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Best of the Annapurna Circuit Trek

The challenge of the Thorung La - Rewarding Himalayan Journey - The Upper Kali Gandaki Valley - Sacred Muktinath

All meals on trek included

Duration

13 Days

Grade

Challenging

Max Altitude

5416m

Walking Days

9 Days

Accommodation

2 Nts Hotels - 10 Nts Trekking Lodges

Trip Overview

This short Annapurna Circuit Trek is an abridged version of the classic Full Annapurna Circuit Trek but still with the high altitude crossing of the Thorung La.

This remains a challenging and worthwhile trek. Commencing in the lower reaches of the Marsyangdi Valley the trek heads deeper and higher into the valley and the transition from Hindu to Buddhist villages is noticeable. Not to mention the views of the peaks that form the Annapurna Massif. After crossing the Thorung La it's a descent into the very different, arid landscape of the upper Kali Gandaki Valley floor, stopping off at sacred Muktinath en route. After the spectacular flight out of the Himalayas there's time for an afternoon of 'r&r' in lakeside Pokhara before returning to Kathmandu. Don't forget our trekking holidays are tailor-made and whilst this itinerary includes acclimatisation, you can always have more rest, acclimatisation and even contingency days added. The itinerary is merely a suggested itinerary and is  not entirely  'set in stone'. Sleeping bags (4 season) will be required for nights spent in trekking lodges. We can arrange sleeping bag  rental if required. 

You can extend this trek by combining it with our Tilicho Lake Trek.

This short Annapurna Circuit Trek is an abridged version of the classic Full Annapurna Circuit Trek but still with the high altitude crossing of the Thorung La.

  • This remains a challenging and worthwhile trek. Commencing in the lower reaches of the Marsyangdi Valley the trek heads deeper and higher into the valley and the transition from Hindu to Buddhist villages is noticeable. Not to mention the views of the peaks that form the Annapurna Massif. After crossing the Thorung La it's a descent into the very different, arid landscape of the upper Kali Gandaki Valley floor, stopping off at sacred Muktinath en route. After the spectacular flight out of the Himalayas there's time for an afternoon of 'r&r' in lakeside Pokhara before returning to Kathmandu. Don't forget our trekking holidays are tailor-made and whilst this itinerary includes acclimatisation, you can always have more rest, acclimatisation and even contingency days added. The itinerary is merely a suggested itinerary and is  not entirely  'set in stone'. Sleeping bags (4 season) will be required for nights spent in trekking lodges. We can arrange sleeping bag  rental if required. 

    You can extend this trek by combining it with our Tilicho Lake Trek.

Example Itinerary

    • Day 1
      Arrive Kathmandu
    • Day 2
      Drive to Dharapani
    • Day 3
      Trek to Chame
    • Day 4
      To Upper Pisang
    • Day 5
      Trek to Ngawal
    • Day 6
      To Manang
    • Day 7
      Acclimatisation Day in Manang
    • Day 8
      Trek to Letdar
    • Day 9
      To High Camp
    • Day 10
      Across the Thorung La to Muktinath
    • Day 11
      Muktinath to Jomsom
    • Day 12
      Fly to Kathmandu via Pokhara
    • Day 13
      Depart Nepal
  • DAY
    1

    Arrive Kathmandu

    Arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you'll be met and receive a private transfer for the short distance into central Kathmandu and to the "KGH" Hotel in the heart of the Thamel district. You'll be given a briefing on your forthcoming adventure, and in the evening can take dinner at your leisure in one of the many choices of cafes & restaurants in Kathmandu, although the open air courtyard cafe of the KGH Hotel is as good as anywhere.

    Accommodation: KGH Hotel - Kathmandu
    Included Meals: None

    DAY 1

    Arrive Kathmandu

    Arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you'll be met and receive a private transfer for the short distance into central Kathmandu and to the "KGH" Hotel in the heart of the Thamel district. You'll be given a briefing on your forthcoming adventure, and in the evening can take dinner at your leisure in one of the many choices of cafes & restaurants in Kathmandu, although the open air courtyard cafe of the KGH Hotel is as good as anywhere.

    Accommodation: KGH Hotel - Kathmandu
    Included Meals: None

    DAY
    2

    Drive to Dharapani

    A private vehicle will take you overland to the village of Dharapani (1860m) with a stop for lunch along the way. The journey takes the best part of the whole day. From Besisahar the transfer will be in a locally chartered jeep.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, Dharapani
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Find out more about Trekking Lodges

    DAY 2

    Drive to Dharapani

    A private vehicle will take you overland to the village of Dharapani (1860m) with a stop for lunch along the way. The journey takes the best part of the whole day. From Besisahar the transfer will be in a locally chartered jeep.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, Dharapani
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Find out more about Trekking Lodges

    DAY
    3

    Trek to Chame

    It is impossible to avoid trekking on the 'road' that has been pushed through the Marsyangdi Valley. However, as much as possible it is avoided throughout the trek. Today you walk to Chame (2713m). It should take around 5hrs walking.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, Chame
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 3

