December 26, 2022
The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a popular trekking route in Nepal that circles the Annapurna mountain range, offering breathtaking views of the Himalayas and a chance to experience the unique culture and traditions of the region. The trek typically takes about 12-21 days to complete, depending on your pace and whether you choose to take any side trips.
The Annapurna Round/Circuit Trek starts in the town of Besishahar, located about 200 km northwest of Kathmandu. From there, trekkers follow the Marsyangdi River, passing through a number of villages and towns along the way. The trail takes you through a variety of landscapes, including lush forests, alpine meadows, and high-altitude deserts.
The Round Annapurna Trek is a physically demanding trek, but it is considered to be relatively accessible for trekkers of moderate fitness levels. The route is well-marked and well-developed, with comfortable lodges and food and water options available along the way.
It is recommended to hire a guide or join a trekking group for the Annapurna Circuit Trek, as the route can be challenging and the region is prone to landslides and other natural hazards. It is also important to be properly acclimatized to the high altitude, as the trek reaches a maximum elevation of 5,416 meters (17,769 feet) at the Thorong La Pass.
Overall, this trail is a must-do trek for any adventure seeker visiting Nepal, offering a combination of natural beauty, cultural immersion, and physical challenge.
This beautiful trekking route can be extended to Ghorepani Poon hill, Ghandruk, Annapurna base camp, and Mardi Himal.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek is considered one of the best trails in Nepal for several reasons.
Scenic Beauty: The Annapurna Circuit Trek offers breathtaking views of the Annapurna mountain range, as well as other peaks such as Dhaulagiri and Manaslu. The trek also takes you through a variety of landscapes, including lush forests, alpine meadows, and high-altitude deserts.
Cultural Diversity: The Annapurna Circuit Trek passes through a number of villages and towns, giving trekkers the opportunity to experience the unique culture and traditions of the region. You’ll have the chance to interact with locals and learn about their way of life.
Challenging but achievable: The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a challenging trek, but it is also considered to be relatively accessible for trekkers of moderate fitness levels. It is a physically demanding trek, but the rewards of completing the circuit are well worth the effort.
Well-developed infrastructure: The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a well-developed trekking route with good infrastructure, including a well-marked trail, comfortable lodges, and plenty of food and water options along the way.
Safe and well-supported: The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a safe and well-supported trek, with plenty of trekking agencies and guides available to help you navigate the route and ensure your safety.
Along the way, you will have the opportunity to see a variety of landscapes, including forests, alpine meadows, and villages. Some of the highlights of the trek include:
The Marsyangdi River Valley: The trek follows the Marsyangdi River for much of the way, providing beautiful views of the valley and the surrounding mountains.
Thorong La Pass: This high pass, at an altitude of 5,416 meters (17,769 feet), offers panoramic views of the Annapurna massif and the surrounding peaks.
Manang: This traditional Tibetan village is a great place to take a rest day and acclimatize to the high altitude.
Muktinath Temple: This sacred Hindu and Buddhist temple is located at an altitude of 3,710 meters (12,172 feet) and is an important pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists.
Annapurna South: This stunning peak is one of the highest in the Annapurna massif and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
Additionally, you will see the following mountains while trekking to the Annapurna region:
In total, you will be able to see several mountains from the Annapurna Circuit Trek, including:
Annapurna Circuit Trekking & Acute Mountain sickness(AMS):
The Annapurna Circuit is a popular trek in Nepal that circles the Annapurna massif, passing through diverse landscapes and villages. The highest point on the trek is the Thorong La pass, which reaches an elevation of 5,416 meters (17,769 feet). It is common for trekkers to experience some symptoms of altitude sickness while on the Annapurna Circuit, especially at high elevations.
Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), is a condition that can occur when you ascend to high altitudes too quickly. It is caused by the reduced air pressure and lower oxygen levels at high elevations. Symptoms of AMS can include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. In severe cases, it can lead to more serious conditions, such as high altitude cerebral edema (HACE) or high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE).
To reduce your risk of AMS, it is important to acclimatize properly by ascending gradually and giving your body time to adjust to the change in altitude. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids, avoid overexertion, and be aware of the signs and symptoms of AMS. If you begin to experience symptoms of AMS, it is important to descend to a lower altitude and seek medical attention if necessary.
Annapurna Circuit trek Itinerary:
Here is an updated Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary with altitude information:
Day 1: Drive from Kathmandu to Besishahar (820 meters) and then to Chamje (1,410 meters).
Day 2: Trek from Chamje to Dharapani (1,860 meters).
Day 3: Trek from Dharapani to Chame (2,710 meters).
Day 4: Trek from Chame to Pisang (3,300 meters).
Day 5: Trek from Pisang to Manang (3,540 meters).
Day 6: Acclimatization day in Manang. Optional day hikes to nearby villages.
Day 7: Trek from Manang to Yak Kharka (4,050 meters).
Day 8: Trek from Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi (4,600 meters).
Day 9: Hike from Thorong Phedi to Thorong La Pass (5,416 meters) and then to Muktinath (3,800 meters).
Day 10: Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom (2,715 meters).
Day 11: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara.
Day 12: Drive back to Kathmandu.
Note that this is just a sample itinerary and the actual route and daily distances may vary. It is also important to note that the Annapurna Circuit trek can be physically demanding and it is essential to be in good physical condition and to acclimatize properly to reduce the risk of altitude sickness.
Hire a Guide and Porter for the Annapurna circuit trek:
A porter can be helpful in carrying your gear and supplies, allowing you to focus on the trek itself. This can be especially useful if you have a lot of equipment or if you are not comfortable carrying a heavy load. Porters are also a good source of local knowledge and can provide insights about the region and its culture.
It is important to note that hiring a guide and porter can be a significant cost, especially if you are traveling alone. However, it can also provide valuable support and help ensure a safe and enjoyable trek. When hiring a guide and porter, it is important to do some research and choose a reputable company or individual. It is also a good idea to discuss the terms of the hire and to agree on a fair wage for the services provided.
The cost of hiring a guide in Nepal can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the duration of the trek, the level of experience of the guide, and the location. On average, you can expect to pay around NPR 3,000 to NPR 5,000 (approximately $25 to $40) per day for a trekking guide in Nepal. This price may be higher or lower depending on the specific circumstances of your trek.
It is important to note that the cost of hiring a guide is typically separate from the cost of other expenses, such as accommodation, meals, and transportation. It is also important to consider the cost of hiring a porter if you plan to have someone carry your gear and supplies. When hiring a guide, it is a good idea to discuss the terms of the hire and to agree on a fair wage for the services provided.