Gaining in popularity by the year and dubbed by many 'The New Annapurna' in terms of its overall appeal, the remote Manaslu Circuit trek remains largely true its reputation as an outstanding wilderness experience even as tea houses along the trail have made the hike easier in recent years from the perspective of basic food and accommodation needs along the way. It still remains far less crowded than some of the better known routes through the Himalayas while offering all the classic aspects of a great trek, from cascading rivers and precipitous trails, stunning views and subtropical forests, glorious mountain scenery and a gradual ascent to a breath-snatching high pass, and a host of side trips and add-ons that have the scope to turn the experience into an epic journey.
Skirting by the ice-cold waters of the Budhi Gandaki river all the way to its source below Larke La — and frequently crossing over the river on a slew of seemingly hair-raising suspension bridges that are in actual fact sturdy enough for entire mule teams to use — the trek provides fascinating insights into the traditional cultures of the Gurung, Tamang and Tibetan people living in peaceful coexistence within the valley's confines.
Reigning supreme over the entire region is majestic Manaslu (8163m) and its striking twinned peaks, skirted by glacial valleys, pine forests, and the scenic backdrop of the Ganesh Himal range. The trek essentially circles much of the mountain’s circumference until it crests Larkya La and drops into the neighboring valley of Marsyangdi, descending from there through the rock-strewn upper slopes and scenic alpine meadows to Dharapani, the modern trailhead for the Annapurna Circuit.
The trek commences at Soti Khola after a drive from Kathmandu and proceeds steadily through densely forested paths and along the banks of the Budhi Gandaki, rarely straying far from the river’s torrid waters. After a few days the trail veers at Jagat to the north west and begins a steady climb to higher altitudes, leaving behind the tree line and winding up through picturesque mountain villages such as Namrung, Sama Gaon and Samdo, with designated rest days at the latter two that allow for exciting excursions to Manaslu Base Camp, Pungen Gompa, and the ancient route to Tibet via Rui La. Larkya La is a mere two days of further hiking from Samdo, after which the trail descends to its conclusion at Dharapani, with the opportunity to pick up the Annapurna route there or visit the incomparable hidden valley of Nar Phu that branches off the trail.
The beauty of the Manaslu circuit is that, aside from being one of the premium hikes in Nepal, it allows for more rewarding options than just about any other trek. One potential choice is to get even further off the beaten trail by choosing to take the upper Manaslu route, a scenically spectacular and rarely taken path across the mountain. Another detour is the pathway to magical Tsum Valley, long locked away from public view and only opened on a restricted basis in recent years. Or you could simply choose to forego the passage up and over Larke La altogether and focus purely on the delights of Tsum Valley Buddhist culture and its famed monasteries.
The choices are yours, but whichever direction you choose to take the staff at Nepal Trekking Experts are standing by to give you all the assistance necessary to get you on the path to Manaslu – it’s home territory for most of them and we take great pride in showing off the area to the best of our abilities.
You can also refer to our blog post on Manaslu to gain further insight on the trek and the various options.
Manaslu is in a restricted area and requires an appropriate permit, a government registered trekking agency, and a licensed guide to accompany each party. A minimum of two people are required in order to obtain the trekking permit through the area. The special permit costs $70 from September to November for the first seven days plus $10 for each additional day, and $50 from December to August for the first seven days plus $7 per additional day. The costs are per person. Trekkers are also required to have an Annapurna and Manaslu Conservation area permits from the Nepal Tourism Board at a cost of 3000 Nepali Rupees per person including 13% vat of each different region. For further details please contact us.
Day 01: Welcome at Tribhuvan International Airport, then transfer to your hotel
Day 02: Free day for trekking preparation.
Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Soti Khola (700m, 7-8 hrs)
Day 04: Soti to Machhakhola. (869m, 5 hrs)
Day 05: Machhakhola to Jagat(1340m, 7 hrs)
Day 06: Jagat to Deng(1860m, 7 hrs)
Day 07: Deng to Namrung(2630m, 7 hrs)
Day 08: Namrung to Loho.(3180m, 4 hrs)
Day 09: Loho to Sama(3520m, 3 hrs).
Day 10: Acclimatization day. Hike to either Birendra Lake/Manaslu Base camp or Pungen Gumpa.
Day 11: Sama to Samdo(3860m, 3 hrs)
Day 12: Acclimatization day. Hike to Tibetan border at Rui La (4998m) and return to Samdo (8 hrs)
Day 13: Samdo to Dharmasala(4460m, 5 hrs)
Day 14: Dharmasala to Larke La 5160m then descends to Bhimthang overnight(3590, 8 hrs).
Day 15: Bhimthang to Dharapani(1960m, 7/8 hrs).
Day 16: Dharapani to Kathmandu/Pokhara by drive.
Day 17: Departure
Note:- Above itinerary is basically a guideline. If you're not satisfied or have an alternative plan please feel free to discuss it with us.
Welcome at Airport and transfer to your Hotel. Introduce about program then enjoy your first night in cultural diversity Kathmandu.
Free day for trekking preparation or sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley.
We head out from Kathmandu for the long drive to Soti Khola, driving through Arughat along the way on the dusty road. Soti Khola is set on the banks of the Budhi Gandaki River, our companion and guide through the Manaslu valley whose source we'll eventually touch on when we ascend to the pass of Larkya La.
The trek commences with an easy day of walking on the route to Machha Khola, (the name means 'fish river') with pleasant views of the surrounding jungle and occasional waterfalls adding their own soothing sound bite to the hike.
We ease through Khorlabesi during the early part of the day and make our way to Tatopani, famed for its natural hot springs. A steep climb takes us up to Dobhan as we enter the Manaslu Conservation area and on to the scenic village of Jagat and its rugged setting and narrow paved lanes.
Our day begins by walking through subtropical rainforest and a series of small hamlets, traversing a couple of suspension bridges along the way, the last of which leads us in to the village of Philim and its beautiful setting amidst terraced fields overlooking the river. Further along the trail we arrive at the junction for Tsum Valley and Larkye La and take the path heading northwest towards Deng.
The first real views of the major mountains near at hand come into view, with Sringi Himal, Ganesh Himal, Kutang Himal and other peaks making their presence known as we make our way up the valley. Lush vegetation greets us as we hit the trail and head west through more quaint villages like Prok and their scenic outlooks, then on and up the last steep stretch that ushers us into Namrung.
Today is the day when we hit the jackpot for spectacular views of the mountains as the valley opens up with our approach to the scenic village of Lho. The lower temperate forests give way steadily as the trail breaks free of the tree line and climbs higher into the mountains, the lush greens of the lower valley giving way to the muted browns and grays of the Himalayan terrain and the vivid blue skies one only experiences at altitude. After our half-day hike to Lho there's plenty of time left over to fully explore the gorgeous views of Manaslu and visit Rebung Gompa perched atop a hillside nearby.
From Lho we hike to the equally impressive village of Shyala and its own spectacular vistas of Manaslu, Himal Chuli, Nadi, Naike, Kutang Himal, and Pangbuche Himal, then climb steadily through yak pasturelands to Sama Gaun. With plenty of time left over from the day there's ample opportunity to make the short hike to Birendra Lake.
Sama Gaun is our temporary home for the day as we give our bodies time to acclimate to the altitude, and the choice is a fine one as the village provides multiple choices for day excursions, including a short hike to the pretty lake of Birendra Taal nearby, the highly rewarding and dramatic hike to Manaslu Base camp, or the alternative walk to Pungen Gompa and its serene setting amidst the mountains.
Onward and up is the motto of the day as we put our heads down determinedly with the goal of Larke La ever nearer. The trail leads us on a short and gradual climb alongside the river then begins to steepen as it leads us up to Samdo around midday. There is plenty of time in the afternoon to explore and perhaps hike to a higher altitude briefly to help in the process of acclimatization.
Another rest day to help acclimate, with the rare option to spend the day on a hike to the border with Tibet at the pass of Rui La (4998m). The views of the Himalayas and Fukang Glacier add another level to the day's journey.
Our trek to the high altitude camp of Dharmsala brings us to the very threshold of Larke La, with snow more evident and the air feeling thinner with each step towards our destination. Another brief hike to higher ground is recommended to help our bodies get used to the altitude and sleep better during the night.
The typical method for crossing Larkya La is to head out before daybreak, our head mounted lights bobbing in the dark as we clamber up the path in the cold morning air, our breath apparent in the glow of the lamps. The trail to Larke La is a deceptive one of constant switchbacks, promising everything one minute and snatching it away the next as one false ridge leads to another. Finally we catch a glimpse of the first prayer flags and our goal is finally attained as we stumble wearily to the marker and pose proudly for our cameras to mark the achievement. After pausing to luxuriate in the accomplishment and take in the magnificent views we begin the descent to Bhimthang and put our trekking poles to good use to spare our tired legs and knees from the steep descent to the arid valley below.
