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Highlights of Nepal Himalaya


10 days 9 nights

Code NP-HN9

Category Nepal Classic Tours

  • Group Size 1-10 Person
  • Difficulty Level 3
  • Rating Popular
  • Highest Altitude 7,200 ft at Nagarkot
  • Trip Starts From Kathmandu
  • Trip Ends At Kathmandu
  • Accommodation Hotels
  • Type Tours
  • Destination Kathmandu Nagarkot Bandipur Pokhara Sarangkot Chitwan
Dates & Prices

Overview

This trip is a non-trekking trip with options of short day hiking and some mild adventures such as jungle safari, dugout canoe trip, boating, etc. The journey begins with a cultural exploration of UNESCO recognized world heritage sites of Kathmandu valley that includes medieval palaces, Hindu temples, and Buddhist monasteries. The tour allows meeting the locals as you travel to the traditional villages and experience their lifestyle. 

The hill resorts of Nagarkot and the medieval town of Bandipur offers spectacular views of the Himalaya mountains on bright weather days, terraced farmlands and pristine nature. You will also have the opportunity of short day hiking if you wish.

Pokhara-a glaciated valley situated in the lap of mighty Annapurna mountains is known for its lake, gorges and peaceful nature. You will enjoy the fresh air, pristine surroundings, and great mountain views.

There are no strenuous hiking or any severe adventure, and so anyone with an average health condition can enjoy this trip.

Trip highlights

  • Ancient and medieval temples, palaces and stupas of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan.
  • Traditional Newari towns of Khokana, Kirtipur, and Bandipur
  • Spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains and panoramic views of the valleys from Nagarkot and Bandipur
  • Walking tour through the villages, terraced farmlands and pine forests.
  • Jungle safari activities.
  • Enjoy the scenic beauty of Pokhara that includes lake, deep gorges, ridge-top viewpoints, etc.
  • Opportunities for hiking.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~Arrive in Kathmandu

Kathmandu Altitude 1310 m/4, 297 ft.

Meet your guide upon arrival at Kathmandu airport. You can obtain a Nepal visa upon arrival if you don't have one yet. Don't forget to bring one passport picture and US$ 25 cash to pay in visa fee. After clearing immigration and custom, meet our local representative outside the airport and transfer by van to your hotel in the city.

After wash and change, set out with our guide to explore the wonders of Kathmandu - this was formerly known as Kantipur, meaning the city of beauty. Begin from the 2000-year-old Buddhist shrine of Swayambhunath Stupa situated on a hillock about 260 ft above the valley floor. Revered by both Hindus and Buddhist, the monument is a glittering golden spire on a large white lofty dome. There are numerous shrines and monasteries around. We can also enjoy panoramic views of the valley and the mountains from here.

We descend and drive into the heart of the city to visit the Durbar Square with former Royal Palace and an array of temples rich in wood carving, metal works, and stone sculptures. While the interior of the palace that houses some museums is not so appealing, but the exterior and the environs are amazingly beautiful. We visit Kumari House, the residence of Kumari - the Living Goddess of Nepal who is the manifestation of Goddess Taleju - the patron of the rulers of Nepal! On request, the goddess gives a quick audience from the balcony. She stays here as Kumari until she reaches the puberty. Some crucial parts of Durbar Square were destroyed in a recent earthquake, one of which was this exciting and legendary. However, there are many other things to see, like Jagannath temple, Shiva Parvati temple, etc.

We take a tricycle rickshaw ride through the traditional bazaars of Indrachowk and Assan and end up in the tourist hub of Thamel. In Thamel, most budget lodging, restaurants, handicraft stores, and bargain places are concentrated.

Tonight, you are joined by our local staff for a Nepali welcome dinner in a typical Nepali restaurant. You can also enjoy Nepali folklore dancing shows along with dinner.

