Annapurna Circuit Trek
The Annapurna Circuit trek is the longer version of the trek of the Annapurna region, which is a trekker’s paradise. It comes from the fact that on one’s trek, one gets the pleasure of hiking through distinguishable landscapes, right from the tropical forest and wetlands to the harsh, rugged wilderness all close to human habitation.
You traverse through varying agrarian adaptions of human civilization and cultural differences of ethnicity. The grueling hike gives you a taste of nature and man, as well as a three-dimensional view of not only the Annapurna peak but a range of others. The trails are along fast flowing rivers, past protruding overhanging cliffs, to land in alpine or subtropical vegetation and climates. From thatched to tinned and then to stone-built houses, so does the ethnicity, from the Aryans to the Mongolians, and from Hindu temples to Buddhist monasteries and gompas. You would be fortunate to sight 1540 species of flora and fauna on the trek.
You hike from an altitude of 1400 to 5416 meters at Thorang La Pass, well known for its historical importance and the local dwellers’ ability to graze their herds . This is precisely why, Annapurna circuit trek is internationally renowned.
Your trek starts at Besisahar to Bahundanda, where the ruins of the fortress of Lamjung Durbar are the highlight. Then, it is Chamje hiking over log bridges and along river trails. The homes of the denizens give one the impression of medieval times. It is onto Bagarchhap, through hanging rock trails and vast barren plateaus. Lamjung Himal and Annapurna are some of the peaks you view along the way.
The next are the trails through virgin vegetation and peach and apple orchards. Then there is the magnificent rock face of Paungda Danda. The hike to Manang gives one the view of Milarepa Cave and also that of a gompa and huge prayer wheels. In Manang, you get to adapt to the high altitude and get the chance to see Annapurna and Gangapurna peaks, as well as hear ice falls and see glaciers which hang. Next is along an east-bound river to Letdar and Thorong Phedi. Then it is the Thorung La Pass to Muktinath and onto Jomsom.
From here you hike to Tukuche via the Kali Gandaki river, which has the deepest gorge in the world, and then onto Ghasa, getting the chance to view first-hand Annapurna I, Manaslu and Dhaulagiri peaks. The following stop is a Tatopani, where you can bathe in natural spring hot water with healing powers.From here it is onto Ghorepani, where the water takes a shade of white, where its name comes from.
Tikhedhunga, Nayapul, and the drive back to Pokhara, just to fly back to Kathmandu.
1. Day One – Arrival at Kathmandu (1400m)
You will be met at Tribhuwan International Airport by a representative of Green Lotus Trekking holding a welcome placard and token for your overnight stay at a hotel in Kathmandu and to freshen up. Prior to dinner, a briefing will be held. You could spend the rest of the day resting or wandering around the city of Kathmandu, sightseeing.
2. Day Two – Besi sahar by Bus (823m) – (7 hour ride)
Our trek starts from Besisahar and it is a seven-hour bus ride along with your guide that goes via Pokhara, a tourist hub of Nepal. You will get your first taste of the winding rivers and the green forest of the mid-range of the Himalayan Mountains. Stay at the lodge.
3. Day Three – To Bahudanda (1311m) – (Approx 7 hour trek)
A rough rock staircase down to the Puwa Khola (river)and over a rock bed, we trek past Chanaute and over rock hopping and several ups and downs through sub-tropical forest and rice terraces brings us to the Annapurna Conversation Area. We cross a sagging suspension bridge at Khudi Khola (river), past a collection of government buildings. We head to Bhulbule (848m) and then cross the Marsyangdi Khola. Heading up the river, we pass a majestic waterfall, go through a forest of screw pine and then a trail through a few villages. Finally, the trail leads up through a scrub forest, some landslides, and a short, steep climb to Bahundanda. O/N stay at a lodge.
