The Annapurna Range is one of the most popular trekking areas in the mighty Himalayas. This trekking area first opened up to the world in 1977 and has continued to grow in popularity since its inception. It is popular because of the spectacular scenery of the high mountain vistas as well as its unique culture of the residents who have called this place home for thousands of years. This 21 days trek offers you the opportunity to explore the Annapurna's in its entirety. From on top of Thorong Pass (5,416 m), the highest trekking pass in Nepal to the depths of the world's deepest canyon on the Kali Gandaki River, there is everything in between.
There are incredible waterfalls, butterflies flitting from one mountain wildflower to another, rhododendron and old growth forests, ancient villages, temples and monasteries as well as great views of the snowcapped peaks. It's all here on the Annapurna Circuit Lodge Trek. You will get a chance to explore ancient villages like Jomsom. Along the way, you will discover a myriad of spirituality. You will find Tibetan, Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity living together in peace and harmony. This region is one of the few places in the world where you will find the ancient Bön-Po religion.
Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition can put together this 21 days trek for you. We have highly qualified guides and porters that are government licensed, plus have received additional training in order to increase their level of professionalism. This is rewarding trek that will immerse you fully into the beautiful Annapurna Mountains.
DAY 1 - Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 2 – Sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley
DAY 3 – Drive from Kathmandu to Jagat (elev. 1200 m) 8 – 9 hours.
DAY 4 – Trek to Dharapani (elev. 1860 m) 5 -6 hours
DAY 5 – Trek to Chame (2670 m) 5 -6 hours
DAY 6 – Trek to Pisang (3200 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 7 – Trek to Manang (elev. 3540 m) via Upper Trail 6 – 7 hours (lower trail alternative is 5 – 6 hours)
DAY 8 – Acclimatization Day. Hike to Chunker Viewpoint and visit Gangapurna Lake and Cave Gompa
DAY 9 – Trek to Thare Gompa (elev. 4070 m) 4 – 5 hours
DAY 10 – Trek to Tilicho Base Camp (elev. 4,150 m) 4 -5 hours
DAY 11 – Hike to Tilicho Lake (4,920 m) and back to Tilicho Base Camp – 4 – 5 hours
DAY 12 – Trek back to Thare Gompa – 4 – 5 hours
DAY 13 – Trek to Yak Kharka (elev. 4018 m) 4 – 5 hours
DAY 14 – Trek to Thorong Phedi (elev. 4450 m) 4 – 5 hours
DAY 15 – Trek to Thorong La Pass (elev. 5,416 m) then down to Muktinath (1800 m) 7 – 8 hours
DAY 16 – Trek to Kagbeni (elev. 2800 m) 4 – 5 hours
DAY 17 – Trek to Jomsom (elev. 2710 m) via Lubra (elev. 2790 m) 5 hours
DAY 18 – Flight to Pokhara from Jomsom with ½ day sightseeing tour of Pokhara
DAY 19 – Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
DAY 20 – Full Day of Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley
DAY 21 – Departure
DAY 1 – ARRIVAL: Arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport where you will be met by your representative of Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition. You will be escorted to your hotel where there are complimentary welcome drinks and a short briefing with plenty of time to relax from your flight.
DAY 2 – KATHMANDU: Your day will be spent visiting several of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This is a great day to get a feel of the culture, spirituality and the beauty of the famed Kathmandu Valley. The Valley is larger than the country of Singapore and is known for its temples, shopping and great hospitality.
DAY 3 – DRIVE TO JAGAT (elev. 1300 m): We travel by private vehicle, leaving the capital city behind as we move into the mountains. We pass the Trisuli and Marshyangdi Rivers, enjoying great views of the canyons and lower mountains of the hilly region of Nepal. Along the way, enjoy views of the snowcapped peaks like Lamjung Himal, Peak 29 and Manaslu while on the road to the village of Jagat where we will spend the night in a local lodge.
DAY 4 – TREK TO DHARAPANI (elev. 1860 m): We begin trekking uphill as we start into the Annapurna Mountains. We leave the beautiful little village Jagat where the road has ended. From now on, we are working our way upward in elevation as we pass through rhododendron forests and along fast moving mountain streams. At Tal Village, there are many beautiful waterfalls to explore as we stop for lunch. We continue the rocky trail to the village of Koto and then move on toward Dharapani where we will spend the night in a local lodge. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 5 – TREK TO CHAME (elev. 2670 m): The journey takes us first to the village of Bagarchhap which takes about an hour. The trail today passes through wonderful forests of rich pine and fir with its aromatic aroma. We will stop at the white-washed monastery at Bagarchhap village and then upwards to Tamang village which will give us an incredible view of Mt. Manaslu, the 8th highest peak in the world. We will also see Peak 29 with its snowcapped peak. Our destination is Chame Village where we will spend the night. Trekking time is 5 -6 hours.
