Annapurna Circuit Trek

Destination
Nepal
Activity
Trekking
Accomodation
Hotel, Lodge and Tea house
Region
Annapurna Region
Distance
131 km
Start / End Point
Dharapani/Hile
Duration
11 Nights 12 Days
Max. Altitude
5416m
Meals Included
Breakfast
Group Size
1-50
Nature of Trek
Tea house trek
Best Season
March-May / August-November
Trip Code
AT-ACT
Activity Per Day
5-6 hrs
Transporation
Jeep / bus
Grade
Moderate

Overview

The Annapurna Circuit 12-day trekking itinerary that will take you on a journey around the majestic Annapurna Mountain Range. This trek is renowned as one of the best long treks in the world. It starts at an altitude of 800 meters and culminates at the Thorang La Pass, which stands tall at an elevation of 5416 meters.

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is more than just a trek; it’s a journey through diverse landscapes, from lush forests and fields to rocky ridges. You’ll traverse human cultural settlements, experiencing various cultures unique to the Annapurna region. This trek offers a chance to discover naturally exotic places that will leave you in awe of nature’s beauty.

During the 12-day trek, you will have the opportunity to explore the Annapurna Range from all angles. The journey includes visits to popular destinations such as Muktinath, Jomsom, and Poon Hill, each giving you a unique experience. The most remarkable part of the trek is the walk across the Thorang La Pass, which is one of the highest passes in the world. This path offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, making it the highlight of the entire trek. By the end of the trek, you’ll have a deep appreciation for the natural and cultural richness of the Annapurna region.

Why you will love the Annapurna Circuit Trek?

    Conquer the Thorung La Pass: Experience a profound sense of accomplishment as you ascend the popular Thorung La Pass, standing at an impressive altitude of 5416 meters. This is more than just a trek; it’s a testament to your determination and endurance.

    Witness Unique Wildlife: The Annapurna region is home to a variety of unique wildlife. Keep an eye out for the elusive Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Tibetan Wild Ass, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Thar, Blue Sheep, Red Panda, and Himalayan Pheasants.

    Explore Lupra Village: Trek to Lupra, a quaint village with only 20 - 25 houses. This village is a living testament to the ancient Bon religion, offering a unique insight into a lesser-known aspect of Nepal’s spiritual heritage.

    Discover Traditional Villages: Journey through traditional villages like Manang, Ghyaru, and Pisang, each famous for their monasteries, Tibetan-influenced culture, and spiritual charm. These villages offer a window into the soul of the Himalayas.

    Sunrise at Poon Hill: Witness the otherworldly beauty of sunrise at Poon Hill. As the first rays of the sun touch the snow-capped peaks, the entire landscape transforms into a mesmerizing spectacle of light and shadow.

    Ice Lake : Experience the thrill of high altitude with a half-day excursion to Ice Lake at 4,600 meters, 1,000 meters above Manang. The ascent is challenging but rewarding with sensational views along the trail.

    Acclimization day in Manang : Manang is a beautiful small town on the Annapurna circuit. A day spent here is rewarding and filled with exploration of the town's mud structures, mani walls, wild horses, and river. The contrast between the white mountains and the brown landscape is breathtaking.

Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty:

    Annapurna Circuit Trek trekkers Info

    It is no wonder Annapurna Circuit Trek is also considered one of the most classic and rewarding treks not only in Nepal but worldwide. It takes you through diverse landscapes, lush valleys, terraced farmlands, beautiful traditionally built Nepali Villages, unique cultures of Nepali Living in the Heart of the Himalayas, and mesmerizing mountain scenery during high mountain passes. 

    You may think, with so much to offer, Annapurna Circuit Trek must undoubtedly be among the most challenging treks. However, with only moderate trekking difficulty, this trek can even be done by beginners with good physical fitness. While good physical fitness is needed for this trek, you must also be confident that you can conquer the Thorung La Pass. While it certainly will not be easy as walking on the snow in the high altitude of the Himalayas, the absence of oxygen, uncertain weather conditions, the urge of your brain to rest or even quit the trek, everything will be against you. Hence, you need strong willpower and determination during the section of Throrung La Pass. 

