- June 9, 2019
- by Mantra Adventure
With the world’s tallest Himalayas, immense cultural diversity, and ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites there are numerous popular activities to do in Nepal. Nepal is a haven for natural and cultural wealth. A lot of geographical superlative landmarks of the world are located here. So, it should not be surprising that tourism is one of the main industries of Nepal. As such, the attractions in Nepal are available in a large number offering a variety of trip options.
The geography of Nepal is highly diverse despite its relatively smaller size compared to other countries. From an altitude of only about 60m above sea level, all the way to the top of the world at 8,848m exists here. Each of its three geographical belts spans from east to west – Terai in the south, the hilly region in the middle, and the Himalayas in the north. The Himalayas provide a home to a multitude of trekking and mountaineering adventures. Moreover, the ethnic communities and centuries-old history make up insightful destinations to travel. This abundance of natural and cultural resources has made Nepal a center of attraction to travelers around the world.
List of Popular Activities to do in Nepal
Among seemingly endless choices, here are some most popular things to do in Nepal.
Sightseeing Tours and Jungle Safaris
The hilly region of Nepal, with its verdant valleys and rolling hills, is just as alluring as its neighboring regions. This temperate region – not too hot and not too cold – has made it popular among all Nepalese to settle down in. This has meant an explosion of culture and traditions, vibrant rituals and fascinating festivals, and hundreds of years of history have saturated it with breathtaking cultural beauty and art and heritage. As such, urban tours and sightseeing are the best ways to explore these beauties. Kathmandu and Pokhara are two of the most prominent tourist destinations in the entire country. Kathmandu Valley offers rich cultural and artistic wealth that has accumulated over the centuries. Similarly, Pokhara is known for adventure sports and delightful sightseeing destinations in the shadows of the Annapurna Mountains and Machhapuchhre (6997m).
The southern geographical region of Nepal, the Terai, thrives on subtropical climate. As a result, a great number of animals and plants live in the dense forests irrigated by Himalaya-fed Rivers. One such example is the Chitwan National Park, Nepal’s first and also a world heritage site. It is most famous for the greater one-horned rhinoceros and Royal Bengal Tiger among other species of birds and wildlife. People visit this area in droves to experience the jungle safari that involves elephant rides. Sitting on the backs of those friendly giants, the mahout (‘elephant rider’) and the visitor’s tour through the forest and the grassland spotting the rhinos and other fascinating animals like the Bengal tiger!
Bardiya National Park, while less popular than Chitwan, is in no way inferior to it. As a matter of fact, some people prefer this park as it provides a more unadulterated experience of a guided jungle tour with fewer people around and undisturbed wildlife. Tiger sightings are generally more common here and it can also be a birdwatcher’s paradise. Similar other destinations are Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve. While you are in Nepal, your visit won’t be fully dressed without this very handy popular activities to do in Nepal.
Trekking Next to the Himalayas
The Himalayas have always lured the most daring of adventurers to take on a challenge as popular activities to do in Nepal. The Himalayan region, with its isolated peaks and unspoiled trails, makes trekking in Nepal an adventure that most tourists are unable to resist. Where else could someone get the chance to view the world’s highest peaks just by trekking through gorgeous villages and rhododendron forests?
Trekking along the foothills of the Himalayas, one can revel in the beauty of the country and experience numerous cultural interactions as well. The treks offer the opportunity to see some of the world’s tallest mountains like Lhotse (4th highest|8516m), Makalu (5th highest|8463m), Cho Oyu (6th highest|8188m), Dhaulagiri (7th highest|8167m), Manaslu (8the highest|8163m), Annapurna (10th highest|8091m), and the Everest (8848m) itself. The beautiful culture and traditions of the ethnic communities along the trekking trail make it easy to see why Nepal has been the most popular destination for the traveler around the world.
Major Popular Activities to do in Nepal in the Himalayas
The Everest Base Camp Trek and the Annapurna Base Camp Trek are the two holy grails of Nepalese trekking sector. These are two of the most revered ones thanks to the unique experiences they offer. The EBC trek revolves around the majestic Mt. Everest (8848m) whereas ABC explores the Annapurna Conservation Area. Annapurna Circuit Trek, Ghorepani Poonhill Trek, Gokyo Lake Trek, and Langtang Valley Trek are few other popular choices among the trekkers as well. More isolated due to their remote topography, the Kanchenjunga and Makalu treks offer more secluded treks with fewer travelers but just as many fascinating natural attractions. Upper Mustang trek and Upper Dolpo trek are other popular activities to do in Nepal soaring in popularity after tourist restrictions were lifted only around one or two decades ago.
