Annapurna Conservation Area was established in 1992, covering 7629 km2.
Annapurna Conservation Area, the first conservation area and the largest protected area in Nepal, is managed by the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC). Annapurna Conservation Area covers an area of 7,629 sq. km. and is home to over 100,000 residents of different cultural and linguistic groups. Annapurna Conservation Area is rich in biodiversity and is a treasure house for 1,226 species of flowering plants, 105 mammals, 518 birds, 40 reptiles, and 23 amphibians.
Several features make the Annapurna region a unique place in the world. It has the world’s deepest river gorge—Kali Gandaki Gorge, which is 3 miles long and 1.5 miles wide, is a valley with fossils from the Tethys Sea dating back 60 million years. The region contains the world’s largest rhododendron forest in Ghorepani. Tilicho Lake, located in Manang, north of the Annapurna massif, is the world’s highest-altitude freshwater lake.
The biological diversity of the Annapurna region is equalled by its cultural diversity. Gurung and Magar are the dominant groups in the south, whereas Thakali, Manage, and Loba are dominant in the north. Each of these groups speaks its own dialect and has unique cultures and traditions. Besides, there are also Brahmins, Chhetris, and other occupational castes, although in comparatively smaller numbers. Hindu, Buddhist, and pre-Buddhist religions, along with a mixture of all these, are prevalent across the region. The local people reside in the five districts of the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA).
The Annapurna region is famous for the mountain ranges and Himalayan peaks of the Annapurna massif. Mt Fishtail 6997M, Mt Annapurna South 7219 M, Mt Annapurna I 8091M, Annapurna II 7,937 M, Annapurna III 7,555 M, and Annapurna IV 7,525 M, Mt Gangapura 7455M, Mt Himchuli 6441M, Dhampus Peak 6012 M, Tuckhe Peak 6920 M, Gurja Peak 9193M, Nilgiri North (7061 m), Nilgiri Central (6940 m), and others.
The natural and cultural features of ACA have made it the most popular trekking destination in the country, attracting the majority of the country’s total trekkers. Over the years, tourism has been firmly established as one of the most important sectors of the local economy. There are over 1,000 lodges, tea shops, and hundreds of other subsidiary services to cater to the thousands of trekkers, pilgrims, and their support staff. The soaring number of visitors, whose fuelwood consumption is twice that of the local people, has exerted immense pressure on forest resources already stressed by the growing local population. Similarly, litter, particularly the waste produced by trekkers and hoteliers, is another major concern. It is estimated that an average trekking group of 15 people generates about 15 kilos of non-biodegradable and non-burnable garbage in a 10-day trek, producing tonnes of garbage in mountain regions annually.
The multifaceted problems of ACA have been addressed through an integrated, community-based conservation and development approach, an experimental model that has been in the vanguard of promoting the concepts of "conservation area" through an "Integrated Conservation and Development Programme" approach in the country and abroad. ACAP was first tested as a pilot programme by the Ghandruk Village Development Committee (VDC) in 1986. After being notified in the Gazette as a "Conservation Area" in 1992, ACAP’s programme covered the entire area. Additionally, ACA is the first protected area that has allowed residents to live within the boundaries, own their private property, and maintain their traditional rights and access to the use of natural resources. It is also the first protected area that has refrained from using army assistance to protect the dwindling natural resource base on which the region depends. Instead, it invests whatever financial resources are available for community development and social capital building in the region.
In the Annapurna Conservation Area, the altitude varies from 1,000 m above sea level to 8,091 m. This drastic change in altitude in the 50-kilometre stretch makes Annapurna naturally rich and diverse. On one side, Annapurna is known as the wettest area in Nepal, with lush green forests and dense rhododendron forests in the south, whereas Annapurna massifs prevent most of the rain from reaching the upper part of the conservation area, creating a dry, high-altitude desert environment in the north.
Round Annapurna trek is a classic trek with variations in altitude, topography, people, and culture. The most popular trekking starts from Besisahar, meaning (lowland river basin town). From Besishar, a short mountain jeep ride will take us up to the Dharapani. Although the jeep could reach us up to Manang but to acclimatize we will start our trek from Dharapani. At Dharapani Manasulu trails connect with Annapurna trails (Mountain Double magic).
Chame is the district headquarters of Manang, a beautiful mountain and small mountain town with different government offices and educational institutes. As for tourism, the clear view of Lamjung Himal( mountain )will refresh after a long trek.
