The high point of the trek entails crossing of the 5,414m high Throng Pass, from the arid valley of the upper Manang, home of Tibeto- Buddhists, down to the Hindu pilgrimage site of Muktinath, and the Kali Gandaki valley, the world's deepest river gorge, before heading down to Pokhara. Besides the mountain views, we encounter on this trek a variety of mountain communities of the Gurung, Manangi and Thakali people.
Annapurna region is best described as the most happening incentive trekking destination of Nepal. The Annapurna Circuit Trek has been proved as a highly praised and spectacular trekking route in the Annapurna region since it opened to foreign trekkers in 1977. This trek starts right from Besishahar and goes along the Marshyangdi River, with great view of Manaslu and Himal Chuli to the east. This magnificent trek leads you to the fine village inhabited by a wide diversity of people from different ethnic groups, offering spectacular and majestic view of the white Himalayas. As it continues to the north of the main Himalayan range on to the high and dry Tibetan Plateau, the scenery is equally breathtaking.
The highest point of the trek is Thorung La Pass at the top of the valley at 5,416m high. Due to the difficulties of crossing the pass, the circuit is usually walked in a counter clockwise direction. Traveling clockwise the longer ascent and shorter descent from west to east is too much for many peoples to manage in one day. To top it all, the crossing of the Thorong La pass (5,416m) is a challenging ascent, surrounded by some of the most magnificent mountains.
Departure from Nepal
The trip concludes today. You will be dropped at Kathmandu's Tribhuwan International Airport by our airport representative for your flight departure from Nepal.
Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu (1,345m/4,413 ft). Free day at Kathmandu
We catch a flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu. The short flight takes us over the hills and mountains that glisten below. Once we reach Kathmandu, the rest of the day will be leisure and free for exploration. You are free to go souvenir shopping, spa and more exploration of the city, or extend your trip to include bungee jumping, rafting, mountain biking, Everest mountain flight and other adventurous activities. In the evening, we will have a farewell dinner at Mul Chowk Restaurant’s cozy and elegant dining ambience.
Free day at Pokhara (900m/2,953 ft)
Today is a free day at Pokhara for relaxation and looking back at our fantastic trip. There are several activities you may way to try out at Pokhara, including paragliding, microlight and zipliner among others. You may also go sightseeing at various places of interests like Gupteshwar Caves, museums, Davis Falls, etc.
Trek to Nayapul (1,010m / 3,314ft). Drive to Pokhara
Trekking today will be very light and easy as we reach Nayapul (1,010m), which is also the ending point of our trekking trip. After an hour’s drive to Pokhara, we get to enjoy the serene valley which boasts superb views of the Himalayas.
Trek from Ghorepani to Tikhedunga (1,570m / 5,151ft), via Pool Hill (3,210m / 10,531ft)
We’ll get up very early in the morning to start our hike to Poon Hill (3,210m), to witness tha absolutely awe-inspiring sunrise. The first rays touching the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri turn the mountains into bright orange, definitely the highlight of the day! We spend about an hour here, admiring the unobstructed views of the mountains and return to Ghorepani for breakfast. Then we descend to Tikhedhunga through dense forests and Magar village of Ulleri (2,070), finally arriving at Tikhedunga in late afternoon.
Trek from Tatopani to Ghorepani (2,840m / 9,318ft)
From Tatopani, we start ascending again to Ghorepani, arriving towards the afternoon.
Leaving the hot springs behind us we ascend again to Ghorepani arriving mid afternoon.
Rest and relaxing day at Tatopani
Explore the town and relax some more at the hot springs to loosen your muscles and relax your mind.
Trek from Ghasa to Tatopani (1,250m / 4,101ft)
We will walk through the world’s deepest gorge, Kopchepani, and continue descending to Tatopani, the famous place for hot springs. (Tato means hot, and Pani means water.) This is the best place to relax your body after a long day's trek. We will spend another day relaxing at this spot.
Trek from Marpha to Ghasa (2,010m / 6,594ft)
Following the gravelled trail further south along the Kali Gandaki river, we reach the village of Ghasa. The picturesque town is the last point of Mustang district.
Trek from Jomsom to Marpha (2,670m / 8,760ft)
From Jomsom, we continue our descent through the Kali Gandaki Valley to Marpha, where we brave strong head winds upto Marpha. The town is renowned for its apple orchards and we can also taste the apples and apple products like wines and pies. Don’t forget to try Apple Brandy, which is a local specialty you don’t want to miss!
Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom (2,720m / 8,924ft)
In the early afternoon we will descend through Jarkot with its impressive fortress to Kingar and Kagbeni (2,810m). Kagbeni is like an oasis on this arid area with orchards and fields of barley along the banks of the Kali Gandaki. We are rewarded with good views of Dhaulagiri during our descent. From Kagbeni we turn south for Jomsom (2,713m) in the Kali Gandaki valley with the peak of Dhaulagiri directly in front of us.
