Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

Trekking at great outdoors

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  • Group Size: 2 - 30 Persons
  • Trip Duration: 24 Days
  • Max. Altitude: 5300 M
  • Country: Nepal
  • Trip Start: Kathmandu
  • Trip End: Kathmandu
  • Trip Level: Adventures
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The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is a popular trekking package in Nepal leading through the low flatlands to high alpine valleys, dense rhododendron, oak, chestnut and pine forests, fertile terraces, fascinating hamlets, and fabulous vistas of the Himalayan range in the desolate areas of eastern Nepal. Regarded as a popular challenging trek in Nepal, the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek requires a special trekking permit as it is also classified as a restricted area trekking destination in Nepal. It is one of the unexplored and untouched trekking routes in Nepal which traverses through several remote villages on high mountain ranges and proffers exceptional backdrops of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Jannu, Kangbachen Himal, Mt. Pathivara, Mt. Yalung Kang, Nepal Peak, Twin Peak, Tent Peak, Chang Himal, Mt. Baruntse, Mt. Kokthan, Mt. Rathong, Mt. Kabru and several other peaks. The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is less crowded trekking route in Nepal that offers matchless insights into culture and the lifestyle adopted by the aboriginal people in this part of the country.

Claimed to be one of the most famous treks in Nepal, Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is indeed an unforgettable experience where nature admirers can get access right into the heart of the far-off, less trampled Himalayan mountain peaks and beautiful valleys. The prominent highlights of this extraordinary trekking destination in Nepal are the four incredible passes: Selele La, Sinion La, Mirgin La, and Sinelapche La. Other appealing focal points of this popular trekking destination in Nepal are Yalung Glacier, Oktang Monastery & the Viewpoint, Ramtang Monastery, Pangpema – the North Base Camp, and Yalung South Base Camp. The fascinating journey begins with a 45-minute flight that carries the trekkers to the airport in Bhadrapur at the eastern part of Nepal. From Bhadrapur, it is a long drive via Illam to Taplejung, the starting point of this teahouse trekking package in Nepal. The charming villages hikers pass by on this spectacular trek are Mitlung, Chirwa, Sekathum, Amjilosa, Gyabla, Ghunsa, Khambachen, Lonak, Ramche, Seram, Tortong, Yamphudin, and Khebang.

The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is perfect for someone who is in search for peace in nature. There are lesser trekkers hiking in this region with abundant wildlife and natural heritage, which will mesmerize its visitors throughout the journey with least human influence. The best seasons for trekking in Nepal are during the autumn and spring months when the skies remain clear and the views are awe-inspiring. Owing to the fact of being a remote area trekking destination in Nepal, people with a good level of fitness, sound health, positive attitude, strong determination, and some prior hiking experience is desirable for someone looking to gear up for this exceptional trek. Join Royal Holidays to spend time on this challenging trek in Nepal that endows with profuse exploratory and noteworthy memories to value for a lifetime.

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Day To Day Itinenary

Arrival on: Kathmandu | Departure from: Kathmandu
  • 1
    Arrival in Kathmandu

    Duration: 30 minutes Drive

    Altitude: 1340 M

    On arrival in Kathmandu and fulfilling immigration formalities, you will be met by one of our representatives near the exit gate of the airport with a placard for precise identification. You will then be transferred to your pre-assigned hotel room where you may stretch your legs and relax to regain your energy due to a possible jet lag. If your arrival time is early, then you may hit the streets of Thamel in the evening and saunter around, buy things that may entice your eyes or simply sit back and relax at some pub or music bar with your favorite beer and soothing melodies. Overnight in Kathmandu.

  • 2
    Fly to Bhadrapur, drive to Illam

    Duration: 4 - 5 hr

    After early breakfast in your hotel, you will be transferred to the domestic terminal of the Kathmandu airport to board on the first flight to Bhadrapur. It takes 45 minutes to reach the easternmost part of Nepal from where you will drive to Illam by road. The 95 km drive takes over four hours in private vehicle crossing beautiful scenery and landscapes, tea gardens, and diverse agricultural farms. On arrival at Illam, you will be transferred to your hotel, where you will rest for the next day’s journey. Overnight in Illam.

  • 3
    Drive from Illam to Taplejung

    Duration: 5 to 6 hr

    Altitude: 1820 M

    Today’s trip includes a road drive for around 6 to 7 hours to reach Taplejung via Phidim. The scenic drive offers serene views of the lush tea and cardamom plantations throughout the drive. The hills and the high passes play hide-and-seek with Mt. Kanchenjunga and Mt. Jannu. Driving through pasture land and small hamlets, you will arrive at Taplejung. You will rest at your hotel room and prepare for the upcoming trek the next day. Overnight in Taplejung.

