Annapurna Circuit Trek with Off-Road Drive

Annapurna Circuit Trek with Off-Road Drive

The Annapurna Circuit is a popular long-distance trekking route, but it became shortened after the construction of a motor road from Besi Sahar to Chame and from Muktinath (a famous pilgrimage site) to Beni. It requires 12 to 14 days to complete this trek without taking a flight from Jomsom to Pokhara, but it does require some off-road drive travel. This trek option is suitable for those who have less time and are hesitant to walk on motor roads; they can use overland transport where motor roads are available. There is no problem going from Kathmandu to Besi Sahar by public bus, but there is an off-road from Besi Sahar to Chame where a four-wheeler jeep (vehicle) is required. From Muktinath or Jomsom to Tatopani you will travel by bus to experience the Himalaya bus service, if you want to travel by private transport then package cost will be expensive.

The trek starts with an off-road-drive journey from Besi Sahar to Chame, but it takes 6 to 7 hours to reach Besi Sahar from Kathmandu by car or bus and 4 to 5 hours to reach Chame from Besi Sahar by local jeep. Chame village is the headquarters of the Manang District in the Gandaki region of northern Nepal. From here the trek enters Manang Valley, a beautiful valley that offers spectacular views (every turn offers a different view of the Annapurna and Manaslu Mountains), An amazing variety of landscapes, from subtropical through alpine peaks to arid semi-desert similar to Tibet, picturesque Farming villages, river basins, glacier lakes, a great variety of cultural diversity, Buddhist monasteries, and a challenging Thorong La Pass (5416 m).

The trek from Chame to Manang is a gradual climb but from Manang to Thorong La pass with a challenging climb. Thorong La Pass is the thrilling and most popular difficulty pass of this trek but it does not require any technical experience. After the Thorong La pass, we will descend to the spiritual place Muktinath. Muktinath is a Vishnu temple, sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists, which is visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. People believed that bathing in the 108 water streams in the back courtyard of the Muktinath temple would purify the soul and attain salvation.

After Muktinath, we descend into Kali Gandaki River and follow the trail to Jomsom, on this day see an eyeful landscape view of the Mustang, and immense views of Mount Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri Himal, and Tukuche peak. Jomsom has daily flight connections with Pokhara and has a tenuous road connection with Beni and onwards to Pokhara. Tourists can hire a four-wheel-drive jeep from Jomsom to go Pokhara but also the availability of bus service, so we use the bus to go Tatopani, this is on the way to Beni. Tatopani has the best natural hot spring beside the Kali Gandaki river, Trekkers can take a natural hot spring bath here.

After crossing the Kali Gandaki river, we need to ascend to Ghorepani (2855 m). It is a long day trek but beautiful provides good views of Mount Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and other snowy peaks. On arrival at Ghorepani, you will forget your tiredness because you rarely get such a beautiful place on earth. From Ghorepani in the early morning, we need to hike up to Poon Hill at 3210 meters, to see the wonderful sunrise with good views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalayan ranges. After enjoying Poon Hill then we will back to Ghorepani and continue the trek downhill to Tikhedhunga (1540 m).

The last day of the trek is short and easy walking to reach Nayapul where the trek ends. Nayapul to Pokhara distance is of 46 kilometers and for this you will get a lot of options for traveling, but we use taxi or private vehicle instead of public bus. Pokhara to Kathmandu traveling by tourist bus is our original plan, but if you prefer to take a flight also possible but you need to pay flight fare.

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu
Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing and trek Preparation
Day 03: Drive to Besi Sahar (820m) and Chame  (2670m) - Not in Monsoon
Day 04: Trek to Pisang (3200 m)
Day 05: Trek to Manang (3540 m)
Day 06: Acclimatization in Manang (3540 m)
Day 07: Trek to Yak Kharka (4110 m)
Day 08: Trek to Thorung Phedi (4420 m)
Day 09: Trek to Muktinath (3800 m) Over the Thorung La Pass (5416 m)
Day 10: Trek to Jomsom (2713 m) via Lupra village 
Day 11: Drive Jeep/bus to Tatopani (1190 m)
Day 12: Trek to Ghorepani (2855 m)
Day 13: Visit Poon Hill (3210m) trek to Tadapani (2610m)
Day 14: Tadapani trek to Ghandruk then drive to Pokhara (850m)
Day 15: Pokhara drive tourist bus to Kathmandu (1350m)
Day 16: Depart Kathmandu or extend your trip


Destination: Nepal
Trekking Region: Annapurna
Trek Start Point:  Chame
Trek End Point: Jomsom
Trekking Accommodation:  Teahouse / Camping
Trekking Grade: Medium-hard
Best Season:  March - June / September-November
Max Elevation: 5416m
Duration: 16 Days

Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu airport
Once you reach at Kathmandu airport, our representative will transfer you to your hotel. A short travel briefing will be given at the hotel/office, and you will be requested to pay the travel dues. Overnight in Kathmandu

Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing and trek Preparation
After breakfast, Kathmandu visits Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambhunath Stupa, and Boudhanath Stupa which are all World Heritage Sites. Durbar Square throws light on the life of the royals in ancient times. Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most important pilgrimage places for all Hindus. Swayambhunath is also known as Monkey Temple and Boudhanath Stupa is one of the largest stupas in the world. Late in the afternoon, we introduced you to your mountain/trek guide. overnight in Kathmandu

Day 03: Drive Kathmandu to Besisahar (820m) - 5 to 6 hours and Drive to Chame (2670m) - 4 to 5 hours 
Kathmandu to Besisahar + Chame is a long drive. The first section of the drive goes through the Prithvi Highway and through the Marshyangdi valley to reach Besisahar. The Second part of the drive is off-road drive. The Annapurna round trekkers drive there and begin the trek. Before, the drive used to end in Besisahar and the trek begins but now you can drive directly to Chame and begin the trek. According to the group size, we offer bus, hiace, jeep or car up to Besisahar and if you are driving directly to Chame, we offer jeep and other four wheel drive. We offer you good conditioned vehicles. Stay overnight at Chame 

Day 04: Chame trek to Pisang (3200m.)
Today, trek west from the bridge but if you wish to see the small hot spring you can walk 2 minutes east side of bridge after cross the bridge in Marsyangdi River at Chame but sometime it will be closed by overflow by Marsyangdi River water. After you follow west trail from the bridge now continues trek along the river banks through Telekhu (2840m) to Bharatang which is surrounded by apple orchards. Continue on the trail for about 30 minutes taking you through the banks of the Marshyangdi River, cross the bridge and proceed with the gradual ascent about 30 minutes to reach at Dhukure Pokhari (3200m). The trail now gradually turns planar and you would reach Pisang in about an hour. Pisang offers magnificent views of the Annapurna II and Pisang Peak. Overnight at Pisang

Day 05: Pisang trek to Manang (3540m.)
Trek from Pisang to Manang (3440m.) and it takes about five and half hours. Beyond Pisang, the trail climbs a steep ridge which affords good views of the Manang valley and Tilicho peak (7134m.). Descending past Manang's airstrip at Hongde (3420m), you come to a level area from where the north-east face of Annapurna III rises majestically above you. From the wide plains of the Sabje Khola Valley, Annapurna IV (7525m) also becomes visible. Just beyond this point you cross the considerably reduced flow of the Marsyangdi Khola via a wooden bridge to the tiny village of Mungji. Cultivated fields appear on both sides of the path and off to the right, below a craggy mountain, you can see the village of Bryaga (3500m) with its splendid monastery. Large chortens and mani walls abound and the tall peaks of the Himalaya spread out before us - Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Gangapurna (7454m) and, to the rear, Tilicho Peak (7134m). Overnight at Manang

Day 06: Acclimatization in Manang (3540m.)
Today is our like a rest day to acclimatization for trekking in higher elevation so you can make short visit to Gangapurna Lake, monastery and Manang village but if you wish to make day hiking trip such as visiting Milarepa cave, Ice Lake you need to extend your rest day in Manang because Ice Lake it is hard full day trip from Manang and also Milarepa cave not suggest in one day rest in Manang because you need some rest at Manang for acclimatization. Overnight at Manang

