Annapurna Circuit Tour

Trekking and Walking

  • Guaranteed Satisfaction
  • Transparent Price
  • No hidden fees
  • Experience of a More than 10 Years
  • Personal Touch & Professional Service

US$ 1,050 P/P

Trip Info

  • Duration

    14 Days

  • Max. Altitude

    5416 m

  • Difficulty

    difficult

  • Starts From

    Kathmandu

  • Trip Ends At

    Kathmandu

  • Transport

    Private Drive

  • Region/Type

    Annapurna Treks
  • Best Season:

    • Spring (Mar, Apr)
    • Autumn (Mid-Sep - Mid November)

The Annapurna Circuit Trail is one of the world's most famous trekking routes. The Annapurna Circuit trail takes you across the entire Annapurna massifs in the Annapurna region, including crossing Thorong La Pass (5,416m) and walking along the edge of the world's deepest gorge (Kaligandaki Gorge). 

The Annapurna Circuit is a breathtakingly gorgeous and interesting journey taking you into deep gorges, desolate high mountain passes, Buddhist temples, charming farming towns, and all of the Annapurna Massif's major peaks. Furthermore, this Annapurna circuit walk path passes through a series of Nepalese communities, allowing you to see some of the unique and diverse cultures of ethnic groups such as Gurungs, Magars, Tamang, Thakali, and others. 

However, the trekking paths of this world-famous journey are no more trekking paths but are more like motor roads. Due to infrastructure development, the classic Annapurna Circuit trail is being shadowed and the lifestyles of the region are changing which were the highlights of the Annapurna Circuit Trek. 

Some still follow these motorable turned roads during their walk while some might not want to spend their time on dusty and paved paths. So, we have designed a package called “Annapurna Circuit Tour” for those who want to skip trekking on motorable roads. Our Annapurna Circuit Alternative Journey is also ideal for those who have limited time but wants to experience the Annapurna Circuit Trail. 

 

Trip Highlights

  • Trek and drive along with one of the world's deepest gorges, the Kali Gandaki.
  • A challenging and exciting journey to the Thorong La Pass (5,416 m), one of the highest passes in the world
  • Spectacular views of Mt. Annapurna, Nilgiri, Chulu West, and Chulu East, Tukuche Peak, Dhaulagiri, Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, and Annapurna IV, Tukuche Peak, Dhaulagiri, Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, and Annapurna IV
  • Take in the sights and sounds of Nepal's diverse terrain and culture

Challenges during Annapurna Circuit Tour

There are many difficulties and challenges when doing a high-altitude or Himalayan journey. This Annapurna Circuit Tour is a moderate-level journey in terms of difficulty level. And travelers might face a few challenges during this journey. 

There are chances of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) while doing this Kathmandu Pokhara Annapurna Circuit Tour as you will be moving to a higher altitude at a faster pace than the trekking journeys. So, as soon as you notice the symptoms of altitude sickness, you are bound to inform your guide as our mountain guides are well trained regarding this subject. 

Other difficulties could be the bad weather, less availability of lodgings and food, etc. So, before embarking on the trip, these subjects should be studied well. 

 

Best Time to do Annapurna Circuit Tour 

Annapurna Circuit is a high-altitude journey where trekkers traverse through subtropical, temperate, and mountain regions. And high-altitude journey necessitates more thought and preparation than low-altitude trekking. Though Annapurna Circuit is open all around the year, there are certain periods of the year when the weather circumstances are great. This is due to the fact that mountain weather is unpredictable and dangerous. 

As a result, the autumn and spring seasons are widely considered the shoulder season for the Annapurna Circuit Alternative Trek. These two seasons are also the busiest on the trail as the weather is often clear and dry. 

The fall months of October and November have dry weather, clear mountain views, and a low possibility of snow at high elevations making it ideal for an easily successful journey. The only disadvantage is that the trail is at its most congested. Some of the trekkers might be bothered by this, while others like the camaraderie and excitement of peak season.

Spring, from mid-March to May also has clear weather, blue sunny skies, a stable trail, and the best of the Himalayan views. The mornings are bright and sunny, the flowers are in full bloom, and temperatures slowly rise bringing back the crowd. 

The lower routes of the Annapurna Circuit can become a slick mess in the summer when monsoon rains wash across much of the trails making it impossible for driving. Also, the monsoon is responsible for hot and humid weather, as well as low visibility due to clouds and mist. In addition, leeches are a major concern at lower elevations during walks, along with landslides and rockslides. 

