For first-timers, you can admire the ecstatic beauty of Manaslu. And for the seasonal trekkers enjoy the Manaslu Circuit trek after the earthquake in a more majestic fashion.
Remote Himalayas is the region to explore for trekkers in Nepal Now, and the Manaslu circuit marks the best of the bunch here. A planned trek of Manaslu will take you closer to the locals and the Himalayas here. Starting the days with a blissful sunrise and ending it in one of the community teahouses, experiences are plenty here.
Mount Manaslu (8163 m) is among the most beautiful eight-thousanders. A challenge for the mountaineers as well as adventure-lovers, the trek to the base camp and beyond is mesmerizing. Right from the beginning, the green hills make out the way for the scenic mountains and towards the piece of Shangri La which lies beyond.
Table of Contents
- 1 Manaslu Circuit Itinerary
- 1.1 Day 01: Drive of your life, Kathmandu to Soti Khola Adventure
- 1.2 Day 02: Walk Starts and with it the thrill of entering Manaslu
- 1.3 Day 03: Embracing the authentic Manaslu trails
- 1.4 Day 04: The Balance of Culture and Nature for travelers all around
- 1.5 Day 05: Adding to the altitude ad leaving the Jungles behind
- 1.6 Day 06: The push towards the first acclimatization stop
- 1.7 Day 07: Rest in the Himalayan style, Exploring Manaslu Base Camp and Birendra Lake
- 1.8 Day 08: Luxury Section of the Manaslu Circuit
- 1.9 Day 09: Trail through the slide of time and proper mountain landscape
- 1.10 Day 10: The prime challenge, a sign of relief and Happiness at the end
- 1.11 Day 11: Run down the hills and to the Annapurna CA
- 1.12 Day 12: Covering more miles and completing the Manaslu Circuit Trail
- 1.13 Day 13: Drive, relax and party back in Kathmandu
Manaslu Circuit Itinerary
The standard itinerary of the Manaslu circuit lasts about two weeks. This however could handle customization to last for a longer period too. For a complete experience, you can sneak in multiple acclimatization and exploration days to the itinerary here. With fireworks of natural and cultural delights each day there is plenty to look for in this detailed itinerary.
Day 01: Drive of your life, Kathmandu to Soti Khola Adventure
The bus to Soti Khola leaves early from the Gongabu Bus Park in Kathmandu. It is the go-to place to head towards any rural regions or trailheads in Nepal. Unless you are looking to pay a hefty amount to take a private Jeep/car to Soti Khola, a local bus will be your ideal choice here.
Now, we had to add a few things about local buses in Nepal. Almost all of them are fairly modern but sharing it with locals comes with some catch. The obvious notice will be the Nepali songs played on the bus throughout your journey. If it isn’t something you would favour to listen to for a long period we suggest you carry an earphone just in case. The bus fare will be reasonable and below 10$ per person is fine. Similarly, you shouldn’t be surprised if the bus stops frequently for someone to get in or out.
Keeping all these in mind the bus ride in itself isn’t that bad. You can have a clear view of hills and distant mountains getting out of the Kathmandu Valley. A new experience to have, you can look forward to this 8 hours long hill-highway ride with a lunch stop in between. Rest in Soti Khola after the drive.
Day 02: Walk Starts and with it the thrill of entering Manaslu
Soti khola to Maccha khola
Now, as the morning starts we know you will be itching to hit the trail. However, for the first day, we have some tips that will help you get a better start on the Manaslu circuit trek. Do some stretching and warm-up exercises. Have a light breakfast and warm water to start the walking. Especially, if you have not done some shorter treks for a long time it will help to get your legs going.
The trail to Maccha Khola is relaxed but eventful. This part will see you walk through plenty of small villages and farmlands. One of the main attractions of today will be the view of a beautiful natural waterfall from Khursane. Just before you reach Maccha Khola, you will pass by the Gurung Village of Labubesi. Take a short break here. Enjoy the lifestyle and culture of the villagers and continue. You will reach Maccha Khola Just in time for a late afternoon tea. Enjoy the sunset view over the hills and the Buri Gandaki River to end your day.
Day 03: Embracing the authentic Manaslu trails
Maccha Khola to Jagat
You will get the proper look at the diversity of the Manaslu circuit today. In this 6 hours segment of the trail, you will walk through the forest, riverside, rocky terrain, and end in the picturesque village of Jagat. Start the day with the twists and turns of the Buri Gandaki River. In a forest trail soon to follow you can expect to spot wildlife and beautiful flowers to complement each other.
The welcoming sight for anyone who needs a break today will be the hot springs of Tatopani. Take a dip in and give your muscles a deserved rest here before the long climb coming next. You’ll reach the iconic Hill village of Jagat after a couple of hours. Get your permits checked, verified, and stamped here before ending your day at a lovely teahouse.
Day 04: The Balance of Culture and Nature for travelers all around
Jagat to Deng
Today is one of those days in the Manaslu circuit that you will just enjoy your trek. The scenes get better with each step and you will love the settlements in between. The first of many is Sirdibas. With finely arranged prayer flags and beautiful Gompas, you will have a cultural break here.
Philim will be the next stop for you and you will get the permits checked again. From here you can take a look at some encapsulating rock formations beside the river. Just before you reach the small village of Pewa the trail to Tsum Valley separates. The more mysterious regions of Manaslu, Tsum Valley is now in the eye of authentic-culture-seekers in Nepal. By following the main trail Deng is not too far. Enjoy the views, rest, and relax properly here.
Day 05: Adding to the altitude ad leaving the Jungles behind
Deng to Namrung
It is high time to change the gears from this day at the Manaslu circuit. Aiming Namrung today from Deng you’ll gain about 800 meters. This doesn’t sound like much but the trail goes up and down multiple times in short succession to make this section challenging. The exciting addition today will be encountering white-faced monkeys looking for some free food along the trail after Bihi Phedi.
Now pay attention to the coming section of your Manaslu Circuit Trail leading to Ghap. There are multiple landslide segments in which you must be extra aware of the surrounding. After Ghap you will have a final push towards the beautiful Namrung Village. Namrung is a fairly facilitated settlement and you can enjoy the likes of WiFi and bakery while you are here.
Day 06: The push towards the first acclimatization stop
Namrung to Samagaun
The views from Namrung and up are mostly unobstructed. You will have a real treat if you find yourself waking early to catch the sunrise. The clear blue sky and massive white peaks dominating the view are something one could treasure the most from the Manaslu circuit trek.
The trail leading towards Namrung to Samagaun is not unusually long. However, many people love to split it into two days to stay at the beautiful village of Lho for one day. It is a scenic traditional village with multiple Buddhist gompas. The best way in our opinion is to take a lunch break here and explore Lho. It will save you time and you will miss nothing doing that. It might be late afternoon when you reach Samagaun but the day to follow will give you some more time to rest.
Day 07: Rest in the Himalayan style, Exploring Manaslu Base Camp and Birendra Lake
Now we can’t undermine the importance of acclimatization while doing the Manaslu circuit trek. Although some itineraries are separating more days for it Manaslu circuit trek guides agree having one in Samagaun is enough. You can nap or do your laundry only in your spare time today. So it is not exactly resting for today as high-altitude trekking in Nepal interprets rest days slightly differently.
You will hike to the nearby destinations today. One key difference and a welcoming relief are that you will leave the heavy rucksack in your hotel and head out with smaller bags. A side trip to Manaslu Base Camp will be exciting. The views of Mount Manaslu are the best from the trail leading to the Base Camp. The Birendra Lake is closer but the serene greenish-blue water of this glacial lake will make for an amazing time.
Day 08: Luxury Section of the Manaslu Circuit
Samagaon to Samdo
Today is a luxury for trekkers. It is the shortest yet the most scenic segment of the Manaslu circuit trail. You can stop in multiple natural viewpoints here and just relax. The aim is to reach Smado village by lunch and the wide ridgeside trail is fantastic too. Aside from the small patches of juniper trees, you have an open trail to take in the fresh Himalayan breeze.
Day 09: Trail through the slide of time and proper mountain landscape
Samdo to Dharamshala
Samdo is one of the bigger villages in the Nepalese Himalayas. It is also the prime location for setting up your second acclimatization stop if you need the Manaslu circuit trek. This is recommended but not mandatory especially for Manaslu circuit trek solo. Your trail is straight up following a mountain stream to Dharamshala. In between are the Larkey Bazaar ruins which once used to be a major commercial hub for the people of Manaslu and Tibet. Get proper rest for the passing day tomorrow here in Dharamshala.
Day 10: The prime challenge, a sign of relief and Happiness at the end
Larkey La pass from Dharamshala to Bimthang
Manaslu region trekking is popular for some challenging and off-the-beaten-path trails. The presence of Larkey La pass is the main reason for anyone who has been here. The longest pass in the Himalayas, Larkey La at 5106 meters will be a good hurdle for any trekker to get past. Not as challenging as climbing Manaslu, but still a great achievement; once at the summit, your oy is infinite. The long downhill path leads to Bimthang, where you can relax next to the stove and reminisce about your childhood.
Day 11: Run down the hills and to the Annapurna CA
Bimthang to Dharapani
One of the major advantages of doing a circuit trek in the Himalayas is that you wouldn’t have to follow the same trail again. Manaslu circuit trek is fantastic on the return after completing the Larkey La pass as well. You can look forward to today’s path through some more rural villages and farmlands. Similarly, you can also share some laughs with fellow trekkers planning to do the traverse starting from Besisahar. Along the way, you will leave the Manaslu Conservation Area and enter the Annapurna region. Joining the Annapurna circuit, you will end the day in the trekkers’ village of Dharapani.
Day 12: Covering more miles and completing the Manaslu Circuit Trail
Dharapani to Besisahar
What can you expect from your last day of the trek in the Manaslu circuit? Well, for starters the trail back passes by lively hill settlements where you can interact and greet the locals. Also, the tea houses are much more developed and after some time here you can return to enjoy a large menu. You will also love a different landscape and enjoy the views of the Annapurna massif along the way. A brief stop in the scenic Tal village and you will reach Besisahar in no time from here. The emotions are high after completing such a special trek and you will be delighted with the Manaslu circuit trek.
Day 13: Drive, relax and party back in Kathmandu
Besisahar to Kathmandu
The drive back to Kathmandu is different from the one we took to start the trek. A more relaxed and comfortable drive with the scenic hills will take us back to Kathmandu. There is a wave of happiness, confidence, and hope that hits you after completing a long trek in the Himalayas. You could experience so much more after this one of its kind of trek in the Manaslu region too. A changed person and certainly a better trekker appreciating nature, this is the magic of Manaslu.
This trek in the central Himalayas is rated among the best in the world. Manaslu circuit trek reviews suggest the same. Natural wonders, cultural escapades, and the circuit trail cutting straight through everything, Manaslu Circuit is one of its kind for trekkers all around the world.