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HIGHLIGHTS OF NEPAL

Price from
US$2,239
(per person)
Duration
10
Days
Tour Type
Tailor-made

HIGHLIGHTS

Temples and Stupas of the Kathmandu valley, Everest mountain flight, Bandipur and Gorkha hill-villages, lakeside town of Pokhara, wildlife safaris in Chitwan National Park
COUNTRIES : Nepal

Nepal is a beautiful and fascinatinig country, and this tour has been designed to give you a taste of many of the country's highlights, without featuring any strenuous trekking or white water rafting activities (these can always be added in if you wish). You'll see Hindu and Buddhist temples and stupas, explore interesting hilltop villages, see spectacular mountain views and enjoy some wildlife safaris in Chitwan National Park.

Accommodation is in a mix of heritage properties, wildlife lodges and boutique style hotels; we're not aiming for luxury, but comfortable, clean, friendly and interesting places to stay a step higher in standard to our normal group tours. The tour itself can be shortened or extended, and also combined with time in India, Tibet or Bhutan if you wish.

The tour starts in Nepal's bustling capital city, Kathmandu. First we'll take a spectacular Everest mountain viewing flight, then explore the old city on foot with a local guide, and visit the huge Buddhist Swayambunath stupa overlooking the city. Next we head to the Newari hilltop villages of Gorkha and Bandipur en-route to Pokhara.

The lakeside town of Pokhara sits at the foot of the Annapurna range of mountains, and various excursions or day walks are available here. Our next stop is Chitwan National Park, where you have plenty of time for a range of safari activities in the park, looking in particular for the endangered one horned rhino and any signs of tigers, as well as many other wildlife. The tour finishes back in the Kathmandu valley with a stay at the beautiful Dhulikhel Mountain Resort and visits to the important pilgrimage sites of Pashupatinath temple and Boudhanath stupa.

We will be happy to help with flights into Nepal if you wish, and on your arrival our local representative will greet you and transfer you to your hotel in the centre of Kathmandu. We normally use the Shanker Hotel, which is built around a former royal palace and located in large quiet gardens close to the main touristic area of Thamel.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Kathmandu hotel
  • EXTRAS:
    Extra day in Kathmandu - pre-tour, Single room supplement (NPTMHN)

You start today early with a spectacular Everest mountain flight, which lasts for about one hour and gives you a great chance to see the World's highest mountain up close. Later in the morning you'll take an easy walking tour from your hotel, finding your way through the narrow city streets to Durbar Square. Our guides change the route everytime for this tour, and it will take in various corner temples and stupas and allow you to see all kinds of tiny shops and workshops. In the impressive Durbar Square, your guide will explain some Nepalese history as you walk through the many Hindu temples and the old Royal Palace.

After a break for lunch at a rooftop restaurant, you head by car to the edge of the city and walk up to Swayambhunath Stupa. Sitting on a hill overlooking the city, you'll get great views of the Kathmandu Valley and enjoy watching the many monkeys which make this holy place their home. After returning to Kathmandu the rest of the day is free.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Kathmandu hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

This morning we make our way across the beautiful Nepalese countryside to the small hillside town of Gorkha, where you can climb up to the Gorkha Durbar perched on the top of the hill. This is a steep hours walk, rewarded by good views and an interesting exploration of the Durbar - a combination of a fort, temple and palace. We next head for the old Newari trading town of Bandipur.

Situated on a ridge with some great mountain views, Bandipur has been fairly untouched, the centre is traffic free, and many of its buildings have been protected. In the late afternoon you have an easy walk around the area surrounding the village, exploring some tiny villages and learning about the local agriculture and way of life. You spend the night here in a traditionally restored Ghaun Ghar Hotel on the main street.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Bandipur hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

You leave Bandipur late morning and drive on to Pokhara today. En route, Nepal’s largest cave, the Siddha Gufa, can also be visited (make sure you have a torch!).

In the afternoon you'll take a tour of Pokhara, visiting the Peace Pagoda for great views of the Annapurna range, nearby Devi caves and waterfalls and a visit to the Tibetan refugee camp.

You can also extend the tour here to include a short trek. The Annapurna foothills are a great place for relatively low altitude trekking, and we can arrange circular trekking routes lasting anything from 2 days to 2 or more weeks.

Your accommodation tonight is at Temple Tree Resort & Spa, a boutique hotel tha combines western standards with the distinctive architecture and culture of Nepal's Western Himalayas, and within walking distance of the main restaurants and shops.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Pokhara hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

You have a free day today to enjoy time in the beautiful lakeside town of Pokhara. There is plenty to do, and you could take the chance to walk or drive up to the view point at Sarangkot for a spectacular sunrise over the Annapurnas. Other option include a boat ride on Lake Phewa, a cycle ride exploring the town and its surroundings or perhaps just a stroll around the many souvenir shops that line the streets.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Pokhara hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

The drive to Chitwan today takes around 5 hours, and you may stop several times en-route. We can also extend this journey by adding in a 2 day/1 night white water rafting trip on the beautiful Seti River.

