Whether it’s hiking, driving or white-water rafting, this trip will let you experience Nepal’s stunning natural beauty from all angles.. Be enchanted by the heart-warming people of Nepal on an overnight stay in a hill-top village retreat, surrounded by rustic farms and overlooking the mighty Himalayas.. Discover hidden gems far removed from Kathmandu’s bustle, like the pilgrimage site of Namobuddha and the vineyard region of Pataleban.. Feel the adrenaline rush on a two-day white-water rafting adventure – spend the night camping under the Nepalese stars on the banks of the Trisuli River.
Capture the spirit of Nepal on a stupa-endous journey rich in history, culture and spiritual exploration. Witness the wind catch prayer flags amid mountainous backdrops, trek through changing landscapes to beautiful Buddhist monasteries, explore ancient trading towns deep in the Kathmandu Valley and relax in a village retreat surrounded by Himalayan vistas. Then, before you get too zen – experience the thrill of rafting down the Trisuli river and spend a night camping under the Nepalese stars. From the labyrinth of bustling bazaars that crowd Kathmandu to the tranquil ambience that encircles hill-top temples, it will be hard not to feel enlightened on this breathtaking adventure, Namaste!
Breakfast Included: 9 Lunches Included: 3 Dinner Included: 3
Namaste! Welcome to Nepal. With no planned activities until your welcome meeting at 6 pm, if you arrive early, why not head out and explore. Kathmandu is an incredible mixture of legend and modern development with a rich artistic and cultural heritage. Narrow lanes lead to small squares and courtyards where ornate carved balconies overlook shrines and temples. Buzzing markets and bazaars are the centre of Nepali life where stalls and small hole-in-the-wall shops sell everything from bangles to Buddhas to beetroot. After the meeting, why not get to know your new travel buddies over a plate of momo – Nepal’s answer to dumplings!
This morning, take a walking heritage tour of Kathmandu’s old bazaars, Hanuman Dhoka and Durbar Square. The labyrinth of backstreets and alleys leading from one bazaar, or ‘chowk’, to another are a true highlight of the city's character. Continue with a visit to one of the holiest Hindu temples in the world – Pashupatinath – and let your leader bring the fascinating story behind this temple to life. Nearby is the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal, follow the pilgrims circle around the stupa, spinning the prayer wheels. If you like, take the opportunity to offer your prayers to Lord Buddha by lighting a traditional butter lamp at the main entry way to the stupa. There may be the option for lunch at a roof-top restaurant with an enticing view over the Stupa, followed by free time this afternoon and evening to continue exploring Kathmandu at your own pace.
Journey further afield from chaotic Kathmandu to the medieval town of Bhaktapur (approximately 30 minutes). Bhaktapur preserves the old-world charm of the Kathmandu Valley, timeless craftsmanship is evident in its temples and squares and its people are still fiercely devoted to the ways of life and faith passed on from their ancestors. Enjoy an afternoon walking tour of the town, including the temples of Taumadhi Tole and Durbar Square, then spend the rest the time exploring on your own or with your travel companions. Tonight, you’ll stay in Bhaktapur.
Panauti - Balthali (1730m)
Head to the fringes of the Kathmandu Valley, stopping at the ancient town of Panauti before reaching Khopasi (approximately 45 minutes). From here, you have the option to stretch your legs on a 1-hour hike through thick forest or continue by 4WD (approximately 20 minutes) to the hill-top village of Balthali. A world away from the ‘Coca Cola’ hub of Thamel, this peaceful community nestled within a setting of verdant hills and lush rice-paddies remains largely undiscovered, soak up the tranquil ambience as you relax in your accommodation for the night, the hidden retreat of Balthali Village Resort, with its commanding views of quaint villages and farms and the mighty Himalayas rising on the horizon.
Pack a day pack ready for your hike today, while your main luggage will be transported to your next destination – Namobuddha. Begin by descending from the resort before making your way off road, cut through the vast terraced fields, followed by another sharp descent. Continue along the trail bridge, where you’ll meet a steep, uphill winding track through open pastures and on to the dirt track that leads to Panauti. Pass a few villages, briefly entering dense forest, then prepare to be wowed by the revered Buddhist pilgrimage site of Namobuddha. Visit the stupa and impressive Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery before settling into your accommodation for the evening and treating yourself to a well-earned rest.
After breakfast today, head out of the Kathmandu Valley towards Pataleban in the Chisapani region (approximately 2-3 hours), a place hidden from the mainstream tourist routes and famous for one of Nepal's few wineries. Along the way, stop by Dhulikhel to explore the bazaar, temples and observe incredible panoramic vistas across the Himalayan peaks from an ideal viewpoint. Afterwards, head to Sanga, home to Kailashnath Mahadev – the largest Shiva temple in the country – before settling into your resort accommodation for the next two nights, which boasts beautiful views across the surrounding vineyards, gardens, and distant mountain ranges.
After breakfast in the resort grounds, head out on a leisurely half day hike with a local guide to Indra Daha, also known as Daha Chowk. The hike takes around 2 hours and passes through lush green forest – keep your eye out for the many species of birds as well as spotted deer and monkeys. If it’s a clear day, there's a good chance of witnessing spectacular views, including Langtang, Ganesh, and Manaslu mountains and if you’re lucky, you may even catch a panoramic view of Kathmandu Valley. Return to the resort for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure.
Leave Pataleban behind today and follow the Kathmandu road to the Trisuli River (approximately 1.5 hours), and the launching place for your two-day rafting experience. Meet the crew who will run through the safety training and prepare you for the adventure. The Trisuli River is an ideal introduction for first time rafters, with reasonably calm waters and only minor rapids, meaning that you can relax and really enjoy the ride! Soak up the scenery (and the splashes) as you traverse impressive gorges and beautiful valleys. Depending on the water conditions, you will be on the river for approximately 4 hours with a stop for lunch. Tonight you’ll stay in a permanent tented camp on the riverside.
Trisuli River - Kathmandu
Wake up early for tea and coffee, maybe take a stroll along the river and get ready for another fantastic day. After breakfast, prepare for the river again and hit the rapids for another few hours of rafting before enjoying lunch at the finishing point in Kuringhat, where your driver (and your dry clothes) also await. Pack up and pile in the vehicle and drive back to Kathmandu (approximately 3-4 hours) where you’ll arrive late afternoon. Perhaps go for one last wander through the bazaars in Thamel before joining your group for an optional final dinner to celebrate your trip.
Your tour ends after breakfast today and there are no further activities planned.