The Annapurna Circuit Trek Via Tilicho Lake is a wholesome trekking experience. This trek goes over the most iconic trails, landscapes, rice fields, banana plantations, orchards and high altitude deserts, as well as for that of the modes of life and ethnic groups Gurungs, Thakalis, Tibetans, etc. The route has been popular with visitors to Nepal since trekking was first opened for foreigners in 1977.
Even though the Annapurna region offers other marvelous trips such as the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek, Mardi Himal Trek, etc, the Annapurna Circuit Trek takes the crown jewel. The main highlight of the trek is a a continuous change of terrain every few days. In Nepal, changes in terrain corresponds to changes in the ethnicity and culture of people, vegetation and of course the landscape.
Annapurna Ciruit Trek is enriched with new moments such as the climb to the base camp of Pisang Peak, visits to the lost villages of Ghyaru and Ngawal, and the immersion around the turquoise glacial lake at the foot of Mount Tilicho (7,134 m) which optimizes the acclimatization to altitude before crossing the Thorong pass at 5,416 m. Plus, after you cross the Throung La, you will arrive at Mustang; the frontier of the Tibetan plateau in Nepal. The dry arid, almost moonscape like surrounding, of Mustang feels otherworldly. Another major attraction is Muktinath – a sacred pilgrimage for both Hindus & Buddhists temple that stand atop a hill with snow-capped mountains as it’s backdrop.
Annapurna Circuit Trek Via Tilicho Lake is a classic gem of trek that has awed adventure enthusiasts since the 1960s’.
In the last leg of the trek, you drive along the Kali Gandaki river to Tatopani and continue the next day to the lake city of Pokhara. The idyllic city offers eateries, clubs, live music venues and gift shops to soothe your nerves after the rigorous Annapurna Circuit Trek. Keep Walking Nepal would like to invite you as our extended family on this wonderful trek.
- Complete the grand tour of the Annapurnas in its entirety including the magnificient Tilicho Lake
- Enjoy the extraordinary views of the most beautiful Himalayan peaks and pass through the mythical Thorong Pass at 5,416 m.
- See the sacred pilgrimage site at Muktinath and the isolated villages of Tibetan culture: Ghyaru, Ngawal and Dangar Dzong.
Trip Grade - Moderate to Challenging
|Departure||Return||Price (Inc. Tax)||Dept Status|
|1 Nov 2023||16 Nov 2023||$2350 USD||Available||Book Now|
|19 Dec 2023||3 Jan 2024||$2350 USD||Available||Book Now|
|12 Mar 2024||27 Mar 2024||$2350 USD||Available||Book Now|
|15 Apr 2024||30 Apr 2024||$2350 USD||Available||Book Now|
|3 May 2024||18 May 2024||$2350 USD||Available||Book Now|
|2 Aug 2024||17 Aug 2024||$2350 USD||Available||Book Now|
|13 Sep 2024||28 Sep 2024||$2350 USD||Available||Book Now|
|8 Oct 2024||23 Oct 2024||$2350 USD||Available||Book Now|
|1 Nov 2024||16 Nov 2024||$2350 USD||Available||Book Now|
|19 Dec 2024||3 Jan 2025||$2350 USD||Available||Book Now|
- Day 1 :Arrive Kathmandu
- Day 2 :Half day Kathmandu Historical Tour
- Day 3 :Drive to Besisahar (5-6 hrs; 176 km; 760 m)
- Day 4 :Drive from Besisahar to Chame (5hrs; 66 km; 2650 m)
- Day 5 :Trek from Chame to Upper Pisang (6-7 hrs; 14.5 km; 3310 m)
- Day 6 :Trek from Upper Pisang to Manang (8-9 hrs; 19 km; 3540 m)
- Day 7 :Rest day at Manang
- Day 8 :Trek from Manang to Tilicho Lake Base Camp/Tilicho Phedi (6-7 hrs; 15 km; 4150m)
- Day 9 :Excursion to Tilicho Lake (6 hrs; 10 km; 4918 m)
- Day 10 :Trek from Tilicho Base Camp to Yak kharka (5-6 hrs; 13km; 4050 m)
- Day 11 :Trek from Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi (6-7 hrs; 6 km; 4525 m)
- Day 12 :Trek from Thorong Phedi to Muktinath across the Thorong-La Pass (8-9 hrs; 16 km; 3,800 m)
- Day 13 :Drive from Muktinath to Tatopani (1190m | 65km; 3-4 hrs)
- Day 14 :Drive from Tatopani to Pokhara (103km; 4-5 hrs)
- Day 15 :Early afternoon flight to Kathmandu (25 min). Rest of the day at leisure and farewell dinner with KWN
- Day 16 :End of program: Departure
Notes This Itinerary can be changed by your group leader depending upon the client's fitness and weather conditions, your safety and staff safety is our primary concern.
Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu
Our representative will pick you up at Kathmandu International Airport and drive you to your hotel. Depending upon what time you arrive, you can enjoy a full day at leisure and join us on a welcome dinner with the KEEP WALKING FAMILY.
Look out for the KEEP WALKING NEPAL board behind the railing once you exit the airport terminal.
Overnight in Hotel Tibet (D)
Day 2: Half day Kathmandu Historical Tour
After breakfast we will experience the 2 most important sanctuaries of the Kathmandu Valley: Pashupatinath, Boudhanath and Swayambhunath.
Pashupati is the most important Hindu site in Nepal. Dedicated to lord Shiva, the fierce god appears there in his benevolent aspect of Pashupati. A holy place often compared to Varanasi (in India), the last rites of Hindus are carried out on the banks of Bagmati river.
Boudhanath is the largest Stupa in Asia. In the bygone days caravans after crossing the Himalayas arrived at the Stupa to thank lord Buddha when the trip went well. The eyes of the Buddha painted at the four cardinal points cast an observant gaze on men and their actions.
Overnight at Hotel Tibet (B)
Day 3: Drive to Besisahar (5-6 hrs; 176 km; 760 m)
You will start early today for the beginning of the trek.
You will drive with your guide and trek crew to Besisahar after an early breakfast. The drive is scenic along the beautiful hills of Nepal. Exiting Kathmandu at the Nagdhunga checkpoint, you will drive on the Prithvi Highway to Dumre from whence you will follow the Marsyangdi River to Besisahar (760m), a small town which is the capital of Lamjung district. On clear days one can see Lamjung Himal from north of Besishahar.
The drive takes about 6 hours and we have the rest of the day at leisure to explore the town.
Overnight at local lodge in Besisahar (B,L,D)
Day 4: Drive from Besisahar to Chame (5hrs; 66 km; 2650 m)
The road from Besisahar to Chame is mostly off-road and bumpy but saves you from 3 days of hike on the dusty road.
The windy uphill road goes along the Marshyangdi river until you get to Chame. 2 hours into the drive you will reach Boong waterfall at Chyamche, a must stop for a great view with a hot drink in the opposite tea house.
The terrain and the ethnicity of the locals significantly change as you ascend further into the Marshyangdi river valley.
Overnight at local lodge in Chame (B,L,D)
Day 5: Trek from Chame to Upper Pisang (6-7 hrs; 14.5 km; 3310 m)
You will be rewarded with a stunning view of the towering Lamjung Himal (6893m) in the morning as you prepare for your actual first day of trek.
Views are plentiful today; snow-capped peaks stand tall above the rushing turquoise river while you are surrounded by pine forests. Furthermore, you will truly begin to appreciate how truly amazing how quickly the landscape changes with an increase in elevation.
Bhratang, a small village on the trail, is famous for its apples. The weather and soil are perfect for apple orchards even in frosty winters. As you leave the orchard village, the valley changes from a V-shape to a gentle U-shape while the Annapurna mountain range rears up.
You will keep on ascending along the Marshyangdi river to Dhukur Pokhari where one of the most iconic views awaits you; Paungda Danda a.k.a. Swarga Dwari (the gateway to heaven). The mountain’s smooth western face, also known as the Great Wall of Pisang, is composed of slate rock and formed as a result of an ancient lakebed being uplifted during the creation of the Himalayas. Locals believe that it is a gateway to heaven, where the souls will climb up to reach their final destination.
