Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is one of the most-famous treks known for its remoteness, culture, and beautiful mountain scenery. It lays low-key compared to Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp. Here, you can fully enjoy the trek without facing any human traffic.
Kanchenjunga, meaning ‘Five Great Treasures in the Snow’ in Tibetan, is the world’s third-highest mountain peak. So, Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is an opportunity for you to reach the base camp of the world’s third-tallest mountain.
This trek takes you to both the north and south base camps of Kanchenjunga. You will be walking for more than 20 days on the remote route.
Despite the tiredness, every trekker will be rewarded with the breathtaking views of the rivers, waterfalls, rhododendrons, and overall picturesque landscapes, all situated before the majestic mountains’ background.
The Kanchenjunga Conservation Area protects this area, so you will need a special trekking permit to trek here. The best thing about this is, there is plenty of wildlife and natural heritage that are beautifully conserved. You will see many rare species like pheasants, snow leopards, black bears, red pandas, and more.
Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek truly is a great hidden treasure that needs to be explored by every nature lover.
Tribhuvan International Airport
3 Hours Before Flight Time
On your touchdown at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, we will be waiting for you with a placard and a private vehicle.
We will transfer you to the hotel where you can relax. After you are refreshed, we will brief you about tomorrow’s schedule and explain the itinerary thoroughly.
After having breakfast at the hotel, we will start our Kathmandu Local Tour.
Nepal’s capital city, also known as the ‘City of Temples’, has numerous temples, palaces, and stupas listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is brimming with diversity, which you will experience as you start touring Kathmandu.
Our first destination is the Kathmandu Durbar Square, followed by a Hindu-Buddhist stupa, Swayambhunath. Swayambhunath is an excellent spot to view the Kathmandu valley.
Our third stop is to Boudhanath– the Buddhist stupa, also one of the world’s largest. We will visit the holy Hindu temple, Pashupatinath, and return to the hotel.
If you want to buy trekking gear and equipment, we can take you to various stores that will offer you all the items you need at a much cheaper rate than your home country.
We will have our dinner at the hotel and prepare ourselves for the next 24 days.
You will have breakfast at the hotel; then, you will be transferred to the domestic airport from where you will depart to Bhadrapur. You will enjoy the beautiful views of Mount Everest on your 45 minutes flight.
Upon landing, our vehicle will be waiting to pick you up and take you to Illam, where you will be staying today. You will certainly love the scenic drive to Illam as you will get to see the natural scenery and landscapes full of tea plantations.
We will have dinner and prepare ourselves for a long day tomorrow.
We will wake you up early in the morning for breakfast to leave Illam and drive to Taplejung.
The scenic long-drive to Taplejung will take you through tea cultivation areas, pastured lands, and villages. You will see beautiful views of Mount Kanchenjunga and Mount Jannu along the way.
After we reach Taplejung, we will commence our trek. We will walk past many small villages and forests full of rhododendron and pines to get to Mitlung. We will also travel across the Hungdewa Khola and the Tamur river before reaching Mitlung.
We will stay overnight at Mitlung.
After an overnight at Mitlung, we will continue the downhill road alongside the Tamur river. We will walk up and down the hills to reach the Sinuwa Bazaar, where we will see a settlement with schools, hospitals, markets, and a police checkpoint.
We will continue our walk and descend towards Tawa village, where we will have lunch. After lunch, we will continue walking towards the Chirwa village.
We will cross the Thiwa village and continue an additional hour walk through the cardamom areas until we finally reach Chirwa.
Chirwa, our stop for today, is a pretty village that is a settlement to mixed tribes like Magar, Tamang, Brahmin, Chhetris, and Dalits. You can explore the village before dinner if you want.
After a good sleep at Chirwa’s lodge, we will eat dinner and hit the trails again.
We will be walking alongside the Tamur river again and will be passing through diverse landscapes. We will halt at TapleChowk (way to Kanchenjunga Conservation Area) to get our trekking permits checked.
Afterward, we will continue walking and have lunch at Phembu. After lunch, we will cross a suspension bridge over the Tamur river and walk a zigzag trail till we reach Serakthum.
After breakfast, we start our trek to Amjilosa.
We will cross a suspension bridge and walk through the forests filled with bamboo and utis trees. You may even encounter Langur monkeys and musk deer if you are lucky.
We will also see a beautiful waterfall after we reach Jaubari. We continue walking alongside the Ghunsa Khola and stop at Lamatar for lunch. After lunch, we continue hiking to Amjilosa.
