"It is like being in Heaven," goes the local saying when people talk about Rara Lake. Located in the far western region of Nepal, it is a remote lake as well as a national park that rarely sees many visitors because of its remoteness. This is the largest lake in Nepal, and is ringed with snowcapped peaks of the high Himalayas.
Rara Lake sits at 3060 meters above sea level and is about a 3 – 4 day walk from Jumla. The lake features incredibly blue waters that reflect the snowcapped peaks that surround it. The lake is 5 km by 2 km with a depth of 167 meters.
The best view of the lake and the surrounding "hills" is at Chuckemara Danda, rising 4,087 meters above sea level (only in Nepal would an elevation like this be classified as a "hill".)
The park is home to many species of animals, including the Himalayan Black Bear, the rare Red Panda as well as leopards, musk deer , ghoral, tahr and more. From November to April, the skies above the lake are filled with a large variety of birds, many on migratory routes coming from Siberia.
This is a remote camping trip, and one that will be a true joy to participate in. We will see very few people, but lots of wildlife, stunning views as well as incredible flora. Very few companies in Nepal can offer a quality trip into Rara Lake National Park. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition is one of those companies that can give you a rare experience into this wonderful mountain lake.
DAY 1 – Arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to hotel
DAY 2 – Full day of sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley
DAY 3 – Fly to Nepalgunj, transfer to hotel.
DAY 4 – Fly to Jumla (elev. 2370 m)
DAY 5 – Trek to Danphe Langa (elev. 3130 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 6 – Trek to Chautha (elev. 2770 m) 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 7 – Trek to Dhotu (elev. 2380 m)
DAY 8 – Trek to Rara Lake (elev. 3040 m) 3 – 4 hours
DAY 9 – Explore Rara Lake and surrounding hills
DAY 10 – Continued exploration of Rara Lake
DAY 11 – Trek to Ghorasingha (elev. 3190 m) 4 – 5 hours
DAY 12 – Trek to Sinja (elev. 2440 m) 4 – 5 hours
DAY 13 – Trek to Jaljala (elev. 3270 m) 4 – 5 hours
DAY 14 – Trek to Jumla (elev. 2370 m) 3 – 4 hours
DAY 15 – Fly to Nepalgunj and then to Kathmandu
DAY 16 – Take leisure day in Kathmandu, ½ days guided tour of Kathmandu Valley
DAY 17 – Departure
DAY 1 – Arrival: Arrive at Tribhuwan 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 – Kathmandu: Your day will be spent visiting several of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This is a great day to get a feel of the culture, spirituality and the beauty of the famed Kathmandu Valley. The Valley is larger than the country of Singapore and is known for its temples, shopping and great hospitality.
DAY 3 – Fly to Nepalgunj: Nepalgunj is the largest city in Western Nepal and is a great place to buy clothing and other Indian goods as they are right next to the border. We will fly there (about 1 hour flight) and check into a good hotel. The hotels feature hot water, good beds and in really hot weather, good a/c. Nepalgunj can be hot in April and May (42° C). We will only spend one night in the city. Nepalgunj is not a tourist town, so all that is available are local foods.
DAY 4 – Fly to Jumla (elev. 2370 m): Temperatures will be a lot more pleasant once we fly to the district city of Jumla. It's a beautiful place at the beginning of the mountains. Jumla is the highest place in Nepal where they grow rice. Interestingly, the rice is a reddish color rather than white. It is quite tasty, but the native Nepalis tend to not like it, preferring the traditional white rice. The flight is around 45 minutes. We will set up camp and take a short, 10 minute walk into Jumla Bazaar.
DAY 5 – Trek to Danphe Langa (elev. 3130 m): Today we start our trek, which will take us along the north bank of the Tila Khola (river). We leave the Jumla Valley behind, following a trail through dark, dense alpine forests of pine, spruce and fir. The trail becomes steeper as we make our way upward. There are valleys along with narrow canyons with vertical cliffs. The last village we pass is Padmara before coming our campsite at Danphe Langa. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 6 – Trek to Chautha (elev. 2770 m): We have reached a high point yesterday, and now the trail descends to Sinja Khola. This is some remote area, and we have to cross the river on a log bridge. The trail passes through dense forests along with some serious climbing. We will be finally descending into a big valley where we will camp for the night. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 7 – Trek to Dhotu (elev. 2380 m): We will enter into Rara Lake National Park as we get our entry permits today. We won't make the lake today, but we will be seeing some of the snowcapped peaks of the Tibetan Himalayas. We will be encountering Buddhist chhortens along with prayer flags flapping in the breeze. The trail will level out for some easier walking as we make our way to our campsite at Dhotu. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 8 – Trek to Rara Lake (elev. 3040 m): We reach our destination today! Our journey will pass through the Thakuri Village of Jhyari that sits in a beautiful grove of giant cedar trees. We climb up through for forests of cedar to reach a high meadow that will reveal to us Rara Lake below. What a view it is! We can see the shimmering blue reflecting waters below us with the rugged, snowcapped peaks of the Tibetan Himalayas. It is this view that people call "a taste of Heaven". And it is. Our journey will take us to the north side of the lake where we will camp for the night. Trekking time is 3 – 4 hours.
DAY 9 – Explore Rara Lake: Today we get to explore the 15 km of shoreline that surrounds this wonderful lake. We will make our way through the deserted village of Rara and Chapra on the northern side of the lake, but otherwise, we will see nothing but birds, wildflowers and wildlife. We will camp overnight in our camp.
DAY 10 – Explore and Rest: It is a day of rest and personal exploration as we enjoy our last full day of Rara Lake.
DAY 11 – Trek to Ghorasingha (elev. 3190 m): We will be returning to Jumla on a different trail, with today's journey taking us to the village of Ghorasingha. We leave Rara Lake, climbing upwards and following along the Nisa Khola. The trail climbs to Murma, then down again, crossing a log bridge over the river. We can still see Rara Lake from our high vantage points as our trail will then skirt the ridge around the very large valley of Ghurchi Mara. We will camp at Ghorasingha for the night.
DAY 12 – Trek to Sinja (elev. 2440): We descend into the Ghatta Valley as we enter an area with a larger population. These are Brahmin and Chhetri villages on the banks of the Sinja Khola. The village of SInja was once the capital of a large Malla dynasty that ruled western Nepal from the 12th to 14th centuries. The ruins of the palace can be seen along the river. A large temple stands on top of the promontory overlooking the river and village. Named Bhagwati Than, it is dedicated to the goddess Bhagwati who administers justice while riding on the back of a tiger. We will camp in Sinja for the night. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 13 – Trek to Jaljala (elev. 3270 m): The trail will cross over the Sinja Khola on a better bridge than we have seen in a while. Enjoy it, because the rest of the bridges are log bridges as the trail will pass few homes and farms. The trail climbs steeply upwards until it reaches Jaljala, which is a very large meadow that is full of grazing horses! We will camp here for the night.
DAY 14 – Trek to Jumla (elev. 2370 m): We pass through a number of alpine meadows then begin to descend toward Chauri Khola. This is our last night of camping as we will be reaching Jumla. Trekking time is 3 – 4 hours.
DAY 15 – Return to Kathmandu: Our trekking is over. We take a flight to Nepalgunj, and then will catch a flight to Kathmandu. Our guide will take us back to our hotel for a good, hot shower, a good bed and a good hot meal. While we have had good food on the trek, nothing can quite beat having a good dinner at a nice restaurant. We will spend the night in a Three Star Hotel.
DAY 16 – Leisure Day: Today is a day of rest in Kathmandu. If you want, we can put together a half day tour of the Kathmandu Valley to visit the many attractions, including some more UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Otherwise, go shopping, read a book at your hotel's roof garden, or simply enjoy the day. There will be a farewell dinner in the evening with a cultural show.
DAY 17 – 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.
THE TREKKING GROUP
For this trek there will be one team leader/guide. We also provide an assistant leader (1 assistant per six trekkers), and Sherpa porters for carrying luggage (usual compliment is one porter for two trekkers). This arrangement ensures that anybody in the group gets sick; the trip can still go ahead as planned. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition can run this trek for any size group, but the maximum size is 12 people in order to make it a pleasant and enjoyable trip. However, if you would like to have a larger group, Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition can make the appropriate arrangements as well.
All accommodations for Rara Lake Camping Trek are on twin sharing basis with inclusive trip costs and are chosen based on standard hygiene, standard of service and food, location and more. There are two styles of accommodations during the trip. We will spend four nights in 3-Star Hotels in Kathmandu and one night in Nepalgunj. For the remaining eleven nights, we will stay at two men camping tent. To sleep in tent, 4 season sleeping bag and foam mattress will be provided. We maintained standard comfort in every matter based on the enforceable condition such as weather calamities. All hotels and camping accommodation is on twin sharing basis, Solo travelers may share a room or tent with someone of the same sex, or if requested, you may indicate your preference and get single room/tent on request by paying some additional fee. We at Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition will do all we can to make your trip as pleasant and enjoyable as possible.
During the trek, we can enjoy typical Nepali food, different ethnic cuisines as well as all types of international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.). We can even enjoy hot chocolates, variety of breads, drinks and snacks. Lunch will be served on the way to our destination and usually along the trail. Note that at the camping trek, the food is good, although the menus will be limited. A farewell dinner with cultural show and breakfast will be served in our stay in Kathmandu as well as breakfast served in Nepalgunj.