300 km Around Annapurna Trek reaches an altitude of 5,300m on the Thorung La pass, touching the edge of the fabled Tibetan plateau. The trek is a magnificent plan, covering two different river valleys. It encircles the Annapurna Massif, crossing Thorung La [5416m], the highest pass on this trek. The magnificent mountain scenery, seen at close quarters includes Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Manaslu, Gangapurna [7455m] and Tilicho Peak [7134m]. Machhapuchhre looks breathtaking from this viewpoint as also the south face of Annapurna.
The trek begins at Besi Sahar and concludes at Kali Gandaki river valley. En route, you pass along paddy fields and subtropical forests, view the beautiful mountain scenery, several waterfalls and gigantic cliffs, and experience fascinating village life. The entire trip is so exhilarating that you will be kept enthralled, day after day. A moderate to challenging trek and sometime requires climbing up and down steep mountain paths. This trek can be done anytime of the year except during monsoon and winter, when the Thorung La Pass gets blocked by snow.
It is a panoramic thrill flying into Kathmandu on a clear day. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below you are almost ecstatic, beginning a whole chain of memorable experiences that stay with you for a long, long time. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your daily activities.
Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence. There will be a guided tour to the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal Boudhanath and after that to the most popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva- Pashupatinath. We take a tour to Patan or Lalitpur (the City of Artisans), which is 5km away from Kathmandu. We walk through Patan Durbar Square, and delight in the architectural wonders of Malla era. Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor Temple, Krishna Temple and Golden Temple are the major attractions at the square..
With high level of physical fitness, adequate acclimatization and good logistic support, we begin our Annapurna trekking. Driving along the Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway to Dumre and then following the rough route by the Marsyangdi River, we pass through the low-lying villages and rice fields. After 6 hours long drive, we finally reach Besi Sahar. Besi Sahar is the capital of Lamjung District..
From Besi Sahar, we trek along the trail turning right at the canal on the outskirts of the village and descending the narrow path to the Pam Khola. On crossing the stream, we ascend towards the village of Denauti where we get to see Nepali village life at close quarters. The route further leads to the banks of the Marshyangdi Khola, passing through paddy fields and subtropical forests. As the trail nears the Khudi Khola, we approach the Gurung village of Khudi. .
As we walk northwards up the Marsyangdi Valley, away from Khudi, we get to see the magnificent Annapurna mountain ranges. The trail winds through a suspension bridge and follows terraced rice fields offering breathtaking view of Manaslu and cascading waterfalls. Further, as the trail goes uphill, we spot several shops and teahouses at Ngadi village. On leaving Ngadi after a brief rest, we skirt through the challenging trails to Bahundanda. Bahundanda literally means "Brahmin hill" and as the name suggests Bahundanda is largely inhabited by Brahmins. Here we conclude our trekking journey for the day..
A steep trail descends from Bahundanda, through rice fields, before crossing a stream at the bottom of a small waterfall. It then climbs again and traverses the hillside high above the river before reaching the village of Hani Gaon. Ahead, the Marshyangdi valley forms a steep V-shape. We follow the winding mountain path down through Syange and along the river for some distance. The trail then climbs steeply and the path is cut into the sheer cliff-face some 200-300m above the riverbed. Eventually we descend to the stone village of Jagat, situated on a shelf, which juts out into the precipitous Marsyangdi valley.
The trail from Jagat descends until it reaches the river and then continues through a lush forest. Further ascent leads to sharp-edged cliff facing the riverbank. En route, Chyamje comes into picture amidst the glorious backdrop of towering Annapurna mountain ranges. After crossing a suspension bridge, we climb steeply towards the slippery and physically challenging path to Sattale. On treading along a succession of rock-strewn trails, we descend to a grassy riverbank that leads to Tal. As we walk away from Tal, the path becomes rugged and winding. Then we approach steep forested village of Karte. Meandering along the waterfalls and cliffs, we finally reach Dharapani after crossing a suspension bridge..
We skirt through a narrow field from the village. The Dudh Khola, which originates from the south face of Manaslu and then Marshyangdi veers to the left. Sinuous trails of the. Annapurna II becomes visible as we arrive at Bagarchhap, a Bhotia village with colorful prayer flags fluttering in the breeze. As we continue ascending through forests of pine and oak, we pass through Dhanakyu before coming to a thundering waterfall. Further on, the Marshyangdi river enters a gorge and the trails follows rock-strewn path. We can pause for a while and take in the splendor of the picturesque Manaslu. When the steep incline ends, we follow a path amid magnificent rhododendrons and continue on a gently rising path. We cross a stream before entering a pine forest. We then enter the pristine hamlet of Kotho, from where we can capture the most enchanting view of Annapurna II. Treading further, the route reaches a large white gate with a corrugated iron roof, which is the entrance of Chame. Chame is the administrative headquarter of Manang district. There is electricity, wireless station, schools, shops, health post, post office, police check post, hotels, lodges and banks in Chame. The hot springs are the major attraction of this place..
After a mesmerizing sight of the glowing Lamjung Himal [6893m] in the morning, we head off for Pisang. En route, we cross a large suspension bridge along Marshyangdi and approach houses and lodges on the northern side of the river. Our trekking trail meanders through barley field leading to Teleku at 2775 meters. As we leave undulating mountain passes, we enter fascinating apple orchard and near a bridge at 2840 meters. On crossing the bridge, the pristine hamlet of Bratang appears. History has it that Bratang used to be a Khampa settlement. A stone memorial of a Japanese climber has been built in this place. After leaving the forested village, the valley changes from a V-shape to a gentle U-shape. Before us, the Annapurna mountain range rears up. Further on, we continue our steep rock-strewn trails to the south side and cross a long suspension bridge at 3040 meters. At this vantage point on the bridge, we get to view Paungda Danda rock rising more than 1500 meters from the river. En route, we get to capture splendid views of Annapurna II rearing up on the east and Pisang Peak on the north-east. We cross a bridge and enter the village of Pisang..
As we continue with our trek, further afield from Pisang we head along a steep ridge savoring beautiful sights of the Manang valley and the Tilicho peak towering above 7132 meters. As we descend through Manang's airstrip, we come to Hongde lying beneath the gigantic Annapurna III on the north-east face. The route further leads to the wide plain of the Sabje Khola Valley from where we get the majestic view of Annapurna IV [7525m]. Further on, we cross a wooden bridge, as the Marsyangdi Khola gushes below us. We enter the beautiful village of Mungji. We continue treading along the cultivated fields and after a while we arrive at the village of Bryaga with a splendid monastery. On trekking down to Manang, we enjoy the majestic views of the Annapurna range - Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Gangapurna [7455m] and Tilicho Peak [7134m]..
After reaching Manang, we take a day off for complete rest and adequate acclimatization before crossing the Thorung La. We can spend this day strolling down the river to see the tremendous ice-fall cascading down from the glaciated mountain peaks or by simply take in the panoramic beauty of the Annapurna mountain range and the Manang Valley. A short visit to Himalayan Rescue Association [HRA] aid post makes for an interesting visit..
Thoroughly acclimatized, we advance towards Thorung La. On the way, we cross a stream, climb to Tengi, 120meters above Manang and ascend further past Marshyangdi Valley turning north-west up the valley of the Jarsang Khola. Amid the spectacular vistas of Annapurna mountain range, we trek beyond the lush vegetation of scrub juniper and alpine grasses to reach the small village of Gunsang. Gunsang is a cluster of flat mud roofs just below the trail at 3960 meters. Along the route, we see several lodges. As we approach picturesque meadows and rich forests of barberry, juniper etc, we encounter horses and yaks grazing. The trail takes us further along a large stream that flows from Chulu West and Gundang, and leads to a rich pasture at 4000 meters..
Leaving Letdar, we climb gradually to a ridge before descending to the headwaters of the Marshyangdi and crossing via a covered wooden bridge. After a short ascent up the mountain path on the right bank, we follow a narrow trail across an unstable steep slope and then descend to Thorung Phedi..
We have an early start today for the crossing of Thorung La [5416m]. The trail becomes steep immediately on leaving camp, but as local people have used this trail for hundreds of years, the path is well defined. The gradient then eases and after around 4 hours of steady climbing, we reach the chorten and prayer flags of the pass. From the snow-covered mountains above, to the head of the Kali Gandaki valley below and the brown and purple hills of Mustang, which spread out before us, we are presented with a dramatic tableau. The descent to Muktinath is a 1600m trek. But the excellent views of Dhaulagiri, more then makes up for the tiring journey. Eventually the moraines give way to grassy slopes before a pleasant walk along the Jhong Khola Valley to Muktinath, with its shrines and temple..
