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Annapurna Circuit trek is one of those journeys that combines the natural and human elements of the hills of Nepal in the most ideal manner possible. The trek is pleasant and adventurous at the same time. It is for a reason that the journey is one of the most popular ones in Nepal.
Annapurna Circuit Trek is probably the best way to explore the entire Annapurna region. In one go, you can enjoy all the features that it has to offer. Altogether, Annapurna Circuit Trek is a 13 days long journey, which is a shorter version of the trek. There is also a longer version of the trek available, which lasts for 22 days. As per your interest, you could go to anyone of them.
The significant places that you’ll cover during the journey are Manang, Pisang, Dharapani, and so on. The entire journey takes place inside the Annapurna Conservation Area premises. It happens to be the largest and probably the richest protected area in Nepal. Another significant attraction that you’d come across during the trek is Muktinath Temple. It is a pilgrimage site significant for both Hindus and Buddhists.
In the same way, Jomsom Nepal happens to be one of the most beautiful towns that you cover during the trip. Finally, the attraction that is both beautiful and adds a certain amount of difficulty to the trip is Thorung La Pass. Quite dangerous to cross, it is a mountain pass situated at an elevation of 5545 m.
Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of those trekking journeys that are full of hidden attractions and side trek possibilities. It’s near impossible to cover all of these features by sticking to the main route. Provided that you’re interested to visit these places, it is recommended that you get your hands on the Annapurna Circuit trek map. The map gives you every bit of information that you need to need to know about the region, including the attractions and the difficulties. You will be able to better prepare for the journey with an Annapurna Circuit trek map in your possession.
The Nepal Government has made it mandatory for the trekkers to be accompanied by an Annapurna Circuit trek guide when they go for the Annapurna Circuit trek. This decision has been made considering the well being of the trekkers. Needless to say that the guide won’t just help you stay on the track, but on top of that, he will also make your journey quite pleasant and full of fun. He will give you all the details about the attractions that you come across, and the necessary tips that will make your trip easy. A guide can prove to be your best friend on the trek.
Considering the elevation covered during the journey, the length of the trek, the terrain that the trekkers walk on, and the weather, Annapurna Circuit trek difficulty level can be marked at tough. It is one of those journeys in Nepal that is recommended to only the experienced trekkers. Without a doubt, the difficulties that the trekkers face on the trip have an active role in making the trek even more exciting.
Since the trek doesn’t cover Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp altitude, or Annapurna Base Camp height, has the least to do with the difficulty level of the trek. Annapurna Circuit trek has everything that a decent trek has to offer, and more. Since it has a difficulty factor to it, the trip may not be ideal for everyone. However, if you’re someone who loves exciting treks, well, Annapurna Circuit trek can prove to be the ideal journey for you.
Great Nepal Treks offers some of the most amazing trekking and expedition packages in Nepal, and one of them happens to be the Annapurna Circuit trek. The agency also offers luxury tour packages with features such as helicopter tours, jungle safari, food and cultural tour, bird watching, and so on. Their itineraries cover exciting tourist destinations in countries like Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet. Contact Great Nepal treks if you’re looking to spend your upcoming holidays in these places and try out these interesting activities.
You will be welcomed by a Great Nepal Representative at the airport. From there, you will be transferred to the hotel. Freshen up and meet the representatives once again to get the brief about the trekking itinerary. In your free time, you can stroll around the capital city of Kathmandu. Overnight in a hotel in Kathmandu.
After your breakfast,drive to to Syange (1100m/3608 ft). Pass through the scenic villages and the rivers along the Prithvi Highway to get to Syange. Enjoy the green hills, rivers, and every other thing you see during the drive. Also, get several opportunities to look at the high peaks of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Machhapuchhre. Among such peaks, you will also have the chance to encounter the cultural diversity of the region. Overnight in a tea house in Syange.
Once you finish your yummy breakfast, you will be on the trail to make it to Dharapani. You will be crossing a bridge near Tal. Enjoy the views of waterfalls and the barley fields on the trail. Also, pass one of the biggest villages in the Manang valley, the Kodo village before you reach Dharapani, your today’s destination. Overnight in a tea house in Dharapani.
Don’t forget your camera as the high peaks of Lamjung, Annapurna II, and Annapurna IV will be far-off watching you in the eyes. As for today’s highlight, it is the hot springs at Tatopani. So, relax and enjoy your time at Tatopani. Some while later, make way for the Chame Village. Overnight in a tea house in Chame.
Today, you will be walking through the steep trails and narrow valleys to get the views of the Paungda Danda Rock Face and its stunning surroundings. An eye-pleasing view of the Annapurna II to the south and Pisang Peak to the northeast will take your breath away. Overnight in a tea house in Pisang.
In the 6th day, you will have to walk through the Upper Pisang via Geru. This trail will provide amazing views of the Annapurna, Pisang, and other peaks. The climate will be gradually getting cold and dry till you reach Manang. You will be visiting Barge Monastery, one of the biggest monasteries in the Manang District. Overnight in a tea house in Manang.
It a day to get some rest. Familiarize with the altitude where you are and be prepared for the next day’s long trek. So, today you will be just doing a short hike. You will get plenty of time to explore the Manang Valley. Overnight in a tea house in Manang.
Today you will be walking through streams and small rivers. Look at the small flat mud roofed houses in the small village of Ghunsa. Also, pass through an ancient Mani wall and the green pastures along the trail to Yak Kharka. Overnight in a tea house in Yak Kharka.
In this day of the trek, you will be crossing over several suspension bridges to reach the Thorung Phedi. The Phedi is lying at the laps of the Thorung La Pass. Get the best views of Mt. Gundang, Mt. Syagang, Thorung Peak, and Mt. Khatungkan along the trail. Overnight in a tea house in Thorung Phedi.
Today is the day you will be crossing one of the highest passes of the region, the Thorong La pass. Head towards Muktinath temple, one of the most sacred temples for both Buddhists and Hindus, after crossing the pass. Then you will be driving to Jomsom to end the day. Overnight in a tea house in Jomsom.
We have an early flight today to Pokhara. Enjoy your flight as it is arguably one of the best mountain flights in Nepal. Once you reach Pokhara, you can get plenty of time to rest or walk around the Phewa Lake. Also, you can shop for memoirs if you want. Overnight in a hotel in Pokhara.
Today, you will return to the Kathmandu Valley by a tourist bus. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be guided back to your hotel. Freshen up and stroll around the Kathmandu Valley for souvenirs. Later, in the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at a Nepalese Restaurant. Overnight in a hotel in Kathmandu.
Your Trip to Nepal ends. A Great Nepal representative will guide you to the airport some 3 hours before the flight. Have a safe journey ahead.
You will be staying in 3-star hotels (as mentioned in itinerary) while you are in Kathmandu and Pokhara. While visiting the rural areas, especially high altitudes, you will be staying in teahouses. It is important to note that teahouses are small lodges run by locals and are a very popular type of accommodation in high altitudes and rural areas. They tend to be quite on the cheaper side and only offer limited services. It is important to be open-minded and not expect all the services you get in city areas. The rooms are typically small with twin beds, a clean blanket, a pillow, and a bedsheet.
Normally people tend to carry their own sleeping bags for sanitary reasons. The only area, that is usually heated is the dining area, so be ready to face some cold night. Toilets in teahouses are typical squat-style and are very small but clean. Likewise, hot water is not available, but you can easily get some for a small fee. If you have any other questions related to accommodation, food, and other details during your visit to Nepal, you can always contact our operators who are available 24X7 at your service.
To enable all trekking & expedition members to acclimatize well and hence maximize their chances of success, our trekking & expedition programs are prepared with sufficient time for acclimatization. Adaptation to the altitude takes time and there can be no short-cuts, even if supplementary oxygen is used in the final stages. The atmospheric pressure at the base camp is half of that at the sea level. A thorough program of acclimatization is built into the itinerary which consists of regulated height ascents, followed by descents and rests before the final ascent to the summit. Yes it is very important for all trekkers and climbers because this will prevent the climbers to get rid from altitude sickness.
Although our guides from Great Nepal Treks carry first aid medical kit, it is better to carry a supply of first aid items for your own personal use according to your health conditions. Here are the list of some general as well as some special medications you may require:
– Antiseptic cream (Betadine)
– Sunblock SPF 30+
– Throat lozenges
– Painkillers and anti-inflammatory such as Aspirin, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen etc.
