Burrowed between the high Tibetan plateau and the Dhaulagiri region, Dolpo region is truly the Shangri la of your dreams. With Nepal Eco Adventure let’s go Upper Dolpo Trekking, to a sanctuary for devout Buddhists, created by Guru Rinpoche, according to the mythologies.
Upper Dolpo Trekking is a once in a lifetime experience. Trekking to the remote and isolated region of the mid-western region of Nepal, to see the landscape in its naturally rugged state and its remoteness to understand and believe. The most of the region is uncharted and unexplored, suitable for trekkers who want a change from the tourist-packed mainstream trekking routes.
The entire district was closed to trekkers up until 1989. This has led this region to be one of the world’s most ancient and well conserved region. In the past, only some anthropologists and geographers had explored the region in the past. The Upper Dolpo Trekking was opened to organized trekking groups by a special permit from Nepal Eco Adventure.
The east and the south skyline are bordered by the Dhaulagiri (8,167m) and Chure Himal range. Dhaulagiri was thought to be the tallest mountain in the world for the longest time! The view of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and Kanjiroba from upper Dolpa is absolutely regal.
The up close view of the beautiful mountains, ancient monasteries and frosty turquoise lakes, Upper Dolpo Trekking has it all. The huddled settlement of 5000 in Dolpo region makes its people some of the “world’s highest dwellers”. The antique settlements in Upper Dolpo are situated 4,300 meters and above!
The high and parched valley of Dolpo in northernmost Nepal houses the last miscellanies and remnants of the ancient Tibetan culture. To add more to that, Dolpo is the only region in the earth where the people practice the ancient Pre-Buddhist religion, Bon Po. The time has stood static yet tranquil in Upper Dolpo for centuries. The people of Upper Dolpo are unaware about the life beyond the mounts. The remoteness and exclusiveness from the modern world has made the culture and tradition of this region unharmed and untouched.
Along with the panoramic view of the beautiful mountains and living the ancient culture and tradition, Upper Dolpo Trekking has more to offer. We can see the exotic animals like Blue Sheep, Snow Leopard, Mountain Goat and Himalayan Langur.
During our trek, we will pass by interesting ancient primeval villages, be part of fascinating culture and meet interesting people. We will cross exciting high passes, relish in the beauty and tranquility of the Shey Phoksundo Lake and experience spirituality in the holy Shey Gompa.
In Dolpo, the monsoons created by sea winds blowing from the Gulf of Bengal is tempered by the Dhaulagiri range. That’s why Upper Dolpa Trekking is even possible during the summer months. It’s even a plus point because Orchids, Edelweiss, Campanules, Forget-me nots are all in full glory.
Trekking into this Trans Himalayan Region is an experience of a life time. Nepal Eco Adventure’s Upper Dolpa Trekking offers to you the right amount of adventure, thrill, gratification and spirituality. Come, trek to the wild west of this Himalayan country and experience it for yourself.
The other alternative for the trek is Lower Dolpo Trekking.
Highlights of Upper Dolpo Trekking
Beautiful view of Himalayans — Musk Deer, Snow Leopard, Blue Sheep– Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain range – Mt. Saipal – Mt. Api — 800 years old Shey Gompa – Shey Phoksundo National Park – Shey Phoksundo Lake – Indigenous culture of the Mountain people – Ringmo Village
From Nepalgunj we will take a plane to Juphal, it’s about 35 minutes long. After landing in Juphal, we will meet our trekking crew and walk through the green terraced fields along the Bheri River and through the narrow canyon. After three hours of trekking, we will reach a large village of Dunai, where we will spend the night.
From Dunai, we will cross the suspension bridge and move westward. At the meeting point of the Thuri Bheri and Suli Gad rivers, we will follow the latter one and move north. We will hike up gradually, with the sound of the river thriving in the backdrop. We will walk through marijuana, millet, pumpkin and potato fields. We will continue our trek along the river and reach a small settlement called Hanke. It is the gateway to Shey Phoksundo National Park. We will walk through Parela and Rahagaon to reach Ankhe. What’s interesting is these names mean eyelashes, eyebrows and eyes respectively!
The trek starts to get a little challenging from this point. After crossing a dwindling river in well-built bridges, we will hike uphill on a steep trail on a narrow path. From there, we will descend for some time along the river and then ascend up, relishing the beautiful view of the surrounding landscape. We may camp on the side of Suligad River.
We will start early in the morning. The trek will be fairly easy for the first few hours. From Sumdo, we will incline down steeply. We will climb a ridge at 3,875m from where we can have the amazing view of the 300m waterfall, biggest in Nepal and the Phoksundo Lake. We will drop away through beautiful Birch forests to reach the Phoksundo Khola and beautiful settlement of Ringmo, decorated with its mud plastered Chortens and Mani walls. It is a lively and vibrant village. From here, we will walk a short distance to reach the shores of Phoksundo Lake where we’ll set the campsite.
We will follow the adventurous trail that is suspended on a footway of wood supported on pegs, driven into gaps in the rocks. We will go steeply up, up to 4,040m and then drop down to the bottom of the valley to enter the bank of Shey Phoksundo Khola, where we will camp for the night.
We will be crossing few streams barefoot! We will cross the glacial valley and head north. As the trail goes on to become narrower and narrower we will cross impressive vertical cliffs and crooked rock formations. At the meeting point of Phoksundo river and another unnamed river, there is a very old wooden bridge which we will cross, of course. A long, tiring climb will lead us to sheep grazing land from where the trail turns up a still gorge. Another long and tiring climb to the top and it will bring us to another valley from where we can see the adventurous Kang La Pass. We will spend the night in overnight camp.
The trek today is especially tiring and demanding today. It will take us around 3 hours to reach the top of the Kang La Pass at altitude of 5,151m. The view from the top more than compensates for all the hard work. While descending the steep valley floor, we have to be extra careful. It will take only around 45 minutes. A beautiful red Chorten will mark your arrival in Shey Gompa. An old-fashioned log bridge will take us to the Shey Gompa compound where we will be spending the night in a tent.
Shey literally means crystal in the Tibetan language. This monastery is also called the crystal mountain. We can visit the Shey Gompa and take blessings from the Lama. We can visit the Tsakang Gompa, west of Shey. It has been a meditation hub for lamas in medieval times. The monastery was built in the 11thcentury.
Here, we can witness the perfect blend and harmony of Tibetan Buddhism and ancient Pre-Buddhist religion Bon Po. We can later go around the area and explore the vicinity.
We will start the day by trekking along a pleasant track covered with juniper shrub. We will ascend up to a stony gray canyon. It begins with a zigzag trail of rocks and eroded soil and it will bring us to the flat spot, suitable for a little picnic. After 20 minutes of some steep climbing, we will reach the top of the Saldand La Pass. From here we can enjoy the great view of the barren, and the coppery red landscape of Mustang. Then we will descend down to the north and it might get long and tiring. The view of grazing yaks and the nomadic tents made from yak hair will welcome. This signals that you have now entered the Namduna Gaon. Here we can visit the Namgung Monastery set against a backdrop of the cliff. The village only has six houses and terraced fields on both the sides. We can see stretched out Barley fields, the main crop of the district. We can visit the recently built beautiful monastery in the periphery.
After leaving the Namjung Valley, we will hike uphill. It begins with a long and exciting traverse along the rocky mountains. At the bottom of the valley we can see terraced fields of ripening crops. We will ascend for some time before going downhill to the beautiful village of Salding, located on a plateau high above the Nam Khong Nala River. It is the biggest village of the district. It is an arid village of the Trans Himalayan Tibetan plateau.
We will leave Saldang early in the morning and go down the river bank, then the terraced fields, beautiful stupas and Chortens. We can see any Mani stones on our way and can visit the Chaiba Monastery on our way. We will go through the village of Namdo, a prosperous village of 60 houses and 400 people. We can visit the Namdo monastery and another monastery on top of the cliff. We will camp near the settlement called Sibu, along the river bank. We will spend the night in an overnight camp.
Following the dwindling river, the first few hours of the trek is going to be fairly easy. After two hours, we will cross another stream and then turn to a side valley. The climb from there is very steep. We will then reach a pleasant meadow, but it is bestrewn with rocks. Night will be spent in overnight camp.
The trail today is compacted which makes the walking easier today. But at times it gets very steep. It will only take 2 hours to reach the top of Jeng La. The view from here of the Dhaulagiri Mastiff is truly mesmerizing. After a rough trail downhill towards the Tarap Valley, we will find ourselves in a lush green valley in the few hours leading us to Tarap Chu. Tarap is truly a majestic valley, vast plains on the lap of snowy mountains extending 20kms along the Tarap Chu. On reaching Tokyu Gaon we can visit Gompas and Chortens. We can spend the night in the Tokyu Monastery compound. The monastery belongs to Chaiba sect.
The trail today is broad and fairly easy. We will walk along the fields where we can see the men and women busy harvesting the crops. We can also see Mani Walls and Chortens, many of which need a reconstruction now. The village of Tarap is mainly populated by Magars and few Tibetans. The people here follow Bon Po or Buddhism. We can go visit the Gompa here and receive blessings from the resident Lama. We will spend the night in an overnight camp on the site.
Following the course of the Tarap Khola, we will go downhill. We will cross the narrow gorges on our way. We might even see Blue Sheeps, Yaks and people taking their yaks and goats for grazing. We will walk along a more heaved path as we walk away from the river. We will cross one of the modern suspension bridges. The track will get very narrow in places. We will spend the night in an overnight camp.
We will continue our descent down the canyon of the Tarap River. Today we will trek on paths, broad and silky to very narrow and steep. We will also mount the flights of man made staircases which need to be tackled with some care. Our campsite will be a pleasant and beautiful meadow in the shade of big trees. We will spend the night in an overnight camp.
Leaving KhaniGaon and the mountains in the backdrop in a newly built suspension bridge we will walk along the river, sometimes uphill and sometimes downhill. Sometimes the trail can be more challenging and we will also cross one of the rivers on wet stepping stones!
Leaving the wild adventures of the treks back up there, we will climb down mainly. We will walk beside the resonating Bheri River and reach the village of Dunai. Now we have completed the circuit of the beautiful Dolpo. We will take rest and later go exploring on arrival.
We will go back to the small town of Juphal. At first the trail is flat and broad but as we go up the trail goes on to become more and more steep. We will spend the night in an overnight camp.
We will board the two planes on the same day. We will fly from to Nepalgunj (35 minutes) and from Nepalgunj to Kathmandu (60 minutes). Then, it will be time to say goodbye. Hopefully we’ll meet again!
What is Included
- Can I get Nepal visa on arrival or online?
- Yes, you can get on arrival tourist visa at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Most of people can obtain visa on entry to Nepal. There are some countries visa will needed to be organize prior to travelling. $25 for 15 days of visa from the date of issue, $40 for 30days and 100US$ for 90 days tourist visa. You need two photos.
- You can apply online visa from 1st of March (http://www.online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/).
- When is the best time to visit Nepal?
- Trekking at Nepal will be best during the seasons of spring and autumn. But according to the will of the trekkers, the trekking and visiting in Nepal can be managed. The trekking at the high altitude should be done during the summer time or September to November and March to May but the trekking at the low lands can be done at throughout the year.
- How difficult is trekking in Nepal?
- The trekking in Nepal is one of the most interesting things that the visitors in Nepal want to do. The trekking will take the visitors of Nepal to different parts of Nepal. Generally, trekking in Nepal will goes for about 5 to 7 hours per day in every trekking but the toughness of the trekking will differ from its grade. There are different types of trekking grading from the easy, medium, challenging and demanding. Normally in Trekking covers 3000 meters to 8848 meters which has categories in various stage of grade. Expedition is challenging but trekking is normal and easy.
- How fit do need to be for trekking?
- It depends on you; if you’re reasonably fit and enjoy walking then trekking is certainly for you. Choose the trekking route suites your fitness level. Obviously shorter treks are easier then longer ones, longer and bigger treks require a better standard of fitness. If you are in good physical condition then you do not require any hiking experience for short trekking. But if you are planning for the longer ones then you should try some longer day hikes.
- How long will be the trekking?
- The trekking at the different parts of Nepal will be different according to the distance of the trekking destinations. Generally, there are different places where one can go for trekking and the duration of the trekking will generally goes for about 1 to 4 weeks. But the trekking at the different places like in city tours will be short but the trekking towards the base camp of the high hills will be generally long.
- What is teahouse and camping trekking in Nepal?
