Manaslu and Annapurna Circuit Trek

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Manaslu and Annapurna Circuit Trek not only takes you into the wonderful land of snowy mountains, remote forests, gorges, and fast-flowing rivers crossed by many exciting suspension and cantilever bridges, but it also shows you both Hindu and Buddhist cultures with some very different temples/ gompas and people in the different regions you will be trekking through.

This trek has two Conservation Areas: the Manaslu Conservation Area (MCA) and the Annapurna Conservation Area. The MCA is home to unique wildlife such as the snow leopard and red panda. This region’s flora, fauna, and birdlife are also quite spectacular, with the red rhododendrons being Nepal’s national flower and the Himalayan Monal (danfe) being Nepal’s national bird.

No one needs an introduction to the Annapurna mountain range: it is the most stunning mountain area in Nepal with some of the highest mountains in the world.

In fact, the Annapurna area is home to 10 of the highest peaks, including Annapurna itself at  8,091 m /  26, 545 ft and many of its neighbors including Annapurna II (7,937 m / 26,040 ft), Annapurna III (7,555 m / 24,786 ft), and Annapurna South (7,219 m /  23,684 ft).

This 21-day trek takes in the beauty of the Annapurnas and the area surrounding the majestic Mount Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world at 8,156 m / 26 758 ft.

On average, hiking days are 6 to 7 hours long, plus a couple of longer days.  A great deal of the trek takes place at altitudes over 3,200m / 10,499 ft with the highest elevations being when you cross the Thorong La Pass (5,416 m / 17,765 ft) and the Larkay La Pass (5,135 m / 16,847 ft).

With a couple of nights sleeping at an altitude over 4,000 m / 13,123 ft, we have carefully included two acclimatization days in the itinerary.  

The first four days of this trek are at a low altitude (less than 2,000 m / 6,561 ft), and under the watchful eye of our experienced guides, hiking slowly and steadily should not be a problem for most trekkers.

As for the people and culture on this trek, you start by passing through the villages of Gurung and Tamang, where people work on their agricultural land.  

Very quickly, you notice you are entering an area where Buddhism dominates, as is obvious by the mani walls (stone walls with Buddhist mantras carved into them), prayer flags, shrines, and gompas (monasteries).  The way people dress and the homes they live in change, too. 

The Tibetan influence is very strong because the people of this area originally migrated from Tibet hundreds of years ago. You can visit Buddhist monasteries and learn how monks and lamas live in this remote area. This trek has much to offer to those who love learning about different cultures.

Buddhist culture continues as you leave the Manaslu Conservation Area, enter the district of Manang, and join the Annapurna Circuit Trek route.  Once you pass over the Thorong La Pass, you are in the Annapurna Conservation Area, where you discover the Hindu pilgrimage site of Muktinath with its temple, 108 sacred water spouts, and eternal flame. 

This is a famous site for Hindus, and they come from all over Nepal and India to worship here.  From here you follow the Annapurna Circuit route down to Jomson and Pokhara. The wonderful mountains of the Annapurnas surround you all the time, and you can understand why this trek is so well-loved.


Starts at: Maccha Khola Ends at: Pokhara
Trek Region: Manaslu and Annapurna Transport: Public Bus
Duration: 20 Days Trip Grade: Challenging
Max Altitude: 5,416 m / 17769 ft (Thorong La Pass) Accommodation: Basic teahouses

Manaslu and Annapurna Circuit Trek Highlights

  • Discover two very different regions of Nepal in one trek.
  • Visit remote areas with unique wildlife and scenery.
  • Trek through lush forests, along rivers, through pastures and agricultural land, and over high passes.
  • Be in the midst of the Annapurna mountain range and see its glory.
  • Discover Mt Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world.
  • Meet people from Hindu and Buddhist cultures.
  • Talk with monks and lamas in the monasteries and priests and gurus in the Hindu temple at Muktinath. Cross the challenging Thorong La Pass at 5,416 m / 17,765 ft and watch the sunrise from High Camp.

Manaslu and Annapurna Circuit Trek Outline Itinerary

Day 1: Drive from Kathmandu to Maccha Khola

Maccha Khola – 930 m / 3,051 ft -9 hrs

Day 2: Trek from Maccha Khola to Jagat

Jagat – 1,340 m /4,396 ft – 6 hrs

Day 3: Trek from Jagat to Deng

Deng – 1,804 m / 5,918 ft – 6 hrs

Day 4: from Deng to Namrung

Namrung – 2,630 m / 8,628 ft – 6 hrs

Day 5: from Namrung to Lho

Lho – 2,957 m / 9,701 ft – 4 hrs

Day 6: Lho to Sama Gaun

Sama Gaun – 3.530 m / 11,581 ft – 4 hrs

Day 7: Acclimatization Day (Day Trip to Manaslu Base Camp or Pungyen Gompa)

Sama Gaun – 4,400m / 14,435 ft – 7 hrs

Day 8: Trek from Sama Gaun to Samdo

Samdo – 3,865 m / 12,680 ft – 3 hrs

Day 9: Acclimatization Day (Day Trip to Tibet Border)

Samdo – 5,000 m / 16,404 ft – 8 hrs

Day 10: Trek from Samdo to Dharmasala

Dharmasala – 4,460 m / 14,632 ft – 4 hrs

Day 11: Trek from Dharmasala to Bimthang via Larkya Pass

Bimthang – 3,590 m / 11,778 ft – 10 hrs

Day 12: Trek from Bimthang to Dharapani

Dharapani – 1,970 m / 6.463 ft – 7 hrs

Day 13: Trek from Dharapani to Chame

Chame – 2,710 m / 8,891 ft – 6 hrs

Day 14: Chame to Pisang

Pisang – 3,300 m / 10,826 ft – 5 hrs

Day 15: Pisang to Manang

Manang – 3,540 m / 11,614 ft – 6 hrs

Day 16: Acclimatization Day (Day Trip to Praken Gompa)

Manang – 3,540 m / 11,614 ft – 3 hrs

Day 17: Manang to Yak Kharka

Yak Kharka – 4,110 m / 13,484 ft – 4 hrs

Day 18: Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi

Thorong Phedi – 4,600 m / 15,091 ft – 3 hrs

Day 9: Thorong Phedi to Muktinath via Thorong La

Muktinath – 3,800 m / 12,467 ft – 9 hrs

Day 20: Muktinath to Jomsom

Pokhara – 822 m / 2,600 ft) – 10 hrs

Day 1: Kathmandu to Maccha Khola (Drive)

  • Drive time: 8 to 9 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 160 km / 99 miles

Today, we will travel a long distance by road to reach the start of the Manaslu and Annapurna Trek. There are two options for travel: by public bus (the cost of which is included in the trek) or by private jeep (the cost of which is borne by you). 

The public bus requires you to leave your hotel at 5.30 am, which is much less comfortable, but it introduces you to Nepali life. 

The private jeep will pick you up at your hotel around 8 a.m., giving you time to have breakfast first. It is more comfortable and takes a little less time—7-8 hours—than 9 hours by bus. In either case, your guide will be with you.

Day 2: Maccha Khola to Jagat

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 14 km / 8.6 miles

Our first day on the trek starts at a low altitude to give us time to adjust to the Himalayas.

It is likely to be warm and sunny so dress accordingly.

Today, you learn how to cross the many suspension bridges and hike through forests, and that in the Himalayas, there are as many downs as ups to negotiate. 

Tonight, you will stay in Jagat village, home to the Gurung and Tamang people, whom you will learn more about as you travel.

Day 3: Jagat to Deng

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 19.9 km / 12.3 miles

The scenery and surrounding mountains improve as you walk through villages such as Salleri and Sirdibas today. 

Prayer flags flutter overhead, and you see many gompas, which you will become accustomed to seeing on the trails. 

You follow a Budhi Gandaki river bank, noting boulders are sculpted into interesting shapes, the result of centuries of running water. 

If you are here in the spring, the rhododendron forests will be alight with colorful flowers, and the pine trees will add a fresh fragrance to our day.

Day 4: Deng to Namrung

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 20 km / 12 miles

Today, as well as a bamboo forest and winding trails to climb up, you cross a few landslide zones.  Paying attention to the guide as you cross these areas is particularly important. 

Breathing a sigh of relief when you have safely crossed over the landslides, the uneven trails seem less daunting, and you continue on to our overnight stop at Namrung.

Day 5: Namrung to Lho

  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 10 km / 6 miles

The altitude is rising now, and you should take care of monitoring your own body.

Today, you will meet Nubri people and note their traditional Tibetan dress and how they decorated the gateways to villages with Buddhist paintings. 

In addition to these, the hike today takes us through various forests and across rocky hills. Manaslu and Manaslu North dominate the skyline today.

Day 6: Lho to Sama Gaun

  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 9 km / 5 miles

Today, the path is not so tricky as you hike through forests and a moss-filled gully.  It is also a shorter hike today, which you can appreciate.   Approaching Sama Gaun, you see yak pastures and a large Buddhist monastery, which you have plenty of time to explore.

Day 7: Acclimatization Day (Day Trip to Manaslu Base Camp or Pungyen Gompa)

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 11 km / 6 miles

An acclimatization day in the Manaslu and Annapurna circuit is not a rest day.  We know the best way to acclimate to high altitude is to stay active, so we have built the itinerary with interesting side trips on the acclimatization days.  

There are several choices today. One is a shorter hike to Birendra Tal Lake, which will take only around 2 hours to reach.

 And, of course, there are longer hikes.  Either to Pungyan Gompa or Manaslu Base Camp (6 to 7 hours) 

The highlight of the trip to Pungyan Gompa is that you will pass through yak fields to a monastery with over 400 years of history.  The Nubri people believe Lord Pungyen is the guardian of Mt Manaslu, as the gompa’s colorful murals demonstrate.

Meantime, should you decide to hike to Manaslu Base Camp, the views of the mountains are spectacular: Himalchuli (7,893 meters / 25,895 feet), Ganesh Himal (7,319 meters / 24,012 feet), and Shringi Himal (7,187 meters / 23,579 feet) and others.  You also get a great panoramic view of Sama Gaun, Manaslu, and Birendra Tal.

Day 8: Sama Gaun to Samdo

  • Trek time: 2 to 3 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 10 km / 6 miles

After breakfast, it is a relatively short hike to Samdo village.  It’s a great opportunity for birdwatching and to spot some yaks grazing on the yak pastures (depending on the time of year).  You cross the Budhi Gandaki River again to reach White Kani village, which earns its trade in yak herding. 

The people of Samdo follow Tibetan Buddhism and are members of the Bhotia community. Bhatia comes from the word ‘Bhot,’ which means hill people. It is generally used in Nepal to describe people with Mongolian features who originated in Tibet.

When you reach Samdo in time for lunch, you can take a sightseeing trip to Samdo Peak or nearby villages.

Day 9: Acclimatization Day (Day Trip to Tibet Border)

  • Trek time: 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 12 km / 7 miles

Today is an acclimatization day to prepare us for crossing the Larkya Pass.  After an early breakfast, you hike to the Tibet border, from where you can see the  Samdo Glacier and the huge serac at the top of the glacier, along with many peaks such as  Manaslu, Kang Gurung, Larkay Peak, and Hiunchuli. You will take a packed lunch with you today.

Day 10: Samdo to Dharmasala

  • Trek time: 3 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 3 km / 1 miles

Dharamsala is also called Larkya Phedi or Larkya Base Camp. It is a gentle walk through fields and Larkya Bazaar. 

Larkya Bazaar is a trading center, so you may witness trade as you pass through.  Again, you cross the Budhi Gandaki River and hike upwards to get a view of the Larkya Glacier.  

You can also see Naike Peak (6,211 m / 20,377 ft) and Manaslu if the weather is clear.

Day 11: Dharmasala to Bimthang via Larkya Pass

  • Trek time: 10 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 18 km / 11 miles

 This long day requires us to get up before dawn to cross the pass before the afternoon high winds arrive.

Eating breakfast in the early morning hours is a bit of a challenge, but you need the energy for this strenuous day. The Larkya Pass is at an elevation of 5,160m / 16,929 ft, and you take it slowly and steadily.

 The rewards on the way are fabulous views of several mountains, such as Himlung (7,126m / 23,379 ft), Kang Guru (6,981 m / 22,903 ft), and Annapurna II (7,937m / 26,040 ft) and of impressive icefalls, glaciers and Pongkar Tal, a high altitude lake.  

Day 12: Bimthang to Dharapani

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 21 km / 13 miles

Today, you hike through pine and rhododendron forests in a much warmer climate. 

As the altitude decreases, the chances of seeing some local wildlife increase, but you still need to be lucky to spot the rarer species. 

