Overview

Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the most popular treks in Nepal as it gives the trekker access to wonderful cultures, fascinating villages, myths and traditions, dramatic mountain vistas, and dramatically changing scenery.  Annapurna Circuit Trek requires at least two-week has 6 -7 hours of walking per day, so good basic fitness is required.  The highest point is Thorong La pass is 5,414m where we are likely to encounter snow conditions.

Annapurna Circuit Trek

Our Annapurna Circuit Trek starts off from Manang where we will first come across Tibetan culture, which we will encounter in the coming days also. After crossing the Thorong La, and into Mustang, we reach Muktinath where there is a Hindu temple with 108 water spouts and a never-dying eternal flame.  Here we can witness Hindu pilgrims coming from all over Nepal and India to worship at this revered site.  Further down the trail is the small, unique village of Kagbeni, with its Buddhist monastery and narrow covered streets.  From here we can gaze up to the valley to Upper Mustang, a restricted area for which we need a special permit to enter.

Naturally, all this time while on Annapurna Circuit Trek we have been witnessing some of the world’s highest mountains – Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Tilicho Peak.  Following the Kali Gandaki Valley, after the biggest town of the area, Jomson, with its airport, regional hospital and comfortable tourist accommodation and restaurants, we come to the cobbled stone town of Marpha.  This quaint village is famous for its apple orchards and monastery.  Further down the trail, we come to Poon Hill, famous for its spectacular views of around 20 mountains, and Tatopani with its reviving hot springs.

Facts

  • Trip Duration: 14 days
  • Level: Difficult
  • Group size: 1-15
  • Altitude: 4919 meters
  • Permit: ACAP and Tims
  • Accommodation: tea houses/guesthouses/tented camp
  • Best Time: February, March, April, May, September, October, November, December

Highlights of Annapurna Circuit Trek

  • Crossing the Thorong La pass at 5,414m
  • Witnessing the Hindu temple at Muktinath
  • Unique Kagbeni and Marpha, both with a Buddhist monastery
  • The famous viewpoint of Poon Hill
  • Hot springs at Tatopani
  • Marsyangdi and Kali Gandaki river
  • Jomsom and Marpha village

Food and Accommodation

You will eat in the place where you stay in the mountains. Most of the food menus are available in the tea house and lodge of the Annapurna region. Also, you can have both veg and non-veg items while on the trek to Annapurna Circuit. The non-vegetarian menu may offer chicken, pork, and even a Yak stake. As you need protein while hiking, you should consult with your guide to make sure they are hygienic.

Ways to Eat Healthy While Travelling

Lunch and Dinner

"Dal Bhat Pawer, 24 Hour" It is a famous saying in Nepal. Varieties of rice menus such as Dal Bhat set, Veg fried rice, Mix fried rice, Pasta, Macaroni, Spaghetti, Spring roll, Sandwich, Momo are excellent availability for lunch and dinner.

Breakfast

Chapati, Pancake, Tibetan bread, Porridge, varieties of soup, and eggs made omelets are well known for Breakfast.

Annapurna Circuit Trekking Route Map

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Best Time

The weather condition is important while planning a trek in Nepal. March, April, May, and October, November is considered the best time for Annapurna Circuit Trek.

Difficulty

Annapurna Circuit Trek is rated as a difficult Trek. Difficulty ratings measure from the various part such as hours of hike, distance, altitude gain, etc. However, the primary concern is altitude sickness and acclimatization. As it is a difficult and high altitude trek, the chance of being sick in the Annapurna circuit is more. The hike starts from 1860m at (Dharapani) and gradually increases up to 4919m to Tilicho Lake within 14 days.

Itinerary

When designing the itinerary, you should always keep extra days for acclimatization. Based on research, you should hike not more than 6-7 hours of hiking and 400-500m of altitude gain each day in below 3,000m. It should be buffer day in 3,000m and below 5,000m. And no more than 4,00m between 3,000 - 5,000m. If you keep this ration even for the first time, high altitude hikers will survive with no symptoms of sickness.

Drinking water

You might see a local guide drinking tap water, but is it safe for tourists? It all depends on your immune power. Locals are used to drinking tap water doesn't mean you have to the same. "Prevention is better than cure" I wouldn't suggest drinking tap water; instead, you can purify and drink. There are several water purification tablets available in the market. Bottled water also available for purchase. But definitely not good for the environment after use as they don't have proper recycling in the mountain.

Permit

You are required to have two different permits to complete Annapurna Circuit Trek. You need a Tims card which costs USD 10 per person if you are trekking in a group and USD 20 if you are independent trekkers. With Tims, you need an ACAP permit worth USD 30.

Transportation to the trailhead

For Annapurna Circuit Trek first, you need to drive for 6 hours to Besishar, have your lunch and take Jeep for 3 hours to Dharapani. You can also take a 1 hour 15 mins flight to Pokhara and again to Jomsom. At the end of your journey, the trek finish at the Jomsom. To get back to Kathmandu, you have to take a flight from Jomsom to Pokhara and again to Kathmandu. From Pokhara, you can drive back from a local jeep or private jeep too.

Communication and Wifi Facilities

There is wifi available in the Annapurna region. If you want to have your own cell phone data carriers, "Ncell" has better internet speed and coverage.

What to pack?

hiking boots

Important Gears 

  • First Aid Kit
  • Oximeter
  • Water Bottles
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Down Jacket
  • Base Layer Tops and Bottoms
  • Day Pack
  • Duffel Bag
  • Fleece Pants
  • Fleece/Wool Gloves
  • Fleece/Wool Hat
  • Fleece/Wool Jacket or Sweater
  • Headlamp with Fresh Batteries
  • Hiking Boots
  • Hiking Pants
  • Hiking Socks
  • Insulated Jacket
  • Long Sleeve Shirts
  • Rain Jacket
  • Rain Pants
  • Sport Sunglasses
  • Sun Block and Lip Balm
  • Sun Hat
  • Regularly using Medicines

Other Gears

  • Camera
  • Batteries
  • Charger
  • Portable solar charger or backup charger
  • Water purifier
  • Reading and writing materials if you have book craze
  • Headphones
  • Travel Games

Travel Documents

  • Airline Tickets
  • Copy of Passport (2 Copies)
  • Nepal Visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Passport Photos (4)
  • Valid Passport
  • Required permits

Altitude sickness and its prevention

Altitude sickness is the effect of high elevation on the health of people which is caused by the low amount of oxygen in high altitudes. It mainly occurs after you reach above 2500 meters.

Causes

  • Dehydration
  • Increase in elevation
  • Low level of oxygen
  • Use of alcohol

Symptoms are temporary but in some cases, it can be dangerous so you need to prevent yourself.

Symptoms

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Swelling of hands, feet, and face
  • Nose bleeding
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid pulse
  • Dry cough
  • Fever

Preventions

  • Altitude acclimatization
  • Pre-acclimatization
  • Medication
  • Oxygen enrichment
  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Do not use alcoholic substances

The Cost Includes

  • A government licensed guide during the trek including his salary, food, accommodation, and single trip mountain insurance
  • Porter service during the trek (one porter for two trekkers)
  • Private jeep from Kathmandu to Dharapani
  • Annapurna conservation area entry permit
  • Trekking Information management system card (TIMS)
  • Jomsom to Pokhara flight ticket
  • One night 3-star hotel in Pokhara with breakfast (triple sharing basis)
  • Pokhara to Kathmandu by tourist bus
  • Accommodation in normal tea house during the trek
  • Three times meal in a day during the trek (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)
  • NEST branded water bottle with purification tablet
  • Sleeping bag during the trekking
  • A pulse oximeter (SPO2 and BPM measurement

The Cost Excludes

  • Food and accommodation in Kathmandu
  • travel insurance
  • Any kinds of drinks in the mountain
  • Tip and donation

Itinerary

Day 1
Drive from Kathmandu to Dharapani

Early in the morning we will drive for 6 hours to Besishar, have our lunch and take Jeep for 3 hours to Dharapani. After we will drive via Jeep, passing many villages like Jagat, Chamcha, Tal, and so forth. We will also cross a lot of suspension bridges and view waterfalls. On the way, there is Marsyandi Hydropower, green hills. We will reach Dharapani and stay overnight.

