nepaltreksandtour

Discover the enchanting trails, cultural treasures, and practical insights for an unforgettable trekking experience. We’ll break down the costs, providing you with a clear understanding of the budget for your Annapurna Circuit Trek Guide & Cost 2024 / 2025. Get ready to explore the beauty of Nepal’s Annapurna region.

Annapurna Circuit Trek is the darling of all the treks in Nepal. While the Everest Base Camp trek stays in the number one position as the world-famous trekking destination, the Annapurna Circuit is not lower than the second. This trek has everything the Himalayas has to offer, from traditional Nepali villages and diverse climatic zones to breathtaking mountain vistas and a lifetime adventure.

We, Nepal Treks and Tour, have organized hundreds of Annapurna Circuit treks over the years for travelers worldwide. During all of our trips in the Annapurna Himalayas, we have learned a lot. So, we have created this Annapurna Circuit trek guide to provide honest and useful insights that trekkers should know, whether they are trekking solo or in a group.

Not only that, we will also openly talk about the Annapurna Circuit trek cost and share all the possible itineraries and places you can add to your Annapurna Circuit itinerary. If you have any questions regarding the Annapurna Circuit trek, we highly encourage you to talk to our team at [email protected] or give us a call/text at +977 9851013072.

Annapurna Circuit Trek Overview

Annapurna Circuit Trek Guide & Cost 2024

From the very first day of the Annapurna Circuit trek to the end of the journey, you will witness 7000m and 8000m mountains. It is one of the classic adventurous treks in Nepal. The standard Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary used to be 18 to 22 days long, but the recent construction of roads has shrunk the itinerary to 13 to 14 days.

We have heard and seen the question, “Is it still worth it to do the Annapurna Circuit trek?”, many times in the last two years because of the road construction to some villages that fall on the trail. And the answer is, of course, yes. Annapurna Circuit trek is still worth your time, effort, and money. It has not lost its charm and adventure in any way because of the road construction.

The only change is a short itinerary, but you can still customize it to an 18 to 22-day long trip if you wish. It allows you to explore beyond the classic Annapurna Circuit route. Soon, we will share the standard Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary and some extendable places, but before that, let us give you some brief general information about this trek:

  • Region: Annapurna
  • National Park: Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP)
  • Standard Duration: 13 days
  • Standard Route distance: 130 km (80 miles)
  • Maximum altitude: 5,416 m/17,769 ft (Thorong La Pass)
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Permits: TIMS Card and Annapurna Conservation Area Project permit
  • Accommodation: Tea house
  • Transportation: Kathmandu- Dharapani drive, Pokhara-Kathmandu drive, and Jomsom-Pokhara flight

What is it like doing the Annapurna Circuit?

Annapurna Circuit trek is challenging. It demands strong physical and mental fitness, so we generally recommend this trek to individuals who have previous trekking experience. The trekking route is offbeat and gains high altitude. You will be traversing the Annapurna and Lower Mustang region during the Annapurna Circuit trek.

The trail is dotted with tea houses. Even though the accommodations are simple, you will get a safe and cozy space to spend the nights during trekking. Upon landing in Kathmandu, spend a day or two exploring the city and getting the permits. From Kathmandu, you have to travel to Dharapani, from where the trek starts.

From Dharapani, trek via beautiful villages such as Chame, Pisang, Manang, and Yak Kharka. Trekkers usually spend the night at Thorong Phedi or Thorong High Camp before crossing the Thorong La pass. It is the highest mountain pass in Nepal, and crossing it is very arduous because of the steep and rocky climbing.

The trail then descends to Muktinath temple. From here, you will trek in the Lower Mustang region. Muktinath temple is a pilgrimage site in Nepal. The eternal flame and the 108 water sprouts are the core of this temple. Pilgrims travel here to get salvation. The Muktinath temple is important for both Hindus and Buddhists.

