Annapurna Circuit Trek - 19 days
Annapurna Circuit Trek is a well-known trekking adventure and offers a great sense of an authentic trek. The trek encircles sky-high Annapurna range including Fishtail, and it’s been one of the most appealing trekking trials since its inception in 1980s. There are treks that are more challenging or farther off, trials more lavishing, pilgrimage sites that are holier, wildlife that’s more unusual and even landscape that is more striking. But, none of them can step up and steal Annapurna’s crown off; such is a trekker’s experience!
Amongst several trials in Annapurna region, Annapurna Circuit Trek is an all-inclusive one as it takes you beyond 5000m; and encompasses all the wonders of the region. Also popular as “Round Annapurna Trek or RAT” amongst the trekking aficionados, this circuit will enclose whole Annapurna massif and gives you a lifetime opportunity to see the sights of Annapurna from different angles. Besides the charismatic settings of the mountains, the diverse landscapes from low alpine forest to arid deserts resembling Tibetan ones, the affluent cultures and traditions, antique monasteries and authentic villages also attract more trekkers to the region. The trek starts from Besisahar (760m) and then enters the gateway to restricted area Narphu valley- Manang, and then gradually climbs towards the world’s highest navigable pass, Thorang La (5416m) and then finally descends to holy temple of Muktinath. The adventurous journey that begins at a moderate pace proceeds by acclimatizing with the altitude and enjoying the landscapes and mountain views, and sliding down the valley of apple orchard- Jomsom.
The exciting part of this trek is a visit to the Gangapurna Glacier and ancient monasteries at Manang, Jharkot and Kagbeni. Ever changing mountain views include whole Annapurna range (II, III and IV), Pisang Peak, Lamjung Himal, Mt. Manaslu, Mt. Gangapurna, Muktinath Peak, Mt. Nilgiri, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Dhampus Peak, Tukuche Peak and many others. The trek completes the whole circuit via Ghorepani to Tatopani, which offers countless natural hot springs; then heads to famous viewpoint of Poon Hill and finally ends at naturally blessed city of Pokhara.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 02: Drive to Besi Sahar
Day 03: Besi Sahar to Bahundanda
Day 04: Bahundanda to Chyamje
Day 05: Chyamje to Bagarchhap
Day 06: Bagarchhap to Chame
Day 07: Chame to Pisang
Day 08: Pisang to Manang
Day 09: Manang for acclimatization
Day 10: Manang to Phedi
Day 11: Phedi to Muktinath via Throng La Pass
Day 12: Muktinath to Jomsom
Day 13: Jomsom to Ghasa
Day 14: Ghasa to Tatopani
Day 15: Tatopani to Ghorepani
Day 16: Pre-dawn excursion to Poonhill, then trek back to Birethati
Day 17: Birethati to Nayapul and drive back to Pokhara
Day 18: Fly to Kathmandu, Farewell dinner with TAGnepal
Day 19: Depart Kathmandu
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel (1400m)
On a bright sunny day as the wide range of shiny Himalayas is visible from the window pane of your plane, you are flying above Nepal. Nepal opens up in air before your real arrival to Nepal. After few minutes of hide and seek with Himalayas you will land at Kathmandu. You will be cordially welcomed as per Nepali culture with colorful garlands at the airport terminal by a company representative and a driver. A private vehicle will escort you through the boisterous streets of Kathmandu to your designated hotel. Our representative will help you in your check-in procedure and will thoroughly brief you about the trip beginning the next day.
Day 02: Drive to Besi Sahar and transfer to Hotel (820m)
Early morning you will open your eyes with great enthusiasm as your trek begins today. After the breakfast a private vehicle will pick you up at the hotel reception. The vehicle winds along the winding- Prithivi Highway. At Dumre the road leaves the main highway and deviates left. Traveling beside Marsyangdi River the vehicle stops at a settled plateau named Besi Sahar (820m). The journey to Besi Sahar from Kathmandu is 6-7 hours’ drive and it is the starting point of “Annapurna Circuit Trek”. You will check into your hotel at Besi Sahar. Have a very tight sleep after your dinner as you will be in wilderness of Himalayan foothills for next 18 days.
Day 03: Trek to Bahundanda (1310m)
You will begin the trek after an early morning breakfast. It takes significant time to pass through Besi Sahar Bazaar. Then the trial slides down to stream before climbing on flinty stairways to Denauti. Passing the tricky marble rocks into the Marsyangdi gorge and rock-hop across Bhalam Khola after several ups and downs across rice fields and sub-tropical forests, you will arrive at Shera Bazaar. You will continue on to the first Gurung village Khudi (790m) and beyond Khudi, Himalchuli and Peak 29 (7879m) overtop the horizon. As the trial crosses Marsyangdi River at Bhulbhule (830m), the ad hoc views of the Himalayas are even luring. The 60 meter high waterfall at a point between Bhulbhule and Ngadi is a majestic view. Beyond Ngadi village, on the hills above Ngadi River lies the village of Utsa. A gentle upward climb to Lampata followed by short steep climb brings you to Bahundanda- a beautiful village settled in a saddle on a long ridge of Marsyangdi valley. Enjoy the evening with delicious dinner at a teahouse at Bahundanda.
Day 04: Trek to Chyamje (1430m)
You will experience the real teahouse breakfast early morning. Your trek starts today with the steep and slippery slide down passing the coliseum-shaped rice patios. Dropping down to the foot of majestic waterfall and traversing high above the River to Hadi Gaon (1180m) as you cross Marsyangdi River and enter Syange (1190m), the valley pegs down. Beyond Syange the trekking route follows the river for a while and climbs high to the glamorous cliffs forested with wide range of floras and faunas. After the adventurous 200 meters steep climb on a trial flared out of rock face, you will gradually descend down passing a small waterfall to Jagat (1250m). From Jagat the trial slides down close to river and climbs through woods to yet another waterfall. An easygoing slide down will bring you finally to Chyamje. Unleash your trekking gears and tiredness at a teahouse at Chyamje before the dinner is served.
Day 05: Trek to Bagarchhap (2160m)
You will begin the trek after your breakfast. Traversing through the sequence of acclivities and down slopes along the river, the trial rises up to the Manang Valley. Crossing the plateau of Tal and the village by the same name at 1675m, your trek keeps on tracing a path along a steep and strenuous flight of steps that dwells right over Marsyangdi Khola. Then you will run around a pinnacle of the hill before sliding down to the pleasant woodlands that blend broadleaf trees and evergreen vegetation, cross a bridge and then climb up to Dharapani (1943m). Similarly, after reaching the village of Thonje, you will encounter a bridge, skip the bridge this time and continue your straight trial to Bagarchhap (2160m).
Day 06: Trek to Chame (2685m)
After empting your teacups and feasting on your early morning breakfast your trek resumes. You will begin through the widespread forests of fir where the sparse sight of Manaslu and Annapurna II starts being visible. You will continue your trek and at a point, the trial splits off heading up to the Namun Pass, you will climb up through the thick forest as far as Shyal Khola (2290m). The ascending trial mounts up to Kurpa Kodo (2590m) via Tyahgja (2454m). The final stretched, gradual climb takes you to Chame (2685m).
Day 07: Trek to Pisang (3300m)
Today you will be going through one of the most exciting days. You will be crossing Marsyangdi River fourth fold, witnessing the superb rocky wall at Paunga Danda and at the end of the day you will be at the natural theatre viewing the splendid view of Annapurna II. After the breakfast the trek begins by crossing the river, and heads toward Talung (2775m). While you trek furthermore, you will be crossing over Marsyangdi at 2840m amidst a charming waterfall. Beyond a beautiful village Brathang, you will be crossing Marsyandi two more times at (2910m) and (3040m) before reaching lower Pisang (3185m). Avoiding crossing the fourth bridge, if you rise up to Upper Pisang (3300m) and settle down on a higher altitude, the panorama from here is even more breathtaking.
