To the north of Pokhara is a trekkers’ paradise, famously known as the Jomsom trek. The trek in itself brings out the best that Nepal has to offer with its vast diversity, high mountains and deep valley trails. In the Jomsom trek, one gets to sample different geographical climates and terrains, ranging from subtropical jungles to windy, dry plateau conditions, which is a miniature picture of Tibet. Hikers are left in awe and wonder at such surreal scenery and culture. You will learn about the cultures and traditions of both the high and low lands.
It is obvious that this hiking route sees the vast majority of trekkers to Nepal, nearly 70%. The ascents are relatively easy when following the two set courses – Kali Gandaki to Jomsom and Muktinath. Either way, there is an incessant view of the mountains, the interaction of rural life and culture, not allowing you to return disappointed.
The Jomsom Trek in truth
The trek begins in earnest from Nayapul, after having been driven from Kathmandu to Birethanti, which is actually just a twenty-minute hike. Having rested the night, the hike takes us to Tikhedhunga via pastures once used by ponies. The next leg of the trek is to Ghorepani – meaning white water, through trails of soft pastures and lands cultivated to give way to wonderful rhododendron and oak forests. It is here that you also get an unscattered view of Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, South Annapurna, Annapurna I, and Tarke Kang, formerly known as Glacier Dome.
Your next day’s destination is Tatopani. Its name means “hot springs” as the area is abound in them and it is an area for citrus fruits. It is onto Ghasa and the trail is said to lead to one of the deepest gorges in the world in the Kali Gandaki Valley, and at the same time, you pass a few villages of the Magar, Brahmin, and Thakales. There are cascading waterfalls and it is here that the vegetation changes from subtropical trees and shrubs to ones that are more mountainous in nature, such as pine and birch. The next town on the route is Largung, where you get a circular view of Dhaulagiri, the three Nilgiris, Tukuche, and Fang.
The next stop on our trek is Marpha, where you will get to pass apple orchards on the way. From here, it is onto Kagbeni and then onto Muktinath, which is a sacred place for both the Hindus and Buddhists. The last leg of the trek is to Jomsom, where you finally head back to Pokhara.
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 taken 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 – Drive to Nayapul and trek to Birethanti (900m)
We first get to Nayapul by bus via Pokhara, which is the starting point of our trek. We get across the bridge along a trail leading behind a ridge that becomes more and more rocky, heading eastwards on the banks of Modi Khola to Birethanti. O/N stay at the lodge.
3. Day Three – To Tirkhedunga (1510m) – (Approx 3 hour’s trek)
Today we start our full day’s trek to Tirkhedunga. The hike starts through a bamboo forest and past a waterfall. We then follow the Bhurungdi Khola and across a suspension bridge. Passing through a trail to Sudami, climbing steadily, it is Hille next. Next, up a stone trail, we get to Tirkhedunga. O/N stay at the Lodge.
4. Day Four – To Gorepani (2750m) – (Approx 6 hour’s trek)
The day’s trek begins by crossing the Tirkhedunga Khola and then Bhurungdi Khola and ascending a steep stone staircase. On the summit, Annapurna South (7211m) and Hiunchuli start appearing from behind the hills. Getting to Ulleri (2080m), a Magar village, and then to Banthanti (2250m), the magnificent view of oak and rhododendron forest becomes apparent. On crossing two crystal clear streams, it is Nangathanti. An hour’s hike away is Gorepani, a name in Nepali that means “white water.” O/N stay in the Lodge.
5. Day Five – To Tatopani (1290m) – (Approx 6 hour’s trek)
We descend a steep, muddy trail through rhodendron and magnolia forest with pasture breaks through the Deorali pass. The trail then leads east to Tadapani, Ghandruk, and Ghorapani. Via landslide scarred land to Phalate (2390m) and then Shikha, Ghara, and Ghar Khola over a suspension bridge, finally crossing Kali Gandaki, the trail turns north to Tatopani, meaning hot water in Nepali. O/N stay at the lodge.
6. Day six – To Ghasa (1950m) – (Approx 7 hour’s trek)
We start the trek up the Kali Gandaki Valley (the deepest gorge in the world). Crossing several landslides and cave-like overhanging rocks, we get to Guithe (1320m) and then Dana (1450m). A thirty-minute hike takes us to Rupse Chhahara (1560m), then Kopchepani, and finally Ghasa. O/N stay at the lodge.
7. Day Seven – To Largung (2560m) – (Approx 5 hour’s trek)
The trek takes us to Kaiku (2180m), crossing a ridge and descending to a river and through a forest. Then over up and down trails, dropping to the valley, we cross the river and a short walk later, we arrive at Lete. Then, through Kalopani , Dhampu, and Kokhethali, we again cross the Kali Gandaki river. It is here that Mount Dhaulagiri begins to peep over the horizon. A good distance up the river and a short descent gets us to Largung. O/N stay at the lodge.
8. Day Eight – To Marpha (2680m) – (Approx 4 hour’s trek)
A ten-minute trek gets us to Khobang. The trail passes a few narrow alleyways, which open out to give views of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri. The trek then moves over flat land and over a high cliff side trail to Kukuche (2580m) and, after a couple of hours of dramatic scenery, onto Marpha. O/N stay at the lodge.
9. Day Nine – To Kagebeni (2840m) – (Approx 4 hour’s trek)
The day’s hike begins by the road at the side of the valley to Shyang (2800m). Then the road traverses towards Kali Gandaki, and following the trail along the river, we finally get to Kagebei. O/N stay at the lodge.
10. Day Ten – To Muktinath (3710m) – (Approx 3 hour’s trek)
The day’s trek begins with the scintillating view of the Nilgiri peaks in the north making a steep climb to the Jhong Valley, then up higher Khingar (3400m). The Jhong Khola takes us to Jharkot (3500m), then to Ranipauwa and finally to Muktinath famed for a Hindu pilgrim sight. O/N stay at the lodge.
11. Day Eleven – To Jomsom (2760m) – (Approx 4 hour’s trek)
It is an easy trek back to Jomsom with the backdrop of the Annapurna range. O/N stay at the lodge.
12. Day Twelve – Flight to Pokhara (900m)
We get to Pokhara by flight and spend the rest of the day sightseeing the different places of interest in the lakeside city. O/N stay at the lodge.
13. Day Thirteen – Flight to Kathmandu (1400m)
We get to Kathmandu by flight and spend the rest of the day either sightseeing and buying souvenirs or resting as pleased.
14. Day Fourteen – Farewell from Kathmandu
The trip concludes – our airport representative will drop you to Kathmandu’s Tribhuwan International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal.
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 roll. You 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 acclimatisation 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, lenthal, 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 us at any of the following numbers:
+977-98510-32108 or 9841-250248 for cell phone. 977-1-400-50379 (landline) (office hours) 77-1-400-5037 or 444-5475. We check email frequently throughout the day, so you could also write to our email: firstname.lastname@example.org if it’s not urgent.