The Helambu Valley is located just south of Langtang National Park and is one of the nicest treks you can make in Nepal. It is often overlooked because it is so close to Kathmandu. But don't think that there is a lack of good scenery and snowcapped peaks to behold. It is a world apart from the capital city, home of Sherpa and Tamang people who have called this land home for hundreds of years.
The trek actually begins just one hour from Kathmandu at the village of Sundarijal and begin our trek in Shivapuri National Park, the closest National Park to Kathmandu. The trail heads north, passing through incredible rhododendron forests. The path rises in elevation, giving incredible views of the High Himalayas. The Langtang Mountain Range rises directly to the north for some spectacular views of these wonderful mountains.
The trip is short, but filled with plenty of culture and beauty. There are Buddhist monasteries, colorful bazaars and impressive mountain villages to see. This is a tea house trek, so each night you will stay in a local lodge and enjoy good local food.
Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition is pleased that they can offer such a wonderful trek so close to the capital city. You can easily on the first day be trekking within an hour of your departure from Thamel. The trek is an ideal way to see and appreciate the uniqueness of the local culture of Nepal.
DAY 1 – Arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to your hotel
DAY 2 – Sightseeing in Kathmandu
DAY 3 – Drive to Sundarijal, Trek to Chisapani (elev. 2300 m): 4 hours
DAY 4 – Trek to Kutumsang (elev. 2445 m): 7 hours
DAY 5 – Trek to Thadepati (elev. 3650 m): 6 hours
DAY 6 – Trek to Tarkeghyang (elev. 2560 m): 6 hours
DAY 7 – Trek to Sermathang (elev. 2,610 m): 3 – 4 hours
DAY 8 – Trek to Melamchi Puul Bazaar, drive to Kathmandu
DAY 9 – Final Departure
DAY 1 – Arrival in Kathmandu: Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport where you will be met by your representative of Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition and taken by private car to your Three Star Hotel to relax for the night.
DAY 2 – Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley: There is plenty to see and do in the Kathmandu Valley, including seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We will be visiting four of them today within the valley.
DAY 3 – Drive to Sundarijal, Trek to Chisapani (elev. 2300 m): It is a one hour drive to Sundarijal where we start our trek. We will move through Shivapuri National Park as we make our way north to the pretty village of Chisapani where we will spend the night. Chisapani has a number of really nice lodges and good food. Trekking time is around 4 hours.
DAY 4 – Trek to Kutumsang (elev. 2446 m): We continue our trek northwards. We leave Shivapuri National Park as the trail continues northward. We cross meadows and fields as we rise in elevation for some outstanding views of the Langtang Range. We will overnight in a local lodge. Trekking time 7 hours.
DAY 5 – Trek to Thadepati (elev. 3650 m): The trail turns upward today and can be rather steep at times. We are passing through fir and rhododendron forests. There are no permanent settlements here, we are in the wilderness. At Yurin Danda, there is a magnificent view of the mighty Himalayas. Our next village will be Thadepati where we will spend the night in a local lodge. Trekking time is around 6 hours.
DAY 6 – Trek to Tarkeghyang (elev. 2560 m): It is downhill today as we've crossed the high point at Thadepati. Today we will see more villages, these belonging to the Sherpa people. Our destination is Tarkeghyang, also known as Helumbu, which gets its name from these people's caste (Helmu). The village contains one of the oldest and largest monasteries in this region. The views of the mountains are superb from here. We will spend the night in a local lodge. Trekking time is around 6 hours.
DAY 7 – Trek to Sermathang (elev. 2610 m): It is a shorter day, but what a wonderful day it is . We will be passing waterfalls, through dense forests and along mountain streams. There are plenty of wildflowers abound. The trail rounds a wide mountain valley filled with farms belonging primarily to the Sherpa people. On top of the highest point above the village of Sermathang is a Buddhist monastery that crowns the hill. We will overnight in a local lodge, with trekking time around 3 – 4 hours.
DAY 8 – Trek to Melamchi Puul Bazaar, Drive to Kathmandu: This is the final day of trekking, and we will be walking down to the colorful bazaar of Melamchi Puul Bazaar. The population is primarily Sherpa, but there are other groups here as well. The trek here is around 3 – 4 hours, and the drive to Kathmandu in around two hours. Check into our Three Star Hotel. In the evening, enjoy a farewell cultural show.
DAY 9 – Departure: All good things must come to an end, and today, it is time to travel to your next destination. Your representative at Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition can help you to plan your future trip as well as to other destinations around South Asia. Be sure to talk to your representative before leaving Kathmandu about a return trip to this great country. As they say, a lifetime is never enough to explore all that Nepal and the Himalayas have to offer.
Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling to remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health conditions of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc, can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.
THE TREKKING GROUP
For this trek, there will be one leader, an assistant leader (4 trekkers = 1 assistant leader) and Sherpa porters for carrying luggage (2 trekkers = 1 porter). This arrangement ensures that if anyone in the group is sick, the trip can still go ahead as planned. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition can run this trek for groups of any size. But, Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition generally includes maximum of twelve (12) visitors as this company has found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if you would like to make a group booking for more than twelve people, Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition can arrange this, too.
All accommodations for the Helambu Trek are on a twin sharing basis with inclusive trip costs and based on standard of hygiene, standard of service and food, location, etc. There are two styles of accommodations on this trip. In Kathmandu, we will stay three nights in Three Star Hotels. On the trek, we will stay five nights at local lodges and tea houses which do vary in quality. Most contain unheated rooms with wood beds and foam mattresses. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition provides attached rooms in some major towns; however tea houses or lodges in some places only have shared facilities as well as shared toilet. If we are a solo traveler, we may have to share the room. Please understand that we will try to provide single rooms if at possible for an additional supplemental fee.
During our trek, we can enjoy typical Nepali food as well as some basic foods from different types of cuisines. While in Kathmandu, we can enjoy a great selection of foods from a variety of ethnic cultures. In the larger villages, we will have good selections, but some of the small villages may only feature a single item for dinner. Lunch will be served as a picnic lunch. There will be a farewell dinner that will feature a cultural show in Kathmandu.