At the edge of one of the most isolated Himalayan valleys in central-western Nepal lies Mt. Manaslu, the world’s eighth highest mountain. Trekking to the base camp of Mt. Manaslu is suitable for those who are looking for challenging but less crowded trekking in Nepal. The trekking route takes us along many scattered settlements where people from different ethnic groups live in perfect harmony. This trek offers all great aspects of mountain trekking from epic scenery, jaw-dropping natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and abundant wildlife sightings along the Great Himalayan Trail.
After you land at Tribhuwan International Airport in Katmandu, you will be received by our representatives who will then assist you to transfer to your hotel. After check-in, we will have a short briefing of your trek. The remaining time is free for independent activities. You can relax or take in an evening stroll around the city at your own leisure.
While our staff prepares your trek permits, we will take a tour of Kathmandu. This ancient city has lots of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We will first visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, which used to be the palace of the rulers of ancient Kathmandu. We will then take you to Pashupatinath Temple, one of the most sacred Hindu temples in the world. Next we will visit Boudhanath Stupa, one of the largest and most unique stupas in the world. Take some time to immerse yourself in the spiritual vibes of Boudhanath after which we will head back to the hotel. You will then meet your guide for trek briefing.
We will drive west of Kathmandu to reach Macca Khola, the starting point of our trek. We will be driving along the Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway, leave the highway and follow the banks of Budhi Gandaki River for most of the day. Brace yourself near the end as the road at that point is rural and gets very bumpy. We will reach Maccha Khola, a small settlement on the trailhead, late in the evening that day.
After breakfast, we will begin today’s trek upward along gorge and river. We will eventually cross Tharo Khola, reach Khorlabesi and continue northward passing through natural hot springs at Tatopani. Keep an eye out for Langoor Monkeys which roam the region. We will cross multiple suspension bridges, pass the settlement of Dobhan and finally reach Jagat, a neatly flagstoned Gurung village. You will be required to verify your trekking permits at the check post. It is the beginning of the restricted region.
We will walk to Salleri and descend to Sirdibas. Every settlement will welcome you with Buddhist prayer stones (mani walls) and prayer flags. We will then reach Philim, continue on the main trail along the Gandaki River. We’ll pass through bamboo forests and finally reach our day’s destination – athe tiny village of Deng.
After breakfast, we will continue the trail, cross Budhi Gandaki River. The trail follows the river upstream through a dense forest and leads to a narrow gorge. It is a beautiful trail which passes through thick pine woods, bamboos and rhododendron forests during spring. This rewarding part of the walk is a magnificent way to experience the Manaslu Conservation Area. At the end of the forested trails lies the village of Namrung.
After leaving Namrung, we will first reach the settlement of Li Village. The mountains start getting closer. Mt Manaslu and neighboring peaks seem within our grasp. Moving forward, we will reach the village of Shyo and Lho. These Buddhist villages offer stunning views of surrounding mountains. We can also see people engaged in traditional economic activities like cattle rearing and agriculture. After resting for a while, we will head to the village of Syala which can be reached within two hours.
By this point, we are at high altitude and need to take our trekking slow to acclimatize and get adequate rest. From our place of stay at Syala, we can reach today’s destination Sama Gaun within an hour. But instead, we can make a side excursion to Pungen Glacier, which is not far and offers us a very close up view of Mt. Manaslu. We will first explore the village of Syala, head towards Pungen Glacier and then follow the lateral moraine of Pungen Glacier towards Sama Gaun.
Early in the morning, we will make a side excursion to Birendra Lake. Mt. Manaslu is the closest from here! We will be back in the hotel within two hours and have breakfast. You can explore this beautiful village the rest of the day.
We will leave Sama Gaun and head to Manaslu Base Camp. This is the moment we have been waiting for! It takes about 6 hours to reach the base camp as ascending in high altitude can be quite strenuous. We can take pictures and spend some time there. We will then begin the descent to Sama Gaun, which takes just around 2.5 hours.
After breakfast in Sama Gaun, we will follow the small stream of Gandaki and pass through several mani walls. The route is close to the Tibetan border and offers amazing mountain views. We will finally reach Samdo, a small settlement with around 40 houses. This is one of the highest all-season settlements in Nepal where around 200 people live amid the most severe conditions of nature.
We will leave Samdo after breakfast. Keep in mind that this is another adventurous day at high altitude. Be mindful of any symptom of altitude sickness. We can walk slowly across the rugged terrain while enjoying stunning views of the mountain range. Continuing further, we will arrive at our destination Darmashala. You will have plenty of time for acclimatization and relaxation.
This day, we’ll be walking the highest point of the trail – Larke La Pass (5160m). It is quite challenging due to narrow paths and snow covered trails but still doable. We will have to start very early and make a gradual climb to Cho Danda and then go steeply uphill towards the pass. The stunning views from the pass make the challenge and difficulties worthwhile. We get clear views of Himlung Himal (7,126m,) Cheo Himal, Kang Guru (7,010m) and Annapurna II (7937m). After spending some time at the top, we will descend through a long and steep downhill trail towards Bhimtang.
After breakfast, we will keep descending on the trail through pine and rhododendron forests and then cross a bridge over Dudh Khola River. The stunning views will continue as we walk through terraced fields. Teahouses along the route are welcoming and comfortable as we eventually reach Goa.
Leaving Goa, we will reach Tilje in an hour. Following the trail downstream of Marsyangdi River, we will pass through scattered villages, reach Dharapani and continue to Tal village for an overnight stay.
From Tal, we will board a jeep and drive to Besisahar through bumpy track. After lunch at Besisahar, we will have an easy drive to Kathmandu. After arriving, we will check in to a comfortable hotel in the capital for much needed rest from this tiring yet extremely memorable trip.
Our Manaslu Circuit trek has come to an end and now its departure day. You can visit nearby places, indulge in last hour shopping and prepare for departure. We will drive you to Tribhuwan International Airport two hours prior your flight time. Then comes the final departure with lots of memories.
Included in the Cost
Airport pickups and drops
Guided city tour in Kathmandu
Meals and accommodation in Kathmandu as per the itinerary
Related trekking permits
Medical kit (carried by your trek leader)
Sharable expenses (shared among the number of people in trekking groups)
Experienced and licensed English-speaking guide
Transportation (Jeep and Emergency Helicopter Chatter)