Day 08: Trek to Manang (3535m)
You will resume the trek after the scrumptious breakfast. Your trek will begin with a very steep upward climb running past the landing strip and the mountain climbing school conducted by Nepal Mountaineering Association at Ongre 3325m. After crossing back over the river nearby Mungi (3482m), the high trial begins. During the climb along this high trial, you will come across an interesting Gompa at Ghyaru (3673m). At a point the trial branches into two and you will trace your path downhill towards the picturesque and modest settlement of Braga (3475m). The houses at Braga reflect the ancient lifestyle. The houses here hide behind a large rock outcrop. Now through the yaks and horses grazing in wide pastures and spotting the amazing views of the Annapurna range including Tilicho, Annapurna II and IV, Gangapurna and Glacier Dome, you will reach Manang (3535m) after going through very barren neighborhood. Let go your tiredness at Manang as you will be staying here for acclimatization the next day.
Day 09: Rest day at Manang
A rest day at Manang and its vicinity is really an outstanding idea to acclimatize at higher altitudes before encountering the challenging Throng La Pass. A rest day at Manang can be utilized excursing to the north ridge of the village for the striking views of Annapurna II and IV and Glacier Dome. You may descend down to the glacial lake at the foot of huge icefall dropping down from the northern slopes of Gangapurna. You may hike to Khangsakar for the amazing view of Great Barrier. Or, take a walk to the most active monastery of the region Bhojo Gompa. Choice is yours, make a decision and enjoy the day.
Day 10: Trek to Phedi from Manang
Today the trial quickly ascends to the last inhabited village in the valley- Tengi (3660m). Crossing past the village you will be climbing up among the pastures of Jarsang Khola valley. After passing the humble edifices of Gunsang 3960m, the trial continues along a gorgeous and extensive sequence of meadows. Further walking will bring you to the secluded structures of Letder (4250m). Continuing the trek up to the bridge over mountain stream, finally you will reach the plateau of Phedi (4420m). After the long and tiring ascending climb throughout the day, you reach at the foot of the slopes of Throng La Pass. Your guide will find a proper accommodation among the number of modest teahouses or home stays to settle for the night.
Day 11: Trek to Muktinath (3792m)
Fasten your trekking gears well after the breakfast as you will be having the longest trekking day of nine hours. Today you will be going across Throng La Pass (5416m), the highest navigable pass in the world. The trek across Throng La is undeniably the most salient and demanding walk in the region. The considerable strength is required both on the way up and on the way down. Throng La Pass is somewhere very comfortable walk running up through the morainic rises in wide curves and leads without much excitement whereas at some points the pass demands tremendous effort to reach exceptionally magnificent viewpoint of Gangapurna and Dhaulagiri. You will descend down along the steep slopes of snow and gravel followed by the simple walk along the valley. Continuing further with frequent uphill and downhill climbs finally along the Jhong Khola valley, you will arrive at Muktinath (3792m). Muktinath is a common pilgrimage for both Hindus and Tibetan Buddhists. The temple is especially popular for its miraculous flame and the sacred spring of 108 fountains.
Day 12: Trek to Jomsom (2743m)
You will begin the trek today along the Jhong Khola valley passing out Pharkot (3500m), Khingar (3200m) and other small settlements. At the end of the long nonstop descent the trial finally reaches to Kagbeni (2810m). Kagbeni is an amazing and ancient town from where the road to the forbidden kingdom Mustang splits off. These days the forbidden kingdom Mustang comes under restricted trekking region, however tourists can trek here with the special permit issued by the Ministry of Tourism. The houses at Kagbeni are stacked one against another and are made up of pounded earth and the ruins of Sakyapa Monastery. Beyond Kagbeni, an extremely extensive trial leveled along the barren and harsh setting finally takes you to Jomsom (2743m). The landscapes between Kagbeni and Jomsom resemble the Tibetan highland deserts. At Jomsom, release your exhaustion and enjoy the apple pies made from the apples of Jomsom apple orchard.
