Best Season: October to May
When planning Annapurna Circuit Trek, it's essential to know when to travel and which months are the best for it. The best time to plan your trek is between October and May, with clear skies and moderate temperatures. There are lesser clouds in the sky, which opens your way to sightsee the beauty of the Annapurna region.
During this time of year, you can expect temperatures ranging from 56-80.2 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, with occasional rain or snowfall at night.
Annapurna Circuit Trek In Autumn Season
From a weather perspective, the Autumn Season is the perfect time to visit the Annapurna Circuit. It starts in September and lasts until November.
The weather in the Annapurna region during this season is usually dry and sunny. It also features clear blue skies, comfortable temperatures, and average temperatures ranging from 10°C (50°F) to 27°C (81°F) depending on the altitude and time of the day.
Annapurna Circuit is situated in higher elevations so that the temperature can drop considerably, especially at night. However, overall, the weather conditions during autumn are ideal for trekking in Annapurna Circuit.
Annapurna Circuit Trek In Spring Season
Besides Autumn, Spring Season is also one of the perfect times to undertake the Annapurna Circuit Trek when the weather is warm and dry. It features clear blue skies and excellent visibility, offering you a breathtaking trek experience.
Similarly, with less rain precipitation, the trails are less slippery and easier to navigate.
Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty | How Hard Is It?
Annapurna Circuit is considered moderately difficult in terms of difficulty. The trek is a collectible of walking through all kinds of landscapes, from valleys to sloppy infields, which makes it physically demanding. Similarly, high altitude can be a problem for many trekkers since it will play a vital role in altitude sickness and other related illnesses. The trails are rugged and seasonable, requiring a high level of physical fitness.
Factors Responsible for Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty
Steep and Rugged Routes
Annapurna Circuit lies in the Himalayan region of Nepal, which means it features one of the sloppy landscapes in its route. In addition, these routes are rugged, and trekkers need a high level of physical fitness to walk through these for hours.
While embarking on Annapurna Circuit Trek, you will be walking above 4000 meters from sea level, which makes you prone to several health issues, including Altitude Sickness. You must acknowledge that during your trek at the higher altitude of the circuit, you will find thin air and the oxygen level depleted so these factors can play a vital role in altitude sickness.
Weather conditions can play a crucial role in the difficulty of the Annapurna Circuit. Generally, Autumn and Spring Seasons are considered suitable for travel. But if you plan your trek in Monsoon, you might encounter heavy rainfall and calamities like landslides and floods over the stream that you need to cross suspension bridges.
Similarly, the winter season in Annapurna Circuit is very harsh - it comes with heavy snowfall and steep wind, thus, making your trek difficult. Temperatures can drop below - 10 degrees Celsius during the winter season, and you are most likely to get altitude sickness at these times. But with proper preparation, you can still make a successful Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Accommodation Facilities Around Annapurna Circuit
You will find three types of accommodation facilities during your Annapurna Circuit Trek. The first one is Hotel/Lodge; the second is tea houses, which are common in this region. And the third one is Camping. Also, you can stay on Homestay, an optional but great way to save your expenses.
You will find hotels in the beginning phase of your trek to Annapurna Circuit. While you reach Besi Sahar and Dharapani, you might find the facility of Hotels and lodges to stay overnight. However, staying at a hotel comes to be pricier than staying in other forms of accommodation. You can also choose to stay at a budget guesthouse to save money.
Tea Houses are the most common type of accommodation facility you will find in Annapurna Circuit Trek. You can find this service at every stop on the route, like Chame, Pisang, Manang, and Jomsom. Tea houses are considered best for budget trekking to Annapurna Circuit. This accommodation includes meals, snacks, and breakfast with services like a shared room. Some tea houses also feature internet services and an attached bathroom, so you might do some research before booking your stay in a tea house.
To begin with, Camping is all on you. From the sleeping tents to food and the necessary equipment to sleeping bags, you will have to manage them by yourself. In addition, you should carry your tents and equipment, which can irritate some trekkers. However, it can save you money during the trek.
Homestays are available in only some places in Annapurna Circuit. Homestay services like Narchyang Community Homestay offer you soothing services at a reasonable price. You also can get into the traditional Nepali kitchen and cuisine during your stay in Homestay.
Culture and Peoples During Annapurna Circuit Trek
While you embark on Annapurna Circuit Trek, you will experience meeting several people and cultures. As Nepal is a multicultural nation, it's no strange prevailing for people with different backgrounds and cultures in the Annapurna region.
