Most Popular Less Crowded Adventure
thorong la pass 2023

1 Nov 2023 Himalaya Trip

Annapurna Circuit Trek Overview

Annapurna Circuit Trek Guide is a popular circuit trek in Nepal that is renowned for its stunning natural beauty and cultural diversity. Trek in the vicinity of Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) and walk past diverse flora. If lucky get some glimpses of some wild animals. Traverse through prominent settlements of Gurung, Thakali, Manangi, and Magar ethnicities and immerse in their culture. Enjoy authentic local foods and be pleased with their warm hospitality.

Trek past attractive villages that connect the Manang and Mustang districts. These districts are termed as ‘Districts beyond the Himalayas’. These districts receive less rainfall and are rain-show areas. During monsoon also, trekking is possible here. Traversing the highest Thorong La Pass at an elevation of 5,416m is an exhilarating experience. Witness the spectacular views of Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I, Tukuche, and others from the top of the pass. Then, trek down to Muktinath, Visit the sacred Muktinath temple, and conclude this amazing journey. 

Highlights of the Annapurna Circuit trek

  • Trek in the vicinity of Annapurna Conservation Area (ACAP)
  • Traverse the highest Thorong La Pass (5,416m)
  • Local people, their unique culture, and hospitality
  • Visit Sacred Muktinath Temple
  • Traverse through prominent settlements of Gurung, Thakali, Manangi, and Magar ethnicities
  • Spectacular views of Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I, Tukuche and others

10 Days Annapurna Circuit Trek Map

10 Days Annapurna Circuit Trek Itinerary

Day 01: Drive Kathmandu – Besisahar – Dharapani

Day 02: Trek Dharapani – Chame

Day 03: Trek Chame – Pisang

Day 04: Trek Pisang – Gyaru – Ngawal – Manang

Day 05: Rest day in Manang

Day 06: Trek Manang – Yak Kharka – Chauri Lader

Day 07: Trek Yak Kharka – Chauri Lader – Thorong Phedi or High Camp

Day 08: Trek Thorong Phedi or High camp – One of the hardest days and highest altitude Thorong La Pass 5416m – Muktinath

Day 09: Drive Muktinath – Jomsom – Tatopani – Pokhara

Day 10: Drive Pokhara – Kathmandu

Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty level

Thorong La Pass at an elevation of 5,416 m is the highest point of this trek. The difficulty level assigned for this trek is hard as it is a Grade 4 trek.

Annapurna Circuit Trek Duration 

The trek duration for the short Annapurna Circuit trek varies but a standard duration is 10-day including ground transfers to and from Dharapani and Muktinath – Pokhara – Kathmandu.

Note: There is a flexibility to customize the itinerary.

Annapurna Circuit Trek Guide

Our licensed guides are experienced and have depth knowledge of the region. They provide deep valuable insights which enhance your trekking experience. Likewise, our dedicated porters ensure a comfortable trekking experience by carrying your luggage (maximum of 20-25 kilograms of baggage for two individuals). 

Annapurna Circuit Trek Route

Chame – Pisang – Gyaru – Ngawal – Manang – Yak Kharka – Chauri Lader –  Thorong Phedi or High Camp – Thorong La Pass – Muktinath

Note: The trek commences with a drive from Kathmandu to Besisahar. The trek ends with a ride to Pokhara from Muktinath.

Trekking permits

1. Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) costs:

For Foreigners: NRS. 3000 (Approx. USD 30)

For SAARC Nationals: NRS. 1000 (Approx. USD 10)

2. Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) costs:

For Foreigners: NRS. 2000 (Approx. USD 20)

For SAARC Nationals: NRS. 1000 (Approx. USD 10)

Best time to visit Annapurna Circuit Trek

Spring (March-May):

  • An ideal time for trekking
  • Warm temperatures, stable weather, and clear views
  • Blooming Rhododendron flowers in the lower regions
  • Minimum temperature: around -10 Celsius
  • Maximum temperature: around 25 Celsius

Autumn (September-November): 

  • Second-best time for trekking
  • Fresh, clean weather, and clear views 
  • Warm temperatures
  • Minimum temperature: around -10 Celsius
  • Maximum temperature: around 20 Celsius

Summer (June-August): 

  • Monsoon season in Nepal
  • Expect rainfall in the lower regions 
  • Unpredictable weather and temperature in the lower regions
  • Slippery trails
  • Upper regions like Manang and Mustang are rain shadow areas
  • Experience good weather in Manang and Mustang
  • Carry a Rain poncho or rain jacket 

Winter (December-February):

  • Trekking difficult, high chance of trek closure
  • Heavy snowfall
  • Slippery trails
  • Coldest weather
  • Limited availability of accommodation and facilities

Preparation and fitness For Annapurna Circuit Trek

Annapurna Round Trek is a Grade 4 level trek and is very demanding. The highest elevation is 5,416 m and trekking trails are rugged and steep. The trek requires to walk daily for 6-7 hours. It is essential to be physically fit and prepare well in advance. We suggest going for short hikes and participating in exercises (jogging, cardiovascular, running, swimming, etc.). Do necessary health check-ups and consult a doctor if necessary.

Accommodation and Internet facilities  Annapurna Circuit Trek

Basic teahouses or lodges with one twin bed private common room for 2 people are accommodation types. Mostly toilets and bathrooms are outside the teahouses and must be shared. An extra cost is required for additional facilities like Wi-Fi, charging devices, laundry, hot shower, and boiled water. Internet is stable in the lower regions and unstable in the higher regions.

Meals During the Annapurna Circuit trek

Full board 3-course meals are served from teahouses/lodges during the trek. There is a meal option to select from the menu but choices are limited. The foods are hygienic and recommended to stick to vegetarian food. Some food options are Eggs, Pancakes, Muesli, Nepali Thali Set, Macaroni, Spaghetti, Potato items, seasonal fruits, etc.

Drinking water during Annapurna Circuit Trek

Natural spring water is easily available. Trekkers can also buy bottled water or boiled water at teahouses/lodges for drinking. We advise always carrying a water bottle and water purifying solutions for safe drinking water. Staying hydrated is the key to preventing altitude sickness.

Mode of transportation at Annapurna Circuit Trek

The best mode of transportation for this trek is via roadways.

  • Kathmandu to Besisahar (by Tourist bus)
  • Besisahar to Chame (by Jeep)
  • Muktinath to Pokhara (by Public bus)
  • Pokhara to Kathmandu (by Tourist bus)

Note: There is also a flight option from Jomsom to Pokhara.

How hard is Annapurna Circuit trek?

The highest point of this trek is Thorong La Pass at an elevation of 5,416 m which makes this trek challenging. Besides this, the high elevations, daily 6-7 long hours of walking, altitude sickness, and basic availability of accommodation can play a vital role. Despite these factors, the Annapurna Round Trek is possible. The trekkers must be in a good physical and mental state before embarking on this trek journey.

Packing List for Annapurna Circuit Trek

  • Trekking boots (If new boots are purchased, “break them in” to avoid blisters) and spare laces
  • Hat (Warm), scarf and gloves
  • Trousers (Warm trousers are useful higher up in the mountains in the morning and at night.
  • Running shoes, sandals, or thongs (To wear in the camp at night or when your boots are wet).
  • Shorts and trousers
  • Wool-blend socks, liner socks, and underwear (three pairs)
  • Thermal underwear
  • Sunhat
  • Fleece jacket
  • T-shirts (two or three) and a long-sleeved shirt with a collar (a long-sleeved – shirt is particularly suitable for avoiding sunburn.)
  • Laundry soap powder or bar
  • Toilet paper
  • Sunscreen (SPF 20+) and lip balm
  • Sunglasses
  • Pocket knife
  • Iodine, water-purification tablets, or filter
  • Insect repellent (for lower elevation)
  • Stuff sacks
  • Earplugs
  • Backpack
  • Sleeping back and silk liner
  • Water bottle
  • Torch (flashlight), spare batteries and bulbs
  • Duffle bag
  • Crampon
  • Down jacket or down vest
  • Camera, memory card, and battery charger (spare batteries)
  • Books and magazines
  • Trekking poles
  • Quick-drying camp towel
  • Day pack (This is a small rucksack to carry personal requirements for the day e.g. toilet items, cameras, towel, soap, chocolate bar, etc.)
  • 2-4 large plastic bags: to separate clean clothes from dirty ones
  • Personal medical supplies

Conclusion

Annapurna Round Trek is a phenomenal journey that is an amalgamation of nature and culture. The terrain and the highest pass Thorong La are challenging but totally worthwhile. Traversing through ACAP and beautiful settlements witnessing surrounding landscapes, snow-capped mountains, and interacting with locals is an unforgettable experience. This trek is full of challenges but the natural wonders, towering peaks, monasteries, and temples along the way make this trekking journey remarkable.

Annapurna Circuit Trek FAQs

Is prior trekking experience necessary for the Annapurna Circuit Trek?

Yes, it is advantageous to have a prior trekking experience for the Annapurna Round Trek. 

Is there an age restriction for Annapurna Circuit trek?

No, there is no age restriction for this trek but having good physical fitness is essential.

Is Annapurna Circuit trek suitable for you?

Yes, this trek is suitable for all who are willing to adapt to the high altitudes and are in good physical health.

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