Kanchanjangha - Makalu

A unique Altaï creation. This 'off the beaten track' trek passes through tea gardens, paddy fields and authentic villages. In a region inhabited mainly by Limbu people, but also by Bhramanes, Chhetris and Magars, you spend many nights in local people’s homes or in small family accommodation learning more about the daily life and way of living here. From the vibrant atmosphere of Kathmandu, you take a spectacular mountain road to Eastern Terai. Gradually, you join the mountains, their slopes decorated with tea plantations and visit the villages of Limbus, Rais and Brahmins. After a warm-up hike through the tea plantations of Ilam, you drive to Phidim to begin your trek. Through banana plantations, bamboo groves and terraced fields, you cross Tamor River and begin to gain altitude. You traverse rivers, streams and beautiful rhododendron forests plus many villages... This trek is not technically difficult and immerses you in a completely non-touristic area of the Himalayas!

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu

    Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to the hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you can explore the old streets of Kathmandu, enjoy the buzzing ambiance and get a first glimpse into Nepalese life.

    Accommodation: Hotel
    Meals not included

  • Day 2 Kathmandu

    Today, you visit several historical sites in Kathmandu Valley starting with Swayambhunath, the huge Buddhist stupa which overlooks the emerald valley. Discover Patan, one of the three ancient kingdoms in the valley, primarily Buddhist and dating back to the 3rd century BC, it is known for its monasteries and colourful Vihars courtyards. Durbar Square in Patan, with its palace and Hindu pagodas is a recognised UNESCO World Heritage site. Late afternoon return to your hotel.

    Accommodation: Hotel
    Meals not included

  • Day 3 Kathmandu - Jhapa

    After an early breakfast, you head to Terai in East Nepal, at the border with India, near Darjeeling. It's a spectacular road through a large mountainous region of Nepal. Upon arrival, you discover few small villages scattered among rice fields. You walk from village to village, and enjoy the charming atmosphere of Terai: rice, palm trees, banana trees...

    Drive: 7 hours
    2 hours walk-discovery of villages in Terai
    Lunch: Picnic at Sunkoshi Riverbank
    Accommodation: Homestay & Dinner

  • Day 4 Jhapa – Ilam

    After breakfast, it is a short dive to Charali and the first tea plantations of this trip. You leave this subtropical region and head to the mountains and Ilam tea plantations, the capital of Nepali Tea planted 150 years ago. You walk amid the plantations of Kanyam and visit a factory revealing the different stages of tea fabrication. Late this afternoon, your hosts welcome you into their home for a pleasant evening.

    Drive: 2 hours
    Hiking: 3 hours
    Lunch: Picnic in Kanyam Tea Gardens
    Accommodation: Homestay & Dinner

  • Day 5 Ilam - Pallotar (1200m)

    You continue your drive through the mountains and Nepalese countryside. At Ranke, you can enjoy your first glimpse of the high Himalayan peaks notably Kanchenjunga (8586 m) and Janu (7710 m), the holy mountain of the Limbu people and one of the most beautiful mountains in the Himalayas! Visit a cheese factory in Baghkhor on the way and settle down in Pallotar village. You can hike to explore your surroundings and enjoy the iconic atmosphere of Phidim Bazaar.

    Drive: 3 hours
    Hiking: 3 hours
    Lunch: Picnic on the heights of Phidim
    Accommodation: Homestay & Dinner

  • Day 6 Pallotar - Majhitar - Chuhandanda (1650m)

    Today's trek begins amid lush paddy fields, banana plantations, orange trees and bamboo groves. From Jorsale, descend to the banks of the River Tamor through a subtropical forest and follow a trail to its source at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga. You gradually leave the Tamor Valley and climb up to a higher region. It is a relatively steep climb to begin with. Shortly after, the trail offers spectacular views of the green river below. Continue upwards past seasonal crops of rice, wheat and sugar canes... Continue all the way up to Chuhandanda.

    Hiking: 5 hours
    Elevation: + 850m /-520m
    Lunch: Picnic or local restaurant
    Accommodation: Homestay & Dinner

  • Day 7 Chuhandanda - Samthang (2300m)

    It is a relatively steep trail up to Deudi. Make a short detour to visit Bhagawatisthan – a pilgrimage site for local people. The trail continues gently uphill to Sakranti Bazaar where you stop for lunch, this is the main town of the region and it has a lovely old market. You will encounter you first giant rhododendron trees of the trip today. After lunch, the trail is flat and then it is a gradual ascent to the heights of Samthang village.

    Hiking: 5 hours
    Elevation: + 650m
    Lunch: local restaurant
    Accommodation: Homestay & Dinner

  • Day 8 Samthang - Khamlalung (2205 m)

    You are already at a certain height here in the Nepali mountains. From Samthang, you can enjoy a day of hiking along the ridges with panoramic views of lush green valleys, carved terraces and the towering Himalayan peaks. After lunch, you walk to Khamlalung, a beautiful village on the edge of a stunning temperate forest.

    Hiking: 4 hours
    Elevation: -100m
    Lunch: In a local home
    Accommodation: Homestay & Dinner

  • Day 9 Khamlalung - Gupha Pokhari (2960 m)

    Today is the toughest day of the trek with many alternating ups and downs. Cross an enchanting rhododendron and chestnut forest and follow a ridge which overlooks several valleys, forests and summits. Taking our time, we walk to the Sherpa village of Gupha Pokhari. From the village, the views of Kanchenjunga and Janu are dimply fabulous. You can also admire Baruntse (7129 m), Chamlang (7319 m) and Makalu (8481 m), which are reflected in the clear waters of the holy Gufa Pokhari lake.

    Hiking: 7 hours
    Elevation: +1150 / - 500 m
    Lunch: Picnic
    Accommodation: Lodge & dinner

  • Day 10 Gupha Pokhari

    Wake up early to see the sun rise over Himalayas - the golden glow of the early morning sun softens and illuminates the arid monochrome peaks. This stunning display is reflected in the sacred lake of Gupha Pokhari creating a truly magical atmosphere. The region is home to the largest variety of rhododendrons, Nepal's national and emblematic flower; herds of Yaks graze peacufully. Enjoy a day hike around Gufa Pokhari, to Milke Danda which displays the stunning nature and landscapes here.

    Accommodation: In a cottage owned by a Sherpa family

  • Day 11 Gupha Pokhari (2960 m) - Chwoki (2680 m)

    Sunrise here in the Himalays truly is a sheer pleasure to behold. After breakfast, your walk begins following a ridge which overlooks the valleys of Makalu and Kanchanjunga. You reach Chowki Village, another authentic settlement surrounded by beautiful nature. Lunch and overnight here surrounded by mountains and dense rhododendron forests.

    Hiking: 4 hours
    Elevation: +300m/-150m
    Lunch: Local restaurant
    Accommodation: Lodge & dinner

  • Day 12 Chwoki - Kande - Biratnagar

    After breakfast, you walk along a flat trail before following a beautiful trail through a temperate forest down to the village of Kande. This settlement marks the end of this unforgettable trek. You then take the road to Biratnagar through the mountains of Hile and Dhankuta to Terai which you left a few days ago.

    Hiking: 3 hours
    Drive: 4 hours
    Elevation: - 600m
    Lunch: Local restaurant
    Accommodation: Hotel & dinner

  • Day 13 Biratnagar - Kathmandu

    Early this morning, we start our drive for Kathmandu. Enjoy the Terai atmosphere and the endless beauty of the mountains. Stop for lunch on the way. Arrival in the Nepalese capital this evening.

    Accommodation: Hotel
    Meals not included

  • Day 14 End of stay

    End of our services

The details in this programme are updated regularly but imponderables and unpredictable circumstances may result in inaccuracies. In order to provide the adventure which is best suited to your demands, the weather and the operational conditions, changes to the programme may be made. For safety reasons, we reserve the rights to interrupt your participation in this programme at any time if your technical level or fitness are deemed unsuitable or if you are seen as a danger to yourself or to those around you. This will in no case give rise to refunds or compensation.

Period & budget

When to travel?

The best period for travelling is during the following months:

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Price

From 1320 US$ per person (based on 2 participants)

The budget is an indication of the price per person, subject to availability. Your local agent will send you a customized quote with the exact price. The price can vary according to availability, level of services, period of travel, number of participants, booking time frame and other items.

Included

  • All in-country transfers as detailed in itinerary: airport/hotel/airport
  • Accommodation in 2 * hotel / B&B in Kathmandu (Hotel Serenity, Norbulinka or similar)
  • Accommodation in a 2 * hotel in Biratnagar (Hotel Pancholi or similar)
  • Trek includes full-board and homestay / lodge accommodation
  • Accompaniment by an English-speaking Altaï Guide
  • Domestic flight Biratnagar - Katmandou
  • Visits as per itinerary: with a cultural guide and a private vehicle
  • Porterage of luggage: up to 11kg maximum per person during the trek
  • Trekking support team: assistants and porters
  • Local Trekking permits and TIMS
  • Staff Insurance

Not included

  • Entrance to historical sites & monuments
  • Meals in Kathmandu & Kathmandu Valley
  • Nepalese visa: US $ 25
  • International flights
  • Insurance: Repatriation, Medical & Helicopter Services
  • Drinks, tips and personal expenses - all that is not in "THE PRICE INCLUDES"

Notes

For many years, we put our know-how and our experience of Himalayan destinations to the service of travelers from different horizons. You may find yourself in an international group with participants from our various partners.

Level 2/5

This trip is perfect for travellers who enjoy gentle hikes and are interested in discovering historic sites and becoming immersed in Nepalese culture. Good hiking shoes and walking equipment are required.

Terms and conditions

Booking conditions

Booking a trip with us implies acceptance of the terms and conditions of sale. Each customer is required to complete a registration form and, subject to availability at the time of registration, travellers are expected to pay a deposit of 30% of the total price to complete their booking. Payments can be made online or by bank transfer. You will receive an e-mail with your booking confirmation.

Invoice procedure

Once your booking is confirmed you will receive an invoice by e-mail. The full balance of the trip must be received at least 30 days before your departure date. We reserve the right to cancel your booking, free of charge, if this deadline is not respected.

Cancellation policy

If for any reason you have to cancel your trip, we require written confirmation of your decision so please contact us by e-mail, fax or letter. The money you have paid will then be refunded according to the following deductions:
  • Cancellation received more than 30 days prior to the departure date: No cancellation fees.
  • Cancellation received 30 to 21 days before the departure date: 30% of trip price will be retained.
  • Cancellation received within 20 days of the departure date: 70% of trip price will be retained.
Please note if you decide to cancel your trip having agreed, in writing, to pay for additional tailor-made services (hotel, additional flights or activities...), these services are usually non-refundable.

If we have to cancel a departure due to an insufficient number of participants, you will be informed no later than 21 days before departure and a full refund will be issued, you will not be entitled to further compensation. We reserve the rights to cancel departures due to exceptional circumstances which may impact the safety of participants. Such circumstances may include those amounting to 'force majeure' in which case participants will receive a full refund but they will not be entitled to any compensation.

Changes to travel contract

If you wish to make a change to your booking please contact us in writing; you will be expected to pay any fee which might arise from this change. In the event of unforeseen external events, Altaï Nepal may change some aspects of the travel contract. If any changes are necessary you will be informed as quickly as possible.