4. Day Four – To Chamje (1433m) – (Approx 6 hour trek)
In the first leg of today’s hike, we head to Lili Bhir, descending a slippery, steep path through an amphitheatre shaped rice terrace and then following high above the stream below, safe guarded by railings. Passing the village of Gherum, opposite a huge waterfall, the trail descends to cross the Marsyangdi River over a long suspension bridge. Moving past Syange, the valley becomes narrower and steeper until we reach Sheer Chaur. A climb over a nearly vertical cliff with a view of rhododendron, pine, stinging nettle and marijuana forest, it is a short descent to Jagat (1330m) – a medieval-style village. The trail descends and crosses landslides, forest, and waterfalls to reach Chanje. O/N stay at a lodge.
5. Day Five – To Bagarchap (2164m) – (Approx 7 hour trek)
Crossing the east bank of the River Marsyandi and following the embankment under overhanging cliffs, rocky trails and stone staircases, we get to Sattale (1480m). The next leg is through bamboo groves and rhododendron forests, above steep river banks and descends, making it to Tal Besi. After which, we climb steep trails above Marsyandi, where underground waterfalls are hidden beneath boulders – Manang district becomes apparent. Finally, after hopping and crossing a number of suspension bridges, ascending and descending trails, and eventually crossing a suspension bridge over Marsyandi, we arrive at our overnight destination of Barachap. O/N stay at a lodge.
6. Day Six – To Chame (2713m) – (Approx 6 hour trek)
First we hit Danaque (2210), over the bank of a river and a forest. Traversing a rock ledge and a virgin forest of walnut, we reach Lattermarang. Further, through forested ridges, apple orchards, and more ridges, we enter Kotho via a chorten. Getting clearance from the police check post, we are in the Nur-Phu valley. We finally get to Chame after a 30-minute easy walk. Throughout the day, we are surprised by the hide and seek views of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, and Annapurna IV. O/N stay at a lodge.
7. Day Seven – To Pisang (3173m) – (Approx 5 hour trek)
We start the day’s trek to Telekhu (2840m) after passing buckwheat fields and mani walls. Then it is mostly a level walk through a few landslide hit areas and huge apple orchards to Bhratang. Following a new rock-blasted trail, we stay on the side of the river, getting the dramatic view of Paungda Danda, plus others. Crossing the river and a gentle ridge, we get to Dhurure Pokhari (3200m). The mostly leveled trek across the Manang Valley and, eventually, across a wooden bridge, we enter Pisang. O/N stay at a lodge.
8. Day Eight – To Manang (3540m) – (Approx 5 hour trek)
We first trekked to Ghyaru, via Marsyandi, passing mani walls, a memorial, and a long climb over a forested ridge, getting excellent views of Tilicho Peak (7133m) and domesticated sheep, goats, horses, and yaks. Then we trek to Honge (3420m), passing a long line of mani walls and brass prayer wheels. We cross the river to the northern bank at Mungji (3500m). Past buckwheat fields and barley and a ridge, we reach Bryaga (3500m). Finally, the trek to Manang passes through long stretches of very arid land and weird cliffs eroded into dramatic pillars of natural formation. O/N stay at a lodge.
9. Day Nine – Acclimatization at Manang
Today we get to rest and acclimatize to the altitude we are at, not without sightseeing and experiencing the rural lifestyle of the Manang folks, plus getting the chance to contemplate and take in the scintillating view of the distant Annapurna range.
10. Day Ten – To Letdar (4250m) – (Approx 4 hour trek)
We first get to Tengi, crossing a stream via a trail and continuing up Marsyandi valley, passing a few Goths with forested growth on the valley floor. We get to the village of Gunsang. The trek passes sparse forests of juniper, rose, and barberry; a few meadows with grazing horses; all the while getting the Buddhist influence of mani wall and prayer wheels. Beyond Yak Kharka (4110m), the hike passes large herds of yaks and horses grazing, and we finally get to Letdar. Stay at the lodge.
11. Day Eleven – To Thorung Pedi (4420m) – Approx 3 hour trek)
Trekking along a trail on the east bank of Jarsang Khola (stream), we descend and cross a wooden bridge to the other side. Climbing a short ascent over a good trail and a narrow one, we descend to Thorung Phedi. Stay at the Lodge.
