Join Responsible Adventures on one of the world’s most scenic and diverse treks. The complete circuit of Annapurna is an estimated 300km, with different scenery daily.
Short Annapurna Circuit & Tilicho Lake Wellness Trekking Tour
- Per Person Min 4 persons
- Private Tour Min 2 persons
Book this Nepal trek and get a complimentary one hour Trekker’s’ massage after the trek is over. The masseuses will be from a marginalized community. This is part of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Short Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake Wellness trek
Embarking on the captivating Annapurna Circuit and Tilicho Lake trek in Nepal, you will be mesmerized by the astounding natural beauty that unfolds. This iconic journey takes you on a remarkable exploration of the Manang District, leading you to one of Nepal’s highest lakes.
As your adventure commences, you will traverse through lowland paddy fields, following a picturesque path alongside the Marshyangdi River. With each step, the air becomes crisper, gradually distancing you from the hustle and bustle of city life and immersing you in the serenity of nature. The trail weaves its way through lush oak and pine forests, providing a refreshing canopy of green that shields you from the radiant sun.
As you ascend steadily, the landscape undergoes a dramatic transformation. The once verdant surroundings give way to a rugged high-altitude desert, bestowing a surreal charm upon the terrain. Upon reaching the village of Manang, perched at an elevation of 3597 meters, you will pause to acclimatize, relishing the opportunity to savour breathtaking vistas afforded by leisurely hikes to higher elevations.
Leaving the main trail behind, you will venture towards the hidden Tilicho Lake gem. Passing through the picturesque Khangsar village, your journey continues to Tilicho Base Camp, an oasis amidst untamed wilderness. With great anticipation and a captivating three-hour hike, you will ascend 750 meters to the shores of Tilicho Lake. Bathed in sunlight, the lake sparkles with a mesmerizing turquoise hue, casting a spell of enchantment upon all who behold it. Its vast expanse, stretching over 4 kilometres, boasts unrivalled tranquillity and offers a sense of wonder.
With Tilicho Lake forever imprinted in your memory, you will retrace your steps to Tilicho Base Camp, bidding farewell to this pristine sanctuary.
As you resume your journey, the trail rejoins the main path, leading you towards the awe-inspiring Thorung High Camp. The thrill of anticipation courses through your veins as you approach the renowned Thorung La Pass, standing tall at 5416 meters. Each step brings you closer to the heavens, embracing the exhilarating challenge that awaits.
From the pass, a breathtaking descent unfolds, unveiling an extraordinary tapestry of landscapes. The trail meanders through the Marsyangdi Valley, offering glimpses of its rugged beauty, before guiding you to the ancient village of Muktinath. Here, amidst the richness of cultural heritage, you will find solace and enlightenment.
As your trek nears its conclusion, you will venture towards Jomsom, a haven nestled in the windswept Kali Gandaki valley. With the imposing presence of Mount Nilgiri as a constant reminder of nature’s grandeur, you will bid farewell to the trekking trails and take to the skies, soaring above the clouds on a short flight that transports you back to the vibrant city of Pokhara.
The Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake trek is a journey that defies boundaries. It immerses you in the rugged beauty of the Himalayas, Tilicho Lake’s serenity, the Manang District’s cultural tapestry, and the indomitable spirit of adventure. Let this remarkable escapade engrave unforgettable memories in your heart as you immerse yourself in the harmonious rhythm of nature’s embrace.
Food and nutrition on the trek
We are pioneers in gastronome trekking in the Himalayas. We provide a varied, exciting menu on treks throughout the Himalayas. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free meals can be catered for upon request, and other special diets can be accommodated with advance notice.
Trekking is not only fun, but it is beneficial for you. It helps in detoxifying the body while also nourishing the soul. Although to provide a better experience, we also tailor our meals to include superfoods as ingredients to keep you fit and healthy while assisting in acclimatization to high altitudes. Combining hiking in the pristine mountain air and healthy food makes trekking with us a complete adventure. Read More on Food and nutrition on our treks.
Why Choose Us?
- Our expert trek leader will ensure your safety while enhancing your trekking experience.
- Your private social bubble by staying in less busy lodges and trekking away from the crowded trails where possible.
- Experience the Himalayas in style.
- For our gourmet Wellness trekking adventures, your food is prepared with superfood ingredients to give the best nourishment, recovery, and acclimatization to high altitudes.
Upon arrival, our representative will meet you at the airport and accompany you to your hotel. During the trip briefing, you will have the chance to meet the other group members and receive critical information about the itinerary and safety guidelines. We aim to ensure a smooth and welcoming experience, allowing you to connect with fellow travellers and feel prepared for your upcoming adventure.
After being picked up from your hotel, we will embark on a scenic drive to Koto. As we travel westward, we will pass through deep valleys, accompanied by the picturesque Trisuli River. Along the way, we will reach Mugling, a bustling town where the Trisuli and Marshyangdi Rivers meet, serving as a vital junction for routes to Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan.
Our drive continues, winding through the enchanting landscapes until we reach the village of Besishar. Here, you may first glimpse the majestic Annapurna and Manaslu mountain ranges. Moving forward, we will follow a jeep track for several hours, passing through charming villages such as Syange, Jagat Chamje, and Timang before finally arriving at Koto, our destination for the night.
Koto offers a serene and inviting atmosphere, providing the perfect opportunity to relax and recharge, ensuring you are fully prepared for the next leg of your adventure.
Our day begins with an invigorating hike on a gently sloping trail towards Chame, which serves as the administrative centre of the Manang district. The awe-inspiring scenery along the way will captivate you, encouraging a leisurely pace to absorb its beauty fully. As we depart from Chame, we will pass several mani walls adorned with sacred Buddhist inscriptions. Continuing on the level trail, we will encounter a small hamlet characterized by chortens at both ends.
Before long, we will reach a remarkable sight where water has transformed into prayer wheels. Our path takes us through the settlement of Brathang, which boasts a flourishing apple orchard. We then embark on a 45-minute ascent through a forest, where the trail eventually levels off, leading us to a suspension bridge. After crossing the bridge, a moderate climb awaits, guiding us deeper into the woods while gradually moving away from the Marshyangdi River.
As we proceed, the valley expands before us, with the prominent Pisang Peak reaching an impressive height of 6,091 meters. Our lunch break awaits at Dhukur Pokhari, a serene location adorned with small lakes and surrounded by juniper, pine, and fir trees. The village of Pisang is divided into lower and upper sections. For the night, we will stay in upper Pisang, where our lodge offers breathtaking views of the valley below, the Monastery, and the majestic Annapurna II, standing tall at 7,945 meters across from us.
Our journey takes a captivating turn as we opt for the ‘high route’ along the eastern bank of the Marshyangdi River. Although slightly longer, this alternate path offers a rewarding hike showcasing the region’s natural beauty. Leaving Pisang village behind, we cross the river and find ourselves on a relatively flat trail that meanders through scrubland. Along the way, a small lake glistens to our right, adding to the picturesque setting.
Continuing our ascent, we follow the mani wall and descend to cross a stream, embarking on a challenging switchback climb towards Ghyaru, situated at an altitude of 3,673 meters. A visit to the Monastery atop the village is highly recommended, as it provides sweeping panoramic views of the stunning Annapurna II and Annapurna IV peaks.
Our journey persists as we traverse the valley on a delightful high trail, passing the remnants of a fort that bears witness to the region’s rich history. Eventually, we arrive at the village of Ngawal, located at an elevation of 3,650 meters. Here, an impressive newly built Monastery awaits, offering a glimpse into the spiritual heritage of the area. Departing from Ngawal, we pass by a lengthy mani wall and descend to the valley floor, rejoining the main trail that leads us to Braga and Manang villages.
This part of the trek presents breathtaking views and allows us to immerse ourselves in the local culture and heritage, making for a truly enriching experience.
Upon reaching Manang, it is crucial to allocate ample time for acclimatisation. This period allows our bodies to adjust to the increasing altitude, reducing the risk of altitude-related illnesses and ensuring a safer trekking experience. However, the acclimatisation process in Manang offers more than just physical rest.
