Annapurna Circuit 23 Days
Arrival in kathmandu
Upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, transfer to your hotel. A short briefing will follow concerning the necessary formalities and your Annapurna Circuit Trek itinerary: depending upon your arrival time, you may spend free time visiting nearby sanctuaries or resting.
Sightseeing / Cultural Day in Kathmandu Valley
A half-day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu includes visits to Buddhist and Hindu temples and shrines that reflect ancient local traditions. There is time to explore the city’s many places of interest on your own or take a rest while trekking permits are finalized. In the evening, sample a delicious traditional Nepali dinner. Overnight in Kathmandu
Kathmandu to Besi Shahar (830m)
Breakfast. Our trekking guide will come to the hotel at 7:00 a.m. to pick you up with private transport to leave for Besi Shahar (185 km), which will take us about 6 hours. Along the journey you will witness some spectacular scenery of white mountains, green hills, rivers, and hamlets. We will stay overnight at a guesthouse.
Besi Shahar to Bahundanda (1430m)
Our first day’s trekking introduces us to the diverse cultural elements of Nepal. As we pass, we exchange greetings (namaste). We will share the trail with mule caravans that transport supplies to the remote villages. Our route makes its way through subtropical forests and the rice terraces of Sera to the village of Khudi (840 m). After we pass the village of Bhulbule, we will see a majestic 60-meter-high waterfall. Along the way, we have views of Manaslu (8,156 m). The mountain views disappear as we come closer to the small town of Ngadi. Here, we will have to cross the Ngadi Khola on a long suspension bridge. From here on the trail moves gently upwards to Bahundanda, an attractive village in the saddle of a long ridge at 1,300 m (7 hrs).
Bahundanda to Chamje (1410m)
We will start the day by descending on a steep, slippery trail past amphitheater-shaped rice terraces. There will be a small hot spring after this descent. The rest of today’s trek will have us pass the river a few times, and we will see a few waterfalls as well. As we near the village of Jagat, we will have a steep 200-meter climb to a trail that has been blasted out of the rock face. 15 minutes Below this village, we can visit another small hot spring. From Jagat, we climb up to Chamje (6 hrs).
Chamje to Bagarchhap (2160m)
Today we will do the 940-meter ascent to Bagarchap through bamboo and rhododendron forests on a trail high above the river bank. We will pass the village of Tal at 1,700 meters, which lies at the foot of a large waterfall. The trail crosses a broad, flat valley that was once a lake (Tal means lake), after which we will cross the Marsyangdi on a 60-meter-long suspension bridge. We will climb up from a second suspension bridge to a stone Kani (an arch over the trail), which marks the entrance to Dharapani at 1960 meters. All old villages from here to Kagbeni have these arches, and they become more elaborate and picturesque as the Tibetan influence becomes stronger. The trail slowly climbs from here on through a forest of blue pine, spruce, hemlock, maple, and oak to Bagarchhap. This is the first village on the trek with typical Tibetan architecture: closely spaced stone houses with flat roofs piled high with firewood. (7 hrs).
Bagarchhap to Chame(2170m)
We will follow the south bank of the river, climbing to Syal Khola (the river of jackals) at 2,210 meters. After that, we will cross the river over a cement bridge near a spectacular waterfall. The route crosses several landslides as it works its way uphill through a walnut tree forest and past apple orchards until we arrive at Chame. At the entrance of the village is a long wall with many prayer wheels. Throughout the day there are nice views of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, and Annapurna IV (7,525 m) (6 hrs).
Chame to Pisang (3190m)
We will first pass the older part of Chame and climb up to Telekhu at 2,840 meters, then continue with a long, pleasant, and mostly level walk through the forest to Brathang, which lies at 2950 meters. After the trail rounds a bend here, we will see the first view of the dramatic Paungda Danda rock face, a tremendously curved slab of rock rising more than 1,500 meters from the river. We will cross back to the south bank of the Marsyangdi on a suspension bridge at 3,080 meters and then make a long, gentle climb over a ridge through blue pine forests. The trek will then be relatively level as it heads to the upper part of Manang valley to Pisang. This town marks the beginning of the region known as Nyesyang, the upper portion of the Manang district (5 hours).
Pisang to Manang (3540m)
Today our trek will slowly climb up to the Tibetan-style village of Bryaga at 3,500 meters, following the valley floor. At Bryaga, we will see houses stacked one atop the other, each with an open veranda formed by a neighbor’s rooftop. There is a gompa built on a steep rock overlooking the settlement. It is the largest in the district and boasts an impressive collection of statues. We then continue through a very arid countryside dominated by weird cliffs of yellow rock, eroded into dramatic pillars alongside the trail, to reach today’s destination, the village of Manang, where the shops are surprisingly well stocked with all the things you might want to refuel on (5 hrs).
Today we stay in Manang, where we can take a short hike to a slightly higher elevation, such as Khangsar, which is a 200-meter climb. It is important to have a relatively restful day today to allow your body to acclimatize to the higher altitudes and thinning air. It also gives us the possibility of washing some of our clothing.
Manang to Letdar (4250)
Trekking slowly upwards to Thorang La, we will leave the large trees behind and see vegetation consisting mainly of scrub juniper and alpine grass, and we will pass a few meadows where horses and yaks graze. After we reach Yak Kharka we will see herds of blue sheep grazing the steep slopes as well. About an hour after passing Yak Kharka, we will arrive at Letdar (4:30 hrs).
Letdar to Thorang Phedi, or Thorang High Camp
Again, a relatively easy day to acclimate to the altitude before we reach the highest point of the trek—and possibly the highest point you have ever been in your life. From Letdar we will continue to climb the east bank of the Jarang Khola to Thorung Phedi; it is a rock-strewn meadow surrounded by vertical cliffs at 4,420 meters. Blue sheep and even snow leopards can sometimes be seen in this valley. High in the skies above us, we can see lammergeiers and Himalayan griffons circling around (3–4 hours).
Thorang-Muktinath (3800m) via Thorang La Pass (5416m)
Today is a long trek starting before sunrise at maybe 04:00 hrs to reach the pass by 09:00/10:00 hrs at the latest, as otherwise weather conditions will greatly affect the journey. We cross over at an altitude of 5416m so can be exposed to strong winds if crossing too late. Local people have used this trail for hundreds of years to bring herds of sheep and yaks in and out of Manang. Thus the trail, while often steep, is well defined and easy to follow. Snow can block the pass at any time of the year if there has been an unseasonable storm. It takes from four to six hours from Thorung Phedi to the pass, but the many false summits mean the climb seems to go on for ever. At the Thorung La pass, with its traditional prayer flags and stone cairn we will have outstanding views. You can see the Annapunas, Gangapurna and Khatung Kang, a heavily glaciated peak. Amazingly there is a teashop here on top of the pass at 5416 meter. From here we start a long descend of about 1600 meter with outstanding views of Dhaulagiri mountain standing alone in the distance across the valley. After the trail becomes less steep we will enter grassy fields and cross meadows to our final destination of Muktinath, which means place of Nirvana and is home to the Muktinath temple as well as several monasteries. It is said that all sorrows you feel are relieved when visiting the Temple, which is a scared pilgrimage site to both Hindus and Buddhists. The main pilgrimage normally takes place in September. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and has 108 waterspouts round it from which Holy water pours. Another attraction nearby is the Jwala Mai Temple and this contains a spring and an eternal flame fed by natural underground gas (9 hrs).
Muktinath to Marpha via Jomsom (2665m)
From today, we will follow the “Jomsom trek” in reverse order. We will first go down to Kagbeni, which is a 990-meter descent through meadows, streams, and fruit trees like peach orchards. Then we will continue going down to Jomson (more correctly, Dzongsam, or “new fort”). Our descend continues through the Kali Gandaki Valley to Marpha. Marpha is home to many apple orchids as well as all the various food products made from the fruit. Apple Brandy is a local specialty that you may be lucky enough to taste en route (6 hours).
