Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty
Manaslu Circuit Trek is a strenuous trek. Several ups and downs along the steep, rugged routes make the trek challenging. This trek is not for beginner trekkers. Previous trekking experience and strong physical fitness are necessary to go on Manaslu Circuit Trekking. Likewise, you will be crossing Larkya La, which is full of hurdles.
Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty may vary from one person to another. Trekkers' endurance, emotional stability, and determination also play a huge role to determine the difficulty level of this trek. It is an off-beat trek. Many parts of the route are slippery, rock-strewn, and sloppy. The trekkers have to walk 8 to 9 hours daily, which is a big deal and not for everyone.
For your information, the Manaslu region is one the most isolated parts of Nepal that have barely seen any modern development. Everything is super basic, from accommodation to meals. No modern facilities and stable communication channels. So, apart from physical fitness, you also have to think about these factors before joining the trek.
Even with all the challenges, the views and trekking experience you will get during the Manaslu Circuit Trek are unlike any other treks.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Preparation
Preparing for the Manaslu Circuit Trek requires careful planning and adequate preparation to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. Here are some essential trip preparations to consider:
- Physical Fitness: The Manaslu Circuit Trek involves long days of walking and challenging terrains, including high-altitude sections. Prior to your trek, engage in regular cardiovascular exercises, such as hiking, jogging, or cycling, to improve your stamina and endurance. Strengthen your leg muscles through exercises like squats and lunges. Consult with a healthcare professional to ensure you are in good physical condition for the trek.
- Trekking Permits: Obtain the necessary permits for the trek, including the Manaslu Restricted Area Permit and the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP). These permits are required to enter the Manaslu region and contribute to conservation efforts. Ensure that you have the required documents and fees for the permits. Scenic Nepal Treks provide you complete package.
- Trekking Agency or Guide: Consider hiring a reputable trekking agency or guide for your Manaslu Circuit Trek. They will assist with logistics, provide experienced guides, and ensure your safety throughout the trek. Trekking with a guide also offers cultural insights and enhances your overall experience.
- Travel Insurance: Obtain comprehensive travel insurance that covers trekking activities at high altitudes. Ensure that your insurance policy includes emergency medical evacuation and covers potential risks and injuries during the trek.
- Packing Essentials: Prepare a comprehensive packing list based on the duration and season of your trek. Some essential items to pack include:
- Clothing: Layered clothing suitable for varying temperatures, including thermal base layers, insulated jackets, waterproof and windproof outer layers, hiking pants, and warm hats and gloves.
- Footwear: Comfortable trekking boots with good ankle support, suitable socks, and trekking sandals for rest days.
- Backpack: A sturdy and comfortable backpack to carry your essentials during the trek.
- Sleeping Bag: A warm and lightweight sleeping bag suitable for the temperatures you'll encounter during the trek.
- Trekking Gear: Trekking poles, headlamp with extra batteries, sunglasses, sun hat, and a water bottle or hydration system.
- First Aid Kit: Carry a well-stocked first aid kit with essential medications, blister plasters, and personal medical supplies.
- Other Essentials: Sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellent, toiletries, quick-drying towel, and a camera to capture the stunning landscapes.
- Altitude Acclimatization: The Manaslu Circuit Trek involves high-altitude sections, including the Larkya La Pass. Acclimatization is crucial to minimize the risk of altitude sickness. Plan your itinerary with rest days at appropriate intervals to allow your body to adjust to higher elevations.
- Training and Familiarization: If you have limited trekking experience or are unfamiliar with hiking at high altitudes, consider participating in shorter treks or training hikes beforehand. This will help you gauge your fitness level and get accustomed to trekking conditions.
- Weather and Season: Understand the weather patterns and seasons in the Manaslu region. The spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons are generally the best times for the trek, as they offer stable weather and clear skies. Be prepared for colder temperatures at higher altitudes, and pack accordingly.
- Hydration and Water Purification: Stay hydrated throughout the trek by drinking plenty of water. Carry a water purification system or water purification tablets to ensure safe drinking water during the trek.
- Cultural Sensitivity: Respect the local culture and traditions. Familiarize yourself with basic Nepali customs, and dress modestly when visiting villages and religious sites. Seek permission before taking photographs of locals.