    Now let's get real here, the Annapurna Circuit Trek takes you along the high altitude and snow-covered paths to Ice Lake, Tilicho Lake, and Tilicho Base Camp. Furthermore, the acclimatization days during the trek also prepare for high altitude. This careful itinerary, with trips to Ice Lake and Tilicho Lake, prepares you for Thorung La Pass, so you can conquer Thorung La Pass and make sure you are safe and sound to tell your tales to your friends. 

    Moreover, with our experienced guides and porters for assistance and the perfect itinerary, this moderately difficult trek will be a walk on snow for you. 

    How to Prepare for Annapurna Circuit Trek?

    In order to hike that Annapurna circuit, we should avoid alcohol because it may hamper our lungs as it is very difficult to breathe in higher altitudes. The chances of getting AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) or altitude sickness are high so, an emergency first-aid kit and insurance are a must. Hot waters, wet tissues and warm clothes are mandatory because hot showers are barely available in remote areas.

    An experienced guide who can cope with any life-threatening incident has a good knowledge of routes and contact with locals is also equally vital. Don't worry our agency will provide such a guide. Annapurna circuit Thorang La Trek's cost may vary as per the agency but guides and services provided by the agencies must be taken into consideration.

    Annapurna Circuit Trek Altitude:

    The Annapurna Circuit Trek starts with a drive from Kathmandu (1400 m | 4594 ft) / Pokhara (822 m | 2697 ft) to Beshisahar (760 m | 2494 ft) in a Public bus. After that, we drive up Dharapani (1860 m | 6102 ft) and trek to Chame ( 2650 m | 8695 ft). The 3000m+ height is achieved on the 3rd day of our Annapurna Circuit trek from Chame to Upper Pisang (3300 m | 10826 ft). 

    Subsequently, the 4000m+ height is attained on the 6th day of our Annapurna Circuit trek as we trek from Bharka (3500 m | 11,483 ft) to Ice Lake ( 4620 m | 15157 ft), also known as Kicho Lake in Nepal. 

    Furthermore, the 4500m+ is achieved as we trek to the Tilicho Lake(4,919 m | 16139 ft) from Tilicho Base Camp (4,920 m | 16142 ft) on our 8th day of Annapurna Circuit Trek. 

    Finally, on your 11th day of our Annapurna Circuit Trek, we trek from Thorong Phedi(5,416 m | 17770 ft) to Muktinath (3,762 m | 12,343 ft) via the Thorung La Pass. The Thorung La Pass, at an altitude of (5,416 m | 17,769 ft) is the highest altitude during our Annapurna Circuit Trek, and as you conquer the Thorung La Pass with Massive height, the feeling of achievement fills you from the bottom of your heart to its core.

Discover Diverse Cultures During This Trek

Exploration of Tibetan culture is another important aspect of the Annapurna Circuit Trek. You’ll visit monasteries and Chortens which are some sacred places of Buddhists. In addition, you’ll get familiar with the Sherpa living in the Himalayas and their livelihood. Moreover, you’ll also know about Hinduism as you visit one of their most holy places i.e., the Muktinath Temple.

Muktinath temple is also one of the leading destinations of this trek. The holy temple of Muktinath is a popular destination among the Hindu as well as Buddhist pilgrims. However, other tourists also go there to see the historical and sacred temple.

It is an immensely popular Vishnu temple situated in the Muktinath Valley at the bottom of the Thorang La mountain pass. Around 108 water spouts surround the temple premises.

Traverse assorted landscapes

Annapurna Circuit Trek passes through four districts of Nepal. We go counter-clockwise around the Annapurna Massif as we move through Chame, Manang, Muktinath, Jomsom, Tatopani, and Ghorepani, among other places. The circuit encompasses forests, rivers, hills, valleys, and mountains across the Midwest to the northern part of Nepal.

Along with Annapurna, the trail also provides some magnificent views of other mountains like Manaslu, Nilgiri, and Dhaulagiri. Furthermore, places such as Poon Hill provide glimpses of other mountains like Machhapuchhre, Himchuli, and Lamjung Himal. Moreover, this trek can be combined with Tilicho lake, the world's highest lake and Annapurna Base camp. When Annapurna Circuit Thorang La trek Itineraries are reviewed, modifications can be done to cover the Tilicho lake and base camp.