December, January, and February are the three main winter months. December is the busiest of three months and the rest two are significantly quieter as the temperature drops into many minuses. But, the sky is mostly clear providing spectacular views and it can be ideal for hardcore trekkers. However, thick snow might make crossing the Thorong La difficult to impossible. 

Permits to do Annapurna Circuit Tour

Two permits, TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) and ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) are mandatory to tour and trek the Annapurna Circuit Route. 

TIMS is a database that improves the safety of all trekkers in Nepal. Your name and travel arrangements will be recorded into the system once you pay the cost. Local governments can utilize the data to better plan for sustainability in certain locations, but if you get lost in the mountains, this information will be useful in a rescue attempt.

Unlike TIMS, ACAP was created specifically for the Annapurna Area. The fees you pay for the permit support the area’s conservation. 

These two permits are checked at several checkpoints throughout the trail. Himalayan Trekkers include these permits in the cost and obtain them on your behalf. 

 

Itinerary in Details

1: Arrival in Kathmandu

🕑 30 Min Drive to Hotel

Max Altitude: 1350 M

Once you exit the arrival terminal in Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will see a representative from Himalayan Trekkers with a banner with your name. He will then greet you and escort you to the designated hotel in the Thamel area or near its proximity. After check-in formalities, you can rest and freshen up. Later, we will have a short discussion session regarding our Annapurna Circuit Tour, either in our office or in your hotel lobby. 

In the evening, you can stroll around the streets of the Thamel area. Thamel is the commercial capital or the tourist district in the Kathmandu valley. Thamel's tiny alleyways lined with a variety of local stores and restaurants and numerous small temples and monuments lining the streets are a pretty good sight to see for the first-timers. 

Note: If your arrival makes on time, i.e., in the morning time, we will go sightseeing in two UNESCO World Heritage Sites out of the total 7 inside the Kathmandu Valley. 
First, we visit the Buddhist Pilgrimage site, Boudhanath Stupa in the northeast of Kathmandu. It is one of the largest stupas in the world and represents Tibetan/Mahayana Buddhism. As soon as we enter the Boudha gate, we will be greeted by the giant white dome in the center or the big mandala. Pilgrims and visitors making a kora (circumambulation), colorful Thanka shops, Himalayan Incense vendors, and monks in red robes can be seen in the peaceful stupa complex. 

After spending an ample amount of time at Boudhanath, we will drive to Pashupatinath Temple. It is one of the 4 significant Hindu sites in the world dedicated to Lord Shiva. Built-in pagoda style, the main temple is closed to non-Hindus. But, there is plenty to see in the temple that represents the Nepali culture, art as well as architecture. One of the main reasons to visit the temple in the evening is to witness the evening aarti ceremony where Hindu priests offer the lights with ghee-soaked wicks to the deities. 
After enjoying the time at these sites, we will drive back to the hotel. 

Meals: Welcome Dinner

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in KTM

2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 1350 M

Start the day with a delicious hotel breakfast. Then we will start the whole day Kathmandu city-guided sightseeing tour. We will visit Budhanilkantha Temple, Patan Durbar Square, and Swoyambhunath Temple today. 

Budhanilkantha Temple is a prominent Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located at the lap of the Shivapuri Hill. The temple is famous for the giant statue of sleeping Vishnu on the pond. The temple is worshipped by both Hindu and Buddhist devotees. 

Patan Durbar Square is one of the three durbar squares in the Kathmandu Valley that transparently show the beauty of Nepali and Newari craftsmanship. The durbar square complex in Newari town is beautiful and is located in the city of Patan/Lalitpur district. The durbar square complex also houses many Hindu and Buddhist temples and monuments. Patan Museum, Krishna Mandir, Golden Temple, etc. are the must-see attractions here. 

Swoyambhunath Stupa is also popular as “Monkey Temple” because of the excessive numbers of monkeys living here. It is one of the oldest temples in the country that has a history related to the formation of the Kathmandu Valley itself. With a similar figure as the Boudhanath’s white dome but in a smaller version sits atop a hill with many other smaller monuments and temples. The temple is worshipped by both Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims which again shows the religious harmony in the country. 
Note: Kathmandu Durbar Square and Bhaktapur Durbar Square are also on the list for sightseeing. We will cover 3-4 places out of these 5 places today depending upon the time limitation and visitors’ preferences. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in KTM

3: Drive to Besisahar

🕑 6 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 760 M

We board a bus from Kathmandu to Besishar after breakfast. The path takes us out of the Kathmandu valley, through Bandipur and eventually Besisahar, along the scenic Trishuli River. The ride will take us past terraced farmland, ancient villages, and the Ganesh and Manaslu mountain peaks.
Once we reach today’s final destination, Besisahar which lies in the Lamjung district, we will check in and rest. We will spend the remainder of the day exploring the town, its Bazar, and its surroundings. 

