Total Duration : 24 Days / Best period : September to November and March to May / Max. Altitude : 5388m / Trip Grade : Strenuous
Kanchenjunga (8586m), the third highest mountain in the world is located in the far north eastern part of Nepal bordering with Sikkim in India. Kanchenjunga Circuit trekking is fairly quieter than rest of the treks in Nepal and thus the route remains virgin and unspoiled. This trek lies in the remote part of the country which goes along rugged trail into tranquil wilderness and lush forests; beautiful villages and friendly people; alpine meadows and high Himalayan region. You will be offered a great opportunity to experience local culture, tradition and lifestyle of rural Nepalese ethnicities such as Rais and Limbus. Even though, this trek is called Kanchenjunga Circuit trekking, it’s not possible to complete a circuit around the mountain because the mountain is located at the border between Nepal and India. However, you get to visit both the north and south base camps on Nepal side and get to experience the breath-taking mountain views. Though a bit longer and little challenging, Kanchenjunga Circuit trekking also has a few challenging passes including the highest Mirgin La (4663m) which offer little bit of exhaust and more of an amazing scenery and Himalayan vistas. This trek is full of natural beauty and diversity. Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking surely is an experience to cherish for a lifetime.
Day 01 : Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m /4,264 ft)
Day 02 : Kathmandu: sightseeing and trek preparation
Day 03 : Fly from Kathmandu to Suketar (2,420m/7938ft), trek to Lalikharka (2265m/7,431ft)
Day 04 : Lalikharka to Khesewa (2120m/6,955ft)
Day 05 : Khesewa to Mamankhe (1785m/5,856ft)
Day 06 : Mamankhe to Yamphudin (2080m/6824ft)
Day 07 : Yamphudin to Tortong (2,995m/9,826ft)
Day 08 : Tortong to Cheram (3,870m/12,696ft)
Day 09 : Cheram: Acclimatization and Rest
Day 10 : Cheram to Ramchaur (Ramche) (4,580m/15,026ft)
Day 11 : Ramchaur (Ramche) to Yalung Base Camp (4500m), back to Cheram
Day 12 : Cheram to Sele La (4290m/ 14,074ft)
Day 13 : Sele La to Ghunsa (3,595/11,794)
Day 14 : Ghunsa to Kambachen (4,050m/13,287ft)
Day 15 : Kambachen to Lhonak (4,780m/15,682ft)
Day 16 : Kanchenjunga base camp, overnight at Pangpema (5,143m/16,873ft)
Day 17 : Pangpema to Lhonak
Day 18 : Lhonak to Ghunsa (3475m/11,400ft)
Day 19 : Ghunsa to Amjilosa (2,308m/7,572ft)
Day 20 : Amjilosa to Chirwa (1,270m/4,166ft)
Day 21 : Chirwa to Phurumbu (1,549/5,082ft)
Day 22 : Phurumbu to Suketar
Day 23 : Fly to Kathmandu
Day 24 : Final departure
Day 02: Kathmandu: sightseeing and trek preparation
We visit four landmarks in Kathmandu, three of which are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We tour Swayambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square and Bauddhanath Stupa. After the tour, we meet our entire trekking team and guides. Overnight in Kathmandu.
From Kathmandu we get an early morning flight to Suketar which is located in the eastern region of Nepal. It is a simultaneous ascent and descent on a trail that mostly passes through lush green forests all the way to Lalikharkha.
We begin our trek to Khesewa after breakfast. It is mostly an easy descent until Phundrawa. From here we begin our ascent. It is a steep climb until Yangpang from where we climb steadily up until Phumphe Danda followed by another ascent to Khesewa. Our trek will be through forests and small villages. Overnight in Khesewa.
After breakfast we begin our trek towards the Kabeli Khola. Next, we walk on a trail that passes through forests before crossing a small stream. On the way, we enjoy amazing views of the Himalayan peaks while also passing through several beautiful small villages. Overnight in Mamankhe.
Today’s trek will be mostly uphill on an easy trail whereby we mostly walk alongside the Kabeli Khola. During the walk we also admire the beautiful ridge behind the stream. We continue our walk and admire a beautiful waterfall nearby. After walking for some time, we cross a small suspension bridge. We pass through small settlements before reaching Yamphudin to spend the night.
We begin our walk on a path commonly used by the villagers and pass through terraced farms and green meadows. Along the way, we have the constant company of the Himalayas to enjoy. Our walk will be on a trail along the Amji Khola. We also cross a pass at Lassiya Bhanjyang before reaching Tortong. Overnight in Tortong.
We begin our steady climb to Cheram after breakfast. Our trail is right at the side of the Simbuwa Khola. We enjoy walking on the beautiful Lalung valley and have Tuplung peak for company for the most part of today’s journey. We pass through thick rhododendron forest and enjoy the magnificence of the Yalung Glacier. Overnight in Cheram.
