Manaslu Circuit Trek - 12 Days

Key Information
  • Destination:Nepal
  • Duration:12 Days
  • Trip Grade: Moderate
  • Max. Altitude:5,160 m/16,929 ft
  • Starts/Ends:Machha Khola/Dharapani
  • Trip Style:Trek
  • Group Size:2-12
  • Best Time:Spring & Autumn

The Manaslu Circuit trek is for true adventure lovers who dare to challenge themselves. It is a strenuous trekking expedition in the western Himalayan range of Nepal. The trail is offbeat, sees high altitude gain, and lacks basic tourist infrastructures. These factors make the Manaslu Circuit trekking quite appealing for trekkers looking for an untouched Himalayas.

The Manaslu Circuit trek route is within the Manaslu Conservation Area, which is home to exotic wildlife like snow leopards and musk deer. Likewise, it is also a restricted area in Nepal, so foreign trekkers have to obtain a special permit. Trekking without a guide is not allowed in the Manaslu region, and there have to be at least two trekkers in the group.

On the Manaslu Circuit trek, you will witness spectacular views of Annapurna (8,091 m/26,545 ft), Ganesh Himal (7,422 m/24,350 ft), Himlung Himal (7,126 m/23,345 ft), Manaslu (8,163 m/26,781 ft), Dhaulagiri (8,167 m/26,795 ft), Mt. Kang Guru (6,981 m/22,904 ft), Buddha Himal (6,692 m/21955 ft), etc. The scenery also varies throughout the trail.

What to expect during the Manaslu Circuit trek 12 days?

You will start the Manaslu Circuit trek 12 days with a long but scenic ride from Kathmandu to Soti Khola. The trail follows dense forests and gradually ascends via villages like Machha Khola, Jagat, Deng, Namrung, Lho, Sama Gaon, and Samdo. As the trek progresses, the terrain gets steep, narrow, and rugged. You will be navigating many landslide-prone areas.

Larkya Phedi is the last settlement before the Larkya La pass. On the way to pass, there are lakes and grassy slopes. The mountain view from the top of the pass is brilliant. After crossing the Larkya La pass, you will descend to Bimthang and trek Dharapanu via Ghpa. The Manaslu Circuit trek ends in Dharapani.

The trail is dotted with simple tea houses. All these tea houses were built in the last 2-3 years. Before that, camping was compulsory, which has made the Manaslu Circuit trek quite expensive. You can do the Manaslu Circuit trek in March, April, May, September, October, and November. These are the best months in terms of weather and climate.

Who can do the Manaslu Circuit trekking?

If you are looking for an alternative to the famous Annapurna Circuit trek, you can do the Manaslu Circuit trek. This trek is for travelers with good fitness and prior trekking expertise. The trek will take you far away into nature. You will be literally disconnected from the world and enjoy a tranquil voyage. So, if you love solitude, you can also consider the Manaslu Circuit trek.

How to prepare for the Manaslu Circuit trek?

Serious exercise is required for the Manaslu Circuit trek. Start with walking 2 to 3 hours a day. Gradually, involve cardiovascular activities like cycling, swimming, day hikes, running, etc in your routine. If the gym is accessible to you, go for strength training and build your core endurance. You have to walk 6 hours a day on offbeat terrain during Manaslu trek, so your fitness matters a lot.

Guide and porter

Trekking with a Nepali guide and porter is mandatory during the Manaslu Circuit trek. No foreign trekker can bypass this rule. We provide a native guide and porter in our Manaslu Circuit trek package. So, their expenses are covered in our package cost, and you do not have to pay extra. However, we recommend tipping them at the end of their service as a gratitude.

Tipping is common in Nepal and is highly expected. Make sure to budget at least 10-15% of the package cost to tip guide and porter. Trekking with our guide and porter assures a safe and satisfying travel experience as they take care of your needs and comforts in the mountains. They are friendly, kind, humorous, and experienced. You can rely on them.

Transportation

While traveling between Kathmandu and the starting/ending point of the trek, we use a comfortable four-wheeler. There is no domestic flight involved in this trek. Our team also provides you with airport pick-up and drop-off service as per our Manaslu Circuit trek itinerary. Requests for any additional transportation support will cost you additional money accordingly.

Why do the Manaslu Circuit trek with Halesi Trek?

You can trek freely with us as we provide the best service and Manaslu Circuit trek cost. Our experienced guide and porter will accompany you on the trek, assuring your safety and satisfaction. You can extend the Manaslu Circuit trek to Tsum Valley or any other part of the Himalayas as you wish. Our itineraries are very flexible.

There are no boundaries with us when it comes to travel. You get to explore Nepal and experience Nepali culture to the fullest. Whether you want to customize the Manaslu Circuit itinerary, join a tour, or combine a helicopter flight with your trip, all the options are open with us. Share your dream Himalayan expedition, and our team will make it come true.

