Nepal has embraced its stature as the mecca for backpackers and avid trekkers. From one-day hiking destinations neighboring the major cities to the incredible journeys to the Himalayas, trekking in Nepal is truly a fantastic experience. Howbeit, Nepal is more than just mountains. Embellished with cultures and heritages of the valleys and rampant with the lush green forests of the lowlands, this tiny country offers plenty of adventures to relish a lifetime. What do we do if not trek in Nepal, you may ask? Well, here are 15 amazing things you can do while not trekking in Nepal:
1. Cultural Heritage Tour in Nepal
Kathmandu Valley is the melting pot of cultural masterpieces and artistic heritage. Home to 7 World Heritage Sites, Kathmandu Valley portrays ancient art and architecture in the form of timeless monuments. Medieval temples, Buddhist stupas, monasteries, Durbar Squares, and old museums stand endlessly to capture your sights and keep you busy along the way. These sites reveal prosperous collections of historical, archaeological, and artistic importance of the past and present.
With ample places to tour around, Kathmandu Valley is the prime tourist destination where you can experience the diverse culture and colorful traditions. While most of the travelers treat Kathmandu as the fleeting destination, it clearly deserves much more. If you're planning your visit to Nepal for anything other than trekking, we highly recommend you to take a heritage tour around the city.
Here are the places you should visit for cultural experiences in Nepal:
- Pashupatinath Temple
- Boudhanath Stupa
- Swayambhunath Stupa
- Kathmandu Durbar Square
- Bhaktapur Durbar Square
- Patan Durbar Square
- Changu Narayan Temple
2. Mountain Flight in Nepal
If you are short in time or have any other considerations apart from trekking in Nepal, taking a mountain flight to the Himalayas of Nepal might be the ideal choice. When it comes to witnessing the tallest mountains only a stone's throw away, nothing comes closer in magnitude to the mountain flights.
Taking an hour-long mountain flight from Kathmandu offers a panoramic aerial view of some of the highest mountains on earth, including Mt. Everest and Kanchenjunga. Well-suited for all kinds of travelers, mountain flights have become one of the most popular attractions in Nepal in recent years. Many who have partaken in this adventure have often considered this scenic flight as a life-changing experience.
3. Whitewater Rafting in Nepal
Another way to get wild and wet in the Himalayas of Nepal is to go rafting in the high-speed rivers. Nepal has earned its eminence for being one of the world's favorite destination for whitewater rafting and kayaking. With a series of marvelous river journeys, ranging from adrenaline-charged Himalayan streams to classic big volume expeditions, the whitewater challenges for paddlers in Nepal are merely incredible.
From single-day rafting trips to a multiple day's adventures deep into the wilderness, the rivers of Nepal glides with breathtaking rapids that offer a world-class experience like no other countries in the world. Surrounded by white sand beaches, hills, mountains, and jungles, rafting in Nepal is probably the best way to discover the cross-section of adventure, nature, and cultural heritage of the country.
Some scintillating streams you can paddle across in Nepal are:
- Trishuli River
- Bhote Koshi River
- Upper Seti River
- Karnali River
- Sunkoshi River
4. Jungle Safaris in Nepal
When most people think of Nepal, they usually imagine the giant Himalayas and snow-clad mountains. Down the south, the lowlands of the country embrace a sprawling land of lush green jungles and bushy plains. These jungles mostly separated as National Parks and Wildlife Reserves, are incredible destinations for jungle safaris and wildlife discoveries.
Tourists can stalk these densely forested lands by various means such as on-foot, jeep, elephant back, and dugout canoe. On a safari into the wilderness, one is most likely to sight some of the rarest and wild species of animals, including one-horned rhino and Royal Bengal tiger. Besides these unique faunas, you may also spot wild boars, spotted deers, sloth bears, samburs, and four-horned antelopes.
