The combination of the highest mountains in the world and the thrilling trekking routes makes Nepal the favorite destination for adventure junkies all over the world. One of such treks known for its majestic peak, natural beauty, and thrilling routes is the Manaslu Circuit trek.
You must be thinking about the Manaslu Circuit trek cost. Keep on reading. The cost are discussed below.
Manaslu lies in the rain-shadow area of the Annapurna massif and is slowly gaining popularity among the hundreds of trekkers who visit the region every year. Manaslu is the eighth highest mountain in the world and the highest in the area which makes the trek even more eventful for the trekkers. As the development of infrastructure in the region is gaining its pace, more tourists are attracted to this previously avoided trekking trail. Due to its proximity to Tibet, Manaslu was a restricted area up until the 1990s and was opened to international tourists only 2 decades ago.
Manaslu circuit trek is especially famous for its unexplored trails, less crowd, peace, and tranquility. The isolation of the region for so many years has left many trails and regions to be discovered and hence is alluring for keen trekkers who actually want to experience the nature, peace, and serenity of the trails. Many trekkers choose Manaslu circuit trek as an alternative to Annapurna Circuit trek.
Once you have decided to begin this beautiful and majestic trek, you might have concerns about how it is going to affect your vacation budget. So, here we bring to you a detailed breakdown of the cost of Manaslu circuit trek.
Table of Contents
- Cost of Guides and Porters for Manaslu Circuit Trek
- Cost of Transportation at Manaslu Circuit Trek
- Cost of Food at Manaslu Circuit Trek
- Cost of Accommodation at Manaslu Circuit Trek
- Cost of Drinks at Manaslu Circuit Trek
- Trekking Permits Cost for Manaslu Circuit Trek
- Cost of other Optional Items
Cost of Guides and Porters for Manaslu Circuit Trek
While many of the famous treks do not have strict requirements, some restricted treks need a minimum of 2 trekkers and licensed guides to accompany the trekkers. You will be provided the permit only after fulfilling these requirements.
The cost of a guide or a porter is around $25 which also covers the accommodation, food, and insurance for the guide. If you would prefer a porter instead of a guide, it would cost between $15-$20 including the accommodation, food, and insurance.
It is highly recommended that you take a licensed guide as Manaslu trek is a bit tricky and you might need a guide with all the technical knowledge for safety. The training and experience of a licensed professional can make your trekking experience safe and enjoyable.
Cost of Transportation at Manaslu Circuit Trek
As Manaslu has recently gained popularity among trekkers, not many facilities are available on the trails. Due to its isolation and off-road trails, the region is not yet connected to the outer world via proper roads. So you will need to take local buses or hire a private jeep to reach the starting point of the trek to Arughat or Sotikhola. A local bus would cost around US $10 per person whereas a jeep would cost between $150 and $200 each way but is worth the convenience than the packed buses. If you are traveling in a group, the cost can be shared by all and would be around $30 per person. The same rate would apply to your return trip from Tal or Besisahar to Kathmandu.
Cost of Food at Manaslu Circuit Trek
As we mentioned earlier, Manaslu is still an isolated, rural area which makes the costs of goods more expensive than other areas. As the elevation increases, the price of food increases and the menu choices decrease as it gets harder to transport more goods to remote places. The cost of each meal is approximate $5 but it might vary according to your choice of food, the number of meals, and appetite. Approximately $20 should be enough for a day.
The cost of food in Manaslu is expensive due to lack of proper transportation but still cheaper than Everest and Annapurna treks. You will enjoy every bite, every sip after a hard day’s trek and the hard work of the men and mules required to carry them to such elevations. Every single piece of food feels worth every penny for the relief and joy.
Cost of Accommodation at Manaslu Circuit Trek
Manaslu is also known as a teahouse trek for the variety of tea-houses that have sprung up and does not need trekkers to camp. One gets to indulge in the local culture, traditional houses and lives of the warm people who make the treks more enjoyable.
Accommodation is not an issue in Manaslu circuit trek. The trails are usually empty or less crowded and new and improved tea houses are opening up all the time. The tea houses and lodges that were damaged by the earthquake of 2015 have mostly been repaired and are ready to serve tourists again.
With better tea houses and lodges springing up and old ones being renovated, you have a variety of choices. The cost of a room on twin sharing basis usually ranges from $6 – $9. If you want to rent the whole room without sharing, you will have to pay the full price of the room.
Cost of Drinks at Manaslu Circuit Trek
As Manaslu circuit trek is not considered a high altitude trek, the cost of drinks here is relatively cheaper than other treks like Everest base camp trek or Everest circuit trek. Some basic costs are
Cup of tea/ coffee: $2 – $4
Bottle of beer: $2-$5
Bottle of water/soda: $0.5 – $4
Trekking Permits Cost for Manaslu Circuit Trek
As Manaslu is a special protection region, the government requires different permits to support the preservation of the area, limit the number of tourists and control the borders with Tibet. These permits are required exclusively for Annapurna and Manaslu conservation areas.
The first permit required for the trip is the Manaslu restricted permit. It is required for the conservation of the area and its rate varies according to the month and duration of your trip.
For the months of September to November, the rate per person is $70 for the first week and then $10 per day after that. If you are traveling between the months of December to August, the cost is $50 for the first week and then $7 per day after that. The duration of the trip is usually 14 days out of which you need the permit for 8 or 9 days. But if you want an extended trip you might require a special permit for 10 days. The cost on average is $10 per day per person.
The other permit required for the trip is the ACAP (Annapurna conservation area permit) and the MCAP (Manaslu Conservation Area permit). The cost of each is $20 per person.
If you want to make a detour to Tsum valley, there is another permit required for the Tsum valley trek. It costs $35 per person per week.
Cost of other Optional Items
As the altitude increases, everything becomes more expensive due to the effort and cost of transporting goods there. It is the same for all high elevation treks to the mountains in Nepal. Here is a list of things you might want to indulge in during the trek and their prices.
You will need to charge your electronic items like camera, phones, iPods and others as you spent days in the mountains. The cost is usually a few dollars but in the long run it will cost you more to charge many things every day. The cost is higher to support the local hydropower stations. If you want to avoid this cost, you might want to carry a solar-powered battery charger or a portable power bank of your own. This ensures that you get to enjoy the beautiful sceneries and fun experiences and share them with the world all the time.
Each day of the trek is a tiring experience and you will want to take a hot shower and get fresh all the time. However, in the higher elevations showers or baths are not possible due to the cold and the cost. While some lodges might have proper bathrooms others provide only pails of water for your bath. These will cost you a few dollars every time but they will not feel like a proper bath. Instead, it is a good idea to carry wet wipes and a small towel to freshen up in the morning as well as before bed.
Tips and donations
If you like the services of the places you visit or the people you meet in the trails, you might want to tip them even though there is no tipping culture in Nepal. It is usually a good idea to tip your guides and porters for their hard work if they make your trip fun, safe, and enjoyable. Various places in the high altitudes like the monasteries, stupas and schools will expect some form of a donation from the tourists for the improvement of their infrastructures. You might want to keep aside a few dollars if you feel like contributing to such good causes.
Trekking to the mountains of Nepal is one of the most adventurous trips you could ever enjoy. As you take in the majestic beauty of the mountains and green landscape, the warm welcome of the friendly people and the thrills of the trails, you will get an experience worth every penny you spend. However, it is a good idea to avoid being overcharged for things that you get for reasonable prices.
The amount you pay for the same trek depends on the travel agency you choose. If you pick international agencies, they charge you around $2000 while a local company would only charge $700 for the same. While some agencies charge for their brands and the safety and convenience, local companies provide equally satisfying services. It is up to you to pick the agency according to your budget and travel plans. It would help a lot to research and ask frequent trekkers to the region about the actual costs.
Manaslu is a fun, challenging and remote trek so you should be ready to face rough trails and minimal services. As the services (accommodation, food, guides, and porters) are the same as you go up, it does not make much sense to pay more for the same services. Do the research and make an informed decision so you get to enjoy the beauty, tranquility and unexplored treasures of the region without hurting your pocket.