Trekking in Nepal-A Complete Travel Guide

Trekking in Nepal-A Complete Travel Guide


Trekking in Nepal-A Complete Travel Guide is one of the most exciting experiences. It features eight of the world’s 14  8,000 peaks. Nepal has six distinct and unique plant zones ranging from tropical to alpine. With the lowest point being Kechana Kawal at 58 m and the highest point being Mount Everest at 8848.86 m, Nepal offers a wide range of trekking opportunities.

Likewise, a unique blend of Hinduism and Buddhism makes Nepal a great religious and spiritual experience. Nepal celebrates unique festivals such as the Tiji festival in the Upper Mustang and the Mani Rimdu festival in the Everest region.

Additionally, Nepal is very rich in species, with some occurring only in Nepal. These include 284 flowering plants and 160 animal species. Nepal is a bird lover’s paradise and a paradise for large mammals. Nepal is the only country where the tiger population has doubled.

If you want to experience Nepal, you need to plan your travel strategically. So the only question you need to ask yourself when you decide to visit Nepal is what kind of trekking do you want?

Nepal has two types of trekking, depending on where you stay.

1. Teahouse Trekking

Teahouse trekking is the most common trekking in Nepal. It provides food and accommodation so you can trek at your own pace. They provide healthy food and comfortable beds on the trekking trails.

The facilities are not the same everywhere, but the higher the trek, the more basic the tea house. Teahouse trekking is a great way to learn about the local culture and environment.

Popular Teahouse Treks in Nepal

 

There are many teahouse treks in Nepal. But the most popular ones are the Everest, Annapurna, Manaslu, Langtang, and the off-beaten paths. These treks are popular as they offer stunning views of the Himalayas.

Likewise, beautiful rhododendrons pave the trails. The teahouses along the trail are a great way to interact with the locals. This will help you better understand the way of life. Plus, you can socialize with fellow travelers from all over the world.

Everest Region

From chilly streams and peaceful elevated views of the lower regions to the impressive mountain faces, colossal icy masses, and desolate moonscapes of the upper heights, the extraordinary scenes of the Everest Region are hard to forget.

Trekking in the Everest Region has it all: Panoramic views of mountain peaks, Passing through beautiful Himalayan villages, and the opportunity to interact and learn about the unique ethnic group of Nepal.

Trekking here brings you closer to the highest mountain in the world. It will also allow you to trek through monasteries of the Khumbu region.

Everest Base Camp

Trekking in Nepal-A Complete Travel GuideTrekking in Nepal-A Complete Travel Guide

The Everest Base Camp Trek is the only experience that gives you the closest experience to the highest peaks in the world. It will take place to and from Kathmandu within 12-14 days. It is a strenuous trek with the highest elevation at Kala Patthar (5,555 m).

Throughout the trek, you can view Mount Everest (8,848.86 m). Likewise, you will be tempted by Ama Dablam (6,812 m), Nuptse (7,861 m), and Lhotse (8,516 m).

Everest Base Camp Trek also offers a spiritual and religious experience. Because you can trek through the region’s largest and oldest monasteries at Tengboche and Pangboche, you may also have the opportunity to witness unique festivals such as Mani Rimdu and Dumji.

Mani Rimdu celebrates the founding of Buddhism in Tibet by Guru Rinpoche in Tibet. The Dumji festival honors the birth of Guru Rinpoche.

Everest Gokyo Valley Trek

 

The Everest Gokyo Valley Trek takes you to the mesmerizing Himalayan Lakes of the Gokyo Lakes system consisting of 19 Himalayan lakes. These are pristine turquoise lakes of glacial origin. Lakes have different features. For example, Lake Tabachi Tso has a mirror-like surface.

It usually includes 13 days of trek to and from Kathmandu. The highest elevation Gokyo-Ri (5,357 m), offers the best views of Gokyo Lake Ngozumpa glacier. It also provides panoramic views of Everest (8,848.86 m), Lhotse (8,516 m), and Makalu (8,481 m).

The lake is worshipped by people of both Hindu and Buddhist destinies. Devout Hindus also bathe in this lake during Janai Purnima.

