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
Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake Trek takes us to one o Nepal’s highest lakes in the Manang District. This “classic” journey of Annapurna Circuit combined with Tilicho Lake Trek starts with a drive to Besisahar in the lowland paddy fields, gaining altitude steadily along the Marshyangdi River. Next, it passes through oak and pine forests and eventually emerges into a high-altitude desert country at Manang (3597 m.) and above. These days there is a fair-weather road from Besisahar to Manang. First, however, we drive to Koto to allow our bodies to adjust to the altitude slowly.
We stay an extra night at Manang to allow acclimatization by taking a hike to a higher elevation.
From Manang, we move away from the main trail towards Khangsar village and further on to Tilicho Base camp, where a few lodges exist. We hike up to Tilicho Lake, which takes about 3 hours and an altitude gain of 750 meters. It is a great environment, with the Lake appearing a beautiful Turquoise on sunny days. It is a reasonably large Lake, which is 4 km in length, and the deepest part is 85 meters deep. We retrace our steps to Tilicho Base camp, upper Khangsar, and cross the Marsyangdi River to join the main trail again the following day to Thorung high camp.
The 1600 meters descent from Thorung La pass 5416 meters is equally impressive and varied. The trail from the pass takes Marsyangdi towards the Kali Gandaki valley and descends through Muktinath’s village. We trek to Jomsom the next day. It is a short day of hiking. The trek ends in Jomsom. Jomsom lies in the windy Kali Gandaki valley below the towering Mount Nilgiri, 7061 meters. We fly out to Pokhara the following day.
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 part of the 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.
You will be met at the airport by our representative who and bring you to your hotel. You will get to meet the rest of the group during the briefing for the trip.
You will be picked up from your hotel for the drive to Koto. Your journey takes you through deep valleys as you are driven along the Trisuli River westwards. First, you will go through the small town of Mugling at the confluence of the Trisuli and Marshyangdi Rivers. This town is a major junction between Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan to the south. Then, we continue on the winding road until the village of Besishar. Finally, we might get our first sight of the Annapurna and Manaslu ranges. From here, we will join a jeep track for a few hours, passing through the villages of Syange, Jagat Chamje, and Timang before reaching Koto for our night stop.
We start our day’s hike on a level trail to Chame, the Manang district’s headquarters. The scenery is so breathtaking that you will take your time on the trek. We will be passing a few mani walls as we leave Chame. Then, we will go through a small hamlet marked by Chortens at both ends on a level trail.
We arrive at water-turned prayer wheels shortly. We pass through the settlement of Brathang, which now has a large apple orchard. Next, we begin a 45-minute climb through a forest. Finally, the path levels off and reaches a suspension bridge. There is a moderate climb after the bridge, taking us into the woods while moving away from the Marshyangdi River.
The valley broadens, and Pisang Peak 6091 looms prominently in front of us. We stop for lunch at Dhukur Pokhari, a few small lakes by the juniper, pine, and fir trees. Pisang is divided into lower and upper villages. We stay at upper Pisang with amazing views of the valley below, the Monastery, and Annapurna II, 7945 meters from our lodge’s opposite side.
We take the ‘high route’ on the east bank of the Marshyangdi. It is a bit longer but well worth the extra hike. We cross the river out of Pisang village, take a reasonably level path through scrubland, and pass a small lake on your right. We give along the mani wall and drop to cross a stream and begin a strenuous switchback climb to Ghyaru, 3,673m. It is worth climbing to visit the Monastery at the top of the village. The views of Annapurna II and Annapurna IV are stunning from here. You continue up the valley on a lovely high trail, passing the ruins of a fort.
You arrive at the village of Ngawal at 3,650m. There is a large newly built Monastery up to the right. You hike past a long mani wall as you leave the village and descend to the valley floor. You will re-join the main trail as you continue to Braga and Manang villages.
It is essential to spend time acclimatization in Manang. There are terrific views of the Annapurna peaks from Braga and Manang villages.
Manang is a large village situated opposite the massive Gangapurna glacier. At its foot lies a beautiful emerald lake. There are a lot of options for walks in the vicinity. Optional side trips to a small hilltop with prayer flags, an hour above Braga village, or up the ridge behind Manang village are available. Another walk to a viewpoint above the lake opposite Manang Village is possible. Some cafes show movies and shops to explore for souvenirs.
We start through the Western gates of Manang, follow a path down to a river we cross, and continue to the south side, passing through a coniferous forest. We will cross a suspension bridge and continue towards Khangsar Village. We continue to Shree Kharka to have lunch. We went to a hostel, hoping to buy some snacks to sustain us until we got to Tilicho base camp, only to be told they did not have any. We had some almonds we had purchased in Chame and were confident that it would keep us going until we reached Tilicho Base Camp for late lunch.
We will arrive at a landslide area with a mixture of scree and rocks with a pretty steep descent with loose grit. We might see some Blue Sheep just before the landslide and partridges in this area. It will take us around 75 minutes to negotiate the landslide area; the villagers have made the trail about 2-3 feet wide in recent years; before the broadening of the path, there were parts where some people had to be on all fours to get across.
The hike begins with a steep ascent of 30 minutes before the climb’s gradient becomes gentler. We will reach a set of switchbacks after a further hour before reaching the top. After that, the trail undulates for 30 minutes before arriving at the lake. We will be very close to Mount Tilicho and Mount Khangsar Khang. We might see some Himalayan Snow Cocks and a giant Male Blue Sheep on the way to the lake.
We return to Tilicho base camp and have lunch here. Then, we retrace our steps uphill on the landslide area and head for Shree Kharka, where we stop for the night.
We take the trail to lead us out of the Upper Marshyangdi river valley as we ascend above the treeline. We bypass Khangsar village and hike off the beaten path until we descend and cross the Thorong river. We are back on the main trail after a short ascend from the suspension bridge.
We hike past a long Mani wall and walk through meadows with grazing yaks to arrive at the temporary yak herders’ settlement in Yak Kharka. We will have beautiful vistas of the surrounding peaks like Tilicho Peak (7134m), Khatungkang (6484m), Chulu (6584m), and so on from Yak Kharka. We can either stop at Yak Kharka or continue for another hour to get to Leddar, depending on how everybody feels.
We have a short day. We will pass through Letdar (if we had not stayed there the previous night) with a small number of lodges/ We take the higher route that winds its way on the valley’s eastern side before crossing a suspension bridge. There is a short rockfall area just before we reach Thorong Phedi. Phedi means the base in Nepali.
We can hike up to the “High Camp” in the afternoon after lunch as our recent hike would acclimate us to Tilicho Base camp. However, it will also cut our walk for tomorrow by at least one hour.
We will start around 5 am after breakfast. We will pack your lunch and make sure you have a lot of water, a down jacket, windproof, and other warm layers for this day.
We start with the ascend to ‘High camp’ and a rock ledge for about 90 minutes at 4680 meters. Then, we continue upwards and on an undulating trail. There are several ‘false summits’ on what seems to be a never-ending climb. You have to remember to stop to rest, rehydrate, and enjoy the views all around. There is no rush, and your trek leader will teach you how to pace yourself and enjoy the ‘moments’ more by being present. It is a beautiful time to do a meditative hike while observing and absorbing everything within and outside you.
It can take 3-5 hours to reach the Thorong La pass 5416 meters. It is marked with a large Cairn and many prayer flags. You will be rewarded by the Annapurna’s spectacular views to the south and the Mukat Himal range that borders Dolpo to the West. Thorong peak is immediate to the south and is also known as a ‘trekking peak. You probably feel the effects of altitude here, and the wind might pick up.
It is a 3 to the 4-hour steep descent to Muktinath. There is a pair of trekking poles, and good knee support will be beneficial for those with knee problems. The views of Mount Dhaulagiri at 8167 meters, Tukuche peak at 6920 meters, and the Kali Gandaki valley are superb on the descent. We will finally see the buildings (many hotels are being constructed for Muktinath domestic and Indian tourists). The temples of Muktinath are one of the most significant pilgrimage sites for Hindus and Buddhists..’
You have an opportunity to view the temples of Muktinath in the morning before beginning your last day on the trek. We leave the main trail and climb slowly to the grassy land for about 3 hours to reach the Lupra pass. The mountains’ magnificent views include Mount Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, Dhampus peak, Nilgiri, Annapurna I, Tilicho, and numerous others. We descend from the pass for nearly 2 hours to reach Lupra, the only village on this route that follows the Bonpo religion. You will have the chance to visit the nearby Monastery.
You will take a sensational flight out of the Kali Gandaki valley between Mount Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and the Annapurna massif. This short 20-minute flight is one of the best mountain flights in the Himalayas.
The rest of the afternoon is free.
You would have an afternoon flight if the Jomsom to Pokhara flight got disrupted by bad weather the previous day.
If you arrived yesterday on schedule, you could take a tandem to paraglide ride with the company owned by a winner of the 2012 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in the morning.
Check into your hotel upon arriving in Kathmandu. Last night’s dinner with your trek leader.
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, go to 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 trek 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.