Check out our incredible adventures exploring the highlights and hidden gems of the Himalayas!
Activity Level 1
What's The Rush?
I'm active and in decent shape and not looking to experience a place just through a bus window. I'm happy to slow down on the trail, soak it in and breathe in the fresh air.
Walking: 2-3 hours per day on gentle-gradient trails.
Other activities: On these trips, you'll be taking part in a range of other activities that focus less on building up a sweat and more on enjoying the finer things in life.
Activity Level 2
On the Move
Sure, I own some hiking boots, they're even worn in, but they don't go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.
Walking: 2-4 hours per day on gentle to moderate gradient trails. No multi-day hikes.
Biking: 1-3 hours, cruisy rides achievable by anyone, even first-timers. Kayaking: 1-3 hours, entry-level sea kayaking with specialist guides and stable boats.
Other activities (i.e. snorkeling): Always optional and very little exertion required. A highlight for many!
Activity Level 3
Earn Your Lunch
I stay active on vacation and love the feeling of relaxing after a busy day on the go. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.
Hiking: Typically, 3-6 hours per day on well-formed backcountry trails. Expect some significant gradient inclines and declines.
Altitude: Your trip may include some moderate altitude areas, though these don't form the focus of the trip and are generally manageable.
Biking: 1-3 hours on well-formed paths or roads where you can expect some hills with moderate climbs and descents.
Kayaking: 1-3 hours, entry-level sea kayaking with specialist guides and stable boats.
Other activities (i.e. caving): Always optional and very little exertion required. A highlight for many!
Activity Level 4
I'll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it'll be tough, but the views will be worth it.
Hiking / Trekking: Typically, 4–6-hour hikes with options for more, sometimes with limited or no vehicle support and nearly always with ascents and descents.
Altitude: Some trips at this level will reach a significant altitude. We are here to help you manage that and make your experience one to cherish for a lifetime.
Biking & Kayaking: If one, or both, of these activities are 'your thing,' there are trip options in this range, allowing you to be on two wheels or with a paddle in your hand for most of the day.
Activity Level 5
The Upper Limit
I'm ready to put in the hard work to reap the rewards. I'm a seasoned adventurer, not afraid to get my boots wet.
Trekking & Altitude: This is classic trekking, at altitude. Some might even call it 'expedition-style.' We've had folks from all walks of life achieve their dreams on our grade 5 trips, so if you're in for a challenge get in touch to find out if this is for you.
Annapurna Sanctuary Trek - July 2020
"Beautiful country and great guides. read more
"Beautiful country and great guides. read less
Jo, United States
Kathmandu Valley & Bhutan Adventure - June 2020
"This was the inaugural Snow Leopard trip, so as with any new venture there were… read more
"This was the inaugural Snow Leopard trip, so as with any new venture there were a few hiccups and rough spots along the way--but not to worry! Trip guide Dan and his country guides Arjun and Gangchu took everything in stride and made adjustments on the fly, creating a seamless and engrossing experience. The scenery was breathtaking, of course, but just as memorable was the variety of cultural experiences to which we were introduced, from remote villages reached only by rutted dirt roads to the dusty confusion of Kathmandu, hot stone baths, ethnic dancing, more temples and stupas than could be counted and a never-to-be forgotten introduction to the Divine Madman and his iconography. Our lodging ran the gamut from guilt-inducing luxury in Kathmandu to more modest but still quite comfortable guest houses in Bhutan, the food was predominantly vegetarian and mostly unexceptional but satisfying, and the company--guides, fellow travelers and hosts--warm and welcoming. read less
Andrew, United States
Everest Base Camp Trek - April 2020
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Robyn, United States
Everest Base Camp Trek - April 2020
"This trip was an important milestone in my life because I learned that I'm much… read more
"This trip was an important milestone in my life because I learned that I'm much tougher and in better shape than I thought I was. I won't sugar coat this---it's a physically and mentally challenging journey, but Mel and Shree couldn't have done a better job motivating us, caring about us, guiding us, and encouraging us. The trip in its entirety was very well-planned and well-executed, and the little perks (gumdrop and cookie breaks) were fantastic. I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention how wonderful the porters were. I highly recommend this trip and Active Adventures and look forward to my next adventure. read less
Ali, United States
Everest Base Camp Trek - April 2020
"The EBC trek was amazing...unfortunately, Covid-19 took off while we were on the trail and… read more
"The EBC trek was amazing...unfortunately, Covid-19 took off while we were on the trail and AA made the right decision to cut our trek short on Day 6 so that we could all get home safely.
The trip itself was AMAZING! ALL of our guides were extremely knowledgeable about the culture, wildlife and geography of Nepal and are passionate about the people and environment there. We didn't miss a thing as they took us to all the best vantage points to view every breathtaking scene. All the food was delicious and the tea houses were comfy and clean.
With the Covid-19 crisis, the whole team, our guides and the back office, worked hard to rearrange our flights back to Kathmandu and to help us with our flights home to make sure we all got out safely. When other trekkers were still going up, they made the RIGHT decision to get us home, despite the financial cost to themselves. They also took efforts to help the Nepali guides and porters who were losing their employment for the year due to the virus.
THIS IS THE TYPE OF COMPANY THAT EVERYONE WANTS TO WORK WITH BECAUSE THEY ARE LOOKING OUT FOR PEOPLE! I will always choose them for my tours in the future read less
Laura, United States
Kathmandu Valley & Bhutan Adventure - March 2020
"We had some extra time in Kathmandu to explore and experience a food tour which… read more
"We had some extra time in Kathmandu to explore and experience a food tour which was great. The itinerary, guides, food, and accommodations were great. The food at the farm house in Bhutan was amazing. The misty morning hike to the Tiger's Nest, clearing as we arrived, was spiritual. The views of the Himalaya on a clear day during our return flight to Nepal were spectacular. The extra luxury of the Marriott in Kathmandu was a treat and so was the evening of dancing at another farm house. Gangchu our guide in Bhutan made our tours and hikes enjoyable and informative as did our guides in Nepal and Dan our leader. The drivers and vehicles were excellent. read less
Scott, United States
Everest Base Camp Trek - December 2019
"From the moment my Father and I met with our lead guide, Dan, we felt… read more
"From the moment my Father and I met with our lead guide, Dan, we felt absolute connection and excitement. Dan and the support team shared so many invaluable lessons that came from the Nepalese people and land. I felt cared for when I became ill (sinus infection) at about 12K feet and with that assistance I felt strong enough physically and mentally when the morning came to hike to the top of Kala Patthar. The entire journey enriched my life dramatically and I greatly look forward to returning to Nepal with Active Adventures. read less
Layne, United States
Annapurna Sanctuary Trek - December 2019
"Koru and Shree were amazing! Koru has an amazing personality and made us feel… read more
"Koru and Shree were amazing! Koru has an amazing personality and made us feel like close friends. We enjoyed our dinner conversations with him, learning about the Himalayas but also about New Zealand. He even partook in learning some new Canadian card games with us in the evenings. He has a pleasant,caring, genuine personality and we would love to have him as our guide again.
Shree was fun as well as a wealth of knowledge of Nepal culture, politics, traditions as well as patiently and repeatedly told us the names and spellings of all the mountains. Both Shree and Koru guided us to the best deals for quality items in both Pokhara and Kathmandu. Shree organized great tours of Kathmandu.
Our porters were also very polite, attentive and fun. We had a night of dancing to native music where everyone joined in the fun. These guys went out of their way to make our trip memorable. read less
Annapurna Sanctuary Trek - December 2019
"This trip has been on my bucket list for awhile. I couldn’t have asked for… read more
"This trip has been on my bucket list for awhile. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Our guides were fabulous, our porters extremely helpful and everyone always had a smile on their faces. The views were stunning! We were looked after from the time we arrived until the time we left Kathmandu. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone. read less
Annapurna Sanctuary Trek - November 2019
"Loved this trek! DK, our guide was wonderful. I really felt that he would… read more
"Loved this trek! DK, our guide was wonderful. I really felt that he would get us through any hardships that we might encounter on our journey - his connection the porters was extraordinary and i loved the fact that he was able to communicate with them in their own language. Due to his language abilities and his relationship with his team members, we were able to gather a much deeper appreciation of the culture than we might otherwise have experienced.
This was my second trip to nepal and second annapurna trek and this trip was so superior to my first journey (which was not associated with active adventures) I came away from this adventure with a much deeper appreciation of the nepalese people and the himalayan mountain range. I can't wait to take another active adventures trip! read less
Marilyn, United States
Everest Lodge to Lodge Trek - November 2019
"Nepal and the Himalayas … how to describe this trip? Kathmandu- chaotic, but zen.… read more
"Nepal and the Himalayas … how to describe this trip? Kathmandu- chaotic, but zen. Third world with a twist. Lukla- quite the airport, both arrival and departure. Khumbu trek- a road of stones and stairs, animals, and people, dust, exotic smells, noise at all levels, but calm. As you trek and enter nature it all becomes part of you. Truly an experience of being one with the earth and all of her sentient beings. I found myself chanting and crying as I viewed Everest and the sister mountains. I trembled at my first of 12 suspension bridge s and overcame my fear by bridge # 10. The Nepalese are wonderful and welcoming; children's laughter and song always present somewhere. For me, this trip exceeded my expectations and has won its place to the top of my favorite trips list. Thank you to the wonderful guides- knowledgable and caring. Thank you to active adventures- always a pleasure to see what you have created. read less
Genie, United States
Everest Lodge to Lodge Trek - November 2019
"I really did not know what to expect when this trip was booked other than… read more
"I really did not know what to expect when this trip was booked other than having the chance to see Nepal and trek the Himalayas. There was no way to anticipate what it was really like when we there from the moment we arrived in Kathmandu and experienced the traffic on the way from the airport to the hotel, to the heartstopping landing at Lukla airport, to seeing the mountains for the first time, to the actual trekking through the mountains, valleys and villages. There is something powerfully overwhelming and awe inspiring being among the steep peaks and deep river valleys in an area of the world where life has gone on and people have learned so survive for what seems forever. The trek and the adjustment to the Nepalese diet was, at times, demanding, but every day was worthwhile. There was something deeply moving and transformational about this trek compared to other outdoor adventures. Perhaps it is the holy mountains or the deeply spiritual nature that is everywhere on display walking among stupas, prayer flags and stones carved or painted with Sanskrit that makes Nepal and the trek so extraordinary. Even after almost two weeks back, I can still feel the energy of this trip in every moment. read less
Larry, United States
Everest Lodge to Lodge Trek - November 2019
"First time in Nepal, my partner has been there 4 times. I was overwhelmed when… read more
"First time in Nepal, my partner has been there 4 times. I was overwhelmed when arrived in Kathmandu, starting at the airport, traffic, noise! After a night sleep we ventured out and it was so beautiful to see this chaotic city, where everyone knows which one is going left, right or crossing without any accidents. I loved the beautiful colors worn by the women. It was great walking around Durbar Square and see temples and pagodas. We visited also Pashupatinath, we were happy to witness the cremations and Bhaktapur, the old city full of wooden curvings, temples and no traffic. On our flight to Luckla it was great to see the countryside with terraces and the steep valleys. In Luckla it was like we stepped in a different world. Our trek was perfect for my physical strength and I enjoyed walking and seeing the Himalayas, especially when I was able to see them all above Namche Bazar on our way to Khumjung. Elder and Gokool were always friendly and knowledgeable about the surroundings, mountains and customs. On this trip I though about my mother a lot (she passed away in March), she was from the mountains in Italy and it brought back memories of my childhood living in the mountain where there was no roads and cars. I loved the food and enjoyed the drinking tea wherever we stopped. I am hoping to go back one day not too far in the future. read less
Everest Base Camp Trek - November 2019
"When I hit day 5 it became apparent to me that this was going… read more
"When I hit day 5 it became apparent to me that this was going to a very challenging trek ! Although with Koru's and Shree's encouragement, very positive attitude (and Shree & Koru's singing) I gained more and more strength as each day went on. Then the day came when we reached base camp - WOW !!! The overall feeling of elation, accomplishment and self confidence that will be with me forever cannot be described. I can't begin to thank Koru, Shree & the porters enough - well done Active !!! read less
Bob, United States
Everest Lodge to Lodge Trek - November 2019
"Good weather, great environment, and great leaders. Good group and a good challenge without going… read more
"Good weather, great environment, and great leaders. Good group and a good challenge without going to the extreme.
