Overview

Few tourists have made their way to the remote highlands of the Numbur Cheese Circuit trail. Officially opened in 2009 by the Nepal Tourism Board, the route has still caught on with foreign trekkers. Luckily for you, this means that the trails are nearly empty, providing a real wilderness experience. Throughout the journey, trekkers make friends with the locals, who have made their homes within eyeshot of some of the tallest peaks in the world. What is so cheesy about the Numbur Cheese Circuit? Well, there are thirteen cheese-making spots throughout the trail. Some of them are decades old! Most of them, though, are only open during the monsoon season (June to September). At least one of the factories, nearby Thodung Monastery, operates all year around.

 

The Numbur Cheese Circuit Trek lies within Gauri Shankar Conservation Area, which borders Sagarmatha National Park. The path guides trekkers into faraway lands, through Sherpa settlements to the lap of Numbur Peak (6959 meters/22,831 feet). To date, the sacred peak is unclimbed, as it is considered the protector deity of Solu. After starting the trail in Shivalaya, we spend the first days ascending.  On day 7 of the trip, we arrive at Panch Pokhari (meaning ‘five lakes’ in the Nepali language). Every year, Hindu pilgrims come here during Janai Purnima festival for the ritual changing of the sacred thread (Janai) that they wear around their bodies. A soul-cleansing dip in the refreshing, freezing water is naturally called for. While soaking in the water, enjoy awe-inspiring views of Jugal Himal, Rolwaling, Kanchenjunga, and Makalu mountains.

A couple of days later, the trail passes the Gyajo La (4880 meters), the highest point of the trek. It is an absolutely stunning view of the grand Himalayas. This is just one of several high passes on the trek. Accompanied by deep gorgeous, expansive valleys, terraced farming pastures, and beautiful rural settlements, this trek is a gem. Completely underrated and still trafficked by tourists, it is the perfect trek for mountain vistas, while getting exposure to the unique mountain culture found in Nepal’s mountainsides. 

Part of our Numbur Cheese Circuit Trek required camping due to the remoteness of the stops. Where there are guesthouses or homestays, we can stay there upon your request. Otherwise, we will be camping outside under a tent. Release your attachments to your normal, everyday life and ‘lose yourself’ in the mountains. For a couple of weeks, forget about the worries you have and live in the moment! Enjoy the views and feel the refreshing mountain breeze. 

Trekking is possible throughout the year, but Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) provide the best weather. During the Spring, there is a bit more color and the rhododendrons are blooming, and in the Autumn months, the skies are generally clearer. However, during the Monsoon season, the cheese factories are open. The Numbur Cheese Circuit Trek requires moderate fitness and acclimatization to avoid acute mountain sickness. Breeze Adventure arranges the trek with complete management. Please, feel free to contact us for more detailed information. 

Trip Highlights

Sample several different local yak cheeses at the various stations along the trail

Take a refreshing swim in the sacred waters of Panch Pokhari (4100 meters)

Several sleeping facilities including homestay, guesthouse, and tent camping

Traverse the high Gyajo La Pass at 4880 meters (16,010 feet)

A nearly off-the-grid trail that is still unknown by most trekkers

Outline Itinerary

  • Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu
  • Day 02: Drive from Kathmandu to Shivalaya (1790m), 8-9 hours drive.
  • Day 03: Shivalaya to Khahare (2175m), 3-4 hours.
  • Day 04: Khahare to Panipakha (3105m), 4 hours.
  • Day 05: Panipakha to Mane Danda (3940m), 3 hours.
  • Day 06: Mane Danda to Panch Pokhari (4515m), 3-4 hours.
  • Day 07: Panch Pokhari to Tare Kharka (4140m), 5 hours
  • Day 08: Tare Kharka to Ngeju Kharka (4325m), 4 hours.
  • Day 09: Ngeju Kharka to Lhachhewar (2665m), 4 hours.
  • Day 10: Lhachhewar to Kyama (2380m), 4 hours.
  • Day 11: : Kyama to Gumdel (2255m), 3 hours.
  • Day 12: Gumdel to Serding (3360m), 3-4 hours.
  • Day 13: Serding to Lapchane (2875m), 5 hours.
  • Day 14: Lapchane to Those (1740m), 4 hours.
  • Day 15: Drive from Those to Kathmandu, 9 hours drive.

Trip note

Accommodation

Numbur Cheese Trek include accommodation in the cost. In Kathmandu, we provide a 3-star hotel for you.  During the trek, our guides will pick the best lodge for you to stay in based on their experience as well as room availability. Some days we have to overnight at a local house with local people. This homestay experience would be the best ever with their warm love and family environment.  During high trekking season, you may have to share a room with a same-sex trekker from another group.  Our company provides you a sleeping bag for both sleeping in a teahouse as well as outdoor camping.

Food

Numbur Cheese Circuit Trek has a wide variety of food and it is easy to cater to your needs.  If you are a vegetarian/vegan, gluten or lactose-free, we are able to work around that if you let us know ahead of time.  During your time in the hotel in Kathmandu, your breakfast is included.  Lunch and dinner must be covered on your own.  On the trek, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided.  For teahouse treks, we will order our meals from teahouses.  While camping, we will prepare the meals for you.  After our trek, we will have a celebration/pre-departure traditional Nepali meal in Thamel. 

Guide & Porters

A government-licensed guide will lead the trek.  All our guides have tremendous experience on the trails and are passionate about the trekking industry.  Our guides and porters are dedicated to making your experience of trekking in Nepal a memorable one.  If there is any worry during your trek, our guides will address it.  Your safety is our number one priority.  For groups of more than six people, there will be two guides. For teahouse treks, there will be one porter for every two trekkers.  For camping treks, we will need more porters in order to carry the food, kitchen equipment, tents, etc.    

Acclimatization/Fitness/Experience

As many of our treks lead us high into the Himalayas, it is necessary to let our bodies sufficiently get used to the altitude.  Our treks have acclimatization days built into the itinerary.  It is best to take it slow to prevent altitude sickness.  The level of fitness necessary for our treks varies depending on the trek.  On average, expect to walk an average of 5-6 hours per day while on the trial.  Generally, the treks can be done with an average level of fitness.  More important than fitness or experience is one’s personal determination and positive attitude toward finishing and enjoying the trek. 

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend having travel insurance before going on a trek.  We do our best to take care of you, but something can happen that is out of our control.  In case of a medical emergency, leading to a helicopter evacuation, it is best to have insurance.  You are unable to obtain medical insurance in Nepal and must do so in your home country.  Be sure that your insurance covers accidents abroad and high in the mountains. 

Best Time to Travel

The peak seasons for traveling in Nepal are during the Spring (March to May) and the Autumn (September to November).  These times provide the best scenery and clearest skies, but of course, they are a little more crowded than the off-season.  It is possible to trek during the Winter (December to February), but you will face cold temperatures.  It is also possible to trek during the monsoon season (June to August), though the views will likely be covered by clouds and there is a high chance of rainfall.

Detail Itinerary

  • Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu
    Welcome to Nepal! A representative from Breeze Adventure will welcome you our hotel. We will prepare you with information and gear for your trek. Overnight at the hotel.
    • Kathmandu
    • Breakfast
    • 2/3 Star Hotel
    • 1400m
  • Day 02: Drive from Kathmandu to Shivalaya (1790m), 8-9 hours drive.
    After breakfast in the early morning. Leaving the hotel, we take a scenic drive to Shivalaya. Along the ride, relish in the beautiful view of hills, villages and snowcapped mountains. Shivalaya is the entrance point of the Numbur Cheese Circuit, situated next to the Khimti River. Overnight in a guest house.
    • Shivalaya
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Teahouse
    • 1790m
  • Day 03: Shivalaya to Khahare (2175m), 3-4 hours.
    After breakfast, we move toward Khahare, carving up and down along the wall of the valley. Enjoy the terraced hills next to the flowing river. The trail then turns sharply up the cliff. It is not long before you arrive in Khahare. The village is only inhabited during the winter when residents of higher villages move down with their livestock. Overnight in a homestay.
    • Khahare
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Teahouse
    • 2175m
  • Day 04: Khahare to Panipakha (3105m), 4 hours.
    Today’s hike brings us to our first campsite of the trek. It’s a picturesque location amidst the tall pine trees and small sheds. The trail is short today, so we have plenty of time to explore, and eventually see the glimmering sunset with mountains in the background. Overnight in a tented camp.
    • Panipakha
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Tented Camp
    • 3105
  • Day 05: Panipakha to Mane Danda (3940m), 3 hours.
    After breakfast, pass through a small Sherpa village called Phokte. Then, pass the luminous rhododendron forests to the blossoming fields of Mane Danda, our destination. If the weather is clear, we’ll have sweet mountain views. Overnight in a tented camp.
    • Mane Dada
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Tented Camp
    • 3940m
  • Day 06: Mane Danda to Panch Pokhari (4515m), 3-4 hours.
    From Mane Danda, we trudge the well-trodden track to Panch Pokhari. Pass through forests and high pastures on this short day to reach Panch Pokhari (‘five lakes’ in the Nepali language). Many Hindus and Buddhists make a pilgrimage here during Janai Purnima festival in August. At Panch Pokhari, there are two houses for pilgrims and a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
    • Panch Pokhari
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Teahouse
    • 4515m
  • Day 07: Panch Pokhari to Tare Kharka (4140m), 5 hours
    To wake our bodies up, we cross a pass at 4600 meters to begin the day. Then, we move to Tare Kharka, passing through Khola Kharka during the descent. Hike further to Nupche River which is surrounded by dense bamboo forests. After a while, we reach our campsite at Tare Kharka. Overnight in a teahouse.
    • Tare Kharka
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Teahouse
    • 4140m
  • Day 08: Tare Kharka to Ngeju Kharka (4325m), 4 hours.
    Another short day of beautiful trekking leads to Ngeju Kharka. Though it’s short, it is a bit more challenging than the other days. We cross the high Gyajo La (also known as Thulo Lapcha) at 4880 meters, with stunning Himalayan views. This route is normally used by Sherpas to bring their yaks to Rakhidanda and Ngeju Kharka. Hike down from Likhu Glacier to Ngeju Kharka. Overnight in a teahouse.
    • Ngeju Kharka
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Teahouse
    • 4325m
  • Day 09: Ngeju Kharka to Lhachhewar (2665m), 4 hours.
    Head down from the high-altitude camping site to Lhachhewar, also known as Sewar, a beautiful Sherpa community in the upper Ramechap area. They welcome us with their exceptional hospitality. You will have the opportunity to learn about their age-old culture. Overnight in a homestay.
    • Lachhewar
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Homestay
    • 2665m
  • Day 10: Lhachhewar to Kyama (2380m), 4 hours.
    Move up to and then back down to Kyama through a lush jungle. On the way, we get spectacular views of Numbur Peak and Pathibhara. Overnight in a homestay.
    • Kyama
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Homestay
    • 2380m
  • Day 11: : Kyama to Gumdel (2255m), 3 hours.
    Say goodbye to the shimmering Numbur Peak and other massive peaks as we leave from the homestay. After a mere three hours of trekking, we reach Gumdel. Here, we again experience the unique Sherpa culture, who have made their home at the foot of these mountains. Overnight in a homestay.
    • Gumdel
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Homestay
    • 2255m
  • Day 12: Gumdel to Serding (3360m), 3-4 hours.
    Hike through verdant sub-alpine and temperate forests ever-present views of Gauri Shankar and Numbur Peak in the background. In Serding, there is a yak cheese factory, where we can sample some delicious product. Overnight in a guest house.
    • Serding
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Teahouse
    • 3360m
  • Day 13: Serding to Lapchane (2875m), 5 hours.
    We start on the trail after breakfast, ultimately losing altitude today. We pass through Thodung, visiting the beautiful monastery during the journey. We hike downhill to Deurali, where we see even more awesome views of Gauri Shankar. When we reach Lapchane, we stay at a homestay facility. From the village, we see the epic Dhaulagiri, Gauri Shanker, Annapurna, Numbur, and Kanchenjunga peaks.
    • Lapchane
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Teahouse
    • 2875m
  • Day 14: Lapchane to Those (1740m), 4 hours.
    A peaceful walk to Those brings the trek to a proper close. It’s a short walk, so we have plenty of time to reflect on the wonderful journey when we arrive in Those, or you can wander around the village as well. Overnight in a guest house.
    • Those
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Teahouse
    • 1740m
  • Day 15: Drive from Those to Kathmandu, 9 hours drive.
    In the early morning, we hop in our private vehicle and head for Kathmandu. It’s a scenic cruise – enjoy the hilly sceneries one last time. In the evening, we will have a delicious, fun farewell dinner for you. Overnight in a hotel.
    • Kathmandu
    • Breakfast and Lunch
    • 2/3 Star Hotel
    • 1400m

Cost Details

Cost Includes

Gauri Shankar Conservation Area Permit

Transportation to and from Tribhuvan Airport. 

Three nights in a 2-3 star hotel in Kathmandu, breakfast included.

All transportation for the trek. 

Local guesthouse/homestay accommodation in mountain.

Government-authorized, experienced guide and porters

Insurance, food, accommodation, and wage for guides and porters 

Hygienic meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) during the trek.

All equipment (sleeping bag, warm layers, etc.)

Tented Camp & supplies (kitchen, sleeping bag, etc.).

First Aid Kit

Maps

Service charge and government taxes

Post-trek celebration dinner in Kathmandu

Cost Excludes:

International airfare

Meals in Kathmandu (besides breakfast)

Your personal expenses, shopping, etc.

Shower and electronic charging fees at guest houses during the trek

Alcoholic drinks, chocolates, tea and coffee

Tips for guide and porter

Extra accommodation and meals outside of itinerary

Costs from unexpected occurrences (i.e. cancellations, weather problems, damages of property, illness, etc.)