A Complete Travel Guide to The Annapurna Circuit Trek

Manang Valley during annapurna circuit trek


Well known to be one of the most rewarding treks in Nepal, the Annapurna Circuit trek is booked every year! As so we at High Route Adventure thought it best to provide you a complete travel guide to the Annapurna Circuit trek. Filled with useful info such as; highlights, best time, difficulty, max altitude, combinable treks, cost, permits, preparation list, etc. Find all your answers in this complete travel guide to the Annapurna Circuit Trek, and be prepared for one of the best treks in Nepal! Can’t find the info you are looking for? Don’t hesitate to contact us with any type of query, our support team is 24/7 available!

Highlights of the Annapurna Circuit Trek

Let’s start a complete travel guide to the Annapurna Circuit trek with the main highlights of this trek. During the Annapurna Circuit trek with High Route Adventure, you’ll go on an amazing adventure circling the Annapurna Himalayan Range in a clockwise direction starting from the east. While it is possible to do the Annapurna Circuit in an anti-clockwise direction as well, High Route Adventure strongly recommends against it, as that route is quite strenuous and you’ll miss on some incredible highlights due to fatigue. Instead, follow our Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary, and trek through the Annapurna Himalayas meeting different cultures such as Gurung, Magar, Tibetan, and Thakali.

The trek itself goes through some traditional and iconic villages such as Chame, Braga, Manang, and Muktinath. Here you’ll not only get to interact with local Himalayan communities but also get to see their interesting cultures and architecture. Another one of the highlights during the Annapurna Circuit trek is the crossing of the Thorung-La Mountain Pass at a height of 5,416m / 17,769ft! This is Nepal’s highest mountain pass and one of the main highlights during the trek. The views are just breathtaking, especially when you start to make your way down to Muktinath. If you trek during the correct season it is possible to see over one hundred different mountains and peaks during the Annapurna Circuit trek. Some of the most prominent is of course views of Mt Annapurna 8,091m/26,545ft, Mt Nilgiri 7,061m/23,166ft, and Mt. Dhaulagiri 8,167m/26,795ft. Having made your way around the Annapurna Himalayas and down the Thorung-La Pass, the Annapurna Circuit trek takes you to another highlight, the Muktinath Temple. This holy place is worshipped both by Hindus and Buddhists and used as a place to purify oneself of bad Karma or influence. Distinct by its 108 water sprouts, which deliver sacred water to devotees, this amazing temple is surely worth a visit during your trek of the Annapurna Circuit! As a final main highlight during the Annapurna Circuit trek, High Route Adventure takes you further south of the Annapurna Himalayan Range, towards Ghorepani and Poon Hill. It is said that a sunrise or sunset view from Poon Hill can take your breath away! The hill is located at a height of 3,210m/10,531ft and offers excellent views of Mt Annapurna, Mt Machhapuchhare, Mt Hinchuli, Mt Dhaulagiri, and more.

To sum the highlights up in a shorter version;

  • Incredible views of the Annapurna, Nilgiri, and Dhaulagiri ranges
  • Explore the Manang Valley and visit Muktinath Temple
  • Cross the Thorung-La Pass (5,416m/17,769ft), the highest Pass in the world
  • Discover different cultures; Manangi, Tibetan, Thakali, and Gurung communities
  • Explore Ghorepani village and Poon Hill viewpoint

With all of these incredible highlights during the Annapurna Circuit trek, you are sure to be on an adventure of a lifetime! Interested in booking this trek with High Route Adventure? Find our package here on the website and click on book now to proceed.

Why you should go on the Annapurna Circuit trek?

Having the highlights described like that is certainly already a reason as to why you should go on the Annapurna Circuit trek with High Route Adventure. Not yet convinced? Well did you know that the Annapurna Circuit has been almost completely developed into a trekking paradise? The entire area has had a make-over with more accessible routes and trails. Guest or teahouses have more availability and more facilities! Another reason why you should go on the Annapurna Circuit trek is that it takes you through an absolute trekking paradise, from lush jungle trails to barren and snowy mountain valleys.  Head out on into the Himalayas with High Route Adventure’s Annapurna Circuit trek!

Best Time to trek the Annapurna Circuit Trek

As to what the best time to trek the Annapurna Circuit trek is, there are two main seasons. Spring and fall, are the primary seasons. Just before and just after the monsoon season. Of course, temperatures will be a lot colder during the fall, but then the climate is more doable for trekking. During the spring season, you’ll get to see the entire landscape in bloom, and with those clear blue skies, it becomes one of the best seasons to trek the Annapurna Circuit! Due to the crossing of the Thorung-La Pass, the Annapurna Circuit trek cannot be completed during the monsoon or winter seasons. The mountain pass becomes inaccessible and trekkers will be forced to return. Book the Annapurna Circuit trek with High Route Adventure during the spring (March-May) or fall (September to mid-December) season and head out on a journey of a lifetime!

Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty

You’ll be happy to hear that the Annapurna Circuit trek difficulty is set to easy to moderate. Those who are just starting trekking in the Himalayas will need to build up their stamina and fitness level, in order to fully enjoy this trek. Those who have already experienced trekking in the Nepalese Himalayas are in for a treat. The trails are well maintained and besides the steep climb up the Thorung-La Pass, there are not that many strenuous parts during the Annapurna Circuit. The most difficult aspect of the trek is the duration. With fifteen days of trekking whereof, one will be spent to acclimatize. The Annapurna Circuit trek’s main difficulty is just that can you spend two whole weeks in the remote Himalayas? To find out book today the Annapurna Circuit trek with High Route Adventure!

Annapurna Circuit Trek Max Altitude

The highest point during the Annapurna Circuit trek is the Thorung-La Mountain Pass at a height of 5,416m/17,769ft. Thorung-La is also the most used and highest mountain pass in the entire world! You can imagine the views from up there, right? With the Annapurna Circuit trek max altitude set above five thousand meters, it is important as well to properly acclimatize. High Route Adventure has set up a specific itinerary plan with an acclimatization day planned in order to successfully reach the Annapurna Circuit trek’s maximum altitude.

Best Combinable Treks with the Annapurna Circuit Trek

As you are trekking around the Annapurna Himalayas, you’ll notice there are a lot of different trekking trails in the region aside from the Annapurna Circuit trek. High Route Adventure, thought it useful to include in this complete travel guide of the Annapurna Circuit treks some of the best combinable treks with the Annapurna Circuit trek for those interested in an extra special and unique adventure!

Annapurna Base Camp Trek:

View from Annapurna Base Camp Trek
View from Annapurna Base Camp Trek

First up is the second most popular trek in the Annapurna Himalayas, the Annapurna Base Camp trek, or in short the ABC trek of Nepal. The trails can link up near the end of the Annapurna Circuit trek once we reach the Gurung town of Ghandruk. From there you can link up on the trail towards the Annapurna Sanctuary and Annapurna Base Camp. An additional week should be booked as well. In order to combine the Annapurna Circuit trek with the Annapurna Base Camp trek, be sure to inform us during your booking.

Nar-Phu Valley trek:

Nar-Phu Valley Trek

The Nar-Phu Valley trek is a bit more virgin as a recently new discovered region northeast of Manang. Perfectly combinable with the Annapurna Circuit Trek, the Nar-Phu Valley trek can be done as a longer version of the first part of the Circuit. While heading north from Koto towards Meta, the Nar and Phu Valley makes way. Traditional Bon-Buddhist cultures inhabit the valley in remote villages and have been living there in securement for centuries until being recently discovered by Nepalese government officials. Be prepared to head off the beaten path and combine the Nar-Phu Valley trek with the Annapurna Circuit Trek!

Upper Mustang Trek:

Landscape of Mustang Valley
The landscape of Mustang Valley

Heading more west across the famous Kali Gandaki River lays the lost kingdom of Lo in the Mustang region of Nepal. After heading down from the Thorung-La Pass during the Annapurna Circuit Trek, we can head from Kagbeni across the Kali Gandaki River and into the Mustang region. Heading to the ancient capital of Lo-Manthang, the Upper Mustang trek offers completely different geography than the Annapurna Circuit trek and makes it worth combining! In order to head into the Mustang region, different permits are required so make sure to check with our support team during your booking, if you which to combine these two amazing treks in Nepal. Ten days will need to be added in order to combine the Upper Mustang trek with the Annapurna Circuit trek, so keep that in mind.

Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake trek:

Tilecho Lake
Tilecho Lake

Probably the easiest and popular trek to combine with the Annapurna Circuit trek is the Annapurna Circuit trek with Tilicho Lake. This trek will take you about two additional days more on your holiday, and goes basically the same route as the standard Annapurna Circuit trek. The trail heads of to Tilicho Lake after Manang and before heading to the Thorung-La Pass. As a small detour, the Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake trek is one of the more popular choices amongst the best combinable treks with the Annapurna Circuit.

Annapurna Circuit Trek Cost

Interested in booking this incredible trek in Nepal? You’ll want to have a look first at the Annapurna Circuit trek cost for all-included, without meals, and trekking independently packages. While costs for all-included packages differ from company to company, it’s important to look at what is included versus the service they provide, as well as the companies reviews from previous trekkers. In this complete travel guide to the Annapurna Circuit trek, all rates are as per our company High Route Adventure.

All-included package:

Known as a standard trekking package in Nepal, an all-include package basically means everything as per the Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary will be included, except for personal costs, drinks, and tips. The cost is based per person and also includes all permits, transportation as per the itinerary, accommodations, porter(s), guide and meals during the trek. An all-included package with High Route Adventure costs 1,085$ USD per person. Have a look below to see a quick view of what will be included within this cost.

  • Airport pickup and drop
  • 3 nights’ accommodation at a 3-star category hotel in Kathmandu with a B/B Plan
  • 1 nights’ accommodation at  a 3-star category hotel in Pokhara with a B/B Plan
  • Best available teahouse accommodation during the trek
  • All meal plans (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) during the trek
  • Farewell dinner with a cultural program in Kathmandu
  • All ground transportation in a comfortable vehicle as per the itinerary
  • Guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu as per the itinerary
  • An experienced English speaking and government-licensed trekking guide
  • Porter service (2 trekkers = 1 porter)
  • All necessary permits and documentation)
  • Basic medical kit
  • All government and local taxes

Having all these paid for and set you’ll only need to focus on the trek itself and enjoy it to the fullest! If you are interested in booking the Annapurna Circuit trek all-included package for only 1,085$ USD per person then continue here to the Annapurna Circuit trek and press book now.

Without Meals Package:

As you might have guessed, a without meals package is exactly that. Just the same as an all-included package except no meals are included, so you’ll need to manage yourself. The Annapurna Circuit trek cost for a without meals package with High Route Adventure costs 610$ USD per person. While this can bring your booking package down, it will add later on while on the trek as tea houses especially in remote areas tend to overprice some items. Furthermore, you’ll need to bring enough cash with you during the trek in order to be able to eat 3 meals every day as no ATM machines are available. This in turn will divert your mind only to the economic situation during the trek, and you’ll miss out on a great experience. Calculate about 35$ USD per day while on the trek plus meals during your stay in Kathmandu and Pokhara. If you would like to book the Annapurna Circuit trek without meals package, in order to bring the Annapurna Circuit trek cost down. Then notify us during your booking, so that we may make the required arrangements.

Trekking independently:

While it is possible, it is strongly unadvised. You’ll be trekking completely on your own. That means, find your own guide and porter, and manage your own permits and taxes, transportation, accommodation, meals, etc. Trekking independently might seem adventurous, but it is more a hassle of tension and plans failing than actually enjoying the trek and everything the country has to offer. In order to trek independently you do not need a trekking or travel agent, and you can visit Nepal on a tourist visa while managing yourself the what, how, whereof it all.

Side note: during the Covid-19 pandemic, foreign nationals wanting to visit Nepal can only get their tourist visa with an invitation letter from a registered travel/trekking agent of Nepal. This rule might change, to get a better view have a look at: https://www.immigration.gov.np/

Annapurna Circuit Trek Permits

Also part of what makes the Annapurna Circuit so popular is that you require very few and affordable Annapurna Circuit trek permits. There are only two required. One is the ACAP, or Annapurna Conservation Area Permit. The other is a TIMS card or Trekkers Information Management System card. If you book with High Route Adventure both of these documents will be prepared and ready before the trek starts. If you plan to trek independently you’ll need also to manage the Annapurna Circuit permits costs by yourself.

  • ACAP = 3,000 NRS (Nepalese Rupees)
  • TIMS-card = 2,000 NRS (Nepalese Rupees)

Make sure to bring at least 4 passport-sized photos + a few copies of your passport.

How to Prepare for the Annapurna Circuit Trek?

A complete travel guide to the Annapurna Circuit trek would not be anything without talking about how to prepare for the Annapurna Circuit trek right? High route adventure has prepared some useful tips for you in order to be fully prepared for this amazing trek in Nepal.

First up is your stamina and fitness level. You’ll trek for about four to five hours and distances from ten to fifteen kilometers (six to nine miles) a day. Furthermore, you’ll be trekking at an average altitude of 3,000m/9,843ft to 4,500m/14,764ft. The higher you go the less oxygen you’ll get so your stamina level should be well maintained in order to fully enjoy the trek. High Route Adventure suggests partaking in a simple fitness course at least 3 months before you plan to trek. Practice running, and overall fitness build-up! 

Second is something you might not read in other useful tips in how to prepare for the Annapurna Circuit trek. It is to prepare your stomach! Nepalese have similar to Indian and other Asian countries, a very spicy diet. If you’re not used to spicy food, we suggest you stay away from anything spicy such as the traditional pickle sauce called “achar”. We’ll be trekking in remote areas and an upset stomach during the trek can ruin your whole experience.

Third up is what should you bring with you to be fully prepared for the Annapurna Circuit trek. High Route Adventure has prepared a simple list of items you’ll want to bring with you during the trek.

To bring with you:

  • Thermal undergarments (it can get cold at night)
  • A wind and/or water proof jacket
  • Down jacket
  • Two pairs of trekking pants
  • Gloves
  • Hiking socks 2-3 pairs
  • Trekking boots (bring spare laces)
  • Standard trekking poles (optional)
  • Water purification item(s) (LifeStraw)
  • Cotton trousers
  • A sleeping bag
  • Water canteen
  • Cap/scarf/ sunglasses
  • Sunblock
  • Toiletries
  • A head torch
  • Washing towel
  • Laundry bag
  • A small lock for your backpack
  • Personal medication

Being fully prepared is crucial to get the best experience, having this info and preparation list for the Annapurna Circuit trek, you are ready for the adventure. If you require additional info on how to prepare for the Annapurna Circuit trek, do not hesitate to contact our High Route Adventure traveler support team via the website.

Useful Info During the Trek

So being prepared to start the trek, what about during the trek? High Route Adventures included in this complete travel guide some useful info during the trek. We’ll describe for you what you can expect in terms of meals, accommodation, electricity, internet connectivity, and available ATM facilities during the Annapurna Circuit trek.

Meals during the Annapurna Circuit trek

As you trek, especially in the Himalayas, you can work up quite the appetite! You’ll be eager to know what type of meals during the Annapurna Circuit you can expect. High Route Adventure prepared a simple list of typical dishes you can find in the teahouses during the trek:

For breakfast, it is a choice of Gurung/Tibetan bread, Chapati, Oatmeal, French toast, eggs, or pancakes. One cup of tea or coffee is also included. Lunch and dinner have usually the same items, except if we need to prepare a packed lunch. For dinner, your choices are either a traditional Nepali dish or something more international. For traditional dishes, there is the famous Sherpa stew, Nepali dhal Bhat tarkali (rice, lentil soup, with seasonal veg.), momo (Nepalese dumplings), and rice with curry. Yak steak or seasonable soups are also an option in some teahouses. In the international kitchen, you’ll get choices of pizza, sandwiches, burgers, pastas, and spring rolls.

While most of these items seem perfect during a trek, we do advise to not order meat items in the more remote teahouses, as preservation methods are not the same and we cannot guarantee the quality of meat items. Best to check with our trekking guide before ordering!

Accommodation During the Annapurna Circuit Trek

Accommodation during Annapurna Circuit trek
Accommodation during Annapurna Circuit trek

Accommodation during the Annapurna Circuit trek takes place in traditional and the best available teahouses during the trek. Not every overnight village is developed and of course, the facilities of the accommodation depends also on that. The teahouses are based on a twin and sometimes triple sharing basis. Bathrooms are shared and the common room serves as a meeting place to discuss the next day’s trek. Rooms have matrasses and blankets stocked but for extra hygiene, we do advise bringing a sleeping bag as well.

Electricity During the Annapurna Circuit Trek

As the Annapurna region has seen quite a bit of development in the last years, almost all teahouses have electricity supply and are fitted with backup solar in case of power outings. Teahouses do not have power plugs in rooms and to charge devices you’ll need to use the reception. You’ll want to bring an adapter as well as standard Nepalese power plugs that use flap double or triple pins. As you might have guessed to charge your device at the reception, you’ll get an additional charge will occur of about 100 to 300 NRS. The cost is usually per stay, but the higher we go it can become based on an hourly rate so best charge your batteries as low an altitude as possible.

Internet connectivity during the Annapurna Circuit trek

All teahouses have internet connectivity. This does not mean high-speed WIFI as we are used to, but enough to check out the latest news, chat with family or friends, upload your blogs, or online profiles. Teahouses will charge you about 100 NRS per hour to use the internet and similarly, this rate can get higher to more up we go in altitude.

ATM Facility during the Annapurna Circuit trek

Knowing about these extra costs to use facilities during the trek you might want to bring enough cash with you as not every place has ATMs. In fact, there will only be 4 places that have ATM facilities during the Annapurna Circuit trek. Kathmandu and Pokhara are two of the main cities that will visit during the Annapurna Circuit Trek, and both are well-developed cities with banks and ATMs. While we leave the cities behind, during the entire trek only two places will have ATM facilities. The first is at the very start of the trek in Chame on day 6, and the other one is near the end of the trek in Jomsom on day 13. So you’ll be without ATM facilities during the Annapurna Circuit trek for about 7 days. It is recommended to bring about 25 to 35$ USD a day with you for extras.

Safety and AMS

Having all the info at hand, we included in this Annapurna Circuit trek travel guide a bit of extra info regarding safety and AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Trekking in the Himalayas however adventurous can also be quite dangerous for the inexperienced trekker. Trails will lead through ridges, over shady bridges, and onto slippery slopes. It’s quite important to take your time during the trek and always listing to your trekking guide regarding safety procedures. While the Annapurna Circuit trek is not dangerous, you do want to be careful as an accident in the remote Himalayas can ruin your trek. The highest point is above five thousand meters/ sixteen thousand feet and heading to that altitude can lead to Acute Mountain Sickness. By following High Route Adventure’s itinerary the risk of AMS reduces to almost zero, and it is important to hold an acclimatization day on time to get used to the higher altitudes.

Travel insurance

Similar to your safety, a travel insurance policy is required if you plan to book any type of trek with High Route Adventure. Without proper travel insurance, you’ll put yourself at risk of some high costs in case of an emergency. The Annapurna Circuit trek goes through some remote areas without road access or nearby health posts/hospitals the only means of emergency evacuation is by helicopter and without insurance, this is very costly. Unfortunately, Nepal does not have any travel insurance offices for tourism and you’ll need to prepare your travel insurance before departing on your trek. We do advise you to make sure that your travel insurance policy includes, emergency rescue and emergency health care. If you require more info about travel insurance for treks in Nepal, make sure to contact our High Route Adventure traveler support team via the website!

How to Book the Annapurna Circuit Trek?

Finishing a complete travel guide to the Annapurna Circuit trek with how to book the Annapurna Circuit trek seems only fitting no? You’ll be happy to know that booking with High Route Adventure is quite easy, to start you’re booking process please visit: https://highrouteadventure.com/trip/annapurna-circuit-trek/ and press book now to transfer to your booking form. After filling up all the required fields you can confirm your booking and our high Route Adventure traveler support team will get back to you to confirm. It’s that easy to book the Annapurna Circuit Trek!


Concluding a complete travel guide to the Annapurna Circuit trek, we tough it best to go over all the topics in a quick way. We looked at the highlights of the trek, why you should go, the best time, difficulty, and max altitude. Furthermore, we included a suggestion with the best combinable treks for the Annapurna Circuit trek. The guide included different costs for the Annapurna Circuit trek, what type of permits you require, and how to prepare for the trek. You’ll also get to know some useful info about meals, accommodations, and electricity, internet, and ATM facilities during the trek. And to conclude we finished a complete travel guide to the Annapurna Circuit trek with some info regarding safety and AMS, travel insurance, and how to book.

Do you want to experience this trek in Nepal with High Route Adventure, then head on to https://highrouteadventure.com/trip/annapurna-circuit-trek/ and book today your Himalayan adventure!

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