3-star hotel in Kathmandu and teahouses during trekking
The Helambu trek is a perfect short trek nearby Kathmandu Valley. Despite being so close to Kathmandu, the Helambu region remains relatively un-spoilt. Besides the hyolmo culture of high mountain people, the company of green rhododendron and bamboo forests, majestic waterfalls, and snow-capped Himalayas make the trek one of most diverse treks near Kathmandu. The great Himalayan scenery at the border with Tibet and monasteries make a trek to the region an enthralling experience. The people living the highlands of the Langtang region are certainly the Nepalis, being the descendant of the Tibetan origin, they still look like Tibetans. The Helambu Trek begins from Sundarijal, an hour's drive from Kathmandu. After about an hour's walk, we enter Shivapuri National Park. Continuing along the Chisopani, Kutumsang, Thadepati and Sermathang, the trek ends at the Melamchi Pul Bazar in the Helambu region. The trek passes through thick mountain forests with great Himalayan views and toward the end of the trip, you will also trek through some beautiful rice terraces and a number of splendid Buddhist monasteries. Other similar treks that you might be interested in include: Langtang Valley Trek - 10 Days, Langtang Valley Trek with Ganja La Pass - 14 Days, Langtang, Gosainkunda & Helambu Trek-17 Days.
Route maps are just representation of the trekking routes. This does not represent the exact geographical conditions.Click here for Helambu Trek route map
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu - 1,300m/4,264 ft
Upon our arrival in the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, we will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier who will drop us off at our hotel. After checking in, we take a rest or visit Himalayan Glacier’s office. We may also stroll in the streets of Thamel, a tourist hub in Kathmandu for some souvenir shopping. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier where you will be served excellent authentic Nepalese cuisine which will introduce you to the country's food culture. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing & Preparation for the Trek
Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. The day will also be for finalizing official procedure and other necessary arrangements. You will be also briefed on the nature of the trek, equipments and team composition. Some of landmarks we visit include the World Heritage Sites of Kathmandu Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhu Nath) and Buddhists shrine (Bouddha Nath). In the afternoon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. You can also make your last minute buying of personal items as you will be flying to the Himalayas tomorrow.
Day 03: Drive to Sundarijal & trek to Chisapani (2300m/7544 ft): Drive 1 hour, Trek: 4 hours
Today, we make an hour's drive to Sundarijal (1350m), our trek start point. From Sundarijal, trek to Chisopani (2300m). We begin our trek along a small hydroelectric plant. The trail then enters through into the Shivapuri National Park. The first settlement we come across is Mulkharka mostly inhabited by the Tamang people. Then we walk along the ridge through a forest of oaks and rhododendron to Chisopani.
Included meals:Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Day 04: Trek from Chisopani to Kutumsang (2446m/8022ft): 7 hours
After taking our morning breakfast, we head for a journey to Kutumsang. Our today's trek starts with a decent crossing meadows and fields. Enjoy the magnificent views of the Langtang mountains. Thus we arrive at Pathi Bhanjyang and Gul Bhanjyang. From Gul Bhanjyang, the trail climbs the ridge to another pass. Another downhill trek from the pass takes us to Kutumsang.
Included meals:Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Day 05: Trek from Kutumsang to Thadepati (3650m/11972ft): 6 hours
We climb above Kutumsang on a steep trail mostly through fir and rhododendron forest where there are no permanent settlements. The trek continues to Yurin Danda with magnificent views of the Himalayas. Finally, we arrive at Tharepati for our overnight stay.
Included meals:Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Day 06: Trek to Tarkeghyang (2560m/8397ft): 6 hours
Today we head for Tarkeghyang. During early part of the trek, the trail descends until we cross the Melamchi Khola. Then we trek up to Tarkeghyang passing through Sherpa settlements. Enjoy the Himalayan peaks ofter appear before you glistening in the sunshine. Discover the village and its monastery which is one of the oldest and biggest monasteries in the region. The village is more popularly known as Helambu, since most of the inhabitants belong to the Helmu caste.
Included meals:Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Day 07: Trek to Sermathang (2,610m/8,563ft): 3/4 hr
Since, we do not gain altitude that much today, it's going to be comparatively easy walk today. We forests, streams, and waterfalls. The trail makes a sweep around the wide valley end between Parachin and the Sherpa village of Gangyul. From Gangyul, we arrive at Sermathang. Discover the village. There is also a Buddhist monastery at the highest point of the village.
Included meals:Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Day 08: Trek to Malemchi Puul Bazaar: Drive to Kathmandu: 3/4 hrs trek/ 2 hr drive
On our final day of the trek, we walk down to Malemchi Pul Bazaar. The village is mostly inhabited by the Sherpa, but there are also people of other ethnicities. From the Bazaar, we catch a bus to Katmandu. After reaching Kathmandu we have the rest of the day off to rest or do some souvenir shopping. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Included meals:Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Day 09: Farewell Friend
Today you are saying goodbye to the Himalayas. There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. If you have more time you can do some shopping or sightseeing. A representative from Himalayan Glacier Trekking will take you to the airport approximately 3 hours before the scheduled flight.
Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Himalayan Glacier. 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 mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition 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.
Included in the Cost
All airport/hotel transfers
3 nights in a 3-star hotel in Kathmandu
Welcome and farewell dinners
All accommodation and meals during the trek
A full day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu valley including tour guide and entrance fees
An experienced English-speaking trek leader (trekking guide), assistant trek leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and Sherpa porters to carry luggage (2 trekkers:1 porter) including their salary, insurance, equipment, flight, food and lodging
Down jacket, four seasonal sleeping bag, Himalayan Glacier Trekking duffel bag, t-shirt, and trekking map (down jacket and sleeping bag are to be returned after trip completion)
All necessary paper work and permits
A comprehensive medical kit
All government and local taxes
Not Included in the Cost
Nepal Visa fee (bring accurate USD cash and two passport photographs )
International airfare to and from Kathmandu
Excess baggage charges
Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu (and also in the case of early return from the mountain than the scheduled itinerary)
Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, and early return from the mountain(due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower etc)
Travel and rescue insurance
Tips for guides and porters
The Trekking Group
For the Helambu Trek, there will be one leader, assistant leader (4 trekkers:1 assistant guide) and Sherpa porters for luggage carrying (2 trekkers:1 porter) This arrangement ensures that should any body in the group is sick, the trip can still go ahead as planned. We can run the Helambu Trek for group of any size, but generally we include maximum of twelve people as we've found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if you'd like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this too.
All accommodations for Helambu Trek are on twin sharing basis included in the trip cost and are chosen based on standard of hygiene, standard of service and food, location, etc. There are two styles of accommodations during in Helambu trekking trip. You will spend three nights at Hotel Moonlight in Kathmandu and during your trekking you will spend eight nights in standard teahouse/lodge in which there are unheated rooms with wooden beds and foam mattresses. teahouses/lodges of some places only have shared washing and toilet facilities. If you are a solo traveler, you will share a room with someone else of same sex of your group. If you prefer a single room, you may indicate your preference and get single rooms on request by paying single supplement USD 250. However, you need to understand that in some remote places single rooms might not be feasible always even by paying single supplement.
During your Helambu Trek, you can enjoy typical Nepali food and some of the different ethnic cuisines as well as all types of international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.) from pizza and Chips to apple pie. You can even enjoy hot chocolates, variety of breads, variety of drinks, and snacks. Breakfast of a day will be provided from the teahouse/lodge menu where you spent your night. Lunch will be served on the way to destination, dinner and breakfast in the teahouse where you will spend the night. A welcome dinner, a farewell dinner and breakfasts will be provided during your stay in Kathmandu and breakfast will be provided in Pokhara.
Leader(s) & Staff Arrangements
The most significant thing that makes your Helambu Trek successful, enjoyable and memorable is the skilled, experienced, courteous and helpful trek leader and the crew members with ability of operating your days in the mountain smoothly. Your trip will be led by the best and most professional leaders. All of our trekking leaders are carefully selected on the basis of their appropriate experience, leadership skills and personal aptitude. With an objective of sustaining local communities Himalayan glacier trekking only employs Nepalese staffs who have adequate knowledgeable about culture, ecosystem, flora, fauna, geography, and history of Nepal. Trek leaders of HGT are also trained with following trainings to make them educated on potential medical issues during their trek, biodiversity and environmental issues, English language, etc:
Intensive Wilderness First Aid
Trekking Guide Training
Eco Trekking Workshop & Adventure Meet
Conservation and Biodiversity
Rock climbing, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering (for expedition leaders)
Though often overlooked, it's no exaggeration to say the entire trekking and expedition industry in Nepal is built on the back of hard working local porters. It is their tireless efforts carrying supplies, equipment and baggage that make journeying to these remote areas possible. So it's very unfortunate that they have endured a history of exploitation and abuse at the hands of the industry. In an effort to combat this, we are firmly committed to porter rights. We ensure all our porters are well treated, well paid and we provide the level of shelter, clothing and footwear that these harsh environments demand. Porters who become sick are treated with the same care and attention as other team members and we have previously used helicopters - at our expense - to rescue porters from dangerous situations. And for the porter's sake we require that all trekkers keep their luggage bag weight under 15kgs/33 pounds. We support the work of the International Porter Protection Group(IPPG), making our resources available to them to help improve the working conditions of the porters.
The Helambu Region is beautiful but is equally fragile too. Future generations have just as much of a right to appreciate it as we do, so the tourism industry has an obligation to protect and preserve it. We employ a 'zero impact' policy on the natural environment and the traditional communities that live there. We enforce a number of do's and don'ts, and our experienced staffs can advise you on how to minimize your impact.
It is a condition upon joining any of Himalayan Glacier's trips that all clients be insured for comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please note that we don't arrange or sell insurance.
Physical Condition & Experience Requirements
The Helambu trek usually demand 5 to 6 hours of walking everyday. Our 12-day Helambu Trek is graded as moderate trek as the trek takes you to moderate elevation. Interested people who have ability to walk at least 5-6 hours a day with a light day pack can enjoy this trek. Thus, Helambu Trek is suitable even for kids and elderly people who are looking for a moderate type of trek. If you are in excellent health with average physical fitness, you can do Helambu trek successfully. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior of the trip is good idea to enhance your strength and stability. Past hiking experience would be an asset. It is vital that you consult with your doctor before you decide to sign up for the HelambuTrek. Participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood disease should inform HGT before booking the trek.
A Typical Day On The Trail...
Soon after first light your Sherpa knocks on your door and offers you a cup of warm tea with a smile. After freshening and finishing up your tea, you pack your bags and assemble in the dining hall for a hearty breakfast before setting off on the day`s trek. After approximately 2-3 hours of trekking you take a break for lunch somewhere in the trail. After a relaxing lunch, you typically spend around 2-3 hours or even more sometimes on the trail before reaching your stopping point. Throughout the day, you will take frequent rest beaks and take time to admire the fascinating mountains views. You take plenty of pictures of yourself with incredibly panoramic mountains, rivers, landscapes, prayer flags, temples, shrines, cairns, monasteries, etc. Once you arrive at your teahouse, you take a brief rest, shower, and have a light snack with tea or coffee. If you are so inclined, you may take a short walk through the village and surrounding neighborhood. After checking into your room you have time to read or chat with fellow trekkers and your Himalayan Glacier crew. Following a warm dinner in a cozy dining hall your trek leader briefs you on the next day`s itinerary. You place your order for breakfast which allows your guide to have everything ready for you for the next morning. Extra time can be spent reading, enjoying some drinks or playing cards. Your Himalayan Glacier crew loves to teach various Nepali card games as well as learning new Western games. Finally, it`s off to bed for a well earned night`s rest before starting all over again the next day.
Best Time to Travel
Autumn (mid Sept to mid Dec) and Spring(March to May) are the best seasons for Helambu Trek. The weather is sunny and warm, with outstanding views but the nights are cold and can fall to freezing. Winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) is also good for Helambu Trek, only colder (obviously).
Equipments & Packing List
This list is a guideline to help you pack for your adventure. Also understand that the items listed below will vary a little according to the season and the trek duration. Those items marked by an asterisk (*) are provided by Himalayan Glacier inclusive in the service. The weight limit for your luggage is 33 pounds or 15 kg. Remember that your luggage will be carried by your porter but you are required to carry a day-pack (with your valuables or anything important) on your own. We also suggest that you pack only what is necessary.
Important documents and items
Valid passport, 2 extra passport size photos, airline tickets
Separate photocopies of passport, visa form (easily obtained at Kathmandu airport), proof of insurance
Dollars, pounds or Euros in cash for purchasing Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport, for paying for restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, snacks, and to purchase your own drinks and gifts
Credit cards, Bank/ATM/Cash machine cards for withdrawing funds from cash machines (bring a photocopy of your cards), traveler's checks, etc.
Bandana or head scarf, also useful for dusty conditions
Warm hat that covers your ears (wool or synthetic)
Headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
Sunglasses with UV protection
Prescription sunglasses (if required)
Polypropylene shirts (1 half sleeve and 2 long sleeves)
Gore-Tex jacket with hood, waterproof and breathable
1 pair of lightweight poly-liner gloves.
1 pair of lightweight wool or fleece gloves
1 pair of mittens, consists of 1 Gore-Tex over mitt matched with a very warm polar-fleece mitt liner (seasonal)
Non-cotton underwear briefs
1 pair of Hiking shorts
1 pair of Hiking trousers
1 pair of lightweight thermal bottoms (seasonal)
1 pair of fleece or woolen trousers
1 pair of waterproof shell pants, breathable fabric
2 pairs of thin, lightweight inner socks
2 pairs of heavy poly or wool socks
1 pair of Hiking boots with spare laces (sturdy soles, water resistant, ankle support, “broken in”)
1 pair of trainers or running shoes and/or sandals
Cotton socks (optional)
Gaiters (winter only), optional, “low” ankle high version
1 sleeping bag (good to -10 degrees C or 14 degrees F)*
Fleece sleeping bag liner (optional)
Rucksack and Travel Bags
1 medium rucksack (50-70 liters/3000-4500 cubic inches, can be used for an airplane carryon)
1 large duffel bag *
A small daypack/backpack for carrying your valuables, should have good shoulder padding
Small padlocks for duffel-kit bags
2 large waterproof rucksack covers (optional)
Small, personal first-aid kit. (simple and light)
Aspirin, first-aid tape, and plasters (Band-Aids)
1 skin-blister repair kit
Cough and/or cold medicine
Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetylzolamide
Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin, etc. Do not bring sleeping pills as they are a respiratory depressant.
Water purification tablets or water filter
1 set of earplugs
Extra pair of prescription glasses, contact lens supplies
1 small roll of repair tape, 1 sewing-repair kit
1 cigarette lighter, 1 small box of matches
1 compass or GPS(optional)
1 alarm clock/watch
1 digital camera with extra cards and batteries
2 water bottles (1 liter each)
1 small folding knife
4 large, waterproof, disposable rubbish sacks
1 medium-sized quick drying towel
Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
Multi-purpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
Face and body moisturizer
Female hygiene products
Wet wipes (baby wipes)
Tissue /toilet roll
Anti-bacterial hand wash
Trail map/guide book
Journal and pen
Travel game i.e. chess, backgammon, scrabble, playing cards (to help you pass the time at teahouses and/or camps)
1 modest swim suit
Voltage converter (from 220 to 110)
Plug adapter (2 round pegs to 2 flat pegs)
Lightweight pillow case (in case your teahouses provide you with pillows) or use your own stuff as a pillow
Trip Start Dates and Cost
Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us by email. If you want to talk to us directly feel free to call us at: 00977-98510-55684