How to Get to Rara Lake via Jeep?

Rara Lake Jeep Tour is growing to become one of the most popular tours in Nepal. People in Nepal are researching how to get to Rara Lake by jeep, the necessary measures for hiring a jeep, how much it costs, and how much time it takes.

However, before knowing that, let’s begin with the majestic Rara Lake. Rara Lake is Nepal’s biggest freshwater lake and among the country’s most beautiful lakes. It is spread across over six square miles, and only blue sparkling water can be seen from one end of the lake to the other.

How to Get to Rara Lake via Jeep?

Rara Lake is also situated in the middle of Rara National Park. So, if you plan to visit the national park, cover a few more distances and experience its natural beauty. The Rara Lake Jeep Tour is gaining more momentum and recognition among all the options. So, let’s take a look at why that is the case.

The Importance of Rara Lake as a Tourist Destination

Location And Geography

Rara Lake, or Mahendra Lake, is one of the most beautiful lakes in Nepal. It is located in the western part of the country, about 300 km northwest of Kathmandu, the capital city. It lies across the Mugu and Jumla districts and is one of the main attractions of the Rara  National Park.

How to Get to Rara Lake via Jeep?

It lies at an elevation of over 2,975m, with a water surface of over 10.8 km2 and a water depth of 167m. 

Unique Features And Attractions

The Rara Lake is famous for major attractions that hook everyone from local to foreign tourists.

Rara Lake

Rara Lake is the most unique and essential attraction of the entire trek. The deepest freshwater lake in Nepal looks majestic, especially at the right time of the season. Spring and Autumn are the best seasons to trek the Rara Lake as the surrounding area is covered by lush green forests and flowering hills.

Rich Biodiversity

During your Rara Lake Trek, you will encounter Rara National Park, which is like heaven for people looking for rich biodiversity. Many plants and animals of different varieties live peacefully in the area. It has over 1000 species of plants, along with over 50 species of mammals and over 200 species of birds.

Importance of Rara Lake in Local Culture and Biodiversity

Local Culture

Rara Lake’s surrounding area is worshipped as a sacred place for pilgrimage. The surrounding areas also have caves, temples, monasteries, and sculptures preserved for a long time. During your Rara Lake Tour, you will meet different people following their own local culture and traditions, which they have been celebrating since the beginning of their ancestry.

Biodiversity

Rara Lake has immense significance in the flourishing biodiversity surrounding it. Since the area has been nominated as a Ramsar site, hunting and killing of animals or deforestation is prohibited. Furthermore, they are even punished with fines or jail time. This rule has played a massive role in the conservation and preservation of natural resources and many floras and faunas of the region.

How to Get to Rara Lake via Jeep Preparation of the Journey

Planning

Before heading for any trekking or touring package, it is crucial to plan everything. Planning the tour will make it organized and make us feel less anxious. It will also help you prepare for any unforeseen circumstances.

Here are some things to keep in mind when planning your Rara Lake Jeep Tour:

  • Planning your trip between September and November and March and May during the shoulder seasons is best for an enjoyable and peaceful visit. The weather is pleasant during these times, and there are fewer crowds.
  • Prepare for bumpy rides since roads are tough and rugged.
  • Don’t expect any luxury services as accommodation is very scarce.
  • Pack plenty of warm clothes, sunscreen, and insect repellent, especially if you plan to trek in summer or spring.

Hence, if you plan all these tips and ensure safety, you can enjoy a remarkable and fun adventure in the Alpine region.

Permits and Regulations

To visit Rara Lake National Park, you need a permit. The permit fees are NRs 3000 per person for foreigners, NRs 1000 for SAARC nationals, and NRs 100 for Nepali nationals.

If you are a foreigner, you need to get a Mugu Restricted Area Permit, which costs US$90 for ten days per person and is applicable for groups with a minimum of two foreigners.

Necessary Equipment And Supplies

In the case of any adventure tour like the Rara Lake Jeep Tour, it is essential to pack light but carry critical equipment and supplies. If you pack heavily during your Himalayan adventure, you’ll only worry about your backpacks and not enjoy the expedition.

