Upper Dolpo immersion trek
The Upper Dolpo region in Nepal is one of the most remote and less frequented trekking destinations. The Upper Dolpo Immersion Trek provides trekkers with an opportunity to experience the pristine beauty of the high-altitude trans-Himalayan region, ancient Tibetan Buddhist culture, and the rugged, untouched landscapes of Nepal’s far northwest.
- Shey Gompa Monastery: An ancient Tibetan Buddhist monastery that’s over 800 years old.
- Phoksundo Lake: A stunning, deep blue alpine lake surrounded by high cliffs and snow-capped peaks.
- Unique Culture: The region is home to the indigenous Dolpo people, whose culture and traditions have remained largely unchanged for centuries.
- Diverse Flora and Fauna: Upper Dolpo is rich in biodiversity, including the elusive snow leopard.
Upon arriving at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you'll be greeted by the bustling city's charm. Spend your day exploring the historic Kathmandu Valley, visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Swayambhunath Stupa and Kathmandu Durbar Square. Rest and prepare for the trek.
Take a short domestic flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, a major town in the Terai plains of western Nepal. This town is a melting pot of cultures, with influences from both the hill regions and the plains.
Board a flight to Juphal, the starting point of your trek. The flight offers spectacular views of terraced hills and the distant Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges. From Juphal, begin your trek to Dunai, the administrative center of the Dolpo region.
Over the next three days, pass through traditional villages like Ankhe and Sumduwa. Cross various suspension bridges and walk alongside the Bheri River. The trail leads to the stunning Phoksundo Lake, with its deep blue waters set against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks.
Spend a day exploring the area around Phoksundo Lake. Visit the nearby Bon-Po monasteries and experience the unique culture of the Dolpo people.
Trek towards the fabled Shey Gompa, passing through high altitude pastures and crossing the challenging Saldang Pass. En route, witness the stunning landscapes of Upper Dolpo and its vast barren terrains.
Explore the ancient Shey Gompa, a significant pilgrimage site for Buddhists. The monastery, believed to be over 800 years old, is surrounded by panoramic mountain views.
Descend towards Saldang, passing through Namduna Gaon, where you can see the Namgung Monastery. Saldang is the largest village in the northern Dolpo region and offers a unique insight into the local way of life.
Begin your return journey, visiting the remote Yangze Gompa and the village of Dho Tarap, known for its traditional Tibetan architecture.
Retrace your steps back to Juphal over the next three days, passing through Raktang and spending a night in Dunai.
Fly back to Nepalgunj from Juphal and then catch a connecting flight to Kathmandu. Celebrate the completion of your trek in the capital city.
Bid farewell to the Himalayan nation and take your onward flight from Kathmandu, carrying memories of an adventure of a lifetime.
- Airport transfers in Kathmandu.
- Welcome and farewell dinners with cultural programs in Kathmandu.
- Domestic flight tickets
- Lodge/guesthouse accommodation (best available) during the trek.
- Full board meals 3 times a day (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) while on the trek.
- Trekking permits (ACAP and TIMS) and necessary entry fees.
- Local trekking guide and necessary porters.
- Staff expenses (food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment).
- Trekking gear for porters.
- Comprehensive first aid kit.
- Group trekking equipment.
- Government taxes, VAT, and service charges.
- Trekking map.
- Extra hotel nights in Kathmandu.
- Travel insurance covering emergency rescue and evacuation.
- International airfare and airport departure tax.
- Personal expenses.
- Alcoholic and other beverages.
- Personal trekking equipment.
- Extra costs due to natural disasters or flight cancellations.
- Any other expenses not mentioned in the inclusive cost.
1. How difficult is the Upper Dolpo Immersion Trek?
The Upper Dolpo Immersion Trek is considered challenging due to its high altitude, remote location, and long duration. Trekkers should be in good physical shape and ideally have prior trekking experience at high altitudes.
2. What permits do I need for this trek?
You'll need a restricted area permit for Upper Dolpo and an entry permit for Shey Phoksundo National Park. It's essential to get these permits before starting the trek.
3. What's the best time to do this trek?
The best time for the Upper Dolpo Trek is during the pre-monsoon months of May and June and the post-monsoon months of September and October. The region is often closed for trekking during winter due to heavy snowfall.
4. Are there teahouses on the trail?
Accommodation in Upper Dolpo is more basic compared to other popular trekking routes in Nepal. Expect basic teahouses, homestays, and camping.
5. What kind of food and water can I expect?
The local diet mainly comprises Tibetan influenced dishes like momo (dumplings), thukpa (noodle soup), and tsampa. It's advisable to carry water purification tablets or a filter, as bottled water is scarce and not eco-friendly.
6. Can I do the trek independently?
Given the challenging nature and the requirement for special permits, it's advisable to undertake the trek with a registered trekking agency or an experienced guide.
7. How do I deal with altitude sickness?
Acclimatization is crucial. Always ensure you have rest days built into your itinerary. Carry basic medications for altitude sickness and consult with a doctor before starting the trek.
8. Is communication possible in the region?
Mobile network coverage is sporadic and often unavailable. However, some villages may have satellite phones. It's a good idea to inform family or friends about your itinerary beforehand.
9. What should I pack for the trek?
Essential items include warm clothing, trekking boots, a sleeping bag, a down jacket, rain gear, sun protection, a water purifier, and personal medical supplies. Always pack light but efficiently.
10. Are there any cultural considerations I should be aware of?
The Dolpo region has a unique Tibetan Buddhist culture. Always show respect for local customs and traditions. Seek permission before taking photos, especially of people, and dress modestly.