Grace Trekking

Annapurna Circuit (21 Days)

This is our most popular trek to the highest trekking point of Thorong La at 5,416m.

We’ll start our trek from Ngadi and end at Pokhara. The weather will be moderate. We’ll see Manaslu range, Lamjung range, Annapurna range and Dhaulagiri range. We’ll come across many villages, schools, rivers, hills. We’ll get to see various types of culture from the ethnic group of Gurung, Magar, Chetri and Brahmin.

There’s a possibility to see different species of birds and animals while we walk through the National Park. We’ll also see people engaged in agriculture. While we trek, we can see lots of beautiful mountains, scenery and lots of green valleys.

Day 1 Kathmandu

We’ll meet at the airport and transfer to the hotel. In the evening a Nepali dinner will be served with a cultural program.

Day 2 Kathmandu

After breakfast you have the option of a city tour with one of our guides. There are many historical landmarks in Kathmandu and many Buddhist and Hindu temples. In the evening, we’ll prepare for the upcoming trek.

Day 3 Ngadi 930m

The drive to Ngadi is long, 6-7 hours depending on road works and traffic. We will have regular stops for refreshments and lunch.

Ngadi is a Gurung settlement inhabited by people from older villages higher up the slopes. Since this part of the area is a region of confluence between the Indo-Aryan Khas population and Tibeto-Burman Gurung population, there are sometimes two names for the same place. Hence, while Ngadi has become more popular now, the place is also referred to as Taranche.

As it is right now, this place is full of small lodges with large gardens which see fewer trekkers and more construction workers from the Upper Marshyangdi Hydropower Project.

Day 4 Jagat 1,300m

In the Nepali language, Jagat stands for “the World”. A tableau of mountains and wild landscapes surround the village. The main ethnic groups in the area are the Gurung and Tamang people. Here you get the first sound of the Marshyangdi River which we will follow for some days.

An earthquake of 7.9 magnitudes on the Richter scale hit this beautiful Jagat Village in 2015 and destroyed many beautiful houses as well as hotels. Small and effectively run small hotels in the village will provide you quality food and resting facilities. You’ll be amazed at the hospitality of the Nepali people. The attire is traditional, and it seems that the effects of modern-day technology are felt little in Jagat Village. But still, high-speed internet connection is available to stay connected with the world.

Day 5 Dharapani 1,860m

Dharapani serves as an essential checkpoint for trekkers entering the restricted Manang region. Your guide will have all the necessary paperwork and there will be other checkpoints along the way so nobody is left behind.

Dharapani is renowned for its stunning mountain vistas and traditional Nepalese architecture. As you approach the village, you’ll be greeted by a collection of charming stone houses adorned with intricate wood carvings. These traditional buildings showcase the local architectural style and add to the village’s cultural allure.

The views from Dharapani are breathtaking, with the towering peaks of the Annapurna and Manaslu mountain ranges dominating the horizon. Trekkers can witness the snow-capped summits and their majestic beauty, providing an unforgettable backdrop for their journey.

Day 6 Chame 2,680m

For the district of Manang, Chame is an important place as it is the administrative headquarter of the district. At the time of the 2011 Nepal census, it had a population of only 1129 people living in 279 individual households. It was badly damaged by the 2015 earthquake but has made a good recovery.

Most of the people in this region are involved in trading. Trading expensive gems, metals, watches, musk, precious medicinal herbs, ready-made garments and many more with Tibet. Most of the people spend half of their time away from home due to heavy snowfall, the place becomes inhabitable. However, after the place was opened from foreigners, most people have shifted their occupation to hoteliers. Manang being small has cultural diversity. The major ethnic group being Gurung, Tamang, Sherpa followed by Thakali, Chhetri, Magar.

Day 7 Pisang 3,300m

There’s a good view of Annapurna II from Pisang. This village is a showcase for Nepal: scenery, mountains, culture, and generosity of spirit.

Some villages along the Annapurna Circuit, such as Pisang, are passed through quickly by trekkers. However, it is in these smaller posts where hospitality is most welcoming, that trekkers have the opportunity to learn what life is really like in the Himalayas. Unlike well-known areas, like Manang later on the trek, these “in between” points are hungry for tourists. The introduction of the road along Annapurna has made it so that some of these villages are passed by completely, and villages have learned to make do.

