The trek of a passionate trekker is not complete without Gokyo Ri and some of the highest fresh water lakes in the world, situated idyllically in the Khumbu region of the greater Himalayan range, in the vicinity of the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest.
Besides the exacting trek that all trekkers look forward to, the Gokyo trek is coveted by those who have been there, as one gets an unscathed view of not only the five lakes of various sizes, but also the trek up to Gokyo Ri (a small peak in the local dialect), where the bonanza is a circuitous view of a number of peaks such as Cho Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Lhotse, Makalu, Cholatse and Tawachee, and what more, Mount Everest from a north-western angle.
The crowning glory of it all is that it is less frequented by other trekkers. This is why the Brahminy Duck has spent so much time in the lakes. The Kharkas (small pastoral lands) that dot the Gokyo valley trek Not to forget the cave where you get the first view of Gokyo lakes.
This fourteen-day trek starts from the moment you land in Lukla airport. You begin down a trail to Pakding and then to Namache Bazaar, a marketing hub and a central town for the Sherpa community. All along the way, you seem to be greeted by boulders and waving flags with prayers inscribed on them. It is here that you are made to adapt to the high altitude for a day or two. Following this, you start your trek in earnest and it may seem that you are on the way to Everest Base Camp, but a short while later you are diverted along a trail to Phortse Thanga, all the while giving you a view of the Dudh Kosi River. From here, it is all the way to Dole. As your ascent takes you higher, the fragrance emitted from the juniper and conifers hastens you on.
Don’t we love the tales of the Yeti? It is supposedly believed that three yaks and a woman were preyed upon. You are on your way to Macchermo. Finally, it is Gokyo valley where you need to acclimatise for a day without boredom, for the beauty of the five lakes is there to enthrall you. Then it is your trek from Gokyo valley to Gokyo Ri to view the Himalayan peaks.
The Gokyo valley trek back to Namache Bazar and then to Lukla happens quicker than your Gokyo lake view trek.
Day One – Welcome – 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.
Day Two – To Paking (2600m) – (Approx 3 hour trek)
A short drive to Tribhuwan International Airport and a forty-minute flight to Lukla Airport gets you your first glimpse of various Himalayan peaks and Mount Everest from the air. While our staff get things organized, you are free to lunch, and at noon, we begin for Padking, up an easy trail and to meet up with Dudh Koshi (Milk River) via a small village, Ghat (2550m).
Day Three – To Namche Bazaar(3440m) – (Approx 7 hour trek)
After a short while from Pakding, you will cross the river and move up the valley; the trail stays close to the river valley—a beautiful sight with blue pine and rhododendron forest. You again cross the Dudh Kosi River at Benkar, getting glimpses of the snow-dusted peaks of Kusum Kanguru (6369m) and Thamserku (6623m). A short walk to Monjo (2835m) gets you there in time for lunch. The trek here is along flat terrain till the confluence of the Bhote and Dudh Kosi Rivers, after which you start your steep climb at a steady pace to Namche Bazaar. Here is a chance to showcase your photographic skills of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Taweche initially.
Day four – (3400m) – Acclimatization at Namche Bazaar
Today you will acclimatize for the day to the altitude you are at. Namche Bazaar is a prosperous town which gained popularity when salt was traded to Tibet from the low lands. It is still a market town for village rugs, Chinese-made products, clothes, salt, and dried meat. Take the opportunity to view the sunrise and set at the national park above the town and to get a stunning view of Everest and other Khumbu peaks. If not, a variety of options are available-a walk to Thami (3810M) above the Bhote Khola River Valley or to the National Park to see the interesting Sherpa lifestyle and information on the flora and fauna. Your guide will offer you advice and escort you on your walk.
Day Five – To Portse Thanga(3500m) – Approx Trekking time 6 hours
We follow the main trail to Thyangboche as it bends around the hills and branches off on a short climb on the side of the sacred peak, Khumblia(5761m). We pass through yak pastures for a while before gradually climbing to Mon La. We can view the confluence of Dudh Kosi and Imja Khola, and on the other side of the valley is the Thyangboche monastery in the backdrop of Ama Dablam and Kantega. On reaching a stupa draped with flags on a ridge, we begin to move down through a forest to Dudh Khola. After afternoon tea, a walk up the ridge will bring us to the village of Portse Thanga.
Day six – To Dole(4000m) – Approx Trekking time 3 hours
Heading north, we follow the Dudh Kosi to its source, the Ngozumpa Glacier. A short climb gets us on a steady course towards Gokyo. We see fewer trekkers and locals after leaving the mail trail, and they are a pleasure. Sections of the trail are perched among red birch, fir, and dwarf rhododendron forests and yak pastures as we gradually gain altitude. We pass pleasant waterfalls and have time to gaze at the glaciers flowing from Taweche and Cholatse on the opposite side of the valley. Behind us are the peaks of Khumbulia and others that reach almost 6,000m. We finally settle for the day at Dole, beside a stream with Kantega and Thamserku in the distance.
Day seven – To Machhermo(4410m) – Approx Trekking time 3 hours
A Trek at a constant but steady pace would get you to the village of Machhermo in time for Lunch with a few buildings. People from Khumjung and Khunde own land up here, which they use for grazing yaks in summer. This place is best for getting acclimatized for the higher altitude and the ascent to Gokyo Ri(5483m). The afternoon can be used for relaxing or stretching your legs at Machhermo Porter Shelter and Rescue Post.
Day Eight- To Gokyo(4759m) – Approx Trekking time 5-6 hours
Trekking above, we finally ascend to the village of Gokyo. We get wonderful views of Cholatse from the village of Pangka. We are now high in Alpine country as we approach the Ngozumpa Glacier. We trek on to Moriaine. We also enjoy excellent views of Kantega from the south and Cho Oyu from the north. Once we ascend the snout of the glacier, we pass the first lake, Longpongo, before we reach the second, Taoche Lake, where ducks are often seen swimming in the frozen lake. Walking up parallel to the Ngozumpa Glacier is the massive lateral moraine.
Day Nine- Ascend to Gokyo Ri(5483m) – Approx Trekking time 4 hours
An early morning start is best for Gokyo Ri, which is steady and unrelenting. You will be exuberant on reaching the summit with the spectacular view of the comprehensive view of 8,000 metre peaks in Nepal-Cho Oyu (8153m), Gyangchung Kang (7922m), Lhotse (8501m), Makalu (8475m), Cholatse (6440m), Taweche (6542m), Kantega (6685m), Thamserku(6808m), Lobuche (6145m) and Mount Everest (8848m). Further below is the largest glacier in Nepal, Ngozumpa Glacier. Here we get to view the entire expansion of the Himalayan range in relative peace.
Day Ten- To Phortse(3850m) – Approx Trekking time 5-7 hours
Instead of the western part of the valley, we trek via the western side to get a varied view of the Khumbila region as well as to enjoy the warmer weather on the afternoon flanks. We retrace our steps to Pangka, then turn east and climb across the terminal moraines of the Ngozumpa Glacier (4400m), the only year-round settlement in the valley. The descent from Ngozumpa via the eastern side of the Dudh Kosi Valley is straight as the trail makes a few ups and downs where landslides and streams have carved side valleys.
Day Eleven – To Namche(3440m) – Approx trekking time 3- 5 hours
The trail till Phortse is a bit tricky as the descent till the bridge at Phortse Tanga is a bit slippery, after which we join the original route from Khumjung to Namche.
Day Twelve – To Lukla(2800m) – Approx trekking time 6-8 hours
Our legs might be a bit shaky due to the steep descent and battle against the rock terrain till the suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi and other tributaries, after which the trail becomes more level. All levels of discomfort from the high altitude might now go away as we hit a warmer climate. The view will be different even though we are retracing the same path. The view is a mixture of open plains, rhododendron and pine forests with snow in the distance. We pass a few Sherpa villages and see prayer flags and inscribed stones.
Day Thirteen – To Kathmandu (1400m) (forty minute flight)
A short hike to the airport at Lukla for an early morning flight back to Kathmandu, where you get to rest for the rest of the day or sight see the capital city to buy souvenirs for people back home.
Day Fourteen – Farewell from Kathmandu
The trip concludes—our airport representative will drop you off at 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 Oct-Nov having best weather for trekking. During the autumn nights are cold in the high Himalaya, but the bright sun makes for pleasant daytime temperature (20 degree centigrade to 5 centigrade in the night). Above 3500m temperature range goes down to -10 degree centigrade, and in winter (Dec-Jan) it is about 10 degrees colder.
How fit do I have to be to do a trek?
Whilst 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 a typical group size? Will I fit in?
We pride ourselves in 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 group of two and 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)
Airline tickets (with photocopies)
Day pack for daily personal items
Light sandals or plimsolls to wear in the lodges
2 pairs of underwear
2 pairs of walking socks
2 warm shirts/ thin fleece
1 pair of thin thermal under trousers.
Long trousers for walking (or long skirt for women)
Gloves (it’s cold on the Thorung La, Laurebina Pass and Cho La)
Warm hat which covers your ears (for the Kali Gandaki and Thorung La – it’s windy)
Base ball cap or broad brim hat to keep the sun off (Australian Barmah recommended)
Soap and soap dish
Toothbrush and toothpaste.
Wet wipes / Moist towelettes
Hand sanitizing lotion
Moisturizer, Lip balm
Tampons – hard to buy in rural areas
Ear plugs for light sleepers
Sheet of plastic (Use as a poncho if it rains)
1 roll of toilet paper. You can buy more on the way.
2 large plastic bag. One for smelly clothes, one for things which must be kept dry.
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 decided to purchase these items in Kathmandu .
Can I store stuff that I do not use on trek?
Yes, all hotels provide storage facility 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 for type of tours 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, 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 thorough Nepalese Embassy or Consulate or obtain it at the airport on arrival by paying fee as below:
Multiple entry 15 days: US $25
Multiple entry 30 days: US $40
Multiple entry 90 days: US $100
Notes. We suggest you to bring the exact change. You also need bring 2 passport size photo.
Tourist Visa Extension
Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 30 or equivalent convertible currency and visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 2 per day
Tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January – December).
Gratis (Free) Visa
Gratis visa for 30 days available only for tourists of SAARC countries.
Indian nationals do not require visa to enter into Nepal.
I am a single trekker. 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 deposit of $250 for treks and $300 for a peak climbing which can be made by bank transfer or online through paypal.com (leading transaction site). The balance is payable on arrival in Kathmandu with cash or traveler cheque. Alternatively balance can be paid by bank transfer or PayPal shortly before arriving in Kathmandu.
Beside deposit payment what information do I need to forward?
Following details is needed to process your trekking permit, national park permit, flight booking etc.
Place of issue:
Date of birth:
Your arrival details (time, date, flight no., airlines):
All 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 day pack.
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 camp arrival. Your guide is always interested to learn about your personal interests and to accommodate 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
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 case 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 the 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 is teahouse and camping treks?
Tea House accommodation: There are a number of lodges along the popular trekking routes in Annapurna, Everest, and Langtang regions. These lodges are called Tea House Lodges and managed by local people. These lodges have basic requirements for over night accommodation like private rooms, dormitories, toilets, shower room with hot and cold water, and one attached restaurant. The quality of food offered might vary from lodge to lodge but most serve simple and hygienic meals. The teahouse trekking 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 trekking, 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 includes Oatmeal,French toast,Chapatti, Tibetan bread, eggs,, pancakes,, muesli and for Lunch or dinner you can have sandwich, soups momo (dumpling), 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 and has abilities in eco-friendly trekking methods and safety. They help to maintain your health and your happiness as well as his 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, meet his home and family too.
What about the Porters?
Services of porters and pack-animals to carry your luggage and equipment are hired at the beginning of a trek to make sure that most of the costs our clients pay go directly into the local community where you trek.
How much should I tip the guides and porters?
Tipping is at your discretion but always appreciated. A good rule of thumb is anywhere from $2- 5 dollars per day for the guide and $1.5 to 3 dollars per day per porter. The total amount can then be divided among the group.
What is your Kathmandu contact address in case if my family needs to contact me in case of 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.