Annapurna Circuit

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is justifiably famous as one of the world’s classic and most diverse trekking routes. Trekking around Annapurna massif follows an ancient Nepal – Tibet trade route that for centuries has facilitated the flow of different cultures and religions – Tibetan Mahayana, Buddhism, Hinduism and the mysterious Bon-Po religion still co-exist and intermingle with each other. The sheer diversity of the mountain panoramas, the challenge, exhilaration and sense of achievement of crossing a long high mountain pass and the unsurpassed views of the Manaslu, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges are the hallmarks of this Annapurna Circuit Trek. As well as the ever changing, spectacular landscapes you will experience a huge variety of ethnic cultures from lowland Thakali villages to high Buddhist settlements near the border of Tibet and trek down the deepest valley in the world.

Arrival in Kathmandu where you will be met and transferred to Hotel just walking distance to any styles of good restaurants and shops. Our Representative will give you short briefing on hotel facilities and safety. Tonight we only have a short introduction to the area, just what you need to know before the main briefing tomorrow. O/N in Hotel  at  Kathmandu (BB)  
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After breakfast, trek briefing will take place around 9 am. All aspects of gear and conditions are discussed to make sure you're fully prepared for the trip, and any last minute questions answered. After lunch we explore this medieval capital. We visit Boudhanath, also known as little Tibet. Then we visit Pasupatinath, holy temple of Hindu where cremation takes place by the holy river Bagmati. Later we visit Patan Durbar Square. Evening: welcome dinner hosted by Basanta Adventure. O/N in Hotel at  Kathmandu (BB)  
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Driving out of the Kathmandu valley gives us some excellent mountain views on the road to Pokhara. This is really pretty good as far as Dumre where we normally have lunch. Then the recently upgraded road heading north to Besi Sahar, is a bit less predictable. Mostly it’s fine, but any monsoon landslides or damage to the surface take longer to get fixed. We're still driving through wonderful countryside though, and we should reach Besi Sahar by mid afternoon, in good time for a couple of hours on the trail. We normally aim for Khudi (815m), though there are other lodges on the way if we were delayed on the road. Through mostly Gurung villages we go up the west bank of the Marsyangdi Khola to Khudi where it is joined by the Khudi Khola, which drains the east of Lamjung Himal. O/N in Lodge at Besisahar  
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From here the valley changes character, narrowing to a gorge. Crossing to Bhulbhule, we pass the first of the waterfalls for which the Marsyangdi is famous. On through Tarante we reach Ngadi (915m), where we generally stop for lunch. Crossing the Ngadi Khola we then climb a long, and sometimes hot, hill through Lampata we reach Bahundanda, Brahmin Hill, and our Lodge stop on a saddle ridge with excellent views to the north and of the surrounding hillside Gurung settlements. O/N in   Lodge at  Bahun Danda  
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Descending to another stream with a traditional cantilevered bridge, the trail here is carved out of the rock wall itself. Through Khanegaon, we contour to Shyange (1135m) and stop for lunch. Then we cross a large suspension bridge over the Marsyangdi gorge, and continue down to Jagat, an old customs post on the Tibetan trade route still inhabited mostly by Bhotiya (Nepali term for Tibetans) traders. Our lodge at Chamje is just beyond. We notice that the vegetation is feeling less tropical, and that the people are starting to feel more Buddhist, though still with the Nepali custom of blending their cultures - most here are actually Hindu. O/N in Lodge at Chamje
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After Chamje there is a more noticeable change to both landscape and people. From here most of the houses are made of stone, instead of the mud rendered lattice-work of the lower villages. Here the gorge becomes even more dramatic, the path high above the river. We have entered Manang District. Continuing up the east bank on another rock cut path, we cross to Dharapani our lodge stop, a fine village at the confluence of the Marsyangdi and the Dudh Khola which leads up to the Larkya Pass to the north of Manaslu. O/N in Lodge at Dharapani    
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After the neighboring village of Thonje, we carry on up the west bank taking the path to Bagarchap (2105m). Here the Tibetan style flat roofs are a clear indication of the reduction in rainfall to the area as we enter the rain shadow of the Annapurna range. Past excellent views of the east face of Lamjung Himal; we get to Timang (2355m) for lunch, and then take the easy path to the district administrative centre of Chame, our lodge for the night. O/N in Lodge at Chame
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We follow up the narrow forested valley to the old Khampa settlement at Bhradang (2845m), our lunch stop, once a centre for these fierce Tibetan warriors’s resistance to Chinese occupation. We cross over and begin to climb up through the forest away from the river. The silence itself is dramatic as we round this pine forested ridge. We continue down to Pisang, our night stop. The Tibetan feel of the village is unmistakable, fine tapering walled houses and long lines of prayer wheels and mane walls. There is an excellent short detour for those with some spare energy, up to Pisang gompa (3230m) across on the north bank, with amazing views back of the huge north face of Annapurna II. O/N in Lodge at Pisang    
This is the Nyesyang region of Manang; the people are well traveled traders. There is a choice of two routes today: a shorter direct one along the south bank valley floor via Hongde airstrip, or a more interesting, but longer route higher on the north bank through the villages of Gharyu and Ngawal. This is maybe two hours longer but offers such magnificent views of the mountains to the south. Both meet at Braga cliff side village (3450m), below its 900 year old gompa (monastery) of the Kargyupa sect of Buddhism, sadly now little used. The main village of Manang our lodge stops for the next two nights is only just beyond. O/N in Lodge at Manang  
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Manang is a fascinating village, the chief Buddhist village that gives its name to the area. As such it’s ideal for our essential acclimatization rest day before taking on the Thorong La. There are excellent side trips such as the short climb to the Cliffside Bod-zo Gompa where the lama performs a blessing ceremony to protect us on our journey. Everyone should aim to manage some ascent to further our acclimatization, if only to this little monastery. The more energetic may wish to visit the high village of Khangsar on the opposite bank. A good day's round trip and well worth the effort. O/N in Lodge at Manang  
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This is quite a short day as its essential to set up proper acclimatization on the approach to the pass and limit the height gain between our night stops. Up to Tengi (3640m) the last permanent settlement before the pass, we get stunning views across to Tilicho and the Great Barrier on this alternative high altitude traverse over to the Kali Gandaki. Above here there are only Goth (shepherd's shelters), Karkha (summer pastures) and our seasonal lodges. We reach our night stop at Yak Kharka where there are the best lodges in the area, in time for lunch. This is ideal to give us the maximum acclimatization time. In the afternoon we can explore up the ridge towards West Chulu peak which gives us magnificent views. This is the ideal acclimatization programme - climb high, sleep low. O/N in Lodge at Yak Kharka.
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Again it is really not far to Thorong Phedi - meaning literally 'the bottom of the Thorong pass'. These are the last possible lodges before the pass, and it would not be recommended to sleep higher at this stage anyway. We are here well in time for lunch, again maximising our acclimatization time. It is a truly spectacular setting perched in a craggy arena between the peaks. There is only one route up from here, toward the pass, and everyone is encouraged to ascend some way in the afternoon. It is possible to double back onto a great outcrop high above the lodge which offers the most amazing views. This stands us in good stead for the pass, and we return for tea and to rest up ready for tomorrow. O/N in Lodge at Phedi  
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The trail becomes steep immediately on leaving Thorung Phedi, but as this trail, has been used by local people for hundreds of years the path, though often steep is well defined and easy to follow. It will take us almost 4 hours from Thorung Phedi to reach to the pass. The views from the trail and from the pass itself are outstanding high Himalayan scenes. We then start descending down the barren Kali Gandaki Valley, which is far below to the west. The descent is steep and rough. Eventually the moraines yields to grassy slopes and the final descent walk to Muktinath is a pleasant walk along the upper part of the Jhong Valley. We crossing the meadows, drop into a deep ravine the starting of the Jhong Khola, we climb out and follow a wide trail into Muktinath. O/N in Lodge at Muktinath
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We now take two short easy days to relax after the pass. We need the morning to rest and look around Muktinath properly. Only after lunch do we start a gradual decent through this dramatic wide valley. We can see that it is steeped in history. Indeed we are on the edge of Mustang, the great Buddhist civilization to the north on the borders of Tibet. We pass the ruined fortress of Jharkot and the hillside village of Khingar, along with other dramatically located ruins across the valley. This brings us down to the fields around Kagbeni on the Thak Khola - as the upper reaches of the Kali Gandaki are known. Our fascinating lodge stop is the southern-most of the great Mustang villages and its architecture is typical of this unique culture. Dominated by the impressive dzong (fort) and gompa (monastery), the village beneath has interlocking houses cut by little alleys and a flat roof-scape of glazed dining rooms with evocative views up valley to the restricted kingdom beyond. O/N in Lodge at Kagbeni
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Now we are entering the land of the enterprising Thakali, the Buddhist people who (like the Sherpas over in Khumbu) controlled the ancient trade route between the Tibetan plateau and the Nepali foothills and Indian plains beyond. Grain from below was exchanged with salt from above, and a great many precious commodities besides. The Kali Gandaki is counted as an important branch of the famous Silk Road, linking east and west, north and south on a massive scale. Down its wide flat valley heading south, the landscape changes yet again as we past between twisted stratified rock formations to Jomsom (2715m), our lunch stop and the centre for the Mustang District. After lunch we carry on a short way past many orchards, apples and apricots, to Marpha, a gorgeous little whitewashed village, where the houses and lodges are built around beautiful courtyards which protect them from the strong afternoon wind, drawn up between the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs. Marpha is famous for its fruit produce; the apple pie is highly recommended when fresh, though the apple brandy favors only the brave - don't be fooled by its innocent fruity flavor.  O/N in Guest House at Marpha  
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We carry on, almost imperceptibly down at first, past the agricultural research farm just out of Marpha, to the large village of Tukche (2590m), historically important as an original Thakali trade centre, made evident by it's handsome architecture with its rich carving. We have lunch here. Soon after we come to the interesting village of Khobang (2560m) where the trail enters an internal corridor protecting the entrances to the houses from the wind. The forests increase in height now and the trail starts to undulate more as we approach Kalopani our night stop in its alpine forest setting to the back drop of the vast face of Dhaulagiri. O/N in Lodge at  Kalopani
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On through Lete and Ghasa (2040m), the trail now high above the river passing through a narrow gorge, regarded as the deepest and steepest in the world, dwarfing us between the summits of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna high above. Kabre, the northern-most hill-caste village on the trail, marks the change back from dryer Tibetan landscape, becoming more lush as we move into Hindu areas again - Brahmin and Chettri hill farmers and Gurung and Magar tribes. We stop for lunch at the spectacular waterfall of Rupse Chhaharo (1630m), a truly beautiful spot. Descending through the small village of Dana, we head for our lodge stop at Tatopani - literally 'hot springs', which we can take a good relaxing soak in before supper. This is the last Thakali village south, and shows all the signs of their enterprising spirit - it feels a bit like the Kali Riviera, compared to the wide open spaces up river. O/N in Guest House at Tatopani
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We've had all easy days coming down the Kali Gandaki, but now its time for some more up hill to cross the Ghorepani pass back to Pokhara. This can be quite a long day, all up hill, especially as it can get hot on the lower slopes if we leave it too late in the day. So we make a good early start, climbing up through the villages Ghara (1830m) and Sikha (2080m) before the day warms up. At Phalate (2255m) we have most of the climb behind us and magnificent views of the huge south face of Dhaulagiri, which have been getting better as we go up. We can stop here for lunch or up at Chitre (2330m), if we started early enough. By now we should be high enough to enjoy some breeze, and it is really not far to our lodge stop at Ghorepani. Meaning 'horse-water' this was originally a trader's staging post on the ridge, which has evolved into an important crossroads with many tourist lodges. The views are not bad at all. This will be your last night with your trekking crew except trekking Guide. Trekking crew will organize a farewell ceremony, Nepali song and dance, staff members will be allowed to drink to join the party. You may want to try local drink called “Rakshi”, please be aware; it does not taste good and is very strong. O/N in Lodge at Ghorepani
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In the morning we rise before the cool, and hopefully crystal-clear, dawn put on our head-torches and, even before breakfast, make our way up Poon Hill (3195m) standing just south of Ghorepani. To be there as the sun rises over the valley of Pokhara, and lights the whole panorama of peaks from Dhaulagiri through Annapurna and Machhapuchhare to Lamjung and way out east, is truly one of the most magical moments in the Himalaya. A wonderful finale to the trek. We descend for breakfast (pre-ordered), and from here it is all downhill on our last day, giving back all the height gained yesterday. We do the majority in the morning aiming for Tirkhedunga (1605m) for lunch, before continuing the last stretch to reach the good road just beyond Birethanti village (1100m), where we pick up our transport for the short drive back to the comfortable and welcoming Mera Hotel in Pokhara. O/N in Hotel at Pokhara. (BB)
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Pokhara is the most popular destination for visitors to Nepal. The natural beauty of its lakeside location and its proximity to the mountains has made in the natural choice for trekkers and adventures. Here you will have a sightseeing tour at Barahi Temple, Davi's fall and Mahendra Cave. O/N in Hotel in Pokhara.(BB)
We take the short but thrilling internal flight past Manaslu and Ganesh Himal to Kathmandu. We are met and brought back to a warm welcome and the comforts of the Hotel. Time in the afternoon for more sights, shopping or shenanigans in the relaxed bars of Thamel. O/N in Hotel  at Kathmandu.(BB)
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This pleasant day you may have full day at leisure and either relax at hotel or explore Kathmandu city, shopping etc. O/N in Hotel at Kathmandu.(BB)
Today either you’ll have your holiday extension for another tour or we will transfer you to airport for final departure flight. You will require Rs. 1700 each for airport departure tax.
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3

Priya ShyamsundarProgram Director South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics

“Thank you very much for organizing the Poon Hill Trek for us.  It was an absolutely fabulous trek for us and our German friends.  Climbing 4000 steps to Ulleri was a bit tough for the kids (and us), but we all made it.  The help we got during the trip made all the difference –   our guide and wonderful porters helped with the children and we didn’t have to worry about any of the trek related details; everything worked as it was meant to.  The kids still talk about Subash.  We enjoyed every moment of it – the walking, the company, the tea house lunches, the clean beds and good meals at night, and the fabulous Himalayas.”

3

David Wells, United Kingdom

“The service provided by Basanta Adventures was excellent from the time we were met at the airport and taken to the Hyatt where Basanta Adventures came to our hotel with a detailed itinerary including 2 days sight seeing and then a 6 night trip from Lakpa to Nanche Bazaar with Gelzing acting as the Sherpa guide and 2 porters for a group of 3. We stayed at comfort lodges and the trip was excellent in terms of organisation and the trek itself to the base of Everest.

One of the most exciting trips that we have undertaken.

I can highly recommend Basanta Adventures.”

3

Edwige and Martine, Solveil Vert, France

“We like to share our experience with Basanta Adventure in Tibet. First we met Basanta during the heavy monsoon of August 2002. We did not have one drop of rain during our 10 days in lower Mustang and the organisation was great even if prepared only one day before! This encouraged us to choose Basanta Adventure for our trip to Tibet. Here the organisation was even greater than expected. Things are not really smooth in Tibet due to the control of the Chinese, particularly at the time of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Tibet, and also due to bad weather conditions in this huge Himalayan region. We really appreciated our driver Denpa. Without his experienced driving all people in our car would have left their life in the river. Our young guide Dorge was like a friend, a brother, a mother. His day started early in the morning and he never went to bed before he had settled everything for us for the day and prepared for the following day, everything in the smallest details. Guide and driver were available almost day and night.”

3

Thea Gibbs, Gap Year student 2001, United Kingdom

“Thank you all the help and support during my time in Nepal.

It has been such comfort both me and family to know that I could come to you with any problem and that you would do your best to help.”

3

Helena, Gap Year Student, 2006

“This is just a quick note to thank you for all your help over the last few months. I really have had a time of my life and I am so sad to leave.”

3

Birte Milne, Denmark

“I can’t find the words to express a big enough Thank You to you for organising such a fantastic holiday for us. Everything was just such and wonderful experience. The first days with Kristian and his friends, the Trekking with Yam’s and Prem’s consideration, the scenery, villages and people, and finally our stay at Dwarika’s. We couldn’t have hoped or asked for anything more.

This is definitely a holiday I’ll never forget and would like to repeat. “

3

Elizabeth and Robert Johnson, United Kingdom

“My Mum and I wanted to write and thank you for making our holiday so special, and for looking after us so well.  Many people in Britain were concerned about our safety when they saw Nepal on the news, but we never felt in danger – a credit to your expertise and care.  It was reassuring to know during our stay, that you had our best interest at heart in order for our itinerary to be completed safly, thank you also for both flower arrangements, those personal touches were very welcome. It was such an amazing time to visit your country, making it a holiday, which we will never forget.”

3

Thomas Wells, Chairman of Future For Nepal.

“I regard Basanta Adventure as one of the best trekking organizations in Nepal- I recommend it for any individual who values a highly personalized, excellent service”.

3

David Finnegan, United Kingdom

I was very grateful to Basanta Adventures, six years ago, for arranging my first visit to Nepal, the trek from Lukla to Chukhung and my climb of Island Peak….the company was superb in every way. So it was with total confidence that I asked them to help me put together a much longer and more varied trip for 2016.

What resulted was a totally bespoke trekking and climbing package for ‘two old gits’ that was not just substantially cheaper than the usual UK company offerings but was delivered with more professionalism, safety awareness and customer consideration than anything we had received from larger companies. Oh – and Gyalzen Sherpa brings another dimension with his cultural insights and explanations of living in the Khumbu region.

Highlights of our four week expedition? The 4WD journey from Kathmandu to where the road(?) ends and we start walking….the week we spent travelling through the foothills and learning about non-commercial life where few trekkers visit since the airport at Lukla opened….crossing all three major passes (17,000’+) made much easier by Basanta’s carefull preparation and acclimatisation…the blue of Gokyo Lakes……Everest, of course – but Ama Dhablam is more beautiful…..the Khumbu Icefall…the views from the three 18,000’+ peaks we climbed….Island Peak summit…….but above all these natural wonders is the highlight of meeting so many fantastic people and learning so much from them.

In summary, I’ve been lucky enough to have travelled to many places around the world and with many companies….if you can, you MUST go to Nepal and if you do, you cannot do better than let Basanta Adventures arrange your trip.

3

Edwige Martine, Founder, Solveil Vert, France

We like to share our experience with Basanta Adventure in Tibet. First we met Basanta during the heavy monsoon of August 2002. We did not have one drop of rain during our 10 days in lower Mustang and the organisation was great even if prepared only one day before! This encouraged us to choose Basanta Adventure for our trip to Tibet. Here the organisation was even greater than expected. Things are not really smooth in Tibet due to the control of the Chinese, particularly at the time of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Tibet, and also due to bad weather conditions in this huge Himalayan region. We really appreciated our driver Denpa. Without his experienced driving all people in our car would have left their life in the river.

Cost Includes:

 

  • All airport transfers as per the itinerary
  • 4 nights accommodation in Nirvana Garden Hotel in Kathmandu on twin sharing BB basis
  • 2 nights accommodation in Hotel Meera in Pokhara on twin sharing BB basis
  • One half day guided sightseeing of world heritage sites in Kathmandu
  • One full day guided sightseeing and boating in Pokhara
  • All necessary transportation during sightseeing in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • All necessary entrance fee during sightseeing
  • Accommodation as per the itinerary in best available lodge en-route during trek
  • All meals during trek (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
  • Trekking guide
  • Porter @ 2 clients (weight max. 15 kg per clients)
  • Insurance for Nepali staffs
  • National park fee
  • Transportation to and from trek initiation and end point by necessary vehicle
  • Nepali staff daily wages
  • Transportation Pokhara – Kathmandu by tourist coach for clients & guide
  • Transportation Pokhara – Kathmandu by local bus for Sherpa & Porters
  • Transportation Kathmandu – Besisahar by private vehicle for clients & staffs
  • Fully loaded medical kit box
  • Trekking kit bag to each group member

 

 

 

Cost Excluded:

 

  • Travel insurance (must cover all risk undertaken)
  • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Expenses of personal nature like phone calls, laundry etc
  • Bar bills (hard and soft drinks)
  • Gratuities for staff
  • Services not mention herein.

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