Manaslu Circuit Alternative Route

ratingbased on 2 reviews
  • Duration19 Days
  • Difficulty Level Strenuous
  • Activity Trekking/Hiking
  • Max. Altitude 5106 m
  • Starts Kathmandu
  • Ends Kathmandu or Pokhara
  • Group Size 2-20 People
  • Best Season March to May & September to November
Group Discount Prices
2 - 3 paxUS$1145
4 - 6 paxUS$1045
7 - 10 paxUS$995
11 - 15 paxUS$950
16 - 20 paxUS$895
Manaslu Circuit Alternative Route Highlights
  • A true “off the beaten path” experience of pure, traditional culture, organic food, and charming homestays
  • A deep gorge and high scenic walks that avoid the crowds, heat, and dirt of the traditional trail
  • Waterfalls, scenic views, and breathtaking snow-capped Himalayan vistas
  • Preserved Tibetan culture and pristine flora and fauna
  • Opportunities to add side trips to Manaslu Base Camp, Pungen Gompa, the Tibetan border, and more

The word Manaslu means “Mountain of the Spirit.” It comes from the Sanskrit word Manasa meaning intellect or soul. The Manaslu Circuit Alternative Route located in the Gorkha District is in the north-central area of Nepal. Manaslu offers a wide selection of trekking options for almost every taste.

The current road construction which links Soti Khola with the Tibetan border offers an unexpected advantage for today’s trekkers. You’ll enjoy a stunning alternative trek that takes you on a higher scenic route through Baseri Village. Several Nepal Trekking Experts (NTE) guides are from the area, providing you a glimpse of Nepalese Village life when trekking with one of these locals.

The alternative route avoids the hot, crowded, and dusty regular road, leading you through a deep and unspoiled gorge. Because this is an untrammeled, non-tourist area, you’ll experience a homestay rather than the typical teahouse. This meaningful experience directly connects with local villagers and exposes you to their unique dialect, history, culture, and daily lifestyle.

From Baseri, you’ll make your way to Yarsa and then Kasigaun, which offers a beautiful view of rolling hills. Overnight in the massif village of Kerauja affords you a different perspective on this untouched area.

The Kerauja trail meets with the regular Manaslu circuit route to Dovan and Jagat. If you have a longer holiday and want to explore pristine Tibetian culture then combine the Tsum Valley trek also for a week extra. Within two short days, snow-capped Mt. Manaslu will come into focus leading you to a fresh appreciation of the Himalayan surroundings. Enhance the experience with side trips to Pungen Gumpa, Manaslu Base Camp, or the Tibetan border. This trek reaches an ambitious 5160m at Larke Pass and culminates in the Annapurna circuit route's Dharapani.

Reward yourself with this alternative experience on a “trail less traveled” by contacting NTE today.

Useful Information

Manaslu Circuit Trekking Permit

Manaslu Circuit Trek lies in a restricted area and requires a special permit, a government-registered trekking agency, and a licensed guide to trek in this region. A minimum of two people are required to obtain the trekking permit for the area. The special permit costs $100 from September to November for the first seven days plus $15 for each additional day, and $75 from December to August for the first seven days plus $10 per additional day. The costs are per person. Trekkers are also required to have an Annapurna and Manaslu Conservation Area permit from the Nepal Tourism Board at a cost of 3000 Nepali rupees per person, including 13% VAT for each different region. For further details, please contact us.

Transportation for Manaslu Circuit Trekking

As per the package, Nepal Trekking Experts offers transportation by bus (available early in the morning only) from Kathmandu (Gongabu Bus Park) to Machhakhola (9/10 hrs) and Dharapani to Besisahar by a local Jeep (4/5 hrs), then we switch to another bus or van to Kathmandu (6/7 hrs). The bus might be congested, overcrowded (especially if you are traveling during festival time), not tidy, and stop in many villages to pick up and drop off more people en route, but it definitely takes a couple of hours longer than a private jeep to reach the final destination. However, you can take part of the experience and enjoy it as well. Otherwise, we provide private transportation on request, which costs a total of $200 to Machhakhola and $250 from Dharapani to Kathmandu.

Manaslu Circuit Trekking Meal

Consider that you are in South Asia in Nepal and going through unexplored, very remote areas to experience the country's unspoiled splendor. Typically, the menus at each tea house in the villages are rather similar. Overall, you can choose from a variety of local dishes like Dal Bhat (rice, vegetable curry, lentil soup, pickles that can be refilled as much as you like), fried rice, dumplings (Mo Mo Tibetan meal), Thukpa, any style of potato (boiled or fried), spring rolls, or western dishes like pasta, pizza, noodles, any style of egg, porridge, muesli, chapati, Tibetan bread, etc.

Manaslu Circuit Trekking Accommodation

The Manaslu Circuit Trek lodging is not as luxurious as in the Annapurna, Everest, and Langtang regions, despite the fact that the Manaslu region is a relatively isolated, lesser-known, and less-frequented trekking route in Nepal. The tea house/homestay trek can be done similarly to other well-known hiking routes. Typically, you have to share a toilet and bathroom, and each room will have two beds. You may purchase a hot shower for about 3/4 of a dollar, depending on where you have been.

Telephone, Internet, and Battery Charging


Nowadays, most villages have phone service and mobile reception. NCELL and Nepal Telecom are our two major sim card providers. Nepal Telecom is recommended by NTE for better reception in the Manaslu region.


Certain villages and tea houses like Philim, Namrung, Lho, Samagaon, Samdo, Bhimthang, and Dharapani have internet, but consider that sometimes it may not be reliable due to weather and other issues.

Battery Charging

Despite being in a very remote trekking region, most of the tea houses have either electricity or solar power. Each tea house charges a small fee for electricity. A fully charged device costs roughly 2/3 of a dollar in rupees. Carrying a power bank may be useful during the trek in the Himalayas.

Manaslu Circuit Trekking Difficulty

While the landscape is rugged, with numerous landslide areas, the trail is uneven, you may encounter difficulties for the first few days. However, you will gradually build muscle and adapt to the terrain. Because the trek begins at 930m Machhakhola, you will gain elevation gradually, which will aid in acclimatization. Almost two weeks of walking six to seven hours per day on uneven trails and crossing 5060 meters will not be easy for anyone. This is why we recommend trekking, hiking, jogging, gym, cardio, and other physical activities before visiting Nepal. But don't be discouraged; this isn't mountain climbing, and the Manaslu circuit requires no special training or prior experience. We have successfully organized people ranging in age from 8 to 75. This trek is suitable for both beginners and family groups too.


As per the tailored-made packages, porter is excluded. But if you would like to have porters, we will be more than happy to offer them. Normally, we provide a porter for two people, and he carries 20 kilos. A porter makes a massive difference in terms of avoiding carrying a burden of kilos and enjoying the beautiful surroundings. I am pretty sure you are fit enough, but if you ask me, I would recommend a porter since it makes a huge difference on the high altitude, rugged, and uneven trails.

  • Max. Altitude:1400m/4593ft.
  • Meals:Breakfast
  • Accommodation:2/3 Star Hotel

After a short introduction to your program, you can enjoy your first night in Nepal with an authentic Nepalese meal.

  • Max. Altitude:1400m/4593ft.
  • Meals:Breakfast
  • Accommodation:2/3 Star Hotel

Take a full day to make any final preparations for your trek or simply enjoy Nepal’s diverse cultural capital of Kathmandu.

  • Max. Altitude:1100m/3609ft.
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation:Local Home Stay

Drive from Kathmandu to Baseri (7 hrs). Baseri is situated on a hilltop and offers stunning views of Siringi Himal, Ganesh Himal, and terrace farming.

  • Max. Altitude:1925m/6316ft.
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tea House/Home Stay

Set off after breakfast on a gradually ascending trail. You’ll encounter waterfalls on this lush jungle walk, as well as the beautiful Ganesh Himal and Buddha Himal. Appreciate the peaceful silence and lack of tourist numbers as you make your way through Kashigaun to Yarsa village for your overnight stay.

  • Max. Altitude:2074m/6804ft.
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tea House/Home Stay

Awaken to the gorgeous Himalayan surroundings. Then continue to the remote Kerauja village, which offers stunning and unspoiled views.

  • Max. Altitude:1070m/3510ft.
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tea House

The trail descends gradually toward the regular route to Dovan. This portion of the journey provides a better class of tea houses, but the trade-off is you’ll encounter many more fellow travelers along the way.

  • Max. Altitude:1570m/5151ft.
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tea House

Begin your day walking through a subtropical rainforest and a series of small hamlets. Traverse a couple of suspension bridges, the last of which leads to the village of Philim and its beautiful setting amidst terraced fields overlooking the river.

  • Max. Altitude:1990m/6529ft.
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tea House

From Philim, you’ll soon arrive at the junction of Tsum Valley and Larkya La. Take the path heading northwest towards Deng. After a quick stop for lunch, you’ll finish your day at Bihi Phedi for that night’s stay.

  • Max. Altitude:2660m/8727ft.
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tea House

As you make your way up the valley, the first real views of the closest major mountains come into view with Sringi Himal, Ganesh Himal, Kutang Himal, and other peaks. Lush vegetation greets you as the trail heads west through quaint villages like Prok. Enjoy the scenic outlooks there before you press on, up the last steep stretch that ushers you into Namrung.

  • Max. Altitude:3180m/6433ft.
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tea House

Today is the day when we hit the jackpot for spectacular views of the mountains as the valley opens up with our approach to the scenic village of Lho. The lower temperate forests give way steadily as the trail breaks free of the tree line and climbs higher into the mountains, the lush greens of the lower valley giving way to the muted browns and grays of the Himalayan terrain and the vivid blue skies one only experiences at altitude. After our half-day hike to Lho, there's plenty of time left over to fully explore the gorgeous views of Manaslu and visit Rebung Gompa perched atop a hillside nearby.

  • Max. Altitude:3520m/11549ft.
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tea House

From Lho we hike to the equally impressive village of Shyala and its spectacular vistas of Manaslu, Himal Chuli, Nadi, Naike, Kutang Himal, and Pangbuche Himal, then climb steadily through yak pasturelands to Sama Gaun. With plenty of time left over from the day, there's ample opportunity to make the short hike to Birendra Lake.

  • Max. Altitude:3520m/11549ft.
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tea House

Samagaun is our temporary home for the day as we give our bodies time to acclimate to the altitude, and the choice is a fine one as the village provides multiple choices for day excursions, including a short hike to the pretty lake of Birendra Taal nearby, the highly rewarding and dramatic hike to Manaslu Base camp, or the alternative walk to Pungen Gompa and its serene setting amidst the mountains.

  • Max. Altitude:3860m/12664ft.
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tea House

Onward and up is the motto of the day as we put our heads down determinedly with the goal of Larkya La ever nearer. The trail leads us on a short and gradual climb alongside the river then begins to steepen as it leads us up to Samdo around midday. There is plenty of time in the afternoon to explore and perhaps hike to a higher altitude briefly to help in the process of acclimatization.

  • Max. Altitude:3860m/12664ft.
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tea House

Another rest day to help acclimate, with the rare option to spend the day on a hike to the border with Tibet at the pass of Rui La (4998m). The views of the Himalayas and Fukang Glacier add another level to the day's journey.

  • Max. Altitude:4460m/14633ft.
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tea House

Our trek to the high-altitude camp of Dharmsala brings us to the very threshold of Larkya La, with snow more evident and the air feeling thinner with each step toward our destination. Another brief hike to higher ground is recommended to help our bodies get used to the altitude and sleep better during the night.

  • Max. Altitude:3590m/11778ft.
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tea House

The typical method for crossing Larkya La is to head out before daybreak, our head-mounted lights bobbing in the dark as we clamber up the path in the cold morning air, our breath apparent in the glow of the lamps. The trail to Larke La is a deceptive one of constant switchbacks, promising everything one minute and snatching it away the next as one false ridge leads to another. Finally, we catch a glimpse of the first prayer flags and our goal is finally attained as we stumble wearily to the marker and pose proudly for our cameras to mark the achievement. After pausing to luxuriate in the accomplishment and take in the magnificent views we begin the descent to Bhimthang and put our trekking poles to good use to spare our tired legs and knees from the steep descent to the arid valley below.

  • Max. Altitude:1960m/6430ft.
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tea House

With views of Manaslu to our left and the Annapurna ranges to our right we descend from Bhimthang through yak pastures to the first signs of the Dudh Khola's headwaters trickling down the slope. A bridge across leads to a path that gradually leaves behind the alpine climate and takes us down through familiar rhododendron forests to a narrow valley of terraced fields and patchwork crops. We reach the small and picturesque village of Tilje and then make our way uphill to Dharapani, the major trekking confluence in the region and modern starting point for trekkers heading out on the Annapurna Circuit and their goal of reaching Thorong La pass. With time and intent, we too can head in the same direction.

  • Max. Altitude:1400m/4593ft.
  • Meals:Breakfast and Lunch

A long day's driving by jeep/bus to either Pokhara or Kathmandu as you prefer.

