Annapurna Circuit Trek

Annapurna Circuit Trek

18 Days From



Annapurna Circuit Trek

18 Days Starting and ending in Kathmandu

Visiting: Kathmandu, Bhulbhule, Jagat, Dharapani, Chame, Pisang, Manang, Yak Kharka, Thorong Phedi Base Camp Lodge, Muktinath, Kagbeni, Tatopani, Shikha, Ghode Pani, Hile, Pokhara

Tour operator:


Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 16

Physical rating:


Age range:


Special diets catered:

Meat, Vegans

Tour operated in:

From: $3150 $2383 Operator discount: -$700 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$67 -24%

NB: Prices correct on 24-Jun-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

One of Nepal's classic treks, this route makes a full circuit of the Annapurna range over twelve days. Trek through rhododendron forests, mountain foothills, across barren, rocky landscapes and snow-covered passes, staying in cosy family-run tea house lodges along the way.

Thorong La - Cross this challenging high pass, 5416m, offering stunning views across the Himalaya
Poon Hill - Climb to the top of Poon Hill and enjoy sunrise views across to the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri
Pokhara - Take a well-earned rest by the lakeside and enjoy a cake at one of the towns many bakeries


  • 11-day trek following the classic Annapurna Circuit

  • Enjoy spectacular views from the Thorong La Pass

  • Great value with all meals on trek included


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Day 1: Join Trip In Kathmandu

Location: Kathmandu

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Mila Hotel

The trip starts today in Kathmandu, the busy, colourful and chaotic capital city of Nepal.

Your Leader plans to meet everyone in the hotel reception for a welcome meeting at 5 pm. For those that wish, there is the chance to go out together as a group for dinner afterwards. There are no other activities planned for today. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your leader will leave any essential information and details of the best time to catch up with them, at the hotel reception.

If you would like to receive an airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM). You should allow at least 45 minutes to reach our hotel in central Kathmandu as traffic congestion in city can be bad.

Depending on the arrival time of your flight, should you wish to explore, our hotel is located a short walk from the lively Thamel area. Home to a multitude of outdoor gear, souvenir shops, great bookshops and a huge variety of restaurants, it's a fun place to wander.

Day 2: Trek Briefing Followed By A Walking Tour Of Old Kathmandu

Location: Kathmandu

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Mila Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast we will have a full briefing on the trekking days ahead, followed by a chance to visit a local hire shop to pick up any last minute equipment still needed. Following this, we then have a walking tour of the city, visiting the bazaars and the temples of old Kathmandu in the company of a local Nepalese guide. Nepal's bustling capital is a captivating mix of spice sellers and potters, rickshaws and sacred cows, all crowded together amidst a city of vibrant noise and colour. Our sightseeing takes in the sumptuous majesty of Durbar Square and its collection of ornate palaces, courtyards and temples, as well as the Asan Bazaar and the Kumari Ghar, home to the living goddess of the Kumari Devi.

Day 3: Drive To Bandipur And Explore The Town And Its Bazaar

Location: Bhulbhule

Accommodation: Teahouse

Accommodation Name: Bandipur Mountain Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Leaving the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu far behind we drive west, towards the beautiful mountain landscapes of Central Nepal, home to the towering peaks of the Annapurnas, Dhaulagiri and the iconic Machhapuchhre (the famous 'Fish Tail' mountain). Stopping for lunch along the way, we should arrive in the hilltop town of Bandipur by mid-afternoon. After a short orientation of the town and the bazaar, your time is left free to explore this traditional Nepali town. Bandipur is a small, quiet town that doesn't attract as many tourists as nearby Pokhara. There are several small temples to visit and stunning views of the Himalaya.

Day 4: Drive From Bandipur To Besisahar Then On To Dharapani (1860M) By Local Jeeps

Location: Jagat

Accommodation: Teahouse

Accommodation Name: Dharapani Tea House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Departing from Bandipur, the road descends down to the Prithivi highway, following the course of the Marsyangdi River before winding up through forest past a number of small villages to Besisahar. Swapping our bus for local jeeps, we continue the journey to the starting point of our trek at Dharapani (1860 metre / 6101 feet). All in all we expect this journey to take around six to seven hours.

Day 5: Hike From Dharapani To Chame (2670M) With Views Of Annapurna Ii And Iv

Location: Dharapani

Accommodation: Teahouse

Accommodation Name: Chame Tea House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

A rocky trail takes us west, following the Marsyangdi up the Manang Valley, where we enjoy some stunning views out towards Annapurna II (7937 metre / 26033 feet) and Annapurna IV. These remote highlands are home to the Manangi people, itinerant traders who have traded salt and yaks across these mountains for centuries. Following in the footsteps of these mountain merchants of old, we head up through forests of oak and maple to Dhanakyu (2290 metre / 7511 feet) and then on to the village of Latemarang (2360 metre / 7741 feet). Our route then winds it way across several forested ridges to Kotho (2590 metre / 8495 feet), from where we have a short easy walk down to Chame (2670 metre / 8758 feet), the region's administrative headquarters, where the distant views of Lamjung, Annapurna II and Annapurna IV provide a stunning backdrop to our day's end.

