around Annapurna via thorong-la pass
Embark on a fantastic Annapurna Circuit Trek which takes us around the entire Annapurna massif reaching the zenith at Thorong La Pass (5,416m/17,769ft). We also walk through the world’s deepest Kali Gandaki gorge with Annapurna I rising to 8091 m to the east and Dhaulagiri hovering at 8167 m to the west! We savor the fabulous mountain views from Poon Hill and discover the diverse Annapurna region. Furthermore, Annapurna Circuit Trek also takes us to Manang, Jomsom and the Muktinath region which again gets us acquainted with the diverse Nepalese landscape and culture.
This is a long trek for travelers wishing to circle the Annapurna massif. However, for trekkers who prefer a shorter trek in the same route then Annapurna Circle trek – 14 days is ideal and we also have Annapurna base camp trek – 11 days for trekkers wishing to reach the base camp of Mt. Annapurna.
This classic trek-offers superb views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri and the constant contrasting landscapes of sub-tropical to alpine to an arid semi-desert similar to Tibet; at the climax of the trek there is a formidable 5416m pass, the Thorong La, to cross. As this is a lodge-based trek it provides opportunity to gain an insight into the local culture and interact with the local communities.
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu International Airport. More Than Mountain staffs meet and transfer to Hotel on bb basis.
Day 02: Full day sightseeing in Kathmandu, Valley.
Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Besisahar (823m.) takes about six hours. You drive along the Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway to Dumre and then follow the narrow and paved road by the Marshyangdi River to Beshisahar, the district headquarters of Lamjung district. All the local government offices are situated here. From here, you can see some of mountain peaks, natural sceneries surrounding the valley and the daily activities of local people. This headquarter is the centre from where the daily usable commodities are supplied to the different villages and numerous towns.
Day 04: Trek from Beshishahar to Bahundanda (1305m.) takes about six hours. The first part of the trail passes through flat level along the bank of the Marshyangdi river. You can enjoy the sceneries and the local culture of Gurung community. After lunch the trail goes steeply upwards to Bahundanda takes about 2 hours. At this point, you can see the area surrounded by eye-catching scenarios with snow -capped mountains.
Day 05: Trek from Bahundanda to Chamje (1410m.) takes about six hours. A steep trail descends for early half an hour and then follows flat path through rice terraces before crossing a stream at the bottom of a small waterfalls. It then climbs again and traverses the hillside high above the river before reaching the village of Lali Gaon. Ahead the Marshyangdi valley forms a steep V-shape and you follow the winding mountain path down through Syange (1100m.) where there is a beautiful waterfall above it and along the river for some distance. The trail then climbs steeply and the path is cut into the sheer cliff-face some 200-300m above the riverbed. Eventually you descend to the stone village of Jagat (1330m.) situated on a shelf juts into the precipitous Marshyangdi valley.
Day 06: Trek from Chamje (1410m.) to Dharapani (1960m.) takes about six hours. The first part of the trail descends to the river and after crossing a suspension bridge, you begin a climb to Sattale (1550m.) on a path so steep that it seems one slip would send you hurtling down into the valley. You continue on an undulating path above the river, and at one point, where a tributary flows in from the opposite bank, the main river becomes covered with huge boulders that hide the water. Climbing the zigzag path to the top of the hill, we see the level, plain of Tal (1700m.) before us. Though it is enclosed by cliffs, the level area looks reassuring after the harrowing mountain paths just traveled on. You descend to a grassy river bank leads to Tal with its hotels and teahouses. Here you can enjoy the exhilarating waterfalls .Beyond Tal, the valley narrows and the path becomes high and winding and in several areas hewn from the rock itself. Beyond the small village of Karte (1900m.), there is a bit more cliff-walking before the path drops again to the river. You cross a suspension bridge and climb the short distance to the stone Mani marking the entrance to Dharapani (1960m.).
Day 07: Trek from Dharapani to Chame (2675m.) takes about five and half hours. You climb through forests of pine and oak, you pass through Danaque (2210m.). There comes a small wooden bridge takes you to follow steep ascent path up to Timang. It lies at the bottom of Lamajung Himal. The trail goes through flat level until you reach Chame where there are government offices, shops and hotels. Chame is the administrative headquarters for the Manang district.
Day 08:Trek from Chame to Pisang (3100m.) takes about five hours. With Lamjung Himal (6893m) sparkling in the morning sun, you set off for Pisang. You continue through a fir and pine forest, climbing to a high, rocky area as the opposite bank becomes an impassable cliff. From this point the valley becomes extremely steep-sided as you follow the path to Bhratang (2950m.). You now walk through a pine forest and as the forest ends, the valley changes from a V-shape to a gentle U-shape, opening up a wonderful vista before us. You can see the east peak of Annapurna II as well as Pisang Peak (6091m.) to the north-east. Continuing on, you come to a long Mani wall by a bridge and the lower village of Pisang.
Day 09: Trek from Pisang to Manang (3440m.) takes about five and half hours. Beyond Pisang, the trail climbs a steep ridge that affords good views of the Manang valley and Tilicho peak (7145m.). Descending past Manang’s airstrip at Hungde (3320m.), you come to a level area from where the north-east face of Annapurna III rises majestically above you. From the wide plains of the Sabje Khola Valley, Annapurna IV (7525m.) also becomes visible. Just beyond this point you cross the considerably reduced flow of the Marshyangdi Khola via a wooden bridge to the tiny village of Mungji. After a short steep climb you reach Manang is a surprisingly large village for this remote mountain region.
Day 10: Rest day at Manang and hang in and around town. This is an important rest and acclimatization day today before crossing the Thorung La. There are optional day walks such as crossing the river to see the tremendous icefall coming down from the Annapurnas, or climbing high above the village for a full panorama of the Annapurna range and the Manang Valley. You can visit Ganagapurna Glacier Lake to make your rest day a memorable one.
Day 11: Trek from Manang to Yak Kharka (4350m.) and it takes about three and half hours. Now the trail ascends gently all the way to Yak Kharka passing through the Gunsang (3960m.) village. En route, you can see panoramic views all the day.
Day 12: Trek from Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi (4420m.) takes about 3 and half hours. Leaving Yak Kharka, you climb gradually to a ridge before descending to the headwaters of the Marshyangdi and crossing via a covered wooden bridge. After a short ascent up the mountain path on the right bank, you follow a narrow trail across an unstable spree slope and then descend to Thorung Phedi.
Day 13: Trek from Thorong Phedi to Muktinath (3850m.) via Thorong La (5416m.) Pass and it takes about seven hours. You start early today for your crossing of Thorung La [5416m]. The views are dramatic to say the least, from the snow-covered mountains above, to the head of the Kali Gandaki valley below and the brown and purple hills of Mustang are spread out before us. Eventually the moraines give way to grassy slopes before a pleasant walk along the Jhong Khola Valley to Muktinath and its shrines and temple.
Day 14: Trek Muktinath to Marpha (2667m.)
takes about approximately six hours. You now begin the descent down the dramatic Kali Gandaki Gorge, initially through arid country in the same geographical and climatic zone as Tibet. After passing through Jharkot and Khingar villages with typical Tibetan architecture, you follow the valley floor most of the way to Jomsom is sprawled along both banks of the Kali Gandaki .From here there are fine views of the Nilgiri peaks. You continue walk down to Marpha, a delightful Thakali village, complete with a drainage system beneath the flagstone streets. Its narrow alleys and passageways provide welcome shelter from the strong winds of the Kali Gandaki Gorge.
Day 15: Trek from Marpha to Ghasa (2013m.) takes about six hours. Your trail descends steeply through forests to Ghasa, the last Thakali village and the southern-most limit of Tibetan Buddhism. The beginning part of the trail is stretched at almost flat level up to Kalopani and then your trail begins descending steeply to Ghasa. The first part of the trek passes through the windy area covered with pine forests, rhododendron forests and birches .The surrounding area of Ghasa is famous destination for bird watching and wild Marijuana. Here you are quite amazed at the panoramic view of Mount Nilgiri North (7061m.), Nilgiri Central (6940m.), and Nilgiri South (6839m.), Annapurna I (8091m.), Dhaulagiri I (8167m.) and Tukuche peak (6920m.)
Day 16: Trek from Ghasa to Tatopani (1189 m.)
takes about five hours. The trail descends steeply up to Rukse Chhahara (Rukse Waterfalls. The deepest gorge of the world is situated between two mountains Annapurna I (8091m.) and Dhaulagiri I (8167m.) facing each other near Rukse Waterfalls. Now, the trail ascends slightly to Tatopani through different human settlements. You can enjoy the hot spring at Tatopani as the word Tatopani is termed after the natural hot spring situated at the bank of the Kali Gandaki River. It is popularly believed that taking bath in Hot Spring helps you to get rid of skin diseases. Along this, it gives you physical and mental refreshment as well.
Day 17: Trek from Tatopani to Ghorepani (2853 m.) for about seven hours. Your trail passes through flat level of the land at some distance. Then the trail begins ascending steeply for at least one hour. Now path goes up through different villages inhabited by the people of different caste and agricultural land. The majority of the people here serve Gorkha Regiment and Indian Regiment as well. While trekking you cross through the Kali Gandaki river with panormic view of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges.
Day 18: Trek from Ghorepani to Poon Hill (3180m.) to Tadapani (2675m.) Takes about five and half hours. Early morning trip to Poon Hill (3232m.) to enjoy the sunrise view over Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m.), Tukuche Peak (6920m.), Nilgiri (6940m.), Varaha Shikhar (7847m.), Mt. Annapurna I (8091m.), Annapurna South (7219m.), Annapurna III (7855m.), Machhapuchhre (6993m.), Annapurna IV (7525m.), Annapurna II (7937m.), Lamjung Himal (6931m.) and other numerous snow-capped mountain peaks. After breakfast trek Ghorepani to Tadapani (2650 m.) through the deep forests of rhododendrons, bamboos and oaks. En route, you frequently see waterfalls, rocks, wild animals, local birds and green scenarios. Tadapani is a small village surrounded by beautiful forests grants you a magnificent view of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Fishtail and Annapurna II and so on.
Day 19: Trek from Tadapani (2675m.) to Ghandruk (1950m.)
takes about three hours. It is very easy trek by descending gently all the way through rhododendron, oak and other kinds of dense forests. You could hear different kinds of birds chirping on the way. This is one of the popular destinations for the birds’ lovers. Ghandruk is a big Gurung village. There is a handicraft centre and Gurung museum. From this village you could see good views of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna (7455m.), Annapurna III (7755m.) and Fishtail.
Day 20: Trek from Ghandruk to Nayapul via Birethanti takes about six hours. You begin your trail following gentle flat path passing through forests, rocks and terraces. After Kimche (1638m.) the trail descends through human settlements and terraces up to Seuli Bazaar. From here, the trail moves along the bank of Modi Khola to Birethanti. En- route, you pass through forests, rice terraces, waterfalls and green scenarios. Birethanti is a small town with few lodges, shops and human settlements. Now, you walk for almost twenty minutes through flat path up to Nayapul (New Bridge). Here you board vehicle to drive back to Pokhara takes approximately one and a half hour. Stay overnight at hotel in Pokhara.
Day 21: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu that takes about six hours. While driving from Pokhara to Kathmandu you head up to Damauli, Dumre, Muglin and Kurintar where Nepal’s first cable car is operated to reach to Manakamana Temple. Transfer to hotel on BB basis.
Day 22: Free day in Kathmandu.
Day 23: International departure…….
Included in the Cost
- Airport pickups and drops in a private vehicle
- 3-star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara with breakfast
- Teahouse accommodation during the trek
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
- All ground transportation on a comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary
- Welcome and farewell dinners
- Guided city tour in Kathmandu by private vehicle
- Entrance fees for sightseeing/monument visits as per the itinerary
- An experienced, English-speaking and government-licensed trek leader and assistant trek leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide)
- Porter service (2 trekkers: 1 porter)
- Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, food and accommodation
- Down jacket and sleeping bag (to be returned after trip completion)
- Himalayan Glacier’s trekking bag/duffel bag, t-shirt and trekking map are yours to take
- All necessary paperwork and trekking permits (ACAP, TIMS)
- Medical kit (carried by your trek leader)
- All government and local taxes
Not Included in the Cost
- Nepalese visa fee
- International airfare to and from Kathmandu
- Excess baggage charges
- Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara
- Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara in case of early arrival, late departure, and early return from the mountain(due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
- Travel and rescue insurance
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower, etc.)
- Tips for guide(s), porter(s) and driver(s)
The Trekking Group
For this trek, there will be one leader, 1 assistant leader (4 trekkers:1 assistant guide) and Sherpa porters for carrying luggage (2 trekkers:1 porter). This arrangement ensures that should anybody in the group is sick, the trip can still go ahead as planned. Our experience has led us to believe that a maximum of 12 people is an optimum number to fully enjoy a trip. However, if a traveler is interested in larger groups then that can be arranged too.
We will be accommodated in 3-star hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara; and teahouses during the trek. We will stay at Hotel in Kathmandu and hotel in Pokhara. All accommodations are on twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost an additional USD 370. MTM will arrange rooms with attached washrooms; however, teahouses in some places only have shared washing and toilet facilities. Also note that single rooms are readily available in Kathmandu, Pokhara and the trekking regions at lower elevation but it might be difficult to find them at higher elevations.
During our trek, we can enjoy authentic Nepalese food as well the more common international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.). Breakfast and dinner will be provided from the teahouse or from a lodge menu where we spend the night whereas lunch will be provided on the way to the next destination. All meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner, will be provided during trekking while only breakfast will be available in Kathmandu and Pokhara. There will also be welcome and farewell dinners.