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.
Duration: 30 minutes Drive
Elevation: 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.
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.
Duration: 5 to 6 hr
Elevation: 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.
Duration: 7 - 8 hr
Elevation: 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.
Duration: 4 - 5 hr
Elevation: 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.
Duration: 4 - 5 hr
Elevation: 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.
Duration: 5 - 6 hr
Elevation: 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.
Duration: 4 - 5 hr
Elevation: 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.
Duration: 4 - 5 hr
Elevation: 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.
Duration: 5 - 6 hr
Elevation: 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.
Duration: 4 - 5 hr
Elevation: 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.
Duration: 6 - 7 hr
Elevation: 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.
Duration: 6 - 7 hr
Elevation: 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.
Duration: 4 - 5 hr
Elevation: 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.
Duration: 7 - 8 hr
Elevation: 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.
Duration: 3 - 4 hr
Elevation: 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.
Duration: 5 - 6 hr
Elevation: 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.
Duration: 3 - 4 hr
Elevation: 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.
Duration: 7 - 8 hr
Elevation: 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.
Duration: 5 - 6 hr
Elevation: 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.
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.
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.
Duration: 45 Min
Elevation: 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.
Duration: 30 Min
Elevation: 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.
However alike the terms hiking, trekking, and climbing may sound, there are numerous aspects to distinguish among the three. Hiking is an activity that involves half-day to one-day easy walk where technical equipment is not required at all. Trekking is a multi-day activity where trekkers walk for several hours on a particular day to make a stop at some teahouses or basic lodges. Comparatively, it is a bit more demanding than hiking and it may require gears and equipment at certain stretches of the trail, though it is very rarely used. Trekking is something in between hiking and climbing with regards to difficulty and time duration. Mountain climbing is something different and the most challenging of them all. It requires special equipment and gears and involves more risk when making ascends to the high mountain trails or trek through the rugged off-the-beaten-path. Climbing requires a high level of physical fitness, previous experience and advanced knowledge about the equipment.
For every trekker, the best possible answer as to why they should trek in Nepal is based on the fact that, out of the 14 mountains in the world that are above 8000 meters, Nepal has 8 of them in addition to 1310 peaks that are over 6000 meters. The government of Nepal has permitted outsiders to trek or climb more than 300 peaks including the world’s tallest Mt. Everest. Besides, trekking in Nepal is cheap with abundant affordable lodges and teahouses dotted all over the trails in the major areas of trekking. It is comparatively much pricier to go for trekking in other countries popular for trekking such as Japan, Peru or New Zealand. Trekking in Nepal is safe and offers an undeniable opportunity to immerse in deep cultural and religious insights. Over and above, Nepal is the land of the Himalayas – the supreme land with endless options.
No matter where you are trekking, the difficulty level depends on how healthy you are, and whether a trekker is capable to walk for a few hours on a regular basis for several days. It should not be too difficult to trek in Nepal if your fitness level has been maintained and you are doing regular exercises. Trekking in Nepal may seem challenging but definitely not grueling as the trekking itinerary in Nepal have all been crafted in such a way that trekkers need to walk a comfortable distance each day without any exertions. All that one requires is a mental stability, good health and a strong determination to finish the race.
Walking hours while trekking in Nepal depends on the trek, easy, moderate or strenuous. Some trekkers customize their trip and walk a few hours more each day to shorten the number of days. However, in general, easy treks involve 4 to 6 hours of daily walk on a good weather, well-maintained path that is easily reachable to local facilities. A moderate trek will require a walking of 6 to 7 hours daily on the steep hilly landscapes and usually jagged trails and strenuous treks may require 7 to 8 hours of walking each day on high altitudes with challenging ascends and descends. Generally speaking, on reaching higher altitudes, usually higher than 3000 meters, it is unsafe to climb more than 500 meters in one day due to the possibility of altitude sickness. So, the higher you walk, the shorter will be the walking duration as the walk will be at a slower pace.
The conditions of weather in the mountains are always unpredictable, and it is cold even during the summer season. The degree of coldness varies with the altitude and seasons of trekking. Although daytime becomes warmer during the summer season, nights and mornings are always cold. The average maximum and minimum temperatures of Kathmandu (1350 m) during summer are 29˚C and 18˚C respectively, while during winter the temperatures are 17˚C and 2˚C. While the average maximum and minimum temperatures in the mountains above 5000 meters in summer are 15˚C and 2˚C respectively, and winter temperatures are 6˚C and -18˚C. All the treks in Nepal do not necessarily require reaching at very high elevations although quite a lot of them do. However, it is always better to feel safe rather than sorry, so trekkers are expected to carry sufficient warm clothing regardless of the season they are trekking.
