With twelve days in Nepal, you can tour a wide swath of the country or head out on a long, epic trek. If you’re interested in sightseeing, you can visit Nepal’s mountains, rivers, and jungles at a relaxed pace, or you can take an adventurous approach (think mountain biking, trekking, rafting, or even paragliding) and explore on one region, like the Annapurnas. Travelers interested in trekking also have a variety of options when it comes to time on the trail: visit iconic circuits, head off-the-beaten-path, stay in the homes of local villagers, or trade teahouses for luxurious accommodations.

Itinerary #1: Mountains, River, & Jungle

This itinerary is perfect if you're interested in combining relaxed sightseeing with a number of other adventures, such as flying to Mount Everest, river rafting, trekking in the Annapurna Foothills, and exploring the jungles of Chitwan National Park. You'll be able to take in all that Nepal has to offer (but without the rush).

View of the Himalaya from Chitwan National Park
View of the Himalaya from Chitwan National Park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Everest Mountain Flight, Explore Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 3 Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Trishuli River Rafting Pokhara
Day 4 Explore Pokhara Pokhara
Day 5 Trek to Dhampus (5,741 feet / 1,750 meters) Dhampus
Day 6 Trek to Landruk (6,234 feet / 1,900 meters) Landruk
Day 7 Trek to Nayapul (3,379 feet / 1,030 meters), Drive to Pokhara Pokhara
Day 8 Drive from Pokhara to Chitwan Chitwan
Day 9 Explore Chitwan: Safaris, Wildlife, and Relaxation Chitwan
Day 10 Fly from Chitwan to Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 11 Explore Bhaktapur: Ancient City of the Kathmandu Valley Kathmandu
Day 12 Depart Kathmandu  

Your adventure begins with two days in the Kathmandu Valley; explore the city center, then soar over the Everest region on a thrilling flight that will take you along the breathtaking Himalaya. From the mountains, you’ll head to the water, starting with a 3-hour river rafting excursion on the gorgeous Trishuli River. After, relax in the lakeside beauty of Pokhara, which rests on the banks of Phewa Lake. You can choose to paraglide here, hike up to the World Peace Pagoda, or enjoy a leisurely cocktail as you look out on the waters. 

The next morning, you’ll hit the trail on a three-day trek of the Annapurna foothills. This trek is easier than others in the regions not only because it's brief but also because it's lower in elevation than other options. You’ll hike through incredibly lush landscapes, verdant forests, and tiny Gurung villages, with sweeping vistas of snow-capped peaks mountains to keep you company. You’ll end your trek back in Pokhara, where you can celebrate your victory on the trail with a yoga class in town or a delicious dinner in one of the city’s great restaurants. 

On day eight, you’ll head to the wilds of Chitwan National Park, which you can explore on your own. You can also opt to see the jungle on safari, learn about wildlife from an expert naturalist, or connect with local pachyderms at an elephant camp. You’ll return to Kathmandu on day ten; relax after your adventure or head back out into the city to see any sites you may have missed.

The highlight of your final full day in Nepal is a visit to Bhaktapur, an incredibly preserved medieval city-state that serves as a living history museum. Take in the Durbar Square and learn about traditional crafts like pottery and woodcarving. After breakfast the next morning, you’ll head to the airport for your flight home. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Annapurna Base Camp Trek

The star of this itinerary is an out-and-back trek from Phedi to Annapurna Base Camp, perfect for adventurous travelers looking to spend the majority of their time on the trail, resting at local teahouses, and relaxing in spectacular hot springs. Bookend your trek with time in city centers like Kathmandu and Pokhara, where you can soak up local culture and enjoy the sights. 

Morning view of Mt. Annapurna from Annapurna Base Camp
Morning view of Mt. Annapurna from Annapurna Base Camp
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Patan Durbar Square Kathmandu
Day 3 Fly to Pokhara, Trek to Landruk (5,085 ft / 1,550 m) Landruk
Day 4 Trek to Chomrong (6,693 ft / 2,040 m) Chomrong
Day 5 Trek to Himalaya Hotel (8,793 ft / 2,680 m) Himalaya Hotel
Day 6 Trek to Machapuchare Base Camp (11,811 ft / 3,600 m) Machapuchare Base Camp
Day 7 Trek to Annapurna Base Camp (13,550 ft / 4,130 m) Annapurna Base Camp
Day 8 Trek to Himalaya Hotel Himalaya Hotel
Day 9 Trek to Jhinu Danda (5,840 ft / 1,780 m) Jhinu Danda
Day 10 Trek to Ghandruk Phedi, Drive to Pokhara Pokhara
Day 11 Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 12 Depart Kathmandu  

