The life of a trekker is not achieved, unless done in the isolated valleys of the Himalayas of Nepal to Phoksundo Lake in Dolpo, where you are blessed with the bounties of nature and man at its best. This trek is in the trans-Himalayan ecosystem, where some of the rarest species of wildlife like blue sheep, Himalayan black bear, leopards, wolves, and the hard to sight snow leopard are there for the trekker’s discovery. This region is also home to the last remnants of the Tibetan culture, which is also the highest settlement in the world at 4260m and evolved around the Buddhist culture. The model villages on these high pass trails are some of the most magnificent ones which one would encounter in such terrain.
The trek takes you past gigantic cascading waterfalls, past difficult trails to a gompa named after the Crystal Mountain that has nine complexes and Mandalas of ceiling paintings depicting the life of Buddhism.
The trek in the Dolpo region is done following the Suli Gad River, where one passes through thick conifer forests and villages of both the Thakuri and Buddhist communities, all in the vicinity of colossal Mount Dhaulagiri looking down on you.
The trek to Dolpo and back to Juphal
Our trek starts in earnest after having landed at Juphal, from where we head towards Dunai. Then we camp in Tarakot, below the fortress. The next two days, we camp at Tarap Camps one and two. Then it is onto Dho and Shering Gompa, and if you were lucky enough, you would see the sights of maggots and rabbits, and their burrows. The next on the list of trekking destinations in the Dolpo trek is Langmo Che Camp and Sibu.
From Sibu, it is onto Saldang, Ching La, and finally the highlight of the trek, Shey Gompa and Lake Phoksumdo, an alpine freshwater lake at 6,311 m. After having sampled the delights of the hike, we head back via Sehuld Banjyang, Ringmo, Sepka, Roha Gaon, and Juphal to fly back to Kathmandu.
1. Day one – Arrival in Kathmandu (1400m)
You will be met at Tribhuwan International Airport by a representative of Green Lotus Trekking holding a welcome placard and token for your overnight stay at a hotel in Kathmandu and to freshen up. Prior to dinner, a briefing will be held. You could spend the rest of the day resting or wandering around the city of Kathmandu, sightseeing.
2. Day Two – Flight to Nepalgunj (540m)
We get to the border town of Nepalgunj by an hour’s flight, which is of interest as we get to view the intricate branches of streams and rivers flowing southwards, which gave life to civilization. We get to rest and see what life is like in the Terai (plains) of Nepal, where religions and various cultures live in relative harmony. O/N stay in the lodge.
3. Day Three – Flight to Jhupal (2320m) and trek to Dunai (2850m) – (Approx 3 hour’s trek)
We get some breathtaking views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri to the north after our morning flight to Jhupal over Nepal’s foothills. On reception by our staff at the airport, your trek begins in earnest through terraced fields to the Bheri River through its narrow gorge. We then camp for the night just outside Dunai, which is the administrative headquarter of Dolpo.
4. Day Four – To Tarakot (2543m) – (Approx 6 hour’s trek)
We continue our trek via the south bank of the river, heading upstream on a good trail. Going deeper, we pass through massive gorges, suspension bridges, and far-flung villages. We are eventually welcomed by the terraced fields just before Tarakot at the confluence of Barbung Khola (stream) and the Tarup Chu River. After a couple of ascents and descents, we get to our camping site for the night.
5. Day Five – To Laini (3160m) – (Approx 7 hour’s trek)
The day’s trek initially moves along the bank of the Tarap Cho River, crossing it twice over suspension bridges. We eventually pass the famed Sandul Gompa east of Tarakot at the confluence of the Barbung Khola and Tarup Cho Rivers. The path then takes us through terraced fields and, after a few descents and ascents, we arrive at our camping site for the night.
6. Day Six – To Nawarpani (3545m) – (Approx 5 hour’s trek)
The trek continues high above the Tarap River gorge on a path with steep slopes. It is an exciting hike as the gorges are narrow in some places and you could hop across in others. On descending to Chyugur Khola, the path totally disappears altogether. Finally, the path becomes a slab stone trail placed on logs in the walls of the slopes, which act as a bridge. Eventually, we get to our camping site just outside Nawarpani, where we stop for the night.
7. Day Seven – To Do Tarap (4090m) – (Approx 5 hour’s Trek)
The day’s trek slowly leads up to Kamattarka at the junction of the Tarap Chu River and Lang Khola (stream) from the east. After a couple of hours’ walk, departing from the gorge, the trail is above the tree line of juniper bushes and wild roses that are characteristic of the Himalayan Valleys. A few hours later, we reach Do Tarap, a village surrounded by irregular walls. The village, a hybrid of Tibetan and Magar communities, has lived in social harmony for centuries.
8. Day Eight – Acclimatization Day.
Since we are at quite a high altitude, it becomes a necessity that we acclimatize to a lower level of air in the atmosphere, and there is no better place to do so than in Do Tarap. We can make friends with the local people who are most welcoming into their homes to see their lifestyles and especially the way they have spun and woven clothes for generations, which might entice you into purchasing some. You are also free to investigate the surrounding milieu.
9. Day Nine – To Numa La Base Camp (4440m) – (Approx 7 hour’s Trek)
Our day’s trek continues to the Upper Tarap Valley. It moves along the upper plains of the valley, which show off its lush verdure grass on both sides of the river. The trek then continues on a nice track upstream of the Tarap Chu. After a few hours of pleasant walking, we get to the village of Tokyo, with its monastery of the Chiba sect. We then continue down the valley to descend again for a few more hours to reach our destination for the day at Numa La Camp.
10. Day Ten – To Pelung Tang (4465m) – (Approx 7 hour’s trek)
Today’s trek is going to test the grit in us, as we trek, which in fact is a grueling walk to Numa La Pass (5190m), not without the magnificent views of the surrounding surreal landscape. It is a scintillating view of the Dolpo barren mountains right up to Dhaulagiri (8167m). After which, it is a relief to descend to our camp for the night at Pelung Tang.
11. Day Eleven – To Dajok Tang (4080m) – (Approx 6 hour’s trek)
Starting with a steep climb, we get to the pass at Baga-la (5070m) offering us some of the most spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes and far off snow capped peaks. After the breathtaking view, it is a few hours descend to Dajok Tang for an overnight halt.
12. Day Twelve – To Ringmo (3600m) – (Approx 4 hour’s trek)
The day’s trek begins in a pine forest. On leaving this forest, the terrain changes to that of pastoral kind and alpine shrubs. It is all gradual ascents and descents all the way to Ringmo.
13. Day Thirteen – Rest Day with trek to Phoksundo Lake
We can call this a day of rest with a short trip to the coruscating lake called Phoksundo, plus a visit to the nearby settlements of Saldanj and Thinje, which is worth a visit due to the monastery there.
14. Day Fourteen – To Shyanta (2520m) – (Approx 6 hour’s trek)
It is a downhill trek to Chepka from where the path is via a massive overhanging rock that is supposedly containing healing minerals. Just before we get to Shyanta there is a stiff climb.
15. Day Fifteen – To Jhupal (2320m) – (Approx 4 hour’s trek)
Today’s trek takes us back to our starting point on the trek via Suligath. We reach our destination in the mid afternoon, after which we rest for the remaining part of the day to get feeling back into our tired muscles.
16. Day Sixteen – Back to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj.
Today we head back to Kathmandu via flight to Nepalgunj, where we change planes for Kathmandu and then rest for the remaining part of the day or go sightseeing in the capital city of the beautiful country to buy souvenirs for folks back home.
17. Day Seventeen – Farewell
The trip concludes – our airport representative will drop you to Kathmandu’s Tribhuwan International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal.
The trek to Dolpo and back to Juphal
What is the best time of year to trek?
You can find good places to trek somewhere in the Himalayas at anytime of the year. However, for most regions, the best time is from October to May, with October to November having the best weather for trekking. During the autumn, nights are cold in the high Himalaya, but the bright sun makes for a pleasant daytime temperature (20 degrees centigrade to 5 degrees centigrade in the night). Above 3500m, the temperature range goes down to -10 degrees centigrade, and in winter (Dec-Jan), it is about 10 degrees colder.
How fit do I have to be to do a trek?
While you do not need to be super-fit, you need to be fit enough to comfortably walk for 5–6 hours per day in the mountains on reasonable trails. Most of our customers have an interest in walking in the hills or countryside of their homeland and are used to similar daily trips.
What is the typical group size? Will I fit in?
We pride ourselves on our small group approach to adventure travel. Small groups allow you to share great company without crowding your experience. Our typical groups range in size from 2 up to 8. One of the attractions of such a trip is the chance to meet people with different backgrounds and personalities.
What if the dates for the group treks don’t fit my itinerary?
If this is the case, we can organize a personalized trek for you. Additionally, if you want to spend more time in Kathmandu before or after a trek, we can organize the hotels and quote you a price.
Are your tours guaranteed to run?
If you are a group of two or more, the trip is guaranteed to run.
Do I need to buy special equipment?
Usually, our clients simply bring their existing clothing and equipment and, if necessary, supplement this with some extra items purchased cheaply in Kathmandu.
What gear to bring?
Passport (with photocopies)
Photos for Nepal visa on arrival:
Travel insurance (with photocopies)
flight tickets (photocopies)
Daypack for daily personal items
Light sandals or plimsolls to wear in the lodges
2 pairs of underwear.
2 pairs of walking socks.
2 thick fleece or warm shirts
1 pair thin thermal underwear
Long trousers for walking (or a long skirt for women)
Gloves (it’s cold on the Thorung La, Laurebina Pass and Cho La)
A warm hat which covers your ears (for the Kali Gandaki and Thorung La – it’s windy)
Base ball caps or broad brim hats to keep the sun off (Australian Barmah recommended)
Soap dish and soap
Toothbrush and toothpaste.
Wet wipes or moist towelettes
Hand sanitizing lotion
Moisturizer, Lip balm
Tampons are hard to buy in rural areas.
Ear plugs for light sleepers
Sheet of plastic (use as a poncho if it rains)
1 toilet paper rollYou can buy more on the way.
2 large plastic bags. One for smelly clothes, one for things that must be kept dry.
A small, good quality padlock
Iodine tablets for water purification
Protein bars, chocolate, dried fruits, candies, and snack foods.
Notes: All of the trekking items are available in Kathmandu at nominal prices. However, we suggest you bring hiking boots from your home country if you decide to purchase these items in Kathmandu .
Can I store stuff that I do not use on a trek?
Yes, all hotels provide storage facilities for free.
Do I need travel insurance?
Personal travel insurance is not included in the tour price. It is a condition of booking a tour with Green Lotus Trekking, and your responsibility to ensure that the type of tour you are undertaking, the policy must include satisfactory cover for repatriation, high altitudes, trekking and climbing, and helicopter rescue. Please forward your insurance details (e.g. policy number, 24-hour emergency telephone number, and name of insurance company) to Green Lotus Trekking when available.
Do I need a visa to visit Nepal?
Yes. You can apply in your home country through the Nepalese Embassy or Consulate or obtain it at the airport on arrival by paying a fee as below:
Multiple entries for 15 days: $25 USD
Multiple entries for 30 days: $40 USD
Multiple entries within 90 days: US $100
Notes: We suggest you bring the exact change. You also need to bring two passport-size photos.
Tourist Visa Extension
The visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 30 or equivalent convertible currency, and the visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 2 per day.
A tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January–December).
Gratis (Free) Visa
A gratis visa for 30 days is available only for tourists from SAARC countries.
Indian nationals do not require a visa to enter Nepal.
I am a single traveler. How does this work?
Normally single trekkers have no problems fitting in with a group. Normally single trekkers share rooms or lodges with other trekkers of the same sex, but if we have an odd-number we ensure that a room or lodge is organised accordingly.
How will my booking be processed?
To confirm your booking, we will require a deposit of $250 for treks and $300 for peak climbing, which can be made by bank transfer or online through paypal.com (the leading transaction site). The balance is payable on arrival in Kathmandu with cash or traveler’s cheque. Alternatively, the balance can be paid by bank transfer or PayPal shortly before arriving in Kathmandu.
Besides deposit payment, what other information do I need to forward?
The following details are needed to process your trekking permit, national park permit, flight booking etc.
Year of birth:
Your arrival details (time, date, flight number, airline):
All the above info can be sent electronically via email.
How far do I trek each day?
You will typically walk 4–9 miles (5-8 hours) each day. Some days may be rest days for impromptu exploration. In high and steep areas, you may move more slowly. Most people begin to feel the effects of high altitude over about 2000 meters, and your trekking pace is always adjusted to permit safe acclimatization. Our treks follow established trails used by local people. You will probably carry only a light daypack.
How flexible is the trekking day?
You can hike at your own pace, stopping when you wish. There is ample time to cover the necessary hiking distance each day with lots of stops. If you are on a private trek, you may wish to take more or fewer days to cover a given distance, or add in rest days. If you like to hike fast, your guide will be concerned that you acclimatize to high altitude effectively. You may wish to reach camp at a measured pace, but take a side hike after arriving at camp. Your guide is always interested in learning about your personal interests and accommodating those interests as the trip permits.
What is altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness, often known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), is a particularly important medical consideration while trekking in Nepal. Altitude sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations above 3000 meters. The initial symptoms of AMS are as follows:
Loss of appetite
Insomnia or sleeplessness
Dizziness, light headaches, confusion,
Disorientation, drunken gait
Weakness, fatigue, lassitude, heavy legs, slight swelling of hands and face.
Breathlessness and breathing irregularly
Reduced urine output
These symptoms are to be taken very seriously. In the event of the appearance of any of the above symptoms, any further ascent should be reconsidered; otherwise more serious problems can occur, which can cause death, sometimes within a few hours. The only cure for altitude sickness is to descend to lower elevations immediately. Acclimatization by ascending to no more than 300 to 500 meters per day above 3000 meters and the proper amount of rest are the best methods for prevention of AMS.
Will I be able to deal with the high altitude?
Our itineraries are designed so that our clients ascend at a sensible and safe rate. The effects of altitude are felt by everyone, even the Sherpas, but most people find that gentle acclimatization allows them to reach their high point without any problems.
What are teahouse and camping treks?
Accommodation: There are a number of lodges along the popular trekking routes in the Annapurna, Everest, and Langtang regions. These lodges are called “Tea House Lodges” and are managed by local people. Private rooms, dormitories, toilets, shower rooms with hot and cold water, and one attached restaurant are among the basic requirements for overnight accommodation at these lodges.The quality of food offered might vary from lodge to lodge, but most serve simple and hygienic meals. The teahouse trek provides you an opportunity to feel the warm hospitality of friendly Nepali hosts. The money you spend goes to the local community.
In a typical camping trip, each pair of trekkers will sleep in a spacious mountain tent with a durable rain fly and full insect netting. The tent is fitted with foam mattresses. When your campsite is near villages or lodges, you may be invited to sleep in the lodges or homes of local people.
What are the typical foods on the treks?
Breakfast options include oatmeal,French toast,Chapatti, Tibetan bread, eggs, pancakes, muesli, and for lunch or dinner you can have sandwiches, soups, momo (dumplings), macaroni dishes, pizzas, noodles, steak, dal bhat (rice, lentils, veg platter), pasta, etc.
What is your guide like?
Our trekking guides are carefully selected for their ability and are generally from Sherpa, Tamang, Gurung, Magar, and other communities from remote mountain villages. Each guide is trained in eco-friendly trekking methods and safety measures. They help to maintain your health and your happiness as well as the crew members. Our guides are committed to making sure that all our trekkers have an enjoyable trek, come back safe and are overwhelmed by their experience. Your guide will be a friend and companion, who takes pleasure in showing you his country’s specialties and, perhaps, meeting his home and family too.
What about the Porters?
The majority of the fees our clients pay go directly into the community where you trek.
How much should I tip the guides and porters?
Tipping is at your discretion and always appreciated. A good rule of thumb is anywhere from $2–5 dollars per day for the guide and $1.5–3 dollars per day per porter. The total amount can then be divided among the group.
What is your Kathmandu contact address in case my family needs to contact me in an emergency?
Please have them contact at any of the following numbers:
Cell : ++977-98510-32108+977-98510-32108 or 9841-250248. Landline (office hour) 977-1-400-5037977-1-400-5037 or 444-5475. We check email frequently throughout the days so you could also write to our email: firstname.lastname@example.org if it’s not urgent.