 

The best time for the Annapurna Circuit Trek:

The best time for the Annapurna Circuit Trek for beginners and average trekkers is the Spring and Autumn seasons. However, experienced and professional hikers also enjoy the hot and cold Sunny season and the cold and dry Winter season of Nepal. So, here are the details of each season so you can choose the best time for the Annapurna Circuit Trek for you:

Spring Season( February to May):

The period from February to May marks the Spring Season, a delightful time for leisurely trekkers, including those embarking on the renowned Annapurna Circuit Trekking. Thanks to its minimal or absent rainfall, it's considered an ideal season for trekking, offering clear skies and awe-inspiring mountain vistas. Along the trails of Annapurna Circuit and other routes, you'll be greeted by enchanting lush green forests and captivating mountain scenery.
This season even welcomes beginners, provided they are well-prepared, physically fit for 5-6 hours of trekking on rugged terrain, and capable of handling cold conditions. During the Annapurna Circuit Trekking in the Spring, occasional snowfalls transform the trails into a magical snowy wonderland, perfect for those seeking an adventurous experience. To fully enjoy the journey, make sure to have suitable gear and be fully prepared for the exciting challenges that lie ahead.
Daytime temperatures range from 3 to 9 degrees Celsius on the Annapurna Circuit, with nights turning chilly at around -6 degrees Celsius. The Spring Season offers an unforgettable trekking experience during the Annapurna Circuit Trek, as the trails come alive with nature's vibrant colors and stunning panoramas. Whether you are a seasoned trekker or a first-timer, this season allows you to create cherished memories amidst the Himalayan beauty.


Autumn Season (September to November): 

The Autumn Season, spanning from September to November, is the best time for trekking, including the Annapurna Circuit Trekking. After the Monsoon rain, the trails are washed clean, providing a pristine experience, especially if you trek in early autumn. It's essential to plan accordingly because the popularity of this trek means that the trails might become less pristine if you wait until November.
During this season, there is no rainfall, offering warm days and chilly nights, creating ideal conditions for the Annapurna Circuit Trek. Autumn is an excellent opportunity to witness traditional farming methods and immerse in the authentic lifestyle of the local communities.
Throughout the Autumn Season, the average daytime temperature ranges from 6 to 12 degrees Celsius, while nights can be as cold as -9 degrees Celsius.

Summer Season(June to August):

Most of the days during the Annapurna Circuit Trek lie in a rain shadow area. As they lie beyond the Himalayas and the clouds rarely pass the Himalayan range of over 7000 - 8000, summer is the best season for the Annapurna Circuit trek. However, the lower part of the circuit may be affected by the rainfall of the summer season and mosquitoes & leeches can also be found in the lower part of the Annapurna Circuit Trek. Moreover, due to heavy rain and landslides, there will be some roadblocks, in the lower region of the Trek.


Winter Season(December to February):

The Winter Season (December to February) offers cold and dry days with little rainfall. Trekking during this season is more challenging than Spring and Autumn and slightly more demanding than Summer due to extreme cold and potential snowfall blocking the route. 
However, this season attracts Veteran Trekkers and Expedition teams seeking adventure, provided they are well-prepared for unforeseen circumstances. Extreme fitness and adaptability to cold temperatures are essential for winter trekking. 
Contact us to manage your food and lodgings during the trek.
While trekking during winter entails risks, the rewards are equally exceptional. Witness the gleaming white snow-capped peaks and experience unforgettable moments like the early sunrise bathing the mountains in a surreal glow.
If you plan to trek during winter, consult local trekking agencies, experienced guides, or mountaineering experts to assess the feasibility and safety. They can provide valuable insights and advice based on current weather and trail conditions, ensuring a memorable and secure experience.For Annapurna Circuit Trek during winter, prepare for temperatures ranging from 5 to 10 degrees Celsius during the daytime and dropping to -9 degrees Celsius at night.

Annapurna circuit trek cost:

We have designed three distinct packages to cater to the diverse preferences of our clients. We encourage you to choose the ideal cost for your Annapurna Circuit Trekking adventure from the following options:

Full Board Service (USD 80 per person per day):
For those seeking a hassle and worry-free trekking experience, our Full Board Service is the perfect choice. At just USD 80 per person daily, we make all the necessary arrangements before and during your trek.
What's included in this package?

