The Annapurna Circuit Trek with Tilicho Lake, situated at 4949 meters, is one of the highest lakes in the world. The trail cuts through varied elevations, and has climates ranging from semi-tropical to desert, and with the landscapes varying from sub-tropical to alpine forests to snowy barren, and the stunning rocky Thorongla Mountain pass with an altitude of 5416 meters. On your 17-day trip you will also visit enchanting cultural, religious and heritage sites in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Autumn (Sept to Nov) and Spring (March to May) are the best seasons for trekking in the Annapurna region. The weather is sunny and warm with outstanding views. If you wish to avoid crowd and enjoy some alone time with nature then taking this trip during winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) could also be an option. However, the temperature during winter could be harsh for most guests. Trekking in Summer or Monsoon (June to Aug) will be affected by rain but Summer trek could be a boon for a keen botanist.
Day 01: Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264 ft)
After you land at the Tribhuwan International Airport, look out for your name on the placard held by our friendly representative, who will greet you and escort you to the Hotel Yak & Yeti or similar. After you settle down at the hotel and rest, please feel free to visit our office. In the evening, we will host a welcome dinner in your honor. Experience authentic Nepalese cuisine, which would be an excellent introduction to Nepalese food culture.
Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing and trek preparation
Wake up to a brand new day to experience Kathmandu City. After breakfast, a guided tour of Kathmandu city awaits. You will visit some of the UNESCO Heritage sites, which are also the important landmarks of Nepal. The Durbar square houses ancient temples, the old palace and the kumari ghar or the house of the living goddess. Next you will witness the famous Monkey Temple or Swayambhunath temple, which sits atop a hill offering a stunning view of the city below. The sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath is one of the most revered spot for Hindu devotees; meet the famous holy men while you are there. Finally the last ride takes you to Boudhanath, one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world. In the afternoon, meet up with the trek leaders and team members for a brief discussion on the trek and raise questions and get insights on the adventure. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 03: Drive to Chamje (1,410m/4,626ft): 6-7 hours
Starting the day early for the trek would be a good idea; you will travel by road from Kathmandu to Chamje village which will take about 6-7 hours, and it will be the starting point of the trek. Chamje is a small village in the Annapurna Region at an elevation of 1430m. There is a waterfall that is an attraction to both locals and tourists alike. The beautiful greenery all around will fuel you for the trek ahead. Overnight in Chamje.
Day 04: Trek from Chamje to Dharapani (1,960m/6,430ft): 5 - 6 hours
The trek commences in the early morning today, after prep and a hearty breakfast. The trail takes you through various vegetable plantations, waterfalls and mixed communities that are believed to have migrated from Tibet. After crossing the suspension bridge below Chamje and climbing two steep sections of the trail to reach the village of Tal, populated with ethnic Gurungs and migrated Tibetan settlers, from Tal you enter the Manang district. The Kodo village is next after the trail rises, falls and cuts across the mountain side to one of the biggest village in the Manang district, Dharapani. Overnight in Dharapani.
Day 05: Dharapani to Chame (2,710m/8,891ft): 5 - 6 hours
The trail cuts through a few steep inclines, mostly forested ridges along with several landslides, however you will be rewarded by the stunning views of the Lamjung peak, Annapurna II and Annapurna IV (7525m) as you look up. You will also encounter small hot springs along the way which could be a sweet respite from the tiring trek. Chame is the headquarters of Manang District in the Gandaki Zone of northern Nepal. Overnight in Chame.
Day 06: Chame to Pisang (3,300m/10824ft): 5 - 6 hours
Today the trail continues up and down, passing several rivers and sparsely populated settlements. After about forty-five minutes of following the river, you will cross a bridge and then ascend to the floor of the Manang valley and lower Pisang. The view of the Paungda Danda, a spectacular rock wall rising 1500m from the river, will mesmerize you; here onwards you also have excellent views of the Annapurna II to the south and Pisang Peak to the north east. As you enter Manang valley you will also notice a real change in the landscape and the atmosphere is more arid. Overnight in Pisang.
Day 07: Pisang to Manang (3,500m/11,482ft): 6 - 7 hours
By now, we are sure that you would be thoroughly enjoying the trek. From Pisang you have a choice of two routes to Manang. It is best to choose the one which passes through Upper Pisang via Geru, as it guarantees outstanding views of Mt. Annapurna, Pisang Peak, and others. As you near Manang, you will be encountering the windy and dry atmosphere of the area; detour for a short visit to one of the biggest monasteries in the Manang district, the Barge Monastery, offers a break on the trek. Overnight in Manang.
Day 08: Manang to Kangsar (3745m/12286ft): 2-3 hours
After breakfast the trek continues up to the village of Kangsar, as you walk ahead the trail cuts down through a gorge and the Tilicho Peak can be spotted shrouded in clouds far above. Experience the natural beauty of the Annapurna range all along the way. Plus, you will also pass small scenic settlements, the Tore monastery, and the view of the Khangsar River and the grand barrier. Overnight in Kangsar.
