Short Annapurna Circuit Trek - 11 Days
- Duration 11 Days
- Difficulty Level Strenuous
- Destination Nepal
- Trip Type Lodge Based Trekking
- Best Season Spring (March - May) & Autumn (Sept - Nov)
- Group Size 16
- Maximum Altitude 5,416 m
- Scenic drive to Besi Sahar along Trisuli and Marshyangdi river,
- Beautiful ethnic villages and landscapes, high snow-capped Annapurna,
- Highest pass in the world - Thorung la (5416m),
- Muktinath temple and scenic flight from Jomsom to Pokhara
Short Annapurna Circuit Trek is a legendary journey, it combines some of the best mountain scenery anywhere in Nepal with an insight into the fascinating deeply Buddhist culture of the region. Travel through a diverse untouched landscape, laced with fascinating weathered mountain villages on the way. Spend time spinning prayer wheels in the many monasteries as you go. Feel free in a land made fearless by the people who live there. Stand in awe at the mighty mountain panoramas, and then take on the personal challenge of crossing one of the highest mountains passes in the world. This trek can be challenging at times but the rewards far outweigh any aching muscles.
Before The Trek:
Upon your arrival at Kathmandu International Airport, we will meet you for the transfer to your hotel. You will meet your tour guide who will go over the itinerary in more detail and answer any questions you may have. He will also help you get acquainted with your surroundings, i.e. good restaurants and money-changing facilities trekking shops etc. If you have a late arriving flight, an extra day in Kathmandu may be needed.
On The Trail:
Today we leave bustling Kathmandu behind (private transport 9/10 hours) on a good road to Besi Sahar. It’s a scenic drive through green hills and along fast-flowing rivers. From Besisahar we take a dirt road to Chame, where we overnight and prepare for the following day. The days up to the Throng La are some of the most dramatic and rewarding days you are likely to have in Nepal. Trek through a dense lush forest and into a dramatic river gorge on your first day, Paungda Danda, a huge wall of rock around 1500 meters high, rises up from the river gorge below. It is a compelling highlight on day one.
The trail crosses fast-flowing rivers on bridges festooned with prayer flags with Ghompas and Chortens keeping you company on the way. Long before we reach the pass, we are treated to a feast of experiences. There are some wonderful views of snow-capped peaks with haunting mist-shrouded valleys below them. We trek through isolated communities and visit remote monasteries on our way to Manang, the district headquarters.
Higher Up The Trail And The Crossing of Thorung La:
Crossing over Thorong La Pass (5,416m) is the highlight and the toughest challenge of the whole trek. The process is made easier as the trail between Manang and the Thorong La is one of the most beautiful parts of the Annapurna Circuit. As you trek higher, there are some majestic views of Gangapurna, Annapurna III and Chulu West. Closer to the pass Khatung Kang with the stunning peak of Thourungtse (6481m) come into view. The view from the pass is exceptional; from the top, we have a sweeping vista south out to the Kali Gandaki below, and to the north the arid and haunting region of the upper Mustang comes into view. It’s a steep descent from the pass down to the pilgrimage town of Muktinath 3710m, revered by both Hindus and Buddhists. Mount Dhaulagiri (8176m) looms on the horizon. We overnighted here with time to spend time at the Temple the following day. On our last day on the trail, we descend to Jomsom, stopping at the ancient Mustang settlement of Kagbeni for lunch. The final day to Pokhara, can either be a short flight or a long jeep drive.
Upon your arrival at Kathmandu International Airport, our representative will meet you and transfer you to the designated hotel. Once you finish the check-in procedure, you will take your time to rest and refresh at hotel. Later, our tour guide will meet you and take you for a short tour around Thamel to make you familiar with some good restaurants, ATMs, money exchanger and other necessary you might need during your stay at Thamel. In the late afternoon, you will visit Nepal Gateway Trekking Office to get a complete briefing of your tour.
Today we take a bumpy drive through the forest and villages to Chame. We traverse the diverse landscapes and cultivated terrains on the way. We will pass by Besi Sahar to reach our starting point of trek – Chame. Though the drive is long taking almost 10 hours, the mesmerizing sceneries will make your trip exciting and keeps you engaged observing the awe-inspiring vistas.
A rigorous and steep climb through lush forest will lead you to the dramatic curved rock face, rising 1500m from the river. It is probably the steepest section of the trail and after passing the last bit of rock, the valley widens up with great mountain views ahead. We trek from a while before we reach Lower Pisang where we spend the night.
Today we have two routes to reach Manang but we follow the upper Pisang trail via Geru. This trail ensures the mesmerizing view of the stunning landscapes and mighty Annapurna. As we approach Manang, we begin to notice the contrast change in vegetation and landscapes. We will visit Barge Monastery, the largest monastery of entire Annapurna region in Manang.