By taking these preparations into account, you'll be well-equipped for an unforgettable and safe Manaslu Circuit Trek. Enjoy the breathtaking landscapes, immerse yourself in the local culture, and embrace the challenges and rewards of this incredible adventure.
Acclimatization and Altitude Sickness
Acclimatization and altitude sickness are the two major factors you have to look for to make sure the trek goes smoothly. Our Manaslu Circuit Trek itinerary has ample rest days at the most scenic spots to make it pleasant.
We always recommend our guests to not compromise on rest days during the trek to avoid altitude sickness. You may think, reducing one day may not have a prominent effect, but sadly it does.
Manaslu Circuit Trek begins from 700 meters and goes above 5,000 meters, which is a significant altitude difference. We have maintained a constant increase in elevation that helps a lot until you read Samdo, where we take a day off and hike to nearby places to acclimatize our bodies.
Symptoms of altitude sickness:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Loss of appetite and insomnia
- Nausea and vomiting
The safety of guests is the topmost priority at Scenic Nepal Treks. During the trek, you will be accompanied by our professional and experienced guides who are well trained to tackle any emergency in the Himalayas and knows first-aid, remote survival, etc.
While trekking with us, you can relax and focus on enjoying the views. Our team will take care of everything else. We guarantee a safe venture in the Himalayas with us, and our customer satisfaction rate speaks for it.
Preventive measures of altitude sickness
- Ample rest days and a constant increase in elevation during the trek are necessary to avoid altitude sickness.
- Keep yourself hydrated and eat a balanced diet. Drink at least two liters of water every day. Include dal bhat at least in one meal. It is the most nutritious and delicious meal option you will get during the trek.
- Avoid alcoholic drinks and smoke as it will dehydrate your body.
- If you see any symptoms, inform the group leader and follow his advice. Do not push yourself and take proper rest. If the symptoms get severe, you may have to return. The team leader will decide as he is responsible for your safety.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Solo/Private/Group
Unfortunately, you cannot do Manaslu Circuit Trek solo. As per the rules of the government of Nepal, there have to be two trekkers in the group, not including the guide or porter, to get the Manaslu Circuit Trek to permit.
You can join one of our Manaslu Circuit Trek departures dates and trek with travelers from all around the world. Or, if you have your own group, then you can go for a private trek option. The maximum number of people we are taking at the moment in a group is up to 30. The trek will be led by the leader guide, along with assistant guides and a porter for every two trekkers. Feel free to contact us anytime if you want to have a private trek or group trek with us.
Manaslu Circuit Trek best season
Weather does determine the success and comfort of the Manaslu Circuit Trekking. The season you choose to trek to the Manaslu region will define your trekking experience. March to April and October to November is the best time to go on Manaslu Circuit Trek.
These months have the most stable weather and fantastic views. The crystal clear sky and moderate climate make the trek excellent.
Spring and Autumn
The temperature ranges from 18°C to -4°C in Spring (March to April) and 20°C to -6°C in autumn (October to November). In spring, the rhododendrons and other beautiful flowers decorate the trail. Likewise, the snowfall of the winter makes the mountains look very pretty. The climate slowly begins to warm and offers a very cozy trekking experience.
Whereas in autumn, the hint of crispness in the air and freshness of monsoon rain makes the trek pleasant. You may also get to observe some of the biggest Nepali festivals celebrated in the autumn. The air has a more peaceful and festive vibe in it.
Winter & Monsoon
January to February (winter) and May to September (monsoon/summer) are the off-season for Manaslu trekking. Most of the lodges along the route get closed because of heavy snowfall and extreme cold. Local drop down to lower elevation to spend the season, and trails get blocked. The weather remains unstable, and views are not clear. We do not recommend going on Manaslu Circuit Trek in these two seasons.
Manaslu Circuit Trek permit
Manaslu Circuit Trek needs three permits- Special Restricted Area Permit for Manaslu (Manaslu RAP), Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP Permit), and Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP Permit).
Manaslu region is a restricted area in Nepal, which means trekkers are not allowed to trek along in the Manaslu region. Similarly, as per the rules, there should be two trekkers in the group, not including the guide or porter. FYP- independent trekkers cannot issue the permits for Manaslu Circuit Trek, therefore you have to trek with a registered local trekking company like We Scenic Nepal Treks.