Today's 17 kilometre / 10.5 miles walk is expected to take around seven hours with a total ascent of 1065 metres / 3493 feet and a descent of 390 metres / 1279 feet.

Day 6: Ascend From Chame To Pisang (3190M) Through Dense Forests

Location: Chame

Accommodation: Teahouse

Accommodation Name: Pisang Tea House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Departing Chame, we cross over to the northern side of the river and follow a relatively easy trail up through apple orchards to the village of Bhratang (2840 metres / 9315 feet), an old Khampa settlement that is largely abandoned these days. From here we then start along a trail that provides us with some of the most dramatic scenery of the journey so far. Blasted through the surrounding rock, the trail leads through a steep, narrow valley, blanketed in dense forest. As we exit the forest and cross the river over a suspension bridge , we are treated to our first view of the spectacular Paungda Danda, a 1500 metre / 4920 feet wall of rock that rises up from the river below. After crossing a ridge that lies festooned with prayer flags and stone cairns, we then reach the large village of Pisang (3300 metre / 10824 feet ). The village is split into lower and upper Pisang and from the gompa at the top of the town there are some lovely views out across the meandering streets and rambling houses of the lower town.

Today's 14 kilometre / 8.7 miles walk is expected to take around six hours with a total ascent of 640 metres / 2099 feet and a descent of 25 metres / 82 feet.

Day 7: Trek From Pisang To Manang (3540M) Via Ngawal

Location: Pisang

Accommodation: Teahouse

Accommodation Name: Manang Tea House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Continuing along the south side of the river today we make a long climb up and over a ridge that takes us past 3400 metres / 11152 feet. From here we enjoy some truly spectacular views of the surrounding peaks, before we descend into the valley and on to Hongde (3325 metre / 10906 feet), a village that has the distinction of an airstrip, a police post and a truly impressive mani wall. Continuing on to Mungli, we then cross back to the north bank of the river and continue to the Tibetan-style village of Bryaga (3475 metre / 11398 feet), where we find an engaging collection of interestingly stacked houses and the largest gompa in the district. The houses lie one on top of the other, the terraces of the upper houses forming the roofs of the ones below, whilst the monastery contains a wonderful collection of Tibetan Thankas that date back some 500 years. From here it is just a short walk on to the large community at Manang (3540 metre / 11611 feet), our final destination for the day, where we find a settlement of some 500 houses, a chorten and a long mani wall etched with the Buddhist chant of 'Om Mani Padme Hum'.

Today's 15 kilometre / 9.3 miles walk is expected to take around seven hours with a total ascent of 450 metres / 1476 feet and a descent of 150 metre / 500 feet.

Day 8: Acclimatisation Day In And Around Manang

Location: Manang

Accommodation: Teahouse

Accommodation Name: Manang Tea House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today has been left free to get a little more used to the conditions at these higher altitudes before we make the crossing of the Thorong La. You can spend the day exploring the area around the village, taking some shorter hikes into the mountains to enjoy the views of the Chulu ranges and Thorong La in the distance. It is important to get some rest today too though, so remember to conserve some energy for the days still to come.

An optional four kilometre / 2.5 miles walk is expected to take around one and a half hours with a total ascent of 200 metres / 650 feet and a descent of 200 metres / 650.

Day 9: Steady Ascent From Manang To Yak Kharka (4018M)

Location: Manang

Accommodation: Teahouse

Accommodation Name: Yak Kharka Tea House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Taking it steady today we trek to Tengi (3620 metre / 11880 feet) and begin a slow climb towards Gunsang (3930 metre / 12900 feet ), enjoying the alpine landscapes and abundance of scrub juniper and alpine grasses that grow on these high slopes. The ever expansive views present us with a magnificent panorama that takes in the peaks of Gangapurna (7454 metre / 24500 feet) and Annapurna III (7555 metre / 24800 feet), as we make our way on to our overnight stop in Yak Kharka (4018 metre / 13200 feet).

Today's 10 kilometre / 6.2 miles walk is expected to take around four hours with a total ascent of 510 metres / 1700 feet and a descent of 15 metres / 50 feet.

Day 10: Hike From Yak Kharka To Thorong Phedi (4450M), Last Stop Before The Thorung La High Pass

Location: Yak Kharka

Accommodation: Teahouse

Accommodation Name: Thorong Phedi Tea House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Our first port of call today is the small settlement of Letdar (4250 metre / 14000 feet), which we reach after an hour's steady climb out of Yak Kharka. From here we continue to climb along the eastern bank of the Jarsang Khola, making our way up to Thorong Phedi (4450 metre / 14600 feet ). Translating as 'foot of the hill', this is the starting point for tomorrow's long trek up to Thorong La Pass.

