There are many hidden places in Nepal, and one of those is the Lost Valley of Naar-Phu. Located in Manang District near Mt. Manaslu, it is a taste of Old Tibet, preserved for centuries by its isolation in the High Himalayas. Naar-Phu Valley is one of those restricted areas of Nepal where you need a special permit to enter. These people live above the tree line, making their living herding goats and yaks and the population is very small, only 300 permanent residents. When the winter snows arrive, the area is literally closed off from the outside world as they are snowbound within their villages.
In ages past, there were tall stone lookout towers where guards watched for intruders. The houses were built sturdy with heavy wooden doors to keep the residents safe at night. For over 1000 years, these people have maintained their own unique lifestyle. Twenty years ago, the author of Tibetan Diary came here to study this unique valley and its culture. Little has changed since the book was written. It still remains very isolated with few visitors, thereby giving you a feeling of venturing into an almost forbidden world.
The residents are friendly, and no longer worry about invaders as they did in days of old. There is an ancient monastery that sits high above the village. Named Tashi Lakhang Monastery, it was one of 108 Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries built by Karmapa Rinpoche. The people of the Valley are believed to have come here as part of the Shang Sung Kingdom of Tibet in the 8th century. They converted from the ancient Bön Religion of Tibet to Buddhism, maintaining their distinctive form even today.
Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition is pleased to be able to offer this exciting trek into one of the most interesting and untouched places in Nepal. It is an opportunity to experience ancient Tibet, the way it was over a century ago. There are no roads into this place, only foot trails that will take you on a 16 day adventure deep into the Himalayas.
DAY 1 – Arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to hotel
DAY 2 – Kathmandu to Jagat by private vehicle (8 – 9 hours)
DAY 3 – Trek to Dharapani (elev. 1860 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 4 – Trek to Koto (elev. 2600 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 5 – Trek to Meta (elev. 3570 m) 6 – 7 hours. Enter the Naar-Phu Valley Restricted Area
DAY 6 – Trek to Phu (elev. 3900 m) 6 – 7 hours
DAY 7 – Trek to Naar (elev. 4100 m) 6 – 7 hours
DAY 8 – Trek to Kang-La (elev. 5322 m) to Ngawal (elev. 3600 m) 6 – 7 hours
DAY 9 – Trek to Manang (elev. 3540 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 10 – Trek to Pisang (elev. 2675 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 11 – Trek to Chame (elev. 2670 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 12 – Trek to Dharapani (elev 1860 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 13 – Trek to Jagat (elev. 1300 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 14 – Drive to Kathmandu via Besisahar (8 – 9 hours)
DAY 15 – Departure
DAY 1 – Arrival: Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport where you will be met by your representative of Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition. You will be escorted to your hotel where there are complimentary welcome drinks and a short briefing with plenty of time to relax from your flight.
DAY 2 – Drive to Jagat (elev. 1300 m): We travel by private vehicle, leaving the capital city behind as we move into the mountains. We pass by the Trisuli and Marshyangdi Rivers, enjoying great views of the canyons and lower mountains of the hilly region of Nepal. Along the way, enjoy views of the snowcapped peaks like Lamjung Himal, Peak 29 and Manaslu while on the road to the village of Jagat where we will spend the night in a local lodge.
DAY 3 – Trek to Dharapani (elev. 1860 m): We begin trekking uphill as we start into the Annapurna Mountains. We leave the beautiful little village Jagat where the road has ended. From now on, we are walking our way upward in elevation as we pass through rhododendron forests and along fast moving mountain streams. At Tal Village, there are many beautiful waterfalls to explore as we stop for lunch. We continue the rocky trail to the village of Koto and then move on toward Dharapani where we will spend the night in a local lodge. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 4 – Trek to Koto (elev. 2600m): The trek continues to climb as we pass through thick pine and fir forests. We will pass through several small villages with their whitewashed monasteries high above the people. Buddhists tend to build their monasteries on high places, better to be able to get away from the care and noise of life as they do their meditation. Along the way, there will be several excellent overviews where we can see Mt. Manaslu, Annapurna II and Peak 29. We will eat lunch on the trail, arriving at Koto village following a trek of 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 5 – Trek to Meta (elev. 3570 m): Today we enter the Naar-Phu Valley Restricted area. Your permit has already been taken care of by Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition. One we pass the police check point, we follow along the river bank of the Suti Khola River in fragrant pine forests. There are numerous streams and suspension bridges we will be crossing. At the village of Dharmasala there is a picturesque waterfall where we will have lunch. From here, the trail becomes steep as we ascend to Meta Village where we will spend the night. Here we arrive on the Tibetan Plateau, which will offer incredible views of Annapurna II and Lamjung Himal. Trekking time is 6 - 7 hours, and we will stay in a local lodge.
DAY 6 – Trek to Phu (elev. 3900 m): Today you will really feel the isolation of the area as we will trek for around four hours and no see another human structure. Instead, we pass over suspension bridges well above rushing mountain streams. Along the way are remains of ancient forts and watchtowers. These were inhabited by refugees of the Khampa Kingdom who fled here and lived illegally. They built the watchtowers and fortresses in order to protect themselves from those they had fled from. That ancient kingdom is gone, so no need to fear any attacks from a dynasty that has long been committed to the pages of history. We finally reach Phu Khola, following the trail to Phu Village. We will probably see the famed Blue Sheep of the Himalayas today. We are now in the lost valleys and will come across some villages here. The people here are dependent upon subsistence agriculture, taking advantage of seasonal migration and animal breeding. The very oldest monastery in the area is on the agenda today: Tashi Lakhang Monastery. It is listed as one of the top 108 Great Buddhist Monasteries in the world and was the last one constructed by Karmapa Rinpoche. Along the way, there are great views of the Himlung Himal and other snowcapped peaks. We are above the tree line as we pass into these hidden and lost valleys. Trekking time is 6 – 7 hours, and we will spend the night in a local lodge.
DAY 7 – Trek to Naar (elev. 4100 m): The trail descends at first, crossing over many mountain streams until we arrive at the village of Mahendra Pul which takes around four hours. This will include crossing a suspension bridge 80 meters above the gorge of the Lapche River. We will stop for lunch at Mahendra Pul as well as rest a bit, because the next part of the trip will ascend upwards past Budddhist stupas until we reach Naar Village. At Naar, there is an excellent view of the snowcapped peak of Pisang as well as other smaller peaks. There are several monasteries to visit in and around this village. Trekking time is 6 – 7 hours. We will spend the night in a local lodge.
DAY 8 – Trek to Kang-La (elev. 5322 m) and Ngawal (elev. 3660 m): Today begins early as we have some major climbing to do. Today we reach the mountain pass of Kang-La high in the Tibetan plateau. We will see yak and yak herders along the way. From the mountain pass, there are incredible views of the mountains in a 360° panorama. There are numerous kharkas (grazing areas) along the way where the men will spend the summers with the animals. Today we will leave the restricted area after we leave Kang-La and make our way down the mountain to the village of Ngawal where we will spend the night in a local lodge. Trekking time is 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 9 – Trek to Manang (elev. 3540 m): Our goal today is the lovely mountain Gurung village of Manang. The trail today takes in some incredible mountain scenery as we can see clearly the snowcapped peaks of Annapurna I, II, III, IV, Tilicho Peak, Pasang Peak, Chulo Peak, Thorong Peak and many more. Our first village is Braga Village with its monastery and incredible views of the Annapurna Ranges. We will also have an opportunity to explore Cave Gompa after lunch. All along the way, we will be able to really appreciate the immense beauty of the Annapurna Ranges. Tonight, we will spend the night in a local lodge in Manang. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 10 – Trek to Pisang (elev. 2675 m): It is an entire morning of great mountain views as we leave Manang for the village of Pisang. We follow the Marsyangdi River for around three hours and then stop for lunch. It will be another two or three hours to reach Pisang Village where we find an ancient Buddhist monastery as well as great views of Annapurna II, IV and Pisang Peak. These are awesome views as you are close up to these mountains. We will spend the night in Pisang at a local lodge, trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 11 – Trek to Chame (elev. 2670 m): The forests are changing. The pine forests are starting to give way to rhododendron forests, which are beautiful in the springtime when the blossoms are blooming. We will walk through pine forests part of the time with its fragrant air. After lunch, the trail levels out until we reach Chame Village. Chame is the headquarters of the Manang District and administrative centre. We will overnight in the village. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 12 – Trek to Dharapani (elev. 1860 m): We walk to Koto Village following breakfast. It is downhill most of the way as we are now approaching the end of our mountain trek. We are high above the Marshyangdi River until the village of Thanchok, then descend to Danakyu which takes around three hours. Following a lunch break, we will pick up a level trail, and have an opportunity to visit a Buddhist monastery at Dharapani. We will spend the night in the village. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 13 – Trek to Jagat (elev. 1300 m): This is our last day of trekking as we cross suspension bridges and then it is up and down to the village of Karte. We follow the Marshyangdi River, crossing on a very long suspension bridge. There are some steep, narrow trails as we descend, arriving at a road at Chyamje Village. We follow the road for an hour to Jagat Village, spending the night in a local lodge. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 14 – Return to Kathmandu: We travel by direct road in private vehicle for around three hours until we reach Besisahar. Here we pick up the main highway back to Kathmandu. Travel time is a total of 8 – 9 hours, arriving at our Deluxe Hotel for the night.
DAY 15 – Departure: All good things must come to an end, and your trip to Nepal is no exception. Before leaving, why not talk to your representative at Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition about returning to Nepal for your next holiday. The vast majority of people make a return trip to Nepal because they are impressed by not only the beauty, but also the local people. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition offers trips into neighboring Tibet, Bhutan and India. Be sure to discuss your interests and plans with them today.
Your safety is of paramount importance 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 in remote mountain regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not be forced to make last minute changes due to weather conditions, health conditions or any member of the group, unexpected natural disasters, etc. The team leader will do everything possible to ensure that the trip runs according to plan. Be prepared for any last minute changes. The Himalayas are big and wild, and worthy of your respect.
For the Lost valley of Naar-phu Trek, there will be a trek 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 on as planned. However, Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition can run this trek for groups of any size. Usually, we have found that the maximum number of trekkers in any group is 12 people.
All accommodations for the Lost valley of Naar-phu Trek are on twin-sharing basis. The lodges and tea houses have been selected by Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition after personal inspection. We look at the conditions of the inns, local hygiene, quality of food, type of service and more.
We offer two types of accommodations on this trek. In Kathmandu, you will stay three nights at a Deluxe Hotel. As there are no Deluxe Hotels available on the trek, you will spend twelve nights in standard tea houses. These places have pleasant, unheated rooms and wooden beds with foam mattresses.
All rooms are double occupancy, but you can request a single occupancy room for an additional fee, which will be available only during the trekking. However, sometimes single rooms are not available in some places, depending upon local conditions. We do work to provide the best possible options when trekking in the High Himalayas.
Food will vary between typical Nepali in the mountains. In Kathmandu and Pokhara, there are far more choices, which include Indian, Continental, Italian, Tibetan and more. The city areas offer everything from good steaks and burgers to apple pie and pizza.
Nepali food is nutritious, and ranges from our traditional dal/bhat and momo to fantastic breads, fruits and more. The cooking is wholesome and the food is tasty.
The trek does include a farewell dinner at Paleti Bhanchha Ghar where you will experience the finest of local foods. There is also a daily breakfast in hotels and on the trail.