Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu (Hotel B&B)
Our representative will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to the hotel. He will brief you about the program and provide assistance throughout your stay in Nepal. Later in the afternoon we take a leisurely walking tour through Asan to Kathmandu Durbar Square, passing through medieval wonders that have given Kathmandu much of its mystery and atmosphere. As you walk through narrow lanes you come across the daily lives of the local people. Depending upon the season you may see various cultural activities. This heritage walk takes you to the Temple of Living Goddess. In the evening you may explore the streets of Thamel, the tourist hub of Kathmandu.
Day 02: In Kathmandu (Hotel B&B)
Full day sightseeing tour of Pasupatinath, Baudhanath and Patan: In the morning we visit Pasupatinath temple and Baudhanath stupa. After lunch we drive to Patan and take a walking tour of the city. It has a labyrinth of streets and markets, crowded with exotic products and a bewildering mix of people.
Pasupatinath temple is dedicated to Shiva who is known as a fierce and benevolent God in Hindu Mythology. In the vicinity of the temple you will come across Sadhus – Hindu holy men, who are on pilgrimage from India, and local people offering prayers. It is also an important place for cremation for Hindus and non Hindus alike. As you go around you will find many shrines and temples spread in and around the heritage sites. As you wander along these heritage sites your tour guide will explain intricacies of Nepal’s distinct blend of Hinduism and Buddhism.
Boudhanath is known as little Tibet. It is an important place for Tibetan pilgrims and Buddhist monks. It is one of the biggest Buddhist stupa in the world and the center of Buddhist pilgrimage. The site was listed as a UNESCO Heritage Monument in 1979. Here you can see Tibetan women in their stripped aprons and Buddhists doing their pilgrimage round the stupa.
Patan was and still is known locally as Lalitpur. This ancient city adjacent to Kathmandu is located across Bagmati River. Sightseeing places include Durbar Square, Hiranya Varna Mahavira, Mahaboudha, very close to the old palace which is believed to have been built in 299AD. There are many beautifully carved windows, doors and balconies for which it is famous. Mahaboudha is made of terracotta bricks and pagoda style structure of Mahavira dedicated to Lord Buddha built in the 13th century. At the Tibetan Handicraft Center in Jawalekhel you can see carpet weaving by Tibetans.
Day 03: Drive to Bandipur (145 km/4 hrs) (Hotel FB)
The original inhabitants of Bandipur (1030m) are from Magar ethnic group. After the conquest of Kathmandu Valley in 1768 by Prithivi Narayan Shah, unifier of Nepal, Newars from Bhaktapur travelled far and wide in the central and eastern Nepal to set up trading sand ettled in this picturesque hill top settlement. The settlements are now a neat city that has retained its traditional Newar culture outside Kathmandu valley and survived modern development. It flourished in its heyday in 1800 when commerce grew between British India and Tibetan, but its fortune waned after Pokhara was directly linked by fast road and regular flights. However, now Bandipur is gradually getting attention for its rich heritage.
Its location between Kathmandu and Pokhara is ideal to stay and explore the city and experience its hill culture, mountain views and surrounding hills with easy and short hikes though Magar villages. Known for temples, scared caves and lively festivals, Bandipur city has retained its wood carving and traditional architecture which has become part of its heritage. Located high above and in the middle of Magar settlements, Bandipur is turning into a retreat place for visitors. For extended tours there are excellent hiking trails to nearby villages and view points. The terraced rice fields, ethnic culture of Magar and Gurung are highlights of the excursion. In the evening return back to your hotel.
Day 04: Drive to Chitwan National Park (100 km/3hrs) (Wildlife Camp FB)
After the drive, arrive at Wildlife Camp which is located just outside Chitwan National Park. You are welcomed by wildlife camp staff who give you short briefing about the camp and the activities they have planned for you. After lunch enjoy a village walk to a nearby Tharu village where you will learn more about the lifestyle of the Tharus. They are well known for their resistance to malaria when the whole Terai region was forbidden to outsiders due to the insects. Before dinner, there is normally a slide presentation about wildlife in the park and an introduction to the history and wildlife found in the national park. Dinner,usually a buffet, is served in a central dining hall.
Day 05: In Chitwan National Park (Wildlife Camp FB & Jungle Activities)
On the second day you are woken up early at 5am to go for a jungle walk. Early morning is an excellent time to watch wild birds. After an hour's walk return back to camp for breakfast which is served at 7am. After breakfast you are taken on a canoe ride on the Rapti River. You'll get to see varieties of bird and rare species of crocodiles basking in the early morning sun. The crocodile species are marsh mugger and the fish-eating gharial. Return back to camp for rest and lunch.
After lunch at 1pm, we take safari on an elephant back. Each elephant has a mahout (driver) and you are seated in a box called howdah, so all riders can get a good view of the surroundings. As you enter deeper in the jungle you should see four different kinds of deer as well as rhinoceros, wild boar and monkeys. If you are lucky, a sighting of a Royal Bengal tiger is possible and you might see leopard, black bear, sloth bear and wild elephant. There are many species of birds and other smaller mammals. Return back to the camp by 5pm. After a short rest you are invited to attend a Tharu cultural dance program at 7pm. Dinner is served at 8pm.
Day 06: In Chitwan National Park (Wildlife Camp FB & Jungle Activities)
After breakfast you are taken to an Elephant Breeding Centre run by the national park. The park officials will explain about this mighty animal: its history, breeding and life. You may participate in bathing an elephant in a nearby river which is a really fun experience. Return back to camp for lunch which is served at 1pm. After lunch take a long jeep drive to some of the lakes inside the park. The best and well known is Twenty Thousand Lake, famous for migrating birds. Return back to camp at 5pm for a short rest and dinner at 7 pm.
Day 07: In Chitwan National Park (Wildlife Camp FB & Jungle Activities)
On the last day in Chitwan National Park we will stay with local people, in the village that has adopted ‘Nature Conservation and Community Development,’ a project initiated by WWF that has helped the community to develop a sustainable villages for conservation. The goal of the project is to help people living in the buffer zone to live and benefit from natural conservation instead of compete. Later in the day we will visit a crocodile breeding farm. In the evening it's possible to take a canoe ride to see a beautiful sunset view as you float down the Rapti River.
Day 08: Drive to Kathmandu (200km/5hrs) (Hotel B&B)
After breakfast drive back to Kathmandu, arriving by 3 pm at the latest. En route you will stop for lunch. The afternoon is free and in the evening attend a Nepali dinner with cultural program.
Day 09: Drive to Sundarijal (1350m/26 km/1 hour 30 min), Hike to Chisopani (2175m) (Lodge FB)
We walk gradually to the ridge at Chisopani, about a 5-hour steep walk, with excellent views of Langtang and Annapurna Himalayan range.
Day 10: Hike to Nagakot (7 hours) (Hotel HB)
The walk on the eastern rim of Kathmandu valley, with beautiful views of the Himalayan range, is in Shivapuri Forest Reserve, home to various flora and fauna. The conservation of forest and animals in this watershed area is important for Kathmandu valley. You get the feel of a trek in Nepal while walking through nature and villages. In autumn the blue sky and clear view of the mountain range is memorable.
Day 11: Drive to Bhaktapur (10km/45min) (Hotel FB)
Wake up early in the morning to watch a beautiful sunrise over the Himalayan range. You can see it from your hotel or even better go to a view tower, about 10 minutes drive to the ridge top of Nagarkot. After breakfast drive to Bhaktapur which is 16 km from Kathmandu. En-route visit Changunarayan temple. A medieval city, Bhaktapur is one of the three main cities in Kathmandu valley which lie on the old trade route to Tibet, popularly known as Bhadgaon. It is famous for its Museum of Medieval Arts and Architecture with many fine examples of sculptures, and woodcarving. Pottery, mask making and weaving are its major traditional industries.
After lunch visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square. The tour includes Durbar Square, Nyatapola Temple and Dattaraya Temple. Bhaktapur Durbar Square has many temples built in pagoda style. Most impressive is a five storied Nyatapola temple built in 1702 AD. Dattatrya temple, built in 1427 AD, has intricately carved peacock windows and numerous fountains inside the palace. Bhaktapur itself has been beautifully preserved; its Malla dynasty architecture is particularly attractive. Many of the old people of the town are unable to speak Nepali and continue to use the Newari tongue. Completely self-supporting, the town is heavily agricultural and this rural atmosphere pervades the streets and bazaars. We can see tiny, bent over bamboo, carrying enormous loads of vegetables and sacks of grain, laid out to dry. Keep an eye open for pottery and wood-carving while there are many interesting souvenirs to buy.
Day 12: Transfer to airport, depart Kathmandu
B&B - Bed & Breakfast
FB - Full Board
NB The above schedule and itinerary is subject to change due to condition beyond our control and logistics and technical reason.