Manaslu region is protected under the boundaries of Manaslu Conservation Area and was officially opened in 1991 for foreign trekkers. Manaslu Circuit trek in Nepal has now become the best alternative route to the popular Annapurna Circuit trek.
Additionally, the natural and cultural beauty around Manaslu region remarks this trek as one of the best classic adventure treks in Nepal. The adventure starts through the lush green lower hills inhabited by Indo-Aryan Hindus. Then the middle hills by the Tibetan-Burmese, Magar, Gurung and Tamang people on the Budhi Gandaki River.
The Manaslu region extends with many ups and downs from sub-tropical forest to the dry Tibetan plateau. Trekking in Manaslu region constantly rewards with outstanding views of Mt. Manaslu (8,163m/26,782ft), the eighth highest peak on the earth and the Himalayan panorama of Ganesh and Lamjung Himal.
The main attraction of the Manaslu Circuit trekking is the Larke pass (5,106m/16,752ft). Hence the trek is geographically spectacular, strenuous and culturally fascinating with a nice combination of cultural heritage, natural beauty and great diversity of flora and fauna.
Tibetan monks inhabit the sacred monasteries in Sama Gaon which is just 15km away from the Tibetan border. Trekkers can feel a strong Tibetan influence in most part of the Manaslu area. We descend from the top of the Larke pass following through the alpine forests and meet at the main trail of the Annapurna Circuit.
Finally, the trek ends at Chamje or option available to continue over Thorung la pass (5,416m/17,769ft) along the Annapurna trail at Dharapani before reaching down to Chamje. Manaslu Circuit trek has an opportunity of extension with the pristine Tsum Valley also.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Cost and Itinerary
The major cost of the Manaslu Circuit trek is the price of meals and accommodations on the trek. The higher you are, it is more expensive due to its remoteness. A set of meal costs $7-$9 and a total of $25-$30 per day is necessary for three times meals during the trek.
Another significant cost goes for local staff. You cannot trek alone in Manaslu as per the provision. So, cost of an experienced Guide will be about $20 to $25 per day and $15 to $18 per day for a porter. It includes their daily salary, meals, accommodations, equipment and insurance.
To make it an easy going, we have designed a full board Manaslu trekking package that includes permits, transportation, guide, porter, your meals and accommodations on the trek. Finally, the package cost also includes the agency’s service charge.
See also, Manaslu Trek Cost Blog
Although it is our intention to operate this trek according to the printed itinerary, it may be necessary to make some changes as a result of trail condition, climatic effects, limitations of infrastructure or other operational factors. As a result, the location of overnight stops and the duration of the Manaslu Circuit trek may vary from those outlined on the map.
Accommodation on the Manaslu Trek
Manaslu region has a good access of teahouses for accommodation on the trek. Single and double rooms with attached bathroom are available in the lower elevations while the higher regions have limited facilities. Toilets are mostly shared and can be outside of the teahouses.
Rooms do not have heating system but the dining hall can be warm. The teahouses prepare hygienic food for the trekkers and their support staff. They serve fine local, Tibetan and western dishes in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.
The cost of accommodation ranges from US $3-$5 in lower regions but it increases to US $7-$9 in higher elevations. It is always a good idea to start the trek early in the morning and reach the next destination on time. The teahouses are available on the first come basis.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty
Manaslu Circuit trek is a medium-hard trek. Its altitude, wilderness, remoteness and the challenging Larkya la pass through the off-the-beaten trail are enough reasons to make this an adventurous trek.
The difficulty of the Manaslu trek like on many high mountain treks is your endurance to adjust with the high altitude. The trek becomes more difficult for the first few days which pass through the steep and zigzag up and down hills.
Transportation for Manaslu Trek
The first day of the trip starts with a drive including some off-road adventure ride from Kathmandu to SotiKhola via Arughat. It takes about 8-9 hours by public bus. Private Jeep service is available with an additional cost and takes about 6-7 hours.
Our plan is to finish the trek in Chamje but you may opt for a Jeep ride from Dharapani to Besisahar if you are too tired. Local Jeep on sharing basis is the only transportation available between Dharapani or Chamje to Besisahar. The last part of the journey continues from Besisahar to Kathmandu.
Permits for Manaslu Circuit Trek (Updated 2019)
Manaslu region comes within the controlled areas. So, trekkers will need special trekking permit for Manaslu. Only the government registered local trekking companies can apply for Manaslu trekking permits for a group of minimum TWO persons. Department of Immigration is the permit issuing authority.
The cost of permit for Manaslu trek varies for the different seasons. It costs US $100 per person per week and $15 per day thereafter from September to November and from December to August, it costs US $75 per person per week and $10 per day thereafter.
Besides the special trekking permits, all foreign trekkers will also need the Manaslu and Annapurna Conservation Area Permits which costs Rs 3,000 (US $27) for each area for all foreign trekkers and Rs 1,000 (US $9) for travellers from SAARC member countries.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Weather
Manaslu Circuit trek starts at 700 meters and the altitude increases gradually up to 5,106 meters at Larkya la pass. As you trek further, you will realize a great variation in weather, vegetation and landscapes.
Due to the changing altitude, temperatures also vary and a proper acclimatization is necessary before ascending the pass. Like other trekking areas of Nepal, Manaslu Circuit trek is also suitable during autumn and spring seasons.
September, October and November are the best months to visit Manaslu region. Monsoon just stops and the temperatures become favourable. Summer rainfall makes the sky clear so that it offers the stunning mountain views along the trek.
Likewise March, April and May are the great months to see the entire forests turning into a beautiful garden. Temperatures are the best compliments to the Manaslu and Larkya pass trekkers.
Summer and winter are not the ideal time for Manaslu trek. Trails are muddy and slippery during summer and the pass is closed in winter due to the snow.
Depending on the weather, you need to pack the best and comfortable gears to your requirements including a good sleeping bag and a down jacket. Equipment List
- Adventurous off-the-beaten trail
- Outstanding view of Mt. Manaslu massif
- The challenging Larke pass (5,106m/16,752ft)
- Constant views of the majestic Himalayan panorama
- Diverse culture of Hindu and Buddhist people
- Alpine forest and the scenic landscapes
- Sacred monasteries and traditional villages