Experiential Nepal: Culture and Landscapes

8 days

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A journey infused with soaring Himalayan mountain peaks, terraced landscapes dotted with traditional Sherpa villages, and a curtain of prayer flags fluttering in the wind. Ancient Buddhist monasteries and traditional villages dot the countryside. Monks are in serene prayer alongside silversmiths, potters on wheels, and monkeys at play. Locals farm the rice terraces and practice a humbler way of life. And spectacular views are a delightful pleasure from your hotel each morning and evening. The heartbeat of Nepal is captured in all its magnificence on this grand voyage.

Highlights

  • Sunrise, sunset and a helicopter ride over the majestic snow-capped Himalayas
  • Delve into sacred Hindu and Buddhist culture with temple, monastery and stupa explorations
  • Hike picturesque trails overlooking the Annapurna Ranges
  • Observe daily life in local markets and alleys, with silversmiths, carpet sellers, and monks at prayer
Colorful Prayer Flag Mountain Near Ancient And Holy Namobuddha Monastery. Dhulikhel, Nepal.

Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrive Kathmandu – Scenic Hike from Dhulikhel

Welcome to Kathmandu, once thought to be the fabled Shangri-La. Upon arrival, transfer to the town of Dhulikhel nestled in the vivid Kathmandu Valley. Uncover small villages lined with sacred temples and courtyards, and hike to Nagarkot for dramatic views across the Annapurna mountain ranges, and to observe local village life. Two nights will be spent at Dwarika’s Resort in Dhulikhel, providing the chance to reconnect with nature and relaxation. Laze by the infinity pool with incredible panoramas across the mountains, indulge in Himalayan and Ayurvedic detox treatments or immerse in a restorative yoga practice.

DAY 2

Dhulikhel – Bhaktapur Heritage Tour and Palace Exploration

Savor your morning coffee, then meet your guide for a discovery of Bhaktapur. Meander the town square with a heritage walk through medieval alleys, observing generations-old craftsmanship and well-preserved houses. Explore the architecture of the Palace of 55 windows and the stunning Golden Gate. Try your hand at pottery on a local potter’s wheel. In the afternoon, an intimate interaction with a local Nepalese family provides insight into the culture and daily life of the region.

DAY 3

Syangboche, Everest – Helicopter over Everest Base Camp

After breakfast, a private helicopter whisks you high into the air for a bird’s eye view of the breathtaking Himalayas and legendary Mount Everest. Be mesmerized by the raw beauty of one of the world’s most iconic landscapes, peppered with Sherpa villages and Buddhist monasteries. Touch down nearby Everest Base Camp for incredible photographs, before flying to your accommodation for the next two nights. Boasting an incredible location inside the UNESCO Everest (Sagarmatha) National Park, the Everest View Hotel is one of the highest hotels in the world boasting 360-degree views of awe-inspiring, snow-capped peaks.

DAY 4

Syangboche, Everest – Sherpa Villages, Wildlife Hike

Dawn breaks over an unforgettable view, the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee. Today, explore a Sherpa village dotted with traditional houses, and a monastery at the foot of the sacred Mount Khumbu-Yul-Lha. Take a hike through the nearby forests in search of bird species such as Nepal’s national bird, the Impeyan pheasant, with multi-colored iridescent plumage. Return to your hotel to immerse in the magnificent mountain scenery as the sun fades behind the mountains.

DAY 5

Kathmandu – Historical Walk in Kathmandu, Nepalese Traditional Dance

A scenic drive takes you back to Kathmandu, to delve into all this buzzing capital has to offer. Over 50 monuments from the 12th century are waiting to be explored. Step inside the Kumari Bahal and the Royal Palace with intricately beautiful woodcarvings, the holy Kumari Temple, and the oldest Hindu temple in the area, the Jagannath Mandir. Wander the Thamel district for traditional handicrafts. This evening witness Nepalese culture with a traditional dance, followed by a delicious dinner at a local restaurant. Return to the scenic Dwarika’s Resort in Dhulikhel for your final three nights.

DAY 6

Kathmandu – Patan Square and Temples Exploration

Relish in explorations of the ancient city of Patan today, one of the most beautiful main squares in the world with incredible architecture and temples devoted to Hindu deities Shiva, Krishna, Ganesh, and Vishnu. Discover an ancient sunken water tap still used today, where young girls fill huge jugs for drinking and bathing. Peruse the Royal Palace courtyards with ornamental windows, a sunken royal bath, columned arcades, and intricate shrines. Step foot inside the Patan Museum, displaying the traditional sacred art of Nepal, while boasting notable architecture and a viewpoint over the charming main square below for the perfect photograph.

DAYS 7

Kathmandu – Buddhist Monasteries and Stupas

Embrace a morning at leisure to appreciate the stunning Himalayan landscape. Visit the Kopen Monastery rising from the terraced fields of the Kathmandu Valley, home to 360 monks, lamas, teachers, and workers from Nepal and Tibet, from 7 to 60 years old. Hear of their life devotion to Buddhist teachings and prayer. Continue to the ancient Boudhanath Stupa, a revered holy site containing sacred relics. Monks, locals, and visitors circle the stupa, spinning prayer wheels and reciting mantras. Surrounded by six monasteries, cafes, silversmiths and shops selling Tibetan carpets, legends believe this stupa dates back to the 5th century. At the Shechen Monastery, take part in an intimate blessing ceremony with a Lama.

DAY 8

Departure Day – Begin Your Journey Home

Transfer to the airport for your departure flight today. As your airplane soars high above the Himalayan peaks one last time, cherish memories of monastery explorations, scenic terraced rice fields, intricate temple architecture and an in-depth cultural experience of spectacular Nepal.