DAY 6 – TREK TO PISANG (elev. 3200 m): There are rivers to cross today, and we will cross them on high suspension bridges as we pass through dense forests. It is a day of climbing, especially after Bratang Village. The trail turns steeply upward from here as we make our way to Dukurpokhari. It may be a strenuous day, but the view is worth it. From Dukurpokhari, we can see close up the mountains of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, Annapurna IV and Pisang Peak. Finally the trail becomes level as we make our way to our destination village of Pisang. At Pisang, we can visit a newly built Buddhist monastery as we will spend the night in the village. Trekking time is 5 -6 hours.
DAY 7 – TREK TO MANANG (elev. 3540 m): We have a choice of trails today. We can take the lower, faster trek (5 – 6 hours or the longer, most adventurous higher trek (6 – 7 hours). The upper trail is quite scenic, taking you through the village of Ghyaru and by Mringchho Lake. Each trail affords different views of the mountains and both go through different villages. Our destination is Manang village where we will spend the night at a local lodge.
DAY 8 – ACCLIMATIZATION DAY: Manang is an impressive Gurung village. It is a large village and there is plenty to see and do. As we are climbing to higher elevations, it is necessary to allow our bodies to adjust to the higher altitudes in order to avoid altitude sickness. Today is a day of short hikes to help us acclimatize.. We will hike to Gangapurna Lake which will give us a close-up view of the Annapurna Mountains: Tilicho Peak, Pisang Peak, Chulo Peak, Thorong Peak and more. The morning will be for exploring around the lake, and then back to Manang in order to have lunch. Following lunch, we can hike to Cave Gompa (elev 4500 m) for one of the most impressive views of the Annapurna Mountains. We will spend one more night in Manang.
DAY 9 – TREK TO THARE GOMPA (4070 m): It's a day of trekking as we get back on the trail and head for Khangsar Village where you can tour a monastery. The trail will descend slightly from this point until arriving at Thare Gompa to have lunch and to spend the night. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 10 – TREK TO TILICHO BASE CAMP (4150 m): Our walk today is not all that physically demanding as we trek to Tilicho Base Camp. This is the place where climbers start for ascending this peak. We won't be climbing the mountain, but we will be using this as our place to stay. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 11 – HIKE TO TILICHO LAKE (elev. 4920 m): Tilicho Lake is one of those beautiful mountain lakes here in the Himalayas that reflect the incredible beauty of the snowcapped peaks. It is a bit of a climb to the lake which sits at 4920 meters above sea level. We will see plenty of wildlife along the trail as we make our way to and from this lake with its beautiful blue waters. We will have time to spend admiring the lake and the surrounding mountains. We will return to Tilicho Base Camp to spend a second night. Hiking time is around 3 – 4 hours.
DAY 12 – TREK TO THARE GOMPA (4,070 m): It's a return trip to Thare Gompa, passing by a large landslide area. We will have lunch and dinner in Thare Gompa, as well as spending the night in the village. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 13 – TREK TO YAK KHARKA (elev. 4018 m): Our journey to Yak Kharka will return us back to the classic Annapurna trail. It is about four hours to Yak Kharka where we will spend the night. This is also a day to do some additional acclimatization. Trekking time 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 14 – TREK TO THORONG PHEDI (elev. 4450 m): From Yak Kharka, we rejoin the better trail. We are climbing upwards to the village of Letder, which takes about one hour. The trail continues along the Kali Gandaki River. We cross the river on wooden bridges and then start a short, steep climb up to the village of Thorong Phedi where we will spend the night. Great views along the way of mountains and waterfalls. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 15 – TREK TO THORONG LA PASS (elev. 5416 m) TO MUKTINATH (elev. 3800 m): It is a long day, but one that will take you to the highest trekking passes in all of Nepal. Thorong La Pass. It is a steep climb upwards to the pass, but what a view. It is worth the extra effort as you stand on what feels like the roof of the world and look out over the myriad of snowcapped peaks that will surround you. There is Tibet to the north, Manaslu in the east and Dhaulagiri to the west. And there are the close-up views of the peaks of the Annapurna Range. After spending a few hours at the top, your journey will begin a long descent to the village of Muktinath with its famous sacred temple that is a center of worship for Hindus and Buddhists as well as followers of the ancient Bön religion. The trek today is 7 – 8 hours and we will spend the night in a local lodge in Muktinath.
