TREKKING IN WESTERN NEPAL
19 DAYS LOWER DOLPO CIRCUIT TREKKING
Lower Dolpo is the most visited area by trekkers in comparison to other trekking routes in western Nepal. Though this is the much less visited area compared to different trekking routes in Nepal, one of the main reasons should be insufficient information on the region and its relative inaccessibility. But Lower Dolpo or entire western Nepal offers a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of the different landscapes and cultures than of other parts of the country in the shortest of our journey.
The least complicated and also one of the most popular trekking to the west of Nepal is the trekking of Lower Dolpo. The journey passes through the main villages such as Juphal, Tarakot, Tarap Valley and Shey Phoksundo crossing the Numila and Bagala passes. This protected remote and rugged area is scenic and culturally attractive and is the habitat of several rare plants and species of faunas in perilous, much of which can be seen nowhere in the country. In this national park, you can see animals like snow leopard, wolf and blue sheep etc.
- One of the best and shortest circuits of the Dolpo region
- Less frequented by tourist compare to many trekking regions of Nepal
- Walking into one of the best known national parks of the west of Nepal
- Visit and experience the villages and life of Kham Magar and Tibetan tribes
- Visit pre-Buddhist and present Buddhist monasteries
- Cross two of the most famed passes of Dolpo region
- See the most precious range of flora and fauna including various medicinal herbs
- Enjoy the most magnificent Himalayan panorama including the Kanjiroba and Dhaulagiri range
- The total length of the trip: 19 days from arrival to the day of departure
- Number of the night in Kathmandu: 4-nights / visit UNESCO sites
- Trek starting point: Juphal
- Trek ending point: Juphal
- A domestic flight out: Kathmandu – Nepalgunj – Juphal
- Highest elevation achievement: 5,320 metres Numila Pass
- Accommodation: Hotel with breakfast in Kathmandu and tented camps on full board basis on the trek
- Meals: Each day a wide variety of complete meals will be prepared and served by our mobile cook and kitchen staff.
- Trip Grade: Moderate to strenuous
- Best season to Trek: from the end of March to the end of November
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 2: Sightseeing and resting day in Kathmandu
Day 3: Fly to Nepalgunj
Day 4: Fly to Juphal (2475m) and trek to Roop Ghar (2,100m.), A 3 hours’ trek
Day 5: Trek to Chepka (2,720m.), A 5 to 6 hours’ trek
Day 6: Trek to Renje (2,840m.), A 4-hours’ trek
Day 7: Trek to Phoksundo Lake (3,640m.), A 5-hours’ trek
Day 8: Rest day
Day 9: Trek to Dajok Thang (4,075m.). A 3-hours’ trek
Day 10: Trek to Between Bagala and Numila Pass (4,650m.)
Day 11: Cross Numila Pass and trek to Tok-Kyu (4,240m)
Day 12: Trek to Do (3,944m.)
Day 13: Trek to Lahini (3,379m.)
Day 14: Trek to Tarakot (2,540m.)
Day 15: Trek to Dunai and Juphal
Day 16: Extra Day
Day 17: Fly to Nepalgunj and then to Kathmandu.
Day 18: Kathmandu
Day 19: Departure
Day 1: Arrival in KathmanduOur personnel will be waiting at the Kathmandu international airport to receive you with a traditional welcome. After checking into the hotel and refreshment, your guide of the circuit will inform you about necessary formalities and the upcoming program. Depending on arrival time, you will have the choice of visiting nearby shrines or resting.
Day 2: Sightseeing and resting day in KathmanduOur personnel will be waiting at the Kathmandu international airport to receive you with a traditional welcome. After checking into the hotel and refreshment, your guide of the circuit will inform you about the necessary formalities and the upcoming program. Depending on arrival time, you will have the choice of visiting nearby shrines or resting.
Day 3: Fly to NepalgunjToday we take a round of Kathmandu and Patan cities where one gets to see and experience fascinating aspects of Buddhism and Hinduism and many other charms. Those not willing on a rest while we finalize trekking area permits. O/N in Kathmandu.
Day 4: Fly to Juphal (2475m) and trek to Roop Ghar (2,100m.), A 3 hours’ trekAfter an early start we take the flight to Juphal, this takes about 45 minutes, and from the plane, there are superb mountain views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. At Juphal, we meet our trek crew, get introduced and stop for an early lunch. After lunch we continue the day, the trail descends to the Bheri River through terraced fields and then follows the gorge to Dunai. We camp at Roop Ghar, before Dunai, at the southern bank of Bheri River.
