Annapurna Circuit Trekking

annapurna-circit-mountain

Trip Overview

“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing”

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the most popular treks in Annapurna region. Annapurna Circuit Trek brings to you the sheer scale and enormity of the Himalayas, diversity of rare flora and fauna, contrasting landscapes and vegetations, unique lifestyle of the local inhabitants, richness of culture as well as ancient and historical heritages. A trek deep in the heart of the Annapurna's massif, going through marvelous valleys to discover the life of the mountain people and to be astonished by the immense splendor of Nepal. This trek is one of the best options as it has everything that a trekker dreams of in terms of natural landscapes.

Hiking the Annapurna circuit trek is regarded as one of the best routes of Nepal and it would offer you an experience to cherish for lifetime. From the medieval aged heritages of Kathmandu valley and the relaxing, scenic city of Pokhara to the rural countryside with cool waterfalls and pristine rivers, delicious cuisines and welcoming hosts, and enthralling sunrise and sunsets, trekkers are sure to be mesmerized. By following the complete circuit, starting in Besi Sahar and ending in Naya Pool, you experience the delights of the many villages; encounter numerous temples, ecosystems and wildlife. Throng-la pass 5,416 meters, 17769 feet is the highest point of Annapurna circuit trek. It is for the trekkers who are looking for spectacular scenery and a great trekking experience. Highlights of the trek include panoramic views of mountain ranges and peaks, captivating sunrises and sunsets, terraced farmlands with ample time to visit the villages of different ethnic groups and to immerse within in the Himalayan lifestyle plus you can indulge yourself with warm hospitality of the local people. Every day you gain imposing views of some of the most famous mountains in the Himalayas: Annapurna I through IV, Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Machhapuchhre (6,993 m), Nilgiri (2,637 m) and Gangapurna (7,455 m) dominating the northern skyline. As you trek the Annapurna circuit you would cover the places like Khudi, Chamje, Dharapani, Pisang, Manang, Thorong phedi, Muktinath, Marpha, Lete, Tatopani, Ghorepani, Birethanti and Pokhara. During this entire circuit trek you are offered with amazing landscapes consisting of rivers, peaks, vegetation and wildlife. You would get to know the culture of this region through the village life.

Usually trekking in the Annapurna Circuit is done counter-clockwise in order to have a convenient journey to cross the Thorong La pass. And generally the best seasons for Annapurna Circuit Trek are March to May and September to December. Join the Annapurna Circuit Trek with Adventure Master Treks & Expedition to get enthralled with the enormity of the glaciers, be blissful with the colorful rhododendron forest and scenic landscapes and feel triumphant in the natural amphitheatre of Annapurna massifs amidst the Annapurna Sanctuary.

Itinerary Overview

Day 01 : Arrive at Kathmandu airport

Day 02 : Kathmandu Valley sightseeing and trek preparation

Day 03 : Drive Kathmandu to Besi Shahar

Day 04 : Besishar to Baahun danda

Day 05 : Baahun danda to Chamje

Day 06 : Chamje to Dharapani

Day 07 : Dharapani to Chame

Day 08 : Chame to Pisang

Day 09 : Pisang to Manang

Day 10 : Acclimatization day at Manang

Day 11 : Manang to Yak kharka

Day 12 : Yak kharka to Thorang Phedi(4420m)

Day 13 : Throung Phedi to Thorongla then trek down to Muktinath

Day 14 : Muktinath to Marpha

Day 15 : Marpha to Kalopani

Day 16 : Kalopani to Tatopani

Day 17 : Tatopani to Ghorepani

Day 18 : Ghorepani to Ghandruk

Day 19 : Ghandruk to Pokhara

Day 20 : Drive back to Kathmandu

Day 21 : Final Departure

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival at Kathmandu airport:

Welcome to the Himalayan nation of Nepal! As your flight lands in the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA), a representative of Adventure Master Treks & Expedition shall be waiting at the airport terminal. Upon meeting our representative, you shall be properly welcomed and then transferred to your respective hotel where you will be checked into. Take some rest from your jet-lagged flight and later go out for a stroll around the iconic Thamel area. In the evening, return to your hotel and prepare yourself for tomorrow’s sightseeing tour. Stay overnight at Kathmandu.

Day 02: Kathmandu valley Sightseeing and Trek Preparation:

Today we shall explore the ancient and prominent heritages of Kathmandu which represent it to the outer world due to its excellent representation of Nepalese golden past. The guided exploration shall begin after meeting the tour guide and trekking teams in our office. From the sacred Buddhist pilgrimages of Swayambhunath Stupa, also known as the Monkey Temple, which is one of the oldest stupas in Nepal and Boudhanath Stupa, one of the biggest in the world, we get deep insight into the Buddhist teachings and culture. The holy temple of Pashupatinath, one of the most worshipped temples in Nepal by the Hindus, boasts of its ancient architecture, numerous small temples and open cremation ritual which makes a common person realize the philosophy of life. Kathmandu Durbar Square, the historical royal complex with royal palace, unique temples, and intricate carvings is another special heritage in Kathmandu besides many others. Exploring all these heritages listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site List, we also have discussion on the adventure which is to begin the next day. Stay overnight at Kathmandu.

Day 03: Drive Kathmandu to Besisahar:

For our adventure which circumambulates around the Annapurna massifs, we leave for the region from Kathmandu in a drive. Heading to the western Nepal, we drive along the Prithvi Highway till Besisahar. In a comfortable journey, we shall drive through valleys and roadside settlements, along the fast flowing rivers and past the beautiful views of cool waterfalls, green and dense forests, and remote settlements perched up on the hills, terraced fields, varieties of vegetation and warm welcoming locals along the route. Later after riding for about 5 hours we shall reach our final point of the day, Besisahar. Upon reaching there you shall gain the view of Himalayas including giant Manaslu and other peaks is additional bonus to the travelers. Stay overnight at Besishar.

Day 04: Besisahar to Bahun Danda:

In our first full day trekking in the region, we shall today have Bahun Danda, a beautiful hill village which offers a warm home-stay for the explorers in the region, as the destination. Past some temples and lively settlements, we gradually climb in the trail through the Gurung settlements. Following through couple of suspension and wooden bridges, beautiful waterfalls, the ups and downs of the hilly terrain, terraced cultivation areas and forest areas with diverse vegetations, our adventure continues in the hills of western Nepal. As we progress ahead in the trail, the walking is on increasingly steep trail and the mountains seen from lower altitude places come closer. Walking through other settlements with cultural mix including a village of ethnic communities you pass Ngadi (940 m) very with no trouble and move toward the first vertical ascent to the hill of Bahun Danda (1,310 m) which is a sweaty effort up to the ridge top-village. For many people this is an ideal first day goal as Bahun Danda is very famous for its extravagant rice terraces. Stay overnight at Bahun Danda.   

Day 05: Bahun Danda to Chame:

The journey today is a scenic, full of greenery and a mix of diverse terrain and landscape. Beginning from the beautiful village of Bahun Danda with a stunning view of high and green hills and decorated with terraced fields, we move ahead in the trail along a steep vertical cliff, navigate through the dense forest with diverse vegetations, pass through culturally rich villages and cross over some suspension bridges to reach a popular stoppage with beautiful views of waterfall. The trail ahead goes more strenuous than before and along this tough walk overlooked by lush hills with some crossings on suspension bridges we reach to Jagat. Ahead of Jagat we shall have another steep climb past scenic landscape, waterfalls and small settlements to reach the destination for today, the village of Chame. In the midst of alluring, captivating communities with unbelievable landscapes adds beauty to this adventure. Stay overnight at Chame.

Day 06: Chame to Dharapani:

Our adventure along the humming Marshyangdi River continues today as well where we shall head for Dharapani, a settlement into unique Manang district. The trek begins from Chame and we shall trek down to the Marshyangdi River and across, looking at the alluring scenery and landscape. Climbing to higher altitude along the trail of Annapurna Circuit, we now ascent through the terraced fields accompanied by the mighty river to Tal Phedi through Sattale village. After a steep climb to Tal village, the village with striking waterfalls and fertile land which introduces you to the Manang district and have your permits checked, we now meander along the Tibetan influenced environment. Past Mani walls and chortens, villages of Karte and Nache dominated by Buddhism and its reminiscence and some ups and downs along the trail, we reach to the destination for today, the village of Dharapani. Stay overnight at Dharapani.

