Annapurna Circuit Trek: a 10 day itinerary for the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal!

In this travel guide, you will find a detailed itinerary and route for the Annapurna Circuit Trek in Nepal. It took us 12 days in which we hiked a large part of the Annapurna Circuit trek (we hiked 10 days, two days were travel days), eventually crossing the beautiful Thorong La Pass from 5416 meters! In this blog an extensive Annapurna Circuit route + handy map of the Annapurna Circuit Trek!

Your itinerary for the Annapurna Circuit trek!

How cool! You will d0 the Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal. This is a wonderful hike and a physical challenge. We can recommend everyone to walk this amazing trek in Nepal. Are you going to walk the Annapurna Circuit Trek yourself, without a guide or tour company, then chances are that you are already preparing an itinerary. No worries, the Annapurna Circuit trekking route is easy to plan and walk by yourself. [Note: since 2023 it is mandatory to walk the Annapurna Circuit with a guide.]

Annapurna Circuit Trek tip: during the trek, we use the book “Trekking the Annapurna Circuit” written by Andrées de Ruiter and Prem Rai. This book tells you a lot about alternative routes. Parts of the Annapurna Circuit are now paved and therefore less beautiful. Fortunately, there are also more and more alternative walking routes so you can bypass the asphalt. The book is nice to have on hand, but it does contain some small errors.Packing list Nepal Annapurna Circuit Nepal

Create an itinerary or planning not set in stone

In the end, we made a plan, taking into account that from 3000 meters altitude, no more than 500 meters per day to rise and sometimes planning a rest day. All this so that you acclimatise better informed! Of course, this itinerary was not set in stone, in the end, we deviated several times from our schedule. But it gave us peace of mind to have a certain route in mind for the Annapurna Circuit.

Annapurna route tip: a detailed map is useful during the preparations for the Annapurna Circuit. You can buy such a map in Kathmandu or Pokhara.

Nepal Annapurna Circuit Experience hiking guide

How many days do you take for the Annapurna Circuit?

We ourselves did a lot of research in advance about the Annapurna circuit route in order to make a good estimate of the number of days. The Annapurna Circuit Trek can be walked in nine (very fast!) Up to four weeks. We decided to skip the first part of the route and take roughly two weeks for the Annapurna Circuit Trek. In the end, we only took 12 days on the route of which we walked 10, but the idea of ​​having some slack is nice!

The official route of the Annapurna Circuit Trek: 3-4 weeks

The official route of the Annapurna Circuit Trek runs from Besisahar to Nayapul and is 210 kilometres long. You should definitely take three to four weeks for this. Most people, however, walk part of this route.

There are several reasons for walking only part of the way: not everyone has three to four weeks (or sense) to just hike. A large part of the start and end of the route is on the paved road and that is a lot less fun to walk. However, it is an advantage if you walk the entire route: it is much quieter on the road and you acclimatize even better.

Tip: for more interesting hikes check out this article with the best treks in Nepal!

Nepal Annapurna Circuit Experience Travel guide

Map of Annapurna Circuit

Below you will find a global map of the route of the Annapurna Circuit. We made this map ourselves and it shows our itinerary, but also shows some trips or options for extending the Annapurna Circuit route.Nepal Annapurna Circuit itinerary 12 days

Overview itinerary Annapurna Circuit trekking

Scroll down for a detailed daily itinerary of our route along the Annapurna Circuit.

  • 1st Day: Pokhara to Dharapani (1900 meters)
  • 2nd Day: Dharapani to Chame (2600 meters)
  • 3rd Day: Chame to Lower Pisang (3200 meters)
  • 4th Day: Lower Pisang to Manang (3540 meters)
  • 5th Day: Rest day Manang
  • 6th Day: Manag to Shree Kharka (4040 meters)
  • 7th Day: Shree Kharka to Yak Kharka (4050 meters)
  • 8th Day: Yak Kharka to Thorong Pedi Basecamp (4400 meters)
  • 9th Day: Thorong Pedi Basecamp via Thorong La Pass (5416 meters) to Muktinath (3800 meters)
  • 10th Day: Muktinath to Kagbeni (2804 meters)
  • 11th Day: Kagbeni to Jomsom (2743 meters)
  • 12th Day: Jomsom to Pokhara

Nepal Couple goals hiking the Annapurna Circuit

Read before you start hiking, this blog full Annapurna Circuit tips!

Annapurna Circuit Trek: description per day

Day 1 Pokhara to Dharapani

The first day of this Annapurna Circuit itinerary is a travel day. We first travel by bus from Pokhara to Besisahar in four hours. You can start hiking in Besisahar. Then count at least four more days for your Annapurna Circuit route.

Because we plan to start our trek in Dharapani, we take the jeep in Besisahar towards Dharapani. We arrange this jeep ourselves with some other tourists.

You can also decide to continue driving to Chame. This saves you a travel day. We do not recommend higher than Chame, then you will be too high and you will not be able to acclimatize properly. Keep in mind that it is unwise to drive the jeep on the narrow mountain roads after dark. So leave on time!

Please note that there may be no more jeeps available when you arrive in Besisahar. You will then have to stay overnight in Besisahar and take a jeep the next day.

Hotel: Fisherman’s hotel (nice and free night if you eat there too!).
Height: 1900 meters
Ascent: 1073 meters ascent
Time: full travel day by bus and jeep
Distance: 150 km

Annapurna Circuit Trek tip: start your days as early as possible! This way you will be at the tea houses on time and you still have plenty of choices! We usually start at 6 am or 7 am.

Day 2: Dharapani to Chame

Today is the first hike day. And we start immediately with a tough part, walking 17 kilometres and climbing more than 700 meters! The route from Danaqyu to Temang is especially difficult. Shortly after crossing a river, a bit ascent via staircases starts, which seems to go on forever.

The route runs along several rivers. To cross it, long walkways are decorated with flags. In the beginning, it takes some getting used to walking over the wobbly bridge, but soon it is fun!

Because this is the first day that we have our heavy bags on (we walk without a porter and carry 12 and 14 kilos on our back), it is extra heavy. You really have to get used to walking with such a weight on your back.

Once in Chame, we are exhausted. Chame itself is a nice village with many tea houses. It is located on a beautiful river. Our tea house New Tibet is located almost at the end of the village and has a beautiful view and long sun! Recommended!

Hotel: New Tibet (very nice, free wifi and free night when you eat there!)
Altitude: 2600 meters
Ascent: 700 meters
Time: 7 hours
Distance: 17 kilometres

Day 3: Chame to Lower Pisang

Around 07.00 we leave Chame towards Lower Pisang. On the way, we pass a huge apple orchard, the largest in this area of the Annapurna Circuit. We buy some delicious apple muffins that are sold in the accompanying shop, highly recommended!

The route to Lower Pisang is relatively easy, we ascend 500 meters and walk over 4 hours. On the way we pass an abyss that looks quite heavy. If we look down, we see a crashed jeep tens of meters below us. A wake up call that you really have to be careful all around the Annapurna Circuit Trek!Annapurna (dag 3)

Once in Lower Pisang, we arrange a hotel and then walk to Upper Pisang. This is a village that is another 150 meters higher. By going just a little higher, staying there for an hour and then sleeping a little lower again, your body acclimatizes better. And so we climb to the temple on top of the village. After eating there, we walk back down to sleep on time.

Hotel: Tilicho Hotel (fine, free wifi and free stay when you eat there.)
Height: 3200 meters (highest point today 3350 meters)
Ascent: 500 meters + 150 meters to Upper Pisang
Time: 4 hours to Lower Pisang + 2 hours up and down to Upper Pisang
Distance: 15 kilometers + 4 kilometers

Day 4: Lower Pisang to Manang

Today we have a long way to go, so we leave at 06:00 in the morning, before the sun is up. The first hour is freezing cold. But because we rise considerably, we quickly heat up.

There are two routes to go from Lower Pisang to Manang: the high or low route. The low route is faster but less beautiful. The high route is a lot heavier but more beautiful and because you go higher, you can acclimatize better. So we choose the high route.Nepal Himalalaya Annapurna Circuit

From Ghyaru to Manang

When the sun rises above the mountain tops, we are in Ghyaru, at 3730 meters, so we have already climbed over 500 meters. In Ghyara we pause and have breakfast for the second time with warm apple buns and cinnamon rolls. We are fully warmed up for the second part. That is much less heavy because it is less steep. But it is long and the altitude is really noticeable now.

We stay in Manang for two days and so we want to have a nice hotel. That is also the reason why we left extra early today. We are still on time and get a little lodge at hotel Alpine Home. This hotel has all kinds of colourful lodges, hot showers, a sun terrace and good WiFi! The perfect place for a rest day here on the Annapurna Circuit!

Hotel: Alpine home hotel (500 rupees per night).
Height: 3540 meters (highest point today 3800 meters)
Ascent: 340 meters (first up 600 meters, then down again 200)
Time: 9 am
Distance: 13 kilometres.

