Trekkers on the mini-Annapurna Circuit

Annapurna Circuit Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Nepal
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TNQ
Activity Rating - Challenging
Challenging

You have a good level of fitness and are looking for a physically challenging holiday.  Previous experience is essential for activity based trips.

23 Days Flight Inclusive
22 Days Land only
Ages: 16+

Trip Overview

The Annapurna Circuit - rightly known as Nepal's classic trek - offers more variety than any other equivalent length trek, taking us through virtually every type of scenery that Nepal has to offer. There are superb views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri and an amazing variety of landscapes ranging from sub-tropical through alpine peaks to an arid semi-desert akin to Tibet. The climax of the trek is crossing the iconic Thorong La Pass (5416m). Based in teahouses throughout, we also get to spend time in villages inhabited by many of Nepal's different peoples, both Buddhist and Hindu.

At a Glance

  • 4 nights standard hotels and 17 nights teahouses
  • 18 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus tour leader and local staff. Min. age 16 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 5416m, average 2800m
  • Travel by private bus and one internal flight
  • Snow and ice may be encountered
  • 19 November 2023 departure led by Valerie Parkinson, Wanderlust World Guide Awards Winner 2021

Trip Highlights

  • Improved route using New Annapurna Trekking Trails (NATT)
  • One of the world's classic treks
  • Cross the formidable Thorong La pass
  • Chance to see the sunrise from Poon Hill
  • Dramatically changing scenery 
  • Time in Kathmandu and Pokhara

Is This Trip for You?

This is a Challenging grade (Activity Level 5) lodge-based trek with 18 days point-to-point walking and full porterage throughout – you need only carry a daypack. Please read a description of our Activity Levels, found on our website.

The maximum altitude is 5,416m, and the average altitude is 2,800m - we ask you to refer to the 'altitude warning' within the Trip Notes. Much of the walking is at moderate altitude with the exception of the Thorong La - a high pass with a steep approach.

The Annapurna Circuit is renowned for offering particularly varied scenery and we recommend it to those who want a thorough overview of the Nepalese Himalaya and have three weeks to spare. It is suitable for those confident of their physical fitness, ideally with some previous trekking experience. If you do not partake in regular exercise or hillwalking then you should do some training or physical preparation beforehand. You may find our Walking & Trekking Fitness Training Guide a useful reference.

Apart from the Thorong La, the walking is generally quite moderate, and the first few days do not involve any long or steep ascents. On most days we walk for between approximately five and seven hours a day but the Thorong La crossing is a long day, taking around twelve hours. The walking is almost entirely on well-established trails. During the crossing of the Thorong La, some snow or ice may be encountered and it will be extremely cold. It is also likely to be below freezing on several nights.

Although we schedule this trek at times of the year when conditions should be favourable, there can be unseasonal snowfall which very occasionally makes the Thorong La impassable. In this case, we can spend one day waiting, and then if it is still not possible to cross the pass we must then retrace our steps to Besisahar.

The trail crosses numerous modern suspension bridges, all of which have mesh sides and none are especially high, however, anyone with a strong fear of heights or vertigo may find them difficult.

A dirt road is currently under construction along part of the main Annapurna Circuit route, however, our itinerary takes alternative trails (known as NATT - New Annapurna Trekking Trails) wherever available to avoid the road as much as possible. These are a combination of new trails and old, previously disused, trails that have recently been cleared. There are a series of small wooden bridges over the Kali Gandaki which are constructed every November after the monsoon. Treks in October and November will use the suspension bridges and trips departing from late November to April will use the wooden bridges to cross the river.

This trip includes one or more domestic flights – please refer to the ‘Transport’ section of the Trip Notes for information about the safety of flying in Nepal.

Walking hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated exclude lunch stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group. 'Altitude gain' given within the itinerary refers to the total ascent that day (i.e. all the uphill sections added together). Unfortunately, we do not have this data for the 'altitude loss' at present so this is left blank.

To help you better prepare for your Nepal holiday, please also see our Nepal Destination Guide.

Why Trek with Exodus?

• Over 30 years’ experience organising treks in Nepal.
• ‘Ask an expert’ – talk to Exodus office staff who have done the treks themselves.
• Experienced English-speaking local leaders who are qualified in first aid and trained in recognising and dealing with altitude sickness.
• One of the highest staff to client ratios on trek - 1 staff member: 4 clients.
• All staff (leaders, guides and porters) are fully insured and paid a fair wage.
• Carefully planned ascent rates and itineraries with built-in acclimatisation and contingency days.
• Staff carry oxygen and a first aid kit.
• Self-assessment AMS cards used to monitor every client at altitude.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

The group will generally be between 4 and 16 people.

We have representatives in Kathmandu who will look after your transfers to and from the airport and will be around to answer other questions you may have about your trek. There is an Exodus desk and noticeboard in the Royal Singi Hotel in Kathmandu, which is manned morning and evening.

The departure starting in Kathmandu on 19th November 2023 will be led by Valerie Parkinson who has been leading treks in the Himalaya for over 30 years. Valerie was the first British woman to summit Mount Manaslu, the world's eighth highest mountain, without supplementary oxygen. She will share her mountaineering experience, including talking about her own Everest summit expedition and Everest North Col Expedition with you along the way! Valerie won Best Tour Leader in the prestigious annual Wanderlust World Guide Awards in 2021. 

All other departures will have an English-speaking Nepali Tour Leader throughout the trip who will be assisted by Nepali Trekking Guides. All Exodus leaders are highly experienced and as well as Exodus leader training courses they are all trained in wilderness first aid. The Trekking Guides are licensed by the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) and also receive additional training through Exodus.

On all of our Nepal treks, there will be one member of trek staff for every four clients - this ratio may change if for any reason a guide has to stay behind with a member of the group. The leaders are assisted by additional guides and as many porters as necessary to carry the kitbags. All your main gear is carried for you and you only have to carry whatever you require for that day's trek. Porters are given porter clothing for treks above 4,500m (windproof jacket and trousers, boots, socks, gloves, hats, sunglasses). All of the trekking staff are insured by our local partner in Nepal.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

TNQ Trip Map

Land Only

Start City:
Kathmandu
End City:
Kathmandu

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Kathmandu

    Those on the group flight from London will arrive into Kathmandu today and will be transferred to our hotel. Those not travelling with the group from London will meet us in the hotel. There will be a full trek briefing at the hotel this afternoon/evening.

    Hotel Royal Singi (or similar)

  • Day 2

    Scenic drive to Ngaddi via Besisahar; begin trek to Bauhundanda

    We leave Kathmandu early in the morning and drive towards Pokhara. After leaving the Kathmandu Valley we follow the river to Mugling. We then continue to Besisahar and on to Ngaddi, from where we begin our trek - the total drive time to the trailhead can vary depending on road conditions and traffic but is usually in the region of 7 hours. We begin trekking from Ngaddi with great views ahead of Himalchuli and Peak 29. We now have a 2.5hr walk steadily uphill through scrub forest through Lampata, a Manangi village with Tibetan style prayer flags, with a final short ascent to the village of Bauhundanda (Brahmin’s Hill), perched on a ridge.  
    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 1290m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 6 km / 4 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    440
    Activity (hours):
    2.5-3
  • Day 3

    Visit Tallo Chiple village and cross the Marsyangdi Valley to Jagat

    The trail starts with a steep descent towards the Marsyangdi River. We then head up the valley on an undulating trail to Germu. From here, we start a steep ascent through fields and forest, reaching Tallo Chiple in time for lunch in a small homestay. This beautiful village is so far untouched by the new road which is being built. We descend a little and then have a short but steep climb (to avoid a landslide) towards Maththillo Chipla. Just before the village, we descend steeply for a short time to the Marsyangdi River, which we cross by a suspension bridge. Heading steeply uphill for around 20-minutes, we rejoin the main trail at the village of Jagat, where we spend the night.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 1,300m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    1070
    Activity (hours):
    7.5
  • Day 4

    Reach the village of Dharapani

    Immediately after leaving the lodge, a small old trail turns off the road up to the left and undulates through the forest all the way to Chyamje, after which we cross a suspension bridge and climb through oak forest. An undulating ascent brings us to a level valley where 'Tal', the next village is situated at the foot of a grand waterfall (1,700m). From Tal, we stay on the same side of the river and climb up above the river to Kotro (this trail is susceptible to landslides in the monsoon so your leader will check the situation on the day). From Kotro, we descend to the Marsyangdi River, cross it via a bridge and then have a short ascent to Dharapani.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 1,890m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 17 km / 11 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    980
    Activity (hours):
    8
  • Day 5

    Visit Odar village. Climb to Temang, then descend to Chame

    Beyond Dharapani we leave the jeep trail and turn sharply up to the left and have a steep hour's climb up a stone staircase to the pretty village of Odar. Passing traditional farms and homesteads we trek through Galenchowk before descending to the main trail at Bagarchap at 2,164m. The name of this village means 'butcher's place' and, although Buddhist, the people of this region used to hunt animals. Continuing, we follow the jeep track for a short while past apple orchards to Dhanagyu. From here we turn sharply up into the forest and we have a fairly long climb to Temang, where we have lunch with magnificent views of Manaslu and Peak 29. The trail then descends through fir and pine forests to Thanchowk and further on through Koto to Chame (2,713m), the administrative centre of the Manang district. (Please note that for those who do not want to climb up to Odar village there is an alternative trail on the right side of the river through Thonche to Dhanagyu – this trail is a bit easier).

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 2,700m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 18 km / 11 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    1350
    Activity (hours):
    6.5
  • Day 6

    Continue ascending through forested hillsides past the rock face of Paungdi Danda to Upper Pisang

    We now experience a dramatic change of scenery. Leaving the forests and vegetation of the alpine regions behind we enter the upper district of Manang, known as Nyeshang. At first, our trail follows the river closely through a deep canyon on the jeep track for a couple of hours to Brathang at 2,919m where there is now a large apple plantation. We can stop for fresh coffee and cakes (and maybe some fresh apple juice) before we begin our climb this morning. The trail then crosses the river and leaves the jeep track to climb on forest trails through fir and pine trees from where the impressive curved rock face of Paungda Danda rises nearly 1,500m from the riverbank to Dukha Pokhari, where we stop for lunch. From here we veer off to the right and take the trail that climbs away from the road track and to Upper Pisang village, where we stay in a simple lodge for the night. There is an impressive monastery in the village which we can visit in the afternoon. From here to the pass we are the closest we will be to the mountains and today the views of Annapurna 2 are particularly impressive (weather permitting) and worth all the climbing.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,300m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 15 km / 9 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    950
    Activity (hours):
    6-6.5
  • Day 7

    Climb high above the valley on a wonderful high trail to Ngawal

    A shorter but spectacular day for acclimatisation. From Upper Pisang we take the fantastic high-level route towards Manang via the villages of Gyaru and Ngawal. This is a wonderful walk with great views across to the Annapurnas. We start with a short descent through the forest and then we have a very steep climb up to Gyaru for a tea break. The views across the valley become ever more spectacular the higher we go. From here the trail undulates high above the river with magnificent views across the Annapurnas to Ngawal, where we stay tonight. There should be time in the afternoon to explore this pretty mediaeval village and visit the gompa.  

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,650m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 11 km / 7 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    655
    Activity (hours):
    4.5-5
  • Day 8

    Follow the high trail from Ngawal via Julu to Manang

    Another day for acclimatisation. From Ngawal we take a spectacular high trail which contours high above the valley with amazing views across to the Annapurnas and Gangapurna. As we leave Ngawal village, we pass a large chorten before the trail drops down to Julu village. We take the route which climbs steeply out of Julu onto a wonderful high trail above the valley. The trail climbs to a plateau and we contour around the valley through forests with great views across the valley to the Annapurnas and Gangapurna. The trail drops down to the pretty village of Braga, dominated by a large ancient gompa. We can stop for a cup of coffee or lunch at the Super Bakery and visit the gompa and the small tree nursery, a project that Exodus has supported for many years. Passing carved mani walls we arrive at the village of Manang at 3,530m.

    We have time this afternoon to explore Manang and enjoy the magnificent views of the whole Annapurna Range and the enormous icefall that crashes and rumbles down from Gangapurna. This is the part of the trek where we are closest to the mountains. Across the valley the huge bulk of Gangapurna and the Annapurnas tower way above us - the sunset and sunrise over this great amphitheatre is one of the most beautiful mountain views in the country. Manang has many bakeries and coffee shops and is an ideal place to spend the afternoon.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,530m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 12 km / 7 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    530
    Activity (hours):
    5.5
  • Day 9

    Trek to Yak Kharka; afternoon acclimatisation walk

    Leaving Manang we head towards the base of the Thorong La. We climb out of the Marsyangdi Valley and turn northwest up the valley of the Jarsang Khola. Looking back the views are ever more spectacular as we are above the forests now and pass through dry, alpine country, with scrub juniper and occasional clumps of birch. We spend tonight at a lodge in Yak Kharka. We will reach the lodge by lunchtime and in the afternoon, we will have an acclimatisation walk onto the surrounding hills. Look out for the Blue sheep that inhabit this cold, windy spot.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,000m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 10 km / 6 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    560
    Activity (hours):
    4-5
  • Day 10

    Short half day walk to Phedi, at the foot of the Thorong La

    Another short day to aid acclimatisation. The scenery becomes wilder as we continue ascending the valley. At one point we descend to cross the Jarsang Khola, then traverse a scree slope to the lone teahouses at Phedi (4,420m) at the foot of the Thorong La. Thorong Phedi can be very cold and windy. In the afternoon we can go for a walk up to Thorong High Camp which is the last lodge and is about an hour above Phedi.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,420m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 7 km / 5 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    560
    Activity (hours):
    4-5
  • Day 11

    Cross the Thorong La (5416m) to Muktinath, a place of pilgrimage

    A long day as we leave Phedi very early in the morning for the climb to the pass. The first part of the ascent is very steep, but it eases somewhat as we approach the top, although the altitude still makes the going tough. Eventually, after numerous false summits, we reach the pass itself at 5,416m. Ahead there is a magnificent panorama of snow-capped peaks soaring above the Kali Gandaki Valley looking towards Dolpo and Mustang and looking back we can see several of the main peaks of Annapurna. Directly in front of us is the great chasm of the Kali Gandaki, 2,500m. It's a very long descent that begins gently and becomes steeper, as we follow a series of switchbacks down to more grassy slopes. We stop for a break at Phedi where there are a few tea houses. From Phedi it’s another hour of gentle descent to Muktinath (3,700m). (Please note that conditions on the pass vary. It can be calm and clear with no snow but there can also be snow and ice and high winds on the pass. We recommend you carry Yaktrax or microspikes in case of snow or ice and take enough warm layers in case of high winds).

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,700m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 16 km / 10 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    940
    Activity (hours):
    10-13
  • Day 12

    Trek through beautiful barren landscapes to Kagbeni

    An easier day after the exertions of yesterday. From Muktinath, we pass through a landscape of bare, eroded hills with a backdrop of snow-capped high peaks. After visiting the temples above Muktinath, we cross the Jhong Khola and climb up to Chongur, a small traditional village. The monastery was founded by a Sakya monk and the whole village is painted with the colours of the Sakya sect. Continuing along a mixture of trekking trails and jeep tracks we come to Jhong – another beautiful village. There is a very old monastery here dating back to the 7th or 8th Century and the ruins of an old fortress. Passing wind-eroded cliffs in an array of beautiful colours we continue down the valley through Putak village and finally have a steep descent into the Kali Gandakhi Valley and the interesting village of Kagbeni (approx. 2,800m). We have a long morning today (so take some snacks) and have a late lunch in Kagbeni.

    There is time in the afternoon to explore this magical place. With narrow lanes and tunnels between the houses, it has an almost mediaeval feel. (Please note that in the event that we are delayed due to bad weather, this day will be missed out and we will trek directly from Muktinath to Marpha).

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude  2,800m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    190
    Activity (hours):
    4-4.5
  • Day 13

    Follow the Kali Gandaki Gorge, beneath the great peaks of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna via Dumba Lake to Marpha

    The trail now follows the jeep track down the Kali Gandaki River down to the outskirts of Jomsom, a large administrative centre, at 2,713m. Most of the time we walk along the jeep track, although at certain times of the year when the river level is low we can walk along the rocky river bed. We do not cross the river into Jomsom but instead, we stay on the left side of the valley and trek to the village of Thini, where we stop for a simple lunch. From here it is about half an hour to Dumba Lake. This very small lake is considered holy by the local Thakali people. A short climb brings us to Dumba Gompa for magnificent views of the Kali Gandaki Valley, Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Peak. From the gompa we have 2 trails – the shorter one descends down through Dumba village to the suspension bridge across the Kali Gandaki to Marpha. Another longer trail continues on the same side of the river towards the Tibetan refugee camp of Chairo. A bridge crossing the Kali Gandaki takes us to the pretty village of Marpha (2,690m) with its clean paved streets and white-washed houses. Marpha is famous for its locally-made apple and peach brandy, which you might like to sample to celebrate your crossing of the Thorong La. (Please note that in December 2019 a truck track was being bulldozed to Chairo and it was not possible to trek the longer route through Chairo. Your leader will have up to date information and will take you the best way).

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 2,690m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 23 km / 14 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    690
    Activity (hours):
    7-8
  • Day 14

    Continue following the Kali Gandaki Valley to Larjung

    Today we follow the Kali Gandaki Valley, a major trade route. We are now in the deepest gorge in the world - to the east Annapurna I rises to 8,091m, to the west the peak of Dhaulagiri at 8,167m soars above us. Leaving the dry, barren landscapes we walk through pine, cypress and juniper forest, sometimes on the valley floor and at other times on a trail high above. From Marpha we cross back over the Kali Gandaki to avoid the road. Walking through fir and pine forests we climb up to the pretty Thakali village of Chimang. Descending to a side stream we follow the side valley down for a short while before climbing again into the forest. We ascend for about an hour and then the trail undulates for a while before descending to the valley floor at Sauru. We stop here for a break and then cross the Kali Gandaki to Kobang and on to Larjung (2,550m). We stay tonight in a simple lodge. In the afternoon we have a walk up to the village of Naurikot, another traditional Thakali village and it’s definitely worth the walk for the sunset views across the valley on Niligiri.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 2,550m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 15 km / 9 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    550
    Activity (hours):
    5-6
  • Day 15

    Cross the Kali Gandaki and trek through Titi Tal, Kunjo and Jipre Deurali to Ghasa

    A long day today but a fantastic trail. We start with a short walk along the road to the large suspension bridge below Larjung. After crossing the river, the trail climbs up through the forest to Titi Tal, a very small lake (pond) but an important marsh zone for waterbirds in the Mustang area. We follow the trail through Taglung and to Kunjo, where we have a simple lunch. We then descend steeply through the forest to a rocky riverbed. Crossing a suspension bridge, we have a gradual climb up to Jhipre Deurali. The trail then descends to cross the Mistri Khola and then undulates through forests of dwarf bamboo. The trail hugs the cliff with some short steep up and down sections with ropes along the side for safety. Finally, the trail comes to the old bridge across to Ghasa. Crossing the bridge, we have a short 30-minute climb up to our lodge. (Please note that the trail in the afternoon has some steep and narrow sections across landslides. For those who are not comfortable walking along such trails one of the assistant guides will take you from Kunjo to the Lete Khola on forest trails to Ghasa).

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 1,950m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 23 km / 14 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    1035
    Activity (hours):
    8-9
  • Day 16

    Follow an undulating trail through small settlements to Tatopani, famous for its hot springs

    From Ghasa we follow the road for 30 minutes and then cross the river on a new suspension bridge. The trail now climbs high above the river to Pairothaplo and then descends to Kopchepani. Across the river, we can see the huge waterfall at Rupse Chhara. We continue on the same side of the river and follow the undulating roller coaster trail up and down all morning. We have lunch in the small village of Dharap and continue through Narcheng and past a hydroelectric project just before Tatopani. A suspension bridge brings us right into Tatopani, where we spend the night. Tatopani means ‘hot water’ and is famous for its hot springs just below the village and there is time in the late afternoon to enjoy a welcome soak - guaranteed to ease any aching limbs!

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 1,250m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 16 km / 10 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    640
    Activity (hours):
    6
  • Day 17

    A long climb up through the villages of Ghara, Shika and Chitre to Ghorepani

    The last stage of the trek takes us over a high ridge to the end of the trek. Today is a sting in the tail as we have a long climb to Ghorepani. The trail climbs all day through small hamlets and terraced fields. We start with a short descent on the road track for 45 minutes to a couple of bridges. From the second bridge, we have 30 minutes along a track and then the trail starts climbing on a series of stone staircases. It’s fairly steep up to Durbin Danda from where we have a short descent through Ghara. We then mostly follow the old trail as it climbs up through the villages of Shika and Chitre. From Chitre we enter a huge rhododendron forest and the last couple of hours take us up to Ghorepani. Meaning ‘horse water’, Ghorepani was once a stopping place for the huge mule trains that used to ply this route. As we climb today the mountains start to appear and from Ghorepani we get fabulous views of the Annapurnas from the lodge.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 2,900m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 17 km / 10 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    1840
    Activity (hours):
    7.5-9
  • Day 18

    Optional early morning walk up Poon Hill for sunrise before a long descent to Birethanthi

    An early start for those who want to trek the hour up to the top of Poon Hill for the sunrise (approx. two hours return trip including stops - in addition to the 7.5hrs walking to Birethanthi). The effort is well worth the 310m climb (again, in addition to the 320m of total ascent today) for the superb views over the Annapurnas, Dhaulagiri and Machhapuchhare. We return to our lodge for breakfast and then it’s all the way downhill today through the forest to Banthanti and then down a stone staircase through Ulleri and Tirkhedunga to Birethanti by the Modi Khola, where we stay in a very simple lodge.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 1,025m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 20 km / 12 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    320
    Activity (hours):
    7.5 (9.5 including Poon Hill)
  • Day 19

    Short walk to Naya Pul and drive to Pokhara; afternoon free

    From Birethanti it is a very short walk to Naya Pul, where we will pick up transport back to Pokhara. We usually arrive by lunchtime and have the afternoon to explore this pretty lakeside town.

    Hotel Lakefront / Hotel Dahlia (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 2 km / 1 miles
    Activity (hours):
    1
  • Day 20

    Free day in Pokhara

    We have the whole day in Pokhara. There are many options to choose from today. You might want to hire a bike and cycle around part of the lake, or you could take a boat across the lake and walk up to the Japanese Peace Pagoda with great views of the mountains and the lake (from the pagoda carry on up the ridge to Raniban Resort for lunch), or you might want to visit the Mountaineering Museum, the Gurkha Museum, take a trip to the nearby Tibetan refugee settlement and craft centre, or simply relax in one of the many lakeside restaurants and stroll around the shops.

    Hotel Lakefront / Hotel Dahlia (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 21

    Fly to Kathmandu

    We fly to Kathmandu. Weather depending there should be good views on the flight.

    Hotel Royal Singi (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 22

    End Kathmandu

    The trip ends after breakfast. Those not on the group flight will leave us after breakfast.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
Altitude charts
TNQ Altitude Chart

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Accommodation

Hotels & Lodges

This tour spends four nights in standard hotels and seventeen nights on the trek in lodges (teahouses).

In Kathmandu, we usually stay at the Hotel Royal Singi, located within walking distance of the Thamel district. All rooms have en suite facilities and there is a restaurant, a bar and an outdoor courtyard. There is complimentary Wi-Fi in the hotel lobby and Wi-Fi codes are available from reception for the rooms. There is an Exodus desk in the hotel reception area and an Exodus representative will usually be available daily in the mornings and evenings. In Pokhara, we usually stay at Hotel Lakefront or Hotel Dahlia.

The teahouses are basic but adequate; please be realistic about what to expect in the mountains. 

The hub of the teahouse is the dining room, usually decorated with colourful traditional rugs, sometimes with a stove or heater (some lodges charge a fee to put the heater on). All teahouses sell snacks and other essentials such as tissues, soap and toilet paper. All lodges have electricity but it is not wholly reliable and lighting may not be bright enough to read by – a torch is essential. In many locations on the Annapurna Circuit, there are electrical plug sockets in the teahouse bedrooms so you can recharge devices free of charge but in some locations, charging facilities may only be available in the dining room for a small fee (approx. Rs100-200 per hour per device). Most of the lodges on this route have Wi-Fi for around Rs100 per day. Sometimes the Wi-Fi may not work because of the poor network coverage or power cuts. 

The bedrooms are mostly twin-share but occasionally during peak seasons, you may be asked to share a dormitory room (3-5 people max) for the odd night. Beds with foam mattresses, bedsheets and a pillow are provided. Bedrooms are generally unheated and can get cold at night so you will need to bring or hire a sleeping bag.

Most lodges have only one or two basic toilets and sometimes these are located outside the main lodge building. Toilets are usually Asian ’squat’ style; although many lodges have now installed ‘western style’ seated ones. Toilet paper is not provided so you should bring your own or buy it locally (please dispose of it in the bin provided – do not put it in the bowl). If there is not a flush handle, there should be a container of water to pour down – if it is empty (or frozen) please either refill it or ask the lodge to do so. Laundry facilities are available in Manang if you need to wash a few items. 

Most lodges now have hot gas or solar showers (charged at approx. Rs100 per shower) but don’t expect them every night. Sometimes a hot shower is simply a bucket of hot water and not a showerhead.

Standards of cleanliness vary especially in the peak trekking season and in winter when the water freezes at night. Please report any problems to your leader or the lodge and be vigilant in your personal hygiene regime – use soap or hand sanitizer gel before and after toilet breaks, snacks and mealtimes.

On this particular trek, the standard of lodges varies quite a bit from one night to the next - with some of the most basic accommodation being in Larjung, Birethanti and Thorong Phedi.

Extra Accommodation

If you require any additional accommodation in Kathmandu either before or after the tour, we can book this for you (subject to availability), please enquire with your Sales Consultant.

Single Accommodation

If you prefer your own room, we offer a single supplement for the four nights in Kathmandu and Pokhara only (subject to availability). While in the tea-houses, single rooms cannot be guaranteed but if a single room is available that night, you can pay locally on a day by day basis.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £105.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

Breakfast is included throughout the trip.

In the teahouses breakfast will comprise of a choice of bread (a slice of toast, chapatti or Tibetan bread), a choice of egg (boiled, fried or omelette), and a choice between either muesli or porridge each day. Hot tea/coffee will also be served. On specific days, there will not be a choice for breakfast and either a trekkers breakfast (egg, hash brown, baked beans and toast) or a pancake with jam/honey will be served - these options are not available in all teahouses and so we have only included them in locations where they can be guaranteed.

Lunch will be taken at a teahouse en route - sometimes one of your guides will go ahead with the group's order to make it more expedient. Dinner will be in the same teahouse that you sleep at (this is custom in Nepal as teahouses base their room rate on it).

Although most lodges have almost identical menus, they are reasonably extensive and offer a varied selection, ranging from traditional Nepalese dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie. Dhal bhat is the staple diet in Nepal and comes in many different forms but generally comprises some curried lentil dhal and meat or vegetables, some rice, and a pickle/chutney. Another popular snack is momos; a type of Nepalese dumpling, fried or steamed, filled with meat or vegetables.

Although meat is available in the teahouses, we advise against eating it on trek. The meat has often been carried in the heat from lower altitudes for several days before reaching the lodges and can cause stomach upsets or illness. Germs can also be spread by handling dirty money - we recommend using hand sanitiser.  

If you have a gluten free diet, then we strongly recommend you bring some extra food and snacks with you to supplement the food on trek as there will be little variety available for you, particularly for breakfast. Even many of the soups are powdered and contain gluten. Gluten free breakfast options will be limited to vegetable fried rice and a choice of egg, and on specific days only, a trekkers breakfast (without the toast / with an extra egg) will be served. Breakfast options for vegans will be limited to a choice of muesli/porridge with water each day, and on specific days only, a trekkers breakfast (without the egg), or vegetable fried rice will be served. If you are lactose intolerant as opposed to vegan then the same will apply although you will also have a choice of egg each day. 

If you buy imported food and drink whilst on trek you will spend more than the suggested amount.

Drinking Water

Staying hydrated is important when undertaking any physical activity but particularly so at altitude where it is generally recommended to drink at least 3-4 litres per person per day.

We strongly encourage you not to buy bottled water on trek as this contributes to the growing problem of plastic pollution in Nepal’s trekking areas.

Some villages along the Annapurna Circuit route have safe drinking water stations selling UV treated water for Rs40-50 per litre but these are not always open.

The teahouses also sell boiled water for approx. Rs150-300 per litre (the price increases the higher you trek) which should not require treating. This is also perfect for a bedtime refill as it can double up as a hot water bottle.

Alternatively, all teahouses will provide cold water free of charge, if requested. Although this should not be drunk untreated, we recommend that you bring a reusable bottle (or two) and use an effective form of water treatment. There are a wide range of products available these days which are more effective than traditional purification tablets - we recommend talking to an outdoor retailer for the latest advice as technologies are improving all the time: make sure to check the product’s performance in cold/freezing conditions and consider its volume and battery life (lithium batteries are best in cold conditions).

Handheld UV filters such as a ‘SteriPEN’ are widely available to purchase from online retailers such as Amazon and eBay – they’re very effective, can treat 1 litre of water in a couple of minutes and the water is ready immediately – look for lightweight lithium battery models and remember that you will need to bring a wide-mouthed bottle (e.g. Nalgene) for use with these devices.

There are also an array of water filter and purifier bottles on the market but be wary of their weight, bottles with a small capacity and the product's performance in freezing conditions. Exodus has partnered with Water-to-Go, a filtration system that eliminates over 99.99% of all microbiological contaminants from any non-salt water source – please visit Water-to-Go for more information. Exodus customers can claim 15% off your first order, and better still, 15% of the purchase value will be donated to the Exodus Travels Foundation. Please note that if the water freezes it will clog up the filter – in this event, defrost before use by sitting the filter in lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes.

Transportation

For airport transfers, we use a private minibus. For the journey to Besisahar, we will use a privately hired bus. For the journey from Besisahar to Ngaddi we will swap into a local style bus as these are better for negotiating this section of road which is in a poor condition.

For the flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu, we will use the scheduled services of one of the airlines operating within Nepal.

This point to point trekking holiday requires customers to walk between each overnight stay under their own steam. Other forms of transport may be available along the route (horses, jeeps etc) but Exodus is not able to take responsibility for the safety or the cost of any transport that customers choose to take even if provided with the assistance of our leader or staff.

