The Annapurna Circuit Trek does not disappoint. You will never hear someone say that they had a bad or even alright time on this trek. It is the kind of trail that changes lives! For many years, the Annapurna Circuit Trek has been ranked among the best footpaths (treks) in the world! If you have the time and energy, we recommend this trek.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek is so unique because it traverses so many different landscapes and villages with distinct ethnic groups. Start out in the paddy fields and lush forests before moving to the dramatic Marshyangdi Rivergorge. Then, hike up to the dry, barren Manang region. Further and closer to the majestic Himalayan peaks, cross the unbelievably high Thorong La Pass.
Throughout the journey, meet and get to know people of the Thakali, Gurung, Manangi, and other ethnic groups in the area. Each of them are unique in their own way, though one thing they all have in common is their warm-heartedness and exceptional hospitality. They are enthused to be able to share their wonderful homeland with trekkers who are equally excited to be there.
After spending a wonderful evening wandering around Pokhara’s lakeside, begin the trek in Annapurna Circuit Trek in the lowlands of the region. A couple days of passing bamboo, rhododendron, and other mixed forests, the vegetation begins to disappear. We have entered the Manang district, known for having an arid, rocky environment. Here, the area is mostly inhabited by Tibetan Buddhists, so you will see chhortens and other signs of it along the trail. It adds of a lot of character to the route!
From Yak Kharka, we are definitely in a high-altitude area and we can feel it. Our anticipation and excitement for crossing the Thorong La Pass (5416 meters) grows. The pass shows views of Dhaulagiri (8167m), Manaslu (8156m), the Annapurna Massif, Machhapuchhre (6993m), and more. Besides the sign and prayer flags, it feels as if few humans have been there before.
Trek down to Muktinath for an experience that transcends the natural wonders that you have experienced so far. Muktinath Temple overflows with spiritual energy, which comes from the dozens of pilgrims there bathing in the sacred waters at any given moment. Soak in this feeling (and water!).
Most of the rest of the trail follows the Kali Gandaki River, passing awesome villages along the way. Bathe in the restorative water at Tatopani hot springs before making one last dramatic ascent to Poon Hill (3210 meters) for a final panoramic Himalayan view.
These days, the rapid construction of roads is steadily creeping into the Annapurna region, making the circuit shorter and shorter by the year. Get there before the roads strip any more of the beauty and allure away from the Annapurna Circuit!
It is possible to do the Annapurna Circuit Trek throughout the year. The best times, though, are spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). In the springtime, the colorful flowers are blooming. During the fall, the skies are usually clearer. Ashmita Trek and Tours arranges the trek with full management, including transportation, meals, etc. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions!