Hit the trail in style and comfort on this 5-day trek along the Balthali Villages route. Considered one of the best short treks in the world, this itinerary takes you on a series of short, low-altitude hikes past small villages, lush forests, ancient temples, and terraced farmland—all set against a backdrop of the spectacular snow-capped Himalaya. With evenings spent at some of the finest lodges and hotels in Nepal, rest and relaxation await at the end of each day.

Highlights

  • Embark on short treks between villages with spectacular Himalayan views
  • Stay in some of the finest hotels & lodges in the Kathmandu area
  • Explore well-preserved Newari architecture in the village of Panauti
  • Climb to Namo Buddha, one of Tibetan Buddhism’s holiest sites
  • Gentle hiking & comfortable accommodations make this a perfect family trek

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Nepal, Transfer to Dhulikhel Dhulikhel
Day 2 Trek to Namo Buddha Namo Buddha
Day 3 Trek to Balthali Balthali
Day 4 Trek to Panauti, Transfer to Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 5 Depart Kathmandu  

Day 1: Arrive in Nepal, Transfer to Dhulikhel

Mountain views from Dhulikhel

Welcome to Nepal! Upon arrival at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport, you'll be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel in Dhulikhel, an hour or two's drive from the capital. Located just outside the Kathmandu Valley, the primarily Newar town of Dhulikhel sits at an altitude of 5,085 feet (1,550 m). On a clear day, you can observe the towering Himalaya to the north, with spectacular views at sunrise and sunset. You have the option of staying at Dwarika’s Resort Dhulikhel, one of Nepal’s premier resorts, or at one of the simpler guesthouses around the town if you’re on a smaller budget. 

Day 2: Trek to Namo Buddha

The road towards Namo Buddha

After a lazy morning and a late breakfast with stunning views, you'll lace up your walking boots and set out towards Namo Buddha, one of the most sacred Tibetan Buddhist sites in Nepal. Along the way, you'll break for a picnic-style lunch along the trail. While the day's trek is gentle and appropriate for inexperienced hikers and most families, you can also arrange for children under four to be carried in a comfortable porter's basket.

After a three-hour walk, you'll reach the Namo Buddha Resort around mid-afternoon—giving you plenty of time to get settled in and enjoy the amenities. Spend the rest of the evening relaxing, or head to a lookout point close by for a stunning sunset before dinner. The sustainable, eco-friendly resort is famous for its excellent cuisine, all organic and grown on-site. Day-trippers come from Kathmandu just for the food!

Walking time: Approx. 3 hours

Day 3: Trek to Balthali

Namo Buddha
The Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery in Namo Buddha

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning, then begin your penultimate day of trekking with a short walk downhill to the famous Namo Buddha stupa (shrine). This small site is extremely important to Tibetan Buddhists, as it commemorates Siddhartha Gautam’s act of offering his body to a hungry tigress, which is said to have contributed to his ability to achieve enlightenment and, ultimately, Buddha-hood. A short walk above the stupa is the newly built Tibetan Buddhist monastery perched on the hilltop.

From here, continue walking through fields and orchards to the quiet village of Balthali, enjoying a picnic lunch along the way. Here we again you'll be met with amazing mountain views as you get settled into the beautiful Balthali Resort. If you feel like exploring in the afternoon, the steep hike back down into Balthali is worth the effort to experience the charm of village life. 

Walking time: Approx. 5 hours

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Day 4: Trek to Panauti, Transfer to Kathmandu

The final day of your trek takes you past local fields and villages

After a final breakfast in the mountains, shoulder your pack for one last day on the trail. Most of today’s route follows a rural dirt road, passing beautiful small villages, terraced fields, and amazing views. Your adventure comes to an end in the Newar town of Panauti, where you can spend some time exploring after a delicious local lunch.

Panauti is one of the best-preserved towns in the country and has been spared any earthquake damage over the years because of the popular belief that it is built upon a single, large rock. The town is designed in the signature Newar style, with pink brick and carved wooden temples beside the river. After exploring, give your feet a well-earned rest by hopping into a car for the drive back to Kathmandu.

En route, stop at Bhaktapur, one of the three ancient cities within the Kathmandu Valley. Lying 8 miles (14 km) east of the capital, Bhaktapur was founded in the 9th century, and the old city plan is shaped like a sacred conch shell. With its famous carved peacock windows and excellent museum, Bhaktapur is regarded as the center of traditional Nepalese wood carving.

After touring Bhaktapur, continue to Kathmandu and check into one of the nicest hotels in town—Dwarika’s Hotel. Practically a museum of traditional arts and crafts, each room is adorned with unique antique furniture and fittings. If you’re on a tighter budget, there are numerous other boutique hotels around the city that offer a similar charm without the price tag.

Dwarika’s is conveniently located a short walk from the Pashupatinath Temple. Head there for dusk, to see local Hindus performing their evening puja (prayer), before heading out for a final celebratory dinner in the city.

Walking time: Approx. 3 hours

Day 5: Depart Kathmandu

The all-seeing eyes of Buddha at Swayambhunath

It's time to say farewell to Nepal. Enjoy your last moments in Kathmandu with breakfast in a café, a final stroll through the narrow alleys and temples, or some souvenir shopping. A driver will be waiting for you at your hotel to take you to the airport for your return flight home. Safe travels!

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Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Nepal? Check out these other Nepal itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

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Map

Map of Balthali Village Trek - 5 Days
Map of Balthali Village Trek - 5 Days