8 days to see the best of Nepal – the golden triangle of Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan shows you the diversity of environment and culture in this amazing country.
Nepal is a country of great contrasts, varying geographically from the towering snow-covered peaks of the Himalaya to the flatlands and jungles of the sub-tropical Terai region. Cultural and biological diversity makes a journey to Nepal a truly incredible experience. In this 8 day trip, you will experience the very best Nepal has to offer, including the cultural and historical highlights of Kathmandu and the beautiful and relaxing lakeside city of Pokhara. This memorable trip then concludes with a visit to Royal Chitwan National Park for the chance to see Nepal’s wildlife including, perhaps, a glimpse of the rare and endangered Royal Bengal Tiger.
Photos of Nepal Highlight Tours
Upon your arrival at Kathmandu airport we will greet you and transfer you to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, we can organize some exploring in the afternoon to introduce you to this amazing place and its unique ancient-modern mix.
Exploring the old city, you’ll wander through narrow streets and alleyways, discovering hidden temples and meeting the locals. Exotic produce and a bewildering mix of people are everywhere; you’re likely to see Ghurkhas, Tibetan women in their striped aprons, traders from India, and sadhus – Hindu holy men – perhaps on pilgrimage to one of the many temples and shrines of the valley.
After breakfast today, we embark on a full day of sightseeing to get to know the incredible Kathmandu Valley. Your guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel and you will be chauffeured by private car to four out of an incredible seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley.
First we will visit the Swoyambhunath Temple. Also known as the Monkey Temple for the many resident monkeys that scamper around the myriad of small shrines and temples, this ancient Buddhist Stupa is perched on a hilltop overlooking the valley and is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. From here we will proceed to Patan, also known as Lalitpur, the city of fine arts. Patan is one of the three ancient cities of the Kathmandu Valley and the Patan Durbar Square showcases stunningly preserved temples and palace complexes.
From Patan we proceed to Boudhanath Stupa, which is one of the biggest in the world. It stands with four pairs of eyes in the four cardinal directions keeping watch for righteous behaviour and human prosperity. It is built on an octagonal base inset with prayer wheels and the stupa is ringed by houses of Lamas or Buddhist priests, monasteries and shops.
Our final exploration today takes us to Pashupatinath temple, one of the holiest temples in the Hindu religion. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the three main gods in Hinduism, as his birthplace. Situated on the banks of the sacred Bagmati River, Pashupatinath is the main cremation site for Hindus in the Kathmandu Valley, with cremation ghats lining the Bagmati River below the temple. It is such an important pilgrimage site that any Hindu should visit it once in their life and there is a constant stream of sadhus coming and going from Nepal and India.
After breakfast this morning we leave the Kathmandu Valley behind and travel overland to Pokhara, a stunning lakeside town with incredible mountain views, 200km west of Kathmandu. On our way, we drive along the banks of the Trisuli River, past stunning traditional villages, terraced fields and if the weather is good we will have some fantastic picturesque views to the Himalayan Range.
We stop to enjoy lunch at Bandipur, a small town perched on a hillside with outstanding views to Langtang Lirung, Ganesh Himal, Manaslu and the Annapurna massif. After arriving in Pokhara we will check in to our hotel and then head out to explore the lakeside and then relax over dinner.
This morning we will get up early – before dawn – to make the journey by jeep/van and a short walk to the hilltop village of Sarankot. Here, with breakfast being prepared for us, we revel in the sight of one of Nepal’s most famous vistas – the stunning sight of the Annapurnas and Machhapuchhare emerging from the morning mists as the sun rises.
After breakfast we will take in the sights of Pokhara, including the Devil’s Falls, the limestone caves at Mahendra Gufa and Binde Basini Temple. In the afternoon, you can go for a leisurely boat ride on Phewa Tal, the lake beside which Pokhara lies, basking in the splendour of this gorgeous setting; you can take a walk up to the World Peace Pagoda; or you can get wild and go paragliding and Para hawking!
Today we head south to the jungles of Nepal’s Terai region. Our destination of Chitwan National Park is home to rich wildlife, lush grasslands and rare species of birds and animals. Highlights include seeing the iconic one-horned rhino, bison, wild boar, monkeys, deer and a wide array of birds (over 400 species on record), and with luck on your side even the Royal Bengal tiger, bear and leopard are a possibility. Another highlight of the trip is the canoe ride on Rapti River, which borders the northern side of the park, the banks of which are home to sun-bathing ‘mugger’ crocodiles and the unique long-nosed ‘gharial’ crocodiles.
We will arrive at our hotel in the afternoon after our overland trip from the mountains to the jungle. In the evening, before dinner, we will have a slide show showing us the culture of Nepal and highlights of the park, or a performance of the Tharu stick dance, a traditional local dance.
Today we have a full day of jungle safari activities! Our excursions include Elephant safari, Wildlife walk, jeep safari, canoeing and bird watching. Unlike African animals, those in Chitwan tend to be rather solitary and shy, but the chancing of sightseeing these are very high owing to the expertise and experiences of guides.
After breakfast we will drive (or fly if you prefer it) back to Kathmandu. Upon arrival you are free to spend your time relaxing, shopping, more exploring, or simply watching the world go by from a terrace coffee shop!
After breakfast at your hotel, you are free until it is time for us to transfer you to the airport in time for your flight home.
Not satisfied with this regular itinerary? Make your own.
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