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Adventures / Wild Hikes

Trek the Annapurna Circuit

Trek the diverse trails and ever-changing landscape of the bedazzling Annapurna region. 19 days.

I'M UP FOR
Wild Hikes
DURATION
18 Nights
DIFFICULTY
Challenging
COMFORT
Basic
LOCATION
Nepal
SEASON
March—May, October, November
NEAREST AIRPORT

The Annapurna Circuit Trek has proved to be one of the most highly praised and spectacular trekking routes in the Himalayas since it opened to foreign trekkers in 1977. This magnificent trek takes you to the Thorong-La Pass at 5614m, then descends down the valley of Kali Gandaki - the deepest gorge in the world (three times deeper than the Grand Canyon) - and finally onto hot springs for some R&R.

All meals and hot drinks are included on the trek, scroll below to find out why this is better for you and for the environment.

You may also be interested in the 14 day Annapurna Sanctuary trek to Annapurna Base Camp.

Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • 18 days of trekking
  • 17 nights of accommodation along the trek
  • 1 night of accommodation in Kathmandu
  • Local, professional English-speaking guides
  • Porter on 2:1 basis
  • All meals during the trek
  • Welcome dinner in Kathmandu
  • Permits and entrance fees
  • Transfers from Kathmandu to Besisahar
  • Airport transfers

Perfect for:
Experienced hikers who want to immerse themselves in the stunning Himalayan mountains - as well as tick one of the most famous treks worldwide off the bucket list.

Need To Know

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Travel to/from airport
  • Transport from Pokhara back to Kathmandu
  • International airport tax
  • Drinks
  • Snacks
  • Visa Fee
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips for guides (optional)
  • Hotels

This trip will run with a maximum of 12.

We choose to include all the meals and hot drinks while you are on the trek. Although this isn’t industry standard we think starting each day sorting a bill isn’t exactly ideal - and this means that the guide can ensure we are getting the best freshest produce available. Groups sometimes choose to eat the same dish which also means less cooking so fewer trees felled to fuel the fire!

Having all meals included certainly doesn’t mean a lack of variety. Breakfast is usually either hot porridge, muesli or Tibetan bread served with an omelette or boiled eggs. The menus in the teahouses are very similar at every stop and there will usually be a choice of traditional Nepalese dhal bhat (a mixed plate of lentils, rice, vegetables and pickles - delicious and healthy!), Nepalese dumplings (momo’s), mixed noodles, pasta and even pizza. Although meat is available at some teahouses, we suggest you ask your guide for their advice re consumption as it tends to depend on how far it has travelled as to whether it is a safe option.

Absolutely, just make a request when booking.

You’ll hike from 4 to 8 hours a day, and gradually ascend from 760m to 5416m. While the trail is generally good, there are some more challenging uphill sections of the journey.

The Annapurna circuit is challenging at times so you should have an average level of fitness to start with. Some training beforehand will help and we advise doing at least one weekend of back to back days walking. The guide will set the pace and as with all altitude treks, the theme is ‘slowly slowly’ to ensure we adjust to the altitude. So although this trek is rated ‘Challenging’ there are plenty of hours factored into each day to ensure it is completed.

When you trek in the mountains, there always the risk of getting altitude sickness, regardless of how old, young, fit or unfit you are. The symptoms can vary from one person to the next – from a headache to breathing heavily or numbness in your fingers – and if you find any of these symptoms, you must descend the mountain. Your guide will always be around to help and instruct you to avoid any danger.

There are 3 different seasons for trekking in Nepal:

Winter (Dec-Feb): Despite being seen as ‘off-season’ this is often the best time to trek in Nepal. The nights can be very cold (down to minus 20ºC) but the trails are quieter and the mountain views are often at their best due to the clear sunny skies.

Pre-Monsoon / Spring (March-May): Temperatures rise significantly in Spring and flowers are in full bloom in the lower lands. Although it can still drop below freezing at night, the daytime temperatures tend to sit between 10-15ºC.

Post-Monsoon / Autumn (Sept-Nov): This is the most popular time to trek in Nepal with sunny and mild days generally. It can get cold and windy at higher altitudes however skies are usually clear.

Of course, mountain weather is notoriously hard to predict and snow can be expected on any trip so come prepared.

All of our trips include a porter per every two trekkers. They will carry up to 15kg of kit so your overnight bags and spare clothes will be transported for you (7.5kg per person). You will only need to carry a ‘day pack’ with essentials in (extra layer, snacks, water, suncream, camera etc).

