This is the Classic Annapurna adventure, the one that has enchanted trekkers world wide.
The Annapurna Circuit is what adventure stories are made of! Long regaled as a top trekking destination, the area is famous for diverse culture, friendly hospitality, breathtaking scenery and challenging terrain. Our guides have picked the best routes to bring you safely across Thorong-La and deep into the communities of the Gurung, Manang and Sherpa people.
While a recently built road has brought an influx of visitors, there are still hidden trails and ancient religious sites to explore. Muktinath showcases both Buddhist and Hindu religions and while at the edge of Kagbeni, winds from Tibet sweep across the Mustang valley to add intrigue and mystery to a stunning landscape.
Along the journey, comfortable teahouses serve warm food and big smiles to make long-distance hiking a joy. The Annapurna Mountain Range becomes a personal playground and upon returning to lakeside city Pokhara, your efforts can be rewarded with massage, freshly baked pies or a cold beer from one of the many open-air bars. Here, live music flows as freely as the tap!
With much to explore and beautiful vistas to savour, this journey won’t soon be forgotten.
Day 1: Arrival / Welcome Dinner
Our staff will be waiting for you at Kathmandu’s International Airport. After escorting you to your hotel, you’ll have plenty of time to rest and relax before our evening dinner. Meet your teammates over a traditional Nepali Set and enjoy a dance performance with various cultural themes. Bring your camera! Guests often join the revelry.
Day 2: Cultural Tour of Kathmandu
Explore Kathmandu’s historic and cultural sites, including the towering white dome of Boudhanath and riverside Hindu temples of Pashupatinath. In the afternoon, we’ll distribute all necessary gear for our trek and answer any questions about what to expect in the days leading up to Annapurna Base Camp.
Day 03: Besisahar (830m)
After coffee and breakfast, we will make our way to the start of our trek in private transport. Green hills and farming lands will unfold before us as we exit the Kathmandu valley and head into the countryside. Once we reach Besisahar, we will make sure all equipment and necessary permits are ready for our journey and will fuel our bodies with a home-cooked meal at a local guesthouse.
Day 04: Bahundanda (1430m)
The start of our trek crosses the Marsyangdi River and passes small homesteads with villagers tending to fields of rice and greens. Beyond the village of Bhulbule, a large waterfall gushes over rocky crags, and the edges of Mt. Manaslu begin to fade from view as we enter the community of Ngadi. From Ngadi Khola, our evening stop is a steady uphill climb. A collection of homes, guesthouses and small wares stores will be a welcome vision, and our reserved teahouse will have hot tea ready to greet us.
Day 05: Chamje (1410m)
From Bahundanda, we will carefully make our way along the steep descent to Chamje. Suspension bridges are decorated with silk prayer scarves, and a small hot spring offers sore feet relief. Our path follows the riverbed until we reach the stony village of Jagat. After a short hike we arrive to Chamje. Local raksi, alcohol fermented from wine and barley, is often poured after dinner while guides and porters play cards.
Day 06: Bagarchhap (2160m)
Today’s ascent is noticeable: 940 meters through thick bamboo and rhododendron forests and passed a towering waterfall that spills high above the quant village of Tal. Suspension bridges require careful tread and lead us to the stone archway marking Dharapani. Here locals prepare for harsh winters by stacking firewood on top of their homes, and the crisp smell of wood fires cut through cold night air.
Day 07: Chame (2170m)
Following the south bank of the river, we will climb towards Syal Khola with clear views of Lamjung Mountain and Annapurnas II and IV. After passing over another bridge, we will carefully traverse landslides and make our way through thick forests and planted apple rows. Buddhist prayer wheels line the entrance to Chame where coloured prayer flags mark homes and religious sites.
Day 08: Pisang (3190m)
Pisang marks the beginning of Manang District. Locals are known for their ability to simultaneously manage harsh winters and welcome guests with huge smiles. With two regions to explore, Upper and Lower Pisang contains monasteries, old homesteads and incredible views. To reach this area, we will climb to Telekhu and through the forests of Brathang. The river meanders alongside our trail, and small children may rush to ask for “Candy! Chocolate!” Accommodation is pleasant and comfortable, and heaping plates of rice and vegetables are served hot.
Day 09 : Manang (3540m)
From Pisang, we have a steady walk towards Manang. We’ll rest at the Tibetan village of Bryaga where houses are built vertically and an ancient monastery overlooks the valley. The landscape here is dry and filled with slate cliffs from which Manang appears like a vision. Complete with bakeries, pool halls, and a movie theatre with English films, Manang makes a great resting point.
Day 10: Rest Day
To allow our bodies to adjust to the altitude, we spend one day in Manang. There are several hikes in the area and a beautiful lake to explore, but we encourage everyone to recover and get used to the increasing elevations. There are several coffee shops with wifi so you can get in touch with friends at home.
Day 11: Letdar (4250)
As we climb higher, vegetation becomes thin and our trail grows increasingly rocky. Blue sheep often line the meadows of Yak Karhka where grey ridges are often dusted with snow. After stopping for lunch, we continue the climb to Letdar to rest for the night.
Day 12: Thorong High Camp (4880m)
Today will be conservative to save energy and prepare for our highest point on our trek, Thorong La Pass. Heading east to Thorong Phedi, rocky fields and vertical cliffs carve steep visual edges. Sometimes sheep or snow leopards hide behind boulders, and the calls of birds soaring overhead echoes throughout the canyon below. Our hike time today is short, and the afternoon can be spent playing games or writing postcards to friends at home.
Day 13: Thorong La Pass (5416m) / Muktinath (3800m)
Our morning begins early so we can safely attempt Thorong-La Pass. Weather conditions can make this section difficult, so we plan our ascent with care. It is a tiring climb but guides and porters stop regularly for rest. Stop at the teashop for a hot coffee or Snickers before the long descent towards Muktinath. Herds of sheep and yak may pass, and prayer flags add to the majesty of the Annapurnas. Upon arriving at Muktinath, religion pilgrims from all over the world visit temples and monasteries to purge sins and wash away transgressions beneath fountains while other travellers enjoy funky bars and lively restaurants with music, baked goods and Western-style foods.
Day 14: Jomsom (2665m)
From Muktinath, we walk through meadows and beside bubbling streams to Kagbeni, a visually rich village surrounded by orchards and soaked in traditional Tibetan practice. A mixture of language and dialects are spoken and locals wear native dress. On our way to Marpha, we can sample local apple brandy or taste delicious apples for which this area is famous. Dusty winds sweep from the north as we enter Jomsom, and our night here will be a celebratory one for a journey well travelled.
Day 15: Jomsom to Pokhara
We will fly to Pokhara from Jomsom’s local airport and have the afternoon to spend as we choose. With various adventure sports --- zipline, bungee jump and paragliding --- the restless will have their fill. Those wanting to relax can book appointments as holistic spas or sip cold brews in one of the many open-air restaurants. At night, Pokhara comes to life with music and youngsters sporting the latest fashion, and an outdoor movie theatre posts an updated weekly list of popular English films to enjoy.
Day 16: Return to Kathmandu
Today we fly back to Kathmandu for a well earned rest. Overnight hotel.
Day 17: Departure
Like many visitors who travel to Nepal, “Pheri Betaula,” or, “See you later,” is the easiest way to depart. You may not want to leave!