Nepal trek

Luxury Upper Dolpa Phoksundo Lake Trek

Duration
9 Days
Group Size
2 - 8 people
Difficulty
Moderate
Dolpo lies in the remote west of Nepal and is one of the least developed regions because of its challenging geographical location.

Tour code: GE021

Journey into the remote cultural destinations of Nepal

Itinerary In Brief

  • Day 01 : Departure from home country
  • Day 02: Arrive in Kathmandu (1,300m) and transfer to Hotel Hyatt Regency
  • Day 03: Fly to Jhuphal (2,320m) and trek to Dunai (2,850m)
  • Day 04 :Trek to Ankhe (2,896m)
  • Day 05 : Trek to Sulighat (3,500m)
  • Day 06 : Trek to Phoksundo Lake (3,500m)
  • Day 07 : Rest Day at Phoksundo Lake
  • Day 08 : Fly to Kathmandu
  • Day 09 : Final Departure

Dolpo lies in the remote west of Nepal and is one of the least developed regions because of its challenging geographical location. Only opened to trekkers in 1989, it still maintains its pristine trekking routes as only a limited number of people are allowed into the region annually. This is in part due to the high ‘restricted area’ fee levied on trekkers to this area. The area is, however, quite well known through the writings of David Snellgrove in his book ‘Himalayan Pilgrimage’ (1956), and David Matthiessen’s book ‘The Snow Leopard’ (1973). Moreover, Eric Valli’s visually stunning film ‘Himalaya’ (1999) was set in Dolpo and brought the region to the world’s attention

Lying midway between the Tibetan Plateau and the Dhaulagiri Himal range, geographically Dolpo is the southern extension of Tibet. In the 8th century Padma Sambhava brought Buddhism to Dolpo and it is one of the few places on earth that practice both Buddhism and Bon (similar to Buddhism). The Tibetan speaking people from this region are traditionally traders and yak herdsmen. Here also lies the country’s largest national park and conservation area, the Shey Phoksundo National Park, at 3,500km2. The park sustains an abundance of wildlife including Himalayan blue sheep and the elusive snow leopard.

Our adventure starts from Jhupal village, from where we will trek through villages, valleys and serene forest of pine, oak and rhododendron, meeting interesting people on the way. The trek also passes snow-capped mountain ranges until we reach the glorious crystal clear waters of Phoksundo Lake. Being the highlight of our trip we have two nights here to enjoy the beauty of the deep blue waters of Phoksundo Lake and the surrounding snow peaks of Kanjiroba Himal.

Tour Map

Tour Overview

Tour Duration
9 Days
Trek Duration
4 Days
Mode of Trek
Camping
Max. Elevation
3,500m at Phoksundo Lake
Group Size
2 - 8 people
Difficulty
Moderate
Start / End
Jhuphal / Phoksundo Lake

Itinerary

Day 1: DEPARTURE FROM HOME COUNTRY

We can arrange your international tickets for you, if necessary. Please ask us.

DAY 2: ARRIVE AT KATHMANDU (1,300M) AND TRANSFER TO HOTEL

On arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be greeted by our staff, who will escort you to the Hyatt Regency Hotel, where our office staff will give you a brief orientation about the trek and the do's and don’ts of the area. They will also review any additional information that you might require while in Nepal. In the evening our staff will guide you to visit Boudhanath Stupa, which is 10 minutes walking distance from the hotel. After returning to the hotel, enjoy the spa and a delicious dinner.

Overnight: Hotel Hyatt Regency

Hotel Hyatt Regency, Kathmandu

DAY 3: FLY TO JHUPHAL (2,475M), TREK TO DUNAI (2,140M) 4 HRS

After an early morning breakfast, drive to the airport at 6 o’clock by private vehicle, from where you will take an hour’s scenic flight by the latest model private chartered B3E helicopter to Juphal. We fly over the Himalayan foothills, with views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to the north. Note: the helicopter may stop for about 15 minutes in Pokhara Airport and 15 minutes in Nepalgunj Airport for re-fueling purposes. On arriving at Jhuphal our trekking staff will receive you.

After lunch, prepared by our staff, the adventure begins with a downhill walk of an hour through the village below the airstrip, through the terraced fields to the Bheri River and a narrow gorge. Another 2 to 3 hours walking takes us to our overnight camp at Dunai. This is a small township and it is the main administrate headquarter of the Dolpo region.

Overnight stay: Luxury Tented Camp

DAY 4: TREK TO ANKHE (2,896M) 6 HRS

From the camp at Dunai, the route diverts across a suspension bridge and turns west. The path soon begins to climb up the side of the treeless Thulo Bheri Valley, where it crests on a ridge and then enters the Phoksundo River Valley, finally reaching another ridge which is marked by cairns at 2,499m. Offering excellent views of the Kagmara Peak, the trail leads to a large canyon, then descends gently on a long downhill slope through scattered houses and walnut groves (2,810m). The trail then follows a stream to Dhera, a winter settlement where people from higher villages keep herds of cows and goats. Climbing to Rahagaon, a Thakuri village at 2,900m, there is a gompa dedicated to the local god, Mastha, guardian of this village. From here we pass through the lower part of Rahagaon and then descend to Phoksundo River. Passing through another canyon, the path heads downhill through a dark forest to a large stream, finally emerging at the entrance to the Shey Phoksumdo National Park at Ankhe, were we camp overnight.

Overnight stay: Luxury Tented Camp

DAY 5: TREK TO SULIGHAT (2,282M) 6 HRS

Today the trek starts with small ups and downs along the forested riverbed, ascending steeply to about 2,900m. Although a bit tiring there are plenty of small streams where you can cool off, walking at your own pace. The trail eventually leaves the forests to cross a grassy slope high above the river. Descending again into a forest, we reach a cliff, and carefully go down a wobbly stone staircase to the river bank below. After reaching the river at 2,950m, the trail becomes a collection of rocks forming a dyke along the river bank. Our journey continues upstream to a bridge near Ryajik village where we camp overnight. Interestingly, the three villages that we pass through on this day, have distinctive names: Parela, meaning eyelash, Rahagaon meaning eyebrow, and Ankhe meaning eye.

Overnight stay: Luxury Tented Camp

DAY 6: TREK TO PHOKSUNDO LAKE (3,500M) 6 HRS

Our journey continues along the valley floor to the confluence of the Phoksumdo and Pungmo Rivers. After crossing to the western side of the Phoksundo River by wooden bridge, the path follows the west bank of the Pungmo River all the way to Phoksundo Lake near Ringmo village. Today we pass through a cedar forest and Palam, a winter settlement used by the people of Ringmo. From here our route heads up to open country, at an altitude of around 3,350m. From the ridge one can see the distant views of Phoksundo Lake and a spectacular 300m high waterfall, one of the highest in Nepal. After a brief stop here to enjoy the views, the trail descent through birch forests to the upper reaches of the Phoksundo River, and then to the picturesque settlement of Ringmo. From here it is a short walk to the shores of Phoksumdo Lake for our overnight camp.

Overnight stay: Luxury Tented Camp

DAY 7: REST DAY AT PHOKSUNDO LAKE

From Phoksundo you can explore the village of Ringmo and its Tibetan Buddhist monastery, mud plastered chortens and mani walls. Or simply enjoy the beauty of the clear blue waters of the lake.

Overnight stay: Luxury Tented Camp

DAY 8: FLY TO KATHMANDU 1.5 HRS

After having a champagne breakfast we depart the area by the latest model private chartered B3E helicopter for Kathmandu. Upon landing in Kathmandu, our staff will receive you and escort you to the Hyatt Regency Hotel. In the late afternoon, our staff will guide you to visit Boudhanath Stupa which is 10 minutes walking distance from the hotel, should you have not had time to do this on your arrival day. In the evening, you will enjoy an authentic Nepali farewell dinner.

Overnight stay: Hotel Hyatt Regency.

DAY 9: DEPARTURE

Our staff will take you to the airport in time for your international flight. Please ensure you have reconfirmed your flight. We can do this for you.

Please return again to Nepal!

Special Highlights

Each of our programmes has extra special services that make us different from other tour agencies:
  • We use latest model B3E helicopter for the Kathmandu – Juphal and Phoksundo Lake – Kathmandu flights.
  • We provide luxury suites in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kathmandu.
  • Unlike other trekking agencies, we do not provide dome tents. We provide luxury tents, with enough headroom to stand up in, and which are fitted with beds.
  • We provide dry foods like almonds, peanuts and chocolate bars where necessary during the trek.
  • We take fresh seasonal fruits for your evening desserts.
  • We provide unlimited tea/ coffee on the trek.
  • Our guides are highly experienced, educated, dedicated and able to take decisions in any unforeseen difficult situation.

Services Includes

  • 2 nights luxury suite accommodation in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kathmandu with AP meal plan (3 meals per day).
  • 5 nights luxury tented accommodation with beds in private tents in Dolpo Region with AP meal plan.
  • Latest model B3E helicopter for Kathmandu – Juphal and Phoksundo Lake – Kathmandu flight.
  • Dry foods such as almond, peanuts and chocolate bars during the trek.
  • Fresh seasonal fruits provide every evening after dinner as dessert.
  • We provide unlimited tea/ coffee in the trek.
  • Champagne with breakfast at Phoksundo Lake.
  • Pure mineral water for drinking.
  • Hot boiled water for washing.
  • License holder, experienced, English speaking guide (we also have other language speaking guides, please ask us) for the entire tour.
  • High altitude porters for the entire trek.
  • Kitchen staff with our best trekking cook.
  • Member tents, kitchen tents, dining tents, toilet tents, bathroom tents.
  • Comfortable mattress, bed sheets, sleeping bag, and necessary items for comfortable sleeping.
  • Ground transportation in Kathmandu including airport pick up and drop by air conditioned luxury Land Cruiser and/or Land Rover.
  • Entry Fees and Trekking permit fees.

Services Excluded

  • Emergency rescue evacuation charges.
  • Medical charges.
  • Extra beverage and bar bill during the trek.
  • Personal travel insurance fees.
  • Extra charges borne by any natural calamities or political strikes.
  • Tips for the guides, porters and drivers.

