The Annapurna region in Nepal is renowned for its breathtaking natural scenery and offers a variety of trekking tours and travel packages to explore the area.
If you’re planning to trek in the region and looking for package deals, here are a few popular options:
Top 12 Annapurna Trekking Tours and Holiday Packages
What makes trekking tours in the Annapurna region so special?
Nepal boasts eight of the ten highest mountains on earth, along with the most diverse landscapes. Thus, trekking in Nepal is a truly unique experience of exploring the high Himalayas on foot.
As you stroll past secluded settlements, fairy-tale woods, and wilderness split by flowing rivers, while the blue-hued peaks of the base camp sparkle under the twilight, take in the breathtaking diversity of the Himalayan scenery!
You could even show up in Kathmandu with no prior arrangements and begin traveling to untamed and high regions that most people would never dare to explore in just a few days. That being said, a trek to Annapurna is worth all your sweat and heartburn.
Annapurna has a majestic ambiance with picturesque sights and hospitable people. It’s time for you to experience the tale, see the heavenly beauty yourself, and feel the utmost bliss of nature with the best Annapurna treks and tour packages.
The trek you are about to embark on is considered one of the most popular treks in the world. Not only that, a notable feature of this Annapurna trekking journey is the breathtaking views of the highest mountains. Some of them include:
- Annapurna I – 8,091 meters (26,545 feet)
- Dhaulagiri – 8,167 meters (26,795 feet)
- Manaslu – 8,163 meters (26,781 feet)
- Annapurna II – 7,937 meters (26,040 feet)
- Annapurna III – 7,555 meters (24,787 feet)
- Gangapurna – 7,455 meters (24,457 feet)
- Annapurna IV – 7,525 meters (24,688 feet)
- Tilicho Peak – 7,134 meters (23,405 feet)
Along with the highest peaks, the cultural village route to Annapurna is a thrilling journey. Then, the hot springs, the charming agricultural communities, the Buddhist and Hindu temples, and the deep, dramatic gorges are altogether an acme creation of nature.
Still, have doubts about the experiences you will have? You should at least try one of the above Annapurna trekking tours or packages. You’ll have no regrets.
Annapurna Trekking Route
Annapurna trekking tours take place in the Annapurna region and circle the entire Annapurna massif, including Annapurna I–IV. The trek includes climbing the Thorang La Pass, which stands at an elevation of 5,416 m. Witnessing the sunrise over the Himalayas from Poon Hill is a breathtaking experience.
Additionally, the trek includes a visit to a significant Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage site, the holy Muktinath Temple, and walking along the edge of the world’s deepest gorge, the Kaligandaki Gorge.
To top it all, a dip in Tatopani’s hot springs offers the perfect opportunity to rejuvenate. The Annapurna Trek has it all, offering a truly unforgettable experience.
Furthermore, some famous cultural districts like Manang, Myagdi, Lamjung, and Mustang fall inside the Annapurna Conservation Area. So, while embarking on any of the trekking holidays in the Annapurna region, one can also witness Nepali households, culture, and hospitality.
Some of the famous Annapurna trekking holidays include the Annapurna Circuit Trek, the Annapurna Panorama Trek, the Annapurna Base Camp Short Trek, the Ghorepani Poon Hill Luxury Trek, Mardi Himal Trekking, and many more. Each one of them is equally riveting.
Among all, the Annapurna Circuit is the most popular, and the trail length covers an overall distance of 160 to 230 kilometers. The first destination is Besisahar, which can be accessed from Kathmandu following a seven-hour trip. After Besisahar, you travel through forests, stupas, monasteries, lakes, cliffs, suspension bridges, waterfalls, and the world’s deepest canyon.
The trek also covers a wide variety of climate zones, from the tropics at 600 meters above sea level to the arctic at 5,416 meters at the Thorang La pass. Due to the Tibetan culture of the Manang Valley and lower Mustang, the Annapurna Circuit has frequently been chosen as the best long-distance trek in the world.
Annapurna Trekking Permits
Contrary to popular belief, trekking in the Annapurna region does not necessarily mean traveling alone through the undiscovered wilderness. One needs to acquire the permits to join any Annapurna trekking tours or holiday packages.
Initially, anyone coming to Nepal for trekking purposes must obtain 2 major permits: the Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) and the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP).
The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) established TIMS to ensure the security and safety of trekkers in Nepal.
Secondly, a trekker must obtain an ACAP permit to hike in the Annapurna area. It is an entry permit implemented by the government of Nepal and the National Trust for Nature Conservation. Since the Nepali districts of Manang, Myagdi, Lamjung, and Mustang are home to the Conservation Area, it is crucial to ensure the safety of both the residents and the conservation areas.