Besisahar is the starting point for the famous Annapurna Range trip and Lamjung's district headquarters. The name Besisahar translates to “city at the foot of a hill”. And as the name suggests, it sits at the foot of the lush green hills along the Marshyangdi River. The town also offers jaw-dropping views of Annapurna, Machhapurchhre, and Lamjung Himal. 

Note: Without halting in Besisahar for the night, we can directly drive to Pisang too. However, because we will be gaining a lot of altitude in a day if we drive to Pisang, we will stop at Besisahar for the night to acclimate. We will, however, proceed up to Pisang if you only have a limited amount of time for the journey and is willing to go further. And for this, we will have to start quite early in the morning. 

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

4: Drive to Pisang

🕑 5/6 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 3250 M

Soon after breakfast in Besisahar, we start our drive along the Marshyangdi River to reach Pisang, the final destination of the day. Along the route, we will enjoy spectacular landscape views, farms, and small villages. We will take short breaks in the tea shops en route, enjoy the surroundings, and take plenty of pictures while slowly driving to Pisang. 
After arriving in Pisang, we will check-in for the night and rest. Later, we will explore the village and its surroundings. 
Note: If you have an extra or spare day and are interested we can add a day side trip to the ice lake close to Pisang. 

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

5: Trekking to Manang

🕑 5/6 Hours Walk

Max Altitude: 3540 M

The town of Pisang marks the beginning of the Manang district's higher section. Leaving Pisang, we will start the trekking journey today to Manang through Upper Pisang via Geru along with spectacular views of Annapurna II, III, IV, Gangapurna, Tilicho, and Pisang Peak. As we progress up the trail, the air becomes drier, and you'll almost certainly see local farmers herding yaks.
The trail takes us through Tibetan settlements, giving us the opportunity to learn about Buddhist culture. We shall not miss a visit to Barge Monastery, Manang's largest monastery. As we pass through additional monasteries and eventually arrive at Manang market, you will see that the path is studded with Buddhist shrines. Manang is a hamlet of approximately 500 flat-roofed buildings with good views of Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Gangapurna, and Chulu East. We arrive in Manang after a time, refresh up, and stay the night.
Note: The jeep can go all the way to Manang except during the monsoon months but we prefer trekking for acclimatization purposes. 

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

6: Acclimatization in Manang

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 3540 M

We keep ourselves occupied today with a short climb to either Bhojo Gumba or Gangapurna Lake in order to stay fit for the trails ahead. If we have enough stamina, we can go to Vraga Village and visit the Himalayan Rescue Association, which will provide us with information about Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). By the evening, we return to Manang for the night. 
Note: If you got 2 extra days or can manage 2 extra days in this journey, a trip to Tilicho Lake would be outstanding as well as fruitful because it is a great opportunity to visit one of the best places in the region saving time, cost and energy when you are already in the region. 

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

7: Trek to Yak Kharka

🕑 3/4 Hours Walk

Max Altitude: 4120 M

We leave Manang after breakfast and continue our journey feeling refreshed. We will pass through the big trees and enter into the alpine grass and junipers and come to meadows where a few horses and yaks are grazing. This grazing meadow called Yak Kharka will be our home for the night. 
Note: We could alternatively walk for an hour to go to Letdar and spend the night there.

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

8: Trek to Thorong Phedi

🕑 5/6 Hours Walk

Max Altitude: 4450 M

Soon after breakfast, we leave Yak Kharka for Thorong Phedi. We will trek up to a ridge from Yak Kharka, then descend and cross the Marsyangdi River on a wooden bridge and arrive in Letdar village. We continue ascending and pass past cliffs with spectacular views until arriving at Thorang Phedi, a grassland surrounded by towering cliffs. Once we get to Phedi, we will have plenty of time to recover and acclimate to the higher elevations before continuing on to the Thorung La Pass, the highest point on the Annapurna Explorer. We get one of the best views of Mt. Gudang, Mt. Syagang, Thorung Peak, and Mt. Khatungkan during today’s journey. 

