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Manaslu Circuit Trek - 14 Days

Manaslu Circuit Trek
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Manaslu Circuit trek is often regarding as the best treks in Nepal. It is now a great alternative of the Annapurna circuit trek. This 14 days trek starts from Sotikhola and ends at Besisahar. It can be extended to 22 days with an addition of a side trek of Tsum valley

Manaslu Circuit Trek Highlights

  • The jaw-dropping natural beauty of forests, rivers, and flora of the Manaslu region.
  • The friendly people and rich culture of the region which includes both Nepalese and Tibetan ethnic groups.
  • Larky La Pass (5167 meters), the highest point on the trek.
  • Stunning views of Manaslu, Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal, Nemjung, Gyaji Kang and Kang Guru, and Annapurna II.
  • Abundant wildlife including Tahr (Mountain Goat), Agali (Blue Sheep), Pika (Highest living Mammal), Himalayan Marmots and, if you are lucky Snow Leopard.
Manaslu Trek at Glance
Durations days14 days
Max. elevation5,106 m / 16,752 ft
(Larkya La pass)
Trek Start/Finish Soti Khola/Besisahar
DifficultyChallenging
AccommodationBasic Teahouse

Manaslu Trek Map

Manaslu trek map
Click on Image for the map

Manaslu Circuit Trek Video Overview

The circular trek around Manaslu counts as one of the truly great Himalayan treks. Flanked by the Annapurna’s to the West and Ganesh Himal to the East it is one of the most graceful of the 8000-meter giants.

Less than two percent of trekkers go to Manaslu. This means that even in the high season you will not meet many other groups.

Manaslu trek is remote, physically demanding, culturally enriching and scenically uplifting. The circuit takes you from the steamy lowlands with their terraces of rice and millet, through the mighty gorges of the Budi Gandaki with its turquoise waters and amazing waterfalls.

Suspension bridges in Manaslu trek are in a league of their own for both length and height, and the yearly monsoon often washes minor bridges away leaving trekkers to use semi-submerged rocks.

Only opened to a maximum of 400 trekkers in 1992 it still has the feel of a pioneering expedition. If you want to know what trekking the 1980’s was like then Manaslu circuit trek is a visual feast from start to finish, but you better be fit.

Slowly, you wind your way North to the snowbound Larkya La Pass next to the Tibetan border. The altitude here is a problem but almost forgotten with the jaw-dropping views of Manaslu.

At 5167 meters Larkya La pass is usually snow-covered and icy. Micro crampons are often used on the descent. Trekking to the pass requires a 3 am start in order to make the highest point before the winds come, usually around mid-morning.

From the pass looking back the way you have come gives a clear view but by far the most amazing view comes after you have left the pass and walk along a corridor to the west.

Suddenly a great glacial cirque bursts into view. A stupendous wall created by Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal, Nemjung, Gyaji Kang and Kang Guru, casts down a stream of glaciers, while Annapurna II rises ahead.

This view alone makes the trek worthwhile. Magical Nepal can arrange your all inclusive 15 days trek. The trek can be done on a teahouse basis unless you want to go off route where camping is the only option.

Transport for Manaslu Trek

Start of the Trek: You will travel 160 km from Kathmandu to Macha Khola via SotiKhola from Kathmandu. It takes 7 hours by Private Jeep and 8 to 9 hours from the local bus. The first day of the trek is all an adventure ride in off-road.

End of the Trek: You will be driving 6 hours from Dharapani in a Jeep and Change it to another Jeep or local bus for a 7 hours drive to Kathmandu

Know more how to get to the trailhead

Permits:

Manaslu Trek is a restricted region. You will need special restricted area permit, which can be issued by local company. You will also need ACAP and MCAP permit for the trek. Two trekkers are compulsary for the trek.

Know more about the permits

Accommodation for the trek:

Manaslu is a tea house trek. you will sleep in the tea house every night which will very basic with two single beds. Toilets are mostly shared and can be outside of teahouses. Heating is only available in the dinning area. Foods are available in teahouses. You will stop in teahouses for lunch during the trek.