After crossing the Dudh Khola River, you stop at Karche village for lunch before entering an area that is more tricky underfoot due to glacial floods in the past.  You must be extra careful. 

As you descend, you come to a valley with some agricultural land. The easier trail allows you to relax a bit until you reach Dharapani.

Day 13: Trek from Dharapani to Chame

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Distance: 15 km /94 miles
  • Accommodation: Tea House

After breakfast, set off through forests with a scattering of orange marigold flowers before reaching some steep stone stairs which promise to be quite challenging. 

This morning, the game’s name is Ascending to Descending to Ascend Again, which can be quite mentally and physically challenging.

There are two villages to pass: Bagarchap and Danakyu. The latter, we are reliably told, has excellent food and is a popular lunch stop for trekkers!  

On the route, we have views of Annapurna II, IV, and Lamjung Himal to keep our minds off the steep trails. Trekking on, you reach Chame, a lovely village situated by a river, where some nice teahouses await. One of them will be our home for the night.

Day 14: Chame to Upper Pisang –  Upper Pisang

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Distance: 13.2km / 8.2 miles
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Although it is now possible to travel by jeep from Kathmandu via Chame to Manang, the trekking routes are still beautiful and well worth the effort. 

Not to mention, it is the best way to acclimatize before crossing over the Thorong La Pass.

When hiking the day begins with views of the snow-capped mountains above the forest trees.

On this route, you will also overlook part of the Marshyangdi Valley. At Bhratang village there is an apple orchard with apples for sale. 

The trail continues as a route carved into the mountain, high above a river. Several routes are possible on this section of the Manaslu and Annapurna Trek, and your guide will ask the locals which may be closed due to landslides, etc. The final climb to Upper Pisang village offers views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Day 15: Upper Pisang to Manang

  • Trek time: 8 hours
  • Distance: 17 km /10.6 miles
  • Accommodation: Tea House

After a strenuous trek up to the Ghyaru settlement, you will be rewarded with stunning views before heading on to Ngawal, where you stop for lunch.

If you are feeling energetic, before Ngawal and lunch, you can take a short detour to see Braga Gompa which has fabulous panoramic views. 

This detour will add a couple of hours to our journey, so let’s discuss and decide on the day.   

The scenery is beginning to change, taking on a more dry landscape of huge rock formations. As Manang is the last village before the pass and is accessible by road, many cafes, restaurants, and hotels exist. 

There is even a bakery which, after two long weeks, is just what you crave!

Day 16: Acclimatization Day in Manang

  • Accommodation: Tea House

As you know, acclimatization days don’t mean sitting around eating pastries and drinking coffee. Manang is an interesting town, set in a dry landscape with some interesting day hikes around it.

Those interested in culture can hike to Praken Gompa. Hidden from the town, the gompa is reached by ascending above Manang from the east to a stupa and following a narrow path of sea buckthorn bushes (which make an interesting drink). 

The gompa itself is in simple, old style, but the views are the most impressive: Annapurna IV, Annapurna II, Tarke Kang, and Gangapurna. It is certainly a tranquil way to spend the acclimatization day.

It is also possible to hike Braga Gompa if you didn’t go there the day before..  

Gangapurna Lake is an alternative to the longer hikes.  A short hike from Manang at the base of Gangapurna Peak is a good place to relax on this acclimatization day if you don’t have enough energy for more strenuous hiking today. 

Believed to be sacred, pilgrims visit Manang town to soak up the spiritual energy and ask for blessings. Then, they enjoy the ambiance of Manang town itself. 

It is also possible to hike Braga Gompa if you didn’t go there the day before..  

Gangapurna Lake is an alternative to the longer hikes.  A short hike from Manang at the base of Gangapurna Peak is a good place to relax on this acclimatization day if you don’t have enough energy for more strenuous hiking today.  Believed to be sacred, pilgrims visit here to soak up the spiritual energy and ask for blessings.  Then, enjoy the ambiance of Manang town itself. 

Day 17: Manang to Yak Kharka

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Distance: 8.4km / 5.2 miles
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Although this is a short day, you are hiking at a high altitude, so you take things slowly. After leaving Manang, the trails ascend straight to the village of Ghunsang. 

After this settlement, the trail is less strenuous, although it has the usual ups and downs until you reach the last stretch, which is pretty flat for the Himalayas. On this route, you pass a lot of mules carrying goods, which is a sign that the motorable road has ended in Manang.

Day 18: Yak Kharka to Phedi

  • Trek time: 4 to 5 hours
  • Distance: 8.5 km / 5.2 miles
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Although this is a short trekking day, you start off early, as it is better to travel when it is warmer and sunnier. The wind sets in around midday, making walking colder and more difficult. It’s a beautiful hike with a river canyon and mountains on display. There may be snow on the trail, so walking slowly is a must—especially at this high altitude, where walking is more tiring due to the lack of oxygen.  

The trail starts in flat fields with a gradual uphill.  But as the day goes on there are the now familiar landslide areas to cross carefully.   It’s very tiring to walk at this altitude, but when you look at the amazing scenery, which includes Annapurna II, III, and IV, you feel the excitement building for the big push over the Thorong La Pass to come.

Day 19: Trek to Muktinath  via Thorong La Pass

  • Trek time: 9 hours
  • Distance: 15.1 km / 8.5 miles
  • Accommodation: Tea House

An early breakfast is needed to start crossing the pass. We leave the hotel at around 5 a.m., and how long it takes depends greatly on how well you have adapted to the altitude so far. The weather is unpredictable, and there may be snow even outside in winter. Crampons are often worn, so please check with us regarding the timing of your proposed trek to get a better idea. 

This is not a small mountain pass, but quite a regular ‘highway’ between Manang and Mustang – busy with locals and trekkers.  The trail itself is full of steep switchbacks, and underfoot, it is rocky with loose stones and scree, making it vital to walk slowly. 

The first part of the trail from Phedi is steep with loose rocks but a well-defined trail. As the top is exposed and windy, at times there are fixed ropes to help trekkers and traders cross.

After a steady climb of around four hours, you reach the top of the pass. Here, you can rest among the chortens and prayer flags and take in the wonderful views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges before heading down the other side.  

The descent is also full of challenges and should be taken slowly and steadily.  Here you are more likely to find snow and ice. Finally, you reach the pilgrimage town of Muktinath where you stop for the night.

Day 20: Muktinath to Pokhara (Drive)

  • Trek time: 8 hours
  • Distance: 199 km / 123 miles

Today is the last day of our trip. After exploring the Hindu pilgrimage site at Muktinath, you will drive by public transport to the lakeside town of Pokhara to enjoy some well-deserved relaxation and fun.

Muktinath: a Vishnu temple is one of the world’s highest temples at 3,800 m /  12,467 ft.  It has 108 water spouts which pious people will bathe in.  Rather cold!  It also has a flame that never goes out… it is assumed it is some underground natural gas source.  According to Hindu mythology, a pilgrimage to Muktinath will help achieve Nirvana.  The surrounding town is busy with pilgrims from Nepal and India and trekkers from around the world.

Pokhara: Situated on the banks of the Phewa Lake, this is a great place to relax after trekking and is very popular with international and local tourists. 


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Includes

  • 19 nights accommodation in mountain teahouses
  • Guide for 20 days
  • Kathmandu Maccha Khola, Muktinath Pokhara by public bus
  • Manaslu and Annapurna conservation area permit
  • Restricted area permit
  • 20 x breakfast, 20 x lunch and 20 x dinner while on the trek
    Vegan
    Veg
  • One Porter for 20 days USD 483 (Optional)
  • Private Jeep USD 440 (Optional)
  • Any hot or cold drinks

You can make your trip reservation using our booking system. Simply indicate whether you prefer a private departure or a Fixed Group Departure, select your preferred date, and proceed to book now. Our booking system will promptly collect all the required details from you. Be assured that your trip will be confirmed promptly upon receiving your booking.

Equipment Checklist for Manaslu and Annapurna Circuit Trek

The following Manaslu and Annapurna Circuit trek Packing List gives you a general idea of the trekking equipment and clothing needed for the Manaslu and Annapurna Circuit trek.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Map

manaslu trek map

Annapurna Circuit Trek Map

annapurna circuit trek map

Arrival in Nepal

If you would like us to pick you up at Tribhuvan International Airport on your arrival in Nepal, please indicate this on the booking form. By giving us your flight details, we will ensure that we are waiting for you upon your arrival. We will then drop you off at your chosen hotel. There is no additional charge for this. Of course, if you prefer, you can make your own way by airport taxi to your hotel destination.


Hotel Recommendations:

Hotels in Kathmandu are not included in your trek.

Therefore, we recommend you check sites such as booking.com or hostelworld.com for a place that suits your style and budget.

We recommend you choose the Thamel area, which is the tourist hub in Kathmandu with plenty of accommodation, restaurants, cafes, and nightlife. Our office is also located in Thamel.

Explore Kathmandu:

When you arrive in Kathmandu, take a day to explore the city. It is rich in culture, history, and folklore, and with seven UNESCO Heritage Sites, there is plenty to see. Again, please let us know on the booking form if you would like us to organize this tour for you. Otherwise, take some time yourself to discover the wonders of Kathmandu.  

Visa for Nepal

Visas are available on arrival for people from most countries. Go online and fill in the form before you come. Print this form out and bring it with you. Payment will be made at Tribhuvan International Airport in USD cash. The visa on arrival is valid for 15 days, 30 days, or 3 months. 

Currently, in spring 2024, the cost of a tourist visa on arrival is:

  • 15 Days – 30 USD
  • 30 Days – 50 USD
  • 90 Days – 125 USD

Your Nepal visa is not a trekking permit.  Separate permits are required for trekking, and this is something will arrange for you.

Unique Culture on the Manaslu and Annapurna Trek

While you may be coming to Nepal for the mountains, there is a lot of culture to take in. It would be a shame to miss it. This is one reason why our guides are normally from the area they are guiding clients through. Local knowledge is invaluable.

The Manaslu and Annapurna Trek passes through three regions of the country: Manaslu, Manang, and Mustang.  Each of these has different peoples and cultures. 

Overall, we can divide the culture of this trek into two groups: those who follow Hindu traditions and those who follow Buddhist traditions. With both cultures sitting side by side, there is a natural cross-over in many instances.


Manaslu: this area is inhabited mainly by people known as Gurung.  They migrated from Tibet around the 6th century.  Since they left Tibet before Buddhism established itself there, it was only after migrating to Nepal that they converted to Buddhism, so you may notice some differences in their Buddhist practice. In modern times, they have become known as the ethnic group from where the Gurkhas come.  Gurkhas are active in the Nepal, Indian, and British armies and, more recently, in the UN Peacekeeping Force.  

Gurungs speak their language, as do people from the Nubri and Tsum ethnic groups living in the Manaslu region. They, too, migrated from Tibet many centuries ago. With their different languages and different flavors of Buddhism, Bon, and/ or animism, these groups all live together peacefully.

 In the lower areas of this region, we also find Brahmin and Chettri groups that practice Hinduism. Into the mix come the Newars (who also inhabit a good deal of the Kathmandu Valley), who practice a unique blend of Hinduism and Buddhism unique to Nepal.  

Manang: There are also many Gurung communities in Manang, and the artifacts indicate that the majority of the inhabitants practice Buddhism.

Mustang: The Mustang region is an interesting case study. While the majority of people residing there are Buddhists, when we cross over the Thorong La Pass, the first town we encounter is Muktinath. Muktinath is the location of a key Hindu pilgrimage site. Here, the temple is surrounded by 108 water spouts, and there is an eternal flame, which is also a symbol of this unique holy site. Many Hindu pilgrims from India and Nepal gather here to worship and bathe in the sacred water spouts. 

The blend of culture and people and the stark and sometimes lush landscapes, backed by towering mountains, makes this trek truly unique.

Food on Manaslu and Annapurna Circuit Trek

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the trek are included in the cost. While meals are included, if you wish to have extra food, something special, or soft drinks/ beer, etc., you will have to pay for those yourself.

Breakfast and dinner are taken in the teahouses (trekking lodges) where you sleep.  The menus provide Nepali, Tibetan, Chinese, and Western cuisine.

Lunches will be taken in teahouses along the trail, which may have a more limited menu. On the acclimatization days at Sama Gaon and Manang, you will have a packed lunch with you.

On the subject of food, there are obvious differences between the menus on the Manaslu Circuit and the Annapurna Circuit parts of the trek.

The Manaslu area, namely Manang and Lower Mustang, sees fewer trekkers than the Annapurna Circuit area. As a result, the menus tend to be a bit less Westernized in Manaslu. That is not to say the food is not good;Trek Overview & Difficulty just less spaghetti and more noodles, less filter coffee, and more masala tea. 


