Hire A Guide For Manaslu Trek

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  • Last Updated on May 27, 2024

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Manaslu Trek is an iconic off-beaten trekking adventure in the Nepali Himalayas that explores the surrounding regions of the eighth-tallest peak on the planet, Mt. Manaslu (8,163 meters). Away from the mainstream destination and with rewarding tranquility, this remote adventure is certainly a once-in-a-lifetime for an authentic experience. If you are planning this trip and wondering whether you need to hire a guide for Manaslu Trek or not, the answer is that you absolutely need to. Nepali authorities have restricted any kind of solo trekking adventures in the high-altitude regions of the country.

Also, this classical trekking adventure in the west-central part of the Himalayas takes you across two of the major conservation areas in the country and a protected area. So, hiring a professional guide during Manaslu Circuit Trek is an absolute necessity in order to adhere to and comply with specific rules and regulations of this strictly protected destination. You may feel like the responsibility of the guide is just to show you around and lead your group during your exploration. However, there is more to that than what is just on the surface, these professionals take care of every aspect of your journey so you can enjoy a hassle-free exploration.

As a professional guide myself who has over a decade of experience leading trekking groups around the Himalayas, I would like to point out some of the key roles of guides, the cost of the guides, tips on how to find the ideal travel companion and efficient ways to prepare for the trek with a guide.

Table of Contents

Why Hire a Guide for Manaslu Trek?

Physical Strength You Need for the Trek

Let’s check out some of the major reasons to understand the importance of a guide during your Himalayan experience and their efforts to make your trek an invaluable experience.

Route Navigation and Guidance

Let's start the list with the exceptional navigational skills of the guides, one of the prominent reasons to hire a guide for Manaslu Trek. During your Himalayan adventure, you will need to traverse across the remote and isolated sections of the mountain. If you are not that familiar with the route or don’t have adept navigation skills, it can be a major challenge during the high-altitude trek as starting from the designated route is full of risk.

Especially in the Manaslu Trek, the off-beaten trekking experience in the country, the trails are not always properly marked, and even if you are confident about the map, the unchartered wilderness of the region certainly shakes your confidence. So, leaving it to the professional is the most efficient way to do this trek. Let the guide take care of navigation and follow his steps, adhering to his guidance for the most remarkable experience.

Health and Safety

Health and safety factors during your trip are other important reasons to hire a guide for Manaslu Trek. The Manaslu region is one of the remote region trekking regions in the country where access to general facilities like tech, health, and transport are limited. Under such circumstances, your health and safety become a top priority so you can enjoy a hassle-free adventure. Your guide will take care of all the safety factors and handle your itinerary plans so you can enjoy your trip without any words.

They will consider the potential risk of wildlife, steep sections, daylight hours, altitude gain, etc, to make sure that you enjoy a smooth trek. The guides in Nepal are also trained for high altitudes and have also received advanced first-aid training. Your guides will also check your health condition every day throughout the trek, and in case of any emergency, they will coordinate with an office in Kathmandu to take appropriate measures without jeopardizing your safety.

Invaluable Knowlege

As a trekking guide myself, while leading trekking groups, I often noticed that the trekkers had no idea that guides in Nepal are allotted to groups depending on their expertise in the region and years of experience. If you are doing a trek in the Manaslu region, then only the most ideal candidate who has vast knowledge about the region and has significant years of guiding experience will lead your trek group. So, every step of your journey will be a fully immersive experience as you get to understand the history, norms, and values of settlements as well as highlights along the trekking trail.

The guides also have impeccable local knowledge, and they will give you a heads-up about dos and don'ts during your trip. On top of that, they are guides leading the trekking groups in the Manaslu region and are also experts in wildlife. They understand how to avoid wildlife with potential risks, not to disrupt the natural habitats of the Himalayan beings, and overall an eco-friendly way of trekking so your adventure doesn’t affect the wilderness and natural beauty of the region.

Assistance For Permits

Manaslu Trek takes you across several conserved areas and a protected area, so it is important to understand what kind of permits you will need for the trek. Your trekking route will cross the route of both the Annapurna region (the second mainstream trekking destination in the country) and the Manaslu region. If you hire a guide for Manaslu Trek, your guide will help you understand the permits you will need for this wilderness exploration and how to acquire them.

However, getting the required permits for the Manaslu Trek is not enough; you also need to understand the specific rules and regulations of the regions and strictly comply with them. Failing to stick to regulations will not only result in fines, but you may also be infinitely banned from trekking in the region. While trekking with a guide who will take care of your every step, you don’t have to go through these inconveniences.

Logistic Details and Comfort

Your comfort and enjoyability scale is another reason why you should hire a guide for Manaslu Trek. This off-beaten trek takes you to the most isolated part of the west-central part of the Himalayas where the teahouses/lodges are in limited number. So, making the arrangements for food and accommodation or camping where necessary can be stressful if you are not that familiar with the region. So, you can leave all your logistic details to your guide, who will make sure everything is prepared as you move along the break stops to your rest destination.