After arriving in Chitwan and settling into your lodge you enjoy an evening walk through the local Tharu villages to see and learn about traditional rural life here in the Terai region of Nepal.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Chitwan hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner

Your full day in Chitwan will be fairly full with activities in and around the park, but you'll still have some free time to yourselves as well, particularly in the middle of the day when wildlife viewing is not so productive.

A highlight of your park activities is a morning elephant back ride into the park in search of the rare, Indian one horned rhino. Travelling on the back of an elephant can be the best way to approach wildlife, especially rhino, as your human smell is obscured by the familiar smell of the elephants themselves. This means that the animals you search for are much more relaxed in your presence giving you better opportunities to study them.

You also take an easy open canoe ride down the Rapti River, where you have the opportunity to observe the many bird species native to Nepal. You should also see many of the 160 species of migratory birds which visit Chitwan seasonally. You may also see Gharial crocodiles sunning themselves on the riverbanks.

You will also explore and learn about the forests in a half-day jungle walk where you should see spotted deer and antelope and hopefully spot some rhino. Experienced local guides point out the various species, their habitats and behaviour, on all of your journeys into the park.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Chitwan hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning you transfer out to the main road and the airport for the short flight to Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu your first stop is at the ancient centre of Bhaktapur. You have a guided tour of the temples and stupas here, and also some free time to explore the narrow streets. Thankfully free of cars and vehicles, this is a great opportunity to study some of the valley's beautiful brick and carved wooden architecture.

Later in the afternoon, you drive out to the rim of the valley, climbing up to the small town of Dhulikhel. Here you will spend the night in the beautiful ridge top surroundings of the Dhulikhel Mountain Resort.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Dhulikhel hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

The morning is free to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of Dhulikhel before heading back towards Kathmandu where you visit two important religious pilgrimage sites. The Buddhist stupa at Boudhanath is huge, and surrounded by monasteries and strings of colourful, fluttering prayer flags. Nearby, is Pashupatinath, the most important Hindu temple in Nepal. Although non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple itself, you can see into the temple complex from the holy riverbanks where there are bathing and cremation ghats. From here we drive you back to your hotel in Kathmandu.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Kathmandu hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

Your time is free today until we pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight home.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    N/A
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast
  • EXTRAS:
    Bardia National Park Extension, Trisuli white water rafting, Extra day in Kathmandu - post-tour
Included:
  • All accommodation as stated in the itinerary
  • All transport in private AC vehicles with a local driver
  • All transfers, including 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Internal flights between Chitwan and Kathmandu
  • Services of a local escort throughout the tour
  • Specialist city guides and wildlife safari guides as detailed in the itinerary
  • Entrance Fees to sites visited
  • All national park entry and activity fees
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

Excluded:
  • International Flights in and out of Nepal (available on request)
  • Nepal visa fee (available on arrival for most nationalities)
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory, available on request)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Drinks, snacks, tips and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Any other items not mentioned above
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we use most often on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.
shankar-hotel-kathmandu.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Shanker Hotel
Kathmandu, Nepal

Superior guest accommodation located within a former palace, just a few minutes walk from the popular Thamel area of the city. The hotel offers an outdoor swimming pool and spa.


Note: The following information is provided from our own visits & research, the hotel itself, and our clients' experience of using the hotel. 

Introduction:

The Hotel Shanker is a 100 year old palace which was built by a Nepali Maharaja and it is said that the Queen of Nepal and her late sisters were born here. The palace was converted to a hotel in 1964 and it still retains much of the character and features of the original building, including intricate wood carvings and ornate moulded ceilings in rooms and public areas. The hotel gives you the feeling of stepping back in time but still has all the facilities of a modern hotel.

The hotel offers a high level of service and this along with the location and historic atmosphere of the hotel make it our first choice for stays in Kathmandu on many of our group tours.

Location:

The hotel is set at the end of a long private drive amid beautifully landscaped gardens right in the centre of Kathmandu. The present Royal Palace is close by and the main tourist sites of Kathmandu are within easy reach. It is only a ten minute walk or short rickshaw ride to Thamel with its many restaurants, bars and shops and Kathmandu International airport is only 8 kilometres (20-30 minute drive) away.

Accommodation:

The hotel has 94 rooms and 10 suites located on two floors. There are various different types of rooms available, some which are split level, some with wood carvings and others featuring arched windows. The suites are very spacious and have a king sized bed and separate sitting area. All the rooms are comfortably furnished with twin or double beds and have their own en-suite bathroom with bath tub and shower. The rooms, although a little dated are still well equipped with air conditioning/heating, TV, telephone, mini-fridge and electrical sockets.

Bars & Restaurants:

The Kailash restaurant is the main restaurant in the hotel and serves buffet style breakfast, lunch and dinner. An a la carte menu is also available for dinner with a wide choice of international dishes from traditional Nepali, Indian to Chinese. The restaurant is located downstairs in what was once one of the palace's main banquet halls. It still has the original crystal chandeliers, mirrors and ornate pillars and ceilings of the original hall and this gives a unique dining experience. The Cosy Kailash is a smaller restaurant which again is located downstairs and offers a more intimate dining atmosphere. This restaurant is sometimes used for breakfast and dinner at quieter times of the year.

