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Kathmandu Valley Trekking & Adventure Tours

Kathmandu Valley Trekking Adventure Tours

Discover how Hinduism and Buddhism co-exist in perfect harmony as you wander ancient civilizations on our Kathmandu Valley trekking adventure.

Using Nepal's thriving and exciting capital city as the jumping-off point for our Kathmandu Valley trekking adventure is, frankly, a no-brainer. The ease with which you can access the incredible diversity of Nepal's landscapes and culture is the main attraction of this region. You'll meet the local people and understand first hand why they're known as some of the most generous in the world. You'll learn about the country's different religions, experience Tamang culture, visit the kingdoms of Patan & Bhaktapur and take time to explore some of our favourite hiking trails in Kathmandu Valley.

Kathmandu Valley Trips


Kathmandu Valley & Bhutan Adventure


  • Duration 12 days
  • Activity Level Level 2 
    • Activity Level 2

      On the Move

      Sure, I own some hiking boots, they're even worn in, but they don't go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.

    Read more about the Active Range

Wander the Kingdoms of Kathmandu Valley, learn about the ancient cultures of Nepal, and explore Bhutan’s numerous sacred sites, such as the Tiger's Nest Monastery. This trip combines comfort, culture, and epic scenery in an unmatched way.

Trip Start: Kathmandu Trip End: Kathmandu

What Our Guests Say

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Kathmandu Valley & Bhutan Adventure - March 2023

Fourth Active Trip -- Awesomeness continues!!!!

We just completed our fourth trip with Active Adventures. We've done trips in Peru, NZ,… read more

We just completed our fourth trip with Active Adventures. We've done trips in Peru, NZ, Galapagos, and just now Nepal/Bhutan. Every trip we have done is just amazing. Great logistics, amazing guides -- everybody so accommodating and going above and beyond to make our trip terrific. We appreciate being able to hike to see wonderful things, and experience the culture and meet local people. Fantastic! Each and every trip we saw the wonders of each country. We are looking for trip #5!!!!! read less

5 Stars (9 reviews)


Kathmandu Valley & Bhutan Adventure - March 2023

Kathmandu Valley and Bhutan

"one word-AMAZING! Mel was amazing, and so were the guides in both Kathmandu and Bhutan.… read more

"one word-AMAZING! Mel was amazing, and so were the guides in both Kathmandu and Bhutan. We explored two different countries and embedded ourselves (thanks to Active) into their cultures. Loved every place we went, every aspect of life we encountered-orphanage and the work done to help impoverished children, cranes and their preservation, religious beliefs, simply the people and their lifestyle. Genuine people who opened their homes and hearts to us foreigners. THANK YOU! read less

5 Stars (9 reviews)


Kathmandu Valley & Bhutan Adventure - March 2023


"Absolutely beautiful. Had a wonderful time. read more

"Absolutely beautiful. Had a wonderful time. read less

5 Stars (9 reviews)


Kathmandu Valley & Bhutan Adventure - March 2023

Nepal & Bhutan

"A great way to experience these Himalayan countries, cultures, and relatively easy trails. read more

"A great way to experience these Himalayan countries, cultures, and relatively easy trails. read less

5 Stars (9 reviews)


Kathmandu Valley & Bhutan Adventure - January 2023

Wonderful trip!

"Great challenging hiking, beautiful scenery, lots of variety of activities, meals and accommodations. We really… read more

"Great challenging hiking, beautiful scenery, lots of variety of activities, meals and accommodations. We really got to see and experience what life is like for locals in both Nepal and Bhutan. Dan was a tremendous trip leader and with help from local guides xxxx and Chunjur he adjusted our itinerary as necessary to take advantage of opportunities for festivals and local schedules. The small group of 8 travelers was the perfect size and the best group of people we have ever traveled with. read less

5 Stars (9 reviews)

Ron, United States

Kathmandu Valley & Bhutan Adventure - December 2022

Nepal - Bhutan

"It was great to finally get have the trip after a two year delay. The… read more

"It was great to finally get have the trip after a two year delay. The trip was everything I expected. This was my 6th trip with Active and the the third trip when Dan was one of the guides. As usual the the trip was paced perfectly and Dan always had a plan b ready to adapt to any changes. If you are looking for a mix of cultural and activity this is the trip. The trip is not as strenuous as some but the opportunities to see day to day life and visit places beyond the tourist sites makes this trip unique. read less

5 Stars (9 reviews)

James, Canada

Kathmandu Valley & Bhutan Adventure - November 2022

A cultural experience

"I went straight from the Annapurna basecamp trek to Bhutan. The cultural contrast between… read more

"I went straight from the Annapurna basecamp trek to Bhutan. The cultural contrast between the two countries couldn’t have been more vivid. If you have the time and funds, I highly recommend doing both back to back in that order.

Bhutan was unlike any place I’d ever been. With the exception of the hike up to the Tiger’s Nest, the hiking in Bhutan is pretty low key, especially compared to Annapurna or Everest basecamp. For the most part, hikes on this trip are flat, or even downhill. Nothing that requires much preparation, provided you are reasonably fit and can walk 4 or 5 miles without issues.

read less

5 Stars (9 reviews)

Gerry, United States

Kathmandu Valley & Bhutan Adventure - June 2020

Snow Leopard roars!

"This was the inaugural Snow Leopard trip, so as with any new venture there were… read more

"This was the inaugural Snow Leopard trip, so as with any new venture there were a few hiccups and rough spots along the way--but not to worry! Trip guide Dan and his country guides Arjun and Gangchu took everything in stride and made adjustments on the fly, creating a seamless and engrossing experience. The scenery was breathtaking, of course, but just as memorable was the variety of cultural experiences to which we were introduced, from remote villages reached only by rutted dirt roads to the dusty confusion of Kathmandu, hot stone baths, ethnic dancing, more temples and stupas than could be counted and a never-to-be forgotten introduction to the Divine Madman and his iconography. Our lodging ran the gamut from guilt-inducing luxury in Kathmandu to more modest but still quite comfortable guest houses in Bhutan, the food was predominantly vegetarian and mostly unexceptional but satisfying, and the company--guides, fellow travelers and hosts--warm and welcoming. read less

4 Stars (9 reviews)

Andrew, United States

Kathmandu Valley & Bhutan Adventure - March 2020

From the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu to the serenity of Bhutan we loved it all.

"We had some extra time in Kathmandu to explore and experience a food tour which… read more

"We had some extra time in Kathmandu to explore and experience a food tour which was great. The itinerary, guides, food, and accommodations were great. The food at the farm house in Bhutan was amazing. The misty morning hike to the Tiger's Nest, clearing as we arrived, was spiritual. The views of the Himalaya on a clear day during our return flight to Nepal were spectacular. The extra luxury of the Marriott in Kathmandu was a treat and so was the evening of dancing at another farm house. Gangchu our guide in Bhutan made our tours and hikes enjoyable and informative as did our guides in Nepal and Dan our leader. The drivers and vehicles were excellent. read less

5 Stars (9 reviews)

Scott, United States

Austin PIF 2

Take 10% off the trip price when you book a trip and pay in full.

By paying in full we are able to pass on savings to our guests, but please note that by opting for this payment plan, your booking becomes non-refundable, non-cancellable, and non-changeable. 

We highly recommend that you purchase Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) insurance. We recommend Redpoint Insurance – you can find details here.

T+Cs Apply.

Safe travel v3

Keeping you Safe: COVID-19 Safety Measures

We believe our small group, off-the-beaten-track adventures are the safest way to travel. To keep you, your fellow travellers, our guides and the communities we travel in safe, all adults over the age of 12 (i.e. 13 years and above) must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

To keep you healthy during your trip, we follow all ATTA, WTTC, Qualmark and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) health and safety guidelines, as acknowledged by their stamps.

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Learn More About the Himalayas

Our Local Guides

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Nepal a safe place to visit?

Yes! People in Nepal have a strong belief that guests are equal to God, so all visitors can expect the warmest of welcomes. This also means that Nepal is very safe place to travel and the crime rate is very low. The only real concern to a traveller is petty theft, so we recommend taking the same common sense precautions you would in any other city. Don't bring valuable things with you unless necessary for your trip. Keep your money and other valuables in a money belt or pouch under your clothes. Lock your bags and luggage and leave valuable items you don’t need for the day (e.g. passports and credit cards) in the hotel safe.


How safe is a trip in the Himalaya mountains?

Safety is a priority on all our trips, though understandably it's a question we field more frequently when it comes to the Himalaya region. Here are some of the key steps we've taken to ensure your safety whilst trekking in this incredible region:

  • We select experienced Active Adventures guides who've already completed comprehensive training (with us) in New Zealand, and have seasons under their belt.
  • Our guides work as a team alongside Nepali guides and porters, ensuring an excellent mix of maturity, leadership and local knowledge.
  • We limit group sizes to 10-12 to ensure a high guide to guest ratio.
  • In addition to Outdoors First Aid training, our guides are also skilled to identify symptoms of high altitude cerebral edema (HACE) and high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE). In addition to the medication that you may be carrying with you, we also have access to oxygen and a Portable Altitude Chamber (PAC) at certain parts of the trail.
  • We do our very best to match our travellers to the appropriate trips. Our aim is to inspire and challenge you, so finding that balance of effort vs reward is at the heart of what we do. So, on trips such as this one, before you even arrive we will have asked you a series of questions to determine if this trip is appropriate, as well as providing comprehensive gear lists and training plans.
  • Our guides carry satellite phones.
  • We provide a high quality super-down jacket, 4 season sleeping bag and hiking poles free of charge, to ensure all trekkers have the appropriate essential equipment. These are selectable through our online booking information process

Is food expensive in Nepal?

The average cost of food in Nepal is 750-1000NPR (US$8-10) per day per person. A meal in a regular restaurant is roughly 250 NPR, a coffee will cost roughly 126 NPR (US$1) and a can of beer about 300-400 NPR (US$2.50-3.30)

What is the best time to visit Nepal?

The best time to visit Nepal is between September and December, festival season! The rains have eased off significantly, and autumn (mid-September to mid-November) is a time for celebration in the predominantly Hindu country of Nepal, as well as having the best day time temperatures. Spring (mid-March to mid-May) in Nepal is also a great time to travel there , and is characterised by the striking colours of blooming rhododendrons in the valleys, gardens, and hills.

What if I'm a solo female traveller?

Nepal is a safe country for all travellers, including women, however, women should still be cautious. Some Nepali men may have peculiar ideas about the morality of Western women, given Nepali men's exposure to Western films portraying 'immodest' clothing and holiday flings with locals. Avoid unwanted attention by dressing modestly; a good rule in Asian countries is cover your body from your elbows to below your knees. This means wearing clothes that cover the shoulders (no singlets) and thighs (no shorts) - take your cue from the local people if you need to gauge what's acceptable. You might find that a long skirt or sarong is very useful when visiting sacred sites.

Do I need a visa to visit Nepal?

It is your responsibility stay up to date on the latest visa and entry requirements for your destination. Please use the CIBT entry tracker on our website as a guideline or visit the relevant immigration webpage for more information regarding this.

Do I need any immunisations to travel to Nepal?

Nepal does not officially require any immunisations for entry into the country, but the further off the beaten track you go, the more necessary it is to take precautions. Travellers who have come from an area infected with yellow fever are required to be vaccinated before entering the country. For our trips to Nepal (less than a month long) we recommend getting vaccinated against Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Polio (infectious hepatitis) and Tetanus. These are our guidelines only and you’ll need to check with your local travel clinic for the latest advice. We also recommend recording all vaccinations on an International Health Certificate, available from a doctor or government health department.

Do you recommend buying travel insurance?

As an Active Adventures traveller, It’s essential you take out travel insurance to cover the likes of personal injury, medical expenses, trip cancellation for your travel with us. Please head to our Travel Insurance page for more in-depth information and insurance provider options. It’s also important to check your insurance covers all the activities you’ll be partaking in, in case you’re travelling to altitude or looking at extreme sports.

Can you help me find international flights to Nepal?

We recommend booking your flights through our preferred travel partner – Fuzion Travel. They’re our experienced hand-picked experts in travel, passionate about what they do, and will tailor-make your flight itinerary to match your Active Adventures tour. Get in touch with them directly by email – [email protected] fuziontravel.co.nz or on +1-833-244-5886. Let them know your preferred travel plans, including any stopovers or extra nights’ accommodation, and they’ll put everything in place for you. They offer a total travel solution and five star service that you’ll want to tell your friends about!

What's included on your Himalayas trips?


All accommodation on your trip is provided in Kathmandu and on your trek, so you don't need to worry about a thing. You'll stay in a local Guesthouse in Kathmandu run by our operating partners. When you're out trekking you'll stay in guest houses also known as 'tea houses', with shared bathroom facilities. They are fairly basic by western standards but the location, views and warm Nepalese hospitality make it all part of a wonderful adventure. There is always an area to socialise with your fellow travellers and eat, drink, relax, read and rest your feet after another amazing day in the Nepalese Himalayas.


All your meals are provided apart from on your free days when we find most people enjoy checking out the variety of things on offer in the bigger towns. On your trek you'll eat in the local hotels (known as tea houses) with the main dish on offer being 'dhal bhat' a sturdy meal of lentils and rice that will set you up well for your day of hiking. If this doesn't take your fancy there is plenty of choice on the menu from chapatis, curry, rice, potatoes and even pizzas in some places! We recommend avoiding meat in Nepal and sticking to vegetarian fare so as to avoid any stomach upsets that may impact your experience.


You're mostly using the trusty transport of your own two feet in Nepal. There aren't too many roads in the Himalayas! You'll be using local trade routes and come across many local people selling their wares along the way, delivering goods by foot to businesses further up the mountains and travelling to visit their families. To get to the trek starting point we travel by plane to Lukla for the 'EBC' Everest Base Camp and Khumbu treks, by plane to Pokhara and on to Jomsom for the Mustang trek, and by plane to Pokhara and then bus to the 'AST' Annapurna Sanctuary trek.


You will be accompanied on your trek by an Active Adventures guide and a local team of guides and porters. They will work closely together to ensure your trip is special, fun, hassle free, safe and successful. From organising your lodgings each night to carrying your gear, this is a team you couldn't do without. They are used to working together, have a great team bond and are always looking for ways to make your trip special. They will keep you entertained, motivated and happy, even on the most challenging days. We are extremely proud of our guiding team in Nepal and the way they work together, and we look forward to you meeting them on your adventure.

How many people are there on each of our Nepal trips?

We take up to 10 people on each Everest Base Camp Trek, and 12 on our other Himalayas trips. All our trips have an excellent guide leading the way along with a team of porters. We have found that our trips tend to attract people with fairly similar interests and many people have commented that the social scene was one of the highlights of their trip!

What rooming is provided on your Nepal trips?

Our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate (two people per room), and in the tea houses we will endeavour to place you in rooms of two people. However on the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek ‘AST’ there are regulations which restrict the number of tea houses and rooms that are allowed to be built above the town on Chhomrong. For this reason, there is limited space and during peak season expect to be sharing with fellow Active Adventures group members where there will be four to six people sharing a room.
Some of the main lodges and hotels have a double bed option for couples, though the tea houses are usually twin share beds only, and some tea-houses may have bathrooms down the hall from your room or a few metres away from the main building.

Do you charge a forced single supplement if I'm a solo traveller?

We don’t believe in charging you extra for travelling alone and we have lots of single travellers on our trips. There’s no forced single supplement if you don’t mind sharing a room (you might even get a room to yourself sometimes). If you prefer not to share a room at all, you can upgrade to a single room.

If your trip uses lodges and tea houses that are either twin share, or sometimes even more people sharing, then the upgrade cost will reflect this.

How much luggage can I bring on the Nepal trip?

You'll need one medium sized piece of luggage and a daypack. Your main piece of luggage can be anything from a backpack, to a sports bag with wheels or a suitcase and a good quality daypack 25-30 litres (2000 cubic inches) to use throughout the days on the trails. 

In Kathmandu we'll give you an Active Adventures Himalayas porter bag of around 50L of space for your sleeping gear and teahouse clothing. Your main bag will then be left in the hotel in Kathmandu in secure storage with anything you need at the end of your trip. Your daypack should be big enough to fit your rain gear, camera, water bottles/hydration system, and anything else you need during the day while you're hiking.

What kind of clothing should I be packing for my trip to Nepal?

Once you've booked your trip, you'll have access to a gear list in your portal on exactly what to bring along. The gear list is carefully thought out to provide you with everything you need to be warm and happy, or cool and relaxed, whatever the weather! So it is best to bring everything we recommend along, if you don't bring everything you need, we can't guarantee your comfort.

Do I need hiking boots or are hiking sneakers okay?

You will need proper hiking boots - trail shoes are not good enough. We'll be taking you to some awesome places where you'll be hiking over a variety of terrain, therefore your boots should have full ankle support and a stiff sole with a high profile tread. It's also important that whichever footwear you decide to bring that it's well broken-in and waterproofed before you come down. If you have good ankles that will be able to cope pretty well with varied terrain, then good hiking shoes should be fine, but if not then hiking boots will give you better support.

What is the food like in Nepal?

The staple food of Nepalese people is "daal, bhaat, tarkari" (lentil soup or curried vegetables with rice) and this hearty meal is something that you’ll certainly enjoy whilst out on the trails. The food in Nepal is healthy and nutritious, with things like lentils, potatoes, rice and vegetables making up the most basic meals. The restaurants in Kathmandu are varied and plentiful - you’ll find various restaurants serving Italian, Chinese, Thai, Mexican, Indian and all sorts!


What if I need a special diet?

We can deal with all sorts of different diets during main meals, like…

  • vegan (no meat or animal products)
  • vegetarian (no meat products)
  • pescatarian (vegetarian, but eat fish) • no red meat (eat chicken & fish)
  • no red meat (eat chicken & fish)
  • gluten intolerant (no wheat, rye, barley or oats)
  • lactose intolerant (no dairy products)

We recommend everyone sticks to vegetarian fare (even if you’re not usually vegetarian!) for the duration of your trekking trip to avoid any stomach upsets. Your guides will let you know if there’s anywhere in particular to avoid meat.

Also if you have a sensitivity to dairy or gluten, and you have a favourite snack or brand of snack which suits you at home, we suggest you bring some along. There are meal options for you and a plenitude of food however gluten/ dairy free biscuits, chocolate and muesli bars are hard to come by. Some long-life probiotics might be handy to bring along too (ones that don’t require to be kept in the fridge only!) to take one each day you’re away – this may help your stomach and is good in places when you cannot have yoghurt.
Bring alcohol-based hand wash, and wash your hands constantly to avoid stomach upsets. Your guide will also provide soap to properly wash hands at each stop.

There are a few local customs to be aware of with regard to food and meals in Nepal:

  • Always use your right hand for eating and handling food. The left hand is considered dirty, so don’t use it to eat or pass food to other people.
  • It’s important not to touch another person’s food.

Can I drink the water in Nepal?

Being in a tropical environment and not treated by the government, the water in Nepal contains different bacteria to what we’re used to at home. We highly recommend you to not drink it or use it for brushing teeth, even in Kathmandu. Use treated water at all times. This also applies if you’re travelling through a developing country on your way to Nepal.
Plastic bottles are causing a huge environmental impact in Nepal, with plastic bottles littering some of the highest and most stunning places in the Himalayas. We’re sure you’ll agree with us that this is heart-breaking to see, so please use treated water rather than buying plastic bottles, or reuse the same bottle. Our purification tabs work perfectly, we’ll provide these for you at your trip briefing, and treated drinking water is provided in the hotels where we stay.

What is the currency in Nepal?

Nepal’s currency is the Nepalese rupee - US$1 is worth about 97 Nepalese rupees (at the time of writing). 

How much spending money should I bring and where do I get local currency?

We recommend you bring a variety of payment options with you to Nepal. US dollars are most easily exchanged, and a Visa Debit ATM card and a credit card should be carried in case of emergency. Nepalese rupees are the standard currency and are hard to sell outside of Nepal.

Cash is the easiest option and most widely accepted form of payment in Nepal. Visa and MasterCard are accepted in some places, with additional transactions fees. Be sure to let your credit card company know you are travelling to these countries. If bringing US dollars to Nepal, bring brand new & good quality notes, the bigger the denomination the better.

Except in Solu Khumbu and on the Annapurna treks, changing foreign money is likely to be very difficult if not impossible, so bring enough money for the whole trek and don't count on being able to change Rs 1000 notes except in Namche Bazaar and Jomsom. Away from major centres, changing a Rs 1000 note can be very difficult, so it is always a good idea to keep a stash of small-denomination notes. Even in Kathmandu, many small businesses - especially rickshaw and taxi drivers - simply don't have enough spare money to allow them the luxury of carrying a wad of change.

