The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a popular trekking route located in the Annapurna region of Nepal. It is known for its stunning mountain views, diverse landscapes, and rich cultural experiences.
The trek usually takes around 15-20 days to complete and covers a distance of approximately 160-230 kilometers (depending on the route taken). The trek starts in the town of Besishahar and follows the Marsyangdi River through lush forests, terraced farmland, and traditional villages.
The highest point on the trek is the Thorong La Pass, which sits at an altitude of 5,416 meters (17,769 feet). From the top of the pass, trekkers can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks, including Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Manaslu.
Along the way, trekkers can also visit several cultural and religious sites, including the famous Buddhist monastery in Manang, the Hindu temple of Muktinath, and the ancient village of Kagbeni.
Overall, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is a challenging yet rewarding adventure that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural immersion, and physical exertion.
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The Annapurna Circuit Trek is an incredibly diverse and scenic trek, with a range of highlights that make it a popular choice for adventure-seekers from around the world. Here are some of the top highlights of the Annapurna Circuit Trek:
Stunning Mountain Views: The trek offers incredible views of some of the world’s highest and most iconic peaks, including Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, and Manaslu. Trekkers will also get to see a range of other peaks, glaciers, and valleys along the way.
Thorong La Pass: The trek reaches its climax at the Thorong La Pass, which sits at an elevation of 5,416 meters (17,769 feet) and is one of the highest mountain passes in the world. The pass offers breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks and is a challenging and rewarding achievement for trekkers.
Cultural Immersion: The Annapurna region is rich in culture and history, and the trek offers a chance to experience the local way of life firsthand. Trekkers will pass through traditional villages and meet locals from a range of ethnic groups, including Gurung, Thakali, and Manangi.
Natural Wonders: The trek takes trekkers through a range of landscapes, including lush forests, terraced farmland, alpine meadows, and high-altitude deserts. Along the way, trekkers will encounter waterfalls, hot springs, and the blue waters of Tilicho Lake.
Historic Sites: The trek includes a number of historic and religious sites, including the ancient village of Kagbeni, the Buddhist monastery in Manang, and the Hindu temple of Muktinath. These sites offer a glimpse into the rich history and religious traditions of the region.
Overall, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is a truly unforgettable adventure that offers a unique combination of natural beauty, cultural immersion, and physical challenge.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a challenging trek that requires a good level of physical fitness and preparation. Before embarking on this trek, it’s important to consider the following factors:
Altitude: The trek reaches elevations of over 5,000 meters, which can cause altitude sickness in some people. It’s important to acclimatize properly and be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness.
Terrain: The trek involves a mix of steep ascents and descents, as well as rocky and uneven terrain. Trekkers should have a good level of fitness and be prepared for long days of hiking.
Weather: The weather in the Annapurna region can be unpredictable, with cold temperatures, rain, and snow possible at any time of year. Trekkers should be prepared for all weather conditions and have appropriate gear.
Accommodation: Accommodation on the trek is basic, with teahouses and lodges offering simple rooms and shared bathrooms. Trekkers should be prepared for basic living conditions.
Health: Trekkers should be in good overall health and be prepared to deal with common ailments such as blisters, cuts, and scrapes. It’s also important to be up to date on all necessary vaccinations.
Overall, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is a challenging adventure that requires physical fitness, mental stamina, and a willingness to embrace the local culture and environment. With proper preparation and a positive attitude, however, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
Duration: 8-9 hours , Drive: private or shearing jeep
|This morning, drive to Besisahar (approximately 5.5 hours) to immediately immerse yourself in the spectacular mountain wilderness that encompasses the Annapurna Range. After lunch you will begin, you will drive straight away, heading to Ngadi. overnight at Ngadi.
Duration: 6- hours
|After breakfast, we walk through the villages and riverbanks of Marshyangdi River. We will take a break for our lunch and then follows the trial crossing suspension bridges, steeply uphill and forest to Chamje. overnight at Chamje.
Duration: 6-7 hours
|After the breakfast in Chamje the trek goes through the Tal the first village of Manang District. Crossing the suspension bridges in Marshyangdi River, we will be at Dharapani after 6-7 hours of walk. We will be staying in a guesthouse of the night.
Duration: 6-7 hours
We continue ascending through forests of pine and oak, we pass through Dhanakyu before coming to a large waterfall. Further, on, the Marshyangdi River enters a gorge and the trail follows a rock-strewn path. When the steep incline ends, we follow a path amid rhododendrons and continue on a gently rising path. We cross a stream before entering a pine forest. We then enter the hamlet of Kotho, from where we can get a good view of Annapurna II. The route reaches a large white gate with a corrugated iron roof, which is the entrance of Chame, the administrative headquarters of Manang district. There is electricity, shops, health post, post office and banks in Chame. The hot springs are a major attraction too. overnight at Chame
Duration: 6-7 hours
|The trail goes through the bank of the Marshyangdi Khola. On the way, we will take a break for the lunch and again start the trek for the beautiful village, Pisang. We will be staying in a Guesthouse for the night.
Duration: 5-6 hours
You start your trek early in the morning from Pisang. You can enjoy the amazing view of the Tilicho peak and Manang Valley as you make your way along a steep ridge. You can also get a view of Annapurna IV from the plains of the Sabje Khola Valley. You cross the Marsyangdi Khola and move to the small village of Mungji. You can also see an amazing monastery at Bryaga village. Annapurna II, III, IV, Gangapurna and Tilicho Peak can be on your way. Finally, after walking for 5 hours you reach Manang village located at 3540m.
|To make ourselves able for the further trek we will rest in the Manang for a day. We can hike some popular places like Bhojo Gumpa and Gangapurna Lake. We will be staying in a guesthouse for the night.
Duration: 5-6 hours
|We will enjoy our tasty meal in Manang before we start our gentle uphill climb to Yak Kharka. Our trek will be easy for this day without any steep climbs though high altitude can cause some tiredness. The beautiful views will be always there. We also have some chances to see blue Sheep grazing in the mountains. Views of Annapurna, Gangapurna, Tilicho etc. will be always together with us.
It is a day with close and stunning views of snowy Himalayas. On our walk, we will pass two small villages called Tengi and Gunsang. Both villages have few basic lodges for trekkers. The trail after crossing Gunsang is mostly flat with couple of suspension bridges.
Duration: 5-6 hours
|It is another special and breathe taking day. Amazing views, light trail and towering Himalayas are together with us. The trail until we cross Kone Khola [stream] is mostly flat. Before crossing this stream, we will pass two small villages called Churi Ledar and Ledar.
Once we cross Kone Khola the trail will give us sudden steep climb. As we complete steep uphill, the risks of dry landslide will also become higher. We will need to be aware of stones falling down from the cliffs.
Once we cross this risky area, the route again becomes gentle up before we reach Phedi. We can stay here tonight and prepare crossing the pass, continuing for another 40-45 minutes will take us to high camp, which is about 400 meters higher than Phedi.
Duration: 7-8 hours
|Whether we start from Phedi or High Camp, we will have to start our breakfast early in the morning. It is a challenging and special day too.
Once we get our breakfast, we will start our trek with torches. The walk can be slippery so we have to be aware of risks. With amazing views around us, we will be walking in the middle surrounded by huge white peaks.
There are no lodges or hotels along the way so we have to carry some food with us. There are two teashops which offers ‘world’s most expensive tea’ but that is special. A warm tea in this altitude and in this place is so special.
Walking for few hours we will reach the highest point of the trek named ‘Thorong La’ pass. It will not be difficult to recognize praying flags surround the pass as it. We will enjoy some hot tea here and start walking steep downhill towards Muktinath. It is steep downhill walk with some mountain views far sight.
Once we walk about 1600 meters down we will reach Muktinath (3800M); our destination for tonight. Enjoy some lunch here and explore this small town.
Duration: 5-6 hours
|Muktinath is one of the important pilgrimage for both Buddhists and Hindus. There are several temples and monasteries, which are important for religious as well as for tourists. Descending on the steeply hills and crossing Kagbeni we will reach the Marpha. This place is famous for the apple they produce and local apple brandy is famous all over Nepal.
