The Annapurna Circuit trek is one in all our favourite routes in Nepal. We’ve achieved a number of totally different hikes together with the well-known Everest Base Camp, Poon Hill, and a few lesser-known like Mardi Himal and Langtang trek. On this put up, yow will discover lots of info that can make it easier to to plan the Annapurna Circuit trek independently.
For an in depth day-by-day itinerary with distances, elevation profiles, and stops alongside the route learn our Annapurna circuit trek itinerary put up.
Annapurna Circuit trek overview
- Distance – 260 km/161 mi (if strolling the whole route)
- Days – 15-18 days
- Price – about NPR 2440/US$22 per individual per day
- Permits – TIMS card and Annapurna Sanctuary allow
- Information – could be achieved independently, with a information/porter, or in a bunch
- Start line – Bhulbhule (7 km after Besisahar)
- Ending level – Nayapul
- Highest level – Thorong La Go (5400 m/17 716 ft)
- Whole elevation achieve (over 15 days) – 11 685 m/38 336 ft
- Whole elevation loss (over 15 days) – 11 358 m/37 263 ft
- Strolling on the street – 68 km/42 mi out of 260 km however solely about 24 km/15 mi are on a street with vital site visitors.
- Lodging – guesthouses
- Meals – Nepali, Indian, Chinese language, and Western meals
Annapurna Circuit trek distance
The gap of the route varies relying on the place you begin and end.
- The full Annapurna Circuit trek (beginning in Bhulbule and ending in Nayapul) is 260 km/161 mi. These days not many hikers stroll the total circuit.
- The usual route that almost all teams and people select (beginning in Jagat and ending in Jomsom) is 136 km/84 mi.
- The shortest route (beginning in Manang and ending in Muktinath) is 34 km/21 mi. The one trekkers we met doing this route have been organized Chinese language teams. In my view, I wouldn’t suggest this feature because it offers you no time to acclimatize for strolling over Thoron La Go.
How lengthy does it take to hike the Annapurna Circuit trek?
The normal Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary (from Jagat to Jomsom) takes 9 to 11 days to finish. To finish the full circuit (from Bhulbule to Nayapul) you’ll want 15 days. The variety of days required will rely on the place you begin and end the circuit. I’d suggest following the usual itinerary and beginning strolling from Jagat.
The place does the Annapurna Circuit begin?
Theoretically, you may begin wherever between Besisahar and Manang. By bus, you may get solely so far as Ngadi from there your alternative is to stroll or take a jeep. Jeeps go all the best way to Manang.
We began our Annapurna Circuit trek in Bhulbhule which is 7 km from Besisahar.
Many individuals take a jeep to Syange which we reached by the top of our first mountaineering day and begin strolling from there.
Jagat is likely one of the hottest locations to begin the Annapurna Circuit trek. We reached Jagat at the start of the second day. When you begin there you’ll skip just one strolling day.
Beginning the Annapurna Circuit in Chame is one other fashionable choice that some trekking firms supply not many unbiased trekkers go that far by jeep. We reached Chame on the fourth day of our trek. Chame is situated at 2726 m/8943 ft above sea stage which is 2000 m/6561 ft greater than Besisahar or Pokhara some folks may begin having slight signs of altitude illness because of getting there too quick.
Some teams (primarily Chinese language) get by jeep all the best way to Manang and begin strolling the Annapurna Circuit trek from there. When you do it this fashion you get in a few hours from 700 m/2296 ft to over 3500 m/11 482 ft which will increase your possibilities of getting altitude illness.
In my view, beginning the Annapurna Circuit in Jagat is the best choice. It offers you adequate time to acclimatize, you don’t miss out on the surroundings, and also you skip part of strolling on the grime street.
The place does the trek end?
Identical to with the beginning factors, there are a number of choices for the place to complete the Annapurna Circuit. Technically you may end it wherever after going over Thorong La Go.
Muktinath is the primary place after the move from the place you may take a bus or a jeep, many trekkers end the Annapurna Circuit trek there. You possibly can take a bus or a jeep to Jomsom, Tatopani, or Pokhara.
Jomsom is one other fashionable place to complete the Annapurna Circuit trek. There you’ve three choices for getting again to Pokhara: flying, taking a bus, or taking a jeep. After Jomsom, we noticed only a few hikers.
Many teams and solo trekkers take a bus from Muktinath or Jomsom to Tatopani. Some need to break up an extended and exhausting bus journey to Pokhara. Some proceed strolling from there to Ghorepani.
In my view, in the event you don’t have time to stroll to Tatopani or Nayapul relatively end the Annapurna Circuit in Jomsom and take a flight again to Pokhara. We noticed the street from Muktinath to Tatopani and in some locations, it regarded fairly dangerous. It takes many hours to drive generally buses and jeeps get caught and need assistance to get out of the mud.
