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Lower Dolpo Trek

Duration 18 days
Max-Altitude 5,360m/17,580ft
Transportation Flight/Drive
Grade Difficult
Accommodation 3 * category hotel in kathmandu and Camping/Tent During Trek
Meals Breakfast in Kathmandu and All meals during the trek
Best Season Autumn (Sep-Oct-Nov) and Spring (March-April-May)
Location Dolpo Region
Group Size 2+

Dolpo is the land of Bon-Po faith, an old indigenous religion of western Tibet. The faith was later adapted by Buddhist teachings and religious practices. Still, there are some differences between the Bon-Po and Buddhist practices. The counter-clockwise way of circumambulation by the Bon Pos is in contrast to the clockwise pattern on the Buddhists. Similarly, they spin their prayer-wheels to the left and circumambulate chortens and shrines with their left side towards the object of their respect. Dolpo has its very unique way of lifestyle, language, festivals, and dresses and of course the landscapes which is very much similar to the scenery of western Tibet. If you are trekking in May /June, the Caravan in the hunt for Yarcha Gumba makes you think about how important or costly Yarcha Gumba is. Hundreds of thousands of people from the Dolpo and even from lowlands will be in such elevation, camping for months in their search for Yarcha Gumba (it is half plant and half insect) half of its body is in within the ground and the remaining half is above the ground as a plant.

Dolpo does have its very unique way of lifestyle, language, festivals, and dresses and of course the landscapes which is very much similar to the scenery of western Tibet. If you are trekking in May /June, the Caravan in the hunt for Yarcha Gumba makes you think about how important or costly Yarcha Gumba is. Hundreds of thousands of people from the Dolpo and even from lowlands will be in such elevation, camping for months in their search for Yarcha Gumba (it is half plant and half insect) half of its body is in within the ground and the remaining half is above the ground as a plant. Wilderness, off the beaten trail, Passes Namu La Baga La. Tibetan culture.

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1300m/4264ft)

Day 02: Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing and Trek Preparation

Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj: 1 hour

Day 04: Fly from Nepalgunj to Jhupal (Dolpo) (2,320m/7,610ft) and trek to Dunai (2,850m/9,348ft)

Day 05: Dunai to Tarakot (2,543m/8,341ft)5-6hrs

Day 06: Tarakot to Laini (3,160 m/10,365 ft)6-7 hrs

Day 07: Laini to Nawarpani (3,545m/11,627 ft)5-6 hrs

Day 08: Nawarpani to Do Tarap (4,090m/13,415ft)7-8 hrs

Day 09: Rest Day at Do Tarap for acclimatization

Day 10: Trek to Numa La Base Camp (4440m/14,563 ft): 6-7 hrs

Day 11: Cross Numa La pass (5,360m/17,023ft), camp at Pelung Tang (4465m/14,645 ft): 6-7 hours

Day 12: Cross Baga La pass (5,070m/16,630ft), trek to Dajok Tang (4,080m/13,382ft)6 hrs

Day 13: Dajok Tang to Ringmo (3,600m/11,808ft)3-4 hrs

Day 14: Hike to Phoksundo Lake

Day 15: Phoksundo Lake to Shyanta (2520m/8265 ft)5-6 hrs

Day 16: Shyanta to Jhupal

Day 17: Fly to Nepalgunj, fly to Kathmandu

Day 18: Final Departure.

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1300m/4264ft)
One of the representative from Himalayan Sanctuary will pick us up from the international Airport and take us to respective hotel.  

Day 02: Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
Today after breakfast we start a our day tour to the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites such as Patan Darbar Square , the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous ‘Monkey Temple’ (Swayambhunath) and Buddhist shrine (Bouddhanath), which is one of the largest stupas in the world. In the noon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. Himalayan Sanctuary Adventure will brief us regarding our trek as well as provide us with an opportunity to ask any questions regarding our upcoming adventure. Overnight in Kathmandu. 

