Manaslu Circuit Trek: Trekking with a guide vs Trekking independently


3 Sep 2023 Chandra Gurung

Introduction: Manaslu Circuit Trek

Manaslu Circuit Trek has been a popular destination amongst those who are fond of exploring places these days. You can witness the scenic beauty and cultural tapestry of the Himalayas during the trek. A delightful and authentic experience in the Manaslu Circuit Trek awaits you. 

You can have an elevated scenic view and experience in this moderate trip grade of Manaslu Circuit Trek. The trek journey encompasses an embedded Himalayan trail with some challenging destinations to Larkye Pass, which is elevated at, 5130 m.

Your ultimate purpose of having the adventure to witness the mystic glance of the Himalayas would turn magical if you opt for the right set of trekking guides. While trekking independently has its own set of risks.

Should you Trek with a Guide or Independently?

As per the current decision made by the Government of Nepal foreign nationals are prohibited from trekking independently. As for this new regulation, if you are an international tourists willing to explore the tapestry and scenic beauty of Manaslu Circuit Trek, you need to hire a licensed Trekking Guide. As per the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), it is now mandatory for non-Nepalese Trekkers to hire a registered guide to ensure additional safety of the Foreign National during treks through Wildlife. 

If you are someone enthusiastic about the solo trek, you need to begin one milestone at a time before you can go on a longer trek. You can also begin from the trek routes that are rather friendly for beginners. Some recommendations of Trek for beginners are Mardi Himal Trek, Poon Hill Trek, and Helambu Trek.

Himalayan Treks could often bring challenges through diverse landscapes, meadows, and weather fluctuations, hence, making preparations beforehand would ensure you a delightful and safe trekking journey.

What are the benefits of Trekking with a Guide? 

Trekking with a licensed Trek guide ensures safety and well-being. The Trek agencies and guides prioritize the safety of the clients and even help them accommodate in challenging environments and high altitudes by providing the needed assistance through proper equipment and supplies. 

Not only do the guides offer you trekking services throughout the trekking journey, but they will also help you get closer to the multicultural aspects of the region by helping with communication services. You can have a memorable experience and the best journey throughout your life.

Here are the 7 reasons, why you should trek with a Guide!

  • Navigation Services and Itineraries: Trekking with Guide often provides you with navigation services. Also, you can opt for personalized Itineraries for your trekking journey while trekking with a trekking guide.
  • Porter Services: You can also get Porter services while choosing a relevant Trekking agency and opting for their respective Trekking plans.
  • Increased Sense of Security: You can enhance your sense of security and also have local knowledge of trekking guides, which facilitates your journey ahead.
  • Communication Services: At times, when you have issues communicating with native Nepalese speakers, trek guides could act as a mediator and help you interact with local people.
  • Accommodation and Logistics Services: Even the travel agencies who hire trekkers for you would help you with advanced bookings, accommodation, and logistics services. The guides would also facilitate making arrangements for Trek permits and helping you elevate your trekking experiences.
  • Learnings about the Himalayas: You can have a shared experience and knowledge of the Himalayas when you travel with your Trek Guides. With years of Expertise in trekking, Trek guides usually have a better understanding and knowledge of the Himalayas which would be an added benefit to your Trek experience.
  • Cultural Experiences: Voyaging on a trekking journey includes the times when you can encounter the cultural mosaic and beauty of the rich villages and towns in your trekking route. You can get to know about the historically rich values and traditional lifestyle of the people in local communities.

What are the Disadvantages of Hiring a Trek Guide? 

Despite many benefits, some disadvantages of Hiring a Trek Guide are seen. There could be some demerits of having a Trek guide, and it usually depends on your personal experience with your Trek Guide.