Spend your first two days in Kathmandu, where you can acclimate to the altitude and explore the gems of Nepal’s capital. An expert English-speaking guide will also take you on a full-day private tour of three sacred heritage sites: Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Patan Durbar Square

On day three, you’ll fly to Pokhara, where your 8-day trek begins. You’ll tackle a variety of terrain, passing through Gurung villages, hiking alongside waterfalls, and summiting climbs that reward you with incredible panoramas of the Annapurna section of the Himalaya. Along the way, you’ll stay at teahouses, where you’ll be able to connect with locals, fellow trekkers, and extraordinary natural surroundings. 

Your route will take you through verdant forest canopy, with stellar highlights like Himalaya Hotel, Machapuchare Base Camp, and, of course, Annapurna Base Camp at 13,550 feet (4,130 m). From here you’ll have sensational unobstructed views of Machapuchare, Annapurna south, Annapurna I, Hiuchuli, and other snow-capped peaks.

You’ll retrace your steps, stopping at Jhinu Danda, where you can soak in natural hot springs. You’ll end your trek the next day in Ghandruk Phedi and will then transfer to Pokhara for the rest of the day. Celebrate your triumph with a delicious dinner overlooking Lake Phewa or revive your muscles with a massage or yoga class in town. 

Head back to Kathmandu on day eleven; you can rest and relax or head back out into the city to see anything you may have missed at the beginning of your trip. After breakfast the following morning, it’s off to the airport for your flight home or onto your next adventure. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Kongde Luxury Trek

Trek through breathtaking landscapes and head off-the-beaten-track, then unwind and refuel in luxury accommodations on this trip plan, which also includes a helicopter tour of Everest Base Camp and the stunning Khumbu Icefall. Hike through forests and lush valleys, over thrilling suspension bridges and a glacier to summit Kongde Peak, where phenomenal panoramas of the Himalaya await. 

Breakfast view from your luxury lodge in the Himalaya
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 (8,563 ft / 2,610 m) Phakding
Day 4 Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (11,290 ft / 3,440 m) Namche Bazaar
Day 5 Helicopter Tour: Everest Base Camp & Khumbu Icefall Namche Bazaar
Day 6 Trek from Namche Bazaar to Thame Thame
Day 7 Trek from Thame to Kongde (13,944 ft / 4,250 m) Kongde
Day 8 Rest day in Kongde (Optional day hike to Farak Ri) Kongde
Day 9 Trek from Kongde to Phakding (8,563 ft / 2,610 m) Phakding
Day 10 Trek from Phakding to Lukla Lukla
Day 11 Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 12 Depart Kathmandu  

Kathmandu welcomes you for the first two days of your adventure; get to know the city center, then enjoy a private, guided tour of three of the Kathmandu Valley’s sacred sites: Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Patan Durbar Square. On day three, you’ll soar along the snow-capped peaks of the Himalaya to Lukla, where you’ll start your trek. Your first day will take you through to gorgeous Dudh Koshi Valley, past villagers, and yaks, to Phakding, where you’ll settle into cozy accommodations. 

On day four, you’ll cross a number of dazzling high suspension bridges that straddle the Dudh Koshi River, then you’ll enter Sagarmatha National Park on your way to the Sherpa capital, Namche Bazaar. Drink in breathtaking views of the Kongde range tonight as you tuck into an expertly prepared meal, then linger over a hot cup of tea or glass of wine as you relax in your luxe environs. The next morning, the royal treatment continues with a private helicopter tour in the Himalaya, with areal views of Ama Dablam, Everest Base Camp, and the Khumbu Icefall.

You’ll hit the trail again on day six when you navigate your way to Thame, a village home to famed mountaineers. The next morning, you’ll shift away from popular routes as you hike a new, off-the-beaten-path trail through rhododendron and oak forests to the glacier of Kongde Peak, where you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views of the Himalaya. After, sink into the comfort of your sumptuous lodge in Kongde, with fine wines, delicious cuisine, and unbeatable panoramas of mother nature. 

Take the following day to recharge in your elegant lodge or challenge yourself on a fantastic day hike to Farak Ri; you’ll wake before dawn to you can enjoy a spectacular sunrise from your perch on the peak. Either way, you’ll enjoy an expertly prepared lunch out on the terrace lodge as you look out onto the Khumbu Valley and four of the planet’s highest peaks. You’ll pass a smattering of sherpa settlements on day nine as you descend to the village of Phakding; from here you’ll wrap up your trek the next day when you return to Lukla. 

