A tiny Himalayan country where sherpas trudge the mountain paths and prayer flags crisscross the sky, their fluttering Buddhist mantras snatched on the breeze. We’re not meant to play favourites, but when you’ve been running Nepal tours for three decades, the country kind of gets under your skin. Follow our leaders up to Everest Base Camp, trek the rhododendron forests of the Annapurna, track rhino through Chitwan National Park or stuff your face with momos in the warren-like streets of Kathmandu's Thamel. Whichever side of Nepal trip you choose, we promise you one thing: you’ve never been anywhere like this.
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Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.
Depending on which trip you're on while in Nepal, you may find yourself travelling by:
Travelling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavour to provide travellers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.
When travelling with us in Nepal you may find yourself staying in a:
Everyone travelling on an Intrepid trip must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of carriage.
All travellers are required to produce:
In all cases, you must be fully inoculated. This means you must receive the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and allow enough time for immunity to take effect. Each COVID-19 vaccine has different dosages and timeframes for inoculation, so please check the relevant medical advice associated with your vaccine.
All foreign nationals (except Indian passport holders) require a visa to enter Nepal. Visas are obtainable from embassies abroad, land borders (including borders with India & Tibet) and on arrival at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan Airport.
Getting a visa at the airport or land borders can sometimes take time due to long queues. There have been instances when travellers are asked to show proof of exit from the country, ie flight tickets. You may also need to provide two passport photos and the following fees in US dollars (subject to change, cash only). Other currencies are also accepted although rates may differ.
While tipping isn't mandatory in Nepal, it's considered polite to leave service workers in restaurants and cafes a 10% tip if a service charge hasn't already been included in the bill.
Travellers will be able to access the internet in large cities like Kathmandu. Smaller towns, isolated areas and rural villages may have limited to no access, so prepare to disconnect when leaving the city.
Mobile phone coverage is generally good in urban areas, but can be patchy and less reliable in rural and mountainous areas. Ensure global roaming is activated on your phone before you arrive.
Squat toilets are the most common toilets in Nepal. Always carry your own toilet paper and soap or hand sanitiser, as they aren't usually provided.
Cup of tea/chai = 70 NPR
Bottle of beer = 200-300 NPR
Simple lunch = 200 NPR
Simple dinner = 400-500 NPR
It's not recommended to drink the tap water in Nepal. Filtered water is a better option, try to use a refillable canteen or water bottle rather than buying bottled water. Remember to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit before eating.
Credit cards are usually accepted by modern hotels, restaurants and medium-large shops in tourist areas. Smaller shops, cafes, market stalls and places in remote areas probably won’t have facilities that support credit cards, so ensure you have enough cash to cover expenses while in rural areas or when visiting smaller vendors and bazaars.
ATMs can be found in Nepal's large cities. Smaller towns and isolated areas will have very few, or none at all, so have enough cash to cover purchases, as ATM access may not be available.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
For a current list of public holidays in Nepal go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/nepal/public-holidays
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.
Airports are not yet equipped to international accessibility standards and there are few (if any) adapted vehicles available for hire. Only a few high-end hotels have custom built bathrooms ie. with safety rails or roll in showers. Getting around can be challenging for travellers with disabilities as pedestrians often share the road with vehicles, cities and towns are crowded and streets winding and chaotic. Rickshaws and taxis can be hired easily in Kathmandu, although traffic congestion can be severe. Porters and assistants are readily available for trekking trips. The country is keen to make headway in the accessibility space, with an annual conference on Accessible Tourism being held since 2014 and a shift towards more positive attitudes in the way people with disabilities are perceived in the region. The first “accessible trekking trail” in the country was opened near Pokhara in 2018. Travel companies have arranged custom treks and adventures in Nepal for travellers with disabilities, including on the popular Everest Base Camp route.
Everyone should feel comfortable when they travel with Intrepid and we know that many of our travellers are part of the LGBTQI community. It’s important for our travellers to be aware of the local laws and customs in the destinations we visit as some countries have laws that discriminate against LGBTQI people. We recommend you visit Equaldex and/or Smartraveller before you choose your trip for up-to-date advice and information about LGBTQI-related laws.
Nepal legalised homosexuality in 2007 and implemented protection by law on the basis of sexual orientation the same year. The new constitution of 2015 also contained a number of provisions for the LGBTQI community, including the right to have preferred gender on ID cards and allowance of some gender neutral terms. It is expected that future ratifications of the constitution may include legalisation of same-sex marriage. Nepal recognises a third gender (meti). Nepal Pride is an annual event held in Kathmandu since 2001 and the Nepal Tourism Board is keen to promote the country as an LGBTQI-friendly destination. Despite the openness of the laws, many LGBTQI Nepalis face discrimination and societal pressure for heterosexual marriage, with harassment and violence, particularly for transgender people, not uncommon. For the LGBTQI visitor to Nepal it’s unlikely you will experience any difficulties or hostility. Holding hands with your partner is socially acceptable, but public intimacy is generally frowned upon as Nepal is still quite conservative in this regard.
For more on LGBTQI Nepal:
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
The Intrepid Foundation provides travellers with an opportunity to give something back to the many wonderful communities we travel to.
Seven Women helps economically and socially empower marginalised women in Nepal through literacy programs, skills training and income generation.
Forget Me Not is dedicated to protecting vulnerable children, keeping families together and stopping child trafficking.