With views of Manaslu to our left and the Annapurna ranges to our right we descend from Bhimthang through yak pastures to the first signs of the Dudh Khola's headwaters trickling down the slope. A bridge across leads to a path which gradually leaves behind the alpine climate and takes us down through familiar rhododendron forests to a narrow valley of terraced fields and patchwork crops. We reach the small and picturesque village of Tilje then make our way uphill to Dharapani, the major trekking confluence in the region and modern starting point for trekkers heading out on the Annapurna Circuit and their goal of reaching Thorong La pass. With time and intent we too can head in the same direction.
A long day's driving by local transport to either Pokhara or Kathmandu as you prefer.
Farewell and drop-off at the airport, or the opportunity to join another of our programs.
Manaslu circuit trek 2 person has confirmed.
|Start Date||End Date||Cost||Status||Booking|
|29 May, 2019||14 June, 2019||US $990||Available|
|04 June, 2019||20 June, 2019||US $990||Available|
|15 August, 2019||31 August, 2019||US $990||Available|
|21 August, 2019||06 September, 2019||US $990||Available|
|27 August, 2019||12 September, 2019||US $990||Available|
|30 August, 2019||15 September, 2019||US $990||Available|
|03 September, 2019||19 September, 2019||US $990||Available|
|09 September, 2019||25 September, 2019||US $990||Available|
|18 September, 2019||04 October, 2019||US $990||Available|
|27 September, 2019||13 October, 2019||US $990||Available|
We felt very well taken care of by Nepal Trekking Experts. Rajesh was in constant email communication before the trek. He met us at the airport (and we had a quite delayed flight and came in late at night). He answered all of our questions very promptly. He met us at our hotel and we walked to his office. He also brought our guide to meet us the day before the trek. After the trek Rajesh took us to dinner. We had Gakul as our porter and we couldn't have been happier with him. He was constantly cheerful and upbeat and always ready to help us over a tricky section of trail. Binod was our guide and he worked very hard to take care of our needs. He would choose rooms in the tea houses he felt would be most suitable. He constantly checked to see how we were doing. We had fun playing a Nepalese card game in the evenings with Binod and Gakul (and other trekkers). The trek was fantastic (though challenging for us) and we were happy with doing it in May when there were fewer tourists. I completely recommend Nepal Trekking Experts and Rajesh to help plan your trek. Rajesh's generosity with his time was greatly appreciated.
My friend and I booked the Manaslu Circuit in early May with Nepal Trekking Experts and had an unbelievable time! Rajesh, the owner, is a great person and we loved sitting down and getting to know him and his country before and after our trek. Overall he runs a professional and reasonably priced company that works incredibly hard to make sure you are safe, healthy, and happy. He answered my emails promptly and had very helpful information. We got to meet with Rajesh twice before our trek, once to confirm everything and a second time to just talk and meet our guide, Kedar, beforehand which we were happy about. We would recommend trekking with Kedar if you can as well. He has 23 years of experience as a guide and has now done the Manaslu Circuit 4 times. He was very knowledgeable, even knowing what breakfast was the best to order in which tea houses and worked extremely hard to keep us happy and healthy, especially when I was not feeling good because of the altitude. Our porter Thakur was also wonderful and we have great memories of sitting around with Kedar and Thakur playing Dhumbal, a local card game. Our guide Kedar called Rajesh in Kathmandu every day before we woke up to get a weather forecast update to plan our day and upcoming ones accordingly. Our guide and porter went into the kitchens to make sure what we were eating wasn't going to get us sick(a common concern when trekking in Nepal) and even filled our water bottles up out of the spout everyday for us. I would definitely recommend booking with Nepal trekking experts as they pay attention to the details.
We first reached out to Rajesh @ Nepal Trekking Experts more than 6 months before our intended trek and he did everything possible to accommodate us and was always prompt and responsive with his replies. My friend and I have a lot of solo trekking experience and aren’t used to having a guide (which is currently required on the Manaslu Circuit) so we were worried how that would play out. Turns out that we didn’t need to worry. Our guide, Binod, was attentive and read us well. He was around when we needed him, but not under foot if we didn’t, and In addition to his experience, he was also just a really good guy with a wealth of knowledge who modified our trek on the fly to suit our needs, while still making sure we ended on time. I highly recommend these guys and will not hesitate to contact them for my next trekking experience in Nepal.
I trekked the Manaslu Circuit at the end of February 2018 as a couple with Rabin as a guide. We had a really great experience. The organisation was perfect from the beginning to end. Rajesh, who runs the office in Kathmandu, picked us up from the airport and brought us to our guesthouse. We felt welcome from the first moments in Nepal. Rajesh explained everything to us, took take the necessary permits, helped us with shopping in Kathmandu and even organized the transport of our luggage from Kathamandu to Pokahara (where we ended our trek). Rabin was a perfect guide. Nice, calm, good english and knows the area by heart. We even stayed at this family place the first night of the trek, which was a great experience. The price for the trek is also reasonable. Overall, I can highly recommend Nepal Trekking Experts and especially Rabin as a guide!
Namasté! Me and my friend did the amazing Manaslu Circuit Trek with our guide Rabin, the brother of Rajesh. Rajesh planned our trip from Kathmandu and it was clear that he did a great job, as we had the best rooms in the lodges and that both Raj and Rabin are very well-known and liked by the locals, which just made the trek even more amazing! We had some tough days and some easy days all together adding up to a lifechanging experience. I will definetly be back for a new adventure with these guys and I will recommend you to do the same!!
We couldn't have been happier with our experience trekking the Manaslu circuit with our amazing guide Dalgit. The company was very professional and able to quickly adapt to extenuating circumstances such as the spontaneous national holiday on the day they needed to get our hiking permits. Dalgit is the best guide we've used anywhere in the world - kind, thoughtful, and patient, while strong, adventurous, and willing to go the extra mile. He is extremely knowledgeable about the area around Manaslu that he grew up in and generous in sharing his insights on Nepalese culture and history. Thank you for sharing this adventure of a lifetime with us!
I had traveled to Nepal as a young backpacker 25 years ago and always wanted to return. Fast forward to to 2016 and I finally made it back with my 22 year old son Josh. Raj was recommended to me be a number of happy customers. I worked with Raj in the weeks prior to travel, and he made all the preparations with ease. My son and I completed the manaslu circuit , and we would like to highly recommend our guide Rabin Neupane. Raj organised everything for our trip and provided Rabin as our Guide. Rabin the younger brother to Raj, has been guiding in the region for many years and his english and knowledge was excellent. Over the 2 weeks Rabin ensured we were always safe all our needs were looked after. He become a great friend to my son and I and the nightly card games a highlight!! Manaslu basecamp was a extra bonus on a perfect day. A big thank you to Rabin our guide, Raju our porter and Raj for everything. We will be back soon.
I went trekking with 1 friend in October 2016. I don't Think we were sure of what exactly we had signed up for, but after finishing The trek, we had No doubt That The trek was The most amazing, hard, challenging, beautiul and life-changing few weeks, we have and most likely Ever will experience. The owner of The company, Raj, picked us up from The Airport, made sure we had a hotel and showed us the best places to eat, and invited us over for tea/to chat at his Office every single day. We Met our guide Bikram The first or second day in Kathmandu, and he was a bit shy at first, but as we talked more and more, he opened up, and he is one of The most joking/happy people I have ever Met. He helped us get The last few items before our trek, and helped us pack our stuff properly. During The trek he told us Many amazing stories about himself, hos family and also from his past treks. He was 100% professional when he had to be, had amazing knowledge of the trek itself, and had hundreds of tips for us during our trek and things to be careful of. He would almost always stay behind us, to make sure we would not get lost, and was there to encourage us and give us a small push, when we needed it the most. Raj made sure to help us throughout our entire month stay in nepal. So after trekking Manaslu for two weeks, he helped us from our trip to Chitwan national park, transportation throughout nepal, our bungee-jump, invited us home to meet his family, and literally any problem/thought we had, he would help us... and expect nothing back. Trekking was amazing, but The people behind The Company are twice as amazing. They made sure to do everything, for us to have a Good stay in nepal. Much love to you and your family Raj and Bikram! I miss you and hope we Can meet again in The future. Oscar
Raj and his staff went out of the way to make sure that we were taken care of and looked after. This was my second trip with Nepal Trekking Experts and wouldn't hesitate to return to this agency for another trek! During our manasalu trek we were feeling sick in Dharamsala and our guide Bickash brought us our food from the kitchen so that we were able to dine inside the tent (tent service) Its little things like this that set this trekking company away from the others.
Together with my fiancee we spent over two weeks with Rabin and Rajesh (Rabin was our trekking guide). It was not only a Manaslu Circuit trek. It was really a great experience of Nepal's culture, people and places. Extraordinary hospitality, assistance, knowlegde, professionalism and helpfullness make these guys worth to trust in any regard. My message is: when we are back to Nepal, we are coming back to NTE. Thank you guys! It was perfect time with you. Namaste. Good luck.!
On our 20-days-Trek in the Nepal Himalayas, we spent 14 days on the Manaslu Trek - and directly afterwards 7 days on the Nar-Phu-Trek. Although August (2016) and therefore middle/end of rainy season, we had a breath-taking trip not only because of the marvellous landscape but also because of the unforgettable insight into the Nepalese and Tibetan culture and daily life of the locals. Through good friends we got a recommendation for a trekking company and especially for a specific guide, which we were very thankful for, for it can be very confusing on the streets of Thamel to find a trekking company that will truly do their best to provide you with a tour fitting your expectations. We were highly pleased with Raj, our trekking guide, who after 20 days had become a companion and friend as well. Having grown up in the Manaslu region, he knew everything about the trek, the landscape, villages and customs there. Due to his translations, it was possible to speak to locals and experience their joys and worries, thus enabling us to connect with our environment on a unique and much deeper level. His excellent English puts him also in a completely different league than the average Nepalese trekking guide. It was no problem to modify the original route depending on our wishes and he as well always provided us with the best accommodations available (one of the good things in rainy season... you’re mostly alone on the trek (we just met 2 other groups in 20 days)). We definitely had a highly valuable and precious time with him and appreciated a lot his efforts, enthusiasm and never-ending energy as well as his great personality. After the trip we even got to know his fabulous family and enjoyed his generous hospitality in Kathmandu. All in all, it was great fun, with countless views on the most impressive mountain ranges of the world, many hours of pure joy and a wonderful time with an exceptional trekking guide, with whom we are looking forward to plan our next trip in Nepal. If you are looking for a highly competent and reliable trekking guide, he is your man. You should be able to reach him via e-mail (It should be one of those 2): email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (if you managed to get a nepali simcard) ;-) +977 9841917136
In the process of selecting a trekking company for our trip, and being in contact with other companies, it was soon clear that Raj was going to be our guy. He responded immediately to our request, spoke perfect English and offered an unmatched price. But more importantly, Raj understood what we wanted and went above and beyond our expectations. He gave us a feeling of having a home base in Nepal, which is not overrated in busy Kathmandu. We were always welcome for a tea at the office and he gave us a lot of help in navigating Nepal. We were initially planning on only doing the Manaslu Circuit, but after hearing from friends, who also trekked with Raj, about Nar Phu valley, Raj happily arranged for an extension of our trip to include Nar Phu on short notice (including permits, accommodations, guides, etc). We trekked with Rabin (Raj's brother) as our guide and two porters, Suba and Sudip. They made for a great team with lots of experience, also with each other as teammates. This made for a very comfortable atmosphere during the whole trip. Rabin has many years of experience as a guide and was in contact with Raj regarding our progress and satisfaction. Rabin could always answer our questions regarding the local culture and landscape and found the best lodges to eat in and spend the night. He tailored the trip to our wishes along the way regarding side treks and rest days. Everything felt very natural and relaxed and communication was easy. Sudip and Suba were also very cool and added a lot of humor to the experience. Even on hard days, we all held together and pushed on. I don't think I could have enjoyed the experience of being in the Himalaya without having the right team. The Manaslu Circuit is a defined trail along which every trekker hikes. We met other trekkers along the way, who were not enjoying the trek as much as us. It was not because they were disappointed by the landscape or culture, it was because they did not feel understood and did not have a team feeling. Raj and Rabin understood our wishes clearly, did everything they could to realized them and did it all with a smile. I highly recommend them to anyone who wishes to experience Nepal.
Raj and his team of guides are the best in the business. Not only was he accessible all the time from first contact to the drop off at the airport, but he took care of all details flawlessly. We got to trek with his brother Rabin who was an awesome guide. I plan on going back many times in my life and will never use another company. Keep up the great work guys and I hope to see you soon!
I stumbled across Raj when I arrived in Kathmandu. He was brilliant from the off setting me up with two boys with similar interests who wanted to do the same trek as me. He was unbelievably helpful in getting visas and paperwork sorted as soon as possible so that we could get going with no delay. Our wonderful guide Rabin helped to make the experience what we wanted. He listened to and understood our expectations and opinions, make a great leader. We had to make some difficult decisions along the way and he and Raj were able to support us to make our own informed decisions. Raj and Rabin knew the region very well and set us up in great guest houses along the way. Rabin was lovely to have around in the evenings and good company on the walk. My wonderful porter, Koomar (apologies for poor spelling) was equally great company and also knowledgeable about the mountains!