Day 07: Manang trek to Yak Kharka (4110m)
The trekking trail now begins an ascent above 1876m to Thorung La from Manang village. From Manang village the trail crosses a stream before climbing to Tengi (3650m). We then continue to climb the Marsyangdi valley, passing the small village of Gunsang (3960m). After crossing a large stream that flows from Chulu west and Gundang, the trail passes an ancient Mani wall in a pleasant meadow at 4000 m. Beyond here is Yak Kharka, (4110m) also known as Koche.  Overnight at Yak Kharka

Day 08: Yak Kharka trek to Thorong Phedi (4420m)
After less than one hour walking you are reaching  at Chauri Ledar (4250m). From Ledar the trail continues to climb along the east bank of the Jorsang Khola, then descends and crosses the stream on a wooden bridge at 4310 metres. After making a short ascent on a good trail to a teashop, the route then follows a narrow path across a high, unstable slope path before reach at Thorong Phedi (4420m). Overnight at Thorong Phedi 

Day 09: Thorong Phedi trek to Muktinath (3800m) Over the Thorong La Pass (5416m)
The set off is exceptionally early in the morning to go across Thorong La Pass at 5416m. The trail becomes steep instantly after leaving Phedi but easy to follow. 4-6 hours ascent leads to the top of the Pass, which is complete with prayer flags, a chorten and stone cairn built by trekkers. At the top of Thorung La there is one tea shop but only running in trekking season time where you will have hot tea / coffee in your small rest at top. The views from the trail and from the pass are majestic. You will see Thorung peak, Annapurnas, Gangapurna, Khatung Kang and Kali Gandaki valley etc. After Thorung La top the trail descends steeply proceeding towards Chabarbu (4290m), available tiny seasonable teahouse. From here on, the trail crosses meadows, drops into a deep gorge, climbs out and follows a wide trail into Muktinath, a pilgrimage site held in great reverence by both the Hindus and Buddhists. Overnight at Muktinath 

Day 10: Muktinath trek to Jomsom (2713m) via Lupra Village 
From the Muktinath temple we begin the trek to Jomsom via Lupra village. It's pretty much long walk through the dusty Kali Gandaki River bank. As the region lies in the rain shadow area, the landscape is entirely brown and dotted with sandy rocks. Reach to Jomsom and take a rest. Overnight at Jomsom 

Day 11: Jomsom drive to Tatopani (1190m) 
From Jomsom, there are regular bus services to Kathmandu and Pokhara, but we stop at Tatopani to visit Poon hill, a popular tourist destination. It takes 2-3 driving hours for 48 km from Jomsom to Tatopani. Also available for rent in Jomsom if you prefer to use private transport. You can enjoy the hot spring at Tatopani as the word Tatopani is termed after the natural hot spring situated at the bank of the Kali Gandaki River. It is popularly believed that taking bath in Hot Spring helps you to get rid of skin diseases. Overnight at Tatopani 


Day 12:  Tatopani trek to Ghorepani (2855m)
The trekking trail passes through flat level of the land at some distance. Then the trail begins ascending steeply for at least one hour. Now path goes up through different villages inhabited by the people of different caste and agricultural land.  While on trekking you will see the best panoramic view of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges. The trail ascends gently all the way to Ghorepani passing through small villages like Ghara (1780m), Shikha (1950m), Phalate (2390m), Chitre (2420m) and so on. While trekking you pass through rhododendron forests and come across the wildlife such as monkeys and birds of various species. You are accompanied by more panoramic views of different mountains. Ghorepani (Watering to Horse) are a small pass known as Ghorepani Deurali (2855m) so more tourists stay here than down hill situated Ghorepani for better views. Overnight at Ghorepani

Day 13: Visit Poon Hill (3210m) trek to Tadapani (2610m)
Early morning ascend to Poon Hill (3210m.) to enjoy the sunrise view over Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m.), Tukuche Peak (6920m.), Nilgiri (6940m.), Bahra Shikhar (7847m.), Mt. Annapurna I (8091m.), Annapurna South (7219m.), Annapurna III (7855m.), Machhapuchhre (6993m.), Annapurna IV (7525m.), Annapurna II (7937m.), Lamjung Himal (6931m.) and other numerous snowcapped mountain peaks.  After enjoying the view in Poon Hill then descends Ghorepani.  After breakfast we make climb along ridges and through pine and rhododendron forests to Deurali (2960m) and after Deurali we descend to the Banthanti and continue descend till small river bank then after climb up to Tadapani (2610m) En- route, you frequently see waterfalls, rocks, wild animals, local birds and green scenarios. Tadapani is a small village surrounded by beautiful forests which grants you a magnificent view of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Fishtail, and so on. Overnight at Tadapani

Day 14: Tadapani trek to Ghandruk then drive to Pokhara (850m)
From Tadapani, we make a steep descent through the dense and dark forest. This part of the trek will be through a thick forest of old rhododendron trees. When the rhododendron trees are in bloom, these forests actually turn into amazing gardens. By afternoon, depending upon the season of travel, we also get to enjoy cherry blossoms in bloom on the slopes on the other side of the ravine. After trekking a few more minutes, we enter the village of Ghandruk, a slope settlement with stone houses mostly inhabited by the Gurung people. Here, we enjoy the stunningly close-up towering views of Fishtail, Annapurna South, and Hiunchuli mountains. From Ghandruk we drive to Pokhara. Overnight in Pokhara

Day 15: Pokhara drive tourist bus to Kathmandu
It takes about seven hours, while driving from Pokhara to Kathmandu, you head up to Damauli,, Dumre, Muglin and Kurintar where the Nepal's first Cable car is operated to reach to Manakamana Temple. En route, you could enjoy the mountain views, green sceneries, rice terrace fields, vegetable fields and people being engaged in their daily life activities. From Naubishe you climb up to Thankot, the gateway to capital city. You can also fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu which takes about 25 minutes. Overnight in Kathmandu

Day 16: Depart Kathmandu or extend your trip
We will drop you at the airport by our private vehicle according to your airport time. It is recommended to reach the airport at least two hours prior to departure.

PRICE INCLUDES :-

  • Airport pick up and airport drop by private transportation
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast (2 and above participants get twin sharing room)
  • Historical monument city sightseeing with a tour guide
  • Historical monuments city sightseeing transportation by Non A/C Comfortable Vehicle
  • Kathmandu sightseeing/monument visits Entrance fees
  • Kathmandu to Chame transportation by Non A/C Jeep
  • Jomsom to Tatopani transportation by public bus 
  • Pokhara to Kathmandu transportation by tourist bus
  • Trekking accommodation in normal Trekkers lodge/Teahouse (2 and above participants get twin sharing room)
  • Three time meals a day during the trekking Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner/Main course
  • Desert (Fresh fruit/Chocolate) after having diner as company provide
  • One Experienced English-speaking, government licensed and ministry of tourism trained trekking guide and his food, accommodation, and salary.
  • Porters carrying your luggage while trekking (Two guests get one porter carrying a maximum of 25 kg of luggage)
  • Ghandruk to Pokhara transportation by private vehicle
  • Annapurna Conservation area project entry fee
  • Trekker's Information Management system (TIMS) card
  • Insurance for Nepalese staff (Trekking guide and Porters)
  • Nepal Government taxes and Office service charge

PRICE EXCLUDES :-

  • Lunch and Dinner during the stay in Kathmandu
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, early return from mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
  • International and domestic air tickets
  • Nepal visa fee
  • Personal trekking equipments and Clothing
  • Wire Transfer charge or Credit card service charge as company rule
  • Alcoholic beverages, laundry, Telephone calls and all type of hot drinks in Trekking
  • Soft drinks such as cola, mineral water etc
  • Hot water, battery charge and hot shower charge during the trek (If need to pay)
  • Personal nature expenses and Tipping (Tips)
  • High risk medical / travel insurance and First aid kit
  • Expenses resulting from delays beyond our control in case of weather, flight cancellations, or natural calamities
  • Emergency rescue evacuation (if needed)
  • Any other things not mentioned

The price will be depending on service quality that you are going to use accommodation (Deluxe, Standard & Budget) in cities and entire the trekking either way normal teahouse or best available or Camping (Fully tented camp) so better to mention us what you are expecting? PLease click here to request the price.

If above trip itinerary that doesn't suit to your holiday schedule or you wish to modify the itinerary or combines with any travel plans, then please let us know and we'll be happy to create a tailor made itinerary, designed  especially for you. Please click here for tailor made trip form.

 

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