Acclimatization and exploration day In order to acclimatize our body at higher altitude, we stay one more night at Manang. We spend our day exploring the local village and its cultural inhabitant. We also make a scenic hike to either Bhojo Gumpa or Gangapurna Lake. If time permits, we can even hike to Vraga Village where we will visit the Himalayan Rescue Association. The Himalayan Rescue Association provides the idea about Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).
From Manang village, we will climb up to village of Tenki crossing a stream and further continue to climb out of the Marshyangdi Valley turning northwest up the valley of Jarsang Khola. We will follow the northward trail, pass few pastures and dwarf cluster of juniper trees. Walking through the small village of Ghunsa and cluster of flat mud roofs, we will continue our trail to Yak Kharka. On the way to Yak Kharka, we cross a wooden bridge and pass ancient Mani Wall perched in a pleasant meadow.
The trail from Yak Kharka includes continuous uphill climb. We will walk for a while to reach a suspension bridge that connects us to Ledar village. Further uphill climb along the towering cliffs takes us to Thorong Phedi, the last settlement of the region. On the way, we get the mesmerizing view of Mt. Gudang, Mt. Syagnag, Thorung Peak and Mt. Khatugkan. The word Phedi in Nepal dialects means the foot of a mountain.
Crossing Thorang La Pass is the key objective of this trek. We will cross the pass from east to west which is the easiest and safest route. We start early to avoid mid-morning clouds. As we reach the top, the views are simply dramatic – from snow-covered mountain, to the head of Kali Gandaki Valley below and the brown and purple hills of Mustang which are spread out before you. After some moments, the moraine gives way to grassy slopes before a dropping down along the Jhong Khola valley to Muktinath and its shrines and temple.
To return Pokhara from Muktinath we will either drive on a private vehicle or take a flight. Driving is long that takes about 9 hours through lush forests, vibrant countryside villages and cultivated terrains. Or, we fly to Pokhara form Jomsom which takes about 25 minutes. The flights are available only during the morning time. The strong breeze and frequent change in weather makes difficult to take off and land in the afternoon. During the flight, you will get the awe-inspiring views of Himalayas and awe-inspiring aerial view of Kali Gandaki Gorge (the deepest gorge in the world). Once in Pokhara airport, we will drive to the hotel and take rest till mid-afternoon. A private vehicle will drive to the significant landmarks of Pokhara which are worth exploring.
After breakfast, we will drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu which takes around 6 – 7 hours. On the way, we get opportunity to explore the magnificent countryside scenery, gushing rivers and streams. Once in Kathmandu, we will drive back to the hotel and take a well-deserved rest. In the evening, we will have a farewell dinner hosted by Nepal Gateway Trekking in authentic Nepal restaurant.
Saying goodbye is always hard, especially when you get the taste of this wonderful Himalayan nation. However, with all goodbyes come news hellos, and we look forward to that. Hope to explore the Himalayas again with you. Until that, our airport representative will assist you with check-out and drop you at the airport.
This is our standard and recommended itinerary. If this itinerary doesn’t suit to you, we customize your holiday as per your requirements. Customize Trip
- All grounded transportation as per itinerary
- Two nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu inclusive breakfast
- One nights’ accommodation in Pokhara inclusive breakfast
- Three times meal (Breakfast/lunch/dinner) and accommodations during the trekking
- One highly experience English speaking & friendly trekking guide and required porter including their expenses
- Annapurna Conservation Area Project permit and TIMS card
- Annapurna Circuit Trekking map
- Nepal Gateway Company T-shirt and achievement certificate
- Local fresh fruit
- First aid kit
- Evacuation assist if needed
- Government taxes and office service charge
- Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu & Pokhara
- Your travel insurance
- Nepal entry visa. You can obtain a visa quickly upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. A multiple-entry tourist visa suitable for 30 days can be obtained by paying the US $ 50 or equivalent in foreign currency. Similarly, multiple-entry tourist visas for 90 days can be obtained by paying the US $ 135. Please bring two passport-size photos.
- Your international flight ticket to/from Kathmandu
- Your personal nature expenses, equipment and medical kit
- All kinds of hot and cold drinks and alcoholic beverage in trekking
- Hot shower, internet and phone call unless it is free
- Tipping to field staffs (Tipping is not mandatory but expected)
Annapurna Circuit Trek with Nepal Getaway Trekking
My siblings and I after some research decided to go for Annapurna Circuit Trek with a Nepal getaway. It has been one of the most memorable experiences. We were provided with a very experienced guide Mr. Dinesh Godar so even during unusual snowy conditions we were able to reach till Yak Kharka.. they ensured our hike was safe and we had one of the most memorable experiences.
Krishna VansadiaIndia, Travel Date: 23/06/2019