- In Nepal, generally we can do two types of trekking. In the teahouses trekking, we will do the trekking by resting the night at the lodges or the teahouses at different places of the trekking trails. The teahouses trekking at Nepal will be comfortable than the camping trekking because the trekkers should not have to take any tensions regarding the accommodation and foods. But besides the teahouses trekking, camping trekking in Nepal is also equally popular. The camping trekking will be based on the trekking where the night will be resting at the camps, where we will set up our camps at the different parts of the trekking trails for our convenience. We will have our meals at the camps and will rest the night at camps. As compared to the lodging trekking, camping trekking is a bit difficult.
- What types of food will be served during the trekking?
- While trekking in Nepal, meals are prepared in tea houses, good standards of hygiene, fruit and vegetable soaked in iodine water before cooked. The food along the trail will be simple and a mix of local and international cuisine. If the trekking is camping trekking, then the trekkers will mainly be served with the local foods of Nepal and as well as continental and western foods. Due to the lack of electricity and refrigerators along our trekking route you will eat a largely vegetarian diet. In Kathmandu you will find meals in good quality tourist restaurants. Most of lodges serve boiled and filter water which is safe. It is also possible to buy the bottle of mineral water in the trek.
- Does your company organize domestic flights, hotel booking and other services?
- Yes. Since we are Nepal based company we refer to arrange your international flights from your home. But domestic flight ticket and accommodation during the trek will be included in our package. If you like to organize individually river rafting, sightseeing tour, mountain flight, jungle safari can be organized according to your interest.
- Do I really need trekking guide?
- While visiting to Nepal, trekking guides is almost mandatory to trekking in Nepal for everyone. When you hired one your trip will lot more informative and memorable. You get lots of knowledge about country. But if the trekkers is well experienced and have visited at different places of Nepal many times then s/he may not need the trekking guides. But trekking guide can play big role to make your trekking They will provide information about the trekking destination along with its surroundings. Similarly, if any problems will arise during the trekking, then the guides will solve it easily and it will be rather difficult for the trekkers themselves to solve them.
- Is trekking and travel safe in Nepal?
- Yes Nepal is safe to Travel. Safety during the trekking or travel in Nepal is one of the prime concerns that every trekker or traveler want to know. In the past, Nepal has experienced political unrest, however since November of 2006, the signed Nepal Peace Agreement, between the Government of Nepal and the Nepal Communist Party (Maoists) has brought this unrest to a close. but now there is the situation of peace and tranquility in the field of trekking as well as in whole Nepal.
- Besides, the trekking stakeholders in Nepal are also forwarding several steps for the safety of the trekkers. Now after election democratic parties will lead the government and rule the nation that’s why the huge possibility has seen in safety. Yes. . There are pick pockets here, as you find in other countries so keep your belongings safe at all times. You need to take usual precautions as you would traveling anywhere in the world.
- Do I need insurance for travel and trek in Nepal? Can I get it there?
- You should buy medical and mountain evacuation insurance for trekking up to 5500m. General travel and medical insurance for traveling in Nepal. We suggest you to buy insurance policy in your country as we don´t have mountain rescue insurance over here in Nepal. Check with your home country travel insurance company which covers the rescue helicopter from the mountain up to 5500m.
- Is there any telephone/internet facilities, when we are on the mountain?
- In the way in most villages along the popular trekking routes you can find telephone for international call. Popular trekking area like Annapurna, Everest and Langtang area there good coverage of cell phones. and there internet cafe some lodges have wifi service.
- What do I need to carry on trek?
- A porter will carry your luggage and that belonging to your room-mate. Your clothing and sleeping bag must be placed in plastic bags inside your rucksack which must not weigh more than 25 pounds (12 kg) in total. You will be able to leave clothes and other baggage at our hotel in Kathmandu while away on trek.
- Each trekker will carry a small day-sack, fleece jacket, water proofs, warm hat, sunhat, sun-cream, water bottle (or camel back system), first aid kit and water purification kit.
- What in case of altitude sickness?
- Altitude sickness is one of the major problems while you will trek high altitudes trekking destination of Nepal. But there are certain measures that can be applied while trekking at the high altitudes which help the trekkers to avoid the altitude sickness. Besides, if it will affects to any trekkers then there are several provisions for the first aid and other medicines to recover. If the condition of the trekkers gets worst, then he will immediately transfer to the nearby hospitals.
- What happens if there is an emergency?