    Trek to Chame

    It is impossible to avoid trekking on the 'road' that has been pushed through the Marsyangdi Valley. However, as much as possible it is avoided throughout the trek. Today you walk to Chame (2713m). It should take around 5hrs walking.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, Chame
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    4

    To Upper Pisang

    Your climb further up into the Marsyangdi Valley continues and involves several crossings of the river (via suspension bridges) to emerge above forests and to a more open grazing landscape affording particularly good views of Annapurna 2 and onto Upper Pisang (3300m). Walking time is around 5hrs with an overall height gain of around 590m and involves a distance of just over 17km with around 1300m ascent and 650m descent.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, Upper Pisang
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 4

    To Upper Pisang

    Your climb further up into the Marsyangdi Valley continues and involves several crossings of the river (via suspension bridges) to emerge above forests and to a more open grazing landscape affording particularly good views of Annapurna 2 and onto Upper Pisang (3300m). Walking time is around 5hrs with an overall height gain of around 590m and involves a distance of just over 17km with around 1300m ascent and 650m descent.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, Upper Pisang
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    5

    Trek to Ngawal

    Todays walk continues to climb higher up from the valley floor and along the upper slopes. The Tibetan influence becomes more apparent in terms of the villages you pass through with their Buddhist monuments. Passing through Gyaru (3680m) you walk as far as Ngawal. Overall this takes around 4hrs walking and a height gain of 300m. The distance is just over 10km with 650m ascent and 300m descent overall.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, Ngawal
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 5

    Trek to Ngawal

    Todays walk continues to climb higher up from the valley floor and along the upper slopes. The Tibetan influence becomes more apparent in terms of the villages you pass through with their Buddhist monuments. Passing through Gyaru (3680m) you walk as far as Ngawal. Overall this takes around 4hrs walking and a height gain of 300m. The distance is just over 10km with 650m ascent and 300m descent overall.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, Ngawal
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    6

    To Manang

    The walk starts by dropping down towards the lower part of the valley and back onto the principle Annapurna Circuit trail as you head steadily up to the very Tibetan village of Manang (3540m). Walking time is around 4-5hrs. The distance is almost 12km and involves 350m ascent and 465m of descent.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, Manang
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 6

    To Manang

    The walk starts by dropping down towards the lower part of the valley and back onto the principle Annapurna Circuit trail as you head steadily up to the very Tibetan village of Manang (3540m). Walking time is around 4-5hrs. The distance is almost 12km and involves 350m ascent and 465m of descent.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, Manang
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    7

    Acclimatisation Day in Manang

    Todays acclimatisation walk aims to get close to around 4000m and of course back down to Manang. There are various possibilities to achieve this that takes up to 4-5hrs of walking.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, Manang
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 7

    Acclimatisation Day in Manang

    Todays acclimatisation walk aims to get close to around 4000m and of course back down to Manang. There are various possibilities to achieve this that takes up to 4-5hrs of walking.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, Manang
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    8

    Trek to Letdar

    Todays walk only takes around 3-4hrs and as you're now going to be overnighting above 4000m the gradual climb up to Letdar (4250m) should be taken slowly. Height gain today is about 715m. The distance is just over 12km and there's just about 830m of ascent and 80m descent.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, Letdar
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 8

    Trek to Letdar

    Todays walk only takes around 3-4hrs and as you're now going to be overnighting above 4000m the gradual climb up to Letdar (4250m) should be taken slowly. Height gain today is about 715m. The distance is just over 12km and there's just about 830m of ascent and 80m descent.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, Letdar
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    9

    To High Camp

    Another short walking day that can usually be completed by lunch time, meaning the remainder of the day can be wisely spent resting and aiding the acclimatisation process at High Camp (4750m). Height gain 500m. It's under 7km to High Camp and overall there's 700m of ascent and 420m descent.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, High Camp
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 9

    To High Camp

    Another short walking day that can usually be completed by lunch time, meaning the remainder of the day can be wisely spent resting and aiding the acclimatisation process at High Camp (4750m). Height gain 500m. It's under 7km to High Camp and overall there's 700m of ascent and 420m descent.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, High Camp
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    10

    Across the Thorung La to Muktinath

    The 'crux' of the trek and for most the toughest day (as well as the highest too). The walking is made all the more challenging by the high altitude. A reasonably early start is required. It's a steep climb up to the Thorung La (5416m) but it does ease off a bit towards the top. Snow and ice are always a possibility. Usually it takes around 3hrs of walking to reach the pass from there are some fantastic views. It is then downhill virtually all the way to reach sacred Muktinath, which you'll be more than glad to have reached. Today you'll be walking for around 6-7hrs, ascending around 700m and descending almost 1800m. The distance is under 14.5km but it will feel much more.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, Muktinath
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 10

