Annapurna Yoga Spirit Luxury Trek - Nepal

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Join us for a very special Annapurna Yoga Spirit Yoga Trek in the sublimely beautiful Annapurna foothills, under Nepal's sacred Himalayan peaks! Our yoga trek is lead by international yoga instructor Hayley Mia just before the monsoons, when Nepal is vibrantly green, and the traditional villages bustling with activity. Our yoga trek will have a focus on practicing energizing yoga, breathing and meditation for revitalizing the inner self. During the trek, using luxury Ker & Downey lodges, Hayley will lead two daily yoga practices, as well as practicing meditating as a silent walk for 30 minutes daily. The morning yoga instruction will be energizing, hatha or vinyasa yoga, and the evening yoga instruction will be restorative, yin or slow yoga.

Hayley is also a massage therapist specializing in Swedish and deep tissue massage, and you can request a session with her when you have free time at any time during the trip (extra cost).

About Your Yoga Instructor
Hayley Mia came to yoga from a holistic background having worked as a massage therapist. She has a very hands on approach to Yoga, concentrating on alignment whilst encouraging you to find your own path. She discovered yoga whilst living in New Zealand, starting with Ashtanga, having practiced many different styles, she really relates to the discipline and the core strengthening elements of the Ashtanga Vinyasa style. Teaching felt like the natural progression and so she traveled to India to train in Ashtanga, Vinyasa flow, Rocket and Yin yoga and is now a 700 hour certified Yoga Alliance teacher. Hayley has been teaching for 6 years and practicing for over 10.

Annapurna Foothills Luxury Trek + Yoga Retreat
This wonderful luxury Annapurna Foothills trek is the perfect introduction to the diversity and excitement of trekking in Nepal. 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 Buddhist chortens and prayer flags send prayers out to the gods and the Gurung and Magar inhabitants are more Tibetan than Nepali. Terraced fields and tropical fruit trees surround the neat, white washed Gurung villages of the higher regions, leading the eye to vistas dominated by some of the Himalaya's most majestic peaks. The Annapurna region is truly the heart of the Nepal Himalaya. Accompanied by views of Annapurna South, Machhapuchhre, Hiunchuli and Lamjung Himal, we trek through the heart of the Annapurnas.

We stay at the wonderful Ker & Downey lodges, the premiere luxury lodges in the Annapurna region. The collection of lodges is spread out within the Annapurna Conservation Area, separated by picturesque terrain and a moderate half-day hike. Each lodge offers a unique view and new perspective on the region, overlooking its hidden villages and shadowed by its towering peaks. Private baths with hot running water come standard in all of the guest rooms, with cozy blankets and down bedding warmed nightly by a hot water bottle. During the trek, your food will be organic, from the gardens of the Ker & Downey lodges and locally sourced.

Pokhara + Kathmandu
We'll practice yoga in the lovely, green garden of the Kathmandu Guest House and at Himalayan Front Resort high above Pokhara, in Sarangkot, a sublime and spiritual spot with vast Himalayan views! Enjoy Buddhist 'koras' at Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu, and indulge in spa and massage treatments, a paddle on Phewa Lake or some parasailing over the lake, in Pokhara!

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

Incredible Nepal!

Yoga Trek

Annapurna Yoga Spirit Luxury Trek | Ker + Downey Luxury Lodges Trek
Day 1 - Saturday, 2 June 2018 - Arrive Kathmandu | Kathmandu Guest House (afternoon yoga)
Day 2 - Kathmandu | KGH (morning + afternoon yoga)
Day 3 - Fly Pokhara + Drive Lumle. Trek Birethanti | Sanctuary Lodge (afternoon yoga)
Day 4 - Trek Gandruk | Himalayan Lodge (morning + afternoon yoga)
Day 5 - Trek Landruk | Bee Lodge (morning + afternoon yoga)
Day 6 - Trek Majgaun | Gurung Lodge (morning + afternoon yoga)
Day 7 - Trek Dhampus | Basanta Lodge (morning + afternoon yoga)
Day 8 - Trek Ghattekhola + Drive Pokhara | Himalayan Front Resort (morning + afternoon yoga)
Day 9 - Pokhara | Himalayan Front Resort (morning + afternoon yoga)
Day 10 - Fly Kathmandu | Morning Sarangkot + KGH (morning + afternoon yoga)
Day 11 - Tuesday, 12 June 2018 - Trip Ends (morning yoga)

+ 19 Yoga Classes Included in Yoga Spirit Trek!

Yoga Spirit June Retreat | Kathmandu Park Village Resort
Day 11 - Tuesday, 12 June - Arrive Kathmandu | Park Village Resort + Spa (Budhanilkhantha)
Day 12 - Kathmandu | Meditation with Buddhist Monks
Day 13 - Kathmandu | Hike in Shivapuri Hills
Day 14 - Kathmandu | Buddhist Philosophy Teachings with Buddhist Lama
Day 15 - Saturday, 16 June - Trip Ends

+ 8 Yoga Classes Included in Yoga Spirit Retreat

Yoga Spirit Reteat Daily Schedule + Optional Treatments
7:00 | Meditation as Silent Walk (30 min)
7:30 | Morning Energizing Yoga (Hatha + Vinyasa) (1.5 hrs)
9:00 | Vegetarian Breakfast
10:30 | Hike in Shivapuri Hills (on Day 3) + Meditation with Buddhist Monks (on Day 2) + Buddhist Philosophy Teachings with Buddhist Lama (on Day 3)
1:00 | Vegetarian Lunch
11:00 - 4:30 | Free Time - Optional Treatments
+ Optional Ayurvedic Treatments (+$)
+ Optional Swedish or Deep Tissue Massage by Hayley (+$)
+ Optional Private 1-to-1 Yoga Practice with Hayley (+$)
4:30 | Meditatation + Breathing (Pranamaya) in Buddhist Monastery (30 min)
5: 00 | Evening Restorative Yoga (Yin + Slow Yoga) in Buddhist Monastery (1.5 hrs)
+ Special Yoga Retreat Detox Diet

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)

Annapurna Yoga Spirit Luxury Trek
Annapurna Yoga Spirit Luxury Trek

Everest Yoga Spirit Trek
Everest Yoga Spirit + Meditation Trek - Nepal

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

Read More Testimonials
Trekkers' Comments

Yoga Trek Highlights

  • Yoga Under Himalayan Peaks!
  • Kathmandu World Heritage Sites
  • Annapurna Foothills Trek (Luxury)
  • Ker & Downey Luxury Lodges
  • Spectacular Himalayan Panoramas + Traditional Villages
  • Private En-suite Bath Facilities
  • Hot Showers + Hot Water Bottles
  • Family Style Dining + Delicious Meals
  • Pokhara + Phewa Lake
  • Himalayan Front Hotel, Sarangkot
  • Optional Massage + Spa Treatments
  • Optional Chitwan Safari Excursion
  • Optional Everest Sightseeing Flight

Optional Treatments

  • Optional Ayurvedic Treatments
  • Optional Massage + Spa Treatments
  • Optional Chitwan Safari Excursion
  • Optional Everest Sightseeing Flight

Client Comments
Thank you for everything you did to make our anniversary trip special. From the extras at our hotel rooms to the amazing quality, warmth and hospitality of every person who works with you – we were blown away by the trip you planned. We loved meeting you, Lhakpa, Doma and all the guides, drivers and porters who created such a hassle-free and seamless environment for us to explore beautiful Nepal.  Thank you so much – you created a truly life changing and unforgettable trip for us.
 - Kim + Bob C (USA), Private Amazing Nepal Trek 2016 (Honeymoon Trip)

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

Client Highlights + Reviews
Travelers' Comments

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

2018 Dates
2 - 12 June
11 Days
+ Annapurna Yoga Spirit Luxury Trek (Annapurnas)

2 - 16 June
15 Days
+ Yoga Trek + Yoga Spirit Retreat (Kathmandu)

Yoga Trek Price
$2480

Yoga Retreat Price
$

+ Chitwan Maruni Sanctuary - $550
+ Single Supplement Trek - $375
+ Single Supplement Chitwan - $150
+ Single Upgrades Kathmandu + Pokhara - $175

Chitwan National Park | Maruni Sanctuary Lodge
Chitwan + Tharu Villages Wildlife Safari

Other Options
+ Extra Day Chitwan (+$125 Single +$100 Double Per Person)
+ Paragliding in Pokhara (+Inquire)
+ Everest Sightseeing Flight (including transport to + from airport) (+$250 PP)
+ Extension Shivapuri Heights Cottage (+$75 - $150 depending on room + season Per Room)
+ Cycling Trip in Kathmandu Valley (+Inquire)

Includes

  • Kathmandu Guest House (Breakfast)
  • Himalayan Front Resort (Breakfast)
  • Kerr + Downey Luxury Lodges (Heater, Hot Shower + Water Bottles, All Meals, Happy Hour Drink)
  • Domestic Flights
  • Airport Transfers
  • ACAP Permit + TIMS Card
  • Transport by Private Vehicles
  • Kamzang Lodge Trekking: All meals from Ker & Downey lodge menus, filtered drinking water, double en suite rooms at lodges, hot showers, hot water bottle at night, porters + qualified Nepali guide. Support via Khumbu Adventures in Kathmandu in case of emergency.

Excludes

  • International Flights
  • Travel or Travel Medical Insurance
  • Nepal Visa
  • Meals in Kathmandu (Lunch + Dinner)
  • Helicopter rescue cost
  • Equipment Rental
  • Alcohol, Bottled Water & Soft Drinks
  • Showers & hot water bottles
  • Laundry Services
  • Tips

Tips & Extra Cash
Allow approx $250 for meals (while not on trek), shopping & drinks (on trek). We recommend $150 - $200 per trekker divided between the guide and porter(s) for tips at the end of the trek.

Contact+Details

Trekker's Comments
Travel Books

Yoga Instructor
Hayley Mia

Hayley Mia came to yoga from a holistic background having worked as a massage therapist. She has a very hands on approach to Yoga, concentrating on alignment whilst encouraging you to find your own path. She discovered yoga whilst living in New Zealand, starting with Ashtanga, having practiced many different styles, she really relates to the discipline and the core strengthening elements of the Ashtanga Vinyasa style. Teaching felt like the natural progression and so she traveled to India to train in Ashtanga, Vinyasa flow, Rocket and Yin yoga and is now a 700 hour certified Yoga Alliance teacher. Hayley has been teaching for 6 years and practicing for over 10.

Trek Guide
Nepali Trekking 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 Contact
Khumbu Adventures
hiking.guide@gmail.com
Lhakpa Dorji Sherpa Mobile: +(977) 9841 235461, 9813 371542
Doma Sherpa Mobile: +(977) 9841 510833, 9803 675361

Follow Us on Facebook
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Arrival Hotel Kathmandu
Kathmandu Guest House

Pokhara (Sarangkot) Hotel
Himalayan Front

Trek Luxury Lodges
Ker & Downey Mountain Lodges

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 Happenings

Photo Gallery | Trip + Trek Photos
Kim Bannister Photography

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

We also recommend bringing probiotics with you to help prevent infections while on trek. Doctor's recommendation!

Travel Medical Insurance
Required for your own safely. We carry a copy of your insurance with all contact, personal and policy information with us on the trek and our office in Kathmandu keeps a copy. Note that we almost always trek over 4000 meters (13,000+ feet) and that we don't do any technical climbing with ropes, ice axes or crampons.

Global Rescue
We recommend that our trekkers also sign up for Global Rescue, which is rescue services only, as a supplement to your travel medical insurance.
Book package through Wicis-Sports via Carlota Fenes (carlota@wicis-media.com)

Wicis-Sports Wearable Tech | Sports Package
Live personal heath stats via a wearable chest strap heart rate monitor.
Track your vitals (heart rate, temperature, oxygen saturation), the weather, GPS locations, altitude, speed, bearing and stream LIVE via a Thuraya satellite hot spot. Partners: OCENS (weather), Global Rescue, Aspect Solar.

"Thuraya Telecom + WiCis Sports offer connectivity to Himalayan treks + expeditions"

"Founded in 2011 by Harvard and Stanford anesthesiologist Dr. Leo Montejo and located in the Lake Tahoe area, the company’s goal is to promote the use of mHealth and tracking devices to make adventure sports safer and engage their followers with real time data that is either private or also available to social medial platforms."

