This is a superb introduction to trekking in Nepal, among some of the most beautiful scenery in the whole country. Lying 30 km north of Kathmandu, Helambu is the most accessible trekking region in Nepal. The trek starts from Syabru Besi, after driving 150 km from Kathmandu.
The trail gradually ascends upstream along the Bhote Koshi River, passing through the forests of the Langtang valley to the alpine meadows and yak pastures around Kyangjin. After an ascent of Kyangjin Ri [4350m.], from where the 360 degree mountain views are truly spectacular, the trail goes to Thulo Syabru. From here, we further trek to the sacred Gosainkunda Lake situated at an elevation of 4336 meters and from lovely Helambu trekking ends at Kathmandu.
Single room supplement: USD 110 (compulsory if no one to share room with)
Flying to Kathmandu along the northern border of Nepal on a clear day is in itself an exciting and memorable experience. As you fly, the panoramic view of snow-capped Annapurna mountain range greets your sight. The Nepali support team will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel..
Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence. There will be a guided tour to the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal Boudhanath and after that to the most popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva- Pashupatinath. We take a tour to Patan or Lalitpur (the City of Artisans), which is 5km away from Kathmandu. We walk through Patan Durbar Square, and delight in the architectural wonders of Malla era. Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor Temple, Krishna Temple and Golden Temple are the major attractions at the square..
From Kathmandu, we drive for approx 9 hours to Syabru Besi. After driving 30 kms, we approach pristine villages on the banks of the river Trishuli. We also get to view the enchanting panorama of the Himalaya, including the Annapurnas, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal and the peaks of the Langtang region. .
We traverse the ridge on Syabru Besi’s main road and soon reach Ghopcha Khola. Terraced fields and dense forest with a variety of plant species like oaks, maple, alder and bamboo open up. We may get to see yellow-throated martin, wild boar, langur monkey, red panda and Himalayan black bear en route. Further on, the trail crosses a stream and a bridge. We pass by several small bhattis (tea shops). As we continue ascending steeply along the trail, we come across a steel suspension bridge at 2000 meters. The route further crosses to the north bank of the Langtang Khola amid the spectacular vistas of cascading waterfalls and opens into scrub oak forest. On reaching 2748 meters, we arrive at Lama Hotel where we conclude the trek for the day..
From lama hotel, we continue the ascent above the Langtang Khola. As the trail progresses, it becomes steeper. We have the most exotic sights of Langtang Lirung lying at 7246 meter. The trail leads to a log bridge and on climbing further we come across lush meadows of Ghora Tabela at 3000m. We will see several lodges and a police check post. Further on, the route opens up into a wide valley of yak pastures and scattered Tamang villages with water-driven mills and prayer wheels. We arrive at Langtang village after crossing a stream and reaching up a height of 3500 meters. Langtang village is the headquarters for Langtang National Park and has flat-roofed Tibetan style houses, hotels and cultivated lands yielding buckwheat, potatoes, wheat, turnips, barley etc. .
The trail skirts gradually through rich yak pastures and interesting traditional villages of Muna to Singdun. We cross a wooden cantilever bridge and reach a wide valley after climbing a moraine. Finally, on ascending the mountain passes, we arrive at Kyagjin Gompa. There is a small monastery and a government-operated cheese factory. .
We take a day off for acclimatization and a proper rest. We get to explore interesting places like the monastery, cheese factory etc. We can climb Kyangjin Ri located at 4350m from where amazing views of snow-capped mountains are spreading right next to you. We can walk up the moraine to see the spectacular mountain ridges and undulating glaciers. .
From Kyangjin, we take the route back to Lama Hotel. As we retrace our steps, we follow the Langtang Khola to Langtang village and on to Ghora Tabela. We stop briefly for lunch and thereafter continue the steep descent to Lama Hotel. .
From Lama Hotel, we head back to Thulo Syabru. We can wander around the undulating path leading to the village. This gives us an opportunity to get an insight of the culture and custom of the Tamang community. We can also simply relax in the sun savoring the beauty of the majestic Himalayan Mountains. .
The trail to Sing Gompa climbs through forests of oak, firs and rhododendrons to gain a ridge, then cuts across the ridge top, staying fairly level in forests as it crosses the head of a valley. We take the uphill trail at each junction and cross another forested ridge. The trail continues across the head of a second valley, and then reaches a final ridge at 3650m. Sing Gompa is about 100 m along the trail to the left. Sing Gompa is the main attraction at Chandan Bari, which also has several hotels and a small cheese factory..
From Sing Gompa we climb a ridge to gain the main Gosainkunda trail. The trail climbs steeply up the ridge and at several points on top of the ridge itself. There is rich, moist mountain forests on the northern slopes and dry scrub vegetation on the south. As the trail ascends, there are outstanding views across Langtang valley to Langtang Lirung. To the west there are dramatic views of Himalchuli, Ganesh Himal and Manaslu. Eventually the trail descends from the ridge to the first of three lakes, Saraswati Kund. The second lake in the chain is named Bhairab Kund, and the third, Gosainkunda. This lake is particularly sacred and a place of pilgrimage in the summer. The Gosainkunda (Holy Shiva's lake) is a high altitude lake. According to the Hindu legend Lord Shiva himself created this high altitude lake. .
The trail passes the northern side of Gosainkunda Lake and climbs further through rugged country towards Laurebina La Pass at 4610m. The trail is rough but it is well marked with rock cairns. Across the valley, there is a ridge with a step trail across its face. From the ridge the trail descends through forests, climbing in and out of ravines across the head of the valley. Giant cliffs tower far above, forming the top of the Thare danda. Just beyond is the settlement of Gopte at 3359m..
We continue descending along the ridge, through rhododendron and juniper forests and past herders' huts to a stream before climbing to Tharepati, a group of herders' huts at 3490m. From Tharepati the trail gradually descends through pine and rhododendron forest with good views down into the Helambu valley and across to Jugal Himal and Numbur in the Solu Khumbu..
From Mangan Kharka, it is a short climb to cross a ridge before following a very easy trail, through forest with superb views across to Numbur, Jugal Himal and many other snow capped peaks. From Kutumsang we climb to a pass at 2620m., before descending to the Tamang village of Gulphu Bhanjyang. From here, we can get splendid views, stretching from the Annapurnas and Manaslu in the west to Numbur in the east. Gulphu Bhanjyang is a village with a mixed population of Gurungs and Tamangs. There are shops and small restaurants and a couple of government offices. .
From Gulphu Bhanjyang, it is an easy climb to cross a pass at 2470m before descending to Pati Bhanjyang, a large Tamang village. From here it is a 2 hour climb to Chisopani. A short distance above Chisopani is a high knoll which is known as Chisopani Danda, where there is a temple. You will have the splendid mountain views from here. The panorama spreads from the mountains south of Everest to the Manaslu range..
From Chisopani the trail passes through meadows and cultivated fields then climbs through oak and rhododendron forest to Burlang Bhanjyang. From here there are magnificent views, from Annapurna in the west to Ganesh Himal and Numbur in the east. This ridge marks the northern rim of the Kathmandu Valley. Just after Chisopani there is an entrance to Shivapuri watershed and wildlife reserve. The trail goes through the reserve, moving up to the hill and down to Mulkharka, from which you can already see Kathmandu. From Mulkharka, we descend on endless stairs to the exit from the reserve and to Sundarijal. From Sundarijal we take a 45 minutes drive to Kathmandu..
Our Nepalese support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. On the other hand, if you prefer to stay longer, you can go for short tours such as game drive at National parks, rafting, Tibet tours, mountain biking, etc.- ask us..
Moderate to fairly challenging
This trek is quite demanding. It involves approximately 6 to 8 hours of trekking on up and down well marked trails. No previous experience is required, you should be moderately fit, used to some regular exercise and enjoy walking in the high altitude conditions.
We offer several options regarding the organization of your trek:
1) Camping trek: On camping trek you will be sleeping and eating in tents. A trekking crew contains one sirdar, one cook and kitchen boys, Sherpa assistants and porters depending on the size of the group. Under the leadership of the Sirdar (the local trek leader) the crew will ensure you take the right path. The kitchen crew will keep you well fed with delicious and nutritious meals. The porters shall transport the gear from camp to camp. Our main aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. Sirdar and his assistants speak basic English, good enough to explain to you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes.
Includes: Guide, Porters, Cook, All meals and tents
2) Guide, Accommodation and Porter trek (GAP trek): This is an abbreviation of Guide Accommodation and Porters (GAP). This option of the trek is for those who want basic support from us. This is the most economic way to do trekking in Nepal. We provide an English speaking local Sherpa guide, book and pay for the accommodation in local lodges during trek and arrange required porters and trekkers pay for meals directly to the local lodge owner.
Includes: Accommodation, guide and porters Excludes: Food
3) Lodge or tea house trek: Although simple, the teahouses or lodges do provide shelter and warmth and are normally run by friendly local families. The lodge or teahouse treks are less expensive then camping trek and are largely suitable for small group.
Includes: Accommodation in Lodge, guide, porters and all meals
YOUR TREK CAN BE ORGANIZED IN ALL THE 3 WAYS AS MENTIONED ABOVE.
Trekking in the Langtang region does not need tremendous logistics in terms of accommodation as you will find plenty of clean and friendly lodges along the trail. We stay in single rooms where possible, but often you will have to share. Rooms are basic, normally just a bed with a pillow and blankets. A few have electric lights and all have a spacious dining room-lounge. We will accommodate you and your group in local lodge available each day. We send a porter ahead of us to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot be booked in advance). Please remember that some of them are very basic and a sense of adventure is necessary. It is cheaper to stay in lodge rather than organizing a camping trek.
Camping trek means sleeping in tents. On a camping trek, the tents provided are ‘Two men dome’ or ‘A’ shaped. Foam mattress with insulation underneath is provided for sleeping. Clients need to have their own sleeping bag. Bags or cloth packs are used as pillows. If you wish, you can bring your own ‘Air pillow’.
We have a pool of hotels in Kathmandu under 3 Star categories which we provide to clients in connection to this itinerary, unless it is mentioned otherwise or clients have a special choice. You can check on the description of such hotels through our website.
Meals are included in our price and are taken in lodges available along the trail. You can find a wide variety of Nepali and Western food as well as drinks (coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks, beers….).
Meals are prepared by our cook. We provide three tasty and nutritious meals daily along with drinks.
You will have to make your own eating arrangements in the many lodges available along the trail. Expect to spend approximately 2000-2500 Rupees a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the price.
On camping trek, our staff will boil and cook meals treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. On GAP trek, you will be able to buy safe hot drinks in the tea house. We recommend you to bring water purification pills. On the trail, water from the streams is safe if away from settlements
During trek your main luggage will be carried by porters. You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket, etc. - a small load that allows full enjoyment of the trek. A trek bag is ideal for your main luggage, plus a small lockable bag for travel clothes or anything that you do not need during trek which you can leave at hotel’s locker room/safe deposit box in Kathmandu for free of charge. Weight allowance at Nepal’s domestic airlines is 15 Kgs, excess weight is chargeable at USD 1 or more per Kilo depending on sectors.
We provide different options concerning leadership in order to match your requirements:
1) Western leader
2) Trained Nepali Trek leader (experienced and knowledgeable)
3) Sherpa Guide (handles the logistics and guides you and your team on the trek)
The Sherpa guide (commonly called Sirdar) will be accompanied by a crew of porters. On camping trek, there will be 2/3 porters for each members while on GAP and on Lodge trek 1 porter for 2 members.
Our trips are available on both fixed departure and private basis. If you are looking for a group to join this trip please check our ‘2015/16 departures’ link for availability, dates and price. If you would like to travel independently, or with your friends, families & colleagues you are invited to choose any of the trips at your convenient timeframe for any number of people (minimum 1 & maximum 10 at a time).
If you want to do something that is not included in our trip list we are ready to tailor a trip to suit your exact requirements. In short, we will make every effort to get you on the trip you want, when you want.
If you opt to join our ‘fixed departure trip’, you are likely to be joining people from different countries of any age group except minors. The size of group varies, minimum no of persons required to operate a trip is 3 the maximum is 12 people.
Personal expenses depend largely on the type of trek, duration and the trekking region.
If you are on Camping or Tea house trek all meals will be provided. You only need money for table drinks (alcoholic/non alcoholic beverages), snacks while walking (a few smaller shops are available along the trail in some areas) tips, souvenirs, hot shower (available in some place).
If you are on ‘GAP’ trek style you need to pay for all your meals. NPR 2000-2500 a day should be enough to cover your meals. We pay for your accommodation at mountain hut (teahouse) along the trail and bear all the expenses of staffs assigned by us.
Tips are appreciated by your support team after the trip. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. As a suggestion, we advise you to allocate 5 - 10% of the total tour cost as tips.
The starting point of the trek is Syabru Besi, which is connected by approx 9 hours drive from Kathmandu. On your return, our car/bus shall pick you from Sundarijal and drive to Kathmandu. We will arrange the transportation from your hotel to the airport (Kathmandu).
While trekking in the remote parts you may not have an access to telephone facility for some days or weeks. However, en route there may be few places where telephone facilities may be available and likely to be working.
If it is crucial for you to keep in contact with your family or others, EXPLORE HIMALAYA can provide you a mobile satellite phone (rental charge on request).
Trekking: You will need walking boots, sleeping bag (4 seasons/ -20C rated), waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, sun-screen and day pack.
Comprehensive list of equipments will be provided once you book your trip or check CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT LIST LINK.
It's not necessary to spend a lot of money buying extra equipment and clothing before your trip. Majority of these gears can be bought or hired at reasonable rates in Kathmandu. Explore Himalaya will thoroughly help you to buy or rent trekking gears in the outlets of Thamel, which sell or rent both international and local gears.
Lodge/ Tea House Trek, GAP Trek & Camping Trek Each morning after packing our bags and a hearty breakfast, we set off on the day’s walk. After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon’s walk is generally shorter and we usually arrive at our destination in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the village, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days we will arrive at our destination by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and reliving the day’s adventures, before retiring for a well-earned sleep. However, on a camping trek, you begin your day with a hot cup of tea which is served to you in the tent at 6 am, followed by a bowl of hot water for washing. Other day activities are the same as mentioned above.
You need to pass on your International flight details to us for a ‘meeting and greeting’ service at the Airport. You just pass on the Customs and come out of the Terminal building where you will see someone standing with a placard with either ‘Explore Himalaya’ or your name written on it. Our airport representative or tour officer will greet you and welcome you with a floral garland.
The Langtang trek can be done anytime of the year except the monsoon season (June to September). Temperatures will drop considerably as you trek higher everyday. The nights are cold (between -10 C to 5C) but the days are sunny and hot (between 10C to 20C). The mornings are usually clear, with clouds building up during the afternoon, disappearing at night. Trekking during the monsoon is not recommended, as the visibility during monsoon is limited. Trekking during the winter is possible; however, it is much colder than Autumn and Spring. March, April, October and November are the most popular and favored months for traveling. Please choose the date that is convenient for you.
Langtang region is the home of several ethnic groups. The majority of people are Tamang, Sherpa and Bhotia. Their religion is related to the Bon and the pre-Buddhist doctrines of Tibet. Today this religion has merged with the newer teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. Helambu situated at the north side of Kathmandu valley, which comprises of highland villages, such as Melamchi and Tarkeyghyang. Beautifully situated in alpine meadow, beauty of this region is worth spectacular. The region is mostly inhabitants by friendly and helpful Sherpa people. It is home to two major races of peoples, the Hyolmo or Yolmo and the Tamang. Helambu offers an opportunity to experience Sherpa culture. Helambu is also famous for its sweet apples and artistic Buddhist monasteries.
The itineraries for each trip should be taken as a guideline only. Depending on the prevailing situation, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of trek completion should always coincide with the original itinerary. You should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip into a remote region, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your guide will suggest the best alternative depending on circumstances.
We ensure liability as per indicated itinerary and list of services. If the holiday is cut short or completed earlier than the projected period upon client’s wish, we shall not be responsible or make refund against unutilized days or services. Clients need to pay extra for Hotels/services incurred in Kathmandu or elsewhere in such cases.
All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. Visa is also issued at the entry points. It can be extended at the Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan, Kathmandu. Children under 10 years need not pay any visa fee. People willing to get entry Visa at the air port or any of the land entry points are required to fill a visa form with passport photograph. So, please download form from the link below an get ready while you are passing through the immigration Point.
Visa application form
Gratis visa for 30 days available only for tourists of SAARC countries
Multiple entry 15 days - US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 30 days - US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 90 days - US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency
Tourist Visa Extension
* Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 30 or equivalent convertible currency and visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 2 per day
* Tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January - December).
As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you to consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the beginning of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio. We suggest that you take some pain-killing pills with you and enough medicine for cold, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Some nasal ointment and throat-moistening pills will greatly be of help for those who are sensitive to chilly or freezing weather conditions.
The trail on Langtang- Helambu Trek does not go too high i.e. not above 4500m, so chances of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) are very low. Though, Altitude Sickness has the potential to affect all travelers from 2500m and higher our itinerary is planned in such a way that you make very gradual ascend, spending some days at a low elevation to build necessary acclimatization before walking up Kyangjin Ri at 4350m and crossing Gosainkunda at 4336m. When you are at high altitude, your body needs time to adjust to smaller quantities of oxygen in the air at 5500m/18,044ft; the air pressure is approximately half that of sea level, i.e. there is half the amount of oxygen.
In case of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we believe will not happen; we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back to Kathmandu.
Before joining a tour, we recommend you to take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation.
In addition to your trek, we can organize extensions both within Nepal and other neighboring countries. You may want to try rafting or a jungle safari in Nepal or Nepal Cultural Tours .If you wish, you may as well take a trip to Tibet, India or Bhutan.
The beautiful environment of the Himalayas is also an extremely fragile one. At Explore Himalaya, we are extremely conscious about the environment and aim to minimize the detrimental impact on the environment as much as possible.
As deforestation is one of the greatest environmental threats, we do not have camp fires and use kerosene as cooking fuel. We also discourage trekkers from using wood-fuelled hot showers in lodges along the way. Many lodges, however, now provide solar hot showers, a far more eco-friendly alternative.
Garbage disposal is another major problem. Some of the busier trails are at times strewn with litter and garbage thrown by irresponsible trekking groups. Our staff members are well motivated towards eco-friendly practices. We carry the non-biodegradable garbage, apart from that which can be safely and easily burnt at the campsite. Our aim is to help protect and preserve this beautiful environment for future generations of trekkers to enjoy.
Explore Himalaya works with the motto ‘Development through Tourism’. Keeping in line with this motto, Explore Himalaya Community Service Project (EHCSP) was conceived to empower underprivileged, marginalized, poor and minority segments of Nepal.
Since its inception, EHCSP has been incessantly facilitating and advocating for school education, health, community development, forest conservation, agriculture, culture preservation and fund raising. Explore Himalaya encourages its clients who besides trekking and climbing the Himalayas are also interested in contributing for the development of Nepal.
We ensure that all porters and all other staff going into high altitude conditions are provided with adequate clothing and equipment. We are the first ever company to supply high-altitude porters with crampons.
We run the trek according to the guidelines of the International Porter Protection group (IPPG - www.ippg.net).
1) It is a fundamental condition that you acknowledge that this is an adventure tour. This requires some flexibility. The day to day itinerary is taken as a guideline only. We cannot be held responsible for any delays caused by International or domestic flights, strikes, Government regulations, weather or natural casualties etc. In such cases, Explore Himalaya shall be responsible for providing suitable alternatives which could be decided upon mutual agreement. If an agreement cannot be made, Explore Himalaya shall be only responsible for refund after deducting expenses already incurred.
2) Your booking will be confirmed by email once we have received the deposit of USD 500 and the signed copy of booking form and contract.
The balance is due no later than two months prior to departure. If you book a tour less than 2 month prior to departure, you must send the full payment within 7 days of confirmation by us.
3) If you cancel, the following scale of charges will apply:
2 months before departure - loss of deposit
29 days to 2 months before departure - 30% of total trip cost
10 to 28 days before departure - 60% of total trip cost
less than 10 days before departure - 100% of total trip cost
If you still have any queries regarding this trip, please don't hesitate to contact our office staff. We will respond to you within 24 hours. You can book a trip by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 977-1-4418100.
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.