Annapurna Circuit Trek – The best long distance trek in the world.
Annapurna Circuit Trek has often been voted as the best long distance trek in the world, and likely so, as this trek combines wide variety of climatic zones from the tropics to the Arctic like zones at Thorungla Pass. The cultural variety that the Annapurna Circuit Trek encompasses from Hindu villages at the low foothills to the Tibetan culture of Manang and lower Mustang, not to forget the astounding Himalayan scenery, surely puts this trek amongst the best long distance treks in the world.
Annapurna Circuit Trek is a demanding 160Km to 230Km trek in central Nepal that circumvates the Annapurna Massif. A long and strenuous trek known as a trek within the Annapurna mountains . A long trek that crosses two river valleys, the Marsyangdi River Valley and the Kaligandaki Gorge to reach the highest point of this trek at Thorungla Pass – 5416m, almost touching the edge of the Tibetan mainland.
Annapurna Base Circuit trek usually takes about fifteen to twenty days from Kathmandu with a night halt in Pokhara before returning to Kathmandu. It is a challenging trek that involves crossing numerous rivers over steel and wooden suspension bridges and high passes and snow fields. Tea houses and lodges along the trail are available for meals and accommodations.
Most Scenic Trek Route in the World
Annapurna Circuit Trek provides the onlooker some of the best mountain scenery on this side of Nepal Himalayas. Seen at close quarters includes the Annapurna Massif and it’s ranges, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Manaslu, Gangapurna, Tilicho Peak, Pisang Peak, and Paungda Danda.
While enroute from Chame to Manag, it is recommended that trekkers take the high route to Upper Pisang and Ghyaru and to Manang, as the mountain views are spectacular on this part of the Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Moreover, the three villages of Pisang, Bhraka and Ghyaru are well preserved samples of Tibetan style villages still in their original state. Staying overnight in one of these villages also helps in acclimatization, since these villages are located higher than Manang.
Besisahar or Bhulbhule in the Marshyandi River valley is the traditional starting point of the Annapurna Circuit Trek . But nowadays most of the Trekkers drive till Jagat or Chame. while some even drive till Manang and start the Trek from there. This is not advisable as one do not get time to acclimatize to higher altitude. Moreover by driving this far you will miss the scenery that entails with the Annapurna Circuit Trek. There are a number of options to start and finish this trek and it totally depends on the participant.
Ending Point of the Trek
If you are limited on time or do not feel like trekking all the way than one can end the Annapurna Circuit Trek in Jomsom and fly out to Pokhara or one can also have an option of taking a public transport from Jomsom to Pokhara.
But if you have the energy and the motivation to complete the Annapurna Circuit Trek, than one can also trek further on to Ghorepani Poon hill to Annapurna Base Camp to end the trek at Birethanti with a two hours Jeep drive back to Pokhara.
Side Trek to Tilicho Lake
An excellent add on to the Annapurna Circuit Trek is a visit to Tilicho Lake. Tilicho Lake situated at an altitude of 4990m is considered the highest glacial lake in the world. It is being said that without a side trek to Tilicho Lake this trek will be incomplete. You will need an extra three days for this side trek to Tilicho Lake.
Annapurna Circuit Trek is a fairly difficult trek for an average trekker as it involves trekking at high altitudes on varied terrain. The Trekking trail also involves climbing plenty of stone steps and this also adds to the difficulty level.
Best Time to Exolore
Being in the rain shadow, it is possible to do the Annapurna Circuit Trek the year round as most part of the trek route remain dry.
But, after having said that, April to May is good time to trek when the Annapurna Conservation Area is alight with a variety of Rhododendron flowers and wild primula. Trekking is also recommended at this time because of the mild weather which is very conducive for Trekking. A little haze can be seen from the lower altitude which soon vanishes. But because of the increasing temperature the lower region becomes a little humid and uncomfortable.
October to November is the best time to go on the Annapurna Circuit Trek. Due to the recently concluded monsoon rain the surrounding vegetation is refreshed and clean and the skies are clear for the mountain views. However, this is the busiest season and expect to see a lot of crowd.
December to March is the coldest season of the Annapurna Circuit trek and there will be plenty of snow in the higher altitude. Moreover, Thorung la Pass can get blocked too. However, the best part of trekking the Annapurna Circuit trek at this time is that there will be less crowd on the trail.
TRIP FACTS :
- Trek Grade: Moderate to Strenuous
- Duration: 20 Nights / 21 Days
- Maximum Sleeping Altitude: 4450m/14,500ft ( Thorung Phedi )
- Maximum Hiking Altitude: 5416m/17,769ft ( Thorung La Pass )
- Best Season: Mar-June and Oct-Dec.