  • 4
    Taplejung to Chirwa

    Duration: 7 - 8 hr

    Altitude: 1250 M

    You will kick off today after a sumptuous breakfast at Taplejung and head towards today’s destination Chirwa. The first part of the trek follows the road, and then a downhill trod to reach Hangdewa. Following the Tamur River along the paved road, you will pass several villages like Mitlung and Lingkhim (also known as Siwa). You will also witness arrayed fields with plantations of rice, millet, potatoes, and several vegetables. Siwa Bazaar is a small market with majority settlements of the Limbu tribes and has a high school, hospitals, and a police checkpoint. Continuing along the Tamur River for around 2 hours you will reach Tawa village where you will have lunch. After lunch, it is slightly a zigzag trail to walk on for about an hour which leads you to Thiwa village. After a slight downhill walk, you will cross a wooden bridge on the Thiwa River and an additional hour of several uphill and downhill paths will get you to Chirwa. Overnight in Chirwa.

  • 5
    Chirwa to Japantar

    Duration: 4 - 5 hr

    Altitude: 1500 M

    You will continue your hike today after breakfast along Tamur River passing through the diverse landscape and several ups and downs, and forested areas. After 2 hours or so, you will reach Taplethok from where your Kanchenjunga trek permit starts as it is the doorway to the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. Taplethok is a place with loads of information in forms of plenty of signboards at one place. Traversing the suspension bridge over the river and walking on the west bank along cardamom farms will bring you to Phembu village where you will stop for lunch. After lunch, you will continue walking with no need of climbing up to Lelep. From about 30 minutes before Lelep, there is a small trail towards the right leading you down to a small suspension bridge. From this bridge, there is a juncture which leads to Sekathum on the right trail and the left trail goes to Olangchung Gola, which is a part of Lumba Sumba Pass Trek. You will finally arrive at Japantar, which is just 10 minutes downhill walk from Sekathum following the Ghunsa River on a zigzag trail. Overnight in Japantar.

  • 6
    Japantar to Amjilosa

    Duration: 4 - 5 hr

    Altitude: 2390 M

    After breakfast, you will leave Japantar and continue the hike crossing the suspension bridge over the Ghunsa River entering the dense bamboo forest and other variety of local trees. You may encounter troops of Langur monkeys and musk deer en route Amjilosa today. After about 2 hours of walking, you will again cross another suspension bridge over the Ghunsa River to arrive at Jaubari, where there is a beautiful, large waterfall to savor. Moving ahead following the river takes you to Lamatar where you will stop for lunch. After lunch, you will continue through zigzag trail and enter another dense forest amidst steep and narrow trails and you will walk through a dramatic gorge. Crossing another suspension bridge, it is a gradual climb for over a couple of hours, and then walking on a straight trail for another half an hour brings you to Amjilosa high above the gorge. Overnight in Amjilosa.

  • 7
    Amjilosa to Gyabla

    Duration: 5 - 6 hr

    Altitude: 2751 M

    Your trekking spree continues after breakfast at Amjilosa from the river bank all the way through thick bamboo, oak and rhododendron forests up to a small valley ridge. You will walk downhill and corresponding flatlands to reach Sherpa Hotel at Mindhum. Descending towards Ghunsa River on a narrow downhill trail till Thyangyan, you will come across several houses built by stones. Hiking on several undulating paths and crossing a huge waterfall, it is a steep uphill climb up to the beautiful village of Gyabla. It is a village with largely Tibetan settlements where you may witness the Jokpes, which are the crossbred variety of yaks and cows. Overnight in Gyabla.

  • 8
    Gyabla to Ghunsa

    Duration: 4 - 5 hr

    Altitude: 3430 M

    You will get back on track after your breakfast and begin walking down the river where the valley opens out. Walking along an easier path for most of the portion, you will reach the Tibetan settlement of Phale where you will have your lunch. This village has a monastery, two hotels, electricity, and a yak pasture. It starts getting cooler and at the same time, the vegetation changes and you get to see more rhododendrons and azaleas. In this village, you may catch a sight of the womenfolk weaving carpets at their homes or involved in handicrafts. Rambling on for about one and a half hour, you will arrive at Ghunsa village, a picturesque Tibetan hamlet with wooden houses encompassed by colorful prayer flags. On the way between Phale and Ghunsa, you will come across a memorial of the tragic helicopter crash in 2002 where 22 people died. Overnight in Ghunsa.

  • 9
    Acclimatization in Ghunsa

    Duration: 4 - 5 hr

    Altitude: 4000 M

    This day is spared on purpose for getting acclimatized to the higher elevations in the following days of trekking. It is an important day for getting used to a higher altitude as you will need to let your body adapt to the higher elevations so as to avoid altitude sickness. For the said purpose, you can opt by hiking up to the glacier at Chherpuk Kharka of Selele La Pass or you may even walk up to a viewpoint above the monastery along the trail to Lobsang La Pass, from where you can get amazing views of Phale, Ghunsa, Selele La, Ghunsa peak, and several other unnamed peaks from the top. Spending some time at the Pass, you will retrace your steps back to Ghunsa and get some rest for the next day’s trip. Overnight in Ghunsa.

  • 10
    Ghunsa to Khambachen

    Duration: 5 - 6 hr

    Altitude: 4055 M

    After a scrumptious breakfast today, you will leave Ghunsa and stride forward to your next destination. The path slowly rises through meadows with wildflowers and beautiful forests of pine and rhododendron on the eastern bank of Ghunsa River. Walking further ahead, you will reach a grassy area, Rampuk Kharka where you will find a single teahouse to stop for a while. Continuing past the waterfall and crossing a bridge, the trail goes up and then flattens out, but you need to cross an active landslide area with utter attention. If the landslide area seems to be worsening, then you will need to take an alternate route from another side of the river which will take about half an hour extra. Once you cross the landslide area, Mt. Jannu (Kumbhakarna) will be visible to you in its full glory. Soon the trail curves around the hillside and you will descend to Khambachen, a peaceful Tibetan settlement rested in a grassy plain area surrounded by majestic mountain backdrops. Overnight in Khambachen.

  • 11
    Khambachen to Lonak

    Duration: 4 - 5 hr

    Altitude: 4810 M

    Today’s hike begins after breakfast on a path where azaleas and rhododendron flowers greet you. It is quite a challenging day today as you will be walking through large rocky boulders and tricky trails on a hillside before you cross a waterfall and arrive at a seasonal yak herder’s camp at Ramtang. On the way, you will get to catch a sight of the Kangbachen Himal and Yalung Kang. After crossing a bridge you will reach Ramtang monastery and then cross a landslide area, where you must be highly alert about the falling rocks. You will now drop down to the river and walk further as you finally reach Lonak. Overnight in Lonak.

  • 12
    Lonak to Pangpema/North Base Camp; back to Lonak

    Duration: 6 - 7 hr

    Altitude: 5300 M

    You will start today after an early breakfast with packed lunch and sufficient drinking water as the walk is quite long and challenging along the Kanchenjunga Glacier. Walking through rocky and uphill trails, you need to take extra care as there may be possibilities of landslides. You will walk past several massive glaciers and alluring views of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pathivara, Mt. Yalung Kang, Nepal Peak, Twin Peak, Tent Peak, and several other peaks. Three hours of walking with views of several animals such as blue sheep, and many bird species, you will be in Jorkin at 5021 meters. Then, moving further ahead through the mountainous rocky trail, you will reach Pangpema, the North Base Camp of Kanchenjunga. If you trek a bit higher, you will be able to see splendid views of Kanchenjunga, Chang Himal, Jannu Himal, Nepal Peak, and various other Tibet Himalayan ranges. At Pangpema, you will find a small stone hut, which is a tea shop and it is open during high season for trekkers. After spending some time at the Base Camp, you will descend back to Lonak to spend the night. Overnight in Lonak.

  • 13
    Lonak to Ghunsa

    Duration: 6 - 7 hr

    Altitude: 3430 M

    You will retrace your footsteps back all the way through Khambachen down to Ghunsa following the Ghunsa River. Enjoying the panoramic views of the mountain peaks, you will cross the monastery and the herder’s camp at Ramtang. Rambling downwards the valley on the same track that you walked while ascending, you will finally reach the Tibetan influenced village of Ghunsa to spend the night. Overnight in Ghunsa.

