Around Annapurna – Tilicho Lake Trekking

Nepal is a small country and known to many as the home of the mighty Mount Everest. But the Himalayan kingdom is so much more. One of the many treasures that makes the country unique is the Tilicho Taal (Lake) believed to be the only lake situated at such high altitude. Tilicho Lake and Around Annapurna Trekking explores this beautiful lake in the Annapurna region of Nepal.

Trekking in the Annapurna region is a treat for people with different interests and expectations. It offers a great variety of mountain sceneries, flora and fauna, cultural and religious experiences and other adventures. This particular route provides you the best trekking experience with the Highest Tilicho Lake, the world renowned high Thorung la pass and then the descent to Kaligandaki valley. You can pass through glaciers if you want a really good icy adventure or choose a safer, easier trail.

The Annapurna circuit with tilicho lake trekking is a  23 day long trek, which includes 18 days of walking and is the best during the months of September- December and March –August. This trek is graded as hard and goes to a maximum elevation of 5425m. This beautiful scenic trek begins from Besisahar to Manang where you stay for acclimatization. Then, you go up to Tilicho Lake and stay for a day before moving on to Thorung Phedi and Thorung La. The Tilicho Lake and Around Annapurna Trekking is complete after exploring the splendid Ghorepani, Ghandruk and Pokhara.

The Annapurna Circuit trek with the Tilicho late is a great way to explore the beautiful Annapurna region  by going beyond the classical Annapurna Circuit trek trail.

The Trek Cost Includes:

    • All the International and Departure Transfers
    • Pre and Post Trek deluxe star Hotel Accommodation in Kathmandu and in Pokhara
    • Domestic airport Transfers
    • Private transportation to Besisahar
    • Domestic Flight to Kathmandu from Pokhara
    • Half Day Guided Cultural Sightseeing
    • Comprehensive Trekking Map
    • Authentic Nepali Welcome Dinner
    • All the accommodation and full board meals and hot beverages on trek
    • Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit
    • Our Extensive Knowledgeable Licensed Guides and porter services with porter gears
    • Field staff Insurances
    • Private Transportation to / from Nayapool
    • Domestic Airport Tax
    • Private Car to Kathmandu from Pokhara
    • Dawn Jackets, Sleeping bag, walking poles, duffel bag, facilitiies
    • Extensive First aid medical kit
    • Quick Rescue supporting services in case of Emergency
    • Extra snacks services
    • Satellite phone/Communication services in case of Emergency
    • Applicable government Taxes
    • Himalayan Eco Trek Team Management

The Trek cost excludes:

    • All the personal expenses like Alcoholic beverages, Bottled drinks etc.
    • Medical and Travel Insurances
    • International Airfare and taxes
    • Visa Fees
    • Gratuities/Tips
    • Emergency Helicopter Rescue charges
    • Main Meals in Kathmandu
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Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

Welcome to Kathmandu, Nepal. You will be picked up by your tour officer upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport. You will check in to your hotel and may choose to rest or take a tour of the capital city on your own. You will be briefed regarding the tour as well as the entire trek program. You can dine at a Nepali restaurant to taste authentic Nepali cuisine with cultural events.

Day 2: Half-day Sightseeing

On this day, you can take a personal or guided tour of the city. The main attractions of the city are Pashupatinath temple, Boudhanath stupa, Swoyambhunath stupa and various other cultural places that you might visit according to your own interest. The UNESCO enlisted temples are a unique fusion of Hindu and Buddhist religions with the influence of Newari cultures and architecture. Permits and other requisites for the tour are finalized on this day.

Day 3:   Drive to Besisahar (820m) and Jeep to Chame (2670m)

In the early morning, you drive to Besisahar which is situated 165 km west of Kathmandu through the Trading village of Dumre. It is a scenic 6 hour drive which allows you to enjoy the scenes of the sprawling Trishuli River and the lush highways with multi ethnic settlements. The highways wind and go zigzag around the hills as you leave the plain southern semi tropical region. After a 100 km drive from Kathmandu, you cross the Marsyangdi river and another 2 hours would take you to Besisahar and then 4 hours drive to Chame- the starting point of your trek.