Today's seven kilometre / 4.34 miles walk is expected to take around four hours with a total ascent of 470 metres / 1600 feet and a descent of 70 metres / 250 feet.

Day 11: Cross The Thorong La (5416M); Descend To Muktinath (3800M) With Great Dhaulagiri Views

Location: Thorong Phedi Base Camp Lodge

Accommodation: Teahouse

Accommodation Name: Mukinath Tea House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We make an early start this morning and begin the long climb to the 5416 metre / 17800 feet Thorong La, an ascent that should take us some 4 hours (depending upon the fitness of the group and weather conditions). The trail up to the pass follows a route that has been used by local herders for centuries, crossing through moraine and snow and snaking its way steeply up over the rocky ridges. As we approach the pass we are greeted by the sight of a traditional chorten and fluttering prayer flags and as we crest the summit the views before us are simply staggering. A panorama of Himalayan giants lies before us, with the immense Kali Gandaki Valley lying off to the west and the towering peak of Yakgawa Kang (6481 metre / 21300 feet ) to the north. After stopping to rest and enjoy the stunning vistas, we then begin the long trek down to Muktinath, a 1600 metre / 5300 feet scent that affords us some glorious views of Dhaulagiri (8167 metre / 26800 feet) and Tukuche Peak (6920 metre / 22700 feet ). The moraine trail eventually gives way to grassy slopes, with the final part of our journey taking us along the upper reaches of the Jhong Valley to Muktinath and Ranipauwa, where we end our crossing of the Thorong La.

Today's 15 kilometre / 9.5 walk is expected to take around eight to 10 hours with a total ascent of 976 metres / 3200 feet and a descent of 1666 metres / 5500 feet.

Day 12: Visit The Famous Pilgrimage Site At Muktinath; Drive To Tatopani (1190M) Via Kagbeni And Marpha

Location: Muktinath

Accommodation: Teahouse

Accommodation Name: Tatopani Tea House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we visit Muktinath's famous temples, one an important pilgrimage site for Hindus, the other for Buddhists. After visiting the temples we begin our long descent by local jeeps (around 7 hours drive) to Tatopani (1190 metre / 3900 feet). This journey used to be part of all Annapurna Circuit treks, but with the well-used road now reaching Jomsom, the attraction of hiking this section has waned. We'll break our journey at Kagbeni, an interesting village that's the gateway to the region of Mustang, and the Thakali village of Marpha, famous for its apples and brandy. The name Tatopani means hot water and this village is lucky enough to have two hot springs. We can take a well-earned dip in the springs before the final stages of our trek.

Today's eight kilometre / 5 miles walk is expected to take around four hours with a total descent of 960 metres / 3200 feet.

Day 13: Hike From Tatopani To Shikha (1935M)

Location: Kagbeni

Accommodation: Teahouse

Accommodation Name: Sikha Tea House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today's trekking is mainly uphill as we reach Durbin Danda then cross the suspension bridge over the Thak Khola then climb steeply up through the forest to the Durbin Danda Pass. The trail then becomes a more gradual climb uphill to the village of Ghara and then on up to Shikha with good views of Kaligandaki Valley and Dhaulagiri Peak (8167 metre / 26800 feet).

Today's nine kilometre / 6 miles walk is expected to take around five hours with a total ascent of 765 metres / 2500 feet and a descent of 20 metres / 70 feet.

Day 14: Trek Through Rhododenron Forest To Ghorepani (2860M)

Location: Tatopani

Accommodation: Teahouse

Accommodation Name: Ghorepani Tea House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today's trek sets off gradually uphill to Chitre, continuing to the entrance gate of Ghorepani. Along the way you will be captivated by beautiful views of the farm houses scattered across the other side of the valley. From here the trail makes a steep ascent through the rhododendron and magnolia forests to Ghorepani.

Today's eight kilometre / 5 miles walk is expected to take around four hours with a total ascent of 950 metres / 3200 feet and a descent of 15 metres / 50 feet.

Day 15: Ascend Poon Hill For Annapurna Views At Sunrise; Trek To Hille (1430M)

Location: Shikha

Accommodation: Teahouse

Accommodation Name: Hile Tea House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After an early rise this morning we leave our teahouse and make the ascent of Poon Hill in time to catch the sunrise. From the top we should be able to enjoy panoramic views of the whole of the Annapurna Range and, if the weather permits, watch the sun rise over the peaks of Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Machhapuchhare and Dhaulagiri amongst others. The Poon Hill hike is a two-hour return trip and we return to the teahouse in Ghorepani for a well-earned breakfast. Our trek then continues to Banthanti before descending a long stone staircase to Ulleri from where we hike to Ramghai/Hile.