The trail then follows the Kali Gandaki Gorge- the deepest gorge in the world. You will ascend to Kagbeni and trek to Jomsom, where the Annapurna Circuit trek ends. This part of the trail offers a glimpse of the Thakali community along with arid landscapes. Take a short, incredible flight from Jomsom to Pokhara and drive back to Kathmandu. You can also drive from Jomsom to Pokhara.

Highlights of the Annapurna Circuit trek

Annapurna Circuit Trek Guide & Cost 2024

Witness jaw-dropping mountain views of Annapurna (8,091 m), Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Manaslu (8,163 m), Machhapuchhare (6,993 m), Hiunchuli (6,441 m), Gangapurna (7,455 m), Tilicho Peak (7,134 m), Nilgiri (7,061 m), and several others.

  • The landscape changes throughout the trail. From verdant valleys and dense forests to rocky gorges and barren hills, you will see a huge shift in the scenery.
  • At the start of the trek, come across communities like Brahmin, Chhetri, Gurung, Magar, etc. Towards the end of the journey, meet communities like Thakali and Rai.
  • The trek is very adventurous and culturally immersive. You will spend many days in the remote Annapurna Himalayas, trekking from one village to another. Cross rivers and streams on the way. Enjoy beautiful waterfalls and have memorable moments with the locals. Similarly, get to see and experience the simple mountain lifestyle.
  • In Manang, you will take an acclimatization break. During that time, hike to the hidden Ice Lake.
  • Navigate steep, rocky tracks and landslide-prone areas.
  • Cross the challenging Thorong La pass and get blessings at Muktinath temple.
  • Follow the Kali Gandaki gorge and trek past meadows, narrow alleys, and white-washed houses on the way to Jomsom.
  • A scenic, short flight from Jomsom will take you to the city of lakes, Pokhara. We also have a driving option from Jomsom to Pokhara. Spend a night here relishing the tranquility of Phewa Lake and drive back to Kathmandu the following day.

Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary & extendable options

Annapurna Circuit trek standard itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to the hotel
Day 02: Drive from Kathmandu to Dharapani (1,860 m/6,102 ft) via Besisahar, 8-9 hours | 211 km
Day 03: Trek from Dharapani to Chame (2,610 m/8,563 ft), 6-7 hours | 15.5 km
Day 04: Trek from Chame to Pisang (3,115 m/10,200 ft), 5-6 hours | 13.2 km
Day 05: Trek from Pisang to Manang (3,540 m/11,300 ft), 6 hours | 17 km
Day 06: Rest day for acclimatization at Manang
Day 07: Trek from Manang to Yak Kharka (4,050 m/14,275 ft), 4-5 hours | 7.5 km
Day 08: Trek from Yak Kharka to Thorong High Camp (4,925 m/16,158 ft), 5-6 hours | 7.3 km
Day 09: Trek from Thorong High Camp to Muktinath (3,760 m/12,623 ft), crossing Thorong La pass (5,416 m/17,756 ft), 7-8 hours | 15 km
Day 10: Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom (2,720 m/8,924 ft), 6-7 hours | 20.2 km
Day 11: Drive from Jomsom to Pokhara (822 m/2,697 ft), 6 hours | 159 km
Day 12: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu (1,400 m/4,593 ft), 6 hours | 201 km
Day 13: Departure from Kathmandu to your next destination

Combine the Tilicho Lake excursion with your Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary

Tilicho Lake is the second-highest lake in the world. It falls on the Annapurna Circuit trail. The standard Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary does not involve the Tilicho Lake excursion, but you can extend your itinerary if you have 2 to 4 days extra on your hand.

The trail to Tilicho Lake is separated between Manang and Yak Kharka. You will hike to Khangsar and follow a glacial route to Tilicho Base Camp. From here, you will ascend to the lake. You have to follow the same trail and continue to Yak Kharka.

Combine Ghorepani and Poon Hill in the Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary

Annapurna Circuit Trek Guide & Cost 2024

If you want to explore the picturesque little villages of the Annapurna region, then we highly recommend you combine Ghorepani village and Poon Hill in your Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary. You only need 4 to 5 days extra.

You can drive from Muktinath to Tatopani and drop to Chitre at 2,390 m. From here, trek to Ghorepani village and explore Poon Hill. You can further extend the trek to Ghandruk village and end in Kimche (1,640 m) and drive to Pokhara. You will get to explore 5 to 6 different lovely villages.

Combine Annapurna Base Camp in the Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary

You can combine Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) either at the start or end of your Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary. Combining ABC at the start of the journey will allow you to well acclimatize and get used to the terrain and surroundings before you hit the offbeat tracks of Annapurna Circuit.

Likewise, adding ABC trek towards the end of your Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary will let you give a grand ending to your trip. From Muktinath, you can drive all the way down to Chitre (2,390 m) via Tatopani. From here, trek via Ghorepani village and descend to Tadapani.

The Annapurna Base Camp route starts from Tadapani. You will ascend to Chomrong and follow the route that leads to the base camp of Mt. Annapurna, the tenth-highest mountain in the world. You will at least need 7 to 9 days extra.

Extend the Annapurna Circuit trek to the Manaslu Circuit

Our personal favorite is combining two greatest treks in the Himalayas together- Annapurna Circuit and Manaslu Circuit. In this program, you will do the Manaslu Circuit first and descend to Dharapani, crossing the Larkya La pass. From Dharapani, you can head towards the Thorong La pass and end the trek in Jomsom.

We have a very special package that includes both of these circuit treks, the Manaslu Annapurna Circuit trek. It is a 21 day trek program in Nepal that involves traveling to/from Kathmandu and the starting/ending point of the trail, along with your arrival and departure.

Extend the Annapurna Circuit trek to Upper Mustang

You can also extend your Annapurna Circuit trek to Upper Mustang. You descend to Lower Mustang towards the end of the Annapurna Circuit trek. From Muktinath Temple, hike to Kagbeni, and from here, trek to Upper Mustang, which is a restricted area in Nepal. It will also be a 21 to 24 days long trek.

Things you should know before booking the Annapurna Circuit trek

Terrain and surroundings:

The Annapurna Circuit is a remote trek amidst mountains and valleys. The trek starts via lush forests and ascends above the tree line, offering you a glimpse into the great Himalayas. You will walk on mountainous terrain that constantly ascends and descends.

You will be surrounded by the stillness of nature, the gushing sounds of rivers and waterfalls, the chirping of birds, and the laughter of fellow trekkers and locals. The climate and vegetation change with the rise in elevation.

Trek difficulty:

The Annapurna Circuit trek difficulty is strenuous. It is one of the toughest treks in the Himalayas. The trek sees a drastic change in elevation, climate, and surroundings in just a few days. You will come across a wide variety of trails and many steep, rugged sections.

Crossing the Thorong La pass is definitely the hardest part of the journey. But the daily 5 to 6 hours of average walking also demands a lot of strength and stamina from the trekkers. We highly recommend training your body for a few weeks before the trek starts.

Following the standard Annapurna Circuit trek route, you will approximately walk 90 kilometers, which is 66 miles. Every day, 11 to 13 km of walking is given. To truly enjoy the Annapurna Circuit trek, you have to be strong physically and mentally.

Trekking with a company like ours reduces a lot of stress. You do not have to worry about carrying heavy bags on uneven trails and arrange all the logistics, as our team will handle all of that. Not only that, but you can also travel safely and freely.

Altitude sickness:

Altitude sickness is a condition when trekkers do not adapt to altitude during trekking in the Himalayas. It can happen to anyone regardless of their age, experience, and fitness. So, trekkers have to be very careful and plan their itinerary accordingly to avoid altitude sickness on the trek.

The highest altitude reached during the Annapurna Circuit trekking is Thorong La pass, which is situated at 5,416 meters (17,756 ft). You will spend eight days above 2,500 meters, and the human body starts to experience the effects of high altitude above 2,400-2,500 meters.

Generally, trekkers spend an acclimatization day in Manang village during the Annapurna Circuit trek. Picking your night stays is crucial. You have to make sure you are hiking high and sleeping low and not gaining more than 500 meters in a day between your last and following night stops.

There are ways to avoid altitude sickness, like keeping yourself hydrated, maintaining your pace, getting ample sleep and nutritious food, etc. Say no to alcohol or smoking during the trek, and also maintain your caffeine intake. Dehydration = altitude sickness.

Be aware of these symptoms of altitude sickness- difficulty in breathing, loss of appetite, headache, vomiting, nausea, dizziness, insomnia, etc. You will get mild symptoms at first, and if not treated on time, it can escalate, ruining your entire trip.

What should you do if you see symptoms of altitude sickness? Inform your guide immediately and follow his guidance. Guides are trained to provide first aid for altitude sickness and other general sicknesses that trekkers may face during trekking.

If you are alone, drop down to a lower elevation and rest. See how you feel and decide whether you want to continue the trek or return for more medical assistance.

Best time to do Annapurna Circuit trek:

The best time to do the Annapurna Circuit trek is spring (March, April, and May) and autumn (September, October, and November). These two seasons have the best weather and climate for trekking in the Himalayas.

You will enjoy seasonal bursts of flowers, clear skies, stunning landscapes, and the finest trail conditions. However, given the popularity of the Annapurna Circuit, do not expect only you to be on the trail. You will see many other fellow trekkers on the route.

The lower part of the trail can get hot in both seasons, while the upper part of the trail is cold in the mornings and evenings. The temperature is neither too cold nor hot, but you have to pack for all kinds of weather.

Accommodation during the trek:

The accommodation during the Annapurna Circuit trek is tea houses. All the villages have tea house accommodations for the trekkers that offer unexpected comfort in this wilderness. However, any additional services apart from a room to sleep will cost you a few bucks.

However, thanks to the well-established route and ample tea houses, trekkers can explore the Annapurna Circuit at an affordable cost. Rooms are mostly shared between two trekkers, and a washroom is common. Melas are available in the tea houses and can cost you USD 3 to USD 5 for each meal.

The rooms are small and basic but clean. You will get a somewhat comfortable mattress and pillows, but a sleeping bag is highly recommended for extra warmth and comfort. Bring your own toilet paper and all other toiletries. Everything is scarce in the mountains and costs money.

Services in the tea houses:

Electricity is available in all tea houses. Most of the locals rely on solar panels. You will get hot water for washing your face and shower in most of the places. Likewise, charging is also available everywhere. The only downside is you may have to pay a few extra bucks for these services.

Overall, given the remoteness of the Annapurna Circuit, the facilities are fantastic. Do carry ample Nepali cash with you even if you are trekking with a company to buy these additional services that are not covered in the package cost.

Food during the trek:

Trekkers usually love Nepali food for its flavors. From the famous dal bhat to super mountain food thukpa, the food variety on the Annapurna Circuit trek is excellent. The first thing is everything is expensive in the upper part of the trail, including food. Still, a meal will not cost you more than USD 5.

*Note: It is customary to eat dinner and breakfast in the tea house where you spend the night. That’s why you get a cheap rate for the room. Sometimes, you may even get a room for free if you have both meals in the same tea house.

The breakfast menu consists of tea and coffee, porridge, toast, pancakes, chapati, oatmeal, fruits, yogurt, soup, eggs, etc. The lunch and dinner menu is the same. Some famous options are dal bhat (veg and non-veg), thukpa, momo, noodles, porridge, rice with curries, fried rice, pizza, spaghetti, burgers, etc.

Many places also sell apple pie and rice pudding in the desert. Trekkers should carry sacks, nuts, protein bars, etc. You can have them to give yourself an instant boost of energy.

Drinking water:

The Annapurna Circuit trek does not have a drinking water problem. Most of the tea houses sell boiled water for drinking at a minimal cost. You can refill your reusable water bottle at just USD 1 to 2. Plastic water bottles are also available throughout the trail but cost an absurd amount of money. They are also not good for the environment.

