Discover the best of Nepal from the fabled capital, Kathmandu, to the lakeside town of Pokhara, which stands in the shadows of the mighty Annapurnas. Here we visit a remote village, far from the tourist trail, and experience a way of life unchanged for centuries. At Chitwan National Park we seek out Nepal's unique and endangered wildlife, ranging from gharial and axis deer to the magnificent one-horned rhinoceros.
Today is an arrival day and no activities are planned, so you may arrive at any time. If you are arriving early in Kathmandu you may wish to wander down to Durbar Square, which is the spiritual heart of the city located only 10 minutes walk from our hotel. Please ask at the hotel reception for suggestions of things to see and do in Kathmandu. A pre-departure meeting for the first (Nepal) part of your tour takes place this evening at the hotel. Please check the noticeboard for details of this meeting and for any other messages from your tour guide. Please also bring your passport and travel insurance documents to the meeting. Afterwards we have the opportunity to go out for an optional group dinner.
Today we visit Bodhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world, where we observe Buddhist monks in prayer in the monasteries surrounding the stupa. We also visit Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here we see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the ghats. The rest of our time in Kathmandu is free for further sightseeing and exploration. You may wish to wander back into the centre of town, scour the shops in Thamel or just relax in the hotel gardens. Alternatively you may wish to arrange for a taxi to take you out to Bhaktapur, probably the most fascinating of the medieval towns in the Kathmandu Valley.
We travel to the village of Sauraha, in the Terai, on the edge of the flat Chitwan jungle region at the base of the mighty Himalayan range. During our lodge stay we ride elephants into the jungle and, accompanied by a wildlife guide, go in search of Indian rhinoceros, sloth bear, deer and a multitude of different birds. Tiger sightings are very rare these days; however, luck may be on our side! We also have time at for some optional activities such as jeep and canoe safaris.
This morning we drive out from Chitwan National Park and descend to follow the Trisuli River Valley. On a clear morning, views of the Ganesh, Manaslu and Annapurna ranges can be seen as we head west to the town of Pokhara. After a driving journey of six hours, we arrive in the early afternoon and check into our hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free to wander around the shops or relax in one of the cafes by the lakeside. One optional activity worth considering is hiring a boat for a row out on the lake (Phewa Tal), which is the second largest in Nepal.
We take a short drive out of Pokhara and visit a Tibetan refugee camp before continuing on to Phedi, where we start our short trek. From here it is a steep climb up on to a high ridge, where we enjoy stunning views of the Annapurna Range. After lunch we visit a local school and enjoy the peaceful tranquillity of this region which sees no trekkers and very few tourists. We continue to the village of Hyenjakot, where we stay the night in a local hut as guests of the villagers. This is a great way of experiencing first-hand the hardy way of life led by these remarkable people is such a remote place. Weather permitting, we may also enjoy great sunset views.
After bidding our hosts farewell, we descend through terraced fields on the other side of the ridge and continue to enjoy great mountain views all the way down. We are met by jeeps and driven back to Pokhara in time for lunch and the rest of the afternoon is free to unwind. We have time to explore the lake and to enjoy the many excellent restaurants and cafes in this beautiful lakeside town. Your leader can advise you of sightseeing opportunities or you may just wish to relax and laze around the hotel swimming pool. The lakeside area has good shopping opportunities and internet cafés. Pokhara has an interesting old area as well as an elaborate Hindu temple and a Buddhist monastery. There are various small museums scattered around town including the International Mountain Museum, which is well worth a visit.
We catch a morning bus that journeys along the banks of the Trisuli River and join the Rajpath (Prithvi Highway), taking us to the rim of the Kathmandu Valley, before we descend again and re-enter Nepal's capital.
Our trip ends today around breakfast time. If you wish to stay on in Kathmandu, please pre-book your post-tour accommodation before you commence your travels.
You'll need to walk for a few hours, with some up-and-down, on varied terrain, from well-defined paths to rocky trails.
• Gecko's expert English-speaking local tour guide.
• Sightseeing in Kathmandu including transport and entrance fees.
• Royal Chitwan National Park entrance fee and elephant ride with a wildlife guide.
• Visit to a Tibetan refugee camp.
• Short trek to visit a local school and the village of Hyenjakot.
• Overnight stay in a local hut as guests of the Hyenjakot villagers.
Go on a short trek into a region which sees no trekkers and very few tourists! Arriving at the village of Hyenjakot, we'll enjoy great sunset views and stay the night in a local hut as guests of the villagers - a great way of experiencing first-hand the hardy way of life led by these remarkable people.
International flights, arrival and departure transfers, airport/departure taxes, visas, pre or post tour accommodation, meals, optional tours sightseeing or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature, laundry and flights unless specified. Some places that we visit charge additional fees if you are entering with a camera or camcorder - your city guide will advise on these and they can be paid for locally.
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please ensure that you have the most up-to-date information for your trip. We recommend that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
13 August 2012