Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the world’s most popular trekking trails, according to a survey conducted by Modern Maturity (USA). Since Annapurna Circuit was made open for tourists in 1980, it has gained popularity all over the world.
Annapurna Circuit Trek offers you a completely fulfilling experience. It houses a variety of landscapes ranging from hills to high altitude passes, diverse and vibrant cultural backgrounds, different kinds of flora and fauna, and some rare wildlife.
All of these, just in 10 days trek. Isn’t that amazing?
Well, it might sound unbelievable, but the 10-day Itinerary of the Annapurna Circuit Trek does not compromise with the opportunities at all. It will be the best experience you ever had. So, if you have a short time in Nepal and a burning desire to complete the Annapurna Circuit Trek, tread along on this beautiful journey to the Himalayas.
Highlights of Annapurna Circuit Trek 10 Days Itinerary
- The breathtaking views of peaks like Annapurna I, II, III and IV, Gangapurna, Machhapuchhre, Himchuli, Tilicho, and many other peaks will make your journey unforgettable.
- Visit centuries-old monasteries with astonishing architecture and glorious history.
- Annapurna Conservation Area boasts of Rhododendrons and Pine forests as the home of 440 different species of birds. Wildlife like Langurs, Blue Sheep, and the elusive Snow Leopard are popular here.
- Muktinath is among the holiest place for Hindus all over the world. Not only Hindus, but this site also holds significant importance among the Buddhist community.
- A tranquil bath in the hot springs at Tatopani is what your body needs to have at the end of this strenuous trek.
- Kali Gandaki gorge in Mustang is the world’s deepest gorge.
- Along the trail, you will pass through different villages and encounter ethnic groups reflecting the fantastic cultural diversity in this region. Some major ethnic groups are Brahmins, Chhetris, Gurungs, Magars, Tamang, Thakali and some others.
Outline Annapurna Circuit Trek 10 Days Itinerary
Day 1: Drive from Kathmandu to Dharapani (1960m): 6 – 7 hours
Day 2: Dharapani to Chame (2,710m): 5 – 6 hours
Day 3: Chame to Pisang (3,300m): 5 – 6 hours
Day 4: Pisang to Manang via Nawal: 6 – 7 hours
Day 5: Day Hike around Manang
Day 6: Manang to Yak Kharka (4,110m): 3 – 4 hours
Day 7: Yak Kharka to Thorong High Camp (4,800m): 3 – 4 hours
Day 8: Thorong High Camp to Muktinath (3,800m) via Thorong La pass (5416m): 5 – 6 hours.
Drive to Jomsom (2700m)
Day 9: Early morning flight to Pokhara (827m)
Day 10: Drive to Kathmandu (1320m)
Detailed Annapurna Circuit Trek 10 Days Itinerary
Day 01: Drive from Kathmandu to Dharapani (1960m): 6 – 7 hours
Maximum Elevation: 1960 meters
Duration: 6-7 hours
The first day of your journey begins with a drive from Kathmandu to Dharapani. You drive through beautiful forests and villages with the Trishuli River alongside. Passing small towns like Besi Sahar, you reach Dharapani which lies in Lamjung district. The road gets a little bumpy after Besi Sahar, but overall it is a comfortable ride. Overnight in Dharapani.
Day 02: Dharapani to Chame
Maximum Elevation: 2710 meters
Duration: 5-6 hours
After early morning breakfast, you begin your trek on the off-road from Dharapani. You trek through the forests along the Marsyangdi River. As you approach Chame, you will get the first glimpse of Annapurna II.
Chame is the headquarter of the Manang district. It is an administrative hub and quite a big village compared to others on the trail. Tibetan influence can be distinctly traced.
You end your trek for the day and stay in a well-facilitated guesthouse here.
Day 03: Chame to Pisang
Maximum Elevation: 3300 meters
Duration: 5-6 hours
Today is the day you will notice a significant change in the landscape.
For the first half of the day, you will be trekking through the dense forest beside the Marsyangdi River. Crossing the suspension bridge over the pristine blueish Marsyangdi, we travel further up to the village of Pisang. Above 3000m, the forest becomes thin, and the landscape deserted.
You will have options of trekking through Lower Pisang or Upper Pisang. Walking through Lower Pisang is easy as its mostly plain, whereas if you follow the trail up through Upper Pisang, the view is surreal. You can choose to stay overnight at either Lower or Upper Pisang.
Day 4: Pisang to Manang via Nwagal
Maximum Elevation: 3519 meters
Duration: 6-7 hours
On this day, you trek from either Lower or Upper Pisang through the old village of Nwagal to Manang. View of peaks like Annapurna, Gangapurna, Tilicho is visible almost throughout the trail. You pass through many hamlets and thin pine forest, enjoying the views of fantastic rock formations.
The village of Braga on the way is one of the highlights of the day. The hamlet is picturesque and has a 400-year old monastery with unique architecture. It holds great historical and religious importance. Little up ahead lies the beautiful Manang village.
Day 5: Day Hike around Manang
Manang is the most famous village in this trail, offering spectacular views of Annapurna and Gangapurna peaks. Gangapurna Lake adds beauty to this magical village. This village is a favorite acclimatization spot for trekkers in the Annapurna Circuit. Almost all kinds of facilities are now available in Manang for your comfortable stay.
While in Manang, you will have plenty of options for side trips. Milarepa Cave, Ice Lake, and Tilicho Lake are some popular side trips. You can also take a cultural tour of the village by visiting the nearby monasteries and observe or be a part of the daily lifestyle of the locals.
Day 6: Manang to Yak Kharka
Maximum Elevation: 4110 meters
Duration: 3-4 hours
You begin your trek from Manang after an early breakfast. Passing through some peculiar rock formations, you walk further up till Yak Kharka. Of course, the views are still spectacular with Annapurna and Gangapurna standing high above the clouds.
It is an easy day in terms of walking. But since you cross the 4,000m mark this day, it is better to acclimatize properly. Rushing may cause altitude sickness. So, take it easy.
Day 7: Yak Kharka to Thorong High Camp
Maximum Elevation: 4800 meters
Duration: 3-4 hours
It is the second day of trekking above 4,000m. On this day, you start your trek from Yak Kharka early after having breakfast. You reach Letdar in about an hour and take a rest there where are a couple of hotels. You also cross a suspension bridge just before Letdar.
When you cross Letdar, you come to see the surreal landscapes. Drylands with different color texture combined with snow-capped rocky mountains form a magical scenery. You will be trekking through a steep down trail along with the freezing Thorong river. In some places, loose rocks tend to fall on the path. You will have to cross a landslide area a little ahead of Letdar. After 3-4 hours of walking, you reach Thorong High Camp, where you rest and prepare for the following day.
Day 8: Thorong High Camp to Muktinath (3,800 meters) via Thorong La pass, Drive to Jomsom
Maximum Elevation: 5416 meters
Duration: 5-6 hours
Today is a very important day of your trek. At 2:00 AM, you should be ready for your final ascend of Thorong La Pass, one of the highest passes of the world. Since it gets windy after midday, you start your trek at around 3:00 AM from Thorong Base Camp or at 4:00 from High Camp. Walking for 2-3 hours on an uphill trail, you reach Thorong La Pass 5,416m, the stunning vantage point.
Experiencing sunrise from here is a once in a lifetime experience. The first rays of the sun touching the Annapurna and Gangapurna is a dreamlike experience. Reaching Thorong La Pass gives you a sense of achievement and satisfaction. Prayer flags and Mani stones mark the highest point at Thorong La Pass.
After enjoying the view, you descend straight down to a significant pilgrimage site of Hindus, the Muktinath Temple. Not just Hindus, it has the utmost importance among the Buddhist community as well.
You end your trek for the day by driving to Jomsom and spending the night in a cozy, comfortable lodge.
Day 9: Early morning flight to Pokhara
You take an early flight in the morning from Jomsom to Pokhara. While in Pokhara, you have many options to relax or enjoy different activities like boating, paragliding, or having a massage. You can enjoy the nightlife in Pokhara. There are plenty of bars, pubs, and restaurants to spend good quality time with.
Day 10: Drive to Kathmandu
It is the final day when you drive back to Kathmandu. Following the Prithivi Highway, enjoying the view of hills and forests along with traditional Nepali villages, you reach Kathmandu after 6-7 hours drive from Pokhara.
How is the accommodation facility along the Annapurna Circuit?
The standard type of accommodation in this Annapurna Circuit Trek is the ‘tea-house’ facility. It is the type of accommodation that provides the service of food and the basic needs of luxury on a twin-sharing basis. You do not need to carry food, tents, or any camping gear. All you need to do is book your stay in a tea-house, and everything else will be taken care of by the teahouse owner.
What is the best time neither cold nor too hot? The teahouses are packed as a lot of trekkers visit the Annapurna region during these periods.
Winter (December-February) is not an ideal time as the high passes get blocked due to heavy snowfall. Even the locals move to the lower regions as it gets freezing cold. At higher altitudes, even the daytime temperature drops down to minus degrees. It is better to avoid trekking this region in winter.
Summer (June-August) has its pros and cons when it comes to trekking the Annapurna Circuit. The upper part of Manang lies in the rain shadow region of Nepal, resulting in low rainfall. Thus, Manang valley seems to be lush green. The trails are almost empty, and the locals enjoy their free time during this period. So, for the avid trekker who desires solitude and wants to experience the local lifestyle, the monsoon seems to be just about perfect. However, the lower region of the circuit witnesses heavy rainfall during the period resulting in landslides and floods. Forests are filled with leeches and insects. Get proper updates about the trail.
What are the chances of altitude sickness while doing Annapurna Circuit Trek?
There is always a chance of suffering from altitude sickness in the high Himalayas. Even experienced trekkers and mountaineers face the problem of altitude sickness.
Not everyone indeed faces the problem of altitude sickness. The key measure to avoid altitude sickness is to drink plenty of water and acclimatize properly. Dehydration is one of the leading causes of altitude sickness. So make sure you carry and drink plenty of water while trekking.
Similarly, to let your body adapt to the variation in altitude, you need to acclimatize properly. As you will be trekking at the elevation ranging from 700-5,500m approximately, you need to acclimate your body with the changing altitude. Above 3,000m, the chance of getting altitude sickness is a bit high. So, walk slow and acclimatize. You will be alright.
What are the permits I need for Annapurna Circuit Trek?
You will need two types of permits for the Annapurna Circuit Trek:
TIMS card: Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) card is an essential permit you need for all treks in Nepal except for the Everest Base Camp Trek. It will cost you 20$ and can be received in Kathmandu.
ACAP permit: Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit is a permit you need while trekking in the Annapurna region. It costs 20-23 $ per person and can be collected from Kathmandu.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek, 10-Day Itinerary, is a specially designed plan to provide the delightful experience of trekking in the world’s famous trekking trail of the Annapurna region. It does not compromise on any aspect of the standards Annapurna Circuit Trek.
This trek offers the best of the Annapurna region in a relatively short time, making this trek ideal for people having a short time in Nepal. It takes you up close to the Annapurna and connects you with nature. Landscapes enhance the beauty of your trekking experience while the richness of the culture and hospitality of people are sure to bring smiles on your faces.