- Our guides are trained with first aid and have basic knowledge about the physical problems that may arise during trekking. If an emergency occur then we will cover initial expenses of rescue operation as these expenses will need to be recovered from your insurance company. For minor cases there are health posts established by foreign doctors and many are staffed by overseas personnel.
- You can bring power bars, cereal bars and similar high energy foods, powder Gatorade is also recommended to fight dehydration.
- Do I need to bring First Aid Kit?
- Our Guides carry a comprehensive medical kit. But you should bring your own personal kit and carry it with you when on the trek. It should contain antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, headache pills, diarrhoea treatment, re-hydration salts eg Dioralite, Lemsip, plasters and Compede for blisters.
- What currency should I bring to Nepal?
- We advise you to bring US dollars /British pounds/Euros to pay for your visa, trip cost and other expenses. most major currencies are usually accepted also. It is always better to travel with US dollars.
- Does Nepal have good quality banking facilities?
- Nepal has reasonable banking facilities having branches of some international local commercial banks Almost all foreign currency along with credit card such as Visa and Master card are broadly accepted. ATM is widely available in Kathmandu and pokhara. There are some ATM in bigger town on treks. when you go remote area idea to carry enough cash. some trekking area has bank and ATM, they might not be reliable.
- What are the main Nepali customs to know about?
- Take off your shoes before entering a temple or a house
- Ask for permission before entering Hindu temples
- Most of the time, it will be forbbiden to take photographs inside temples
- What about time and phone code in Nepal?
- Nepali time is GMT/UTC + 5H45
- The Country Code is 977
- Nepali time is GMT/UTC + 5H45 The Country Code is 977
- You do not need any specific vaccine to come to Nepal. It is however recommended to check if your mandatory vaccines are up to date and talk to your doctor before travelling.
- How early should I book my trip?
- We recommend you to book your trip in few month advance. Even you arrive and want to organize your trip we accommodate last minute bookings. However, for Trekking like Everest region we need to reserved the flight so we highly recommend earliest is best for us.
- What are your payment terms?
- You need to pay 20% of total price as advance deposit to confirm reservation before arriving to Nepal and remaining balance of the payment shall be paid when you arrive to Kathmandu.
- What essential documents/items do I need to bring with me?
- You must bring a valid passport (must be valid for up to 6 months, keep an extra photocopy just in case), a copy of your travel insurance, cash, flight tickets, emergency contact numbers of insurance and family members and any medications.
- How much extra spending money should I bring?
- This depends on the destination you will travel or trek. There is something you spend your money on throughout the trek other than the alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, Hot shower on the trek, Tipping and shop round on the trek. On the other hand Kathmandu is a shopper’s paradise.. Frequently purchased items include hand-woven Tibetan carpets, hand knit woollen goods, hats, outdoor clothing and equipment, cashmere clothing, shawls, pashminas, Buddhist memorabilia, carved masks, puppets, wood carvings and jewellery etc. we suggest you to bring $200-$350 US dollar. You can only buy Nepalese Rupees in Nepal. There are ATM’s in Kathmandu where you can withdraw Nepalese Rupees Credit cards can be used to purchase expensive items but there will be an additional charge for this service.
- Are Nepal Eco Adventure guides/porters insured?
- Yes our company trekking staff including guides, porters, cooks, Sherpas all of them are insured. we have bought insurance for all our staff from Neco Insurance. Their insurance cover up to $5000 USD.
- How much should I tip to my guide and porter?
- Tips do not form any part of thewages of guides,porters and other trekking crews. but they are expected by the porters, guide, Sherpa and cook. it is a nice way of saying thank-you to someone who will play a large part in your trekking experience and who will prove invaluable to you on this trip. Our porters and guides will be paid more than working for other big tour and trek companies. we suggest to tip 10-20% of total trip cost. This amount must be given in Nepalese rupee. The porters live in small hill villages several days walking from the nearest bank or money changer. I will suggest you to be generous about tipping job they have done for you.
What is Excluded
- Airport pick-up and drop
- Accommodation in Kathmandu
- Nepal entry visa fees (you may easily issue the visa upon your arrival at International Airport – Kathmandu). You need 2 passport size photos and 40USD
- Your Travel insurance
- International airfare
- Your personal expenses
- All the alcoholic and non alcoholic hot and cold drinks
- Tips for trekking staff and driver (Tipping is expected)
- Any other expenses which are in mentioned on include section