We now begin the descent down the dramatic Kali Gandaki Gorge. After passing through Jharkot and Khingar, villages with typical Tibetan architecture, we follow the valley floor most of the way to Jomsom. Jomsom is sprawled along both banks of the Kali Gandaki and from here we get fine views of the Nilgiri peaks. We continue down to Marpha, a delightful Thakali village, with a well-planned drainage system. Its narrow alleys and passageways provide welcome shelter from the strong winds of the Kali Gandaki Gorge. Marpha is particularly well known for its apples, apple cider and apple, apricot and peach rakshi..
We continue descending the Kali Gandaki Gorge to Tukuche, a Thakalivillage with a large gompa. Beyond Tukuche we walk along the west bank of the Kali Gandaki towards Larjung. Here, as in many of the villages in this area, narrow alleyways and tunnels connect houses with enclosed courtyards, providing protection against the wind blowing up the valley. We make our way through pine, juniper and cypress forests to Kalopani, enjoying fine views of Annapurna I and Fang. We then reach Lete, which lies just twenty minutes beyond Kalopani.
Our trail descends steeply through forests to Ghasa, the last Thakali village and the southern-most limit of Tibetan Buddhism. We enter the steepest and narrowest part of the gorge shortly after Ghasa. At the hamlet of Rupse a magnificent waterfall tumbles down beside the trail. Continuing on, we come to Dana, a Magar village from where the massive peak of Annapurna South can be seen across the valley. The trail then descends to Tatopani where we can have apple pie and bathe in the hot springs..
A short distance downstream from Tatopani, we cross the river on a large suspension bridge and leave the Kali Gandaki behind. After passing through the villages of Sikha and Chitre, we climb through the forest to Deorali, a 2834m pass from where we can get excellent views of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna I, Annapurna South, and Hiunchuli. Just 10 minutes beyond the pass is the village of Ghorepani. Ghorepani literally means "horse water" and is a welcome watering spot for the packs of mules, which ply the route between Pokhara and Jomsom..
Overlooking Ghorepani is Poon Hill [3193m]. An hour-long pre-dawn ascent gives us the opportunity to see the fascinating views of the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri glowing in the morning sun. After breakfast, we begin the long descent to Birethanti through magnificent oak and rhododendron forests. From the village of Ulleri, a long steep stone staircase seems to go on forever before eventually reaching Hille. A more gradual descent then brings us to Birethanti, from where it is a short distance to the road and our transport that takes us to Pokhara..
We drive or fly to Kathmandu..
Our Nepalese support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. On the other hand, if you prefer to stay longer, you can go for short tours such as game drive at National parks, rafting, Tibet tours, mountain biking, etc.- ask us..
This is a long trek that goes right into high mountain country and over the Thorung La pass (5416m), the highest pass on this trek. Physically quite tiring, it involves approx 6-8 hours trekking along rocky ridges. No previous experience is required, you should be moderately fit, used to some regular exercise and enjoy walking in the high altitude conditions.
Tea House or Lodge Trek
Includes: Accommodation in Lodge, guide, porters and all meals
Trekking in the Annapurna region does not need tremendous logistics in terms of accommodation as you will find plenty of clean and friendly lodges along the trail. We stay in single rooms where possible, but often you will have to share. Facilities in tea houses are limited but good enough to offer you a comfortable stay and hygienic meals. A few have electric lights and all have a spacious dining room-lounge. We will accommodate you and your group in local lodge available each day. We send a porter ahead of us to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot be booked in advance). Please remember that some of them are very basic and a sense of adventure is necessary.
We have a pool of hotels in Kathmandu under 3 Star categories which we provide to clients in connection to this itinerary, unless it is mentioned otherwise or clients have a special choice. You can check on the description of such hotels through our website.
Meals are included in our price and are taken in lodges available along the trail. You can find a wide variety of Nepali and Western food as well as drinks (coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks, beers….).
Meals are prepared by our cook. We provide three tasty and nutritious meals daily along with drinks.
You will have to make your own eating arrangements in the many Lodges available along the trail. Expect to spend around 2000-2500 Rupees a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the price.
On camping trek, our staff will boil and cook meals treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. On GAP trek, you will be able to buy safe hot drinks in the tea house.
We recommend you to bring water purification pills. On the trail, water from the streams is safe if away from settlements.
