Annapurna Circuit Trek 22 Days

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  • Overview
  • Itenerary
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This is the most thrilling and spectacularly diverse trek and is widely known as the top ten walks in the world. This classic trek circles the entire Annapurna massif and offers an unforgettable experience of ethnic varieties, exotic landscapes – from lowland farming to alpine meadows to the northern slopes of the majestic Himalayas. This trek consists of two week stay among the indigenous villagers in the mountain-side lodges of the most beautiful natural beauties in the world. The fascinating journey begins with picturesque remote villages, and passes through lush terraced farmlands, dense forests, deepest gorges, stunning mountain peaks, and startling culture & traditions of the local people. The Annapurna range is absolutely breathtaking and provides thrilling company throughout the journey.We start at the foothills at Besi Sahar and ascend to the settlement of Manang at 3500m, where we acclimatize and cherish one of the most bewitching panoramic view of snow-capped mountains. We continue to ascend and cross the breathtaking Thorung La summit pass located 5416m above the sea level. Then we descend to Muktinath, an important pilgrimage site both for Hindus and Buddhists, and then to Kali Gandaki, a rugged valley three times as deep as the Grand Canyon with towering presence of majestic Mt. Annapurna and Mt. Dhaulagiri on either side. En route to Pokhara, we pass through many beautiful hillside villages, amazing waterfalls, great sunrise view from Poon Hill, and magnificent views of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Annapurna, and Mt. Machhapuchre. The trek ends in Pokhara with relaxing evening by the gorgeous lakeside of Lake Phewa Taal.

Short Itinerary
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu (1350m).
Day 02: Kathmandu city Sightseeing.
Day 03: Drive Besisahar, trek Bhulbule (850m).
Day 04: Trek to Nagdi (1000 m).
Day 05: Trek to Jagat (1500 m).
Day 06: Trek from Dharapani (2000 m).
Day 07: Trek to Chame (2750 m).
Day 08: Trek to Pisang (3000 m).
Day 09: Trek to Manang (3500 m).
Day 10: Manang – Acclimatization Day.
Day 11: Trek to Leder (4000 m).
Day 12: Thorong Phedi/High camp (4250 m).
Day 13: Thorongla Pass (5416 m).
Day 14: Trek to Marpha (2750 m).
Day 15: Trek to Kalopnani (2500 m).
Day 16: Trek to Tatopani (1250 m).
Day 17: Trek to Ghorepnai (3000 m).
Day 18: Trek to Birethanti (1000 m).
Day 19: Drive to Pokhara (850m).
Day 20: Fly to Kathmandu.
Day 21: Kathmandu at leisure.
Day 22: Departure.

Trip Details - AC118

Activities: Trekking
Total Days: 22 Group Size: 2-16
Activities Level: Hard
Accommodations:
City hotel=05 Nights on CP; Trekking Lodges = 16 Nights on AP
Day 01:  Arrive in Kathmandu (1350m).
Arrivals are usually during the afternoon. You will be received by our representatives, who will give you a brief introduction of the trip and drive you to one of the grand Hotels on the outskirts of Thamel with access to excellent restaurants, bars, and with colorful antique shops, and eastern handicraft stores. In the evening, our team will orient you about the program and make you aware of all the preparation for the trip.

Day 02:    Kathmandu city Sightseeing.
 After hearty breakfast, we begin by another briefing session on the details of the programs with all the do’s and don’ts so as to make the trip more fulfilling and rewarding for you. Sightseeing mythical Kathmandu Valley is incredible and unforgettable, as it involves being in proximity to many UNESCO World Heritage sites like Durbar Square, Swoyambhunath temple, Pashupatinath temple, and Boudhinath. All day long, you get to be enthralled by the uniqueness of these historical and religious sites, and get to see amazing preservation of ancient art and culture.

Day 03: Drive from  Kathmandu to Besisahar, walk to  Bhulbule (850m).
Drive from Kathmandu to Besi shahar is almost seven hours long. It is, however, a very fun-filled drive , as it passes through the wonderful countryside along the fabulous views of Trisuli & Marsyangdi rivers, typical small villages with their lush terraced farmlands, and panoramic views of bewitching mountains. By mid-afternoon, we arrive at Besi Shahar. And, after a good lunch, we get organized, assemble the porters, and set out for the trek. While passing through small villages during first couple of hours of the trek, we will be greeted by many kids in awe of your sight. Trekkers will be busy waving hands and receiving their greetings. After few many hours on the trail, we finally reach Bhulbhule, another small village where we stay overnight in the lodge.  

