Annapurna Circuit

Annapurna Circuit information and booking

from
$2790
  • Duration
    24 days
    Days
  • Group size
    4-16
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    Moderate - Challenging
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Schedule Details

Summary
  • 24 day trip
  • 18 day trek
  • 4 nights hotel
  • 19 nights camping
Equipment Required
Specialist gear required include walking boots and day pack (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).

Highlights

  • Stunning views of the Annapurna & Dhaulagiri ranges
  • Cross Thorong La
  • Ascend Poon Hill
  • Fully supported camping based trek including 3 hearty meals per day prepared by our cooks
  • Himalayan Mountain flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu - Pashupatinath (a major Hindu shrine) and the giant Buddhist stupa at Boudhanath

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

This trail was first opened in 1977 and is a classic Himalayan trek. Our new itinerary completes the Circuit with a few new variations that will enhance what is a magnificent trek. We ascend the Marsyandi Valley before heading to the wild, windswept 5416m Thorong La (pass) and around the Annapurna massif. The trek offers startling contrast. The trek starts and ends in the lush, green foothills of the Annapurna, dotted with Hindu villages. Yet north of the Great Himalaya divide there is a dramatic change as we enter the stark landscape of the Tibetan Plateau where the culture becomes predominantly Buddhist. We then head back down the great Kali Gandhaki Valley (the deepest gorge on earth with Annapurna and Dhaulagiri towering some 7,000 metres above) and return to Pokhara where we complete our trek.

What's included

  • 23 breakfasts, 19 lunches and 19 dinners
  • Airport transfers
  • Flight pokhara/kathmandu us$107 approx
  • Expert bilingual guide
  • Medical kit
  • Good quality accommodation in kathmandu
  • The use of a world expeditions trek pack which includes a quality sleeping bag, down or fibre fill jacket and insulated mat (valued at over us$500)
  • Private air conditioned transportation
  • All park entrance fees and trekking permits
  • Porters to carry all personal and group equipment
  • Porter's insurance.
  • Sightseeing in kathmandu
  • Site entry fees
  • Accommodation in our fully serviced wilderness campsites