Flying in Nepal

Many of our treks in Nepal use domestic flights to reach the trekking areas. The mountainous terrain is often subject to changeable weather which makes flying conditions complex. In addition, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Nepal does not operate to the same standards as those of western nations. The EU chose to highlight the poor safety record in Nepal in December 2013 by including all Nepalese registered airlines on the EU ‘banned list’ preventing them from flying in EU airspace. While no Nepalese-registered airlines currently fly within the EU, the EU instigated this ban to highlight the risk of flying in Nepal to EU citizens. Flying within Nepal is therefore a known risk and we encourage you to consider this carefully before booking. We suggest you refer to the following sources.

- The current travel advice for Nepal issued by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- The Air Safety Network entry for Nepal

In response to concerns over this safety record, Exodus arranges for independent air safety experts to visit Nepal on our behalf to assess the suitability of the available carriers on an annual basis. We then restrict our use of airlines to only those approved as part of this audit process. In emergency situations, we will need to use helicopters and we also have a list of approved helicopter carriers. Please consider all of the information above when deciding to book this holiday.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

The main trekking season in Nepal is from October to mid-May when daytime temperatures at most altitudes are generally comfortable for walking, the sky is clear much of the time and rain and snow are occasional occurrences. Daytime temperatures will vary from 15ºC to 35ºC in the Kathmandu Valley to around 10ºC at 3,600m and progressively lower the higher we go. Different seasons offer different advantages for trekking.

The crossing of the Thorong La can be cold at any time of year. Sometimes the pass is clear of snow and there is no wind whilst at other times it is covered in snow (or ice) and it is extremely windy and cold. We cannot predict the weather, so you must have adequate clothing and equipment for very cold temperatures. We cannot guarantee you will need them but we suggest you take YakTrax or microspikes (the ones with spikes on not coils) in case of snow or ice as it is best to be prepared.

Snow can be expected on any departure, usually at the higher altitudes above Manang. 

Post Monsoon/autumn: Mid-September to November. This is the main trekking season in Nepal. Day temperatures in Kathmandu are approximately above 20ºC. Skies are usually clear and days on trek are sunny and mild with clear mountain views (particularly in late autumn). Nights will be colder with temperatures dropping as low as to minus 5ºC at the higher altitudes.

Winter: December to end February. Despite the colder conditions, this is an ideal time to trek in Nepal. Skies are usually very clear especially in December and the mountain views are at their best. Nights will be very cold with temperatures down to minus 10ºC or lower at the highest altitudes but days are pleasant and sunny. The trails are also much less busy at this time of year. In Kathmandu, maximum daytime temperatures are 19ºC.

Pre-monsoon: March to May. Both day and night temperatures will be warmer in general but haze will often build up in the afternoons. It is very hot in the lowlands and temperatures rise to 35ºC in Kathmandu. Flowers bloom in this season and this is one of the reasons people chose to trek in spring. A buff is highly recommended as protection against the dusty winds that can occur on certain sections of the trip.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 23 days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We use the scheduled services of various different airlines to Kathmandu: usually Turkish Airways, Qatar, Oman Air (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Internal flights during the trip are with a local airline.

Travelling land only: 22 days starting and ending in Kathmandu

Your trip normally starts at our hotel in Kathmandu in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure. The usual, standard check-in baggage weight allowance is 20kg.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Free Transfers

Exodus offers FREE airport arrival and departure transfers on any flight for this trip, for both Land Only and Flight Inclusive clients. Unless specified otherwise, the transfer will be to the Exodus start (or pre-tour) hotel and from the end (or post-tour) hotel, and will be on the date on which the tour starts/ends; transfers to other hotels in the same city and/or on different dates may attract an extra charge. Transfers may be shared with other Exodus customers on the same flight, or on a flight with similar arrival times. All those taking advantage of the free airport transfers must provide full flight details for both arrival and departure in advance. 

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

The cost of a taxi is likely to be about £6/US$10 should you decide to make your way independently.

Location start:
Kathmandu
Location end:
Kathmandu

What to Take

Essential Equipment

All luggage for the trek should be packed in an Exodus kitbag (which you can claim free of charge upon booking) or in a similar soft duffel bag. Many people find it easiest to pack the kitbag inside a wheelie case which can be left at the hotel in Kathmandu free of charge with anything not needed for the trek, whilst the kitbag will be carried by your porter on the trek.

Each porter carries two kitbags, therefore please respectfully limit your kitbag to 10kg maximum per person.

The weight allowance on the flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu is 15kg check-in baggage and 5kg hand baggage. If your luggage exceeds these weight limits then you will have to pay the excess (approx. £1 per kg).

Many Nepalis are still traditional in the way they dress. You should, therefore, dress conservatively. Tight, revealing clothing is not advised and T-shirts are preferable to sleeveless tops. Long knee-length shorts are acceptable. Trousers or a long skirt are preferable for women.

2 passport photos for your trekking permit (plus an additional 1 if getting your visa on arrival in case the electronic visa kiosks are out of order)
4-season sleeping bag (with liner for December departure)
3/4-season jacket (4-season for late November and December departures)
2 x 1-litre water bottles (with a wide opening for us with a SteriPEN, e.g. Nalgene or similar)
Waterproof walking boots (worn in)
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Gaiters for winter and spring departures
Trainers/sandals for the evening
Warm hat
Scarf/Buff (which can be pulled over your nose and mouth to protect against fine mountain dust)
Warm gloves
Several pairs of walking socks
Tracksuit or thermals
Mid layer (fleece)
Light to mid-weight trousers (warmer for winter)
Shorts
Shirts, t-shirts, base layers
Sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve with sun protection
Daypack
Towel
Head torch
Plastic bags (bin liners) to line daypack and for packing clothing in the kitbag
Toilet paper
Trekking pole(s)
Small personal first aid kit
Hand washing gel
Universal plug adaptor (there are three different electrical socket types in Nepal)
Water treatment: SteriPEN / water purification tablets etc.
Biodegradable soap/shampoo
Swimwear (for the hot springs)
Solar charger/spare batteries/power bank

Although the Thorong La is often clear of snow and ice, there can be snow and ice at any time of year, but particularly in winter and spring. Snow can make the steep descent slippery. We recommend carrying a pair of Microspikes, Yaktrax or similar (with spikes rather than coils) with you just in case. YakTrax are readily available in Kathmandu and are cheap to buy.