Check out the accommodation options

Telephone and Wifi in the trek:

Wifi is available in most of the tea houses. If you want to communicate back home, there is an SAT phone available in tea houses which takes a little bit of extra money to make a phone call back home. Local telephone hardly works on this trek. Nepal Telecom has better coverage than NTC in the Manaslu region.

You can send your inquiry via the form below.

14 days Manaslu Trek Itinerary

DAYSITINERARYALTITUDETIME
Day 1Kathmandu to Soti Khola (Drive)700 m10 hrs
Day 2Soti Khola to Maccha Khola930 m6 hrs
Day 3Maccha Khola to Jagat1340 m7 hrs
Day 4Jagat to Pewa 1600 m6 hrs
Day 5Deng to Namrung2630 m6 hrs
Day 6Namrung to Lho2957 m4 hrs
Day 7Lho to Sama Gaun3530 m4 hrs
Day 8Acclimatization Day – Side Trip to Either Pungyen Gompa, Manaslu Basecamp or Birendra Tal4400 m4 hrs
Day 9Sama Gaun to Samdo3865 m4 hrs
Day 10Acclimatization Day - Side Trip to Tibetan Border5100 m8 hrs
Day 11Samdo to Dharmasala4460 m4 hrs
Day 12Dharamasala – Larkye La Pass - Bimthang3590 m10 hrs
Day 13Bimthang to Tal 1700 m9 hrs
Day 14Tal to Kathmandu1300 m10 hrs

Manaslu Circuit Trek Detailed Itinerary:

Day 1: Kathmandu to Soti Khola 700m 8 hrs.

Kathmandu to Soti Khola

Your tour to Manaslu Circuit begins from Kathmandu. To start, you can take a direct bus at 6 am and 8 am, from Gongabu Bus Park, Kathmandu to Arughat. Or, you can take the bus to Dhading or to Malekhu on the Prithvi Highway and take the local bus or jeep thereafter.

Although the road will be quite dusty and bumpy, you will catch the best landscape views from your window seat. En route, you can stop at many rest stops for short break and meals. Overnight at one of the teahouse in Soti Khola.

Day 2: Soti Khola to Maccha Khola 900m 6 hrs.

Soti Khola to Maccha Khola

The next morning, you will enjoy the warm breakfast at the teahouse at Soti Khola while enjoying the scenic landscape. Then, you will start your trek of the day. Unlike other trekking trails, the road from Soti Khola to Machha Khola is quite rocky and narrow.

Despite the uneven road, you will have the most amazing walk on the first day of this trek. The stunning countryside views will keep you engaged throughout the trail.

On walking, you will pass through Sal forests where you can take short rests during the tiring walks. Following the forest trails with many rivers, waterfalls, towering cliffs you will encounter a few Gurung and Ghale inhabitants of the region.

In the dispersed settlements, you can get to enjoy local milk, curd, yogurt, Dal Bhat with seasonal vegetables and typical pickles.

Once you reach Nyali Khola, you will notice at a rocky edge of the hill. Standing there, locals and trekkers pray to the local deities, river, and mountains to keep them safe throughout the trail.

Following the river trail, you will climb several ascends and descends across the winding road. On this day, you will encounter hundreds of mules on the route. So, you must be careful as you see them approaching you. You need to stand on the wall side of the road to prevent from slipping down the hillside.

With such experiences, you will reach Machha Khola to find many teahouses for a comfortable night stay.

Day 3: Maccha Khola to Jagat 1340 m 8 hrs.

Macchola Khola to Jagat

The following day, you will start walking across the twisting road on the bank of Buri Gandaki river. As you enter the forest trail, you will witness many monkeys and langurs.

After the forest, you will walk to the Gurung villages, like lower Khorlabeshi. In the village, you will notice the shepherds clad in a typical smoke-browned cape called Bokkhu.

On walking further, you will reach Tatopani ‘hot water’ where you can take warm showers and relax your soaring body. After hot water relaxation, you will cross a new suspension bridge over Bhuri Gandaki river to reach Doban.

After a landslip and Yaruphant, you cross a wooden bridge to the left of the Buri Gandaki river and avoid a torturous 3-hour climb up Gurung village trails.

