Nepal is one of the world’s top tourism destinations for mountaineers and nature enthusiasts alike.
Against the backdrop of the imposing Himalayas, Nepal is home to many natural and human-made wonders that have shaped the idiosyncrasy of its inhabitants for millennia. Many daredevil mountaineers and adventurers come to this country to conquer its perennial white peaks. But you don’t need to climb Mount Everest to soak up what Nepal has to offer.
Witness the elusive white tigers in the morning mist of the many Nepalese eco-parks and tiger sanctuaries, or immerse yourself in an ancient and very spiritual culture that crops up almost everywhere in the form of thousands of temples, shrines, and architectonically stunning cities.
But tempting as it might be, do not mistake the Nepalese for a secluded or exotic people. Nepal is very much a modern country, with access to many comforts and essential services. Tourism is a major industry, and in cities like Kathmandu - one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world - you can easily find accommodation and tours that will take you to the most beautiful parts of the country in no time.
We made this list of places that you won't want to miss on your next trip to Nepal. Check it out!
Sagarmatha National Park
One of the 12 Nepalese national parks, Sagarmatha is located in Eastern Nepal - and inside the Himalayan mountain range. This area of exceptional beauty has all nature lovers can dream of - epic peaks, glaciers, and wildlife. However, the jewel of the park is the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest.
Even if you have no interest in mountaineering, the area is a must for all travelers. Where else can you see red pandas, snow leopards, and black bears running free in such a grandiose landscape? There are many activities to do in the park, like trekking across its foothills, cruising the Dudh Koshi River, visiting glaciers, or just watching the world’s tallest peak from its many viewpoints.
Take into account that there are no direct roads into Sagarmatha National Park, so you will need to arrange a special tour that takes you there. Mind your breath though, altitude sickness is a very real possibility if you aren’t accustomed to these kinds of heights.
Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, Durbar Square has a long history that can be traced back to the ancient Kathmandu Kingdom. The name even means “Royal Palace” in Nepalese, and it marked the spot where kings were ceremoniously crowned and where special events took place, but you can tell that it was important just by looking at it - its intricate architecture is definitely regal in nature.
The Kathmandu Kingdom was part of a vast collection of principalities and small kingdoms before unification in the mid-18th-century. Many other structures like temples, towers, and statues that can be traced back to this era surround Durbar Square, so it’s a good spot to begin a tour of the city.
Over Phewa Lake's crystalline surface, the snow-capped peaks of Annapurna mountains reflect and send chills down the spine of all travelers that come to this naturally beautiful area. Colorful fishing boats and temples make the place even more picturesque, and there are even many hotels where you can spend a night or two - if you feel like immersing fully in the landscape.
Also, at the center of the lake sits the holy Barahi temple of the Goddess Durga - and it's only reachable by boat. This is a spot with a bit of everything, and even if you are not much into temple sightseeing you are bound to find some activities to your liking, like trekking across the foothills that surround the lake, bungee jumping, paragliding, helicopter tours, or water sports.
Annapurna Sanctuary Trek
Since you are already near the Annapurna range, if you are feeling fit and daring you can undertake the fantastic journey to the Annapurna Sanctuary, an eleven days long trek that offers the unique opportunity to hike into Nepal’s second-highest mountain range. Though reaching the sanctuary doesn’t require climbing or going through any high passes, you will be surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in the world.
A western tributary of the mighty Sun Kosi River, Bhote Koshi’s rapids are great for kayaking, rafting, or even just trekking along its course. Poiqu, as it is known in Tibet, is the steepest river in all of Nepal, and it is considered by many to be one of the best for whitewater rafting in the world.
Also, this river course is just a few hours from Kathmandu, between the mountains close to the Nepalese and Tibetan border, so you don’t need to travel far if you want this to be your first destination after arriving in the country.
Everest Base Camp
Reaching the peak of the legendary Mount Everest is a feat almost impossible to achieve without years of training and very special equipment. And even with all that, it is still an extremely risky journey where even seasoned mountaineers have lost their lives.
But you don’t need to go that far in order to know what it is like to be on one of the world’s most ominous and alluring mountains. Luckily, reaching the Everest Base Camp is a very doable feat that can give you a glimpse into the hardships and enormous dangers that mountaineers attempting to conquer Everest have to face.
Once you reach the base, you will find that it is a very lively and exciting place, full of energetic teams preparing for their perilous journey ahead. If you are feeling fit and want a taste of the real thing, there are three-week treks to the base that will make you feel closer to the might of the Himalayan mountain. But don’t worry, there are also helicopter trips directly to the camp, so you can get to see this wonder of human achievement without any danger or hardships involved.
Nepal is full of adventure - find yours!
This list doesn’t even come near to all the amazing places in Nepal, a beautiful country with many sights and activities to offer. In any case, remember that this is for many a very sought-after destination, so buying tours and accommodation in advance won’t hurt.