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Major 25 FAQs about Annapurna Circuit trekking

March 3, 2020

Major 25 FAQs about Annapurna Circuit trekking

Ranked among the top ten best hiking destinations in the world, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is a challenging trek in Nepal that requires careful preparation. This two-week adventure involves a variety of unique experiences and challenges that make it an unforgettable journey. To help ensure you’re fully prepared, we recommend reading our comprehensive list of the 25 most frequently asked questions about Annapurna Circuit Trekking. With this information, you’ll be able to embark on your Annapurna trekking adventure with confidence and peace of mind.

Where is Annapurna circuit trekking?

The breathtaking Annapurna Circuit Trek is situated in the northwest of Kathmandu and northeast of Pokhara, Nepal. This incredible journey commences after a scenic 7-hour drive from Kathmandu to Besisahar. Depending on your budget, preferences, and availability, you can personalize the itinerary for a minimum of 10 days up to 25 days. However, the classical Annapurna Circuit Trek typically takes 18 days to complete, allowing ample time to explore the mesmerizing landscapes and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Can I get a Nepal visa on arrival at Kathmandu TIA Airport?

Yes, most foreign nationals can obtain a Nepal visa on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu. The visa on arrival is a process that allows travelers to obtain a visa for Nepal upon their arrival at the airport. To apply for a visa on arrival, you will need to fill out a visa application form, provide a passport-sized photo, and pay the visa fee in USD or other convertible foreign currency. The visa fee varies depending on the length of your stay in Nepal. It is recommended to have the exact amount in USD to avoid any issues with currency exchange rates.

How many days does Annapurna Circuit trek takes?

The duration of the Annapurna Circuit trek can vary depending on factors such as the route taken, the fitness level of the trekker, and the time spent for acclimatization. Generally, the trek takes around 15 to 20 days to complete. The classical Annapurna Circuit trek takes 18 days to complete. However, some trekkers may choose to take a shorter or longer route or take additional rest days for acclimatization. It’s important to consult with a licensed trekking company or guide to determine the best itinerary based on your individual needs and preferences.

Sample Alternative trekking route of Annapurna circuit trek:

  • Drive straight to Chame then the trek ends at Jomsom- 10 Days trek,
  • Begin from Besisahar and ends at Nayapul- Classic route- 19 Days trek,
  • Begin from Bahundada and ends at Ulleri- 16 Days trek,
  • Begin from Besisahar and ends at Tatopani- 15 Days trek,
  • Begin from Besisahar and ends at Jomsom- 13 Days trek,
  • Begin from Jagat and ends Tatopani- 12 Days trek.

Note: Exploring the Classic route of the Annapurna circuit would be a wonderful experience, and allocating about 18 to 19 days for this trek will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the region.

What are the best months to trek to the Annapurna circuit?

The best months to trek the Annapurna Circuit are during the spring season (March to May) and the autumn season (September to November). During these months, the weather is generally dry and the skies are clear, providing excellent views of the mountains. The temperatures are also moderate, making it comfortable to trek during the day. However, it’s important to keep in mind that weather conditions in the mountains can be unpredictable, and it’s always a good idea to be prepared for unexpected changes.

How tough is the Annapurna Circuit trek/Round Annapurna trek?

The Annapurna Circuit trek is considered a moderately difficult trek. The trek starts from an altitude of 600 metres and goes up to 5416 metres, which can be challenging for some people. Additionally, the trek involves walking on uneven trails with a load on your back, so it can be physically demanding. However, trekkers who are fit and have experience in high altitude hiking should have no trouble completing the trek.

Is there a risk of altitude sickness while trekking around the Annapurna circuit?

Yes, there is a risk of altitude sickness while trekking around the Annapurna circuit. The highest point of the trek, Thorong La Pass, is located at an altitude of 5,416 meters (17,769 feet), which is above the recommended limit of 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) for gradual acclimatization. It is important to properly acclimatize to the altitude during the trek to avoid altitude sickness, which can be life-threatening in severe cases. It is recommended to take necessary precautions such as drinking plenty of fluids, ascending slowly, and following a proper itinerary with ample rest days for acclimatization.

What kind of accommodation you will get during the Annapurna circuit trek?

During the Annapurna Circuit trek, you will be staying at lodges or teahouses. These lodges or teahouses provide basic accommodation, with rooms that typically have two beds, lighting, blankets, and a shared toilet. You may also find some more luxurious accommodation options, such as guest houses and hotels, in some areas. However, these are more expensive and availability can be limited.

What is the estimated budget for the Annapurna circuit trek?

The estimated budget for the Annapurna Circuit Trek can vary depending on various factors such as the duration of the trek, the level of comfort and services, the time of year, and the mode of transportation used to get to the starting point of the trek.

On average, the cost for a 18-20 day trek on the Annapurna Circuit can range from around $800 to $2000 per person. This includes the cost of permits, food, accommodation, transportation, guide and porter fees, and other miscellaneous expenses.

