Overview

Annapurna Circuit Trek

The Annapurna circuit trek is one of the Himalayas most famous treks. This trek is achievable for most fit hill walkers and includes a crossing of the Thorong La (pass) at 5416 metres. 

The trek is sociable and fun, not too demanding, and nights are spent in comfortable lodges where the food is fresh and good quality. It's a circular trek, going up one valley and over the Thorung La high pass (5412m) and then descend a different valley. The western section of the the route is now accessible to vehicles, which has unfortunately meant this section is best covered by vehicle now due to traffic and dust, however that just gives the feet a day off and the rest of the trek is stunning. 

You don't need to be a super hiker for this trip, but by the end, you will be feeling very mountain fit, suntanned and filled with positivity!  It's fair to say that this is a popular trek in the high season so you will meet lots of different nationalities on the trail. It is challenging at times but the route allows for excellent acclimatisation before attempting the pass and of course you'll be in the safe and experienced hands of our guide team.

SUMMARY OF ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT TREK ITINERARY

Days 1 & 2: Arrival into Kathmandu, preparation/rest day/ sightseeing
Day 3: 6 hr drive to Bulbule the 2hrs on foot to Ngadi
Days 4 - 12 : Trek around the Annapurna Circuit to Thorung Phedi
Day 12: Trek from Thorung Phedi over the Thorung La pass (5412m) to Muktinath
Day 13: Drive from Muktinath to Tatopani 
Days 14 - 18: Continue our trek onward to Nayapul then drive to Pokhara on afternoon of day 18
Days 19 - 20: Rest day in Pokhara before a flight back to Kathmandu
Day 21: Depart for home

You can trek around the Annapurna Circuit from March to early May, and September to early December.

We generally have groups of 4 - 6 people, and you will be led by Sherpa guides who have worked for us, for many years. The groups meet up in Kathmandu where we have a guesthouse if you wish to use it, or we can book one of the many hotels in the capital. Kathmandu is at an altitude of 1400m. The following day is a rest and briefing day, then on day 3 we travel by road to Bulbule followed by a 2hr walk to Ngadi which is at 900m. Day 4 is the start of our main trek and we then have a gradual height gain each day followed by a few days walking high and sleeping low before going over the 5412m Thorung La pass. After the pass we rapidly drop altitude to sub 2000m. Our circuit will bring us to Pokhara at the end of the trek and after a rest day there, we fly back to Kathmandu. A full, in-depth day by day itinerary can be found on the itinerary tab on this page.

Annapurna Circuit Route Map

annapurna circuit-trek-map.jpg
Click Map for large version

Length and Terrain of the Annapurna Circuit Trek

This 300-kilometre circuit is a challenging but rewarding trek, walked in a counterclockwise direction along the Marsyangdi Valley climaxing at an altitude of 5412m on the Thorung La Pass. With spectacular deep valleys and magnificent mountains, it is among the most popular treks in Nepal.

The Annapurna Circuit trek has a variety of conditions, but most of the walk is on well-established paths and not too high. The crossing of the Thorong La is the high-point of the trip both in terms of altitude and the breathtaking views of the mountains. An average days walk will be over undulating ground for 5 hours. A couple of days are longer and some less.

As the name suggests, the trail encircles Mount Annapurna (8091m) providing scenery and cultural diversity of people and land, from passing through charming villages, home to the Gurung people and trekking through the subtropical jungle to a high, dry terrain resembling the Tibetan landscape.

Annapurna Circuit Altitude Profile


If you click on the graph it will expand.

Also click here for our guidelines for Acclimatising Safely and for Trek Preparation!

ACCOMMODATION ON THE ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT TREK

Accommodation is in comfortable lodges which are run by local families. Each lodge has a central communal area with a large stove that provides heat and a cosy atmosphere. The bedrooms are unheated and generally have two beds per room with mattresses, pillows and a blanket. You will need to bring a sleeping bag (3 season is normally enough) and we'd recommend a pillow case. 

The lodges generally have showers which are powered by gas and they mostly use sit down flush toilets (some lodges do also have squat toilets). Food in the lodges is very good quality, a mixture of local Nepali food and western recipes. Burgers and chips are a common meal, as is dal bhat with rice. You will find everything from fresh pastries to beer, stir fries to deep fried Mars bars available in the lodges and shops a Nepal price guide can be found here. There are also many shops selling all types of drinks and snacks, sweets and chocolate. You can also buy any gear that you may forget on the trail or in Kathmandu.

PACKING LIST FOR ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT TREK

Check out our gear recommendations and also our Nepal Trekking Kit List page for information about what gear and clothing we recommend.

The basic idea of the clothing you will take is to keep you warm, dry, protected from the sun, able to move comfortably in the mountains and able to be comfortable in the evenings and night. 

Kathmandu has an area called Thamel which is full of hundreds of equipment shops, each one an emporium of new, used, quality and fake equipment all very reasonably priced for rental and buying. You can buy almost anything needed for any trek.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS) FOR TREKKING TO EVEREST BASE CAMP

Below are a few commonly asked questions but do also check out our Related Blogs section and also the 'More Information' section also on this page which covers every question you may have for trekking to around the Annapurna Circuit! 

What is the weather like on the Annapurna Circuit?

It is likely to be below freezing on several nights and the crossing of the Thorong La it will be very cold so prepare with warm clothing, hat and gloves. The weather on the pass can be variable, and even occasionally impassable, so do expect some snow or ice.

Can I get some advice about the Annapurna Circuit Trek?

From your first enquiry, you will have experienced people to talk to in the UK office who will give you an honest appraisal of the trek. This personal service and warm welcome will also await you in Kathmandu where our staff, who speak excellent English, will be on hand all the time. We understand that this is more than trekking holiday; this is often a lifetime goal and a spiritual experience.

How Fit do I have to be for the Annapurna Circuit Trek?

Doing a trek for seventeen days straight inevitably is tiring and it's certainly a benefit to be fit, but don't forget that during the trek you are exercising every day and you will end up wonderfully mountain fit and there is a rest on day 13 when we drive out of altitude along the western road. So do train beforehand, do lots of walking with a day sack, but don't overdo it. It's not a marathon, but there are lots of hills to go up and down! The high pass is quite challenging, so work on your thigh muscles, calf muscles and shoulders for carrying the bag (it's only about 5kg but it feels like 10 when you've been walking uphill in the sun). The days aren't too long, the path is fine, and the porters help a lot, but the enjoyment of this trip will be much more if you have worked on your fitness before the holiday. For those people who want to lose a bit of weight, this trip will be perfect. Come back toned, healthy, detoxed and a few kilos lighter!

Bespoke Dates
Fixed Itineraries
Start Date
12/07/2017
End Date
14/07/2017
Days
2
Price
£1bn dollars
£1bn dollars
Start Date
05/09/2020
End Date
25/09/2020
Days
21
Price
£1595
Start Date
10/10/2020
End Date
30/10/2020
Days
21
Price
£1595
Start Date
03/04/2021
End Date
23/04/2021
Days
21
Price
£1595
Start Date
24/04/2021
End Date
14/05/2021
Days
21
Price
£1595
Start Date
04/09/2021
End Date
24/09/2021
Days
21
Price
£1595
Start Date
09/10/2021
End Date
29/10/2021
Days
21
Price
£1595

Annapurna Circuit Trek itinerary

Day Summary  
1 Arrive Kathmandu [Itinerary Starts]  
2 Rest & Briefing in Kathmandu  
3 Kathmandu - Ngadi (drive)  
4 Ngadi - Jagat  
5 Jagat - Dharapani  
6 Dharapani - Chame  
7 Chame - Pisang  
8 Pisang - Manang  
9 Rest day in Manang  
10 Manang - Yak Kharka  
11 Yak Kharka - Thorung Phedi  
12 Thorung Phedi - Thorung La - Muktinath  
13 Muktinath - Tatopani (by vehicle)  
14 Tatopani - Sikha  
15 Sikha - Gorepani  
16 Gorepani - Poon Hill - Tadapani  
17 Tadapani - Ghandruk  
18 Ghandruk - Nayapul (Trek) then drive to Pokhara  
19 Rest Day and sightseeing Pokhara  
20 Pokhara - Kathmandu (fly*) [Itinerary Ends]  
21 Depart for home or stay on in Kathmandu  

The main itinerary ends on arrival back in Kathmandu and on the vast majority of occasions we are back in Kathmandu on day 20 with no problems. However, there are sometimes delays with the internal flights from Pokhara to Kathmandu. Therefore we recommend that you do not book international flights home that leave any earlier than the evening of day 21. This allows the possibility of making the internal flight (or drive if required) back to Kathmandu on day 21 if necessary. You can also arrange to stay an extra night in Kathmandu on the night of day 21 and fly out the following day. We can help you to book the extra night's accommodation if needed.

