Nepal is a small, landlocked country situated between India and China. Famous for the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, and the birthplace of Lord Buddha, it is wedged between the high wall of the Himalaya and the steamy jungles of the Indian plains, Nepal is a land of snow peaks and Sherpas, yaks and yetis, monasteries and mantras.
Ever since Nepal first opened its borders to outsiders in the 1950s, this tiny mountain nation has had an irresistible mystical allure for travelers. Today, legions of trekkers are drawn to the Himalaya’s most iconic and accessible hiking, some of the world’s best, with rugged trails to Everest, the Annapurnas and beyond.
Other travelers are drawn here by the adrenaline rush of rafting down a roaring Nepali river or bungee jumping into a bottomless Himalayan gorge. Climbing, kayaking, paragliding and mountain biking all offer a rush against the backdrop of some of the world’s most dramatic landscapes.
Other travelers prefer to see Nepal at a more gentle pace, admiring the peaks over a gin and tonic from a Himalayan viewpoint, strolling through the temple-lined medieval city squares of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, and joining Buddhist pilgrims on a spiritual stroll around the centuries-old stupas and temples that lie scattered across the Kathmandu Valley.
October through November is the best time to visit Nepal. Clear skies and warm days make autumn the peak season. Thousands of people hit the trails in the Everest and Annapurna regions, accommodation in Kathmandu gets booked up and prices peak.