We spend a day in Cheram which will help us acclimatize to the high altitude. We can spend the rest of the day resting and taking part in small hikes. We can explore the areas around the Yalung Glacier. There is also a viewpoint for Kabaru and Rathong peaks. Overnight in Cheram.
We begin our short trek after breakfast. From Cheram, we ascend for sometime before reaching the snout of the Yalung Glacier. It is a beautiful walk on a valley trail. We also cherish the views of several Himalayan peaks. We pass through a small settlement of Lapsang before reaching Ramche. Overnight in Ramche.
From Ramche, we walk further up the valley. We then follow a stream before climbing on the moraine top until confronted by Kanchenjunga’s southern face. We walk further ahead for a glimpse of the Jannu Himal. We continue our trek further towards the Oktang Monastery. From here, we climb further up and reach the Yalung Base Camp. The views from the base camp are extraordinary. Kumbakarna (Jannu), Nyukla Lachung and other Himalayan peaks are close by. We descend and spend the night at Cheram.
We begin our trek after breakfast. We cross four passes today beginning with Sinelapche Bhanjyang. After crossing the pass we continue to Mirgin La pass. We continue trekking and reach the Sinion La pass which is not very far. From here, we ascend to Sele La pass. There are prayer flags strung across one of the steeper sections of the trail which is very near to the Sele La pass. We cross the pass. Overnight in Sele La.
We begin our trek after breakfast. We walk towards the north with Tangbgharma Danda nearby. We reach a chorten marked by prayer flags which marks the start of a steep trail. We descend through rhododendron, birch and pine forests before reaching Ghunsa. It is a beautiful village of houses with dark and weathered pine walls and Buddhist prayer flags. Overnight in Ghunsa.
From Ghunsa, we trek further north along the river bank which presents us with magnificent mountain scenery. We pass through meadows filled with beautiful wildflowers, then cross rhododendron and pine forests. We cross a bridge at Rampuk Kharka, continue past a waterfall and cross the tricky section of a landslide. After crossing the landslide area we begin to see the spectacular view of Mt. Jannu. Further exploring and tackling the tricky mountain trail we finally arrive at Kambachen and spend the night.
Today will be another challenging day and an early start is needed. We trek through rocky fields and large boulders on the hillside along the riverbank and arrive at a waterfall. We then cross a bridge to Ramtang monastery. We then come across a landslide section which we must pass through at a steady pace before descending to the river and finally arriving at Lhonak. Overnight in Lhonak.
From Lhonak, we trek towards the Kanchenjunga Base Camp. Our trail is alongside the gigantic Kanchenjunga Glacier. After passing Pangpema we descend towards the Kanchenjunga Base Camp. The view from the base camp is extraordinary. Mt. Kanchenjunga, Jannu Himal and other Himalayan peaks are ours to admire. We descend back to Pangpema to spend the night.
From Pangpema we trace back our steps to Lhonak. Overnight in Lhonak.
From Lhonak, we descend all the way to Ghunsa via Kambache. It is the same route we took when we were climbing up.
From Ghunsa, we descend towards Phale. We pass through several Manes and a monastery nearby. We walk through Juniper forests and reach Phale. From here, it is a steady descent to Gyabla. We cross a bridge over Chhundatangka Khola to reach Gyabla. As we continue our trek, we see a waterfall nearby. We also cross a suspension bridge over Sumbung Khola before reaching Amjilosa. Overnight in Amjilosa.
After walking for a while we see a beautiful waterfall nearby. We continue our trek and pass a small settlement of Solima before crossing a suspension bridge over Ghunsa Khola. We cross another suspension bridge over Ghunsa Khola and reach Sukathum. Our trail passes through several villages and is beside Thunsa Khola at first followed by Tamor Nadi before reaching Chirwa. Overnight in Chirwa.
We notice that the settlement starts to get thicker as we are descending. Our trail is alongside lush vegetation. We pass through several villages before reaching Sinwa. From here we continue our descent and cross a bridge over the Sisne Khola. Now we are in the Pathibhara Trek trail. We pass through another village and cross another suspension bridge this time over the Yaphre Khola to reach Phurumbu. Overnight in Village.
Our Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek ends today. We can take a much needed break after reaching Suketar. We continue our walk on the Pathibhara Trek trail.
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Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Kiang Adventures / Authentic Adventures. 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
- Airport pickups and drops in a private vehicle
- 3-star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast
- Teahouse accommodation during the trek
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
- All ground transportation on a comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary
- Welcome and farewell dinners
- Guided city tour in Kathmandu by private vehicle
- Entrance fees for sightseeing/monument visits as per the itinerary
- An experienced, English-speaking and government-licensed trek leader and assistant trek leader (from 5 trekkers : 1 extra assistant guide)
- Porter service (2 trekkers: 1 porter)
- Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, food and accommodation
- Down jacket and sleeping bag (to be returned after trip completion)
- Trekking bag/duffel bag, t-shirt and trekking map are yours to take
- All necessary paperwork and trekking permits (ACAP, TIMS)
- Medical kit (carried by your trek leader)
- All government and local taxes
Not Included in the Cost
- Nepalese visa fee
- International airfare to and from Kathmandu
- Excess baggage charges
- Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
- Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu in case of early arrival, late departure, and early return from the mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
- Travel and rescue insurance
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower, etc.)
- Tips for guide(s), porter(s) and driver(s)
The Trekking Group
For this trek, there will be one leader, 1 assistant leader (5 trekkers : 1 assistant) and Sherpa porters for carrying luggage (2 trekkers : 1 porter). This arrangement ensures that should anybody in the group is sick, the trip can still go ahead as planned. Our experience has led us to believe that a maximum of 6 people is the maximum number to fully enjoy a trip and respect ecological system.
We will be accommodated in 3-star hotels in Kathmandu ; and teahouses during the trek. All accommodations are on twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost an additional € 350. We will arrange rooms with attached washrooms; however, teahouses in some places only have shared washing and toilet facilities. Also note that single rooms are readily available in Kathmandu and the trekking regions at lower elevation but it might be difficult to find them elsewhere.
During our trek, we can enjoy authentic Nepalese food as well the more common international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.). Breakfast and dinner will be provided from the teahouse or from a lodge menu where we spend the night whereas lunch will be provided on the way to the next destination. All meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner, will be provided during trekking while only breakfast will be available in Kathmandu.
Leader(s) & Staff Arrangements
The most significant thing that makes our trek successful, enjoyable and memorable is the skilled, experienced, courteous and helpful trek leader and the crew members with ability of operating our days in the mountain smoothly. 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, Kiang Adventures / Authentic Adventures only employs local staff who have adequate knowledge about culture, ecosystem, flora, fauna, geography, and history of their local region/s. The trek and expedition leaders have undergone the following trainings :
- Intensive Wilderness First Aid
- Trekking Guide Training
- Eco Trekking Workshop and Adventure Meet
- English Language
- Conservation and Biodiversity
- Rock climbing, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering (for expedition leaders)
Kiang Adventures / Authentic Adventures is firmly committed to porter rights. We make sure that all our porters are well treated and well paid. Furthermore, We also provides the required 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. We have previously used helicopters at company’s expense to rescue porters from dangerous situations. And for the porter’s sake, all trekkers keep the weight of their luggage under 15kgs/33 pounds. We also support the work of International Porter Protection Group (IPPG), making our resources available to them to help improve the working conditions of the porters.
The Everest Region is stunningly beautiful, but equally fragile. Future generations have just as much of a right to appreciate it as we do and so the tourism industry has an obligation to protect and preserve it. Kiang Adventures / Authentic Adventures employs a ‘zero impact’ policy on the natural environment and the traditional communities that live there.
It is a condition upon joining any of Kiang Adventures / Authentic Adventures 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.
Acclimatization (see chapter HEALTH for all details)
Our treks are planned with high degree of awareness of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Going up at higher altitude too fast causes a medical condition serious enough to kill. We understand that for a safe trek, it is essential to allow sufficient time for acclimatization. Sensible planning is therefore required to minimize the risk of AMS. Kiang Adventures / Authentic Adventures itineraries are designed to prevent AMS as much as possible. But, it is important to remember that some visitors are more vulnerable than others.
Physical Condition & Experience Requirements
This is a DIFFICULT trek suitable for passionate walkers who have the ability to walk at least 5-7 hours a day with a light day pack. Walking in higher altitudes is more physically demanding than walking in lower altitudes; however, if we are in excellent health with average physical fitness and have a positive attitude, self-confidence and strong determination, we can accomplish this trek successfully. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior to the trip is a good idea to enhance our strength and stability. Past hiking experience would be an asset but no technical skill is required for this trip. It is vital for participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood diseases to consult their doctor before taking the trip. It is also advised that you inform Kiang Adventures / Authentic Adventures of any conditions before booking the trek.
Best Time to Travel
Autumn (Sept. to Nov.) and Spring (March to May) are the best seasons for trekking in Kanchenjunga region. The weather is sunny and warm with outstanding views. If you wish to avoid crowds and enjoy some alone time with nature, then taking this trip during winter (Dec., Jan., Feb.) could also be an option. However, the temperature during winter could be harsh for most guests. Trekking in the summer or monsoon season (June to Aug.) will be affected by rain but the summer trek could be a boon for a keen botanist.
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 Kiang Adventures / Authentic Adventures 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)
- Light and expedition weight thermal tops
- Fleece wind-stopper jacket or pullover
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
- Down vest and/or jacket *
- 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