Ranging from 160 kilometers to 260 kilometers, Annapurna Circuit Trek is considered a moderate to difficult trek in Nepal. Depending on the route and the use of transportation, the total days and the trek distance of the trek varies.
Starting from an altitude of 923 meters to an altitude of 5416 meters, the trek is considered a difficult trek by many. However, choosing the best time for the Annapurna Circuit trek is the key to having a safe and easy trek experience.
Many regard autumn and spring to be the best time for the Annapurna Circuit Trek. With the trek taking place in remote trails of steep roads, the trek is best made in autumn and spring. With clear stable weather and great views of the green forest, the freshly bloomed Rhododendron will definitely guide your way. These seasons are the best for Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Best Time for the Annapurna Circuit Trek
The best time for Annapurna Circuit Trek is the Autumn and the Spring seasons. The months from September to November and the months from March to May are the best months for the Annapurna Circuit Trek.
The autumn season is the peak season for Annapurna Circuit Trek. Spring is considered the second-best season for ventures on the Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Annapurna Circuit Trek in Autumn
Autumn is considered the best time for Annapurna Circuit Trek. With the monsoon rain finally subsiding, the autumn season brings you beautiful views of the mountains and the villages all through your trail. Light weather with vibrantly colored paths filled with crunchy leaves fun to step on, the trail gets a lot more fun during Autumn.
The weather of Annapurna in Autumn
Also known as the Fall season, Autumn is a beautiful season. The weather of the Annapurna region during the Autumn season is just accurate for the Annapurna Circuit Trek. The sun is not as hot and scorching. There is a light breeze of wind blowing the leaves from the trees and the leaves rustle on the ground.
There is very little chance of any rainfall during this time. The weather does not pose any difficulty during your trek. This is one of the best weather for Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Highlights in Autumn Season
With the monsoon rain clearing up from the skies, the sky is clear and the weather is beautiful. The clear blue sky makes your journey a lot easier and relaxing. You will not have to worry about carrying raincoats or heavy rainfall flooding the trails.
Autumn season has clear skies which means there is nothing coming between you and the beautiful views of the Himalayas. The views of the Annapurna Massifs and Dhaulagiri can be seen clearly from the Thorong La Pass(5416m) as there is no rain or fog blocking the view.
Autumn is the season of festivities in Nepal. The biggest festivals of the country fall in this season. Dashain and Tihar are considered the biggest festivals in the country. Taking the Annapurna Circuit Trek in the Autumn season allows you to experience the culture and tradition of celebrating this festival. The festive environment of the country will make your trek even more memorable and beautiful.
This season provides you with the best weather. No sudden rainfalls or extremely hot dry weather. All you can see up above is clear blue sky and the warm sunshine hitting straight to your face. The weather is just right for trekking and enjoying the views of the mountains.
Food and Accommodation in Autumn
Autumn arrives after the end of the monsoon season. This means there will be a wide variety of food and vegetables available due to the monsoon season. Seasoned green leafy vegetables are a major attraction. On your way, you will find many restaurants and cafes till you reach the narrow steep paths of the uphill trek. These cafes and restaurants will provide you with a great variety of food like bread, pizza, coffee, and other cuisines as well.
However, as you reach uphill to the steep uphill roads, your options will be limited to tea houses and lodges. The food you will find there is mostly authentic Nepali masala tea and for meals, you will have traditional Nepali food-” Dal Bhat Tarkari”.
As for your accommodation, you will have many tea houses and lodges to stay in during this season. Being considered as the best time for Annapurna Circuit Trek, this is the peak season for the trekkers. With the peak season, the teahouses and lodges are all open for business.
You can find many places along the way to sleep and eat in. However, being the peak season, it may be hard for you to find accommodation on demand so it is better to pre-book your accommodations.
Your accommodation will be in teahouses in the uphill region with a twin bed sharing room with clean mattresses and a bathroom attached.
Tips for Autumn Annapurna Circuit Trek
- Carry lightweight clothes with you that are quick-drying to avoid having a heavy luggage
- This is a peak season so make sure to book your accommodation beforehand as there may be shortage in accommodation facilities
- Early September has some chances of rainfall so if you are traveling in early September carry rainproof jackets.
- Reaching higher altitudes, you may need some windproof jackets.
- Take proper acclimatization days to avoid any kind of altitude sickness.
- With the peak season, the number of trekkers increases. So it is a better idea to pre-book your accommodations.
Annapurna Circuit Trek in Spring
Spring is the season of new beginnings. New life blooms in this season. So, you can also make new memories of the trek and the country in this season. With bright colored flowers blooming in the spring season, you get to experience a wide range of exotic flora and fauna and biodiversity along the way.
The Annapurna circuit trek in spring is mostly filled with beautiful views of pasture land filled with greenery and farming. Spring is one of the best times for Annapurna Circuit Trek because of the wide range of views and activities it bestows upon you.
The weather of Annapurna in Spring
Spring season is considered the second-best season for the Annapurna Circuit Trek because of its weather and temperature is just right for the trek. You will not have to worry about the harsh rain or snow or worry about the harsh sun. The spring season in the Annapurna region is warm and cool. The mornings and the nights are a little cold but the days are sunny and cool.
The sun is up with cool breezes of wind flowing. The skies are clear and the flowers in full bloom. Walking through the brightly blooming Rhododendron, you can enjoy the views of the mountains and the valleys beneath in the spring season during your Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Highlights in Spring Season
- Exotic flora and fauna
- Great views
- Lively trails
Food and Accommodation in Spring
During the Spring season, you will not only get to witness the exotic flora and fauna but also get to taste the dishes of the country. With the flowers blooming, you will get to taste many fruits and vegetables in the spring season. The traditional dish you get to eat is the Dal Bhat and achar with seasoned vegetables.
As for your accommodation, you will have many tea houses and lodges to stay in during this season. Being considered as the best time for Annapurna Circuit Trek, this is the peak season for the trekkers.
With the peak season, the teahouses and lodges are all open for business. You can find many places along the way to sleep and eat in. There will be ample hotels and places to rest in as the area is not as crowded during this season. You will have many options for your stay and food. Your accommodation will be in teahouses in the uphill region with a twin bed sharing room with clean mattresses and a bathroom attached.
Tips for Spring Annapurna Circuit Trek
- Spring season gets a fair share of wind blowing from the Himalayas so bring a windproof jacket with you
- Make sure you are carrying lightweight luggage so it is not too heavy for the trek
- Also bring essential first aid kit materials like cold medicine, altitude sickness medicines, etc.
- You will be provided with sleeping bags but it is better to bring your own
- Take proper acclimatization days rest.
Main Attractions of Annapurna Circuit Trek
Situated at an altitude of 4919 meters, Tilicho lake is known as one of the highest altitude lakes in Nepal. With religious importance and beautiful views of the mountains surrounding it, Tilicho Lake has become one of the popular destinations for trekkers on the Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Thorong La Pass
Another major attraction of the Annapurna Circuit Trek is the Thorong La Pass. At an altitude of 5416 meters, this pass provides you with the best views of the surrounding mountains like the Annapurna mountains and the Dhaulagiri.
Mainly known as a popular pilgrimage site, Muktinath (3,800 m) is one of the major destinations of the trekkers. This place provides you with so much cultural and religious history and is a popular pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists.
With one of the natural hot springs on the way back, Tatopani is another famous destination during the trek. Many trekkers come to this place due to the belief that the natural hot springs have medicinal properties that will cure your pain and fatigue.
Sunrise View at Poonhill
Another major highlight of the trek is the sunrise view from Poonhill. On your way back, you can enjoy the majestic view of the sun hitting the snow-capped mountains that glow gloriously. This is one of the popular viewpoints of the trek.
Difficulties during the Annapurna Circuit Trek
Altitude sickness is one of the major difficulties one can face during the trek. With the trek elevating to the altitude of 5416 meters passing through the Thorong La Pass, there are chances of altitude sickness along the way. Without proper acclimatization, the chances of getting altitude sickness are very high. So make sure to get enough acclimatization so you don’t run the risk of catching any altitude sickness.
Distance covered during the trek
Based on your preferences, the total distance covered during the Annapurna Circuit Trek is 160-260 km. Based on the amount of distance to be traveled, you should be properly prepared mentally and physically.
