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Dolpo Circuit Trek

Highlights
    • Trek to one of the best off-beaten trails of the country
    • Trek to the breathtaking Phoksundo Lake
    • Visit the sacred monasteries like Shey Gompa
    • Know more about the old and sacred Bon Po Buddhism
    • Discover the unique harmony between the Tibetan and Nepalese cultures
    • Explore mesmerizing Phoksundo Lake (Deepest Lake of Nepal).
    • Discover the wild west of Nepal Himalaya.
    • Visit UNESCO world cultural heritage sites of Kathmandu Valley

Dolpo region, which lies in the mid-west of Nepal, is one of the isolated areas of the country. The southern region opened its gates to tourists only in 1989. The Dolpo region is charming as well as mysterious, thus making the region perfect for a trekking adventure.

The cultures and traditions are closely linked with Tibet as the majority of the inhabitants migrated from Tibet or are descendants of the migrated Tibetans. The region lies between the Dhaulagiri range and Tibetan Plateau, so it has an extraordinary terrain that ranges from barren lands to lush forests. Additionally, the difficult terrain has also made the trek one of the strenuous treks of the country.

The trek starts at the capital city, Kathmandu where you’ll sightsee some of the famous landmarks like Swayambhunath Temple along with preparing for the trek. The next day, you fly to Nepalgunj and again to Juphal. Then, your trek begins, and the first destination is Sulighat.

You head to the first highlight of the trip, the Phoksundo Lake via Renje and Ringmo villages. The lake is famous for its majestic turquoise color and serene environment. From here on, the terrain slowly gets barren. Then, the trail goes along the Phoksundo Khola and ascends to Kang La Pass. From this pass, you descend to Shey Gompa, which is also called Crystal Monastery, as it is located at the foothill of Crystal Mountain.

The trail continues along with villages like Namduna, Saldang, and Sibu, and again you ascend to the second pass, Jeng La. Next, you head to Dho Tarap, a village where Tibetans and Magar coexist. The trail descends back to Juphal via Tarap Khola and Dunai. With this, you complete the Dolpo Circuit. The best months to do this trek are September-November and March-May.

With Corporate Adventure, you get the best services at affordable prices. Along with it, our experienced staff and guides will accompany your trip to make it more memorable. However, if the information provided is not enough and you still have queries, you can send us an email or call us at +977-9851029803. [Saroj]

Trip Facts

Geography:               Mountain

Location:                  Dolpo

Level of difficulty:      Strenuous

Max altitude:             5,318 m

Ethnicity:                  Tibetans, Magar

Transportation:          Private vehicle, flight

Accommodation:        Hotel/lodge/camp

Total days:               24 days

Minimum Pax: 2

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264 ft)
  • Hotel Moonlight or Similar

As per your scheduled flight, you arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. There is staff that’ll welcome you warmly will greet you. Then, you’ll head to the hotel and refresh. At dinner, you’ll meet the staff again and discuss the details of the trip.

Meals

Welcome dinner

Day 02: Kathmandu valley sightseeing & trek preparation (1,300m/4,264 ft)
  • Hotel Moonlight or Similar

Today, you prepare for your trek and also sightsee some of the famous landmarks of the valley. After breakfast, you head to Swayambhunath Temple and explore the beautiful monasteries and panoramic views. Then, you head to the second destination, Boudhanath Stupa. Here you explore the monasteries and have Tibetan cuisine for lunch.

The last destination is Kathmandu Durbar Square. Here, you head to the museum first and then explore the rest of the square. You will also have a Newari style dinner. During the sightseeing tour, you can buy the necessary items needed for the trek.

Meals

Breakfast

Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu - Nepalgunj & Transfer to Hotel | 1 hr.
  • 45 minutes flight
  • Guest house

Today, you head west towards Nepalgunj, the town that borders India. You head to the domestic airport and catch an early flight. During the flight, you can see amazing views of the hills, flatlands, and farmlands. After reaching Nepalgunj airport, you head to the hotel and refresh. Spend the rest of the day exploring nearby areas. Overnight stay at 3-star hotel in Nepalgunj.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 04: Fly from Nepalgunj to Juphal (2320m/7601ft) | 35 mins & trek to Sulighat (2070m/6790ft) | 2-3 hrs.
  • 35minutes fly and 3 hours trek
  • Tent Camp

After breakfast, you head to the airport and board the plane heading to Juphal. It is a short flight. You rest for a while at the airport and start to prepare for trekking. The guide and staff accompanying you will brief you on the details. Then, you descend to the banks of the Thuli Bheri River. Following the river, you pass by various small settlement areas. Then, you reach the confluence of Thuli Bheri and Suli Gad. From here, you ascend through a forested area and reach Sulighat for the overnight stay.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 05: Sulighat – Renje (3010m/9873ft), 5-6 hrs. Trek.
  • 5-6 hours trek
  • Tent Camp