We recommend bringing about US$15-30 (or equivalent) cash with you per person, per day. It should be plenty for extra food or drinks, bottled drinking water and to charge up your cameras in the tea houses as well as any souvenirs you would like to buy. Drinks and things tend to get more expensive the higher into the mountains you go, so be prepared for the different prices in different places.

Is altitude a concern in the Himalayas?

Our Nepal treks will take you to higher altitudes, so it’s important to be aware of the causes and risks of altitude sickness, and how we manage them. You’ll be accompanied on your trip by a very experienced guide and we’ll be taking all the recommended (and more!) acclimatisation days to allow you time to get used to the higher elevations. Altitude sickness is something that can occur above 2,400m or 8,000ft and affects everybody differently regardless of fitness (after all no-body is the same). Unless you live somewhere with high elevation, it's difficult to predict how your body will react to the higher altitudes, though there are some things you can do along the way to help you acclimatise.

One of the most important of these is to walk slowly and drink plenty of water – it’s really important that your body stay well hydrated at all times and you never over-exert yourself. Also, eat light meals to make it easy for your body to digest food, avoid coffee and alcohol which dehydrate you and slow your breathing down, take plenty of rests and keep yourself warm at all times. If you are concerned or have any problems, then tell your guide straight away. If you are concerned, chat to your doctor about a prescription for Diamox which is proven to help with altitude. If you need any other information please get in touch – we know the place well and we can give you plenty more specific advice.

Learn more here about dealing with altitude

What time zone is Nepal in?

Nepal Time (NPT) is the time zone for Nepal. It is +5:45 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). 

What types of plugs and voltage do you use in Nepal?

Nepal operates on a 220 volt / 50Hz syetem with round two- and three-pin plugs (C, D and M).

Will we have access to electricity everywhere we stay?

Electricity is becoming more available throughout the Himalayas, however it’s still unreliable in many places. Local residents here usually have solar chargers they offer to recharge your devices (iPods, cameras, etc.) for around US$5-7 per device, depending on power availability. Some people bring their own solar charger though this is not mandatory. 

Will I have access to the internet and WiFi in Nepal?

Most of the places we go are pretty remote so WiFi is not always available though it is available at the teahouses in Namche Bazaar, Deboche, Periche and Kumjung at a charge ~ around US$5-10 per day. WiFi is also commonly available throughout the Annapurna Valley.
As far as internet access goes, there are internet cafe’s at Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Dingboche and Khumjung so you should be able to check your email at least once or twice during your trip as well. Phone centre’s are also available at Namche Bazaar and Dingboche.

What cultural practices should I be aware of?

Nepal has numerous cultural practices that are unusual to foreign visitors, so being aware and following them, when you can, will add so much to the whole experience. In the busier tourist areas, like Kathmandu or Pokhara, there is a high degree of tolerance towards visitors, but when we head further afield and away from these places, you should be sensitive to local customs. For example, shaking hands is not a common form of greeting; instead make a great first impression by pressing the palms together in a prayer-like gesture and saying Namaste (nam-ast-ay).
A few social conventions we recommend to follow are:

  • Women should dress conservatively and keep shoulders and legs covered (a good rule of thumb for Asian countries is have your elbows to knees covered)
  • Permission should be sought before taking photographs, particularly at religious sites
  • Public displays of affection between men and women are not seen as appropriate
  • Footwear should be removed when entering houses, especially kitchens, or shrines
  • Seek permission before entering a temple, and do not take leather articles inside them
  • Remember not to point with a single finger but use a flat extended hand especially to indicate a sacred object or place

What is the weather like in Nepal?

Nepal has a huge variety of weather conditions throughout the year and as a result of having one of the largest mountain ranges in the world its weather can also change very quickly as well. As Nepal sit in the tropical belt and the mountains here are very steep, it means quite often on your trip you’ll experience hot and humid tropical climates right through to sub-zero alpine climates. We recommend you follow the gear list closely and pack for all situations. You may not have to use everything in your bag, but at least you have it just in case.

Any good books or videos about the Himalayas?