From Tatopani, some hikers stroll to Ghorepani, the place the route right here overlaps with the Poon Hill trek.
How tough is the Annapurna Circuit trek?
The Annapurna Circuit is a difficult high-altitude hike. I’d say it’s probably the most tough treks out of the 7 multi-day treks we’ve achieved in Nepal. I’d examine the circuit to the Everest Base Camp trek itinerary. The size of the routes and the common altitude are about the identical.
The principle challenges of the Annapurna Circuit are
- Excessive altitude
- Distant location
- Many steep ascents and descents
- Unpredictable climate
Is the circuit appropriate for newbies?
Sure, the Annapurna Circuit is ok to stroll in the event you don’t have earlier mountaineering experience however it’s suggested to go together with any individual who’s achieved high-altidude hikes earlier than, rent a information, or be a part of a tour. I wouldn’t suggest mountaineering the circuit alone when you have no earlier high-altitude mountaineering experience even in the event you’re match. Trekking excessive up within the mountains may be very totally different from mountaineering at sea stage or operating.
Journey insurance coverage for the trek
The Annapurna Circuit is a high-altitude trek by means of distant and difficult-to-access areas of Nepal. Journey insurance coverage is a requirement for getting a mountaineering allow. No one has ever requested us to indicate our insurance coverage however while you fill out the shape they ask you to supply the title and the cellphone variety of your insurance coverage firm.
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World Nomads journey insurance coverage has been designed by vacationers for vacationers, with protection for greater than 150 actions in addition to emergency medical, misplaced baggage, journey cancellation and extra.
Is the Annapurna Circuit nonetheless value it?
Many individuals (together with us) surprise if it’s nonetheless value strolling the Annapurna Circuit trek. The principle reason for doubt is the street that was constructed a number of years in the past. After finishing the trek I can say that the circuit remains to be value it. The surroundings is spectacular. The street did spoil some elements of the trek however undoubtedly didn’t wreck it solely.
We’ve walked the total Annapurna Circuit and made notes to get the precise distance of strolling on the street. Out of 260 km/161 mi, we walked, 68 km/42 mi have been on the grime street. Some elements of the street have been very quiet with little site visitors, some elements have been fairly busy. I’d say out of 68 km of strolling on the street solely 24 km/15 mi have been on a street with vital site visitors.
To make your planning simpler I’ve break up the route into 4 sections to indicate how a lot strolling on the street you get on every half. So you may determine which sections of the circuit to omit.
The primary a part of the Annapurna Circuit trek from Bhulbhule to Manang has lots of strolling on the street. The street was fairly busy solely at first. We tried to keep away from the street all over the place we may on this stretch. Within the final half from Chame to Manang, the street wasn’t busy in any respect. There are various routes that go away from the street however it’s best to remember that these routes are often longer.
From Manang to Muktinath there isn’t any street solely a trekking route which is nice as you lastly can get utterly away from automobiles and development autos.
Within the a part of the circuit from Muktinath to Tatopani, there may be not a lot street strolling. The largest a part of the street we received on the best way from Muktinath to Jomsom. The final 7 km are on the dusty street. From Jomsom to Tatopani we walked all the best way on the brand new trekking route that goes on the opposite facet of the river, reverse the street. We may see the street more often than not however by no means walked on it.
The final half from Tatopani to Nayapul was partly on the street with only a few automobiles apart from the final bit from Hile to Birtethanti the place we received a number of vacationer jeeps however no buses or vehicles.
Easy methods to get permits for the trek?
For the Annapurna Circuit trek, you want the Annapurna Conservation Space Allow (ACAP) and the TIMS card. The identical permits you want for different mountaineering routes contained in the Annapurna Nationa Park e.g. Annapurna Base Camp trek, Poon Hill, or Mardi Himal trek.
The TIMS card and the allow could be obtained on the Vacationer Data Middle in Pokhara (about 1,5 km from Lakeside) or on the Tourism Board Workplace in Kathmandu (Pradarshani Marg). Each places of work are open Mon-Fri and Solar (closed on Saturdays) from 10am to 5pm.
The totals price is NPR 5000/US$43 per individual.
To get a TIMS card (trekkers info administration system card) and a allow you’ll want your passport, journey insurance coverage, a contact individual in Nepal (we often give our lodge particulars), and Four images (they are often taken on the workplace freed from cost).
TIMS card and permits are legitimate just for a single entry to the park each time you exit you’ll need to get a brand new TIMS card and a brand new allow to enter the park once more.
To get the TIMS card;
- First, fill out the shape that you just get on the counter (title, insurance coverage quantity, passport particulars, tackle in Nepal, contact info, and many others.)
- Second, take a photograph. No must deliver your personal images they take them proper there on the workplace and it’s included within the worth of your TIMS card.
- Third, give the stuffed kind, two images and pay NPR 2000/US$15 pp. (paid solely in money in Nepalese Rupee) on the counter.
- Forth, get your TIMS.
To get the Annapurna Sanctuary Allow;
- First, after getting your TIMS card go to the next-door room and get a paper kind
- Second, fill within the kind
- Third, hand the shape, passport, two images, and NRP 3000/US$22 per individual (paid solely in money in Nepalese Rupee) on the counter.
- Forth, get your allow.
When you don’t get a allow earlier than the trek you may get it on the first checkpoint however it’ll price you virtually double of what you pay in Pokhara or Kathmandu. You possibly can’t get a TIMS card at verify factors.
When is the very best time to hike the Annapurna Circuit?
For trekking in Nepal, the very best months are March, April, October, and November. We’ve by no means trekked in Nepal in autumn solely in winter-spring (between the top of February and the start of Could). We’ve heard that October is the busiest month with many individuals on the trekking routes. For that reason, we attempt to skip the height season. March is our favourite month for mountaineering in Nepal. We did the Annapurna Circuit in March and it was good; not too chilly, with little rain, and never too busy.
From Could to September it’s monsoon season in Nepal, and it’s not a great time for mountaineering. December to February is the winter months which implies decrease temperatures and lots of snow. Thorong La Go is usually closed in addition to some visitor homes at greater altitudes.
What’s the lodging like on the trek?
All guesthouses have roughly comparable services. There aren’t any fancier lodges to remain on the route like in Pokhara or Kathmandu. Rooms are primary often they’ve two single beds, blankets, and generally a desk and a chair. More often than not hikers sit within the eating space it’s the warmest place in a guesthouse.
We have been shocked by the services of the guesthouses on the Annapurna Circuit trek. Most locations we stayed had electrical energy, a scorching bathe, and wi-fi (at no further price). These have been virtually normal things for a guesthouse to have. It was nice that we may cost all our gadgets on daily basis. We packed an influence financial institution however by no means used it.
All guesthouses have blankets you at all times can ask for an additional one or two if it’s actually chilly. We had mild summer time sleeping baggage however more often than not slept with out them underneath the blankets. Even at Thotong Phedi the place it was very chilly, we slept in our heat garments underneath two blankets.
The services at greater altitudes e.g. Thorong Phedi and Excessive Camp are extra primary; no energy retailers within the room, no or very poor wi-fi sign, no scorching bathe, and many others. For charging your cellphone or utilizing wi-fi you pay further.
The principle inconvenience we had in most guesthouses is the rest room. Most locations don’t have a Western sit-down rest room however an Asian gap rest room that you just flush with a bucket of water. Dearer rooms have an hooked up lavatory which may be very good, particularly at greater altitudes since you don’t need to exit each time you need to use it.
What’s the meals like on the circuit?
The menu is sort of various and often contains Nepalese, Chinese language, Indian, and Western meals. The standard dishes yow will discover all over the place on the Annapurna Circuit are pasta, noodles, rice with vegetable/hen/cheese and tomato sauce, omelet, fried, boiled, or scrambled eggs with potato/cheese/vegetable. Dal Bat (rice, roasted vegetable, chapati, and lentil soup) is the most common native meals. Momos (native dumplings), all form of soups (hen, vegetable, garlic, tomato, noodle, and many others.), pizzas, pancakes, various kinds of bread (chapati, Tibetan bread, toast), porridge, muesli, and many others. General the meals on the circuit is much like the meals within the Everest Base Camp trek and different trekking routes in Nepal.
There’s a enormous number of scorching drinks; totally different teas (lemon, ginger, Masala, milk, mint, and many others.), immediate espresso, and many others. Some greater locations like Manang, Chame, and Jomsom even have Mexican dishes, burgers, wood-fired pizzas, and actual Espresso espresso.
As you may see there are actually many choices. You don’t need to eat the identical meals, you may attempt one thing totally different on daily basis. When you’re vegetarian, vegan, or observe a sure weight-reduction plan you’ll be capable of discover appropriate meals. Our foremost downside was a scarcity of contemporary fruit and greens, particularly at greater altitudes.
The very best worth for cash meals on the Annapurna Circuit trek is native Dal Bhat. It’s often bottomless, you may ask for further rice, dal, or greens many times. When you’re on a decent price range it’s the very best dish to order. We actually like native soups they’re at all times good. To make a meal extra filling you may order Tibetan bread or chapati with it. For breakfast, we often ate an omelet, fried eggs, or porridge.
