Every August, apprentice shamans and pilgrims trek to Nepal's sacred lakes for a night of prayer and dance under the full moon. Join them on this 8-day, once-in-a-lifetime experience as you hike through breathtaking mountain scenery to reach the shores of Lake Gosainkunda, located deep in the mountains north of Kathmandu.


  • Trek to Nepal's sacred lake with local pilgrims
  • Participate in a high-altitude shamanic festival
  • Witness a night of dancing under the full moon
  • Camp on the shores of Lake Gosainkunda
  • Follow the ancient trade route between Tibet & Nepal

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Kathmandu, Bus to Dhunche Dhunche
Day 2 Trek to Sing Gompa Sing Gompa
Day 3 Trek to Laurebina Laurebina
Day 4 Trek to Gosainkunda Gosainkunda
Day 5 Rest Day in Gosainkunda Gosainkunda
Day 6 Trek to Syabru Syabru
Day 7 Trek to Syabrubesi Syabrubesi
Day 8 Bus to Khatmandu & Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu, Bus to Dhunche

Winding roads along the route to Dunche

Welcome to Nepal! Upon arrival in the capital of Kathmandu, you'll set out on an 8 to 9-hour drive to reach Dunche—the starting point of your trekking adventure. You'll make the journey by local bus, allowing you to see the rhythms of everyday life and chat with locals along the way before checking into your lodge accommodations at the end of the day. 

Day 2: Trek to Sing Gompa

Prayers at Sing Gompa

After a hearty breakfast, start the first day of trekking with the journey up to Sing Gompa. The route follows a gradual uphill trail through bamboo and oak forests and passes small villages to reach the famous monastery. The eponymous village is also famous for its yak cheese factory, which you can sample on arrival. 

Trekking time: 4-5 hours
Elevation: 10,498 feet (3,200 m)

Day 3: Trek to Laurebina

Clouds over your lodge at Laurebina

Today you'll slow down as you gain altitude, allowing your body to acclimatize as you trek towards your next destination of Laurebina. The trail is gradual, but continuously uphill, as is usual in Nepal. Weather permitting, you'll catch stunning glimpses of the surrounding mountains en route—especially the 22,637-foot (6,900 m) peak of Langtang.

Trekking time: 4-5 hours
Elevation: 11,811 feet (3,600 m)

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Day 4: Trek to Gosainkunda 

The sacred lake of Gosainkunda

As you set out from Laurebina this morning, the trail grows steeper as you near the sacred lakes. Along the way, you'll start to be joined by the several hundred pilgrims following the route, who move fast and will have started at the base this morning. Eventually, you'll arrive at the sacred lake of Gosainkunda, already crowded with pilgrims.

Your crew will have reached the lake in advance and secured a small spot for your tents. It's impossible to get local rooms during this time, so you'll spend the next two nights in a comfortable tent but eat in the nearby lodges.

Every August full moon, apprentice shamans and pilgrims make this journey to the lake, considered to be the abode of Lord Shiva, the ultimate shaman. Legend has it that when the destructor of evil got poisoned as he conquered evil, he would come to these high-altitude lakes to quench his thirst and recover among the pristine beauty. Tonight, the apprentices will dance the night away to prove themselves full shamans, while several hundred pilgrims join in.

As evening falls, the song and dance will reach a feverish pitch, as the shamans and locals alike dance the night away in pilgrimage and prayer. 

Trekking time: 4-5 hours
Elevation: 14,107 feet (4,300 m)

Day 5: Rest Day in Gosainkunda

Pilgrims follow a procession to the lake

This morning, most pilgrims will take a holy dip in the lake to cleanse their sins, while the shamans dance their way to a shrine in the eastern corner of the lake. You'll follow the shamans first, and then have a chance to walk another hour or so to the 15,091-foot (4,600 m) pass before descending back to the village—now empty as most of the pilgrims have started their descent. Enjoy the incredible tranquility this afternoon as you look out over the sacred lake and experience a mountain sunset.

Day 6: Trek to Thulo Syabru 

High mountain pastures approaching Thulo Syabru

Rested and strong, you'll start your long descent today, passing Sing Gomba and continuing towards your base for the night in Thulo Syabru, on the edge of the famous Langtang Valley. After a full day of downhill trekking, you'll be happy to reach your lodge in time for dinner and a well-earned rest. 

Trekking time: 6-7 hours
Elevation: 8,530 feet (2,600 m)

Day 7: Trek to Syabrubesi 

Cross the river into Syabrubesi

After breakfast, you'll complete the last bit of the trek as you make your way down to the river and then across into Syabrubesi, which marks the start and end of treks into the Langtang Valley and along the Tamang Heritage Trail. This is a small town and a hub for the area, so it's fairly developed compared to the villages you've seen so far.

In the afternoon, you'll have plenty of time to wander around town at your leisure. As evening falls, enjoy a small celebratory dinner with your trekking crew.

Trekking time: 2-3 hours
Elevation: 7,874 feet (2,400 m) 

Day 8: Bus to Kathmandu & Departure

Evening on the streets of Kathmandu

Your adventure comes to a close today as you catch an early local bus for the full day's journey back to Kathmandu and your onward connection. Safe travels!

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