Day 4: Chame to Pisang (3354 m)

You first pass the older part of Chame and climb up to Telekhu at 2480m and continue with a long, pleasant, leveled walk through the forest to Brathang, which lies at 2950m. After the trail bends here, you see the first view of the dramatic Paungda Danda rock face, a tremendous curved slab of rock rising more than 1500m from the river. You cross back to the south bank of the Marsyangdi River and make a gentle climb over a ridge through blue pine forests .After this, the trek will be reasonably leveled as it heads to upper part of Manang valley to Pisang. The town marks the beginning of the Nyesyang region, the upper portion of Manang district.

Day 5: Pisang – Manang (3520m) 5 hrs

The trek slowly climbs to the Tibetan style village of Braga at 3500 m following the valley floor. The Gompa, perched on a high crag overlooking the village is the largest in the district and has an outstanding display of statues. Then you come across an arid countryside, dominated by weird cliffs of yellow rock, eroded into dramatic pillars alongside the trail to reach the day’s destination, the village of Manang where you get to refuel on your supplies

Day 6: Rest in Manang

This day you will stay in Manang to rest as well as to acclimatize to the higher altitudes and thinning air. You can choose to rest and wash some clothing or take a short hike to slightly higher ground like Khangsar which is a 200 meters ascent.

Day 7: Manang – Khangsar (3734m)

From Manang you will follow the path down to the river and after crossing it, you continue on the south side of it through coniferous forests through Khangsar. One section is across a steep exposed slope which will make a spectacular walk with stunning sceneries of the Manang valley and beyond. After crossing the Khangsar khola on a bridge, you ascend a slope to the village. You stay for the night to acclimatize. (5hrs)

Day 8: Khangsar – Tilicho Lake (4919m)

The path from Khangsar follows a recently constructed path towards a high ridge. At one point is an intersection – one path moves forward maintaining the altitude, traversing slopes towards a place where the valley is narrow while the other path continues to ascend the line of the ridge. You continue along the new path, reach a high crest and descend on switch backs carved through the slopes to a side valley. At the bottom is a brook and to the other side is the Tilicho Base camp.  As you head up along moraine ridges and grassy slopes to some large switch backs carved out of the slope you reach a watershed. On the other side is the Tilicho Lake with camp sites on its north eastern shore. The route ahead is a bit complicated and demanding as you have to cross glaciers from the Tilicho Himal which requires ice climbing gear and the competence to use them. There is also the danger of crevasses hidden in the glaciers. An optional route traverses three minor passes in the mountains north of the lake. Tilicho Lake is famous as the lake in the highest altitude in the world and is considered holy as the bathing place of Guru Ringpoche so a large number of pilgrims visit the place during August every year.


Day 9: Exploration day around Tilicho (4919 m)

You explore around the Lake to experience the rough and wild beauty that the area is. It is also possible to cross the Meso Kanto La pass to Jomsom which is an alternative route to world famous Thorung La pass (5425 m) of Annapurna Circuit.

Day 10: Tilicho Lake – Khangsar (3734 m)

You follow the same route to reach Khangsar via Tilicho Base camp

Day 11: Khangsar – Yak Kharka (4090m)

Trekking upwards to Thorung la , you will leave the large trees behind and see vegetation, mainly scrub juniper and alpine grass and you pass a few meadows where horses and yaks can be seen grazing. You soon reach yak Kharka where you see herds of blue sheep grazing in the steep slopes.

Day 12: Yak Kharka – Thorung Phedi (4450m)

The trail now turns to the tributary valley of Jargeng Khola where it is sometimes possible to see herds of Blue mountain sheep along the cliffs. You cross a covered cantilevered bridge and ascend to Phedi, the last campsite lodge before Thorung Pass. (6 hrs)

Day 13: Thorung Phedi – Muktinath (3800m)

This is the most exciting day of the trek, which starts with an early morning ascent with a steep climb for 2- 3 hrs to a rock ledge and notch at 4605m.  Then you move along an undulating trail to the Thorung la itself at 5225m. At the pass you can see the Annapurna Range to the south and the Mukut Himal bordering Bolpo to the west. The peak to the north of the pass is Thorongtse and to the south is an unnamed 6500 m tall peak. The descent to the campsite at Muktinath is long and steep which is compensated by the splendid views of Dhaulagiri. It usually takes 10 -11 hrs for people to complete the day’s trek according to their pace and rate of acclimatization.  Muktinath is one of the important pilgrimage sites of the country for Hindus and Buddhists alike and there are many pilgrims bathing in the holy water flowing from the 108 carved spouts surrounding the temple. (10 hrs)

Day 14: Muktinath – Marpha via Kagbeni (2800m)

You continue the descent gently through fields and poplar groves and then steeply into the Kali Gandaki river valley finally reaching the valley floor at Eklai bhatti at the height of 2730m. Then you follow the valley southward to Jomsom, headquarter of Mustang district. It is a large settlement with an airstrip, police station and banks. The Kali Gandaki river is called “Thak Khola” by the ethnic Thakali people. The enterprising and ambitious Thakali people dominated the salt trade with Tibet in the former years, but after the collapse of the salt business, they diversified and invested in trekking hotels, construction and other businesses. You finally reach Marpha with white washed houses and apple fields. (7 hrs)

Day 15: Marpha – Tatopani

You travel by Jeep from Marpha to Tatopani to avoid the newly constructed dusty roads.

Day 16: Tatopani – Chitre

You cross the Kali Gandaki River on this day in the steel suspension and head towards the old suspension bridge after walking for a while alongside the river. You start ascending through the beautiful hillside villages and through some dense forests. The brief respite is over as soon as you tackle a stiff uphill path for some 1200 m to the village of Chitre. (5 hrs)

Day 17: Chitre – Ghorepani (280m)

There is more uphill climb to reach Ghorepani where you stop for lunch. In the afternoon there is a climb to poonhill, which offers a magnificent panoramic view of the mountain ranges like Annapurna and Hiunchuli. Dhaulagiri is prominently towering up front while Machchhapuchhre and others are less distinguished further to the east. If you look past these mountains, the rolling hills diminish in size until you can see the serpentine Chinese road snaking its way through the hills. (5 hrs)

Day 18: Ghorepani – Tadapani (2650m)

The morning ascent takes you eastwards for about an hour until you come to the crest of the hill. For a brief period, the trail becomes fairly even before it descends through thick forest to Banthati where you stop for lunch. Banthati is a small village with new houses turned into lodges and restaurants. From here you descend for an hour before climbing a steep hill at the top of which lies Tadapani. Tadapani consists of nicely built lodges of the people from Ghandruk who settled here to set up lodging services for the trekkers. The location is ideal for a central and close up view of the Machchhapuchhre. ( 6 hrs)

Day 19: Tadapani – Ghandruk

The Ghandruk trail descends steeply through forests to the village of Ghandruk where you will arrive around noon. You will stay overnight here so you can use the afternoon to visit the Annapurna Conservation office and museum along with the amazing maze like village. (3 hrs)

Day 20: Ghandruk – Nayapool/end of trek/ drive to Pokhara (827m)

This is the last day of the trek where you walk down stone paved steps in the middle of the terraces down to Syaulebazaar to see the dramatically changing mountain views. There are many beautiful flowers here so it is the best spot for some superb photography. Then you walk down through a rough trail down to Birethanti and end your trek in Nayapool. From there you take a private car to Pokhara and spend the evening exploring the Lakeside area.

Day 21: Flight to Kathmandu

After the breakfast you are driven to the Domestic Airport to take a 25 minute long scenic flight to Kathmandu. You are picked up by your tour officer at Kathmandu airport and transferred to your hotel. You can choose to relax for the rest of the day or take a guided tour of the city.

Day 22: Leisure in Kathmandu

You can use this leisure time to visit the various Thangka paintings, Pashmina and other souvenir shops and relax. You can also take a tour of the city yourself or with a guide.

Day 23: Departure

Your tour officer will meet you at the hotel to make your departure arrangements and drop you off to the Tribhuvan International airport for your scheduled flight.  You are always welcome to return back to explore our Himalayan kingdom.

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