Jumla Dunai (Dolpo)
Arrival in Kathmandu
Upon arrival at Kathmandu International Airport, transfer to your hotel in Kathmandu or Bhaktapur. A short briefing will follow concerning the necessary formalities and your trekking itinerary. Depending upon your arrival time, you may spend your free time visiting nearby sanctuaries or resting.
Sightseeing / Cultural Day in Kathmandu Valley
A half-day sightseeing tour of UNESCO heritage sites in Bhaktapur and Kathmandu includes Buddhist and Hindu temples and shrines reflecting ancient local traditions. There is time to explore the city’s many places of interest on your own or take a rest while trekking permits are finalized. In the evening, sample a delicious traditional Nepali dinner. Overnight in Kathmandu
Kathmandu to Nepalgunj
We have to fly to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu. Nepalgunj is the jumping-off place for flights and buses throughout western Nepal. Unfortunately, there is no connecting flight to Jumla (the start of our trek), so we will spend the night here.
Nepalgunj to Jumla
An early morning plane will take us to the town of Jumla, which lies on the banks of the Tila Khola river at 2370 meters. Jumla is known for being one of the highest altitude rice-growing areas in the world, where the unique "red" rice is grown. We will meet our trekking crew today and make the final preparations for our camping-trek.
Jumla to Gothi Chaur (2500m)
From Jumla, our trail leads past several water-driven mills before dropping to the confluence of the Tila Khola and the Chaudhabise Khola. We cross both rivers on a cantilever bridge, which looks like it is held together by giant clothes pegs. From here, our trail climbs gently alongside rice terraces to the village of Dochal Ghara at 2,530 meters. From here, we follow the trail through a forest of maples and walnuts to a meadow. In season, the wildflowers seen here include cinquefoils, terrestrial orchids, forget-me-nots, mints, buttercups, primulas, edelweiss, and gentians. Beyond the meadow, the trail climbs to a rocky cairn at Pattaya Lagna (2,830 m) and then descends into a magnificent alpine amphitheater towards Gothi Chaur, close to the stream at the bottom of the valley. At the spring here, there are some 13th-century Malla dynasty stone carvings. We set up camp close to the river (5 hours away).
Gothi Chaur to Naphukana (3080m)
We will re-enter the Tila River valley and follow this river slowly to its source. After ascending through fields of barley and buckwheat, we arrive at the trail junction at Muni Sangu, a small settlement where we can see peculiarly carved wooden faces called dok-pa that are supposed to offer protection from evil spirits. These faces can be seen throughout the whole Dolpo region. We stay on the southern side of the river from here as the valley slowly becomes narrower and follow our way to Changrikot (a series of houses built into the hillside on the opposite side of the river at 2,900 m). The trail then finally crosses the river and climbs towards the gray stone houses of Chotra (3,010 m). The village has typical Mani walls (walls containing stones carved with Tibetan Buddhist prayers) and a Kani (an arch decorated with paintings on the inside) over the trail. A short distance from here is the Tibetan settlement of Naphukana where we will make our camp (6 hrs).
Naphukana to Balasa (3110m)
The trail becomes steeper today as it climbs past rocky fields to forests of oaks and birch trees strangled with Spanish moss. The climb will end at the Mauri Lagna (the "honey pass") at 3,820 meters. From this pass, we will have good views of the snowy peaks of Gutumba (5,608 m) and Mataumba (5,767 m) to the north-east and Bhalu Himal (5,460 m) to the south. We will descend from here to the Bheri valley to the large Khampa settlement of Chaurikot at 3,060 meters. A short distance past this village, there are some excellent campsites alongside the trail (5 hours).
Balasa to Forest Camp (3100m)
We will continue our trek through walnut forests; the local people seldom eat the nuts but use them as a source for cooking oil. We slowly descend to the village of Rimi at 2,890 meters, where the amusing faces of the dok-pa peek at us from the tops of houses. After crossing the stream, we will arrive in Kaigaon (2,610 m), where we will find the first shop since leaving Jumla. The route climbs steeply from here through pastures into a forest of birches and wild roses to an elevation of 3,230 meters and then levels out in a forest of rhododendrons and oaks, the home of black langur monkeys. We will slowly descend along the side of a large valley to a few campsites in the forest (5 hours).
Forest Camp to Tibrikot (2100m)
Today we will climb to the pass of Balangra La at 3760 meters, from where we can see Dhaulagiri Himal on clear days. From here, our trail descends to a large yak farm in the forest at 3,160 meters. From here, the trail levels out and continues through a treeless, waterless area before making our final 500-meter descent through a rocky area to the stream just below Tibrikot, where we can make a good campsite. Tibrikot is a picturesque village on a promontory overlooking the Thulo Bheri valley (6 hrs)
Tibrikot to Dunai (2130m)
We will climb to the temple of Tibrikot, which is dedicated to the goddess Tripura Sundari. From there, we descend past extensive rice terraces to a long suspension bridge. The rest of the day we will follow the Thulo Bheri river, passing the tiny settlements of Su Pani and Beti. Our trail continues with a few ups and downs to the village of Dunai, which we enter through a fancy gate. Here we can sleep in a "normal" bed again and enjoy our well-deserved hot shower (5 hours).
Dunai to Juphal (Dolpo airport)
Dolpo flights always arrive and depart early in the morning because of strong winds coming from the Thulo Bheri valley that usually begin at 10 a.m. It is at least a 3-hour walk from Dunai to the airport in Juphal village, so the only reasonable thing is to spend a night here.
Juphal to Nepalgunj
We will fly back to Nepalgunj from the small airport in Juphal. Because there are no connecting flights we will stay the night in Nepalgunj
Nepalgunj to Kathmandu
Today we will fly back to Kathmandu early in the morning. Staying at a hotel for the night
You will depart from Kathmandu.
- Airport pick-up and drop-off
- Three nights hotel accommodation and breakfast in Kathmandu
- Licensed and trained trekking guides
- Porters for carrying goods and supplies
- All accommodation during trek
- All meals and hot beverages whilst trekking
- Transportation to and from trailhead
- All necessary documents and permits for trekking (where applicable)
- National Park/Conservation Area entry permit
- Equipment such as sleeping bag, tents, mattresses
- Cooking equipment
- Camp-site charges
- Insurance, medication, and equipment for staff
- Coordination of Quick Rescue service (costs covered by your insurance plan)
- International airfares
- Travel/trekking insurance
- Excess baggage charges more than 16kg and hand bag more than 5kg in domestic flights
- Visa fees
- Rescue charge
- Drinks (cold and alcoholic)
- Lunches and dinners whilst not trekking
September to end of November and February to late June
Starting point of trek
Finishing point of trek
Read our FAQ that answers general questions