Over the centuries, migrating ethnic groups blazed trails along jungle-rivers and up mountains to establish isolated villages in Laos. Today, anyone can follow these paths to places and people forgotten by time. Moderate 1-day and overnight treks disappear into the forest and land at ethnic villages for a cultural interaction. Extreme adventurers can embark on a survivalist expedition and spend days on steep rugged trails, living off the land.
Find the greatest selection in the north-western mountains, with Luang Namtha leading Luang Prabang and Oudomxay. At the northern tip of Laos, Phongsaly’s choice of treks are now attracting international attention. Central and Southern Laos open the door to treks along the renown Ho Chi Minh Trail…its steep mountain climbs through thick jungle littered with the remnants of War. The Bolaven Plateau presents more moderate treks.
The choice of guided treks offers interactive ethnic village visits with overnight stays and learning handicraft production. Out in nature, the trails lead to waterfalls, caves, rice paddies and farms, and paths through National Protected Areas.
Northern Lao Treks
Bokeo: Be among the first to trek in Bokeo’s wilderness in one the province’s Nam Khan National Protected Area. Get the thrill of a lifetime with the world-renown Gibbon Experience, which offers three treks into the Nam Khan NPA. The physically fit can get a taste on the Gibbon Express, which kicks off with an hour-plus steep climb to a series of zip lines...Read more.
Luang Namtha: You found Laos’ trekking capital in Luang Namtha. From 1 to multi-day expeditions, and homestays to jungle camps, you can find that bucket-list trek into the great unknown. Meeting lost mountain tribes, skirting the Chinese frontier, immersing yourself in river life…Luang Namtha treks offer it all. And, there’s plenty of local tour operators...Read more.
Luang Prabang: Step outside of Luang Prabang’s tourist centre, and trek through jungles, along rivers, and up mountains to ethnic villages, caves and waterfalls. You’ll find short, easy treks around town, and multi-day journeys with overnight homestays further afield. More extreme adventures climb steep mountains to unrivalled views. Treks into the hinterland...Read more.
Oudomxay: Oudomxay is fast becoming a trekking hotspot, highlighted by a day-long subterranean hike through the Chom Ong Cave complex and the jungle trail to Nam Kat Waterfall and its nature park. You’ll find easy-to-access treks for all levels, with ethnic homestays. These treks and others can be organized by the Oudomxay Provincial Tourism...Read more.
Phongsaly: Phongsaly Town and Muang Khua are the bases for numerous treks and adventures. The most difficult decision a visitor makes is on which one to embark. You can take a 1-day sightseeing tour, mountain treks to remote Akha villages, and a 5-day jungle expedition. Sample tours below reflect itineraries you can book at the Phongsaly Visitor Centre...Read more.
Sayabouly: Cut through the limestone karst landscape with cave-pocked cliffs on a Sayabouly adventure. Trekking in the province centres on the Nam Thang 1,000 Caves Area and Ban Keo, about 45 km south of Sayabouly Town, and a drive along a mountain road. The programs generally include a homestay, an ethnic Khmu village overlooking the Nam Poui River....Read more.
Xieng Khouang: Take in Xieng Khouang’s famed jars and natural sites with homestays on a trek. Take a short side-step on your Xieng Khouang tour at Ban Ta Jok, just 30 km from Phonsavanh, and embark on a 2-day trek to some of the province’s best hidden treasures. The journey centres on Ban Phakeo (Hmong), and reaches a concealed jar site, waterfall, and...Read more.
Central Lao Treks
Bolikhamxay: March off on one of many treks in Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area (PKK), less than 2 hours from Vientiane Capital. Take trails through wild orchids to waterfalls, sleep in the Elephant Observation Tower, and follow rivers on an overnight camping trek. Enjoy a pleasant day or two in PKK with up to 7 hours of easy trekking to waterfalls and...Read more.
Khammouane: Trek into Khammouane’s natural wonders starring incredible caves in National Protected Areas. Follow paths through the Limestone Forest, filled with towering rock spires inside the Phou Hin Poun NPA. Head deeper into the province along the famed Ho Chi Minh Trail and explore the caves and wildlife in Hin Nam No NPA. On the journey, you’ll meet...Read more.
Savannakhet: Savannakhet holds many natural wonders and cultural experiences that are easy to reach on a trek. Take a tuk tuk from town to Ban Simuang and meet your village guide for this day-trek around Dong Natad. Begin the trek, and as you go, watch locals extract nyang oil and learn how they make traditional crafts from bamboo and other natural ...Read more.
Vientiane: Step away from the tourist hub and explore Vang Vieng and Vientiane Province’s unrivalled natural surroundings. Take an organized one or multi-day trek, or spend the day walking on your own along marked trails. Check out some of the treks offered by the tour companies and enter a side of Vang Vieng and the province that’s well-worth the ramble. Hike to...Read more.
Southern Laos Treks
Attapeu: Take to the trails in remote Attapeu Province, with a trek in one of the province’s National Protected Areas. You can head off with a guide or on your own for a day or longer. Explore the deep jungle, follow paths to waterfalls, and climb mountains to isolated ethnic villages on an Attapeu trek. Your 2-day journey begins with a 48-km drive from Attapeu Town...Read more.
Champasak: Take time for a trek on your Champasak visit, and explore one of the province’s National Protected Areas. Hike through coffee plantations in the Bolaven Plateau, venture to waterfalls and wetlands, and spend the night in a village or eco-lodge. Embark on a 6-hour trek up Khong Mountain, just north of Pakse in Phou Xieng Thong NPA. After a Mekong River...Read more.
Salavan: For the time of your life, hit rarely travelled trails in Salavan to waterfalls, caves, and ethnic villages. Start this 1-day trek with a walk up the Xe Set River. The fairly rugged, 10-km trail weaves through forest and fields, with stops at ethnic villages. At Saneum Nai, a short but steep climb leads to a set of natural stairs descending to Tad Soung Waterfall plunging...Read more.