Overnight: Maya Manor Boutique Hotel
Meals : Dinner
Day 02~Kathmandu: Patan City, Khokana and Kirtipur

Optional: This morning, you can go for an hour-long Everest view flight. Everyone gets window seat from where you will enjoy the eye-level view of Mount Everest and other majestic peaks of the Himalaya. Currently, one-hour long flight costs US$ 197 plus you need to pay the round trip airport transfer, which costs $10.

After the flight, you will return to the hotel for breakfast, and after that, we set out to explore the attractions of the valley that includes former palaces, temples, and monasteries.

We first visit Patan City - famed as the City of Arts and craft where we visit its Dubar Square with former palaces and ancient temples with intricate carvings. We browse through the narrow streets with handicraft stores, jewelers, crafters, thangka painters, lined up on both sides and visit some of the olden temples and monasteries of Patan. We take a chance to take a peek inside the workshops of woodcarvers and metal crafters.

From here, we take a short drive to Khokana. It is a small typical Newari village that offers a window back in time, with houses made up of bricks and roofed with tiles. Here, people are busy in their daily chores such as women spinning wool or winnowing rice or making mattresses, farmers baling straw, tailors stitching, etc. In the main village square is the triple-tiered Shekala Mai Temple (also known as Rudrayani) with carved balconies covered by fretwork screens.

Now, we continue to Kirtipur where the majority of the population are farmers. The town, although it's near to the capital, looks decades behind in time. We walk through the stone-paved streets and visit Baghbhairab and Uma Maheshwara Temple. We will also sneak a peek into a private house and have some insight into their life. Kirtipur also provides a panoramic view of the valley and snow-capped mountains. We return to the hotel late afternoon.

Overnight: Maya Manor Boutique Hotel
Meals : Breakfast
Day 03~Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, Bhaktapur and Nagarkot

(Altitude 2000m/6, 560 ft., 32 km/20 miles)

Following breakfast, we check out hotel as we spend overnight in Nagarkot today. We visit a few attractions of the valley before we head to Nagarkot.

We first visit the magnificent Boudhanath Stupa. With 328 m long periphery of octagonal shape and 125 f height, Boudhanath is among the largest Buddhist monument in the world. Initially built in the 5th century, the stupa is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhist people. They are predominantly Tibetan as Tibetan refugees have made the area their home, and there are several monasteries of different Buddhist schools.

Next, we stop in Pashupatinath Temple -that claims to be one of the holiest Hindu temples in entire South Asia. Situated on the bank of Bagmati River which is a tributary of sacred Ganges-the temple attracts Hindu devotees from all over the country and India. Admission to the temple is reserved for Hindus only, yet we can have a close-up view of the temple and activities in the premises from another side of the river. The temple and the surroundings are vibrant with rites and rituals performed by Hindu devotees. We will also have the opportunity to watch the Hindu cremation services in the bank of the river.

Another stop is in Bhaktapur - one of the three medieval principalities of Kathmandu valley and the best-preserved one. Bhaktapur, with its Durbar Square with beautiful palaces and temples with intricate wood carving and fabulous stone sculptures and brick-paved streets, looks like an open-air museum!  We walk through the narrow alleys with private houses on both sides and visit potter’s square where we learn the traditional methods of pottery making. We will also take a chance to stop by a woodcarvers’ workshop near Dattatreya.

Now exit the town and continue on a scenic to Nagarkot. The road zigzags up and climbs through the terraced farmlands, juniper and pine trees and beautiful villages to the ridge top of Nagarkot. On a clear weather day, a wide range of Himalaya mountains unfolds right in front of us as we arrive. We check into the hotel, and after some refreshment, we take a relaxed stroll around.

Overnight: Club Himalaya Resort
Meals : Breakfast
Day 04~Travel to Bandipur

(Altitude 1100m/3608 ft., distance 55 miles, 3 hrs)

We get up early morning for sunrise view. The mountains blush and gleam as the first rays of the sun fall upon them, and the panoramic views of the valleys create an exhilarating scene. Take a leisurely walk in the environs, and after breakfast, we pack and leave for Bandipur-a sleepy town of medieval flair in west Nepal.

