Nepal is, without a doubt, one of the top trekking destinations in the entire world. The hike to Everest Base Camp is a favorite with many adventure travelers and the Annapurna Circuit is widely considered to be one of the best long distance treks in the world. But those two well known hikes aren’t the only options for travelers, as there are a number of other great treks to be had as well. Take for example the Tsum Valley, Nepal’s “Hidden Valley of Happiness.”
Located in the shadow of Manaslu, the world’s eighth tallest mountain, the Tsum Valley is considered a sacred destination for Buddhists seeking spiritual progress on their path to enlightenment. Situated in north-central Nepal, the region has only been open to visitors for the past three years, and as a result, there isn’t much travel infrastructure, such as traditional tea houses, in place just yet.
Travelers will find a number of remote villages to explore however, many of which have centuries old monasteries that few outsiders have ever seen. They’ll also discover a unique destination that seems nearly untouched by the outside world, as most of the inhabitants of the Tsum Valley continue to grow their own food and raise their own yak herds, much like their ancestors have done for generations. Of course, the valley also offers plenty of the trademark Himalayan landscapes as well, with stunning views of snowcapped peaks and idyllic mountain meadows around every turn.
At the moment, the Tsum Valley remains a bit of a hidden gem –far off the radar for all but a few adventurous travelers. But those hoping to make the journey for themselves are in luck, as Mountain Madness, one of the top adventure travel companies in the world, is organizing an expedition for late 2012. The 27-day trip includes 16 days of trekking, cultural and historical tours of Kathmandu, and some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet.
For more information, including a detailed itinerary, gear list, and pricing, click here.
[Photo credit: Deana Zabaldo]