Pisang is one of those places that show the best of Nepal: scenery, mountains, culture, and generosity of spirit. And of course, tea, lots of tea. By staying overnight here you will feel its full value and charm.

Day 8 Ngawal 3,660m

It’s a nice easy track passing a little green lake in the middle of nowhere. Reaching a mani wall you’ll cross another swing bridge, knowing you’ve have made it to the village of Ghyaru (3,730m). The trail zigzags nearly thirty times steeply up the side of the mountain. It takes over an hour to climb this small section alone. It is an extremely steep ascent with plenty of water breaks.

This typical village of the Manang area is full of beautiful homes made of stone with flat roofs. It is truly a beautiful place to have a much-needed rest having just climbed a straight 300 meters. Though, the views here in Ghyaru certainly make it worth the effort.

Ngawal is predominantly inhabited by the Manangi people, who have their unique cultural traditions and customs. The Manangi people are of Tibetan descent and have preserved their traditional way of life with warm hospitality and local culture.

The views are extraordinary – Annapurna II, Annapurna III and Gangapurna. A visit to the Buddhist monastery is recommended. It will help you relax now that you’ll be feeling the height.

Day 9 Manang 4,100m

The weather will be colder now and we’ll spend two nights here to acclimatise. It’s a lovely village with a close glimpse into the local way of life – children run about, parents are in the fields, shops have quaint objects for sale, coffee and tea houses are a delight. It is located at the edge of the cliffs in the north region of the Annapurna Range.

The arid landscapes of Manang remind you of a barren desert. The culture and lifestyle of the local Manangi people, on the other hand, is vibrant and lively. It’s the last village on the trek where some locals reside during the winter, though most move back down the mountains when the winter snow comes through.

At this stage taking a half-tablet of Diomox this evening and over the next two days will alleviate altitude sickness.

Day 10 Manang – second day to acclimatize

If you are up for it, we’ll take a gentle stroll to a monastery in the hills. Going to height and back down again helps with sleep and relaxes your body.

We’ll visit the medical centre to learn about the effects of altitude.

If you are interested in languages, the Manangis speak Manangba or Manange, which is one of the 400 dialects of the Sino-Tibetan family spoken all over the Asian continent. However, the language is on the brink of extinction because of the rapid migration of the younger generation of Manangis into the cities.

There is no written script of the language which makes it difficult to protect in the long run. The language is linguistically similar to Tamang, Gurung, and Thakali languages. Locals do speak Nepali as their second language.

Day 11 Ledar 4,200m

The tree line is behind us now as the stark height of rocky formations give the landscape a challenging feeling as we ascend and descend through valleys and over streams.

Your pace will be slower now as you feel the effects of altitude, breathing heavily, muscles ache from lower oxygen levels, and you have to remind yourself that you’re near the summit and it’ll be well worth the ache. You’ll be sharing the road with yaks at this stage!

You’ll have a closer look at the snowscape on the mountains. Look closely at the image here – the wind blowing off the mountain, actually the cause of most deaths on Annapurna, the strange triangles of ice. It’s stunningly beautiful.

Day 12 High Camp 4,525m

Nearly there! You’ll have passed the green line, after which nothing grows, a distempered area, where nothing is disturbed, except the prayer flags, even in the strongest gale. It’ll be cold, maybe snow swirling to distort your path, maybe hail as big as golf balls, maybe you’ll be lucky with clear blue skies, lots of maybe this and that. Whatever, this is why you came on this trek.

To assuage your head, which at this stage that’s what it’s all about, because you know the trek won’t beat you, not at this stage, you’ll have the best views of Mount Gundang, Mount Syagang, Thorong Peak and Mount Khatungkan. They’ll stand there as banisters of support. Nearly there, you can do it!

Day 13 Thorung La 5,416m and descent to Muktintath 3,760m

Are you ready? At 3am you’ll be woken up if you’re not already awake with excitement. Weather is unpredictable though your guide will have a forecast. It’s an early start to get to the summit at day-break but also because the wind changes in the afternoon beyond Thorong La and it’s better for the descent.

