Annapurna Royal Trek + Rupakot Resort - Nepal

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Explore historic Kathmandu's World Heritage sites in style, indulge yourself with a spa day + an infinity pool in balmy, lakeside Pokhara and enjoy 4 days of beautiful, low-altitude trekking in the Annapurna foot hills. We've created three price options for this trip, from traditional boutique to deluxe to cater to all types of travelers and budgets.

Annapurna Royal Trek + Rupakot Resort
A beautiful introduction to trekking and the Annapurna foothills, the Royal Trek is named after Prince Charles' trek in the 80s. Accompanied by views of Annapurna South, Machhapuchhre, the 'Fish Tailed' mountain and the Langtang range, we trek in the heart of the Annapurna circuit. Finishing the trek at Begnas Tal, we drive to Pokhara where there are numerous options to fill a relaxing or an adventure-packed day.

This wonderful journey is the perfect introduction to the diversity and excitement of trekking. We start our Nepal hike in steamy Hindu villages, where water buffaloes wallow in the rivers, colorful, sari-clad women sit and weave by thatched huts, and villagers perform ancient rituals to appease their local deities. The sub-tropical forests come alive with an immense variety of bird life, waterfalls thunder down from steep cliff sides and monkeys chatter from the tree-tops. Trekking higher into the green, terraced hills we wander through ancient, mossy rhododendron forests to reach the cooler Buddhist and animistic middle hills, where chortens and prayer flags send prayers out to the gods and the Gurung inhabitants look more Tibetan than Nepali. Terraced fields and tropical fruit trees surround the neat, white-washed villages leading to vistas dominated by some of the Himalaya's most majestic peaks. The Annapurna region is truly the heart of the Nepal Himalaya.

This is a classic tea-house trek, enjoying atmospheric lodges and famed hospitality of the local people of the Annapurna region. You will have local guide to explain the various cultures, mountains and sights to us along the way. A highlight of the trek is a full day and two nights at the luxurious Rupakot Resort, where you have options to go on a village walk, do some mountain biking, enjoy a massage or simply relax in this wonderful setting.

Chitwan National Park | Maruni Sanctuary Wildlife Safari
Chitwan National Park is home to the Bengal Tiger and Asian one-horned Rhino as well as a large variety of rare bird and wildlife, and a lovely national park surrounded by traditional Tharu villages. With an extra day, relax on the breezy deck with a book, rent bikes to explore the traditional thatched hut Tharu villages, where water buffaloes laze under tropical skies, or continue with the river paddles, spotting more varieties of Kingfishers!
NOTE: Kamzang Journeys doesn't encourage elephant safaris or elephant rids in Nepal National Parks.

Royal Treatment | Pokhara + Kathmandu
Treat yourself to a truly luxurious holiday, staying at  Temple Tree Resort + Spa or the Himalayan Front Resort in Pokhara, where you can spend the day at the infinity pool, having massages or indulging in various spa treatments. The Himalayan Front Resort is situated in Sarankot, and features some of the best Himalayan panoramas from the windows of your room. Temple Tree Resort + Spa is on Lakeside in town, close to shopping, paddling and restaurants, bars and cafes. Top of your trip in true style and luxury at Dwarika's heritage hotel in Kathmandu, with options to spend additional days at Dwarika's incredible Dhulikhel Resort.

Customize Your Journey
We are happy to customize your journey to include more days in Kathmandu, Chitwan National Park or Pokhara.

Incredible Nepal!

Trip+Chitwan

Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu
Day 2 - Kathmandu | World Heritage Sites
Day 3 - Fly Pokhara + Drive Bijaypur Khola + Trek Kalikasthan
Day 4 - Trek Syaklung
Day 5 - Trek Chisapani
Day 6 - Trek Sundari Danda + Rupkot Resort
Day 7 - Rupakot Resort
Day 8 - Trek Sundsare Danda. Drive Pokhara
Day 9 - Pokhara | Spa + Adventure Day
Day 10 - Fly Kathmandu
Day 11 - Depart

Chitwan Maruni Sanctuary Safari Extension
Day 10 - Drive Chitwan. Afternoon Wildlife Safari
Day 11 - Chitwan Wildlife Safari
Day 12 - Chitwan Morning Wildlife Safari. Fly Kathmandu
Day 13 - Depart

Chitwan National Park Wildlife Safari & Tharu Villages

NOTE
See our Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip! to put together the perfect journey in Nepal!

Highlights+Reviews

Trip Advisor Reviews

Client Comments
Kim arranged a solo trek for me at very short notice in November 2013 - and did it even whilst most of them were leading another trek in Mustang! They made the complex easy. From a wonderful guide to helping me arrange evacuation when I got sick, I was always in knowledeable, kind, efficient hands. I recommend Kamzang Journeys without reservation and I'll be using them when I return to Nepal in September 2014!
- Nick A (UK), Private Everest Trek 2013

Tsering Sherpa is marvelous, extremely responsible, serious, devoted, very thoughtful, discreet and very pleasant to trek with. He is very helpful, well travelled, speaks good English, is well-mannered and has a good experience as a mountaineer and a climber.  He is very powerful, strong and quick, and smiles a lot! He seems to know everybody on the trail, is active in his community and is respected by other Sherpas. On trek he was a good counsellor on food, and of course respectful of tradition and of the Tibetan Buddhist faith. With him we felt very secure as he knows the trail and all the short cuts.
- Nan & Odette (France), Private Everest Base Camp Trek 2014

Viney was my private guide to trek to Everest base camp in October 2013.  I felt very secure with him the entire time.  He was always attentive to my wellbeing from the time we started in x (kim pls fill in) where we ended up slogging through rainfall and mud due to the cyclone left over from India, all the way through to the end of our trip in Lukla.  I could count on him without a doubt every day of the entire 3 weeks we spent together.  Thanks to Viney for an excellent trek!
- Lori C (USA), Private Everest High Passes Trek 2014

Last May I spent almost three weeks hiking with Mingma in the Khumbu region of Nepal and we explored the Gokyo lakes, Gokyo valley and we climbed Gokyo Ri. Mingma is an experienced mountain-guide, knows all the summits in the region, the Sherpas and routes.  He is responsive of the challenges, strong and kind, but he is very calm in case of difficult situations. While we walked together, he was attentive and he always tried to accommodate my phyisical condition and my spiritual eagerness. We spent wonderful time together and I immensely enjoyed every moment of the trek. I am planning to walk with him again in 2015!
 - Kati K (Hungary), Private Gokyo Lakes Trek 2014

Tashi was the perfect guide for me. I was going solo, and looking mostly for solitude; Tashi's temperament was the perfect match for mine. When he had something to say, it seemed eerily to come right when I was about to ask him a question about the very thing he started to speak about! He has a real passion for the natural world he lives in and for the Sherpa people and their traditions, too. I ended up falling ill with something and here again Tashi was the perfect guide - helpful but not smothering or overly-solicitous. I will be back, and with my family and I'm certain to request that Tashi accompanies us when we return.
- Nick A-H (UK), Private Everest Base Camp Trek 2013

Thanks for looking after my friends Ian & Adam so well! They were really pleased and very impressed with the arrangements made by Kamzang Journeys and particularly pleased with the guide, Karma, who did a wonderful job of looking after them on their trek. Everything went to their satisfaction and it exceeded their expectations. He's now got a taste of Nepal and thinking about doing another trek there sometime!
 - Viv D, friend of Paul & Patrick, Private Annapurna Peaks & Villages, Helambu Trek 2014

I have traveled the world and I have never been as cared for as I was in my trek in Nepal.  Karma was beyond attentive and professional. He has become family. The very best of Nepal and mankind can be found in this young man.
 - Dave M, Annapurna Peaks & Villages 2013

Client Highlights
Travelers' Comments

Trip Highlights

  • Kathmandu World Heritage Sites
  • Annapurna Foot Hills Trek
  • Spectacular Himalayan Panoramas
  • Traditional Nepali Villages
  • Rupakot Resort
  • Relaxation and Adventure in Pokhara + Phewa Lake
  • Opportunities for Spa + Massage
  • Optional: Everest Sightseeing Flight
  • Optional: Chitwan National Park + Wildlife Safaris

Date+Price

Dates
Custom Departures (11 days)
+ Chitwan Wildlife Safari (13 days)

Traditional Trek Price - $1880
(Kathmandu Guest House, Lake View Resort)
Single Supplement $250

Boutique Trek Price - $2080
(Kantipur Temple House, Shangri La Village Pokhara)
Single Supplement $600

Super Luxury Trek Price - $2880
(Dwarika's Heritage Deluxe Rooms, Temple Tree Resort + Spa)
Single Supplement $800

Chitwan Options
Chitwan National Park Wildlife Safari & Tharu Villages

Super Deluxe Dwarika's++ (+1050 Single - +$600 Double)
Extra Trek Day Rupakot Resort (+)
Extra Day Chitwan (+$125)
Everest Sightseeing Flight (+$250)
Extension Shivapuri Heights Cottage (+75 Night Depending on Room)
Cycling Trip in Kathmandu Valley (+Trip Price)

Includes

  • Kathmandu Guest House, Kantipur Temple House or Dwarika's in Kathmandu
  • Rupakot Resort Annapurna Region
  • Lake View Resort, Shangri La Resort or Temple Tree Resort in Pokhara
  • Domestic flights on Yeti Airlines
  • Departure tax
  • Airport pick-ups & drops
  • ACAP permit
  • TIMS card
  • Private car to Chitwan
  • Kamzang Lodge Trekking: All meals from lodge menu, herbal teas and French press coffee, double rooms at lodges, small medical kit, porters & Nepali guide

Excludes

  • International flights
  • Travel or travel medical insurance
  • Nepal visa
  • Meals in Kathmandu (while not on trek)
  • Helicopter rescue cost
  • Equipment rental
  • Alcohol & soft drinks
  • Showers & hot water bottles
  • Laundry
  • Tipping & other items of a personal nature

Tips & Extra Cash
Allow approx $200 for meals (while not on trek), shopping & drinks (on trek). We recommend $100-$150 per trekker divided between the staff for tips.

Inquire for extra nights at other hotels which have seasonal rates & specials.

Contact+Details

Trekker's Comments
Travel Books

Trek Guide
Doma, Tshering or Phu Tashi Sherpa

Kamzang Journeys Contact
Kim Bannister
kim@kamzang.com
Mobile: +(977) 9803414745
On-Trek Satellite Phone: +88216 21277980 (Nepal)
On-Trek Satellite Phone: +88216 21274092 (Tibet & India)

Kathmandu Contact
Khumbu Adventures
Office: +(977) 01 4488352
Lhakpa Dorji Mobile: +(977) 9841 235461, 9813 371542
Doma Mobile: +(977) 9841 510833, 9803 675361

Follow Us on Facebook
Kamzang Journeys Facebook

Arrival Hotels
Kathmandu Guest House
Kantipur Temple House
Shangri La
Yak & Yeti

Dwarika's

Trip Hotels
Rupakot Resort

Kathmandu Guest House Single Upgrades | 4 Nights
Standard Single - $75
Garden Single - $150
Deluxe Single - $425

Kathmandu Guest House Extra Nights
Includes breakfast + 25% taxes
Book with Kamzang Journeys + save 10%

Standard Single - $80
Standard Double - $100
Garden Single - $120
Garden Double - $140
Deluxe Single - $200
Deluxe Double - $220

Extra Days in Kathmandu | Customize your Journey!
We have plenty of great suggestions for extra days, or weeks, in Nepal! See our Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip! to put together the perfect journey.

Mountain biking, rafting, vespa tours or yoga retreats around the Kathmandu valley or Pokhara, trips to Bhaktapur or Patan (Kathmandu Valley's other historic capital cities), a visit to the Newari temple of Changu Narayan and a night at the Fort Hotel in Nagarkot for sublime Himalayan panoramas, an Everest sightseeing flight, a luxurious stay at Temple Tree Resort & Spa, paragliding, hiking or zip-lining in Pokhara, a spa & wellness getaway at Dwarikas Resort in Dhulikhel, a relaxing excursion to Chitwan National Park Wildlife Safari & Tharu Villages (staying at Maruni Sanctuary Lodge) or Bardia National Park, a weekend of adventure, sauna and pampering at The Last Resort or five-star treatment in historic Dwarika's in Kathmandu.

Kamzang Journeys can customize any of these excursions for you, just inquire!

Visas
You can get your Nepal visa either at the airport (or any land border) when you arrive in Nepal, or before you leave home.
Nepal Visa

Health Information
Nepal Health Information
CDC

Notes on Itinerary
Although we try to follow the itinerary below, it is ONLY a guideline based on years of experience trekking in the Himalaya. At times local trail, river or weather conditions may make a deviation necessary; rivers may be impassible, snow blocks passes, and landslides wipe out trails. The trekking itinerary and campsites may also vary slightly depending on the group's acclimatization rate or sickness.

The Himalaya are our passion, and we take trekking seriously. Although everyone is here on vacation, please come with a dollop of patience and compassion added to your sense of adventure ...

Kathmandu
Kathmandu Happenings

Photo Gallery | Trip + Trek Photos
Kim Bannister Photography

Arrival Kathmandu

Early Arrival
You'll be met at the airport by Lhakpa or Doma Sherpa (of Khumbu Adventures) or a car from the hotel of your choice. Transfer to your hotel where your rooms have been booked for you. Relax!

Arrival Hotels
Kathmandu Guest House
Kantipur Temple House
Shangri La
Yak & Yeti

Dwarika's

Visas
You can get your Nepal visa either at the airport (or any land border) when you arrive in Nepal, or before you leave home.
Nepal Visa

Temperatures + Clothing
Kathmandu during trekking season, in the spring and autumn, is usually warm (t-shirt, sandals, light pants or skirts) during the day, and gets chilly (light fleece or windproof top) in the afternoon. Nights can be cold enough for a sweater or light jacket, or warm enough for t-shirts. Summer is hotter and wetter; you’ll need a rain jacket and umbrella. The winter months (November – March) are chilly in the mornings and evenings, cold enough that you might start the day in a down jacket, but often warms up enough to wear a t-shirt by mid-day. Nights get cold enough for a down jacket if you’re sitting outside in the spring and autumn, and much colder in the winter when you won’t leave the hotel without your down jacket. It never snows in Kathmandu, leave your snow boots behind. Keens or lightweight sandals great for wandering around Kathmandu, and for trekking in lower altitudes.

Trekking is a mixed bag of temperatures. LAYERS are the key as hot can change quickly to freezing crossing the passes and snowfalls are common. We often have some rain below 3000 meters in the spring and early autumn, and it can rain hard in the summer. Have a wide range of layer-able trekking clothes for summer to winter temperatures. Keep a lightweight down jacket or synthetic jacket with you at all times, available inexpensively in Kathmandu. A lightweight rain poncho and umbrella for trekking recommended spring and summer. Be prepared! See our GEAR LIST for full details on gear, shoes, clothing, electronics and meds for the trek.

There are lots of real gear shops (North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, Sherpa Gear) and of course many fake ones in Kathmandu, so if you don't think you have the right gear starting the trip it will be easy to pick-up stuff once in Kathmandu. We have sleeping bags, duffel bags down jackets to rent.

Dress conservatively in Kathmandu and on the trail as a rule. Shorts are okay if they aren't too short, mini skirts aren’t recommended. Sleeveless t-shirts are absolutely fine, but perhaps avoid tank-tops on the trail. Super tight doesn't go over so well with the village elders. Many of the younger generation in Nepal wear modern Indian or Western-influenced clothes, but remember that you haven't signed up for a beach or surf vacation. Use your good judgment, be an ambassador for western tourists! Please ask Kim or your guide if unsure about appropriate clothing.

Duffel Bags
We have North Face style duffel bags with Kamzang Journeys logos for sale (XL, orange). They are (mostly) waterproof, mid to lightweight (lighter than North Face) and good quality. Price 4000 NRP (about $40)

Cultural Issues
Nepalis are very open and welcoming, but there are a few issues you should be aware of to make your stay in Nepal more fulfilling. Use your right hand to pass things, shake hands or do most anything. Left hands are somewhat taboo. Nepali's often place their left hand on the right forearm when passing things to others, a sign of respect. Best not to pat kids on heads, or point feet ahead of you at monasteries. Don't walk over someone's legs or feet, but put your hand down in front of you to signal them to pull their legs to the side. Take off shoes and hats when going into Buddhist monasteries and Hindu temples, don't use flashes inside monasteries or temples in general, be respectful of a puja (prayer ceremony) if attending one. You can talk, all religious are very tolerant, but be aware of your level of voice.

Nepalis don't anger quickly, so try not to raise your voice if exasperated or angry as it only will make a situation worse. Do bargain at shops, with taxis and rickshaws, but don't fleece them. They are poor and making a living, generally.

Give small donations on the streets if you choose, but try not to encourage begging too much. Be aware of who you are giving money to, and please only give small amounts. If you do want to donate to a cause, ask about our Kamzang Fund or other responsible organizations.

Pampering Yourself in Kathmandu
We’re happy to book your rooms before or after the trek (or upgrade during the trek) at other boutique or luxury hotels in Kathmandu. We recommend Dwarika’s, Shangri-La, Yak & Yeti or Hyatt. We can also direct you to wonderful spa & massage centers in Kathmandu.

Tips for Staff
We recommend at least $200 per person to go into the tip pool for the staff. Please bring Nepali Rupees (NRP) with you on the trek for the tips. It’s nice to buy the staff drinks on the last night. Or any other night that you feel like getting them a bottle of Kukure Rum!

Tips in General
Tips are always appreciated but they don’t need to be extravagant. 100 NRP to carry bags to/from your room is fine. The women who clean your room will be happy with 100-200 NRP when you leave, and 100 NRP is good for drivers to/from the airport. Round up taxi fares. A larger tip would be expected for a daytrip in a car, perhaps 500 NRP. 10% is included in most restaurant and hotel bills in Nepal, and if it’s not included it’s still expected. Check your bills, and still round up at restaurants. Feel free to give out small change to the beggars in the streets (5, 10, 20 NRP) but try not to give it out to the street kids who use it for glue to sniff.

Cash + ATMs
You’ll want some cash with you on the trek for drinks, snacks, beer, sodas, etc. There are often  chances to during the trek, and usually local crafts to buy en route. (You’ll want your tip money in NRP as well). There are ATMs in KTM but they don’t dispense large amounts of cash (usually 10-20,000 NRP) so you’ll be best with currency or TCs to change.

International Medical Center Kathmandu
CIWEC

Kathmandu + Kathmandu Valley Information
Our personalized 'Insider' list of things to do, places to go, what to visit, the most happening restaurants + the best hotels in Kathmandu and the beautiful Kathmandu Valley.
Happenings in Kathmandu

Gear List

Travel Photography Gear Guide
The Complete Guide to Gear for the Landscape Photographer

Gear List
This is a guideline, not a bible, for the gear you will need on the trek. Ask if you have questions! One 15 kg (33 lbs) maximum weight limit for the duffel bag.

  • Duffel Bag
  • Day Pack (25-35 L) + Rain Cover
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Down Jacket
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Crocs (Evenings)
  • Trekking Pants (1)
  • T-Shirts (2)
  • Long-sleeve Trekking Shirt (1)
  • Microfiber | Synthetic Jacket (1)
  • Lightweight Wind + Rain Jacket + Pants
  • Thermal Top + Botton (Evenings)
  • Socks (2)
  • Light Gloves + Hat
  • Baseball Cap or Wide-brimmed Hat
  • Small Camp Towel
  • Trekking Poles (optional, recommended for steps)
  • Sunglasses
  • Water Bottles (2)
  • Umbrella (optional)
  • Toiletries, Sunscreen + Lip Balm SPF
  • Camera Batteries + Battery Chargers
  • Head Lamp
  • Water Purifying Tablets, Small Water Filter or SteriPen (optional)
  • Laundry Detergent or Bio-degradable Clothes Soap (optional)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Small Solar Panel (optional, recommended for iPods, iPhones, Kindles)
  • Book
  • Zip-Lock Plastic Bags (for packing)
  • Soft Toilet Paper | Tissues (we supply toilet paper but it's rough)
  • Baby-Wipes | Wet-Wipes (for personal cleaning)
  • Handi-Wipes, J-Cloth or Chux (optional, easy for a quick daytime clean)
  • Snacks
  • Rehydration | Electrolytes
  • Personal Medical Supplies

Medical Supplies
We strongly suggest bringing Western meds with you as there are a lot of Indian fakes on the market!

Suggested: Diamox, Azithromyacin, Ciprofloxacin, Tinidazole or Flagyl & Augmentin. Bring COMPEED for covering blisters & good tasting electrolytes &/or rehydration salts (Emergen-C is a good American brand). The local versions aren’t very appealing.

We also recommend bringing strong knee & ankle supports & braces, ACE bandages for sprains & strains, Tegaderm &/or other would coverings. Duct tape is always useful. We're happy to take excess medical supplies off your hands when you leave if you won't need them and pass them on to others. We use lots of the large amount we have with us to treat locals we meet when trekking.

Comments on Gear
Layers are essential for trekking. Quality is more important than quantity. It’s worth investing in some new, warm, lightweight gear available in all gear shops or online. Nights are chilly to cold so a down jacket and sleeping bag are essential. Days range from steamy hot to cold with snow showers, or wind, if the weather changes. We recommend a down bag of 0F for lower altitude treks. Rentals available.

Trekking poles are not required but strongly recommended, especially for going down passes which can be quite steep and are often icy. Bring gators if you tend to use them but they’re not required if you don't own a pair. Micro-spikes (mini-crampons) or YakTraks are almost always useful (or essential) for high pass crossings. It’s also good (possibly essential) to have a pair of plastic Crocs for washing and the evenings. Tevas take a long time to dry, not recommended. You can bring a pair of light sneakers or running shoes for the afternoons or easy days if you have room in your pack, or if you are used to hiking in them.

Good, polarized sunglasses are essential; please bring an extra pair if you tend to lose them! Don’t forget a sun hat or baseball cap and have plenty of sunscreen and lip balm with SPF! Bring extra large plastic bags or stuff-sacks in case of rain. You can pack electronics in them or stash your sleeping bag and clothes. The weather is very changeable in the Himalaya!

Day Pack
We recommend a 25-35 liter day pack (ask at your gear shop if you’re not sure of the capacity). Most have internal water bladders built in, which are good for ensuring that you stay hydrated. Make sure it fits and is comfortable before purchasing!

In your day pack you will carry your camera, water, snacks, lightweight wind & rain pants, hat, light gloves, sunscreen, electrolytes. hand sanitizer, a pack-cover and sometimes your lightweight down jacket. I carry my Crocs to give feet a break mid-day. Water purifying tablets, filter or SteriPen optional. Go as light as possible with your day pack.

Water
We bring MSF water filters along on the trek for fresh drinking water, ecologically the best way to get water in the Himalaya’s fragile trekking regions. Bring your own filter pump, SteriPen or iodine tablets for fresh water while trekking. NOTE: To be extra safe with your drinking water, you can drop one purifying tablet into your water bottle after filling with our filtered water. Make sure you wait the required amount of time before drinking, and don’t add anything with Vitamin C as this negates the iodine.

Please bring at least TWO Nalgene, Sigg or other unbreakable plastic or metal water bottles. Camelbacks and other bladder systems are good for trekking but can leak, so as a back-up it’s best to also bring a Nalgene or water bottle.

NOTE: We do not provide boiled water for drinking on either our tea-house | lodge or camping treks although there is endless hot water for herbal, milk and green teas, hot chocolate and hot lemon.

Snacks
You body needs snacks hiking at altitude, even if you don't generally snack between meals. We burn more calories at altitude, as well as in the cold, and you will crave certain foods at altitude. Energy or nutrition bars, ‘GU’ gels, chocolate, dried fruits, nuts and jerky work well for immediate energy. Emergen-C, Nuun and electrolytes are important for daily rehydration.

Rentals
We have Western down jackets to rent for $1.50 per day.  We also have good super-down sleeping bags to rent (0 to -10F) for $2.50 per day.

Duffel Bags
We have orange North Face-style duffel bags with Kamzang logos for sale, between L + XL. (+$40)

Packing & Storage
Packing and unpacking is easy from a duffel bag, and easy for a porter to carry.Inexpensive duffel bags are also available in Kathmandu. You can store extra gear in Kathmandu in your hotel's storage room free of charge. You can drop a bag for Pokhara at the hotel before setting off for the trek.

Shopping
Almost all gear is now available in Kathmandu, from real (North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Sherpa Gear, Marmot - all in Thamel) to inexpensive knock-offs. The real gear shops take credit cards!

Chitwan

Royal Chitwan National Park

History
Royal Chitwan National Park has long been one of the country’s treasures of natural wonders. The park is situated in south central Nepal, covering 932 square kilometers in the subtropical lowlands of the inner Terai. The area comprising the Tikauli forest, from Rapti river to the foothills of the Mahabharat, extends for an area of 175 square kilometers and was declared Mahendra Mriga Kunj (Mahendra Deer Park) by the late King Mahendra in 1959. In 1963, the area south of Rapti River was demarcated as a rhinoceros sanctuary. The area was gazetted as the country’s first national park in 1973. Recognizing its unique ecosystems of international significance, UNESCO declared RCNP a World Heritage Site in 1984. In 1996, an area of 750 square kilometers surrounding the park was declared a buffer zone which consists of forests and private lands. The park and the local people jointly initiate community development activities and manage natural resources in the buffer zone. The government has made a provision of plowing back 30-50 percent of the park revenue for community development in the buffer zone.

Features
The Chitwan valley consists of tropical and subtropical forests. Sal forests cover 70 percent of the park. Sal leaves are used locally for plates in festivals and religious offerings. Grasslands cover 20 percent of the park. There are more than 50 different types of grasses, including the elephant grass (Saccharum spp.), renowned for its immense height, growing up to 8 meters in height. The shorter grasses (imperata) are used for roof thatching as well as mats, rope and paper making.

A total of 68 species of mammals, 56 species of herpeto fauna and 126 species of fish have been recorded in the park. The park is especially renowned for its protection of one-horned rhinoceros, gaur, royal Bengal tiger, wild elephant, four-horned antelope, pangolin, gangetic dolphin, gharial crocodile, golden monitor lizard and python. The park harbors not only the world’s largest terrestrial mammal (wild elephant) but also the world’s smallest terrestrial mammal (pygmy shrew). A total of 544 species of birds has been recorded so far including 22 globally threatened species including critically endangered Bengal florican, slender-billed vulture, white rumped vulture and red headed vulture.

The park houses a diversity of ecosystems, including the Churia hills, ox-bow lakes, and the flood plains of the Rapti, Reu and Narayani Rivers. The Churia hills rise slowly towards the east from 150 meters to more than 800 meters. The western portion of the park is comprised of the lower but more rugged Someshwor hills. The park shares its eastern boundary with the Parsa Wildlife Reserve.

Tharus are the main indigenous ethnic groups in Chitwan. They are well known for their resistance to malaria. Traditionally they are farmers and practice their own unique tribal culture. A stroll or a ride through the Tharu village will provide an opportunity to see their traditional farming and relics. Traditional Tharu stick dance gives an insight into their culture

Climate
Conditions are subtropical with a summer monsoon from mid-June to late-September, and a relatively dry winter. Mean annual rainfall is 2400mm with about 90% falling in the monsoon from June to September. Monsoon rains cause dramatic floods and changes in the character and courses of rivers. Temperatures are highest (maximum 38°C) during this season and drop to a minimum of 6°C in the post-monsoon period (October to January), when dry northerly winds from the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau are prevalent.

Trip Photos
Chitwan National Park

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu 1340m
You'll be met at the airport by a representative from your hotel who will have a sign with your name on it. Transfer to your hotel where your rooms have been booked for you.

The Kathmandu Guest House and Kantipur Temple Home are located in the hub of Thamel, a myriad of banners, signs, music shops, bakeries, internet cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels, shops of all imaginable varieties and eccentrically clad backpackers. Dwarika's is an oasis of calm near the airport. Relax by the pool, visit the spa and enjoy the historic and serene surroundings, dining at one of their world-class restaurants. Yak & Yeti is just off Durbar Marg, a tree-lined, upscale road of shops and hotels. Shangri La is in Lazimpat, just a few kilometers outside Thamel and features a lovely garden and outdoors cafe.

We'll need your travel medical insurance, a copy of your passport and Nepali visa and one (or more) visa-sized photo, so have them ready to give to your guide.

Day 2 - Kathmandu
Enjoy a free day to explore Kathmandu's many World Heritage sites, to decompress at your hotel or the spa, to head out shopping or to embark on a tour of the Kathmandu and the beautiful Kathmandu valley, surrounded by Himalayan snow-peaks.

Kathmandu | Optional World Heritage Sighteseeing
Kathmandu is filled with World Heritage sites and sacred destinations, crowded with traditional neighborhoods and colorful festivals. Spend a few days exploring Nepal's exotic capital and the history-laden Kathmandu valley. We can arrange sightseeing guide, vehicles and guides as required. See Kathmandu Heritage + Happeningsfor more details.

We recommend beginning with Pashupatinath in the early morning, and moving on to Boudhanath mid-morning. Hindu Pashupatinath on the sacred Bagmati river and its sacred temple complex is one of Nepal's most important sites, a powerful cremation site and Nepal's most important Hindu temple. Here, monkeys run up and down the steps of the burning ghats, and trident-bearing saddhus draped in burnt-orange and saffron sit serenely meditating, when they’re not posing for photos-for-rupees. Local guides can explain the significance of the complicated ceremonies. Please be respectful when taking photos.

Boudhanath, in the midst of traditional monasteries (gompas) and hung with long strings of multi-colored prayer flags, attracts Sherpas, Tibetans and tourists alike for daily circumambulations (koras) of the iconic stupa. The striking Buddha eyes of Boudhanath Stupa watch over a lively and colorful Tibetan community and attract pilgrims from all over the Himalayan Buddhist realm. There are wonderful spots for lunch at Boudhanath (Roadhouse Cafe has wood-oven pizzas and a breathtaking view of the stupa and colorful Nepals circling it), and it's a good place to learn the technique of thanka painting and purchase a thanka (Buddhist mural). See also Bhaktapur for more options for shopping for thankas.

Wander through the many temples, pagodas, courtyards and the museum at Kathmandu Durbar Square, a timeless gathering spot and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Kathmandu Durbar Square, including the old royal palace, is Kathmandu's 'Palace Square', a showcase for the world renown artisans and craftsmen of Kathmandu and a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist palaces, temples, stupas and statues. The Malla and Shah kings ruled over the Kathmandu Valley during the centuries of the building of the layers of this Durbar Square. Along with their opulent palaces, the square surrounds numerous courtyards and temples, all works of art with intricate and often erotic carvings. Kathmandu Durbar Square is known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, a name derived from a statue of Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Lord Ram, at the entrance of the palace. The social, religious and urban focal point of the city, Durbar Square is often the site of festivals, marriages and other ceremonies such as Teej. Some important structures are Hanuman Dhoka Palace, Kumari Ghar (Abode of the Living Goddess), Taleju Temple, built between the 12th and 18th centuries, the 17th century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages.

In the evening (take the interesting back streets from Durbar Square) climb the many steps to the gilded Swayambhunath stupa (known as the monkey temple) which rises from the Kathmandu valley floor at 1420 meters and is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal. . Swayambunath, the 'self created’  stupa, was founded over 2000 years ago at a time when the Kathmandu valley was filled by a large lake, with a single lotus in the center. Mythology says that Manjusri, a bodhisvatti, drained the lake with one cut of his sword and the lotus flower was transformed into the stupa. From its commanding views of Kathmandu, circumambulate Swayambunath's white-washed stupa, painted with distinctive Buddha eyes, the complex a unique synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism. Another interesting time to visit Swayambunath is in the mornings, when Nepalis visit the temple dedicated to the God of Smallpox to with colorful offerings for the goddess.

Stop to photograph reflections in Kathmandu's many pokhari's, or ponds, including the beautiful Rani Pokhari (queen's bath) near New Road, and the Naga Pokhari (pond of the snake gods of the underworld) just beyond the palace gates. The many bathing ghats, square enclosures with steps leading down to water spouts, often decorated with naga heads, are also interesting and colorful gathering spots.

+ Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Pashupatinath, Boudhanath + Swayambunath (+$75)
+ Kathmandu Durbar Square Walking Tour | Durbar Square (+$50)
+ Entrance Fees not Included for Single Person

Day 3 - Fly Pokhara 830m. Drive Bijaypur Khola + Trek Kalikasthan (1370m)
Transfer to the domestic airport for the scenic flight to semi-tropical Pokhara. Nepal's second largest 'city' is 198 kilometers west of Kathmandu. En route you will look down on rivers flowing towards the Terai from the Himalaya and Tibet, over terraced villages and green hills with the Ganesh, Langtang, Manaslu and Annapurna ranges in the distance, to balmy, sub-tropical Pokhara.

Once in Pokhara, a private vehicle will transfer you, with your guide and porter for the trek, to Bijayapur Khola where your trek begins. The hike begins with an hour's walk through flat paddy fields, past slate-roof houses and a few small tea-houses, eventually crossing the river and climbing gradually to Kalikasthan. We stay the night in a lodge at Kalikastan, with the afternoon free to explore the lovely village. (1 hr drive, 4 1/2 hrs trek)

Day 4 - Trek Syaklung (1730m)
After a western breakfast at the lodge, we start walking through the traditional Nepali villages, enjoying the balmy weather and the misty morning green views. We'll be trekking along the ridge of the mountain which offers good views of Annapurna and Lamjung Himal. Today, we can explore many villages, its locals and the rhododendron forests. (5 1/2 hrs)

Day 5 - Trek Chisapani (1550m)
Today's hike through predominantly Gurung villages is a good opportunity to experience local Nepali middle-hills village life. The trail passes through forests of rhododendron and sal trees, the rhododendrons alive with color from March until May. After several hours of hiking we'll start a 400 meter descent, followed by a 600 meter ascent to the village of Chisapani, translated as 'cold water' (there are many of these in Nepal). From Chisapani we'll be treaed to an incredible Himalayan mountain panorama, featuring Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna massif (5 1/2 hrs)

Day 6 - Trek Sundare Danda
Our last day of trekking, starting with a walk part way down the hill to Rupatal where we stop for the night at the wonderful Rupakot Resort for two nights of relaxation in Nepal's magical middle hills.

Day 7 - Rupakot Resort
A free day at the wonderful Rupakot Resort; enjoy! The staff and your guide are there to assist with activities (or non-activities) during the day ...

From an article in the Nepali Times: “Rupakot Resort offers the perfect getaway spot, pampering guests in the lap of luxury amid stunning views of the Annapurnas. The sprawling estate sits on top of Rupakot Hill, 1,100m above sea level, giving guests a sweeping view of Lake Begnas and Rupa in the valley below. The spectacular view is reason enough to wake up early to catch the sunrise, though the lavish rooms may persuade you otherwise. With queen-sized beds, an en-suite bathroom and private balcony, you may find yourself perfectly content with staying in the room all day. Start your day right with a meal at Panorama Restaurant. Executive Chef Raj Lama whips up a variety of delicious fare, from traditional Nepali dishes to continental classics. The newly-opened 42-room resort grows its own organic greens and root vegetables and has a small dairy farm. It also uses biogas to power its facility. Rupakot’s environmental ethos makes it an ideal place for nature lovers, with ample hiking and mountain biking trails, and plenty of opportunities for bird watching. Take a 30-minute walk up to the nearby temple, or take the path less travelled and follow in Prince Charles’ footsteps along the Royal Trek route. Whether you are looking for adventure or some peace and quiet, Rupakot Resort is the perfect place for a weekend getaway."

OPTIONS
+ Village Tour: Our in-house knowledgeable guides will take you for tour nearby villages; where you will experience local culture, people & daily lifestyle.  
 
+ Hiking: It starts around 8 am after your healthy breakfast with a English speaking in-house guide. The hiking in Rupakot provides you an opportunity to explore a rural mountain village with natural beauties & cultural diversities. It can be a half day or full day hiking depending upon your interest & schedule.
 
+ Mountain Biking: For avid adventure lover, you will definitely enjoy this mountain biking around Rupakot.
 
+ Yoga & Meditation: This is the best medicine to escape from your daily business life from city. At resort you can enjoy your free time with our special Yoga & Meditation session.

Day 8 - Trek Sundare Danda + Begnas Tal. Boat Trip + Drive Pokhara
A short walk to meet the car, beginning with a climb of about 200 meters to Sundare Danda. Walk 15 minutes down to Begnas Tal and enjoy an hour of boating. Transfer to Pokhara, check in at a hotel and take rest or explore the Lake side.

You will meet your private vehicle (or the guide will get a taxi) to take you back to the hotel in Pokhara.

Day 9 - Pokhara
There is endless opportunity to spend extra time in Pokhara, so at least one day in this balmy town is a must. Options including a stroll part-way around Phewa Lake, paragliding or zip-lining from Sarankot, paddling on the lake, a morning hike up to Shanti Stupa via a short canoe trip or a day of shopping for the creative locally-produced crafts along Lakeside.

Optional Chitwan Wildlife Safari | Chitwan National Park Wildlife Safari & Tharu Villages
+ NOTE: Kamzang Journeys doesn't encourage elephant safaris or elephant rids in Nepal National Parks.

Day 10 - Fly Kathmandu
After a bountiful buffet breakfast, you board the morning flight back to Kathmandu (with options to take an afternoon flight or stay extra days in Pokhara). You have the afternoon in Kathmandu for shopping, some sun in the garden of the Kathmandu Guest House or your luxury or boutique hotel, shopping or perhaps a visit to Boudhanath for some 'koras' to give thanks for the safe journey in the mountains. This is also the extra day in case of cancelled flights out of Pokhara.

Option | Extra Days in Kathmandu
See our list of World Heritage sightseeing tours + more (below), and enjoy an extra few days in magical Kathmandu!

Day 11 - Depart
Transfer to the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) for your flight home. Namaste!

Kathmandu | Optional Sightseeing Tour Bhaktapur
One more day in Kathmandu, with an optional sightseeing excursion by private vehicle to Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur which translates as 'Place of Devotees’ and is also known as Bhadgaon, is an ancient Newar city approximately 15 kilometers east of the Kathmandu Valley. Bhaktapur is one of three ancient capitals of the Kathmandu valley, the capital of the Newar Kingdom and a city of artisans and craftspeople famous for its art and architecture: intricate carvings, sculptures, paintings, thankas, pottery, statues and temples, or pagodas. Bhaktapur has a well-preserved ‘durbar square’, or palace square, and has been named a World Heritage site by UNESCO because of its incredible temples, pagodas, wood carvings, stone carvings and metalwork. Bhaktapur is also famous for its yogurt, called curd in Asia, a taste which hasn’t been duplicated anywhere.

Spend a full day exploring Bhaktapur and its rich cultural heritage, where a majority of enthnic Newaris live in traditional ways, and life seems to stand still. There are many great restaurants and cafes to rejuvenate, and it's possibly the best spot in Kathmandu for purchasing a thanka after watching the technique, as well as shopping for endless other locally produced crafts. Bhaktapur is home to countless local festivals, so if you are lucky and arrive on a festival day, enjoy the timeless and colorful events unfold.

+ Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Bhaktapur (+$100)
+ Entrance Fees not Included for Single Person

Kathmandu | Optional Sightseeing Tour Patan
Visit the third of Kathmandu's ancient capitals, known as 'The City of Fine Arts', best if you have an extra day in hand as Patan is also rich in cultural heritage, has many lovely roof-top cafes for lunch and world-class museums. Some of the highlights of Patan are its Durbar Square, the Krishna Temple within the palace complex of Patan (entirely made of stone, with 21 distinctive spires), and Hiranya Varna Mahavir, or the Golden Buddha Temple.

+ Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Patan (+$50)
+ Entrance Fees not Included for Single Person

Kathmandu | Optional Everest Sightseeing Flight
An hour long extravaganza of the world's 8000 meter peaks, including airport transfers. (+$270)

Kathmandu | Optional Extra Days at Shivapuri Heights Cottages
A wonderful get away 20 km north of Kathmandu, Shivapuri Heights Cottages are stylishly designed and personal cottages built around a 'common house', where you can breakfast overlooking the stunningly beautiful Kathmandu valley. Massages available on request. (+Inquire for Price)

Kathmandu | Optional Cycling Trip in Kathmandu Valley
Many options for day trips, or extended trips, in the Kathmandu Valley. We can customize a cycling trip for you in partnership with one of our knowledgeable partners in Kathmandu. (+Inquire for Price)

Extra Days in Kathmandu | Customize your Journey!
We have plenty of great suggestions for extra days, or weeks, in Nepal! See our Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip! to put together the perfect journey.

Mountain biking, rafting, vespa tours or yoga retreats around the Kathmandu valley or Pokhara, trips to Bhaktapur or Patan (Kathmandu Valley's other historic capital cities), a visit to the Newari temple of Changu Narayan and a night at the Fort Hotel in Nagarkot for sublime Himalayan panoramas, an Everest sightseeing flight, a luxurious stay at Temple Tree Resort & Spa, paragliding, hiking or zip-lining in Pokhara, a spa & wellness getaway at Dwarikas Resort in Dhulikhel, a relaxing excursion to Chitwan National Park Wildlife Safari & Tharu Villages (staying at Maruni Sanctuary Lodge) or Bardia National Park, a weekend of adventure, sauna and pampering at The Last Resort or five-star treatment in historic Dwarika's in Kathmandu.

Kamzang Journeys can customize any of these excursions for you, just inquire!

Namaste & Tashi Delek!

© Kim Bannister

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