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Annapurna Circuit Trek: Exploring the Himalayas’ Marvel

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is considered one of the finest and most iconic multi-day treks in the world. This epic journey takes you through the incredible Annapurna mountain range in central Nepal, bringing stunning Himalayan views, cultural immersion, and immense personal achievement.

Introduction to Annapurna Circuit Trek

The Annapurna Circuit Trek loops around the Annapurna massif, taking 14-20 days to cover 100-150 miles. Trekking through the world’s 10th highest mountain range, you’ll be surrounded by 10 peaks over 7,000 meters including the 8,091 meter Annapurna I.

The trek reaches a maximum altitude of 5,416 meters at the famous Thorong La mountain pass. You’ll traverse lush valleys, quaint villages, cliffside trails, rice terraces, and Tibetan Buddhist culture. The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a bucket list adventure for any passionate trekker.

Planning Your Annapurna Circuit Trek

Proper preparation and planning is key to having a successful Annapurna Circuit Trek. Determining the optimal trekking season, securing permits, booking tea houses, hiring guides, training, and packing gear are essential steps.

The best time for the Annapurna Circuit Trek is in the dry autumn months of October-November or spring of March-May. You’ll need to obtain the ACAP permit and TIMS card in Kathmandu before starting. Hire an experienced guide locally and book tea house stays in advance.

Train by hiking with weighted packs, strength training, and cardio 4-5x weekly. Pack proper boots, layers, medication, and supplements to counter altitude sickness. Budget 2-4 weeks for the full experience.

Annapurna Circuit Trek Itinerary

The Annapurna Circuit Trek typically starts in Besisahar, reaching Thorong La, and ending in Jomsom or Pokhara. Here’s a sample itinerary:

Day 1 – Start in Besisahar, hike to Bhulbhule
Day 2-3 – Trek to Chamje, passing waterfalls and valleys
Day 4-5 – Reach Manang village, acclimatize for Thorong La
Day 6 – Hike to Yak Kharka base camp
Day 7 – Cross Thorong La Pass (5,416m), hike to Muktinath
Day 8 – Muktinath to Jomsom, enjoy views of Nilgiri & Dhaulagiri
Day 9-13 – End trek in Beni then drive to Pokhara

Highlights of Annapurna Circuit Trek

The Annapurna Circuit takes you through diverse landscapes, cultural sites, and incredible viewpoints including:

  • Crossing the suspension bridge in Besisahar
  • Prayer flags and stone architecture of villages like Chamje
  • Stunning sunrise mountain views from Thorong Phedi
  • The famous summit of Thorong La Pass (5,416m)
  • Important Hindu & Buddhist pilgrimage site of Muktinath Temple
  • Picturesque mountain views around Kagbeni and Jomsom
  • Natural hot springs bath at Tatopani
  • Rushing rivers and waterfalls throughout the route

Annapurna Circuit Trek Challenges & Advice

While immensely rewarding, the Annapurna Circuit Trek poses challenges requiring proper preparation:

  • Altitude sickness – Go slow, hydrate, and use Diamox to acclimatize
  • Knee pain – Use trekking poles to distribute weight on knees
  • Physical fitness – Train with weighted packs before the trek
  • Food – Carry snacks as villages have simple fare; avoid meat
  • Weather – Optimal months are October-November and March-May
  • Permits – Obtain ACAP and TIMS card permits in advance


For experienced trekkers seeking immense natural beauty and adventure, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is a must-do. Trekking through the Annapurna mountains brings stunning scenery, cultural immersion in villages, camaraderie with fellow hikers, and a great sense of accomplishment upon conquering Thorong La Pass. With the right preparation and packing, this life-changing Himalayan journey is within your reach!