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Nepal is steeped in history and culture and is proud of its rich heritage. The religions of Hinduism and Buddhism co-exist and flourish, providing a wealth of ornate temples, stupas and other religious monuments and symbols. Whilst cities like Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan display a smorgasbord of heritage sites, the country is primarily a country made up of small villages and rural farmlands and to many it is amongst these tiny, hill settlements that the 'heart and soul' beats. Indeed it is said that if you walk a kilometre or two from a road, you'll walk back a couple of hundred years in time. The Nepalese often say that the country has a third religion; tourism, and the influence of tourism has a tendency to create 'artificial' experiences wherever it goes.
For those who wish to totally immerse themselves in the richness of Nepali life, then staying in local homes 'off the beaten track' perhaps provides the most genuine cultural experiences. Whilst of course it is also possible to enjoy luxury holidays in Nepal, the locations of deluxe hotels are limited to the principle tourist places, although it is entirely possible to incorporate some Himalayan trekking as part of a luxury holiday and utilise the luxury trekking lodges in the Annapurna and Everest regions. Whatever style you choose to follow you're almost certain to encounter the warmth and friendly hospitality of the people.
Indeed it is the encounters with the people that seem to create the longest, lingering memories of a visit. The landscapes may be both beautiful and dramatic, but it is the people within the landscape that make Nepal what it is. To inspire you, we've created some suggested Nepal cultural tours
From the ancient cities, monuments and sights of the Kathmandu Valley this varied, contrasting journey through Nepal also visits rural hill villages in the Himalayan Foothills & the lake at Pokhara. Wonderful views of the Himalayas and a Tiger safari in the jungles of Chitwan too.
A cultural journey through Nepal that incorporates the highest standards of accommodation, including the unique and magnificent Dwarikas Hotel in Kathmandu and the Dwarikas Resort, Dhulikel. Witness Himalayan panoramas, fly by plane to see Everest and search for wildlife in the jungles of Chitwan.
Ancient Durbar Squares of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur & Patan. Sacred sites of Swayambunath, Bodnath & Changu Narayan. The UNESCO World Heritage of the Kathmandu Valley is explored in full. Visit Lumbini, birthplace of Buddha, World Heritage Chitwan and even the World Heritage Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park by air!
For those who wish to immerse themselves deeper into the culture of Nepal, this off the beaten track holiday includes home stays with local families in both the Himalayan foothills and with the Tharu people of the Terai. Getting off the beaten track involves a few days of reasonably challenging trekking to get to unspoilt places the roads don't reach.
Not just a journey to discover the sacred and spiritual sites and places of Nepal, with several days spent at a Buddhist Monastery, this is also a personal journey to the inner self. You'll pay homage to both Hindu & Buddhist places of reverence in the Kathmandu Valley, visit Lumbini the birthplace of Buddha and ultimately be able to engage in meditation and prayer alongside monks at the tranquil Neydo Monastery.
A shorter cultural tour, but surprisingly unhurried and varied too. Explore the ancient cities of Kathmandu, Patan & Bhaktapur. Experience both the rural villages and sacred Hindu & Buddhist sites of the Kathmandu Valley and witness a breathtaking, panoramic Himalayan sunrise from a classic hill top location. If you're short on time you can still experience Nepal in microcosm without having to rush around.
All meals 'on tour' included
Hand-Crafted to Perfection
Mustang Jeep Tour to Lo Manthang
The impossible is now possible. A private journey by 4WD vehicle into the forbidden kingdom of Mustang and to the fabled, remote walled capital of Lo Manthang. Now you can discover the land behind the Himalayas without trekking and travel across the high passes of the Tibetan plateau by jeep to discover this famously 'off limits' other worldly, wild landscape.
A one week Nepal trip. Short, but sweet......very sweet. A gentle tour of the delights of rural Nepal staying at our very own boutique heritage hotels in hill village Nuwakot and the Newari mountain town of Bandipur. A great way to discover the real soul of Nepal and avoiding the main tourist traps too. For a bit of fun, there's a journey down the Trisuli River by raft (optional) with an overnight halt at our permanent riverside camp too.
Rural Heritage Nepal
Example Cultural Tours
Perhaps the true "Jewel in the Crown" for Nepal isn't the spectacular landscapes.....although of course landscapes don't get much more spectacular than the Himalayas!
In our opinion it is the people of Nepal that makes any visit to Nepal memorable, celebrated here on the right in our "People within a Landscape" short video and on the left , Holi Festival celebrations from Bandipur on March 1st 2018