As we climb further up towards Pisang then Upper Pisang the Annapurnas welcomes each trekker with a wide smile leading towards the Manang Village. Manang is the biggest town in Manang with modern tourism facilities. We will rest here to acclimatize before crossing Thorong La to reach the magical Mustang on the other side of the famous Annapurna Circuit trek.
After crossing the world's highest pass Thorung La 5416 M. Muktinath at the lower Mustang is also one of the important religious sites of Nepal. Muktinath is frequented by Hindus and Tibetan year-round. Muktinath temple is surrounded by an outer courtyard where there are auspicious 108 water foundations. It is believed that sacred water, the origin of the Gandaki River system in Nepal will wash away past sins and deeds. Muktinath Temple is one of few places on Earth where we will come across all five elements of life together: Earth, Fire, Water, Sky, and Air.
The motorable road is well connected in Mustang, the Mustang “a lost Tibetan plateau” 'Land beyond the Himalayas" is life behind the mountains in a rain shadow area, an alpine desert, located in the Kali Gandaki valley in Western Nepal. Mustang in Tibetan means "fertile plain" in an arid landscape. When we walked through the streets of Mustang, we could see the meaning of fertile land with a vast area of cultivated land that produces enough food for locals and to export/ exchange for other requirements.
We will spend the night at Jomsom/ Marpha before we take a jeep ride up to Ghorepani to shorten our journey. ( If we look to explore we can walk and complete LOWER MUSTANG MUKTINATH’
We will end our trek at “Mystical Pokhara, a magical city for an adventure.
At Pokhara one we enjoy the amazing view of the Mountains, we have seen and been near to from our hotel balcony, we can also paraglide, boat at Phewa Lake, explore Seti River, and much more. In Pokhara, another beautiful thing to do after a long trek is to enjoy live music with a chilled glass.
Day 1: Arrival day in Kathmandu (1360m), pickup assistance, and transfer to hotel.
Day 2: Preparation for trek /around KTM valley
Day 3: Drive from Kathmandu to Besisahar – Dharapani (1860m)
Day 4: Trek from Dharapani to Chame (2670m)
Day 5: Trek from Chame to Pisang (3300m)
Day 6: Trek from Pisang to Manang (3540m)
Day 7: Acclimatization in Manang
Day 8: Acclimatization in Manang
Day 9: Trek from Manang to Yak Kharka (4018m)
Day 10: Trek from Yak Kharka to Thorang Phedi (4450m)
Day 11: Trek from Thorong Phedi to Muktinath (3760m) via Thorong La (5416m)
Day 12: Trek from Muktinath to Marpha (2670m)
Day 13: Drive/fly from Marpha- Pokhara
Day 14: Pokhara
Day 15: Pokhara – Kathmandu
Day 16: Kathmandu
Day 17:Departure. Fly back home or onwards your journey.
Round Annapurna Trek
Day 01. Arrival in Kathmandu (1350m.)
On arrival, you will be greeted and transferred to the Hotel in Kathmandu. Briefing about Kathmandu City, climate, and Pre-Trip meeting. Afternoon/ Evening for independent activities. Overnight at hotel
Day 02. In Kathmandu: Full Day visit:
Visits in Kathmandu: Swayambhu Stupa (World Heritage Site), also known as The Monkey Temple, with its 2500 years of history. Later visit Kathmandu Durbar Square(WHS) where we can see the Newari Culture and Architecture, Hanuman Dhoka, Taleju Temple, the ancient royal residence, Kasthamandap, The Living Goddess Kumari temple, etc.
Finally, another visit to Patan Durbar Square (WHS), also known as Lalitpur, means The City of Fine Art. The square is famous for good examples of wood and stone carving temples, masterpiece wood carving windows and doors, Taleju temple, The Royal Bath, Krishna Temple, etc. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 03.Kathmandu to Besi Sahar 760m
Today we leave from Kathmandu Valley to Besi Sahar. After Breakfast early in the morning, go to the bus station for Besi Sahar. The journey takes around 5 hours. Free time and overnight at the hotel.
Day 04. Besi Sahar to Dharapani 1860m
After Breakfast, we take a Jeep/Bus for Dhara Pani. Approximately 5 hours. Pass through from some beautiful small villages, near the Marshyangdi River. Overnight at Trek Hotel, Dharapani.
