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Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu

Best of Nepal

Example 14 Day Tour
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Experience the best of Nepal through a journey that will leave you in awe of its iconic sites and magnificent treasures. Spiritually charge the experience as you spend two nights at a monastery, learning more about the rich cultural heritage, intricate art, and architecture, and find solace in the serene natural hideaways that lie beyond Kathmandu. Immerse yourself in a local community where you can witness a social project that supports the education of underprivileged school children. Marvel at the majestic Himalayan peaks and serene lakes that adorn this breathtaking landscape. Encounter a harmonious coexistence between wild animals and birds as you explore their natural habitat. This trip offers the perfect opportunity for travelers seeking cultural immersion and the history of Nepal. 
Traditional Nepali DressCommunity Support Program in the villageTemple in PokharaKathmandu Dunbar SquareBhaktapur Durbar SquareNamobudhha MonasteryOne-horned Rhinos in Chitwan National ParkElephants in Chitwan National ParkChitwan National ParkBoudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu
Highlights
  • Discover Kathmandu's UNESCO Heritage sites
  • Wander through ancient temples and bustling bazaars
  • Engage with Buddhist monks and witness their daily rituals
  • Travel to Pokhara, gateway to Annapurna trekking circuit
  • See how serene Phewa Lake mirrors the surrounding peaks
  • Witness the incredible wildlife in Chitwan National Park
  • See rare animals in the jungle on foot with a naturalist guide
Places Visited
Activity Level: Easy Active
Moderately active but not overly strenuous. This level includes activities like casual cycling, yoga, or excursions/activities that typically last 3-5 hours total each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu

Welcome to the Himalayan country of Nepal. Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, a representative will welcome you and assist you in transferring to your hotel in Kathmandu. This evening, you will have the opportunity to have a traditional Nepali dinner with a cultural show of various ethnic groups in Nepal. You will also be invited to participate in a cultural dance and have ample time to get to know each other. After dinner, transfer back to Hotel Shambala in Kathmandu for a good night's rest.

Day 2: Kathmandu | Patan (Lalitpur)

Kathmandu, the largest city in Nepal, is the political and cultural capital of the country. Kathmandu is a city where ancient traditions rub shoulders with the latest technological advances. However, it is the grandeur of the past that enchants the visitor, whose gaze may linger on an exquisitely carved wooden window frame, an 18th-century bronze sculpture, or the spiritually uplifting stupas. Like any big city, Kathmandu has seen rapid expansion in the last decade, but despite the hustle and bustle so typical of metropolitan cities, its people remain as refreshingly friendly as ever. Retaining its ancient traditions, Kathmandu is blessed by a Living Goddess and is enriched by endless ceremonial processions and events that take to the streets every now and then with throngs of devotees seeking blessings. These religious festivals are steeped in legend and are quite a spectacle, with chariot processions and masked dancers often possessed by the spirits of deities. Keep an eye out for these as you explore the city of Kathmandu today.

After breakfast, meet your guide at approximately 9 a.m. in the hotel lobby, from where you will start the Kathmandu tour. Your guide will provide an overview of the day's activities before you leave the hotel.

You will head to the city of Patan, which is the second largest of the three major cities in the Kathmandu Valley. After a short stroll around Durbar Square, you will have an idea of the past regime and culture of the ancient Kingdom of Nepal. You will also visit several Buddhist shrines and monasteries founded in the ancient and medieval periods, some of which even date back to the B.C. era, including the Mahaboudha temple, Golden temple, Rudra varna maha vihara, Ashoka stupa, etc.

After lunch, you will drive to Boudhanath Stupa, which is known to be one of the largest Stupas in the world and the most important pilgrimage site for the followers of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. This Buddhist complex, which is in the form of a mandala when observed aerially, is adorned with prayer wheels on the outside and circumnavigated daily by visitors, religious and non-religious alike.

Your final destination of the day is another Buddhist heritage site in the valley, Swayambhunath Stupa, situated at a vantage point that gives you a good sunset view of the valley. Believed to have risen spontaneously (thus its name) from a lotus seed planted by an ancient Buddha of the past, the shrine is commonly known as a ‘’Monkey Temple", as you can observe these impish yet harmless beasts running around in groups or alone without any concern for the world.

Today, you will stay overnight at the Hotel Shambala in Kathmandu.

 

Day 3: Kathmandu | Bhaktapur

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, you will travel and explore the Kathmandu Valley's historical district, Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Bhaktapur is a living museum with fascinating palaces, courtyards, royal baths, sculptures, pagodas, temples in the Shikhara style, Buddhist monasteries, and exquisite architecture. In other words, this is the most stunning Durbar you will see while visiting Nepal.

The remaining monuments are still the best representations of medieval excellence, despite the bad luck the 1934 earthquake brought to their structures. You can visit the traditional painting school right by the square, where you can purchase the best souvenirs of Nepal. In addition to the palace complex, other attractions in Bhaktapur include the Pottery Square, Dattatraya Square, and Peacock Window, five-story temples with some of the city's most admired architectural features. During your time there, you will be visiting the oldest temple in Nepal, Changunarayan, in the little hills of Bhaktapur. The family-run homestay in Changnarayn will be your place to stay for the evening, at the Mahankal Homestay (Sarju family house).

Day 4: Changunaryan | Namobuddha Monastery

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, you will visit a social community support project under the NGO READI, Shree Krishna Primary School. Mystic Mountain Adventures practices sustainable and responsible travel and is part of Community Social Responsibility (CSR), supporting the community school at Changunaryan. It aims to empower people through education, raising awareness, sharing knowledge, and on-the-job training. At the local community level, this program mobilizes local communities to enhance people's skill levels through responsible and accountable technical training, communication, and computer education.

This evening, drive to Namobuddha, a Buddhist monastery and sacred site at the top of the hill. In Namobuddha, you will stay overnight at Namobudhha monastery with Nepali monks and observe, pray, and eat together. You will experience peace of mind, solitude, and relaxation as you observe the Buddhist monks living a simple, content life.

Overnight at Namobudhha Monastery.

Day 5: Pokhara

After breakfast, head out for approximately 7 hours of driving along the winding riparian highway that will take you to Pokhara, the second-biggest tourist destination in Nepal after Kathmandu. The valley has several attractions and activities, including a couple of canoe-able lakes, breathtaking views of snow-white peaks, visiting stupas, temples, viewpoints, etc. Pokhara is the most beautiful city in Nepal. It is often said to be the Switzerland of Nepal. Pokhara offers a combination of nature and culture and is mostly known as the gateway to the trekking route "Round Annapurna". The beautiful city, with a population of around 200,000, has several beautiful lakes and mysterious caves and offers panoramic views of mountains. Pokhara represents a last chance to stock up on creative comforts before hitting the mountain trails. Pokhara offers adventure activities such as trekking, mountain flights, paragliding, boating, fishing, swimming, etc.

You can spend your free day in Pokhara by exploring its banks or canoeing on Phewa Lake. This evening, experience a 2-hour basic introduction to meditation and mindfulness by a Nepali instructor. In Pokhara, you will stay overnight at the Dahlia Boutique Hotel.

Day 6: Tikedhunga | Trek to Ulleri

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, your trekking guide will take you for an hour's drive to Tikedhunga and start the trek to Ulleri, a large and prosperous town beside the Modi River. Your trek entails a long uphill start with steep stone steps to the village. Awaiting you at the top is an incredible landscape with pure Himalayan scenery. 

Overnight at a local mountain lodge.

Elevation: 2,000 m / 6,561 ft
Distance: 1 hr drive and approximately 4 hrs walk

Day 7: Trek to Ghorepani

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, start a pleasant day's trekking through rhododendrons and oak forests. The scenery gives you the inner power to climb up these steps and immerses you in walking more. After a few hours of walking with several breaks in between, you can enjoy the fantastic views of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna Himalayan ranges.

Overnight at a local mountain lodge.

Elevation: 2,850 m / 9,350 ft
Distance: Approximately 5- 6 hrs walk

Day 8: Poon Hill | Trek to Tadapani

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, prepare for a very early start for a 40-minute hike up to Poon Hill. There, a brilliant viewpoint provides you with an unobstructed sunrise over the high Himalayas and a wide range of panoramic scenery from the far western Himalayas of Dolpo, Mt. Dhaulagiri, and Annapurna, including Mt. Machhapuchre (Fish Tail) and Manasalu. After an incredible morning view, head back to Ghorepani for breakfast before continuing to Tadapani for the night.

Overnight at a local mountain lodge.

Elevation: 2,540 m / 8,332 ft
Distance: Approximately 6 - 7 hrs walk

Day 9: Trek to Ghandruk | Pokhara

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Continuing your trek to Ghandruk, the trail ascends and becomes steeper before you reach Ghandruk, which is the largest Gurung (a popular ethnic group from the western region of Nepal) settlement in the area with the closest views of Annapurna and Machhapuchre to the north. Explore the local village and see locals dressed in traditional clothes in the evening before making your way back to Pokhara.

Upon arrival in Pokhara, your transfer will take you to your hotel for a much-needed rest. Enjoy the evening on your own. 

Today, you will stay overnight at the Dahlia Boutique Hotel in Pokhara.

Day 10: Sarangkot

You will set out early in the morning for the hilltop village of Sarangkot to relish the magnificent sunrise over the Himalayas. After getting back to the hotel for breakfast, visit the main attractions of Pokhara, including Davies Falls, Gupteshwar Cave, and the International Mountain Museum, before concluding at Phewa Lake, where you can go boating if you like. Explore as you like for the rest of the day.

Day 11: Chitwan National Park

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The journey toward the southern belt starts early, and in approximately 4 hours, you will reach the jungle resort located in one of the buffer zones of Chitwan National Park. You will participate in a few jungle activities, like a birdwatching tour or jungle walk, at the discretion of the nature guide. In the evening, enjoy a performance of the traditional stick dance by the native Tharu people who dwelled in the forest area even when it was uninhabitable.

Chitwan means “heart of the jungle.” In recent years, Chitwan has topped the list of things to do in Asia. It is a true wildlife adventure of a different kind: jungle safaris on jeeps, birdwatching, canoe rides, and jungle walks.

Asia's best-preserved conservation area, Chitwan National Park, is home to thriving wildlife and intact habitats. Only a half-hour flight from Kathmandu, the park lies in the Inner Terai lowlands and consists of Sal forests, tall elephant grasslands, hills, ox-box lakes, and flood plains of the Narayani, Rapti, and Reu rivers. The park covers 932 square km and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Natural) in 1984.

You will stay at Safari Adventure Lodge in Chitwan National Park.

Day 12: Chitwan National Park

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
You will have the chance to experience several adventurous jungle activities, including canoeing along the Rapti River, a visit to the elephant breeding center, a jeep safari, and many more. In addition to the one-horned rhinoceros, crocodiles and deer are typical sights in the national park. While traveling, you might even see a tiger, leopard, or python if you’re lucky. Besides animals, there are nearly 450 different species of birds in the park, which will make the forest safari colorful.

Day 13: Kathmandu

After breakfast, drive to Kathmandu! You will have a local market exploration of the oldest part of Kathmandu, and then you will have a free evening to buy souvenirs and shop for memories of Nepal.

Day 14: Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, you will transfer to the international airport to catch your flight to your next destination.

Goodbye, Nepal! 

Accommodations

Hotel Shambala - Kathmandu

Hotel Shambala - Kathmandu
Hotel lobby
Hotel Lobby

Dahlia Boutique Hotel - Pokhara

Hotel Reception Area
Hotel Lounge
Dahlia Boutique Hotel - Pokhara

Safari Adventure Lodge

Safari Adventure Lodge
Safari Adventure Lodge
Cottage area

Annapurna Mountain Lodges

Mountain Lodge
Mountain Lodge
Mountain Lodge

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$1,750

Notes

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Included
  • 13 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 13 Nights Accommodations
  • 13 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Government fees and taxes
  • Professional local English speaking guides throughout your tour
  • 24/7 On-Call Support
  • All private airport transfer and ground transportation as per the program
  • Welcome authentic Nepali dinner with Cultural Dance performance
  • All Entrance Tickets to UNESCO heritage sites, Museums, and place to visits as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All National Park and Jungle activities fees in Chitwan
  • Accommodation and all meals are included in the homestay and the monastery.
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Airport Departure Tax
  • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges
  • Entry Visas to the country
  • Horse renting and additional porters due to unforeseen natural calamities during the trek

Map

When to Go

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Dec
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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor
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