, Drive: 3-4 hours drive
|From here, you can have local bus or trek to the Tatopani. The view of Kali Gandaki Valley is amazing; the route goes through the flat and broad river. After crossing the Deepest Gorge in the world, we will be heading towards Tatopani, which means Hot water. Here we can enjoy the natural hot spring and the pool. We will be staying here for the night.
Duration: 4 hours
|After enjoying the hot water spring we descend down and crossing suspension bridge. We will take a route to the Batase Dada and a walk through the farmlands to the Sikha Village we have to enjoy lunch here. Overnight at Sikha
Duration: 4 hour
|After Breakfast the trek continuous through the terraced fields, rhododendron and pine forest. After 4-5 hours of trek, we will reach at Ghorepani from where the amazing views of mountain and rhododendron forest can be seen.
Duration: 7-8 hours , Drive: 1.5 hours
|Early in the morning, we will be hiking up to Poon Hill for the sunrise and amazing view of Annapurna south, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Fishtail and many other mountains. After that, we will descend down to Ghorepani, have breakfast and start trek for Nayapul. We will take a break on the way for our lunch and drive to Pokhara from Nayapul. Sightseeing in Pokhara and overnight at hotel.
Spring (March to May) and autumn (mid-September to November) are considered the best seasons to complete the Annapurna Circuit hike. The weather stays dry and clear during these times, making it ideal for trekking and enjoying unobstructed mountains’ views. The days are warm and the nights chilly. On the downside, however, these are peak seasons, and the trails get crowded and busy.
During spring, the trail is filled with wildflowers. Blue Sheep and Musk Dears come out to graze on alpine meadows. Walking through the hills covered with colorful blooms against the backdrop of the snowy Himalayas will seem heavenly.
Autumn is the most popular season for Annapurna Trek. With the end of the wet monsoon season, which clears the skies of dust and impurities, you can enjoy clear views during this season. Timing your trek around late September or October will allow you to experience the most important festivals of the Nepalese Dashain and Tihar. These festivals, celebrated by Hindus, last for several days. Expect good food, merry-making, dance, and music at all the villages along the trail.
Yartung, one of the oldest festivals in the Himalayan region, is celebrated in Manang, Upper Mustang, and Muktinath. It is a horse racing festival where riders from Manang and Mustang compete with each other and show off their horse-riding skills. Though according to custom it is observed for 3 days, the celebration continues for a week. Unfortunately, this festival falls during the rainy season (July or August). If you can brave inclement weather, you can be a part of this ancient and wonderful festival. You can do half the circuit, trek only up to Manang, and skip the Thorong La crossing.
This trek involves walking across Thorong La (5,416m), one of the highest mountain passes in Nepal, which can be quite risky during bad weather. Taking this route during the monsoon or winter season can be hazardous.
Altitude sickness, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), is a common condition that can occur when trekking at high elevations, such as during the Annapurna Circuit Trek. It is caused by the reduced amount of oxygen in the air at higher altitudes, and can be potentially life threatening if left untreated. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness and to take steps to prevent it from occurring.
Here are some tips for acclimatization during the Annapurna Circuit Trek:
Gradual ascent: One of the best ways to acclimatize is to gradually ascend to higher altitudes. The Annapurna Circuit Trek is designed in such a way that trekkers have plenty of time to acclimatize. It is important to follow the recommended itinerary and not to rush the trek.
Hydration: Staying well hydrated can help prevent altitude sickness. Drink plenty of fluids, such as water or tea, and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
Rest and relaxation: Taking regular rest breaks and allowing your body time to adjust to the altitude is important. It’s recommended to take a rest day every few days to help with acclimatization.
Medication: There are certain medications, such as acetazolamide, that can help prevent altitude sickness. However, it’s important to consult with a doctor before taking any medication.
Know the symptoms: The symptoms of altitude sickness can include headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to rest and allow your body to adjust to the altitude. In severe cases, descending to a lower altitude may be necessary.
Overall, acclimatization is a critical component of trekking at high altitudes. By taking the necessary steps to prevent altitude sickness and allowing your body time to adjust to the altitude, you can enjoy the beauty of the Annapurna Circuit Trek without any major health concerns.
It is important to keep your body hydrated on the trail as dehydration also causes AMS. One should drink at least 3-4 liters of fluid.
Inside the Annapurna Conservation Area, you will find several safe drinking water stations. We highly recommend you carry a reusable water bottle with you, which can hold hot water. You can use one with a steri pen or an inbuilt filtration system like Life Straw.
You can also use water purification tablets to treat the water. While the water in the mountains tends to be pure and without impurities, it is better not to take chances and filter or treat the water before drinking.
Using chlorine or iodine tablets to treat the water may alter its taste. You can add flavored electrolyte powder (readily available at pharmacies in Kathmandu) to mask the bitter chemical taste. Adding electrolyte to your drinking water may also be beneficial as the minerals (sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc.) you lose while walking is replenished.
Teahouses offer boiled and filter drinking water at an additional cost. At some stops, you will get to buy bottled drinking water. It can cost anywhere from USD 1 to 3. Charges vary according to altitude (the higher you reach, the more expensive it will be) and quantity.
Internet connection (though erratic and irregular at some places) is available in the Annapurna Region. You can connect with your loved ones while trekking, post updates, and upload pictures on social media. Wi-fi is available at all teahouses. Teahouses charge extra for using their Wi-Fi hotspot. You can also get a sim card (preferably Ncell) in Kathmandu and purchase internet data to use on your trek.
We ensure the safety of our clients by following all safety protocols during the trip. This itinerary has been designed by travel experts and veteran guides who have trekked on this route innumerable times.
To prevent AMS, the required number of rest days has been added to the itinerary. Our guides always carry a first-aid kit and pulse oximeter (to measure the oxygen level in your blood) with them. The guides assigned to you have more than 10 years of experience and know what steps to take during an emergency. They are well trained in wilderness first aid and crisis management.
If a client shows symptoms of AMS and needs to descend to a lower elevation, an assistant guide will escort him/her and follow the safety protocol. He will closely monitor the client’s condition and take the required steps needed for the client’s well-being.
If he/she feels all right after a night’s rest, the guide will escort the client back to join the group. However, if the condition worsens, the client will be escorted down to a lower elevation or airlifted to Pokhara or Kathmandu for expert medical aid.
For Annapurna Circuit Trek, you need a good travel insurance policy that offers you coverage for all activities and altitudes included in your itinerary. The highest altitude you reach is 5,416 meters, and your travel insurance should offer you suitable coverage up to this elevation.
Though we take your safety as our number one priority, we cannot rule out mishaps and emergencies that may occur at this altitude. There is less oxygen in the environment, and trekkers usually suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness, which could prove to be fatal if not treated on time.
Walking in a treacherous mountain environment also exposes you to physical injuries. Therefore make sure that your insurance covers the cost of all injuries and emergencies that you can face during this trekking adventure.
Your insurance policy should especially cover the cost of helicopter evacuation and hospitalization in case of an accident or medical emergency, as these happen to be quite expensive. Check for vaccination requirements as some travel insurance policies make it mandatory to immunize yourself before leaving your country.
Before you decide on a policy, be mindful and do not forget to read the fine print. It would be advantageous for you to choose a company that offers insurance cover on domestic and international flight cancellations and lost or stolen baggage.
The gear and equipment you require for this trek depend on the season you are trekking. However, here is a list of probable items. We recommend our clients to bring just the essentials.
Sun hat or scarf |Winter hat or insulating hat or a wide-brimmed hat| Headlight with extra batteries
Sunscreen | Sunglasses with UV protection |Face/body wipes
Lightweight gloves |Heavyweight winter gloves
Hiking shirts | Long-sleeved shirt | Hooded rain jacket | Fleece jacket |Lightweight cotton pants | T-Shirt (bring lightweight wool) |Polypropylene underwear |Down jacket (available for rent in Kathmandu) |Sweater |Waterproof jacket and pants
Hiking boots |Thick wool socks (Take an extra pair of thick light socks)
Backpack or daypack (Size depends on whether you take porter or not)|Thermal bottle |Water purification tablets |Trekking pole
Sleeping bag (-15 degree bag is best in the high altitude trekking)
Medium size drying towel |Toothbrush |Toothpaste |Deodorant floss
Biodegradable bar soap |Nail clippers
Money| Watch |Cell phone |Camera
First aid kit|
Extra passport-size photos and photocopies of passport
Notebook and pen |