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As it is a trekking in a restricted area, a minimum of two people is required to do it.
The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a stunning and less crowded alternative to the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. This 13-day trek takes you through the breathtaking Manaslu Conservation Area, offering incredible views of the eighth-highest mountain in the world.
Starting at Soti Khola and ending at Besi Sahar, this trek can be extended to 22 days if you choose to include a side trek to the Tsum Valley. With the Annapurna range on one side and Ganesh Himal on the other, the landscape is awe-inspiring.
Unlike the busy Everest Base Camp Trek, the Manaslu circuit sees fewer trekkers, making it a more remote and peaceful experience. The trek is physically demanding but culturally enriching, showcasing the beauty of the region.
As you trek, you’ll pass through lush lowlands with terraced fields of rice and millet, cross the majestic Budi Gandaki River with its turquoise waters and stunning waterfalls, and navigate the impressive suspension bridges unique to the Manaslu trek.
This trail was opened to a limited number of trekkers in 1992, and it still retains a sense of pioneering adventure. The trek takes you to the snow-covered Larkya La Pass near the Tibetan border, offering breathtaking views of Manaslu. The pass, at an altitude of 5,167 meters/16,952 feet, is often covered in snow and requires an early morning start to beat the winds.
After crossing the pass, you’ll be treated to an incredible view of a glacial cirque, with towering peaks like Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal, Nemjung, Gyaji Kang, and Kang Guru, as well as Annapurna II in the distance. This view alone makes the trek truly worthwhile.
Overall, the Manaslu Circuit Trek is a visually stunning and physically challenging journey that allows you to experience the beauty of the Himalayas in a more secluded and rewarding way.
Embarking upon the Manaslu Circuit Trek is an extraordinary undertaking that encompasses a myriad of experiences over the course of 13 days. As you embark on this captivating tea-house trek, you will find yourself encircling the awe-inspiring Manaslu, the world’s eighth-highest peak soaring at an impressive altitude of 8,156 meters. This trek encapsulates the essence of other renowned Nepali treks, immersing you in a fusion of Hindu and Buddhist culture, encounters with captivating wildlife, encounters with vibrant rhododendron and wildflowers,traversing turbulent rivers on precarious bridges, gazing upon towering mountains, and immersing yourself in breathtaking landscapes. Surrounded by the majestic Annapurnas to the west and the Ganesh Himal to the east, Manaslu showcases its grace as one of the formidable giants among the 8,000-meter peaks. Surprisingly, only a small fraction of trekkers choose to explore the wonders of Manaslu, likely due to its remote and physically demanding nature. Nevertheless, this expedition proves to be culturally enriching and emotionally uplifting. The circuit commences from the verdant lowlands adorned with terraced rice and millet fields, gradually guiding you through the mighty Budhi Gandaki gorge, where crystalline turquoise waters flow and magnificent waterfalls cascade. Along the way, you will traverse a series of suspension bridges, which, with their astonishing height and remarkable span, add a thrilling element to the trekking experience. Given the vast expanse of the trek through the remote Nepali Himalayas, the Manaslu Trek offers abundant opportunities to customize the itinerary to suit your preferences. This journey allows for flexibility, enabling tailored side trips to accommodate your specific desires.
The day before our trekking expedition begins, we’ll gather for a memorable welcome dinner. It’s a perfect occasion for us to connect and become acquainted with one another before we set off on our exciting adventure. This dinner also provides a valuable opportunity for us to approach our guide with any final questions or concerns we may have.
Maccha Khola – 930m – 7h
Our tour to Manaslu Circuit begins from Kathmandu. To start, we can take a direct bus at 6 am and 8 am from Gongabu Bus Park, Kathmandu, to Maccha Khola. Alternatively, we can take the bus to Dhading or Malekhu on the Prithvi Highway and then switch to the local bus or jeep thereafter.
Although the road is dusty and bumpy, we will catch the best landscape views from our window seat. En route, we can stop at many rest stops for short breaks and meals. We will spend the night at one of the teahouses in Maccha Khola.
Jagat – 1,340m – 6h
The next day, we start walking along the twisting road on the bank of the Budi Gandaki river. As we enter the forest trail, we’ll come across many monkeys and langurs.
Continuing our trek, we pass through Gurung villages like lower Khorlabeshi, where we’ll notice shepherds wearing the traditional smoke-browned cape called Bokkhu.Further along, we reach Tatopani, known for its hot water springs, where we can enjoy warm showers and relax our tired bodies. Afterward, we cross a new suspension bridge over the Bhudi Gandaki river to reach Doban.
To avoid a challenging 3-hour climb up Gurung village trails, we cross a wooden bridge to the left of the Budhi Gandaki river after a landslip and Yaruphant.Following the river’s course, we reach Yaru, where the river flattens, and we cross a long cantilever bridge to reach Jagat, a beautifully flagstoned Gurung village. Upon entering the village, we’ll need to verify our trekking permits at the check post as we’ll be entering the restricted region from this day onward.
Deng – 1,804m – 6h
The next day, you’ll walk to Salleri and descend to Sirdibas, where you’ll find welcoming villages with gompas and Buddhist prayer flags. Along the way, you can try local alcohol and enjoy the scenic trail with unique sculptures and beautiful landscapes. After crossing the Siyar Khola bridge, you’ll reach a junction that separates the trail to Tsum Valley. Finally, you’ll arrive at Pewa, the day’s final destination, with two teahouses offering basic food and a comfortable night’s sleep. In the evening, you can gather around the fireplace and share your experiences with fellow trekkers and locals.
Namrung – 2,630m – 6h
After sunrise, we will have breakfast and begin our day’s trek. We will walk through the bamboo forest towards Deng before crossing a suspension bridge to reach Rana and Bihi Phedi. Along the trail, White Faced monkeys often visit villages in search of food.
As we continue, we need to be extra careful while passing through landslide zones on our way to Ghap. We must pay close attention to our guide’s instructions to ensure our physical safety. Once we are past the landslide zone, we will follow the trail up to Namrung.After approximately one hour on the uneven trail, we will climb a zigzag path from the river to reach the quaint village of Namrung (2660m). This village offers some of the best teashops, restaurants, and rest houses along the trek. There are both modern and traditional restaurants and hotels available, offering amenities such as Cappuccinos and WiFi. We will spend the night there.
Lho – 2,957m – 4h
We will begin the day by immersing ourselves in the lifestyles of the Nubri people. We’ll witness their typical Tibet-influenced way of life as we pass through Banjam, encountering mani walls, lush terraces, and traditional houses. Our journey will lead us through a beautiful forest of fir, rhododendron, and oak, eventually ascending to Lihi and Sho. As we set off, we’ll notice the locals dressed in traditional Tibetan attire. Along the way, we’ll also appreciate the intricate paintings adorning the Kani (gate arches) we pass before reaching Sho. Crossing rocky hillside paths, we will ultimately arrive at Lho.From this vantage point, we can marvel at the breathtaking views of Manaslu (8163m) and Manaslu North (7157m). As we ascend to higher altitudes, we must proceed at a slow pace and pay attention to any signs our bodies give us. We will have the privilege of spending the night in Lho
Sama Gaun – 3.530m – 4h
The next morning, as we set out on our trek, we will be greeted by the picturesque view of Mt. Manaslu. The trail to Shyala is relatively easy, guiding us through a scenic path adorned with pine and rhododendron trees, accompanied by the soothing presence of moss and a crystal-clear stream. After approximately an hour of walking from Shyala, we will arrive at Sama Gaun.
Upon entering the village, the majestic mountain views may recede, but we will be captivated by the charm of the yak pastures and traditional settlements. Sama Gaun serves as the central hub for the Nubri people, offering a variety of amenities such as a grand gompa (monastery), numerous shops, a health post, a heliport, and access to telephone and WiFi services.
Sama Gaun – 4,400m – 7h
Today, we will dedicate our time at Sama Gaon to acclimatization, ensuring our well-being at high altitudes. As part of this acclimatization hike, we will venture eastward to Pungyen Gompa, nestled within the captivating Nubri Valley. To sustain ourselves during this hike, we will carry a pack lunch.Upon reaching the hilltop, a breathtaking panorama of Manaslu awaits us, enticing us with its majestic presence. In the vicinity, we will witness numerous Himalayan Thars and Yaks peacefully grazing, adding to the allure of the surroundings.Alternatively, we have the option to embark on a hike towards Manaslu Base Camp, situated to the north of Sama Gaon. Following the trail past the enchanting Birendra Tal, we will veer left onto the base camp track. The ascent will be gradual, yet the altitude may pose challenges to our breathing. To counteract this, it is crucial for us to maintain proper hydration and proceed at a deliberate pace. As we progress steadily, we will traverse north of the Manaslu glacier, ultimately reaching the base camp located at 4,400m / 14,435ft, before retracing our steps.Alternatively, for a more leisurely option or if we find the altitude demanding, we can choose to hike to Birendra Tal, a short distance from Sama Gaon. This serves as a refreshing break or respite for those seeking relief from the altitude’s effects.
Let us seize this day of acclimatization, embracing the awe-inspiring landscapes and taking the necessary precautions to ensure our well-being on this remarkable journey.
Samdo – 3,865m – 3h
As we embark on this new day, we will journey towards our next destination, the enchanting village of Samdo. However, being at a high altitude, it is imperative that we proceed with caution and embrace a slower pace, making this a shorter trekking day. Along the way, we will be captivated by the vast yak pastures that stretch across the broad valley, accompanied by the presence of magnificent mani walls and a diverse array of bird species.Continuing our ascent, we will bid farewell to the tree line and ascend to a ridge, crossing the wooden bridge over the Budhi Gandaki river before arriving at the resplendent white Kani. This neighboring village of Samdo is a picturesque haven dedicated to the art of yak herding, offering a captivating glimpse into a traditional way of life.Once we arrive in Samdo, we have the opportunity to explore the nearby villages or embark on a hike to Samdo Peak. The Larkya La trail, which lies to the left above the valley, beckons us with its allure. Additionally, as we traverse the Larkya La trail, we can catch sight of the primary route leading to Tibet over the majestic Larjyang La, etching its slopes into the landscape.Let us embrace the wonders that await us in Samdo, reveling in the captivating scenery, cultural richness, and the spirit of adventure that accompanies us on this extraordinary journey.
Samdo – 5,000m – 8h
On this day of respite, we will arrive at Samdo, where we will embark on a captivating day trip to the Tibetan border. From this vantage point, we will have the privilege of witnessing glimpses of both Tibet and Nepal, an experience brimming with cultural significance. If fortune smiles upon us, we may even behold the majestic Yak caravan traversing the border, a sight to behold .As we venture towards the border, directing our gaze towards the south of Samdo Glacier, we will be rewarded with the opportunity to capture remarkable photographs, particularly showcasing a grand serac near the glacier’s pinnacle. Moreover, the season may present us with the chance to frame captivating subjects such as Blue Sheep, Pica’s, and Marmots, further enhancing our visual journey.Let us embrace this day of rest and exploration, immersing ourselves in the wonders of Samdo and savoring the precious moments that unfold along the Tibetan border.
Dharmasala – 4,460m – 4h
As we commence on another day of adventure in the magnificent high altitudes, it is essential for us to attentively monitor our body’s signals. With each stride, we will relish the breathtaking vistas of the majestic Himalayan range, taking in the awe-inspiring beauty that surrounds us. We will traverse the rugged terrains of the remarkable Manaslu region, proceeding at a deliberate pace, until we finally arrive at our destination, Dharmasala. Let us cherish this exhilarating day, embracing the challenges and marveling at the spectacular landscapes that unfold before us. Our journey through the high altitudes holds boundless wonders, and with each step, we draw closer to the heart of this extraordinary expedition.
Bimthang – 3,590m – 10h
This is a special day as we will walk to the trail’s highest point, Larkya La Pass (5,106m / 16,657 ft). The walk may be challenging in bad weather and snow, but it is achievable. We need to wake up early (4 am), have breakfast, and leave the teahouse promptly to cross the pass before the afternoon. It is the most demanding part of the trek, but with steady walking, we can successfully reach the pass. The stunning views from the pass include Himlung (7,126m / 23,379 ft) near Tibet, Kang Guru (6,981m / 22,903 ft), and Annapurna II (7,937m / 26,040 ft) in the Annapurna Range. After spending some time at the pass, we will descend for approximately 3 hours towards Bimthang for an overnight stay. During the descent, we will be treated to breathtaking views of vast icefalls and mountains in all directions, including Pongkar Tal between the Pongkar and Salpu Danda Glaciers.
Dharapani – 1,970m – 7h
On our final day in the Manaslu region, we will embark on a downhill journey through lush forests teeming with flora and fauna, including vibrant rhododendron bushes. As we make our way back across the Dudh Khola, we will head towards Karche for a refreshing lunch. Within the next hour, we will encounter evidence of a glacial flood, with uprooted tree trunks and eroded riverbanks, making the trail rougher. Eventually, we will reach Gurung Goa, the first village since Samdo. The valley transforms into a picturesque agricultural landscape, adorned with fields and clusters of oak and rhododendron trees, as we continue along the north bank until we reach Tilije. From there, our stroll will lead us onward to Dharapani.
Kathmandu – 1,300m – 10h
We will take a jeep from Dharapani to Beshi Sahar, enjoying the scenic beauty along the way. From Beshi Sahar, we will take another ride back to Kathmandu, which usually takes around 6 to 7 hours by road. Once we arrive in Kathmandu, we’ll have the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate in one of the sophisticated hotels available in the city. These hotels often offer a range of amenities and services to make our stay comfortable and enjoyable. Once we arrive in Kathmandu, before bidding farewell to our team, we will express our gratitude to our porter and guide and appreciation for their unwavering support and assistance throughout our incredible journey.
The best time to trek the Manaslu Circuit is during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). These seasons offer stable weather, clear skies, moderate temperatures, and stunning mountain views.
Travel insurance is compulsory for the trek. All the trekkers must provide a copy of their comprehensive travel insurance policy certificate. The policy must cover medical and emergency repatriation- including helicopter rescue and evacuation expenses at high altitudes (up to 6,000m).
Trekking members are kindly requested to send their detailed insurance information after trek booking. In case of emergencies, we will be using the insurance policy and informational documents you sent us. It will help us arrange a quick and effective rescue operation, transfer for emergency medical help, etc. Please ensure thatyour insurance covers all costs incurred during mountain rescue service.
Before buying travel insurance, make sure to call the insurance company and recheck if they have heli-rescue up to 6,000m.
Our 13-day Manaslu Circuit Trek is designed to prevent altitude sickness. We spend four to five nights at altitudes over 3500m, including the highest point at Larkya pass (5106m). Starting from Machha Khola (930m), we gradually ascend over 5 days to Samagaun, allowing our bodies to acclimatize naturally. To ensure safety, we take a rest day in Sama gaun & samdo and stay hydrated throughout the trek. Crossing the Larkya La Pass successfully is our goal, and we prioritize your health and safety above all else. If severe symptoms occur, we will descend immediately. Our trek leader has the authority to make decisions in the best interest of the team. Your well-being is our top priority.
We recommend you bring a container for one liter of water. In the teahouses we can buy boiled water suitable for drinking with which to fill our bottles. Another option is to refill the water from the fountains that we find along the way or from the tap of the teahouses themselves, for this we have to count on water disinfectant tablets that we can find in pharmacies.
La agencia cuidó cada detalle, desde el inicio hasta el final. Guías experimentados hicieron que fuera informativo y agradable. Vistas impresionantes y contacto con la cultura local. Inolvidable.
Our group from England had a remarkable trekking expedition with Firantes on the Manaslu Circuit. The agency’s level of professionalism and meticulous planning was evident throughout. The guides were not only informative but also created a strong sense of security. The scenic landscapes left us speechless. Highly recommended for those seeking an authentic trekking experience in Nepal.
Un viaje grupal inolvidable con Firantes. La atención y cuidado del equipo fueron geniales. Guías amigables. Conexión con la naturaleza y la cultura local. Una experiencia que compartimos y que siempre recordaremos.
Mi pareja y yo disfrutamos de una caminata excepcional. La agencia demostró profesionalismo y organización. Los guías nos contaban todo sobre su cultura y nos hicieron sentir seguros. Las vistas impresionantes. Recomendado cien por cien.
As a solo traveler from Canada, I embarked on an unforgettable journey with Firantes on the Manaslu Circuit. The agency’s professionalism and attention to detail were outstanding. The guides shared cultural insights and ensured a safe and enriching experience. The panoramic mountain views were awe-inspiring. A must for anyone seeking a true adventure in Nepal.