17 Days Adult Trip to Nepal

This 17-day educational tour combines adventure and travel with community service work; we arrange excursions for visitors who want to contribute something worthwhile to a local community as part of their holiday experience.

Visitors will not only see spectacular sites, but also learn hands-on about Nepal’s history, culture, religion, and local traditions, as well as have the opportunity to interact with local school children through community service activities. Visitors will enjoy exploring Kathmandu, the biggest city in Nepal and one of the oldest cities in the world, Chitwan National Park, which is renowned for its diverse and abundant wildlife which we will observe from atop elephants for an exhilarating safari ride, and lastly an extensive trek through the breathtaking Himalayas to Mount Everest base camp. Along the way, we will explore local villages, see examples of how Nepal is the only “Hindu Kingdom”, observe ethnic minority group customs, as well as give back to the Nepalese children. We aim to make our tours not about the end result, but about every thrilling moment that leads up to it, every story you will tell, relive, and share after.

Participants do not need particular skills, qualifications, or trekking experience, but enthusiasm, patience, and cultural sensitivity are considered essential.

LEARNING ABOUT NEPAL:
Visitors will learn about Nepal’s culture, religion, history, art history, and educational system. They will visit small towns and villages, see examples of Hindu and Buddhist art and architecture, visit temples, museums, monasteries, stupas and shrines. This extensive tour takes us through the breath taking Himalayas to Mount Everest base camp.

COMMUNITY SERVICE:
Nepal has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. In most schools, the walls are bare and desperately need painting and educational posters hung on the walls. Visitors will work in one government school in Kathmandu and in a village school in Pokhara. They will paint classrooms, create and organize libraries, play sports with the children, and have the option to prepare and teach a lesson in a grade and an area of interest. There are few classroom materials, sometimes not enough pencils for each child, and each visitor’s efforts will make a tremendous and rewarding impact in both schools.

WHAT TO BRING:
For trekking: Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, rain pants/rain jacket, fleece jacket, hiking pants/shorts, hiking boots, backpack, and water bottle.

For school visits:
A picture and a chapter book, 40 pencils and 4 boxes of crayons. If visitors would like to prepare an activity/lesson, they should bring materials for this as well. For instance, watercolors, brushes, paper and small containers for water may be useful for an art lesson. This can be planned a head of time for each individual student.  All other donated materials, such as classroom supplies, are warmly welcomed.

Special note:
Partial proceeds are donated to an INGO, a non-profit devoted to creating sustainable educational changes in Nepal.

1st Day:
Arrive in Kathmandu. Meet and assistance at the airport by a local guide. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.

2nd Day:
Orientation and introduction to Kathmandu. Kathmandu is a harmonious blend of Hindu and Buddhist tranquility, the city retains a mystical ancient aura that leaves you feeling like you have stepped through the looking glass. Visitors will learn about Nepal’s history, religion, and architecture by visiting the historic Patan Durbur Square, where the Malla kings once ruled, lived and worshipped, and now offers magnificent examples of various architectural styles seen in the surrounding temples and shrines. We will also visit the nearby Kumari Temple, where a living goddess resides. After, we will take a short bus ride to a UNESCO world heritage site, the ancient Buddhist stupa at Swyambhunath, Nepal’s definitive icon; situated on top of a hill, the stylized eyes of the Buddha look out in all directions. Guarding the lower stairs of the stupa is a band of amusing monkeys performing acrobatics. We will then return to the hotel with the late afternoon and evening free for leisure. Overnight at hotel.