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

9: Trek to Muktinath via Thorong Pass

🕑 8/9 Hours Walk

Max Altitude: 3800 M


Today, we set out early in the morning for the Thorong La Pass crossing at 5416 meters sea level. The trail is steep but simple to follow and we will reach one of the highest passes in the world after around 6 hours of leaving the Phedi. The Pass is which is decked with prayer flags, a traditional stupa (chorten), and stone cairns created by tourists. We are treated to stunning vistas from the snow-capped mountains above to the head of the Kali Gandaki valley below and the brown and purple hills of Mustang that stretch out before us. We will see a panorama of spectacular Himalayan peaks to the north, towards Tibet, and the Annapurna range to the back.
We then make our way to Muktinath, a Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage site. Muktinath is known to Buddhists as Chumig Gyatsa, which means Hundred Waters in Tibetan. Muktinath Temple is famous for its 108 stone sprouts that sprout water from the Kaligandaki River. You can also view the 2,000-year-old perpetual flame that has been blazing there.
The descent to Muktinath is 1600 meters long. However, the spectacular views of Dhaulagiri provide a welcome diversion.
 

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

10: Drive to Tatopani (1190m/5-6hrs)

🕑 5/6 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 1190 M

As our trekking days end with the arrival in Muktinath on the previous day, we will again resume the driving journey today. After visiting the Muktinath temple in the morning and having breakfast, we will hop on the jeep and start driving on the trail that used to be a trekking trail back in the days. 

We will pass by many villages Ranipauwa, Jomsom, and Marpha along the deepest gorge in the world, the Kali Gandaki. We will make brief stops on the way to admire nature and click some pictures for memories. We will also meet some locals of the villages we stop by, look into their lifestyle, and also might get a taste of their hospitality. You may visit the apple orchid in Marpha village, pluck the fruit straight from the trees in the right season and get the taste of the apples grown in the Himalayas. Ruptse waterfall, one of the highest waterfalls in the country is another highlight of today’s execution. 

We will reach Tatopani in the late evening. Tatopani means hot water and the place is named Tatopani because there is a natural hot spring to relax. You can spend a couple of hours in that natural hot spring water to unwind from the long journey. 

Note: You can directly drive to Jomsom from Muktinath skipping Tatopani and take a 25 minutes flight from Jomsom to Pokhara today if you are short on time. 

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

11: Drive to Pokhara via Beni & Sarangkot

🕑 6/7 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 850 M

You can take a dunk in the hot spring one more time in the morning. And after breakfast, we will leave Tatopani and drive towards Pokhara. We will follow a slow dirt road to Beni and from here we further drive to Sarangkot (1600M).

Sarangkot is usually famous for its sunrise views but the sunset view is also glorious from here. We will watch the sun setting view along with the panoramic Himalayas, Pokhara valley, and Phewa Lakes from this popular hill station.

Then we will drive further for 1 hour to reach Pokhara. Once in Pokhara, we check-in, rest, and might take a walk around the lakeside. 

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Pokhara

12: Sightseeing in Pokhara

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 850 M

We will go on a sightseeing tour of Pokhara city after breakfast. In this magnificent city of lakes, there are many locations to explore and things to see and do. There are ten lakes in the city of lakes, with Phewa, Begnas, and Rupa being the most notable. These magnificent lakes are flanked by massive hills with a Himalayan backdrop.

We'll go to one of these three lakes today, as well as other well-known places including Davis' Falls, Gupteshwor Mahadev Temple, Mahendra Cave, Bindabasini Temple, Shanti Stupa (World Peace Pagoda), Seti River Gorge, International Mountain Museum, Tibetan Refugee Camp, and so on.

Or you can opt. to hike to Pumdikot, a recently opened themed park with one of the biggest Lord Shiva statues. Pumdikot is located in the Pumdi Bhumdi village on the edges of the valley, about 13 kilometers from Pokhara. This is one of the most stunning vantage points in the Pokhara area, with spectacular Himalayan views, valley and lake views, and some incredible locations to explore. In fact, it is believed to be better than the Sarangkot hill station for surrounding views. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Pokhara

13: Drive to Kathmandu

🕑 7 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 1350 M

After breakfast, we pack our bags, bid goodbye to the Himalayas and Pokhara, and drive back to Kathmandu along the Prithivi Highway. Enjoying the massive landscape scenery, the cool breeze, the view of the gushing Trishuli River, terraced fields, smiling locals, and small colorful towns and villages, we reach Kathmandu city in approximately 7 hours. 
After check-in at the hotel, you are on leisure. You can rest for the remainder of the day or go shopping, take a walk in the Thamel market, or visit the busy ancient markets of Ason and Indrachowk. 

