Popular worldwide as ‘Classic Himalayan Trek ’, Annapurna Circuit Trek is trek within the Annapurna Mountain range of central Nepal. Thanks to the outstanding views, ever-changing landscapes, the hospitality and other fellow travelers, the entire experience of trekking here is captivating. Blessed with the most spectacular peaks, this trek provides a heart pleasing view from Annapurna (8,097), Lamjung, Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Manaslu, Machhapuchhre (6,993m), Tukuche peak etc. The duration of the trek usually goes from 10-15 days for the shorter version or 18-21 days depending on where you start and end your journey. The length is 160-230 km which relies on the fact where the motor transportation was used and where the trek was ended.
Frequently voted as the best long-distance trek in the world, the trail of the trek passes through a diverse landscape providing diverse climatic zones. It passes through many green terrace farmed fields into sub-tropical forests which include numbers of waterfalls, cliffs to freezing alpine peaks. The changing landscape also brings in cultural variety as the lowlands comprise mostly of Hindu cultured citizens, whereas in highlands, the lifestyle of people becomes mostly Buddhist. Thus, no matter how tempting it sounds for you to grab your trek shoes and leave, one must come prepared for all the diverse conditions and challenges that this trek provides.
So, here is the guide to get you all the information you need before you leave for the brings
Annapurna Circuit Trek Highlights
Here are some highlights about the Annapurna Circuit Trek,
- It is the highest point of the trek is 5,400m over Thorong La pass.
- You can plunge into the Kali Gandaki – one of the deepest gorges in the world.
- You have to avoid Monsoon and extreme winter for the trek.
- Fuel your desire for adventure and sightseeing on this trek.
- The cost of Annapurna Circuit Trek varies according to the duration of the trek.
Length of Annapurna Circuit Trek
The length of Annapurna Circuit of the trek usually goes from 10-15 days for the shorter version that goes from Chame to Jomsom and 18-21 days depending on where you start and end your journey. The length is around 160-230 km approximately. Here are some routes you can take for the Annapurna Circuit Trek for 10 days
- Besisahar to Nayapul (full route) – 18 to 21 days
- Besisahar to Birenthanti – approx. 17 days
- Besisahar to Tatopani (then bus and jeep to Pokhara) approx. 15 days
- Besisahar to Jomsom (then a flight or jeep to Pokhara) – approx. 13 days
- Jagat to Tatopani – approx. 12 days
Route to Go
The Annapurna Circuit Trek Map starts at Besisahar or Bhulbhule of Marsyangdi River Valley and completes at Kali Gandaki Gorge. Crossing two river valleys and surrounding the Annapurna Massif, the trek reaches its highest point at Thorung La Pass. The trek descends almost the entire way. The two important stops will be Muktinath and Marpha. You can visit the holy Muktinath temple and taste the apple wine (local Marpha).
Suggested Read: 10 Nepal Travel Tips For Traveling To The Country Like A Pro!
Best time to go
Monsoon runs through Jun-Sep in Nepal where the river floods and most of the paths are prone to landslide. This is the only time that should be avoided for Annapurna Circuit Trek. The end of September brings clear skies and freshness and is one of the best time to trek Annapurna. The trek is also possible in the winter although snow often blocks the Thorong La pass, causing delays or detour of the trek. If you want to trek in a bit warmer climate, Spring (Feb-mid Nov) is for you and the rhododendrons that bloom beautifully.
Cost of Annapurna Circuit Trek
The cost of Annapurna trek can be considered pretty inexpensive compared to experiences it has to offer. Though the hike may be a little heavy on your body, thankfully you can trek around lightly in case of your wallet. For a solo trekker, $700-1000 will cover almost all of food, lodging, and permits. In case is food, $20 per person a day should be enough for covering 3 meals a day, including some snacks to bite on and some energy bars or mix which can be considered a must. Well, with the increase in altitude and the type of spender you are, the prices may rise to 30$-40$ a day per person. The thing you must keep in mind is that you won’t find an ATM easily unless you reach Jomsom, so stack up some extra Nepalese currency with you before starting the trek and keep the amount safe with you in all times. Foreigners are also required to get the TIMS permit (trekker registration) which costs around $20.
- Room prices – 350 NPR
- Roll of toilet paper – 80 to 120 NPR
- Oatmeal – 250 NPR
- Snickers bar – 150 to 350 NPR
- fried rice- 350 NPR
- Everyday meal (Rice and Lentils) – 400-600 NPR (don’t forget about free refills on this one!)
- Yak burger – 900 NPR
- Hot chocolate- 150 NPR
Annapurna Circuit Trek Vs Annapurna Base Camp Trek
The Annapurna circuit base camp trek is a direct route to the base camp. The length of the Annapurna base camp trek is around 4-7 days and brings your up-close to the mountains, unlike the circuit. You will spend some time in the Annapurna Sanctuary – an incredible experience. The highest point of the trek is 4200 meters.
The Annapurna Circuit trek provides you with much more varied scenery, villages and hands-on experience to the people and lifestyle. The highest point of this 10-21 day’s long trek is Thorong La pass at 5400 meters.
Is Annapurna Trek for everyone?
In terms of fitness, there is nothing too challenging except for the duration of the trek and that one long day of crossing the Thorong La pass. However, Annapurna Circuit Trek is not for everyone and if you are planning to go for the Annapurna circuit trek without guide, then you should make a note of all this. Here are do’s and don’t to make it clear who it is for.
- Don’t trek the Annapurna Circuit if you get out of breath running for the bus. Don’t jump into a long trek if you haven’t done it before. Surely, there are people who have done it and are just fine but you will need a good level of fitness.
- Start will hiking and shorter treks you crave comfort. You will be staying in tea houses most of your route. Albeit these tea houses offer electric power and some other needs, they are generally basic.
- Indulge into the local culture and cuisine (generally rice and lentils) and wrap yourself inside your sleeping bag you’re impatient. As you ascend, your pace decreases followed by a few trekking jams. Annapurna is a long journey and requires patience and endurance.
Do trek the Annapurna Circuit if you want to want to experience a perfect blend of trekking and incredible culture. You will learn about Himalayan lifestyle from the people you meet – be it from the porters to the teahouse owners, they all are very knowledgeable. The length of Annapurna Trek is tedious. You have to be very comfortable with the idea of trekking as you have to be mentally prepared for a journey of seven hours for 18-20 days. You pull up your trekking boots and walk. As the activity might remain the same, the landscape doesn’t. You will be shocked by the beauty of nature.
It is possible to go the trek independently. However, going with a small group of people and including a trek guide in your cost of Annapurna Circuit trek is a more reasonable option. The company will bring more life into the culture, landscape, and the whole experience as a whole. Besides, you will be safer with the knowledge of guide accessing different routes and any altitude problems. If you are planning to take a long trip to Nepal , make sure to add this trekking experience to your list.