Annapurna Circuit Trek 12 Days Itinerary

Annapurna Circuit Trek 12 Days Itinerary

It’s been six decades since Annapurna Circuit Trek opened to visitors in 1949. It is still among the world’s most captivating trails. Every year, more than 40,000 trekkers travel to the Annapurna region.

Annapurna Circuit trek is a complete trekking experience, starting from the rugged mountains of Lamjung and extending till the highest altitude of 5,410 meters, Annapurna Circuit Trek explores the trans-Himalaya region of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain.

Annapurna Circuit Trek 12 days itinerary reveals to you the magic of Annapurna Circuit. The natural and cultural diversity of the region is astonishing. The highlight of the trek is jaw-dropping views of Annapurna, Gangapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machapuchhre, and many more snow-covered peaks.

The experience is nothing less than magic.

Highlights of Annapurna Circuit Trek 12 Days Itinerary

Highlights of Annapurna Circuit Trek 12 Days Itinerary

  • Thorong La pass is the highest altitude pass in Nepal. At 5,410 meters, Thorong La Pass is also the highest point of this trek. On reaching this point, you will surely experience a sense of satisfaction and achievement.
  • The landscape on this trail has surprising diversity. From dense green forests to trans-Himalayan deserts, pristine blue rivers, glacial lakes, waterfalls and unforgettable views of Annapurna, this trek has it all.
  • There’s a variety in culture and lifestyle throughout the Annapurna Circuit trek. Tamang, Gurung, Ghale, Thakali, and other ethnic groups live in this area.
  • Monasteries and Gumbas reflect the glorious history and intricate art and architecture.
  • Muktinath, an important pilgrimage site for Hindus as well as Buddhist. This is the ultimate place to attain salvation according to Hindu mythology.
  • Kaligandaki gorge is the deepest gorge in the world. Different types of unique stones and gems can be found here.
  • The hot spring in Tatopani can be a great relaxing experience after a strenuous circuit trek.

Annapurna Circuit Trek 12 Days Outline Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1400 meters)

Day 02: Drive to Jagat (1300 meters) – 8 hours.

Day 03: Trek to Dharapani (1960 meters) – 6 hours

Day 04: Trek to Chame (2710 meters) – 5 hours

Day 05: Trek to Pisang (3300 meters) – 5 hours

Day 06: Trek to Manang (3540 meters) – 6 hours

Day 07: Acclimatization day at Manang (3,540 meters)

Day 08: Trek to Letdar (4,230 meters) – 4 hours

Day 09: Trek to Thorang Phedi (4,600 meters) – 4 hours

Day 10: Trek to Muktinath (3800 meters) via Thorang La Pass (5,416 meters) – 8 hours

Day 11: Trek to Jomsom (2,670 meters) – 4 hours

Day 12: Fly/Drive to Pokhara (900 meters) – 8 hours

Annapurna Circuit Trek 12 Days Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu


Maximum altitude: 1,400 meters

Your journey begins as you arrive in Kathmandu. Representatives from our company will greet and guide you at the airport. You can rest or explore the city depending on your own will.

In the evening, you will have a group dinner, followed by a briefing session.

Day 02: Drive to Jagat


Maximum altitude: 1,300 meters

Trek duration: 8 hours

After our breakfast, you will set off for a drive from Kathmandu to Jagat. Driving along the winding road through villages along the Trishuli River, you will enjoy the beautiful view of hills and forests.

You will pass through the famous town of Besi Sahar and further ahead till Jagat, your destination for the night.

Day 03: Trek to Dharapani


Maximum altitude: 1,960 meters

Trek duration: 6 hours

This is the day you begin our trek. After breakfast, you head to a descending trail through lush green forests. You pass villages like Chyamje, Sattale, Tal, and Karte on this day.

Suspension bridges and trails carved in the rocky cliffs add a thrilling factor to the hike. Mountains come to sight on the first day of the trek. It is an easy walk overall.

Your stop for the night is at Dharapani.

Day 04: Trek to Chame


Maximum altitude: 2,710 meters

Trek duration: 5 hours

On this day, you will trek through some forest ridges on your way to Chame. The trail is comfortable as it is mostly flat.

