Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake

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Max Elevation

5,416 m

Best Season

late September to October
March to May

Duration

13 days

Start

Kathmandu (ask for Pokhara if preferred)

Difficulty

medium-hard

Finish

Pokhara (ask for Kathmandu if preferred)
Tour Details

Annapurna Circuit trek is an amazing way to see Nepal, giving access to remote and fascinating places. On this route, the scenery and culture dramatically change from subtropical forests, paddy fields, and the world’s deepest river gorge to ice flows, a high mountain pass, arid cliffs, and mountain views. Passing through Manang, the trek starts with views of the Manaslu range, Tibetan-like Buddhist villages, and woodlands. With the varied landscapes, villages, and peoples along the trail, and of course, the majestic mountains, it is a photographer’s paradise. It is also a way to discover the different aspects, cultures, and landscapes of the country in one trip, and while circling the Annapurna range. The route is culturally decorative and discovering chhortentemples and monasteriesThis trek allows for proper acclimatization before tackling the Thorong La pass at 5,416m. The mountain is named after Annapurna, the Hindu goddess of food and nourishment, who is said to have her home in the Annapurnas. The name Annapurna is derived from the Sanskrit. It is a combination of the words purna (“filled”) and anna (“food”), and can be translated as “everlasting food”. Many streams descending from the slopes of the Annapurna Massif provide water for the agricultural sector located at a lower altitude.

Price Includes

  • Pre-trek online personal advice
  • Round trip vehicle to Annapurna Region and all transportation during trek
  • All permits
  • Bedroom in teahouse lodges during trek
  • Three meals per day during trek
  • Government registered, well experienced, English speaker and friendly local trekking guide
  • Staff fees with all their expenses and necessary insurance
  • Welcome dinner

Price Excludes

  • Nepal visa fee
  • Health insurance with heli-rescue up to 6,000m (compulsory)
  • Any expenses which arise due to a change of the itinerary, because of landslides, political trouble, and strikes etc.
  • Personal expenses (phone charging, WiFi, hot shower, laundry...)
  • Personal expenses due to flight delay (if you included flight)
  • Drinks and Bar Menu
  • Breakfast on the first day, dinner on the last day
  • Gratuity (optinal)

You can add to your pack

  • Guide in your own language
  • Porter (20kg max)
  • Private room during trek
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Three meals per day in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Round trip vehicle or flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara
  • Other transportation options during trek, such us private vehicle or flight
  • Taxi service
  • International flight

Complementaries

  • Firante's gift
  • Combine several treks and extend your trip
What to Expect

The Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake Trek is a remarkable adventure that combines the captivating emerald green Tilicho Lake with the renowned Annapurna Circuit. This 13-day trek takes you through diverse landscapes, cultural treasures, and high-altitude passes, offering an unforgettable journey full of adventure and lasting memories.

During the Annapurna Circuit Trek, you will have the opportunity to visit the Mustang valley, which has been recognized by CNN as one of the 23 must-visit places in the world. This picturesque valley offers a unique and captivating experience. With its stunning landscapes, ancient monasteries, and a rich blend of Tibetan and Nepali culture, Mustang is truly a hidden gem. Exploring this enchanting valley will provide you with a deeper understanding of the region’s history and traditions. The Mustang valley adds an extra layer of beauty and cultural significance to the already extraordinary Annapurna Circuit Trek, making it an even more memorable and fulfilling adventure.

Starting with Tilicho Lake, the world’s highest lake, situated at an altitude of 4,919 meters (16,138 feet), you’ll be mesmerized by its stunning beauty amidst towering peaks. The azure waters of the lake create a captivating sight and provide an excellent opportunity for camera enthusiasts to capture its splendor.

The trek then leads you through the culturally rich Buddhist village of Manang, where you can immerse yourself in local traditions and witness the unique architectural style. As you continue, you’ll traverse the Annapurna Circuit, venturing through the Kali Gandaki Gorge, the deepest gorge on Earth, and ascending towards the renowned Thorong La Pass (5,416 meters or 17,769 feet). Crossing this challenging pass rewards you with breathtaking views of the Annapurna Massif and the surrounding peaks, an experience that will stay etched in your memory forever.

As you journey through the Annapurna Conservation Area, you’ll encounter diverse landscapes, ranging from sub-tropical forests to enchanting rhododendron and cypress forests. The region’s rich biodiversity adds to the allure, and the conservation area ensures the preservation of its natural treasures.

Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the spiritually significant Muktinath Temple (3,710 meters or 12,172 feet), revered by both Hindus and Buddhists, and situated near the base of Thorong La Pass. This sacred site offers a serene and contemplative atmosphere, adding a spiritual dimension to your trek.

The Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake Trek is not only a feast for the eyes but also a physical and mental challenge that rewards you with unforgettable moments and a deep appreciation for the grandeur of the Himalayas. The remarkable views of the Annapurna Ranges, the cultural immersion, and the natural wonders encountered along the way make this trek a truly remarkable and awe-inspiring adventure.

During Annapurna Circuit Trek we will see over 43 mountains, which are belongs to Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Manaslu; all in 13 days itinerary. This is the Most popular circuit trek of the world.                                                     

  • Visit the Mustang valley, CNN's list of 23 places in the world
  • Tilicho Lake (4,949m) - one of the highest lakes in the world
  • Experience the beauty of the alpine region of Nepal yaks and their pastures
  • Blue sheep at Yak Kharka
  • Stay at the stunningly beautiful Jomsom, the headquarters town of the Mustang district
  • Spectacular views of Mount Annapurna, Thorung Peak, Nilgiri, Chulu West and East, Tukuche Peak, Dhaulagiri, Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, and Annapurna IV, Khangsar Kang
  • Magnificent glaciers, gorges and waterfalls
  • Traversing through one of the world's highest passes - the Thorong La Pass (5,416m)
  • Traverse through the world’s deepest Kali Gandaki Gorge
Itinerary

Day beforeWelcome Dinner

The day before our trekking expedition begins, we’ll gather for a memorable welcome dinner. It’s a perfect occasion for us to connect and become acquainted with one another before we set off on our exciting adventure. This dinner also provides a valuable opportunity for us to approach our guide with any final questions or concerns we may have.

Day 1Vehicle: Kathmandu (845m) - Besisahar (760m) - Jagat (1,300m)

7h 30min

Our trekking journey begins. From Kathmandu, we’ll take a 5h bus ride to Besisahar, where we’ll have lunch. Then, we’ll continue our adventure by jeep, traversing the scenic route of Besisahar-Chame Sadak for about 2h 30min, passing through Khudi Bazar, Bhulbhule, Lampata and Syange. We will enjoy the drive, witnessing rivers and encountering local communities along the way. Finally, we’ll reach Jagat, our overnight stop, nestled amidst charming towns and villages. 

Day 2Jagat (1,300m) to Dharapani (1,860m)

5h, 778m ascent, 137m descent, 15km distance

After a hearty breakfast, we embark on a 15km trek lasting around 7h30min including our breaks. The trail leads us through stunning terraced fields and enchanting villages. Along the way, we’ll encounter the mesmerizing Octopus and Chyamche waterfalls, as well as the picturesque Taal Village. Before reaching Dharapani, our stopover for the night, we’ll immerse ourselves in the mountain’s captivating magic. Rest assured, Dharapani welcomes us for a peaceful overnight stay.

Day 3Dharapani (1,860m) to Chame (2,675m)

6h, 1,090m ascent, 318m descent, 15.5km distance

We’ll embark on a beautiful yet challenging trek to Chame, where breathtaking mountain views of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II and Annapurna IV await. The trail involves steep ridge walking and crossing landslides, making it an exhilarating journey of approximately 7h including our breaks. As we leave Dharapani, the lush forests with pine, fir, oak and maple trees guide us alongside the Marsyangdi river. We will reach Chame, the district headquarters of Manang, surrounded by vibrant green forests and awe-inspiring mountain views. We’ll prepare for a rewarding overnight stay in Chame, immersed in nature’s splendor.

Day 4Chame (2,675m) to Upper Pisang (3,300m)

5h 30min, 1,166m ascent, 518m descent, 13.2km distance

After breakfast, we’ll embark on a journey through a steep and narrow valley. As we traverse the trail along high mountain slopes, we encounter the village of Bhartang (2,950 m) where we’ll pause for a rest. Notably, Bhartang is home to Nepal’s largest apple farm. We will be eagerly anticipating our first glimpse of the majestic Paungda Danda Rock. This sacred rock formation rises 1,500m above the Marshyandi river, showcasing its awe-inspiring curved face. From the trails, we are treated to unobstructed vistas of Annapurna II to the south and Pisang Peak to the northeast. Our path then descends, guiding us to the picturesque Manang Valley floor, where the charming village of Pisang awaits us. We will spend the night there, embracing the tranquility of the surroundings. We’ll savor this day’s adventure, immersing ourselves in the grandeur of nature and the cultural significance of the Paungda Danda Rock.

Day 5Upper Pisang (3,300m) to Manang (3,540m)

5h 30min, 463m ascent, 233m descent, 17km distance

On day 5, we’ll embark on an exhilarating trek along the upper trails of Upper Pisang via Ghyaru. We have to prepare to be captivated by breathtaking vistas of Annapurna II, III, IV, Gangapurna, Tilicho and Pisang Peak‘s north face. As we ascend, the air will grow colder, drier and more challenging. This route traverses Tibetan settlements, offering a unique opportunity to immerse ourselves in Buddhist culture. We are not going to miss the chance to visit the magnificent Barge Monastery, the largest in the area. Before reaching Manang, we’ll pass through Ngawal and Braka, encountering Buddhist shrines and monasteries along the way. Finally, we’ll arrive at Manang Bazaar, a vibrant hub catering to tourists.

Day 6Acclimatization in Manang (3,540m)

During our stay in Manang we’ll dedicate an extra day to acclimatization, allowing us to adapt to the high mountain climate. We’ll have the opportunity to embark on a side hiking trip to a higher elevation and return to Manang for an overnight stay. There are multiple hiking options available, and we can select one that suits our preferences. This strategic approach of hiking and staying at the same location as the previous night will prepare us for further ascent to higher elevations tomorrow.

Day 7Manang (3,540m) to Tilicho Base Camp (4,150m)

4h 30min, 865m ascent, 285m descent, 15km distance

The trek from Manang to Tilicho Base Camp is a challenging yet rewarding adventure. Taking the upper route, we descend towards a river, which we bravely cross before venturing further into the enchanting coniferous forests. After approximately 3h of walking, we reach the Tibetan settlement of Khangsar, a glimpse of the diverse cultures that await us on this remarkable journey. However, our quest doesn’t end there as we press forward towards Shree Kharka, immersing ourselves in the captivating surroundings. Throughout our expedition, we are blessed with breathtaking views of the majestic Gungang Himal and the awe-inspiring Mt. Chulu, their grandeur painting the canvas of our memories. As we embark on the day 7, leaving Shree Kharka behind, we venture towards Tilicho Base Camp, anticipating an easier path, though one that traverses landslide-prone areas. Undeterred, we find ourselves surrounded by nature’s artistry, gazing upon extraordinary rock formations and beholding the majestic snow-capped peaks, including the magnificent Tilicho Peak. In summary, this expedition encapsulates the essence of adventure, showcasing the sublime beauty of nature at every turn. From traversing verdant forests to crossing rivers and witnessing spectacular mountain views, the trek from Manang to Tilicho Base Camp offers an unforgettable experience that will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

Day 8Hike to Tilicho Lake (4,920m) and back to Base camp (4,150m). Trek to Shree Kharka (4,080m)

4h 30min, 1,244m ascent, 1,230m descent, 16km distance

An extraordinary day awaits as we set our sights on the magnificent Tilicho Lake. With an early morning start from Tilicho Base Camp to avoid the gusty winds that prevail in the afternoon, we embark on a steep ascent that demands our determination. After a strenuous 2h to 3h trek, we are rewarded with the awe-inspiring sight of Tilicho Lake, renowned as one of the highest lakes in the world. This natural wonder, aptly dubbed The Great Ice Lake by a renowned French expedition team, lies nestled amidst the majestic peaks of Tilicho Himal, Annapurna Range, and Nilgiri Himal. Immersed in the breathtaking beauty of this pristine lake, we soak in the panoramic views that surround us. Nature’s grandeur is unraveled before our eyes, leaving an indelible imprint on our souls. However, as the day unfolds, we retrace our steps, bidding farewell to Tilicho Lake, and make our way back to Shree Kharka, where we find solace for the night. This day, marked by the ethereal beauty of Tilicho Lake, remains etched in our memories as a cherished and extraordinary experience, reminding us of the boundless wonders that lie within the realm of nature.

Day 9Shree Kharka (4,080m) to Yak Kharka (4,050m)

3h, 380m ascent, 367m descent, 11.5km distance

From Shree Kharka we descend to the uninhabited Khangsar Village passing the ancient Tare Gumba, a thousand years old monastery along the way. Following a rock wall our journey unfolds, guiding us out of Khangsar and into the captivating Thorong Khola Valley. Finally, we arrive at Yak Kharka, where glorious views of the majestic Annapurna mountain ranges await. We have to keep our eyes peeled for if luck is on our side, we may spot the graceful blue sheep or even catch a glimpse of the elusive snow leopard. As we venture closer to the renowned Thorong La Pass, we’ll find respite and spend the night at Yak Kharka, preparing for the adventures that lie ahead.