DAY 16 – TREK TO KAGBENI (elev. 2800 m): We won’t leave Muktinath until we have visited the sacred temple here with its ever burning flame. This flame has been lit for thousands of years and burns inside of the temple. Outside there are 108 brass water spouts and around the temple are a number of Buddhist monasteries. The trek continues downhill through impressive forests and scenic overlooks until we arrive at Kagbeni where we will spend the night. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 17 – TREK TO JOMSOM (elev. 2710 m): Today is the last day of trekking as we make our way toward the ancient village of Jomsom. This village has been here on the main trail to Tibet where in ancient times black salt and gold passed southward while items from India were taken by traders to the north. Jomsom was once the capital of an ancient kingdom. Today it is a major entry point to the Annapurna Conservation Area and has a good airport. We fly tomorrow, but today we get trek to Jomsom and relax at our lodge for the night.
DAY 18 – FLY TO POKHARA; SIGHTSEEING IN CITY: It is a short 45 minute flight from Jomsom to Pokhara. We take an early morning flight and upon landing in Pokhara, will check into our Three Star Hotel. You can choose to relax today, or take in the sights in Pokhara. There is plenty to see and do in Pokhara. From boating on Phewa Lake to incredible mountain views and more, Pokhara is a favorite of all visitors to Nepal.
DAY 19 – DRIVE TO KATHMANDU: It is about a 6 – 7 hour trip back to Kathmandu. The trip is interesting as you follow fast flowing rivers, drive past terraced farms and see the deep river valleys. It is a beautiful journey as you return to the Kathmandu Valley.
DAY 20 – FULL DAY SIGHTSEEING IN KATHMANDU VALLEY: It will be a great day to explore the Kathmandu Valley. It is said that there are 1000 temples in the Valley. While we haven't counted them all, we do know that there are seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites and we will visit a number of them today with your guide. It is a great way to finish your Nepal trip. In the evening, we will attend a culture show, serving the finest of local foods. Spend the night in a Three Star Hotel.
DAY 21 – DEPARTURE: All good things must come to an end, and your trip to Nepal is no exception. Before leaving, why not talk to your representative at Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition about returning to Nepal for your next holiday. The vast majority of people make a return trip to Nepal because they are impressed by not only the beauty, but also the local people. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition offers trips into neighboring Tibet, Bhutan and India. Be sure to discuss your interests and plans with them today.
Your safety is of paramount importance while traveling with Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary. However, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountain regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not be forced to make last minute changes due to weather conditions, health conditions or any member of the group, unexpected natural disasters, etc. The team leader will do everything possible to ensure that the trip runs according to plan. Be prepared for any last minute changes. The Himalayas are big and wild, and worthy of your respect.
For the Annapurna Circuit and Tilicho Lake Trek, there will be a trek leader and Sherpa Porters for carrying luggage (2 trekkers = 1 porter). This arrangement ensures that if anyone in the group is sick the trip can still go on as planned. However, Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition can run this trek for groups of any size. Usually, we have found that the maximum number of trekkers in any group is 12 people.
All accommodations for the Annapurna Circuit and Tilicho Lake Trek are on twin-sharing basis. The lodges and tea houses have been selected by Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition after personal inspection. We look at the conditions of the inns, local hygiene, quality of food, type of service and more.
We offer two types of accommodations on this trek. In Kathmandu you will stay Four nights at a Three Star Hotel and one night in Pokhara. As there are no Three Star Hotels available on the trek, you will spend fifteen nights in standard tea houses. These places have pleasant, unheated rooms and wooden beds with foam mattresses.
All rooms are double occupancy, but you can request a single occupancy room for an additional fee, which will be available only during the trekking. However, sometimes single rooms are not available in some places, depending upon local conditions. We do work to provide the best possible options when trekking in the High Himalayas.
Food will vary between typical Nepali in the mountains. In Kathmandu and Pokhara, there are far more choices, which include Indian, Continental, Italian, Tibetan and more. The city areas offer everything from good steaks and burgers to apple pie and pizza.
Nepali food is nutritious, and ranges from our traditional dal/bhat and momo to fantastic breads, fruits and more. The cooking is wholesome and the food is tasty.
The trek does include a farewell dinner where you will experience a cultural show with music, dance and the finest of local foods. There is also a daily breakfast in hotels and on the trail.