Annapurna Circuit Vs Manaslu Circuit

  • May 6, 2022
  • Rajesh Thapaliya

Nepal is a popular country and one of the best trekking destinations in the world. Trekking in Nepal is one of the most popular travel activities in Nepal. Choosing from numerous beautiful trekking routes such as adventure trek and non-adventure trek should be difficult for the trekkers who are first time making a plan to trek in Nepal.

As an adventure trekking option, the Manaslu circuit and Annapurna circuit treks are great options. Both trekking routes have different beauties and individualities thus there are some similarities too. Both of them can provide different experiences and memory to the trekkers.

Annapurna Circuit Trek
Throng La Pass 5,416m)

Table of Contents

The Manaslu circuit is a restricted trekking area with tea houses and the Annapurna circuit is a normal tea house trek that was developed earlier than Manaslu. These two different trekking trails can give different experiences as trekking in a special area with less traffic and trekking in a normal area with more traffic. So before planning a trek among them can make a clear decision about which one is suitable to do.

Annapurna circuit is a popular, regular, easier and less challenging trail. There are thousands of trekkers every year. These factors Annapurna circuit invites vast numbers of trekkers from all around the world who would like to have experienced the amazing Annapurna region. Annapurna is a developed trekking route.

In the interim, Manaslu Circuit is less popular and a new trekking trail in Nepal. But it is not mean that is not nice to visit. This trek is popular among those who want to have a remote experience of Nepal which is untouched by high civilization and not to trek with the crowd. So this trek is a really good one to have an adventure experience with a typical lifestyle.

The things to remember about the Manaslu circuit versus the Annapurna circuit are both have high passes (Thorong La and Larke La), wonderful trekking trails and the scenic Himalayas. Annapurna circuit can make without a partner so individual trekkers may do it but the Manaslu circuit must have to have a guide and at least 2 people having a special trekking authorization permit. This restriction is to protect the natural environment and culture of the area.

Manaslu Circuit trek
Larke pass

Difference Between Manaslu Circuit and Annapurna Circuit

NameAnnapurna CircuitManaslu Circuit
Trek Duration12-17 Days12-16 Days
RegionAnnapurnaManaslu
Trip GradeModerateStrenuous
Best Time to TrekSeptember-November and March-MaySeptember-November and March-May
Trek TypeLodge to LodgeLodge to Lodge
Starting PointBesisaharArughat
End PointPokharaBesisahar
Maximum Altitude5,416m5,160m
Total Distance160km-230km177km
Mode of TransportationPublic Bus/Private Jeep/FlightPublic Bus/Private Jeep
PermitsAnnapurna Conservation Area Permit and TIMS cardAnnapurna Conservation Area permit, Manaslu Conservation Area Permit, Special restricted area permit
Individual AllowedYesNo
RestrictionNoYes

Annapurna Circuit and Manaslu Circuit in Autumn 

Autumn is the main season for the Annapurna circuit. It is a highly recommended trekking season for Nepal. There are a lot of trekkers during this season so the trails and places will have crowed. The temperature is perfect until October and starts cold in November. There are fewer chances of rainfall so the view is extremely clear most of the days.

The temperature is perfect and the sky is nice and blue so this season is very nice to see snow-capped mountains and other variations of attractions. View of massive Annapurna III, IV, II and other many peaks before the pass and Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I and other mountains after the pass are incredible with clear visibility.

Check Annapurna Circuit Package:

Trekking in autumn to the Manaslu circuit is an ideal season. The price for the restricted permit goes up because there are many visitors during this season. Same as doing a trek to the Annapurna, the weather, temperature, and visibilities are the same here too. But the numbers of trekkers are fewer than in Annapurna on this trekking trail. Package detail...

Manaslu circuit trekM
Mt. Manaslu

Annapurna and Manaslu Circuit in Winter

The winter season is the coldest season in Nepal which starts from December and stays until February. Adventure treks to the high altitude and visiting the base camps are not recommended during this season but there are some short and easy trekking routes for this season in Nepal. The temperature in the higher lands falls to minus degrees during the night and morning. With heavy snowfall during this season, the Throng la pass may be blocked so it is normally impossible to do this trek during the winter season.

The Manaslu circuit is also an adventure trek with a high pass (Larke) so the same things happen in this trekking trail also as on Annapurna. Trekking in this season to the Manaslu is even more difficult and dangerous because the pass is even more difficult than Throng la. With heavy snowfall, the trail covers and makes it risky. The lodges in this region are very normal and small so most of the places, and lodges are close so it is not a smart idea to choose this season to do a trek to the Manaslu circuit.

Spring Season for Manaslu Circuit and Annapurna Circuit

The spring is the second popular trekking season in Nepal. This is the main season for the expedition to the high mountains. The temperature is warmer and the weather is clearer during this season. This season offers clear visibility of the white mountains, hills and landscapes but visibility from a far distance is not the same as autumn. This is dry season and lowers in the valleys will be hazy.

While trekking to the Annapurna circuit this season, supplies a great view of the mountains and much more attractions with affordable temperatures. Blooming colourful rhododendron and sounds of spring birds on the trekking trail makes it wonderful. The trip begins here...


Annapurna circuit trek
Annapurna I

Doing the Manaslu circuit in spring is perfect. The warm temperature and clear weather make the worth the journey during this season. It is not very cold but the starting for a few days may be very hot because starting areas are sub-tropical lands. As Annapurna circuit, there are blooming rhododendrons and other colourful flowers that make the trail beautiful. Encountering wild animals like blue sheep, marmot, and others provide more energy to walk the trekkers. Book your trip...

Visiting in Monsoon to Annapurna And Manaslu Circuit

The monsoon is not a good season for trekking in Nepal. It rains almost every day and has high humidity. The rain makes wet floors so it will be slippery and dangerous in some parts of the trail. The rivers along the way will be big and have the chance of landslides. The clouds may cover the mountains but other views are still good to see. But some days for a while, the mountains can be seen. If people don’t like to trek having big traffic of the trekkers and enjoy green nature, this season can be choose able for them. The lodges are open everywhere on the way to Annapurna.

The monsoon in Nepal remains normally 3 months from June to August but still, it may rain till the first week of September in some years. Same as Annapurna, the Manaslu circuit also is not recommended in this season with a similar problem faced. The problem of leeches and mosquitoes has to face along the way of the trek this time.

Lodge and Food in Annapurna Circuit and Manaslu Circuit Trek

Facilities of the lodges are well managed in the Annapurna circuit trek so trekkers may have a private room everywhere. There are hot showers available in every place and have attached bathrooms in some places. This is like backpacking trekking trails with so many backpackers. The cost of the accommodation is a little cheaper than Manaslu in this trekking area.

The foods are cocked by basic trained cooks most of the places and may choose from the food menu everywhere. Bakery items in Manang are nice to try. There are safe drinking water stations to buy safe water which is refilled and also available mineral bottled water.

The Manaslu circuit route is new than Annapurna so the facilities of the lodges everywhere are of lesser quality than Annapurna. This is a special trekking region so no backpackers are found on this trail. There is no chance of bargaining for the room cost so they are fixed and competitively more expensive than Annapurna. Fewer places have proper hot showers so most places provide a hot bucket for a hot bath. There is a lack of quilts in the higher area so having a good quality sleeping bag is highly recommended.

Also, the food menus are available in this trekking and are cocked by basically trained persons. People sell bottled water and boiled water in the lodges or can use normal water using purification tablets or drops along the way.

 

Related:

  1. Annapurna Circuit Trek
  2. Manaslu Circuit Trek

 

Altitude Sickness during the Treks

Altitude sickness can kill people. This is a common problem at the higher elevation in the Nepalese Himalayas. But it happens rarely only to some people. Both treks start from a lower elevation and gradual ascent to the higher area so trekkers may be well acclimatized. But people may feel altitude above 3000 meters because of high atmospheric pressure and low oxygen. Especially during the high passes like Throng la and Larke la are difficult with this problem. Drinking more water, walking slow and keeping warm prevent the problem and must have to descend if a problem is found.

Cost Difference Between Annapurna and Manasu Circuit

The cost of the trek depends on the service type. Hiring a guide and porter may cost cheaper than a full board but in the end, only hiring a guide and porter becomes more expensive than a full board booking through a company. Normally group trek cost less than a private small group or individual. It cost 600$-1200$ for the Annapurna circuit trek.

Somehow, the cost for the Manaslu circuit is a bit more expensive than Annapurna because of the special trekking authorization permit and conservation permits. But other services cost the same as Annapurna. In some cases, it may be cheaper because of the shorter itinerary and at least need to be 2 people for the trek so the salary of the guide and porter may share between two persons. It cost 700$-1100$ for the Manaslu circuit trek.

Trek Permit for Annapurna and Manaslu Circuit

Annapurna Circuit TrekManaslu Circuit Trek
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Permit: 3000 NPR
  • Trekkers Information Management System Card (TIMS): 1000 NPR with a company and 2000 NPR for Free Individual Trekkers
  • Manaslu Conservation Area Permit: 3000 NPR
  •  Annapurna Conservation Area Permit: 3000 NPR.
  • Manaslu Special trekking permit 100$ for a week than 15$ additional per day during the autumn (September-November) season and 75$ for a week than 10$ per day additional rest of the month.

Packages you may like

  1. Annapurna Base Camp Trek
  2. Annapurna View Trek
  3. Mardi Himal Trek
  4. Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek
  5. Jomsom Muktinath Trek
  6. Tsum Valley Trek

Conclusion

The Annapurna and Manaslu, both circuit treks are adventure treks with high passes. These are quite popular trekking routes for adventure trekking lovers. With the above information, trekkers may figure out their nice which one is fitted and demanding.

Both treks are beautiful and demanding treks having their verities. While Annapurna is regular, popular and older than Manaslu but trekking with less traffic, Manaslu is one of the best options.

Rajesh Thapaliya

Rajesh Thapaliya

Namaste! I am Rajesh, a Nepal travel blogger who provides Nepal travel tips to travellers who are planning to visit Nepal and know about Nepal.

I am a tourism service provider in Nepal So far, I have been to the Nepalese Himalayan base camps as a tour leader and collected lots of information about the Nepalese Himalayas. You can find my experiences in my travel blogs, so it may make it a lot easier for you to travel to Nepal.

You may find beautiful photos on Instagram,  Facebook and Twitter. I have worked very hard to be in this stage after high school and dedicated my experiences to the people who would like to know about Nepal and Nepal travel.