- Trek availability: Group Departures (Ex-Kathmandu).
- Join a group trek (dates shown below)
- Customized private Treks can also be arranged for a minimum of two persons on request on a date of your choice.
Group Departure 2021 (Ex-Kathmandu)
- 11-27 March, 2021
- 11 -27April, 2021
- 11-27 May, 2021
- 26 Sepember-12 October, 2021
- 11-27 October, 2021
- 11 -27November, 2021
Private treks are available on request for a minimum of two persons
ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT TREK ITINERARY
Day 1: Drive Kathmandu to Besisar (820m). Drive further on to Jagat ( 26Km). Lodge.
Day 2: Annapurna Circuit Trek Starts. Trek Jagat to Dharapani (1860m/16Km/5Hrs). Lodge.
Day 3: Trek Dharapani to Chame (2610m/16Km/6Hrs). Lodge.
Day 4: Trek Chame to Lower Pisang (3310m/15Km/4-5Hrs). Lodge.
Day 5: Trek Lower Pisang to Manang (3540m/16Km/6Hrs). Lodge.
Day 6: Rest/acclimatization day at Manang. Lodge.
Day 7: Trek to Yak Kharka (4020m/10Km/4Hrs). Lodge.
Day 8: Trek to Thorung Phedi (4450m/11Km/4Hrs). Lodge.
Day 9: Cross Thorung La pass(5416m) to Muktinath (3800m/16Km). Lodge.
Day10: Trek to Kagbeni (2800m/9Km). Lodge.
Day11: Trek to Marpha (2670m/15Km). Lodge.
Day12: Trek to Kalopani (2535m/17Km). Lodge.
Day13: Trek to Tatopani (1200m/20Km). Lodge.
Day14: Trek to Ghorepani (2870m/14Km). Lodge.
Day15: Early morning climb Poon Hill(3Km)for sunrise views. Trek to Gandruk village. Lodge.
Day16: Trek to Birethanti (1025m). Drive to Pokhara. Hotel.
Day17: Drive Pokhara to Kathmandu. Annapurna Circuit Trek ends.
- Annapurna Circuit Trek Cost : US$1680 per person
- Indian Participants do write to us for quotes in Rupees
ANNAPURNA TREK COST INCLUDES:
- Transport in Tourist Bus( Kathmandu to Pokhara).
- Basic accommodation at local lodges on twin sharing basis.
- Services of experienced English speaking local trekking guide.
- Porters to carry luggage while on trek (1 porter for 2 persons).
- Insurance for trekking staff, guides, porters etc.,
- Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) fees.
- National Park entrance fees.
- TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) registration fees.
- All meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) included for the duration of the trek.
- Departure Tax where applicable (domestic/international flights).
- Domestic Kathmandu / Pokhara / Kathmandu airfare (if requested by clients).
- Transport from Pokhara to Kathmandu at the end of the Trek.
- Travel/Trekking/Medical insurance.
- Rescue operations by helicopter.
- Excess baggage charges.
- Mineral water, boiled drinking water, soft drinks and any alcoholic beverages, tips and any personal expenses.
- Nepal Visa Fees.
- Any services in Kathmandu/Nepal (hotels, transport, etc.).
- Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu.
- Hotel accommodation in Pokhara at the End of the Trek.
- Any cost arising from political disturbances, strikes, cancellation of flights, deviation in program, delays due to landslides/ road blockage, or otherwise.
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- Nepal visa is readily available on arrival at the International Airport
- in Kathmandu and all other entry points to Nepal.
- 2 passport photos will be required.
- Single Entry visa: US$ 30 per visa (valid for 60 days).
- Multiple Entry visa: US$ 80 per visa (valid for 150 days).
- Nepal Visas are also available in all Nepalese Embassies and Consulates.
- Indian Nationals do not need a visa to travel inside Nepal
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Note: The above itinerary is a sample intended to give you a general idea of the likely trip schedule. Numerous factors such as weather, road conditions, physical ability of the participants etc. may dictate itinerary changes either before departure or while on the trail. We reserve the right to change this schedule in the interest of trip participant’s safety, comfort and general well being.
Recommendations: Annapurna Circuit Trek is very strenuous and demands top physical form. A physical fitness check-up is a must. Even the experienced trekker should prepare for 2 to 3 months prior to the trek.
(All relevant Terms & Conditions apply).