Annapurna Circuit Trek is a popular and rewarding trek in the Annapurna Region. Annapurna Circuit Trek offers a variety of scenery of both the northern and southern Himalayas and valley views along the trails. Annapurna Circuit Trek trail saw the light of day in 1977 and is an archetypal Himalayan trek. The Tour and Trekking Nepal itinerary are geared to give you the most out of this unique trip; it completes the Circuit with a few new variations that will enhance this magnificent trek with more fulfilment & a sense of purpose. We ascend the Marsyangdi Valley before heading to the high country, windswept 5416m Thorong La (pass) and around the Annapurna massif. This trek offers baffling contrasts throughout the course of your venture. The trails start and get wrapped up in the lush green foothills of the Annapurna range which are dotted with colourful Hindu villages and cows roaming around with vermilion on their foreheads.
Annapurna Circuit Trek venture will take you around the Annapurna circuit as we hike along beautiful Gurung & Magar villages bubbling with the life of the trekking trail. The Annapurna round is the kind of trek that is rewarding in a sense where, despite the fluctuating elevations & toughness of the trails, we don’t have to camp out in the cold, even though some areas are pretty remote; we enjoy the dining room stoves and famed hospitality of the local people of the Annapurna region, whose warmth also keeps us warm in the winter. All our gear is carried by sturdy porters, and we have local guides explaining the various cultures, mountains, and sights to us along the way the going is tough, & if these are the rewards, the landscapes & the apple pies could warm your heart for 100 years.
The ‘Circuit’ also provides unequalled opportunities to explore the backdrops of both the northern and the southern Himalayas where the amazing views just leave you gasping for breath. From the thick fir and rhododendron forests to the harsh, thin atmosphere of the Tibetan plateau; the ethnic groups we come across along the way, lowland Hindus and highland Buddhists, are as varied as the mind-blowing landscapes. From the staggering heights of the Thorung Pass at (5416m) line upon lines of snow ridges just flow before you whilst below lies the sub-tropical Kali Gandaki Gorge, a busy pilgrimage and trade route controlled by the Thakalis who inhabit the lowlands of Mustang.
You will be picked up at the airport by one of the Tour and Trekking Nepal staff and driven to your Kathmandu host family or a hotel. Here you will be welcomed into the family, be given your own room and be provided with all your meals while in Kathmandu. This will be your home during your orientation and volunteering in Nepal. With easy bus routes into town and the surrounding countryside, this quiet and safe suburb is the perfect base for your time in Nepal. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We tour Durbar Square, Pashupatinath temple, Swayambhunath stupa and Bouddhanath stupa which are all world heritage sites. The Durbar Square sheds light on the life of the royals in ancient times. Pashupatinath temple is one of the most important places of pilgrimage for all Hindus. Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple and Baudhanath Stupa is one of the largest stupas in the world. At noon, we are introduced to our fellow participants and discuss our trip at the Tour and Trekking Nepal office. Overnight in Kathmandu. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Starting the day early for the trek would be a good idea; we will travel by road from Kathmandu to Chame village which will be the starting point of the trek. Chamje is a small village in the Annapurna Region at an elevation of 1430 m. There is a waterfall which is an attraction for both locals and tourists alike. The beautiful greenery all around will fuel us for the trek ahead. Overnight in Chamje.
We begin the trek early in the morning. The trail takes us through various vegetable plantations, waterfalls and mixed communities that are believed to have migrated from Tibet. After crossing the suspension bridge below Chamje and climbing two steep sections, we reach the village of Tal. From Tal, we enter the Manang district. On the way we also pass through Kodo village and walk on the trail that rises and falls and cuts across a mountain side to one of the biggest villages in the Manang district, Dharapani. Overnight in Dharapani.
Today we negotiate a few steep, forested ridges along with several landslides on route to Chame. We should not forget to look up though, as we will be greeted with remarkable views of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, and Annapurna IV (7,525m). We also come across small hot springs which will be a sweet respite from the tiring trek and help us relax for a while. Chame is the headquarters of Manang District in the Gandaki Zone of northern Nepal Overnight in Chame.
