Manaslu circuit trek is a trekking trail less frequent by the boots of humanity, making it more in touch with the pristine burlesque beauty of natural forms that most untouched lands have to offer. This hike happens in the remote district of Gorkha in the backdrop of the Manaslu Peak, the eighth highest peak in the world in its splendid beauty. In addition to this, the people who have sparsely populated the valley only adds to the mystification of culture and traditional integrity in natural harmony.
Manaslu Himal, the Annapurna Range and the Gangapurna Peak are a few peaks that frequently smile on your hiking adventure from time to time only to make the days much brighter. You also get the feel, how it was like, to have battled the highest passes, getting to other side of rural civilization till the present times, like the Lakya La Pass 5106mt (16,752ft). The valley takes you through exacerbating beauty and untamed terrain to make memories of this hiking adventure echo long after.
The valley has been untouched by the calamities of human consumerism and seems to lie, as if, exactly, how it were hundreds of years before. You might make yourself believed, you have trespassed into the distant past – as not only the land has the feel, but also the cultures, traditions and people who have made it home. Welcoming and proud to keep the past alive.
You become a part of history, in the Manaslu Circuit Trek, as you traverse in the footsteps of the Budi Gandaki River as this was historically a salt trade route. The natives were willing to take the arduous hike as the saltless know the true value of salt. Just like you, it was made the more worthwhile as the tantalizing beauty of the wild natural flora and mirage appearing pastures of unique beauty suddenly come into existence.
There is much that one can take away from the daily hikes in it. Besides getting different views of the Himalayan mounts from various angles daily, one get to traverse over the Lakya La Pass at the height of 5106 metres above sea level. Then there are the various villages of different ethnicities which gives you a taste of the cultures, clothing and walk of life. The terrains varies from deep forest to the rugged and tough on the way, which in such short span of times shows how the Himalayan ranges makes it topography, both for the eyes, body and the mind. The adventure part of it, is crossing deep gorges over suspension bridges and walking along trails along river beds. All visiting the conservation habitat where you see a diversity of flora and fauna of the area.
A part of the Manaslu Circuit hike takes you into the Manaslu Conservation Habitat in the unbleached sumptuousness. The culture and diverse ethnicity adds to the glamour with the environmentally integrated hamlets on the way, such as, Soti Khola, Dovan, Dharamshala and Namrung. It only gives you a picture of how man and nature should co-exist. The inspiration for such fortitude comes from being flanked by Manaslu Himal all along the trek.
Manaslu Circuit Trek can only be compared to an untouched jewel still in its earthly state which makes this trek all the more appealing for those whom are looking to become a part of adding it to their conquered ones. Become a part of Breakfree Adventures to make this hike happen for you.
How easy is this trek?
The level of walking in the Manaslu trek varies with some days like a stroll in the part but for a longer duration and other a bit shorted but some high gradient walking. Overall, you first get used to getting out of the stiff legs you might be in and the other days, whatever might be thrown at you becomes a piece of cake. In all besides showing you the sight and sound of the trek, the guide makes the trek seem easy and he knows not only his capacity, but yours as well. So much so when you have completed the trek, you will come out both, mentally and physically a better person from this trek.
Outline Trekking Itinerary for Manaslu Circuit Trek
Day 01 : Arrival at Kathmandu
Day 02 : Kathmandu Sightseeing and trek preparation
Day 03 : Drive to Soti Khola (710m) via Arughat (695m) 8-9 hrs drive
Day 04 : Soti Khola to Macha Khola (900m) 5-6 hrs
Day 05 : Macha Khola to Jagat (1410m) 6 hrs
Day 06 : Jagat to Philim (1590m) 3 hrs
Day 07 : Philim to Bihi Phedi (2363m) 6-7 hrs
Day 08 : Bihi to Namrung (2540m) 6 hrs
Day 09 : Namrung to Lho (3180m) 4 hrs
Day 10 : Lho to Samagaon (3530m) 5-6 hrs
Day 11 : Rest Day at Samagoan (3530m
Day 12 : Samagaon to Samdo (3860m) 4-5 hrs
Day 13 : Samdo to Dharmashala (4460m) 5-6 hrs
Day 14 : Dharmashala to Bimthang (3890m) via Larkya La Pass (5213m)
Day 15 : Bimthang to Dharapani (1860m) 6-7 hrs
Day 16 : Dharapani to Besisahar (1100m) 7 hrs
Day 17 : Drive from Besisahar to Kathmandu (1330m) 7-8 hrs
Day 18 : Transfer to airport for your onward destination
- Enjoy sightseeing of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu City
- Hike through gushing rivers, green countryside, alpine meadows, valleys, glaciers
- Witness majestic mountains view of Mt. Manaslu (8163m)-the 8th tallest peak in the world
- Cross Larkya La Pass located at an altitude of 5,213 meters)
- Explore variety of floras & faunas at the remote Manaslu conservation area
- Discover authentic Hindu & Tibetan-style villages where inhabitants follow different traditional ways of livings
- Get along with ethnic people and their culture
On touching down at the International Airport, you will be greeted by a company representative. He will take you to your hotel already reserved for your stay in Kathmandu. If you still have the vitality in you, you are free to take you first look on the vibes of the city.
Morning is when you start the day with a visit to Kathmandu Durbar (Palace) Square. Here you get to observe the centre of historical tradition of the Kathmandu Valley after which you will be driven to the sacred temple revered by the Hindu Fate the world over. It houses the deity, Lord Pashupati (Shiva). It is also a UN world heritage site. On lunch being completed, you will be taken to Swoyambhunath, also known as the Monkey temple. This is temple is frequented by the Buddhist faithful and other faiths alike. Concluding the sightseeing part of the day, you attend a seminar at the hotel in regards to you trek. Lodging for the Night at a hotel.
Early in the morning after breakfast, you will be driven to Arughat that takes about 8 hours and then onto Soti Khola for another hour and a half. The road from Kathmandu to Dhading Besi is smooth and the remaining to Arughat rough. You will be housed for the night at a lodge.
The trek for the day starts on completion of breakfast on a trail that go up and then down. Passing through a forest, you begin you assent up path along the Budi Gandiki River. Finally you begin to descend till you reach a sandy bed and follow a trail till Macha Khola. You will be housed at a lodge for the night.
On this day, you trek takes you across Machha Khola and Korla Besi and then onto tattopani where you can bathe in the hot sprouting springs. You reach Dovan Khola after having passed through a forest and then onto Budi Gandiki Valley. The landscape begins to take a twists on the increase in elevation and sights of sandy beaches along the river. You are housed for the night at a lodge.
The hike is short, just about three hours for the day. The start of the trek is along a level path, then, after crossing a suspension bridge over Budi Gandiki and reaching the day’s destination of Philim. The village is big and its people are mainly from the Gurung community. You are housed for the night at a lodge.
The day’s hike takes on frequent climbs and drop along the way. You are welcomed by a spectacular waterfall and dared the crossing of numerous suspension bridges till you encounter the welcoming hamlet of Ekle Bhatti and you finally arrive at your day’s destination. You are housed for the night at a lodge.
On completion of breakfast, the hike goes through a forest giving you your first visible scenic views of Mount Manaslu and other ranges. Later, you reach Namrung and are housed for the night at a lodge.
The hike to Lho is easy. The hike is up through a forest till Lihi and then down to Lho. On the way you get to view Ganesh Himal. Lho is the biggest village in the upper valley. You are housed for the night at a lodge.
It is a pleasant walk through shady forest to Samagaon. The hike first takes you down to Shyala village giving you beautiful views of mountains on the route. You get to see Himalchuli and 29 other peaks. Manaslu come first and others after. You frequently spot glaciers on the way. On further walking you reach the village of Samagaon. It is a village mainly of Tibetan descends where religion is the centre of life. You are housed at village at a lodge.
You rest at the village and exploration of rural life and a visit to the local monastery. Nightly stay at the lodge.
Reaching Samdo takes you through deserted and windy routes. You descend to Budi Gandiki and take the Northern way to Lakya La Pass. The route takes you along Mani Walls (Stone piled walls with prayer scripts and religious mystic symbols), and beings to widen slowly and then you move through Juniper and Birch forests of Mermo Kharda. Then crossing Budi Gandiki over a bridge and a steep ascend you will eventually arrive at Samdo. Fabulous views can be seen of Manaslu from Samdo. You are housed for the night at a lodge.
The hike for the day is exciting but strenuous at the same time. This is alleviated by the views of mountain ranges such as Himlung (7126m), Cheo Himal (6820m), Gyaji Kung (7030m), Kang guru (6981m) and the Annapurna II (7937m). This is the most difficult day of the trek. The path turns icy in the winter and closed, usually. Later on arrival at Dharmashal, you are housed for the night at a lodge.
The days hike involves a precarious trail. An hour into it makes you cross Larkya La Pass (5213). Careful treading is a must. After slow and arduous descend you reach Bimthang. You are housed for the night at a lodge.
On completion of breakfast you head onto Dharapani. You first hike down to Burdin Khola and pass through a forest and then terraced farm fields of Karche La. It is the highest cultivating location in the valley. On continuous descend you reach Dudh Khola and Tilje Village. The passing through several villages, including Thonje, a checkpoint for good reasons. You ascend for an hour, cross a bridge over Dudh Khola and reach the village of Dharapani. You are housed for the night at a lodge.
On completion of breakfast, we hike to Besisahar with takes a relative time of seven hours. You are housed for the night at a lodge.
You will be driven to Kathmandu from Besisahar ending your hiking adventure along pin hair bends and twisted roads to the eventual relief of the Capital. With the time left, it could be wisely spent with street shopping for souvenirs. You will be lodged for the night at a hotel.
As per time of your flight, a representative from Breakfree Adventures will see you off at the International Airport, three hours ahead of time to complete departure formalities safely with a warm adieus.
We at Breakfree Adventure do our best from start to finish to see that this trek is not only memorable but also rewarding and that you have been spiritually uplifted by the last few bastions of a true natural environment.
What is Included
- Airport pick up/drop by a private vehicle.
- Three night’s accommodation in Kathmandu including breakfast as per the itinerary.
- Guided Kathmandu city tour at 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites with private vehicle and guide.
- Kathmandu – Arughat & Besisahar - Kathmandu transfers by a private vehicle.
- Arughat - Soti Khola & Dharapani – Besisahar by a local jeep.
- All accommodations during the trek at lodges/Teahouse.
- All meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) during the trek.
- Experienced Government licensed English speaking trekking guide and necessary porters (1 Porter for 2 trekkers) on the trek.
- Trekking staff costs like their transportation, food, accommodation, wages, and insurance.
- Manaslu special permit fee.
- Annapurna & Manaslu conservation area entrance permit fee.
- Trekker's Information Management System (TIMS) card fees. (Please bring 3 passport size photos for TIMS & Permit)
- First Aid medical kit (carried by your trek guide).
- Trek gears like duffle bag, down jacket, sleeping bag and walking pole. (To be returned after the trek)
- Our souvenir to you - Breakfree Adventures T-shirt, trekking map and trip achievement certificate.
- Farewell dinner in Authentic Nepali Restaurant after the trek completion.
- All government and local taxes, VAT.
What is Not Included
- Lunch or Dinner in Kathmandu.
- Monuments entrance fees while sightseeing in Kathmandu.
- Nepal visa fee (bring accurate USD cash, US$30 per person for 15 days, and two passport photos)
- Extra accommodations in Kathmandu if required.
- International airfare and travel insurance.
- Any kinds of drinks or personal expenses (tea/coffee, hot chocolate, boiled water, bottled water, soft drinks, beer, phone calls, laundry, battery recharge, hot shower etc.)
- Tips for guide and porters.
Manaslu circuit trek difficulty is moderately strenuous hike. Having some trekking experience can serve as an advantage to go for the Manaslu Circuit trek. Since Manaslu is a rugged and remote area, it has difficult trails with sloppy, steep and rocky trails with steep ascents and descents. The trek can be difficult if you aren’t physically fit. But with plenty of acclimatization days, you can achieve this trek.
The trek can be done round the year but Manaslu circuit trek best time is autumn (Sep – Dec) and spring (Mar – May). During these seasons, skies will be clear and you can enjoy clear mountain panorama. During monsoon, you can trek Manaslu also since this region receives very little rainfall which is from June to mid-September.
Manaslu circuit trek during is around 10 to 14 days on average.
Manaslu trek permit is required and since Manaslu is the remote and restricted area protected under Manaslu Conservation Area Project, hence it will require a special permit to enter Manaslu. The permit fee depends upon high and low seasons. When you acquire a special permit then TIMS card isn’t required. But other permits like Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) permit and Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit are also require
Manaslu trek permit cost depends upon high and low trek seasons. The permit fee during high season (Sep-Nov) is US$70 per person per week and extra days will cost US$10 per person per day. The off-season (Dec – Aug) fee is US$50 per person per week and extra days will cost US$7 per person per day. Plus there’s the fee for Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) permit – US$30 and Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit – US$30
Physical preparation is required for Manaslu circuit trek. This trek requires walking for 6-8 hours per day in rough terrains with uphill and downhill. Some cardiovascular exercise like swimming or cycling is good to develop strength and stamina. Go for some short hikes or you can climb stairs as well. With proper training, there will be fewer chances of altitude sickness as well.
Physical and mental fitness is the most important factors for physical fitness is required for Manaslu trekking. So, you are recommended to do daily exercise and follow the above-mentioned activities about two months before your trek.
The starting point of Manaslu trek is Soti Khola and the trek ends at Besishar. Both of these locations are connected with Kathmandu via road where you can either take the local bus or private jeep from Kathmandu City. Kathmandu to Soti Khola is about 8-9 hours drive and back from Besisahar is 6-7 hours drive.
Trekking Manaslu circuit alone isn’t possible since it’s a far and remote area where a service of an experienced guide is a must. Besides as per Nepal government rule, you need to hire a government-licensed trek guide and there should be at least two trekkers to get the permit. Your guide shall help you in any emergencies and in route navigation. You can hire a porter and enjoy the long walks which will ease a heavy burden of carrying your own bag.
The average walking hour during Manaslu circuit trek is 6-8 hours but this isn’t every day and there are less walking hours too during short trek days.
Manaslu circuit trek cost depends upon your group-size and also if you are doing this privately or joining a group. Your travel agent will work out all the costs for you including arranging the special permit including the national park entry permits as well.
Accommodations on Manaslu trek is very basic but with good and comfortable lodges. Toilets are usually shared. Lodges will provide you blankets but it’s important to carry your own extra sleeping bag for extra warm especially crossing Larkya la pass at high altitude. Camping option is also available for this trek depending upon your wish.
All kinds of food including continental and Nepali cuisines are available during Manaslu trek food. Vegetables served are organic and usually locally produced. For non-veg, please check with your guide if the meat is fresh as it may have been stored for a long time. Basic food will be dal, bhat, noodles etc. Also at some points, you can’t find lodges en-route (only during morning and evening for night stays) so taking along dry fruits, granola bars for a quick energy boost is suggested.
Wifi on Manaslu trek isn’t much available and some lodges in Samagaun and Samdo have wi-fi and costs extra. Mobile phone service network is available only at 40% of the Manaslu area. If you are buying 4G sim card in Nepal then Ncell, the local company, is sugge
Drinking Water in Manaslu is available which will roughly cost Rs. 200 (US$2 approx.) per bottle at lower elevation and Rs. 400 (US$4 approx.) per bottle at higher elevations. Purification tablets can also be used which can be bought in Kathmandu before trek. Water resource is available en-route and usually water at the mountain isn’t polluted as in the cities.
Travel insurance for Manaslu circuit trek is definitely required. It should cover helicopter rescue costs and medical expenses. In case of altitude sickness or other medical conditions, helicopter rescue may require. You are recommended to get travel insurance that covers even at higher altitudes i.e. up to 6000m. The insurance policy usually doesn’t cover over 3,000 meters of altitude. So, make sure these things while purchasing travel insurance.
Manaslu circuit packing list depends upon your month of travel. It should include down jacket, thermal longs and top, comfortable trekking trousers, t-shirts, fleece, windproof jacket, hat, scarf, and gloves. During summer, light clothing is suggested and rain gears during monsoon even though Manaslu region receives less rainfall. At most cases, your company already provides down jacket and sleeping bag. Besides, clothing can be purchased in Kathmandu at Thamel area as well where numerous trekking shops exist with both local and foreign brands.
You can charge all your things during the trek except at Gum. pa Lungdang and Dharmasala. The charging cost is extra more or less a couple of dollars as per the locations.
Altitude sickness on Manaslu circuit trek can occur as this trek goes to higher altitudes, the highest point being Larkya La Pass (5213m). To avoid altitude sickness, drinking plenty of water and walking slowly is recommended besides the itinerary is especially planned with enough acclimatization days. With good preparation before trek and mental preparedness, altitude sickness can be avoided.
Your hotel where you stay in Kathmandu will store your luggage that you don’t want to take to trek without any charge. Later on, you can pick up your luggage after the trek.
We will provide you with comprehensive information on the every trek and tour we arrange. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require more information or have any questions, we are more than happy to assist you in anyway.
When to go:
Spring (February, March, April, May) and Autumn (October, November) are the best seasons for the Manaslu Circuit Trekking. Trekking in summer/monsoon (June, July) will be affected by rain but summer trek could be a boon for a keen botanist. The trekking routes are crowded during spring and autumn but during monsoon and winter the routes are not packed and you could enjoy rather best of nature.
Travel insurance is highly recommended and is in fact compulsory should you be going trekking, rafting, paragliding etc. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, helicopter rescue, loss of luggage, etc. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please check with your insurance company that adventure activities and trekking above 3000m are covered in your policy, as some companies do not cover such things. You must carry proof of insurance (e.g. your insurance certificate) with you on the holiday; if you cannot provide this at the start of the holiday, you will be required to take out a suitable policy at that time.
Meals and Accommodation:
In Kathmandu, we normally use 3 stars hotel with breakfast but can upgrade upon request. During the Manaslu Circuit Trekking, we provide the best available lodge which is called Tea house(lodge). Tea Houses are more like hotels, with hot showers, western food, and private rooms (twin sharing). Some guesthouses are basic with shared washing and toilet facilities. If you are travelling in a group, you will share a room with someone else of the same gender from your group. If you prefer a single room, you may indicate your preference on request and pay a supplement. Keep in mind that there are several places which do not allow single accommodations during peak season, but we will try our best to accommodate your preferences if possible. In this arrangement overnight halts with dinner and breakfast will be in Tea-houses (Lodges) and lunches in local restaurants en-route. Furthermore as you will be staying in locally owned lodges you will be benefiting and interacting with the local community. It will give you a true feel for the Nepalese people and their lives.
We provide quality food in sufficient quantities (breakfast, lunch and dinner) from guesthouses chosen from a menu. While Manaslu Circuit Trekking, your guide will help with menu selection and ensure that you get the best value meals possible. Although the food is usually plentiful and delicious, you should be aware that the menu is not normally extensive due to the extreme locations. Most teahouses offer a variety of rice and noodle dishes, as well as soup and seasonal vegetables. A variety of cereals, bread and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. There will also be plenty of snacks available such as biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks and in some areas you will find fresh fruit in season. You can buy bottled mineral water from local lodges and shops en route or you can also ask your guide to fill your water bottle with boiled water and treat with water purification pills.
Fitness and Experience Required:
Our 18 days Manaslu CircuitTrekking is moderate to strenuous trek suitable for passionate walkers who have ability to walk at least 5-7 hours a day with a light day pack. Walking in higher altitude is physically demanding than walking in the lower altitudes; however, if you are in excellent health with average physical fitness and have positive attitude, self confidence and strong determination, you can accomplish the 18 days Manaslu Circuit Trekking successfully. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior of the trip are good idea to enhance your strength and stability. Past hiking experience would be an asset but no technical skill is required for this trip. Participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood disease should inform us before booking the trek.
The Trekking Group:
For Manaslu Circuit Trekking, there will be one Guide, assistant Guide (6 trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and porter for luggage carrying (2 trekkers: 1 porter). This arrangement ensures that should anybody in the group is sick; the trip can still go ahead as planned. We can run the Manaslu Circuit Trekking for group of any size, but generally have a maximum of sixteen people, as weve found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if youd like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this too.
Trekking Guides and Staff:
The most significant thing that makes your Manaslu Circuit Trekking successful, enjoyable and memorable is the expert, experienced, courteous and helpful trek and Guide and the crew members who have ability of operating your days in the mountain smoothly. Your trip will be led by the best and most professional Guide. All of our Trekking Guides are carefully selected on the basis of their appropriate experience, Guiding skills and personal aptitude. With an objective of sustaining local communities Breakfree Adventures employs staffs who have plenty of knowledgeable about culture, flora and fauna, geography, and history of Nepal. Trekking Guide of Breakfree Adventures are also trained with following trainings to make them educated on potential medical issues during their trek, biodiversity and environmental issues, English language, etc:
Intensive Wilderness First Aid – KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental Educational Project)
Trekking Guide Training – Nepal Governments Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation department of Hotel Management and Tourism Training Centre of Nepal
Eco Trekking Workshop and Adventure Meet TAAN (Trekking Agents Association of Nepal)
English Language – KEEP (Kathmandu environment education project)
Conservation and Biodiversity TAAN
Rock, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering (Climbing leaders) Nepal Mountaineering Association
Our Trekking Guides obviously speak English sufficient enough to communicate but please consider this is not our mother language. The guides and porters know the routes and locality like the back of their hand, they practice the local culture themselves and they are extremely passionate about their country and its cultural aspects.
Climate and Weather:
The climate of Nepal is as varied as its geography. The low-lying Terai has a sub-tropical monsoonal climate. The Himalayan foothills, where most of our treks take place, are best in the cool dry season from September to May. The traditional trekking season in Nepal is late September to December, with October and November generally recognized as having the best weather. Spring is also a popular time of year with warmer weather and the advantage of seeing spring flowers and rhododendrons in bloom. The visibility is good and days are pleasantly warm, although nights can be cold, and snow is possible above 3,000 meters.
Himalayan weather can be unpredictable where nights are generally cooler and days warmer. It’s a bit colder during the winter season (Jan to Feb) but days can be quite warm and lovely if the sun is shining. You can expect a bit of snow in the months of January/February and December. Expect the unexpected! The temperature could be as high as 20 deg C to -15 deg C low.
Safety and Security:
Security and safety are a high priority of our company however there are risks associated with adventure travel, that you should consider before booking. Our trip operators constantly monitor their areas of operation and will cancel or re-route a trip if they feel a destination is unsafe. The decision to travel to a particular country or region is a personnel one.
Breakfree Adventures is a leading trekking and travel agency with dedicated travel Professionals who are well trained to give you the best of what Nepal has to offer. Our professional team follows a social philosophy that accepts responsibility for the local people and the environment in which we work. We respect the natural environment and the culture of our country, and we help travellers from around the world discover the natural beauty and cultural treasures of Nepal. We know that responsible travel tries to minimize the impact of tourism on the environment and maximize employment and income-generating opportunities for local communities. The whole of Nepal, including those living in remote rural areas that have very few other opportunities for development, benefits from sustainable tourism.
Breakfree Adventures is passionate about preserving the environment. As responsible tour guides in Nepal, we strive to maintain a symbiotic relationship with the local communities through which we travel. While trekking to different destinations, we choose environmentally- friendly lodges that respect the needs of their staff members. We take care of our staff as well as our valued clients. During our treks and other trips, we follow a zero garbage policy (“pack in, pack out”) and leave nothing behind in the campsites. We always welcome your feedback and comments regarding responsible travel, so please send an e-mail to let us know what you think.