You can break down categories of items according to their importance.

Clothing

  • Quickdying pants and shirts to keep you dry and comfortable during the daytime
  • Rain jackets or sweatshirts
  • Gloves and Hats
  • Hiking Boots, sandals, socks

Items

  • Notebook, pen, map
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Extra Batteries
  • Down jacket
  • Tour/Trekking Bag
  • Electronic gadgets like cameras, speaker
  • Earplug
  • Toiletries items like toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, hand sanitizer, etc.

Route Options

Overview of Different Routes

The Kathmandu to Rara Lake Jeep Tour commonly offers two easy route options that take 7-8 days to complete. On this route, you’ll first head towards Kohalpur from Kathmandu.

On the second day, you’ll reach Manma from Kohalpur and drive towards Sinja and Nagma Valley. After the Jeep Tour, the road to Rara Lake is unsuitable for vehicles. Therefore, you will need to walk to reach the lake.

After doing all the fun activities around Rara Lake, it’s time to head back as you reach Kalikot, Drive back to Kohalpur, and then return to Kathmandu the next day.

Other shorter routes begin or end in Nepalgunj or Surkhet. Driving to Kathmandu is the best option if you’re planning a Rara Lake Jeep Tour. It’s the most recommended route due to logistics. Organizing your trip this way will ensure maximum convenience and satisfaction.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Route

Advantages

  • Complete and detailed itinerary that will enable you to enjoy everything and explore all the attractions along the way.
  • Stunning views of mountains, surrounding villages, Rara National Park, etc.
  • On this route, you will stop and explore local towns, villages, temples, and monasteries, enabling you to immerse yourself in local cultures, traditions, and rituals.

Disadvantages

  • It is one of the worst maintained roads in Nepal, which means you’ll face many bumps along the way, even during the Jeep ride.
  • After reaching your destination, you must take at least a 30 to 45-minute trek, which may be difficult for some people.
  • The Jeep Tour takes time to complete, so staying in your jeep for six to seven hours a day on bumpy roads can affect your joints, back, etc.

Getting to Rara Lake Via Jeep

How to Get to Rara Lake via Jeep?

Discuss Starting Point

The starting point of the Rara Lake Jeep Tour is Kohalpur, located in the western Terai part of Nepal. When you first arrive in Kathmandu Valley for your Rara Lake Jeep, many people might think Kathmandu City is the starting point. However, the actual starting point of the Rara Lake Via Jeep is Kohalpur. Kohalpur is a lot closer to Rara Lake than Kathmandu. From Kohalpur, the off-beaten path also begins, which is perfect for the jeep tour. It takes 7 to 8 hours to get to Jeepto Manama from Kohalpur by Jeep.

Road Conditions and Challenges

The road conditions of the Rara Lake Jeep Tour can differ according to the weather or seasons. However, overall, the road conditions are rough. Most roads are not pitched, and you will suffer bumpy rides.

When visiting Rara Lake, it’s important to remember that the path from Nagma to Rara Lake is extremely challenging. Therefore, the most suitable and recommended mode of transportation for the Rara Lake Tour is, without a doubt, a jeep.

Estimated Travel Time and Distance

The estimated travel time to reach the Rara Lake Jeep Tour is based on your curated itinerary. However, the average time takes 12 to 14 days. The estimated distance from Kathmandu to Rara Lake is approximately 375km. During your trek, you will drive to Nepalgunj / Kohalpur or Surkhet, where your jeep tour begins.

Safety Tips

You may need to follow some safety tips to make your Jeep Tour successful.

  1. Research the road conditions, seasons, and weather before confirming your tour.
  2. Book your Rara Lake tour via a credible tour or travel operator like Himalayan Leaders. Ensure you issue travel insurance and submit the certificate to your tour operator.
  3. Be prepared for several factors that can make your tour difficult, such as distance, altitude, altitude sickness, and rough trails.