Annapurna Treks and Tour Highlights
The Annapurna region of Nepal offers some of the most breathtaking trekking opportunities, unique cultural experiences, and beautiful mountain scenery anywhere. Here are some highlights of Annapurna trekking tours.
- Exploring the Annapurna Massif (Annapurna I–IV) and other peaks such as Manaslu, Gangapurna, Tilicho Peak, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Pisang Peak, and Paungda Danda.
- Visiting the sacred temples and monasteries of Buddhists and Hindus, including the holy Muktinath Temple.
- Experiencing natural hot springs in Tatopani, where you may opt to dip in them.
- Walking through the yak pastures.
- Exploring the flora and fauna of the extreme climate in Annapurna.
- Tour the delightful Manang neighborhood and visit the hospitable Nepalese.
- Visiting breathtaking waterfalls, the world’s deepest canyon, and exquisite lakes such as Phewa Lakes, Tilicho, and more.
- Enjoying a relaxing boat ride around Phewa Lake and admiring the snow-capped Himalayas or scheduling a soothing massage to revive your heavy legs.
- Trekking through the Rhododendron Forests, hills, and mountain passes.
- Exploring local bazaars and markets with a glimpse of daily village lifestyle.
- Witnessing glittering sunrises and sunsets in the Annapurna mountains.
- Experiencing local culture, traditions, and hospitality of local people, including the Gurung community.
The Annapurna treks and excursions have many highlights, but these are only a few. The area provides a wide variety of treks and trips to suit various interests, time constraints, and fitness levels.
Food and Drink Options on Annapurna Trekking Tours
Most settlements along the trail have teahouses that offer simple Nepali dishes such as Dal Bhat (rice and lentils), Thukpa (Tibetan noodle soup), and Momos (Tibetan dumplings).
For a nutritious diet during the Annapurna Trek, one can try Tibetan bread with honey and butter, Momo, potato pancakes, Thukpa, and Sherpa stew. Tea is the most popular beverage during treks around Annapurna, and tea shops sell a variety of teas, including herbal, green, and black tea. While most larger teahouses also serve coffee, it is usually not as good as tea.
Apart from teahouses, one can find lodges as the second type of dining establishment. These are more substantial businesses that offer a wider range of goods and services than teahouses. Some of the major communities along the trail, such as Manang and Muktinath, have such lodges.
How hard is trekking to Annapurna?
An Annapurna trekking tour, including the Annapurna Circuit Trek, may not be as difficult as it appears. However, the level of difficulty varies based on the trekker’s fitness, health, and experience. Most treks, including the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, can be completed by beginner-level hikers, with a few exceptions such as the Annapurna Circuit and Tilicho Lake. But with proper acclimatization, it won’t be challenging.
The major concern while hiking to high-altitude regions in Annapurna is altitude sickness. Sometimes, it may be challenging for you to walk for up to 7 hours a day at elevations exceeding 4000 meters. Therefore, having adequate knowledge of altitude sickness and ways to avoid it is essential.
Please note that this excursion may run under a modified schedule during high-risk weather conditions, given the nature of outdoor travel. Hence, it is crucial to be in good health and fitness, which requires preparation before your trip to ensure that you are adequately prepared.
The guesthouses where you will spend the night will be basic but equipped with the necessary facilities. There is access to WiFi and electricity, but they can be unreliable and may be cut off at any time due to the location.
Overall, trekking in the Annapurna region varies from easy beginner-level hikes to challenging, strenuous treks. Although challenging, every trek will be rewarding in terms of scenery, views, and experiences.
Available Accommodations in the Annapurna Region
Teahouses are the first go-to option during any of the treks in the Annapurna region. They are modest inns that offer trekkers simple lodging and meals.
For hikers, these modest, family-run establishments offer simple lodging and meals. There are rooms attached to bathrooms in the lower belt, but as you go higher, you will have shared rooms with two beds, shared bathrooms, and a communal dining area.
All required dining and staying-in facilities are covered by the teahouses. They offer local cuisine and other basic amenities. Indeed, the local cuisine served by them will be rich in nutrition and could charge your body for the hours-long hike.
Then, you could discover some more comfortable lodges around Manang, Mustang, Jomsom, and some parts of Annapurna, which could offer you a lot of services for lodging and dining. They offer private rooms with attached bathrooms and additional amenities such as a hot shower and wifi. For anyone trekking on the Annapurna Trail, these lodges will rejuvenate them with nutritious diets.
Is there WiFi and electricity in Annapurna?
Yes, there are wifi and electricity facilities in the Annapurna region, but they can be limited. The availability of such facilities depends on the trekking lodges where you stay while on the hike. While the area is connected to the national electricity grid, power outages can occur.
Most teahouses have electricity, but it may only be available for certain hours during the day or night. Similarly, wifi is available in most accommodations, but reliability and quality can be an issue. The accommodation in the Annapurna region is quite modest and has only basic amenities. Access to electrical outlets for charging gadgets may not always be free and may sometimes cost extra. The same goes for wifi connections.
Hot water may not always be provided in the accommodations.
Generally, the most convenient way to reach the starting points of most treks in the Annapurna region is to travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Pokhara serves as the starting point for many treks in the Annapurna area, and there are both road and air transportation options available to reach Pokhara.
One exception is the Annapurna Circuit Trek, which begins in Besisahar and can be accessed by driving or taking a helicopter.
Within the region, there are public transportation options available along the road from Muktinath to Tatopani. Likewise, private transportation can be used to access Nayapul, Ulleri, and Birethanti from Pokhara.
Annapurna Trekking Season
The two main seasons for Annapurna trekking tours are spring and autumn. Spring usually starts in mid-February and lasts until mid-May, while autumn begins in September and lasts until late November.
Visiting the Annapurna region during these peak seasons has many benefits, including good weather and comfortable temperatures. During these times, the weather is usually cool, with clear skies and little to no precipitation. This makes it the most suitable time for trekking, as the weather is not too hot or too cold.
Annapurna Trekking Cost
The cost of an Annapurna trekking tour varies depending on several factors, such as the services included, the choice of hotel or lodge, the mode of transport used, and the trekking agency. Generally, the cost of Annapurna trekking includes accommodation, transportation, meals, guides, porters, and other miscellaneous expenses.
To begin trekking in Nepal and the Annapurna region, one must first get two permits: TIMS and ACAP.
The price per individual for TIMS is as follows:
- Nationals of SAARC: 600 NPR or approximately $6 (may be subject to change).
- All other nationalities: NPR 2,000, around $20 (may be subject to change)
For foreign trekkers, the fee to enter the Annapurna Conservation Area, or ACAP is as follows:
- Nationals of SAARC: NPR 200, or almost $2 (may be subject to change).
- Other nationalities: an average of NPR 3,000 or $30 (may be subject to change).
Individual trekkers under 10 years of age do not need to purchase the ACAP permit.
In addition to the permit fees, trekkers must pay for lodging and accommodations at the teahouses during the trek. Meals will be an additional cost on top of accommodation. Furthermore, trekkers will need a guide or a travel agency to support them during the journey, which will require payment. While transportation is sometimes covered by the agencies, if it is not, trekkers will need to pay for all transportation services required to reach the Annapurna region for the trek.
If trekkers visit different heritage sites, entry fees and additional transportation costs may apply.
It is important to prepare for the journey with all possible costs in mind and to decide on a budget before embarking on the trip.
Top 9 Travel Tips for Annapurna Trekking Tours
- Prepare physically: Excellent health and fitness are essential, so you should exercise in the weeks leading up to your trip to ensure that you are adequately prepared.
- Choose the best season: The best seasons to go for Annapurna Treks and Tours are March, April, May, September, October, November, and December (preferably cold).
- Verify Transport Options: Determine the available means of transportation and all viable options.
- Plan your budget: Make sure your budget covers all expenses for the tour and trek.
- Get permits: Ensure that you have obtained both necessary permits.
- Don’t keep expectations: Don’t expect luxury hotels and accommodations.
- Acclimatize: Make sure to include acclimatization days when you are trekking to any high-altitude region in the Annapurna area.
- Pack the right gear: Don’t overpack. Ensure that you have only the necessary items of clothing, sanitary items, and toiletries.
How long does the Annapurna Circuit Trek take?
The length of the Annapurna Circuit Trek varies depending on the starting and ending points and the route taken, but on average, it is around 260 kilometers. The trek can be completed in 10 to 21 days, depending on the pace and level of fitness of the trekkers.
What are some tips for preparing for Annapurna trekking tours?
To prepare for the varied terrain of Annapurna, it is recommended to walk or run daily before the trek begins. It’s also important to book with a reputable trekking agency to ensure safety and support during the trek.
Is altitude sickness a concern during Annapurna trek?
Altitude sickness is a concern for those trekking to higher elevations, such as base camp or Thorang La Pass. It is important to acclimate properly to avoid altitude sickness.
Are food and water easily accessible during Annapurna Trek?
Food and water are readily available at tea houses and lodges along the trekking route. However, it’s recommended to carry a sleeping bag for accommodation.
Is there access to banks and ATMs along the Annapurna Trekking Route?
Banks and ATMs are available in cities such as Pokhara and Besisahar, but not in the higher elevations of the trekking route.
Is travel insurance necessary for Annapurna Trekking Tours?
Travel insurance is highly recommended for trekking in the remote and high-altitude environment of Annapurna. Medical emergencies may require costly transport by helicopter, and travel insurance can provide financial coverage for such situations.
Watch a complete Annapurna Base Camp trek video.