Many villages and cities have small water purification stations the place you may get secure ingesting water it’s cheaper than shopping for 1l plastic bottle and a lot better for the setting. We by no means purchased water as a result of we had our LifeStraw bottles that we refilled from faucets, streams, and rivers. It was an awesome money-saver on the Annapurna Circuit trek. We by no means had any abdomen issues the filter labored completely.
Do you want a information for the Annapurna Circuit trek?
Not. The Annapurna Circuit an be achieved and not using a information. We choose trekking independently when it’s potential. We get pleasure from planning and researching. However I perceive some folks don’t have a lot time to do all of the planning and need to spend their vacation in a extra relaxed means. Tour often embrace transportation, a information, porters, lodging, and a few meals on the route.
- It’s cheaper than a tour
- It’s extra adventurous in the event you do all of the logistics and planning your self
- You’re extra versatile you determine if need to stroll additional or keep someplace longer and many others.
- It could be a bit tough to plan and stroll by yourself if it’s your first hike
- You’ll need to kind out any challenge or downside on the best way by yourself
Mountaineering in a bunch
- It’s simple no want to fret about route planning, discovering lodging, logistics, packing mild as a result of you must carry your personal backpack, and many others.
- When you’re fortunate to discover a educated information who speaks good English you may be taught lots about native tradition, meals, life-style, and many others.
- It’s costlier
- It’s important to keep on with your group even when the itinerary doesn’t go well with you effectively otherwise you’d like to remain someplace longer or stroll additional and sooner.
Hiring a information or a porter
You possibly can rent a information or a porter (or each) your self which shall be cheaper than doing a tour and simpler than strolling by yourself. We by no means employed a information or a porter however we requested round in Pokhara to seek out out the value, to rent a information you’ll pay round US$25 per day and for a porter US$20 per day. A porter can carry 15 kg so you may break up one porter between 2 folks.
Easy methods to get to the Annapurna Circuit?
Attending to the trek from Pokhara
When you’re deciding the place to remain earlier than and after the Annapurna Circuit I’d undoubtedly recommend Pokhara. It’s a lot better than Kathmandu. Lakeside is a pleasant space with many lodges, eating places, gear outlets, and tour businesses you should buy and guide right here no matter exercise you need to do in Nepal. The world across the lake is gorgeous with not a lot site visitors. You possibly can stroll round, benefit from the views, lease a ship, and many others. There are various things to do in and round Pokhara together with a few simple mountaineering trails e.g. a path to World Peace Pagoda which you can mix with the Panchase trek or the Sarankgot path.
You may get to Besisahar from Pokhara or Kathmandu. Buses from Pokhara go away from the Outdated bus terminal. It’s higher to take a morning bus so as to arrive earlier in Besisahar. The worth is NRP 400/US$3, it will possibly take something between Four and 6 hours. A taxi from Lake Aspect to Outdated Bus Terminal is round NPR 400/US$3.
Locations to remain in Pokhara
Attending to the circuit from Kathmandu
A bus from Kathmandu to Besisahar will price about NRP 600/US$5, the journey takes between 6-7 hours. Buses go away within the morning between 6am and 7am from New Bus Terminal in Kathmandu. The simplest means of attending to the fitting bus cease is to inform your taxi driver that you just’re going to Besisahar, he’ll know the place to take you. A taxi from Thamel to the bus station is round NPR 500/US$4.
Locations to remain in Kathmandu
There are a few lodges on the road we stayed at Aryatara Kathmandu Resort for fairly some time. It’s a really good place, with large rooms, comfy beds, good breakfast (included), a pleasant scorching bathe, AC, wi-fi, TV, and many others. We saved our further baggage right here each time we went mountaineering free of charge with none downside.
Getting again after the trek
There are a number of factors the place you may end the circuit, the primary ones are Muktinath, Jomsom, Tatopani, and Nayapul. From all these locations you may take a bus/a jeep again to Pokhara or Kathmandu. A bus experience to Kathmandu from Muktinath or Jomsom shall be extraordinarily lengthy and exhausting. It will possibly take as much as 20 hours. It could be higher to go first to Pokhara and keep there for a few days after which go to Kathmandu.
Bus costs range relying on the gap. A bus from Nayapul to Pokhara is NRP 400/US$3, and a bus from Muktinath to Pokhara is NRP 1650/US$13. Jomsom is the one place on the Annapurna Circuit from the place you may fly to Pokhara. The flight takes lower than 1 hour in comparison with greater than 10 hours by bus however it’s far more costly round US$125 a method.
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The gorgeous half of Stingy Nomads, liable for all our land adventures (mountaineering, climbing, strolling the Camino) and following them write-ups. Alya loves strolling since she was a toddler, she prefers to stroll 1000 km with a backpack relatively than to do a 10 000 km street journey (truly any street journey). Alya is a giant fan of Latin America, the Spanish language, and dancing. Each time we go away she desperately misses our canine Chile.