Annapurna Circuit Short Trekfrom
This 17 day variation of the Annapurna Circuit trek follows the same route as the traditional trek
as far as Jomsom where the trek ends with a return flight to Pokhara.
Annapurna Circuit, considered one of the best trekking/hiking trails in the world, is the classic
long distance trek in the Annapurna region of Nepal. The trek is one of contrasts between the
green, terraced farmland of the Marshyangdi valley and the semi-arid environs of Lower Mustang.
The two areas are separated by the Thorong La Pass (5416m), which we must cross on a long day,
to reach the sacred site of Muktinath. The temple complex is a pilgrimage site for both Hindus and
Buddhists and when seen from here the sunrise on Dhaulagiri is particularly striking.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Challenging
The Annapurna Circuit is a classic trek on ancient trade routes. Ascending the Marshyangdi
valley. Passing Manaslu and Hinchuli. Visit old Buddhist monastery in Braga. Explore beautiful
Manang village. Crossing the Thorung-La (5416m). The Pilgrimage town of Muktinath, View of
- Airport pick-up and drop-off
- Four nights hotel accommodations with breakfast in Kathmandu and Pokhara
- Licensed and trained trekking guides
- Porters for carrying goods and supplies
- All accommodation during trek
- All meals and hot beverages whilst trekking
- Transportation to and from trail head
- All necessary documents and permits for trekking (where applicable)
- National Park/Conservation Area entry permit
- Equipment such as sleeping bag, tents, mattresses
- Cooking equipment (if required)
- Camp-site charges (if required)
- Insurance, medication, and equipment for staff
- Coordination of Quick Rescue service (costs covered by your insurance plan)
- International airfares
- Travel/trekking insurance
- Excess baggage charges more than 16kg and hand bag more than 5kg in domestic flights
- Visa fees
- Airport departure tax
- Rescue charge
- Drinks (cold and alcoholic)
- Expenses of personal nature
- Permit and liaison officer fee (where applicable)
- Lunches and dinners whilst not trekking
Arrival in Kathmandu
Arrival in Kathmandu
Sightseeing / Cultural Day in Kathmandu Valley
Half day sightseeing around UNESCO Bhaktapur / Kathmandu where your guide will escort you
on a tour of Buddhist and Hindu temples and shrines reflecting ancient local traditions. There is
time to explore the city’s many places of interest on your own or take a rest while trekking permits
are finalised. In the evening sample a delicious traditional Nepali dinner. Overnight in
Kathmandu to Besi Shahar (830m)
Breakfast. Our trekking guide will come to the hotel at 07:00 hrs to pick you with private transport
to leave for Besi Shahar (185km) and will take us about 6 hours. Along the journey you will
witness some spectacular scenery of white mountains, green hills, rivers and hamlets. We
overnight at a guesthouse.
Besi Shahar to Bahundanda (1430m)
Our first day’s trekking introduces us to the diverse cultural elements of Nepal and we pass by
many typical local houses and the faces of varied ethnic tribes exchanging greetings (Namaste) as
we pass. We will share the trail with mule caravans that transport supplies to the remote villages.
Our route makes its way through subtropical forests and the rice terraces of Sera to the village of
Khudi (840m). After we pass the village of Bhulbule we will see a majestic 60m high waterfall.
Along the way we have views of Manaslu (8156m). The mountain views disappear as we come
closer to the small town of Ngadi, here we will have to cross the Ngadi Khola by a long
suspension bridge. From here on the trail moves gently upwards to Bahundanda, an attractive
village in the saddle of a long ridge at 1300m (7 hrs).
Bahundanda to Chamje (1410m)
We start the day by descending on a steep slippery trail past amphitheatre-shaped rice terraces.
There will be a small hot spring after this descend. The rest of today’s trek will have us pass the
river a few times and we will see a few waterfalls as well. As we near the village of Jagat we will
have a steep 200m climb to a trail that has been blasted out of the rock face. 15 minutes below this
village we can visit another small hot spring. From Jagat we climb up to Chamje (6 hrs).
Chamje to Bagarchhap (2160m)
Today we will do the 940 meter ascent to Bagarchap through bamboo and rhododendron forests,
on a trail high above the river bank. We will pass the village of Tal at 1700 meter which lies at the foot of a large waterfall. The trail crosses a broad, flat valley that was once a lake (Tal means
lake) after which we will cross the Marsyangdi by a 60 meter long suspension bridge. The trail
will climb up from a second suspension bridge to a stone kani (an arch over the trail) which marks
the entrance to Dharapani at 1960 meter. All old villages from here to Kagbeni have these arches
and they become more elaborate and picturesque as the Tibetan influence becomes stronger. The
trail slowly climbs from here on through a forest of blue pine, spruce, hemlock, maple and oak to
Bagarchhap. This is the first village on the trek with typical Tibetan architecture: closely spaced
stone houses, with flat roofs piled high with firewood. (7 hrs).
Bagarchhap to Chame(2170m)
We will first follow the south bank of the river climbing to Syal Khola (the river of jackals) at
2210 meter, after which we will cross the river over a cement bridge near a spectacular waterfall.
