Round Annapurna Trekking Route
The Annapurna region is situated in middle north Nepal and is defined by the Kali Gandaki River to the west, the Marshyangdi and Dudh Khola valleys to the east, the Pokhara valley to the south and the Himalaya foothills that run along the Nepal-Tibetan border to the north
You will experience the ethnic and cultural diversity of the people in this region as you undertake the 3-week, 118 miles Annapurna Circuit. The wide variety of flora and fauna, the ever changing views of the mountains and of course the trekker- friendly climate all make this a truly memorable experience.
The Annapurna Conservation Area was established in 1986 under the auspices of the National Trust for Nature Conservation. The project was built on the principle that ‘conservation is not a separation of people from nature. It is the empowerment of people as nature’s protectors’. The program began by educating the local lodge owners in hygiene and sanitation matters, fuel diversity by moving away from using local forest timber and in maintaining local culture. ACAP, a non-governmental organisation, has supported and encouraged the development of the local infrastructure and income generating activities in environmentally sensitive ways; solar power, bio-gas cooking and bio-degrading toilet systems. All this has resulted in the area providing some of the best trekking services to be found in Nepal.
Moderate to Stenuous
5,416 m /17764.48 ft
Day 01: Drive Kathmandu to Besi Sahar (820m)
Day 02: Besisahar/Bhulbhule to Bahundanda (1270m): walking distance 5 hours
Day 03: Bahundanda to Chamje (1410m): walking distance 4-5 hours
Day 04: Chamje to Bagarchhap (2160m): walking distance 5-6 hours
Day 05: Bagarchhap to Chame (2710m): walking distance 5-6 hours
Day 06: Chame to Pisang (3210m): walking distance 4-5 hours
Day 07: Pisang to Manang (3520m): walking distance 6-7 hours
Day 08: Acclimatization day at Mannag (3520m)
Day 09: Manang to Chure Letdar (4250m) : walking distance 3-5 hours
Day 10: Churi Letdar to Thorung Phedi (4400m) : walking distance 2 hours
Day 11: Thorung Phedi trek to Muktinath (3800m) : walking distance 6-8 hours
Day 12: Muktinath to Marpha (2665m) : walking distance 6-7 hours
Day 13: Marpha to Ghasa (2000m) : walking distance 6 hours
Day 14: Ghasa to Tatopani (1180m): walking distance 4-6 hours
Day 15: Tatopani to Ghorepani (2775m) : walking distance 6-7 hours
Day 16: Ghorepani to Hile (1495m): walking distance 4-5 hours
Day 17: Hile to Pokhara: walking distance 3 hours and 1 hour drive
Day 18: Pokhara to Kathmandu, Take a 25 minutes flight or 6-7 hour Drive.
Kathmandu to Besi Sahar (820m)
Kathmandu to Besisahar is about 6 hours drive. If there is time you can visit Bhulbule the same day either by bus or on foot.
Besisahar/Bhulbhule to Bahundanda (1270m) : walking distance – 17 km
The trail to Bahundanda starts with trek along a river bank past an impressive 60m waterfall surrounded by tropical trees where you may be able to see Langur monkeys. Further on you can see the stunning Mt. Mansalu and Nadi Chuli with the trail leading you on to a Tibetan settlement. Then you will trek through a steep uphill path via subtropical forest and small hamlets to Bahundanda.
Bahundanda to Chamje (1410m) : walking distance -13 km
Starting with a steep trail past the golden rice terraces you will arrive at Kanjgaon. You will be able to see huge waterfall across Marsyangdi River. The trail to Chamje is steep and slippery and runs through the paddy fields, Tibetan villages and a beautiful Rhododendron forest.
Chamje to Bagarchhap (2160m) : walking distance – 12 km
Trekking from Chanje, you will initially cross the east bank of Marsyangdi river and then trek along the river embankment through the fields then through stands of bamboo and rhododendron to an exposed trail that goes high above steep riverbank. Then we will reach Dharapani beyond which the trail climbs up and an hours walk to Bagarchap you will trek through a forest of blue pine, spurce, hemlock, maple and oak. At this point you have reached Manang Region. Along the trail you will get occasion glimpses of Annapurna II and Lamjung Himal.
Bagarchhap to Chame (2710m) : walking distance – 13 km
Trekking along the south bank you will climb through forests to Danaque valley surrounded by apple orchards. Then it’s a steep climb through Rhododendron forest and mule track, fir forest and then again along the river for a while amongst the tall oak and maple trees. At Chame you can see prayer wheels and the views of Lamjung, Annapurna II/IV (7525m).
Chame to Pisang (3210m) : walking distance 4-5 hours, 600 meters ascent
On the sixth day its mostly level and pleasant walk through the forests where you will get first views of tremendous Paungda Danda rock face. The trail then follows through the river valley with good views along the way of Pisang peak and Annapurna II at Pisang. Pisang marks the beginning of the region upper portion of the Manang district.
Pisang to Manang : walking distance 6-7 hours, 540 meters ascent and 310 meters descent – 20 km
The trail to Manang first enters the pine grooves leading onto a small lake. Then you will arrive at a charming village offering the sights of painted Mandalas and dragon mouth spouts. Further along the trail you can see grazing yaks and a variety of crops. You will get good views of Annapurna II/III/IV, Gangapurna and Tarkekang.