It’s important to keep in mind that the cost can vary depending on the level of comfort and services you opt for. The budget can be reduced if you choose to stay in basic teahouses and carry your own backpack, while it can be increased if you choose to stay in more luxurious lodges and hire additional services such as hot showers and wifi.

The estimated budget approximately for the Annapurna circuit trek:

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner- $ 16 US
  • Accommodation Double bed- $ 5 US (It is a common room without a bathroom)
  • ACAP Permit per head- $ 30 US
  • TIMS entry permit- $ 10 US
  • Tea or coffee per Cup-   $ 1.5 US
  • Toilet paper rolls- $ 1 to $3 US
  • Energy bar/Snicker- $ 1.5 US to 3 US

Remember that costs may get higher together with rising altitude.

Where does the Annapurna circuit trek start and end?

The starting point of the Annapurna Circuit trek is typically the town of Besishahar in the Lamjung district, which is about a 6-7 hour drive from Kathmandu. The trek then follows a circular route around the Annapurna mountain range, passing through different regions and landscapes, and ends back in Besishahar. However, some trekkers may choose to end the trek in Jomsom or Nayapul instead, depending on their preferences and time constraints.

What kind of trekking permit do I need for the Annapurna circuit trek?

To trek the Annapurna Circuit, you need to obtain both a Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card and an Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP). The TIMS card is available from the Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu or Pokhara, and you will need to provide one passport-sized photograph when applying. The ACAP permit can be obtained from the same offices, and you will need to provide two passport-sized photographs and your TIMS card when applying.

Are Guide and porter Compulsory to Hire for Annapurna circuit trekking?

No, it is not compulsory to hire a guide or porter for the Annapurna Circuit trekking, but it is recommended for safety and convenience. Having a guide can help you navigate the trekking route, communicate with locals, and provide information about the places and culture along the way. A porter can help carry your backpack, leaving you free to enjoy the trek and reduce the risk of injury from carrying heavy loads. It is also a way to support the local economy by providing employment opportunities for locals

Is there Wi-Fi, a hot shower, battery charger available during the trek?

Yes, it is possible to find Wi-Fi, hot showers, and battery charging facilities during the Annapurna Circuit trek. However, it is important to note that these amenities are not available at all places along the trekking route, and the quality and availability may vary.

In general, Wi-Fi is available at most teahouses or lodges, but the connection may be slow and the usage may be limited. Hot showers are also available at most teahouses, but the cost may increase at higher altitudes. Similarly, battery charging facilities are available at most lodges for a fee, but the cost may increase at higher altitudes.

It is recommended to bring spare batteries or power banks to ensure your electronic devices remain charged throughout the trek. Additionally, it is always a good idea to confirm the availability and cost of these amenities with your guide or the lodge owner before using them.

How long do I have to walk every day?

The duration of daily walks during the Annapurna Circuit trek depends on the itinerary and pace you choose. On average, you can expect to walk for 5 to 7 hours per day, covering a distance of 10 to 15 kilometers. However, the length of walking hours may vary depending on the elevation gain, altitude, and your fitness level. Some days may have shorter walks with more time for rest and acclimatization, while others may have longer and more challenging walks. It’s essential to maintain a steady pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to enjoy the trek without overexerting yourself.

What is the highest place or height you will reach during this trek?

The highest point of the Annapurna Circuit trek is the Thorong La Pass, which is located at an altitude of 5,416 meters or 17,769 feet above sea level. This pass is considered the highlight of the trek and offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

Are There Money exchanges or ATM Machines along the route of the Annapurna circuit?

Yes, there are money exchanges and ATM machines available along the route of the Annapurna circuit. However, it is important to note that they may not be available at every stop, and there may be long distances between them. It is recommended to carry enough Nepalese currency with you to cover your expenses for at least a few days, and to exchange or withdraw money whenever possible to avoid running out of cash.

What is the price if you hire a guide and porter?

The price of hiring a guide and porter for the Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the duration of the trek, the number of people in your group, and the experience and expertise of the guide or porter. On average, you can expect to pay around $25 to $30 per day for a guide and $20 to $25 per day for a porter. It’s important to note that this is just a rough estimate and that prices can vary significantly depending on the specific circumstances of your trek. It’s always a good idea to shop around and compare prices from different trekking companies before making a decision.

What are the required trekking gears for Annapurna Circuit Trekking?

Annapurna Circuit trekking is a strenuous trekking path and you have to be well prepared with all required trekking gear.

The following list of trekking gear is required for Annapurna Circuit Trekking:

  • Trekking Shirts/Short/Trousers,
  • Insulated Jacket,
  • Base Layer,
  • Trekking shoes,
  • Warm Fleece Jacket,
  • Backpack and Duffel Bag
  • Sleeping bag and Trekking stick,
  • Headlamp, Gloves, Sunglass, Towel, and Medicine,
  • General Medications,
  • Raincoat, down jacket & Beanie,
  • Metal Water bottle,
  • Water purification tablets,
  • Oxi-meter- to check your oxygen level and Heartbeat,
  • Quality Camera, Notebook, Cards, Book, Blisters, knee band & Hand Sanitizer
  • Extra snacks.

