Annapurna Circuit Trek – 18 Days
Unlike many other Himalayan ranges, the 55km/35 mile Annapurna Himal is entirely within Nepal and with a relatively easy trail that goes all around it called Annapurna Circuit. It is a trail that is among the most fascinating and popular trekking routes in the entire world, taking one through an amazing diversity of terrain and culture: from lush green foothills with pretty terraces and picturesque Gurkha villages to barren, Tibet-like landscape; through deep forested gorges and the high Thorung-La pass. Annapurna region is best described as the most happening incentive destination in Nepal. This trekking has been wildly recognized as paradise for nature lovers.
This three weeks trek starts right from Besi Sahar and goes along the Marsyangdi River, with great view of Manaslu and Himal Chuli to the east. It leads to the fine village inhabited by a wide diversity of people from different ethnic groups offering spectacular and majestic view of white Himalayas such as Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Fishtail.
The wide variety of flora and fauna, the ever changing views of the mountains and of course the trekker- friendly climate all makes this a truly memorable experience.
Day 1: Kathmandu : Arrival Day
Namaste and welcome to Nepal and the start of our adventure! We’ll be waiting with a warm greeting and transfer to your hotel. We’ll have a final briefing in the evening regarding our itinerary and overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Drive to BESI SAHAR (800m/2625ft)
It takes around 7 hours and we drive along the Kathmandu-Pokhara highway. Besi Sahar, the headquarters of Lamjung, has long been the starting point for the Annapurna circuit trek.
Day 3: Trek to NGADI (900m/2953ft)
We walk towards Bhulbule. Beyond Bhulbule, the trail travels up the east bank of the river, past an impressive 60m waterfall that is surrounded by tropical trees called pandanus, or screw pine.We can watch for langur monkeys playing in the treetops. The path wander through extensive rice terraces with continuing views of Manaslu and Ngadi Chuli. Ngadi is some 3.5km/2.2 miles from bhulbule.
Day 4: Trek to JAGAT (1330m/4364ft)
Ahead of Ngadi, some 6km/3.5miles away, we reach Bahundanda, which is a large settlement of hindu upper caste. Soon we reach the village of Ghermu, which is 5.5km/3.4 miles from Bahundanda. The trail crosses over to the west bank of Marsyangdi soon after Ghermu. We continue our journey passing villages like Syanje and Srichaur. From here, begins a long , steep 150m/500 ft climb up a stone paved stairway. The slope now falls back and soon gets very sheer; the trail is protected by rails here. We now can see the village of Jagat away in the distance, perched on a low hill. The path ultimately drops down to the village which is 1300m/4290ft away from Ghermu and has only a collection of some 50 houses.
Day 5: Trek to DHARAPANI (1960m/6431ft)
After walking half an hour from Jagat, we reach Chamje. Crossing the village, the path rounds a bend and passing by a large rock shelter, comes the cluster of thatched huts of Sattale village. The trail descends to a beautiful broad valley with the Marsyangdi winding lazily through it. The village of Tal can be seen in the distance, on the river’s bank which is 15 minutes away. After walking about 7.3km/4.5 miles from Tal, we reach Dharapani which means water tap, it is where travelers in the olden days stopped to collect water for the journey ahead. Opposite Dharapani, on the east bank, thunders an awesome waterfall, bringing the waters of the Dana Khola , fed by the Tulagi glacier of the Manaslu range, to the Marsyangdi river.
Day 6: Trek to CHAME (2710m/8892ft)
The trail continues along the right bank of Marsyangdi as we leave Dharapani. A stairway soon leads us up to the kani, or village gateway of Bagarchhap. Half an hour away, up a forested slope is Danaque, from where, the planet’s eighth highest peak is clearly visible on the east while Lamjung Himal peers in the west. Furthermore, we encounter villages of Timang, Thanchok and Koto Qupar. Koto Qupar offers great views of Manaslu to the east, and Annapurna II and Lamjung Himal to the southeast. We continue heading towards Chame, we can see the impressive rock formations on the opposite bank of Naar river. Soon we reach to Chame which is the largest settlement after Besi Sahar. Here, in Chame, we can see a long, roofed mani wall surmounted by a series of prayer wheels divides the road. As for the peaks on view from Chame, Lamjung Himal looms large on the south while Manaslu is seen in the east.
Day 7: Trek to PISANG (3310m/10860ft)
A mani wall just beyond the gompa indicates the end of Chame. There is a bend after about 1km and the village of Talekhu appears where we can see some apple orchards.The path beyond is pleasant walk through pine forests. As we descend, we pass by a mani and a distance further is the Bharatang village. As we continue, we pass by Dhukure Pokhari, which is a pretty little place amidst the woods, with a lake nearby. There is a second lovely lake some 15 minutes away where the forest begins thinning here. Beyond the lake, the trail passes by a helipad as we approach Pisang. Up on the hill, beyond the river, are the grey-brown houses of Upper Pisang, like clusters of bird nests. And overlooking the settlement is the towering snow-capped Pisang Peak (609m/19985ft) and to the south rises Annapurna II (7937m/26041ft), the world’s 16th highest peak. Pisang village is just 15 minutes from the gateway. The path to Upper Pisang is clearly visible from Pisang as it ascends the slope after crossing the bridge across Marsyangdi River.
Day 8: Trek to MANANG (3540m/11615ft)
The trail eventually climbs to the saddle, that divides the valley of Pisang from that of Manang. High on the mountains gap between jagged cliffs, can be spotted the village of Nagwal and its famous yellow roofed gompa. The path runs wide and straight through the village and we reach Humde. Humde has spectacular mountain views. We get the best view of pyramidal Pisang Peak while Annapurna III towers imposingly between two hills on the southwest. Pisang Peak is among the “trekking peaks” of the Annapurna Circuit. After 1km from here cross the Marsyangdi over a wooden bridge, soon reaching the village of Mungji. A little over 2km is a sign showing the way, south , to Milarepa’s cave. Just ahead is the gateway to Braga where Braga gompa is a must-see, which will take us the better part of an hour to visit the monastery. Just about 1.5km/0.9 mile from Braga is Manang. On a clear day, it is a panorama we cannot have enough of. And even the days are not clear; Manang has so much to offer. Temperature here falls below freezing in early spring and autumn.
Day 9: Explore MANANG
This is the day for acclimatization in Manang. We spend this day by doing some fine day walks and we can overview magnificent views around the village and day time is the perfect for gaining altitude. Climbing high during day can speed up acclimatization. Here, we can witness the spectacular scenery of Annapurna II (7937m), Annapurna III (7555m), Gangapurna (7454m), and Chulu East to the north.
Day 10: Trek to YAK KHARKA (4020m/13190ft)
The trail continues to climb out of the Marsyangdi valley, then turns northwest of the valley of the Jarsang khola , losing sight of the Manang valley behind. The route enters pastures and miniature forests of juniper, rose and barberry. Beyond is Yak-Kharka which means yak pastures. From here, we can see the excellent views of Annapurna III. There are several excursion options from Manang, the most popular of which are the walks to the Bodzo Gompa to the east or to the Gangapurna Lake, and the Chongkar viewpoint above.
Day 11: Trek to THORUNG HIGH CAMP (4850m/15913ft)
An hour further from Yak kharka is Letdar, the penultimate shelter before the pass. From Letdar, the trail continues to climb along the east bank of the Jarsang khola, then descends and crosses the stream on a wooden bridge at 4310m. The route then follows a narrow trail across an exposed slope and climbs to Thorung Phedi. An hour above Thorung Phedi is the Thorung High View camp popularly known as Thorung High Camp.
Day 12: Trek to THORUNG LA (5416m/17770ft); Trek to MUKTINATH (3800m /12468ft)
It takes 3-5 hours to climb from Thorang Phedi to the Thorung La which is the world’s biggest pass. The views from the trail and the top itself are outstanding. We can see the long great barrier ridge, which separates the drier, Tibet-like region of Manang from the rest of Nepal. We continue our trek and the trail crosses down meadows, drops into a deep ravine that marks the start of the Jhong khola, climbs out and follows a wide trail into Muktinath and its large walled temple complex. There is plenty to explore in Muktinath; so it’s a good place to rest after today’s exertions.
Day 13: Trek to JOMSOM (2760m/9056ft)
From Muktinath, we trek to Jomsom.
Day 14: Trek to TATOPANI (1190m/3904ft)
We pass through different gravel paths and we have the pleasure of excellent views to our left of the Annapurna range. After descending and passing a collection of bhattis, we now reach at Tatopani. It has long been a favorite stop of weary trekkers due to the hot springs in this area.
Day 15: Trek to GHOREPANI (2750m/9023ft)
From Tatopani, most trekkers climb to Ghorepani but if we are out of time, we can make a quick exit through Beni. Whichever route we choose, we have to cross two successive suspension bridges, the first across Kali Gandaki and the next Ghar Khola. As we plod our way up the steps from Ghar Khola. 1700m/5610ft away from Tatopani is Ghara which is a quiet place and doesn’t feel touristy. It is a nice walk as we leave Ghara and its farmlands, the trail contouring the basin. Sikha is somewhat 1940m/6402ft from Ghara with sprawling terraced fields. All along the trail, there are tea houses where we can stop for a drink and relish the valley’s pastoral ambience and splendid scenery. As we gain height, the mountain views only get better and ahead lies Phalate and Chitre respectively. Beyond Chitre, there is virtually no habitation until we reach Ghorepani. It is a steep, quiet climb through forests of rhododendron, birch and magnolia, with occasional meadows from where the peaks look wonderful.
Day 16: Trek to POONHILL (3210m/10532ft);Trek down to POKHARA (884m/2900ft)
The name Ghore-pani means ‘water for horses’; it is from the water troughs here that the horses are watered. This is the final day of our Annapurna Classic Trek but before we leave this Himalayan theatre, the mountains will make a last bow, a last curtain call. It takes almost an hour to make it from Ghorepani and it is not an easy climb in the frosty half light, up a fairly steep path. The Poon Hill presents breathtaking panorama. Looking south, we can see the plains far in the distance, while from the northwest to the northeast stretches the stunning panorama of peaks, extending from Dhaulagiri to Manaslu. From Poon Hill, we can actually see three of the earth’s ten tallest mountains: Dhaulagiri I (7th highest), Manaslu and Annapurna (10th). From here we head towards Pokhara for the night stay.
Day 17: Fly back to KATHMANDU
From Pokhara we fly back to Kathmandu and are dropped to the hotel. This is a leisure day which can be utilized buying gifts and souvenirs for your friends and family. In the evening you will be invited to join a FAREWELL DINNER reviewing great photos and share experiences of the trip.
Day 18: Fly back HOME or extend your HOLIDAYS
If you prefer to stay longer, you can consult us for short tours such as game drive at National Parks, Rafting, Mountain Biking, Tibet, India or Bhutan tours etc.
Cost, Includes and Excludes
- All airport/hotel pick up and drop in private car/van.
- 3 Nights in 3 Star Hotel in Kathmandu including breakfast.
- Accommodation in Lodge/Guest House during trek.
- An experienced English speaking Trekking Guide and a Porter during trek.
- Salary, food, insurance and lodging cost for guide and porter.
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Tea/Coffee during trek.
- Welcome and Farewell Meals and Breakfast while in Kathmandu.
- National Park Permit and TIMS for the trek.
- Air fare from Pokhara to Kathmandu and domestic flight departure taxes.
- Nepal entry visa fees.
- International airfare and departure tax.
- Bar bills, laundry and other expenses of personal nature.
- Travel insurance including evacuation.
- Tips for local staffs, guides and porters.