Day 13: Trek to Ghasa (2012m)
After finishing the breakfast in the morning, you will resume the trek. Passing Jomsom airport and Syang (2715m) the trial goes through several streams and reaches Marpha Monastery (2668m). Sliding even down via Chhairo (2592m), the trial enters the most hospitable village of Tukuche (2592m). At Tukuche, you will have a sightseeing tour of Rani Monastery. The trial leads through several small settlements of Dhampus, Larjung and Kalopani along the plain topography. Leaving the plain trial the descents through the woods will take you to Ghasa (2012m). The trial from Jomsom to Ghasa covers the rawest wilderness of the nature covering the most amazing part of Kali Gandaki valley. The trial often beaten by the violent wind provides the most remarkable view of Dhaulagiri.
Day 14: Trek to Tatopani (1189m)
Today the trek begins with a steep exit from the Kali Gandaki valley towards Ghorepani. Beginning the day’s trek crossing the river over the bridge, the trial continues with several climbs and descents until you cross the river over to the other side of the mountain. Enjoy the charming waterfalls of Rupse Chahara on the trial, traverse the village of Titre (1524m) and the substantial village of Dana (1463m), venture to the steep and wild gorge carved out by the penetrating water flow of Kali Gandaki River and finally slide down to Tatopani. “Tatopani” in Nepali refers to hot water. The name of the place verifies exactly with numerous hot water springs ideal for a bath. The view of Nilgiri massif from Tatopani is exceptionally superb.
Day 15: Trek to Ghorepani (2853m)
The last great ordeal of this trek is yet to come. Today again the trek begins with crossing the metal bridge over Kali Gandaki River followed by wooden bridge over Ghar Khola (1786m). Beyond Ghar Khola, the trial goes through the long terrain of marked landslides as far as Sikha (2012m), Phalate (2286m) and Chitre (2384m). Before entering Ghorepani you will cross the high pass with the same name. Ghorepani (2853m) is a small town in rural mid-hill. At Ghorepani, you start meeting the significant number of other trekkers.
Day 16: Early morning excursion to Poonhill (3199m) and trek to Birethati (1037m)
Before the sunrise you will begin the trek to Poonhill. Poonhill is just an hour or less climb from Ghorepani. Poonhill, a vantage point for the mesmerizingly stunning Himalayan views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri ranges, is the last and one of the most exciting portions of this memorable trek around the great Annapurna region. Leaving behind the mountains as you begin your descending climb towards Birethati through the tropical forest, still the panoramic view of Annapurna massif remains intact. Descending down through Nayathanti (2606m) and Ulleri (2073m), the trial continues to descend even more steeply along the infinite series of stairways until it reaches to Thirkedunga (1498m). Descending even more through the less steep climb, the trial takes you to finally to Birethati at the bank of Modi Khola.
Day 17: Trek from Birethati to Nayapul (1070m)
After your breakfast at Birethanti, you will walk towards a pebbly trail that leads to Nayapul. After walking for few hours, highway opens up. Then after, you will be driven to Pokhara. In Pokhara, you will check into your hotel where you can let go of your exhaustion and take proper rest amidst the lively ambience of the hotel.
Day 18: Fly to Kathmandu, Cultural Farewell dinner at Kathmandu
After the long exhausted trek in the Himalayas, you would be feeling so good. As you wake up in the morning after the sound sleep of previous night, you would be served with hearty breakfast. Then as per your flight schedule back to Kathmandu, you will be escorted to Pokhara Airport, from where you will fly back to Kathmandu. After 30 minutes’ flight you will land at Kathmandu airport. Once again the company representative and driver will receive you. Before the farewell dinner, you can wonder in the streets of Thamel- hunt the souvenirs, capture the moments in your camera or just wander around, choice is yours! In the evening you will be escorted to a cultural restaurant for dinner. Enjoy the meal as well as the cultural show! After the meal you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Day 19: Departure back home
Your tour officer and a driver will be at your hotel reception to pick you up three and half hours prior to your departure. You will be transferred to the airport for international departure. Have a safe flight back home!