Although hiring a guide is not compulsory while trekking in Nepal, we would never advocate our guests to go on their own. Although trekkers may save some money while trekking on their own, hiring a guide and a porter makes it much easier and exhilarating. We do not encourage novice trekkers especially first-timers in Nepal to travel alone. Going on your own, you are accountable for managing your own logistics, higher risks of getting lost in the trails and no one taking care of you in case of emergencies. Most of all, the beauty of the trek does not remain the same as there is no one to explain about the places, local people and their culture, history and traditional beliefs of significant landmarks en route.
Yes and No. Yes, you will carry your things if you trek on your own. But if you book your trekking holiday with a reliable trekking agency, you don’t have to worry about anything else; you will be accompanied by a knowledgeable guide and a hard-working porter and make your walk a hassle-free event.
In general, trekking in Nepal is much cheaper comparing to other countries popular for trekking. However, there are several factors which make trekking cheaper or costlier. For instance, using domestic flights and luxury accommodation during the trip obviously will take the cost to a higher side. On the other hand, budget travel and basic accommodation will lower the trip cost. Also, the cost of trekking in the most remote areas of Nepal would be on a higher scale as compared to the most frequented destinations where accessibility is very easy nowadays. Customizing your trip and deciding how many hours to walk per day, where to stay and what to eat could possibly lower the trip cost by a certain bit.
Accommodation during your trek in Nepal depends on your predilection. In general, trekkers will be accommodated in preferred lodges, home-stays, teahouses or even luxury lodges. In some remote trekking areas, you will be staying in tents as there are no lodges or teahouses yet. Luxury hotels and home-stay options are not available in all the trekking trails and confined to only certain areas. Most of the basic teahouses and lodges are simple, clean and comfortable.
You will be served with authentic Nepalese food along with Tibetan, Indian and some continental dishes although these may not always be available in all the trekking routes. At lower elevations of the popular trekking routes, where logistics is easily accessible, most lodges and teahouses provide with a decent menu which engrosses a variety of dishes including pizza and spaghetti. While at much higher altitudes and in the remote areas, you will not have many options apart from the traditional Dal-Bhaat, Momo, Noodles, and Vegetables. For breakfast, the food includes pancakes, flat-bread, porridge, potatoes, eggs and so on.
The effects of high altitude are quite arbitrary and do not necessarily relate to how robust you are. Surpassing an altitude of 3000 meters, it is an increased probability for being hit by acute mountain sickness. The only trick to avoid or minimize this sickness is not to over-do anything. Acclimatization is another very important aspect of trekking in higher altitude to avoid sickness. Most of the itineraries of trekking in Nepal include one or several acclimatization days, which should not be disregarded at all. One more factor to prevent getting hit by altitude sickness is to climb not more than 600 meters per day.
Different trekking destinations in Nepal require a different number of days to accomplish. The time duration for trekking depends on your choice of the destination; some destinations have different routes too. Short trekking requires as less as 7 to 9 days and goes up to 20 days or more as per the trekkers’ preferred destination or route. For example, the Everest panorama view trek or the Annapurna sunrise view trek is complete in 7 to 9 days while the Annapurna Circuit trek or the Kanchenjunga Circuit takes 21 days to finish. Based on your choice which further depends on your own interest, physical fitness, time constraint, and financial issues, it is up to you to schedule the number of days of your trip to Nepal.
Some of the trekking routes in Nepal suffered extensive damage by the devastating calamity, although most of them remained intact. The most popular trekking destination in Nepal to suffer huge damage was the Langtang Valley Trek, which swept away the entire valley killing a large number of people. An avalanche at Everest Base Camp during the earthquake left several mountaineers dead and damaged many lodges. Few trekking routes in the central region of Nepal were badly affected. In the present day picture, all the trekking routes damaged then, have been reconstructed and fully functional now. Having said that, the government of Nepal is in the process to reinstate and build new infrastructures for the Visit Nepal 2020 scenario.
It is in fact very hard to name just a few of them as the best destinations as each one has its own uniqueness and peculiar characteristic features. So to say, the possibilities are boundless. However, on a global scale, the two most popular treks would definitely be the Everest Base Camp Trek and the Annapurna Circuit Trek. Down the list are some other renowned trails all around Nepal with endless fascinations such as the Manaslu Circuit Trek, Upper Mustang Trek, Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek, Nar Phu Valley Trek, Tsum Valley Trek, Langtang Valley Trek, Makalu Base Camp Trek, and many more.
Nepal is the second richest country in the world for water resources, but the feasibility of drinking is highly questionable. Teahouses and lodges in the major trekking trails provide filtered and boiled water, the major sources being taps, streams, and rivers from the Himalayas. Although it is possible to buy bottled water on the entire trails of the popular trekking routes, we highly discourage using them as plastic bottles are not environmental friendly. On the contrary, we suggest that you carry purifying agents like steriPen UV, chlorine, iodine tablets or other agents for environmental reasons.
