Our Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the most popular yet challenging treks that is done inside the famous Annapurna region of Nepal.Located far away from the city areas, the entire trek route of Annapurna Circuit Trek follows distinct, serene trails filled with charming ethnic village communities, dazzling arrays of Himalayan scenery, and a huge abundance of pristine nature and emotive cultural norms.
However, it is still a long, arduous journey that will take at least 19 days to complete but is sure to be a worthwhile journey that will leave a great impression on your heart and soul, no matter what.
The first day of our trek begins with your arrival to Kathmandu city where you will visit and explore some of the most enriching places including UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Boudhanath, Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Kathmandu Durbar Square.
Each of these places has its own unique history and significance for the Nepalese people who follow and recognize the value of these heritages passed on to them from their ancestors. After that, we drive off to Besisahar- a small western town, where we shall start our trekking adventure for the upcoming days. And before calling it a day, we will need to trek up to Syange village (1100m).
From Syange, the trail becomes rough and stony but the whole atmosphere will be filled with an aura of natural beauty and cultural harmony. While it may sound perplexing to some, but it’s always a good idea to take it slow and not to hurry while trekking as you might miss out on some great things while hurrying on your way to your next destination for the night.
Slowly, we head higher and higher and ultimately reach Manang village (3540m). This village is a suitable place for acclimatization and letting our bodies rest while exploring some of the nearby sites like Gangapurna lake and Milarepa Cave.
Now comes the great struggle of crossing the formidable Thorung La Pass which is situated at a very high altitude of 5,416 meters above sea level. And this my friend can get very tough for trekkers who are drained of their energy or aren’t fit enough to do so.
But once you get over this pass, a beautiful temple called Muktinath awaits you as there are several lodges and guest houses where you can find a room to rest and relax your exhausted bodies. Later, we shall end our trek by heading to Pokhara from Marpha to Kalopani and so on. But prior to that, we shall visit Ghorepani village & Poonhill for a spectacular view of the Annapurna mountain range.
Annapurna circuit trek is suitable if you:
Autumn and spring are the most popular seasons for this trek. In autumn (mid-September to November), the skies are crystal clear, forests are lustrous, downpours stop, and people in Nepal seem busy harvesting and celebrating their core festivals-Dashain and Tihar. Throughout the journey, you can see people singing, dancing, and expressing good wishes. The view of the mountains is crystal at this time.
In spring (March to May), the hills seem colorful as different wildflowers along with rhododendron bloom. The weather remains stable, dry, and clear during these days. Mountain views are unhindered by the fog and cloud. The trekking routes are quite busy and crowded these days.
Trekking in the Annapurna can be organized in other months as well but the challenges and risks may increase. In the winter, trekking may affect by the snow heaps. Tea houses may be closed in the higher elevations. Trekking in the monsoon (summer months), may be affected by downpours, landslides, and floods.
Annapurna circuit trek is a long, moderately difficult journey. You should have proper packing to complete this journey without hazards. Next, as you have long days' walk you should pack as little as you can. A list of essentials is given.
Note: As most of the teahouses offer blankets, pillows, and mattresses for sleeping, the sleeping bag is not necessary but recommended.
The following table clarifies the permits of this trek.
Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit (ANCAP)
Tourist Information Management System (TIMS) card
Note: Both of the cards are available in the offices of the Nepal Tourism Board, Kathmandu, and Pokhara.
Want to go on our Annapurna Circuit Trek? Then, contact us today and book this trip immediately with us!
