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
  • Visit Bumdikot an excellent viewpoint and enjoy the panoramic view of the Annapurna range
  • Eat lunch atop the World Peace Pagoda with the Himalaya for a stunning backdrop

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 river bank

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.)

Alex
Published by Alex Buri, updated Mar 18, 2019

Recent Trip Reviews

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Katarina

Namche bazar, Nepal - Jan 26 - Jan 30, 2019

Traveler: Katarina W. - Local specialist: Tashi Sherpa

Nepal in one word is......AMAZING! My husband and I were heading towards India for a wedding but wanted to make sure we could include at least a short trip to Nepal. Tashi and his team made it possible and we were able to see Kathmandu as well as hike up to see Everest.

Firstly, the whole organisation and process was incredibly easy. Tashi understood quickly what we wanted and organised it within days. His response time, even with the time difference, was within hours even.

Once we... read more

Nepal in one word is......AMAZING! My husband and I were heading towards India for a wedding but wanted to make sure we could include at least a short trip to Nepal. Tashi and his team made it possible and we were able to see Kathmandu as well as hike up to see Everest.

Firstly, the whole organisation and process was incredibly easy. Tashi understood quickly what we wanted and organised it within days. His response time, even with the time difference, was within hours even.

Once we arrived, he was there with the driver to pick us up. Explained the entire next steps and made sure everything with our hotel was fine. He even organised a "to-go" breakfast from our hotel for the next morning at 4:30am (since heading to Lukla that morning). That morning he brought us to the airport, explained the process, and kept in contact with our guides during the whole trek to make sure everything was running smoothly. Once we flew back to Kathmandu from Lukla, we had a few more hours until our next flight, and he used the time to show us another beautiful site, and we got to enjoy a nice tea together there. His detailed dedication to the guests is impeccable and highly appreciated. I've never felt so well taken care of by any tour company.

The trek itself was stunning and perfectly planned. We arrived in Lukla around mid-morning (after a few flight delays). Our guide, Mingma Gyaljen, and sherpa, Fu Renji were waiting for us once we arrived. They then took us to a Teahouse for a quick tea and introductions. From there we hiked to Phadking. It was a beautiful hike. There we spent the evening at the Khumbu Traveller's Guest House. The hosts were very friendly and welcoming, and made sure we had everything we needed (tasty food too). The second day we hiked up to Namche Bazaar. What a beautiful hike! It gets a bit uphill the last part, so you need to take your time. Both guides were very attentive and adapted to our speeds when needed. During the hike up, we stopped at the Sagarmatha National Park's 3.140m view point to get our first view of Everest. Once at Namche, we stayed at the Shangrila Lodges right in the middle of the town with a great view of the area. It was pretty cold up there since it was January but we kept warm at the fire, and our guide made sure we had enough blankets. The host made some amazing homemade Momo's for us too! The next morning, our guide woke us up at 6am as the sky was clear so we could hike up further to see the surrounding mountain peaks. We hiked up about 30minutes to 3.555m to get a perfect view of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Tabuche and Amadablam and many more. We are so grateful to our brilliant guide and sherpa for suggesting it and taking us there! They both made sure we really enjoyed ourselves the entire trek.

Following that we hiked back to Lukla. There we stayed at the Sonam Lodge. The hosts made us feel like part of the family, and even came with us to the airport to make sure we had no issues.

The entire trip was more than any of our expectations and we definitely want to go back for a longer trek with the Tashi team. Thank you to Tashi, Mingma Gyaljen, Fu Renji, and the Teahouse hosts for the amazing experience!!