Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264 ft)
Airport pick up and transfer to hotel.
Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing and trek preparation
After breakfast sight seeing to World Heritage Sites including the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhunath) and Buddhist shrine (Bouddhanath) which is one of the largest stupas in the world.Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 03: Drive to Chame 8-9 hours.
Day 04: Chame to Pisang (3,300m/10824ft): 5 - 6 hours
Today the trail continues up and down, passing several rivers and sparsely populated settlements. We walk through a steep and narrow valley to have our first view of Paungda Danda rock face, a dramatic curved rock face rising 1500 m from the river. From here, we also gain excellent views of Annapurna 2 to the south and Pisang Peak to the north east. We descend to the Manang Valley floor enjoying the captivating landscape. Overnight in Pisang
Day 05: Pisang to Manang (3,500m/11,482ft): 6 - 7 hours
From Pisang there are two routes to Manang. We choose the one which passes through Upper Pisang via Geru as it guarantees outstanding views of Mt. Annapurna, Pisang Peak, and others. As we near Manang, the climate becomes colder and drier. However, a short visit to Barge Monastery, the biggest monastery in the Manang District, should cheer us up. Overnight in Manang.
Day 06: Manang-day hiking to Ice Lake-(4,620m/15,157ft)-
One of the acclimatization walks preparing you for the Thorong La traverse on Annapurna Circuit is the Ice Lakes Trail east of Manang.
The lakes are embedded in two huge cirques which are bordered by several ridges coming down from Chulu East peak, separating the Chulu Khola with the Chulu East / Far East base camp to the east and the Ghatte Khola to the west.
East and north of Kicho Tal there are some unnamed peaks, 5155 m, 5035 m and 4989 m high, which do not, as far as I know, require an extra permit and can be climbed if you like so. The trail ends at the upper one of the two lakes and the continuing route to these peaks seems to be mainly off-trail. As there was fresh snow on our visit of the lakes in April, 2014, I cannot say how difficult the terrain is. It seemed to me that the 4989 m peak was the easiest to climb; the 5035 m peak has a rather rocky appearance and seemed to require a good climb at the end of the ascent.
But even without summiting a peak the journey up to the Ice Lakes is a beautiful outing full of outstanding views of the Annapurna group towering south of the Manang valley. Even Annapurna I is visible behind the dark rock needle of Kangsar Kang. Half way up you can get a good look on Manaslu, too. And the fresh snow we had on our day at the lakes enchanted the whole landscape.
Day 07: Manang to Khangsar (3745m/12286ft): 2-3 hours
After breakfast our trek continues up to the village of Khangsar. As we walk ahead, the trail cuts down through a gorge and the Tilicho Peak can be spotted shrouded in clouds far above. We get to appreciate the natural beauty of the Annapurna range all along the way. We also pass through small scenic settlements and the Tore monastery and get to enjoy the breathtaking Khangsar River and the grand barrier before reaching Khangsar. Overnight in Khangsar.
Day 08: Khangsar to Tilicho Base Camp (4140m/13,583ft): 5-6 hours
As we begin the trek from Kangsar to Tilicho Lake Base Camp, we come across wide grassy fields and, after making a slight climb up a small hill, witness the glorious views of the entire valley. After trudging down a steep inclination, you now enter the Tilicho Base Camp. Camping is the only option as there are not many lodges out here. Overnight at Tilicho Base Camp.
Day 09: Visit Tilicho Lake (4,949m/16,138 ft) then trek back to base camp: 5-6 hours
After the initial tough ascent, our trail traverses onto a moraine and then cuts along the side of the mountain. However, the spectacular views of Tilicho, Nilgiri, Khangsar and Muktinath peaks are always close by to cheer us up. Upon reaching Tilicho Lake, one of the highest lakes in the world, we get to admire its tranquil beauty. Sometimes reflections of the surrounding peaks are seen on its turquoise waters, at other times the lake remains frozen. We take a break beside the calm waters and soak-in the astounding views before heading back to the base camp. Overnight in Tilicho Base Camp.
Day 10: Tilicho Base Camp to Yak Kharka (4040m/13,020ft): 4-5 hours
When returning from the Tilicho Base Camp, the trail leads out of the Marsyangdi valley and the abrupt change in surroundings can be noticed as the trees are left behind and replaced with more alpine vegetation. Our trail continues through the ruins of the old Khangsar village, until we cross a log bridge over the river between Gumsang and Yak Kharka. The typical Himalayan village of Yak Kharka is an accolade to its name, as lots of yaks can be seen grazing and standing around. From here we also get breathtaking views of Annapurna III. Overnight in Yak Kharka.
Day 11: Yak kharka to Thorang Phedi: (4420m/14501ft): 3-4 hours
It is an uphill walk to Thorang Phedi. After walking for some time, we cross a suspension bridge and reach Ledar village. We ascend further and pass through towering cliffs before reaching Thorang Phedi, the last village before Thorong La pass. On this trip we are rewarded with one of the best views of Mt. Gundang, Mt. Syagang, Thorung Peak and Mt. Khatungkan. The word Phedi in Nepalese is referred to as the foot of a mountain. Overnight in Thorang Phedi.
Day 12: Thorong Phedi to Muktinath (3,800m/12,467ft) via Thorong La pass (5416m/17764ft): 7 - 8 hours
Crossing Thorong La pass, one of the highest passes in the world, will be our ultimate objective today. We will be crossing the pass from east to west (Manang to Muktinath) which is the easiest and safest direction. We get up around three in the morning and walk up the mountain. When we finally make it to the top, we realize that our journey was worth it. We can take a few photos before heading to Muktinath Valley at the foot of the Thorong La pass. Overnight in Muktinath.
Day 13: Muktinath to Jomsom (2,715m/8,910ft): 5-6 hours
Muktinath, an ultimate destination for Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims, is a beautiful place. We visit the Muktinath Temple before embarking on the trek ahead. There are water spouts where fresh water pours out channeled from the streams above the temple. As the trail extends we can enjoy the magnificent views of Mt. Dhaulagiri. You can even buy a fossilized mollusk, called ‘Shaligram’ as a memento. We move ahead among meadows, cross streams and hills over to Kagbeni, a village laden with chortens (memorial stupas) and a small monastery. Continue the trek after a lunch break at Kagbeni and over to Jomsom on the Kali Gandaki Valley as the trail cuts through windy areas. Overnight in Jomsom.
Day 14: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara (823m/2,700ft): 30mins
We fly to Pokhara after breakfast. The flight itself is spectacular; we fly while looking at views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges and over the deepest gorge in the world. The warmer climate in Pokhara will definitely make us feel better. We can take a boat ride in the serene waters of the lake with the reflection of the Fishtail Mountain on its waters. We could also visit the Davis falls. In the evening, we can stroll around the lakeside area and buy souvenirs for loved ones. Overnight in Pokhara.
Day 15: Drivefrom Pokhara to Kathmandu: 7 hours.
Drive back to Kathmandu by tourist bus. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 16: Final departure
Our representative will take us to Tribhuwan International Airport for our next flight, approximately 3 hours earlier than the scheduled time.