Tilicho Lake & Annapurna Circuit Trek

Based on 4 reviews

  • Destination:Nepal
  • Total Duration:27 Days
  • Trekking Duration:27 Days
  • Trip Grade:Moderate

Trip Highlights

Annapurna - Tilicho lake Circuit Trek
Best suited for the thrill seekers, explore Annapurna Circuit with a challenging and breathe taking tranquil Lake Tilicho lying in the middle of beautiful Himalayan scenery at 4920m, world’s highest lake. Discover rare flora and fauna, ancient spiritual monasteries and the unique lifestyle and culture of local villages.

• Scenic drive from Kathmandu to Bhulbhule.
• Manang village with Gangapurna Glacier.
• Crossing over the Thorong la at 5416 M.
• Hiking through Kali Gandaki Valley and the deepest gorge.
• Sunrise View from Poon Hill.
• Warm hospitality of Thakali people and their culture.

Trip Overview

The Tilicho Lake & Annapurna Circuit Trek in Nepal is probably one of the best known hikes, or treks in the world. Apart from the mountain views Annapurna Circuit trek offers the grand opportunity to watch the magnificent sunrise gradually sending golden cloak over the majestic Himalayan massif from the Poon Hill.

Comparatively longer and sterner the Annapurna – TIlicho lake Circuit trek includes trails with wonderful rewards that go through several ancient villages, rhododendron forests, world’s deepest gorge and one of the highest pass. The walks are tough and duration required for the hikes vary each day. However, the rewards include the panoramic view of Annapurna massif that includes Annapurna I, 8,091m the 10th highest mountain in the world and first over 8,000 m to have been climbed, Additional peaks featured here are Dhaulagiri, 8,167m, worlds 7th highest, Manaslu, 8,163m, worlds 8th highest, and Machhapuchhre 6,993m a beautiful and sacred mountain that is off limits to climb.

Annapurna Circuit trek on average takes three weeks to complete including your arrival at Kathmandu the route for the walk begins with the drive to Bhulbhule from Kathmandu. The first route follows the Marsyangdi River valley till the Thorong Phedi. This is the first phase of the trek.The second half route is following the Kali Gandaki river valley after passing the high Thorong La Pass 5,416m (17,769ft), .Kali Gandaki valley is the world’s deepest gorge well flanked by the giant Dhaulagiri in the west and Annapurna massif in the east. You will visit the Manang village exhibiting their own culture and lifestyle.
Annapurna circuit Trekking provide a close look at the cultural exchange as you walk through different villages belonging to different unique ethnic groups, some even minors such as Brahmins, Manangis, Thakalis, Gurungs and Magars prosperously living together in peace and harmony.

Annapurna massif is second to none among the trekking destination around the globe that offers the magnitude and unforgettable moments filled with wonderful scenery. The trek starts with a moderate to adventurous walks, where all types of travelers can join this wonderful journey.

Outline Itinerary

  • Day 01: Arrival
  • Day 02: Day Tour in Kathmandu
  • Day 03: Drive to Besishahar (860m) and Bulbul, stay at Teahouse
  • Day 04: Trek to Bahundanda (1852m) and Ghermu 1600m
  • Day 05: Trek to Tal
  • Day 06: Trek to Chame (2160m)
  • Day 07: Trek to upper Pisang and Gyaru (3190m)
  • Day 08: Gyaru to Ngwal Braka (3470m)
  • Day 09: Day trip to Ice Lake or Milarepa cave and trek to Manang (3535m)
  • Day 10: Acclimatizing rest day at Manang (3535m)
  • Day 11: Trek to Tilicho lake base camp (4145m)
  • Day 12: Exploration hike to the Tilicho lake (4910m)
  • Day 13: Trek to Yak Kharka (4030m)
  • Day 14: High camp
  • Day 15: Trek to Muktinath (3800m) via Throng Pass (5415m)
  • Day 16: Trek to Kagbeni (2845m)
  • Day 17: Drive to Tadapani (2700m)
  • Day 18: Trek to Ghorepani (2830m)
  • Day 19: Trek to Tadapani after Poon Hill morning excursion
  • Day 20: Trek to Chomrong (2177m)
  • Day 21: Trek to Dovan (2315m)
  • Day 22: Trek to Machapuchhare base camp (3270m)
  • Day 23: Trek to Annapurna Base camp (4123m)
  • Day 24: Trek to Bamboo (2317)
  • Day 25: Trek to Jhino Danda (1735m) and drive to Pokhara (1400m)
  • Day 26: Fly to Kathmandu
  • Day 27: Departure

Detail Itinerary

Arrival in Kathmandu. Transfer to hotel and preparation for the Trekking.

A half day city tour in and around Kathmandu Valley to make you observe and understand the unique cultural heritages that include monuments, temples and monasteries such as Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath or Swoyambhunath.

The day begins with drive to Besisahar - Bhulbhule about 5-6 hrs from Kathmandu along to the Prithwi highway. We divert off the highway at the bustling town of Dumre and continue for a further one and half hours to Besisahar. After lunch we complete the short drive to the road head at Bhulbhule (846 meters) in the Marysandi Valley, overnight at lodge/teahouse with dinner.

Certainly one of the hardest and definitely the wettest today we will trek from Bahundanda to Ghermu, Ghermu to Jagat and finally Jagat to Tal. The total journey from Bahundanda to Tal consists of 17 kilometers of hiking over 9 hours (excluding a stop for lunch) and an elevation increase of 390 meters.

After descending to Syange and crossing a big suspension bridge over Marsyangdi, we will pass through the gorge which narrows along with the crest and trough of the trail. We will see overhanging rocks on the way before arriving at the place called Jagat which is located on a ridge. The place holds a historical significance of being the custom post for trading salt with Tibet. After some more crests and troughs and few overhanging rocks, the trail leads you to a small community of Chamje whose culture resembles to that of Tibetan. From Chamje, we will descend towards the bank of Marsyangdi river and after crossing a suspension bridge, we will continue through bamboo forest. After entering a wide valley with few houses to the place called Tal, we step into Manang district.

Today we will start towards Dharapani via Khotro. The settlement is chiefly Tibetan with a chorten entrance. After passing through another town named Bagarchhap, we will forge towards Diki Gompa. We will then continue the narrow valley with bounty of rhododendrons. After crossing the Himalayan barricade to the east of Lamjung via Namun Bhanjyang, we will continue to Lattemarang. Later we continue towards Chame.

We will leave Chame by crossing a bridge over Marsyangdi and move towards Bhartang treading along narrow valley full of pine and Hemlock. The Bhartang was once temporarily inhabited by Khampas. Ascending along the forest full of firs along with pine and hemlock towards Dhukur Pokhari, we continue our trek to the stop of the day- Pisang. The lower Pisang is full of lodges, some even offering cappuccino and pizzas but a short climb up the hill will take us to upper Pisang, which offers more beautiful views of Annapurna II and also a chance to visit a gompa. We continue to Gyaru where we will stay overnight.

We will take a trip to Ngwal Braka from Gyaru.

On this day we can choose either to visit Ice Lake or the Milarepa cave. Both are the side trips and provide unique experience. Ice lake is not suitable for the winter or during snowfall as the path become very slippery and dangerous.
Among the many side trips in this region, Milarepa cave is one of the most famous. This side trip (over a 2 hours hike from east of Bhraka) is very well one of the most exciting places, not only because of the scenery visible from the cave but also the story behind it.

Today, we hang around town. This is an important rest and acclimatization day before crossing the Thorung La. There are optional day walks such as crossing the river to see the tremendous icefall coming down from the Annapurna, or climbing high above the village for a full panorama of the Annapurna range and the Manang Valley.

Trek to Tilicho Base Camp (4800m) and overnight stay at Lodge.

Trek to Tilicho lake - visit the Lake and overnight at lodge.

Trek from Tilicho Base Camp To Yakkharka overnight at lodge.

We start our trekking with climb gradually to a ridge before descending to the headwaters of the Marsyangdi and crossing via a covered wooden bridge. After a short ascent up the mountain path on the right bank, you follow a narrow trail across an unstable spree slope and then descend to Thorung Phedi, overnight at Lodge.

Today, we start our trekking quite early in the morning crossing the Thorung La (5416m.). The trail becomes steep immediately on leaving camp but as this trail has been used by local people for hundreds of years the path is well defined. The gradient then eases and after around 4 hours of steady climbing, we will reach the chorten and prayer flags of the pass. The views are dramatic to say the least, from the snow-covered mountains above, to the head of the Kali Gandaki valley below and the brown and purple hills of Mustang which are spread out before us. The descent to Muktinath is a knee pounding 1600m but it's compensated for with excellent views of Dhaulagiri. Eventually the moraines give way to grassy slopes before a pleasant walk along the Jhong Khola Valley to Muktinath

After the breakfast, our trek start to Kagbeni and Kagbeni is a unique famous village of Baarah Gaun (lit. twelve villages) region in Mustang district. It lies in the popular Annapurna Circuit route and is a gateway to Upper Mustang trekking. It is a fascinating medieval village with closely packed mud-brick houses, dark alleys and imposing Chhortens. The village stands in a little green oasis dominated by its red monastery. However, with the formation of Mustang in the 15th century, Kagbeni's importance diminished. The main ethnic group in a village is Bhotias. Overnight at a guesthouse.

