Western Nepal is iconized by the Annapurna massif and the popular tourist destination, Pokhara. The Annapurna region encapsulates the world’s best trekking routes. The major and popular trekking routes lead to Jomsom, Mustang, Manang, Annapurna Sanctuary and around the Annapurna range. Most of the treks, in Annapurna Region, including the &ld
--JAMES (USA) --
Annapurna Circuit trek is a versatile trip which serves the whole purpose of adventure-traveling, cultural tours and wanderlust; combining trekking, hiking, sightseeing and cultural tour into a single traveling experience. You can enjoy the close view of surrounding mountains of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Fish-tail (Machhapuchhre), and also experience the first-hand encounter of local cultures, tribes and cuisines.
Rich in culture and architecture of the mountain tribes of Gurung, Magar and Manangi, the 21 days of Annapurna trek takes you into the heart of authentic Himalaya. Spending your time observing local festive and culture can be an essential aspect of cultural immersion. Thorong La Pass (5,416m/17,769ft) is the highest elevation you may reach during the trek.
Day 01: Drive Kathmandu / Besisahar (760 m) by local bus. (approx. 6 hrs drive)
After breakfast, you will drive to Besisahar (approx. 185 km), which takes about 6 hours. You will drive past beautiful landscapes. Overnight at guest house/lodge.
Day 02: Besisahar / Bahun Danda (1310 m) – 5 hrs walk
Todays trek begins to introduce us to the many cultural elements of Nepal. You will come across typical houses and the different faces of the local people, exchanging greetings as we pass. Crossing the suspension bridge at Besisahar to the eastern side of the Marshyangdi River and climb up the trail. The trail has a mix of ascent and decent as we pass small valleys, the mix of Nepali people is clearly seen in the faces of the local people we meet as we pass through the villages. Nadi is a settlement of families originally from Manang village while Taranche, immediately above it, is a Gurung village. The last hour and half we climb uphill to reach Bahun Danda, where we stay overnight.
Day 03: Bahun Danda / Chamje (1430 m.) – 6 hrs walk
From Bahun Danda we gain slight altitude to reach Chamje. Drop down fro the ridge on which Bahundanda is perched and follow the river to Syange, where we cross the river by suspension bridge. From here we climb uphill for about an hour to the village of Jagat, there are some great views of the river below as well as of the waterfall across the river. Chamje is another hour and half following the river.
Day 04: Chamje / Dharapani (1860 m.) – 6 hrs walk
The route today passes villages and local communites that are said to have migrated from Tibet a long time ago. As we trek you will feel the difference in the lifestyle of the people and their settlements. We cross the suspension bridge below Chamje and climb two steep sections of the trail to reach the village of Tal. Tal is populated with Gurungs and Tibetans. From the end of the valley above Tal, the trail rises steeply initially and then rises and falls as it cuts across the mountain side to Dharapani.
Day 05: Dharapani / Chame (2670 m.) – 5 hrs walk
Today the trail mostly climbs as we increase in altitude, you will find that even though we are not walking for that long each day, you do consume a lot of energy. We reach Bagarchap, a Tibetan village, within the first hour of todays trek, followed by Dangyung, a small Tibetan settlement shortky afterwards. We then enter dense forest, cross bridges over tributaries and at the foot of a waterfall ascend steep stone steps to reach the new trail to Chame. It will take us about 3 and half hours with some fine views of Annapurna II on the approach to Chame.
Day 06: Chame / Pisang (3200 m.) – 6 hrs walk
Today’s walk passes several rivers and so we climb up and down between them. From Chame, we reach the small settlement of Taleku, in approximately forty minutes. In just under two hours, we cross a bridge to the sparsely inhabited settlement of Bartang. This former Khampa settlement is now an orchard and marks the traditional boundary between the Manang area to the north and the predominantly Gurung area to the south. From Bartang, we follow the river for forty-five minutes, cross the bridge and then ascend to the floor of the Manang valley and Lower Pisang. A spectacular rockwall is in view for much of the climb. You will notice a real change in the landscape as the area becomes much more arid as we climb.
Day 07: Pisang / Manang (3540 m.) – 4 hrs walk
The trail continues to climb and by now, you will be encountering the windy and dry atmosphere of the area. This is one of the reasons that makes Manang a special place of interest for the visitors. The trail rises, first gradually and then more steeply from Lower Pisang to reach the crest of a ridge overlooking the upper Manang Valley. The airfield and settlement area of Ongre are clearly visible from this vantage-point. We then head down to the flat valley floor and reach Ongre, shortly after this we cross the Sabche Khola River with a great view of the amphitheatre formed by Annapurna III and IV. Watch out for the village of Braga, built impressively into a cliff-wall. Manang is about half an hour past Braga.
Day 08: Rest at Manang. Stroll around at Manang.
Today will be day for acclimatization, allowing our bodies a chance to adjust to our increase in height. We will make some short hikes around the area during the day.
Day 09-10: Manang / Yak Kharka (4018 m) / Thorang Phedi (4450 m)
The way slowly descends through the Manang village. The houses are mad by clay and stone and joint each other. The path keeps on going up slowly by crossing the innumerable tiny streams, which come from the Chulu east and Chulu west.
