Understanding Manaslu Circuit Trek Permits And Costs
As we said earlier, Manaslu Circuit is a restricted zone, and as a trekker, you must acquire different trekking permits. Among these Manaslu Special permits, some are mandatory (must-have), and some are non-mandatory. You'll need three mandatory trekking permits: Manaslu Circuit Trek: Manaslu Restricted Area Permit, Annapurna Conservation Area Permit, and Manaslu Conservation Area Permit. Similarly, there are different other permits that trekkers must acquire if they intend to add Tsum Valley with Manaslu Circuit Trek. Let's know about this mandatory and non-mandatory trek in detail below.
Mandatory Trekking Permits
Restricted Area Permit for Manaslu Circuit Trek (RAP)
As we discussed earlier, the Manaslu Circuit area is a restricted area, and the individuals are not allowed to roam at ease. This area permits only certain types of travelers, and you must pay certain costs related to the Manaslu Restricted Area Permit to explore it. It's necessary to have these permits while traveling Jagat –Sama Gaun — in some areas where numerous villages are located.
The villages of Deng, Jagat, Namlung, Namrung, and Samagaon are restricted and rich in culture within this region. The Manaslu Restricted Area Permit should be kept while visiting these villages or hiking nearby. The cost of this permit depends on when exactly you intend to visit. In the high season, when the tourist influx is greater, the permit cost becomes high, and during a low wave of tourists, the cost becomes lower.
This restricted area permit ensures that this region remains sustainable by protecting the unique culture, environment, and natural beauty that makes the region a preferred travel destination.
Here's a breakdown of the permit costs during different seasons:
- Autumn Season (September to November): The Autumn period is characterized by very good weather in Nepal and makes it possible to visit the mountainous areas of the Himalayas. However, the Manaslu Restricted Area Permit fee increases due to the perfect weather and the peak trekking season. Any time you wish to enter the region during the spring season, the government will charge you $100 for the first seven days, then $15 per day after that.
- Winter to Summer Season (December to August): The Manaslu Circuit trek is generally less favored during these times. This less favored time leads to lower charges on the issued permits. With this in mind, the permit will be available for $75 for the first seven days in December to August and $10 each afterward. This is a good period to consider if you want to cut down the permit costs and avoid overcrowding that occurs mostly during the peak trekking seasons like the autumn and Spring Months.
Planning your visit according to these permit costs can help you make the most of your experience in the Manaslu Region. The time and money should be utilized effectively regardless of whether it would be a very busy season (autumn) or not that expensive.
Manaslu Conservation Area Permit (MCAP)
This protected area of the Manalsu region is a real gem, featuring a variety of untouched nature and cultural adventures. Trekkers must have the Manaslu Conservation Area Permit MCAP and other legal documents to enter this untouched paradise.
MCAP is an important permit that should be obtained at the starting point of the conservation area, i.e., at Philim. The fees for the MCAP are constant all year round compared to the Manaslu Restricted Area Permit. Similarly, it is also essential to know that the cost of the Manaslu Conservation Area Permit differs according to one’s nationality.
For SAARC nationals (Afghans, Bhotians, Bangladeshis, Indians, Maldives, Nepalese, Sri Lanka, or Pakistan), the price tag for the permit will be around $10 USD or around Rs 1000 per person. Foreigners must also pay $30 or Rs 3,000 per person.
Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP)
Just like an MCAP is required for a Manaslu Trek to enter the Manaslu circuit area, you also require an ACAP to enter the Annapurna Trek area. You need this permit as this area is a conservation zone. To ensure smooth passage, you must display your ACAP permit at the checkpoint in Dharapani. This permit remains valid for the entire duration of your journey until you reach Besisahar.
It's worth noting that the permit fees vary depending on your nationality:
- For SAARC Nationals: An ACAP fee of USD 10 or NPR 1000 per person.
- For Non-SAARC Nationals: One person pays an ACAP fee of 30 USD or NPR 3,000.
- The permit assists in conserving natural beauty, ecological balance, protection, and maintenance of the trails and the facilities.
