Linked to each other, The Manaslu Circuit Trek VS Annapurna Circuit Trek in Nepal has always been the mind of many trekkers far and wide. Being both incredible treks in Nepal the Manalsu circuit trek actually ends at the starting point of the Annapurna Circuit trek. It is even possible to combine these two treks in Nepal and see the amazing Manaslu and northern Annapurna Himalayas in one trek! And while being neighboring regions there is a vast difference between them. If you are wondering the Manaslu Circuit trek VS the Annapurna Circuit Trek! a quick guide can be of great use as there is the difference between trip duration, accessibility, trek difficulty, and cultural factors. The Manaslu Circuit trek VS the Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal is east VS west, different features of trekking trails, mountains, people, and sights.
Accessibility: Manaslu vs Round Annapurna Trail
For starters, if you do the Manaslu Circuit trek VS the Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal in terms of accessibility there are already a lot of differences. With the Manaslu Circuit trek only available via land transport the Annapurna Circuit trek has an ending that can be done via flight from Jomsom airport. The Annapurna Circuit has more developed roads and trails than the Manaslu Circuit and a completely different culture. Bordering with Tibet, the Manaslu Circuit goes through more Buddhist style cultures. The Annapurna Circuit trek has then also more access roads and trekking trails than the Manaslu Circuit trek.
Trip Duration: Annapurna vs Manaslu Circuit Trek
The trip duration between the Manaslu Circuit trek VS the Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal is also different by a few days. The Manaslu Circuit trek is shorter with an about 18 days of trekking and crossing one high mountain pass the Larke La, compared with the Annapurna Circuit trek that lasts about 22 days of trekking through the Nar Phu Valley, Manang and crossing also one high mountain pass the Thorong La. With a difference of about 4 days of trekking the Annapurna Circuit trek is more visited per year than the Manaslu Circuit trek. But being the shorter trek makes the Manaslu Circuit trek no less favored by trekkers from across the world!
One of the most important questions if you compare the Manaslu Circuit trek VS the Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal would be the overall trek difficultly. While being the shorter trek the Manaslu Circuit trek is the more difficult trek and is tag as strenuous. On the other hand, the longer Annapurna Circuit trek
that goes higher than the Manaslu Circuit Trek is also moderate. The Annapurna region has more access to the communication facilities and WIFI making it also more luxurious. As a more strenuous trek, the Manalsu Circuit goes more up steeper climbs and through more underdeveloped trails making it a challenge for some novice trekkers.
Weather: Manaslu vs Annapurna Circuit Trek
The weather between the Manaslu Circuit trek VS the Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal is one of the few similarities during either trek. With the best seasons being spring or autumn both treks can be done around the year. The winters can get strong and are not recommended as in both the Manaslu Circuit and the Annapurna Circuit the high mountain passes can get inaccessible due snow fall. The spring season is great for nice clear skies, fresh growing fauna and warm trekking days during both the Manaslu and the Annapurna Circuit treks. The autumn season during both treks is a bit cooler and has that great Himalayan feeling. The weather is clear and incredible views can be seen of the entire Annapurna range and in Manalsu of the hidden valleys and the snowcapped mountains.
Costs of Services and Permits
With two different regions to choose from to trek, there is a difference in costs of services and permits if you compare the Manaslu Circuit trek VS the Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal. While the Manaslu region is more restricted than the Annapurna region in Nepal, the costs of the permits also differ. The Annapurna Circuit trek being more popular is cheaper than the Manaslu Circuit trek and requires only one permit the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit or in short ACAP. You can use the Cost-Saving Ideas as in Everest.
The Manaslu region falls under a restricted area and a special permit is needed for this stunning trek on top of the conservation area permit. This Manalsu Restricted Area Permit or RAP is a bit more expensive as the income is used to further develop and protect this incredible trekking region of Nepal. As the Manaslu Circuit trek ends in the Annapurna region an ACAP permit is also required. For the Annapurna Circuit trek you also need a Trekker’s Information Management System Card or in short TIMS card. But as the Manaslu Circuit trek already has a RAP for its restricted area, you do not require a separate TIMS card.
