Annapurna Circuit Trek is a classic trek that offers a diverse geographical and cultural variation experience. During this trek, you will see how the landscape changes day by day. The trek starts from an area with rice paddies, subtropical forest and goes to the heart of the Himalaya passing through the high pass of Thorong La(5416 m). The total length of this trek is 200 km but can be made short to 160km. This depends on where you want to finish and the length of time available to you. The trekking trail follows two different river valleys and circles the Annapurna massif.
On the trek, you will experience changes in climate zones from Alpine through to Subtropical. The trek will begin at Besisahar (700 m) and follows the Marsyangdi River valley. Then, we will pass through rice paddies, fields and the subtropical forest. On the way, we will see several waterfalls and carry on to the alpine climate zone of Thorong La. The trek further continues through the higher desert of Kali Gandaki valley and back to the subtropical climate zone. We will be passing through Hindu and Buddhist villages and pass temples and monasteries. We can also visit the architecturally beautiful town of Marpha and Larjung, the historical town of Kagbeni and the religiously important town of Ranipauwa. These towns are very unique and their culture and the lifestyle of people make these places remarkable. Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the world’s best trek.
During the trek, we will be staying at local teahouses. These offer accommodation and food served in a dining room which also functions as a social meeting place with other trekkers. All accommodation is on a twin share basis. A single room is usually available at a little extra cost. The tour guide will arrange the best available accommodation in each village. As we advance to higher and more remote villages it may occasionally be necessary to share a room with more than 2 people. During the treks, we share most of the bathroom and toilet facilities are and toilet can be either a squat or a western toilet.
In Kathmandu, we can enjoy authentic Nepalese food such as Thali and Momo at a traditional Nepalese restaurant. For instance, a Newari restaurant is a special place serving Newari food (the Newari are the indigenous people of the Kathmandu valley). Newari food is famous and unique. During the trek, we will eat traditional Nepalese food as well as more international cuisine (Tibetan, Indian, Italian and continental). Dinner and breakfast will be taken at the teahouse where we spend the night and lunch at one of the trail teahouses. Annapurna Circuit Trek provides varieties of cultural food experience to the tourists.
Day 01 – Arrived in Kathmandu(1310 m/ 4298ft)
A representative from Open Trail will be there to meet you when you arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport. The representative will take you to the hotel by taxi and after checking in you can rest or visit Open Trail’s office situated in Thamel which is the very vibrant tourist quarter of Kathmandu. Here you can do some souvenir shopping, eat in one of the many restaurants which serve both European and Nepalese food or just wander through the many streets soaking up the atmosphere. There are plenty of ATM’s should you need them. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Open Trail treks where authentic Nepalese cuisine will be served. This is a great introduction to Nepalese food culture.
Day 2 – Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
We will begin our second day with breakfast before starting a guided tour to some of the historical, religious and UNISCO listed World Heritage sites of Kathmandu. We begin our sightseeing visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square and drive back the Buddhist Stupa (Buddha Nath). We will end our tour at the Hindu secret temple Pashupati Nath. In the evening we will meet with our trekking guide and leader for the discussion and preparation for our following days trekking.
Day 03 – Kathmandu(1310m/ 4298 ft) to Besi Sahar, drive to Bhulbhule(840m/ 2756 ft): 8 hours
Today, we will go to Besi Sahar via the tourist bus and the journey will take us about 6 to 7 hours. This drive offers a beautiful view of farms, villages, rivers and mountains. Comfort stops and the opportunity to buy meals are scheduled. By the afternoon, we will be at Besi Saha and from here we will catch another bus which will take us to Bhulbhule. The drive takes one and half hours. On arrival our guide will take you to the hotel for your overnight stay.
Day 04: Bhulbhule(840m/ 2756 ft) to Bahundada(1310m/ 4298 ft): 5 hours
Today we will walk along the river bank of the Marsyangdi until we reach the small settlement of Nadi. We then trek to the foot of the Bahun Dada Hill which we will reach after crossing the rice paddies. Our trail starts to ascend steadily through the terraces and the village of Bahundanda. Bahundanda is located at the top of the small hill which offers views of beautiful scenery – the green slopes of the mountain and the Marsyangdi River. We will stay overnight at Bahundanda.