Acclimatization day at Manang
In order to prepare your body for higher elevations you will spend a second night in Manang. We recommend that you observe the spectacular views of the Himalayas including the milky blue glacier lake at the foot of Gangapurna.
Manang to Chure Letdar (4250m) : walking distance 3-5 hours, 720 meters ascent – 10 km
After the acclimatisation at Manang you will steadily climb out of the Marsyngdi Valley gaining in altitude. You will be able to see large yaks grazing and also the view of Annapurna III is excellent on this trail
Churi Letdar to Thorung Phedi (4400m) : walking distance 2 hours, 240 meters ascent- 5 km
From Letdar the trail climbs along the east bank of the Jarsang Khola, then descends and crosses the stream on a wooden bridge at 4310m.
Thorung Phedi trek to Muktinath (3800m) : walking distance 6-8 hours, 1040 meters ascent and 1620 meters descent – 16 km
Beyond Thorung Phedi the trail gets steep as you climb towards Thorung La pass stitauted at 5416m. You will be able to see Great Barrier Ridge, Annapurnas, Gangapurna and the peak of Khatung Kang (6484m). The trail then descends crossing meadows steeply down to Muktinath Temple.
Muktinath to Marpha (2665m) : walking distance 6-7 hours, – 25 km
After enjoying the temple and the religious shrines of Muktinath, we head down the steep, barren hillside to Kagbeni. Kagbeni still feels like a medieval village, with its closely packed mud houses and dark tunnels. Situated at an auspicious river confluence, it is also the gateway to Upper Mustang. The easy and lovely day walking trail continues the interesting and picturesque old town and large Dechenling and Tashi Lhankhang Monasteries. Marpha is the main inhabitants of the ethnic group of Thakalis which has been favourite amongst the trekkers.
Marpha to Ghasa (2000m) : walking distance – 24 km
The next day trail follows the Kaligandaki River through the narrow gorge, passing through traditional Thakali villages. The village of Ghasa marks a cultural and ecological milestone. It’s a nice village with greenery and wide open spaces. We spend our night here in Ghasa.
Ghasa to Tatopani (1180m) : walking distance 4-6 hours, 90 meters ascent and 900 meters descent- 13 km
A lovely day walks along Kaligandaki riverside, gradually descending with transition into sub tropical vegetation. Very interesting suspension bridges to be crossed which gives you the exciting sense of trekking. The trail follows the river through a world deepest George and have a very nice view one of the longest waterfall. Stay at Tatopani and visit natural hot spring.
Tatopani to Ghorepani (2775m) : walking distance 6-7 hours, 1750 meters ascent and 140 meters descent- 17 km
Trail ascends steeply through dense moss-covered rhododendron forest with rich bird life. We pass some small villages and walk alongside the Ghaja Khola. Its about 7-8 hours work all the way up to Ghorepani.
Ghorepani to Hile (1495m) : walking distance – 9 km
Early morning trek up to Poonhil, One of the best Himalayan view points in Nepal poonhill provides an unobstructed view of sunrise over the high Himalayas . From poonhill one can enjoy spectacular view of Dhaulagiri I (8167m), Tukuche Peak Nilgiri (6940m), Annapurna South, Annapurna I (8091m), Hiunchuli (6441m) and Tarke Kang (7193m), Gangapurna (7454m), Lamjung Himal (6986m), Mt Fishtail ( Macchapuchre 6997m), Tent Peak and many more High Himalayas. Trek down to Ghorepani and after breakfast start downhill trekking to Hile.
Hile to Pokhara : walking distance – 7 km
Trek to Birethanti via Nayapul walk through the lust, green Modi river valley. Past waterfalls with plunge pools that invite you to swim. Explore the various interesting places like Mahendra Cave, David’s fall and the various lakes of Pokhara. Stay at Pokhara hotel.
Pokhara to Kathmandu, Take a 25 minutes flight or 6/7 hour Drive.
Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) has been implemented jointly by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) to ensure safety and security of trekkers and to control illegal trekking operations. Trekking companies will be asked to furnish personal information of trekkers like their passport numbers, nationality and their contact address and their itinerary. The data will be uploaded in visitors’ database which can be accessed in case of accidents and/or natural calamities in order to inform the concerned institutions about the number of trekkers inside a certain trekking area. TIMS cards should be collected by both Free Individual Trekkers (FITs) and trekkers taking the service of government authorized trekking agencies. Past experiences have revealed that difficulties were seen while carrying out rescue operations during times of accidents and natural calamities. Due to the lack of proper record system of trekkers, rescue and search missions used to face difficulties in spotting the missing trekkers. Based on the data collected through TIMS cards, however, it will be possible to know the position of a trekker in case a rescue operation is needed. The provision of Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) came into effect on January 1, 2008. Since then, the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) started recording trekkers’ details and began issuing TIMS Card to trekkers. As per the recent MoU signed by NTB and TAAN, TIMS card is applicable in all trekking areas of the country including restricted areas. Group trekkers will have to pay Blue TIMS cards by paying a fee of Rs 1,000 per person, while FITs have to get Green TIMS cards by paying a fee of Rs 2,000. Similarly, group trekkers from SAARC countries have to pay Rs 300 for TIMS cards, while FITs from the SAARC region have to pay Rs 600 each.