Trek from Phedi to Muktinath (3,760m / 12,336ft)
Ascent, sometimes over loose rocks, to reach a rocky pass marked with the gradient and after several false summits, the Thorung La (pass) finally comes into view marked by two large cairns with prayer flags flying (5416m). The views from the top are simply stunning. We make a long, steep, descent to Muktinath (3800m) and camp in a field in the village. The ascent can take 3 1/2 hours or longer and the descent from 2 1/2 to 4 hours. Muktinath is a village situated close to the Thorung La pass. It is also an important pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists. We'll spend some time here relaxing and participating in some leisurely explorations of the village, visiting the gompa which houses the 'water that burns'. Hindus believe that bathing here gives salvation after death and it is an important site for many including the 'Bho Tiya' people who inhabit the valley of Muktinath. They are also known as the 'Baragaa Ule' or 'people of the 12 villages'.
Trek from Leder to Phedi (4,450m / 14,600ft)
After breaking camp we cross the Jargeng Khola on a wooden bridge (4,265m). Cross the remains of an old, rocky landslide to reach our campsite at Phedi (4,400m) an open, rocky, flat area beside the river and our base for the crossing of the Thorung La the next day. There will be an acclimatization walk towards the pass during the afternoon. 5 to 6 hours of steady ascent.
Trek from Manang to Leder (4,230m / 13,878ft)
Leaving Manang we trek mostly above the tree line. From here there is a gradual ascent to Yak Kharka (4090m) to camp. The surrounding area is used mostly for grazing horses and yaks, but there are quite often herds of 'blue sheep' nearby. We will have time in the afternoon for an excursion from camp in search of local wildlife. About 4 1/2 hours walk.
Manang acclimatization day
A day free to rest and acclimatize. There is an opportunity to visit the monastery at Braga, which is reputedly 800 years old, and the village of Manang. The inhabitants of Manang are mainly Gurung who practice Buddhism and dress in a Tibetan style. The flat-roofed houses are closely grouped together in this high arid area. Here we have superb views to the south of Annapurna II and IV, Glacier Dome and the glacial lake below the village formed by water from Gangapurna and Annapurna.
Trek from Pisang to Manang (3,540m / 11,614ft)
Moving on from Pisang to the drier part of the region, we get to witness different landscape, culture and vegetation. More yaks are also visible in this region and the mountains are more define and visible right in front of us. Crossing Mungji and Braga, where there are several interesting ancient monasteries, we get better views of the valley ahead. The picturesque trek continues on from Braga to reach the nearby village of Manang. The remarkable culture and tradition of Manag are very evident as is the mix of modernity, one of which is the countless bakeries serving fantastic items.
Trek from Koto to Pisang (3,300m / 10,827ft)
A short walk from Kuparkodo brings us to Chame (2,630m), the administrative center for the Manang area. Rocky massifs mark our trek today, and the sight of Humde town is quite a memorable one. Continue to walk through pine forest crossing the river once again to reach the settlement of Tibetan Khampas before the village of Pisang.
Trek from Tal to Koto (2,650m / 8,694ft)
Leaving the valley on a rocky path close up against the valley wall, we descend to cross the Marsyangdi yet again reach the village of Dharapani (1930m) Continuing through we pass waterfalls to reach the police check post at Kuparkodo. There are wonderful views of Annapurna and Langtang from this point. We camp in the fields just before entering the village. About 6 hours walk gradually uphill all day.
Trek from Syange to Tal (1,700m / 5,577ft)
The forest section from Syange takes from through several small villages en route, including Jagat and Chamje. Trekking along Marsyangdi River, we admire the beauty of the surrounding hills and the rushing Marsyangdi River on the side. We reach the small town of Tal in the late afternoon. The town is highlighted by the gorgeous waterfall and beautiful first glimpses of mountains seen at the horizon.
Trek from Khudi to Syange (1,211m / 3,973ft)
Walking from Khudi on towards Syange, enjoy nice views of Himchuli and Manaslu as we descend to the Nadi Khola. Cross the Musi Khola on a suspension bridge and begin walking up towards Bahundanda (1,310m) amidst lush greenery. The excellent sight of marshyangi Valley in front of you will be seen clearly from the hilltop. After about 6 hours of comfortable-paced walking, we reach Syange in the evening.
Drive to Besisahar (830m/2723 ft) and trek to Khudi (780m / 2,559ft)
We start our drive from Kathmandu to Besi Sahar (7 hours, 185 kms) in the morning. The bustling small town is the starting point of our trek, from where we can also witness amazing views of mountains up north. The gravelled trekking route is easy and relaxing till Khudi.
Visit old town of Kathmandu
A professional guide and vehicle are provided for a day of sightseeing in and around Kathmandu city. We visit some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city along with other interesting cultural monuments that dot the valley. These include Boudhanath Stupa (the largest Buddhist shrines in the world), Pashupatinath (the holiest Hindu temple in the world), Durbar Squares (Palaces and fortresses of medieval Kings), along with other popular cultural attractions. We get to observe the lifestyle of Nepalese people, holy sadhus and monks, fascinating history as well as awe-inspiring architecture.
Arrival in Kathmandu (1,345m/4,413 ft)
Upon arriving at at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will be received by our airport representatives who will warmly greet you and transfer to the hotel on a private tourist vehicle. We provide 3-star accommodation in the city and we arrange for a trip briefing with dinner in the evening.