First trip sold out! We added a second trip! We’re headed to the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal in South Asia! This petite country is sandwiched between its much bigger neighbors, China and India. While small in size, Nepal brims with breathtaking natural beauty and remarkable history! There is something for every nature junkie and culture addict!
Nepal is where the Himalayas, the highest mountain range on the planet, traverses through. And it’s home to a whopping 8 of the 10 highest peaks in the world including Mount Everest, the tallest mountain on the globe! Besides all those impressive high mountain landscapes, Nepal boasts even more incredibly diverse scenery that will stop you in your tracks as you find the need to take it in all in. There are peaceful mountain lakes where serenity most certainly can be found, and flat expansive plains including subtropical jungle lowlands. Almost 19 percent of the country consists of protected wildlife areas - Nepal has nine National Parks, four Wildlife Reserves and three Conservation Areas.
And then there are the distinctive cultural highlights where your curiosity will have a field day learning about the rich history and world-class, famous sites. Nepal is the birthplace of Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) who founded Buddhism, and abounds with an unparalleled collection of centuries-old palaces, stupas, monasteries, monuments, and temples. The three medieval kingdoms of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan are cultural powerhouses where you can wander the streets of ancient civilizations. Nepal is full of fascinating places! In fact, it’s home to 10 UNESCO World Heritage sites, 7 of which are in Kathmandu Valley alone!
And bring your appetite for authenic Nepalese foodie delights. Nepali cuisine is influenced by both Indian and Tibetan dishes. The most typical traditional Nepali food is called Dal Bhat and is made up of steamed rice, lentil soup, curried mixed vegetables and spicy achar sauce. Nepalis love this dish and eat at least daily! The Tibetan momos (dumplings) are another Nepalese favorite and are a must! In addition to traditional dishes, you'll need to try Newari cusine. The Newari signature dish is Chatamari, a flat crepe filled with veggies, yak cheese, eggs and ground meat. Lots to discover and feast upon!
The local people are super friendly, kind, welcoming and eager to share their culture and traditions with visitors. We’ll be staying at a couple “homestays” where we’ll overnight at the homes of local residents who are trained for participation in the Community Homestay Program.
Gen X Travel Club specializes in non-touristy, responsible small group trips. Our partners on the ground in Nepal, are all local Nepalese residents. They are tourism professionals with extensive experience in providing tours in their country and follow sustainable/responsible travel principles. We only support local businesses from trip leaders & drivers to restaurants, accommodations, and tour/activity providers. Doing so means that the money we spend stays in the local communities we visit.
Note that we'll be traveling over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, which means you can use that holiday leave toward vacation time! Tell your family you'll see them the following month for the end of year holidays (e.g., Christmas & New Years)!
Even though this is an 11 night/12 day trip, be assured that you definitely will not be able to fit everything in! Which is why many travelers return again for another visit. In fact, the official tagline of the Nepal Tourism Board is “Naturally Nepal, Once is not Enough,” which the tourism board says, “accurately captures the tourists' emotions at the airport’s departure gate!”
Hope you’ll join us for this uncommon adventure to Nepal, one of the most intriguing countries you can visit!
The Many Trip Highlights!
~Visit the legendary capital city of Kathmandu with its bustling, but never boring metropolitan atmosphere! Take a step back in time as you wander the Thamel neighborhood with its ancient narrow alleyways, sacred religious sites, intricate wooden architecture, and markets & eateries of all sorts. Your senses will be in overload!
~Explore the maze-like city of Patan. This is Nepal’s 3rd largest city and is made up of bahas, or courtyards, connected to each other by narrow alleys. It’s original Sanskrit name is Lalitpur or “City of Beauty,” which pretty much sums of this charismatic city with its amazing collection of temples & palaces and over 1200 monuments! Patan is also home to the renown ancient Durbar Square, which showcases the art & architecture of medieval time.
~Check out Bhaktapur, an important World Heritage Site that is one of three royal cities in Nepal. There are 3 large squares overflowing with shrines, temples and the best architecture in Nepal! Bhaktapur was the most powerful of the Kathmandu Valley kingdoms and its capital for 300 years. It lies along the ancient trade route between India and Tibet, surrounded by mountains and impressive views of the Himalayas.
~Get immersed in Pharping, a small town above the Bagmati river with all kinds of Buddhist monasteries and pilgrimage sites. We’ll get in-depth and personal by staying on the property of the Neydo Tashi Choeling Monastery, which has a guesthouse. We’ll go inside the monastery and have the opportunity to meet the resident monks and watch their prayer ceremonys. A very uncommon, exclusive experience!
