Annapurna Circuit 18 Days

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calendar   Dec 10, 2016 - Dec 27, 2016 tag   $1,299 member   8 Book Now
calendar   Dec 17, 2016 - Jan 03, 2017 tag   $1,299 member   5 Book Now
calendar   Dec 24, 2016 - Jan 10, 2017 tag   $1,299 member   8 Book Now
calendar   Jan 05, 2017 - Jan 22, 2017 tag   $1,299 member   8 Book Now
calendar   Jan 12, 2017 - Jan 29, 2017 tag   $1,299 member   8 Book Now
The Annapurna Circuit is one of the world's best treks, and by far the quintessential Himalayan adventure! This route takes us on a sweeping 18-day trek of the formidable Annapurna Range, which has ranked consistently among the world's top ten trails. Explore the physical and cultural diversity of Nepal! The circuit has been open to foreign trekkers since 1977, and has, in the intervening decades, come to be regarded as a classic enjoyed by adventure-seekers the world over. This spectacular walk brings you through lush green valleys and charming villages, with glorious views of the snow-capped Himalayas as a backdrop. Our trek itinerary has been expertly designed for optimal acclimatization time, affording everyone the opportunity to enjoy their experience to the fullest.

    What's Included?

  • 18 Days Adventure, 15 of which includes 3 meals a day
  • 2 Nights Accommodation in Kathmandu with Breakfast
  • 1 Night Accommodation in Pokhara with Breakfast
  • All Airport Transfers
  • All overland transportation
  • Accommodation on Twin Sharing basis, while Trekking
  • Trekking Permit/TIMS Card - Trekkers Security Card
  • English Speaking Guide, Government Licensed
  • Porter service
  • All Government and Local Taxes
  • Flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu
  • First Aid Kit
  • Trip Completion Certificate
  • Farewell Dinner
  • 1 Himalayan Wonders T-shirt
  • Flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu
 
* Travel Insurance is required on all Treks (read more)
* No Extra Fees for Solo Travelers (read more)

Day 1 - Kathmandu: Arrival Day

Altitude: 1350m/4428ft
Welcome to Nepal and the start of our adventure! One of our Airport Representatives will be on hand to greet you when your plane lands and transfer you to your hotel in Kathmandu. We'll have a final briefing in the evening and then turn in early in advance of a big day tomorrow.

Day 2 - Kathmandu to Besisahar

Besisahar 820m/2700ft Driving (7 hours)
We have a lengthy drive today from the capital to Besisahar as we come nearer to the trek's physical starting point. You'll catch your first glimpse of snow-capped mountain scenery today!

Day 3 - Besisahar to Syange, Chamje

Chamje 1385m/4540ft Trekking (4 hours)
This is it! We leave Besisahar bright and early and drive to Syange, where we'll take the first, easy stroll of the journey. It’s downhill and steep to start, as we head in the direction of Bahundanda. The sight of a roaring waterfall is our cue to cross over the Marsyangdi River via suspension bridge. The path of the river will bring us initially through the stone village of Jagat before ending the day in Chamje.

Day 4 - Chamje to Bagarchhap

Bagarchap 2160m Trekking (5.5 hours)
We're still following the Marsyangdi as a new day begins, climbing steadily towards Tal, the first village of the Manang district. Beyond that, our trail crosses a wide, flat valley, and then zip-zags up and down towards Dharapani. We'll know we have arrived when we see the chorten, or stone entrance, typical of Tibetan-influenced architecture. The views give way to many flat-roofed homes, set against orchards of apple trees and fields of waving maize. We’ll stay the night in neighboring Bagarchhap.

Day 5 - Bagarchhap to Chame

Chame 2710m/7090ft Trekking (6 hours)
We pass through Tyanja first on Day 5, and then through the forest and parallel to a river on the way to Kopar. Chame, our stop for the evening, is the seat of the Manang district. The people of Chame followed the Nepal-Tibet trade route a long time ago, and settled here. They brought with them the customs and building style of the Tibetans, and have upheld the culture through the centuries. Chame has lovely views of Annapurna II, and is crossed by a pair of burbling hot springs.

Day 6 - Chame to Pisang

Pisang 3250m/10660ft Trekking (4 hours)
Through the forest, across a steep valley, over a river and some bridges... our path to Pisang is not a boring one! On the way we'll be treated to spectacular views of the soaring Paungda Danda rock face.

Day 7 - Pisang to Manang

Manang 3540m/11600ft Trekking (4 hours)
We're moving through the higher, drier portion of Manang, which receives little monsoon hydration due to the natural shield of the Annapurnas. The farmers here breed yaks and raise crops, while taking advantage of special trading dispensations that they've had since the 18th century. We're back following the Marsyangdi as of Mungji village, and then on our way through either Hongde, with a little less climbing, or Ghyaru, which has more picturesque views. Either one will bring us to our guesthouse at Manang.

Day 8 - Manang: Acclimatization Day

Manang 3540m/11600ft Rest Day
We'll linger in Manang today for a much-needed acclimatization day. We'll keep our legs stretched with some scenic, peaceful day walks around the sprawling village. Not only will we see the sights, but we’ll gradually adjust to the altitude. At night time, we'll return to our guesthouse to rest up for a steeply-ascending leg of our trek.

Day 9 - Manang to Yak Kharka

Yak Kharka 4050m/13290ft Trekking (3 hours)
Our trail ascends a steep, dizzying 500m to the Yak Kharka, and then up through the Tenki Manang as we exit the Marsyangi Valley. Continuing along the Jarsang Khola Valley, we reach Yak Kharka at 4,000m. As the name suggests, there are a lot of yaks here! The vegetation grows sparse, however, as we continue to hit higher altitudes.

Day 10 - Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi

Thorung Phedi 4450m/14600ft Trekking (3.5 hours)
We'll climb high for about two hours before descending slightly to cross the river. It's all uphill again after that until we reach Thorong Phedi. Some of the newest guesthouses of our trek are located here. We'll be up extremely early tomorrow, so a full night of rest is important!

Day 11 - Thorong Phedi to Muktinath via Thorung La Pass

Muktinath 3800m/12460ft via Thorung Pass 5416m/17800ft Trekking (6.5 hours)
We'll start trekking at 4am today in order to reach the pass before 10am. It's a necessary evil, because if we arrive any later, we'll risk detrimental weather conditions negatively impacting our progress. Considering that we are 5,416m up at this point, the strong winds later in the day can be dangerous! It's a steep climb, but one that it safe and routinely used. Heavy snow can also be a problem. Conquering the foibles of nature reaps rich rewards at this point, however, for the magnificent view from the top of the pass and our arrival in the holy town of Muktinath. The name means "place of Nirvana," and it is said that pilgrims visiting the temple there are relieved of all sorrows. It is a place sacred to Hindus and Buddhists, and filled with fascination and ethereal power. We'll overnight here.

Day 12 - Muktinath to Marpha

Marpha 2670m/8760ft Trekking (6 hours)
Today we travel the scenic, beautiful trail between Muktinath and Kagbeni, via Jhong. This is a less-frequently traveled leg of the Annapurna Circuit, but one that we feel is richly worthwhile for its outstanding views. There are a number of distinctive homes here, all typical of the sect of mountain people who live here, as well as an old gompa.

Day 13 - Marpha to Ghasa

Ghasa 2010m/6600ft Trekking (6 hours)
Marpha at (2960m) is a charming village with many canals and where you can find a variety of fruit. Make sure you visit the big gomba in the city centre. After lunch we will head towards Ghasa a small Thakali settlement with welcoming people and lodges. You will notice on climate as it becomes drier and colder.

Day 14 - Ghasa to Tatoponi

Tatopani 1200m/3940ft Trekking (5 hours)
Today is a relatively short trek, which means that we have the ability to move at a leisurely pace and really enjoy the sights we pass.

The name "Tatopani" means "hot spring," and that is what today's destination is best known for. The villagers are ethnically Thakali and Tamang, and have enjoyed their home's reputation as a significant trading post between Nepal and Tibet. This Buddhist village has about six hundred homes. Although we are moving up rather steeply in elevation, the walk is enjoyable as we pass colorful villages, gorgeous flowers, and plenty of lush greenery.

Day 15 - Tatoponi to Ghorepani

Ghorepani 2870m/9410ft Trekking (6 hours)
This is it, believe it or not, the last truly challenging leg of our adventure. We'll pass through sizeable Shikha, watching village children running off to school and farmers working their fields. Ghorepani is a major stop for trekkers doing all varieties of the Annapurna Circuit, and is always bustling with activity.