Is Normal water safe to drink during Annapurna circuit trekking?

It is not recommended to drink untreated water directly from streams, rivers, or taps during the Annapurna Circuit trekking, even if it looks clean and clear. The water in the mountains can be contaminated with bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause illnesses such as diarrhea, stomach upset, and other gastrointestinal problems.

To ensure safe drinking water during the trek, it is best to bring your own water purification system or water treatment tablets. You can also purchase boiled water or bottled water at tea houses or lodges along the way.

It is important to stay hydrated during the trek, so make sure to drink plenty of safe water and fluids to avoid dehydration.

What is Tea house Trekking means?

Tea house trekking, also known as lodge trekking, is a popular style of trekking in the Himalayan region, particularly in Nepal. It involves staying in local guesthouses, also called tea houses, along the trekking trail. These tea houses offer basic accommodation, meals, and drinks for trekkers.

During a tea house trek, trekkers follow a designated trail and stay in tea houses that are located at regular intervals along the way. The tea houses are usually run by local families and offer a unique opportunity to experience the local culture and hospitality.

Tea house trekking is a convenient and budget-friendly way to explore the Himalayas, as it eliminates the need to carry a tent, food, and cooking equipment. It also provides an opportunity to meet other trekkers and share experiences and tips.

Tea house trekking is particularly popular in the Annapurna and Everest regions of Nepal, where the trekking trails are well-established, and tea houses are abundant. However, it is important to note that tea house accommodations can vary in terms of comfort and amenities, so it is always a good idea to do some research and book in advance during peak trekking seasons.

Do we need insurance for Annapurna circuit trekking?

Yes, it is highly recommended to have travel insurance that covers trekking and other outdoor activities when you are planning to do the Annapurna Circuit trek. Trekking in the Himalayas can be a challenging and sometimes risky activity, and having travel insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection in case of accidents, injuries, illness, or other unforeseen circumstances.

When choosing travel insurance for the Annapurna Circuit trek, make sure that it covers emergency medical evacuation and repatriation, as well as trip cancellation, trip interruption, and baggage loss or damage. It is also important to read the fine print and understand the coverage limits, exclusions, and requirements, such as altitude restrictions or pre-existing medical conditions.

Some travel insurance providers offer specific trekking insurance policies that cater to the needs of trekkers and hikers, so it’s worth shopping around and comparing different options. Make sure to purchase travel insurance before you depart for your trip and keep a copy of your insurance policy and contact details with you during the trek.

Is Solo woman trekker safe around the Annapurna circuit trek?

Solo woman trekking in the Annapurna Circuit trek can be safe, but it is important to take certain precautions and be aware of the risks.

The Annapurna Circuit trek is a popular and well-established trekking route, and many solo female trekkers have completed the trek without any issues. However, it is important to be prepared and take necessary safety measures, such as:

  • Trek with a licensed and reputable trekking agency or guide who knows the area and can provide assistance in case of emergencies.
  • Stay on the designated trekking trails and avoid trekking alone in remote or isolated areas.
  • Do not accept food or drinks from strangers or unknown sources.
  • Avoid trekking at night and be cautious of slippery and uneven terrain.
  • Dress modestly and respect local customs and culture.
    Keep family and friends informed of your itinerary and progress.

It is also important to be aware of the potential risks and challenges of trekking in the Himalayas, such as altitude sickness, extreme weather, and natural disasters. Therefore, it is always a good idea to do your research, get proper gear, and prepare yourself physically and mentally for the trek.

Overall, solo female trekking in the Annapurna Circuit trek can be safe and rewarding with proper planning, preparation, and precautions.

What is the reasonable weight for a porter to carry in Nepal?

Nepal Tourism Board has set a maximum weight limit of 30 kg (66 pounds) for porters in Nepal, with the recommended weight limit being 20 kg (44 pounds). However, some trekking companies and organizations adhere to even lower weight limits of 15-20 kg (33-44 pounds) to ensure the safety and well-being of the porters.

It is important to keep in mind that porters are an essential part of the trekking industry in Nepal and their welfare should be a top priority. Carrying heavy loads for extended periods can be physically and mentally challenging, and can lead to injuries, illnesses, and other health problems. Therefore, it is recommended to pack wisely and limit the weight of your luggage to ensure the safety and comfort of your porters.

What are the most popular trekking routes around the Annapurna region?

I sincerely hope that the insights I have shared from my own experiences will be helpful, and that the collection of 25 frequently asked questions about Annapurna Circuit trekking will prove useful to you. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the information provided, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at

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