Annapurna Express Trek

Introduction

Annapurna, a majestic mountain range in the central western part of Nepal, is often seen as a divine representation of the goddess of harvest and fertility. The Annapurna region is renowned for its unique and awe-inspiring geography, making it a place of unparalleled beauty.

The region’s elevation gradient, which spans from 800 meters (Pokhara) to 8000 meters (Annapurna I) within a short 30 km aerial distance, provides an experience of a journey from the tropics to the tundra.

The Annapurna Circuit Trek, a gem of the Annapurna region, offers a comprehensive Himalayan experience. The trek presents an opportunity to marvel at majestic mountains and even walk in the shadows of giants such as Annapurna I (8091 m), Dhaulagiri I (8167 m), Annapurna II (7937 m), Annapurna III (7555 m), Annapurna IV (7525 m), Machhapuchhare (6997 m), and more. The trek is also known for the rich Gurung culture of the area and the diverse cultures and heritages of the people living on both sides of the Annapurna. The region is home to natural wonders such as Tilicho Lake, the world’s highest freshwater lake at 4919 m, Thorong La (pass) (5416 m), and the visible Trans Himalayan geography and vegetation shaped by it.

Since the first conquest of an 8000er (Annapurna I) by the French in 1950, the Annapurna region has become a hub for adventure lovers. The Annapurna Circuit Trek is not just a recreational trip, but an experience of a lifetime filled with knowledge, experience, and authenticity.

Join us for the most thrilling Annapurna Circuit Trek. We ensure that your adventure remains with you for a lifetime. Our Annapurna Circuit package is probably the shortest Annapurna Circuit trek available. This express trek is an amazing way to experience the real beauty of the Annapurna region in such a short time. Our guides are well equipped with valuable Annapurna Circuit trek skillsets like backpacking essentials, the importance of layering clothing for varying weather conditions, and the significance of staying hydrated throughout the trek. The best time to visit the Annapurna Circuit is during the spring and autumn seasons, when the sky is clear and blue, providing spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

Brief Highlights and History of the Place

  • 1950: The French became the first expedition to explore the Annapurna region.
  • 1950, June 3: The first summit of Annapurna by Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal. This was the first summit of an 8000er.
  • 1977: The Annapurna region was opened to foreigners for trekking, and the circuit trek immediately became a world hub of adventure.
  • 1998: Unique Adventure’s First Annapurna Circuit Trek?

Why Trek with Unique Adventure Int’l?

  • A pioneering trek and expedition operator based in Nepal with 25 years of experience and an impeccable success and satisfaction record.
  • Led by guides with decades of experience on the trail, climbs, technical arrangements, and knowledge to offer you an immersive experience. Our crew has remained with us for a long time and is treated with utmost respect, adhering to the International Porters Protection Group (IPPG) Guidelines.
  • Full-proof documentation and compatibility with all governmental and international rules and codes to ensure a hassle-free adventure experience.
  • Responsible tourism and tourism in nature’s compatibility are our foundational pillars of operation. Our clients take pride in their association with an organization that bolsters environmental respect.
  • Responsible to the Himalayan community! We believe tourism should share benefits with host communities and host destinations. We have contributed to the development of multiple schools and community buildings and offered scholarships to needy students in the Himalayan community.
  • Unique offers you an experience at a guaranteed, competitive price that stands above the market. It is not just a trek for us but an opportunity to make someone’s trip a lifelong experience, and there’s no better marketing strategy for a company than a satisfied customer.
  • We are gender-netural.

Your experience is our reward.

 

Other Considerations

 

Insurance

When booking with Unique Adventure International, it is a condition for all clients to be insured for comprehensive expenses that may be incurred due to medical issues or accidents. This includes coverage for air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs. Please note that we do not arrange or sell insurance, as such a system is not allowed in Nepal.

 

Traveling Responsibly

Unique Adventure International encourages a ‘no nonsense’ and ‘no tolerance’ policy for the natural environment and the traditional communities that live within its environs. Unique Adventure, a long-time seasoned adventure operator, therefore, enforces some should-dos and should-not-dos when on the trails. Please talk to your trek guide and crew to avoid environmental hazards. This land is your land; this land is our land; love it the best way you can! Take away memories that will never be forgotten.

 

 

Gears and Equipment

The following gears and equipment are recommended by Unique Adventure International for the Annapurna Circuit Trek:

 

Headwear

  • Headlamp (min. 200 lumens) with sufficient batteries (Li-Ion batteries)
  • Sunglasses (Polarized/ UV Protected)
  • Woolen Cap
  • Sunhat
  • Buff Scarf

Bodywear (Clothing/Layering)

  • Down jacket
  • Down pant
  • Gore-Tex set / Hardshell set
  • Insulated mid layer
  • Fleece jacket
  • Thermal set
  • Quick dry (half and full sleeved)
  • T-shirts
  • Trekking trousers
  • Additional as per necessity

Handwear

  • Liner gloves
  • Fleece gloves
  • Gore-Tex gloves

Footwear

  • Trekking shoes
  • Camp shoes/ slippers
  • Gaiters
  • Liner socks
  • Woolen socks/ trekking socks

Personal Kit

  • Trekking backpack
  • Sleeping bag 
  • Sleeping Mattress
  • Hygiene kit (toiletries) 
  • Sun screen (min. 50 SPF)
  • Lip guard
  • Water bottle
  • Thermos
  • First Aid Kit
  • Personal medications
  • Personal first aid kit

Miscellaneous

  • Camera and associated gears
  • Camp knife/ multi tools
  • Binoculars/ magnifiers
  • Personal reading accessories 
  • Games and entertainment mediums
  • Dry bag/ compression bags

Day 01 Drive from Kathmandu to Chame (2,710m / 8,890ft)

We’ll drive from Kathmandu to Besisahar in a comfortable private vehicle. The drive provides stunning views of landscapes, rivers, terraced fields, and small communities. It takes around 6–7 hours, depending on the road condition and traffic. Besisahar is reached by mid-day. We’ll continue our journey from Besisahar to Chame, the headquarters of Manang District, as well as to the Annapurna sanctuary. The road passes through beautiful villages and terraced fields and starts to witness the beautiful Annapurna and Lamjung Himalayan ranges. After 5–6 hours on the road, you’ll reach Chame, located at an altitude of 2,710 meters. 

 

Day 02 Trek from Chame to Upper Pisang (3,300m / 10,826ft)

Our trek starts here. The trek from Chame to Upper Pisang usually takes around 5–6 hours. The trekking times can vary depending on your pace. As you approach Pisang, you’ll follow the Marshyangdi River Valley, offering the beauty of the river and stunning mountain views. After a day of trekking, you’ll reach Pisang, located at an altitude of 3,300 meters. 

 

Day 03 Trek from Pisang to Manang (3,540m / 11,300ft)

Today, you’ll trek towards Manang village, which will take around 5–6 hours from Pisang. As you make your way to Manang, you’ll pass through beautiful rhododendron and pine forests and cross several suspension bridges. After 5–6 hours of trekking, you’ll reach Manang, well-known for its natural beauty and culture.

 

Day 04 Trek from Manang to Yak Kharka (4,050m / 14,275ft) 

Today, you’ll leave base camp and head to Yak Kharka. As you continue trekking, you will see stunning views of surrounding mountain peaks and also a glimpse of the Kaligandaki River. After trekking for 4-5 hours, you’ll reach Yak Kharka, a grazing field for yaks and other cattle, now a resting spot for the Annapurna circuit trek.

 

Day 05 Trek from Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi (4,525m / 14,525ft)

On this day, you’ll trek from Yak Kharka to Thorang Phedi, the base camp before Thorong La. As you continue your journey, you'll pass through glacial valleys, which provide insight into the region's geological history. The trek takes around 3–4 hours from Yak Kharka to reach Thorong Phedi. The geologic sighting of the place is a unique experience.

 

Day 06    Trek from Thorong Phedi (4,525m/14,525ft) to Muktinath Temple (3,760m/12,623 ft) via Thorong La  Pass (5,416 m/17,756 ft)

Today is the most challenging yet rewarding day of the trek as you pass through Thorong La (Pass) on your way to Muktinath. As you ascend Thorong La, the route becomes more steep and rocky. Reaching the pass, situated at an altitude of 5,416 meters, offers you a panoramic view of the surrounding peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. After spending some time at the pass, you’ll descend toward Muktinath, a world-renowned Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage site.

 

Day 07 Drive from Muktinath to Pokhara (850m / 2788ft)

After exploring Muktinath temple in the morning, you’ll leave Muktinath and drive to Pokhara via the Jomsom Highway. The Jomsom Highway offers stunning views of the Kaligandaki River as well as the majestic Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. After 6–8 hours of traveling, you’ll reach Pokhara, a city popular for its serene lakes, tourism ambiance, and urban culture.

 

Day 08 Drive back to Kathmandu (1,350m / 4,450ft)

After breakfast in Pokhara, we will drive back to Kathmandu. You can enjoy the scenic beauty of terraced fields, rivers, and countryside as we drive towards Kathmandu. Upon reaching Kathmandu, you’ll be transferred to your hotel, where you can rest and arrange things.

What is included?

  • Pre-trek meeting and trip briefing.
  • 1 night’s hotel accommodation in a tourist standard hotel in Kathmandu and Pokhara as per itinerary. 
  • All transportation for the entire journey: Kathmandu - Besisahar -  Chame, Muktinath - Pokhara - Kathmandu.
  • 1 professional, licensed, and English-speaking guide and 1 assistant guide for 5 clients
  • Enough porters for the trek (as required).
  • Well-experienced English-speaking assistant guide if the group size exceeds 3+ persons.
  • Guesthouse accommodation during the trek.
  • Food during the trek (full board with breakfast, lunch, and dinner with tea/coffee and seasonal fresh fruits).
  • In the worst case, help with all rescue and evacuation arrangements.
  • All necessary trekking permits and documents related to permits
  • First aid medical kit and oximeter to check pulse, heart rate, and oxygen saturation at higher altitudes.
  • Guide’s and Staff’s salary and wages
  • Unique Adventure sleeping bag and down jacket, duffel bag, area trekking map.
  • All applicable taxes are as per the government rules and regulations.
  • All organizational requirements.

What is not included?

  • Nepal Visa fee for the stay time
  • Your international flight to and from Nepal
  • Travel insurance (for helicopter evacuation if needed while trekking)
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone, internet/e-mail, etc
  • Bar and beverage bills
  • Tips for guide, porter, driver, and other crew

Why us? Is a conscientious question that requires an honest answer of integrity and devotion of the highest standards.  

We are what we were from the very beginning: Read on to know us the way we are…

At Unique Adventure International, We do not pretend to be what we are not, ours is a simple ethic, hospitality straight from the heart. When doing trips with us, you will soon find out excellence with us is not just a norm, it’s more a habit. 

We have walked the length and breadth of the Himalaya across Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan for over two decades…and still counting, we have enjoyed all of it so much; right to the hilt. We love our mountains and enjoy it so much when we tread its trails with our trekking guests, who also love these mountains as much as us or maybe even more. We have much knowledge of the land and meticulously plan things so our guests get the utmost from their sojourns with us; we know how chaotic it can be for our guests when they organise holidays so far from home…keeping this in mind, we sort out for the long haul and ensure our guests do not only have fun on the way but also get value for money with purposeful journeys. We know and understand that this may probably be a once in a lifetime holiday where you will explore a world not too familiar and its binding for us to make doubly sure you are completely safe throughout the whole course of your expedition when you are in Nepal. With each trip we do with you, we are constantly searching for ways to improve our services so that your expectations of us are met beyond what you could have ever expected on all fronts. We want that you go home with a happy heart and unforgettable memories of an odyssey well done. With Unique Adventure, this is central to all our thoughts when we meet you.  

A small business with big ideals…    

We are a small outfit with big ideas and we know how complex human nature can be; its only but human to understand your weaknesses and respect your strengths, both of which will be put to the test on the punishing trails of Nepal, but it’s always our mission to understand you and make your journey as calm as possible. 

This is the whole reason why we get repeat clients who never seem to get drained with the Himalayas and enjoy the way we guide them throughout the trip…

We know how worrisome it can be when you choose to live life on the edge… so we go the mile to make sure your holidays become more purposeful, more significant… 

We do not push you, no matter what the circumstances…

We know you want it slow and easy the moment your plane hits the tarmac in Kathmandu. We understand your instinctive curiosities and ensure you are left alone with enough space to do what we have planned for you – ‘your way’’.  You call the shots – it’s your trip – and we provide you enough freedom to make your own decisions in harmony with your group. We help you to become friends and bridge gaps; it’s a matter of pride for us to mention here that we created some of the best friendships where some morphed into lifetime partnerships and this is how things shape out with us when you assemble in our country. And when we are out with you in the country at high elevations, we ensure that our crew leads you in ways comfortable to your body and physical needs.

Our ‘True-to-Life’ practical itineraries…

Our itineraries are meticulously planned and based on the way you see it when your trip commences. Our themes are hands-on and we take you to some difficult but extraordinary places where some would likely pass by. We know you thirst for the unknown and interesting; your search for things that will ignite your emotions and imaginations, seeking for the ‘whys’, how’s and when’s’ into the mountain culture, lifestyles and traditions that you witness in territory you have never been familiar with. We put in a lot of effort to create astonishing one-off experiences which would make great notes for memorable stories to pass down to the coming generations. Each trip we design opens up new avenues to a whole new world that you are not familiar with…and when you discover the answers, it could be a life changing experience you would have never expected. 

Trips to match your time frames…

We are flexible in the way we operate our trips based on your exclusive needs. We understand the kind of pressure ridden world you hail from and know you have worked hard for your dream holidays. Our programs are typically designed to give you the most and the best based on your time limitations without any blemishes on the joys that come with your venture. 

You could be planning a budget trek or a luxury tour, maybe even a trekking peak; whatever the choice, we give you an extension combo so you have a scintillating mix of history, the outdoors and even jell in a jungle safari into the potpourri so you have varied experiences within the timeframe you’ve chosen. Our website is programmed to give you a host of options to make you smile…  

Accommodation: They say Home is where the Hearth is…and yes, the Pillow!!

We are extra wary when arranging your accommodation before you enter our country. We know we’ve got to give you something that’s closest to home. After consulting with you and being twice as sure about what you’re expecting when it comes down to that most important part of life: resting your body and mind at night, we make sure we give you the best accommodating facilities available at a hotel that’s not only comfortable but also a place that is spanking clean with fresh linen and staff who understand your needs and go the length in making sure you feel at home, no matter what the length of your stay with us.

This also includes the sanitized conditions of the food you are served. Even when on the trails, we go the mile to make sure you find a cosy teahouse with no dampness and enough ventilation to keep you healthy and warm with food that’s organic and clean. We know how important the hearth is wherever you stay. With us, be sure that all your personal needs are taken care of well. Ours is the kind of hospitality that comes straight from the heart… 

Safety and Security: This is mandatory and imperative…

Our safety and security arrangements for all our inbound guests cross all boundaries; from the moment your jet hits the tarmac at the airport in Kathmandu. This is a process that begins prior to your arrival in Kathmandu, when we design your itinerary based on the program you have chosen. It begins with choosing the right team for you, especially if it’s a trek. We make sure your crew is primed for any contingency when at altitude. We believe in following firm standards with focus on risk assessment knowing mountain climbing is always a risky business despite the excitement it offers. All the planning is done prior to your arrival so you have a carefree, footloose and fancy free journey, without any hassles.  

We always advise our guests to go through medical routines in their home countries before embarking on trips above 3000m. We also encourage our guests to get insured before coming to Nepal. 

Your entire stay in Nepal is monitored from day one, especially when you are on the mountains. We take nothing for granted, nature can be a monster when least expected. When booking your trip throughUnique Adventure, you are not just a client – you are more than all that - you are a parent, a brother/sister, a close colleague – in a word – ‘family’; and all our safety precautions and personalized services are purely based on this relationship.

We Respect and Care for the local folks and Love the Environment we operate in…

We are conscious in the importance of preserving the natural beauty and culture of Nepal, so that future visitors can also enjoy the wonders of this beautiful but fragile environment. We are sensitive and devoted to responsible travel with minimum impact on the environment and local communities. The planet is large enough for everyone to explore and it’s the curiosity of human nature to explore and discover the unknown. We are always careful about the ecosystems that surround us when we are on the mountains, but we don’t let this spoil the spirit for adventure. We seek to enjoy in ways beneficial to others and wish to respect this beauty that God created for us to appreciate; and we want to keep it that way. Equally important, we instruct our crew and travellers to be aware of the values of responsible travel, by: respecting people, cultures and local environments, in creating goodwill; with cross-cultural sharing and experiences; and helping make sustainable development practical, where we put in efforts to give back more than we take.    

Our Trekking crews are Principal to the Company…we’re Family… 

One paramount issue for trekking companies in Nepal are employees directly connected to guests when trekking in the Himalayas and this is key to any trip conducted anywhere on the Himalayas. Our staffs in general receive fixed monthly salaries and our trekking crews get special rates as defined by the Ministry of Labour in consultation with the Ministry of Tourism - Government of Nepal. 

This also includes the provision of Social Security for mountain workers as per government directives. In addition to this, we also provide climbing training to new comers listed on our payroll. All our seasoned guides are well trained in the use and application of First Aid in the event of any unexpected injuries that may occur in the course of the journey when at altitude. 

Field Employees are constantly upgraded for personal development, delivered via courses in English, about nature, history, and ongoing training as mountain guides with techniques based on safety precautions...along with this, our mountain crews are insured and covered against any eventualities. The insurance package covers the cost of health care if injured or sick and provides a lifetime gratuity if any employee is physically disabled. We treat our employees as valuable assets. We know their security and happiness is vital to ensure yours throughout your stay in Nepal… 

Innovation: We are constantly juggling new Products…   

Ours is a constant search for new trails in the great wilderness. We’re always innovating new areas for travel within and around the city limits and out on the mountains. Nepal has so much to offer in her ancient heritage cities and within the vast expanse of her Himalayas. We ceaselessly research new products in order to give our old clients new thrills; this has always been part of our company’s policies for giving more value for money. We know that many of our guests rarely get time to travel and when they do, they’d sure like to make the best of it; besides Nepal, we even cut across borders giving our guests unbelievable historical and cultural highlights of Tibet, Bhutan and India. We even design divine spiritual tours for the holy who’d sure like to hike down footsteps of ancient ancestors along the Mount Kailash Mountains so that they could come face-to-face with the gods. You even get opportunities to stroll down the cobbled stone Squares of Patan and Bhaktapur and slip into the Forbidden Temple of Pashupatinath. Beyond the spiritual of Kailash in Tibet, our programs take you to the highest region on earth, at an elevation of 4,900 meters (16,000 ft). Very much noted as the ‘roof of the world’, Tibet is symbolic of a mesmerizing culture seeped in spirituality and nature. From superb temples and tranquil monasteries to the Yangtze River and adorable Pandas, our products are molded in a way that  ensures you experience a whole new world of amazing discoveries that tells you about God’s gift of a wonderful planet we all live in.

‘Please visit our highly informative website for some of the most extensive information on some of the most stimulating holidays ever conceived’. Get friendly with us on: www.uniquetreks.com

We give you Mountain Yoga 

The Mountain Yoga we offer on the trail is an earthy, friendly and unassuming space, dedicated to healing and transformation as your mind battles the vagaries of nature while on your journey in the wild. When you decide to holiday on the mountains; it’s like a calling into the high and wild to experience Mother Nature at a higher level and to explore her true beauty. But there’s another calling that wants you to find release from your inner demons. It might be seen as the feeling that there has to be more to life than our day-to-day routines in the machine of modern day society. As you go higher above the tree-lines, our certified yoga guides give you the kind of alignment helpful to your body’s needs when adjusting to the thin air at altitude. They are compassionate, knowledgeable and guide you with postures and breathing exercises that promote physical fitness at higher elevations, keeping the mind calmer, making your self-awareness more acute, and help you get more balanced, while preventing you from having any problems with altitude mountain sickness. Yoga is an ancient practice known for thousands of years to clean out even the deepest mental grooves and rigid mindsets which may hamper your trip and spoil the fun on your trek.

We are the only adventure company in Nepal offering our guests mountain yoga which enhances hassle free trips and keeps our guests safe from common altitude problems. 

Our Success Ratio…

We’ve been through it all – the ups and downs have been full and plenty. The series of earthquakes of 2015 affected us bitterly; however, we kept the faith. We knew this was nature at its best and worst. We do not take anything for granted when it’s a tryst with Mother Nature, especially in the wilderness above the tree-lines. We knew we would still need these mountains more than they need us...These mountains teach us so much about life. It was Almighty God that created these mountains with all its stark beauty, but then a natural calamity can be lurking somewhere around the bend, and we must always be aware of the environment - and this comes with respect, consciousness and faith. 

Despite the hurdles and hiccups, our Success Ratio has been over 98%, why? Because experience has taught us the hard way to Love God, respect the mountains, to learn from our mistakes, and to always, at all times, be Honest with our Guests…and let God do the rest.     

Health and Safety

We strongly recommend being physically and mentally prepared for your journey. This includes a proper understanding of high-altitude health hazards, the concept of acclimatization, recognizing your physical level, and knowing when to make a decision for yourself. The Himalaya is a lofty geography that rises dramatically above the plains. Walking for 5–7 hours every day requires a good deal of preparation. The better you are prepared, the higher the chance of success and, thus, a higher-quality experience. Similarly, personal food and diet preferences, allergy causatives, and personal medication are also to be considered and communicated well to your guide or crew.

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