– Band-aids, bandage, compression bandage and ‘Second Skin’ for blisters
– Re-hydration salts. (Trioral, Electrobin, Oral Rehydrating Salt)
– Dextrose glucose tablets
– Water treatment tablets
– Your prescription medications
– Antibiotics for longer climbing and expedition style trips
You will be affected by high altitude problems if it is your fist trip at a high altitude. The altitude has some important beneficial effects on the human body and your trips have been designed to enable these. Please familiarize yourself with the information on AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) and understand how to avoid it and read on benefits of high altitude and take advantage of these to improve your body’s metabolism.
Altitude sickness is the reaction of the body adjusting to decreasing amounts of oxygen. The high altitude slowly decreases the flow of oxygen means the higher you climb, the flow of oxygen is very thin resulting the malfunction of body. Altitude sickness most commonly occurs from above 2,800 meters (9,200ft) but this is different for everyone – there is simply no way of knowing your own susceptibility prior to being at altitude thus it is vital for you to monitor your own health. AMS occurs when the body is unable to adopt at the higher altitude having less amount of oxygen. At an altitude of 5490m (18000 ft.), the oxygen availability becomes just the half of the availability at sea level. While only a third of oxygen is available at the summit of Mt. Everest. Symptoms may be mild and subside/go away after a day’s rest, or if it is ignored it could lead to death.
Symptoms can appear within 1-2 hours although most often appear 6-10 hours after ascent and generally subside in 1-2 days as the body adjusts to altitude. They may reappear as you continue to go higher. Symptoms of AMS usually occur gradually and can be one or a combination of the following:
• Headache: Due to the less amount of oxygen in air, the blood influences the blood vessels to spread wide in order to supply more oxygen to the brain and which cause them to show the early symptom of AMS.
• Dopiness: The trekkers or climbers feel very sleepy but could not.
• Shortness of breath: The breathing pattern changes as the breathing becomes faster and deeper than normal in order to get enough oxygen and rapid pulse
• Loss of appetite and nausea: Despite of physical exercise, the trekkers don’t have an appetite to eat.
High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE)
If one accumulates of fluid in the lungs and mild fever then, there is a chance of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). The filling of fluid in the lungs is Pulmonary Edema. The fluid blocks the passage of fresh oxygen to get into the lungs which causes the shortage of oxygen. Though the exact reason for the HAPE has not been identified, scientists think that pressure of blood vessel around the lungs is directly proportional to the altitude. As a result the smaller blood vessels leak allowing the fluid to escape to the lungs. The treatment for the HAPE victims is to give the oxygen at the rate of 4 liters a minute, using Portable Altitude Chamber (PAC). In case of unavailability of PAC bag or oxygen, one is taken down to the low altitude which is the only way of life-saving. HAPE can also lead to unconsciousness which may also results to death in a short period of time.
High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE)
HACE is the accumulation of fluid in the brain due of the swollen blood vessels to the brain. HACE is also seen within a couple of hours and can send the patient to coma and take his/her life in just few hours likewise to HAPE. The excessive flow of blood to the brain due to the low-level oxygen causes vasodilation which eventually leads to leakage of blood vessels to the brain. A 4 to 8mg of dexamethasone is given as a first dose to those who suffer from such sickness and then 4mg Diamox is given an every six hours gap. Similarly, 2-4 liters/minute oxygen is given and one is taken to down if it is necessary.
– A dry cough, developing to a wet one with blood-tinged discharge or saliva
– Tightness in the chest & blueness/darkness of face, lips & tongue
– Low fever up to 38°C/100°F
– Severe fatigue, progressing to coma
– Severe headache symptoms not relieved by painkillers or lying down
– Confusion, disorientation & drowsiness
– Loss of balance or coordination
– Blurred or double vision/retinal hemorrhage
Certain medical conditions (such as respiratory disease) or medications (such as sleeping pills) can increase the risk of altitude sickness – it is important that you inform your guide of any medical conditions or medications before ascending to altitude. You can help your body to acclimatize and avoid altitude sickness by:
– Avoiding alcohol, tobacco and substances that can interfere with good delivery of oxygen to the body or cause dehydration
– Eating small, frequent meals high in carbohydrates
– Drinking plenty of water – the test of sufficient amount of water intake is ability to urinate colorless urine
– Taking it easy or have a rest. Walk at a slower pace than you would at sea level and avoid over-exertion
– Climb the mountain gradually and stop for a day or two of rest for every 600m/2000ft above 2,400m/8000ft
– Climb high but Sleep at a lower altitude if possible
– Learn how to recognize early symptoms of mountain sickness
Since our Guides from Great Nepal Treks are very professional and well trained about altitude sickness, they will guide you during your trekking and expedition activities in Nepal.