Shey-phoksundo National Park (3,555 km)

LOCATION: Shey-Phuksundo National Park is situated in the mountainous region of western Nepal, covering parts of Dolpo and Mugu Districts. It is the largest national park in the country.

FEATURES: The park contains lush forests, mainly of blue pine, spruce, cypress, poplar, deodar, fir and birch. Within the trans-Himalayan area the vegetation is near-desert type, mainly dwarf juniper and shrubs. The park is home to the elusive snow leopard and unique blue sheep. Also found here are the more common, ghoral, Himalayan thar, serow, leopard, wolf, jackal, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan weasel, Himalayan mouse hare, yellow-throated marten, langur and rhesus monkeys. The park is equally rich in birdlife, such as the Impeyan pheasant (also known as Danphe, the national bird of Nepal), blood pheasant, cheer pheasants, red and yellow billed cough, raven, jungle crow, snow partridge and many others.

Mode of Payment

To confirm your trip we request an advance payment of 40% of the quoted amount. This can be done by credit card when filling up our GE Booking Form.

If you pay by cheque/ bank draft please make it payable to:
Gurkha Encounters Pvt. Ltd.
GPO Box: 20195,
Third Floor, Bhattachan Complex,
Baluwatar, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal.
Phone: +977 1 4417959
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.gurkhaencounters.com

Note: Payment through Master/Visa card has an additional bank service charge of 4%. Payment through American Express has an additional bank service charge of 5.5%.

Complimentary Services

The following services are provided complimentary to our clients:
  • Complimentary tourist registration in the respective consulate office or embassy.
  • Complimentary international flight ticket re-confirmation.
  • Complimentary Gurkha Encounters T-Shirt (subject to availability).
  • Complimentary welcome dinner in one of the finest Nepali restaurants in Kathmandu, including a culture show presented by different ethnic groups.
  • Complimentary use of freshly laundered sleeping bags and down jackets.

Terms & Conditions

  • The Company is not liable for any refunds after the departure date of the scheduled itinerary.
  • Cancellation should be made not less than 48 hours before departure. There is a minimum 40% cancellation charge PLUS any tax, transportation and permit fees. See specific information below.
  • No refund will be given if the programme ends before the stated itinerary date.
  • The Company is not to be held responsible for the early termination of a trek should our experienced leader feel it is unsafe for you to continue due to fitness and/or health issues.
  • The Company is not liable for cancellation or rescheduling due to natural, political or bureaucratic circumstances.
  • The Company is not responsible for delays caused by local weather conditions resulting in local or international flights being missed. We suggest you leave adequate time between the end of your trek and your international flight.
  • The Company is not responsible for the financial implications of rescue, should it be necessary. Please ensure you have the appropriate insurance to cover these situations before you arrive in Nepal.
  • Our staff are very experienced in leading treks at all altitudes. It is their responsibility to ensure your safety. Therefore, their decision regarding safety is final. The Company is not responsible in any way, for any outcome, should you refuse to follow their advice.

Cancellation Charge Incurred

If you cancel your trip for any reason the following scale of cancellation fees will apply:
  • 60 days before departure - Loss of deposit 40% of total trip cost
  • 29 days to 59 days before departure - 50% of total trip cost
  • 10 to 28 days before departure - 70% of total trip cost
  • Less than 10 days before departure - 100% of total trip cost

General Information

Equipment List (general, recommended items, may vary depending on your trek)

  • A pair of light hiking boots (please wear them before arrival to ensure comfort)
  • A pair of sandals
  • 2 pairs of woolen socks and 2 pair of hiking socks
  • 1 medium poly pro shirt
  • 1 pile jacket
  • 1 down jacket
  • 1 woolen hat
  • 2 T-shirts
  • 1 long sleeve tshirt or shirt
  • Two pairs of loose trekking pants
  • A pair of sunglasses
  • A pair of glove shells with liner or ski gloves (optional)
  • A pair of woolen gloves
  • One trekking back pack of 7 or 8 litre capacity
  • A pair of trekking poles
  • 1 four seasons sleeping bag (we also provide you with a four seasons sleeping bag for your convenience)
  • Sunscreen lotion with a high SPF
  • Sunscreen stick with a high SPF
  • Two books for reading (optional)
  • ipod or similar, camera and necessary chargers (optional)
  • A one litre water bottle
  • One flash light with 4 sets of batteries

Things To Bring

Miscellaneous Items

  • Photo equipment with plenty of films and spare batteries
  • Reading/writing materials
  • Safety pins, sewing kits, zip lock bags for small items
  • You may wish to bring postcards of your hometown and/or photos of home and family to share with locals you meet along the route.
  • Please do not give money or sweets to children on the trails.

Toiletry Items

Please bring with you a towel, pre-moistened novelettes, wash cloth, lip balm, and any additional personal items. Please ensure you bring enough personal medicines and extras incase of flight delays.

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Detail Itinerary

What Our Client Says

Very nice staff, porters and Guide, who gave explanations about everything and got out their way to help, they were also very knowledgeable of the terrain and the history of places we visited.

Onatibin, Tantanatia

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