  • TIMS AND PERMITS, as well as any Tourist Service Charges.
  • Ground Transportation during your trek.
  • During the trek, you'll enjoy three sets of meals (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and three cups of tea or coffee daily.
  • Accommodation in comfortable lodges or tea houses, with attached bathrooms where available.
  • An experienced English-speaking guide for every five trekkers, along with their salary, accommodation, food, equipment, and insurance.
  • Optionally, you can also request a porter (one porter for two trekkers) at an additional cost.

On the last day of your trek, we'll provide you with breakfast and lunch and drop you off at your hotel in Pokhara.

Half Board Service (USD 55 per person per day):
For those who prefer more control over their lunch and dinner choices during the trek, we offer the Half Board Service at USD 55 per person per day. With this package, you'll still receive excellent services and guidance, but you'll be responsible for your lunch and dinner expenses.
What's included in this package?

  • You'll be free from the hassles of ACAP permits, TIMS, and any Tourist Service Charges mentioned in the "What's Included Section?"
  • All ground transportation during the trek. 
  • An experienced and licensed English-speaking guide, including all their expenses and insurance.
  • Accommodation in tea houses or lodges during the trek.
  • Guide and Porter Service (USD 30 per day for a guide, USD 22 per day for a porter):

For the more adventurous and self-sufficient trekkers, we offer the Guide and Porter Service. With this option, you take charge of all trek arrangements and enjoy the freedom to plan your journey, but with the added support of a knowledgeable guide and porter.

What's included in this package?

  • The services of an experienced and skilled guide are USD 30 per day and a porter at USD 22 per day.
  • Optionally, you can include TIMS and ACAP permits and land transportation before and after the trek for an additional cost.

Please note that the above rates are standard, and the final price may vary based on your specific requests and customized itineraries. We pride ourselves on providing flexible schedules to suit your preferences. For any inquiries or to share your plans, email us at [email protected]. We are committed to making your Annapurna Circuit Trek experience unforgettable, and we look forward to assisting you on your trekking journey.

Thorung La Pass: 

Thorung La Pass lies just below the Damodar Himal, located in the central part of Nepal, inside the Annapurna Conservation Area of the Himalayas. It lies on the route that connects two popular regions of Nepal - the Manang Valley and the Muktinath Valley.

The elevation of Thorung La Pass stands at an impressive altitude of 5,416 meters (17,769 feet), and its high elevation makes it one of the most challenging mountain passes in the world. Thorung La Pass is not just a challenging trek; it's an incredibly beautiful and culturally significant place and is a dream adventure for trekkers and nature lovers worldwide. 

Talking about the ancient significance, this pass holds significant historical and cultural importance as it has been a traditional trade route between the people living in the Manang and Mustang regions for centuries. It was an essential part of the salt trade from the arid region of Mustang to the lower areas.

Thorung La is a challenging pass to cross, and trekkers must be acclimatized to high altitude before attempting it. The pass is usually crossed from east to west (Manang to Muktinath), which is the easiest and safest direction. Crossing Thorung La from Manang to Muktinath in one day is impossible. Trekkers usually spend the first night in Yak Kharka and the second night in Thorung Phedi — which is situated at 4,540 meters (14,895 ft), or at Thorung High Camp — which is situated at 4,880 meters (16,010 ft) before attempting to go over Thorung La. Choosing this option decreases the elevation gain and loss for that day's hike and the distance.

Moreover, the most challenging part of the Annapurna Circuit Trek is Thorung La Pass due to its high altitude, steep ascent, and unpredictable weather conditions, so acclimatization is a must. The best time to attempt the Thorung La Pass is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. The weather is relatively stable during these months, with clear skies and mild temperatures.

The top of Thorung La Pass offers a sense of accomplishment along with breathtaking panoramic views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, including peaks like Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Gangapurna, and others. The scenery from the Thorung La pass is truly mesmerizing and makes the arduous trek well worth the effort.

2014 a major snowstorm hit the Thorung La area, killing at least 43 people. This was the deadliest trekking disaster in Nepal's history. 

