The Annapurna Panorama Trek is one of the greatest treks not only in Nepal but throughout the world. The route follows the Annapurna Circuit Trekking trail but finishes a little earlier. Ending in Jomsom, you still get to experience the magic (and all the best mountain views) found on the Annapurna Circuit Trek, but you get to save 4 or 5 days to see other parts of Nepal or relax in Pokhara. Throughout the Annapurna Panorama Trek, you will see age-old Buddhist temples, towering Himalayan peaks, and meet the deeply spiritual locals – all while hiking following the footsteps of the ancient salt trade route.
The beauty of the Annapurna Panorama Trek lies in its wide diversity. The contrasts are alive and well on the trail. You will climb through humid terraced rice fields up to a frigid high mountain pass. From dense forests, full of life to the deserted Mustang region, each day leads you to a totally unique landscape. The land isn’t the only thing that changes. You will pass Hindu communities in the lower regions and devout Tibetan Buddhist settlements high in the mountains.
An added bonus of the Annapurna Panorama Trek is visiting Ice Lake (4620 meters/15,157 feet), locally known as Kicho Tal. The side trip from Manang is completely underrated and few people on the Annapurna Circuit even know that this place exists. To prepare for the Thorong La Pass (5416 meters/17,769 feet), its best to stay an extra day in Manang to acclimatize. But why waste a day hanging around the village when you can embark on an adventure to see some high alpine lakes with unbeatable views? The trip lasts most of the day, so we carry a packed lunch and enough water for the day.
After the day trip to Ice Lake, it’s time to cross the fabled Thorong La Pass, adorned with its many prayer flags. It’s quite a challenge, but the feeling of accomplishment after you reach the top is unbeatable. From the top, you get a crystal-clear view of dozens of Annapurna region peaks as well as the start of the Tibetan Plateau.
The next highlight of the Annapurna Panorama Trek is reaching Muktinath, where you get a glimpse into the mysterious Upper Mustang region. Characterized by ancient sky-caves and a culture unchanged by the passing of time, Upper Mustang is unlike anywhere else in the world. Also, Muktinath is a famous pilgrimage destination for both Hindus and Buddhists. Sadhus perched around the gate have walked from Muktinath from all over Nepal and India to reach this sacred place. It is said that if you bathe in the 108 water spouts, you will be freed from the cycle of death and rebirth.
Descending from Muktinath, feel the howling wind that blows through the Kaligandaki Valley, the deepest valley in the world. You then walk along the Thak Khol (River), home of the Thakali people. The Annapurna Panorama Trek ends in Jomsom, where you can either take a flight or a jeep back to Pokhara before the farewell dinner in Kathmandu.
Experience the best parts of the Annapurna Circuit Trek in a shorter amount of time on the Annapurna Panorama Trek! Feel free to reach out to us if you have any specific questions or requests regarding the itinerary.