Your final full day in Nepal begins with a flight back to Kathmandu, where you can relax with a massage and a gourmet meal or explore the valley however you like. This list has some wonderful ideas to inspire you! The next morning, enjoy one last breakfast before you head to the airport for your flight home or onto your next adventure. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Nar Phu Valley Trek

If you’re interested in finding a hidden gem of a trail, this trip plan revolves around a stellar 7-day trek through the remote Nar and Phu Valleys. You’ll summit high peaks, and you'll see glaciers, remote villages, and unique ethnically Tibetan cultures along the way. 

The emerald landscape of your valley trek
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Explore Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 3 Drive from Kathmandu to Koto (8,530 feet / 2,600 m) Koto
Day 4 Trek to Meta (11,680 feet / 3560 m) Meta
Day 5 Trek to Phu (13,386 feet / 4080 m) Phu
Day 6 Acclimatization day in Phu (13,386 feet / 4080 m) Phu
Day 7 Trek to Nar Phedi (11,450 feet / 3490 m) Nar Phedi
Day 8 Trek to Nar (13,484 feet / 4110 m) Nar
Day 9 Trek to Ngawal (17,192 feet / 5240 m) via the Kang La Pass Ngawal
Day 10 Trek to Pisang, Drive to Besisahar (8,179 feet / 2,493 m)  Besisahar
Day 11 Drive from Besisahar to Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 12 Depart Kathmandu  

Spend your first two days in Nepal in its buzzing capital, Kathmandu, where you can explore local culture, history, temples, and eateries while adjusting to the altitude. You’ll head out of the city on day three, with an epic drive to Koto; from your seat in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, you’ll see incredible waterfalls and gorges. 

Eat up the next morning for the first day of your trek; you’ll enter the Nar and Phu Valleys, passing through woods, cave shelters and under a huge waterfall en route to Meta, where you’ll stop for the night. It’s off to the Phu Valley on day five: colorful Buddhist chortens, scenic canyons, villages, and a Tibetan-style fortress line your journey. 

Spend day six relaxing in Phu and adjusting to the altitude; you can connect with local villagers and watch as they spin sheep and yak wool and go about their day, or you can opt for a day hike through a glacial valley, past herds of blue sheep, to Himlung Himal base camp. The next morning, you’ll head back down the trail to Nar Phedi monastery, where you’ll spend the night. Join the friendly resident nuns as they prepare a modest, rustic dinner, then watch them perform an evening blessing.

On day eight, you’ll walk up to the village of Nar Phedi, a lively town rarely visited by trekkers; relax over a hearty dinner tonight in a cozy teahouse and rest up for tomorrow’s longer trek to Ngawal by way of the spectacular Kang La Pass, with incredible views of Annapurna II, Gangapurna, and Tilicho Peak. As you head out on the final day of your trek, you’ll be greeted with more verdant scenery and a beautiful emerald lake; celebrate the end of your adventure with a snack in the village of Pisang before being transferred back to Besisahar for a hot shower in your comfy hotel.

Trade the trail for city life on day eleven, when you return to Kathmandu. You can spend the rest of the day relaxing or head back out into the city center to catch any site you may have missed before your trek. Enjoy a delicious dinner in town, perhaps watch your final Nepali sunset from Boudhanath Stupa, or roam Kathmandu Durbar Square as the day fades to evening. After breakfast the next morning, you’ll head to the airport for your departure. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Western Nepal Homestay Trek with Bardia Safari

This unique itinerary takes you on a moderate 5-day trek of the remote Humla region in western Nepal, where you’ll stay in the homes of Tibetan Buddhist locals along the way. You’ll also pass through tiny monasteries, visit prayer wheels tucked into caves, and experience a shamanic healing session. After, head to the jungles of Bardia National Park to commune with exotic flora and fauna. 

Nyinba valley with Karnali River
Nyinba valley with Karnali River
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 2 Sightseeing in Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 3 Fly to Nepalgunj Nepalgunj
Day 4 Fly to Simikot and Trek to Burause Village Burause
Day 5 Trek to Nyima Tang Village Nima Tang
Day 6 Trek to Raling Monastery and Return to Camp Site Ralong Monastery
Day 7 Trek to Bargaun Evening Healing with Bargaun Shaman Bargaun
Day 8 Trek back to Simikot Simikot
Day 9 Fly to Nepalgunj, Enter Bardia National Park Bardia National Park
Day 10 Full Jungle Excursion in Bardia National Park Bardia National Park
Day 11 Drive to Nepalgunj & Fly to Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 12 Leisure and Evening Fly Home  

Spend the first few days of your trip enjoying the sites in Kathmandu and heading to the remote village of Humla, where you’ll start your trek. The slow start will not only help you acclimate to the region’s high altitude but will also introduce you to Nepalese culture and local village life. 

Humla is perched high on a ridge that overlooks the stunning Humla Karnali River. From here you’ll spend five days trekking through villages and staying overnight in the homes of locals. In addition to seeing gorgeous landscapes and mountain views, you’ll pass tiny monasteries, Buddhist stupas, and mani walls, which are engraved with Buddhist mantras. 

On day seven, you’ll reach Raling Gompa, a monastery sacred to the Nyingmapa, the oldest sect of Tibetan Buddhism. You can also opt to take a horseback ride through this beautiful area. Your trek continues through fields and tiny monasteries to Bargaun, where you can end your day in a shamanic healing ceremony. 

After you finish your trek in Simikot, you’ll head to Bardia National Park, where you can explore the jungle on safari. Hop in a jeep or board a riverboat to discover the exotic wildlife! On day eleven, you’ll head back to Kathmandu, where you can circle back to any sites you may have missed. Enjoy one last Nepali breakfast before departing the following morning. Learn more

Itinerary #6: Annapurna Multisport: Trek, Bike, and Raft

Get ready for an adventure with this multisport tour of Nepal’s cities and the Annapurna region of the Himalaya. You’ll explore culture sites on foot, the countryside on a mountain bike, the Trishuli river by raft, and the stunning mountains on a 5-day trek. 

The view awaiting you at Muldai Peak
The view awaiting you at Muldai Peak
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu, Private Walking Tour Kathmandu
Day 2 Explore Kathmandu: Patan, Boudhanath, and Pashupatinath Kathmandu
Day 3 Ride Kathmandu to Nagarkot (optional stops at Boudhanath and Bhaktapur) Nagarkot
Day 4 Ride Nagarkot to Kathmandu via Panauti and Lakuri Bhanjyang Kathmandu
Day 5 Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Trishuli River Rafting Pokhara
Day 6 Explore Pokhara Pokhara
Day 7 Drive to Kimche, Trek to Tadapani (8,694 feet / 2,650 m) Tadapani
Day 8 Trek to Dobato (11,220 feet / 3,420 m), Sunset at Muldai Peak Dobato
Day 9 Trek to Ghorepani (9,416 feet / 2,870 m), Sunrise at Muldai Peak Ghorepani
Day 10 Trek to Tikhedhunga (5,052 feet / 1,540 m), Sunrise at Poon Hill Tikhedhunga
Day 11 Trek to Nayapul (3,510 feet / 1,070 m), Drive to Pokhara Pokhara
Day 12 Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu, Depart!  

Before you get your heart rate up, spend two days acclimatizing to the altitude and learning about Nepalese history and culture. You’ll begin with a stint in the Kathmandu Valley, where you’ll explore the capital and will tour a trio of cultural heritage sites: Patan, Boudhanath, and Pashupatinath. 

On day three, you’ll hop on a mountain bike; cruise out of the city center and into the countryside, through old towns, tiny villages, and terraced fields. Then head back to Kathmandu, gliding through stunning valleys, with the giant Himalaya towering above you. 

You’ll head out to Pokhara, Nepal’s second-largest city, on day five, stopping first for a thrilling river rafting adventure on the waters of the Trishuli. Then hit the shores of Phewa Lake for a relaxing cocktail, or perhaps some paragliding, paddle-boating, or kayaking. If you’re interested in more adrenaline, try zip-lining, mountain biking, or cruising the turf on an Enfield motorcycle. Or take some time to rest and reflect at the beautiful World Peace Pagoda. 

On day seven, you’ll head out for a five-day trek of the Annapurna region. Hike through the Gurung village of Ghorepani, ascend to the summit of Poon Hill for sunrise and hike off-the-beaten-path to Muldai Peak for a sensational sunset. Along the way, you’ll stay in traditional teahouses and will hike through verdant forests filled with rhododendrons, oaks, and incredible views of towering snow-capped mountains beyond. 

End your trek in Nayapul, then return to Pokhara to relax for your last full day in Nepal. Stretch out in a yoga class, celebrate with a delicious meal in a local eatery, or relax by the waters of Phewa Lake, looking out at the nearby peaks you just conquered. After a final breakfast on day twelve, you’ll fly back to Kathmandu for your departure. Learn more

Map

Map of 12 Days in Nepal - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 12 Days in Nepal - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas