Trekkers on the mini-Annapurna Circuit

Annapurna Circuit

22 days
from
$3,445
incl. taxes
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4.7 / 5 from 22 reviews
Walking & Trekking
Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Challenging
Activity Rating - Challenging
Trip code: 
TNQ
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
4–16
Min age:
16

This route is said to offer the most varied scenery of any classic Nepal trek

The Annapurna Circuit - rightly known as Nepal's classic trek - offers more variety than any other equivalent length trek, taking us through virtually every type of scenery that Nepal has to offer. There are superb views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri and an amazing variety of landscapes ranging from sub-tropical through alpine peaks to an arid semi-desert akin to Tibet. The climax of the trek is crossing the iconic Thorong La Pass (5416m). Based in teahouses throughout, we also get to spend time in villages inhabited by many of Nepal's different peoples, both Buddhist and Hindu.

Highlights

  • New improved route for 2020 using New Annapurna Trekking Trails (NATT)
  • One of the world's classic treks
  • Cross the formidable Thorong La pass
  • Chance to see the sunrise from Poon Hill
  • Dramatically changing scenery 
  • Time in Kathmandu and Pokhara

Key information

  • 4 nights standard hotels and 17 nights teahouses
  • 18 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus tour leader and local staff. Min. age 16 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 5416m, average 2800m
  • Travel by private bus and one internal flight
  • Snow and ice may be encountered
  • Countries visited: Nepal

What's included

  • All breakfasts 
  • Morning bed-tea on trek
  • Welcome drink at each overnight lodge
  • 4 nights standard hotels and 17 nights teahouses
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Internal flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu
  • Tour leader throughout, plus local staff (staff to client ratio of 1:4 on trek)
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Full porterage throughout trek
  • Exodus kitbag 
  • Trekking map (provided locally)
  • Trekking permit and national park fees

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request from £90, Kathmandu and Pokhara only)
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Sleeping bag (hire in advance from £73.50*)
  • Down jacket (hire in advance from £73.50*) 
  • *Hire package incl. down jacket and sleeping bag from £84
Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for private group trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

18

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Approximately 7hrs walking per day

Terrain:

High altitude; including steep, rocky terrain

Day by day breakdown
Day 26.0km/4.0miles
Day 313.0km/8.0miles
Day 417.0km/11.0miles
Day 518.0km/11.0miles
Day 615.0km/9.0miles
Day 711.0km/7.0miles
Day 812.0km/7.0miles
Day 910.0km/6.0miles
Day 107.0km/5.0miles
Day 1116.0km/10.0miles
Day 1213.0km/8.0miles
Day 1323.0km/14.0miles
Day 1415.0km/9.0miles
Day 1523.0km/14.0miles
Day 1616.0km/10.0miles
Day 1717.0km/10.0miles
Day 1820.0km/12.0miles
Day 192.0km/1.0miles

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Exodus has a longstanding relationship with our local partner in Nepal, having worked with the family business for over 30 years. We employ local leaders, guides and staff throughout and work with family-run hotels wherever possible, such as the Hotel Royal Singi.

Exodus has set up and supported many projects in Nepal over the decades, from installing solar cookers and donating smokeless stoves, to supporting a tree nursery in Braga (Annapurna’s) and helping supply water and hydro-electric power to several villages.

Following the 2015 Nepal earthquake, Exodus’ emergency fundraising appeal raised over a quarter of a million pounds. This enabled us to provide immediate and longer-term emergency support in the necessary areas. Exodus worked with volunteers from Nepal Medical College to run a medical camp in the remote village of Thulopatel in 2016, and sponsored Health Partnership Nepal to run a medical camp in Charikot in 2017. We are also proud to support Freedom Kit Bags (providing sanitary wear) for women in Nepal..

To learn more about what Sustainable Travel means to Exodus and the projects we support through the Exodus Travels Foundation click here... your contributions really do make a huge difference to the communities we aim to help – if you’d like to donate to our Himalayan Community Projects you can do so here.

Itinerary

Kathmandu
to
Kathmandu
  • Day 1

    Start Kathmandu

    Those on the group flight from London will arrive into Kathmandu today and will be transferred to our hotel. Those not travelling with the group from London will meet us in the hotel. There will be a full trek briefing at the hotel this afternoon/evening.

    Hotel Royal Singi (or similar)

  • Day 2

    Scenic drive to Ngaddi via Besisahar; begin trek to Bauhundanda

    We leave Kathmandu early in the morning and drive towards Pokhara. After leaving the Kathmandu Valley we follow the river to Mugling. We then continue to Besisahar and on to Ngaddi, from where we begin our trek - the total drive time to the trailhead can vary depending on road conditions and traffic but is usually in the region of 7 hours. We begin trekking from Ngaddi with great views ahead of Himalchuli and Peak 29. We now have a 2.5hr walk steadily uphill through scrub forest through Lampata, a Manangi village with Tibetan style prayer flags, with a final short ascent to the village of Bauhundanda (Brahmin’s Hill), perched on a ridge.  
    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 1290m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Visit Tallo Chiple village and cross the Marsyangdi Valley to Jagat

    The trail starts with a steep descent towards the Marsyangdi River. We then head up the valley on an undulating trail to Germu. From here, we start a steep ascent through fields and forest, reaching Tallo Chiple in time for lunch in a small homestay. This beautiful village is so far untouched by the new road which is being built. We descend a little and then have a short but steep climb (to avoid a landslide) towards Maththillo Chipla. Just before the village, we descend steeply for a short time to the Marsyangdi River, which we cross by a suspension bridge. Heading steeply uphill for around 20-minutes, we rejoin the main trail at the village of Jagat, where we spend the night.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 1,300m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Reach the village of Dharapani

    Immediately after leaving the lodge, a small old trail turns off the road up to the left and undulates through the forest all the way to Chyamje, after which we cross a suspension bridge and climb through oak forest. An undulating ascent brings us to a level valley where 'Tal', the next village is situated at the foot of a grand waterfall (1,700m). From Tal, we stay on the same side of the river and climb up above the river to Kotro (this trail is susceptible to landslides in the monsoon so your leader will check the situation on the day). From Kotro, we descend to the Marsyangdi River, cross it via a bridge and then have a short ascent to Dharapani.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 1,890m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Visit Odar village. Climb to Temang, then descend to Chame

    Beyond Dharapani we leave the jeep trail and turn sharply up to the left and have a steep hour's climb up a stone staircase to the pretty village of Odar. Passing traditional farms and homesteads we trek through Galenchowk before descending to the main trail at Bagarchap at 2,164m. The name of this village means 'butcher's place' and, although Buddhist, the people of this region used to hunt animals. Continuing, we follow the jeep track for a short while past apple orchards to Dhanagyu. From here we turn sharply up into the forest and we have a fairly long climb to Temang, where we have lunch with magnificent views of Manaslu and Peak 29. The trail then descends through fir and pine forests to Thanchowk and further on through Koto to Chame (2,713m), the administrative centre of the Manang district. (Please note that for those who do not want to climb up to Odar village there is an alternative trail on the right side of the river through Thonche to Dhanagyu – this trail is a bit easier).