|Day 1||Welcome to Kathmandu (1,350m/4429ft)||Kathmandu|
|Day 2||Kathmandu sightseeing and trek preparation||Kathmandu|
|Day 3||Drive from Kathmandu to Besishahar and to Bhulbhule (840m/2,756ft)||Bhulbhule|
|Day 4||Trek from Bhulbhule to Chamje (1,410m/4,626ft)||Chamje|
|Day 5||Trek from Chamje to Dharapani (1,960m/6431ft)||Dharapani|
|Day 6||Trek from Dharapani to Chame (2,630m/8,890ft)||Chame|
|Day 7||Trek from Chame to Pisang (3,200m/10,824ft)||Pisang|
|Day 8||Trek from Pisang to Manang (3,540m/11,611ft)||Manang|
|Day 9||Manang Acclimatization Day (Optional hike to Gangapurna lake or Melarepa cave)||Manang|
|Day 10||Trek from Manang to Yak Kharka (or you can push up to Letdar) (4,110m/13,484ft)||Yak Kharka|
|Day 11||Trek from Yak Kharka to Thorang Phedi (4,420m/14,501ft)||Thorang Phedi|
|Day 12||Trek from Thorong Phedi, cross Thorongla Pass (5,416m/17,769ft) and trek to Muktinath (3,800m/12,467ft)||Muktinath|
|Day 13||Trek from Muktinath to Marpha (2,660m/8,250ft)||Marpha|
|Day 14||Trek from Marpha to Kalopani (2,530m/7,848ft)||Kalopani|
|Day 15||Trek from Kalopani to Tatopani (1,190m/3,690ft)||Tatopani|
|Day 16||Trek from Tatopani to Ghorepani (2,874 m 9,429 ft)||Ghorepani|
|Day 17||Hike from Ghorepani to Poonhill (3,210m/10,531ft), descend to Tadapani (2,630m/8,626ft)||Tadapani|
|Day 18||Trek from Tadapani to Ghandruk (1,940m/6,360ft) and drive to Pokhara||Pokhara|
|Day 19||Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu||Kathmandu|
|Day 20||Airport drop and international departure from Kathmandu|
After your arrival at Kathmandu, you will be met by our representative outside the terminal hall of the international airport. Afterward, you will be greeted warmly and escorted to your hotel. You will be introduced to your trekking guide and have an effective conversation relating to your upcoming adventure.
In the evening you can just stroll around the colorful Thamel Bazaar, a favorite location among tourists visiting the capital city of the country.
Today after breakfast and a short briefing you will be visiting Kathmandu city in a private vehicle. Kathmandu, being the heart of the nation carries a significant historical and cultural heritage. The city is populated by citizens from every corner of the country establishing a common ground for observing different ethnic cultures and lifestyles of the people around this Himalayan nation.
From ancient times the city has witnessed religious tolerance among the people, as a result, it consists of a number of different sites listed in the UNESCO world heritage list that you will be visiting one by one; the sacred Hindu shrine of Pashupatinath, sacred Buddhist shrine Boudhanath and Swayambhunath – located close to Thamel.
Your day tour ends at Basantapur Durbar Square Area: listed as UNESCO world heritage that showcases the temple of living goddess Kumari, the Swet Bhairav, the Kaal Bhairav, Freak Street, and many more.
After an early breakfast, we will begin a 7-8 hours drive along Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway and head to Besishahar then to Bhulbhule on a private vehicle/ tourist bus. During the journey, we will pass through the forested middle hills, small towns, and farming communities located south of the Himalayan highlands.
We will also follow the several major rivers flowing along the highway including river Trishuli and Marsyangdi to Dumre and turn north on a narrow and paved secondary road to Besisahar where we will get to witness stunning snow-capped mountain scenery before continuing to Bhulbhule (8,40m).
The trek which takes about 6-7 hours from Bhulbhule to Chamje is considered to be one of its kind with the phenomenal views of the majestic mountains. Leaving Bhulbhule, we trek on the flat for the first part of the trail and ascend abruptly where the trail cut into precipitous cliff-face at the elevation of 200-300m from the riverbed.
Finally, we descend down the trail and reach the stone village of Jagat (1,330m) situated on the ledge which extends into the abrupt Marsyangdi Valley. Then the trail descends, then, climbs to the Tibetan-styled village called Chamje (1,410m) passing through the rocky forest. We can visit the tantalizing waterfall situated there.
Now following the trail we enter the Manang district via crossing the large suspension bridge over river Marsyangdi and begin a steep climb to Sattale (1,550m). We continue the climb on the serpentine path above the river to the top of the hill. From here we can observe the uniform but the graceful plain of Tal, a former lakebed where the lovely village of Tal (1,700m), is located.
Further, the trail becomes high and zigzag continuing past the barley, potato, and wheat fields. In several areas, the path is cleave from the rock itself accompanied by waterfalls and passing through the pine forest to reach Karte (1,900m). Passing from this small village, we continue the trek to reach Dharapani (1,960m): one of the biggest villages in the Manang valley situated at the conflux of the two rivers.
We begin our day by having some breakfast followed by 6-7 hours of trekking to Chame from Dharapani where En route we are presented with an irresistible sight of Annapurna IV (7,525m), Lamjung Himal (6,893m), and Annapurna II (7,927m). The trek starts from a narrow field along the river Marsyangdi.
Then the river swerve left and as Mt. Annapurna II (7,927m) is visible we enter the Bhote village of Bagarchhap where we can behold Buddhist monastery adorned with prayer flags around drifting in the gentle wind around. Then continuing further on the trail, we climb through the woodland of oak and pine and pass through Danaque village (2,210m).
Afterward, crossing a small wooden bridge we follow a sheer ascending path Timang village situated at the bottom of Lumjung Himal, and the trail proceeds through a flat level till we reach the village of Chame (2,630m).
With the first rays of the morning sunrise over the Himalayas, we set off to Pisang which takes about 5-6 hours. As we climb up the valley passing by the immense apple orchard, the mountains disappear. We continue through the groove of pine and fir.
The opposite bank becomes an untraversable cliff as we climb to a high rocky area. Further this point the valley becomes extremely steep as we pursue the path to Bratang village (2,950m).
After a short climb from the village, the trail turns the corner and we can see the extraordinary view of Paungda Danda rock face: an enormous curved slab of rock that rises over 1,500m from the river. Now we follow a high and meandering path before crossing back again to the south bank of the river Marsyangdi on a suspension bridge at the elevation of 3,080m.
Afterward, we begin a long but gentle climb over an upland passing through the blue pine forest. As the forest ends, the upper Manang valley changes from a V-shape to a tender U-shape between two giant peaks revealing a sublime panorama. The views become more exciting as we reach a long Mani wall by a bridge, then to the lower village of Pisang (3,200m).
Today we can follow two routes to reach Manang from Pisang. The upper and more challenging route utilizes about 7-8 hours. It begins from Upper Pisang into the dry Nyesyang district offering some impressive sights en route.
Then, we pass through the small but delightful clustered village of Ghyaru with nice-looking stone houses surrounded by the fields of crops that can tackle with short growing season i.e. beans, buckwheat, barley, wheat, and potatoes. Then we reach a high and long transverse with elegant vista, up and down the valley, to the fascinating village with ancient Juniper trees and gompas: Ngawal.
Now the trail gradually descends to Mungji, where a convent is situated above the village. Continuing the journey, we trek to Braga. It is a small Himalayan village that boasts of quaint clustered houses built one above the other, up to a rock-strewn slope with a spectacular gumba at the top. The gumba is the oldest, largest, and best endued in the valley. A short walk from Braga will lead us to Manang.
The lower easier route takes about 5-6 hours starting with the steep climb of the upland which provides an excellent outlook of Tilicho peak (7,145m) and Manang valley. We now descend passing by the Manang’s airstrip at Humde (3,320m) which leads to a uniform territory where the north-east flank of Annapurna III (7,555m) arises to the blue and limitless skies atop us.
The extensive flatland of the Sabje Khola valley also enables us to view the splendid glimpse of Annapurna IV (7,525m). A few distances further, we wander over a wooden bridge extended across the Marsyangdi Khola to the small but elegant village of Mungji.
Off the right and on both sides of the trail we can observe cultivated farmland which indicates the presence of human settlements. Below the rugged mountaintop, we can visualize the exquisite village of Bagra with its magnificent monastery being the largest in the district which harbors a marvelous display of statues. Here in the village, we get to see houses stacked one on top of the other, each with an open veranda that provides a rooftop for the adjoining house.
We can continue with the parched landscapes alongside the trail that is dominated by bizarre cliffs of yellow rock that have been shaped into startling pillars by years of erosion. After a short steep climb, we will reach Manang.
