Ultimate Guide to Trekking in Nepal: Everything You Need to Know

  • Sajana Tripathi
  • Updated on Jul 8, 2024

"Trekking in Nepal is like getting a drug dose, once the dose is over; You have the urge to return” a guest once quoted during his fifth visit to Nepal.

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"Trekking in Nepal is like getting a drug dose, once the dose is over; You have the urge to return”, a guest once quoted during his fifth visit to Nepal. Many people view Nepal as their second home and frequently travel there to cross off certain trekking regions on their bucket list. Be it for a one-day hike or a multi-days trekking, an expedition of a 6000 meter or to the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, a jungle safari to Chitwan or a avian viewing excursion to Koshi Tappu, Nepal has something to offer to everyone.

Photo with Guests posing at Kalapatthar with view of Everest

I want to give you all the information you need to travel or go trekking in Nepal, including how to apply for a visa, what to know about the country's capital, Kathmandu, and how to pick the best option for your interests. I'll also be talking about the experiences of our customers who made the decision to visit Nepal from different parts of the world. 'm quite certain you'll find the answers to your questions here, and you can feel free to ask further questions.

VISA:

Nepal Visa

The small Himalayan country Nepal, is blessed naturally and has a wonderful history which can amaze the visitors. Obtaining a visa is the first step in the hiking experience in Nepal. The process is simpler because a visa can be obtained upon arrival. You can complete the online form, print it, and pay at the airport when you arrive, saving even more time. You can fill the form not more than 15 days before coming to Nepal so that you have your data in the system. 

The Capital City, Kathmandu

Bouddhanath Stupa Kathmandu

The capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu, also known as The City of Temples, will greet you warmly when you arrive. The ancient city is a fantastic illustration of how Nepal is so much more than just a mountain country. While trekking is the most popular activity in Nepal, Kathmandu, also known as Kasthamandap, entices visitors with its stunning scenery and is home to seven UNESCO world heritage sites. Just make sure you give yourself a day or two to acclimate to Kathmandu's charms before you embark on a trekking adventure or spend more time taking in the splendor of Asia's greatest marvel, Nepal.

Discover the most well-known sites in the valley through sightseeing, including Pashupatinath Temple, Bouddhanath Stupa, and Swayambhunath Stupa, also known as the monkey temple. Learn more about Kathmandu's sightseeing.

One of the lesser-known locations during valley sightseeing is Pharping, which is close to the center and features a memorial for Tibet's oldest monastery, Samye Monastery. The monastery in Tibet was established by Guru Ringpoche Padmasambhava. Along the Pharping route, you will also be able to see the enlightening cave where Guru Padmasambhava meditated and saw visions. There is also a trekking spot for those who enjoy hiking.

The cable car at Chandragiri Hills is another popular destination in the Kathmandu Valley. The location holds religious significance as well because of the Temple Bhaleshwor Mahadev. It is thought that this is where Sati Ji's Bhala, or forehead, fell. In addition, there's a fantastic resort for those looking to get away from the bustle of the city. Trekking is another way to get to this location from Chitlang.

What to pack for Trekking in Nepal? Buy or rent?

It's usually beneficial to purchase equipment rather than rent it to make sure you have hygienic, high-quality materials of your choosing. From the list, you can rent a sleeping bag and even spend money on a liner to make sure everything fits your needs.

1. T-shirt ( full and half sleeve )

2. Fleece jacket

3. Wind cheater

4. A bit thick jacket. (Down preferably to beat the cold at 4000 – 5000 Meters or above depending on your choice of route :)

5. Hiking pants

6. Trekking boots: Investing on a nice waterproof light boots is always the most important part.

7. Sandals/ comfortable non-slippery slippers which can be used with socks : Well, nothing beats the wonderful

8. Warm cap

9. Scarf to save you from having cracked cheeks.

10. Water bottle and water purifier tablets is always wonderful in saving money and not polluting the mountains with more plastic waste. Carrying a thermos should also be helpful if you prefer drinking hot water while being exposed to cold temperatures.

11. Day pack for yourself.

12. Gloves

13. Torch (preferably headtorch): Don’t forget a Headlamp which should be helpful in many cases. Carrying spare batteries is always useful.

14. Sunscreen, lotion

15. Lip balm

16. Toiletries ( paper towel, soap, shampoo, quick drying hiking towel )

17. Raincoat/poncho

18. A nice sleeping bag should help you in getting a good sleep after the long day’s trek.

19. Carrying a powerbank or solar charger saves you a great deal.

20. Hiking Poles come handy and support a lot during the trekking.

Make sure to reserve your lodging at the Thamel Tourist Hub. There are plenty of stores, lodging options, and dining establishments in the area to meet the needs of any visitor to Nepal. In addition to being safe, it is the tourist destination in Kathmandu with the most energy. If your intention is to prepare your equipment once you are in Nepal, then just allocate your first few days to exploring Thamel's lanes.

Which are the Major Trekking Routes in Nepal?

Guests posing infront of the iconic stone at Everest Base Camp

Since many people throughout the world aspire to have a closer look at the world's highest mountain, you surely have heard of the Everest Base Camp. The magnificence of Sagarmatha, often known as Mount Everest, fascinates everyone. While some travel to Nepal with the intention of climbing it, others come with the expectation of catching a glimpse of the wonders of nature. Fitness is the main prerequisite for this journey; age is not a barrier. It is necessary to prepare yourself both physically and mentally if you intend to follow the trekking routes in Nepal.

We once hosted a honeymoon pair. The guy was 6 feet 2 inches tall and seemed to be in better shape than his wife. However, when they began their journey, the guy became ill in Namche and was unable to continue, so they chose to stop there while his wife traced their dream path. We had another family arrive with a 70-year-old grandfather and a 10-year-old granddaughter, the youngest member of their group. During the trek, the grandchild became ill, whereas the grandfather completed the trek without issue.

I can't forget to mention one significant event: we had a group of ten, and the most amazing person in the group had to stop at Namche due to an accident that occurred while going to take a shower barefoot. Well, I merely told you about these occurrences to show you that fitness, age, and will are not always the most important factors, and that karma/destiny also has an impact. After working in tourism for more than 8 years, I strongly think that we play our parts and offer our best, but there is one superpower who is constantly leading us and we are where we need to be at the appropriate time with the person/people whom we are destined to share. However, it also serves as a reminder to everyone that we must exercise tremendous caution at all times.

Trekkers choosing the Everest Region can also choose the best path to follow based on the number of days available and their needs. Typically, people choose the traditional approach. Some who want to add a little effort choose Base Camp via Gokyo Valley, which includes the Chola Pass. Additionally, those wishing for more flavor might go to the three high passes that cover Renjo La, Chola, and Kongma La.

Another popular tourist location is the Annapurna region. This area offers the option of trekking to Annapurna Base Camp or the Annapurna Circuit, which includes the Thorungla Pass. People visiting the Annapurna Region may opt for shorter treks to Ghorepani Poonhill, Khopra Ridge, and Mardi Himal.

For those seeking a more demanding and peaceful vacation, the Manaslu Circuit trek is the best alternative. Trekkers must obtain a restricted area permission to reach this location, and having a guide who knows the path is always advantageous.

The Langtang Valley walk, with or without Gosainkunda lake, provides an unparalleled trekking experience for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in nature's splendor. The 2015 earthquake severely devastated the Langtang valley. Langtang village, which was devastated by a landslide, has recovered, with new teahouses serving guests.

How to choose the Trekking Region?

Don't get perplexed by the many alternatives. As you complete one trek, you will undoubtedly make plans to return to appreciate Nepal's pure nature via another route. There are so many options.

Everest Base Camp is for those who want a close-up view of Mount Everest, Ama Dablam, and Lhotse.

Annapurna Base Camp is for those who want to be immersed in nature and lush green woods. It receives more rainfall than other locations, which benefits the local vegetation.