Day 2
Trek from Dharapani to Chame (2,670)

Trek to Chame from Dharapani takes 6-7 hours on walking. There is the roadway too, but we will hike as to feel the refreshing nature. 40% of our hike is on-road. We will pass through the forest, crossing the suspension bridges. Similarly, Villages like ChariKharka, Timang, and Koto is on the way.

Moreover, you will be amazed by the view of Manaslu and other mountains along with monasteries. Walking on the uphill trail and flat road we will reach Chame, the headquarter of Manang. We can find all the facilities in Chame.

Day 3
Trek from Chame to Pisang (3,190 m)

It takes 6 to 7 hours to reach Pisang from Chame. Crossing villages like Bhartang, Dhikur Pokhari, etc. we will reach Pisang. Dhikur Pokhari is a big village where people are engaged in apple farming. Walking through the way which is mostly uphill and slightly flat, we will pass through forest and cross suspension bridges. The people here have Tibetan culture with a distinct tradition and dress. The monasteries and prayer flags throughtout are astonishing.

Similarly, we can have the view of Avalanches sometimes, so we need to be careful too. After reaching Pisang if the weather favors we can see Annapurna ranges. Moreover, there is the option to trek after reaching Pisang, either you may hike up to Upper Pisang 100m up or else down to Lower Pisang 100m down.

Day 4
Trek from Pisang to Manang (11,548 feet / 3,520 m)

Today, we will head towards Manang from Pisang. Starting our walk to reach Ghyaru for 3 hours, we will be facing a 1-hour flat trail and the remaining uphill. If the weather is clear, we can see the view of Pisang, Annapurna ranges closely. Likewise, we will move towards Nyawal from Ghyaru walking for about 2 hours. After reaching Nyawal, you will see many monasteries, prayer flag, and the distinct Tibetan People. You may feel like you are in a different world. On the way, we will pass through the small bushy area, enjoying the view of many peaks. Similarly, we will head towards Manang, walking for about 3 hours. Manang is a big village od Annapurna area. Every kind of facilities like massage, shop, wifi, electricity is found there. Passing the villages Barkha and Humdin Airport we will reach our destination. Stay overnight.

Day 5
Acclimatization day in Manang (11,482 feet / 3,500 m)

Acclimatization implies the day when we remain at where we arrived last time and make some side outings of that place. Today, we will hike for about 1 hour up to Gangapurna Lake (3,800m). From there the view of Annapurna ranges, Chu La ranges can be seen. After that, we will descend crossing the suspension bridge and straight forward and get back to Manang.

Day 6
Trek from Manang to Tilicho Base Camp (4150m)

We will for 7 hours today to reach Tilicho Base Camp from Manang. Walking through Khansar, SiriKharka our destination Tilicho comes. The way to SiriKharka from Manang is up and down and flat whereas the way from Sirikharka to Tilicho Base Camp is Difficult as we will follow the route of Landslide area. From there we will be able to view Annapurna ranges, Chulu ranges as many monasteries. The tilicho base camp area has less oxygen, so you may feel difficult while breathing.

Day 7
Tilicho Base Camp to Tilicho Lake(4919m) to SiriKharka(3800)

Earlier today, we will walk for about 3 hours to reach Tilicho Lake from Tilicho Base Camp. The trail is uphill and a bit difficult to walk. On the way, one can see the mountains closely. Likewise, Blue sheep and birds will highlight this trip. Moreover, we will have our lunch at Tilicho Base Camp and return to Sirikharka carefully as the way is Landslide way.

Day 8
Sirikharka to Ledar (4200m)

From Sirikharka we will walk mixed trails uphill as well as downhill for 4 to 5 hours to reach Ledar. We will pass through villages like Yak Kharka along with a view of Annapurna ranges. The accomodation in Ledar is basic. You may feel difficulty in the stay.

Day 9
Ledar to Thorang Phedi (4450m)

Today we will head towards Thorang Phedi from Ledar. It takes about 3 to 4 hours on foot to reach throng Phedi. On this day, we will be crossing many suspension bridges throughout the landslide area. The trail is up and down with less oxygen due to the rise in elevation. Also, there are only three tea houses in Thorang Phedi, and the accommodation is a bit poor compared to other regions.

Day 10
Thorung Phedi (14,599 feet / 4,450 m) to Muktinath (3760m)

At 3 am we will hike towards High camp in the uphill trail. Similarly, from there, we will head to Thorang La pass and Muktinath all the way downward. After reaching on the destination the view of Thorang peak and other mountains will welcome us. Though it's a stressful day as we have to walk 10 hours, the trek will be enjoyable.

Day 11
Muktinath (12,467 feet / 3,800 m) to Kagbeni (2800m)

On this day we will walk for about 4 hours to reach Kagbeni. Passing through the village Thang along with Sherpa monasteries the trail will be almost flat throughout the route. On the way, we see the fantastic view of mountain ranges. Overnight in Kagbeni.

Day 12
Trek from Kagbeni to Jomsom

It takes about 3-4 hour to reach Jomsom from Kagbeni. On the way, we will see Tukuche peak, and follow the route of Kaligandaki river. It's an easy trek as we have to hike through the roadway.

Day 13
Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara

Say our last goodbye to the beautiful place we will head back to Pokhara today.

Day 14
Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu

Today we will return back the same way to Jomsom from Muktinath.

Frequently asked Question

Expand/Close
What is the best time to trek Annapurna?

The best time to trek Annapurna is March, April, September, October, and November.

What kind of accommodation facility is found in Annapurna?

On the way to Annapurna, the accommodation is normal tea house and lodges. Similarly, you can also find luxurious hotels if you can afford.

What are the permit requirements for Annapurna?

We need to have a conservational area project (ACAP) permit to enter the Annapurna region. The cost of the permit is Rs 3000 for foreigner and Rs 300 for the SAARC countries including vat.

Is Annapurna region trek difficult?

Annapurna region is Trek can be categorized from easy to difficult trek. It depends on the trek you chose.

How are the trails of Annapurna region?

The trails are mixed. You have to go straight up as well as descend down through the steep and rocky trail.

Can I trek Solo to Annapurna region?

Yes, you can trek solo to Annapurna region because Annapurna region has many easy and moderate treks which can be done by people with normal fitness level. Also, the trek is easily accessible from Pokhara. You can find accommodation facilities easily in this region.

What kinds of equipment are needed to trek Annapurna region?

Basic hiking gears are enough for the Annapurna trek. You can read the equipment checklist on our website.

What kind of facilities is available in Annapurna Base Camp?

Every kind of facilities like water, electricity, wifi, charging, hot shower, etc are found in Annapurna. Just you need to pay some extra money to enjoy those facilities.

How long wills the trek takes to finish?

The trek to Annapurna region takes 7 to 16 days to finish depending upon the trek you are going for.

How many kilos is the baggage allowance?

As per the airline's rules and regulation you can take 10 kilos of luggage and 5-kilos hand carries so that would be a total of 15 kilos baggage allowance. If you want to take more than 15 kilos, you have to pay an extra USD 1 per kilo. But you can also trek by bus and private jeep which means you can carry more if you want.

What kind of food will be served during the trek?

Normal to high-quality food is served according to the will of trekkers in the Annapurna region.

What is the fitness level need for this trek?

A person with normal fitness can also trek to the Annapurna region as it consists of easy and moderate treks too.

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