Following the waves, you will find the river flattening at Yaru from where you cross a long cantilever bridge to reach Jagat, a neatly flagstoned Gurung village. On entering the village, you will have to verify your trekking permits at the check post there. From this day, you will be walking in the restricted region.

Day 4: Jagat to Pewa 1600m 6 hrs.

Jagat to Deng

The next day, you will walk to Salleri and descend to Sirdibas. The village welcomes you with several gompas and Buddhist prayer flags. You can also try the local alcohol in many stopovers on the route before you reach Phillim. At Phillim, you will have your permits checked and then you will continue along the western bank of the river.

The trail is beautiful with unique sculptures over the boulders on the river bank formed due to river water. Leaving the river bank, you proceed through forests of rhododendron, Himalayan pine and the overhanging rocks on the towering peaks. These highlights beautify the trail.

On proceeding further you cross the Siyar Khola bridge and reach a junction where the trail separates to Tsum valley on your right.

Finally, you will reach Pewa, the final destination of the day. There are only two teahouses in the region where they serve basic food and a night of cozy sleep. Pewa has the best Dal Bhat in Nepal with the Shilong Acha is amazing.

In the evening, you can gather around the fireplace and share your experiences with the fellow trekkers and locals before you go to bed.

Day 5: Pewa to Namrung 2630m 6.5 hrs.

Deng to Namrung

After the sun rises up, you will have your breakfast and start the trek of the day. Before you ascend the winding trails, you will walk across the bamboo forest to reach Deng. Moving further, you will cross a suspension bridge to climb to Rana and Bihi Phedi. On the trail, you can see White Faced monkeys visiting villages on the lookout for a free feed.

The trail then proceeds to Ghap through several landslide zones. At this point, you must be extra careful as you walk. Plus, you must be attentive to your guide’s instruction to maintain physical safety. After the landslide zone, you will follow the trail up to Namrung.

After about 1hr on the uneven trail, you will climb a zigzag from the river to the neat village of Namrung (2660m). The place has some of the best teashops, a restaurant, and rest houses on the trek. A local businessman worked for over a decade in Hong Kong then returned to Namrung and built a restaurant and hotel that is modern with Cappuccinos and WiFi.

Day 6: Namrung to Lho 2957m 4 hrs.

Namrung to Lho

Witnessing the lifestyles of Nubri people, you will start the day. Exploring their Tibet-influenced typical lifestyle you will walk past several mani walls, lush terraces and houses through Banjam to enter the fir, rhododendron and oak forest before climbing to Lihi then to Sho.

As you start walking, you will see most of the locals clad in traditional Tibetan dress. As you start further, you will notice some fine paintings in the Kani (gate arches) that you pass before Sho. WAlking across the rocky hillside routes, you will finally reach Lho.

Form the place, you can catch the stunning views of Manaslu (8163m) and Manaslu North (7157m). On this day, you will gain a quite high altitude, so you must walk slowly and check your body signs.

Day 7: Lho to Sama Gong 3540m 4 hrs

Lho to Sama Gaun

The next morning, you will start with a short trek because of the altitude reasons. On walking, the picturesque view of Mt. Manaslu accompanies you. You will walk across the easy trail to Shyapla on passing through pine and rhododendron gully with moss and gin-clear stream.  From Shyapla, you will walk for almost an hour to reach Sama Gaon.

Once you enter the village, mountain views fade, however, the yak pastures and typical settlements will attract you.

Sama Gaon is the principal village of the Nubri people which holds a large gompa, many shops, a health post, heliport and telephone/wifi access, etc.

Day 8: Acclimatization Day – side trip to either Pungyen Gompa, Manaslu Basecamp or Birendra Tal

Manaslu Sunrise From Lho

This is the day of acclimatization at Sama Gaon to prevent altitude-related illness. And, as an acclimatization hike, you will walk to Pungyen Gompa on the east of the Nubri Valley. On this acclimatization hike, you can bring your lunch and take it at the rest stops for energy. Like other days, you will walk across the roaring river which keeps you engaged for around 2 hours on the trail.

Once at the hilltop, you will get the enticing views of Manaslu. Nearby, you will see many Himalayan Thars and Yaks grazing.

Or, you can hike to Manaslu Base Camp which is on the north of Sama Gong. You can follow the trail past Birendra Tal and turn left onto the base camp track. You will climb the steady trails, however, the altitude may cause breathing difficulty. So, you need to maintain body hydration and walk slowly.  Proceeding slowly, you will walk to the north of Manaslu glacier to basecamp at 4400m then return.

Or, you can hike to Birendra Tal, which is a short walk from Sama Gong.  This is an option if you feel the need for a rest or if you are finding the altitude difficulty.

Day 9: Sama Gong to Sanbo 3865m 4 hrs

Sama Gaun to Samdo

On this new day, you will reach to the newer destination ie to Samdo. But, as you are in high altitude, you need to walk slowly so, this is a short day trek.  You will notice extended yak pastures up a broad valley with long mani walls, with a variety of birds.

From there, you will leave the tree line and climb to a ridge across the wooden bridge of Buri Gandaki before you reach white Kani. It is a neighboring village to Samdo, a very picturesque village dedicated to yak herding.

Once at Samdo, you can explore the nearby villages or you can hike to Samdo Peak. The Larkya La trail is on the left above the valley. You can also see the main track for Tibet over the Larjyang La forming slopes on the Larkya La trail.

Day 10: Acclimatization Day – side trip to Tibetan Border 5100 8 hrs.

As a day for rest, you will stop at Samdo where you will go for a day trip to the Tibetan border. From the border, you can also see parts of Tibet and Nepal. If lucky, you can also witness the Yak caravan passing the border.

Once at the border, if you look towards the south of Samdo Glacier you will get excellent photos with a huge serac near the top of the glacier. You can also frame Blue Sheep, Pica’s, and Marmots in season.

Day 11: Samdo to Dharamasala 4460m 4 hrs

This is another adventurous day in the high altitude. So, you must watch your body signs properly. Enjoying the scenic views of the chain of Himalayas you will walk slowly across the rugged terrains of Manaslu region before you reach Dharmasala.

Dharamsala is a beautiful village that offers the best place for relaxation. The views are marvelous.

Day 12:Dharamasala – Larkye La Pass – Bimthang 3590m 10 hrs.

Dharmasala to Bimthang

This is a special day as you will walk to the highest point of the trail. You will walk to Larkya La Pass (5160m) on this day. In bad weather and in the snow, the walk could be quite challenging yet, it is doable. You will cross the pass before afternoon so you need to wake up early and leave the teahouse quite early. This is the challenging part of the trek but if you walk steadily, you can walk to the pass successfully.

The stunning views you will witness once you stand at the pass makes the trip more enlightened. You will catch views of Himlung (7126m) near Tibet and Kang Guru (6981m) and Annapurna II (7937m) in the Annapurna Range

Spending your special time at the pass, you will walk down fro around 3 hours towards Bimthang for an overnight stay. On descending, you will get views of huge icefalls and mountains in all directions, Pongkar Tal between the Pongkar and Salpudanda Glaciers.

Day 13: Bimthang to Tal 1700m 9 hrs.

Bimthang to Dharapani

This is the final day you will be walking on the trails of Manaslu region. On climbing downhill, you will walk through the lush forests full of flora and fauna including rhododendron bushes.

Walking back across the Dudh Khola, you will walk to Karche for lunch. In the next hour, you will see many signs of a glacial flood, with tree trunks smashed and banks undermined, the track becoming quite rough. And, the trail drops to Gurung Goa, the first real village since Samdo.

The valley becomes more agricultural and lush as you pass fields and copses of oak and rhododendron, staying on the north (true right) bank until Tilije. From there, you will continue your stroll towards Dharapani and continue to Tal.

Day 14: Tal to Kathmandu 1300m 10 hrs.

Dharapani to Kathmandu

If you feel extreme tiredness, you can take a jeep from Tilje to Besi Sahar. From there, you can take a ride back to Kathmandu. Or, you can take a bus back to Kathmandu from Tal. After the 7-8 hours drive, you will get to rest in one of the sophisticated hotels in Kathmandu.

Included

  • Local transfers for your international flight x 2 (arrival/ departure)
  • Manaslu & Annapurna Conservation Area Permit and Restricted Area Permits
  • Kathmandu to Soti Khola (starting point of the trek) by Public Bus (upgrade to private Jeep - $220 total)
  • Dharapani (ending point of the trek) to Kathmandu by Public Bus/Jeep (Upgraded to Private Jeep/car -$340 total)
  • Guide for 14 days
  • Porter for 14 days ($240 USD (in total) - Addon
  • 14 night accommodation in mountain teahouses
  • 15 x breakfast, 15 x lunch and 14 x dinner while on trek
  • Farewell dinner in Kathmandu
  • Staff insurance and necessary ground transport for support staff

Excluded

  • International flight ticket and Nepal Entry Visa
  • Personal travel insurance (Which should include coverage for trekking)
  • Lunches and dinners in Kathmandu, except the farewell dinner
  • Personal gear for trekking (Including any you may wish to hire in Kathmandu), any personal expenses (i.e. soft and alcoholic drinks, snacks etc.)
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FAQs

Is it safe to drink the water in Manaslu?

No. You cannot drink the water from the tap or streams in Manaslu. Mineral water is available on the trail. It is expensive to buy (perhaps 10 times more than in Kathmandu). You can also use a water purifier or tablets. We recommend the Katadyn BeFree filter which is excellent.

Am I likely to get altitude sickness on my trek?

Be aware. Elevation on this trek will exceed 3,500m. The possibilities of getting altitude sickness generally starts at this elevation. But in order to avoid this, as much as possible, we have designed the itinerary in such a way that it will give you enough time to acclimatize.

Can I make phone calls and use the internet?

If you have a mobile phone the Telecom provider “Nameste” has patchy coverage to Samdo. Buy a sim card while you are in Kathmandu. Teahouse WiFi is possible but infrequent and will cost extra. Unless you bring a solar charger it will also cost you to charge your phone. In room charging is not available as most teahouses use 12 volt lighting.

What sort of food can I expect on the Trail?

Breakfast can include; pancakes, muesli, porridge, eggs, Tibetan bread (fried), tea and coffee (instant). Lunches and dinners can include; pizza, spaghetti, soups, chicken, Chinese dishes such as chow mien, and Dal Bhat which is the traditional Nepalese dish. It differs slightly at every village and on the trail is bottomless so you can eat as much as you like. Packed lunches usually consist of boiled eggs and Tibetan bread. At the end of your trekking day a big thermos of sweet Masala tea is very refreshing.

What level of comfort are the teahouses I will be staying in?

The teahouses are basic. Toilets and showers are seperate, shared and will be in the same room. Hot showers are usually available but you will need to pay extra as they use LPG gas. Mattresses are not spring and most trekkers describe them as firm. If you need a softer mattress then consider bringing a Thermarest inflatable mattress with you. Tall people will probably find their feet hanging over the end as well. There is not heating in the rooms and lighting will be 12 volt. You will get a key to your room and some of the locks are very old and quite ornate. On the upper parts of the trail, rooms can be draughty with no lighting at all. At Dharamasala you will most likely be in tents with zips that may or may not work.

Am I at risk and how can I avoid altitude sickness?

There is no knowing who will suffer from altitude sickness. It does not follow that the younger and fitter people will not get altitude sickness where the older and less fit will. It is not related to (general) fitness or age. Talk to your doctor at home. There are prescription medications which help avoid the onset of altitude sickness. But above all, go slowly, listen to your body, be aware of any changes, and listen to your guide if he feels you are showing symptoms (which you might not notice).

What happens if there is a need for emergency evacuation while I am trekking?

We will collect your travel insurance policies and details before the trek so that in case of an emergency we can coordinate with your insurance company and the helicopter providers for evacuation.

What happens if I am injured or get sick but not seriously enough for emergency evacuation?

If you sustain an injury such as a minor fall or sprained ankle confer with your guide for advice. It may be that a rest day will enable you to continue. If you suffer a bout of minor food poisoning your guide can arrange for your pack to be carried for a short time until you recover. Alternatively, if you feel you cannot go on them a slow return may need to be considered. A non-emergency helicopter flight can be arranged but will cost approximately $600-800 USD.

What about simple medical treatment on the trek?

On every trek our guides will carry a first aid kit. We also recommend you carry your own. Here is a checklist recommended by Dr. Karen Anderson of things you should bring. Vaccinations are not compulsory in Nepal but to be on the safe side we recommend you comply, where possible, with this list provided by again by Karen. There are bush medical centres in the larger towns like Sama Gong but no doctors. Almost all modern medications are available in Kathmandu for a fraction of the price you will pay in the west. Just get your doctor to make out a list and get them here before you go.

Do I need to buy travel insurance before I come to Nepal?

Yes. Magical Nepal only provides insurance for our own staff. We recommend you buy insurance in your country. Note: Insurance should cover you for the altitudes you are trekking at (not all do). We recommend World Nomads.

Will I need to bring my own sleeping bag or not?

Yes, bring your own or you can rent it or buy it in Kathmandu. Renting a sleeping bag in Kathmandu will cost you $1 or $2 per day. To buy a new sleeping bag in Kathmandu expect to pay around $150 to $200 for one of medium quality. We recommend one in the -10 degree range in Summer and -20 degree in Spring. Shona’s Alpine and Hi-Himal Sports Wear are excellent places to hire from in Thamel.

Should I bring my own hiking boots?

Yes. A well worn in pair of Hiking boots are highly recommended. You do not want to get blisters on your trek. An excellent pair of boots for the region and terrain you will be trekking in are the Salomon Quest 4D GTX or the Salomon X Ultra 3 mid GTX. Wright socks are also recommended as they virtually eliminate blisters, as well as Superfeet premium green insoles for extra comfort.

Will I need to use crampons on this trek?

No. The trails are well marked. Unless you go in mid-winter you will not need crampons. Instead of crampons, carry micro spikes which are not technical, lightweight to carry, cheaper and fit any shoe size.

What happens if I forget to bring something with me from home?

If you forget something it might be extremely hard to find here. Please check here for an exhaustive packing list for (general) trekking in Nepal. If you are not a frequent hiker, you can rent most of the trekking gear in Nepal when you arrive.

What happens if Larkye La Pass is closed when I get there?

If snow conditions at the pass are such that it is impassable then a return trek is the only option. The chances of this happening during the summer and spring trekking seasons are rare. Your guide will be in contact with other guides as you get closer to Samdo and will be able to inform you of current snow conditions at the pass.

Will we be using tents and mattresses on the trek?

No. There are teahouses along the trek. We will not need tents or mattresses.

Where can I leave stuff in Kathmandu when I am trekking?

Anything you don’t want to take on the trek with you can be stored at your hotel or in our office. We suggest you ensure your bag is lockable.

Who will be my guide?

We use local guides. On each trek our guides have been to the relevant areas numerous times. All are experienced, knowledgeable, flexible and authorized licensed guides with the Government of Nepal.

Will I need a porter for my trek?

Preferable. If you use a porter it has double benefit: you can fully enjoy your trek without carrying a heavy bag, and its improves the income of the local community.

How much can a porter carry?

20kg. On average a porter can carry 20kg including their own backpack. So, they can carry up to 16kg of your gear and equipment. We provide backpacks for porters.

Are your staff insured in case of accidents etc.?

Yes. At Magical Nepal we make sure all our staff are well insured.

I hear incidents when porters do not have proper shoes etc. Is this true?

At Magical Nepal we ensure all our guides and porters have proper gear, are well equipped and protected. This is for their own wellbeing and for the wellbeing of our clients.

JOIN OUR FIXED DEPARTURE

Trip Dates Price Space left
May 19, 2019 - Jun 2, 2019 $947.00 8
May 20, 2019 - Jun 3, 2019 $947.00 8
May 21, 2019 - Jun 4, 2019 $947.00 8
May 22, 2019 - Jun 5, 2019 $947.00 8
May 23, 2019 - Jun 6, 2019 $947.00 8

You can send your inquiry via the form below.

You can send your inquiry via the form below.

Price From USD$947/person
947
Total $ 947 USD

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Trip Facts

  • 5167 m
  • Arughat/Beshi Sahar
  • Demanding

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