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Annapurna Circuit

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Annapurna Circuit - Exodus Travels
Annapurna Circuit - Exodus Travels
Good
75 reviews
Starts
Kathmandu
+20 Destinations
Himalaya Mountains
Ends
Kathmandu
Map

Highlights

Start and end in Kathmandu! With the hiking & trekking tour Annapurna Circuit, you have a 22 day tour package taking you through Kathmandu, Nepal and 20 other destinations in Nepal. Annapurna Circuit includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
Age range
16 to 99 year olds
Accommodation
Hotel
Max Group Size
16
Physical Rating
Active

75 Reviews

Write a review
  • Annapurna Circuit reviewer 1
    Written on November 12, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    We had previously done little trekking and had never visited Nepal. For us, therefore, trekking the Annapurna Circuit was much more than a photography-fest. It was an overwhelming experience, as intense as it was humbling; an experience that taught us much we didn't know about ourselves and about the Nepalese mountain folk who cared for us. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?An early-morning walk down to the Marsyangdi river below Manang, to watch the the first rays of sunshine light up the summits of Gangapurna, with its great icefall, and Annapurna II. I wasn't alone, however. The locals were already working their tiny patches of land, uprooting buckwheat with their bare hands and transporting the harvest on their backs.What did you think of your group leader?We were all struck by the awesome responsibility of the job and the range of leadership qualities and other skills it demands.  We were a motley bunch of trekkers, aged 29-69, in a remote, unfamiliar and harsh environment. The leader doesn't know who he's going to have to deal with. He just knows that he's got to get them, whoever they are, round this most challenging of treks. Gum KC, our leader, was superb. I also want to pay credit to our guides, Ganesh and Saroj, who not only escorted us cheerfully and informatively, but also waited on us at lodges and restaurants, brought us our morning tea and if necessary carried messages ahead, organised our laundry and even relieved us (if in extremis) of our back-packs.........also to our porters. They were the happiest bunch of guys I ever met.This review must read like an Exodus plant, but I really mean everything I've written. To be so served by these Nepalese people was a humbling experience.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Given the range of climates one encounters on the Circuit, you will need to take a variety of clothes and this puts a premium on space and weight. The following advice should be read at reader's risk. It is what WE found.Some things we were advised to take but DIDN'T need:A big heavy, 4-season, sleeping bag? No. At high altitude without exception the lodges provided massive bedcovers. We were very happy with our light, highly compactable, "trekkers" sleeping bags. They were supposedly 3-season bags althougth we never had a chance to put them seriously to the test. A big supply of toilet paper just in case? No. It is available everywhere. One roll will be fine.Savoury snacks (nuts, biltong, jiffy beef)? No. These are great in theory but in practice what everyone craved for were sweet things. And you don't need to carry much of these, either. Biscuits, chocolate bars, muesli bars, etc, are available everywhere.Down jacket? Not for us! This may be a good idea in the dead of winter but they were not needed on our trek. The down jackets on hire from Exodus are heavy and take up a lot of room. Several of us had them and they were a nuisance. It is better (I think) to have lots of layers: base layer, fleecy shirt, fleecy jumper, fleecy jacket, fleecy over-jacket and a shower-proof jacket to cover everything in an emergency. I had all five items, to mix and match as needed. Items we DID need:At least two water containers, of which one should be at least 2 litre capacity, plus water purification tablets. One drinks a huge amount of water at high altitude, so you need to be able to have one bottle of water in the process of being treated while the other bottle is available to drink from. Drink stations aren't always available when you want them and, high up, one is discouraged from buying bottled water (though it is widely available) on environmental grounds.Medicines for altitude sickness and bacterial diarrhea. Our leader did have stocks of Diamox and Ciprofloxacin (in addition to a lot of other emergency kit) but he naturally expected what we consumed to be replaced. We brought our own and were glad we did.   A day bag that provides good ventilation for your sweaty back and has a super-comfortable waist strap that enables you to take some of the weight on your hips. You are going to have that damn thing on back for an awful long time! Robust, clear, waterproof polybags to protect your stuff in transit. The Exodus kit bags are excellent but not rain-proof.Small, self-sealing bags for toiletries, etc. We found that ziplock bags easily snag and get ripped. Self-sealing bags of the kind provided at airport security last longer.Washing line and hooks with which to sling it across your bedroom, plus a few clothes pegs. We found this essential. Many lodges provide washing lines but stuff left outside overnight often ended up damper than it started.  Is there anything else you would like to add?I would advise everyone to do some serious training, with back pack, before attempting this trek. If you are enthusiastic and a reasonably active sort of person, they'll get you round. BUT you will find you are tested from day 1. If you want to enjoy the experience to the full, I strongly recommend you work on your fitness beforehand. 

  • Annapurna Circuit reviewer 2
    Written on April 30, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    I can't think of a better way of spending 3 weeks' of my annual leave. It was a wonderful and very varied introduction to the Himalayas, and I hope to return in the future.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Definitely crossing the Thorong Pass. All the more so given I had altitude sickness. I was entranced by the Mustang Valley on the other side. What did you think of your group leader?I thought he was superb! His name was Prem Gurung. He had about 18 years' experience, I think, and it showed. Chatting with him, he was clearly very well-trained and very knowledgeable about everything to do with Nepal, the areas we were travelling through and the related flora and fauna. He was very patient and caring, and he was nearly always available. Also great company. He lead a great team -Hemantha, our guide, who was great fun, and set a great pace, and our porters -Nabin, Kumar and Kaloo, who performed miracles of strength each day. I can't think of any way he could improve. Do you have any advice for potential travellers?The schedule doesn't give you a any time to sort out kit before you leave spare stuff in Kathmandu, so be as ruthless as possible with packing before you leave, as the porters will be carrying two packs like yours each day. As the trek continued I was less and less bothered about having clean clothes, etc. Having a few clean 'non-walking' clothes to change in to in Kathmandu is nice.There is a handful of moderately challenging days -3, maybe, and they shouldn't be beyond the ability of anyone reasonably fit. The other days were pretty easy, and I don't really keep myself fit, so don't stress too much about your ability.Prem's First Aid Kit was well-stocked with Diamox and other pills to combat altitude sickness. They were in date and amazingly effective, so there's no need to take your own. N.B. Some online forums say that appropriate acclimitisation precludes altitude sickness, but even with those days built in I still sucumbed.Dal Bhat is generally the best thing on the menu. And you get free top-ups! The food otherwise is endless variations on rice, pasta, noodles, veg, egg... It'll fill you up, but don't get too exicted. Never used the recommended gaiters, but very pleased I took a buff: protects against dust, sunburn, cold... Very handy. You will need to get used to cold, brief washes, as hot water is a rarity, despite what the teahouse ads say.although in winter, clearer skies may be more effective with solar showers. I took alcohol gel and 2 packs of wet wipes -about 50. They saw me through.    

  • Annapurna Circuit reviewer 3
    Written on April 30, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    I can't think of a better way of spending 3 weeks' of my annual leave. It was a wonderful and very varied introduction to the Himalayas, and I hope to return in the future.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Definitely crossing the Thorong Pass. All the more so given I had altitude sickness. I was entranced by the Mustang Valley on the other side. What did you think of your group leader?I thought he was superb! His name was Prem Gurung. He had about 18 years' experience, I think, and it showed. Chatting with him, he was clearly very well-trained and very knowledgeable about everything to do with Nepal, the areas we were travelling through and the related flora and fauna. He was very patient and caring, and he was nearly always available. Also great company. He lead a great team -Hemantha, our guide, who was great fun, and set a great pace, and our porters -Nabin, Kumar and Kaloo, who performed miracles of strength each day. I can't think of any way he could improve. Do you have any advice for potential travellers?The schedule doesn't give you a any time to sort out kit before you leave spare stuff in Kathmandu, so be as ruthless as possible with packing before you leave, as the porters will be carrying two packs like yours each day. As the trek continued I was less and less bothered about having clean clothes, etc. Having a few clean 'non-walking' clothes to change in to in Kathmandu is nice.There is a handful of moderately challenging days -3, maybe, and they shouldn't be beyond the ability of anyone reasonably fit. The other days were pretty easy, and I don't really keep myself fit, so don't stress too much about your ability.Prem's First Aid Kit was well-stocked with Diamox and other pills to combat altitude sickness. They were in date and amazingly effective, so there's no need to take your own. N.B. Some online forums say that appropriate acclimitisation precludes altitude sickness, but even with those days built in I still sucumbed.Dal Bhat is generally the best thing on the menu. And you get free top-ups! The food otherwise is endless variations on rice, pasta, noodles, veg, egg... It'll fill you up, but don't get too exicted. Never used the recommended gaiters, but very pleased I took a buff: protects against dust, sunburn, cold... Very handy. You will need to get used to cold, brief washes, as hot water is a rarity, despite what the teahouse ads say.although in winter, clearer skies may be more effective with solar showers. I took alcohol gel and 2 packs of wet wipes -about 50. They saw me through.    