Your host recommends packing the following:

  • 1 rucksack/duffle bag for the porters to carry with your overnight kit.
  • 1 day pack as above (approx 30ltr) with waterproof cover
  • 1 waterproof jacket
  • 1 pair waterproof trousers
  • 1 down jacket
  • 1 pair lightweight trekking trousers
  • 1 set of thermals (merino is ideal)
  • 2 trekking t-shirts/shirts (shoulders covered)
  • 1 mid-layer (fleece or similar)
  • 1 pair trekking boots (must be worn in)
  • 1 pair lightweight trainers for evenings
  • 1 pair waterproof thick gloves
  • 3 pairs thick walking socks / 3 pairs lighter walking socks
  • 1 warm wool hat
  • 1 buff or similar
  • 1 sunhat or similar
  • Spare underwear
  • Swimming costume

Kit - 4 season down sleeping bag - Sleeping bag liner - Trekking poles if needed - Travel towel - Sunglasses - Personal medication and first aid kit - Hand gel - 2 x 1ltr water bottles - 1 x headtorch - Suncream - Water purification tablets/system - Small biodegradable bags to take toilet tissue off the mountain/to camp each day - 2 x passport photos for trek permits

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Location

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Kathmandu is famed for its World Heritage sights with include of the holiest Hindu temples and one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world. Despite the 2015 earthquake which brought devastation to parts of the city, the heart of Kathmandu is as intoxicating and exciting as ever.

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is quite simply one of the ultimate trekking experiences in the world. This epic circuit takes you high into the Himalayas, with a high point at the Thorong-La Pass of 5416m, the highest navigable pass in the world. That makes it longer and higher than the Sanctuary trek to Annapurna Base Camp, but both routes have one thing in common - spectacular views of the Annapurna range throughout.

Start point

Kathmandu Airport - anytime

Your adventure begins at Kathmandu Airport (KTM). Private transfers are included, so you’re free to book any flight. Your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals area and will take you to your hotel. You’ll meet your trek leader and fellow adventurers for dinner later that evening.

Finish point

Pokhara Airport - 13:30 or Pokhara City Centre - 14:00

At the end of your adventure, you have 2 transfer options: Pokhara Airport at 13:30 (PKR) or Pokhara city centre at 14:00. If you are flying back to Kathmandu, you’re free to book any flight (25 minutes) that departs after 15:30.

Your host can arrange flights back to Kathmandu for you. Simply request this when booking.

What to Expect

Day 1: Arrival and overnight in Kathmandu

Once you arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), your host will pick you up via private vehicle and drop you at your hotel. After checking in, you will have a 5:00 pm pre-departure meeting with the guides to run through the final plans and arrangements for the upcoming trek.

Day 2: Drive to Besisahar, trek to Bulbule

After breakfast, you will drive for 178 km around the beautiful lakeside sceneries before reaching Besisahar in time for lunch.

From here, the real trek will start as we head to Bulbule (790m) for the first night in local lodges, called Tea Houses.

3 hours of hiking

Day 3: Bulbule to Jagat

Our trail follows the Marshyandi River as it winds through waterfalls, rice field terraces and the subtropical forest.

After 3 hours we will reach Bahundanda, for our pitstop. We continue our trek for two hours to reach Jagat (1300m) where we stay at a local lodge.

5 hours of hiking

Day 4: Jagat to Dharapani

The trail continues out of Jagat, following a rocky path alongside the waterfalls. This leads us into the Manang District, one of the most beautiful hidden valleys in the Himalayan Mountains.

The trail was used to transport thousands of sheep and yak over hundred of years, so it’s only right that we follow in their steps until we reach Dharapani (1860m) for our overnight stay in a tea house.

6 hours of hiking

Day 5: Dharapani to Chame

Today our aim will be to trek to Chame (2760m), the headquarter of Manang District, situated on the banks of the Marshyandi River.

It will take 5 hours to ascend through the oak and pine forests, and across the beautiful Latamanang and Koto villages.

5 hours of hiking

Day 6: Chame to Pisang

Today’s trek will be slightly more challenging as the trail climbs along rocky steep paths through the forest. This route, however, offers some of the most magnificent views of Pisang Peak, Annapurna II and the waterfalls near Brothan Village.

The day will end in Pisang (3200m), where we will spend the night.

6 hours of hiking

Day 7: Pisang to Manang

From Pisang, the trail climbs through glorious Yak pastures, crop fields and even past a Tibetan monastery where we will stop to take in the views of Annapurna II, II and IV.

If you can drag yourself away from the incredible mountaintops, we will continue onto Manang (3540m) where our accommodation awaits.

5 hours of hiking

Day 8: Acclimatisation and Exploration at Manang

To avoid altitude sickness, it’s vital to acclimatise before proceeding to the higher levels. Lucky for you, we have planned this stop to include trips to Bhojo Gompa, Gangapurna Lake and even the glaciers.

There is also the option to visit the Himalayan Rescue Association post if you are interested in learning more about the amazing work they do to prevent casualties in the Himalayas.

Day 9: Manang to Yak Kharka

After breakfast at Manang, you will start to trek up to Yak Kharka (4050m), which is the joining place for trekkers heading to Thorong-La Pass.

We will spend the night here swapping stories (and photos) with other trekkers along the way!

5 hours hiking

Day 10: Trek from Yak Kharka to Thorung Phedi Base Camp

From Yak Kharka, we will continue to trek towards Thorung Phedi Base Camp (4450m) slowly, to avoid altitude sickness. We follow the Jorsang River until eventually descending down a narrow path and reaching our final overnight before reaching the peak!

