Hotel / Lodge
Discover the magic and mystery of Nepal – immerse yourself in the fascination throughout the colorful array of bustling streets, rich historic heritage, exquisite temples and religious sites. Witness as well as experience the unique, exotic Nepalese culture and festivals up close. Meandering drive to the hilltop of Nagarkot for a breathtaking sunrise. It’s the perfect place to view many of the Himalayan greats such as Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Gauri Shanker as well as Mount Everest; we believe it’s the ideal way to begin your journey.
The delightful scenic lakeside town of Pokhara with the spectacular backdrop of Machhapuchhre rising behind it all is an ambiance of peace and relaxation. While you're in the Chitwan National Park, climb aboard the local boats to observe crocodiles along the banks. Surrender to the pure pleasure of jungle activities! Safari excursion includes elephant safari, canoeing and bird watching. Unlike African animals, those in Chitwan tend to be rather solitary and shy. But our expert guides knows how to track these elusive creatures and you can enjoy a glimpse or two of some of these endangered animals. Explore the flat southern and visit the holy Buddhist shrine in Lumbini, and head over to Tansen's amazing serenity on Nepal Highlights Mountain Biking Trip!
Our staff will welcome you at the Tribhuwan International Airport upon your arrival and transfer you to the hotel on a private vehicle. The evening can be spent exploring Thamel, a tourist hub offering numerous bars, shops and restaurant, as well as Basantapur, which gives you an instant taste of Nepali life. Later in the hotel, we will also brief you on trip details, safety and preparation for the adventure.
In the morning, we drive to the well preserved ancient town of Bhaktapur Durbar Square, a UNESCO heritage site, on a 45-minute drive. This sightseeing spot is famous for a collection of pagoda and shikhara-style temples, Palace of Fifty-five Windows, museums and art galleries. After having lunch here, we ride south towards Godavari, our destination for the day. Known for the National Botanical Garden which hosts a wide variety of exotic and indigenous plant species, Godavari sits on the foot of the giant Pulchowki peak (2,782m), the highest point in the Kathmandu valley. The tranquility and fresh air in Godavari is unmatched and makes for the perfect place for relaxation!
As we head off from Godavari on jeep tracks, we reach another Newari village of Bungamati, quite popular for Newari food. We’ll do some sightseeing at this exotic place and enjoying the surrounding views, then passing by a preserved lake called Taudaha. From here, we start the ascent to the Hindu temple of Dakshinkali, located on the south side of the valley. The trails are mostly jeep tracks with paved roads in some parts. Dakshinkali is devoted to goddess Kali, the fierce form of Parvati, Shiva’s consort, and is known for animal sacrifices that take place here twice a week and during important Hindu festivals like Dashain. Feel free to wander about this temple nestled in a dense forest, making it a fantastic combination of culture and nature.
Cycling by fish farms, old villages and paddy fields, we pass by a reservoir of Nepal’s first hydroelectric power station in Kulekhani. We ride on a mix of jeep tracks and some tarmac as we make our way to Daman. At 2,320 meters in altitude, the serene Daman hillstation rests on the northern slopes of the Mahabharat Range and provides unobstructed views of the Himalayas, including the Everest region on the far eastern side on a crystal clear day. The ride is very pleasant today, and it gives you a taste of the local Nepali culture and a glimpse of the grand Himalayas that Nepal most proudly offers you.
The ride today will be on mostly paved roads as we descend almost 40 kms from Daman to Daman Phedi (meaning the foot of Daman). Then riding mostly on flat tarmac, we’ll reach the Hetauda Valley where we’ll stay in a resort aptly named Life Cycles. Located on the base of the Churia Hills, the lovely resort was started by biking enthusiasts to promote cross-country and downhill biking in this serene valley. Besides biking, there several things you can do here, including trail running, hiking, swimming, relaxation and other outdoor activities. The experience in this quiet little town is one to savor during the trip!
In the morning we’ll ride along beautiful single tracks amidst paddy fields that take us to amazing downhill sections. We’ll explore local villages and observe the local way of life, after which we ride on jeep tracks back to the resort for lunch. In the afternoon, ride along some more single tracks to a small village called Padam Pokhari, from where we ride some downhill sections then back to the resort for some relaxation and a dip in the swimming pool before dinner.
Leaving Hetauda, we ride 22 kms on flat tarmac road till the village of Lothar. We take a 28 kms detour at this point to bike on a jeep track to reach the Chitwan National Park, a well preserved sanctuary for endangered species of wildlife and plants established in 1973. Rare animals including one-horned rhinoceros, elephants, Royal Bengal tigers, gharial crocodiles along 700 species of wild animals can be found in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the resort, the Guest Relations Officer will brief you about participating in various activities in the national park. These include elephant safari, jungle drive, nature walk, dugout canoe ride, Tharu culture dance, elephant shower, bird watching and so forth.
After an early breakfast, we head off for jungle activities in the morning, because this is the best time to see the wildlife especially for bird watching and jungle walk. Walking an hour or so through the grassland and lush forest upstream of Narayani River, we climb aboard local boats and drift down the river towards our camp, observing crocodiles on the river banks. Later in the day, you will be invited for an elephant safari by the jungle guide and a walk to the observation deck as well as the breeding center. We can explore the local Tharu village and also join them for a traditional dance.
From Chitwan, we bike 35 kms through Bishajar Taal and small villages to reach Narayanghat town, from where we set off on a 5-hour drive to Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha born in 623 BC. Buddhist pilgrims and tourists, alike, visit Lumbini not merely to worship the actual shrine, but also to visit several monasteries and monuments built in the premises by different countries like Japan, Germany, Thailand and Sri Lanka. This pilgrimage site is also a popular route for backpackers and traders heading to India, which lies just 27 kms from this pilgrimage site.
We leave Lumbini on our bikes and make our way towards Butwal on an alternative route. Upon reaching Butwal, we are westbound to the scenic town of Tansen. The old Newari settlement is known for numerous religious festivals and cultural events and hosts attractions like the Srinagar hill, Tansen Bazar, the centuries-old Ranighat Palace along gorgeous architecture and traditional lifestyle. You’ll find ample photo opportunities in this small town filled with traditional, natural and historical places of interest.
Our journey continues from Tansen on tarmac to the picturesque valley of Pokhara. With a spectacular skyline of Machapuchare as well as the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges, Pokhara is well known for its peaceful ambience and flowers that blossom year round. There are numerous places to discover and activities to do in Pokhara. We can start off with a relaxing boat ride on the Phewa Lake admiring the mountains at a distance. Don’t forget to shop for souvenirs in shops along the lakeside area and have a chilled bear at Pokhara’s famous bars.
With magnificent hills surrounding the valley, the options for hiking in Pokhara are innumerable. Today, we head to Pokhara’s less touched Begnas Lake to hike on the first stretch of the Royal Trek, so named after Prince Charles trekked this route in 1980 with an entourage of 90 guests. Spectacular mountains, green terraced fields, amazing indigenous lifestyles, local hospitality as well as diverse flora and fauna mark this easy and pleasurable 4-hour hike. In the evening, loosen up your muscles and free your mind with an hour-long full body massage.
We spend the day exploring the picturesque Pokhara valley which offers wonderful natural and cultural places for sightseeing. We visit Barahi Temple (a small island in Phewa Lake), Seti River gorges, Devi’s Fall, Gupteshwar Cave, Tibetan Refugee Camps and a few museums. The Peace Pagoda is also quite a spectacular hike with amazing views of Pokhara valley below and the Annapurnas to the north. The natural beauty and the laid back environment, above all, are what distinguish this city from the rest. Take your adventure one notch up and try the adrenaline-pumping paragliding, microlight flights and zipline over Pokhara (paid separately).
Our staff will take you to the airport for an early morning flight to Kathmandu, and transfer you to the hotel. We’ll have some time for sightseeing in the afternoon. Some of the places we visit include UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Bouddhanath (the largest Buddhist shrine in the world), Pashupatinath (the holiest Hindu temples in the world), and Swayambhunath (a popular stupa perched on a hillock overlooking the city). Experiencing the traditional Nepalese lifestyle, mixing in with holy sadhus and monks, learning about fascinating history and observing the enchanting architecture will be the highlight of the day. In the evening, we toast a round or two of locally brewed drinks to celebrate our achievement and to good health!
Holidays should never have an ending date. So extend your trip and whet your appetite for adventure with a host of activities including trekking, bungy jumping, mountain flight, rafting, hiking, and shopping tours. These can be arranged before or after this trip.
The trip concludes today. Our staff will drop you off at the Tribhuwan International Airport and wish you bon voyage for onward journey.
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Whilst on the trek, the Nepali guides and porters will ensure that you are well looked after. Every trek has an English speaking guide, known as the Sirdar, who is in overall charge. It is his responsibility to organize the trek en route and manage the guides and porters and deal with the local peoples and they are experts in trek organization, as well as being able to discuss the local culture, religion, and landscape. In addition there will be other guides, sometimes referred to by the generic term Sherpa, who will be your walking companions on the trek and will assist the Sirdar in organizing the logistic of the trek. On camping treks there will be full kitchen crew who are responsible for all aspects of catering. And finally there will be porters who are the transportation system of the Nepali mountains. They will carry the duffle bags and other equipment as necessary.
On camping treks, all food is prepared by the trek cook - an expert in preparing delicious camp food. And most importantly, special care is taken to provide well - boiled, purified drinking water. On lodge treks, food is provided in the lodge and this ranges from delicious local specialties to common western dishes. If necessary, bottled water can be purchased from the lodges for a small fee, although many trekkers prefer to use fresh water with the added precaution of a purifying agent. You could bring some Chocolate or special energy drinks for yourself as these are hard to get in the Himalayas.
A typical trekking day
A typical day revolves around the Nepal sunrise and sunset. The day starts with an early wake up call. You then pack up your gear and enjoy a rousing breakfast before starting your morning's walk. The Sirdar will already be organized loads to porters and or animals, and your group will then set off on the trail at a leisurely pace, enjoying the view and stopping to take photographs. After 2-3 hours walk you stop for lunch. This lasts for about 90 minutes which gives you time to relax, or explore the local village. The afternoon's walk is usually shorter and we arrive at the campsite or tea-house in plenty of time to relax and savour the surroundings. Later in the evening dinner is served, giving you an opportunity to sample the delicious food, talk over the day's events, and look forward to another special day on the trails of Nepal.
Health and safety on the trek General
Anyone can be affected by Altitude Sickness. However, our itineraries are specifically designed to minimize the risks associated with trekking to high altitudes by building in acclimatization and rest days. In the event of any symptoms we will ensure that the individual descends to a lower altitude to gain a quick recovery.
And finally……….. It must be stressed that whilst trekking in the Nepal Himalaya is challenging and rewarding, you must be prepared for he occasional inconvenience or discomfort. The correct mental attitude to trekking is as important as being physically prepared.
All equipment and food, and your own personal backpacks are carried by the porters or pack animals. It is only necessary to carry a camera or small daypack ! On camping treks all necessary camp equipment is provided - this includes dining tent, dining table and chairs, toilet tent, foam mattresses, and all cooking equipment. The only kit that you will need to bring is your own personal equipment and clothing.
Recommended Trekking Kit
The following is a list of clothing and accessories that we recommend that you take with you. This is not intended to be a comprehensive clothing and equipment list, rather it is intended to act as a reminder of those items that we feel are essential for your comfort and convenience. However we recognize that you may have your own personal preferences for clothing which may be equally as suitable.
Recommended Mountaineering Kit
In additional to the items mentioned above for trekking the following is a list of the additional specialist items which are required for the trekking peaks.