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Adventure Activities in Nepal

Adventure activities in Nepal

Nepal sits in a unique location between two large countries. Its geography is unlike anything in the world with more than half the country being the world’s highest Himalayas and its foothills and the lowland plains covering the southern parts. Because of such unique features, Nepal is a perfect place for a large number of adventure activities and sports that thrill lovers can participate and create unforgettable memories.

Below is a long list of adventure activities in Nepal that you can do:

Mountaineering:

Nepal is known for its mountains, many of which are the highest in the world. Mt Everest (8,848 m) is the world’s highest mountain and an ultimate goal of almost all mountaineers around the world, and it’s in Nepal. Not only that, there are 14 eight-thousanders (mountains rising more than 8,000 meters above sea level) in the world, and 8 of them are in Nepal. In addition, Nepal is home to thousands of mountains with altitudes in the 5,000-7,000 meter range.

island peak climbing

Being one of the most known adventure activities in Nepal, mountaineering attracts thousands of climbers every year. The climbers want to conquer a Himalayan giant. Some are beginners who are here to climb Island Peak or Mera Peak. These are termed trekking peaks because of minimal climbing and mostly trekking. Some are returning to summit a 7,000-meter peak or upping their challenge by taking on an eight-thousander. And, many are for their prized trophy i.e. reaching the world’s highest point Mt Everest.

everest base camp during climbing season

You can sign up for a Sherpa-supported expedition to any permitted mountain of your choice. While they take care of routes & ropes and your living & eating arrangements, you can entirely focus on reaching the top and returning safely back to the base camp.

If you prefer an alpine style of mountaineering, that is also possible. Moreover, Nepal has many unclimbed peaks that are waiting to be conquered.

Trekking:

Trekking, a walking activity that can be a simple single-day pleasure to a thrill-seeking multi-day adventure, is perfect for Nepal with its unique landscape. You name it and you can do any kind of walking in Nepal.

You can go for a hike of few hours where you reach the top of a mountain to enjoy the splendid views. You can walk for days in the Himalayan foothills with the Himalayan giants up in the distance with its floating heads. You can walk among the Himalayan mountains, cross hair-raising passes, enter windy valleys and get lost in the breathtaking mountain arenas for days and weeks.

trekking to annapurna base camp

There are many day hikes or treks of a few days that you can do from any city and these can be combined with your larger trips. But, if you are here in Nepal, it’s better to book a trek that takes you up north among the Himalayan giants.

The best and most popular is Everest Base Camp Trek, where you reach the foot of Mt Everest and observe the world’s highest mountain up close as well as from a distance. This can be spiced up by adding treks to side valleys and lakes and mountain passes. There is Annapurna Circuit Trek.

25 Tips to Improve Your Everest Base Camp Trekking Experience

You circle the mighty Annapurnas anti-clockwise and pass through varied landscapes that are the trek’s big attraction. And, there is the mighty Great Himalayan Trail that crosses the Himalayas from east to west through Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, India and Pakistan. Even doing the Nepal portion takes about 4 months.

There are so many treks that you can do in Nepal either in a teahouse style of trekking or in full camping that goes to remote, uncrowded and unspoiled areas. There is a trek for everyone in Nepal.

Rock Climbing:

In a country of the highest mountains, rock climbing is obviously going to be one of the possible adventure activities in Nepal. Some do it lightly as it is much easier than a full-on expedition to the mountain and doesn’t consume that much. No wonder it’s been a favorite pastime of the urban youth, both locals and foreigners. And some do it as professionally and competitively. There are rock climbing competitions that one can participate in and earn accolades.

It’s also taken a practice for mountaineering. The climbers who find themselves in Nepal for their next big Himalayan expedition go for warm-up rock climbing sessions in either climbing walls or natural rock walls.

rock climbing

There are many climbing walls in Kathmandu that you can go and try the routes. Among them, the popular ones are Asterik Climbing Wall, Kathmandu Sports Climbing Center and Pasang Lhamu Sports Climbing Center.

If the natural rock walls are your favorite, there are plenty of them. Nagarjun Rock Climbing Spot is the closest to you if you are in Kathmandu. It’s extremely popular. Located inside Shivapuri National Park, it has more than 21 routes perfect for beginners, intermediate and advanced climbers. All routes are well bolted. The wall is 55 m high vertical limestone surface.

There is another popular spot on the highway between Kathmandu and Pokhara. A challenging 55 m rock wall with more than 20 routes. The other spots worth visting are Hattiban Rock Climbing Spot and Nagarkot Rock Climbing Spot. Both are within easy reach from Kathmandu.

Paragliding:

Soaring high in the same skies as the Himalayas is an experience that an adventure lover should never miss. Paragliding is that activity which will fulfill this experience for you. Being high in the skies like birds with cool winds all around and the Himalayas dominating the skies always creates unforgettable memories.

Paragliding is a young sport in Nepal. It started in 1995. There are only a few spots to do this paragliding, and they provide some of the most thrilling flying experiences. There are many places to explore and find new and better spots but for now, the recommendation is sticking to the known and tested skies.

paragliding in pokhara

You can go for a short 15 minutes flight to 60 minutes cross-country flight that covers larger areas. You can do both solo (if you are trained in paragliding) and tandem with an experienced pilot. Tandem style of paragliding is the most popular one and anyone that wants to paraglide can do so.

Paragliding is weather dependent. If the sky is clear, you can go for it. The months of March, April, May, September, October and November are considered the best times.

pokhara paragliding

Pokhara is the best and most popular spot for paragliding. This is where the sport became known and displayed to both domestic and foreign travelers what an amazing experience paragliding in Nepal can be. Up in the sky with tranquil Fewa Lake and beautiful Pokhara city below, and with the mighty Annapurna Himalayas in a distance, Pokhara (Sarangkot) paragliding in one activity that you must do when in Nepal.

There have been newer places to paraglide that you can check out: Sworek Maidan in Syangja (2 hours from Pokhara), and Chapakharka, Kot Danda, Godawari and Pulchowki in the Kathmandu valley.

Mountain Biking:

Wherever you can walk and run, you can certainly do mountain biking there. Mountain biking is one of the adventure activities in Nepal that is perfect for its landscapes. There are so many manmade walkable trails in Nepal being in use for centuries. You can just go out and ride your bike there. A free style riding in a Nepali wilderness is a recipe for ultimate adrenaline pumps and memories.

mountain bikining in the annapurna region

There are beginner level single tracks in the hills near the cities to pro-level chilling and electrifying tracks high up in the mountains. There are tracks & biking adventures for every one of every level.

From Kathmandu, you can go out on single-day bike rides. There is Mudkhu-Tokha Trail for beginners of mountain biking. If you are a level up than beginners, then Scar Road, Budhanilkantha-Kapan Trail and Jamacho Route are suitable for you. There are many single track routes in the Kathmandu valley and in other cities like Pokhara.

cycling around kathmandu valley

If you are looking for a multi-day biking adventure, you can ride around the Kathmandu Valley Rim. Both Lower and Upper Mustang are a great destination for mountain biking with plenty of adventures. You can go up to Langtang National Park. Although not as common, there have been riders who have ridden down from Everest Base Camp.

It’s a challenge for pro riders. And, there is Annapurna Circuit. Starting from Besisahar, Syange, or Chame, you can ride up the mountains in multiple days and reach the top of Thorung La Pass and then ride down from there into Mustang.

Rafting:

Countless small and large rivers has blessed Nepal.  Many of them are white water rivers that are perfect for rafting adventures down the Himalayan foothills. There are so many world-class white water rivers here. Going on a river adventure in Nepal is something you shouldn’t miss if the thrilling river rides are your thing.

rafting in nepal

You can do a rafting trip of a few hours to a single-day trip to an adventure that takes only a couple of days to a full rafting expedition of many days involving hiking and going to unspoiled areas. There is a trip for everyone from beginners to intermediates to advanced thrill seekers. 

You can find the rivers matching all classes from 1 to 6. If you want family float trips with kids, you can do it in quieter rivers. . If you want family float trips with kids, you can do it in quieter rivers. You want to challenge yourself and you can do that too.

The recommended approach is to sign up with a travel/rafting agency and plan a trip with them. They will provide you all the necessary equipment, permits, transportation, foods and even training if you need it. Except on monsoon months of June, July, August and early September, rafting can be done in all months depending on the river water levels. October to November is considered the best time by many.

white water rafting in nepal

Trishuli, Upper Seti and Bhote Koshi Rivers are for you if you are a beginner and want pleasant trip with some thrilling rapids. If you want challenging rivers and want to do it for multiple days, the recommended rivers are Karnali, Sun Koshi and Arun Rivers.

Bungee Jumping:

Bungee jumping is one of the adventure activities in Nepal that should be in the bucket list of adventure lovers. The deep river valleys and gorges are a perfect match for an activity like bungee jumping. Nepal has three thrilling spots that you should check out. And as the sport becomes more popular, new, challenging and must-do jumps are going to emerge.

Bhote Koshi Bungee Jump operated by The Last Resort is the first and most popular in Nepal as well as around the world. It’s one of the longest jumps in the world with the height of 160 meters. Done from the middle of a suspension bridge. This jump is certain to be memorable of your entire life. It’s 3 hours away from Kathmandu in a secluded and peaceful resort.

Bungee Jump at HighGround Adventures is one of the recent ones to start operating. It’s the only one in Pokhara. Don’t miss it out if you are in Pokhara and wants to do a thrilling jump. The vertical drop is 70 meters.

bunjee jump in pokhara

Kushma Bungee Jump operated by The Cliff is the newest addition. The vertical drop here is 228 meters, making it the second highest bungee jump in the world and the highest in Asia and Nepal. It is carried out from a 520-meter suspension bridge between two districts and over the Kali Gandaki Gorge, one of the deepest in the world.

Canyoning:

Canyoning, also known as canyoneering, is one of the underrated adventure activities in Nepal. It is traveling and exploring the canyons combined with other activities such as hiking, climbing and rappeling. It’s demanding, tiring but also extremely satisfying. Nepal has many popular canyons for you to explore and have electrifying times. There are also many hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

The recommended approach is to do canyoning as a guided activity where the experienced professionals take care of you. Whether you are a beginner or already have canyoning experiences, you should listen to and follow safety instructions, and you should use all the right gear such as helmet, wet suit, life jacket, ropes, etc. You can do canyoning year around but you should also pay attention the level of waters in the canyons.

Jalbire Canyon, Raindu Khola (near Syange) and Jagat Khola (near Jagat) are some of the popular ones. Canyoning at Panglang Khola and Kanglang Khola operated by The Last Resort are worth checking out too. Kakani and Sundarijal, which are nearer to Kathmandu, are suitable for canyoning too.

Skydiving:

Skydiving, among the mighty Himalayan giants, is one of the extreme adventure activities in Nepal that should be in the bucket list of every daredevil. Jumping out of a helicopter at a hair-raising altitude, free falling while being surrounded by the highest mountains in the world and parachuting to a drop zone, which is also at a great altitude, skydiving here will give a story you will tell your whole life.

The best thing is you don’t have to be a hardcore experienced skydiver to enjoy it. You can jump in tandem with some of the best skydiving pilots in the world. For now, skydiving is done in Everest (not in the literal mountain) and Pokhara, one of the most beautiful cities of Nepal.

Everest Skydiving is the most thrilling dive in the world. You fly out on a helicopter to an altitude of about 7,000 meters and take your jump. The free fall lasts for over 30 seconds and the parachute comes open at altitudes between 4,800 m and 5,400 m.

The Himalayan giants such as Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse, Mt Ama Dablam, etc will surround you on all sides. The 360-degree views as you drop down will be out of this world. You will gradually parachute down to your drop zones, which is either Syangboche at 3,760 m or Ama Dablam Base Camp at 4,572 m. Autumn (October and November) or spring (May) are the best times for this adventure activity in Nepal.

Pokhara Skydiving is another one that you can enjoy and raise your adrenaline. You jump out of a helicopter between altitudes of 3,350 m and 4,000 m. You will get about 40 seconds of uninterrupted free fall before your parachute opens. Then you slowly drop to the drop zone at Pame Lauruk at 820 m.

It’s one of the most beautiful drops as you will have the magnificent Fewa Lake (and other lakes) and the Pokhara valley below, green forests & fields on multiple sides and the mighty Annapurnas up close in the northern side. Autumn (October and November) or spring (May) are the best times for skydiving in Pokhara.

Kayaking:

Similar to rafting, kayaking is perfect for Nepali rivers, both large and small. You can ride the river for a couple of hours or spend your whole in the river descending down and maneuvering your kayak over the rapids or go on a multi-day kayaking expedition with camping in the river beaches. The world-class white water rivers of Nepal will make your kayaking experience full of awesome memories.

You can do it year around expect in the monsoon season. Late September to November and March to early June are considered the best times for kayaking.

You can bring your own kayak from your home country but that can be a hassle to deal with immigration and airlines. The recommended approach is book a trip with a travel/kayaking agency and they will arrange all the equipment like paddle, paddle, helmet, life jacket, etc and provide a guide to help you navigate the Nepali rivers.

The rivers like Trishuli, Seti, Kaligandaki, Tamur and Karnali are some of the best places for kayaking in Nepal.

Zip Flying:

Zip Flying is one of the adventure activities in Nepal that is perfect for its mountainous landscape. There are so many places to build the zip line and ride from a higher point in a mountain and go to a lower area at a great speed while enjoying the breathtaking views and pumping up your adrenaline level.

zipline in pokhara

The best thing about this sport is Nepal has the world’s tallest, steepest and longest zip line. The Pokhara Zip Line by HighGround Adventures has a 600-m vertical drop, an incline of 56 degree and reaches a maximum speed of 120 km per hour. Starting from Sarangkot, a great viewpoint, the zip line is 1.8 km long.

While zipping down the line, panoramic views of Pokhara valley, Fewa Lake and Himalayas will reward you. The zip line here is dual, making zip flying side by side with another person a possibility.

