Nepal & the Mystical Himalayas

Highlights & InclusionsItineraryPricing Information Terms & Conditions
Departure Date: October 29, 2018
Duration: 17 Days / 16 Nights
Price from: $4,595
Single Room Supplement: Waived
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Highlights & Inclusions

  • Be sure to mention booking code G8-25972 to receive all the Gutsy benefits!
  • Airport transfers are included when you purchase our operator's International air to coincide with trip's day by day agenda.
  • All land and water transportation, transfers, and two internal flights
  • Accommodations for 7 nights in hotels, 5 nights in lodges while trekking, and 2 nights in a safari-style tented camp while rafting
  • 36 meals—daily breakfast, 11 lunches, and 11 dinners (including 1 Home-Hosted Dinner)
  • 25 small group activities
  • Use of daypacks and walking sticks (provided only during trekking portion of trip)
  • Services of a local O.A.T. Trip Leader, local trekking guides, and porters
  • Gratuities for local guides, drivers, lodge and camp staff, and luggage porters
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit toward your next O.A.T. adventure


Itinerary

Travel to Nepal with O.A.T. and discover the mighty Himalayas, whose snowcapped peaks are the very rooftop of the world. Sinuous green terraces wind as far as the eye can see along mountain valleys. Prayer flags adorn lively temples that reveal ancient scrolls and exquisite carvings. This is Nepal. With O.A.T., you’ll trek on stone paths threading pristine hillsides and sweeping valleys … float on a river raft through untouched forest … and ride by elephantback through lush jungle.

DAY 1 Depart U.S.

You depart the U.S. for your flight to Dubai.

DAY 2 Arrive Dubai, United Arab Emirates


OVERNIGHT: Hotel Howard Johnson or similar Stay overnight in Dubai before flying on to Kathmandu, Nepal tomorrow.

DAY 3 Fly to Kathmandu, Nepal


MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: Gokarna Forest Resort or similar

Travelers on the pre-trip extension to Bhutan: The Last Shangri-La join the main adventure today. This afternoon, we fly to Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. When we arrive at our hotel, we meet our Trip Leader, a Nepali, whose mission is to share the cities, land, people, and language of his or her homeland with us.

Tonight, enjoy dinner on your own in this vibrant city.

DAY 4 Visit Boudhanath Stupa • Explore Patan


MEALS: B D
OVERNIGHT: Gokarna Forest Resort or similar

This morning, we’ll begin our discoveries in Kathmandu (4,265 feet)—the capital and largest city of Nepal. Here, we’ll visit the country’s holiest temple: the Boudhanath Stupa. Like Mecca is to Muslims, Boudhanath Stupa, standing 118 feet high, is the main pilgrimage site for Tibetan Buddhists. Tens of thousands of pilgrims make the journey each year. The temple's hemispherical dome represents the emptiness from which everything begins; rising above the dome, the harmika shines the Buddha's eyes in four directions that symbolize his total awareness. When Tibetan refugees entered Nepal, they settled around the Boudhanath Stupa, creating a small village that elicits the holy atmosphere of Tibet's sacred city, Lhasa.

Then, we make a short drive to Patan (4,429 feet), which sits across the Bagmati River from Kathmandu. Patan was developed on relatively thin layers of deposited clay and gravel in the central part of a dried ancient lake known as Nagdaha. The city was designed in the shape of the Buddhist Dharma-Chakra (Wheel of Righteousness). The four thurs, or mounds, located on the perimeter of Patan are known as the Ashoka Stupas, named for Emperor Ashoka, who visited Kathmandu with his daughter, Charumati, in 250 BC and erected the five stupas. These mounds are joined by more than 1,200 Buddhist and Hindu monuments of various shapes and sizes located throughout the city. Patan is known for its art and artisans: The region has produced the most artists and finest craftsmen in Nepali history, and their devotional artwork gives us stunning displays of Nepal's fused cultures.