After breakfast, we travel back to Kathmandu and then leave for Bandipur. As we leave Kathmandu, the road winds down and follows the course of Trishuli River, and we arrive in Kurintar in about four hours. We stop here to take the cable car trip to the temple of Goddess Manokamana, situated at the top of the ridge on the other side of the River. The goddess is known for fulfilling the wishes of her visitors! Every day, thousands of Hindu devotees flock into the temples with offerings that may include the animal sacrifice of goats and chickens. We enjoy a bird's eye view over the terraced fields, river, villages and with luck, Himalayan mountains in the far north.

Nearly 19 miles from Kurintar is the roadside town of Dumre where we leave the main highway and take the road in the left that leads to Bandipur. Bandipur is a beautifully preserved village situated at the contour of a ridge. The town retains its beautiful 18th-century architecture, pedestrian zone, and outdoor seating.

Check into your boutique heritage style accommodation and after wash up and change, take a stroll through the town; its main street lined with traditional row houses. At the north-east end of the avenue is the temple of Bindebashini and opposite that is Mahalaxmi Temple. The temples carry the rich wooden carving and detailed brass-work and are replicas of those found in the many old pagoda structures of the Kathmandu Valley. 

Overnight: The Old Inn
Meals : Breakfast
Day 05~Bandipur sightseeing and afternoon to Pokhara

(Altitude 2919 ft., distance 44 miles, 2h 30m)

On a clear day, Bandipur offers spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains.

After breakfast, we explore the town of Bandipur and the attractions around.

 

We begin with a visit to the Khadga Devi Temple, the most sacred and auspicious temple in Bandipur. Then we head up to the Martyrs Memorial Area, which honors seven Bandipur men who were killed during the anti-Rana revolt of 1951. Then we head down to the shrine of Paarpani Mahadev (Shiva), who receives appeals for rain from Bandipur villagers during dry spells. We return to the bazaar along the main trail and visit the two other famous temples of Bandipur: Bindebashini and Mahalaxmi. The rich wooden carving and detailed brass-work that adorn the temple are replicas of those found in the many old pagoda structures of the Kathmandu valley.
If you want a bit more active walking, then we recommend a visit to the Silk Farm, which is less than half an hour’s walk towards the west. The staff there will give you an exciting tour-and-talk on the history and method of silk-harvesting in the Nepali hills.
Spend the balance of the day in the medieval-looking town. The houses here are compact and built with bricks having tin or slate roofs. The houses here are built with bricks and woods and display the authentic Newari architecture.
Afternoon, check out your hotel and continue our travel to Pokhara. We rejoin the highway in Dumre and proceed on a two or three hours scenic drive to Pokhara.

Check-in your hotel and take rest for the day.

Overnight: Atithi Resort and Spa
Meals : Breakfast
Day 06~Explore Pokhara

Early morning, we will go for a sunrise view in Sarangkot (1,592m/5,222 ft.).On a clear weather day, Sarangkot offers spectacular views of the western range of the Himalaya and the valleys.

We will return to the hotel for breakfast and then proceed for the exploration of Pokhara and the areas around. We will first take a boating trip in Lake Fewa to visit the Island temple of Goddess Barahi. Fewa Lake is the second largest lake of Nepal (Rara Lake in Mugu District is the largest) and is the foremost attraction of Pokhara.

Next, we visit the Bindhebasini Temple on a shady hillock, the center of religious activities in Pokhara. The temple enshrines Goddess Bhagwati, a manifestation of goddess Durga. The verdant grounds make a little picnic area. On Saturdays and Tuesdays devotees flock there to offer sacrifices, and it takes on a festive scene.

Nearby is the colorful traditional Old Bazaar, with its ethnically diverse traders. The temples and monuments show a close architectural connection with the Newari styles of Kathmandu valley. The market area is full of shops selling commodities ranging from edibles to cloth to cosmetics to gold. It is a pleasant and shady spot to stroll around.

There are quite a few other attractions that you can discuss with your guide and select for a visit. Perhaps, you want to see the startling gorge of Seti River at Mahendrapool. This place provides a perfect view of the river’s surging rush and deep canyon created by its powerful flow. Amazingly, at specific areas, the river appears hardly two meters wide. However, its depth is quite beyond imagination, over 20 meters.

Note: Depending on available time and your interest, we may or may not visit all the attractions listed above.

Overnight: Atithi Resort and Spa
Meals : Breakfast
Day 07~Chitwan National Park

(Altitude 492 ft. distance 98 miles, 5-6 hrs).

After breakfast, we leave for Chitwan National Park. We travel back on the same highway until Mugling (56 miles) where the road divides, and we take the one that leads us to Chitwan National Park. From here, Chitwan National Park is another scenic drive of 30 miles and should take about two hours.

After lunch at the resort, we will have some time to take rest. Later, our in-house guide will lead us a Tharu Village Tour. Tharu people are the aboriginal inhabitants of Chitwan, and many of them still follow their centuries-old lifestyle an traditions.

We spend the evening in the riverside deck gazing the wild animals that come for the water, and we also enjoy the sunset view. There will be a slide presentation about flora and fauna of Chitwan National Park.

Overnight: Green Park or Jungle Villa Resort
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 08~Chitwan National Park

We have a busy day today! After an early morning cup of tea or coffee, go for an elephant safari in the park. Most commonly spotted animals are Rhinoceros, deer, monkeys, wild boar and various species of birds.

Return to the lodge for breakfast and after that, join the elephant briefing program in the elephant stable. Learn about elephants, how they were captured in the wild and trained and tamed to work for the human being!

You will have some time to rest before lunch. After lunch, go for a dugout canoe trip on the Rapti River. We will catch sights of sunbathing crocodiles and aquatic birds such as kingfisher, storks, egrets, etc.

You may also join the mahouts (elephant driver) when they lead the elephants to the river to bath them. The elephant enjoys while you scrub and clean its massive body, and sometimes they like to throw water at each other as a form of playing. Spending time with them in daily activities makes the bond between elephants and humans stronger and shows them the affection that they may not have received before.  

We also visit the Gharial Conservation Center that preserves the endangered Gharial crocodile population that's declining from all over the world due to the high child mortality rate. So, the center collects the egg from their natural habitat, hatches them and keep them in the center until they are adult and released in the river systems.

Enjoy the sunset in the riverside deck with a cup of tea or coffee while Rhinos and other wildlife come to the river on another side to drink water. You may also be able to see the crocodiles in the riverside

.In the evening, there will be a 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: Green Park or Jungle Villa Resort
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 09~Flight back to Kathmandu

After breakfast, you are transferred to the airport for flight back to Kathmandu. It's a 25-minute scenic flight offering views of snow-capped mountains.

Upon arrival at Kathmandu airport, you will meet our driver who will transfer you to the hotel. 

Overnight: Maya Manor Boutique Hotel
Meals : Breakfast
Day 10~Depart Kathmandu

After breakfast, you will get transferred to the airport in time.

Trip Map

Trip Info

Trip Includes

  • Accommodation on double occupancy in four-star hotels by local standard.
  • Meals: Kathmandu, Nagarkot, and Pokhara with breakfast and Chitwan in full board.
  • All transfers and sightseeing by a private vehicle
  • English speaking guides for the tour.
  • Jungle safari excursions, including the admission fee.
  • Sightseeing admission fees.

Trip Does Not Include

  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu, Nagarkot, and Pokhara.
  • Drinks, tip, and other personal expenses.
  • Extra expenses due to nature and unforeseen events.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • International airfare to and out of Kathmandu.
  • Domestic airfares (price separately given) and airport taxes.
  • Nepal Visa Fee (US$ 25 for 15 days).

Trip Difficulty Level, Road, and Transport.

This trip is motor vehicle-based tour suitable for travelers of all ages with a reasonable health condition. The highest altitude that we attain in this trip is 7,200 ft at Nagarkot, and so we can stay worry-free about risks of elevation. Sightseeing involves some walking and hiking. A typical sightseeing day will be 6 or 7 hours long with a 1-hour lunch break. There are some long road trips, usually six hours. Roads are mostly on the hillside, following rivers, and some parts may be under paved or damaged by the monsoon rain. There can be landslides erosion blocking the roads temporarily when it rains heavily. There are also flight options between Kathmandu and Chitwan (25 minutes) and even between Pokhara and Kathmandu (35 minutes). Let us know if you want to take a flight option instead of road travel.

We provide good condition vehicles which are mid-size sedan car or SUVs or vans, depending on the group size. Drivers may speak little or no English.

Accommodations.

The trip accommodations are on first-class hotels, four-star by local standard. You will have an en suite bathroom with running hot and cold water. The hotels are small properties, but they are adequately comfortable. Room amenities include TV, refrigerator, phone, Wifi, etc. Usually, the hotels provide electric kettle with pouches of tea and instant coffee. Toiletry supplies are minimum; they provide local shampoo or soap. Do not expect the hair conditioners or body lotions. You also need to bring toothpaste and brush. Some hotels offer hairdryers, iron, and ironing tables on request. Accommodation in Chitwan National Park is in bungalow type rooms where we do not expect city hotel type amenities.

Meals.

The tour cost includes daily breakfast in Kathmandu, Nagarkot, and Pokhara. Breakfast will be American, Continental, or Indian style. In Chitwan National Park, you will be in full board plan. You should budget $10 approximately for a meal when you have to buy. 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 delivering the best services. Guide and driver is not the same person.

International and internal airfares

You will book your international airfare on your own and provide us your flight information. We can also help you find reasonable fares through our air ticket consolidator on your request. All domestic airfares are booked locally.

Passport and Visa

Your passport must be valid for at least six months at the time of travel, and there should be enough blank pages for entry and exit seals. You can obtain Nepal visa upon arrival at Kathmandu airport, or you can get it from nearest Nepali embassy abroad. Nepal visa costs US$30 for 15 days with multiple entry provision. You need to provide a passport-type picture with the completed form. At Kathmandu airport, they accept only cash in visa fee.

Best time for this trip

You can take this trip throughout the year, but October and November are the best months when temperatures are mild, and skies are clear. The monsoon season departs by the end of September, and so the road conditions are usually in good shape. The second preferred season is from March through early May. Temperatures are still calm, and we have rhododendrons and other wildflowers in bloom during this season. However, air quality in the valleys and the lower foothills of the mountains are not as good as in the fall season.

Booking and payment schedule

We request an initial deposit of US$ 300 along with with a completed booking form a passport scan. The balance payment is due 90 days before the trip date. The balance payment by a credit card attracts an additional fee of 3.5% to cover the merchant's commission.

Cancellation and refund

We must receive a cancellation request in written form by email or fax. Our cancellation fee structure is as follows.

  • Ninety days prior departure: Administrative fee US$ 150 per person.
  • Sixty-Eighty-nine day's before departure: US$ 250 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Forty-five days to Fifty-nine days before departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Thirty days to Forty-four days before departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Less than Thirty days: 100%.

Visa fee is non-refundable. Cancellation and refund of air tickets will be as per the airline's policy, and $25 will be levied by us to process the refund. For details, please view booking and cancellation terms and conditions

Accomodation

maya manor kathmandu
Maya Manor Kathmandu
club Himalaya
Club Himalaya, Nagarkot
jungle villa resort
Jungle Villa Resort, Chitwan
athithi resort pokhara2
Atithi Resort, Pokhara
old inn
Old Inn, Bandipur

Add Ons

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 - a 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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6603 Queen Ave S, Suite 2
Minneapolis, MN 55423
Tel: 1 612 605 4428
Fax: 612 807 1137

Nepal

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

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KMT Building, Nordzin Lam, Thimphu
Tel (975-2) -329098 / +975-77204087
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No 13 Jiangsu road Lhasa Tibet China.
Tel: +86-(891)-6836609,
Fax: +86-(891)-6836619


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