Venture into the lively streets of Kathmandu, spend a night at a Buddhist monastery guesthouse, and take in astounding views of the Himalaya in Pokhara: these are just a few of the experiences that await on this 10-day journey through Nepal. From the famous rhinos and Bengal tigers of Chitwan National Park to the ancient temples of the Kathmandu Valley, encounter the essence of the Himalaya.

Trip highlights

Overnight at a Buddhist Monastery, Experience the serenity of a Buddhist monastery by spending the night in the comfortable accommodations of its guesthouse. Opt to take tea and enjoy the chanting rituals with the approximately 200 resident monks to gain understanding of their everyday life.

SASANE Lecture, Enjoy a talk with a woman who has graduated from the SASANE program, which trains victims of human trafficking to be paralegals who, in turn, fight trafficking. Gain valuable insight and learn about the struggles these brave women face in helping others.

Tibetan Refugee Settlement, Visit the Tashiling Tibetan Refugee Camp, established as a temporary settlement in 1964. Walk through this friendly quarter (now home to over 500 people) before enjoying a traditional lunch at its restaurant to support the community.

Traditional Weaving and Indigenous Peoples Lecture, Learn about National Geographic grantee Chhing Lhomi, who works to preserve the ancient weaving traditions of the Upper Mustang region. Enjoy a talk from Chhing or one of her collegues about the Himalayan Indigenous Society and their ongoing efforts.

Itinerary - 10 Days

Day 1 Kathmandu (1D)

Arrive at the joining point hotel at any time on Day 1 as no group activities are planned except for a group meeting in the early evening.

Kathmandu is fascinating at every turn and a great place to just wander, seeing where the city may lead you.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Nepalese Welcome feast

Transport:
Private Vehicle

Day 2 Kathmandu (1B, 1L)

Spend the day exploring Kathmandu and surrounding areas, including Boudhanath Stupa, one of the world's largest Buddhist shrines. Also visit the Royal City of Bhaktapur, exploring Hindu temples, pagodas, and monuments, including the stunning wood-carved palace in Durbar Square. After, visit the Sisterhood of Survivors Project and learn how to make Nepalese momos (dumplings) before enjoying an authentic local lunch. You'll also meet one of the women that has graduated from the Sasane paralegal program.

Additional Notes:
Some of the sites visited in Kathmandu were damaged in the earthquake in 2015. Restorations are ongoing to bring these beloved landmarks back to their previous glory.

Included Activities:
Bodhnath Stupa Visit
Bhaktapur Excursion
Sisterhood of Survivors Project
SASANE Lecture

Transport:
Private Vehicle

Day 3 Kathmandu/Pharping (1B)

Experience the serenity of a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. The monastery guest house offers comfortable accommodations in a peaceful setting with balconies and private western-style bathrooms. There are approximately 200 monks in residence following the Nyingmapa tradition. This is a new monastery (2006), and income from the guest house directly supports it.

Included Activities:
Swayambhunath Temple Visit
Traditional Weaving and Indigenous Peoples Lecture
Overnight at a Buddhist Monastery

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.00-2.00 hours, 25km)

Day 4 Pharping/Kurintar (1B, 1D)

Arrive at our remote lodge, which sits on a ridge amidst the hills and overlooks sandy beaches and a river. Forests cascade down the hillsides, enclosing tiny settlements of tribal people.

Additional Notes:
The lodge is only accessed by foot, so please expect a walk of approx. 30 to 45 minutes. Porters will be hired to carry our bags but please pack what you need for the night, as we will leave our larger bags in the vehicle.

Included Activities:
Neydo Monastery Sunrise Chant

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.50-4.00 hours, 125km)
Walking (0.50-0.75 hours)

Day 5 Kurintar/Chitwan National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)

Spend two nights enjoying cultural and wildlife excursions in and around Royal Chitwan National Park (RCNP), the oldest national park in Nepal. Established in 1973, it became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984. Within its area of 932km² (579 mi²), RCNP is home to at least 43 species of mammals, 450 species of birds, and 45 species of amphibians and reptiles, including sambars, chitals, rhesus monkeys, tigers and langurs.

Additional Notes:
The specifics and order of activities may change, depending on the season and local conditions. Your CEO will confirm the exact activities and timing with the naturalists upon arrival at the lodge.

Included Activities:
Chitwan Area Boat Excursion

Transport:
Walking (0.50-0.75 hours)
Private Vehicle (2.50-3.50 hours)

Day 6 Chitwan National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)

Explore Chitwan National Park with expert local guides. Activities can include a village walk, boating, nature walks, and a jeep safari in search of rhinos, leopards, wild elephants, monkeys, and crocodiles. Also meet with a local tiger “technician” who will give a presentation about the Nepal Tiger Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of tigers in Nepal. Our expert will join us on a jeep safari to teach us how tigers are tracked, protected, and monitored with help from the local community. If we’re lucky, we may catch a glimpse of one of these elusive great cats. This evening, return to our lodge and enjoy a Tharu cultural dance program presented by local villagers.

Additional Notes:
The jeep safari is often prohibited during monsoon season by the park authorities; monsoon season is from June-September, and sometimes it can last till October. When the park is inaccessible, we will search out wildlife in the surrounding forest which is unfenced and just as likely to view animals. Boating is also subject to the water levels and local conditions on the Rapti River.

Included Activities:
Jeep Safari
Chitwan Village Visit
Chitwan Tiger Experience

Day 7 Chitwan National Park/Pokhara (1B)

Nestled in a tranquil valley at an altitude of 827m (2,713 ft), beautiful Pokhara lies on a once vibrant trade route between India and Tibet. To this day, mule trains can be seen bringing goods to trade from remote regions of the Himalayas. This enchanting city has several beautiful lakes and offers stunning panoramic views of Himalayan peaks. It is popular place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk

Transport:
Private Vehicle (5.00-6.00 hours)

Day 8 Pokhara (1B, 1L)

Hike up to Sarangkot and enjoy the sunrise and sweeping Annapurna Himalayan views. Later, hike to the brilliant World Peace Pagoda, a stunning monument built by Buddhist monks from Japan. After, visit a Tibetan refugee settlement to learn more about this community by viewing their photo gallery and enjoying a local Tibetan lunch. This afternoon, opt to try paragliding or go boating in Phewa Lake.

Additional Notes:
The hike up to the World Peace Pagoda can be quite strenuous and is all steps up and back down. If you are not feeling so energetic, please let the CEO know and you can opt out of this activity.

Included Activities:
Sunrise at Sarangkot
World Peace Pagoda Excursion
Tibetan Refugee Settlement

Day 9 Pokhara/Kathmandu (1B)

Enjoy free time in the afternoon for exploring. Visit the burning ghats at Pashupatinath and Swayambhunath, or the monkey temple. Kathmandu is fascinating at every turn, and some travelers prefer to just wander, seeing where the city may lead them.

Transport:
Plane (1.00 hour(s))

Day 10 Kathmandu (1B)

Feel free to depart at any time today, but remember that check out time from the hotel is 12:00pm.

Included Activities:
Departure Day

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