Kathmandu Valley | Cultural Treks + Tours - Nepal

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Kathmandu, one of Asia's most fascinating capitals, is a showcase of World Heritage sites backed by snow-capped Himalayan peaks and hill top retreats with breathtakingly beautiful mountain vistas. The Kathmandu Valley, peppered with traditional Newari villages, Hindu temple complexes and Buddhist monasteries holds endless opportunity for exploration, an in depth journey through Nepal's diverse cultural heritage.

Our Kathmandu Valley Cultural Treks are journeys along the historic Kathmandu Valley rim, short treks following old trade routes through some of the Kathmandu Valley's most idyllic landscapes, staying in some of the valley's boutique resorts and hotels. Trekking through traditional Nepali villages, you will be treated to Himalayan panoramas, wander through timeless Himalayan villages, hiking at a maximum altitude of just over 2000 meters (6550 feet).

Chitwan National Park | Maruni Sanctuary Wildlife Safari
Maruni Sanctuary Lodge, owned and operated by the Kathmandu Guest House, is one of Chitwan's original lodges. 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. If you have an extra day on hand we will adjust so that you have time to sit 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 to continue with the river paddles, spotting more varieties of Kingfishers.

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.

 

Heritage Tour

Kathmandu Valley Heritage Tour
Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu | Dwarikas, Yak & Yeti or Shangri La
Day 2 - Kathmandu | World Heritage Sightseeing
Day 3 - Drive Shivapuri | Shivapuri Heights Cottage
Day 4 - Drive Changu Narayan + Bhaktapur | Milla Guest House or Hotel Heritage
Day 5 - Drive Nagarkot | Club Himalaya Resort
Day 6 - Drive Dhulikhel | Dwarika's Dhulikhel Resort
Day 7 - Drive Panauti + Bathali |Bathali Village Resort
Day 8 - Drive Kathmandu
Day 9 - Depart

Dwarika's Packages
Dwarika's Spa, Yoga & Wellness Retreats
Kathmandu Packages or Dhulikhel Dwarika's Spa, Cleanse & Revitalization Packages (# of days vary)

Add Ons | Per Person
+ Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Pashupatinath, Boudhanath + Swayambunath (+$75)
+ Kathmandu Durbar Square Walking Tour | Durbar Square (+$50)
+ Bhaktapur Heritage Sightseeing Tour (+$100)
+ Patan Heritage Sightseeing Tour (+$50)
+ Extra Day Chitwan (+$125)
+ Everest Sightseeing Flight (+$250)
+ Everest Sightseeing Helicopter Tour (+ $Inquire)
+ Shivapuri Heights Cottage (+ $Inquire)
+ Cycling Trip in Kathmandu Valley (+Trip Price)

Chitwan National Park | Maruni Sanctuary Lodge
Chitwan + Tharu Villages Wildlife Safari
+ Upgrade to Tharu Lodge Chitwan (+$300 Per Room)

Nepal Modules
Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip!

Heritage+Trek

Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trek #1 | The Namo Buddha Route
Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu
Day 2 - Kathmandu | World Heritage Sightseeing
Day 3 - Drive Sankhu + Trek Nagarkot
Day 4 - Trek Dhulikhel
Day 5 - Trek Namo Buddha
Day 6 - Trek Balthali | Balthali Village Resort
Day 7 - Trek Panauti + Drive Bhaktapur
Day 8 - Drive Kathmandu
Day 9 - Depart

Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trek #2 | The Shivapuri National Park Route
Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu
Day 2 - Kathmandu | World Heritage Sightseeing
Day 3 - Drive Sundarijal + Trek Chisapani
Day 4 - Trek Nagarkot
Day 5 - Trek Changu Narayan + Bhaktapur
Day 6 - Drive Kathmandu
Day 7 - Depart

Dwarika's Packages
Dwarika's Spa, Yoga & Wellness Retreats
Kathmandu Packages or Dhulikhel Dwarika's Spa, Cleanse & Revitalization Packages (# of days vary)

Add Ons | Per Person
+ Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Pashupatinath, Boudhanath + Swayambunath (+$75)
+ Kathmandu Durbar Square Walking Tour | Durbar Square (+$50)
+ Bhaktapur Heritage Sightseeing Tour (+$100)
+ Patan Heritage Sightseeing Tour (+$50)
+ Extra Day Chitwan (+$125)
+ Everest Sightseeing Flight (+$250)
+ Everest Sightseeing Helicopter Tour (+ $Inquire)
+ Shivapuri Heights Cottage (+ $Inquire)
+ Cycling Trip in Kathmandu Valley (+Trip Price)

Chitwan National Park | Maruni Sanctuary Lodge
Chitwan + Tharu Villages Wildlife Safari
+ Upgrade to Tharu Lodge Chitwan (+$300 Per Room)

Nepal Modules
Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip!

