Route Annapurna Circuit (13 days)
Are you planning to get the Annapurna Circuit off your bucket list? Cool! For us, the Annapurna Circuit was an experience to remember. It took us 13 days to finish the hike. In this article you can read more about our route.
Note: this article is automatically translated from the original dutch version for English purposes and may contain some dodgy spelling and grammar. But no worries we will update these articles as soon as possible.
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PLanning the route for The Annapurna Circuit
Buy a map in Pokhara or Kathmandu and plan your own route. This is so much fun to do. We decided to make a global plan in which we took into account the height that we were allowed to rise per day, because to prevent altitude sickness it is wise to sleep no higher than 500 meters than where you left that day. Although you can determine the route yourself, you will soon notice that almost everyone walks the same route. This is due to the number of hours you want to cover a day and the height that you should take into account.
Although we had made a plan, we had agreed that we would decide on the way whether we could continue or that we could would rather sleep somewhere else. For example, we have changed our route several times along the way. I was also bothered by the height when we arrived in Manang. Many people go from Manang to Tilichio lake first. This seems to be a tough but very beautiful hike. We decided to go straight to Basecamp. We also decided to do the first part with the jeep. This is not recommended. The jeep ride is really terrible and the area is way too beautiful to skip.
The hike was a lot harder than expected. After 12 days we reached Johmsom and we decided to take the bus back to Pokhara. We also found the way down a lot less beautiful than up, but this appears to be better later on the route. So you can also walk down for a few days and even stick Annapurna Basecamp to your hike.
Annapurna Circuit route overview
After this overview you will find a detailed description of our route per day incl. Accommodation, distance and altitude.
- Pokhara – Chamje (1300m)
- Chamje -Tachi Bagarchhap (1900m)
- Bagachap – Chame (2600m)
- Chame – Uper Pisang (3300m)
- Upper Pisang – Manang (3590m)
- Manang – Yak Kharka (4018m)
- Yak Kharka – Thorung Pedi Basecamp (4450m)
- Thorung Pedi Basecamp – Muktinath ( 3800m (hoogste punt Thorong La 5416m)
- Mukltinath – Kagbeni (2804m)
- Kagbeni – Jomson (2743m)
- Jomson – Pokhara
Annapurna Circuit route per day
Day 1 Pokhara to Chamje
We first departed from Pokhara by bus to Besisahar. The bus ride lasted approximately 4 hours. Most people start their hike here. You can also choose to skip a part and go directly to Chamje with the jeep. The advantage is that you can complete the circuit in fewer days. We opted for the latter. The jeep ride was really hell and lasted almost 6 hours where we were in the back of a jeep! If I had to do it again, this piece would have preferred to have walked and added 2 days to the hike.
- Time: About 10 hours by bus and jeep
- Accommodation: Tibet Lasha
- Height: 1300m
Day 2 Chamje to Tachi Bagarchhap
A beautiful walk. The road to Bagarchhap is very green with lots of bridges and waterfalls. Right in the beginning you have a beautiful viewpoint where you can drink a cup of tea. It was our first hike and it was pretty tough. Some parts were very steep, but at the same time one of the most beautiful routes.
- Time: +/- 8 hours
- Accommodation: First guesthouse on the right. Incredibly nice man, but accommodation was very basic.
- Height: 1900m
Day 3 Bagachap to Chame
The walk was a lot less difficult. The road to Chame was again very green with lots of water. Occasionally some difficult pieces. It became a lot colder along the way and it even started to hail at the end of the day. Chame is quite big and you even have small shops with hats, gloves, walking sticks etc.
- Time: +/- 7 hours
- Accommodation: Royal Garden (incredibly good with its own bathroom and hot shower)
- Height: 2600m
Day 4 Chame to Uper Pisang 3300 meters
Not an easy journey, but certainly doable. You will come across the first yaks here. At the end of the day it started snowing, creating a beautiful image. You can also choose to go to Lower Pisang. Which is recommended, because it is less high. The chance of altitude sickness is already increasing here and it is therefore wise to stay a bit lower here. The next day I became incredibly ill, probably because we went directly to Upper Pisang.
- Time: +/- 7 hours
- Accommodation: Hotel hilltop view (very pleasantly busy, beds are a bit hard but have bathroom attached to the room)
- Height: 3300m
Day 5 Upper Pisang to Manang
This was the toughest day for me. If you take the walking route you go in one go from 3300 meters to 3900 meters. It is a huge climb right at the start of your walk, but you will be rewarded with a beautiful view. The most beautiful view we have seen during the entire trek. Moreover, you have a wooden hut at the top where you can really order the tastiest hot chocolate and apple pie. Only after this terrible climb you have a few hours left. Unfortunately I became very sick on this day. While this is really one of the nicest parts during your draw. You really come across the most beautiful landscapes and you see the landscape really changing. It is beautiful, but also very heavy. Normally people take 8 hours, but unfortunately it took almost 11 hours.
- Time: +/- 11 hours
- Accommodation: Hotel Yak (fine, but there are nicer accommodations in Manang)
- Height: 35190m
Day 6 Manang rest day
Yes! Rest day. How nice this was. We have taken it easy. To acclimatize, we decided to take a short walk to a viewpoint and the lake. We spent the rest of the day in the sunshine at the nearby Tilicho bakery. Which is really recommended. The applecrumble and the coffee are really horrible.
Day 7 Manang to Yak Kharka
From Manang you can also do a hike to the Tilichio lake. This seems to be very beautiful, but also enormously heavy. You already climb to 4900m. Good for your acclimatization, but also very heavy. The chance that you will fall ill is also greater.
- Time: +/- 5 hours
- Accommodation: Gangapurna hotel
- Height: 4018m
Day 8 Yak Kharka to Thorung Pedi Basecamp
This is not a long but a tough day. You will increasingly be bothered by the height and every step becomes swords. At Thorung Pedi Basecamp you have 1 large accommodation where almost everyone sleeps. Although it is a nice place, you can feel the tension. Many people leave from Thorung Pedi Basecamp directly to the Thorung la pass. You can also choose to stay an extra night at High Camp. The biggest disadvantage of this is that there is a chance that you will get altitude sickness and that you have to go all the way back. Since I had been sick for a day, we decided to do the trip in one go.
- Time: +/- 5 hours
- Accommodation: There is only 1 accommodation here, so that choice is at least nice and easy.
- Height: 4450m
Day 9 Thorung Pedi Basecamp to Muktinath
We left at 3 a.m. for High Camp. This piece was already very steep and heavy. We took about 3 hours and decided first to have a quick tea at high camp. After we warmed up a bit we left for Thorung la pass, the highest point of the circuit. The journey is very intense Every step is difficult and takes so much effort. The sky, the cold, the climb everything is fierce. There are also many curves, which means that it will take forever before the end is in sight. But as soon as you see the flags you do not know what you are experiencing. For me (and many people with me) a very emotional moment. After days of hiking, no showering, hard work you finally reach the top. A wonderful moment. Only now down. Perhaps the toughest of all.
- Time: +/- 12 hours
- Accommodation: Hotel Bob Marley. A great place. We have built a small party here. The pizzas are really great here. Especially after 12 days dal bhat.
- Height: 3800m (highest point Thorong La 5416m)
Day 10 Mukltinath to Kagbeni
After quite a few beers in Muktinath, we decide to continue our walk the next day. We have read that Kagbeni is a very cozy and cute village to stop and decide that this will be our next stop. The muscle pain of yesterday’s trip is quite present. Especially the hefty trip down after reaching the top was not very pleasant for the hamstring strings. We take it easy. We notice immediately that the infrastructure here is much better than on the other side of the mountain. Continuous jeeps drive by and the walking is therefore less pleasant. Although the area is still incredibly beautiful, it is not comparable with the first few days. Because they are building a road here, idyllic is a bit off. Kagbeni is indeed a cute village to stop.
- Time: +/- 6 hours
- Height: 2804m
Day 11 Kagbeni to Jomson
The next day we walk further to Jomson, one of the larger villages in the area. Although this area is also beautiful, we are often disturbed during this walk by the many jeeps that pass by. When we arrive in Jomson we decide that this will be our final destination and the next we will take the bus back to Pokhara. At first we wanted to walk back, but we are on and the route is a lot less beautiful than the first half of the trek. We did quite well for non-experienced hikers. Once we arrived in Pokhara we heard from different people that the route past Jomson is again very beautiful and definitely worth hiking. If you still have some strength and days left, we recommend that you walk the route. The bus back to Pokhara was nice and bumpy but easy to do. Do not look outside too often, because driving along the edge of a gigantic mountain is not so special in Nepal.
We thought Jomson really terrible. The accommodations are very expensive and it is quite busy.
- Time: +/- 6 hours
- Height: 2743m
Holy crap, Nepal is so beautiful. This was one of the most difficult and at the same time impressive travel experiences to date. It was sometimes quite a challenge, but really worth every second. We didn’t want to miss this for the world and will definitely do a similar draw in Nepal again. Not only the environment is great, but also the experience is so beautiful. Along the way you will meet the most special people. If you are in Nepal, I say do it! Even if you are not really a hiker. We are anything but experienced hikers and never thought we would enjoy 13 days of hiking through the mountains. If you have any questions about the draw or about Nepal or a nice tip for Foedsie, let us know in a comment or send a message via Instagram < / a>.