Gurung, Thakali, Tibetan, and Sherpa are the inhabitants of the Annapurna region. You will expose yourself to the Gurung people, famous for their bravery and military service worldwide. They are one of the indigenous communities of Nepal with distinct cultures, languages, and dress. During the Annapurna Circuit Trek, you may visit several Gurung villages, such as Chame and Manang.
Similarly, Thakali villages are around Marpha and Jomsom. These communities are well known for their hospitality and culinary skills. They have a trendy cuisine called Thakali Khana which is praised all over Nepal. During your trek, you may get to taste some of their dishes.
During your Annapurna Circuit Trek, you will find that Tibetan people have a strong presence in the Mustang region. Tibetan culture features Buddhism, and you may experience and explore several Buddhist monasteries during your trek.
Guide and Porter
Hiring guides and porters is essential for your Annapurna Circuit Trek. And now, having a guide for a solo trek has become mandatory too. Anyone who plans to go trekking in Nepal should have a guide. These guides can provide the region's details and route during Annapurna Circuit Trek. Also, they can be beneficial while you are involved in cross-cultural activities. Hiring a guide will cost you anywhere from $25 to $35 daily.
Similarly, if you have more luggage during the trek, you can hire porters too. They will help you carry your equipment and other items making your trek easy and more comprehensive.
Insurance And Safety Measures
We recommend every trekker have their Insurance before taking on Annapurna Circuit Trek. You can get several forms of insurance, such as travel and health insurance.
Travel insurance will help you compensate for the expenses if your package is canceled or delayed for some reason. Health insurance is necessary since your health and safety are first before adventure and fun. You can claim your health insurance if anything uncertain happens during the trek.
Regarding your safety, carrying first aid kits during the trek is better. If you have any respiratory illness like asthma, we recommend you carry oxygen to help you breathe easier in high altitudes. Before all that, you should be prepared for this trek. Your physical and mental state of fitness matters the most during Annapurna Circuit Trek. So ensure that you have worked and planned well on that.
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Extra Activities And Extra Days Add
There are several activities that you can add as addons to your Annapurna Circuit Trek. You can visit Tatopani, a natural hot spring nearby Muktinath. Similarly, you can visit the villages of Poonhill and Ghandruk if you are looking forward to adding additional days and activities to your itinerary.
You can take a private jeep from Jomsom and stop at these places to expose yourself to the traditional Nepali culture, especially, Thakali and Gurung.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Difficult Is Annapurna Circuit Trek?
Annapurna Circuit Trek is a moderately difficult trek but very thrilling and adventurous. This trek takes you through rugged routes but will also please you with beautiful scenes during the fall phase.
How Many Days Does It Take To Complete Annapurna Circuit Trek?
Annapurna Circuit Trek's time duration depends on the total days of itinerary you booked with your travel agency. Our ten-day itinerary for this trek includes your starting date from riding to Besisahar to returning to Pokhara.
What Is The Best Time To Go For Annapurna Circuit Trek?
The best time to go for Annapurna Circuit Trek are the Autumn and Spring Seasons - the weather will be on your side with fewer obstacles in sightseeing. If you are traveling in the off-season, plan properly before going on a trek.
Do I Need A Guide For Annapurna Circuit Trek?
Yes, you need a guide for Annapurna Circuit. If you are traveling alone, it's better to know that from April 1, 2023, no foreign tourist can embark on a solo trek, so you must hire a guide for your safety.
What Is The Highest Altitude of Annapurna Circuit Trek?
The highest altitude of Annapurna Circuit Trek is 5,416 meters above sea level. It is the altitude of Thorong La Pass, as this pass is situated in the highest place in the Annapurna Circuit.
Do I Need Permits?
Of course, you need permits to go for the Annapurna Circuit Trek. You will need Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit and TIMS Card for this trek.
Where Can I Buy Permits?
You can buy ACAP and TIMS cards at the Tourism Board in Kathmandu, Nepal. They will charge you around NPR 2,000 per person to get these licenses.
What Are The Items Needed for Annapurna Circuit Trek?
Some of the gear needed for Annapurna Circuit Trek are trekking poles, sturdy boots, waterproof/windproof jackets, thermal clothes, socks, gloves, sun-blocking items, and others.
Where Can I Buy These Gears?
You can also buy these gears in Thamel, Kathmandu, and Pokhara. These cities have multiple mountaineering and trekking equipment required for leisurely trips. You can either purchase or rent these at a reasonable price.