Take a trip to Nepal
Country of legends and mysteries, Nepal is a paradise for hikers.
The Himalayan range (8 of the 10 highest peaks in the world) offers an infinite playground for all levels. It is absolutely necessary to venture out for at least a few days on the mountain paths, for example the famous ABC (Anapurna Base Camp) walk which will be accompanied by a guide. For the less adventurous, the possibilities abound. The Kathmandu valley and all its temples of both religions, Hindu and Buddhist – in particular the magnificent stupa of Bodnath or the old royal cities of Bhaktapur and Patan – require a trip to Nepal by themselves. In the south, the Chitwan reserve allows you to go on an elephant safari and see rhinos, bears, crocodiles and hundreds of bird species.
Tour guides in Nepal
Five ideas for guided tours in Nepal
After the 2015 earthquake, many of the buildings in Nepal’s capital city were damaged by the quake and the aftermath is still being seen. However, Kathmandu remains a destination in its own right where you will never stop going from discovery to discovery. What better way to start your visit than in its most touristy district? Thamel is a maze of streets teeming with people where you will love to get lost. This will lead you to Durban Square, a place of life and spirituality where you will admire the temples of Taleju and Jagannath with its erotic sculptures. To have a panoramic view of the city, climb the 140 steps of the stupa of Swayambhunath and below the “Monkey Temple“. After about 30 minutes of walking, we discover the stupa of Bodnath. This building is magical. Revered by Tibetan Buddhists, it is made of three terraces forming a giant mandala topped by a white dome where the eyes of Buddha have been painted.
Bhaktapur is located only fifteen kilometers from Kathmandu. The medieval city contains the best preserved squares and temples in the valley, especially after the earthquake in 2015. One will come to admire the most beautiful building in Nepal according to some. The Nyatapola temple, in the form of a pagoda, was built in 1702. It is composed of five floors and, at its top, a roof on five levels. In the middle, a staircase surrounded by large statues at each level leads to the altar of the deity Siddhi Lakshmi. Nearby, the Durbar Square and its red brick floor. Looking up, you see the Nge Nyapa Jhya Laaykoo monument, better known as the palace with fifty-five windows. Craftsmen have designed splendid works of art such as the wood lace surrounding the window openings. As you continue your way through the narrow lanes, you will come across other wonders or workshops of specific artisans of the Newar inhabitants.
Chitwan National Park
Located at the foot of the Himalayas, in the heart of the Terai Plateau, Chitwan National Park was established in 1973 and was once the hunting ground for the royal aristocracy and their western guests. Fortunately, today, this immense space of 930 km2 shelters an exceptional flora and a fauna of which, in particular, protected species or in the course of extinction like the Bengal tiger or the Asian rhinoceros. You may also have the chance to observe leopards, macaques, hyenas and numerous elephants during your safari organized by a private Nepalese guide. Some tours through the jungle are organized on the backs of the pachyderms and in the morning, you can see them washing in the Rapti River accompanied by their owners. Before nightfall, leave for a dugout excursion. You will enjoy a privileged moment where you will have the chance to observe crocodiles and many kinds of birds.
Pokhara is the second most important city. It is above all famous, because it is undoubtedly by there that you will pass to start your excursions in one of the solid masses of the mountain range of the Himalayas. This absolutely charming town lives to the rhythm of its lake Phewa. When you will be rested from your treks in altitude, leave to visit it. To begin, go to the heights to reach Ananda Hill, the Buddhist temple Shanti Stupa and its pagoda of peace. Then, go back down to the lake side and join the city center by boat. In the vicinity, you will enjoy even more peace and quiet by taking a bus to the fresh water pool of Begnas where you can bathe near the rice fields. For the best view of the mountains, climb the Sarangkot hill at 1.600 meters and in the evening enjoy the most beautiful sunset in the region.
Poon Hill Trek
Going to Nepal without trekking its mountains would be such a shame. There are so many routes ranging from easy half day walks to climbing the highest peaks. One of the most popular treks is to Poon Hill. It can last from three to five days and emotions and natural splendors are guaranteed. This route is very quiet, even if it is very busy. Sherpas will be there to accompany you, to carry your heavy bags, to direct you in the paths and, the evening, to quickly find you the best places to sleep. At the top, you will reach Poon Hill, near the village of Ghorepani at 3,220 meters from where the view of the snowy peaks of Annapurna Dhaulagiri to Machapuchare is admirable. These same trails are also used by the ABC (Annapurna Base Camp) hikers, but that’s another story. You will be immersed in a grandiose nature, between mountains and forests, where the only sounds are the streams and the small waterfalls which flow: an unforgettable experience. We meet the locals carrying goods on mules and we stop to spend the night in villages. Tadapani and Ghandruk where a true authenticity reigns.