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annapurna circuit trek blog

Annapurna Circuit Trek Blog – Detailed Itinerary with Pictures

Annapurna Circuit Trek blog will describe the classic routes of 20 days. It offers a clear view of mountains, alpine pastures, flora, and fauna, rich culture and diverse Himalayan landscape. 

You can also plan a side trek to Tilicho Lake (4919m), one of the highest lakes in the world and Annapurna Base Camp (4130m). 

If you have a limited time, then its better go for Annapurna Mini Circuit Trek of 10 days. 

Read Also: Annapurna Circuit Trek – 10 Days

Annapurna Circuit Trek Blog

Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the popular classic treks in the world. Trekking route to Annapurna Circuit Trek was officially started in 1980 A.D. The total length of route varies between 150 – 250 Km.

This trek offers the most diverse view of Himalayan Landscape. Trek route passes from green hills to dense forests to the high pass; Thorong La (5416m). Thorong La is the widest pass in the world.

It also passes through the two rivers – Marshyangdi and Kali Gandaki. While following this route, you can view amazing mountains and peaks – Mt. Annapurna II, Mt. Annapurna III, Mt. Annapurna IV,  Mt. Gangapurna, Mt. Manaslu, Mt. Dhaulagiri (the spectacular ice pyramid), Machhapuchhre (Fish Tail), Tilicho Peak, Throng Peak, Chulu East, Chulu West, and Khangshar Kang.

Surrounded by Annapurna Massifs and magnificent landscapes, Annapurna Circuit Trek is an interesting trekking to choose for your next trip to Nepal.

Highlights:

  • Thorong-La Pass (5416m)
  • Sunrise and sunset view from Poonhill (3210m) and other different locations
  • Tilicho Lake, situated at the highest altitude (4,919m) in the world
  • Kali Gandaki Gorge or Andha Galchi (between the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna), the deepest canyon in the world
  • The Muktinath Temple: one of the most important shrines of both Hindus and Buddhists
  • Discover old monasteries situated in Braga
  • Rhododendron Forests has more than 440 species of birds and animals like Marten, Deer, Langur Monkey and the exclusive Snow Leopard
  • Lower Mustang and amazing valleys
  • Natural Hot Spring at Tatopani to relax your tired muscles
  • Experience the rich cultural of Gurung and Thakali settlements in place such as Jomsom, and Manang

Annapurna Circuit Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu 

Basantapur Durbar Square by Bidhan Rajkarnikar on 500px.com

Welcome to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. Situated at the height of 1320m, Kathmandu has a long list of things to do. Among them exploring UNESCO world heritage sites – Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swoyambhunath, Boudhanath, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Changunarayan Temple, and Patan Durbar Square can let you experience local culture and tradition. Don’t miss to try amazing foods – MoMo, Nepali Dhal Bhat, Dhindo, Newari Khaja Set, and many more. 

Day 2: Drive to Bhulbhule. Trek to Nagdi 

Rural landscape in Lampata, Nepal by Robert Andersson on 500px.com

Drive along the Kathmandu to Pokhara highway till Dumre and then follow the narrow and paved road by the Marsyangdi River to Besisahar then to Bhulbhule (900m). After dropping at Bhulbhule, we will trek to Nagdi (920m) beside Kaligandaki River which is the one-hour long hike. Overnight at Teahouse.

Day 3: Trek to Jagat

Jagat Waterfall by Tanis Kodrun on 500px.com

Today, we will start our trekking of 5-6 hours to Chamje. The trail follows the flat terrain and then climbs steep-up. Sooner or later, we will descend to the stone village of Jagat (1330m.) situated on a shelf which juts into the precipitous Marsyangdi valley. Overnight at Teahouse.

Day 4: Trek to Dharapani 

On the Annapurna Circuit by Linou on 500px.com

The second day of the trek, will be descending to the Marshyandi river and cross another suspension bridge; we begin a climb to Sattale (1550m.) on a path so steep that seems one slip would send you hurtling down into the valley. We continue on an undulating path above the river, and at one point, where a tributary flows in from the opposite bank, the main river becomes covered with huge boulders that hide the water.

Following a path will lead to the top of the hill. We can see the soothing Tal (1700m). Now the trail around with the valley narrows and the path become high and winding. Beyond the small village of Karte (1900m), there is a bit more cliff-walking before the path drops again to the river and we cross another suspension bridge and arrive at Dharapani (1960m), overnight at Teahouse.

Day 5: Trek to Chame 

The Village of Chame by Jules Hobson on 500px.com

In today’s trek, we will start through a narrow field from the village, the Dudh Khola, which originates from the south face of Manaslu, The Marsyangdi River then veers to the left, and as Annapurna II becomes visible ahead, we arrive at Bagarchhap, a Bhote village with prayer flags fluttering in the breeze around Buddhist monastery, continuing to climb through forests of pine and oak, we pass through Danaque (2210m.).

Follow a steep ascending path up to Timang village which lies at the bottom of Lamajung Himal & then the trail goes through a flat level until we reach Chame (2710m). Overnight at Teahouse.

Day 6: Trek to Pisang

Prayer wheels Nepal by Abhinav Singh on 500px.com

We will start out trek by getting the first glance of Lamjung Himal (6893m), Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Gangapurna, and Manang Valley. The mountain disappears as we climb the path up the valley, passing a huge apple orchard in Bratang (2950m).

Now, we continue through fir and pine forest, climbing to a high, rocky area as the opposite bank becomes an impassable cliff.

From the Dukur Pokhari, the valley changes from a V-shape (narrow) to a gentle U-shape (wide), opening up wonderful vistas. Then we come to a long mani wall by a bridge and the lower village of Pisang (3300m). Overnight at a Teahouse.

Day 7: Trek to Manang via Nawal

Bragha village, Nepal by john spies on 500px.com

This part of the trek climbs to a steep ridge which offers wonderful views of the Manang valley and Tilicho peak (7145m.). You have the two options available to reach Manang section of the Annapurna circuit: the lower route along the valley floor or the upper route (above 400m).

An upper view has some of the amazing mountains: Mt. Annapurna II, Mt. Annapurna IV, Mt. Annapurna III, Mt. Gangapurna, Pisang Peak, Tilicho Peak, Chulu East and beautiful Manang Valley.

Cultivated fields terrain appear on both sides of the path and off to the right, below a craggy mountain, we will see the village of Braga with its splendid monastery, chortens, and mani walls abound and the tall peaks of the Himalaya spread out before us, then after a short steep climb we will reach Manang (3550m) for our overnight at a Teahouse.

Day 8: Hike around Manang

Like a dream by Prakash Bajracharya on 500px.com

Today, we hang around the town. It is very important to take rest and acclimatize for crossing the Thorong La Pass. There is an optional day walks such as crossing the river to see the tremendous icefall coming down from the Annapurna, or climbing high above the village for a full panorama of the Annapurna range and the Manang Valley.

There is also a Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) aid post in the village which makes for an interesting and educational visit. Moreover, you can visit Ganagapurna Glacier Lake, Monastery around Manang Valley to make your rest day a memorable one. Overnight at a Teahouse

Day 9: Trek to Yak Kharka 

Teahouse overshadowed by Gangapurna by Hendrik Koners on 500px.com

Today the trail ascends lightly all the way to Yak Kharka (4110m) passing through Gunsang (3960m.) village. We will see panoramic views all the day. Reaching to that height (above 4000m), we may feel a bit fatigued or tired. Later, after some rest, we can explore around the hill. Overnight at a Teahouse.

Day 10: Trek to Thorong Phedi 

thorong phedi
Climbing gradually to a ridge before descending to the Marsyangdi river and crossing via a suspension bridge, after a short ascent up the mountain path on the right bank, you follow a narrow trail across an unstable scree slope and then descend to Thorong Phedi / Low Camp (4600m). Overnight at a Teahouse.

Day 11: Trek to Muktinath via Thorong La pass 

thorong la pass
Early in the morning, we will be heading towards the Thorong La (5416m). Now, the trail becomes steep immediately on leaving camp but as this trail has been used by local people for hundreds of years the path is well defined.

After around 4 hours of steady climbing, we will reach to the top of Thorong La. Enjoy watching the prayer flags fluttering of the pass. The views are dramatic, to say the least, from the snow-covered mountains above to the head of the Kali Gandaki valley below and the brown and purple hills of Mustang which are spread out before us.

The descent to Muktinath (1600m) is a knee-pounding but it’s compensated for with excellent views of Dhaulagiri and valley of Upper Mustang. Overnight at a Teahouse.

Day 12: Trek to Marpha 

Marpha Street by Quintin Rayer on 500px.com

We will visit the famous temple of Muktinath and return for breakfast. Now, the trek begins with a descent down to the dramatic Kali Gandaki Gorge, initially through arid country in the same geographical and climatic zone as Tibet.

After passing through Jharkot and Khingar villages with typical Tibetan architecture, we follow path steeply down to Kagbeni, a primitive village famous for Tibetan architectures and there is a monastery hereabouts said to have been built in the 15th Century the Kagbeni which is the border for Upper Mustang.