There are two bars in the hotel the Kunti Bar and the One Eyed Bar. The Kunti bar is located at the end of the lobby area and is decorated in tradional Nepali style with lots of intricately carved wooden beams, pillars and windows. The One Eyed Bar is located on the first floor at the top of a curved staircase leading from the lobby and is a larger more modern bar with views over the gardens and pool. Both bars serve a range of beers, spirits and wine.

The pool bar serves drinks and refreshments throughout the day and early evening and there are tables set amidst the gardens where you enjoy a cold drink at the end of the day.

Facilities & Services:

The hotel has a medium sized outdoor pool which is located in the gardens of the hotel. There are sun loungers available along with a poolside bar offering drinks and refreshments. The gardens and lawns are one of the main features of the hotel and are the perfect place to relax after a days sightseeing or shopping. There are two shops within the hotel selling gifts and souvenirs.

Other services include:

  • 24 hour room service
  • Daily Laundry service
  • Business/conference rooms
  • Gift shops
  • Foreign Exchange
  • Internet Access
  • Safety deposit boxes
  • Luggage store
gaun-ghar-bandipur.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Gaun Ghar Hotel
Bandipur, Nepal

The Gaun Ghar is an old Newari traditional house that has been beautifully renovated into a comfortable hotel that is situated on the main street in Bandipur.


Offering breathtaking mountain views, Gaun Ghar Hotel is situated in the beautiful town of Bandipur, which lies 4,594 feet above a small hill. It offers simple accommodation in conserved traditional houses.

This heritage hotel features traditional Newari architecture. Gaun Ghar (which means village house) offers rooms with overlooking the mountain range and town. It also comes with an attached bathroom.

Gaun Ghar Hotel offers a cafe and restaurant overlooking Bandipur. It serves local and western dishes.

temple-tree-resort-pokhara.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Temple Tree Resort
Pokhara, Nepal


Featuring traditional Western Himalayan architecture, the boutique Temple Tree Resort & Spa enjoys beautiful views of the Annapurna Mountain Range. Boasting fresh air and warm temperatures, it also has an outdoor pool and free Wi-Fi.

Housed in double-storey cottages with wooden pillars and hand-cut stone walls, rooms feature a private balcony with garden views. A flat-screen TV, tea/coffee making facilities and an attached bathroom with hot-water showers are included.

Temple Tree Resort & Spa is located in Gaurighat in central Lakeside. It is 150 yards from Fewa Lake and 1.9 miles from Pokhara Airport.

The Spa features relaxing body massage and flower baths, while the outdoor infinity pool also includes a spa pool area. There is also a business centre and tour desk available for guests' convenience.

Extending into the landscaped gardens, The Bay Leaf Restaurant serves international cuisine. Drinks and light meals can be enjoyed at The Tree House cafe and The Island Bar.

temple-tige-green-lodge-chitwan.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Temple Tiger Green Lodge
Chitwan, Nepal

Temple Tiger Green Resort will feature 25 single and double air conditioned villas each with its own private balcony overlooking the Chitwan National Park.


Offering buffet restaurant, Temple TIger Green Jungle Resort is located in Chitwan. Free WiFi access is available in this resort. The accommodation will provide you with air conditioning and a balcony. Featuring a shower, private bathroom also comes with a hairdryer and free toiletries. You can enjoy garden view from the room. Extras include bed linen, ironing facilities and a fan.

At Temple TIger Green Jungle Resort you will find a garden, barbecue facilities and a bar. Other facilities offered at the property include meeting facilities, a ticket service and a tour desk. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including hiking and canoeing.

dhulikhel-mountain-resort.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Dhulikhel Mountain Resort
Dhulikhel, Nepal

Hilltop mountain resort with bungalows set in beautiful landscaped gardens with views of the Himalayas. It features an on-site restaurant with outdoor seating, serving Indian, Chinese and Nepali dishes.


Situated on 20 acres of landscaped gardens, Dhulikhel Mountain Resort offers panoramic views of the Himalayas. It features spacious cottages and an on-site restaurant with outdoor seating, serving Indian, Chinese and Nepali dishes. A range of outdoor activities from hiking and day trips can also be organised.

Just 2.5 miles from Dhulikhel, this resort features red-brick cottages with thatched roofs and carpeted flooring. They have beautiful views of the mountain and come equipped with an electric kettle, wardrobe and seating area. The en suite bathroom has shower facilities.

Guests can enjoy hiking and exploring terraced rice fields, valleys and villages. For those looking for an adventure, whitewater rafting and bungy jumping can be organised. Dhulikhel Mountain Resort also features a traditional Nepali dance showcase.

Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination you're visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.

All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.

Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.

Single room supplement (NPTMHN)
Price from
US$769
per person



Single room supplement (NPTMHN)
Min numbers: 1 person

This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Room shares are not available on this tour, so if you are single traveller then you will need to add this option to your booking.


This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Room shares are not available on this tour, so if you are single traveller then you will need to add this option to your booking.

Note: The price shown is a low season price. Slightly higher prices may apply during high and peak seasons - the exact price for your dates will be shown on the online booking form and is always available on request.

Extra day in Kathmandu - pre-tour
Price from
US$39
per person



Extra day in Kathmandu - pre-tour
Min numbers: 1 person

This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.


This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Extra day in Kathmandu - post-tour
Price from
US$39
per person



Extra day in Kathmandu - post-tour
Min numbers: 1 person

This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.


This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Bardia National Park Extension
Price from
US$764
per person



Bardia National Park Extension
Min numbers: 1 person

4-day/3-night package to Bardia National Park, one of Nepal's best national parks and perhaps the best place in Nepal to catch a glimpse of the elusive Bengal tiger. Includes return flights, accommodation, meals and park activities.


Day 1
pm - Arrive in the lodge sometime today. In the afternoon discover Tharu life and culture with a guided walk from the lodge through neighbouring villages and farmland.
Meals - Dinner

Day 2
am & pm - Full day guided Jungle Walk taking in various areas in the park and targeting different species. Packed lunch included.
Meals - Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 3
am - Morning 1-hour Elephant Safari into the park. pm - Guided Jeep Safari, visiting areas of the park you didn't reach during the jungle walk.
Meals - Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 4
am - Early morning bird watching walk outside the park followed by free time to relax or explore the surrounding village. pm - Departure from Bardia. Various transfer options available.
Meals - Breakfast

Includes:

  • Return flights between Kathmandu and Nepalganj
  • Airport/hotel transfers in Kathmandu
  • Nepalganj-Bardia transfers
  • 3 nights accom
  • All meals
  • All park activities

Note: Prices are based on a minimum of 2 people

Trisuli white water rafting
Price from
US$64
per person



Trisuli white water rafting
Min numbers: 1 person

This option provides an exciting day of white water rafting on the Trisuli river and takes place on Day 3 of the tour (en-route from Kathmandu to Chitwan National Park).


This option provides an exciting day of white water rafting on the Trisuli river and takes place on the day featuring your travel from Kathmandu to Chitwan National Park. You'll start with some initial skills training and practice manoevering the boat as a team with your rafting guides. Then it is on to some exciting rapids as you head further downstream - around 4 hours rafting in total. The section of the Trisuli we will take is a pool drop river with some great rapids with long flat sections inbetween. The larger rapids are grade III-IV for most of the year, but more extreme (IV+) during the monsoon months of June to September). No previous experience is necessary, but during the monsoon season we'll choose a section of river appropriate to your experience and the current river conditions. All rafting equipment is included (life jackets, helmets, paddles, wetsuits (winter months) camera barrels & dry bags, first aid kit, safety kayaker). Lunch is included on the banks of the river, and after finishing the rafting you'll be transferred on to Chitwan (approx. 1 hour) to rejoin the rest of the group.

highlights-nepal-map.jpg
Highlights of Nepal tour notes

The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.

This tour uses a range of different styles of hotel, suited to the location and amount of time you're staying. We're aiming for interesting, characterful places to stay with friendly and helpful staff and in good locations. These aren't luxury hotels, but they are some of the best mid-range options available. The hotels listed on the Accommodation section on our website are our preferred properties, but may change from time to time subject to availability and levels of service we're receiving. As a private & tailor-made tour, we can also change as many or as few of these as you wish to suit your preferences and budget.

In Kathmandu and Pokhara we use boutique or heritage style hotels where possible. These can be considered at around the 3-4 star level. In Bandipur we stay in rennovated guesthouses or small hotels that are packed full of local flavour and interest to match the town around them. The lodges used in Chitwan National Park are on the outskirts of the park itself, with lush greenery around them and confortable rooms. Finally, in Dhulikhel we stay in a resort on the edge of the town surrounded by flowering gardens and with great mountain views.

The tour includes a 24-hour airport meet & assist service in Kathmandu airport, your arrival and departure airport-hotel transfers and all other transfers.
We use private, air-conditioned vehicles for all your sightseeing tours and journeys throughout the tour. These include jeep style vehicles for small numbers, minivans for families or mid-sized parties, and minibuses for larger groups. A variety of transport including open jeeps, elephants & canoes is used during your stay in Chitwan National Park.

As a private, tailor-made tour you may book this trip as an individual, couple, family, or as a group. We will customise the price based on the final number in your party.

An English-speaking Nepalese tour leader will accompany you throughout the tour, along with your driver who will normally speak a little, but not much English. Separate specialist guides are then used for the city sightseeing tours in Kathmandu, and for the wildlife safaris in Chitwan.

At Encounters Travel we only use local Nepali guides and reps. We feel this gives you the best experience of the country and the sites you are seeing. We support and follow international guidelines for the employment of any trekking porters we use, including those of the IPPG (International Porter Protection Group).

This tour can be run all year round, with start dates available any day of the week. The weather and climate in Nepal does change significantly during the year, and this has an impact both on the cost of accommodation and transport, and on some of the activities included in the tour itself.

Spring - March to May
This is a good time to visit, with warm weather throughout the country, gradually increasing until it feels pretty hot in the lowland Terai region in May. Moutain views are generally good, though it can get hazy and foggy later in the season. Wildlife viewing is at its best, as the national parks have normally completed their annual elephant grass cut by this time, water holes are drying up, and the wildlife is easier to locate and spot. Many flowers will blossom during this season, with Nepal's national flower, the rhododendron filling hillsides with colour.

Summer - June to August
The heat and humidity builds up through June until the monsoon rains start in earnest. It will rain most, if not every day in July and August, with evening thunderstorms common, but clear weather inbetween the showers, particularly in the mornings when mountain views can still be good. This is an interesting time to visit, with lower tourist numbers, cheaper prices, and lush green vegetation. Many Nepalis return to their family farms in the countryside during the summer as this is a busy time in the fields and terraces. Some activities in the national parks are not available during the monsoon, depending on the ground conditions at the time. We may therefore exchange or adjust the planned activities accordingly. This season also corresponds with peak season and the best weather in Tibet.

Autumn - September to November
This is peak tourist season in Nepal, particularly for trekking, with corresponding higher prices and fuller hotels (we recommend booking early if you want to visit during this season as the popular hotels can fill up well in advance). The end of the monsoon rains may drag on into September or even October in some years, but generally the weather is good and warm with clear mountain views. The main Hindu festivals of Dashain, followed by Tihar, fall during the autumn.

Winter - December to February
This is a good time to visit, with lower visitor numbers and cheaper hotel rates. Temparatures are lower and it will feel cool during the day and at night, though warm in the sunshine. Occasional snow falls at mid to higher altitudes, making views of the foothills of the mountains especially beautiful. This season is great for lower level trekking, with quieter trails and good walking weather, though come prepared for some snow. Some higher routes may be inaccessible. This tour does not reach any great altitude, so there is little risk of snow where you'll be travelling.

All your entry fees and permits are included in the price of the tour. These cover sites visited during your sightseeing tours, as well as permits and activity fees in the National Parks.  In Chitwan, the price covers one of each of the following: Jungle Walk, Village Walk, River canoe trip, Elephant Ride or Jeep Safari (jeep safaris may not be available during the monsoon season and that event would be exchanged for a different activity).

You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation.

Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination. You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions. In addition, additional courses or boosters normally recommended for the countries in this region are:

Nepal: Additional vaccinations: Diptheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Bhutan: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.

Malaria: Vaccinations are not available against Malaria, which is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes that can be very serious and sometimes fatal. You should avoid mosquito bites by covering up bare skin with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers and applying insect repellents to exposed skin. When necessary, sleep under a mosquito net. Mosquitoes are most active during and after sunset. You should consult with your GP/medical practitioner/travel clinic about the most appropriate malaria prophylactic medication to take for the regions you are visiting. In general the lowland regions Bhutan are considered malarial zones, while higher altitudes including central Bhutan including Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and Bumthang are not. Nepal is considered mainly low risk with prophylactics not normally required.

Yellow Fever: This disease is spread by infected mosquitoes that bite during the day. A Yellow Fever Certificate of vacinnation may be required as a condition of entry depending on which country you are arriving from, or that you have travelled or transitted through recently (including connecting flights with stopovers of over 12 hours). You can view a World Health Organisation map of areas where the virus is present in monkeys and therefore a potential risk to humans. Please ensure you have this certificate with you and to hand if necessary. Please inform us of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma and any prescription medicine you may be taking. We also need to know about any food allergies or physical disabilities that you may have.

Luggage: Whatever you’re doing in Nepal, Tibet or Bhutan, you’ll find that large rigid wheeled suitcases are cumbersome - you may be able to wheel them inside the airport and your hotel, but due to the condition of roads and pavements that’s often about it. As many of our tours involve a degree of adventurous activity, we strongly advise you to bring a more practical bag for these i.e. a rucksack or holdall. These are easier for both your porters, and yourself to carry around. Suitcases are OK for our cultural tours in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan though, but please aim to bring small or medium sized ones rather than very large. If you are trekking or rafting, or doing a lot of travel throughout the country, then as little as possible is the basic message. A rucksack or holdall (50-70 liter approx.) for your main luggage, and a daypack for you to use during the day should be plenty. While rafting we only take essential kit on board the rafts, and your main luggage will travel by bus to the take-out point. While trekking your porters (Nepal) or ponies (Bhutan) will carry your main luggage, leaving you with just a daypack with things you'll need during the day. You can also leave some luggage locked safely in the pre-trek hotel if you wish. We recommend that couples plan to leave one main bag behind, and pool their remaining luggage in their other bag for the porter to carry.

Luggage limits: Most international airlines allow 20-23kg per person of hold luggage. Domestic flights often have smaller allowances around 15kg. As airline rules vary we recommend that you take no more than 20kg of luggage if your tour just includes international flights, and no more than 15kg if there are any domestic flights included in your itinerary. Please ask us for details if you are unsure. Any excess baggage fees will be your responsibility to cover. Most airlines allow between 5kg and 10kg for hand luggage so we suggest that you take no more than 5kg unless you have confirmed that your airline(s) will allow more than this.

If you are trekking with us, we ask that you keep the weight of your main bag that the porter will carry to a maximum of 12.5kg. This then allows the porter to carry up to 2 bags, and a maximum of 25kg (the International Porter Protection group's advised limit for Nepal is 30kg, which then leaves a little more weight for their own kit). This weight allowance includes your sleeping bag if you are hiring it from us and not carrying it with you to Nepal
If you are doing an Everest trek and flying from Kathmandu to Lukla, then flight luggage limits are 10kg for your main bag and 5kg for hand luggage – total 15kg. You can re-arrange that after you arrive in Lukla. Please keep to these limits as while you can pay for extra weight, it may be held back until the next flight which may then be delayed or cancelled.
Treks in Bhutan follow the same weight limits for your ponies.
You may leave other luggage securely locked in your hotel during the trek. If you are travelling as a couple then we suggest you leave one main bag in Kathmandu and share the other main bag that the porter will then carry.

Clothing & Climate: Nepal and Bhutan have a climate that ranges widely depending on when you visit, and where you are visiting.
- Autumn – late Sep-Nov: The weather is good and very warm, with lots of sunshine, getting quite hot during the day in lowland regions. It will still be cold at night at higher altitudes if you are trekking. Shorts & T-shirts are fine while you are walking, but you should still bring warmer clothes for the evenings. There is a good chance of rain in September and early October, so bring a waterproof.
- Winter – Dec-Feb: It will be pleasant in lowland regions with very little rain, but will be cooler at night. Long trousers and shirts are advised during the day, and you will need warm clothes in the evenings. If you are trekking, then it will be cold during the day, and extremely cold at night, particularly at higher altitudes. Several warm layers are recommended so you can regulate your comfort as you walk, including a waterproof, even if only to protect from cold winds. We include thick down jackets in our optional trekking packs for comfort in the evenings at higher altitudes.
- Spring – Mar-May: The weather is very pleasant during the spring, and again shorts & t-shirts are fine while you are walking. There is a higher chance of rain as the season progresses, so a thin waterproof is recommended in case. It gets very hot and humid in the lowlands from May onwards.
- Monsoon – Jun-mid Sep: It will be hot and sticky during these months, with lots of rain, so come prepared accordingly if you are visiting during these months - gaiters are highly recommended if you are trekking to keep out leeches.

A huge variety of cheap trekking gear is available in Kathmandu (fleeces, waterproofs etc.) and buying some here can save you carrying it with you, and support the local economy. However, you should definitely bring your own walking boots.

Modesty rates highly in Nepal and Bhutan especially for women, so please ensure all clothes are loose fitting and not too revealing. You'll find the Bhutanese dress fairly smartly or in national dress, so you will stand out even more if you look scruffy.

Whilst rafting:

On the raft: Shorts, Tevas (sandals) or trainers, baseball style cap to keep the sun off your face, sunglasses with a strap to keep them on your head, swimwear, sarong for women, sun-cream, lip balm, water bottle, several t-shirts.
Note: All footwear on a raft should be rubber soled, and of the type that will not come off easily.
Off the raft:
Long trousers, warm sleeping bag (provided, but you may want to bring a sheet sleeping bag as well), petzel type head torch, warm jacket/fleece, dry shoes, boots, warm socks, towel, warm long sleeved shirt, toiletries.
Cameras: You can take cameras on the raft, and we endeavour to keep that sort of kit dry in waterproof bags. But there is always an element of risk of getting the camera wet.
What you shouldn’t take on the raft: All the rest of your kit and you’re your valuables. We will make arrangements for their transport to your take-out point.

Whilst trekking:

Suggested Clothing and equipment: Strong hiking boots or walking shoes that you have broken in; Good sized rucksack or holdall; 3 to 4-season sleeping bag (only if you want to use your own rather than the one provided in our optional trekking pack); silk or cotton sleeping bag liner; lightweight waterproof and windproof jacket; (waterproof gaiters, waterproof over trousers – these are only necessary on some treks in some seasons – contact us for further info if required); 3 or 4 t-shirts; small day pack; several pairs of light socks; 2 pairs of heavier woollen socks; underwear including thermals; warm hat and gloves; swimwear; pair of lightweight trousers; pair of shorts; 1 fleece or warm jumper and 1 sweatshirt. Also, sunglasses, torch and batteries, toiletries (include a lighter to burn toilet paper), bring biodegradable shampoo & soap, towel, blister kit, money belt and any personal medication you might require. Remember, Lots of layers are the key to staying warm and comfortable. Also, keeping your feet comfortable and healthy makes a huge difference to how you enjoy your trek. So, bring waterproof boots/walking shoes and plenty of pairs of socks so you can change them regularly.
Day Packs and Main luggage: You will want a sturdy and comfortable daypack to carry your day-to-day items with you while you are walking (clothes you may change in and out of regularly, drinks, snacks, camera). You will also need a sturdy holdall or backpack for your main luggage. Your porters or ponies will carry this for you, so suitcases are not appropriate. They may leave earlier than you, and may not walk with you throughout the entire day, so bear in mind that you won’t have access to this luggage all the time - you need to ensure you are carrying everything you require during the days walk in your daypack. You can leave luggage behind in storage at your hotel so you don't need to take everything with you on the trek.

Whilst in the game parks:

You should bring long trousers and long-sleeved shirts for jungle walks and travel within the park. Please ensure these are of drab colours to avoid drawing attention. Sunglasses and sun-hats are advisable for hot and bright days. Mosquito repellent is highly recommended. Binoculars are extremely useful at any of Nepal’s National Parks, and are not generally available for hire locally. Don’t forget fast film for those jungle shots and moving animals/birds. A good cleaning kit is essential as these items are unavailable once at the park. It is also better to take quality film, either from home or Kathmandu into the parks, and to ensure you have a spare fully charged battery and memory card.

All tours: We recommend that you bring a sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, a basic first aid kit, toiletries, money belt, small torch, camera & charger.

Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities.

Many nationals can obtain their Nepalese visa in Kathmandu airport upon arrival (including UK, EU, US, CA, AU, NZ, SA citizens). The costs for a multiple entry visa are currently:
- up to 15 days - US$ 25
- 16 to 30 days - US$ 40
- 31 to 90 days - US$ 100

The visa is obtained in the immigration area at the point where your passport is stamped. Forms to fill in are available in this immigration hall and may also be given out on your flight (if so, do fill them in before you land as it will reduce your queuing time). You will also need to fill in an arrivals card. Once your paperwork is completed, head to the immigration desk and hand over your forms, 2 passport photos, visa fee and passport. The visa fees are set in US Dollars, but you can also pay in other currencies, but don’t rely on getting given change.

Passport Photos: You will need two passport photos for your Nepal visa if you are obtaining it on arrival. If you are doing any trekking, rafting or visiting a National Park (i.e. nearly all of our tours), you must bring with you several passport photos, as some of the permits we need to get require these. Please bring at least 4 passport photos with you – they will always come in useful later if you don’t need them all.

The local currency in Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NRs). There are a banks and several ATMs in Kathmandu where you can use a debit/credit card to withdraw cash (Visa, Mastercard), but these are not generally available out of Kathmandu or Pokhara. There are numerous money change shops in the main towns. Travellers cheques can be changed in some banks in Kathmandu and Pokhara, but not elsewhere.
You should ensure you have all the Nepalese rupees you think you will need before you leave for any trekking or visiting any more remote areas (including Bardia National Park). Try to obtain as many small denomination notes as possible, as higher value notes can be very hard to change in remote areas. You can pay with US Dollars cash in some places but should not rely on this.
Sockets are mainly two round pronged and 230 volts (Type C,D,M). Universal adaptors are available in most airport shops if you don’t have one already. Standard European adapters will work fine, though sometimes they may feel a little loose in the sockets. All hotel rooms have electrical sockets where you can re-charge cameras, phones etc. Hair dryers are sometimes available on request from the hotel reception if not in your room already but cannot be guaranteed.
If you have US appliances (110 volts) you will need a voltage converter as well as a plug adapter.

The time in India is GMT plus 5 1/2 hours.

The time in Nepal is GMT plus 5 3/4 hours.

The time in Bhutan is GMT plus 6 hours.

The time in Tibet is GMT plus 8 hours.

Daylight saving adjustments are not applied.

If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You can pay your deposit or full balance online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer. We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.

We want to give you as much flexibility as possible when it comes to booking your holiday with us. So, to take account of people with varying travel plans, we don’t include your international flights in the main tour price. We are however very happy to book your flights for you, and our ATOL (UK flight sales license) covers all holidays booked together with a flight from the UK.

Please contact us with your preferred dates and departure airport and we’ll give you a selection of airlines, times and fares to choose from. Your airport arrival & departure transfers are included on the first and last days of the tour whether you book your flights independently or through us. Most of our Nepal tours start and finish at Kathmandu airport (KTM).

We are a UK registered company and an ABTA Member (Y4447) and you can be confident when booking with us that your money is safe and protected.
If you book a flight departing from the UK from us with your tour, or if you live in the UK and your tour includes domestic flights, then your entire package is ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 10467.
Additional financial protection is also provided through International Passenger Protection for passengers not booking flights.
Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.

It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.

  • Don’t prejudge: Things in different countries will almost certainly be different. That doesn’t make them worse or inferior, just different.
  • Communicate: Don’t expect locals to speak your language. Take the trouble to learn a few words or phrases of the local language. Don’t worry about sounding silly. Most locals are patient and accommodating and appreciate you making the effort to communicate in their language.
  • Conserve energy: Be careful not to waste valuable resources. Use local resources sparingly. Switch off lights, air-conditioning and fans when you leave the hotel room and don’t waste water. Remove superfluous packaging. Many countries have far less efficient waste disposal systems than ours. Remove packaging from newly acquired items before leaving home.
  • Don’t litter: No matter how untidy or dirty the country you’re travelling in may look to you, avoid littering, as there is no need to add to the environment's stress. Many of the countries we visit have a tough challenge dealing with rubbish and waste. Please consider taking home as much plastic waste as you can (e.g. water bottles).
  • Choose environmentally friendly products: By using environmentally friendly (bio degradable) sun creams, shampoos and detergents you can help reduce pollution.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: As you are a guest in these countries, you should also comply with the local customs. If you are friendly and well mannered, the locals will reciprocate and it will only enhance your experience. It’s important to follow dress and behaviour guidelines especially when visiting religious or sacred sites (your tour leader will advise you how best to do this).
  • If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the tour and Encounters Travel shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. No refund will be given for any unused services.

All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...

You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK  to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.

Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.

If you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally, or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.

IMPORTANT:  We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour.  If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.

You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
www.facebook.com/encounterstravel
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')

It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.

General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.

You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.

Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Know Before you Go' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.

'Know Before you Go' campaign

Highlights of Nepal dates & prices

Seasonal prices for this tour are given below. We can also customise the itinerary to fit your personal requirements. Please contact us for details and prices.
Season Start Date Season End Date Price (P/P) Offer Price Note
12 Dec, 2016 14 Feb, 2017 US$2239 - - Book now
15 Feb, 2017 31 May, 2017 US$2399 - - Book now
01 Jun, 2017 20 Sep, 2017 US$2319 - - Book now
21 Sep, 2017 30 Nov, 2017 US$2399 - - Book now
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NEPAL Reviews
Service

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Posted Oct 09, 2016
Service rating : good agent and booking system, price reasonable.

Product : all Nepal people were great, would love to go again
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Posted Sep 16, 2016
This is our first travel through Encounters Travel and so far the arrangement is working very well. Our travel is not until April 2017 so I am more than hopeful all will continue to run as smoothly as it has so far.
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Posted Aug 14, 2015
Service rating : Friendly, helpful, professional, efficient

Product : Excellently designed tour beautifully delivered
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Posted Aug 13, 2014
Service rating : Everyone that was involved on the tour was very professional and knowledgable and made sure I was content the whole time.

Product : Nepal on a shoestring is your basic tour in Nepal. I was expecting a more adventurous tour but I did get to see some truly incredible things. the mountains,valleys,waterfalls and endless fields of rice were truly magnificent. Nepal is an amazing place with amazing people.
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Posted Aug 12, 2014
Excellent guide in Govinda. First class
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Posted Aug 11, 2014
Service rating : The trip was according to the plan, Ant was very helpful as always.

Product : The local guide and driver was very friendly and informative. The only problem was that some hotels were in a bad condition, especially the one in Bandibur Nepal.
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Posted May 27, 2014
Service rating : The Encounters team were really helpful in answering my queries (of which I had many). At my request, they also booked my flights for me. They also made alternative arrangements as one part of the trip was not suitable for me. I cannot thank them enough for all their help and advice, and would happily recommend them, especially for their small group holidays. This is not the first small group tour I have done with them, and it certainly won't be the last.

Product : I was really impressed with my guide, Deepak, who was very knowledgable and managed to answer all my questions no matter how obscure they were! He also interpreted for me when I wanted to ask local people questions, which was wonderful. I gained a really good insight into the country, it's people, and it's history. The tour covered several areas of Nepal, each part very different, and every day was an amazing experience. Nepal is an extraordinary country, and I would thoroughly recommend this trip. The only down side is when you have to leave it to come home.
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Posted May 23, 2014
Service rating : I feel like there was three layers to this trip, Responsible travel, then encounters and then the contract with the Nepali travel company. For a first trip this was ok because I had never been there, but honestly in the future I would book directly with a company in Nepal, keeping the money there as I wonder how much was actually contributing to the Nepali people. No real problems with Encounters though.

Product : My guide did not speak great English and really didn't do much more than guide me through the hike....he didn't explain much unless I asked and he spent most of the time talking in Nepalese to the porter, who did not speak any English. It was at times lonely. Also, when I compare what other guides did and how involved they were with their groups it was hard not to notice how mine were inexperienced. They were kind, just rather uncommunicative is all.
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Posted May 23, 2014
Service rating : They organized it well. And were very responsive to our inquiries

Product : Fun trip, organized well
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Posted Mar 15, 2014
Service rating :

Product : The tour well and truly exceeded our expectations. Credit definitely needs to be given to Prakesh, our guide, who was very knowledgable, funny and a pleasure to spend two weeks with.



Ishwor, our porter, was also great!



We had the time of our lives :-)
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Posted Feb 14, 2014
Service rating : Although the personnel and the personal contact were "all good," quite a few things got mixed up enroute. It all worked out in the end, but at times there were a few questions about whether it would all be fine. Perhaps that's due to the circumstances of time and place (which are essentially another world), and the attempt to bridge cultures.

Product : Overall very good, but at times a bit haphazard. The enthusiasm level of the group participants varied widely, by person and over time, in part for that reason. Some explanations of what was going on would at times have been helpful, despite it all working out okay.
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Posted Feb 13, 2014
Service rating : Everything was easily arranged and the consultant was fantastic

Product : Absolutely amazing. Our guide and his team were fantastic and I would definitely recommend trekking with them.
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