The Annapurna circuit trek has been one of the most famous trekking trails or routes since the 1980s. The trek starts from lower than 1000m and climbs to 5416m above sea level. Green valleys and fascinating villages offer impressive snow-capped views of the white Himalayas. It gives us a chance to explore the Himalayas from bottom to top and from many different angles and perspectives. At the same time exploring the lifestyles of various villages – hilly, mountain and town is an extra appeal of this trek.
This trek is divided into two parts, before crossing Thorong La and after. The valleys are close in distance but have very different flora and fauna from each other. It is mentally and physically challenging for trekkers on the way to the highest passes but once you are there the views of Manang, Muktinath, Kagabani, Marpha, and Poon Hill are fantastic and leave lifelong memories. After crossing the highest pass, the valley looks more or less similar to Tibet; it is the mini Tibet of Nepal. Most of the time the trails follow the Mursangdi and Kaligandaki valley; it is the two habitats that make this trek so beautiful.
The lodges and tea houses in the Annapurna Trekking Region are well equipped with extensive menus ranging from the typical Nepali dahl bath (rice with lentils) to pizza and mo mo, and much more. The local products are mostly organic. Hot showers are readily available as well. Most of the teahouses along the way do have Wi-Fi so that you can contact your loved ones at home and even send them some photos of the day.
It is possible to do this trek in all seasons; however, in the winter the Base Camp can sometimes be closed due to the snow level. In springtime, the huge rhododendron forests are in full bloom which gives the trek an extra appeal. For those who love walking, nature, and the Himalayas, there is no question this is one of the best places in the entire world for all three.
A hearty welcome to Kathmandu, the Nepalese capital and cultural hub. We’ll be waiting with a warm greeting and easy transfer to your hotel by private tourist car. We will then have an early evening briefing about your trek and an introduction to your guide.
Today after breakfast we go on a cultural tour to some of the most historic and architectural attractions in Kathmandu valley which are listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. We visit the famous Temple in the town, 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhunath), historic Kathmandu Durbar Square, Buddhist shrine (Bouddhanath), which is the largest Buddhist stupas in the world, and the Hindu divine temple of Pashupatinath. In the evening introduced myself to fellow participants, and briefly discuss our trip.
Today we start the formal part of our trip. Your guide will have explained everything to you the night before. All our backpacks must be ready before breakfast as breakfast will be served early in the morning at our hotel. We will be picked up from the hotel around 6:30 am and head to the bus station. The bus leaves at around 7:00 am from Kathmandu and normally stops two times on the way for lunch and snack breaks. We will have refreshing views of the river valley with rice, millet and other crops. Finally, in the afternoon, we will reach a beautiful place, Besishahar. From here, a half an hour drive takes us to our trek starting point in Khudi. Khudi is a small settlement on the banks of the Marsyangdi River. We will stay overnight in a teahouse.
Today we start our trek after breakfast in Khudi. We cross several mountain villages, suspension bridges, and a nice subtropical forest. At first, the trail is gradual but soon becomes steeper. Before reaching Sirung village we pass the ethnic Tamang settlement of Taranche. Stay overnight at Sirung.
We start our day with an interesting view of the forest and village. On the way, we may see several species of birds. After crossing several mountain villages we reach Syange, where there is a large waterfall. After a long walk along the Valley of Marshyangdi River, we arrive at Jagat. Stay overnight at Jagat.
In the morning we are ready to start another long day along the Marshyangdi River Valley. First an hour easy walking; on the way we will see a very nice waterfall. We cross a suspension bridge before the trail goes steeply uphill. The trail continues uphill until we reach Tal, which is very nice village on the bank of Marshyangdi River. We will stop for lunch in Tal. From here, the trail is easy and mostly flat all the way to the village of Karte. We cross another bridge before we reach Dharapani village. We will stay overnight in Dharapani for a good rest and sleep.
After breakfast we leave from Dharapani on our way to Chame, which is the headquarters of this area. For the first couples of hours, the trail is gradual. After Danaquy, the trail becomes a steep uphill to the wonderful village of Timang. We will stop at this fantastic place for our lunch. Here we feel very close to the big mountains with panoramic views of the Himalayas including Lamjung Himal, Annapurna and Manaslu. From here we walk through alpine and rhododendron forests crossing a few villages. Finally we make it to Chame which is small, nice town. In the afternoon we will explore Chame and bathe in its hot springs. We will feel relaxed and our tired muscles will feel relieved.
Today we start our day slowly in the nice alpine forest. The trail is gradual and wide with the breathtaking views of Lamjung, and Annapurna Mountain. We cross a suspension bridge along the same Marshyangdi River and then walk steeply uphill to Dhuker Pokhari where we will have lunch. From here the valley becomes much wider with views of the high Annapurna Himalayas range. After an hour of easy walking, we reach Lower Pisang. Stay overnight at Pisang.
There are two trekking routes to Manang. The lower one is much easier and shorter than the upper one. The upper one is more difficult but has more scenic views. One route is on the left hand side of the valley and the other is on the right hand side of valley of the Annapura Mountain range. After a very nice and long walk we reach Manang which is the largest village in the Manang district. We will stay overnight in Manang for a good rest and sleep.
Today will be spent resting and allowing our bodies to become acclimatized to the high altitude. There are several of things to do around Manang to acclimatize. After breakfast we will take a short hike up to the Gangapurna Lake and climbing higher will really help with acclimatization. In the afternoon we will explore Manang and rest. Stay overnight at Manang.
From Manang village, the trail winds gradually in a north-easterly direction to the village of Tenki. From here we see only small bushes; there are no more big tree because of the high altitude. The valley higher and we will see the panoramic beauty of the Himalayas. Finally we arrive at Yak Kharka which means the place where Yaks graze. After lunch we will hike about an hour more which will help our acclimatization and our sleep tonight in Yak Kharka.