Pricing

The prices on our website are updated regularly and all of the prices we advertise are accurate when published. We reserve the rights to make changes to any of these prices. Before you make a booking we will give you the up-to-date price of your chosen holiday including any supplements, upgrades or additional activities you may have requested. If the number of travellers is fewer than the indicated number of participants on the website, a small group surcharge may be applied. For all of our trips we include details of services, prices and what is/is not included but please be aware that changes to the prices may be necessary in accordance with exchange rates or price changes of various components of the journey.

Contract transfer

If you are unable to travel for any reason, you can transfer your booking to another person in which case our modification conditions apply. Both the transferor and transferee will be jointly and severally liable for payment of the total holiday price and other associated expenses. Some airline carriers treat name changes as cancellations and you may be required to pay for the cost of a new ticket.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you take out personal travel insurance for your trip with Altaï Nepal as soon as your booking is confirmed. We advice you to purchase a travel insurance policy which covers flight cancellations, luggage loss and emergency health care. Please look carefully at which activities are covered by your insurer and do not forget to bring all necessary documents and information with you (name of the company, name of the contract, insurance policy number, telephone number...)

Practical info

Staff

Armed with an abundance of experience and a wealth of knowledge, our professional guides are all real experts. This trip is led by a professional Nepali English-speaking Tour Leader, who is part of the Altai Nepal Team. During the trek, they will be assisted by junior guides, sirdar and porters.

Food

Lodge meals
The international success of treks in the Annapurna and Everest regions influences the economy; tarifs for food and lodging are now set by the National Park and have increased sharply in recent years, but quantities and quality of food have paradoxically decreased. To offset this decline in quality and quantity of food and in order to focus on the local economy, we plan Dal Bhat daily for our menus.It is a balanced dish, full of energy and nutritive intake, not fatty and above all, very digestible (digestion is more difficult at altitude). For all challlenging treks, we provide energy snacks (like dried fruits). Meals in Kathmandu and in the valley are not included in the trip price. You will have plenty of time to discover Indian, Bhutanese, Chinese, Thai and other cuisines.
Please be aware that tap water is not normally drinkable. All drinks are at your own expense.

Accommodation

In Kathmandu and other cities, you will normally be accommodated in 3 * hotels. In more rural areas, we use homestay accommodation with varying comforts (they all have functioning beds, mattresses, tables, chairs, toilets, etc.) We love using homestay accommodation options which offer insights into Nepalese life and support local families. In addition, the use of lodges considerably reduces the number of porters and cut down the infrastructure of trekking.

Transportation

Transport/transfer by bus, private minibus & plane.

Budget & exchange

The local currency is the Nepalese Rupee NPR.
Visit http://www.xe.com for the latest currency converter and exchange rates.
You can withdraw Nepalese Rupees from in-country ATMs in Kathmandu and credit cards are accepted except in shops and hotels. Please budget for meals in Kathmandu, drinks, tips and other personal expenses.

Tips

Tipping is very present in Nepal. It is an integral part of the 'tourism' culture of the country: independent of salary levels, your tip is seen as a sign of appreciation. The amount depends on your satisfaction with the services rendered and your generosity. Your guide will help you on this subject. Like money, if you have clothes to give, do not hesitate to seek advice from your guide who will make a fair distribution. We ask that you do not to give sweets and / or energy bars  / chocolate to local children as there are virtually no dentists here in the mountains. The same rules apply to medicine, western medication is not necessarily adapted for the Nepalese and, moreover, following the correct dosage is extremely important.

Vital equipment

  • Warm Sleeping Bag
  • Water purifiers (micropur, aguatabs ...)

From head to toe:
  • A cap or sunhat
  • 1 or 2 sets of thermals: long-sleeved thermal tops and full-length long johns
  • Long sleeved and short sleeved t-shirts, preferably in quick-drying technical material
  • A light fleece or equivilent (plus extra warm layers if necessary)
  • A breathable wind proof, waterproof jacket (Gore-Tex...)
  • Lightweight waterproof over trousers
  • Suitable shorts
  • Walking trousers
  • A pair of high-rise walking boots - strength, good grip of the foot and ankle (high stems) and impermeability are essential. Choose shoes with non-slip soles (vibram).
  • A pair of trainers/sandels or equivilent casual shoes for cities, villages and evenings
  • Thick walking socks
  • Warm gloves, hat and scarf (it can be chilly in the mountains)

Do not forget
  • Your personal toiletries and a fast drying towel
  • Water bottle(s). Min. 2 litres, light and isothermal
  • A good pair of sunglasses (think min. category 3)
  • Sun-cream, face and lips
  • Head torch and spare batteries
  • A pocket knife
  • A pair of hiking poles
  • A waterproof bag cover (or plastic bags) to protect your belongings
  • Toilet paper
  • Anti-bacterial hand gel
  • Your camera
  • Notebook or travel diary

Material

We prefer that you do not wear cotton clothing, including underwear, when participating in activities. When cotton gets wet from water or sweat it ceases to insulate and it does not dry fast. The best materials for outdoor activities are fast drying materials like polyester or materials which are warm when wet like wool.

The most powerful materials against the wind and rain are 'breathable' materials like Gore-Tex or Nikwax. Soft shell layers are effective against the wind.

Our advice for keeping warm
Weather conditions in the high mountains can be variable, please think carefully about what clothes you pack especially for our winter trips and remember that the layers you wear next to your skin can make the biggest difference.
We recommend:
  • No cotton
  • Always carry dry spares of everything, including underwear and gloves

Wear multiple layers including:
  1. A warm breathable base layer
  2. A second thermal layer
  3. Wind and water proof protective outer layers

Luggage

Your luggage must be divided into two bags:
  • A rucksack (35-40L or 45-50L) for use as a day bag. This will contain your (vital) personal belongings for the day (sweater, spare t-shirt, water bottle, picnic-lunch, sunglasses, small things ... )
  • We use porters to transport our other belongings when trekking. Please bring a flexible travel bag with zips for easy access max 80L and max 13kg (16kg with camping gear). Please do not bring suitcases or other hard bags which the porters cannot transport.
  • You may also be able to store some belongings securely at the hotel in Kathmandu.
To protect your bags, we will provide solid waterproof Altaï Bags.

Medicine

Your guide is a trained first-aider and will carry a full first aid kit at all times during the trip. We recommend that you bring a small personal first aid kit containing any medication you may need such as inhalers, plasters, antiseptic and painkillers.

Passport

Your passport should be vaild for at least six months after the last day of your stay. It is your responsibility to confirm your specific passport requirements and please be aware that proof of onwards travel may be required.

Visa

It is your responsibility to confirm your specific visa requirements. Please bring valid passport photos with you to obtain a visa upon arrival.
To obtain trekking permits, your passport and photo ID is also required. Please provide us with good quality scans of your passport and 2 photos of identity.
For an individual visa, obtained on the spot as you arrive in Kathmandu, rates are as follows:
- 15 days : 25 US$ + 1 picture
- 30 days : 40 US$  + 1 picture
- 90 days : 100 US$ + 1 picture

Mandatory vaccines

No mandatory vaccinations are required. Recommended vaccines include Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis, and Influenza.

Health information & recommendations

It is your responsibility to check that your personal health insurance covers everything in this trip. A consultation with your doctor is a prerequisite for any trip and we advise you to visit your dentist too as untreated cavaties have an annoying habit of waking up with altitude.

Hygiene Recommendations
Water is not drinkable in Nepal. It is always possible to buy bottled water but in order to limit pollution and preserve natural areas, we strongly recommend that you drink purified water. For that, think to bring a water bottle of minimum 1.5 liters and purifying tablets (micropur, agua tabs ...). Consume only treated water or water which has been boiled for 30 minutes and then filtered.Be sure to wash your hands frequently, and definitely before each meal (anti-bacterial hand gel is recommended) and take care to disinfect any skin wounds. Avoid drinking natural drinks like pressed fruit juice and do not consume ice cream or "lassi" (a milk-based beverage) bought in the street. Meat and fish / shellfish should be well cooked before consumption.

Weather

From the eternal snows of high peaks to the tropical lowlands, Nepal has a wide variety of climates.
- In autumn (October to mid-December) the days are very beautiful but can be fresh at altitude. At 3000 m altitude, temperatures can drop to -10 ° C (14°F) at night.
- In winter (mid-december to mid-february): The nights are generally cold and the climate is dry. If night time temperatures drop easily below 0 ° C (31°F) to 3000 m, the days are often sunny. Treks below 4000 m are very pleasant. There are very few tourists at this time.
- In spring (March to end of May): in this season, Kathmandu is in full bloom and the rhododendrons are magnificent. The weather is pleasant, it is getting hotter with some night storms. Temperatures vary between 10 and 28 ° C (50 - 83°F), but can rise to over +30 ° C (+86°F). Between 2000 and 3000 m, temperatures rarely drop below 0 ° C (32°F). A few rare frosts or snowfalls are possible in March from +4000 m.
- In summer: it is the monsoon season. This interrupts the majority of trekking from June until the end of September. However, certain regions of the "Trans-Himalayan" zone, Mustang and Dolpo remain sheltered from the monsoons - these are the only circuits available in Nepal in the summer.

Electricity

In recent years, due to a lack of hydropower facilities, electricity and water outages are becoming more frequent in Nepal, especially in Kathmandu (mainly in winter and spring). The hotels have generator but the electricity is limited. It is the same for the consumption of water.

Local time

Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)/ Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) +5.45. Daylight Saving Time (DST) is not observed here.

Sustainable tourism

As adventure and wilderness travel experts who run trips to some of the most remote parts of the world, we take responsible tourism very seriously. We respect the ‘Leave No Trace’ outdoor ethical code and try to explore this beautiful location whilst causing minimal environmental damage.

Since the beginning, we have advocated for responsible tourism and the importance of equitable and sustainable principles. Harmonising these fundamentals ensures a fair distribution of economic benefits, improved working conditions for local teams and an increased awareness of the importance and practice of environmental protection. We hope that all of our clients will respect our philosophies and embrace these attitudes.

The Leave No Trace policy can be summarized in 7 simple steps which we hope you will follow during ourtrip...
1.    Be prepared
2.    Stick to trails and camp overnight right
3.    Stash your trash and pick up waste
4.    Leave it as you find it
5.    Be careful with fire
6.    Respect wildlife
7.    Be considerate of other visitors

Over the years we have built up good relations with our local suppliers and we are keen to support local businesses as much as possible. We are a small company and we pay our local partners and suppliers directly insuring fair rates.

Our small group sizes not only provide a more intimate adventure but also cause less impact on the environment and local communities.We expect all who travel with us to support and uphold our Sustainable Tourism philosophies.
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Buddhi

My local agent
Buddhi

  • Native to Eastern Nepal
  • A trekking guide for over 20 years
  • Specialist of Annapurnas, Everest, Ladakh and Rajasthan
  • Languages: English and French, plus some German and Chinese
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Region
Kanchenjungha & Makalu
Activity
Hiking & culture
Duration
14 days
Code
NEPILAMFIT
Price
From €1,190
Level
2/5
Comfort
3/5

Strengths

  • Hike along off the beaten track trails
  • Authentic culture and homestay in local villages
  • Walk through tea plantations
  • Discover Gufa Pokhari lake and the Himalayas

Required level

This trip is perfect for travellers who enjoy gentle hikes and are interested in discovering historic sites and becoming immersed in Nepalese culture. Good hiking shoes and walking equipment are required.
Request a quote