During the trek your main luggage will be carried by porters or pack animals. You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket, etc. - a small load that allows full enjoyment of the trek. A trek bag is ideal for your main luggage, plus a small lockable bag for travel clothes or anything that you do not need during trek which you can leave at hotel’s locker room/safe deposit box in Kathmandu for free of charge. Weight allowance at Nepal’s domestic airlines is 15 Kgs, excess weight is chargeable at USD 1 or more per Kilo depending on sectors.
We provide different options concerning leadership in order to match your requirements:
1) Western leader
2) Trained Nepali Trek leader (experienced and knowledgeable)
3) Sherpa Guide (handles the logistics and guides you and your team on the trek)
The Sherpa guide (commonly called Sirdar) will be accompanied by a crew of porters. On camping trek, there will be 2/3 porters for each members while on GAP and on Lodge trek 1 porter for 2 members.
Personal expenses depend largely on the type of trek, duration and the trekking region.
If you are on Camping or Tea house trek all meals will be provided. You only need money for table drinks (alcoholic/non alcoholic beverages), snacks while walking (a few smaller shops are available along the trail in some areas) tips, souvenirs, hot shower (available in some places).
Tips are appreciated by your support team after the trip. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. As a suggestion, we advise you to allocate 5 - 10% of the total tour cost as tips.
The starting point of the trek is Besi Sahar, which is connected by a 6 hours drive from Kathmandu. On your return, our car/bus shall pick you from Birenthanti and drive to Pokhara. You take a half an hour flight back to Kathmandu. We will arrange the transportation from your hotel to the airport (Kathmandu)
While trekking in the remote parts of the Himalayas you may not have an access to telephone facility for some days or weeks. However, en route there may be few places where telephone facilities may be available and likely to be working.
If it is crucial for you to keep in contact with your family or others, EXPLORE HIMALAYA can provide you a mobile satellite phone (rental charge on request).
For trekking in the Annapurna region, you will need walking boots, sleeping bag (3 seasons), waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, sun-screen and day pack. Comprehensive list of equipments will be provided once you book your trip.
Each morning after packing our bags and a hearty breakfast, we set off on the day’s walk. After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon’s walk is generally shorter and we usually arrive at our destination in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the village, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days we will arrive at our destination by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and reliving the day’s adventures, before retiring for a well-earned sleep.
You need to pass on your International flight details to us for a “meeting and greeting” service at airport. You just pass on the Customs and come out of the Terminal building where you will see someone standing with a placard with either ‘Explore Himalaya’ or your name written on it. Our airport representative or tour officer will greet you and welcome you with a garland.
The best seasons to trek in the Annapurna region are Autumn (from mid-September till November end) and Spring (from the beginning of March until mid-May). Temperatures will drop considerably as you trek higher everyday. The nights are cold (between -20 C to 5C) but the days are sunny and hot (between 10C to 30C). The mornings are usually clear, with clouds building up during the afternoon, disappearing at night. Trekking during the monsoon and winter is not recommended; as the visibility during monsoon is limited, high pass (Thorung la- 5416m) gets covered up with snow during winter.
March, April, October and November are the most popular and favored months for traveling. Please choose the date that is convenient for you.
The Gurungs form the largest group in the Annapurna region. They come from Tibeto burman stock. Although essentially Buddhists some Gurungs have converted to Hinduism. They inhabit the higher northern slopes of the Annapurna, Lamjung,Chuli and hills around Ganesh Himal.
The immediate vicinity of Pokhara is largely populated by Chettris and Bahuns (Brahmins).They also live around the historic site of the old Gorkha kingdom. The Magars inhabit the lower trail between Baglung and Dana. They live high on the steep ridges along the tributaries of the Kali Gandaki.
Another ethnic group of this region is the Thakalis. Known throughout the country as accomplished hoteliers and skilled traders, they are noted for their aggressive trading spirit. They make up one of the few richer groups of people in Nepal. The Jomsom trek passes through Thak Khola, the Thakali homeland.
In the valley of the Muktinath live the Baragaun Bhotiya. Their lifestyle is similar to that of the Tibetans. Another group of people who share a close affinity to the Tibetans are the Lopa people of Mustang, north of Kagbeni. Some of them practice the ancient pre-Buddhist religion of Bon which is infused with animistic and shamanic belief and ritual. The people living in the upper Marshyangdi valley are generally known as Mananges.
Depending on the prevailing situation, itinerary can be modified to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of trek completion should always coincide with the original itinerary. You should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip into the remotest region, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your guide will suggest the best alternative similar to your original.
We ensure liability as per indicated itinerary and list of services. If the holiday is cut short or completed earlier than the projected period upon client’s wish, we shall not be responsible or make refund against unutilized days or services. Clients need to pay extra for Hotels/services incurred in Kathmandu or elsewhere in such cases.
As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you to consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the beginning of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio.
The main health consideration in high altitude is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You may experience some mild symptoms initially, such as headache, lethargy, nausea and difficulty sleeping, but these should lessen within a few days. To avoid Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), people take pills called ‘Diamox’. You can also use these pills after consulting with your doctor and purchase them in Kathmandu. Our itinerary will allow your body to acclimatize properly and to handle the low oxygen rate.
For your service, we carry a medical kit with standard prescribed medicines along with a users’ manual which you can use upon your own risk. We do not take any medical liability since our staffs are not qualified to prescribe medicines.
If you have ever suffered from altitude sickness, or have a heart or breathing complaint, we highly recommend you consult your doctor about your suitability for traveling to Annapurna before booking. We suggest that you take some pain-killing pills with you and enough medicine for cold, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Some nasal ointment and throat-moistening pills will greatly be of help for those who are sensitive to chilly or freezing weather conditions. Age is no barrier to take an unforgettable Annapurna Circuit Trek.
In case of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we believe will not happen; we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back to Kathmandu.
Before joining a tour, we recommend you to take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation.
Wonderful environment of the Himalayas is also an extremely fragile one. Increasing population density and numbers of trekkers threaten the very beauty of Nepal. At Explore Himalaya, we are extremely conscious about the environment and aim to minimize our impact as much as possible.
As deforestation is one of the greatest environmental threats, we do not have camp fires and use kerosene for cooking as an alternative fuel to wood. We also discourage trekkers from using wood-fuelled hot showers in lodges along the way. Many lodges, however, now provide solar hot showers, a far more eco-friendly alternative.
Garbage disposal is another major problem and some of the busier trails can, at times, appear strew with litter. Our staff members are well motivated towards eco-friendly practices. We carry out all our garbage, apart from that which can be safely and easily burnt at the campsite. Our aim is to help protect and preserve this beautiful environment for future generations of trekkers to enjoy.
In addition to your trek, we can organize extensions both within Nepal and other neighboring countries. You may want to try water rafting or a jungle safari in Nepal or Nepal Cultural Tour. You may as well take a trip to Tibet, India or Bhutan, whichever appeals more to you. Since the trek ends in Pokhara, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nepal, it would be nice and relaxing for you to spend a day or two taking in the sights and sounds of this scenic city.
Explore Himalaya works with the motto ‘Development through Tourism’. Keeping in line with this motto, Explore Himalaya Community Service Project (EHCSP) was conceived to empower underprivileged, marginalized, poor and minority segments of Nepal.
Since its inception, EHCSP has been incessantly facilitating and advocating for school education, health, community development, forest conservation, agriculture, culture preservation and fund raising. Explore Himalaya encourages its clients to contribute for the development of Nepal.
We ensure that all the porters and other staffs going into high altitude conditions are provided with adequate clothing and equipment. We are the first ever company to supply high-altitude porters with crampons.
We run the trek according to the guidelines of the International Porter Protection group (IPPG - www.ippg.net).
1) It is a fundamental condition that you acknowledge that this is an adventure tour. This requires some flexibility. The day to day itinerary is taken as a guideline only. We cannot be held responsible for any delays caused by International or domestic flights, strikes, Government regulations, weather or natural casualties etc. In such cases, Explore Himalaya shall be responsible for providing suitable alternatives which could be decided upon mutual agreement. If an agreement cannot be made, Explore Himalaya shall be only responsible for refund after deducting expenses already incurred.
2) Your booking will be confirmed by email once we have received the deposit of USD 500 and the signed copy of booking form and contract.
The balance is due no later than two months prior to departure. If you book a tour less than 2 month prior to departure, you must send the full payment within 7 days of confirmation by us.
3) If you cancel, the following scale of charges will apply:
2 months before departure - loss of deposit
29 days to 2 months before departure - 30% of total trip cost
10 to 28 days before departure - 60% of total trip cost
less than 10 days before departure - 100% of total trip cost
If you still have any queries regarding this trip, please don't hesitate to contact our office staff. We will respond to you within 24 hours. You can book a trip by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 977-1-4418100.
The meeting and handling was excellent. Our guide was fantastic, the best. The services at the lodges as well as meals during the trek were very good. The service of the support staff was excellent.
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.