Relax and experience the heartland of traditional Nepal in a comfortable style. Meet local craftspeople, visit important places of Buddhist pilgrimage, explore the cobbled streets of tiny mountain towns and go on safari in search of tigers, rhino and deer. From the chaos and color of Kathmandu to the jungle green of Chitwan National Park, with plenty of delightful hidden gems in between, join an adventure brimming with culture, history and natural beauty.
Days 1-2 Kathmandu
Upon your arrival in Kathmandu, our tour guide will pick-up you from Kathmandu international Airport and he will take you to the hotel booked for you. We will have an important group briefing and we will leave a note at reception telling you where and when this important briefing meeting will take place. Today we will have an important group briefing and so our guide will leave a note at reception telling you where and when this important meeting will take place. Our guide shall also collect your balance payment of your tour and he/she will provide the detail of your balance payments on this tour.
Kathmandu, the colorful capital of Nepal, is a fascinating blend of traditional architecture and symbols of the 20th Century. It is rich artistic and cultural heritage is evident where ornately carved balconies mingle with beautiful shrines and temples. Kathmandu is a fascinating mixture of legend and modern development with a rich artistic and cultural heritage. Narrow lanes lead to small squares and courtyards where ornate carved balconies overlook shrines and temples. Crowded markets and bazaars are the centre of Nepali life where stalls and small hole-in-the-wall shops sell everything from bangles to Buddhas to beetroot. Kathmandu has been a traveler,s centre for many years which is reflected in the international flavor of the bright lights. The real Kathmandu is a contrast. You can walk your way through manic traffic to the peace of the Great Stupa of Tibetan Buddhism at Bodhnath and the nearby holy site of Lord Shiva. Heighten your spiritual awareness as you witness the devotion of the people around the religious sites and feel the pulse of Kathmandu in the colorful local market.
Day 2 Bhaktapur
We take a tour to the small, feudal city of Bhaktapur. This lovely town, almost a time warp of temples and backstreets, has all the commotion and colour of long tradition and rich heritage. Walk on cobbled streets and through narrow alleyways to get an insight into the life of the local people.
Day 3 Bandipur
In the morning, we have a late morning departure followed by a four-hour drive to Bandipur. Our lunch stop on the way will be at a small village close to a large Banyan tree which locals will tell you is the greatest in all the Himalaya. We arrive into Bandipur late afternoon, in time for a pleasant tea-break on the terrace.
Bandipur, located high on a ridge (1000 m) above the road to Pokhara, is a relatively non-touristy town so it is unlikely that we will meet many other travelers there. On a clear day the views of the Annapurna and Manaslu mountain ranges are amazing – as is the warm local welcome. Bandipur is a basic village but the surrounding countryside makes for great walks and all the locals will want to talk to you and guide you on your way.
Bandipur is a charming mountain town surrounded by orange orchards, with views to the north over the ever-rising foothills towards Tibet and beyond, and views to the south that hint of the River Ganges through the haze. Take an afternoon walk around the town enjoying the views and immersing you in the daily life of the locals. Today, we will stay in guesthouse is a restored village mansion in the heart of the old bazaar.
Day 4 Begnas
In the morning, we will take a last stroll around Bandipur before a mid-afternoon departure for picturesque Begnas Lake (approx. 2 hours). We then reach to our hotel by boat (approx. 20 minutes). After settling in at Begnas Lake Resort we take a stoll along the Sundari Danda ridge. The views of the surrounding hills and that of the twin lakes, Rupa and Begnas, from here are simply awe-inspiring. Try your hand at fishing or learn a yoga posture or two. Overnight: Begnas Lake Resort.
Day 5 Pokhara
Your morning is at leisure before we transfer to Pokhara this afternoon.
This afternoon is free to soak up the lakeside ambience and enjoy the numerous shops and bamboo-roofed cafes and bars. Help the Tibetan cause by purchasing your souvenirs at the Tibetan Refugee Camp, and learn about carpet weaving in the all-female carpet factory.
Day 6 Pokhara
There are two main choices. You could take a day-trip by road for a close-up of the mountains and/or a day hike to the World Peace Pagoda. Alternatively, spend a full day at leisure at the Fishtail Lodge and along the shore of Phewa Tal with its numerous handicraft emporia.
Overnight: Fishtail Lodge. One of Pokhara’s most luxurious resorts, Fishtail Lodge has all the facilities of a first-class hotel. The hotel buildings are set in attractive gardens complete with swimming pool and there are superb views of the mountains. The hotel is reached by a rope drawn pontoon or a boat across Phewa Lake.
Days 7-8 Chitwan National Park
Heading down south to the lowlands, we will drive to the Chitwan National Park (approx. 5 hours). Of all the world’s remaining jungles, this is one of the most enchanting. In the afternoon you take an elephant-back ‘rhino-watch’ safari, keeping an eye out for crocodiles, pythons, deer, brilliantly coloured birds and rhinos, even the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger is a possibility with luck on your side. Before dinner enjoy a traditional ’stick dance’ performance by the Tharu tribe. On the morning of day 8 we take a canoe ride along the Rapti River on the park’s boundary, which shelters a quarter of the world’s remaining gharial population. This fish eating crocodile has long been hunted for the supposed aphrodisiac qualities of its snout. Later this morning, we also visit the elephant stable to be briefed on this friendly giant.
Overnight: Chitwan Jungle Lodge.Your accommodation is at Chitwan Jungle Lodge, within the park. To reach it we drive by jeep off-road and across the river. Built from natural materials, the lodge blends perfectly with its jungle surroundings and offers very comfortable facilities. The individual thatch-roof bungalows are tastefully decorated with private solar-powered hot and cold running showers.
Days 9-10 Kathmandu
Your morning on day 9 is at leisure to explore more of the national park before heading to the regional airport for a flight back to Kathmandu. Try to get a seat on the left-hand side of the plane for spectacular views of the mountains. The afternoon is free to relax, or your leader will be able to recommend additional activities.
Overnight: Hotel in Kathmandu. There are no activities planned for day 10 and after breakfast you may depart the hotel at any time. Check-out from the hotel is at 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel. We will arrange a pick-up from hotel to airport for your departure flight.