Best recognized as the location of the Oscar nominated movie Caravan and the home of Thinley – the Dolpa district is a hidden treasure of Nepal. Dolpo preserves one of the last remnants of traditional Tibetan culture. Legend says it’s one of the “hidden valleys” created by Guru Rinpoche as a refuge for devout Buddhists in troubled times. Surrounded by high mountains including the Dhaulagiri massif to the south-east and cut off by high passes closed by snow half the year, Dolpo’s easiest access is from Tibet, where its people emigrated from perhaps 1000 years ago. Upper Dolpo shelters about 5000 people, whose lives revolve around Buddhism, barley, and yaks. Their villages (over 4270 meters) are among the highest settlements on earth.
A large portion of Dolpo has been set aside as Shey-Phoksundo National Park. At 3555 square km, it is the largest national park of Nepal meant to preserve the trans-Himalayan ecosystem. The park shelters: blue sheep, Himalayan black bear, leopards, wolves, and the elusive snow-leopard.
Upon your arrival the Tribhuvan International airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, you will be greeted by a representative from Nepal Wanders who will take you to our hotel. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner in a traditional Nepali cuisine restaurant where you will be able to enjoy authentic Nepali meal with a brief cultural program. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu
This is a day to explore Kathmandu where we organise guided sightseeing to the Buddhist and Hindu sights in Kathmandu, to Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, Swayambunath – the Buddhist monkey temple and Pashupatinath – a sacred Hindu temple complex on the banks of the Bagmati River. Three major towns are located in the valley, Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, each having a great artistic and architectural tradition. Kathmandu is the capital and the largest city in the country. Patan, the second largest is separated from Kathmandu by a river. Bhaktapur, the third largest, is towards the eastern end of the valley and its relative isolation is reflected in its slower pace and more distinctly mediaeval atmosphere. In the Kathmandu Valley the landscape is dramatically sculpted by the contours of the paddy fields. The towns and villages are alive with the colours of farm produce, ranging from pyramids of golden grain to the vivid reds of chilli peppers laid out on mats to dry in the sun. In the streets and towns there is a constant bustle of activity, especially in the bazaars and markets where the farmers sell their vegetables and fruit. You should get back to the hotel after your sightseeing tour around midafternoon and the rest of the day is free for you to explore the city further and pack bags ready for the start of the trek the following morning. You can leave a bag at the hotel with items you will not need on the trek. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu
After our short excursion in Kathmandu, we take an hour-long flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, located in Western Nepal. Nepalgunj, a town near the Nepal-India border, is also the gateway to Simikot, Humla. The town itself is an interesting Terai town that showcases the diverse culture of Nepal. In Nepalgunj, we visit the local market, mini-zoo and nearby villages. Overnight in Nepalgunj
We fly to Jhupal after breakfast. The town is beautifully located over the Himalayan foothills, with views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to its north. Here, we meet our trekking staff and begin the adventure. We walk through terraced fields to the Bheri River and its narrow gorge. We continue walking to Dunai which is the administrative headquarter of the Dolpo region. We explore the small town in the evening and camp there for the night
After breakfast our trek continues along the southern bank of the Bheri River heading upstream on an easy trail. Along the way, we pass through several deep gorges, hanging bridges and isolated villages. Our trail also includes a tremendous gorge with pine trees and a path built about seven meters above the river. After walking for a while, we will be greeted by the colorful, terraced field of Tarakot, a small village that stands on a hillock to the south of the Bheri River. Overnight in Tarakot
We walk alongside Tarap Chu river and cross it twice before reaching Sandul Gompa. The gompa lies at a juncture between Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu river. We continue walking on a trail that takes us through farm terraces and rural villages. After ascending and descending for a while, we finally reach Laini. Overnight in Laini
We climb on a steep trail and walk along switchback above the Tarap River. The walk is quite exciting as the valley becomes a narrow gorge that in some places you can jump from one side to another. Several vigorous climbs and descents will take us to the banks of the Chyugur Khola, from where we reach Nawarpani. Overnight in Nawarpani
We begin today’s trek by gradually ascending to Kamattarka at the confluence of the Tarap Chu and Lang Khola. We cross a narrow gorge and leave the tree line behind us and welcome wild rose and juniper bushes, typical of the dry inner Himalayan valleys. After walking for several more hours, we reach the village of Dho Tarap which is surrounded by an irregular stone wall. In this Valley both Bon Po and Chaiba religious sects reside together. Tarap is also inhabited by a few Tibetans and mostly Magars who have lived here for many generations. Overnight in Do Tarap
The day off will assist with acclimatization and allow some bodily rest. We can spend the day visiting nearby monasteries. During today’s short walks, we also get a chance to get acquainted with the local culture. The Dolpo people wear homespun clothing that is sometimes dyed a maroon color 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 (Buddhist sects). Overnight in Do Tarap
We trek towards the upper Tarap valley enjoying views of lush grasslands on both sides of the river which is unique to this part of the inner Dolpo. We walk alongside Tarap Chu river and take pleasure in the amazing views of the vast Tarap valley with its wide plains and high mountains. A few hours’ good walk takes us to the village of Tokyu which houses a Buddhist monastery of the Chiba sect. After exploring the monastery, we continue walking up the valley on a rough trail before reaching the Numa La Base Camp. Overnight in Numa La Base Camp
Today is going to be the toughest and one of the longest days of our trek. After breakfast, we begin crossing the Numa La pass on a steep trail all the way up the top ridge of the pass. From the ridge we get incredible views of the barren mountains of Dolpo up to Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m). After getting to the top of Numa La, we descend to camp at Pelung Tang
After breakfast we begin our steep climb up to the top of Baga La pass. From here, we get fantastic views of the dry landscape and the distant snow-capped mountains including Mt. Kanjirowa. We spend some time at the top of the pass taking pictures and generally enjoying the mesmerizing views. Next, we descend to Dajok Tang for an overnight stay
We spend most of today’s trek on trails alongside beautiful pine forests and alpine vegetation. After trekking for a short while on an easy trail with only gradual highs and lows, we reach Ringmo Village. The village is a traditional Tibetan village of the Dolpo region. Overnight in Ringmo
Today we explore the great Phoksundo Lake and camp at its shores. We see yak caravans moving in and out of Ringmo mostly towards Tibetan borders on remote mountain trails. The scene is even depicted in a Hollywood movie ‘Caravan’ shot mostly in this location. On our way to the lake, we also tour a nearby monastery. Upon reaching the Phoksundo Lake, we can enjoy a relaxing walk on the serene lake’s shores. Overnight at Phoksundo
We trek downhill to Chepka. From Chepka the trail follows a massive overhanging rock. During our trek, we find many important medicinal minerals which are believed to cure almost anything in this area. The route then passes through villages, before climbing to Shyanta. Overnight in Shyanta
We march towards Jhupal via Sulighat on a trail surrounded by birch trees. From atop a ridge, we get the most spectacular views of the mountain above us and Jhupal Village 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 taking a rest. Overnight in Jhupal
We take the earliest flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj. Upon reaching Nepalgunj, we return to Kathmandu on the next available flight. Upon our arrival in Kathmandu, we will be transferred to our hotel. There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight in Kathmandu
Our representative will pick you up at the hotel and transfer you to international airport for onward journey.