Most travelers are able to successfully acclimatize by following the previously mentioned guidelines. However, there are instances where medical treatment is required. Ultimately, the best treatment for acute mountain sickness (AMS) is to descend to a lower altitude and rest. Early diagnosis is important. Acute mountain sickness is easier to treat in the early stages. The guide will monitor you all the time for symptoms and will pace you appropriately to minimize your exposure to AMS.Cooperating with the guide and reporting if any of the above-described symptoms are seen allows your guide to undertaking appropriate and timely action to minimize your exposure to AMS. Sufficient time for acclimatization (After 3000 meters) is also another method to minimize AMS. Following precautions can be done in order to get rid of AMS:
Don’t ascent up rapidly.
• Never use alcohol, sleeping pills and smoking.
• Drink more fluid 3-4 liters a day, clean boiled water / tea / coffee / soup / juice etc.
• Climb high and sleep low.
• Don’t go trekking alone, take guide/porter.
• Follow the advice from your guide, hotel, local people, guidebook.
• Descent if mild symptoms rapidly getting worse.
• Never leave or descent sick person along.
• Avoid getting cold.
• Take an easy and comfortable trekking route even if it is longer.
• Sleep more than normal.
Your Guide will carry some medications in First Aid Kit and may suggest for medication such as Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, combination of them or specific AMS medication. Standard and effective medication for prevention of AMS is Acetazolamide (Diamox) and it may be given to help improve breathing and reduce mild symptoms. This drug can cause increased urination. Ensure you drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol when taking this drug.With severe cases of AMS, our guide will contact our office in Kathmandu and arrange your evacuation by helicopter. Before we accept you on the trek we will require that you purchase health and travel insurance including helicopter rescue and hospitalization.
You never know when the unexpected situation comes and put you in hearse condition whether you are professional or beginners. Our professional guides do their best to make you well with first aid support. If the situation goes worse, you will be evacuated by Helicopter. You are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation. So, before coming to Nepal, please make your travel insurance. Ask your guide to arrange a runner to the nearest communication point and inform office about requirement of a helicopter. For evacuation, we require the name of the sick person and the exact location from where helicopter can airlift you. You should not leave the place after calling Helicopter for evacuation though you are feeling better than before.
On the trek, there is a facility of purchasing safe drinking water in teahouses.It is better if you carry the water purifying pills on your own. On camping trek, the water will be treated with Potassium permanganate or Iodine. On the trail, water from the streams is safe to drink, but better not to use it directly for drinking.
Security and a safe journey is our core objective of trekking. Our guide holds licenses issued by the Nepal Government and our staffs are local, honest, kind and genuine. But we also insist you to take care of your own personal belongings. If you are on ‘camping trek’ please take your main bag inside the tent once you reach campsite and put all bags and belongings in the middle of the tent when you feel sleepy. Your guide assigns a Sherpa on turn wise basis to guard the campsite throughout the night. If you are on ‘Tea house arrangement, never leave your baggage unattended and keep your lodge room locked when you go out. Feel safe since you are in the hands of ethical trekking company in Nepal.
We were part of a big noisy party that took the good with the bad with alot of humour. Our round trip took us from Kathmandu – Chitwan – Annapurna circuit Trekking – Kathmandu. It was amazing! Nepal is full of big smiles and honest open-hearted welcoming people! Our guides were a perfect example of Nepalese candour and hospitality. The crocodiles and elephants in Chitwan were awesome. The highlight for me was the 5day trekking in the Annapurna range with the most stunning sunrise at Poon Hill. The guides and porters were amazing egging us gently up and onward (forever, up and onward) on what proved to be a very very tough circuit. I recommend doing the same circuit in more days so you don’t have to rush and can fully enjoy the views, smells, colours and sheer expanse and beauty of the Himalayas and its villages and people. Apart from the crazy bus ride and breakdowns, and the unexpected itinerary changes, I would not change anything! A special thank you to Amrit and to Kilah (who never left my side as I struggled up those steep steps).
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