Manang is situated opposite the colossal Gangapurna glacier, a vibrant and sizable village. It boasts awe-inspiring views of the Annapurna peaks, which serve as a constant reminder of the majestic surroundings. At the foot of the village lies a captivating emerald lake, adding a touch of serenity to the landscape.
During our stay in Manang, we have various options for short walks in the vicinity. One possible side trip entails visiting a small hilltop adorned with vibrant prayer flags located approximately one hour above Braga village. Another option is a hike up the ridge behind Manang village, offering scenic vistas and a chance for further exploration.
Furthermore, there is the opportunity to walk to a viewpoint above the lake, directly across from Manang village. From there, we can soak in panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, lending a sense of accomplishment and wonder.
In addition to these outdoor activities, Manang offers amenities such as cafes that show movies, providing a cosy and relaxing space to unwind. Furthermore, there are shops where you can explore and find souvenirs to commemorate your journey through the Manang region.
Utilising this essential acclimatisation period in Manang not only ensures our physical well-being but also allows us to fully embrace the natural beauty, cultural richness, and leisure opportunities that the area offers.
Our journey continues as we depart from Manang, passing through the Western gates of the village. Following a well-defined path, we make our way downhill until we reach a river that we cross, eventually going to the south side of the river. As we traverse this section, we find ourselves amidst a captivating coniferous forest surrounded by the soothing presence of nature.
To continue our trek, we cross a suspension bridge that spans the river, leading us further towards Khangsar Village. The trail unfolds before us, offering glimpses of the stunning landscape and the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the local surroundings.
Our journey progresses, and we go to Shree Kharka, where we can take a break and enjoy a nourishing lunch. We reach Tilicho Base Camp, where a late lunch awaits us.
As we press on, we approach an area affected by a landslide. This section consists of a mixture of scree and rocks, with a steep descent and loose gravel. Carefully navigating this challenging terrain, we may be fortunate enough to spot some Blue Sheep, captivating creatures inhabiting the region. Additionally, partridges may grace us with their presence in this area, adding to the natural allure of our surroundings.
Negotiating the landslide area typically takes around 75 minutes. Over the years, the villagers have worked to widen the trail to about 2-3 feet, making it more accessible. Before these improvements, some portions of the path required individuals to move on all fours to traverse across safely.
As we overcome these challenges, the resilience of the local communities and the stunning beauty of nature becomes even more apparent, leaving us with a sense of awe and accomplishment on our journey to Tilicho Base Camp.
Our hike to Tilicho Lake begins with a challenging ascent that lasts approximately 30 minutes. During this initial phase, we will encounter steep terrain that requires a fair amount of effort. However, as we persevere, the gradient gradually becomes gentler, making the climb more manageable.
After an additional hour of trekking, we will reach a set of switchbacks that guide us to the top. This section of the trail tests our endurance but rewards us with breathtaking views and a sense of accomplishment upon reaching the summit.
From here, the trail undulates for approximately 30 minutes before unveiling the magnificent Tilicho Lake. As we approach the lake, we are greeted by proximity to two imposing peaks, Mount Tilicho and Mount Khangsar Khang. These majestic mountains serve as a backdrop to the pristine beauty of the lake and create a truly awe-inspiring setting.
While on our way to the lake, we may have the opportunity to spot some fascinating wildlife. Keep an eye out for the Himalayan Snow Cocks and the majestic male Blue Sheep, which enhance the richness of our trekking experience.
After appreciating the natural splendour of Tilicho Lake, we will return to Tilicho Base Camp, where a well-deserved lunch awaits us. Here, we can refuel and rejuvenate ourselves.
Once replenishing our energy, we retrace our steps uphill through the landslide area, carefully manoeuvring the scree and rocks. Our destination for the day is Shree Kharka, where we will stop and spend the night. This picturesque village offers a serene resting place, allowing us to unwind and recharge for the next phase of our journey.
As we conclude the day, we can reflect upon the remarkable landscapes, wildlife encounters, and personal achievements that have characterized our trek thus far. We eagerly anticipate what lies ahead on our adventure in the Annapurna region.
