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Hidden Valley of Naar-Phu and Tilicho Lake

The finest challenging trek in the Annapurna region, our new itinerary has all the makings of a classic. We follow remote trails leading through secluded villages and camp in magnificent locations beneath an awesome backdrop of peaks. We traverse to the south of the Annapurna Range, where we ascend through conifer forests and cross pristine alpine meadows gaining spectacular mountain views (from Manaslu to Dhaulagiri). We enter the spectacular Nar region and traverse around the ice bound Tilicho Lake before crossing the Mesokantu Pass, bringing us into the very heart of the Annapurna. This is one of the best hidden valley and the land of Snow Leopard treks, opened for trekkers in Ne in 2003. It offers an incredible view of majestic mountains in the high lands, Bhote communities, beautiful medieval & ancient remote villages, amazing rock formations, glaciers, several passes, narrow canyons, lovely forests, old monasteries, unique Himalayan and Tibetan culture, real life styles, and high altitude settlements. The Naar Phu Valley and Tilicho Lake will be a perfect destination for those who aspire to venture into some of the less trodden remote regions of Nepal apart from the regular trekking routes. Discover the hidden valley of Nar Phu along the "off the beaten path" crossing through challenging high passes of Kang La, Meso Kanto and visiting the World highest lake Tilicho. Naar Phu Valley is a wild and unexplored Tibetan villages located north of Annapurna which is restricted area and newly opened for the trekkers only since 2003. This trek is perfect for travelers who want to explore the Annapurna area as well as explore an untouched valley. This trek takes you to the exotic Nar Phu valley that lies in the remote corner of the Annapurna region. The Naar Phu valley remains untouched by modernity.Trekking in the area is unlike most of Nepal as the terrain is Trans Himalayan and similar to that of Tibet. Naar Phu Valley, the recently opened area for trekking lies north of famous Annapurna circuit trekking route. The topography of Naar & Phu Valley is similar to that of Tibet. The trails are still rugged and the people and culture has remained in tact. Special trekking permit is required to visit this place. After a couple days of exploration of the valley, we cross over Kang La Pass 5322m on the way to Manang. We leave the main trekking trail and precede to Jomsom following the best-kept secret remote trekking route of Meso Kanto Pass 5099m and Tilicho Lake 5300m the world’s highest situated lake. Obviously, this remote and rugged trail offers challenging and exhilarating trekking experience for adventure enthusiasts.

Fact of the Trek;
Highest Elevation: 5322m
Best Season: Autumn (Oct-Nov) and Spring (March-April) 
Mode of Trek: Lodge to Lodge and party tented camp
Trek Start/End: Bhilbhule/Nayapul
Grade: Moderate
Culture: Majority of Gurung, Bhote Lama, Managis and Thakali

Himalayan Sights:  Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Lamjung Himal, Kusumkanguru, Himlung Himal, Tilicho Peak, Gangpurna, Nilgiri, and other snowy peaks.

High Lights of the Trek: Stunning view of high Himalayan Range, unobstructed Sunrise & Sunset view, typical lifestyle and culture of Gurung, Bhote Lama, Manangis and Thakali, scenic and picturesque villages, ancient Monasteries, wildlife, beautiful terraced fields, dense rhododendron forest, Deepest Kaligandaki Gorge, several water falls and high glacial lakes. 

Itinerary in details
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu 1340m,
You'll be met at the airport by our representative from the company, so look out for a office sign/logo with your name when you leave the airport. They will bring you back to the Hotel. Welcome drinks will provide by Hotel and short briefing about your treks and refreshment. Stay overnight in Hotel.

Day 2: Full day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu Valley,
A free day to explore in the Kathmandu Valley. Our tour guide introduces as following Options: Climb the many steps to Swayambhunath (the monkey temple), with its commanding views of Kathmandu (1420m), its whitewashed Stupas and its unique synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism. The striking Buddha eyes of Boudhanath Stupa watch over a lively and colorful Tibetan community and attract pilgrims from all over the Himalayan Buddhist realm. In the midst of traditional Gompas, and hung with long strings of multi-colored prayer flags, Boudhanath attracts Sherpas, Tibetans and tourists alike for daily circumambulations (Koras) of the Stupa. Durbar Square, one of the old capitals of the Kathmandu valley, is a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist temples, stupas and statues, and is often the site of festivals, marriages and other ceremonies. Hindu Pashupatinath and its sacred temple complex on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here, monkeys run up and down the steps of the burning ghats, and trident-bearing saddhus draped in burnt-orange and saffron sit serenely meditating - when they’re not posing for photos-for-rupees. Stay overnight in Hotel.

Day 3: Drive from Kathmandu to Syange and trek to Jagat 1300m
From Kathmandu we drive along to the Kathmandu to Pokhara highway. We divert off the highway at the bustling town of Dumre and continue for a further one and half hours to Besisahar. After lunch we complete the drive to the road head at Syange in the Marysandi Valley. After a long drive we walk along the river bank and continue gradually uphill to Jagat. After Syange, the walk is about one and half hours, the track follows an impressive cut in the near-vertical cliffs high above the river to reach Jagat. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 4: Trek from Jagat to Dharapani 1870m
We head into the deep gorge country where the Marsyandi River forges its course through the main Himalaya Range. Our trail ascends high above the Marsyandi River. We pass huge waterfall, luxuriant forest and an assortment of Hindu settlements as we make our way to the broad alluvial plan and the village of Tai. From there the mixed forest- oak, chestnut and bamboo give way to blue pine and cedar-defining the extent of the Indian monsoon rains. It also marks the gradual transition from Hindu to Buddhist culture as evidenced by the tiny monasteries, white washed chortens and mani walls lining the trails. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 5: Trek from Dharapani to Koto 2575m

Just beyond Dharapani we encounter recent developments as a rough track is hewn out of the mountainside. We follow the track for several km past the delightful village of Danique before ascending steeply to Timang. Views of Manaslu as well as the snow capped Annapurna compensate as we head through apple orchards to our campsite at Koto. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 6: Trek from Koto to Meta 3520m
At Koto our permits are inspected before we head into the Nar Phu region – an area that extends to the borderlands of Tibet and that was closed to trekkers until 2002. Crossing the well established bridge over the Marsyandi River we slowly ascend serene trails a world away from the main trial that we had followed for the last three days. River char flit from boulder to boulder in the conifer forests while silver birches stretch up the mountainside. There are no demanding switchbacks on this stage, just a gradual ascent through magnificent gorge country to our camp in the vicinity of shelter huts known locally as Dharamsala. We climb out of the gorges to the small gaining ever remarkable views of Annapurna 2 & 4 as we make our way to the small Buddhist settlement at Meta. After an early lunch we undertake an optional walk further up the Nar Phu Valley. An immense valley defines by impressive peaks including Kang Guru and Gyaji Kang. While also discover remains of abandoned settlements where the Khampa – the Tibetans warriors - lived for a time following the Chinese occupation of Tibet. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 7: Trek from Meta to Phu 3900m
Today, we start climb up and down as well as on traversing suspension bridges over different  streams. We take packed lunch at Kyang which takes about 4 hours. Actually we do not find any houses and lodges in this area. We just see the remnants, particularly the ruined forts of the Khampa settlement (the place which Khampa refugees from Tibet once captured and lived illegally) at places like Jhunam, Chyakhu and Kyang.  We keep walking passing the Phu Khola on a rocky trail until Phu village which takes about 3 hours. We can see Blue Sheeps during the trail. Now we are in one of the unique Lost/ Hidden Valleys. We can see their cultures, natural diversity, and religion of the ethnic groups like Lama, Gurung and Ghale. The people are depending on subsistence agricultures, animal breeding and seasonal migrations. The very old Buddhist Monastery known as Tashi Lakhang Monastery is listed out of the 108 world’s great Buddhist Monasteries; it is believed to be the last monastery constructed by Karmapa Rinpoche. We have a great view of Himlung Himal and other snow peaks. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 8: Trek from Phu to Nar 4100m
Today, the trail descends, passing many streams and suspension bridges until Mahendra Pul which takes about 4 hours. We pass the high suspension bridge 80m over the Gorge of Lapche River. We have lunch in Mahendra Pul. We are now getting into the high country with unparalleled views of the Trans Himalaya. From Phu we head to Nar gaining superb views of the huge peaks that stretch north towards Tibet while in the immediate vicinity Pisang (6091m) provides a constant reminder of our location. The village of Nar is the largest in the region (350 villagers - 76 families) where villagers eke out a living trading and tending their barley fields. Huge lammergeiers hover on the thermals while the sound of chanting from the tiny monastery leaves little doubt that you are in an ancient Buddhist land. We stay in the village of Nar with options to trek north for a day and explore the impressive gorge country. Blue sheep sightings are a sure sign that the elusive snow leopard is not too far away! Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 9: Trek from Naar to Kang La base 4460m
We head up the Nar Phu valley crossing a series of alpine meadows to reach our camp at the base of the Kang La. This is a short stage with plenty of time to explore the high ridges in he vicinity that afford an almost 360 degree mountain panorama including Chulu East at the head of the valley. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 10: Cross Kang La 5100m to Manang 3540m
The Kang La is not an unduly difficult pass and you should be able to complete the ascent to the crest of the pass in 3 to 4 hours – sometimes less depending on snow conditions. An early start is imperative to gain magnificent views of the Annapurna Range as well as the panorama peaks to the immediate north and east. After a well earned rest we descend across screed slopes – tough on the knees! – Before heading down to open meadow close to the village of Nyawal. From Nyawal, we trek a level path along the bank of Marshyangdi River. On the way we pass pine forests, farming terraces and Braga (a Tibetan-style village), here the houses are stacked on top of each other perched high on the valley cliffs. Above the houses is a monastery, the oldest and most interesting in the area, estimated to be over 500 years old. From Braga, it only 30 minutes walk to the trading town of Manang. We camp in a beautiful clearing and savor remarkable views of the Grand Barrier- the huge mountain backdrop above Tilicho Lake. Manang is a tight compact village of about 500 flat-roofed houses set amongst spectacular scenery. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 11: Trek from Manang to Shree Kharka 4000m
From Manang our route travels along a recently constructed path up towards a high ridge. The panoramic view of the Annapurna range completely mesmerizes you. Our camp side is basically a meeting point where we come across trekkers returning from Tilicho Lake. This is somewhat of a social campsite, where we can interact with other trekkers and hear their stories of crossing from Tilicho Lakes. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 12: Trek from Shree Kharka to Tilicho base camp hotel 4100m
A short if rather demanding stage. We head up the valley before traversing a series of screed slopes to a secluded camp at the base of the climb to Tilicho Lake. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Days 13: Trek from Tilicho Base camp hotel to Tilicho Lake 4900m
We start early morning to ensure breathtaking views east to Manaslu while a host of peaks including the Grand Barrier define the impressive northern ridge of the Annapurna Massif. It is not a hard climb to Tilicho Lake. Reaching a vantage point above the huge sacred lake we appreciate its dimensions, about 4 km by 1.2km, and around 85 meters deep. We have the option of undertaking a number of short day walks- although there is no trail that goes around the lake. We camp on a meadow; we savor one of the finest campsites in the Himalaya and enjoy the marvelous, changing colors of the mountains as evening approaches. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 14: Traverse Mesokantu La 5025m to Kharka camp 3600m
It's a tough stage at first involving a 300m ascent to a ridge high above the lake. The traverse includes a couple of ridge crossings before a short steep ascend to the Mesokantu La. From the pass anticipate views that stretch back to the lake as well as views to the Nilgiri peaks and Dhaulagiri on the far side of the Kali Gandaki Gorge. From the Mesokantu La there is a steep – sometimes under snow – descent to camp at 4440m. Alternatively we might continue for a further hour to a lower camp at 4000m. From these vantage points you gain an eagle's view to the village of Marpha way down in the Kali Gandaki Gorge. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 15: Trek from Kharka camp to Jomsom 2670m

A long ridge descent that leads gradually down to the Kali Gandaki River and the village of Jomsom. On arriving we will stay in a comfortable lodge close to the airport.

Day 16: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara and afternoon flight back to Kathmandu.
We board the early morning flight to Pokhara savouring magnificent views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. On arrival at Pokhara airport we will have transport on standby to take you into the town. Here you can wander the markets and the lakeside for a couple of hours before returning to the airport for the onward flight to Kathmandu. On arrival we transfer you to your hotel.

Day 17: Final departure to international airport as per your flight schedule.

Our Package Inclusive
# Int’l/Dom Airport/Hotel/Airport picks up and transfers by private car/van on arrival and departure.
# 3 nights accommodations in twin bed sharing basis with breakfast at Standard Hotel in Kathmandu.
# Sightseeing Tour as per above mentioned itinerary and all kind of entry fees.
# Round Trip domestic flight tickets cost and airport tax.
# Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) with tea or coffee are included during the lodge/tea-house trek.
# Lodge-lodge and party tented camp accommodation during the lodge trek.
# 1 Experienced, helpful, friendly and well trained English speaking guide and porters (1 porter for 2 peoples) during the trek and their food, accommodation, equipments, salary and insurance.
# All ground transportation by private vehicle.
# Naar-Phu Valley Restricted Area Permit.
# Annapurna Conservation Area Permit.
# All necessary permits.
# Tourist Service Charge.
# Office Service Charge.
# All government tax.
# First Aid Medical Kit box.

Our Package Exclusive
# Any  meals (Lunch and Dinner) in Kathmandu and Pokhara other than breakfast.
# International Airfare to and from Nepal.
# Travel Insurance.
# Nepal Tourist Visa Fees.
# Items and expenses of personal nature.
# All kind of alcoholic drinks (beer, wine, whisky), cold drink (mineral water, coke, fanta, sprite, juice), laundry service, postage, phone calls, internet, donations, museum entry fees etc during the trip.
# Personal Trekking Equipments such as sleeping bags, walking poles, down jackets, walking boots. (It can be hired/bought in Kathmandu and Pokhara).
# Emergency Evacuation (Medical Insurance and Helicopter Rescue in case of accident and can be paid either insurance company or clients themselves).
# Any cost arises due to a change of the program/itinerary, because of landslides, political disturbance, strike and some accidental problems.
# Horse/Pony renting and additional porters due to natural calamities during the trek.
# Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost inclusive.
# Tipping Tips for guide, porters, drivers and horse man.

Tipping is expected but it is not mandatory and can be treated end of the trip if satisfied.

N. B. This is a general itinerary, which can always individually be “tailor-made”. The package itinerary can be redesigned or changed due to trekker’s fitness and time frame of holiday. Similarly hotel can be upgraded or downgraded depend on your budget. Please email to us at mystiquenepaltreks@yahoo.com for more details and discussions for suitably programs.

P.S. In case of Emergency Evacuation during the trip, Helicopter Rescue will be arranged by Mystique Nepal Himalayan Trekking & Expedition (P) Ltd within 1-2 hours in first call. The cost of the rescue must be paid by the clients themselves or insurance company.

There will be a cancellation fee of 30% for any cancellation unforeseen problems shown one month prior to Trekking/Tour departure date, a cancellation fee of 50% two weeks prior to Trekking/Tour departure date and no refund thereafter. No refund for no shows & delay arrivals whatsoever reason.
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Mystique Nepal Himalayan Trekking and Expedition Pvt. Ltd.
Kathmandu, Nepal

Tel : +977-9849193453
Email : mystiquenepaltreks@yahoo.com