5 hours hiking

Day 11: Throng Phedi Base Camp to Muktinath via Throng-la Pass (5416m)

Today will probably be the most challenging - and rewarding - day as we trek through the Thorong-La Pass which stands at 5416m, making it the highest navigable pass in the world. It takes 4 hours to reach, but as they say, good things come to those who wait…

Not only does the pass have amazing panoramic views of high desert mountains along the Kaligandaki valley but it feels although the mountains split down either side of you!

From here, the trail descends downwards to Muktinath (3760m) our rest point for the day. Muktinath is a holy place of Hinduism and Buddhism, so it is the perfect place to enjoy the tranquillity of the mountains.

8-11 hours hiking

Day 12: Muktinath to Kagbeni

Today, our descent continues along the Kaligandaki River with magnificent views of Mount Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.

Our overnight is in Kagbeni (2810m), a gateway to the Upper Mustang. As it does not take too long to reach, you’ll have the chance to visit the local community and even try their famous apple delicacies!

3 hours of hiking

Day 13: Kagbeni to Marpha

We start our trek after breakfast - hopefully, laden with apples - and head towards Jomsom where we will stop for lunch and explore the local bazaar.

As we continue on to Marpha (2670m) following the Kaligandaki river, you might even stumble upon some fossils on the bankside…

5 hours of hiking

Day 14: Marpha to Larjung

Today, you’ll pass through the traditional architecture of some of the villages along the Kaligandaki river. Once we arrive in Larjung (2550m), you’ll be able to enjoy a traditional Nepali dinner before catching an early night.

5 hours of hiking

Day 15: Larjung to Ghasa

Our trek continues passing through traditional villages along the Kaligandaki river. The inhabitants you’ll meet always have a smile on their faces and this just epitomises the Nepali way of life. You might even might some of your guides’ families along the way.

5 hours of hiking

Day 16: Ghasa to Tatopani

Today you will reach one of the trekker highlights - the natural hot springs amongst the pine trees in Tatopani (1190m).

In the evening, you’ll be able to relax and unwind in the natural thermals as we’ll spend the night here, so don’t forget your swimsuit!

5 hours of hiking

Day 17: Tatopani to Ghorepani

As we slowly start to contour upwards to our overnight stop, you will be greeted with stunning views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri which will welcome you into the quaint village of Ghorepani (2860m).

Here, you will meet the Magar people and be immersed in their culture and traditions.

6 hours of hiking

Day 18: Ghorepani to Tikhedhunga

Your penultimate day of trekking will start with the 40-minute hike to Poon Hill (3210m) through rhododendron forests to view breathtaking Mountains like Dhaulagiri, Tukuche Peak, Nilgiri, Baraha Shikar, Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Annapurna III, Machhapuchhere, and so on.

The sunrise over the mountains today will certainly be the cherry on top of your almost 3-week long trek. Let it all sink in, before heading back to camp for breakfast.

We will trek into the deep forests until we reach Banthanti, where we will continue down the stony steps until your last night in Tikhedhunga.

5 hours of hiking

Day 19: Tikhedhunga to Nayapul and drive to Pokhara

Enjoy your last three hours of hiking with the company of waterfalls and lush forests! We will stop at Naya Pul (1070m) where your ride will take you back to Pokhara.

Spend your last night however you would like - be it celebrating in the bars, relaxing by the river or maybe just catching up on sleep!

Note: The actual itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather conditions and forecasts, special events, etc.

Accommodation

Generally, most adventures to Nepal are based in remote areas where the accommodation will be basic. On the trek you will stay in ‘teahouses’ - these are mountain lodges that tend to have a communal dining area and basic toilets. The bedrooms are almost all twin-share however there may be the odd night where a triple room will be used in peak season. There’s no heating so your warm sleeping bag is needed. Wifi is often available for a small cost, and many places offer hot showers for a small surcharge. There is usually the option to also pay a small amount to charge your goods so pack an adaptor if needed.

In Kathmandu, you’ll stay in a centrally located tourist hotel so can expect an en-suite room with air-con and wifi included. The hotel is located in the heart of Thamel, close to the main shopping area and the heritage sites.

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Dates & Prices

Prices include

Accommodation · Airport Transfers · Guide · Local Transport · Meals As Described · Happiness Guaranteed · 100% Financial Protection · No Single Supplements

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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These dates are guaranteed to run! As soon as you've entered your payment details your booking will be immediately confirmed. Then you can make your travel arrangements in a state of zen-like tranquility.

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Optional Extras

Make your life easy. Once you have reserved your space, your host can help you arrange the extras you’ll need. Here are some guide prices which can be confirmed with you during booking.

Upgrade to KGH Hotel in Kathmandu Payable Before Departure
Upgrade to KGH Hotel in Kathmandu · · ·
Additional Day of Sightseeing in Kathmandu Payable Before Departure
Additional Day of Sightseeing in Kathmandu · · ·
Additional Night in Kathmandu Payable Before Departure
Additional Night in Kathmandu · · ·
Additional Night in Pokhara · · ·
Transfer Kathmandu - Pokhara Payable Before Departure
Private Vehicle (offers the most flexibiity) · · ·
Flight ( 35min, incredibly scenic) · · ·

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