Day 04:  Trek Trek to Nagdi (1000 m).
Crossing to Bhulbhule, we come across first of the waterfalls for which the river Marsyangdi is known for. The first hour of the walk is through a built-up area, until the Sundar khola river is crossed, and then the houses thin out. Sal forest and rice cultivated lands clad the wide valley. After crossing the check post, where our permits are obtained, we enter into the Annapurna Conservation Area. Then our trail undulates smoothly through treeless farmland following the river to Nagadi village. The lodge in the village offers an excellent view of the surrounding hillside Gurung settlements. 

Day 05:  Trek to Jagat (1500 m).
 After another hearty breakfast, we cross Nagadi stream and walk up a hill to reach a small town called Bahun Danda,  where we can find modern amenities. We continue our trek through lush terraced farmlands and small tea shops typical of Nepali villagers. Then, we cross a large suspension bridge over the Marsyangdi gorge, and continue down towards Jagat, a village with an old custom’s post on the Tibetan trade route still inhabited mostly by Tibetans traders.  

Day 06:   Trek from Dharapani (2000 m).

After a good night rest in Jagat, we walk past the Sal forest, which runs parallel to Chame Marshyangdi banks,  till we meet Chamje village . A bridge at Chemje takes the trail onto the East bank, and into much wet terrain. Here trekkers can smell ‘chir pine’, which dominates the landscape of the trail. There will be a valley, flat and densely forested, to the bottom of the path. Rock walls of Mt. Annapurna and Mt. Manaslu ranges rise up on either side of the valley. Continuing north, the valley widens and becomes drier as we approach Dharapani, a large village of Magar and Chettri-Brahmin castes manifesting interwoven Nepali custom of different race and culture. Dharapani is beautiful village at the confluence of Marsyangdi and Dudh Khola river. It leads up to the Larkya pass to the north of Mt. Manaslu.

Day 07:  Trek to Chame (2750 m).
From this day, we start ascending to higher altitude through pine forest and wet environment towards Chame village, where isolated cottages are found beautifully tucked into the woodland. Here in, presence of Tibetan style flat roofs indicate marked reduction in rainfall as we enter the rain shadow of the Annapurna range. Passing through the excellent views of Mt. Lamjung to the east, we find a police check post and about forty or fifty houses mostly inhabited by Gurung people. We can see sudden shift from Hindu dominant village of Dharapani to Buddhist dominance as the village of Chame is filled with Buddhist prayer flags and mani walls. We camp for about an half  hour beyond Chame forest until calling it a night to go rest in the lodge.

Day 08:  Trek to Pisang (3000 m).
After going past Chame, trekkers find a noticeable change in both landscape and people as we can see most of the houses are built in stone instead of mud. Also the gorges become even more dramatic due to our path rising way above the river. We pass through the old Khampa settlement at Bradang (2845m), which was once a center for fierce Tibetan warriors resisting Chinese empire occupation. The blanketing pine forest gets diluted by the first rhododendron bushes as the trail follows the river. Then, the landscape becomes drier as Pisang village is approached. The location of the village is remarkable as it lies just in front of ancient sea bed. The village has a Tibetan feel due to the presence of numerous Buddhist prayer flags and long lines of prayer wheels. From the Pisang Gompa, one can enjoy an amazing view of the back of Mt. Annapurna II. One can also enjoy majestic views of Mt. Annapurna III and IV from the lodge.  

Day 09:  Trek to Manang (3500 m).

Landscape becomes drier with each pace as the trail rises. Large pines trees have established themselves in clumps, but they cease beyond the airport at Hongde. The West of the trail is lunar, with erosion paths cutting down through brown and red exposed soil. A few scattered bushes hold the trail together. Shortly after passing through Hongde, the snow caps of Annapurna come into a dramatic sight. This extraordinary panorama improves steadily as you ascend further through Braga until reaching Manang, predominantly occupied by Gurung people. Manang is a picturesque village comprising of about sixty houses built of wood and mud, and a large ancient Gompa (monastery) of the Kargyupa sect of Buddhism.Day 10:  Manang – Acclimatization DayDay at Manang, is recommended as an acclimatization day, ideal necessity before continuing our journey towards Thorong La summit pass located 5416 meters above the sea level. Manang is another typical village well equipped with means of modern communication. It is the biggest Buddhist village and it links to the exciting cliffside Bod-Zo Gompa, where the lamas perform a blessing ceremony for all the trekkers to protect us from sudden harms during our trekking adventure.  We can also take a short but rewarding trip to Tiicho Lake .

Day 11:  Trek to Leder (4000 m).

