15 Days (with 1 week extension available). Max. Altitude 3,200m. Economy Hotels, Restored Guest Houses, Jungle Lodge, Teahouses, 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.


Day 1 - Transfer to Bhaktapur. Afternoon at leisure. Evening (5pm) Tour Briefing.

(O/N Bhadgaon Guest House)
(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 Camps)
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)
NWe'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)
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 (5hrs trek approx.)

(O/N simple local lodge/teahouse)
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.

Day 9 – To Ghandruk (7hrs trek approx.)

(O/N simple local lodge/teahouse)
) A pre-dawn hike up to Poon Hill (3,190m, 45mins). At the top, marvel at the views of Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna Range as they are struck by the rising sun. Return to the teahouse for a welcome breakfast before heading along the trail to Tadapani (2,590m). The path wends its way north along the ridge line - magnificent views of the Annapurnas stretch out from east to west. From here on, much of the way today is downhill. From the small settlement of Bhaisi Kharka there are two routes to Ghandruk; continue to descend until meeting the path which follows the Kyunri Khola. Crossing the river, a short walk leads to the overnight destination. Ghandruk is a delightful, ornate 'Gurung' village which has grown large and prosperous on the pensions of retired Gurkha soldiers. From the village, dramatic views of Annapurna South, Gangapurna, Hiunchuli and the oh-so-famous Machhapuchhre (Fishtail Mountain) are there for all to enjoy. The remainder of the day can be spent wandering around the village, visiting the local museum and the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) office.

Day 10 – To Nayapul (5hrs trek approx.) and Pokhara (1hr drive approx.)

(O/N Hotel Taj or similar)
The day starts with a steep descent down a stone stairway. On reaching flat ground, it's then a stream crossing followed by easy walking to the village of Chane. Another short descents brings one to Syauli Bazaar and then on to Birethanti, from where the road-head (1,190m) is at a short distance away. After arrival in Pokhara the remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 11 – In Pokhara

(O/N Hotel Taj or similar
A full day at lakeside. Be as active or inactive as you like. Perhaps take a chance to paraglide from the heights of nearby Sarangkot, or simply stroll along the side of the lake and take in your fill of cafes, restaurants and shops.

Day 12 – To Bandipur

(O/N The Old Inn – shared facilities)
And so from Pokhara to Dumre (2hrs approx. by tourist bus), and then a shared jeep ride with the locals (25 mins approx.) up to the gates of Bandipur. With its eagle's nest location, its provincial architecture, interesting walks, and a warm welcome at The Old Inn, Bandipur and its environs offer a glimpse into village life and a chance to partake in the typical laid-back lifestyle of the middle hills of Nepal.

Days 13/14 – To and In Kathmandu

(O/N Hotel Norbu Linka)
We catch a Kathmandu-bound tourist bus at Dumre (4.5hr drive approx.). Now the time is ripe to explore the amazing 'mix' that is Kathmandu. Take a walk to Durbar Square through the labyrinth of backstreets and alleys leading from one bazaar to another. And visit the 'Great Stupa' at Boudhanath - this place of pilgrimage for Tibetans and Nepal Buddhists is splendid in the late afternoon light. Then there's the tourist centre of Thamel, offering a range of dining and partying options!

A full free day to explore the shops in search of that last minute bargain or souvenir. Or perhaps rise early and take a Mountain Flight to get up close to the heights of Everest and other major peaks. Or climb the commanding hill for a morning visit to the 'monkey temple' at Swayambhunath, And then perhaps a taxi ride to the holy site of Hindu's Lord Pashupati. There's also the splendid city of Patan with its world-renowned museum, before a farewell dinner on the last evening.

Day 15 – End of Tour OR One Week Extension - To Nuwakot

(O/N The Famous Farm)
Transfer to the local bus-stand to catch a bus for the 600m climb up to the Valley Rim. The way north from here is one of rural scenes of the central Himalaya and, specifically, the Region of Langtang Himal.

Near the upper Trisuli River, high off the main road to Langtang, Nuwakot is a truly superb fortified town of palaces and temples of great historic significance. And above Nuwakot one finds the inspirationally restored Famous Farm, with its wonderful location and river/valley views.

The Farm is a cluster of three buildings which together provide the sheer delight of just a little more than typically luxurious Nepali country living. From here there are short walks in the glorious, tranquil neighbourhood and fresh organic produce is ‘le plat du jour’.

Day 16 – In Nuwakot (O/N The Famous Farm)

A full day at leisure to enjoy the pastoral setting of The Famous Farm. Once installed, some choose not to move, whilst others take to the pathways and trails through the nearby forest to explore this quiet corner of the upper Trisuli region. Tourists are still a rarity in these parts so except some locals to be surprised at and delighted by your presence.

Day 17 – Return to Kathmandu

(O/N Hotel Norbu Linka)
We again take a local bus for the return journey to Kathmandu, reaching the city by early afternoon. More free time in store for you to enjoy the vibe and pulse of the capital.

Days 18/19 – Towards Tibetan Border, to Kodari

(O/N The Last Resort – Tented Camp)
Aptly named, the place you’re headed to does make one feel that they’ve reached the northern reaches of this Himalayan kingdom and with it, the fulfilment of a great Nepali experience. The Last Resort is set amidst terraced fields, clinging to the slopes of a gorge high above the wild Bhote Kosi. It is surrounded by dense jungle and pristine forest.

Over the next couple of days, literally ‘hang loose’ and indulge in the ambience and environs. Bungy Jump or Swing – one of the highest and scenically spectacular jumps in the world – or go canyoning. More leisurely options include ayurvedic massage and a plunge pool. The choice is yours.

Day 20 – Return to Kathmandu (O/N Hotel Norbu Linka)

Time to toast the end of a truly memorable journey with an ‘end-of-trip’ party tonight!

Day 21 - Departure



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