Today's 18 kilometre / 11 miles walk is expected to take around seven hours with a total ascent of 370 metres / 1220 feet and a descent of 1760 metres / 5800 feet.

Day 16: Final Morning Trek Along Burumdi River To Nayapul; Drive To Pokhara For Post Trek Relaxation

Location: Ghode Pani

Accommodation: Teahouse

Accommodation Name: Hotel Aabas Pokhara

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We have a short walk this morning to the small village of Nayapul where we say goodbye to our trekking crew and drive to Pokhara. Pokhara is Nepal's second largest town and is far more relaxed than Kathmandu. Its beautiful lakeside setting beneath the imposing shadow of the stunning Annapurna Range, make it the perfect ending point for our trek. There should be time to enjoy some of the town's many attractions today, with options to visit the thriving Tibetan village of Tashiling, or perhaps take a boat trip out onto the lake to visit the small temple of Barahi Mandir.

Today's four kilometre / 2.5 miles walk is expected to take around two hours with a total ascent of 90 metres / 300 feet and a descent of 525 metres / 1730 feet.

Day 17: Drive To Kathmandu

Location: Hile

Accommodation: Teahouse

Accommodation Name: Mila Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

Leaving Pokhara this morning we drive back to the capital Kathmandu. The drive takes us along the scenic Prithvi Highway, but d ue to ongoing roadworks this journey is taking longer than usual, possibly up to eight hours.


Day 18: Trip Ends In Kathmandu

Location: Pokhara

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Kathmandu.

There are no activities planned for today, so you are free to depart at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive an airport transfer today, you'll need to depart from Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM).

What's Included

  • Accommodation

  • Fully Guided

  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

  • Meals – Full Board

    Breakfast: 19

    Lunch: 16

    Dinner: 15

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • 1 bottle of Mineral Water per person per day

  • Country Entry Visas


Breakfasts: 17
Lunches: 13
Dinners: 14


Check out our Q&As

  • Will there be an escort accompanying this tour?


  • Will I know the names and details of all the accommodation before I depart?


  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?


  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Transfers are included on the first and the last day of the trip

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?


  • What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?

    4 nights comfortable hotel

    15 nights simple teahouse

  • What is the fitness level required to do this tour?


  • What is the maximum group size?


  • Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?


  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?


  • I'm going on a walking/cycling trip-do I need to train?

    It will depend on the grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking or cycling grade and how far you’ll be walking/cycling each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks or cycles before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered.

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.

  • Should I get travel insurance?

    Yes–it is a condition of booking that you are fully insured when travelling with us

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 500 trips to more than 120 countries.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    Yes, but there are no concessions for doing so, and we must have a record in your booking advising as such before the trip departs.

  • Am I contributing to any charity by booking the tour?

    Being a responsible company is a large statement, something that has to be entwined within the very fibre of a company. Discover the charities and partnerships we support as part of this at

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    We want to be as clear as and as honest as possible about what happens if you decide to that you no longer wish to travel on your trip. Our booking conditions have details of the costs you’ll incur when you cancel-these charges depend on how long it is before your planned departure.

  • What is the accommodation like?

    We choose comfortable accommodation in the best locations possible. We opt for small, local and family-run accommodation where we can, as opposed to large chain hotels. We typically use hotels that are the equivalent of European 3-star, and you’ll usually have an en suite room. Occasionally, where we want to get off the beaten trail we may stay in more basic accommodation.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Our flexible booking and safety policies mean you're protected before and during your travels with us. Receive a full refund if your trip is cancelled, transfer your trip free of charge up to 10 days before departure minus any irrocoverable costs.

  • Do I need to be very fit to book with you?

    All our trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip.

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Final documents will include a comprehensive trip itinerary, climate and country information, budgeting and packing advice visa and passport information and details on optional activities available.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes on most of our trips. Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book a group trip as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room, known as our single room option. On some trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided o

  • Do we have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel

    It’s now a condition of booking a trip with us that customers should have one of the following before they travel - — Be vaccinated against COVID, having received the full recommended course, and allowing enough time for immunity to take effect. Full vaccination includes any booster required to keep the vaccine valid. — Have taken a negative test (rapid antigen or PCR) within 72hrs of departure.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines. We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.

Reviews from travellers on this tour


Annapurna Circuit

Just like to say I enjoyed the trip very much. It

Just like to say I enjoyed the trip very much. It was very well organized with a great group leader which made it even better. It was a big thing for me as I am not a very well travelled person so I'm very grateful for the whole experience.


Annapurna Circuit

Veryod trip. Will travel with Explore again.

Veryod trip. Will travel with Explore again.


Annapurna Circuit

Over all this was a wonderful trip.

Over all this was a wonderful trip.

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