Highlights+Reviews

Trip Advisor Reviews

Client Comments
Kim and her colleages at Khumbu Adventures 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

Read More Testimonials
Travellers' Comments

Trip Highlights

  • Kathmandu Boutique | Yak & Yeti Heritage Deluxe Rooms, Dwarika's Heritage Deluxe Rooms or Boutique Hotel
  • Kathmandu World Heritage Sites
  • Lower Annapurnas Trek
  • Spectacular Himalayan Panoramas + Traditional Villages
  • Chitwan National Park + Wildlife Safaris
  • The Old Inn at Bandipur
  • Pokhara + Phewa Lake
  • Opportunities for Spa + Massage
  • Optional Everest Sightseeing Flight

Kim Bannister Photo Gallery | Trip + Trek Photos
Kim Bannister Photography

Kamzang Journeys | Country + Regional Photos
Kamzang Journeys Photos

Kamzang Journeys Group Photos
Group Photos

Himalayan Photos
Himalayan Wildlife Photos

Himalayan Bird Photos

Himalayan Flower Photos

Market + Street Food Photos
Asian Markets + Street Food

Travel Reading | Enhance Your Trip!
Travel Books

Date+Price

Dates
Custom Departures

Kathmandu Valley Heritage Tour
Trip Price Traditional Boutique - $
Kathmandu Guest House (Kathmandu)
Single Supplement - $

Trip Price Boutique - $
Kantipur Temple House (Kathmandu)
Single Supplement - $

Trip Price Luxury Boutique - $
Yak & Yeti + Shangri-La (Kathmandu)
Dwarika's (+ Kathmandu Super Deluxe)
Single Supplement - $

Kathmandu Valley Heritage Tour + Cultural Treks
Trip Price Traditional Boutique - $
Kathmandu Guest House (Kathmandu)
Single Supplement - $

Trip Price Boutique - $
Kantipur Temple House (Kathmandu)
Single Supplement - $

Trip Price Luxury Boutique - $
Yak & Yeti + Shangri-La (Kathmandu)
Dwarika's (+ Kathmandu Super Deluxe)
Single Supplement - $

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

Includes

  • Boutique + Luxury Hotels in Kathmandu
  • Kathmandu Sightseeing World Heritage Sites
  • Kathmandu Valley Cultural Treks
  • Transport by Private Vehicles
  • Domestic Flights
  • Airport Transfers

Excludes

  • International Flights
  • Travel & Travel Medical Insurance
  • Nepal Visa
  • Lunch & Dinner in Kathmandu, Pokhara & Bandipur
  • Rescue Services (Cost)
  • Equipment Rental
  • Alcohol & Dinks
  • Laundry
  • Tipping

Contact+Details

Trekker's Comments
Travel Books

Leader
Nepali or Sherpa Guide

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

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

Dwarika's

Kathmandu Guest House Extra Nights
Including breakfast & 25% taxes

Standard Single - $55
Standard Double - $65
Garden Single - $65
Garden Double - $80
Deluxe Single - $120
Deluxe Double - $135
Deluxe Single Suite - $135
Deluxe Double Suite - $150

Arrival Kathmandu

Arrival
You will be met at the airport by a representative from you hotel or by a private car (in which case the driver will have your name on a sign) and tranferred to your hotel where your rooms have been booked for you.

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 ONLINE VISA FORM

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!

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.
Kathmandu Happenings

Gear List


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!

Kathmandu Valley Tour

Kathmandu Valley Heritage Tour

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.

Day 2 - Kathmandu | Sightseeing World Heritage Sites
A free day to explore the Kathmandu valley's many World Heritage sites with a local, English speaking guide in a private vehicle. We recommend beginning with Pashupatinath in the early morning, and moving on to Boudhanath mid-morning. 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.

After lunch, wander through the many temples, pagodas and the museum at Kathmandu Durbar Square, a timeless gathering spot and another UNESCO World Heritage site. Kathmadnu Durbar Square, including the old royal palace, is a 'Palace Square', is a showcase for the world renown artisans and craftsmen of Kathmandu. 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.

