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On the Manaslu Circuit Trek in Nepal, you can forget about the traditional Annapurna Routes and escape the masses. This trekking offers fantastic views of the best the Annapurna area. See snow-capped mountains, high glacier lakes and spot the most stunning flora and fauna. The circuit passes many Nepalese cultural heritage sites, including traditional Tamang and Sherpa settlements.

Last updated in July 2022

This is your chance to experience a unique culture. With a height of 8.156m, Mount Manaslu is the highest mountain top in this area and also the eighth highest in the world. Whether you want to go from one teahouse to another or prefer camping, Manaslu is for everyone.

Wondering what the possibilities for the Manaslu Circuit are? Check out our offers here.

How Long Is The Manaslu Circuit?

The Manaslu Circuit offers for a longer trek than some other treks in Nepal. The Manaslu can be tackled in 13 to 17 days. Most trekking companies offer 14 or 15-day itineraries as it allows for adequate acclimatization and comfort. The total distance of the Manaslu Circuit is 177 kilometers (110 miles). The distance can, however, differ from itinerary to itinerary. Some trekking companies like to start in Arughat Bazar where others only start at Soti Khola.
Manaslu Circuit Trek

What Makes The Manaslu Circuit Trekking Special?

The Manaslu Circuit is outright special. The trek follows an ancient salt–trading route along the steep-sided Budhi Gandaki river. Ten peaks of more than 6,500 meters (21,300 ft) in height are visible while trekking through the Manaslu region, including peaks of more than 7,000 meters (23,000 ft) high. There are a lot less people on the Manaslu Circuit and this sets the trek apart from its busier brother the Annapurna Circuit.

This area is primarily populated by two ethnic groups; Nubri and Tsum. Chhikur's branching off the river separates these two racial territories. While Nubri was frequently visited following Nepal's 1950 tourism opening, Tsum still retains much of its traditional culture, art, and tradition. Gurungs is the largest ethnic group in the central hills of the region.If you are traveling alone and you want to do the Manaslu Circuit, you better find a friend to join you. As the Manaslu Circuit is a restricted area, you need at least two people to get a permit and a start date. Keep reading to find out which permit you need.

What Is The Best Season for The Manaslu Circuit Trekking?

Manaslu and the entire Annapurna Region, along with the rest of Nepal has 4 distinct seasons. Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. The months from March to May and from October or November are the most popular for trekking at the Annapurna Massif. What must be said, is that every trekking season offers its own excitement and atmosphere for hikers. You can read more about the most favorable trekking and hiking seasons in Nepal in this blog post.

Why The Manaslu Circuit and not the Annapurna Circuit?

The Annapurna Circuit is fantastic. It gives you everything you are looking for when trekking in the Annapurna Sanctuary of Nepal. However, a lot of people know the Annapurna Circuit Trek is great and you will definitely not be the only one on the trails. After the Everest Base Camp Trek, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is the busiest trek in Nepal. The Manaslu Circuit is everything the Annapurna Circuit is, but it allows for a more genuine trekking experience.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Views
Villages on the Annapurna Circuit always had poor access and modern times require modern infrastructure. As a result, some of the Annapurna Circuit is tarred and this is very uplifting for the local communities. Trekkers, of course, are always looking for the most remote trails and although there are still some on the Annapurna Circuit, you are sure to find them on the Manaslu Circuit.

The Manaslu Circuit is not as quiet anymore as it used to be. Where in the past camping was basically the only possibility to spend the night in this remote part of the world, these days you can find teahouses scattered along the trail.

Trekking companies know exactly what will go down on the Manaslu Circuit. Check out the different options and get in touch here.

Is the Manaslu Circuit Trek in Nepal Difficult?

Hiking or trekking in the Annapurna Region can be a challenge. But this doesn’t mean that you can not do it. If you like hiking and make sure you start to get fit well ahead of the start of your trek, you can definitely make it. The average trek in the Annapurna Region is not difficult but hikers and trekkers should still be moderately fit. After all, you are stilling trekking through the Himalayas of Nepal. If you are wondering what it physically takes to go trekking in Nepal and what you can do to become the fittest version of yourself you should keep reading.

How Much Does The Manaslu Circuit Trek Cost?

As most foreign visitors to Nepal land in Kathmandu, they are likely to go trekking in regions other than Annapurna or Manaslu. This is the first hurdle to trekking in the Annapurna Region. One has to actually travel to Pokhara. All the trekking providers by default offer transport from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Some by bus, others by plane.

An itinerary usually includes hotel accommodation in Pokhara and transport from Pokhara to Ghorepani. This is where some of the costs sit. Although you do not need to pay some kind of entrance fee, you still need to pay for permits. Without it is impossible to hike in the Nepal Himalayas. For the Manaslu Circuit you need three kinds of permits:

The permit cost for Manaslu Trek depends on the month and number of days you will spend in this region. To trek in the Manaslu region, you will need three kinds of permits issued by the Government of Nepal.

Manaslu Restricted Permit:
The Manaslu trek permit costs USD 70.00 for first seven days and USD 10.00 each additional day during September to November. Manaslu trek permit costs USD 50.00 for first 7 days and USD 7.00 each extra day from December to August.

Manaslu Conservation Area Permit (MCAP):
The Entry fee for SAARC Nationals is 200 NPR per person and for other Nationals is 2,000 NPR per person.

Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP):
As you will be entering the Annapurna Conservation Area, you will need a permit for this as well.

All permits are arranged by your trekking provider. The Manaslu Circuit Trek is because of its average duration and exclusivity a more expensive trek in Nepal. Prices vary between the 1000 USD and 1400 USD or 900 EUR and 1200 EUR per person.

What Is The Best Itinerary for the Manaslu Circuit?

It can be hard to choose a fitting Manaslu Circuit Trek. If you want to do Manaslu right, you try to take as much time for it as possible. As transfers from Kathmandu to Pokhara are usually included, you want to spend some time in Pokhara as well. The town is just too pretty to simply skip it. Besides, you will be traveling quite a bit to get there, so you might as well stretch your leg a little.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Itinerary Nepal Hiking Team
Our trekking experts agree that the below 14-day itinerary by Nepal Hiking Team will give you the best bang for the buck:

Day 01 - Drive from Kathmandu to Soti khola (710m/2328 ft) Distance: 140 kilometers, Duration: 8 hours

Our guide will pick you up at 8:00 am for approx. 8-hour drive to Arughat. Through paved roads, the drive is rather pleasant for the first four hours to Dhading Bensi, the district headquarters of Dhading at 1050 meters. But we will be on rougher surfaces for the second section to Arughat. From Arughat, we will drive for another hour and a half to Soti Khola. Overnight at Guesthouse, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included.

Day 02 - Soti Khola to Machha Khola (900m/2952ft) Walking Distance: 14.2 Kilometers/8.8 Miles, Duration: 5-6 Hours

Today’s walk constantly follows an undulating trail mainly through woodlands as we continue to head upstream along the Budhi Gandaki. We will then descend to the wide, sandy riverbed and then continue along a winding mountain path overlooking the river. Overnight at Guesthouse, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included.

Day 03 - Machha Khola to Jagat (1340m/4395ft) Walking Distance: 22.2 Kilometers/13.8 Miles, Duration: 5-6 Hours

After crossing the Machha River and Khrolabesi, we will pass through the hot springs at Tatopani. The trail follows a forested area until we cross the Dovan Khola from where we will make our way to the Budhi Gandaki Valley. With white sandy areas along the riverside, the scenery undergoes a drastic transformation as the elevation increases until we reach Jagat. Overnight at Guesthouse, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included.

Day 04 - Jagat to Deng (2095m/6871ft) Walking Distance: 20 Kilometers/12.4 Miles, Duration: 8-9 Hours

The trail continues through Jagat, a well-paved village, and climbs up the valley to Sirdabas, offering great views of the Shringi Himal. We then drop down to the river, cross a long suspension bridge and climb steeply up to Philim. Then the trail passes through impressive waterfalls on either side of the valley today. We will pass Ekle Bhatti from where we will head towards the river and cross it twice over suspension bridges. From Ekle Bhatti we trek along to pass Pewa, traverse along a small campsite and continue through the valley until we reach the village of Deng. Overnight at Guesthouse, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included.

Day 05 - Deng to Namrung (2900m/9512ft) Walking Distance: 19.4 Kilometers/12 Miles, Duration: 5-6 Hours

Today, we will scramble steeply up onto a spectacular trail before descending to cross the river. Once we cross the river we will climb through an impressive valley to pass through some small settlements. This is where we’ll encounter Mani stones carved into wayside rocks – a sign that we are entering Tibetan territory. In the afternoon, we may take a side excursion to the small settlement of Prok – a two hour round trip – to return back to Namrung for the night.

Overnight at Guesthouse, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included.

Day 06 - Namrung to Lho Gaun (3180m/10430ft) Walking Distance: 10.5 Kilometers/6.5 Miles, Duration: 5-6 Hours

Walking through the long Mani stone walls of the village of Lho, with an astounding view of Peak 29 ahead, we will pass a large stone gate. We’ll take a small detour to the Pungen Glacier for up-close views of the stunning Manaslu from this village.

Overnight at Guesthouse, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included.

Day 07 - Lho Gaun to Samagaun (3500m/11480ft) Walking Distance: 8.1 Kilometers/5 Miles, Duration: 6-7 Hours

The trail then follows a lateral moraine of Pungen Glacier towards Samagaun, perhaps the most beautiful village of the entire trip. Overnight at Guesthouse, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included.

Day 08 - Acclimatization Day at Samagaun

It is advised that you always trek high during the day and sleep at a lower altitude for proper acclimatization. This day has been set aside specifically for that and you can either opt for a full day or a half day walk. If you want to do the full day walk, we will trek towards the Manaslu Base Camp (4750m) which is approximately a 7-8 walk to and back. Alternatively, you can do a half day hike to the glacier across the valley or to Birendra Ta. We’ll head back to Samagaon.

Overnight at Guesthouse, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included.

Day 09 - Samagaon to Samdo (3690m/12103ft) Walking Distance: 8.1 Kilometers/5.03 Miles, Duration: 3-4 Hours

We cross pastures and gradually ascends to the valley below. Witness fantastic views of the mountains, especially Manaslu, that lies ahead of us as we reach Samdo, a Tibetan refugee village. This remote village is only a day’s walk from the Tibetan border. In the afternoon we will explore the village and the surrounding hills and come back at Samdo to spend the night.

Overnight at Guesthouse, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included.

Day 10 - Samdo to Dharmasala (4450m/14596ft) Walking Distance: 6.6 Kilometers/4.10 Miles, Duration: 4-5 Hours

After crossing a couple of streams, we’ll reach the Larkya Bazaar. This village began thriving from the trade with Tibet years ago. After a steady climb, we will arrive at our lodge in Dharmasala where we’ll stay the night and prepare for the big pass climb tomorrow.

Overnight at Basic Guesthouse, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included.

Day 11 - Dharamsala to Bhimphedi (3590m/11775ft) Via Larkya La Pass (5220m/17122ft) Walking Distance: 24.5 Kilometers/15.22 Miles, Duration: 8-9 Hours

From Dharamshala, walking for approximately 8-9 hrs, we will trek to Bhimphedi the Cross Larkya La pass that lies at 5220 meters 17121 feet! We will climb Cho Chanda and then slowly head uphill towards the steep snow-covered pass. The panoramic views of the mountains from the top are truly magnificent. Witness spectacular views of the snow-capped Himalayas like the Himlung Himal (7126 meters), Cheo Himal (6820 meters), Gyagi Kung, Kang Koru (6981 meters) and Annapurna II (7937 meters). It is then a steep descent as we pass through moraines to Bhimphedi.

Overnight at Guesthouse, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty
Day 12 - Bhimphedi to Tilje (2300m/7544ft) Walking Distance: 26 Kilometers/16.1 Miles, Duration: 8-9 Hours

With a gentle climb through paddy fields, we will head towards the small Karcher La pass. The trail descends through fig trees and rhododendron forests to reach Tilje.

Overnight at Guesthouse, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included.

Day 13 - Tilje to Chamje (1410m/4625ft) Walking Distance: 19.4 Kilometers/12 Miles, Duration: 6-7 Hours

We begin with a climb over a small ridge and enjoy a stone paved trail as it passes through a beautiful village. Crossing the bridge over the Dudh Khola River, we will climb up through a Chorten-shaped arch, pass a Mani wall to reach the village of Thonje. From Thonje we will enter into the Annapurna Region at Dharapani where we will need to go through a police checkpoint before continuing our trek. Walking further down, we will come across the village of Karta to later cross a bridge over the Marshyangdi Khola. We can admire the Mani walls along the way before reaching the village of Tal, situated at the foot of a large waterfall. Another short descent and we’ll reach our destination for the night at Chamje village.

Overnight at Guesthouse, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included.

Day 14 - Drive from Chamje to Kathmandu by Private Vehicle, Distance 215 Kilometers/133 Miles, Duration 8-9 Hours

This is the last day of our journey in the Manaslu Mountains. From Chamje, we will take a jeep to Besisahar from where we will then drive to Kathmandu in our private vehicle. We will then head to our hotel where you can relax and take a moment to think about all that you’ve just achieved.

What To Pack for the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

Your gear is your best friend while being out in the mountains. It, in fact, doesn’t matter where you are going, your equipment is key. In extreme cases, gear can make the difference between life and death. In every case, the right equipment can make the difference between you having a good time and ending up miserable. You have booked your tickets, your guide in Nepal is waiting and now you rock up with a too-heavy backpack, a jacket which is not thick enough and shoes that are very likely going to give you blisters. What a waste. Pack the right gear and make more of your trek on the Manaslu Circuit. Before we start, note one important thing. We are trekking, not climbing. Hence, you can leave the ropes, the chalk and the carabiners in your closet.

Below we present you a basic comprehensive packing list suitable for any trek in Nepal including your trek on the Manaslu Circuit:

- Duffel Bag
- Rucksack with Rain Cove Daypack
- Hiking Boots
- Sandals or Shoes
- Hiking Socks
- Trekking Poles
- Inner Socks
- Thermal Baselayer
- T-Shirts
- Fleece Pullover or Jacket
- Light Weight Thermal Tops
- Waterproof Jacket
- Sports Bra for Her
- Hiking Shorts
- Hiking Pants
- Waterproof Pants
Manaslu Circuit Trek
Obviously there is more you can pack and bring along. Everyone is different, so everyone has their own needs. If you want the ultimate packing list, you can simply go here.

How Do I Get Fit For The Manaslu Circuit Trek in Nepal?

If you live anywhere else other than the Himalayas, it will be hard to get your legs ready for higher altitudes. After all, it doesn’t get much higher than Nepal. This is why we have to be clear upfront: Unless you have hiked at a higher altitude before, it will be difficult to get a 100% ready for your adventure. If that sounds bad to you, then comfort yourself with the fact that there is absolutely no need to be 100% ready.

You are not climbing K2 or Mount Everest and not running a mountain race. This is trekking. In fact, you are actually supposed to take it easy. Taking it easy is a rule of thumb when you want to prevent altitude sickness while out in Nepal. It doesn’t matter how fit you are, once you are out there on the trails, you have to stick to your own pace. But of course, the fitter you are, the more you can enjoy your days. Get fit!

Should I Hike More?

One solid approach to get the hang of what you do is to rehearse. The best practice for climbing is climbing. Seeing that you are keen on a multi-day trekking experience, we accept that you enjoy walking. Awesome, do it more. If you are fortunate to be encompassed by some hills or even mountains, the time has come to see them all the more frequently. When? In the event that you are new to this, we recommend beginning a half year the start of your trek, essentially going for 60 minutes (or two) climb seven days. When you get the hang of it, after around three weeks, you will have an ideal opportunity to reinforce your power. Convey a pack of 10 to 15kg and include a more drawn out climb of three hours to your week. On the off chance that this way of life is different to you, you will before long receive the rewards of this moderate exercise.
Getting Fit Manaslu Circuit
What Are The Health Benefits of doing the Manaslu Circuit?

Some of thehealth benefits of trekking and hikinginclude a lower risk of heart disease, improved blood pressure and sugar levels and of course it helps to control your weight. Once you are ready for the hills, it only gets better. According to Gregory Miller, president of the American Hiking Society, ”a 5% to 10% incline equals a 30% to 40% increase in calorie burn.” Our personal health benefits are a clearer mind and an elevated mood. Trekking keeps us sane. After a good few months of solid hiking, it is time to put your endurance to the test. Do back to back long hikes. You can simulate a few days of constant trekking by going hiking for a few days. Easy at that. Plan a smaller trekking holiday or keep it simple by hiking your favorite route on repeat. If you are comfortable hiking for 4 hours a day, 3 days in a row while carrying a 10kg to 15kg backpack, you will be fine.

There is more you can do to get ready for your Manaslu Circuit but the above basics will definitely help you on your way. You can focus on strength exercise, you can simulate altitude with altitude masks. There's a lot you can do. Check this blog post if you want to read more about getting fit for your Manaslu Circuit experience..

What About AMS on the Manaslu Circuit?

Symptoms of AMS start to show within a few hours after arrival at high altitude and include nausea, shortness of breath, headache and inability to exercise. An overall feeling of fatigue will take all the joy away that you were experiencing until things got bad. You may struggle to fall asleep, experience dizziness and you could be suffering from a severe headache. You may also lose your sense of coordination, have trouble walking and have a tight chest. If things progress to HAPE or HACE, you might get confused, have a shortness of breath at rest and you will likely be unable to walk at all.

The higher the altitude, the more severe your symptoms can be. If you have watched Everest the movie, you know what we are talking about. But those guys were climbing and you are, fortunately, only trekking. There is a number of scoring systems for determining altitude sickness. Guides are trained in these systems and are experienced in immediate treatment. Although many people will experience some symptoms of altitude sickness, it doesn’t have to escalate. When aware of the symptoms, you can do a lot to make sure you stay healthy at high altitude. Read more about the prevention of AMS here.

Your guide knows how to diagnose and will help prevent AMS. Choose a reliable trekking company for the Manaslu Circuit here.

What Type of Accommodation Can I Expect While Doing the Manaslu Circuit?

When you are planning to go trekking or hiking in the Manaslu Region, you can expect to stay in a decent hotel in Pokhara and you are likely to stay in teahouses along the trek. Regardless of where you stay in Nepal, do not expect a luxury show. Accommodation is relatively basic but is perfect for those who are resting their legs from hiking and trekking. Down below you can read more about staying in teahouses.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Teahouses

I Read There Are Teahouses on the Manaslu Circuit What are they?

Tea houses are small hotels known as Bhatti. Them being small hotels, you can expect a certain level of comfort. Yes, you can, but just know that comfort is a relative concept. They are comfortable to the extent that you have a place to sleep and that you can enjoy home-cooked meals. That’s right, tea houses are run by local families who have opened their houses to trekkers passing by. On Manaslu Circuit you can find a lot of teahouses. These can be a bit smaller and more basic than on the Annapurna Circuit as they are harder to supply.Read more about staying in teahouses here.

Trekking companies book your accommodation for you. Find your perfect trekking company here.

How do you select a reliable trekking operator for the Manaslu Circuit?

The great thing about the internet is that you can find anything anywhere. The same goes for hiking and trekking providers. However, since there is so much on offer, it can be overwhelming to find a trekking operator of your liking. That is why does the selection for you.

We only join hands with the best hiking and trekking providers we can trust. You can rest assured that the trekking operators on are reliable. If you want to browse our best offers for the Manaslu Circuit, take a look here.Read this if you rather browse other treks in the Annapurna Region

Manaslu Circuit Trek Map

Sometimes it's easy to have a clear view of how your itinerary looks like when you have a map. Please check out this map of the 14-day Manaslu Circuit Trek of our partner Nepal Eco Adventure.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Map

If you want to find out all you need to know about trekking in the Himalayas, don't forget to read our long-read article abouttrekking holidays in Nepal!

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