Equipment hire

There are many equipment shops in Kathmandu where you can buy much of the above clothing. The quality does vary and cannot be guaranteed so you should choose carefully.

The following equipment can be hired through Exodus - the equipment is good quality and will keep you warm but it is bulky and you should take this into account when packing due to the weight limits for both porterage and domestic flights. Hire equipment should be requested and paid for in advance of travel but will be provided locally in Kathmandu. Approximate hire prices are as below:

Down jacket (approx. 1.8kgs): from £73.50
4 season sleeping bag (approx. 2.3 kgs): from £73.50
Package including a down jacket and a 4-season sleeping bag: from £84

Donations for porters, children and the elderly

If while packing, you find a spare bit of space in your bag then you may be interested in donating to one of Exodus' projects. Exodus supports a Porter Clothing Bank in Kathmandu, as well as children in local schools in Kathmandu and various villages, and an old people's home in Kyanjin Gompa in the upper part of the Langtang Valley. If you have any old walking gear this can be donated to porters, and similarly, any warm clothing or blankets would be appreciated by the old people's home - please leave these items with your leader or at the Exodus desk at the Royal Singi Hotel. Books, stationery, games, warm clothes/underwear etc. suitable for children aged 5-18 years should be taken to the Ambassador Garden Home in Thamel and given to Prakash Lammichanne. Contact No: +977 1 4700724.

Exodus Kitbag

If you book this trip, we provide an Exodus kitbag to pack your luggage in whilst on trek. Once you have booked you will be sent instructions on how to claim your free bag (they will not be sent out automatically). There are also details on how to claim for another item from the Exodus shop should you already have one of these. If you book via an agent, it is at the agent’s discretion and you should speak directly to them to arrange delivery. Please note that if you book less than three weeks before the departure date we cannot guarantee that your kitbag will arrive before your trip starts, so if this is the case please contact us on [email protected] to let us know. For full T&Cs see www.exodus.co.uk/kitbags.

Prayer flags, Nepal

Practical Information

Passport

Nepal

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Nepal

Most nationalities require a visa for Nepal, which can be obtained in advance or on entry (at present, the Immigration Department of Nepal have suspended  'visas on arrival' for certain nationalities - please check if this applies to you). All Nepal tourist visas are multiple entry. We recommend that you apply in advance as queues on arrival can be very long – applications can be made directly through the Nepal Embassy (by post or in person) or through our recommended visa agency, Travcour. The current cost for a visa in advance is GB£20 for a 15-day visa and GB£35 for a 30-day visa for UK passport holders (plus processing and postage fees if applying through Travcour).

The current cost for a visa on arrival is US$30 for 15 days, US$50 for 30 days, or US$125 for 90 days for UK passport holders. The fee can be paid for in any major currency at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. On arrival in the immigration hall there are 3 queues (if you have obtained a visa in advance go straight to (3) - immigration):

(Step 1) Fill in a 'Tourist Visa' form: either online before travel (recommended) via the Department of Immigration website - print the submission receipt with barcode (valid for 15 days) and bring it with you, or use the electronic kiosk machines on arrival at the airport. If using the kiosks, after inserting your passport the machine will automatically fill out an application form, take an electronic photograph of you and print a paper slip. If the machine won’t read your passport you can complete the details manually using the touch screen. We recommend taking 1 passport photo with you just in case. (Step 2) Proceed to the visa fees collection counter and pay the visa fee (we advise to take some cash) – make sure to keep the receipt. (Step 3) Lastly, go to the relevant immigration desk and present your tourist visa form, payment receipt and passport to obtain your 15, 30 or 90-day visa stamp. Please check you have been given the correct visa duration.

Non-UK nationals should check requirements with their nearest embassy (a few nationalities are not permitted visas on arrival).

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Ticks are known to be present in this region and can carry Lyme disease, Tick-Borne Encephalitis and other diseases. Please take care to protect yourself. You can read more about ticks here.

Vaccination

Nepal

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

There is low to no risk of malaria throughout Nepal and antimalarial tablets are not usually advised although may be considered for certain higher risk groups; you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. The risk is highest in the low lying southern ‘terai’ districts bordering India.

A yellow fever certificate is only required if travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission or for travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through a country with risk of transmission.

Dengue fever is a known risk in Nepal. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. As of August 2019, there has been a recent outbreak of Dengue fever in southeast Nepal and we therefore recommend you take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites (such as wearing full length trousers, long sleeves and applying insect repellent during the day as well as at dawn and dusk).

Most of our trips to Nepal go to high altitudes where there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please refer to the Altitude Warning within the Trip Notes for further advice on AMS.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Altitude warning

This trip includes one or more nights over 3500m above sea level, where there is a genuine risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). If left untreated AMS can be life-threatening. We expect most clients to experience some mild symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headaches and shortness of breath while walking or sleeplessness. Our leaders are trained to identify symptoms of severe AMS and if a client requires extra care, arrangements such as rapid descent will be made immediately.

On some days this trip climbs faster than commonly published ascent rate recommendations. Based upon an assessment by our external safety and medical advisors and our risk assessment process, we consider the ascent rate is acceptable due to the additional safety measures that are in place for our customers. All our trips operating at high altitude meet our internal altitude safety standards that minimise the risk of serious incidents occurring whilst travelling at altitude.

A number of medical conditions or medications can reduce your body's ability to acclimatise. This may affect your performance and make you more susceptible to AMS. If you are worried about any pre-existing conditions, such as heart conditions, or your overall physical ability, you must seek medical advice prior to booking. The drug Diamox (also known as acetazolamide and normally only available on prescription) has been shown to aid acclimatisation in some individuals, and therefore may reduce the risk of AMS. Clients considering using Diamox should speak to their doctor about the drug, its side-effects and a prescription. Please note that while we endeavour to assist all our clients in achieving their goals, there may be times when your leader decides to delay or stop your ascent based on your overall condition, or the onset of AMS.

If you are not taking out Exodus Travel Insurance, make sure that your policy covers you up to the maximum altitude on this trip (if trekking in the Himalaya your policy should also cover the use of a helicopter for emergency medical evacuation).

