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Nepal: Himalaya Highlights

Nepal: Himalaya Highlights


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Itinerary

Countries Visited

Nepal

Tour Itinerary

Experience the essence of serenity with an overnight stay at a Buddhist Monastery, meet a graduate of the G Adventures-supported paralegal program for women, search out rhino in Chitwan National Park, get a firsthand demonstration of traditional apron weaving, learn how to make Nepalese momos (dumplings)

The Himalayan nation of Nepal boasts jaw-dropping mountain scenery and a vibrant culture to match. Wander the lively streets of Kathmandu, spend a night at a Buddhist monastery guesthouse, and take in astounding views of the Annapurna Himalaya in lakeside Pokhara. Then venture to Chitwan National Park, Nepal's oldest nature reserve, to seek out elephants, tigers, and a plethora of avian species.

Day 1: Kathmandu
Arrive any time. Arrival transfer is included. Enjoy a six-course welcome feast tonight, savouring the diverse flavours of Nepali cuisine.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Activity: The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you're back in time to meet the group. Check for the meeting time on the welcome note at the hotel. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.
Activity: Enjoy a six-course welcome dinner at Krishnarpan Restaurant, a culinary journey through the cuisine of Nepal. Serving some of the finest of Nepali flavours, enjoy this slow dining experience reminiscent of the ritual feasts enjoyed by the Kathmandu Valley's Newari community.
Accommodation: Hotel Traditional Comfort (or similar)
Meal(s): Dinner

Day 2: Kathmandu
Spend the day exploring Kathmandu, the colourful capital of this Himalayan nation. Pay a visit to Bodhnath Stupa, the holiest Tibetan Buddhist shrine outside of Tibet, and explore the wood-carved temples, pagados, and palaces of Bhaktapur, Nepal's medieval capital. Afterward, visit the Sisterhood of Survivors Project, dedicated to supporting female survivors of human trafficking. Meet a survivor who has successfully completed the project's paralegal training, and learn how to make momos—Nepalese dumplings—with women enrolled in the project's hospitality program. Enjoy your creations for lunch.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Activity: Enjoy a visit to the Bodhnath Stupa, one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world. Built in the 5th century, this UNESCO World Heritage site still attracts many pilgrims, particularly Tibetan Buddhists and local Nepalis. Take in the peaceful atmosphere and observe Buddhist monks in prayer in the monasteries surrounding the stupa.
Activity: Visit this unique old town known as the City of Devotees. Explore Hindu temples, pagodas, palaces, and monuments, including the beautiful wood-carved palace in Durbar Square. You can pick up clay pots and other souvenirs in the colourful open markets and taste home made yogourt, known as khopa dhau, which Bhaktapur is famous for.
Activity: Visit this G Adventures-supported grassroots organization that is helping to support rehabilitated survivors of human-trafficking and other at-risk women. SASANE, our project partners, train once vulnerable women to be certified paralegals, so that they are the first point of contact for other women coming out of abuse. Where survivors lack a high school diploma, the minimum requirements to be a paralegal, Planeterra and G Adventures have helped catalyze a hospitality program for these women to be reintegrated into a dignified work environment. The survivors will teach you how to make momos (traditional dumplings) as well as a Nepali lunch. The program helps support SASANE's outreach and education programs across Nepal.
Activity: Enjoy a talk with a woman who has graduated from the SASANE program, which trains victims of human trafficking and other at-risk women to be paralegals who, in turn, fight trafficking. Gain valuable insight and learn about the struggles these brave women face in helping others in their new roles as paralegals.
Accommodation: Hotel Traditional Comfort (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch

Day 3: Kathmandu/Pharping
Opt to take an early morning flight over Mount Everest, catching a glimpse of the highest peak on the planet; then venture to the ancient hilltop temple of Swayambhunath, decorated with vibrant prayer flags and home to troops of rhesus monkeys. Later, we'll hear about National Geographic Grantee Chhing Lhomi's efforts to preserve the weaving traditions of the Upper Mustang region through her work with the Himalayan Indigenous Society, a Kathmandu-based nonprofit. Then depart for nearby Pharping, known for its Buddhist pilgrimage sites, and settle into a tranquil monastery guesthouse for the night. Get an insider's view of monastery life, and enjoy a chanting and prayer service; or opt to take a walk in the monastery's peaceful grounds.
Activity: Visit Swayambhunath Buddhist temple and Unesco World Heritage Site, the most ancient and enigmatic of all the holy shrines in Kathmandu. Explore the structure and be sure to check out the Buddha's eyes painted on each side of the Stupa. The site is also known as the monkey temple, for the vast amount of creatures who call the complex home.
Activity: In Kathmandu, National Geographic grantee Chhing Lhomi works to preserve the ancient traditions of the Lowa community of the Upper Mustang region. We'll take the unique opportunity to visit a local home of a family from this region and enjoy a lecture from Chhing or one of her colleagues on traditional weaving methods, and hear about ongoing efforts with the Himalyan Indigenous Society.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Activity: Experience the serenity of a Buddhist monastery. The monastery guest house offers comfortable accommodations in a peaceful setting with balconies and private western-style bathrooms. Opt to participate in the life of the monks: take tea alongside them and enjoy the early morning chanting before experiencing the sunrise from the roof of this stunning monastery. There are approximately 200 young monks in residence, training in the Nyingmapa tradition. This is a new monastery (2006), and income from the guesthouse directly supports it.
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 4: Pharping/Kurintar
Rise at dawn to listen to the monks' morning chanting, and witness a stunning sunrise. Then drive to the small riverside village of Kurintar and hike to our lodge, nestled on a forested hill overlooking the Trishuli River. Opt to relax by the pool or take a guided walk through the surrounding countryside, stopping at local villages.
Activity: Rise before sunrise and enter the main hall of the Monastery to listen to the monks practicing their chanting. After, we enjoy the sunrise over the Valley from the Monastery roof.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Transport: Lace up your shoes and get to the next stop under your own power.
Accommodation: Summit River Lodge (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast Dinner

Day 5: Kurintar/Chitwan National Park
Today, we travel towards Chitwan National Park, Nepal's oldest wildlife reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The park is home to 68 recorded mammal species, including the one-horned rhino and the Bengal tiger, as well as hundreds of species of birds. Check in to our lodge, located on the banks of the East Rapti River. After lunch, board a traditional flat-bottomed boat for a river safari, keeping your eyes out for aquatic birds, crocodiles, and other riverine fauna.
Transport: Lace up your shoes and get to the next stop under your own power.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Activity: Embark in traditional patela boats on a silent trip down the Rapti River, which boarders the National Park to view aquatic birds, crocodiles, gharials, and the animals along the river banks.
Accommodation: Barahi Jungle Lodge (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 6: Chitwan National Park
Spend the day exploring Chitwan National Park on a variety of excursions; activities differ depending on the season. Set out on a jeep safari through the grasslands and forests, seeking out rhinos, leopards, elephants, monkeys, and the elusive Bengal tiger. Meet with a "tiger technician" from the Nepal Tiger Trust, a nonprofit dedicated to the protection and conservation of these majestic cats. Visit a farming village bordering the park for a glimpse of rural life, and return to our lodge this evening in time for a dance performance by the local Tharu people.
Activity: Enjoy a jeep safari that begins in open grassland and moves into the dense Sal Forest, crossing the Reu River to see different wildlife. Continue down to the banks of Narayani River and spot gharials (freshwater alligators) basking in the sun. Also, view wildlife from Bhimle Machan (a wooden platform).
Activity: Enjoy a visit to the farming Village bordering the National Park. Learn about the social and cultural aspects of the village people, what they farm, and see how they live day-to-day.
Activity: Nepal Tiger Trust is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of tigers in Nepal and is run by researchers and local community volunteers. Their Tiger Corridors Project has been monitoring these amazing cats in Chitwan National Park and adjacent areas for over five years. On this experience, meet with a local tiger "technician" who will give a presentation about the work here and its importance to conservation, tourism, and the community at large. He or she will then join us on a jeep safari to teach us how tigers are tracked and monitored. If we're lucky, we'll catch a glimpse of an elusive tiger.
Accommodation: Barahi Jungle Lodge (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 7: Chitwan National Park/Pokhara
Drive to Pokhara, an enchanting town set on the shores of turquoise-hued Phewa Lake against a backdrop of snowcapped Himalayan peaks. Enjoy a guided walk around the city, and opt to have dinner at a popular local restaurant.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Activity: Enjoy a brief walk with your CEO. He/she will give you some tips on finding things like supermarkets, main squares, and ATMs. For more specific or in-depth information, an official guided tour is recommended.
Accommodation: Temple Tree Resort & Spa (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 8: Pokhara
Venture to Sarangkot village early this morning and hike to the famed Sarangkot lookout to witness a breathtaking sunrise over the Annapurna Himalaya. Back in Pokhara, climb up a lush forest path to the gleaming white Peace Pagoda, built by Japanese monks after World War II. Later, visit a Tibetan refugee settlement, established by the United Nations in 1964. Learn about the history of the community on a walk through their photo gallery, and enjoy a traditional Tibetan lunch. In your free time, opt to go paragliding, or take a boat tour of Phewa Lake.
Activity: Rise early and experience a spectacular sunrise with a panoramic view of the surrounding Himalayas. The highest altitude on this trek is at 1600 meters.
Activity: Walk up to the World Peace Pagoda, which was constructed by Buddhist monks. Enjoy the structure and the beautiful view around it.
Activity: Visit the Tashiling Tibetan Refugee Camp, established by the United Nations in 1964 as a temporary settlement for the large number of refugees fleeing Tibet. Walk through this friendly quarter, now home to over 500 people. Visit the celebrated photo gallery here and then enjoy a traditional momo lunch at the local restaurant to support this incredible community.
Accommodation: Temple Tree Resort & Spa (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch

Day 9: Pokhara/Kathmandu
Catch a flight back to the capital, Kathmandu. Enjoy time to shop in the bustling Thamel district, or choose to visit Pashupatinath Temple, the most sacred Hindu temple complex in Nepal.
Transport: Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.
Free Time: Take some time to explore on your own or do some last minute shopping.
Accommodation: Hotel Traditional Comfort (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 10: Kathmandu
Depart at any time.
Activity: Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.
Meal(s): Breakfast

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Inclusions

Meals Included
9 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport
Private bus, plane, boat, walking, 4x4.

Inclusions
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: SASANE Lecture, Kathmandu Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Traditional Weaving and Indigenous Peoples Lecture, Kathmandu Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Overnight at a Buddhist Monastery, Pharping Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Neydo Monastery Sunrise Chant, Pharping Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Chitwan Tiger Experience, Chitwan National Park Your G for Good Moment: Sisterhood of Survivors Project, Kathmandu. Arrival transfer. Visit Boudhanath Stupa and the Royal City of Bhaktapur. Visit Swayambhunath. Chitwan National Park including a village walking tour and jeep safari. Hike to the World Peace Pagoda. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

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Accommodations

Hotels (8 nts), monastery guesthouse (1 nt).

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

National Geographic Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.2
Accommodations
3.6
Itinerary
4.4
Professional Staff
4.8
Repeat with Operator
4.2
Value for Money
3.9

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Ratings based off 42 reviews about National Geographic Tours - currently showing 2 reviews with comments only

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