An amazing experience. Starting from arrival in Kathmandu experience the beauty and diversity of cultures and landscapes as well as authentic Nepali hospitality.
Visit the UNESCO world heritage sites of Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Kathmandu Durbar Square which are among the founding pillars of this country. Kathmandu is also known as the city of temples and festivals. In the Kathmandu Valley, Hinduism and Buddhism have coexisted centuries, many people honouring both traditions.
Enjoy stunning views of the Annapurna Range as you relax by the lake in Pokhara after a day’s sightseeing in the area. Then head south to Chitwan National Park and the enormous variety of wildlife there: Rhino, elephant, perhaps a tiger as well as innumerable smaller animals and bird species. Here you have the added experience of the Barauli Community Homestay introducing you to the Tharu people who have always coexisted with the local wildlife and, with the homestay project, are preserving their rich culture.
International Airport Arrival transfer Kathmandu.
Namaste & Welcome to Kathmandu!
Depending on your travel history, your first impression of arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport may be an experience in and of itself. The time it takes will depend on whether you need to queue for a Visa-on-Arrival as well as immigration and customs. Luggage tags will be checked on exit so have your luggage receipt handy (usually attached to your boarding pass). Luggage trolleys are available and free to use. As you walk down the tunnel to the arrival lounge you will find many people showing various placards and waving anxiously. Please walk slowly checking the placards and do not get anxious – our airport representative will be waiting to welcome you with your name written clearly on the placard. They will assist you to your correct vehicle. Depending upon the traffic the drive to your booked hotel can take up to 30 minutes or more.
Heritage Day: Sightseeing tour of Kathmandu Durbar square and Bhaktapur City.
Teeming with life, Durbar Square is Kathmandu’s greatest tourist attraction and a World Heritage site. Here Kathmandu’s kings were crowned, lived and worshipped. Of the 50+ monuments the most famous is the Kumari Bahal, the richly decorated home to the Royal Kumari, Living Goddess and manifestation of the great goddess Durga. The 14th century Jagannath Mandir is the oldest temple in the area and nearby the Telaju Mandir is dedicated to the patron deity of the royal family, Taleju Bhawani, a wrathful form of Durga who once demanded human sacrifices.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bhaktapur is a brilliant illustration of Newari architectural skills, a city of pagoda roofs and a harmonious blend of wood, mudbrick and copper; crafts still practiced today.
For a more modern touch – Freak Street was a famous hippy hang-out during the late 60’s and early 70’s. The weird and wonderful ‘freaks’ that gave the street its name have long gone, but there are a few places left that echo those days.
Leaving Kathmandu for Pharping the change in scenery is immediately apparent. Drive through farmland and lush green forest as the winding road climbs out of the Kathmandu Valley, which you can view below you. This Newari town is home to numerous temples (Buddhist and Hindu) and is an important pilgrimage destination.
Pharping is known as the sacred site of Yangleshö, revered by both Hindus and Buddhists as the site where Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) attained the level of a Mahamudra Vidyadhara. You will stay overnight at a monastery here so this afternoon you have the option of exploring the complex in detail with a guide or take a short hike to the nearby Asura Caves.
Pharping to Kurintar transfer.
Rise at dawn to join the morning prayer ceremony and meditate to the ritual chanting. You should be in time to witness a stunning sunrise. Then drive to the small riverside village of Kurintar and hike to our lodge (20mins), nestled on a forested hill overlooking the Trishuli River.
The drive from Pharping to Kurintar offers incredible views of this diverse country and you pass tiny settlements of various tribal groups like Chepang, Dorai, Magar, and some Brahman and Chhetri people who eke out their subsistence from foraging in the forests, trapping the odd small animal or wildfowl, and cultivating wheat, rice, maize and vegetables.
Spend the afternoon relaxing, exploring the village or take a half day rafting trip – Kurintar is a popular spot for rafting trips.
Kurintar to Pokhara transfer.
Drive along the Trishuli River and head into the beautiful Pokhara valley. Pokhara, also known as “lake city”” is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nepal. Well-known as the starting point for numerous treks, it is also renowned for its natural beauty and majestic mountain views.
The afternoon is free for your own explorations.
Pokhara City sightseeing and boating in Phewa Lake, visit World Peace Stupa.
This mornings’ sightseeing takes you to visit Davis Falls, Bindhya Basini Temple, the Seti Gorge and to one of the Tibetan settlement camps. Later enjoy boating in Phewa lake.
Hike up to the World Peace Pagoda, which commands a view over the lake to Sarangkot and the mountains. The pagoda was built in 1996 and is 35m high. Its 37 steps take you to its second tier where four Buddhas face the cardinal directions. A standing Buddha in bronze faces south, while a Sri Lankan Buddha meditates toward the west, a Thai Buddha faces north, and a Japanese Buddha looks eastwards.
The 17th century BindhyaBasini Temple sits atop a small hill in Old Pokhara. Sacred to Durga, the warlike incarnation of Parvati is worshipped here in the form of a saligram (a fossilised ammonite shell, considered a sacred form of the Hindu god Vishnu).
Day at Leisure in Pokhara
Pokhara is renowned for its adventure activities (including paragliding, ultralight flights and hiking) as well as just being a beautiful city that sits alongside Phewa Lake where you can simply hang out and relax. There is never a dull moment when you are in Pokhara – choose your activities.
Pokhara to Chitwan transfer.
From Pokhara, you drive via Prithvi Highway to Barauli. Barauli is very close to Chitwan National Park, just across the Narayani River. Cycle to the river to watch the sunset of a golden ball sinking into the river.
Accommodation is in twelve cottages especially built. They are simply, but attractively furnished and offer you everything you need for a comfortable stay – each has a modern attached bathroom and comfortable beds. The village women live close by and ‘own’ the cottages, with their names on a board outside. They take care of their guests as if you were staying in their own homes. The purpose of Barauli Community Homestay is to provide a platform for locals to generate extra income yet protecting their culture and traditional values whilst offering guests a close-up glimpse of typical village life.
Chitwan – Full day jungle activities.
Jeep Safari: With Barauli located on the edge of Chitwan National Park, jungle safaris are one of the many highlights of our homestay. We have our own jeeps and excellent naturalists. There is no chance that you will miss anything there is to see on your jungle safari.
Cycling: We assure you that cycling via small Tharu villages and fish farms to the shore of the Narayani River is an experience you will recount often.
Cultural Dance: Tharu are proud of their culture, perhaps because they have one of the best cultures in Nepal. The famous Tharu stick dance; when women dance and sing, is simply amazing. The dancing takes place in front of our homestay, normally at night, to provide a bit of recreation and relaxation from the days’ activities. If guests enjoy the dance, then they are more than welcome to join in.
Chitwan to Kathmandu transfer.
Returning to Kathmandu you will leave the lowlands, climbing into the Central Hills to join the Prithvi Highway at Mugling. It is then a slow journey towards east for approx. 6.5 hrs along the busiest highway in Nepal. It is however a scenic route with steep rice terraces making a dramatic backdrop to the river, funeral pyres, suspension bridges and villages.
You will still have some free time for souvenir shopping. Maybe visit Thamel, the major tourist hub of Kathmandu where you can shop, visit cafes and restaurants – maybe stock-up on trekking gear for a future trip.
Kathmandu – free day
Day at leisure for individual activities.
Suggestions: You can book a guided tour and explore the heritage sites inside the Kathmandu Valley, join a Dalbhat or Momo cooking course in a local’s house, or grab your map and explore the city on your own. Your options are limitless. Check out our day tours for options.
International Airport departure transfer.
Check-in is 2.5 hours prior to departure, and it is best not to skim on time as queues can be long and slow. Your booked airport transfer will be at your hotel ready to take you to the airport in time, allowing approximately 30mins driving time depending on time of day. At the airport security will check your flight ticket – either hard copy or on your mobile – along with your passport before you are allowed to enter the departure hall.
Fabulous trip with knowledgeable and interesting guide, Kalpana Bhattarai. She provided a unique experience that included not only historical information, but, also the role women played within that framework.