Annapurna Circuit is also known as the Around Annapurna trek. Whatever you call it, it is a classic walk and one of the most rewarding treks in Nepal. It follows terraced fields, takes you over the Thorong La at its highest point and then down through the world’s deepest gorge-the Kali Gandaki gorge.
A road is being built between many of the towns and villages but there are still opportunities to get off the road and experience the grandeur of this walk. A key feature of this walk is its diversity. (We may mention this again!) Trekking in the Southern slopes of Manaslu and the Annapurna ranges takes you through areas that are heavily settled and farmed. As you move to the higher regions you walk through thick forests of rhododendron and fir. The region is inhabited by a variety of ethnic groups including Gurungs, Magars, Chhetris and Newars. Once you cross the pass, you move into the realm of the Thakali and Mustang tribes who have controlled the busy trading and pilgrimage trail along the Kali Gandaki for ages.
All this cultural and ethnic diversity and (depending on the season!) you will still have a spectacular view of most mountains range every day! And did we mention diversity? As well as superb views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, you walk through landscapes ranging from sub-tropical through alpine to an arid semi-desert similar to Tibet. At the climax of the trek there’s a formidable 5416m pass, the Thorong La, to cross. Although it’s demanding enough for the seasoned trekker, the Annapurna Circuit is still an excellent introduction to walking in Nepal for those who are confident of their fitness.