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Annapurna Circuit Trek Overview
Trek the Annapurna Circuit with us and enjoy amazing and diverse landscapes, which have grown in popularity over the years. This trek is now more accessible than ever, since part of the original trail has been replaced with a road. Yet there’s only one way to see the lush forests, medieval mountain villages, the desert wilderness of Mustang, and to cross the highest (non-motorable) pass in the world – the mighty Thorong La! We design our itineraries to avoid the road and make the most of the trail.
The Annapurna Circuit is moderate in most places, yet with a very strenuous climb up to the pass. So a good level of fitness is required. Read about one of our client’s adventures trekking the Annapurna Circuit in his fascinating blog!
Trekking to Thorong La Pass (5,416m/17,769ft)
There are so many options on the Annapurna Circuit. You can spend anything between 11 and 18 days trekking this spectacular region of Nepal. There are various start and end points, as well as side treks off the circuit. One example is trekking to magnificent Tilicho Lake, which will add three incredible days to your itinerary.
After an overnight stay in a comfortable 3* Kathmandu hotel, we drive on and off road to our starting point. As we gradually ascend, we pass through colourful Nepali villages, glacial valleys, and jungles teeming with life. The further we go, the more impressive the views of the Himalaya. We stop for fresh apple pie at Bhratang, then enter what feels like a different world at Upper Pisang. From there we take the longer and more scenic route to the mountain settlement Manang (3,500m/11,483ft) and enjoy breathtaking views of the tenth highest mountain in the world Annapurna I (8,091m/26,545ft). Also Annapurna II, III, Gangapurna and Tilicho, to name but a few! We stay in Manang for two nights and enjoy stunning side trips to acclimatise to the high altitude. Beyond Manang, the landscape changes again and we trek through the desert wilderness to Thorong Phedi (4,540m/14,895ft). From here we do a practice hike up to High Camp, a taste of what’s to come the following morning!
The Big Climb – Sunrise on the Thorong La Pass
The toughest day when you trek the Annapurna Circuit is undoubtedly the day we reach the pass! We rise very early and start our four hour climb up to Thorong La in time for the sunrise. At that altitude it’s hard going, but worth it! From the pass you’re rewarded with magnificent 360° views of the Annapurna mountains. You’ll truly feel ‘on top of the world’!
After enjoying the exhilaration of standing at 5,416m/17,769ft, not to mention the view, it’s time to hike down to sacred Muktinath. You’ll find a different world again – Mustang, a restricted area of Nepal. From here we continue down to Jomsom and make our way back to Pokhara. Either by plane or ground transport, depending on the end point for your trek.
Pokhara, the gateway to trek the Annapurna Circuit and the second largest city in Nepal is often known as the adventure capital. Phewa Tal (Fewa Lake) is the city’s key feature. On a still day, gaze at the mirror images of the Annapurna mountains reflected in the water, with the knowledge that you’ve been right up there!
There are many things to see and do in Pokhara including a half-day hike up nearby Sarangkot (1,600m/5,249ft). As you climb, enjoy stunning views of Pokhara and the lake. Then when you reach the top, take in the Annapurna skyline featuring Machapuchare (Fish Tail, 6,993m/22,943ft). Visit the International Mountain Museum and stand in the shoes of Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Or get an adrenaline rush paragliding or white water rafting! Ask us about including adventure activities or a sightseeing tour in your itinerary. Or add a couple of extra days to relax in laid back Lakeside.
After a short flight or long drive back to Kathmandu, stay in Nepal a little longer and enjoy the capital. Kathmandu is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so you’ll be sure to want to see some! Get more ideas about what to do in this Kathmandu Travel Guide.
Ask us about including a sightseeing tour in your itinerary and make sure you allow time to pick up souvenirs and gifts!Request Your Personalised Quote Today!
All our itineraries are examples only. Of course you can follow the exact itinerary detailed here if it works for you. But normally we customise every itinerary based on your travel plans and preferences. Then we work with you until you’re completely satisfied that you’ve got an amazing trip planned!
Arrive in Kathmandu
Driving on and off road to our starting point Chamje (1,430m/4,692ft)
Time to trek! Chamje to Danaque (2,210m/7,251ft) ~6 hours walking
Danaque to Chame (2,650m/8,694ft) ~4 hours walking
Chame to Upper Pisang (3,300m/10,827ft) ~4-5 hours walking
Upper Pisang to Nawal (3,600m/11,811ft) ~5 hours walking
Nawal to Manang (3,519m/11,545ft) ~3.5 hours walking
Acclimatisation day in Manang (~4 hours walking, up to 4,100m/13,451ft)
Manang to Yak Kharka (4,050m/13,287ft) ~3.5 hours walking
Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi (4,540m/14,895ft) and a practice run to High Camp! (4,880m/16,011ft) ~5 hours walking
Thorong Phedi to the Thorong La Pass (5,416m/17,769ft) then descend to Muktinath (3,710m/12,172ft) ~8 hours walking
Muktinath to Jomsom (2,700m/8,858ft) ~4.5 hours walking
Drive to Kathmandu
Book this 15-day private trip for 2 from just USD $1,375 per person! Ask us for a quote larger groups.
We calculate the exact cost of your trip package based on your customised travel plan and the number of people trekking. This way, you only pay for what you want and if you prefer, you can choose to make some of your own arrangements – like city hotels.
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As standard, our quotes include and exclude the following. However, when we provide a quote we’ll explain exactly what is and isn’t included in the cost, which will be based on your customised itinerary.