Hikers in Thorong, during the Annapurnas Tour
14-day adventure

Annapurna Circuit trek

Nepal
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Code: NPAC

14 days
3/5

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Our Nepal office was set up back in 2007 and is expertly managed by Everest summiteer Pimba Tenjing. Our carefully chosen, experienced guides and porters are exceptional at looking after you throughout your trek, so you can concentrate on enjoying the outstanding Everest and Annapurna regions. After your adventure in the Himalaya, our team can also provide excursions to Chitwan National Park in the south, where you can search the humid jungle...
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Kandoo's view

The Annapurna Circuit is one of the greatest treks in Nepal, if not the world. This classic circuit trek is an incredibly varied and extraordinarily beautiful journey. Dramatic deep gorges, bleak high mountain passes, Buddhist temples, picturesque farming villages and all the major mountains of the Annapurna Massif.

To reach the start of the trek, we drive first down the main Pokhara road from Kathmandu and then follow the Marshyangdi River to Besisahar. The trek proper begins here, crossing and re-crossing the gorge carved by the Marshyangdi River on suspension bridges before you reach Manang, the largest village on the route. An acclimatisation day is taken here to prepare for crossing the Thorung La pass which is the highest point of the trek at 5416m. From there you descend progressively with plenty of up and down along the way until you reach Jomsom. We end our trip with a spectacular mountain flight to Pokhara and then a second flight on to Kathmandu.

Trip highlights

  • One of the World’s greatest circuit treks
  • Traverse the famous Thorung La pass
  • Lodge-based accommodation
  • Open and private treks available

Experiences

  • Trekking & Hiking
    Hikers in Thorong, during the Annapurnas Tour
    Our core collection of treks and hikes, through some of the world's most outstanding landscapes

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Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrival

    All trekkers need to organise their own flights to Kathmandu International Airport (KTM). From Kathmandu Airport we will arrange a private transfer to your hotel. That night you will meet your local Kandoo representative and have a full pre-trek briefing.

    • Accomodation: Hotel
  • Day 2

    DRIVE TO BESISAHAR – TREK TO BHULBHULE

    We begin this trip driving along the Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway to Dumre and then following the rough road along the Marshyangdi River. After 6 hours we finally reach Besisahar, the capital of Lamjung District, and starting point of our trek. We begin the trek following the path to Pam Khola. On crossing the stream, we climb up towards the village of Denauti where we will see Nepali village life at close quarters. As the trail nears the Khudi Khola, we reach the Gurung village of Bhulbhule.

    • Hiking time: 3 - 4 hours
    • Descent: 330 m
    • Max. altitude: 1300 m
    • Accomodation: Teahouse
    • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    TREK TO JAGAT

    A steep trail descends from Bhulbhule before crossing a stream. It then climbs again and traverses the hillside before reaching the village of Hani Gaon. We follow the winding mountain path down through Syange and along the river for some distance. The trail then climbs steeply and the path is cut into the sheer cliff-face some 200-300m above the river-bed. Eventually we descend to the village of Jagat, situated on a shelf that juts out into the Marshyangdi valley.

    • Hiking time: 6 - 7 hours
    • Ascent: 330 m
    • Max. altitude: 1300 m
    • Accomodation: Teahouse
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Trip information

Difficulty

The Annapurna Circuit is considered moderately difficult. A good level of fitness is required, as you will be walking long distances each day for two consecutive weeks. The toughest part of the circuit is going from Thorong Phedi to Thorong La pass (5,416m). There is a steep 45 minute climb at this altitude, which will take the breath out of you. The views are worth it though!

Food & drink

In Kathmandu, if you choose to eat outside your hotel, use your common sense when selecting where and what to eat, drink bottled water and avoid ice in drinks.


You are booked into the teahouses on a room only basis. Over the past few years, the teahouses have really developed their menus, and you can now get a choice of maybe 40 or 50 meals ranging from the basic dahl baht right up to yak steak with blue cheese sauce. You choose exactly what you want to eat at the lodges and settle your bill each morning. We recommend you budget between $30-35 per person per day for all your meals. The menus in the teahouses are quite extensive and you pay more for western dishes. Soft drinks, crisps and chocolate bars are available, but will cost considerably more the further up the trail you go and can cost as much as a main meal!

The room prices at the teahouses are based on you taking your meals within the teahouse - they offer discounted room pricing on the expectation that they will receive income from food. This is standard policy at all teahouses. You therefore cannot eat outside the teahouse, and you definitely cannot bring your own food into the teahouse.

Accommodation

Your full day by day itinerary shows what is included in terms of hotel accommodation and meal basis. All of our pre- and post-trek accommodation is based in Kathmandu. Where your hotel basis is B&B, you can usually purchase snacks or meals at the hotel, which can be paid in Nepali Rupees or US Dollars. Check in time will be between 12:00 and 2:00 pm, depending on the hotel. If you arrive on an early flight into Kathmandu, you may have to wait until this time for your room to be available. Similarly, if you return at the end of your trek on an early flight from Pokhara, you will not be able to check into your room straight away.


On the trek you will be staying at teahouses in villages along the trail. These are fairly basic and generally consist of two wooden bench beds per room with mattresses, and shared toilet facilities. Whenever possible we will try to book en-suite rooms, but availability is very limited and rooms cannot be pre-booked. Showers are not always available and it tends to be just the communal areas that are heated. The budget cost in 'Meals/Food' allows for some sundry items such as internet access, use of chargers (yes, teahouses will charge you to plug your phone or camera in for an hour) and hot showers (afraid you will also have to pay for hot water in some locations.) If you intend to use the internet and showers at every teahouse, then expect to add an additional $10 per day to your food budget. We do probably over-estimate the food cost, but there is no ATM until you reach Jomsom, so you have no access to money until this point. We would rather you have too much money with you than not enough.

Transport

The general standard of driving throughout Nepal is poor and badly regulated. Roads in Kathmandu are very congested, many drivers are not properly licensed and vehicles are poorly maintained. During the monsoon season (June to September) many roads outside the Kathmandu valley are prone to landslides and may become impassable.


We insist on using a high standard of vehicle and driver for all of our transfers. In Nepal it is not a legal requirement to have seatbelts fitted in the back of vehicles, and while we try to use vehicles that do have rear seatbelts fitted, this cannot always be guaranteed. If you are unhappy about any aspect of the vehicle or the standard of driving, please speak to the driver or our local office immediately.

Luggage

The internal flights from Jomsom to Pokhara and Pokhara to Kathmandu operate an absolutely strict maximum limit of 10kg for your main equipment bag and a maximum of 5kg for your day sack. Your baggage will  be weighed by the airport staff so it is important that you do not exceed these limits.


The porters can carry up to 15kg in the main equipment bag, so there is scope for your bag to be slightly heavier while you are on the trek. However, you may need to move items into your daysack for the flight out of Jomsom.


All items must be packed in your main equipment bag. They should not be attached to the outside, as we are not responsible if items fall off when the bags are being carried on the trek.

How do I get there?

There are several ways to get to Nepal from Europe and the USA all of which involve an international flight to Tribhuvan International Airport which is the main airport in Kathmandu.

There are a lot of flights that fly to Kathmandu through the Middle East. Qatar, Gulf and Air Emirates offer daily flights from Europe and the US to Kathmandu, with a stopover at their central hubs. You must be careful though, as some of these layovers are very long indeed. Check the schedules carefully, and consider using Qatar. They seem to have the shortest layovers (at Doha) by a substantial margin.

The other alternative is to fly via Delhi, with BA , Air India or Jet and then catch a shorter flight up to Kathmandu. Again be careful of long layovers and be warned - some of the reviews for Air India are less than glowing!

Budget & change

The Nepali Rupee is a closed currency so you will not be able to buy this before you arrive. It is advisable to travel with US Dollars, as these are widely accepted. It is very important that US bills be new (post 2006), crisp and untorn. If you want some local currency then we can take you to an ATM or bank. Alternatively all the hotels in Kathmandu will change money for you. We recommend that you take local currency on the actual trek with you, as the teahouses prefer local currency to dollars. You will also get a more favourable exchange rate in Kathmandu.


If you are relying on a credit or debit card for emergency funds, make sure you tell your card issuer that you will be using it abroad, or you may find that it won't work when you really need it.

Tips

We realise that tipping may not be a common practice in all countries but for Nepal it is a standard practice that all operators support. The decision on how much to tip should be determined by how well the team served you while you were on the trek. Tips are always discretionary and if you are not happy with the service you have received you do not have to pay tips. Tips can be made in US dollars or Nepali Rupees. It is very important that US bills be new (post 2006), crisp and untorn.


We are members of the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal and the Nepal Mountaineering Association, and follow their guidelines when recommending tip levels for guides and porters. We would suggest you budget $100-$150 per trekker for your tip contribution.


We say goodbye to our porters in Jomsom before we return to Kathmandu. Any tips that you wish to give to the porters will need to be carried on the trek with you.

Formalities & health

Passport

Please double check that your passport is valid for 6 months beyond the date of arrival in Nepal. We recommend that you take a photocopy of your passport and keep it separate from the original, and this will be useful if the original is lost while you are travelling. You must carry your passport on the trek with you, as it is required for internal flights.

Visa

Most visitors to Nepal (including nationals from the UK, Europe, USA and Australia) require a tourist visa to enter Nepal. To secure a visa you will need to present proof that you have a return ticket, and proof that you have sufficient money to support yourself during your stay in Nepal. Visa can be obtained at your local Nepalese Embassy or on arrival at Kathmandu Tribhubhan International Airport. We highly recommend securing a visa before departure as this will ensure you have no problems passing immigration, as well as speed up the process of clearing immigration. You will need at least one blank visa page in your passport. Certain nationalities not mentioned above must apply for a visa in advance, so check with your local Nepalese Embassy. Visas are valid for 6 months from the date of issue, so do not send off your application too early.

For most of our trips, you may be ok with a 15 day tourist visa which costs USD30 (around GBP25). However, if you are adding any extra days in Kathmandu you would then require a 30 day tourist visa which USD50 (around GBP40). Visas can be extended once you are in Nepal, but overstaying your visa is taken very seriously, and can result in your being detained or not allowed to leave without paying a fine.

Vaccinations

The standard vaccinations required are diphtheria, tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A, but you should always consult your doctor or travel clinic for the most up to date advice.

Insurance

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fully and adequately insured for the duration of your trip. Please ensure that all activities, excursions and destinations in your itinerary are included in your travel insurance policy, in addition to your regular cover for cancellation and medical expenses. For the Annapurna Sanctuary, this means that you must be covered for trekking to 4500m. If you are trekking to Everest Base Camp you will be trekking to 5500m. If you are climbing Mera Peak or Island Peak you will be reaching an altitude over 6000m.

Please take a copy of your insurance policy to the pre-trek briefing, as the guide will need to collect your insurance details. We also ask that you keep a copy of your policy summary (containing policy number and the emergency contact number for your insurer) in your day sack at all times, so that we can access this information should we need to contact the insurer on your behalf.

Health

Malaria

There is no risk of malaria in Kathmandu and or on the majority of Himalayan treks that we operate, due to the altitude. However, there is a risk of malaria in areas of Nepal below 1,500m, particularly in the Terai district, the lowland region of Nepal adjacent to the Indian border. This region includes Chitwan National Park, so if you are planning a safari extension to your trek, you need to plan anti-malarial medication for this part of your trip. In addition to taking medication, we would recommend you take every precaution to prevent mosquito bites by wearing long-sleeved trousers and shirts at dusk and dawn when the mosquitos are active, and by using a DEET based mosquito repellent.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness, also called Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), hypobaropathy and soroche, is an illness caused by exposure to low air pressure, especially low partial pressure of oxygen, which many trekkers experience at high altitudes. AMS is caused by exerting yourself at high altitudes, especially if you have not been properly acclimatised. It is most common at altitudes above 2400 metres. Your route into the Annapurna Sanctuary has been designed to aid your acclimatisation wherever possible, but the following will also help your body adjust:

Slow and steady. You need to keep your respiration rate low enough to maintain a normal conversation. If you are panting or breathing hard, you must slow down. There is no pressure on you to keep up with other members of your group.

Drink much more water than you think you need. Proper hydration helps acclimatisation dramatically. You need to drink at least three litres each day.

Diamox

There has been a lot of research on Diamox that shows is that it has been reasonably well proven to be helpful in avoiding AMS by speeding up the acclimatisation process. In the UK it is a prescription drug which must be prescribed by a doctor, but some doctors are reluctant to prescribe it. The concern is that by taking Diamox, people believe that they are immune from AMS and can ignore the symptoms. In reality, although Diamox can help prevent the symptoms, should symptoms still develop it means that you are not acclimatising and you have to take notice. Diamox is taken before you start trekking to prevent altitude sickness, not once you are on the trek and symptoms have developed.

Dehydration

You can easily become dehydrated at high altitudes. The lower air pressure forces you to breathe more quickly and deeply, and you lose a lot of water through your lungs. You will also be exerting yourself, and sweating, and may even suffer from diarrhoea. As a result, you will have to drink much more water than you normally would so you should drink at least 3 litres of fluids every day while trekking. Even when you do not feel thirsty you have to drink this amount as a minimum, preferably more. Stay on the look-out for signs of dehydration in yourself and your fellow trekkers. The most common symptoms include thirst, dry lips, nose or mouth, headache and feeling fatigued or lethargic.

Equipment & clothing

Equipment supplied by Kandoo Adventures

We recommend that wherever possible you use your own gear for your trek as this is the best way to ensure your comfort and enjoyment. We recognise though that the cost of some items is very high and this may not be possible.


We do not have our own gear available for rental but there are many places offering gear for rental in Kathmandu and we can recommend a number of places for you. The quality of rental gear is very variable and it is your responsibility to check carefully the condition of any item you rent. We accept no responsibility for the quality of equipment hired. An indication of the likely rental costs is below.


  • Four Season Sleeping Bag - $2 per day
  • Down Jacket - $2 per day
  • Trekking Poles - $1 per day


Most of the rental shops close around 8pm, so if you are arriving on a late flight the day before the trek starts there will not be an opportunity for you to visit a rental store. If you are planning on renting equipment, you need to make sure you have allowed sufficient time at the beginning of your trip.


All rental equipment is included in your overall trekking bag weight, so make sure you have allowed for this when packing your bag at home. A sleeping bag will weigh around 2kg.

Clothing to bring

HEADGEAR
  • Warm beanie style hat – knitted or fleece
  • Neck gaiter or scarf. It can get dusty in Nepal and the air very cold. A scarf or balaclava comes in useful for keeping dust out and can double as a warm layer for your neck / face!
  • Sun hat – preferably wide-brimmed for protection
  • Sunglasses – high UV protection
  • Headlamp (plus extra batteries)

UPPER BODY

  • Thermal or fleece base layer (x2)
  • Long sleeve shirt/tshirt – light or medium weight, moisture wicking (x3)
  • Short sleeved shirt/tshirt – lightweight, moisture wicking (x2)
  • Fleece or soft shell jacket (x2)
  • Insulated jacket – down or primaloft
  • Lightweight water/windproof hard shell outer jacket
  • Gloves – lightweight, fleece or quick drying fabric
  • Gloves or mittens – heavyweight, insulated, preferably water resistant

LEGS

  • Leggings – thermal or fleece base layer (x1)
  • Trekking trousers – light or medium weight (x2) – convertible trousers work well
  • Waterproof hard shell trousers – ski pants work fine (x1)
  • Gaiters

FEET
  • Trekking boots – mid weight with good ankle support
  • Training shoe or similar – to wear around the teahouses
  • Micro-spikes – required for snowy conditions on the Thorung La pass
  • Mid-weight trekking socks (x5 pairs)
  • Breathable, high-wicking liner socks (x3 pairs)
  • Thermal trekking socks for upper reaches of your trek (x1 pair)

Equipment to bring

GEAR
  • Small Rucksack or Daypack (30-40 litres) to carry water and personal items
  • Waterproof duffle bag (approx 80-100 litres) – max weight when full should be 15kg. This weight restriction includes your sleeping bag. Your duffle will be carried by a porter
  • Sleeping bag (4 season or -10 Deg C) and compression sack
  • Trekking poles
  • Water bottle or hydration bag – must be able to carry 1.5-2L of water

OTHER ACCESSORIES

  • Sunscreen and lip balm - high SPF
  • Toiletries, including toilet paper, wet wipes and hand sanitiser – please carry all rubbish back off the trail
  • Camera and spare batteries
  • Plug adapter, for charging devices in teahouses and hotels
  • Personal medication and first aid kit
  • Personal snacks and energy bars – dried fruit and nuts are also a good source of energy
  • Isotonic drink powder / energy drink powder to mix in with your water. This improves flavour and helps replace electrolytes
  • Microfibre towel for wiping hands and face each day
  • Ear plugs, if you are a light sleeper
  • Pee bottle, useful for late night toilet needs
  • Dry bag (only required if your main duffle bag is not waterproof)

Dates & prices

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03/09/2021 16/09/2021 $1,595 £1,229
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27/10/2021 09/11/2021 $1,665 £1,279
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28/11/2021 11/12/2021 $1,595 £1,229
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13/02/2022 26/02/2022 $1,595 £1,229
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27/03/2022 09/04/2022 $1,665 £1,279
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03/04/2022 16/04/2022 $1,665 £1,279
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17/04/2022 30/04/2022 $1,665 £1,279
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24/04/2022 07/05/2022 $1,665 £1,279
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Want to add flights or create a private trip? Don't hesitate to contact us!

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Price includes

  • Your hotel stay for the nights before and after the trek
  • All airport transfers
  • Flight from Jomsom - Pokhara and Pokhara - Kathmandu
  • Conservation Area entry and TIMS fees
  • A fully supported trek with a qualified mountain guide
  • All drinking water on the trek
  • Teahouse accommodation on a room only basis
  • Access to emergency oxygen and first aid kit

Price does not include

  • Tips for your guides and porters
  • Personal items
  • Travel insurance (you must be insured, and specifically for treks up to 6000m)
  • Your personal trekking gear
  • Meals and drinks on the trek
  • Meals and drinks in Kathmandu (breakfast is included)

Options

  • Additional hotel nights before or after your trek