Trekking in the Annapurna region is considered to be one of the most splendid and one of the best trekking routes in Nepal and the world. There are many options when it comes to trekking in the Annapurna region including the Annapurna circuit trek, Annapurna Panorama trek, Annapurna Base Camp trek.
The Annapurna circuit trek has been voted as one of the best long distance treks in the world. It is a moderate level trek that can be enjoyed by anyone who is comfortable walking 5 to 6 hours on a daily basis.
The 15 days Annapurna Circuit trek or the 18 days Annapurna Circuit trek gives you the experience of the classic Himalayan trails. This takes you through varied landscapes from hills to the mountains. It covers the climate zones from the tropics to the arctic zone. The cultural diversity ranges from the Hindu villages at the foothills to the Tibetan influenced culture in the Manang and Mustang regions.
You also get to view some of the world’s highest mountains on this trail including Annapurna (I- IV), Dhaulagiri, Machapuchare, Manaslu, Gangapurna. You also pass through beautiful waterfalls, lakes (some of the most remote and well preserved), cliffs, suspension bridges, stupas, monasteries, forest, world’s deepest gorge, Kali Gandaki.
The Annapurna circuit trek can be done independently, with or without guides, in groups, with family and is suitable for most parts of the year.
To make your treks to this beautiful, classic and all time favorite trek among many trekkers easier, here is what you need to know.
These are in terms of the trekking permits you need to have before going on this trek.
Type of Trekking Permits for Annapurna Circuit Trek
There are two types of trekking permit required by anyone wishing to do the Annapurna Circuit trek.
TIMS or Trekkers Information Management System is a must for every trekker wishing to trek in Nepal. This is a basic permit implemented jointly by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) to ensure the safety and security of every trekker wishing to trek in Nepal.
The Annapurna region was gazette a conservation area by the government of Nepal in 1992 and is the largest protected area in Nepal.
Every trekker wishing to trek in the Annapurna region needs to purchase ANCAP or Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit.
The Annapurna Conservation area is located across Manang, Myagdi, Lamjung, Mustang districts of Nepal. It was established with the aim of creating a sustainable economic and social development to benefit the local people of the region.
It is managed by the National Trust for Nature Conservation. Some portion of the cost for the ANCAP goes to the trust for the conservation of this beautiful region.
The cost for TIMS per person is as follows:
SAARC nationals: NPR 600, about $6
All other nationals: NPR 2000, about $200
The per person cost for entering the Annapurna Conservation Area or ANCAP for a foreign trekker is as follows:
SAARC nationals: NPR 200, about $2
ALL other nationals: NPR 2000, about $200
It is to be noted that this prices excludes 13% VAT (Value Added Tax) compliance.
Note: Any individual trekker below the age of 10 doesn’t require purchasing this permit.
Terms and conditions for the ANCAP
- This entry permit is for single use (entry) only. It is non refundable, non transferable.
- The permit holder can enter all the designated areas within the Conservation Area.
- Any person entering the Conservation Area must abide by the National Park and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1973 and all the regulations made under this Act.
- This entry permit must be with the permit holder at all times of the trek and must be presented to concerned personnels of the Conservation Area when asked to.
- Entry permits to the conservation area will not be issued from any of the check posts along the Conservation area. So, it is strongly recommended that any trekker wishing to enter this conservation area have already obtained the required permits before entering the conservation area.
- Under Special circumstances, entry permit may be issued from the check posts along the trekking route upon payment of 100% additional charge.
The costs of the entry permits are lower for groups.
As per the recent MoU signed by NTB and TAAN, the costs for TIMS for groups are as follows:
SAARC nationals: NPR 300(about $3) per person.
All other nationals: NPR 1000 (about $10) per person.
The tea houses and hotels also give priority to groups which mean you are more likely to get a room to sleep in if you are in a group. This is a concern while trekking during the best trekking seasons of Nepal, i.e. from April to May and late September to early November.
The most convenient and reliable place to get your trekking permits including the above two is Kathmandu, more specifically Nepal Tourism Board, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu, Nepal.
The office of the Nepal Tourism Board is located about 20 minutes walking distance from the popular tourist spot, Thamel. The office is open from 10:00 to 17:00 with lunch break from 13:00 to 14:00 on all days except for national holidays.
You can also get the permits in Pokhara, i.e. Nepal Tourism Board, Tourist Service Centre, Pardi Damside. You can get the permits in Besisahar, Lamjung from the ACAP permit counter. Though, you can only get permits for the Annapurna region from these places.
Things required before applying for the trekking permits (TIMS, ANCAP and so on)
- Entry Permit Application Form: There are two forms for the Annapurna Circuit trek. One is the TIMS form and the other is the permit form. You can get these online and fill it before you reach Nepal.
- Two copies of your recent passport, one each for TIMS and ANCAP.
- 4 passport size photos, two for TIMS and two for ANCAP
- Detailed itinerary of your trek like the 18 days itinerary for Annapurna Circuit Trek or the 15 days itinerary for Annapurna Circuit Trek.
- Nepali currency to pay for the forms.
Obtaining a permit for any trek is similar to the one for ANCAP except for the treks in the restricted regions in Nepal. For further details, it is best to consult one of the many authorized local trekking agencies in Nepal or you can contact us.