    Farewell and drop-off at the airport, or the opportunity to join another of our programs.

    Got a question about this tour?

    Or looking for customize trip, reach out to our travel experts.

    Customize Trip


    The above itinerary is just a guideline. If you are not satisfied, please feel free to customize your own and talk to us.

    What's Included
    Cost Includes
    • Complimentary airport pick-up and drop-off
    • Complimentary welcome dinner
    • Two-night stay on arrival in Kathmandu with breakfast included (on a twin-share basis)
    • All necessary trekking permits, such as the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit, Manaslu Special, Manaslu Conservation Area Permit, TIMS Card, etc.
    • All accommodations during the trek
    • Three meals a day during the trek
    • A cup of tea or coffee with the meal
    • Fresh fruit each day, if and when available
    • Complimentary duffel bag, agency T-shirt, trekking map, and sleeping bag if needed
    • government-registered and first-aid-trained professional local guide who speaks English
    • First-aid kit
    • Kathmandu to Baseri by bus
    • Dharapani to Kathmandu by bus
    • Staff insurance, meals, accommodation, equipment, transportation, etc.
    • Rescue arrangements, if necessary
    • Agency service charge and government tax (VAT)
    • Certificate of achievement
    Cost Excludes
    • International airfare and Nepal visa fee
    • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
    • Porters to carry your backpacks (we provide porters on request)
    • Personal insurance, personal expenses, loss of property, theft, etc.
    • Sightseeing costs (temples, monasteries, etc.)
    • All beverages, snacks, and additional expenses such as laundry, hot showers, battery charging, wifi, etc.
    • Tips for staff

    Note: The above itinerary is just a guideline. If you are not satisfied, please feel free to customize your own and talk to us.

    Route MapDownload Map
    Manaslu Circuit Alternative Route map
    Dates & Availability
    Start:SundayOct 01, 2023
    End:ThursdayOct 19, 2023
    Start:SundayOct 15, 2023
    End:ThursdayNov 02, 2023


    Are you satisfied with the group departure dates? Aside from that, we organize private trips or any special dates you prefer. Let's talk to our local specialist now.

    Photos & Videos
    2Travelers' Reviews
    • TripAdvisor
      rating star

      Amazing trek with an excellent company!

      May 2023

      Raj Namasté! We wanted to thank you for a wonderful trip. From the first contact in 2019, before Corona, until the last moment in Nepal you were always very thoughtful, answered immediately to all our (silly) questions and organised everything perfectly.

      Our Trek on the alternative route of the Manaslu circuit was very varied. The first 3 days we hiked high above the river and met no other tourists. The people were very open and friendly and it was interesting to see the pristine village life. The accomodations were simple but absolutely sufficiant. Once we met the normal route there were a lot of other hikers and also mule treks and villages used to the tourists. The advantage were more sophisticated tea houses.
      The landscape, flora and cultural structures of the whole trek are amazing. From humid jungle to mountain forest to glaciers we climbed gradually up along the river. Unfortunately the weather wasn't too good, especially around the Larke La Pass, and there was quite a bit of fresh snow, which made the the pass much harder than expected. But with the help of our guide Thakur and the two porters we managed nonetheless. A real highlight was the day after the pass from Bhimtang to Goa. With some rhododendron in bloom, mossy dripping trees, we felt like in a Tolkien book.
      The absolute best about our trip was our guide Thakur. He is an excellent guide and knows every corner and also gave us a lot of background information. He is an amazing person who enriched our trip with his good spirit every moment. Kalika and Binod, our porters had a hard job but were always in good spirit as well and helpful where necessary.
      We would definitely recommend the alternative route of the Manaslu Trek with Nepal Trekking Experts.

      Daniela SMay 16, 2023Switzerland
    • TripAdvisor
      rating star

      2 marvelous weeks with Ram

      Wow! These 2 weeks were really tough. We combined the classical Manaslu circuit with a trek into the Nar-Phu valley and were amazed by the deversity of the landscape. We definitely recommend this combined tour. Compared to e.g. Peru or Bolivia permits and the need to hire a local guide sum up the costs considerably but we finally felt it to be worthwhile. Some sort of restriction preserves authenticity and helps the guides to have some income. Rajesh organized everything in advance so we could start the trek almost directly from the Airport. Our guide Ram took care of us perfectly, was preventing us from starving or falling ill with AMS. We will definitely go to Dolpo and Kanchenjunga again with Ram!

      Olaf HopferOct 28, 2019Germany
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