Included meals: Breakfast

Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj: 1 hour

After our short excursion in Kathmandu, we take an hour-long flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, located in Western Nepal. Nepalgunj, a town near the Nepal-India border, is also the gateway to Simikot, Humla. The town itself is an interesting Terai town that showcases the diverse culture of Nepal. In Nepalgunj, we visit the local market, mini-zoo and nearby villages. Overnight in Nepalgunj.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 04: Fly from Nepalgunj to Jhupal (Dolpo) (2,320m/7,610ft) and trek to Dunai (2,850m/9,348ft): 45 mins flight, 2-3 hours trek
We fly to Jhupal after breakfast. The town is beautifully located over the Himalayan foothills, with views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to its north. Here, we meet our trekking staff and begin the adventure. We walk through terraced fields to the Bheri River and its narrow gorge. We continue walking to Dunai which is the administrative headquarter of the Dolpo region. We explore the small town in the evening and camp there for the night.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 05: Dunai to Tarakot (2,543m/8,341ft): 5-6 hours
After breakfast our trek continues along the southern bank of the Bheri River heading upstream on an easy trail. Along the way, we pass through several deep gorges, hanging bridges and isolated villages. Our trail also includes a tremendous gorge with pine trees and a path built about seven meters above the river. After walking for a while, we will be greeted by the colorful, terraced field of Tarakot, a small village that stands on a hillock to the south of the Bheri River. Overnight in Tarakot.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner  

Day 06: Tarakot to Laini (3,160 m/10,365 ft): 6-7 hours
We walk alongside Tarap Chu river and cross it twice before reaching Sandul Gompa. The gompa lies at a juncture between Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu river. We continue walking on a trail that takes us through farm terraces and rural villages. After ascending and descending for a while, we finally reach Laini. Overnight in Laini.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 07: Laini to Nawarpani (3,545m/11,627 ft): 5-6 hours We climb on a steep trail and walk along switchback above the Tarap River. The walk is quite exciting as the valley becomes a narrow gorge that in some places you can jump from one side to another. Several vigorous climbs and descents will take us to the banks of the Chyugur Khola, from where we reach Nawarpani. Overnight in Nawarpani.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 08: Nawarpani to Do Tarap (4,090m/13,415ft): 7-8 hours

We begin today’s trek by gradually ascending to Kamattarka at the confluence of the Tarap Chu and Lang Khola. We cross a narrow gorge and leave the tree line behind us and welcome wild rose and juniper bushes, typical of the dry inner Himalayan valleys. After walking for several more hours, we reach the village of Dho Tarap which is surrounded by an irregular stone wall. In this Valley both Bon Po and Chaiba religious sects reside together. Tarap is also inhabited by a few Tibetans and mostly Magars who have lived here for many generations. Overnight in Do Tarap.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 09: Rest Day at Do Tarap for Acclimatization
The day off will assist with acclimatization and allow some bodily rest. We can spend the day visiting nearby monasteries. During today’s short walks, we also get a chance to get acquainted with the local culture. The Dolpo people wear homespun clothing that is sometimes dyed a maroon color and they favor Tibetan style somba or dhocha (boots with upturned toes) for foot wear. Both men and women often wear religious amulets and strings of coral, amber and turquoise. The people of the region are both Bon Po and Nyingmapa (Buddhist sects). Overnight in Do Tarap.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner  

Day 10: Trek to Numa La Base Camp (4440m/14,563 ft): 6-7 hours 
We trek towards the upper Tarap valley enjoying views of lush grasslands on both sides of the river which is unique to this part of the inner Dolpo. We walk alongside Tarap Chu river and take pleasure in the amazing views of the vast Tarap valley with its wide plains and high mountains. A few hours’ good walk takes us to the village of Tokyu which houses a Buddhist monastery of the Chiba sect. After exploring the monastery, we continue walking up the valley on a rough trail before reaching the Numa La Base Camp. Overnight in Numa La Base Camp.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 11: Cross Numa La pass (5,360m/17,023ft), camp at Pelung Tang (4465m/14,645 ft): 6-7 hours
Today is going to be the toughest and one of the longest days of our trek. After breakfast, we begin crossing the Numa La pass on a steep trail all the way up the top ridge of the pass. From the ridge we get incredible views of the barren mountains of Dolpo up to Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m). After getting to the top of Numa La, we descend to camp at Pelung Tang.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 12: Cross Baga La pass (5,070m/16,630ft), trek to Dajok Tang (4,080m/13,382ft): 6 hours After breakfast we begin our steep climb up to the top of Baga La pass. From here, we get fantastic views of the dry landscape and the distant snow-capped mountains including Mt. Kanjirowa. We spend some time at the top of the pass taking pictures and generally enjoying the mesmerizing views. Next, we descend to Dajok Tang for an overnight stay.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 13: Dajok Tang to Ringmo (3,600m/11,808ft): 3-4 hours

