• Last Updated on Mar 2, 2024

Table of Contents

Trekking in Nepal has always been in the travelling diaries for many travelers. And why not? country where 8 of the tallest mountain in the world located, that country is always full of adventures. There are many famous trekking trails in Nepal. Everest Base camp, Annapurna Circuit, Manaslu Circuit, Langtang Valley are some of the trails where visitors are mostly attracted. These treks leads to heavenly places in Nepal which are hiding in the deepest part of this beautiful country.

What is Annapurna Circuit Trek?

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a famous hiking route in Nepal. It’s a long trek that takes you through different landscapes and villages around the Annapurna mountain range. Along the way, you’ll see beautiful forests, fields, valleys, and high mountains. The Annapurna Circuit is located in the Annapurna region of Nepal, in the central part of the Himalayas. It encircles the Annapurna Massif, which is a subrange of the Himalayas, spanning across the districts of Lamjung, Manang, Mustang, and Myagdi. The trek usually starts from the town of Besisahar and continues in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction, covering a loop that passes through various landscapes and villages in the Annapurna region.

Annapurna Circuit Length

The length of the Annapurna Circuit can vary depending on the specific trail chosen and any side trips or detours taken along the way. However, the typical distance covered for the main circuit is around 160–230 kilometers (100–145 miles).

The starting point of the Annapurna Circuit is usually Besisahar, which is approximately 170 kilometers (105 miles) west of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. From there, the trek generally follows a counter-clockwise route, passing through different regions and villages such as Manang, Thorong La Pass, Mustang, Jomsom, Tatopani, and Ghorepani.

Annapurna Circuit Highest Point

The highest point of the Annapurna Circuit trek is the Thorong La Pass, which stands at an elevation of 5,416 meters (17,769 feet) above sea level. The pass is located in the Manang District of Nepal and is a significant milestone for trekkers on the circuit. Crossing the Thorong La Pass is considered one of the highlights of the trek, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, including Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and other peaks in the Himalayas. The pass is a challenging section of the trek, and proper acclimatization and preparation are essential before attempting to cross it.

Complete Itinerary of Annapurna circuit Trek

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1400 m)

World Heritage SItes : By KimKim

Welcome to Kathmandu, the vibrant capital city of Nepal! As you step off the plane and breathe in the crisp mountain air, you’re immediately enveloped in the rich tapestry of sights, sounds, and smells that define this bustling metropolis. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be captivated by the city’s unique blend of ancient traditions and modern influences, as evidenced by its maze of narrow streets, bustling markets, and ornate temples. After a smooth arrival process at Tribhuvan International Airport, you’ll be greeted by your friendly guide, who will accompany you to your hotel in the heart of the city. As you settle into your accommodation and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding Himalayas, you’ll feel a sense of excitement and anticipation for the adventure that lies ahead.

Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing & Trek Preparation Day (1400 m)

Boudhanath at Night

Today marks the beginning of your journey into the heart of the Himalayas, but first, it’s time to explore the cultural treasures of Kathmandu. After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll set out to discover the city’s most iconic landmarks, starting with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Boudhanath Stupa. As you circumambulate this sacred Buddhist monument, you’ll be struck by the palpable sense of serenity and spirituality that permeates the air, as devotees from all walks of life come together to offer prayers and pay homage to the Buddha. From there, you’ll make your way to the ancient city of Patan, home to the historic Patan Durbar Square. Here, amidst a labyrinth of intricately carved temples and palaces, you’ll have the opportunity to marvel at the exquisite craftsmanship of Newari artisans and learn about the city’s rich cultural heritage. After a full day of sightseeing, you’ll return to your hotel for a relaxing evening of dinner and last-minute preparations for your trek, as your guide provides you with a detailed briefing on the itinerary and what to expect in the days ahead.

Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Besisahar by Local Bus (760 m) 7 Hrs Drive

With your bags packed and your spirits high, it’s time to bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu and embark on the first leg of your journey into the Annapurna region. After an early breakfast, you’ll board a local bus bound for Besisahar, the gateway to the Annapurna Circuit. As you leave the city behind and journey into the rural heartland of Nepal, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of terraced rice fields, cascading waterfalls, and quaint hillside villages. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with friendly locals, who will greet you with warm smiles and open hearts, offering a glimpse into the rich tapestry of life in rural Nepal. After a scenic drive that winds its way through the lush valleys and towering mountains of the Himalayas, you’ll arrive in Besisahar, where you’ll spend the night in a cozy guesthouse, savoring a hearty meal of traditional Nepali cuisine and reflecting on the adventures that lie ahead.

Day 04: Drive from Besisahar to Chame by Local Sharing Jeep (2670 m) 6 Hrs Drive

Rise and shine, adventurers! Today, you’ll continue your journey deeper into the heart of the Annapurna region as you make your way to the picturesque village of Chame. After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll board a local sharing jeep and embark on a scenic drive that winds its way along rugged mountain roads and through lush forests, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscapes at every turn. Along the way, you’ll pass through charming hillside villages, where you’ll have the opportunity to stretch your legs and enjoy a cup of hot tea while soaking in the breathtaking scenery. As you approach Chame, you’ll be greeted by the majestic peaks of the Annapurna range, towering overhead like silent sentinels guarding the entrance to this remote mountain paradise. Upon arrival, you’ll check into your guesthouse and spend the evening exploring the village, chatting with locals, and enjoying a delicious dinner of hearty mountain fare.

Day 05: Trek from Chame to Upper Pisang (3330 m) 5–6 Hrs Trek

The adventure continues as you lace up your hiking boots and set out on foot to explore the rugged terrain of the Annapurna Circuit. Today’s trek will take you from Chame to the picturesque village of Upper Pisang, where you’ll be treated to stunning views of snow-capped peaks, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls along the way. As you traverse winding mountain trails and rocky paths, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Himalayas, breathing in the crisp mountain air and listening to the soothing sounds of nature all around you. Along the way, you’ll pass through quaint hillside villages, where you’ll be greeted by friendly locals who will welcome you with open arms and offer you a taste of their traditional way of life. After a full day of hiking, you’ll arrive in Upper Pisang, where you’ll spend the night in a cozy teahouse, savoring a delicious meal of local cuisine and reflecting on the day’s adventures under the starry night sky.

Day 06: Trek from Upper Pisang to Manang via Nawal (3540 m) 5–6 Hrs Trek

Wake up to the sound of birds chirping and the sun rising over the snow-capped peaks of the Annapurna range as you prepare for another day of adventure in the mountains. After a hearty breakfast, you’ll set out on the trail once again, making your way from Upper Pisang to the vibrant village of Manang, nestled amidst the towering peaks of the Himalayas. Along the way, you’ll pass through the charming village of Nawal, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore ancient monasteries, interact with friendly locals, and soak in the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. As you continue your journey, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of snow-capped peaks, deep valleys, and lush forests, offering a glimpse into the untamed beauty of the Annapurna region. Upon arrival in Manang, you’ll check into your guesthouse and spend the evening exploring the village, chatting with locals, and enjoying a delicious dinner of traditional Nepali cuisine.

Day 07: Rest & Side Trip Day (3540 m)
Today is a well-deserved rest day in Manang, giving you the opportunity to acclimatize to the high altitude and explore the surrounding area at your own pace. You can choose to relax and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains from the comfort of your guesthouse, or opt for a side trip to nearby attractions such as Gangapurna Lake or the ancient Braga Monastery. Alternatively, you can spend the day exploring the charming streets of Manang, chatting with locals, and immersing yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the region. Whatever you choose to do, be sure to take it easy and listen to your body as you prepare for the challenging days of trek.

Day 08: Trek to Yar Kharka (4018 m) 4–5 Hrs Trek

With renewed energy from your rest day in Manang, you’ll resume your trekking journey towards Yar Kharka. Today’s trail offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains as you ascend higher into the Himalayas. You’ll pass through alpine meadows, rocky terrain, and perhaps even spot some Himalayan wildlife along the way. Keep your camera handy to capture the breathtaking scenery and enjoy the tranquility of the mountains. Upon reaching Yar Kharka, you’ll settle into your accommodation and relish a well-deserved rest after a rewarding day of trekking.

Day 09: Trek to Thorang High Camp (4925 m) 4–5 Hrs Trek

Your adventure continues as you make your way towards Thorang High Camp, the last stop before crossing the formidable Thorong La Pass. The trail offers panoramic views of the surrounding peaks, with each step bringing you closer to your ultimate goal. As you ascend higher into the mountains, you’ll feel the thin air and the challenge of the altitude, but the stunning vistas will inspire you to keep pushing forward. Upon reaching Thorang High Camp, take some time to rest and acclimatize before the big day tomorrow. Enjoy a warm meal and prepare yourself mentally for the exhilarating journey ahead.

