Namaste Nepal: Kathmandu, Annapurnas and the Teraï

From pretty cities cradled in the Himalayan foothills to the plains of Terai and the jungle of southern Nepal, this culturally exotic journey promises to be beautiful. Our adventure begins in the heart of the Kathmandu Valley from the Buddhist stupa Swyambhunath... we then switch to the Hindu universe and explore the Pashupatinath temple and cremation site. Discover Bhaktapur, a beautiful ancient imperial city with striking medieval architecture and explore the charming Nepalese villages nestled at the foot of Machhapuchhre. Next, we visit Tansen, a stronghold of the Rana dynasty, and make our way to the plains of Terai where Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautama Buddha is found. Last but not least, we head to the heart of the Chitwan National Park for a radical change of scenery. Welcome to the jungle! Discover an atmosphere straight from the pages of Rudyard Kipling’s 'The Jungle Book' as we search for colourful birds, rare rhinos and majestic tigers either on foot, by canoe or on elephant back!

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Kathmandu

    Welcome to Kathmandu! Transfer to your hotel. After settling, we visit Swaymbhunath, the majestic Buddhist stupa which overlooks the Kathmandu valley.

    Accommodation: Hotel

  • Day 2 Patan - Khokana - Kathmandu

    Today we visit to Patan, one of the three ancient imperial cities of the valley. Patan is known for its artisans who founded the artistic statues here. Then, we continue to Bungamati, a village of Newar Artisans from the 15th century. Stroll among the terraced crops of the village of Khokhana. Late afternoon return to our hotel in Kathmandu.

    Accommodation: Hotel

  • Day 3 Pashupatinath - Bhaktapur

    Discover the jewels of the valley of Kathmandu. Pashupatinath is a Hindu site dating from the twelfth century, a place where cremations dedicated to Shiva took place and where the pilgrims bathe in the sacred river Bagmati. Today we also visit the sumptuous pedestrian city Bhaktapur, 15 km from Kathmandu, this is the most beautiful of the three imperial cities of the valley. We stay overnight in Bhaktapur to soak in all it has to offer.

    Accommodation: Hotel

  • Day 4 Bhaktapur - Changu Narayan - Boudhanath

    This morning, we can stroll through the narrow streets of Bhaktapur before out transfer to Telkot. From here, we hike along the ridge to Changu Narayan, the oldest temple in the valley, dedicated to Vishnu and situated on a promontory overlooking the valley. We then descend on foot to the Newar village of Sankhu and from here it is a short transfer to Boudhanath. The great stupa of Bodhnath is located in the heart of the Tibetan district where many monasteries of the exile were constructed. We spend the night in Boudhanath to enjoy this sacred place after the departure of the tourists.

    Accommodation: Hotel

  • Day 5 Katmandou - Bandipur

    Today we leave the valley of Kathmandu and take the road for Bandipur, a picturesque village of Newari traders. This place has superb views of the Himalayan range including Mount Manaslu (8163m). This afternoon, we take a short walk in the vicinity of this village which is famous for its orange trees.

    Accommodation: Hotel
    Drive: 4 hours
    Hiking: 1 hour

  • Day 6 Bandipur - Pokhara - Australian Camp (2050 m)

    Today we head to Pokhara (2h30) for a lunch break. Then, we travel to Kande (1700 m) in the low valleys, surrounded by terraced rice fields. Now, we are in Gurung country and this is the beginning of our trek to Annapurna Camp.

    Accommodation: Lodge
    Drive: 4 hours
    Trek: 1 hour
    Ascent: +350m

  • Day 7 Australian Camp - Landruk (1 640 m)

    We walk to the village of Landruk in the valley of Modi Khola. Our route crosses several small villages where Gurung people live on the fertile southern side of the Annapurna Mountains and cultivate the terraced fields. We continue towards the pretty village of Landruk between villages and rice fields to start our mini trek in the heart of the Annapurna Range.

    Accommodation: Lodge
    Trek: 4 hours
    Ascent/descent: +250m/-500m

  • Day 8 Landruk - Ghandruk (2050 m)

    Today we cross Madi Kola and climb uphill to Ghandruk, a Gurung village with solid houses surrounded by walls of stones which protect the rice and wheat fields. A very nice view of South Annapurna and Machapuchare awaits.

    Accommodation: Lodge
    Trek hours: 4
    Ascent/descent: +450m/-300m

  • Day 9 Gandruk - Pokhara

    Descend to Birethanti (1100 m) and transfer by bus to Pokhara. Afternoon at leisure to relax in Pokhara.

    Accommodation: Lodge
    Trek: 5 hours
    Descent: -850m

  • Day 10 Pokhara – Tansen - Lumbini

    After breakfast, we take the road to Tansen. Our scenic journey traverses Nepalese countryside, a picturesque landscape of mountains, valleys, rice fields and villages. Afternoon arrival in Tansen. Let's explore this ancient city and fief of the Rana dynasty. We visit the historical center and Tansen Durbar palace before continuing to Lumbini, which is very close to the Indo-Nepalese border.

    Accommodation: Hotel
    Drive: 8 hours

  • Day 11 Visit of Lumbini - Chitwan Park, Terai region

    Today we visit Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautama Buddha. Various international Buddhist communities have built temples and monasteries in this holy place. We can visit some of them. This afternoon, we take the road to Chitwan National Park.

    Accommodation: Hotel
    Drive: 5 hours

  • Day 12 Chitwan Park: canoeing, elephant ride and hiking

    A day devoted to the jungle - discovery Chitwan national park. Go canoeing down the river to observe birds and crocodiles as the sun rises. Then we ride elephants and search for rhinoceros. A walk through the jungle concludes our exploration, with a bit of luck we can track and spot deer, bears and tigers! In the evening, we witness a Tharu warrior dance, performed by the Terai ethnic group.

    Accommodation: Hotel

  • Day 13 Stroll and return to Kathmandu

    Morning walk to observe the birds (indian roller, kingfisher, bee-eater, bar-headed goose, etc.). After breakfast, we take the road to Kathmandu. Free time upon arrival in Kathmandu.

    Accommodation: Hotel
    Drive: 5 hours

  • Day 14 End of stay

    End of stay

The details in this programme are updated regularly but imponderables and unpredictable circumstances may result in inaccuracies. In order to provide the adventure which is best suited to your demands, the weather and the operational conditions, changes to the programme may be made. For safety reasons, we reserve the rights to interrupt your participation in this programme at any time if your technical level or fitness are deemed unsuitable or if you are seen as a danger to yourself or to those around you. This will in no case give rise to refunds or compensation.

Dates & prices

Departures for English-speaking groups:

From To Price per person Guaranteed Booking
€1,350 No Book now!
€1,350 No Book now!
€1,350 No Book now!
€1,350 No Book now!

Trip code: NEPDEC-EN

Included

  • All transfers by private vehicle as detailed in itinerary
  • 3* hotel accommodation in Kathmandu (Hotel Tibet, Manaslu or similar) 
  • 2* hotel accommodation in a in Pokhara (Hotel Lake View or similar) 
  • Trek includes full-board and lodging
  • Flight: Pokhara - Kathmandu
  • Full accompaniment by an English speaking Altaï Guide
  • Guided visits as per itinerary: with a cultural expert in private vehicle
  • Luggage transfers: up to 12kg maximum per person during the trek
  • Trekking support team: assistants and porters
  • Trekking permits: ACAP and TIMS
  • Staff Insurance

Not included

  • Entrance to historical sites & monuments
  • Meals in Kathmandu & Kathmandu Valley
  • Nepalese visa: US $ 25
  • International flights
  • Insurance: Repatriation, Medical & Helicopter Services
  • Tips, drinks and personal expenses - all that is not 'included'

Notes

For many years, we put our know-how and our experience of Himalayan destinations to the service of travelers from different horizons. You may find yourself in an international group with participants from our various partners.

Level 2/5

This trip is perfect for travellers who enjoy gentle hikes and are interested in discovering historic sites and becoming immersed in Nepalese culture. Good hiking shoes and walking equipment are required.

Terms and conditions

Booking conditions

Booking a trip with us implies acceptance of the terms and conditions of sale. Each customer is required to complete a registration form and, subject to availability at the time of registration, travellers are expected to pay a deposit of 30% of the total price to complete their booking. Payments can be made online or by bank transfer. You will receive an e-mail with your booking confirmation.

Invoice procedure

Once your booking is confirmed you will receive an invoice by e-mail. The full balance of the trip must be received at least 30 days before your departure date. We reserve the right to cancel your booking, free of charge, if this deadline is not respected.

Cancellation policy

If for any reason you have to cancel your trip, we require written confirmation of your decision so please contact us by e-mail, fax or letter. The money you have paid will then be refunded according to the following deductions:
  • Cancellation received more than 30 days prior to the departure date: No cancellation fees.
  • Cancellation received 30 to 21 days before the departure date: 30% of trip price will be retained.
  • Cancellation received within 20 days of the departure date: 70% of trip price will be retained.
Please note if you decide to cancel your trip having agreed, in writing, to pay for additional tailor-made services (hotel, additional flights or activities...), these services are usually non-refundable.

If we have to cancel a departure due to an insufficient number of participants, you will be informed no later than 21 days before departure and a full refund will be issued, you will not be entitled to further compensation. We reserve the rights to cancel departures due to exceptional circumstances which may impact the safety of participants. Such circumstances may include those amounting to 'force majeure' in which case participants will receive a full refund but they will not be entitled to any compensation.

Changes to travel contract

If you wish to make a change to your booking please contact us in writing; you will be expected to pay any fee which might arise from this change. In the event of unforeseen external events, Altaï Nepal may change some aspects of the travel contract. If any changes are necessary you will be informed as quickly as possible.

Pricing

The prices on our website are updated regularly and all of the prices we advertise are accurate when published. We reserve the rights to make changes to any of these prices. Before you make a booking we will give you the up-to-date price of your chosen holiday including any supplements, upgrades or additional activities you may have requested. If the number of travellers is fewer than the indicated number of participants on the website, a small group surcharge may be applied. For all of our trips we include details of services, prices and what is/is not included but please be aware that changes to the prices may be necessary in accordance with exchange rates or price changes of various components of the journey.

Contract transfer

If you are unable to travel for any reason, you can transfer your booking to another person in which case our modification conditions apply. Both the transferor and transferee will be jointly and severally liable for payment of the total holiday price and other associated expenses. Some airline carriers treat name changes as cancellations and you may be required to pay for the cost of a new ticket.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you take out personal travel insurance for your trip with Altaï Nepal as soon as your booking is confirmed. We advice you to purchase a travel insurance policy which covers flight cancellations, luggage loss and emergency health care. Please look carefully at which activities are covered by your insurer and do not forget to bring all necessary documents and information with you (name of the company, name of the contract, insurance policy number, telephone number...)

Practical info

Staff

Armed with an abundance of experience and a wealth of knowledge, our professional guides are all real experts. This trip is led by a professional Nepali English-speaking Tour Leader, who is part of the Altai Nepal Team. During the trek, they will be assisted by junior guides, sirdar and porters.

Food

Lodge meals
The international success of treks in the Annapurna and Everest regions influences the economy; tarifs for food and lodging are now set by the National Park and have increased sharply in recent years, but quantities and quality of food have paradoxically decreased. To offset this decline in quality and quantity of food and in order to focus on the local economy, we plan Dal Bhat daily for our menus.It is a balanced dish, full of energy and nutritive intake, not fatty and above all, very digestible (digestion is more difficult at altitude). For all challlenging treks, we provide energy snacks (like dried fruits). Meals in Kathmandu and in the valley are not included in the trip price. You will have plenty of time to discover Indian, Bhutanese, Chinese, Thai and other cuisines.
Please be aware that tap water is not normally drinkable. All drinks are at your own expense.

Accommodation

In Kathmandu and other cities, you will normally be accommodated in 3 * hotels. In more rural areas, we use homestay accommodation with varying comforts (they all have functioning beds, mattresses, tables, chairs, toilets, etc.) We love using homestay accommodation options which offer insights into Nepalese life and support local families. In addition, the use of lodges considerably reduces the number of porters and cut down the infrastructure of trekking.

Transportation

Transport/transfer by bus, private minibus & plane.

Budget & exchange

The local currency is the Nepalese Rupee NPR.
Visit http://www.xe.com for the latest currency converter and exchange rates.
You can withdraw Nepalese Rupees from in-country ATMs in Kathmandu and credit cards are accepted except in shops and hotels. Please budget for meals in Kathmandu, drinks, tips and other personal expenses.

Tips

Tipping is very present in Nepal. It is an integral part of the 'tourism' culture of the country: independent of salary levels, your tip is seen as a sign of appreciation. The amount depends on your satisfaction with the services rendered and your generosity. Your guide will help you on this subject. Like money, if you have clothes to give, do not hesitate to seek advice from your guide who will make a fair distribution. We ask that you do not to give sweets and / or energy bars  / chocolate to local children as there are virtually no dentists here in the mountains. The same rules apply to medicine, western medication is not necessarily adapted for the Nepalese and, moreover, following the correct dosage is extremely important.

Vital equipment

  • Warm Sleeping Bag
  • Water purifiers (micropur, aguatabs ...)

From head to toe:
  • A cap or sunhat
  • 1 or 2 sets of thermals: long-sleeved thermal tops and full-length long johns
  • Long sleeved and short sleeved t-shirts, preferably in quick-drying technical material
  • A light fleece or equivilent (plus extra warm layers if necessary)
  • A breathable wind proof, waterproof jacket (Gore-Tex...)
  • Lightweight waterproof over trousers
  • Suitable shorts
  • Walking trousers
  • A pair of high-rise walking boots - strength, good grip of the foot and ankle (high stems) and impermeability are essential. Choose shoes with non-slip soles (vibram).
  • A pair of trainers/sandels or equivilent casual shoes for cities, villages and evenings
  • Thick walking socks
  • Warm gloves, hat and scarf (it can be chilly in the mountains)

Material

We prefer that you do not wear cotton clothing, including underwear, when participating in activities. When cotton gets wet from water or sweat it ceases to insulate and it does not dry fast. The best materials for outdoor activities are fast drying materials like polyester or materials which are warm when wet like wool.

The most powerful materials against the wind and rain are 'breathable' materials like Gore-Tex or Nikwax. Soft shell layers are effective against the wind.

Our advice for keeping warm
Weather conditions in the high mountains can be variable, please think carefully about what clothes you pack especially for our winter trips and remember that the layers you wear next to your skin can make the biggest difference.
We recommend:
  • No cotton
  • Always carry dry spares of everything, including underwear and gloves

Wear multiple layers including:
  1. A warm breathable base layer
  2. A second thermal layer
  3. Wind and water proof protective outer layers

Helpful equipment

  • Your personal toiletries and a fast drying towel
  • Water bottle(s). Min. 2 litres, light and isothermal
  • A good pair of sunglasses (think min. category 3)
  • Sun-cream, face and lips
  • Head torch and spare batteries
  • A pocket knife
  • A pair of hiking poles
  • A waterproof bag cover (or plastic bags) to protect your belongings
  • Toilet paper
  • Anti-bacterial hand gel
  • Your camera
  • A notebook or travel journal

Luggage

Your luggage must be divided into two bags:
  • A rucksack (35-40L or 45-50L) for use as a day bag. This will contain your (vital) personal belongings for the day (sweater, spare t-shirt, water bottle, picnic-lunch, sunglasses, small things ... )
  • We use porters to transport our other belongings when trekking. Please bring a flexible travel bag with zips for easy access max 80L and max 13kg (16kg with camping gear). Please do not bring suitcases or other hard bags which the porters cannot transport.
  • You may also be able to store some belongings securely at the hotel in Kathmandu.
To protect your bags, we will provide solid waterproof Altaï Bags.

Medicine

Your guide is a trained first-aider and will carry a full first aid kit at all times during the trip. We recommend that you bring a small personal first aid kit containing any medication you may need such as inhalers, plasters, antiseptic and painkillers.

Passport

Your passport should be vaild for at least six months after the last day of your stay. It is your responsibility to confirm your specific passport requirements and please be aware that proof of onwards travel may be required.

Visa

It is your responsibility to confirm your specific visa requirements. Please bring valid passport photos with you to obtain a visa upon arrival.
To obtain trekking permits, your passport and photo ID is also required. Please provide us with good quality scans of your passport and 2 photos of identity.
For an individual visa, obtained on the spot as you arrive in Kathmandu, rates are as follows:
- 15 days : 25 US$ + 1 picture
- 30 days : 40 US$  + 1 picture
- 90 days : 100 US$ + 1 picture

Mandatory vaccines

No mandatory vaccinations are required. Recommended vaccines include Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis, and Influenza.

Health information & recommendations

It is your responsibility to check that your personal health insurance covers everything in this trip. A consultation with your doctor is a prerequisite for any trip and we advise you to visit your dentist too as untreated cavaties have an annoying habit of waking up with altitude.

Hygiene Recommendations
Water is not drinkable in Nepal. It is always possible to buy bottled water but in order to limit pollution and preserve natural areas, we strongly recommend that you drink purified water. For that, think to bring a water bottle of minimum 1.5 liters and purifying tablets (micropur, agua tabs ...). Consume only treated water or water which has been boiled for 30 minutes and then filtered.Be sure to wash your hands frequently, and definitely before each meal (anti-bacterial hand gel is recommended) and take care to disinfect any skin wounds. Avoid drinking natural drinks like pressed fruit juice and do not consume ice cream or "lassi" (a milk-based beverage) bought in the street. Meat and fish / shellfish should be well cooked before consumption.

Weather

From the eternal snows of high peaks to the tropical lowlands, Nepal has a wide variety of climates.
- In autumn (October to mid-December) the days are very beautiful but can be fresh at altitude. At 3000 m altitude, temperatures can drop to -10 ° C (14°F) at night.
- In winter (mid-december to mid-february): The nights are generally cold and the climate is dry. If night time temperatures drop easily below 0 ° C (31°F) to 3000 m, the days are often sunny. Treks below 4000 m are very pleasant. There are very few tourists at this time.
- In spring (March to end of May): in this season, Kathmandu is in full bloom and the rhododendrons are magnificent. The weather is pleasant, it is getting hotter with some night storms. Temperatures vary between 10 and 28 ° C (50 - 83°F), but can rise to over +30 ° C (+86°F). Between 2000 and 3000 m, temperatures rarely drop below 0 ° C (32°F). A few rare frosts or snowfalls are possible in March from +4000 m.
- In summer: it is the monsoon season. This interrupts the majority of trekking from June until the end of September. However, certain regions of the "Trans-Himalayan" zone, Mustang and Dolpo remain sheltered from the monsoons - these are the only circuits available in Nepal in the summer.

Electricity

In recent years, due to a lack of hydropower facilities, electricity and water outages are becoming more frequent in Nepal, especially in Kathmandu (mainly in winter and spring). The hotels have generator but the electricity is limited. It is the same for the consumption of water.

Local time

Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)/ Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) +5.45. Daylight Saving Time (DST) is not observed here.

Sustainable tourism

As adventure and wilderness travel experts who run trips to some of the most remote parts of the world, we take responsible tourism very seriously. We respect the ‘Leave No Trace’ outdoor ethical code and try to explore this beautiful location whilst causing minimal environmental damage.

Since the beginning, we have advocated for responsible tourism and the importance of equitable and sustainable principles. Harmonising these fundamentals ensures a fair distribution of economic benefits, improved working conditions for local teams and an increased awareness of the importance and practice of environmental protection. We hope that all of our clients will respect our philosophies and embrace these attitudes.

The Leave No Trace policy can be summarized in 7 simple steps which we hope you will follow during ourtrip...
1.    Be prepared
2.    Stick to trails and camp overnight right
3.    Stash your trash and pick up waste
4.    Leave it as you find it
5.    Be careful with fire
6.    Respect wildlife
7.    Be considerate of other visitors

Over the years we have built up good relations with our local suppliers and we are keen to support local businesses as much as possible. We are a small company and we pay our local partners and suppliers directly insuring fair rates.

Our small group sizes not only provide a more intimate adventure but also cause less impact on the environment and local communities.We expect all who travel with us to support and uphold our Sustainable Tourism philosophies.
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Buddhi

My local agent
Buddhi

  • Native to Eastern Nepal
  • A trekking guide for over 20 years
  • Specialist of Annapurnas, Everest, Ladakh and Rajasthan
  • Languages: English and French, plus some German and Chinese
Request a quote
Region
Kathmandu Valley and the Terai
Activity
Hiking & culture
Duration
14 days
Group
2 to 15 people
Code
NEPDEC-EN
Price
From €1,350
Level
2/5
Comfort
4/5
Language(s)
English

Strengths

  • Discover Chitwan Park in the tropical Terai region
  • Explore the foothills of the Annapurnas
  • Visit charming local villages
  • Go trekking in the heart of Annapurna
  • Discover Newar architecture
  • Our cultural guides will ensure that your historical and cultural exploration of Nepal comes to life

Required level

This trip is perfect for travellers who enjoy gentle hikes and are interested in discovering historical sites and Nepalese culture. Good hiking shoes and walking equipment are required.
Book this trip