Nepal offers many other zip lines. There is Yoyo Zip Line in Bhaktapur, Dhulikhel Zip Line in Dhulikhel and Durbar Adventure Zip Line in Nuwakot.

Ultralight Flight:

The ultralight flight in Nepal is an exhilarating way to view the Himalayas. It takes you across the mountains in a lightweight 2-seater fixed-wing aircraft. It is available only in Pokhara and that is a big highlight in its own.

Operating from Pokhara Airport, the ultralight aircraft affords you with magnificent bird’s eye view of Pokhara valley, Fewa Lake (as well as other nearby lakes), forested foothills surrounding the valley and just above them the glorious Annapurna Himalayas. This ultralight flight provides an unforgettable and adventurous ride to the mountains.

The ultralight flight can be 15 minutes just circling the Pokhara valley or it can be as long as 60 to 90 minutes where the flight will fly towards the Himalayas and provides you splendid upclose views of the snow-peaked giants as well as the aerial views of the greenery of the foothills.

The aircraft flies around an altitude of 3,500 meters and can gain a maximum speed of 90 to 130 km per hour.

Trail Running:

Trail running is one of the adventure activities in Nepal that is gaining gradual popularity. The sport is not only attracting runners from all around the world but it is being discovered by Nepalis themselves. As a result, Nepal has a group of homegrown trail running talents.

The most popular among them is Mira Rai who has own trail running competitions here and abroad, making this sport more popular in Nepal and becoming a trailblazer for many Nepali girls & women.

Trail running combines running and hiking and lasts for hours in a single day or can be a multi-day sport event. The unique and challenging landscapes of Nepal have become a perfect arena for trail runners.

Some of the popular trail running competitions are Manaslu Trail Race, Mustang Trail Race, Everest Marathon and Annapurna 100 Ultra Trail Race.

Manaslu Trail Race is a multi-stage race covering 130 km over 9 days in the Manalsu region, home of the eighth-highest mountain in the world Mt Manaslu (8,163 m). Mustang Trail Race is also similar to Manaslu. The route for this race is 170 km long and requires 9 days from the runners. This race goes through centuries old trade routes, Buddhist monasteries and the former Kingdom of Lo.

And there is Everest Marathon, one of the highest running marathons in the world. It’s a one-day event that is always held on May 29, the day when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay conquered Mt Everest for the first time in human history. Starting from Everest Base Camp, it ends in Namche Bazaar. It has its variations for beginners and advanced runners.

4WD Mountain Drive:

Even taking a drive in a normal highway in Nepal or some off-road trails nearby a city can be qualified to be called a 4WD mountain drive. The roads are challenging with countless bends. They snake across the mountain and get pretty near to a white water river or in many places the road and the river are one and the same.

But, if you are looking for an authentic mountain drive far from the comfort of a city, there are a few that should be in your bucket list.

Upper Mustang is a popular destination for driving. You get to travel in Kaligandaki Gorge, one of the deepest gorges in the world. The drive takes you through a culture and a landscape that is very different from the one you encounter in Kathamandu.

It’s a dry rain-shadow area beyond the mighty Annapurnas. The Lo Manthang Palace of former Kingdom of Lo is still there. There many Buddhist monasteries and ancient & medieval villages. The sky caves are a fascinating piece of history; no one knows who built them and for what purposes. Apart from that, the roads are hair-raising, a mark of a great mountain drive.

The Manang district is another great place for the 4WD mountain drive. The roads leading to this place are more challenging and scare-inducing. You can drive (or ride with local experience drivers) until Manang and explore the areas which are part of the famous Annapurna Circuit. If you have a few more days to spare, you can visit Tilicho Lake (4,949 m), one of the highest located lakes in the world.

Motorbiking:

Motorbiking is one of the most popular adventure activities in Nepal. It has touched all regions and all age groups. People not only use their motorbikes for work but also many riders use for recreations. They visit their favorite places with friends and romantic partners, tick off a destination from their bucket list or ride for long and far because they enjoy it. Motorbiking as an adventure activity has attracted both domestic travelers and international thrill seekers in Nepal.

You can just take out a motorbike and go out on a ride to a nearby destination. You can ride off-road to a great and unspoiled viewpoint. You can ride from city to city such as riding from Kathmandu to Pokhara on the Prithvi Highway.

You can go up in the mountains for riding. Many places in the mountains are connected via roads although most of them are dirt roads with unpaved surfaces. That is what makes motorbiking adventurous.

The most popular destination is Upper Mustang. You can hire a Royal Enfield bike or any dirt bike from Pokhara and ride up northwest and northwards to Upper Mustang. Biking is perfect for uneven bumpy roads and narrow trails that a 4WD vehicle can’t access. On a bike, you can visit places that you normally can’t due to lack of roads and lack of time too.

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