We will start the trek early, half an hour down to the gorge and climb 1 hours to reach to Banthati where there is hotel, continues follow the gorge till to Deurali where we have lunch 12 O’clock. After lunch few minutes climb and then down to Ghorepani inside the lush oak, rhododendron forest.

Today we’ll wake up as early as 4 am and climb 1 hour to Poon Hilll (3210m) for sunrise view panoramic fantastic view. Poon Hill is the one of the best breathtaking panorama view point in Nepal. We can see the Dhauligiri range to Manaslu range including the famous Mounthain peak Machhapurche “Fishtail”. Return back to the Hotel and take Breakfast then proceed to down to Nagythati meaning open hut, Banthati meaning Jungle hut and Ullari the beautiful mountain scenic and the village. You have lunch in Ullari and 1.30 hour steeply down to Tikhedunga the bank side of Bhurungdi Khola. Dinner in 6 PM with celebrate the last night in the mountain.

Leaving Tadapani, the trial descends down through forest and we can hear birds chirping. After walking down about 45 minutes the trail goes very steep downhill through the terraced field to Kimrung Khola, cross the suspension bridge and walk to Gurjung, the trail ascends up after Gurjung village during 45 minutes then straight walk to Chhmrung at the elevation of 2170m. It takes 4-5 hours from Tadapani to Chhumrung. Stay overnight at lodge.

The trail descends down 310 meter through thousands of stone staircase crosses then crosses Chhumrung Khola on bridge and climbs up to Sinuwa at the height of 2340 meter. It is easy walk through rhododendron festooned with orchids and ferns then steep down with stone staircase to Bamboo. After having lunch there we walk throughout the cool forest about an hour to Dovan at the elevation of 2630 meter. Stay overnight at lodge.

A trek of narrow Modi Khola valley brings you almost to the base of M.B.C. There’s technically no such thing as ‘Machhapuchhare Base Camp’, since ascents of the mountains are prohibited. The mountain views are stupendous; the panorama includes Hiuchhuli, Annapurna ranges and the ever-changing Machhapuchhare. This area is called the Annapurna sanctuary since it is totally surrounded by mountains. A huge amphitheater enclosed by a solid wall of snow-capped peaks which include Annapurna I, Annapurna III and the fish tail spire of Machhapuchhare.Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

The climb to Annapurna Base Camp takes under two hours. We descend a small ridge branching out from the mountain pass to mountainside with widespread terraced fields showcasing tranquil meadows and lush fertile farming land. At the end we will drop down back to Dovan for the night.

After enjoying Brilliant Mountain view and taking hot cup of tea or coffee we take hot breakfast and trek down to Dovan or Bamboo via MBC, Deurali and Himalaya. We take tea and lunch break on the way. Stay overnight at lodge.

From Bamboo we walk up during 30 minute and it is pleasant jungle walk to Sinuwa then head down to Chhumrung Khola and walk up long stone staircase up upper Chhomrung then walk steep down to Jhinu. Take bath in natural hot water and come back lodge. Stay overnight at lodge. After breakfast we to Nayapul via Birethanti. It takes about 4-5 hours walk to Nayapul then we drive to Pokhara by private car or van. Stay in hotel in Pokhara.

Flight to Kathmandu takes less than half an hour. In Kathmandu, we will have a city tour.

Final Departure

" Dolma Treks covered all aspects of my dream trip: hotels, logistics, food, permits.
Tsering Lama is a very seasoned trip organizer and guide that knows the way things work locally, which means a hassle-free, pure joy adventure. I have traveled to Nepal 5 times so far, always with Dolma Treks. Have done a bit of everything: culture, trekking, yoga retreat, educational visits, rescue visits (Earthquake 2015). I have been solo, with friends, and even with my young son since he was 7. Everything was perfect, every single time.

I loved every second of my trips to Nepal and I simply can't wait to be back" 

M/s C. Kasper,

I would just like to say that our trekking holiday in Langtang National Park & our Bridim homestay with Tsering Lama and his wonderful porters "Lale and Mingmar" was the most memorable, amazing holiday I have ever experienced. The guidance and support given were just so great. My wish is that my Aussie friends join a trek with Dolma Tours one day to experience this amazing country of Nepal. Thank you, Tsering. Your Aussie friends, Tania, Steve & Jesse Pitt

Tania,Steve & Jesse Pitt,

I recently went on Tsering's 17-day tour of Nepal, in Oct/Nov 2013.
Tsering is an exceptional tour leader, very organized and a welcoming host. 
He paid much attention to detail both in the planning of the itinerary and throughout the course of the trip.  Right from the beginning, the pre-departure information was excellent and I felt very well-prepared.  Any questions I had about the trekking were answered promptly by email.
Tsering's itinerary has a lovely variety of places to visit: in Kathmandu, trekking in the Annapurna mountains, visiting the Chitwan National Park, and a stunning flight over Mount Everest.  On our trek, the porters were very helpful, friendly and spoke a little English.
Tsering was always professional and timely. We were also given great insight into the generosity of the Nepali people by being invited into his family home.
Heartfelt thanks again from me for a wonderful trip!

Mrs. M. Barnett,
Auckland, NZ

We joined one of Tsering's trips to Annapurna and Chitwan in October 2013, where Tsering warmly welcomed us at the airport and confidently and efficiently organized everything for us from the moment we arrived until our departure 17 days later, making the entire trip extremely relaxing and enjoyable.
His guidance with local customs and his ability to communicate clearly in English was invaluable in ensuring we were completely informed at all times of our programme.  His command of local languages meant we were afforded the best treatment at the local hotels, lodges, and restaurants throughout our trip.
The trip was a wonderful balanced mix of the frantic bustle of Kathmandu, the grandeur of the Annapurna mountains, and the thrill of the Chitwan jungle, all complemented by a style of travel that exposes you to, and allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture to the extent you are personally willing and comfortable with.
The local guides Tsering organized were very competent and knowledgeable, giving us a great opportunity to absorb, understand and appreciate the breadth and depth of Nepal's history and the many cultures that make up its friendly people. Tsering gave us a marvelous insight into the recent history and of current events that gave us a wonderful context and appreciation of what makes the nation of Nepal what it is today and influences its future.
For the trek, Tsering organized a friendly team of local porters and guides who worked so hard carrying our gear over the often steep terrain of the mountains. Special mention goes to our lead guide Lale, who ensured the trek was perfectly paced to match the abilities of our relatively senior group. The guides and porters always had a friendly and smiling disposition, and we had a marvelous party with them on our last night, sharing cultural song and dance.
Tsering is generous of both time and nature, we were privileged to meet his family, and we particularly enjoyed the company of his enchanting 11yo son Jigme on our trip, and of his young friend Amod.
I would unreservedly recommend Tsering as a guide to anyone travelling to Nepal who is wanting to get to know this intriguing and beautiful country and its friendly people, and who enjoys knowing everything is confidently organized for you in a relaxed and efficient manner by a knowledgeable local who is a marvelous ambassador for his people and his country.
Thank you, Tsering, I sincerely hope we have the opportunity to visit Nepal again someday and enjoy your friendly and proficient service.

Mr. G. Clark,
Auckland NZ

Tsering and his trekking company were brought to my attention by my daughter who had trekked with friends in Nepal. That trip was led by Tsering who was already known to one of the group. This group so recommended Tsering, that my wife and I decided upon a trekking tour under his guidance.
We were not any stage disappointed. Tsering contacted us and after considering age, fitness and wishes, designed what he thought was an appropriate tour. He emailed a comprehensive programme with some beautiful pictures and suggested dates. We arranged the flights to and from Kathmandu and brought in a couple of friends.
From our arrival until our departure, every detail was arranged. All accommodation, transport guides, porters, and dining was minutely cared for leaving us the freedom to simply enjoy ourselves. The team he engaged were known to him and endlessly strived to assist. Friendliness and honesty were so obvious.
Westerners are usually apprehensive about local cooking and food hygiene. Tsering always stationed one of the porters in the kitchens of the tea houses to oversee the cleanliness of food preparation. Some of his team are also chefs. It is a matter of pride for him that virtually all his tourists complete their trips without gastric upset.
Tsering is very kind, caring and attentive to detail. He is great fun, has a keen political insight as well as concern for the education of his young countrymen. He is honest and generous to a fault - as are his lovely family whom we met. We also enjoyed their hospitality.
If we return to Nepal there is absolutely no doubt we would ask Tsering to undertake our planning and if possible accompany us. He was faultless and thus I have no hesitation in recommending his company to your favorable attention.

Mr. & Mrs. Peters from Poole,
Poole, UK

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