In Kathmandu, Besisahar, and Pokhara, choose between 3-Star or 5-Star hotels. While hiking the Annapurna Circuit, everyone stays in tea houses, which are comparable to many other mountain lodges/huts in other parts of the world.
MAX. GROUP SIZE
(Private groups: 20 people)
Activities: multi-day hiking on the Annapurna Circuit.
Elevation: Start: 2,493 feet / 760 meters; End: 17,768 feet / 5,415 meters
Daily trekking distance: ~4 to 12.4 miles / ~ 6.4 to 20 kilometers per day
Total trekking distance: ~79 miles / 127 kilometers
Please Note – the Trip Activity Level Guide is for guidance only and provides a general sense of what you should expect on our trips. Actual times, distances, and elevation can be outside the ranges outlined below.
Trips designated “Easy” are perfect for first-timers, or travelers looking for a mild physical challenge. Hikes, treks, and horseback rides are short and terrain is typically flat, at an elevation not exceeding 5,000 feet. On paddling trips, river currents move swiftly, thus minimal paddling is required.
“Moderate” trips are more active and require a bit more endurance. Hikes, treks, and horseback rides includes occasional steep ascents. Elevation can occassionaly reach up to 15,000 feet. River currents are moderate and some stretches include Class 1-2 rapids.
Trips marked “Advanced” require strong physical stamina, as we’re often active for 8+ hours per day. Hikes, treks, and horseback rides include traversing more rugged and mountainous terrain, at elevations that can reach up to 15,000 feet. Rivers currents are moderate to swift and often include paddling white water through Class 1-3 rapids.
TEP’s most physically demanding trips fall into the “Explorer” category. Expect 8+ hours of activity per day. These trips are demanding, yet attainable for those seeking the challenge. Hike, trek, and horseback ride on rugged and mountainous terrain with frequent steep ascents. Elevation may exceed 15,000 feet. Rivers currents are moderate to swift and often include navigating white water through Class 1-3 rapids.
More Questions? Speak to one of our Adventure Consultants at 855-208-6800 to determine if this is the right trip for you OR Read more about the Trip Activity Level Guide
SAMPLE TRIP ITINERARY
18 Day / 17 Night Trip Daily Overview
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu, Nepal
Namaste, and welcome to Nepal! Upon arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to your hotel. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner where you will meet your guide and perhaps a few fellow travelers.
Day 2: Drive to Besisahar
Start your first full day in Nepal with a long, winding drive. As you leave Kathmandu, the route curves through the hills, following rivers and climbing higher and higher through rural Nepal until you reach Besisahar, the gateway to the Annapurna Circuit.
Day 3: Drive to Manang
Buckle up – today you will board a 4-wheel drive vehicle and travel the bumpy road to Manang on a nine hour tour through mountain villages, taking in stunning views of waterfalls and jagged, snowy peaks. Stop at the large village of Chame to explore the shops and teahouses before continuing up to the plateau, where you will stay at your first guest house.
Day 4: Day in Manang; Optional Hike to Gangapurna Glacier Lake
Spend today in Manag getting accustomed to the high elevation. Wander the streets of historic Manang or opt for a practice hike to view Gangapurna Glacier Lake or the surrounding monasteries.
Day 5: Acclimatization Hike to Ice Lake
After breakfast, begin your acclimatization hike to the Ice Lake (Kicho Tal). Due to its high elevation in the Manang valley, it is often frozen, hence its name.
Day-hike distance: approximately 9 miles/14.4 kilometers (7-10 hours).
Day 6: Start the Annapurna Circuit; Trek to Tilicho Base Camp
Today you officially embark on the Annapurna Circuit. Begin by walking through Manang’s western gates, then down to the river, through coniferous forests, past villages and a monastery, until Tilicho Peak comes into view.
Daily trekking distance: approximately 12.4 miles/20 kilometers (7-8 hours).
Day 7: Trek to Tilicho Lake
Tackle the initially steep climb to Tilicho Lake in the early morning, accompanied by yaks and deer that graze along the path. Your destination is Tilicho Lake, where it is said the events of the Hindu sacred text the Ramayana were originally told. After spending time at the lake you will return to Tilicho Base Camp.
Daily trekking distance: approximately 6 miles/9.7 kilometers (5-6 hours).
Day 8: Trek to Leder
Today your trek will take you past the villages of Sri Kharka Village and Tenki, through pastures and juniper forests, and to Gunsan, a village of flat, mud roofed houses, until you at last reach the open meadow of Leder.
Day-hike distance: approximately 11.5 miles/18.5 kilometers (5-6 hours).
Day 9: Trek to Thorong Phedi
Your goal today is Thorong Phedi, the village at the foot of Thorong La pass. The terrain on this part of the trek is rugged and otherworldly – much different from the lush forests at the start of the trek. Here you’ll find the best views of Mt Gundang, Mt Syagang, Thorong Peak, and Mt Khatungkan.
Daily trekking distance: approximately 4 miles/6.4 kilometers (3-4 hours).
Day 10: Trek through Thorong La Pass to Muktinath
Today you’ll face the most challenging day of the trek as you hike Thorong La Pass, one of the highest passes in the world. Your reward? Breathtaking views of the Himalayas in the morning light. Afterward, descend to Muktinath to visit the temples there.
Daily trekking distance: approximately 10 miles/16.4 kilometers (5-6 hours).
Day 11: Muktinath Temple and Tatopani
Start the day at Muktinath temple, a holy temple for Buddhists and Hindus, followed by a four hour drive to Tatopani, where you can rest your feet in the lodge and soak in the waters of the natural hot springs.
