When is the best time to visit Nepal?

nepal-farmer-animals.jpg

So, you’ve decided you want to go to Nepal? Or you have some dates in mind for a vacation but you don’t know yet where you’ll go, and Nepal is on your shortlist? Then you’ve come to the right place. Here we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the best time to visit Nepal, whether you’re planning to trek to Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Sanctuary, explore Kathmandu on a city break, go trekking in the lower, fertile valleys of the Himalayan foothills, or explore the mythical Mustang region in the rain shadow of the Annapurna massif.

Seasons and weather in Nepal

In order to plan your visit to Nepal you’ll need to know about each of the distinct seasons in the country. Exactly where in the country you intend to visit will also need to be taken into consideration as the climate of the higher alpine regions is noticeably different to that of the low-lying areas. Below we’ve detailed each of the seasons in Nepal (locally there are considered to be six distinct seasons of two months each, aligning with the Hindu calendar, whilst most visitors tend to only think about five). So below you’ll find everything you need to know about the seasons in Nepal.

 

Spring (Basanta Ritu)

Spring in Nepal is around mid-March to mid-May, and is characterised by the striking colours of blooming rhododendrons in the valleys, gardens, and hills. If the Khumbu region and Everest is the focus of your visit then you can expect a buzz in the air towards the later part of Spring, as it’s summiting time for the climbing parties – the culmination of a 50+ day expedition to the top of the world. It’s still warm enough to be trekking towards Everest Base Camp in a t-shirt in Nepali spring time.

Spring in the lower areas, like Chitwan National Park, means relatively high humidity year-round. Temperatures are comfortable and birdlife abundant, as the sal trees, dominant in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Chitwan, bloom new leaves and other plantlife starts to flourish again after the lower temperatures of winter give way to the warmth of spring. In spring temperatures at Namche Bazaar Bazaar (3440 metres/11286 feet) range from 3-9°C (37-48°F) and between 23°C and 28°C (73-82°F) in the low-lying area of Chitwan National Park.

The beginning of spring is marked with the holi festival in Hindu tradition. The day is spent celebrating, covering one another in coloured powders and throwing water balloons on the streets in towns and villages across the country. If you’re venturing outside on Holi festival day then you’re considered to be participating, so expect to get wet and colourful! If you’re in Kathmandu then Thamel and Durbar Square are the best places to experience the fun.

Discover our Spring Trips

 

Summer (Grishma Ritu)

The summer months of mid-May to mid-July are the hottest months of the year in Nepal, with temperatures ranging from 9-12°C (48-54°F) at Namche Bazaar (town on the trekking route to Everest Base Camp) to 28°C (82°F) in Chitwan National Park (at an elevation ranging between 100-815 metres above sea-level (330 feet – 2674 feet).

The summer season sees fresh fruit growing, mangoes and berries are local favourites during Nepali summertime. Summer is also the season when most farmers will be planting their fields, the warmer temperatures make for good growing conditions. Rice is the main cereal crop in Nepal, agriculture the highest provider of employment, and second highest contributor to GDP. By planting in the latter stages of summer, farmers allow the rice plants to grow prior to the coming monsoon season, by which time the plants are able to survive the floods and continue providing for the population.

If you’re going trekking then the summer season may not be the best time of year to visit, although a trek in early summer is not out of the question. As the summer progresses Everest Base Camp empties as climbing parties finish their expeditiions, and the warmer temperatures make for dangerous conditions for serious mountaineering due to increased avalanche risk. The hot, dry regions, like the Upper Mustang in the rain shadow of the Annapurnas, are scorching at this time of year, and so trekking there is not recommended.

Discover our Summer Trips

 

Monsoon (Barsha Ritu)

The rainy or monsoon season in Nepal begins around mid-July and ends mid-September. The average rainfall jumps from 84mm in May, to 351mm in July, 311mm for August, and 197mm in September. The rains are crucial to agriculture throughout Nepal, providing irrigation for crops and reinvigorating dry soils. Travel by road, particularly in rural or higher areas of Nepal can become extremely difficult during the monsoon season as muddy conditions make roads impassable.