Please note: Due to the nature of trekking in the mountains and adventure travel, the itineraries here may need to be adapted on the ground to suit prevailing conditions of the mountains, weather and the group.

DETAILED ITINERARY
DayElevationTravel TimeInfo
1 1400m   Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel or Adventure Alternative guesthouse.
2 1400m   Rest day and acclimatisation to jet lag. There is also the possibility of Kathmandu city sightseeing. Trek briefing will follow.
3 840m 2 hours walking Drive from Kathmandu for around 6 hours to Besi sahar (800m). Lunch will be had on the way to Besi Sahar and you will arrive in the late afternoon. Again we take a local jeep or bus to Bulbule, with the possibility of using our own reserve tourist vehicle. Here you enter into the Annapurna Conservation where your guide will register you at the ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) checkpoint. This journey is followed by a 2 hour trek to Ngadi.
4 1270m 5 hours walking Breakfast in the lodge and ready for a steep morning climb through villages and green trees to Bahundanda (1270m), where you will have great views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks. It will take 2 to 3 hours to reach this point, walking slowly. From Bahundanda the trail drops steeply to Lili Bhir and then follows an uncovered trail to Ghermu (1140m), with its wonderful views of the tall waterfall across the river. A further descend across the Marsyangdi River on a suspension bridge will bring you to Syange (1080m) to have lunch. The trail then climbs a steep 150m and crosses a cliff face to the stone village of Jagat, balanced on the edge of a steep sided valley, where you will stop for the evening.
5 1960m 5 hours walking Jagat to Dharapani. The rocky trail descends before climbing through forest to Chamje (1410m). Again you will cross the Marsyangdi Khola, and along the valley with a steady uphill climb to Tal (1700m), which was previously a lakebed and the first village in the Manang district. This will take around 4hours. After lunch the walk continues through the valley, then up a stone stairway before descending to another crossing of the Marsyangdi river, past Karte to Dharapani where you will rest for the night.
6 2710m 6 hours walking Dharapani to Chame. In the morning the trail climbs steeply for around 3hours, gaining 500m to Timang village where you will take rest and have lunch. After lunch it takes another 3hours of walking on flat terrain through forests of pine and fir to reach Chame. There are excellent views of Annapurna II as you approach Chame. Chame is the headquarters of the Manang district and here you will see many lodges and have time to explore the village to use internet cafes, the bank and shop for local souvenirs and trekking gear.
7 3310m 5 hours walking Chame to Pisang. Today is a relatively easy day. The trail is mainly flat and runs through deep forest in a narrow valley and recrosses to the south bank of the Marsyangdi River at 3080m. Lunch will be had in the popular spot of Dhukur Pokhari, where you will have a great first view of the Paungda Danda rock face. After lunch there is a steady, gradual climb for one hour to Pisang, where you rest overnight. From Pisang you will have stunning views of many magnificent peaks, including; Pisang Peak (6091m), Chulu West (6419m), Chulu East (6584m), Lamjung Himal (6986m), Annapurna II (7937m) and Annapurna IV (7525m).
8 3540m 4 ½ hours Pisang to Manang. The walk today goes through the drier upper part of the Manang district through pine forests. There are two routes to Manang, we take the southern route via the airstrip at Hongde (3420m) and continue to Mungji (3500m) and past the extraordinary village of Bragha Gompa to Manang where there are plenty of shops, a museum and an HRA post which you can visit for their daily lecture on altitude sickness. There are stunning views of Gangapurna (7454m) from Manang village.
9 4600m   Rest day in Manang. Spend a day relaxing and acclimatizing with a day hike to the Ice Lake, high above the valley floor at 4600m.
10 4020m 4 hours walking Manang to Yak Kharka. From Manang we have an ascent in the morning of almost 2000m towards the Thorung La and climb steadily, leaving the Marsyangdi Valley. Vegetation becomes sparse as we reach Yak Kharkha. We arrive in Yak Kharkha in time for lunch, and spend the rest of the evening here.
11 4540m 4 hours walking Yak Kharka to Thorung Phedi. Today is a short walk and you will reach Thorung Phedi in the afternoon for lunch and spend the rest of the evening relaxing. The trail crosses the river at 4310m and climbs up through deserted scenery toward Thorung La. It is important to walk slowly and listen to your body. Fatigue from lack of oxygen to your muscles is common, but some people may feel nauseous and suffer from headaches. Drink lots of liquid and keep warm, give your body maximum opportunity to recover.
12 4516m 8 hours walking Thorung Phedi to Muktinath. The day is long, but the efforts are worth it for the view from the top of Thorung La (5416m). We start early at 3am, have a quick breakfast then climb steeply for 5 hours to reach Thorung La at around 8 or 9am. The trail is well used and easy to follow, drink plenty of water and take your time. The pass is marked by chortens and prayer flags and there is even a tea shop along the way. The view of the Annapurnas, along the Great Barrier to Kali Gandaki Valley is astounding. From the pass there is a steady and sometimes slippery descent to Muktinath and you're trekking poles will be helpful. The walk down from the pass takes 3½ hours. Take time in Muktinath to observe the Tibetan traders and the shrines, in a grove of trees. They include a Buddhist gompa, a Vishnu temple and the Jwalami (Goddess of Fire) Temple. This temple protects a spring and natural gas jets that provide Muktinaths famous eternal flame.
13 1190m 5 hours driving Muktinath to Tatopani. Today our feet take a rest as we travel to Tatopani by road. We used to walk this section however the dust has become too much and the closeness of what is now a busy road doesn't compare to the rest of the trek. The drive is still interesting as we make our way through the regions villages and towns plus we quickly drop out of high altitude.
14 1930m 4 hours walking Tatopani to Sikha. An uphill walk through a forest of rhododendrons and Ghara village, which is surrounded by stoned walls and farming land where they grow wheat, potatoes and other vegetables for the local people. Lunch will be had in Ghara, where there is great view of Dhaulagiri (8167m). After lunch, the trail leads steadily uphill on rocky ground and uncovered surroundings to Sikha for around one hour.
15 2853m 3 ½ hours walking Sikha to Gorepani. A short walk, mainly uphill through Sikha village to Gorepani. You will arrive in the afternoon for lunch and relax here for the night, and prepare for the trek to Poon Hill in the early morning.
16 3210m 6 hours walking Gorepani to Tadapani. Early morning climb for around 1 - 2 hours to Poon Hill (3210m) to see the sunrise over the Himalayas, including the Doulagiri and Annapurna Range. Back at the lodge for breakfast and a walk descending for 4 - 5 hours to Tadapan
17 1940m 4 hours walking Tadapani to Ghandruk. The trail leads downhill through a pine forest for 4hours, until you reach Ghandruk. On the walk you will have beautiful views of the Himalayan range.
18 840m 5 hours walking Ghandruk to Nayapul & Pokhara. An easy descent of 700m for 5 hours to Nayapul. We'll then drive from Nayapul for one hour to Pokhara where you'll stay overnight.
19 840m   Rest day and sightseeing around Pokhara, overnight in hotel.
20 1400m   Pokhara flight* to arrive in Kathmandu in the morning. The remainder of the day can be spent resting and/or sightseeing.
21 1400m   You can depart Kathmandu later this day, but see note above about possible internal flight delays.

