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Your flights to Lukla from Kathmandu may be diverted to Ramechhap Airport. Here’s Why!

Your flights to Lukla from Kathmandu may be diverted to Ramechhap Airport. Here’s Why!

Everything you need to know about Manaslu Trek

Manaslu Trek Vs Annapurna Trek

The Manaslu Circuit trek consistently ranks among the best classic treks in Nepal. Yet, it is often overlooked. The hidden jewel in the Himalayas of Nepal, Manaslu Circuit is less-wandered and reserved for those intrepid souls who seek extraordinary adventure. This trek is regarded as a compelling alternative to the Annapurna Circuit Trek, and for good reasons.

The Manaslu Trek effortlessly checks every box—breathtaking mountain scenery, challenging high Himalayan pass- Larkya La Pass, immersive mountain culture, and the ultimate off-the-beaten-path adventure. Feeling inspired? If yes is the answer, here are the questions you should have answers to for a successful Manaslu trek adventure.

  Manaslu Circit      –       Annapurna Circit

How difficult is the Manaslu Circuit?

It’s challenging! But not really. If you’re in good shape and can walk for a couple of hours without feeling utterly exhausted, you can do the trek. And for those who have never done a high-altitude trek, it can be really challenging. With thorough preparation, optimal training, and a meticulous plan, even a first-time trekker can successfully complete the Manaslu Circuit trek.

Manaslu Circuit trek covers a span of 177km (110 miles) on a circular route. This is notably longer than the world-famous Everest Base Camp trek, spanning approximately 130km (81 miles). In this regard, this trek presents a higher level of challenge compared to the Everest Base Camp trek due to the longer distance and obviously challenging terrain. On average, trekkers cover 22km (13 miles) per day during the Manaslu Circuit Trek. The least distance covered—10km (6 miles)—is when crossing the Larkya La Pass and during acclimatization days.

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Is Manaslu Circuit Trek safe?

Yes, it is safe. Let’s look at the logical and paramount reasons that make the Manaslu Circuit trek a safe adventure. It is mandatory for a trekker or a group to hire a certified guide to embark on the Manaslu Circuit trek. Trekking with guides and porters can provide an extra level of safety. The fact that it has been recently opened for trekking and there is an open border with China makes it safe for tourists. This allows a controlled and organized influx of tourists. The cooperation between Nepal and China with standard regulations and controlled access ensures the safety of trekkers.

In terms of wildlife encounters, this trek is generally considered safe. While there is a chance of spotting endangered wildlife like snow leopards, and red pandas, to name a few, they have not been known to attack humans. The trek is unquestionably unsafe during monsoon season due to heavy rain and mudslides. Adding to this, many teahouses remain closed, and the trail becomes treacherous due to the increased risk of landslides. Please note that there have been very few unfortunate incidents during summit pushes and avalanches. So, it is advised to plan the trek during avalanche-prone seasons. You may consider consulting with Take On Nepal expert.

Do you need a guide for Manaslu Circuit?

Yes, you need a guide for the trek. The solo trek is deterred by the Manaslu Circuit Trek. A minimum group of two people is required, and a guide is mandatory. You either need to hire a guide or join a group organized by a certified trekking agency to obtain a permit for the trek. The Government of Nepal put this regulation in place to enhance safety and support for trekkers. Given the Manaslu region as a restricted area and the potential altitude-related challenges, hiring a guide is a prudent and essential step for a trekker for a safe and well-managed trekking experience.

How do you prepare for Manaslu Circuit Trek?

For a safe, successful, and enjoyable journey through the stunning but challenging trail of Manaslu Circuit, you must be thoroughly prepared. We have the comprehensive Everest Base Camp Trek Training Guide; if you follow it, you will surely be well-prepared for the Manaslu Circuit trek. It may sound challenging, but you can be prepared for the adventure, and here are some tips for the preparation of the Manaslu Circuit Trek:

  • Firstly, it is imperative to focus on your physical fitness and engage in a well-rounded fitness program that includes aerobic exercises like cycling, jogging, and running. It would be best if you incorporate a hike with a loaded backpack.
  • You can also add yoga to enhance flexibility and balance.
  • Do thorough research on the Manaslu Circuit trek beforehand and gather valuable information on the food, accommodation, weather, local culture, lifestyle, and permits.
  • Plan an itinerary that includes gradual accent and acclimatization days. Also, add contingency day(s) for unforeseen circumstances, such as bad weather.
  • Familiarize yourself with acclimatization and altitude-related challenges.
  • Be mentally prepared for the challenges and the rewards of this high-altitude trek. You have to be prepared for long trekking days, demanding terrains, and varying weather conditions. Being patient and adapting to challenging situations is the key to success.
  • Pack all-inclusive gear and equipment for high-altitude adventure covering 5000m
  • Arrange transportation to and from the trailhead in advance.
  • For guide and porter service, consult with a trustworthy trekking agency like Take On Nepal.
  • Focus on a balanced diet and always stay well-hydrated during the trek.
  • For emergencies, learn basic first aid and CPR techniques. It is equally important to be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness.
  • Schedule the trek during the best season for a pleasant trekking experience.
  • Ensure adequate rest and quality sleep for a successful trek.
  • Last but not least, carry enough cash, identification papers, documentation, insurance papers, and permits. You can save digital copies on your phone as well.

When should I trek Manaslu, Best time to trek?

Like with other treks, it is widely recognized that the best time to do the Manaslu Circuit Trek is during the vibrant seasons of autumn and spring. The weather remains balmy and stable throughout the day, with clear skies for breathtaking views of the mountains. The remarkable perk of trekking in spring or autumn is the moderate temperature. Similarly, the rhododendron trees showcase their colorful blooms during the arrival of spring and the onset of autumn. The daytime temperature, as well as the night temperature, are favorable. Considering the trail, it is sure to remain at its best without the hazard of landslides or avalanches. Please note that the Manaslu Circuit remains closed during winter due to heavy snowfall. It is advised not to trek during the rainy season because of rainfall and challenges associated with it, like landslides, slippery trails, and leech predicament.

How much does the Manaslu Circuit trek cost?

The cost of the Manaslu Circuit trek offered by Take On Nepal is AUD 2690 per person. This all-inclusive cost covers all associated expenses without any hidden charge. However, it’s important to know that personal expenses, like additional snacks, optional side trips, and souvenirs, are not covered by the cost. The cost of the trek depends on various factors, like services included, personal preference, and group size, to name a few. The bottom line is the trek cost varies based on the trekking agency you choose and the service they offer.

If you have completed the Everest Base Camp Trek, you should know that the cost of the Manaslu Circuit Trek is closely parallel to the cost of the Everest Base Camp Trek. One major difference is that the Manaslu Circuit trek does not entail flight expenses for the guide, porter, or yourself, which cuts down on the trek cost. It’s advisable to consult with a reputed trekking agency like Take On Nepal to get a general breakdown of the cost and up-to-date information regarding the cost of the trek.

Take On Nepal is an ethical trekking company that prioritizes delivering exceptional value for money to their clients, ensuring that every trek is not only memorable but also economically viable. The company firmly believes in equitable treatment for all, especially their dedicated ground staff, who are well-paid and meticulously looked after. Similarly, Take on Nepal is committed to promoting and supporting female guides. They empower and uplift women within the trekking fraternity, which is a testament to their ethical values. When you choose Take on Nepal, you can embark on your trek with the confidence that you are in safe hands. Their team is comprised of seasoned professionals who are well-versed in the terrain and intricacies of trekking routes in Nepal.

How many kilometers is Manaslu Circuit trek/ How long?

We’ve already mentioned that the total distance covered by the Manaslu Circuit Trek is approximately 177km or around 110 miles. The trek’s length may vary depending on personal preference and the itinerary selected. The standard itinerary for this trek is 14 days, and it normally lasts between 10 and 20 days, giving trekkers the freedom to customize their itinerary to suit their preferences and interests. Some trekkers may choose to take the trek slowly, extending their stay to take in the area’s natural beauty and gradually adjust to the high elevations. The trek may, however, be comfortably finished in around 13 days, striking a balance between acclimatization and efficiency. Our 13-day Manaslu Circuit trek includes important attractions like the base camp and Birendra Lake while also thoughtfully adding acclimatization days to improve safety and enjoyment.

Manaslu Pass        –           Annapurna Pass

Manaslu Circuit Trek vs Annapurna Circuit Trek

If you have done neither of the treks, it can be a daunting task to decide between the two because both treks offer unparalleled experiences. When we juxtapose the Manaslu Circuit Trek with the Annapurna Circuit Trek, we see that the Manaslu Circuit Trek offers a less commercialized experience through a less-traveled trail. That said, there are many other factors that come into play when choosing the best trek for you. For that very reason, to make it simpler, we have done a head-to-head comparison between the Manaslu Circuit Trek and Annapurna Circuit Trek.


Annapurna Circuit Trek Comparison Term Manaslu Circuit Trek
Central Nepal Location North-Central Nepal
Moderately difficult trek Trek Difficulty Moderately difficult trek
Shorter: 4 to 6 hours per day Walking Hours Longer: 6 to 8 hours per day
Approximately 230 km (145 miles) Trek Distance Approximately 177km (110 miles)
Typically 14-20 days Trekking Duration Typically 13-17 days
5,416 meters (17,769 feet) at Thorong La Pass Highest Elevation 5,160 meters (16,929 feet) at Larkya La Pass
Popular and well-trodden trail Trail Remote and less-frequented trail
more extensive and developed network of teahouses Accommodation more basic teahouses and fewer options
Popular trek Popularity Less-known and underrated trek
Diverse food options Food and Drinks Availability Limited options
More accessible routes with standard trekking permits Restriction More restricted access with special permits requirement
ACAP and TIMS Permits ACAP, MCAP and Manaslu RAP
Yes Flight Accessibility No
No border access Border Border touch with Tibet
Manang and Jomsom Health Post No
Tens of thousands of tourists every year Number of incoming Tourists Estimated 3000 tourists every year
Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machapuchare, and Nilgiri Mountain View Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Himlung Himal, and Annapurna ranges
Crossing Thorong La Pass Challenging part Crossing Larkya La Pass
Diverse ethnic villages of Gurung, Magar and Thakali Cultural Experience Tibetan-influenced villages and culture
Tilicho Lake, Gangapurna Lake and Ice Lake Side Trips Birendra Taal, Manaslu Base Camp
Pisang Monastery, Braga Monastery Monasteries and Gompas Ribung Gompa, Rachen Gompa and more
Rupse Waterfall, Tal Waterfall Waterfall No waterfall
Braga Fort, Ghyaru Ruins Historical Sites Unavailable


Is Manaslu Trek better than Everest Base Camp?

The perception of whether Manaslu Trek is better than Everest Base Camp or vice versa can vary significantly from person to person based on personal goals and experience, interests, and preferences. Some trekkers may love to trek through less-crowded trails, which in this case is Manaslu Base Camp. They appreciate secluded experiences and unspoiled wilderness. On the other hand, others might prioritize adventure to Everest Base Camp due to its accessibility and popularity. In terms of bragging rights, Everest Base Camp is clearly the winner. One thing that might count more is that there are no airports near Manaslu Base Camp. Manaslu Base Camp requires a special permit; on the other hand, Everest Base Camp is a well-known trekking route with ease of obtaining permits at the entrance. Similarly, the availability of 5-star hotels en route to Everest Base Camp can be appealing to those who seek comfort and luxury.

Accommodation and Food on the Manaslu Circuit Trek

Accommodation and food on the Manaslu Trek offer an authentic mountain experience. The trek primarily features basic tea houses or tents for accommodation with minimal amenities. The majority of teahouses have squat toilets and communal dining areas. Meals are predominantly prepared over an open fire and are similar to that of the Everest Base Camp trek. The culinary offerings during the Manaslu trek follow a pattern similar to the Everest Base Camp trek. As the trek progresses, especially after day 4, the Himalayan air begins to chill, highlighting the importance of adequately preparing for the cold weather. Bringing your own sleeping bag is highly recommended for a personalized and comfortable trekking experience. Overall, while the accommodation and food may be basic, the trek definitely offers a lifetime experience.

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