Nepal, which lies on the laps of the Himalayas, has rightly been termed the Mecca for adventure enthusiasts from all over the world. Nepal is the world’s adventure capital, with eight of the 14 eight-thousanders lining up along its northern frontiers and hundreds of other peaks.
Early tourists to the countries were mountaineers who came in droves to attempt some of the highest mountains in the world. The success of Mt Annapurna – the first eight-thousander to be climbed – in 1950 brought Nepal to the attention of adventure enthusiasts. The successful summit of Mt Everest three years later by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa introduced Nepal to the rest of the world. The most significant achievement of humanity at that time was covered with great prominence by media outlets worldwide. This helped to bring more tourists to the country. Other adventure tourism activities like trekking and rafting were introduced gradually.
But the country is not all about adventure activities in the country. Nepal is equally rich in natural and cultural attractions. It is a country of great diversity. Hundreds of flora and fauna have been recorded in this country which is slightly smaller than Illinois and a bit bigger than Iowa. Altitude in this country varies between 60 meters to 8,848 meters above sea level, all within a distance of around 150 kilometers.
Trekking is arguably the most popular adventure activity in the country. It involves walking to the foothills of the Himalayas, passing through beautiful settlements, fast-flowing rivers, and dense forests, offering you the opportunity to meet people, observe their traditions and lifestyle, and sight of rare species of flora and fauna. On most trekking trails, you will get an opportunity to catch the magnificent sight of snow-capped mountains. The country has three popular trekking areas – Annapurna, Everest, and Langtang. But in recent years, many trekking trails like Lumba Sumba, Lower Solu, Lower Manaslu, Jaljala, and Badimalika, among others, have been opened. The beauty of trying new trails is that they are not commercialized, and the traffic of trekkers is low there.
There are many off-the-beaten trails in the country where alpine style camping trek is possible. These treks receive less number of tourists and offer new experiences to trekkers. These trails offer an entirely new experience to trekkers who have trekked to the Everest and the Annapurna regions. Lumba Sumba, Badi Malika, Dolpo, Khaptad, Humla, Chepang Hill, and Tamang Heritage are some of such trials where trekkers can enjoy daily life and activities of locals up-close.
Nepal is home to ten UNESCO World Heritage sites – two natural and eight cultural. Kathmandu Valley has one of the highest concentrations of World Heritage sites. There are five UNESCO World Heritage sites – Kathmandu Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple, Bouddhanath Stupa, Swoyambhunath Stupa, and Changu Narayan Temple – in Kathmandu Valley which is spread over just around 500 sq kilometers.
Have you ever dreamt of catching wild animals by surprise in their habitat? Well, it’s possible in Nepal. The dense forests in the southern parts of the country are home to different species of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Chitwan National Parks and Bardiya National Parks are two of Nepal’s best-protected areas where wildlife, including the rare one-horned rhino and Royal Bengal tiger, is found aplenty. Ride an elephant, and the experienced mahouts will offer you the closest view of these magnificent beasts. There are comfortable lodges in the periphery of these protected areas where you can rest after a hectic day in the jungle. Far from the madding crowd of the city, enjoy the unbelievable peace in the middle of a jungle listening to the chirping of birds and animal sounds.
There is no alternative to Nepal when it comes to mountaineering. As the significant section of the Himalayas, which is home to the tallest peak on earth, lies in Nepal, the country can be termed the world’s adventure capital. Along with Mt Everest, the highest peak in the world, you can climb seven other eight-thousanders and hundreds of peaks above 5,000 meters. Smaller peaks are popularly known as trekking peaks. While climbing tall peaks requires a lot of training and experience, even a novice can climb trekking peaks with the help of trained guides. There are plenty of unclimbed peaks in Nepal. Be the first climber to conquer such peaks!
Canyoning is an adventure activity that involves traveling in canyons using different techniques like scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling, and swimming. This adventurous activity offers unlimited fun and improves your fitness, physical skills, and self-confidence. Canyoning trips offer you a complete mind and body experience in the lap of the Himalayas. You descend into gushing water through the canyons and splash in a deep pool. This activity is open to all levels of ability. Whether you are up for a gentle adventure or a heart-racing challenge, there is a canyoning trip to suit you. Bhulbhule, Syange, Jagat, Chipola Khola, Chamje Khola, and Bhotekoshi Valley are some of the popular canyoning sites in Nepal.
Nepal is not just about mountains. The country is home to hundreds of fast-flowing snow-fed rivers that offers some of the most exciting river trips. With over 6,000 rivers flowing through this country spread over 147,181 sq km, there is plenty of river packages to choose from. River trips in Nepal give you everything you are looking for – from easy rapids for novices to the most challenging ones for seasoned rafters. Upper Seti, Karnali, Sun Koshi, Marshyangdi, Tamor, Bhotekoshi, and Trishuli are some famous rivers among the rafters.
Paragliding is one of the best ways to enjoy an aerial view of Nepal. Take to the sky like nowhere else in the world. With low-lying valleys and high cold mountains, Nepal provides some of the best paragliding experiences in the world. Flying with hawks close to the Himalayan summits are experiences you will never forget. Pokhara is arguably the best place to enjoy paragliding in Nepal. Paragliding trips are available in Kathmandu and Dharan, among other cities in Nepal. Fly with experienced pilots, take a selfie and share your experience with your friends and families.
Bungee jumping is one of the most thrilling adventure activities in Nepal. It offers the heart-pounding thrill of plunging off a raised platform down a deep canyon. If you have the courage, you will cherish the experience for a long time. Nepal has two bungee sites – one in the Bhote Koshi River valley in Sindhupalchowk and the other in Pokhara. The jump site in Sindhupalchowk is over the mighty Bhote Koshi River. You jump into a deep canyon toward the gushing Bhote Koshi waters from a 166-meter wide suspension bridge. Similarly, the bungee site in Pokhara is the only tower bungee in the country. The jump site offers a spellbinding view of the Himalayas, the hills, and the rivers.
Zipline is one of the newest tourist attractions in the country. The only zip line in the country is situated in Pokhara. The site, located 54,000 feet above sea level, passes through the beautiful Sarangkot village. The harness seat accelerates up to 100 mph as you pass above the dense forest with your eyes enjoying the magnificent views of the majestic Machhapuchhre, the Annapurna range, and the raging Seti River. The bottom station is at the Hyangja village.
Many people do not know that skiing is possible in Nepal. Skiing is a new adventure sport being tried out in the Nepal Himalayas. As Nepal is the home of eight of the 14 highest peaks above 8,000 meters, there are plenty of skiing sites in the country. The Everest region, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Kanchenjunga, Langtang, and the Dolpo region hold immense potential for skiing. You are advised to bring ski equipment with you as they are not available for rent in Kathmandu.