From spectacular treks in the high Himalaya to visiting the birthplace of the Buddha at Lumbini, white-water rafting to Hindu pilgrimage sites, 10 days in Nepal is plenty of time to experience some of the country's highlights. Hit the ground running (or, strolling at a more leisurely pace) by selecting an itinerary that best reflects your interests.

Itinerary #1: Best of Central Nepal - Villages & Trekking

This ten-day itinerary strikes a balance between cultural immersion, trekking, and relaxation. Beginner trekkers or travelers seeking an easy outdoor adventure will enjoy this tour. Visit traditional villages in the mountains to learn about Nepal’s unique ethnic cultures, and trek in the Annapurna Range for some of the best mountain views in the country.

The view of Dhaulagiri from Poon Hill
The view of Dhaulagiri from Poon Hill
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Drive from Kathmandu to Summit River Lodge Kurintar
Day 3 Drive from Summit River Lodge to Bandipur Bandipur
Day 4 Drive from Bandipur to Pokhara, Evening Boat Tour Pokhara
Day 5 Drive from Pokhara to Phedi, Trek to Pothana (1,860 m)   Pothana
Day 6 Trek from Pothana to Landruk (5,135 feet / 1,565 m) Landruk
Day 7 Trek from Landruk to Ghandruk (6,365 feet / 1,940 m) Ghandruk
Day 8 Trek from Ghandruk to Nayapul, Drive to Pokhara Pokhara
Day 9 Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 10 Depart Kathmandu  

After your arrival in Kathmandu, you’ll leave the city on day two and drive to Kurintar, roughly halfway between Kathmandu and Pokhara. Kurintar is a small village on the banks of the Trishuli River, surrounded by a fertile expanse of farmland and forested hills. You’ll spend the night in this peaceful lodge surrounded by the sounds of the jungle in the foothills of the Himalaya.

Your next stop on day three will be Bandipur, an ancient Newari town high on a ridge that used to be a hub on the India-Tibet trade route. Now it’s a relaxed town with no traffic and spectacular mountain views on a clear day.

Continue along the Trishuli Highway on day four to reach Pokhara, Nepal’s second city. Spend some time checking out the lively Lakeside area, and take a boat ride on Phewa Lake in the evening. The mountain views from Pokhara are beautiful at sunset. 

After a few relaxing days easing into Nepal, lace up your hiking boots on day five and prepare for some physical activity. You’ll be transferred a short way to Phedi, from where you’ll trek for 4-5 hours to reach Pothana. En route, you’ll be treated to views of the Annapurna Himalaya.

Your second day of trekking with be a bit shorter, 2-3 hours, as you hike through the forest, including rhododendron forest to Landruk. Relax and preserve your energy for day seven, where a sharp descent will be followed by a sharp ascent to reach Ghandruk. This Gurung town is one of the largest in western Nepal and a great place to learn about Nepal’s ethnic and natural diversity.

Prepare for one final push on day eight, walking the 4-5 hours from Ghandruk to Nayapul, where you’ll be picked up and driven to Pokhara. Spend the evening at leisure in Pokhara: perhaps have a relaxing post-trek massage, or enjoy a special meal at a restaurant with a lake view. 

Although your journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara was spread out over several days, your return flight on day nine will take less than 30 minutes. Try to get a seat on the left-hand side of the plane for mountain views. After arrival in Kathmandu, spend the day touring some of the city’s cultural attractions, such as Swayambhunath, Boudhanath, or the Patan Durbar Square. Depart on day ten. Learn more.

Itinerary #2: Khopra Danda Trek

Travelers who want great views and quieter trails will especially enjoy the Khopra Danda Trek. The moderately challenging trek passes through local villages, terraced farmland, and dense bamboo, oak, pine, and rhododendron forests, all with rewarding views of the snow-capped Annapurna Himalaya.

The view of Dhaulagiri from Khopra Danda
The view of Dhaulagiri from Khopra Danda
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Explore Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 3 Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Trek to Tadapani (8,694 ft / 2,650 m) Tadapani
Day 4 Trek from Tadapani to Dobato (11,220 ft / 3,420 m) Dobato
Day 5 Trek from Dobato to Upper Chistibung (3,198 ft / 2,975 m) Upper Chistibung
Day 6 Trek from Upper Chistibung to Khopra Danda (12,007 ft / 3,660 m) Khopra Danda
Day 7 Rest day in Khopra Danda (Optional day hike to Kaire Lake) Khopra Danda
Day 8 Trek from Khopra Danda to Tatopani, Dip in the Hot Spring Tatopani
Day 9 Drive from Tatopani to Pokhara, Fly to Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 10 Depart Kathmandu  

Arrive in Kathmandu, and spend your first two days checking out the cultural highlights of the capital, either with a guide or independently. Must-visit attractions include Swayambhunath Stupa with its hordes of monkeys and sweeping views of the city, the Tibetan Buddhist pilgrimage site of Boudhanath, and the well-preserved Patan Durbar Square.

Leave the metropolis on day three and head west on a flight to Pokhara. You’ll be picked up at the airport and driven a couple of hours to Kimche. From there, trek for about five hours to Tadapani, stopping at the beautiful Gurung village of Ghandruk en route. 

On day four you’ll leave the well-beaten trails and head off into a more remote region of the Annapurna Himalaya, with fewer other trekkers. Walk through forests full of rhododendrons (which bloom in the spring) and other beautiful Nepali flora and fauna, as well as along ridgelines and open valleys. Rewards your 5-6 hours of hard worth with the sunset view from Muldai Peak.

Start day five by admiring the beautiful sunrise from Muldai Peak, then prepare for 4-5 hours of hiking. Descend to the pastures of Lower Chistibung before ascending again to Upper Chistibung. At both places, you’ll get to see how Nepali herders live and work at high altitudes. 

On day six you won’t walk for as long (2-3 hours) but it will be a steady uphill, above the treeline and through alpine pastures, to Khopra Danda. The views from here are unforgettable, with the Kali Gandaki River far below in the valley, and Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and Annapurna South before you. 

After several days of walking you deserve a rest, so spend day seven relaxing at Khopra Danda and enjoying the views. Alternatively, if you want to stay active, hike to sacred Kaire Lake. 

From Khopra Danda, descend steeply on day eight down to Tatopani (which means ‘hot water’ in Nepali. Rest your tired muscles in the natural, open-air hot-spring baths.

The overland Jeep ride from Tatopani to Pokhara on day nine will take about six hours, which is a good opportunity to have a rest. After a quick lunch in Pokhara, transfer to the airport and return to Kathmandu, ready for your departure on day ten. Learn more.

Itinerary #3: Tengboche Monastery Trek

While ten days isn’t enough time to trek all the way to Everest Base Camp, you can still enjoy some of the best sights and experiences of the Everest region. On the Tengboche Monastery Trek, you’ll climb through the forested Dudh Kosi Valley to Namche Bazaar, experiencing Sherpa culture along the way, and ending at the most important monastery in the Everest region, Tengboche.

Catch views of Himalayan peaks like Ama Dablam en route to Tengboche
Catch views of Himalayan peaks like Ama Dablam en route to Tengboche
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Explore Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 3 Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, Trek to Phakding (8,563 ft / 2,610 m) Phakding
Day 4 Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (11,290 feet / 3,440 m) Namche Bazaar
Day 5 Acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar Namche Bazaar
Day 6 Trek from Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (12,687 feet / 3,867 m) Tengboche
Day 7 Trek from Tengboche to Monjo (9,301 feet / 2,835 m) Monjo
Day 8 Trek from Monjo to Lukla (9,186 feet / 2,800 m) Lukla
Day 9 Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 10 Depart Kathmandu  

After flying into Kathmandu, spend the first tour days exploring the capital. There are many ancient cultural and religious sites worth exploring, including Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, and Patan Durbar Square. These reflect the Kathmandu Valley’s diverse Hindu and Buddhist cultures. 

On day three, head into the mountains on a short but very scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. The altitude in Lukla is much higher than in Kathmandu, so take it fairly easy on your first day of trekking with a three-hour hike to Phakding.

The climb from Phakding to Namche Bazaar on day four is long and steadily uphill (and quite steeply uphill in places!), but you’ll be rewarded with your first glimpse of Everest. Namche Bazaar is a lively ethnic Sherpa town. You’ll spend day five resting here, adjusting to the altitude, and enjoying the shops, cafes, and views of Namche Bazaar. If you’d prefer to stay active, you can take a short hike near the town.

On day six you’ll head deeper and higher into the Himalaya, and get amazing views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam on the way to Tengboche. This small town is home to a famous monastery, where Everest summiteers seek the blessings of the head lama en route to Everest.

Begin your return to Lukla on day seven. The descent will be much quicker than the ascent, so you’ll make it all the way to Monjo today, and then to Lukla on day eight. Although you’ll be retracing your steps, you’ll spend the nights in different settlements and have the chance to see different things. 

Return to Kathmandu by air on day nine, and depart Nepal on day ten. Learn more.

