Temples, mountains, villages, & wildlife
A world of serendipitous adventure awaits you on this wonderful introduction to Nepal that's ideal for first-time trekkers, adventurous families (kids five and up are welcome), or for those with limited time to spare from their busy schedule. In just 10 days, we really pack in a world of adventure, from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu's temple-strewn maze of streets to the majestic splendor of the high Himalaya to the jungles of Bardia National Park. You just might call it "Nepal 101!"
Our adventure starts with an immersion into the swirl of color that is Kathmandu. Then we get a taste of Himalayan trekking on easy day hikes through the friendly villages of the Annapurna foothills around Pokhara. Our hike takes us no higher than 6,700 feet, yet the scenery is truly unbelievable: 26,000-foot Himalayan ice giants are only 20 miles away, and the snowy flanks of Annapurna I, Annapurna II, and the famous "fishtail" spire of Machapuchare seem almost within arm's reach. Outside of Pokhara, we'll base ourselves at Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge, set high on a ridgetop a thousand feet above the Pokhara Valley. Thirteen individual stone bungalows are set in private gardens and situated to maximize the breathtaking vistas. Each room has a private verandah, adjoining bathroom, and is furnished with high-quality Tibetan wool carpets.
After our stay in Pokhara, we head to Bardia National Park to see another side of Nepal. We stay at the unrivaled Karnali Lodge outside Bardia National Park. Here, among the flat jungles of the terai lowlands, we take nature walks, ride elephants, and board dugout canoes in search of rhino, sloth bear, colorful birdlife, and-—the star of the show—the always-elusive and endangered Bengal tiger. Returning to Kathmandu, we have time for some last minute shopping, before heading home with a rush of lasting memories.
Moderate hiking on uneven terrain (max. elev. 6,700'), day nature walks, elephant rides, canoe excursions
- Hike in the foothills of the Annapurnas and enjoy spectacular Himalayan mountain views
- Active exploration of Bardia National Park with its diverse wildlife, including the elusive Bengal tiger!
- Explore exotic Kathmandu, home to elaborate Hindu temples, Buddhist stupas, and lively bazaars
Duration: 10 days Start Location: Kathmandu End Location: KathmanduDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive in Kathmandu
NOTE-This trip begins with a rendezvous at the airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, on the morning of Day 1. Most flights from the U.S. require three days of travel and overnight en route (you arrive in Kathmandu on the third day). More specific details will be sent to you in your pre-trip packet of information.
Arrive in Kathmandu. A Mountain Travel Sobek representative will meet you outside the customs and immigration area at the airport. He or she will answer questions, brief you on the immediate arrangements, and escort you to your hotel. The trip leader will hold a short briefing in the hotel around 4:00 p.m. regarding trek arrangements and a general orientation to Kathmandu.
Day 2 : Touring the Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu is one of three former medieval city-states in the valley, along with Bhaktapur and Patan. Morning tour of Bhaktapur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which has preserved its ancient character and is a wonderful example of medieval Nepalese town life. A highlight is Durbar Square, with its many temples, remains of an ancient palace, and intricate Sun Dhoka (“Golden Gate”), a gilded copper gate crafted in 1753. In the afternoon, Kathmandu is yours to explore. By western standards, the city is intimate. You can visit the many interesting sights, shrines, and markets, or stroll in Kathmandu's fascinating Asan Tole bazaar. Don't miss Durbar Square, Thamel, Swayambhunath (the “Monkey Temple,” overlooking the entire Valley; go at sunrise or sunset!) and the King's Palace. You could also hire a driver to take you to the nearby ancient city of Patan.
Days 3 - 5 : Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge
This morning we take the short scenic flight to Pokhara and transfer to Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge, an elegant mountain lodge nestled among the Annapurna foothills. The Pokhara Valley is known for its dazzling mountain panoramas, but it's also home to clans of Gurung, Magar, Brahmin, and Thakali people who have farmed and herded in these hills for centuries. While less famous than Nepal's Sherpas, their hill cultures are no less interesting, with a rich mixture of Hindu, Buddhist, and animistic traditions. This is the region from which Britain recruited many of its famous Gurkha regiments. The afternoon is free to relax, or explore on foot the villages in the nearby countryside.
Each day we depart on hikes in the magical foothills of Annapurna and Lamjung Himal. Walks in this region provide memorable opportunities to meet the people of Nepal's middle hills and take in the Pokhara Valley's astounding Himalayan views. We have a packed lunch each day and return to our lodge in the late afternoon.
Days 6 - 8 : Bardia National Park
Morning flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu. You then make a short transfer from the domestic airport to Dwarika's Hotel for lunch. Transfer back to the airport for your 45 minute flight to Nepalgunj and onto Karnali Lodge and Bardia National Park, one of the most preserved jungle areas in Nepal. Here we'll seek out the fauna, including the rare one-horned rhino, sloth bear, and perhaps a leopard or tiger, via elephant back and on foot. We'll also take wooden boat rides into the watery realm of the threatened gharial crocodile, mugger crocodile, and numerous waterfowl.
Your accommodation is at Karnali Lodge. With twenty newly decorated rooms, each with an adjoining bathroom, Karnali Lodge is the epitome of comfort with a focus on privacy and calm. The rooms are designed to minimize their impact on the environment. As part of their commitment to responsible tourism, Karnali Lodge runs almost entirely on solar energy.
Day 9 : Kathmandu
In the morning we fly back to Kathmandu, and we'll have the balance of the day at our leisure in Kathmandu.
Day 10 : Fly home
Transfer to the airport for departure on homeward-bound flights, or join one of our extensions to Vietnam, Cambodia, or India.
EXTEND YOUR ADVENTURE!
If you like to explore on your own, plan to arrive a day or two early or extend your trip after the tour. We also offer the following extensions:
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Just a 45-minute flight from Bangkok is the famed temple complex of Angkor Wat, the 12th century temple of King Suryavarman II, a World Heritage Site, and one of the most mystical archaeological sites in the world. You’ll be greeted by a dizzying array of ornate towers, Khmer temples, and detailed bas-reliefs. This is one of the greatest architectural marvels on earth, and if you’re in Southeast Asia already it would a shame to miss! (Extend even further with a one-day hop to Phnom Penh, the “Pearl of Asia.”)
3 days. Land cost from $625 (per person, double occupancy), plus internal airfare.
If you have more time to spend, consider taking our eight-day extension to Vietnam, an incredibly beautiful country with a highly cultured people. Perhaps most remarkable is that Vietnam's rich, ancient culture has survived colonial rule and civil war virtually intact. On this extension we’ll visit the ancient imperial city of Hue as well as the sycamore lined boulevards of modern Hanoi, the up-and-coming capital. From French museums in Da Nang to impressive karst towers in the Marble Mountains, plus Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, My Son, this tour will introduce you to one of Asia’s finest treasures.
8 days. Land cost from $2,590 (per person, double occupancy)
Delve into the “dream India” of your imagination, full of wonderful reminders of its romantic, turbulent past. On our extensions in India we visit Rajasthan’s treasure-trove city of Jaipur, where the legacy of the maharajahs is supremely evident in lavish palaces and forts of exquisite workmanship, Agra and the inimitable Taj Mahal, built by the Emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his favorite wife, and the remarkable site of Fatehpur Sikri, a hauntingly-beautiful abandoned fortress-city built by Moghul Emperor Akbar.
3-, 4-, and 7-day extensions available. Land cost from $890, $1,490, and $1,690 (per person, double occupancy
DATES: Best time to go: January - March, October - December Departures: Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availability. Call us for details.
$5,095 per person, double occupancy (3 or more people)
$5,795 per person, double occupancy (2 people)
$7,595 solo traveler
$460 internal airfare – Kathmandu/Pokhara/Kathmandu/Nepalgung/Kathmandu - subject to change
Tiger Mountain Pokhara LodgePokhara
Resting on a spectacular hilltop ridge a thousand feet above Pokhara Valley, Tiger Mountain offers breathtaking mountain views. Comfortable rooms are arranged around the hilltop in hand-cut stone bungalows, blending into their surroundings for total privacy. This lodge has won several prestigious awards for its eco-tourism and conservation ethos.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.