The Annapurna Circuit is one of the most popular treks in Nepal, and rightly so. On this route the scenery and culture dramatically changes from subtropical forests, paddy fields, and the world’s deepest river gorge to ice flows, a high mountain pass, arid cliffs, and mountain views. Passing through Manang, the trek starts out with views the Manaslu range, Tibetan-like Buddhist villages and woodlands, through the Marshyangdi Valley. Heading towards the high Thorong La Pass, a host of mountains come into view, including the Annapurna Massif, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Tilicho Peak. The trail continues over the pass to enter Mustang and the Hindu pilgrimage town of Muktinath and on down the Kali Gandaki Valley, past the unique and interesting village of Marpha with its small monastery, narrow cobbled streets and apple orchards, on to the hot springs at Tatopani and the view point of Poon Hill. From Poon Hill it is possible to see more than 20 of the highest mountains within the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges.
This trek allows for good acclimatization before tackling the Thorong La pass at 5,414m, however it is a long trek, with an average day being 6-7 hours, and a good basic physical fitness is recommended. With the varied landscapes, villages and peoples along the trail, and of course, the majestic mountains, it is a photographer’s paradise. It is also a way to discover the different aspects, cultures and landscapes of the country in one trip, and while circling the Annapurna range!
The temple and 108 waterspouts at Muktinath are holy to Hindus and form part of the cultural history of Nepal. Just a short hike down the trail and the villages of Jharkot and Kagbeni plunge the visitor back into a Buddhist culture of monasteries and prayer flags. Kagbeni is an interesting village: from Kagbeni another trail enters Upper Mustang and there is a constant stream of yak and mule trains taking goods north. Exploring the tiny village, there are many interesting sights such as almost prehistoric clay effigies. This trek is certainly varied and full of daily surprises and interesting finds and accompanied all the way with up close and personal mountain views!
|Day 1||Kathmandu to Khudi (Drive)||800 m||8 hr|
|Day 2||Khudi to Sirung||2220 m||6 - 7 hr|
|Day 3||Sirung to Jagat||1300 m||6 - 7 hr|
|Day 4||Jagat to Dharapani||1860 m||7 - 8 hr|
|Day 5||Dharapani to Chame||2710m||5 - 6 hr|
|Day 6||Chame to Pisang||3300 m||5 - 6 hr|
|Day 7||Pisang to Manang||3540 m||6-7 hr|
|Day 8||Acclimatization Day||3540 m||5 hr|
|Day 9||Manang to Yak Kharka||4110 m||3 - 4 hr|
|Day 10||Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi||4600 m||3 - 4 hr|
|Day 11||Thorong Phedi to Muktinath via Thorong La Pass||3710 m||7 - 8 hr|
|Day 12||Muktinath to Marpha||2670 m||5 - 6 hr|
|Day 13||Marpha to Kalopani||2530 m||5 - 6 hr|
|Day 14||Kalopani to Tatopani||1200 m||6 - 7 hr|
|Day 15||Tatopani to Beni||830 m||4 - 5 hr|
|Day 16||Beni to Pokhara (Drive)||830 m||4 hr|
|Day 17||Pokhara to Kathmandu (Drive)||1380 m||6-7 hr|