Are you a first-time traveller to Nepal? And do you have just a few days to spend in the country? Probably you are also thinking of doing a bit of hiking or trekking around Kathmandu and still have some spare time to see the world heritage sites? If you answer "YES" to these, then the suggested hiking below is the best option for you.
Nepal is famous for high-altitude treks like Everest Base Camp trek
, Annapurna Base Camp trek
, and so on. Understandably, not everyone has the time, the budget and the level of physical fitness required for these treks. In this article, we show you that it is possible to spend 2 nights, 3 days trekking around on the lap of the Himalayas near the Kathmandu Valley and through typical Nepali village. The article below is not just about trekking and hiking around the Kathmandu Valley but also explore the world heritage sites
near Bhaktapur and within the Kathmandu Valley.
1. Highlights of the Trip
What is the itinerary for Kathmandu valley trek?
Day 01: Drive to Sundarijal
either by private car or local bus and start trek to Chisapani
. Overnight stay in Chispani at the teahouse.
Day 02: Chisapani to Nagarkot trek
7 to 8-hour trek and overnight stay at the hotel in Nagarkot.
Day 03: Trek from Nagarkot to Changunarayan and Bhaktapur sightseeing tour
overnight stay in Kathmandu.
Option : Next day if you still have time world heritage site private day tour
within Kathmandu Vally or one more day trek can be extended up to Dulekhel.
2. Where and how to start the Kathmandu Valley trek?
The trekking starts from Sundarijal
, which is located just 20 km (12.42 mi) northeast of the capital, Kathmandu. There are two options to reach Sundarijal -
(1) hire a private car or (2) ride a local bus
Hiring a private car is much easier than travelling by a local bus. The car and a guide will pick you up at the hotel and drive you directly to Sundarijal where you can start your trek.If you chose the local bus option, you have to go to Ratnapark, which is an old bus terminal. If you live somewhere near Thamel, then Ratnapark is not that far. It is roughly a 20-30 minute walking distance or 150 NPR to 200 NPR taxi ride. From Ratnapark, you can catch the bus to Sundarijal. Note that buses leave every 10 minutes.
3. Where to sleep and how is the accommodation?
You really don't need to be worried about accommodation while on the trek. The first-night hiking from Sundarijal via Mulkharka
, will take you to Chisapani. The Chisapani village is also the gateway to Langtang Valley trek
and many other travellers also end their trek here. Therefore, there are plenty of teahouses with rooms which may be cozy, but will provide you with panoramic views.
The second day you are expected to Nagarkot trek
, which is one of nicest hills in Nepal. The accommodations in the area are fancier than in Chisapani, and most of them are the resorts and slightly luxurious type (compared to Chisapani). But this does not mean low budget backpackers can't afford it. There are also low budget standard accommodations available. As it is on a hill, the cost of the hotels vary greatly and depends on the view you can get. The better the view higher the cost. Nagarkot is known for the stunning sunrise, with a panoramic view of the Annapurna, Langtang and Everest ranges, of course, if the weather is clear!! The beautiful sea of clouds from Nagarkot is also a sight to behold.
View of the Ganesh Himal, Langtang range from Chisapani.
4. What to bring with you?
Have you experienced hiking or trekking before this trip? If yes, our list below may give you a headstart on what to prepare for the trek. These are simple lists and assuming you are not going for the high-altitude trek or on an Everest expedition!
This is just a rough idea we wanted to provide for your 3 day trek, but you might have your own list depending on what you feel would be a necessity item for you.
- 2 -3 pairs of light trousers (including what you plan to wear on the first day)
- 1 pair of sports shoes in good condition (better to have a hiking or trekking shoes)
- 2 -3 light shirts if the weather is warm (including what you plan to wear on the first day). During wintertime, we recommend to also dress in layers and please bring some warm clothing.
- 1 jacket (preferably windproof and waterproof)
- few pairs of trekking socks
- lightweight backpack
- water bottle
- trekking pole (If you are used to with)
- hat or cap
- light snacks
5. Do I have to buy a trekking permit for Kathmandu Valley Trek?
Every trekking route in Nepal requires a permit, especially if the trekking or hiking route is within the national park. Trekking permit in Nepal
is compulsory. In this Kathmandu Valley trek, you are expected to hike inside Shivapuri National Park and therefore trekking permit is compulsory. You must pay 500 NPR for a foreign tourist and 50 NPR for a Nepali tourist. But the good news is you don't need to get a TIMS card
(Trekking information Management System) for this trek unless you are going to another trekking trail like Langtang-Gosaikunda Trek
6. When is the best time (season) to go on this trek?
Anytime is the best time! Regardless of the season, trekking around Kathmandu Valley can be enjoyed by anyone. It is not a high-altitude trek so you don’t have to worry around wintertime. There is the monsoon
season , however, but as in other areas in Nepal, rain can be unpredictable and you just have to make sure you have
a windproof and waterproof jacket in case (and a backpack cover!)! 1. Nagarkot Weather 2. Chisapani WeatherThe view from the Nagarkot during the monsoon season
7. Do I need to hire a porter for this trek?
Hiring a porter for this trek completely depends on you and how much you intend to bring with you. I would say if you are strong enough to walk with about 8 to 10 kg of backpack in mountainous area, then you probably don’t need one. I would instead recommend to just trek with a guide.
If you think your backpack is heavy to carry uphill or if you have any physical condition prohibituing you from carrying heavy stuff for a longer period of time, then you should go with a porter as well. Note that the first day from Sundarijal to Chisapani is about 900m uphill and 5 to 6 hours of trekking while the second day from Chisapani to Nagarkot is roughly 7 to 8 hours of trekking, but not too uphill.
8. Can I trek on my own without a guide?
In my opinion, trekking on this route, alone or without a guide might be difficult compared to trekking alone in the Everest or Annapurna. It is not completely impossible to trek on your own as long as you prepare in advance, know the route, etc. If you have experiences of trekking alone, then we would highly recommend studying the map
very well. It might be challenging to be on your own because of these reasons:
1. There multiple trails leading to your destination.
2. The trails are narrower and there are many small subdivided trails.
3. It is not a busy trail, meaning, there are not a lot of trekkers along the way to ask for directions or to follow. There are also not a lot of local people.
4. Most of the time, you should expect to walk alone and inside some jungle.
9. How much is the real cost for this trip?
This trip is way cheaper than you think. The cost will depend on which company and what is included in the package you would take. If you have been searching for a similar trip around in different website. However, if you choose travel agent companies like Viator, Expedia
, or GetYourGuide, then they are relatively more expensive than a local trekking agency in Nepal
To give you an idea, if you book direct through a local company, your cost will probably be between USD 130 and USD 200 for the whole trip (contact us
). Again, the cost will depend on which category of hotel you prefer to stay in Nagarkot as it is more expensive than a regular hotel in Kathmandu. The better the view from your window, the higher the room cost. Sunset views from the Nagarkot, during the sunny and clear evening Nagarkot gives the best sunset ever!
10. How much do the international travel agent companies offer?
One of the online travel retailers, they offer several tours, trekking and travel packages all around Nepal. A similar package as the Kathmandu Valley trek for 3 nights 4 days
has a cost of USD 360 per person.
Currently offers over 25,000 products all around the world such as sightseeing tours, adventure holidays in Nepal
, multiple day tours and attraction passes. Local companies can also upload and manage their products online but subject to commissions. GetYourGuide also offers similar package as above with 2 days Nagarkot-Chisapani trek
around Kathmandu valley. The starting cost is USD 500 per person.