- Special Restricted Area Permit cost September to November: USD 100 per person for the first seven days and USD 15 per day per person thereafter
- Special Restricted Area Permit cost December to August: USD 75 per person for the first seven days and USD 10 per day per person thereafter
- Manaslu Conservation Area permit cost: USD 30 per person
- Annapurna Conservation Area permit cost: USD 30 per person
The first thing we want you to know is that the accommodation along the Manaslu trek route is very basic, unlike other famous trekking regions in Nepal. There is no luxury option at all (besides camping), and you will spend the night mostly in the tea houses that offer small twin-shared rooms with an attached washroom.
At some places, you may have to do with the common washroom. The rooms do not have a heating system or anything like that, so make sure to carry a nice sleeping bag to keep yourself warm in the morning/night.
Food during the trek
Food options are scarce and expensive in the Manaslu region because of no proper transportation access. Especially in the villages at the higher elevation, you will mainly get Tibetan & Nepali dishes, a very different palate than most of the people are used to.
Our package includes three meals during the Manaslu Circuit Trek. You will get breakfast, lunch & dinner. You are free to carry or buy snacks along the route on your own. In Kathmandu, you will get breakfast along with a farewell dinner.
This is what the menu looks like on the trail. French toast, oatmeal, porridge, soup, eggs, bread, Tibetan bread, muesli, pancakes, sandwich, hot chocolate, tea, coffee, etc are usually available for breakfast. Likewise, for lunch and dinner, you can expect dal bhat, curries, stir-fried veggies, chapati, steak, momo, pasta, noodles, tenduk, thukpa, etc.
We live by our company's core value to not harm nature in any way during our treks and tours. Our trips are composed and organized sustainably. And not only that, but we also actively work to uplift the local mountain economy and give back to society in whatever way we can.
At the same time, we also believe that as a traveler, you also have the responsibility to make sure your presence does not hurt nature in any way. We will play our role to protect nature, and we want you to play your role to preserve it.
Below are the few things you can do from your side as a responsible traveler:
- Say no to purchasing plastic water bottles on the trail. Instead, get yourself a reusable water bottle and water purification tablets to keep refilling it.
- Do not throw away trash on the trail. If it is not biodegradable, you can store it in a trash bag, and our team will help it decompose properly at the proper place.
- Use local and sustainable products during the trip.
- Buy souvenirs from small vendors and give back to the local community.
- Respect locals and their culture.
Trekking Insurance for Manaslu Circuit
Manaslu Circuit Trekking is one of the most challenging treks in the Himalayas. The trek has a high altitude, off-the-beaten route, and bare minimum tourist infrastructure, which increases the chances of potential unforeseen events like climate change, altitude sickness, accidents, etc. Therefore, well-covered travel insurance is essential to book Manaslu Circuit Trek.
Travel insurance is a significant part of booking Manaslu Circuit Trek 18 days with us. You have to provide us with a copy of the insurance certificate as a document to confirm the booking. And your travel insurance must cover air evacuation (up to 6,000 meters) and medical bills.
Our Manaslu Circuit Trek package cost does not include travel insurance, nor do we directly deal with getting one. So, you are requested to get the travel insurance on your own.
*Note: Do call and double-check with the insurance company whether their travel insurance covers heli rescue and evacuation up to 6000 meters or not.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Safety
We are professional at what we do. We have a strict protocol that ensures the safety of the travelers and crew members on the trail. At Scenic Nepal Treks, we guarantee the high satisfaction and security of our guests.
From the moment you book Manaslu Circuit Trek with us, our representative will guide you through the preparation and packing process. We'll assist you with a workout routine to increase your stamina depending upon your trekking experience and physical fitness.
Likewise, you will be informed about the trekking route and the difficulties it holds to help you prepare mentally too. Everything will be double-checked, before the beginning of the trek, and during the trek, our professional team leader will keep you safe.
Last Minute Booking for Manaslu Circuit Trek
It is best to book Manaslu Circuit Trek a couple of months before the beginning of the trek and have adequate preparation time on hand. Moreover, Manaslu Circuit Trek 18 days requires a restricted area trekking permit from the government, which may take some time to obtain.
If you want to book this trek at the last minute, then you have to pay 100% of the package cost within 24 hours of confirmation of the trip from us. We will try to make all the arrangements at the last minute, however, if any delays or cancelation occurs beyond our control, then the company will not be responsible for it.