3rd Day:
Travel  from Kathmandu to Chitwan National Park, and spend the next two days exploring one of the finest national parks in Asia, renowned for its diverse and adundant wildlife. We will have the opportunity to observe animals in their natural habitat. This afternoon, we will climb atop an elephant for a safari ride through the golden grasses in search of wild animals. We might be able to see The Royal Bengal tiger, leopards, one-horned rhinos, deer, monkeys, crocodiles, and 450 types of bird species. This is the best way to explore the jungle without disturbing the animals. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

4th Day:
Chitwan. Early morning canoeing in the Rapti River. It is a good experience to see the birds flying to the riverside. We will return for breakfast and then leave for another exhilarating jungle safari ride in case we missed seeing some animals the day before. We then return back to the hotel for some rest and relaxation. Before dinner, we will enjoy a traditional evening program by the local Tharu minority group. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

5th Day:
Chitwan/Pokhara: Wake up early morning and go bird watching (Chitwan is home to 450 species of birds). We then return back to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast, we travel to Pokhara by a bus. Pokhara valley is one of the most picturesque spots in Nepal and is the starting point for most treks in the Annapurna region. The valley offers excellent views of the Annapurna mountain range and the Himalayas.( Sarangkot?)We will visit David Falls and Gupteswor Limestone Cave, which is considered one of the most amazing and longest caves in Nepal that is home to a variety of bat species.  Overnight at hotel.

6th Day:
Full day of trekking in Pokhara. We drive about ½ hour to the starting point of our trek. The trails go through forests with clear streams and amazing views of the mountains and rice fields. Pokhara is also home to three other ethnic minority groups that we will see as we hike through the area’s local villages.  In the beginning, the trail climbs steeply for about 1 hour through the forest. After, the trail becomes less intense and goes through terraced fields and scattered small villages. Finally, we will reach Dhampus, a unique village inhabited by three of Nepal’s ethnic groups, the Gurung, Brahmins and Chhetries. Great views of Annapurna ranges several other peaks can be seen from Dhampus. Overnight at hotel.(overnight in Dhampus?)

 7th Day:
Trekking to: Australian camp/Kande(3hrs). At the end of our trek we drive back to Pokhara which will take approximately 45 minutes. Overnight at hotel.

 8th Day:
Trek up to the World Peace Pagoda followed by a the choice of boating, horseback riding, bicycling, or shopping around Phewa Tal lake before returning to Kathmandu. Stay at hotel.

 9th Day:
Visit Kathmandu government elementary school. Visitors will have the chance to interact with local school children by reading books with them, helping with schoolwork, playing games, conducting sports activities, and/or have the option to prepare and teach a lesson/activity in a grade and an area of interest. In the afternoon, visitors will learn about Hinduism and Buddhism followed by a visit to the Patan Museum, which offers an outstanding collection of cast iron bronzes and gilt copper works mostly of Hindu and Buddhist deities. Early evening free for exploring Kathmandu.

10th Day:
In the morning, we will visit government school again for extra activities. After lunch,  we will travel to Pashupatinath temple situated 5 km east of Kathmandu city, which is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to lord Shiva. Situated on the sacred Baghmati River, the temple was built in pagoda style with a gilded roof and ornately carved silver doors. Visitors will be permitted to view the temple from the river’s bank, as entrance into the temple is strictly forbidden to all non-Hindus. Behind the temple are the cremation grounds where we may witness an ancient Hindu cremation ritual. Then we will visit Bouddhanath, a stupa, eight kilometers east of Kathmandu city, is one of the biggest in the world of its kind. It stands with four pairs of eyes looking out in each of the four cardinal directions watching over human prosperity. It is built on an octagonal base inset with prayer wheels. The shrine is ringed by houses of lamas and Buddhist priests. Overnight at hotel.

11th Day:
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, we will visit Kathmandu Durbur Square, located in the old city. The square was built over many centuries and has 50 temples each offering an excellent example of Nepali architecture; the durbur square provides an excellent space to learn about Nepal’s complex history. After lunch, we will drive to Bhaktapur city. Bhaktapur city, founded in the 9th century, is the third major city in the Kathmandu valley, and we will visit each durbar square in the area. We also visit the Nyatapole Temple, which at 98 ft height is not only the highest temple in the valley, but also one of the best examples of traditional Nepali architecture. In Bhaktapur, we can observe locals weaving, making pottery, farming, and see traditional brick houses with intricate carvings. We will spend time exploring this well preserve ancient city on foot. Drive to Nagarkot. Overnight at the hotel.

12th Day:
Sunrise from Nagarkot over the Himalayas is a must. Rise at dawn to see the sun appear over the Himalayas. After the breakfast in Nagarkot, we start today’s walk towards Dhulikhel. With the smells of the fresh morning air at a height of 1985mtrs. We do a little climbing up to Nagarkot Tower. A moderate ascent of about an hour takes us to a Tamang village, a stopover for some relaxation where pack lunch will be served. From here we contour to the road leading to Dhulikhel, a compact Newai town and our destination for tonight. Dhulikhel is enriched with artistic woodcarvings, a testimony to previous prosperity. It offers magnificent views of the Himalayas on a clear day. Overnight at the hotel.

13th Day:
We drive to Chapagaon, a Newari village in the south of Kathmandu valley. Here, we will visit the Vajarvarahi temple dedicated to the boar-headed goddess who is the protector of livestock. We will walk through green terrace fields leading to the ancient Newari village of Bungamati. The Newari people are regarded as the original inhabitants of the Kathmandu valley. They speak a Tibeto-Burmese language and follow a version of Hindusim with Buddhist overtones. Bungamati dates back to 16th century, and sits on a spur overlooking the Bagmati River, shaded by large trees and bamboo. The day consists of about 4 hours of moderate hill walking through the southern part of Kathmandu valley. Then the trail will descend into Khokana village which is also know as “Chicken Free Village. This village is famous for producing mustard oil and flat beaten rice. We will stop at the temple of Shekali Mai, a nature goddess of the valley. Overnight at the hotel.

14th Day: 
To Champadevi. Today’s walk is ideal for majestic views of the Himalayas and the Kathmandu valley. We start our walk on a trail which starts gradually and progresses to a steeper slope before making the final climb to the summit (it takes about 1 ½ - 2 hours). The true summit of Champadevi is marked by a small white stupa with commanding views of the valley. The walk back to the hotel will take about an hour. Overnight at the hotel.

15th Day:
Full day city tour, including Dakchhinkali Temple, Pharping and Chobar George. Dakshhinkali  temple is situated at the southern end of the valley. The main reason for visiting the temple is to watch a ceremonial animal sacrifice. The best day to visit the temple is Saturday, when devotees sacrifice chickens and goats to the Goddess. After, we will go to Pharping and visit Padmasambhava Caves. The Caves are named after Padmasambhava, widely known as Guru Rinpoche. In the 18th  century, while on a journey to Tibet, he mediated in the caves for about 6 months and his palm print can be  still be seen above the entrance of this cave. We will finish the day’s tour at Chobhar, situated nine Kilometers southwest of Kathmandu. This site is famous for its gorge where all of the waters from the valley drain through. There is a small picturesque temple of Adinath at the top of the hill. From here, one can have a unobstructed view of the snow-capped mountains on a clear day. Just beyond the gorge, there is a temple of Jal Vinayak. The main image of the shrine is on a massive rock extending back behind the temple; only a small part in front vaguely resembles an elephant tusk. The image of Jal Vinayak is different from other images of Lord Ganesh. Over night at the hotel.

16th Day:
A day free for exploring the fascinating shopping streets of Thamel.  Meet for a farewell dinner at a Newari restaurant with the accompaniment of traditional dancers.

17th Day:
You will be transferred to the Airport for your flight. As this is an international flight, you are required to check in at least 3 hours prior to departure.
TRIP COST INCLUDES:
  • Domestic Airfare.
  • Airport transfers on private vehicle.
  • Accommodations in hotels.
  • 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch & dinner).
  • An experienced, government licensed, English speaking, trekking guide with necessary porters and their food, drink, insurance, equipment, transportation, and all local taxes.
  • Transportation by bus
  •  Entrance fees to all national parks and tourist sites.

TRIP COST DOES NOT INCLUDE:
  • International Airfare.
  • Nepal Visa fee and international airport departure tax.
  • Personal/ Travel / Medical insurance and any other insurance for the members.
  • Expenses of personal nature, e.g. tips, laundry, phone calls, snacks.
  • Any other costs, which are not mentioned in cost inclusive field above.
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