This interesting and varied trek takes you to the western region of Nepal and ultimately to the largest lake in the country. We travel through less frequented regions, with traditional villages and scenic passes in complete wilderness. Rara Lake (5.1km long and 2.7km wide), sometimes referred to as Mahendra Taal, it is located in Mugu District and sits at an altitude of 2,990m. It is situated in Rara National Park, and there is the chance to explore the lake area on the rest day during the 8 day trek. The park is home to 214 species of birds, and migratory birds, and dozens of mammal species, including the Himalayan black bear, musk deer, red panda, jackals and others. The trek is quite strenuous in parts but does not rise above approximately 3,500m. The trail we take passes through lush vegetation and interesting villages, along rivers and over panoramic passes. Being a remote and less touristy area of the country, this is a camping trek where you can enjoy evenings under the stars before retiring to your luxury tent for a good nights sleep.
On arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be greeted by our staff, who will escort you to the hotel. After some refreshments our Sherpa guide or other representative will give you a brief orientation about the hotel, Kathmandu itself, trekking, and the do's and don’ts of the area. They will also review any additional information that you might require while in Nepal, including an overview of the next day's sightseeing tour. In the evening, you will enjoy a complimentary welcome dinner at one of the finest traditional Nepalese restaurants in Kathmandu. Transfers by private vehicle.
After breakfast, proceed to Kathmandu Durbar Square. Here we take in the ancient palace, the temple of the Kumari, known as the living goddess, Hanuman Dhoka, and Kasthamandap Temple. From our knowledgeable guide, you will learn about Nepalese history, architecture and religion. From here, proceed by private vehicle to the Buddhist site of Swoyambhunath Stupa, also known as the "Monkey Temple" because of its lively troops of resident monkeys. From Swoyambhunath you can look down over the city while learning about the local Buddhist culture. Then visit Pashupatinath Temple, the holiest shrine for Hindus, situated on the banks of the Bagmati River. Being that the Bagmati is considered a holy river, many funeral cremations take place along its banks. Before returning to the hotel, visit Boudhnath Stupa, a Buddhist pilgrimage center and home to many colorful gompas, or monasteries. The area is particularly vibrant and colourful in the early evening when locals come out to circumambulate around the stupa, reciting prayers as they walk. Once back at the hotel, you will receive a briefing about the trek and have a chance to meet your guides and ask any last minute questions before the next morning's departure.
After breakfast drive to the airport around 6am by private vehicle from where you will have a scenic flight by the latest model private chartered B3E helicopter. 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 Nepalganj Airport for re- fueling purposes. On arrival at Jumla our trekking staff will receive you. Jumla is the largest town in the hills of the Karnali District. This area is Nepal's most sparsely- populated administrative zone with few roads and is mainly accessible on foot or by air. There is time to explore Jumla to see the bazaar and temple dedicated to Chandan Nath, a mythical saint who defeated a serpent’s demon, and emptied the lake which flooded the valley.
After breakfast take half an hour walk from Jumla towards the college to the small village called Micha where, in a small walled enclosure, stands a number of stone stupas explaining some of Buddha’s history. The stupas were erected in memory of important dignitaries of the region and date back to the late 15th century. From here we climb away from Jumla and follow the trail to our overnight camp at Chere Chaur.
After breakfast we take a route heading west, climbing through birch and pine forests to the unnamed grassy pass sometimes known as Jaljala. As the walk progresses, views of Kanjiroba Himal can be seen to the East, with its twin peaks that towers over the adjacent area. In the afternoon, descend about 870m through beautiful forests to our campsite.
Climbing uphill to Sinja Valley, we pass through several villages and follow the Jaljala River through forests with immense gnarled pines, and through terraced farmland. Just before the final descent to Sinja the trail passes the 300 year old Kanaksundari Temple where ancient stone lions guard the inner sanctum. Sinja was once the ancient and thriving winter capital of the Malla kings and a few Malla stones dating from the medieval Khasa Kingdom can still be seen alongside the trail. The trail passes south of the peaked, white temple and descends to the main river, crossing a thick plant bridge at a place where the water has cut a deep, narrow furrow through bedrock. Sinja village rests upon a small alluvial plain on the west bank of the clear Lah Gad River, although here it is called Sinja River. The ruined town actually stood on the east bank of the Sinja River, at a place known as Kotgaon or Lamathada, where you can explore the ancient sculptured stones overgrown with weeds.
After breakfast we leave the Sinja Valley, passing through farmland, until we reach the entrance of Rara National Park at the Ghorosingha check-post.
Leaving the Ghorosingha campsite, our route leads to a climb all the way to the Chuchemara Danda ridge, at around an elevation of 4,260m. This part takes nearly 2 hours, but the climb is not too hard. From the crest of the ridge, an excellent panorama can be seen against the northern horizon. Descending the trail northwards, Rara Lake will soon be seen to the north-east and the trail passes through bamboo and birch forests before crossing the Khatyar River which is followed upstream to our overnight camp near the shores of Rara Lake
Rara Lake is the biggest freshwater lake in Nepal. After breakfast you can walk to Murma Hill for the full view of Rara Lake and surrounding valleys or climb the wooden observation tower. There is also the opportunity for boating and admiring the picturesque setting of the lake, as well as visiting the National Park Headquarters to pick up information about the Park itself. Swimming is allowed, and it is very cold and refreshing!
After a champagne breakfast fly by the latest model B3E helicopter from Rara Lake to Kathmandu. Upon landing in Kathmandu our staff will receive you and escort you to the hotel. In the afternoon relax at the hotel and enjoy the spa or take a short, 10 minutes walk, to the area around Boudhanath Stupa to do some shopping. In the evening enjoy a farewell dinner in a typical Nepali restaurant with a culture show.
Today our staff will take you to the airport for your international flight. Please advise us in advance of your flight time and please ensure your ticket is confirmed. We can do this for you.