A typical menu in the Manaslu area looks like this: 

  • Soups of different kinds, mainly vegetable
  • Tibetan bread  (deep fried)
  • Nepali bread (chapati like)
  • Momos (steamed dumpling packets with vegetables inside)
  • Fried noodles with vegetables
  • Fried potatoes – different varieties may be available
  • Dal Bhat (Nepali curry and rice)
  • Fried rice with vegetables
  • A basic dessert – rice pudding perhaps.  We will also bring fruit with us for our clients.
  • Porridge (breakfast)
  • Eggs  (breakfast)
  • Soft drinks
  • Nepali tea
  • Tibetan butter tea (an acquired taste!)
  • Coffee (if available)
  • Beer

A typical menu in the Mustang district of the Annapurna trek has a different range of local food, as well as those listed above. 

  • Wild mushroom curry
  • Dried yak blood sausage
  • Buckwheat Dhindo (another acquired taste as its raw buckwheat dough)
  • Alu ken (mashed rice and potato)
  • Yak cheese 

Once you have crossed the Thorong La Pass into Lower Mustang, then the variety of food changes again!  Fancy a hamburger?  A pizza? Some ice cream and apple pie?  Now is your chance! 

Tips on Food:

  • There is little or no refrigeration in the more remote parts of this trek, so we recommend you not eat meat products that may have been lying around unrefrigerated for some time. Please check carefully at any teahouse in Manang or Mustang and decide for yourself. Or wait until you reach Pokhara.
  • Also, avoid alcohol on any high-altitude trek, as alcohol acts more quickly on your body at altitude.  Hangovers are both unpleasant and may hide any altitude-related problems you may develop.   
  • Based on our extensive experience, we recommend bringing snacks such as dried fruit and nuts, power bars, chocolate, etc.  We will also be bringing fresh fruit from Kathmandu for you at dinner time, but carrying your snacks is somehow comforting.
  • Lunch is taken on the trail and the menu may be limited. A good breakfast and plenty of snacks can often substitute for lunch if it is not to your taste on a particular day.
  • Soft drinks, beer, extra food, and extra tea/ coffee (as well as boiled water) are paid for by yourself. Be aware, the prices get higher as you do.  It’s a long way to carry goods so the high prices are understandable.  Please do not bargain at the teahouse. 
  • Stay well hydrated. This will enable you to enjoy your trek and lessen the risk of altitude problems.  
  • Vegetarians are well taken care of on treks in Nepal, as almost everything is plant-based.  However, Plant-based milk is unavailable, and with eggs served for nearly all breakfasts, vegans may wish to bring some extra protein sources with them or stick to Tibetan/ Nepali types of breakfast, i.e., fried rice and/or fried bread.  Lemon added to black is a delicious ‘milk’ tea substitute.

Sources of Water on the Trek

If you are wondering about where to get water on the trek, we can advise you not to drink the tap water without taking precautions such as adding purifying tablets or drops to the water and waiting for them to take effect, which is usually 30 minutes.

You can buy drops or tablets in Kathmandu, but it is probably easier if you bring them with you from home.  Remember to bring enough for 4 ltrs of water a day, and some extras.  You cannot buy these on the trail.  You can also bring a purifying bottle like a LifeStraw from home. 

Boiled water is available for purchase in the teahouse so carrying a stainless steel bottle for this purpose is a good idea.  Hot water on the trail in the chilly morning hours is great.  As is something to warm you at bedtime.   A reusable plastic BPA-free bottle is recommended as is a water camel or similar.

We do not use one-time use mineral bottles of water.  We encourage our clients not to purchase these either as we wish to keep the environment clear of unnecessary plastic waste.  You may be pleased to know that mineral water in bottles is not available in the Annapurna region.

Tips on Water:

  • The price of ‘mineral’ water in plastic bottles is a) very expensive and b) not environmentally friendly.  Please do not buy even if it is available. Bring your reusable bottles as above.
  • Natural spring water can be purified and drunk using drops or tablets.
  • To avoid dehydration, it is recommended that you drink 4 liters of water per day on the trek. Coffee, tea, and soft drinks are considered extra beverages and are not included in those 4 liters. 

Accommodation on the Trek

On the majority of treks in Nepal the accommodation is basic – a simple room with two single beds.   However, like the menu, the accommodation varies on this trek depending on the region you are in.

For example, the teahouses we find in the Manaslu area may have attached bathrooms, but some may not.  On the Annapurna section of the trek, the standard of teahouse is  quite comfortable, and most will have sleeping rooms with attached bathrooms.

We should point out that in the settlements closest to the Thorong La Pass and Larke Pass have very limited accommodation and it may be that you have to share a sleeping room with another trekker, even if you have booked a private room.  Life on the trail!

As far as showers and toilets are concerned, again these are generally more basic than you will find in the city.  However, once you enter Mustang (on the Annapurna section of the trek) things are better and your room may have an attached toilet and shower. 

It is standard to pay extra for hot showers – the cost being between USD 2 – 5 depending on the location of the teahouse.  This applies in both the Manaslu region and the Annapurna region.  


Tips on Accommodation:

  • There is no heating in the sleeping rooms.
  • There is heating in the dining rooms.
  • Do not enter the kitchen unless invited.
  • Like the hot water for showers, electricity for charging your equipment is expensive.  You will pay around USD2 – 5 per item to be charged. 
  • Bathrooms may be shared with other guests. Please understand this in the remote areas.  Discovering other cultures is what travel is all about.  
  • Bring your own warm (4 seasons is good) sleeping bag for warmth and cleanliness.

Porters Versus No Porter on the Manaslu and Annapurna Trek

If you would like to hire a porter, that is an extra charge.  The cost of a porter is not included in the cost of the trek.   

If you are unsure if you need a porter or not for this trek, then you probably do need one!

Keep in mind that you will spend 18 days on the trail, with an average of 6 to 7 hours of hiking per day and two high passes to cross. The average pack weighs 10 to 15kg, so unless you are very confident you can manage it, we suggest you do not try. 

You might ask why a porter is not included in the price if it’s difficult for the average trekker to carry a pack for such a long trek.  Some clients do wish to carry their own pack, some wish to share a porter with a friend, and some wish to find another person (on a group trek) who would like to share a porter. Sharing a porter means also sharing the cost of hiring one.  So, it’s hard to include this in the trek price.

Apart from giving you the freedom to enjoy your trek more fully, by hiring a porter, you also support his family through the money you pay and his community with the same money that the family will then spend within the community.

Tips on Hiring a Porter:

A porter can carry a maximum of 20kg. We would prefer he carry less, so if you can reduce your pack, please do so for the porter’s well-being.

Sharing with another trekker is a cost-effective way to hire a porter.  Please ensure you both pack less than 10kg. 

Still unsure as to whether to hire a porter or not?  Remember, you will be carrying your day pack with water, sunscreen, snacks, and whatever you need during the day.  It begins to all add up.

If you hire a porter, you will still carry a day pack as the porter(s) walk much faster than we do and go ahead of the trekkers to the next overnight stop.·   Porters are amazing people!  Let’s show them respect and appreciation.


Typical Day on the Trek

This trek takes us through three districts: Manaslu, Manang,, and Mustang. It also includes three regional areas, two conservation areas, two mountain ranges, two high mountain passes, and two different religions and cultures. Describe a typical day a little hard!

However, each day, you wake up and have breakfast in a teahouse (as trekking lodges are called in Nepal)—except for the days when you must rise extremely early to make it over the passes!

Each day, you set off on a chilly morning with the mountains rising above you. You may hike through pine or rhododendron forests, scramble over moraine, or both.

You take lunch on the trail and gaze at some of the highest mountains in the world.  This includes Mt Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world, and the Annapurnas – a magical range of snow-capped mountains, reportedly among the most exciting in the Himalayas. 

You meet many locals on the way, and pass through Hindu or Buddhist villages, depending on the area and the day.  You may visit a monastery and interact with lamas and monks. You may encounter yak or mule trains or even some local wildlife. 

You walk for hours, enjoying the views of mountains, rivers, gorges, and pastures until you reach your next teahouse destination. There, you sit around in the warm dining room, enjoying conversation and a delicious dinner before retiring to bed.

A typical day!


Crossing the Thorong La Pass and the Larkay Pass

Crossing high passes: Thorong La Pass (5,416 m / 17,765 ft) and the Larkay La Pass (5,135 m / 16,847 ft) are not typical days.  They are extremely tough and exciting days.


Larkay La Pass:

Starting with breakfast at 3 am to give you enough energy to make it through this 10-hour day, you set off before dawn to cross this high pass between Dharmasala and Bimthang in the Manaslu region. This incredible day is full of mountains, glaciers, and icefall views. 

As you gaze at Himlung (7,126m/ 23,379 ft), Kang Guru (6,981m /22,903 ft), and Annapurna II (7,937m / 26,040 ft), please pay close attention to the rough glacier moraines under your feet and safely reach up and over the pass.


Thorong La Pass:

This pass joins Manang with Mustang and is an ancient trading route. On this day, you will start out around 4 a.m., which takes approximately 9 hours to cross. Like the Larkay La, you must cross before the high afternoon winds set in.  

You can also see the sunrise from High Camp, which is a very steep climb up. Another 4 to 5 hours will see us at the top of the pass. Thankfully, after passing High Camp, there is a small teashop where you can get tea and chocolate. Crampons may be needed in February and March, which adds to the excitement.

Keeping a close eye on this slippery section, you can reach the bottom of the pass a couple hours after crossing the top. After a long day, you reach Muktinath, where a whole different world awaits!


Trek Difficulty

The Manaslu and Annapurna Circuit Trek is long. It involves 18 days of hiking (which can be more if you wish to extend your trip) and two days of driving. There are a few very long days of 8 hours and over and a couple of high passes to cross. Over 50% of the days are spent at high altitudes, and the thinner air makes this trek even more challenging. We recommend this trek only for those of a high general fitness level who have trekked before.  

A big positive is that you start the trek at a low altitude for the first four days and have two acclimatization days built in. This allows your body to adjust to the altitude before you push higher. However, some people may feel the effects of altitude as you pass the 3,000m / 9,842.5 ft mark, in which case your guide will slow things down until you are properly adjusted. 

With this in mind, we recommend increasing your cardio and other activities before leaving for this trek.  Hiking uphill in your home country is a great way to get used to the inclines, and cardio exercise, including swimming, is a great way to increase your lung capacity.


Best Seasons to Trek in Manaslu and Annapurna

These popular trekking areas are best in the spring and autumn. On the plus side, the weather is magnificent—clear blue skies, not too cold at night, and lovely sunny days. On the other hand, the Annapurna region, in particular, sees a lot of trekkers during both seasons. Since Manaslu generally sees fewer trekkers, perhaps we can recommend the ‘shoulder seasons’.

Spring: (March to May) With rhododendrons in bloom and snow covering the mountains, this is a stunning season to trek in. At the beginning of March, it may still be cold, but by the end of the month, the weather should be much warmer.

Autumn: (September to November) The weather in these months is similar to spring. It is warmer at lower altitudes and not too cold at high altitudes. After the monsoon rains, pastures and forests will be lush, and rivers will run fast.  

Monsoon: (June – September) We do not run this trek in the monsoon because the monsoon makes trails very difficult.  Slippery trails, landslides, and overflowing rivers making crossing hard are just some of the downfalls of monsoon.  Plus, it’s not great to trek when wet through.

Winter (December – February): It is not recommended to trek in this area during the winter.  Trails may be hard to locate after snowfall and many teahouses will be closed as the locals leave the area for the winter. Mainly, the Thorong La Pass is likely to be closed due to deep snow making crossing between Manang and Mustang impossible.

We recommend spring and autumn as these months are excellent for trekking in the Manaslu and Annapurna areas.   Should these times be unsuitable for you, please talk to us about the shoulder seasons which are at the end of February and again at the beginning of June.


Other Expenses

The trek cost is a fixed amount that includes a guide, accommodation, food, and public transport. 

There are some other expenses you should consider when considering this trek.

Transport: A local bus ticket to the starting point of the trek is included. The cost of a public bus or jeep from Muktinath to Pokhara is also included. If you prefer to hire a private jeep to start and end your trek, the cost is shared between however many trekkers in the group choose this option. 

Food: Three meals a day—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—are included when on the trail. If you wish to eat more or drink soft drinks, extra coffee, beer, etc., you will pay for that yourself.

In the teahouse, you must pay for the electricity (whatever form it takes) to charge your phone or other items.  This is around USD2-5 each time, depending on the location.   If you want a hot shower, you must pay around the same amount per shower.  Note that prices are higher the higher up in the mountains the teahouses are.  Please carry Nepali rupees to pay for items in the teahouse and the small tea stops on the trail.

Tips: please calculate the tips for your guide and porter.  These can be paid in USD or other currencies.

Other expenses on the trail: Giving a small donation (USD1-2) at any monastery visited is normal. If you are lighting the prayer lamps available, please pay a little more for them. If you are somewhere where there are local handicrafts for sale, you might want to carry money to purchase a souvenir to take home. These, too, should be paid in Nepali rupees.

We recommend bringing around USD15 per day, in Nepali rupees, plus the tips for the guide and porter. **

Before you come expenses: Join a gym!  If you are not a current member, you may consider joining a gym for a couple of months before you come.  You never know, you might even enjoy it!

Trekking boots are a must, and please wear them well before you come.  Trekking gear such as clothing, walking poles, water bottles, and the contents of your first aid kit including water purifying tablets/ drops and any usual medicines you take.


Tipping the Guide and Porter

Tipping your guide and porter at the end of the trek is normal practice to show appreciation. They have worked hard to make your trip as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. 

As to how much to tip, the standard rate is to tip the guide 10% of your trip cost (the amount you paid to Magical Nepal, not the total including additional items such as shower, soft drinks, charging, etc.). Porters are paid per day, so you should pay him 10% of the total number of days, in this case, 18 days. If you are sharing a porter with another trekker, you can share the cost of the tip.

These are the standard rates. If you are satisfied and happy, feel free to tip more.


Communication on the Trek

Many teahouses on this trek have WiFi, especially in the Annapurna region. However, some settlements may not have access to WiFi because of their location or whose WiFi is unreliable. The same goes for phone data. At times, you will not be able to get a signal. The teahouses will also charge something for the use of their WiFi.


Tips for Communication:

On your arrival in Nepal, you can buy a SIM card at the airport (NTC works better in the more remote locations). This will allow you to connect to a local data internet package, allowing you to contact home via a data package when WiFi is unavailable.


Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for Nepal should include trekking up to 5,000 m / 16,404 ft. It should also cover helicopter evacuation and hospital treatments. Please read the small print before committing to a particular insurance company.

Magical Nepal has insurance for our guides, porters, and other staff. However, we cannot cover our clients, and foreign visitors cannot obtain insurance in Nepal. 


Group vs Private Trip

As Manaslu is a restricted area, all trekkers need a Restricted Area Permit. To obtain this permit, at least two people, plus a guide, must be on this trek. Trekkers cannot go alone without a guide. In fact, only a registered Nepali trekking company can obtain these permits on behalf of its guests.

A private trek does not mean you are traveling alone.  Normally, it means you are traveling with at least one friend.  So, you and your friends can trek with a guide, enabling you to set the pace (within the limits set by the guide) and stop where you wish.

If you are traveling alone, you can do a group trek. We will put you in a group with other people who wish to trek the Manaslu and Annapurna Trek at the same time as you do. There could be another person or 10 others—you won’t know until the trip is finalized. This is ideal for those traveling alone or those who love to meet and trek with like-minded people.

Cost: A private trek costs the same as a group trek. However, if you wish to hire a private jeep for the start and end of the trek, the cost is shared between the number of trekkers taking the jeep. So, in that way, it will cost more if you are two people than if you are, say, six people.


Transportation and Access

Depart from Kathmandu to Maccha Khola: Transport by local bus is included in the price of the trek.  Your guide will collect you from your hotel in Kathmandu around 5.30 am and take you by taxi to the bus station.  The buses for Machha Khola depart around 6 to 7 am, so leaving your hotel early is necessary.  The journey starts on the main Kathmandu to Pokhara highway, but when it turns off the highway, the road gets bumpy and dusty.  It takes around 9 hours.  There are stops along the way for local food. 

The alternative is to hire a private jeep (cost not included in the trek).  The price will be shared between trekkers who wish to take this option.  The jeep will collect you from your hotel in Kathmandu around 8 am and drive to Machha Khola.  The trip will take around 7 to 8 hours, and stops can be more frequent if you wish – for food, toilet, coffee (yes, there are a couple of good coffee stops along the main highway!), and photo opportunities.

After Muktinath: Having crossed over the high Thorong La Pass, had a good night’s sleep, and explored the Hindu temple and surrounds, you drive down to Pokhara via Jomson (the market town and airport for this area).  It is possible to break the journey at Jomson and fly from Jomson to Pokhara.  While this might seem a good alternative to the around 8 hours by road, it will entail either getting up very early in Muktinath to drive down to Jomson to catch the early morning flight (these flights only operate in the morning) or staying overnight in Jomson (at your own expense) if you wish to explore Muktinath first before heading on to Jomson.  This means extra money and extra time.  The short flight is also quite expensive at around USD125.  On top of this, the weather is unpredictable, and flights are often canceled due to bad weather.

We recommend driving from Muktinath to Pokhara, either by public transport (the cost of which is included in the trek price) or by private jeep (the cost of which is shared between trekkers). 


Trip Variations and Extensions

For those who want to customize their trip, this can be done for at least two people on a private trip.  Just talk to us.

Some ideas would be:

Side trek to Tilicho Lake: This adds an additional 4 days to the Manaslu Annapurna Trek and takes us to the beautiful and holy lake of Tilicho. Situated in Manang, this lake sits at 4,919 m /16,138 ft amidst forests, waterfalls, hills, and superb mountain views, including Machhapuchhre (known to us as Fishtail) and Annapurna.

Exploring the Nar Phu Valley: The Nar Phu Valley is another hidden valley in Nepal, and as such, it is a restricted area that sees fewer trekkers.  Yet it offers beautiful mountain views and insight into the interesting lifestyle of the local people.  Traditionally, nomads and the villages reflect this old way of life and their Tibetan Buddhism and Bon culture, a blend that the locals still practice today.  A trip to this fascinating area will add xx days to your trek.

A shorter itinerary: Does the Manaslu and Annapurna Trek seem too long or too difficult for a novice trekker? Then we can recommend the following treks, which are shorter, less strenuous, yet just as amazing. We will guide you through mountain trails, interesting villages, along rivers, and into Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, all under the gaze of the most wonderful mountain rangethe Annapurnas.

  • Manaslu Circuit Trek – 14 days
  • Tsum Valley Trek – 17 days
  • Annapurna Circuit Trek – 17
  • Annapurna Base Camp Trek – 10

Just ask us.


Beyond the Trek: Relax in Pokhara

After completing the Manaslu and Annapurna Trek the relaxing/ vibrant city of Pokhara awaits.  We say relaxing/ vibrant as Pokhara can be anything you want it to be!

Explore the ancient Mahendra Cave and Davis Falls; climb up to the man-made Peace Pagoda for great views of the Phew Lake; learn more about pioneer mountaineers in the International Mountain Museum, and discover Hindu temples and sites.

Be active by paragliding, bungy jumping, or taking an ultra flight—all of which induce adrenaline and give you a bird’ s-eye view of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Relax in your own way, whether by chilling in a lake-side restaurant, shopping for souvenirs, rocking the dance floor in a bar or nightclub, or enjoying a well-deserved massage.

Magical Nepal arranges permits for its client


Packing Tips

We have a wonderful packing list PDF you can download here. So just a few tips here:

Layering: The Manaslu and Annapurna Trek takes us through lowlands and highlands.  From warm climates to possible snow and ice underfoot.  Naturally, you need to be prepared for both.  Layering is the answer.  A good, fast-drying set of thermal underwear (top and bottom) is perfect for the underlayer.  On top, a trekking shirt, which is also fast-drying, is a bonus. 

This may seem an odd choice when you are shopping at home, but it is extremely handy. T-shirts are fine, but they take longer to dry (on and off the body) and can be heavier to carry. Trekking trousers are lightweight and, again, fast-drying. 

You can find those that zip down to shorts for warm parts of the trek. Woolen sweaters are good for warmth but may be bulky. If you can find a light pashmina one at a reasonable price at home, that’s a good alternative. A fleece jacket is pretty durable on any trek. It can be topped off by a down jacket for cold times. Note: Down jackets can be hired in Kathmandu.

A sunhat is essential for the sun and a warm hat for the colder days, mornings, and evenings. Gloves are also pretty essential, especially for crossing the passes. And of course, those extremely important trekking boots—not too big and certainly not too small. Try before you buy, then wear them all the time before you come. You will thank us!

Pack Smart: By smart we mean, besides bringing things that layer up well, pack light.  If you hire a porter, you cannot ask him to carry more than 20kg.  If you are sharing a porter, keep the weight down to 10kg (which is a good amount to aim for, regardless).  If you are carrying your own pack, we are sure you will either keep the weight down or lose a few items along the way.  We have all done that at some point or another!  Only bring what is essential.  See our recommended packing list again.

Toiletries: Soap, shampoo, etc., are not provided in teahouses. You must bring your own toiletries, but please decant them into smaller travel-size containers. 


Why Book with Magical Nepal

There are three main reasons: We offer value for money, experienced, knowledgeable guides, and a wonderful experience.

We also pride ourselves on providing clear, accurate, and honest information. 

The reviews from past clients speak of the great times they have had with us.  We don’t ask for anything more: if you are happy, we are happy.

In addition, our guides and porters are mainly from the areas we trek through. This ensures they have a wealth of knowledge about the countryside, people, and mountains and can provide 24/7 local support if necessary. 

Finally, we offer a price guarantee. If you find the same trek at a lower price, we will match it—guaranteed.


Manaslu and Annapurna Circuit Trek FAQ

Trek Overview & Difficulty

I’m intrigued by this trek, but how challenging is it?

This 20-day trek is considered moderately strenuous. Expect long trekking days (6-8 hours), high altitude passes (Larkya La at 5160m, Thorong La at 5416m), and some steep terrain. Good physical fitness and a positive mindset are key!

How long does the Manaslu and Annapurna Circuit trek take?

The combined trek typically takes around 20 days. However, itineraries can vary slightly based on acclimatization days, side trips, and your trekking pace.

I’m not a super experienced trekker. Is this trek suitable for me?

While this trek is achievable for those with good fitness, we recommend some prior trekking experience to be fully prepared for the challenges. If you’re a beginner, consider a shorter trek in Nepal to build your confidence first.

What are the highlights I can expect on this adventure?

Prepare for breathtaking scenery! Highlights include crossing high passes, exploring Tibetan-influenced villages in Manaslu, diverse landscapes from lush forests to alpine zones, stunning Annapurna range views, and experiencing unique Nepalese mountain culture.

Are there shorter variations of this trek for those with limited time?

Yes! You can opt for the standalone Manaslu Circuit Trek or the Annapurna Circuit Trek, both still offering incredible experiences. We also offer shorter treks like the Annapurna Base Camp trek.

Planning & Logistics

When is the best time for this epic journey?

Nepal’s prime trekking seasons, Spring (March-May) and Autumn (September-November), offer the most favorable weather with generally clear skies and comfortable temperatures.

How do I get to the trailhead and back to Kathmandu?

Typically, you’ll take a combination of local bus or a private jeep to reach the Manaslu trailhead (Soti Khola or similar). Upon completing the trek, similar transportation options exist from Besisahar back to Kathmandu.

What are the permit requirements, and how do I get them?

Required permits include the Manaslu Restricted Area Permit, Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Permit, and Trekkers’ Information Management Systems (TIMS) Card. Magical Nepal takes care of securing all necessary permits for your trek.

Do I need a guide and porter? Can I trek independently?

A guide is mandatory for the Manaslu section. For the entire trek, a guide is highly recommended for safety, logistics, navigation, and cultural insights. Porters lighten your load significantly – ask us about porter services! Independent trekking is possible on the Annapurna Circuit for experienced trekkers.

Is there phone and internet connectivity on the trek?

Connectivity is limited in most places. Some teahouses offer paid Wi-Fi, which may be slow or unreliable. Embrace the opportunity for a digital detox!

Accommodation & Food

Can you tell me more about the accommodation and food?

Expect basic but comfortable teahouses along the route with shared bathrooms. Meals include the Nepali staple Dal Bhat (rice, lentils, vegetables), noodles, momos (dumplings), and some Western options.

Do I need to bring my own snacks, or can I buy them along the way?

While basic snacks are available in villages, we recommend bringing your favorite energy bars or treats from Kathmandu for better selection.

I have dietary restrictions. Will I be able to find suitable food options?

Absolutely! Let us know in advance about your dietary needs, and we’ll work with you and the teahouses to accommodate them as best as possible.

Is it safe to drink the water? What do you recommend for water purification?

We recommend avoiding untreated tap water. Bring a reusable water bottle and use purification methods like tablets, filters, or purchase boiled water at teahouses.

Will I be able to charge my electronics at the teahouses?

Many teahouses offer charging facilities for a small fee. However, power outages can occur, so a portable power bank is a helpful backup.

Tsum Valley Trek | Manaslu Circuit & Tsum Valley Trek


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