Everything you need to know about Annapurna Circuit Trek

4 Aug 2023 hillaryadmin

Annapurna Circuit Trek

Annapurna Circuit Trek Overview

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is renowned as one of the world’s best classic treks, attracting trekkers from all over. It offers diverse landscapes, charming villages, and lush forests with beautiful flora. The highlight is reaching Thorong La Pass at 5416m, where you’ll be awestruck by the stunning views of Manang Valley and the snow-capped peaks. The trek also includes visits to the serene Braka monastery and the sacred Muktinath temple at 3800m. Don’t miss the unforgettable sunrise from Poon Hill. With HST’s experienced team, this trek promises to be a truly memorable adventure, blending nature’s wonders with rich cultural experiences.

Annapurna Circuit Trek
Annapurna Circuit Trek

The key point of Annapurna Circuit Trek

  • Diverse and stunning landscapes, lush forests, valleys, rivers, and snow-capped mountains.
  • Thorong La Pass at 5416m, provides challenging but rewarding views.
  • Immersive cultural experiences in charming villages with diverse ethnic groups.
  • Visit the sacred Muktinath Temple at 3800m for spiritual enrichment.
  • Magical sunrise views from Poon Hill over Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges.
  • Spectacular vistas of Annapurna I, II, III, IV, Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri, Gangapurna, Tilicho Peak, Manaslu, and more.

Where is the Annapurna Circuit Trek?

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is located in the Annapurna region of Nepal. It starts from Besisahar and ends in Nayapul or Pokhara. This trek offers breathtaking mountain views, diverse landscapes, and a rich cultural experience along the way.

Mountains on the Annapurna Circuit

Trekkers can witness breathtaking mountain views including the world’s 10th highest during the Annapurna Circuit Trek. Some prominent mountains are Annapurna I (8,091m), Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri, Gangapurna, Tukuche, Nilgiri, Tilicho Peak, Manaslu, etc.

Best season for the Annapurna Circuit Trek

Spring (March to May)

  • Considered the best season for the Annapurna Circuit Trek.
  • Experience variety under one trek with clear and bright weather.
  • Teahouses are fully-operational for trekkers’ convenience.

Monsoon (June to August)

  • Considered an off-season for trekking.
  • Only a few experienced trekkers may choose to trek for a thrilling experience despite the risks.
  • Teahouses are limited. Hence, careful planning is required.

Autumn (September to November)

  • Considered the second-best season for the Annapurna Circuit Trek.
  • Experience stable weather with clear and bright weather.
  • Teahouses are fully-functional for trekkers’ ease.
  • Less-crowded compared to the Spring season.

Winter (December to February)

  • Trekking is tough due to challenging weather conditions, and less availability of teahouses.
  • Only recommended for experienced trekkers, requiring proper planning and medication.

How to Cross the Thorong La Pass?

The highest point of the Annapurna Circuit trek is Thorong La Pass at 5416m. Crossing it is challenging but achievable. It’s the longest day of the trek, starting early at 5 am to avoid strong winds and taking it slowly. You’ll navigate narrow ridges in thick snow, and climb continuously for hours maintaining your pace to avoid potential altitude sickness. Then, reach the pass’s top and enjoy astonishing panoramic views of snow-capped mountains like Annapurna and Dhaulagiri before descending to spend the night in Muktinath.

How long does it take to trek the Annapurna Circuit trek?

Normally, it takes 12-14 days to trek to the Annapurna Circuit Trek but if you plan to expand it and follow another route, it may take 3-5 additional days.

Annapurna Circuit Trek distance

The Annapurna Circuit trek is approximately 140 km from Kathmandu and typically takes 14 days to complete. Additional days can be added to the trek depending on the specific itinerary and side trips chosen.

What is the accommodation like on the trek?

Accommodation on the Annapurna Circuit Trek is primarily in basic and comfortable teahouses or lodges owned by locals. Lower altitudes offer additional amenities like Wi-Fi, hot water, and attached bathrooms for extra charges, while higher altitudes require sharing but provide essential facilities. Respect local customs, interact with locals to learn about their culture, and confirm amenities like Wi-Fi availability before booking.

What is the meal like on the circuit?

Meals on the Annapurna Circuit Trek are basic but essential for trekkers’ energy. Enjoy the Nepalese staple diet Dal Bhat, along with international cuisines, but options are limited in the mountains. Meals are provided at stopovers and carry or buy snacks for the trek. Note that meal prices increase with higher altitudes.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), is common for trekkers above 3000m. HST includes acclimatization days at Manang to prevent altitude sickness, allowing proper rest for the body.

Proper Acclimatization

Trekkers experience multiple ascents and descents during the Annapurna Circuit trek, making acclimatization rest vital to prevent altitude sickness. HST has thoughtfully included an acclimatization day at Manang for the body to rest and adjust effectively.

AMS Symptoms

Altitude sickness exhibits symptoms like headache, nausea, breathlessness, fatigue, dizziness, vomiting, and loss of appetite. In severe cases, it can lead to unconsciousness, hallucinations, and exacerbation of primary symptoms.

Annapurna Circuit Trek Cost

The average cost of the Annapurna Circuit Trek ranges from USD 749 to USD 1099 per person, covering accommodation, meals, transportation, and permits.

Annapurna Circuit Trek Permits

a. Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP)

ForeignersNPR 3000/person
SAARC NationalsNPR 1000/person

b. Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS)

ForeignersNPR 2000/person
SAARC NationalsNPR 1000/person
Foreign Officials & their families                     NPR 500/person

Annapurna Circuit Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for the Annapurna Circuit is essential for safeguarding against unexpected events. It acts as a protective shield, covering medical expenses, luggage loss, theft, flight cancellations, emergency evacuations, and high altitude risks, ensuring a comfortable and secure travel experience.

Where does the Annapurna Circuit start?

The Annapurna Circuit trek usually starts from Besisahar.

Where does the Annapurna Circuit end?

The Annapurna Circuit trek generally ends in Pokhara.

Is the Annapurna circuit trek suitable for beginners?

Annapurna Circuit Trek is challenging yet adventurous for beginners, but with good fitness and a guide, it is suitable and offers a delightful experience in the stunning Annapurna region.

How to Find the Best Trekking Company for Annapurna Circuit Trek?

To find the best trekking company for the Annapurna Circuit Trek, research reputable companies with experience, positive reviews, and a focus on safety. Compare costs, itineraries, and customer support to make an informed decision. We, Hillary Step Treks (HST) are also a leading trekking company and provide the best quality services at reasonable prices.

Preparing for the Trek

Physical Fitness

Before commencing the Annapurna Circuit Trek, focus on regular exercise and hiking to build stamina and strength. The trek includes high ascents, steep descents, and straight roads, offering a varied and challenging experience. Thus, include cardiovascular workouts, strength training, and uphill walking in your routine to prepare for the trek’s challenges. With proper guidance and planning, trekkers with normal physical fitness and health can complete the journey easily and enjoy peak seasons with higher trekker flow.

Packing Essentials

Before embarking on the Annapurna Circuit Trek, properly research the trek route, weather conditions, and accommodations before a mountain trek. Pack the right gear and essential supplies, ensuring an enjoyable and safe adventure. Some recommended packing essentials include:

  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Warm clothing layers
  • Rainproof gear
  • Sleeping bag
  • First aid kit, Water purification kit
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Personal toiletries

Cultural Highlights during Annapurna Circuit trek

  • Encounter diverse ethnic villages with Gurung, Thakali, Manangi, and other communities.
  • Visit ancient monasteries and sacred temples like Braka Monastery and Muktinath Temple.
  • Experience local festivals and traditional dances depending on the timing of the trek.
  • Explore local handicrafts and immerse in warm hospitality from friendly locals.
  • Savor traditional Nepalese cuisine like Dal Bhat, Thakali, along with international options.

