Manaslu Circuit Trek: Itinerary, Cost and Other Essentials

Breathtaking Himalayan views, unique culture and the thrilling adventure is what most of books describe about Manaslu Circuit Trek. One of the well-admired trekking trails of Nepal, Manaslu Circuit Trek, stretches all the way from remote village in Gorkha, Arughat to the Base of Mount Manaslu.

Mount manaslu

Located in the closer proximity with the Tibetan border, Mt. Manaslu is revered as “The Spirit-Mountain”.


Talking about Mount Manaslu, the 8,163 meter tall mountain is the eighth highest mountain of the world located 40 mile east to Annapurna. 


Opened for the trekkers in 1991, the Manaslu trek caters some of the best mountain panorama, magnificent highland culture and so many unexplored places with moderately thrilling adventure.

The popular Manaslu trekking route of 177 kilometres (110 mi) usually starts in Arughat Bazaar following an ancient salt-trading route ending two weeks later in Besisahar, which is the starting point of the Annapurna Circuit Trek.

Outline Itinerary

Day 1 : Drive from Kathmandu to Arughat, Gorkha

Day 2 : Trek from Soti Khola to Machha Khola

Day 3 : Trek from Machha Khola to Jagat

Day 4 : Trek from Jagat to Deng

Day 5 : Trek from Deng to Namrung

Day 6 : Trek from Namrung to Lhogaon

Day 7 : Trek from Lhogaon to Samagaon

Day 8 : Acclimatization day in Samagaon

Day 9 : Trek from Samagaon to Samdo

Day 10 : Trek from Samdo to Larkya La Phedi

Day 11 : Trek to Bhimtang via Larkya La Pass 5100m

Day 12 : Trek from Bhimtang to Tilje

Day 13 : Trek from Tilje to Tal

Day 14 : Trek to Syange and Drive to Kathmandu

[Detail Outline Itinerary]


Major Highlights of Manaslu Circuit Trek

  • Rawness in nature, authentic culture, the unsurpassed alpine beauty and the floral and faunal.
  • Larkya La Pass, 5,100m, the most dramatic pass of the Himalaya.
  • Glimpse of 10 peaks over 6,500 metres (21,300 ft) including a few over 7,000 metres (23,000 ft).
  • The trek lies on the newly developed Great Himalaya Trail.
  • Wonderful cultural experiences with the Tibetan and mountain people.
  • Buddhist temples, architecture and tradition.
manaslu circuit trek

Larkya Pass -Manaslu Circuit Pass

When To Trek Manaslu Region

The Major trekking season is from March to May and September to November with the busiest season October. With precipitation of both from snowfall and rainfall, it is recommended not to trek during the Monsoon (June – August) and Winter (early month of the year).

Permit and Rules

The entire Circuit covers the MCAP which is managed by the NTNC and is considered ‘restricted’ area.

  • The general permit to enter MCAP costs 2,000 Nepali rupees (approximately $23 USD).
  • Plus the trek requires a Restricted Area Permit of $50 per week with 7 USD for each additional day if you happen to trek between December to August, whereas it will cost USD 70 Per Person for first week and extra $10 Per Person Per Day between September to November.
  • Solo Trek is not allowed, the rule states minimum 2 people with a registered trek guide.
  •  All permits require passport-sized photo, Get in Kathmandu quite cheaply or send it to your guide/company.

*  MCAP stands for Manaslu Conservation Area Program and NTNC for National Trust for Nature Conservation

Tips : Let your Travel Company Handle all the permit works, they will arrange permits for you in advance.

Note: If you plan to connect with the Annapurna Circuit later in your trek, you will also need to secure the 2,000 Nepali rupee permit for Annapurna Conservation Area in advance.

What to take on the trek
  • Hiking boots (long lasting boots) make sure you break them well before arriving in Nepal. One could spend up to 5 to 6 hours a day on the trail.
  • Soft and light shoes (Rubber shoes/sandals/sneakers) carry a lightweight shoes for after the day hike.
  • Sunglasses (geniuses UV protected) the sun rays are particularly strong the higher you go.
  • Lightweight sleeping bag, essential during peak seasons (October). Lodges/Tea Houses do offer blankets, but are scarce during the peak season, therefore carrying a sleeping bag (-10 C°) can be a great precaution.
  • First aid kit containing paracetamol, burn cream, bandaids , antiseptic cream, water purification.
  • Other/Optional Extras : Trekking poles (highly recommended), Wallet (bring lots of small changes), Trekking bars (energy bars), Gloves (windproof).

Manaslu Circuit After the April Earthquake

Manaslu trail and the conservation area were one of the affected regions following the earthquake. However thing are different now, one year after the earthquake the damaged trails and broken bridge have been fixed and Tea Houses open to business. With the trail open again for trekkers to explore, many have already trekked the beautiful Manasul with some on the route (while you are reading) and many more planning  trek after the earthquake. (if you are planning then Book Now !)

manaslu trail race 2015

Manaslu Trail Race to begins in 5th November 2016.

In Addition, 25 racers from all over the world including locals completed the tour of Manasul in the form of a race. The Manaslu Trail Race (gallerywas held on November 2015 with a message if we can do it running, you can do it trekking.


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In Pictures Annapurna Circuit

The most popular trekking trail in Nepal that stretches almost 100 miles beginning from tropical zone to elevated highland Thorung La Pass, Annapurna Circuit caters widely diverse cultural and natural aspects.

Here are some fascinating pictures of breathtaking landscapes  around Annapurna Circuit that takes you to the most enthralling trails the Himalayas of Nepal have to offer.

Around Annapurna Circuit.

Around Annapurna Circuit, walking through lush green forests , majestic mountains & miles of snow.


Mount Dhaulagiri seen from chiltre

Dazzling, White & Beautiful Dhaulagiri mountain seen from Chiltre.


Ice lake and annapurna II

Kicho Tal (Ice lake) with Annapurna II in the background.


Mt nilgiri

Mt. Nilgiri seen from Jomsom.


Manang annapurna

Annapurna III seen from Manang.


Lake Tilicho

Lake Tilicho, a popular side hike of Annapurna Circuit.


thorong la pass annapurna circuit

Way to Thorong La, a mountain pass with an elevation of 5,416 metres.


marpha annapurna circuit

Pretty stone lined village of Marpha.


braga annapurna circuit

Braga, around annapurna.


Jharkot valley around annapurna

Jharkot Valley, gateway to Manang.


mount manaslu

Mount Manaslu seen from Danakyu.


view from poon hill annapurna circuit

Mount Dhaulagiri seen from Poon Hill.


During the Annapurna Circuit trek, you walk with through a blend of exquisite culture, typical Nepalese village lifestyle, unbelievably challenging yet mesmerizingly beautiful landscape and above all pristine Himalayas.


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A Basic Guide to Annapurna Base Camp Trek

The most spectacular trekking trail of the world

One of the most popular trekking trails in Nepal, Annapurna Base Camp Trek, caters the incredible taste of Trekking in the Himalayas.

This high glacial basin, Annapurna Base Camp is located directly north to Pokhara. Surrounded by a ring of mountains, Machapuchhare,  Annapurna I and Hiunchuli respectively, this oval shaped plateau seats at an altitude of over 4,130 m (13,549 ft).

Annapurna base camp trek

Panoramic view of Annapurna Sanctuary

The magical landscape in and around the Annapurna Base Camp is also called “sanctuary” because of its natural serenity, beauty and the divine presence of the Hindu goddesses Annapurna (8,091m) and Gangapurna (7,455m).

The trekking adventure to Annapurna Base Camp starts from Nayapul which is two hour’s drive from Pokhara. Then lead to the Machhapuchhre Base Camp through Ghandruk and Chhomrong. From there it head towards the Annapurna Base Camp and the ideal trek to the foothill of majestic Annapurna concludes by arriving to Jhinu Danda through Dovan.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Drive to Nayapul & trek to Tikhedhunga

Day 2 : Trek from Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani

Day 3 : Early morning hike to Poon Hill & trek to Tadapani

Day 4 : Trek from Tadapani to Chomrong

Day 5 : Trek from Chomrong to Himalaya Hotel

Day 6 : Trek from Himalayan Hotel to ABC via MBC

Day 7 : Trek to Bamboo

Day 8 : Trek from Bamboo to Jhinu Danda

Day 9 : Trek  from Jhinu Danda to Tolka

Day 10 : Trek  from Tolka to Phedi and drive to Pokhara


Most of the trail you walk (or any trekking trail of Annapurna Region) is through the protected region of Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP).

[Note: ABC & MBC stands for Annapurna Base Camp & Machapuchare Base Camp]

Annapurna Base Camp trekking

Most of the trail in ABC trek is in the protected region of Annapurna Conservation Area.

The Annapurna Conservation Area is Nepal’s largest protected area covering 7,629 km2 (2,946 sq mi) in the Annapurna range of the Himalayas.

When To Go

March to May (spring) and September to December (autumn) are the best months to trek to Annapurna Base Camp. The days will be warm and nights will be usually cold with cool breezes. Those of you who are willing to fight the cold can also do the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in the months of January and February.

Cost and Permits

One must be registered in TIMS (Trekker’s Information Management System) before starting the trek. As mentioned, most of the trekking trail to ABC is inside the protected area of Annapurna Conservation Area. Fees for entering the conservation areas are as follows:

  • For SAARC Nationals Nepali Rupees 200. (Approx. US $2 per person)
  • For other Nationals (other than SAARC countries) Nepal Rupees 2,000.(Approx. US $200 per person)

Entry Permits available at the following locations:

  • Kathmandu: Karmachari Sanchaya Kosh Building, Tridevi Marg, Thamel, Kathmandu.
  • Pokhara: Nepal Tourism Board, Tourist Service Centre, Pardi Damside.

Mostly, TIMS will be registered by your trek company after you arrive in Nepal.

Note: Entrance fee not required for children under 10 years of age and two passport size photographs are required while applying for each Entry Permit.


The highlight of the trek is not only the majestic beauty of the Himalayan scenery but also the rich cultural experience of the Gurung villages and their inhabitants that you meet along the way.

Majestic scenery and a mix of cultures unmatched by any other treks in Nepal.

Not an entirely difficult trek, Annapurna Base Camp trekking is an unique experience for adventurers, beginners and experts alike.


Planning to trek Annapurna Base Camp! Remember the maximum altitude you will ascend during trek will be 4,130m. So, you need to be fully prepared for the harsh conditions.

Annapurna Base Camp trekking

The maximum altitude you will ascend during trek will be 4,130m.

Have an idea of AMS (Acute Motion Sickness) or also referred as Altitude Sickness. Headache, nausea, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, difficulty in sleeping and lack of energy are the symptoms of AMS.

The altitude sickness mostly occurs above 2,400 metres (8,000 feet) and most people can ascend to 2,400 metres (8,000 ft) without difficulty.

It is advice to not to continue (ascend) if you have any symptoms of AMS. It is better you move to lower altitude as soon as possible.

As you are constantly walking/trekking (4 to 5 hrs a day) the secret is to pack lightly as possible. Here is some gears and equipment you need to pack during your trek to Annapurna Base Camp.

Gears & Equipment
  • Hiking boots (long lasting boots) make sure you break them well before arriving in Nepal. One could spend up to 5 to 6 hours a day on the trail.
  • Soft and light shoes (Rubber shoes/sandals/sneakers) carry a lightweight shoes for after the day hike.
  • Sunglasses (geniuses UV protected) the sun rays are particularly strong the higher you go.
  • Lightweight sleeping bag, essential during peak seasons (October-December). Lodges do offer blankets, but are scarce during the peak season, therefore carrying a sleeping bag (-10 C°) can be a great precaution.
  • First aid kit containing paracetamol, burn cream, bandaids , antiseptic cream, water purification.
  • Other/Optional Extras : Trekking poles (for rough terrain), Wallet (bring lots of small changes), Trekking bars (energy bars), Gloves (windproof).

This Annapurna Base Camp enables you to enjoy the best of what the Annapurna Region has to offer making it the perfect go to adventurous holiday in Nepal for those with limited time to spend.


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Upper Mustang Trek Guide

Upper Mustang a demilitarized area until 1992 is now the most popular and charming destination of Nepal. Nestling in the rain shadow of the dazzling, white and beautiful Dhaulagiri Mountain, the forbidden kingdom Upper Mustang is an ancient capital of Lopas “People of Lo or Mustang”. If you are one of those, who craves from wilderness and exploration, then trekking to the lost kingdom is a must do!!

Mustang (upper) an ancient former Himalayan Kingdom lays in the northern central part of Nepal which is a remote isolated region of the Nepalese Himalayas with a touch of mystery and seclusion.

Upper Mustang Trek

Upper Mustang one of the most popular and seen as a charming destination in Nepal.

The trek begins from Kagbeni “gateway to upper mustang” after two hour walk from Jomsom, the windiest village of Nepal. The major attractions of Upper Mustang Trek are the prehistoric Tibetan village, rare medieval Buddhist arts, and the exotic Tibetan “Buddhist” culture, architectures (high city walls and the cliff hanging Caves), the high Himalayan dessert with colorful stratified rock formations.

Not to forget, the trek provides an opportunity to view the breathtaking panoramic view of some of the magnificent Himalayas Annapurna, Gangapurna, Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri and some other trailing mountain peaks.

Trek Season

Upper mustang has a trans himalayan climate and lies in the rain shadow area of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range. Pre-Monsoon (March-June) and Post-Monsoon (September-November) are the best season to trek in the Northern side of Nepal. The remote region can be accessed throughout the year even in the disquieting monsoon season.

Cost & Permit

Entering into the foothills of himalayan giant needs a special permit, costing $50 per day per person (foreigner), $500 for 10 days. Even though with a heavy permit fee, every penny paid for the restricted region ,Upper Mustang, guarantees its value, lifetime Himalayan and cultural experiences.

 Tiji festival in Lo-Manthang

Mustang a Tibet Autonomous Region of the Nepal is rich in Buddhist culture. The Tiji Festival,3 days ritual every May,in Lo-Manthang is an alternate way to experience the Tibetan native culture and landscape.

tiji festival

Tiji festival, a 3 days ritual celebrated in Lo Manthang, Upper Mustang evey May.

Lo-Manthang, the walled capital city of Upper Mustang is noted for its tall white washed mud brick walls, gompas and King’s Palace, a nine-cornered, five story structure built around 1400.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Drive to Pokhara.

Day 2 : Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni

Day 3 : Trek to Chele [6-7] hours trek

Day 4  : Trek to Geling [6-6.5] hours trek

Day 5 : Trek to Charang [6-7] hours trek

Day 6 : Trek to Lo-Manthang [5-6] hours trek

Day 7 : Acclimatization and Exploration day on Lo Manthang

Day 8 : Trek to Ghami [4-6] hours trek

Day 9 : Trek to Samar [5-6] hours trek

Day 10 : Trek to Kagbeni [5-6] hours trek

Day 11 : Trek to Jomsom [3-4] hours trek

 Day 12 : Fly to Pokhara

Equipment and Gears
  • Hiking boots (long lasting boots) make sure you break them well before arriving in Nepal. One could spend up to 5 to 6 hours a day on the trail.
  • Soft and light shoes (Rubber shoes/sandals/sneakers) carry a lightweight shoes for after the day hike.
  • Sunglasses (geniuses UV protected) the sun rays are particularly strong the higher you go.
  • Lightweight sleeping bag, essential during peak seasons (October-December). Lodges do offer blankets, but are scarce during the peak season, therefore carrying a sleeping bag (-10 C°) can be a great precaution.
  • First aid kit containing paracetamol, burn cream, bandaids , antiseptic cream, water purification.
  • Other/Optional Extras : Trekking poles (for rough terrain), Wallet (bring lots of small changes), Trekking bars (energy bars), Gloves (windproof).
Gallery

The interesting charms of this Upper Mustang Trek.


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Annapurna the Incredible Trekking Region

“Home to some of the  world class trekking routes.”

The north west part of Nepal, Annapurna Region is one of the most visited region and is considered Heaven by many ongoing travellers & nature lovers. Ranging from sodden bamboo forests to windswept desert, this mostly isolated landscape is home to some of the oldest buddhist communities & dramatic high mountains(including the 10th highest mountain).

The Famous city Pokhara is the gateway to Annapurna Region. Either take 6 to 7 hours bus ride or a 30 min flight for kathmandu, Pokhara welcomes you with its beautiful lakes and towering mountains.

Trek in the annapurna region all starts and end in pokhara.

Talking about the climate, being a high altitude region Annapurna Region is very cold in winter with snowfall and low in temperature. Nothing much changes in summer, the days are cooler (warmer) in comparison to winter but night can get cold and chilly.

As mentioned earlier the Annapurna region is home to several world-class treks & one of the  most desired trekking destinations in the world. Let’s start with two of the most popular and most visited trekking destination of this region, Annapurna Circuit & Annapurna Base Camp.

Annapurna Circuit 

Annapurna Circuit is considered one of the best trek in the world. The trek around the Annapurna massif is all about Nepalese village lifestyle, unbelievably challenging yet mesmerizingly beautiful landscape and above all pristine Himalayas. Annapurna circuit trek takes you to four different regions,  Lamjung and Myagdi which are of the lower elevations whereas Manang and Mustang are of the higher elevations.

This 100 miles trek passes from the world’s deepest gorge between two 8,000-plus meter peaks to 5416 meters elevated highland  Thorung La Pass.

Popular side Hikes

Tilicho lake, annapurna region

Tilicho Lake

One of the most popular side hike destination of the Annapurna Circuit, Tilicho Lake is situated at an altitude of 4,919 metres (16,138 ft) in Manang district. It is said to be one of the highest lake in the world and takes additional 2 to 3 days hike from Manang.

Naar phu valley, Annapurna Region

Naar Phu Valley

Opened to foreigners in 2002, Naar-Pho Valley has a total Tibetan character. Phugaon and Naar the two main villages of Naar-Pho are both located at over 4000 meter altitude. Listed as a restricted area trekking permit and travel guide are compulsory which are most likely to be arranged by your trekking agency. A side trip to Naar-Pho requires a total of 9 days if two nights are spent in both Phugaon and Naar.

Annapurna Circuit in Picture.

Annapurna Base Camp 

One of the most regularly visited and most loved trekking trails in Nepal, the Annapurna Base Camp trekking accommodates the incredible taste of Trekking in the Himalayas. The combination of easy walking (some steep uphill climbing & crossing narrow bridge),out of the world scenery and mix of cultures are unmatched by any other trekking routes in Nepal.

The Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) is an elevated glacial basin located in the central Himalayas of Nepal. Most of the trail you tread during this trek is through the protected region of Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP).  The other highlight of the trek is the Annapurna sanctuary, the magical landscape around the Annapurna base camp.

Read Annapurna Base Camp Trek Guide.


Most of the trekking routes of Annapurna Region goes through 7,629 kmAnnapurna Conservation area, which is the largest protected area of Nepal. Among the three major trekking routes (Annapurna Circuit & Annapurna Base Camp) Jomsom -Muktinath is another popular destination.

JomsomMuktinath heading north from pokhara reveals Nepal’s spectacular diversity at its finest. Jomsom (2700 meters)beautiful windy valley nestles in the rain shadows of Mt. Dhaulagiri, whereas Muktinath is a sacred place both for Hindus and Buddhists located in Muktinath Valley ( 3,710 meters)at the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass.

Jomsom Muktinath Trek takes you to the foothills of majestic Dhaulagiri and Annapurna catering diverse highlights of nature and culture from mesmerizing landscapes, scenic Himalayan view and the unique culture.


Not to forget Mustang “former Kingdom of Lo” bordering Tibet is also geographically a part of Annapurna Region.

Mustang remained a mystery for centuries until it was opened for tourist in 1992.If you are craving for something wilderness and exploration the long lost kingdom will surely fascinates you. Mustang is a unique experience taking you beyond the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, traveling across desert like landscape, barren ridges, deep canyon, cliffs and valleys.

Read Upper Mustang Trek Guide.


Annapurna Region is not just limited to long and tiring trekking trails. Ghorepani Poonhill is the most wonderful short trek with spectacular views of Annapurna.

Panoroma-Annapurana

View from Poon Hill with Annapurna to the right and Dhaulagiri on the left

Ghorepani Poonhill trek is another magnificent addition to Annapurna Region, this trek allows you spectacular mountains sceneries (virgin Fishtail, majestic Annapurna, grand Dhaulagiri and less known beauty Nilgiri and Dhampus Peaks), opportunities to experience the hospitality of Gurung ethnics, lets you be a part of their celebrations and understand how beautiful a life can be, regardless of tough geography in the vicinity.


Easily accessible, plentiful of guest house, unspoiled beauty & its vast bio-diversity with both high mountains and lowland villages; trekking in the region offers unique exposure and experience.


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