Annapurna Circuit Trek – 18 Days
The Annapurna Circuit is one of the most popular treks in Nepal, and rightly so. Each year, more than 50,000 trekkers come for this trek from all around the globe. On this route, the scenery and culture dramatically change from subtropical forests, paddy fields, and the world’s deepest river gorge to ice flows, a high mountain pass, arid cliffs, and mountain views. Passing through Manang, the trek starts with views of the Manaslu range, Tibetan-like Buddhist villages, and woodlands, through the Marshyangdi Valley. Heading towards the high Thorong La Pass, a host of mountains come into view, including the Annapurna Massif, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Tilicho Peak.
The trail continues over the pass to enter Mustang and the Hindu pilgrimage town of Muktinath and on down the Kali Gandaki Valley, past the unique and interesting village of Marpha with its small monastery, narrow cobbled streets, and apple orchards, on to the hot springs at Tatopani and the viewpoint of Poon Hill. From Poon Hill, it is possible to see more than 20 of the highest mountains within the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. This trek allows for proper acclimatization before tackling the Thorong La pass at 5,414m. However, it is a long trek, with an average day being 6-7 hours, and good basic physical fitness is recommended.
With the varied landscapes, villages, and peoples along the trail, and of course, the majestic mountains, it is a photographer’s paradise. It is also a way to discover the different aspects, cultures, and landscapes of the country in one trip, and while circling the Annapurna range! You also get to learn about locals with their unique culture and tradition. Delve into their lifestyle and explore more about their way of living. You meet strong porters and caravans of horses and pass through many streams. Crossing suspension bridges, waterfalls, and staying in small and lovely villages is an amazing experience en route.
The temple and 108 waterspouts at Muktinath are holy to Hindus and form part of the cultural history of Nepal. Just a short hike down the trail and the villages of Jharkot and Kagbeni plunge the visitor back into a Buddhist culture of monasteries and prayer flags. Kagbeni is a charming village: from Kagbeni another trail enters Upper Mustang, and there is a constant stream of yak and mule trains taking goods north.
Exploring the tiny village, there are many interesting sights such as almost prehistoric clay effigies. This trek is certainly varied and full of daily surprises and interesting finds and accompanied all the way with up close and personal mountain views!
Annapurna Circuit Trekking is a moderately challenging trip around popular Annapurna region suitable for experienced as well as novice hikers who are passionate about walking, exploring, and adventure with a good level of physical and mental fitness level. Peak seasons for this trip is during the March, April, May, September, October, and November. We will arrange a trekking permit required to enter the amazing Annapurna Conservation Area and take care of you ensuring the best of your holidays in Nepal.
The Highlight of Annapurna Circuit Trek
- Kathmandu and Pokhara sightseeing
- Spectacular mountain views of the numerous 7000m-plus the world’s highest mountains: Dhaulagiri I (7th),& Annapurna I (10th)
- Crossing the Thorong La Pass at 5,416 meters
- Home to Gurungs, Manangis and Thakalis
- Bath in natural hot springs at Tatopani
- Gaze at the breathtaking Annapurna range from Poon Hill
Annapurna Circuit Trek Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival at Kathmandu (1,400m/4,593 ft)
You arrive at the airport. Our staff will be ready to pick you up at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. He will brief you about the outline of the trip. You can explore the valley or take a rest in your hotel room.
Day 2: Kathmandu sightseeing tour.
After the morning breakfast, you start sightseeing the UNESCO-listed heritage of Nepal. Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath, Boudhanath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, etc. are some of the UNESCO-listed heritage of Kathmandu.
On this day, you will learn many things about the Nepalese lifestyle. Especially the culture and religion of Kathmandu denizens.
After that, you get busy in preparing yourself for 18 days Annapurna Circuit. If you need to buy any trekking gears and essentials, Thamel is the ideal market. Spend your evening in the beautiful area of Thamel and have a sound sleep.
Day 3: Drive to Besisahar (760m/2,493 ft) and trek to Bhubhule (840m/2,756 ft)
After morning breakfast, you start your journey to Western Nepal via a bus to Besisahar. Besisahar is the district headquarter of Lamjung. It takes about 6-7 hours to reach there by bus. Microbus or bus takes you faster. From Besisahar, you take a walk through the beautiful countryside to Bhulbhule. It takes about 2 hours through the dusty road to reach Bhulbhule.
Day 4: Trek to Chamje (1,410m/4,626 ft)
As the morning brings the beautiful sunlight on the terrain, it’s time to wake up. You will have breakfast and off you go. You begin marching alongside Marshyangdi River, your friend in most parts of the trail. Waterfall near Nadi Bazaar and the views of Manaslu are the highlights of this trek.
From Nadi Bajar, you pass by the village of Arkhale to get to Syange. Syange Village lies on the other side of Marshyangdi. You have to cross a suspension bridge to reach Syange. In Syange, you come across a beautiful waterfall that is worth capturing.
From Syange, you walk through the village of Jagat to finally reach Chamje. During the trek, you pass through several streams, small villages, and steep ascents.
Day 5: Chamje to Bagarchhap
The first part of the trek is quite steep. As you cross a long suspension bridge and walk through the other side of Marshyangdi, you will reach to Rock Tooth. This takes about an hour. The Marshyangdi rushes through the bottom of the Rock Tooth.
You then ascend uphill to the upland of Tal Village. Marshyangdi flows on its one side and a beautiful waterfall downpours from the cliff on the other side of the Village. The village looks like a piece of heaven.
As you march further up, the Marshyangdi river is no more plain and silent. The river flows rapidly through a canyon. As you walk through the canyon for about half an hour, you come to a suspension bridge.
After crossing the bridge, you climb to a higher place from where you see the amazing view of the suspension bridge you passed a few minutes ago.
You walk through the western side of the river and come across a few waterfalls on your way. After two and a half hours walk from Tal, you reach another suspension bridge. The bridge takes you to the village of Karte.
As you walk further up, you will reach to famous Thonje Buddhist monastery located near the confluence of Marshyangdi and Dudh Khola. Half an hour walk from the Gumba takes you to Bagarchhap. Rest your backpack there and enjoy the beauty of the region. Or, you can take a rest in your hotel room.
Day 6: Trek from Bagarchhap to Chame (2,650m/8,694 ft)
On the sixth day, you start your ascent through the rhododendron forest towards Timang. Timang was once an important village as people used to cross Namun La pass to go to Manang.
Now, anyone rarely uses this route as the new route passes through Marsyangdi Valley. The beautiful view of Manaslu is a highlight of this part of the trek.
You continue your walkthrough ridges of forests towards the west. You pass several landslide sights on your way. From the trail, you will see some of the finest views of Lamjung Kailash, Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, and other peaks.
After about 5-6 hours of walk crossing by Timang, Tanchok, and Koto, you finally reach Chame. You can give rest to your tired body or explore the town of Chame.
Chame is the headquarter of the Manang District connected to Besisahar by a road. Unfortunately, people label this road as a dangerous one.
Day 7: Trek to Pisang (3240m).
The next day, you will have a total walk of about six hours. This is an amazing part of your 18 days Annapurna Circuit Trek. You will have amazing views of Lamjung Himal, Ngadi Chuli, and other small peaks.
As you start your journey from Chame, you will witness an amazing view of Lamjung Himal from the suspension bridge. You pass through beautiful chorten and mani walls and walk towards the west.
After about half an hour, the amazing Lamjung ridge appears right above the forest. To the east, you see a part of Ngadi Chuli.
As you cross the village of Bhratang, you walk through a path made on the walls of a steep canyon. You then walk through the base of Pangri Dada. You then cross a bridge to the forested side of Marshyangdi.
Along the way, you see the icy Lamjung ridge. The beautiful journey finally opens to the Valley of Pisang. You see Upper Pisang and Chulu peak in the distance.
You then finally walk through a ridge to Pisang – the stop of your seventh day of the trek. Pisang has two parts: Upper and Lower Pisang.
The Lower Pisang has many lodges. As you walk to Upper Pisang, the view of Lower Pisang starts getting better. You can visit a Gompa in Upper Pisang.
Day 8: Trek from Pisang to Manang (3,540m/ 111,614 ft)
The next day, you start ascending to Ghyaru village. This takes about 2 hours. Throughout the trail, you see the amazing views of Annapurna II and some other peaks. You see the glacial wall of Annapurna IV from Ghyaru.
After lunch in Ghyaru, you walk for about 2 hours to reach to Ngawal. You will see the breathtaking views of Pisang Peak and Annapurna peaks during the trek.
Once you reach to a mani wall with so many prayer wheels, you enter into Ngawal village.
Below Ngawal lies Humde Village. Manang Airport lies in Humde. You then descend down to Bhakra which is in the vicinity of Humde. Then, you walk further west through Braga to reach Manang.
Some people prefer to stay in Braga than Manang. These two villages lie at 20 minutes of walking distance from each other.
Day 9: Acclimatization day at Manang.
Manang is a popular stop in Annapurna Circuit Trek. It has many lodges and bakeries. You spend the ninth day of your 18 days Annapurna Circuit Trek in acclimatization.
You can explore around Khangsar, Tsamkhang, or Gangapurna Lake. The town looks so lively during the peak season as many trekkers spend their time here.
Day 10: Trek from Manang to Yak Kharka (4,120m/13,517 ft)
As you start your trek, you shortly reach a confluence of Khangsar and Jharsang River. These two rivers combine here to form Marshyangdi.
You walk alongside Jharsang River to Gunsang. You trek further up to finally reach Yak Kharka. The trek rewards you with amazing views of the Annapurna range and Gangapurna peak.
Day 11: Trek from Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi (4,560m/14,960 ft)
From Yak Kharka, you feel a gradual rise in the trail. Trekking is easy, but be careful not to make it tough. Walk slow and take rest at times.
You cross a suspension bridge to reach Ledar. You walk alongside the river and again cross a bridge. You will have views of Annapurna III and Gangapu peaks.
You trek further up through the western side of the river to finally reach Thorung Phedi. Some call it Thorong Phedi. This is your stop for the eleventh day.
You can hike to Thorong high camp or take a rest in Thorung Phedi.
Day 12: Cross Thorong La Pass (5,416m/ 117,769 ft) to Muktinath (3,802m/12,474 ft)
Day 12 is quite an exciting and difficult day as well. You cross Thorong La Pass (5,416m), the highest point of Annapurna Circuit Trek.
As you wake up early and have your breakfast, you start marching towards Thorong High Camp. The High Camp has a few lodges.
From there, you climb further up on the steep trail. You then reach to a tea house after about two hours of a slow walk. You can make yourself better with a cup of tea to continue the journey towards Thorong La Pass.
As you continue ascending through the snowy trail, you encounter many false passes. It may look like you have finally arrived at Thorong La, only to realize there is still a climb to do.
Finally, after about 3-4 hours of a slow walk, you finally reach to Thorong La Pass. Capture the moment in your camera and explore the area.
Thorong La Pass has a tea house. Here, trekkers have foods and drinks. After some time in the Pass, start descending down towards the restricted Mustang region.
From there, it is still a long way down to Muktinath. On your descent, you can have lunch in a tea house in Chabarbu. This is the first village you will encounter while descending down from Thorong La Pass. Chabarbu is a beautiful village at the base of the hill.
After your lunch, an hour’s trek takes you to Muktinath. Muktinath is a popular pilgrimage among Hindu and Buddhist devotees of Nepal and India. The temple attracts thousands of devotees yearly.
You spend your twelfth night in Ranipauwa. Ranipauwa is the main town of Muktinath.
Day 13: Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom (2,750m/9,022 ft)
A beautiful pitch road begins from Muktinath. For those who are short on time travel from jeep to Jomsom or Pokhara. But, you should not skip this beautiful region.
You walk through the road passing by beautiful villages of Jharkot and Khingar into Jhong Valley.
You continue your journey through the road crossing the fields and meadows to reach Kagbeni, another popular town of the trek. The mud houses are closely connected with each other. You can explore the town and dig into the lifestyle of people.
From Kagbeni, it takes about 2-3 hours to reach Jomsom. You have amazing views of the Nilgiri peak on your trek to Jomsom. Jomsom is a lively town that has major conveniences available. Here, you find an airport, schools, hotels, banks, shops, museums and so forth.
Or, you can further trek to Marpha. Marpha is a wonderful village with flat-roofed houses with white-painted walls. You can see apple orchards all around the village and taste different apple products.
Day 14: Drive to Tatopani (1,341m/4,400 ft)
On the fourteenth day, you will travel by bus/jeep through Marpha, Chokhopani, Kalopani, and Kopche Pani alongside the Kaligandaki River.
After you arrive at Tatopani, unwind yourselves in Tatopani Hot Springs. The beautiful sight of Mt. Dhaulagiri makes you feel relaxed after the trip.
Day 15: Trek to Ghorepani (2,874m/9,429 ft)
After breakfast, you start your journey towards Ghorepani. The trail descends downhill until you reach a suspension bridge. From there, the trek is continuous uphill.
His day, you walk on the trail that crosses through small villages with terraced fields and inclined farmlands. You pass through rhododendron forest gaping at Nilgiri South.
The trail passing through rice fields takes you to Ghara. Ghara is a small village where you can spend some time refreshing yourself.
After about an hour from Ghara, you reach Sikha. Sikha has a few tea houses to accommodate the trekkers who stop here for an overnight stay. From the top of Sikha, you can look down at the entire trail you walked from Tatopani.
You then trek further up witnessing beautiful sights of villages on the opposite slopes and high mountains beneath those hills. You march through rhododendron forest peeking at Mt. Dhaulagiri and Mt. Tukuche to finally reach Ghorepani.
Day 16: Trek to Poon Hill (3,193m), trek down to Nayapul (1,070m), and drive to Pokhara (1400m)
You wake up before the sunrise, leave your backpack and march towards Poon Hill racing against the sunrise. On reaching the top of Poon Hill, the crowds of trekkers before dawn may surprise you.
Poon Hill is a very popular viewpoint from where you can see the excellent views of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I, Annapurna South and other mountains peaks at the vicinity.
Many people opt for Poon Hill trek which takes as little as 5 days to complete.
After spending your time there, you retrace back to Ghorepani and have breakfast. After that, you begin descending towards Tikhedhunga. From Tikhedhunga, the trail is quite comfortable as you pass through terrace fields until Nayapul.
From there, a short drive of two hours takes you to Pokhara.
Day 17: Drive back to Kathmandu (1400m/4,593 ft)
After spending your time in Pokhara. You will then travel to Kathmandu by tourist bus. It takes about 7-8 hours to arrive at Kathmandu. Spend a night at the Hotel.
Day 18: Departure
We will drive you to the airport. If your flight is in the evening time, you can spend your time shopping or exploring Kathmandu. We wish you all the best and welcome you to visit Nepal again.