My 5th time in Nepal and I thoroughly enjoyed it. read less
Everest Base Camp Trek - November 2019
"This truly was the trip of a lifetime: adventure, beauty, challenge, knowledge about Nepal, wonderful… read more
"This truly was the trip of a lifetime: adventure, beauty, challenge, knowledge about Nepal, wonderful guides, wonderful people of Nepal, spiritual awareness and wonderful time with my family and new friends I met on the trip. It was everything I dreamed Nepal would be and more. I am having a wonderful time sharing my stories of my journey and reviewing my pictures which cannot possibly reflect the beauty and majesty of those massive mountains we experienced. The people of Nepal were amazing and so happy. I feel really privileged to have had the opportunity to see and feel Nepal. DK and Amerit were awesome and so kind and knowledgeable and careful. I always felt safe and watched. They were so patient with us all. It made the journey wonderful in all aspects. I loved every minute, and have bragged on all of you to my friends. read less
Cathy, United States
By paying in full we are able to pass on savings to our guests, but please note that by opting for this payment plan, your booking becomes non-refundable, non-cancellable, and non-changeable.
We highly recommend that you purchase Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) insurance. We recommend Redpoint Insurance – you can find details here.
We believe our small group, off-the-beaten-track adventures are the safest way to travel. To keep you, your fellow travellers, our guides and the communities we travel in safe, all adults over the age of 12 (i.e. 13 years and above) must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
To keep you healthy during your trip, we follow all ATTA, WTTC, Qualmark and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) health and safety guidelines, as acknowledged by their stamps.
With an average of 12 guests per departure and an industry-leading 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio, you’ll enjoy a highly personalized experience with the perspective of an insider.
It’s so much easier to relax and enjoy your adventure when you have fun, caring guides who know the land, are experts in motivation, sweat all the details and whip up incredible meals, too!
When we say all inclusive, we mean it! Meals and snacks, activities, lodging, transportation, guiding services and more. Every detail is handled; all you need to do is show up!
Every aspect of your trip is thoroughly considered for your safety, from highly vetted vendors and well-maintained equipment to extensively trained guides and our seasoned operations team at headquarters.
Family travel and North American National Parks are our specialty. We’ve perfected our itineraries and sustained relationships for decades, ensuring you'll experience your destination to the fullest.
For us, the extra mile is never extra, it’s part of the way! Count on special touches throughout your trip that will amplify your experience. If we’ve done our job, they’ll have you saying “wow!”
Yes! People in Nepal have a strong belief that guests are equal to God, so all visitors can expect the warmest of welcomes. This also means that Nepal is very safe place to travel and the crime rate is very low. The only real concern to a traveller is petty theft, so we recommend taking the same common sense precautions you would in any other city. Don't bring valuable things with you unless necessary for your trip. Keep your money and other valuables in a money belt or pouch under your clothes. Lock your bags and luggage and leave valuable items you don’t need for the day (e.g. passports and credit cards) in the hotel safe.