You should prepare your body for the long treks that include 7-8 hours of walk every day. A little bit of cardio and other exercise help improve your body’s stamina helping you overcome the trek with ease. Also , you should be mentally prepared to take the 18 days trek to Annapurna Circuit Trek. Mental balance and preparation is important for walking 18 days on remote trails.
Another difficulty you may face in the Annapurna Circuit Trek is that of diet. For people who need a certain diet every day, it may be hard to adjust to the diet provided by the guides there. Regardless of satisfaction, there is some food to be avoided during your ascent to the high altitude. They are:
- Meat products
- Alcoholic products
Weather may also act as a difficulty during the Annapurna Circuit Trek, so it is important to prepare the best time for Annapurna Circuit Trek. Sudden weather changes are normal in the upper regions of the Annapurna region. So it is important for you to travel during stable weather season. Traveling in Autumn and spring has fewer chances of sudden weather changes.
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Daily Itinerary outline
Day 1: Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport and transfer to a hotel.
Day 2: 6-7 hours Drive from Kathmandu – Bhulbhule
Day 3: Trek from Bhulbhule – Chamje for 5-6 hours.
Day 4: Chamje – Bagarchhap for 5-6 hours.
Day 5: Bagarchhap to Chame for 4-5 hours
Day 6: Chame – Pisang for 5-6 hours.
Day 7 : Pisang – Ngawal- Manang 5-6 hours.
Day 8: Acclimatization day in Manang and hike to Tilicho lake
Day 9: Manang – Ledar 4-5 hours
Day 10: Ledar – Thorung Phedi – High Camp 6-7 hours.
Day 11: High camp to Muktinath 7-8 hours.
Day 12: Muktinath to Marpha 6-7 hours.
Day 13: Marpha – Kalopani 5-6 hours.
Day 14 : Kalopani – Tatopani 6-7 hours.
Day 15: Tatopani – Ghorepani 7-8 hours.
Day 16 : Ghorepani – Nayapul – Pokhara 7-8 hours.
Day 17: Pokhara – Kathmandu by tourist bus.
Day 18: Transfer to the airport to your final destination.
How much will the Annapurna Circuit Trek cost?
The cost of the Annapurna Circuit Trek is based on your preferences for the routes and the stay. The price of Annapurna Circuit Trek starts from $999 per person for 18 days trek.
What are the emergency precautions?
If there are any emergency cases, you will be rescued and transported to the nearby hospital by helicopter immediately.
What is the highest altitude we will be elevating to?
The highest altitude you will be exposed to is that of 5416 meters at Thorong La Pass. This pass provides great views of the Annapurna Mountains.
How do I avoid altitude sickness?
It is not inevitable that you get altitude sickness. But if you do get altitude sickness, you can get medicine for altitude sickness. This will reduce your sickness. It is advisable that you do not consume any meat, alcohol or smoke during the higher climbs to avoid any altitude sickness.
Can I cancel the trip?
You can cancel your trip and get a refund as long as you inform the team about the trip before 24 hours of the trip. If you inform just a few hours before, you will be creating an empty spot on the trek which could’ve been filled by another person had you informed us sooner.
How long does the trek to Tilicho lake take?
From Manang, Tilicho is a short trek. You can utilize your acclimatization day in Manang by trekking to the highest lake in the country.
Can we spend the night on the Tilicho lakeside?
You can find some lodges in the Tilicho lake base camp where you can get accommodation. But the actual lakeside does not have any accommodations.
Do I have to pay for the porter?
Your trekking package company will pay for your professional guide and porter who will carry two people’s luggage. However, the tips for the porter, guide and any other staff depend upon you and your preferences. You may pay them extra tips if you desire. This is not included in the package cost.
What permits do we need?
For the Annapurna Circuit Trek, you will need the Annapurna Conservation Area permit and the TIMS card. They will both be provided to you by your trekking package company so you don’t have to worry about getting into the hassle of getting them yourselves.
So, in conclusion, choosing the best time for Annapurna Circuit trek gets you out of difficulties regarding weather issues. Also, it helps you get the best out of the trek with great views and cultural experience. So book your package for the Annapurna Circuit trek at the best time with the best company. Let’s make memories that last a lifetime together.
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