Today the trail continues up and down, passing several rivers and sparsely populated settlements. We walk through a steep and narrow valley to have our first view of Paungda Danda rock face, a dramatic curved rock face rising 1500 m from the river. From here, we also gain excellent views of Annapurna 2 to the south and Pisang Peak to the north east. We descend to the Manang Valley floor enjoying the captivating landscape. Overnight in Pisang
From Pisang there are two routes to Manang. We choose the one which passes through Upper Pisang via Geru as it guarantees outstanding views of Mt. Annapurna, Pisang Peak, and others. As we near Manang, the climate becomes colder and drier. However, a short visit to Barge Monastery, the biggest monastery in the Manang District, should cheer us up. Overnight in Manang.
It is important to have an extra day in Manang for acclimatization as we start the climb towards the higher altitude, Thorong La. There are spectacular views of the majestic Himalayas peaks around the Manang Valley, it’s not a good idea to stay idle but a short walk to higher altitude is recommended to get acclimatized with the altitude. Manang is the right place to do that as the next two days will be considered a challenging trek for us with rapid gain in altitude. There are lots of options for day walks around Manang. One possibility is to walk to Khangsar village on the way to Tilicho Lake or a longer walk to Ice Lake above Braga. Also worth visiting is the Himalayan Rescue Association to get some ideas about rapid mountain sickness.
When returning from the Tilicho Base Camp, the trail leads out of the Marsyangdi valley and the abrupt change in surroundings can be noticed as the trees are left behind and replaced with more alpine vegetation. Our trail continues through the ruins of the old Khangsar village until we cross a log bridge over the river between Gumsang and Yak Kharka. The typical Himalayan village of Yak Kharka is an accolade to its name, as lots of yaks can be seen grazing and standing around. From here we also get breathtaking views of Annapurna III. Overnight in Yak Kharka.
It is an uphill walk to Thorang Phedi. After walking for some time, we cross a suspension bridge and reach Ledar village. We ascend further and pass through towering cliffs before reaching Thorang Phedi, the last village before Thorong La pass. On this trip, we are rewarded with one of the best views of Mt. Gundang, Mt. Syagang, Thorung Peak and Mt. Khatungkan. The word Phedi in Nepalese is referred to as the foot of a mountain. Overnight in Thorang Phedi.
Crossing Thorong La pass, one of the highest passes in the world will be our ultimate objective today. We will be crossing the pass from east to west (Manang to Muktinath) which is the easiest and safest direction. We get up around three in the morning and walk up the mountain. When we finally make it to the top, we realize that our journey was worth it. We can take a few photos before heading to Muktinath Valley at the foot of the Thorong La pass. Overnight in Muktinath.
Muktinath, an ultimate destination for Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims, is a beautiful place. We visit the Muktinath Temple before embarking on the trek ahead. There are water spouts where fresh water pours out channelled from the streams above the temple. As the trail extends we can enjoy the magnificent views of Mt. Dhaulagiri. You can even buy a fossilized mollusk, called ‘Shaligram’ as a memento. We move ahead among meadows, cross streams and hills over to Kagbeni, a village laden with chortens (memorial stupas) and a small monastery. Continue the trek after a lunch break at Kagbeni and over to Jomsom on the Kali Gandaki Valley as the trail cuts through windy areas. Overnight in Jomsom.
We take a drive while looking at views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges and over the deepest gorge in the world. The warmer climate in Pokhara will definitely make us feel better. We can take a boat ride in the serene waters of the lake with the reflection of Fishtail Mountain on its waters. In the evening, we can stroll around the lakeside area and buy souvenirs for loved ones. Overnight in Pokhara.
After breakfast, transfer to the Tourist bus station and 06: 30 am drive back to Kathmandu by tourist bus. This scenic drive offers fascinating glimpses of rural Nepal as you pass through Middle Hill scenery along the famous rafting Trishuli River originated from Tibet northeast of Kathmandu. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Our journey in Nepal comes to an end today! A Tour and Trekking Nepal representative will drop us off at the airport approximately 3 hours before our scheduled flight. On our way to home, we have plenty of time to plan our next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
Note: The above-mentioned program itinerary is a sample. The period and cost of tour, trekking, volunteering or internship can be changed or extended as per travellers or volunteers' availability of duration.