Booking is open for Manaslu Circuit trek 2024/2025 departure. Get in touch with us to book your seat.

Itinerary

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Upon your landing at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, complete the visa procedure and meet our representatives at the terminal gate. They will greet you on our behalf and escort you to the hotel in a private vehicle.

Feel free to let them help you with your bags. Spend some time resting and later meet us for the trek briefing. We will pack the duffel bags and shop if needed. End the day with a delicious welcome dinner.

  • Meals: Welcome dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel

Start the Manaslu Circuit trek with a scenic ride from Kathmandu to Machha Khola. Leaving Kathmandu, you will follow a well-made highway along the Trishuli River. The route goes along lush hills.

Get to see beautiful views of terraced fields, towns, and cascading waterfalls on the way. From Arughat onwards, the road is bumpy. You will witness stunning views of mountains like Annapurna, Ganesh Himal, Manaslu, Langtang Himal, etc.

  • Max. Altitude: 890 m/2,965 ft
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Distance: 169.7 km/105 miles

The trail starts from Machha Khola. You will trek along the Budi Gandaki river banks through lush forests. Cross suspension bridges on the way and trek via small villages like Khorla Besi and Tatopani. From Tatopani onwards, you will cross two suspension bridges and continue trekking to Dovan. From here, the trail goes past landslide debris to Yaruphant. Cross a wooden bridge and walk to Jagat.

  • Max. Altitude: 1,410 m/4,625 ft
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Duration: 6/7 hours
  • Distance: 22.2 km/13.7 miles

Begin the day with a delicious breakfast. From Jagat, you will walk through lush rhododendron and pine forests to Deng. The trail crosses a long suspension bridge over the Budhi Gandaki River on the way. You will trek via small settlements like Philim and witness fantastic landscapes while trekking.

  • Max. Altitude: 1,804 m/5,917 ft
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Duration: 1,804 m/5,917 ft
  • Distance: 19.9 km/12.3 miles

The trail continues from Deng to Namrung. You will trek on an uphill route that follows a forested path. Soon, cross the Budhi Gandaki River and walk to a settlement called Rana. As you trek further, the trail will get steep and pass by terraced fields. The mountain views are excellent throughout the trail.

  • Max. Altitude: 2,630 m/8,626 ft
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Duration: 5/6 hours
  • Distance: 19.5 km/12.1 miles

The trail from Namrung to Sama Gaon is steep and rocky. You have to be extra careful. On the way, you can see beautiful views of Shringi Himal and Ganesh Himal. The trail goes through the forest to Lihi, a small settlement.

From here, you will walk through barely fields and stupas to small villages like Sho, Lho, and Shyala before you reach Sama Gaon. We highly recommend visiting Pun Gyen Gompa on the way. This part of the trail involves glacier walking.

  • Max. Altitude: 3,520 m/11,548 ft
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Distance: 17.7 km/11 miles

As you trek from Sama Gaon to Samdo, you will also go on a side excursion to Manaslu Base Camp and enjoy the beauty of Birendra Lake. The trail crosses a lush pasture and goes through birch and juniper forest. You will descend to the Budhi Gandaki riverbed and trek from here to Samdo, following a steep route.

  • Max. Altitude: 3,875 m/12,713 ft
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Duration: 3/4 hours
  • Distance: 8.2 km/5 miles

Samdo is a Tibetan refugee village. You will spend an acclimatization day here. In the morning, go on a hike to enjoy a stunning mountain panorama and return to Samdo to spend the night. Get to see the lifestyle of the locals and rest.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Accommodation: Teahouse

Leaving Samdo, we will trek along the edge of hills and terraced fields. The trail goes past mani walls and crosses the Budhi Gandaki river via a wooden bridge. We will then come across the Athahra Saya river. From here, continue trekking along the Larkya Gaier and gradually ascend to Larkya Phedi. We will trek in the Salka Khola Valley.

  • Max. Altitude: 4,480 m/14,698 ft
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Accommodation: 11.7 km/7.2 miles
  • Duration: 5-6 hours
  • Distance: 11.7 km/7.2 miles

Today, we will cross the Larkya La pass early in the morning. The trail goes through a moraine and descends to a small lake. From here, it is an unclear path that goes across the grassy slope. Further, walking via moraine, we will descend to four frozen lakes. The trail from here ascends to the top of the Larkya La pass.

The top of the pass offers stunning mountain views of Manaslu, Annapurna II, Kang Gurun, Himlung Himal, etc. After enjoying the view, we will descend from the pass to the top of a moraine. From here, trek west as the trail drops steeply to another moraine. We will then get off a grassy moraine and walk via meadows to Bhimthang.

  • Max. Altitude: 5,160 m/16,929 ft
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Duration: 8/9 hours
  • Distance: 24.7 km/15.3 miles

Today is the last day of the trek. Leaving Bhimthang, we will begin trekking, following a downhill route that leads to Dharapani. On the way, we will trek via small villages like Gho and Tilje. The trail goes through dense forests and crosses suspension bridges.

  • Max. Altitude: 1,860 m/6,102 ft
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Duration: 5/6 hours
  • Distance: 29 km/18 miles

After a big breakfast, we will leave Dharapani and start driving to Kathmandu. The road is bumpy for a few kilometers, however it offers stunning scenery. As we cross Besisahar and Dumre, the roads get smooth. After Dumre, it is a comfortable ride to Kathmandu.

Upon reaching Kathmandu, the guide will drop you at the hotel. Rest and explore your surroundings. Buy souvenirs and visit any tourist sites if you wish. We will catch up in the late evening for a farewell dinner.

  • Max. Altitude: 1,400 m/ 4,593 ft
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and farewell dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Duration: 8-9 hours
  • Distance: 118 km/73 miles

Trip Cost Details

What's Included
  • All airports pick up and drop
  • Guesthouse accommodation during trekking in the mountains
  • Breakfast in Kathmandu and all meals during the trek
  • All ground transportation as per the itinerary by private vehicles
  • All necessary staff with experienced leader (guide), assistant guide
  •  Between 2 trekkers 1 porter to carry luggage (2 trekkers:1 porter) including their salary, insurance, equipment, food
  • All necessary papers work; trekking permits (ACAP, special permit for Manaslu)
  • Welcome dinner at a typical Nepali restaurant with a live cultural show
  • All government and local taxes
What's not Included
  • Nepal entry Visa fee
  • International airfare
  • Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
  • Accommodation and Food  in Kathmandu
  • Travel and rescue insurance
  • Personal expenses (hot and cold drinks, battery recharge, bottle or boiled water, shower, etc.)
  • Personal  Medical Kit Bag
  • Tips for guides and porters
Dates & Availability
Starts:Sep 16, 2024Ends:Sep 27, 2024
Price fromUS$1250
AvailabilityAvailable
Starts:Sep 24, 2024Ends:Oct 05, 2024
Price fromUS$1250
AvailabilityAvailable
Starts:Sep 27, 2024Ends:Oct 08, 2024
Price fromUS$1250
AvailabilityAvailable

The Above-given cost is per person and the Above-given Manaslu Circuit Trek 12 days fixed departure dates are available for you. If the given date is not favorable then please contact us and we will happily customize your trip on dates more appropriate for you.

Useful Information

Manaslu Circuit trek permit

Manaslu Circuit trek requires three permits and applies some special rules for trekkers. Because of the restricted area status of the Manaslu Circuit, trekkers have to get the Special Restricted Area Permit (Manaslu RAP) along with the Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) permit and Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit.

To do the Manaslu Circuit trek there have to be two trekkers in the group. Likewise, the trek must be guided by a licensed guide and porter. Likewise, the trek must be organized by a local trekking company. So, you cannot do the Manaslu Circuit trek solo or with an independent guide. Below, we have mentioned the cost of the permits:

  • Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) permit cost: USD 30 per person
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit cost: USD 30 per person
  • Restricted Area Permit for Manaslu from September to November: USD 100 per person for the first seven days and USD 15 per person per day after that
  • Restricted Area Permit for Manaslu from December to August: USD 75 per person for the first seven days and USD 10 per person per day after that

Difficulty level of Manaslu Circuit trek

Manaslu Circuit trek route has challenging terrain and sees high altitudes. It is an offbeat trek with long and steep uphill and downhill walking. The trail goes from sub-tropical forests to glaciers, so trekkers come across diverse weather and environments.

As per your fitness and understanding of the Manaslu region, the difficulty of the trek may slightly vary. Overall, the Manaslu Circuit trek is known as one of the most strenuous treks in Nepal, which is only recommended to trekkers with past trekking experience.

You will complete the Manaslu Circuit trek in 12 days. Every day, you will walk around 6 hours. There will be long ascents and descents. You will trek via steep slopes, landslide debris, and moraines. Likewise, cross Larkya La pass, a high mountain pass. It will be the toughest part of the trek.

We highly recommend trekkers to get sturdy, comfortable trekking shoes and trekking poles. It will make your long walks bearable. In addition to the challenging terrain, the Manaslu Circuit trail also lacks tourist infrastructure. The location of the trail is isolated & facilities along the way are limited.

Altitude sickness

The Manaslu Circuit trek ascends to 5,160 meters (16,929 ft). The trek starts from 890 meters (2,965 ft). You will reach the highest point of the trek in 8 days of walking. So, the elevation gain is a lot in 8 days, which increases the risk of altitude sickness.

However, in these 8 days, you will take an acclimatization break in Samdo village. Likewise, the daily elevation gain is minimal, so you will get ample time to adjust to the elevation. It lowers the risk of altitude sickness.

Similarly, if you keep yourself hydrated and are aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness, like nausea, vomiting, headache, insomnia, difficulty in breathing, dizziness, etc, you can further decrease the possibility of altitude sickness.

The best time to do the Manaslu Circuit trekking

The best time to do the Manaslu Circuit trekking is the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. These seasons are peak trekking times in Nepal. You will get favorable weather and a mild climate to complete the trek. The greenery of these seasons with clear sky and fantastic visibility makes the landscapes and mountain views heavenly.

Similarly, the summer/monsoon (June to August) and winter (December to February) are the offseasons for trekking in the Himalayas. These seasons have unpredictable weather, so trekkers face additional challenges during the trek. If you can bear the cold, you may do the Manaslu Circuit trek in winter with extra preparations. However, trekking in summer/monsoon is the toughest.

Accommodation and food on the trek

You will sleep and have meals in tea houses along the Manaslu Circuit trek route. These are basic accommodation services provided by the locals of the region to trekkers. Twin beds with mattresses, pillows, and blankets are provided to the guests, so you can expect to share the room with a fellow trekker.

If you are not comfortable sharing the room and want a single room during the trek, you have to inform us during booking. A single room costs additional money. Washrooms are common in tea houses. Services like hot water for the shower, charging, WiFi, etc, also cost additional money. So, carry a daily allowance for personal expenses.

A sleeping bag, solar power bank, ample snacks, and water purification tablets are highly recommended. Carrying these things will make your time easy. For meals, you get breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a day. All the meals are provided as per the menu of tea houses, which is decent.

You will mostly get Nepali and Tibetan dishes with some Western options. Dal bhat, thukpa, momo, noodles, Tibetan bread, thenduk, soups, porridge, fried rice, and stew are some of the common foods you will have during trekking. Other than that, you will get mashed potatoes, pasta, sandwiches, burgers, etc in some villages.

Manaslu Circuit Trek - 12 Days FAQs

  • The Manaslu Circuit trek difficulty is strenuous. It means this is one of the toughest treks in Nepal that is only recommended to fit and experienced trekkers. You will cross a high mountain pass on this trek and walk on offbeat terrain, which demands extra effort and attention.

  • The Manaslu Circuit trek difficulty is strenuous. It means this is one of the toughest treks in Nepal that is only recommended to fit and experienced trekkers. You will cross a high mountain pass on this trek and walk on offbeat terrain, which demands extra effort and attention.

  • Overall, the Manaslu Circuit trek is a bit harder than the Annapurna Circuit. It is because of the low popularity of the Manaslu Circuit along with its isolation and scarce facilities for the trekkers.

  • The Manaslu Circuit trek cost ranges between USD 1,850 to USD 2,200 per trekker. The cost may go higher as per the services and itinerary of the package. The Manaslu Circuit trek permit is more expensive than most of the famous trekking routes in Nepal. Likewise, this trekking region is much more isolated, so accommodation and food costs are high.

  • Yes, the Manaslu Circuit trek is harder than the Everest Base Camp trek in every way. The Manaslu Circuit trek is recommended to trekkers who have previous trekking experience and have strong fitness. However, the EBC trek can be joined by beginner trekkers with proper preparation. Likewise, the challenges on the Manaslu Circuit trek are far more than the EBC.

  • Yes, the Manaslu Circuit trek is safe because you will do this trek with an experienced guide and porter who knows the region at the back of their head. Our guides and porters are also kind and trustworthy individuals who will do their best to keep you safe and sound during trekking.

  • During the Manaslu Circuit trek, you will approximately cover 160 kilometers if you start trekking from Machha Khola village. Likewise, if you start trekking from Soti Khola village, you will cover 170 kilometers. The distance can get longer if your itinerary is different from our proposed 12 days Manaslu Circuit trek itinerary.

  • Yes, you need a guide for the Manaslu Circuit trek. You cannot do this trek without a guide. It is a restricted trekking area in Nepal, and trekking with a guide is compulsory.

  • We do not recommend the Manaslu Circuit trek to beginner trekkers because of its demanding nature. However, if you have done treks in other mountain ranges before, understand the limitations of the Himalayan trekking routes, and are physically fit, you may consider the Manaslu Circuit trek as your first trek in the Himalayas.

  • The Manaslu Circuit trek is all about traveling in one of the less traveled, pristine trekking regions in Nepal. The trek takes you far away from the noise of the city amidst beautiful villages, isolated valleys, and vast pastures. Witness stunning mountain views and cross a challenging mountain pass.

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