GENERAL SIGHTSEEING OPTIONS
Climb the many steps to Swayambhunath (the monkey temple), with its commanding views of Kathmandu (at 1420 m), its whitewashed stupas and its unique synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism. 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. In the midst of traditional gompas, and hung with long strings of multi-colored prayer flags, Boudhanath attracts Sherpas, Tibetans and tourists alike for daily circumambulations (koras) of the stupa. Durbar Square, one of the old capitals of the Kathmandu valley, is a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist temples, stupas and statues, and is often the site of festivals, marriages and other ceremonies. Hindu Pashupatinath and its sacred temple complex on the banks of the holy Bagmati river. 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; that is when they’re not posing for photos-for-rupees.

Day 3 - Drive Shivapuri | Shivapuri Heights Cottage
After a relaxing breakfast, you will drive 10 kilometers north of Kathmandu, stopping en route to visit Sleeping Buddha at Budhanilkantha. A few steep kilometers further up the hillside, along a small, snaking road, sits the wonderful Shivapuri Heights Cottage in the wooded hills of northern Kathmandu, just below Shivapuri National Park.

Day 4 - Drive Bhaktapur | Milla Guest House or Hotel Heritage
After enjoying what might be Nepal's most scenic breakfast on the deck of Shivapuri Heights Cottage, you will drive to historic Bhaktapur where you will spend the afternoon exploring this incredible complex of temples and historic buildings.

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 and thanka paintings. 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.

Day 5 - Drive Changu Narayan + Nagarkot | Club Himalaya Resort
After a timeless, misty morning walk around Bhaktapur, we drive about 28 kilometers north to Nagarkot, stopping en route to visit one of Kathmandu's oldest Newari temple villages, Changu Narayan. Nagarkot features Kathmandu's most breathtaking Himalayan views from its perch at 4000 meters. You'll enjoy both the sunset and the sunrise on some of the world's highest peaks.

Day 6 - Drive Dhulikhel | Dwarikas Dhulikhel Resort
A spa day at the Kathmandu Valley's most luxurious resort, Dwarika's Dhulikhel Resort set in the green hills of the Kathmandu valley. Enjoy a massage, a full spa treatment or one of their specialized ayurvedic treatments in this idyllic boutiquqe resort, enjoying the peaceful surroundings.

Day 7 - Drive Panauti + Bathali | Bathali Village Resort
Drive to Panauti, a wonderful traditional Newari village just to the south of Dhulikhel, surrounded by evergreen forests, terraced hillsides and traditional villages. Spend the morning wandering its timeless alleyways and visiting Panauti's ancient Newari temples.

Day 8 - Drive Kathmandu
An hour's drive back to the luxuries of Kathmandu, where we'll drop you back at your boutique hotel. Your wonderfully decorated rooms will be much appreciated; enjoy a warm shower and a delicious dinner!

Day 9 - Depart
We escort you to the airport for your international flight.

Tour+Trek Itinerary

Kathmandu Valley Trek #1 | Namo Buddha Route

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.

Day 2 - Kathmandu | Sightseeing World Heritage Sites
A free day to explore the Kathmandu valley's many World Heritage sites with a local, English speaking guide in a private vehicle. We recommend beginning with Pashupatinath in the early morning, and moving on to Boudhanath mid-morning. 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.

After lunch, wander through the many temples, pagodas and the museum at Kathmandu Durbar Square, a timeless gathering spot and another UNESCO World Heritage site. Kathmadnu Durbar Square, including the old royal palace, is a 'Palace Square', is a showcase for the world renown artisans and craftsmen of Kathmandu. 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.

GENERAL SIGHTSEEING OPTIONS
Climb the many steps to Swayambhunath (the monkey temple), with its commanding views of Kathmandu (at 1420 m), its whitewashed stupas and its unique synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism. 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. In the midst of traditional gompas, and hung with long strings of multi-colored prayer flags, Boudhanath attracts Sherpas, Tibetans and tourists alike for daily circumambulations (koras) of the stupa. Durbar Square, one of the old capitals of the Kathmandu valley, is a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist temples, stupas and statues, and is often the site of festivals, marriages and other ceremonies. Hindu Pashupatinath and its sacred temple complex on the banks of the holy Bagmati river. 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; that is when they’re not posing for photos-for-rupees.

Day 3 - Drive Sankhu + Trek Nagarkot
Details coming

Day 4 - Trek Dhulikhel
 1440m
After a breathtaking Himalayan panorama over breakfast, we start our trek through more forest, on undulating trails, towards Dhulikhel in the Kavre district, one of the Kathmandu valley's fortified villages of old. Hiking 45 minutes along a ridge top road to he Nagarkot Tower, where we are treated to views of Everest, we continue to climb slightly to the Rohini Bhanjyang (pass). We trek over the Kashi Bhanjyang and then past Tanchowk and Ravi Bhanjyang to reach Dhulikhel, perched scenically on top of a hill, again with amazing views. (5-6 hours)

Option 2: From the Nagarkot Tower trek down through light jungle to Nala village, a 2 1/2 hour walk. After lunch at Nala we continue to hike to Dhulikhel.

Day 5 - Trek Namo Buddha | Namo Buddha Resort 1800m
A trek to the beautiful, peaceful Namo Buddha Resort situated in the Nepali countryside surrounded by farmland, forest and Tamang villages with a fantastic view of the mountains. Namo Buddha is renown for its story of Buddha's sacrifice for a mother tigers cubs. The small cottages of Namo Buddha Resort have been beautifully crafted in traditional Nepali style by carpenters and masons from Kirtipur, with traditional wood and stone work. The resort is surrounded by an organic farm where the farmers follow the best practice to care for the earth and build a farm that will last for generations. They collect milk from their cows and honey from their bees, and make their own their jams, and all food is vegetarian. Their wood-fired oven bakes their sour dough breads, pizza, and other bakery items. The kitchen staff makes meals inspired by many European as well as typical Nepali style foods.

Namo Buddha Resort is located at the top of a hill at 1800 meters; when the weather is clear, you will be treated to awesome views of the Himalaya. The panoramic view stretches across the Annapurna and Khumbu range. During the main tourist season, views are the best early in the morning. Some areas surrounding the guests' houses are farm land and some areas are left to nature. These natural forest areas are beautiful places to walk in. The surrounding neighborhood includes Namo Buddha Stupa (a few minutes walk). There are also a number of nearby villages and organic farms within walking distance.

NOTE: From the resort, many different options are available to explore the local village and surroundings.

Optional Extra Day | Namo Buddha Resort
Options to hike to Namobuddha stupa, Phulbari village, Panauti village, Thrangu Tashi Yangtze Monastery, Dapchha to Bhakunde Besi (old local trade route and settlement of newar) or to drive to the Kushesshwor Mahadev temple (Dumja). The Sunkosi River is also an interesting destination and a famous Hindu holy site.

Day 6 - Trek Balthali | Balthali Village Resort 1730m
A lovely trek through the verdant Kathmandu valley, passing rice paddies and traditional villages, often trekking through forested hillsides. Balthali Village Resort sits on top of a hill, a small, cozy retreat with bird’s eye view of green terrace fields dotted with ochre painted houses, with the faint hue of Himalayan peaks on the northern horizon. The trek from Namo Buddha to Balthali passes through terraced rice fields and ochre colored, thatched farmhouses, rhododendron and magnolia forests, with views of the Manaslu, Langtang and Everest ranges to the north and the green forest of the Mahabharata range to the south.

Optional Extra Day | Bathali Village Resort Day Hikes
Many options for extra day hikes, meandering past Buddhist temples and rural hamlets, a relaxing area for hiking, uncrowded with other tourists, and offering a chance to see the real Nepal.

Day 7 - Trek Panauti 1400 m + Drive Bhaktapur
Details coming

Bhaktapur where you will spend the afternoon exploring this incredible complex of temples and historic buildings.

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 and thanka paintings. 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.

Day 8 - Drive Kathmandu
An hour's drive back to the luxuries of Kathmandu, where we'll drop you back at your luxury hotel (Dwarika's, Yak & Yeti or Shangri La). Your wonderful boutique-style rooms will be much appreciated, enjoy a warm shower and a delicious dinner!

Day 9 - Depart
We escort you to the airport for your international flight.

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!

++++++++

Kathmandu Valley Trek #2 | Shivapuri National Park Route

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.

Day 2 - Kathmandu | Sightseeing World Heritage Sites
A free day to explore the Kathmandu valley's many World Heritage sites with a local, English speaking guide in a private vehicle. We recommend beginning with Pashupatinath in the early morning, and moving on to Boudhanath mid-morning. 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.

After lunch, wander through the many temples, pagodas and the museum at Kathmandu Durbar Square, a timeless gathering spot and another UNESCO World Heritage site. Kathmadnu Durbar Square, including the old royal palace, is a 'Palace Square', is a showcase for the world renown artisans and craftsmen of Kathmandu. 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.

GENERAL SIGHTSEEING OPTIONS
Climb the many steps to Swayambhunath (the monkey temple), with its commanding views of Kathmandu (at 1420 m), its whitewashed stupas and its unique synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism. 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. In the midst of traditional gompas, and hung with long strings of multi-colored prayer flags, Boudhanath attracts Sherpas, Tibetans and tourists alike for daily circumambulations (koras) of the stupa. Durbar Square, one of the old capitals of the Kathmandu valley, is a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist temples, stupas and statues, and is often the site of festivals, marriages and other ceremonies. Hindu Pashupatinath and its sacred temple complex on the banks of the holy Bagmati river. 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; that is when they’re not posing for photos-for-rupees.

Day 3 - Drive Sundarijal. Trek Chisapani 2134m
After breakfast we have a short, 8 kilometer drive north to Sundarijal, the entrance way to Chisapani and the Shivapuri National Park. Our trek follows 16 kilometers of lovely trail from Sundarijal to Chisapani, relatively light hiking with a birds-eye view of the beautiful Kathmandu valley throughout. The route is a scenic one, through forests of evergreens and oaks, often exotic orchids, with snow-capped Himalayan vistas, passing through Kolthupa, Mulkarka and Deurali. Hiking up a staircase, you reach 2134 meters along the Borlang Bhanjyang before the descent begins to Mulkarka, where you can stop for a meal and cup of tea. Enjoy the incredible Himalayan views, including Mount Everest, as the forest opens and you trek to Chisapani.

The Shivapuri National Park is known for its diversity of flora, fauna and birdlife, including over 150 species of butterflies, the sloth bear, forest leopards, wild boar and porcupine, a wonderful region. We trek to Chisapani in the Nuwakot district, enjoying views of the Jugal range en route. Chisopani has 10+ lodges, and we will stay for the night in the nicest lodge and enjoy a beautiful sunset, perhaps sampling some of its famous cheese from the cheese factory. (5-6 hours, 16 km)

Day 4 - Trek Nagarkot 2000m
Our second day of trekking is another scenic one, hiking through idyllic middle hills Nepali villages to hill-top Nagarkot. We'll leave early to avoid the afternoon heat and haze, and enjoy a relatively flat hike. The Himalayan views continue impressively, and we look down on forests of evergreen and the terraced rice fields of the traditional villages below us, and up to snow-capped peaks, an idyllic site. We pass through Shivapur Bhanjyang, Jaharsing and Pauwa, finally finishing our trek at lovely Nagarkot. You'll stay in Nagarkot's wonderful Peacock Guest House and enjoy the evening's mountain views over a glass of wine. (6-7 hours, 20 km)

Day 5 - Trek Changu Narayan + Bhaktapur
Get up early and enjoy the golden sunrise over Himalayan peaks over coffee and breakfast. You'll start hiking downhill through a forest of light evergreens, soon reaching Changu Narayan, Nepal’s oldest temple located on high ridge in the village of Changu.

Changu Narayan (exerpt Wikipedia): "The pagoda style temple has several masterpieces of 5th and 12th century Nepalese art. According to legends Changu Narayan temple existed as early as 325 A.D. in the time of King Licchavi King Hari Datta Verma and it is one of Nepal's richest structures historically as well as artistically. In the grounds there is a stone pillar inscription of great importance recording the military exploits of King Man Deva who reigned from 496 A.D. to 524 A.D. The first epigraphic evidence of Nepalese history found in the temple premises during the reign of the Licchavi King Mandeva dating back to 464 A.D. shows that Changu had already been established as a sacred site in the 3rd century A.D. It is the earliest inscription known in Nepal. The temple was restored during the lifetime of Ganga Rani, consort of Siva Simha Malla who reigned from 1585 to 1614. There are records of the temple burning in the year of 822 Nepal Samvat (1702 A.D.), after which reconstruction was carried out. More inscriptions in gilt-copper plates were added by Bhaskara Malla in 1708."

Continuing to trek along a scenic trail, past terraced fields, traditional Nepali dwellings and forest of pine and evergreens with sun filtering through the branches, we arrive in historic twelfth century Bhaktapur, a charming Newari village bustling with life and afternoon activities. Spend the afternoon exploring this village of rich cultural heritage, incredible complex of temples, palaces and historic terracotta and wood buildings.

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.

In Bhaktapur the 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 and thanka paintings. 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. (5-6 hours)

Day 6 - Drive Kathmandu
An hour's drive back to the luxuries of Kathmandu, where we'll drop you back at Kantipur Temple House. Your wonderful boutique-style rooms will be much appreciated, enjoy a warm shower and a delicious dinner!

Day 7- Depart
We escort you to the airport for your international flight.

Kathmandu Tours

Kathmandu | Bhaktapur  Sightseeing Tour
One more day in Kathmandu, with a 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 | Patan Sightseeing Tour
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 | World Heritage Sightseeing Tour
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 + Happenings for 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

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

Everest Sightseeing Helicopter Tour
Inquire for prices + options. Cost per helicopter.

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 Options)

Cycling Trip 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 Option)

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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