Day 09: Kangsar to Tilicho Base Camp (4140m/13,583ft): 5-6 hours
As you commence the trek from Kangsar to Tilicho Lake Base Camp, you will come across wide grassy fields and after making a slight climb up a small hill, witness the glorious views of the entire valley. After trudging down a steep inclination, you now enter the Tilicho Base Camp. Camping is the only option as there are not many lodges out here. Overnight at Tilicho Base Camp.
Day 10: Visit Tilicho Lake (4,949m/16,138 ft) then trek back to base camp: 5-6 hours
After the initial tough ascent, the trail traverses onto a moraine and then cuts along the side of the mountain. However, the spectacular views of Tilicho, Nilgiri, Khangsar and Muktinath peaks are always there. The tranquil Tilicho Lake is one of the highest lakes in the world as sometimes the reflection of the surrounding peaks are seen on the turquoise waters, at other times the lake is literally frozen. Take a break beside the calm waters and soak in the astounding views of the place before you head back to the base camp. Overnight in Tilicho Base Camp.
Day 11: Tilicho Base Camp to Yak Kharka (4040m/13,020ft): 4-5 hours
When returning from the Tilicho Base Camp, the trail leads out of the Marsyangdi valley and the abrupt change in surroundings can be noticed as the trees are left behind and replaced with more alpine vegetation. The trail continues some three to four hundred meters over Khangsar village and through the ruins of the old Khangsar village, until you cross the log bridge over the river between Gumsang and Yak Kharka from where you see the breathtaking views of Annapurna III. The typical Himalayan village is an accolade to its name, as lots of yaks can be seen grazing and standing around. Overnight in Yak Kharka.
Day 12: Yak kharka to Thorang Phedi: (4420m/14501ft): 3-4 hours
After breakfast, you can start the trek as the trail climbs from the Eastern banks of the Jarsang River. Eventually, it descends and you can cross a wooden bridge. On this part of the trail you can encounter some exclusive Himalayan wildlife. You can even spot the Himalayan Blue sheep. The shy snow leopard is an elusive individual, while the crow-like choughs with red beaks called Himalayan Griffons hover overhead. The word Phedi in Nepalese is referred to as the foot of a mountain. Overnight in Thorong Phedi.
Day 13: Thorong Phedi to Muktinath (3,800m/12,467ft) via Thorong La pass (5416m/17764ft): 7 - 8 hours
As you make the early morning climb from the “Phedi” to the upper Thorong-la pass, you might feel intimidated due to the steep elevation; however, crossing the pass is once-in-a-lifetime experience. The initial climb up the steep elevation is best made early in the morning with packed lunch. The trail takes you to the final elevation at 5416m, through snow and ice. The trek up to Thorong-la may be hard, but the rewards are equally appealing, as the views of the majestic Himalayan Peaks ahead extending Northwards onto Tibet will leave you breathless. The main peaks Annapurna are behind you. Trudge ahead and you will reach Muktinath by sunset, which is an ideal example of religious harmony in Nepal as it an important pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhist. Overnight in Muktinath.
Day 14: Muktinath to Jomsom (2,715m/8,910ft): 5-6 hours
Muktinath, an ultimate destination for Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims, is a beautiful place. Visit the Muktinath Temple before you embark on the trek ahead. There are water spouts where fresh water pours out channeled from the streams above the temple. There is also the “Narsingh” Buddhist Monastery nearby, as the trail extends you can enjoy the magnificent views of the “Dhaulagiri” peak. You can even buy a fossilized mollusk, called a “Shaligram” as a memento. Move ahead among meadows, cross streams and hills over to Kagbeni, a village laden with Chortens (memorial stupas) and a small monastery. Continue the trek after a lunch break at Kagbeni and over to Jomsom on the Kali Gandaki Valley as the trail cuts through windy areas. Overnight in Jomsom.
Day 15: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara (823m/2,700ft): 30mins
After breakfast, a 30 min flight will take you Pokhara. The flight itself is spectacular; you fly while looking at views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri and over the deepest gorge in the world. The warmer climate at Pokhara will definitely make you feel better. Wander around the “Phewa” lake with the reflection of the Fishtail Mountain on its waters, or visit the Davis falls and see the World Peace Pagoda. You can also take a boat ride in the serene waters of the lake. Stroll around the lakeside area in the evening. It is a popular tourist spot or just relax at your hotel room. Overnight in Pokhara.
Day 16: Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu: 30mins
Another short flight takes you back to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Take a break and explore the city, you will be amazed at the possibilities of what you may find. In the evening, there will be a farewell dinner hosted by Everest Trek Nepal to celebrate the successful completion of your journey. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 17: Final departure
Our representative will escort you to the Tribhuwan International Airport for your connecting flight home approximately 3 hours earlier than scheduled time. Have a safe flight back home!