Manaslu Circuit Trek

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Starts at: Soti Khola Ends at: Dharapani
Trek Region: Manaslu Transport: Public Bus
Duration: 14 Days Trip Grade: Challenging
Max Altitude: 5167 m / 16752 ft (Larkya Pass) Accommodation: Basic teahouses

Manaslu Circuit Trek Highlights

  • Jaw-dropping natural beauty of the forests, rivers, and flora in the Manaslu region
  • Friendly people, and rich culture of the region, which includes both Nepalese & Tibetan ethnic groups
  • Larky La Pass (5167 meters), the highest point on the trek
  • Stunning view of some of the highest peaks in the world- Manaslu, Himlung, Annapurna II
  • Abundant wildlife, including Tahr, Agali, Pika, Himalayan Marmots, and if lucky, Snow Leopard

The Manaslu circuit trek is one of the best treks in Nepal. It takes you around the Manaslu Conservation Area and leads to a breathtaking view of the eighth-highest mountain in the world.

This trek can be a great alternative if you’ve already been to the Annapurna Circuit. Manaslu Circuit Trek is a 14-day trek that starts at Soti Khola, ends at Beshi Sahar, and can be extended to 22 days with an additional side trek to the Tsum valley.

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.

Unlike the Everest Base Camp Trek, that’s flooded with trekkers from around the world; the Manaslu circuit trek usually sees fewer people along its route. It is remote and physically demanding yet culturally enriching and scenically uplifting.

The circuit takes you from the steamy lowlands with their rice and millet terraces 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, this trek still feels like a pioneering expedition. If you want to know what trekking in the 1980s was like, the 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 5,167 meters/16,952 feet, 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 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 walked along a corridor to the west.

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 unless you want to go off-route, where camping is the only option.

Transport for Manaslu Circuit Trek

Start of the trek, you will travel 160 km / 99 miles from Kathmandu to Maccha 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 off-road.

End of the trek, you will be driving 6 hours from Dharapani in a Jeep and Changing it to another Jeep or local bus for a 7 hours drive to Kathmandu.

Know more about how to get to the Manaslu Circuit

Permits for Manaslu Circuit Trek

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

Know more about the Manaslu circuit trek permits

Accommodation for the Manaslu Circuit Trek

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

Check out the Manaslu circuit accommodation options.

Telephone and Wifi in the Manaslu Circuit Trek

Wifi is available in most 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 Ncell in the Manaslu region.

Know about Telephone and Wifi coverage in Manaslu Circuit

Manaslu Circuit Trek Outline Itinerary

Day 1: Kathmandu to Soti Khola (Drive)

Soti Khola – 700 m / 2,296 ft – 7 hrs

Day 2: Soti Khola to Maccha Khola

Maccha Khola – 930 m / 3,051 ft – 6 hrs

Day 3: Maccha Khola to Jagat

Jagat – 1,340 m /4,396 ft – 6 hrs

Day 4: Jagat to Pewa

Deng – 1,804 m / 5,918 ft – 6 hrs

Day 5: Pewa to Namrung

Namrung – 2,630 m / 8,628 ft – 6 hrs

Day 6: Namrung to Lho

Lho – 2,957 m / 9,701 ft – 4 hrs

Day 7: Lho to Sama Gaun

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

Day 8: Acclimatization Day (Day Trip to Manaslu Base Camp or Pungyen Gompa)

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

Day 9: Sama Gaun to Samdo

Samdo – 3,865 m / 12,680 ft – 3 hrs

Day 10: Acclimatization Day (Day Trip to Tibet Border)

Samdo – 5,000 m / 16,404 ft – 8 hrs

Day 11: Samdo to Dharmasala

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

Day 12: Dharmasala to Bimthang via Larkya Pass

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

Day 13: Bimthang to Dharapani

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

Day 14: Dharapani to Kathmandu (Drive)

Kathmandu – 1,300 m / 4,265 ft – 10 hrs

Day 1: Kathmandu to Soti Khola (Drive)

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

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 Malekhu on the Prithvi Highway and take the local bus or jeep thereafter.

Although the road is dusty and bumpy, you will catch the best landscape views from your window seat. En route, you can stop at many rests stops for short breaks and meals. Overnight at one of the teahouses in Soti Khola.

Day 2: Soti Khola to Maccha Khola

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

The next morning, you will enjoy a 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 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, and towering cliffs, you will encounter a few Gurung and Ghale inhabitants of the region.

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

Once you reach Nyali Khola, you will notice a rocky edge of the hill. Standing there, locals and trekkers pray to the local deities, rivers, 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 it from slipping down the hillside.

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

Day 3: Maccha Khola to Jagat

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
Philim Manaslu Trek

The following day, you will start walking across the twisting road on the bank of the Budi 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 cross a new suspension bridge over Bhudi 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. Upon entering the village, you will have to verify your trekking permits at the check post. From this day, you will be walking in the restricted region.

Day 4: Jagat to Pewa

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
Manaslu circuit trek local on the feild

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 at 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 riverbank, you proceed through rhododendron forests, 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.

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

Day 5: Pewa to Namrung

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
suspension bridge Manaslu circuit

After the sun rises, you will have breakfast and start the day’s trek. Before ascending 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, White Faced monkeys visit villages looking 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 instructions 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 modern restaurant and hotel with Cappuccinos and WiFi.

Day 6: Namrung to Lho

  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
Lho children monk eating Manaslu circuit

Witnessing the lifestyles of the 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 and then to Sho.

As you start walking, you will see most 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.

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

Day 7: Lho to Sama Gaun

  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

The next morning, on walking, the picturesque view of Mt. Manaslu accompanies you. You will walk across the easy trail to Shyala, passing through pine and rhododendron gully with moss and gin-clear stream.  From Shyala, you will walk for almost an hour to reach Sama Gaun.

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

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

Day 8: Acclimatization Day (Day Trip to Manaslu Base Camp or Pungyen Gompa)

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
On the way to Manaslu base camp. Watching the view of birendra Lake

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 east of the Nubri Valley. On this acclimatization hike, You have to take a pack lunch.

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

Or, you can hike to Manaslu Base Camp 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 north of Manaslu glacier to basecamp at 4,400m / 14,435, then return.

Or, you can hike to Birendra Tal, 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 difficult.

Day 9: Sama Gaun to Samdo

  • Trek time: 2 to 3 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

On this new day, you will reach the newer destination ie Samdo. But, as you are in a 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 neighbouring village to Samdo, a very picturesque village dedicated to yak herding.

Once at Samdo, you can explore the nearby villages or 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 (Day Trip to Tibet Border)

  • Trek time: 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

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 Dharmasala

  • Trek time: 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

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 the Himalayas, you will walk slowly across the rugged terrains of the Manaslu region before you reach Dharmasala.

Day 12: Dharmasala to Bimthang via Larkya Pass

  • Trek time: 10 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

This is a special day as you will walk to the trail’s highest point. On this day, you will walk to Larkya La Pass (5,160m / 16,929 ft). The walk could be quite challenging in bad weather and the snow, yet; it is doable. You will cross the pass before the afternoon, so you must wake up early( 3 am), have breakfast, and leave the teahouse 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 make the trip more enlightened. You will catch views of Himlung (7,126m/ 23,379 ft) near Tibet and Kang Guru (6,981m /22,903 ft), and Annapurna II (7,937m / 26,040 ft) in the Annapurna Range.

Spending your particular time at the pass, you will walk down for around 3 hours toward 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 Salpu Danda Glaciers.

Day 13: Bimthang to Dharapani

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
Manaslu Bhimtang

This is the final day you will be walking on the trails of the 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 rough. And the trail drops to Gurung Goa, the first 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 toward Dharapani.

Day 14: Dharapani to Kathmandu

  • Trek time: 7 hours
manaslu Beshisahar

You will take a jeep from Tilije to Beshi Sahar. From there, you will take a ride back to Kathmandu. After the 6 to 7 hours drive from Beshi Sahar, you will get to rest in one of the sophisticated hotels in Kathmandu.

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Includes

  • 13 nights accommodation in mountain teahouses
  • Guide for 14 days
  • Kathmandu Soti Khola, Dharapani Kathmandu Local Bus
  • Manaslu & Annapurna conservation area permit
  • Restricted area permit
  • 14 x breakfast, 14 x lunch and 13 x dinner while on the trek
    Vegan
    Veg
  • One Porter for 14 days USD 231 (Optional)
  • Private Jeep USD 440 (Optional)

Equipments

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

A Typical Day on the Manaslu Circuit Trek

This is a challenging trek, with some very long days and some at high altitudes.  A couple of acclimatization days are built to ensure you remain healthy and fit.  Each day brings new things to experience and wonders to gaze at and photograph, but an average day on the trek goes something like this…

Each day the trek starts early to make the most of the daylight.  Breakfast is taken in the teahouse (trekking lodge). You will have slept in then it’s off for the day’s adventure.  You will encounter mules on the trails, rocky paths to follow, rivers and forests to admire, and mountains to wonder at.  As this area is close to the Tibet border, the people are influenced by Tibetan culture, so there will be plenty of Tibetan prayer flags waving in the wind and other Tibetan Buddhist artifacts to see.

Naturally, the mountains are stunning – especially Manaslu itself.   There are also plenty of other snow-capped mountains to see as well in this remote area. 

Normally lunch is taken on the trail in a small restaurant designed to refresh travellers, pilgrims, and trekkers.  If necessary, we may take a packed lunch with us on some days.

Dinner is taken in the same teahouse as we sleep in.  This gives you a great opportunity to get to know your trekking companions and guide. At dinner time, the guide will explain what you will see the next day, where you will be going, and if there is anything, in particular, to watch out for. Ordering your breakfast before heading to bed is usual, ensuring it is ready for you early in the morning when you wake. 

What to Expect in a Teahouse

A teahouse is like a simple guest house on the mountain trails.  It provides trekkers with accommodation, meals, and a place to socialize.  On the whole, these provide pretty basic accommodation, either in twin rooms or in dormitories.  Toilets and bathrooms are shared, with either a Western-style toilet or a squat style. 

Showers normally only have cold water; you will be expected to pay for it in those with hot water on offer.   The sleeping rooms consist of beds, blankets, and not much else.  Bringing your own sleeping bag is always recommended.  There are no ‘single rooms’ unless it is off-season, and you are lucky. Sharing a room is perfectly normal. There is no heating in the sleeping rooms.   

Some stove usually warms the dining area. Light is provided by solar power, although most teahouses can charge your gadgets, for which you have to pay. Breakfast and dinner are taken in the teahouses at communal tables where you can discuss the day’s journey with others.  Some menus offer a variety of food.  Boiled water is usually available, rather than in plastic bottles, which causes a negative impact on the environment. There is a small charge for boiled water.  Bringing your own sterilization tablets/ life straw is a good idea.

Food on the Manaslu Trek 

As this is a restricted area, with a limited number of trekkers allowed each year, the teahouse menus are not as extensive as on some older, more established, and busy trekking routes.  However, the food is hearty and hot.  In the village of Namrung, there is a guest house with a more modernized restaurant and even a cappuccino!  But if that is not open when you go there, bringing snacks with you is always a good idea.

Breakfast at your overnight teahouse on the Manaslu Trek:

Spicy Nepali omelet with chili, onion, and tomatoes or piping hot porridge with milk

Toast  or Tibetan bread with jam or honey

Nepali spiced tea, salty Tibetan tea (in some settlements)  or coffee (if available)

Lunch at a small teahouse on the trail on the Manaslu Trek:

Dal bhat (rice, curry, lentils) or noodles

Nepali tea  or a soft drink 

Dinner at your overnight teahouse on the Manaslu Trek:

A variety of soups i.e., garlic soup

Tibetan bread  (when available)

Momos (packets of vegetables or meat Tibetan style, when available)

Fried noodles with vegetables

Dal Bhat 

Fried rice

Rice pudding

Soft drinks and beer, Nepali tea

Are There Hot Showers on this Trek?

If hot water is available for a shower, you will be expected to pay around $3 to $5 per shower, depending on the height of your lodge.  This is because hot water is usually generated by gas cylinders, which must be carried up the mountain at some effort and expense.  We recommend you conserve energy (and your money) and don’t shower too often.  And the effort to take off and put on clothes might be too much in the cooler weather. 

How High Will I go on the Manaslu Trek?

You will reach 5,000m/ 16,404ft the day you visit the Tibetan border, and at the Larky La Pass, you will be at 5,167m/ 16,952 ft, the highest point on the trek.

You will sleep one night at 4,460 m /14,632ft which is quite high.  But by then, you will have had two acclimatization days and are well into your trek, so your body will be used to the high air.  

Trek Difficulty and Physical Fitness Required for this Trek

As this is a challenging trek, we do not recommend it for inexperienced trekkers.  You should be in very good physical shape to tackle this trek.  The high altitude makes it challenging for everyone, but it might be a real struggle for those who are unfit or have some medical problems.  But if you are fit, this is a wonderful trek and will push you to achieve more!

Will I Suffer from Altitude Sickness on the Manaslu Trek?

Going above 3,000m-3,500m can cause some people to feel some effects of altitude.  As you can see, this trek goes up to over 5,000m.  But there is plenty of time on the trail and the two acclimatization days for our bodies to adjust to the height.  

All Magical Nepal guides are well experienced (with an average of 7 years of trekking experience each) and know what to look for and do if anyone is feeling unwell.  Please tell your guide if you feel unwell at any trek stage.

Extending your Stay in Nepal – Many Options

Extending your Manaslu Trek

It is possible to increase this trek from 14 to 21 days by including the newly opened and incredibly interesting Tsum Valley, Please ask us about this or check the website page. 

Extending your Stay to Other Parts of Nepal

If you are interested in staying longer in other parts of  Nepal, we can organize that for you too, and make recommendations for the best treks and trips to suit your time and budget.  Please ask us.   For example, we can point you to or organise transport and accommodation to go to Pokhara after you finish your trek.

Or, if you would like to visit another part of Nepal, we can recommend both Chitwan National Park and Bardia National Park.  Or if your time is short, we can provide Kathmandu Heritage sightseeing with a guide, taking you into a fascinating ancient world and culture. 

Trip Extension National Parks

Both Chitwan and Bardia are beautiful national parks in Nepal.  But both are different regarding location, difficulty getting there, facilities, and, to some extent, wildlife. 

Chitwan is close (around 5 hour’s drive or a short flight) from Kathmandu and has been established as a national park for visitors for decades. It is easy to spend 2 nights in Chitwan with little difficulty because of the distance to Kathmandu.  As a result, there is a wide range of accommodations, some quite luxurious.  There is also a range of restaurants and bars in the tourist town of Sauraha for those who would rather party the night away.  The wildlife guides provide walking safaris, jeep safaris, and short canoe rides.  The main animals of interest are rhinos, deer, leopards, monkeys, and smaller mammals. Tigers do live here but are quite difficult to spot.   Chitwan is also on the road we will take at the end of the Manaslu Trek to reach Kathmandu; please ask us about this. 

Bardia National Park is situated at the other end of the country and takes around 12 hours to reach by road or 1.5 hours flight then 2 hours drive. We recommend staying at least 3 nights to enjoy the ambiance here fully.  It is less busy with tourists and more rustic in terms of accommodation and local villages.  Wildlife here consists of tigers, elephants, leopards, monkeys, and deer.  Like Chitwan, there is a huge range of bird life for those interested in bird watching. Jeep and walking safaris are offered, and rafting on the river with perhaps fishing.   Nightlife here is more confined to your lodge. 

There are now options for wildlife spotting between these two parks.  The village of Megauli, which is really in Chitwan District, is an up-and-coming place in terms of luxury lodges. Currently, it does not see a lot of visitors but offers the same safari options of the jeep and walking safaris.  It is more difficult to get to than Chitwan and requires either a private vehicle or to be collected from the nearest big town by the lodge vehicle. 

Cost and the Booking Process for the Manaslu Trek

You can book your trek and other trips via our booking system, which will collect all the necessary information from you.   You can pay the deposit or the full amount via credit card.  The cost is on the relevant web page. 

Charging Your Equipment on the Trail

Many teahouses on this trek have electricity or solar-powered electricity.  But as almost everyone is carrying some chargeable device these days, the teahouse owner will pass the cost to the visitor.  

