NEPAL UNCOVERED –
15 Days (with 1 week extension available). Max. Altitude 3,200m.
Economy Hotels, Restored Guest Houses, Jungle Lodge, Teahouses and one night Tented Beach Camp.
Road travel by tourist bus, local bus and some private transport.
Pre-Tour Briefing: Bhadgaon Guest House, 5pm on Day 1.
This is a journey full of adventure, which shows the many, varied faces of this remarkable country, Nepal. Surely you will be delighted by how much you’ll have seen and covered during your two week sojourn. From the colour and chaos of the Kathmandu Valley to the tranquillity of Pokhara’s Lake Phewa. The majesty of the High Himalaya and the plains of the Terai’s Chitwan National Park. Plus the thrill of whitewater on the Trisuli. All this, without a massive drain on your wallet; it’s unbeatable value!
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY –
Day 1 - Transfer to Bhaktapur. Afternoon at leisure. Evening (5pm) Tour Briefing.
(O/N Bhadgaon Guest House). Welcome to Nepal and welcome to the ancient city of Bhaktapur. There’s no better way to appreciate Nepali character and culture than by starting your exploration in this ancient city.
Day 2 – In Bhaktapur
(O/N Bhadgaon Guest House). As if held in a time-warp, the little city of Bhaktapur amazes everyone. You have entered a time of feudal ways, a place of medieval street-scenes, with a uniquely magical ambiance that confidently pays no tithes at all to modernity. There are some who say that travel is part about going places, part about doing things there and part about ‘just being there’. Well Bhaktapur is definitely - though not only - simply about just being there. (Indeed a lot of visitors don’t even know that it is there, for the wrong but ready assumption is that all the wonders of the legendary Kathmandu Valley are in Kathmandu City itself).
So it is a place where the eye is instructed upwards to pagoda roof-tops, where the neck turns to peer down ancient alleyways and where one’s own inaction is the perfect counter- point to all the activity around. All one’s five senses are employed and then a sixth Sense of idle exploration! To get the real ‘low-down’ on the mysteries and wonders of the people and hidden corners of this truly remarkable town, we employ the knowledge of a local guide.
Day 3 – Rafting the Trisuli
(O/N Permanent Tented Camp). Early morning transfer to the tourist bus-stand in Kathmandu (45mins approx.) for a drive out of the valley towards our rafting put-in location (2hrs approx.). Your crew awaits you, all geared up and raring to go. A crash course through the nuances of rafting, a few practice runs and there: we're away!
As a bit of a respite from the adrenaline rush, we stop for lunch on a picturesque sandy beach. Before there is any drop in the excitement barometer, we set off again by raft. With heart-in-mouth excitement, we negotiate the river’s exciting ‘Rocky Garden’ as we float towards the confluence of the Trisuli and Budi Gandaki; and then further to our campsite at The Trisuli Centre - a delightful village just beside the main road link between Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Days 4/5 - Conclusion of rafting. To Chitwan National Park
(O/N Royal Park Hotel). We’re pleased to say that the thrills aren’t over yet! More splashes and some thrilling grade 4 rapids this morning. Then lunch by the riverside before the onward journey to Chitwan National Park.
Hop on board one of the passing buses for the drive to the fertile grounds of the lowland ‘Terai'. In just three hours the change in the landscape is dramatic as the hills, terraced fields and cooler climes give way to flood plains, grass lands and a sub-tropical climate. Of the world's remaining jungles, one of the most enchanting is Chitwan National Park. Discover a lost world of towering trees and twisting vines, of rhino and lumbering elephants, of crocodile, python and deer, of brilliantly coloured birds and if the lady luck is smiling, perhaps even the elusive Royal Bengal tiger.
To wrap up the day, a group of indigenous Tharu people will put on a charming cultural show.
Whilst in Chitwan, except for a jeep safari on Day 5, all optional activities open. You can book and pay for your preferred activities on the spot.
Day 6 – To Pokhara
(O/N Hotel Taj or similar). Journeying from the plain of the lowlands, ascend once more into the Himalayan foothills. (5hrs by tourist bus.) Pokhara is a popular lakeside tourist hub which has an array of cafés, restaurants and souvenir shops, and panoramic mountain views that the guidebooks and postcards rightly find irresistible. Free time to explore. Phewa Lake offers the chance of serene boat trips, whilst a climb up to the nearby World Peace Pagoda will help your body limber up for the trek to follow.
Day 7 – To Naya Pul (1hr drive approx.) and to Ulleri (5hrs trek approx.)
O/N simple local lodge/teahouse. Altitude 1,960m). No visit to Nepal is truly complete without a trek. For a taste of hillside villages, some distinctive teahouse culture and, to top it all off, rewarding mountain scenery, trek into one of the World’s premier trekking destinations – The Annapurna.
An early morning drive to Naya Pul to join the trailhead. Proceed down the hill from the road and follow the river course to Birethanti (1,025m). Walk gently uphill for a couple of hours to Hille (1,475m). All the streams, waterfalls, tropical vegetation, and green terraces give this area a lush feeling. Cross a suspension bridge at Tikedhunga and walk uphill for about 40 mins to the overnight stop at Ulleri.
Day 8 - To Ghorepani (7hrs trek approx. O/N simple local lodge/teahouse. Altitude 2,860m). The day’s trek is a long, uphill walk to Ghorepani. Having followed the river for half an hour, the trail meets a stone staircase, which passes by many homes and tea houses as it climbs. Part way up, the first view of Annapurna South appear. Still higher up, enter a wooded area of oft-blooming trees and large bamboo plants. Having crossed a stream, arrive at the village of Banthanti (2,300m). Beyond the village is a jungle of thick vegetation and mossy trees. Following a stream up a narrow valley with more stairs to climb, emerge from the jungle at Nangathanti (2,520m). From here, it’s another hour’s climb to Ghorepani.