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Nar Phu Valley Trek: A Himalayan Wonderland of Adventure

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12 days
Availability : September through May
Kathmandu
Min Age : 9
Home » Holiday Packages » Annapurna Region » Nar Phu Valley Trek: A Himalayan Wonderland of Adventure

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

Nestled in the heart of the Annapurna region, the Nar Phu Valley invites exploration among Tibetan Buddhist communities, revealing a rich medieval Tibetan culture and vibrant festivals. Beyond its cultural allure, the valley showcases breathtaking views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Tilicho Peak, and Lamjung Himal. With a reputation for adventure, the Nar Phu Valley trek challenges trekkers with three formidable passes—Mesokunda La, Kang La, and Tilicho. Tailored for enthusiasts seeking cultural immersion and the thrill of conquering rugged terrains and high-altitude passes, this trek unfolds a narrative-rich expedition. Join us as we embark on a narrative-rich expedition through the Nar Phu Valley, where each trail tells a story, the past meets the present, and the mountains echo with the whispers of a history waiting to be heard. 

Historical Tapestry:

Immersed in a rich tapestry of history, the Nar Phu Valley unfurls its tales, deeply ingrained in the ancient Tibetan culture and the vibrant trade routes that once linked Nepal and Tibet. Functioning as a vital conduit for commerce, whispers of this historical legacy reverberate through the valley, manifesting in ancient monasteries, time-honoured stone houses, and the distinctive cultural customs that define the region. A pivotal turning point in this narrative unfolded with the introduction of teahouses and homestays, fundamentally reshaping the trekking experience in the Nar Phu Valley. Greeted with wholehearted enthusiasm by the local community, these establishments transcended their initial role as mere resting spots for weary travellers. They evolved into indispensable catalysts, igniting economic growth across the region.

Altitudes and Duration:

The Nar Phu Valley Trek is demanding, especially with the ascent to Kang La Pass at 5,322 meters, necessitating careful acclimatization. The 14-day journey provides time for exploration, cultural immersion, and acclimatization.

Permit Cost:

Before embarking on the trek, securing the necessary permits to explore Nar Phu Valley is essential. The permit fees fluctuate based on the season. From September to November, visitors to the restricted area must pay US$100 per week per person. For those trekking from December to August, the permit cost is US$75 per person for a week, and beyond a week, an additional $15 per day. Additionally, trekkers must obtain a mandatory ACAP permit for US$30 per person. It’s important to note that all permits must be obtained in Kathmandu.

Ideal Timing:

The best time for Nar Phu Valley trekking is spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). During these months, the weather is generally stable, with clear skies and moderate temperatures, providing optimal conditions for trekking. Spring brings blooming flowers and lush landscapes, while autumn offers clear mountain views and pleasant temperatures. It’s advisable to avoid the monsoon season (June to August) due to heavy rainfall, which can make trekking trails challenging and less enjoyable. Similarly, winter (December to February) can bring harsh cold and snow, making certain trek sections difficult.

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Tour Details

Departure & Return Location

Kathmandu, Nepal

 

Departure Time

8 AM

Price Includes

  • Tour Guide
  • All transportation in destination location
  • Annapurna National Park Permit and Special Trek permit
  • Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) Permit
  • All meals including tea/coffee during the trek
  • Airport Pick up drop by private car
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu and during the trek

Price Excludes

  • Any Private Expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Nepal visa
  • Any beverages
  • Tipping

Complementaries

  • Company T-Shirt
  • Farewell dinner
What to Expect
  1. Cultural Delight:

    • Immerse in rich Tibetan culture and vibrant festivals.
    • Interact with Tibetan Buddhist communities.
  2. Breathtaking Views:

    • Witness stunning panoramas of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Tilicho Peak, and Lamjung Himal.
  3. Adventure Highlights:

    • Conquer challenging passes: Mesokunda La, Kang La, and Tilicho.
    • Embrace the adventurous spirit of the trek.
  4. Permit Insights:

    • Navigate permit costs (US$100/week from Sep-Nov, US$75/week from Dec-Aug).
    • Secure the mandatory US$30 ACAP permit.
  5. Duration and Itinerary:

