Ancient cities, open-air cremations, endangered animals, night life, 5 days off road, never ending hairpin corners, parasailing and a view of Mt Everest. It’s not hard to see why our Stairway to Heaven adventure in Nepal is our most popular tour. It probably helps that have the best value motorcycle adventure in Nepal. 😉
We usually have a night out in Thamel before seeing probably the most surreal thing you’ll ever get to witness in your life at Pashupatinath Temple the next morning. It’s time to get on the road and clear your mind (and nostrils) of the open-air cremation you just witnessed and we head to the hills of Daman where we’ll get a glimpse of Everest.
Just as you think it couldn’t get any better, it does. We strive to make each day better than the previous day. We head to Pokhara which is the base for the trekkers of the Annapurna Circuit via Chitwan which has one of the most amazing national parks you’ll ever see. From Pokhara, it gets increasingly challenging as we head up “roads” that will test you and the bikes. The view once you are in Muktinath is undoubtedly worth it. You will get to climb the “Stairway to Heaven” up to the town monastery.
Descending into the valley back into Pokhara for a free day, you can do your laundry, go parasailing, chill on boat on the lake or have a few celebratory drinks. We then scoot across back to Kathmandu taking the long way home alongside a river into an area that got hit hard by the 2015 earthquake. As the trip nears its end, an air of melancholy inevitably surrounds you…until you realise you can come back again and do one of our other adventures!
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Kathmandu, Nepal|
|TOUR DATES||2017 – November 1st – 12th (15th with optional trek)
2018 – March 2nd – 13th (16th with optional trek) Booked Out
2018 – March 16th – 27th (30th with optional trek)
2018 – November 4th – 15th (18th with optional trek)
2019 – March 10th – 21st (24th with optional trek)
|PRIVATE ADVENTURES||This tour is also available as a private adventure for a minimum of 6 people. This can be any combination of riders, pillions, sidecar passengers or even family in one of our expedition support vehicles.
Best months are October, November, March and April
|PRICES||Rider: US$3,990 per person
Pillion: US$3,390 per person
Optional 3-Day Trek: US$1190
Optional Flight over Himalayas: US$300
|WHAT’S INCLUDED|| Transfers to/from Airport and Hotel
All internal transfers and other travel for the duration of the adventure
A low kilometre, fastidiously maintained Royal Enfield Motorcycle
Quality Accommodation on a twin share basis (Comfort hotels/guest houses/Camps/tents)
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner for the entire tour
English speaking guides
Medical kit available and Oxygen on high altitude adventures
Mechanics with all necessary spare parts
Support vehicles to carry all luggage (if riders are injured or feeling unwell they can take a break and jump into our back-up vehicle to relax!)
Bottled mineral water throughout the adventure
Tea/Chai & snacks en-route
Permits for restricted areas
All entrance fees en-route
|NOT INCLUDED|| International flights
VISA (details sent with rider pack)
Travel Insurance (compulsory)
NOTE: These prices are based on…
- a minimum tour group of 10 people (usually tours are between 10 and 15 people) and…
- sharing a hotel room or a tent. (If you’d like your own room/tent then add US$650)
Payment terms: A minimum US$1000 deposit must be made at time of booking. Balance payment can be paid in US$ upon arrival or prepaid a minimum of 8 weeks before the tour start date. Payment plans are available.Terms & Conditions What To Bring Price Guarantee
As you descend from the clouds over the majestic Himalayas, you will see the bustling city of Kathmandu where we will start and finish our adventure. A Himalayan Heroes representative will be waiting for you as you exit the airport. They’ll accompany you to your hotel not far from the tourist haven of Thamel. After lunch, we’ll visit Pashupatinath Temple where you’ll see corpses cremated in a traditional Hindu ceremony on the banks of the Bagmati River. Later in the evening we will have a welcome dinner at an authentic Nepali restaurant to get to know one another, have the first of many culinary masterpieces and be entertained with a cultural show.
Today is the day the adventure starts proper. We’ll rise early with bags packed in time for a full breakfast. Our adventure guides will conduct a rider briefing as the traffic leaving Kathmandu could prove to be the most dangerous part of the adventure! They’ll explain what is expected of the riders and we’ll have a question and answer session before being handed the keys to your motorcycle.
Keep your wits about you as we head towards the mountains that surround the village of Daman which will be our destination for the evening. Daman has among the greatest views of the Himalayas, extending on a good day from Dhaulagiri in the west to Mount Everest in the east. The serpent like roads around Daman will probably provide the best sealed road riding of the whole adventure so make sure you get into the groove early.
We encourage people to rise early to see a once in a lifetime sunrise before breakfast. The views are stunning immediately after breakfast as we climb a little higher before descending to Hetauda. We follow the East Rapti River west towards Chitwan National Park and check in to our hotel and have lunch. There will be some free time in the afternoon if you wish to embark on a safari through the jungle to catch a glimpse of the local wildlife such as single horned Rhino’s, Bengal Tigers, Mongoose, Striped Hyenas and many more wild animals before watching the sunset in the early evening.
CHITWAN TO POKHARA (approx 133kms – 4 ½ hrs)
We head north towards Narayangarh which is an important trading centre of central Nepal and is famous for “Taas”, a spicy fried goat-meat lunch dish served with Bhuja or Cheura (Beaten Rice). At the outskirts of Pokhara, we are greeted with views of the Annapurna Mountain range including the famous Fish Tail Mountain. Pokhara is the tourist centre of Nepal with its crystal clear lakes and fantastic views of three of the highest mountains in the world. It provides the perfect base for trekkers who want to tackle Annapurna Circuit. We don’t have time for that but there is plenty to do when we come back in 5 days’ time and have a free day.
POKHARA TO KALOPANI (approx 125kms – 5 hrs)
As the roads become challenging, rough and unsealed with many river crossings for the next 4 days, we ask people to pack lightly, taking only what is necessary until we return. Starting out on tarmac, we’ll end up on some great off road routes that provide fantastic mountain vistas, picturesque terraced farmlands and an opportunity to walk on one of Nepal’s famous suspension bridges. There is a continuous change in the topography with every twist and turn until our arrival at Kalopani.
KALOPANI TO MUKTINATH (approx 60kms – 4 to 5 hrs)
A short ride through some of the most amazing landscapes of the adventure will see us tackle a large river crossing in Lower Mustang. The road to our hotel is spectacular as we travel through a number of remote villages. Muktinath is the highest elevation we reach and while you might be short of breath walking around the village exploring, it is unlikely you will suffer from altitude sickness. Muktinath is part of the Annapurna Circuit, and you’ll encounter many trekkers from across the globe here.
MUKTINATH TO TATOPANI (approx 80kms – 4 to 6 hrs)
Heading back down, we’ll stop in Kagbeni for a short visit to the local monastery where many Yogi’s come to isolate themselves in the caves overlooking the village to practice their meditation and rituals. We’ll then continue on to Tatopani to soak in the hot springs. “Tato” meaning ‘hot’ and “Pani” meaning ‘water’, it’s obvious to see how this town was named.
TATOPANI TO POKHARA (approx 105kms – 3 ½ hrs)
Although you have ridden this road a couple of days earlier, you’re going to see the gorges from a totally different perspective. It’ll give you a chance to really soak up what you might have missed the first time or to stop and take that Pulitzer prize winning photo.
FREE DAY IN POKHARA
Today is a day of leisure, spend it recovering from the night before or visit the local shops, take a canoe ride on the nearby the Phewa lake or catch a cable car to the World Peace Pagoda or even visit one of the five museums and if you’re feeling adventurous then you could go parasailing.
POKHARA TO NUWAKOT (approx 185kms – 6 hrs)
We head east alongside the Trishuli River as it detours from the highway all the way to Nuwakot. This is rural Nepal that not many people see. Reminiscent of the rice paddies of Vietnam and Thailand, the farming land between you and the river is busy with people working hard to make a living. You’ll have the chance to visit the Nuwakot Palace once we arrive at our very special accommodation.
NUWAKOT TO KATHMANDU (approx 70kms – 3 ½ hrs)
We ride through some small villages, returning the vigorous waves directed at us while trying to soak in the stunning views that the terraced farm land present. After stopping for a chai break, we emerge from the forest and descend upon the mayhem of Kathmandu. Upon arrival at the hotel we’ll have time to hit the town and celebrate our fantastic achievement. Dinner will be at the famous Rum Doodle restaurant & the 40,000½ ft. bar which is a classic mountaineer’s pub with hearty food and a great atmosphere. The Bar has a collection of autographs from world renowned climbers and alpinists including Sir Edmund Hillary, Reinhold Messner, Rob Hall, Junko Tabei and many more who have been to the top.
This is a free day for last minute shopping and packing until being transferred to the airport for your departure back to monotony 🙂
Optional Add-On – Everest Sherpa Village Trek
Flight to the World’s Scariest Airport and 3 Day Trek to the gateway of Mt Everest Base Camp.
The tallest point on Earth, Mt Everest (8848m) is so close yet so far, why not take a few extra days and fly to the world’s scariest airport described as “a strip of licorice in a wall of granite”. The primary goal of this trek is to see Mt Everest (8848m) and the villages of the world famous mountaineers, the Sherpas.
The view of Mt Everest, from above Namche Bazaar is truly stunning. We walk past a small airport towards the Everest view hotel. Here we’ll enjoy a coffee and the breathtaking scenery of Mt Nuptse (7879m), Mt Lhotse (8416m), Mt Lhotse Shar (8400m) and Mt AmaDablam (6812m) along with of course Mt Everest.
The Cost of the add-on trek includes:
– Transfer to and from the Hotel / Domestic Airport / Hotel (Pre & Post Trek) in a private vehicle accompanied by Trek guide.
– Airfare for the sector Katmandu / Lukla / Katmandu
– 3 Nights / 4 Days trek in the Everest / Khumbu region inclusive of all meals (breakfast + Lunch + Dinner), accommodation in available local lodges or tea houses and the services of an experienced – Trek guide, Sherpas and the strong & reliable porters.
– Sagarmatha National Park entrance fees of US$30 per person.
– Trekker’s Information Management System (TIMS) card fee of US$10 per person.
– All expenses for the guide, his daily allowances including his meals and flight from Kathmandu / Lukla / Kathmandu.
– Gamma Bag (High Altitude portable chamber) in case of emergency arising due to altitude sickness. (The guide will be trained in First Aid specially relating to High Altitude Sickness)
3 Day Trek Itinerary
Day 13: Fly to Lukla & Trek to Phakding (Trek Duration: 3 – 3½ hours)
After breakfast, we get transferred to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu airport for an early morning flight to Lukla (2880m). This 45 minute flight provides a magnificent entry to the trek as it highlights the snowline of the Himalayan Range in the north and the rugged landing at the Lukla airport which is said to be one of the most spectacular flights in the world.
Upon arrival, we meet the Sherpa team who’ll distribute the equipment to the Porters and Dzhopke (a cross between and cow and a Yak used to carry loads). During this break, you are welcome to explore this bustling town on top of a hill with rows of houses, hotels and shops lining both sides of narrow cobbled streets.
The trek starts by following the trail leading to the northwest direction, which immediately descends from the end of the village on a trail through the open hillside. The trail is well defined and there are many shops and lodges catering to the trekkers. We cross a recently constructed suspension bridge (100 meters long) at the very beginning of the journey. From there we follow the regular trail passing small villages of Chaurikharka (2713m) and Ghat (2550m), with shops and restaurants on the way until we descend to the river at Phakding (2652 m).
Day 14: Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (Trek Duration: 5 hrs)
Leave the main village and the follow the trail on the left bank of the Dudh Koshi River. It is a pleasant walk for the first half of the day as one passes through agricultural countryside, small wayside villages and a monastery. We cross the Dudh Koshi at Benkar where there are tantalizing glimpses of the snow peaks Kusum Khangaru (6369m) and Thamserku (6623m). Just before lunch, there is a steep climb of about 20 minutes to arrive at Monjo for Lunch.
After lunch, we trek up to the check post to check the permits and enter into the Sagarmatha National Park. Descend for 10 minutes and then cross a suspension bridge to arrive at Jorsale (2800m). We then pass through several small villages surrounded by beautiful pine forests. This is a busy trail with our first good views are of the west ridge of Kusum Khangaru (6339m). Follow the Dudh Koshi River, crossing a rickety suspension bridge, which is in a dilapidated condition, and then slowly climb up a very steep trail to Namche Bazaar. Near half waypoint, we enjoy our first views of Mt. Everest (8848m), Nuptse (7879m) and Lhotse (8383m) – the big three. The climb takes nearly 3 hours as the altitude makes breathing a little difficult. Although we arrive at a gate with a sign saying, “Welcome to Namche Bazaar” it is a tad misleading as it takes another 20 minutes to arrive at the main town.
Upon arrival at Namche Bazaar (3447 m) we check into the lodge. This prosperous town is the largest in Khumbu. Mt. Thamserku (6648 m) and Kwangde Ri (6624 m) loom above the east and west of the village. The sacred mountain Khumbila (5707 m) dominates the skyline along the west.
Day 15: Trek to Lukla (Trek Duration: 5 – 6 hrs)
Day 16: Final Departure
INSURANCE IN INDIA, NEPAL, BHUTAN, MONGOLIA, MYANMAR and SRI LANKA
In the countries we conduct adventures, commercial insurance on motor vehicles is either not available, or is of questionable value. They are generally worthless in the event one needs to make a claim. Accidents and damages occurring in these countries are usually settled on the spot and can take hours and even days.
Himalayan Heroes offers optional insurance that covers damage to the bike you are riding. The premium is US$200 paid before the tour starts. In the event you damage the motorcycle, the insurance will cap your damage bill at US$200.(A US$200 excess)
- If, like most of our riders, you do not damage the motorcycle then the total cost to you is US$200.
- If, like some of our riders, you put the bike down and damage mirrors, levers, foot pegs etc and the damage bill is say US$120 then you pay the $120. The cost to you is US$320 (US$200 + US$120)
- If you have a big off and damage the tank, forks etc and the damage bill is say US$750 then you only pay the $200 excess. The cost to you is US$400 (US$200 premium + US$200 excess).
This insurance is optional so if you would like to carry the risk yourself, you are welcome to. At the completion of the tour, you will be presented with an itemised bill of the damage to the bike. Approximately 50% of our riders do not damage the bikes and of the 50% that do receive a damage bill, the majority of the bills are less than $300. Please send us an email if you’ve got any questions about this if you are thinking about any of our adventures.