Around Kathmandu Valley – Hiking

An incredible way to experience majestic Himalayan vistas, charming hill villages and artistic cultural sites of Kathmandu Valley

The hills surrounding Kathmandu valley offers an excellent opportunity for easy hiking to observe village life and superb mountain views. You will be seeing the stunning mountains views without climbing big hills, without taking long adventures and without having to go too far or climb too high. Beautiful verdant hills and traditional Newari villages encircle the valley of Kathmandu. Despite the city’s urban life is just a drive away, the villages remain comparatively less touched by modernity and have retained their old charm. We hike around hills and villages covered by terraced farms, verdant forests, and shrines dedicated to Hindu & Buddhist deities. This trip includes the places like Nagarkot, Chisapani, Sundarijal, Dhulikhel, Balthali, Namobuddha,Panauti, Khopasi and Bhaktapur. It’s for every age group and for all seasons.

Outline Itinerary

  • Day 1 Arrive Kathmandu (1400m)
  • Day 2 Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu & Patan
  • Day 3 Drive to Sundarijal (1460m); Hike to Chisapani (2340m)
  • Day 4 Hike Chisapani to Nagarkot (2175m)
  • Day 5 Trek Nagarkot – Dhulikhel
  • Day 6 Hike Dhulikhel to Balthali via Namobuddha
  • Day 7 Hike Balthali to Panauti via Khopasi & drive to Kathmandu
  • Day 8 Depart Kathmandu

Detailed Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive Kathmandu (1400m)

    It is a panoramic thrill flying into Kathmandu on a clear day. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below you are almost ecstatic, beginning a whole chain of memorable experiences that stay with you for a long, long time. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your daily activities. .

  • Day 2

    Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu & Patan

    Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence in the Valley. Patan and Bhaktapur, its two major neighboring cities bear immense historical, cultural and religious significances. There will be a guided tour to the famous and biggest Hindu shrine of Pashupatinath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal Boudhanath, the Monkey Temple or Swoyambhunath and Patan Durbar Square..

  • Day 3

    Drive to Sundarijal (1460m) & trek to Chisopani (2340m)

    After breakfast at the hotel, we take drive to 15 kms north- east from Kathmandu to Sundarijal. En route we stop by Budhanilkantha or the temple of the ‘Reclining Vishnu’ that lies at the bottom of the Shivpuri Hill. The temple has a fifth century stone sculpture of Lord Vishnu, reclining amidst coiled serpents in the middle of a pond. Nepalese royalty were barred from entering the temple because of an oracle of 17th century Malla king , Pratap Malla. According to the oracle any member of the royal clan would die if he/she gazed on the face of the reclining Vishnu. We continue driving uphill through a dense forest of oak, pine and rhododendron till we reach the Sundarijal. We get down at Sundarijal and trek to the village of Chisopani or cold water. During the trek you get panoramic views of the surrounding hills and undulating Himalayan ranges like the Ganesh Himal, Langtang Himal, Dorje Lhakpa and Annapurna. We stay overnight at a lodge. .

  • Day 4

    Trek Chisopani to Nagarkot

    After a hearty breakfast, we continue with our trekking adventure. From Chisapani we trek downhill to Nagarkot. Nagarkot, at 2100m is a hill resort located thirty kilometers away from Kathmandu. From here we get breathtaking views of Mt. Everest, Manaslu and Gauri Shankar. We stay overnight at a resort..

  • Day 5

    Trek Nagarkot – Dhulikhel

    After witnessing a magical sun rise from Nagarkot , we have our breakfast and get ready for the day’s trek. Today we hike to to Dhulikhel. Dhulikhel is a small Newari village which has become quite popular as a resort town. The mountain views from the village are breath taking. The streets lined with bare-brick houses,sloping tiled roofs, sacred statues, pagoda temples and carved wooden windows are the feature of the Dhulikel. Overnight at lodge. .

  • Day 6

    Hike Dhulikhel to Balthali via Namobuddha

    After hiking for about 3 hours passing through forests, farms and terraced fields we arrive at the Buddhist pilgrimage site of Namo Buddha, where Lord Buddha in his previous birth is believed to have saved a tigress and her cub from starvation by offering his own flesh. There are wonderful views from the hill top shrine. From here another 3 hours of easy hike will take you to Balthali village (2400m). Balthali is a sleepy Newari village which rests on a plateau at the junction of Roshi and Ladku Khola River. If the weather is clear you can enjoy panoramic mountain views of the Himalayan range : Manaslu, Mt. Everest, Ganesh Himal, & Jugal Himal & the Mahabharat range. Overnight at a local resort..