Generally, teahouses will charge you $2 to $3 for your phone or camera.  This can become expensive as there are so many wonderful things to photograph.  We recommend you carry a power bank or a small solar charger to avoid paying too much.  There are some great solar chargers that clip onto your day pack.

Group Size for the Manaslu Trek

Your trekking group is generally 8 people, but it is often smaller.  If you require a tailor-made private trek, you can choose this option at no additional cost during checkout. 

We have found that trekking with a group makes the trip more fun, especially during the evening relaxation. 

Do I Require a Porter for the Manaslu Trek?

We do not provide porters for the Manaslu Trek.  It is entirely up to you whether you think you require one.  There are a lot of high mountain trails to cover and long hours of walking, so unless you have experience carrying your own kit in this kind of landscape, it might be worth considering.  The cost of a porter is USD 231 for the duration of the trek.  The porter can carry up to 20kg, so you can split the cost with a friend as long as the combined weight is under this aamont.  You only need to carry a day pack with what you need during the day i.e., water, sunscreen, camera. Porters are amazing people used to walking at altitude and on these rough trails, so they walk faster than the average trekker.  They will head off ahead of you and reach the teahouse first, where they will deposit your bag.

How do I get From Kathmandu to the Trek?

We will arrange to collect you from your hotel in Kathmandu and take you to the local bus station.  The local bus to the starting point of the trek takes around 7 hours on the way there and around 10 hours on the way back.  Should you require a private jeep, the cost is  USD 440 each way for the jeep.  Each jeep takes the driver, your guide, and three or four trekkers. 

Arriving in Kathmandu before the Trek

As we do not provide hotel accommodation in Kathmandu for this trek but do provide airport pickup. Please check your name card before at the arrival gate. A few people might come up to help you with your bag and later ask for money. Ignore them.

Meeting Magical Nepal Before the Trek

We will provide you with a contact number, day, and time, to meet us and your guide before your trek.  Please also advise us which hotel you will be staying in before you arrive. 

Travel Insurance for your Trek

While our insurance covers our team, you are not covered by this.  Please ensure you have the correct travel insurance before leaving home.  Please ensure your insurance covers trekking at high altitudes and helicopter rescue should it be required. 

Safety and Security in Nepal and on the Manaslu Trek

In general, Nepal is a very safe country.  But please check your home government’s website for the latest information.  There may be demonstrations – if you see one, please avoid it.  Theft is unusual, but it does happen.  Ensure all your valuables are hidden from sight.  You can leave any valuables in our office locker while on your trek.  

It is unlikely, but if there is any landslide, avalanche, flooding or earthquake on the mountain, please follow instructions from your guide.  Similarly, if you feel unwell at all, please advise your guide. 

Tipping Culture in Nepal

It is expected in restaurants and cafes to tip 10% of the bill.  Tipping your driver, porter, guide, and other staff on your trek is also normal. Please tip drivers of private vehicles separately $ 1 to $5, depending on the length of the journey.  Normally tips for the trekking crew are given as a group and depend on the group’s satisfaction.  

How Much Cash Should I Take on the Trek?

We recommend you carry between USD10 to USD15 per day on the trek.  This will cover things like a hot shower and charging batteries.  It also will cover the occasional soft drink or beer.  It will not cover tipping your crew/guide.  

Local Dress and Culture in Nepal

 Please respect the local culture.  For example, when entering someone’s house, please remove your shoes and leave them outside.  This does not apply to trekking lodges.  Please dress conservatively.  Please do not wear short shorts or skirts when trekking in the warmer lower altitudes.  Aside from upsetting some of the locals (who most likely will not say anything to you but are thinking it), there are mosquitos and can be sharp vegetation.  Long or cropped trekking pants are best. Please dress respectively when visiting religious sites of any kind.  Public displays of affection between men and women are still rare in Nepal. Whatever you may witness in the bars of Thamel is not common outside in rural areas, even the more popular ones.  

Money Exchange in Kathmandu 

There are plenty of ATM machines in Kathmandu which provide Nepali currency.  There are no ATMs on the trek.  The ATMs accept Visa and Mastercard and have a limit on each withdrawal.  Some shops in Kathmandu and other big cities accept Visa and Mastercard also, but there will be a 3 or 4% charge for each transaction.   The rate of exchange varies daily at both ATMs and money changer booths.  Money changer booths will only change hard currency into Nepali rupees.  They do not accept cards. Often it is easier to bring some US dollars, Pounds, Australian Dollars, Singaporean Dollars, Malaysian Ringgit, and Euros with you. 

Why Do I Need to Pay for a Restricted Area Permit?

This area is considered restricted because of its close proximity to Tibet.  Because of this, foreigners need to pay for a restricted area permit.  But on the bright side, it then means we see fewer trekkers on the trail, and the whole atmosphere is like an expedition rather than a commercial trek.

Magical Nepal arranges permits for its client

Feedback on the Manaslu Trek

We would love to hear from you after your trek.  Do give your suggestions on how to improve anything and tell us how much you enjoyed your time with us. 

Important Notes for the Manaslu Trek 

  • • Transport is by public bus.  Please ask us if you wish to use private transport, which will involve an additional fee. 
  • • There is no extra charge for a solo traveller.  But please note it is highly unusual you will be able to get a single room on the trek.  Expect to share with someone (of the same sex).  
  • • This trek does not include any accommodation in Kathmandu.  If you would like us to book this for you, please let us know in advance. 
  • • Porters are not included in the package price.  Please ask us before the trek if you wish for a porter to carry your gear.  There will be an additional charge for this of USD231.
  • • If you hire a porter, the maximum he can carry is 20kg.  Please be respectful of this. 
  • • Meals on the trek are included in the price.  This does not include hot or cold drinks, alcohol, snacks, or extra food. 
  • Extra charges for hot showers ($3 to $5) and charging your battery ($1 to $3) are payable directly to the teahouse on the trek. 
  • • Always listen to your guide.  He has experience in this area, and if there are sudden changes to be made (because of weather or landslides), he will be responsible for making decisions.
  • • Drones are not permitted unless you have a special permit to fly them. It is a bit tricky to obtain permission, so leave it at home unless you really need a drone. 
  • • Please arrange trekking insurance before leaving your home country. We do not provide insurance for our clients.  
  • • And finally, enjoy your adventure with Magical Nepal! 

Manaslu Circuit Trek FAQ

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a challenging trek mainly due to the Larkya La Pass which has to be crossed, being over 5200 m. Descending from the top of the pass is hiking over loose rocks on a steep trail. What’s more, compared to tea houses on other mainstream treks, the accommodation and food are basic on this trek. Making it more of a rugged experience.

The best way to do this trek is to take 14 days from Kathmandu to Kathmandu. It can be done in 10 or 12 days but that would be rushing the trek, and perhaps missing out on some of the experience. Not to mention it will be harder and more tiring on the body. If you have time, consider a side trip to the wonderful, recently opened, Tsum Valley. This will increase the duration of the trek to 20 to 22 days.

On this trek it is mandatory to take a guide and the permit is more expensive. So you should calculate it will cost around USD 800 per person on a twin sharing basis. If you add in a porter and private jeep transport it can cost up to around USD 1300 per person.

Mount Manaslu is about 123 km aerial distance from Kathmandu to the Northwest. The starting point of the trek is around 126 km from Kathmandu.

There is no airport on Manaslu so the only option is to travel by road. The choice then is a local bus taking around 8 hours or a private jeep which will take around 6 hours including breaks.

Like many other treks Manaslu is best between mid September and mid December, and between end of March to end of May. Some trekkers do undertake this trek in the monsoon between June and September but very few would choose the winter. The reason being sometimes the pass cannot be crossed due to snow.

No. You must trek with a guide in Manaslu. There is a government rule that a minimum of two trekkers and a guide are needed for any trek in the Manaslu area.

Manaslu is located Northwest from Kathmandu. It is bordered by Annapurna to the west and Langtang Ganesh Himal in the east.

Yes. You need permits. You will need a special restricted area permit for Manaslu and a Conservation Area Permit for Manaslu and for the Annapurna (As the trail passes through the Annapurna Region too)

At the start of the trek the climate is subtropical. Overall you can expect somewhere between 10 to 25 Celsius throughout the year. However in the upper parts of the trek the temperature will fall to -20 or below in the winter.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Map

manaslu trek map

Tsum Valley Trek | Manaslu Circuit & Tsum Valley Trek

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