Langtang Valley is ideal for those who want to experience both forests and arid landscape because it is closer to Tibet. This path is relatively quieter than other locations.

The Manaslu Circuit trek is ideal for those who want to challenge themselves while avoiding crowds. It offers trekkers isolated and untouched pathways.

Upper mustang is also an alternative for those who want to be attracted by desert-like mountains that showcase nature's exquisite architecture.

People who visit for the first time usually choose Everest Base Camp because they are unfamiliar with other places. But believe me, you will not regret choosing any route because each has its own charm and characteristics that set it apart from the others. If you are still unsure, you can always seek expert help. Just WhatsApp me your questions, and I will make sure that all your doubts are solved in an instant.

Safety & Health for Trekking in Nepal

Talk to your doctor about how to avoid altitude sickness, as well as pack certain necessary medications and continue working as prescribed. If you're going on a trek, you should have travel insurance that covers helicopter evacuation and medical expenditures. Stay hydrated by drinking 4 liters of water per day.

Check the vaccination list for your country online. We had some clients from Argentina whose Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificates were checked at the airport.

Trekking Permits with cost

Permits are required to access the trekking routes. The national park permits vary depending on the region you are going to.

For the Everest region, two licenses are required: a Khumbu Municipality local permit for NPR 2000 and a Sagarmatha National Park permit for NPR 3000. The national park permit costs NPR 1500 for Indian visitors.

For Annapurna Region, ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit) is required which is NPR 3000. It costs NPR 1000 for Indian travelers. The Indian Travelers who are not trekking but only visiting Muktinath temple also require this permit to enter the region.

For Manaslu region, Restricted area permit is required which is USD 100 per person / week for September – November. USD 15 per person / day (beyond 1 week)

USD 75 per person / week for December – August and USD 10 per person / day (beyond 1 week).

To apply for the restricted area permit, at least two travelers are required. MCAP (Manaslu Conservation Area Permit), which costs NPR 3000 per person, is also required. If you are doing the Manaslu circuit, you will also need ACAP.

For Langtang region, Langtang National Park permit costing NPR 3000 per person is required.

Then moving on with Upper Mustang region, a restricted area permit requiring USD 500 per person is required and also ACAP.

Food

Photo of Nepali Thali Dal Bhat

In Nepal, "Dal Bhat Power, 24 Hour" refers to a complete meal consisting of bhat (rice), a carbohydrate source.

Dal- Lentils- Source of protein.

Vegetables include nutrients and vitamins.

Prepare to have your taste buds tickled with this great culinary tour in Nepal. I am glad to state that we have a wide variety of cuisines available in the major cities. There is something for everyone, whether it's Italian pizza, a Mexican burrito, Indian style biryani, or some improvised cuisine. People with unique dietary needs have absolutely no trouble in Nepal. Even in the mountains, they have a menu and you may order what you want. Just make sure to follow your guide's advice when in the highlands, since they know what's excellent and where.

If you are going on a hike, we recommend avoiding milk and meat to avoid digestive issues. The vegetarian options are also extremely delightful.

Accommodation During Trekking in Nepal

Guests posing infront of Hotel Everest View

Wherever you go in Nepal, expect to experience the incredible hospitality of the Nepalese. They are the most amazing souls you will meet, and they will undoubtedly win your heart. There are numerous possibilities in large cities, ranging from simple hostels to three- and five-star hotels. There are also choices for homestays if you want to stay with a Nepali family.

When it comes to mountains, the service range varies depending on location and altitude. If you visit The Everest Region, you will see that the facilities have increased in recent years, as have the rates. You can discover rooms with attached bathrooms and, yes, electric blankets. The Everest View Hotel in Namche is the highest-altitude hotel, standing at 3800 meters.

Adding more about the accommodation, all the trekking routes come with basic and clean accommodations. Carrying a sleeping bag helps to beat the cold in higher elevations. You can always ask for extra blankets if required at the tea houses. The bathroom facilities comes with the modern commodes and also with the squat pans depending on the areas. Just be prepared mentally that you are voyaging on an adventure in a developing country and you will have a totally different experience.

Roads

Be prepared to witness the off road journeys with the bumpy rides. Well, Nepal is a developing country with a lot of road construction going on and you will come across bad roads. Clients tell me that "your definition of bad roads is different from ours". Yes, as a hilly country, our roads are in poor condition on several routes. But I can guarantee you that the discomfort is worth it for the breathtaking landscapes that await you after your tough road ride.

Domestic flights

Domestic planes connect most of the major cities and also to some mountain destinations. But our planes are small and they depend so much on the weather. When booking your travel, you should mentally prepare for potential delays and cancellations. I would recommend that you plan your flights with enough time to travel in case the trip does not go as planned. It is typically a concern during rainy and foggy winters.

Many people are confused about the flights from Ramechapp to Lukla these days. This choice was made to alleviate the crowds who wanted to trace the Everest Region. When the flight is operated from Ramechapp which is a 4-5 hours road journey from Kathmandu , the airlines are able to have more flights taking more people to the gateway of Everest, Lukla. The flights are operated from Ramechapp for the months mid March to mid May and from mid September to mid November.

You can also embark on the one hour journey of mountain flight from Kathmandu to witness the himalayan range including Mount Everest. There are daily flights in the morning. 

When is the Best Time for Trekking in Nepal?

Now that you know all that there is to know about trekking in Nepal, it's time to decide when is the ideal time of year to go. In Nepal, spring (March, April, May) and fall (September, October, November) are thought to be the best seasons to visit. If your trip is genuinely scheduled for the monsoon season (June, July, August), you might choose to trek in the Rainshadow regions and hike the Upper Mustang or Annaupurna Circuit. Just make sure to check the road conditions by contacting your travel agency.

For those who prefer gentler paths, winter trekking is accessible in the lower mountain regions in December, January, and February. If you're acclimated to cold weather, hiking in higher altitudes shouldn't cause any difficulties. Just make sure you have the appropriate winter clothing.

Conclusion

Nepal is considered as a paradise for the trek lovers. With addition to that you will find many places with wonders of Nature and human architecture. I hope this article is helpful in planning your journey to Nepal. Just be prepared for getting bewildered with the beauty.

Checklist:

  • Select a route to trek
  • Get the tickets
  • Fill the visa form and print it
  • Fly to the Capital
  • Get the permits done for the trek or leave it to your travel agent If you have booked a packaged triply
  • Immerse in the culture and beauty
  • Fly or drive to the trek starting point
  • Enjoy the trek
  • Carry a special memory from Nepal
  • Recommend Nepal to your friends and family
  • Plan for your “Next Visit to Nepal” 😊

The culturally rich Himalayan country exemplifies harmony amongst members of many religions. The mountains, temples, stupas, and monasteries all hold great significance for everyone visiting Nepal. The cuisine, the local market, the hospitality, and the local souvenirs (singing bowls, prayer wheels, special tea packed in a box with Mithila art or a wooden carved box, fridge magnets) all have a unique touch.

The famous slogan holds true for our country, “Naturally Nepal, Once is not Enough”.

 

Useful Links: Also read our blog 10 Reasons You Should Hire a Trekking Guide in Nepal

Sajana Tripathi

Sajana Tripathi

Sajana Tripathi is the Managing Director of Hiking Adventure Treks.  Holding a degree in Tourism Studies and currently pursuing her master's, she is deeply committed to advancing her knowledge and understanding of the field. Fluent in  English, Hindi and Spanish, she effortlessly communicates with clients from diverse backgrounds, ensuring their needs are met with precision and care.

Since the beginning of her career, Sajana has had a deep inclination towards writing. This passion has driven her to conduct thorough research, significantly enhancing the quality of her content. Her extensive experience in crafting tailor-made travel packages allows her to consider the unique preferences and time constraints of each client, delivering personalized experiences that consistently exceed expectations. Sajana's dedication to excellence and her passion for travel enable her to write high-quality content with vast information about various topics, making her blog a valuable resource for readers seeking in-depth insights into the travel industry.

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