Manaslu Circuit Trek

Manaslu Circuit Trek

Manaslu Circuit Trek is a well-known and much-loved trekking in the Manaslu region. It has become the first choice for those trekking enthusiasts searching for ‘Wilderness and authentic Culture’ experiences. 

Manaslu Trek is the ultimate offbeat trek in Nepal that offers the adventure of a lifetime, breathtaking landscapes, and an immersive cultural experience. The journey is packed with breathtaking vistas, adventure, learning, and ecstasy from sub-tropical forests to the top of a high mountain pass. A perfect trek in the Himalayas for experienced trekkers."

Manaslu Circuit Trek takes you on an adventurous voyage to the base of the eighth-highest mountain in the world, Mt. Manaslu (8,163 m/26,781 ft). Located in the remote northwestern part of the Himalayas in Nepal, the Manaslu region is a restricted area and has a border with Tibet. The trek explores picturesque villages, beautiful river valleys, and rocky moraines, and crosses a high mountain pass called Larkya La (5,106 m/16,752 ft)

On this 16-day trek, you will discover the exotic flora and fauna of the Manaslu Conservation Area and the unique lifestyle of the natives. Far away from bustling cities and fast-paced modern life, the Manaslu Circuit Trek is all about a daring escape to nature. As the trail ascends and descends through dense forests of rhododendrons and alongside verdant hills, towering Himalayan mountains unfold majestically.

The Manaslu circuit trek route presents some of the best mountain panoramas that include Manaslu (8,163 m/26,781 ft), Ganesh Himal (7,422 m/24,350 ft), Himlung Himal (7,126 m/23,379 ft), Siringi Himal (7,155 m/23,474 ft), Annapurna II (7,937 m/26,040 ft), Gyaji Kang (7,038 m/23,090 ft), Mt. Kang Guru (6,981 m/22,904 ft), and many others. The landscapes are diverse, from lush green hills and valleys to barren and rocky hills and mountains.

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a great alternative to the very famous Annapurna Circuit Trek due to the road construction in some sections of the Annapurna region. This trek is less crowded and a bit more demanding. The Manaslu Circuit Trek is one of the best treks in Nepal for adventure lovers. To make the journey more exhilarating, you can extend the trek to the hidden Tsum valley or start the trek from Barpak village and cross Rupina La. 

Therefore, the mesmerizing view of the majestic Himalayas and scenic grandeur combined with rich biodiversity, cultural richness, and an eco-friendly environment have made it one of the most well-loved places in Nepal.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Highlights

  • A less crowded and offbeat trekking route in the Himalayas of Nepal
  • Trek to the base of Mt. Manaslu, the eighth-highest mountain in the world, and cross a high mountain pass called Larkya La.
  • Explore the exotic flora and fauna of Manaslu Conservation Area, come across yaks and mules along the trail, and you may get to see wildlife like snow leopards and Himalayan tahr.
  • Spend nights in rural mountain villages and experience an authentic mountain lifestyle.
  • Visit ancient monasteries and get to see the traditions and beliefs of the locals.
  • The trail winds from lush rhododendron and pine forests to gorges and moraines.
  • The trail goes along the Budhi Gandaki River and crosses it several times through suspension bridges.
  • Witness a diverse range of landscapes and numerous stunning snow-capped mountains.
  • Hike to Pung Gyen Gompa and Birendra Lake.

People and Cultural Experiences During Manaslu Trek

The area is renowned for its cultural richness in addition to its rich biodiversity. There are people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Especially the fusion of Nepalese Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist cultures exists.

People of many ethnicities live and practice Hindu culture and traditions in the lower part of the Manaslu region, particularly in the lower Budhi Gandaki (river) valley. While those living in the upper Budhi Gandaki Valley are direct descendants of Tibetan immigrants. Nearly all of their traditions, language, attire, and cultural practices are Tibetan. A site called Nupri, which in Tibetan means "Western Mountain," is a hub for trade between Tibetans and local Tibetans. Trade between Tibet and Nupri is still ongoing.

Food and Accommodation During Manaslu Circuit Trek

Manaslu Circuit is a teahouse trek. Tea houses are one of the simplest accommodations in the Himalayas. We book twin-sharing rooms. Single rooms are only available in some villages at lower elevations. The rooms are not so big, but they are good enough to spend the night. The washrooms are mostly common. You can find Western-style toilets in the newly built tea houses, otherwise, most of them have squat toilets. 

We provide three meals a day during the trek, and trekkers are free to buy additional snacks and drinks on their own. You usually get toast, eggs, muesli, oats, porridge, soups, chapati, veggies, etc for breakfast. For menu meals, dishes like dla bhat, momo, noodles, curries, burgers, tibetan bread, thukpa, thenduk, etc are available. There are plenty of options for vegetarians. 

Drinking water is also available throughout the trekking route. You can use water purification tablets for double purification. We do not recommend drinking tap water or water from streams directly, as you may not be able to digest it. Get your favorite snacks and bars in Kathmandu to munch on during the trek. 

Flora and Fauna During Manaslu Trekking

The Manaslu region is rich in biodiversity due to its unique geographic position and latitudinal variation. The Manaslu Circuit Trail goes inside the Manaslu Conservation Area. It is a protected area with rich biodiversity and hundreds of birds and wild animals. The vegetation in the Manaslu Conservation Area is incredibly diverse due to the varying altitude and climatic conditions. At lower elevations, subtropical forests, and at higher altitudes alpine meadows and snow-covered peaks can be seen.

Likewise, the diverse topography and vegetation support a wide range of fauna, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects. Among the notable mammal species found in the region are the elusive snow leopard, Himalayan Tahr, Himalayan black bear, musk deer, red panda, and Himalayan goral. And over 200 species of birds reside in this conservation area. 

Manaslu Circuit Trek Route | Manaslu Trekking Route

Manaslu Circuit is a teahouse, off-the-beaten trek. It begins at Machha Khola, which is situated at 900 meters (2,952 ft) and requires an 8 to 9 hours’ drive from Kathmandu. The trail goes along the banks of the Budhi Gandaki River, crossing numerous suspension bridges and passing by many lovely waterfalls. The lower part of the trail is mostly walking through lush forests and terraced fields. Once you are above the treeline, the trail is rugged and rocky. 

The upper part of the Manaslu circuit trail involves navigating through landslide debris, gorges, moraines, and galenical courses. Larkya La Pass (5,106 m/16,752 ft) is the highest point of the trek. From the starting point of the trek to the highest point, you will gain approximately 4,376 meters. Likewise, the total distance you will cover during the Manaslu Circuit Trek is around 177 km (110 miles). 

Manaslu Circuit Trek Itinerary | Manaslu Trek Itinerary

Depending on your level of physical condition, trekking speed, and requirements, there are many itineraries to the Manaslu Circuit Trek available that last anywhere from 12 to 17 days. As though you were competing in a 100-meter race, the majority of the companies have created short-day itineraries. So, based on my best knowledge, you should enjoy your vacation to the fullest as a leisure traveler, not as a runner. Among them, the 16-day itinerary, from Kathmandu to the Manaslu Circuit, and back to Kathmandu, is the best and most common. However, we can customize it according to your requirements and preferences. This 16-day itinerary can be extended by 1–7 days or shortened by 1-2 days. So, kindly get in touch with us for the best itinerary as per your needs for the Manaslu Circuit Trek. 

Manaslu Circuit Trek Cost | Manaslu Trek Cost

Manaslu Circuit Trek Cost varies depending on several factors, such as group size, duration of the trek, level of accommodation, type of transportation, inclusion of services, etc. A typical 12- to 16-day trek can cost between USD 900 and USD 2000. This cost covers accommodation, food, transportation, permit fees, guide and porter services. These all services come under the manaslu trekking package. However, it might increase if you select more luxurious options like private transportation, a higher standard of accommodation in Kathmandu, an add-on program, or a longer trek than the scheduled itinerary. It depends on your requirements and preferences. Kindly get in touch with us for the most affordable and reliable services that fit your requirements and preferences.

A Restricted Area, Ancient Monasteries, and Side Hikes

Manaslu Circuit Trek Route was opened in 1992 with a limit of 400 trekkers, and from then on, the region remained restricted, welcoming only a fraction of trekkers every year compared to other famous trekking routes in Nepal like Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp. Solo trekking is not allowed, nor can you get the restricted area permit with the help of an independent guide.
If you wish to join the Manaslu Circuit Trek in 2023 or 2024, we highly recommend you travel with a local and trusted trekking company like us. You can join our fixed departures or trek privately with your group. For more information, kindly contact us.
The limitations of the Manaslu region have made trekking here like traveling back in time. Many things are still intact, from the lifestyle of the locals to their beliefs and the unspoiled nature. The Manaslu circuit trail is home to the Nubri community. The Nubri people are of Tibetan origin and belong to the larger ethnolinguistic group known as the Tamang. Their traditions, customs, language, and beliefs are all linked to Tibetan Buddhism.
In Sama Gaon, you will have the option to hike to Pung Gyen Gompa (3,980 m/13,058 ft), Manaslu Base Camp (4,800 m/15,748 ft), and Birendra Lake (3,691 m/12,110 ft). Likewise, from Samdo, you can hike to Rui La (4,998 m/16,398 ft), a traditional Nepal-Tibet trade route. On the way, you will come across many other ancient monasteries, stupas, chortens, prayer wheels, and mani walls. And share the trail with villagers and yak caravans.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty, Altitude Sickness, and Acclimatization

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a challenging journey. It is a high-altitude trek, and the trail is offbeat. Unlike the known trekking routes of Nepal, the Manaslu circuit trail is not well paved, and the tourist infrastructure is also poor. The difficulty of the trek may vary depending on individual health, age, and hiking experience. 

However, those with moderate to good physical fitness and prior long-hike experience can complete the journey with a positive mindset and proper acclimatization. While the Manaslu Circuit Trekking may not involve technical climbing or mountaineering gear, it poses challenges such as high altitude, steep ascents and descents, and rocky terrain prone to landslides. 

The constant increase in elevation during the trek raises the risk of altitude sickness, which is quite common while trekking in the Himalayas. To avoid it, trekkers have to acclimatize as they trek. We have ample acclimatization days in our Manaslu Circuit trek itinerary, which also allows trekkers to have a gradual ascent. And our professional guide will further assure your safety during the trek. 

Best Time For Manaslu Circuit Trek 

Best time for Manaslu Circuit Trek are Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November). The climate remains stable and mild during this time of the year, which makes trekking in the Manaslu region safe and pleasant. The trail gets packed with seasonal vegetation and flowers. You can see many birds, too. 

During the spring, the forests bloom with rhododendrons. The lakes at higher altitudes begin to melt, and the Larkya La pass once again becomes approachable after a harsh winter. The temperature ranges from 5 °C to 15 °C. Mornings and nights are a bit colder than daytime. 

Talking about off-season trekking, summer/monsoon (June to August) and winter (December to February) are not ideal times for traveling in the Manaslu region. The locals migrate to lower elevations to spend the winter. Where the trail gets slippery and muddy during the summer or monsoon. The weather is very unpredictable in these seasons, so trekking is not a good idea.

Larke La Pass 

Larke la Pass is one of the peaceful calm and tranquil journeys which includes in Manaslu circuit trek. this is one of the longest passes in the Himalayas of Nepal. this long pass trail is situated above 5106 meters from sea level. Manaslu circuit trek begins from arughat gorkha. and trails heads toward along with sotikhola Macha Khola and ends at beshishahar in Lamjung. And its highest elevation Larke La Pass less crowded circuit of this Manaslu is suitable for those trekkers who are interested in a trek on a less traveled road which includes a more peaceful solo trek trail road. 

What type of mountain is Manaslu?

The Mountain Manaslu is derived from the Sanskrit word Manasa which means spirit or Mountain of spirit. The height of the Manaslu is 8,163 meters from sea level. It is part of mansiri Himal. Manaslu Trek offers a diverse culture and reflects the typical Nepali lifestyle. Manaslu Mountain lies in between the Gorkha and Lamjung districts. local forest fruit is also available while doing this trek so this trek is unique and different rather than other treks. when you reach the remote Manaslu region then it offers to climb up the next rough rocky mountain the moment which is really heartbreaking and breathtaking. so before going to trek, you need to be more prepared about how to face the Manaslu circuit trek difficulty. 


Manaslu Circuit Trek Itinerary

Upon arrival in Kathmandu, meet and greet at the international airport and transfer to the hotel. Short briefing of the trip. Check in to the hotel and rest for refreshment. Overnight at the hotel in Kathmandu.

After breakfast, pick up from the hotel and proceed to the sightseeing tour in Kathmandu, especially the UNESCO world cultural heritage sites, which include Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, Swoyambhunath Stupa, and Kathmandu Durbar Square, for the experience of a beautiful fusion of religion, culture, and history. These heritage monuments reflect the centuries-old culture, arts, and architecture of Nepal, which are medieval charms of the Malla Dynasty. After the tour, drop off at the hotel and make preparations for the Manaslu trek, including a permit, trekking gear, and trekking equipment. Overnight at the hotel in Kathmandu.

After breakfast, we will pick you up from the hotel and transfer you to the public vehicle that will drive you to Machhakhola via Setikhola for about 8–9 hours. The first half of the drive goes through a blacktop concrete road and then a rough and bumpy road. However, it offers the beautiful views of scenic highways, many vibrant villages, green forest, streams, water falls, and irrigated terraces that give the first experience of Nepal’s rural landscapes. Overnight at the guest house, Machha Khola.

After breakfast, start the trek to Jagat. After crossing the Machha Khola (Fish Stream), the trail heads upstream to the tiny village of Khola Bensi and the hot springs at Tatopani. The trail is quite exposed and challenging in many places. After a short trek through the forest, the trail heads towards the single teahouse at Doban. It crosses the suspension bridge at Lauri and then ascends up to the fields of Jagat. Overnight at the tea house, Jagat. Overnight at the tea house, Jagat.

After having breakfast, start the trek to Deng. The early part of the trek moves gently uphill and somewhere along a flat path. Before entering Philim, the trail crosses a suspension bridge over Budhi Gandaki and goes through a big village of typical traditional houses of the Gurung ethnic community, where small serene monasteries, chortens, and prayer flags flutter in the sky. Stop here for lunch and explore the Gurung culture and surroundings. After having lunch over here, the trek goes on a flat trail that mostly passes forests of pine, rhododendron, and fir. While the trek crosses a few bridges, a view of colorful brown thatched-roof villages at a far distance can be seen. A few houses are also seen at Deng, where you can enjoy a pretty cascading waterfall lying at some distance. The Deng is famous for its agro-products like potatoes, buckwheat, barley, wheat, cabbage, and spinach, as people are mostly involved in agriculture in this area. Overnight at the Tea House, Deng.

After having breakfast, start the trek to Namrung. The trek almost goes along a flat trail and then climbs uphill all the way to Namrung through lush forest. From here, enjoy the impressive views of Mt. Manaslu, rock hillocks, a green glen, and ridges. Namrung is a Buddhist village with monasteries, a water turbine hydroelectric power house, mani walls, chortens, and prayer flags fluttering in the sky, whispering odes of prayers to the gods for the departed souls on the peaks of Manaslu. Overnight at the tea house, Namrung.

After having breakfast, start the trek to Samagaon. The trek goes over a windy trail that moves through the inner Himalayan range. On the way, enjoy the magnificent views of Rupinala Pass, Mt. Manaslu, Gorkha Himal, Dwijen Himal, Saula Himal, Lajing Peak, and many other silver-gray mountains and peaks. As the trail goes up, the vegetation will decrease due to the increase in altitude and thin air. In the afternoon, this part of the country becomes quite windy and chilly. The trail passes across many walls, chortens, prayer flags, and monasteries and reaches Lho Gaon. Before reaching Lho Gaon, the trail enters a Tibetan village called Lihi Gaon. After having lunch at Lho Gaon, the trek continues to Samagaun, following the trail along the right bank of the river with views of Peak ahead. Overnight at the tea house, Sama Gaon.

This is a rest day at Samagaon for acclimatization (adjustment of the respiratory system with a change in elevation). Samagaon lies on the lap of Mount Manaslu and is surrounded by mountains, green forest, ancient Buddhist monasteries, countless Mani Walls (stone tablets engraved with mantras), chortens or stupas, and Kanis along the path (round religious structures in Tibetan Buddhism often housing relics and surrounded by prayer mills). It attracts everyone with hiking and exploring enthusiasm.

Hike up to Manaslu Base Camp for excellent views of Sam Do (Pang Phuchuli), Nagdi Chuli, Simnang Himal, Manaslu Glacier, Manaslu Ice Fall, and Birendra Kunda Lake, which is a glacier lake near Manaslu Base Camp, and back to Samagaon. Overnight at the Tea House, Samagaon.

After breakfast, start the trek to Samdo. The trek ascends gently uphill all the way to Sam Do through a desert trail and windy valley. The Tibetan border is just four kilometers away from Sam Do, but visitors are not allowed to pass the border. There is a Tibetan refugee village at Sam Do. This is an excellent view point for Mt. Manaslu, Sam do (Pang phuchuli), Nagdi chuli, Simnang Himal, Manaslu glacier, Manaslu ice fall, and several other awesome peaks. Overnight at Tea House, Samdo.

After having breakfast, start the trek to Larkya La Phedi. The trail is rocky and zigzags to Larkya La Phedi. Before reaching Larkya La Phedi, there is a market called Larkya Bazaar (market) where seasonal fairs are held for the local folks, and people bring goods from Tibet to sell them here. Overnight at the tea house, Larkya La Phedi.

After having an early breakfast, start the trek to Bimthang, crossing the pretty but tough Larkya La Pass (5,135m). Larkya La Pass is the highlight of this trek. Early in the morning, start the trek, following a steep ascent on a rocky and windy trail until Larkya La Pass. From the top of Larkya La Pass, it offers attractive panoramic views of Himlung Himal (7,126m), Cheo Himal (6,820m), Gyagi Kung, Kang Kuru (6,981 m), and Annapurna II (7,937m). After crossing this pass, the trek goes on a steep downhill trail through rock and ice until it reaches Bimtang. On the way, there might be encounters with many icy lakes that make everyone feel chilly. The Bimtang is a broad valley with a number of Mani walls and deserted houses. Overnight at the Tea House, Bimtang.

After breakfast, start the trek to Tilje. The trek descends to the valley of the Burdin Khola; the area of the base camp for the west side of Manaslu. It offers excellent views of Manaslu to the south-east and Annapurna II to the south-west. Beyond a bridge over the headwaters of the Dudh Khola, the trek descends to a narrow valley, passing through a rhododendron forest, and reaches Karche (2,785m), the highest cultivated land in this valley. Then, the trek again descends, crosses a stream, and finally reaches Tilje, a famous place for apple orchards, which are popularly known as local wine. Overnight at the Teahouse, Tilje.

After breakfast, start the trek to Dharapani for about an hour. The trail is a gradual descent with stone staircases that passes through a beautiful village called "Thonche" and reaches Dharapani. Then, drive to Besi Sahar by Jeep for 4-5 hours through a rough, rocky road. Overnight at the guest house, Besi Sahar.

After breakfast, drive back to Kathmandu by public vehicle along the banks of the Marsyangdi and Trishuli rivers with superb views of green hills, mountains, terraced farms, and villages on both sides of the road. After reaching Kathmandu, transfer to the hotel. Check in to the hotel and rest for refreshment. In the evening, a farewell dinner (authentic Nepali cuisine) in a typical Nepali restaurant with a cultural dance performance. Overnight at the hotel in Kathmandu.

Leisure day. Enjoy the free time by shopping at souvenir shops or hanging around Thamel (Tourism hub city).

Leisure time until departure. Transfer to the international Airport to board the flight.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Cost

Cost Includes

  • Pick up and drop off service from Airport and Hotel by private vehicle.
  • Welcome drinks (non-alcoholic) and farewell dinner in a typical Nepali restaurant with a cultural dance show.
  • All accommodation in 3-star category hotels on bed and breakfast basis in Kathmandu while Tea House accommodation during the trek on full board basis (All meals).
  • A guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu in a private vehicle.
  • Kathmandu-Machha Khola overland transportation by Public vehicle, Dharapani-Besi sahar by local jeep and Besi sahar-Kathmandu by Public vehicle on sharing basis.
  • Medical supplies (First Aid Kit carried by Trek leader).
  • All the necessary Trekking permit (Manaslu Permit+ACAP+Tims).
  • Highly experienced, friendly, government license holder guide and porter with salary, accommodation, food, transportation and insurance.
  • Arrangement of helicopter service (Under the rescue or emergency situation) which will paid by travel insurance company.

Cost Excludes

  • Nepalese visa fee.
  • International airfare.
  • Trekking and medical insurance (Compulsory).
  • Lunches and Dinners not mentioned above.
  • All personal expenses ( phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower etc).
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu and Tea House, early arrival or late departure, early return or late return from mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary.
  • All the alcoholic and non-alcoholic hot and cold drinks.
  • Tips for guide, porter, and driver are expected but not mandatory.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Equipment

Manaslu Circuit Trek is the strenuous trek. So, it requires proper trekking gears and equipment which are as follows.

Head and Face 

1. Headlamps with extra batteries, 2. Sunglasses with UV protection, 3. Sun hat (summer), 4. Wool hat (winter), 5. Sunscreen & Lip balm, 6. Face wet wipes, 7. Neck gaiters (winter).


1. Light-weight gloves (summer), 2. Heavy-weight gloves (winter).


1. Hiking shorts & T-shirt (summer), 2. Air & waterproof jackets & trousers, 3. Fleece jacket or Pullover, 4. Thermal inner wear (winter), 5. Insulated down jacket & pants (winter), 6. Hooded rain jacket.


1. Hiking boots with mid-weight wool socks.

Trekking gears

1. Backpack (40-50 liters), 2. Thermal bottle (2 liters), 3. Trekking poles (1 pairs/person), 4. Sleeping bag (-15°C), 5. Water purifying tablets.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Trip Map
Trip Map

Useful Information Manaslu Circuit Trek
Useful Information

Manaslu Circuit Trek Permit

For Manaslu circuit trekking, you will need the Special Restricted Area Permit for Manaslu and Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP Permit). Likewise, towards the end of the trek, you will enter the Annapurna region, too. So, an Annapurna Conservation Area Project permit (ACAP) is also required. Our Manaslu circuit trek package includes all these permit fees. 

Special Restricted Area Permit for Manaslu

  • September to November: USD 100 per person for the first seven days and an additional USD 15 per person per day from the eighth day onwards.
  • December to August: USD 75 per person for the first seven days and an additional USD 10 per person per day from the eighth day onwards.

Manaslu Conservation Area Project permit cost: USD 30

Annapurna Conservation Area Project permit cost: USD 30

Manaslu Circuit Trek

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