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Kathmandu | Nepal

Hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal

Season

April and November

Nearest city

Your adventure begins in Kathmandu, Nepal

Duration

20 days

Skill level

Intermediate to advanced

Discover rich Nepalese culture on this life-changing journey

Explore the bright colors, aromas, ancient temples, and bustling marketplaces Nepal offers on this 20-day hike of the Annapurna Circuit. Nepal is famous for its mystical jungles, mighty rivers, and the majestic Himalayas, as well as rich history and the religious and cultural intertwining of Hinduism and Buddhism. Explore monasteries, meet Nepalese people, and discover their quaint mountain villages. Learn about the interesting symbology and impressive culture of Tibet. Along the way, visit Kagbeni, the entrance to the kingdom of Mustang, one of the most beautiful cities of this journey. This trip will leave you with a myriad of beautiful memories and photos that you will cherish your whole lifetime!

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Hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal

$2010 per person · 20 days

Annapurna Circuit is one of the most famous hikes in Nepal. On this 20-day journey, discover the Annapurna and the Himalayan Mountain Range with your experienced guides. Walk through the most incredible landscapes, from jungle views to the Thorung La Pass, the highest point on the Annapurna Circuit at 5.416m. Pass through Muktinath, one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage centers in Nepal. Soak up the culture and customs of its people. On the way back, visit Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan, and immerse yourself in the culture and architecture spanning from ancient temples and stupas to medieval buildings that decorate the streets.

Itinerary

Days 1 and 2: Arrival to Kathmandu

Upon arrival in Kathmandu, your guides will meet you and give you a lift to your accommodation. Later on, you will discuss the management of trekking permits in Kathmandu and the equipment schedule. You can use your afternoon for exploring the Nepalese capital.

Days 3, 4 and 5: The hike begins

Take a local bus trip from Kathmandu to Besisahar where you will begin your journey. It is only a short ride to Ngadi, where you will begin your initial ascension to Bahundanda and crossing of Marsyangdi River through one of the innumerable suspension bridges distributed along the route. A steep slope takes you to Jagat and Syange. Last hike leads to the village of Tal, located in an old glacial valley. The Tibetan symbology begins to appear along the way in the form of colorful prayer flags. Spend the night a few kilometers from the town of Chame, in a small town called Koto.

Days 6, 7, 8 and 9: Monasteries, alpine terrain and yaks

As the roads climb up to 3,000 meters, the landscape changes to an alpine aesthetic. You will stay in Upper Pisang, a town of incredible beauty at the bottom of Annapurna II and Gangapurna. Use your free afternoon in Upper Pisang. At the beginning of the day, you will have an excellent view of the Manang Valley with the Tilicho Peak (7,132 m). The road is comfortable and without large slopes. Spend the day in Manang and enjoy a free afternoon. The eight day of your trip is intended for acclimatization. Your group will leave the village of Manang if circumstances permit to go to Ghunsang, a tiny village with only two houses, where you will enjoy the solitude and peace of the area. Day nine will be another day used for acclimatization. You will visit the small town of Ledar, passing by Yak Kharka, in order to avoid large groups of trekkers.

Days 10 and 11: Reaching Thorung La

Today, your group will reach Thorung Phedi Camp at the bottom of the Thorung La. Rest and prepare to make one last ascent, probably the toughest of the trip. Accommodation will be in High Camp, at approximately 4,000 meters. On the eleventh day, get up early to reach Thorung La after about three hours of hiking. Cross the Thorung La Pass at 5,416 meters and descend to Muktinath, one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage centers in Nepal.

Day 12: Free day in Kagbeni

Many travellers avoid going through Kagbeni, the entrance to the kingdom of Mustang, to arrive in Jomsom as soon as possible. However, it is one of the most beautiful cities of this trekking, and it is not to be missed! Here you can rest and explore the beautiful city. You will spend the night at Kagbeni.

Days 13, 14 and 15: Road to Jomsom, flight to Pokhara and bus to Kathmandu

Make a short trek to Jomsom at 2700m — a chaotic but small highly-commercial city — and enjoy the view over the great Kali Gandaki river bordering with Tibet. The next day, you will take an internal flight to Pokhara, where your group will spend the rest of the day relaxing under the watchful eye of the Annapurna and the Dhaulagiri. In the morning, after a good breakfast, leave towards Kathmandu in a local bus.

Days 16 and 17: Visiting Bhaktapur and Patan

As Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur were formerly an independent kingdom, but in the 18th century, King Shah unified them by putting Kathmandu as their capital. Visit Bhaktapur and immerse yourself in medieval times — Bhaktatpur is famous for its number of medieval buildings, although many of them were destroyed by the 2015 earthquake. Walk among the ceramic stalls and traditional handicrafts, and have a glimpse into some of their rituals of offerings to the Hindu gods. Both religions, Buddhism and Hinduism, coexist in Nepal without any conflict. The next morning, visit the village of Patan, 5 km away from Kathmandu and separated by the Bagmati River. Walk through its streets of temples and stupas dedicated to the Hindu deities. Discover the Durbar Square, the jewel of the Newari architecture, ancient culture of the Kathmandu Valley.

Days 18 and 19: Visiting Kathmandu and free day in the city

Visit Kathmandu, a city founded eight centuries ago and located in the valley that bears its name. Discover its most emblematic and interesting places while feeling the accelerated heartbeat and its essence. Explore the Thamel neighbourhood, where you can find good coffee and local beer, and get lost in their labyrinthine streets full of small shops. The next day, enjoy Kathmandu on your own and visit the local market.

Day 20: Transfer to Kathmandu International Airport

Say goodbye to Nepal, but with the happy feeling of having soaked up their culture and their amazing landscapes, which will forever be engraved in your memory.

Things you need to know

Covid measures in Nepal

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Nepal, please refer to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and COVID-19 Crisis Management Center Nepal websites.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

  • A professional, knowledgeable, medically-trained, wilderness guide
  • Accommodation
  • Transportation during the adventure, including domestic flights
  • Transportation to and from the airport
  • Permits

What’s not included:

  • Country visa
  • Meals during the journey
  • Entrance to tourist places
  • Flights to and from Nepal
  • Sleeping bag and personal material
  • Travel insurance

How fit do I need to be?

This adventure consists of 20 days of full day trekking on various terrain from valleys to mountain passes, with occasional steep descents and challenging switchbacks. Keep in mind, you’ll be packing a daypack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day, as well as all other personal items such as sleeping bags and clothing. This adventure requires excellent physical fitness and previous experience with multi-day hiking.

What do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

  • Backpack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 65L bag)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • First aid kit – remember plasters for damaged feet
  • Water purification tablets, iodine
  • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
  • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
  • Camp shoes/sandals
  • Socks (polypropylene)
  • A down or fibre filled jacket
  • A good water/wind proof jacket or poncho with a hood
  • Loose fitting lightweight trousers and shorts
  • Thick woollen jumper/sweater
  • T-shirts
  • Spare clothes for layering
  • Sunhat
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Travel towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera — optional (but recommended)
  • Chargers and batteries

What can I expect from hiking with a guide?

Hiring a local guide offers you the chance to experience Nepal’s beauty to the fullest. Local guides know all the hidden gems the area has to offer, will explain the history and geology during the hike, and will customize your day to the desires of your group. Because there is so much to see and do in Nepal, this is one location where it really pays to have a guide by your side to make the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Why should I book with 57hours?

With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.

What about group sizes and pricing?

The standard group size on this adventure is 12 guests and 2 guides, one local and one professional and experienced, certified guide. It takes a minimum of six guests for the trip to run. The tours listed above are not private. Pricing is per person, and cost doesn’t decrease as your group grows.

However, if you wish to travel in a private group, or if you’re traveling with a larger party, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

What is the minimum age requirement?

  • Everybody over the age of 18 is welcome to book this hiking adventure.
  • Minors over the age of 16 may be permitted to join tours. If you plan to hike with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

What about bad weather?

Tours are scheduled to fit with the seasons and ideal hiking conditions. When the weather does not cooperate, your guide will know the correct course of action to take. Whether that’s shifting to a more favorable location or postponing until conditions approve, your guide will know just what to do. In the event of predictably bad weather, you will be contacted prior to the trip to discuss suitable alternatives.

Do I need an insurance policy?

We highly recommended that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more. 

As we’ve recently seen, travel plans can be abruptly halted, so it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance that covers cancelled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans. For peace of mind, we suggest you consider both options of insurance.

If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

Cancellation policy

With 57hours, you benefit from both our own cancellation policy as well as that of the individual guiding service that delivers your adventure. All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure, but rest assured that our own cancellation policy will work on top of what is provided by your guide.

For this adventure, 57hours offers an Expedition Cancellation Policy, which states:
If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to thirty (30) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. For cancellations fourteen (14) to twenty nine (29) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. For cancellations zero (0) to thirteen (13) days in advance, the Client is not entitled to any refund.

For more information on terms and conditions, please visit our Terms of Service page.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Nepal, most people fly into Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. From there, your guides will pick you up and transfer you to your accommodation in Kathmandu.

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