Safety is a priority on all our trips, though understandably it's a question we field more frequently when it comes to the Himalaya region. Here are some of the key steps we've taken to ensure your safety whilst trekking in this incredible region:
The average cost of food in Nepal is 750-1000NPR (US$8-10) per day per person. A meal in a regular restaurant is roughly 250 NPR, a coffee will cost roughly 126 NPR (US$1) and a can of beer about 300-400 NPR (US$2.50-3.30)
The best time to visit Nepal is between September and December, festival season! The rains have eased off significantly, and autumn (mid-September to mid-November) is a time for celebration in the predominantly Hindu country of Nepal, as well as having the best day time temperatures. Spring (mid-March to mid-May) in Nepal is also a great time to travel there , and is characterised by the striking colours of blooming rhododendrons in the valleys, gardens, and hills.
Nepal is a safe country for all travellers, including women, however, women should still be cautious. Some Nepali men may have peculiar ideas about the morality of Western women, given Nepali men's exposure to Western films portraying 'immodest' clothing and holiday flings with locals. Avoid unwanted attention by dressing modestly; a good rule in Asian countries is cover your body from your elbows to below your knees. This means wearing clothes that cover the shoulders (no singlets) and thighs (no shorts) - take your cue from the local people if you need to gauge what's acceptable. You might find that a long skirt or sarong is very useful when visiting sacred sites.
It is your responsibility stay up to date on the latest visa and entry requirements for your destination. Please use the CIBT entry tracker on our website as a guideline or visit the relevant immigration webpage for more information regarding this.
Nepal does not officially require any immunisations for entry into the country, but the further off the beaten track you go, the more necessary it is to take precautions. Travellers who have come from an area infected with yellow fever are required to be vaccinated before entering the country. For our trips to Nepal (less than a month long) we recommend getting vaccinated against Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Polio (infectious hepatitis) and Tetanus. These are our guidelines only and you’ll need to check with your local travel clinic for the latest advice. We also recommend recording all vaccinations on an International Health Certificate, available from a doctor or government health department.
As an Active Adventures traveller, It’s essential you take out travel insurance to cover the likes of personal injury, medical expenses, trip cancellation for your travel with us. Please head to our Travel Insurance page for more in-depth information and insurance provider options. It’s also important to check your insurance covers all the activities you’ll be partaking in, in case you’re travelling to altitude or looking at extreme sports.
We recommend booking your flights through our preferred travel partner – Fuzion Travel. They’re our experienced hand-picked experts in travel, passionate about what they do, and will tailor-make your flight itinerary to match your Active Adventures tour. Get in touch with them directly by email – [email protected] fuziontravel.co.nz or on +1-833-244-5886. Let them know your preferred travel plans, including any stopovers or extra nights’ accommodation, and they’ll put everything in place for you. They offer a total travel solution and five star service that you’ll want to tell your friends about!
All accommodation on your trip is provided in Kathmandu and on your trek, so you don't need to worry about a thing. You'll stay in a local Guesthouse in Kathmandu run by our operating partners. When you're out trekking you'll stay in guest houses also known as 'tea houses', with shared bathroom facilities. They are fairly basic by western standards but the location, views and warm Nepalese hospitality make it all part of a wonderful adventure. There is always an area to socialise with your fellow travellers and eat, drink, relax, read and rest your feet after another amazing day in the Nepalese Himalayas.
All your meals are provided apart from on your free days when we find most people enjoy checking out the variety of things on offer in the bigger towns. On your trek you'll eat in the local hotels (known as tea houses) with the main dish on offer being 'dhal bhat' a sturdy meal of lentils and rice that will set you up well for your day of hiking. If this doesn't take your fancy there is plenty of choice on the menu from chapatis, curry, rice, potatoes and even pizzas in some places! We recommend avoiding meat in Nepal and sticking to vegetarian fare so as to avoid any stomach upsets that may impact your experience.
You're mostly using the trusty transport of your own two feet in Nepal. There aren't too many roads in the Himalayas! You'll be using local trade routes and come across many local people selling their wares along the way, delivering goods by foot to businesses further up the mountains and travelling to visit their families. To get to the trek starting point we travel by plane to Lukla for the 'EBC' Everest Base Camp and Khumbu treks, by plane to Pokhara and on to Jomsom for the Mustang trek, and by plane to Pokhara and then bus to the 'AST' Annapurna Sanctuary trek.
You will be accompanied on your trek by an Active Adventures guide and a local team of guides and porters. They will work closely together to ensure your trip is special, fun, hassle free, safe and successful. From organising your lodgings each night to carrying your gear, this is a team you couldn't do without. They are used to working together, have a great team bond and are always looking for ways to make your trip special. They will keep you entertained, motivated and happy, even on the most challenging days. We are extremely proud of our guiding team in Nepal and the way they work together, and we look forward to you meeting them on your adventure.
We take up to 10 people on each Everest Base Camp Trek, and 12 on our other Himalayas trips. All our trips have an excellent guide leading the way along with a team of porters. We have found that our trips tend to attract people with fairly similar interests and many people have commented that the social scene was one of the highlights of their trip!
Our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate (two people per room), and in the tea houses we will endeavour to place you in rooms of two people. However on the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek ‘AST’ there are regulations which restrict the number of tea houses and rooms that are allowed to be built above the town on Chhomrong. For this reason, there is limited space and during peak season expect to be sharing with fellow Active Adventures group members where there will be four to six people sharing a room.
Some of the main lodges and hotels have a double bed option for couples, though the tea houses are usually twin share beds only, and some tea-houses may have bathrooms down the hall from your room or a few metres away from the main building.
We don’t believe in charging you extra for travelling alone and we have lots of single travellers on our trips. There’s no forced single supplement if you don’t mind sharing a room (you might even get a room to yourself sometimes). If you prefer not to share a room at all, you can upgrade to a single room.
If your trip uses lodges and tea houses that are either twin share, or sometimes even more people sharing, then the upgrade cost will reflect this.
You'll need one medium sized piece of luggage and a daypack. Your main piece of luggage can be anything from a backpack, to a sports bag with wheels or a suitcase and a good quality daypack 25-30 litres (2000 cubic inches) to use throughout the days on the trails.
In Kathmandu we'll give you an Active Adventures Himalayas porter bag of around 50L of space for your sleeping gear and teahouse clothing. Your main bag will then be left in the hotel in Kathmandu in secure storage with anything you need at the end of your trip. Your daypack should be big enough to fit your rain gear, camera, water bottles/hydration system, and anything else you need during the day while you're hiking.
Once you've booked your trip, you'll have access to a gear list in your portal on exactly what to bring along. The gear list is carefully thought out to provide you with everything you need to be warm and happy, or cool and relaxed, whatever the weather! So it is best to bring everything we recommend along, if you don't bring everything you need, we can't guarantee your comfort.
You will need proper hiking boots - trail shoes are not good enough. We'll be taking you to some awesome places where you'll be hiking over a variety of terrain, therefore your boots should have full ankle support and a stiff sole with a high profile tread. It's also important that whichever footwear you decide to bring that it's well broken-in and waterproofed before you come down. If you have good ankles that will be able to cope pretty well with varied terrain, then good hiking shoes should be fine, but if not then hiking boots will give you better support.
The staple food of Nepalese people is "daal, bhaat, tarkari" (lentil soup or curried vegetables with rice) and this hearty meal is something that you’ll certainly enjoy whilst out on the trails. The food in Nepal is healthy and nutritious, with things like lentils, potatoes, rice and vegetables making up the most basic meals. The restaurants in Kathmandu are varied and plentiful - you’ll find various restaurants serving Italian, Chinese, Thai, Mexican, Indian and all sorts!
We can deal with all sorts of different diets during main meals, like…
We recommend everyone sticks to vegetarian fare (even if you’re not usually vegetarian!) for the duration of your trekking trip to avoid any stomach upsets. Your guides will let you know if there’s anywhere in particular to avoid meat.
Also if you have a sensitivity to dairy or gluten, and you have a favourite snack or brand of snack which suits you at home, we suggest you bring some along. There are meal options for you and a plenitude of food however gluten/ dairy free biscuits, chocolate and muesli bars are hard to come by. Some long-life probiotics might be handy to bring along too (ones that don’t require to be kept in the fridge only!) to take one each day you’re away – this may help your stomach and is good in places when you cannot have yoghurt.
Bring alcohol-based hand wash, and wash your hands constantly to avoid stomach upsets. Your guide will also provide soap to properly wash hands at each stop.
There are a few local customs to be aware of with regard to food and meals in Nepal:
Being in a tropical environment and not treated by the government, the water in Nepal contains different bacteria to what we’re used to at home. We highly recommend you to not drink it or use it for brushing teeth, even in Kathmandu. Use treated water at all times. This also applies if you’re travelling through a developing country on your way to Nepal.
Plastic bottles are causing a huge environmental impact in Nepal, with plastic bottles littering some of the highest and most stunning places in the Himalayas. We’re sure you’ll agree with us that this is heart-breaking to see, so please use treated water rather than buying plastic bottles, or reuse the same bottle. Our purification tabs work perfectly, we’ll provide these for you at your trip briefing, and treated drinking water is provided in the hotels where we stay.
Nepal’s currency is the Nepalese rupee - US$1 is worth about 97 Nepalese rupees (at the time of writing).
We recommend you bring a variety of payment options with you to Nepal. US dollars are most easily exchanged, and a Visa Debit ATM card and a credit card should be carried in case of emergency. Nepalese rupees are the standard currency and are hard to sell outside of Nepal.
Cash is the easiest option and most widely accepted form of payment in Nepal. Visa and MasterCard are accepted in some places, with additional transactions fees. Be sure to let your credit card company know you are travelling to these countries. If bringing US dollars to Nepal, bring brand new & good quality notes, the bigger the denomination the better.
Except in Solu Khumbu and on the Annapurna treks, changing foreign money is likely to be very difficult if not impossible, so bring enough money for the whole trek and don't count on being able to change Rs 1000 notes except in Namche Bazaar and Jomsom. Away from major centres, changing a Rs 1000 note can be very difficult, so it is always a good idea to keep a stash of small-denomination notes. Even in Kathmandu, many small businesses - especially rickshaw and taxi drivers - simply don't have enough spare money to allow them the luxury of carrying a wad of change.
We recommend bringing about US$15-30 (or equivalent) cash with you per person, per day. It should be plenty for extra food or drinks, bottled drinking water and to charge up your cameras in the tea houses as well as any souvenirs you would like to buy. Drinks and things tend to get more expensive the higher into the mountains you go, so be prepared for the different prices in different places.
Our Nepal treks will take you to higher altitudes, so it’s important to be aware of the causes and risks of altitude sickness, and how we manage them. You’ll be accompanied on your trip by a very experienced guide and we’ll be taking all the recommended (and more!) acclimatisation days to allow you time to get used to the higher elevations. Altitude sickness is something that can occur above 2,400m or 8,000ft and affects everybody differently regardless of fitness (after all no-body is the same). Unless you live somewhere with high elevation, it's difficult to predict how your body will react to the higher altitudes, though there are some things you can do along the way to help you acclimatise.
One of the most important of these is to walk slowly and drink plenty of water – it’s really important that your body stay well hydrated at all times and you never over-exert yourself. Also, eat light meals to make it easy for your body to digest food, avoid coffee and alcohol which dehydrate you and slow your breathing down, take plenty of rests and keep yourself warm at all times. If you are concerned or have any problems, then tell your guide straight away. If you are concerned, chat to your doctor about a prescription for Diamox which is proven to help with altitude. If you need any other information please get in touch – we know the place well and we can give you plenty more specific advice.
Learn more here about dealing with altitude
Nepal Time (NPT) is the time zone for Nepal. It is +5:45 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Nepal operates on a 220 volt / 50Hz syetem with round two- and three-pin plugs (C, D and M).
Electricity is becoming more available throughout the Himalayas, however it’s still unreliable in many places. Local residents here usually have solar chargers they offer to recharge your devices (iPods, cameras, etc.) for around US$5-7 per device, depending on power availability. Some people bring their own solar charger though this is not mandatory.
Most of the places we go are pretty remote so WiFi is not always available though it is available at the teahouses in Namche Bazaar, Deboche, Periche and Kumjung at a charge ~ around US$5-10 per day. WiFi is also commonly available throughout the Annapurna Valley.
As far as internet access goes, there are internet cafe’s at Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Dingboche and Khumjung so you should be able to check your email at least once or twice during your trip as well. Phone centre’s are also available at Namche Bazaar and Dingboche.
Nepal has numerous cultural practices that are unusual to foreign visitors, so being aware and following them, when you can, will add so much to the whole experience. In the busier tourist areas, like Kathmandu or Pokhara, there is a high degree of tolerance towards visitors, but when we head further afield and away from these places, you should be sensitive to local customs. For example, shaking hands is not a common form of greeting; instead make a great first impression by pressing the palms together in a prayer-like gesture and saying Namaste (nam-ast-ay).
A few social conventions we recommend to follow are:
Nepal has a huge variety of weather conditions throughout the year and as a result of having one of the largest mountain ranges in the world its weather can also change very quickly as well. As Nepal sit in the tropical belt and the mountains here are very steep, it means quite often on your trip you’ll experience hot and humid tropical climates right through to sub-zero alpine climates. We recommend you follow the gear list closely and pack for all situations. You may not have to use everything in your bag, but at least you have it just in case.
There are so many great stories to come out of the Himalayas, probably because the landscape and the people inspire such creativity and adventure. Here is a list, gathered from across the Active Adventures family, of recommended reads:
There are heaps of activities to enjoy and places to explore in and around Kathmandu, whether you want to experience some of Nepal’s rich culture and history, take some time to relax and reflect upon your time in this amazing country, or keep the adventures coming! If you’re keen to stick to the city, then you could head out and explore the vibrant streets and shops of Thamel, browse for souvenirs and relax with a cheesecake and cup of Nepali tea up on one of the rooftop cafes. Or you can choose to escape the hustle and bustle and soak up the serenity of the Garden of Dreams, just a 2 minute walk from hotels in Thamel and a million miles away from the city. There are also some awesome day trips just a short bus or taxi ride away. Patan is famed for its local arts and craft scene and museum, or you can wander the cobbled streets of Bhaktapur, the country’s best-preserved medieval town. Or head for the hills! Hire a guide and go for a day hike up Nagajun hill!
If you fancy getting a glimpse into the beautiful melting pot of religions in Nepal, visit the spectacular Pashupatinath (Hindu) or Bodhnath (Buddhist) temples, just on the outskirts of Kathmandu. Nepal is also famous for being one of the world’s best outdoor adventure destinations, which is one of the main reasons we love it here so much! So if you’re keen to hit that adrenaline high or try something a little different whilst you’re here you’ve got heaps of options to choose from – take to the water and learn to kayak, or go white water rafting on one of Nepal’s mighty rivers; mountain bike in the Kathmandu Valley, bungy jump 160m at the Last Resort, go canyoning and abseil into a waterfall, or hone your climbing skills at the climbing wall in Kathmandu and imagine yourself summiting one of the many famous peaks you’ll have seen along the way!
Please contact our New Zealand office using the details below. If the office is unattended (outside of New Zealand business hours), please leave a message so we can pick it up and respond as soon as we can.
Free phone 1 800 661 9073 (USA, Canada & Australia)
Free phone 0808 234 7780 (UK)
Free phone 0800 234 726 (New Zealand)
Worldwide +64 3 450 0414, ext 1