Come join Responsible Adventures on one of the most scenic and diverse treks in the world. The complete circuit of Annapurna is an estimated 300km with different scenery daily.
- 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.
A shorter version of the most diverse trek in the wold
The shorter Annapurna Circuit Trek compacts the thrills of the circuit trek into a manageable 12 days for visitors who are short on time.
Known as one of the most diverse and scenic treks globally, Annapurna’s complete circuit is an estimated 300 km. The short circuit follows the same route until Jomsom, where the original circuit continues onto Ghorepani and Pokhara.
The trek begins in the subtropical forests of Besi Sahar (750 m), continuing onto Bagarchhap, Chyamje, Chame, and Pisang, before entering the arid plateaus of Manang, an ex-kingdom once restricted to the outside world. The trek then continues onto Yak Kharka and ThorungPhedi for a summit of the treacherous Thorung La Pass (5415 m), the most significant pass in the world. The circuit winds down at Jomsom via Muktinath. A couple of rest days at the Lakeside city of Pokhara follows.
Food and nutrition on the trek
We are pioneers in gastronome trekking in the Himalayas. We provide a varied, interesting 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 also assisting in acclimatization to high altitude. The combination of 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 at all times 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.
- Your food is prepared with superfood ingredients to give the best nourishment, recovery, and acclimatization to high altitude for our gourmet trekking adventures.
You will be met at the airport by our representative 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. You will go through the small town of Mugling at the confluence of Trisuli and Marshyangdi Rivers. This town is a major junction between Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan to the south. We continue on the winding road until the town of Besishar. 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, 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. 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. We begin a 45-minute climb through a forest. 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 couple of 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’ that is 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 and then take a reasonably level path through scrubland and pass a small lake on your right. We pass along the mani wall and drop to cross a stream, and begin a strenuous switchback climb to Ghyaru 3,673m. It is worth the climb up 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 important to spend time for acclimatization in Manang. There are terrific views of the Annapurna peaks from both Braga and Manang villages.
Manang is a large village situated on the rise opposite of 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.
It is essential to stop at Yak Kharka for acclimatization between Manang and Thorong Phedi, despite being a short hiking day. WE reach the village of Tenki half an hour after leaving Manang. We begin to contour around the hillside as we gain lovely views of the “Grand Barrier” named Maurice Herzog, the first person to climb Annapurna. It is the high ridge between Roc Noir and Nilgiri peaks. You can also see the village of Khangsar on the opposite side of the valley. We will continue through the barren landscape of the Manang valley as we pass the settlement of Ginseng. You will feel the thin air despite the ascend being gradual. You will arrive at Yak Kharka for lunch.
There are a couple of options for walking in the afternoon, either up to a ridge behind the village or further up the valley. There is a chance of seeing flocks of Blue sheep a short way above the camp, especially after 4 pm onwards. Either of these hikes should help with acclimatization.
We have yet another short day as it is still essential to gain altitude slowly. We will pass through Letdar with a small number of lodges/ We take the higher route that winds its way on the valley’s eastern side before cross a suspension bridge. There is a short rockfall area just before we reach Thorong Phedi. Phedi means the base in Nepali.
We can take a hike up to the “High Camp’ in the afternoon for acclimatization, have a hot drink there before returning to Phedi. Phedi can be very busy with hundreds of trekkers during peak season time.
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 on to a rock ledge for about 90 minutes at 4680 meters. 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 get to 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 with Dolpo to the West. Thorong peak is immediate to the south, and it is also known as a ‘trekking peak. You are probably feeling the effects of altitude here, and the wind might be picking up.
It is a 3 to 4 hour of steep descent to Muktinath. There is a pair of trekking poles, and for those with knee problems, good knee support will be beneficial. The views of Mount Dhaulagiri 8167 meters and Tukuche peak 6920 meters, and the Kali Gandaki valley is superb on the descend. 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. There are magnificent views of the mountains that 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 walk along the riverbank of Lupra Khola after lunch for another 45 minutes before meeting the Kali Gandaki’s main trail. You will be taking the regular route for an hour to reach Jomsom – a small town with a police station, a couple of banks, and a STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) airstrip. The Kali Gandaki here is called the Thak Khola locally. This where the name of the ethnic group, the Thakalis, who live in this region derives. They are enterprising and ambitious, and the Thakalis formerly dominated the salt trade with Tibet in this region while their women ran inns. Thakali food is considered A1 amongst the Nepalese.
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 have an afternoon flight incase the Jomsom to Pokhara flight got disrupted by bad weather the previous day.
If you arrived yesterday on schedule, you have an option of taking a tandem 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 departure time.
- Boutique hotel in Kathmandu on a bed and breakfast basis
- Boutique hotel in Pokhara on a bed and breakfast basis
- Hotel/lodges on twin sharing basis
- All transportation
- Responsible Adventures’ expert trek leader or Trek with Raj
- Complimentary T-shirt
- Use of trekking kit bag during the trek
- One assistant guide between four trekkers
- Trekking Chef
- One porter between two trekkers
- Proper clothing for porters and crew
- Food for porters and crew members (We are one of less than a handful of trekking companies that provide this facility.)
- Insurance for team and porters
- All permits
- Twin sharing room on the trek
- All meals on the trek (healthiest and varied trekking meals in the whole of the Himalaya)
- Domestic airfare
- International airport taxes
- 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 tips at your discretion)
- Items of a personal nature, e.g., alcoholic drinks, bottled beverages, laundry, souvenir, 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 you with 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 10th May 2021 and 31st December 2021, 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. To stay flexible, we recommend that you choose a flexible fare when booking your flight.
Full flexibility on your booking
Stay flexible with our new rebooking service until shortly before your departure. For new bookings made between May 10th and December 31st, 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.
From 3 years old to some in their 70s, most of our clients have done and completed their treks 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.
Outside of Nepal, A visa can also be obtained 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.
Is this trip safe for solo/female/LGBT+/minority/POC travelers?
You are safe as long as you are respectful of the culture, do not show affection in public, and dress decently (this won’t pose too much problem as you will be covered up in layers to stay warm).
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 trek?
What is a typical day on a trek like?
What is the food like on the trek?
The Benefits of using trekking poles.
What do I need to know about high altitude?
High altitude myths.
How to trek safely?
For more articles, you can go to our blogs.