*These flights ‘fly by sight’ so if there is cloud cover or bad weather there can be delays. If necessary we can be flexible and adapt the itinerary to catch up on lost days, but if the planes can’t fly then there is little that we can do except wait. Occasionally the planes can’t fly but helicopters can, if you prefer this option we can organise it but there would be a supplemental charge. This doesn’t happen very often but if your trek is very early, very late, or out of the main season you should consider possible impacts. Please read our More Info page about Himalayan Flight Delays

Annapurna Circuit trek cost from £1,595.00

INCLUDES

  • Airport Transfers
  • Road transfer from Kathmandu to Ngadi by bus (this can be upgraded to a private vehicle - price depends on group size: 3 or less is £20pp, 4 or more is free)
  • Accommodation in lodges/ tea houses (twin rooms with beds/ mattresses)
  • Three meals per day during the trek, with a hot drink (e.g. tea/coffees/juices)
  • Annapurna Conservation ACAP permit fees & TIMS Permit
  • Sherpa guides (English speaking, trained in first aid)
  • Porters (carries 14kgs for you)
  • Staff food, insurance and equipment
  • Hotel (twin rooms) in Pokhara
  • Flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu

EXCLUDES

  • International flight to Kathmandu
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu (~ £15 - £25pp/n) - we can book this for you or look at www.booking.com 
  • Meals and drinks in Kathmandu
  • Personal costs like drinks, laundry, hot showers, bottled water
  • Excess flight baggage ($1 / kg)
  • Trip Insurance or medical costs
  • Visa
  • Tips (~$75 - $100)
  • Sightseeing or additional tours

Payments

A deposit of £100 is required on booking to secure your place and we ask that the remaining balance (trip price minus the deposit) is paid in full 6 weeks prior to your departure. When you book with us you're given your own secure online account which you can access 24/7. Through this account you can edit your booking, add flight, health, insurance and dietary details and also make interim payments. We make payments as flexible as possible and you can choose, if you wish, to pay a bit off your trip fee whenever it suits you.