Day 5: Trek to Chepka (2,720m.), A 5 to 6 hours’ trekThe usual start of the day is with bed tea at 6.00 am and away by 7 to 7.30 am. We cross the suspension bridge to the other side of the river until the confluence with the Suli Gaad that comes from Phoksundo Lake. The trail follows a steep valley with the raging river below with hillside covered with lush vegetation. Further up we reach the entrance to the Phoksundo National Park at the village of Hanke. Continuing another hour of walk, we cross the west bank past horse pastures to the village of Celas. We then trek upstream to another bridge and arrive to Ankhe Khola. Continue the trek, which climbs to a ridge at 2,700m and then descends to Chepka 2,670m where there are some shops.
Day 6: Trek to Renje (2,840m.), A 4-hours’ trekThe usual start of the day is with bed tea at 6.00 am and away by 7 to 7.30 am. We cross the suspension bridge to the other side of the river until the confluence with the Suli Gaad that comes from Phoksundo Lake. The trail follows a steep valley with the raging river below with hillside covered with lush vegetation. Further up we reach the entrance to the Phoksundo National Park at the village of Hanke. Continuing another hour of walk, we cross the west bank past horse pastures to the village of Celas. We then trek upstream to another bridge and arrive at Ankhe Khola. Continue the trek, which climbs to a ridge at 2,700m and then descends to Chepka 2,670m where there are some shops.
Day 7: Trek to Phoksundo Lake (3,640m.), A 5-hours’ trekThe Suli Gaad valley turns eastwards and becomes narrower. The trail continues with its ups and downs and reaches to its confluence of the Suli Gaad with Pungmo Khola. From here, the Suli Gaad is known as Phoksundo Khola. We cross a wooden bridge and arrive at Shey Phoksundo National Park Headquarter, at Sum-Dowa, now abandoned. We then follow the west bank and climb through big cedar trees and come to Palam, a winter settlement of people from Ringmo. The afternoon's walk up to Ringmo is delightful. A sheer cliff wall guards the upper valley which hides the lake until we reach some prayer flags at 3800m. Equally impressive is the huge waterfall, 330m.-high, down from the Phuksumdo Lake. The village of Ringmo and camp is on the opposite side of the village at 3,700 metres with impressive views of the lake and entire surrounding.
Day 8: Rest dayA rest day in Ringmo camped by the beautiful clear waters of Ringmo Lake. The nearby monastery is worth a visit. Visit the Pal Sentan Thasoon Chholing Gonpa; a Bon-Po Gonpa said to have d 60 generations ago. There are several various Gonpa owned by monastic communities and may be permitted to visit on request.
Day 9: Trek to Dajok Thang (4,075m.). A 3-hours’ trekThe final part of the trek sets out to explore the hidden valley of Tarap, one of the last bastions of Tibetan culture in Nepal. An easy day involving a couple of hours walks in the morning to a Yak grazing pasture by the Manduwa Khola. The path skirts along ridges hacked out of cliffs for the Yak caravans from Dolpo. The views down the Suli Gad and across to the Kagmara Lekh (in Nepali = High Land) are particularly impressive. The campsite is in a lovely spot called Dajok Thang, at 4,075 metres, below Kang Taiga at 5,916 metres.
Day 10: Trek to Between Bagala and Numila Pass (4,650m.)A 5-hours’ trek Today is a very strenuous day crossing thee Basia Bhanjyang (Bagala La Pass) at 5,200 metres. It is also one of the most fascinating of the trek as we cross the watershed of the main Himalayan onto the dry Tibetan plateaus. Leaving the campsite the path turns north up the first obvious side valley and climbs steeply to the pass, which marked by a chörten and the usual Buddhist prayer flags. The views to the east and north are one of complete contrast to those of the previous days trekking. The mountain is orange and brown stretching out into Tibet to the north. The pass is often windy, and the descent is party rapid to the river below and our camp at 4,650 metres. The path to Shey Gonpa and Saldang is visible far into the barren landscape, etched out of the land, the footprint of thousands of Yaks and traders that made the journey north to south over the centuries the lifeline of Dolpo. At this point, we are only one day from the village of Shey, but access is not permitted. To enter this area a Special Permit with a minimum period of 10 days, paying $500 per person, is needed.
