Annapurna Circuit - Round Annapurna Trek

Annapurna circuit trek - Hiking around Annapurna, trekking around Annapurna: witness the diverse ethno-culture, lifestyles and topography on the shadow of incredible mountain vistas.

Annapurna Circuit - Round Annapurna Trek

Annapurna Circuit trek- A classic three-week adventure holiday leads you through a diverse range of mountain cultures, scenery and climatic zones. From the barren 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 extremely beautiful region steeped in history, culture and tradition.

After exploration of amazing Kathmandu valley including Patan and Bhaktapur, we embark our minibus and drive to the road head at Bulbule - 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 favorite 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.

Trip Facts:

Activities: Trekking
Start/End:
Kathmandu
Destination:
Annapurna Circuit
Trip Duration: 17 days
Max. Altitude:
4420 meters
Group Size:
Min. 1 / Max.20
Best Season:
February, March, April, May, June, September,  October, November & December.
Trip Grade: Moderate Plus
Daily walking Hour: Approx. 4-6
Cost: Please contact us

Trek Map:

Please click on map to have larger view.

Annapurna Map

Annapurna circuit trek - Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu airport and transfer to Hotel. (1330m), Overnight at hotel.

Day 02: Guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu valley including Kathmandu Durbar square, Swoyambhunath stupa, Pashupatinath temple and Bouddhanath stupa.

Day 03: Drive to Besi Sahar. (810m)
Local bus drive to besisahar takes about 5 hours. Leaving Kathmandu valley you are driven on the Tribhuwan Raj Marg (Highway) along the Trisuli River until Mugling. From Mugling you go westwards along the Marshyangdi River. You will be trekking along the Marshyangdi River until the day you go over the Thorung la pass 5416m. From Besi Sahar we have a short trek of 90 minutes to 2 hours towards the village of Khudi. After an hour walks you cross a bamboo bridge which signifies the approach to Khudi. You can relax to the sound of the mighty Marshyangdi.

Note: We can also drive from Kathmandu to Bulbule directly since the road has been developed to Bulbule. This way we can minimize one day on our total trekking days.

Day 04: Trek to Bahundanda. (1310m) 5-5.30 hours.
Leaving Khudi, you pass by a local school on the right side. You will have to stop at Bulbule where there is a check post for the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP). You cross a steel bridge over the Marshyangdi river which serves as a vital connection between both sides of the village. You continue past mostly level rice fields until the village of Ngadi (The birth place of Late DR. Harka Gurung). Your trek leader will probably suggest a lunch stop. After lunch you will cross another large suspension bridge over the Ngadi River where the trail begins to ascent straying away from the Marshyangdi river through a wooded area. The last hour is a pretty steep climb to Bahundanda (Hill of Brahmins) through cultivated fields.

Day 05: Trek to Chyamje. (1430m) 6-6.30 hours
Leaving Bahundanda, you will descend on several stone steps. The farmers can harvest 2-3 crops a year in these lowlands depending on the rainfall. The path levels off and from here the small villages of Sildhunga and Tadring and be seen on the hillside opposite the valley. Contouring along the undulating path until the descent to the small settlement of Syange. You will have a rest stop before the descent at Ghermu phant for a drink and to admire an impressive water fall on the opposite side of the valley. You need to cross a suspension bridge across the Marshyangdi. You will notice the sides narrowing and getting steeper while walking up the valley. You may pass mule trains along the way. From here is a steep climb to the village of Jagat. A series of up and down walk brings you to Chyamje, the final stop for the night.

Day 06: Trek to Bagarchhap. (2160m) 6-7 hours
you cross a suspension bridge to the east side of the Marshyangdi soon after leaving Chyamje. You continue along a series of overhanging rock formations. The path begins to traverse a broad ledge after a short climb. You then come to a series of stone steps as you pass a couple of tea shops while going uphill. The trail evens out after a while and you will cross though an archway- which is the gateway to Tal and the Manang district. Tal means lake in Nepali. You can see a broad expanse where a lake used to be. The Tibetan influence gets more evident from here on with Chortens, Gompas and the architecture of the buildings.
The trail from Tal levels out for a while, a welcome relief for your legs. You will cross a bridge back to the West of the Marshyangdi after about an hour later. You can see the old trail on the other side which was recently abandoned due landslides. The trail continues up wards until the village of Dharapani where there is a police check post. Bagarchhap is only another 45 minutes walk from Jagat. (1920m)

Day 07: Trek to Chame. (2630m) 5 hours.
Great views of Mt. Annapurna II 7937m and Mt. Lamjung Himal (Mountain) 6932m greet you as you proceed up the valley. You reach the village of Danakyu after 30 minutes. If you look behind the lofty peaks of Mt. Manaslu 8156m, the eight highest in the world and Peak 29 7833m could be visible on clear days. There is a steep climb for about an hour through Pine and Fir forest with spectacular scenery. You may see Langur monkeys in the forest. You will reach Timang village with spectacular views of Manaslu 8156m. Continuing on a flattish path and a river late the village of Thanchok is reach. The towering Annapurna II 7937m is incredible further up the trail. The path rejoins the main trail while descending through woodland down to Koto which sits in the shadow of Annapurna II 7937m. The Nar Khola (river) from the recently opened valleys of Nar and Phu joins the Marshyangdi from the right side of the valley. Chame which is the district headquarters of Manang is a short walk from here. There are excellent views of Lamjung Himal 6932m from here.

Day 08: Trek to Pisang. (3190m) 5 hours
This day is a shorter trek to Pisang. However as it is so beautiful most trekkers take their time to admire the scenery and take lots of photographs. You will pass through a series of mani walls. The trail is pretty even until the apple orchards of Brathang. The trail heads uphill for about 45 minutes through forest, leveling off before reaching a suspension bridge. A moderate climb follows after crossing the bridge through a forest consisting of Juniper, Pine and Fir. The valley begins to broaden and Pisang Peak 6091m stands out in front of you. You pass a couple of small lakes where sometimes birds can be seen wading. Pisang is divided into upper and lower.

Day 09: Trek to Manang. (3500m) 5 hours (Low Route) or 7-8 hours (High Route).
There are 2 options on the days a low route 5 hours or the high route 7-8 hours. If you take the lower, less strenuous route, the path out of the valley is pretty level and then once out of the valley you begin to contour round to your left and climb up onto a ridge. The view from this ridge is breathtaking looking down into the Manang valley and you will want to stay here all day to enjoy it! Dropping to the valley floor the path is wide and dusty. You will have noticed that the scenery here is becoming more arid, the air drier and the wind colder. Annapurna III (7,555m) rises to the left and passing through the village of Hongde you will see the deserted remains of the old village on its outskirts. The path then rises gradually and takes you into the next valley. After a couple of hours walk you will pass through the village of Braga, just 30 minutes walk from Manang.

The High route
If you are feeling fit and energetic then the high route on the east bank of the Marshyangdi is strenuous but well worth the effort. You cross the river out of Pisang village and then take a reasonably level path through scrub land, passing a small picturesque lake on your right. You then pass a long mani wall and descend to cross a stream and begin a strenuous zigzagging climb up to the village of Ghyaru (3,673m). A welcome tea shop is the first house you reach in the village. It is well worth climbing up to visit the Gompa at the top of the village. The views from here of Annapurna II and Annapurna IV are totally stunning. From Ghyaru you continue up the valley on a wonderful high level trail, passing the ruins of a castle set on a promontory, with views both ways up and down the valley. You then arrive at the village of Ngawal (3,650m) where there is a large newly built Gompa up to the right. You leave the village near a long mani wall. Finally you descend back to the valley floor and rejoin the main trail to continue to Braga and Manang.

Day 10: Trek to Rest Day for Acclimatization.
It is essential to spend time for acclimatization in this area. There are splendid views of the peaks from both Manang and Braga villages. Manang is a large village situated on a rise immediately across from the huge Gangapurna glacier. A beautiful emerald lake lies at its foot. There are plenty of good walks in the area and for at least a couple of hours you should try to climb as high as possible above the village. Side trips are recommended to a small summit with prayer flags about an hour above Braga village, or up the ridge behind Manang village, or to a viewpoint above the lake opposite Manang Village. It is also possible to walk up the valley towards Tilicho Lake to the village of Khangsar. In addition it is worth visiting the Manang Gompa or, if it is open, visit the clinic run by the Himalayan Rescue Association they often have talks about altitude in the afternoon. There are also shops to explore for souvenirs.

Day 11: Trek to Yak Kharka. (4090m) 4 hours.
Despite being shorter day, it is essential for acclimatization to stop between Manang and Thorong Phedi. You will leave Manang and take about 30 minutes to reach the upper village. After this you contour round the hillside and gain great views of the Grand barrier, the high ridge between Roc Noir and Nilgiri named by French climber Maurice Herzog. Below the grand barrier you will see down the Khangsar valley which leads up to Tilicho lake. Passing the hamlet of Gunsang you continue through the barren upper reaches of the Manang valley. The path ascends gradually but is still hard work due to the increased altitude. You will arrive at Yak Kharka and have lunch there. In the afternoon you could take a walk further up the valley or climb the ridge behind the village if you make it to the top of the ridge there are great views of the north of the Annapurna range. Either of these walks would help with acclimatization. Even if you only venture a short way above the camp there is the chance to see the large flocks of blue sheep which inhabit this area. Either of these walks would help with acclimatization.

Day 12: Trek to Thorung Phedi. (4420m) 4 hours
again today is another short day, yet essential for proper acclimatization. Leaving Yak Kharka you will pass through the small collection of lodges known as Letdar. You will take a high route, which winds its way around the eastern side of the Thorong valley, before dropping down to the valley floor. Crossing the river there is a short but sharp climb to Thorong Phedi. Phedi means foot of the hill and while it is the jumping off point for crossing the Thorong La it is not the prettiest place in the world! In the afternoon it is worth walking up beyond the first notch to the collection of huts known as upper base camp, as an acclimatization walk, and then continuing up to the right to a small peak for superb all round views. Watch out for blue sheep here. (4420m)

Day 13: Trek to Muktinath (3800m) via Thorung la (5415m) approximately 8-10 hours.
Starting at dawn or thereabouts you first ascend steeply for 1 hour to a rock ledge and notch at 4,679m, then continue up along an ascending and undulating trail. This ascent will seem endless and be warned there are several false summits - but there are great views back down the valley as you go. Finally, after anything from 3 to 5 hours, you arrive at the top of the Thorong La 5,416m) with its large cairn and many prayer flags. You will have spectacular views of the Annapurna Range to the south and the Mukut Himal bordering Dolpo to the west. The peak immediately south of the pass is Thorong Peak this is a trekker's peak and you may see people climbing here. You will probably not want to linger too long at the pass as it can be very cold and you will probably be feeling the effects of altitude. The descent to Muktinath is very steep and takes some 3 to 4 hours. This is where you might appreciate having walking poles to take the strain off the knees! During the descent there are splendid views of Dhaulagiri (8,175m) and Tukuche Peak (6,920m) and all the way down into the valley of the Kali Gandaki below. Finally you see the buildings of Muktinath coming in to view. You bypass the enclosure round the famous temples and descend to the main village, which is actually called Ranipauwa and not Muktinath, a name which technically refers just to the temple.

Day 14: Trek to Jomsom 2800m
today you walk on the fair weather road till Eklebhatti. Despite having to descend 1000m it is not hard on your knees unless you are suffering from the previous days descent. From Eklebhatti, you criss cross between the road and the banks of the Kali Gandaki river. You will notice how windy the Kali Gandaki valley is after 10 am. The Kali Gandaki here is called the Thak Khola, from the ethnic group, the Thakalis, many of whom live in this area. Enterprising and ambitious, the Thakalis formerly dominated the salt trade with Tibet in this region and after its collapse diversified into running hotels along the trek route, construction and other businesses.

Day 15: You take a flight from Jomsom to Pokhara, and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax and wander around the lakeside town. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 16: after a morning relaxing in Pokhara, you will take the exciting flight back to Kathmandu giving you the opportunity to view the Annapurna massif you have just trekked around. On arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel and then have the opportunity to relax and reflect on your adventures and to complete any sightseeing and last-minute shopping. Overnight Hotel.

Day 17: Departure from International Airport.

Note: The above information is just a guide and standard pattern of what we provide. The trip can be tailored at your request to accommodate your specific requirements. On adventure trips of this type, weather, transport or a multitude of other factors beyond our control can result in a change of itinerary. It is, however, very unlikely that the itinerary would be substantially altered; if alterations are needed the person in charge will make a decision what is the best alternative, taking into consideration the best interests of the whole group. Where a change does arise, we do everything we can to reduce its effect, but we cannot be liable for the results of changes or delays.

Why choose us?

Mission Eco Trek aware that there are many companies seeking your business as you plan your adventure holidays in the Nepal Himalayas. We believe we offer the very best value for money and take your safety, comfort and ultimate holiday experience very seriously.

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Service Includes

  • All meals (B/L/D) during the trekking period
  • Accommodation (Lodge) during the trekking period
  • Conservation fee
  • Domestic airfare (if necessary)\
  • Domestic airport tax (if necessary)
  • English speaking guide
  • Highly experienced staffs
  • Staffs food, clothing & salary
  • Staffs insurance
  • All necessary grounded transportation
  • Medical supplies (first aid kit will be available).
  • Airport picks up & drops
  • Arrangement of Emergency Helicopter service which will be paid by your Travel insurance company.
  • TIMS Card (Trekker's Information Management System)
  • All Local / Government Taxes

Service Excludes

  • Personal nature expenses
  • Bar bill and all kind of drinks
  • Rescue & Evacuation
  • Gratitude (tip) for staff

Food during the trip

Food on full board basis will be provided during the spent on trekking. Three meals (Sherpa, Nepalese and Tibetan, Continental, Italian and Indian dishes) a day will be provided from the guesthouse/teahouse/lodge menus. Every day dinner and breakfast are used to take in the same teahouse/lodge you spend the night. Lunch will be taken on the way to destination. Reception, farewell dinner with culture show and breakfast will be provided during your stay in Kathmandu.

Trekking Equipments:-

The following equipment lists are suggested and essential for both camp & teahouse trekking in the Himalayas. Make use of this list as a guideline; some of the equipment can be hired in Katmandu as well. Besides, keep in mind trekking gear can be bought in the many adventure shops in Katmandu, the majority of gear is locally manufactured (hence a lot cheaper) although it is becoming more common for gear to be imported from China and therefore of better quality.

Luggage:

1) 1 large duffel bag: This will carry all your personal gear on the trekking. It should be strong and durable. The best size would be around 30" x 14", with a full-length zipper and handles.
2) 1 rucksack or day pack: This should accommodate a sweater, rain gear, water bottle, camera and accessories and any miscellaneous items you need to have during the day. We recommend a pack with at least 1450cu. In capacity, or smaller if you are not carrying a large amount of camera equipment.

Head and Face Gear:
1. Sunhat
2. A Bandana
3. Sunglasses
4.Warm hat
5. Sunscreen with a very high SPF factor
6. Lip balm with a high SPF factor

Hands:
1. Lightweight gloves

Inner Clothing:
1. T-shirts
2. Thermal underwear- Top and bottom. Synthetic is best
3. Underwear
4. 2 Long shorts
5. 2 Trousers- (loose and comfortable) One thin, one thick and warm

Outer Clothing:
1. Down Jacket
2. Fleece Jacket (or a windproof jacket)
3. Waterproof jacket with a hood (or a poncho)
4. Waterproof pants
5. Baggy pants
6. 2 pairs of gloves/mittens (1 thin and 1 thick)
7. 1 sweater to be worn under the fleece jacket

Footwear:
1. Light weight walking boots- (leather is recommended)
2. Spare laces
3. 2 pairs of thick woolen socks.
4. 2 pairs of thin socks to be worn under the woolen socks
5. One pair of sandals or comfortable shoes for camp

Drinking Equipment:
1. Water Bottle
Purification equipment- Boiled drinking water will be provided but further purification with iodine or purification tablets is highly recommended.

Sleeping and Carrying Equipment:
1. 30-40 liter daypack
2. Water Proof Bag- A water proof bag to cover the rucksack
3. Sleeping Bag- Please brings a bag that can resist temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius

Personal Medical Kit:
1. Bandage for sprains
2. Plasters/Band-aids
3. Iodine or water filters
4. Moleskin/Second skin - for blisters
5. Antiseptic ointment for cuts
6. Anti-bacterial throat lozenges (with antiseptic)
7. Aspirin/paracetamol - general painkiller
8. Oral rehydration salts
9. Broad-spectrum antibiotic (norfloxacin or ciprofloxin)
10. Anti-diarrhea medication (antibiotic)
11. Diarrhea stopper (Imodium - optional)
12. Diamox (altitude sickness - can be bought in Kathmandu)
13. Sterile Syringe set (anti-AIDS precaution)

Extras/Luxuries:
1. Binoculars
2. Reading book
3. Trail Map/Guide book
4. Journal & Pens
5. Travel game i.e. chess, backgammon, scrabble

Toiletries:
1. 1 medium sized quick drying towel
2. Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
3. Multipurpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
4. Deodorant
5. Nail clippers
6. Face and body moisturize
7. Feminine hygiene products
8. Small mirror

Some Frequently Ask Questions by our valued customers

How can I book this trip?
Once you confirmed trip, we need photo copy of your passport and 20% down payment of the total price for advance flight tickets and hotel booking and permit process.

How can I enter in Nepal?
Nepal is a popular tourist destination in south Asia. Several airlines have direct and none-stop flights from Middle East and Asia to Kathmandu, Capital of Nepal.
There are direct flights from London, Paris, Frankfurt, Doha, Osaka, Shanghi, Mascow, Bangkok, Singapore, Hongkong, Karachi, Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta, Paro, Dhaka, Lhasa, and Varanasi.

Can I do Annapurna circuit trek?
Annapurna circuit trek is suitable for any walker looking for something a little more challenging and energetic. It does not require that you have any previous trekking or mountaineering experience. Although, daily jugging or walking exercise is useful and you need to be in good physical condition and able to walk for 5-6 hours daily.

When should I come for Annapurna circuit trek?
February, March, April, May, June, September, October, November are the best seasons. However, July & August are okay and trekking can be done but not so clear visibility due to rain.

Can I join with group?
Yes, you can join with group, we guarantees a series of fixed group departures dates for Annapurna circuit trekking. We can arrange small group trekking trip to suit your requirements. Please contact us for group departure dates.

Do I need to join with group?
well, it is not necessary that you need to follow our fixed group departures dates, because private trip departs every day upon your request which are best suited to couples, families and small groups of friends. We are happy to organize your holiday according by your selecting starting date.

Do you also offer Tailor-made Departures?
Yes, we do offer Tailor-made Departures, if our holiday's tours are not perfect or the group departure dates are not convenient as per your travel plan.

What kind of accommodation I can have during the trip?
In Kathmandu, we do provide 3 stars hotel in Kathmandu and during the trekking, we provide you guest house which is called Tea house. Tea Houses are more like hotels, with hot showers, western food, and private rooms (twin sharing). In this arrangement overnight halts with dinner and breakfast will be in Tea-houses (Lodges) and lunches in local restaurants en-route.
Furthermore as you will be staying in locally owned lodges you will be benefiting and interacting with the local community. It will give you a true feel for the Nepalese people and their lives.

What kind of equipment do I need to bring with me?
Trekking in Nepal is a exiting and adventure trip. We trek up to 6000m walking through villages, green hills, and white snow path so you need to have right equipments with you. Click here to have more info  

What kind of meals I can have during the trip?
All Meals on full board basis will be provided during trekking. Freshly cooked food is served at all times (western, continental and Nepali meals are available in all places). Three meals a day will be provided.

Do I have pre-departure meeting?
Yes, at first, our staff will receive you at the airport and transfer to the hotel and our tour leader will brief regarding about the trip. The briefing will cover the itinerary and introduced your trek Leader.

Can I charge camera batteries along the trek?
Yes, Most of the places, you can charge batteries along the trek (per hour USD 2-3 for charging).

Is someone going to meet me at the airport? Are transfers included?
Definitely, our Airport Representative will come to the airport to pick you up. We will be displaying a play card of Mission eco trek with your name on it. Airport transfer is included.

Can I extend my holiday?
Annapurna circuit trek can extend and there are many options and choices to extend your holiday before or after your main trip. Following trips are suggested for your holiday extensions.

-2 nights / 3 days Chitwan Jungle Safari
-2 full day sightseeing tour in Bhaktapur, Patan Durbar Square and Kathmandu valley
-1night/2 days Trisuli or Bhote Kosi river rafting
-Everest mountain flight

-Tibet overland tour

Acclimatization

Mission Eco Trek is professionals at operating at high-altitude. Each trip we run has a realistic acclimatization programme. Our entire adventure trips are designed to allow gradual height gain, spread over a number of days. High altitude is not predictable sickness, so there is no way of predicting who will suffer from altitude but, for the vast majority of people, a slow ascent to height will produce minimal effects. We can provide 'Gamow Bag' as a precautionary measure as per your request on renting basis. Acclimatizing takes time and there are no safe shortcuts. All trips to altitudes in excess of 3,000 meters carry medicines essential to the treatment of altitude sickness, and our leaders, guides and staffs are well trained to administer them and to know the symptoms.

Check out "Altitude illness" by Dr Jim Duff
http://www.treksafe.com.au/medical/altitude_illness.htm

Further Information

Our homepage contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you have any questions regarding trip, please feel free to contact us. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours. If you want to book a trip, you can send us an email or contact us directly by phone: 0977 98510 23742 (Jitendra), 0977 98510 23758 (Thakur).

Annapurna Region Photo Gallery

Travel Insurance

Travelling is an investment and we believe that an insurance makes your investment secure. It is a condition of joining any of our adventure trips that be protected against comprehensive expenses potential to incur due to medial issues or accidents (to include helicopter rescue, air ambulance, and treatment costs). Please be noted that we do not arrange or sell insurance.

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Contact Address

Mission Eco Trek & Expedition

P. O. Box: 19795, Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal

Tell.: 00977-1- 4442922
Fax: 00977-1- 4442944

Email: mecotrek@wlink.com.np,
info@enepalholidays.com