom at noon having time left for us to explore Jomsom or rest as today is the last day of our trek. We will prepare ourselves to leave Jomsom for the next day and rest the night there.
- Day 14: Fly to Pokhara and on to Kathmandu
We will have an early breakfast and and walk up to the airport nearby the hotel in Jomsom. After a short flight we reach Pokhara and then to Kathmandu and will have free leisure time either to rest or explore Kathmandu Valley. Overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu.
- Day 15: Back home
Leisure time and explore Kathmandu until the departure time when you will be transferred to airport and fly back home.
- 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
- Fauna found in the region- pika, blue sheep and Himalayan Tahr.
- One of the most popular trekking route of Nepal
Most Common FAQs
- 1 . 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.
- 2 . 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.
- 3 . 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.
- 4 . 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.
- 5 . 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.
- 6 . 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:
- 7 . 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.
- 8 . 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.
- 9 . What medical facilities are there on Annapurna Circuit trek?
In case of emergency you need to get evacuated by helicopter to Kathmandu, you need to take proper care of your health. Anyways, you will find small clinics along the trek, one at Manang and other at Jomsom (these clinics only check minor sickness). However, you need to bring your medicine (if any) and a first aid box will be provided by Nepal Sanctuary Treks, also your guide will be trained for first aid in case of emergency.
For further enquiries you can contact Nepal Sanctuary Treks at:
I am already thinking about what is next and I would like to consider something a bit more adventurous but need your advice. I have always rock climbed and managed a little ice climbing about 30 years ago!! What sort of expedition would you recommend that might include a low-level peak or something a bit more technical?
Thank you again for all your help and support.