Today is a short walk to Throng Phedi. We should walk very slowly so as to adjust to the altitude. At first the trail goes gradually uphill. After we cross a suspension bridge along the Throng Khola, the path becomes steep and rocky on the way to Throng Phedi. Now you may feel the high altitude. After lunch here, we will spend time resting and preparing for tomorrow which is our biggest day of this trip.
Finally our dream comes true!! Our biggest and longest day starts early in the morning; we will start out walking with the help of a head lamp. The rocky trail heads uphill with some parts steep and some parts more gradual. It is a good idea to take it slow, drink enough water, breathe deeply and walk together in the group. Finally we reach the top of Throng La which is oldest and highest pass. The view of all the Himalayas is incredible. We will spend a short time here capturing amazing photos. There is always the potential for chilly winds which are quite common. As we start heading down, some parts are very steep; we must be careful because the way is narrow and may be slippery due to ice. By the afternoon we will reach Muktinath. Stay overnight in Muktinath for a good sleep.
After breakfast, we will start hiking slowly. The way to Kagbeni is downhill through a few mountain villages. Here the valley is much wider. We call this is a cold desert in Nepal. Very little rain falls here so everything is dry but interesting. Finally, we are in the very old town of Kagbeni, one of the most unique and interesting villages of this whole trip. It is the gateway to the Upper Mustang Kingdom. In the afternoon, we will explore very old houses, temples and the almost 700 year old Kagbeni Monastery. Stay overnight in Kagbeni.
Today we have only a short walk of about 4 hours; the trail is flat all the way along the Kaligandaki River. It is a windy valley so we will start in the morning to avoid the big winds that blow in the afternoon. We will pass through Jomsome, which is headquarters of Mustang District. The trail continues to the south; an hour’s hike takes us to beautiful Apple Valley of Marpha. Marpha is known as the capital city of apple; in the autumn season we can enjoy fresh apples, apple juice, apple pie, apple brandy and many more apple product. Here we can also find the tasty Thakali Khana Set, an authentic dish with rice and vegetable. In the afternoon we will visit the Buddhist Monastery and explore this unique town. It is a very peaceful, clean and amazing place. Stay overnight in Marpha.
Today we will follow the Holy River Kaligandaki on a flat and wide trail. We will pass several Thakali villages. We will be able to see Mt Annapurna I, Dhulagiri, Tukuche and more fantastic views along the way. Finally we reach Kalopani. Stay overnight at Kalopani for a good rest and sleep.
Today is another long day trekking along the Kaligandaki Valley. Mostily, we are heading down through alpine forest. We cross a very high suspension bridge at Ghasa then continue heading down through Kopchepani. We can stop here to enjoy a view of the waterfall, Rupche Chhahara and the nearby old and deep Gorge in Dana. We will cross a few suspension bridges and villages. After a long walk, we are in a lower place with the lot of orange, gove and banana trees along the trail. The rice and millet fields are really wonderful. We will have the privilege of observing the lifestyle of the local people. By the afternoon, we will reach Tatopani which means the place of Natural Hot Springs. In the Evening, we can baths in the hot spring to relax our tired body and legs.
Today is another long day. Almost the entire trail is uphill, sometimes steep and sometimes gradual. A short walk from Tatopani, we will cross a suspension bridge over the Kaligandaki River. We will pass a few nice villages on the way to Sikha. Again we will have the privilege of observing the lifestyle of the local people. We will walk along the rhododendron forest where in the spring season it is very beautiful with plentiful flowers. Finally we reach Ghorepani at the top of the hill. It is a cold place; in the tea house we will warm ourselves by the wooden fireplace. Stay overnight in Ghorepani.
Today around 4.30 am, we will start our hike. We will hike for about an hour, with the help of our head lamps, to Poon Hill at 3,210m. It is a very steep uphill but you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Himalayas. POON HILL is the best view point to see the Annapurna range, Dhulagiri, Tukche, Lamjung himal, Fishtail and many more. Sunrise over the mountains is astonishingly beautiful. We will spend about half an hour at this viewpoint capturing some this incredible beauty before heading back to the teahouse. We will eat a hot breakfast before starting our trek to Tikhedhunga. The trail is downhill all the way. Walking through rhododendron forests, makes this part of the trek quite beautiful. Finally we come to Tikhedhunga after the long descent. This is our last night in the wonderful mountains. Over night at Tikhedhunga.
From Tikhedhunga we will walk downhill and pass several villages; this is one of the best and most relaxing walks along the hillside of western Nepal. After reaching Nayapul, an hour and half drive will take us back to Pokhara.
We will leave from Pokhara in the morning. After reaching Kathmandu, we can take a rest. In the afternoon, we can do some souvenir shopping. There will be a farewell dinner in the evening to celebrate the successful completion of our journey. Stay overnight in Kathmandu.
Your adventure in Nepal comes to an end today! Wish you all the best!! We can exchange emails and photos with your travel companions and Zam Zam Trekking P. LTD. A representative from Zam Zam Trekking will take you to the airport approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight.
A friend and I did Annapurna Circut trek about 3 years ago with Dinesh and his crew. It was amazing experience and one I will remember for the rest of my life. It was made truly special by our guide Dinesh and the person I now call my friend. He is the most caring, trustworthy, safety conscience individual I have met. He’s knowledge of Nepals' history made the trek engaging and gave me an experience that I had not expected.
You are welcome to make your own custom-made itinerary. Kindly be advised that we suggest that you make provision for at least 1 to 2 extra days in your trip.