Day 10Yak Kharka (4,050m) to Thorong High Camp (4,880m)

6h, 1,076m ascent, 305m descent, 10.8km distance

Our journey continues from Yak Kharka, as we embark on a steady uphill trek that leads us to Thorong Phedi, the last village before the formidable Thorong La Pass. From there, we press onward towards Thorong Base Camp. As we ascend, the mesmerizing views of majestic mountains unfold before us, revealing the grandeur of Gudang, Syagang, Khatungkan and Thorong Peak. Today’s leg of the trek proves to be relatively more challenging due to the increasing altitude. Finding solace in a cozy teahouse, we prepare ourselves for the exhilarating ascent of Thorong La Pass, eagerly anticipating the early morning adventure that awaits us.

Day 11Thorong High Camp (4,880m) to Muktinath (3,762m) via Thorong La Pass (5,416m)

8h, 630m ascent, 1,728m descent, 13.4km distance

Today’s trek presents the ultimate challenge as we conquer Thorong La Pass, one of the highest passes in the world and the pinnacle of our journey. Rising at 4am in Thorong High Camp, we brave the harsh elements and high altitude, determined to surpass our limits. Upon reaching Thorong La Pass, a magnificent reward awaits. The breathtaking scenery unfolds before us, with Himalayan peaks stretching towards Tibet in the north, while Annapurna stands tall behind us. Nature’s grandeur leaves us in awe. Descending from the pass, we make our way to Muktinath, a revered site for both Hindus and Buddhists. Known as Chumig Ghasa, meaning “Hundred Waters” in Tibetan, Muktinath boasts 108 stone sprouts that channel the icy waters of Kali Gandaki. Amidst this sacred place, an eternal flame has burned for over 2000 years, further enriching the spiritual atmosphere. This leg of the journey encapsulates the triumph over challenges and the profound connection to nature and spirituality.

Day 12Vehicle from Muktinath (3,762m) to Tatopani (1,269m)

7h 30min

After undertaking a spiritually enriching pilgrimage to Muktinath Temple, we press onward on our journey, this time aboard a local bus bound for Tatopani. The ride proves to be a thrilling adventure as we navigate through rugged terrain adorned with winding roads, traversing a region renowned for harboring the world’s most profound gorges. Our path leads us through the lively Jomsom Bazaar, bustling with vibrant energy, until we eventually arrive at our desired destination of Tatopani, celebrated for its tranquil and natural hot springs. As the daylight gradually fades, the allure of indulging in these invigorating thermal waters becomes an irresistible proposition, providing a sublime way to conclude the day’s events. We choose to stay overnight in Tatopani, embracing the soothing ambiance and allowing ourselves to fully immerse in the serenity of this remarkable place.

Day 13Vehicle from Tatopani (1,269m) to Pokhara (822m)

5h 30min

On our final day of the trek, we embark on an exciting bus journey from Tatopani to Pokhara, anticipating an approximately 5-6h expedition. The road conditions may be challenging initially until we reach Maldhunga, but as we continue along the Baglung-Pokhara highway, the path becomes smoother. Throughout the bus ride, we are treated to a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of ever-changing landscapes and encounters with the warm-hearted locals. The journey itself becomes an enriching experience, allowing us to soak in the beauty of the surroundings and connect with the vibrant culture.

Photos
Information
Flight delay (if you included flight)

To avoid the road trip from Muktinath to Tatopani and later to Pokhara, it is recommended to inform your travel agency in advance to arrange flight tickets. The road conditions in the Mustang region, particularly from Muktinath to Tatopani and Maldhunga, can be challenging due to the high mountainous terrain. The best alternative is to take a flight from Jomsom Airport to Pokhara Airport, which saves time and offers convenience. However, it’s important to note that flight delays can occur due to unpredictable weather conditions. In the event of a flight delay, you are responsible for your own personal expenses and accommodations. Your travel agency will keep you informed about the updated flight timings and any changes that may occur. It’s advisable to maintain communication with the agency and be prepared for potential delays by keeping extra funds and allowing some flexibility in your travel plans.                                                                                                                                                           

What is the best time to trek?

The Annapurna Circuit Trek offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas and unique cultural experiences. While the best time to undertake this trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (late September to October), each season has its own charm and considerations. Here’s a breakdown of the different seasons for the Annapurna Circuit Trek:

Spring (March to May): Spring is considered the ultimate season for the Annapurna Circuit Trek. During this time, the days are long, temperatures are warm to hot, and the landscape is adorned with lush greenery and colorful flora and fauna. It’s an excellent time to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty and witness the vibrant flora and fauna of the region.

Autumn (late September to October): Autumn is another fantastic season for the Annapurna Circuit Trek. The days are warm with pleasant temperatures, and the skies are clear, offering extended visibility. This season provides breathtaking views of the massifs of the Himalayas, allowing trekkers to enjoy stunning panoramas of snow-capped peaks.

Monsoon (June to August): Although trekking in the Annapurna Circuit is possible during the monsoon season, it comes with some challenges. During the monsoon/summer season on the Annapurna Circuit Trail, the weather is unpredictable with a higher chance of rain and occasional thunderstorms, especially in the afternoons. Temperatures range from mild to warm, around 20 to 25 degrees Celsius during the day, but drop significantly at night. It’s important to be prepared with waterproof jackets, warm layers, and proper trekking shoes. Stay updated with the weather forecast and plan accordingly for a safe and enjoyable trek. 

Winter (December to February): Winter in the Annapurna Circuit brings cold and freezing weather, especially in the higher regions. The trail is covered in snow, and some passes may be unpassable due to heavy snowfall. The temperature can drop as low as 1°C during the daytime and below -10°C at night. It is important to be well-prepared with appropriate gear and equipment to tackle the harsh winter conditions.

In summary, the best time to do the Annapurna Circuit Trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (late September to October) when the weather is generally favorable and the landscapes are at their most beautiful. However, with proper preparation, the trek can still be undertaken during the monsoon and winter seasons, although they come with their own challenges and considerations. It’s important to note that weather conditions can vary, and it’s advisable to check the local forecasts before embarking on the trek. Additionally, we have to be prepared for colder temperatures at higher altitudes and always carry proper gear and equipment for the specific season we choose to trek.                                                                                                                                

Acclimatization

Acclimatization at Manang during the Annapurna Circuit trek is crucial for adjusting to the high altitude. Located at around 3,500m Manang serves as a vital acclimatization point along the route. Taking a rest day here allows trekkers to adapt to the thinner air and reduced oxygen levels, reducing the risk of altitude sickness. In the morning, we will visit  Gangapurna & Ice Lakes,and spend the rest of the day soaking in the magnificent views of Annapurna III, Tilicho, Pisang, and Chulu Peaks. It is advisable to engage in light activities, hydrate well, and gradually ascend to higher altitudes to ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience.

Trek travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for the trek. All the trekkers must provide a copy of their comprehensive travel insurance policy certificate. The policy must cover medical and emergency repatriation- including helicopter rescue and evacuation expenses at high altitudes (up to 6,000m).

Trekking members are kindly requested to send their detailed insurance information after trek booking. In case of emergencies, we will be using the insurance policy and informational documents you sent us. It will help us arrange a quick and effective rescue operation, transfer for emergency medical help, etc. Please ensure thatyour insurance covers all costs incurred during mountain rescue service.

Before buying travel insurance, make sure to call the insurance company and recheck if they have heli-rescue up to 6,000m.

Drinking water

We recommend you bring a container for one liter of water. In the teahouses we can buy boiled water suitable for drinking with which to fill our bottles. Another option is to refill the water from the fountains that we find along the way or from the tap of the teahouses themselves, for this we have to count on water disinfectant tablets that we can find in pharmacies.                                                                                                                                                           

3 Reviews
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J. Williams

Family Traveller

I am writing to express my deep gratitude to Firantes for facilitating an unforgettable experience for my family during the Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake trek. The professionalism exhibited by the agency was exceptional, ensuring our safety and comfort at every step of the journey. The guides provided insightful commentary that enriched our understanding of the local culture and environment. The sight of Tilicho Lake was truly breathtaking, leaving a lasting impression on both me and my family. Thank you, Firantes, for orchestrating a remarkable adventure that we will cherish for years to come.

May 25, 2023

Jamie

Solo Traveller

Alright, listen up folks! I rolled with Firantes for the Annapurna Circuit with the Tilicho Lake trek, and let me tell you, it was next-level awesome. The crew at Firantes knew their stuff – super pro and on point. The guides were like walking encyclopedias of local culture and nature. And Tilicho Lake? My jaw legit dropped at that turquoise beauty. If you’re up for some mind-blowing adventure, these guys got you covered. Peace out, and happy trekking, y’all!

May 15, 2023

EJ

Solo Traveller

So, I teamed up with Firantes for the Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake trek – and it was a journey for the books. Firantes was like the real deal. The guides were legit legends, dropping knowledge bombs left and right about the local scene. Tilicho Lake? Picture yourself staring into a dream. If you’re all about soaking in Mother Nature’s finest, these cats got you sorted. Much love and happy trails, peeps!

September 25, 2022
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