  • Day 7

    Hike Balthali to Panauti via Khopasi & drive to Kathmandu

    From Balthali we continue trekking though Khopasi village to the Newari town of Panauti. Panauti is home to one of the oldest temples in Nepal, the Indreshwar Mahahdev temple which dates back to the 13th century. After exploring the bazaar and the ancient streets, we have our lunch and drive back to Kathmandu..

  • Day 8

    Depart Kathmandu

    Our support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. (Or stay longer for other tours & treks, game drive at National parks, rafting etc. - ask us).

TRIP GRADE: Easy
Day hikesalong mid-hill ridge of Kathmandu Valley that doesn’t include extreme switchbacks! So, it’s not physically tiring but involves approx. 5-7 hours of easy walking. No previous experience is required, you should be moderately fit, used to some regular exercises and enjoy walking in hilly terrain.
TREKKING TYPES
We offer several options regarding the organization of your trek:
1) Guide, Accommodation and Porter trek (GAP trek)
Includes: Accommodation, guide and porters
Excludes: Food
This option of the trek is for those who want basic support from us. This is the most economic way to do trekking in Nepal. We provide an English speaking local Sherpa guide, book and pay for the accommodation in local lodges during trek and arrange required porters. Trekkers pay for meals directly to the local lodge owner. Expect to spend around $25 a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the price.
2) Camping trek
On camping trek you will be sleeping and eating on tents. A trekking crew contains one Sirdar, one cook and the numbers of kitchen crew, Sherpa assistants and porters depending on the size of the group. Under the leadership of the Sirdar (the local trek leader) the crew will ensure you take the right path. The kitchen crew will keep you well fed with delicious and nutritious meals. The porters shall transport the gear from camp to camp. Our main aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. Sirdar and his assistants speak basic English, good enough to explain to you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes.
Includes: Guide, Porters, Cook, All meals and tents
 
3) Lodge or tea house trek
Although simple, the teahouses or lodges do provide shelter and warmth and are normally run by friendly local families. The lodge or tea house treks are less expensive than camping trek and are largely suitable for small groups.
Includes: Accommodation in lodge, guide, porters and all meals
YOUR TREK CAN BE ORGANIZED IN ALL THE 3 WAYS AS MENTIONED ABOVE.
ACCOMMODATION
Places in Kathmandu Valley like Kathmandu, Nagarkot and Dhulikhel offer a wide range of accommodation facilities, from 5 star luxury hotels to budget-priced guest houses. Top hotels give you the high quality services. In other places, accommodation is modest but comfortable enough to meet your requirements are. Explore Himalaya will assist you in hotel reservation. For more information, you can ask us for details.
FOOD
Lodge Trek:
Meals are included in our price and are taken in hotels/lodges available along the trail. You can find a considerable variety of Nepali and Western food as well as drinks.
Camping Trek:
Meals are prepared by our cook. We provide three tasty and nutritious meals daily along with drinks.
GAP Trek:
You will have to make your own eating arrangements in the hotels/lodges available along the trail. Expect to spend around $25 a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the price.
 
WATER
On camping trek, our staff will boil or filter water and cook meals treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. On GAP trek and Lodge trek, you will be able to buy bottled wateron the way.We recommend you to bring water purification pills.
 
LUGGAGE WHILE TREKKING
During the trek, your main luggage will be transferred by staffs. Please keep your luggage as light as possible around 12 to 15 kgs. You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket etc. You can leave your valuable items at your hotel in Kathmandu while trekking. Many hotels have a locker system and provide a deposit slip for the valuables kept under the hotel's safekeeping.
TOUR/TREK GUIDE
We have a team of highly experienced and multilingual guides (guides who can speak your language – major languages only). They are professionally trained and are thoroughly versed in culture and history of each place in this itinerary.
 
JOIN A GROUP OR PRIVATE TRIP
Our trips are available on both fixed departure and private basis. If you are looking for a group to join this trip please check our ‘2020 departures’ link for availability, dates and price. If you would like to travel independently, or with your friends, families & colleagues, you are invited to choose any of the trips at your convenient timeframe for any number of people (minimum 1 & maximum 100 at a time).
If you want to do something that is not included in our trip list, we are ready to tailor your trip to suit your exact requirements. In short, we will make every effort to meet your needs.
 
GROUP SIZE ON FIXED DEPARTURE TRIP
If you opt to join our ‘fixed departure trip’, you are likely to be joining people from different countries of any age group except minors. The size of group varies, minimum no of persons required to operate a trip is 2 the maximum is 12 people.
 
PERSONAL EXPENSES
Lodge trek and Camping trek:
You only need money for table drinks (alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages), tips, souvenirs, hot shower (available in some places) and snacks while walking.
GAP trek:
You need to pay for your meals and should expect to spend around $25 a day for your food.
Tips are appreciated by your support team after the trip. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. As a suggestion, we advise that you can allocate 5- 10 % of the total tour cost as tips.
FLIGHT / LAND TRANSFERS
The starting point of the trek is Sundarijaland ending point is Panauti. Both points are easily accessible by road transfers. All transfers including airport pick up and drop transfers as per the itinerary are arranges by us.
 
COMMUNICATION
For using internet, Wifi service is available in all stopovers. You can also use Ncell and NTC network (both for internet and mobile network), both of them work properly throughout the trek.
 
TREKKING GEARS & EQUIPMENT
You will need walking boots, waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, sun-screen and day pack. Comprehensive list of equipment will be provided once you book your trip. It's not necessary to spend a lot of money buying extra equipment and clothing before your trip. Majority of these gears can be bought or hired at reasonable rates in Kathmandu.
CLOTHING
Clothingrequirement varies with the type of tour and season. From April to the end of October, it is warm in Kathmandu. From November to the end of March, days are usually warm and evenings are cool. Put on your summer clothes during the day time but in the evening and night it is advisable to carry a light jacket. Winter season starts from December to February. One must be equipped with sufficient winter wears like jackets, sweaters, trousers etc to stay protected from the cold. In accordance to Nepali weather you can have your clothes well-packed in your luggage or you can also purchase clothes of your choice and needs from the clothing stores in Nepal.
TYPICAL DAY ON TREK
Lodge/ Tea House Trek, GAP Trek & Camping Trek
Each morning after packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off on the day's walk. After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon's walk is generally shorter and we usually arrive at our destination in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the village, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days we will arrive at our destination by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and reliving the day's adventures, before heading off to bed for a well-earned sleep.
However, on a camping trek, you begin your day with a hot cup of tea which will be served to you in the tent at 6 am, followed by a bowl of hot water for washing. Other day activities are the same as mentioned above.
 
MEETING AND GREETING IN KATHMANDU
 You need to pass on your International flight details to us for a “meeting and greeting” service at airport. You just pass the Customs desk and come out of the Terminal building where you will see someone standing with a placard with either ‘Explore Himalaya’ or your name written on it. Our airport representative or tour officer will greet you and welcome you with a garland.
ITINERARY CHANGES
The itineraries for each trip should be taken as a guideline only. Depending on the prevailing situation, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of trek completion should always coincide with the original itinerary.You should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip into the remotest region, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your guide will suggest the best alternative similar to your original.
 
TREK DURATION
We ensure liability as indicated in itinerary and list of services. If the holiday is cut short or completed earlier than the projected period upon client’s wish, we shall not be responsible or make refund against unutilized days or services. Clients need to pay for Hotels/services incurred in Kathmandu or elsewhere in such cases.
TRIP EXTENSIONS
In addition to your trek, we can organize extensions both within Nepal and other neighboring countries. You may want to try water rafting or a jungle safari in Nepal or Nepal Cultural Tour. You may as well take a trip to Tibet, India or Bhutan, whichever seems more appealing to you..
VISA
All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. You can also get “On Arrival Visa” at entry points. Some countries’ nationals need to get visa prior their arrival. Please check http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visafor detailed information.
Visa can be extended at the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Children under 10 years need not pay any visa fee.
Gratis visa for 30 days available only for tourists of SAARC countries
Multiple entry 15 days - US$ 30 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 30 days - US$ 50 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 90 days - US$ 125 or equivalent convertible currency
Tourist Visa Extension
* Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 45 or equivalent convertible currency and visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 3 per day
* In case of delay, (less than 150 days), additional US $ 5 per day as late fine.
 HEALTH ISSUES AND VACCINATIONS
As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you to consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the beginning of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio.We suggest that you have some pain-killing pills with you and enough medicine for cold, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Some nasal ointment and throat-moistening pills will greatly help for those who are sensitive to chilly weather conditions
 
FIRST AID KIT
We supply a medical bag with standard medicines prescribed by trekking doctors and a user’s manual. Since our staffs/guides are not qualified for suggesting medications to western clients, we would request you to use the medicines upon your own risk. It is safer and more reliable if you have your own medicine kit and not depend on what we have.
  
RESCUE / EVACUATIONS
In case of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we believe will not happen; we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation, we recommend you to take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back to Kathmandu.
CLIMATE AND BEST TIME TO GO
The best seasons to trek in NepalareAutumn (from mid-September till November end), and Spring (from the beginning of March until mid-May).During this time of the year, the weather is dry with clear skies. However, trekking around Kathmandu Valley can be done any time of the year. Climate is Kathmandu is milder compared to other parts of the country with average annual temperature of 18°C (January, the coldest month - average 9°C; June, the hottest month – average 23°C). Monsoon (rainy) season falls between June to August. Though monsoon in Kathmandu is not very severe, it makes the trail muddy and visibility less. So, the appropriate time will be anytime from September to May. Please choose the date that is convenient for you. 
RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL
Environmental Responsibility
Wonderful environment of the Himalayas is also an extremely fragile one. Increasing population density and numbers of trekkers threaten the very beauty of Nepal. At Explore Himalaya, we are extremely conscious about the environment and aim to minimize our impact as much as possible.
As deforestation is one of the greatest environmental threats, we do not have camp fires and use kerosene for cooking as an alternative fuel to wood. We also discourage trekkers from using wood-fuelled hot showers in lodges along the way. Many lodges, however, now provide solar hot showers, a far more eco-friendly alternative.
Garbage disposal is another major problem and some of the busier trails can, at times, appear strewn with litter. Our staff members are well motivated towards eco-friendly practices. We carry out all our garbage, apart from that which can be safely and easily burnt at the campsite. Our aim is to help protect and preserve this beautiful environment for future generations of trekkers to enjoy.
  
Social Responsibility
Explore Himalaya works with the motto ‘Development through Tourism’. Keeping in line with this motto, Explore Himalaya Community Service Project (EHCSP) has been conceived to empower underprivileged, marginalized, poor and minority segments of Nepal.Since its inception, EHCSP has been incessantly facilitating and advocating for school education, health, community development, forest conservation, agriculture and culture preservation. Explore Himalaya encourages its clients to contribute for the development of Nepal.
Care for Porters and Staff
We ensure that all the porters and other staffs going into high altitude conditions are provided with adequate clothing and equipment. We are the first ever company to supply high-altitude porters with crampons.We run the trek according to the guidelines of the International Porter Protection group (IPPG - www.ippg.net).
For more details on our responsible initiatives, please visit https://www.explorehimalaya.com/csr/
  
BOOKING CONDITIONS
1) Your booking will be confirmed by email once we receive your deposit of USD 300 and the signed copy of booking form and contract.
The balance is due no later than two months prior to departure. If you book a tour less than 2 months prior to departure, you must send the full payment within 7 days of confirmation by us.
2) If you cancel, the following scale of charges will apply:
2 months before departure – Loss of deposit (US$ 300)
29 days to 2 months before departure – 30% of total trip cost
10 to 28 days before departure – 60% of total trip cost
Less than 10 days before departure – 100% of total trip cost
DISCLAIMER
It is fundamental to acknowledgethat this is an adventure tour. This requires some flexibility. The day to day itinerary is taken only as a guideline. We cannot be held responsible for any delays caused by International or domestic flights, strikes, Government regulations, weather or natural casualties etc. In such cases, Explore Himalaya shall provide suitable alternatives which could be decided upon mutual agreement. If an agreement cannot be made, Explore Himalaya shall only be responsible for refunds after deducting the expenses already incurred.
 
If you have any questions regarding this trip, please feel free to contact us at enquiry@explorehimalaya.com or directly by phone: 977-1-4418100. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours.

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We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.

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