NOT ALL ABOUT MONEY

Our prices are competitive and good value, and we offer quality, service, security and an ethical stance on tourism in a developing country. We don’t want to be so expensive to run fewer trips and have our staff idle, but on the other hand we believe that running  cheap trips that promote the practise of skimming budgets would result in the porters getting next to nothing, which is something we cannot consider.

Additionally we plan treks with sufficient rest days and with achievable daily altitude increases which gives good time to acclimatise. Reducing the number of days may make the price cheaper but the chances of successfully completing the trek also greatly reduce.

We include professional staff and a porter for each member. We do not operate kitties and we use an excellent hotel in Kathmandu with which we have built up a strong relationship over the years.

We have our own licensed company in Kathmandu, Adventure Alternative Nepal and full time staff to operate all our treks, climbs and tours in Nepal.

INSURANCE

You must have an insurance policy which covers trekking at high altitude and helicopter rescue in the event of an evacuation, to the value of up to $10,000.00.

Annapurna Circuit Trek kit list

The basic idea of the kit we will take is to keep you warm, dry, protected from the sun, able to move comfortably in the mountains and able to be comfortable in the evenings and night.

You will be given a detailed kit list after booking, but the main points to cover are as follows:-

  • BAGS - Rucksack or duffle bag for a porter to carry plus a day pack to be carried by you
  • SHELL - Top and bottom waterproofs to keep off wind/rain
  • LAYERS - Shirts, trousers, shorts, Tshirts, jumpers and jackets, hats and gloves
  • BASELAYER - Thin layers to wick away any sweat and to wear for cold mornings
  • FEET - Comfortable boots with a good sole and ankle support. Lighter footwear to change into in the evenings.
  • SLEEPING - Warm sleeping bag (3 or 4 season) to get a good nights sleep at the lodges (they also have blankets)
  • DRINKING - Water bottles should be hard plastic (Nalgene), not throwaway bottles.
  • WASHING & MEDICAL - wash kit, towel, first aid kit
  • SUN CARE - sunglasses, sunhat
  • TREKKING - trekking poles, umbrella, dry bags
  • PERSONAL ITEMS - cameras, books, music

Kathmandu has an area called Thamel which is full of hundreds of equipment shops, each one an emporium of new, used, quality and fake equipment all very reasonably priced for rental and buying. You can buy almost anything needed for any trek.

A more details list and other guides can be found under the 'More Information' tab on the right hand side of this page or by clicking here:

Luggage Allowance on Internal Flights

Please note that standard luggage limits on internal flights are 12.5kg (combined hold and hand luggage). You can pay for extra luggage allowance at $1/kg. However, note that the amount that the plane can carry also has a limit! You can of course wear your trekking boots and jacket to help cut down on the weight of your bag. You can also leave any city clothes or extra travel kit in Kathmandu.

  • All our guides are personally trained by Gavin Bate, Company Director and high altitude climber who has made 6 expeditions to Mount Everest.
  • We offer small scale, authentic adventures, which support the local economy.
  • We do not contract out our trips, we employ full time staff, offering job security and good benefits, and we are continually improving our quality service year on year.
  • All the staff in our UK office have been to Nepal so you can chat to people who understand what it's like to go out for the first time, before you go.
  • We are passionate about responsible tourism and our company supports sustainable development in Nepal in a real way.
  • Adventure Alternative underwrites the charity Moving Mountains.
  • Financial security guaranteed through bonding and membership of AITO.

£1,595pp

Choose a scheduled date or contact us to set up private dates or a bespoke itinerary. The minimum deposit is £100.00 and the balance is due six weeks before travel.

Tours from only 1,595pp Dates & Bookings
Staff Review

The Annapurna Circuit trek visits a wide variety of scenery that Nepal has to offer, with superb views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges and landscapes ranging from sub-tropical through alpine heath and even semi-desert. The climax of the trek is crossing the famous Thorong La Pass (5416m).

Key Information
  • Duration 22 days
  • Numbers 4 minimum
  • Altitude 5416m
  • Distance 209km
  • Challenge Moderate
  • Comfort Lodges