Nepal is best known for its huge Himalayan peaks including Mount Everest. With the mountain range stretching the full length of the country there are a countless number of locations for Himalayan treks and climbs. It's most well-known ethnic group are the legendary Sherpa, but there are also many other mountain and lowland communities and a richly diverse cultural fabric to absorb.
For more information about the different regions of Nepal, read more below our trip offerings.
Most people start their Nepal journey in the bustling city of Kathmandu. Kathmandu is the capital and largest city in Nepal with plenty to see and do. Most tourists and travelers opt to stay in Thamel, an area with many hotels and incredible restaurants. Don’t let the fact that this is the tourist district discourage you, many of the establishments have food that is safe to eat and properly prepared as well as backup generators to battle Kathmandu’s rolling blackouts. Walk the tiny streets of Thamel and take in the hustle and bustle of life in Kathmandu. Holy men walk the streets and give blessings, vendors sell fruit in carts, and there is an endless sea of shops selling trinkets and knock off outdoor gear.
No trip to Nepal would be complete without exploring the cultural wonders of Kathmandu. Nepal is roughly 80% Hindu and 9% Buddhist. With that being said, the cultural center of Kathmandu contains seven world heritage sites. Kathmandu’s famous Durbar Square contains fantastic artistry. Here you can find intricate wood carvings that cover the entirety of the old palace. In the center of Durbar Square there are two spectacular temples. One carved from wood and the other stone. Each has been carefully restored over the years. During the devastating earthquake of 2015 both temples collapsed, however rebuilding efforts are well underway and you can still experience the magic of this historic square.
Head to the Boudhanath temple area to see Buddhist and Hindus alike circumnavigating this massive stupa. One of the largest in the world, it dominates the skyline of Kathmandu. Walk among the many levels of this temple and feel the spiritual energy. Surrounded by incense and prayer wheels it is a spiritual place. On the other end of town you can climb the many stairs to the top of Swayambhunath temple. Also known as the Monkey Temple, this hilltop temple structure is home to many monkeys that sway among the trees surrounding the complex.
For some Hindu culture stop by the Pashupatinath Temple. Considered one of the most holy sites in the Hindu religion this temple is shrouded with legend. Celebrating the Lord Pashupatinath, no one is quite certain when it was built. Although you cannot enter the temple itself if you are not of Hindu faith, it is still worth walking the grounds of the temple complex. The complex stretches across the Bagmati River. It is here where many Hindus of Nepal are cremated in open pyres and their ashes are given to the river. Not a place for the squeamish, but visitors can watch from the opposite bank of the river.
The mighty Himalaya are Nepal's main attraction. Rising impossibly high, this mountain range contains eight out of ten of the world’s highest peaks. The highest and most famous peak, Mt Everest, is located in Khumbu region of Nepal bordering the neighboring Tibet. The Sagarmatha National Park is home to the best trekking and peak climbing on the planet. Adventure Alternative offers several trips for the intrepid in this region, including a climbing expedition up Everest herself. If bagging an 8,000m peak is not your thing, we offer several other options including treks to Everest Base Camp. For the best panorama view in all of the Himalaya, head to Gokyo. If you want to try on some mountaineering without the commitment of an expedition like Everest try climbing Island Peak or Mera Peak with us.
Start your Khumbu journey in Lukla. Take a small plane into the famous Lukla airstrip. Often dubbed, one of the most dangerous airports in the world, the Lukla airport sits precariously on the side of a mountain with a cliff on one end and the mountainside on the other. Experience the thrill of flying in and out of this mountainside village. From there you can begin to trek to any of the amazing trekking routes and peaks.
For lower altitude trekking explore the Annapurna region. Lay eyes on the famous Fishtail Mountain and visit Annapurna Basecamp. If you are short on time, discover our Poon Hill trek and watch the most stunning sunrise in the Himalaya. Another option for trekking at lower altitudes is to head towards Langtang. Up near the Tibetan border, this trek offers the opportunity to get up close and personal with Sherpa culture. The Tamang Heritage Trail offers opportunities to truly experience Sherpa life. This new route takes you through traditional Tamang villages.
After trekking through the mountains, discover Nepal’s lush lowlands. Immerse yourself in the wildlife of Asia in Chitwan National Park. Home to the one horned rhino, tigers, elephants, and over 500 species of bird. Chitwan contains some of the most diverse wildlife viewing in all of Indian sub-continent. Another must-see in the region is the Maya Devi Temple. Buddhist scholars believe this is the birthplace of Buddha. Get in touch with your spiritual side walking these holy grounds. Pilgrims from all over the world flock here to sit under the Bodhi tree.
If spear-like mountains, spiritual awakening, and ancient culture still aren’t enough reasons to visit Nepal, wait until you try the food. With heavy influences from India, Tibet, and native tribes, Nepal’s cuisine bursts forth with flavor. Be sure to try the unique flavors of Newari food. Complicated blends of spices create hot and savory vegetable dishes. Stuff your face with momos, a steamed or fried dumpling. No trip to Nepal is complete without Dahl Bat, and lots of it. Nepal’s signature dish is a lentil soup with Takari, or curried vegetables served over rice. It is customary to ask guests if they would like a second helping of this delicious Nepali staple.
The impossibly tall, snow-capped peaks of Nepal hold endless possibilities for trekking and climbing. With a deep cultural heritage, natural beauty, and abundant wildlife it’s easy to see why this tiny, land-locked nation is at the top of adventurer’s bucket lists around the world.