Non-mandatory trekking Permits
Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS Permit Fee)
TIMS are mandatory permits that all foreign trekkers in Nepal must carry when undertaking any hiking journey in Nepal. This permit is usually provided at the TAAN headquarters located in either Kathmandu or Pokhara. But for this Manaslu trek, you generally do not require a TIMS permit if you have other required permits for this area.
For trekking in the Manaslu region, you'll need three permits: MRAP, MCAP Permit, and ACAP Permits. Nevertheless, a TIMS permit is not compulsory until one intends to extend their hike into the Annapurna circuit and pass via the Thorong-La pass.
TIMS trekking permits are available for around $20, and they last as many days as you'd like. To get this permit, you must provide your passport-size pictures and photocopies of your passport.
TIMS card is important to most treks in Nepal, but for This Manaslu circuit trek, one has to hold MRAP, MCAP, and ACAP.
Other Required Permits
Tsum Valley Trek Permit
The Tsum Valley trekking permit is an indispensable piece of paper for tourists who want to hike through the mystical Tsum Valley, located inside the Manaslu Range. This calm and culturally enriched valley in the Himalayas provides a rare trekking opportunity. The combined Manaslu and Tsum Valley trek is a common choice among many adventurers who seek to experience the natural as well as historical essence of that region.
It is compulsory for those who plan to undertake the Tsum Valley trek alongside the Manaslu trek to acquire the Tum Valley permit. While in Tsum Valley, tourists need this permit as it ensures that tourism is regulated and conserves the climate. The permit cost is structured according as follows:
The Tsum Valley Permit cost is $40 per week; afterward, an additional fee of $7 will be added daily. This fee structure only applies to trekkers who have planned their trek during the months of
September and November.
During the off-season, people traveling to Tsum Valley pay only 30 USD as the fee for the first week and 7 USD after that. During the low season, these rates show why visitors should explore this stunning zone at all times of the year.
How to obtain a Manaslu Permit in Nepal Online
After understanding what permits are required, you may now think about how one can acquire the required permits. To start the application process, you can do it either by completing a form online or by visiting the office. Moreover, it is also important to understand the processes of obtaining the three compulsory passes for the Manaslu Trek. Here's a detailed, step-by-step guide for obtaining these permits:
Step 1: Open the Link and Fill the Online Permit Form
In the first process, open the link above and fill in and submit an online application permit form for trekking. This involves two separate online applications: permit for ACAP and MCAP. After that, complete these applications and forward them to the Director-General at the Department of Immigration.
Besides these forms, you should include a printed itinerary outlining trekking dates. In addition, include a photocopy of the first page and visa page of your passport. In addition, enumerate and provide the name of the bank where you will order the notes, their serial numbers, and denominations on the company’s letterhead as part of your application process.
Step 2: Visit The Department of Immigration Office With the Required Documents
The second process involves visiting the Department of Immigration at Anamnagar, Kathmandu. Here's a detailed explanation of the second process within this step:
The first task for you is submitting the required documents as soon as you arrive at the Department of Immigration. Afterward, Deposit the American Dollars in the Global IME Bank branch located within the Immigration Department premises and supply a letterhead with serial numbers. After that, you will be provided with a deposit slip for confirmation.
Finally, you must confirm that your official documents are valid. It will be obligatory for the Immigration officers to check essential documents such as insurance, business permits, and valid authority certificates from the central bank authority. This also verifies that you have all that it takes regarding legalities to take on a trek in the Manaslu Restricted area.
It is then followed by an officer of the Immigration Department who verifies whatever you had submitted earlier via the Internet with your passport. Once approved, they will print another one of the application slips for you.
After that, you send your application file to the first officer, who will confirm before the second officer checks it further. The second officer will verify all details in the file and send it to the Head of Immigration.
Finally, the Head, the Director General of Immigration, checks the document and signs it off.
Regarding the first officer, they shall re-print the single passes and sticker them. The first officer will also fill in the required information on the labels while the second officer signs it.