Day 07: Dharapani to Chame:

As we enter deeper into the Manang valley, we shall leave behind the rhododendron forest, barley and potato fields and lush forests. After a trek to Bagarchhap, a village in buffer zone before dry highland, we move ahead past the scenic landscape adorned by another waterfall. Crossing over couple of bridges and walking past some chortens, we ascent to the settlement of Danak and most probably take higher route which provides more dramatic views of the Himalayas to continue along the increasing altitude of the trail. Traversing through the pine forests, across small glacial streams, increasing altitude and Tibetan cultural ensembles, we reach to the settlement of Chame through the settlement of Koto. En route, we shall have the view of majestic Himalayas including Mt. Manaslu, Annapurna II and IV, Lamjung Peak among others which terminates with the hot spring thermal bath at the bank of river and interaction in the settlement of native locals that migrated from Tibet centuries ago. Stay overnight at Chame.

Day 08: Chame to Pisang:

Starting from Chame, the district headquarters of Manang and one of the largest settlements in the region, and continue on the alpine landscapes and dense forest with oak and maple trees. Traversing through these green forests continues on an increasingly narrower trail, which shall lead us to landscape opening up to the view of a dramatic curved rock face rising 1500 meters from the river. Across several suspension and wooden bridges, summer settlements and graze lands, memorial, serene lakes and increasingly parched landscape, we reach to the settlement of Pisang, divided into Lower and Upper Pisang. We may hike to the village at the Upper Pisang for the purpose of acclimatization. Stay overnight at Pisang.

Day 09: Pisang to Manang:

As we leave the Pisang village and walk towards the arid landscape of Manang valley on the rain shadow of Annapurna massifs, we shall enjoy the contrast in landscape and rawness of culture. We can either have a trek from the route north of the Marshyangdi River by Garu or the route south of it by Honge, to meet at Munchi village. While the upper route has more dramatic view of mountains, ancient gompas and bit of strenuous climbing, the southern route has less climbing. Ahead of Munchi, we walk through picturesque and partly hidden valley of Braga, past couple of ancient monasteries and chortens, and across suspension bridges to reach the beautiful, unique and magical Manang. Short visit to local Barga monastery is an important cultural experience for you. Stay overnight at Manang.

Day 10: Acclimatization day at Manang:

Before we embark on a journey to the higher altitude and challenging passes, we shall have a rest day in Manang. A day for acclimatization, today we shall do some day hikes which shall help us to get adapted to higher altitudes and thereby prepares us for strenuous treks ahead. In our bid to stay prepared for challenging days and skip the altitude sickness, we may have a hike to the majestic Gangapurna Glacier or a climb to the ancient caves above the Manang village. While the lateral moraines and spectacular scenery of the glacier gives us the chance to be refreshed in the magical environment, the hike to cave is insightful experience. Navigate through the villages with Tibetan styled housings which preserve the aura of ancient culture, tradition and rituals embedded in their lifestyle and experience a different environment. Make necessary preparations for the challenging climbs ahead in the trail. Stay overnight at Manang.

Day 11: Manang to Yak Kharka:

The trek for couple of days ahead shall lead us across the challenging Thorong La Pass and today is one such day. We shall begin our trek and leave the beautiful Manang from its western side before having a gradual uphill trek through small settlements to reach Tengi village. With the glacial river of Thorong Khola far below the trekking trail, we shall pass through the alpine grass, scrub juniper and few meadows where yak and horses graze, tea shops ahead of Gunsang, Mani walls and prayer walls to reach the destination of Yak Kharka, which literally means a summer settlement for the grazing of Yaks. The walk today shall be a gradual trek as we can better adapt to the increasing altitude and avoid altitude sickness in this style of trekking. Stay overnight at Yak Kharka.

Day 12: Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi:

At the end of the day we shall stay at the foothills of the challenging Thorong La Pass before ascending it. The trek begins from Yak Kharka and through the area prone to landslides; we reach to Lader after trekking for about an hour. Ahead of this place which has a trail leading to the Chulu West peak, we shall continue past some small tea shops, the ACAP office across wooden bridge, the trail is bit easier before trekking ahead through the cliff where the trail becomes increasingly challenging. After gradual walk through the challenging trail we reach to the base of Thorong La Pass, known as Thorong Phedi.  Though you can trek ahead to High Camp of the Pass, it is recommended to stay here at base for proper acclimatization. Stay overnight at Thorong Phedi.

Day 13: Thorong Phedi to Thorong La and trek down to Muktinath:

We are here at the climax of our adventure around the majestic Annapurna massifs as we are to cross the famous and challenging Thorong La Pass (5,416m) today. We begin from the foothills of the pass and start very early before the day breaks as crossing the pass may be difficult due to strong winds that build up around the pass in the late morning. The trek to the top of the pass is along the steep trail which may be an icy trail depending upon the season in which you are trekking. After a slow and gradual trek in a high altitude trail, we reach to the Thorong La Pass, which provides beautiful view of amazingly beautiful surrounding and landscape. From the summit of the pass, marked by prayer flags and chortens, we have the view of Thorong Peak, Annapurna I, II, Annapurna South, Dhaulagiri, Gangapurna and other Himalayas to the far and the flat arid landscape of the pass in the foreground. Capturing plenty of memories, we now start our trekking down from the pass which is a steep and demanding as well. The layered hills and mountains are seen as you trek down from the pass. After reaching the ruined yak herder’s hut and past the barren hillside, you shall reach to the holy site of Muktinath. This heritage revered by Buddhist and Hindus, we get a pleasant experience at the end of the day. Stay overnight at Muktinath.

Day 14: Muktinath to Marpha:

The trek begins with the exploration and pilgrimage to the holy Muktinath Temple, nearby temples and monastery, holy flame and 108 holy water taps. Getting blessed from the sacred temple we begin our trek towards the bank of Kali Gandaki River in a trail that seems reasonably steep without any serious issue to the trekkers. Past the gateway to the ancient kingdom of Upper Mustang, we trek through the hillside with the view of beautiful canyons, traditional gompas and chortens, Tibetan styled houses and desert resembling landscapes which are dry and dusty in general. Past Ekle Bhatti the terrain becomes flat along the bank of mighty Kali Gandaki River. Walking on the large, flat and open riverbed, we may also encounter some strong afternoon wind before reaching the district capital of Jomsom. Have the much needed lunch at Jomsom, a small town with surreal landscape, glimpse of towering Himalayas and excellent hospitality of the locals. Move ahead in the final leg of today’s trek to Marpha through arid landscape, some ancient monasteries, and across wooden bridges over the glacial streams and tributaries of Kali Gandaki River. Finally you reach to Marpha after trekking for around one and a half hour from Jomsom. In this Apple Kingdom of Marpha, famous for apple orchards, delicious apples and other apple products besides the typical architecture of indigenous Thakali community, you shall feel entertained. Stay overnight at Marpha.

Day 15: Marpha to Kalopani:

To reach Kalopani from Marpha trekkers either take on the route via Larjung village or a new trail through the Chokhopani village. On either trail you shall initially pass through the riverbed of the mighty Kali Gandaki River which shall take you past large rocks and boulders, ancient gompas and interesting villages, and across some bridges over the river till we reach to Chokhopani village. Traverse through traditional Thakali villages including kokhethanti, beautiful apple orchards and the panoramic view of the Himalayas including Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, Annapurna I, Nilgiri and other mountains, across the suspension and wooden bridges before we cross the Kali Gandaki River once again. Across the river we walk on a newly constructed road site before reaching Kalopani. If we head straight from Chokhopani, we trek on arid landscape till Larjung and ahead through lush landscape, past some temples, view of Dhaulagiri and other peaks to reach the destination of Kalopani. Stay overnight at Kalopani.

Day 16: Kalopani to Tatopani:

Today’s destination is the natural hot water spring in Tatopani. As we leave the beautiful Kalopani village and proceed downwards, we gradually enter into the subtropical vegetation, more green and lush in nature. We initially proceed to the settlement of Ghasa across a bridge. Across Ghasa, the landscape becomes more beautiful and lush as we meander past the forested lands, lush vegetation, cool and beautiful waterfalls, interesting and lively village and across the Kali Gandaki River to reach the eastern bank through Kopchepani, Gadpar and other hamlets to the settlement of Narchhyang. Proceed in the trail ahead through other villages where you shall observe the traditional lifestyle of locals. Reach the destination of Tatopani and relax at the natural hot water springs there before settling back at the hotels. Stay overnight at Tatopani.

Day 17: Tatopani to Ghorepani:

We shall begin our trek after breakfast and head on for the destination of Ghorepani. Branching off from the trail leading to Beni, we shall cross the mighty Kali Gandaki River and head to the village of Ghara. We shall traverse through the beautiful terraced cultivation fields, scenic landscape, and rhododendron forests which are at its best in the spring season and explore the trail with other vegetations, flora and faunas, and the settlements of Sikha, Chettri and Brahman including others to reach Ghorepani. From time to time, we shall experience the diverse culture of Magar and Gurung communities, up and down hillside, and train of fellow trekkers and locals. Stay overnight at Ghorepani.

Day 18: Ghorepani to Ghandruk:

Before heading on to our next destination, we shall wake up early to have the beautiful view of sunrise over the Himalayas including the Annapurna massifs, Dhaulagiri, and others, weather permitting. Capture one of the best sunrise views in the entire trail we then descent to Tadapani after having lunch at the base of the hill named after the local Pun community. We shall meander through the forest adorned with rhododendron, oak and other local vegetations, where languor monkeys are seen jumping across the trees, and occasionally have the glimpse of mountains above the tree line. Meander through the small hamlets with tea shops in between the trek and experience the ups and downs besides the dazzling sceneries that surround the entire trail. Later on after 6-7 hours of walking you shall reach Ghandruk village which is famous for its awesome views of the Himalayas, scenic landscapes and hospitality of the locals. Stay overnight at Ghandruk.

Day 19: Ghandruk to Pokhara:

In the last day with trekking experience, the final destination for today shall be the scenic Pokhara city. Starting with the beautiful sunrise over the Annapurna South and Fishtail Mountain, we shall descent from Ghandruk through beautiful and seemingly endless rhododendron forest and the stone stairs that occasionally tests your patience. Further along the trail, we shall now be entering into the Valley of Modi River we trek through the hilly settlements such as Chane, Kimchi and Syauli Bazaar before descending to Nayapul. After having our lunch we shall now drive to Pokhara along the Pokhara-Baglung highway past the scenic landscape, glimpses of glittering Himalayas, rural settlements perched on the hillside, cool waterfalls and pristine river. Stay overnight at Pokhara.

Day 20: Drive back to Kathmandu:

Our challenging adventure in the Annapurna region shall come to an end as today we head back to the medieval capital city of Kathmandu. We can either take on a short flight to Kathmandu over beautiful aerial landscapes with green and lush valleys, terraced cultivation fields, perennial rivers weaving through the lands and the close up view of soaring Himalayas standing firm and guarding the region since ages. If we take on the land route, we shall explore the twisting and turning roads and have the view of rural lifestyle in the settlements en route, experience and get entertained with the pleasant view of the landscape and mountains far away. In Kathmandu, you shall be welcomed by our representative and later on you shall be transferred back to your hotel rooms. Stay overnight at Kathmandu.

Day 21: Final Departure:

This day marks the end of our adventurous 21 days Annapurna Circuit Trek as you shall return back to your home country. A representative of Adventure Master Treks & Expedition shall transfer you to the airport 3 hours prior to your departure flight. We hope that you had an amazing time while going around the Annapurna Circuit. Lastly, have a safe flight back home and hope to see you again!

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