The Manaslu Circuit Trek stands as a captivating adventure delving into the heart of Nepal’s remote Himalayan wilderness. This trek has surged in popularity in recent years, offering a less-traveled alternative to the immensely popular Everest Base Camp trek. It is treasured for its remarkable diversity: from lush sub-tropical forests and cascading waterfalls to soaring glacial peaks and the imposing presence of Mount Manaslu, the world’s eighth-highest mountain.

Along the trail, trekkers engage with the region’s rich cultural heritage, steeped in Tibetan Buddhist traditions. You’ll have the opportunity to explore ancient monasteries, interact with warm and welcoming locals, and witness their traditional ways of life. The Manaslu Circuit is renowned for its physical challenges, culminating in the demanding crossing of the Larkya La Pass at 5,160 meters (16,930 feet). This high-altitude traverse requires preparation and acclimatization but rewards the intrepid with panoramic views that will linger in your memory long after you descend.

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a restricted area in Nepal, meaning solo trekking is strictly prohibited. To ensure safety and minimize risks in this remote region, the government mandates that trekkers hire a licensed guide from a registered trekking company. Additionally, a minimum group size of two trekkers (excluding the guide and porters) is required. This regulation aims to provide support and assistance in case of emergencies or unexpected situations that could arise in the challenging high-altitude environment.

Manaslu Trek Permit Cost

Navigating permits is essential for a smooth Manaslu Circuit Trek experience. Here’s what you need to know:

Manaslu Restricted Area Permit (RAP): This is the most significant permit, as the Manaslu region is a restricted zone. The cost varies by season: September-November (peak season) is $100 USD for the first week, then $15 USD per additional day. December-August (less crowded) is $75 USD for the first week, then $10 USD per additional day.

Manaslu Conservation Area Permit (MCAP): This covers the broader Manaslu conservation zone and costs approximately $30 USD.

Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP): As the trek crosses into the Annapurna region, you’ll need this permit as well, costing around $30 USD.

TIMS Card (Trekkers’ Information Management System): This card may be required depending on the situation and time. Its cost normally 2000 NPR.

Important Note: If you plan side trips like the Tsum Valley trek, you’ll need additional permits with their own associated costs. Please contact us for the most up-to-date information and guide you through the permit process.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Packages

Trekking Packages: The cost of trekking packages varies depending on factors such as the duration of the trek, services included, and the trekking agency chosen. Here’s a breakdown of typical package costs:

Standard Package: Ranging from USD 1500 to USD 2000 per person, this package usually includes permits, accommodation in teahouses or lodges, meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner), guide and porter services, transportation to and from Kathmandu, and equipment also.

Luxury Package: With prices ranging from USD 2100 to USD 3000 per person, luxury packages offer upgraded accommodation options (luxury lodges), private transportation, personalized services, and additional amenities.

Budget Package: Budget-conscious travelers can opt for packages priced between USD 900 to USD 1200 per person. These packages offer basic services, including permits, accommodation, meals, guide, and porter services, but may involve shared accommodation and fewer amenities.

Additional Expenses during your trip

While your Manaslu Circuit Trek package might cover the basics, it’s crucial to budget for various additional expenses that will pop up along the way. Here’s what to consider:

  • Personal Expenses: Trails mix means snacks are a must! Factor in costs for treats, bottled water and other drinks, hot showers (often fee-based in higher altitude teahouses), charging electronics, and any souvenirs you might want to bring home.
  • Travel Insurance: Don’t leave home without comprehensive travel insurance specifically designed for trekking. It should cover emergency medical evacuation (especially important in remote areas like Manaslu), trip cancellation, and any medical expenses you might incur during the trek.
  • Tips: Tipping is customary in Nepal and it’s important to budget for this as a way to show your appreciation for your guides, porters, and other staff who ensure a smooth trek. Research recommended tipping amounts before you go, so you can factor this into your overall expenses.

Remember, these costs can vary based on your spending habits and the length of your trek. Build in a buffer for unexpected expenses to ensure a stress-free Manaslu experience.

Manaslu Trekking Packages Included

Manaslu Circuit Trek packages take care of the essentials for your adventure. In most cases, they cover the permits you need to enter the area. You’ll stay in guesthouses or lodges along the way, with options ranging from bunk beds in small villages to private rooms with bathrooms in bigger towns (or if you choose a fancy package). Food is also included, with three meals a day that mix local Nepali dishes with familiar Western options (although choices might be fewer way up in the mountains). An experienced guide who speaks English will be there to help you find your way and teach you about the local culture.

You won’t have to carry your own backpack either, as porters are included to lighten your load. Transportation from Kathmandu to the starting point of the trek (usually Soti Khola or Arughat) is also often included, either by private car or public bus depending on the package. Most of the companies even let you rent gear like sleeping bags, jackets, walking sticks, and duffel bags, so you don’t need to buy anything special.

Manaslu Trek Itinerary

  • Day 01: Drive from Kathmandu to Machha Khola (930m) 6-7 Hrs Drive
  • Day 02: Trek from Machha Khola to Jagat (1410m)  6-7 Hrs Trek
  • Day 03: Trek from Jagat to Deng (1800m)  6 Hrs Trek
  • Day 04: Trek from Deng to Namrung (2660m)  5-6 Hrs Trek
  • Day 05: Trek from Namrung to Sama Gaun  (3520 m)  5-6 Hrs Trek
  • Day 06:  Adaptation Day – Side trip to either Pungyen Gompa or Manaslu Base camp (4400m)
  • Day 07: Trek from Sama Gaun to Samdo (3860m)  4-5 Hrs Trek
  • Day 08: Trek from Samdo to Dharmasala (4460m)  4-5 Hrs Trek
  • Day 09: Trek from Darmasala to Larkya La Pass (5160m) to Bhimthang (3750 m)  7-8 Hrs Trek
  • Day 10: Trek from Bhimthang to Dharapani (1963 m)  6-7 Hrs Trek
  • Day 11: Drive to Beshisahar by local Jeep from Dharapani and drive to Kathmandu  (8-9 Hrs  Drive)

The cost of your Manaslu Circuit Trek ultimately depends on the level of comfort, services, and trip duration you desire. Standard packages typically offer the essentials and are the most budget-friendly (think USD 900-2000). If you crave upgraded accommodations and personalized attention, luxury packages exist but at a higher price point (USD 2100-3000). Additionally, remember to factor in extra expenses like personal snacks, drinks, travel insurance, and tips for your guides and porters. Regardless of your budget, the Manaslu Circuit Trek promises incredible scenery, unique cultural experiences, and the thrill of crossing a high-altitude mountain pass – an investment well worth the cost for adventurous travelers.