As we go pass Manang, the trail inclines upward, and the climb consumes little more time due to acclimatization to higher altitude. As you ascend, we could also see magnificent views of the river, ice falls, and the town itself. After a gradual ascend through semi desert land and through the village of Chhangadhunga, we could see the trail running parallel to Thorong ridge accompanied by stunning views of great barrier traversing over the river Kali Gandaki.  Trekkers coming in opposite direction shares the news of Thorong La pass’s condition as snow is often encountered passing through Thorong La. Upon reaching Leder village, we find ourselves a nice room in a lodge for a good night rest. 

Day 12: Trek Thorong Phedi/High camp (4250 m).

Today we make a short trip towards Thorong Phedi , base of the Thorong La pass,  The trip is an easy walk through high altitude desert and find lodges that still survives serving trekkers only. Ascending to the top of the pass, one can enjoy aspectacular views of the peaks on either side. We can see how colder it gets as we ascend to the top of the Thorong La pass, and how few of the hours there will be to experience direct sun. However, it will be a good stop to acclimatize and gather strength to carry on with the journey.

Day 13:  Thorongla Pass (5416 m).

Descend to Muktinath(3750 m)This day will be full of excitements, challenges, and curiosity. We set out early climbing uphill slowly and steadily. Our sustainable pace is intervened by short breaks to absorb unfolding views. The ground will appear dry and bare and the atmosphere appears lunar even in the daylight.There are two stages to clear over the pass – 1) The first steep section takes about two hours, and the second steep section takes another two hours and the second stage is marked by the appearance of stunning Yakawakhang and Thorong peaks. Finally, after getting to the top of the Thorong La pass, you could catch the spectacular views of Manang Valley filled with colored prayer flags, breath taking Kali Gandaki river, and massive Mt. Dhaulagiri on the far side. 2) The decent is gradual at first, and then becomes quite steep for a while before it evens out again. Due to steep descent, trekkers usually finds it tiring but yet very exciting. There are many great views along the way, and after about 3-4 hours we meet Muktinath (3800m), a very popular center of pilgrimage for both Buddhists and Hindus. Hindus believe that bathing in the ‘108 boar's head water spouts’ of Muktinath brings salvation after death to the pilgrims, who visit this place from across the nation and all the way from neighboring countries.   

Day 14:  Trek  to Marpha (2750 m).

We start a gradual and smooth descent through wide valley on the edge of Mustang. We leave behind the ruined fortress of Jharkot and the hillside villages of Khingar along with other uniquely located ruins of historic importance across the valley. The trail leads us down to the fields of Kagbeni (2805m) on the Thak Khola river (upper reaches of Kali Gandaki river). Dominated by the impressive dzong (fort) and gompa (monastery), the village beneath has interlocking houses cut by little alleys and a flat roof-scape of glazed dining rooms. In the afternoon, we get prepared to confront the wild wind with an average speed of hundred miles per hour that sweeps up the glacial dust into a fog.  We continue through the land of enterprising Thakali people, and through the changing landscape of twisted rock formations until we reach town of Jomson (2715m).                            After lunch, we carry on with our adventure through many orchards, apples and apricots, towards Marpha (2665m). Marpha is a gorgeous little whitewashed village, where the houses and lodges are built around fascinating courtyards that protect them from the strong afternoon wind usually flowing between the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs. Marpha is well known for apple production, and products of apple like apple pie and apple brandy. 

Day 15:  Trek to Kalopnani (2500 m).

As we leave behind the agricultural research farm just out of Marpha, trail continues through the bank of Kali Gandaki, and Juniper bushes. After awhile, much larger pines begin to appear as the primitive valley of Marpha, which is said to be one of the deepest valley of the world. The river runs 3500m from the top of two 8000m peaks – Mt. Dhaulagiri andMt. Annapurna, but they hardly make their way into the valley and appears invisible to us except for occasional appearance of Nilgiri river. After two hours of trek, we arrive at Tukuche (2590m), historically important as an original Thakali trade center, is another Thakali village filled with barley, wheat, and potatoes in neatly walled fields. Tukuche, which is quite similar to Marpha, is a large village of Thakali traders. Across the river, there is a fine monastery with multicolored prayer flags and many pines cling to the steep cliffs above it.  Kalopani  is four hours away across two rivers and the landscapes become more wet with large forest trees around. 

Day 16:  Trek to Tatopani (1250 m).

The trail leads through village of Lete, major trekking ceter of Ghasa (2040m), and passes high above the river with their gorges running steeply and deeply. We go pass narrowly through inbetween summits of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Mt. Annapurna, and reach Kavre, the northern most hill-caste village inhabited by Brahmin and Chetri people.  We stop to relax at the spectacular waterfall of Rupse Chhaharo (1630m), and then continue with our descending through the small villages of Dana towards Tatopani (1190m), whose name literally means 'hot springs', where we enjoy a relaxing soak before our supper.  

Day 17:  Trek to Ghorepnai (3000 m)
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This trail is quite a long one as it involves uphill climbing through the villages of Ghara (1830m) and Sikha (2080m). Upon reaching Phalate village (2255m), we are greeted with the magnificent views of the huge and majestic south face of Mt. Dhaulagiri. By now, we have climbed high enough to enjoy some cool breeze, and within a short distance we reach our lodge in Ghorepani (2820m), which literally means 'horse-water'. Ghorepani used to be trader's staging post on the ridge, but now has evolved into an important crossroads with cluster of tourist lodges. The Poon Hill, a view point about a half an hour away from Ghorepani, also  offers amazing views of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Annapurna South, Mt. Annapurna I, Mt. Annapurna II, Mt. Annapurna III, Mt. Macchapuchare, and Mt. Lamjung.  

Day 18:  Trek to Birethanti (1000 m).

In the morning, even before the breakfast, we may make our walk towards Poon Hill (3195m), a view point about a half an hour away from Ghorepani.  During dawn and dusk, from top of Poon Hill, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Annapurna South, Mt. Annapurna I, Mt Annapurna II, Mt. Annapurna II, Mt. Machhapuchare, and Mt. Lamjung appears incredibly majestic. As the sun rises, the ray of sunlight illuminates whole panaroma of peaks from Mt. Dhaulagiri through Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Machhapuchhare, and Mt. Lamjung. After enjoying wonderful moment of being one with the sunrise and Mountains, we begin our descent through lush green forest and village of Ulleri. Now we find our paths paved in stones and in the form of staircases until meeting Tirkhedhunga (1605m). Then it becomes an easy walk as we walk through villagers and children greeting us until meeting good roads of Birethanti village (1100m) with cluster of lodges and plenty of tea houses. 

Day 19:Drive to  Pokhara (850m).

We go on for two more hours, which will be our final two hours of the whole trek,  through a suspension bridge that joins the highway and the village of Birethanti. Then we get our transportation, store our backpacks and luggage in our vehicles, and drive off for another hour until reaching comfortable and welcoming hotels by the lakeside of Pokhara, a tourist hub laden with irresistible natural beauty. It will be a well-deserved day to relax by this lovely lakeside town filled with excellent restaurants and bars. We could hire a bike and go around the town or take a canoe over the still and peaceful waters of lake Phewa Taal.  One can go visit the old markets in the north of the city famously known as Purano Bazaar, or go to ‘World Peace Stupa’ located on the top of the hill overlooking lake Phewa Taal, or just enjoy the panoramic view of the snow peaked mountains. 

Day 20:  Fly or Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu.

We have an option of either taking half an hour thrilling internal flight past Mt. Manaslu and Mt. Ganesh Himal, or take five hour drive on a comfortable coach bus to Kathmandu. Either route you take, your journey will be equally rejoicing. Upon reaching Kathmandu, our new team will receive you and drive you to your hotel. After a brief rest, you could do more of sightseeing of the town, indulging in shopping and relaxing in wonderful bars and restaurants of Thamel. 

Day 21:  Kathmandu at leisure.

Whole day by your own in the evening our representative will pick up from your hotel at 6:30pm for fairwell culture dance followed by traditional Nepali Dinner. 
Cultural Dance Program with Dinner: In the evening you are invited to a typical but fascinating Nepali cultural folk dance program with an authentic Nepali dinner served with unique Newari cuisines. The culture of Nepal is embedded in the high peaks of Nepal, where tradition flows with its rivers and art traverses through its valleys with religion deeply embedded in the heart of its people. It is a country where art, culture and religion play a huge role in its multi-ethnical and multi-linguistic people’s lifestyle.  The Cultural Dance presented reflects the unique culture and traditions of the people of Himalayan Kingdom. Authentic Dinner with the unique culture show provides memorable moment and an unforgettable experience for anyone out to gain a new perspective on the culture and traditions of Nepali people.      

Day 22: Departure.

Our team will drive you to Tribhuvan International Airport for your safe trip back home.
Cost Included
All airport transfers.
- Hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis.
- Daily Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
- Luxury Lodges as mentioned as available.
- Luxury North Face Tents.
- Private vehicles.
- Local English Speaking Tour Escort/guide. - All sightseeing with entry fees.- All applicable govt.
Cost Excluded
- All flights.
- All applicable airport taxes.
- Special entry fees for camera / video camera.
- Laundry, telephone calls, drinks, etc. - Mustang Royalty as mentioned(700USD/P).
- Tips.
- Travel and Personal Insurance.
- Passport and Visas.
- All other services different from above mentioned.
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