We spend most of today’s trek on trails alongside beautiful pine forests and alpine vegetation. After trekking for a short while on an easy trail with only gradual highs and lows, we reach Ringmo Village. The village is a traditional Tibetan village of the Dolpo region. Overnight in Ringmo.
Included meals: Breakfast and Lunch and Dinner

Day 14: Hike to Phoksundo Lake
Today we explore the great Phoksundo Lake and camp at its shores. We see yak caravans moving in and out of Ringmo mostly towards Tibetan borders on remote mountain trails. The scene is even depicted in a Hollywood movie ‘Caravan’ shot mostly in this location. On our way to the lake, we also tour a nearby monastery. Upon reaching the Phoksundo Lake, we can enjoy a relaxing walk on the serene lake’s shores. Overnight at Phoksundo.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 15: Phoksundo Lake to Shyanta (2520m/8265 ft): 5-6 hours walk

We trek downhill to Chepka. From Chepka the trail follows a massive overhanging rock. During our trek, we find many important medicinal minerals which are believed to cure almost anything in this area. The route then passes through villages, before climbing to Shyanta. Overnight in Shyanta.
Included meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 16: Shyanta to Jhupal

We march towards Jhupal via Sulighat on a trail surrounded by birch trees. From atop a ridge, we get the most spectacular views of the mountain above us and Jhupal Village below. Utmost caution is required while trekking along this trail. After reaching Jhupal, we can spend our afternoon exploring the busy market town or simply taking a rest. Overnight in Jhupal.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner  

Day 17: Fly to Nepalgunj, fly to Kathmandu
We take the earliest flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj. Upon reaching Nepalgunj, we return to Kathmandu on the next available flight. Upon our arrival in Kathmandu, we will be transferred to our hotel. There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 18: Final departure

Driver take us to the International Airport approximately 3 hours earlier the scheduled flight.
Included meals: Breakfast

Important Note :  Please note that Trekking Guide has an authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep as above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.

Cost Included

  • Airport pick up and drop by private car / van or bus (Depends of group size)
  • All domestic airfare (Kathmandu – Nepalgunj – Juphal- Nepalgunj – Kathmandu) including airport tax
  • All the necessary paper work such as national park entry fees, special trekking permit and TIMS card fees.
  • High quality north face or mountain hardware or same category camping equipments (Sleeping tent/ Dining tent / Kitchen tent / Toilet tent / mattress and Kitchen untensils )
  • All the trekking crews will be insured as Nepal government regulation.
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner during the trekking period with hot tea and coffee.
  • All the trekking crews (guide, sherpa, porter, helper, cook) salary / accommodation / food.
  • First aid medical kit bag.
  • 3 star category hotel in Kathmandu including Breakfast and Guest house in Nepalgunj.
  • Supported staffs and camping stuffs will transfer by bus from / to Nepalgunj and by plane from / to Nepalgunj to Juphal.
  • Kathmandu sightseeing in UNESCO world heritage sites.
  • All the government taxes and company service charge

Cost Excluded

  • Nepal visa which obtained at the airport on arrival {bring 4 copies passport size picture too}
  • International airfare – from and to Kathmandu.
  • Alcoholic beverages, bottle mineral water, soft drinks and snack foods
  • Any personal medical or evacuation expenses incur and strongly recommend international Travel
  • insurance which included rescue
  • Extra porter for the personal day bag pack
  • Riding horse along the trek
  • Extra cost on natural disaster
  • Restaurant food bills, if the client decide to go other restaurant during the trek
  • Extra night hotel Nepalgunj due to bad weather and earlier back to Kathmandu
  • Helicopter charter and all accommodation on flight cancellation due to bad weather
  • Tips to trekking crews.

Equipments & Packing List

This list is a guideline to help you pack for your adventure. Remember that your luggage will be carried by your porter but you are required to carry a day-pack (with your valuables or anything important) on your own. We suggest  you that to pack only what is necessary. Important documents and items

  • Valid passport, 2 extra passport size photos, airline tickets
  • Separate photocopies of passport, visa form (easily obtained at Kathmandu airport), proof of insurance
  • Dollars, pounds or Euros in cash for purchasing Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport, for paying for restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, snacks, and to purchase your own drinks and gifts
  • Credit cards, Bank/ATM/Cash machine cards for withdrawing funds from cash machines (bring a photocopy of your cards), traveler’s checks, etc.

Head

  • Bandana or head scarf, also useful for dusty conditions
  • Warm hat that covers your ears (wool or synthetic)
  • Headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Prescription sunglasses (if required)

Upper Body

  • Polypropylene shirts (1 half sleeve and 2 long sleeves)
  • Light and expedition weight thermal tops
  • Fleece wind-stopper jacket or pullover
  • Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
  • Down vest and/or jacket *
  • Gore-Tex jacket with hood, waterproof and breathable

Hands

  • 1 pair of lightweight poly-liner gloves.
  • 1 pair of lightweight wool or fleece gloves
  • 1 pair of mittens, consists of 1 Gore-Tex over mitt matched with a very warm polar-fleece mitt liner (seasonal)

 Lower Body

  • Non-cotton underwear briefs
  • 1 pair of Hiking shorts
  • 1 pair of Hiking trousers
  • 1 pair of lightweight thermal bottoms (seasonal)
  • 1 pair of fleece or woolen trousers
  • 1 pair of waterproof shell pants, breathable fabric

Feet

  • 2 pairs of thin, lightweight inner socks
  • 2 pairs of heavy poly or wool socks
  • 1 pair of Hiking boots with spare laces (sturdy soles, water resistant, ankle support, “broken in”)
  • 1 pair of trainers or running shoes and/or sandals
  • Cotton socks (optional)
  • Gaiters (winter only), optional, “low” ankle high version

Sleeping

  • 1 sleeping bag (good to -10 degrees C or 14 degrees F)*
  • Fleece sleeping bag liner (optional)

Rucksack and Travel Bags

  • 1 medium rucksack (50-70 liters/3000-4500 cubic inches, can be used for an airplane carryon)
  • 1 large duffel bag *
  • A small daypack/backpack for carrying your valuables, should have good shoulder padding
  • Small padlocks for duffel-kit bags
  • 2 large waterproof rucksack covers (optional)

Medical

  • Small, personal first-aid kit. (simple and light)
  • Aspirin, first-aid tape, and plasters (Band-Aids)
  • 1 skin-blister repair kit
  • Anti-diarrhea pills
  • Anti-headache pills
  • Cough and/or cold medicine
  • Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetylzolamide
  • Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin, etc. Do not bring sleeping pills as they are a respiratory depressant.
  • Water purification tablets or water filter
  • 1 set of earplugs
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses, contact lens supplies

Practical Items

  • 1 small roll of repair tape, 1 sewing-repair kit
  • 1 cigarette lighter, 1 small box of matches
  • 1 compass or GPS(optional)
  • 1 alarm clock/watch
  • 1 digital camera with extra cards and batteries
  • large Ziplocs
  • 2 water bottles (1 liter each)
  • 1 small folding knife
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • 4 large, waterproof, disposable rubbish sacks

Toiletries

  • 1 medium-sized quick drying towel
  • Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
  • Multi-purpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
  • Deodorants
  • Nail clippers
  • Face and body moisturizer
  • Female hygiene products
  • Small mirror

Personal Hygiene

  • Wet wipes (baby wipes)
  • Tissue /toilet roll
  • Anti-bacterial hand wash

Extras/Luxuries

  • Reading book
  • Trail map/guide book
  • Journal and pen
  • iPod
  • Travel game i.e. chess, backgammon, scrabble, playing cards (to help you pass the time at teahouses and/or camps)
  • 1 modest swim suit
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Voltage converter (from 220 to 110)
  • Plug adapter (2 round pegs to 2 flat pegs)
  • Lightweight pillow case (in case your teahouses provide you with pillows) or use your own stuff as a pillow

What sort of accommodation can i expect ?
We provide basic guesthouse in Nepalgunj at twin sharing basis. Along the trekking routes, we provide the best possible camping service complete with comfortable two person tents with good mattresses. A kitchen, dining, shower, toilet tents, chairs with tables are also provided. Refer to the equipment list for items you will need to bring. We usually camp in or near a village, which allows you to buy sweets and drinks, which we do not carry with us.

What sort of food can I expect in trekking ?
During the camping, our expert camping cook can prepare normal and special meals upon request. There is a wider variety of food available, including Western-style food, and you may request to eat at any point of the day. The camping price includes an all-you-can-eat food service.

What is the best season for this trekking ?
Our trekking season extends from mid- September to May. From early September the monsoonal rains decrease. By end of September to December, the weather is usually stable with mild to warm days, cold nights. March, April, May, June, October, November are the best time to do this trek.

