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Annapurna Circuit Trek – 23 Days

Often considered the holy grail of trekking, it circles the mighty Annapurna massif in anti-clockwise direction and takes you to a variety of low-altitude and high-altitude landscapes.

OVERVIEW OF THE TRIP

Trip:
Tour Type: Sightseeing and High Altitude Trekking
Trip Duration: 23 Days
Max Altitude: 5,416 m/17,769 ft
Trip Starts From: Kathmandu
Trip Ends At: Kathmandu
Trip Region: Nepal
Best Season: 
February, March, April, May, June, September, October, November, December
Trip Level: Strenuous
Ventures at this grade are 'Tough Treks' and must be fully supported. The altitude attained is between 3,500 to 5,000m. These treks also involve several nights stay above 4,000m. These are genuine expeditions where preparation and a willingness to 'rough it' are necessary. You must have be physically fit for this trek.
Trip Route: Kathmandu - Syange - Chame - Ngawal - Nabag - Thorong Phedi - Thorong La Pass - Muktinath - Lubra Pass - Markha - Tatopani - Ghorepani - Poon Hill - Pokhara - Kathmandu

Trip Information

Since it opened to foreign trekkers in 1977, the Annapurna Circuit has become renowned as one of the most spectacular trekking routes in the world with lush green valleys and fascinating villages that offer impressive snow-capped views of the white Himalayas. Starting from less than 1,000 meters, it gives us a chance to explore the Himalayas from bottom to top and from many different angles and perspectives. This three week trek starts right from Syange which goes along the Marshyangdi River, with great views of Manaslu and Himal Chuli to the east. This magnificent trek leads you to the fine village, inhabited by a wide diversity of people from different ethnic groups, offering spectacular and majestic views of the Himalayas. Continuing to the north of the main Himalayan range to the high and dry Tibetan Plateau, the scenery is equally breathtaking.

The highest point of the Annapurna Circuit is the Thorong La Pass at the top of the valley at 5,416 m. Due to the difficulties of crossing the pass, the circuit is usually walked in a counter-clockwise direction. Traveling clockwise the longer ascent and shorter descent from west to east is too much for many people to manage in one day.

As we descend to the west at Muktinath, from the pass we continue to the barren Tibetan like village of the Kali Gandaki – the world’s deepest gorge, passes between the giant Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains. After you cross the Thorong La Pass from Manang to Muktinath, we head to Tatopani for hotsprings and climb to Poon Hill before descending to Pokhara.


    ITINERARY

  • Day 01 Arrive in Kathmandu (1,400 m). Overnight at a Hotel.

  • Day 02 Guided Sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley. Overnight at a Hotel.

  • Day 03 Drive to Besisahar (830 m) in a Public Bus and Take a Jeep to Syange (1,100 m) – 8 hours. Overnight at a Guesthouse.

  • Day 04 Trek to Tal (1,700 m) – 5 hours. Overnight at a Guesthouse.

  • Day 05 Trek to Danaque (1,860 m) – 5 hours. Overnight at a Guesthouse.

  • Day 06 Trek to Chame (2,670 m) – 4 hours. Overnight at a Guesthouse.

  • Day 07 Trek to Upper Pisang (3,300 m) – 6 hours. Overnight at a Guesthouse.

  • Day 08 Trek to Ngawal (3,660 m) – 5 hours. Overnight at a Guesthouse.

  • Day 09 Trek to Manang (3,500 m) via Bhraka (3,360 m) – 5 hours. Overnight at a Guesthouse.

  • Day 10 Acclimatization Day at Manang Village. Overnight at a Guesthouse.

  • Day 11 Trek to Yak Kharka (4,000 m) – 5 hours. Overnight at a Guesthouse.

  • Day 12 Trek to Thorong Phedi (4,450 m) – 5 hours. Overnight at a Guesthouse.

  • Day 13 Trek to Muktinath (3,800 m) via Thorung La Pass (5,416 m) – 8 hours. Overnight at a Guesthouse.

  • Day 14 Trek to Marpha (2,670 m) via Lubra Pass (4,020 m) – 8 hours. Overnight at a Guesthouse.

  • Day 15 Trek to Kalopani (2,530 m) – 7 hours. Overnight at a Guesthouse.

  • Day 16 Trek to Tatopani (1,190 m) – 6 hours. Overnight at a Guesthouse.

  • Day 17 Rest Day at Tatopani. Overnight at a Guesthouse.

  • Day 18 Trek to Ghorepani (2,810 m) – 6 hours. Overnight at a Guesthouse.

  • Day 19 Hike to Poon Hill (3,210 m) and Trek to Tikhedunga (1,570 m) – 5 hours. Overnight at a Guesthouse.

  • Day 20 Trek to Nayapul (1,010 m) and Drive to Pokhara – 4 hours. Overnight at a Hotel.

  • Day 21 Guided Sightseeing in Pokhara. Overnight at a Hotel.

  • Day 22 Drive Back to Kathmandu (1,400 m) in a Tourist Bus – 7 hours. Overnight at a Hotel.

  • Day 23 Transfer to the International Airport for Your Final Departure.


    TRIP DETAILS

  • Day 01 - Arrive in Kathmandu (1,400 m)

    Our airport representative will be receiving you at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu and s/he will be displaying an Aarohi Holiday signboard outside the airport terminal. You will be then transferred to your respective hotel in our private tourist vehicle.

    Note: If you happen to arrive after 4 pm you would be briefed about the trip by our guide, this will be the pre-trip meeting for you, so please make sure that you ask all the questions. But if you arrive earlier than 4 pm, your pre-trip meeting would be on that very day at our office. During the meeting, we will introduce your trek leader/guide. For the meeting, please make sure you bring the passport, three copies of passport-size photos and a readable copy of your travel insurance policy. During this meeting, please clear the due balance, if any, and sign the legally binding trip form as well as the non-liability disclaimer.

    Overnight at a hotel. No meals included.

  • Day 02 - Guided Sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley

    After a hearty breakfast, at 8.30 am your sightseeing trip will start. You will have a private vehicle and a professional tour guide at your disposal. Today we will visit some heritages listed below:

    Pashupatinath Temple:
    Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most significant Hindu temples of Lord Shiva in the world, located on the banks of the Bagmati River. Though you are not allowed to go inside the temple as it is strictly for Hindus only, you can clearly see the temple and the activities from the eastern bank of the Bagmati River. It is a square two-tiered pagoda temple built on a single-tier plinth which is famous all over the world.

    Boudhanath Stupa:
    Boudhananath is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu. It was built in the 5th century with four pairs of eyes of Lord Buddha in four cardinal directions keeping an eternal watch over the people and their doings. You will find Buddhist pilgrims from Tibet going round the stupa spinning the prayer wheels.

    Bhaktapur Durbar Square:
    Visit the Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the Royal Residential Quarter of Bhupatindra Malla, famous five-storied temple of Nyatapola in Pagoda style Batsala temple, Bhairavnath temple, Duttatraya temple, Pujari Muth and Palace of 55 windows.

    The rest of our time in Kathmandu is free for further exploration and some last-minute shopping in Thamel area for trekking essentials.

    Overnight at a hotel. Breakfast included.

  • Day 03 - Drive to Besisahar (830 m) in a Public Bus and Take a Jeep to Syange (1,100 m) - 8 hours

    Today we will take a public bus from Kathmandu to Besisahar and from there we will take a jeep to Syange. We will witness beautiful landscape, rivers and waterfalls on the way.

    Overnight at a guesthouse. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 04 - Trek to Tal (1,700 m) – 5 hours

    Now tighten up the shoes laces. We will start walking gradually following the beautiful Marsyangdi River. This walk will be slightly ascending and we will come across the beautiful waterfalls on this walk. We will rest at Tal tonight.