Marpha to Ghasa (2080m)
This day will be a rewarding day when we trek further down the Kali Gandaki valley alongside the Kali Gandaki river to Ghasa. We will pass the villages of Tukuche (2,580 meters) and Larjung (2,560 meters). After that, we'll cross the Kali Gandaki River on a high suspension bridge and continue through a forest of fir, juniper, and cypress trees. Towards the village of Kalopani (2,530 m), we will have splendid 360-degree views of Dhaulagiri, Tukuche Peak, the three Nilgiris, Fang, and Annapurna I. We will arrive in Ghasa (6 hours) via a suspension bridge (107 meters long).
Ghasa to Tatopani (1190m)
Today, our trek will leads us through the steepest and narrowest part of the Kali Gandaki valley; much of the way is cut through solid rock and subject to frequent landslides. Before we reach the village of Dana (1,450 m), we will pass the Rupse Chhahara (meaning "beautiful waterfall"). Descending further down lead us to Tatopani, meaning hot water, which is situated on the riverbanks where we will stop to make the most of a well deserved hot bath (5 hrs).
Tatopani to Ghorepani (2834m)
After leaving the hot springs, we have a day of climbing to Ghorepani ahead of us. We leave the Kali Gandaki valley and we will follow the Ghar Khola River and cross this river on an old swaying bridge. We will continue ascending to Ghara (1,780 m) and Shika (1,935 m), where there is still a British army training center. The last part of the trail today will have us climbing through rhododendron and magnolia forests to Ghorepani, where we will arrive mid-afternoon (7 hrs).
Ghorepani (2834m) to Poon Hill (3210m) to Tadapani (2520m)
An early start and an hour’s hike to Poon Hill (3,195 m) lead us to a brilliant spectacle; this viewpoint provides an unobstructed, beautiful sunrise over the high Himalayas. After spending about 40 minutes on the hillside, we will come back to Ghorepani for a hot breakfast and start walking to Tadapani. From Ghorepani the trail climbs along ridges and through pine and rhododendron forests, and if the weather allows it, we will have a panoramic view all the way down to the plains of India. The trail follows a stream bed, which becomes larger as we continue. The stream has some clear pools alongside the trail and finally becomes a series of waterfalls. Today’s final destiny is the village of Tadapani, meaning "far water," and the water supply for this village is a long distance below (5 hrs).
Tadapani to Ghaundrung (1950m)
The Ghaundrung trail descends steeply through forests to the village of Ghaundrung where we will arrive around noon. We will stay overnight here thus will visit the Annapurna conservation office and museum in the afternoon. As well as take time to explore this maze like village (3 hrs).
Day 20 and 21
Ghaundrung to Pokhara via Pothana (1910m) and Phedi (910m)
Our last two days of trekking on the Annapurna Circuit take us through the village of Pothana (2,110 m) before reaching Phedi (950 m). On arrival in Phedi, Midway through the morning, our private transportation meets us before driving to Pokhara.
Pokhara to Kathmandu by plane.
Staying at a hotel for the night
Depart from Kathmandu. The trek program is – because of weather or unforeseen events – subject to change
- Airport pick-up and drop-off
- Four nights hotel accommodations with breakfast in Kathmandu and Pokhara
- Licensed and trained trekking guides
- Porters for carrying goods and supplies
- All accommodation during trek
- All meals and hot beverages whilst trekking
- Transportation to and from trail head
- All necessary documents and permits for trekking (where applicable)
- National Park/Conservation Area entry permit
- Equipment such as sleeping bag, tents, mattresses
- Cooking equipment (if required)
- Camp-site charges (if required)
- Insurance, medication, and equipment for staff
- Coordination of Quick Rescue service (costs covered by your insurance plan)
- International airfares
- Travel/trekking insurance
- Excess baggage charges more than 16kg and hand bag more than 5kg in domestic flights
- Visa fees
- Airport departure tax
- Rescue charge
- Drinks (cold and alcoholic)
- Expenses of personal nature
- Permit and liaison officer fee (where applicable)
- Lunches and dinners whilst not trekking
September to December and February to late June
Starting point of trek
Finishing point of trek
Read our FAQ that answers general questions