Annapurna Circuit Trek - 12 Days

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Annapurna circuit trek is a globally recognized complete package for any traveler looking to step out of their comfort zone. This trek is unlike any other trek in the world. In a single trek, you will have conquered the highest pass of Nepal situated at about 5400 meters, travel to the temple of Muktinath, enjoy the panoramic view of the Annapurna range, experience the feeling of touching the fresh waters of the glacial lake of Gangapurna and observe some of the rarest species of birds like the Himalayan Monal and Tibetan Snowcock of the Himalayas. This trek is not only for the physical and mental relief but also very popular for the spiritual development of oneself as we will be setting our footsteps on one of the most powerful temples which is believed to be the “Temple of Salvation” by the Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims. 

This is one of the toughest treks in Nepal mostly because of the altitude that we have to attain in a very short period. But with precise preparation what this trek route has to offer in terms of landscape views, knowledge about Tibetan culture, and typical Himalayan settlement in general, it is absolutely worth it and hands down has no competition or even equal to the beauty of this region.

Overview

Starting Trek point: Chame

Ending Trek point: Jomsom

Highest altitude to gain: Thorang La pass (5416 m)

Difficulty: 4.5 out of 5

Seasons to avoid trekking here: Mid-June to August (Monsoon season)

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in Kathmandu

Altitude information: Kathmandu (1400m)
Your arrival will be awaited by our representatives at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA). You will be transferred to the hotel rooms in the city along with your luggage. There is no specific activity designated for this day. You will meet the rest of the trekking team and representatives and you will have all the freedom to prepare yourself for the next day.

Overnight in Kathmandu
Lunch, breakfast and dinner included

Day 2
Drive from Kathmandu to Chame (9 hours)

Altitude information: Kathmandu (1400m), Besisahar (830 m), Chame (2700 m)
Today there will be no trekking as we will have to cover a lot of distance to get as close as possible to the Himalayan settlement of Manang. We drive from Kathmandu to Besisahar very early in the morning. It will take us about 5 hours to reach Besisahar depending on the traffic. Then from Besisahar we will book a jeep and drive towards Chame. The ride from Besisahar to Chame is no luxury travel as the trail is full of bumpy ups and downs but the best part is you will be driving alongside the turquoise blue river of Marsyangdi. From Kathmandu to Chame we will experience a drastic temperature change, so a suitable change of apparel is suggested with a change in altitude.

Overnight in Chame
Lunch, breakfast and dinner included

Day 3
Trek from Chame to Pisang (5-6 hrs)

Altitude information: Chame (2700 m), Upper Pisang (3300 m)
Today is our first day of the trek as we indulge ourselves with nature. The jeep can carry you up to Khangsar but this can cause altitude sickness and you will miss a major bit of scenery in Manang and Pisang.
After breakfast, we start acclimating to Upper Pisang. Walking side by side the turquoise river with sky-touching snow capped peaks, the pine forest adds that hint of magic that every traveler craves for. The trail is narrow and steep which will make you think hiking rather than driving in these parts of the Himalayas is a far better idea. As you arrive at the settlement of Pisang, you will see a huge curved rock behind you popularly known as Paungda Danda which is also known as Swarga Dwar loosely translating to The Gateway to heaven. The massive rock face looks like someone had manually carved it to look like the way it looks. We spend our night here and organize ourselves for tomorrow.
Overnight in Pisang
Lunch, breakfast and dinner included

Day 4
Trek from Pisang to Manang (5-6 hrs)

Altitude information: Upper Pisang (3300 m), Manang (3500 m)
Manang is one of the most popular gateways to Tilicho Lake and Thorang La Pass. We start walking in the early morning after breakfast. The trail screams Tibetan culture as the path is decorated with Mani walls, Tibetan arts, and small Chortens. We will also be able to see a clearer view of Gangapurna and Annapurna III as we gain more altitude. As we arrive in Manang we will notice thicker settlements, crowded paths, and an urban vibe of the area.
Overnight in Manang
Lunch, breakfast and dinner included

Day 5
Rest day in Manang

Altitude information: Manang (3500 m)
We will start our day with the sunrise over the Annapurna range and Gangapurna.
Our goal today would be to acclimatize and explore the majestic village of Manang. We will start by exploring Gangapurna Lake. This is a glacial lake formed right beneath the Gangapurna Mountain. After sightseeing the breathtaking glacial Lake of Gngapurna we head towards the Buddhist monastery located at about 4000 meters. This will help our body to familiarize ourselves with the current altitude leading to better sleep and minimizes the chances of altitude sickness in future.

Overnight in Manang
Lunch, breakfast and dinner included

Day 6
Trek from Manang to Yak Kharka (4-5 hrs)

Altitude information: Manang (3500 m), Ghusang (3700), Yak Kharka (4050 m)
Our goal will be to gain about 500 meters today. Now from this point and above we have to be very careful of our walking speed and hydration. Talking and getting suggestions from the locals of Manang can also be very helpful to get information about the trail further and what you can expect.
The landscape changes completely and gets more and more barren but the view of the Himalayas that you get after reaching the top of the Yak Kharka is worth it. It normally takes about 4 hours to reach Yak Kharka from Manang which leaves us with plenty of time to rest in Yak Kharka.

