The sacred lakes at Gosainkunda, the highest of which is 14,107 feet (4300 m.), are among the most spectacular sights near Kathmandu. Just north of the capital, these lakes are accessible via a reasonably good road to the trailhead. On this nine-day tour you'll travel overland from Kathmandu to Dhunche, then trek steadily upwards to the sparkling blue lakes surrounded by mountains and expansive views.

Highlights

  • Walk along an ancient trade routes connecting Kathmandu and Tibet
  • Experience the beauty of mountain lakes considered the abode of Lord Shiva
  • Understand the local mountain lifestyles of Nepal
  • Enjoy a challenging trek that's accessible from Kathmandu

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Drive Kathmandu to Dhunche Dhunche
Day 3 Trek Dhunche to Sing Gompa Sing Gompa
Day 4 Trek Sing Gompa to Lauribina Laurebina
Day 5 Trek Lauribina to Gosainkunda Lake Gosainkunda
Day 6 Trek Gosainkunda to Sing Gompa Sing Gompa
Day 7 Trek Sing Gompa to Thulo Syabru Syabru
Day 8 Trek to Syabrubesi - Drive to Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 9 Depart Kathmandu  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!

Kathesimbhu Stupa in Kathmandu
Kathesimbhu Stupa in Kathmandu

Flying into Kathmandu, you'll have views over the valley, the Himalaya, and the terraced fields below. After completing customs, a representative will be waiting to greet you outside the airport and to guide you through the initial culture shock of Kathmandu’s narrow, winding streets to your hotel.

Once you've settled in, head out and explore the city. Kathmandu Durbar Square is a great place to start your exploration, where you'll walk through narrow alleyways teeming with small shops, ancient temples, and local restaurants. If you want to stretch your legs, Swayambhunath, the white stupa rising above the valley, is the perfect spot to catch the sunset over the valley.

In the evening, the tourist hub of Thamel is a good place to grab your first meal, with a variety of restaurants to chose from offering both Western and local Nepali dishes.

Altitude: 4600 ft./1400 m.

Day 2: Drive Kathmandu to Dhunche

Along the trail in Langtang National Park

Rise early and drive from Kathmandu to the mountain town of Dhunche. The journey takes about five to six hours, and steadily rises in altitude. The first part of your drive up to Trishuli Bazaar is quite smooth, and then turns to gravel road.

At the entrance of the Langtang National Park your guide will show your trekking permit at the checkpoint. From here, drive one more hour. Views of the Langtang and Jugal mountain rang come into view, before we reach the town of Dhunche. This is the starting point for your trek to Gosainkunda, which you'll begin tomorrow.

Altitude: 6280 ft./1960 m.
Drive duration: 7 - 8 hours

Day 3: Trek Dhunche to Sing Gompa

Tibetian pray flags at Sing gomba
Tibetan pray flags at Sing Gompa

From Dhunche, our trek starts after breakfast. It's pretty straightforward at first, as we pass the town and take a side trail that leads into the side of the mountain. From here, it's a constant uphill as we inch forward slowly and steadily for about five hours. Stop for lunch at our destination for the day, Sing Gompa, high in the ridge line. This village has a quaint yak cheese farm, too.

Altitude: 10,660 ft./3330 m.
Walking duration: 6 - 7 hours

Day 4: Trek Sing Gompa to Lauribina

Pointing the way to Gosaikunda

Today is a shorter day of trekking as we continue to rise in altitude, so it's better to keep the pace slow and steady. You follow a rugged trail with dramatic views; to the west Himal Chuli (25,895 ft./ 7893 m.), the Manaslu range (26,758 ft./8156 m.), the Ganesh Himal range (24,297 ft./7406 m.), Tibetan peaks, and Langtang Lirung (23,710 ft./7227 m.). On a clear day, even the Annapurna range can be seen rising up behind.

We'll make it to the makeshift lodges in Lauribina in about four hours or so, and halt there to appreciate the views.

Altitude: 12,545 ft./3920 m.
Walking duration: 4 - 5 hours

Day 5: Trek Lauribina to Gosainkunda Lake

Laurebina Pass

Today is the big day! Steadily trek another three to four hours to reach the lakes at Gosainkunda in time for lunch. Time and energy levels permitting, we can make the one hour walk to the highest point at Laurebina Pass at 15,091 feet (4600 m.), or go over to the viewpoint above the lake, from where there are dramatic mountain views. Alternatively, just chill and enjoy the lake views. It's your choice.

Altitude: 14,465 ft./5145 m.
Walking duration: 4 - 5 hours

Day 6: Trek Gosainkunda to Sing Gompa

One of the lakes at Gosainkunda

Today it's time to head back down the mountain and say goodbye to the lake. Retrace your footsteps for about 4.5 hours, to Sing Gompa. The journey should be easier on the way down than it was coming up, as your altitude decreases. Enjoy some well-deserved cheese at Sing Gompa.
 
Altitude: 10,660 ft./3330 m.
Walking duration: 4 - 5 hours

Day 7: Trek Sing Gompa to Thulo Syabru

The Langtang River, near Syabrubesi

Today's trek down to Thulo Syabru takes about four hours. The first part of the trails descend through pine, silver oak, and rhododendron forests (as well as marijuana plants!). You'll also cross a suspension, from which there are magnificent mountain views.

Altitude: 7220 ft./2250 m.
Walking duration: 4 - 5 hours

Day 8: Trek to Syabrubesi - Drive to Kathmandu

Kathmandu cityscape

Walk the final part of the trail down from Thulo Syabru to Syabrubesi, from where you'll drive back to Kathmandu. The journey will take the full day, but you can enjoy a meal and a hot shower in the city again tonight.

Altitude: 7615 ft./2380 m.
Walking duration: 1 - 2 hours
Drive duration: 7 - 8 hours

Day 9: Depart Kathmandu

The all-seeing eyes of Buddha at Swayambhunath
The all-seeing eyes of Buddha at Swayambhunath

It's time to say farewell to Nepal. Enjoy your last moments in Kathmandu with breakfast in a café, a final stroll through the narrow alleys and temples, and some souvenir shopping. A driver will be waiting for you at your hotel to take you to the airport for your return flight home. It's best to be at the airport at least three hours prior to departure.