The Annapurna Circuit Trekking is one of the greatest treks of the world. The most diverse trek in Nepal, it offers a variety of cultures, terrain and vistas that are unmatched.
This classic 3-week adventure leads you through a diverse range of mountain cultures, scenery and climatic zones. From the stark topography of the Tibetan plateau, to the Kali Gandaki gorge and the dramatic scenery of the Annapurna massif, we are spoilt for choice in a deeply beautiful region steeped in history, culture and tradition.
After a few days in Kathmandu, we board our minibus and drive to the road head at Besisahar - and to the lush terraced fields of the lower Marsayangdi River valley. We set trail here and follow this ancient river as it cuts through the main Himalayan chain. Bamboo and tropical vegetation accompany us as we ascend through the verdant mid-hills into alpine forest and then up higher into alpine meadows. Soon the temperate climate gives way to the arid desert conditions in the Manang district, home to centuries old Buddhist temples and medieval villages.
We continue in the footsteps of the ancient salt traders over the Throrung La pass. At 5,416m it is one of the highest trekking passes on earth, but the views from the top of Dhaulagiri (8,167m) are just stupendous. On the way down to the Kali Gandaki gorge, we visit the temple complex in Muktinath, a sacred site for both Hindus and Buddhists. It is a favourite pilgrimage destination for many of the faithful.
Continuing our descent, we arrive at Kagbeni and the junction of the Jhong Khola and Kali Gandaki Rivers (2,800). We are now in the deepest valley in the world. To the east, Annapurna (8,031m) sits astride the gorge, and on the west Dhaulagiri towers at 8,167m. Like sentinels of the Kali Gandaki River, they guide us south towards the lush lowlands.
We descend through pine and rhododendron forest to natural hot springs to soak away the dust of the trail and revitalise ourselves. We make a short ascent of Poon Hill for great sunrise views at the end of our trek, and remember with great satisfaction that we have just circumnavigated one of the most breath-taking mountain ranges on earth.
Day 1 : Drive from Kathmandu to Besisahar (823m.)
Which takes about six hours. Stay overnight at lodge.
Day 2 : Trek from Beshishahar to Bahundanda (1305m.).
Takes about six hours. The first part of the trail passes through flat level along the bank of the Marshyangdi river. You can enjoy the sceneries and the local culture of Gurung community. After lunch the trail goes steeply upwards to Bahundanda which takes about 2 hours. Stay overnight at lodge.
Day 3 : Trek from Bahundanda to Chamje (1410m.)
which takes about six hours. A steep trail descends for early half an hour and then follows flat path through rice terraces before crossing a stream at the bottom of a small waterfalls. It then climbs again and traverses the hillside high above the river before reaching the village of Lali Gaon. The trail then climbs steeply and the path is cut into the sheer cliff-face some 200-300m above the riverbed. Eventually you descend to the stone village of Jagat (1330m.) situated on a shelf which juts into the precipitous Marshyangdi valley. Now the trail begins to observe small ups and downs to Chamje through the forests. Stay overnight tat lodge.
Day 4 : Trek from Chamje (1410m.) to Dharapani (1960m.) takes about six hours.
The first part of the trail descends to the river and after crossing a suspension bridge, you begin a climb to Sattale (1550m.) on a path so steep that it seems one slip would send you hurtling down into the valley. Climbing the zigzag path to the top of the hill, we see the level, plain of Tal (1700m.) before us. You descend to a grassy riverbank which leads to Tal with its hotels and teahouses. Here you can enjoy the exhilarating waterfalls. You cross a suspension bridge and climb the short distance to the stone mani marking the entrance to Dharapani (1960m.), and our camp for the night.
Day 5 : Trek from Dharapani to Chame (2675m.) which takes about five and half hours.
As you cut through a narrow field from the village, the Dudh Khola, which originates from the south face of Manaslu, enters on the opposite bank. The Marshyangdi then veers to the left and as Annapurna II becomes visible ahead, you arrive at Bagarchhap, a Bhote village with prayer flags fluttering in the breeze around Buddhist monastery. Continuing to climb through forests of pine and oak, you pass through Danaque (2210m.). There comes a small wooden bridge which takes you to follow steep ascent path up to Timang. It lies at the bottom of Lamajung Himal. The trail goes through flat level until you reach Chame. Stay overnight at lodge.
Day 6 : Trek from Chame to Pisang (3100m.)
Which takes about five hours. You pass through a fir and pine forest, climbing to a high, rocky area as the opposite bank becomes an impassable cliff. From this point the valley becomes extremely steep-sided as you follow the path to Bhratang (2950m.).In the past this was the military station for troops who fought against the Khampa tribal revolution, but the dilapidated buildings are all that remains of that era. A short climb from the village brings you to a rock-strewn area where you cross a wooden bridge and follow a high, winding path, before crossing back to the right bank again. You now walk through a pine forest and as the forest ends, the valley changes from a V-shape to a gentle U-shape, opening up a wonderful vista before us. You can see the east peak of Annapurna II as well as Pisang Peak (6091m.) to the north-east. Continuing on, you come to a long mani wall by a bridge and the lower village of Pisang. Stay overnight at lodge.
