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Starting point: Chautara (SindhuPalchowk)
Ending point: Melamchi
Duration: 15 days
Best months: All months except Jan and Feb
This trek to PanchPokhari at the base of JungalHimal offers pristine mountain views, rich culture and genuine adventure. This area offers a combination of rich cultural heritage, unsurpassed beauty and biological diversity. The trail takes you to a group of high altitude holy lakes, sacred to both Buddhist and Hindus.
Trekkers first travel by bus to Chautara, five hours northeast of Kathmandu towards the Tibetan border. We travel through a mixture of beautiful mountain scenery and the terraced fields and rural villages inhabited by different ethnic groups.
On your first night you will experience life in the village homes of Sherpa and Tamang people and your guide will give a short talk on trekking, altitude sickness and the highlights of the trek. These include the Five Holy Lakes, the incredible Himalayan scenery and the unchanged lifestyle of nomadic peopl. The unusual climatic and geographical mixmake this area a naturalist's dream and a mecca for those who appreciate traditional cultures.
This trek starts from 1,450m and goes up to 4,100m at PanchPokhari. PanchPokhari is a secluded pilgrimage site where the Janaipurnima festival is held in August. Many Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims visit this site each year. This is a very spectacular and spiritual trek.
The top of PanchPokhari (4,100m) offers an excellent view of JugalHimal Range, Rolwaling Range, Gosainkund, Kanchenjunga and Makalu.
This trek can be done all year round except for the winter months.
Itinerary details for PanchPokhari Treks:
DAY 01: Arrival in Kathmandu - 1,300m/4,264 ft
Upon your arrival in Kathmandu Airport you will complete your custom formalities (visa, etc.) and pick up your luggage. At the exit look for our representative with an All Trekkers Team display board or your name. You will then be transferred to your hotel. After check-in you are free to rest, explore around the city or visit our office. In the evening we will organize a "Welcome Dinner" at an excellent traditional Nepalese restaurant where you will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program as well as a fine meal.
Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu
Kathmandu, the historical and cultural heart of Nepal, is a popular destination for tourists, trekkers and adventurers. The city presents a wonderful mixture of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Nepali tradition and culture. Today, after breakfast,you will have a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual sites in Kathmandu. These sights includethe World Heritage Sites of:Durbar Square, the old royal palace of Kathmandu, (here you will see traditional Nepali architecture and the palace where the living goddess, Kumari lives);the Hindu pilgrimage site of PashupatiNath Temple with it’s thousands of devotees and Saddhus (holy men); the 'Monkey Temple', Swayambunath(it is also the highest point in the Kathmandu Valley) and the BoudhanathStupa, one of the largest stupas in the world. In the afternoon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where you will meet your trek leader and other team members. All Trekkers Team briefs you regarding your trek as well as provides you with the opportunity to ask any questions about the trek.
Day 03: Kathmandu to Chautara [1450m]
This morning we have a scenic5 hour drive to the little village of Chautara. While small, Chautara is the headquarters of Sindupalchok district. We will camp here tonight, ready to commence walking tomorrow. From our campsite you can relax and enjoy the stunning mountain views, or if you like to explore, you can gain some insight into the culture and daily life of the village.
Day 04: Trek to Sano Okhareni [1965m]
Today we have about 5 hours of gradual uphill walking to reach Sano Okhareni. Our path passes through small villages where we can see how the diverse ethnic groups live side by side. We camp at Sano Okhareni near a pine forest with great views to the mountains!
Day 05: Trek to Kami Kharka [2810m]
This morning we can start gently with about 1 hour of gradual uphill walking to ThuloOkhareni. From here the climb gets steeper for about 4 hours. We will be walking through stunning, dense rhododendron and pine forest. If we are lucky and observant, we might spot some wild animals such as mountain deer or langur monkeys and Nepali birdlife like the danfe (pheasant). Tonight we camp on a summer pasture ground for nomadic cattle herders (kharka).
Day 06: Trek to Pauwa Bas [3000m]
Today’s walk is nice and gentle, being fairly level (‘Nepali flat’) and we can enjoy our forest trails and wildlife spotting. We have about 5 to 6 hours through the lush forest of rhododendron, oak, pine and juniper and we can see some nomad’s houses for cattle on the way. In Pauwa Bas there is a shelter for pilgrims to PanchPokhari.
Day 07: Trek to HilleBhanjyang [3400m]
This morning we have a steep uphill stretch for about 3 hours, taking our time. We get our breath back on the steep downhill as we descend for 1 ½ hours through the forest. We have some great mountain views on our way down into our camp at HilleBhanjyang.
Day 08: Trek to NarsimPati [3700m]
Today we only have about 4 hours of walking. The first hour is a steep uphill section. Then we enjoy the gradual descent of about 3 hours through rocky hills and rhododendron forest into camp at NarsimPati. There is a small rest house for pilgrims on their way to the holy site of PanchPokhari and we have great mountain views from our campsite.
Day 09: Trek to PanchPokhari [4100m]
Today we arrive! We have about 3 hours of gradual ascent through rocky hills to reach our destination of PanchPokhari (Panch means ‘five’ and Pokhari means ‘lake’). This stunning setting is a secluded pilgrimage site where the Janaipurnima festival is held in August. Many Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims visit this site each year and we can see two pilgrim houses and the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Day 10: Trek to PanchPokhari to TupiDanda [2320m]
This morning we have an early start to catch a stunning sunrise over the mountains! We have about 1 ½ hours uphill to see the beautiful sight of the sun rising over the Himalayas and our panoramic view ofMt.DorjeLakpa, JugalHimal Range, Rolwaling Range and Langtang Range. After this incredible start to the morning, we head back down to PanchPokhari to pack up and start heading for home. We have about six hours down some steep trails through the rhododendron forest to TupiDanda (danda means ‘ridge’) and our camp.
Day 11: Trek to Dhap [1200m]
Today we have about 5 hours of walking, 2 of which are quite steep downhill and the rest are“Nepali level”. Our trail goes through terraced fields to the beautiful village of Dhap. Dhap is home to Tamang families and is gives us a great chance to gain some insight into their lives, culture and traditional architecture.
Day 12: Rest day and explore the culture:
You can have look around there, have good nap in the afternoon, do laundry etc.
Day 13: Trek to Melamchi [800m]
Today we have about 6 hours of walking. We walk down through terraced fields, along the Indrawati River. We pass through stunning villages and also see a hydro electricity project on the way to Tipini and our re-introduction to a road! MelamchiPul Bazaar which lies at the bank of MelamchiKhola (stream) and Indrawati River is a comparatively big town for this area. There are some lodges, teashops, government offices, schools, colleges, post office and army police camp. We will camp by the riverside and if you like you can refresh yourself with a dip in the river!
Day 14: Melamchi to Kathmandu
After breakfast we drive back to Kathmandu arriving around 5 or 6 pm. Arriving Kathmandu, transfer to your hotel. Spend the day leisurely or catch up on some last minute shopping or explore any sights you missed during your first day in Kathmandu. In the evening we will have a celebration dinner together.
DAY 15: Farewell Friends
We are saying goodbye to the mountains as journey in Nepal comes to an end today! There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. If you have more time you can do some shopping or sightseeing. Approximately 3 hours before the scheduled flight a representative from All Trekkers Team will take you to the airport. On your way home you'll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
Trip Cost Includes
- All airport/hotel transfers
- (standard) hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast
- Welcome and farewell dinner
- All accommodation and meals during the trek
- A full day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu valley including tour guide and transport
- Domestic flights and airport departure taxes
- An experienced English-speaking trekking guide, assistant trek guide and porters to carry luggage (2 trekkers:1 porter). This includes their salary, insurance, equipment, flight, food and lodging
- A comprehensive medical kit
- Rescue arrangement service
- Nepal visa fee
- Airfare to and from Kathmandu
- Excess baggage charges
- Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu/City
- Travel and rescue insurance
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower,etc)
- Tips for guides and porters
Are standard and vary according to the availability and place.
Our Panch Pokhari Trek itinerary is planned with an awareness of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Going up too fast causes a medical condition serious enough to kill you. The higher the altitude the less oxygen is in air. For example, there is 50% less oxygen than of the sea level. Your body needs some days to adapt to this ‘less oxygen’ environment. So for a safe trek, it is absolutely essential to allow sufficient time for acclimatization. Sensible planning is therefore required to minimize the risk of AMS. We especially advise the guest(s) with known heart, lungs or blood diseases to consult their doctor before traveling. Mild headaches, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorder are symptoms of AMS.
Leader(s) and Staff Arrangements
The most significant thing that makes your Panch PokhariTrek successful, enjoyable and memorable is the skilled, experienced and helpful trek leader and crew members. Professional guides will lead your trip. All of our trekking leaders are carefully selected on the basis of their experience appropriate to each individual trek. With an objective of sustaining local communities All Trekkers Team supplies only Nepalese staffs that have adequate knowledge about culture, ecosystem, flora, fauna, geography, and history of Nepal. Trek leaders of ATTm are also trained with and educated on potential medical issues during their trek, biodiversity and environmental issues:
- Intensive Wilderness First Aid
- Trekking Guide Training
- English Language
- Conservation and Biodiversity
- Rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering (applies to expeditions)
The Trekking Group
For the Panch PokharaiTrek, there will be one guide, assistant guide and Sherpa porters for luggage carrying (2 trekkers:1 porter) This arrangement ensures that should anybody in the group become sick, the trip can still go ahead as planned. We can run the Panch Pokhari Trek for group of any size, but generally have a maximum of twelve people, as we've found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if you'd like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this.
Though often overlooked, it is important to mention. The trekking and expedition companies in Nepal are built on the back of hard working local porters. It is their tireless efforts carrying supplies, equipment and baggage that make the journeys to these remote areas possible. So it's very sad for that there is a history of exploitation and abuse at the hands of the industry. In an effort to combat this, we are firmly committed to porter rights. We assure all our porters are to be well treated, well paid and we provide a decent level of shelter, clothing and footwear. Porters who become sick are to be treated with the same care, attention as other team members - to rescue porters from dangerous situations is our duty. And for the porter's sake we inform that all trekkers keep their luggage bag weight to a maximum of 15kgs. If you need to have more weight than this additional porters can be hired. Thus we support the working conditions of the porters
Health and Experience Required:
Walking in this high Mountain Region usually requires maximum 6-8 hours of walking everyday. Climbing in the high mountain is the challenging part of your adventure and will require long hours of walking. You should be prepared max 14 Km of walking or jogging exercise everyday 1 month before your Trek starts. And also a positive attitude and a strong determination are important. Previous hiking/camping experience is good to have but technical experience is not required.
It is a condition of joining any of our trips that you be protected with an insurance policy. Should medial issues or accidents (to include air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs) happen it is important to be prepared. Please mind that we do not arrange or sell insurance.
Packing list and equipments:
- Big backpack
- Smaller backpack for your personal stuff (If you are using a porter and for short sight seeing)
- Two pair of wool long socks
- Three pairs of light trekking socks
- Fast drying underwear
- One pair of shorts
- One pair of light trekking pants
- One pair of warm winter pants
- Two technical long/short sleeve shirts (dry fit, fast drying)
- One fleece sweater for trekking
- Winter jacket/Dawn jacket
- Rain coat
- Comfortable “walked in” trekking boots
- Flip flops (you gonna need them to rest your feet after trekking and for the bathrooms)
- One fleece sweater for cold mountain evenings
- Thermal underwear, top and bottom
- Winter hat
- Scarf, Buff or skiing mask
- Fast drying towel
- Toiletries – Besides the basic necessary tools you are taking with you everywhere (shampoo, tooth paste and brush, shower gel, cream), you should also bring:
- Wet wipes
- Sun cream
- Toilet paper
- Antibacterial hand gel (Detol)
- Nail clipper
- Lip balm
- Tropical anti mosquito spray
- Medical kit:
- Pain killers
- Something for diarrhea
- Pills against cold
- Nose spray
- Altitude pills
- Anything about blisters (needle, compeed)
- Sore throat drops
- Cream for muscle pain
- Pills and other medicaments you usually use
- Other necessary thing you must have:
- Water purifying tabs (above 3000m the bottle water is way too expensive)
- Water bottle – 1+L
- Head lamp (for early morning trekking and the power cuts)
- Strings for hanging clothes
- Lighter and candles
- Swiss knife (with all the additions)
- Pens or Pencils (for you and for give a way to local kids)
- Note book (You want to make notes of your adventure)
- Snacks (Protein bars or biscuits for the time between meals on the trek)
- Batteries, power bag
- Phone (Emergency, internet, alarm, clock, music, photos …)
- Book (optional)
- Hooks (optional)
- Guide book