Annapurna Circuit

Resort:Annapurna Circuit
Operator: Exodus
Destination: Asia
Price From: £2599.00


This route is said to offer the most varied scenery of any classic Nepal trek

The Annapurna Circuit – rightly known as Nepal’s classic trek – offers more
variety than any other equivalent length trek, taking us through virtually
every type of scenery that Nepal has to offer. There are superb views of the
Annapurna and Dhaulagiri and an amazing variety of landscapes ranging from
sub-tropical through alpine peaks to an arid semi-desert akin to Tibet. The
climax of the trek is crossing the iconic Thorong La Pass (5416m). Based in
teahouses throughout, we also get to spend time in villages inhabited by many
of Nepal’s different peoples, both Buddhist and Hindu.


* New improved route for 2020 using New Annapurna Trekking Trails (NATT)
* One of the world’s classic treks
* Cross the formidable Thorong La pass
* Chance to see the sunrise from Poon Hill
* Dramatically changing scenery
* Time in Kathmandu and Pokhara


Day 1
Depart London

The group flights depart London this evening

Day 2
Arrive Kathmandu

Those on the group flight from London will arrive into Kathmandu today and
will be transferred to our hotel. Those not travelling with the group from
London will meet us in the hotel. There will be a full trek briefing at the
hotel this afternoon/evening.

*Hotel Royal Singi*(or similar)

Day 3
Scenic drive to Ngaddi via Besisahar; begin trek to Bauhundanda

We leave Kathmandu early in the morning and drive towards Pokhara. After
leaving the Kathmandu Valley we follow the river to Mugling. We then continue
to Besisahar and on to Ngaddi, from where we begin our trek – the total drive
time to the trailhead can vary depending on road conditions and traffic but
is usually in the region of 7 hours. We begin trekking from Ngaddi with great
views ahead of Himalchuli and Peak 29. We now have a 2.5hr walk steadily
uphill through scrub forest through Lampata, a Manangi village with Tibetan
style prayer flags, with a final short ascent to the village of Bauhundanda
(Brahmins Hill), perched on a ridge.
*Teahouse (sleeping altitude 1290m)*

Day 4
Visit Tallo Chiple village and cross the Marsyangdi Valley to Jagat

The trail starts with a steep descent towards the Marsyangdi River. We then
head up the valley on an undulating trail to Germu. From here, we start a
steep ascent through fields and forest, reaching Tallo Chiple in time for
lunch in a small homestay. This beautiful village is so far untouched by the
new road which is being built. We descend a little and then have a short but
steep climb (to avoid a landslide) towards Maththillo Chipla. Just before the
village, we descend steeply for a short time to the Marsyangdi River, which
we cross by a suspension bridge. Heading steeply uphill for around
20-minutes, we rejoin the main trail at the village of Jagat, where we spend
the night.

*Teahouse*(sleeping altitude 1,300m)

Day 5
Reach the village of Dharapani

Immediately after leaving the lodge, a small old trail turns off the road up
to the left and undulates through the forest all the way to Chyamje, after
which we cross a suspension bridge and climb through oak forest. An
undulating ascent brings us to a level valley where ‘Tal’, the next village
is situated at the foot of a grand waterfall (1,700m). From Tal, we stay on
the same side of the river and climb up above the river to Kotro (this trail
is susceptible to landslides in the monsoon so your leader will check the
situation on the day). From Kotro, we descend to the Marsyangdi River, cross
it via a bridge and then have a short ascent to Dharapani.

*Teahouse*(sleeping altitude 1,890m)

Day 6
Visit Odar village. Climb to Temang, then descend to Chame

Beyond Dharapani we leave the jeep trail and turn sharply up to the left and
have a steep hour’s climb up a stone staircase to the pretty village of Odar.
Passing traditional farms and homesteads we trek through Galenchowk before
descending to the main trail at Bagarchap at 2,164m. The name of this village
means ‘butcher’s place’ and, although Buddhist, the people of this region
used to hunt animals. Continuing, we follow the jeep track for a short while
past apple orchards to Dhanagyu. From here we turn sharply up into the forest
and we have a fairly long climb to Temang, where we have lunch with
magnificent views of Manaslu and Peak 29. The trail then descends through fir
and pine forests to Thanchowk and further on through Koto to Chame (2,713m),
the administrative centre of the Manang district.(Please note that for
those who do not want to climb up to Odar village there is an alternative
trail on the right side of the river through Thonche to Dhanagyu this
trail is a bit easier).