Moving on, you will cross a suspension bridge and gradually ascend to Upper Pisang. You can visit the newly built gompa and a 250-year-old gompa. The thin dry mountain air with superb mountain views, while refreshing, can leave you breathless at times.
Overnight at a local lodge in Upper Pisang (B,L,D)
Day 6: Trek from Upper Pisang to Manang (8-9 hrs; 19 km; 3540 m)
Depending upon the weather, you will most probably wake up to a beautiful view of Lamjung Himal on the left and Tilicho Peak on the right and the Annapurna range farther below.
The region above Upper Pisang is dry as the monsoon clouds are cut off by the Annapurna Range. Also called Trans-Himalaya, the area receives almost no rain.
From Upper Pisang there are two trails, north and south of the Marsyangdi Khola, which meet up again at Mungji. You will take the northern trail for spectacular mountain views. The first stretch to Ghyaru is quite steep and draining but rewarding at the same time as the high mountains seem close. A beautiful lake on the trail is an added bonus.
From Ghyaru till Ngawal, the trail connects with the dirt road at times but the stretch isn’t too long. From Ngawal onward the landscape changes drastically with views of massive high rock formations and desert-like landscapes.
From Mungji, the trail continues past the picturesque but partially hidden village of Braga at 3475m to nearby Manang at 3500m.
Overnight at local lodge in Manang (B,L,D)
Day 7: Rest day at Manang
Today we spend acclimatizing to get used to the altitude by visiting the Prakenn Gompa in the morning.
Prakenn Gompa (3945m) is hidden in the mountain wall and offers wonderful views of the village in the valley along with the Annapurna IV, Annapurna II, Gangapurna, and Tarke Kang as the backdrop.
Rest of the afternoon is at leisure. We suggest you visit the old city of Manang in the afternoon.
Overnight at local lodge in Manang (B,L,D)
Day 8: Trek from Manang to Tilicho Lake Base Camp/Tilicho Phedi (6-7 hrs; 15 km; 4150m)
After breakfast in Manang, you and your rested muscles will begin your hike to Tilicho Lake Base Camp along the trail headed for Tilicho Lake. The path heads out of Manang through the western gates high above Margsyandi River through Khangsar Khola Valley with views of Annapurna II.
Once you cross the Khangsar Khola on the suspension bridge, you’ll ascend to the nice Tibetan-style village of Khangsar accompanied by magnificent views of the canyon and a rare view of the elusive Kang Guru peak.
After some tea, you’ll continue trekking along a wide new path until you get to Tare Gompa and climb towards a high ridge and ascend to another steep ridge. You’ll eventually reach a scenic valley and then cross a little stream putting you at Tilicho Base Camp.
Overnight at local lodge in Tilicho Lake Base Camp (B,L,D)
Day 9: Excursion to Tilicho Lake (6 hrs; 10 km; 4918 m)
Today, you’ll start with an early breakfast before a nice roundtrip loop to Tilicho Lake in the Manang district. It takes about 3 hours to get to this clear body of bright turquoise water, and one of the highest lakes in the world. You’ll hike through high alpine landscapes with plenty of snow-covered rocks—a striking contrast against the vibrant hue of the lake.
Have lunch and take your time to enjoy the lakeside surroundings before returning to base camp for the night.
Overnight at local lodge in Tilicho Lake Base Camp (B,L,D)
Day 10: Trek from Tilicho Base Camp to Yak kharka (5-6 hrs; 13km; 4050 m)
After breakfast at base camp, you’ll follow a gently winding trail high above Khangsar village with more views of the Himalayan giants as you pass through juniper bushes and the ruins of old Khangsar. From here, follow an unmarked trail which leads you down to an old log bridge between Gumsang and Yak Kharka, an area where yak herders bring their animals to graze.
Overnight at local lodge in Yak Kharka (B,L,D)
Day 11: Trek from Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi (6-7 hrs; 6 km; 4525 m)
Today’s scenic trek starts with breakfast in Yak Kharka before you take a slow, gradual climb towards your overnight location. You’ll hike up a ridge and then descend to the Marsyangdi where you’ll cross the river on a covered wooden bridge that leads to a small tea shop.