While nowadays there are no such risks involved as the ACAP in that region checks the weather through satellite every day, Thorong La is a popular destination for trekkers and is considered one of the most challenging and rewarding treks in the world. Moreover, the Annapurna Circuit Trek and the Thorung La Pass aren’t closed at any season of the year. Hence, you can pass the Thorung La Pass even in the extreme winter; however, the Thorung La Pass is closed off/restricted if there are any signs of danger, such as high snow levels, warning of snow storms, constant rain, and so on.

Annapurna Circuit Trek in October

Annapurna Circuit Trek Itinerary

  1. day 1

    Pokhara/Kathmandu to Dharapani (1,860 m | 6102 ft):

  2. day 2

    Trek from Dharapani (1,860 m | 6102 ft) to Chame (2670 m | 8670 ft):

  3. day 3

    Chame (2650 m | 8695 ft) to Upper Pisang (3356 m | 11010 ft):

  4. day 4

    Trek from Upper Pisang to Manang (3519 m | 11545 ft):

  5. day 5

    Acclimatize day at Manang and trek to Ice Lake (4620 m | 15157 ft) :

  6. day 6

    Manang to Yak Khraka (4050m | 13287 ft):

  7. day 7

    Yak Kharka to Thorung Phedi (4540 m | 14895 ft):

  8. day 8

    Thorung Phedi to Muktinath via Thorung La Pass(5416m | 17769ft):

  9. day 9

    Muktinath(3762 m | 12343 ft) to Jomsom (2,743 m|8999 ft) via Lupra (3050 m|10006 ft):

  10. day 10

    Drive to Tatopani (1190 m | 3904 ft) and trek to Swanta Village (2214 m | 7264 ft):

  11. day 11

    Trek from Swant Village to Ghorepani Ghorepani (2874 m | 9429 ft):

  12. day 12

    Ghorepani to Poonhill (3210 m|10531 ft) to Hille (1430 m|4692 ft) , and drive to Pokhara:

Annapurna Circuit Trek Map and Altitude Graph

everest base camp trek map

WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All ground transfers in sharing vehicles as per availability, for every itinerary. Bus transport ( KTM/PKR to Besisahar ) , Sharing Jeep ( Besisahar to Dharapani ) ( Muktinath to Tatopani ) & ( Hile to Pokhara ) 
    • One highly experienced, helpful, and friendly guide, and his food, accommodation, salary, equipment, and accidental insurance.
    • The best available twin or triple-sharing teahouse accommodation during the trek. 
    • Set breakfast, during the trek. You can choose dishes from the lodge menu which mostly includes options as follows:
      • Breakfast: Cereal, Porridge, rice pudding, egg dish with bread or toast, Tibetan bread & pancakes with jam and honey, tea or coffee, etc.
    • Complete trekking arrangements with the required TIMS for trekkers and Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) permit.
    • First aid medical kit with oximeter during the trek.
    • Government taxes, local taxes, TDS, and office service charges.
    • Trekking achievement certificate after the trek.
    • 1-hour trekkers massage after the trek in Pokhara
    • Dry/Fresh fruits along the trek & tea/coffee break during the trek.

WHAT'S EXCLUDED

  • Lunch & Dinner items during the trek 
  • Anything related to International flight airfares such as Nepal entry visa fees, excess baggage charges, International flight tickets, and so on.
  • Extra night accommodations due to changes in itinerary. 
  • Supporter/porter to carry your luggage during the trekking. (One porter carries up to 25 kg of 2 pax) 
  • Personal expenses before the trek such as (renting sleeping bags, buying trekking shoes, and so on), during the trek (any shopping, boiled water, tea coffee(if more than 3 times), cold drinks, alcoholic beverages, hot showers, telephone call, Wifi, cell-phone, camera battery recharges and so on).
  • Travel insurance covers high-altitude helicopter rescue and evacuation along with medical costs.
  • Tips and gratuities for guides and porters.
  • Additional costs, such as additional days due to delays caused by natural/uncontrollable phenomena such as bad weather, landslides, and change of plans(itinerary modifications) due to safety concerns, illness, and soon.
  • Lastly, all of the costs and expenses that aren’t listed in the “What’s Included?” section.

