Manaslu Circuit trek includes the full range of Nepali-Himalayan experiences: high passes and glaciers, deep valleys with waterfalls and canyons, high plateaus with rural Tibetan communities, lush green forests, a peak to several 8,000 m. summits, a detour to base camp, lots of donkeys, yaks and is actually considered by experts to be one of the very best treks of Nepal! It is a beautiful but less trekked route, but is recently gaining popularity since it is easily accessible from Kathmandu and has readily available teahouses at all stops.
- 1: Arrival to Kathmandu, 1400m.
- 2: Explore some of Kathmandus world heritage sites.
- 3: Kathmandu to Gorkha, 1135m/3723ft, 140km, 5 hours.
- 4: Jeep to Gorkha to Ranglung Khola, 915m/3000ft, Trek to Barpak, 1950m/6397ft, 3 hours.
- 5: Barpak to Laprak, 2150m/7053ft, 5 hours.
- 6: Laprak to Khorlabeshi, 975m/3199ft, 7 hours.
- 7: Khorlabesi to Jagat, 1410m/4625ft, 7 hours.
- 8: Jagat to Deng, 1804m/5917ft, 6-7 hours.
- 9: Deng to Namrung, 2630m/8628ft, 6-7 hours.
- 10: Namrung to Lho, 2957m/9701ft, 4-5 hours.
- 11: Lho to Sama, 3540m/11614ft, 4-5 hours.
- 12: Acclimatization day, Side trip either to Pungyen Gompa, Manaslu Basecamp or Birendra Tal.
- 13: Sama to Samdo, 3860m/12660ft, 4-5 hours.
- 14: Acclimatization Day – side trip to Tibetan Border, 5100m/16732ft, 8 hours.
- 15: Samdo to Dharamasala, 4460m/14632ft, 4-5 hours.
- 16: Dharamasala – Larkye La Pass – Bimthang, 3590m/11778ft, 7-9 hours.
- 17: Bimthang to Tilije, 2300m/7544ft, 5 - 6 hours.
- 18: Tilije to Tal 1700m/5577ft, 9 hours.
- 19: Tal to Kathmandu 1300m/4262ft, 10 hours.
- 20: Rest day in Kathmandu.
- 21: Departure.
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
Beyond Borders representative will receive you at the airport. You will be taken to the hotel located in central Kathmandu for check in and a small walk around in the surroundings. The rest of the day free to rest after your flight. In the evening we have a welcome dinner where your guide will give a more detailed briefing of your upcoming weeks. (D)
Day 2: Explore Kathmandus world heritage sites.
After breakfast we make a walk through Kathmandus old local market, through the winding, narrow alleys all the way to Kathmandu Durbar Square which is one of the most impressive world heritage sites in the valley with its old pagoda temples and palace. Afternoon is free for preparation for the trek. In the evening we visit Swayambunath, a beautiful stupa located on a hilltop in the westernmost of the city. (B)
Day 3: Kathmandu to Gorkha, 1135m/3723ft, 140km, 5 hours.
After a breakfast, drive to Gorkha Bazar, about 5 hours drive. Enroute, one can observe beautiful landscapes, various streams and following the bank of Darundi Khola. In the evening excursion to Gorkha Durbar at the top of hill we get panoramic views of the mountains and sunset. (L/D)
Day 4: Jeep to Gorkha to Ranglung Khola, 915m/3000ft, Trek to Barpak, 1950m/6397ft, 3 hours.
After breakfast we drive to Ranglung Khola along the Darundi river. From there we head to Barpak along a steep and long climb. The wonderful village of Barpak is situated perfectly on a green ridge overlooking the misty valley below. The villagers often organize “cultural shows” where the proceeds go to improving the village. We are welcome to book one if we like to support them (own cost). In Barpak we are towered over by Bouddha Himal; a high, snow-capped peak which makes wonderful sunrise and sunset photos. (B/L/D)
Day 5: Barpak to Laprak, 2150m/7053ft, 5 hours.
Starting with a picturesque climb with Bouddha Himal providing a spectacular back-drop to the sprawling, scenic Barpak as we ascend the narrow ridge. We take the small, stone trail to the right of the main trail and some three hours later we reach the ridge, officially a pass, Gupsi Dada (2950m) which separates Laprak and Barpak. Here we can get some panoramic mountain views along with herds of sheep grazing on the grassy hillsides from the peak. Bouddha Himal, Sringi Himal, Ganesh Himal and the Langtang range all span the horizon; a truly breath-taking view! The rhododendrons are blooming brilliantly in spring season, in many hues of pink and red, providing great photographs with the snow-peaks in back. Another long steep downhill brings us to another large Gurung village; Laprak. Again, we have the afternoon free to explore the village; take a walk down the hill and a look into some of the houses, all with symbolic murals on the mud-brick walls. (B/L/D)
Day 6: Laprak to Khorlabeshi, 975m/3199ft, 7 hours.
We descend through Laprak’s maze of village paths to the river. Past a suspension bridge we climb equally steeply back up, past terraced fields of pink sorghum and rice. We contour around several hillsides on a narrow trail, barely visible at times, up to a small chorten just below the village of Singla. From here, the walk is easy, and we enjoy the views of Kutang Himal and Sringi Himal to the north as we walk down through more terraced fields and papaya trees. We cross the Gurung village of Khorla, and then down along a narrow, winding trail to Khorlabesi on the Budhi Gandaki River. Take care as the rocky steps just before the long suspension bridge to Khorlabesi are treacherous. Look out for the local women weaving straw mats in the village. (B/L/D)
Day 7: Khorlabesi to Jagat, 1410m/4625ft, 7 hours.
The following day we start by walking across the twisting road on the bank of Budhi Gandaki river. As we enter the forest trail we might witness langur monkeys. After having passed the forest we walk into the Gurung villages. On walking further we reach Tatopani, which means ‘hot water’. The name comes from the small hot spring in the village where we can have a bath before continuing further. After our hot water relaxation we cross a new suspension bridge over Bhuri Gandaki river to reach Doban. After Yaruphant we cross a wooden bridge to the left of the Buri Gandaki river and avoid a torturous 3-hour climb up Gurung village trails. The walk today goes on suspension bridges, in stairs and stone steps and across many ridges.
At Yaru we cross a long cantilever bridge to reach Jagat, a neatly flagstoned Gurung village. On entering the village your guide will go to verify your trekking permits at the check post. From this day we will be walking in the restricted area. (B/L/D)
Day 8: Jagat to Deng, 1804m/5917ft, 6-7 hours.
We walk to Salleri and descend to Sirdibas. The village welcomes we with several gompas and Buddhist prayer flags. On the road we make many small stopovers and we will probably be offered to try the local alcohol before reaching the long suspension bridge to at large Gurung village named Phillim. At Phillim your permits will be checked again and then we continue along the western bank of the river. The trail is beautiful with unique sculptures over the boulders on the river bank formed due to river water.
Leaving the river bank we proceed through forests of rhododendron, Himalayan pine and the overhanging rocks on the towering peaks. On proceeding further we cross the Siyar Khola bridge and reach a junction where the trail separates to Tsum valley on your right. Before reaching todays destination Deng the trail widens and we cross a bamboo forest. Deng is a small village with a few teahouses. (B/L/D)
Day 9: Deng to Namrung, 2630m/8628ft, 6-7 hours.
After the sunrise we cross a suspension bridge to climb to Rana (1910m) and Bihi Phedi (1990m). On the trail we might see monkeys visiting villages on the lookout for a free feed. The trail also passes through forests and mani where we turn towards a corner that contours to Ghap. Even though there is another route, we take the route through Prok village. Prok village has a viewpoint for a beautiful sight of Siringi Himal. We further cross the Budi Gandaki several times today and come across several gompas en route. The trail follows the river upstream through a dense forest. After crossing the river at an impressive spot where it thunders down a narrow gorge, the forest becomes less dense and the trail is fine again. The pleasant walk continues and after a last steep climb we reach the neat village of Namrung. The place has some of the best teashops, a restaurant, and rest houses on the trek. A local businessman worked for over a decade in Hong Kong then returned to Namrung and built a modern hotel with cappuccinos and WiFi. (B/L/D)
Day 10: Namrung to Lho, 2957m/9701ft, 4-5 hours.