Why Choose the Annapurna Circuit Trek?

  • Diverse landscapes and changing scenery make it a compelling choice.
  • Immerse in rich cultural heritage and interact with locals.
  • Thrilling high-altitude Thorong La Pass with breathtaking views.
  • Comfortable teahouse accommodations along the route.
  • Explore the Annapurna Conservation Area’s biodiversity.
  • Customizable itinerary to fit different preferences.
  • Experienced guides ensure safety and enrich the journey.
  • Memorable adventure and challenge for trekkers of all levels.


Some prominent checkpoints for the Annapurna Circuit trek are:

Besisahar (starting point)-Bhulbhule-Jagat-Dharapani-Chame-Upper Pisang-Manag-Ledar-High Camp-Thorong La Pass-Muktinath-Tatopani-Ghorepani-Poon Hill-Hile-Pokhara (ending point)

Tipping for the Annapurna Circuit Trail

Tipping in Nepal is a widely accepted and appreciated culture, especially for guides and porters based on the services they provide. While tipping is optional, a general guideline is to tip about 10% of your trekking cost as a token of gratitude for their assistance.


The Annapurna Circuit Trek delivers an extraordinary adventure with diverse landscapes, cultural experiences, and high-altitude challenges. Breathtaking views, comfortable teahouse accommodations, and experienced guides ensure an unforgettable journey. Cultural respect, extra cash for emergencies, and a positive attitude contribute to a fun and smooth trek. Whether seeking natural beauty, cultural immersion, or personal accomplishment, this trek offers a remarkable and rewarding experience. Take it slow, enjoy the journey, and be positive throughout.

You might be interested in Annapurna Circuit Trek with Tilicho lake

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

How difficult is the Annapurna Circuit trek?

The Annapurna Circuit trek is considered moderately difficult, with challenging sections and high-altitude passes. Proper physical fitness and acclimatization are essential for a successful and enjoyable trekking experience.

Can you do Annapurna circuit alone?

No, you can’t do the Annapurna Circuit trek alone as it’s compulsory to hire a local guide or trekking agency for safety and navigation, especially in remote areas and high-altitude passes.

How do you withdraw money in Nepal?

In Nepal, you can withdraw money from ATMs using your debit or credit card. You can also exchange foreign currency at authorized counters, banks, or hotels. Since the ATMs are limited on Annapurna Circuit Trail, it is advisable to carry extra cash during the trek.

During Annapurna Circuit Trek, how do you know where to go?

During the Annapurna Circuit Trek, a licensed guide ensures your safety, well-being, and navigation. You can also use maps, and guidebooks, and follow the guide’s lead to stay on the right path.

Do I need to carry a lot of water during Annapurna Circuit Trek?

No, you don’t need to carry a lot of water during the Annapurna Circuit Trek as there are plenty of tea houses and lodges to refill your bottle. Carry a reusable water bottle and use water purification tablets or filters for safety.

Is group trek compulsory during Annapurna Circuit Trek?

While a group trek is not mandatory, you can hire a guide and trek with them. However, for safety, easy navigation, and a more enjoyable experience, we recommend opting for a group trek.

Is it possible to buy things during the Annapurna Circuit trek?

Yes, you can buy essential items and supplies during the Annapurna Circuit Trek at teahouses, lodges, and small shops along the route. Carry cash and purchase items as needed, but items may be limited and prices are higher in remote areas.

Is the Annapurna Circuit still worth it?

Yes, the Annapurna Circuit is still worth it for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers. It offers a diverse and incredible trekking experience with splendid landscapes, rich cultural encounters, and the pleasure of crossing high-altitude passes like Thorong La. Despite changes in tourism and infrastructure, the trek remains a remarkable and rewarding journey that allows trekkers to immerse themselves in the beauty and culture of the Annapurna region.

Annapurna Circuit Trek Map

Annapurna Circuit Trek
Annapurna Circuit Trek

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