Manaslu Circuit trek is an incredibly scenic journey around the eighth highest mountain in the World, Mt. Manaslu (8,163 m/ 26,781ft). This is the proverbial ‘road less traveled’ which, when taken, can make all the difference in your life! The Manaslu circuit doesn’t see as many trekkers compared to the Annapurna or the Everest region, but that only makes for a better rogue trekking trail. Jaw-dropping views of Mt. Manaslu and GaneshHimal Range will not leave you for the most part of this journey.
Our trail follows Budhi Gandaki River from Soti Kholi up until the Larkya Pass (5,125m) below which lies the source of the river. From 700 m at its lowest to 5125m at its highest, this 18-day-long journey brings to you an interesting mix of Hindu and Tibetan-style Buddhist villages with varying landscapes as per the altitude: green countryside and dense forests of pine and rhododendron to high altitude landscapes edging huge glaciers.
We pass through various Gurung settlements, Buddhist villages, Chortens and Gompas, suspension bridges, wooden bridges, trains of mules and donkeys, and views of Siringi Himal range before reaching Namrung, an astoundingly beautiful, predominantly Lama village. It is important to take notice that our itinerary doesn’t cover Jagat to Deng in a single day. Instead, we divide it into two days. Making the journey less tiresome but steady is important for allowing you to acclimatize to the increasing altitude.
Many consider Namrung to Sama Gaon to be the most scenic part of this trek, and rightly so! Views of Siring range, Ganesh Himal and Mt, Himal Chuli from Namrung village will stun you in the morning while sipping a steaming hot cup of tea. The walk through lush forests leading to Lihi, a picturesque village with chortens and barley terraces featuring Ganesh Himal on the backdrop is too gorgeous for words. The Lho village on the way offers up-close views of Mt. Manaslu and hosts the famous Ribung Gompa as well.
Sama Gaon is our acclimatization stop; we venture to find the famous Pungyen Gompa on this day. Crossing Larkya Pass at 5125m can be especially tough when there is snow. However, the mighty mountains are soaring above you and the surrounding and breathtaking landscape make up for the effort ten times over!
Larkya La (La means pass in Tibetan) links the Budhi Gandaki with the Marsyangdi valley. Upon descending from the pass, we walk through beautiful alpine meadows leading us to Bhimtang, the trail then joins the Annapurna circuit route heading to Besisahar. We follow the circuit trail to Chamje and take the road back to Kathmandu. Adventure Club Trek offers other options in the Manaslu region-Tsum Valley Trek a combination of Manaslu circuit and Tsum Valley trek. The tragic earthquake in 2015 hit the Manaslu region hard, but the region’s trekking infrastructure has been rebuilt. You will have no trouble finding teahouse accommodations.
The Manaslu Circuit trek is the ultimate, off-the-beaten-path trek that takes you around the world’s 8th highest mountain, Mt. Manaslu (8,163m). Mount Manaslu is a beautiful double peak mountain in the Nepalese Himalaya. This exhilarating trek takes you from 700m at Arughat up to 5,160m at the Larkey La (pass). However, many worry about the difficulty level. Is Manaslu Circuit trek really that difficult?
Manaslu circuit trek is no longer a difficult trek, but compared to Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Circuit, it is still far less crowded. There are new trails in place that cut down on most of the strenuous climbing involved or exposure to risk. A few years ago there were trails that were basically cracks in the rock with narrow planks resting on branches. The trails are now wider, better, and safer.
There are a lot of ups and downs, but nothing unusually extreme to consider it a tougher trek than the rest. There are obvious difficulties of trekking at high altitude but that can be taken care of with proper acclimatization and pre-planning. Many even consider the Larke La (pass) at 5,160m to be easier to cross than Thorong La at 5,416m.
Food: Manaslu circuit trek has recently transitioned from a camping trek to a teahouse trek. So, the menu here is not exactly as advanced as in the Annapurna or Everest region. And that means a lot of local food on the menu! You can find porridge, tsampa, roti, Dal Bhat (rice and lentils), eggs, noodles and chapatis as the staple foods in most places. The tea houses have simple but clean kitchens.
There are a few small shops along the way that provide a limited stock of biscuits, noodles, candies, bottled water, soap, toilet paper, and beer. Most teahouses hire someone experienced to cook during the peak season of October and November. During the other months, it is usually the teahouse owner or somebody from the family cooking your meals. Food prices go up with the altitude as everything needs to be carried manually. Food is more expensive than in Annapurna region but not as expensive as it is in the Everest region.
