Trekking Region: Manaslu and Annapurna
- Trekking duration: 14 days, 13 nights
- Maximum altitude: Larkya passes at 5,167 meters
- Accommodation: Tea house
- Trek difficultly: Hard
- Starting point: Soti Khola
- Ending Point: Dharapani
- Experience true wilderness and remoteness of the Jungle trekking route while exploring the Manaslu Base Camp
- Challenging climb to the Larkya La above 5,100 meters and join the famous Annapurna Circuit trek trail at Dharapani
- Walk via the Buri Gandaki river gorge, encountering many suspension bridges, pristine Lakes, and waterfalls on the trail
- Two acclimatization days (Sama Gaun and Samdo) while also visiting the Tibetan Border
- Experience the cultural blend of Nepalese & Tibetan Buddhism by the Magar and Tamang people in the highland while also exploring the Pungyen Gompa
- Comfortable accommodation in recently build tea houses
- Avoid the crowd of other famous trekking routes and enjoy the better views of mountain vistas in complete solitude
Nepal has always been a hub for trekkers from all around the world. While some of the trekking routes of Nepal remain vibrant and crowded throughout the year, there as some other trekking trails that have been remote and hidden. Manaslu Circut trek trial is one of those Nepal’s best-kept secrets which has recently caught the attention of the tourist.
Manaslu, 8163 meters, is the world’s 8 highest mountain that lies in the central-west part of Nepal. The Manaslu region lies about 150 km West North of Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital. This is one of the world’s most dangerous and very beautiful mountains. Our Manaslu Circuit treks circumference around the Manaslu Himal and blesses you with some of the most spectacular views of mother nature.
Manaslu trek route was closed to foreigners until the 90s and still remains one of the restricted regions of Nepal. If you wish to travel to the TSUM valley of Manasulu, you will still need the restricted area permit. The trekking route has been recently upgraded from the camping trek to the tea house trekking. Still, it is a lot more quieter and peaceful than the nearby Annapurna trek route and the Everest trek. This Jungle trekking trail of Nepal gives the perfect blend of culture, remoteness, and comfort making it one of the most beautiful trek routes in Nepal.
Manaslu circuit starts at the beautiful and happening town of Shoti Khola and moves upwards to the village of Jagat and Sama Gaun. From here, we get to visit the Manaslu Base Camp and Pungyen Gompa before getting to Samdo. We stop in Samdo for a day to visit the Tibetan border and then move to Dharmasala. After crossing Dharmasala at Larkya Pass, we join the Annapurna circuit trek route at Dharapani. From here, we get a bus that drives us back to Kathmandu.
So are you ready to dive in for the further detail of the Manaslu base camp? Let’s get started.
The trek to Manasulu starts from Soti Khola which is about 160 km and 7 hours of drive from Kathmandu. We shall either ride in a private jeep or a public bus as per our budget.
Similarly, on the return journey, we drive from Dharapani to Besishar on a private Jeep and then from Besishar to Kathmandu in a public bus or a tourist vehicle. The ride on the final day of the Manaslu Trek will be about 8 hours long.
Along with a visa to Nepal, you will need 3 kinds of a permit for the Manaslu circuit trek.
Manaslu restricted area: You will need a restricted area permit to cross Jagat on Samagam. This restricted area permit has been issued by the Nepalese government to control the invasion of tourists into the local culture. Once the trekking region is kept restricted, the trekkers cannot travel independently. They should be in a group of two people and need to be accompanied by a licensed guide or travel agency like MyEveryTrip. A restricted area permit should be issued in Kathmandu.
Manaslu conservation area permit: The conservation of Manaslu starts at Philim and you need to issue an entry ticket to get inside Manaslu. The conservation area permit can either be issued at an entry point or at Kathmandu.
Annapurna conservation area permit: At the end of the trek i.e. from Dharapani to Besisahar, you will be staying in Annapurna Conservation Area. Thus, one needs to issue an ACAP permit either at the entry point or at Kathmandu. Both Annapurna and Manaslu conservation area permits cost USD 30 each.
Manaslu trekking has now been upgraded to a tea house trial. This means you will get to stay in a local guest house each night. The guest house in Manaslu Region has a twin bed in a small cozy room, toilets available on sharing basis, and a central dining hall that serves good food. Although not luxurious Manaslu circuit trek accommodation is quite comfortable.
The houses also have hot water, Wi-Fi, and electricity. However, you might need to pay a few extra dollars to use these services. You can also use a Ncell SIM card for the internet in Manaslu. :
Manaslu Circuit Trek Itinerary
- Day 1: Drive to Soti Khola
- Altitude: 700 m / 2296 ft
- Duration: 7 hrs
We start the drive from Kathmandu quite early in the morning and start to move along the Trishuli river. After a short stop at Arughat, we take a different vehicle to Soti Khola. Since the roadway has now extended up to Maccha Khola, we can drive beyond Soti Khola and save us another day of the walk. Anyways, we will be driving for about 8 hours from Kathmandu and crash at the tea house on the bank of Budhi Gandaki River at Soti Khola. : Overnight in Soti Khola
- Day 2: Trek to Maccha Khola
- Altitude: 930 m / 3051 ft
- Duration: 5-6 hours
After a wonderful stay at Soti Khola, we start Manaslu Trekking on a rocky and narrow path to Machha Khola. Walking on the countryside road, we are quite engaged by the view of the terrace farm and beautiful village along the way. Passing the forest of sal and encountering many rivers/ waterfalls on the way, we stop at a few Gurung and Ghale villages. The villagers are often engaged in their fields, busy growing paddy, maize, and potatoes. From Nyali Khola, we walk on the hills’ rocky edge and riverbank, getting to Machha Khola by evening. : Overnight in Mache Khola
- Day 3: Trek to Jagat
- Altitude: 1340 m /4396 ft
- Duration: 5-6 hours
Following the river, we climb north along the river on the 3rd day of Manaslu trekking. Hiking through the larger villages of Korlabesi and Tatopani, we might encounter some langur monkeys along the way. We hike for another hour to Dovan when and stop at Thulo Dhinga for some cultural insight. Walking higher in the forested, trial we reach Jagat. In Spring, this part of the Manaslu route is decorated with rhododendrons of different colors. Jagat is the first village we encounter that has been influenced by the Buddhist culture.: Overnight in Jagat
- Day 4: Trek to Pewa
- Altitude: 1804 m / 5918 ft
- Duration: 5-6 hours
In the morning, we shall first walk to Selleri. From Selleri, the trial goes to Sirdibas. This is a beautiful village decorated with many Buddhist prayer flags and monasteries. From here, we climb to Philim where we get our permit checked and continue working on the unique sculpture of the river. Leaving the river we now get into the Himalayan forest of Pine and Rhododendrons before walking to Siyar Khola. Here, you can see the trial that separates the TSUM Valley on right. Manaslu TSUM valley trek is also popular among tourists, but it’s not our destination for this particular trip.
Walking on the left, we reach Pewa for the night. We stay in one of two basic tea houses located in Pewa and enjoy the campfire in the evening: Overnight in Pewa
- Day 5: Trek to Namrung
- Altitude: 2630 m / 8628 ft
- Duration: 5-6 hours
On the 5th morning of the Manaslu Trek Itinerary, we walk north of Pewa in the bamboo forest to reach Deng. Crossing the suspension bridge on the river, we ascend to Rana and then to Bihi Phedi. If you are lucky you can even see a white-faced monkey. Now, the trial moves to the Ghap where we walk in the landslide zone. After about one hour of walking on the rough trail destroyed by the landscape, we reach Namrung. At 2600 M there are some quite impressive tea houses and restaurants in Namrung, an important stop for Manaslu trekking: Overnight in Namrung
- Day 6: Trek to Lho
- Altitude: 2957 m / 9701 ft
- Duration: 4 hours
In the morning, we visit the Namrung village to witness the rich culture and tradition of the Nubri people. A visit to their terrace farm and monasteries helps us understand the Nubri lifestyle well. Walking beyond the village, we see the local women making Tibetan dresses and fine paintings in the Kani. Hiking the rocky hillside, we first cross Sho and then walk for a couple of hours to reach Lho. From Lho, we start to get a clear view of Manaslu peak and Manasu north.: Overnight in Lho
- Day 7: Trek to Sama Gaun
- Altitude: 3530 m / 11581 ft
- Duration: 4 hours
This is an easy and relaxing day of Manaslu trekking with the view of Mount Manaslu before us. In the morning, the path goes to Shyala as we head further north on the forested field of moss and Pines. Sama Gaun is only about an hour’s walk from Shyala. Although we cannot see Manaslu from the village, we can still witness a spectacular view of yak pasture and beautiful settlements. This village is the center of the Nubri people which is home to many large Gombas. We can also visit the health post, Helipad, and local restaurants in Sama Gaon. : Overnight in Sama Gaon
Day 8: Visit Manaslu Base Camp and Pungyen Gompa
Although this is a rest day in Sama Gaun, our plan for the day is to hike toward the Manaslu Base camp. On the north of the village, we get to Manaslu Base camp on the path of Birendra Tal. Since the altitude of the Manaslu base camp and glacier is 4400 M, make sure that you walk steadily and slowly. Instead of hiking to the Manaslu Base Camp, you can also walk to Birendra Tal which is only a few minutes from the village. This might help you acclimatize to the altitude.
Instead of hiking to the Manaslu base camp, trekkers also hike south of the village to Pungyen Gompa. The two hours of walk to the Monastry will help you get a better insight into local culture. If you feel like exploring all these places, you might add one additional day to the Manaslu Trek Itinerary and stay in Sama Gaun for three days. : Overnight in Sama Gaun
- Day 9:Trek to Somdo
- Altitude: 3865 m / 12680 ft
- Duration: 3 hours
After a wonderful day in Sama Gaon, we head further deep into the Manaslu region, hiking towards Samdo. This is only 2 to 3 hours of walking on the easy yak pastures. We start the walk quite late in the morning and cross the Buri Gandaki river to reach White Kani. From here, we reach the futuristic village of Samdo in a few hours. After some rest in the village, we walk to Samdo peak. From the peak, we can see the Larky La pass on the left and the trail to Tibet over the slope. We get back to the hotel in Samdo for the night and enjoy a wonderful evening. Overnight in Samdo
Day 10: Trip to Tibet Border
Today, we stop for the rest at Samdo village. In the daytime, we hike toward the Tibetan border to see a huge plateau. You might also be able to cross the border to witness the large yak caravan of Tibet. On the south, we can see the Samdo Glacier which makes a picture-perfect setting. We might also be able to capture some photos of blue sheep and Marmots in the warm season. Overnight in Samdo
- Day 11: Hike to Dharmasala
- Altitude: 4460 m / 14632 ft
- Duration: 4 hours
This is another relaxing day at a higher altitude. We only hike for 3 to 4 hours to cross the Samdo village and head towards Dharmasala. Since we keep on gaining altitudes, it’s important that you walk slowly on the rocked trials of Manaslu. Dharmasala has a few hotels for our night stay: Overnight in Dharmasala
- Day 12: Trek to Bimthang via Larkya Pass
- Altitude: 3590 m / 11778 ft
- Duration: 10 hours
This is the most challenging and important day of our Manaslu circuit trek. We leave Dharmasala quite early in the morning and head toward Larkya La pass at 5160 m above sea level. If the weather is unstable we might stop at Dharmasala until we are able to hike again. Walk to Larkya base and then to Larka pass will take 6 to 7 hours of harsh climb; we shall reach the top only in the evening. On a clear day, we catch a beautiful view of Himlung ( 7126 m) and Kang Guru( 6981m). Also, we can see the beautiful Annapurna range in the north.
In the evening we walk downwards to the Bimthang village. The descent along the icefall will be quite difficult but once we reach the village we shall have a comfortable night: Overnight in Bimthang
- Day 13: Trek to Dharapani
- Altitude: 1970 m / 6463 ft
- Duration: 7 hours
Ready for the final day of work in the Manaslu region? Walking via the lush forest decorated with awesome flora and fauna, we walk across the Dudh Koshi River. In a couple of hours, we reach Karcher which is our stop for the night. Walking on the land destroyed by the glacial flood, we drop down to Gurung Gaon. This will be the first village you can see after Samdo. As you start to see more farms and fields, we walk further north to Tilije. In a few moments, you will reach Dharapani: Overnight in Dharapani
- Day 14: Drive to Kathmandu
- Altitude:1400 m
- Duration: 8 hours
Your journey to the beautiful Manaslu route ends today. From Dharapani, we hop on a private jeep that brings us to Besisahar. Then, we shall drive along the Marsyangdi River to Muglin. With quite impressive views of lush hills, we ride on the bank of the Trishuli River to reach Kathmandu.
Back in Kathmandu, you will have some time for shopping and a farewell dinner to cherries our journey together. After many nights, you will get to enjoy a luxurious stay in Kathmandu: Overnight in Kathmandu
So that was the end of the article. You can read other Manaslu Circuit trek guide articles about food accommodation and permits of Manaslu on our website to know more details. If there are any more queries, you can leave a comment below or send us an email.
If you are planning to trek to Manaslu anytime soon, we will be more than happy to assist you.