The humidity remains high in the fertile lowlands of Nepal, and so average temperatures remain comfortable even in monsoon season – Kathmandu averages around 22°C (71°F), and Namche Bazaar hovers between 10-12°C (50-54°F).

Trekking is still possible during the monsoon season, but the highest mountains of the Khumbu and Annapurna regions are cloaked in cloud for virtually all of the rainy season. To avoid the rains, we’d recommend heading to the Mustang region in the rain shadow of the Annapurnas. It’s a dry, sem-arid climate which avoids the monsoon thanks to the massive mountains to the south, and is a great region to explore during monsoon. Temperatures in the Mustang region during monsoon average 27-29°C (81-84°F).

Discover our Monsoon Trips

 

Autumn (Sharad Ritu)

Autumn in Nepal is festival season! The rains ease off significantly, and autumn (mid-September to mid-November) is a time for celebration in the predominantly Hindu country of Nepal. The most significant festival in the calendar year for Nepalese Hindus is Dashain. The 15 day-long festival has a focus on family gatherings, the giving of gifts and blessings, and renewing community ties. The planting of crops in Nepal is finished during the monsoon season, which allows those working in agriculture – one of the main sources of employment in Nepal – time to celebrate and be with their families during the festival.

If you’re hoping to visit Nepal during Dashain, as many do – September-November are busy months for trekkers on the Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Sanctuary treks – you can expect the streets of Kathmandu to be quieter than usual. All government offices, schools, and many private businesses are closed during the festival so some services are disrupted. As it is one of the peak seasons for visitors, it’s advisable to book accommodation well in advance of your visit, or travel with the experts and let us take care of the details.

Although Autumn is slightly less busy than spring with regards to trekking the trails of the Himalayas, you can still expect to see lots of folks out there in the comfortable trekking temperatures of this season. You can expect beautifully clear skies and fertile valleys following the recent monsoons. The average autumn temperature range for Kathmandu (1400 metres/4593 feet) is 15-22°C (59-71°F), and at Namche Bazaar (3440 metres/11286 feet) the average temperature range is 3-10°C (37-50°F), this is a great time of year to go trekking in the Khumbu or Annapurna regions.

Discover our Autumn Trips

 

Pre-Winter (Hemanta Ritu)

In Nepal the pre-winter months of mid-November to mid-January are a time for returning to work. The festivities of Dashain and other national celebrations are over, and this period sees the agricultural sector – around 65% of Nepal’s population - really cranking to harvest crops before the true cold of winter arrives.

For many, trekking in Nepal in the winter is out of the question due to the low temperatures of the higher, most sought-after altitudes. We though are of the opinion that, as long as you pack correctly and have the right gear, the early part of pre-winter can still be a great time of year to climb high (to Base Camps) in the Khumbu and Annapurna regions.

There are also lots of accessible treks in the low-lying regions of Nepal where the temperatures are more tolerable and the landscapes equally dramatic. The Langtang National Park boundary is a stone’s throw from Kathmandu, and borders Tibet. Most walks in the Park don’t climb to more than 3000 metres (9842 feet) which means temperatures are more comfortable than, say, Namche Bazaar.

During these pre-winter months the average temperature range for Kathmandu is 9-15°C (48-59°F) and for Namche Bazaar the average range is -1-3°C (30-37°F).

Discover our Pre-Winter Trips

 

Winter (Shishir Ritu)

Winter (mid-January to mid-March) in Nepal sees much of the trekking tourism slow down in the higher elevations of the Himalayas. The early part of the winter months (December and January) mean there is still significant risk of avalanches due to heavy snowfalls and changing temperatures up high - we’ll tend to avoid the trails in the Khumbu and Annapurna regions until later in the season when the temperatures begin to climb towards spring.