View of peaks like Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, and Annapurna IV will accompany you. On your way, you will come across a hot spring.

Your destination for the night is Chame. Chame is the headquarter of Manang district. You will see shops where you can do some last-minute preparations for the trek. It is an administrative hub too.

Overnight at Chame.

Day 05: Trek to Pisang


Maximum altitude: 3,300 meters

Trek duration: 5 hours

This is the day when the landscapes in the trek change drastically. You start by walking through the dense forests along the Marsyangdi River.

The forest gets thinner as you trek further up. Soon, after crossing the 3,000 meters altitude mark, the landscape turns into a trans-Himalayan desert, with only a few alpine shrubs.

You can trek either through Upper Pisang or Lower Pisang. The trail from Upper Pisang is comparatively steeper but the view is surreal. The path from Lower Pisang is easier. Choose one that’s convenient for you.

Day 06: Trek to Manang


Maximum altitude: 3,540 meters

Trek duration: 6 hours

You can trek either from Lower or Upper Pisang through the old village of Nwagal to Manang. Peaks like Annapurna, Gangapurna and Tilicho are visible almost throughout the trail. Unique rock formations with a thin pine forest make up for a magnificent landscape.

You will come across a 400-year-old monastery in Braga. This monastery has historic religious importance for the locals. The architecture itself is astonishing.  You trek further ahead till you reach the beautiful village of Manang.

Overnight in Manang.

Day 07: Acclimatization day at Manang


Maximum altitude: 3,540 meters

Manang is undoubtedly one of the best places for acclimatization. It offers spectacular views of Annapurna and Gangapurna peaks. Gangapurna Lake is another gem which is at just ten minutes’ walk from the village.

Visiting nearby monasteries will give you an insight into the local culture and tradition. You have the option of going on side trips like Ice Lake and Milerapa Cave, perfect for a day-hike while in Manang. Whatever you do, don’t sleep during the day. That’s not suitable for acclimatization.

The hotels here provide basic services, and the untouched natural scenery in the backdrop makes Manang a perfect place for acclimatization.

Overnight in Manang.

Day 08: Trek to Letdar


Maximum altitude: 4,230 meters

Trek duration: 4 hours

The trek on this day is mostly through the rocky landscape, with few pastures and juniper shrubs. The trail goes up and down continuously through the banks of Jharsang Khola.

Frequently crossing wooden and suspension bridges along the way, you pass villages like Tenki and Ghunasa.

Overnight in Letdar.

Day 09: Trek to Thorang Phedi

Thorang Phedi

Maximum altitude: 4,600 meters

Trek duration: 4 hours

The trek to Thorang Phedi is an uphill climb. Giant rock formations make the landscape look unbelievable. Snow-capped Rocky mountains combined with drylands of different color texture make for lovely scenery.

There are specific parts prone to landslide. Be careful while walking on those trails. On reaching Thorang Phedi, you will see one of the best views of Mt. Gundang, Mt. Syagang, Thorung Peak and Mt.Khatungkan. Stop for the day and enjoy a night at Thorang Phedi.

Day 10: Trek to Muktinath via Thorang La Pass

Thorang La Pass

Maximum altitude: 5,416 meters

Trek duration:  8 hours

This is the most exciting and challenging day of the trek. At around 2 in the night, you begin your preparation for the final ascend of Thorong La Pass. It gets windy during the day, so starting the ascent early in the morning is the right choice. It is a steep climb for about 3-4 hours until you reach the stunning vantage point of Thorang La Pass.

The sunrise from this point is something you will remember for a lifetime. Thorang La is  Two hours of steep climb b Since it gets windy after midday, we start our trek at around 3:00 am. Walking for 2 hours on an uphill trail, we reach High Camp at 4900m. Another couple of hours from here will finally take us to the stunning vantage point of Thorong La Pass.

Experience of sunrise from this point is a once in a lifetime experience. Seeing the first rays of sun hit the Annapurna and Gangapurna is a surreal and dreamlike experience. Reaching Thorong La Pass gives you a sense of achievement and satisfaction. Prayer flags and mani stones mark the highest point in Thorong La Pass.

