Listen, Nepal is awesome. So are all the places on this list. They are numbered so we could keep track of how many we had written, not because some are better than others. Ignore the numbers and pick which adventure sounds most intriguing to you!!
1.) Annapurna – October/November
You’re going to want to visit the Annapurna region when you’re in Nepal. You just are. Whether you take on the massive Annapurna circuit (blog post coming about just how to do that) or just oggle the mountains from afar, October or November is your best bet for visiting. The main reason for this is that the visibility during these months is superb. The other is that you’re avoiding the monsoon rains which cloud up the sky as well as cause rockslides and landslides that can put a serious damper (pun intended) on your trip.
2.) Lumbini – May
When you arrive in Nepal you’ll see t-shirts, bumper stickers, and billboards happily claiming that “Buddha Was Born in Nepal”. You’ll probably think, that’s pretty cool, maybe I should go visit his birthplace. Yes, yes you should. Lumbini is an extremely beautiful region of Nepal just loaded with holy significance. You can visit the Maya Devi temple and see the actual spot where Siddhartha Gautama was brought into this world.
The reason we suggest going in May is that Buddha’s birthday celebration usually falls somewhere during that month (the day of Vesak’s full moon to be precise). And trust us, seeing thousands of buddhist pilgrims gather to pay homage and celebrate is a once in a lifetime experience. Staying at a monastery during your time there can be such a blessing! And fun fact, the inspiration for Earthbeats came not long after Paige and Nadia visited Lumbini to celebrate Buddha Jayanti!
3.) Chitwan National Park – March/April
Chitwan National Park is a definite stop on our Nepali to-do list but please, please, please, do not ride an elephant on safari! There are loads of other wildlife viewing options that are just as amazing and are far lass harmful to the local animals. We suggest a jungle trek or canoe safari. Both will get you right up in the action!
March or April is the perfect time for your trip for a few reasons. One is that the temperature won’t yet be so hot that you want to die. When we visited Chitwan it was during the peak of summer/monsoon meaning the daily temperature sat well above 35C and very humid. But visiting before the rains hit is good for another reason. April usually marks the end of the dry season so animals are gathering at watering holes throughout the park meaning you’ve got a much better chance at sighting more fauna!
4.) Pokhara – April-June
Pokhara is the second largest city in Nepal and a true hub of excitement and adventure. This is where you can kayak along Fewa Lake or perhaps paraglide above and wave down at the brightly coloured boaters. Many treks will start in Pokhara meaning trekking companies abound and so do wonderful restaurants to help you celebrate your return with heaping plates of anything but dal bhat.
Since Pokhara is at the foot of the Himalayas, it gets quite cold in the winter time. Visiting sometime between April and June means you avoid the freezing cold temperatures, and also sneak in before most of the monsoon heat!
5.) Kathmandu Valley – December/January
Kathmandu Valley is a tricky one. There’s really no bad time to visit and there’s always so much to do you could never hope to see all the valley has to offer in one trip. We lived there for almost a year and still didn’t see everything we had hoped to! That being said, the reason we suggest the winter is that Kathmandu is a huge tourist hub in Nepal but also in central Asia. Coming in mid-winter means that you avoid both of the big tourist seasons and gives you a chance to explore all the valley has to offer on a bit more intimate level. If crowds aren’t your thing or you just want to experience temples and museums without a few hundred other people, then hit up the capital city in December or January. Just be sure to pack some mittens.