From US$2560 pp
Price is group Size Dependant
Private Group Departures on Request
Min 2 – Max 12
Manasulu Circuit Trekking
Trek around the world’s 8th Highest Mountain and explore glaciers and Monasteries
The Manasulu Circuit trek is a stunning 13-day journey (17 days including travel and days in Kathmandu) which treks around the world’s eighth highest mountain, beginning in the busy market town of Soti Khola, going up and back along a different path, ending in Syange. This is a trek for someone who wants something different in Nepal but still offers the most striking and jaw-dropping scenery.
Many people liken the Manasulu Circuit trek to the Annapurna before it got busy! It is in a region which was closed to outsiders until the early 90’s and tourism is still restricted. It is also not quite as high as the Annapurna circuit and really is a stunning and less trodden path.
– Crossing the challenging Larke Pass
– Trekking through the remote Himalayan Regions
– Exploring Monasteries
– Stunning Views of the Himalaya
Welcome dinner, meet Guide and Siddhar, Luggage/Gear Check.
Overnight: Woodapple Hotel and Spa
We leave the hotel after breakfast and drive the 6 to 78 hours to Soti Khola. We stay overnight in a Teahouse. This is where our adventure begins.
Our trek starts today on a narrow and rocky road which undulates through Sal forests, along rivers and past waterfalls. We pass through many Gurung and Gale villages which produce local milk, your and pickles. Along the way you pass the holy Nyali Khola where there is a rocky ledge from where locals pray to the deities of the rivers and mountains to keep them safe on the journey. Along this trail you will encounter many Mule trains transporting goods to and from the mountain villages. We stay overnight at a village named Maccha (Fish) Khola (River).
Jagat is a lovely flagstone paved Gurung Village. The journey here twists and turns along the bank of the Budi Gandaki (River). The route is forested in some parts and you can often witness the resident Langur Monkeys. You will notice the people wearing the brown capes called Bokkhu, this is the traditional shepard dress of the people of the area. The trails pass hot springs, where locals take showers and relax. We have to cross a bridge to reach Dobhan and then another woodend bridge of the Buri Gandaki. From here we have to climb 2 to 3 hours. It can be quite steep. These are local village trails.
The following day, you will start walking across the twisting road on the bank of Budi Gandaki river. As you enter the forest trail, you will witness many monkeys and langurs.
The next day, you will walk to Salleri and descend to Sirdibas. The village welcomes you with several gompas and Buddhist prayer flags. You can also try the local alcohol in many stopovers on the route before you reach Phillim. At Phillim, you will have your permits checked, and then you will 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 riverbank, you proceed through forests of rhododendron, Himalayan pine and the overhanging rocks on the towering peaks. These highlights beautify the trail.
On proceeding further you cross the Siyar Khola bridge and reach a junction where the trail separates to Tsum valley on your right.
Finally, you will reach Pewa, the final destination of the day. There are only two teahouses in the region where they serve basic food and a night of cozy sleep. Pewa has the best Dal Bhat in Nepal with the Shilong Acha is amazing.
In the evening, you can gather around the fireplace and share your experiences with the fellow trekkers and locals before you go to bed.
Today we passed through a bamboo forest to reach Deng, before climbing up to Rana and Bihi Phedi. The trail then proceeds to Ghap through several landslide zones. At this point, you must be extra careful as you walk. Plus, you must be attentive to your guide’s instructions to maintain physical safety. After the landslide zone, you will follow the trail up to Namrung. After about 1hr on the uneven trail, you will climb a zigzag from the river to the neat village of Namrung (2660m). This place has some of the best tea shops, a restaurant, and rest houses on the trek.
Witnessing the lifestyles of the Nubri people, you will start the day. Exploring their Tibet-influenced typical lifestyle you will walk past several main walls, lush terraces, and houses through Banjam to enter the fir, rhododendron, and oak forest before climbing to Lihi then to Sho.
As you start walking, you will see most of the locals clad in traditional Tibetan dress. As you start further, you will notice some fine paintings in the Kani (gate arches) that you pass before Sho. Walking across the rocky hillside routes, you will finally reach Lho.