Overnight in Yak Kharka
Lunch, breakfast and dinner included

Day 7
Trek from Yak Kharka to Phedi (5-6 hrs)

Altitude information: Yak Kharka (4050 m), Ledtar (4240 m), Thorung Phedi (4530 m)
As you climb higher the wind speed increases. It will be bearable but covering your head and chest with multiple layers of warm cloth pieces is highly recommended. You will encounter some landslide areas throughout the trail while heading to Thorung Phedi. This is 4500 meters above sea level so you cannot expect stone-paved stairs and a perfectly designed trail. The trail is somewhat narrow but big enough for people heading up and returning down at the same time.
One of the main attractions of the Himalayas of Nepal is the Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus) and Tibetan Snowcock. You will be able to sight these birds in their natural habitat at Thorung Phedi and altitude above this. Himalayan Monal, also popularly known as Danfe in Nepali is Nepal’s national bird. These birds are very difficult to sight and are one of the most beautiful birds in the entire world because of their rareness and vibrant colors.
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Overnight in Thorung Phedi
Lunch, breakfast and dinner included

Day 8
Trek from Thorung Phedi to Muktinanth via Thorang La Pass (7-8 hrs)

Altitude information: Thorung Phedi (4530 m), High Camp (4850 m), Thorang La (5416 m), Muktinath (3800 m)
Today is the last day that we will have to maintain our discipline and push slowly to the highest pass of Nepal. When you arrive at Thorang La you will notice the bare deserted land with no sign of vegetation. The wind speed becomes unbearable during the daytime so we will have to wake up very early before the sunrise, have our breakfast, and keep moving. You will reach High Camp in an hour and a half where you could take a water break. Make sure you carry plenty of water, it is very important to keep yourself hydrated.
We keep on pushing until we see the signboard reading out “THORONG-LA PASS”. It will take about 2 and a half hours from high camp to Thorang La. The feeling of accomplishment once you are here is immeasurable. You will feel like you are on top of the world and you quite rightly should as Thorang La pass is situated at a higher altitude than the Everest base camp.
Finally, we start descending to Muktinath. It will take us about 3 to 4 hours to reach Muktinath depending on our speed.

Overnight in Muktinath
Lunch, breakfast and dinner included

Day 9
Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom (5-6 hours)

Altitude information: Muktinath (3800 m), Kagbeni (2800 m), Jomsom (2743 m)
The toughest part of the trek is done. There are no more steep uphill walks, no more extreme temperature falls, and no more harsh winds.
Muktinath is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites of Nepal. Mainly Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims manage to flock to this part of the Himalayas at least once in their life. This temple is also known as the “Temple of Salvation”. It is considered that anyone who takes a bath from the sacredly built 108 stone faucets and 2 water pools will be given salvation after death by the gods.
We will walk from Muktinath early in the morning and reach Kagbeni in about 4 hours. 2 more hours of the walk will bring us to the village of Jomsom. It depends on the walking pace of an individual but compared to what we have achieved a few days earlier, walking to jomsom should be fairly easy. We can also take a one hour bus ride from Muktinath to Jomsom if you are reluctant to walk.

Overnight in Jomsom
Lunch, breakfast and dinner included

Day 10
Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara (5-6 hrs)

Altitude information: Jomsom (2743 m), Pokhara (822 m)
This will be one of the most thrilling flights of your life. Hold on to your seats as we will cut through the hills of the Annapurna region and head to the urban city of Pokhara to celebrate our victory.

Overnight in Pokhara
Lunch, breakfast and dinner included

Day 11
Rest in Pokhara

Altitude information: Pokhara (822m)
Pokhara city is one of the most popular tourist hubs of Nepal. There are ancient caves, historic waterfalls, temples, and numerous vibrant lakes for everyone to enjoy along with boating, paragliding, cycling, and many more. It is also host to some of the most historic places like Gupteshwor Mahadev cave, Davis falls, Begnas Lake, Phewa Lake, Mahendra Lake, Mahendra cave, lakeside, Mountaineering Museum, and many more. If you are too tired, spending some quiet time at the lakeside is a perfect painkiller after a long trek.

Day 12
Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu

Altitude information: Kathmandu (1400m), Pokhara (822m)
We can return to Kathmandu by bus, minivan, or airplane. The return to the capital denotes an end to our memorable journey.

How difficult is this trek?

This is one of the most challenging treks that Nepal has to offer. As the Annapurna circuit is one of the most popular treks of Nepal, the infrastructures and number of lodges have improved over the years. So this part of Nepal is a comparatively very accessible region to trek as there are hotels even at 5000 meters.
No doubt this trek is a difficult one to complete but it is not impossible. With an experienced guide, the right gears, permits, and will to travel this trek can easily be completed. Minor fatigue and body aches can be the result of some off-road travel but it can be shaken off with a rest day.

What is the accommodation like?

Accommodation in till Manang is very good and has facilities more than you can ask for in the Himalayas but after acclimating towards Thorang Phedi you might have to make some compromises. A variety of food and beverages will still be available but you might have to use a common bathroom, no shower, no internet, and no mobile networks. Common room with heater, thick blankets, and comfortable pillows for all individuals are available.

What kind of fitness is required to complete this trek?

This is the highest pass of Nepal. The altitude of Thorang La Pass is higher than that of the Everest Basecamp. So you should be aware that there will be no walk in the park. Preparing physically through cardio workouts, lower body workouts, and core strengthening exercises is compulsory. No special training or physical fitness is required but if you can maintain a certain level of fitness before starting this trek it will be much more enjoyable.

Is Altitude sickness a worry?

Yes! When you gain altitude oxygen level in the atmosphere decreases but with a healthy diet, hydration, and slow-maintained walking pace it will not be a problem. If you see any signs of altitude sickness our guides and porter will guide you to a lower altitude for recovery.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Annapurna Circuit Trek

Trip Facts

  • Thorang La pass (5416 m)
  • Drive Kathmandu to Chame and Flight to Jomsom to Pokhara to Kathmandu

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