• Updated on Nov 18, 2023

Annapurna Region

Notice: Nepal bans solo trekking for foreigners, coming into effect from 1st April 2023

Annapurna, one of the most prescribed trekking destinations is also the most visited trekking area of Nepal and is listed under the top 10 bucket-list trails around the globe.

The entire Annapurna region lies within the Himalayas of central Nepal, named after the 10th highest mountain in the world Mt. Annapurna (8091M).

Annapurna region is diversely blessed with nature and culture, it shares its border with the Manaslu conservation area and Dhaulagiri conservation area, named after Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167M), the 7th highest mountain, and Mt. Manaslu (8163M), the 8th highest mountain in the world.

Stunning view of Mount Dhaulagiri which is the 7th highest mountain on earth. 

This Annapurna region is widely spread to the north bordering Tibet and is the only Himalayan region in Nepal so blessed with diverse trails taking you from a couple of days' adventure to a months-long trek.

The northern part of the Annapurna region lies in the Mustang district of Nepal, sharing its landline with the autonomous region of Tibet and is known as the Upper Mustang area, which is a restricted area for foreign travelers.

Lo Manthang is the local administrative headquarter of Upper Mustang and the trail to Tibet is the ancient salt trade route to the Korala border of Tibet.

Trekkers' interest to visit this restricted area needs an extra Special Restricted Area Permit from the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu.

The entire region of Annapurna is protected under the project called, Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) which was first established in the year 1985, to protect wildlife and nature. ACAP stretches its area to the Manang, Mustang, Myagdi, Lamjung, and Kaski districts of central Nepal.

Covering an area of 7629 km² (2946 sq mi), the Annapurna region is the largest protected area in Nepal, with altitudes ranging from 790M (2590Ft) to 8091M (26545Ft), making Mt. Annapurna the tallest peak of the entire Annapurna region.

Annapurna region has everything a trekker would love to see, Thorung La Pass (5416M/17769Ft) is the highest pass of the entire Himalayas reaching its end to the Tibetan plateau and Tilicho Lake is the highest situated lake of the Himalayas both lie in this region.

Other than this, there are numerous other majestic peaks in the Annapurna region ranging from 6000-8000 Meters. Gangapurna, Tilicho Peak, Pisang Peak, Machhapuchhre, Paungda Danda are some to mention.

In terms of view, the Annapurna region trek grants the majestic view of Mt, Dhaulagiri (8167M), Mt. Manaslu (8163M), and Mt. Annapurna (8091M), the three highest mountains above 8000+ meters.

Apart from the Himalayas, the Annapurna region holds two fast-flowing biggest rivers of Nepal i.e., Marshyangdi and Kali Gandaki rivers, both have their source from the Himalayas. Kaligandaki River is the deepest river gorge and is the main source of Ammonite/fossils.

Annapurna region is also rich in natural resources, there is an abundance amount of Uranium in the Upper Mustang area and Natural gas in the Muktinath area. These are protected zone by the Nepali Army.

Muktinath is another popular destination for travelers in the Annapurna region, it is the most popular temple of Lord Vishnu. Every year thousands of pilgrimages do Muktinath Darshan for salvation. This holy temple of Muktinath lies at an altitude of 3800M, in the Mustang district of the Annapurna region.

There are multiple popular trekking trails in the Annapurna region and Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the popular weeks-long trekking trails through the highest Thorung La pass. This trail starts from Besisahar of Lamjung district, passing through Manang district, Mustang district, Magdi district, and Kaski district ending in Pokhara.

Thorong-La Pass is the widest pass in Nepal which is at an altitude of 5416m above sea level. 

However, trekkers can make it short Annapurna Circuit Trek, ending in Jomsom to take a short flight to Pokhara, or can drive to Pokhara from Jomsom.

Moreover, there are two popular natural hot springs in the Annapurna region, one in Tatopani, while descending from Jomsom, and the other in Chomrung while heading towards Annapurna Base Camp Trek.

One interesting fact about the Annapurna region is, that within a short 120km distance, the altitude ranges from 790M to 8091M and the climate also changes drastically. The southern slope is warmer in the summer than the northern.

Even the climatic region differs, the southern slopes receive heavy rainfall during winter and the northern is dry due to the rain shadow of the high peaks. During winter, the northern part receives heavy snowfall, whereas the southern remains cold.

Although the Annapurna region cannot be compared with the others in terms of beauty, with the construction of roads the trekking trails of the Annapurna region have been shortening drastically. A week-long Ghorepani- Poonhil Trek can be completed in just 3-4 days and a 3-week long round Annapurna circuit trek in just a week.

This has helped locals to deal with their daily activities and the living standard has also changed due to easy accessibility to facilities and an easy approach to other day-to-day needs, due to the construction of motorable roads.

Still, there is numerous emerging new trekking trail in the Annapurna Region and among them Mardi Himal Base Camp Trek is one of them, leading you to the base of Mt. Mardi Himal.

Interested in Annapurna Region Trek: For more information or booking WhatsApp: +977-9841161593 or Email: info@discoveraltitude.com

Table of Contents

Permits for the Annapurna Region Trekking

Annapurna Conservation Area trekking permit. 

In the Annapurna Region Trekking, there are two different permits required apart from Special Restricted Area Permits.

Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Permit

ACAP Permit is applicable and is mandatory for all the trekking trails of the Annapurna region. It is maintained by the National Trust for Nature to preserve and protect wildlife and nature. The amount so collected goes for conservation purposes.

These permits cost Rs. 3000 for a single person on a single entry, irrespective of the number of days. ACAP Permits can be obtained in Kathmandu or Pokhara and there are checkpoints to keep your records throughout the trail.

Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) Permit

TIMS Permits can be obtained in Kathmandu and Pokhara and are used for single entry, irrespective of the number of days. The purpose of the TIMS Permit is to keep a record of trekkers on the trail.

This helps in rescuing trekkers in times of natural calamities and to trace down the whereabouts of the trekkers if the trekkers didn’t exist on the mentioned date as disclosed. This is mainly for the safety purpose of the trekkers.

TIMS Permit cost Rs. 1000 for SAARC Countries and Rs. 2000 for others and can only be obtained through a legal local trekking agency in Nepal upon their registration code. TIMS permit is managed by TAAN (Trekking Agency Association of Nepal in collaboration with the Nepal Tourism Board.

Restricted Area Permits (RAP)

A special permit for trekking to Upper Mustang needs to obtain through Trekking Agency.

Restricted Area Permits are granted by the Immigration Department in Kathmandu when the number of trekkers exceeds not less than 2 persons. In terms of Restricted Area Permits in the Annapurna region, this is applicable only while trekking into the Upper Mustang Area starting from Kagbeni.

Here, trekkers must know that while trekking into the restricted areas of the Annapurna region, you must have ACAP, TIMS, and RAP Permits together, however, if you are not visiting restricted areas RAP permits are not required.

There is a strict provision for gaining a Restricted Area Permit, a registered trekking guide is mandatory to guide you, and the permit is only granted through a registered trekking agency in Nepal. This applies to all the restricted areas of Nepal in the Himalayas.

Restricted Area Permit is monitored by the Government of Nepal in collaboration with the Nepalese Army in those areas. This is one of the most crucial permits obtained in Nepal. RAP prices vary according to the number of days, season, and area of trekking. Please contact Discover Altitude for more details.

Interested in Annapurna Region Trekking: WhatsApp +977-9841161593 or Email: info@discoveraltitude.com 

Kumar Lamsal

Kumar Lamsal

Kumar is one of the Co-founders and Managing directors of Discover Altitude holding 18 years of experience in the tourism sector of Nepal. He has trekked to almost all the popular regions of Nepal and is an authorized trekking and tour guide.

Started his career as a porter to support his study, now holds MPhil and LLB degree, and is doing his Ph.D. in religious studies. He loves traveling to the Himalayas and has deep knowledge about religion, culture, and history.

Kumar is also involved in the teaching sector as a part-timer to deliver his research related to the cultural and religious diversity of Nepal and is the one who mostly answers your queries giving them his personal touch through his decade-long experience.