Annapurna Circuit Trek

Duration: 20 Days   |   Based on 7 Reviews   |  
  • Destination: Nepal
  • Trip Difficulty: Very Strenuous
  • Transport: Car / Bus
  • Food: Breakfast in Kathmandu & all meals during the trek.
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Kathmandu & Guest houses during the trek
  • Group Size: 2-above
  • Max Elevation: 5416 m

Annapurna Circuit Trek is an epic journey that gives trekkers a full taste of the Annapurna region. Often listed among the best treks in the world, the Annapurna Circuit Trek offers a truly unique trekking experience, passing through several different landscapes, including the desolate Lower Mustang area. Also, you get to cross over the highest pass in the Himalaya - Thorong La Pass (5416 meters). This adventurous trek connects the Annapurna region and the Mustang region, providing some culturally and spiritually famous destinations for the journey. Improvements in roads over the last years have slightly shortened the treks from its original length, also improving access to the region.  In its earlier form, the trail began in the tropical forests at 600 m, passing through Hindu villages into Tibetan Buddhist ones. The cultural diversity of the trek, though, has remained the same.  The total distance of the route today is between 160-230 km (100-145 mi).

Annapurna Circuit Trail begins from the lower Annapurna region, in Bahundanda to be exact. The Marshyangdi river valley makes up the base of the trek. Cascading waterfalls, dense sub-tropical forests and flowing streams fill us with great energy as we begin the trek. The trail then leads us through the Manang region, where Tibetan Buddhist settlements begin to appear. The real adventure begins once you reach to Phedi after passing through cattle and yak grazing meadows. A major highlight of our journey is crossing the Thorong La Pass, a true thrill. Sometimes the slope can be slippery, adding to the adventure. The high pass offers magnificent views of Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m), Annapurna I (8091m) Manaslu (8163m), Annapurna II, Mt. Annapurna III, Mt. Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Nilgiri, Machhapuccre, Hiunchuli, Lamjung Himal, Tukuche peak, and Tilicho peak. We are then lead to the famous Muktinath Temple, where Hindus and Buddhists from all over India and Nepal are making a pilgrimage. Muktinath has a truly special feeling about it.  Then, the trail goes through the Kaligandaki Gorge and ends in Nayapul after visits to Ghorepani and Poon Hill.

Annapurna Circuit Trekking is possible throughout the year, but Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) provide the best weather.  During the Spring, there is a bit more color and the rhododendrons are blooming, and in the Autumn months, the skies are generally clearer.  Annapurna Circuit Trek requires fitness and acclimatization to avoid acute mountain sickness. Shepherd Holidays arranges the trek with complete management. Please, feel free to contact us for more detailed information.

Highlights

  • Remarkable hospitality and ethnic Tibetan Buddhist culture.
  • Thorong La Pass - 5416 meters.
  • Muktinath and the Kali Gandaki Valley.
  • Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapucchre, Himchuli and other white peaks.
  • Rhododendron forest and moderate stone step trail.

Itinerary

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After your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, our airport representative will greet you and escort you to the hotel. In the afternoon, you can take rest or explore the streets of Thamel nearby your hotel. In the evening, we will organize a short pre-trip meeting and introduce you with your tour and trekking guides, who will brief you about the preparations to be done for the trip.

Overnight at Hotel

  • Accommodation: 3 Star Hotel
  • Altitude: 1300 m

After breakfast at around 9am, our guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel and you will go for sightseeing of famous UNESCO world heritage sites around Kathmandu valley.

You will visit the following sites:

Pashupatinath (World heritage site):

The world famous Hindu temple, Pashupatinath is regarded as one of the holiest and oldest Hindu temple in the world. This temple is located 5km east from the city center at the bank of the holy Bagmati River. Pashupatinath area is widely decorated by various ornaments dedicated to Lord Shiva. As followed by the Hindu Culture, the cremation of the dead is done in Pashupatinath area by the side of the bank of the holy Bagmati River.

Swayambhunath Monkey temple (World heritage site):

Swayambhunath, also named as the monkey temple is surrounded by monkeys all over the area. Famous for people following both Hinduism and Buddhism, this temple not only provides the cultural and religious aspects but also offers various arts, architecture and the magnificent view of Kathmandu valley from the western side of its hillock. Swyambhunath Stupa is imprinted by the eye of Lord Buddha, which stands for peace and knowledge.

Boudhanath (World heritage site):

Boudhanath is the oldest and largest stupa in the valley, which was built during the Licchhavi dynasty in the 5th century around 2500 years ago. Its old name is ‘Khasa’ but later it was changed to Boudhanath by the government. You will find many Buddhist pilgrims and monks from Tibet and various places going round the stupa spinning the prayer wheels.

Patan Durbar Square (World heritage site):

Patan Durbar Square is situated at the center of the Lalitpur district. The main attraction of Patan Durbar Square is the ancient royal palace, where the Malla Kings of Lalitpur resided. There are many temples and idols in this area. You can also explore the Newari lifestyle, food and culture in the square and visit museums that contain many ancient and antique items that have a lot of historical significance.

Overnight at hotel

  • Accommodation: 3 Star Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Altitude: 900 m

After taking breakfast in Kathmandu, we take a drive to Bahundanda through Besisahar, the district center of the Lamjung region. The picturesque scenery of the Marshyangdi River Valley and the terraced hillside make the drive go by quickly for us.

Overnight at lodge.

  • Accommodation: Standard Guest House
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Altitude: 1314 m

Heading from Bahundanda, the gorgeous setting of the Lower Annapurna region builds our anticipation for the rest of the trek. We pass by several beautiful waterfalls and green valleys. Today, we cross over suspension bridges with great views. Passing the Ghermu Phant, we gradually walk to Syange and Jagat, reaching Chamje after a short walk. 

Overnight at lodge.

  • Accommodation: Standard Guest House
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Altitude: 1430 m

After breakfast in Chamje, we begin the foothill journey, carving our way uphill. We follow along the Marshyangdi riverbank. Today, we pass Taal village, the official entry point of the Manang region. We can stop for a cup of tea or a snack if you’d like. Walking the stone steps, we reach to Dharapani and have ourselves a rest. 

Overnight at lodge. 

  • Accommodation: Standard Guest House
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Altitude: 2100 m

After breakfast, we follow the rocky path and pass Timang. The trail is surrounded by the dense woods. Eventually, we reach to Kopar and enjoyan astounding view of the Annapurna peak. The easy trek then takes us to Chame, which is the district headquarters of the Manang region. 

Overnight at lodge.

  • Accommodation: Standard Guest House
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Altitude: 2710 m

Leaving from Chame after the breakfast, we cross several suspension bridges.Throughout the day, we are blessed with stunning views of snow-capped Himalayas. After taking lunch on the way, we reach to the Pisang village, today's destination. 

Overnight at lodge. 

  • Accommodation: Standard Guest House
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Altitude: 3300 m

After breakfast, we begin our hike. Today we walk through the dry part of the Manang district. The landscape is brilliant. The snowy peaks on the horizon contrast with the dry, rocky environment near to us. We can see the Hongde airport, currently not in use. Walking further, we reach to Ghyaru and Braga, and finally to Manang village.

Overnight at lodge.

  • Accommodation: Standard Guest House
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Altitude: 3540 m

This is a rest/acclimatization day. Manang is a densely-populated town by Tibetan Buddhist devotees of Tibetan descent. Several colourful monasteries and chhortens are there, which increase the allure of the village. We can take a beautiful day hike to Gangapurna Lake and explore the surroundings. 

Overnight at lodge.

  • Accommodation: Standard Guest House
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Altitude: 3540 m

After breakfast, we head to Yak Kharka. We can take our time today, and the hike is relatively short. We quickly reach the Jharsang stream and walk along its bank and through the alpine meadows. Yak Kharka is the grazing meadow with a wide-open area. We take a rest here. 

Overnight at lodge. 

  • Accommodation: Standard Guest House
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Altitude: 4018 m

From Yak Kharka, the trail becomes a bit more challenging due to the thin air. We don’t want to overdo ourselves and get sick, so we take it slow. First, we cross Ledar and descend towards the river. Then, we gradually climb the rest of the way to Thorong Phedi. We need to acclimatize, so we can walk a bit higher and then back to Phedi. 

Overnight at lodge. 

  • Accommodation: Standard Guest House
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Altitude: 4450 m

Today is another challenging day in the trip. But with a tough challenge comes great rewards. We wake up early in the morning and climb up from the Thorong Phedi. Passing the high camp and climbing up continuously, we reach Thorong La Pass (5416 m) and witness the incredible Himalayan scenery of Annapurna, Manaslu, Himchuli and other neighboring peaks. After taking some snaps and enjoying the high Thorong La, we trek down all the way to Muktinath. 

Overnight at lodge. 

  • Accommodation: Standard Guest House
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Altitude: 3800 m

We wake up filled with the spiritual energy from Muktinath. In the morning time, Hindu and Buddhist devotees march towards the temple. After breakfast, we begin to trek down to Jomsom via Jharkot. The trek through the windy Kali Gandaki river valley which becomes quite dusty after mid-day. We’ll try to get an early start to avoid this. We reach to Marpha, an amazing village famous for its apple and other fruit orchards. 

Overnight at lodge. 

  • Accommodation: Standard Guest House
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Altitude: 2670 m

We begin our trek after breakfast and a pleasant exploration of Marpha village. The trekking route goes all the way through the bank of the Kali Gandaki River. We gradually descend via Kokhethanti and walk further to reach Kalopani. 

Overnight at lodge.

  • Accommodation: Standard Guest House
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Altitude: 2530 m

Descending continually from Kalopani, we pass Lete and Ghasa, enjoying the magnificent scenery of the preciousKali Gandaki River Valley. Passing Kopchepani and going downhill, we reach Tatopani. Here there lies a natural hot spring, which is perfect for us after almost two weeks of trekking. 

Overnight at lodge. 

  • Accommodation: Standard Guest House
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Altitude: 1200 m

From Tatopani, we walk gradually to Ghorepani through Shikha. Having lunch on the way, we climb up to Ghorepani, which is located at the middle of the rhododendron forest and is a Magar dominated village. 

Overnight at lodge. 

  • Accommodation: Standard Guest House
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Altitude: 2850 m

Wake up to catch the early morning sunrise view at the world famous Poon Hill Viewpoint.It is one of the most famous views in Nepal.The breathtaking sight of Annapurna, Manaslu, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre and the surrounding peakswill amaze you. After taking some photos and enjoying the view, head head back down to Ghorepani for breakfast before trekking further to Tadapani via Deurali,having lunch along the way. 

Overnight at lodge. 

  • Accommodation: Standard Guest House
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

With good weather and clear skies, you’ll wake up with a view Annapurna I in front of you. After the breakfast, trek down to Ghandruk with a continual descent through rhododendron forest. Ghandruk, a typical Gurung village, takes about 3.5 hours to reach. It is a village that has preserved typical and traditional culture and lifestyle. You can visit the Gurung cultural museum here. Trekking further downhill, we drive from Khimche to Pokhara. 

Overnight at Hotel  

  • Accommodation: 3 Star Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Altitude: 900 m

From Pokhara, we drive back to Kathmandu travelling on the Prithvi Highway alongside the Trishuli river and green hills, which takes around 6-7 hrs. We will then transfer you to your hotel. You can take rest and spend your time freely. In the evening, there will be a farewell dinner in a cultural Nepali restaurant with typical Nepali cuisine and cultural shows to celebrate the successful completion of our Annapurna Circuit Trek.

Overnight at Hotel

  • Accommodation: 3 Star Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
  • Altitude: 1300 m

Today is the last day of your trip. If you would like to stay more in Nepal; you have many options which can be shared with us upon request. Else, we will transfer you to the airport for your departure. We thank you for the opportunity of being your travel partner and wish to serve you in your next vacation. Have a nice journey.

  • Meals: Breakfast
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What to Expect

  • Transportation to and from Tribhuvan Airport.
  • Three nights in a 2-3 star hotel in Kathmandu, breakfast included.
  • All transportation for the trek.
  • Local guest house accommodation in mountain.
  • Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) fees.
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Permit.
  • Government-authorized, experienced guide and porters.
  • Insurance, food, accommodation, and wage for guides and porters.
  • Hygienic meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) during the trek.
  • All equipment (sleeping bag, warm layers, etc.).
  • First Aid Kit.
  • Maps.
  • Service charge and government taxes.
  • Post-trek celebration dinner in Kathmandu.
  • International Airfare.
  • Meals in Kathmandu (besides breakfast).
  • Your personal expenses, shopping, etc.
  • Shower and electronic charging fees at guest houses during the trek.
  • Alcoholic drinks, chocolates, tea and coffee.
  • Tips for guide and porter.
  • Extra accommodation and meals outside of itinerary.
  • Costs from unexpected occurrences (i.e. cancellations, weather problems, damages of property, illness, etc.).

Testimonials

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    Luke Elliott, South Africa

    Helpful Guide and Best Trip

    The guide Mr Deepak was very helpful whenever required and also its very easy to communicate with staffs of Shepherd Holidays! Trip was really amazing and full of fun! 

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    Chris Webber, Australia

    Suffered from Altitude Sickness

    I was just fine till Thorang Fedi. However, while we were ascending further to Thorang La pass, I started to feel some dizziness and headache. Our guide suggested me to not go any further. I am amazed about how he was able to figure out my problem, while all of my friends didn't even have the slightest idea. It must be because of his experience, working at very high altitude. So, me and one of the assistant guides returned back to Thorang Fedi, while all of my other group mates continued further to Thorang la Pass. We continued our trip following the next day. In spite of not being able to continue till Thorang La, this trek was one of the best moments of my life. All the jokes and memories we made, breathtaking views, blending with the Thakali Culture and the professionalism and amazing hospitality shown by the staffs of Shepherd holidays, I am definitely coming back again. 

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    marie, Spain

    Annapurna Circuit trek

    The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a challenging endeavor, but with Shepherd Holidays, it becomes an achievable and incredibly rewarding adventure. I can't recommend them enough for their outstanding service, attention to detail, and passion for creating unforgettable trekking experiences. If you're considering the Annapurna Circuit or any trekking adventure in Nepal, Shepherd Holidays is the ideal choice. They truly made my journey an unforgettable one, and I am grateful for the memories that will last a lifetime.

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    Kayla, Greece

    Recommended

    Safety was a top priority, and I felt well taken care of throughout the trek. The accommodations and meals were consistently comfortable and satisfying, even in the remote mountain villages.

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    laurie, Germany

    Amazing people

    One of the highlights was the opportunity to interact with the warm-hearted people of the Annapurna region and witness their unique way of life. Shepherd Holidays facilitated these cultural exchanges seamlessly, providing a genuine and authentic experience.