Places to Visit in Nepal
Nepal Hotels
Nepal Trekking Lodges
Nepal Luxury Trekking Lodges
All Bhutan Trips
Places to Visit in Bhutan
Bhutan Hotels
Our Story
Our Team
Support Rural Nepal
Customise a Trip
Departure Information
How to Book
About Payments
Booking Terms and Conditions
About our Price Guides
Important Trek Activity Info
About Contingency
FAQ and Reality Check Warning
Country Facts
Climate Information
Travel Health
Travel Advice
Visa Information
International Flights

Climate Information


Climate Information


When To go 

Perhaps the most common question we are asked is, “When is the best time to go to Nepal?”

It’s a good and highly relevant question, naturally.

October–April is usually considered the MAIN tourist season. The summer months of June–September are monsoon (more about the monsoon further below) time, and unless you’re thinking of going somewhere like Upper Mustang, it’s really not a good idea to visit Nepal during the monsoon.

However, any answer as to “when is best” is a little more complex, and IT DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND WHERE. This is an integral part of considering when to come to Nepal.

This is because Nepal is almost a vertical country.


Generally speaking, Nepal is only around 80 miles (128km) wide.

But within those mere 80 miles, Nepal goes from lowland jungle at almost sea level to permanently snowcapped peaks. The highest in the world and not known as the “third pole” for nothing.

In a country that goes from sea level to over 8000m in just 80 miles, you simply cannot generalise about the climate. By default, it is going to vary according to WHERE you are.

Imagine being in balmy Florida yet being able to see as far as the northern polar regions. That’s a distance of over 4,000 miles (nearly 6,900km). Yet, in Nepal, you can actually do just that. The frozen summits (often below -20C and more) can be seen from the likes of Chitwan National Park, where it’s hot and steamy on a clear day.

Consequently, in just 80 miles, you have all the climactic zones between sub-tropical and polar. The temperature variations within those 80 miles and due to increasing altitude could be anything between +35C and -35C!

A high altitude trek (for example) is likely to start at lower altitudes where it is probably warm and then gets cooler and cooler and cooler as it gains height. So, simply put, the higher you go, the colder it will get. Around 6 C cooler for every 1000m of altitude gain. Clearly during the winter months temperatures at higher altitudes can be bitterly cold and well below freezing. However, the reward of enduring colder weather is often crisp, clear mountain views and fewer trekkers.

A trek at higher altitude can sometimes be OK (not always) too during the cusp months (September & May) either side of the main October-April season. A typical example is the Everest region, where most of the trekking is between 3000 and 5000m and may thus be “above the weather”.

On a low altitude trek in the Annapurna’s, a wildlife tour of the National Park’s of the Terai or a cultural tour of the Kathmandu Valley and “middle hills” it is more likely to be mild, warm and perhaps even hot even during the winter months.

If you’re coming to Nepal hoping to see wildlife in one of the National Parks in the Terai region (e.g. Chitwan or Bardia), then it’s worth considering that the monsoon rains not only make Nepal more lush and green in general, but will have stimulated the grasses within the National Parks to grow and these grasses can grow tall enough to hide a rhino. This can impact wildlife viewing potential at the beginning of the main tourist season. So, any visit where jungle wildlife is the primary focus is usually better between February - April (the later the better).

There is also the question of climate change. Weather extremes are happening all over the world and Nepal is no exception. In fact the Himalaya are considered to be one of the worst affected by climate change. However, we are neither scientists nor meteorologists, although we are noticing more extreme weather events as well as what would once have been regarded as unseasonal weather events too. It snows when it shouldn’t and it rains when it shouldn’t.

We cannot predict the unpredictable and let’s be honest predicting weather has never been an exact science.

The monsoon is an annual weather event. Great for farmers. Not so good for tourists. The monsoon brings heavy rain, often deluges. The heavy rains and deluges often cause problems with transportation. Bridges and roads get washed away, planes can’t see to fly and unmetalled roads (of which there are many in Nepal) become impassable muddy quagmires. It’s warmer, but also very humid. Sometimes uncomfortably so. Monsoon season sometimes begins around the end of June and lasts until the middle of September. About 80% of Nepal's annual rainfall is during this period. The monsoon can and does arrive earlier, or depart later. The past couple of years it has still been raining heavily in October, which is not usual. Consequently even the monsoon is becoming even more erratic. Rain of course means clouds and so a lot of the time the Himalaya are obscured by these clouds. Rain also means leeches (below 3000m), lots of leeches and this can make life very unpleasant. Getting soaked, not seeing the mountains, encountering transport problems and constantly picking leeches off your waterproofs is probably not most peoples notion of a fun holiday.

But, the Himalaya form a natural barrier and prevent the monsoon from extending beyond them thus creating a “rain shadow”.

Consequently Upper Mustang, which lies to the “other” side of the Himalaya and on the Tibetan Plateau is protected by the Himalaya from the monsoon rains, which is why Upper Mustang is an arid, barren high altitude mountain desert.

Indeed Upper Mustang can be considered as a region to visit during the summer monsoon months. Whilst at relentless high altitude it’s never really warm in Upper Mustang but it’s certainly much milder than the winter months up there. Winter in Upper Mustang is harsh. Really, really cold. Along with the fall in temperatures that winter brings the region is also blighted by bitterly cold winds emanating from Central Asia during winter. The caveat for visiting Upper Mustang during the monsoon months is that whilst the monsoon doesn’t reach Upper Mustang you still have to get up there and so that means travelling up through the monsoon affected parts of Nepal. Consequently the road up to Mustang can be detrimentally affected and flights can be delayed or cancelled.

What you want to do and whereabouts in Nepal determines when is the best time to visit.

For Nepal weather forecast click here (links to external site)

Don't Forget

We can customise
all our trips to Nepal.

extend. shorten. upgrade


Read our Nepal Travel Guide

Nepal is home to a beautiful and varied landscape, a wealth of cultural sights, and a diverse people. Here’s everything you need to know, from the capital of Nepal to visa rules.
From UK

01405 862917

Outside UK

+44 1405 862917

Follow us
Snow Cat Travel is the brand name of and trading as Rural Heritage Journeys PVT LTD of Nepal with a Head Office in Kathmandu. Our parent company Rural Heritage Nepal owns and operates select boutique, heritage hotels in Nepal such as the Famous Farm at Nuwakot and the Old Inn at Bandipur.
© 2024 Snow Cat Travel.
All rights reserved. Snow Cat Travel is a Registered Trade Mark UK 00003289264