We’ll explore one of Patan’s bustling markets, as well as its Durbar Square—one of the seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal that are preserved within a protected Monument Zone. As Durbar translates to “palace,” the term “Durbar Square” is used to describe any plaza opposite a royal palace. But while there are several Durbar Squares across Nepal, Patan's is renowned for being one of the most picturesque, with its intricately carved architecture, delicate wind chimes, and ornate fountains.

After lunch on our own, we’ll return to our hotel. Tonight, our group will gather for a Welcome Dinner at our hotel.

DAY 5 Optional Mount Everest Flight • Bhaktapur city tour


MEALS: B L
OVERNIGHT: Gokarna Forest Resort or similar

At dawn, you may elect to join us for an optional flight to Everest (weather permitting). This iconic mountain is known in Tibet as Chomolungma, which means “Mother of the Universe” or “Goddess Mother of the Earth.” The Nepali name is Sagarmatha, or “Goddess of the Sky.” Avid climbers call this mountain “the ultimate climb,” and with its astounding summit height of 29,029 feet above sea level, Mount Everest earns the title of the tallest peak on Earth. Rising majestically out of the Himalayan range, its snowy peak and intricate geography offer us breathtaking views from the air.

Or, you can enjoy some time at leisure before we all embark on a tour of Bhaktapur (Bhagdaon). The “City of Devotees,” Bhaktapur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site spanning four square miles. The city was the crown jewel of the Malla Empire 700 years ago, and today features its historic Durbar Square, ancient courtyards, holy temples, and twisting streets where artisans still practice age-old traditions. After lunch at a local restaurant, we'll explore some of these sites on a guided tour.

This evening, we'll return to Kathmandu. Dinner tonight is on your own.

DAY 6 Fly to Pokhara • Nayapul trailhead • Modi River Valley


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Sanctuary Lodge or similar

This morning, we fly to Pokhara (3,080 feet), a vital city along the ancient trade route from Tibet to India built around Lake Phewa. From our plane, we may see panoramic views of impressive canyons carved out by the Seti River and defined by the fast rise of the Annapurna mountain range. Pokhara boasts a number of natural phenomena such as a waterfall that plunges and disappears into a hole and a stretch of the Seti River that disappears into a small opening in the canyon wall.

Before our journey begins, we meet our trek guide for a briefing. Then we begin our trek amidst terraced farmland and wooded hillsides. Walking through the lower foothills of the Annapurnas, intoxicating views of the Pokhara Valley surround us. As we enter the Modi River Valley, we hear the rush of flowing river and may find many colorful birds and butterflies fluttering on the riverbanks.

After approximately an hour of walking with our light daypacks, we stop for a packed lunch along the route. After lunch, we continue to follow the Modi River until we approach our lodge (3,362 feet). The lodge offers views of Macchapuchare, or Fishtail Mountain, a sacred peak that has never been summitted. While this famous peak is less than 22,000 feet high, it is known for its twin peaks and its startling beauty.

The balance of the afternoon is yours to simply relax and enjoy the view. Later we'll have afternoon tea and a roundtable discussion on life in Nepal. We dine this evening on the simple, traditional fare of the Modi River Valley at our lodge.

DAY 7 Birethanti Trek • Modi River


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Sanctuary Lodge or similar

As the sun rises at our lodge, mountain silhouettes transform into dramatic snowy peaks against a crystal blue sky. Join us for tea and coffee as we take in the unfolding of the landscape before us. Then, after breakfast, we begin our morning trek to the village of Birethanti (3,382 feet), passing through hamlets and forests. The houses of Birethanti seem to naturally rise out of the hillside, in perfect time and meter with the terraced rice fields. These velvety green “steps” that cascade down the hillside are a testament to the care and hard work of the people that live and work on the land. Upon entering this ancient village, and due to our small group size, we have the chance to interact with the villagers as they move through their day of feeding the animals, farming, and caring for their children.