After a short ascent up the mountain path on the right bank, you’ll follow a narrow trail and then trek down to Thorung Phedi. You can choose to spend your afternoon either hiking up to the lodge at High Camp for some acclimatization or rest at the tea house.
Overnight at tea house in Thorung Phedi (B,L,D)
Day 12: Trek from Thorong Phedi to Muktinath across the Thorong-La Pass (8-9 hrs; 16 km; 3,800 m)
Today begins at sunrise as this is the longest and hardest day of the trek as you start off with a 4 hr ascend to Thorung-La pass at 5400 m. At the pass, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views over Mustang and Kaligandaki valleys, the surrounding peaks, and a sweeping panorama of snow-capped mountains extending towards Tibet.
The descent is almost as demanding as the ascent, and you will stop for some tea en-route.
You will continue on a long, grassy slope through a series of switchbacks towards the lower Mustang and head back to the serene village of Muktinath. This important pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Hindus is surrounded by rugged mountains with unparalleled views of Dhaulagiri—the world’s 7th highest peak.
Overnight at a local lodge in Ranipauwa (B,L,D)
Day 13: Drive from Muktinath to Tatopani (1190m | 65km; 3-4 hrs)
If you’ve skipped visiting the Muktinath temple yesterday, we suggest an early morning, pre-breakfast, visit to the temple. You can also visit the nearby Jwala Mai Temple where an eternal flame burns below the ground in the temple complex. It is believed that Jwala Mai Temple is the only place on earth to host all five elements; fire, water, sky, earth and air – the elements which make up all material things in the universe.
After the morning excursion, if you’ve gone for one, you will return back to the hotel for a hearty breakfast following which you will bid farewell to the mountains. Driving south on a scenic route along the Kali Gandaki river through the settlements of Jomsom, Marpha, Tukuche and quaint little villages you will eventually arrive at Tatopani. Along the way, Annpurna and Dhaulagiri will keep you company. You can stop and visit the apple orchards at Marpha and get to know more about the Thakali people indigenous to the region.
Tatopani literally translates to ‘hot-water’ and the village is named so for its natural hot water spring. Locals and pilgrims visit the spring as it is said to prevent skin and bone diseases.
Overnight at a local lodge in Jomsom (B,L,D)
Day 14: Drive from Tatopani to Pokhara (103km; 4-5 hrs)
You will leave Tatopani after breakfast and drive west through lush landscapes and small villages while enjoying views of the Kali Gandaki River. Driving past the villages of Beni and the settlement of you will eventually arrive at Pokhara; the city of lakes.
The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. You can treat yourselves at the restaurants, cafes and spas available at the city.
Overnight at a lakeside hotel in Pokhara (B)
Day 15: Early afternoon flight to Kathmandu (25 min). Rest of the day at leisure and farewell dinner with KWN
You will catch an early afternoon flight to Kathmandu where you can rest at the hotel or go for some souvenir hunting.
In the evening, KWN family invites you for a farewell dinner celebrating your successful trek.
Overnight in Hotel Tibet (B,D)
Day 16: End of program: Departure
An office representative will drive you to the Kathmandu International Airport 3 hrs prior to the scheduled flight time.
- All airport pick ups and drops
- Half day Kathmandu sightseeing with tour guide
- 3 night hotel in Tibet Kathmandu on BB | 1 night hotel in Pokhara on BB
- All local transportation as per as itinerary
- Private transfer from Kathmandu to Besisahar and from Besisahar to Chame
- Private transfer from Muktinath to Tatopani and from Tatopani to Pokhara
- Flights: Pokhara – Kathmandu
- Food and accommodation during the trek
- All permits & entrance fees as per program (unless mentioned otherwise)
- Sleeping Bag, Down jacket and Kit bag
- Guide and porter
- Staff insurance
- Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara (except when mentioned)
- Visa fee
- Travel insurance
- Any kind of alcoholic drinks, drinking water, cold drinks, laundry, phone call
- Tips for guide, porter and driver
Best SeasonMarch, April, October
Difficulty LevelModerate to Challenging
Group Size2-14 pax persons