Witness the wind catch prayer flags amid mountainous backdrops, hike through beautiful landscapes and explore ancient towns deep in the Kathmandu Valley. Travelers get to experience the affection of being treated as a family member throughout the homestay and immerse themselves in the local culture. Further, get an exciting, adrenaline-pumping rafting adventure in Bhote Koshi River.
- Day 1: Arrival at Kathmandu airport (1,302m)
Upon arrival at Tribhuwan International airport, our representative will be awaiting you to cordially welcome you with great hospitality. The representative will be displaying the “Nepal Sanctuary Treks” placard outside the airport terminal.
You will be then escorted and transferred to the hotel in our private vehicle. Our staff will accompany you and help you with the check-in at your accommodation. Further, you will be given a brief description of the activities that will take place during the upcoming trip and a preliminary briefing on hygiene and safety by our representative.
- Day 2: Local Market Tour and Explore Cultural Heritage Sites
9:00 AM: After breakfast, you start a guided cultural tour around Kathmandu Valley. Experience the numerous colors, sounds, and tastes of authentic Kathmandu and its surroundings. Our experienced tour guides will tell you all you need to know and answer all your curiosities regarding those sites.
Local Market Tour
Take a short drive to Ason. Then, start wandering Ason and Indrachowk marketplaces to get a glimpse of traditional Nepalese life. Witness the bustle of the market, see how locals purchase the products, and haggle for a bargain. Whilst walking around, enjoy the lively and vibrant atmosphere this local market has to offer. Observe firsthand the local produce people from Nepal actually purchase. You will also take in the sights and smells of the market. Your friendly tour guide will explain in full detail all the products and procedures you will see. There are lots of photo opportunities to capture with your camera.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Next, head towards Kathmandu Durbar Square, also called Hanuman Dhoka Durbar. This ancient site used to be the residence of the Nepali royal family and administrators. It incorporates an architecturally extraordinary complex of ancient palaces, temples, courtyards, and shrines dating from the 15th to the 18th century.
The prominent sites of Kathmandu Durbar Square are Kumari Ghar or the house of the living goddess. Kasthamandap is a huge rest house that is said to have been built with the wood from a single tree and is the source of which Kathmandu valley got its name. Other sites around Kathmandu Square are the ferocious Kal Bhairab – the red monkey God- Hanuman, hundreds of erotic carvings, temples, and statues dedicated to different deities.
Swayambhunath (monkey temple), is the magnificent ancient religious architecture and center of faith of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its lofty white dome and dazzling golden spire are visible from far and wide. Swayambhunath is the ideal place to observe the religious harmony in Nepal. In the shadows of the imposing structure and besides the integrated architecture can be found the daily surge of devotees faithfully offering their prayers to the gods. Upon arriving at the top, you can hear the Buddhist song “Om Mani Padme Hum” resounds everywhere. The candles and the aromatic fragrance of incense that burns constantly create a serene vibe and enormous prayer wheels which encircle the stupa.
Thereafter, take a short drive towards Boudhanath. From the moment you step into the sanctuary, you’ll immediately feel the spiritual energy that comes from the place. Boudhanath is one of the biggest stupa in Nepal built in the 5th century and listed on the world heritage list by UNESCO in 1979. The surrounding area is a central spiritual hub of Tibetan life and culture in Nepal. Observe a beautiful dome-shaped structure stupa surrounded by brilliant colorful prayer flags. It is believed that prayer flags convey mantras and prayers into the universe while fluttering in the wind. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of Kassapa Buddha.
Witness monks draped in maroon robes rolling the prayer wheels, burning incense, and flickering butter candles. Moreover, it’s fascinating to see the people feeding grains and maize to hundreds of pigeons around stupa areas. The devotees turn the prayer wheels & chant, which is humbling to see such dedication to their beliefs.
Delight in the serenity as you hear the Buddhist mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ being chanted by devotees, alongside the echo of music streaming out from the nearby shops.
Moving on, visit Pashupatinath temple, a Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva located on the bank of Bagmati River. The word Pashupati means “the king of animals” and the temple is famous for its monkeys. You will be visiting the Pashupatinath area to indulge in a spiritual journey.
Pashupatinath is more than just a religious destination. It is a combination of religion, art, and culture. The temple, spread across 246 hectares of land, abounds in temples and monuments. Hundreds of rituals are performed here every day. Witness people performing the religious ritual and funeral pyres burning at open-air cremation. Also, see elaborately dressed holy men meditating outside the temple and pilgrims placing offerings at the shrines. After touring around prominent sites, you will be transferred safely back to your hotel.
- Day 3: Drive to Godavari 1,500m (Approx. 1 hour); Hike to Chapakharkha 2,080 m (approx. 2 hours)-Khani Gaon 1,848m (1 ½ hours)-Manedobhan (1 ½ hours) - drive back to Panauti (approx. 15 minutes)
After having a hearty breakfast, we take a drive to Godavari- the starting point of the hike. We take ascend through the picturesque forest that provides a cool breeze to soothe the sweat and heat from the sun. The trial involves multiple shortcut routes and a series of sharp switchbacks. The foot trail frequently meets up with the brownish, tranquil off-road through the dense forest.
The uphill climb from Godavari to Chapakharka incorporates the beautiful sights of layer hills, glorious Himalayan ranges like Lakpa Dorje, Langtang, Manaslu, and an eagle view of the entire Kathmandu and Lalitpur valley. Moreover, you are likely to spot a diverse range of birds, and their melodious sounds make hiking more energetic and mesmerizing.
From Chapakharkha, we hike through a meandering flat off-road trail and narrow path, enjoying the distant view of the mountains and thatched houses perched on the hill. We pass the village-like Khani Gaon from where we take a downhill journey all the way to Manedobhan. From here, we take a short ride to Panauti.
Upon arrival at Panauti, the host welcome you with garland and vermilion with a great smile followed by a briefing. Then a host family takes you to their home for the authentic local experience. In the evening, try out cooking some Nepali recipes during the cooking class in your host’s kitchen.
- Day 4: Hike Panauti- Khopasi (1 hour approx.)-Balthali (1,730m) approx. 1.5 hours hike
You will be starting your day with a typical Nepali breakfast prepared by the host. After breakfast, the host family bid you farewell. You can take a stroll around the beautiful medieval town. Witness the finest arts and culture with a brief tour of the old part of the town, which preserves and depicts Panauti’s history and wellness. One of the more stunning temples (a classic example of Newari craftsmanship) is the three-tiered Indreshwor Mahadev Temple, which stands in the center of a huge brick-paved courtyard.
You start today’s hike by passing Khopasi village and reaching a small bridge, then hike up to the little village. Then we walk up to the little plateau-like hill from where the valley, gorges, adjacent hills, and terraces can be seen. Further, we make our way all the way to the hill-top village of Balthali. Once you check-in, you can refresh yourself and enjoy your lunch there with beautiful views of the village and some mountains.
- Day 5: Balthali-Namobuddha (2,565m); 3-4 hours hike
After breakfast, you make your way to Namobuddha. Then, you walk to Pada Gaun (2,100 m), from where one can have tremendously superb views of the entire Himalayan range to the north horizon and the beautiful green forest of Mahabharata. Thereafter, you trek to Namobuddha, one of the pilgrimage sites of Buddhists in Nepal. It is a sacred Buddhist place where Lord Buddha is believed to have saved the life of a tiger dying from hunger, by giving him his flesh. From here you have breathtaking views of Gauri Shanker and several other glorious Himalayas.
- Day 6: Namobuddha-Dhulikhel (1,550m); 3 hours hike approx.
After a hearty breakfast, we start our hike to Dhulikhel following the path to Kavre Bhanjyang, the hike up to the top of Dhulikhel. Reaching Dhulikhel, this Newar town offers a traditional ambiance along with remarkable views of the Himalayas. The magnificent panoramic undisturbed views of mountains in the Langtang range, Jugal Himalayan range, and other snow-capped peaks can be seen from the different vantage points in Dhulikhel.
You can wander around the ancient town to witness some fine old Nepalese buildings and several interesting temples and the traditional Newari culture. The trek reveals the religious atmosphere in the region.
- Day 7: Dhulikhel- Lomosangu (1.5 hour approx.)- Bhote Koshi Raft- Drive back to Bhaktapur (45 minutes approx.)
After breakfast, take a scenic drive to Lomosangu. Lomosangu Dam is the starting point of our rafting experience. Upon arrival, the River Guide will give a ‘safety procedure’ talk and hand over the life vests and helmets to each member before you start to float. We end our rafting journey at Sukute beach, from where you take a drive back to Bhaktapur.
- Day 8: Explore Bhaktapur- Drive to Kirtipur (50 minutes approx.)
After breakfast, explore the remarkable ancient city of Nepal. This important area, also known as an ‘open museum’, is home to some best conserved historical monuments in Nepal comprising palaces, courtyards, temples, pagodas, and monuments.
You can explore intricately detailed wood carvings and the stonework of the many sculptures that blow your mind. Juju Dhau or King Curd is a must-try here.
Bhaktapur is also well-known for its awe-inspiring crafts including pottery, woven cloth, Thanka, and masks. The place is popular for its mask dances that reveal the lives of different Gods and deities. The name Bhaktapur literally translates to “City of Devotees”, therefore one can expect to find a multitude of religious places, monuments, and events in Bhaktapur.
You get to witness wood carving and pottery making. After touring around Bhaktapur prominent sites you will be transferred safely back to your hotel.
In the afternoon, we take a short drive to Kirtipur, the historical city of Nepal that carries its own history and has many places to visit around. Kirtipur is one of the oldest cities in Nepal and is originally dominated by the Newars. You get to know about a classic Newari village that very few people know about.
- Day 9: Drive back to Kathmandu (approx. 45 minutes)
After breakfast, take a scenic drive back to Kathmandu. Upon arrival, check-in at your hotel and spend the day resting or catch up on some last-minute shopping.
- Day 10: Final Departure
It is time to fly back home, keeping all the terrific experiences of Nepal in mind. After breakfast, the representative from Nepal Sanctuary Treks will transfer you to TIA airport, where you should check in 3 hours prior to your scheduled flight.