Annapurna is the 10th highest mountain in the world and is quite famous for both its other-worldly beauty as well as its avalanches. And, the Annapurna trekking region is one of the three most famous trekking regions in Nepal and one of the most popular in the world.
Compared to other trekking locations, the Annapurna region offers a wider range of trekking alternatives, from relatively easy hikes to more difficult, high-altitude treks; the Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of them.
In fact, Annapurna Circuit Trek is considered one of the best trek routes in the region as well as all over the world. People call it a “Classic Himalayan Trek” or a “Classic Nepal Trek”. It is relatively a long journey where its route encircles the Annapurna Massifs and takes the trekkers through its ever-changing landscape, diverse vegetation, unique culture and tradition, and vast Himalayan vistas. In Summiting this trek is a dream come true for trekking enthusiasts around the world and Himalayan Trekkers will do everything possible to fulfill this dream.
If you are considering this trek as your next travel plan, there may be some questions that you have likely been thinking about. So, we have listed below some of the frequently asked questions to help you decide whether this trek is for you or not-
1, How long is Annapurna Circuit Trek?
The standard length of the Annapurna Circuit is 260 kilometers. But, the distance can differ depending on the itinerary you choose or where you start and end the trek. Likewise, it could take from 10-21 days to complete the circuit, again depending upon your chosen itinerary.
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2, How Difficult is the Annapurna Trek?
We have come to know that the Annapurna region encompasses a number of trekking routes that include both moderate as well as difficult trails. Hence, according to experienced trekkers, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is a moderate difficulty trek.
In addition to being on a lengthy side, it also includes walking, climbing, and descending at an elevation of more than 3500 meters above sea level. This does not mean that a beginner cannot sign up for this journey. It surely can be completed even though you are a newbie in trekking but some level of fitness is surely required.
The terrain is quite varied with steep rocks and muddy, slippery paths so it is definitely a good idea to start walking or running daily a few weeks prior to the commencement of the trek. Himalayan Trekkers also suggests that you carry high-altitude medicines like Diamox, anti-vomiting, and anti-nausea tablets to be on the safer side.
Likewise, upon reaching Nepal, make sure you have a day to acclimatize yourself before starting the climb. Himalayan Trekkers will be there to guide you with the acclimatization process every step of the way.
On the other hand, choosing a shorter trek route like Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek and Annapurna Base Camp will be much easier as compared to the longer and higher path of the Annapurna circuit trek.
3, When is the Best time to do the Annapurna Trek?
Autumn or the months of September and October are the most preferred ones for the Annapurna trek. Temperatures are pleasant, ranging from 15-17 degrees Celsius during the day to 5 degrees Celsius at night. Early November is also a good time for the Annapurna Circuit as the days will still be sunny and lovely. The nights will be a little bit chillier than in the earlier months but your teahouses will make sure you are warm enough.
Springtime which starts from March till early June is also considered the peak season for this trek. The days get longer and hotter and the nights get shorter and warmer as the spring progresses even at the high altitude. However, it will still be chilly and windy at the night and in the morning but tolerable. The region’s typical daytime temperatures range from 5 degrees Celsius to 20 degrees Celsius in the higher and lower regions respectively.
Himalayan Trekkers recommend avoiding winter and Monsoon periods as the former witnesses temperatures below the freezing point while the latter is highly dangerous because of landslides.
4, What are the Accommodation facilities During the Annapurna Trek?
Annapurna region is dotted with lodges and tea houses. In fact, the Annapurna Circuit is deemed to be a tea house trek. This means that travelers can rest in tea houses or lodges in most of the villages.
It is better to know that tea houses here, essentially mean basic accommodation with warm beds, bed sheets, pillows, and blankets. The bathrooms are usually located outside the main building and are supposed to be shared by the boarders.
Though basic bedding is provided, Himalayan Trekkers advise you to carry a sleeping bag if you can as it can get quite chilly at times.
5, Are food and water easily available Throughout the Annapurna Trek?
A fairly decent menu of food is available in almost all the tea houses in the area.
Cooks are equipped to arrange for basic meals consisting of local to some western dishes. Nepali staple Dal Bhat which translates to Rice & lentil soup that is served with seasonal vegetables is the most famous. You can carry dry fruits, biscuits, chocolates, or other snacks with you if you like.
Packaged drinking water is sold in tea houses but they are expensive. However, some of the zones are plastic-free which means that packaged bottles, made up of plastic are not allowed. Himalayan Trekkers suggests that you carry your own water bottle with you. The bottles can be filled with boiled water from the lodges or spring water to be filtered with purification tablets.
6, Is any permit required for the Annapurna Circuit Trek?
The Annapurna trekking zone is a restricted area in Nepal so an ACAP which is an Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit and a TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) card is needed. Himalayan Trekkers will arrange for the required permits so you do not have to worry about hassles. A licensed guide will also be there to guide you on your way.
7, Do phone & internet work in Annapurna Region?
The lower region usually has good coverage of network, internet & WIFI. You will need to purchase a local SIM such as NTC or NCELL once in Kathmandu to stay connected with friends and family. However, they may be very limited or non-existent in some places, especially in the higher altitudes.
8, What to pack for Annapurna Trek?
Himalayan Trekkers will strongly recommend that you travel lightly as the journey will be arduous. Packing essentials like layered jackets, both light and heavy woolens, sunglass, waterproof overalls/ponchos/raincoats, and sunscreen is important. A sturdy pair of trekking boots will take you a long way. What is even more important is high altitude medicines as well as water purification tablets. You can purchase or rent anything needed for your trek at one of the many stores in the Thamel. Some of the major items you need to carry are listed below.
- Clothing depending upon the season
- T-shirts (short/long sleeved) that can dry quickly
- Hiking pants, thermals, pairs of underwear, quick-drying towel
- Trekking boots, light & thick socks, gloves (light/warm)
- A day backpack, Raincoat, sleeping bag
- Jacket (Fleece and Down)
- Required documents
- Toiletries & skin care products
Trekking gear for the Everest region and Annapurna region is almost the same as they both have similar elevations and similar weather and temperature conditions. So, you can just carry the gears/items that fall under the Packing List for Everest Base Camp Trek for this Annapurna Circuit Trek.
9, Are ATMs and banks available on the Annapurna Circuit Route?
There is no availability of ATMs & bank services once you start your trek. While most major currencies are accepted in the lower altitudes, it is better to keep a few Nepali rupees ready. This may come in use in the higher altitudes.
If you are traveling with Himalayan Trekkers, most of your daily requirements will be paid for beforehand so only extra expenses like buying knick-knacks, energy bars, drinks or water will be there. This does not entail a lot of cash so this is no major concern regarding carrying a thick wad of local currency.
10, Is travel insurance required for the Annapurna Treks?
Though it is not mandatory to have travel insurance, having one is a good precaution, especially on such unpredictable and risky trek routes like Annapurna. It is extremely obvious that such a remote, high-altitude location will not have too many advanced health centers or medical practitioners. In light of the existing scenario, insurance can provide the necessary financial aid in the face of unforeseen dangers.
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