Itinerary #4: Rafting and Jungle Safari

While Nepal is perhaps better known for its long-distance mountain treks, it also has some of the finest white-water rafting in the world, as well as wildlife-filled jungles. This Rafting and Jungle Safari tour combines outdoor and jungle activities with plenty of time for relaxation. Raft and camp along the Lower Seti River, before exploring the jungle of the Chitwan National Park.

White-water rafting in Nepal
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Everest Mountain Flight, Explore Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 3 Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara & explore the lakeside Pokhara
Day 4 Explore Pokhara Pokhara
Day 5 Rafting on the Lower Seti River (Damauli to River Camp) Seti River Camp
Day 6 Rafting on the Lower Seti River, Drive to Chitwan Chitwan National Park
Day 7 Explore Chitwan: A Day With Elephants Chitwan National Park
Day 8 Explore Chitwan: Safaris, Wildlife, and Relaxation Chitwan National Park
Day 9 Fly from Chitwan to Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 10 Depart Kathmandu  

Starting in Kathmandu, spend a couple of days exploring the cultural sites of the capital. The Hindu and Buddhist temples, palaces, and monuments of highlights like Swayambhunath, Boudhanath, Pashupatinath, and the Patan Durbar Square are a great complement to the natural attractions you’ll experience later in the tour. Begin day two with an unforgettable scenic flight to Everest.

On day three, head west to Pokhara on an early flight. Spend this day and the next at leisure in the relaxed lakeside city; paddle a boat on the lake, hike or drive up to the Shanti Stupa, fly above the lake and hills on a tandem paragliding adventure, or just browse the shops and restaurants in the Lakeside area.

Be prepared for some action (and to get wet!) on day five, as you head to the Seti River for a fun couple of days of white-water rafting. It’s mostly a gentle float, as the rapids are Grade II, so suitable for travelers with little or no rafting experience. But the views of the lush green hills and enormous Annapurna massif in the background are enough to keep experienced paddlers interested. Spend the night listening to the sound of the river at a luxurious riverside camp. 

Enjoy the second day of rafting on day six, all the way to the confluence of the Seti and Trishuli Rivers. At the end of your 3-4 hour paddle, you’ll be met by a driver and driven to the Chitwan National Park for a total change of scene. Settle into your jungle lodge, and maybe enjoy a gentle walk after lunch, listening for the sounds of birds and wildlife. 

Be fully immersed in the sights and sounds of the jungle on days seven and eight. Spend a full day with elephants, collecting grass for their food, chatting with their mahouts, taking a walk with them in the forest, and even staying overnight in close proximity to them at the elephant camp. On day eight, enjoy other activities in and around the park, such as a Jeep or walking safari to spot rhinos, gharial crocodiles, deer, and all kinds of birds. 

Return to Kathmandu by air on day nine, and buy some last-minute souvenirs or check off some final sightseeing before departing Nepal on day ten. Learn more.

Itinerary #5: Everest Luxury Kongde Trek

Trekking in the Himalaya doesn’t have to mean roughing it with cold showers and shared bathrooms; if you have a more generous budget, the Everest Luxury Kongde Trek might be just what you’re looking for. With ten days you might not be able to trek all the way to Everest Base Camp and back again, but what you can’t reach on foot you can make up with an incredible helicopter ride. This luxury trek is next level.

Take a 30-minute helicopter tour through the Everest Region
Take a 30-minute helicopter tour through the Everest Region
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Patan Durbar Square Kathmandu
Day 3 Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, Trek to Phakding Phakding
Day 4 Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar Namche Bazaar
Day 5 Acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar Namche Bazaar
Day 6 Trek from Namche Bazaar to Thame Thame
Day 7 Trek from Thame to Kongde Kongde
Day 8 Rest day in Kongde (Optional day hike to Farak Ri) Kongde
Day 9 Heli tour to Everest Base Camp & Fly back to Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 10 Depart Kathmandu  

Arrive in Kathmandu and, depending on your time of arrival, fit in some relaxed sightseeing or a welcome dinner in Thamel. Prepare for your trek, which starts the next day.

Get an early flight to Lukla, the gateway to the Everest region. It takes less than 30 minutes to travel a distance that would take several days of travel by vehicle and on foot. Trek for a relatively short time (3 hours) today, to Phakding, to adjust to the altitude difference and ease into the trek. Your accommodation will be several notches above the average trekkers’ teahouse, meaning you’re likely to get a comfortable night’s sleep and you’ll feel fresh and energized to begin the trek in earnest the next day. 