Annapurna tip: the higher you go, the more you need to drink. In general, for example, you have to drink a litre more with every 1000 meters ascent from 2500 meters. We already start the day with a litre of tea. In the afternoon and evening, a liter of tea and we also drink our water bags 1-2 times. The result: super well hydrated, less chance of altitude sickness but we have to pee very often!

Day 5: Rest day Manang

Today we have a rest day in Manang. In order to acclimatize properly, it is better not to sleep higher again tonight, so we stay in Manang. We do an acclimatization walk almost to the top of the Praken Gompa. This way we ensure that we walk higher again (about 200 meters higher) stay at that altitude for an hour before we descend again.

I take it easy and enjoy fresh cinnamon rolls and the sun. Ries hikes an extra acclimatization round and visits the Gangapurna Lake. Other day hikes that you can do from Manang are the hike to the Ice Lake and the Bocho Gompa. The ice lake is the toughest, only do this one if you really have a lot of energy!Nepal Himalayas ice lakes and gletsers

The village of Manang on the Annapurna Circuit Trek.

Manang a nice village where you can buy many products if you have forgotten something. There are several bakeries, many tea houses and this is a cosy place full of hikers. Every night there is a movie night in one of the tea houses. Manang is also the last place where jeeps can come. If you suffer from altitude sickness and it does not go away after resting, do not continue but take a jeep back to Besisahar from here.

Hotel: Alpine home hotel (500 rupees per night).
Height: 3500 meters
Ascent: 200 meters up, 200 meters down
Time: 3 hours
Distance: 5 kilometersAnnapurna circuit (dag 6)

Day 6: Manang to Shree Kharka

Today we walk from Manang to Shree Kharka. This is a detour from the normal route of the Annapurna Circuit. The reason we walk to Shree Kharka is that we consider going to Tilicho Lake, a lake at 5000 meters altitude. However, the road to Shree Kharka is already quite tough. Tilicho Basecamp seems to be very busy, quite dirty and with too few sleeping places. In addition, the road is difficult with many chasms and danger of landslides. So, in the end, we decide not to go any further and to stop using Shree Kharka as extra acclimatization.

The route to Shree Kharka is beautiful but difficult. We climb over 500 meters in 11 kilometres and the altitude is clearly tangible. Once in Shree Kharka, we rest and then walk another 100 meters higher to acclimatize even better. We sleep for the first time in a dormitory tonight. It’s cold and we don’t sleep well.Annapurna Circuit (dag 8)

The Tilicho Lake route

To add Tilicho Lake to your route, you need at least 3 extra days. The route to Tilicho Lake is as follows: you walk from Manang via Shree Kharka (night 1) to Tilicho Base Camp (night 2) and then the next day to Tilicho Lake. After that, you are supposed to walk back to Shree Kharka (night 3) and then continue Yak Kharka (back on the Annapurna Circuit Trek).

Hotel: Tilicho Peak hotel (cosy public space but not as clean, 400 rupees).
Height: 4040 meters
Rise: 5040 meters + 100 extra meters rise
Time: 5 hours
Distance: 11 kilometresAnnapurna Circuit (dag 6

Day 7: Shree Kharka to Yak Kharka

Because we don’t continue to Tilicho Lake, we go to Yak Kharka which is again on the route of the Annapurna Circuit. We leave late, at half-past eight because we only have to walk for 5 hours. The route is beautiful, we see snowy mountain peaks everywhere and the views are amazing. Neto, we rise only 10 meters but the road descends and rises all the time. That makes it quite a challenge. We walk continuously in the sun because the route runs along the sunny side of the mountain, which is so nice!

Because we left late, some tea houses are already full once we arrive in Yak Kharka. So we sleep in hotel Nyeshuang. Here we have a private room, free wifi and a free shower. But unfortunately, everything is a bit dirty. Similarly, the common area and the food. Well, it is the first time that we do not eat very well, so it is not that bad!

Alternatively, you can also walk to Letdar. This village is an hour further, 150 meters higher and also has several nice tea houses.

Hotel: Nyeshuang (not great, but good wifi, free hot shower)
Height: 4050 meters
Rise: 10 meters net, but 300 meters down and up again.
Time: 5 hours
Distance: 12 kilometresAnnapurna circuit (dag 7)

Annapurna Circuit Trek tip: you can recognize the route by red-white or blue-white flags painted on trees, houses and stones. Red-white is the official Annapurna Circuit trek, blue-white is an alternative route where you avoid the paved road, for example.

Day 8: Yak Kharka to Thorong Pedi Basecamp

The alarm clock is set very early and at half-past five we are already walking in the dark. We don’t have to walk very far today, but we leave so early because we are afraid that otherwise there will be no more availability in the tea houses in Thorong Pedi Basecamp. Basecamp is the last stop before the Thorong La Pass and there are only three tea houses here.

At a high pace (we find out a little too high later when we have a big headache), we walk to Thorong Pedi Basecamp. It only takes us 2.5 hours and we get a very nice room in the cozy hotel Thorong Base Camp Lodge. In this hotel, you can enjoy hot cinnamon rolls and chocolate rolls.

If you have any energy left, try an extra acclimatization climb to High Camp. That is even 400 meters higher. It is a tough climb, so we walk very slowly. Once there you have to sit for a while to acclimatize and then you can return to Basecamp.

Hotel: Thorong Base Camp Lodge (500 rupee, delicious bread, no free wifi).
Height: 4400 meters
Ascent: 350 meters + 400 extra to high camp and then descend again and 400 meters
Time: 2.5 hours + 4 hours there and back to high camp
Distance: 11 kilometresThorong La Pass (dag 10) Annapurna

Read about our personal experiences hiking the Annapurna Circuit Trek!

Day 9: Thorong Pedi Basecamp via Thorong La Pass (5416 meters) to Muktinath

Today is the toughest day: we will climb 1000 meters, and then descend 1600 meters again. Leave on time, we set the alarm clock at 4 am. It is still dark when you start, so don’t forget your headlamp.

Because we have already walked the first part of the route yesterday (all the way to High Camp), it is not so bad. Don’t get me wrong, it is tough, but I expected this! After High Camp, the sun slowly starts to rise. We are now really walking over bare mountain peaks, along the path are piles of snow and ice. Fortunately, it doesn’t rain, nor does it snow. It’s cold, the air is thin but the scenery is breathtaking and unlike anything we’ve ever seen. From High Camp, it is about 3 hours to the top.Nepal Himalalaya Annapurna Circuit

The route to the top of Thorong La Pass on the Annapurna Circuit!

After a short tea break around 7 am, we walk on, it should be another two hours to the top. I feel good except for a headache. Ries is heavier. The height takes its toll on him and he continues walking foot by foot. Much faster than expected, around half past eight we arrive at the top of the Thorong La Pass, at 5416 meters. After a few tears of happiness, a cup of tea with a lot of sugar, we quickly descend again.

The last part is the hardest. It takes hours for you to descend those 1600 meters. My leg muscles tremble and it is difficult to control them, the trek goes down through a hundred hairpin bends. Finally, 9 hours after we left Basecamp, we arrive in Muktinath. This is a busy village, much more modern than the other villages so far.

Hotel: Muktinath Town Hotel (nice! Hot shower, private room well insulated, 500 rupee)
Height: 3800 meters (culminating at 5416 meters!)
Ascent: -600 meters: 1000 meters up, 1600 meters down
Time: 9 am
Distance: 16 kilometresAnnapurna Circuit Thorong La Pass

Day 10: Muktinath to Kagbeni

Today is a quiet day. You probably feel your legs today like we do. With a stiff back and muscle pain in your legs, the journey to cute Kagbeni is fortunately not very difficult. Even today you descend a lot, more than 1000 meters, but it is very gradual.

There are several tracks from Muktinath to Kagbeni. We take the northern route through the village of Jhong (or Dzong). This is much nicer than the southern route where there is much more traffic (jeeps).Annapurna Circuit day 12

Kagbeni is a nice village with a very beautiful monastery! A great place to spend an afternoon and walk around.

Hotel: Shangri-la hotel (free nights, nice rooms, not so clean sanitary facilities)
Height: 2800 meters
Ascent: -1000 meters
Time: 5 hours
Distance: 14 kilometres

What to pack for the Annapurna Circuit? In this blog, you will find a Himalaya packing list!

Day 11: Kagbeni to Jomsom

Today we take the bus from Kagbeni to Jomsom hoping to arrange another jeep to Pokhara from there. The bus ride is quite exciting and passes many ravines. The route does not look very spectacular and it is a pity that we have not walked this.

Unfortunately we are late for the jeep and so we book tickets for the next day. There is not much to do in Jomsom. It is a relatively expensive village and because of its location it always blows hard. We enjoy our luxury (and expensive) hotel and sleep a lot.

Hotel: hotel Xana Du (very expensive but delicious food and nice room with private shower!)
Height: 2743 meters
Rise: – 57 meters
Time: 2 hours by bus
Distance: 19 kilometersThorong Pedi Base camp (dag 9) Annapurna

Annapurna Circuit Trek tip: keep in mind that your walking pace may be different from ours. The same applies to acclimatization to height. Never walk further if you have symptoms of altitude sickness! Read more about altitude sickness in this blog!

Day 12: Jomsom to Pokhara

Unfortunately, our flight from Jomsom to Pokhara is cancelled and so we end up taking a jeep to Pokhara. The route is beautiful, especially from Kalopani, where nature looks completely different. In the distance, you can continuously see the snowy peaks that we recently walked through. The road runs through many deep cliffs and ravines, so that is really exciting.

We also consider making the trek to Poon Hill or even the ABC trek from Tatopani. The environment is so beautiful here again. But on the other hand, we feel our legs well and we long for Pokhara’s warmth and tranquillity again.

And so our itinerary for the Annapurna Circuit Trek in Nepal ends here.

Time: 9 am
Distance: 155 kilometresAnnapurna Circuit (dag 3)

Our itinerary for the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal

In 10 days we walked part of the beautiful Annapurna Circuit Trek! The above route was perfect for us and the Annapurna Circuit trekking was one of the coolest challenges we’ve ever experienced!

Do you have any questions about the above route? Let us know for sure! And if you also walk this route through the Himalayas: good luck and enjoy!

In our Nepal itinerary blog you will find 3 itineraries for a trip through Nepal varying from 2 till 4 weeks!

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  1. by Priya Kshetri on 27 October 2021  05:46 Reply

    I like the 12 day itinerary.
    It would be so awesome if you could reply me.
    What was the date when you started this 12 day trek?
    And was the trail too dusty and dangerous at any point? I heard stories of landslides and very tiny walking trail with stones falling down straight to river.
    PS it really helped me. Thanks for this blog.

    • by Charlotte van de Sande on 27 October 2021  09:16 Reply

      Hi Priya,
      We left around mid oktober. I don't know the exact date, but mid oktober til end of oktober.
      No we didn't encounter dusty or dangerous points. There are some bridges which seem to be a bit scary, but they are safe. We haven't encountered any landslides either. We know some detours of the Annapurna circuit are more dangerous, but this one isn't in our opinion.
      Kind regards,

  2. by Allison Fite on 1 February 2022  17:32 Reply

    Hi Charlotte!

    I am about to do AC with my partner and found your article so helpful!

    Quick questions:

    was it easy to book buses and flights while there?

    About how much money do you want recommend bringing for daily budget given the itinerary your provider? I understand there are no atms so need to have all money with you already.

    Do you think Kabgeni is with the detour? Or do most people just get a bus from Mukintha to Jomsom?


    • by Charlotte van de Sande on 2 February 2022  09:11 Reply

      Hi Allison,
      Wauw so nice that you will do this hike! Yes, we just went to the bus station and booked the tickets there, or asked our hotel to arrange this for us. Flights was also easy, either online, or to the airport and book it there.

      We recommend 40-50 euro a day (if you are with 2 people, so not per person). Check out this blog for more money tips on the hike:

      Many people just take a bus from Mukintha to Jomsom, but we loved to have another hiking day and the landscape is totally different from the rest!
      Kind regards,

  3. by Hemanta Budhathoki on 2 February 2022  07:20 Reply

    This is great post. now there are road access up to Manang and it is better to reach up to Chame in first day. So that itinerary will be less one day.

    • by Charlotte van de Sande on 2 February 2022  09:08 Reply

      Hi there,
      Yes, it was as well when we did the trekking, but we still recommend to do the part from Dharapani to Manang by foot in multiple days. Not only is it an amazing part of the journey, it is also good to have this time to acclimatize to the hight. In order not to get altitude sickness.
      Kind regards,

  4. by Daniel Kim on 20 February 2022  01:16 Reply

    Hi thanks for the amazing guide! Question, how do you find jeeps to take you place to place? Hoping to get a jeep from Besisahar to Chame and Jonsom to Pokhara!

    • by Charlotte van de Sande on 20 February 2022  10:27 Reply

      Hi Daniel,
      Thanks for your message. Well you will see that on the streets there are people just offering them. Furthermore there are little toursits offices in the streets which also offer tickets. It will be very easy!
      Kind regards,

  5. by Aiden on 6 April 2022  01:55 Reply

    Hi there, as you have got lots of information about the annapurna circuit. Can I just ask if we are allowed to camp or is there any campsites in the annapurna circuit.
    Coz I am planning to camp then to sleep in hotels.

    • by Charlotte van de Sande on 11 April 2022  10:37 Reply

      Hi Aiden,
      We have never encountered any campsites, and to be honest, with the extreme low temperatures, we definitely wouldn't recommend camping there. But you can of course always ask at a hotel. Do keep in mind that cost wise, you don't spare money that way. Most hotels are free when you have your dinner and breakfast there, so the same might apply to camping.
      Kind regards

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