    Across the Thorung La to Muktinath

    The 'crux' of the trek and for most the toughest day (as well as the highest too). The walking is made all the more challenging by the high altitude. A reasonably early start is required. It's a steep climb up to the Thorung La (5416m) but it does ease off a bit towards the top. Snow and ice are always a possibility. Usually it takes around 3hrs of walking to reach the pass from there are some fantastic views. It is then downhill virtually all the way to reach sacred Muktinath, which you'll be more than glad to have reached. Today you'll be walking for around 6-7hrs, ascending around 700m and descending almost 1800m. The distance is under 14.5km but it will feel much more.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, Muktinath
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    11

    Muktinath to Jomsom

    There is now a jeep road from Jomsom all the way up to Muktinath. This has recently been metalled. Indeed this jeep road is an extension of the 'road' that now has been forced all the way up the Kali Gandaki Valley from Beni. On the walk down to Jomsom most of this road can't be avoided. From Muktinath it takes around 3hrs of descending to reach the Kali Gandaki Valley floor and there are great views of Dhaulagiri as well as tantalising glimpses of the arid landscapes of Mustang too. A further 2 hours of relatively level walking along the valley floor is required to reach Jomsom. Overall the distance walked today is just over 20km and there's around 1400m of descent and about 450m of ascent.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, Jomsom
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 11

    Muktinath to Jomsom

    There is now a jeep road from Jomsom all the way up to Muktinath. This has recently been metalled. Indeed this jeep road is an extension of the 'road' that now has been forced all the way up the Kali Gandaki Valley from Beni. On the walk down to Jomsom most of this road can't be avoided. From Muktinath it takes around 3hrs of descending to reach the Kali Gandaki Valley floor and there are great views of Dhaulagiri as well as tantalising glimpses of the arid landscapes of Mustang too. A further 2 hours of relatively level walking along the valley floor is required to reach Jomsom. Overall the distance walked today is just over 20km and there's around 1400m of descent and about 450m of ascent.

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge, Jomsom
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    12

    Fly to Kathmandu via Pokhara

    The flight from Jomsom down to Pokhara only last around 18mins, but will stay in your memory forever as the tiny plane flies between Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. Effectively you're in transit until it's time for for the late afternoon, short flight back to Kathmandu. A private transfer will take you from the airport back to the KGH Hotel. You can always add in some extra nights in Pokhara if you wish and enjoy some chill out time in the balmy sub-tropical climate by the lake. However, you may wish to consider some additional contingency for this trek, whether it be for any delays/cancellations that can and do occur for internal flights, or any difficulties that may arise on the trek.

    Accommodation: KGH Hotel, Kathmandu
    Included Meals: Breakfast

    DAY 12

    Fly to Kathmandu via Pokhara

    The flight from Jomsom down to Pokhara only last around 18mins, but will stay in your memory forever as the tiny plane flies between Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. Effectively you're in transit until it's time for for the late afternoon, short flight back to Kathmandu. A private transfer will take you from the airport back to the KGH Hotel. You can always add in some extra nights in Pokhara if you wish and enjoy some chill out time in the balmy sub-tropical climate by the lake. However, you may wish to consider some additional contingency for this trek, whether it be for any delays/cancellations that can and do occur for internal flights, or any difficulties that may arise on the trek.

    Accommodation: KGH Hotel, Kathmandu
    Included Meals: Breakfast

    DAY
    13

    Depart Nepal

    A private transfer will take you to the airport for your return international flight.

    Included Meals: Breakfast

    Of course there's no reason to depart today, your Nepal holiday can be readily tailor-made.

    DAY 13

    Depart Nepal

    A private transfer will take you to the airport for your return international flight.

    Included Meals: Breakfast

    Of course there's no reason to depart today, your Nepal holiday can be readily tailor-made.

    IMPORTANT

    This is an EXAMPLE ITINERARY and can be customised for you accordingly.

    Please consider whether you want your customisable, private trip itinerary to also include CONTINGENCY.

    See our ABOUT CONTINGENCY Information

    Please CONTACT US to discuss CONTINGENCY and ADDITIONAL ACCLIMATISATION, as well as other CUSTOMISATION POSSIBILITES for your PRIVATE CUSTOM TREK

Price Guide

Price based on a private party of 4 persons, twin share rooms, low season.
  • £ GBP 1150
  • $ US 1495
  • € EUR 1320

IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT OUR PRICE GUIDES

What's included

The price shown is for guideline purposes only. The price is inclusive of all accommodation described in the detailed itinerary, all airport and land transfers, private overland travel, internal flights as indicated in the itinerary, meals as indicated in the itinerary (all meals on trek), porterage on trek, permits & National Park fees & Snow Cat Travel Trekking Guide. All guides are english-speaking, professionals and fully licensed.

Don't Forget

We can customise
all our trips.

extend. shorten. upgrade

Don't Forget

We can customise
all our trips to Nepal.

extend. shorten. upgrade

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