After enjoying the view, you descend straight down to the Muktinath Temple, a significant pilgrimage site of Hindus. The temple holds the utmost importance among the Buddhists community as well.

You end your trek for the day by driving to Jomsom and spending the night in a cozy, comfortable lodge.

Day 11: Trek to Jomsom


Maximum altitude: 2,670 meters

Trek duration: 4 hours

After Muktinath, you will head for a steep descent down till the Kaligandaki valley. From here, you continue your walk to Jomsom. It is an easy trail.

Jomsom is the headquarter of Mustang. Exploring the valley, you move ahead to the picturesque village of Marpha. Well decorated houses, narrow streets, and apple brandy are what Marpha is famous for.

Overnight in Jomsom.

Day 12: Fly/Drive to Pokhara


Maximum altitude: 8,000 meters

From Jomsom, you will have options to either drive or fly to Pokhara. Only early morning flights are possible to Pokhara from Jomsom airport.

You will have the entire day to enjoy in Pokhara. There are plenty of options to spend a day in Pokhara. You can opt for paragliding, boating or relax around the Lakeside. At night, Pokhara becomes vibrant. You can visit restaurants, bars, cafes, and pubs.


Annapurna Circuit Trek 12 Days itinerary is ideal for someone who wants a complete experience of trekking in Nepal. Annapurna Circuit introduces you to all the aspects of rural life in the Himalayas and hills of Nepal.

This is a standard itinerary, and it can be changed according to your wish. Come explore with us.


How is the accommodation facility in the Annapurna Circuit Trek?

Accommodation during Annapurna Circuit Trek is in the teahouses. These tea houses provide basic facilities of meals and accommodation on a twin-sharing basis.

Some lodges and hotels in this trek have facilities like wifi, hot shower, and attached bathroom too.

What is the best time for Annapurna Circuit Trek?

For a comfortable experience, hands-down, Autumn and Spring are the best time of year. The visibility is excellent with clear blue skies. The temperature is warm, making it comfortable for walking in the daytime. Nights are chilly but not freezing.

Similarly, for trekkers who look for solitude while trekking, Monsoon and Winter could be a good time. The trails are less crowded. You will get an authentic experience of the local culture and lifestyle as locals are unoccupied during this time.

With proper research and preparations, Annapurna Circuit Trek is doable at any time of the year.

What are the chances of altitude sickness on Annapurna Circuit Trek?

There is always a chance of altitude sickness at such high altitude treks unless you take proper measures of safety.

Dehydration is a significant factor resulting in altitude sickness during high altitude treks. Make sure you carry and drink plenty of water during the trek.

Similarly, to let your body adapt to the variation in altitude, you need to acclimatize properly. You will be trekking at the elevation ranging from approximately 700-5500 meters. Your body needs to adapt to the changing height. After 3,000 meters, the chance of getting altitude sickness is a bit high. So, walk slow and acclimatize, you will be alright.

What permits do I need for Annapurna Circuit Trek?

You will need two types of permits for Annapurna Circuit Trek:

TIMS card:  For all treks in Nepal except the Everest Base Camp Trek, the Trekkers Information Management System(TIMS) card is necessary. It will cost you USD 20 and is available in Kathmandu.

ACAP permit: To enter the Annapurna Conservation Area, you will need an ACAP permit. It costs USD 20-23 per person and is available in Kathmandu.

About Author

Madhav started working as a porter in 2001 and then went on to work as a trekking guide. After working in the trekking and tourism industry for 8 years, he co-founded Mosaic Adventure in 2009.

Madhav has trekked to most of the treks in Nepal including Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Poon Hill Trek, Jomsom Muktinath Trek, Indigenous Peoples Trek, Langtang Valley Trek, Mardi Himal Trek and all of the day hikes around Kathmandu.

He has also extensively traveled to other countries like USA, UK, France, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Philippines, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Behrain, Thailand, Turkey and India. Madhav is the one who answers most of your questions about trekking and tours and helps to plan your trip by giving a personal touch.

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