Trek to Churi Latter, a small village with few houses, which takes nearly one hour. After a while there are two ways for Thorang Phedi. One goes from the next side of the stream and other goes from the same side but have to trek up. The trail from next side of the river is little bit danger because the rocks fall down very often from upside of the cliff.
Day 11: Thorang phedi / Thorang pass (5416 m.) descend to Muktinath (3800 m.) – 8 hrs walk
Today is the biggest challenge, a long day as we start early to ascend to the Thorong La Pass. It usually takes around 7 hrs to complete the climb, before a 3 hr decent to Muktinath. The views of the Himalaya are magnificent as you climb up and cross this popular pass, don’t forget to look at the views ! Muktinath is a pilgrimage centre for both Buddhists and Hindus, it is home to the Vishnu temple of Jiwala Mayi as well as several Buddhist monasteries. It is believed that all your sins are relieved when visiting this temple of Lord Vishnu. In an old temple you can find the natural spring and natural gas jets which produce the eternal flame of Muktinath, it is this combination of earth- water -fire that gives the area its particular religious significance.
Day 12: Muktinath / Kagbeni (2800 m.) – 3 hrs walk
Having completed the hardest trekking, we mostly have descends in our remaining days. From Muktinath, the trail goes down through Kali Gandaki valley to Kagbeni. Gorge wide river ? ?
Day 13: Kagbeni / Jomsom (2710 m) / Marpha (2670 m.) – 5 hrs walk
Marpha is home to many apple orchids as well as all the various food products made from the fruit. Apple brandy is a local specialty that you may be lucky enough to taste en route.
Day 14: Marpha / Kalopani (2530 m.) – 6 hrs walk
We follow the path on the west side of the river then on the new road through beautiful Thakali Villages with decorated houses and wide paved streets. We cross the river for lunch in Koketanti, then back again to follow the stone path through pine woods and fields to Kalopani. Kalopani is a very smart town nestling below the Dhaulagiri Icefall.
Day 15: Kalopani / Tatopani (1190 m.) – 6 hrs walk
It is nearly all downhill today, mostly on paths through fields and orchards, but sometimes on the road being built by hand up to Muktinath. We stop for lunch at Rukse Chhahara, close to a huge waterfall. We continue on down into the deepest valley in the world to the town of Tatopani (hot water), where we can soak in the hot springs by the river before indulging in fish and chips in the town.
Day 16-17: Tatopani / Shikha (1935 m) / Ghorepani (2750 m) – 8 hrs
Again cross the long suspension bridge over the Kali Gandaki then again Do Khola (stream) the path goes rapidly up via Ghara and Shikha villages. You will gain about 1500m high today. The stunning view of Mt. Dhaulagiri is just in front of you.
Keep continue to uphill trek through thick, lush Rhododendron forest. In spring season, the place looks like a heaven, when the Rhododendron is in bloom. Ghorepani is one of the magnificent villages in the area. A good place to see owe inspiring view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massive.
Day 18: Ghorepani / Ghandruk (1940 m.) – 7 hrs walk
Early in the morning, we will climb for one hour to the top of Poon Hill. Poon Hill is one of the most popular vantage points of this trek, it is situated at an elevation of 3210m. From here we can see the tremendous views of Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna range. After enjoying the views for a while, we return to Ghorepani village and after breakfast start our trek to Ghandruk.
The trail climbs south on path through deep forests. It finally emerges on a grassy knoll which offers good mountain views, including a view of Machhapuchhare (not visible from Ghorepani) and a panorama all the way south to the plains of India. It is a similar view to that from Poon Hill. We climb along the ridge in pine and rhododendron forests to a crest at 3030m, then descend to cross a second pass, at 2960m. The trail then descends steeply to a stream before the climbing again through the forest to Tadapani. The trail descends steeply from Tadapani through the forest to a clearing, a short steep descent among rocks leads to a stream crossing then we descend gently pass other streams and finally down towards Ghangdruk. The trail reaches the edge of Ghangdruk near the tin roofed handicraft factory, and then descends on stone steps into the maze of the village itself.
Day 19: Ghandrunk / Pothana (1900 m). – 5 hrs walk
The trek from Ghandruk to Landruk is the steepest part of the entire trek. The descent from Ghandruk to Kyumi at the bank of Modi khola is almost 70 degrees vertical. Then have to climb up to Landruk which is almost equally steep but shorter. Though a straight line distance between the two villages would not be more than 500 meters. From Landruk the trek is pretty easy for the first hour, somewhat steep for the next two or three (till Deurali) and a gentle downhill to Pothana through the forests. Pothana is a small town with 10 or 12 lodges and offer the best-so-far view of the Machhapuchre.
Day 20: End trek at Phedi (approx. 3 hrs walk) and drive to Pokhara (approx. 30 min drive). Overnight stay at hotel
The remainder of the trek is gradual downhill through the village of Dhampus to Phedi. It takes about two hours to reach Phedi. Dhampus is the exit point of the ACAP region and foreigners need to check out here. Phedi is connected to the highway by a graveled road with some jeeps offering a ride to Pokhara and it is in the Bhupi Sherchan Highway (Pokhara to Baglung). From here we take our taxi and drive back to Pokhara
Day 21: Drive back to Kathmandu by tourist coach.
Drive back to Kathmandu and transfer to hotel the hotel.
Cost does not include: