Annapurna Circuit Trek
Exploration of the diverse culture, lifestyles and topography on the shadow of incredible mountain vistas.
Round Annapurna trekking – diverse and classic route
Annapurna circuit trek is one of the classics, most diverse and stunning tea house trek in the Himalaya. We witness the fascinating ethnic groups having their own language and tradition. The incredible views of some of the most stunning 8000 meter peaks including the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges – simply wonderful. We explore the natural diversity from lush, tropical rice paddies and moss-laden rhododendron forests to Tibetan fortresses clinging to rocky cliffs. Walking through the naturally rich terrain of diverse topography trekker has a chance to experience the rich cultural diversity of Hinduism, Buddhism. The mysterious Bon-Po religion still co-exist and intermingle with other at same place.
We have specially designed this Annapurna circuit trekking itinerary making it shorter. It avoids the walk on recently build road as long as possible. We start the trek from Bulbule after a drive from Kathmandu. We finish our walk at Jomsom from where we take flight to Pokhara. This trekking route keeps all the main highlights of classic around Annapurna trek intact. The hiking route includes the Great Himalayan trail from Dharapani to Kagbeni, the Tibetan Buddhist dominated settlements. Further more we explore the Braga monastery, the oldest in the region at Manang. Not to miss the shine of Muktinath, a famous pilgrimage site being worshiped by both Hindu and Buddhist devotees together.
Crossing the Thorung la pass
No doubt climbing over the challenging pass of Thorung la at 5416 meter is tough but rewarding to the great sense of achievement. Undoubtedly the view from the pass is truly spectacular. It spreads from the northwest wind eroded “Once Forbidden Kingdom” of Mustang valley to incredible mountain ranges of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri to the southwest. Originally the pass was initially used as a trade route, herding agricultural products on yaks and donkeys. In fact people of Mustang identify themselves closer with Tibet and the Mustang region has actually been part of Tibet in past. At the end we also do explore the peaceful lake city of Pokhara to end the exhilarating trip to Annapurna circuit trekking.
- Day 01:
Arrive Kathmandu / Nepali dinner with ethnic cultural program.
- Day 02:
Cultural tour to Boudhnath Stupa and Hindu Cremation site / Trek preparation.
- Day 03:
Drive to Besishahar and trek to Bulbule to start the Annapurna circuit trek.
- Day 04 - 05:
Trekking along the Marsayandi River.
- Day 06-07:
Trek through alpine terrain of Chame and Pisang, great views.
- Day 08-09:
Continue hiking to Manang, with stunning mountain panorama.
- Day 10-11:
Trek to Phedi, amazing views, preparation to cross the Thorong la pass.
- Day 12:
Trek to Muktinath after the Cross over Thorong La Pass. Stunning Panoramic views.
- Day 13-14:
Trek to Jomsom with historical visit to Kagbeni, the gate of Upper Mustang.
- Day 15:
Fly to Pokhara to end the Annapurna circuit trekking /stay at hotel / free exploration day
- Day 16:
Drive to Kathmandu / PM free to explore.
- Day 17:
Annapurna circuit trek ends / airport transfer.
- How difficult is Annapurna circuit trek? Can anyone join?
Annapurna circuit trek which once used to be the world's no. 1 trekking destination during departed years and which once served as a fundamental trading route between Nepal and Tibet is by far the most admired and beautiful trekking destination of all. Annapurna circuit is challenging, though the trek rises to an altitude of 5416m / 17,769 feet but the daily altitude gain is very gradual which prepares undemanding grounds for going over the highest Thorong La pass. Anyone with reasonable fitness can join because altitude is the major issue than the level of fitness. However our itinerary is very well designed with slow pacing and ample time for acclimatization strategy. It's indeed a heaven for keen walkers.
- Do I need to be in shape for Annapurna Circuit trek?
Annapurna Circuit is more than a moderate trek with longer hours walking. Since the altitude gain is very gradual it is suitable for anyone with reasonable fitness. However, anyone with knee, ankle, heart or lungs pre medical history need to seek medical consent before considering Annapurna Circuit trek. Though Mountain Monarch itinerary are so designed that the walks are challenging but not very exhausting yet some pre training is must to figure out how many hours or how much weight you can handle. With some physical preparation anyone can be ready to benefit from the paradise like setting of Annapurna Circuit trek.
- Is there any risk of altitude sickness at Annapurna Circuit trek?
Acute mountain sickness is something we get when our body fails to adapt to the thin air environment. Though Annapurna Circuit trek has very gradual ascent yet altitude sickness has been reported among many trekkers. Mountain Monarch provides medically professional leaders with medications, oxygen cylinders and oxygen chamber bag to deal with any altitude related ailments. Besides, your leader will put forth some basic guidelines to get away with altitude sickness and as well there are multiple things you can do as precautions to ward off AMS eg taking diamox etc. so far there has not been any record of fatal altitude sickness misfortune with mountain monarch groups.
- How many hours per day do you walk on this Around Annapurna trek??
Usually not more than 6/9 hours excluding lunch. Since Annapurna circuit is feasible doing counter clockwise walking hours are longer also because there is more of gradual up walking trail. However, it also depends on your pace though we allow you enough time to set up your own pace to make everyday more entertaining. We usually start early so that you could reach the destination on time leaving you enough time to explore and enjoy the serenity of the place.
- Why always opt for reputed company with professional leader for Annapurna Circuit trek?
