Our trip to Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan was the perfect choice of countries with dramatically different experiences. The 74-year-old head monk informed us we were the first foreigners he had ever met or to enter the monastery.
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Kathmandu Culture Trail to the Heights of Jomsom

Trekking in Nepal still proves to be the most popular way for visitors to experience the incredible Himalayan scenery – but sometimes too much time spent on your feet can be overwhelming (particularly at altitudes pushing 12,000 feet). This nine-day itinerary finds the perfect balance between trekking, sightseeing, and road trips, taking you from Kathmandu, to Pokhara, Jomsom and back again. After touching down, get to know the capital with a day of sightseeing, then fly to Pokhara – Nepal’s second largest city – for a dose of adventure as you explore caves, cross dramatic mountainside lakes and temple hop. A second flight takes you to Jomsom, which you’ll use as a base for trekking and road expeditions to the Himalayan villages of Marpha, Thini and Jharkot. Arrive back in Kathmandu via another sightseeing trip in Pokhara nine eventful days after first setting out. 

Highlights   Pricing
  • Get to know the capital, Kathmandu, with a sightseeing tour of all the must-see temples and monuments
  • Explore caves, cross dramatic mountainside lakes and go temple-hopping in Pokhara
  • Trek to the remote Himalayan villages of Marpha and Thini, using the town of Jomsom as a base
  • Drive to the medieval-like village of Jharkot along the way to the pilgrimage site of Muktinath, 12,000 feet above sea level
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Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1

After a memorable arrival at Kathmandu’s dramatic airport – surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas in every direction – meet with a tour representative who is on hand to help with visa formalities. Next, transfer to your hotel in the capital before getting debriefed on the tour’s itinerary. Spend the rest of the day relaxing at the hotel or checking out your new surroundings at your own leisure.

Day 2

Wake up in time for breakfast at the hotel, heading out in the morning for sightseeing trips around Kathmandu city, Swayambhunath, and Patan. Around the capital, your guide shows you the famous Durbar Square – home to several of the city’s key temples, monuments, palaces, and courtyards. Venturing just outside of town, admire the brilliant 2,000-year-old ‘Swayambhunath’ Buddhist stupa, as well as another stunning historical square three miles away at Patan, which holds dozens of Buddhist and Hindu temples – the highlight being a three-storey 12th-century monastery overlooking the hills.

Day 3

Depart Kathmandu on the morning of this third day, making the short hop over the mountains to Pokhara with a 25-minute flight. After checking-in, the rest of the day is packed full of sightseeing opportunities around this majestic region; browse the stalls at the town’s old bazaar, explore the highly sacred ‘Bindabasini’ temple, take a boat ride across the dramatic Fewa Lake in the foothills of Mount Annapurna and go adventure seeking at the mysterious Gupteshwar Cave – a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus from all across Asia. Head back to the hotel in Pokhara for dinner and a well-earned rest.

Day 4

At nearly 10,000 meters above sea level, the tiny Himalayan town of Jomsom is the highest place you’ll be sleeping at during this nine-day tour. There’s only one real way to get in, by taking a short 20-minute flight over the mountains from Pokhara. Once arrived, a representative is on hand to meet you and take you for lunch. In the afternoon, set out on a two-hour hike to Marpha, an incredibly remote Thakali village famous for its quaint paved streets, central monastery, and an apple orchard. Retrace your steps back to Pokhara in time for nightfall.

Day 5
Jomsom (Kagbeni Village tour)

Take a seven-mile drive out of Jomsom to Kagbeni, a pretty little riverside village that looks as though it hasn’t seen change in centuries. Mud-built houses are packed in tightly along dark, tunnel-like lanes, while an imposing pale yellow-colored fort towers above the city. There’s chance for a quick village tour, saying 'hello' to the friendly locals – many of whom still dress in traditional Tibetan clothes – along the way. Head back to Jomsom later for free time in the afternoon and an overnight stay.

Day 6
Jomsom (trekking)

More trekking awaits on this seventh day, again using the small town of Jomsom as a base. In the morning, head out on a scenic 3-mile route to the ancient village of Thini, with a stop off at the stunning turquoise water of Dhumba Lake along the way back. Nestled in the foothills of Mount Nilgiri, legend has it that the water here once turned red; after a long religious ceremony, the water slowly turned back to its natural turquoise color, thus making this a hugely sacred site. Head back to Jomsom for the night later on.

Day 7
Jomsom (trip to Muktinath)

A trek today takes you to the highest altitudes of the entire Himalayan tour, reaching the remote settlement of Muktinath at just over 12,000 feet. Begin the day with a drive out of Jomsom to Jharkot, admiring the impressive fort and perhaps sampling a fresh peach from the village’s very own orchard. Across the valley, you can also make out the ruins of Dzong, the ancient capital of this region. Continue on to Muktinath, an important pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhist and home to a stunning pagoda enshrouded by the mountainscape. Complete the loop back to Jomsom later in the afternoon for overnight at your resort.

Day 8
Kathmandu via Pokhara

Catch the short flight back to Pokhara after breakfast, arriving back in the city with plenty of time left some more sightseeing on this penultimate day. Your guide takes you on to see the gorgeous 1,600-year-old temple at Pashupatinath, as well as the world-famous Boudhanath monument – one of the largest of its type in the whole country. Another flight takes you back to Kathmandu, ready to depart Nepal the following day.

Day 9

Have breakfast at your hotel in Kathmandu before packing your bags and checking out. A representative is on hand to show you on to the international airport where you’ll catch a flight to your next destination of choice.


Suggested Accommodations

Dwarika's Hotel

Dwarika's Hotel

Located just outside Kathmandu, near Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred mountain, Dwarika’s is the recipient of a prestigious World Heritage Award given for outstanding historical preservation. The 74 guest rooms and suites are decorated with intricately carved wood and terracotta work in the traditional Newari style and are equipped with wi-fi access. Krishnarpan, one of the hotel’s two restaurants, offers six- to 22-course authentic Nepali meals, Toran has Chinese and Indian specialties, while Fusion has live blues and jazz in a bar setting. Dwarika’s has no spa, but does offer massage treatments and a swimming pool. The business center is fully equipped with broadband Internet access and secretarial services. The hotel is approximately a 10-minute drive from the airport in Kathmandu.

Tiger Mountain Lodge

Tiger Mountain Lodge

Tiger Mountain Lodge is located on a hilltop ridge a thousand feet above the Pokhara Valley and just a half hour drive from town. With spectacular views of the Annapurna Range, the lodge has also been touched by history: Sir Edmund Hilary, the first man to scale Everest, led the hotel’s opening ceremony in 1998. The 19 rooms are arranged around the hilltop in hand-cut stone bungalows that blend into their surroundings. All the bungalows have spacious verandas, adjoining bathrooms, and elegantly traditional décor that blends Tibetan hand-knotted wool carpets with British watercolor wall paintings. The lodge offers a range of in-room massage treatments, personal yoga sessions, and meditation training. There is a mountain-view swimming pool for post-hike relaxation. The hotel serves organic produce and locally supplied products, including at its authentic Nepali lunch buffet, and at the dinner with a table d’hôte menu that features European and Nepali selections. The Main Lodge has a cozy central fireplace, comfortable seating areas, and a bar, arranged around a Nepali-style courtyard. Another special feature of the lodge is Colonel Jimmy's Library, with an impressive collection of Himalayan mountaineering literature and photographs. There is no business center. The hotel is located 40 minutes from Pokhara Airport.

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Our co-founder Jay Tindall loves meeting Kathmandu's colourful Sadhus, as well as paragliding in Pokhara and taking a private helicopter for Everest "flightseeing".
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