Day 16 - Ghorepani to Poon Hill, Pokhara

Poon Hill 3200m/10500ft Trekking (6 hours)
We'll be up before dawn today, but with good reason: our day kicks off with an excursion to Poon Hill and an indescribably wonderful panorama of three Himalayan peaks (Dhaulagiri I, Annapurna I, and Manalsu) illuminated by the glowing rays of sunrise. From here, we'll also be treated to views of the 6,000m-deep Kali Gandaki Gorge and the visual border of Nepal and Tibet as divided by the trans-Himalayan ranges.

The last walk of our trek is an easy one as we stroll downhill from Tikhedhunga to Nayapul. Here, our trek officially ends. We'll load our tired feet into a taxi and an hour away to gorgeous Pokhara, and a comfy hotel.

Day 17 - Pokhara to Kathmandu

Pokhara 1000m/3280ft Flight (1 hour)
We fly from Pokhara back to the Nepali capital today, so that you can spend one more night in our beautiful country before heading home. It's our pleasure to take you out for a farewell dinner tonight, and get your feedback on our trip.

Day 18 - Kathmandu: Departure Day

Altitude: 1350m/4428ft
Today we'll ensure that you get to the airport with time to spare, taking our final leave. Hopefully you have made the kind of memories that will last a lifetime.

Travel Insurance

Proof of travel insurance is mandatory before starting the trek. Standard policies often only cover medical evacuation to 4000m so make sure the policy you get covers up to 6000m. We usually suggest World Nomads which costs around $125. You only need to be covered on the policy for the days you will actually be trekking.

    Extra Costs and Exclusions

  • Nepal entry visa ($40 USD).
  • Sleeping Bag Rental $12 and Down Jacket $12 if needed.
  • All the meals are included on the trek but we only include breakfast while you are in Kathmandu.
  • We suggest a tip for the guide and porter after the trek - Plan on a at least $80 (more will be appreciated).
  • We don't include drinking water on the trek which you can buy a number of places for between $1 and $3 a bottle (it gets more expensive towards base camp). A better solution is to buy water tablets in Kathmandu for around $2 and treat the water (your guide can help you find the good places to fill your water bottle).
  • The other things not included on the trek are like Wifi, charging batteries and hot showers. Wifi is available in some tea houses for $3 to $5 an hour. Hot Showers are also available in a few for around $4 and charging costs about $1.50 an hour.
  • Unforeseen cost due to flight cancellation, weather conditions etc. You are responsible for extra hotel nights ($30/night) and meals in Kathmandu for any extra days in Nepal due to flight delays.


Solo Travelers

We generally don’t charge solo travelers any extra fees. Solo travelers can expect their own hotel room in Kathmandu but will need to share a room with other group members during the trek. If availability allows we will arrange private rooms on the trek as well upon request.

If you are a solo travelers and planning and not joining one of our group treks you will be charged an extra $10 a day for a porter.

Cancellation Policies

We understand things happen and plans change and will refund your deposit minus a $150 cancelation fee. Once we have booked your flight between Kathmandu and Lukla your deposit is non-refundable. If your travel dates change we can generally reschedule you at no extra charge, but please provide at least 7 days advance notice.
The following are what we advise you obtain in the way of equipment and gear before trekking in Nepal, and are meant to keep you mobile and comfortable in a range of expected weather conditions. Trekking gear can be rented or purchased in Kathmandu at cheaper prices, remember Nepal is the home of Mount Everest, there is plenty of choice and our staff can assist you with the necessary arrangements. Except for your day pack, all luggage will be carried by porters. There is an allowance of 33lbs/15kg per person. Additional personal items not needed for the trekking portion of the trip can be checked in the hotel’s storage room for no extra cost.

    Head

  • Sun hat or scarf
  • Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Head torch


    Upper Body

  • Cotton t-shirts or thermals
  • Fleece jacket
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Down jacket


    Lower Body

  • Lightweight cotton long pants
  • Waterproof pants


    Feet

  • Thin inner socks
  • Thick, warm wool hiking socks
  • Comfortable hiking boots


    Hands

  • Gloves


    Accessories

  • Sleeping bag rated to 0°C
  • Trekking bag/duffel bag
  • Large plastic bags (for keeping items dry inside trek bag)
  • Trekking poles (optional, recommended)
  • Water bottle or camel bag
  • Toiletries
Start your adventure here with us!

FAQ

The basics

What is trekking?

Trekking is an adventure! For the uninitiated, this active pursuit involves lengthy, multi-day walks and climbs on village and park trails. The terrain is usually fairly steep, and we will likely encounter snow at higher altitudes (those above 5,500m/18,000ft).

Is trekking for me?

We like to think trekking is for everyone who is physically fit, patient, and loves the outdoors.