~Stop in Kurintar, a small village in the middle hills located on the sandy banks of the Trisuli river. We'll be staying at a very cool lodge where access is only via a 25-minute easy walk across a pedestrian suspension bridge across the river through the village of Thuguwatar-on-Trishuli! With our accommodation's unique location, you'll love the fantastic views of the natural forest looking across the flowing waters to the terraced fields across the way and the enclosing mountains all around!
~Enjoy an optional rafting trip down the Trisuli river, a relaxing excursion with exciting and fun rapids without being too overly challenged in huge whitewater. You’ll be surrounded by beautiful scenery and a peaceful environment, full of scenic valleys, terraced rice fields, and impressive gorges!
~Discover the impressive gem that is Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s home to an array of wildlife including the rare one-horned Indian rhino, over 500 species of birds, wild elephants, leopards, sloth bears, and the majestic but elusive Bengal tiger. You’ll have your choice of festive activities: wildlife jeep safari, canoe ride down the Rapti River, birdwatching (this is a bird paradise!), and Tharu cultural dance shows!
~Relax on a 2-hour boat ride down the Narayani River, which is our scenic transportation to our overnight stay at the Baruli Community. Visit with the local residents and explore via bicycles through Tharu villages, fishing farms, and to the shores of Narayani River - a one kind of experience! We’ll be sure to cycle at evening when the sunset looks like golden ball sinking into the Narayani river!
~Be charmed by Palpa, a picturesque ancient hill town in the Shreenagar Hills. This"off-the-beaten-track" destination is a great place to wander around the cobbled streets and among the homes with their traditional Newari architecture. There is plenty to see and to do here. Take in the beautiful mountain views from Srinagar Hill, visit temples, go hiking, drink good coffee, and shop for local handicrafts made only here.
~Delight in the lakeside town of Pokhara, considered to be the most beautiful city in Nepal! Located on the shores of Lake Phewa, Pokhara is best known for its unparalleled views of the snow-capped Annapurna Himalayan range, which you’ll find is more stunning in person than can be captured in a photo! It has everything - spectacular scenery, great shopping on the main drag lined with small shops, bars and restaurants, and opportunities for optional active adventure pursuits (e.g., helicopter, micro flight, Everest flight, paragliding, biking, hiking). A favorite and must-see town!
~Enjoy a sunrise hike to the World Peace Pagoda, an impressive brilliant white pagoda set on a narrow ridge above the lake. Walk uphill to reach Sarangkot, the viewpoint at sunrise which offers a spectacular view of Pokhara city and the Himalaya mountain range!
~Experience an amazing hike to Australian Camp, a beautiful village with an unobstructed view of the magnificent Himalayan Mountains! Its an easy, short trek through the picturesque foothills of the Annapurna region that takes you through dense forests, along hillsides and rice fields, up to the mountains and through mountain villages. Perfect for beginners with some regular hiking experience.
~Live with the locals staying in comfortable Community Homestays for an authentic local travel experience. Meet the real people and be a part of a Nepali family. This is the true definition of 'Home Away from Home!' And the impact on local people in the communities is enormous - 85% of the money you send goes to the community. (All residents who participate are trained and homes are managed by the Community Homestay Program and meet industry hospitality standards.)
If you have any questions or need additional info, just Contact Us!
Hotel Traditional Comfort
TripAdvisor Rating: Excellent – 5.0
Nepali tradition and modern comfort meet at Traditional Comfort. As soon as you enter the red-brick building you will notice the perfect balance between traditional artistic features and comfortable modern hospitality. Traditional Comfort follows local Newari design and architectural principles. Local craftspeople from Patan and Bungamati hand crafted every detail in the building from the dark wood carved beams to the bronze fixtures in the lobby to the decorative tile-work in the bathrooms. Although understated in its elegance, the hotel contains many intricate, surprising details for curious guests: angled ankhi-jyaal windows that cast geometric shadows; scenes of local life hand-painted directly onto the walls. You'll be surrounded by the fusion of ancient traditions and a modern capital city. Traditional Comfort believes in the power of sustainable tourism. They used local artisans in the design and construction of the hotel and follow responsible environmental practices.
The understated elegance of the 36 rooms is created by the natural tones of the brick and wood. The bathrooms are lined with natural stone decorative tile-work. They have spacious shower cubicles with large overhead showerheads. In an effort to reduce water consumption, there are no bathtubs in the hotel. All bed linen is hand-made and hand-printed using traditional block-printing and fabric-painting techniques. The wooden bedroom furniture is all handmade locally. In keeping with the eco-friendly spirit of Hotel Traditional Comfort, the beds are made from small pieces of scrap wood, sanded down and polished to create the beautiful pieces of furniture that are the centerpiece of the room. The carved windows in the bedrooms are an artwork in themselves. All rooms contain several windows and an abundance of natural light, from which you can see views of the Lotus Pond that gives the area—Kamal Pokhari—its name.
Room Amenities include: private bathroom, free WiFi, hot/cold shower, writing desk & chair, bottled mineral water, free mini bar, 32 inch LED TV, hair dryer, cable/satellite TV channels. air conditioning.
TripAdvisor Rating: Excellent – 4.5
Tucked away in the Himalayas of Nepal, lies a buddhist monastery guesthouse alongside Neydo Tashi Choeling Monastery. The guesthouse & monastery is located in the picturesque, peaceful southwest corner of the Kathmandu Valley close to Pharping. You’d never know you are less than an hour's drive from the heart of hectic Kathmandu! This is the ideal place to simply relax and unwind.
Almost 200 monks live and study here and if you wish you may eat alongside them, participate in their practice, and gain insight of their monastic life. Our stay at Neydo Tashi Choeling Monastery Guest House is greatly valued as it contributes to the day-to-day operations of the monastery and provides a living for the 200 monks living there.
There are a total 23 guest rooms. Rooms are simple, clean and personal. Each room has a double bed or two single beds with comfortable mattresses and fresh bedsheets/linen. Room colors are calm using earth colors with cool tiled floors. Each room too has a clean bathroom with bath and shower and a modern western-styled toilet. Every room has a small balcony with views of the beautiful surroundings. South facing rooms have a view of the monastery and north facing rooms, a view over the Hattiban forest (and the eagles that circle above it) and Bhanjang village below it.
Summit River Lodge
TripAdvisor Rating: Excellent – 4.5
Nestled in the semi-tropical hills on the banks of the Trisuli River, Summit River Lodge defines serenity! Summit River offers the perfect escape - a rural experience in modern comfort and a beautiful, relaxing spot surrounded by green mountains and impeccable landscaped grounds.
Note: A unique feature of this location is it requires a 20-30 minute walk to get to the lodge from the main road, which as far as our van can go. (Our bags will be brought to the Lodge for us) The walk starts with a unique, scenic river crossing via foot suspension bridge to get to the other side of the river bank. The walking path is mainly flat and winds past tranquil village homes to the foot of the hills, then a short uphill to reach the Lodge.
Summit River Lodge offers an exclusive private location with plenty of space to relax, read, meditate, or just lounge and take in the calming surroundings. The swimming pool provides a wonderful view of the river and mountains. And conveniently, there’s a bar next to it for ordering drinks.
The restaurant is in the original home that existed before becoming a hotel. The food here is fresh and homemade, mostly local Nepalese and Indian specialties along with some international favorites mixed in. The dining area is a comfortable place to relax in the evenings. During the day you can enjoy the outdoor terrace area, sun room, reading room lounge area where you can also get Internet service.
The small Lodge consists of just 6 rooms, clustered around a colonial-style bungalow that sits on a ridge among the tropical forested middle hills & sloping down to the sand beaches of the river. Rooms are comfortable with air conditioning & heat, en-suite bathrooms with showers, ceiling fans, and reading lights. It’s highly likely that you won’t too spend much time in your room except for sleeping since the property and grounds are so welcoming with the varied the sitting areas and natural beauty all around.
Amenities: internet, swimming pool, bar, air conditioning, laundry services, hot water / cold water.
Barahi Jungle Lodge
TripAdvisor Rating: Excellent - 5.0
Barahi Jungle Lodge with its exclusive location on the banks of Rapti is set in the small village of Tharus. The lodge is nestled by forest from two sides and offers a breathtaking view of the National Park and opportunities to observe wildlife from the comforts of the lodge. The river facing stand-alone cottages impart a sense of serenity. The architecture includes using local bamboo and sustainable wood in the furnishings and decorations highlighted with elegant interiors. The lodge has a wellness spa providing Ayurvedic therapies and an infinity pool for relaxation. The lodge also has a restaurant offering authentic Nepalese Cuisine enhanced with organically grown healthy food, topped with Himalayan herbs. Tharu cultural dance performances by a local group are organized at the lodge in the evenings.
Spreading over 12 hectares, the lodge offers 34 deluxe boutique guest rooms. The rooms are built as 28 individual and 6 interconnecting deluxe cottages. Each room opens to a private balcony and private views of the jungle. Each room features a décor with a blend of contemporary and traditional Nepali Furnishings with indigenous elements such as used wood, bamboo, elephant grass and animal arty-crafts. In-room services and amenities include spacious bathroom with cubical shower room or bathtub, private balconies with panoramic views of the river and National Park, wildlife-inspired décor and artifacts, daily housekeeping service, shaver outlet & adaptors, laundry service, 32” LCD television with satellite connection, and individual climate controlled inverters, air-conditioning & overhead fans.