Peak Climbing and Mountaineering Expeditions in Nepal
Many adventurous people choose to go on treks not only to see the mountains but to actually conquer them! Nepal is one of the best countries in the world to pursue ones dream to scale a mountain. This is especially clear during the spring and autumn seasons when highly experienced and accomplished mountain-climbers travel all the way to Nepal to ascend its colossal mountains.
While both peak climbing and expeditions sound the same, in Nepal, they have different specifications. Peak Climbing is usually done on peaks below the altitude of 6500 meters and expeditions on the ones above this altitude mark. With eight of the fourteen highest mountains of the world located here, this is among the popular activities to do in Nepal for most mountaineers. Similarly, with 414 peaks opened for peak climbing, lack of options is not a problem.
Mount Everest (8848m) is always in every mountaineer’s bucket list. Similarly, Annapurna (8091m), while only the tenth highest peak in the world, is considered to be an even tougher terrain to maneuver. Ama Dablam (6856m), Makalu (8463m), Nuptse (7861m), Kanchenjunga (8586m), and Baruntse (7219m) are few other notable expeditions in the Himalayas. Assisted by guides and porters, the expedition is a demanding but satisfying affair, creating memories that last a lifetime.
An expedition can take from a couple of weeks to months to complete depending on its topographical layout and the altitude. Scaling smaller mountains generally takes less time but are still a great way to gain experience and also get breathtaking views of the tallest mountains. For instance, from the top of Lobuche Mountain (6119m), one can even see the Everest along with Lhotse (8516m), Nuptse (7861m), and Pumori (7161m) mountains! Imja Tse or Island Peak (6189m) is another popular destination for beginners. Mera Peak (6461m), Chulu East (6429m), Yala Peak (5500m), and Dhampus Peak (6012m) are other peak climbing destinations in the country. Hence, peak climbing has been other popular activities to do in Nepal for all the adventure lovers.
With Adventure Sports, Adrenaline Soars
Apart from Himalayan ventures like Everest base camp trek and others, there are several alternatives popular activities to do in Nepal for those seeking a thrill. Many visitors, both domestic and foreign, come seeking the freedom of flying to the hilly regions of Nepal, which are very well-suited for paragliding. In Pokhara, the stunning sight of Machhapuchhre (“fishtail”) mountain and Phewa Lake while gliding by is enough to make anyone feel like a magnificent bird. Pokhara also offers ultralight aviation for similar adventure flying. Zip flying is another adventure sport offered in Pokhara and as one zooms down the rope, snow-capped mountaintops, sparkling waterbodies, luxuriant hills, and valleys rise up to greet the thrill-seeker. Most excitingly, this zip line is one of the world’s steepest and longest!
Popular Activities to do in Nepal as Adventure Sports
In both Pokhara and nearby Tatopani village, bungee jumping is another adventure sport available in Nepal. The water-touch bungee at Hemja, Pokhara is an enthralling adventure as you jump in the company of the Annapurna Himalayas. And only a few hours away from Kathmandu valley, jumping off of a bridge over Bhote Koshi River, adrenaline rush-seekers are bound to be completely satisfied with the experience. The same river also offers white water rafting, another major attraction for many seeking outdoor recreation. Trishuli River, also located near Kathmandu, is considered a good option for beginners to try out rafting as the water does not have very big rapids but is still very lively. Tamor, Sunkoshi, and Karnali are also great for fast rapids and fantastic scenery.
The ultimate in extreme sports, skydiving, is also possible in Pokhara and Solukhumbu. With an undisturbed view of the Annapurna Mountains and the beautiful Phewa Lake, it is worth the jump. More extreme but equally possible is skydiving from the highest drop zone in the world almost right next to the Mount Everest (8848m)! Finally, something most people have been doing since childhood – riding a bike – can also become an adventure in this fascinating country. Mountain biking is perfect for the rough but fun terrain available everywhere in Nepal. For those who want to ride something even more powerful, Mustang is growing to be a popular destination for mountain motorbiking as the region’s scenic routes and dirt roads are perfect for such an adventure.
It is obvious that Nepal is the ideal destination for those seeking to learn about its rich and beautiful history and culture. This small country abounds with unique and mind-blowing ways to experience and enjoy nature in all its glory. The water, the mountains, the lands, and the ravishing culture in it are there for everyone to explore and appreciate.