On day three, trek all the way to Namche Bazaar, a steadily uphill trail that is as beautiful as it is challenging. You’ll enter the Sagarmatha National Park, and even get your first glimpse of Everest through a clearing in the trees. Namche Bazaar is a great place to acclimatize for a couple of days as there are shops, cafes and bars, and cultural attractions, all with great views of the Himalaya not far away. On day four, rest up in Namche or go on an acclimatization hike to higher viewpoints around the town. 

Get off the busy main Everest Base Camp trekking trail on day five by hiking to the lesser-visited village of Thame. If you were to follow this trail it would lead all the way to Tibet, over the Nangpa La beside Cho Oyu, but you’ll cross a deep gorge where the Bhote Kosi River thunders through a narrow pass and stop at Thame. This village has produced many famous mountaineers over the years, including Tenzing Norgay. There are fantastic views of  Thamserku and Kusum Kanguru from here. 

The next couple of days’ trekking will be more challenging. On day six, climb to Kongde along a very new trail that was created for guests of the accommodation you’ll be staying at. It is very steep in parts, but the views from the lodge will be worth the effort: across to Namche Bazaar and beyond to Tengboche, with Everest, Lhotse, Thamserku, and Ama Dablam behind. 

Enjoy a well-earned rest on day seven, or go on an optional early-morning hike to the top of Farak Ri, for some even more impressive views of the peaks and valleys of the Kumbhu. 

For many travelers, day eight is the highlight of this trek: the day when you’ll take a private helicopter tour to Everest Base Camp. As spectacular as the views have been so far on this trek, seeing the highest mountains in the world by helicopter will be a sight you’ll never forget. After touching down at EBC, return by air to Kathmandu. 

Spend day nine resting in Kathmandu, doing some souvenir shopping, or fitting in some last-minute sightseeing, before departing Nepal on day ten. Learn more.

Itinerary #6: Best of Southern Nepal

Wildlife enthusiasts won’t want to miss the animal-filled national parks on the Nepali Terai, the plains bordering India. This Best of Southern Nepal itinerary includes the popular Chitwan National Park, the less-visited Bardia National Park, and also makes a stop in Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha.

Enjoy a day with elephants in Chitwan National Park
Enjoy a day with elephants in Chitwan National Park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Fly from Kathmandu to Chitwan Chitwan National Park
Day 3 Explore Chitwan: A Day With Elephants Chitwan National Park
Day 4 Explore Chitwan: Safari by Jeep or by Foot Chitwan National Park
Day 5 Drive from Chitwan to Lumbini Lumbini
Day 6 Drive from Lumbini to Bardia National Park Bardia National Park
Day 7 Explore Bardia: Jungle & River Safari Bardia National Park
Day 8 Explore Bardia: In Search of the Royal Bengal Tiger Bardia National Park
Day 9 Fly from Bardia to Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 10 Depart Kathmandu  

Depending on your arrival time in Kathmandu, you might want to fit in a bit of quick sightseeing, as you won’t have much more time in the capital. Swayambhunath Stupa is a great place to start, as it’s near the tourist hub of Thamel and has sweeping views of the city.

On day two, take a quick flight from Kathmandu to Bharatpur, which is around an hour’s drive from the Chitwan National Park. You’ll be picked up and taken to your jungle lodge, where you can relax and enjoy the views of the river and jungle.

Elephant lovers are in luck on day three, as you’ll spend a whole day with them. Learn about their care from their mahouts, collect grass for their food, go for a jungle walk with them in the cool of the evening, and even spend the night at an elephant camp, sleeping in close proximity to the gentle creatures. 

Continue your jungle explorations on day four, going on a Jeep or foot safari in the national park. Keep an eye out for one-horned rhinoceros, gharial crocodiles, and various kinds of deer and birds. 

On day five, drive the 3-4 hours west to Lumbini, a town near the border of India where Prince Siddhartha Gautama Buddha was born more than 2000 years ago. Whether you are spiritually inclined or not, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is a beautiful and fascinating collection of modern temples and monasteries as well as archaeological and historical sites. 

Continue the drive west on day six, 7-8 more hours to the Bardia National Park. Less visited than Chitwan, there’s a chance you’ll spot Royal Bengal tigers here. Spend the next two days exploring Bardia, with a combination of safari activities in the park and on the Karnali River, visiting local villages and animal breeding centers.

While the overland journey to Bardia took a couple of days of driving, on day nine you’ll fly back to Kathmandu from Nepalganj. Depart Nepal from Kathmandu on day ten. Learn more. 

Map

Map of 10 Days in Nepal - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 10 Days in Nepal - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas