Around a million tourists visit Nepal every year for trekking, sight-seeing and experiencing the country’s natural wonders. This page contains all the information you need to know before visiting Nepal.
Country visa and entry policy
Every visitor with a valid passport and visa can visit Nepal. You can obtain a tourist visa on your arrival at the immigration counter located in the Tribhuvan International Airport. To get your visa, you need to submit a form with a passport-sized photo, pay the visa fee, and have a passport that is valid for the next six months from your arrival date.
The cost of a tourist visa depends on your length of stay in Nepal:
for 15 days it will cost USD 30
for 30 days it will cost USD 50
for 90 days it will cost USD 125.
You can also extend your visa if you wish to stay longer. For a minimum of 15 days, it will cost USD 45, and USD 3 per day for additional days.
If you are traveling from South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, you will get a free visa, also known as the gratis visa for 100 days.
During the peak seasons, there might be a queue for visas. To avoid this, you can also apply for a tourist visa from the Nepalese embassy in your country before the arrival date.
Indian citizens do not require a visa. If you would like to extend the duration of your stay, you may do so by contacting the Central Immigration Office.
Nationals from Afghanistan, Cameroon, Swaziland, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iraq, Liberia, Nigeria, Palestine, Somalia, Syria, and Zimbabwe will need to obtain their visa before arriving in Nepal.
If you are traveling by land, you can obtain your Nepalese tourist visa from border checkpoints.
For more information about getting your visa, including a visa extension, please visit http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa.
Things to do in Nepal
Even though Nepal is best known for trekking, peak climbing, and mountaineering, there are many activities you can do during your stay, including yoga and meditational retreats to thrilling adventure sports like bungee jumping and rafting.
There are plenty of places for sight-seeing.For example, the Kathmandu valley has three major historical sites: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Darbar Square, and Bhaktapur Darbar Square. You can also visit stupas and temples like Swayambhunath, Boudhanath,Pashupatinath, Kapan Monastery, and Nagi Gompa.
At Pokhara, you can boat in Phewa Lake, and explore caves like the Bat cave and Gupteshwor cave. Other famous places to visit in Pokhara include the International Mountaineering Museum, Davi’s fall, and the World Peace Pagoda.
Tourists canexperience a jungle safari in Chitwan National Park looking for tigers, rhinos and other wildlife, or try activities like canyoning, rock climbing, ultra-flights, paragliding, and zip-lining.
Trekking seasons in Nepal
Nepal is a trekkers paradise. Although the trekking season officially starts from March till May (spring), and from September till November (autumn), you can trek to rain-shadow areas like Manang, Dolpo, and Mustang throughout the year.
In winter, running from December to February, a lot of the trekking trails face extreme cold weather as they reach an elevation of around 4000 meters. Although you can still experience sunshine and blue skies, sometimes the days can be cloudy, andfoggy mornings can hide some of the mountain views.
From March to May, as the temperature rises, the skies become clear, and the views are phenomenal. Due to the blooming of the different wildflowers and rhododendron, the trekking trails become more vibrant, which is a strong draw for tourists.
From June to August, the country experiences summer. The days are hot and humid. Nepal also experiences monsoon rain during this time, which makes it unfavorable for trekking.
September to November is peak season, with warm temperatures and dry days, it’s perfect weather for trekking and seeing the mountain vistas.
During treks, peak climbing and mountaineering, trekkers and climbers travel from lower altitudes to higher altitudes in a short duration. As the air pressure and oxygen levels decrease rapidly at higher altitudes, sometimes the body does not acclimatize, leading to altitude sickness.
The symptoms of altitude sickness include difficulty in sleeping, dizziness, fatigue, and headache, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, rapid pulse (heart rate), and shortness of breath. If you seem to have these symptoms during your trek, immediately inform your guide, and do not ascend for the next 24 to 48 hours.
Take Acetazolamide tables, drink enough water, and avoid consuming alcohol or tobacco. If the symptoms persist, descend to lower altitudes, and visit the nearest healthcare clinic as soon as possible.
To prevent altitude sickness, climb slowly at a pace you are comfortable with, eat lots of carbohydrates, and keep yourself hydrated. Also, it is vital to stop at specific intervals to adapt to the increasing height.
While traveling to Nepal, travel insurance worth USD 100000 is a must. Accidents can happen anywhere but especially when walking at high altitude on rough trails.
Check that you are covered for the adventure activities you want to do and for emergency situations such as helicopter evacuation, and in case of an extreme medical emergency, medical evacuation to India or Singapore.
Some of the packages require you to pay the medical bill at the hospital, and the insurance company shall compensate you later when you present the bills, while some will cover the fees at the hospital itself. It is preferable to have the second package.
Meals and accommodation
During your stay in cities like Pokhara and Kathmandu, you will reside in 2-star hotels, and while trekking, your stop for the night will be local teahouses and lodges.
Run by local families, these teahouses have a homely environment and are safe. If you are traveling in a pair or group, you can either choose a single room or double room.
You will eat three times a day when on a tour package: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast is usually eggs with porridgeoats, muesli or local bread along with tea or coffee. Lunch and dinner are the usual Nepalese authentic daal bhat (rice and lentil soup) with side dishes of vegetables, pickles, spinach, and salad. There are many other choices of food including Western meals and trekkers are encouraged to bring their own snacks, energy bars and chocolate.
Internal flight delays
Accounting to rough terrain, unpredictable weather, and lack of proper technologies and infrastructures at the domestic airport in the Himalayan region, delayed internal flights are not uncommon in Nepal. Hence, we advise you to keep an extra day before your departure from the country.
In the case of flight cancellations, we shall manage accommodation for that night.However, extra charges do apply. If the harsh weather persists and the flight gets canceled consecutively for the next few days, we shall arrange road transportation to the nearest airport.
Health and safety including traveling alone
As the living standards and lifestyles are different from those to which tourists are accustomed to, they can be prone to common water-borne and food-borne diseases like diarrhea.
To prevent this, avoid drinking tap water or open fluids.Drink water only after purifying it with chlorine or iodine tablets, especially during treks. You should also avoid uncovered street food.
Nepal is safe for tourists.However, keep yourself updated with the local news for any sudden strikes or protests. These strikes and protest are usually held peacefully, but we do recommend you stay at your hotel in such conditions.In the case of an emergency,we will arrange police-patrolled vehicles for your travel.
Solo traveling is also possible in Nepal. While traveling alone to cities and towns should be fine, we do not suggest the same for trekking. In the case of any mishaps, having a guide makes it a lot easier as they are trained to handle emergencies.