Nepal, with its enchanting landscapes and mystic Himalayas, offers a lot to visitors. Trekking is one of the most adventurous and enjoyable activities, allowing visitors to explore the inner core of nature. The altitude of trek varies between 1,000 to 4,000 meters, with some parts reaching over 5,000 meters. During trekking, visitors can also experience Nepal's rich cultural diversity.
The most popular trekking routes in Nepal are Everest, Annapurna, and Langtang. Now, Kanchenjungha in the east and Dolpo in northwest Nepal are also gaining popularity as trekking destinations.
All trekkers are required to obtain a TIMS card before commencing the trek. To trek in protected areas, visitors must obtain an entry permit by paying entry fees.
According to the physical features of the trekking destinations, trekking is divided into two types: tea house and camping trek. Tea house trekking is a little cheaper, where clients have meals at lodges with accommodation. In camping trekking, everything is well-managed and fully organized, with a support team of guides, porters, and cooks. Accommodation in camping trekking is in tented camps. Camping trekking is a little more expensive compared to lodge trekking, and visitors can choose according to their budget.
Jungle safari is one of the most amazing activities in the jungle. The tropical jungles of the Terai region of Nepal preserve some of the best wildlife habitats in the region. It is a very interesting experience to take part in different activities organized by resorts. Some of the wildlife attractions include one-horned rhinoceros, the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger, now Leopard, musk deer, crocodiles, etc. Jungle safari can be enjoyed with elephant back safari, jeep drive, canoe ride, nature walk, etc. The southern lowlands, also called Terai, are covered with dense tropical jungles and are home to thousands of birds and animals, including the most exotic and endangered species. In Nepal, the most popular destinations for Jungle Safari are the Royal Chitwan National Park and Bardiya National Park.
Nepal's Terai tropical jungles harbor some of the richest wildlife habitats in South Asia, home to rare species like the one-horned rhinoceros, Royal Bengal tiger, snow leopard, red panda, and musk deer. Explore these exotic jungles on an elephant or jeep safari at Chitwan National Park, Bardia National Park, Parsa Wildlife Reserve, or Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve, all located in the Terai region. These national parks offer a range of tourist facilities for a comfortable stay.
Nepal is blessed with an incredible diversity of rivers flowing through the foothills of the majestic Himalayan Mountains, providing some of the best whitewater rafting experiences in the world. The stunning scenery of traditional houses, terraced paddy fields, deep gorges, and flat plains along the routes make the adventure even more exhilarating. You can enjoy paddle rafting with a team or try kayaking and canoeing solo.
The rapids range in ferocity from grade one to six, and you can choose a rafting trip lasting from half a day (three hours) to one or two days or even up to a week or two. The best time to plan a rafting trip is from October through mid-December and March through early May.
The Trishuli River, with a grade of 3+, is the most popular river for rafting due to its proximity to Kathmandu (2.5 hours' drive) and its route all the way down to Chitwan National Park. Other popular rivers include the Kali Gandaki (4-4+) near Pokhara, Bhote Koshi (4-5), Marshyangdi (4-5+), Karnali (4-5), and the Sun Koshi (4-5), which runs 270 kilometers and requires eight to ten days.
Mountain Flight (Everest Experience)
Everest Experience is a breathtaking mountain flight tour that offers a luxurious and unforgettable Himalayan experience. A trip to Nepal is incomplete without truly understanding the wonders of its natural beauty, and this flight provides an incredible opportunity to witness it up close. This flight takes you from Kathmandu to the highest peaks in the world, including the majestic Mount Everest, as well as other notable peaks like Gosaithan, Dorje Lakpa, Phurbi Chaychu, Choba Bhamare, Gaurishanker, Melungtse, Chugimago, Number, Cho-Oyu, Pumori, Nuptse, and more. Several airlines offer this flight from Kathmandu, taking off and landing at Kathmandu Domestic Airport. Don't miss this awe-inspiring flight tour that will leave you with unforgettable memories of Nepal's stunning natural beauty.
Experience a pilgrimage tour on the cable car in Nepal, which takes you to the abode of the wish-fulfilling Goddess Manakamana, located at Kuringtar on the bank of Trishuli river. It is situated between Kathmandu and Pokhara or Kathmandu and Chitwan. The cable car ride from the bottom station to Manakamana Temple lasts for 10-15 minutes.
Discover the joys of flying alone and experience the aerial views of the magnificent Himalayas through paragliding - a relatively new adventure sport in Nepal. Sarangkot in Pokhara, which is one of the top 5 commercial tandem paragliding locations in the world, is the place to be. Take in stunning views of three of the world’s Eight Thousanders - Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and Manaslu. If you're an experienced paraglider, you can fly on your own by getting a permit from the civil aviation office in Pokhara. With necessary charges and valid passport, visa, photo, proof of insurance, and paragliding license, you can get the permit in an hour or so.
Get a spectacular view of the lakes, mighty Himalayan range, villages, and picturesque landscapes through ultralight aircraft, which operates from Pokhara. It provides an opportunity to experience the heavenly taste of the verging beauty of nature within an exceptionally short span of time with its micro plane services. The flight operates throughout the year except during the monsoon season (June to August). Each aircraft has only two seats - one for the pilot and one for the passenger. It's a quiet and peaceful experience without fear, as you float comfortably in the clouds. You can take a 15-minute, 30-minute, 60-minute, or 90-minute flight.
Experience Nepal's diverse terrain through mountain biking, which is gaining popularity among adventure enthusiasts from all over the world. The tours are specially designed to take you deep into the culture and lifestyle of the local people and show you the best trails in the Himalayas. Bike through the country and discover villages and small towns in the midst of rural serenity. Bikes can be hired in Kathmandu and Pokhara, where you'll also find good route information as well as organized tours.
Best Time to Bike in Nepal
Winter (Nov-Jan) - One of the best times in low altitudes. The sky is clear during this period.
Spring (Feb-Apr) - Another best period in any altitude, as the weather remains beautiful and the temperature is moderate.
Summer (May-July) - A good time to ride in high altitudes where there is no rain. To enjoy rain and mud, you have to go to lower altitudes.
Fall (Aug-Oct) - This period is normally good to take a ride in high altitudes
Nepal is slowly gaining popularity as a golfing destination, with some of the finest golf courses in South Asia. Kathmandu and Pokhara offer excellent courses with magnificent views of the Himalayas. The best time for play is during the dry season between October and March. Golf clubs in Nepal also offer luxurious facilities such as spa and Ayurveda treatments.
Experience the ultimate thrill of bungee jumping in Nepal, with the country's first bungee jump site situated 160 meters over the wild Bhote Koshi river. It is designed by one of New Zealand's leading bungee consultants and operated by some of the most experienced jump masters in the business. The specially designed bungee bridge has a 4x safety factor and a loading factor of 4.5 tons according to Swiss measurements. The jump takes place in a 166-meter-wide spectacular scenery with dense forests covering the top of the cliff.
Canyoning is an amazing full-body and mind experience that enables you to explore some of the last forbidden places in the Himalayas. It involves traveling down canyons and waterfalls using a variety of techniques such as walking, scrambling, climbing, abseiling, and swimming. It requires a good level of fitness and gets you completely off the beaten track.
Nepal is a paradise for birdwatchers, with over 850 species or about 10 percent of the world's total species. From the lowland jungle of the Terai to the high altitude of the Himalayas, there is always something to watch. Migratory birds are also seen in winter. The spiny babbler is unique and only found in Nepal. Chitwan National Park has more than 450 species of birds, while Koshi Tappu wetlands have been designated Asia's finest bird-watching site. Specialized bird-watching tours are offered in different national parks and wildlife reserves.
Fishing in Nepal is gaining popularity as a water sport. Approximately 118 varieties of freshwater fish are found in the Himalayan rivers, ranging from the much sought after Mahseer to the mountain stream trout varieties. The best season for fishing is before and after the monsoon, from February through April and October through November. However, it may not suit those who lack patience or get tired while waiting to catch fish.
Hunting in Nepal
Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, located in the western part of Nepal, is the only area where licensed hunting is allowed. The reserve covers an area of 1325 sq. km and begins at 3000 meters to 7000 meters. It is the prime habitat of the blue sheep, ghoral serow, Himalayan Tahr, black bear, pheasant, and partridge. Endangered species such as cheer pheasant, wolf, red panda, musk deer, and danphe are also found here. Hunting is allowed only after obtaining a license from the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) in Kathmandu and is restricted to certain times in a year. The best period for hunting is from February to April and August to October.
Nepal boasts numerous ancient pilgrimage sites, making it a popular destination for spiritual tourism. The country is home to various temples, monasteries, and stupas dedicated to a diverse range of gods and goddesses. Each site is steeped in legend and belief, highlighting the miraculous power of its deity. In the Kathmandu Valley alone, visitors can explore iconic sites such as the Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambhunath Stupa, and Boudhanath. Additionally, Nepal is home to several other renowned pilgrimage sites, including Janakpur, Barah Chhetra, Manakamana, Muktinath, Gosainkunda, Halesi Mahadev, Pathibhara, Swargadwari, and Khaptad, located across different regions of the country.
Rock climbing is a challenging outdoor sport that has become increasingly popular among visitors and locals due to the incredible natural rock faces in majestic settings. In Kathmandu, rock climbing can be enjoyed in Nagarjun Forest and Shivapuri National Park, which can be combined with activities such as hiking, bird watching, and nature tours. Outside of Kathmandu, rock climbing is also possible in places such as Pokhara and the Khumbu Region. In Pokhara, the Mountaineering Museum has an artificial climbing wall named after French alpinist Maurice Herzog, who was the first mountaineer to summit an 8,000 m peak, Annapurna I, in 1950. The wall is 23 m tall.
MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) activities in Nepal are among the best destinations for the world's business community, not only in Asia but also in other countries. Top hotels and conference halls in Kathmandu, Pokhara, and other parts of Nepal provide excellent meeting facilities with great locations, well-trained manpower, and comprehensive high-tech facilities that are up to international standards. Kathmandu's direct flight connections to several cities in Asia and Europe make it an ideal MICE destination. This gateway to the Himalayan nation offers superb options for work and recreation to go together, allowing delegates from around the world to enjoy a Himalayan holiday even while at work
Practicing yoga not only benefits your physical health but also your mental wellbeing. It is a pathway to true, happy, and healthy living and helps achieve a balanced, harmonious, and integrated development of one's personality. There are many yoga centers in Kathmandu and other tourist cities in Nepal where you can practice with trained yoga teachers.
Meditation helps rejuvenate one's energy levels and promotes enlightenment, far from the metaphysical world. By exploring meditation in-depth, one can discover a new sense of self. There are specialized centers in Kathmandu and other parts of Nepal that offer meditation courses.
Nepal is becoming a popular destination for spas, which are associated with water treatments and believed to be curative. Regular spa treatments are said to promote good health and prevent diseases while aiding in relaxation and rejuvenation. Traditional healing practices and modern holistic healthcare are fused to generate an individual's self-healing powers.
Nepal is a land full of legends, myths, magic, and mystery, and faith healing dates back to prehistoric times. It is still widely practiced even in Kathmandu, the capital city. The Jhankris, or shamans, wear garlands of tiny bells around their necks and chant while playing a drum or metal plate to invoke and possess spirits. Sometimes, these performances can last the entire night, and they often involve the sacrifice of either a rooster or black goat, depending on the nature of the complication
Astrology has its roots in the Vedas, which are considered the primary source of knowledge for Hindus and were written thousands of years ago. In Nepal, when a baby is born, the exact time of birth is noted, and an astrologer prepares a Cheena (horoscope) based on the position of the planets at that moment. Astrologers are also consulted to determine the auspicious timing for important events like weddings and festivals. A skilled astrologer can provide accurate predictions about a person's fate. In Nepali culture, Cheena is consulted during the rites of passage ceremony.
Nepal is a paradise for butterfly enthusiasts, as it is home to 11 out of the 15 families of butterflies found in the world. Butterflies can be found from the lowland Terai to highland areas up to 5,500 meters. Nepal boasts 651 butterfly species, which constitute 3.73% of the world's butterfly population. Phulchowki, Shivapuri, and Nagarjuna in Kathmandu are some of the best places to explore butterflies, while Chitwan National Park, Bardia, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Shey Phoksundo National Park, Everest, and Rara National Park are other destinations outside of Kathmandu for butterfly watching.
Fossil hunting in the Himalayan region is unique, as the fossilized stones, known as Shaligrams, are considered sacred by Nepalese people and are said to embody Lord Vishnu according to Hindu scriptures. Fossils are found in the Annapurna (Mustang) region up to Damodar Kunda and along the Kaligandaki river.
Kathmandu is a paradise for shoppers, and tourists can indulge in a variety of items ranging from hand-knotted carpets, thanka paintings, wood carvings, pashmina shawls, embroidery, ceramics and pottery, rice paper, statues and decorative metallic houseware, woolen knitwear, calendars, and lampshades, to tea and spices. However, antiques cannot be carried away without obtaining a certificate from the Department of Archeology. International brands such as Gucci, Christian Dior, Nike, Adidas, Givenchy, and more can also be found in Nepal.
Kathmandu offers a diverse range of dining experiences, from five-star menus to roadside cafes. Visitors can indulge in traditional Nepalese festival dishes or imported seafood, Italian or Russian delicacies, or a variety of international cuisines like Indian, Chinese, Thai, Korean, Japanese, Mexican, and Continental. Nepal also offers authentic indigenous cuisine in the ethnic ambience of Nepali restaurants, providing a unique culinary experience. The best part is that world-class restaurants offer these options within walking distance or a short drive, all at reasonable prices