Day 11: Cross Numila Pass and trek to Tok-Kyu (4,240m)A 6-hours’ trek The Tarap Valley is today's destination, and despite the climb to the Numila La, at 5,320 metres, the walk into this beautiful and wild Tibetan landscape is one of the highlights of the trek. A 3½-hour trail leads to the pass, and the view is indeed stunning. Mount Dhaulagiri I with the rolling Tibetan hills and the Kanjiroba Himal to the west are equally impressive. For an excellent 3600 panorama climb the small peak to the left of the pass. The path descends gradually into the Tarap Valley, and in two hours we arrive at the campsite at Tok-Kyu at 4,000 metres.
Day 12: Trek to Do (3,944m.)A 3 hours’ trek Due to the opens of the Tarap Valley, the sun hits the tent early, giving a spring feel to the morning. The mornings' walk passes through the villages off Clumaga and Kagar, both extremely interesting with many Chörten, again both Bun-Po monasteries (the ancient pre-Buddhist religion) and Choba (orthodox Buddhist). There are six Gonpas in Dho, but we visit only the Kagar and Champa Gonpa.
Day 13: Trek to Lahini (3,379m.)A 6 hours’ trek Leaving Dho, the Tarap Khola is followed for two hours, at first on its left bank, to a bridge where lunch usually get organized. From here another three to four hours, the valley becomes narrow with deep gorges crossed by innumerable small bridges. However, it is an exceptionally well-made path, one of the finest gorge paths in the region, offering an entertaining afternoon's walk. The path through the gorge continues switching from the riverbank to way up the cliffside on some fantastic constructions! Around this area look out for Musk Deer, they are easily found grazing to hillsides. After a long morning walk, we reach a large clearing by the river at Lahini, which marks the end of the gorge. The path to Kanigaon at 2,700 metres is further 35 minutes of descent.
Day 14: Trek to Tarakot (2,540m.)A 5 hours’ trek We descend to Kanigaon and from the check post, head east for a few hundred yards to a well mad bridge which is crossed to the left bank of the Barbung Khola, into which the Tarap Khola now flows. We follow the river for another three hours to the village of Tarakot, where we stop.
Day 15: Trek to Dunai and JuphalA 5-6-hour's trekking. We continue the descent along the Barbung Khola through a beautiful alpine valley to Dunai. Then further one and half hour final walk to Juphal airstrip. This evening is the ceremonial evening, to celebrate the happy end of the trek and to see off with the kitchen crews and porters.
Day 16: Extra DayOne extra day to use whenever or wherever the group may be needed. Otherwise, we will spend it in Kathmandu.
Day 17: Fly to Nepalgunj and then to Kathmandu.We take the flight to Nepalgunj, for an afternoon's rest before flying on to Kathmandu the following day.
Day 18: KathmanduA free day / optionally take a guided city tour
Day 19: DepartureBreakfast and free time till the time limit. In the indicated time, our office representative and vehicle arrive at your hotel to serve you till the airport. Drive to Kathmandu international airport to see off formalities and departure.
|COSTS PER PERSON|
|NUMBER IN GROUP||3-Star Hotels||4-Star Hotels|
|2 - 3 Persons||3434$||3584$|
|4 - 5 Persons||3127$||3277$|
|6 - 7 Persons||2947$||3097$|
|8- 10 Persons||2732$||2912$|
|Single room supplement||410$||560$|
|HOTELS / ACCOMMODATIONS|
|CITIES||3-Star Hotels||4-Star Hotels|
|KATHMANDU||Marshyangdi or similar||Hotel Shanke or Malla|
|NEPALGUNJ||Hotel Siddhartha||Hotel Siddhartha|
|DURING TREK||Tented camp||Tented camp|
What is included
- Airport pick-up and departure services as per itinerary
- 4-nights of hotel accommodation in Kathmandu on twin sharing basis, breakfast included
- Kathmandu to Nepalgunj / Juphal / Nepalgunj / Kathmandu airfare (Tax included)
- 1 Night Hotel in Nepalgunj on full board and day-use room while flying back to Kathmandu on a full board basis
- Guide, cook, kitchen boys, Sherpa helpers and the necessary number of porters/mules for entire trekking
- All camping equipment such as a two-men domed tent, dining tent, kitchen tent, staff tent, toilet tent, hard and soft mattresses for each member and kitchen equipment for common use.
- All necessary food and beverages for trekking
- Lower Dolpo trekking permit and National Park entry fees
- Insurance and expenses of all local staff / A good sleeping bag to each member / A pair of a trekking pole to each member / A small Medial kit box for first add medical purpose. / A trekking duffel bag to each member
- A satellite mobile phone for communication in an emergency (Personal usage available with 4$ per minute call)
What is not included
- Travel insurance (Should include helicopter evacuation and cancellation eventualities as well)
- International air tickets
- Nepal entry visa and visa fee (One can apply on arrival to Kathmandu airport)
- Lunch & dinner in Kathmandu
- Personal expenses
- Alcoholic and mineral beverages during the trek
- Other charges such as usage of internet, telephone, laundry services.
- Tips for Nepali staff/porters and those, not mentioned in above price include section.
Nepal has four primary seasons:
1. Winter: December–February
2. Spring: March-May
3. Summer: June–August
4. Autumn: September – November
The best time is from mid-September to the end of January or from mid-February to the end of May. July and August are rainy months for Nepal, but each season has its richness. During rainy month the jungles will be lush to the rain forest, and the rivers will swell, the lowlands or the fields of the hills will be full of rice and other crops.
During these month Japanese tourists and from other countries, loving the high Himalaya flower, comes to sight flowers. And most of the tourist willing to travel to Tibet comes from May to mid-October. And we also have a lot of Spanish tourists touring and trekking in Nepal in these months.
During rainy months the parts of Terai may see with flood and travelling during these months is hot and temperature may reach to around 38 degrees, but during this time the Indian tourists visit Nepal to escape the heat in their lowlands. During winter months the part of Terai will be misty and may find under winter mist until late morning (11 a.m.).
End of February to mid-May is the best time for fauna and flora both in the mountains and in Terai. During this time one may find a lot of rhododendron flower, magnolia, wild orchids and birdlife. The weather mostly remains fine in all parts of Nepal.
January February are winter, and from the end of January to February, the high passes in the mountain valley will be in the snow. During this time, the temperature around the Everest Base camp will be -17 degrees (after sunset and before sunrise). During day time will be around 5 to 11 degree and more if sunny. Nepal is a sunny country, so the temperature, even full winter, is much better than some European country and in America and in Canada. Many of them from those countries travel to Nepal to escape their cold weather and to enjoy the sunny Himalaya Panorama.
The best months to take this itinerary is from the end of March to the end of November.
Where do we sleep?
In Kathmandu and Pokhara we stay in comfortable 3-star hotels with private en-suite bathrooms. While on trek we stay at Nepalese lodges which offer welcoming but straightforward accommodation and wonderful traditional hospitality. Lodges typically have one large communal room where you can sit and take meals, and there is an adjoining kitchen where you can order your food and drinks. Bedrooms are twin bedded with or without private bathroom, and dormitories with shared bathrooms.
What Equipment do I need?
You will need to bring appropriate warm outdoor clothing and a good pair of walking boots. A complete equipment list gets supplied when you sign up. Many of the necessary items can be purchased or rented in Kathmandu so don’t worry if you can’t buy everything where you live. The guides will check your equipment and clothing before departing from Kathmandu, so if anything is missing, there will be time to obtain anything necessary.
Can I arrive early or extend my stay?
Yes, you can! All you need to do is to tell us what your flight details are and how many extra nights you need and we will book your hotel accordingly. Additionally, if you would like to arrange a program of activities either before or perhaps after the trek, there are a range of options to choose from including the jungle safari at Chitwan national park, or perhaps white water rafting on one of Nepal’s spectacular rivers such as the Sun Kosi. The Kathmandu has several not to miss UNESCO World heritage sites and to visit all of them with time require at least 3-5 days.
Can I have a single room?
Yes, you can! There is a single room occupancy supplement indicated in the price list.
What about insurance?
It is a condition of joining the trek that you have insurance in place which will cover you for the costs of medical treatment, cancellations, emergency rescue and repatriation to your home country. You must ensure that it provides cover for trekking to altitudes above 4000 metres and includes helicopter rescue. We do not sell insurance scheme so requires to manage on your own.
Do I need a visa?
Yes, you do. Everyone needs to get a visa for Nepal, but you can obtain it on arrival at Kathmandu airport. You will need to bring two passport photos and the appropriate visa fee, which is the US $30 for 15 days, US $50 for up to 30 days, and the US $125 for 90 days. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry to Nepal.
How fit do I need to be?
Anyone who is in reasonable shape and good health can accomplish this trek. Some days will be harder than others, but none require much more than 5 or 6 hours of walking each day, with a leisurely lunch stop to break up the day. There is no rush or need to ‘keep up’, and you are free to walk at your own pace. We would recommend that you undertake some form of simple training in advance of the trek, such as a 30-minute walk each evening for a few weeks before the start of the trek. Another exercise, such as swimming, bicycling and playing tennis, is also ideal.
Do I have to carry my pack?
We use porters to carry the majority of our equipment so daily you need only take a very light day pack which should contain no more than the camera, water-bottle, a selection of snacks and a warm or waterproof jacket. Everything else needs to pack into a large duffle bag which will be given to a porter each morning. The kitbag will be carried by the porter each day and delivered to your lodge room each afternoon. You need to make sure you have everything you need for the day before giving your bag to the porter as it can be difficult to access while trekking.
Will I be affected by altitude?
Most of the trek takes place at lower altitudes where you are unlikely to notice anything other than mild shortness of breath at the beginning of the trek. As the days go by, you will gain acclimatisation and feel more adjusted to the higher altitudes. At a height above 4300 metres, one may experience a headache caused by the thin air and lack of oxygen, but these symptoms usually pass quickly. If you experience symptoms of altitude that does not go away, you will be accompanied by one of our Sherpas to a lower elevation, where you should quickly recover.
Do I need vaccinations to travel Nepal?
No vaccination are required to travel Nepal, but we suggest to consult with your doctor before travelling. You can get vaccination in Kathmandu/Pokhara but it is more comfortable if you get them before you travel.
How do I sign up?
All bookings need to be made through Annapurna Treks & Expeditions Pvt. Ltd. and to secure your place we will require a non-refundable deposit of minimum US $200 or as indicated in the booking and payment conditions section.
1. Bank Transfer -this is our preferred method. Payments in US Dollars should be sent to the following account:
Account Name: Annapurna Treks & Expedition
Bank Name: Nepal Investment Bank
Bank Address: Durbar Marg, Kathmandu, Nepal, PO. Box 3412
Account number: 001 611710T
Swift Code No.: NIBLNPKT
2. Payment by a Card - payments can only be processed in Nepalese rupees (NPR), so if you wish to pay by card, we will convert the dollar amount to a Nepalese Rupees equivalent at the prevailing exchange rate. Card payment is accepted only on your arrival into the country. There will be a 3.5% service fee on top.
Booking Payment Conditions
Booking and payment conditions
As soon as we have your Booking, with a specific program and more or less number in the group, we will release an invoice for a confirmation deposit as per following.
(A) 200$ per person for trekking and tours
(B) 400$ per person for trekking peak climbing and trekking in restricted areas
(C) 600$ per person for mountaineering expeditions ranging 6,600m to below 8000 metres
(D) 3,000$ per person for all mountaineering expeditions above 8,000m. meter into Nepal
(E) 4,000$ per person for mountaineering expeditions above 8,000m mountain into Tibet.
1. The final confirmation will require at least three months in advance of the tours commence with 50% of the tour payment.
2. The final and total payment will require at least 25-days before the program commences.
3. The banking transaction charges of each time payment will be needed to be borne by the sender, and a net amount of the total amount will require deposited in the company account.
- To compensate the administrative charges, and other expenses in dealing with the booking process, the following cancellation fees will be charged:Cancellation after the confirmation - loss of the deposit
- Cancellation 45-days before trip commences - 20% of the total cost
- Cancellation 25-days before trip commences - 50% of the total cost
- Cancellation less than 21-days before the trip commences - 70% of the total cost
- Cancellation after arrival or during the trip - 100% of the total cost
We, Annapurna Treks & Expeditions Pvt. Ltd., accept responsibility for ensuring that the services booked with us are as close as possible to the itinerary outfitted in our mutual understanding. You agree and understand that it may be necessary to adjust the program due to unforeseen factors. In such a case, the group leader and sirdar/guide, in the team, will make the final decision.