Day 7 : Trek from Pisang to Manang (3440m.) takes about five and half hours.
Beyond Pisang, the trail climbs a steep ridge which affords good views of the Manang valley and Tilicho peak (7145m.). Descending past Manang's airstrip at Hungde (3320m.), you come to a level area from where the north-east face of Annapurna III rises majestically above you. From the wide plains of the Sabje Khola Valley, Annapurna IV (7525m.) also becomes visible. Just beyond this point you cross the considerably reduced flow of the Marshyangdi Khola via a wooden bridge to the tiny village of Mungji. Cultivated fields appear on both sides of the path and off to the right, below a craggy mountain, you can see the village of Bryaga with its splendid monastery. Large chortens and mani walls abound and the tall peaks of the Himalaya spread out before us - Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Gangapurna (7455m.) and to the rear, Tilicho Peak (7145m.). After a short steep climb you reach Manang. You camp here for the night amidst the fluttering prayer flags which adorn the houses.
Day 8 : Rest day at Manang.
This is an important rest and acclimatization day today before crossing the Thorung La. You can walk crossing the river to see the tremendous icefall coming down from the Annapurnas, or climb high above the village for a full panorama of the Annapurna range and the Manang Valley. There is also a Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) aid post in the village which makes an interesting and educational visit. Moreover, you can visit Ganagapurna Glacier Lake to make your rest day a memorable one. Stay overnight at lodge.
Day 9 : Trek from Manang to Yak Kharka (4350m.) and it takes about three and half hours.
Now the trail ascends gently all the way to Yak Kharka passing through the Gunsang (3960m.) village. En route, you can see panoramic views all the day. Stay overnight at lodge.
Day 10 : Trek from Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi (4420m.) which takes about 3 and half hours.
Leaving Yak Kharka, you climb gradually to a ridge before descending to the headwaters of the Marshyangdi and crossing via a covered wooden bridge. After a short ascent up the mountain path on the right bank, you follow a narrow trail across an unstable spree slope and then descend to Thorung Phedi. Stay overnight at lodge.
Day 11 : Trek from Thorong Phedi to Muktinath (3850m.) via Thorong La (5416m.) Pass takes about seven hours.
The trail becomes steep immediately on leaving camp but as this trail has been used by local people for hundreds of years the path is well defined. The gradient then eases and after around 4 hours of steady climbing you reaches the chorten and prayer flags of the pass. The views are dramatic to say the least, from the snow-covered mountains above, to the head of the Kali Gandaki valley below and the brown and purple hills of Mustang which are spread out before us. The descent to Muktinath is a knee pounding 1600m but it's compensated for with excellent views of Dhaulagiri. Eventually the moraines give way to grassy slopes before a pleasant walk along the Jhong Khola Valley to Muktinath and its shrines and temple. Stay overnight at lodge.
Day 12 : Trek Muktinath to Marpha (2667m.) and it takes about approximately six hours.
You now begin the descent down the dramatic Kali Gandaki Gorge, initially through arid country in the same geographical and climatic zone as Tibet. After passing through Jharkot and Khingar villages with typical Tibetan architecture, you follow the valley floor most of the way to Jomsom which is sprawled along both banks of the Kali Gandaki. You continue to walk down to Marpha, a delightful Thakali village, complete with a drainage system beneath the flagstone streets. Its narrow alleys and passageways provide welcome shelter from the strong winds of the Kali Gandaki Gorge. Stay overnight at lodge.
Day 13 : Trek from Marpha to Ghasa (2013m.) which takes about six hours.
Your trail descends steeply through forests to Ghasa, the last Thakali village. The beginning part of the trail is stretched at almost flat level up to Kalopani and then your trail begins descending steeply to Ghasa. The first part of the trek passes through the windy area covered with pine forests, rhododendron forests and birches .The surrounding area of Ghasa is famous destination for bird watching and wild Marijuana. Here you can view the panoramic Mount Nilgiri North (7061m.), Nilgiri Central (6940m.), and Nilgiri South (6839m.), Annapurna I (8091m.), Dhaulagiri I (8167m.) and Tukuche peak (6920m.)
Day 14 : Trek from Ghasa to Tatopani (1189 m.) which takes about five hours.
The trail descends steeply up to Rukse Chhahara (Rukse Waterfalls). Now the trail ascends slightly to Tatopani through different human settlements. You can enjoy the hot spring at Tatopani as the word Tatopani is termed after the natural hot spring situated at the bank of the Kali Gandaki River. It is popularly believed that taking bath in Hot Spring helps you to get rid of skin diseases. Stay overnight at lodge.
Day 15 : A rest day at Tatopani to enjoy the natural hot spring bath.
Stay overnight at lodge.
Day 16 : Trek from Tatopani to Ghorepani (2853 m.) for about seven hours.
Your trail passes through flat level of the land at some distance. Then the trail begins ascending steeply for at least one hour. Now path goes up through different villages inhabited by the people of different caste and agricultural land. The trail ascends gently all the way to Ghorepani passing through small villages like Phalate, Chitre and so on. You are accompanied by more panoramic views of different mountains. Ghorepani (Watering to Horse) are a small pass and the village of Deurali. Although there is time enough to continue, it is better to stay here overnight so that we can make the morning trip to Poon Hill (3180m.) for an outstanding panorama of Dhaulagiri I,II,III,Iv, Tukuche peak, Dhampus peak, Nilgiri ranges,Annapurna I, Bahra Sikhar (Twelve peaks or renowned as French Fang),Annapurna South, Himchuli, Fishtail and Mardi Himal. Stay overnight at lodge.
Day 17 : Trek from Ghorepani to Poon Hill (3180m.) to Tadapani (2675m.) which takes about five and half hours.
Early morning trip to Poon Hill (3232m.) to enjoy the sunrise view over Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m.), Tukuche Peak (6920m.), Nilgiri (6940m.), Varaha Shikhar (7847m.), Mt. Annapurna I (8091m.), Annapurna South (7219m.), Annapurna III (7855m.), Machhapuchhre (6993m.), Annapurna IV (7525m.), Annapurna II (7937m.), Lamjung Himal (6931m.) and other numerous snow-capped mountain peaks. After breakfast trek Ghorepani to Tadapani (2650 m.) through the deep forests of rhododendrons, bamboos and oaks. En route, you frequently see waterfalls, rocks, wild animals, local birds and green scenarios. Tadapani is a small village surrounded by beautiful forests which grants you a magnificent view of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Fishtail and Annapurna II and so on. Stay overnight at lodge.
Day 18 : Trek from Tadapani (2675m.) to Ghandruk (1950m.) and it takes about three hours.
It is very easy trek descending gently all the way through rhododendron, oak and other kinds of dense forests. You could hear different kinds of birds chirping on the way. This is one of the popular destinations for the birds' lovers. Ghandruk is a big Gurung village. Stay overnight at lodge.
Day 19 : Trek from Ghandruk (1950m.) to Pothana (1990m.) which takes about six hours.
First part of your trek is steeply down following stone staircase to Kimbu (Bee hive). Kimbu or Bee hive is located at the elevation of 1200 meters on the bank of Modi Khola. Now your trail steeply ascends following the stone staircase up to Landruk. The trail ascends gently for early two hours and again ascends steeply for an hour to Deurali (2150m.) passing through Tolkha village (1850m.). From this point you can see panoramic view of Dhaulagiri I (8167m.), Annapurna South (7219m.), Hiunchuli (6441m.), Fishtail (6997m.), Annapurna III (7755m.), Annapurna IV (7525m.), Annapurna II (7937m.) and Lamjung Himal (6930m.). Now the rest of the trail descends gently down to Dhampus passing through Pothana village (1900m.). Stay overnight at lodge.
Day 20 : Trek from Pothana to Dhampus Phedi (1113m.) which takes about four hours.
Your trail descends gradually for at least an hour and follows gravelled road for two hours and then steeply descends to Phedi passing through Dhampus village, paddy fields and forest protected by local community. Upon your arrival at Dhampus Phedi, you could take a vehicle to reach Pokhara. Stay overnight at hotel.
Day 21 : Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu by tourist mini bus that takes about seven hours.
While driving from Pokhara to Kathmandu, you head up to Damauli,, Dumre, Muglin and Kurintar where Nepal's first Cable car is operated to reach to Manakamana Temple. En route, you could enjoy the mountain views, green sceneries, rice terrace fields, vegetable fields and people engaged in their daily life activities. From Naubishe you climb up to Thankot, the gateway to capital city. You can also fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu which takes about 25 minutes.
US$ 2300 Per person, minimum number of participants : 2 * .
Transport US$ 655 Kathmandu -
Pokhara Birethanti - Pokhara - Kathmandu. Price per vehicle, divide by the number of passengers to get the price per person.
(Flight is Extra US$ 105 per person on way)
US$ 380 In case of not shaing of accommodation & single person trip.
Equipment hire costs :
US$ 1 Per item per day, Down jacket - waterproof jacket - kit bag etc.
* If you are with less than the minimum number of participants please contact us. We can bring you into contact with other people who would be interested to do the same trek and by posting a message to our message board you might find other people who would like to join you.