Squeezed between the northeastern tip of India and the southernmost curve of Tibet, Nepal is home to many of the world’s tallest Himalayan peaks. It is home to Mount Everest, the world’s highest Himalaya, and is also a cornucopia of multicultural opulence. For many of the most ambitious mountaineers, Nepal all but invented trekking, with its pristine sliver of the Himalayas towering over some of the most gorgeous river valleys like Langtang on one hand, and creating arid desert-like terrains like Mustang on the other.
Moreover, due to Nepal’s hospitality and affordability paired with the natural environment that the Himalayas provide embedded with a unique cultural environ, it has become the most popular trekking destination in the world. Visitors in hundreds of thousands flock to Nepal every year for treks, hikes and cultural tours. Likewise, speaking of credibility, Nepal is ranked among the top 5 best countries in the world to visit according to Lonely Planet.
Similarly, Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, ranks fifth among the top ten most beautiful global cities in the world. A crucible of green against the white walls of the Himalayas, Kathmandu is a sprawling cosmopolitan that is ever-growing, yet the city still holds tightly on to its traditional roots that manifest in many forms. Many of Kathmandu valley’s traditional sites are listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list, making the valley have one of the densest concentrations of heritage sites located close to one another.
Correspondingly, Nepal is quite appealing when it comes to trekking. Not only does Nepal harbor unforgettable Himalayan ambiance in the form of renowned peaks, but it also presents its visitors with an amazing cultural environment. There are trekking options available for people of all preferences. Both novice trekkers and expert mountaineers, as well as everyone in-between, can visit Nepal and find something that they are comfortable and satisfied with doing. As such, here are ten of the best treks in the Himalayas of Nepal-
One of the most famous, if not THE most popular trekking adventure not just in Nepal, but the world, the Everest Base Camp Trek is an unforgettable trip to the base camp of the tallest Himalayan peak on Earth. Taking place in the Khumbu region, the base camp trek to Everest is an amazing journey filled with views of sky-piercing peaks of the Everest massif, an alpine landscape under the protection of the Sagarmatha National Park (a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site) and a rich Sherpa culture that is deeply embedded in the terrain itself. EBC trek starts with a short flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. The trekking trail then coruscates through the Dudh Koshi and Imja River valleys of Khumbu to finally conclude at the base camp of Mount Everest. The trip has many highlights, like the Himalayan town of Namche Bazaar, the Tengboche Monastery, the vantage point of Kalapatthar and many more, including breath-taking sights of the ivory mountain peaks that tower over you at each turn of the trail.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek with Poon Hill
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek stands on equal grounds when it comes to popularity and appeal against the EBC Trek. Almost half the visitors who come to Nepal for trekking tend to visit the Annapurna region. Home to Nepal’s most verdant woodlands and forests, the Annapurna region presents emerald landscapes for trekkers to enjoy. The region is also home to the Annapurna Mountain massif that decorates the river valley’s skyline in the most awe-inspiring fashion. Likewise, the region also harbors Pokhara city, Nepal’s second-largest city after the capital. It is the tourist hub of Nepal and the country’s adventure center, located beside the pristine Phewa Lake and flanked by the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Mountain Peaks. One of the best hallmarks of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is Poon Hill, a vantage point located above the village of Ghandruk that presents panoramic views of the entire Mount Annapurna massif. Famous for its sunrise view amidst the mountain peaks, Poon Hill is a beautiful site that presents trekkers with an other-worldly epiphany.
Manaslu Circuit Trek
In like manner, when one speaks of best treks in Nepal, the Manaslu region is a destination that is bound to come up. Presenting a trekking trail filled with artistic chortens and pathways lined with traditional Mani stone walls carved with Buddhist mantras, the Manaslu region harbors the Manaslu Peak- the eighth-highest mountain peaks in the world. The region has a long history with Buddhism; Manaslu is believed to be where the Buddhist saint Milarepa meditated in the caves of the valley’s mountains. The region is traditionally classified as an off-the-beaten-path trekking site where the unique culture of the ethnic people has remained intact for centuries.
Khopra Danda Trek
Besides long-distance treks in the heart of the Himalayas, Nepal also presents many options for short treks at low altitudes. Among the many options for short trekking journeys in the country, the Khopra Danda Trek takes the cake when it comes to the best low altitude trips. It ranks as one of the best short treks in the mesmerizing Annapurna region. In addition to containing all of the best facets of a classic trek, the Khopra Danda Trek also takes you to a rather hidden destination of the Annapurna, with pathways that stray away from the popular well-trodden routes. Walking on the trekking trail brimming with blooming rhododendrons and in the constant company of the majestic Annapurna Mountains, the trekking journey is filled with sapphire mountain lakes like the Kaire, and adoring landscapes like the Khopra Ridge that presents panoramic views of the Annapurna valley.
Upper Mustang Trek
One of the best monsoon treks in Nepal, Upper Mustang Trek is a beautiful journey that takes trekkers to Nepal’s Last Hidden Kingdom. Upper Mustang presents one of the most distinctive topographical features in all of Nepal paired with a cultural penchant and unadulterated traditions that have been in practice for centuries without changing. Trekking in Upper Mustang has only recently been opened in 1992, and due to its seclusion, the region has one of the most well-preserved Tibetan Buddhist diasporas in the world. This contributes to Mustang is a land of mysticism where trekkers can enjoy untainted cultural attributes in the purest of forms. Moreover, unlike many of the other prominent trekking destinations of the country, Upper Mustang flaunts a rather dry and arid environment to trek through, a factor in consequence of Mustang’s location in the rain-shadow zone of the Annapurna and the Dhaulagiri Mountain Ranges.
Mardi Himal Trek
The Mardi Himal Trek is an off-the-beaten-paths trek that presents trekkers with an untouched pristine Himalayan biodiversity in one of the most naturally rich regions of Nepal- the Annapurna. The trekking trail leads trekkers through the thick woodlands where you can catch glimpses of the elusive Red Panda, jungle pheasants and Danphe birds. The velvety green grasslands and the sight of lush terrace-farms is a staple hallmark of the Mardi Himal Trek. Starting from the tourist hub of Nepal- Pokhara city, the journey continues through remote Rai, Limbu and Chhetri settlements located amid rhododendron hillocks and Himalayan pastures.
Pikey Peak Trek
Sir Edmund Hillary said that Pikey Peak is one of the best vantage points to view Everest from. Named after the local Sherpa deity who represents the sky leering over nature, Pikey Peak is a daunting mountain that presents astounding views of surrounding Himalayas in the lower Khumbu region. A newly introduced trekking route, the Pikey Peak Trek presents trekkers close-up views of the Everest Peak and has pathways that let the visitors enjoy the lower Khumbu region’s landscape. In retrospect, the Pikey Peak Trek presents an alternate route to trek through beside the famous EBC Trek. It is less-crowded and also presents the best breath-taking views of the Himalayas without the hassles of mass crowds of trekkers.
A culturally Tibetan region in the high altitudes of western Nepal, the Dolpo region is perhaps one of the country’s most remote areas. Due to its relatively isolated feel, the region harbors one of the most unadulterated Bon cultures in the country. Dolpo Trek presents a journey surrounded by Himalayan mountain chains, including the Dhaulagiri Peak. Like Mustang, Dolpo is a “rain-shadow zone” that experiences very dry weather with very little precipitation, which makes it suitable to visit all year round. Dolpo is perfect for summer treks as well, unlike many other trekking options in Nepal.
Tamang Heritage and Langtang Trek
One of the best trekking regions of Nepal is the gorgeous Langtang region. The Tamang Heritage Trail with Langtang Trek is one of the best off-the-beaten-paths treks of said region. With the main focus on the cultures and traditions of the ethnic Tamang people of the Langtang valley, the Tamang Heritage and Langtang Trail is a beguiling journey of amazing mountain peaks, glaciated acreages, and untouched settlements. With the perseverance of ancient cultures and traditions intact, the trekking journey presents insight into the unique rituals and practices of the local Tamangs. The journey is quite suited for trekkers who are looking to explore the cultural aspect of Nepal.
Helicopter Mountain Flight
Helicopter Mountain Flight is a breathtaking activity where a bird’s-eye view of the Himalayas is presented. Views of some of the highest summits are presented as one is flying over them in the helicopter. It is perfect for people who are short on time or do not want to spend days trekking but still want to see the mountains.
Nepal presents many options for treks suited for people of all inclinations. It is a naturally beautiful country where the Himalayas provide a grand opportunity for unforgettable treks. When it comes to trekking, Nepal is simply the best destination to choose from.