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 2,700m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Continue ascending through forested hillsides past the rock face of Paungdi Danda to Upper Pisang

    We now experience a dramatic change of scenery. Leaving the forests and vegetation of the alpine regions behind we enter the upper district of Manang, known as Nyeshang. At first, our trail follows the river closely through a deep canyon on the jeep track for a couple of hours to Brathang at 2,919m where there is now a large apple plantation. We can stop for fresh coffee and cakes (and maybe some fresh apple juice) before we begin our climb this morning. The trail then crosses the river and leaves the jeep track to climb on forest trails through fir and pine trees from where the impressive curved rock face of Paungda Danda rises nearly 1,500m from the riverbank to Dukha Pokhari, where we stop for lunch. From here we veer off to the right and take the trail that climbs away from the road track and to Upper Pisang village, where we stay in a simple lodge for the night. There is an impressive monastery in the village which we can visit in the afternoon. From here to the pass we are the closest we will be to the mountains and today the views of Annapurna 2 are particularly impressive (weather permitting) and worth all the climbing.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,300m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Climb high above the valley on a wonderful high trail to Ngawal

    A shorter but spectacular day for acclimatisation. From Upper Pisang we take the fantastic high-level route towards Manang via the villages of Gyaru and Ngawal. This is a wonderful walk with great views across to the Annapurnas. We start with a short descent through the forest and then we have a very steep climb up to Gyaru for a tea break. The views across the valley become ever more spectacular the higher we go. From here the trail undulates high above the river with magnificent views across the Annapurnas to Ngawal, where we stay tonight. There should be time in the afternoon to explore this pretty mediaeval village and visit the gompa.  

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,650m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Follow the high trail from Ngawal via Julu to Manang

    Another day for acclimatisation. From Ngawal we take a spectacular high trail which contours high above the valley with amazing views across to the Annapurnas and Gangapurna. As we leave Ngawal village, we pass a large chorten before the trail drops down to Julu village. We take the route which climbs steeply out of Julu onto a wonderful high trail above the valley. The trail climbs to a plateau and we contour around the valley through forests with great views across the valley to the Annapurnas and Gangapurna. The trail drops down to the pretty village of Braga, dominated by a large ancient gompa. We can stop for a cup of coffee or lunch at the Super Bakery and visit the gompa and the small tree nursery, a project that Exodus has supported for many years. Passing carved mani walls we arrive at the village of Manang at 3,530m.

    We have time this afternoon to explore Manang and enjoy the magnificent views of the whole Annapurna Range and the enormous icefall that crashes and rumbles down from Gangapurna. This is the part of the trek where we are closest to the mountains. Across the valley the huge bulk of Gangapurna and the Annapurnas tower way above us - the sunset and sunrise over this great amphitheatre is one of the most beautiful mountain views in the country. Manang has many bakeries and coffee shops and is an ideal place to spend the afternoon.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,530m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Trek to Yak Kharka; afternoon acclimatisation walk

    Leaving Manang we head towards the base of the Thorong La. We climb out of the Marsyangdi Valley and turn northwest up the valley of the Jarsang Khola. Looking back the views are ever more spectacular as we are above the forests now and pass through dry, alpine country, with scrub juniper and occasional clumps of birch. We spend tonight at a lodge in Yak Kharka. We will reach the lodge by lunchtime and in the afternoon, we will have an acclimatisation walk onto the surrounding hills. Look out for the Blue sheep that inhabit this cold, windy spot.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,000m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Short half day walk to Phedi, at the foot of the Thorong La

    Another short day to aid acclimatisation. The scenery becomes wilder as we continue ascending the valley. At one point we descend to cross the Jarsang Khola, then traverse a scree slope to the lone teahouses at Phedi (4,420m) at the foot of the Thorong La. Thorong Phedi can be very cold and windy. In the afternoon we can go for a walk up to Thorong High Camp which is the last lodge and is about an hour above Phedi.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,420m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Cross the Thorong La (5416m) to Muktinath, a place of pilgrimage

    A long day as we leave Phedi very early in the morning for the climb to the pass. The first part of the ascent is very steep, but it eases somewhat as we approach the top, although the altitude still makes the going tough. Eventually, after numerous false summits, we reach the pass itself at 5,416m. Ahead there is a magnificent panorama of snow-capped peaks soaring above the Kali Gandaki Valley looking towards Dolpo and Mustang and looking back we can see several of the main peaks of Annapurna. Directly in front of us is the great chasm of the Kali Gandaki, 2,500m. It's a very long descent that begins gently and becomes steeper, as we follow a series of switchbacks down to more grassy slopes. We stop for a break at Phedi where there are a few tea houses. From Phedi it’s another hour of gentle descent to Muktinath (3,700m). (Please note that conditions on the pass vary. It can be calm and clear with no snow but there can also be snow and ice and high winds on the pass. We recommend you carry Yaktrax or microspikes in case of snow or ice and take enough warm layers in case of high winds).

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,700m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Trek through beautiful barren landscapes to Kagbeni

    An easier day after the exertions of yesterday. From Muktinath, we pass through a landscape of bare, eroded hills with a backdrop of snow-capped high peaks. After visiting the temples above Muktinath, we cross the Jhong Khola and climb up to Chongur, a small traditional village. The monastery was founded by a Sakya monk and the whole village is painted with the colours of the Sakya sect. Continuing along a mixture of trekking trails and jeep tracks we come to Jhong – another beautiful village. There is a very old monastery here dating back to the 7th or 8th Century and the ruins of an old fortress. Passing wind-eroded cliffs in an array of beautiful colours we continue down the valley through Putak village and finally have a steep descent into the Kali Gandakhi Valley and the interesting village of Kagbeni (approx. 2,800m). We have a long morning today (so take some snacks) and have a late lunch in Kagbeni.

    There is time in the afternoon to explore this magical place. With narrow lanes and tunnels between the houses, it has an almost mediaeval feel. (Please note that in the event that we are delayed due to bad weather, this day will be missed out and we will trek directly from Muktinath to Marpha).

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude  2,800m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Follow the Kali Gandaki Gorge, beneath the great peaks of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna via Dumba Lake to Marpha

    The trail now follows the jeep track down the Kali Gandaki River down to the outskirts of Jomsom, a large administrative centre, at 2,713m. Most of the time we walk along the jeep track, although at certain times of the year when the river level is low we can walk along the rocky river bed. We do not cross the river into Jomsom but instead, we stay on the left side of the valley and trek to the village of Thini, where we stop for a simple lunch. From here it is about half an hour to Dumba Lake. This very small lake is considered holy by the local Thakali people. A short climb brings us to Dumba Gompa for magnificent views of the Kali Gandaki Valley, Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Peak. From the gompa we have 2 trails – the shorter one descends down through Dumba village to the suspension bridge across the Kali Gandaki to Marpha. Another longer trail continues on the same side of the river towards the Tibetan refugee camp of Chairo. A bridge crossing the Kali Gandaki takes us to the pretty village of Marpha (2,690m) with its clean paved streets and white-washed houses. Marpha is famous for its locally-made apple and peach brandy, which you might like to sample to celebrate your crossing of the Thorong La. (Please note that in December 2019 a truck track was being bulldozed to Chairo and it was not possible to trek the longer route through Chairo. Your leader will have up to date information and will take you the best way).

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 2,690m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Continue following the Kali Gandaki Valley to Larjung

    Today we follow the Kali Gandaki Valley, a major trade route. We are now in the deepest gorge in the world - to the east Annapurna I rises to 8,091m, to the west the peak of Dhaulagiri at 8,167m soars above us. Leaving the dry, barren landscapes we walk through pine, cypress and juniper forest, sometimes on the valley floor and at other times on a trail high above. From Marpha we cross back over the Kali Gandaki to avoid the road. Walking through fir and pine forests we climb up to the pretty Thakali village of Chimang. Descending to a side stream we follow the side valley down for a short while before climbing again into the forest. We ascend for about an hour and then the trail undulates for a while before descending to the valley floor at Sauru. We stop here for a break and then cross the Kali Gandaki to Kobang and on to Larjung (2,550m). We stay tonight in a simple lodge. In the afternoon we have a walk up to the village of Naurikot, another traditional Thakali village and it’s definitely worth the walk for the sunset views across the valley on Niligiri.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 2,550m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Cross the Kali Gandaki and trek through Titi Tal, Kunjo and Jipre Deurali to Ghasa

    A long day today but a fantastic trail. We start with a short walk along the road to the large suspension bridge below Larjung. After crossing the river, the trail climbs up through the forest to Titi Tal, a very small lake (pond) but an important marsh zone for waterbirds in the Mustang area. We follow the trail through Taglung and to Kunjo, where we have a simple lunch. We then descend steeply through the forest to a rocky riverbed. Crossing a suspension bridge, we have a gradual climb up to Jhipre Deurali. The trail then descends to cross the Mistri Khola and then undulates through forests of dwarf bamboo. The trail hugs the cliff with some short steep up and down sections with ropes along the side for safety. Finally, the trail comes to the old bridge across to Ghasa. Crossing the bridge, we have a short 30-minute climb up to our lodge. (Please note that the trail in the afternoon has some steep and narrow sections across landslides. For those who are not comfortable walking along such trails one of the assistant guides will take you from Kunjo to the Lete Khola on forest trails to Ghasa).

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 1,950m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 16

    Follow an undulating trail through small settlements to Tatopani, famous for its hot springs

    From Ghasa we follow the road for 30 minutes and then cross the river on a new suspension bridge. The trail now climbs high above the river to Pairothaplo and then descends to Kopchepani. Across the river, we can see the huge waterfall at Rupse Chhara. We continue on the same side of the river and follow the undulating roller coaster trail up and down all morning. We have lunch in the small village of Dharap and continue through Narcheng and past a hydroelectric project just before Tatopani. A suspension bridge brings us right into Tatopani, where we spend the night. Tatopani means ‘hot water’ and is famous for its hot springs just below the village and there is time in the late afternoon to enjoy a welcome soak - guaranteed to ease any aching limbs!

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 1,250m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 17

    A long climb up through the villages of Ghara, Shika and Chitre to Ghorepani

    The last stage of the trek takes us over a high ridge to the end of the trek. Today is a sting in the tail as we have a long climb to Ghorepani. The trail climbs all day through small hamlets and terraced fields. We start with a short descent on the road track for 45 minutes to a couple of bridges. From the second bridge, we have 30 minutes along a track and then the trail starts climbing on a series of stone staircases. It’s fairly steep up to Durbin Danda from where we have a short descent through Ghara. We then mostly follow the old trail as it climbs up through the villages of Shika and Chitre. From Chitre we enter a huge rhododendron forest and the last couple of hours take us up to Ghorepani. Meaning ‘horse water’, Ghorepani was once a stopping place for the huge mule trains that used to ply this route. As we climb today the mountains start to appear and from Ghorepani we get fabulous views of the Annapurnas from the lodge.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 2,900m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 18

    Optional early morning walk up Poon Hill for sunrise before a long descent to Birethanthi

    An early start for those who want to trek the hour up to the top of Poon Hill for the sunrise (approx. two hours return trip including stops - in addition to the 7.5hrs walking to Birethanthi). The effort is well worth the 310m climb (again, in addition to the 320m of total ascent today) for the superb views over the Annapurnas, Dhaulagiri and Machhapuchhare. We return to our lodge for breakfast and then it’s all the way downhill today through the forest to Banthanti and then down a stone staircase through Ulleri and Tirkhedunga to Birethanti by the Modi Khola, where we stay in a very simple lodge.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 1,025m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 19

    Short walk to Naya Pul and drive to Pokhara; afternoon free

    From Birethanti it is a very short walk to Naya Pul, where we will pick up transport back to Pokhara. We usually arrive by lunchtime and have the afternoon to explore this pretty lakeside town.

    Hotel Lakefront / Hotel Dahlia (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 20

    Free day in Pokhara

    We have the whole day in Pokhara. There are many options to choose from today. You might want to hire a bike and cycle around part of the lake, or you could take a boat across the lake and walk up to the Japanese Peace Pagoda with great views of the mountains and the lake (from the pagoda carry on up the ridge to Raniban Resort for lunch), or you might want to visit the Mountaineering Museum, the Gurkha Museum, take a trip to the nearby Tibetan refugee settlement and craft centre, or simply relax in one of the many lakeside restaurants and stroll around the shops.

    Hotel Lakefront / Hotel Dahlia (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 21

    Fly to Kathmandu

    We fly to Kathmandu. Weather depending there should be good views on the flight.

    Hotel Royal Singi (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 22

    End Kathmandu

    The trip ends after breakfast. Those not on the group flight will leave us after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Nepal

Most nationalities require a visa for Nepal, which can be obtained in advance or on entry (at present, the Immigration Department of Nepal have suspended  'visas on arrival' for certain nationalities - please check if this applies to you). All Nepal tourist visas are multiple entry. We recommend that you apply in advance as queues on arrival can be very long – applications can be made directly through the Nepal Embassy (by post or in person) or through our recommended visa agency, Travcour. The current cost for a visa in advance is GB£20 for a 15-day visa and GB£35 for a 30-day visa for UK passport holders (plus processing and postage fees if applying through Travcour).

The current cost for a visa on arrival is US$30 for 15 days, US$50 for 30 days, or US$125 for 90 days for UK passport holders. The fee can be paid for in any major currency at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. On arrival in the immigration hall there are 3 queues (if you have obtained a visa in advance go straight to (3) - immigration):

(Step 1) Fill in a 'Tourist Visa' form: either online before travel (recommended) via the Department of Immigration website - print the submission receipt with barcode (valid for 15 days) and bring it with you, or use the electronic kiosk machines on arrival at the airport. If using the kiosks, after inserting your passport the machine will automatically fill out an application form, take an electronic photograph of you and print a paper slip. If the machine won’t read your passport you can complete the details manually using the touch screen. We recommend taking 1 passport photo with you just in case. (Step 2) Proceed to the visa fees collection counter and pay the visa fee (we advise to take some cash) – make sure to keep the receipt. (Step 3) Lastly, go to the relevant immigration desk and present your tourist visa form, payment receipt and passport to obtain your 15, 30 or 90-day visa stamp. Please check you have been given the correct visa duration.

Non-UK nationals should check requirements with their nearest embassy (a few nationalities are not permitted visas on arrival).

Vaccinations

Nepal

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

There is low to no risk of malaria throughout Nepal and antimalarial tablets are not usually advised although may be considered for certain higher risk groups; you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. The risk is highest in the low lying southern ‘terai’ districts bordering India.

A yellow fever certificate is only required if travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission or for travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through a country with risk of transmission.

Dengue fever is a known risk in Nepal. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. As of August 2019, there has been a recent outbreak of Dengue fever in southeast Nepal and we therefore recommend you take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites (such as wearing full length trousers, long sleeves and applying insect repellent during the day as well as at dawn and dusk).

Most of our trips to Nepal go to high altitudes where there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please refer to the Altitude Warning within the Trip Notes for further advice on AMS.

Eating and Drinking

Breakfast is included throughout the trip.

In the teahouses breakfast will comprise of a choice of bread (a slice of toast, chapatti or Tibetan bread), a choice of egg (boiled, fried or omelette), and a choice between either muesli or porridge each day. Hot tea/coffee will also be served. On specific days, there will not be a choice for breakfast and either a trekkers breakfast (egg, hash brown, baked beans and toast) or a pancake with jam/honey will be served - these options are not available in all teahouses and so we have only included them in locations where they can be guaranteed.

Lunch will be taken at a teahouse en route - sometimes one of your guides will go ahead with the group's order to make it more expedient. Dinner will be in the same teahouse that you sleep at (this is custom in Nepal as teahouses base their room rate on it).

Although most lodges have almost identical menus, they are reasonably extensive and offer a varied selection, ranging from traditional Nepalese dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie. Dhal bhat is the staple diet in Nepal and comes in many different forms but generally comprises some curried lentil dhal and meat or vegetables, some rice, and a pickle/chutney. Another popular snack is momos; a type of Nepalese dumpling, fried or steamed, filled with meat or vegetables.

Although meat is available in the teahouses, we advise against eating it on trek. The meat has often been carried in the heat from lower altitudes for several days before reaching the lodges and can cause stomach upsets or illness. Germs can also be spread by handling dirty money - we recommend using hand sanitiser.  

If you have a gluten free diet, then we strongly recommend you bring some extra food and snacks with you to supplement the food on trek as there will be little variety available for you, particularly for breakfast. Even many of the soups are powdered and contain gluten. Gluten free breakfast options will be limited to vegetable fried rice and a choice of egg, and on specific days only, a trekkers breakfast (without the toast / with an extra egg) will be served. Breakfast options for vegans will be limited to a choice of muesli/porridge with water each day, and on specific days only, a trekkers breakfast (without the egg), or vegetable fried rice will be served. If you are lactose intolerant as opposed to vegan then the same will apply although you will also have a choice of egg each day. 

If you buy imported food and drink whilst on trek you will spend more than the suggested amount.

Drinking Water

Staying hydrated is important when undertaking any physical activity but particularly so at altitude where it is generally recommended to drink at least 3-4 litres per person per day.

We strongly encourage you not to buy bottled water on trek as this contributes to the growing problem of plastic pollution in Nepal’s trekking areas.

Some villages along the Annapurna Circuit route have safe drinking water stations selling UV treated water for Rs40-50 per litre but these are not always open.

The teahouses also sell boiled water for approx. Rs150-300 per litre (the price increases the higher you trek) which should not require treating. This is also perfect for a bedtime refill as it can double up as a hot water bottle.

Alternatively, all teahouses will provide cold water free of charge, if requested. Although this should not be drunk untreated, we recommend that you bring a reusable bottle (or two) and use an effective form of water treatment. There are a wide range of products available these days which are more effective than traditional purification tablets - we recommend talking to an outdoor retailer for the latest advice as technologies are improving all the time: make sure to check the product’s performance in cold/freezing conditions and consider its volume and battery life (lithium batteries are best in cold conditions).