Accommodation : Manaslu trek has transformed from a camping trek to a complete teahouse trekking experience in recent years. Accommodation is not a problem on Manaslu circuit trek. With older teahouses getting renovated, and a few new ones up and running, you can easily find a place to sleep after a hard day’s trek. Accommodation is as simple as it can be. The rooms are on a twin-sharing basis. If you want to take the room all to yourself, you have to pay the full price. The tea houses provide a blanket and a mattress, but a personal sleeping bag is highly recommended. Bathrooms are usually outside. Hot showers will cost you a bit extra. While very few teahouses will have hot showers, others will provide you with pails of hot and cold water. Electric charging (for phones and electronics) also costs a bit extra. The higher you go the more it costs you to charge your electronics. It helps if you bring your own solar panel or buy one in Kathmandu.
Can I trek only with a guide and porter without full board package?
Note: a full board package includes airport pick-up, sightseeing, accommodation and food along with a guide and a porter. The Manaslu circuit trek has become more established in recent years-easier trail and more teahouses. So, you can trek only with a guide and a porter instead of taking a full board package. Instead of buying a full board package you can hire a guide and a porter and pay for the meals and accommodation as you go. There could be a few downsides to this method though. Because there are only a few lodges available in the Manaslu Circuit, they can be full during peak months like October. However, your guide will help you gather information about availability of accommodation even if you do not buy a full board package.
Upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), you will be welcomed by a representative from Adventure Club Trek. After sorting out your custom formalities (visa and so on), you will be then transferred to your respective hotel in Adventure Club Trek’s private vehicle and give you some time to freshen up. After this, you will attend an orientation about your trek led by the trekking leader over a welcome dinner.. Overnight at hotel.
Today you get to know Nepalese culture a little better. And mingle with your fellow trekkers and guides!.
Highlights of Day 2
• Introduction to fellow trekkers and guide/s in the group.
• Excursion in and around Kathmandu valley-visiting UNESCO World Heritage sites like Boudhanath Stupa, largest Buddhist stupa in Asia, Swayambhunath; also known as the monkey temple, Pashupatinath; one of Hindus’ most sacred temples where you can observe open cremation by the banks of Bagmati River and the Kathmandu Durbar Squares; medieval Nepalese royal palaces and temples built in pagoda and Shikhara style.
• Back to Thamel for trek discussion and preparation with your guide and the group.
Buckle up for early morning drive!
Highlights of Day 3
• Drive to Soti Khola early in the morning, enjoy views of mountains sceneries and Nepalese countryside-paddy fields, hills and typical villages.
• Un-paved but graveled road from Dhanding Bensi to Arughat, while we enjoy smooth ride from till Dhading Bensi, the road onwards is a little bump, but scenic nonetheless.
• Overnight stay in Soti Khola in a guest house.
Today marks the first day of actual walking in this 18-day-long Manaslu Circuit trek.
Highlights of day 4
• Crossing a bridge over the river to trek through beautiful Shorea Robusta (Sal Trees in Nepali) trees which leads to climbing a ridge above Budhi Gandaki River soaring with huge rapids leading to Khursane.
• 2Trekking through dwindling rocky trail past two waterfalls falling on a steep, rocky trail to the side of a cliff, a few rice terraces and up and around to Labubesi, a traditional Gurung village.
• Climbing behind rocky outcrop leaving Budhi Gandaki River meandering among the wide gravel bars of the valley, climbing down to the sandy river bed and over to a side reach and heading down to the river and crossing a suspension bridge before reaching Machha khola village for overnight stay.
Gaining altitude today!
Highlights of day 5
• We take the trail out of Machha Khola ( translated to ‘Fish River’) crossing a log bridge over the river, then climb up and down on steep and narrow path with occasional flat areas. We reach khorlabesi, a Gurung settlement at 970m in an hour.
• Reach Jagat for overnight stay at around 5 or 6 in the evening passing through Gurung villages of Tatopani, Yuru Khola and Dobhan. Jagat is the entry point into Manasly Conservation Area Project (MCAP).
Peeking Himalaya and soaring river!
Highlights of Day 06
• Climb down from Jagat until reaching a large suspension bridge over the river. You will pass beautiful waterfalls and Chamar peak of the Siringi Himal range as you start climbing up the trail.
• Enter the village of Sirdibas, a Buddhist village with a Chorten guarding its entrance. Walking down the trail for about 30-45 minutes to come across Ghatte Khola (Water mill), a functioning mill that the locals use to mill corn.
• Crossing a mountain stream on foot then climb up a steep ridge to come across a suspension bridge that holds the village of Philim on the other side. Overnight stay in Philim, a Gurung settlement.
Steep road ahead, make way for the mule trains!
Highlights of Day 07
• Steep climb out of Philim with beautiful views of the Budhi Gandaki River crawling its way underneath the valley. Lunch stop at Chisopani (translates to cold water) after nearly an hour of climb.
• Climbing through sheer and narrow canyon with high winds to cross another bridge over the Gandaki River leading us to the village of Pewa.
• Climb on a steep trail for almost an hour from Pewa to reach Deng. A beautiful mani wall welcomes you to Deng. Overnight in the village.
You are now entering into the Nubri State extending all the way to Dolpo, today’s trek is fascinating in terms of culture and people you encounter along the way. Without many ups and downs, the trail goes smoothly alongside the bank of Budi Gandaki River. We can trek to a deer grazing cliff, a spot next to Budi Gandaki River, people claim the cliff has a mine of salt that attracts deer.
Highlights of Day 08
• Pass through forests and mani walls and enjoy the views of Siringi Himal from Prok Village.
• Various Gurung and Buddhist settlements across the way, several gompas and walk through dense forest.
• Overnight in Namrung.
For many this is the most beautiful part of the Manaslu Circuit trek.
Highlights of Day 09
• Views of Siring, Ganesh and Mt. Himal Chuli from Namrung Village.
• Steady climb through forests leading to Lihi, a settlement with chortens and barley terraces. Views of Ganesh Himal throughout the day.
• Up close views of Mt. Manaslu from Lho Village, it also has the famous Ribung Gompa.
• Enjoy views of Himal Chuli and Ngadi Chuli (Peak 290) on the left, Mt. Manaslu and large glaciers straight ahead with other summits to the right, and Ganesh Himal peeking out at the far end from Shyala village.
• Overnight in Sama Gaon where we reach after passing through Sho, Lho and Shyala village.
Taking care of your lungs while giving you an extra day to tour Sama Gaon!
Highlights of Day 10
• Sherpa culture-enjoy the sight of mani stones with Buddhist pictures and texts, Sherpa women in ornaments and traditional clothes
• Pungyen Gompa, it is an old monastery that offers great views of the glacier. Pungyen means bracelet, the gompa was given the name after Mt. Manaslu. After Japanese mountaineers’ unsuccessful attempt to climb Manaslu for the first time ever, the Gompa was destroyed which locals believed was because gods were angry about the summit attempt. The locals’ rage led the Japanese group back when they entered the region next year to attempt the climb again. They succeded in 1959.
• Overnight in Sama Gaon.
Short trek, great views!
Highlights of Day 11
• Descend to the Gandaki River turning north then cross a bridge over a side stream with a trail on its left that leads to the Manaslu Base Camp. We are taking the trail to Larkya La.
• Pass through birch and Juniper forests of Kermo kharka while walking on a relatively easy trail on a shelf above the river.
• Descend from the shelf to cross the Gandaki on a wooden bridge that leads to a steep climb onto a cap between two divides of the river. Overnight in Samdo.
Today to Dharmasala which locals refer to as Larkya Phedi or Larkya Base Camp.
Highlights of Day 12
Continue the walk down the ridge and cross a wooden bridge over Gandaki to start the upward climb for today.
Observe Larkya Glacier which comes into view after crossing two streams.
Crossing the Salka Khola valley to the isolated stone guest house, a shelter popular as Dharamshala or Larke phedi. Overnight in Dharamshala.
The toughest day in Manaslu Circuit trek.
Highlights of Day 13
• Annapurna Base Camp Helicopter Trek, is a different way to experiences of the Annapurna Himalayas Nepal with more excitements and adventure as we fly over the stunning mountains.
• Trek starts with a short climb leading to a valley north side of the Larkya Glaciers, enjoy views of Larkya peak and Cheo Danda from the valley.
• Trek across the glacier’s moraines making a slow ascent that gets steeper during the last section of the Larkya La Pass.
• Enjoy views of Himlung Himal, Kanguru, Cheo himal and Annapurna II from the pass.
• Walk from Larya La Pass to Bimthang as the evening mist sets into the low pasture lands dramatically with Mt. Manaslu beaming close by. Overnight in Bimthang.
Breathe easy, you are on the lower belt of Marshyangdi.
Highlights of Day 14
• Enjoy views of Mt. Manaslu, Himlung Himal and Cheo Himal from a ridge at Bimthang before descending down and crossing Sangure Kharka, a high pasture that leads to a bridge over Dudh Khola which we have to cross.
• Walk through dense rhododendron forest trail leading to a narrow valley which opens wide at Karche.
• Reaching the village of Gho after a steep climb over a ridge which descends to the river bank in a big, sweeping arc. Walk further to Tilije for overnight stay.
Making our way into Annapurna Conservation Area leaving the Manaslu Conservation Area behind.
Highlights of Day 15
• Start with a climb over a small ridge joining the stone paved trail which passes through a beautiful settlement, cross the bridge over Dudh Khola, make an ascent via a chorten like shaped arch and pass a mani wall before reaching the village of Thonje.
• Go through police checkpoint at Thonje and continue to Dharapani on the Annapurna circuit, you will encounter many trekkers headed to Thorong La Pass here. Descend further down to the village of Karte.
• Crossing a bridge over Marshyangdi River and crossing some mani walls we reach the village of Tal, located at the river bank on the foothills of a large waterfall accompanied by smaller waterfalls on the side. Overnight in Tal
Welcome to the countryside once again!
Highlights of Day 16
1. Follow the trail to Chamje village alongside the Marshyangdi River, crossing it over bridges several times.
2. Walk through the Marshyangdi Valley trail showcasing terrace fields and villages on high hillsides descending to the village of Syange through pine and rhododendron forests. Overnight in Syange.
A drive to remember on the Nepalese mountain roads!
Highlights of Day 17
• Hillside and mountain landscape views alongside the banks of Marshyangdi and Trishuli rivers. Enjoy villages on both sides of the road with terraced farming and beautiful low-roofed houses.
• Go souvenir shopping or relax once you reach Kathmandu. Adventure Club Trek representative will drop you to your hotel or our guide will take you souvenir shopping upon request.
• Farewell dinner from the company. Overnight in a hotel in Kathmandu.
Your 18-day-long journey with Adventure Club Trek comes to an end today. You can exchange photos and contact details with the group and your guide. Our representative will drop you to airport for your next flight, or if you wish to continue to a next adventure in Nepal, Tibet or Bhutan, we will be happy to assist.
Note: Your safety is of the utmost concern whilst you are traveling with Adventure Club Trek. We will make every effort possible to follow the original itinerary but we reserve the right to change that itinerary if a segment of it becomes a safety issue. Certain mountain regions are remote, natural disasters can happen, weather conditions can decline and there can be illness or an injury. To avoid dangerous situations we may occasionally have to make changes to the itinerary to ensure everyone’s safety. That having been said, Adventure Club Trek will strive to provide you with the best possible trekking experience and to keep your safety our number one priority. We thank you for your understanding.
Prior to all the treks and expeditions, Adventure Club Trek hosts a pre-trip meeting in Kathmandu. The primary purpose of the meeting is to provide an opportunity for individuals to ask questions about the forthcoming trek and to introduce other team members. The meeting covers topics as diverse as personal equipment and acclimatization and usually involves a hike and some skills training. Pre-trip meeting is very important in order to have a better preparation of the trekking.
A typical day on a trek organized by Adventure Club Trek will be exciting, informative, picturesque and lots of fun, of course! Our guides do not believe in hurrying the trekkers during the trip, they take a more leisurely approach which means you can take your time to enjoy the landscapes, take your photos and explore as much of the culture as you’d like. There are, of course, exceptions; times when guides have to hurry a team for safety reasons.
Trekking in the Himalaya is an experience like no other. Experienced, strong, qualified and friendly guides along with porters who carry your luggage make every day of this journey more pleasant for you. You have to carry your small regular daypack on trekking days. We start each day with a wake-up morning cup of tea. Then, we pack our bags and sit for a locally made wholesome breakfast before setting off for the trek.
We typically start the day’s hike around 7:00 am-8:00 am, depending on the nature of the day’s trek and duration. We sit for lunch after walking for 3-4 hours. We usually take the lunch break around midday and resume after an hour’s rest. The afternoon trek is usually 2-3 hours long meaning we reach our overnight stay before evening, so, we munch on extra dietary snacks until the dinner is ready. Once we have our dinner (around 6 pm) we are free to explore the splendor of adjacent locales.
Before going to bed, the group discusses their experience. Later, the guide will brief the group on the next day’s trip. If it is too early to go to bed for you, we can engage in some games and fun conversations. Most trekkers prefer playing cards, reading books or learning some Nepalese. We wake up and start the cycle again, refreshed for a new exploration.
The quoted costs are per person but don't include International flights if you are a single person and want to be in a group you can join our fixed departure schedule if the schedule dates are not suitable for you, please contact us, and we will be happy to customize our trips to suit your needs. If any individuals/group don't want to join our other group, we can comply with your wishes and requirements. We are ground operators Himalayan destinations and can arrange your trip to suit your dates and choices.