Introduction: Annapurna Circuit Trekking
Annapurna Circuit Trekking takes you across Thorang-La Pass. It leads you to the world's top ten adventure destinations as described and listed by several world-leading travel magazines and guidebooks.
It is truly one of the most fascinating adventures in the Himalayas and probably on this planet, where you will be walking from low, warm rice fields and terraces to reach a cooler alpine zone and then towards remorseless areas of ice glaciers and giant mountains.
There is a great dramatic change in temperatures, vegetation, landscapes, and people on daily walks with constant views of snowcapped peaks from the start to the end of this marvelous Annapurna Circuit Trek by crossing Thorang-La and reaching Kagbeni, then going towards Muktinath.
Besides great changes with mountain views, the walk leads you into lovely villages around the high and scenic Manang valley of interesting culture and an old traditional way of life interwoven with Buddhism religion, where one can visit its monastery of great immense interest in this wonderful trekking.
Starting with an exciting drive and heading high into cooler areas within alpine woodland and then past vegetation and tree lines, reaching Thorang-La Pass on the highest spot of the adventure.
The walk leads from the beautiful Manang Valley to the scenic Kali Gandaki River valley at Mustang Areas in Jomsom and charming Marpha village. Then it enters the world-deepest gorge of the Kali Gandaki River valley to reach back at scenic Pokhara via Ghorepani Poon Hill.
Our incredible adventure on Annapurna Circuit Trekking and Thorang-La Pass concludes at beautiful Pokhara, and we then drive back to Kathmandu with fond memories of wonderful times on Annapurna Circuit Trekking and Thorang-La Pass.
How does the Annapurna Circuit Trek Begin and End?
The Annapurna Circuit Trek begins with a drive towards Dharapani from Pokhara. After reaching Dharapani, we spend the night there for acclimatization, and the next day we head towards Pisang. After pisang, we go towards the village of Manang, which is a wonderful village. We spend an extra day at Manang for acclamations as we enter inside 3400 m/11154 ft.
After the acclimatization day at Manang, we return to the trail and go towards our destination, Yak Kharka (4,100 m/13,451 ft). After Yak Kharka, we go slowly towards Thorang Phedi. By chance, if you have energy, we recommend pushing to Thorang High Camp, as it will reduce the walk by more than an hour for the next day.
The biggest day of our lives, we begin our day with a walk towards the high camp of Thorang La Pass. We enter the Thorang La Pass between Katung Kang (6,484 m/21272 ft) and Yakawa Kang (6,482 m/21,266 ft) mountains that form Thorang La Pass. Thoran La Pass connects Manang and Mustang, divided by the two distinct rivers of the Annapurna Region, which are famous and known as Marshyangdi and Kali Gandaki.
After crossing Thorang La Pass, we go towards Muktinath Temple, have a bath at the 108 spouts of Muktinath, and then visit the main temple of lord Vishnu. For Hindus, Muktinath represents Lord Vishnu; for Hindus, it represents Mahatma Buddha for Buddhists. Due to the representation of both religions, this place has a different energy that can be felt and is home to the harmonies between Hinduism and Buddhism.
After finishing the prayers and worshipping at Muktinath, we head towards Tatopani.
Take a shared public vehicle towards Tatopani, where, if we reach on time, we can bathe in the hot spring and rest for the day. After Tatopani, we head towards Ghorepani, a beautiful village beneath Poon Hill. Upon reaching Ghorepani, we stayed for the night. The next day, early in the morning, we do a 45-minute hike to Poon Hill, where we will witness one of the most beautiful sunrises ever.
After Seeing the sunrise, we have breakfast, say goodbye to Ghorepani, and leave for Birethanti, where we will take a jeep back to Pokhara, marking the end of our Annapurna Circuit Trek.
What to Expect during Annapurna Circuit Trekking?
The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a perfect loop of the Annapurna Region that takes you from the sub-alpine forest of Dharapani to the forbidden kingdom of Nepal, the Muktinath. It brings you back again to the hot spring of Tatopani, ending your journey with the best sunrise of your life.
Get ready to cross the Thorang La Pass, which is situated at an altitude of 5,416 m/17769 ft, which is a challenge, but never worry; as you slowly go through Dharapani, you will be more than ready to cross the Thorang La Pass.
The night is going to be cold. The facilities are going to get basic as the trek starts. Experience the mountain ranges' changing landscapes and take the Annapurna region's whole loop.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of Nepal's most recognized and popular treks. This route is famous for cycling and is a budget trip compared to other expensive routes like the Everest Region, Far Western Region, and the Manaslu Region.
What is the best time for Annapurna Circuit?
The best month for trekking towards Annapurna Circuit in Nepal is September, October, November, March, April, or May in the springtime. These are the best times for trekking in Nepal.
During spring and autumn, the weather conditions are very good, the views are clearer, the flowers start to blossom, and it's a great time for trekking in Nepal. as the trekkers and travelers will be able to avoid the cold, freezing temperatures in the high altitude and even avoid the rain of the monsoon, which makes trekking worse.
Trekking can be conducted till late December or even early February. Still, it may be colder than usual, resulting in -2 or -3 degrees less temperature in spring and autumn.
How to prepare for the Annapurna Circuit?
Before heading on an adventure to the Annapurna Circuit Trek:
- Ensure you are well prepared.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol 10–12 days before the trek.
- Start eating healthy foods and try to get engaged in physical activities.
Get engaged in physical exercise. Cardiovascular exercise: try to wake up early and try to avoid lifts. Carry around 7-9 kilos of weight and go for a hike once a week. Try to exercise for about 30 minutes a day in the morning and strengthen your body before you sleep at night. Have some deep breathing practices and complete your suggested equipment and gear list. Make sure everything is packed. Before coming to Nepal, inquire about anything you have in mind that confuses travelers and trekkers with Holiday Tours Nepal officials who are available 24/7.
After booking the trek or setting up their mind about trekking in Nepal, trekkers and travelers must practice for the walk. Trekking is difficult if your legs are lazy. Still, if you are used to walking 4-5 hours a day without issues, there is nothing better than trekking in Nepal.
What are the local cultures and religions like on the trail of the Annapurna Circuit?
Various local cultures and religions can be observed and witnessed on the Annapurna Circuit Trekking Trail. Hinduism and Buddhism widely influence the region of Annapurna. Prayer flags, mani walls, Hindu temples, Buddhist monasteries, and gumbas, or gompas, can be seen along the trail, representing both religions.
Suppose you are traveling in September, October, or November. In that case, travelers and trekkers can get involved in two of the biggest festivals in Nepal, Dashain and Tihar, which is the best time to be in Nepal. Remember to dress properly and respect the culture, especially while visiting the monasteries and temples.
As they trek through villages, they can encounter Gurung and Thakali cultures. We meet many ethnic communities of Nepal along the trail, from place to place, camp to camp, and village to village. We can witness various ethnic groups and practices along the trails. Nepal is home to more than 116 ethnic groups and communities.
How are the accommodations during Annapurna Circuit Trekking?
The accommodation facilities at the Annapurna Circuit Trek are very basic. Only the basic, necessary things and equipment are placed in the rooms. Electric blankets attached to bathrooms are available at prior notice. The price for good accommodation at Annapurna Circuit Trek is around $20–$25 or even more, depending on what sort of extra services trekkers and tourists select.
Usually, the dining room is warm, as heaters are mostly on after 4 p.m.
Holiday Tours Nepal arranges all the accommodation facilities for the trekkers, travelers, and guests once the trekking for the Annapurna circuit is booked.
Toilets and Sanitation facilities at Annapurna Circuit
We can find two types of toilets: western-style pan toilets and Asian squat toilets. Finding attached bathrooms is difficult, and holiday tours in Nepal require prior notice for attached restrooms, for which we must pay some extra fees.
The toilets are clean and serene, with water inside the restrooms, or sometimes we need to carry the water on our own, which is situated outside the toilets. Toilet paper is unavailable in the bathrooms, so we must bring our toilet paper.
For sanitation, Holiday Tours Nepal recommends carrying sanitizers, towels, face wipers, and tissues so that sanitation and hygiene remain systematic during the Annapurna circuit trekking in Nepal.
What types of food are available on the trail of Annapurna Circuit?
There are a lot of options available, from Western food to our local foods, for example, Dal Bhat, roti, vegetarian curries spaghetti, Chowmein, Momo Dumplings, Porridge Omelets, Burgers, or Pizza. There is a wide variety to choose from, and you can even consume a variety of soups available at the tea house.
Remember that the local foods are always safe and fresh, as the locals prepare the food after getting the orders. Avoid things like ketchup, cheese, meat, and spicy items, as this can lead to constipation and sometimes diarrhea during the trek, which is the worst thing someone would want during an outing.
There is an open menu during the all-inclusive package with Holiday Tours Nepal, where trekkers can select a single item for the food.
Note: Our all-inclusive packages for the Annapurna Circuit Trek include breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea, and coffee available during the trek.
Outline itinerary for Annapurna Circuit Trek
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,350 m/4,430 ft) and transfer to the hotel.
Day 2: Drive to Dharapani (1,920 m/6299 ft) in 6 hours.
Day 3: Trek to Chame (2,670 m/8759 ft), 5 hours.
Day 4: Trek to Pisang (3,230 m/10597 ft), 5 hours.
Day 5: Trek to Manang Village (3,450 m/11318 ft), 5 hours.
Day 6: Rest Day at Manang for local hikes and acclimatization.
Day 7: Trek to Yak Kharka (4,110 m/13484 ft), 4 hours.
Day 8: Trek to Thorang High Camp (4,600 m/15091 ft), 4 hours.
Day 9: Cross Thorang-La (5,416 m/17769 ft) and Muktinath (3,800 m/12467 ft) at 7 hours.
Day 10: Drive from Muktinath to Tatopani.
Day 11: Trek from Tatopani to Ghorepani.
Day 12: Hike Poon Hill, trek back to Birethanti, and drive to Pokhara.
Day 13: Drive or fly to Kathmandu, a 6-hour road journey (30 minutes via air).
Day 14: Final international departure from Nepal.