Handheld UV filters such as a ‘SteriPEN’ are widely available to purchase from online retailers such as Amazon and eBay – they’re very effective, can treat 1 litre of water in a couple of minutes and the water is ready immediately – look for lightweight lithium battery models and remember that you will need to bring a wide-mouthed bottle (e.g. Nalgene) for use with these devices.

There are also an array of water filter and purifier bottles on the market but be wary of their weight, bottles with a small capacity and the product's performance in freezing conditions. Exodus has partnered with Water-to-Go, a filtration system that eliminates over 99.99% of all microbiological contaminants from any non-salt water source – please visit Water-to-Go for more information. Exodus customers can claim 15% off your first order, and better still, 15% of the purchase value will be donated to the Exodus Travels Foundation. Please note that if the water freezes it will clog up the filter – in this event, defrost before use by sitting the filter in lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes.

Weather

The main trekking season in Nepal is from October to mid-May when daytime temperatures at most altitudes are generally comfortable for walking, the sky is clear much of the time and rain and snow are occasional occurrences. Daytime temperatures will vary from 15ºC to 35ºC in the Kathmandu Valley to around 10ºC at 3,600m and progressively lower the higher we go. Different seasons offer different advantages for trekking.

The crossing of the Thorong La can be cold at any time of year. Sometimes the pass is clear of snow and there is no wind whilst at other times it is covered in snow (or ice) and it is extremely windy and cold. We cannot predict the weather, so you must have adequate clothing and equipment for very cold temperatures. We cannot guarantee you will need them but we suggest you take YakTrax or microspikes (the ones with spikes on not coils) in case of snow or ice as it is best to be prepared.

Snow can be expected on any departure, usually at the higher altitudes above Manang. 

Post Monsoon/autumn: Mid-September to November. This is the main trekking season in Nepal. Day temperatures in Kathmandu are approximately above 20ºC. Skies are usually clear and days on trek are sunny and mild with clear mountain views (particularly in late autumn). Nights will be colder with temperatures dropping as low as to minus 5ºC at the higher altitudes.

Winter: December to end February. Despite the colder conditions, this is an ideal time to trek in Nepal. Skies are usually very clear especially in December and the mountain views are at their best. Nights will be very cold with temperatures down to minus 10ºC or lower at the highest altitudes but days are pleasant and sunny. The trails are also much less busy at this time of year. In Kathmandu, maximum daytime temperatures are 19ºC.

Pre-monsoon: March to May. Both day and night temperatures will be warmer in general but haze will often build up in the afternoons. It is very hot in the lowlands and temperatures rise to 35ºC in Kathmandu. Flowers bloom in this season and this is one of the reasons people chose to trek in spring. A buff is highly recommended as protection against the dusty winds that can occur on certain sections of the trip.

Is this trip for you?

This is a Challenging grade (Activity Level 5) lodge-based trek with 18 days point-to-point walking and full porterage throughout – you need only carry a daypack. Please read a description of our Activity Levels, found on our website.

The maximum altitude is 5,416m, and the average altitude is 2,800m - we ask you to refer to the 'altitude warning' within the Trip Notes. Much of the walking is at moderate altitude with the exception of the Thorong La - a high pass with a steep approach.

The Annapurna Circuit is renowned for offering particularly varied scenery and we recommend it to those who want a thorough overview of the Nepalese Himalaya and have three weeks to spare. It is suitable for those confident of their physical fitness, ideally with some previous trekking experience. If you do not partake in regular exercise or hillwalking then you should do some training or physical preparation beforehand. You may find our Walking & Trekking Fitness Training Guide a useful reference.

Apart from the Thorong La, the walking is generally quite moderate, and the first few days do not involve any long or steep ascents. On most days we walk for between approximately five and seven hours a day but the Thorong La crossing is a long day, taking around twelve hours. The walking is almost entirely on well-established trails. During the crossing of the Thorong La, some snow or ice may be encountered and it will be extremely cold. It is also likely to be below freezing on several nights.

Although we schedule this trek at times of the year when conditions should be favourable, there can be unseasonal snowfall which very occasionally makes the Thorong La impassable. In this case, we can spend one day waiting, and then if it is still not possible to cross the pass we must then retrace our steps to Besisahar.

The trail crosses numerous modern suspension bridges, all of which have mesh sides and none are especially high, however, anyone with a strong fear of heights or vertigo may find them difficult.

A dirt road is currently under construction along part of the main Annapurna Circuit route, however, our Base Manager recce'd the route again in December 2019 and our itinerary now takes alternative trails (NATT – New Annapurna Trekking Trails) wherever available to avoid the road as much as possible. There are a series of small wooden bridges over the Kali Gandaki which are constructed every November after the monsoon. Treks in October and November will use the suspension bridges and trips departing late November to April will use the wooden bridges to cross the river.

Walking hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated exclude lunch stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group. 'Altitude gain' given within the itinerary refers to the total ascent that day (i.e. all the uphill sections added together). Unfortunately, we do not have this data for the 'altitude loss' at present so this is left blank.

To help you better prepare for your Nepal holiday, please also see our Nepal Destination Guide.

Why Trek with Exodus?

• Over 30 years’ experience of organising treks in Nepal.
• ‘Ask an expert’ – talk to Exodus office staff who have done the treks themselves.
• Experienced English-speaking local leaders who are qualified in first aid and trained in recognising and dealing with altitude sickness.
• One of the highest staff to client ratios on trek - 1 staff member: 4 clients.
• All staff (leaders, guides and porters) are fully insured and paid a fair wage.
• Carefully planned ascent rates and itineraries with built-in acclimatisation and contingency days.
• Staff carry oxygen and a first aid kit.
• Self-assessment AMS cards used to monitor every client at altitude.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for private group trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Lodges

This tour spends four nights in standard hotels and seventeen nights on the trek in lodges (teahouses).

In Kathmandu, we usually stay at the Hotel Royal Singi, located within walking distance of the Thamel district. All rooms have en suite facilities and there is a restaurant, a bar and an outdoor courtyard. There is complimentary Wi-Fi in the hotel lobby and Wi-Fi codes are available from reception for the rooms. There is an Exodus desk in the hotel reception area and an Exodus representative will usually be available daily in the mornings and evenings. In Pokhara, we usually stay at Hotel Lakefront or Hotel Dahlia.

The teahouses are basic but adequate; please be realistic about what to expect in the mountains. 

