Explore Nepal Tour tries to provide travelers with a taste of the country’s rich culture and amazing natural landscpaes. It is the country of the world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest and the birthplace of Lord Buddha. There are over 100 different ethnic groups residing within a dramatic landscape that rises from 150 meters in the south to 8,848 meters at the summit of Mt Everest in the north. Our Explore Nepal Tour is an exciting mix of adventure to experience and explore the rich and diverse Nepalese landscape and culture that will satisfy both mind, body, and spirit. This 12-day tour begins by visits to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu followed by a scenic Mt. Everest flight among the high and mighty Himalayas. We also trek in the beautiful Annapurna region, one of the most popular trekking regions in the world, visit popular landmarks in the beautiful lake city of Pokhara and end our tour with stunning nature walks and a jungle safari in the tropical jungles of Chitwan. Explore Nepal Tour is indeed a tour fit for anybody who wishes to delve into the beauty of this small but naturally rich country in a limited amount of time. Being a combination of adventure and leisure, this tour guarantees its visitors fun to the fullest.
Upon our arrival in the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, we will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Aster who will drop us off at our hotel. In the evening dinner with cultural show Hostess by Himalayan Aster Treks and overnight at hotel.
Early in the morning we leave our hotel for an hour-long mountain flight and acquire the closest possible aerial views of the world’s highest peak, Mt Everest, the world’s second highest peak, Kanchenjunga and other high Himalayas along with a clear glimpse of the Tibetan Plateau. In the afternoon, we visit four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu. Kathmandu Durbar Square is rich with ancient palaces with spectacular art and architecture. Pashupatinath Temple is one of the holiest places for Hindus. The ancient Boudhanath Stupa is one of the largest stupas in the world and the Swayambhunath Stupa meaning the “the self-existent” is popular among foreigners as the Monkey Temple owing to the large monkey population residing in the area. Overnight in Kathmandu.
We fly to Pokhara early in the morning. We can catch amazing views of the Himalayas from the right side of our airplane. Upon our arrival in Pokhara, the beautiful lake city, we are rewarded with magnificent views of the Himalayas including Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchhare, the five peaks of Annapurna and others. After taking a rest, we drive to Naya Pul and start the trek. We pass through sub-tropical valley forests, sometimes on the carved trail on the side of the cliff. After lunch, we cross the Modi Khola (river) via a suspension bridge to the village of Tikhedhunga. The Ulleri Hill with thousands of steps and boulders that continually go upward will really prove a test of our stamina. We reach Ulleri by late afternoon. Overnight in Ulleri.
After breakfast, we ascend to the Ghorepani village. The name Ghorepani in Nepali means ‘horse-water’ owing to its role as an important campsite for traders before it became a trekker’s stop. Ghorepani is an interesting place with small shops and stalls for selling local products and crafts. The town has two parts: one in a saddle and the other a few hundred feet lower. We stop at the higher part of the Ghorepani village that offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains including Annapurna South and Nilgiri mountains. Since Ghorepani lies quite higher than our previous stop, we begin to feel the chilly weather especially in the evenings. Overnight in Ghorepani.
To catch the sunrise over the Himalayas, we make an early morning climb along the steep trail to the viewpoint of Poon Hill (3,210m/10,529ft), the most popular trekking destination of the Annapurna region and a great viewpoint to enjoy amazing views of Mustang, Pokhara and more than 20 of the highest mountains including the close-up views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. The snowy peaks of the high mountains loom above and around us glowing in the morning light. After taking photographs and having some coffee or tea or hot chocolate, we return back to Gorepani. After breakfast, we head east and climb a nearby ridge. We descend through rhododendron forests, pass by spectacular waterfalls along the way and reach Tadapani to spend the night.
From Tadapani, we make a steep descent through the dense and dark forest. This part of the trek will be through a thick forest of old rhododendron trees, that when are in bloom, actually turn into gardens of dazzling red flowers when seen from the air or from afar. By afternoon, depending upon the season of travel, we will be pleasantly surprised by the sight of cherry blossoms in bloom on the slopes on the other side of the ravine. After trekking for a while, we enter the village of Ghandruk, a slope settlement with stone houses mostly inhabited by the Gurung people. Along with enjoying the towering views of the Fishtail, Annapurna South, and Hiunchuli mountains, we also acquaint ourselves with the simple but rich cultural traditions of the Gurung people at the Gurung Museum in Ghandruk.
Today, we trek from Ghandruk to Naya Pul then drive back to Pokhara. The trek will be downhill all the way to Birethanti. We step onto a staircase paved with stone slabs, curving in and out of the village followed by terraced farms. It keeps on going down almost without any break from Ghandruk until Modi Khola river valley. By the time we arrive at Birethanti, some of us might feel like we just participated in a downhill marathon. But our ordeal is not over yet. From Birethanti, a half-an-hour’s walk takes us into Naya Pul. The journey on foot comes to an end at Nayapul. Then, we drive from Nayapul to Pokhara for an overnight stay.
Early in the morning we leave for Sarangkot, a hill that overlooks the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges in the north and Pokhara city in the south. From here, we catch amazing views of the sun as it rises in the mighty Himalayas. We then head back to Pokhara and continue touring the city’s landmarks. Davis Fall is a unique waterfall that flows directly into a narrow and deep canal which has no end. The Shiva Cave is located near to Davis Fall and houses a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, a primary Hindu God. We also do some boating in Phewa Lake, the largest lake in Pokhara and visit Bindyabasini Temple located at the center of the Lake. We visit the famous International Mountain Museum (IMM) that records, documents and chronicles the past and present development of mountaineering activities in the world and the Himalayas in particular. We also tour the Tibetan refugee camp and witness how the refugees keep themselves busy by producing and trading woolen carpets and other handicraft items. Overnight in Pokhara.
After breakfast, we say goodbye to the beautiful northern skyline of Pokhara and drive towards Chitwan, a city located at the foot of the Churia range and famous for housing Chitwan National Park (CNP), the first national park in Nepal, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon reaching Chitwan, we take a jungle/nature walks depending into the national park. During nature walks we enjoy the company of a wide variety of flora and fauna and spend some time bird watching. In the evening, there will be a presentation on the wide range of flora and fauna of CNP. Overnight in Chitwan.
Today, we excite the animal lover inside us. Early in the morning, we will be mounted on elephant backs for a jungle safari through dense grasslands to witness wildlife in their natural habitat. After breakfast, we visit the elephant stables and even enjoy bathing the elephants. During the afternoon we can either drive through the jungles by Jeep or followed by a canoe ride down the Rapti River. During the safari, we go deep into the jungle and spot deer, the endangered one-horn rhinoceros, along with other wild animals. If lucky, we may even spot the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger. While canoeing, we may get a close look at the Gharial and Mugger Crocodiles along with fresh water dolphins, otters and varieties of water birds. Or, we may even go for birding or nature walk and come closer to a variety of wild flora and fauna found in the park. Overnight in Chitwan.
Early in the morning, we engage ourselves in birding as Chitwan National Park is also home to a large variety of resident and migratory birds. We then have breakfast and drive towards Kathmandu. Our journey will be on the Terai plains while in and near Chitwan and gradually move to a more winding road as we come closer to Kathmandu. Along the way, we can enjoy the beautiful hilly terrains and small houses. We reach Kathmandu in the evening. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner in the evening.
Our journey in Nepal comes to an end today! A Himalayan Aster representative will escort us to the airport approximately 3 hours before our scheduled flight. On our way home, we have plenty of time to plan our next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.