Day 12: Trek to Ghorepani
After yesterday’s rest, it’s time to lace up your boots again and continue the circuit. As you ascend to Ghar Khola valley you’ll pass through terraced farmland, the ethnic Thakali villages of Sikha and Chitre Ghorepani, and lush forests of birch and magnolia trees. If you’re lucky, the magnificent rhododendrons will be in bloom. Spend the night in the village of Ghorepani, located at the top of the ridge.
Daily trekking distance: approximately 10 miles/16 kilometers (5-6 hours).
Day 13: Trek to Poon Hill and Tadapani
Before dawn, climb the steep trail to Poon Hill to catch the sunrise over the Himalayas and see for yourself why this viewpoint is the most popular destination of the Annapurna region. Return to Ghorepani for breakfast, then head east, climbing a ridge then descending through rhododendron forests and passing waterfalls. Spend the night at Tadapani.
Daily trekking distance: approximately 6.9 miles/11.2 kilometers (5-6 hours).
Day 14: Trek to Ghandruk
This is your last day trekking the Annapurna Circuit. Today the trail descends through a dark and dense rhododendron forest; by afternoon, you’ll be greeted by cherry blossoms on the opposite slopes of the ravine. In the stone-house village of Ghandruk you’ll enjoy close-up views of the impressive Fishtail, Annapurna South, and Hiunchuli mountains.
Daily trekking distance: approximately 6 miles/9.7 kilometers (6-7 hours).
Day 15: Drive to Pokhara
It’s a four hour drive today from Ghandruk to the lakeside village of Pokhara, where you can enjoy a hard-earned rest and reflect on your remarkable journey.
Day 16: Return to Kathmandu, Nepal
Say goodbye to the beautiful lake city of Pokhara and start the eight hour drive to Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu the rest of your day is free.
For dinner you could seek out an authentic thali. With variations common to much of South Asia, it is a warm curry dish of rice, lentils, meat, and vegetables. You’ve certainly earned a hearty meal after so many days of trekking!
Day 17: Explore Kathmandu
Today is our final full day together. In the morning you’ll take a guided tour of Pashupatinath and Boudhanath stupa. Afterward you might consider seeing some live music in Lazimpat, or visiting the Newa Chen house in northern Lalitpur to experience a 350 year-old Newari home, restored to its original beauty. We can also provide additional recommendations for destinations and activities.
Day 18: Final Day in Nepal
Congratulations on an awe-inspiring journey! It’s time to say farewell to Nepal and its amazing people, mountains, and nature. On your way home you will have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in this wonderful country. Until next time!
Please contact us for a complete detailed itinerary.
Accommodations in Nepal
Before and after your Annapurna Circuit trek you can enjoy a comfortable stay at Hotel Marshyangdi. Alternatively, a 5 Star hotel option can be reserved instead – contact us for more details. During the trekking portion of the trip you will stay overnight at tea houses along the route. Learn more about these trip accommodations below:
Hotel Marshyangdi | Kathmandu, Nepal
Located in the attractive Thamel District and close to many city attractions, Hotel Marshyangdi is owned and operated by a family from Manang. Manang is a mountainous region of Nepal, and Marshyangdi means ‘raging river’ in the local Manangi dialect.
All rooms are air conditioned with en-suite bathrooms and internet available. The property also features a relaxing courtyard restaurant, a bar, and a café. Finally, breakfasts at the hotel are included during your stay.
Gateway Himalaya Resort | Besisahar, Nepal
Gateway Himalaya Resort in Ghanpokhara features 4-star accommodation with a terrace, garden, and a bar. Each room offers air conditioning, free WiFi, and a private bathroom.
Hotel Barahi | Pokhara, Nepal
Named for the island temple of Barahi the hotel offers fine Nepali hospitality and luxury. Four room types (Deluxe, Super Deluxe, Executive Deluxe, and Suites), each include a buffet breakfast, air conditioning, wifi, and some offer a private balcony with mountain or city views. Visit the onsite dining room, courtyard cafe, or bar for local and international cuisine. After your long trek, relax in the outdoor pool or spa.
Accommodations on the Annapurna Circuit: Tea Houses
During the trekking portion of the adventure, the accommodations will be in tea houses that offer dormitory-style rooms with single and double bunk beds, comparable to many other mountain lodges/huts in other parts of the world.
The tea houses are typically equipped with running cold water and shared bathrooms in a separate section. At most of them, there are propane-fueled hot showers available to use for a small fee (typically $5-10 USD equivalent). It is usually possible to charge personal electronic devices in the common/dining areas, however they also charge a small fee for this (typically $5-10 USD equivalent).
Personal Attention Before Your Annapurna Circuit Trek
There is no other operator in the travel industry that will provide the same level of personal attention before your adventure in Nepal. We get very involved with our travelers before each trip, by offering a series of pre-planning calls in the months and weeks before departure. This provides you with an opportunity to hear directly from us on preparation, trip experience, as well as training. It also gives you the platform to ask questions about any aspect of the trip.
Our knowledgeable support staff take care of the details of your in-country transportation, lodging, meals, cultural tours, and activities. We’ve even scheduled in a bit of free time for you to explore, relax, shop, or eat on your own. When you travel with The Explorer’s Passage, we ensure that every detail is handled.
Sustainability and Responsible Travel
The Explorer’s Passage is a proud member of Sustainable Travel International, a partner/supporter of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, as well as a supporter of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). In addition to ‘Leave No Trace’ principles, the concepts of sustainability and responsible trekking are at the forefront of our Himalayan journeys. As part of this commitment, we: minimize single-use plastic; intentionally stay at smaller tea houses/lodges along the trekking route (they are generally more sustainability-oriented and less wasteful); minimize disruptions to wildlife and local Nepalese communities (this includes noise moderation near homesteads and villages); do not allow collecting of plants, rocks, or other items from the trail; and we only use authorized paths to prevent erosion and damage/disrespect to local sites.