Cultural and Natural Highlights

There are many places or points of attraction that you come across before you reach Rara Lake.

Talcha Airport: Talcha Airport, or Rara Airport, is one of the significant natural highlights of your Rara Lake tour. Whether you travel via plane or by jeep, you will reach the airport as it is situated in the national park.

Rara Lake: The largest lake in Nepal, Rara Lake is undoubtedly the highlight of your Rara Tour. The beautiful Lake is majestic from top to bottom, with crystal blue waters that will rejuvenate you. It is also one of the best places to click photos.

Tharu Villages: The Tharu villages around the Karnali region will help you learn the culture and traditions of the Tharu people. During your hike to Rara Lake from Nagma Valley, you will encounter different settlements promoting unique cultures and traditions.

Accommodation Options

Accommodations are also readily available and varied. Nepalgunj is an industrial town bordered by India and a hub for pilgrims journeying to the holy Mount Kailash and Manasarovar Lake in Tibet. Depending on your chosen services, hotels, and guesthouses range from budget to luxury.

Once you leave Nepalgunj, the guesthouses will become more basic but decent. In Kalikot, for example, rooms cost around USD 6. The dal bhat is generally good, and of course, like everywhere in Nepal, you’ll be able to find beer for purchase. Some trekkers who went to Rara Lake from Jumla even mentioned finding free hotel rooms.

When you arrive at Rara Lake, you’ll only find a few guest houses. The rooms and food are well-kept, and the lakefront setting is stunning. You can expect room prices to range from USD 8 to USD 12.

The cost will depend on the number of people in your party and the time of year. Check the best time for Rara Lake.

Activities can be Performed at Rara Lake

Many people might confuse the Rara Lake Jeep Tour as just visiting the Rara Lake, staying for a few minutes, and returning, which is far from the truth. You can perform many activities to make this trip even more special.

Boating

Immediately after reaching the largest lake in the Karnali region, the first thing you can do is boat. When you’re near the beautiful Rara lake, you’ll see different people enjoying boating. They’ll ask you to put on a life vest before you paddle around the lake. The day at Rara Lake will be fun when it begins with an excellent boat ride.

Hiking to Murma Top

Murma Top, at 3,726 meters, provides the best panoramic view of Rara Lake. To get there, you must embark on a short 2-3 hour hike through a dense forest early in the morning. The hike itself is an exciting experience, as you will walk on green trails accompanied by the calming sounds of birds flying around. The peacefulness of the forest is sure to captivate you as you make your way to the top.

Horse Riding

When you’re touring Rara Lake in the Karnali region, you can enjoy two great activities: boating and horse riding. Many tourists and trekkers love to participate in both. Explore Rara Lake’s surroundings by foot or horseback. The lake is around 14 km in circumference and has stunning views.

Sustainability and Responsible Tourism

Supporting Local Communities and Businesses

The largest lake in Nepal, Rara, is the region’s major tourist attraction. Like other trekking destinations in Nepal, tourism services have supported local communities and thriving businesses.

Conservation Efforts Around Rara Lake

Conservation efforts around Rara Lake must be encouraged.

During the Rara Jeep tour, there is a high possibility of disturbing the day-to-day wildlife activities. Hence, it is essential to maintain a safe distance when you drive to Rara Lake. The lake offers a chance to see various kinds of animals, birds, and aquatic life, which should be experienced from far away and without any danger.

Conclusion

Hence, the Jeep Tour is the best mode of touring Rara Lake and its surroundings. Researching and planning your itinerary and jeeps and finding the best touring operator to make your excursion enjoyable and stress-free is essential. Planning the best time to visit Rara Lake to experience even more fun is also important.

Nevertheless, we recommend you contact Himalayan Leaders if you are looking for an amazing 14-day pristine Rara Lake Tour. If you are not interested in a Jeep tour, other options exist, such as a helicopter tour or motorbike Tour. Get in Touch with Himalayan Leaders for smooth and memorable trips.

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