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.
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
Max Altitude: 1,300m
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
Max Altitude: 2,475m
Duration: 04 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
Max Altitude: (2,896M)
Duration: 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
Max Altitude: (2,282M)
Duration: 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
Max Altitude: 3,500m
Duration: 6 Hrs
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
Max Altitude: 3,500m
Duration: 6 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.
Duration: 1.5 HRS
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!