We spend the day acclimatizing in the thinner air at higher elevations by doing some walks and sightseeing around the village. We can visit the little cultural museum located in the center of the village. The museum is a treasure chest containing locally collected artifacts that demonstrate the traditional way of life that has hardly changed over the generations.
Also, the optional day walks as climbing high above the village to observe the bird’s-eye view of the Annapurna range and Manang valley or crossing the river to watch the immense icefall advancing down from the Annapurna. There is an optional hike to Gangapurna lake or Milarepa cave to create an indelible memory in our minds.
However, it is important to have a day full of rest to allow our body to acclimatize to thinning air and the higher altitudes. Also, there is a mandatory visit to the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) aid post in the village for educational but interesting information like Altitude Mountain Sickness and its symptoms.
Today we start our trek following the trail that crosses a stream and then climbs to the village of Tengi. Swinging up northwest up the valley of Jarsang Khola, we continue the climb out of the Marsyangdi Valley. The trail continually attains elevation as it passes by some summer pastureland and Scrubs juniper.
It then ascends above Gunsang village (3,960m) and extends to the small town of Ghyanchang (3,996m) where it plummets across a side stream. The trail now continues to arise through pieces of grassland used for grazing of yaks and horses. After making one’s way across the small wooden bridge, we climb to an ancient Mani wall then to Yak Kharka (4,110m). It takes about 3-4 hours to reach this idyllic village.
The word ‘Yak’ refers to long-haired, domesticated, short-legged oxlike mammals found in the Himalayan region and ‘Kharka’ means meadows or pasture. We can catch heavenly sights all day en route. It seems to be a short hike, yet, as we climb higher elevation containing less oxygen we feel tired early compared to normal times.
A slow gradual ascent is essential to avoid altitude sickness. After passing Yak Kharka you can push up to Letdar (4,260m) which takes about an hour to reach.
As we cross the yak pastures, we start our trek with a gradual climb to upland before crossing a wooden bridge to passing down to the source of river Marsyangdi. We lose the rivers behind as we ascend into quiet alpine areas.
The vista is completely different and the mountain views are heavenly. Across a constrict trail across an unsteady spree downslope, we now follow a constrict trail descending to Thorang Phedi (4,420m).
It utilizes 3-4 hours to reach today’s end destination. It is another easy and short day to become accustomed to thin air and high altitude before crossing the highest point in the trek, and probably the highest point we have ever conquered in our very life.
Quite early in the morning, we start the longest and most challenging trek of our entire adventure (around 8-10 hours) by crossing the Thorong La Pass (5,416m) which is one of the trek’s highlight. The trail becomes steep immediately. Crossing it is a lifetime memorable experience, demanding a nearly 1000m ascent and 1600m descent respectively.
Thorong La is the mountain pass between Thorung Peak (6,211m/20,378ft) and the majestic cliffs of Yakwakang (6,482m/15,434ft). From the summit adorned with the flag, to the west is the magnificent barren brown vista down into the arid region of Mustang valley/Kali Gandaki a great distance below. To the east is an alluring snowscape.
The enormous Dhauligiri range can be located on the opposite side of the valley and the Dolpo stretch (an extension of the Tibetan highlands) on the northern horizon. For centuries, local people have used this trail bringing their sheep and yaks in and out of Manang so the trail is well defined. We must pass the cross the pass around 9 or 10 am as the wind gets up later. After a little sight-seeing and capturing the divine panorama on the summit.
Now we begin a knee pulverizing descend to 1,600m but still its worth, as we will be greeted by the ravishing sight of Dhaulagiri at the distance across the valley. As the trail becomes less abrupt we eventually enter the meadows and grasslands to Muktinath.
Legends explain this place as a site where your soul gets deliverance from intense and selfish desires of this world to eternal peace. The area is home to a temple and several monasteries. This is a sacred pilgrimage site to both Hindus and Buddhists: a testament to the mutual religious harmony in Nepal. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and from here spring water flows from a rock face from 108 spouts (108 is a sacred number to Buddhists).
Jwala Mai Temple with a gorgeous natural spring alongside an eternal flame fueled by natural gas is also situated here. Also, shrines devoted to Lord Shiva and his consort and Padmasambhava is must-see place.