If you are on a camping trek, you will be eating meals cooked by our professional cook. For teahouse trekking, you will be eating your dinner and breakfast in the same teahouse where you will be staying for the night and lunch will be served on the way to your next destination. There are several comfortable lodges and guest-houses on the famous trails which provide a moderate variety of choices for you to dine apart from the traditional Nepali Dal-Bhaat. Whereas, at higher altitude teahouses and some routes in the remote areas, you won’t have many options rather than sticking to the traditional Nepali cuisine.
Communication during trekking won’t be a problem as long as the network or mobile coverage is available. One can purchase a local SIM in Kathmandu and stay connected with their loved ones while some significant trekking routes local VHF phones. In the past, it was not possible to communicate, but in the recent years, most of the popular trekking routes have 3G connectivity throughout the entire trail, except a few places where the coverage is poor or not available at all.
We advise you to wear a comfortable shoe that is already broken, if newly purchased so as to avoid blisters while walking. Shoes preferably with Gore-Tex style lining is what we normally recommend for trekkers; they provide ultimate comfort and have thicker soles which makes your walking experience on rocky paths a pleasant one. Those who intend to climb peaks are recommended a crampon, a must-have gear.
Female tourists are prone to be esteemed, whether traveling alone, in pairs or as a couple. Nepalese men are by and large courteous and defensive of solo women travelers. There will be exemptions of course but for the most part, there is no lack of enthusiasm related to traveling on your own as a woman in Nepal. For a solo woman or even man, it is prudent to take a guide with you if it is your first trek. Over and above, Nepal is safe for solo travelers where one can enjoy the companionship of other lone trekkers along the path sharing the same enthusiasm.
The universal risk at high altitudes especially above 3000 meters is that the density of oxygen is very low and might not suffice the human body. Due to the lower oxygen content, the air begins to get thinner thereby making it difficult to breathe. The human body may experience improper functioning mainly because of the oxygen content in air and one is likely to be hit by Acute Mountain Sickness, also known as altitude sickness which begins with a normal headache followed by nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath with physical exertion. It may further enhance leaving muscles to ache, insomnia, vomiting, irritability, loss of appetite, swelling of the hands, feet, and face, and rapid heartbeat. If the sickness is not attended immediately, there would be severe attacks whose symptoms are coughing, chest congestion, pale complexion, and skin discoloration, inability to walk or lack of balance, and social withdrawal. You don’t have to worry as long as you are following proper acclimatization processes during the trek. On top of that, our itineraries have been created in such a way that it allows plenty of time for acclimatization and our guides will assist you throughout the trek to avert such problems at high elevations.
All of our trekking itineraries cover overall charges during the trek including accommodation and all meals except for food charges while in the nearest city before or after your trek. However, there may arise some personal expenses which are not included in the package cost. These may include hot water, battery charging, phone bills, laundry, any extra snacks or purchase of personal gifts. So, it is our recommendation that you carry a small amount of money in low denominations while trekking in Nepal.
Accommodation during the trek firstly depends on your trekking destination because all the trekking routes in Nepal are different in their own way. In the most popular trekking trails, your accommodation will be arranged in comfortable and standard teahouses or lodges on a twin-sharing basis. Before and after your trek, you will be accommodated in a standard deluxe hotel with breakfast in Kathmandu or Pokhara. There are certain places on the trekking route that have luxury lodges, so if you wish to relax in style, we can arrange luxury accommodation at an additional cost. Some of the trekking routes, however, do not have facilities of accommodation, especially in the far-flung remote areas – in such cases, you will be camping otherwise sleeping in home-stays.
The official statement from IPPG (International Porter Protection Group) allows a porter to carry a maximum of 30 kg. However, while trekking in Nepal, some porters oblige to exceed the maximum limit to earn some extra bucks. Also, it depends on the trekking routes – if you are on a camping trek, then the camping porter will carry up to 40 kg. You are responsible to carry your own daypacks, but in certain instances, a porter may oblige to carry it for you with or without an extra charge – it all depends on how you have been treating them.
It is always good to maintain your physical fitness whether you are trekking or not. In Nepal, there are several categories of trekking ranging from the easy trek, moderate treks, and strenuous treks. However hard the trekking maybe, it is expected that you have been doing regular exercises prior to trekking in Nepal. The minimum requirement is that you should be physically fit and in a sound health, have the zeal for exploring the wild and a strong determination to accomplish the feat. It is an added advantage for those who have had a previous hiking experience. It is also important that the trekker is free from any chronic issues with their health; it is better to discuss with your physician whether you are fit to do a trek in Nepal or not.
It is a matter of concern if you don’t have any walking experience and you wish to embark upon a moderate or a strenuous trekking in Nepal. However, a walking experience is not really necessary if you wish to do some easy treks in Nepal. Even if you have never hiked before, it is recommended that you take up regular exercises on a daily basis for a couple of months prior to your actual hike in Nepal once your trekking dates are fixed. To complete a wonderful trek in the Himalayan regions of Nepal, we suggest you do cardiovascular exercises that will certainly help you get adapted to high elevations in the mountains without any problems of mountain sickness.
Trekking below 4000 meters in Nepal won’t require much from you besides the warm clothing and good pair of shoes, but if you intend to go beyond, we recommend you to carry the following items apart from your valid passport with photocopies, several passport size photos, airline tickets, insurance documents, and cash for personal expenses and tipping:
-Water bottle & sunglasses
-Flashlight, toothbrush, paste, and multipurpose soap
-Medical first-aid kit & duffel bag
-Sun lotion & anti-altitude sickness pills – Diamox or Acetazolamide
-Sleeping bag & quick-drying towel
-Water purification tablets
-Hiking pants and shirts
-T-shirts & warm socks
-Poncho, gloves, woolen hats and gaiters
-Deodorants, small mirror, and moisturizer creams
-Wet wipes and toilet rolls
-Hand wash and sanitizers
-Voltage converter & plug adapter
Our foremost advice to our guests would be to take up some exercises prior to your trekking in Nepal so as to minimize the risks of altitude sickness during the trek. However, if it happens that you are hit by the acute sickness or face some other accidents, our knowledgeable guide will inspect the intensity of your condition before taking action. If deemed critical, you will be carried back to a lower elevation immediately and assisted with first aid treatment. One person will always be there with you to attend to your needs. But if your condition seems to worsen, you will be immediately evacuated on a rescue helicopter to either Kathmandu or Pokhara depending on the trekking destination.
Using services of a reputed trekking agency has various merits, but as a direct answer to this rational question, the answer would be No. It is not mandatory to use a trekking agency for your trekking holiday, but we recommend you to do so if you want to enjoy a hassle-free trip. Going on your own, you will be carrying a lot of burden and trekking wouldn’t be as charming as it ought to be. You will need to face the troublesome permit preparations, special trekking permits or peak and mountain-climbing permits, and filming and shooting permits. Using a trekking agency, you will get to enjoy every bit of the trip – they will manage everything for you including a knowledgeable guide who will narrate you the history and the legendary myths behind significant landmarks that you come across the trails.
As such, there are no official dress codes for trekking in Nepal – you are advised to wear that you are comfortable in. However, your dressing code can have certain impacts on the people of Nepal as they are highly concerned about western civilization. Skimpily dressed or revealing attires are a major look-upon in Nepal. We recommend you to wear something decent that covers your body as much as possible, and something thick to fight against the odds of the Himalayan temperatures.
As the old adage goes, ‘Prevention is better than cure’, it is best to avoid those things that could deteriorate your health during the trek. Avoiding alcohol and tobacco products is a wise decision to make. We suggest you not to eat meat products as far as possible in higher elevations as they may not be very fresh. Try to acclimatize as much as possible as acute mountain sickness is imminent while trekking above 4000 meters. In the similar context, we highly advise you to drink plenty of water or fluids and not to forget boiling your water before drinking or at least adding a purifying agent to it, for those who prefer their water cold.
Normally, teahouses are local lodges in which trekkers will eat their dinner and sleep in the nights during the trek. A teahouse can refer to large comfortable, well-built lodges with common areas or a small bamboo hut in the middle of nowhere that will provide a place to sleep and food to eat. So teahouse trekking means that you will be sleeping in these types of accommodations. It is the most popular style of trekking in Nepal and involves hopping from one teahouse to another each day. Normally teahouses at all places will provide trekkers with the facility of 24-hour running water, a decent bed to sleep, hot-water bathing and common areas to dine and chit-chat. Although basic, teahouses in popular trekking routes provide most of the quintessential amenities possible at such far-flung places. Teahouses along less popular trekking routes are usually more elementary and one is expected to sleep in common rooms around a comfortably warm stove.
All the guides that we use for your service are government licensed and have a good number of years’ experience in the mountains. Being locals of the mountainous regions, they have better knowledge of their areas than anyone else. Most of them have worked for more than a decade accompanying trekkers in the mountainous segments of Nepal. They are proficient in English and we make sure to motivate them at regular intervals to remind them of their responsibilities. They are friendly in nature and possess a great deal of knowledge of the trekking route and the landmarks that lie in the villages. They have been trained in various organizations including TAAN (Trekking Agents Association of Nepal) and KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental Education Project). Additionally, they possess first-hand knowledge about first aid and medical rescue, personal protection equipment, and they are constantly advised to follow the principles of ecotourism, responsible and sustainable tourism and nature conservation.