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The Manaslu Circuit Trek is the best all round tea-house hike in Nepal on the Great Himalaya Trail; the new Annapurna Circuit. No camping needed.

Manaslu Trek information, everything you need to know.

This is everything you need to know about the Manaslu trek on one page.

When best to do the Manaslu Trek?

  • The best months are March, April, May and the last week in September to mid-December. The busiest season is October. Limits are the monsoon (June to September) and winter snow and lodge closures (Larkya Phedi, Bimtang) from some time in December to late February, early March. See When to trek the Manaslu Trek.

Permits and rules

Yes, you need permits for the Manaslu Trek. There is a Restricted Area Permit which is perhaps a little out of date but is to do with the border with China/Tibet being easily accessible from here. Anyhow this keeps the numbers down.

  • RAP $70 first week + $10/d thereafter.
    It’s $50+$7 in off-peak seasons though this can change. The checkpoint in is in Jagat and checkpoint out at Dharapani.
  • The rules state min. 2 people + registered guide.
    If you are alone, then you still need a second permit of a “ghost” trekker. This needs an actual passport to get, so it is not easy. Another option is to join a group until Jagat then say a pre-arranged bye bye. Also, why not advertise for a trekking partner?
  • MCAP & ACAP permits Rs. 2000 each
    You need both as the check for ACAP at Dharapani. If you don’t have one you will have to pay double. Stupid, but there you go. ACAP and MCAP stand for Annapurna / Manaslu Conservation Area Project.
  • 4 x PP photos
    Get in Kathmandu quite cheaply for 12 or 24. Or send your guide/company a photo of you in daylight against a white wall and they can print.
  • No TIMS card required
    This odd permit is needed for other areas of Nepal, but not needed if you go to a restricted area.
  • Tsum valley permits:
    Approximately:  Sep to Nov US$35 for first 8 days, Dec to Aug US$25 for first 8 days. Days in Tsum don’t count against your Manaslu permit. But double check at the time you go!

What to take with you on the trek?

  • Guidebook
  • A map of Manaslu (online version here)
  • Good sleeping bag – it can be cold in early spring and late November. You can buy or rent in Kathmandu.
  • Down jacket, a good one!
  • Sun glasses – sun is very bright, high amounts of UV. Take them off when talking to people though to make personal contact.
  • Head-torch – for reading, going to the toilet, expect limited electricity. Expect to pay also for battery charging.
  • Buff – good for keeping sun of neck and face.
  • Wide brimmed hat – not very fashionable, but keeps sun of face and you will stay younger looking for longer.
  • Trekking poles – pack them for the flat bits, great on the hills and steep descent from the pass and trail to Dharapani.
  • Hand sanitizer and a small bar of soap for washing after visiting toilet. Keep healthy! Keep hands clean!
  • Full kit list and suggested trekking first aid kit list.

Finding a guide or company…

You have no choice but to go through a registered trekking company to get permits. Once they have bought permits from the government department then they are on the tax radar, and will be taxed accordingly. So either you will pay a surcharge if they will indeed give permits without a guide, or better, you take a guide or guide/porter with you. This is a good thing to do for many reasons, namely giving a person or two and his/her family income. Most freelance guides are associated with some kind of trekking company to be able to get the permits.

There are some guides and companies recommended on these pages and in the comments. Otherwise, contact us, we’re based in Kathmandu and know everything about the Manaslu Trek and can point you in the right direction. We even run quality organised departures and can organise top quality private treks with personally selected guides.

What to read about the Manaslu area?

There are a couple of semi-anthropological books to be found as well as guidebooks.

  1. Where two rivers meet
  2. Tibetan Diary

Manaslu Trek Tips

  • Keep your hands clean at all times. Don’t use the towels handing in restaurants! Read this about hygiene in Nepal.
  • Great if you can take a water filter with you, or puri-tabs – this will save you money, and save on either burnt wood, mule-hauled gas, or waste plastic bottles.

Recommended post-manaslu-trek massage!

Face it, you will deserve it. Not only is a massage anyway a very pleasant thing, but probably a very good thing to loosen tired muscles before your flight and the new fitness regime you’ve been thinking about starting when you get home.

  • Seeing Hands, massage by expertly training blind masseurs. As of May 2014 it costs Rs 1800 per hour, which is at the upper end for Nepal, but the service is great. All masseurs are trained by physiotherapists and study anatomy in detail. My friend Upendra Sunuwar who had just completed two multi-day trail races. “Running is easy, massage difficult,” he said.
  • For something lighter and more relaxing, try Zen Spa in Thamel near to the Kathmandu Guesthouse.
  • Don’t forget to tell them “Trail Running Nepal” sent you! (That’s us too)


23 Responses

  1. Alan Moss said on March 2, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    interested in doing the trail on the 2 or 3 rd of May 2015 ( Arrive in Kathmandu on the 1st ).
    We are two people and are looking to get Jeep ride( with others) to begging of trail.
    interested with any help you can give

    • Xaq said on March 14, 2015 at 11:20 am

      Hey Alan, I’m looking to do the trek mid May, but if I can’t find anyone else to go with for that time, I might join you.

  2. Anu Gowda said on April 2, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Hey Xaq
    I arrive kathmandu on 20th April and have time till may end. Let me know what is your plan .

  3. Lindsay said on April 3, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Hello, if anyone else is interesting in the Manaslu Circuit, please let me know. We are a couple (26, 30) from the UK looking for trekking partners! Start in Kathmandu early October! Let us know,

  4. Nemo said on May 12, 2015 at 8:33 am

    How would one obtain a permit to trek without a guide? I aim to go with one other person, but we both would prefer to not a guide. Any help is appreciated thanks!

    • admin@manaslu said on May 22, 2015 at 12:25 pm

      Technically not possible! It’s the rules. All you can do is join a bigger group on the same date, then split up after Jagat, the checkpost. You still need to buy permits through a registered trekking agent.

  5. Jeff Dupey said on August 11, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Wondering what the total cost would be for two people on the 18 day trek? I do not see any pricing here. Fall of 2016 would be soonest we could go so just an idea of the cost may motivate us. Guide and porter are fine. Agree with leaving some money in the economy. Did Annapurna November 2013 and would like to return but felt that the cost with the company we went with was too high considering what we got for it and what the guide and porter made (according to them anyways) Thanks

    Jeff and Kathleen

  6. Jeff said on November 24, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Looking to do the Manaslu December 10ish through January. Would like other interested in joining.


  7. Joanna said on February 13, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    I would like to do the circuit early march. I am a solo female traveller. According to the permit restrictions looks like you need at least ywo people plus a guide. Anyone keen to join me? Send me an email is so at

    • admin@manaslu said on February 14, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      Check the home page for other people’s leaving dates too!

  8. GUY said on March 18, 2016 at 4:35 am

    I’m thinking of trekking the Manaslu circuit on October. I have already trekked the Around Annapurna 2 years ago.
    Just wondering if it’s worht it or should I trek a different area\trek in Nepal because there are 2-3 days on this trek that are parallel to the Annapurna trek ( Dharapani – Bhulbhule).
    thank you.

    • admin@manaslu said on March 18, 2016 at 6:07 am

      This section is where most people try to get a jeep to Besisahar. The rest of the trek is quite different and certainly worth doing.

      • Guy said on March 20, 2016 at 9:40 pm

        Thanx! That’s great to here. I your opinion, should it be a problem to do it for a 64 years old man, if we do it with a guid and a porter?

      • Guy said on March 21, 2016 at 4:22 pm

        Hello again,
        Just wanted to add the note, that my father is in a good shape. Just wanted your opinion of trekking manaslu for 64 years old, phisically and technically.
        Thanx again!

        • admin@manaslu said on March 21, 2016 at 4:25 pm

          No reason not too. The terrain is rough, take trekking poles, take it slow and easy, should be fine. Check with your doctor for any medical reasons.

          • Guy said on March 21, 2016 at 5:25 pm

            Thanks a lot for your help!

  9. Kyla said on May 8, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Looking for trekking partners to split the cost of a guide ($25/day). We are 2 people from US, mid – 30s. Looking to leave around 15th of May.

  10. Goo Yong AHN said on May 18, 2016 at 11:33 am

    RAP $70 first week + $10/d thereafter. The checkpoint in is in Jagat and checkpoint out at Dharapani.

    I am not sure how long I will stay in MCAP area(roughly guess 7 or 8 days from Jagat in). Is it possible for me to pay additional days’ RAP in Dharapani in case of only with RAP $70 first week?

    • admin@manaslu said on May 18, 2016 at 12:02 pm

      From experience, it is not really checked at Dharapani as that is an ACAP post. I would not worry about it. They cannot accept payment for that permit at the checkpoint (as it is a different organisation) so nothing they can do anyway.

  11. bhupinder said on January 10, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Hi, is it possible to do this trek this Xmas time?

    • admin@manaslu said on February 3, 2017 at 7:12 pm

      Super cold and as some posters mention, most likely important tea-houses closed at that time. Better try Annapurna.

  12. Gan CZ said on February 5, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    I went on my Manaslu Trip with an added Larkya Peak last year in Sept-October 2017! It had quite amazing views and it was a long trek. The website information here was quite really quite useful for my preparation for the trip.

    I also wrote a detailed write-up about my trip here :…/manaslucircuittrekitinerary/

    It might contain some more updates about the circuit in 2017 and might help anyone looking for itinerary suggestions.

    Additionally, I wrote a detailed guide about the information on Manaslu which might be useful as the information is updated as of 2017.

  13. Luca Nestola said on April 26, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    I am a photographer and I will set off to Nepal in a couple of weeks.
    Since I am mostly interested in capturing the essence of ethnic groups and of local communities, I have thought Manaslu is a good option.
    I am traveling on a budget. Maybe you may help?
    My idea was to put together a small group of people with similar interests and hire a guide, maybe agreeing on a specific itinerary that includes some homestay/guesthouse, rather than only tea houses.



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