Annapurna Circuit 17 Days
Arrival in Kathmandu
Arrival in Kathmandu
Sightseeing / Cultural Day in Kathmandu Valley
A half-day sightseeing tour of UNESCO Bhaktapur and Kathmandu includes Buddhist and Hindu temples and shrines reflecting 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 of trekking will introduce us to the diverse cultural elements of Nepal, and we will pass by many typical local houses and the faces of varied ethnic tribes exchanging greetings (Namaste) as we pass. We will share the trail with mule caravans that transport supplies to the 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 will have views of Manaslu (8,156 m). The mountain views fade as we approach the small town of Ngadi, where we will cross the Ngadi Khola via a long suspension bridge. From here, 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 approach 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 that, we will cross the Marsyangdi on a 60-meter-long suspension bridge. The trail will climb up from a second suspension bridge to a stone Kani (an arch over the trail), which marks the entrance to Dharapani at 1,960 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)
Today, we will follow the south bank of the Syal Khola (the river of jackals) (2,210 meters), after which 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 sets aside apple orchards until we arrive at Chame. At the entrance of the village is a long wall with many prayer wheels. Throughout the day you will encounter 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 2,950 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 1500 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. Following this, the trek will be relatively level as it heads to the upper part of Manang valley and 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. We'll witness houses stacked one on top of the other in Bryaga, each with an open veranda made by a neighbor's rooftop. The gompa, built on a steep cliff above the hamlet, is the largest in the district and features 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 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 Thorung 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, it's a reasonably simple day to acclimate to the altitude before reaching the highest point of the climb and potentially the greatest point of your life. We will climb along the east bank of the Jarang Khola from Letdar to Thorung Phedi. It is a rock-strewn meadow surrounded by towering 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 5,416 m, so we can be exposed to strong winds if we cross 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 seem to go on forever. At the Thorung La pass, with its traditional prayer flags and stone cairn we will have outstanding views. You can see the Annapurnas, Gangapurna and Khatung Kang, a heavily glaciated peak. Amazingly there is a teashop here on top of the pass at 5,416 meters. From here we start a long descend of about 1,600 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 around 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 make a 990 meter descent through meadows, streams, and fruit orchards down to Kagbeni, a fascinating medieval village infused with Tibetan culture. Then we will continue going down the Kali Gandaki gorge to Jomson (more correctly Dzongsam, or “new fort”).
Jomsom to Pokhara
Fly to Pokhara and spend the day at leisure, relaxing, and maybe enjoying a massage or enjoy sightseeing around Pokhara Valley. Overnight in Pokhara
Fly or drive back to Kathmandu.
Fly back to Kathmandu from Pokhara
Depart from Kathmandu. Please keep in mind that the trek itinerary is subject to change due to weather or unforeseen events.
- 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