In cases of emergency the necessary prompt assistance will be available only if you are affiliated with a reputed company. Furthermore, if you are looking for hassle free holiday in terms of issuing permit, hotel, flights, and transportation etc it's best to go with a reputed company that offers you leaders who are knowledgeable and professionals. Reputed companies are there to provide you with quality service at a very competitive price and are there to guarantee your safety which I suppose is the biggest concern. Leaders, besides giving you all the necessary information, are there to cater you at times of any crisis no matter if it’s a mountain ailments or any weather mayhem.
- What if I am very slow in the group?
Other than your group leader you will have assistant guides in your group. Your leader will sort out assigning each of his assistants in the group systematically while he takes responsibility for the slow walking people being at the tail of the group making it utterly non strenuous. Nevertheless, your leader would be counseling everyone in the group to stay together and walk collectively as a team.
- What about drinking water facility?
Because of environmental concern we very strongly oppose the use of plastic mineral water bottles. Instead our staff will supply you with appropriately boiled water every morning and evening. We suggest you to bring at least 2 metal or plastic Nalgene bottles so that you can have enough to last the duration of the day. If by any case you run out of drinking water you can always refill from the safe water drinking station with minimum charges which is all the way in Annapurna circuit trek. Besides the hot water we fill up in the night after dinner does really serves as a hot pack which you can use it in your sleeping bag and can still drink it in the morning when it's still warm.
- What kind of food and accommodation are we to expect in the trip?
Tea houses in Annapurna Circuit trail provides you with hygienic family oriented lodges with twin bed sharing rooms with clean common toilets and occasional rooms with attach toilet bathrooms. Since advance booking is not possible sometimes these tea houses during peak season provides you with dormitory facility or dining hall with heated chimney. However, we have always given our best to accommodate our group in rooms available. You have variety of choices for the food and in Annapurna circuit tea houses cooks are proficient in preparing the variety that is in their menu. So far there has not been any complaints whatsoever in regards to food and accommodation provided by us.
- What is the distance of Annapurna Circuit trek?
Annapurna circuit which is approximately 248km/154miles in total length comprises of four different constituency of Nepal namely – Lamjung, Manang, Mustang and Myagdi that goes through Beshisahar, Thorong La, Jomsom, Poonhill and Pokhara. The everyday shifting transformation in the vegetation and landscape is mystifyingly very touching.
- Do I need to have travel insurance for emergency for this trip?
We strongly suggest you to have an all-inclusive travel insurance policy covering all the aspects of your adventure though we ensure you that there would be hardly any evacuations or any health catastrophe as your leader is medically trained and has ample knowledge to deal with any life threatening situation. But it's always wise to have insurance as your back up for just in any case thought it is not mandatory to have the insurance to join this Annapurna circuit trek.
- Any immunization required for Annapurna circuit trek?
Any sort of vaccination is not mandatory while visiting our country. But we strongly suggest for a personal medical consent before you sign up for Annapurna Circuit trek if you have any pre medical history.
- Annapurna Circuit trek gear ? company provide
Mountain Monarch provides you with very warm sleeping bag and feather duvet jackets which people have used it even while climbing peaks which is the mother of all warm clothing's. We also provide you with duffle bag to fit all your gears in and very warm fleece liner that goes into your sleeping bag to keep you warm and cozy during night chill.
- Can we entirely evade the motor way and instead use trekking trail?
Natural Annapurna Trekking Trails (NATTs) has indeed introduced a latest trail to assist the embarrassment of the trekkers walking into the jeep road. Though we are giving our best to skip the jeep road and take the trekking trial and since NATTs isn’t fully functional due to the survey delay after the 2015 earthquake we would in some-way or the other encounter the motor way. As a result, out of compulsion we may not fully guarantee your walk in the off beaten track but we are ready to go an extra mile to bring you very close to the nature.
- How is the Jomsom Pokhara flight ? any alternative in case of bad weatehr?
Nepal air aviation is quite strict about these small planes flying high into the remote mountain airstrips like Jomsom. There are possibility of flight delays and sometimes cancellation. Since Jomsom happens to be the valley of winds of Nepal the airport would be momentarily closed whenever there is a slightest weather chaos or high velocity winds. So there is no need to fear about flying to Jomsom. However, there is also an alternative of driving to Pokhara in same day in case of bad weather for this flight.
- Is it doable in winter? What is the best time to do Annapurna Circuit trek?
April to mid June during spring and September to November during autumn before the harsh winter is the best time to trek to Annapurna Circuit when the view of Annapurna massif, beautiful gorges and startling landscapes are at its best state.
Keen walkers from around the world come to visit Annapurna Circuit during winter (December till February) despite the serious chill factor and lower temperature since the day time in winters offers crystal clear weather and exceptional mountain views. However, there might be chances of closure of Thorong La pass due to snow fall. As the climate change has basically altered the pattern of weather factor winter trekking is doable if there is no heavy snow, all you need to do is prepare for the worst of chill weather circumstance.
- Can I charge my devices and have hot showers in Annapurna Circuit trek?
The charging privilege for any of your electronic devices is possible all the way around the trek except for few settlements in the high elevation as they are void of hydro electricity and totally relies on solar panels which may not be very reliable. So it is always wise to carry some extra batteries or the fully charged power bank batteries since your batteries run out pretty quick in the cold. Availability of hot showers may be on and off in the trek and also your leader may suggest you of not having the shower in high elevation regarding the health issues.
- Is there any possibility to customize Annapurna Circuit trek?
Yes as per the time convenient to you and the level of fitness you can always modify the Annapurna Circuit trek. Depending on your time schedule you can either book for the whole circuit via Poonhill or semi circuit i.e. flying from Jomsom airport to Pokhara after the highest Thorong La pass. Mountain Monarch has always been successful in organizing customized trek for the clients as per their requirements.