Annapurna Circuit is the classic trek covering over two hundred miles circumnavigating the entire Annapurna massif.
This is one of the great treks of the world offering a cross section of Nepal from lowland terraced rice fields, pine forest to the arid terrain in the Himalayan rain shadow near Muktinath. The trail starts at Besisahar and follows the Marsyangdi river through Brahmin, Chhetri and Gurung settlements to the Tibetan region of Manang. Along the trek, you will see colorful prayer flags, mani walls and monasteries.
The high point is the challenging day crossing the Thorung La pass at 5,416m followed by the trek down the deep Kali Gandaki gorge located between the Annapurna and Annapurna massifs, stopping at the famous shrine of Muktinath before descending to Jomsom. After a relaxing soak in the hot springs at Tatopani we make the long climb to Ghorepani where we stay overnight then get up at sunrise for the Himalayan panoramic view point at Poon Hill.
The mountain views throughout this trek encompass the highest and most beautiful in the world including Lamjung, Himalchuli, Manaslu, Annapurna, Nilgiri and Machhapuchhre.However, for trekkers who prefer a shorter trek in the same Annapurna region, then Ghorepani Poon hill trek for lets say days is ideal which will also take you to the Annapurna base camp and vice-versa.
Upon your arrival the Tribhuvan International airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, you will be greeted by a representative from Nepal Wanders who will take you to our hotel. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner in a traditional Nepali cuisine restaurant where you will be able to enjoy authentic Nepali meal with a brief cultural program. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu
This is a day to explore Kathmandu where we organise guided sightseeing to the Buddhist and Hindu sights in Kathmandu, to Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, Swayambunath – the Buddhist monkey temple and Pashupatinath – a sacred Hindu temple complex on the banks of the Bagmati River. Three major towns are located in the valley, Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, each having a great artistic and architectural tradition. Kathmandu is the capital and the largest city in the country. Patan, the second largest is separated from Kathmandu by a river. Bhaktapur, the third largest, is towards the eastern end of the valley and its relative isolation is reflected in its slower pace and more distinctly mediaeval atmosphere. In the Kathmandu Valley the landscape is dramatically sculpted by the contours of the paddy fields. The towns and villages are alive with the colours of farm produce, ranging from pyramids of golden grain to the vivid reds of chilli peppers laid out on mats to dry in the sun. In the streets and towns there is a constant bustle of activity, especially in the bazaars and markets where the farmers sell their vegetables and fruit. You should get back to the hotel after your sightseeing tour around midafternoon and the rest of the day is free for you to explore the city further and pack bags ready for the start of the trek the following morning. You can leave a bag at the hotel with items you will not need on the trek. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu
We leave Kathmandu early in the morning by private bus/car. It is a scenic drive with several picturesque gorges and occasional glimpses of mountain peaks. Overnight at teahouse lodge
. From Besi Sahar the trail descends then climbs steeply through the deep gorge. It moves up and down through fields, tropical forest and small hamlets to the Gurung village of Khudi at 825m. The trail heads northwards up the Marsyangdi valley and crosses over a suspension bridge in Bhulebule. There are many rice terraces along the route and after another suspension bridge crossing we begin the climb to the village of Lampatta followed shortly by Bahundanda perched on a ridge. Overnight at teahouse lodge
Today as we trek up the valley you the sides will begin to narrow and increase in height. After walking through several villages the trail descends to the valley floor and crosses a steel suspension bridge across the Marshyangdi to the village of Syange. There is a steep climb from here to Chamje. Overnight at teahouse lodge
The trail passes through an oak forest and over a ridge to arrive in a wide valley with the village of Tal. Soon after leaving this village the climbs the narrowing valley and descends to cross the river at Dharapani. Overnight at teahouse lodge
We climb to the village of Bagarchap, walk through a forest and then follow the river to Chame. Today, there are great views of Annapurna II (7,937m) and Lamjung Himal (6,932m) up the valley and if you look back you will be able to see the Manaslu (8,154m) and Peak 29 (7,833m). Overnight at teahouse lodge