From the place, you can catch the stunning views of Manaslu (8163m) and Manaslu North (7157m). On this day, you will gain a quite high altitude, so you must walk slowly and check your body signs.
The next morning, you will start with a short trek because of the altitude reasons. On walking, the picturesque view of Mt. Manaslu accompanies you. You will walk across the easy trail to Shyala on passing through pine and rhododendron gully with moss and gin-clear stream. From Shyala, you will walk for almost an hour to reach Sama Gaun.
Sama Gaun is the principal village of the Nubri people which holds a large gompa, many shops, a health post, heliport, and telephone/wifi access.
Today is a rest day to acclimatize to our altitude. It is an important part of the success of crossing the pass and not getting altitude related illness. Part of acclimatization is to hike up higher and then come back down to a lower altitude to sleep. So as part of our acclimatization we hike to Pugyen Gomp which is on the east of the Nubri Valley. This hike requires a packed lunch. It is a 2 to 3 hour round trip. Along the hike you can see Thar (Himalayan Mountain Goats) and Yaks grazing.
Alternatively you can hike to Manaslu base camp which takes you to the north of the Manasulu Glacier or a much shorter Hike to Birendra Tal.
As you are at high altitude, you need to walk slowly, so this is a short day trek. You will notice extended yak pastures up a broad valley with long mani walls, with a variety of birds.
From there, you will leave the tree line and climb to a ridge across the wooden bridge of Buri Gandaki before you reach white Kani. It is a neighboring village to Samdo, a very picturesque village dedicated to yak herding.
Once at Samdo, you can explore the nearby villages or you can hike to Samdo Peak. The Larkya La trail is on the left above the valley. You can also see the main track for Tibet over the Larjyang La forming slopes on the Larkya La trail.
As a day for rest, you will stop at Samdo where you will go for a day trip to the Tibetan border. From the border, you can also see parts of Tibet and Nepal. If lucky, you can also witness the Yak caravan passing the border.
Once at the border, if you look towards the south of Samdo Glacier you will get excellent photos with a huge serac near the top of the glacier. You can also frame Blue Sheep, Pica’s, and Marmots in season.
It’s important to take the day’s hike easy, as we go up in Altitude. Enjoy the impressive views of the high HImalayans as you trek across the rugged terrain before reaching Dharamsala.
This is a special day as you will walk to the highest point of the trail. You will walk to Larkya La Pass (5160m) on this day. In bad weather and in the snow, the walk could be quite challenging yet, it is doable. You will cross the pass before afternoon so you need to wake up early and leave the teahouse quite early. This is the most challenging part of the trek.
You will catch views of Himlung (7126m) near Tibet and Kang Guru (6981m) and Annapurna II (7937m) in the Annapurna Range
Spending your special time at the pass, you will walk down from around 3 hours towards Bimthang for an overnight stay. On descending, you will get views of huge icefalls and mountains in all directions, Pongkar Tal between the Pongkar and Salpu Danda Glaciers.
This is the final day you will be walking on the trails of the Manaslu region. On climbing downhill, you will walk through the lush forests full of flora and fauna including rhododendron bushes.
Walking back across the Dudh Khola, you will walk to Karche for lunch. In the next hour, you will 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 you pass fields and copses of oak and rhododendron, staying on the north (true right) bank until Tilije. From there, you will continue your stroll towards Dharapani. Once in Dharapani we meet our jeeps and drive towards Besisahar, if we do not reach that far, we can stop at any of the villages along the way.
The drive takes 4 to 5 hours, and if we leave early we will reach the beautiful camp Himalika in time for lunch. After lunch we have an exciting 3 hour rafting trip on the popular Trisuli River, before returning to the lush settings of the camp for a BBQ party.
Overnight: Camp Himalika (Luxury Tented Camp)
After a lazy breakfast we return to the jeeps for the 3 hour drive to Kathmandu. Time for some last moment shopping and one last dinner together with the group and the guides.
Overnight: Woodapple Hotel and Spa
We transfer you to the airport for your homeward bound flight.
Entry visa to Nepal can be obtained either from the relevant embassy or consulate prior to your departure or at the airport on arrival to Nepal.