The hub of the teahouse is the dining room, usually decorated with colourful traditional rugs, sometimes with a stove or heater (some lodges charge a fee to put the heater on). All teahouses sell snacks and other essentials such as tissues, soap and toilet paper. All lodges have electricity but it is not wholly reliable and lighting may not be bright enough to read by – a torch is essential. In many locations on the Annapurna Circuit, there are electrical plug sockets in the teahouse bedrooms so you can recharge devices free of charge but in some locations, charging facilities may only be available in the dining room for a small fee (approx. Rs100-200 per hour per device). Most of the lodges on this route have Wi-Fi for around Rs100 per day. Sometimes the Wi-Fi may not work because of the poor network coverage or power cuts. 

The bedrooms are mostly twin-share but occasionally during peak seasons, you may be asked to share a dormitory room (3-5 people max) for the odd night. Beds with foam mattresses, bedsheets and a pillow are provided. Bedrooms are generally unheated and can get cold at night so you will need to bring or hire a sleeping bag.

Most lodges have only one or two basic toilets and sometimes these are located outside the main lodge building. Toilets are usually Asian ’squat’ style; although many lodges have now installed ‘western style’ seated ones. Toilet paper is not provided so you should bring your own or buy it locally (please dispose of it in the bin provided – do not put it in the bowl). If there is not a flush handle, there should be a container of water to pour down – if it is empty (or frozen) please either refill it or ask the lodge to do so. Laundry facilities are available in Manang if you need to wash a few items. 

Most lodges now have hot gas or solar showers (charged at approx. Rs100 per shower) but don’t expect them every night. Sometimes a hot shower is simply a bucket of hot water and not a showerhead.

Standards of cleanliness vary especially in the peak trekking season and in winter when the water freezes at night. Please report any problems to your leader or the lodge and be vigilant in your personal hygiene regime – use soap or hand sanitizer gel before and after toilet breaks, snacks and mealtimes.

On this particular trek, the standard of lodges varies quite a bit from one night to the next - with some of the most basic accommodation being in Larjung, Birethanti and Thorong Phedi.

Extra Accommodation

If you require any additional accommodation in Kathmandu either before or after the tour, we can book this for you (subject to availability), please enquire with your Sales Consultant.

Single Accommodation

If you prefer your own room, we offer a single supplement for the four nights in Kathmandu and Pokhara only (subject to availability). While in the tea-houses, single rooms cannot be guaranteed but if a single room is available that night, you can pay locally on a day by day basis.

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for private group trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for private group trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed March 2020

    A Fantastic Trek

    A great place for a challenging trek. The scenery was amazing and all the people of Nepal, that i met, were friendly and hospitable. The Himalayas really are great cathedrals of nature and were a pleasure to see as the group travelled through the Annapurna Circuit. Our tour leader, Tenzi Sherpa, and lead guide Kaji Sherpa were fantastic and professional at all times during the tour, providing support, words of encouragement and lots of cups of tea. They enhanced the trek with professional service at all times.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The crossing of Thorong La pass was amazing and an unforgettable experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A fantastic tour leader who was hard working and inspiring as we trekked around the Annapurna Circuit

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for amazing views of the mountains and friendly locals. Feb/March was cold in the evening and especially at night. A 4 season sleeping bag and liner is essential to a warm nights sleep. Although the menus in the tea houses is simple, the food was wholesome and great portions.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trek exceeded my expectations because of the professionalism of the local team that supported us during the trek, the amazing scenery and the great camaraderie of the trekking group.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Jonnie Treharne

    Annapurna, Thorong La and Excellent Guide

    Completed the Annapurna Circuit in December 19, as I had previously done the EBC trip and was aware of just how great Nepal is. The ACT did not disappoint and I was again amazed by the scenery, wildlife and the friendliness of the local people. The trek uses tea houses for accommodation with hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhora at the start and finish of the trip. All of these provide good accommodation with acceptable amenities and I could not fault the food. 3 weeks in duration, it contains about 17 days of treking. Despite being graded “tough” it is the crossing of the Thorong La pass at 5,416m that gives it this rating. The trek to Gohrepani and Poon hill are less difficult as they are not at altitude. Therefore, it is eminently achievable, even if you are not that experienced at altitude. Most days are between 5-8 hours treking, but the pace is sedate enough to allow you to acclimatise and get the most from the environment. Our guide - Dorjee Sherpa was outstanding. A young man full of enthusiasm and knowledge Who enhanced the entire experience

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Crossing the Thorong La pass. This is a demanding climb if starting from Thorong Pedi (base camp) and can be made more difficult by the weather conditions. Therefore the sense of achievement in attaining the pass is well deserved. It should be tempered by the realisation you still have 8 hours of treking left to reach Muktinath!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dorjee Sherpa was a very knowledgeable and capable guide. He fostered an excellent relationship with all of the group and also facilitated the development of relationships between the group and porters. He was hard working and ensured the experience of each individual within the group was enhanced. He provided an excellent service at each and every tea house ensuring that the needs of all were met. He imparted his knowledge of the area, fauna/flora, religion and legends and was simply outstanding. He conducted dynamic risk assessments when required and I even witnessed him carry the rucksack of a struggling tourist across the pass! He has a bright future in this field and I cannot sing his praises highly enough. Well done!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring snacks for the long walking days - despite good food and multiple tea stops I could have done with carrying more carbohydrate/energy bars such as H5. I would carry a few travel squashes as you need to drink a lot of water which becomes boring Read the trip notes concerning tipping and allocate the appropriate funds for this - this is only moral and just for the work that has been done to support you. Bladders and tubes will freeze so Nalgene bottles are essential

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The strength of any tour company is in its people, particularly those indigenous employees who deliver the holiday and enhance the experience through their knowledge, approach and good nature. Dorjee Sherpa and his team were second to none and without them the ACT would not have been the success it was. They were outstanding and should be given just recognition for their efforts from Exodus.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Euan Stanwix

    Absolutely Amazing Scenery

    This was my first trip to the Annapurna region and chosen because I'm not sure what it will look like in even 5 years time with all the road development going on. Yes, there are a couple of days where you're walking on a dirt road which used to be the trail but the lasting memories are of the spectacular scenery, the fantastic Nepalese people, the great camaraderie in our group and our leaders who were superb organisers and really good fun as well. The first time you catch sight of the Annapurna range is just awe-inspiring as the snow-capped peaks tower above you. You could never tire of that amazing panorama. Other obvious highlights are crossing Thorong La pass at 5,400 metres (it got tough above 5,000 metres!), the sunrise on the top of Poon Hill and the numerous river crossings on suspension bridges. However, I will also take away the warmth of the local people, the great food, the little insights you get into Nepalese village life as you walk through the mountain villages and a better appreciation of the people and their culture. They have far fewer material possessions than people in the UK but seem to smile a lot more - a lesson in there I think. I would recommend this trip to anyone who has a love of mountains and different cultures but don't wait too long because the 'development' of the Annapurna Sanctuary area continues at a pace so the landscape is changing, and not necessarily for the better if you like your trekking without too much traffic.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of Thorong La pass at 5,400 metres. We got up at 2:30a.m. at around 4,500 metres and set off with head torches for the top of the pass. After a tea stop at 5,000 metres it started to get tough and our group had a collective feeling of relief and achievement when we reached the top of the pass in glorious sunshine. How people climb 8,000 metre peaks without oxygen I do not know. The trek is very well organised inasmuch as you gain altitude slowly in the 8-9 days before Thorong La and so most of the party didn't need Diamox and only had occasional headaches which is quite normal. The sunrise at Poon Hill also deserves a mention as it is absolutely spectacular and not at all arduous compared to Thorong La.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Tsering Dorjee Sherpa. I've been on numerous organised tours with various travel companies and I can say that Dorjee was one of the best leaders I've had teh pleasure of meeting. He was mature beyound his 23 years, extremely well organised, very passionate about Nepal and his Sherpa heritage and went out of his way to ensure the trip ran smoothly and that everyone enjoyed it. He was ably backed up by other guides and a team of porters, all of whom interacted with our group and collectively we had a great experience. If you're lucky enough to have Dorjee as your guide you will have a great trip and will learn a lot about Nepal, it's people and its culture.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    (1) Changing money in Kathmandu - the Himalayan bank will give you a much better rate if you bring new £50 notes. Any used £20 notes were scrutinised and any with writing on, slight rips in etc. were not accepted. It's also difficult to change the Rupees back to Sterling in Kathmandu so leave time to go round a few bureau de change. The rates are pretty similar across the bureaux de change (2) Most of the tea houses have power of some description to charge electrical items (USB or Mains) but power banks to charge phones / camera batteries are useful. Take a bag to put all your batteries in and put it in your sleeping bag at night to prevent them losing charge (3) The Exodus sleeping bags / down jackets tend to be on the heavy and bulky side and as weight/bulk is at a premium it's good to bring your own if you can. We had sleeping bags rated down to -2c (comfort) which were fine coupled with merino baselayers at higher altitudes (4) We had a Steripen, as did a number of our group, and they are the best thing for these types of trips as they probably cost the same as all the chlorine dioxide tablets you would need instead but you don't get the nasty aftertaste of tablets. Be sure to bring spare rechargeable batteries and a fast charger to keep the batteries charged. (5) We bought diamox in Kathmandu (£1 compared with £30 for a private prescription in the UK). We didn't need them in the end but we did use Ibuprofen for the occassional headache. Drinking lots of water is essential and a number of the group thought the garlic soup of the trail may have helped alleviate altitude issues

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You don't need to be super-fit to do the Annapurna Circuit as most days don't exceed 12 miles but the altitude can be debilitating. As you can't train for altitude just ensure you have a good base level of fitness, your boots are well broken in and you are very familiar with all your gear. For the photographers I took my Canon EOS with a 10-22 and 70-300 lens. Yes, the long lens weighs a fair amount (1 kg) but you get some fantastic close-up photos of the Annapurna range. Also make sure you take a polarising filter because the glare can wash out your photographs.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Susan Goodrich

    Amazing adventure

    This was the most wonderful trip. Words really can’t describe it. The Himalayas are awesome, the walking wonderful. Going over the tharong la pass was immensely challenging and we all made it. We saw wonderful sights, a baby vulture still with its white down, magnificent mountains, the sun rising over Poon hill, isolated villages where we were welcomed as we walked through, temples and monasteries. The food was freshly cooked throughout. The only down side was that some walking involved going along the road which is being build along the trek. If you’re thinking of going on this trek, I would recommend going sooner rather than later as this road continues to be built. It was lovely walking in the company of like minded people and we had a lot of laughs and supported each other throughout. Gun, our leader and his fellow guides could not have done more. They were kind, supported where needed, acted as nature leaders, made sure we had everything we needed. One final point. This is graded at a level 5 and it feels harder than that. We had 19 days walking, starting usually at 7.30am (usually up by 6.15-30 ..... Gum only let us have an extra 30 mins sleep after crossing the tharong la pass 😀😀) and finishing at 4-5. So in summary. Tough and extraordinarily wonderful !! Go for it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The whole thing. Seeing a baby vulture, the mountains, eating a lovely Dahl baht in a mountain village, the wonderful walking, crossing the tharong la pass, the laughs in the group, the fun. I could go on ......

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He could not have done more to make the experience better. He was knowledgable, instilled confidence as we were going over the pass, generous with his time, fun. I have nominated him as a guide of the year.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As I said above I think this trek should be rated higher as it is far harder than others I’ve been on, also rated 5. So get fit as you’re walking for 19 days up / along challenging terrain. We crossed the tharong la pass in snow and it took 11 hours. Don’t get too hung up about toiletries, tablets, loo paper. It can be bought most of the way around. There’s plenty of time when you get to Nepal to change money / get permits.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Dorothy Brockway

    Annapurna Circuit in cold December

    Wonderful scenery, amazing mountains but this was a lot tougher than a grade 5. (I've done an easier 6 than this). Whilst Exodus does attempt to make the traveller aware of the often primitive conditions of the tea huts, the EXTREME cold encountered on Dec trips is not emphasised enough. Those huts which did have wood burners in the dining area seemed reluctant to Light them other than when we were having our paid meals. Despite requests, we were forced to spend a lot of time in our beds and sleeping bags. The meals were good but the only prepaid meal, breakfast could have been better. It became apparant most tea huts were offering free accommodation if evening meals were purchased. Most days we were only offered porridge and toast despite eggs etc being available. A little mean of Exodus,

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The La Thorong Pass and Poon Hill

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely excellent. Prem. And his assistant Hari could not do enough for us. As well as making our safety paramount and doing everything in their power to help us achieve our goals on the mountains, they also paid attention to the smallest details, noticing our every need and trying to fulfil them. Just brilliant.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Respect the cold and perhaps consider a Feb or March departure. (I did The Sanctury in March and It was nowhere near as cold).
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Ken Plumb

    Wonderful Trip

    A more varied trip than the Everest trips I have done. The whole trip was amazing - great group of trekers - great leadership - wonderful support staff - epic scenery. Every day brought something different - from rice fields to baron high mountain areas - from 25 degrees to minus 12 ! - from high mountain views to flat valley landscapes. So, so glad I did this trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Crossing Thorang La Pass at over 5400m was a wonderful day - long, tiring but epic. A landscape so unlike anything in Europe coupled with the physical effort of walking uphill at high altitude. We all made it thanks to our great Nepali team.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kumar was a real star. He seemed to anticipate our every need and organised his staff superbly. He looked after people when that has problems during the trip. He was so knowledgeable and enthusiastic. We were so lucky to have him. A really top class Exodus leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Layers of clothing are the answer form temperatures which varied so much. Take a pillow case - almost no weight and more hygienic than just using the pillows which may not have been cleaned for a while. Steripens are recommended and work very well. Be very careful with your hygiene - many people had a day or 2 with 'issues' but I was fine - hand gel is the key ! Be reasonably fit - you do not have to be superfit. Take antibiotics and Diamox with you in case you need them. Use suncream a lot - the sun burns you at high altitude. Take your time on the trek and enjoy the views - take a good camera. Take a buff for use on the dusty roads you sometimes have to use.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you can afford the time, this trip has a bit of everything for someone with a bit of adventure in their soul ( or even sole! ) , Nepal is a wonderful friendly, inspiring place ! Go for it.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    John Sutton

    Smashed it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Delightful fellow trekkers, a brilliant leader, the smiling Nepalese and amazing scenery made this the trek of a lifetime. We had no rain and much of the time walked in brilliant sunshine, which really lifts the spirits when you are feeling a bit knackered. The team dynamic really works. We all got on and helped each other. Now consider myself a leading expert on veg. noodle soup, tomato soup( both home made, of course ) along with egg and veg noodles and apple pie ! It felt a real privilege to visit this very poor country and see how the very tough Nepalese live. It makes you realise just how very fortunate we are with all the amenities we take for granted, which in Nepal would be a luxury.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting up at 3 am and climbing for 5 hours with head torches to reach the Thorang La pass by 9. Watching the sun rise and then descending about 5,400 ft . Views that just took your breath away. The desolation up there and freezing cold too. And the sense of achievement that the whole group made it. Poon Hill was amazing too. Another early morning start to get up there but you really did feel on top of the world. And all those other trekkers up there too, like us, waiting to see the sun rise. The way the light caught the mountains was just magical and presented great photo opportunities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    If you said name me the perfect group leader, it would be Prim ( and I know others in the group thought the same) He constantly watched over us (but not in an intrusive way) ensuring everyone was OK. Safety was paramount. Sorted out all our meals, was very knowledgeable about the mountains, had a great smile, was very courteous. A true gent. Nothing was too much trouble. He took away any anxiety with his calmness. He had Pasang and Lappa helping him too. They were both excellent. And lets not forget the porters - delightful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of hand gel. Reduce your risk of tummy bugs - take probiotics before and during walk. Whilst it can be very cold as you go up, its also very warm when the sun is out, even when high up. So have a good mix of winter and summer clothes. Jelly babies , boiled sweets and chocolates bars keep you happy !

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just a big THANK YOU. Wondering how I can top that. I have definitely got the bug for another one.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Julie Reynolds

    A great trip!

    The annapurna circuit has been on my wish list for a long time and having finally got to do it, it did not disappoint! The scenery is fantastic and ever changing with something new to look at, at seemingly every corner.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sitting drinking fresh apple juice as a golden eagle flew just over our heads. Seeing the mountains against the cloudless blue skies time and time again from all different angles. Getting over the pass!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kumar was excellent. I really do not think we could have asked for more in a guide. Everything was well organised and nothing was ever too much trouble for him. I think he put a lot of effort into ensuring everyone in the group was happy and had what they needed and to just making sure we were having a good time . He worked extremely hard as did the other guides and the porters and we were very lucky to have such a great team.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take lots of warm layers for the evenings. Despite being in tea houses it is very cold, even in the communal areas. Don’t go on this trip unless you can cope with squat toilets, often not very clean, communal facilities and dodgey showers!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There are stretches where the walk is on roads which are very dusty and not very pleasant. Its definately wise to have a face mask or buff for these parts.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    William Harvey

    Annapurna Circuit

    Descriptions or photographs cannot do justice to the dramatic scenery as

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The ascent other Thorong La Pass, the climb from Totopani to Ghorepani and of course the dramatic scenery.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good leader however a little authoritarian, demanding (not recommending or advising) the clothing I should wear rather than accepting that I have the experience and awareness of my tolerances to climate conditions.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The accommodation, wind and dust can pose challenges however if you can embrace these issues as being part of the Annapurna Circuit you'll enjoy the experience to its maximum effect.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Iain Black

    Annapurna Circuit

    This trip was excellent-the first Himalayan experience, a highly thought-of trek through brilliant mountain and remote scenery in mostly ideal weather conditions with a great mix of fellow trekkers all led by a delightful knowledgable guide. The first week was spent trekking up the Marsyangaki River from to the remote high pass of the Thorong la then the circuit was completed by descending down the deep gorge of the Kala Gandaki surrounded by the high mountains of the Annapurna range. A euphoric feeling developed at the end of the circuit in Pokhara !

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely the crossing of the Thorong-la It’s a big long day with an early start and potential problems are weather and altitude. Just standing by the prayer flags in the sun and snow 17000 feet up with the group and thinking how we’d all got there was very moving.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    What a cheerful knowledgable unflappable person! Faced with 11 disparate souls from entirely different backgrounds, he led, cajoled, and encouraged us throughout the walk. He was very proud of his country and did a very good job of explaining the cultural differences and challenges of Nepal.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Expect a good days walking most days. Expect to be breathless on the higher sections -the air though clear is much drier and thinner,and use sunscreens to protect against UV skin damage. Take your time ascending. Expect stomach upsets - some of us got more than we expected! Even with antibiotics

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I’ve got a real issue with your Steripen advice.... ok I may have been unlucky, but when I got home mine wouldn’t function at all so I returned it. I was deeply suspicious throughout that it may not have been working but I had no way of knowing bacteriologically, just blind faith in your advice. I’d like to have tried bottled sterilised water to see if it made a dufference

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