Annapurna Circuit Trek lets you tread on ancient trails and walk through a diverse landscape. Stay at family-run teahouses and enjoy local hospitality. Explore ancient village squares and monasteries. Walk past sacred mani walls and spin Buddhist prayer wheels, sending out a prayer to the mountain gods. Interact with locals and experience indigenous mountain cultures. Get awed by the magnificence of the towering peaks and frozen lakes. Ascend the high pass of Thorong La and reach the edge of the Tibetan plateau. One of the classic long-distance treks in the world, Annapurna Circuit Trek is a Himalayan adventure beyond compare!
Annapurna Circuit Trek, a classic trek in the Nepal Himalaya, takes you to one of the most popular trekking trails in the world. A favorite of many trekkers who have been to the Himalayas, hiking the Annapurna Circuit allows you to complete a loop in the Annapurna region. The journey takes you from the lush green terraced farms to barren landscapes surrounded by soaring icy mountains.
Your trek to Annapurna Circuit begins from Lower Pisang. Tread on ancient trails used by locals and traders trading along the old Tibet trade route. Cross one of the highest mountain passes in the world, Thorong La Pass. There are many highlights of this trek – the fascinating journey past the two river valleys, Marshyangdi and Kali Gandaki, the crossing of the challenging Thorong La Pass (bordering Tibet), the exciting hike through the Kali Gandaki gorge to Muktinath a holy mountain shrine sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. But the one which will remain etched in your mind is the walk through the high altitude lakes of Tilicho Lake and Ice Lake. After crossing the Thorong La head down to Muktinath. And make your way to the mountain town of Jomsom.
Throughout your journey our experienced trek leader will be there to guide you. He will dispense valuable advice and nuggets of information about the people and places along the trail. Many who have completed the Annapurna Circle swear that this is the best trek that Nepal has to offer. The circuit is highly recommended by all trekkers as a spectacular trekking route. The diversity of landscape, mountain views, culture and people you encounter during the trek are incomparable.
If you don't have much time to spare or have fitness issues, you can choose our shorter and slightly easier Annapurna Base Camp Trek. It takes you from the verdant mountainside villages and terraced fields to the base of the Annapurna Massif. For families with kids looking for a Himalayan experience, we recommend our easy Ghorepani Poonhill Trek. This is also an excellent introductory trek for beginners.
Spring (March to May) and autumn (late September to November) are the ideal seasons. The daytime temperature is just perfect during this time. It is neither too hot nor too cold during these times. Nights on the mountains are usually cold. Above 4,000 meters, you can expect nighttime temperatures to drop as low as -10 degrees.
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Enjoy the view of Kathmandu spreading below before your plane lands at Tribhuvan International Airport. Upon your arrival our representative will meet you at the airport terminal and drive you to your hotel. Freshen up and take some rest. Later in the afternoon or evening attend a pre-trek briefing. Meet your trek leader and other members of your trek group. If you any questions about the trek you can ask your trek leader. Get your trekking gear and equipments checked. If you have missed out on any items you can always buy them in Kathmandu. Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist district is lined with stores selling trekking gears and equipments- from budget to branded stuff.
As you will have an early start on Day 2 it is advisable to schedule your arrival to Kathmandu in the morning or during daytime. This will allow you to attend the pre-trip briefing and give you ample time to rest before the start of your Annapurna adventure. Overnight in Kathmandu
You leave Kathmandu and drive along the winding road down to Naubise. Mesmerizing views of green hills and local farms fill the landscape. Drive beside the glacial river of Trishuli before reaching the confluence of Marshyangdi and Trishuli rivers. Cross a bridge spanning the Marshyangdi river and drive along the Prithvi Highway. The road winds along a verdant forest. Drive past the charming town of Besisahar, set beside the Marshyangdi river. Your destination is Jagat, an ancient settlement which was once the point where taxes were collected from travelers traveling along the old Tibet trade route. Once you reach Jagat head to a teahouse and take a well deserved rest. Overnight in Jagat.
From Jagat drive to the ancient village of Lower Pisang via Chame. You follow a rough jeep track past a landscape filled with brown hills, cascading waterfalls, snowy peaks and pine trees. Drive past a lunar landscape before reaching the village of Lower Pisang. Head to a teahouse and after a brief rest, explore this ancient village. Pisang is divided into Upper and Lower Pisang. Lined with prayer wheels mani walls and chortens, Upper Pisang is the old settlement. The village is filled with ancient traditional houses and an old monastery. Most of the teahouses and business establishments are located in Lower Pisang. There’s not much greenery in this part of the world and the landscape is barren. The inhabitants of Upper and Lower Pisang are descendants of Tibetan settlers. They follow Tibetan customs and their lifestyle is similar to Tibetans. From here you can savor close up views of Pisang Peak, Lamjung Himal and Annapurna II. Overnight in Lower Pisang.