Continuing our trek, we embark on a trail that leads us out of the Upper Marshyangdi River valley, gradually ascending above the treeline. As we venture forward, we bypass the village of Khangsar, opting for a less-travelled path that adds an element of adventure to our journey. This off-the-beaten-path route allows us to immerse ourselves in the raw beauty of the Himalayan landscape.
Descending further, we eventually arrive at the Thorong River, which we cross before ascending briefly to join the main trail again. This short ascent brings us back onto the well-established path, ensuring a smoother and more straightforward route ahead.
As we proceed, we pass by a long Mani wall, an array of stones inscribed with Buddhist prayers and mantras, a spiritual sight that adds a sense of tranquillity to our surroundings. Walking through meadows adorned with yaks grazing peacefully, we find ourselves approaching the temporary yak herders’ settlement known as Yak Kharka.
The location of Yak Kharka offers a remarkable vantage point, providing us with beautiful vistas of the surrounding peaks. Among the captivating mountains that grace the horizon are Tilicho Peak (7134m), Khatungkang (6484m), Chulu (6584m), and others. The awe-inspiring views are a constant reminder of the grandeur of nature in this part of the world.
At this point, we can either stop and rest at Yak Kharka or continue hiking for another hour to reach Leddar if the group is feeling energised. This decision can be based on the comfort levels and preferences of the group as we prioritise everyone’s well-being and enjoyment throughout the trek.
Whether we choose to rest at Yak Kharka or venture further to Leddar, this part of the journey presents us with captivating scenery and a chance to immerse ourselves in the Annapurna region’s unique culture and natural wonders.
We have a relatively short trek ahead of us on this particular day. If we did not stay in Letdar the previous night, we would pass through this small settlement, which offers a limited number of lodges for accommodation.
As we continue our journey, we opt for the higher route, which winds its way along the eastern side of the valley. This route gives us elevated views and a different perspective of the surrounding landscapes. Eventually, we will come across a suspension bridge that we need to cross.
Before reaching Thorong Phedi, we will encounter a brief section with a potential rockfall. While this area requires caution, our experienced guides will ensure our safety as we navigate it.
Once we arrive at Thorong Phedi, it is essential to note that “Phedi” means “base” in Nepali. At this point, we can hike up to the “High Camp” in the afternoon after lunch. This additional ascent is feasible because our recent hike to Tilicho Base Camp has already provided us with some acclimatization. Hiking to the High Camp allows us to adapt to the altitude further and reduces the time required for tomorrow’s trek by at least one hour.
By strategically choosing to trek to the High Camp in the afternoon, we maximize our time and acclimatization while minimizing the required effort the following day. This approach ensures a smoother and more comfortable journey towards Thorong La Pass and the subsequent stages of our trek.
As we enjoy this relatively shorter day of hiking, it provides an opportunity to rest and prepare for the challenges and rewards in our quest to explore the Annapurna region.
After breakfast, we will begin our day early, around 5 am. Packaging a lunch and ensuring you have an ample water supply for the day is essential. Also, carry a down jacket, windproof gear, and other warm layers, as the temperatures can be chilly at higher altitudes.
Our day starts with an ascent towards the “High Camp” on a trail with a rock ledge section. This climb takes approximately 90 minutes and brings us to an elevation of 4680 meters. From there, we continue our ascent on an undulating trail that presents a series of rolling hills. It is worth noting that along this route, several “false summits” can give the impression of a never-ending climb. However, our trek leader will guide us on how to pace ourselves, encouraging us to take regular breaks, rehydrate, and appreciate the breathtaking views. This part of the journey offers an opportunity for a meditative hike, allowing us to be fully present and absorb the beauty both within and outside ourselves.
The trail to Thorong La Pass at 5416 meters usually takes 3 to 5 hours to complete. The pass is marked with a prominent Cairn and adorned with numerous prayer flags fluttering in the wind. Upon reaching the pass, we are rewarded with unparalleled views of the Annapurna range to the south and the Mukat Himal range, which forms the border with Dolpo to the west. The majestic Thorong Peak lies immediately to the south and is renowned as a “trekking peak.” At this altitude, you may begin to feel the effects of the thinning atmosphere, and the wind can be pretty intense.
Descending from Thorong La Pass, we embark on a steep descent towards Muktinath, which typically takes 3 to 4 hours. For individuals with knee problems, using a pair of trekking poles is advisable to ensure good knee support. The descent offers unforgettable vistas of Mount Dhaulagiri, towering at 8167 meters, and Tukuche Peak at 6920 meters. The panoramic perspective of the Kali Gandaki valley adds to the splendour of the journey. As we get closer to Muktinath, we will notice an increasing number of buildings, many of which are being constructed to accommodate domestic and Indian tourists. Muktinath is a significant pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhists, boasting temples of great cultural and spiritual significance.
This leg of the trek encompasses a remarkable range of experiences, from the physical challenge of the ascent and descent to the awe-inspiring views that reward our efforts and the cultural richness found in the sacred sites of Muktinath. It is a day that encompasses the grandeur of the Himalayas and provides us with memories that will last a lifetime.
In the morning, before embarking on our last day of the trek, we can explore the temples of Muktinath. This is a significant place of pilgrimage for both Hindus and Buddhists, deeply revered for its spiritual and cultural importance.
Afterwards, we will depart from the main trail and begin a gradual ascent towards the grassy lands, which will take approximately 3 hours. This path leads us to the Lupra Pass, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. From this vantage point, we can marvel at the majestic Mount Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, Dhampus Peak, Nilgiri, Annapurna I, Tilicho, and many other peaks of the Himalayan range.
Following the ascent, we will descend for nearly 2 hours to arrive at Lupra, the only village that follows the Bonpo religion along this route. The village of Lupra is known for its unique cultural heritage, providing an opportunity to experience a different aspect of the region. While in Lupra, we will have the chance to visit a nearby monastery, adding to the enriching cultural experiences of our trek.
This final day on the trail offers spectacular mountain vistas and an immersion into the local traditions and religious practices that make this region so diverse and fascinating. It is a day of natural beauty and cultural exploration, leaving us with a deeper appreciation of the Annapurna region and its rich heritage.
After our trekking adventure in the Annapurna region, we can take a sensational flight out of the Kali Gandaki valley. This short but exhilarating 20-minute flight is renowned as one of the best mountain flights in the Himalayas.
As we soar above the valley, we will be treated to captivating views of the magnificent Mount Dhaulagiri, the awe-inspiring Nilgiri, and the grand Annapurna massif. These Himalayan peaks’ sheer beauty and immensity will leave us in awe of nature’s wonders.
Once we have experienced this breathtaking mountain flight, the rest of the afternoon will be free for us to spend as we wish. This provides an excellent opportunity to relax, reflect on our trekking journey, and enjoy the surroundings. Whether you explore the vibrant streets of nearby towns or take in the serene atmosphere, the afternoon offers a well-deserved chance to rest and rejuvenate.
You might consider visiting nearby Pokhara, a serene lakeside city with stunning mountain views, charming cafes, and a range of leisure activities. Alternatively, you can explore the local markets, interact with the welcoming locals, or perhaps indulge in a traditional Nepali spa treatment to pamper yourself.
The free afternoon allows you to tailor your experience to your preferences, ensuring a memorable and fulfilling end to your trekking adventure in the Annapurna region.
You are booked on the afternoon flight if the Jomsom to Pokhara flight was disrupted due to inclement weather the previous day. As a result, our morning would be available for other activities.
If we arrived in Pokhara as planned, we would have the exciting opportunity to embark on a tandem paragliding ride. The paragliding company we would choose is owned by an esteemed recipient of the 2012 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year award, ensuring a thrilling and professionally guided experience. Soaring through the skies above Pokhara, we would gain a unique perspective of the surrounding landscapes and revel in the exhilaration and liberation of flight.
After we arrive in Kathmandu, we would promptly check into our hotel. Take time to settle in, refresh ourselves, and unwind after our journey. Later in the evening, we would gather for a group dinner with our trek leader. This delightful occasion would allow us to reflect on our remarkable trekking experience, exchange stories, and express our gratitude to our trek leader for their invaluable guidance and support.
Celebrating in nature, this final dinner would foster stronger bonds within our group, allow us to reminisce about the cherished memories we created during the trek, and bid farewell to our fellow trekkers and the trek leader.
Whether we encounter flight delays or adhere to the original schedule, our itinerary presents a balanced mix of adventure, cultural immersion, and relaxation as we unwind and relish the experiences of our unforgettable trekking expedition in Nepal.
You will be brought to the airport 3 hours before your international flight time.
- Boutique hotel in Kathmandu on a bed-and-breakfast basis
- Boutique hotel in Pokhara on a bed-and-breakfast basis
- Hotel/lodges while trekking on a twin-sharing basis.
- All transportation
- Responsible Adventures’ expert trek leader or Hire Raj
- Complimentary T-shirt
- Use of trekking kit bag during the trek
- One assistant guide between 4 trekkers
- Trekking Chef
- One porter between two trekkers
- Proper clothing for porters and crew
- Food for porters & crew members (we are less than a handful of trekking companies that provide this facility)
- Insurance for crew and porters
- All permits
- Twin sharing room on the trek
- All meals on the trek (healthiest trekking meals in the whole of the Himalayas)
- Domestic airfare
- All optional additional tours or activities during free time
- Transportation outside of the tour program
- Travel insurance (compulsory to have insurance that covers helicopter evacuation)
- Tips (suggested amount US$75 per week for staff only); Leader’s tip at your discretion
- Items of a personal nature, e.g., alcoholic drinks, bottled beverages, laundry, souvenirs, etc.
A Responsible promise
Despite the exceptional circumstances in which we find ourselves at the moment, we don’t want you to give up your holiday – and we want you to be able to book your trip without any worries.
To provide additional security for your booking, we have introduced a new rebooking and cancellation policy so that you can easily rebook or cancel your trip free of charge if the worst comes to the worst.
Free Cancellation With the Responsible Promise 100% Money-Back Guarantee
For new bookings made between May 10th 2021, and December 31st 2022, you may cancel your complete package (activities, hotels, tours, excl. flight) free of charge up to 30 days before your departure and get 100% of your money back. However, to stay flexible, we recommend that you choose a flexible fare when booking your flight.
Complete flexibility on your booking
Stay flexible with our new rebooking service until shortly before your departure. For new bookings made between my 10thh and December 31stt, 2021, you may rebook your package (activities, hotels, tours) free of charge up to 30 days before your departure (subject to availability). Rebooking is only allowed once, and you must inform us 30 days before your planned departure. Any additional costs incurred due to changes in your schedule or upgrades, such as additional fees in high season or upgrades to your accommodation, will still apply. To remain flexible, we recommend that you choose a flexible fare when booking your flight.
Most of our clients have completed their treks from 3 years old to some in their 70s with almost no exercise or training.
Do you offer hotel/airport pick-up?
We offer hotel and airport pick-up. As you continue with your booking, there will be an option to input flight details or hotel names.
Do I need a Visa?
A visa for Nepal can be acquired on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, and at border entry points in Kakadvitta, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Gaddachowki on the Nepal-India border, and Kerung on the Nepal-China border.
A visa can also be obtained outside of Nepal at the nearest Nepal Embassy or Diplomatic Mission.
For more information, visit the Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan, Kathmandu.
What should I bring on a Trek?
Being adequately equipped is one of the keys to a successful trek. For information to help you select the best type of clothing and equipment for your trip, please see our Clothing and Equipment Guide.
Also, see our Links page for details of specialist retailers who will offer further advice and assistance with purchasing new clothing or equipment.
If you have more questions, please check this article to reference equipment to pack or contact us.
Here are some helpful articles:
Am I too old to go trekking?
Arriving at Kathmandu airport.
Should I bring cash or ATM cards?
What to pack for a trek?
Do I need to train for a walk?
What is a typical day on a hike like?
What is the food like on tour?
The Benefits of Using Trekking Poles.
What do I need to know about high altitudes?
High altitude myths.
How to trek safely?
For more articles, you can go to our blogs.