Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake Trek is considered as one the best trekking routes in the world. The trek takes us to Tilicho lake, the world’s highest lake and is very beautiful. This trek has it all; the lush tropical jungle, thundering rivers and waterfalls, pine forest, arid semi-desert, highest lake in the world (Tilicho) and highest pass in the world at 5416 m. This adventure holiday is one not to be missed!
The trek starts from Besisahar in the lowland paddy fields, steadily gaining altitude leading up the Marshyangdi River Valley, passing through oak and pine forests, and eventually reaching into arid semi desert at Manang. The highest point is Thorong La Pass (5416 m) from where the views of mountains are absolutely stunning. The descent is equally amazing and varied. The trail switches over to the Kali Gandaki River valley and descends through the villages of Muktinath, Jomsom, and Ghorepani to end in Pokhara. If you are short in time, you can always take a flight from Jomsom to Pokhara.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu|
|PLEASE CONTACT US BEFORE DEPARTURE||Please call us or email us 14 days before with flight details so we can arrange pick up and drop off from Kathmandu Airport.|
|NOT INCLUDED||International flight to Nepal
Travel and medical Insurance
Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
Essential trip information:
Please note: The trek dates can be viewed on the calendar when booking.
If the treks dates are not your preference, please email us your preferred dates.
|No. of pax||2-12|
Welcome to the land of Buddha. Upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, we will be warmly greeted by our company representative at the arrival gate. We will be then escorted to the hotel. If time permits, we will go out to see a vibrant market in Thamel.
You will meet your group and get a trek brief. This will be your administration day. Also, you will explore around the world heritage sites of Kathmandu. This day is also the day for making all kit ready for the trek.
After breakfast we will be picked up by our trekking guides for the bus ride to Besisahar. From Besisahar we will take Jeeps on a dirt/rough road until we reach Syange.
We will see vast changes in the environment. You will be thrilled to see thundering rivers.
This will be our first day of trekking. Everybody is recommended to wear shorts and t-shirt as the day could be hot and humid. The lush tropical jungle, massive rivers and big yet wonderful waterfalls will certainly make us delighted. The route is also full of leeches and extra care must be taken during stops. All members must be reminded to avoid going on grasses.
The vegetation slightly changes. Wet, bright green jungle gives way to ferns, nettles and evergreen trees. This reduces the number of mosquitoes and leeches slightly.
Chame has lots of shops selling everything that might need replenishing including trekking gears. Chame also has a medical centre that is staffed by a doctor and holds bottled Oxygen. It is the best medical centre in the area.
There is also natural hot spring water where we can enjoy with the sight of Mount Annapurna 2. This hot spring is highly recommendable to visit as it is absolutely free to enter. The locals use them but are not crowded.
The mountains become clearer and more visible. The tropical jungle disappears and gives way to Alpine forest full of pine trees. The rivers and waterfalls get smaller too. In Pissang, the road splits into routes to Lower and Upper Pisang. We will head to Lower Pissang. Once in Lower Pissang, we will drop our rucksacks off and go to Upper Pissang to explore for 2 hours. Both offer a good selection of teahouses. However, the highlight of Upper Pissang is the Pissang monastery which was built by the local people. This is a must visit. Inside the monastery, slippers or shoes must not be worn like any other holy places in Nepal.
On our trek today we start to hike through the drier upper section of Manang district. There are two trails on leaving Pissang. We will hike the lower easier route or if you are fit, we will take the more scenic high route. The lower route takes an undulating route through Hongde (3,325m), which has an airstrip and then onwards through Mungji village to finish at the rather large village of Manang perched on its lofty Eire. Here many wheels and prayer flags are abounded and you are surrounded by the incredible mountain vista of the Annapurnas.
Today is all about acclimatizing and resting. We will do a day hike around one of the many scenic trails around Manang. We will also go to Gangapurna lake. This will take about 3 hours.
To see the world’s highest lake, Tilicho lake, one must go to Tilicho Base camp. This route starts on the main trekking route but quickly crosses over the river and heads up off the main tracks. The route is very steep as we approach Tilicho Base Camp. It passes through Yak kharka and then leaves proper tracks altogether as it passes over kilometres of steep scree slopes. There are temporary paths across but these clearly get washed away on a regular basis and care needs to be taken so as not to disturb the fragile scree.
We will leave for Tilicho lake early morning at 0400 hrs. This will be a tough trek. This day is an excellent opportunity for acclimatisation while also visiting one of the key objectives of the expedition. The climb from Tilicho Base Camp to the Tilicho Tal is about 800m zigzagging up steep scree. At a slow and steady pace carrying minimal kit it takes about three hours and we can spend a good amount of time acclimatising at the highest point, 5000m, and enjoying the highest lake in the world.
Tilicho lake is simply the most amazing lakes that you will see in your lifetime. After spending about 45 minutes taking photos and enjoying the beauty of Tilicho, we will head down to the base camp for lunch. After reaching Tilicho base camp, we will head to Chauri Kharka for a long night’s sleep.
This day in particular will show the benefit of going high to acclimatise and then sleeping low because by now everybody will feel strong at altitudes between 3000m and 4000m. The result will be a good amount of admin time in Yak Kharka to wash clothes, massage feet etc.
Leaving Yak Kharka, we will gradually climb along mountain trails running along the headwaters of the Marsyangdi crossing it at one point over an old wooden bridge. We then follow a narrow mountain path that leads you up to our overnight stay at Thorong Phedi.
This is a nice short day in preparation for the long day to come. It is a steady climb of around 250m and can easily be done in the morning leaving the afternoon for rest. The teahouse at Thorong Phedi is very large and particularly well appointed with room for over a hundred guests.
This provides a good last opportunity to go high and sleep low in order to increase acclimatisation before heading over the Thorong La Pass. The route is extremely steep but not particularly long so can be taken very slowly. If we are lucky with the weather there is an excellent view of the Himalayas.
We will leave early at 0400 hrs. We may have to use head torches if it is too dark. As soon as we leave Thorong Phedi, the trail becomes steep for the two hours or so to reach High Camp (4,800 m). From here, the terrain gets easier but the trekking is no less tough as the altitude starts its wearing effects on us. After another two hours or so we will finally get to the pass with its plethora of prayer flags and amazing views.
After a quick cup of tea and some photographs, we descent to the remote and beautiful Muktinath for well earned overnight stay.
The descent from the Thorong La Pass is long (6 hors) and despite being down hill takes up the majority of the trekking time for the day. Nonetheless, the view of Lower Mustang is spectacular. It is a sharp contrast between the East and West of the Annapurna range. The arid semi desert looks completely different from the mountains. The East, through which we have been travelling, had steep and sharply cut valleys with the constant sound of rushing water and numerous shear rocky faces. The West will be far more open landscape that appears dryer and more sparely vegetated than the East. Little villages appears where vegetation occurs.
We will finally arrive in Muktinath after a long trek. Muktinath temple is a world famous place pilgrimage for Hindus and Buddhists who come to wash beneath the taps.
Today we descend from Muktinath into the district of Mustang where the scenery changes dramatically as we descend the Kali Gandaki valley into a landscape of stark rocky desolate We will go through the green oasis that is Kagbeni (2,800m), which stands out in stark contrast to the surrounding moonscape. Kagbeni is the gateway of Upper Mustang Trek. Coming out of Kagbeni we follow the broad rugged course of the Kali Gandaki river where thankfully the terrain is now quite flat. After a few more hours we arrive at the end of the trek in the town of Jomsom, the headquarters of Mustang district.
Jomsom is a large town sprawled along both banks of the Kali Gandaki River, and it is here we will spend the final night of the trek. (approx. 3 hours). In the evening we will have a meal to thank, and bid farewell, to the guides and porters.
Early morning, we will take a flight to Pokhara, Nepal’s most beautiful city. Once we reach the hotel in Lakeside, you can your kit off and go out to explore Peace stupa, Davis fall and Mahendra gufa and Phewa lake. Lakeside is very famous for nightlife.
Early in the morning we will drive back to Kathmandu. This will take about 6 to 7 hours.
Day 17: Return
At about 3 hours prior to your flight time, we will be transferred to the airport to fly back to the UK. We will cherish the moment that we spent in Nepal for the rest of our life. Some of us will definitely return.
Fixed Dates – Please select your dates on the “book the tour” section
|Sat 17 Feb 18 – Mon 5 Mar 18
Sat 17 Mar 18 – Mon 2 Apr 18
Sat 7 Apr 18 – Mon 23 Apr 18
Sat 1 Sep 18 – Mon 17 Sep 18
Mon 1 Oct 18 – Wed 17 Oct 18