Tips for Annapurna Circuit Trek preparation

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the most popular and scenic treks in Nepal. It takes you through the heart of the Annapurna Range, offering breathtaking views of towering peaks, remote villages, and lush forests. The trek is challenging, but it’s also very rewarding, both in terms of natural beauty and cultural experiences. In this article, we will guide you through how to prepare for the Annapurna Circuit Trek, including a visit to Tilicho Lake.

Physical fitness

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a long and challenging trek that involves hiking for several hours a day, often at high altitudes. It’s essential to have good physical fitness to undertake this trek. You should start preparing for the trek at least three months in advance. You should focus on cardiovascular exercises such as running, cycling, or swimming to improve your endurance. Additionally, strength training exercises such as lunges, squats, and push-ups will help build your leg and core strength, which will be crucial during the trek.


Acclimatization is crucial for a successful trek to the Annapurna Circuit. As you ascend to higher altitudes, the air pressure decreases, and the amount of oxygen available decreases. It’s essential to acclimatize yourself to the altitude slowly, allowing your body to adjust to the lower oxygen levels. To help with acclimatization, you should spend a few days in Kathmandu or Pokhara before starting the trek to let your body adapt to the altitude. Additionally, you should plan your itinerary to allow for gradual acclimatization by including rest days at higher altitudes.

Packing List

The packing list for the Annapurna Circuit Trek is crucial. You should pack only what you need as you will be carrying your backpack throughout the trek. Some essential items include:

  • Trekking boots
  • Hiking socks
  • Fleece jacket or sweater
  • Down jacket
  • Thermal underwear
  • Trekking pants
  • Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Hat and gloves
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Sleeping bag
  • Headlamp and batteries
  • Water bottles and water purification tablets
  • First aid kit

Permits and Visas

You will need a permit to trek in the Annapurna Conservation Area. You can obtain the permit in Kathmandu or Pokhara before starting the trek. Additionally, you will need a Nepal entry visa, which you can obtain on arrival at Kathmandu airport or at the border checkpoints if you are entering Nepal by land.

Trekking Guide and Porter

It’s highly recommended to hire a trekking guide and a porter for the Annapurna Circuit Trek. The guide will provide you with valuable information about the trek, including the trail conditions, weather, and culture. The porter will carry your backpack, allowing you to focus on enjoying the trek without worrying about your belongings.

Tilicho Lake

Tilicho Lake is one of the highlights of the Annapurna Circuit Trek. It’s the highest lake in the world, situated at an altitude of 4,919 meters. To reach Tilicho Lake, you will need to take a detour from the main trail and hike for an additional day. Annapurna circuit trek with tilicho lake is challenging, but the reward is worth it as you will be treated to stunning views of the lake surrounded by towering peaks.

Trail Itinerary

The Annapurna Circuit Trek takes around 15-20 days to complete, depending on your itinerary. The classic route starts in Besishahar and follows the Marsyangdi River valley, passing through remote villages, lush forests, and high mountain passes. The trek then crosses over to the Kali

Gandaki River valley and passes through Manang, a traditional Tibetan village. From here, you can take a detour to Tilicho Lake before heading towards Thorong La Pass, the highest point of the trek at 5,416 meters. The trail then descends to the sacred town of Muktinath before ending in Jomsom.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness is a potential risk for trekkers on the Annapurna Circuit Trek. It’s essential to be aware of the symptoms and take necessary precautions to avoid it. Symptoms of altitude sickness include headaches, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath. To prevent altitude sickness, you should take acclimatization seriously, avoid alcohol and smoking, and stay hydrated.

Accommodation and Food

Accommodation on the Annapurna Circuit Trek ranges from basic teahouses to more comfortable lodges with hot showers and Wi-Fi. The teahouses are run by local families and offer a unique cultural experience, allowing you to interact with locals and learn about their way of life. Food on the trek is generally simple but nutritious, with a variety of options, including Nepali and Western dishes.


the Annapurna Circuit Trek is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that offers stunning natural beauty and cultural immersion. By following the above tips, you can prepare yourself for the trek and increase your chances of success. Don’t forget to take time to acclimatize, hire a guide and porter, pack appropriately, and enjoy the journey to Tilicho Lake and beyond. With proper preparation and a positive attitude, you’re sure to have a memorable trek on the Annapurna Circuit.

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