*Teahouse*(sleeping altitude 2,700m)

Day 7
Continue ascending through forested hillsides past the rock face of Paungdi
Danda to Upper Pisang

We now experience a dramatic change of scenery. Leaving the forests and
vegetation of the alpine regions behind we enter the upper district of
Manang, known as Nyeshang. At first, our trail follows the river closely
through a deep canyon on the jeep track for a couple of hours to Brathang at
2,919m where there is now a large apple plantation. We can stop for fresh
coffee and cakes (and maybe some fresh apple juice) before we begin our climb
this morning. The trail then crosses the river and leaves the jeep track to
climb on forest trails through fir and pine trees from where the impressive
curved rock face of Paungda Danda rises nearly 1,500m from the riverbank to
Dukha Pokhari, where we stop for lunch. From here we veer off to the right
and take the trail that climbs away from the road track and to Upper Pisang
village, where we stay in a simple lodge for the night. There is an
impressive monastery in the village which we can visit in the afternoon. From
here to the pass we are the closest we will be to the mountains and today the
views of Annapurna 2 are particularly impressive (weather permitting) and
worth all the climbing.

*Teahouse *(sleeping altitude 3,300m)*

Day 8
Climb high above the valley on a wonderful high trail to Ngawal

A shorter but spectacular day for acclimatisation. From Upper Pisang we take
the fantastic high-level route towards Manang via the villages of Gyaru and
Ngawal. This is a wonderful walk with great views across to the Annapurnas.
We start with a short descent through the forest and then we have a very
steep climb up to Gyaru for a tea break. The views across the valley become
ever more spectacular the higher we go. From here the trail undulates high
above the river with magnificent views across the Annapurnas to Ngawal, where
we stay tonight. There should be time in the afternoon to explore this pretty
mediaeval village and visit the gompa.

*Teahouse*(sleeping altitude 3,650m)

Day 9
Follow the high trail from Ngawal via Julu to Manang

Another day for acclimatisation. From Ngawal we take a spectacular high trail
which contours high above the valley with amazing views across to the
Annapurnas and Gangapurna. As we leave Ngawal village, we pass a large
chorten before the trail drops down to Julu village. We take the route which
climbs steeply out of Julu onto a wonderful high trail above the valley. The
trail climbs to a plateau and we contour around the valley through forests
with great views across the valley to the Annapurnas and Gangapurna. The
trail drops down to the pretty village of Braga, dominated by a large ancient
gompa. We can stop for a cup of coffee or lunch at the Super Bakery and visit
the gompa and the small tree nursery, a project that Exodus has supported for
many years. Passing carved mani walls we arrive at the village of Manang at

We have time this afternoon to explore Manang and enjoy the magnificent views
of the whole Annapurna Range and the enormous icefall that crashes and
rumbles down from Gangapurna. This is the part of the trek where we are
closest to the mountains. Across the valley the huge bulk of Gangapurna and
the Annapurnas tower way above us – the sunset and sunrise over this great
amphitheatre is one of the most beautiful mountain views in the country.
Manang has many bakeries and coffee shops and is an ideal place to spend the

*Teahouse*(sleeping altitude 3,530m)

Day 10
Trek to Yak Kharka; afternoon acclimatisation walk

Leaving Manang we head towards the base of the Thorong La. We climb out of
the Marsyangdi Valley and turn northwest up the valley of the Jarsang Khola.
Looking back the views are ever more spectacular as we are above the forests
now and pass through dry, alpine country, with scrub juniper and occasional
clumps of birch. We spend tonight at a lodge in Yak Kharka. We will reach the
lodge by lunchtime and in the afternoon, we will have an acclimatisation walk
onto the surrounding hills. Look out for the Blue sheep that inhabit this
cold, windy spot.

*Teahouse*(sleeping altitude 4,000m)

Day 11
Short half day walk to Phedi, at the foot of the Thorong La

Another short day to aid acclimatisation. The scenery becomes wilder as we
continue ascending the valley. At one point we descend to cross the Jarsang
Khola, then traverse a scree slope to the lone teahouses at Phedi (4,420m) at
the foot of the Thorong La. Thorong Phedi can be very cold and windy. In the
afternoon we can go for a walk up to Thorong High Camp which is the last
lodge and is about an hour above Phedi.

*Teahouse *(sleeping altitude 4,420m)*

Day 12
Cross the Thorong La (5416m) to Muktinath, a place of pilgrimage

A long day as we leave Phedi very early in the morning for the climb to the
pass. The first part of the ascent is very steep, but it eases somewhat as we
approach the top, although the altitude still makes the going tough.
Eventually, after numerous false summits, we reach the pass itself at 5,416m.
Ahead there is a magnificent panorama of snow-capped peaks soaring above the
Kali Gandaki Valley looking towards Dolpo and Mustang and looking back we can
see several of the main peaks of Annapurna. Directly in front of us is the
great chasm of the Kali Gandaki, 2,500m. It’s a very long descent that begins
gently and becomes steeper, as we follow a series of switchbacks down to more
grassy slopes. We stop for a break at Phedi where there are a few tea houses.
From Phedi its another hour of gentle descent to Muktinath
(3,700m).(Please note that conditions on the pass vary. It can be calm and
clear with no snow but there can also be snow and ice and high winds on the
pass. We recommend you carry Yaktrax or microspikes in case of snow or ice
and take enough warm layers in case of high winds).

*Teahouse *(sleeping altitude 3,700m)

Day 13
Trek through beautiful barren landscapes to Kagbeni

An easier day after the exertions of yesterday. From Muktinath, we pass
through a landscape of bare, eroded hills with a backdrop of snow-capped high
peaks. After visiting the temples above Muktinath, we cross the Jhong Khola
and climb up to Chongur, a small traditional village. The monastery was
founded by a Sakya monk and the whole village is painted with the colours of
the Sakya sect. Continuing along a mixture of trekking trails and jeep tracks
we come to Jhong another beautiful village. There is a very old monastery
here dating back to the 7th or 8th Century and the ruins of an old fortress.
Passing wind-eroded cliffs in an array of beautiful colours we continue down
the valley through Putak village and finally have a steep descent into the
Kali Gandakhi Valley and the interesting village of Kagbeni (approx. 2,800m).
We have a long morning today (so take some snacks) and have a late lunch in

There is time in the afternoon to explore this magical place. With narrow
lanes and tunnels between the houses, it has an almost mediaeval feel.
(Please note that in the event that we are delayed due to bad weather, this
day will be missed out and we will trek directly from Muktinath to Marpha).

*Teahouse*(sleeping altitude 2,800m)

Day 14
Follow the Kali Gandaki Gorge, beneath the great peaks of Dhaulagiri and
Annapurna via Dumba Lake to Marpha

The trail now follows the jeep track down the Kali Gandaki River down to the
outskirts of Jomsom, a large administrative centre, at 2,713m. Most of the
time we walk along the jeep track, although at certain times of the year when
the river level is low we can walk along the rocky river bed. We do not cross
the river into Jomsom but instead, we stay on the left side of the valley and
trek to the village of Thini, where we stop for a simple lunch. From here it
is about half an hour to Dumba Lake. This very small lake is considered holy
by the local Thakali people. A short climb brings us to Dumba Gompa for
magnificent views of the Kali Gandaki Valley, Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Peak.
From the gompa we have 2 trails the shorter one descends down through
Dumba village to the suspension bridge across the Kali Gandaki to Marpha.
Another longer trail continues on the same side of the river towards the
Tibetan refugee camp of Chairo. A bridge crossing the Kali Gandaki takes us
to the pretty village of Marpha (2,690m) with its clean paved streets and
white-washed houses. Marpha is famous for its locally-made apple and peach
brandy, which you might like to sample to celebrate your crossing of the
Thorong La.(Please note that in December 2019 a truck track was being
bulldozed to Chairo and it was not possible to trek the longer route through
Chairo. Your leader will have up to date information and will take you the
best way).

*Teahouse*(sleeping altitude 2,690m)

Day 15
Continue following the Kali Gandaki Valley to Larjung

Today we follow the Kali Gandaki Valley, a major trade route. We are now in
the deepest gorge in the world – to the east Annapurna I rises to 8,091m, to
the west the peak of Dhaulagiri at 8,167m soars above us. Leaving the dry,
barren landscapes we walk through pine, cypress and juniper forest, sometimes
on the valley floor and at other times on a trail high above. From Marpha we
cross back over the Kali Gandaki to avoid the road. Walking through fir and
pine forests we climb up to the pretty Thakali village of Chimang. Descending
to a side stream we follow the side valley down for a short while before
climbing again into the forest. We ascend for about an hour and then the
trail undulates for a while before descending to the valley floor at Sauru.
We stop here for a break and then cross the Kali Gandaki to Kobang and on to
Larjung (2,550m). We stay tonight in a simple lodge. In the afternoon we have
a walk up to the village of Naurikot, another traditional Thakali village and
its definitely worth the walk for the sunset views across the valley on

*Teahouse*(sleeping altitude 2,550m)

Day 16
*Cross the Kali Gandaki and trek through Titi Tal, Kunjo and Jipre Deurali to