Chitwan National Park, being low-lying, is a great place to explore during Nepali winter as wildlife is still fairly active and temperatures are comfortable – average temperature range for Chitwan is 16-23°C (61-73°F). Chitwan National Park is home to rhinos, monkeys, tigers, and myriad birdlife.

As the worst of the winter subsides, skies clear, and temperatures begin to climb, trekking to Annapurna Sanctuary and Everest Base Camp becomes viable once again. Rhododendrons are taking bloom, and the buzz of anticipation begins as climbers start their expeditions to Base Camps in order to make summit attempts on the world’s highest mountains. Late-winter/early-spring is a great time of year to undertake a trek to the higher altitudes of the Khumbu and Annapurna regions. The average temperature at Namche Bazaar on the Everest Base Camp route ranges from -1-4°C (30-39°F), whilst Kathmandu stays considerable warmer, ranging between 9-16°C (48-61°F).

Discover our Winter Trips 

Related Posts

The First Timers’ Guide to Adventures in New Zealand

Here's your first timers' guide to adventures in New Zealand!

Best Time to Visit Peru | Destinations, Climate, and Seasons

So, when is the best time to visit Peru?If you're…

W Trek Patagonia – Everything You Need to Know

Calling Torres del Paine National Park a dramatic landscape is…

Where to Travel in 2022: Top Adventure Trip for Each Month

So, you're ready to make 2022 a year of incredible…

Travelling to Europe During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Insider Guide

Since July 2021, we've been back exploring the breathtaking trails…

Podcast: Kit Parks Interviews Wendy, CEO, About the Merger of Active and Austin Adventures

Kit Parks from Active Travel Adventures and Wendy van Lieshout,…

Adventure Travel to Costa Rica: Everything You Need to Know

Photo by Kamchatka/Getty Images

With coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean…

Safe Travel in 2021: Why Small Group Adventure Travel is the New Normal

It's no secret that since March of 2020, the travel…

Keeping Up With Our New Zealand Guides

You’ve heard us say it before, and you’ll hear us…

Northern Patagonia vs Southern Patagonia : How to Choose

Planning a trip to Patagonia but can't decide whether to…

Hiking Iceland: The Best Day Hikes and Multi-day Hikes in Iceland

Iceland is a hikers paradise. Its vast wilderness calls to…

Travelling to Ecuador and the Galapagos During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Notice anything different about this picture? Look closely - there's…

Top 5 Open Destinations to Visit in 2022: Where Can Americans Travel?

The light at the end of the tunnel is finally…

5 Perfect Tours to Replace Your Cancelled REI Adventure Overseas

Your REI adventure tour overseas just got cancelled? We're sorry…

North Island vs South Island of New Zealand: How to Pick?

New Zealand (or Aotearoa as it's known in the Maori…

The Eight Best Things to Do in the Dolomites, Italy

Pictures of the towering rock monoliths of the Italian Dolomites…

Top five things to do in Grand Teton National Park

Found yourself in Wyoming with your hiking boots? Here’s some…

Best time to visit Utah National Parks

The best way to experience the diverse landscapes of Utah…

Multi-Day Hike Packing-List for New Zealand

You and some mates have 4 (5 at a stretch)…

Where to Next, with Active Adventures?

We've been adventuring for more than 22 years now, and…

Top things to do in Mount Aspiring National Park

Mount Aspiring National Park is a hiker's paradise and a…

What to pack for your next day hike

It’s the night before the hike you and some of…

Podcast: Stan Jacobson talks with Kit about his 'Annapurna Sanctuary Trek' in the Himalayas

 

5 Stars x 3“I rated this as 5 stars, "Excellent,…

Podcast: Kit Parks talks about her adventures on the South Island of New Zealand (Part I)

Add the North Island if you are already doing the…

Podcast: Kit Parks talks about her adventures on the South Island of New Zealand (Part II)

 