The guides are also responsible for taking care of your comfort level. If you are not happy with any kind of service, you can make a request to your guide to change or upgrade the services. Due to the familiarization of the guides with the teahouses/lodges in the region, it won’t be much of a hassle for them to put in your request to the establishments.

Local Interaction

Even if you are totally prepared for your trek and have memorized the basic phrases to communicate with the locals, it is in no way going to help you with effective communication. Even if you have noted it down to the basics, the pronunciation and accent can come in the way of effective two-way communication. On top of that, the people in the Himalayan region speak a different dialect. So, it can be a challenge for you to form a meaningful bond with the natives of the region during the trek.

However, if you hire a guide for Manaslu Trek, you will be able to get over the language barrier. They will facilitate smoother interactions and transactions when you are buying products or souvenirs along the trekking route. Moreover, you will also have the opportunity to understand the native’s story in-depth and understand the significance of their custom and practices.


Doing a high-altitude and long-haul trekking adventure needs a strong mental fortitude. You might come across several inconveniences and challenges during your trek as you traverse across the remote physical sections. At such times, it is natural to feel like giving up and making the return trip, so motivation and determination factors play a vital role in determining the overall success rate of your exploration. That’s why staying positive and calm, having visualization about the journey, and practicing to leave the comfort zones will come into play during high altitude challenging adventures.

If your trekking group doesn’t have experienced trekkers and all of you are just trying to wing it in the face of challenge, there is a high chance that you will fall into despair. In such a situation, it is important to have a figure who you can look upto and someone who tells you everything will be alright. Guides who have led countless trekking groups are calm in every situation; they are also familiar with the region, like the back of their hand and have ideas on how to tackle different circumstances. So during your Manaslu Trek, the guides are a reliable source of motivation who will guide and lead your every step so you can reach your goal without compromising your determination.

Cost of Hiring a Guide for Manaslu Trek

manaslu circuit trek in december

After understanding how important it is to hire a guide for Manaslu Trek, you might be wondering about what kind of expenses come along with hiring a guide. Although the guides do offer their invaluable services during this trek, the cost of hiring them isn’t that high. Unlike the hourly rate system of the western continent, in Nepal, you will have to pay the cost per day basis. The standard cost for hiring a guide for Manaslu Trek is around US$ 30 to US$ 35 per day.

So, for the standard Manaslu Trek, which has around 12 to 13 days of trekking day, you will need to pay somewhere around US$ 360 to US$ 455. This is just a standard estimation of the cost to hire a guide for Manaslu Trek; the cost may vary depending on the experience of the guide and expertise. As for the tipping (it isn’t mandatory but expected), the general tipping margin for the exceptional guide is about US$ 10 to US$ 15.

How to Hire a Guide for Manaslu Trek?- Choosing the Right Guide for Manaslu Trek

How You Should Prepare for Manaslu Trek in December?

Your guide will be an integral part of your Himalayan adventure and will determine the overall experience, comfort level, and safety during your trek. Thus, it is important to choose the right companion for your long Himalayan exploration so you don’t regret it later. As a professional guide myself, I would like to point out some insider tips to hire a guide for Manaslu Trek.

Qualification and Certification

Only certified guides can lead trekking groups in Nepal. So, before booking anyone’s service, make sure the guide is government-licensed personnel and check the training he has received (most guides are trained for first-aid and high altitude response). Check out what kind of qualifications they have that make them fit to lead this remote wilderness exploration.

Reputation and Experience

Another thing you have to be mindful of before you hire a guide for Manaslu Trek is to understand their reputation and relative experience. Even if the guide is a remarkable leader in the Everest region, his experience might not be on the same level as the Manaslu Trek. So, it is important to know the area of expertise before hiring a guide so you don’t end up compromising the experience.

As for understanding the reputation of the guide, you can check out the reviews by the trekkers who were on the journey with them. This will give you a proper idea of the personality of the guide before sealing the deal.

Language Skills

Even if all guides in Nepal are proficient in the English language, most of them have specialized in other sets of languages as well. So, if you are not that confident with your English, don’t worry, you can hire a guide who has specialized in your language. This way, you will enjoy your iconic trek without worrying about the language barrier.

Field of Expertise

This category depends on what kind of experience you are looking for. If you plan to hire a guide for Manaslu Trek just for a regular adventure, a general trekking guide will be sufficient to make the journey remarkable. However, if you are planning other activities like adventure sports, wildlife exploration, a fully immersive cultural experience, or even a trekking peak scaling, you will need to hire a guide with specific set of expertise.

Availability and Flexibility

Trekking is a seasonal business, as exploring the Himalayas can be challenging during the off seasons like winter and monsoon; trekkers usually prefer the high times like spring and autumn. So, even if you have found the most perfect and trustable guide to lead your journey, you should check their availability date and flexibility. As most of the exceptional guides can get busy during the peak seasons, it is important to understand their availability and book their service before moving ahead with your itinerary plans.

