Manaslu Trek Cost

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 for you. 

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 18 to 22 a day inclusive of food, accommodation, and insurance would be the cost of hiring a porter for Manaslu trek. Similarly, we were often asked to design the itinerary with porter guide (A learning guide) as well,  That would cost roughly  USD 25-30 a day. The good things about having a porter guide also helps to share the load and guide you through the trail. In common sentence let's say one person who can do both jobs as a guide and a porter.
However, It is highly 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.

What to expect a Guide from our company?

We take your security and safety seriously, so we ensure all our guide have undergone a proper professional training and received a licence from the government. 

 Majority of the professional guides from NEST Adventure are born and raised in Manaslu region (Gorkha, Dhading and Nuwakot).  So they know their way very well in these mountains. 
 
⇒ All our guides have been to Manaslu at least 5 to 7 times every year so you can be sure of their experience in this terrain and in this area.  

Most of our guide is young but very experienced and well educated.  They are able to converse in English very well, and in some cases, in other languages too.

⇒ Apart from safety, we want to make sure you will enjoy your time with NEST Adventure.  All our guides have been received 5 out of a scale of 5 ratings from our previous clients. Please review here

⇒ Each of our guides really has a good relationship with locals and teahouse owners along the way.  So there is not an issue with communication with tea houses or finding accommodation.
 
To make sure you would have a good rapport with the guide, we arrange for meetings with the guide prior to the departure.  You can ask the guide for questions and test his knowledge and experience and if for some reason, you are not satisfied, we would be happy to provide another guide that will match your requirements. Please, do hesitate to contact us, if you are looking for someone like I just described (email: nestadventure@gmail.com)

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 to Arughat or if you want to continue further to Sotikhola It will be USD 200-220.  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 800 Rs for Tourist and 600 Rs for Nepalese. 

The hike to Manaslu starts from Soti Khola typically.  Unfortunately, there is no direct public transportation from Kathmandu to Soti Khola, unless you decide to take a private jeep.  But for the adventurous at heart, what a better way to experience a country than to travel like locals do.  And of course, public transportation is more cost-effective than hiring a private jeep especially if you are by yourself. 

There is a total distance of about 138 km (86 miles) between Kathmandu to Soti Khola.  You need to take a local bus from Kathmandu to Arughat, and then a local jeep from Arughat to Sotikhola.  What is the difference between a local jeep and a local bus?  Local buses from Kathmandu are bigger and have more capacity, while what is called a local jeep in Nepal would be more like a van than a bus.  

So what should you expect from the local bus/jeep ride?

 You should prepare yourself to fit in a small seat (where available).   Miraculously, a 30-capacity bus could instantly fit 50 or more people so be prepared to share the space.  Legroom may also be limited so enjoy stretching before you board the bus. 

 Local bus to Arughat leaves early in the morning at 7:00 AM and 8:00 AM, so you plan to be at the local bus station at least 30 minutes before departure time. 

 Make sure that your luggage is well covered by bag cover or large plastic bag before placing into the local bus as the ride is going to be really dusty. 

 Make sure that you also wear dark colour cloth and by all means, please keep the mask, hat, sunglass, scarf and water with you.  Trust me, you will need this.  If you are on the window seat, it could be very sunny, so be prepared to use your scarf to block the sun rays.
  
 The first half 90km of the road is well-cemented (this is between Kathmandu and Dhading) so your ride would be comfortable. However, after this would be a challenging ride, with dust, muddy and very narrow road.  This is where the adventure begins. 
 
 The local bus will stop for a toilet break and lunch in the middle of the ride.  Savour this opportunity to taste local authentic food such as chicken and mutton (goat) curry with dal bhat (a Nepali set food with lentil).  Food in the local area could taste different from Kathmandu. 

  Request your agency to book a seat on the right side of the bus as this is going to be a very scenic ride offers river, gorges, valley, snow-capped mountain, green hills and rice terraces.  

 And finally, after the ride, you will probably find yourself humming to a local folk song!  So prepare yourself to listen to the music and mingle with the friendly locals (and some chickens and goats if you are lucky!).

What to Expect From a Private Jeep Ride

A private jeep ride might be an alternative option for those who don't want to compromise comfort (bearing in mind that you also have a couple of weeks ahead of you to trek and be outside your comfort zone most of the time).  If you have some other trekkers to share this with, this is probably a better option. The route Kathmandu to Sotikhola is recommended to have a private jeep as this section is really difficult trip compared to other local buses such as between Dharapani-Besishar and Besishar to Pokhara or Kathmandu.  Please be reminded, however, that a private jeep does not have all the bells and the whistles you might expect.  This will not be a top of the line vehicle or any luxurious fully functioning 4x4 cars. 

Firstly, it is probably not going to be a new model.  It will be at least 5 to 10 years old and have seen it's fair share of the mountain road. 

