Manaslu Circuit Trek in Nepal
The Manaslu Circuit trek is one of the best treks in Nepal and a very good alternative to the Everest and Annapurna regions. But before you set off on your Manaslu Circuit trekking adventure you should know this is a challenging trek, not for beginners and also not one you can do alone. In order to do this trek you need to go with a Manaslu Circuit trek guide – that is one that is fully qualified, registered and experienced.
As far as number of days are concerned, you can do the Manaslu Circuit Trek in 12 days or more usually it is a 14 day Manaslu Circuit Trek.
Location of the Manaslu Circuit Trek
This trek is situated south west of Kathmandu, with its start point at Soti Khola. Leaving the Kathmandu Valley by bus or private vehicle as if you were going towards Pokhara, you turn off at Dhading. The trekking area falls within the Manaslu Conservation Area with its wonderful flora and fauna. Also falling within a restricted area it means that the wildlife and landscapes are in pristine condition, mainly because access is limited to a certain number of groups joining the Manaslu Circuit Trek every year. If you want to know what it was like trekking in Nepal 40 years ago, here is your opportunity.
Manaslu Circuit Trek – the Best Time
As with most of the treks in Nepal the best time to go is autumn or spring, that is September/ October/ November and March/ April/ May.
You do not want to go in the winter are the conditions become very harsh and the Larke Pass is closed due to snow. Some of the teahouses may also be closed. If trekking in the spring, keep in mind in the lowland sections, the weather will be very warm by late spring. Autumn is ideal as the temperatures are good, and the sky blue with the white mountains very clear against this backdrop.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Highlights
through the lowland areas, the landscape is full of rice terraces, then sal forests, cliffs, rivers, including the Budi Gandaki, and waterfalls. The mountains you will see on this trek are Himlung, Annapurna II, and of course Manaslu. At 8,163m, this is the 8th highest mountain in the world. There is a glacial cirque created by several mountains - Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal, Nemjung, Gyaji Kang and Kang Guru. The highest point of the trek is heading over the Larkya La Pass at 5,160m. This is extremely challenging and requires getting up before sunrise. Standing on the top of the pass the views before you will rid you of your tiredness: Himlung (7,126m) lies near Tibet, and Kang Guru (6,981m) and Annapurna II (7,937m) lies in the Annapurna Range. Coming down from the Pass there are views of huge icefalls and mountains in all directions, including Pongkar Tal (lake).
The people living along this trekking route are mainly Gurung and Ghale. In fact, there are both Nepalis and Tibetan ethic groups in this area. Some are still herders, guiding their mules along the trails. There are signs of Buddhist culture along the way such as mani walls and prayer flags. As far as wildlife is concerned, although this is Snow Leopard territory, it is extremely rare to have a sighting. Easier to spot are monkeys, Blue Sheep, small mammals and dozens of bird species.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Cost
Since this is a restricted area, you cannot trek alone therefore must trek through a proper trekking agency with a minimum of two trekkers and one authorized guide. You will find the Manaslu Circuit Trek all-inclusive cost for 14 days, to be around USD 1,000 per person. This includes accommodation, food, and transport. A guide and porter is also included in this cost. Please note, the inclusive package rate does not include soft and alcoholic drinks, hot showers or the cost of charging your electronics.
Get a Permit for the Manaslu Circuit Trek
Certain permits are required for remote and/ or conservation areas. These are not included in the price of your inclusive package. These permits should be obtained before leaving Kathmandu through your trekking agency. Here are the prices:-
Special Restricted Area Permit for Manaslu (Manaslu RAP)
Cost: September to November USD100 per person for the first 7 days and an additional USD15 per day onwards. December to August it will cost USD75 per person for the first 7 days and USD10 per day onwards.
Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP Permit)
This permit is required from Philm onward where the Manaslu Conservation Area starts. The price is USD30 year round, and for any number of days you spend inside the conservation area.
Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP Permit)
This permit is required from Dharapani until you exit ACAP in Beshi Sahar. It costs USD30 year-round for any number of days you spend inside the ACAP conservation area.
Accommodation on the Best Manaslu Circuit Trek
There are teahouses on this trek which are all quite similar in that they are basic with basic facilities. It is sensible to bring your own sleeping bag. Do not expect an attached bathroom or hot water. If there is hot water, you will have to pay for it.
Food in the teahouses is generally much the same also. Good, filling Nepali/ Indian and Chinese fare. In other words, plenty of rice and noodle dishes. Bring your own snacks for those moments you need something comforting.
Guaranteed Departure Manaslu Circuit Trek with Sublime Treks
If you would like to book this trek with us, Sublime Treks, you can book the Manaslu Circuit Trek in Kathmandu via our website. You can also ask any questions you may have.
Meantime, here is the day-to-day itinerary giving you a breakdown of what to expect each day. Do remember this is a rugged, off-the-beaten-track trek with basic facilities in terms of accommodation. It is, however, a very beautiful trek and not as busy as many of the other treks in Nepal.