  • Less Economical: Hiring a Trek Guide could be relatively costly and may not be an affordable choice for those looking for economical plans.
  • Conflicts with Trek Guides: Even if Trek guides are hired to facilitate our journey, having a personality clash and conflict with them, could make our experiences bitter.
  • Dependence and over-reliance on the Trek Guide: Sometimes, the tendency to overshadow the role of our individuality and the guide’s agendas could make us feel less independent. This could also cause you to face difficulty learning and navigating on your own.
  • Limited Interactions with Locals: A trekking guide facilitates your contact with locals, yet hindrances to cultural exchange may arise as the guide may intervene and limit your communication with locals by acting as a barrier instead.
  • Misleading Information: Though guides are supposed to be reliable, the transfer of some misleading information about the Himalayas and its rich history cannot be denied.

Is there any Benefit of Trekking Independently?

If you are someone who finds freedom in solo travel and treks, trekking independently could be yet another beautiful adventure for you. While you may wonder about trekking independently, there are some surprising benefits that could empower you.

  • Enjoy your own Company: You can enjoy your own company while opting for solo trekking. In fact, you can also avoid some distractions that could stop you from enjoying fully on your own. You can focus more on the cultural beauty, beautiful glances, and artistic creations of nature along your way to your desired location and feel the magical energy within you.
  • Make New Connections during Solo Trek: If you are solo trekking and missing someone you can accompany on your journey, options are open for you to hitchhike with someone on the same route and make new connections. You can have a valid concern for safety, and having a companion by your side who has similar aspirations could serve you well and comfort you throughout your journey.
  • Embracing your Inner Self and Empowerment: Trekking independently could also boost your confidence and allow you to experience the ultimate freedom and empowerment throughout your path. You can embrace inner freedom and independence in your independent trekking route.
  • Need not Compromise: While you are trekking alone, compromises are often reduced and no pressure is created for you to adjust according to the condition and emotional state of your traveling companion.
  • Trek at your own Convenience and Comfort: Though challenges of trekking alone exist, you can trek at your own pace, comfort, and conveniently, when opting for a solo trek. Being responsible and free for your own choices is important when you explore wildlife and mystic Himalayas on your own.

Solo vs. Guided Trek: Considerations on Choosing What Suits You

Here are a few considerations that you need to set in your mind while deciding on a Trekking plan for yourself.

Solo or Guided Trek-What is Right for You?

  • Fitness Level: You need to have a relevantly better fitness level for going on a solo trek without a guide. If you are someone who needs constant support and aid during the Trek, you can make an informed decision about hiring a suitable guide for you. Working on personal fitness and being confident during Trek would be beneficial.
  • Budget: Taking consideration of budget, solo trekking could be more cost-saving but in the broader picture having a personalized guide would help you opt for better services at optimal price ranges.
  • Time Constraints: If you are facing time constraints, having a guide by your site would help you plan the itineraries and embark on your delightful trekking experience.
  • Adventure Vs. Comfort: It is often comfortable to trek with a guide. And in case you are someone who finds adventure in solo trekking, this could do fine for you. You can get better opportunities for wildlife and have a glance at the tranquility and wilderness of the trek route you opt for.
  • Risk Tolerance: If you have a high-risk tolerance ability and cope with unexpected changes in the trek route, you may trek independently. It would be an added benefit for you to hire someone who could help you have a better understanding of the physical and cultural environment of the destination you are heading toward.
  • Health and Safety: Health and safety are often prioritized. Considering the emergency situation, having a trek guide who could provide emergency assistance would work out right for you.


Manaslu Circuit Trek which is ranked as moderate difficulty Trekking route by the Nepal Tourism Board would be a wonderful experience for you to have. Trekking through the uneven terrains, ability to manage on your own, and adjusting to the environment are prior things to consider when opting for solo Trekking. In general, you may consider the aforementioned factors in determining what is right for you Trekking Independently or with a Guide. 

Just walking on your own or having someone by your side who can look after you, are also a few things to consider when taking thrilling adventures in your life. Hence, based on your preferences, personal safety, and your own comfort and risk tolerance, you may hire a Trek guide, if needed. While it is necessary for an International to hire a licensed Trek Guide to pursue their journey ahead.