Note:

You can include a porter ( carries up to 20 kg ), with an extra cost of $ 25 per day.

Trekking equipments for Annapurna Circuit Trek

Destinations like the Thorung La Pass demand careful consideration of essential trekking equipment to ensure you safely cross the world’s highest mountain pass.

We have compiled a detailed packing list click here, but it's essential to pack your trekking gear according to the specific days and seasons of your journey. Pack just enough, and if you feel something is lacking with your packing, you can buy them at Manang, the last place where you can buy trekking equipment.

Written by: Mohan Bhandari

Comprehensive packing list for the Annapurna Circuit trek:

Remember, pack light and prioritize items that will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable during the trek. Also, consider the time of year you'll be trekking, as weather conditions vary significantly. Be prepared for changing weather and layer your clothing to adapt to different temperatures along the trail.

Head

    • Sun hat
    • Beanie or warm hat for cold nights
    • Sunglasses with UV protection
    • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries (mobile torch light could also work)
       

Body

  • Upper Body:

    • Moisture-wicking T-shirts (long-sleeved and short-sleeved)
    • Lightweight thermal tops for high altitudes
    • Fleece or down jacket for cold evenings
    • Waterproof and windproof jacket with a hood
    • Poncho or rain cover for your backpack
    • Hands:
    • Lightweight gloves for lower altitudes
    • Insulated gloves or mittens for higher altitudes

    Lower Body:

    • Hiking pants (zip-off pants are versatile)
    • Thermal leggings for high altitudes
    • Waterproof and windproof pants
    • Comfortable shorts for lower altitudes
    • Underwear and moisture-wicking socks (bring extra pairs)

    Footwear:

    • Sturdy and comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
    • Flip-flops or sandals for relaxing in teahouses
    • Trekking Gear:
      • Backpack (30-40 liters capacity)
      • Daypack (10-20 liters capacity)
      • Trekking poles for better stability
      • Sleeping bag suitable for cold temperatures
      • Sleeping bag liner for added warmth and hygiene
      • Water purification tablets or a water filter
      • Reusable water bottles or hydration system
      • Snacks and energy bars for quick energy on the trail

    First Aid and Medications:

    • Basic first aid kit with bandages, antiseptic cream, etc.
    • Personal prescription medications and pain relievers
    • Diamox (acetazolamide) for altitude sickness prevention (consult your doctor)
    • Anti-diarrhea medication
    • Anti-nausea medication
    • Personal Hygiene:
    • Biodegradable soap
    • Quick-dry towel
    • Wet wipes and hand sanitizer
    • Toothbrush and toothpaste
    • Sunscreen with high SPF
    • Lip balm with UV protection
    • Toiletries 

    Miscellaneous:

    • Passport and necessary permits
    • Cash in Nepalese rupees for teahouse expenses (some accept cards, but cash is preferred)
    • Camera and spare batteries
    • Travel adapter and charging cables
    • Ziplock bags to keep your belongings organized and dry
    • Trekking map or guidebook(not necessary if you are trekking with an experienced guide)
    • Lightweight padlock for your backpack

Trip Downloads

Related Trips

Group
from $ 2100 $ 1950 pp

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek: Strenuous Trek in Nepal - 17 Nights 18 Days

Grade

strenuous

Duration

17 Nights 18 Days

Activity

Trekking
Group
from $ 1200 $ 900 pp

Short Everest Base Camp Trek - 10 Nights 11 Day Trek

Grade

Moderate

Duration

10 Nights 11 Day Trek

Activity

Trekking
Group
from $ 1600 $ 1400 pp

Upper Mustang Trek - 11 Nights 12 days

Grade

Adventurous

Duration

11 Nights 12 days

Activity

Trekking
Group
from $ 800 $ 650 pp

Gosaikunda Lake Trek: A Place of Religious Prominence - 7 nights 8 days

Grade

Strenuous

Duration

7 nights 8 days

Activity

Trekking

We are associated with:

  • The logo of the Nepal Tourism Board of Nepal
  • Coat of Arms of Nepal
  • North Nepal Trek pvt. ltd is authorised from Nepal Mountain Academy.