Baruli Community Homestay
TripAdvisor Rating: Excellent – 5.0
Barauli is a small Tharu village close to Chitwan National Park, famous for its wildlife. Baruali is in the buffer zone, next to the national park and close to the Rapti River. Canoeing, jeep safari, bike rides and jungle walk are activities than can be done here.
The Tharu people have a very rich cultural heritage with many of their own unique traditions and religious beliefs making them different from other indigenous communities in Nepal. Tharu people have never been involved much in tourism, but are mainly farmers. The community homestay offers an authentic experience to travelers seeking to get to know local people, place, and culture. It also provides new job opportunities and helps empower the village women enabling them to earn an income to supplement their farming.
One of the most comfortable homestays, each of the 14 specially built individual cottages have an attached bathroom and comfortable beds. There is a community dining room where village hosts prepare and serve meals. Amenties include: wifi internet, bathroom with hot shower & western toilet, fan, and iron on request.
Tansen, Palpa Community Homestay
TripAdvisor Rating: Excellent – 5.0
Tansen, Palpa Community Homestay is made up of a group of homestays in part of the old historic town of Tansen in Palpa district. This historic town is set on a hillside overlooking the plains on one side and the Annapurnas and Himalayan ranges on the other. The town is largely pedestrian as vehicles are not permitted in much of the center of the town owing to the steep, narrow cobbled streets. The homestays are located at the edge of the town and a short walk from Shrinagar hill where you can admire the panorama of the Himalayas just to the north.
You stay in the family home and your rooms, though simply furnished, are comfortable. Bathrooms are indoors and you are invited to eat with the family. As a predominantly Newar town, you will find many Newari delicacies. Your hosts will show you around this fascinating little town, with its many temples and interesting history. Check out the shops, visit Bista’s coffee plantation (the first coffee grown in Nepal was here), hike around village and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Temple Tree Resort & Spa
TripAdvisor Rating: Excellent – 4.5
Temple Tree Resort & Spa is a boutique hotel combining western standards with the distinctive architecture and culture of Nepal’s Western Himalayas. Nestled close by Fewa Lake in the Pokhara Valley, Temple Tree is framed by the foothills and majestic peaks of the Annapurna Mountain Range. Named after the fragrant temple tree plant frangipani found here, the hotel offers a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere, privacy when preferred and attentive service.
Temple Tree comprises two story individual cottages, finished in hand-cut stone and featuring beautifully-decorated timber struts and pillars. Each room has a private balcony with pergola looking on to a lush garden centered on an ancient tree formed from three interlocking trunks. This tree is believed to be inhabited by local deities and continues to be ritually offered flowers and perfumes to this day.
The resort is ideally located right at the center of the Lakeside in an area called Gaurighat, the only stretch of the Lakeside enjoying a full view of the lake as well as the Himalayas. The hotel is also a short stroll from specialty restaurants, fine handicraft, shops, and convenience stores.
Accommodation offers a private and tranquil setting. All rooms are climate controlled, feature LED television with satellite feeds as standard, and access to free Internet through the Wi-Fi network in the rooms as well as around the hotel. Each of the 46 rooms is housed in a two story cottages with en-suite bathroom, a private veranda overlooking the inner courtyard and the landscaped gardens with water features. Each cottage’s design reflects the rustic style of the Western Himalayan architecture featuring stone niches and traditional interiors with modern comforts.
The Dwarika's Hotel
TripAdvisor Rating: Excellent – 5.0
Dwarika’s is much more than just a hotel. From the moment you enter its heavy teak doors you are transported away from the dust and the madness of Kathmandu into a mystical world of 13th century carvings and deep Nepalese history. The hotel’s open courtyard is an unforgettable experience in itself. You’ll experience an exclusive experience with first-class service at The Dwarika's Hotel. Winner of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Heritage Award, Dwarika's Hotel is inspired by the rich cultural heritage of the Kathmandu Valley. Dwarika’s uniquely holds one of the biggest private woodwork collections in the world! Featuring a rich collection of 13th-century artifacts, Dwarika's Hotel is designed in the style of the palaces of the Newar kings.
Dwarika’s offers an outdoor pool and 4 dining options. Leisure facilities include massage services and a spa. The hotel offers a 24-hour reception and free private parking. Guests can enjoy meals at Krishnarpan, which specializes in local cuisine, at Mako's Japanese restaurant or at Toran, which serves continental dishes. At the Fusion Bar you can order local and international drinks.
