This tour offers the best of Nepal. Nepal is not only a destination for trekking in some of the world’s highest mountains. Here you can find a rich culture and history. As well as seeing some of the seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu and the Kathmandu Valley like Patan Durbar Square, Swyambhunath (aka the Monkey Temple) and Bhaktapur Durbar Square, you also get the chance to experience the essence of Nepal by living with the locals.
Our Homestays can be found in several places around the country. You visit Chitwan where you are made very welcome by the Tharu people in Barauli, staying in their Community Homestay. Returning to the Kathmandu Valley, you then get the chance to see the day to day life in the historic Newar town of Panauti staying in a Homestay here. Then to finish your trip, you stay in Patan in a Homestay.
At all the Homestays, we are committed to providing the highest levels of comfort and security. The Homestays all follow the standards designed by RMT and are regularly checked to ensure that they maintain the highest levels of safety protocols.
|Day 1||Arrival in Kathmandu|
|Day 2||Kathmandu sightseeing|
|Day 3||Bhaktapur and Panauti|
|Day 4||Drive to Chitwan (Barauli Community Homestay)|
|Day 5||Chitwan jungle activities (Barauli Community Homestay)|
|Day 6||Drive to Patan (Homestay)|
|Day 8||Visit Bungmati and Khokna village|
|Day 9||Kathmandu – free day|
Homestays: Additional information
Please note that the published itinerary can only be a statement of intent and should be used as a guide only. Each day may vary due to the walking times of the group, camping and trail conRead More...
Homestays: Additional information
Please note that the published itinerary can only be a statement of intent and should be used as a guide only. Each day may vary due to the walking times of the group, camping and trail conditions. The guide in charge of your trip may have to alter the schedule if necessary and any such changes are at the discretion of Royal Mountain Travel and your guide.
Staying at a homestay can be the highlight of your trip. You can live like a local, sharing with families their way of life. The homestays are family homes, so whilst they offer a good standard of comfort, they may not be quite as luxurious as a hotel.
The quality of homestays used varies from place to place. In all of the homestays guests are offered a private room and if not an attached bathroom, then a clean bathroom that is shared with the family. Some homestays can be a little ‘rustic,’ and although most can provide hot showers at the turn of the tap, in a few places you might be given a bucket of hot water for a ‘bucket shower.’
Food and drink
Meals provided at homestays are prepared by the family and generally there will not be a choice as this is what the family will be eating too. However, guests with any special dietary requirements should make this clear beforehand. For example, anyone how cannot tolerate wheat flour would not want to be served chapattis or momos, so should warn their hosts on arrival.
Water served at the homestays is filtered and all hosts and hostesses have been trained in the hygienic preparation of food. In many places, guests may be offered local chyang or raksi, a beer made from rice or grain, or a spirit distilled from the same.
In most of the places where there are homestays, you can be taken by your host family to see the local sights, or to participate in local activities, depending on where you are staying.
In many homestays, the level of English may be quite basic. Generally, younger people will know more English from school, but their parents do not always speak so much English. That said, many of the homestay hosts and hostesses are learning English and will welcome the chance to practice and interact with you.
It is best to bring Nepali rupees and try to bring as much small change as you can, as in the villages cashing larger 1000Rs notes is always more difficult. You should exchange enough money into Nepalese rupees to last the entire time of your trip as outside Kathmandu and Pokhara, there are very few ATMs and no money changers. Although Indian rupees may be accepted in many places, nowhere will accept foreign currency as it is very difficult for local people to then change into Nepali rupees.
Communication: mobile phones and internet
Mobile phone reception can be very patchy. Although NCELL, the local mobile company has quite good coverage, sometimes the signal can be very weak. Many homestays offer wifi, which also can be quite variable in speed.
Tipping is a personal and voluntary matter and is not included in the trip price. If you wish to reward the efforts of those who have worked to make your trip the best they can, we suggest the following: USD 4 per day for groups of 8+, USD 5 per day for smaller groups.
Travel insurance is not included in the trip price. It is essential that you take out comprehensive travel insurance prior to your trek. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, medical expenses, emergency evacuation and repatriation (including helicopter evacuation) and personal liability. We also recommend that it cover cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
There are no specific health requirements for entry into Nepal. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date information regarding vaccinations, and medications for any reasonably foreseeable illnesses whilst traveling in Nepal. Please be aware that you will be in remote areas and away from medical facilities for some time during this trip. We strongly recommend that you carry a personal First Aid kit as well as sufficient quantities of any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses).
The climate in Nepal varies a lot depending on altitude and time of year. During the summer (June-August) rainy season, it usually rains a few hours most days, towards the end of the day, only occasionally raining all day and for a few days at a time. It is useful to have an umbrella and rain cape. The rest of the year is generally dry, with the temperatures dropping in the winter. As there are limited heating facilities, be sure to bring warm clothes if you are coming during the months of November to February. In the spring and autumn, the weather can be warm, even hot if you are staying in the Terai, the plains in the south of Nepal.
Arrival in Kathmandu
Arriving at Tribhuwan International Airport is an experience in itself. Don’t let it put you off, as our airport representative will be waiting to welcome you with your name written on a placard. Depending on traffic, the drive to your hotel takes about 20-30 minutes.
The day is spent visiting some of the major World Heritage Sites of Kathmandu. More…
You will have plenty of time in the afternoon to prepare for your trip and check that you have everything you need. You might want to visit Thamel, the tourist hub of Nepal where you can easily find all you need for trekking. Or if you just want to relax, there are many cafes and bakeries serving excellent local tea and coffee. It is best to avoid the street food, however, unless you have a very strong stomach.
Bhaktapur and Panauti
Starting the day by visiting Bhaktapur, this is one of the most fascinating and important World Heritage Sites in Nepal. The historic centre is made up of three large squares filled with shrines and temples, Newar architecture and fine art. Famous for its clay pots and exquisite wood carvings, Bhaktapur is also legendary for its colourful festivals and its delicious and unique cuisine. Bhaktapur retains its medieval feel and the local people are still engaged in farming and traditional crafts like pottery, metalwork, art and woodwork which have supported the city since it was established in the 12th century. This is a ‘must see’ place to explore! You will be shown the magnificent Golden Gate in Durbar Square (square of the palaces), the Palace of 55 Windows, the Nyata Pola Temple, Newar houses and pottery square. Although the town was damaged in the 2015 earthquake, there has been a lot of work to repair the old buildings.
You are then taken to Panauti where you stay with a family in a homestay. Panauti is an old traditional Newari town in the Kathmandu Valley where you can see a large number of Hindu and Buddhist religious monuments and temples. Originally a small state given by King Bhupatindra Malla as a dowry to his sister, it has not changed much in centuries. You have plenty of time to explore the narrow streets and medieval ghats with your homestay hosts. Situated at the confluence of the two rivers Rosi and Punyamati, it has been regarded as an important religious site since very early times. Famous for its 40 temples and 28 festivals, the temples are dedicated to various and are deities spread around the small one-kilometre town centre. (Panauti Homestay)
Drive to Chitwan (Barauli Community Homestay)
It is quite a long day on the road as you are driven to Barauli, a village in Chitwan where you spend the next couple of nights. Located close to the Rapti River in Meghauli, you see the wildlife in and around Chitwan National Park during the two days of your stay here.
In the evening, take a stroll through the local village, and interact with locals to learn something about their way of life. Accommodation is provided in twelve little cottages that have been built by the villagers, simply furnished and with attached bathrooms, they offer everything for a comfortable stay. The village women, who are also the owner of each cottage, live nearby the homestay so that they can take care of their guests as staying at their homes. Enjoy the local welcome ceremony by the Tharu community people and cultural dance performed by the villagers. (Barauli Community Homestay)
Chitwan jungle activities (Barauli Community Homestay)
Chitwan National Park was the first national park in Nepal and was set up 1973. It was made a World Heritage Site in 1984. With an area of over 932 km2 and an altitude of between 100 m to 815 m in the Churia Hills, it is home to 68 species of mammals. You may see the “king of the jungle,” the Bengal tiger as this is reported as being one of the best tiger habitats in the world. More commonly sighted are the one-horned rhinoceros, sambar deer, red muntjac, hog deer, rhesus monkeys, Hanuman langurs and wild elephant. You will be taken on a jungle jeep safari and a nature walk, visiting a local village outside the national park and can ride on an elephant. (Barauli Community Homestay)
Drive to Patan (Homestay)
You return to Kathmandu and to Patan, where you stay with a family. Patan is now part of Kathmandu but used to be one of the three independent kingdoms. The houses here are built in traditional design, with thick walls and beautiful wood carved windows and doors. (Patan Homestay)
Take a stroll around with your host to explore the rich history and culture of this part of the city. Very different in character from the rest of Kathmandu, Patan’s Durbar Square is surrounded by the most superb of Newar architecture. It is a beautiful ensemble of temples and shrines beside the old royal palace that now serves as a little museum. In Patan, you can see a mixture of both Hinduism and Buddhism, with people worshipping in both at the same time. Renowned for the “Birth to Death” shops, these are where to shop for every little item that Nepalese rituals require from birth to death. There are many interesting festivals and traditions that are observed here. (Patan Homestay)
Visit Bungmati and Khokna village
Today you visit a couple of very typical Newari villages not far out south of the city. These two villages have not changed much from its early days. As you walk the streets of Bungamati, you can see plenty of wood crafts and sculptures which might be a perfect handmade souvenir. Khokana is another small village that is very popular for its traditional way of producing mustard oil and its lovely little local temples. (Patan Homestay)
Kathmandu – free day
You are taken back to your hotel in Kathmandu and have the rest of the day free. You can visit Swayambunath Temple, otherwise nicknamed the ‘Money Temple’. On a hill overlooking the city, it is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the country. Not for the faint-hearted, there are 350 steps to the top, though you can cheat and take the back route, though less steep it doesn’t offer such good views. Lose yourself in Asaan, the area between Thamel and Kathmandu’s Durbar Square which is a warren of narrow streets where Nepalis come to shop for everything from the kitchen sink to saris and vegetables. Why not visit the elusive Kumari in Durbar Square, or go shopping in Thamel where you can find all sorts of souvenir shops selling handicrafts, local organic tea and coffee and other mementoes.
You transfer to Tribhuvan Airport to connect with your onward flight. Please note that you should check in three hours prior to your flight time.