Visa on arrival can be applied for via the Immigration website. Just fill in the details online and then print a copy and bring it with you. Payment is made on arrival.
Visa on Arrival Fees:-
15 Days – US$30
30 Days – US$50
90 Days – US$125
The international airport in Kathmandu, Tribhuvan is located about 7km from the city center. Most of our package tours include an airport pick up. Other options are to get a pre paid taxi from the desk at the airport. The rates are fixed and fair.
Travel Insurance that covers evacuation from above 5000m is required for this trip. The current entry rules to Nepal also require your insurance to cover Covid related issues. Personal travel insurance is compulsory for you to join this trip. You must present a copy of your policy upon arrival in Nepal. Two companies we recommend for travel insurance are World Nomads and Covermore.
The food on the trail is pretty good. Menu items vary for the local staple Dhal Bhart (Rice, Lentils, Veg Curry, Spicy Pickle and optional Meat Curry) to Noodles, Pasta, Rosti, Eggs and all kinds of soups and locally made flat breads, Oats and Potato dishes. Fresh Fruit is generally limited in these areas.
Vegetarians and Vegans are not a problem at all, there are multiple menu items for both requirements that are filling, nutritious and high energy. Though we do recommend you to pack nuts, dried fruit and relevant energy items. If you have any dietary requirements, please contact us before the trip.
A note on food related Illness:- Most people coming to Nepal get some form of stomach upset. But there are ways to avoid this, in most cases it is not from the food in the teahouses, here are our tips to stay healthy:-
Stay away from oily food in the mountains. Most of us are not used to lots of oily food for every meal and combined with the physical exhaustion, cold and altitude it can lead to upset stomachs. Try and choose light options like Dhal Soups, Soups, boiled and poached eggs, hearty porridge, pasta and rice (non-fired) dishes. Be careful with your hands, wash, sanitize and wash again!
This is an important topic, the tap water in Nepal is NOT SAFE to drink and mineral water bottles are an environmental hazard and we do not like our clients to use them. HST is trying our best to eliminate the need for disposable water bottles.
Our office in Kathmandu has free water refills. You should bring along some form of water purification. HST will not be purchasing bottled water for this trip.
During the biking leg of the trip you will be accommodated in TEA HOUSES which are a form of mountain lodge. Standard varies from place to place, rooms are simple in some cases we get attached bathrooms, in others bathrooms are shared. Rooms are not heated, but are clean and comfortable and have the following:-
• Limited Internet and 3G is available in 70% of the areas. The signal may not always be fast but it is there.
• Power and access to charging – All teahouse have this and you can charge phone, cameras and lights. In some teahouses a small charge is applicable for this (100nrs). But the electricity is very limited. Carrying a Power Bank or spare batteries is recommended on this trip.
• Hot water is available in all teahouses, but can vary depending on sunshine (some places is solar). Hot water is not automatic so please tell the guide you need it and he will make sure the hotel provides it.
Hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara are 3 star with all facilities.
The NPR – Nepalese Rupee and it comes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Notes with 1 and 2 paisa coins. Most places in tourist areas like Kathmandu and Pokhara will accept USD, EURO, POUNDS and other major currencies.
For travel in more remote regions like Annapurna and Upper Mustang you should carry local currency in smaller denominations.
ATM’s withdrawing up to 30,000nrs at a time can be found everywhere in the tourist centers of Kathmandu and Pokhara and also there is one ATM in Jomsom and Manang. Beware the local banks charge 300nrs to 500nrs per transaction above any charges your own bank may charge you.
Can be found all over the tourist areas and you can negotiate a little for better rates. On The street money exchangers give a much better rate than banks and hotels.
CREDIT CARDS are accepted in bigger hotels and business, the local service charge is normally 4%.
Our itinerary is set up to allow for acclimatization. As long as the riders take it steady, most people only suffer mild symptoms which are manageable.
If you get sick, you have options that include, returning to either Pokhara or Kathmandu with a member of our support team, staying and resting in place for a day or using a support vehicle to travel to next destination. It depends on severity of sickness and options available to the group at the time. For serious illness or accident, immediate Helicopter evacuation will be undertaken.