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The Annapurna Circle Trek is the shorter version of the Annapurna Circuit Trek making a complete circle of the entire Annapurna massif. This trek is comparatively harder than the Annapurna Base Camp trek because you will be traversing along the high altitude Thorong La Pass at 5,416m (17,764ft.). The steep climbs and long walking distance with limited amenities make this trek a little harder. As this is a shorter version of circuit trekking, you will be driving to Jomsom from Muktinath and then fly to Pokhara instead of walking all the way down up to Nayapul. The route usually remains closed during the winter season due to the heavy snow accumulation on the trails. As it is a long trek, you need to be in great shape of physical fitness so that you can walk for at least 5 to 7 hours each day. Even beginners can do this trek provided that they train themselves at least 3 months prior the trek. Cycling, swimming, acrobatics, hiking, jogging, and cardiovascular exercises are some ways to get your body trained for a successful journey in the Himalayas.
The best time to do the Annapurna circle trek is during the pre-monsoon months of March through to May. It is also favorable to trek during the post-monsoon months from late September till December. It is also possible to do the Annapurna circle trek in February and early September but the most preferable time for this trek is as stated above.
Absolutely yes! Under normal circumstances, our booked trips are guaranteed to run. You will still be doing your trek even if other trekkers cancel their trip. This is the reason why Himalayan Glacier is different from other agencies, who usually cancel their whole trip a month or even a week before the trip date. We are a tailor-made company and the number of participants does not stop our operation. If your trip has been canceled by your operator and you are in a last-minute stress, remember to find us to sort out your trip decisions. Please feel free to book your stress-free holidays with us. Unless there is a situation which is out of control such as a political riot, natural disaster, pandemic, epidemic or weather catastrophes, our trips are 100% guaranteed to run.
Himalayan Glacier offers a lifetime deposit policy which allows you the flexibility to transfer your deposit to anyone or any other trip. If you wish to cancel your booked trips, certain cancelation charges apply. Please visit our booking terms and conditions for detailed information.
You will be guided by our experienced trek leaders who have been to the base camp and back multiple times for years. All our guides are locals who communicate very well in English and acquire deep knowledge of the mountain, people, culture, health, hygiene, and most importantly your safety.
You need to pack light yet sufficient for at least 9 days on the Annapurna Circle Trek. Unless you pack wisely, it is certain that you will not be able to enjoy your journey in the Himalayas. Since this is a lodge-to-lodge trek, you will be sleeping in small lodges or teahouses during the entire trip. You need to be prepared with the right clothing and equipment as it may get colder at higher elevations especially during the cold months. For detailed information about what to carry with you during the trek, please visit our comprehensive packing list for Annapurna Circle Trek.
After a long day’s hike, a relaxing night of comfortable sleep is very much crucial for the next day’s walk. Keeping your comfort into account, we make sure to book the best lodge with two beds in each room and western toilet facilities wherever available. Normally, the beds are clean and comfortable with an electric blanket (upon availability) and attached bathroom for most nights. The room’s temperature is usually maintained at 10-12°C / 50-54°F.
You will enjoy 3 hearty meals each day. Generally, you will have your breakfast and dinner at the same lodge you will be staying. Lunch will be provided at tea houses or small restaurants along the trail. The meals contain fresh fruits and organic ingredients sourced from Kathmandu or local villages throughout the trek. The meals include a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats designed by the nutritionist. The chefs are trained in hygienic food preparation. If needed, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and kosher diets can be arranged with prior notice.
With regards to the accessibility, Annapurna Circle Trek is certainly much easier while in terms of comfort, Everest Base Camp Trek is more comfortable because it is more commercialized and lodges and guesthouses on the EBC have been built to accommodate tour groups to provide more comfort and other amenities. Based on our years of experience and with the views of our trek leaders as well as our trekking customers who have embarked on both these treks, a majority of them voted Annapurna Circuit Trek as the easier one. The starting point of Annapurna Circle Trek lies at an altitude of 1,080m (3,543ft.) and takes a longer time to reach from Kathmandu while the starting point of Everest Base Camp lies at 2,800m (9,186ft.) and can be reached within a mere 25 minutes. It means that you will already be exposed to quite a higher altitude before you actually begin to trek to EBC. The Annapurna Circle Trek has more green vegetation and due to a comparably thicker oxygen level even in the higher elevation, chances of altitude sickness in this region is minimum. For more details, please read guest reviews on Himalayan Glacier website and blogs, TripAdvisor reviews, and Feefo reviews.
Annapurna Circuit Trek – 21 Days used to be one of the most popular treks in Nepal a few decades ago. Himalayan Glacier had designed an itinerary that started from Besisahar and ended in Nayapul via the world’s deepest Kali Gandaki Gorge and the vantage point, Poon Hill. With gradual development and road access to Manang from Besisahar and to Muktinath from Beni, a number of beautiful hiking routes have become endangered. Later, we introduced a shorter Annapurna Circle Trek – 14 Days that allows escaping the major road sections and traversing on the beautiful Annapurna region. On the 21-day itinerary, you will drive from Kathmandu to Khudi while on the 14-day itinerary, you will drive from Kathmandu to Syange thus skipping overnight stays in the villages of Sirung and Jagat. On the 14-day itinerary, you will drive to Jomsom from Muktinath and then fly to Pokhara but on the 21-day itinerary, you will keep hiking beyond Muktinath through the villages of Marpha, Kalopani, Tatopani, Ghorepani, Tadapani and Ghandruk before driving back to Pokhara.
Ethan Todras Whitehill and his friend did the Annapurna Circle Trek with Himalayan Glacier in March 2010. Ethan is a frequent contributor of The New York Times in the travel section. On completion of this Annapurna Circle Trek successfully, he wrote an article “Last Football in Nepal”. You can read Ethan’s real time experience in the Annapurna region of Nepal and get a real feel of how it actually feels to do the Annapurna Circle Trek.
You will be traveling with like-minded travelers from all round the world. As such, there is no age limit for doing this trek, but we are highly concerned about your physical and mental fitness as well as your previous hiking experience. As far as possible, we try to include the same age-group persons in a group so that the hiking pace among trekkers match and it becomes easier to walk together.
Buying mineral water bottles from shops situated on the trails is one possibility for drinking water. Carrying reusable water bottles and various forms of water purification agents is another possibility where tap or stream water can be purified before drinking. Water can be refilled in the bottles at the teahouses or in the streams or rivers available abundantly on the trail. When you are at your lodge, we recommend you to drink boiled water. Those who insist on drinking mineral water only should be ready to pay some extra cash as the price of bottled water rises as you go higher up.
Yes, cell phone networks can be found throughout the trails in the Annapurna region. Most of the small villages and the hiking trails get cell phone coverage either by NCell or NTC networks. However, in certain areas, network coverage may be very poor or not available at all.
The weather in the Annapurna region varies differently in different seasons. The snow-capped Himalayan region is never really hot, not even during summer season. The maximum temperature during the day reaches up to 25°C/77°F while the night temperature falls as low as -20°C/-4°F or sometimes lower. Considering the whole trekking journey, the lower hiking regions are much warmer than the base camp. Spring season is relatively hot especially during the daytime when there is no cloud or snowfall.
Altitude sickness has been a major setback in most high-altitude treks in Nepal. Although there are no major risks involved, here are few tips tried and tested by our professional trek leaders and travel planners to avoid high altitude sickness during the trek:
• Slow ascend with proper rest and enough acclimatization
• Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated at all times
• Eat sufficiently a healthy balanced diet during the entire trek and sleep well
• Avoid alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and tobacco products on the trek
• Be head-strong and mentally prepared
• Train your body to cope with uphill hikes with enough cardiovascular or gym workouts, at least 3 months prior to the trek
Generally, the first symptoms begin to show 12-24 hours after arriving at high altitudes. The different levels of altitude sickness have different symptoms. Symptoms of mild, short-term altitude sickness are dizziness, fatigue, loss of appetite, sleeping problems, general loss of energy, and shortness of breath. Sometimes, these symptoms may be accompanied by headache, nausea and vomiting.
No. Normally, oxygen is not required on the trek itinerary is designed in such a way so that it allows enough acclimatization. In addition, we provide Diamox, a medication that suppresses altitude sickness symptoms, from the beginning to prevent falling sick. However, in case of severe altitude sickness, we will descend to a lower altitude immediately, which is extremely rare in the Annapurna region trek.
Diamox is a medication which is generally taken as a preventive measure for altitude sickness and not to cure its symptoms. There is less risk of altitude sickness in this trek in comparison with the Everest base camp trek. However, we will give you the medication from the beginning as a precautionary step. There is nothing to worry as your trekking leaders are well equipped with first aid kits and sufficient Diamox pills. It is advisable to consult with your doctor about any allergic reactions or side-effects that the drug may have on you.
All the sections of the Annapurna base camp trek are not accessible by road. However, in case of an emergency, rescue by air ambulance will be made available as long as the weather is favorable for evacuation to either Pokhara or Kathmandu. You will then be taken to an international class hospital for your rehabilitation. Our operation team will be in contact 24×7 if any such emergency occurs during the trek.
In general, crampons are not required for this trek if you are trekking during the season. But if you want to do the trek during mid-winter or monsoon season then crampons may be required. You will really not know what conditions you will encounter on the trekking trail until you get there, so it is better having your crampons and not using it rather than needing it and not having it if required.
Caffeine might contribute to altitude sickness as it could lead to dehydration triggering altitude sickness. Caffeine, on the contrary, is known to stimulate your brain, kidneys, and breathing, all of which are helpful at high altitude. For people who are into caffeinated beverages for a long time period and abruptly stopping to consume them on the trek may trigger profound headaches in them.