Everest Panorama Trek

Trekking in Nepal-A Complete Travel GuideTrekking in Nepal-A Complete Travel Guide

If you have wanted to trek Everest but were worried about the rugged terrain, the Everest Panorama Trek is the answer. Due to the low altitude, the chance of altitude sickness is meager. It usually takes six days to and from Kathmandu.

You can also experience the beauty of the Himalayas. You will learn about the Sherpa community and explore a Buddhist Monastery. It takes you through Namche Bazaar and Tengboche. It will take you through beautiful trails of the Dudh Koshi River with views of Ama Dablam (6856 m).

Tengboche is a part of the Sagarmatha National Park “Sacred Sites Trail Project”. This is a circular route that goes clockwise past ten different monasteries. A major sherpa event, the Mani Rimdu Festival, is celebrated at Tengboche Monastery. It has strong links with the Rongbuk Monastery in Tibet. It lies at the confluence of the Dudh Koshi and the Imja Khola rivers.

Annapurna Region

The Annapurna Region is one of the most hiked areas in Nepal. It has well-marked trails, is cheaper than other treks, and gets you up close to Annapurna Massif. You can also get to interact with the Gurung people.

Annapurna is named after the Hindu Goddess of food and nourishment. As the name suggests, streams descending from this area are the source of water for agriculture and pastures. Trekking here allows you to experience the authentic Himalayan lifestyle of Western Nepal.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Trekking in Nepal-A Complete Travel GuideTrekking in Nepal-A Complete Travel Guide

The Annapurna Base Camp Trek takes you closest to the Annapurna Massif, passing through vast rhododendron forests. You will be treated with the views of Annapurna (8,091 m), Macchapuchhre (6,993 m), Manaslu (8,163 m), and Dhaulagiri (8,167 m).

From the Critically Endangered Chinese Pangolin to endangered deer, you will also see plenty of Himalayan biodiversities. Avid botanists even trek through the region to see the orchids bloom in Annapurna. The region is, therefore, a true biodiversity paradise.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek can be completed in 7 to 13 days from Kathmandu. The trek is not too strenuous and affordable. However, if you pay attention, the chances of altitude sickness are not very high. Children aged ten and up can participate in this hike, making it a great family vacation.

Annapurna Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

 

Want an easier trek while enjoying the stunning views and cultural experience of the Himalayas?

Then the Annapurna Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek is for you.

One of the famous viewpoints in the Annapurna area is Poon Hill. From there, you can see the snow-capped peaks, especially at sunrise. During the trek, you can enjoy panoramic views of the Dhaulagiri range, the Annapurna massif, and much more.

There are also cultural encounters, especially with the Gurung people. The trek can be done from 3-9 days and can be done all year round. There is no possibility of altitude sickness on this trip. It is a moderate hike so you can plan it as a family trek.

Mardi Himal Base Camp Trek

Trekking in Nepal-A Complete Travel Guide

Mardi Himal Base Camp Trek is among the least crowded trekking destinations in the Annapurna region. Just established in 2012, it allows you to explore areas of the Annapurna region that are usually off the beaten path. These trails allow you to experience the Annapurna region and the rich Gurung culture in its natural state.

This trek will give you a closer look at Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Hiunchuli (6,441 m), and Annapurna South (7,219 m). The trek can quickly be done in 6-8 days. Monsoon hiking in Mardi is also popular.

Manaslu Region

The Manaslu region is one of Nepal’s least explored areas, allowing you to get to know Nepal’s hidden valleys and off the beaten path. Manaslu comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Manasa’ which means ‘mountain of Spirits’.

The Government of Nepal only opened the route to Manaslu in 1991 and the Tsum Valley only in 2008. Partly because the government wanted to preserve it and partly because the region shares an open border with Tibet.

Tsum Valley Trek

 

The Tsum Valley Trek takes you through pristine trekking trails to ancient lands rich in nature. There is no better word to describe this valley than ‘Tsum’, Tsum is derived from the Tibetan word ‘Tsombo’ which means vibrant.

Most locals are of Tibetan descent, and Tibetan culture can be seen in every aspect of their lives. They practice Buddhism. Its influence is so strong that people sign the vow of non-violence. This prohibits animal sacrifice, going hunting, and forest fires.

The trek takes about 13 days. During this time, you will have breathtaking views of Himal Chuli (7,893 m), Ganesh Himal (7,422 m), Manaslu (8,163 m), etc.

Manaslu Circuit Trek

 

Trekking in Nepal-A Complete Travel GuideTrekking in Nepal-A Complete Travel Guide

The Manaslu Circuit Trek circles the summit of Mount Manaslu. This trail was a historic salt trade route along the lovely Budi Gandaki River. The highest trekking point is the Larkya-La Pass (5,106 m), one of the longest passes in Nepal.

This trek offers the opportunity to trek off the beaten trek, dazzlingly decorated with other high peaks such as Annapurna I (8,091 m) and Shringi (7,161 m).

This is where the Gurung ethnic community lives and is famous for its hospitality and brave Gorkha Battalion. Buddhist temples are scattered throughout the area. You will explore Buddhist culture and sites throughout the tour.

This trek takes about 16 days to complete and is a challenging trek. This hike requires good physical fitness.

Tsum Valley with Manaslu Circuit Trek

 

A rare opportunity to explore the ancient lands combined with a rugged trekking experience. The Tsum Valley with Manaslu Circuit Trek is one of those treks. Here you can not only visit the ancient lands of Tsum Valley but also take a walk around Manaslu peak.

In particular, Tsum Valley can be imagined as a pilgrimage to a sacred place. On the trek, you can see wild Himalayan Thar and blue sheep. The region is also home to the elusive snow leopard.

In trekking, it is possible to interact with ‘Tsumbas’ and Gurung. Both these ethnic groups have different customs and traditions.

The trek takes a minimum of 21 days and is a challenging trek. You have to be in pretty good physical shape to do it.

Langtang Region

The Langtang Region is a spectacular trek through the central Himalayan region of Nepal. The trek provides stunning views of Langtang Lirung (7,234 m).

The Langtang region was part of an ancient high road connecting Nepal, Tibet, and India. It transported important goods such as salt, musk, borax, and medicinal herbs.

This trek takes you across the biodiversity-rich Langtang National Park, home to many endangered species, including the red panda.

The Tamang people call this area home and offer a wonderful learning experience about their culture. However, animism and, to a lesser extent, Hinduism have significantly influenced their religious views. As such, the Tamang lifestyle is a unique blend of practices. A trek here will give you a closer look at shamanistic practices and local customs.

Langtang Valley Trek

Trekking in Nepal-A Complete Travel Guide

 

Langtang Valley Trek is perfect for hikers seeking a peaceful trail with few other travelers. You will visit Kyanjin Gompa; a historic monastery supposedly constructed more than 700 years ago. Also, you will visit Tserko Ri (4,984 m), the highest viewpoint on the trek.

At Kyanjin Gompa, Swiss-style hard alpine cheese is made by dairy farms in the neighboring community. Grave a yak cheese, soak up the sun’s warmth with views of the mountains in the distance and enjoy a delightful break from the constraints of modern life.

You can also enjoy the breathtaking views of Langtang Lirung (7,227 m) and Langtang Ri (7,205 m). Views of Loenpo Gang (6,979 m), Yala Peak (5,520 m), and Ganjala Peak (5,652 m).

This is a moderate-grade trek and takes eight days. If you visit this region between August to September, you may be able to see the Tama Festival. Tama Festival celebrates the end of a long meditation by Guru Rinpoche.

Langtang Gosainkunda Trek

 

Better than the spectacular Langtang Valley is the Langtang Gosainkunda Trek. Here you will visit not only Kyanjin Gompa and Tserko Ri but also Gosainkunda with its 108 lakes.

Lord Shiva is said to have created Lake Gosainkunda. Hindu pilgrims dive into the icy waters to cleanse their sins. For this reason, the water in this area is revered as sacred. Along its bank are numerous temples and shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. The quiet space feels like another world.

It takes 11 days to complete. If you trek here during August and September, you might be able to witness the Janai Purnima festival. Devotees dip in this icy cold lake to get closer to the divinity. Hindu men also wear sacred thread called Janai. Doing so is said to bring longevity and protect the wearer from evil thoughts.

2. Off Beaten Treks

Are you tired of the established, managed trails?

Explore off the beaten trails and create memories for a lifetime.

Upper Mustang and Nar-Phu are two of Nepal’s best-preserved sites, making you feel like you have stepped into a medieval kingdom. Few tourists visit these places as both are in Restricted Areas of Nepal.

Upper Mustang Trek

Trekking in Nepal-A Complete Travel GuideTrekking in Nepal-A Complete Travel Guide

Also known as the Last Forbidden Kingdom, Mustang was closed off from the outside world until 1992. It is a testament to the strong presence of old traditions in this area.

Trekking here takes you to centuries-old monasteries such as Luri Gumba, and Ghar Gumba. You will also visit a man-made sky cave.

Likewise, the Upper Mustang Trek also offers the chance to visit the walled city of Lo-Manthang. The Royal Palace of Upper Mustang, Jampa Lhakhang, and more.

The region is home to the Lobas, who are culturally and ethically closely related to the people of Western and Central Tibet.

You also get to witness the unique Tiji festival, which celebrates the victory of good over evil. The celebration takes place through Tibetan songs and dances, colorful dresses, and chanting of mantras.

Add to this the natural wonders of the desert, such as the red copper canyon and cliffs. Additionally, there are beautiful views of the snow-capped mountains of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Massifs.

It takes 16 days to complete, and each day is a unique experience. It consists of Tibetan Buddhism, unique customs, and natural beauty.

Nar-Phu Valley Trek

 

The Nar-Phu Valley is home to colorful Chortens and ancient monasteries. Some religious sites include the Nar Phedi Monastery, Tashi Gumba, Bhraka Monastery, Samdu Choling Gumba, and Yunkar Gumba.

The trail passes through waterfalls, river crossings, small caves, and dense pine forests. This makes you a delightful trail. Mountain views continue throughout, including Tilicho Peak (7,134 m), Gangapurna (7,454 m), Himlung Himal (7,126 m), and Annapurna II (7,937 m).

High mountain passes, including the Thorung La (5,416 m) and Kang-La Pass (5,322 m), are traversed in this trek. The settlement is in an old traditional village that has preserved old ways of life due to its relative isolation.

The Nar-Phu Valley Trek can be completed in 9 days. The trek is strenuous as long distances must be covered along the route due to limited accommodation.

Trek Difficulty Rating

 

There are different grades of trekking in Nepal. This means grading according to the difficulty of the trek.

The simplest categories are easy, moderate, strenuous, and challenging hikes.

Easy to moderately difficult hikes, no prior trekking experience required. Easy hikes take place in the lowlands, usually through villages, and learning about the culture.

The moderate treks range from 2500 m to 4000 m altitude, with uphill and downhill hikes close to the mountains.

The strenuous treks cover altitudes from 4000 m to 5500 m and require a reasonable fitness level.

Challenging treks are usually trekking over 5500 m and have a higher chance of altitude sickness. To do so, you need previous trekking experience and sufficient physical fitness.

Trekking Permits

 

Trekking in Nepal requires multiple permits. A National Park/Conservation Area Permit is required for a national park or conservation area.

It costs around USD 25, but children under 10 are free. Trekking permits are available at the Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu or at the entrance of the protected area.

TIMS is required for hiking outside protected areas and restricted areas. The TIMS card has two provisions. Prices are USD 20 per person for individual travelers and USD 10 per person for group trekkers.

TIMS can be obtained from Tourist Service Centers, Trekking Agencies Association Nepal (TAAN) offices, or government-registered trekking companies.

Some places, such as the Khumbu region, require you to apply for a local area permit in place of TIMS. It costs around USD 17 per person for the first four weeks.

Similarly, for restricted areas like Upper Mustang, you must obtain a Restricted Area Permit (RAP). However, if you have applied for RAP, you do not have to apply for TIMS for that place.

A RAP is issued by the immigration office and costs USD 500 per person for ten days and USD 50 for each additional day. Only a trekking agency can apply on your behalf.

Best Time to Trek

Trekking in Nepal-A Complete Travel GuideTrekking in Nepal-A Complete Travel Guide

The best times to trek in Nepal are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). Visit us for more about Weather in Nepal for hiking time.

Spring trekking is comfortable and warm. The likelihood of canceled flights due to sunny spring weather is very low. The temperature during spring in Nepal is 21 degrees Celsius. Nepal’s weather is neither too hot nor too cold during this time.

Autumn days are also warm; the weather is stable, sunny, and clear. However, the busy trails can get crowded on sunny days due to many tourists. The temperature during this season ranges from 10 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius.

Several trekking routes can be walked all year round, with destinations for each trekking season. For example, botanists may find it particularly attractive to see wild orchids blooming during the summer or monsoon season.

The summer season in Nepal starts in June and ends in late August. The temperature during summer in Nepal is 30 degrees Celsius.

Similarly, some of Nepal’s Trans-Himalayan treks, such as Upper Mustang and Upper Dolpa, are not affected by monsoon rains. So you can plan your hikes here during these periods.

Winter in Nepal lasts from December to February. Nepal experienced a drastic drop in temperature during the night. Daytime usually is ok.

Tea House Foods

 

Tea houses serve food to eat along the trails. The most common meals served on the trekking trail are Nepali staple food – Dal Bhat and Tarkari. It consists of rice, lentil soup, and various vegetables and pickles. Meat is also available. Food synergies provide you with carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins, and more.

Breakfast typically includes flatbread, oatmeal, cornflakes, porridge, and coffee or tea. Different local dishes are also served depending on where you hike.

Some tea house trips also provide western food such as pizza, noodles, sandwiches, and baked goods. The Langtang region is especially famous for its bakery items and yak cheese.

The tea houses also serve local alcohol such as rice beer – Chhyang, Tongba – Tibetan hot beer, Marpha – apple brandy, etc. These local alcohols are mostly home-brewed.

Tea House Accommodation

 

Most of the accommodations along the trekking route are located in teahouses. Before the business venture, these households always provided food and tea to the group. But the name has stuck since then.

A teahouse resembles a huge family home open to receive visitors. Most rooms have two small cots, each with its mattress, pillow, and sheets. Additionally, you can request extra blankets.

The toilet can be either a Western-style flush type or a squat type. Toilet paper is not provided most of the time, but water with a ladle for washing up is provided. Usually, you have to pay extra for electricity and hot showers.

Tea houses can be multi-story concrete structures with private rooms and western-style bathrooms at lower altitudes. Accommodations become more modest as you ascend.

Solo Trekking

 

Trekking solo is an entirely different experience. You learn more about yourself and remember better the trails you have traveled. From permits to logistics, you are on your own.

It’s relatively easy to trek past well-maintained trails, like Annapurna Base Camp and Everest Base Camp trekking trails.

However, not all hiking trails are well marked, and many risks are associated with high-altitude hiking.

From altitude sickness to accidental injuries, hiking at high altitudes can make planning difficult.

If you walk off the beaten path or hike at unconventional times, you are hiking the trail alone, which can be scary. Even solo trekking will miss our precious companionship.

Guided Trekking

 

Guided trekking has many benefits. First, you don’t have to worry about booking a room or finding the best restaurants.

All permits will be applied, and all necessary paperwork will be completed. This is perfect if you are traveling in Nepal for a brief period.

Guided treks also allow you to get in touch with the locals as your guide overcomes the language barrier.

Likewise, the local knowledge you get from guided trek is immeasurable, as the guide is knowledgeable about the culture and region.

Guided trekking is, therefore, a hassle-free trekking experience. Guided trekking is more comfortable and convenient, especially if you are going to a foreign country for the first time.

Guides and Porters

 

Guides and porters are essential to making hiking easy and fun. The team leader has a wealth of knowledge about animal migration, local languages, weather systems, and more.

So, you can return from your trip with much knowledge without the stress of traveling to a foreign land with a good guide.

Porters carry loads even in the challenging terrain of Nepal. Also, some treks in Nepal are pretty long and can sometimes take a month.

Having people who speak your language is very comfortable and makes the trip more enjoyable.

Transportation

 

Nepal currently has two international airports. One lands in the historic city of Kathmandu and the other in the birthplace of Gautama, the founder of Buddhism.

Both locations serve as bases for sightseeing and travel planning. However, Kathmandu may be a better option if you need last-minute hiking arrangements.

Within Kathmandu, you have a choice of local buses or taxis. Avid trekkers mostly head to Pokhara and can be reached by private vehicle, local bus, or plane.

However, private jeep or domestic flights must be used for trips outside of these urban areas. All major cities are connected by air. A flight costs more than the bus but is a more convenient option. However, buses are the way to go if you want to see different landscapes, interact with the locals, and learn about Nepali culture.

Tragically, long bus trips, flight cancellations, and unexpected delays are commonplace. So add a few extra days when planning your trip and enjoy your adventure.

Health and Safety

 

Hiking at high altitudes carries the risk of altitude sickness. This is not a severe condition in the short run. However, continuing despite difficulties can be fatal.

You may take medication to avoid possible altitude sickness. But first of all, it is necessary to allow acclimatization.

During the trek, you should strategically plan your acclimatization days and avoid excessive drinking, which can lead to altitude sickness.

Likewise, staying hydrated and consuming warm soups and good healthy foods can help avoid altitude sickness.

Also, avoid drinking untreated water. Cool spring water may be tempting to quench your thirst, but don’t drink it unless you have a portable water filter like the LifeStraw.

Only use properly boiled or filtered water while traveling. Also, always carry a small first aid kit as there are few health centers in remote areas.

Travel insurance is mandatory in Nepal. This insurance covers the cost of helicopter evacuation, medical expenses, and cancellations beyond control due to weather conditions.

The premium for 30 days is approximately USD 150. Insurance is a must when embarking on a trip to high altitude. If you need to be evacuated by helicopter, which costs around USD 5000, it means a huge blow to your finances.

Phones and Wi-Fi

 

Both phone and Wi-Fi are available in Nepal, but the services may not be the same. There are many telecom operators in Nepal, but the largest is Nepal Telecom and Ncell. SIMS can be purchased at local stores for less than USD 1.

You can use 4G or 3G service from these SIMS. 1 GB of data costs about USD 10 and can be used anywhere the network is available. However, service is likely to be dropped within the trekking path.

Most coffee shops have Wi-Fi connectivity, but some require you to pay a service fee, which can be quite expensive.

Trekking Companies

 

Trekking companies are here to make all the logistics arrangements and create bespoke itineraries. They also provide the best guides and porters.

Permits such as restricted area permits must also be applied for through a trekking company. Likewise, booking accommodation and meals is a hassle as you have to negotiate prices that trekking companies can easily handle.

Tour Trekking companies in Nepal also provide security and primary care in case of medical emergencies.

They employ knowledgeable, experienced, and friendly guides. This helps you better understand the place by providing information about the area’s history and its people.

Visa Information

 

A tourist visa is required to enter Nepal. You can apply on arrival or at the Nepalese Diplomatic Mission in your home country. Visit us for Nepal Travel Information about visa details.

There are three steps to obtaining a visa on arrival. First, fill out the arrival card and tourist visa form. Then make the payment at your bank according to your visa requirements. A 15-day visa is USD 30, a 30-day visa is USD 50, and a 90-day visa is USD 125. Then go to the immigration office with the form and proof of payment.

You must enter Nepal within six months if you have obtained a visa from a Nepali diplomatic mission. Your stay is counted from the day you enter Nepal. Visit the Nepal government’s official site for more visa requirements.

Finally,

Trekking in Nepal-A Complete Travel Guide is fun and exciting, but if you choose the right company, your trek can be satisfying. Ace Visions Treks offers safe trekking, a customized plan, 24-hours service, and discounts.

 

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