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Lower Dolpo Trekking

Embark on the remote Dolpo trails, explore Shey-Phoksundo lake, mountain scenery, amazing passes, Yak and Sheep caravans en-route

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Customer Reviews

18 Days Kathmandu to Kathmandu

  • Max. Altitude: 5070 meters
  • Group Size: Min. 1 / Max. 12
  • Best Time: Feb to Jun, Sep to Dec
  • Daily walking Hour: Approx. 4-6
  • Accommodation: Hotel/Camp

Trip Grade: Trip Grade

Strenuous Level

Among the hardest available treks in Nepal, but still these treks are in reach of most people however one must be fit.

We invite you to come and discover the remote Himalayan kingdom of Dolpo, the land the Oscar nominated film Caravan brought to fame, Due to Eric Vally's documentation for National Geographic, the Dolpo region of Nepal has been shown for all its integrity and mystical values. The Tibetan culture has been preserved for centuries, and has one of the deepest lakes in the Himalayas. The Shey Phoksundo is a beautifully turquoise lake, with an abundance of nature surrounding it, see the yak caravans coming trough regularly.

Dolpo region is home to some of the highest villages on earth; almost 90% of the area lies above 3,500m, with a regional population less than 5,000 people, making it one of the least densely populated areas of Nepal. Its inhabitants cultivate their survival from this inhospitable environment by synergizing agriculture, animal husbandry and trade. Dolpo's agro-pastoral livelihood is characterized by migrations between permanent villages and pastures at higher altitudes. Over 90% of the population lives under the poverty line, literacy is low, and life expectancy is a mere fifty years.

The region is popular for being outstandingly unique, containing pristine natural beauty and possessing a rugged charm. You will meet the nomadic people of the region and experience their traditional way of life, almost untouched and unexplored. The people are very pleasant by nature being of Tibetan descent, they follow the pre-Buddhist Bon religion. The language they speak is closely related to Tibetan. There are 64 large and small monasteries in Dolpo, with most of the monasteries built at the top of the high mountains. Some of them can even be found around rocky isolated surroundings. Since it is believed that the followers of spiritual world should live peaceful and isolated life, most of the monasteries are found in calm and lonely places. The Himalayas offer an endless variety of landscapes, culture, tradition and great people. This unbounded diversity makes it a destination you can visit multiple times, it becomes more interesting and fascinating with every time you return.

The lower Dolpo trek is suitable for the real adventure lovers who wish to explore off the- beaten- path treks. The trek passes through Shey-Phoksundo National park with breathtaking mountain scenery, Buddhist monasteries, beautiful valleys and Yak and Sheep caravans. We would recommend you to arrive in Kathmandu at least two days before the trek starts. This would allow for a historical tour of the ancient sites in the city, whilst we gains the special permits required for the lower Dolpo trek. We take a spectacular flight from Kathmandu to Juphal via Nepalgunj, and then begin a great trek of Lower Dolpo and Phoksundo Lake with the cold and fresh air of the Glaciers of Kanjirowa Himalayas, it truly is a once in a lifetime experience.

Lower Dolpo trekking short itinerary.

Day 01: Arrival day in Kathmandu (1,350m).
Day 02: Sightseeing of Kathmandu valley and trek preparation.
Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj & transfer to Hotel.
Day 04: Fly from Nepalgunj to Jhupal, 2,320m and trek to Dunai 2,850m, 2-3 hrs trek.
Day 05: Trek to Tarakot, 2,540m, 5-6 hrs trek.
Day 06: Trek to Laini, 3,160m, 6-7 hrs trek.
Day 07: Trek to Nawarpani, 3,545m, 5 hrs trek.
Day 08: Trek to Do Tarap, 4,090m, 6-7 hrs trek.
Day 09: Rest Day at Do Tarap for acclimatization.
Day 10: Trek to Numa La Base Camp, 4440m, 6-7 hrs trek.
Day 11: Cross Numa La 5,190m, and camp at Pelung Tang, 4465m, 6-7 hrs trek.
Day 12: Cross Baga La 5,070m, and camp Dajok Tang 4,080m, 6 hrs trek.
Day 13: Trek to Ringmo, 3,600m, 3-4 hrs trek.
Day 14: Rest Day at Ringmo for a hike to Phoksundo Lake.
Day 15: Trek to Shyanta, 2520m, 5-6 hrs trek.
Day 16: Trek to Jhupal.
Day 17: Fly to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj.
Day 18: Final transfer to Airport for your flight back to home.


Note: The above information is just a guide and standard pattern of what we provide. The trip can be tailored at your request to accommodate your specific requirements. On adventure trips of this type, weather, transport or a multitude of other factors beyond our control can result in a change of itinerary. It is, however, very unlikely that the itinerary would be substantially altered; if alterations are needed the person in charge will make a decision what is the best alternative, taking into consideration the best interests of the whole group. Where a change does arise, we do everything we can to reduce its effect, but we cannot be liable for the results of changes or delays.

Trip cost: Please kindly contact us for a fresh cost quotation. Also, let us know how many of you are there in your group and when you would like to do this trek, after knowing all these things from your side, we will send you all the necessary information with a best quote as soon as possible.

Note: If above itinerary couldn't meet your needs, we can design a tailor-made itinerary to suit your needs. It is also possible to combine with some other activities such as Tibet tours, Bhutan tours, and Jungle safari in Nepal.

Lower Dolpo trekking – itinerary.

Day 01: Arrival day in Kathmandu (1,350m).
Upon your arrival at Kathmandu airport (TIA) you will be greeted by one of our trek leaders and transfer to hotel. Rest of the time will be on your own. In the evening join a welcome dinner and have a great conservation with a short brief about your great trip to Lower Dolpo trek with a delicious Nepali meal. Overnight at hotel.

Day 02: Sightseeing of Kathmandu valley and trek preparation.
Breakfast at hotel, the guide is already standby in the lobby, meet him and start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks are considered as World Heritage Sites; including the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhunath) and Buddhists shrine (Bouddhanath) which is one of the large Stupas in the world. In the afternoon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. Our agency briefs you regarding trek as well as provides you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have regarding your great trek to lower Dolpo trek. Overnight at hotel.  

Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj & transfer to Hotel.
We take an hour and half flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj in Western Nepal. Nepalgunj which is a border town near Nepal-India border is the gateway to Simikot of Humla. The town itself is an interesting Terai town of Nepal with influences from both the Nepal hills and plains well as local Hindu & Muslim cultures. Some sightseeing places in Nepalgunj include Mini Zoo, Muslim bazaar, and small unique villages. Preparation for tomorrow's flight to Juphal would be another issue. Overnight at hotel.

Day 04: Fly from Nepalgunj to Jhupal, 2,320m and trek to Dunai 2,850m, 2-3 hrs trek.
Early breakfast at hotel, we take a morning flight to Jhupal. The 45minutes flight over the high mountains brings you at Jhupal over the Himalayan foothills, with views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to the north. On arriving at Jhupal our trekking crew will receive us. Our first day adventure begins through the terraced fields to the Bheri River and the narrow gorge taking 2-3 hours to camp at Dunai. Dunai is the administrative headquarter of the Dolpo region. Explore Dunai in the evening. Overnight under tent.

Day 05: Trek to Tarakot, 2,540m, 5-6 hrs trek.
After breakfast we start our trek continues along the south bank of the river heading upstream on a good trail, deep gorges, hanging bridges and isolated villages. A tremendous gorge with pine trees and an ingenious path built about seven meter above the river. The colorful terraced field of Tarakot greets us. Tarakot is an old fortress town built by the local people as Dzong or fort. The village stands on a hillock to the south of Bheri River at one time supervised collection of tolls for the trading caravans. Overnight under tent.

Day 06: Trek to Laini, 3,160m, 6-7 hrs trek.
Breakfast at camp and continue our walking to follow the Tarap chu river upstream, crossing by bridge and crossing the same river twice. The famed Sandul Gompa lies farther east from Tarakot and at the junction of Barbung khola and Tarup chu Rriver. The path leads through the farm terraces and rural villages.  After a few ups and downs, finally descend to reach our overnight camp at Laini. Overnight under tent.

Day 07: Trek to Nawarpani, 3,545m, 5 hrs trek.
After breakfast we continue walking up to the gorge of the Tarap River, rising high above on a trail built out from steep slopes. The walk is quite exciting as the valley becomes narrow gorge that in some places you can jump from one side to another. Descend to Chyugur Khola. Sometimes the path vanishes for a while, making our own path across stone slabs fitted on logs in between the walls which act as a bridge. Overnight under tent.

Day 08: Trek to Do Tarap, 4,090m, 6-7 hrs trek.
The day begins after breakfast with a gradual up leading us at Kamattarka at the confluence of the Tarap Chu and Lang Khola, a stream flowing from the east. After few hours of good morning walk leaving the narrow gorge, from here the path leads just above tree lines for juniper bush and wild rose, typical of dry inner Himalayan valleys. Another 3 hours or more walk brings us to the village of Dho Tarap surrounded by an irregular stone wall. In this Valley both Bon Po and Chaiba sects reside together. Tarap is also inhabited by a few Tibetans and mostly Magars who have lived here for many generations.
Overnight under tent.

Day 09: Rest Day at Do Tarap for acclimatization.
We spend a rest day in Do Tarap for gradually getting used to the altitude. This is time to visit monasteries and enjoy the breathtaking views.  Make friends with the locals who have hardly seen westerners. The Dolpo people wear home spun clothing that is sometimes dyed maroon 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 of Buddhist sect. The Buddhist Gompa is nearby to the camp while the Bon Gompa (pre Buddhist) is about half an hour's walk. Overnight under tent.

Day 10: Trek to Numa La Base Camp, 4440m, 6-7 hrs trek.
After a wonderful time at Do Tarap, our journey continues towards upper Tarap valley, the walk follows in this plain valley with patched of lush verdant grass on both sides of the river, which is completely different from other parts of inner Dolpo. The trek on this pleasant track leads by the Tarap chu upstream all the way. Tarap is certainly a dream valley with vast plains in high mountains.  A few hours' good walk takes us to the village of Tokyu, it has a monastery belonging to the Chiba sect. After visit this village our walk continues further up this valley climbing up the rough track for almost another three hours to reach our overnight camp beneath the Numa-la. Overnight under tent.

Day 11: Cross Numa La 5,190m, and camp at Pelung Tang, 4465m, 6-7 hrs trek.
This is one of the long and difficult days during the trek. After breakfast our journey continues to crossing of Numa La pass at 5,190m, the trail leads to steep climb all the way to the top ridge of Numa la with great views of the surrounding landscapes.  The panoramic view of the barren mountains of Dolpo up to the Dhaulagiri (8167m) is stunning.  After getting to the top of Numa La we will descend to camp at Pelung Tang. Overnight under tent.

Day 12: Cross Baga La 5,070m, and camp Dajok Tang 4,080m, 6 hrs trek.
After breakfast our morning trek starts with a steep climb to reach the ridge top of Baga-la at 5,070m, which offers fantastic views of the surrounding landscapes and of the distant snow capped peaks of Kanjirowa Himal range, after a glorious moment at the pass, almost three hours of downhill walk takes to the Dajok Tang for overnight under tent.

Day 13: Trek to Ringmo, 3,600m, 3-4 hrs trek.
After breakfast our trek starts through the pine forest, on leaving the forest behind the country and the vegetation changes for pasture field and alpine shrubs most of the way to Ringmo on the gradual slopes with few ups and downs as we reach our final destination at Ringmo. Overnight under tent.

Day 14: Rest Day at Ringmo for a hike to Phoksundo Lake.
This is a rest and exploration day.  And of course we sit right on the shore of the spectacular Phoksumdo Lake; remember the harrowing scene in 'Himalaya' when Thinley's yak caravan attempted the 'Devil's Trail'. Yak caravans will be heading in and out of Ringmo on their way north towards the border of Tibet, and our most northerly destinations, Saldang and Thinje. This is the pleasant day free from the hassle of packing and chance to visit the nearby Tibetan Buddhist monastery is well worth a visit, as is the village of Ringmo. A walk part way round the lake is also very enjoyable and relaxing. This is a great day exploring the lake areas and the crystal serene Lake of Phoksundo with a great view.  Overnight under tent.

Day 15: Trek to Shyanta, 2520m, 5-6 hrs trek.
Trek downhill to Chepka. From Chepka the trail follows the massive overhanging rock. We found many important medicinal mineral which is believed to cure almost anything in this area. The route then passes through the villages, before climbing to Shyanta. Overnight under tent.

Day 16: Trek to Jhupal.
Following the trail gently sloping upwards, we march towards Jhupal via Sulighat. We meet tall birch trees on our way. From atop the ridge, we can have the most spectacular views of the mountain and Jhupal 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 pursuing whatever we feel like. Overnight under tent.

Day 17: Fly to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj.
We take a flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj. On reaching Nepalgunj, we return to Kathmandu on the next available flight. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 18: Final transfer to Airport for your flight back to home.
After breakfast at hotel, we will transfer you to Kathmandu airport for your flight back to home. Have a safe and sound flight to home! Hope to see you again in the future.

Service Includes

  • All airport/hotel transfers in Nepal
  • Flights Kathmandu-Nepaljung-Juphal- Nepalgunj-Kathmandu (by airplane), incl. the local taxes
  • 3 nights accommodation in standard Hotel in Kathmandu,  on a sharing basis, including breakfasts.
  • Guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
  • All entry fees to the world heritage sites of Kathmandu
  • Tented accommodation during the trekking on a sharing basis
  • All major meals during trekking
  • All necessary trained and experienced staff, guide, assistant guide (depending on the number of participants), porters/yakmen, including their salary, insurance, transportation, food and lodging
  • All necessary trekking and national park permits
  • The technical equipment to secure the passes, if necessary
  • Travel and rescue arrangements
  • Communication device in case of emergency
  • First aid kit
  • Solar lights for Camping and charging
  • All government and local taxes

Service Excludes

  • International airfare to and from Kathmandu
  • Nepal entry Visa fee
  • Excess baggage charges for the international and domestic flights
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • Travel cancellation and rescue insurance
  • Personal expenses (Internet, phone, Individual beverages, laundry, bar bills, and extra porters, and all other personal items)
  • Tips (Guide, assistant guide, porters, yak driver, driver, city guide, etc.)
  • Any other expense that is not included in the quoted price.

Trek FAQ

Some essential questions and answer for Lower Dolpo Trek:

How can I book this trip?
Once you confirmed the trip, we need photo copy of your passport and 20% down payment of the total price for advance flight tickets and hotel booking and permit process.

How can I enter in Nepal?
Nepal is an easy and popular tourist destination in south Asia. Several airlines have direct and none-stop flights from Europe, America, Australia, Middle East and Asia to Kathmandu, Capital of Nepal.

Can I do Lower Dolpo trek?
Lower Dolpo trek is suitable for any adventure seeker looking for something a little more challenging and energetic. It does not require that you have any previous trekking or mountaineering experience. Although, daily jugging or walking exercise is useful and you need to be in good physical condition and able to walk for 5-6 hours daily.

When should I come for Lower Dolpo trek?
March, April, May, June, September, October, November are the best seasons. However, July & August are okay and trekking can be done but not so clear visibility due to rain.

Can I join with group?
Yes, you can join a group and we try our best to find some other people to do this trip as a group trek. And you can also tell your friends, families and relatives that you are going to do this trek in Nepal so maybe some of your friends would like to join the trip! We can arrange a small group trekking trip to suit your requirements. Please contact us for group departure dates.

Do I need to join with group?
It is not necessary that you need to follow our fixed group departures dates, because private trip departs every day upon your request which are best suited to couples, families and small groups of friends. We are happy to organize your holiday according by your selecting starting date.

Do you also offer Tailor-made Departures?
Yes, we do offer Tailor-made Departures, if our holiday's tours are not perfect or the group departure dates are not convenient as per your travel plan.

What kind of accommodation I can have during the trip?
In Kathmandu, we do provide standard hotel with breakfast and during the trekking, we provide you tent accommodation and sometime local guest houses. In this arrangement overnight halts with dinner and breakfast will be in a camp and lunches will be pack lunch en-route.

What kind of equipment do I need to bring with me?
Trek to Lower Dolpo is an amazing and adventure trip. We trek up to 5200m walking through villages, green hills, and white snow path so you need to have right equipments with you. Click here to have more info  

What kind of meals I can have during the trip?
 All Meals on full board basis will be provided during trekking. Freshly cooked food is served at all times (western, continental and Nepali meals are available in all places). Three meals a day will be provided.

Do I have pre-departure meeting?
Yes, at first, our staff will receive you at the airport and transfer to the hotel and our tour leader will brief regarding about the trip. The briefing will cover the itinerary and introduced your trek Leader.

Can I charge camera batteries along the trek?
Yes, Most of the places, you can charge batteries along the trek (per hour USD 2-3 for charging).

Is someone going to meet me at the airport? Are transfers included?
Yes, our Airport Representative will come to the airport to pick you up. We will be displaying a play card of our company with your name on it. Airport transfer is included.

Travel Insurances

Travelling is an investment and we believe that an insurance makes your investment secure. It is a condition of joining any of our adventure trips that be protected against comprehensive expenses potential to incur due to medial issues or accidents (to include helicopter rescue, air ambulance, and treatment costs). Please be noted that we do not arrange or sell insurance.

A relaxed trip is not possible without good travel insurance. In the event of any sickness or injury, the cost of emergency treatment and evacuation is shocking. Therefore, travel insurance is strongly recommended for everyone who signs up with us. We strongly recommend that you be careful while choosing a policy as some makes special exceptions for adventure travel. Before buying your insurance make sure your insurer is aware of our adventure itinerary that you are going to undertake and is agreeable to cover all activities being undertaken in the trip. Such as if you are planning trekking or climbing/expedition in Himalayas your insurance must cover emergency air ambulance/helicopter rescue including medical expenses. For a group tours in urban areas, your insurance coverage of ambulance or helicopter rescue is not mandatory, however better to have with them too. Again, in Tibet trips there is no possibility of helicopter rescue, so no need to buy the air ambulance coverage in Tibet trips. Also, check your insurance policy firmly to even include trip cancellation, as all deposits paid are non-refundable.

Please kindly provide us your copy of insurance policy (e.g. your insurance certificate) or carry it with you while you come on the trip.


Acclimatization

Alpine Eco Trek is professionals at operating at high-altitude. Each trip we run has a realistic acclimatization programme. Our entire adventure trips are designed to allow gradual height gain, spread over a number of days. High altitude is not predictable sickness, so there is no way of predicting who will suffer from altitude but, for the vast majority of people, a slow ascent to height will produce minimal effects. We can provide 'Gamow Bag' as a precautionary measure as per your request on renting basis. Acclimatizing takes time and there are no safe shortcuts. All trips to altitudes in excess of 3,000 meters carry medicines essential to the treatment of altitude sickness, and our leaders, guides and staffs are well trained to administer them and to know the symptoms.

Check out "Altitude illness" by Dr Jim Duff

http://www.treksafe.com.au/medical/altitude_illness.htm


Food during the trip

Freshly cooked food will be provided on lower Dolpo trek. Our very expert cook will cook the food during the trekking. Normally we will provide dinner and breakfast on the same camp where we will camp for overnight and lunch will be provided while walking on trail which will be packed lunch cooked by our cook. Reception, farewell dinner and breakfast will be provided during your stay in Kathmandu.


Trek Checklist

Equipments & Packing List for Lower Dolpo trek.

Gears are pretty much essential for your great trip. Please click here for the comprehensive packing list for this trip.

Trip Map

Map for Dolpo trekking

Dolpo Region Map

Further Information
Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you have any questions regarding trip, please feel free to contact us. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours. If you want to book a trip, you can send us an email or contact us directly by phone: 0977 98510 36844 (Ram Kumar Adhikari).

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