Good 3 star hotels, watch tower, village homestay, teahouse lodges.
Type of trip
Trek, tour, safari, helicopter tour.
Transfers by private AC car. Domestic flights included.
Start / End
This is a fantastic and very special introduction to Nepal - starting with guided tours to visit key sites in Kathmandu and Kathmandu Valley including Patan, the City of Fine Arts and Bhaktapur, the City of Devotees. You'll trek into the Annapurna National Park, following quiet trails with stunning peak and landscape views, trekking through traditional villages as you trek to Khopra Ridge. Relax in the beautiful lakeside town of Pokhara before your safari in Chitwan National Park. During your safari you'll spend a couple of nights inside the National Park, staying in a watch tower near the river and also in a community homestay as well as at a serene jungle resort on the banks of the Narayani river. Your trip ends on a major high with a chartered helicopter flight into the Everest region and over Everest Base Camp before a stop for breakfast surrounded by the towering Himalayan peaks of the Everest region.
Arrive Kathmandu (1400m) Welcome to Nepal. On arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, you’ll need to obtain your visa and collect your luggage before heading to the exit where our representative will be waiting to welcome you. On the drive to your hotel the traffic can be busy but you’ll also have interesting views of day to day life in the city en route. After time to rest and freshen up, our representative will meet you at the hotel this evening, to brief you about your next few days and answer any questions you may have. We invite you to join us for a complimentary welcome dinner and introduction to Nepali culture at a traditional Nepali restaurant this evening.
This morning you’ll begin your tour with the walk to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Durbar Square. Surrounded by ancient palaces, courtyards and streets, Kathmandu Durbar Square dates back to the 12th century. Today we'll also visit the “Monkey Temple”, the pilgrimage site of Swayambhunath, located atop a hill overlooking Kathmandu. A long set of stairs reach the temple complex, where we can see a blend of Hinduism and Buddhism with a large dome of golden stupas surrounded by small Buddha statues, stupas, temples and small handicraft and tea shops. Enjoy mixing with the local people, the monks and sellers. There is a local monastery where young monks train and also a small museum holding Buddhist relics and scripts and you’ll often see locals celebrating special occasions as well as making their regular prayers and offerings. We take a short trip out of Kathamandu city to visit Patan Durbar Square. Dating back to the 16th century, the historical site of Patan Durbar Square is filled with stunning temples and structures with intricate carvings and ornate façades. This is another important UNESCO World Heritage site and its most prominent attractions include the Krishna Mandir, Bhimsen Temple and the Golden Temple. The ancient palace houses some of the most important museums and cultural centres in Nepal. Here you’ll have a chance to meet and receive a blessing from the Kumari or Living Goddess. This revered figure in Nepalese culture, is believed to be the reincarnation of the Hindu goddess Taleju. The Kumari is a prominent figure in Nepalese culture with both Hindus and Buddhists seeking guidance and blessings from her.
After breakfast, it's approximately 15 minutes drive to Kathmandu domestic airport for your short 25-minute flight to Pokhara (822m). Set in a lush and picturesque valley with tranquil lakes and green hills surrounded by Himalayan peaks, Pokhara is the start point for treks into the Annapurna region and also known as a hub for outdoor adventures including paragliding, boating and many more. Enjoy a relaxing guided walk to explore the lakeside area of beautiful Phewa Lake. Spending some time boating is a great way to enjoy the surroundings and the way to reach Tal Barahi temple in the middle of the lake. The temple is dedicated to Durga, one of the prominent goddesses in the Hindu Patheon. Filled with fantastic artwork and carvings, this 18th-century temple is home to some interesting myths. There is also a small museum where you can learn about the history of the region and the traditional crafts and practices of the local people. After your walking and boating tour, the rest of your evening is at leisure to rest and relax and explore the local area. Overnight Pokhara.
After breakfast, it’s approximately an hour’s scenic drive from Pokhara to Nayapul, the starting point for your trek. The trail leads through terraced fields and charming villages, with occasional glimpses of the Annapurna and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) peaks to reach Ghandruk, a traditional Gurung village, where we'll rest overnight a local teahouse lodge.
We begin today's walk by passing through lush rhododendron forests and beautiful landscapes. The trail offers stunning views of the Annapurna and Machhapuchhre peaks. Tadapani is a scenic village nestled amidst the forested hills, offering panoramic mountain vistas. Overnight at a local teahouse lodge.
Today the trail descends through dense forest of rhododendron and oak trees, offering glimpses of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Mountain ranges. Passing through small settlements and enjoying peaceful surroundings, we’ll reach Banthati, by the riverside. The trail then gradually ascends through a mixed forest, and we'll pass several teahouses en route to Ghorepani, also known as Ghodepani, a popular stop for many trekkers, with panoramic views. Overnight at a local teahouse lodge.
Early this morning, we’ll take a short excursion and hike up to the lookout point at nearby Poonhill. It’s around 45 minutes up a stairway to reach the viewpoint, where only one small Tea shop caters to the early morning hikers. It’s well worth the early rise and effort to get there. Watch the sun rise behind Machhapuchre mountain and slowly spread across the surrounding peaks of Annapurna, Dhampus, Himchuli, Dhaulagiri, and many more. Take time to enjoy stunning panoramic views of over 14 Himalayan peaks before we return to the teahouse lodge for breakfast. After breakfast, we continue our trek and descend north of Ghorepani. Although Ghorepani and Poon Hill can be busy with trekkers heading from and to different trek routes, from here there are much fewer trekkers as we head off the beaten track and follow less visited trails. The trail goes through small villages, farmlands and grazing pastures to reach one of the suspension bridges across the river. After crossing the river, the trail climbs quite steeply as we enter a forested area again. The climb will last almost 3 hours before reaching Upper Chistibung. The lodges here are community-owned and much simpler than you’ll see elsewhere, with limited rooms, so it will be a cosy downgrade from the lodges you’ve stayed in previously. Overnight at a community owned local tea house lodge
This morning the trail continues to climb as we leave the forested trail behind. The course gets rocky and narrow, and the nearby hills will block the views of the mountains. Due to its rugged terrain, we won’t find settlements above here. The sun will be intense in the afternoon as we are gaining higher altitude, and leaving the soothing shade of the trees behind. As we see a few lodges in the distance, the Himalayan peaks will begin to greet us in the backdrop. After lunch, we walk around the side of the grassy hills with close views of Annapurna mountain, stealing the show amongst the views of Dhaulagiri, Himchuli, and Macchapuchre. We’ll also have views of a deep gorge below the hills where the sound of the river echoes in the evening hours. The sunset will be something to look forward to, when our ridge might seem to be floating above the clouds. Overnight local teahouse lodge.
Today is a full day for exploration and acclimatisation. We’ll hike up to Khayer Lake, a sacred lake at the foot of Annapurna South. The trail offers incredible views of the mountains and surrounding landscapes. After some time at the lake, we will return to Khopra Danda for our overnight stay at a local teahouse lodge.
After breakfast, we begin descending from Khopra Danda. The steep, narrow downhill trails will again take us through lush forests and charming local settlements of the Magars and Gurung ethnic communities. Reaching Tatopani, there’s a natural hot spring where we can bathe. It is believed that the hot spring has positive health benefits. Our private jeep will escort us from Tatopani to Pokhara where you can relax overnight at your hotel. Overnight Pokhara.
