This Balthali Village Trek is a short drive from Kathmandu, on the edge of the Kathmandu Valley rim. It passes through small farming villages, where you can experience the lifestyle of local people, along with lush green forests, ancient temples, and terraced farmland. Add to this the stunning snowy peaks visible in the distance, and this is the perfect introduction to trekking in the Himalayas!

Highlights

  • Stay in some of the finest hotels and lodges in the Kathmandu area
  • Explore well-preserved Newari architecture in the village of Panauti
  • Relax amid traditional farming villages with spectacular Himalayan views
  • Experience the sacred atmosphere of Namo Buddha, one of Tibetan Buddhism’s holiest sites

Planning Your Trek

Rated one of the best short treks in Nepal, this itinerary has been specifically designed for the traveler looking to experience some of the best accommodation in Nepal. While much of this could be done on a smaller budget — by substituting Dwarika for cheaper options — this would, in a way, detract from one of the main highlights of this trip. That being said, Namo Buddha Resort and Balthali Village Resort are fairly affordable, so this trek is a great way to experience some top-notch accommodation at a moderate price (excluding Dwarika's!).

Detailed itinerary

While the trek itself takes 3 days, this 5-day itinerary includes your arrival and departure days.

Day 1: Arrival in Nepal, sunset in Dhulikhel

View from breakfast

After arriving at the airport, head to Dhulikhel, a town high on the rim of the Kathmandu Valley. Stay at one of Nepal’s premier resorts, Dwarika’s Resort Dhulikhel, or one of the simpler guesthouses around the town if you’re on a smaller budget. Dhulikhel’s location means it’s a great spot from which to enjoy sunrises and sunsets over the Himalayas, which aren’t too far away.

Day 2: Trek to Namo Buddha

Namo Buddha
Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery

After a lazy morning with a late breakfast with stunning views, head to Namo Buddha, one of the most sacred Tibetan Buddhist sites in Nepal. Lunch today will be picnic-style along the trail.

Today’s walk will be around three hours, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the high-quality accommodation, both at Dwarika’s Dhulikhel and the Namo Buddha Resort, your stop for the night. Arriving here around mid-afternoon, you can just relax, or head to a lookout point close by for a stunning sunset. The resort is a sustainable, eco-friendly place that is famous for its excellent food, all organic and grown on-site. Day-trippers come from Kathmandu just for the food!

Day 3: Trek to Balthali

Villages
Orange groves and villages

After a delicious breakfast with a panoramic view, take a short walk downhill to the famous Namo Buddha stupa. It is only small, but it 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, with a picnic lunch along the way. Here again there are amazing views of the mountains, farmland, and villages. Overnight at the Balthali Village Resort.

Day 4: Trek to Panauti, drive to Kathmandu

Village fields
Trekking through fields and villages

After one last breakfast with this spectacular view, start the trek to Panauti. Most of today’s trail is along a dirt road, passing beautiful small villages, terraced fields and amazing views. Finish at the Newar town of Panauti, where you can explore before or after a delicious local lunch, depending on how quickly you trekked down from Balthali.

Panauti is one of the best-preserved Newari 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 built in the signature Newar style, with pink brick and carved wooden temples beside the river. After exploring, give your feet a 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 14 kilometers east of Kathmandu city, Bhaktapur was founded in the 9th century, and the old city plan is shaped like a sacred conch shell. Not only because of its famous carved peacock windows but also due to its museum, Bhaktapur is the centre of traditional Nepalese wood carving.

After touring Bhaktapur, continue to Kathmandu and check into one of the nicest hotels in town, Dwarika’s Hotel. The place is not just a hotel, but practically a museum of traditional arts and crafts, with unique antique furniture and fittings in each room. 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, before heading out for a final dinner in the city.

Day 5: Departure

Depending on the time of your flight, there may be some time for souvenir shopping in the morning. The tourist hub of Thamel is a great place to head, as here you can find all kinds of products, from traditional handicrafts to outdoor clothing. Don’t forget to bargain!

Accommodation

Dwarika
Inside one of Dwarika's suites

While cheaper lodgings can be found in some of the villages passed through on this trek, it is recommended not to scrimp on accommodation on this itinerary. The hotel and resort options listed in this itinerary are among some of the finest in Nepal. They are not just a place to rest at night, but beautiful all-round experiences, with peaceful grounds, prime views and delicious food. You will likely remember the accommodation on this trek as much as the beauty of the surroundings—and that’s really saying something!

However, if you are looking to do this trek but would like to cheaper alternatives for accommodations, one of our specialists will be able to make a few good recommendations. 

Best season

This trek can be done year-round, although during the monsoon (June-August) the air will be hazy and you will be less likely to get good Himalayan views. Because this trek does not climb very high in altitude (the highest point is Namo Buddha, at 1750 meters) it is an ideal trip to undertake in the winter, when the skies will be clear and the lodging cozy.

Recent Trip Reviews

Related trips planned by kimkim specialists
Inga

Balthali village trek - 5 days, Nepal - Oct 30 - Nov 5, 2018

Traveler: Inga H. - Local specialist: Amanda Delecca

We were doing the EBC trail and had to be evacuated due to my husband getting high altitude sickness and sent a request on Kimkim for an alternative for the remainder of our stay in Nepal and got a promt response from Amanda with an excellent description of our trip and great service from her in all respects. We had a great experience, loved all the hotels on our route except one but I suspect that the options were rather limited as we booked our trip with almost no notice. The guide and porter were lovely, their English a little limited but that did not cause any problems.
A lovely time!

Best you can do in 5 days, Nepal - Oct 8 - Oct 14, 2018

Traveler: russell H. - Local specialist: Ngima Dorji Sherpa

Ningma and Lhakpa gave me an unforgettable week heli-trekking to EBC in just a week! The highlight was the stop at Kalu Pattar in brilliant sun - I was lucky with the weather which on a short trek can make a difference but NMMT did absolutely everything possible to make it the best experience with seamless booking and organisation at every stage and Lhakpa and I had a lot of fun being first into every teahouse! A prospective client should also look into the huge array of social work and... read more

Ningma and Lhakpa gave me an unforgettable week heli-trekking to EBC in just a week! The highlight was the stop at Kalu Pattar in brilliant sun - I was lucky with the weather which on a short trek can make a difference but NMMT did absolutely everything possible to make it the best experience with seamless booking and organisation at every stage and Lhakpa and I had a lot of fun being first into every teahouse! A prospective client should also look into the huge array of social work and local support that these guys do. They operate a direct hands on approach and on top of ad-hoc/ regular donations, part of your trek. climbing money will find a very good home in improving the lives of the people of the lower Khumbu

Balthali village trek via namo buddha and panauti, Nepal - May 26 - Jun 3, 2018

Traveler: Celeste M. - Local specialist: Erin Green

We are very grateful to Erin and the kimkim team for putting together a fantastic and memorable holiday this May. Our decision to go to Nepal was pretty last minute and not exactly at the best time of year to visit, but with Erin's guidance we were able to figure out an itinerary with all of the experiences we were looking for, while maximizing the opportunities for good weather and clear skies/views. Our trip included a four-day trek from Jomsom - with an incredibly memorable flight to... read more

We are very grateful to Erin and the kimkim team for putting together a fantastic and memorable holiday this May. Our decision to go to Nepal was pretty last minute and not exactly at the best time of year to visit, but with Erin's guidance we were able to figure out an itinerary with all of the experiences we were looking for, while maximizing the opportunities for good weather and clear skies/views. Our trip included a four-day trek from Jomsom - with an incredibly memorable flight to reach Jomsom - and a couple days of relaxation in Pokhara on the back end at a stunning property. It was a perfect balance of activity and relaxation. The whole trip was seamless thanks to the KimKim team and our excellent guide, Mingma. Having all of the logistical stress removed meant that we were able to fully enjoy the experience. The team even made sure that we got the most out of our layover in Kathmandu, arranging for us to be picked up and see some highlights of the city. We look forward to traveling with kimkim again in the future and have already recommended them to family and friends.

Vidushi

Balthali village trek via namo buddha and panauti, Nepal - Apr 30 - May 5, 2018

Traveler: Vidushi G. - Local specialist: Kripa Sunuwar

our guides - Dawar & Naresh - were so kind and helpful. We loved that they joined us in the evenings before/after dinner, it felt really personal the whole time, they were our local friends telling us so much about the culture, region and country. They did a fantastic job and are a credit to the team.

Most memorable place was Namobhuddha - the tranquility of the resort made us book an extra spontaneous night, it was a beautiful place! The monastery had us mesmerised and we've since learnt... read more

our guides - Dawar & Naresh - were so kind and helpful. We loved that they joined us in the evenings before/after dinner, it felt really personal the whole time, they were our local friends telling us so much about the culture, region and country. They did a fantastic job and are a credit to the team.

Most memorable place was Namobhuddha - the tranquility of the resort made us book an extra spontaneous night, it was a beautiful place! The monastery had us mesmerised and we've since learnt a lot more about Bhuddism. The only tip I have for future treks is to have one rest day in Namobhuddha so you can fully enjoy the resort as well.

Bhaktapur took us by surprise entirely - we weren't expecting such an ancient, artistic town on the outskirts of Khatmandu! Pratiksha is a very warm, smiley, amicable person with huge amounts of knowledge on the place. We really respect her passion and devotion to her country and religion and thoroughly enjoyed our city tours with her.

Balthali village trek via namo buddha and panauti, Nepal - Apr 4 - Apr 7, 2018

Traveler: Jessica G. - Local specialist: Amanda Delecca

I can not say enough how amazing our experience was with Kimkim. I worked wih a Amanda who customized our trip to fit the very limited time we had in Nepal. We did a 3 day trip and were able to hike and explore the Kathmandu area which would have been very difficult to do on our own. We had a hiking guide and a city guide and both were amazing, knowledgadble and super friendly. We loved the hotels Amanda reserved for us. The Namo Buddha Resort was beautiful and very peaceful. If and when I go back to Nepal I will use this company. I highly recommend them!