Here are a few popular destinations you can head out to experience the dazzling jungle discoveries:
- Chitwan National Park
- Bardia National Park
- KoshiTappu Wildlife Reserve
5. Mountain biking in Nepal
If you're an adrenaline junkie, pedaling down the remote tracks of Nepal is the perfect adventure for you. Not many things come close to the thrill of hurtling down the remote trails on a mountain bike. The diverse terrains of Nepal offer plenty of dirt roads that meet every MTB riders' wildest fantasies.
Either pedal around the Kathmandu valley to escape the busy traffics or go on a week-long trip across the remote villages, and serene valleys, mountain biking in Nepal is a fantastic way to explore the country with a newer perspective. Ride through the exhilarating uphills and downhills in your mountain bike along the hills, riverbanks, hamlets, and lush green forests to experience the thrills that will endure a lifetime.
Some of the best mountain biking destinations in Nepal are:
- Around Kathmandu
- Pokhara to Kathmandu
- Annapurna Circuit
- Lower Everest Region
6. Paragliding in Nepal
Want more of an adrenaline trip? Take over the skies of Pokhara on a thermal alongside the looming mountains right above the pristine Phewa Lake. Paragliding in Nepal is deemed as one of the most exhilarating tandem flight experiences in the entire world. With the low-lying valleys, typical villages, and a tranquil lake, surrounded by snowcapped mountains, Paragliding allows you to sight the beautiful Pokhara from the aerial perspective.
Accompanied by fully experienced pilots, you have the luxury to choose whether you want to take a solo flight, paraglide with the hawks, or even take a certified paragliding course. Have an extra day or two while in Pokhara and make sure to take over the sky of the beautiful city.
7. Bungee Jumping in Nepal
If you've ever imagined what it's like to jump off a bridge over 160m high, visit the adventure paradise of Nepal and experience the heart-pounding thrill of bungee jumping. Although bungee jumping is one of the most extreme options of adventure in Nepal, it could quite easily be the highlights of your life if you dare to make the jump.
Operated by the expert jump masters, bungee jumping in Nepal can now be experienced in BhoteKoshi and also in Pokhara. Nonetheless, the thrill and experience of the jump in these two locations can be completely unalike. As in BhoteKoshi, you’ll be plunging off a 166m wide suspension bridge in the deep canyon over the raging river, while in Pokhara, you’ll be jumping off a tower surrounded by mountains, hills, and rivers.
8. Yoga Retreats & Meditation in Nepal
If you'd rather partake in the spiritual healings instead of the adventure sports, joining yoga institutions or meditation classes would be the ideal choice. Yoga and meditation have recently gained massive popularity in Nepal. There are plenty of yoga institutions and meditation centers around Kathmandu that might come to your considerable interests.
Since yoga and meditation are closely kindred to one another, you can choose to focus on either one of them or partake on both of these at once. You can also join a private institute or head off for a retreat in the monastery to practice these spiritual healings in more peaceful surroundings.
Here are a few popular Yoga and Meditation institutions in Nepal:
- Kopan Monastery
- Panditarama Lumbini International Vipassana Meditation Center
- Sadhana Yoga Retreat
- Vipassana Meditation
9. Heli Tour to Everest
Want to fly above Mt. Everest and other snow-clad Himalayas? Book a Heli Tour to Everest and witness the mountains unfold from the luxurious seat of your helicopter. Heli Tours provides you an opportunity to see the entire Everest region from the bird's-eye view.
You'll get to enjoy the fabulous breakfast in the table surrounded by the mountains at the Hotel Everest View. Moreover, your helicopter will fly right above the Everest Base Camp and briefly land at Kala Patthar where you'll get a sight of some of the highest massifs on earth, including Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and Makalu.
10. Rock Climbing in Nepal
Rock climbing is a fantastic adventure sport that fuels up your adrenaline and tests your endurance. If you have a few reserve days in Kathmandu, take yourself off to climb the walls or the cliffs around the valley. Kathmandu offers an outstanding climbing opportunity with plenty of indoor walls in the inner city and a few outdoor walls just outside of it.
If you consider yourself a novice climber and want to polish your climbing skills, indoor walls are perfect go-to adventures for you. However, if you think you can take on the challenge of tackling the limestone walls, head out of the valley to the outdoor climbing sites and test your level of endurance.
Some terrific places to go for rock climbing in Nepal are:
- Astrek Climbing Wall
- Kathmandu Sport Climbing Center
- Nagarjun Hills
11. Traditional Workshops in Nepal
Workshops are the recent happenings in Kathmandu. If you wish to make your stay in Nepal a bit educational, register your seats for traditional courses. There are plenty of institutions host’s workshops in wood carving, cooking, arts, pottery, music, and languages.
These workshops are great ways to discover the local cultures and traditions of Nepal while also digging a more in-depth insight into the lifestyles of the people.
Here are a few highly advisable classes you need to take while in Nepal:
- Nepali Cooking Course
- Pottery Workshop
- Wood Carving and Handicrafts
- Khukuri Making Workshops
- Thangka Painting School
12. Village Tours in Nepal
Taking a village tour around the country is an excellent way to comprehend the authentic Nepali lifestyle and cultural experiences. It is genuinely a fascinating approach to explore the country and understand the roots of the people, their culture, traditions, social practices, norms, and values.
You'll get to meet the most generous people on earth and experience their hospitality by staying in their home as a part of the family. The guests are also served the delicious local meals, drinks, and offered comfortable accommodations. Village tours can also be a great learning experience, as you'll also get to practice the day-to-day activities of the rural communities of Nepal. In some of the villages, the locals also host cultural programs where they perform tribal songs and dances to entertain their guests.
13. Bird Watching Tour in Nepal
Get your binoculars ready and walk off to the wilderness for the ultimate experience of spotting the rare feathered creatures. With extensive jungles and wildlife reserves in the lowlands of the country to the south, Nepal is a haven for bird lovers. With over 646 different species of birds, taking a bird-watching trip across the country is a fantastic way to spend your holidays in Nepal.
Nonetheless, if you have a limited time for an excursion to these dense woodlands, wandering off to the countryside of Kathmandu valley can also fulfill your desire. Kathmandu alone accommodates almost 500 species of these creatures in the stretch of a few kilometers. The most famous bird watching sites in the valley are Godawari, Phulchoki, Nagarjun, and Taudaha.
14. Explore Pokhara
Pokhara has long adhered to its reputation as the favorite adventure and leisure destinations for travelers. Take a tour around the natural and cultural sites of the city or row over the water of the pristine lake, Pokhara has plenty of things to keep you captivated.
Spending some time at the Shore of Phewa Lake with colorful wooden boats and skyful of paragliders by itself can be fascinating at times. However, the spectacular Himalayan panorama and its glittering reflection on the lake is the major highlight of this beautiful city. The colorful ambiance of Lakeside, surrounded by a flock of tourists and bustling streets full of restaurants, bars, shops, and travel companies, also adds an overwhelming joy to the atmosphere of this place.
Places you need to visit around Pokhara are:
- World Peace Stupa
- Phewa Lake
- Bindabasini Temple
- David’s Falls
- Begnas Lake
- Mahendra Cave
- Bat’s Cave
- Gupteshwor Temple
- International Mountaineering Museum
15. Volunteering in Nepal
Engage yourself in some meaningful community-based volunteering projects and internships while in Nepal. There are heaps of non-profit organizations in the country that offer a variety of programs to empower the positive and sustainable changes in the rural community.
You can spend your time involved in educational programs and community training to promote economic well-being and improvement of the rural society of Nepal. Most of the community-based projects in Nepal consists of connecting with the locals. This particular cross-cultural experience is an exciting opportunity to witness the lifestyle of the local community while also offering the helping hands to the needy ones.