Permits cost for Annapurna vs Manaslu Circuit Trek
Here below you can find a simple table explaining the costs of the permits required. Do note that this cost can change in the future, but it’s good to have an estimate. Also, all the trekking and travel agencies include these costs in their trekking packages. You don’t need to worry about any additional costs if you decide to either trek the Manaslu or Annapurna Circuit.
For The Manaslu Circuit Trek, You Need
1. Manaslu Conservation Area Permit (MCAP): 3000 NRS
2. Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP): 3000NRS
3. Manaslu Restricted Area Permit: Autumn: 100USD for the 1 st week and 15USD per additional day. Rest of the year: 75USD for the 1st week and 10USD per additional day.
For The Annapurna Circuit Trek, You Need
1. Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS Card): 20 USD
2. Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP): 3000 NRS
These costs of services and permits are based per person and are required, as there are many permit check posts in both the Manaslu and the Annapurna regions. Comparing the Manaslu Circuit trek VS the Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal, the Annapurna is cheaper but that doesn’t mean that the Manaslu circuit trek is less spectacular. You can even combine these two treks as the Manaslu Circuit trek already includes an ACAP permit required for the Annapurna Circuit trek!
Names of mountains on trails: Manaslu vs Annapurna Circuit Trek
Trekking in the Himalayas is it for discovering and exploring around stunning mountains, and being home to at least 8 of the highest mountains in the world many mountaineers and trekkers gather in the Nepalese Himalayas to check out these giants up close! Naturally trekking in the Manaslu Circuit is going to give you completely different mountains than trekking the Annapurna Circuit. With both treks offering absolutely stunning mountains to witness the names of mountains on trails are not similar. Dividing the Annapurna and Manalsu region between West and East, during the Annapurna Circuit trek more mountains can be witnessed.
Similarly, The Annapurna Circuit trekking trail goes north around the enormous Annapurna Massif and is spectacular in itself. While the Manalsu Circuit trek cuts through the Manaslu Valley and heads up towards the famous Larke La Pass below Mt. Manalsu. Here you can see a shortlist of the difference between the names of mountains on trails during the Manaslu Circuit Trek and the Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal.
For the Annapurna circuit trek, you can see about 43 mountains even in short 14 days of trekking in Nepal. These stunning mountains belong to 3 different mountain ranges in de Nepalese Himalayas, the Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu ranges.
Our 10 most favorite mountains of the Annapurna Circuit trek are:
- Himal Chuli 7,893m
- Manaslu 8,163m the 8 th highest mountain in the world!
- Ngadi Chuli 7,871m
- Dhaulagiri First 8,167 m the 7 th highest mountain in the world!
- Tukuche Peak 6,920m
- Machhapuchhre 6,997m aka the Fishtail Mountain
- Annapurna First 8,091m the 10 th highest mountain in the world!
- Annapurna II 7,927m
- Annapuran South 7,455m
- Tilicho Peak 7,135m aka Tilitso Himal
Our 10 most favorite mountains of the Manaslu Circuit trek are:
- Manaslu 8,163m the 8th highest mountain in the world!
- Ngadi Chuli 7,871m
- Thulagi Chuli 7,059m
- Himal Chuli 7,893m
- Nemjung Himal 7,140m
- Pangpoche Himal 6,620m
- Gyaji Kang Peak 7,952m
- Ganesh Himal’s Yangra Peak 7,442m
- Khangri 6,773m
- Lajo Peak
Differences between the cultural, traditional and religious factors:
When you compare the differences between the cultural, traditional and religious factors of the Manaslu Circuit trek VS the Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal, you can see a lot of changes in lifestyles and habits. Both regions have their unique religions and practice different traditions.