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Kathmandu
You will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the Radisson hotel. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fibrefill jacket. Evening drinks are held in the hotel for all World Expeditions clients arriving today. Drinks and snacks will generally be served from 6:30 pm until 7:15pm, and this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members before heading out to dinner.
Day 2 In Kathmandu (1330m)
This morning a sightseeing tour takes in the key attractions in and around Kathmandu. We will visit Pashupatinath and Boudhanath, returning to the hotel by 2pm. In the afternoon you may have time to explore Durbar Square, Patan, Swayambhunath or Bhaktapur, and the lesser-known towns that dot the valley on foot, by bicycle or trishaw. The area has an amazing range of fascinating highlights, whatever your interest. Excellent bookshops, extensive markets, and novelty and handicraft shops contrast with fantastic centres of cultural and spiritual significance - Kathmandu has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world.
Day 3 Drive to Besisahar & Bhulbhule (approx. 7 hrs.)
From Kathmandu we drive along to the Kathmandu to Pokhara highway. We divert off the highway at the bustling town of Dumre and continue for a further one and half hours to Besisahar. After lunch we complete the short drive to the roadhead at Bhulbhule (846 metres) in the Marysandi Valley.
Day 4 To Syange (1136m). Walk approx 5-6 hrs.
An easy start and then a taste of things to come - the climb up to Bahun Danda, a picturesque village at the top of this formidable ridge. Then it's down, across terraces and over small streams, before rejoining the Marsyandi and following it upstream for several km to our camp near the village of Syange.
Day 5 To Tal (1710m). Walk approx 5-6hrs.
A wonderful walk today - with such changes in scenery and a range of gradients. From camp we head across the river and ascend steeply to finally reach the ridge top high above. We cross another suspension bridge before a continued ascent up a narrow and beautiful valley where, after rain, many spectacular waterfalls will flow. Just before camp at Tal we come over a small rise and enter a wide, flat valley with a long, silvery waterfall to the right.
Day 6 To Danakyu (2360m). Walk approx 6 hrs.
Today's trail crosses a broad flat valley followed by a small stream. We then ascend and make our way along a cliff towards a long suspension bridge. We cross and recross the Marsyangdi River a few times through forests of oak and maple before reaching our campsite at Danakyu.
Day 7 To Bharthang (2840m). Walk approx 6-7 hrs.
The trail we follow today climbs over three steep forested ridges and crosses the river before reaching the Administrative Headquarters of the Manang District. We pass many mani walls with Mayu Prayer wheels - typical of villages in this region. An easy undulating trail after lunch leads us to our camp.
Day 8 To Pisang (3475m). Walk approx 6 hrs.
We continue our walking this morning through a steep and narrow valley after which we have our first view of Paungda Danda rock face. A tremendous curved slab of rock that rises more than 1500 metres from the river. We also gain excellent views of Annapurna 2 to the south and Pisang Peak to the north east. A short, steep start to the day but the reward is an excellent view of the entire Manang Valley with Tilicho Peak at its head. Then we descend to the valley floor and trek across dry grazing land to our campsite for tonight.
Day 9 Pisang to Ngawal (3600m). Walk approx. 5-6hrs)
From Pisang we leave the main trail leading to Manang and follow a less frequented trail to the north of the Marsyandi Valley. We head to the secluded village of Ghyaru before following an ancient trail lined with mani walls to Ngawal (3600 metres) and a delightful camping site just above the village. After establishing camp we visit the monastery at Ngawal that has close cultural ties with the nearby Nar Phu region.
Day 10 Ngawal to Braga (3450 m ). Walk approx. 2-3hrs)
The trail heads down through conifer forest with commanding views across the valley of the mighty Annapurna range. After re-joining the main trail we head to the historic village of Braga (3450 metres). In the afternoon we have plenty of time to visit some of the outlying monasteries between Braga and Manang that reflect something of the regions rich cultural history and ties with Tibet.
Day 11 Braga to Manang & Thare Gompa (3930m). Walk approx. 5-6hrs)
A superb day. From Braga it is only 30 minutes to Manang. After a brief halt we again head off the main trail first to the village of Khansar and then to the tiny Khare monastery (3930 metres). We camp in the vicinity of the monastery savouring remarkable views of the 'Grand Barrier' above the sacred Tilicho Lake while to the east is the unmistakable profile of Manaslu, at 8156 metres, the 6th highest mountain in the world.
Day 12 To Yak Kharka (3980m). Walk approx. 4 hrs.
From our camp we wind around the contours gaining ever more impressive views of Annapurna III and Gangapurna before we reach the Josang Valley and the campsite at Yak Kharka.
Day 13 To Thorong Phedi (base of the pass - 4404m). Walk approx 4 hrs.