    Overnight at a guesthouse. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 05 - Trek to Danaque (1,860 m) – 5 hours

    This will be our exciting day. We will leave Marsyangdi River behind and continue our journey to witness Annapurna II and Pisang Peak and beautiful landscape and old villages. Don’t miss an opportunity to take beautiful pictures as we observe mountains, waterfalls and countryside life style of Nepal. We will rest at Danaque.

    Overnight at a guesthouse. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 06 - Trek to Chame (2,670 m) – 4 hours

    We will continue our walk enjoying the view of mountains, and waterfalls on the way. Today will be an easy day. After 4 hours of walking, we will reach to Chame, the headquarter of Manang. It’s a beautiful little town with more facility than our previous days.

    Overnight at a guesthouse. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 07 - Trek to Upper Pisang (3,300 m) – 6 hours

    After breakfast, we continue our trek to Upper Pisang. On the way, we will walk through the dense forest, Marsyangdi River and come across the beautiful panoramic views of meadows and mountains. During this walk, we will see the first view of gigantic Paungda Dada rock face, which is curved like a bowl shape. Eventually, after 6 hours walk, we will reach Upper Pisang from where we can see a Majestic Annapurna II standing high on our south and we will rest here today.

    Overnight at a guesthouse. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 08 - Trek to Ngawal (3,660 m) – 5 hours

    Today, wake up early in the morning, watch the beautiful sunrise and first ray of sun on Annapurna II. After breakfast, we will continue our trek towards Ngawal. The trail to Ngawal is about 400 m higher than the lower trail but you will have great opportunities to witness high altitude flora and fauna, beautiful gorges, Annapurna II and III and Pisang Peak. We will take rest in Ngawal.

    Overnight at a guesthouse. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 09 - Trek to Manang (3,500 m) via Bhraka (3,360 m) – 5 hours

    We continue our trek walking through the big hills, jungle and wetlands. On the way, we can see beautiful landscapes, stupas and lama school. After 6 hours of walking, we will reach Manang, one of the happening places of the trek.

    Overnight at a guesthouse. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 10 - Acclimatization Day at Manang Village

    We spend a day acclimatizing in Manang by doing some walks and sightseeing around the village. We will visit a monastery and go to Gangapurna Glacier Lake during our walk. Towards the end of the day, we return to our accommodation for a night’s rest.

    Overnight at a guesthouse. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 11 - Trek to Yak Kharka (4,000 m) – 5 hours

    After acclimatization and rest at Manang, we will be energized and excited to continue our walk towards Yak Kharka which ascends by 500 m. We make the climb steadily through Tenki Manang, leaving the Marsyangdi Valley. Continuing along the Jarsang Khola Valley, we reach Yak Kharka at 4,000 m. Herds of yaks and vegetations appear to thin out.

    Overnight at a guesthouse. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 12 - Trek to Thorong Phedi (4,450 m) – 5 hours

    After a two-hour ascent, the trail descends to cross the river at 4,310 m. We then climb up to Thorong Phedi at 4,450 m where decent guesthouses have been built in the recent years.

    Overnight at a guesthouse. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 13 - Trek to Muktinath (3,800 m) via Thorung La Pass (5,416 m) – 8 hours

    Today is a long trek starting before sunrise at 4 am to reach the pass by 9-10 am. Otherwise weather conditions (strong winds) will greatly affect the journey, particularly at the Thorong La Pass. We climb steeply on a regular route which is quite easy to follow. However, some problems may arise due to altitude and snow. It often causes terrible problems to cross the pass if it is covered by heavy snow. After four hours of climbing to the pass marked by the chortens and prayer flags, we will be rewarded with stunning views from the top of the pass. Another four hours of walking will take us to the holy town of Muktinath.

    Muktinath means place of nirvana and is home to the Muktinath Temple as well as several monasteries. It is said that all sorrows we feel are relieved when visiting the Temple. It is a sacred pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists. The prime pilgrimage month is September. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and has 108 waterspouts around it. Another attraction nearby is the Jwala Mai Temple which has a gorgeous natural spring and an eternal flame fueled by natural gas.

    Overnight at a guesthouse. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 14 - Trek to Marpha (2,670 m) via Lubra Pass (4,020 m) – 8 hours

    So now, we are at the other side of the Thorong La Pass, most of the land we see will be dry and looks somewhat like the desert. We will continue our trek walking by the bank of Kali Gandaki River. Most of the time, we will descend with closer view of stupas and old traditional houses and civilization of Mustang. Marpha is the home to the legendary apple orchids. We will be able to taste the apples and the myriad apple products like pies and wine. Apple Brandy is another local specialty that we may be lucky enough to taste en route.

    Overnight at a guesthouse. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 15 - Trek to Kalopani (2,530 m) – 7 hours

    We descend through the valley following the Kali Gandaki River. On this trail, we will have an opportunity to view Annapurna I and beautiful landscapes.

    Overnight at a guesthouse. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 16 - Trek to Tatopani (1,190 m) – 6 hours

    We still continue to descend through Kali Gandaki River Valley. On the way, we will encounter the world’s deepest gorge, Kopchepani. Tatopani is famous for its hot springs. This is the best place to relax our body after a long trek. We will spend another day relaxing at this spot.

    Overnight at a guesthouse. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 17 - Rest Day at Tatopani

    Take a shower, dip into the natural hot springs, enjoy drinks and local food.

    Overnight at a guesthouse. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 18 - Trek to Ghorepani (2,810 m) – 6 hours

    Today is another big day. It will take about 7 hours to walk from Tatopani to Ghorepani. We climb about 1,620 meters up. From Ghorepani, we will be able to see Annapurna South, Himchuli and Tukuche Himal. We will pass a couple of Magar and Gurung villages on the trail.

    Overnight at a guesthouse. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 19 - Hike to Poon Hill (3,210 m) and Trek to Tikhedunga (1,570 m) – 5 hours

    Very early in the morning, we start an hour hiking to Poon Hill at an elevation of 3,210 m – a brilliant spectacle. This vantage point provides unobstructed views of the early morning sunrise over the high Himalayas, weather permitting. There we spend about an hour. We return to Ghorepani where we take a hot breakfast at the hotel. We trek down towards Tikhedunga, walking down along the ridges and through rhododendron forests before finally reaching Tikhedhunga.

    Overnight at a hotel. Breakfast and lunch included.

  • Day 20 - Trek to Nayapul (1,010 m) and Drive to Pokhara – 4 hours

    After some light trekking, we reach Nayapul (1,010 m). An hour drive takes us to Pokhara.

    Overnight at a hotel. Breakfast included.

  • Day 21 - Guided Sightseeing in Pokhara

    After breakfast, a full day sightseeing tour of Pokhara city begins. There will be a professional city guide and a private tourist vehicle at your disposal. You will visit the following sites:

    Bindhabasini Temple:
    The temple lies in the center of the religious old bazaar. It is dedicated to Goddess Bhagwati, another manifestation of Shakti. The park grounds offer a fine picnic and relaxing area.

    Davis Fall:
    Locally known as Patale Chhango and located in the southern flank of the Pokhara valley, it is where the stream flowing from Fewa Lake collapses and surges down the rock into a deep gorge, leaping through several potholes. This is hugely popular with tourists and locals alike.

    Gupteshwor Cave:
    The revered Gupteshwor Cave is situated 2 km from the Pokhara airport. The entrance is right across from Davis fall and the cave is almost 3 km long. It has some big hall-sized rooms and some passages where you have to crawl on all four. This cave holds special value to Hindus since a phallic symbol of Lord Shiva is preserved here in the condition it was discovered.

    Seti River Gorges:
    Carved by the Seti Gandaki River, it is one of the natural wonders of Pokhara. K.I. Singh bridge at Bagar, Mahendrapool and Prithivi Highway Bridge near bus park provide a perfect view of the river’s dreadful rush and the deep gorge made by the turbulent flow of white water.

    Tibetan Refugee Camps:
    The Tibetan village Tashiling in the south and the Tashi Palkhel village in the north of Pokhara are renowned for the production and trade of woolen carpets and other handicrafts. The original Tibetan settlers in this region migrated to Nepal in the ‘50s.

    World Peace Pagoda:
    World Peace Pagoda, also known as Pokhara Shanti Stupa, is a Buddhist pagoda-style monument. It is the shrine built as a symbol of peace. The spot is situated at the height of 2,100 meters on the Ananda Hill. Nepal has two of the eighty peace pagodas in the world i.e. Shanti Stupa in Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, and Shanti Stupa in Pokhara. It also provides a panoramic view of the Annapurna range, Pokhara city and Fewa Lake.

    Overnight at a hotel. Breakfast included.

  • Day 22 - Drive Back to Kathmandu (1,400 m) in a Tourist Bus – 7 hours

    We will be driving back to Kathmandu in the morning.

    If you are interested in extending the trip, there are many options such as Chitwan jungle safari, river rafting adventure, Kathmandu shopping tour, mountain biking and other activities.

    In the evening we will have a farewell dinner in a traditional Nepalese restaurant with cultural performances.

    Overnight at a hotel. Breakfast and farewell dinner included.

  • Day 23 - Transfer to the International Airport for Your Final Departure

    The trip concludes here. Our airport representative will drop you at the international airport in Kathmandu for your flight departure from Nepal.

    Breakfast included.


    COST INCLUDES

  • Airport / Hotel / Airport pick up & drop off service by a private tourist vehicle

  • Standard twin-sharing accommodation in a three-star hotel in Kathmandu (3 nights only) and Pokhara (2 nights only) including breakfast

  • Guided city tour in Kathmandu and Pokhara by a private tourist vehicle

  • All standard meals during the trek (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)

  • Basic guesthouse accommodation during the trek in mostly twin-share and occasionally dormitory-style rooms ( 17 nights only)

  • Local Aarohi Holiday licensed English-speaking trekking guide

  • The required number of local staff and porters to carry your luggage during the trek (We assign one porter for every two guests.)

  • Food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment and medicine for all staff

  • Annapurna Conservation Area Permits and TIMS permit for trekking

  • Down jacket and sleeping bag by Aarohi Holiday (which need to be returned after the trek)

  • Public bus from Kathmandu to Besisahar, jeep from Besisahar to Syange, private tourist vehicle from Nayapul to Pokhara and tourist bus from Pokhara to Kathmandu

  • Free Aarohi Holiday duffel/kit bag and sun hat (yours to keep)

  • Sightseeing/Monument entrance fees in Kathmandu and Pokhara

  • Farewell dinner in a traditional Nepali restaurant with cultural performances

  • All our government taxes, vat, tourist service charges

  • Official expenses


    COST DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara

  • Travel insurance which covers emergency high-altitude rescue and evacuation (See the travel insurance page.)

  • International airfare and airport departure tax (See the international flights page.)

  • Nepal entry visa; you can obtain the visa easily upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu (Tourist Visa with Multiple Entries for 15 days can be obtained by paying USD 25 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entries for 30 days and 90 days can be obtained by paying USD 40 and 100 respectively. Please bring 2 copies of passport size photos.)

  • Alcoholic, hot and cold drinks

  • Personal trekking equipment (Click on the Equipment tab.)

  • Tips for trekking staff and driver (Tipping is expected.)

  • Any others expenses that are not mentioned in the Price Includes section


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