Kanchanjangha, Makalu and Limbus villages

This unique trek takes place in a charming ambiance of tea fields, rice paddies and local villages. We meet the Limbus people and other indigenous natives to this pristine region. We are invited to stay with local people in their homes or sleep in small family accommodation to discover more about daily life here. After a warm-up hike through the plantations of Ilam, our real trek begins in Phidim. We journey through banana plantations, bamboo groves and terraced fields, streadily gaining altitude. We cross rivers, beautiful rhododendron forests and many villages... A fabulous trek without technical difficulty in a non-touristic area in the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Arrival

    Welcome to Kathmandu! Your guide will greet you and escort you to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, perhaps your trip leader can show you the old streets of Ason Tole and Indra Chowk and introduce you to the Nepalese way of living.

    Accommodation: Hotel
    Meals not included

  • Day 2 Kathmandu

    Today we visit the Nepalese capital, starting with the Buddhist Temple of Swayambhunath (also known as the "Monkey Temple") which overlooks the emerald valley of Kathmandu. We continue with the discovery of Patan, one of the three ancient imperial cities of the valley. It has been primarily Buddhist since the 3rd century BC and is known for its monasteries and colourful courtyards. Durbar Square of Patan, with its palace and Hindu pagodas is a UNESCO heritage site. We can enjoy lunch in a peaceful historic courtyard and explore the area before our late afternoon return to the hotel.

    Accommodation: Hotel
    Meals not included

  • Day 3 Katmandou to Jhapa

    A spectacular road through a large mountainous region of Nepal leads to the East Terai of Nepal, at the border of India, near to Darjeeling. Let us take some time to discover the small villages scattered among the rice fields here. We walk from village to village and soak in the charming atmosphere of Terai where rice, palm trees and banana trees flourish.

    Walking: 2 hours - discovery of villages in Terai
    Transport: 7 hours drive
    Lunch: Picnic at Sunkoshi Riverbank
    Accommodation: Homestay with dinner

  • Day 4 Jhapa – Ilam

    After breakfast, we have a short dive and we discover the first tea plantations in Jhapa. We then leave the subtropical Terai region for the mountains and tea of Ilam, capital of Nepal tea for 150 years. Walking tour of tea plantations at Kanyam and we visit a factory to see the different stages of making tea. Late afternoon, we arrive at our hosts’ home where we spend a pleasant evening together.

    Walking: 4 hours (+/- 400m)
    Transport: 4 hours drive
    Picnic lunch in the Tea Gardens of Ilam
    Accommodation: Homestay with dinner

  • Day 5 Ilam - Gaunthali (1200m)

    We continue along a scenic road through the mountains and the Nepalese countryside. In Ranke, we get our first glimpse of the giant Himalayan peaks: Kanchenjunga (8586m) and Janu (7710m), the sacred mountain of the Limbe people and probably one of the most beautiful mountains in the Himalayas. We visit a cheese factory in Baghkhor on the way and then our hike begins in Kanchhi Dokan. From here we head down to the village of Gauthali.

    Walking: 3 hours (-350m)
    Transport: 3 hours drive
    Lunch: Picnic on the heights of Phidim
    Accommodation: Homestay with dinner

  • Day 6 Gaunthali - Phidim - Jorsale (800m)

    We begin our trek amid lush paddy fields, banana plantations, orange trees and bamboo groves. It is quiet trail through the lush greenery to our lunch spot in Phidim - the capital of the region. We descend to the banks of the Tamor River through a subtropical forest which takes its source at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga. Tonight we sleep in tents by the side of the river.

    Walking: 5 hours (-120m)
    Lunch: Local restaurant
    Accommodation: Overnight in tents on the Tamor Riverbank

  • Day 7 Majhitar - Chuhandanda (1650m)

    After a peaceful night near the river, we leave the Tamor Valley and climb up to a higher region. The climb is relatively steep in the beginning. Shortly after, the trail offers beautiful views over the valley and river below. We continue upwards to where seasonal crops bloom: rice, wheat, sugar canes, etc. In the beautiful nature, under a mango tree, we stop for a picnic lunch prepared by the team this morning. We continue our uphill trek to the beautiful lively village of Chuhandanda.

    Walking: 5 hours (+850m/-400m)
    Accommodation: Homestay with dinner

  • Day 8 Chuhandanda - Samthang (2300m)

    We climb a relatively steep trail to Deudi then continue steadily to Sakranti Bazaar. We make a short detour to visit Bhagawatisthan – a pilgrimage for local people. Then we arrive at Sakranti Bazaar, the old market and the main town of the region, where we have lunch and admire a forest of giant rhododendron trees. After lunch, the trail is flat and then climbs gradually upwards to Samthang village at 2300m.

    Walking: 5 hours (+650m)
    Lunch: Local restaurant
    Accommodation: Homestay with dinner

  • Day 9 Samthang - Khamlalung (2205 m)

    We are already fairly high up in the iconic Nepalese mountains. From Samthang, we enjoy a day hike along the ridges overlooking the lush valleys, carved terraces and of course the towering Himalayas. We can enjoy panoramic views of the mountains. After lunch, we walk to Khamlalung, a beautiful village on the edge of a beautiful temperate forest.

    Walking: 4 hours (-100m)
    Lunch: With locals in their home
    Accommodation: Homestay with dinner

  • Day 10 Khamlalung - Gupha Pokhari (2960 m)

    Today is the toughest day of our trek with alternating ups and downs. We cross a dense rhododendron forest, beautiful chestnut trees, and follow a ridge which overlooks several valleys, forests and summits. With a relaxed pace, we walk to the Sherpa village of Gupha Pokhari. From this settlement, the views are simple fabulous of Kanchenjunga and Janu; Baruntse (7129 m), Chamlang (7319 m) and Makalu (8481 m). The peaks are reflected in the clear waters of the holy lake of Gufa Pokhari.

    Walking: 7 hours (+1150/-500)
    Lunch: Picnic lunch
    Accommodation: Lodge with dinner

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

    Early in the morning, we enjoy a splendid sunrise over the Himalayan peaks, the colours reflect in the sacred lake Gupha Pokhari illuminating the whole valley. The giant peaks turn golden with the glowing morning rays of sunlight - it is a pleasure to witness. We are in the area with the greatest variety of rhododendrons, the national flower of Nepal. We can also see herds of Yaks here. After breakfast, we start our walk along a ridge which overlooks the valley of Makalu and the valley of Kanchanjunga. Our destination is the Chowki Village. Lunch and night at the same place surrounded by mountains and dense forests of rhododendrons.

    Walking: 4 hours (+/- 300m)
    Lunch: local restaurant
    Accommodation: Lodge with dinner

  • Day 12 Chwoki - Kande - Biratnagar

    After breakfast, we continue along a flat trail before a beautiful descent through the temperate forest to the village of Kande, the end of our unforgettable trek. We then take the road to Biratnagar through the mountains of Hile and Dhankuta to Terai - where our hike began a few days ago.

    Walking; 3 hours (-600m)
    Lunch: local restaurant
    Accommodation: Hotel with dinner

  • Day 13 Biratnagar - Kathmandu

    Morning in the Terai and then we head to Kathmandu. Afternoon at leisure soaking in the unique atmosphere of this city.

    Transport: Domestic flight Biratnagar - Kathmandu
    Accommodation: Hotel
    Meals not included

  • Day 14 End of stay

    End of stay

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.

Dates & prices

Departures for English-speaking groups:

From To Price per person Guaranteed Booking
€1,385 No Book now!
€1,385 No Book now!
€1,385 No Book now!
€1,385 No Book now!

Trip code: NEPILAM-EN

Included

  • All in-country transfers as detailed in itinerary
  • 3 * hotel accommodation in Kathmandu (Hotel Tibet, Manaslu or similar) 
  • 2 * hotel accommodation in Biratnagar (Hotel Pancholi or similar) 
  • Trek includes full-board and lodging
  • Accompaniment by an English speaking Altaï Guide 
  • Domestic flight Biratnagar - Katmandou
  • Visits as per itinerary with a cultural guide in a private vehicle
  • Luggage transfers - up to 12kg maximum per person during the trek
  • Trekking support team: assistants and porters
  • Trekking permits: ACAP and TIMS
  • Staff Insurance
  • Local taxes

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 'included'

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 3/5

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

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

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.

Transportation

Transport/transfers by 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 with vibram soles - trails can be rocky and muddy
  • 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)

Helpful equipment

  • 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
  • A notebook or travel journal

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 ... )
  • A larger bag (60-80L) containing the rest of your belongings, which can be safely stored in Kathmandu.

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
Group
4 to 10 people
Code
NEPILAM-EN
Price
From €1,385
Level
3/5
Comfort
3/5
Language(s)
English

Strengths

  • An truly off-the-beaten-track trip
  • Discover real Nepalese culture
  • Stay with local people in remote villages
  • Hike through tea plantations, rhododendron forest and along ridges with fabulous views of the Himalayas
  • Discover the stunning Gufa Pokhari lake

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.
Book this trip