Annapurna circuit trekking region is more developed. Villages here are more influenced by tourism and offers modern experience than traditional of Manaslu region. During the Annapurna Circuit trek, most of the locals belong to the Gurung ethnical group and practice an ancient tradition of Bon Buddhism, this adaption between Tibetan Buddhism and the Himalayan people brings its own unique culture. When you trek the Annapurna Circuit it is even possible to visit during festival times, which can increases your cultural experience incredibly! In March the Tije Festival in Lo Manthang is once a year, and absolutely amazing to witness or partake in.
As the Manaslu region is more newly opened and less visited than the Annapurna region in Nepal, the local communities are also more authentic. Traditions run deep in the villages and while less visited their hospitality is well known in the Himalayas! Attached to the Manaslu Circuit is a newly discover valley called Tsum and this area can also be explored in an additional trek during the Manaslu Circuit trek in Nepal. One of the main differences between the people of Mustang and Annapurna are also their beliefs and traditions. People from the northern Annapurna’s are more accustomed to tourism and make sure you get to enjoy and experience in their lifestyles.
Differences and features of the trekking trails
What are the differences and features of the trekking trails in either the Manaslu Circuit or the Annapurna Circuit treks? With both treks offering exciting and adventurous trails and paths there are some notable differences.
Annapurna Circuit Trekking trail features
For instance, the Annapurna Circuit has recently been developed with road construction. Making those original trekking trails obsolete and most routes follow a man-made road from the village to village. While on the other hand, the Manaslu Circuit gives more of an authentic trekking feeling. With more ups and downs on rougher trails, untouched nature, and unexplored culture.
During the Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal, more incredible views can be seen of the Nepalese Himalayas. However, due to the development, some sceneries might be obstructed due to construction works. But not to worry, the overall trekking trails of the Annapurna Circuit are easy to handle and with roads available. It is even possible to hire a jeep to bring you from one destination to another. The trails during the Annapurna Circuit also differ from start to endpoint. While heading towards Manang and Tilichio Lake you get a snowier and higher altitude feeling than when you descend down the Thorang La Pass and enter the apple orchards of Kagbeni and Jomsom.
Manaslu Circuit Trekking trail features
The Manaslu Circuit trek trails are less crowded and more authentic than the Annapurna Circuit. In a high season, you can meet an average of fifteen trekkers a day. While on the Annapurna Circuit it will be more crowded with an average of hundred trekkers per day. Trails of the Annapurna Circuit is more commercialized with more shops on the way, leading in a more expensive route. Due to its underdevelopment and restriction, the Manaslu Circuit has cheaper options for the best experience. But the permit will be more expensive than the Annapurna Circuit. Both trekking trails in Nepal are well popular and easy but for the Manaslu Circuit, you must have a guide. Nowadays, to get the better experience Short Manaslu Circuit Trek of 12 Days is more popular.
Which circuit trek suits best for what type of person you are?
With two amazing treks to choose from some wonder which circuit trek suits best for what type of person you are then. In short, if you like more peaceful and authentic trekking trails the Manalsu Circuit is it for you. However, if you are looking for more Himalayan views, visit more places like Tilichio Lake and you don’t mind meeting more other trekkers on the trail, the Annapurna Circuit Trek can recommend. Both circuit treks cross a high altitude mountain pass, for the Annapurna Circuit it will be the Thorang La Pass and for the Manaslu Circuit trek, it will be the Larke La Pass.
If you are more of an adventurous trekker and want to interact more with the locals and their culture the Manaslu Circuit will be best for you. Another thing to be considered is the trekking times and days. The Annapurna Circuit trek has more trekking days. So for those trekkers with less travel time, it would be better to choose the Manalsu Circuit.
Conclusion: Manaslu Circuit Trek vs Annapurna Circuit Trek in Nepal
So more views, places to visit, more commercialization, easier roads, and trails choose the Annapurna Circuit. More authentic, challenging, cultural, and less crowded trails choose the Manalsu Circuit. Considering all these points when comparing the Manaslu Circuit trek VS the Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal it will be easier for you to make a choice for your perfect trek! But for the ultimate experience, it’s best to combine these two treks into one! That way you get to live and see for yourself the main differences between the Manalsu Circuit trek VS the Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal.