Where to start and end the Annapurna Circuit Trek?
As the circuit offers various starting and ending places to start and end your round trek, you can join any of the route options. No matter whether you are in Kathmandu or Pokhara, it is always recommended to join the anticlockwise Annapurna Circuit Trekking. As the climb towards Thorong La Pass is more gradual, this route option gives your body full acclimatization rest.
Although most of the section of this circuit is approachable through roadways transport, there are still various options to avoid the jeep tracks. Depending on how much time you have and how far you can go, you can decide where to start and end your trek by yourself.
Whether you are going to choose this or that route option, you are still going to experience the diverse culture and temperature of Nepal. With the adoption of diverse temperatures, each of the destinations on the route has something unique and special to offer you.
And there are lush green forests, uphill and downhill climbs, where you can cross passes, walk on the loose stones, sometimes on snow-covered land and arid land. Throughout the journey, you will get mesmerized by the ravishing views of the majestic Himalayas.
Start of the Trek:
After a drive from Kathmandu or Pokhara to Besisahar, you can begin the Annapurna Circuit Trek anywhere between Besisahar to Manang. However, due to the increased risks of getting caught by altitude sickness, it is better not to start these treks beyond Chame. Without thinking much you can start your trek right there from Besisahar itself.
But skipping a day or 2 of walks, you can directly start your trek from Bulbule, Syange, Jagat (1300m), or Chame (2726m). By taking the jeep ride from Besisahar, you can reach any of these mentioned starting points. Well, starting the trek from Jagat or Chame steals your moment of enjoying the eye-catching waterfall view in Syange. Indeed, it is probably the only biggest waterfall on the entire route to which you can get very close.
As you ascend higher the risk of acute mountain sickness also increases, so after continuing the trek from Chame to Manang, you will have to take 2 or 3 days of acclimatization rest there. The closer the Manang you reach, the more crowds you get to see. Skipping the acclimatization rest at Manang increases the risk of getting altitude sickness. So, never ever dare to ignore such important things.
You can continue your trek from Manang to Yak Kharka and Thorang Phedi. Further, crossing the Thorang La Pass, You will finally reach Muktinath, a Buddhist and Hindu pilgrimage destination.
End of the Trek:
With Jomsom and Tatopani being the most popular ending point, you can also end the trek anywhere between Muktinath, and Nayapul. Besides these all, Nayapul is the most popular Annapurna Circuit Trek ending point for actual Annapurna trekkers.
For the Short Annapurna Circuit Trek, you can join the Jomsom Pokhara Flight. Well, to be blunt, choosing the direct jeep or bus ride from Muktinath, Jomsom or Tatopani is not a bad idea, if you are just a traveler. Explorer always adores facing all the good and bad experiences of a journey. So if you are an explorer, then just dare to complete the whole circuit by trek.
Are there any extensions available on the Annapurna Circuit Trek?
There is a range of trek extension options available on the Round Annapurna Trekking. By choosing any or all of these extensions, you can make your Annapurna Circuit Trek one of the longest ones.
Annapurna Circuit Trek with Tilicho Lake:
Upon reaching Manang from Besisahar, Jagat or Chame, you can make your side trek to Tilicho Lake. Just around 3 or 4 days of this extended Annapurna Circuit Trek lets you admire the enticing beauty of the glacial Tilicho Lake. Located at an elevation of 4919 meters, Tilicho is one of the world's highest-altitude lakes.
Undoubtedly, this turquoise lake is astonishingly beautiful in itself and has got enough within itself to lure the trekkers. But, spending some time in the vicinity of this lake, the glimpses of Kangshar, Annapurna, Nilgiri, Tilicho Peaks, and many other peaks leaves you spellbound. Further, with the reflection of the surrounding mountains and the environment, the surface of this deep lake adds more glamour to its beauty.
To get to this Tilicho Lake from Manang, you have to follow the trail leading to Tilicho Base Camp. Moreover, passing through the Khangshar village and crossing the Marsyangdi river you will make your way to Tilicho Base Camp. Upon reaching the Base Camp you can take a rest at the teahouse there.