Add the North Island if you are already doing the…

Podcast: Kit Parks talks about her adventures on the North Island of New Zealand (Part III)

 

Add the North Island if you are already doing the…

Podcast: Sue Brickey and Rick Pope talk with Kit about their 'Chinchilla' adventure (Part I)

 

More Than I Expected“I only did three days of the…

Podcast: Sue Brickey and Rick Pope talk with Kit about their 'Chinchilla' adventure (Part II)

A varietal overview of Bolivia

“Such a diverse opportunity to experience…

Things to Do in Glenorchy - the Gateway to Paradise

Situated at the end of the road, there’s only one…

Things to Do in Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park was formed after local conservationist Perrine…

Video: Reviews from our guests

Many of our videos feature interviews with Active guests, and…

Video: Safari Adventures in Africa

Come on a journey with us to the wildest place…

Video: Food and Wine with Active Adventures

New Zealand’s seasonal, local food is something we’re immensely proud…

Video : Choosing a pair of hiking boots

A lot of our guests wonder how to pick the…

Mont Blanc Circuit 'Tour du Mont Blanc' Trip

Our 'Tour du Mont Blanc' trip is a challenging hiking…

Video: Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park is New Zealand's biggest National Park, and…

Video: Our Accommodations

A quick look at some of our guests' favourite accommodations…

Punakaiki

Famous for its 'Pancake Rocks', Punakaiki is also host to…

Staff Picks: Adventure Books and Movies to Stay Inspired

At Active, we’re all big travel and outdoor enthusiasts…I know,…

Our Favourite Hikes on the West Coast of New Zealand

The West Coast of the South Island is a unique…

Things do Do in Queenstown for Non-Adrenaline Junkies

The first thing that probably comes to mind when you…

The Top 6 Roads You Have to Drive On Your Next New Zealand Road Trip

Getting down to us here in New Zealand is easy enough,…

New Zealand Glaciers You Can Easily Hike To

Many travellers to New Zealand are familiar with our 2…

Staff Picks: Favourite Places in New Zealand

Here at Active Adventures, we consider ourselves pretty well-travelled and…

Things to Do in Auckland: Explore New Zealand's City of Sails

Auckland, known as the 'city of sails', was recently voted…

Things to know before visiting the Peruvian Amazon 

From Machu Picchu to Rainbow Mountain, Peru is a behemoth…

Peru's Rainbow Mountain and the 'Camino del Apu Ausangate' Lodge to Lodge Trek

The beautiful coloured striations of Rainbow Mountain in Peru's Andes…

Inca Trail vs. Lares Trail: How to Get the Most out of Your Adventure

As you plan your trip to Peru and to Machu…

Best Time to Visit Machu Picchu

Considering a bucket list trip to Machu Picchu but unsure…

Discover the Best Things to Do in Lima, Peru

The once-called City of Kings, founded in 1535, is the…

Discover Queenstown, The Adventure Capital of New Zealand

Queenstown is a little town with a big personality. Nestled on…

Top 10 Things to Do in Peru During Your Trip

There is so much to see when visiting Peru, it…

Finding Flights to Patagonia

Sorting out Patagonia flights and Patagonia travel doesn't have to…

Best Time to Visit Patagonia

With years of experience in the travel arena under our…

Bolivia Culture and Customs

The culture and customs in Bolivia are unique and have…

Is It Safe to Travel to Bolivia?

If you’ve been thinking about travelling to South America, safety…

Little City Guide to Copacabana, Bolivia

Wedged between two mountains, Copacabana is a small and colourful…

City Guide to La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz, also known as ‘the city that touches the…

Little Guide to Uyuni, Bolivia

Uyuni is the land of the endless horizon, home to…

Video: Franz Josef Glacier and Township

'Glacier country' - the west side of Aoraki/Mt Cook National…

Video: Ultimate South Island Adventure 'Rimu' trip

The 'Rimu' is our signature New Zealand trip. 14 days…

Patagonia Hiking Adventure 'Condor'

Patagonia is a mystical land of glaciers, mountains, and often…

What to Pack for a 2 Week Adventure Vacation to New Zealand

Lynette from our office talks you through what you'll need…

Ultimate North Island Adventure 'Kauri' Trip

Our 'Kauri' trip is 11 days on New Zealand's volcanic…

Video: An Amazing Adventure from Kathmandu to Lukla, Nepal

Learn about Sherpa life and be rewarded with mesmerising views…

Video: The trek to Everest Base Camp

Gareth Leonard from Tourist2Townie travelled on our 'EBC' adventure, here's…

Video: Essence of the South Island 'Tui' Trip

Our Essence of the South Island 'Tui' trip is 8…

Ultimate Peru Adventure 'Jaguar' Trip

Dreaming of a Peru adventure? Our 'Jaguar' is our signature…

Video: An Introduction to Active Adventures

Not sure what Active Adventures is all about? Here's what…

Travel to Nepal: Everything you need to know

We're big believers in the journey being just as important…

Is it safe to visit Nepal?

There is nothing more exciting than planning a new adventure…

Nepal Culture and Customs

How Not to Be Mistaken for a Tourist in NepalUnderstanding…

The Full Guide to Nepal’s Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Celebrated for its amphitheatre of giant granite peaks, the Annapurna…

Hiking in Nepal: Multi-Day Treks

To hikers and trekkers from all over the world, the…

Everything You Need to Know About the Annapurna Massif

The Annapurna Massif is as epic as you imagine it…

Challenge Your Trekking Guide With These Everest Base Camp Facts

Everest Base Camp represents either an origin or a destination…

Nepal’s Everest Base Camp Guided Trekking Tour Itinerary

A trek to Everest Base Camp is a ‘bucket list’…

Popular Religious Sites in Nepal

Nepal is a cultural mecca, it is architecturally rich with…

Discover the Mustang Region in Nepal

You may have heard quiet whispers, unconfirmed claims at truth,…

Learn About Lukla and its World Famous Airport

Lukla is found in north-east Nepal and sits at 2,860m…

Best Time to Visit Bhutan

Bhutan is located deep in the Himalayas, and if there…

Bhutan Culture and Customs

Bhutanese people are known for being happy. You'll pick this…

Things to Know Before You Travel to Bhutan

Bhutan is a unique destination, and a unique destination calls…

Things to Know About Iceland Before You Go

Has Iceland been recently added to your bucket list? No…

When is the best time to visit Iceland?

Welcome to the ultimate guide to the best time to…

Trek the Tour du Mont Blanc: Learn About our Guided Itinerary

Strap on your best pair of hiking boots – this…

Best Time to Hike the Tour du Mont Blanc

Thinking of joining us here in Europe for a bucket-list…

Hiking in the European Alps

A hiking & mountaineering dreamThe European Alps stretches across seven…

The best time to visit Tanzania

Tanzania is known for having some of the best safaris…

Things to Do in Patagonia: Discover the Top Adventure Spots

Patagonia is synonymous with intense rugged beauty and you won't…

Everything You Need to Know Before Travelling in Patagonia

Patagonia has an almost surreal quality to it so it's…

Gearlists and Packing Tips for Hiking in New Zealand

We all approach the task of packing for an adventure…

Multi-Day Hiking in New Zealand: How to Plan the Perfect Trip for You

New Zealand has earned itself a reputation as one of…

How to get to New Zealand

New Zealand is about as far away as it's possible…

How to Plan Your New Zealand Hiking Trip: An Easy 5 Step Guide

Not many travel companies will share these unbiased truths about…

Booking your Airline Ticket to New Zealand

Once upon a time, if you wanted to fly somewhere…

Hiking Safety Tips for Tramping in New Zealand

Safety’s not as hard as you may think – New…

The Best Day Hikes on New Zealand's South Island

Wherever you are in New Zealand, chances are you aren't…

Ultimate New Zealand's Great Walk Gear List

Summer is upon us and it's time to tackle a…

Best Time To Visit New Zealand

Thinking of joining us here in New Zealand for an…

The Complete Guide to New Zealand's 10 Great Walks

The "Great Walks" are generally regarded as New Zealand's premier…

Sea Kayaking in New Zealand

Sea kayaking tours are a splendid way to enjoy New…

Top 10 Guest Photos 2014

Set your resolution, adjust your white balance, focus, keep still,…

Top 10 Guest Photos 2015

Photo competitions. They're not necessarily a good thing for an…

Top 10 Guest Photos 2016

Happy New Year everybody! We love this annual photography competition…

How to Prepare for a Hike: 8 Fitness Tips for the 50+ Explorer

“Am I too out-of-shape for an adventure trip?” It’s the…

Top 10 Guest Photos 2017

Hello and Happy New Year! There are certain things that…

Our Guides Take On the Everest Marathon

Our guides are pretty amazing people. They're understanding, adaptable, enthusiastic,…

Interesting Peru Facts

Are you about or thinking to head out to Peru?…

Why we Love our New Zealand Birds

We love our New Zealand birds at Active HQ! You may…

5 Reasons to Take up Adventure Travel in Your 40’s

You mean you haven’t already done it yet? That’s OK.…

6 Travel Apps You Absolutely Need When Travelling in South America

The smartphone has quickly evolved into one of the most…

Peru Vaccinations and Medical Checklist

Exploring the ancient streets of Cusco, trekking the Inca or…

The 7 Peruvian Drinks You Can't Miss on Your Trip

Just as Peru is a land of diverse and delicious…

Huayna Picchu Hike: How Fit Must you be to Climb?

So you've made it up to Machu Picchu. After months…

Inca Trail Packing List: The 12 Most Important Items and Why

You've done it… You've finally decided to go hiking the…

The 7 Most Beautiful Lakes On the South Island of New Zealand

A trip to New Zealand's South Island isn't complete unless…

7 Things to Know About Traveling to Peru

Sometimes surprises when you're travelling can be good - a…

15 Bucket List Activities to do in South America

We've been running trips in South America for over a decade…

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Beaches in Peru

When someone mentions Peru images of idyllic mountain pastures, ancient Incan…

How to prevent and deal with Altitude Sickness

Most hikers will never experience altitude sickness, (sometimes called acute…

The Top 20 Things to Do in Peru - That Aren't Machu Picchu!

Let's be honest - it probably shouldn't come as much…

Multi-day Hiking in New Zealand's Backcountry, and 8 Reasons to Go Guided

The team here at Active Adventures are an outdoorsy bunch!…

Things to Do in Machu Picchu: How to Get the Most out of Your Experience

Although it's one of the most well-known archaeological wonders of…

Top 4 Facts About the Himalayas That Will Take Your Breath Away

When visiting the Himalayas, you'll get as much of a…

The Best Places to Eat in Peru

There is no place quite like Peru. And no, we’re…

Why Joining a Small Group Tour is the Bee's Knees

I better start by explaining the term ‘Bee’s knees’… I’ve been doing…

The Top 10 Things To Do in New Zealand

Are you planning a vacation in the land of the…

The Top 4 Things To Do In The Peruvian Amazon

Stretching 96,922 square kilometres across the country, the Amazon comprises…

Pisac Market and Hike to Pisac Ruins

The village is perched high in the mountains and surrounded…

Mustang Adventure 2018: Trip of a Lifetime for Body, Mind and Soul

When thinking about hiking in Nepal, a lot of people…

Top 10 Guest Photos 2018

New year, new…. annual photo competition winner! Here at Active…

Benefits of Travelling Alone & Tips to Plan Like a Pro

Solo travel is on the rise and we’re stoked about…

Top 10 Guest Photos 2019

It's that time of year again folks, it's our annual…