Day 10: Trek to Muktinath (3780 m) via Thorang La Pass (5416 m) 7–8 Hrs Trek

Today is the highlight of your trek as you conquer the mighty Thorong La Pass, one of the highest mountain passes in the world. With an early start, you’ll begin your ascent in the pre-dawn hours, guided only by the light of your headlamp and the glow of the stars above. The trail is steep and challenging, but as you climb higher, the breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks will inspire you to keep going. Finally, after hours of hard work, you’ll reach the top of Thorong La Pass, where you’ll be greeted by panoramic vistas of the Himalayas stretching as far as the eye can see. Take a moment to savor this incredible achievement before beginning the descent towards Muktinath, a sacred pilgrimage site revered by both Hindus and Buddhists. Upon reaching Muktinath, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding landscape and the chance to explore the ancient temples and natural springs that dot the area. After a long day of trekking, you’ll settle into your accommodation in Muktinath and reflect on the incredible journey you’ve undertaken.

Day 11: Drive from Muktinath to Tatopani (natural Hot Spring) by Local Bus (1190 m) 5 Hrs Drive

After the exhilaration of crossing Thorong La Pass, today’s journey offers a chance to relax and unwind in the natural hot springs of Tatopani. You’ll board a local bus and descend from the high mountains into the lush valleys below, passing through picturesque villages and terraced fields along the way. Upon arrival in Tatopani, you’ll have the opportunity to soak your weary muscles in the soothing waters of the hot springs, surrounded by the serene beauty of the Himalayan landscape. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon of relaxation and rejuvenation before settling into your accommodation for the night.

Day 12: Drive from Tatopani to Pokhara by Local Bus (820 m) 5 Hrs Drive

Today, you’ll bid farewell to the mountains and embark on the final leg of your journey back to Pokhara, a vibrant lakeside city nestled at the foot of the Annapurna range. The scenic drive offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside as you wind your way through lush forests and rolling hills. Upon arrival in Pokhara, you’ll check into your hotel and have the rest of the day free to explore the city at your own pace. Whether you choose to relax by the tranquil waters of Phewa Lake, explore the bustling streets of the Lakeside district, or embark on a scenic boat ride to the Tal Barahi Temple, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this charming lakeside city.

Day 13: Drive Or Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu & Departure (1400 m) 7 Hrs Drive.

As your journey comes to an end, you’ll have one last chance to savor the sights and sounds of Nepal before saying goodbye. Depending on your preference, you can either opt for a scenic drive back to Kathmandu or take a short flight for a bird’s-eye view of the majestic Himalayas. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your onward journey, carrying with you memories that will last a lifetime and a newfound appreciation for the beauty and grandeur of the Annapurna region. As you board your flight home, take a moment to reflect on the incredible experiences you’ve had and the friendships you’ve forged along the way. Though your adventure may be over, the spirit of the mountains will live on in your heart forever.

Important Notes for Annapurna Circuit Trek

  1. Physical Fitness: The Annapurna Circuit Trek involves long days of walking on mountainous terrain, with some steep ascents and descents. Prior physical fitness and endurance training are recommended to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trekking experience.

  2. Altitude Sickness: Trekking at high altitudes carries the risk of altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS). It’s important to acclimatize properly by ascending gradually, staying hydrated, and listening to your body. If you experience symptoms of AMS, such as headache, nausea, or dizziness, descend to a lower altitude immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.

  3. Packing Essentials: Pack light but essential items for the trek, including sturdy hiking boots, warm clothing layers, a good quality sleeping bag, and a waterproof jacket. Other essential items include sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, a first aid kit, water purification tablets, and snacks for energy.
  4. Permits and TIMS Card: Ensure you have the necessary permits and documents for the trek, including the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) and the Trekker’s Information Management System (TIMS) card. These permits can be obtained from the Tourism Office in Kathmandu or Pokhara before starting the trek.
  5. Teahouse Accommodation: The Annapurna Circuit Trek offers teahouse accommodation along the route, where you can find basic lodging and meals. It’s advisable to carry some cash for accommodation, meals, and other expenses, as ATM facilities may be limited in remote areas.
  6. Weather Conditions: Be prepared for unpredictable weather conditions in the Himalayas, which can change rapidly. Check the weather forecast before starting the trek and carry appropriate clothing and gear for rain, wind, and cold temperatures.
  7. Responsible Trekking: Practice responsible trekking by respecting the local culture, customs, and environment. Dispose of waste properly, avoid single-use plastics, and support local communities by purchasing goods and services from local vendors.
  8. Emergency Contacts: Familiarize yourself with emergency contact numbers and the location of medical facilities along the trekking route. Carry a fully charged mobile phone and consider purchasing a local SIM card for communication in case of emergencies.

By keeping these important notes in mind, you can ensure a safe, enjoyable, and memorable experience on the Annapurna Circuit Trek. Happy trekking!

Raj Singh Thapa

Raj Singh Thapa

Managing Director of Alaya Holidays