For many travelers, an African safari is just the beginning of a lifetime of adventure travel to extraordinary destinations. And this year, a growing number of our repeat travelers are eyeing the Himalayas as their next big trip.
From Kathmandu to the dramatic Annapurnas and the Pokhara Valley, there is so much to experience in Nepal.
If Nepal is on your radar for this New Year, here are three things not to miss on a custom Himalayan adventure!
From the old streets of Basantapur in Durbar Square and the temple of the Living Goddess to the maze of back streets, different temples, shrines and even a courtyard of the old royal palace, Kathmandu is photogenic and fascinating.
Don’t miss the iconic Swayambhunath stupa is believed to have been an animistic shrine long before the arrival of religion. It’s this ancient history that can explain the culture and origins of the Kathmandu Valley. Legend has it emerging from the waters of the lake that filled the valley upon the sacred lotus that contained the Essence of Being.
And finally, the biggest Buddhist structure in Nepal, the Baudhanath Stupa, is a magnificent spot to watch the sun set. With the sky filled with the smell of burning incense and butter lamps, witness the devotes circle the stupa and monks chant their prayers spinning the prayer wheels in a truly unique, and quintessentially Kathmandu, experience.
Get lost (metaphorically speaking) in the Annapurnas
The Annapurnas, a mountain range part of the greater Himilayas, offers superlative panoramas and an opportunity to experience the cultural traditions of a whole spectrum of ethnicities. Trek along the ridgeline in the lower foothills of the Annapurnas with surrounding views of the Pokhara Valley. Spend the night in the Modi River Valley, where you can watch the sun rise over Annapurna South, Annapurna 1, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna, and the Fishtail peaks. Here the trekking will get your heart pumping, but at a pace that is relaxed and accessible to generally fit travelers.
Recharge Lakeside in Pokhara
Stretching along the shore of a tranquil lake with bobbing paddle boats, Pokhara is a laid-back, charming town that is a beginning or ending point for many Himalayan treks. From here, the views of the snow-capped peaks of the Annapurna range are spectacular. There’s much more to Pokhara than its laid-back charm. Here you can try some of the best paragliding on the globe or some serious white-water rivers.