12. Day Twelve – To Muktinath (3800m) via Thorang La Pass – (Approx 8 hour trek)
We reach the pass, ascending and switching back and forth up moraines and low ridges. Then the trail climbs continuously in and out of canyons, by moraines, till we finally pass Thorung La Pass (5416m). The view is outstanding of the Himalayan region at its best. Then we finally descend through a series of moraines downhill to level out before we touch Muktinath. O/N stay at the lodge.
13. Day Thirteen – To Jomsom (2760m) – (Approx 4 hour trek)
We head toward Jomsom, which is an easy walk downhill, and we get to our destination by mid-afternoon. The rest of the day we get to rest or see the surrounding peaks of the Annapurna region. O/N stay at the Lodge.
14. Day Fourteen – To Tukuche (2591m) – (Approx 5 hour trek)
We trek to Marpha in the first stretch on a level path for an hour. On leaving Marpha, we head towards Tukuche on the level path of the Kali Gandaki river, all the while getting a panoramic view of Dhaulagiri Peak (8000m). Tukuche is a wonderful Thakali village. O/N stay at a lodge.
15. Day Fifteen – To Ghasa (2013m) – (Approx 6 hour trek)
Trekking towards Ghasa, we cross a bridge and a sandy landslide to descend into a lush lowland full of forests and rivers and finally arrive at our destination. O/N stay at the Lodge.
16. Day Sixteen – To Tatopani (1189m) – (Approx 4 hour trek)
In the first stretch of the trek, we head to Rupse, a hamlet with a wonderful water fall. Then, we head to Dana and finally to Tatopani, a wonderful place to relax and freshen up in all its hot springs. O/N stay at the lodge.
17. Day Seventeen – To Ghorepani (2835m) – (Approx 5 hour trek)
In the first leg of the trek, we head to Shika (1920m) with an amazing view of the surrounding Himalaya. Then, we continue to Chitre all the way with the backdrop of the Annapurna Mountains and finally Ghorepani. O/N stay at the lodge.
18. Day Eighteen – To Tirkhedhunga (1577m) – (Approx 6 hour trek)
The first part would seemingly climb up an endless flight of steps made out of crude steps with the back drop of forested vegetation to finally reach Ulleri. After numerous ups and downs and over streams gushing out from the forested foliage, we reach Tirkhegunga. O/N stay at the lodge.
19. Day Nineteen – To Nayapul and Drive to Pokhara (915m) – (Approx 6 hour trek and drive)
We first trek to Nayapul, from where we comfortably get to Pokhara by two-hour drive, and have the rest of the day to do the rest of the sightseeing in Pokhara. O/N stay at the Lodge.
20. Day Twenty – Flight to Kathmandu (1400m)
We fly to Kathmandu (40 min) and spend the rest of the day either resting or sightseeing, buying souvenirs to take back home.
21. Day Twenty one – Farewell
The trip concludes—our airport representative will drop you off at Kathmandu’s Tribhuwan International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal.
What is the best time of year to trek?
You can find good places to trek somewhere in the Himalayas at anytime of the year. However, for most regions, the best time is from October to May, with October to November having the best weather for trekking. During the autumn, nights are cold in the high Himalaya, but the bright sun makes for a pleasant daytime temperature (20 degrees centigrade to 5 degrees centigrade in the night). Above 3500m, the temperature range goes down to -10 degrees centigrade, and in winter (Dec-Jan), it is about 10 degrees colder.
How fit do I have to be to do a trek?
While you do not need to be super-fit, you need to be fit enough to comfortably walk for 5–6 hours per day in the mountains on reasonable trails. Most of our customers have an interest in walking in the hills or countryside of their homeland and are used to similar daily trips.
What is the typical group size? Will I fit in?
We pride ourselves on our small group approach to adventure travel. Small groups allow you to share great company without crowding your experience. Our typical groups range in size from 2 up to 8. One of the attractions of such a trip is the chance to meet people with different backgrounds and personalities.
