Nepalese Culture, Beauty & Village Walks
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu
This morning, arrive Kathmandu, the beautiful capital city of Kingdom of Nepal. Upon clearing airport formalities, transfer to your hotel, get some rest and freshen up.
This afternoon, visit Boudhanath Stupa, meaning the ‘Lord of Wisdom’. This Tibetan Buddhist monument is the largest Stupa in Nepal and one of the largest in the world.
Also visit Pashupatinath Temple, a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world, on the banks of Bagmati River. Although only Hindus are allowed inside the temple, visitors can clearly see the temple and the activities performed inside, from the eastern bank of Bagmati River.
Day 2: Day in Kathmandu (B)
After breakfast, visit Swayambhunath Stupa, one of the world’s oldest Buddhist Chaityas, acclaimed to be more than 2,500 years old. Situated on a hillock, 3 km (1.8 miles) west of Kathmandu this is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal.
Later this morning, drive to Bhaktapur (approx 1 hr. drive from Kathmandu), which was the former capital of the valley, and was once a flourishing city on the trade route to Tibet. Today, Bhaktapur is like an open air museum with large areas open to pedestrian access – it is a storehouse of medieval art and architecture. Interesting places to explore include the renowned Durbar Square, Golden Gate at the Palace of 55 Windows, Potters Square which houses the elephant headed Lord Ganesha Temple who is believed to be the patron of potters in Nepal. Bhaktapur houses a variety of Hindu and Buddhist temples including Nepal’s largest Shiva Linga. You may also see artisans engaged in Bhaktapur traditional crafts of pottery and weaving.
On your way back to Kathmandu, visit the Patan Durbar Square. Patan is known for its museum, temples and superb craftsmanship of its artisans. Patan Durbar Square has been acclaimed as one of the finest urban streetscapes in the world.
Day 3: Drive Kathmandu – Bandipur (B)
Early in the morning embark on your drive to Bandipur to experience mountain village life set amidst majestic Nepalese peaks. As you approach Bandipur, you feel like travelling back in time – the streets are narrow and cobbled and lined on both sides with the traditional wooden Newari houses. The village offers spectacular panoramic views of the entire Annapurna Range plus the peaks of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Langtang.
Upon arrival, check into your hotel and freshen up.
This afternoon, visit the famous Siddha Cave, discovered only in 1987. Filled with natural artworks created by the stalactites and stalagmites, this is believed to the largest cave in Nepal. Siddha Cave is situated just above the cliff of Bimalnagar, from where it is a 30 minute climb. If you are up for walking, the cave can be reached from Bandipur after 90 minutes of easy walking.
Day 4: Day in Bandipur (B)
This morning, enjoy views of snowy peaks of the Annapurna range. After breakfast, embark on a short hike (2 hours) west of Bandipur, to the village of Ramkot. As we proceed towards the village, the hills become greener and more rugged with some steep cliffs, rocks and beautiful terraces. Excited villagers will follow you shouting ‘Namaste’! You get an opportunity to observe local village life and interact with the locals.
Option for Picnic Lunch: This afternoon, you have the option to enjoy picnic lunch in the fresh mountain air, where you can lie back in the grass and relax for a while. Enjoy the crisp air and chirping of birds – this is mountain life at its best! (at extra charge)
Later this afternoon, visit Thani Mai Temple, perched on a hilltop with fantastic views over the mountains and the town. Stroll around the main bazaar road and also visit the Bindabasini Temple, which is home of Bandipur patron Goddess Durga and decorated with intricate woodwork carvings.
Day 5: Drive Bandipur – Pokhara (B)
Enjoy the morning at your leisure in Bandipur!
Later, embark on a scenic drive to Pokhara. Surrounded by beautiful snow-capped mountains, with a magnificent lake of crystal-clear Himalayan water, Pokhara is a serene hill town in the foothills of Himalayas. Pokhara offers fascinating view of Annapurna range including the fish tail peak of Machapuchare. The locals, called Pokhralis, will greet you with warm smiles and unforgettable hospitality. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel for 2 nights stay.
Day 6: Day in Pokhara (B)
Rise early this morning, for a short drive to Sarangkot, to view a spectacular sunrise over the Annapurna ranges. Later, drive back to Pokhara.
Spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful town of Pokhara, visiting the Devis Fall and the nearby Gupteshwor Cave popular for the natural artwork forms made of limestone deposits. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a boat ride in Phewa Lake, the second largest lake of Nepal, offering splendid views of the surrounding Himalayan ranges.
Option for Ultra Light Flight: Ultra Light flights (power-gliders) take off from Pokhara airport and offer spectacular views of the lakes, mountains and villages. This is an ideal way to discover the natural beauty of Pokhara. For those who wish they could fly like birds, this flight certainly makes some dreams come true!
Ultra Light flight experience is offered over flight duration of 15 minutes, 30 minutes or 1 hour. The flights take off from sunrise to 11:00 am and from 3:00 pm to sunset every day from Sept. 1st – June 15th. (at extra charge)
Option for Paragliding: Paragliding is an ideal way to experience the beautiful sights around Pokhara. During the flight, you will fly over rice fields, local countryside and traditional villages. For first time para-gliders, there are tandem flights where you get to fly in front of a trained pilot in complete safety. For the more experienced paragliders, you may be allowed to fly solo after you prove your skills with a small test so we can ensure your flight safety. Depending on your style and experience, you can customize a flight from a calm floating experience to acrobatic tumbling through the air.
Paragliding experience is offered over flight duration of 30 minutes and 60 minutes. The flights take off from sunrise to 11:00 am and from 3:00 pm to sunset every day from Sept. 1st – June 15th. (at extra charge)
Day 7: Drive Pokhara – Kathmandu (B)
After breakfast, drive back to Kathmandu. Check into your hotel and freshen up.
This afternoon visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, the historic seat of Nepalese royalty built between the XII to XVIII Centuries. The Durbar square is famous for its exquisite architecture, museums, temples and artistic embellishments. You also get an opportunity to buy some interesting souvenirs here.
Option for Dinner with Cultural Performance: In the evening, you have the option to savour some traditional Nepalese cuisine with cultural performances at a local restaurant. A great way to bid good bye to the people of Nepal! (at extra charge)
Day 8: Departure Kathmandu (B)
Option for Scenic Flight over Mount Everest: Nepal offers the unique experience of scenic mountain flights over the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest. Early this morning, you have the option to enjoy spectacular views of the snow capped Mount Everest and Himalayan ranges, aboard a small plane, with every seat having its own window! The hour long flight, takes off from Kathmandu Airport. (at extra charge and subject to weather conditions)
Option for Helicopter Tour around Kathmandu Valley: When in Nepal you may opt for a bird’s eye view of the beautiful surrounds! Take a helicopter tour to appreciate the snow capped peaks and natural beauty of Nepal. Helicopter flights take off from Kathmandu Airport (at extra charge and subject to weather conditions)
This morning you will be transferred to the airport to catch your flight back home.