Book package through Wicis-Sports via Carlota Fenes (carlota@wicis-media.com)

Medical
Please bring a supply of all personal medications, have a doctor's check-up before leaving home, and inform us of any medical issues. This is for YOUR OWN safety. DO bring all prescription medications and good rehydration/electrolytes. We advise bringing your own Diamox, Ciprofloxin, Azithromyacin & Augmentin. Your guide will also have a basic medical kit with him with Indian-made drugs.

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 ...

Arrival Kathmandu

Arrival in Kathmandu
You will be met at the airport by a representative from Dwarika's or Kamzang Journeys and transferred to Dwarika's where your Heritage Room has been booked for you. Enjoy your welcome drink while we collect your insurance details, a visa sized photo and a copy of your passport from you.

Arrival Hotel Kathmandu
Kathmandu Guest House

Extra Nights in Kathmandu | Upgrade to Super Luxury Heritage Hotel!
Dwarika's

Pokhara Hotels
Himalayan Front

Trek Luxury Lodges
Ker & Downey Mountain Lodges

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 ($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

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

Gear List

We supply yoga mats, but you are free to bring your own if you would prefer! Ker & Downey will provide duffel bags, day packs, a rain poncho and a water bottle if you need them.

  • Duffel Bag
  • Day Pack (25-35 L) + Rain Cover
  • Insulated Jacket
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Crocs (Evenings)
  • Trekking Pants (1)
  • T-Shirts (2)
  • Long-sleeve Trekking Shirt (1)
  • Lightweight Wind + Rain Jacket + Pants
  • Thermal Top + Bottom (Evenings)
  • Socks (2)
  • Light Gloves + Hat
  • Baseball Cap or Wide Brimmed Hat
  • Small Camp Towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Water Bottles (2)
  • Toiletries, Sunscreen + Lip Balm SPF
  • Camera Batteries + Battery Chargers
  • Head Lamp
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Chargers for Electronics
  • Book
  • Tissues
  • Snacks
  • Rehydration | Electrolytes
  • Personal Medical Supplies
  • Trekking Poles (optional, recommended for steps)
  • Umbrella (optional)
  • Laundry Detergent or Bio-degradable Clothes Soap (optional)

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

Annapurnas

Annapurna Foothills Trek
The beautiful Lower Annapurnas (Annapurna foothills) trek starts just 25 kilometers north of Pohara, and is often referred to as the Poon Hill trek because of the incredible sunrise Himalayan panoramas from this viewpoint above Ghorepani. Macchapuchare (Fish Tail Peak) is the most renown mountain in this region, an unmistakable peak which rises above the clouds. Views from Poon Hill are awe inspiring, and include the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges: Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Annapurna II, III, + IV, Dhaulagiri, Lamjung Himal, Gangapurna and Manaslu!

Our Annapurna Peaks & Villages Trek features terraced slopes, green rice paddies, rhododendron forests, local cultures and traditional Gurung and Magar villages, Ghorepani and Gandruk being two of the largest Gurung villages in the Annapurna region. It's a wonderful, shorter low altitude trek in the lower Annapurna region is the perfect introduction to the diversity and excitement of trekking in Nepal. We start the Nepal trek 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 and Magar inhabitants look more Tibetan than Nepali. Terraced fields and tropical fruit trees surround the neat, white-washed Gurung villages of the higher regions, leading the eye to vistas dominated by some of the Himalaya's most majestic peaks. The Annapurna region is truly the heart of the Nepal Himalaya.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu 1340m | Kathmandu Guest House
Namaste, and welcome to Nepal and the Annapurna Yoga Spirit Trekl You will be met at Tribhuvan International Airport by a representative from Kamzang Journeys, so please look for a sign with your name on it. Transfer to Kathmandu Guest House where your rooms await!

The Annapurna Yoga Spirit Trek begins with some afternoon yoga at 4:30 pm (for those who have arrived earlier in the day) to rejuvenate from the flight to Nepal. Hayley, your yoga instructor, will instruct your yoga in the beautiful Kathmandu Guest House garden, beginning with pranamaya breathing exercises. We provide yoga mats, but do bring your own if you prefer.

