Kathmandu to Rara Lake

Kathmandu to Rara Lake

Kathmandu to Rara lake has become more accessible to tourists after the completion of the Surkhet Jumla Section of Karnali Highway. You can join the tour to Rara lake either through the flight or take a ride.

Situated at an altitude of 2990m, Rara Lake lies at Rara National Park. Home to a diverse species of flowers, mammals and birds, this National Park is definitely worth a visit.

Unlike the popular trekking regions of Nepal, Kathmandu to Rara Lake trek takes you to the less traveled and well-preserved parts of Nepal.

Things to See During Kathmandu to Rara Lake Tour

  • Rara Lake: one of the world’s biggest and deepest freshwater lake of the Himalayas.
  • Rara National Park
  • Isolated and off the beaten trekking routes
  • Beautiful scenery of spellbinding mountains, ponds, and sighting of rare animals.
  • Home of the rare and exotic wildlife like Himalayan Black Bear, Red Panda, Ghorals, and Black Panther.
  • Enthralling views of northwestern Trans-Himalayan terrace of Nepal. View of Chuchemara Peak (4,039m) and the deep Mugu Karnali Gorge.
  • Thakur Baba’s Temple
  • Karnali River, Nepal’s longest river

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How to Go from Kathmandu to Rara Lake?

There are several ways to get to Rara Lake from Kathmandu. Some of the popular options are:


The easiest and fastest way to get to Rara lake is by flights. You need to take two different flights to reach Rara Lake.

First, you need to take a domestic flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. There are daily flights from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. This flight cost around US$ 180 for one way for foreign nationals. For Nepali, it can cost anywhere between US$ 40 to 70.

Second, you need to take another domestic flight from Nepalgunj to Talcha (Mugu) airport. From this airport, it only takes you 3-4 hrs to get to Rara Lake on foot. It costs around US$ 116 per person for one way for foreign nationals.

Hire a Private Vehicle- Car, Jeep, Van

You can hire a private vehicle to take you to Rara Lake. This is more expensive than buses, yet cheaper than the flights.

You can share the cost of the private vehicle if you have a group. There are no local jeeps, vans from Kathmandu to Rara. Hence, you can reserve it.

You can do this from Nepalgunj or Surkhet or Jumla or Kathmandu. The private vehicles can take you very close to the lake.

With the vehicle, you will only need to walk around 20-30 minutes to reach the lake.

Public Bus

You can take local buses or deluxe bus from Kathmandu to Nepaljung. This can cost around US$ 15 per person for one way.

It will take around 16 -20 hours to reach there. From Nepaljung, you can take the local jeep. These can be bad during the summer/monsoon season of Nepal.


One of the best and most awesome ways to reach Rara Lake is by walking. You can enjoy the incredible and pristine trekking route of Karnali region of Nepal.

This isolated trek takes you away from the crowded trails of Nepal. You get to experience the unique and authentic culture of the west.

Combined Modes of Transport

You can also choose a combination of these travel modes. Examples include:

  • Flight to Nepalgunj- Trek to Rara Lake and Back- A flight back to Kathmandu.
  • Flight to Nepalgunj- Trek to Rara Lake-Jeep to Kathmandu.

Itineraries for Kathmandu to Rara Lake

Kathmandu to Rara Lake Overland Tour

Day 01: Drive from Kathmandu – Surkhet. (13-16 Hrs. Drive) Overnight at Surkhet.

Day 02: Drive Surkhet – Kalikot. Overnight at Kalikot.

Day 03: Drive Kalikot – Rara via Gamghadi. Overnight at Rara.

Day 04: Rara Lake Sightseeing Tour. (You can include Boating, Horse riding, Cycling, Jungle walk, Village tour, Short Hikes to Murma). Overnight at Rara.

Day 05: Drive Rara – Kalikot. Overnight at Kalikot.

Day 06: Drive Kalikot – Surkhet. Overnight at Surkhet. You can explore the valley with visits to Deuti Bajai, BhulBhule Tal.

Day 07: Drive Surkhet – Kathmandu. From here, you will head to your own destination.

Kathmandu to Rara lake Trek

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m).

Day02: Sightseeing of capital and pre-trip meeting

Day03: Fly to Nepalgunj (140m).

Day04: Fly from Nepalgunj to Jumla and trek to Uthugaon (2,530m).

Day05: Trek to Danphe Lagna (3130m).

Day06: Trek to Chautha (2770m).

Day07: Trek to Dhotu (2,380m).

Day08: Trek to Rara Lake (3,040m).

Day09: Rest and travel around Rara Lake.

Day10: Trek to Ghorasingha (3,190m).

Day11: Trek to Sinja (2,440m).

Day12: Trek to Jaljala (3,270m).

Day13: Trek to Jumla

Day14: Fly Jumla-Nepalgunj-Kathmandu.

Day15: Leisure day in Kathmandu.

Day16: Final Farewell.

What Permits to Obtain for Kathmandu to Rara Lake Tour?

You need the following permits for this trek:

  • TIMS card: NPR 1000 (around US$ 10) per person
  • Rara National Park Entry Permit: US $34 including VAT

What is the Cost of Kathmandu to Rara Lake Tour?

The prices for your journey to Rara Lake can vary from US$ 2000-3000 per person.

The cost of your trip from Kathmandu to Rara lake depends on the following things:

  • Accommodation, Meals, and Drinks
  • Size of group
  • Modes of Transportation used
  • Length of the trip.

Accommodations During Kathmandu to Rara Lake Tour

The accommodations on the way to Rara Lake is quite basic. You will get clean, simple rooms with basic necessities. Most rooms are available on a twin sharing basis.

Due to the limited accommodation, you should come prepared with a tent and sleeping bags. Also, you will find basic meals and drinks options on this journey. This generally includes the basic Dal-Bhat-Tarkari, noodles, potato (fried, boiled) items.

For drinks, you get bottled water, hot water, tea. Some of the guesthouses or tea houses do provide coffee and other soft drinks as well.

When is The Best Time for Kathmandu to Rara Lake Tour?

The best time to undertake treks and tours to Rara Lake is the local spring and autumn season of Nepal.

The autumn months of September, October, November and the spring months of March, April, May have ideal weather conditions. You can enjoy your visit to Rara lake in clear, dry weather conditions. These enable you to witness the amazing landscape and views fully.

You can also visit Rara Lake during the local summer and winter season of Nepal. However, if you travel during these seasons, have a few extra days. Your flights, road transportation may have delays due to the weather conditions.

How Difficult is Kathmandu to Rara Lake Trek?

Kathmandu to Rara Lake trek is a moderate to easy level trek. Hence, it is ideal for beginners as well. Both the length and altitude reached on the trek is not extreme on this trek.

Kathmandu to Rara Tour involves long hours in the vehicle. It is not a difficult journey but can be a scary experience for some.

Feel free to ask the driver to slow down or you can choose to walk through these sections (10-15 mins).

You will also be sitting for long durations. Hence, take short breaks when you want to stretch and relax your muscles.

Some sections have long winding roads. If you are prone to motion sickness, be sure to prepare beforehand.

What to Pack while Travelling from Kathmandu to Rara Lake?

For treks, make sure to carry all the essential trekking equipment and supplies for a high altitude trek.

For tours, carry enough clothes to last the journey. Also pack your toiletries, documents, sleeping bag, tent. You can also include snacks to enjoy during the journey.

Plus, pack your clothes depending on the season you travel in.

Can I Travel Alone from Kathmandu to Rara Lake?

Trekking guides are mandatory for treks to Rara Lake. Rara Lake falls in the restricted region of treks in Nepal. Hence, according to Laws of the Government of Nepal, any trekker wishing to trek here must have a guide.

When you hire one, make sure s/he is licensed and experienced.

Final Say,

A cultural and scenic adventure is what you get on your journey from Kathmandu to Rara Lake. You will catch the stunning views of Rara Lake- the largest lake in Nepal on this trip.

Rara Lake protected by Rara National Park is the perfect place to enjoy nature in its raw and undisturbed form.

Feel free to contact us for any further queries or questions you have about this fabulous journey. You can also contact us for any other treks and tours in Nepal.

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