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Preparing for the Trek with a Guide

Permit and Fee For Manaslu Trek in December

After understanding several aspects to hire a guide for Manaslu Trek, let’s move on to the part of effective preparation for the trek with your guide. Here, I have listed three major steps that you should consider for preparing with your guide. I personally use steps while dealing with the new trekkers so we can understand each other and don’t miss out when it comes to efficient preparation.

Pre-Trek Communication

With the pre-trek communication, you will have a better opportunity to understand each other. This will also help you understand the real-life experience of the trek than what you read just online as you are communicating directly with the guide who has led countless trek groups in the region. You will also be able to ask any queries regarding the trek with the guide and take insider tips for effective preparation. One of the advantages of pre-trek communication is that if you feel like the guide isn’t the right leader for your adventure, you can take your time to filter the most ideal candidate.

Packing List and Essentials

This can be especially helpful if you haven't done any prior trekking adventures in the Himalayas. During the Manaslu Trek, you will traverse across a total of six climatic regions of the country: tropical zone, sub-tropical zone, temperate zone, sub-alpine zone, alpine zone, and tundra zone. So, it is important to understand what kind of layers and gear you should bring to keep yourself comfortable during your Himalayan journey.

Although you will find plenty of websites that will recommend the packing list, discussing it with your guide, who has explored the region numerous times, will help you create an ultimate packing list. So, you will be able to properly optimize your luggage efficiently without going overhead and making your backpack too heavy.

Fitness and Training Advice

Another reason to hire a guide for Manaslu Trek is that you will make efficient preparations in every aspect. Your guide will even help you understand what kind of physical preparation is necessary for this remote exploration. You will easily find of recommended training programs on the internet, but understanding the terrain and making preparations to overcome their physical demand is the most effective way to secure a pleasant experience.

Your guide, who has understood the landscape and led numerous trekking groups in the region, understands the physical demands of the trek like no other. Similarly, as they have led countless teams, they also understand what kind of preparation is necessary depending on the experience and physicality of a person.

What Can You Expect in Manaslu Trek?

Manaslu Trek is a popular off-beaten trekking experience in Nepal that takes you to the remote sections of the Himalayas that have still preserved the ancient culture and authentic Himalayan wilderness. I will share my experience on what every day’s Manaslu Trek itinerary is like, so you can properly visualize the journey. Your morning will start with a warm breakfast and fresh-crisp mountain views from the resting destination. You will begin your trek soon after enjoying your breakfast, which is typically served around 7 AM to 8 AM.

You will be then briefed about the particular day’s highlight exploration, cultural experience, route challenges, things you have to be mindful of and so on. Don’t worry, you will get enough time to immerse in your journey; you don’t have to rush it. After trekking, typically about 3 to 4 hours, you will reach the lunch destination where your guide has already made reservations for you. The rest period during this lunch break is about an hour, but if you have the remaining part of the day’s trek is short, you can also take your time exploring the lunch stop.

Then, after completing the remaining portion fo the day’s trek, which is around 2 to 3 hours, you will then reach your rest destination. If the daylight is favoring you, you can take your time exploring the highlights around the region before dinner (served around 7 PM to 8 PM). After dinner, your guide will provide you with details about the next day’s overall exploration and how to prepare for it. You can spend the rest of your time playing board games, communicating with friends and family, or watching documentaries. I personally recommend getting enough sleep so you will be properly and start the next day’s trek with a full energy bar.

Best Time for Manaslu Trek

Treks in Nepal can be done pretty much in any season throughout the year. However, if you are doing a high-altitude trek that takes you to significant altitudes, the route blockage of the winter season (December to February) can be a challenge. Manaslu Trek takes you across the high-altitude pass, Larkya La (5,106 meters), which is blocked by snow during the winter season. Besides that, Manaslu Trek is enjoyable during other seasons like autumn (Septemeber to October), spring (March to May), and monsoon (June to August). If you want to filter to pinpoint the most ideal period for this trek, then months like March, April, May, October, and November are known to provide the ultimate exploration experience.

These months are the peak points of the high seasons, like autumn and spring. You will be able to relish your wilderness exploration under the most stable climate and pleasant setting during these months. The months of spring are popular for their enchanting natural beauty; the landscape is covered with lush greenery, and the colorful flowers light up the trail. Similarly, the mentioned months of the autumn season have the most stable period of climate. The trekking trails are dry during these months; temperatures are pleasant, Himalayan vistas are otherworldly, and cultural celebrations are at the core point.

Temperature of Manaslu Region in Spring (March to May): 10°C to 31°C (can drop to -6°C at higher regions)

Temperature of Manaslu Region in Autumn (Septemeber to November): 7°C to 21°C (can drop upto -6°C at higher altitudes)



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