What is the weather & temperature like in trekking ?
Generally speaking, the nights are much cooler than the daytime hours in the region. Many first-time trekkers are surprised to learn about the incredible range that may occur in a given day. During the day, the thermometer could reach temps as high as 25 degrees C (77 Degrees F), only to dip down as low as -20 degrees C (-4 Degrees F) in less than 24 hours. While there’s no way to know exactly what each day in the mountains will bring, the weather and temperature ranges tend to be somewhat predictable based on the month and season.

Spring – March / April / May / June
Spring happens to be one of the best times of the year to visit the region, although because of this, it can become somewhat crowded. The beautiful clear blue sky can be seen and the many different species of flower are visible in the lower altitude. During springtime, the average temperature is 20 degrees C (68 Degrees F), with a maximum of 25 degrees C (77 Degrees F), during sunny days and a minimum of -15 degrees C (5 Degrees F), in the morning and at night for areas above 4000 meters.

July / August Through Mid-September is Monsoon Season
There are positive sides of trekking during the monsoon months as the excess rainfall can provide ample chance to see spectacular views of the waterfall and it’s also the best season to avoid the crowds. During springtime, the average temperature is 22 degrees C (71.6 Degrees F), with a maximum of 30 degrees C (86 Degrees F), during sunny days and a minimum of -5 degrees C (23 Degrees F), in the morning and at night for areas above 4000 meters.

Autumn – End of September / October / November
 The average temperature during the fall is 17 degrees C (62.6 Degrees F), with a maximum temp of 20 degrees C (68 Degrees F), during sunny days and a minimum of -15 degrees C (5 Degrees F), in the morning and at night, for areas above 4000 meters altitude.

Winter- December/ January/ February
The average temperature during the winter is 10 degrees C (50 Degrees F), with a maximum temp of 17 degrees C (62.6 Degrees F), during sunny days and a minimum of -20 degrees C (-4 Degrees F), in the morning and at night, for areas above 4000 meters altitude. The above temperature is based on outside of the guesthouse temperature. No need to worry about the cold temperature as we provide the sleeping bag plus the extra blanket to make sure our clients are warm enough during the time of need.

Can I charge my digital camera or other equipments on my trip ?
These facilities will be available only in few towns by paying some service charges. Remember to bring TWO and THREE pin travel adapters! Please bring the spare batteries.

Is there any communication while we are on trekking ?
There are telephones in some villages along the trekking routes from which you can make international calls. All our guides are equipped with the local mobile phone. You may wish to pass the number of our guide to your family for the callback or you can make a call from the guide’s mobile and pay him directly for the international call too

Can I use credit cards in the places I visit in trekking?
In the cities, yes – to some extent. Once you are out of the cities, all you need is cash. Please change the currency in local Nepali Rupees before you go to the mountains.

How much additional money do I need per day?

It depends on your spending habits. Generally, in Kathmandu, you can allocate USD 10 to USD 15 for a lunch and a dinner.
During the trekking all the meals, hot drinks are included, however USD 8 to USD 12 per person a day will be enough to buy chocolates, few drinks during the trekking.

Do I need to tip my guide and porters ?  How much would that be?
This is a difficult thing to gauge. We have seen everything from USD 20 to USD 500 per person for guides and porters. Tipping is not required, but a small gesture of thanks to your guides and local porters. The level of the tip should reflect the level of satisfaction from and personal involvement with your guide. However, we recommend you to spend minimum 10% of your total trip cost for tipping entire local staffs, 

What opportunities will I have for shower along the trek ?
Yes, we provide you shower facilities during your trek. We setup a shower tent and provide you with Buckets of hot water

Can I add extra days to my trekking trip?
Holiday should never be about making it to the final point quickly. Along your trek, we can add days at your request with additional costs to cover guides, porters, accommodation and food.

Do you use yaks/porters on the trek or do we carry all of our own gear ?
We normally use Yaks or Jhopkey (strong animal similar to yak) and porter to carry your luggage, food and camping equipment. All you need to carry is your small day bag for your personal belongings like camera, water bottle, sun cream etc only

Can I obtain the visa for Nepal upon on arrival at the airport ?
Yes, you can obtain the visa easily upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu (Tourist Visa with Multiple Entries for 15 days can be obtained by paying USD 30 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entries for 30 days and 90 days can be obtained by paying USD 50 and 125 respectively. Please bring 2 copies of passport size photos.)

What immunizations will I need ?
No vaccinations are compulsory fro travelling in Bhutan, but we do recommend you are covered for diphtheria TB, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, *malaria, typhoid, polio and tetanus.

We also recommend:

· A dental check-up prior to travelling.
· That you know your blood group in case of emergency.

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