We return to the lodge for lunch and then you are free to explore the riverbanks and surrounding land at your own pace.

We dine at the lodge before retiring for the evening.

DAY 8 A Day in the Life of a Nepali village • Visit local school • Lunch with a Gorkha family


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Sanctuary Lodge or similar Very Active Day: See Physical Requirements

This morning, we embark on A Day in the Life of a Nepali village, a day of discovery during which we'll learn firsthand what it's like to live in the shadow of the Annapurnas. First, we'll enjoy a chance to meet local children in their school (when in session) which is supported in part by Grand Circle Foundation. Though formal education has existed in Nepal for 150 years, for the first century it was only available to members of the royal family. It has only been the last five decades that ordinary Nepali children were able to enjoy schooling as a result of the popular democratic uprising that ended the rule of the royal family. Today, five million students fill more than 20,000 schools (from elementary schools to universities). You'll get to know a few of these promising young people when we visit.

Then we depart for nearby Tomejhong village, where we'll explore and spend time with the hospitable people who live here. A Gorkha family will join us for lunch to share insight into their traditions and daily life. The Gorkha people arrived in western Nepal from Tibet centuries ago, and trace their roots to a Mongolian clan—part of the Kshatriya, or warrior class—from classic Hindu tradition. Known for their military prowess, courage, and loyalty, many Gorkhas were recruited by the British Army during their occupation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Their culture is a fascinating blend of their Hindu roots and local traditions like shamanism and Tibetan Buddhism, as we'll learn during this exclusive opportunity for real cultural exchange.

Back at the lodge, we'll enjoy leisure time in the late afternoon, then come together for dinner.

Please note: Travelers may choose to remain at the lodge today if they feel a three-hour, uphill hike may be too difficult.

DAY 9 Return to Pokhara • Afternoon at leisure


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Hotel Da Yatra or similar

After enjoying breakfast, we begin our transfer back to Pokhara. Set in a valley where Asia's ancient civilizations crept down from the highlands of Tibet and the Indo-Gangetic Plain, Pokhara marks an important stop along an age-old trade route. The mountains around this serene tropical valley shoot up starkly toward the sky, leaping upwards of 26,000 feet and disappearing into the misty shroud that drapes about their shoulders. As lofty symbols of man's highest hopes and the source of eternal inspiration, these peaks are considered sacred to Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and followers of Tibet's indigenous Bon traditions alike. Machapuchare, the fishtail crown at the center of the Annapurnas, is off-limits to climbers because of its association with the gods.

We arrive in Pokhara and stroll through a market before lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon is free for you to browse among the lakeside shops of Pokhara or relax in the lodge before dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 10 International Mountain Museum • Home-Hosted Dinner


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Hotel Da Yatra or similar

We enjoy breakfast at our lodge this morning, then we visit the International Mountain Museum (IMM). The IMM is the gateway for climbers and mountain enthusiasts, and the organization is working to support the people of the Himalayas while also bringing the majesty of this towering and expansive range to the international community. The IMM comprises four galleries, a research center, events, educational activities and climbing opportunities and will provide us with comprehensive information about the Himalayan range.

After lunch together at a local restaurant, you'll have some time at leisure. Tonight, we'll dive into daily life in the Himalayas when we join a local family for a Home-Hosted Dinner.

DAY 11 Overland to Seti River • Seti River rafting


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Seti River Camp or similar

Today we begin our rafting journey along the Seti River (2,500 feet). This animated river runs through Pokhara and displays some visually amazing feats—at one point it appears to be only two meters wide, while its massive volume of water continues to flow, hidden by incredible depths. We drive to our rafting launch site after breakfast and receive information and instructions from our river guides.

Then we board our American-made raft and let our experienced crew navigate the three-hour ride. The views are truly thrilling. Along its banks, women wash clothes, men fish with sticks and cloth nets, and children swim and play.

We face a few sections of Class II rapids, where there may be some rough water with waves up to three or four feet, and perhaps some rocks and drops that require maneuvering by our expert guides. After a picnic lunch on the Seti's shores, our afternoon rafting follows smooth, easy waters. We land on the banks of the river to settle into our safari-style camp surrounded by luscious forest. Dinner tonight is followed by conversation beneath an endless starry sky.

DAY 12 Explore village • Swim the Seti • Bird watch


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Seti River Camp or similar

After breakfast this morning, our guides lead us on a trek to a nearby village.

We return to camp for lunch, and the afternoon is ours to relax in the camp's gardens and hammocks. Or, take a refreshing dip in the warm Seti River. You may also ask your Trip Leader for suggestions on local hikes.

DAY 13 Seti River Rafting • Optional Jeep safari in Chitwan National Park


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Kasara Resort or similar

We begin our final rafting leg this morning. Savor the images of clear, rushing water, lush jungle foliage and villagers waving from the banks. We raft for about two hours, observing riverside villages and a colorful array of birdlife. Our rafts and experienced Nepalese crew expertly navigate five sections of Class II rapids and one patch of Class III rapids (especially after monsoon season) as we travel to our end point. After bidding farewell to our faithful rafting guides, we set off overland to Chitwan and enjoy lunch at our lodge.

This afternoon, you can enjoy some free time at our lodge or opt to join us on an optional Jeep safari in Chitwan National Park (1,000 feet), the oldest national park in Nepal. The park lies in the subtropical inner Terai lowlands of South-Central Nepal. Designated as a World Heritage Site in 1984, the park covers a pristine area with a unique ecosystem of significant value to the world. It contains the Churiya hills, ox-bow lakes and flood plains of Rapti, Reu, and Narayani rivers. Formerly, the Chitwan Valley was well known for big-game hunting and until 1950 was exclusively managed as a hunting reserve for the Rana Prime Ministers and their guests. In 1963, the area south of the Rapti River was demarcated as a rhinoceros sanctuary. In 1970, His late Majesty King Mahendra approved, in principle, the creation of Royal Chitwan National Park. From the back of an open Jeep, you’ll search the grasslands and jungles of Chitwan for animals such as spotted deer, Bengal tigers, and one-horned rhinos.

Later, we’ll regroup and spend our early evening in a discussion with a naturalist who outlines the history and features of Chitwan, which we will all experience together tomorrow. Tonight we share dinner and reflect on our remarkable day.

Please note: Our Jeep safari optional tour is not offered on August-September departures, and may be unavailable on select October departures, depending on weather conditions.

DAY 14 Chitwan National Park • Visit Tharu village • Elephant trek


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Kasara Resort or similar

Today we begin our exploration of the buffer zone surrounding Chitwan National Park. Our morning begins with a walk and canoe ride through the jungle as our accompanying naturalist helps us search for the flora and fauna that thrives here, including endangered birds.

We’ll return to our lodge briefly before embarking on the next chapter of our adventure, which begins where the Sal forest of the Chitwan jungle meets the wide valley of the Rapti River. Broad grasslands sweep north to the Mahabharata range and virgin jungle extends south to the Churia hills. For centuries, the dense jungle covering the foothills of the Himalayas formed an impenetrable barrier for Nepal, keeping it a hidden and mysterious land. The indigenous Tharu people, however, have spent generations living off this fertile land. We board ox carts and take in our lush surroundings as we make our way to a Tharu village. Tharu women are adept at transforming the exterior walls of buildings into vibrant works of art; as we observe their skill, we are greeted by the villagers and given glimpses into their lives and homes.

We’ll return to our lodge for lunch and early afternoon relaxation before we embark on an exploration of the buffer zone from an entirely different perspective. A perch on the back of an elephant affords us the perfect vantage point to view all that this area has to offer. Elephants move fluently through the jungle with its thick tree cover and tall elephant grass. There are more than 43 species of mammals, more than 450 species of birds, and more than 45 species of amphibians and reptiles in the park. After our elephant trek, we return to the lodge for a traditional Tharu dance and dinner.