Why is a guide necessarily? I've trekked/hiked/camped before - can't I guide myself?

While it is not a legal requirement, we cannot overstate the importance of trekking with a licensed, experienced guide. You'll be traveling through wilderness, remote countryside, and high elevations - from an aspect of pure safety, it is highly dangerous to go it alone. Additionally, very few locals in Himalayan villages speak English. Should you get lost (and, with many paths crossing through many, many villages, this is more a likelihood than a possibility), it would be difficult to communicate directions or obtain food and shelter. Additionally, our guides are experts in Himalayan treks with an average of over 15 years trekking experience. No matter how confident you feel in your skills or knowledge, it is almost certain that we can help enhance your experience.

Who can go?

Are there any age limits for Himalayan trekking?

Nepal law requires that children under age 18 are accompanied by a parent or guardian while trekking. There's no upper limit on our adventures, as long as participants are healthy and willing!

How difficult is trekking?

It depends on the specific trek, and, to some extent, on the preferences of those trekking. We offer all sorts of treks, ranging from easy to difficult.

Is previous trekking experience really necessary?

In theory, no. Anyone with robust cardiovascular capability and good stamina should be able to cope with higher elevations and lower oxygen density. Trekking or hiking experience anywhere in the world is strongly recommended for maximum enjoyment of your Himalayan adventure, however.

Preparation

What type of insurance should I have? Where can I obtain a policy?

Travel insurance is mandatory and obtaining for the days you are trekking is your responsibility. We suggest World Nomads as it covers Helicopter and medical evacuation up to 6000m. Some standard policies only cover up to 4000 meters for evacuation so please confirm with your insurance company if you purchase it from another company. If you get to Nepal and don't have insurance already we can help you purchase it for a reasonable price before you start the trek.

What's the best time of year to book a trek in Nepal?

The best times for trekking the Himalayas are February to May, and then September to December. Unless you are trekking in rain shadow areas such as the Upper Mustang, trekking during monsoon season is going to be a very wet event. Winter isn't the optimal trekking season either, as very cold temperatures and heavy snowfall may impede crossings of high passes (treks that maintain lower elevations are accessible year-round).

Are any permits required for trekking?

Again, it depends on your specific trek. Some trekking areas require a special permit for trekking, while as others require only permits to enter conservation or national parks. Most require a Trekking Information Management System (TIMS) card. We handle all permits for you, so you have one less thing to worry about!

About the trek

How long do treks last?

Most of our Himalayan treks range from two to four weeks.

How long do we spend walking each day?

Trekkers generally walk four to six hours a day. That's between five and fifteen kilometers depending on trail conditions and the state of the weather.

Room and board

What kinds of accommodations will we utilize?

Unless you signed up for a camping trip specifically, most treks include lodge or guest house accommodation. A small minority of trekking areas may not have lodges available, and accommodation in these places will involve sleeping in tents.

What is teahouse trekking?

Teahouse trekking is a type of accommodation unique to mountain treks, in which lodging and meals are set up at local teahouses or lodges on a full-board basis.

What is camping trekking?

Camping trekking involves sleeping in tents. We provide you with full board on these treks, with meals being prepared by professional trekking cooks in a mobile camp equipped with a kitchen and adequate support staff.

Where will our drinking water come from?

Bottled water is available everywhere on established trekking routes, and most villages on the way will have locally-purified water as well. The teahouses or camping crew will supply boiled water for drinking.

Where do we eat our meals?

The most frequently-traveled Himalayan circuits feature lodges and guesthouses. Continental menus are generally available, along with soups and dishes of noodles or rice. Other routes will include more limited choices. On the most remote routes, only traditional dal bhat, curry, or instant noodle soups will be available.

Health and safety

What physical criteria will ensure I'm fit enough to trek?

Good overall fitness, flexibility, and healthy will ensure you trek safely and comfortably. Those with acute or chronic health conditions impacting their stamina, range of motion, coordination, or balance may have difficulty completing the trek. If you are in doubt about your own physical readiness, consult a physician well in advance of booking your trip! General hiking experience and comfort with the idea of multi-day hiking will also ensure you are 100% ready to trek!

How will we deal with altitude acclimation?

At higher altitudes - the kind we experience frequently on our treks- your cardiac and pulmonary systems are affected by lower oxygen density. Our bodies must adjust to the mountain elevation gradually, or we can become ill. Physical symptoms can range from general breathing difficulties all the way to acute mountain sickness (altitude sickness, soroche, or "the bends"). To avoid altitude-related maladies, we pace our treks appropriately and incorporate acclimatization days throughout the itinerary. There are points throughout many treks during which trekkers may choose to either tackle additional hikes/day trips or rest and relax as their bodies demand.