Day 05: Bahundanda(1310m/ 4298 ft) to Chamje(1430m/ 4692 ft): 5-6 hours
After breakfast we start our day’s trek by descending from Bahundanda to reach the forest and walk to the village of Gharmu. As we arrive at Gharmu, we are rewarded with the beautiful view of the waterfall. Further, as we descend down to the Marsyangdi River we will cross the suspension bridge and then climb a small hill to Jagat. After an hours trek from Jagat and we will arrive in Chamje. We will stay overnight at Chamje.
Day 06: Chamje(1430m/ 4692 ft)to Dharapani (1,860m/6,102 ft): 5-6 hours
We begin our day, after breakfast, by descending down to the Marsyangdi River and crossing the suspension bridge over the Marsyangdi River. The trail starts to weave up and down for some time following the bank of the river and then it starts to ascend passing through the Rhododendron and Bamboo forest. As we reach the top of the hill, we enter the Manang district. Our first Manang village is Tal which is located ina small valley by the side of river Tal and is our destination for lunch. From Tal, we continue our trek for a further one and half hours, crossing the river several times to Dharapani. We have an overnight at Dharapani.
Day 07: Dharapani (1,860m/6,102ft)to Chame (2,670m/8,760 ft): 5-6 hours
Today we start with a gradual uphill climb to Dhanaque. Then the trail starts to climb steeply uphill for an hour through the forest. Tamang village is located at the top of the hill. We can rest at Tamang village and enjoy the magnificent view of Lamjung Himal and Manaslu North. After another two-hour trek through the pine forest and barley fields we will arrive at the settlement of Kotro and then on to Chame. During this walk, we can enjoy the splendid view of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, and Annapurna IV. We will stay overnight at Chame.
Day 08: Chame (2,670m/8,760 ft) to Upper Pisang (3,300m/10824 ft): 5-6 hours
Chame is the main trading centre of this region. The trail continues through the village and small market of Chame; through fields of barley and buckwheat and tall pine forests for two hours. Then it crosses the river and continues to Dhukur Pokhari. It is incredible to see how the landscape changes in a few kilometers. As we go higher up, the vegetation starts to get less and less. At the beginning of autumn, the fields of this area will be covered with the colorful buckwheat plants and flowers. After trekking for an hour and following the Marsyangdi River we reach the settlement old Pisang. We will have an overnight stay here
Day 09: Pisang(3,300m/10,827 ft) to Manang(3,540 m/11,614 ft): 6-7 hours
The trek to Manang can be done in two ways. The upper way via Geru is longer but it has outstanding views of Annapurna II, Annapurna IV, and Gangapurna. The village of Garu and Nawol are also the main attractions of this trek.
The lower trek passes through the pine forest, the beautiful Hunde village and besides buckwheat fields.This trek will also pass through the Airport at Manang. On the way, we will have a chance to visit the monastery of Barga. This is the largest monastery in this district and well worth a visit.
Overnight at Manang.
Day 10: Rest day in Manang(3,540m/11,614 ft): Rest
Today is acclimatization day and there are several activities we can do around Manang. It is better for us to experience some rise in altitude and return to Manang before carrying on with our journey. Gangapurna Lake is located across the river and today might be the perfect day for hiking and acclimatizing ourselves day. We can walk to Gangapurna Lake and climb the small hill up to another 400 meters following the trail. From this small hill, we can see the gorgeous scenery of Manang, Bhaka village, and the valley. Around 3 pm we can visit the Himalayan Rescue Association, where they will have free information about mountain sickness.
Day 11: Manang(3,540m/11,614 ft): to Yak Kharka (4,018m/13,182ft): 4 hour
Today’s trek starts with passing through the settlement of Manang and the Tenki Manang. It continues following the Marsyangdi valley and later it follows the northwest side of Jarsang. We can observe the alpine tundra family of plants and scrub. Our walk today is for 3 – 4 hours only because of the higher altitude. We will have an overnight stay at Yak Kharka.
Day 12: Yak Kharka(4,018/13,182 ft) to Thorung Phedi (4,400m/15,092ft): 5-6 hours
Today we will be trekking to the Thorang Phedi, at the foot of the Thorong La pass. Phedi has two tea-houses which serve food and has basic accommodation. Some trekkers also trek an hour further on to a place called High Camp which makes the next day trek easier for them. Even though the following day is going to be a tough one, the Open Trail Treks guide advises staying on Thorong Phedi. The high camp has more of a risk of causing altitude sickness.
Day 13: Thorong Phedi to Thorong La (5416 m/17764 ft) to Muktinath (3,800/12,467 ft): 8 hours
Today is the most important day of our trek. We are going to attempt victory over the highest point of our journey, which is one of the most famous, highest passes in the world – Thorong La (5416m/17764ft). An early start will be necessary so that we can complete our mission and it will also be the hardest day of our trek. Despite the toughness of the trek, when we reach the top we will be rewarded with a sense of achievement and be able to view the beautiful scenery of the surrounding mountains. We will start our descent of 1600 meters and trek to Muktinath, a sacred place for Hindus and Buddhist pilgrimages. Here we will spent the night.
Day 14: Muktinath to Marpha [2,670m/8,760 ft]: 6 hours
Today, during the morning, we will visit the Bishnu Temple and Gumpa of Muktinath. After breakfast, we will start our descent down from Ranipauwa village by going through the village of Jharkot and passing buckwheat terraces and apple orchards. As we arrive at the small settlement of Ekle Bhatti, we start to follow the Kaligandaki River to Jomsom, the district headquarters of this region. The strong wind which blows from the opposite side of the mountain can make trekking very hard for the rest of the day. Another one hour trek by the right side of the Marsyangdi River bring us to Marpha village. Marpha is unique and one of the most beautiful villages on this trek. It is also the most famous place in Nepal for apples. We can enjoy apple brandy and apple juice and visit the monastery, located at the top of the village. From there we can see the great view of Marpha Village
Day 15: Marpha to Kalopani [2530 m/8300 ft]: 6 hours
From Marpha we will take the new route to avoid the road. Today we will pass the unique and traditionally ethnic Thakali Villages, apple orchards and pine forest. The magical scenery of Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, Nilgiri and Annapurna will delight us all the time. The trail lead us through the Kali Gandaki River and after passing the river we will finally arrive at Kalopani. Kalopani is the final destination for us today.
Day 16: Kalopani to Tatopani and hot spring [1,190m/3,904ft]: 5 hours
Today’s trek starts from Kalopani itself. We walk through the Kalopani and Lete villages and from there we will start to go downhill. After an hour and half’s walk downhill, we arrive at Ghasa. Here, we need our Annapurna Conservation Area Permit. After having this looked at in the Check Post we carry on with our trek walking along the Kaligandaki River. At this point, we are at a lower elevation so the vegetation is thicker and the subtropical forest is dominant. We continue the trek by the Rupse Chhahara (waterfall) and pass some small villages and again cross the suspension bridge in the Kali Gandaki River at Dana. During this trek we pass through various big and small settlements. This can be a good introduction to the daily life of local people. Finally, we end our trek at Tatopani and after a short rest we can go to the natural hot springs.This is where you are rewarded for your hard days trekking by relaxing in the natural hot springs. Something not to be missed.
Day 17: Tatopani to Pokhara (820 m/2,690ft): 6-7 hour drive
Today is the last day of our trek. We will take a local bus from Tatopani to Beni and then transfer to private transport which will be a bit more comfortable. We will then arrive in Pokhara and go to the hotel.
Day 18: Pokhara to Kathmandu (1310m/4,297ft): 6 hrs drive
To get from Pokhara to Kathmandu, we have two options: flying or driving. The drive will take 6 to 7 hours whereas the flight will only take about half an hour.
If you want to fly back extra money will be added as our price includes the tourist bus only.
After arriving back in Kathmandu you will be taken to your hotel. After resting there will be time for you to go for shopping. In the evening, a farewell dinner will by hosted by Open Trail Treks at the traditional Nepalese Restaurant with unique Nepalese music and dancing.
Day 19: Final Departure.
This is the last day of your adventures in Nepal. After breakfast, if you have time, you can do some last minute shopping or sightsee. If you are flying back by the evening and plan the sightseeing for the, drive will be arranged for you if you let Open Trail know about your plans the day before. A representative from Open Trail Treks will collect you from your hotel and take you to the airport 3 hours before your flight.
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