We will cross farm fields and villages and see beautiful views of the green hills and mountain peaks for two hours and some minutes till we finally reach Amjilosa.
Amjilosa, our shelter for today, is a beautiful village that lets you explore the Sherpa and Tibetan culture.
Today we will incline through rhododendron and bamboo forest and reach colder areas.
We will descend to Ghunsa Khola and pass through stone houses. After lots of uphill and downhill trekking, we will pass through a large waterfall.
After a steep incline walk, we will finally reach a small farm village named Gyabla (also called Kyapra) for an overnight stay. You will get to interact with the Tibetan inhabitants and learn more about the Buddhist religion here.
We will continue walking on our trail after a hearty breakfast. We will be walking downhill then climb for an hour into a forest filled with pine, oaks, and rhododendron trees.
We will be having lunch at Phole, where you can also buy handicrafts to take home. We will pass by a memorial of helicopter crash casualties and pay our respects. We will then reach a flat area alongside the Gunsa river, which signals that we have successfully made it to our checkpoint, Ghunsa.
Ghunsa is a beautiful village with houses made of stones and wood. The village is heavily influenced by Tibetan culture. The prayer flags swaying from houses and monasteries will indeed heal you spiritually.
We will have dinner and relax.
Today, we will let our bodies acclimatize.
We will be resting at Ghunsa so that our bodies can adapt to the high altitude to avoid altitude sickness. You can just relax or go to explore the village.
If you want, we can organize a short hike to La Pass, where you can see the stunning views of the Ghunsa peak along with several other peaks.
After having breakfast at Gunsa, we start our trek towards Khambachen.
We will climb the trails along the river banks while seeing the views of the waterfalls and mountains. You will also get a glimpse of blue sheep, domesticated yaks as well as birds as you pass through a forest.
Upon ascending to Rampuk Kharka, we will traverse a bridge and pass through a waterfall and a landslide area. Then, our trail goes to a slight downhill to Khambachen– a scenic valley surrounded by incredible views of Sharpu peaks, the north face of Mount Janu, and Wedge peak.
Our 12th day at the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek calls for another acclimatization day.
We will be resting at Khambachen. We will explore the area around Khambachen and check out the various views of the Jannu Himalayan range from a ridge behind the village.
If you are not feeling tired and want to explore more places, we can take you to Jannu’s Base Camp.
It is a challenging day as we will be trekking uphill through the rocky fields of Ramtang. After having breakfast, we will follow a route above a river then head further east.
We will climb over rocks and head towards a terminal moraine of Kanchenjunga glacier. We will cross the moraine and head towards Lhonak, where we will be staying the night.
Lhonak will welcome you with some huge stone huts and a stunning view of Wedge Peak, Mera Peak, Nepal Peak, and Twins.
Today is an exciting day as we finally reach the trek’s main highlight– the Kanchenjunga North Base Camp at Pangema. We will have an early breakfast and start hiking through the rocky trails.
We will see magnificent views of Nepal Peak, Kirat Chuli, Taple Sikhar, and Givegela Chuli. We will walk a glacier path till we finally reach the base camp.
The Kanchenjunga North Base Camp is a flat grassy area that rewards every trekker with superb views of the Kanchenjunga Glacier, Chang Himal, Nepal Peak, and other Tibetan Himalayan ranges. You will also come across blue sheep and a marvelous bird named Lammergeyer.
After you have had your share of exploring and taking photos at the base camp, we will return to Lhonak for an overnight stay.
It is a long day as we will have an 8-hour walk to our destination, Ghunsa.
After breakfast, we will descend the same route heading past Kambachen to Ghunsa while having the Kanchenjunga Base Camp’s beautiful views as our backdrop.
Today we will walk on a steep trail and trek through a thick forest full of moss, rhododendron, and juniper trees. We will pass Sele La Pass (4290m).
After 5 to 6 hours of trekking, we will finally reach High Camp, where we will be resting today. You can see superb views of Mount Makalu from here.
After having breakfast at the High Camp, we start our challenging trek day.
We will cross three passes today: Sinion La (4,400 m), Mirgin La (4,480 m), and Sinelapche Bhanjyang (4 636 m).
The uphill trek will let you enjoy beautiful views of Mount Jannu and Mount Makalu. You will also see the Yalung range from Sinion La.