Do not expect it to be a fully functional air-conditioned jeep. Most of the private jeep that runs in this section of Nepali road don't have air condition.  The reason for this is because the mountain road combined with altitude and challenging terrain requires high-power.  For safety purposes and to ensure the car does not break down in the model, the driver will not turn on the A/C.  So, you should expect it to be dusty and muddy even if you hire a private jeep.   Just please make sure the windows are fully functioning as that is the only thing that separates you from being fully covered with dust after the trip.

The advantages of having a private jeep in between Kathmandu-Sotikhola section are: 

 Private jeep can travel faster than a local bus.  This is because local buses stop anywhere and everywhere for passengers.  If you are short on time, this is the best way to go.

 Comfort-wise, private jeep provides enough leg room and safe storage for your luggage.  In a local bus, you may find your luggage or trekking bags on top of the bus or separate from you if this is too big to be carried on the bus.
 Private jeep allows you to stop anywhere you need for lunch, snack, nice viewpoint along the way (for that selfie), and of course, the much toilet break.  Or sometimes, you just need to stop to stretch your legs. 

 Private jeep is also relatively safer on this road section compared to a local bus.  

 The departure time from Kathmandu is also flexible so if you are arriving late in the morning from the airport and does not have a day to spare in Kathmandu, this is the best option for you to start a trek in the same day. 

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.

What to expect from food in the Manaslu region 

Basic necessities such as food are important and Manaslu is a very local remote area in Nepal, so if you are craving for certain food, make sure you get it in Kathmandu before you leave for your trek as continental-type food could be limited.

⇒ Each tea house offers a restaurant with continental food, which you can choose from the menu. 

⇒ Normally any vegetables served in tea houses are produced from their own field.  This is usually organic, so good for your health. 
⇒ Not every camp offers meat (chicken, mutton, and pork.  Please note that beef is almost non-existent here.) If they do, you should check with your guide if this is fresh before you placed the order.  Because of the altitude and weather, it is sometimes difficult to raise these animals for consumption.  Storing the meat over the winter could also be challenging.  Better safe than sorry, please ensure you raise this with your guide so he can check first.  

⇒ You won't find tea houses anytime you are hungry.  So when you need that boost, please bring energy bar or chocolate for the trip and it could make a lot of difference.

⇒ "Dal Bhat power for 24 hours" The most common Nepali dish allows you to eat rice as much as you can, with no additional cost.  Rice is good as you need carbohydrates for that trek!

⇒ While it is generally clean, please take a lot caution when buying local food or drinking water.    

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. 

What to expect for accommodation in Manaslu region 

Next to food, where exactly would you sleep?  Usually, there is ample tea houses for accommodation in Manaslu region, but please be reminded of the following:

⇒ Basic private room with shared toilet are mostly available throughout the trek.  However, please expect one night in Dharmasala and Gumba Lundang in Tsum Valley where you may need to share a room with other trekkers during high season or you may even end up sleeping in the tent. 

⇒ Bring a sleeping bag with you.  Although beds, blankets, pillows, etc may be provided, you will not be sure that these are cleaned before you use it.  Also, the weather could be very cold so sleeping bags are a must.  

Extra blankets are provided in each camp with no additional cost except maybe one night in Dharamsala before the high.pass.  In this area, you are required to pay NPR 200-300 per additional blanket. 

⇒ Warm heater or bonfire will be provided in the communal area but only during dinner time.  Enjoy the time here to mingle with local Nepalis and fellow travellers.  Apart from this time, tea houses do not have heaters in rooms or communal area.
⇒ The toilets are very basic so please make sure you bring wipes or toilet paper with you (these are also available for purchase tea houses if you run out). 

⇒ Do not bargain in fix price such as the cost of the food which is written on the menu. 
⇒ Do not enter into their kitchen without permission. 
⇒ Tea houses usually charge additional for hot water for bathing or for charging mobile phones, camera etc.  You may want to bring a power bank with you or some solar battery.  

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 

Drinking water in Manaslu region 

⇒  Bottled water is available to buy in each camp (roughly NPR 200 (USD 2) in the lower elevation and NPR 400 (USD 4) in the higher elevation) 
⇒ Majority of trekkers use water purification drop or tablet or water filter to save money. 

⇒ You don't need to carry more than one litre of water during the day.  Normally, the water source is available every one to two hours of walking distance where you can refill water. 

⇒ Carry at least one water bottle which is good for hot and cold water. 

⇒  Relatively, the water in the mountain is not as polluted as in the city and are usually drinkable.  You will see locals and your guide drinking this water with no issues.  However,  to be safe, please make sure you use water purification drop. 
⇒ Your body needs plenty of water at this elevation, so please drink as much as you can.

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 additionally 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. Donation; 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 to the support staff;  After each trek, your guide and porter also expect some tips from you.  Of course, this usually reflects your experience during the trek. Normally USD 100 is on average for 2 weeks trek. USD 5 to 7 er day. 

 Conclusion

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 we can be the best local Manaslu Trek based company to organised your trip then, please do not hesitate to contact us (info@nestadventure.com).  We hope this post has been helpful to plan your trip if you have any comment please feel free to write below in the comment section. 