After breakfast, you first cross the Suli River, which runs through a gorge. Then, you walk along with settlement areas that are filled with stone houses. In this part of the trek, you can see people who migrate here from Upper Dolpo during winter. They also bring their cattle along with them. Then, the trail goes along a thick forest filled with bamboo and conifers. Then, you cross a bridge and reach Renje for an overnight stay.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 06: Renje – Ringmo village (3640m/11940ft) –Phoksundo Lake (3620m/11874ft) 5-6 hrs. Trek.
  • 5-6 hours trek
  • Tent camp

Today, you head Ringmo, a village located around the periphery of Phoksundo Lake. After an early breakfast, you start your trek. In this part of the trail, there are a series of ascends and descends. Then, you reach the confluence of Phoksundo and Pungmo Rivers.

From here, you pass by a waterfall and see glimpses of Phoksundo Lake. Finally, you reach Ringmo. If you have time, you can do a quick tour of the lake. After dinner, you set your tents for the overnight stay.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 07: Rest day in Phoksundo Lake and explore around Ringmo village.
  • Rest
  • Tent camp

Today, you spend the day acclimatizing. After breakfast, you head to the lake and explore the turquoise beauty. Then, you head back to Ringmo and have lunch. In the afternoon, you can explore the Ringmo village, which is inhabited by Tibetans. They migrated many years ago and you can know more about their story through the locals if you want. There is an old monastery, which is located a bit above the village and shares tales about Bon Buddhism.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 08: Phoksundo Lake - Phoksundo Khola (3630m/1190ft) 4-5 hrs.
  • 5 hours trek
  • Tent Camp

After having breakfast and cleaning up the camping area, you head to Phoksundo Khola. The route goes along the west bank of the lake and gets rocky and narrower. Today, you may get to see yaks and yak herders. After walking for several kilometers, you see meadows and reach the banks of Phoksundo Khola. Then, you find a suitable spot for camping and set up tents. Overnight stay at a camp.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 09: Phoksundo Khola - Phoksundo Bhanjyang (4120m/13514ft) 6-7 hrs.
  • 6-7 hours trek
  • Tent camp

Today, you head north of the river. After breakfast and cleaning the camping area, you trek towards the confluence of the Phoksundo Khola. After crossing the confluence, you head to a meadow and ascend to a ravine. En route, you get to see beautiful views of Chhamlang Peak (6,739m). After ascending, you reach a valley where you can see Kang-La Pass. The area is also known as Snowfields Camp or Nagdalo La. Then, you find a suitable spot for camping and set up tents for the overnight stay.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 10: Phoksundo Bhanjyang - Kang-La pass (5160m/16925ft) – Shey gompa (4390m/14400ft) 5-6 hrs.
  • 6-7 hours trek
  • Tent camp

After breakfast and cleanup, you head to the Kang-La Pass. The climb is strenuous as the trail is steep and rocky. After a hard climb, you reach the top of the pass and you are rewarded with breathtaking views of the landscape and mountains like Shey Sikhar.

After soaking in the view, you descend to the famous Shey Gompa. The trail descends to Tar Valley. Following the grassy slopes, you pass Tsakang, an 800-year old monastery and walk along a meandering river. After crossing the river several times, you walk along a Mani wall and reach Shey Gompa, located beneath the Crystal Mountain.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 11: Rest day at Shey Gompa
  • Rest day
  • Tent Camp

Today is the second acclimatization day as you’ll be at altitudes higher than 5000 m. You explore the Shey Gompa after breakfast. The monastery was built in1655 and is famous for its giant copper statue of seated Shakyamuni Buddha. In the north of the Gompa lies the Crystal Mountains, which is famous for its unique constitution of marine fossils and quartz.

After exploring the gompa, you can head to Tsakang Gompa, where the Lamas (monks) reside and meditate. The interaction with the Lamas will let you know more about Bon Buddhism. Then, you can head to explore the Shey village, which is inhabited by Tibetans.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 12: Shey gompa – Saldang La (5010m/16432ft) - Namduna village (4430m/14530ft), 6-7 hrs.
  • 7 hours trek
  • Tent Camp

After cleaning and having breakfast, you head to the second pass of the trek, Saldang La. The route to this pass goes through barren lands filled with coarse and eroded rocks. You navigate through the austere trail and finally ascend to the top. From here, you can see amazing views of the valley.

The descend to Namduna village as long as the trail is steep and strenuous. En route, you can see yaks enjoying in the lush meadows. Once you reach the village, you refresh and explore the revered Namduna monastery. Overnight stay at a camp.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 13: Namduna village - Saldang (3620m/11,874ft), 4-5 hours
  • 5 hours trek
  • Tent camp

Today, you start your trek after breakfast. The trail goes along barren mountains with scarce vegetation. The climb lasts for 3-4 hours, and you finally reach the Namga Khola. The village is located just above the river on a plateau. Then, you descend to Saldang. The village is the largest settlement area of the Dolpo region. It is also the center for trade and agriculture. Overnight stay at a lodge.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 14: Saldang - Yangze Gompa (4960m/16267ft), 4-5 hrs.
  • 5 hours trek
  • Tent camp

After breakfast, you head north of the village. The trail then goes along the bank of the Nagon Khola. You do a series of ascends and descends in the barren terrain. You pass by various small villages. Then you cross the tributary of Panzang River and head east. Again you cross a river and reach Yangze Gompa. The monastery is another famous place for Bon Buddhism. Overnight stay at a camp.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 15: Yangze Gompa - Sibu (4560m/14957ft), 6-7 hrs.
  • 6-7 hours trek
  • Tent camp

There are two paths to Sibu. You will take the one that is shorter and easier to trek. After breakfast, you retrace back to Saldang and from there you head Namdo village. En route, you pass by farmlands, chortens, and small settlement areas.

After arriving at the village, you continue the trek along the Nam Khong Khola. You come across Namdo monastery and if you want, you can do a quick tour. Then, you finally reach Sibu after leaving Namdo. Overnight stay at a camp.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 16: Sibu – Jeng La Phedi (4900m/16072ft), 5-6 hrs.
  • 6 hours trek
  • Tent camp

After breakfast, you walk along the banks of Nam Khong Khola. Then, you head east and reach a confluence of two streams. From here, you ascend to the grazing lands, Jeng La Phedi. After a moderate climb, you reach the flat lands just below Jeng La pass and find a suitable spot for camping. Overnight at Jeng La Phedi.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 17: Jeng La Phedi – Jeng La pass (5090m/16695ft) – Dho Tarap (4080m/13382ft), 6-7 hrs.
  • 7 hours trek
  • Tent camp

After cleaning and having breakfast, you head to Jeng La pass. The climb is two hours long. At the top, you are rewarded with panoramic views of the terrain. After soaking in the view, you head to Tarap Valley. The trail is rough and rocky, but the view is breathtaking.

You trek along the Tarap Chu River and arrive at Tokyu village. The terrain changes and you can see green vegetation. Also, you pass by a marsh, which you can’t see anywhere else in the Dolpo region. After a short trek from the marsh, you reach Dho Tarap for overnight stay.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 18: Day explore and acclimatization in Dho Tarap.
  • Rest
  • Tent camp

Today is the last stop for acclimatization in this trekking journey. Dho Tarap is a relatively small village surrounded by jagged stonewalls. You can explore the village and interact with the locals, who are mostly Tibetans and Magar. There is also a small monastery in this village. There is a Bon Po monastery, which is 40 min walk away from the village. Overnight stay at a lodge.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 19:  Dho Tarap - Tarap Khola (Karmakharka) 3800m/12464ft, 6-7 hrs.
  • 6-7 hours trek
  • Tent Camp

After breakfast, you head to Tarap Khola. The trail first takes you through a forest filled with junipers and other trees. If you are lucky, you can also see herds of blue sheep during this part of the trek. As you continue to walk, you reach the confluence of Tarap Chu and Lang Khola. You trek a bit further to the east and reach a plain area called Karmakharka. Here, you find a suitable spot for camping and stay overnight.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 20:  Tarap Khola – Khani Gaun (3150m/10332ft), 5-6 hrs.
  • 6 hours trek
  • Tent camp

You head towards the gorge of Tarap Khola after cleaning and having breakfast. En route, you can meet the locals with their herds of sheep and yak. As you walk further, the trail gets narrower. Due to the terrain, there are parts where you may need to do short jumps or need to walk along with stones because there is no proper path. After a few hours, you finally reach the Khani Gaun, where you set up camps for overnight stay.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 21:  Khani Gaun – Tarakot (2537m/8321ft) – Dunai (2030m/6658ft), 5-6 hrs.
  • 6-7 hours trek
  • Tent camp/ Tea house

After breakfast, you start the trek to Dunai. The trail first goes through various villages like Lalberi and then descends to a gorge. From there, you walk through a dense forest and reach Tarakot. If you want, you can do a quick tour of Sandul Gompa, which is adjacent to the village.

You continue the trek and walk along the banks of the Bheri River. After ascending to Byas Gadi, you cross another river and reach Dunai for overnight stay.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 22:  Dunai - Juphal (2320m/7610ft) 2-3 hrs.
  • 3 hours trek
  • Tent Camp

Today is the last day of your trek in the Dolpo region. After breakfast, you head to the trail that goes along the banks of the Bheri River. The trail is relatively easy. You pass by several rustic villages like Rupgad and Motipur. Then, you reach Juphal, which has a small airstrip. If you have free time, you can explore the village. Overnight stay at a lodge.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 23:  Fly from Juphal to Nepalgunj to Kathmandu
  • 35 + 45 minutes fly
  • Hotel Moonlight or Similar

After breakfast, you catch an early flight to Nepalgunj. You rest for a while and have some light snacks. You board a plane and head to Kathmandu. At the airport, our staff will pick you up and take you to the hotel. Then, you have the rest of the day to yourself. You can buy souvenirs or relax at a café.

Meals

Breakfast, farewell dinner

Day 24:  Departure transfer

Today is your last day of the trip. As per your flight, our staff will drop you off at the airport. If you have some time before departure, you can buy souvenirs.

Meals

Breakfast

What's Included

  • Airport pick up & drop off service in a private vehicle
  • All ground transportation by comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary
  • 3 star base hotel accommodation in kathmandu and Nepalganj on BB plan.
  • Domestic flight [Kathmandu – Nepalganj –Juphal – Nepalganj – Kathmandu] with Airport tax
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with tea/coffee during the trek
  • Very high-quality camping equipment (Sleeping tent/ Dining tent / Kitchen tent / Toilet tent/mattress and Kitchen utensils)
  • All the necessary paperwork such as national park entry fees, special trekking permit [Restricted area permits] and TIMS permits.
  • Guided sightseeing tour as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Professional English-speaking, government licensed local tour guide for sightseeing
  • Highly experienced, English-speaking, government-licensed, trained in first-aid Trekking guide, Sherpa, porter, helper, cook)
  • Assistant Trekking Guide (6 trekkers: 1 Asst. guide) for personalized care
  • Staff cost including their food, accommodation, salary, flight, insurance, equipment etc.
  • Monument entry fees during Sightseeing tour
  • All Local and Government taxes, administrative charges.

What's Excluded

  • International flight
  • Nepal Visa fee
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu in case of early arrival or late departure
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • 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
  • Personal expenses (phone call, internet, laundry, bar bills, snacks, battery recharge, bottled or boiled water, souvenirs, hot showers, extra porter etc.)
  • Personal trekking gear and equipment
  • Tips for guide, porter and driver (tipping is expected)
  • Any unseen expenses due to circumstances beyond our control

Getting There & Away

Western Nepal is remote, making access more difficult than other parts of Nepal. First, you have to get to Nepalgunj, on the plains, and then to Juphal in Dolpo district.

Most people fly to Nepalgunj from e Kathmandu . From Nepalgunj, you then fly to Juphal. (It isn’t possible to fly directly to Juphal from Kathmandu, although expensive charter flights can be arranged from Pokhara.) Most organised tours will fly from Kathmandu. Keep in mind that the airport at Juphal is no more than a tiny mountain airstrip, where bad weather can often delay flights.

Nepalgunj is also accessible by road, but it is a long trip from Kathmandu or Pokhara. Roads are improving throughout Western Nepal, but Juphal is currently several days’ walk from the nearest road-head.

Permits & Regulations

Permits for Upper Dolpo are expensive and strictly enforced. You also need to purchase a permit for Lower Dolpo, which you pass through on your way to Upper Dolpo.

Lower Dolpo: $10 USD per week

Upper Dolpo: $50 USD per day (10-day minimum)

There is also Rs. 3000 entry fee to the Shey-Phoksundo National Park. As it’s mandatory to trek with a guide on an organized tour in Upper Dolpo, your tour operator will arrange all permits and these fees are generally included in the total cost of your trip.

Accommodation

Stay for 3 nights in Kathmandu at the luxurious 3 star hotel, Hotel moonlight or similar.  While on the Dolpo trekking, will be set up tented camp by Sherpa and you will be sleeping on tent.

Accommodation at hotels is on twin-sharing basis. If you are a solo traveler, you will share the room with a group member of the same sex. If you need a single room, it will be made available at an extra cost. Simply click on the ‘single supplement’ tab at the time of booking.

Meals

In Kathmandu enjoy breakfast, welcome and farewell dinners.

All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) will be provided on the trail. Have breakfast and dinner at the teahouse where you stay overnight. Lunch will be at a teahouse en route. Food on the trail will include dal-bhat (rice, lentils and curry), momos (vegetable or meat dumplings), chapatis (flat bread), noodles, pancakes, pizza, mac & cheese etc.

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION

You need to keep yourself updated and informed about the places you are about to visit. For this reason we have tried to incorporate as much information as possible about this trip. Learn more about this trip by going through our ‘Trip Note.’ However, if the information provided is not enough and you still have queries, you can send us an email or call us at +977-9851029803.

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