Begin your trip in lively Kathmandu before setting off toward Pokhara for a half-day of rafting on the Trishuli River. Spend time exploring Pokhara and enjoying the great views of the Annapurna range before returning to Kathmandu. This is a great itinerary for all ages and rafting experience and provides a well-rounded taste of Nepal in a short amount of time.

Highlights

  • Roam narrow alleyways in bustling Kathmandu and discover Durbar Square
  • Paddle Nepal's exciting Trishuli River—accessible all year round
  • Eat lunch atop the World Peace Pagoda with the Himalaya for a stunning backdrop
  • Visit Bumdikot an excellent viewpoint and enjoy the panoramic view of the Annapurna range

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Trishuli River Rafting Pokhara
Day 3 Drive from Pokhara to Bumdikot, Trek via Peace Stupa, Boat Across the Lake Pokhara
Day 4 Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu, Depart!  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!

The cityscape of Kathmandu and Boudhanath Stupa
The cityscape of Kathmandu and Boudhanath Stupa

Flying into Kathmandu, you'll have views over the valley, the Himalaya, and the terraced fields below. After completing customs, a representative will be waiting to greet you outside the airport and to guide you through the initial culture shock of Kathmandu’s narrow, winding streets to your hotel.

Once you've settled in, head out and explore the city. Kathmandu Durbar Square is a great place to start your exploration, where you'll walk through narrow alleyways teeming with small shops, ancient temples, and local restaurants. If you want to stretch your legs, Swayambhunath, the white stupa rising above the valley, is the perfect spot to catch the sunset over the valley.

In the evening, the tourist hub of Thamel is a good place to grab your first meal, with a variety of restaurants to chose from offering both Western and local Nepali dishes.

Day 2: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Trishuli River Rafting

Stopping along the river bank
Stopping along the riverbank

After breakfast, you'll depart Kathmandu for Pokhara, Nepal's second-largest city along Phewa Lake. The city is situated in a tranquil valley (827 m) and is the starting point for many of Nepal’s famous treks. The drive follows the banks of the Trishuli River past traditional villages and terraced fields.

En route, you'll stop for a 3-hour rafting trip. The river is quite safe and a great introduction to rafting in Nepal. Lunch is provided en-route and you'll end at a riverside resort on a hillside with outstanding views. For those who don't wish to raft, you can also relax at the Riverside Resort and forego the rafting. 

After arriving in Pokhara, you'll check in to your hotel and have time to explore the lakeside and relax over dinner.

The Trisuli River
The Trisuli is Nepal's most popular rafting river given it's convenient for day trips from Kathmandu, Pokhara, or Chitwan. It has exciting rapids (easy to moderate) and impressive gorges. Its headwaters start in Tibet and go on to become one of the main tributaries of the Narayani river. One of the best things about the Trisuli is that no matter what time of year it is, it always offers a great ride. During the monsoon, you'll get high volume (although still safe), and in winter, the river turns more technical.

Driving time (Kathmandu to Trishuli): 1-2 hours
Rafting time: 3 hours
Driving time (Trishuli to Pokhara): 3-4 hours

Day 3: Drive from Pokhara to Bumdikot, Trek via Peace Stupa, Boat Across the Lake

World Peace Pagoda
World Peace Pagoda

While the crowds are gathering atop the popular Sarangkot viewpoint this morning, you'll head to another, less crowded viewpoint (Bumdikot) with an amazing view overlooking Phewa Lake, Pokhara, and the beautiful Annapurna range. 

You'll be picked up at your hotel and driven to Bumdikot. After enjoying the views and a simple breakfast, you'll hike along the ridgeline above Phewa lake toward Pokhara and the World Peace Pagoda. The World Peace Pagoda, with its incredible views to the Himalaya, is a great place to stop for an early lunch or, alternatively, you can hike down to the lake and take a boat across the lake to Pokhara in time for a late lunch.

In the afternoon, we can help arrange another activity (like paragliding or visiting a waterfall), or you can take the time to relax and explore on your own.

Day 4: Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu, Depart!

Sunset in Patan Durbar Square
Sunset in Patan Durbar Square

After breakfast, you'll be transferred to Pokhara's domestic airport for your flight back to Kathmandu. If you're flying back home from Kathmandu today, you need to ensure your flight departs no earlier than 11 am to ensure you'll have enough time to catch it. (The earliest you can arrive back in Kathmandu will be around 9:15 am.)

Map

Map of Best of Central Nepal: Rafting & Trekking - 4 Days
Map of Best of Central Nepal: Rafting & Trekking - 4 Days