And the next morning, make your final move to Tilicho Lake. After savoring the beauty of this lake, you will head to Yak Kharka, for your further Annapurna Circuit Trekking. However, you will be relishing the generous overnight stay at Yak Kharka before continuing the further trek.
In contrast, there are some other people who just choose the Tilicho lake trek and dare to cross the challenging Mesokanta La Pass instead of Thorong La Pass. Crossing the Mesokanta La Pass they head to either Jomsom or Marpha. However, the Mesokanta La Pass remains snow-covered most of the time.
Annapurna Circuit with Upper Mustang Trek:
Joining the Upper Mustang Trek during the round Annapurna trekking demands around 5 extra days on your normal Annapurna Circuit Trek itinerary. After experiencing the lifestyle and culture of Hindu and Buddhist communities, now be ready to immerse yourself in the culture of Tibetan Buddhism.
Furthermore, by blending the Annapurna Circuit Trek with Upper Mustang, you will no longer be just stealing the view of the arid landscape from far. The extended round Annapurna trek takes you to the mysterious world of the ancient Buddhist Kingdom of Mustang, which is also called Lo.
The vibrant Tibetan culture, Tibetian plateau-like arid landscape, and history of old palaces, monasteries, and Chortens of Upper mustang lure a wide range of the population to visit this isolated land.
Opened for tourists in 1992, you require a Restricted Area Trekking Permit to join the Upper Mustang Trekking. The cost of that permit costs around USD 500 which is valid for the 10 days duration. After reaching Muktinath via Thorong La Pass, you will head towards Kagbeni for Upper Mustang Trek.
Passing through the villages of Chele, Syangboche, Tshrang, and many others, you will reach Lo-Manthang. Lo-Manthang is located at an elevation of 3800m. From Lo-Manthang, you have the option to retrace the route either by trekking or driving.
Taking a drive from Lo-Manthang you will reach Jomsom from where you can continue your further Round Annapurna Trek. On the way to Lo-Manthang from Kagbeni, you can embrace the beauty of the Kaligandaki River George which is sometimes silent and other times violent.
Annapurna Circuit Trek with Annapurna Base Camp:
With this combined trek, be ready to immerse yourself in the thrill and tranquillity of the Annapurna region. Some additional days on the trek let you step into the Annapurna Base Camp at 4130meters/1349ft.
Adorned with the forests of rhododendrons and the spectacular Himalayas views, the route to Annapurna Base Camp from Ghorepani is incredible and fascinating.
On the way, you can enjoy a glimpse of captivating Annapurna, Dhauligiri, Nilgiri, Tukuche, and many other peaks. Further, the hospitality of locals on the trails makes you feel special and happy deep from the heart.
Continuing the round Annapurna Trek from Jomsom, you can make your way to Tatopani via Marpha, Tukuche, and other pristine villages. The hot spring of Tatopani allures lots of trekkers to take a soothing bath. In fact, it is believed that the natural hot water pond of Tatopani heals various skin diseases. Further, it also balances the pressure level of your body. After enjoying the soothing bath, continue your trek towards Ghorepani.
From Ghorepani continue our trek to Poonhill. A blissful journey to Poonhill lets you relish the stunning sunrise and sunset views behind the incredible mountain views. Being a popular vantage point, Poonhill is the dream destination of several short trek lovers in Nepal.
People with less time in Nepal normally book the Ghorepani Poonhill Trek for the Himalayan trekking experience. After spending the blissful time in Poonhill, return back to Ghorepani and head towards Tadapani, Chomrong, Dovan, and then finally trek to Annapurna Base Camp.
With some memorable time spent at the Base Camp, you will now return back to Jhinudanda through Bamboo. Jinudanda also serves the trekkers with its relaxing hot spring bath. From Jhinudanda, continue your walk to Nayapul, the endpoint of the trek. From Nayapul take a drive to Pokhara.