DAY 15 Fly to Kathmandu • Pashupatinath • Explore Kathmandu


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Gokarna Forest Resort or similar

After breakfast, we enjoy a discussion with our naturalist about local elephants and learn about regional efforts to protect this beloved and valuable animal.

Following this discussion, we drive to the airport, enjoying lunch before our flight, and then fly back to the bustling city of Kathmandu (4,265 feet). Back in the city, our small group readjusts after days surrounded by the quiet of the Himalayas, the rush of the Seti River and the cacophony of animal calls in the jungle of Chitwan. We'll first stop at Pashupatinath, the most sacred temple of the Hindu god, Shiva, who is also known as Pashupati. This pagoda-style temple boasts gold-robed copper rooftops and silver-crowned doorways.

We check into our hotel late this afternoon. This evening we toast the memories of our journey during a special Farewell Dinner at our hotel.

DAY 16 Kathmandu • Fly to Dubai, United Arab Emirates or begin your post-trip extension


MEALS: B This morning, you will have some time at leisure before we fly from Kathmandu to Dubai, where, after midnight, you'll board your return flight to the U.S.

If you are taking the post-trip extension, Tibet: Return to an Ancient Path, you fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa today.

Please note: If you took our pre-trip to Bhutan and are not taking the post-trip, you will fly from Kathmandu to Delhi, where you will stay overnight and fly to the U.S. on Day 17.

DAY 17 Return to U.S. Just after midnight, board your flight from Dubai to the U.S.

Accommodations

Pricing Information

View Specials & Promotions
Arrival DateSingleSharedDouble
Oct 29, 2018 $4,595 $4,595 $4,595
Your Savings* Past GWT Traveler?
Post-trip: Tibet $2,895
Air from JFK $1,400
Dubai stopover $595
Dubai stopover single supplement $295
For further information call (866) IM GUTSY (464 8879) or
email reservations@gutsywomentravel.com.
24/7 booking capability is available via this via the "Request to Book" button listed above.

Be sure to mention booking code G8-25972 to receive all the Gutsy benefits!

*Discount and savings are subject to change, please call reservations (866.464.8879 for the actual price. The discount is not valid on all itineraries and will be verified at time of booking. The discount is valid for guests who’ve traveled with Gutsy Women Travel within the last five years. Other conditions apply. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. All prices are subject to change.

In order to qualify for the GWT Past Traveler Discount of 5% on the land portion of the trip, you must advise the reservation specialist at time of depositing on your 2018 trip which GWT trip you traveled on (date/name of departure and year) over the past 5 years.

We limit our trips to small groups so we suggest you deposit early to guarantee your spot. View information regarding Air Travel & Transfers here.

This trip will be operated on behalf of Gutsy Women Travel (GWT) clients by award winning Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT). There are 5 Twin bedded rooms and 6 single accommodations rooms with no single supplement blocked on this trip. Once single rooms are sold out, women can secure a guaranteed share in a twin room accommodation. This trip is designed for GWT clients however if room block is not sold by 120 days prior to departure date, the trip can be opened up to OAT clients and could be co-ed. However the group size will always be capped at no more than 16 participants. There will be a dedicated OAT licensed, local travel director assigned to this GWT group block departure.

Single Room - one person, traveling solo in single accommodation
Double Room - two people, traveling together in same accommodation
Shared Room - one person, traveling solo who would like to share with another passenger and pay the per person "Double" price

Air travel arrangements for Gutsy Women's trip participants are made independently as most women are traveling from various gateway cities within or outside North America. Gutsy Women Travel includes a group transfer (if travelers purchase airfare from our operator) or individuals can book private transportation if desired.

For further information and reservations call (866) IM GUTSY (464 8879) or
email reservations@gutsywomentravel.com.
For online 24/7 booking capability is available via this website.

Please note: Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.