Manaslu Circuit Trekking Itinerary and Cost

  • Ganesh Adhikari
  • Last Updated on Jan 9, 2024

Manaslu Circuit Trekking is one of Nepal's most moderate-challenging treks and a life-long dream of most trekkers. One of Nepal's least visited places, the Manaslu Region, gives you access to remote locations and hidden valleys.

Trekkers may take in the breathtaking Himalayan landscape, high-altitude glaciers, varied culture, and Himalayan wildlife. Alongside the picturesque Budi Gandaki River, Manaslu Trek provides walking routes that straddle the old salt trading hiking route.

The trek offers an astonishing elevation range of 930 m/ 3051.18 ft to 5,106 m/ 16,752 ft. The trek takes you from the lush tropical rainforest to high alpine meadows.

You visit the crystal-clear Birendra Lake and stroll across the breathtaking Larkya-La pass, referred to as Nepal's most spectacular pass.

You will also get the closest views of Mount Manaslu, the seventh tallest mountain in the world (8,163 m/26,781 ft.) Manaslu comes from the Sanskrit term "Manasa” which means "mountain of the spirit".

Likewise, this trek gives hikers a chance to have a trekking trip off the usual path that is dazzlingly ornamented by other high peaks, such as Annapurna I (8091 m/ 26,545 ft.) and Shringi (7161 m/ 23,494ft).

Buddhism is practiced throughout the region.

The trek also offers a chance to witness wildlife such as Himalayan Thar and blue sheep. The elusive snow leopard also calls this region home.

Tsum Valley Trek and the Manaslu route were only made accessible by the Nepali government in 2008 and 1991, respectively. Hence, undertaking a trek in Manaslu Region is an exploration of a hidden gem that has remained relatively undisturbed.

Table of Contents

Manaslu Circuit Trekking Highlights

Trip Duration: 12-16 days

Natural Scenery: Eighth-Highest Mountain

Accommodation: Tea houses/ lodge

People: Ethnicity and religion

Geography: Rich in Bio-diversity

Difficulty Level: Moderate to Challenging

Highest Point: Larkya-La Pass 5106m/16,747 ft

Trek route: Off the beaten path, less crowded

Manaslu Region Culture and People

There are several different ethnic groups living in the Manaslu region. This is where the Shah dynasty began, unified Nepal into its present state.

However, the Gurung people currently make up the majority of the population. Likewise, Tsumbas, residents of the Tsum Valley, also reside.

The Gurung gained international recognition as Gorkhas, tenacious and brave soldiers in the British and Indian armies, starting in the 19th century. It is believed that before entering Nepal from Mustang, their ancestors trekked west through Tibet.

Before the advent of Buddhism in Tibet, they came to Nepal and eventually converted to Tibetan Buddhism. As a result, their religion is a blend of Buddhist doctrine and animistic rituals.

Besides, Tsumbas have also descended from Tibetan immigrants who came to this area in the 16th century and lived there. As a result, they speak and behave like Tibetans in the northern part of Nepal, according to their clothing and customs.

They practice Buddhism, and it is so pervasive that the people have taken an oath of nonviolence prohibiting them from hunting, conducting animal sacrifices, or igniting forest fires.

Manaslu Circuit Trekking Highlights

  • Before 1991, only locals were permitted to travel to the Manaslu region. The Tsum Valley in this area has only been accessible to travelers since 2008 because it encompasses the open border. The government forbids solo trekking over this path due to difficulty, and each party must have a certified guide or porter.
  • The Manaslu region's Tsum Valley is stunning. Visitors weren’t allowed in until 2008. The valley is included in the Kyimu Lung, a pilgrimage route that also passes across a portion of southern Tibet.
  • The most important historical location in Nepal is Gorkha. This is so because Prithvi Narayan Shah founded the modern nation of Nepal in this former kingdom.  Despite being a victim of the horrific earthquake that rocked Nepal in 2015, the palace where he was born, the Gorkha Durbar, is still intact today.
  • One of the longest passes in Nepal is the Larkya-La Pass. It is the highest point of the Manaslu Circuit Trekking and is situated at an elevation of 5,106 m/ 16,752 ft.
  • The first ascent of Manaslu (8,163 m/ 26,781 ft) was made by Gyaltsen Norbu of Nepal and Toshio Imanishi of Japan, who was working for a Japanese group that Aritsune Maki, oversaw. As a result, the peak continues to draw many Japanese climbers. The locals refer to Manaslu as a killer mountain, as 60 individuals have perished on its slopes.
  • Due to the excellent weather, late September to mid-December is the ideal period for this trek. Since it is the beginning of spring, March through Late May is also a good period. As Birendra Lake melts and the rhododendrons blossom, the Manaslu region's natural beauty can be fully appreciated.

manaslu circuit trekking

How hard is Manaslu Circuit Trek?

The Manaslu Circuit Trekking is a moderate to difficult trekking route in Nepal. The trek is moderate only during autumn and spring due to consistent weather.

In some places, the trail is rough and steep. The hardest section of the trek is the Larkya-La pass. To cross it, you'll need to trek for around 10 hours through ice and rugged terrain, which needs to be crossed in a day.

Before a significant elevation change, you need to take a day to relax and acclimate. Maximizing the period of acclimatization is important, as is achieving physical conditioning through appropriate activity.

manaslu circuit trekking

How long does the Manaslu Circuit Trek take?

It takes a while to complete Manaslu Circuit Trekking, anywhere from 14 to 20 days. Here we present an itinerary of 16 days.

The trekking distance is 110 miles or 177 km. However, it is 200 km/124 mi if you also wish to trek via the Tsum Valley.

The time taken to complete the trek varies with the itinerary. On average, trekkers must walk for 6-7 hours every day.

Approximately 4,176 m/ 13,700 ft of remarkable elevation change are covered during this trek.

The Soti Khola region has the lowest elevation (930 m/ 3,051 ft), while the Larkya-La pass has the highest elevation at 5,106 m/ 16,752 ft.

manaslu circuit trekking

Manaslu Circuit Trekking Itinerary 

The Manaslu Circuit Trek begins with an 8–9-hour ride from Kathmandu to Soti Khola through the hills of the Gorkha District and will take 16 days to complete. It proceeds gently along trails through heavily forested areas and alongside the Budhi Gandaki.

On your way to the Manaslu base camp, you will cross the quaint villages of Machha Khola, Jagat, Deng, Namrung, and Sama Gaon.

At Sama, a day of rest and exploration is scheduled, where you can explore the surrounding areas of Birendra Tal, PungGyen Gompa, and Manaslu Base Camp. Two days from Samdo is the Larke-La Pass, the highest point of the trek at 5,160 m/16,929 ft. The walk ends with a gentle descent to Tilije, Tal, and Syange over the next few days and a drive to Kathmandu.

16-Day Manaslu Circuit Trekking Itinerary

A 16-day Manaslu Trekking itinerary from the day you arrive in Kathmandu till the day you depart is as follows:

01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400 m/ 4,600 ft.)

On arrival in Kathmandu, you will be welcomed by our representative, and he/she will take you to the hotel. You can rest for the day or take a city tour, as you wish. You will have a general briefing session with your trekking guide in the evening, followed by a group dinner.

02: Drive from Kathmandu to Soti Khola (730m)

The first leg of your journey to Manaslu is a drive from Kathmandu to Arughat. The drive takes through Dhading Besi in the direction of Arughat Bazaar and then to Soti Khola. Although the bus travel is lengthy, the countryside is gorgeously viewed. You can see a little of Nepal's rural life.

03: Trek from Soti Khola to Machha Khola (930m) 4-5 Hrs

You will then hike to Machha Khola from Soti Khola. The view and the natural beauty are pretty remarkable, despite the narrow and rough roads. You will pass multiple streams and waterfalls while hiking through the dense Sal woodland before settling in Ghale.

Uphill and downhill pathways can be found along the river. These are unpaved mule paths. You will eventually reach Machha Khola.

04: Trek from Machha Khola to Jagat (1300m) 6-7 Hrs

Today, you will have an adventurous trek through rugged terrains with a combination of striking views of mountains and cultural exploration. Gurung villages such as Khorlabensi, Tatopani, and Dobhan will be passed along with many traditional Buddhist monasteries.

05: Trek from Jagat to Deng (1860m) 6-7 Hrs

Today, you will pass through riverbanks and dense sub-tropical forests. Many suspension bridges must be crossed while crossing Budhi Gandaki and other small rivers.

06: Trek from Deng to Namrung (2540m) 5-6 Hrs

To get to Deng, you must travel a tortuous path through a bamboo grove. You can ascend to the Rana and Bihi Phedi communities by crossing the suspension bridge. After that, the trail avoids the landslide region and heads in the direction of Ghap. Arrive at Namrung by crossing the Ghap.

07: Trek from Namrung to Sama Gaon (3390m) 5-6 Hrs

After passing the Mani stone wall, continue walking from Namrung toward Banjam along the terraced field. The Lihi and Lho settlements are reached from here via a trail that then enters rhododendron woods. Additionally, there are many painted gate arches along the trail.

After Lho, there is a steady increase in elevation, and hurrying can be hazardous. Vistas of the Manaslu peaks will accompany you as you travel. You can continue on the trail to Sama Gaon from Shyala.

08: Hike to Manaslu Base Camp (4400m) for 6-7 Hrs or Pungain Gompa for excellent Mountain View

You will spend today exploring Samagaon and all of its attractions. Visit the PungGyen Gompa and Birendra Tal, both east of the Nubri Valley.

To get a stunning view of Mt. Manaslu (8,163 m/ 26,781 ft), cross the river and ascend a peak. As well as, north of Samagaon, you can also hike to the Manaslu Base Camp. To get to the base camp, continue on the trail through Birendra Tal and turn left.

09: Trek from Sama Gaon to Samdo (3690m) 2-3 Hrs

You ascend in altitude slowly today as you climb to Samdo. The meadows extend up the pathways and are dotted with several Mani Walls and prayer flags. Once out of the tree line, proceed across the wooden bridge and up the ridge to Kani. When you get to Samdo, you can stroll around the community or climb Samdo Peak to view the valley's Larkya La Pass.

10: Trek from Samdo to Dharamsala (4460m) 4-5 Hrs

Hike the beautiful trek from Samdo to Larkya Phedi, commonly known as Dharamsala. This charming little town is among the best locations to unwind when traveling. To get to Dharamsala, the entire trip follows the Marsyangdi River. Amazing views of the Manaslu (8,163 m/ 26,781 ft) from here.

11: Trek from Dharamsala to Bimthang (3590m) via Larkya La Pass (5106m) 7-8 Hrs

One of the most eagerly awaited hiking days as you will pass across the highest point (5,160 m/ 16,929 ft), Larke La Pass. It can be strenuous, but the vista of Manaslu's entire valley is well worth it.

Great views of the Himlung Himal (7,126 m/ 16,818 ft), Cheo Himal (6,812 m/ 22,349 ft), Annapurna II (7,937m/ 26,040 ft), and other Annapurna ridges can be seen from the summit. Follow the pass to the village of Bimthang from above.

12: Trek from Bimthang to Tilije (2300m) 5-6 Hrs

As you descend, you will be mesmerized by the views of Himlung, Lamjung, and other peaks. The trails take through Sangre Kharka, containing expansive pasture land. Then you will be led to the beautiful rhododendron forest, arriving at Tilije.

13: Trek from Tilije to Tal (1680m) 4-5 Hrs

Today you will pass through beautiful Thonje Village and later cross Dharapani, which also connects to the Annapurna Circuit Trail. You will arrive at Tal by crossing the beautiful Marsyangdi River and passing numerous beautiful waterfalls.

14: Trek from Tal to Syange (1150m) 4-5 Hrs

Today you will descend to Syange, with a sometimes steep trail but otherwise a gentle hike down. You will pass through the village of Chyamje and cross Marsyangdi through a suspension bridge. Then you come across terrace fields and follow the trail across the picturesque rhododendron forest, finally arriving at Syange. Syange also has a magnificent waterfall, so check it out.

15: Drive from Syange to Kathmandu 

In the morning, you will hike to Besisahar. Besisahar is home to the Gurung and Limbu, and this is where the Manaslu Trek ends. Take a bus to Kathmandu after reaching Besisahar. Later, enjoy the night in the historic city of Kathmandu. You can enjoy local Newar cuisine and souvenir shopping in Thamel.

16: Departure from Kathmandu

Finally, the trek has ended. Today, you will be escorted back to the airport. With loads of memories and lifelong experience, check your cameras to relive this experience again.

manaslu circuit trekking

Food and Accommodation in Manaslu Region

There are numerous tea houses along the Manaslu Circuit Trekking where you can get hot meals and a place to sleep. This implies that you do not need to bring any camping equipment.

The Manaslu Circuit Trek offers a wide selection of food products. They include Western foods like Spaghetti, and pizza and staples like rice, lentils, and vegetable curry.

Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are readily available. Snacks are also available, including cookies, chocolate, and quick noodles.

Rooms are typically shared accommodations. For an additional cost, private room amenities are available at some locations. Most tea shops in the Manaslu region feature western-style restrooms with cold running water with mostly extra costs for hot showers.

manaslu circuit trekking

Best Season for Manaslu Circuit Trekking

The optimum seasons for Manaslu Circuit Trekking are in the spring (February through May) and fall (September through December).

While the monsoons are not good for traversing the routes because the hillsides are not suitable for trekkers, the winters are cold, and the weather appears undesirable for hiking.

Trekking is, therefore, usually advised in the spring and autumn. This time of year offers the best views of the mountains and is nearly mild in temperature. Learn More about Manaslu Trek weather and Temperature before booking the trekking package.

Is Manaslu harder than Everest?

Manaslu Circuit Trek is harder than the Everest Base Camp Trek because it takes longer to complete, and the trails are rougher and steeper.

Even though the highest elevation of EBC is 5,644 m (18,517 ft) which is higher than Manaslu Circuit Trek’s highest elevation at Larkya-La Pass, which stands at 5,106 m (16,747 ft), the trek is quite arduous at Manaslu.

To cross Larkya La Pass, you'll need to trek for around 10 hours through ice and rugged terrain in a single day.

However, climbing Everest peak is harder than Manaslu. Compared to Everest, Manaslu's Camp I to Camp IV climb is more difficult. But the ascent is simpler and shorter than the peak.

The Manaslu Expedition, however, lacks features like the Hillary Step on Everest. Likewise, the Everest death zone is notorious for high fatalities. It lies in the area between Camp IV and the summit.

The time spent in this region is said to be borrowed time, and extreme caution is to be exercised for successfully summiting the peak and then back.

manaslu circuit trekking

Manaslu Circuit Trek Permits

For the Manaslu Circuit Trekking, you need three different permits: The Manaslu Special Restricted Area Permit (Manaslu RAP), the Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP Permit), and the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP Permit). Because the route also includes a portion of the Annapurna Conservation Area, ACAP is required.

A licensed organization must distribute Manaslu RAP. The same authority may issue MCAP and ACAP permits.

Additionally, you can obtain them at the NTB (Nepal Tourism Board) offices and TAAN (Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal) Secretariat, which is situated in Kathmandu and Pokhara, respectively, as well as at both cities’ entrances.

Manaslu Circuit Trekking Cost

Manaslu Circuit Trek is comparatively more economical than other long treks in Nepal. A Reliable Local Tour Trekking Company charges around USD 1300 for Manaslu Circuit Trekking.

The prices vary from trek to trek depending on the number of trekkers in the party, the trekking itinerary, the amenities, the guides and porters required numbers and other services.

A Manaslu Restricted Area permit costs USD 75 per person for the first seven days from December to August. There will be a USD 10 daily surcharge per person starting at this point.

Likewise, MCAP and ACAP cost around USD 30 each.

The hiking price includes local transport from Kathmandu and back, three meals per day, all lodging services, a permit pass, and guides and porters’ fees.

A minimum of two trekkers are required to undertake this trek, and RAP,  Should Issued through a Trekking Company. Let's Contact us for a Single supplementary to take a restricted area Permit.

manaslu circuit trekking


Manaslu Circuit Trekkingis a fantastic trekking route over the Nepalese Himalayas. This Moderate-challenging journey around Mount Manaslu travels through Nepal’s inaccessible highland regions and the stunning Himalayas.

Discover a valley unspoiled by the outer world as you journey through the Tsum Valley's vibrant and untamed environment.

Meet the Gurung people, renowned around the world as fierce warriors. Likewise, the Buddhist temples spread out over the area. Throughout the tour, Buddhist culture and sites will be explored.

How long is your Vacation? if you have a long vacation to explore the remote Himalayas! the Tsum Valley with Manaslu Circuit Trek is best for you. Contact us for a custom-made trek itinerary to you. 

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Ganesh Adhikari

Ganesh Adhikari

Ganesh is an adventure outdoor enthusiast originally from Gorkha, Nepal. I hiked Everest, Annapurna, Langtang, and Manaslu region and the most famous teahouse trekking in Nepal.  Besides Hiking, I provide online travel packages for travelers to value their time with family and friends. As well, I always provide updated travel information about the Himalayas! what's Going on? let's keep and touch with me for an unforgettable travel experience in a lifetime. I organize private tours for hikers per your interest and time frame.

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