In the evening, we will have our final meal together at a traditional Nepalese restaurant where we will get to enjoy an authentic Nepalese meal and a cultural program and share our experiences. 

Meals: Breakfast & Farewell Dinner

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in KTM

14: Departure from Kathmandu

🕑 30 Min Drive to Airport

Today marks the end of the lovely Kathmandu Pokhara Annapurna Circuit Tour.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport 3 hours prior to your scheduled flight back to your home or onward destination. 
However, if your flight is scheduled in the evening or late afternoon, you will have leisure after breakfast to get some souvenirs for friends and family or you could also opt to visit the nearest place of your choice. 

Meals: Breakfast

Includes

  • International Arrival and Departure transfer as per itinerary
  • 3* Standard Category Twin/Double Sharing Accommodations in Kathmandu & Pokhara
  • Best available Twin/Double Sharing Tea House Accommodations during Annapurna Circuit Tour 
  • Daily Breakfast at Hotel in Kathmandu & Pokhara as Per Itinerary
  • All Meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) with tea/coffee in Annapurna Circuit Route 
  • Guide City Tours in Kathmandu as per Itinerary
  • All required ground transfers in Kathmandu
  • All heritage entrance fees
  • Domestic Flights and Taxes (Jomsom – Pokhara)
  • Permits and Entrances Fees – Annapurna Conservation & TIMS 
  • An Experienced city/Trekking Guide
  • All Wages, Equipment, Salary, Travel Insurance for Guide 
  • A Comprehensive Medical Kit
  • Welcome/Farewell Dinner
  • All applicable government taxes

 

Excludes

  • International Flights to/from Nepal
  • Nepal Visa Fees
  • Your Travel Insurance 
  • Lunch & Dinner in Kathmandu & Pokhara 
  • Personal expenses such as Phone Calls, Internet/Wi-Fi, Laundry, etc. 
  • Any Bar Bills
  • Tips & Gratitude 
  • Any cost occurred from unfavorable circumstances such as Bad weather, Health issues, landslides, Political strikes, etc.
  • Any other expenses not mentioned in the cost inclusion

Himalayan Trekkers offer the best available 3-star standard category accommodation on a twin/double sharing basis in the cities such as Kathmandu and Pokhara. However, if you prefer to upgrade the hotel category or want to have a single supplementary service, we will provide them for you for an additional cost.  

Once your Annapurna Circuit Trek starts with a stay in Besisahar, you will be accommodated in the best available, clean, and hygienic teahouses/trekking lodges/ guesthouses. They will be on a twin-sharing basis with two wooden beds, comfortable mattresses, pillows, and blankets. Almost every teahouse provides tourists with a hot shower provided by an electric or solar heater. These family-friendly lodgings have a spectacular view of Annapurna. 

Meals during Annapurna Circuit Tour Trek 

All three main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner with tea/coffee) are included in the program throughout the Annapurna Circuit Tour. The teahouses along the circuit have plenty of options to keep you energized. Many high-carb dishes are available such as spaghetti, pizza, and sandwiches along with the Nepali staple, Dal Bhat (rice with lentil soup and seasonal veggies). The teahouses even serve Chinese stir-fried noodles, momos, pancakes, and even cinnamon rolls. 

Note: The package does not include lunch or dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara as these cities have a wide range of restaurants/cafes/pubs and cuisines (Nepali, Indian, Chinese, Continental, Western, etc.) to choose from. Also, all beverage drinks including alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks in both the cities and in Annapurna Route are excluded from the package.  

In addition, we offer our guests a welcome or farewell dinner in an authentic Nepalese restaurant in Kathmandu. 

Drinking-Water during 2 weeks Annapurna Circuit Tour 

Like almost every trekking trail, the locals in the Annapurna Circuit also rely on freshwater resources for drinking water. They either use water taps connected to freshwater resources or directly draw water from those sources. As a result, it may appear safe to consume the same water as the locals. However, precaution is better than cure, and while trekking in the Himalayas, being well is very essential. You are not advised to drink them directly without boiling or purifying them. 

The teahouses do provide bottled water but it is fairly expensive in comparison to the lower region. More importantly, the use of bottled water contributes to environmental degradation. 

So, boiling or purifying available freshwater is the best possible way to ensure safe drinking water in the Himalayas. Teahouses provide boiled water at a cost depending upon the teahouses and altitude. But, if you do not like boiled water or do not want to spend amounts on them, you can carry a purification tablet and reusable water bottle or you may use a portable water filter, which is a better option because it cleanses faster than tablets.

 

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