Day 05. Dharapani to Chame 2670m
Today we start our trekking. On the way, small villages with Tibetan Culture, Buddhism pray flags, carving Tibetan Chants on the stone walls and “Chortens” at where trekkers and the local peoples pray and take rest. From near to Chame, we will see the beautiful Himalayas, Lamjung 7000m, Mount Manaslu 8164m, and a spectacular view of the Mt Annapurna 2nd 7939m. Overnight at Trek Hotel Chame.
Day 06.Chame to Pisang 3200m
On the way to Pisang, there are some beautiful Himalayas known as Lamjung Himalaya 6983 m., Annapurna 2nd 7939m,Pisang Peak 6091m. and Marshyangdi River. Inhabitants of Pisang, mostly follow the Tibetan culture and Tibetan Buddhism. It takes around 5 hours. Overnight at Trek Hotel at Pisang.
Day 07. Pisang to Manang 3540m. (BLDH)
Today for a better view, our journey follows the Upper Pisang trail, passing through an ancient Tibetan Culture village Ghermu. From Ghermu we see Annapurna 2nd 7939m, Annapurna 3rd 7555m, Annapurna 4th 7525m, and Tlicho Peak 7134m. And Pisang Peak 6091m. Today it takes around 7 hours. Overnight at Trek Hotel Manang.
Day 08. Manang 3540m. (Res Day)
Today is the day in Manang Village to acclimatize to the higher elevation you will encounter towards Thorong La. Before lunch a small hike to Mount Gangapurna Base and on the way back, free time on the bank of The Gangapurna Lake. After lunch, we have free time. Overnight at Trek Hotel Manang.
Day 09. Manang to Yak Kharka 4020m
On the way to Yak Kharka, we will find small settlements with Yaks, mountain goats, mules, etc. Some Snow Peaks. It takes around 4 hours. Around afternoon time you reach Yak Kharka and you will have time to rest. Overnight at Trek Hotel Yak Kharka.
Day 10. Yak Kharka to Thorong-Phedi 4450m. (BLDH)
It takes around 4 hours today. It takes around 4 hours today. Thorong Phedi is a small vicinity of busy arrangements for tired trekkers. Mounting the trail, crossing the river, and again climbing through the trail, it takes you to Thorong Phedi. Some people also try to hike to the High Camp 4925m. So that the next day can be easier for them but we do not recommend going to High Camp today because of the altitude. At the bottom of Thorung La Pass, this place gives you a pleasant view.
Day 11. Thorong Phedi 4450m. – Thorong La 5416m- then trek down to Muktinath 3760m. It takes around 8 hours today. Today’s experience will be a lifetime unforgettable experience- crossing the memorable Thorong La. The journey starts early in the morning from Thorong Phedil to the Thorung La Pass. Each moment you feel hard to walk today through the high altitude but the outstanding panoramic Himalayan scenes are so attractive that you love to observe them. Also, the pass marked by Chortens and prayer flags looks magnificent, and the views are imprinted in your memory. The temple is built in the pagoda style dedicated to Lord Vishnu. For Hindus, Muktinath is one of the most important places of pilgrimage. Overnight at Trek Hotel Muktinath.
Day 12. Muktinath – Jomsom 2720m
It takes 5 hours today. Following downhill, today trekkers start to feel easy to trek. After a couple of hours, we started to follow the Kaligandaki River, a famous river for fossils. From Jomsom, one can see the Nilgiri and Dhawalagiri Himalayas. Overnight at Trek Hotel Jomsom.
Day 13: Drive/fly from Jomsom- Pokhara
From Jomsom, we can either take a 15-minute mountain flight or take 8-10 hours by jeep to reach Pokhara. If you have time we can walk through the Mustang with an extra 3 days of trekking.
Day 14: Pokhara
We will have a rest day at Pokhara to explore and enjoy the adventure city of Pokhara.
Day 15: Pokhara – Kathmandu
After Early Breakfast, we go to the Tourist Bus Park to catch a bus to Kathmandu. The road follows the Trisuli River where you see many people rafting on the river, green mountains, and traditional villages. Overnight at Hotel Kathmandu.
Day 16: Kathmandu
Rest Day/ Free Day in Kathmandu for Shopping or independent activities.
Day17: Fly back home or onwards on your journey
You will be transferred to the international airport for your final departure by our Car/Van/Bus.