Enjoy a leisurely morning to rest and relax before visiting some of the prominent local sites including the Tibetan Refugee Camp. After China’s takeover of Tibet, many Tibetans fled to neighbouring countries, including Nepal. Nepal also created settled refugee camps to help the Tibetan refugees. As they are not legal citizens of Nepal, the Tibetan people are not legally allowed to work in Nepal, but are allowed to make many handicrafts using the skills and traditions passed down by their ancestors and sold through shops set up in the refugee camps. Today you’ll have a chance to visit, to meet some of the Tibetan people, learn more about their culture and traditions and see their artistic skills. After your sightseeing, there is the option to book a 60-minute Ayurvedic massage to relax and rejuvenate you after your trek. We recommend booking in advance as the spa at your hotel is one of the best in Nepal and treatments are popular. The rest of your day is free to enjoy walks around the lakeside and enjoy exploring all the small local cafes, restaurants and shops. Overnight Pokhara.
After breakfast, you’ll be picked up for the transfer to the airport and the 30-minute flight to Chitwan. After arriving at Bharatpur Airport, you’ll be met on arrival by your naturalist guide. Please be aware that the Big Six safari activities are designed to enable you to spend optimal time inside the jungle, in simple accommodation rather than in luxury hotel rooms. It will provide you with an excellent opportunity to sight the animals; however, as these are wild animals in their natural habitat we cannot guarantee you will see all the animals, such as the tigers which are more elusive. If you prefer luxury accommodation we can also offer other safari programs and accommodation options on request. From the airport we drive to Sauraha from where you’ll begin your safari activities. We start with a short visit to the National Trust for Nature Conservation and the Biodiversity Conservation Centre. The centre is currently home to a number of orphaned young rhinos who are being cared for before being released back into the wild. Depending on their activities you may be able to see them close up as they go about their daily life. From here we enter Chitwan National Park, crossing the Rapti river by dugout canoe. Chitwan National Park is a protected area of the Terai lowlands of south central Nepal. With its dense forests and grassy plains, Chitwan is known for its rich biodiversity and being home to rare and endangered species. On your safari we’ll attempt to sight the Big Six (Wild elephant, One-horn Rhinoceros, Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Gaur, and Cave Bear). After a jeep ride through the jungle we cross the river by canoe to reach one of the watch towers inside the jungle and our rest place for tonight. Leaving our luggage at the watch tower, we travel down the river again by canoe, this time to visit the Elephant Rescue centre, where injured elephants are nursed back to health. From here, we walk back through the jungle for one to two hours to return to the watch tower and relax for the evening. As the watch tower is near the river, we will have plenty of opportunity to witness the animals during the evening and morning (when the National Park is closed to visitors) as they come down to drink or to cross the river. Overnight in the watch tower inside the national park – this is simple accommodation with private attached toilet and wash facilities. During your time inside the park, breakfast, packed lunch, and packed dinner are included. There are no shops or food facilities inside the Park so all food and drink will be brought with us. If you have any special requests including soft or alcoholic drinks please let us know in advance.
This is a full day of jeep and walking safari inside the National Park. We will commence our safari early this morning to allow us to travel deep inside the jungle, exploring the habitat of the animals. One naturalist and one guard will be along with us during our adventure. Our naturalist guide will brief us about the flora and fauna while tracking animal prints to increase our chances of sighting the wild animals. As well as the bigger animal species, Chitwan is rich in birdlife and you’ll be able to spot Peacocks, Francolin, Cuckoos, Kingfishers and many other birds during your safari. Towards the end of the day, we will drive to Madi Village, the only village inside the National Park. Overnight at a local village community homestay, including dinner.
After breakfast, we continue our safari activities for around 2 to 4 hours, depending on routes taken and your interests. We then take another canoe crossing over the Rapti River, which will join Narayani river before reaching Kawasuti and continuing on towards the Meghauli river. Later this evening, enjoy watching a traditional cultural dance of the Tharus before dinner. Relax overnight at your jungle resort, with simple and comfortable cottages on the quiet banks of the Narayani River, directly across from Chitwan National Park.
After breakfast today, if flight times allow, enjoy a leisurely morning walk around the peaceful local village area to see how the local villagers live, before we will drive for around an hour to reach Bharatpur domestic airport. From there it’s a 35 minute short flight back to Kathmandu. You’ll be met on arrival for the transfer drive to your hotel with the rest of your day at leisure to rest and relax, enjoy the hotel facilities or perhaps explore and enjoy the shops and cafes in nearby Thamel. Overnight Kathmandu.
This morning we head out of the city to Kathmandu Valley and Bhaktapur, the beautiful heritage City of Devotees. Bhaktapur is known for its stunning architectural heritage. One of the best-preserved examples of traditional Nepalese architecture, Bhaktapur's 12th-century Durbar Square palace courtyard is known for its stunning architecture, rich history, and vibrant local cultural scene. Notable structures such as the 55 window palace, Bhairave Nath Temple, and one of the tallest temples of Nepal, Natyapol, are present in the courtyard premises. The cultural centre and museum with the arts and artefacts of the region are hugely interesting. Walking around you’ll also see the highly skilled local potters and weavers at work. After a morning in Bhaktapur, we’ll head back into this city for lunch and your visit to Boudhanath Stupa, the centre of Tibetan pilgrimage in Nepal. After China’s takeover of Tibet, many Tibetan refugees fled to Nepal, bringing their culture and traditions including their food with them. Food is a very important part of both Nepalese and Tibetan culture as it embodies the beliefs and lifestyle of the people. For lunch today, you’ll have a chance to explore some of the unique food of Tibetan culture, including some favourite delicacies, when we visit a local Tibetan cafe popular with local people. After lunch, you’ll visit nearby Boudhanath stupa and monastery, at the centre of Tibetan culture and spirituality in Nepal. Located in a vibrant and bustling area, this sacred site is surrounded by monasteries, cafes and handicraft shops. The large dome of the stupa, believed to be built in the 14th century, represents the universe, while the prayer flags and the adorned wheels symbolise the constant cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Many of the shops in the area are owned by Tibetans, making the area a fascinating place to learn about Tibetan culture. You’ll also have a chance to visit a local monastery within Boudhanath and to have a personal meeting with one of the senior monks, to ask any general or spiritual questions you may have. Evening at leisure to rest and relax at your hotel or explore the local area. Overnight Kathmandu.
This is a unique and exhilarating experience to enjoy a scenic aerial view of the mountains, including majestic Everest itself, followed by breakfast amidst the awe-inspiring Himalayan scenery. Early this morning we’ll depart Kathmandu by private charter helicopter, designed for mountain flights. As your helicopter takes off, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of Kathmandu city and valley, lush green hills and terraced fields. As we gain altitude, the landscape will gradually change, and the mighty Himalayan peaks will be seen. The flight is an unforgettable experience as you soar over pristine snow-capped mountains, deep valleys, and glaciers. Our first stop will be in Lukla, “The gateway to Everest”, from where most of the Everest region treks and climbing expeditions begin. After refuelling, we will again take off for more stunning aerial views of the Himalayas. For a short time, we land in Kalapatthar, the famous viewpoint from where you will face Everest. As well as close up views of mighty Everest, from here you’ll also enjoy panoramic views of other Himalayan giants including Lhotse and Cho-Oyo peaks. From here we fly down to the Everest View Hotel where you can enjoy breakfast with a view - amidst the iconic Himalayan peaks. Everest View Hotel is hidden on a ridge overlooking the Everest range and offers 360 degree views of the surrounding awesome peaks. Enjoy a coffee and breakfast whilst surrounded by some of the most majestic mountains on earth, for an unparalleled dining experience. After breakfast, it will be time to bid farewell to the mountains, and we will take off for Kathmandu where the rest of your day is at leisure to rest and relax and do any last minute shopping and exploring. Overnight Kathmandu.
Today is at leisure until time to check out and head to the airport. If your flight departs later this evening please let us know if you need late check out from your hotel - subject to availability and small additional charge. When time to leave for Tribhuvan International Airport, you'll be transferred around three hours before your departure flight home or onward to your next destination.