After lunch in Kagbeni, we follow the flat path along the banks of dramatic Kali Gandaki Gorge. Now, we arrived at Jomsom, the district headquarter of Mustang. After one hour trek, we will reach to Marpha (2670m). It is rich in cultivating apples & biggest apple farm in Nepal. This is where our apple pies originate from. The apple brandy is famous among the local folks and travelers. Overnight at a Teahouse.

Day 13: Trek to Ghasa

Nepalese woman crossing suspension bridge by Oliver Förstner on 500px.com

Today’s, trekking trail descends steeply down through forests to Ghasa, the last Thakali village and the southern-most limit of Tibetan Buddhism. The beginning part of the trail is stretched at almost flat level up to Kalopani and then the trail begins descending steeply to Ghasa (2050m).

This part of the trek passes through the windy area covered with pine forests, rhododendron forests, and birch trees. The surrounding area of Ghasa is a famous destination for bird watching. Overnight at a Teahouse.

Day 14: Trek to Tatopani (Hotspring)

tatopani hotspring
We will start the trek which descends to amazing Rupse Chhahara (Rupse Waterfall). There is also the deepest gorge which is sandwiched between two massif mountains Annapurna I (8091m.) in east and Dhaulagiri I (8167m.) in the west facing each other near Rupse Waterfall.

Now the trail ascends slightly up to Tatopani (Hotspring: 1100m). Take a relaxing bath on the natural hot spring for a whole day. Overnight at a Teahouse.

Day 15: Trek to Ghorepani 

~ Early morning ~ by Prakash Bajracharya on 500px.com

Today’s trek passes through a flat level of the land. Then, the trail begins ascending steeply for at least one hour then goes up through different villages inhabited by the people of different caste and a lot of agricultural lands that shows this village is pretty well off.

The majority of the people here are Gorkhalis who serve in the Indian army. The trail ascends gently all the way to Ghorepani (2850m) passing through small villages like Phalate, Chitre, Sikha and so on.

While trekking you pass through rhododendron forests and come across the wildlife such as monkeys and birds of various species. You are accompanied by more panoramic views of different mountains and overnight at a Teahouse

Day 16: Trek to Poonhill to Tadapani 

poonhill
Early morning before sunrise, we will hike to Poonhill (3210m) and enjoy the sunrise views over Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m), Tukuche Peak (6920m), Nilgiri (6940m), Varaha Shikhar (7847m), Mt. Annapurna I (8091m), Annapurna South (7219m), Annapurna III (7855m), Machhapuchhare (6993m), Annapurna IV (7525m), Annapurna II (7937m), Lamjung Himal (6931m) and other numerous snow-capped mountains.

Poonhill has always been a symbol of beauty for the Annapurna region. Then we will return back to Ghorepani and have a hot breakfast. Most part of the trail is through blooming rhododendron forest; the beautiful flower makes the jungle colorful in spring. Later, overnight at Tadapani (2660m).

Day 17: Trek to Ghandruk

Ghandruk at Dusk by Holly Barber on 500px.com

We will start our walk through a forest of oak, rhododendron and other alpine flowers will take us to Ghandruk. Ghandruk is the large Gurung village. We can get an amazing view of Annapurna South, Gangapurna, Machhapuchhre, Annapurna III, Hiunchuli and other Mountains from a viewpoint in Ghandruk.

The local Gurung community will welcome with fresh garlands and traditional dance will be performed in evening. Ghandruk (1960m) is the biggest Gurung village in Annapurna regions.

The major attractions of Ghandruk village is a Monastery, Gurung Museum, and Conversation Unit Office. Overnight at a Teahouse.

Day 18: Trek to Nayapul. Drive to Pokhara

Pokhara Nepal by Saurabh Lakra on 500px.com

After having a hot breakfast in Ghandruk, we will hike up to Nayapul and then take a private vehicle to reach Pokhara. Within the trek to Nayapul (1070m) is a lovely hike as you can enjoy the views of beautiful landscapes along the trail back.

Nayapul to Pokhara (820m) is about a one hour drive. Overnight at Pokhara hotel. 

Day 19: Drive to Kathmandu

Boudhanath Sunset by Carlo Murenu on 500px.com

We will catch a tourist bus which leaves at 7 AM to drive us to Kathmandu and the driving will be a fantastic experience as we drive past many small towns on the way and we are able to see rural settlements, gushing rivers, terraces, and green rural landscapes.

We stop for lunch in between the travel from Pokhara to Kathmandu. After 6 hours drive, we will arrive at Kathmandu and stay overnight at your hotel. 

Day 20: Departure

Nepal Airlines A330 by ShresthaShrawan on 500px.com

We hope you will have a memorable and pleasant stay. See you soon in the next vacation to Nepal.  

Annapurna Circuit Trek Altitude Map

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