What if the dates for the group treks don’t fit my itinerary?
If this is the case, we can organize a personalized trek for you. Additionally, if you want to spend more time in Kathmandu before or after a trek, we can organize the hotels and quote you a price.
Are your tours guaranteed to run?
If you are a group of two or more, the trip is guaranteed to run.
Do I need to buy special equipment?
Usually, our clients simply bring their existing clothing and equipment and, if necessary, supplement this with some extra items purchased cheaply in Kathmandu.
What gear to bring?
Passport (with photocopies)
Photos for Nepal visa on arrival:
Travel insurance (with photocopies)
flight tickets (photocopies)
Day-pack for daily personal items
Light sandals or plimsolls to wear in the lodges
2 pairs of underwear.
2 pairs of walking socks.
2 thick fleece or warm shirts
1 pair thin thermal underwear
Long trousers for walking (or a long skirt for women)
Gloves (it’s cold on the Thorung La, Laurebina Pass and Cho La)
A warm hat which covers your ears (for the Kali Gandaki and Thorung La – it’s windy)
Base ball caps or broad brim hats to keep the sun off (Australian Barmah recommended)
Soap dish and soap
Toothbrush and toothpaste.
Wet wipes or moist towelettes
Hand sanitizing lotion
Moisturizer, Lip balm
Tampons – hard to buy in rural areas
Ear plugs for light sleepers
Sheet of plastic (use as a poncho if it rains)
1 toilet paper rollYou can buy more on the way.
2 large plastic bags. One for smelly clothes, one for things that must be kept dry.
A small, good quality padlock
Iodine tablets for water purification
Protein bars, chocolate, dried fruits, candies, and snack foods.
Notes: All of the trekking items are available in Kathmandu at nominal prices. However, we suggest you bring hiking boots from your home country if you decide to purchase these items in Kathmandu.
Can I store stuff that I do not use on a trek?
Yes, all hotels provide storage facilities for free.
Do I need travel insurance?
Personal travel insurance is not included in the tour price. It is a condition of booking a tour with Green Lotus Trekking, and your responsibility to ensure that the type of tour you are undertaking, the policy must include satisfactory cover for repatriation, high altitudes, trekking and climbing, and helicopter rescue. Please forward your insurance details (e.g. policy number, 24-hour emergency telephone number, and name of insurance company) to Green Lotus Trekking when available.
Do I need a visa to visit Nepal?
Yes. You can apply in your home country through the Nepalese Embassy or Consulate or obtain it at the airport on arrival by paying a fee as below:
Multiple entries for 15 days: $25 USD
Multiple entries for 30 days: $40 USD
Multiple entries within 90 days: US $100
Notes: We suggest you bring the exact change. You also need to bring two passport-size photos.
Tourist Visa Extension
The visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 30 or equivalent convertible currency, and the visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 2 per day.
A tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January–December).
Gratis (Free) Visa
A gratis visa for 30 days is available only for tourists from SAARC countries.
Indian nationals do not require a visa to enter Nepal.
I am a single traveler. How does this work?
Normally, single trekkers have no problems fitting in with a group. Normally single trekkers share rooms or lodges with other trekkers of the same sex, but if we have an odd-number we ensure that a room or lodge is organised accordingly.
How will my booking be processed?
To confirm your booking, we will require a deposit of $250 for treks and $300 for peak climbing, which can be made by bank transfer or online through paypal.com (the leading transaction site). The balance is payable on arrival in Kathmandu with cash or traveler cheque. Alternatively, the balance can be paid by bank transfer or PayPal shortly before arriving in Kathmandu.
Besides deposit payment, what other information do I need to forward?
The following details are needed to process your trekking permit, national park permit, flight booking etc.
Year of birth:
Your arrival details (time, date, flight number, airline):
All the above info can be sent electronically via email.
How far do I trek each day?
You will typically walk 4–9 miles (5-8 hours) each day. Some days may be rest days for impromptu exploration. In high and steep areas, you may move more slowly. Most people begin to feel the effects of high altitude over about 2000 meters, and your trekking pace is always adjusted to permit safe acclimatization. Our treks follow established trails used by local people. You will probably carry only a light day-pack.
How flexible is the trekking day?
You can hike at your own pace, stopping when you wish. There is ample time to cover the necessary hiking distance each day with lots of stops. If you are on a private trek, you may wish to take more or fewer days to cover a given distance, or add in rest days. If you like to hike fast, your guide will be concerned that you acclimatize to high altitude effectively. You may wish to reach camp at a measured pace, but take a side hike after arriving at camp. Your guide is always interested to learn about your personal interests and to accommodate those interests as the trip permits.
What is altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness, often known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), is a particularly important medical consideration while trekking in Nepal. Altitude sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations above 3000 meters. The initial symptoms of AMS are as follows:
Loss of appetite
Insomnia or sleeplessness
Dizziness, light headaches, confusion,
Disorientation, drunken gait
Weakness, fatigue, lassitude, heavy legs, slight swelling of hands and face.
Breathlessness and breathing irregularly
Reduced urine output
These symptoms are to be taken very seriously. In the event of the appearance of any of the above symptoms, any further ascent should be reconsidered; otherwise more serious problems can occur, which can cause death, sometimes within a few hours. The only cure for altitude sickness is to descend to lower elevations immediately. Acclimatization by ascending to no more than 300 to 500 meters per day above 3000 meters and the proper amount of rest are the best methods for prevention of AMS.
Will I be able to deal with the high altitude?
Our itineraries are designed so that our clients ascend at a sensible and safe rate. The effects of altitude are felt by everyone, even the Sherpas, but most people find that gentle acclimatization allows them to reach their high point without any problems.
What are tea-house and camping treks?
Accommodation: There are a number of lodges along the popular trekking routes in the Annapurna, Everest, and Langtang regions. These lodges are called “Tea House Lodges” and are managed by local people. Private rooms, dormitories, toilets, shower rooms with hot and cold water, and one attached restaurant are among the basic requirements for overnight accommodation at these lodges.The quality of food offered might vary from lodge to lodge, but most serve simple and hygienic meals. The tea-house trek provides you an opportunity to feel the warm hospitality of friendly Nepali hosts. The money you spend goes to the local community.
In a typical camping trip, each pair of trekkers will sleep in a spacious mountain tent with a durable rain fly and full insect netting. The tent is fitted with foam mattresses. When your campsite is near villages or lodges, you may be invited to sleep in the lodges or homes of local people.
What are the typical foods on the treks?
Breakfast options include oatmeal,French toast,Chapatti, Tibetan bread, eggs, pancakes, muesli, and for lunch or dinner you can have sandwiches, soups, momo (dumplings), macaroni dishes, pizzas, noodles, steak, dal bhat (rice, lentils, veg platter), pasta, etc.
What is your guide like?
Our trekking guides are carefully selected for their ability and are generally from Sherpa, Tamang, Gurung, Magar, and other communities from remote mountain villages. Each guide is trained in eco-friendly trekking methods and safety measures. They help to maintain your health and your happiness as well as the crew members. Our guides are committed to making sure that all our trekkers have an enjoyable trek, come back safe and are overwhelmed by their experience. Your guide will be a friend and companion, who takes pleasure in showing you his country’s specialties and, perhaps, meeting his home and family too.
What about the Porters?
The majority of the fees our clients pay go directly into the community where you trek.
How much should I tip the guides and porters?
Tipping is at your discretion and always appreciated. A good rule of thumb is anywhere from $2–5 dollars per day for the guide and $1.5–3 dollars per day per porter. The total amount can then be divided among the group.
What is your Kathmandu contact address in case my family needs to contact me in an emergency?
Please have them contact us at any of the following numbers:
+977-98510-32108 or 9841-250248 for cell phone. 977-1-400-50379 (landline) (office hours) 77-1-400-5037 or 444-5475. We check email frequently throughout the day, so you could also write to our email: firstname.lastname@example.org if it’s not urgent.