Another short but strenuous day as we continue up the valley and cross the Jorsang Khola on a small cantilevered bridge before edging our way around loose scree slopes to finally reach a couple of ramshackle tea-shops at the foot of the awesome Thorong La. An early night is advised as we have a big day tomorrow.
Day 14 To Muktinath (3802m) via Thorong Pass (5380m). Approx 10-12 hours.
A long, arduous day rewarded with unsurpassed views. We set out from Phedi before daybreak in order to reach the top of the pass before late morning and avoid the notorious Thorong winds. The first section up the pass is steep and it's slow going. The trail winds around seemingly endless switchbacks with each "false top" leading on to another ridge. Finally we see the massive prayer-flag-covered cairn which marks the top. From here the views back over the entire Annapurna Range and across to Mustang and western Tibet are unbelievable. The cold up here soon has us heading down to Muktinath. It is a very weary group of trekkers who hit the sack that night. A day of Himalayan highs in every sense of the word!
Day 15 To Marpha (2665m). Walk approx 6 hrs.
A long walk today but there is much of interest to see along the way and the scenery undergoes some dramatic and very beautiful changes. The trail heads south down the great Kali Gandaki Valley, a lunar-like landscape where the Tibetan culture is very much in evidence. With Annapurna on our left and Dhaulagiri on our right, we are trekking through the deepest valley in the world. We move on into a region peopled by the Thakalis - hoteliers and innkeepers by trade who have built some quaint and very picturesque villages. The walking is flat and on wide, open trails.
Day 16 To Lete Khola (2430m). Walk approx 4-5 hrs.
The soil becomes richer, the villages more substantial and affluent, and the crops change from potatoes to barley and buckwheat which, in season, make for a spectacular show of colour against the barren mountain slopes. The walk today is easy but we have quite a distance to cover. The valley begins to narrow after lunch and the forest begins to reappear and thicken to provide even more magical walking conditions. All the way to camp we have great peaks above - on this day Tukuche Peak and Annapurna South.
Day 17 To Tatopani (1189m). Walk approx 5-6 hrs.
We head towards Tatopani, gradually ascending the forested trails, and turning left to reach a ridge top. The ridge is marked by a Chothar (resting place).The trail undulates until we reach our lunch stop. In the afternoon a long descent is followed by a short descent that takes us to our nights camp. Tatopani means 'hot springs' and after 14 days on the trail, the baths are a welcome sight.
Day 18 Tatopani to Chitre (3400m). Walk approx. 4hrs.
From Tatopani we cross the Kali Gandaki River and commence our gradual ascent to Chitre. We pass through a series of settlements including the prosperous Magar village of Shikha. We camp in the vicinity of Chitre and savour views back to the Kali Gandaki Gorge and its remarkable profile wedged between the huge Dhaulagiri and Annapurna massifs.
Day 19 Chitre to Ghorepani (2775m). Walk approx. 2-3hrs.
An early start is imperative to complete the trek to the Deorali pass and detour to Poon Hill (3210 metres). The climb from the pass takes about an hour to reach Poon Hill where you will be rewarded with uninterrupted views of Dhaulagiri, Annapurana South and Hiunchuli to name a few. It is without doubt one of the best vantage points in the Annapurna. On this stage we camp in the vicinity of Ghorepani.
Day 20 Ghorepani to Ghandruk (1500m). Walk approx. 6hrs.
We enter a pristine pine and rhododendron forest as we wind our way to the settlement of Tatapani. It is a wonderful traverse through the forest and a fine contrast from the previous stages on the trek. We gain views of Annapurna South from Tatapani before heading through a series of clearings that define the trail to the substantial Gurung settlement of Ghandruk (1990 metres).This afternoon we will visit the local Gurung museum in the heart of the village. Tonight we will stay in our private permanent camp site.
Day 21 Ghandruk to Naya Pul (1340m), drive to Pokhara 2 hours
After taking in dramatic views of Annapurna South we follow a well-defined trail that winds down to the Modi Khola and the village of Birethanti. Glancing back you will appreciate one last view of Machhapuchare and the Annapurna before heading around to the unlovely town of Naya Pul. From here our bus will be waiting to take you to Pokhara for a well-earned hot shower and an evening of celebration with your trek staff.
Day 22 Fly Pokhara to Kathmandu.
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our fight to Kathmandu, a spectacular mountain flight along the face of the Himalaya. On arrival we transfer to the hotel.
Day 23 At leisure in Kathmandu (1350m).
There are a million things to see in Kathmandu and we recommend you spend this day wandering the town and exploring the valley on bicycle or by taxi. The old Royal Palace & Durbar Square are absolute musts. Our W.E. staff can arrange a guide and/or transport should you wish, or you can head off armed with a map and let the day unfold.
Day 24 Trip concludes Kathmandu.
After breakfast, arrangements cease unless further ones have been made. Those people travelling by aircraft to other destinations will be transferred to the airport.