With 83 meticulously designed rooms and suites, Dwarika's Hotel Kathmandu offers a regal experience comparable to the royal suites of the 14th century Malla kings of Nepal. Remaining true to the earthy quality of traditional life in the valley, the Deluxe rooms capture the essence of such a lifestyle without compromising on comfort. The linen is organically produced and hand woven. The furniture is custom designed and handmade at our own workshop. Many of the rooms face the charming courtyard. The air-conditioned rooms come with satellite TV and a seating area. The private bathroom has a bath, shower and free toiletries.
Welcome to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal! You’ll arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport.
Note: You’ll need your visa & customs form at this point, which your airline will give you or get at the airport.
Upon arrival, you’ll go to the Immigration Hall to pay your visa fee using U.S. dollars (cash). And then head to an Immigration official, where you’ll provide your visa payment receipt to get your visa. Now you can exit toward Baggage Claim, collect your bag and then meet your local representative who will be waiting for us! Our private van will take us to the hotel.
When we get to the hotel, we’ll check in, get settled, and then relax over our first dinner in Nepal! Afterwards, we’ll have an orientation group meeting where we’ll go over the trip plan and any questions and requests. Then its time to get a good night’s sleep to begin our first full day tomorrow! For those who arrive early in the day, there will be a walk to Thamel, the bustling historic, central district with lots of shops.
Overnight: Hotel Traditional Comfort
Today we’ll be off to Patan, one of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Sites! Patan, Nepal’s third largest city, is located in the south-central part of Kathmandu Valley.
The maze-like city of Patan is Nepal’s third-largest city and is made up of bahas, or courtyards, which are connected to each other by narrow alleys. Patan is a center of Buddhist and Hindu culture. The city is full of religious art, temples, and monasteries. There are a plethora of ancient monasteries, temples, and other monuments that co-exist among the regular lives of the local residents. Patan is filled with wood and stone carvings, metal statues, ornate architecture, including dozens of Buddhist and Hindu temples, and over 1200 monuments.
The city is known for its rich tradition of arts and handicrafts and as the birthplace of master craftsmen and artists such as Arniko and Kuber Singh Shakya.
Its origins are clouded in mystery, but it has a long Buddhist history. It claims its place as capital of the mythical Kiranti Dynasty and association with the great Indian emperor, Ashoka, who is credited with the building of the four grass-covered stupas surrounding the city around 250BC. For many centuries Patan’s importance eclipsed that of Kathmandu and by the 7th century it was one of the major Buddhist centers of Asia, attracting pilgrims, scholars and monks from India, Tibet and China. Most of Patan’s magnificent architecture dates to the late Malla era (16th - 18th centuries).
Bhaktapur, an important and fascinating World Heritage Site, is made up of three large squares filled with shrines, temples and activity; Bhaktapur is the essential Newari city with some of the finest architecture in Nepal. In its heyday (14th-16th centuries) Bhaktapur was the most powerful of the Kathmandu Valley kingdoms and its capital for 300 years.
Local people here are predominantly farmers or engaged in the traditional crafts of pottery, metalwork, art and woodwork which have supported the city since its establishment in the 12th century to service the trade route between Tibet and India and remain active industries.
Overnight: Hotel Traditional Comfort
Morning sightseeing tour of Swayambhunath Stupa, which is the most ancient and enigmatic of all the holy shrines in Kathmandu valley. Located atop a hill west of Kathmandu city, the Swayambhunath complex has been in use since the 5th century A.D. Its lofty white dome and glittering golden spire are visible for many miles and from all sides of the valley. This sacred pilgrimage site is also home to hundreds of monkeys considered holy to Tibetan Buddhists and Hindus.
We'll continue our drive to Pharping. We'll walk around the village and the various monasteries. Pharping is a small town above the Bagmati river with many Buddhist monasteries and pilgrimage sites. We’ll get in-depth experience by staying on the property of the Neydo Tashi Choeling Monastery, which has a guesthouse. We’ll explore the monastery and grounds and have the opportunity to meet the resident monks and watch their prayer ceremonys.
Overnight: Neydo Monastery Hotel
Leaving Kathmandu from Bhaktapur in one of the country's busiest highway – Prithivi Higway can be slow, but once out of the city the views are impressive - the Trisuli River and the massive Marsyangdi Hydroelectric Project powerhouse, as well as ancient stone villages backed by steep rice terraces and the mountains beyond. Drive for approx. 3 hours, 106 km and we'll reach Kurintar.
Kurintar is a small village in the middle hills located on the sandy banks of the Trisuli river. Enroute to our lodge accommodations, we’ll have about a 25 minute stroll across a pedestrian suspension bridge across the river through the village of Thuguwatar-on-Trishuli. Access to the lodge is only via this walk! Enjoy fantastic views of the natural forest looking across the flowing waters to the terraced fields across the way and the enclosing mountains all around!
Overnight: Summit River Lodge
In the morning, there is an optional river rafting excursion. The scenery of river Trishuli includes small gorges and a glimpse of the cable car leading to the famous Hindu Temple Manakamana. Trisuli river is an excellent river for those looking for a shorter trip without the challenge of huge rapids, but with some really exciting rapids, beautiful scenery and a relatively peaceful environment. All equipment provided: helmets, plastic paddles, wetsuits, lifejackets, and first aid kit.
You can also opt to stay at the Lodge or go for a beautiful village walk to explore the local scene.
After lunch, in the afternoon we'll make our way from Kurintar to Chitwan it is about 70km and takes about 90 minutes.
Overnight: Barahi Jungle Lodge
Today, you can enjoy a full day enjoying the grounds of Barahi Jungle Lodge and Chitwan National Park. You’ll have your choice of activities: wildlife jeep safari, canoe ride down the Rapti River, birdwatching (this is a bird paradise!), Tharu cultural dance shows.
Since Chitwan is a bird paradise of resident and migratory birds, this is a great opportunity for a delightful and educational bird watching outing. Special bird watching tours can be arranged too. You can go deep into the jungle for viewing and photographing. During your jungle walk, you can experience the abundant bird life and the flora and fauna of the park. Bird watching excursions are typically about 1½ to 2 hours.
A relaxing way to explore the jungle is to canoe down the Rapti River. The trip takes about 45 minutes, during which you can spot various Water Birds and two different types of Crocodiles called Gharials and Marsh Muggers.
Jeep Safari in Chitwan Park (approx 4-hour drive in a Jeep with your jungle guide). The drive will lead you to a number of interesting points in the jungle as well as to the crocodile conservation project at Kasara where the park headquarters is located. USAID & IUCN Nepal created this project in 1978 to preserve, hatch and re-introduce Gharials and Mugger Crocodiles into Nepal. The trip will also take you to Tamor Tal and Lami Tal, two lakes famous for crocodiles and bird watching.
Tharu Cultural Dance Shows
Visit traditional Tharu stick dances at the cultural centre. These are cultural and traditional dances with long and short sticks performed by local Tharu people. They represent the different festivals and ceremonies. You will be amazed by these war-like dances.
Overnight: Barahi Jungle Lodge
Relax on a 2-hour boat ride down the Narayani River as our transportation to our overnight stay at the Baruli Community, which is located in Nawalparasi district of Terai Region. You'll find boating from Barahi to Barauli to be an exciting, fun, very scenic & unique excursion.
We'll haven an offical welcome & introductory greeting by the locals of community homestay. Visit with the local residents and explore via bicycles through Tharu villages, fishing farms, and to the shores of Narayani River - a one kind of experience! We’ll be sure to cycle at evening when the sunset looks like golden ball sinking into the Narayani river!
Overnight: Barauli Community Homestay
This morning we'll drive to the town of Palpa. From Chitwan it is 140km to Palpa and takes about 4 hours.
Palapa, a picturesque ancient hill town in the Shreenagar Hills. This "off-the-beaten-track" destination is a great place to wander around the cobbled streets and among the homes with their traditional Newari architecture.
There is a main Palace in the centre of a town to explore with many old temples with their own story to tell. It is where they make the traditional colorful woven Dhaka fabric, which is used to make topi, a typical Nepali cap, as well as other many things. Shrinagar is a short walk from Tansen Bazar (1524m). Make sure you stop to look around you and admire the views of Kanjiroba, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Langtang Himal.
Our homestays are a short walk from Shrinagar hill where you can enjoy the panaroma view of the Himalayas just to the north of you. You'll stay in a family home with your own room and attached bathroom. Your host will take you around town, which is full of fascinating history.
Overnight: Palpa Community Homestay
After breakfast, we'll head to Pokhara. After driving 4.5 hours, we'll reach Pokhara via Siddhartha Highway. The route is dramatic one - twisting and turning through landslide-scarred valleys and offering spectacular Himalayan views.
Pokhara, known as the gateway to Annapurna, is considered to be the most beautiful city of Nepal. It offers spectacular scenery, adventure activities, numerous small shops, many types of accommodation, and varieties of tasty food choices. It's the perfect place to relax and enjoy what nature has to offer.