    • Plan with a day-by-day itinerary for acclimatization and cultural exploration.
  6. Culinary Experience:

    • Enjoy local cuisines in teahouses and homestays.
  7. Hidden Gems:

    • Explore less-traveled Nar Phu Valley with ancient monasteries.
  8. Kathmandu Prep:

    • Obtain all permits in Kathmandu.
  9. Connect and Share:

    • Forge connections with trekkers and locals.
    • Cherish camaraderie along the trails.
  10. Nature and Tranquility:

    • Discover untouched landscapes and valleys.
    • Experience the serene beauty of Nar Phu.
Itinerary

Day 1Arrival in Kathmandu

Upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, our team will greet you and transfer you to the designated hotel. The initial day allows you to leisurely explore Thamel, a bustling tourist area. Take a stroll, visit popular cafes, restaurants, and bars, and explore souvenir shops for mementos.

Day 2Exploring Kathmandu and Trek Preparation

Begin your second day with a hearty breakfast as you gear up for a full-day exploration of the captivating city of Kathmandu. The extensive tour package encompasses visits to the capital’s prominent tourist attractions, featuring UNESCO World Heritage sites like Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambhunath Temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square, and more. Before setting out on your exploration, make sure to allocate time for thorough gear checks and a detailed trip briefing. Additionally, take advantage of this day to conveniently purchase or rent any trekking equipment required for the upcoming adventure, all conveniently accessible from Thamel.

Day 3Drive to Koto

Today, our journey takes us to Koto. Commencing from the New Bus Park, we board a local bus to Besisahar and then transfer to a shared jeep for the scenic ride. The Nar Phu Valley trek officially begins in Dharapani, offering an option for a direct Jeep drive at an additional cost, shortening the travel time to approximately 10 hours. As we navigate the route, captivating views of rivers, local villages, and beautiful mountain scenery unfold. The winding mountain road passes through paddy fields and quaint Tibetan villages adorned with rhododendron forests, leading us to Koto—the starting point of our Nar Phu Valley trek. Koto, a small village inhabited by Gurung and various ethnic groups, reflects a lifestyle influenced by Buddhist Tibetans. Enjoy an overnight stay in a cosy guesthouse in Koto.

Day 4Trek to Meta (3,560m)

The trek unfolds with an interesting transition from lush to arid terrains, leading you to Meta. Engage with locals, observe traditional farming, and immerse yourself in mountain life. The daily trek spans approximately 6-7 hours. Starting early, the adventure covers significant distances, crossing rivers and entering the less-developed Nar and Phu valleys compared to the popular Annapurna Circuit towns. The route features a picturesque pine forest, a suspension bridge, small caves, and a pilgrim’s resting place.
Traverse a narrow canyon beneath waterfalls and witness woods thinning out, revealing vistas of a hidden mystical valley. An extended uphill trek rewards you with stunning views of the Annapurna region.
Resting at an elevation of 3,560m on a vast plain, Meta Village becomes your overnight stop. Though lodges are simple, they provide cleanliness, and the region’s delicious delicacies will rejuvenate your tired body.

Day 5Trek to Phu (4,080m)

After a refreshing rest and a nourishing breakfast, embark on the captivating journey to Phu at an elevation of 4,080m. Along the way, encounter Tibetan Buddhist stupas and architecture, showcasing the cultural influence of the renowned Nar and Phu valleys. Trekking along the ridge, witness the spectacular Nar Phedi Monastery nestled at the base of the hill. If luck is on your side, the mist hovering above the hill offers a splendid perspective to capture the region’s beauty. Following a short break, proceed with a 90-minute trek to access the challenging pathway leading to Phu, where a monolith stands guard. At this vantage point, get the first glimpse of the three prominent villages in the valley, including the Tibetan-influenced castle ‘Dzong’ and the remnants of two ruined forts. The journey is adorned with colourful Chortens, canyonlands, artistic gorges, and the diverse Himalayan fauna along Khaki Hill, creating a charming atmosphere. Arriving at Phu Village is akin to stepping into a cultural haven deeply influenced by Tibetan traditions. Explore ancient monasteries, interact with locals, and savour the unique lifestyle amidst breathtaking surroundings.

Day 6Phu Village Cultural Immersion Day

On the sixth day, take a break for acclimatization and explore the Phu region. Discover the wonders of Tashi Lakhang Monastery, a significant Buddhist site believed to be the last one built by Karmapa Rinpoche. Phu village is a marvel, immersing you in local culture—spinning yak and sheep’s wool, grazing livestock on the hills, and processing mustard seeds into oil paste. This exploration of the high-altitude civilization, enriched by Tashi Lakhang Monastery, promises to amaze. The monastery offers insight into Tibetan Buddhist traditions with ancient architecture, intricate artwork, and religious artefacts. Immerse in the serene atmosphere, engage in spiritual practices and observe monks’ daily lives. The cultural and historical significance of the monastery enhances Phu Village’s charm, making it a must-visit during the trek.

Day 7 Trek to Nar Village (4150m)

Transitioning to Nar Village, uncover hidden treasures in this lesser-explored region. Marvel at ancient architecture, engage in cultural exchanges and relish the serenity of this picturesque setting during our Nar Phu Valley trek, which spans approximately 6-7 hours of trekking each day. Today, we retrace our steps to Phu Gate Khyang, Chyarkha, and Jhunam, arriving at the junction that directs us right towards Nar. As we descend through eroded hoodoos and sandy gullies connected by bridge-like platforms, watch for the ruined Zampa Cho Dzong (a dzong is a fort; zampa is Tibetan for bridge). Along the way, savour beautiful gorges and breathtaking scenery. Upon reaching the Nar gates atop the hill, pass by a line of wonderfully painted bamboo-topped Chortens and a substantial tiered Chorten. Our camp awaits an overnight stay in Nar village.

Day 8Trek to Kang La Pass (5,322m)

Embark on the conquest of the formidable Kang La Pass, proudly standing at 5,322 meters—a true pinnacle of this trek. Revel in panoramic vistas that create a perfect backdrop for capturing enduring memories. Anticipate approximately 7-8 hours of trekking daily as you brace yourself for an extended journey. Begin with an early morning breakfast, venturing towards Kang La Pass before the sun graces the sky. The Kang La is not a steep pass, but it could be challenging if snow covers the pass or the altitude takes its toll. Today marks the most challenging pass of the Nar Phu Valley trek—the spectacular Kang La Pass. Providing magnificent views of Pisang Peak, Annapurna II, Gangapurna, Tilicho Peak, and the airport at Hongde, this pass is a true highlight of the journey.

Day 9Trek to Ngawal (3675m)

After conquering the pass, descend into the scenic Manang Valley, adorned with Yak and sheep shelters. As you go to Ngawal, a charming old village with prayer wheels and beautiful architecture, the picturesque landscape unfolds. Nawal, situated on the upper Pisang route of the Annapurna circuit trek, boasts excellent teahouses offering comfortable accommodations and various dining options.

Day 10Trek to Chame (2710m)

Descending to Chame on our Nar Phu Valley trek offers a leisurely day with a flat and downhill terrain over the Marshyangdi valley. Marvel at spectacular views of Annapurna II, Gangapurna, Annapurna III, Gandharva Chuli, and Pisang Peak in the background. Pass through pine forests, buckwheat farming terraces, and the charming small village of Chame, the district headquarters of Manang. Along the Marshyangdi River, discover a small hotspring. Rest for the night in Chame.

 

Day 11Drive back to Besisahar or Kathmandu

Following our Nar Phu Valley trek, today, we embark on the return journey to Kathmandu via a local jeep to Besisahar, sharing the ride with local passengers descending to Besisahar. After a lunch break in Besisahar, we board a bus for the approximately 9-hour drive back to Kathmandu. This extended journey offers a glimpse of the diverse Nepalese landscapes. For those seeking further exploration, an option to head to Pokhara from Besisahar is available. 

Day 12Overnight at the hotel

On the final evening in Nepal, join us for a farewell dinner. During the day, relax, explore the city’s amenities, and choose souvenirs for your journey home.

Map

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