For years, Kathmandu, Everest, and Annapurna have enticed travelers with dreams of exotic cultural experiences and epic trekking routes. While Nepal’s main attractions might be exactly what your clients are looking for, some of our favorite travel moments here have come from stepping off the beaten path. And Nepal offers a multitude of ways for travelers to do just that while making a deep connection with locals and discovering some of our country’s beautiful landscapes.
Here are just a few of our favorites places:
These hills lie in the shadows of the Annapurna Range and offer some of the least-trafficked trails and magnificent views. Home to the Chepang people, this area is dotted with villages and terraced fields. Stay with a local family in Upardang Gadi, a historic village, and climb up the massive fort from the Shah dynasty era for vistas of both the Annapurna and Manaslu ranges, a well as Chitwan Valley. A homestay gives travelers the opportunity to learn about the hunter-gatherer culture of this small ethnic group, who often share traditional songs and dances with visitors.
One of the oldest towns in Nepal, Panauti offers a chance for travelers to step back in time to see a preserved medieval town, as well as the more modern one that has grown up around it. A tentative UNESCO World Heritage Site, Panauti is known for its many temples and stupas, and for its cultural and religious festivals. Travelers who want to immerse themselves in the culture will want to stay in the community homestay, run by a group of local women. As hosts, these women offer cultural programs, cooking classes and community hikes into the surrounding countryside. We often recommend combining a trek through Chepang Hills, a visit to Chitwan National Park and a stay in Panauti.
This rocky, arid valley protected from the monsoons is a visual shock to travelers who expect Nepal’s regular lush green landscapes. Come for the rich Tibetan Busshist culture, fascinating meditation caves, Jurassic-era fossils and of course the Muktinah Temple, a holy pilgrimage site for both Hindu and Buddhist followers. While travelers might feel like they’re in a different world, this area is quite accessible and this 11-day tour pairs the area with sightseeing in Pokhara and Kathmandu.
The village of Kagbeni, in Lower Mustang. Photo: Inside Himalayas
While it is not Everest, Manaslu is the eighth highest mountain peak in the world. The surrounding Manaslu Conservation Area has only been open to trekkers since the 1990s, meaning it’s still lesser known, but it delivers a magical experience for those seeking a physical challenge and jaw-dropping panoramas. Travelers can visit Buddhist monasteries and stay in tea houses in the local villages along the 14-day trek, offering many opportunities to connect with local people and the culture.
When it comes to finding off-the-beaten-path Nepal, these few spots are just the beginning. We welcome the chance to work with all travel agents to offer meaningful travel experiences that support the local community and protect our environment.
Manaslu. Photo by Alison Spencer
Nepal |Aug 26, 2015
Lying on a single piece of a rocky hill on the southwestern side of the Kathmandu valley, Kirtipur stands stoically and does justice to the literal meaning of its name – Kirti (glorious) pur (city).
Nepal |Oct 21, 2019
Sometimes there isn’t a clear answer to the most commonly asked questions, like “When is the best time to go?”
Nepal |Dec 26, 2012
Once practiced in secret, the Charya Nritya (dance as a spiritual discipline) is a Buddhist ritual dance.
Nepal |Mar 2, 2016
The recipe, or say secret recipe, for a healthy family, and for a successful community is to trust, empower, and enhance the skills of women/housewives.
Nepal |Sep 16, 2019
Nepal’s celebration of Holi is a colorful festival that is open to all, locals and visitors alike.
Others |Jun 11, 2020
The worldwide lockdown meant that people like myself who had been working in the tourism sector had no work to do and were forced to stay at home. The lockdown brought an abrupt halt to the daily lives of many people.
Nepal |Mar 18, 2015
No matter whether you have been to Kathmandu, you are about to visit or you are day-dreaming of visiting looking at photos, one of the first things that you will notice about the city are the countless small shops. Kathmandu is filled with shops.
Travel Guide |Apr 29, 2022
Traveling in Nepal in the low season is not just about roaming freely but also impacting the life of locals. Since most of the trek destinations lie in the rural part of Nepal whose income depends upon tourism and animal husbandry, it is hard for them to survive the half-year of low seasons. So, when you travel and spend money over there you are also enriching the lives of the local people.
Others |Apr 24, 2015
Another week in Kathmandu & in office. I have learned about more of the activities of the company and the company’s internal affairs. They actually gave me some more responsibilities.
Nepal |Oct 4, 2021
On a bright monsoon morning right after a week of rain, the air was crisp and the sun was mellow. I decided to walk half of the way to work. My body had been craving for some long-overdue exercise.
Impact Tourism |Apr 25, 2019
“We are happy here” was the first thing they both said when asked why Royal Mountain Travel? Chandraman Tamang and Choisyang Tamang, the father son duo from Bhinkhure, Kavrepalanchowk district have been working with Royal Mountain travel since its establishment in 2005