There are also ACAP’s safe drinking water stations along the route, where you can refill your water bottle at two-thirds of the plastic water bottle price. Do not totally rely on these water stations. Sometimes, they may be closed. Refill your water bottles in tea houses. For extra safety, you can bring a water purification tablet and treat the boiled water before drinking it.

Transportation:

The Annapurna Circuit trek involves traveling to/from Kathmandu. You have to travel to Dharapani from Kathmandu, which is the starting point of the trek. It takes around 8 hours to drive. There is no domestic flight option.

Likewise, you will end the trek in Jomsom. From here, you can take a short 20-minute flight to Pokhara or drive around 7-8 hours. Similarly, from Pokhara, you can drive or fly back to Kathmandu.

*Note: Usually, our trek package covers a bus ride between Kathmandu and Pokhara, but can upgrade the transportation at an additional cost.

Permits:

Below are the permits required for the Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal:

Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) entry permit cost: USD 30 per person
TIMS Card: USD 20 per person

*Note: These two permits are for the standard Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary. If you combine Manaslu Circuit or Upper Mustang in your itinerary, additional permits are required.

Guide and porter:

Our Annapurna Circuit trek package includes a guide and porter service. A local, trained mountain guide will accompany you during the trek, along with porters as per the group size. For better per head cost, at least trek in a group of two to four trekkers.

Likewise, if the group has more than 8 trekkers, there will be an assistant guide as well. Porters will help you with the duffel bags. One porter carries a duffel bag of two trekkers, and the combined weight shouldn’t increase by 18 kgs.

Tips:

Tipping is a huge custom in travel and tours in Nepal. Guide and porters especially expect tips at the end of their service. We also urge our guests to budget tips for them and if possible, for drivers, watchmen, and servers at the restaurants/cafes.

There is no fixed amount for tips. You can tip the guide and porter as much as you wish. A 10-15% of package cost sounds decent, or if you are trekking in a group, every member can contribute USD 100 each and tip the guide and porter collectively.

Travel insurance:

Travel insurance allows you to travel smarter and safer in an unknown country. When you are trekking in the Himalayas, there are always underlying risk factors like injuries, altitude sickness, natural disasters, etc.

So, we recommend trekkers get travel insurance that specifically covers helicopter evacuation from high altitudes and medical bills. Surely, you can cover other things in your travel insurance as well. In 2024, travel insurance will become necessary for all kinds of treks.

Communication/internet facility along the trail:

The communication facility along the Annapurna Circuit trek is not that great. You can buy a Nepali tourist sim with data. The network comes and goes. Once you are above 3,000 meters, the network is most likely to fluctuate a lot.

Paid WiFi is available in tea houses at lower altitudes. Do not stress about network and communication on the Annapurna Circuit trekking. Make up your mind to go off the grid and enjoy nature. For emergency communication, our guides are equipped with a satellite phone.

Money exchange and ATM on the Annapurna Circuit trek route:

There is no ATM on the Annapurna Circuit trek route. Likewise, you can only use Nepali money to buy services. So, withdraw ample cash in Kathmandu to use during the trek. You can exchange your money in banks or money exchange centers.

Likewise, ATMs in Kathmandu support most of the international cards that you can use to withdraw Nepali money. Do note that your bank may charge you up to 4% for withdrawing money internationally, so please confirm it once with your card provider.

Passport and Nepal travel visa:

A valid passport and Nepali travel visa are a must to enter Nepal for trek and tour. Except for Indians, all foreigners are required to carry these two documents. Check Nepal’s Immigration website for detailed information on tourist visas.

Travelers can get the on-arrival visa at Tribhuvan International Airport or any other entry border. Likewise, you can also obtain a travel visa from the Nepalese Embassy or Consulate Office in your country.

The travel visa usually costs USD 25 for 15 days, USD 40 for 30 days, and USD 100 for 90 days. You need to fill up the form and provide passport-sized photos for the travel visa.

*Note: Our Annapurna Circuit trek cost does not cover the travel visa fee. Trekkers are responsible for obtaining these documents.

Trekking clothes and gear:

To do the Annapurna Circuit, you will need appropriate clothes and some gear. You can buy or rent them as per your budget in Kathmandu, Nepal. Below, we have made the list of things needed for the Annapurna Circuit trek.

  • Trekking clothes & gear: Fleece jacket, down jacket, windbreaker, clothing (4-5 pairs of each item), thermal wear, underwear, trekking shirt and pants, dry tees, scarf, gloves, sun cap, cotton socks, woolen socks, raincoat, rain pants, hiking shoes, trekking boots, daypack and rain cover, backpack and rain cover, duffle bag (provided by the company), sleeping bag & liner, trekking poles, stuff sack, water bottle, water filter, etc
  • Toiletries: Sunglasses, sunscreen, cold cream, face cream, wet wipes, lip balm, sanitizer, soap, shampoo, comb, toothbrush & paste, hand wash, toilet paper, etc
  • Personal Medical kit: Necessary prescribed medications, spray for sprained joint, band-aid, cotton, bandage, antiseptic cream, paracetamol, antifungal cream, electoral powder, insect repellent, etc
  • Electronic Gadget: Adapter, charger, power bank, spare batteries (optional), torch, camera, etc
  • Documents: Passport, visa, travel insurance, permits, identity card, passport-size photos, etc

Annapurna Circuit trek cost

Since 1st April 2023, the Nepal government has banned trekking without a guide in the Annapurna region by limiting the TIMS Card allocation in the absence of a licensed Nepali guide. So, we will be sharing the Annapurna Circuit trek cost based on this change.

Below, you will learn about how much the Annapurna Circuit trek costs while doing it with a Nepali trekking company like us and what additional expenses you should be prepared for. Likewise, we will also share some ways to save money.

Usually, the Annapurna Circuit trek cost 2024 starts at 1,200 per person and goes up to USD 2,800 per person. As per your itinerary, the cost may differ. Likewise, the services included in your package also determine the cost of the package.

The Annapurna Circuit trek cost includes services like all the accommodation and meals during the trek, permits, expenses of guide and porter, transportation, and accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara. All the services will be provided as per the itinerary.

Apart from that, you will also get free airport pick up and drop off (as per the itinerary) and complimentary welcome and farewell dinners in Kathmandu. However, you have to budget money for other things that are mentioned below:

  • Your meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Tips for guide and porter (at least)
  • Travel insurance
  • International flight tickets
  • Visa fee
  • Trekking clothes and gear
  • Shopping
  • Allowance for the trek (to buy additional services like hot shower, WiFi, charging, etc, which are not covered in the package cost)
  • Emergency fund

Tips on how to save money during the Annapurna Circuit trek

  • As soon as your trek gets confirmed, get your round flight tickets to/from Kathmandu, Nepal. The sooner you book the flight tickets, the better price will get. Also, compare some rates and see if there are any discount offers.
  • Do not buy every trekking clothes and gear. Things like a down jacket, trekking pants, sleeping bags, trekking poles, daypack, etc can be rented at a very minimal cost. If you are not a seasoned trekker, then opt for renting. There are lots of rental service providers in Kathmandu.
  • Buy snacks, bars, etc for the trek in Kathmandu. Everything will cost two to four times more in the mountains.
  • While buying souvenirs, bargain but respectfully and healthily. You will get a good price if you behave.
  • Try our local street food. In USD 50, you can taste a shocking variety of Nepali delicacies. Ask your guide for the best places.
  • Do not ruin your mood or experience for some change.

Conclusion

This is one of the most genuine Annapurna Circuit trek guides you will come across on the internet. We want you to have the right information and expectations for this trek. Annapurna Circuit trek is a lovely venture in the Himalayas that is bound to change your life.

We hope this Annapurna Circuit trek guide 2024 will help you plan your trip. Let us know if we can help you in any way. You can also check out our Annapurna Circuit trek package or other treks in the Annapurna region here.

Categories:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *