One good thing about venturing into this unknown world of Manaslu is that it is not at all as expensive as one would think. In fact, it is relatively cheaper than Everest, but don't expect it to be cheaper than Langtang and Annapurna. Our clients who experienced Manaslu circuit trekking
have nothing but positive feedback and for most of them who had also been to Everest Base Camp aka EBC or Annapurna Base Camp aka ABC, Manaslu is so much better compared to other trails in Nepal.
Related: Looking for Trekking Partners for the Manaslu Trek 2016 / 17
In this article, we hope to answer some basic questions you may have about Manaslu, in particular on the overall impact this trek may have on your wallet! Okay, to do this trek, you will need a permit, transportation, guide (and probably porter) and of course, food and accommodation. These are the essentials and we have gathered the cost figures for you below.
How much is the Manaslu Trekking Permit cost?
The Nepal government applied special rule and cost for the Manaslu trekking permit
as this is a restricted area in Nepal. You will need three permits for the Manaslu --
1. Manaslu restricted permit,
2. Manaslu Conservation Area Project Permit, aka MCAP, and lastly,
3. Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit, aka ACAP.
4. Tsum Valley Restricted Permit (Only if you are going to Tsum Valley)
I know what you are thinking, why do we need all these permits?! Please allow us to explain these below.
The Manaslu restricted permit is necessary as you entering a special region in Nepal. This is required by the government to preserve the area and probably carve down the tourists. The cost of the permit varies depending on the month you will be in the region and the number of days you will be in the area. If your travelling months are from September to November, the cost is about USD 70 for the first week per person plus USD 10 per day per person thereafter. If you are travelling in between December and August the cost is slightly cheaper at USD 50 for the first week per person, and USD 7 per day per person thereafter. The average total number of days for the Manaslu trekking is about 14 days
, and you will likely need the restricted permit for about 8 or 9 days. Some trekkers chose to trek for 17 days,
and if that is the case, there will be 10 days of special permit required. It's always a good idea to discuss this with your local travel agency to plan ahead or (Contact us
). As a rule of thumb, the restricted permit is USD 10 a day.
We are not done yet and as mentioned above, you are also required to buy MCAP and ACAP. These are USD 20 a piece per person. If you choose Tsum Valley trek as a side trip for your Manaslu trek
, then you are also required to buy another restricted permit for this area and the cost is USD 35 per week per person.
If you compare the permit cost with other trekking regions such as Everest, Annapurna, Langtang and Kanchenjunga, Manaslu is actually higher but still cheaper than Upper Mustang Trek
. I know this is probably hard to understand and to remember, and I hope we did not confuse you even more! But you should not worry about this and let your local trekking agency in Nepal arrange these
A cost for The Guide and Porter for Manaslu trek?
While Nepal has some trekking trails where tourists can trek even without a guide, this doesn't apply to Manaslu. It is also required that at least two trekkers are in a group to apply for Manaslu permit.
Contrary to what international travel companies might tell you, hiring a professional guide is actually not at all expensive for the Manaslu region. On average, the fee is about USD 20 to 25 per day and this includes the guide's food, accommodation, and insurance.
We are also often asked by our client if it is possible to only trek with a porter in Manaslu
. The answer is Yes, this is possible!!! However, the cost of hiring a porter is not that much different to hiring a guide due to the cost of food and insurance. I would say roughly USD 15 to 20 a day inclusive of food, accommodation, and insurance would be the cost of hiring a porter for Manaslu trek. It is recommended that you go with a professional guide for safety reasons and you could be sure of the experience and rigid training they went through to get their license. Of course, this is all dependent on you as long as you don't go trekking on your own in Manaslu without a guide
or porter as it is not actually allowed by the government.
The Cost of The Transportation for the Manaslu trek
As you would expect in an off-the-beaten-trail, Manaslu trek hasn't connected yet with any public tourist bus services. And because of this, it remains a less travelled trekking trail. The only way to reach the starting point for the trek is to take an off-road local bus to Arughat or Sotikhola or hire a private jeep for those looking for convenience. Riding a local bus to Sotikhola is less than USD 10 per person. If you choose the private jeep option, it will cost you approximately USD 150 to 200 each way. The same applies at the end of the trek from Tal or Besisahar to Kathmandu, and costs are also roughly the same. In between Tal and Besisahar, there is also a local jeep running every other hour which will cost you roughly 1000 Rs for Tourist and 600 Rs for Nepalese.
How much is the cost of FOOD in Manaslu Trek?
Since Manaslu is still in a remote area of Nepal, the cost of food in is generally more expensive here than in Kathmandu and menu choices are limited. Those who have been to other base camps in Nepal should be familiar with the rule that the cost of food increases as the elevation increases. This is because it becomes harder to transport the higher the elevation and if the area is more remote. From Sotikhola all the way up to Larke pass, supplies are being transported by pure hard work by men and mule, so you could imagine how much effort goes into each soup you will eat in the region. You may want to budget roughly USD 5 per meal. so maybe USD 15 to 20 on a daily basis. Of course, this would vary how much appetite you might have in each meal and your beverages. Also, breakfast is generally cheaper than lunch and dinner. If you have been to Annapurna, the cost is relatively the same. Everest is still more expensive than Manaslu and Annapurna.
How much is the cost of tea houses (Accommodation) in Manaslu Trek?
I assure you, accommodation is not an issue at all in Manaslu as tea houses have started to spring up. It is widely known that the recent earthquake in Manaslu trek
has affected the trail and most of the local houses were damaged, and even the tea houses had not been spared by this calamity. Since then, along with the rest of the nation, the area has recovered while the trail and tea houses have been rebuilt. All tea houses are back in business and trekkers can be accommodated at any time without any issue. The cost for one twin sharing room is roughly USD 6 to USD 9 a night. If you are renting one room with two twin beds so you could sleep on your own, please be reminded that you must pay for the total cost of the room, meaning the cost for two people.
How much is the cost of drinks in Manaslu Trek?
The cost of tea and coffee are relatively the same as in other mountain region but slightly cheaper than in Everest Base Camp. This is because it is not considered a very high-altitude trek.
A cup of tea - USD 1.5- 4
A cup of coffee - USD 2 - 4
A bottle of beer - USD 2 - 5
A bottle of water / soda - USD 0.5 - 4
Other miscellaneous costs
It is widely known that if something requires extra effort, then please do not expect it to be cheap and you will be charged additional in the mountain. For any trek in Nepal, the following are additional costs you may want to also factor into your budget:
a. Charging your electronic gadgets, such as Camera, iPod, mobile phone or anything would definitely cost you a few dollars at a time. The extra cost needs to be paid due to the high investment for the small local hydropower station. As you will be on the mountain for many days and will definitely be requiring to charge at least your phone or camera (as you would want to capture the sceneries for sure!!), you might as well invest in a portable solar battery charger or a portable power bank. Extra batteries for your camera will help as well.
b. Bucket shower (i.e. using a pail of water) heated by gas, firewood might cost you few dollars at a time. In the mountain, please don't expect that you will have your full bath or shower every day. Yes, as much as we want to do that, it is just not practical and economical. So you should be prepared to basically smell the same as yesterday for several days. Instead of a bucket water, another option would be to pack some wipes with you and use that instead in the interim, or a small towel that you could use to freshen yourself in the morning or before going to bed.
c. If you visit, monasteries, gumba or stupa, although it is not mandatory, they do expect some small donations for the maintenance of the area. Costs here could vary.
d. Tips are not entirely compulsory in Nepal, but after each trek, your guide and porter also expect some tips from you. Of course, this usually reflects your experience during the trek.
As you probably gathered from your research, different companies publish different cost for Manaslu trek. This is probably very confusing as the cost range is relatively wide and it is difficult to decide which company to trust. If you are planning for Manaslu trek you shouldn't miss research a bit before you make the decision For example, if you try to look up the cost offered by international travel agencies, the charges could be more than USD 2000 but if you check with a local travel company in Nepal, the cost for the same package could reduce by a third. For first time travellers, you would normally go with the international agencies because of their branding and you could be sure of your safety. However, I assure you that local agencies in Nepal could deliver a perfect Manaslu trek Itinerary and the same level of quality at a fraction of the price. It actually doesn't matter whether you go with the more expensive or the cheaper one, as everyone sleeps in the same category of tea houses. There is no such thing as a 5-star tea house in the mountain region. In addition, you are also assured that you will be served the same quality of the meal.
As a rough estimate, the Manaslu package for 17 days
could well range between USD 700 and USD 900 per person with full boarding package. An international agency would offer you USD 2,500
for the same package. If you wish to pay for your own food and accommodation and just request the essentials from the local travel company (e.g guide, porter, permit, and transportation), the cost will drop to USD 300 to USD 500 per head.
The Manaslu base camp trek
is a special group of adventure trekkers who want to explore the unexplored and not boast that they have seen the Everest or have been to Everest Base Camp. This trek is for travellers who want serenity and quiet while trekking and not be on crowded trails as in the Everest or Annapurna during season time. Anyone who has been to Manaslu could vouch for the unspoilt beauty of the area and we hope to keep it that way for the years to come. It is more remote than the other trails so you should be prepared to rough it as you travel and give up comfort for at least 2 weeks.
If you think you can handle this situation and if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org). We hope this post has been helpful to you but please feel free to leave us a comment below if you have any concern.