  • 14
    Ghunsa to Sele La

    Duration: 4 - 5 hr

    Altitude: 4480 M

    Many trekkers today cross Sele La and make way to Cheram, but it is quite a long day walk at high altitude, so you will use this day to walk up to Sele La High Camp. You will leave Ghunsa after breakfast ascending through rhododendron, birch, juniper, moss and pine forests. On the way, you will be rewarded with magnificent views of Mt. Makalu, Mt. Baruntse and several other peaks. Continuing the trek, you will have your lunch at a suitable spot. After lunch, you will trek further following a steep rocky trail through the forest and then along a ridge with a short, steep section to arrive at Sele La Pass at 4290 meters. It is about half an hour walk from the Pass to the high camp. Overnight in Sele La.

  • 15
    Selele La to Cheram via 3 passes, Sinion La, Mirgin La & Sinelapche La

    Duration: 7 - 8 hr

    Altitude: 4900 M

    Today is a long and a challenging day that you will cross three passes on the trail before you reach Cheram. Leaving Sele La after breakfast, you will trek uphill along with marvelous southern views of Mt. Jannu and Mt. Makalu. After ascending up to the first pass Sinion La, it is a short distance contouring the hillside and a short steep climb to reach the Mirgin La Pass. The trail then drops down shortly before curving round followed by a final short steep rise up to the top of Sinelapche La Pass (also known as Sinelapche Bhanjyang). The top of the three passes offers mind-blowing views of the Himalayan peaks. Crossing the passes, it is a steep drop downhill on a trail past a small lake and you will reach an area with yak kharka and roof houses. This small settlement located above the Simbua River is the beautiful Cheram village. Overnight in Cheram.

  • 16
    Cheram to Ramche

    Duration: 3 - 4 hr

    Altitude: 4580 M

    It is relatively a shorter hike today, so you will depart after a relaxed breakfast, beginning with a gradual ascend uphill for about one and half hour till you reach Yalung Glacier, also known as Kanchenjunga South Glacier. The trail also passes through Simbua River and Lapsang village walking all the way through grassy meadows for the second half of the journey till you arrive at Ramche village. Here at this village, you will find a lake and a meadow along with two stone-houses and occasional views of blue sheep and yaks grazing on the grassy slopes above. Past clear streams and a frozen lake, the glimpses of Mt. Kokthan, Mt. Rathong, and Mt. Kabru is bound to increase your level of excitement during the trek today. Overnight in Ramche.

  • 17
    Ramche to Yalung Base Camp/South Base Camp; back to Cheram

    Duration: 5 - 6 hr

    Altitude: 4700 M

    After breakfast in the morning, you will begin the hike up towards a ridgeline which offers incredible views of Kanchenjunga South Face. Ascending further up the valley to Oktang viewpoint following a stream, you will climb up the moraine and catch a sight of the tantalizing Mt. Jannu Himal, Mt. Yalung, and Mt. Khambachen. From here, you will climb further high towards Oktang Monastery and up till arriving at the Yalung Base Camp, also known as the South Base Camp. From the base camp, you can have close up views of the impressive Jannu (Kumbhakarna), Nyukla Lachung and several other Himalayan peaks. After savoring some beautiful moments at the base camp, you will retrace your footsteps descending to Ramche and further below to Cheram on the same route that you walked earlier. Overnight in Cheram.

  • 18
    Cheram to Tortong

    Duration: 3 - 4 hr

    Altitude: 3000 M

    The day’s hike begins with a gradual descent along the shaded rhododendron and juniper forests while enjoying the awesome views of Jannu Himal. Since the trail is partially rocky and at some parts consist of loose soil, you need to walk precariously. You will pass several Mani walls and colorful prayer flags hung in the trees, fluttering in the wind. Following the Simbua River past the forested areas, you will arrive at Tortong to call it a day. Overnight in Tortong.

  • 19
    Tortong to Yamphudin

    Duration: 7 - 8 hr

    Altitude: 2080 M

    The day’s hike is yet another long day of walking which begins with a steep climb of 1000 meters through the mossy wooded area and crossing the landslide zone. Arriving at a pass in Lamite Bhanjyang, you will make a stopover for lunch before heading towards Yamphudin. Continuing after lunch, the trail drops down with a steep descent to a fairly good path. Rambling down for about a couple of hours to cross the Imja River, the trail curves around the hillside before making a final drop down to Yamphudin village. This village has a mixed inhabitation of the ethnic communities such as the Sherpas, Rais, Limbus, and Gurungs. The village also has an office of the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. Overnight in Yamphudin.