Through the parched area in the same geographical and climatic zone as Tibet; we now descent down the remarkable Kali Gandaki gorge. Then, we pass through Jharkot, Khingar, and Kagbeni villages respectively, which showcases typical Tibetan architecture. Kagbeni is famous for a monastery that is believed to be dated back to the 15th century.
Further, the very village shares its northern borderline with upper Mustang. From here, we follow the trail to Jomsom, the major town with an operational airport. Then we trek up to Marpha village (2,660m).
The village of Marpha is enriched with its own culture and a Buddhist monastery. It is prominent for its apple cultivation and huge apple orchards. The most celebrated ‘Marpha’: an apple brandy, has its roots connected to the Marpha region as it is fermented and distilled only in this specific region.
Leaving Marpha, we descend through the valley and trek along the Kali Gandaki River. This trail is stretched at almost flat level up to Kalopani En route; we will have the moment to get a peek on the elegant Annapurna I and beautiful landscapes. It takes about 6-7 hours to reach Kalopani (2,530m).
Today we descend steeply through the forest to Ghasa. Rhododendron and pine forests cover the first part of the trek through the gusty area. Ghasa with its surrounding area is famous for bird watching and wild Marijuana. From here, we trek through the trail that descends steeply up to Rupse Chhahara (waterfall).
The deepest gorge in the world is situated between two massif Annapurna I (8,091m) in east and Dhaulagiri I (8,167m) in the west facing each near this very waterfall. Now, through different settlements, the trail slightly ascends to Tatopani (1,190m) that takes about 6-7 hours of a hike to complete.
Swinging south-east to the front of the Annapurna range, we climb abruptly up the Ghar Khola Valley; once we left Tatopani. The trail passes through forest majorly inhabited by birds and monkeys and comprises oak, rhododendron, birch, and magnolia and continues through the villages such as Ghara, Palate and Chitre are arid on high uplands with great views north to the Annapurnas or back towards Dhaulagiri. These villages are inhabited by the people of different castes and perfect harmony can be observed.
Then, the trail gently ascends all the way to Ghorepani (2,780m). This beautiful village is majorly populated by Gurung people who are very generous and friendly to new and unknown people. The majority of the men in this and surrounding village had served the British and Indian army and the pension along with agriculture and tourism and hospitality business has made this area prosperous. We are warmly escorted by the angelic sight of different mountains. The trek takes about 6-7 hours to complete.
Early in the morning, we hike for an hour to Poonhill from Ghorepani to view and enjoy the alluring sunrise glimpse over the Himalayas including the mountains like Annapurna III (7,855m), Machhapuchhre (6,993m), Annapurna IV (7,525m), Annapurna II (7,937m), Lamjung Himal (6,931m), Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Tukuche Peak (6,920m), Nilgiri (6,940m), Varaha Shikhar (7,847m), Mt. Annapurna I (8,091m), Annapurna South (7,219m) and other various snowcapped mountain peaks.
Afterwards, we return to Ghorepani again and move down the trail for about 5-6 hours to Tadapani (2,630m). En route we will be accompanied by the delightful display of the mountains ranges like Annapurna and Macchapuchre mountain ranges.
Today we will have a short, pleasant, and largely downhill hike which utilizes about 3-4 hours to complete. With the admiring sight of the snow-capped mountains: the trail passes through various farmlands and forest to the heavenly village of Ghandruk (1,940m), a densely populated, modern, clean Gurung village that boasts of its own ethnic culture and lifestyle.
The lovely sight of Annapurna South, Machhapuchhre Range, and Hiunchuli mountains steals the heart and conciseness at the very moment enabling us to forget the pain and struggles we had endured from the beginning of the whole adventure.
When we are not just simply relaxing, it is worth exploring the surrounding area, interacting with the friendly locale, and visiting the museum. Exchanging farewells with the friendly locale we will walk for about 45 mins and arrive at Kimche. Now we drive from Kimche to Pokhara which takes about 1 hour on a private vehicle.
Today you are heading to Kathmandu on a private vehicle/tourist bus. The drive on the Prithvi Highway from Pokhara takes about 5-6 hours depending upon traffic conditions. It will be a worthwhile drive as you get the opportunity to observe the natural scenery and lifestyle of the people superficially as we pass along many satellite towns on the way to Kathmandu.
Once in Kathmandu; you’ll be transferred to your hotel. You can spend the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying hotel facilities or just wander around the city.
We are honoured to be with you in every wonderful moment during your stay in Nepal. We hope that you have enjoyed your stay and visit accompanied by us. We sincerely believe that our relationship can develop into a long and warm friendship. Therefore, on your last day in the country, one of our representatives will accompany you to the airport. Safe flight back home!!! Adios!!!
Annapurna Circuit locates in the north-central part of the country.
Initially driving to Bensishahar and further to Syange and commence your journey towards round Annapurna. Trekking 8-9 days further, you can summit Thorong-La pass, and further walking 5-6 days you will reach Gandruk to finish the journey.
Annapurna Circuit Trek is moderately difficult journey that does not require technical climbing skills. You need to pass some high passes to cross over and the days are long. A good level of fitness is required.
The route itineraries can vary slightly. It depends upon when you commence and finish the journey. However, the average total distance covered whilst trekking is 160 to 230 km.
Simply breathtaking. Not only do you get the valleys, rivers, suspension bridges, towering mountains, and alpine forests of the Annapurna Circuit Trek. Panoramic Annapurna I, II, III, IV, V, South, Gangapurna, Tilicho, Dhaulagiri, Tukuche is simply spectacular.
The best period to trek the Annapurna Circuits is during the dry seasons - March to May and September to November. During these months, you shall get spectacular mountain views, lustrous greeneries, and magnificent landscapes.
Temperatures range throughout the year from around 22 degrees in the height of summer to as low as -5 degrees in winter during the day, with temperatures at night ranging from -15 in the winter to around 4 degrees in the summer months.
Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the classic and most trekked destinations of Nepal that offers a plethora of sights; the mountains, landscapes, river valleys, and distinct flora and fauna of Annapurna Conservation Area. So, in my opinion, it's barely worth trekking to Annapurna Circuit.
Various packages and itineraries are available for Annapurna Circuit Trek. Short Annapurna Circuit Trek can be completed within 12-16 days but if you want to explore everything and are eager to explore Ponnhill too, the duration can be extended up to 20-22 days.
As this is an extended trek, offers a lot from different vantage points. The most popular ones are Ghyaru, which offers astonishing views of Annapurna ranges, Gangapurna and Tilicho peaks and the next is Poon Hill that offers spectacular sunrise views over Annapurna ranges, Dhaulagiri massifs, and Mt. Machhapuchre.
The Kathmandu Valley is an undulating plateau on the southern side of the Himalayan divide. It lies at an altitude of around 1,400m and is just a few short yeti strides from the world's highest mountains. ... But as you can see, the skyline hangs in a dark smog and no snow-capped mountains are remotely visible.
The seasons to visit Nepal are autumn (October to December) and spring (March to May) when the skies are a clear blue and the views spectacular. The weather remains dry until about May, with temperatures varying between regions. January and February can be very cold, especially at night, with average temperatures of 6°C in the Himalayan sections.
I am thankful to Holy Mountain Treks for such grateful services. Parshu managed everything and responded my email quickly. My guide Krishna was terrific. Being highly educated he has collected plenty of information about Nepal and its mountains, people and values. He ensured our safety, and comfortableness each day offering excellent teahouses and maintaining the appropriate pace. Although I felt a bit uneasy while passing Thorong La, he encouraged in every minute saying 'Yes you can do it'. And I did that. Views of the mountains as Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and their neighboring peaks was amazing. Apple orchids, rivers, lakes were amazing. Food, services, transportation, trekking style was better than expected. I highly recommend this company and specially KRISHNA for Nepal visit.
Perfect Trek! My friend Phillip and I trekked Annapurna Circuit Trek during the covid-19 pandemic. Everything was organized by Holy Mountain Treks and was terrific. Our guide Ram and porter Krishna were very kind, smiling, caring and helpful. We will be back soon after this pandemic for Everest Trek. See you guys.