Mini Annapurna Circuit Trek – 16 Days

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Mini Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the great walks of the world and offers dramatic mountain scenery and a fascinating mix of local people and culture. This trekking option provides the best experience of the original Around Annapurna Circuit trek but to a large extent avoids walking on the uninspiring dirt road. This superb mini version retains the main highlights.

Trip Duration 16 Days (Kathmandu to Kathmandu)
Trekking destination Thorung-la Pass (5416 m) –Maximum altitude
Trip Grade Strenuous
Activities Trekking & cultural sightseeing tours in Kathmandu
Best Seasons Spring (March to mid May) and autumn (mid Sept to Dec)
Accommodations 3 nights at Kathmandu, 1 night Pokhara & 11 nights in lodge/teahouse during trek
Meals 15 Breakfast, 12 Lunches & 12 Dinners
Trip Starts/Ends Kathmandu (Capital of Nepal)

Arrive Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be met and welcomed by our representative. Please look for signage of Natraj Trekking with your name once you come out of Arrival Terminal Hall after collecting your luggage. You will be escorted by our representative to the hotel

Welcome to Kathmandu, capital of the ancient Mountain Kingdom of Nepal, has the air of a medieval city with a maze of narrow streets, wooden temples and beautifully decorated palaces.

Upon arrival at the hotel, guest will be provided welcome drinks along with the room key.In the evening we will organize a Welcome Dinner at a traditional Nepalese Restaurant where you will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program along with the Nepali fine meal.

Overnight at the hotel
Meals included: Dinner


  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Half day tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square
  • Visit a local hire shop if needed
  • Overnight at the hotel

After breakfast and a trek briefing, you will be taken on a sightseeing tour Kathmandu Durbar Square in the heart of the city. Many of Kathmandu’s most historic and important temples are located here. Interesting things for visitors to see are Taleju temple, gigantic figure of Kalbhairav (the god of destruction), Basantapur Durbar, and Temple of Kumari (living goddess)

This afternoon we will then have an opportunity to visit a local hire shop to pick up any last minute equipment still needed.

Overnight at the hotel
Meals included: Breakfast


  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Drive to Besi Sahar by private vehicle
  • Trek from Besi Sahar to Bulbule
  • Dinner and overnight at the lodge

Drive to Besi Sahar (approx 8 hrs drive) by private vehicle & Trek from Besi Sahar to Bulbule (840 m) – About 3 hrs walking
Today you will be picked up from your hotel for the drive to Besi Sahar. Your journey takes you through deep gorges as you trace the Trisuli River westwards. You will pass through the small town of Mugling where the Trisuli and Marshyangdi rivers meet. The town also serves as the crossroads between Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan in the South. You pass over an impressive suspension bridge and begin to follow the Marshyangdi River. The Marshyangdi will become a familiar sight, as it will be your companion all the way to Thorong Phedi. On this section of the road you will gain your first sight of the Annapurna and Manaslu ranges. After Mugling you turn north and the Annapurna Massif looms as you approach Besi Sahar.

After taking lunch in Besi Sahar you will begin your trek! This afternoon’s walk will only be a short one (1½-2 hours). After crossing the Pam Khola (Khola Means River) you follow a gently ascending path through the fertile Marshyangdi valley. After just over an hour’s walk you cross a bamboo bridge which signifies the approach to Khundi, a small settlement made up of local lodges, shops and tea houses. From here we follow the trail northwards up the Marsyangdi valley to Bhulbule where we stop for overnight

Dinner and overnight at the local lodge (Teahouse)
Meals include: Breakfast, lunch and dinner


Trek from Bhulbhule to Jagat – About 7 hrs walking
Crossing the long suspension bridge over Marshyangdi, the trail continues up the east bank of the river with good views of Manaslu (8156m) to the north-east. Through the villages of Ngadi and Lampata the trail leads to Bahundanda (1310m). From Bahundanda we will be walking down the trail to cross a stream and then climbing to the settlement of Lili Bir and continue high above the river eventually dropping to cross to the western side of the Marsyangdi at Syange (1190m) after which the trail becomes steep in parts, reaching the ancient village of Jagat (1300m).

Dinner and overnight at the local lodge (Teahouse)
Meals include: Breakfast, lunch and dinner


From Jagat the trail descends to the Marsyangdi following the riverbank before climbing up through forests to Chamje (1430m). The trail initially crosses the river to the east bank and climbs up to the large settlement of Tal (1675m), where there are many shops and lodges. Crossing and then re-crossing the river as it makes its way to Karte, the trail finally crosses again to the west bank before continuing through the village of Dharapani (1860m).

Dinner and overnight at the lodge (Teahouse)
Meals include: Breakfast, lunch and dinner


Trek from Dharapani to Chame – About 7 hrs walking
Following the Marsyangdi river, the trail continues in a westwards direction up the Manang valley. Throughout the day one can enjoy spectacular views of Annapurna II (7937m) and Annapurna IV to the west. Initially the trail climbs through forests to Dhanakyu (2290m) and to the settlement of Lattemarang (2360m) eventually to the village of Kotho (2590m) over several forested ridges. After easy walk for half hour we will reach Chame (2670m), the administrative headquarters for the Manang district.

Dinner and overnight at the local lodge (Teahouse)
Meals include: Breakfast, lunch and dinner


Trek from Chame to Pisang– About 5 hrs walking
This day is a shorter trek to Pisang. However as it is so beautiful most trekkers take their time to admire the scenery and take lots of photographs. You will pass through a series of mani walls. The trail is pretty even until the apple orchards of Brathang. The trail heads uphill for about 45 minutes through forest, leveling off before reaching a suspension bridge. A moderate climb follows after crossing the bridge through a forest consisting of Juniper, Pine and Fir. The valley begins to broaden and Pisang Peak 6091m stands out in front of you. You pass a couple of small lakes where sometimes birds can be seen wading. Pisang is divided into upper and lower.

Dinner and overnight at the local lodge (Teahouse)
Meals include: Breakfast, lunch and dinner


Trek from Pisang to Manang– About 3 ½ hrs walking
Continuing on the south side of the river and the trail includes a long climb over a ridge to reach approx 3400m and then descends to the valley and then to Hongde (3325m) where there is an airstrip, several lodges and a police check post. After crossing to the north bank of the river near Mungli we will reach Bryaga at (3475m) – Tibetan-style village with an ancient gompa. After a short walk we will reach Manang (3540m).

Dinner and overnight at the local lodge (Teahouse)
Meals include: Breakfast, lunch and dinner


Acclimatization day at Manang
To adjust to the thinning air and lessening pressure, the day is kept aside for acclimatization to continue upwards towards the Thorung La the next day. On this day, we can walk around to a number of the interesting areas near to Manang, though it also important to rest before the trek to higher altitude.

Dinner and overnight at the local lodge (Teahouse)
Meals include: Breakfast, lunch and dinner


Trek from Manang to Yak Kharka – About 4 hrs walking
On this day, we will trek slowly to Tengi (3620m) and steadily walk upwards to Gunsang (3930m) and reach Yak Kharka (4018m). We can observe vegetation consisting of scrub juniper and alpine grasses and even the views of peaks of Gangapurna (7454m) and Annapurna III (7555m) on the trail are magnificent.

Dinner and overnight at the local lodge (Teahouse)
Meals include: Breakfast, lunch and dinner


Trek from Yak Kharka to Thorung Phedi–About 4 hrs walking
The first small settlement we reach after a steady walk upwards is Letdar (4250m). With a climb along the east bank of the Jarsang Khola, we will reach Thorung Phedi (4450m) which means “foot of the hill”, and indeed this is the starting point for the long trek up to the pass at 5416m.

Dinner and overnight at the local lodge (Teahouse)
Meals include: Breakfast, lunch and dinner


Trek to Muktinath (3800), crossing Thorung –La (About 8-10 hrs (weather permitting and depending on the snow)
Depending on the fitness and acclimatization, the walk to Thorung La could take less than 4 hours, but we will make a steady climb up to the Thorung La (“la” means “pass”) with the aim to reach the pass in four hours from Phedi. The site one can see upon reaching the pass is of traditional chorten, prayer flags, and cairn, and panorama of Himalayan giants along with the first view of the immense Kali Gandaki valley to the west. As we descend we can have great views of Dhaulagiri (8167m) to the south-west, and Tukuche Peak (6920m) as we reach down to Muktinath and Ranipauwa.

Dinner and overnight at the local lodge (Teahouse)
Meals include: Breakfast, lunch and dinner


Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom – About 6 hrs walking
A leisurely start to the day after the exertions of crossing Thorung La. Time to explore the famous temple at Muktinath before descending the dramatic Kali Gandaki Valley, initially through arid country in the same geographical and climatic zone as Tibet.

