Manaslu Circuit and Larkya La Trek
The Himalaya presents us with some of the most dramatic and demanding trekking landscapes anywhere on earth, such as our Round Manaslu and Larkya La trek, an off-the-beaten-track alternative to the neighbouring Annapurna Circuit, in the Mansiri Himal region of west-central Nepal, which was opened for tourism only relatively recently and is declared a restricted area.
Round Manaslu and Larkya La is a challenging trek, circuiting the unspoilt massif of Manaslu (8163m), the world's 8th highest mountain, with its name deriving from the Sanskrit word, Manasa, meaning ‘intellect’ or ‘soul’. Many believe that this trail, which follows old Himalayan trade routes, will one day become as popular as the far more famous Annapurna Circuit. In addition to the breathtaking backdrop of towering Himalayan peaks including Baudha, Rupina La and Ganesh, the high point of the trek is crossing the impressive Larkya La (5134m), for which our route provides adequate acclimatization.
There is strong cultural interest throughout the trek, which starts in the lower hills populated by Gurung Buddhists and ascends to traditional Tibetan villages. Days are spent walking in the shadow of some of the world's most spectacular mountain scenery, where Buddhist gompas and fluttering prayer flags mark a journey of astonishing natural and cultural diversity.
The valley is a sanctuary to many highly endangered animals, providing a safe and important habitat for the elusive snow leopard, as well as the grey wolf, musk deer, blue sheep, marmot and the Himalayan Thar. Over a hundred bird species, eleven butterfly species and three reptile species have been recorded here. Conservation of wild life in the area has been achieved by monks of local monasteries putting in place a hunting ban, which benevolent action has helped the wildlife to prosper.
The Ganesh range and Shringi Himal dominate the scenery with their size, though the Buddhist villages with their great stone carvings, chortens and paintings are equally beautiful. During the tough traverse back to the main trail, after circuiting Manaslu, the mountain scenery becomes even more impressive. The gorge slowly changes into an open valley and settlements become larger and more numerous.
The trek begins north of Gorkha and follows the Budhi Gandaki river upstream, along lush rice fields and passing through small Gurung villages. Rice terraces and yellow rapeseed fields cover the hillsides and wide valleys, while dense forests grow in the deep gorge along the river. After crossing Larkya La the trail drops down to the Marshyangdi Valley and joins the main Annapurna Circuit at Dharapani, following the Marshyangdi valley on to Bulbhule where make our final camp. Following morning we will say goodbye to our trekking team and drive to Kathmandu.
Itinerary at a glance
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to hotel and welcome briefing. Overnight in hotel.
Day 02: Half day sightseeing, probably Kathmandu and Patan. Over night in Hotel
Day 03: Drive to Arughat Bazaar (570m.), Overnight at tented camps or simple lodge
Day 04: Trek to Soti Khola (730m.), Overnight at tented camps or simple lodge
Day 05: Trek to Machha Khola (930m.), Overnight at tented camps or simple lodge
Day 06: Trek to Jagat (1410m.), Overnight at tented camps or simple lodge
Day 07: Trek to Nyak (2340m.), Overnight at tented camps or simple lodge
Day 08: Trek to Ghap (2160m.), Overnight at tented camps or simple lodge
Day 09: Trek to Lho (3150m.), Overnight at tented camps or simple lodge
Day 10: Trek to Samagaon/Sama Gompa (3530 m.), Overnight at tented camps or simple lodge
Day 11: Trek to Samdo (3690m.), Overnight at tented camps or simple lodge
Day 12: Acclimatisation day at Samdo (3 860m) and day for an excursion/ rest
Day 13: Trek to Dharmashala [Larkya Phedi] (4,470m), Overnight at tented camps or simple lodge
Day 14: Cross the Larkya La (5135m.) and descend to Bamthing (3720 m.), Overnight at tented camps or simple lodge
Day 15: Trek to Gho (2560m.), Overnight at tented camps or simple lodge
Day 16: Trek to Dharapani (1860 m.), Overnight at tented camps or simple lodge
Day 17: Trek to Syange (1100m.), Overnight at tented camps or simple lodge
Day 18: Drive back to Kathmandu. Over night in Hotel
Day 19: Shopping/leisure time in Kathmandu. Over night in Hotel
Day 20: Transfer to airport for international departure
Note: overnight accommodation at either tented camps or simple lodges based on your choice of trek style
Date & Price
All ACCESS-HIMALAYA adventure travel trips are small group departures and therefore places can fill quickly. To avoid disappointment, we suggest you book your trip as soon as possible.
- A AVAILABLE - Trip date is available and open for bookings. Go for it!
- G GUARANTEED - Trip is reached minimum numbers and this is 'Guaranteed to Run'
- L LIMITED - Trip is 'Guaranteed to Run' and there are a very limited number of available places remaining. Immediate booking is recommended.
- C CLOSED - Trip has reached maximum numbers and it is unavailable. Please Contact Us to enquire about other trip departure dates or booking this trip as a private departure
Trip Info (Tour/Trek Styles) Explained
- PG Private Group: This style of trip is organized for specific groups of people (families, friends,school and college students, colleagues, business associates etc.), and is closed to outsiders. If you are interested in this particular trip departure date then please get in touch with us.
- OA Open to All: This trip departure is open to all. However, if you are interested in this particular trip departure date but want your own private group, then please get in touch with us.
- LT Lodge Based Trip/Trek: This trip/trek is lodge (teahouse) based. All accommodation, including food, is provided in local lodges. Occasionally however, where a large group is concerned we may choose to send our own cook along, as well, to take care of your food hygiene and to cook some special additional items.We provide all necessary documentation, including permits, and arrange all internal transport. We provide trekking guide, assistant guide(s) and porters/animals for transport of your gear. You merely carry a daysack with essentials, including water.
- CT Camping Based Trip/Trek: This trip/trek is camping (tent) based. We will provide one 3-man tent for every two people, also single tents, where requested, on payment of supplementary costs. All food and drinks are provided by our experienced cook and his kitchen team. We provide all necessary documentation, including permits, and arrange all internal transport. We provide trekking guide, assistant guide(s), cook, kitchen crew, food and drink, and porters/animals for transport of your gear. You merely carry a daysack with essentials, including water.
- GAP Guide, Accommodation & Porter only: In this trip neither food nor transportation is included. Clients are responsible for food and local transportation, and our responsibility is to provide insured guide, insured porter, and all necessary permits. All additional costs are the responsibility of the clients, including charges incurred as a result of delays or cancellation of services beyond our control. Clients pay for their own accommodation. Any additional costs are the responsibility of the clients, We can arrange hotels and international airport transfer, on request.
- SG Self Guided/Budget Trip: This trip is specially designed for low-budget travellers who prefer fairly basic facilities with reduced services. It is a pre-requisite that a porter is hired for any self-guided trip, which is an ideal set-up for those who enjoy independent travel with minimum cost. We have added support to minimise the hard work of planning and costing, and we will be available to help in the unlikely event of an emergency. We will arrange all documentation (including permits), before you arrive in Nepal, so that you are free to get on with your adventure, relying only on your porter to help you on your way. All additional costs are the responsibility of the clients, including charges incurred as a result of delays or cancellation of services beyond our control. Hotel accommodation, local transportation and international airport transfers may be arranged, on request.
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If our fixed departure dates are not convenient for you or your group, we can also arrange private departures on all of our small group tours. Private group departures will follow the same itineraries as our usual small group tours, or itineraries may be tailormade to suit your own convenient tour date/budgets.
Itineraries may be tailor-made to suit your dates. So if you can’t find a date to suit you or if you want to have your very own tour just with your friends or family then we can help you.
Customised Private Groups:
For most of our usual tours, or itineraries, where there is a group numbering 2 or more, we can customise and organise private group trip(s) where we design the itinerary and activities exclusively for you, according to your requirements and budgets, such as Honeymoon, Anniversary, Family, Scouts, School, College, Fundraising or Charity trips. Find out more about our private group tours.
To enquire about booking a private departure of this tour or about organising your own private group tour, please fill in the form below and we will get back to you shortly with details.