Travel Tips (electricity, internet, ATM, luggage, tipping, personal expenses)
- You can get WiFi at the lodges and teahouses in lower elevation with some additional charges. We recommend you get a Nepali SIM with data to use the internet on the trail. The connection may not be stable all the time.
- You will get electricity to charge the electronic devices along the route. Usually, the teahouse/lodger owners charge a few extra bucks for this service.
- We offer a 10 kgs weight limit to each trekker. Porters carry the duffel bag during the trek. You can leave extra luggage in the hotel's locker rooms free of cost.
- Our Manaslu Circuit Trek package cost does not include personal expenses like shopping, snacks, drinks, etc. Similarly, the package cost does not involve visa fees, travel insurance, international flights, etc. You can check out our cost includes and excludes section for more information.
- Tipping is your choice. It's like saying thank you for your hard work. If you like the service of our crew members, feel free to tip them as per your wish. This is general info over how much you can tip- USD 100 guide/porter, USD 5 to tour guide, and USD 2 to the driver by each member of the group.
- There is no ATM along the trekking route, and you'll need cash to buy services. So, withdraw enough cash (Nepali currency) in the city.
Equipment & Packing list for Manaslu Circuit Trek:
This list is a guideline to help you pack for your adventure. Also, understand that the items listed below will vary a little according to the season and the trek duration. The weight limit for your luggage is 15 kg.
Important documents and items
- Valid passport, 2 extra passport size photos, airline tickets
- Separate photocopies of passport, visa form (easily obtained at Kathmandu airport), proof of insurance
- Dollars, pounds, or Euros in cash for purchasing Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport, for paying for restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, snacks, and to purchase your own drinks and gifts
- Credit cards, Bank/ATM/Cash machine cards for withdrawing funds from cash machines (bring a photocopy of your cards), traveler's checks, etc.
- Bandana or headscarf, also useful for dusty conditions
- Warm hat that covers your ears (wool or synthetic)
- Headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Prescription sunglasses (if required)
- Polypropylene shirts (1 half sleeve and 2 long sleeves)
- Light and expedition weight thermal tops
- Fleece wind-stopper jacket or pullover
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
- Down vest and/or jacket *
- Gore-Tex jacket with hood, waterproof and breathable
- 1 pair of lightweight poly liner gloves.
- 1 pair of lightweight wool or fleece gloves
- 1 pair of mittens, consists of 1 Gore-Tex over mitt matched with a very warm polar-fleece mitt liner (seasonal)
- Non-cotton underwear briefs
- 1 pair of Hiking shorts
- 1 pair of Hiking trousers
- 1 pair of lightweight thermal bottoms (seasonal)
- 1 pair of fleece or woolen trousers
- 1 pair of waterproof shell pants, breathable fabric
- 2 pairs of thin, lightweight inner socks
- 2 pairs of heavy poly or wool socks
- 1 pair of Hiking boots with spare laces (sturdy soles, water-resistant, ankle support, “broken-in”)
- 1 pair of trainers or running shoes and/or sandals
- Cotton socks (optional)
- Gaiters (winter only), optional, “low” ankle high version
- 1 sleeping bag (Scenic Nepal Treks will provide you)
- Fleece sleeping bag liner (optional)
- Rucksack and Travel Bags
- 1 medium rucksack (50-70 liters/3000-4500 cubic inches, can be used for an airplane carryon)
- 1 large duffel bag ( Scenic Nepal Treks will Provide you)
- Small, personal first-aid kit. (simple and light)
- Aspirin, first-aid tape, and plasters (Band-Aids)
- 1 skin-blister repair kit
- Anti-diarrhea pills
- Anti-headache pills
- Cough and/or cold medicine
- Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetazolamide
- Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin, etc. Do not bring sleeping pills as they are a respiratory depressants.
- Water purification tablets or the water filter
- 1 set of earplugs
- Extra pair of prescription glasses, contact lens supplies
- 1 medium-sized quick-drying towel
- Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
- Multipurpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
- Nail clippers
- Face and body moisturizer
- Female hygiene products
- Small mirror
- Personal Hygiene
- Wet wipes (baby wipes)
- Tissue /toilet roll
- Anti-bacterial handwash