Lastly, the first officer will put a last seal on the sticker, and there you have your restricted area permit en route.
Step 3: Obtain MCAP and ACAP permits from the Nepal Tourism Board.
After completion, take the printed online application form to the Nepal Tourism Board for registration and payment of the required permit fee. We shall provide them with a clearance permit that we shall stick with the trekkers’ pictures. The Nepal Tourism Board will then sign and provide the MCAP and ACAP permits.
Documents Required for Manaslu Circuit Trek Permits
You must present different documents to get any of the permits noted. After reviewing your paperwork, they will ask you to present a certain document for you to submit at some cost. Wondering what documents you need? According to the government of Nepal, you should have the following documents for your permits.
- A valid original passport.
- Four passport-sized photos.
- A Nepalese visa.
- Travel insurance documents.
- Flight tickets with arrival and departure information are copies.
- Copies of your passport and valid visa in Nepal.
- An official consent letter directed to the chief of the Immigration Department.
- Letter of consent by your trekking agency.
- If you have booked the Manaslu Circuit Trekking package with a trekking agency, worry not. Your trekking agency will ensure you have all the required documents before you permit.
Terms and Conditions to Follow for Manaslu Circuit Trek Permit
The Manaslu Trekking permits have various terms and conditions to keep in mind. Here are some of them below.
- Permit holders can access only the designated areas within the conservation zone.
- Children under ten are exempt from permit fees; no payment is required.
- You can obtain entry permits exclusively from designated offices in Kathmandu and Pokhara; they are unavailable at trekking trail checkposts.
- These permits are non-refundable, non-transferable, valid for single entry, and exclusive to individual trekkers.
- You must carry your entry permits with you at all times during the trek and present them to checkpoint officials when requested.
- Tourists entering Conservation Areas must adhere to the regulations specified in the National Park and Wildlife Conservation Act of 2029 B.S. (1973).
- The costs for these permits include Value Added Tax (VAT) and other government taxes.
Where To Obtain Manaslu Circuit Trek Permits?
Here is a table summarising the locations for Manaslu Trek permits in Nepal:
Nepal Tourism Board, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu
- Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) - Manaslu Conservation Area Permit (MCAP) - Manaslu Restricted Region Permit - TIMS card
Sunday to Friday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Closed on Saturdays and public holidays
Nepal Tourism Board, Pokhara
- Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP)
Sunday to Friday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Closed on Saturdays and public holidays
ACAP Entry Permit Counter, Besisahar
- Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP)
Sunday to Friday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Closed on Saturdays and public holidays
Rules To Follow For Manaslu Circuit Trek
In some parts of the Manaslu region, the Nepal Government restricts tourists from maintaining the natural scenic and cultural uniqueness. There are additional rules to adhere to before your Manaslu Circuit Trek below.
- Independent trekkers are prohibited.
- There is a need to acquire a special permit for the trekking parties.
- Trekkers should be grouped in not less than two.
- Trekker groups need local guides as their accompaniment.
- It is important to contact a registered travel agency to acquire a Manaslu Restricted Area Permit (Manaslu RAP).
- However, the Manaslu Trek does not permit free-lance guides to issue the required permit.
- The trekking guides must accompany Trekkers.
FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions) on Manaslu Circuit Trek Permits
1. Do I Require Trekking Guides for the Manaslu Circuit Trek?
The Manaslu Trek requires you to hire a trekking guide, as trekking the restricted Manaslu circuit solo is prohibited. The government sets this prohibition in Nepal to preserve the original natural scenery untouched since ancient times. Manaslu Cultural Trekking has become an active conservation zone for this area, and the local settlements have a great cultural significance along the Manaslu circuit. The government has implemented such regulations intending to protect the natural and cultural heritage in the area. Therefore, every trekker needs a Manaslu trek guide. It is better to trek in groups of two or more (not counting guides and porters). If you desire to trek with us, we will take care of the logistics and arrange with the best guides and porters suited for you.
2. Does one get separate permissions for trekking Manaslu?
Trekking in a restricted area like the Manaslu Circuit trek will not be possible for solo trekking in this region. For Manaslu trekking, it is compulsory to travel with a registered trekking company.
