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Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan and Lumbini


9 days 8 nights

Code NP-KPCL8

Category Nepal Classic Tours

  • Group Size 2-16
  • Difficulty Level 1
  • Rating Popular
  • Highest Altitude 4297 ft.
  • Trip Starts From Kathmandu
  • Trip Ends At Kathmandu
  • Type Classic Circuits
  • Season This trip can be taken throughout the year
  • Destination Kathmandu Bhaktapur Pokhara Chitwan Lumbini Patan
Dates & Prices
No available seat

Overview

Kathmandu 3 nights, Pokhara and Chitwan National Park each 2 night and Lumbini 1 night.

In this trip, we visit the most popular destinations of Nepal. The trip begins in Kathmandu - the capital city of Nepal and it's two sister cities in the valley - Patan and Bhaktapur where we witness the UNESCO recognized heritage sites. A short and spectacular flight whisks us to Pokhara - regarded as the capital of nature in Nepal, where we explore the lakes, gorge, caves and enjoy the serene mountain views.

From Pokhara, we take a long but a scenic drive to Chitwan National Park in the southern lowland of Nepal, renowned for one horned Rhinoceros, among other endangered species. In Chitwan, we embark on elephant back safari, canoe trip, birding and excursion to the Tharu tribal village.

From Chitwan, Lumbini - the birth place of Lord Buddha is less than 4 hours' drive. Here, we witness the birth place of Lord Buddha and visit the ruins of ancient monasteries and also visit Buddhist temples and monasteries built by various Buddhist countries.

From Lumbini, we will take a flight back to Kathmandu.

The trip price does not include the mandatory airfares Kathmandu-Pokhara and Lumbini-Kathmandu.

 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~Arrive in Kathmandu

You can obtain Nepal visa upon arrival. Bring one passport picture and US$ 25 cash to pay in visa fee. After clearing immigration and custom, meet your guide and driver at the arrival gate.

After introductions, your guide and driver will transfer you to your hotel in the city (35 minutes). After wash up and change, with your guide and driver, proceed for sightseeing. 

First, visit Swayambhunath Stupa - the 2000-year-old Buddhist monument situated atop a hillock on the western fringe of the city. The monument is associated with the evolution of Kathmandu valley. The monument complex includes the stupa, an array of small shrines, temples and monasteries. Swayambhunath is a popular pilgrimage destination for Buddhist as well as Hindu followers and we will have opportunity to watch the rituals performed by them.

The stupa complex also offers panoramic view of the valley and perhaps Himalayan mountains on a clear weather day.

From here, we descend and drive to the Kathmandu Durbar Square in the heart of the city. Several of the temples and palace complex here are devastated by the last earthquake but we are still able to see many others structures here. We will visit the Kumari House, among other temples. The house has rich wood carving at its door, windows and balconies but more importantly, this is the residence of Kumari - the living goddess of Nepal! We will request for the audience of the goddess who briefly appears in the balcony, if she is available.

We will take leisurely walk through the streets of Indrachowk and Ason - the traditional business hub and end up in Thamel - the popular tourist destination for budget accommodations, restaurants and handicraft stores.

In the evening, you are invited for a Nepali welcome dinner in a typical Nepali restaurant. The restaurant also entertains the guests by Nepali folklore dancing.

Overnight at hotel.

Meals : Dinner
Day 02~Kathmandu

After breakfast, meet your guide at your hotel lobby and proceed for sightseeing.

Our first stop will be at Boudhanath Stupa - the largest Buddhist monument of Nepal. This stupa  is also the holiest Buddhist temple outside Tibet . There are several live monasteries associated with different Buddhist schools. The area is largely dominated by Tibetan refugees and reminds of small Barkhor Square.

Next, we proceed to Bhaktapur, about 10 miles northeast of Kathmandu. Bhaktapur is the smallest of the three medieval principalities but the best preserved one. With stone paved streets, medieval looking houses and temples, the city looks like an open-air museum. We visit the durbar square with the former palace complex. Other attractions of Bhaktapur includes the 5-storied Nyatapola Temple that survived two large earthquakes, Duttratray square with Duttratray Temple and Pujarimath Complex. Stroll through the narrow-cobbled lanes between the private dwellings and also visit the potter's square. We stop by the workshops of local carvers and painters and appreciate their skills of generations old arts.

Our final stop of the day will be at Pashupatinath Temple - the holiest Hindu temple of Nepal. The temple lies by the sacred Bagmati River - one of the tributaries of the holy Ganges. The main temple sanctum is reserved for the Hindu worships and non-Hindus are not allowed inside but we are able to watch the temple and rituals here from other side of the river. The river also has some pyres for Hindu cremation services. If we wait till late, we are able to watch the Hindu arati ceremony with oil lamps that wraps up the rituals of the day.

Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 03~Pokhara

After breakfast, you are transferred to the airport for flight to Pokhara. It's 30 minutes long scenic flight. Upon arrival at Pokhara airport, you are greeted by your local guide.

You will have time to settle into your room before your guide will take you on sightseeing. 

First, we visit the Bindhyabasini Temple  -the center of religious activity in the old bazaar. The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Bhagawati - a manifestation of Shakti.

Next, visit Devi's Falls, or Davi's Falls - an awesome waterfall where we can witness the waters of the lake cascading down and disappearing into the earth! Legend has it that a trekker, named David or Davis  was washed away by the waters of the lake and disappeared down into an underground passage beneath the fall.

Nearby is the entrance to a nearly 3 miles long cave, called Gupteswar Gupha (cave). The cave holds a special importance to Hindus as a phallic symbol of Lord Shiva was found inside, when the cave was discovered first. Our next stop will be at the Tibetan Refugee village. We will visit the Tibetan monastery, a Tibetan hand-made carpet factory and school. etc. in the village.

Finally, stop of the day will be at the International Mountain Museum. The museum has an interesting collection of historical high-altitude mountaineering equipment and its evolution over the decades, document and chronicle the past and present development of mountaineering activities in the world in general and to preserve the saga of the momentous feats in the history of mountaineering in the Himalayan peaks in particular.

The museum is situated just 0.5 km south from the Pokhara airport. The spot is rightly selected as we can enjoy the unique view of 3 massive mountain peaks; Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu which are above 8000 meters. No place in the world offers us such a panoramic view. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped back off to your hotel in Pokhara, or you can choose to explore further or eat at the lakeside market on your own. 

Overnight at hotel.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 04~Pokhara

This morning, we will go for sunrise tour of Sarangkot. Situated at an altitude of 1592m (5,221 ft.), Sarangkot offers spectacular sunrise and Himalayan panorama view on a clear weather morning and it's only 30 minutes' drive away from the lakeside.

Your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel usually one hour before sunrise time. A brief hike from the parking brings you to the top of the ridge from where you will witness the magnificent sunrise and enchanting views of the Himalayan peaks and ranges of Machhapuchhre (Fish Tail), Dhaulagiri and Annapurna.

Retrace your drive back to the hotel for breakfast and then your guide and driver will take you for sightseeing.

First, visit the Lake Fewa and enjoy boating. Lake Fewa is the second largest lake of Nepal, Rara Lake in the far-west Nepal being the largest one. We visit the island temple of Goddess Barahi - a beautiful two-storied temple.

Optional: Hike the Peace Stupa
We cross the lake by boat and then we begin our hike. It takes about 2-3 hours from the lake shore to get to the top of the ridge where lies the giant World Peace Stupa, looming over the  lake. On a clear weather day, we will again enjoy breathtaking views of the mountain and the valley. If you are not interested on hiking, we can go by car.

Depending on available time and your interest, we can visit the Begnas Lake that lies about 8 miles from the city and it's less frequented by foreign travelers.

Overnight at hotel.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 05~Chitwan National Park

After breakfast, we transfer on a scenic 5 hours' drive to Chitwan National Park.

After lunch at our lodge, embark on a game drive to the forest. Jeep safari is operated during the dry season only and may cancel due to insufficient participants. In that case, alternative elephant back safari or jungle trek will be provided. Most commonly sighted animals are one-horned rhinos, deer, wild boar and monkeys. One-horned Rhinos were once almost extinct in the early 70s!  We will be always on the lookout for less frequently seen animals such as bears, leopards and Bengal tigers. Although, the tiger population is believed to be about 100 in the park, it's a territorial animal and due to thick vegetation, chances of seeing one is very rare! 

In the evening, attend an informative slide show on Chitwan’s flora and fauna, history of the park and the conservation efforts, conducted by the in-house naturalist who is usually a local with wealth of knowledge on the park. 

Overnight at the lodge.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 06~Chitwan National Park

After breakfast at your lodge, your nature guide will take you on a boating trip down the Rapti River. We will catch sights of sunbathing crocodiles and aquatic birds such as king fisher, storks, egrets etc.

After lunch, we will go on elephant back safari in the park.

In the evening, enjoy the cultural program that features folklore singing and dancing by Tharu troupe. Tharus are the original inhabitants of Chitwan and are believed to have immune against Malaria! 

The activities order may change depending on the park regulations and availability of the safaris.

Overnight at the lodge.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 07~Lumbini

Today, we are off to Lumbini-the birth place of Lord Buddha. It's 3-4 hours' drive from Chitwan.

Upon arrival, we check into our hotel after wash up and change, proceed to visit the birth place of Buddha and other attractions of Lumbini. Lumbini is listed as the World Heritage site by UNESCO and holds a huge religious significance and attracts Buddhist pilgrims from around the world!

We first visit the Queen Maya Devi Temple - the spiritual heart of Lumbini - that marks the spot where the queen gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama who was later to be known as Buddha. Adjacent to the temple, stands the Pillar of Ashoka of 3rd century B.C. and nearby is the ruins of ancient stupa and Pushkarini Pond where the queen is believed to have taken bath before giving birth to Buddha!

Lumbini now has many modern temples built by various Buddhist countries such as China, Japan, Myanmar, Korea, Vietnam etc! Depending on available time and your interest, we will visit one or two of these, before we return to our hotel for rest.

Overnight at hotel.

 

Meals : Breakfast
Day 08~Kathmandu

After breakfast, transfer to the airport (14 miles) for flight back to Kathmandu.

Upon arrival at Kathmandu airport, you are met by your guide and then taken to Patan city. Visit the durbar square with former palace and cluster of medieval temples. Stroll through the stone paved alleys with arts and craft workshops and traditional shops lined up in either side. Visit the Golden Temple - a Buddhist monastery of Newari Buddhist and 5-storied Kumbheswara Temple, among others.

You will have time for shopping before your guide transfers you to the hotel.

Overnight at hotel.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 09~Depart Kathmandu

After breakfast, check out from the hotel. Your guide and driver will transfer you to the airport in time for flight to your next destination.

 

Meals : Breakfast

Trip Map

Trip Info

Trip Includes

  • Accommodation on double occupancy basis.
  • Chitwan National Park in full board plan and breakfast only in other places.
  • English speaking local tour guides
  • Private air conditioned vehicle with driver
  • Sightseeing admisson tickets
  • Service of internal airfare reservation.
  • Chitwan National Park admission fees and safari.

Trip Does Not Include

  • Drinks, tipping, laundry, phone and other expenses of personal nature.
  • Nepal visa ($25)
  • Airfares (Estimated Kathmandu-Pokhara, Lumbini-Kathmandu US$ 244)
  • Extra expenses due to nature and unforeseen events.
  • Travel insurance

Passport & Visa

Make sure, remaining validity of your passport is minimum 6 months when you return from the trip and that you have minimum one blank visa page for Nepal visa sticker. You also need some space for arrival and departure seals.

You can obtain Nepal visa from any Nepali embassy or consulates abroad or wait until you arrive at Kathmandu airport. If you plan to obtain Nepal visa upon arrival, please, bring one passport picture and US$ 25 cash to pay in visa fee. They do not accept other forms of payments.

Trip Difficulty Level, Road and Transport.

This is basically motor vehicle based tour suitable for travelers of all ages with regular health condition. We do not have any risk of altitude in this trip. Sightseeing involves some walking and climbing the stairways. We provide good condition vehicles which are mid size sedan car or SUVs or vans, depending on the group size.. We just need your cooperation and flexibility, when something unexpected happens during the tour.

Accommodations.

We provide choice of accommodations from 3 star in the budget category, 4 star in the first class and 5 star in the deluxe category. You will have private bathroom with running hot and cold water.

Meals.

The tour cost includes daily breakfast in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Lumbini and full board in Chitwan National Park.The tour also features a Nepali welcome dinner that will be booked in a typical Nepali restaurant.

All the hotels do have onsite restaurants and several other choices of restaurants in the walking distance. Ask your guide for recommendations. Please, budget US$10-15 for a decent 3 course meal.

The restaurants serve Nepali, Indian, Chinese and western style dishes. 

Guides

Our guides are college educated locals, proficient in English and trained and licensed by local tourism authorities. Most importantly they are friendly and committed to deliver the best services. Guide and driver is not the same person.

Best time for this trip

This trip can be undertaken throughout the year but definitely October and November are the best months when temperatures are mild, skies are clear and we have clear visibility. The second best season is from March through early May. Temperatures are still mild and we have rhododendrons and other wild flowers in bloom during this season.

Booking

US$ 300 is requested along with a completed booking form. You can put the deposit on your credit card or send check. Balance payment is due 90 days prior to the arrival date. Balance payment on credit card attracts additional 3.5% fee. If the trip is booked within 90 days prior to the arrival date, we request full payment at the time of booking.

Cancellation and refund

Cancellation request must be received by us in written form. Cancellation fee of the landcost will be as below.

  • 90 days prior departure: Administrative fee US$ 150 per person.
  • 60-89 day's prior departure: US$ 250 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • 45 days to 59 days prior departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • 30 days to 44 days prior departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Less than 30 days:100%

Accomodation

Kathmandu: Holy Himalaya

Chitwan: River View Jungle Camp

Lumbini: Buddha Maya Garden

Pokhara: Lakeside Retreat

Kathmandu: Hotel Shambhala

Chitwan: Green Park or Jungle Villa

Lumbini: Buddha Maya Garden

Pokhara: Atithi Resort

Kathmandu: Soaltee Crowne Plaza or Yak and Yeti

Chitwan: Barahi Hotel

Lumbini: Hotel Kasai

Pokhara: Fishtail Lodge

Hotels subject to availability.

Add Ons

Trishuli River Rafting

US$ 70

Trishuli River Rafting

Trishuli River is the first choice of a rafting enthusiast and is also suitable for family adventures. It’s 3+ and 4-graded river and can be run throughout the year. The rafting put in and take out locations are in convenient distance from Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan National Park. Rafting trip in Trishuli can be made for a varied duration, depending upon the availability of time and interest. Scenic valleys and impressive gorges, exhilarating rapids and easier sections as well as the right amount of time all make it the perfect trip for first-time as well as experienced rafters. Rafting trip down Trishuli River provides an excellent opportunity to observe the diversity of demography, landscapes, and cultural heritage and the flora and fauna. We can experience the thrills of white-water on the course of three days trip. The river trip is best done in two days and traveler with time constraint can also do a day trip.

During the monsoon, Trishuli River promises a more challenging ride, with powerful rapids and whirlpools. When the river is running high and wild, there are hardly any rafters around, and rafting on the Trishuli River is without a doubt the most exciting thing you can do in Nepal during monsoon and quite possibly one of the best two days big water rafting trips offered anywhere. There are numerous exciting rapids as the name of Snail's nose, Teendevi, Malekhu rapid, Monkey rapid, Upset, Surprise, Monsoon, Cotton Pony, Ladies Delight, S-Bend, Highway, Monsoon and Pinball Rapid. This makes your fun more challenging during high flows with a good mixture of continuous rapids and pleasant calm water.

Kuringhat, a small and picturesque village is an ending spot from where you can drive to Kathmandu or Royal Chitwan National Park or Pokhara to continue your adventure in the Himalayas.

Everest View Flight

US$ 215

Mountain Flight

Buddha Air and other major domestic airlines of Nepal operate one hour daily mountain flight over the Himalayas which is an wonderful opportunity to view Mount Everest and other majestic peaks without venturing into a laborious trekking. Of the fourteen peaks higher than 8000 meters, eight are in Nepal. Although there is no denying that walking up and down the hills for a close up view of the Himalaya is very much worth the effort, this we have to confess is not for everyone, due to the physical and time requirements. Buddha Air’s Everest Experience is meant especially for those who don’t want to leave Nepal without touching the sacred and majestic Himalaya. To get the best of the weather conditions in the mountains where strong winds start blowing gathering clouds and raising snow plumes which block the view as the day progresses ahead, mountain flights take place early in the morning. Mountain flight is something you don’t want to miss while you are traveling in Nepal.

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(Formerly Highland Asia Travel)

United States

8030 Old Cedar Ave S, Suite 123
Minneapolis, MN 55425
Tel: 1 612 605 4428
Fax: 612 807 1137

Nepal

Kapoordhara, Samakhusi, Kathmandu
Tel (977 1) 4351780, 4381823
Fax +977-1-4381369

Bhutan

KMT Building, Nordzin Lam, Thimphu
Tel (975-2) -329098 / +975-77204087
Fax (+975) 2 337004

Tibet

B5-1-2, B3 dong, Renchen garden,
No 13 Jiangsu road Lhasa Tibet China.
Tel: +86-(891)-6836609,
Fax: +86-(891)-6836619


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