About Rajendra Khanal (Raj)

Rajendra Khanal (Raj) Born and raised in Gorkha, Nepal, I am proud to call the Manaslu region my home! I have been in the travel business for over a decade from being a porter to being a guide to being a manager and finally a founder of NEST Adventure. So you could say, I know my way well enough in the Himalayas especially in some of the off-the-beaten trails in Nepal like Manaslu, Kanchenjunga or Mustang
I am passionate about travelling and I strongly believe that seeing the world shouldn't break the bank (at least not too much!).  I have been to over 15 countries in Asia, Central Americas, one-third of the Europe and just started Latin America, (Australia and Canada are on my bucket list..one day!) as a backpacker myself, I am happy to share the experience about Nepal Himalayas. If you think I can be helpful planning your trip to Nepal, then do not hesitate to contact me. at nestadventure@gmail.com. I am also available on Whats app and Viber +977-9851052042 Or direct phone call +1(702)456-9789. If you are interested to know more about me follow on  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
 
5 + 9 = ?


Namaste, we are 2 people (couple over 50) trekking Manaslu for 14-16 days, starting 28 or 29 September from KTM. Do you have a group or other couple that would like to share costs for a guide (as we were told that porter is not allowed, it must be a guide only) and potentionally transport from KTM to Soti Khola and back?  Thank you for any info, Cheers, Daniela
- Daniela Čechová


Hello, Daniela, 
Thank you so much for the comment. I am afraid the information you found online is not correct about the guide. The truth is you are allowed to go with either guide or porter accompanied by the local agency. for example, let's say you can't afford to have a guide and porter both for the trip or you would prefer porter over a guide, so doesn't mean you have to hire both you can also hire only a porter for Manaslu. However, we also called Porter/Guide You can find more information about Trekking in Manaslu with Porter guide in the highlighted link. Regarding the cost and plan detail, we will reply to your personal email. I hope this helps. 
Raj 

- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.


thanks for sharing this useful information. 

we plan to go to nepalmthis november and hesitate between Manaslu and Annapurnas trek. How wouldnyoubcompare in general terms (landscaoe, population and trek features) both routes?

- xavi


Hello Xavi, Thank you so much for the comment, and we are glad to know that you were planning to trek in Nepal. Let me break down a difference between Annapurna Circuit and Manaslu Trek.
- NEST Adventure


Can 2 people do the Manaslu circuit in December?
- Will Snow


Hi will,
- NEST


We are a family of 4 planning on the Manaslu trek between April 8-22, 2017. Our older daughter (13) is planning on doing this to raise funds for a charity fighting human trafficking in Nepal. We were last in Nepal in April 2015 (flew out an hour before the earthquake) when we hiked the Tamang Heritage Trail. We are looking for a local agency that can organize a guide and a porter and a basic essential package. Looking forward to your response.
- Vinay Chandra


Hi there,
I and my girlfriend were thinking about trekking in the Manaslu circuit on our own from the 19th od October, however, I read that we MUST have a licensed guide with us in order to get the permit. 
So I was wondering if a guide could just lead us the checking point in Jagat, and then leave us alone, or if by chance in those days there is an organised Tour we can join just to cross the checking point.otherwise how much would a guide cost? we are landing in Kathmandu on the 18th of October, could you eventually organise the permits in advance?
thank you
Fausto

- Fausto


Hello Faustoouu, 
Thank you so much for your comment, Glad to know that you are travelling to Nepal for Manaslu. I am afraid, to tell you that is illegal in Manaslu to trek without a guide or without minimum one trekking staff at all time. There are multiple checkpoints along the way, due to the open border with Tibet China, Nepal Government does not allow tourist to be them self in this area. 

You can organise a basic essential package from a local agency like from us. That mean Guide, trekking permit and Transportation. Assuming that Manaslu trek  needs minimum 14 days itinerary to complete. it's not that expensive, If think you can afford to pay the cost in Manaslu as we discuss above. Let us know we can help you to organise the basic package. 
Raj 

- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.


Dear NEST Adventure team, --- My name is Veronika Huber and I am a student from Austria. I would like to do the Manaslu Trek starting in the middle of October. The problem is that I will travel alone to Nepal which is a problem for the Manaslu Trek I read. Is there a possibility that you help me find one or more partners for the trek and we organise everything by your agency? I'm looking forward to your response, kind regards, --- Veronika
- Veronika Huber


Hello Veronika, --- Thank you so much for your inquiry, We appreciate your interest for the Manaslu trek. Right now we are also dealing with the same kind of issue with another trekker who is willing to find group for the October. His date is quite flexible, Ideally October 10th onward. Do you think you can co-operate with that? If your Answer is YES we can interduce you guys both as a 1 team for the Manaslu trek and apply all necessary permit and official paper. Would you also included, in next comment about your requirement eg. Porter or without porter or only with a guide. Thanks, I hope this helps you! --- Raj
- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

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