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Nepal's Timezone:
Asia/Kathmandu +0545 (GMT +05:45)

Electricity

Nepal's Electricity:

230V, 50Hz. Three different plug socket types are used in Nepal (types C, D and M) so it is advisable to bring a universal plug adaptor with you. On teahouse treks, almost all lodges now have electricity and charging facilities (usually for a fee) but power cuts are not uncommon. Battery life can be affected by cold - lithium batteries are best. 

Money

Nepal's Currency

The national currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 141 to the UK£ and 113 to the US$.

It is a closed currency, meaning it is illegal to import or export Nepalese Rupees so you won’t be able to get local currency outside of Nepal but foreign currency is not limited, provided it is declared on arrival.

Keep your change receipts, as you will need them if you want to change any leftover Rupees back into hard currency at Kathmandu airport before you depart. They may not always have all international currencies in stock but will generally have either GBP or EUR or USD.

ATM Availability

There are ATM machines in Kathmandu, Pokhara and other major towns but there are none on the Annapurna Circuit Trek itself so you have to carry cash.

Please do not rely wholly on ATM machines as many are broken or run out of money. Often there are “ATM lounges” (a small room with numerous different ATMs). Some banks have a withdrawal limit equivalent to only GBP100 per time but as there is usually a transaction fee, if you need to withdraw more money than this you should look for another ATM with a higher limit (others have a maximum withdrawal limit equivalent to about GBP300 per time). 

Credit cards are accepted in many of the larger shops and restaurants in Kathmandu and Pokhara but will be of no use on trek.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You can either bring your spending money to Nepal in cash to exchange or use a combination of cash and card withdrawals from ATMs. Most major currencies (including Pounds Sterling, Dollars and Euros) can be exchanged in Nepal but notes must be in good condition – torn, tatty or marked notes will not be accepted. However, Scottish or Irish Currency cannot be changed in Nepal and nor can travellers' cheques.

There are money change facilities at Kathmandu airport both before and after immigration – whilst exchange rates are generally good here, it’s worthwhile checking the fees. You sometimes get a better rate for changing larger denomination notes. Most large hotels also offer a currency exchange service (including the Royal Singi Hotel) and there are also countless money changers in the Thamel area of Kathmandu. Remember to keep your exchange receipts in case you want to change any Rupees back into hard currency when you leave Nepal. 

You will need to take out enough money in Kathmandu to last for the duration of your trek – to cover meals, drinks, tipping and other incidentals. It is a good idea to carry some spare cash on the trek in case of an emergency. Carrying a large amount of cash is unavoidable so we suggest splitting it up into a few different places - but remember to keep track of how much you have stashed where.

It is possible to buy things like beer, soft drinks, chocolate, toilet paper etc. from the teahouses en route. Spending habits are subjective, so it is impossible to give an exact amount of spending money required, however as a rough guideline, we recommend between GB£350-450 (approx. US$434-560) per person in total (inclusive of tips, expenditure on the trek, and meals in Kathmandu). Imported drinks and snacks are relatively expensive. Your expenditure will be towards the top end if you buy boiled water rather than treating cold water, and depending on how many hot showers you take, if you pay to charge electrical devices, drink alcohol, use Wi-Fi on the trek, and so on. 

Optional Excursions

A number of optional tours and activities can be booked locally through your tour leader or at the Exodus desk at the Hotel Royal Singi in Kathmandu.

Prices for a half-day Kathmandu sightseeing tour start from around GB£25 (approx. US$40) per person, based on a group of 6 and above. Return transport and a qualified sightseeing guide are included but lunch or entry fees are not included.

An optional Everest sightseeing flight is available on your free day (weather permitting) from around GB165 per person (the price may be subject to change). Anyone taking an internal sightseeing flight in Nepal should pay attention to the statement 'Flying in Nepal' below.

Tipping

Tipping is very much part of the culture in Nepal and although entirely at your discretion, it is usually expected. Often people would like to tip in recognition of good service but are unsure how much would be appropriate in a foreign country - for this reason, we have listed guideline amounts below (these are intended as a guideline only and you may see fit to give more or less depending on the service that you have received).

For the tipping of your trek staff and your tour leader, we suggest passing an envelope for each staff member around the group so that everyone can put in what they feel comfortable with anonymously. 

The following are guideline amounts received by each staff member from the group as a whole... 

  • Tour Leader: Rs30,000 - 35,000 (usually tipped on the last night in Kathmandu)

Your trekking crew (tips are usually given on the last evening of the trek in Birethanthi):

  • Head Trekking Guide and Assistant Guides: Rs20,000 - 25,000 for each guide
  • Trek Porters: Rs10,000 for each porter

General tipping guidelines: 

  • Drivers: Kathmandu to Besisahar (full day) - Rs1,000 in total from the group. Nayapul to Pokhara (half-day) - Rs500 in total from the group
  • Hotel Porters: Rs100 each time for each room
  • Teahouses and lunch stops on the trek: it's customary to round your bill up to the nearest Rs50 or Rs100
  • Restaurants: 10% of the bill if good service

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Exodus has a longstanding relationship with our local partner in Nepal, having worked with the family business for over 30 years. We employ local leaders, guides and staff throughout and work with family-run hotels wherever possible, such as the Hotel Royal Singi.

Exodus has set up and supported many projects in Nepal over the decades, from installing solar cookers and donating smokeless stoves, to supporting a tree nursery in Braga (Annapurna’s) and helping supply water and hydro-electric power to several villages.

Following the 2015 Nepal earthquake, Exodus’ emergency fundraising appeal raised over a quarter of a million pounds. This enabled us to provide immediate and longer-term emergency support in the necessary areas. Exodus worked with volunteers from Nepal Medical College to run a medical camp in the remote village of Thulopatel in 2016, and sponsored Health Partnership Nepal to run a medical camp in Charikot in 2017. We are also proud to support Freedom Kit Bags (providing sanitary wear) for women in Nepal..

To learn more about what Sustainable Travel means to Exodus and the projects we support through the Exodus Travels Foundation click here... your contributions really do make a huge difference to the communities we aim to help – if you’d like to donate to our Himalayan Community Projects you can do so here.

 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.