There are so many great stories to come out of the Himalayas, probably because the landscape and the people inspire such creativity and adventure. Here is a list, gathered from across the Active Adventures family, of recommended reads:

  • Seven Years in Tibet and the sequel Return to Tibet. Two autobiographical travel books written by Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer. Seven Years in Tibet is based on Harrer's real life experiences in Tibet between 1944 and 1951 during the second world war and the time before the Chinese People's Liberation Army invaded. The book quickly became a best seller and has now sold millions of copies and been made into a movie twice - most recently in 1997, starring Brad Pitt!
  • The Snow Leopard is an account by Peter Mathiessen, of his and George Schaller's 1973 journey to Crystal Mountain, in the Dolpo region on the Tibetan Plateau. They went in search of the extremely rare Snow Leopard that exists only in the high parts of Asia. Published in 1978, The Snow Leopard is regarded as a classic of modern nature writing. 
  • A more recent book, Michael Palin's Himalaya accompanies the successful 2004 BBC series. If you're looking for a great coffee table book to help get you inspired, this is it! There are some awesome images by Basil Pao interspersed regularly with Palin's fantastic sense of humour and easy-reading stories. 
  • You can't go past Into Thin Air, by best selling author Jon Krakauer. This is a hair-raising tale of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster when eight climbers were killed and several others were stranded during a rogue storm. Whilst a little more 'extreme' than our Everest Base Camp trek, this book definitely portrays another element to mountaineering in the Himalayas! Since it was published it has raised many questions surrounding the morality and competitive nature of summiting Mt Everest.
  • For those interested in Tibetan Buddhism, The Path to Enlightenment by the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso is a must read. In 1959 the Communist Chinese Government forced the non-violent Tibetan Buddhist Government into exile. Having spent the majority of his life in India, the Dalai Lama, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has spent this time advocating for Tibetan's inside and outside of Tibet. Along with defining the Lam Ram, which are the stages on the spiritual path, the Dalai Lama describes the difficulty of attaining Nirvana (full Buddhahood), but urges determination.
  • Sherpas: Reflections on Change in Himalayan Nepal by James F Fisher is a fascinating snapshot of how tourism and modernisation have affected the traditional way of life of the Sherpa people - both positively and negatively. Fisher first visited the Sherpas of Nepal when he accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary in 1964, to help build school houses. One of the by-products of this new school building was a small airstrip, which dramatically increased tourism to the area.
  • Touching My Father's Soul by Jamling Tensing Norgay offers a great insight into the Sherpa world. Jamling Norgay was a mountaineer in his own right, who was a climbing leader on the ill-fated 1996 Everest IMAX expedition. As well as a first-hand account of the 96' tragedy, this book also tells little known stories of Tenzing's historic climb. 

What kind of things are there to do on my free day in Kathmandu?

There are heaps of activities to enjoy and places to explore in and around Kathmandu, whether you want to experience some of Nepal’s rich culture and history, take some time to relax and reflect upon your time in this amazing country, or keep the adventures coming! If you’re keen to stick to the city, then you could head out and explore the vibrant streets and shops of Thamel, browse for souvenirs and relax with a cheesecake and cup of Nepali tea up on one of the rooftop cafes. Or you can choose to escape the hustle and bustle and soak up the serenity of the Garden of Dreams, just a 2 minute walk from hotels in Thamel and a million miles away from the city. There are also some awesome day trips just a short bus or taxi ride away. Patan is famed for its local arts and craft scene and museum, or you can wander the cobbled streets of Bhaktapur, the country’s best-preserved medieval town. Or head for the hills! Hire a guide and go for a day hike up Nagajun hill!

If you fancy getting a glimpse into the beautiful melting pot of religions in Nepal, visit the spectacular Pashupatinath (Hindu) or Bodhnath (Buddhist) temples, just on the outskirts of Kathmandu. Nepal is also famous for being one of the world’s best outdoor adventure destinations, which is one of the main reasons we love it here so much! So if you’re keen to hit that adrenaline high or try something a little different whilst you’re here you’ve got heaps of options to choose from – take to the water and learn to kayak, or go white water rafting on one of Nepal’s mighty rivers; mountain bike in the Kathmandu Valley, bungy jump 160m at the Last Resort, go canyoning and abseil into a waterfall, or hone your climbing skills at the climbing wall in Kathmandu and imagine yourself summiting one of the many famous peaks you’ll have seen along the way!

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