Once again here are the 20 Best Tips for Annapurna Circuit Trek for you. Everything written on this page is from my 17 years of guide experience in the trekking field.
Be mentally prepared
There is a challenge state and a threat state where a challenge state enhances our performance and a threat state interferes with our capability. Whether it’s Annapurna Circuit Trek or Everest Base Camp Trek, you should always be in a challenging state. It is because, challenge state boosts your confidence, focus, and view. You should aim for success instead of failing.
To prepare mentally, you can start doing Yoga, meditation, self-talk, do a performance routine, and many more.
Choose the best time
If you are up for trekking in Annapurna Circuit Trail, you will need the best gears and timing. Choosing the best time to trek in Annapurna Circuit Trek is very important. In Nepal, the trekking season begins from Mar-May (Spring season) & Sep-Nov (Autumn season). Rather than these two seasons, Monsoon & Winter season is not well recommended due to unpredictable weather. However, during pre-Monsoon/winter & post-monsoon/winter, you can trek to Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Use off-road Riding too
Nowadays, the Annapurna circuit is almost fully connected with the road. Unfortunately, most part of the trekking trail is also occupied by road. So It is better to ride some parts. Kathmandu to Besisahar and to Tal is better for driving. Besisahar to Manang also already connected in the road link. But it is not good to drive all the way to Manang because going directly on high elevations is too risky. It is altitude matter.
Tal is one day before Chame. If you drive Tal it is 1700m above sea level. Then you will trek to Chame, Pisang and Manang.
After Thorang la pass and reaching Muktinath, from there also road driving is available. It is all the way to Pokhara on road. Most part is still nice to trek. But from Jomsom to Tatopani (Hot Spring) is worth riding.
Make your bag light
When trekking in Nepal a porter can carry a 30kg backpack and a Trekkers can carry up to 10-15kg. Carrying more than that can cause shoulder, neck and back pain when trekking in high altitude. You should only pack the things that you will use during your trek to make your bag light. To have a better idea, check out “What to pack for Trekking in Nepal” for light backpack.
Staying hydrated before, during, and after trekking is one of the major tips for all trekkers. Dehydration can lead to dangerous situations when trekking at high elevations. Drinking enough fluid before your body feels “Thirsty” will be a good example to stay hydrated. Furthermore, a good general recommendation to stay hydrated is drinking 1 liter of water per two hours. The more you walk in high temperature the more you need to drink.
Get travel insurance
Travel insurance is like your lifesaver when you face any kind of loss like flight cancelation, delayed departure, evacuation, medical expenses and other emergencies under 6,000m elevation. So, the pro tips for all trekkers is to sign with a renown travel insurance which can cover any loss below 6,000m elevation.
Go through the local agency
Local agencies are the book of knowledge about all the mountains in Nepal, culture, habitats, and day-to-day lifestyles. First of all, booking with local agencies avoids all kinds of fuss, avoids costly travel mistakes & avoid wasting your time. You can freely customize any kinds of travel & treks inside Nepal with ease. Similarly, all the guides and porter’s income depend upon local agencies. So, booking with international trekking agencies can cut their source of income.
Be careful with AMS
AMS stands for Acute Mountain Sickness which is caused above 3,000m elevation. It is commonly seen among trekkers during their trek and can be cured easily. However, trekkers need to tell their guides about their uneasiness and symptoms to know if they are suffering from AMS or not. Hiding the symptoms can be dangerous for you because there were many people who have lost their lives due to AMS. The symptoms of AMS are headache, dizziness, tiredness, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, and difficulty in sleeping.
Slow and steady wins the race. Walking fast in high elevation means inviting some serious problems like altitude sickness. And, walking slowly means spending more time with your guide, making new friends during your trek and enjoying nature.
Generally, you will need to walk more than 5 hours a day but you will have a lunch break to boost your stamina again.
Do not drink before Thorong La pass
Consuming alcohol is not recommended at high elevation. When it comes to Thorong La Pass, it is the highest point & hardest route on the Annapurna Circuit with 5,416m max elevation. So, drinking before Thorong La Pass means suicide.
You may think that your body can handle some alcohol, but unfortunately, alcohol drops your body temperature which can cause AMS, dehydration & hypothermia. You won’t be able to climb Thorong La Pass and even worse, you will need medical attention soon.
Respect local culture
Local Culture is the treasure of Annapurna Circuit Trek that makes the journey enjoyable and educational. Disrespecting the local culture means disrespecting their identity and solidarity. The local people always value their traditions, culture and understandings. The common rule you can follow in your trek is:
- Dress Appropriately
- Use appropriate Gestures
- Adhere to the cultural etiquette & many more
Start your day early
Normally, it is better to start to trek early in the morning. Have breakfast before 7:00 O’clock and start your trek. You can have a rest in the afternoon if you reached early.
Especially, Thorang la day will be a big day. On this very day, start very early in the morning, if you are at Thorang Phedi, take some hot cup of tea, take a packed breakfast and start before 4:00 O’clock in the morning. If you are at the high camp start before 5:00 O’clock in the morning. Morning time will be better to climb on Thorang la pass.
Normally, there will be a big wind after the sun rising. Strong wind on 5000m high will be very hard. So go early in the morning.
Do not miss visiting Manang village
Manang-3500m is the most popular place in Annapurna circuit trekking. Around Manang village, there are many places for sightseeing which are:
- Milarepa cave: It is located on the lap of Annapurna III where monk Milarepa had meditated for a long time and got enlightenment. It takes about three hours to reach from Manang village.
- Ice lake: Ice lake is located 4 hours far from Manang village in the east direction at 4600 high altitudes.
- Gangapurna lake and glacier: In the west direction of Manang village, there is a big mountain Gangapurna. Its glacier is beautiful. It is not recommended to go there but to see this view is nice from the mountain and the lake is situated on the lap of Gangapurna. Lake is so beautiful.
It is not for all seasons but if you are trekking from November to March, it is better to take a simple and light crampon for Thorang la pass day.
Be careful in ice area:
There will be ice before Thorang Phedi and after high camp. If you become careless in this area it can be fatal. So be careful in this area.
Try apple whisky
Drinking is not recommended. If you are drinking after big pass, Jomsom valley is popular for its apple farming. Of course, apple whisky and brandy are also famous here. So try apple whisky.
Tackle with windy valley
After Thorang la pass you will reach Muktinath which is very beautiful. The next day, you will trek to Jomsom or Marpha from Muktinath. Jomsom valley always brings strong wind in the midday. Sometimes it is really windy which can cause accidents too. So try to tackle it and go safe.
Go through Poon hill
Annapurna circuit trek is being short nowadays due to the road and most trekkers drive to Pokhara after Thorang la pass. But Poon hill is one of the best parts of the Annapurna circuit trek. So do not miss this at the end of your trekking for stunning sun-rising views.
Do not harm any wildlife
According to National Parks and Conservation Rules, harming any animals is considered a crime and will be punished as rules & regulations. Do not try to feed the animals or scare animals. However, you can take beautiful pictures of them.
Don’t miss Hot Spring
Hot Spring is the main feature of Annapurna Circuit Trek. It is a luxury you get from nature to cleanse your fatigue. Also, a hot spring is considered a healing bath that detoxes your skin, boosts your blood circulation, heat skin problems, and many more. However, do not soak in a hot spring for more than 15 min at a time.
Popular hot spring is located one day before Poon hill. So you can drive from Muktinath or Jomsom after crossing Thorang La pass and stop overnight here.
So, these are the top pr tips for you to make your Annapurna Circuit Trek easy, memmoriable and proffessional. If you have other tips regarding Circuit Trek then we will happily put it in the blog.