You begin your Annapurna Circuit Trek from here. Today you will be walking along one of the toughest but also the most beautiful section of the trail. The hike involves steep ascents with glorious views of the Annapurna Massif and other peaks and the Marshyangdi River valley. The landscape is partly arid (like the Tibetan plateau) with some sections covered with pine wood forest. Walk through the picturesque settlements of Ghyaru and Nyawal. It is a tough climb but the views are awesome. The pointed summit of Annapurna III and Tilicho or Tent Peak look over the trail. Braga is an old village filled with traditional houses built by Tibetan settlers. The village has one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Nepal. From Braga take a short walk to Manang. The trail is even and easy. Within a short duration of just 40 minutes you will reach this ancient settlement. Head to a teahouse once you reach the settlement and take a well-deserved rest. Overnight in Manang.
Spend a day in Manang acclimatizing. The village of Manang lies at the foot of Annapurna III and offers splendid views of Gangapurna and Annapurna. Take an acclimatization walk today to Ice Lakes. Locally known as Kicho Tal, the trail to the Ice Lakes winds along the northern slopes of Chulu East. The lakes are fed by the Chulu River that flows down the slopes of Chulu East. Spend some time soaking in the peaceful and heavenly ambience. Take pictures before retracing your steps back to Manang. Overnight in Manang.
You spend an additional day in Manang acclimatizing. Inhabited by Mananges, the settlement is known as the home of merchants trading along the Upper Mustang and Tibet route. Explore the village, visit the monastery and interact with the locals. Take an acclimatization walk and visit the Himalayan Rescue Association’s Clinic. The clinic wasestablished in1981 to aid trekkers and climbers suffering from sicknesses related to high altitude. Doctors manning the health aid post daily hold talks and lectures on high altitude sicknesses (AMS, HACE, HAPE) - how to recognize the symptoms and prevent it. Overnight in Manang
Leaving Manang take an uphill ascent and cross a suspension bridge spanning the Manang River. Continue climbing up. After a couple of hours walk you reach Khangsar village. From the village take the upward trail leading to Shree Kharka. After hiking for just over an hour or two you reach the village of Shree Kharka. Head to a teahouse and take a well deserved rest. Overnight in Sri Kharkha.
Follow an easy trail to Tilicho Base Camp. There are only a few gentle ascents en route. But be careful at the landslide area before reaching Tilicho Base Camp. There are loose rocks and pebbles and you need to watch your step. Walk cautiously along the narrow path till you reach Tilicho base Camp. Once you reach the base camp, walk to a teahouse where your rooms are booked and take rest. Overnight in Tilicho Base Camp.
This day is memorable as you visit the highest lake in Nepal, Tilicho Lake situated at an elevation of 4920 meters. You follow a trail that goes up and up till you reach the lake. The dark emerald waters of Tilicho Lake surrounded by pure white snow and ice will surely captivate you. Take pictures and soak in the heavenly views before retracing your steps back to Sri Kharkha. Once you reach the settlement, head to a teahouse and relax. Overnight in Sri Kharkha.
Head to Yak Kharka following a gentle ascent. After reaching an abandoned settlement the trail dips down and goes past cultivated grounds and farmlands. There is a gentle ascent again, up to a hill from where one can view Yak Kharka. Take a steep descent, cross the river and amble up again till you reach the settlement of Yak Kharka. The settlement is actually a grazing pasture used by yak herders. There are only a handful of teahouses offering accommodation and food. Overnight in Yak Kharka.
This is the last leg of the walk before you make the challenging traverse to Thorong La pass. You are walking above 4000 meters and your body is gradually getting used to high altitude. Take it slow and keep yourself hydrated. Have diamox if you feel the altitude is affecting you. The trail to Thorong Phedi goes along a secluded and solitary landscape. Enjoy the solitude and the views. Thorong Phedi is a glacier valley surrounded by snowy mountains on three sides. Usually it’s freezing out here. Once you reach this stopover point, head quickly to a teahouse and warm yourself. Retire early as you have a long day ahead of you tomorrow. Overnight in Thorong Phedi.
Today’s walk is difficult. You make an early start and head off at the crack of dawn. The trail is steep but easy. The last 600 meters to the highest point of the trek tends to be the toughest. When you finally reach the top of Thorong La Pass, spectacular views of the mountains greet you. Dhaulagiri rises in all its glory. In the distance you can see the ancient kingdom of Upper mustang and the Tibetan plateau. Take pictures and celebrate this wonderful moment with your teammates. Afterwards head down to the holy pilgrimage site of Muktinath. Named after a temple that is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists, Muktinath is regarded as a place to receive salvation. As you reach this small settlement, make your way to a guesthouse and rest your aching muscles. Overnight in Muktinath.
Before leaving Muktinath, visit the Muktinath Temple and seek blessings from the guardian deities, Lord Vishnu for Hindus and Avalokiteshwara for Buddhists. Other small shrines and Buddhist Gompa surround the main temple. It is believed that the Buddhist guru Padmasambhava blessed this place. After visiting the temple, board a vehicle and drive to Jomsom. The rough jeep track winds along the banks of the pristine Kali Gandaki river. The river is a source of ammonites or saligrams (fossilized mollusks worshipped by Hindus as a representation of Lord Vishnu). After walking for a couple of hours you reach Jomsom, a picturesque small town and the headquarters of Mustang district.
In Jomsom you will find internet cafes, bakeries selling delectable pies and pastries, restaurants, bars and a range of accommodation choices(budget to high end). The town is filled with white-washed traditional houses. After checking in at the lodge stroll around the ancient part of the town or simply call it a day and take rest. Congratulations, you have completed the Annapurna Circuit and this calls for a celebration. Get together with your teammates and crew and celebrate in the evening. Overnight in Jomsom.
Take a flight from Jomsom to Pokhara. From the window you can see the Annapurna mountains and Dhaulagiri rising up almost to touch the sky. On reaching Pokhara head to your hotel and check in. The rest of the day is free. You can spend it as you wish. Stroll around the lakeside or explore more of the city on your own or book a guided tour at an extra cost. The lakeside area is lined with shops selling handicraft items in case you need to shop for souvenirs. Overnight in Pokhara.
Drive to Kathmandu by a comfortable tourist coach. Enjoy the scenic landscape as your bus winds along the Prithvi Highway. Once you reach Kathmandu check in at your hotel and take rest. Evening, head to an authentic Nepali restaurant for farewell dinner (complimentary). Enjoy a sumptuous Nepali feast and a cultural show. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Bid goodbye to Nepal. Our representative will drive you to the international airport three hours prior to your flight’s departure. If you are interested in exploring more places do let us know. We run tours to some of the most fascinating and exotic destinations.
Accommodations in Kathmandu, Pokhara and on the trail are included in the package cost. Spend 2 nights at Hotel Shanker in Kathmandu and 1 night at Temple Tree Resort & Spa in Pokhara.A luxurious 4 star heritage hotel, Hotel Shanker has an old world charm. It was once the palace of the Rana aristocrats, who ruled over. This magnificent former palace has been renovated and fitted with modern conveniences. At Temple Tree Resort & Spa, which lies close to Phewa Lake, rooms are allotted in two-storied identically built individual cottages. Additionally each room has its own private balcony that opens out to a large garden area. Both hotels feature tastefully decorated rooms with en suite bathrooms, multi-cuisine restaurants, bar, café, swimming pool and garden area.
While trekking, you will be spending 12 nights at comfortable mountain lodges run by local families. You will be accommodated at the best available local lodges.Compared to city hotels, teahouses along the trail may not have the same facilities. Please try to keep an open mind and embrace the experience.
Accommodation is arranged on a twin-sharing basis. If traveling solo, you will get to share the room with someone of the same gender. If you require a single room, it will be available at an extra cost.Simply click on the ‘single supplement’ tab at the time of booking.Though single rooms are readily available in Kathmandu, Pokhara and at lower elevations while trekking, at higher elevations it is may get difficult to get a single room!
Meals while trekking is included in the trip cost.Breakfast and dinner will be served at the teahouse you will be staying overnight. Lunch will be at a teahouse en route, on the trail. Food on the trail consists of local (rice, lentils, curry, chapatis) and international dishes (apple pie, pancakes, pizza, mac & cheese, toast, noodles etc.) high on nutrition and carbohydrate.
Breakfast at your hotel (Kathmandu and Pokhara), and welcome and farewell dinners are complimentary. Lunches and dinners in Kathmandu and Pokhara are not included in the trip price.
There are plenty of fine dining options in the cities. Restaurants serving international food (Italian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai etc) line the streets of Thamel and Lakeside. Do let us know if you need any help to find out the popular local eats.
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