Trek to Pisang (3,190m). Leaving Chame you pass some mani walls and a little further there is a water-turned prayer wheel. After the suspension bridge the valley widens and Pisang Peak (6,091m) will become visible. Overnight at teahouse lodge
We recommend taking the high level route to Manang (6 to 7 hours) today but there is also the option to take the low route (5 hours) along the valley floor. The high level route starts by crossing the river outside Pisang and follows a path which passes a lake and a long mani wall. There is a long climb along a switch back path to the village of Ghyaru. We will stop at one of the tea houses and enjoy the stunning view of Annapurna II and IV. From Ghyaru we follow a high level trail to Ngawal the next village. Finally you descend back to the valley floor and rejoin the main trail to continue to Braga and Manang. Overnight at teahouse lodge
It is important to have an extra day in Manang in order to help acclimatisation for the next few days as we start the climb towards the Thorong La. There are lots of options for day walks around Manang. One possibility is to walk to Khangsar village on the way to Tilicho Lake or a longer walk to Ice Lake above Braga. It is well worth visiting the gompa above Braga as well as attending the Himalayan Rescure afternoon lecture on altitude and acclimatisation. Overnight at teahouse lodge
It is a shorter day today, about 3 to 4 hours, in order to help everyone acclimatise to the altitude. It is a good idea to go for an afternoon walk which also helps with this process, you can either walk up the valley and back to the lodge or climb the ridge behind the village. Overnight at teahouse lodge
It is another short day of about 3 to 4 hours walking again to help the acclimatisation process. Leaving Yak Kharka we pass through a few lodges at Letdar and after crossing the river there is a climb to Thorong Phedi. In the afternoon it is a good idea to go for a short walk. Overnight at teahouse lodge
Today we will leave Phedi at first light for the challenging walk over the Thorong La. The trail is on undulating terrain and after about 4 to 5 hours we should reach the pass. There are spectacular views of the Annapurna Range to the south and the Mukat Himal bordering Dolpo to the west, as we descend on the other side Annapurna (8,175m) and Tukuche Peak (6,920m). The descent to Muktinath is quite steep and will take between 3 to 4 hours. It is a good idea to have walking poles to help in case of a slippery path if there is still snow (depends on the time of year) and to take the strain off the knees. Overnight at teahouse lodge
Today we have a short walk to Kagbeni, this will probably be welcome after the long day going over the pass yesterday. After breakfast it is well worth going to visit the temples above the village of Muktinath. The trail passes through a beautiful arid landscape in the rain shadow of the Himalayas, this is starkly different to green and lush terrain at the start of our trek a week ago! We descend steeply to the green oasis of Kagbeni. It is a fascinating place to explore with narrows streets and old buildings. One needs a special permit to follow the path north of Kagbeni along the Thak Khola to Upper Mustang. Overnight at teahouse lodge a
The trail follows the Kali Gandaki down to the town of Jomsom and then on to the pretty village of Marpha set amongst apple orchards. Overnight at teahouse lodge
Today we pass the interesting village of Tukuche with its large, carved houses before continuing on down the Kali Gandaki to the villages of Karjung and Larjung. Kalopani is further located a little further down the valley. Overnight at teahouse lodge
We now leave the Tibetan like landscape and start to see pine, cypress and junipers trees. The trail is sometimes on the valley floor and other times on a trail high above. Tatopani is village with natural hot springs and is it well worth having a soak in the afternoon. Overnight at teahouse lodge
This last stage takes us back to Pokhara. We have a long climb to Ghorepani, in the morning. It is well worth the effort to walk up Poon Hill for the sunrise (optional), the view from here is know as one of the best in the Himalayas! The trail then descends steeply to the village of Birethanti by the Modi Khola, there is a short walk to the road and our transport back to Pokhara. Overnight in Pokhara
Fly to Kathmandu, rest of day at leisure in Kathmandu. We catch the morning flight to Kathmandu, where on a clear day, there are great views of the western end of the Himalayas. Overnight at Kathmandu hotel
Our representative will pick you up at the hotel and transfer you to international airport for onward journey