Located on the shores of Lake Phewa, Pokhara is best known for its unparalleled views of the snow-capped Annapurna Himalayan range, which you’ll find is more stunning in person than be captured in a photo! It has everything - spectacular scenery, great shopping on the main drag lined with small shops, bars and restaurants, and active adventure pursuits.
Overnight: Temple Tree Resort & Spa
This morning we'll enjoy an early morning sunrise hike to he World Peace Pagoda, an impressive brilliant white pagoda set on a narrow ridge above the lake. The shining golden statue depicts the Buddha in the posture he assumed when he was born. Besides being an impressive sight in itself, the shrine is a vintage point which offers spectacular views of the Annapurna range and Pokhara city. We'll have an uphill walk to reach Sarangkot, the viewpoint at sunrise which offers a spectacular view of Pokhara city and the Himalaya mountain range!
Later after breakfast, we'll drive to Kande where we'll experience an amazing hike to Australian Camp, a beautiful village with an unobstructed view of the magnificent Himalayan Mountains.
It is uphill climb from Kande (1770m) to Australian Camp (2050m). Continuing to Phedi via Dhampus the trail crosses the Modi Khola and a number of its tributaries with amazing views along most of the route. Dhampus is not just a mountain view point but a culturally rich village of the ethnic Gurung people. You'll have an opportunity for a close look at the daily lives of the villagers.
The easy, short trek through the picturesque foothills of the Annapurna region takes you through dense forests, along hillsides and rice fields, up to the mountains and through mountain villages. Perfect for beginners with some regular hiking experience. Hiking time is around 4-5 hours including lunch stop at Dhampus. Then we'll head back to Pokhara to relax. (18km / 45 minutes).
Overnight: Temple Tree Resort & Spa
This morning is free time for optional activities of interest such as wandering around town, last minute shopping, time on the lake, or relaxing at the hotel. You may decide to opt for active adventure pursuits such as a helicopter ride to Annapurna Base Camp, micro flight, Everest flight, paragliding, biking, hiking.
In the afternoon, we'll take a flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu, which lasts for 30 minutes. Enjoy being above the beautiful hills. You will see the range of different mountains from your window.
When we reach Kathmandu, we'll head to the majestic & famous Dwarika's Hotel where you end the trip being pampered at this unforgettable, upscale property that is all about first-class service.
We'll have a special experience on tap for everyone - 6 course dinner at the hotel at the renowned and super popular, Krishnarpan Restaurant. The restaurant allows you to make a fascinating journey through terrains and cuisines of Nepal. It serves the finest Nepali flavors dishes with an experience of Newari feast. The meals are prepared using fresh vegetables from Dwarika’s own farms and served on traditional brass , earthenware by hostesses representing Nepal’s diverse ethnic communities.
Overnight: Dwarika's Hotel
Unfortunately, it's time to say goodbye. :( Check out is 11:00am. But late check out until 2pm is included in your stay since many flights back to the U.S. are late in the day. Take the time to pamper youself at the spa or just relax/explore around the hotel.
You transfer to Tribhuvan Airport to connect with your onward flight. Please note that you should check in three hours prior to your flight time.
Early Bird Trip Price (double occupancy): $2,348
Early Bird Booking Deadline: June 15, 2019
Regular Trip Price - booking after June 15, 2019 (double occupancy): $2,448
Regular Trip Booking Deadline: September 15, 2019
Single Room Supplement: $673 (This is to have your own room without sharing/having a roommate, not for upgraded rooms.)
Deposit: 30% of trip price - due at booking
Final Balance due: November 15, 2019
Estimated Airfare: $1,200-$1,300 (varies of course & depends on your departure airport, flight quality)
Cancellation policy: Only 100% refundable only within two weeks of paying your deposit.
We recommend a premium Trip Insurance policy via a reputable company like TravelSafe, which can be booked easily from our trip booking website. Premium trip insurance policies include the 'cancel for any reason' benefit. These premium policies must be paid for within 10-14 days of your initial trip investment.
While a 30% deposit is due at booking, the balance can be paid over time up until departure using our self-service payment feature. You can make payments of any size at anytime by logging into your account on the Gen X Travel Club website. This is a great way to finance/budget for the cost of a trip - instead of paying a larger single lump sum payment for the balance, you can make small monthly payments over time.
Currency: Nepalese Rupee (NPR) (current exchange rate)
Electricity: 220V/60Hz (multiple plugs as they have retrofitted many to fit American and European plugs. Be careful of plugging in some electrical devices as the the U.S. runs at 120V).
Primary Airports: Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM)
Water: Drink bottled water only
Internet : Almost every hotel, restaurant and cafe in Kathmandu, Pokhara and larger towns offer free wi-fi and connections are pretty good. All accommodations we are staying at have wi-fi, but in remote destinations, connectivity tends be an issue and internet is not dependable.
Local SIM: Travelers can easily purchase a SIM card as well as data. And it’s quite affordable.
Visas: The main requirement for obtaining a visa is to have a passport that is valid for at least six months after the expected date of travel. Passports with less than six months validity remaining will not be accepted for visa applications, even if you are applying on your arrival at the border or airport. Also, you'll need at least one blank passport page for entry visa.
Gail: Travel Planner / Trip Leader / DC & Baltimore Chapter Meetup organizer / Founder & CEO
I’ve always loved to travel. There is something exciting and even humbling about going to new and different places – there are SO many places! Taking in the unique scenery of a destination whether that’s a man-made cityscape or a nature-made landscape or waterscape. Meeting people… I’m a people person and I love meeting people & learning their stories. Its always a reminder that we’re not really so different and we’re all in this together - Team Planet Earth as it were.
And just as important, I’m a stickler for the details and excel at comprehensively pouring over all pertinent info for a trip from the destination itself, possible activities, places to stay, things to do, and the logistics that tie it all together. And dwindling it down to the best plan/itinerary. I think that’s just my normal, natural personality. Then its hammered home by being a research analyst by education & work experience. But the secret sauce is not only having the ideal skill set - passion for travel, personable people-person, and analytical & detail-oriented – but also just really enjoying ALL of it and finding it all to be a ton of fun! It’s exciting to put together awesome, super cool trips. And doing so in a non-touristy way that follows principles of sustainable and responsible travel, which is very important to us. It’s all about having only positive impacts on people and the planet.
I’ve been to just about every continent. My more recent adventures include countries such as Morocco, Iceland, Cuba, Kenya, Tanzania, China, UAE, Croatia, Montenegro, Nepal, Peru, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico and a number of Caribbean islands. And it never gets old. In fact, it just reminds me of the incredibly short time we have on Mother Earth and how many places there are still to explore and learn about.
Fun facts about me:
My favorite past-times include: hiking, volleyball, biking, kayaking/SUP. I’m not a hard-core adventure person. I just love being active outside… with a strong preference for doing so on warm, sunny days. Cold weather is not my thing.
My favorite travel experience: too many to pick from. My most top of mind memories tend to be of the people I’m traveling with & the people I meet - the shared experiences of enjoying some spectacularly beautiful place with them.
Travel goals: Just to continue to explore the world and find those more non-touristy, hidden gems to expose our travelers to – places & experiences they probably wouldn’t have found on their own. And to promote traveling the right way – sustainably/responsibly… with each passing year, it becomes more & more important.
My favorite song: Hard to say... there are so many great tunes... Princes' Purple Rain… and When Doves Cry tops the list. And Queen songs particularly Bohemian Rhapsody. But have lots of favs generally: 80s music, classic southern rock, country music that's not too "twangy."
My favorite adult beverage: Moscow mule with Reyka Icelandic vodka in a copper mug. Otherwise, Prosecco and red wine (that’s not too oaky.. so no Cabs!).
My favorite food: ice cream! (vanilla base, no chocolate), pizza (thin crust, veggie), tater tots. Pretty basic. But yum!
My favorite phrase: “Take the time to give a sh-t” I made that up… I tend to say to myself as I go about my day… I wish people would remember that. I think it would really make for marked, noticeable improvement in the world.
My favorite quote to live by: I have many… two of my top favorites that come to mind: “Life’s most persistent & urgent question is ‘What are you doing to help others?’” –MLK “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” –Oprah
We always recommend trip insurance & suggest TravelSafe insurance - a reputable company with competitive pricing and great coverage options.
Here are a few reasons to get trip insurance:
● Reimbursement for cancellation penalties (which can be 100% of your investment) in the event of an unforeseeable illness, injury or death of you, your travel companion or a family member.
● Reimbursement for cancellation penalties if you are called for jury duty, your home is damaged due to fire, windstorm, flood or vandalism or military leave cancelled.
● Reimbursement for unused portion of your trip if it is interrupted.
● Medical evacuation/repatriation expenses to an appropriate medical facility or back home in the event of a serious illness or injury while traveling.
● 24-hour help line for any travel emergency, such as medical, lost tickets, lost passports, and other travel documents.
We recommend a premium Trip Insurance policy via a reputable company like TravelSafe. Premium trip insurance policies include the 'cancel for any reason' benefit. Note: The 'Cancel for Any Reason' premium policy must be purchased within two weeks of your initial trip deposit.