Top 10 Must-See Stops on the Annapurna Circuit Trek

  • Last Updated on May 15, 2024

Annapurna Region is the second-famous place that most trekkers and travelers wish to visit after Everest Region. The Annapurna region offers a variety of opportunities, such as trekking, exploring stunning landscapes, witnessing breathtaking views of mountains and surrounding peaks, and many more.

The region offers a variety of trekking packages, among which the Annapurna Circuit trek is one. This trek is  the adventure of a lifetime, where the beauty of nature meets the warmth of local culture.

Annapurna Region of Nepal

The Annapurna Circuit Trek isn't just about reaching the highest points; it's also about the laughs you share with other trekkers, the warm meals that locals offer, and the breathtaking views that take your breath away. This hike will leave a permanent imprint on your soul, no matter how much you've hiked before or how much you've never been on a trip before.

Today, we'll virtually take you on a trip to the 10 most significant places on the Annapurna Circuit Trek. Every place you visit, from the busy streets of Kathmandu to the peaceful beauty of Jomsom, has its own story to tell and things to see.

Table of Contents

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Kathmandu: The Starting Point

You will start your beautiful Annapurna Circuit Trek in Kathmandu, the busy city of Nepal. This lively city is a mix of different cultures; old customs and new ideas coexist in perfect harmony. Take some time to learn about Kathmandu's long past, busy markets, and holy sites before you start your trek.

Kathmandu City

Highlights of Kathmandu

  • Durbar Square: Explore the historic heart of Kathmandu, filled with palaces, temples, and courtyards.
  • Swayambhunath Stupa: Visit the iconic "Monkey Temple" with its stunning views of the city and sacred Buddhist relics.
  • Boudhanath Stupa: Marvel at one of the largest stupas in Nepal, an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists.
  • Thamel: Shop for trekking gear, souvenirs, and experience the lively nightlife in this popular tourist district.
  • Pashupatinath Temple: Witness the rituals and ceremonies along the banks of the Bagmati River at this sacred Hindu temple complex.

Besi Sahar: Gateway to the Annapurna Circuit

Besi Sahar is in the lush greenery of Nepal. It is the starting point for the Annapurna Circuit, which is one of the most famous hiking routes in the world. A long trip through a wide range of landscapes, from subtropical forests to the tallest peaks in the Himalayas, starts in this small town.

Besi-Sahar Village of Annapurna region

Highlights of BesiSahar

  • Gateway to the Annapurna Circuit Trek
  • Stunning views of the Himalayas
  • Rich cultural heritage with diverse ethnic groups
  • Starting point for adventure activities like trekking, hiking, and mountain biking
  • Charming local markets and eateries showcasing Nepali cuisine
  • Access to nearby natural attractions like waterfalls and hot springs
  • Peaceful atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of city life

Tal Village: First Glimpse of Mountain Culture

Tal Village is like a hidden gem in the Alps, surrounded by towering peaks and lush forests. People here have their own customs and live in stone houses. You can walk to the town and see beautiful sights like farms and waterfalls along the way. The people who live there, who are mostly Gurung, are very friendly and love to show tourists how they live. You can stay the night in nice places and eat tasty food. You can enjoy the peace and quiet of the river and the natural beauty of the area.

Tal Village of Annapurna Region

Highlights of Tal Village

  • Stunning views of the surrounding landscapes, including cascading waterfalls and terraced fields.
  • Warm hospitality of the Gurung people, who inhabit the village and eagerly share their customs and traditions with visitors.
  • Immerse yourself in the daily life of the villagers, witnessing traditional practices such as farming, weaving, and religious rituals.
  • Indulge in authentic Nepali cuisine, prepared with fresh ingredients sourced from the village and served with a side of genuine hospitality.
  • Take a leisurely stroll along the Marsyangdi River, which flows through the village, or simply unwind by its tranquil banks, listening to the soothing sounds of nature.

Pisang: Stunning Views of Annapurna II

Pisang is a picturesque village along the Annapurna Circuit Trek in Nepal, offering stunning views of Annapurna II and the surrounding Himalayan peaks. It is a popular stop for trekkers due to its natural beauty and cultural charm.

Pisang Village

Highlights of Pisang:

  • Scenic hike from BesiSahar to Pisang Village
  • Breathtaking views of Annapurna II and other peaks
  • Immersion in the local Gurung culture and lifestyle
  • Opportunity to try local cuisine and interact with friendly villagers
  • Peaceful and serene environment, perfect for relaxation after a day of trekking.

Manang: Acclimatization and Exploration

Manang is a unique location where trekkers can take a break to adjust to the high altitude. It's a small town with lovely mountain views and friendly people. People live in the town, and you may stroll around and see old monasteries. There is delicious food that is only found in this area that you should try. Resting in Manang and learning about the culture of the area is a great way to start your mountain trip.

Manang Village

Highlights of Manang

  • Ideal location for trekkers to rest and acclimatize before continuing to higher altitudes.
  • Explore the rich culture and traditions of the Gurung and Manangi people.
  • Experience the unique architecture and lifestyle of this high-altitude village.
  • Visit the pristine Gangapurna Lake and witness its crystal-clear waters.
  • Explore ancient monasteries like the Gangapurna Monastery and the Khangsar Monastery.
  • Enjoy short hikes around the village for breathtaking views of the Himalayas.
  • Taste traditional Manangi dishes and experience the local way of life.

Ice Lake: A Challenging Side Trek

Ice Lake is a challenging side walk on the Annapurna Circuit that gives hikers stunning views of the Gangapurna Glacier and the Himalayan peaks in the area. At an elevation of about 4,600 meters, getting to Ice Lake requires a steep and difficult climb. However, adventurers who make it to the top will be rewarded with beautiful views and a sense of success.

Ice Lake

Highlights of Ice Lake 

  • Panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks nearby, such as Gangapurna, Annapurna II, and others.
  • As you hike through different landscapes, from lush woods to rough terrain, you'll reach the lake, which is set in a beautiful alpine setting.
  • Meet local villagers and enjoy the warm welcome of Nepalese people, who will also show you some of the area's rich cultural history.
  • A difficult trekking experience that tests hikers' stamina and resolve as they climb steep hills and reach high elevations.
  • A peaceful place to think and observe that encourages hikers to connect with nature more deeply.

Thorong La Pass: High Altitude Achievement

The Thorong La Pass is a high mountain pass in Annapurna region of Nepal. At an elevation of 5,416 meters (17,769 feet), it is the highest point of the Annapurna Circuit Trek. When trekkers cross Thorong La Pass, they are rewarded with stunning views of the nearby Himalayan peaks and a sense of success for overcoming the mental and physical challenges of high-altitude trekking.

Thorang La Pass

Highlights of Thorang La Pass

  • One of the highest trekking passes in the world, located in the Annapurna region of Nepal.
  • Panoramic views of the Annapurna Range, including Annapurna I, II, III, and Gangapurna, among others.
  • Stands at an elevation of 5,416 meters (17,769 feet) above sea level.
  • One of the most popular trekking routes in the world.
  • Routes are covered in snow, making the crossing more difficult during the winter months.
  • a challenging and rewarding experience, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding Himalayan mountains.

Muktinath Temple: Sacred Site for Hindus and Buddhists

Muktinath is a significant pilgrimage place in Nepal's Mustang district, renowned for its religious significance to both Hindus and Buddhists. It is at an elevation of 3,710 meters (12,172 feet) and has very spiritual significance as well as stunning views of the Himalayas.

Muktinath Trek

Highlights of Muktinath Temple

  • Muktinath is a sacred pilgrimage site in Nepal.
  • The Muktinath Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
  • The temple complex includes a natural gas flame called "Jwala Mai."
  • Muktinath features Buddhist monasteries and chortens.
  • There are 108 stone-carved water spouts for ritual baths.
  • Pilgrims visit Muktinath seeking spiritual purification.
  • The site offers stunning views of the Himalayan peaks.

Jomsom: Gateway to the Annapurna Sanctuary

Jomsom, set in the Kali Gandaki River Valley, is a key stop for hikers on the Annapurna Circuit, offering a mix of natural beauty and cultural depth. This charming town is the entrance to the famous Annapurna Sanctuary. Its beautiful scenery and unique culture make it a popular tourist spot.

Jomsom Village

Highlights of Jomsom

  • The town offers stunning Himalayan vistas from between Dhaulagiri and Annapurna.
  • The town's monasteries, temples, and lifestyle represent Tibetan Buddhist and Hindu civilizations.
  • Jomsom's apple orchards provide wonderful apples and provide a lovely backdrop for hikers.
  • The town sits on the Kali Gandaki River, which adds to its beauty and tranquility.
  • Attracts adventurers from around the world with its access to the Annapurna Circuit and Upper Mustang trekking routes.

Beyond the Circuit: Annapurna's Diverse Treks

Besides the Annapurna Circuit Trek, the region offers several additional treks that display its natural beauty and cultural richness. Trekkers of various levels can choose from these treks' durations and preferences. Popular Annapurna alternative treks include:


Completing the Annapurna Circuit Trek is like finishing an amazing adventure story. Along the way, you've seen stunning mountains, experienced different cultures, and pushed your limits. Now, as our journey wraps up, remember the breathtaking views, warm hospitality, and spiritual moments you've encountered. Whether you're a seasoned trekker or a first-timer, reaching the end is a huge accomplishment. Treasure the memories and lessons from this journey, and carry them with you into your next adventure. Until then, savor the beauty of the Himalayas and look forward to future travels. Safe journey and happy trekking!

Manju Mahato

Manju Mahato

Manju Mahato is a content and blog writer with over 5 years of experience in the field. She has a passion for creating compelling and engaging content that resonates with readers. Her expertise lies in crafting informative and well-researched articles on a wide range of topics, including health, travel, and technology. She is a skilled communicator and enjoys connecting with her readers through her writing. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for storytelling, she strives to deliver high-quality and informative content that makes a difference.

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