Experience the diversity of Nepal with this golden triangle of Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan National Park. Begin with sightseeing in Kathmandu, followed by a visit to Pokhara and villages in the stunning Annapurna region. From there, head to your riverside jungle resort in Chitwan. Spending some time on safari, you'll have a great chance of seeing rhino, various types of monkeys and deer—and perhaps even an elusive tiger.

Highlights

  • See Kathmandu's top sights on a guided tour of the city
  • Enjoy a cultural day trip to the villages of the Annapurna
  • Embark on two days of safari in the Nepali Terai
  • Spend the night in a jungle lodge in Chitwan National Park 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Sightseeing - Patan, Pashupatinath and The Monkey Temple Patan
Day 3 Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara and Drive to Astam Astam
Day 4 Morning in Astam, Drive from Astam to Pokhara Pokhara
Day 5 Fly from Pokhara to Chitwan Chitwan National Park
Day 6 Jungle Safari Chitwan National Park
Day 7 Fly from Chitwan to Kathmandu and Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!

The cityscape of Kathmandu and Boudhanath Stupa
Monkeys outside a Kathmandu temple

As you fly into Kathmandu, you'll have beautiful views over the city, the Himalaya, and of the terraced fields below. After going through customs, a representative will be waiting to greet you and guide you through the initial culture shock of Kathmandu’s narrow, winding streets to get you settled into your hotel.

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

Day 2: Sightseeing - Patan, Pashupatinath and The Monkey Temple

Patan

We embark on a full day of sightseeing to get to know the incredible Kathmandu Valley. Your guide will meet you at the place where you are staying and you will be chauffeured by private car to three out of an incredible seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley.

Your exploration will take you through the ancient courtyards where Newar artisans live, where we will learn about the design and unique culture of this ancient city and gain rare insights into the lives of artisans and their craft. We will meet and learn about the highly skilled metalwork artisans who make the stunning brass statues we see on display, as well as learning about the ancient skill of thangka painting by meeting the artists themselves. We will gain an appreciation of the work and significance of skills such as woodcarving and stone carving to the heritage and daily life of this fascinating city as well as the design and planning of the city structure and how this is inseparable from the daily life and truly unique culture of the Newar people.

We then visit Pashupatinath temple, one of the holiest temples in the Hindu religion. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the three main gods in Hinduism, as his birthplace. Situated on the banks of the sacred Bagmati River, Pashupatinath is the main cremation site for Hindus in the Kathmandu Valley, with cremation ghats lining the Bagmati River below the temple. It is such an important pilgrimage site that any Hindu should visit it once in their life and there is a constant stream of sadhus coming and going from Nepal and India.

After that, you will visit the Swoyambhunath Temple. Also known as the Monkey Temple for the many resident monkeys that scamper around the myriad of small shrines and temples, this ancient Buddhist Stupa is perched on a hilltop overlooking the valley and is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. 

Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara and Drive to Astam

Pokhara Valley

Early in the morning after your breakfast, you will be transferred to the domestic airport for your flight to Pokhara. This is a stunning half hour flight along the Himalayan Range, seeing four of the world’s fourteen giant mountains over 8000m; Daulagiri, Annapurna I, Manaslu and Shishapangma, before landing in Pokhara. An experience not to be missed! 

After landing, we head out of town taking a scenic an hour and a half drive to Astam. You are now in a totally different world from that of Kathmandu. Along the way, you can see the magnificent views of Annapurna Range and Fishtail (Machhapuchhere).  You will be staying at Annapurna Eco Village is a friendly (and eco-friendly) guest house, set on a family farm with incredible mountain views to the Annapurna section of the Himalayas. There are simple cottages with basic facilities (attached bathrooms with cold shower or hot water in a bucket), decent coffee and great hosts who can make you killer buckwheat pancakes for breakfast.

Day 4: Morning in Astam, Drive from Astam to Pokhara

Lakeside Pokhara

Today after breakfast we will have time to relax until we head our way back to Pokhara. You can have your last hour walk to the stunning ridgetop village of Astam. The village is beautiful in itself but also superbly located with stunning views up to Machhapuchhare (Fishtail Mountain) in the front center, surrounded by the peaks of the Annapurna section of the Himalayan Range. 

After that, we bid farewell to your hosts and the beautiful village of Astam and load up into your vehicle for a short drive into Pokhara to explore this charming lakeside town.

Day 5: Fly from Pokhara to Chitwan

Elephants in Chitwan National Park

This morning you get up early to head to the domestic airport for your flight south to the famous Terai region of Nepal. The landscape and culture are totally different from that which you have experienced so far in Kathmandu. The name the ‘Terai’ refers to the extensive plains in the southern part of Nepal – this area is the most northern extension of the great Gangetic plains of India, land that was won and lost in decades of struggle and shares both Indian and Nepali characteristics and culture. 

You will be collected at the airport by your lodge and will arrive in time for lunch (unless you choose an afternoon flight) and a briefing about the activities available in the time you have left this afternoon and what’s on tomorrow.

Day 6: Jungle Safari

Rhino in Chitwan National Park

Today is a full day of jungle activities. You'll experience a walking jungle safari, bird-watching, jungle safaris on the back of a jeep, river safaris in traditional canoes and wildlife viewing. 

Wildlife in Chitwan includes the greater one-horned rhinoceros, spotted deer, hog deer, sambar deer and barking deer as well as a wide variety of birdlife. With a bit of luck, there is always the chance of glimpsing the leopard, sloth bear and royal bengal tiger. A favorite activity is always to visit the elephant camp and learn about these
majestic animals, their habits and to have the opportunity to take part in washing the elephant in the river!

Your experienced guides will teach you all about jungle life, the ways of the animals living here, the exotic jungle flora, abundant birdlife and of course about the conservation programs being run here. This is truly a great opportunity to get close to one of Nepal’s unique ecosystems, to learn about the fragile web of life and what we can do to help preserve it for future generations.

Day 7: Fly from Chitwan to Kathmandu and Departure

Say farewell to Kathmandu

This morning you may have a chance to fit in one last jungle or village activity before your transfer to the Bharatpur airport for your flight back to Kathmandu. The flight takes just 20 minutes. 

Once in Kathmandu, you have free time until your departure for your international airport for your flight home. Thanks for traveling with us and farewell!