  • Annapurna Circuit reviewer 4
    Written on April 18, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    Walking the Annapurna Circuit was the achievement of an ambition formed when doing the Sanctuary trek previously with Exodus. There is something compelling about Nepal – the biggest mountains in the world, the hugely varied landscape, the amazing people, the harmony between different religious beliefs. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?So much of this journey inspired wonder and awe: it is impossible to choose one moment above others. The sheer scale of the geography and geology; the piercing turquoise blue of the tumbling Marsyangdi river; standing on a hillside watching the legendary lammergeyer circling overhead; the “dambuster squadron” of Griffon vultures swooping down the gorge below. A taste of the protected kingdom of Upper Mustang with its strange dry landscape and temples was fascinating. And the most unusual cinema venue I have been to was in Manang - a dark shed, wooden benches with yak wool cushions, a roaring wood-burning stove, and cups of herbal tea.What did you think of your group leader?Shailesh Tamang, our group leader, worked tirelessly to make this trek outstanding in every way. The group of 16 was expertly managed to keep us together, despite inevitable variations in ability and experience. His expertise meant that we all acclimatised sufficiently to the altitude to be able to climb the Thorung-La. Shailesh is very knowledgeable and was always willing to share this with us, particularly giving us an insight into the current situation in Nepal and some of the problems the country faces. Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Wet wipes, wet wipes and more wet wipes!  Don’t expect a shower to be hot, if at all. Be prepared to get up very early. Try the excellent chocolate cake in Manang…… But order the various forms of lethal custard at your own peril!Is there anything else you would like to add?I was a little apprehensive beforehand having read about the building of the new road. This, in fact, is more like a rutted dirt track. But it cannot be denied that the way of life for people here is changing as a result. In response to the road, we were taken on several little used high routes which were superb. For many, crossing the Thorung-La or being on Poon Hill at sunrise are the top experiences of this trek. However the circuit is so much more than this, and despite 18 days walking it was over all too quickly. As seen on a notice board in Kagbeni: "Nepal is here to change you, not for you to change Nepal"

  • Annapurna Circuit reviewer 5
    Written on April 18, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    Walking the Annapurna Circuit was the achievement of an ambition formed when doing the Sanctuary trek previously with Exodus. There is something compelling about Nepal

  • Annapurna Circuit reviewer 6
    Written on April 17, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    A very good trek, excellently led by a local with extensive knowledge and well developed leadership skills.  The group gelled together well making it a really enjoyable trip.  There has been contact with all since arriving home and reunions are in the offing.  A truely memorable experience and hopefully some life-long friends made.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Crossing the pass and seeing the vast array of mountains to the west.What did you think of your group leader?I cannot praise him highly enough.  He was well organised and made the trip a real pleasure.  Whatever you are paying him, it is not enough.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?be aware that the hard work is not over once you reach the top of the pass.  There is one very tough day to come on the ascent to Ghorepani.Is there anything else you would like to add?This was a truely memorable trip, one I will certainly remember for the rest of my days and will recommend to others.

  • Annapurna Circuit reviewer 7
    Written on April 17, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    A very good trek, excellently led by a local with extensive knowledge and well developed leadership skills.  The group gelled together well making it a really enjoyable trip.  There has been contact with all since arriving home and reunions are in the offing.  A truely memorable experience and hopefully some life-long friends made.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Crossing the pass and seeing the vast array of mountains to the west.What did you think of your group leader?I cannot praise him highly enough.  He was well organised and made the trip a real pleasure.  Whatever you are paying him, it is not enough.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?be aware that the hard work is not over once you reach the top of the pass.  There is one very tough day to come on the ascent to Ghorepani.Is there anything else you would like to add?This was a truely memorable trip, one I will certainly remember for the rest of my days and will recommend to others.

  • Annapurna Circuit reviewer 8
    Written on January 8, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    Was a trip of a life time, really enjoyed it. Group were good and guides were great people. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Climbing Thorong la Pass. But there were numerous moments on this trip, would highly recommend it. What did you think of your group leader?Navin was hard working, looked after everyone, good person, very knowledgeable as well, he did a great job managing the group. Do you have any advice for potential travellers?I lost quite a lot of weight on the trip, and I'm not over weight. My metabolism was higher than others on the trip and I needed more food, I never experienced real hunger til I went to Nepal. The day we arrived in Gaurepani we climbed about 1600 meters, the dinner portion I got was a child size, I got desert to fill me up. In the morning we got up at 4am to see sunrise on Poonhill, by time I got back down for breakfast at 7am I was ravenous, the breakfast portion was small again and I had to eat mars bars to keep me going, I was really starving. I found that tea houses gave women small portions and the others on the group notices this as well. I'd advise anyone going to pack enough nuts and muesli bars for the 3 weeks. I brought some but wasn't enough, and you can only buy mars bars on the circuit. The guides and Exodus need to advise people better on food and what best to eat on the trip. Some days the whole group had to eat same food for lunch this was sometimes veggie noodle soup which just isn't enough when you're hiking for hours. In general I liked the food and it was generally good food, I was just burning it off very quickly.Is there anything else you would like to add?I found when I was booking the trip that there weren't many people in the Exodus office who had actually been on the trip to acurately advise about food and clothing. The person I booked with advised that I could buy a down jacket in Pokhara which is the end of the trip, so I waited til I was in Nepal to ask the guides instead. The trip notes and information are good.

  • Annapurna Circuit reviewer 9
    Written on January 8, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    Was a trip of a life time, really enjoyed it. Group were good and guides were great people. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Climbing Thorong la Pass. But there were numerous moments on this trip, would highly recommend it. What did you think of your group leader?Navin was hard working, looked after everyone, good person, very knowledgeable as well, he did a great job managing the group. Do you have any advice for potential travellers?I lost quite a lot of weight on the trip, and I'm not over weight. My metabolism was higher than others on the trip and I needed more food, I never experienced real hunger til I went to Nepal. The day we arrived in Gaurepani we climbed about 1600 meters, the dinner portion I got was a child size, I got desert to fill me up. In the morning we got up at 4am to see sunrise on Poonhill, by time I got back down for breakfast at 7am I was ravenous, the breakfast portion was small again and I had to eat mars bars to keep me going, I was really starving. I found that tea houses gave women small portions and the others on the group notices this as well. I'd advise anyone going to pack enough nuts and muesli bars for the 3 weeks. I brought some but wasn't enough, and you can only buy mars bars on the circuit. The guides and Exodus need to advise people better on food and what best to eat on the trip. Some days the whole group had to eat same food for lunch this was sometimes veggie noodle soup which just isn't enough when you're hiking for hours. In general I liked the food and it was generally good food, I was just burning it off very quickly.Is there anything else you would like to add?I found when I was booking the trip that there weren't many people in the Exodus office who had actually been on the trip to acurately advise about food and clothing. The person I booked with advised that I could buy a down jacket in Pokhara which is the end of the trip, so I waited til I was in Nepal to ask the guides instead. The trip notes and information are good.

  • Annapurna Circuit reviewer 10
    Written on January 4, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    This was an amazing trip totally removed from anything I have ever done before.It was a magical, beautiful and humbling experience that will stay with me forever.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?There were many inspirational things about this trip. The mountain scenery was simply awe inspiring, the sounds of gushing water and cicadas was magical, we saw stunning butterflies and dragonflies, and watched vultures soaring magestically. However, the cultural elements have probably made the biggest impression on me. The cheerful and friendly stoicism of the local people who work and live in the most adverse of conditions, left me feeling priveleged to have been amongst them. From our fabulous Sherpas who looked after us beyond the call of duty and our porters whose seamingly superhuman strength left us amazed, to the incredible people who live along the route, scratching a living from the mountains and the trekkers. I came home with a changed attitude towards my life and possessions having been greeted by these wonderful people who, by our standards, have so little in the way of the stuff that clutters our lives.What did you think of your group leader?Our leader was the best he could be. A lovely young Sherpa from the foothills of Everest, at only 26years old, he demonstrated a wealth of experience and looked after our group impecably, nothing was too much trouble for him. His English was excellent, and his sense of humour, along with his winning smile, made every day feel like a party!Do you have any advice for potential travellers?If you can't decide whether or not to go, don't over think it, just go and have an amazing adventure. We don't need all the stuff we think we need to have a good time, and it does you good to be taken out of your comfort zone and to discover that you have inner resources that you weren't aware of.Is there anything else you would like to add?I had the biggest adventure of my life, so far, but will definately be planning the next one, can't wait!!

Itinerary

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  1. Introduction
  2. Expand all
  1. Day 1: Start Kathmandu.
  2. Day 2: Scenic drive to Besisahar. Trek to Bhulebule.
  3. Day 3: Start the slow ascent of the Marsyangdi Valley to Jagat.
  4. Day 4: Reach the village of Dharapani.
  5. Day 5: Steady climb through forest to Temang, then descend to Chame.
  6. Day 6: Continue ascending through forested hillsides past the rock face of Paungdi Danda to Upper Pisang.
  7. Day 7: Ascend the Marsyangdi Valley to the village of Manang.
  8. Day 8: Acclimatisation day in Manang.
  9. Day 9: Start heading towards the Thorong La. Half-day trek to reach the lodge in Yak Kharka; afternoon acclimatisation walk.
  10. Day 10: Short half day walk to Phedi, at the foot of the Thorong La.
  11. Day 11: Cross the mighty Thorong La (5416m) to Muktinath, a place of pilgrimage.
  12. Day 12: Trek through beautiful barren landscapes to reach Kagbeni.
  13. Day 13: Walk along the Kali Gandaki Gorge, beneath the great peaks of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna via Dumba Lake to Marpha.
  14. Day 14: Continue to follow the Kali Gandaki Valley; overnight in Larjung.
  15. Day 15: Cross the Kali Gandaki and trek past Titi Tal to Lete; descend to Ghasa.
  16. Day 16: Follow an undulating trail through small settlements to Tatopani, famous for its hot springs.
  17. Day 17: A long climb up through the villages of Ghara, Shika and Chitre to Ghorepani.
  18. Day 18: Optional early morning walk up Poon Hill for sunrise before a long descent to Birethanthi.
  19. Day 19: Short walk to Naya Pul and drive to Pokhara; afternoon free.
  20. Day 20: Free day in Pokhara.
  21. Day 21: Fly to Kathmandu.
  22. Day 22: End Kathmandu.

What's included

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  • Accommodation

  • Guide

  • Meals

  • Transport

  • Additional Services

  • Insurance

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About the countries

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Visa

Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.

Vaccinations

These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
Typhoid
Recommended for Nepal. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Hepatitis A
Recommended for Nepal. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Cholera
Recommended for Nepal. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Tuberculosis
Recommended for Nepal. Ideally 3 months before travel.
Hepatitis B
Recommended for Nepal. Ideally 2 months before travel.
Meningococcal meningitis
Recommended for Nepal. Ideally 1 week before travel.
Yellow fever
Certificate of vaccination required if arriving from an area with a risk of yellow fever transmission for Nepal. Ideally 10 days before travel.
Japanese B encephalitis
Recommended for Nepal. Ideally 1 month before travel.

Policies

Location
Start and end in Kathmandu.
Hold my space
TourRadar can request Exodus Travels to hold spaces for you for up to 48 hours without any credit card details.
Deposit
TourRadar only requires a deposit of 20% to confirm this Exodus Travels booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 21 June 2018 the full payment of $2,325 is necessary.
Cancellation policy
No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $2325 for Annapurna Circuit, but the deposit of 20% is non-refundable.
Credit Cards
The following cards are accepted for Exodus Travels tours: Visa - Master Card - American Express

Destinations

Covering a total distance of approx 552 km.
  • Kathmandu (Nepal)
  • 111 km
  • Besisahar (Nepal)
  • 7 km
  • Bhulbhule (Nepal)
  • 14 km
  • Jagat (Nepal)
  • 13 km
  • Dharapani (Nepal)
  • 12 km
  • Chame (Nepal)
  • 11 km
  • Pisang (Nepal)
  • 14 km
  • Manang (Nepal)
  • 8 km
  • Yak Kharka (Nepal)
  • 14 km
  • Muktinath (Nepal)
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