Get ready for an unforgettable journey on the lap of Annapurna ranges through diverse landscapes with a unique blend of ethnicities all along the way. Annapurna Round Trek is a classic trekking route in Nepal that offers unbeatable views of some majestic mountains along with the lush green valleys and glacial moraines. It is considered to be one of the most popular treks in the world. The trek follows a path that will take you from green pastures to leafy pine forests to arid landscapes and incredibly close views of the Annapurna range. Some of the notable mountains seen from this trek are Annapurna massif including Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Annapurna III and Annapurna IV. Other peaks include Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Gangapurna and Machhapuchhre.
You will embark on a fantastic trail reaching the highest point of the trek at Thorung La Pass (5416m), the pass that separates Manang and Mustang region. After crossing the pass, you will walk through the world’s deepest gorge, Kali Gandaki with Annapurna I, seen in the east and Dhaulagiri in the west.
Embark on a fantastic journey that is sure to take you back in time. There are numerous villages that depict a unique type of architecture of Tibetan influence. Most of the people in Manang are Gurungs or Ghales who have built livelihoods around tourism and agriculture. The most interesting people you encounter during the trek are the Thakalis of Mustang region, having their own style of delicious cuisines peculiar to them. Along with countless waterfalls, mountain views and indigenous villages, the region also accommodates immense biodiversity which includes the rare snow leopard, Himalayan tahr, musk deer, blue sheep and many other creatures.
The best time for you to trek the Annapurna Circuit would be in autumn season from September to November or in spring season from March to May. The autumn season is the peak season for trekking in Nepal as the skies are crystal clear and the weather is really good at that time.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek usually starts from Besisahar and it is best if you take a jeep from Besisahar to Dharapani. While travelling to Dharapani, you come across Chamje (1311 m), where you get to see amazing views of the valley and spectacular waterfalls along the way. There are fine views of iconic mountain peaks like Annapurna II (7937m) and other surrounding peaks. The views get better and better as you go higher. The terrain to Thorung Phedi from Yak Kharka is the shared habitat for the Snow Leopard, Blue Sheep and Himalayan Monal. You also get a chance to enjoy the turquoise blue glacial-fed basins with the panorama of the surrounding majestic mountains.
The walk to Thorung La Pass is worth the laborious climb as the views over Kaligandaki and Mustang valleys as well as the panoramic views of the surrounding peaks are magnificent. However, the descent from the pass is as back-breaking as the ascent since the trails are vertically steep and very slippery sometimes. Coming down from the pass also rewards you with the holy pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhists, Muktinath.
On your arrival in Kathmandu, Tribhuwan International Airport, our representative will welcome you & drive you to the hotel. It’s a free day/evening. You can walk around Thamel for shopping.
Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence. There will be a guided tour to the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal Boudhanath and after that to the most popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva- Pashupatinath. We take a tour to Patan or Lalitpur (the City of Artisans), which is 5km away from Kathmandu. We walk through Patan Durbar Square, and delight in the architectural wonders of Malla era. Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor Temple, Krishna Temple and Golden Temple are the major attractions at the square.
You will take a bus and drive to Besisahar from Kathmandu. On the way we can see the lifestyle found in rural communities, which are surrounded by rivers and pastureland. Besisahar is a “sahar” which supply the daily requirements for the villagers near to it. You can find an average type of climate in Besisahar. Then, we head for Chyamche. Overnight stay at a guesthouse.
Crossing the suspension bridge, we climb uphill for an hour and a half until we reach Jagat. There is a hot spring near Mashyandi River, about 15 minutes walk from the main village. There is also a temple for the goddess. The beautiful sceneries viewed from Jagat are Chipla and Jhitai villages, with high and steep slopes where magnificent, well-engineered terraced hillsides can be found. We continue on, crossing another suspension bridge, and eventually reaching Dharapani. After leaving Dharapani, you go along a short walk and then reach Bagarchap. Overnight at Bagarchap.
Today we walk through a few forested ridges on our way to Chame, which is the headquarters of the Manang District. Throughout the trek we can admire amazing views of the Himalayas including Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, and Annapurna IV (7,525m/24,688ft). On today’s trek we also come across small hot springs where we can dip in and soothe our aching muscles. Overnight in Chame.
A steep and narrow path through a very dense forest will bring us to the dramatic curved rock face, rising 1500m from the river. This is probably the steepest part of the Marshyangdi Valley, so steep that the trail is carved into the vertical rock. After passing this last bit of rock, the valley opens up with majestic vistas. And right where the valley widens stands the Paungda Danda, a massive sloping rock face that rises over 5,000ft (1500m) above the trail. We trek for a while before reaching Lower Pisang where we spend the night.
There are two routes to Manang but we follow the trail that takes us to Upper Pisang via Geru. This trail guarantees excellent views of the beautiful landscape and the mighty mountains including Annapurna and Pisang. We begin to notice a contrast in the landscape and vegetation from today. The cold and dry climate also creates a much harsher environment. Our short visit to Barge monastery, the largest monastery in the entire district of Manang will be memorable. Overnight at Manang.
In order to keep fit on the trails that follow, we keep ourselves busy today with a short hike to either Bhojo Gumba or Gangapurna Lake. If we have the energy, we can even hike to Vraga Village where we can visit the Himalayan Rescue Association which will give us some idea about Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Overnight in Manang.
From Manang village, the trail crosses a stream, climbs to a village of Tenki and continues to climb out of the Marshyangdi Valley turning northwest up the valley of Jarsang Khola. The trail follows this valley northward, passing a few pastures and a scrub of juniper trees, as it steadily gains elevation. The trail further passes near the small village of Ghunsa, a cluster of flat mud roofs just below the trailhead. Now the trail goes through meadows where horses and yaks graze. After crossing a small river on a wooden bridge, the trail passes an ancient old Mani wall in a pleasant meadow and then reaches another small village of Yak Kharka. Overnight at Yak Kharka.
It is an uphill walk to Thorang Phedi. After walking for some time we cross a suspension bridge and reach Ledar village. We ascend furthermore and pass through towering cliffs before reaching Thorang Phedi, the last village before Thorang La Pass. On this trip we are rewarded with one of the best views of Mt. Gundang, Mt. Syagang, Thorung Peak and Mt. Khatungkan. The word Phedi in Nepalese is referred to as the foot of a mountain. Overnight in Thorong Phedi. Overnight in Thorang Phedi.
Crossing Thorong La Pass, one of the highest passes in the world, will be our ultimate objective today. We will be crossing the pass from east to west (Manang to Muktinath) which is the easiest and safest direction. We get up around three in the morning and walk up the mountain. When we finally make it to the top, we realize that our journey was worth it. We can take a few photos before heading to Muktinath Valley at the foot of the Thorong La pass. Overnight in Muktinath.
Muktinath is an important pilgrimage for both Hindus and Buddhists alike. In the morning, we pay our visit to a Vishnu Temple and a Gompa. Descending from Ranipauwa village down the steep and barren hillside, we tumble down toward Kagbeni and then to Jomsom finally arriving at Marpha. The trail today is quite surreal as we trek along a plateau above Kali Gandaki River, the world’s deepest gorge. The barren landscape of this area resembles Tibet. Marpha is also famous as the apple capital of Nepal where one can enjoy different items made from apple. The local apple brandy of Marpha is famous all over Nepal. Overnight at Marpha.
From Marpha, we take a new route toward Kalopani via Chokhopani village. Today, we come across traditional villages of the ethnic Thakali people. Also, we get to see beautiful apple gardens. From here we get panoramic views of Dhaulagari, Tukuche, Nilgiri, Fang and Annapurna I mountains. From Chokhopani, we continue to Kokhethanti. We cross a river and come across the newly constructed road site before reaching Kalopani. Overnight at Kalopani.
Our journey today is mostly downhill. During the early part of today’s trek, we cross the bridge at Ghasa. As we drop to lower elevations, we emerge back into subtropical forests, lush with vegetation. Our trail continues along Rupse Chahara (waterfall). We continue down the east bank from Kopchepani via Garpar to a bridge at Dana. At Narchyang Besi, we get to see a powerhouse that supplies electricity in the area. There are bigger villages in this area where we can observe the everyday lives of the local people. Upon reaching Tatopani, we relax and have a bath in the hot spring.
We leave the Kali Gandaki and head up the Ghar Khola valley. The trail leads us through a terraced farmland with mountains all around. We pass through the villages of Shikha and Chitre before reaching a beautiful rhododendron forest. When in bloom the rhododendron trees with its average height of up to 100″ will be covered with pink or red flowers. Walking further we reach Ghorepani, a beautiful village located at a ridge top. Overnight in Ghorepani.
To catch the sunrise over the Himalayas, we make an early morning climb along the steep trail to the viewpoint of Poon Hill (3,210m/10,529ft), the most popular trekking destination of the Annapurna region. It is also a great viewpoint to enjoy the amazing views of Mustang, Pokhara and more than 20 of the highest mountains including the close-up views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. The snowy peaks of the high mountains loom above and around us glowing in the morning light. After taking photographs, we return back to Ghorepani. After breakfast, we head east and climb a nearby ridge. We descend through rhododendron forests, pass by spectacular waterfalls and reach Tadapani to spend the night.
From Tadapani, we make a steep descent through the dense and dark forest. This part of the trek will be through a thick forest of old rhododendron trees. When the rhododendron trees are in bloom, these forests actually turn into amazing gardens. By afternoon, depending upon the season of travel, we also get to enjoy cherry blossoms in bloom on the slopes on the other side of the ravine. After trekking a few more minutes, we enter the village of Ghandruk, a slope settlement with stone houses mostly inhabited by the Gurung people. Here, we enjoy the stunningly close-up towering views of Fishtail, Annapurna South, and Hiunchuli mountains. We continue our trek to Nayapul from where we drive to Pokhara. Overnight in Pokhara.
After breakfast, we say goodbye to the beautiful lake city of Pokhara and drive towards Kathmandu. After reaching Kathmandu, we have the rest of the day off to rest or do some souvenir shopping. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Just relax at your hotel room and travel around the beautiful cultural city of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. You have the day to your own, so enjoy your last day in Nepal.
It’s time to leave Nepal, of course with smiles and many memories to cherish. Depending on your flight time we will drop you at Tribhuwan International airport for your final departure to your destination.
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