We start our day by witnessing the Nubri people’s Tibet influenced, traditional lifestyle. We walk past several mani walls, lush terraces and houses through Banjam to enter the fir, rhododendron and oak forest before climbing to Lihi and then to Sho. Here most of the locals are clad in traditional Tibetan dresses and we see some fine paintings in the Kani (gate arches) that we pass before Sho. In the evening we enjoy the extraordinary views of Mt. Manaslu from Lho village and we explore the famous Ribung Gompa. (B/L/D)
Day 11: Lho to Sama, 3540m/11614ft, 4-5 hours.
Today we make a short trek because of altitude reasons. On walking, the picturesque view of Mt. Manaslu accompanies us. We walk across the easy trail to Shyala, passing through pine and rhododendron forests. From Shyala we continue for almost an hour to reach Sama. Once we enter the village the mountain views fade. However, the yak pastures and typical settlements will be a new attraction. Sama is the principal village of the Nubri people and it has a large gompa, shops, a health post, helipad and telephone/WiFi access. (B/L/D)
Day 12: Acclimatization day, Side trip either to Pungyen Gompa, Manaslu Basecamp or Birendra Tal
We keep a day of acclimatization at Sama Gaon to prevent altitude-related illness and for acclimatization hike you get three alternatives to choose between.
Alternative 1 (recommended): We walk to Pungyen Gompa (Buddhist monastery) on the east of the Nubri Valley. On this acclimatization hike we carry our packed lunch and eat it outside. Like other days, we walk across the roaring river which keeps we engaged for around 2 hours on the trail. Once at the hilltop we get the enticing views of Manaslu. Nearby we might see Himalayan thars and yaks grazing and the local people are wearing traditional clothes and ornaments.
Alternative 2: We hike to Manaslu Base Camp which north of Sama, following the trail past Birendra Tal and turn left onto the base camp track. We climb the steady trails and the altitude may cause breathing difficulty so we need to maintain body hydration and walk slowly. We walk to the north of Manaslu glacier to basecamp at 4400m then return.
Alternative 3: We hike to Birendra Tal, a short walk from Sama. This is a good option if you feel the need to rest or if you are finding the altitude difficult. (B/L/D)
Day 13: Sama to Samdo, 3860m/12660ft, 4-5 hours
Today we encounter extended yak pastures up a broad valley with long mani walls, with a variety of birds. It is an easy trail on a shelf above the river passing the juniper and birch forests of Kermo Kharka. We drop off the shelf, cross the Budhi Gandaki on a wooden bridge and climb steeply onto a promontory between two forks of the river. From a stone arch we can view a large white kani and behind the kani we find Samdo.
Once at Samdo we can explore the nearby villages or we can hike to Samdo Peak. The Larkya La trail is on the left above the valley. We can also see the main track for Tibet over the Larjyang La forming slopes on the Larkya La trail. (B/L/D)
Day 14: Acclimatization Day – side trip to Tibetan Border, 5100m/16732ft, 8 hours.
As a day for rest we stay another night in Samdo where we go for a day trip to the Tibetan border. From the border we see parts of Tibet and Nepal. If we are lucky we can also witness a yak caravan passing the border. Once at the border, looking towards the south of Samdo Glacier we can take excellent photos with a huge serac near the top of the glacier. We can also frame blue sheep and marmots in season, and we might sight some beautiful mountain birds like the Lophophorus (the national bird of Nepal), Lammergeyer and Himalayan Griffin soaring high above us. (B/L/D)
Day 15: Samdo to Dharamasala, 4460m/14632ft, 4-5 hours.
This is another adventurous day in the high altitude. We cross a seasonal Tibetan market called Larke bazar and descend down to Budhi Gandaki. We walk slowly down the edge, cross the wooden bridge over the river and begin walking upward. Upon crossing two streams and witnessing the Larkya Glacier we go around the valley of the Salka Khola and climb up again to the stone guest house (4450 m), which is not a lodge but a kind of shelter called Dharamshala, also known as Larke Phedi. The short walk today also leaves plenty of time for acclimatization and relaxing in the afternoon. (B/L/D)
Day 16: Dharamasala – Larkye La Pass – Bimthang, 3590m/11778ft, 7-9 hours.
This is a special day as we walk to the highest point of the trail, the Larkya La Pass (5160m). In bad weather and in snow the walk could be quite challenging but yet it is doable. We cross the pass before afternoon so we need to wake up early and leave the teahouse quite early. This is the challenging part of the trek but we keep on walking slowly and steadily.
The stunning views we witness once we stand at the pass gives value to every step of the trek. We catch views of Himlung (7126m), Cheo Himal, Kangguru (6981m) and Annapurna II (7937m). From the pass we walk downhill for around 3 hours, towards Bimthang for an overnight stay. On descending, we get views of huge icefalls and mountains in all directions, and over Pongkar lake between the Pongkar and Salpudanda glaciers. It is a longer day than usual to Bimtang, but to walk into these low pastures with the evening mist coming in with Mt. Manaslu looming close by is an overwhelming experience. (B/L/D)
Day 17, Bimthang to Tilije, 2300m/7544ft, 5 - 6 hours.
From a ridge at Bimthang we get great views of Mt. Manaslu, Lamjung Himal, Himlung Himal and Cheo Himal. We descend further and cross the high pasture Sangure Kharka, followed by a bridge over Dudh Khola. We walk through rhododendron forest and follow a trail through a narrow valley until we reach the highest cultivated land of the valley at Karche, 2785 meters. We cross fields before making a steep climb over a ridge. The trail comes off the ridge in a big, sweeping arc to the river bank at 2580m. A short distance beyond is the village of Gho. Due to the tiredness from yesterday we might want to take an overnight rest at Gho but since the lodges are better at Tilije it is still recommended to stay here. (B/L/D)
Day 18: Tilije to Tal 1700m/5577ft, 9 hours.
This is the final day of walking. On climbing downhill, we walk through the lush forests full of flora and fauna including rhododendron bushes. Walking back across the Dudh Khola, we walk to Karche for lunch. In the next hour, we see many signs of a glacial flood, with tree trunks smashed and banks undermined, the track becoming quite rough. And, the trail drops to Gurung Goa, the first real village since Samdo.
The valley becomes more agricultural and lush as we pass fields and copses of oak and rhododendron, staying on the north (true right) bank until Tilije. From there, we continue our stroll towards Dharapani and continue to Tal. There will be some mani walls before reaching the village of Tal, situated at the foot of a large waterfall. This is a more commercialized area with lots of teahouses and trekkers. (B/L/D)
Day 19: Tal to Kathmandu 1300m/4262ft, 10 hours.
From here we take a ride back to Kathmandu. After the 7-8 hour drive we get to rest after out trek at a nice hotel in Kathmandu. This time you stay in the Tibetan area of Boudha which is one on Kathmandus most relaxed and peaceful areas. You can make a walk to the main stupa, Boudhanath, a few minutes from your hotel and enjoy the ambience. (B/L)
Day 20: Free day in Kathmandu
This day is free for own exploration of Kathmandu. If you wish you can get advise from your guide on what to do, or you can add any kind of excursion of your choice in the program. Maybe you want to travel to Bhaktapur, the old city next to Kathmandu or visit the infamous Hindu temple complex Pashupatinath, where life and death is interlaced?Your guide is able to give you advise if you have a hard time making up your mind!
In the evening we eat a farewell dinner and cheer for your future return to Nepal!
Day 21: Departure
Bayond Borders driver will pick you up from your hotel, drop you at the airport and wih you a safe flight!
Dates & Cost
National park entry fees, conservation fees, trekking permit, TIMS permit
Manaslu special permit
All ground transportation as per the program
3* twin bed sharing hotel accommodation in Kathmandu on BB basis
Welcome dinner and farewell dinner in Kathmandu
Sightseeings in Kathmandu with guide
All entrance fees for activities mentioned in the program
All government and local taxes
Sleepingbag and inner linen during the trek
Tea-house accommodation during the trek
Meals (lunch, dinner, breakfast) during trek
An accomplished trekking group leader and assistant guides as per requirement
All-inclusive medical kit
Manaslu trekking map and Nepal map
Nepali visa fees
All personal expenses including food while in Kathmandu and Pokhara
International flight fares
Bottled water, non-alcoholic/alcoholic drinks
Medical examination or emergency rescues
Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu on early arrival
Travel or medical insurance
Optional tours and sightseeing or any activities during free time
Other personal expenses – laundry, battery charges, shower etc.