What do I need to know about sun protection?

It may seem counter-intuitive, but your skin is in more danger of sun damage on the mountains than while at the beach! The sun's intensity increases dramatically as we rise in altitude, and fresh snow reflects exponentially more UV rays than does the sand. You will need to protect your skin with clothing and sunblock. A sunblock specifically for mountain conditions is recommended. If you wear prescription eyeglasses its recommend that you get your prescription fitted to sunglasses.

What happens if I get sick or injured while trekking?

We take all possible precautions to proactively ensure the safety and wellness of our trekkers, but rest assured that our guides are trained and experienced in dealing with emergencies. Each guide is trained in first aid. In the case of altitude sickness, you will immediately be taken to a lower altitude. If necessary, your guide will utilize your travel insurance information to call a rescue helicopter, and you will be flown to Kathmandu or Pokhara for medical attention.

Are solo female travelers safe on Himalayan treks?

We ensure the travel safety of all our trekking guests, both male and female. Nepal, on the whole, is both very safe and welcoming of foreign visitors. We have longstanding, strong relationships with the lodges we frequent, and know them to be safe and reliable. In addition our guides are consistently mindful of all guests' whereabouts while trekking. We travel in small groups, all the better to easily maintain continual contact.

Practical matters

What should I pack?

Your specific trek and the time of year during which you depart will greatly impact your packing list. A recommended outline of clothing and equipment is listed with each trek. In general, a down jacket, a warm fleece jacket, thermal underwear, trekking pants and shorts, and sturdy boots are recommended to wear, and a thermal sleeping bag, backpack, and camera are recommended for your kit. If you take any medication, this should obviously be a packing priority. Utilize common sense - you don't want to end up short-handed on the mountain, but overpacking is undesirable. It's worth noting that just about anything you need in the way of trekking clothing and/or equipment can be purchased or rented in Kathmandu when you first arrive.

What sort of footwear is recommended?

Comfortable, sturdy trekking shoes or boots are a must. Ideally your footwear will have Gore-Tex or similar lining, along with thick soles. This will ensure that your feet stay warm and dry, and that you are comfortable walking on rocky paths. Wool socks are recommended instead of cotton, and these too should be thick and warm.

How much can a porter carry?

Porters' ability to carry baggage depends to some extent on the trekking route and altitude in question, but the average trekking porter carries between 15 and 25kg. A camping porter carries up to 40kg. One porter is typically assigned per every two travelers.

Should I tip my guide? How about my porter?

While not mandatory, tipping is customary and always appreciated in Nepal and on our treks. Your guides and porters will tremendously appreciate a small gratuity at the end of your trek, as these little extras go a long way towards helping their families. Tipping is a great way to show your appreciation for the team's hard work and devoted attention to your happiness.

How much money should I bring along?

Our treks are all-inclusive. We cover accommodation, food, park fees, permits, and many other costs, as a means of making your adventure as stress-free and convenient as possible.. Travelers generally bring a small amount of pocket money to cover bottled water, snacks, or tea beyond your included meals, souvenirs, tips, or donations to monasteries along the route (if you are inclined to give one). Trekkers find that around $20 a day is reasonable for these extras.

What communication options exist while trekking?

It varies. Mobile coverage is expanding around the world rapidly, and the Himalayas are no different… did you know that 3G coverage is available all over Mount Everest? There is no guarantee of uninterrupted coverage, however. Most trekking routes feature local VHF phones, but on the more remote trails, a satellite phone is the only option.

Do you have any extra charges for solo travelers?

We generally don't charge solo travelers any extra fees. Solo travelers can expect their own hotel room in Kathmandu but will need to share a room with other group members during the trek. If availability allows we will arrange private rooms on the trek as well upon request. If you are going solo and not joining one of our group treks you will be charged an extra $10 a day for a porter.

Can I get a refund if I don't finish the trek?

Its sometimes the case that trekkers finish ahead of schedule or they end up stopping the trek early for health or personal reasons. If this is the case please understand that we can not offer any refunds for unused days on the trek. Please understand that our costs are the same as we have an obligation to pay our guides and porters for the time they have committed.

What is your cancellation policy? How about other terms and conditions?

Check out this link, or contact us for more information. We love hearing from you!