Annapurna mountain and prayer flags

13-day Annapurna Circuit trek

Trips/Annapurna Circuit

13 days

The Annapurna Circuit is known all around the world for its gorgeous and varied scenery and cultural highlights. It's one of the world's very best high-altitude treks and an absolute bucket-list must! Climb high into the Himalayas and stay in small, traditional villages. Meet the local people as well as trekkers from all over. And stand on Thorung La Pass at a whopping 5,416 m above sea level!

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Detailed Itinerary

Annapurna-Circuit-Route-12-day-classic-Map

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu

We meet you at Tribhuvan International Airport and drive to the hotel in Thamel, a district of Kathmandu, for the night. If you arrive early enough and wish to explore Thamel a little, you can just step out of the hotel and you're sorted: restaurants, shops and more are all right there. We also have an optional highlights of Kathmandu tour on offer!

Ours. Votive temples and shrines in a row at Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu, Nepal

Day 2: Drive to Jagat via Besisahar

After an early rise, we drive west in our private vehicle. The five-hour drive is the perfect time to get to know your fellow hikers. We stop for lunch in Besisahar, a town in a wide, green valley. We then head up narrow, windy roads into the mountains to reach the village of Jagat for the night.

Field Nepal

Day 3: Drive to Pisang

This morning we drive to the very pretty valley village of Pisang. Pisang actually consists of Lower and Upper Pisang, two portions separated by the Marshyangdi River. We arrive in Lower Pisang, and you must cross the river via a suspension bridge to climb up to Upper Pisang. Upper Pisang (3,300 m) has a famous set of Tibetan prayer wheels that travellers are invited to run their hands along in the traditional way. It's from here that we start trekking tomorrow!

Tibetan Buddhist prayer wheels Upper Pisang Annapurna Circuit trek

Day 4: Trek to Manang via Nyawal (6 hr)

This morning we head northwest up the Marsyangdi valley. This is the most beautiful stretch of the entire circuit. To the south you can see the magnificent peaks of Annapurna II and III. Around midday we visit the historic village of Nyawal, where we can visit Guru Rinpoche Cave, an important site for Tibetan Buddhists. We overnight at the town of Manang (3,540 m), which has a a distinctly Tibetan population and culture. We spend three nights in Manang to help us acclimatise.

Suspension bridge across river, Annapurna Circuit paking list

Day 5: Day hike to Kicho Tal (6 hr)

Today we embark on a scenic round-trip hike to Kicho Tal (the 'Ice Lake'). This involves a climb of 1,000 m, so while it's short, it's tough. Kicho Tal is an incredibly beautiful lake. It's surrounded by snowy mountains, including Tilicho Peak, and you'll be blown away by the pristine lake itself. One really feels the remoteness here.

Nepal Annapurna Circuit trek group photo

Day 6: Acclimatisation day

Today is another acclimatisation day. We take it slowly and spend our day resting, playing games, reading, exploring Manang (which has a population of 7,000), and also visiting the Himalayan Rescue Association Clinic. The clinic has an important role to play in the safety of locals and visitors to this part of the Nepali Himalayas.

Manang-Annapurna-Nepal

Day 7: Trek to Yak Kharka (6 hr)

Today we continue up Marsyangdi River valley, passing small villages en route. The trail winds through a harsh and windswept landscape. The views are unbelievable, with Annapurna II, III and IV, as well as Gangapurna, visible most of the day. Look for herds of grazing musk deer. We overnight in the hardy mountainside village of Yak Kharka (4,018 m).

Horse Annapurna Circuit trek Nepal

Day 8: Trek to Thorung Phedi (5 hr)

This morning we continue up the valley towards Thorung Phedi (4,450 m), our final stopover before we summit Thorung La Pass. It's a relatively short trek, but as we’re climbing ever higher, the effects of the reduced oxygen intake take their toll. The paths are often narrow, contour paths around bare mountains, and have steep drop-offs.

Annapurna Circuit trek trail Nepal

Day 9: Ranipauwa via Thorung La (7 hr)

Today we summit Thorung La Pass at a dizzying 5,416 m above sea level. The view from up here makes you feel like you might be sitting at the top of the world! To the west you can see the snow-capped Dhaulagiri mountain range. We then descend steeply into isolated Mustang District, where we're met and driven south to Jomson.

Trekkers smiling in front of Thorung La stone and prayer flags on Thorung La pass on the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal

Day 10: Drive to Jomsom via Kagbeni

Today we're driven southwest to the airport town of Jomsom, dropping a vertical kilometre in altitude as we do so. Excitingly, we stop en route at Kagbeni, an ancient farming village that sits on the valley floor alongside the Kali Gandaki River. Kagbeni is a very important site for Hindu pilgrims who want to perform Pitri-sraddha. The village is also famous for its beautiful setting and historic mud buildings.

Jomsom Nepal, Annapurna Circuit route

Day 11: Fly to Pokhara and relax

We take a short flight to Pokhara that winds through the Kali Gandaki, the world's deepest gorge! We overnight at a lakeside resort in Pokhara, a beautiful city. We spend the afternoon exploring the town and having fun on the lake. We can also zipline down to the city from the nearby mountains!

Pokhara boats Nepal

Day 12: Explore Kathmandu

We spend the morning exploring Pokhara and doing anything we didn't get to do yesterday. In the early afternoon we fly back to Kathmandu – it's a short, 30-minute plane ride. There's time to explore the city a bit in the afternoon or have a spa treatment. And in the evening we can head to a restaurant for final dinner together.

owl snowy Kathmandu Nepal

Day 13: Farewell

We drive you to the airport and say our goodbyes. We hope to see you on another one of our trips soon!

Nepal Kathmandu man guru sage beard paint

Inclusions

Price Includes

Airport transfers

All domestic flights

All road travel

Some meals before and after trek

All meals on trek

Drinking water on trek

Price Does Not Include

International airfares

Nepali visa

Traveller's insurance

Trek guide and porter tips

Snacks, mineral water, cool drinks and alcohol

Wi-Fi on trek

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Gallery

Annapurna mountain and valley
Smiling trekker with Nepali woman selling handmade jewellery on Annapurna Circuit
Trekkers on trail to Thorung La on the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal
Gompa monastery in Kagbeni village, Mustang, on Annapurna Circuit
Annapurna-Circuit-route-village-1024x682.jpg
Wildebeests grazing in Maasai Mara, Kenya, with setting sun

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