Annapurna circuit trek is one of the most appreciated classic treks in the globe. The 300 kilometers of walking on the trails that traverses through vivid terrains, takes anywhere in between 16 to 22 days. It still is a favourite destination of ⅔ of the trekkers travelling to Nepal with sole purpose of trekking. The reason for such flow of globetrotters in the region of Annapurna is because it is entirely inhabited. Furthermore, it is blessed with natural panorama in abundance and within a very short period of time it not only journey’s through a variety of topography but also through several different cultures and communities. The region allows trekkers close access to the culture and people. Not to forget, all the treks in Annapurna region are comparatively easier and accessible.
There are three famous routes in Annapurna region and amongst them Annapurna circuit trek is one. The serene ambiance is amplified by the gushing tributaries. Throughout the trek we walk along the rivers namely Marsyangdi until Manang and Kali Gandaki after Kagbeni. The most beautiful thing about Manang and Mustang is that they are cut off from the world by the highest mountains on the earth. These districts as well are known as the nation beyond Himalayas and fall in the rain shadows of Annapurna. Because of their inaccessibility they are amongst very few places in Nepal which is able to preserve culture which dates back to 1200 years, rustic tradition and norms.
The trek which traverses a variety of terrains in a short time span. What makes this trek different is, it’s just not all about mountains and walking in serenity. It is about watching rare habitat in their natural ambiance, mountain people of different ethnicity and unique infrastructure. This trek also displays you the marvels of local craftsmanship and it comes in the name of Temples in the lower land and stupas, monasteries, chortens and Dzongs in the higher terrains.
Thank you for choosing Annapurna Circuit trek as your next adventure destination with Budget Trekking! On this day you arrive to Kathmandu and we transfer you to your accommodation. You rest and rejuvenate for days to come. You can as well explore the surrounding and get to know a little about the country and culture.
You will meet your trek leader on this day and he would brief you about trekking in Nepal and your chosen destination. Meanwhile, the back office staff will prepare all required permits for your trekking. later in the day, you will do the last minute shopping for your trekking along with your guide. While our back office staff get ready preparing permits from the government offices, our guides help you get acquainted with the country by taking you to the most happening market in Kathmandu.
We should have our breakfast early in the morning in order to leave Kathmandu by 8:00 a.m and board our vehicle early. If you are acquainted with the Nepalese terrain you will not think for another second to pull your camera out, as the bus ride is equally enthralling. We make our way through one of the prime highways, with major tributaries Trishuli and Marsyangdi never leaving our way one after another. By the time we reach Besisahar it is around 2 p.m in the afternoon. In case of public vehicle we usually make a transfer at this very point for Khudi.
On this very first day walking on the lush green hills, we will see the mountains in the Annapurna in the distance. This route is less populous and very tranquil. The lush green forest of pine and orchid is home to some rare species of birds. It is as well advised to keep your eyes open for snow leopards. It is mostly an uphill walk on the very first day to cover 1000 meters. Overnight in Sirung. Meal plan B,L,D.
We leave behind the rice terrace of Sirung and embark on the trail that traverses through subtropical forest and ferns. This forest is well known for housing beautiful species of birds. In between we usually stop at Syange for lunch, before scaling to Jagat. After Jagat we make another ascend for almost an hour to reach Chamje. Overnight at Chamje. Meal plan B,L,D.
This section of the trek is very beautiful and on a clear day you will enjoy walking through the forest. The lush green hills on this section houses beautiful and rare species of migrant birds, waterfall, barren cliffs and plenty of bee hives. After few tough incline we reach Tal which also the entry village to Manang district but very busy. Tal has hefty amount of teahouses and we usually stop here for our lunch. After Tal the trail has couple of stiff and couple of easy incline until Dharapani. Overnight at Dharapani. Meal plan B,L,D.
From Dharapani the trail is technical and strenuous as we ascent fair amount of altitude. Immediately outside Dharapani we notice sparse trees and barren cliffs and less greener. Initially we make our way through the forest of blue pine, spruce, hemlock, maple and oak. The trail is steep, narrow and we stroll on the trails through landslide prone region as well. This section of the Annapurna Circuit Trek offers a beautiful view of the Annapurna Massif. After the first half of today’s trek the trail gets more gradual and the inclines are somewhat easier. Once we make it to Chame we can as well rejoice the small hot springs. Overnight in Chame. Meal plan B,L,D.
We make 600m ascents from Chame to Pisang within 4-6 hours. The first couple of hours we walk on crisply pine scented trail. We go past the deserted village of Bhartang where trekkers stop by for tea. Further down the trail, we go past apple orchard and furthermore the memorial of Japanese trekker who died in the avalanche trying to cross Thorung La. With the transitory view of Manaslu, Annapurna II, Himchuli and Ngadi Chuli, we make our way through Tibetan communities and beautiful manis; prayer apparatus of Buddhist followers and fields of Buckwheat. Overnight in Pisang. Meal plan B,L,D.
We start strolling on a relatively flat ground in the beginning and then gradually climb upwards. The first noticeable village on this day is Humde - the only village in Manang with airport. After crossing Humde the landscape gets more barren but the views get better. The views of Annapurna III and IV on one hand and the barren cliffs on the other is captivating. We usually stop for lunch in Mungi. From here, one and half hours easy uphill walk after lunch we make it to Manang. We make our way through remarkable Kani’s (gate) to rustic settlements of Tibetan community namely Manange. Overnight in Manang. Meal plan B,L,D.
Today is set aside as acclimatization day where we will rest and adapt to the altitude. We have an opportunity to walk around and observe the life and culture of Manang-pa; people of Manang, explore the archaic monasteries and thangkas that dates back to some 500 years. We would also do a short to upper ground and back to the glacial lake named Gangapurna. Manang also has hotels and restaurants, which able to cater coffee and bakery.Meal plan B,L,D.
The hike gets strenuous from this day onwards because of the altitude. On this day we ascent somewhere around 500 meters and we do not descend at all. We make our way through one of the most amazing view of Annapurna on our south. We reach Khangsar by 2 and half hour and immediately after Khangsar we climb a sheer uphill to Yak Kharka. We walk through Tengi; the last permanently inhabited village in Manang and make our way through pastures and miniature forest of Juniper, roses and barberry to Yak Kharka. We stay overnight at Yak kharka and enjoy yak cheese and dishes made out of Yak. Meal plan B,L,D.
From what looks like an old cowboy town of Yak Kharka we get ready for strenuous hike of 600+ meters, which includes some steep and sheer trails up and down hill. The first initial climb of two and half hours is painstaking but however the surreal view of the surrounding, blue ships and wild Yaks will help you forget all that. Furthermore we keep inclining through narrow and barren trails exposed to the slopes and crossing the wooden bridge we make to Thorung phedi. Thorung phedi is a valley, which is not inhabited year around but offers a very uncanny view of surrounding cliffs and mountains in the Annapurna. We hike uphill further for an hour until we reach Thorung High camp where we rest for the night and acclimatize before we ascent to Thorung-La pass. Meal plan B,L,D.
We rise and shine early and head out of Thorung Phedi for the longest day of Annapurna circuit trek. Furthermore, this is the most difficult section of the trek but equally beautiful that helps us forget all the slogging and hard work. Most of the day’s walk is sheer and uphill. The initial climb from Thorung Phedi connects with Thorung high camp and further around 3 hours of uphill, we would reach Thorung la. The main idea behind starting the day early is to make sure that we cross Thorung – La pass before the sun is up and at its best. Thorung – la which is one of the highest passes in the world, from where the view of the mountains in the periphery is as well of the premier quality. From Thorung – La we make a sheer drop 1600 meters toward the holy shrine of Muktinath. Overnight in Muktinath. Meal plan B,L,D.
From Muktinath we further descend down to Jharkot and watch Kagbeni from the ridge and make our way towards Marpha. We take jeep track all the way to Jomsom; a beautiful mountain settlement placed on the laps of Nilgiri Mountain. Further down on jeep track dodging it time and again we reach Marpha. Marpha is famous for its apple orchards and apple brandy distillery and also homes one of the oldest distilleries in the country. Marpha is the center of Thakali community, which is famous for making apple cider and apple pie amongst trekkers.Meal plan B,L,D.
We start early on this day and we trek easy jeep trail along one of the major tributaries Kaligandaki. We stroll through 2 remarkable settlements of Tukuche and Larjung until we reach Kalopani. On this day we make a transition from arid landscape to lush green knolls.Overnight in Kalopani.
We further head downward and majority of the trail include unfrequented jeep track. From Ghasa we enter the district of Myagdi from Mustang. The inevitable attraction of this section in Annapurna circuit trek is the 3rd largest waterfall named Rupse, in Dana. Finally we make it to Tatopani which mean hot water; this place holds one of the best natural hot springs. Usually trekkers are found enjoying this natural hot springs after a long aching trip.
Since most of the walking has to be don on the newly opened jeep track and on a very rugged trail, we opt to take bus. The bus through the off road from this point onward is very thrilling and not very dangerous. We reach Beni in around 1 and half hours and make transfer to another bus to Pokhara. Overnight in Pokhara Meal plan B,L.
Another day on road but better and broader. The bus ride takes around 7 hours to Kathmandu. The bus traverses through beautiful lush green hills and views of mountains (only in season). Once we reach Kathmandu we transfer you to your accommodation and hence officially come to an end of Annapurna circuit trek.