After we traverse the passes and some steams, we will descend to a small village named Tseram, where we will be staying today.
Today we will have a short incline trek to Ramche.
We will walk the trails while enjoying the beautiful forests full of magnolia, rhododendron, and bamboo trees. We will trek past a small pond and a riverbed.
After we reach Yalung Kharka, we will walk for two and a half hours to finally reach Ramche. We will have our lunch at Ramche and relax today.
You will see breathtaking views of the Kokhtang, Rathog, Kabri I, Kabri II, Kabriki III, Kabri IV, and Talung peaks from where you are residing. You will also encounter flocks of white sheep, blue sheep, and birds like Tibetan snowcock and Lammergeier.
We will have an early breakfast and set out on a hike to the Okhtang viewpoint, which leads to the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp.
We will pass through Yalung Glacier and follow the stream to reach Okhtang, where we will be rewarded with picturesque views of the Yalung, Kambachen, and South Kanchenjunga peaks. You can see the Yalung glacier overlooked by the Talung, Kabru, and Rathong peaks and learn how the glacier has formed the major sources of the Tamur river.
After you have had your share of sightseeing, we will start our descent to Tseram.
We will again pass through Ramche and enjoy the views of the beautiful pasture lands being grazed by blue sheep. We will have our dinner at Tseram and stay the night.
After an overnight at Tseram, we will start our descent for Tortung.
We will walk into green forested areas following the Simbuwa Khola. We will mostly be walking downhill with short ups till we finally reach Tortung.
Tortung, our resting spot for today, is a quaint village with a farm area surrounded by woodlands.
Day 21 is a long day of walking for us.
After having breakfast at Tortung, we ascend through a mossy forest and pass a landslide area to reach Lamite Bhanjyang, our lunch spot for the day.
After lunch, our trail descends towards the Imja Khola till we reach Yamphudin.
Yamphudin is a small village resided by various ethnic groups like the Sherpas, Rais, and Limbus. It is an excellent blend of Buddhist and Kirati culture. The village also houses the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area office.
After having our breakfast, we descend towards Mamankhe.
We will see numerous waterfalls and beautiful villages while we walk through rice fields. After 4 – 5 hours of walking, we will reach Mamanke– a Limbu village where we will be staying the night.
Today we will leave Mamankhe and start walking towards Kande Bhanjyang.
We will cross a suspension bridge, after which we will start ascending towards Phumphe village. Phumphe rewards you with a scenic view of Mount Jannu.
We will then climb a ridge and descend a succession of valleys past Phun village.
Kande Bhanjang is a Limbu village that offers excellent views of the Kanchenjunga and Kumbhakarna mountains and the Kabru ridge.
After a goodnight’s sleep at Kande Bhanjyang, we will have our breakfast and continue our trail.
We will pass through Khunjan village and descend towards Phawa Khola. We will again ascend towards Thenbewa and traverse through terraced farmlands and small settlements till we reach Lali Kharka.
Today is our last day on the trekking trails of the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek.
We will have our breakfast at Lali Kharka then start climbing to Deurali. We will be walking through the rhododendron forests while also seeing Mount Makalu’s picturesque views from the Deurali ridge.
We will then make our last descent through the airfield at Suketar then finally arrive at our last stop, Taplejung, which marks an end to our fantastic trek.
You will have dinner and rest in Taplejung and prepare for tomorrow.
Thankfully, there is no walking today, but still, we will wake you up for an early breakfast because we will have a long drive to Bhadrapur.
The scenic drive will offer beautiful views of Nepal’s landscapes and villages. After we reach Bhadrapur, you can refresh and relax.
Today we will fly back to Kathmandu on a 45-minute scenic flight from Bhadrapur domestic airport.
After you land in Kathmandu, our agent will pick you up and transfer you to the hotel, where you can get refreshed and rest. You can also go out to buy souvenirs to take home with you or enjoy the vibrant nightlife of Thamel.
If you are too tired, then you can stay at the hotel and reminisce about the highlight of the epic journey you just had.
Today you will pack your bags with souvenirs and memories of the splendid adventurous journey. Our agent will drop you at the Tribhuvan International Airport three hours before your flight departure.
Tourists of all nationals require a valid passport to enter Nepal. The passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your expected date of departure from Nepal.
You will also need a visa if you are a traveler from any other country besides India. You can arrange these before your departure at your relevant embassy in your home country, or you can also get a visa on arrival at Kathmandu.
If you plan to obtain the visa in Nepal, then you need to present a passport of 6 months validity, a passport-sized photo, and the visa fee in cash.
You can also fill out an online form and upload a digital image, some 15 days before your arrival.
The visa fee is USD 50 for 30 days. Since Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is a 28-days trip, obtaining this visa is sufficient. However, a tourist visa extension (within the visa period) will cost USD 3 per day, in case you face a delay on your tour or you want to explore Nepal more.
If you are a citizen of the SAARC countries or China, you will receive a free visa. However, if you are a citizen of Nigeria, Ghana, Cameron, Swaziland, Somalia, Iraq, Palestine, Liberia, and Afghanistan, then you may not receive the visa on arrival to Kathmandu.
You need to contact your local Nepalese embassy before flying to Kathmandu.
Weather plays a significant role in making the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek a success or a let-down.
The best time to trek to the Kanchenjunga Base Camps would be from early March to May or October to late November.
The trails are not suitable for trekking all year round due to heavy rain in the monsoon and snowfall in winter, disrupting the routes.
Since the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek starts from Bhadrapur, which is close to sea level and reaches Pangema (the highest point at the snowbound), it is tough to find an actual balance of the climatic conditions.
Winter in the Kanchenjunga region begins in late December and lasts till early March. It is the best season for adventurous trekkers who are used to traveling in the snow. The weather is freezing, and the trails are hard to find due to heavy snow.
The Sele Le Pass is almost impossible to cross during these times.
The teahouses and lodges in the upper region will be closed too even though you may get accommodation in Khambachen and Lhonak. The trails will also be slippery and have a high risk of landslides.
March to late May is an ideal time to trek to the North and South Kanchenjunga Base Camps.
These months fall in the spring season so that you will be rewarded with the beautiful views of the rhododendron and other varieties of flowers in their blooming state.
The trails will also be dry and will be more comfortable to walk.
Monsoon season begins in June, making the trails wet and slippery. Not to forget, there will be a lot of leeches too.
It is best to avoid trekking during this season due to the risk of landslides too. Due to the rain clouds, the views may not be clear. However, if you really want to trek during the monsoon season, you need to have the right gear.
It is another excellent time for the Kanchenjunga Circuit trek. Since these months fall during the autumn season, it marks the end of the rainy season..
The trails will be drier, and the air will be crisp. You will see the beautiful views of the mountains along the trails during this time.
The 28-days Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek package will consist of 23 night stays at tea houses along the trails and one night before and after the trek in Kathmandu. Even though there are fewer options to choose from in the Kanchenjunga region, we will choose the best available teahouses for you.
The first night accommodation on your arrival in Kathmandu is not included in the package, and you have to manage it on your own. You can choose from a wide range of hotels according to your preference, or we can help you find one.
Trekking in high elevation needs stamina, and for stamina, you need nutritious food. On your 23 trekking days, you will have 23 dinners, 22 lunches, and 22 breakfasts.
The food will be basic but belly-full. There are a low variety of meals but will be made with the best organic produce.
Your breakfast will have toasts with jam, butter, cheese, honey, french toasts, Tibetan bread, chapati, hashed browns, boiled eggs, omelets, fruits, vegetables, and hot drinks like tea and coffee.
Lunch includes Dal, Bhat, and Tarkari with poppadoms, Tibetan bread with soup, steaks, sandwiches, momos, thenduk, fried noodles, vegetable curry, potato items, and a more traditional menu.
Dinner consists of Dal, Bhat and Tarkari, Tibetan bread, soups, stew steaks, sandwiches, Momo, thenduk, and potato items snacks like poppadoms and prawn crackers.
All these food items will be fresh, hygienic, organic, and delicious. The menu list is a combination of traditional local Nepalese food.
Vegetarian and non-vegetarian items are included; however, we do not recommend eating non-vegetarian items on the trek as some places might not be hygienic. We also encourage avoiding dairy items, alcoholic items, and caffeinated items.
It is essential to drink at least 3 – 4 liters of water a day to keep your body hydrated throughout the trek.
You should carry a hydration bladder and use water purification tablets. You can also use a reusable bottle with a SteriPen or an inbuilt infiltration system.
If you do not have one, then you can buy sealed mineral water. They are available throughout the trail in local lodges.
Never drink water directly from flowing rivers or streams for your safety.
The 28-days Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is graded strenuous and challenging, and every trekker needs to have an adequate level of fitness and determination to traverse a couple of high mountains.
You will be walking long hours through many challenging ascends and descends to be rewarded with the spectacular views of Mount Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan ranges, lush forests, and terrace farms.
The challenging trek will give you adventure and a lifetime experience, but you also need to have good health and good physical fitness.
If you have a pre-existing health condition like heart, lung, or blood disease, you need to inform the agency or consult your physician before booking the trek.
Altitude sickness / Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is the most common problem most trekkers face during the trek to the Kanchenjunga Base Camp.
The AMS is preventable if immediate treatment is taken. It can be life-threatening if ignored.
The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek has two acclimatization days en route to the Kanchenjunga North and South Base Camp; one in Ghunsa and another in Khambachen.
Acclimatization is done to let your body adapt to the high altitude and avoid altitude sickness. We need to ascend slowly, take breaks, and drink plenty of water every day.
Besides, our trekking guides are also trained in first-aid processes and are well-experienced in this sector. They will be carrying an oximeter to check your oxygen levels and take Diamox tablets for emergencies.
If you have severe mountain sickness, you will be descended immediately.
We take our client’s safety, security, and satisfaction as the number one priority.
So, we carry all the required gear, equipment, and first aid kits.
Our team of leaders and guides are skilled professionals who have extensive first aid training. In case a trekker falls sick due to altitude sickness, the trekker needs to tell the trekking guide about what he wants to do, or we will decide accordingly.
If the situation is critical, a rescue helicopter will be sent to bring the trekker back from the higher elevation.
As impressive as Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is, it is also risky due to its long hours, high altitude trekking, potential altitude sickness, and other mishaps that may occur due to rugged trails. Trekking to Kanchenjunga Base Camp is challenging.
Even though we put your safety as the number one priority, you need to ensure yourself with a travel insurance policy that provides coverage for all the costs of injuries or emergencies you may face during the trek.
The travel insurance policy must include the cost of helicopter evacuation and hospitalization, incase of an emergency.
You need to provide a copy of your travel insurance certificate to the agency. Failing to present an insurance policy or even an improper insurance policy will lead to the cancelation of your trip.
The agency will be using your insurance policy information to arrange a quick and effective rescue operation in case of need.
Kanchenjunga is a very remote area, and hence, the mobile network and internet connection is not the best. Wi-Fi is available in limited teahouses only, for which you will have to pay per hour.
We will make sure to contact you through the phone and update you at least once a day to make sure you have everything you need and are safe.
You will not have to worry about anything as you will be connected to Kathmandu’s travel agent for any assistance during the trek.
Nepal uses the Nepalese Rupees (NPR/Rs) as their local currency.
1 USD = NRS 118.45
You can exchange your foreign currency at the local banks or the legitimate money exchange companies in Kathmandu and Thamel.
As much as Traveler’s Cheque is a secure way of transactions, the banks prefer cash exchange as it has a quick process.
You can also withdraw cash (in NPR) from many ATMs in Kathmandu and Thamel. When you use a foreign card, the ATM will charge NRS 500 as a processing fee, for which you can withdraw a maximum of NRS 35,000.
If you want to exchange the money at banks and financial institutions, the service charge will be imposed about 4% or more depending on the amount of withdrawal and the bank’s policies.
There are no ATMs, banks, or money exchanges on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek trail. You need to exchange your money in Kathmandu depending on how much money you require for personal expenses.
Most of the major expenses during the trek are covered by the package that you bought. These expenses include transportation, accommodation, food (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) during the trek, and permit charges.
The expenses of meals and accommodations in Kathmandu a day before our tour officially starts are to be paid by the clients themselves. The hotels/lodges can be booked online, or you can ask the agency to do it for you.
You will have to separate some cash for personal expenses to cover meals and accommodations in Kathmandu, Visa process fees, travel insurance premium fees, snacks/drinks/beverages during the trek, souvenirs, and tips for the trekking crew members.
We suggest you bring cash (dollars) and convert them into Nepalese rupees while you are in Kathmandu because you need to have the local currency to purchase goods and services on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek trail.
Carry a minimum of USD 700 as an emergency fund.
Note that the people in the Kanchenjunga region accept Nepalese currency only.
Most of the places in the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek trail do not have electricity. If you want to charge your mobile and camera devices, you will have to pay NPR 200 – NPR 400 (USD 2 – USD 4).
We suggest you bring a portable power bank or a solar power bank.