The trail from Muktinath to Jharkot (3550m) has many interesting features as we continue down to Khingar (3200m), and eventually to Kagbeni (2800m) which is the junction of the Jhong Khola and the Kali Gandaki. It is the northernmost village with narrow alley ways and the large gompa that can be visited with a normal trekking permit.

The trail to Mustang begins further towards the north and it is hence necessary to have another permit to trek towards the destination. From Kagbeni, the trail will follow the river down to Eklai Bhatti (2740m), where we join the alternative and more direct route from Muktinath to Jomsom, the administrative headquarters of the region, at 2760m.

Dinner and overnight at the local lodge (Teahouse)
Meals include: Breakfast, lunch and dinner


  • Breakfast at the lodge
  • Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara
  • Overnight at the hotel
  • Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara (25 minutes flight)
  • After an early breakfast, you will fly to Pokhara (it is approx 20minutes flight).

(Flight is subject to weather condition; hence, alternatively, you may need to drive from Jomsom to Pokhara by local jeeps if flights are cancelled – It will be a long drive approximately 9 hrs)
Arrive Pokhara; you will be transferred to your hotel.

Dinner and overnight at the local lodge (Teahouse)
Meals include: Breakfast, lunch and dinner


Drive back to Kathmandu (approx 7 hrs drive) by deluxe tourist bus including the lunch on the way
Leaving Pokhara we take the Prithvi Highway originally constructed by the Chinese in 1975. We drive initially through mostly Brahmin and Chhetri villages, distinguished by their ochre coloured houses. We soon leave the flat Seti Valley behind though and then cross the Madi Khola near Damauli, where there may be good views of the Annapurnas to the north up the valley. We’ll pass the Marsyangdi hydroelectric project and soon afterwards the town of Mugling, at the confluence of the Marsyangdi and Trisuli rivers. The road starts to climb once we reach Naubise, and reaches a pass on the Kathmandu Valley rim via a series of breathtaking zigzags, from where we complete the journey back to the Nepalese capital.

Alternatively you may choose to take the half hour flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu (The extra cost of flight will be USD 100 per person (this cost includes airfare and transportation in Pokhara and Kathmandu)

Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel. You can spend the evening leisurely, perhaps catch up on some last minute shopping or if you prefer you may celebrate dinner together with our trekking guide.

Meals include: Breakfast


  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Free time till departure
  • Transfer to airport for final departure

You are saying good bye to the mountains as your journey in Nepal comes to an end today! We hope you enjoyed the tour with us and we expect that you plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal again.

Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight time, a representative from Natraj Trekking will transfer you to the airport.

Meals include: Breakfast


  • Starting from US$ 1580
  • Cost vary accordingly to group size and hotel category

Transport, Entrance Fee, Guide, etc

  • Welcome with flower garland by our representative upon arrival
  • Airports pick up and drop by private vehicle in Kathmandu transfers
  • One half day tour with an English speaking guide by a private vehicle in Kathmandu
  • Katmandu / Besi Sahar drive in a private vehicle
  • Pokhara/Kathmandu by tourist deluxe bus including lunch
  • Monument entrance fees as mentioned in the itinerary
  • One hour boat ride at Phewa Lake in Pokhara
  • Free Natraj Trekking Kit Bag

Accommodations

  • 3 nights accommodation with breakfast in Kathmandu (as per the choice of package)
  • 1 night accommodation with breakfast in Pokhara(as per the choice of package)
  • 24.3% VAT and Service Charge

Domestic Airfare

Airfare for Jomsom/Pokhara

Trekking Portion

  • 11 nights accommodation at local lodge (Teahouse) during the trek
  • All tours and transfers to and from trekking point by a private vehicle
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the entire trek
  • Services of an experienced trekking guide and one porter to every two trekkers during the trek
  • TIMS CARD FEE
  • Annapurna Area Conservation Fee (ACAP)
  • Insurance for trek guide and porters

  • International Airfare
  • Nepal Visa Fee
  • Personal expenses (Tips, beverage, laundry, telephone call, etc)
  • Travel Insurance/ Emergency Evacuation Cost
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • Cost of Everest ( Mountain) flight

The above rates are valid till December 31, 2013
Note: The price does not include: undue escalation in fuel prices, new taxes levies on hotels and transportation services or any hikes in entrance fees. Any large tax hikes and new levies shall be payable extra and shall be billed accordingly with prior notice.


