Top Nepal Tours & Vacations 2024/2025 [reviews & photos]

Nepal Tours & Travel Packages 2024/2025

106 Nepal trips. Compare tour itineraries from 20 tour companies. 2,161 reviews. 4.8/5 avg rating.

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Top Nepal Attractions

    • Strolling past the more than 50 temples and palaces that sprawl across Durbar Square in Kathmandu, and the smaller collections of religious architectural treasures in nearby Patan and Bhaktapur.
    • Trekking for days around the Annapurna massif for breath-taking views of that awesome range.
    • Clambering aboard an elephant for a rock-and-rolling ride through Royal Chitwan National Park to spot rhinos, wild boar, crocodiles, monkeys and other resident wildlife.
    • Photographing scenery – towering mountains, deep green-clad valleys, glacial rivers, plummeting waterfalls – that rivals any on earth.
    • Discovering tiny villages laid out along narrow cobblestone streets that could have been plucked from medieval Europe and transported to their present idyllic setting.
    • Interacting with some of the most friendly people anywhere -- whose perpetual greeting, Namaste (na-ma-stay), which means “welcome,” says it all.
    • Observing the extent to which religion is as much a part of life as eating and breathing to most Nepalese, who express their devotion throughout the day and into night at both immense places of worship and tiny family shrines.

Nepal Tours & Travel Guide

Nepal Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Just the mention of “Nepal” tends to conjure up images of mountain climbers laboriously, and dangerously, ascending towering snow-capped peaks -- and for good reason. After all, this Tennessee-sized country, tucked between India and Tibet, is home to eight of the 10 tallest mountains in the world, including fabled Mount Everest and the magnificent Annapurna Range.  

Colorful prayer flags whipping in the wind, sky-piercing granite peaks on the horizon, and a swinging suspension bridge over a raging glacial stream...

This is the image most of us hold when we think of Nepal, and indeed, this is what the northernmost regions of Nepal have to offer. In addition to the Himalayan wonderlands that have made Nepal high on the list for adventure travelers, there is much to see, taste, and experience in the central and southern parts of Nepal: ornate temples and pagodas, beautiful countryside, bustling restaurants with local cuisine, unique shops with handmade goods and textiles, and lush tropical jungles with vibrant wildlife.

But there’s much more to see and do in Nepal than climb mountains; it’s a country that can appeal to a diverse group of travelers. For starters, those who prefer more level challenges than scaling mountains, trekking in Nepal is as good as it gets anywhere (though trekking may well involve elevation gain, too).

Cultural Activities in Nepal

During your visit to Nepal, you’ll be greeted and bid farewell with the word “Namaste,” which can be loosely translated to, “My soul recognizes your soul.” The warmth and unity felt in Nepalese culture is apparent in the language, which does not include a word for stranger; instead, new people are greeted as if they are family.

Nepal is a deeply spiritual and religious place, predominantly Hindu with a strong Buddhist presence as well. In fact, Nepal is known as the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama (also known as the Buddha), and travelers to Nepal can visit Lumbini to see where the founder of Buddhism was born. Temples and cultural heritage sites abound throughout Nepal, nestled into city neighborhoods and perched atop picturesque hillsides.

Nepal’s dramatic landscapes and views, most of which feature a breathtaking backdrop of snow covered Himalayan peaks, add to the overall sense that Nepal is a very special place where respect between humans, animals, and our planet is revered. Visit a Buddhist monastery, explore Narayanhiti Palace Museum (once the residence of Nepal’s king), or take in the sights and sounds of Nepal’s many festivals. The most important Nepalese festival is Dashain, the celebration of good prevailing over evil.

While hotels and guest houses are common in populated areas, homestays in more rural areas offer unique overnight accommodations if you’re eager to experience authentic Nepalese culture (and sink your teeth into home-cooked cuisine).

As a tourist, you will see much more of Nepal than most Nepalis will ever see. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in Asia, and poverty is apparent, especially in rural communities. If you would like to give back during your travels, consider choosing a tour to Nepal that includes the opportunity to volunteer within a school or community organization.

Hiking Tours in Nepal

You are in for the trip of a lifetime if you love to hike, as Nepal boasts some of the most beautiful multi-day trekking routes in the world. (Pro tip: Don’t bother looking for hiking tours in Nepal...instead, search for “trekking,” as it’s called by the locals!)

Hiking tours in Nepal are plotted through various parts of the Himalayas, which make up the northern third of the country. Nepal is home to 29,030-foot Mount Everest, Earth’s tallest peak, and while you may not feel up for summiting the thing, a multi-day trek to 17,600-foot Everest Base Camp is a thrilling adventure full of beauty, awe, and extremes (including exposure to the region’s famously thin air).

Treks in other parts of the Himalayas are equally enticing, where scenic trails are plotted through dramatic valleys, along steep mountainsides, and over stark passes far above the treeline. The Annapurna area, for example, is popular among trekkers, as are the Manaslu and Lantang areas.

Trekking tours Nepal vary in difficulty, length, and trailhead access (via plane or bus)...but they all require a hearty sense of adventure and a willingness to test your body’s limits above 10,000 feet!

Read more about trekking in Nepal and the top 10 treks in the world >>

Highlights of an Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal

Your Everest Base Camp Trek begins with a harrowing flight into Tenzing-Hillary Airport, a narrow airstrip in the town of Lukla, which is perched 9,3800 feet above sea level and has no roads to the outside world.

Hike to Namche Bazaar in the Himalayan foothills, and spend the night at an overnight inn called a teahouse, the first of many tea houses you’ll visit along this 10(ish)-day journey. Fill your belly with nourishing dhal bat, a curried lentil and rice dish that Nepalis eat daily, before resting up for the next leg of your trek.

Notice the trees thinning as you hike toward Tengboche Monastery, your next major stop during your ascent. Sky-piercing granite peaks begin to rise all around you on the trail. 

By the time you reach the village of Dingboche, the trees have all given way to barely-vegetated meadows and stark boulder fields. Rivers and streams with vibrant turquoise glacial runoff rush through the valleys below your trail. You take a rest day here to let your body acclimate to 14,470 feet.

At last, somewhere around the sixth or seventh day of your trek, you reach the base camp at 17,600 feet. Helicopters circle above while you behold Mount Everest, showcasing the great peak to the passengers inside who were unable or unwilling to make the trek you’ve just made. At this part of the journey, you’re stopping every 3-4 steps to take an extra breath. These pauses simply allow you to take in the scenery with awe. 

When it’s time to descend, it’s a relief. It feels good to return to the lush villages below treeline, where the oxygen is thick and invigorating.

Temples and Pagodas in Nepal

The best Nepal guided tours include visits to the country’s exquisite temples and pagodas, some of which are hundreds of years old. Both Hindu and Buddhist temples are sprinkled throughout Kathmandu as well as the more rural areas outside the city.

Nagarkot is home to some of Nepal’s most celebrated views of Mount Everest and the Himalayas (especially captivating at sunrise), and Changu Narayan Temple is nearby. This two-story pagoda-style Hindu temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and miraculously survived the 2015 earthquake that devastated much of the Kathmandu Valley.

Known as the “Monkey Temple,” Swayambhunath Temple is perched atop a hill on the west side of Kathmandu, and is famous for its panoramic views of the city. In addition to its views, this Buddhist temple complex is home to a number of beautiful monuments and ornate statues.

Boudhanath is a huge, dome-shaped Buddhist temple northeast of Kathmandu. These types of dome-shaped temples are called “stupas,” and they’re sprinkled throughout Nepal, India, Tibet, Sri Lanka, and East Asia.

Suryabinayak is a Hindu temple in Bhaktapur, and is dedicated to Lord Ganesh, who is revered as the remover of obstacles and the god of new beginnings. The temple is located just over a mile outside the city, and can only be reached on foot.

Pashupatinath is a beautiful temple complex east of Kathmandu with a vast array of temples, ashrams, and shrines to behold. Pashupatinath is also known as the “cremation temple,” where bodies are burned on pyres beside the Bagmati River. While many tour operators do bring tourists to Pashupatinath and visitation to this sacred Hindu temple is encouraged, your respectful discretion in regards to the cremation activities is greatly appreciated.

Put simply, if tourism wasn’t such a vital part of Nepal’s economy, this part of Pashupatinath, where people are experiencing the deeply personal process of grieving, might not be open to visitation at all.

What to See and Do in Kathmandu

Kathmandu is a colorful, vibrant city with great shopping, delightful restaurants and coffee shops, and a blissful blend of both Buddhist and Hindu influences in its architecture and culture. Nepalis love to celebrate, and have adopted a number of western holidays in addition to their traditional holidays, so there is almost always some kind of celebration going on.

Thamel is the most popular tourist district in Kathmandu, known for its great shops, cafes, and friendly international vibe. Colorful prayer flags line the alleyways. Handmade souvenirs are plentiful in the shops, along with high-quality clothing and outdoor gear. 

Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, which translates to “Royal Square,” was the royal Nepalese residence until the 19th century. Some parts of Durbar Square were damaged in Nepal’s devastating 2015 earthquake, but history buffs won’t want to miss the chance to explore this glimpse into the past.

About ten miles outside Kathmandu, the ancient city of Bhaktapur is an architectural masterpiece. Listed as a UNESCO heritage site, Bhaktapur has a beautifully preserved open square with wonderful little market shops. 

While you’re in Kathmandu, you’ll probably want to take a ride in a rickshaw to see the city streets up close from the seat of a tricycle carriage.

Top Tips for Hiking to Everest Base Camp

A trek to Everest Base Camp is a dream for many passionate hikers, and the rewards are sweet for those who are willing to ascend to great altitudes: stunning views of stark, high-alpine terrain for as far as the eye can see, and the chance to behold Earth’s tallest peak.

While the hike to the 17,600-foot base camp isn’t a technical mountaineering experience, it is a challenging endeavor even for seasoned backpackers. To make the most of your trek, consider the following.

  1. If you plan on hiring a guide and/or porter, do your research ahead of time to make sure you’re working with a reputable company that pays their guides and porters appropriately, and outfits them with the proper safety equipment and clothing. Choosing a local, Nepal-based guide is a wonderful way to support Nepal’s economy, which relies heavily on tourism. 

  2. Allow plenty of time to acclimatize at high elevation. Even expert hikers can experience Acute Mountain Sickness (also known as Altitude Sickness), especially those who live close to sea level for most of the year. Build a couple of no-hiking days into your ascent schedule, allowing your body to adjust and acclimate. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of altitude sickness and the treatments. Diamox is a drug that helps your body adapt, and may be available for you to bring with you.

  3. Invest in high-quality, high-performance shoes and clothing. While bargain shopping in Kathmandu may be tempting in the days prior to your trek, keep in mind that a malfunction or failure of your clothing or shoes during this trek could be a life-or-death situation. If a good deal on a jacket seems too good to be true, it probably is.

  4. Be prepared to share the trail with many other trekkers. Due to the popularity of this route, the trail is busy for most of the year. Spring is the most popular trekking season, between March and May, when the summer monsoon season has not yet started. Fall is another viable option, with October and November being the best autumn bets.

  5. Consider hiring an interpreter (unless your Nepal guided tour includes this service already). A native language speaker will greatly assist with smooth communication at the teahouses, where you’ll spend each night during your trek. Or, learn a few phrases in Nepalese. While most everyone speaks basic English, making the effort to connect with the locals in their own language goes a long way toward making your nightly stays more comfortable and memorable.

Wildlife Sightings in Nepal

Nepal is a diverse country with various habitats, ranging from tropical jungles in the lowlands to subfreezing alpine tundra in the Himalayas. This unique collection of landscapes makes for a wide array of wildlife and biodiversity.

In the southernmost region of Nepal, known as the Terai region, Chitwan National Park is home to the one-horned rhinos, Royal Bengal tigers, and Gharial crocodiles, along with 65 other species of mammals, 544 species of birds, 56 species of herpetofauna and 126 species of fish.

Visitors can take safari tours through the park to spot these critters and marvel at the lush jungle (Pro tip: although elephant-ride safaris are offered as well, many elephant experts consider this type of work and activity to be harmful to the animals, especially over time). Bardia National Park in western Nepal is another popular destination for wildlife safaris, and a must-do for bird enthusiasts.

The hills and valleys between the Terai and the Himalaya provide land for most of Nepal’s farms, and it’s not uncommon to see domestic yaks, goats, and cattle roaming freely, even within the city of Kathmandu.

Mysterious creatures including snow leopards, musk deer, Himlayan black bear, and red pandas dwell in the reaches of the Himalayas. While they’re sometimes spotted in places like Sagarmatha National Park, they tend to keep themselves more hidden than the tropical animals farther south. Trekkers may see langurs (old world monkeys) while out on the trail, or herds of yaks.

Food in Nepal

If Nepal had a national dish, it would be dal bhat: curried lentil soup served over a grain like rice, cornmeal, or barley. Nepalis eat dal bhat every day, and during your visit, you probably will too! Happily, every recipe varies a bit, so you’ll still experience a range of spices and flavors despite eating the same dish.

Food in Nepal is similar to Indian food, although it’s a bit simpler in most ways, and it’s also influenced by Chinese cuisine.

Momos—tasty little dumplings filled with various meats, veggies, or sweets—are Nepal’s favorite snack. Savory momos are usually served with a spicy tomato-pepper dipping sauce, somewhere between ketchup and a hot chili sauce.

You won’t find much beef in Nepal, as many Nepalis believe cattle to be sacred, but buffalo is sometimes available.

In addition to dal bhat and momos, expect to see potatoes, soups, rice, and yogurt on the menus at teahouses and local food cafes.

Nepal Reviews & Ratings

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Anonymous

Aug 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Annapurna Circuit

This trip was excellent-the first Himalayan experience, a highly thought-of trek through brilliant mountain and remote scenery in mostly ideal weather conditions ...

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Anonymous

Mar 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Annapurna Circuit

Fantastic trip. Great people, scenery, culture and views. Very well organised and was very well looked after by trip leader and whole exodus team. Visiting poon hil...

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Anonymous

Mar 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Amazing trekking experience.

Namaste! When we decided to book this trek we considered several things - costing, availability, timings and fitness level; and upon reflection, we chose the right...

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Anonymous

Mar 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Beyond Expectations

An absolutely amazing trip. Nepal is such a beautiful country with very beautiful, kind and open people, and this trips opens a door into this culture. I have been...

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Anonymous

Mar 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Annapurna circuit group winter trek

A trek that shows Nepal from the city to the mountains. Watch the landscape, people, villages, food and animals change as you climb from the city, to subalpine, to...

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