If you’re truly looking for a unique destination to help you conquer your fear of heights or embrace an intrepid lifestyle, consider a Nepal adventure! While known as the home of Mount Everest – aka the tallest mountain the world – Nepal actually boasts eight of the tallest ten mountains in the world(!), as well as more adventure opportunities than you’ll be able to experience in just one trip. From hiking to volunteering and biking to birdwatching, if you’ve got a taste for adventure, tours in Nepal may be exactly the one-of-a-kind experience you’re looking for.
Nepal trips are home to some of the best and most unique adventure travel opportunities in the world. Where else can you take in the splendor of the world’s highest peaks in the Himalayas, stare into the abyss of one of the world’s deepest gorges at Kali Gandaki, or kayak the highest lake on earth at Tilicho Lake?
If you’re nervous about straying far from home and seek the comforts of a big city, consider the capital of Kathmandu for your holidays in Nepal. Pass your days volunteering in community development programs and your evenings exploring the city’s gorgeous architecture while meandering Durbar Square.
If a smaller city is more your scene, check out opportunities in Pokhara which, at 200,000 citizens, offers a vastly different atmosphere than the capital (at almost 1.5 million inhabitants!). Located on the edge of the Annapurna Conservation Area, consider an eco tour to help preserve and learn more about this section of the Himalayas.
On the flip side, if you’d like to use time in Nepal to really get away from it all, consider adventure programming in some of the more rural areas of the country. In the middle of nowhere you may find exactly the environment you need for relaxation and meditation through yoga. Nepal trekking tours have a knack for helping you “get away from it all!”
Adventure Tours in Nepal
In case it’s not already evident, much of the adventure tourism in Nepal centers in and around the incredible Himalayas. If you’re seeking opportunities to interact with the mountain, consider Nepal hiking tours, climbing, camping, or biking to really get your heart racing! If you prefer to be less hands-on while still taking in all nature has to offer, take a look at birdwatching or ecology programs, which focus a little more on science and classroom learning and a little less on kicking it into high gear.
Nepal trekking tours are the crème de la crème, but if the mountains and snow aren’t your scene, there’s still plenty to see and explore. Nepal is quite well known for its incredible culinary experiences. Consider enrolling in a cooking program to perfect your Dal Bhat or momos. As a bonus, some cooking courses provide homestay options for participants looking to fully immerse themselves in the local community.
Many adventure programs in Nepal are several weeks long (usually one to four), although you can find programs that extend upwards of one year. These programs often feature both adventurous activities and volunteer opportunities within the local communities in which participants stay.
Costs & Affordability
If you seek a relatively affordable destination for your adventure abroad experience, trips to Nepal should be high on your list. Looking to grab a quick bite? Plan on spending $1-3 USD. Thinking of renting your own apartment? About $100 USD a month will find you sitting pretty in a one-bedroom in the city center!
When considering specific Nepal adventure programs, be sure to look into exactly what’s included in the up-front costs. Some programs only cover your actual program experience while others include living accommodations, meals, airport pick up, and other perks.
If you’re looking for ways to alleviate the financial burden of your holidays in Nepal, consider researching community groups for scholarship and grant opportunities. In particular, your local key club or rotary affiliations may provide scholarships, as well as in your program of choice if you can’t afford the full price of tuition. Be sure to check out GoAbroad’s Scholarship and Financial Resources page to see if you are eligible for any funding opportunities.
Accommodation & Visas
So you’ve decided that a Nepal adventure is the right fit for you! Don’t forget to consider all facets of your experience (e.g. visas and accommodations) before heading for the runway.
As for accommodations, they vary greatly depending on the program you choose. If your adventure includes camping or trekking, chances are your program will include all of the necessities for your time on the trails...aka in your tent. Regardless of the fact that Nepal has fairly temperate weather all year, you should be prepared for some cold nights in your tent and make sure to pack appropriate outdoor clothing for your adventures!
If hiking or other strenuous mountain adventures are not in the cards, chances are high that you will have the opportunity to participate in a homestay. Homestays are great options for those adventurers looking for an authentic Nepali experience and allow participants to be surrounded by locals while receiving two or three home-cooked meals a day. Can you say “Thapa dala bhat” – that’s Nepali for “More dal bhat please!”
Most visitors on trips to Nepal will need a tourist visa which they receive upon arrival at a Nepali airport or any of the land borders across the country. Tourist visas must be paid for in cash (USD is accepted and usually preferred). Visitors can apply for tourist visas for 15, 30, or 90 days, but they may be extended. Additionally, before arriving in Nepal, make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your arrival. If you have questions, be sure to check out GoAbroad’s Nepalese Embassies and Consulates page for additional information.
Benefits & Challenges
Nepal has so many incredible wonders, both natural and manmade, to offer adventurers and nationals alike, including its two big claims to fame – the mountains and the temples.
Known as the Land of the Mountains due to the magnificent presence of the Himalayas, Nepal is home to some of the most stunning landscapes you will find anywhere in the world. Not only that, the protection from the mountain range helps the weather to remain temperate most of the year (except for monsoon season – try to avoid travel from June to September!).
Known simultaneously as the Land of Temples, Nepal is home to dozens of Hindu and Buddhist temples, several of which are classified as UNESCO world heritage sites. In fact, Nepal has the densest concentration of world heritage sites anywhere in the world. If the idea of visiting temples doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, perhaps you’d enjoy visiting any of the numerous accompanying religious festivals throughout the year. Consider a trip in October to check out Dashain and Diwali.
While you might be excited to hit the ground running during your Nepal tours, be aware of the possibility of strikes, or bandas, which can bring life in Nepal to a grinding halt. These strikes, which can focus on anything from fuel shortages to student debts to government corruption, are often accompanied by road and business closings that may leave travellers stranded. If you discover an impending banda, be sure to stock up on supplies and remember that you can always travel by foot or bike to get where you need to go.
Lastly, don’t forget that Nepal is still very much a developing country. This means that infrastructure in Nepal may not be quite what you’re used to where you live. Larger cities are prone to electrical outages, whereas rural areas may not even have electricity to cut! You may need to boil water to make it potable, pile up blankets to combat the evening chill, or even use an outhouse. Make any challenges an adventure to be had, and you’ll have a blast on your Nepal tours.
If the adventure seeker in you can barely contain your excitement at the thought of trekking the world’s highest peaks or exploring the enticing cuisines of the East, Nepal trips are for you. If you’re looking for the perfect destination to take in some of the awe-inspiring wonders of the world, be sure to check out adventure programs in Nepal!