The route crosses several landslides as it works its way uphill through a walnut tree forest and
aside apple orchards until we arrive at Chame. At the entrance of the village is a long wall with
many prayer wheels. Throughout the day there are nice views of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II
and Annapurna IV (7525m) (6 hrs).
Chame to Pisang (3190m)
We will first pass the older part of Chame and climb up to Telekhu at 2840 meter and continue
with a long pleasant and mostly level walk through the forest to Brathang, which lies at 2950
meter. After the trail rounds a bend here we will see the first view of the dramatic Paungda Danda
rock face, a tremendous curved slab of rock rising more then 1500 meter from the river. We will
cross back to the south bank of the Marsyangdi on a suspension bridge at 3080 meter and then
make a long gentle climb over a ridge through blue pine forests. After this the trek will be
reasonably level as it heads to the upper part of Manang valley to Pisang. This town marks the
beginning of the region known as Nyesyang, the upper portion of the Manang district (5 hrs).
Pisang to Manang (3540m)
Today our trek will slowly climb up to the Tibetan-style village of Bryaga at 3500 meter
following the valley floor. At Bryaga we will see houses stacked one atop the other, each with an
open veranda formed by a neighbour’s rooftop. The gompa, perched on a high crag overlooking
the village, is the largest in the district and has an outstanding display of statues. We then continue
through a very arid countryside, dominated by weird cliffs of yellow rock, eroded into dramatic
pillars alongside the trail to reach today’s destination, the village of Manang, where the shops are
surprisingly well stocked with all the things you might want to refuel on (5 hrs).
Today we stay in Manang where we can do a short hike to ascent slightly higher to for instance
Khangsar, which is a 200 meter ascend. It is important to have a relatively restful day today, to
allow your body to acclimatize to the higher altitudes and thinning air. It also gives us the
possibility to wash some of our clothing.
Manang to Letdar (4250)
Trekking slowly upwards to Thorung La we will leave the large trees behind and see vegetation
consisting mainly of scrub juniper and alpine grass and we will pass a few meadows where horses
and yaks graze. After we reach Yak Kharka we will see herds of blue sheep grazing the steep
slopes as well. About an hour after passing Yak Kharka we will arrive at Letdar (4:30 hrs).
Letdar to Thorang Phedi, or Thorang High Camp
Again a relatively easy day to get used to the altitude before we have to cross the highest point in
the trek, and possibly the highest point you have been on in your life. From Letdar we will
continue to climb along the east bank of the Jarang Khola to Thorung Phedi, a rock-strewn
meadow surrounded by vertical cliffs at 4420 meter. Blue sheep and even snow leopards can be
sometimes seen in this valley. High in the skies above us we can see lammergeyers and
Himalayan griffons circling around (3-4 hrs).
Thorang-Muktinath (3800m) via Thorang La Pass (5416m)
Today is a long trek starting before sunrise at maybe 04:00 hrs to reach the pass by 09:00/10:00
hrs at the latest, as otherwise weather conditions will greatly affect the journey. We cross over at
an altitude of 5416m so can be exposed to strong winds if crossing too late. Local people have
used this trail for hundreds of years to bring herds of sheep and yaks in and out of Manang. Thus
the trail, while often steep, is well defined and easy to follow. Snow can block the pass at any time
of the year if there has been an unseasonable storm. It takes from four to six hours from Thorung
Phedi to the pass, but the many false summits mean the climb seems to go on for ever.
At the Thorung La pass, with its traditional prayer flags and stone cairn we will have outstanding
views. You can see the Annapunas, Gangapurna and Khatung Kang, a heavily glaciated peak.
Amazingly there is a teashop here on top of the pass at 5416 meter. From here we start a long
descend of about 1600 meter with outstanding views of Dhaulagiri mountain standing alone in the
distance across the valley. After the trail becomes less steep we will enter grassy fields and cross
meadows to our final destination of Muktinath, which means place of Nirvana and is home to the
Muktinath temple as well as several monasteries. It is said that all sorrows you feel are relieved
when visiting the Temple, which is a scared pilgrimage site to both Hindus and Buddhists. The
main pilgrimage normally takes place in September. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and
has 108 waterspouts around it from which Holy water pours. Another attraction nearby is the
Jwala Mai Temple and this contains a spring and an eternal flame fed by natural underground gas
Muktinath to Marpha via Jomsom (2665m)
From today we will follow the “Jomsom trek” in reverse order. We will first make a 990 meter
descent through meadows, streams and fruit orchards down to Kagbeni, a fascinating medieval
village infused with Tibetan culture. Then we will continue going down the Kali Gandaki gorge to
Jomson (more correctly Dzongsam, or “new fort”).
Jomsom to Pokhara
Fly to Pokhara and spend the day at leisure, relaxing, and maybe enjoying a massage or enjoy
sightseeing around Pokhara valley. Overnight in Pokhara.
Fly or drive back to Kathmandu.
Add Itinerary Description
Departure from Kathmandu.
Note: The trek program is – because of weather or unforeseen events – subject to change.