A long day today but a fantastic trail. We start with a short walk along the
road to the large suspension bridge below Larjung. After crossing the river,
the trail climbs up through the forest to Titi Tal, a very small lake (pond)
but an important marsh zone for waterbirds in the Mustang area. We follow the
trail through Taglung and to Kunjo, where we have a simple lunch. We then
descend steeply through the forest to a rocky riverbed. Crossing a suspension
bridge, we have a gradual climb up to Jhipre Deurali. The trail then descends
to cross the Mistri Khola and then undulates through forests of dwarf bamboo.
The trail hugs the cliff with some short steep up and down sections with
ropes along the side for safety. Finally, the trail comes to the old bridge
across to Ghasa. Crossing the bridge, we have a short 30-minute climb up to
our lodge.(Please note that the trail in the afternoon has some steep and
narrow sections across landslides. For those who are not comfortable walking
along such trails one of the assistant guides will take you from Kunjo to the
Lete Khola on forest trails to Ghasa).

*Teahouse*(sleeping altitude 1,950m)

Day 17
Follow an undulating trail through small settlements to Tatopani, famous for
its hot springs

From Ghasa we follow the road for 30 minutes and then cross the river on a
new suspension bridge. The trail now climbs high above the river to
Pairothaplo and then descends to Kopchepani. Across the river, we can see the
huge waterfall at Rupse Chhara. We continue on the same side of the river and
follow the undulating roller coaster trail up and down all morning. We have
lunch in the small village of Dharap and continue through Narcheng and past a
hydroelectric project just before Tatopani. A suspension bridge brings us
right into Tatopani, where we spend the night. Tatopani means hot water
and is famous for its hot springs just below the village and there is time in
the late afternoon to enjoy a welcome soak – guaranteed to ease any aching

*Teahouse*(sleeping altitude 1,250m)

Day 18
A long climb up through the villages of Ghara, Shika and Chitre to Ghorepani

The last stage of the trek takes us over a high ridge to the end of the trek.
Today is a sting in the tail as we have a long climb to Ghorepani. The trail
climbs all day through small hamlets and terraced fields. We start with a
short descent on the road track for 45 minutes to a couple of bridges. From
the second bridge, we have 30 minutes along a track and then the trail starts
climbing on a series of stone staircases. Its fairly steep up to Durbin
Danda from where we have a short descent through Ghara. We then mostly follow
the old trail as it climbs up through the villages of Shika and Chitre. From
Chitre we enter a huge rhododendron forest and the last couple of hours take
us up to Ghorepani. Meaning horse water, Ghorepani was once a stopping
place for the huge mule trains that used to ply this route. As we climb today
the mountains start to appear and from Ghorepani we get fabulous views of the
Annapurnas from the lodge.

*Teahouse*(sleeping altitude 2,900m)

Day 19
Optional early morning walk up Poon Hill for sunrise before a long descent to

An early start for those who want to trek the hour up to the top of Poon Hill
for the sunrise (approx. two hours return trip including stops – in addition
to the 7.5hrs walking to Birethanthi). The effort is well worth the 310m
climb (again, in addition to the 320m of total ascent today) for the superb
views over the Annapurnas, Dhaulagiri and Machhapuchhare. We return to our
lodge for breakfast and then its all the way downhill today through the
forest to Banthanti and then down a stone staircase through Ulleri and
Tirkhedunga to Birethanti by the Modi Khola, where we stay in a very simple

*Teahouse*(sleeping altitude 1,025m)

Day 20
Short walk to Naya Pul and drive to Pokhara; afternoon free

From Birethanti it is a very short walk to Naya Pul, where we will pick up
transport back to Pokhara. We usually arrive by lunchtime and have the
afternoon to explore this pretty lakeside town.

*Hotel Lakefront / Hotel Dahlia*(or similar)

Day 21
Free day in Pokhara

We have the whole day in Pokhara. There are many options to choose from
today. You might want to hire a bike and cycle around part of the lake, or
you could take a boat across the lake and walk up to the Japanese Peace
Pagoda with great views of the mountains and the lake (from the pagoda carry
on up the ridge to Raniban Resort for lunch), or you might want to visit the
Mountaineering Museum, the Gurkha Museum, take a trip to the nearby Tibetan
refugee settlement and craft centre, or simply relax in one of the many
lakeside restaurants and stroll around the shops.

*Hotel Lakefront / Hotel Dahlia *(or similar)

Day 22
Fly to Kathmandu

We fly to Kathmandu. Weather depending there should be good views on the

*Hotel Royal Singi*(or similar)

Day 23
Fly to London

The trip ends after breakfast. Those not on the group flight will leave us
after breakfast.

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