Securing permits for the Manaslu Circuit trek necessitates adherence to specific conditions implemented by the Nepalese government, which include the following:
- Trekking agencies are required in Nepal as per law.
- For this particular trekking in the Manaslu area, you are expected to be in the company of at least two people and a qualified guide.
- An approved tour operator or local trekking agency in Nepal must facilitate special permit applications.
- There should be a guide porter or guide porter in the case of the Manaslu Circuit trekking. It is recommended that you ask your trekking agency to assign a licensed porter for your journey.
3. Do you need trekking permits for children when it comes to Manaslu?
Children, too, have to acquire Manaslu Trekking Permits. If you want to take children, then you do need to obtain them. Therefore, ensure you get RAP, ACAP, and MCAP authorizations before you hike. Nevertheless, if your kids are aged ten and younger, you do not have to pay for the permits. Despite this, the procedure stays the same regarding the adult’s permit application.
4. What is the total number of photos needed for the permit?
To get this permit, you will need two printed passport pictures and an original photograph. ACAP and MCAP permits require printed photos, whereas the Manaslu RAP permit requires a scanned picture sent through the website.
5. How many days will it take to issue the permit?
It usually takes one or two hours to obtain the permit. The processing time might be extended if it is converted to manual while servers have crashed online.
6. How to Obtain Manaslu Trek Permits?
You will require support from a licensed trekking agency to ensure your Manaslu Trek permits are secured before the trip.
You can apply for the MCAP and ACAP permits personally, but to acquire the Manaslu restricted area permit, a trekking authorized agency is needed. The law does not allow hiking alone in secluded places and areas with special permits. The minimum group size must include at least two members leaving out the guide.
7. Is it possible for me to request a Manaslu Trek permit myself?
No, you cannot apply for a manual circuit trek permit yourself, as you have to get the help of the trekking agency. First, you have to join a group, which should comprise at least two individuals, after which you can approach a duly licensed trekking agency to process the required permits.
8. Can I get a Manaslu permit in advance?
Usually, it is not practiced for one to obtain permits in advance. Most travelers will find it difficult to provide original passports and Nepalese visas, which the Immigration Department usually demands. However, in exceptional cases, you can secure permits with the scans of your passport, visa number, and electronic copies of the flight tickets.
9. If I Combine the Tsum Valley trek with the Manaslu Trek, what permit is required for the hike?
Tsum Valley is also a restricted area; therefore, one must acquire an additional permit before accessing the place. The price of the Tsum Valley Permit varies depending on the season. For example, it costs USD 40 per person for one week in September-November but USD 7 a day afterward. A permit at $US 30 per person in a week and an additional $US 7 per day is paid by tourists who travel from December to August.
10. Is The Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficult?
Manaslu Trek, being one of the moderate treks, is unfavorable for beginners. Trekkers have to be very fit physically, and their body has to perform well. Otherwise, they may find this hike difficult as it goes through extremely tough terrains. Moreover, it leads you to the Larkya La (5,160m) pass, a moderately difficult route.
Acquiring the permit required for the Manaslu circuit is an easy task done within one day when working together with a qualified tour operator in Nepal. Mountain Rock Treks should be a destination for anyone undertaking this extraordinary journey.
Our effective planning in obtaining the necessary permits will allow you to forget problems of any kind. Therefore, letting us handle the permit arrangements as you embark on this trip ensures you get your all-manual circuit trek permits comfortably.
Manaslu Trek permits are the key to visiting the Manaslu region. Therefore, it will not be possible to carry out the trek without these permits. Hopefully, you now understand the importance of Manaslu trek permits and how one goes about the application. You also know about the related expenses involved. It is our sincere hope that this blog was both informative and helpful.
You cannot walk the Manaslu Circuit Trek alone, even though this is an extraordinary trekking trip. This calls for an experienced and licensed trekking company like Mountain Rock Treks. Let us be your companion in the captivating adventure that entails Manaslu trekking.