- Pay hommage to dogs in the medieval city of Bhaktapur
- Celebrate Laxmi Puja in the old city of Patan
- Take part in Bhai Tika (Brothers' Puja) with a Nepali family
- Go on a boat ride on Phewa Lake in Pokhara
|Day 1||Arrive in Kathmandu||Kathmandu|
|Day 2||Discover the medieval city of Bhaktapur on Kukur Tihar||Kathmandu|
|Day 3||Explore Patan during the Festival of Lights||Kathmandu|
|Day 4||Worship the self on Mha Puja||Kathmandu|
|Day 5||Celebrate Bhai Tika with a Nepali family||Kathmandu|
|Day 6||Drive to Pokhara||Pokhara|
|Day 7||Explore the lakeside city of Pokhara||Pokhara|
|Day 8||Drive back to Kathmandu||Kathmandu|
|Day 9||Free day in Kathmandu||Kathmandu|
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu
On arrival, you will be met at the airport in Kathmandu and transferred to your homestay. Today is Kag Puja (Crows' Day), the first day of the Tihar Festival, and each member of the family takes the first portion of their meal outside on a platter and offers it to the crows. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with your host family.
Day 2: Discover the Medieval City of Bhaktapur on Kukur Tihar
Today you will visit Bhaktapur, one of the most important UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal. Bhaktapur was once a kingdom in its own right (one of three kingdoms in the valley) and is still inhabited by the indigenous Newari people. See the Palace of 55 Windows, the Golden Gate, Nyatapola Temple, Siddhi Laxmi Temple, and Vatsala Durga Temple. Today is Kukur Puja (Dogs' Day); people offer flower garlands and food to their dogs for their honesty and loyalty. Overnight with your host family in your homestay.
Day 3: Explore Patan During the Festival of Lights
After breakfast, you will be taken on a guided tour of Patan, the city of the arts. Visit Patan Durbar Square, Patan Museum, the Golden Temple, and the Kumari, the "Living Goddess" of Patan. Today is Laxmi Puja, the third day of Tihar, which falls on Purnima (full moon). Today the cow, which is believed to embody the goddess Laxmi, is worshiped. In the evening, rangolis of colored powder and flowers are festooned with candles and strings of lights hung off every home to attract Laxmi. Groups of singers and musicians go door-to-door. Overnight at your homestay in Kathmandu.
Day 4: Worship the Self on Mha Puja
Today is Gobardhan Puja (Oxen Day) and Mha Puja. In the morning you can relax or take one of the optional tours. In the evening, celebrate Mha Puja with the Newari community. It is a day of purification, strengthening, understanding oneself, and worshipping and blessing oneself to achieve unselfishness and generosity. Overnight at your homestay in Kathmandu.
Day 5: Celebrate Bhai Tika with a Nepali Family
Today is Bhai Tika, the last and most important day of Tihar. On this day, sisters place tika (a mark of powder or paste) on their brothers’ foreheads, thank them for their protection and wish for their prosperous and long life. Along with the tika, sisters offer garlands of marigolds and chrysanthemums, sweets, and special dishes. Experience this ceremony with your host family. Tonight enjoy a delicious festival feast included in the package. Overnight at your homestay in Kathmandu.
Day 6: Drive to Pokhara
Today you head to the lakeside city of Pokhara by tourist bus. Enjoy the rural landscape and spectacular vistas of the Annapurnas. Upon arrival at Pokhara bus station, you will be transferred to your hotel in Lakeside, Pokhara. Rest at the hotel or go boating on the lake.
Driving Time: 5–7 hours
Day 7: Explore the Lakeside City of Pokhara
Early in the morning, you will be taken to Sarangkot for sunrise. From here you can see Pokhara and the Annapurna range. Then enjoy a guided city tour of Pokhara including the International Mountain Museum, Devi’s Falls, and Gupteshwore Cave. Overnight at a hotel in Lakeside, Pokhara.
Day 8: Return to Kathmandu
After breakfast, take the tourist bus back to Kathmandu. Enjoy the view of the Trishuli River as you climb up the winding road into the valley. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, relax, do some shopping, or visit the Garden of Dreams. Overnight in a hotel or homestay (optional) in Kathmandu.
Driving Time: 5–7 hours
Day 9: Free Day in Kathmandu
Today is a free day for you to shop or sightsee in Kathmandu. Visit the Monkey Temple (Swayumbunath), Boudhanath Stupa or Pashupatinath. Overnight at your hotel or homestay (optional) in Kathmandu.
Day 10: Departure
Today bid farewell to Nepal. You will be transferred to Tribuvhan International Airport for your flight. Namaste.