  • 20
    Yamphudin to Khebang

    Duration: 5 - 6 hr

    Altitude: 1910 M

    Leaving Yamphudin after breakfast, you will begin descending through forests, cardamom fields and the banks of the Kabeli River. En route, you will make a stop for lunch. Walking downhill you need to cross a bridge failing which you will be on the trail heading towards Taplejung via Mamangkhe. Crossing ridges, meandering paths, and slopes of hills through ethnic villages and undulating trail, you will arrive at Khebang village after about 5 to 6 hours of trekking. Overnight in Khebang.

  • 21
    Khebang to Khandime

    Duration: 5 - 6 hr

    Today is the last day of your trekking, so after breakfast, it is time to make way to Khandime on a relatively easier path after the rigorous uphill and downhill walk in the previous days. Today’s walk is mostly on flat terrain, and you will find marks and red arrows on stones pointing on the route direction. Overnight in Khandime.

  • 22
    Drive from Khandime to Birtamod

    Duration: 10 - 12 hr

    Today, you will be driving back on a long journey all the way from Khandime to Birtamod. The road passes through tea estates, dirt roads, and thrilling meanders. You will have breakfast somewhere on the highway after a couple of hours or so. In the same way, your bus will stop for lunch at a highway restaurant. After several hours of drive, you will finally arrive at Birtamod, a rich township of eastern Nepal. Overnight in Birtamod.

  • 23
    Fly back to Kathmandu

    Duration: 45 Min

    Altitude: 1340 M

    After breakfast at your Birtamod hotel, you will be transferred to Bhadrapur airport which is 30 minutes drive from your hotel. On arrival in Kathmandu, you will be immediately transferred to your pre-determined hotel room. After relaxing for a while, you may wander in the streets of Thamel for some souvenir shopping that you may want to take home with you. Rest of the evening you may relax in some cozy bar or pub, watch and enjoy live music show or grab your favorite cocktail. Overnight in Kathmandu.

  • 24
    International departure

    Duration: 30 Min

    Altitude: 1340 M

    You will be dropped off at the airport well ahead of your scheduled flight time by one of our representatives. If you have an evening flight, you may wish to visit certain heritage sites of Kathmandu on your own. However, if you wish to extend your holidays in Nepal, then Royal Holidays are ever ready to create another wonderful trip in the Himalayas.

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Itinenary Note

This is a standard itinerary designed with a view to allow sufficient acclimatization period for trekkers. However, if you are not satisfied with this itinerary or wish to modify it according to your needs, we will happily do it for you. You are free to choose your own hotels, guides or porters if you wish to. We are always there to customize or tailor-make your trips as per your plans and convenience.

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Inclusion & Exclusion

What's Included

  • Airport to hotel / Hotel to airport pick up & drop off service on a private air-conditioned tourist vehicle.
  • Accommodation for two nights in 3-starred hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast (standard twin-sharing based room)
  • Accommodation during the trek in teahouse/lodge/guesthouse run by local people, mostly in twin-shared rooms or occasionally in dormitory rooms.
  • All standard meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) during the entire trek.
  • All ground transportation on a private comfortable air-conditioned vehicle.
  • A highly professional, English-speaking and government-licensed trekking guide.
  • Local staff including required number of porters to carry luggage during the trek.
  • All staff cost including their salary, insurance, equipment, accommodation, food, drinks, transportation, domestic airfare, and medicine.
  • All required documentations including trekking permits, national park permits and TIMS card.
  • All government taxes including VAT, tourist service charges etc.

What's not Included

  • Nepal entry visa fee (available upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu)
  • Excess luggage charges during domestic flights
  • International airfare
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu due to early arrival, late departure or any other reason causing to return from the trek earlier than the scheduled time.
  • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu
  • Travel insurance that covers emergency high-altitude rescue and evacuation
  • Personal expenses including phone calls, laundry bills, alcoholic hot and cold drinks, battery recharge, personal trekking equipment, extra porter, bottled or boiled water, hot shower (during trekking) etc
  • Tips for guide/porter/driver etc.

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Latest Traveller's Reviews

Hear from our past clients about their experience with us.
100 %
based on 1 review(s)

Great Wilderness on Kanchenjunga route

Traveler: Johannes | Country: DE

Following several reviews about Royal, we booked our Kanchenjunga circuit trekking with this company and they proved to be extremely professional in their services. Our guide and porter were very knowledgeable about the locality and genuinely cared about our safety at all times. They entertained us throughout the wilderness of the less-crowded trail by singing, cutting jokes and playing silly games. I got sick on one occasion after a day’s...

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