Day 1 (Saturday) Arrive at Kathmandu Tribhuvan airport and say Namaste to Nepal. After clearing customs and immigration, you’ll be met by our local team and taken straight to your arrival accommodation, a journey of under 30 minutes, depending on traffic.
Week 1 (Monday-Friday) We ease into our stay in Nepal with some Nepali language lessons and some cultural discussions. We visit the sacred Bouddhanath Stupa, one of the world’s largest and most impressive Buddhist monuments and the centre of Tibetan Buddhist culture in Nepal. Swayambhunath, the hilltop monkey temple is another highlight with amazing views over the city of Kathmandu and beyond. The temple’s giant Buddha eyes gazing out over the city are one of the iconic images of Nepal.
You’ll enjoy a yoga and meditation session, and on Wednesday we drive to the village of Dhulikhel, an excellent vantage point for the high Himalayas. From Dhulikhel, we hike around 3 hours to the sacred stupa of Namo Buddha, thus completing the trio of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Nepal.
Namo Buddha is a beautiful place and we spend 2 nights at the monastery, a wonderful opportunity to observe the day to day life of monks. Make time at each end of the day to see the snow-covered Himalayan ranges bathed red in the glow of the rising and setting sun.
On Friday we hike out to Panauti, around 2½ hours through rice fields and small villages. Depending on the season, you may see the villagers planting, tending or harvesting rice as we go. We take a little time to explore Panauti itself before driving back to Kathmandu for the weekend.
The weekend is free to spend as you please. There’s so much to discover in Kathmandu itself, including famous Durbar Square and the fascinating district of Thamel, a shopper’s paradise. The ancient Kathmandu Valley cities of Patan and Bhaktapur are easily accessible as a daytrip, as is the Himalayan viewpoint at Nagarkot.
Week 2 (Monday-Friday) Lumbini, in the lowland Terai area of Nepal is the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, the Lord Buddha. It’s a long bus ride from Kathmandu but a vital place to visit as this is where it all began in the year 623 BC. We spend 2 nights exploring Lumbini with a tour of all the most important sights. We then head back to the Kathmandu Valley for a pilgrimage to lovely Pharping, with an overnight stay in a monastery.
Your last day (Saturday) Your adventure comes to a close in Kathmandu after breakfast on Saturday. The team will be happy to help with a taxi to the airport or city hotel, just save some rupees for the fare - budget $10-15 for the airport, $5-8 for the city.
Accommodation & Meals
A variety of accommodation types. Expect bunk-style rooms sharing with three to five others, and shared bathrooms. Hot water is often available, but in Nepal it certainly cannot be guaranteed. A private room upgrade is available for $125 pp (twin-share) or $250 (single)**
Three meals a day are provided on weekdays and two meals on weekends. Expect a mix of Western and Nepalese food, consisting mainly of vegetarian dishes including rice and vegetables with a chicken dish about once per week.
Kathmandu sits at an altitude of 1,400 metres, and temperatures always vary widely but generally the days are warm and the nights cool. Monsoon rains come in the hottest part of the year, the northern summer, with July and August being the wettest months. The clearest skies and coldest nights are in winter, with overnight temps during December to February often getting down close to zero. Don’t worry about under-packing for Nepal – you could quite safely come with no clothes at all and be kitted out cheaply in a matter of hours !