No words can describe the excitement of reaching Thorong La, of seeing sunrise on Annapurna and Gangapurna, the prayer flags a sign of success and happiness. Enjoy tea at the windowless outpost there. You and your group are stars!

The descent can be tricky. If it has snowed, you will need crampons. It’s a good hike down to Muktintath, past the beautiful monastery there.

Day 14 Tatopani 1,190m

This is a long bus ride, 7-8 hours, on rough mountain roads. It is exciting with scary edges to the valley below and awesome scenery. You’ll love it! We will stop for a break and refreshments, and then arrive in the afternoon in the wonderful village of Tatopani. If you fancy, you should enjoy a dip in the hot spa.

 

Singa Tatopani Kunda in Myagdi district is known as having a natural remedy. There is a belief that if you take regular bath in a pool of hot water of 50 degree Celsius for a week, you will be cured of diseases like joint, skin, gastritis, nerves, bath, back pain, limb swelling, stomach swelling and goitre. The water in the pool smells like birch bark.

Day 15 Shika 1,935m

A short walk on the mountain road leads to a bridge and suddenly the vista changes to green and beauty. Today’s trek is stunning with forest paths, along by farms and welcoming people. Shika itself is small and exciting with wonderful views back along the valleys.

You’ll trek through the Gurkha villages of Dana and Chitre on the way to Shika.

Day 16 Ghorepani 2,860m

Ghorepani used to be a water stop for traders’ horses, thus pani is water and ghore means horse. The trade road by-passes Ghorepani now. It is recommended that you rise early and walk to Poon Hill (3,200m), about an hour’s hike, for the sunrise.

You should be able to identify a wide range of mountains from the viewing platform: Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Annapurna I (8,091m), Annapurna South (7,219m), Machapuchare (6,993m), Annapurna II (7,937m), Annapurna II (7,55m) and Gangapurna (7,445m). You will remember most of these from the other side of the Annapurna Circuit as you trekked to Thorong La. They will seem like old friends as the names now trip off your tongue.

Day 17 Hile 1,430m

We are back to forests and undulating treks as we descend to the lower villages and check out of the National Park.

One of the attractions in Hile is the Hile View Tower, which is a tall structure built on top of a hill that overlooks the surrounding area. You are welcome to climb to the top of the tower to maximise the views of the surrounding hills and forests.

Hile is well-known for its traditional food and drink: Tongba is a millet-based alcoholic drink, and Sukuti is a dried meat made from buffalo, lamb or goat. They are popular local specialties and as you are nearly at the end of your trek, tasting local beverages and unusual food won’t do you any harm. Just don’t get carried away!

You’ll be greeted by a large statue of Tongba at the town’s entrance. The town’s bazaar is a bustling hub of activity, and the local people are known for their warm hospitality.

Day 18 Pokhara

We walk for about 3 hours today. We’ll have a final lunch with the porters. Afterwards we’ll drive to Pokhara and drop the porters in town. Expect a fun, relaxing evening in an excellent hotel with a Nepali dance and music show later. You’ll have earned it.

Day 19 Pokhara sight-seeing

Pokhara is the capital of Gandaki Province, once an important staging post on the route between China and India. It is considered the tourism capital of Nepal. For all that, it is delightful with its beautiful Phewa Lake and quiet back streets. A walk around Phewa Lake is recommended if you haven’t done enough trekking by now!

Day 20 Kathmandu

We’ll fly from Pokhara’s modern airport to Kathmandu and enjoy a final view of the Annapurna circuit of mountains. We’ll relax in a high-quality hotel and enjoy our final Nepali dinner.

Day 21 Kathmandu

You may have time for final sightseeing and, if so, The Garden of Dreams is within walking distance of the hotel and the perfect quiet place to reflect. Today we transfer to Kathmandu airport and fly home.

2PAX (1 - 5 persons)

$ 3050 / pp

Subject to availability & seasons

6PAX (6 - 8 persons)

$ 2750 / pp

Subject to availability & seasons

8PAX (more than 8 persons)

$ 2660 / pp

Subject to availability & seasons