Nepal is a paradise for adventure seekers. The country has some of the highest peaks in the world, including the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest (8848 m). Nepal is famous for its natural wonders and unique cultural heritage.
The foothills of the Himalayas are quite popular among trekkers. Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp trek, and Langtang Valley trek are some of the most popular activities in Nepal. Besides trekking, you can also participate in other adventurous activities like rafting, paragliding, jungle safari, and others.
The spiritual country of Lord Buddha provides a sense of calm and peace. The ancient medieval Durbar squares of Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur will transport you back in time. The ancient Newari settlements and the exotic Newari culture, and lifestyle will make you fall in love with the place.
You can also go on a cultural tour exploring the different historical sites of the country. The rich cultural diversity and lifestyle will give you an incredible insight into Nepal. So, if you are planning your next holiday adventure, Nepal can be the perfect destination for you. Come and experience this beautiful nation on your own!
Where is Nepal? The Geographical Location
Nepal is a tiny landlocked country in South Asia, known for the high Himalayas mountains including the highest mountain in the world, Mt Everest. The country shares its borders with India on three sides and Tibet, China in the North.
Also Read: Where is Nepal in the World Map?
More than 26 million people live in this small country. The total area of Nepal is 147,181 square kilometers (56,827 sq mi) and it lies between the coordinates 28°00′N and 84°00′E. The beautiful country falls in the temperate zone north of the Tropic of Cancer.
Nepal is just 800 km in total distance from east to west and 150 to 250 km from North to South. Geographically, Nepal is divided into three regions of Himal, Hilly, and Terai. The highest point of Nepal is Mt. Everest (8,848 m) while the lowest point is Kechana Kalan in Jhapa (60 m).
Culture and lifestyle of Nepalese People
Hindu and Buddhist religions predominantly influence the culture of Nepal. Although, the official language is Nepali, more than 100 languages are spoken all over Nepal. The conservative country is deeply rooted in its heritage and culture.
Nepalese people show immense hospitality to foreigners and are generally friendly in nature. Travelers are expected to dress modestly and respect the culture while traveling in Nepal. There are hundreds of religious and cultural sights in Nepal. Travelers must stay away from actions and words that might offend the locals.
Nepalese people dress conservatively while visiting the temples, stupas, and other monuments of religious significance. Kathmandu valley is famous for the medieval architecture of the Malla kingdom. The lifestyle and the architecture around the Kathmandu valley are reminiscent of the golden history of the nation.
You can also taste the delicious Newari cuisine and celebrate various festivals with the locals. Overall, the vibrant culture and lifestyle will make you fall in love with the place.
The Home of the Himalayas
Nepal is famous for the Himalayan mountain range, which is the highest mountain range in the world. There are fourteen mountain peaks in Nepal above the height of eight-thousand meters. The highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, is the primary attraction of tourists in the country.
Also Read: Top 10 Highest Mountains of Nepal
The Himalayas also provide a great trekking experience along its foothills. The mountains give birth to the pristine white water rivers in Nepal that run down the plains of Terai, making it fertile. Some of the popular mountain peaks in Nepal include Mt Everest, Annapurna, Ganesh Himal, Lhotse, Nuptse, Cho Oyu, Manaslu, Langtang, and others.
Trekking is the most popular activity in Nepal that attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. The exciting trekking trails pass through diverse geographical regions in the foothills of the Himalayas.
The subalpine forests, high mountain passes, high altitude lakes, and the unique settlements of the region will charm you. You can explore the culture, heritage, and lifestyle of the local community during your trek.
You can also observe the snow-capped mountains including Mount Everest, Mt. Annapurna, Manaslu, Makalu, Langtang, and others. Some of the most popular treks in Nepal are the Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Circuit,Manaslu Circuit Trek, Upper Mustang Trek, etc.
Things You Should Know Before Trekking In Nepal
- Trekkers require a travel permit of TIMS (Trekkers Information Management Systems) card while trekking in Nepal
- The autumn months (September to late November) with clear and dry weather and sharp visibility is the best time to trek
- The spring months (March to May) is also an excellent time to trek, with long days and warm weather
- Buy or rent your trekking gears in Thamel, Kathmandu
- Hiring a guide and/or porter is ideal
- Pack your warm clothes for all-season treks
- Take preventive measure for altitude sickness
- Get a proper travel insurance package that covers an altitude of above 4000m
Top Adventure Activities to do in Nepal (Besides Trekking)
Helicopter tour is a premium luxury activity in Nepal. You can observe the natural beauty of the great Himalayas from up above the sky. The helicopter tour is for those people who have less time on their schedule or do not want to trek the harsh terrains. The aerial views of the mountains and landing at the base camps of the mountains will take your breath away.
Rock climbing is a thrilling activity in Nepal. There are plenty of rock climbing sites in Nepal with the either natural or human-made rock formation. Rock climbing tests your core strength, endurance, and stamina. Pasang Lhamu rock climbing, Hattiban rock climbing, Thame rock climbing are some of the famous rock climbing spots in Nepal.
Rafting in Nepal
White water rafting in Nepal is a stunning water adventure. The fast-flowing Himalayan rivers provide you with excellent rafting experience. Trishuli, Seti, Kali Gandaki, Bhote Koshi, Narayani, Sun Koshi, Karnali are some of the popular rafting spots. The rivers are generally graded from level 1 to 5 based on their difficulty.
Peak climbing in Nepal is an adventurous activity that requires rigorous training. You can climb the high mountains as well as the small trekking peaks in the country. The difficulty level depends on various factors, including the height of the mountain.
Also Read: Top 5 Popular Peak Climbing in Nepal
The mountains with an altitude of 6000 meters are technically challenging. Lobuche Peak Climbing, Mera peak climbing, Chulu Peak climbing, Island peak climbing are some of the famous peaks in Nepal open for climbing.
Bungee Jumping in Nepal
Bungee jumping is another thrilling activity in Nepal. The deep gorges of Nepal provide some great bungee jumping spots in Nepal. The Last Resort, which is a few kilometers away from the city, is a popular site for bungee jumping. The 160 meters jump towards the Bhotekoshi river is one of the highest in the world. Besides that, there are few other bungee jumping sites in Pokhara.
Canoeing in Nepal
Canyoning is basically abseiling down through serene waterfalls. Canyoning in Nepal is relatively new but is growing fast as an adventure activity. You can relax at the turquoise blue ponds after you complete canyoning. Kakani, Sundarijal, and Jalbire are some of the popular sites for canoeing in Nepal.
Jungle Safari in Nepal
Nepal is not just about the mountains. There are vast tropical forests in the southern planes of Terai. The exotic flora and fauna of the region make it the perfect spot for Jungle safari.
The Chitwan National Park and Bardia National Park are popular jungle safari spots in Nepal. Jungle safari in Nepal gives you a chance to spot the rare wildlife including one-horned rhinoceros, Bengal tiger, musk deer, and others.
Paragliding in Nepal
Paragliding in Nepal is an exciting adventure of flying above the sky to observe the beauty of the Himalayan landscapes. The 360-degree view from up above the sky is awe-inspiring.
Pokhara is the prime destination for paragliding in Nepal. Besides Pokhara, paragliding is also available from Chapakharka, Kot Danda, Godawari, and Phulchowki.
Some Essential Tips while Traveling in Nepal
- Hire a guide while trekking for comfort and safety
- Pack only those stuff that is necessary
- Pre-book your accommodation
- Pack tents and sleeping bags if you wish to camp while trekking
- Carry a First Aid Kit at all times
- Get local SIM cards and solar chargers in the mountains
- Carry waterproof jackets or rain gears
- Take care of valuables while traveling
- Look out for scammers and pickpockets in the cities
- Get all the necessary visa and trekking permit before traveling in Nepal
- Check the Weather forecast for the day before heading out
What is the Best Time to Visit Nepal?
Nepal has four distinct seasons. While you can travel any time of the year, the post-monsoon period from (Sept - late Nov) is the perfect time to travel to Nepal. The autumn months have clear and dry weather, with magnificent unobstructed views of the mountains.
Also Read: The Complete Guide to Weather in Nepal
The Spring season from March to May is the next best time to visit Nepal. The warm weather and the beautiful scenic trails are perfect for trekking. The offseason treks are ideal for backpackers and those who want to avoid crowded trails and tourist spots.
How to Get to Nepal?
Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport is the only international airport in Nepal. There are few international airlines like Qatar Airways, KLM and Malaysian airways that fly to Nepal. The airfares vary according to seasons and the airlines.
Many travelers travel to Nepal from India. There are various border crossings between India and Nepal. The three most common border crossings for tourists include Sonauli or Belahiya, Raxaul or Birgunj, Bodhgaya and Kakarbhitta.
How to Get Around in Nepal?
In Nepal, the winding roads pass through the hills. A drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (200 km) takes about 7hrs. Tourist buses connect Kathmandu with Pokhara, Sauraha (Chitwan National Park) and Pokhara to Sauraha and Sonauli. The tourist buses provide better and a far more comfortable journey than the local bus.
The rough terrains of the mountains require a heavy vehicle like a 4WD. The ride on the rough terrains is only possible through these jeeps. The 4WD rides are fun and adventurous at the same time.
Domestic Flight or Helicopter
Air travel is another aspect of traveling in the country. The tiny airports of the country provide exhilarating and scary rides. Buddha Air, Sita Air and Yeti Airlines are the popular air carriers in the country.
Scenic mountain flights that let you tour the Everest region from the top is also very popular. You can also take the chartered helicopter services that take you to the top of the Everest base camp. However, these are luxury travels and are quite expensive.
Taxis are accessible within major cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara. They are much more comfortable than the public buses. You will have to negotiate a fee in most of these Taxis.
Various local buses run on numerous routes within and outside of Kathmandu or Pokhara. They are super cheap but crowded and uncomfortable. It’s a unique experience nevertheless.
How is Food in Nepal?
Dhal Bhat is the staple Nepalese dish found all over the country. The dish consists of white rice, dal curry, lentil soup, veggies, meat, and pickles. It’s a heavy meal that gives you instant energy and is quite popular among the locals.
Momos are another famous dish in Nepal. The momos are delicious steamed or fried buns filled with either ground meat, veggies, or paneer. Indian and Tibetan cuisines influence Nepali cuisine to a great extent.
If you want to eat something exotic, you can try out the Newari dishes found in the durbar square areas of the Kathmandu valley. Many restaurants in Nepal serve western and other cuisines from all over the world.
Accommodation services in Nepal
There are many accommodations in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan, and other places in Nepal that range from backpacker’s hostel to luxurious 5-star accommodation. The Prices at these accommodations vary according to trekking seasons and the place.
The tea houses on the trekking trails that cost you a few dollars a night, while a five-star accommodation facility in Pokhara may cost you around $250 a night. However, you can get decent accommodations in guesthouses between $5 - $35 per night.
Is Nepal Safe to Travel?
Nepal is one of the safest countries to travel in. Nepal witnessed a few years of Maoist turmoil, but has since made political progress and is mostly stable and peaceful. Nepalese people are friendly and warm. You won’t have to worry about your safety in the cities.
You might need to take safety precautions while trekking in the mountains though. You should not hike alone or walk late hours. If possible avoid traveling on night buses and keep your valuables safe.
Is Nepal Safe Solo for Solo Female Travelers?
The risk of sexual harassment is quite low, but it’s still advised that female travelers should not trek solo with a male guide. Some unwanted male gaze towards foreign women is not uncommon. Overall, you can safely travel to the country without any hassle.
Lastly, Nepal is an incredible place with nature and people coexisting in close harmony. The diverse nation has the majestic Himalayan mountains and also the flat plains of Terai. Many adventure activities in the country make it popular among adventure junkies.
The spirituality of the Buddha’s own country will refresh your soul. The historical heritage and landmarks hold significant importance, as well. Overall, Nepal is a perfect place to spend your precious holidays.