You are suggested to consider the following equipments as fundamentals while packing for the Annapurna Mini Circuit Trek. Please use this list as a guideline. Adjustments to the list can be done according to your needs, interests, duration of your trip, season of your trip, etc. You can find variety of these gears to hire or buy in Kathmandu.

Please remember that at the start of the trek, apart from your day pack, your luggage that will be carried by porters should have weight limitation of approximately 12-15 kg.

Head

  • Sun hat or scarf
  • Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
  • Sunglasses with UV protection

Upper Body

  • T-shirts
  • Light and expedition weight thermal tops
  • Fleece jacket or pullover
  • Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional)
  • Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
  • Down vest and/or jacket

Hands

  • Lightweight gloves
  • Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer (seasonal)

Lower Body

  • Under Garments
  • Hiking shorts
  • Lightweight cotton long pants
  • Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
  • Fleece or wool pants (seasonal)
  • Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants

Feet

  • Thin, lightweight inner socks
  • Thick, warm wool hiking socks
  • Hiking boots with spare laces
  • Camp shoes (sneakers and/or sandals) Gaiters for hiking in winter to the base camp

Accessories

  • Sleeping bag rated to ( -15 Degree Celsius)
  • Headlamp (e.g. Petzl Zoom) with spare bulbs and batteries
  • Trekking Bags/Duffel bag
  • Basic First Aid Kit
  • Large plastic bags for keeping items dry inside trek bag
  • Daypack (approximately 2500 to 3000 cubic inches)
  • Trekking Poles
  • Water bottle
  • Toiletries (Small wash towel, Toilet papers etc)
  • Ear Plug (who know some people on group are snoring)

Toiletries

  • 1 medium sized quick drying towel
  • Tooth brush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
  • Multipurpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
  • Deodorants
  • Nail clippers
  • Face and body moisturizer
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Small mirror

Personal Hygiene

  • Wet wipes (baby wipes)
  • Tissue /toilet roll
  • Anti bacterial hands wash

Extras/Luxuries

  • Binoculars
  • Reading book/Trail Map/Guide book
  • Journal /Pen/Pencils and small notebooks
  • Travel game i.e. chess, backgammon, scrabble

Mini Annapurna Circuit Trek is graded as Strenuous Trek and fitting for those walkers who have the capability to walk at least 6-7 hours a day with a light day pack. Some days, you may even need to walk 9 hours. Walking in higher altitude is physically demanding than walking in the lower altitudes; however, if you are in a good health with average physical fitness and have positive attitude, self confidence and strong determination, you can achieve the 16-day Mini Annapurna Circuit Trek successfully. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior of the trip is a good idea to improve your strength and stability. Past hiking experience would be an advantage but no technical skill is required for this trip. It is vital that you consult with your doctor before you decide and set up for the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek. Participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood disease should inform Natraj Trekking before booking the trek.


Our accommodation whilst on trek on twin room sharing basis in a simple locally run lodges, known as teahouses and it’s a great pleasure to support these small local businesses. Rooms are simply furnished with just a bed and occasionally a small table. You will need to bring a sleeping bag. Please note, normally washing and toilet facilities are shared and may be in a separate part of the teahouse or outside. It’s great to enjoy the company of your fellow travellers and share a tale with other trekkers in the evening in the dining area.

If you are a solo traveler, you will share a room with someone else of same sex of your group. If you prefer a single room, you may indicate your preference and get single rooms on request by paying extra as indicated on cost section. But, you need to understand that in teahouses/lodges of higher elevation area single room is not always possible. We guarantee single room in Kathmandu & Pokhara only. During your trek single room is not possible


On this trek we provide standard breakfast, lunch and dinner, tea or coffee will also be included with each meal. Your guide will help with menu selection and ensure that you get the best value meals possible. Although the food is usually plentiful and delicious, you should be aware that the menu is not normally extensive. Most teahouses offer a variety of rice and noodle dishes, as well as soup and seasonal vegetables. You can buy packaged water (bottled mineral water) from local lodge and shop en route or you can also ask your guide to fill your water bottle with boiled water (extra cost to be paid) and treat with water purification pills.


During the trek, your main luggage will be carried by porter. Please keep your luggage as light as possible around 12 kg. You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket etc. You can leave your valuable items at your hotel while trekking. Many hotels have a locker system and provide a deposit slip for the valuables kept under the hotel’s safekeeping. You may also leave your extra things at your hotel which is not required for your trek in your main luggage. Please note that we will provide complimentary kit bag for you before your trek starts so that you can pack all your necessary things.


On tea house trek you will be accompanied by a team of local crew whose aim is to make the trek as comfortable and enjoyable as much possible. The crew consists of a trek guide/leader and a team of porters to carry all your gear. On average, there will be a ratio of one porter to every two trekkers.

The most important thing that makes your Trek successful, enjoyable and memorable is the skilled, experienced, courteous and helpful trek guide and the crew members with ability of operating your days in the mountain smoothly. Your trip will be led by experienced trek guide. All of our trekking guides/leaders are carefully selected on the basis of their appropriate experience, leadership skills and personal aptitude.


Each morning after packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off on the day’s walk. After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon’s walk is generally shorter and we usually arrive at our destination in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the village, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days we will arrive at our destination by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and reliving the day’s adventures, before heading off to bed for a well-earned sleep.


On this trek breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided during your trek. You only need money for table drinks (alcoholic/non alcoholic beverages), snacks while walking (a few smaller shops are available along the trail in some areas) tips, souvenirs, hot shower (available in some places).


You need to pass on your International flight details to us for a ‘meeting and greeting’ service at the Kathmandu Airport. You just pass through the Customs and come out of the Arrival Terminal Hall after collecting your baggage where you will see our representative /guide standing with a placard that states Natraj Trekking’ with your own name.


Autumn (mid Sept to mid Dec) and Spring (March to May) are the best seasons for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The weather is sunny and warm, with outstanding views but the nights are cold and can fall to freezing. Winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) is also good for Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, only colder (obviously). The trekking routes are crowded during spring and autumn but during winter the routes are not packed and you could enjoy rather best of nature. However, please note, there may be snowfall / avalanches during the winter.


Depending on the prevailing situation, itinerary can be modified to some extent after consulting with your trek guide. However, the date of trek completion should always coincide with the original itinerary. You should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip into the remotest region, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your guide will suggest the best alternative similar to your original.


All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. Visa is also issued at the entry points. It can be extended at the Department of Immigration, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu. Children under 10 years need not pay any visa fee. People willing to get entry Visa at the air port or any of the land entry points are required to fill a visa form with passport photograph.

If you are obtaining Nepal Visa upon arrival (please note that some of nationalities cannot get visa upon arrival), please be noted that Nepal Visa Application Form can be received through us by e-mail. Two passport size photo graphs are required and following visa fee to be paid at the airport as per your stay in Nepal

Visa Facility Duration Fee

    • Multiple Entry 15 Days US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency
    • Multiple Entry 30 Days US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency
    • Multiple Entry 90 Days US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency

Note: Please note that visa fees and rules are subject to change.


In case of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we hope will not happen; you shall be rescued by a helicopter. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back in Kathmandu.


It is recommended of joining any of Natraj Trekking trips that be protected against comprehensive expenses potential to incur due to medical issues or accidents (to include air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please be noted that we do not arrange or sell insurance. Altitude 4130m to be covered by Insurance Company


Natraj Trekking is the one of the leading and oldest trekking agency in Nepal since 1967. We organize Tibet, Bhutan & India tour as well. We excel in this field because we genuinely love what we do and are committed to providing you with the best services as we commit you.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

The beautiful environment of the Himalayas is also an extremely fragile one. At Natraj Trekking, we are extremely conscious about the environment and aim to minimize the detrimental impact on the environment as much as possible.

CARE FOR PORTERS AND STAFFS

We make sure that all porters and all other staff climbing in high altitude conditions are provided with adequate clothing and equipment. We also ensure that the porters we hire are insured. We run the trek according to the guidelines of the International Porter Protection group (IPPG- www.ippg.net).

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

We strongly recommend that you check your government’s travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs, including advice re: the legality of and local attitudes towards same-sex relationships.

TIPPING

Tipping is the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ for good service. Tips do not form part of the wages of your guides, porters and trek crew but they are very much appreciated. It is important to remember that tipping is voluntary and should be dependent on good service. Normally the tips are given at the end of the trek and this is best done as a group. Most groups will give the tips with a bit of ceremony (or sometimes a party) on the last evening, to mark the end of the trip. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work.