An optional dinner will be at 7 pm at Roadhouse Cafe, optional but a nice way to get to know your yoga group. We will collect a copy of your travel medical insurance, take photos of your passport and Nepali visa, and one visa-sized photo for your Annapurna trek permits. (B)

Day 2 - Kathmandu | Kathmandu Guest House
After a morning yoga session at 7:30am, you are free day to explore Kathmandu's many World Heritage sites. Or just lunch and decompress in the garden of the Kathmandu Guest House, enjoy a massage or treatment in one of the nearby spas, or embark on a tour of the beautiful Kathmandu valley, surrounded by Himalayan snow peaks.

We provide a car to take you to Buddhist Boudhanath mid-morning, where you can walk Tibetan Buddhist koras with the local Buddists from all around the Buddhist world, and enjoy a lunch with views of this beautiful stupa!

Hayley will lead another afternoon yoga class at 4:30pm, again beginning with pranamaya breathing exercises. (B)

Kathmandu | World Heritage Sites (Optional 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)

Day 3 - Fly Pokhara 830m | Drive Lumle + Trek Birethanti 10250m | Sanctuary Lodge
Transfer to the domestic airport for the scenic flight to beautiful Pokhara, Nepal's second largest city 198 kilometers west of Kathmandu. En route, look down on rivers flowing towards the Terai from the Himalaya and Tibet, over a patchwork of 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, to Lumle, from where you will start the trek into the wonderful, green central Annapurna region. Once checked into the Annapurna Conservation Area, your trek will follow a ridge line in the lower foothills of the Annapurnas with surrounding views of the green Pokhara valley. The trail then drops to the Modi River Valley, where Ker & Downey's beautiful Sanctuary Lodge is located.

From its vantage overlooking the Modi River, the Sanctuary Lodge is also afforded stunning views of the sacred Fishtail Mountain in the distance. This stylish lodge was handcrafted by local artisans and enjoys a prime location on a promontory with half a mile of river front views. Travel to the nearby village of Birethanti to visit the local school and to watch mule trains journey across the river via suspension bridge. Hearty meals are served family-style in the lodge's traditional dining rooms, inviting spaces to relax and recall the sights of the day’s trek. Spacious terraces plus a large fireplace and lounge area complete the shared spaces in the lodges, with Sanctuary Lodge also including a cozy library. A picnic lunch is provided with a late afternoon arrival at the lodge. (1 hr driving, 3-4 hrs trek) (B, L, D)

+ Your YOGA practice times will be set daily by Hayley, and will include a morning and evening hour of yoga instruction.

Day 4 - Trek Gandruk | Himalayan Lodge 2015m
After breakfast, you will start trekking from the lodge, hiking through the outlying farms following the Modi River Valley. You will hike straight up stone steps through a dense forest first thing in the morning, afterwards contouring less steeply along paddy fields, past slate roof houses and a few small tea-houses. Soon you begin to climb out of the valley and up towards the Himalayan peaks ahead. The trail passes through small hamlets, terraced rice fields and forests with spectacular views of the surrounding valley. A short descent brings you to Tolka (1750m), another large and scenic Gurung village. The grassy trail lined with ferns and sub-tropical trees ascends after the village, and after crossing a few small streams and contouring around terraced hillsides we reach the hillside village of Gandruk. Lunch will be served on arrival at Himalayan Lodge, in the early afternoon.

Ker & Downey’s Himalaya Lodge overlooks the slate-roofed village of Gandruk, once a popular recruitment location for the Gurkha soldier regiments. Villagers today craft traditional hand-woven rugs as they have for generations, and also participate in ecological endeavors via the Annapurna Conservation Area Project. Spend the afternoon exploring this fascinating and bustling Gurung village, a labyrinth of narrow alleyways, white-washed, slate-roofed houses with porches and traditionally-carved windows, water buffaloes in thatched huts and open slate patios. Enjoy the magnificent views of the Annapurnas from the lodge, or hike up a bit along the cobbled steps for sunset views in the evening. Annapurna South and Hiunchuli dominate the horizon while Macchupucchre resembles a fish tail. Annapurna I and Gangapurna are just visible in the distance if the weather is clear.

Gandruk is perhaps largest and most prosperous village in the Annapurna foothills region, with two interesting museums, local restaurants featuring their unique Gurung cuisine and many guest houses. Wander through Gandruk’s stone paths, returning to the Himalayan Lodge for a traditional lunch, and enjoy a rosy Himalayan sunset in the late afternoon, pure heaven!  (5 - 6 hrs) (B, L, D)

Day 5 - Trek Landruk 1565m | Bee Lodge
After enjoying a relaxing breakfast and the glorious views from the Himalaya Lodge, you start our trek to to Lhandruk, a classic Himalayan day of trekking through green, textured fields along wonderful village-lined trails ahead. Leaving the village of Ghandruk, the trail descends steeply to the banks of the Modi River. Here, you’ll be at the base of the cliffs where the famed honey hunters of Nepal climb on ropes to collect the honey. Cross a suspension bridge to the opposite banks of the Modi, from where it's about a hour’s trek up switch backs and steps to reach the village of Landruk, where you stay in Ker & Downey’s Bee Lodge. Take advantage of the 'chautara' or stone resting spots, along the way. Landruk is a hillside and sprawling Gurung village painted in pastels, worth a bit of exploration through its narrow, slate alleys. The lodge offers more wonderful views of the Annapurna range.

You will arrive in Landruk in time for lunch, and afterwards your guide will take you on a exploration hike of this mountain village. Watch the local Gurung women weaving with their wooden looms, drying vegetables to make a spicy 'achar', sorting lentils for dal or involved in the morning's washing at the village taps. (4 hrs) (B, L, D)

Day 6 - Trek Majgaun 1400m| Gurung Lodge
Wake to a misty morning of Himalayan peaks, with Machhapuchhre and Annapurna South rising majestically out of the shrouded valley, an awesome sight. Another wonderful day of trekking, starting with a gentle wander through the extensive village of Landruk, endlessly interesting. Today’s trek contours the side of the hill, with small ups and downs, passing through villages and farmland. You’ll reach Kerr & Downey's Gurung Lodge in time for lunch with optional afternoon hikes to the surrounding villages. Tribal-style houses and manicured gardens comprise Gurung Lodge on the edge of the village of Majgaun with incredible views of the surrounding mountains and valleys and wonderful photographic opportunities. Enjoy the vivid colors at sunset over the Annapurna peaks at sunset. (4 hrs) (B, L, D)

Day 7 - Trek Dhampus 1525 m| Basanta Lodge
This morning we start out trekking through the unspoiled village of Patlekhet. Our walk takes us through sub-tropical forests that include tree orchids, rhododendrons and magnolias. Along the way, we will stop at the village of Pothana where many Tibetan traders live and sell their souvenirs. Continue to climb through lovely rhododendron forests and you soon reach the small hamlet of Pothana, a possible stopping point for the night. The wonderful views continue at Deurali, with quaint, Himalayan villages opening up below us. Soon we reach Dhampus and Kerr & Downey’s Basanta Lodge, from where we’ll enjoy sweeping views of the entire Annapurna Range, including  the Phedi and Mardi Valleys. After lunch at the lodge there will be an optional walk through the old village of Dhampus. Afternoon activities include nature walks through thick forests of bamboo, conifer and rhododendron, as well as farming demonstrations on the steep hillside terraces. (3 1/2 hrs) (B, L, D)

Day 8 - Trek Ghattekhola + Drive Pokhara 830m | Himalayan Front Resort, Sarangkot
After breakfast, you'll set off on a 1 1/2 hour walk to Ghattehola, where you will transfer by vehicle to the Himalayan Front Rresort in Sarangkot, set high above Pokhara with sublime Himalayan views. We’ll arrive at Himalayan Front Resort, which features landscaped gardens, a swimming pool and stunning views of the surrounding mountains, in time for lunch.

Yoga will be scheduled for the late afternoon at 4:40 or 5pm, so you'll have a chance to wind down from the trek and enjoy the early afternoon relaxing. Hayley also might have time for a private Swedish or deep tissue massage treatment (+$ extra charge) before the yoga class! (1 1/2 hr trek, 1 hour drive) (B)

Day 9 - Pokhara | Himalayan Front Resort, Sarangkot
Morning and afternoon yoga and breathing practices (the timing will be set by Hayley) with the rest of the day free to explore Pokhara!

Options include renting a bicycle, paragliding over Phewa Lake, a hike up to Shanti Stupa, a boat trip on the lake, massage + spa treatments or some great shopping along Lakeside Rd. The Waterfront, another of the KGH's hotels, is free for swimming by the lakeside if you'd enjoy cooling down and doing a few laps by the lake. (B)

Day 10 - Fly Kathmandu
After breakfast, board the morning flight back to Kathmandu where you'll once again have an afternoon yoga session at 4:30 on the Kathmandu Guest House lawn to wind down after your wonderful trek through the lovely Annapurna foothills!

Dinner will again be optional, but we suggest meeting the group in the lobby for a last dinner at New Orleans! (B)

Day 11 - Depart
Start the morning with a walking meditation and yoga at 7:30am with Hayley, followed by breakfast in the Kathmandu Guest House garden. Transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport for your flight home. (B)

Add on our Yoga Spirit Retreat!
Daily Yoga Spirit Retreat Schedule
7:00 | Meditation as Silent Walk (30 min)
7:30 | Morning Energizing Yoga (Hatha + Vinyasa) (1.5 hrs)
9:00 | Vegetarian Breakfast
10:30 | Hike in Shivapuri Hills (on Day 3) + Meditation with Buddhist Monks (on Day 2) + Buddhist Philosophy Teachings with Buddhist Lama (on Day 3)
1:00 | Vegetarian Lunch
11:00 - 4:30 | Free Time - Optional Treatments
+ Optional Ayurvedic Treatments (+$)
+ Optional Swedish or Deep Tissue Massage by Hayley (+$)
+ Optional Private 1-to-1 Yoga Practice with Hayley (+$)
4:30 | Meditatation + Breathing (Pranamaya) in Buddhist Monastery (30 min)
5: 00 | Evening Restorative Yoga (Yin + Slow Yoga) in Buddhist Monastery (1.5 hrs)

Day 11 - Arrive Kathmandu 1340m | Park Village Resort + Spa (Budhanilkhantha)
Namaste, and welcome to Nepal! You will be met at Tribhuvan International Airport by a representative from Kamzang Journeys, so please look for a sign with your name on it. Transfer to Park Village Resort + Spa in Budhanilkhantha, 7 km north of Kathmandu in the foothills of Shivapuri National Park.

Once at Park Village and checked into your lovely room, your retreat begins with a light afternoon yoga class to rejuvenate from the flight to Nepal. Hayley, your yoga guide for the retreat, will instruct your yoga, beginning with pranamaya breathing exercises, in the beautiful Park Village gardens. We provide yoga mats, but do bring your own if you prefer.

Dinner will be at 7 pm in the hotel restaurant and will be a yoga retreat detox diet prepared especially for this retreat by the resort's chefs. (L, D)

Day 12 - Kathmandu | Park Village Resort + Spa | Meditation with Buddhist Monks
After a morning yoga session, one of the highlights of the day will be a meditation with Buddhist monks at a nearby Tibetan Buddhist monastery. The daily schedule as per the above schedule, and each day will include two yoga sessions, meditation, vegetarian meals and plenty of opportunity for ayurvedic + spa treatments, massage and extra 1-on-1 yoga with Hayley.

Hayley will lead another afternoon yoga class, again beginning with pranamaya breathing exercises, in the late afternoon. (B, L, D)

Day 13 - Kathmandu | Hike in Shivapuri Hills
Today's highlight will be a beautiful hike in the Shivapuri Hils, just north of Park Village. The retreat schedule will be as per the daily schedule, with Hayley leading both the morning and afternoon yoga sesssions. (B, L, D)

Day 14 - Kathmandu | Buddhist Philosophy Teachings with Buddhist Lama
A wonderful opportunity for some Buddhist philosophy teachings with an important Buddhist Rimpoche (Lama), and the rest of the day as per schedule, with the usual delicious detox meals! (B, L, D)

Day 15 - Trip Ends
Start the morning with a walking meditation and yoga with Hayley, followed by breakfast. You are free to stay at the hotel until your departure to the Tribhuvan International Airport. Transfer included at whatever time you need, or you can transfer somewhere else in Kathmandu if you have further adventures or travels planned! (B)

Namaste!

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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