It was mountaineering that first opened up Nepal to the outside world. Of the world 14 highest peaks above 8,000 m, eight of them crown Nepal's north, including the highest Mt. Everest. Not surprisingly, the fascination of scaling these physically demanding peaks draws crowds of visitors from abroad year after year without let up.
That one in four visitors to Nepal go trekking should say something about the popularity of this activity in the Himalayan country. Most treks go through altitudes between 1,000 and 4,000 meters, while some popular parts reach over 5,000 meters. It's not only the stunning landscapes on the trail that captivate the trekkers but also the people from different ethnic groups with whom they meet on the way a rare opportunity to experience Nepal's rich cultural diversity. And what better way than walking to see and experience it.
Rock ClimbingRock climbing is a challenging sport for outdoor lovers. Most of the areas for rock climbing are situated towards the north of Kathmandu in the Nagarjun forest and Shivapuri National Park. Hence a trip to these places can be combined with hiking, bird watching, nature tours and other activities. In Pokhara, an artificial climbing wall named after French alpinist Maurice Herzog, the first mountaineer ever to summit an 8,000 m peak an Annapurna in 1950, is open at the Mountaineering Museum.
Bungee Jumping / Canyoning
The ultimate thrill of a bungee jump can now be experienced in Nepal's 12 km from the Nepal-Tibet border, a three-hour bus ride from Kathmandu. The bungee jump was designed by one of New Zealand is leading bungee consultants, and is operated by some of the most experienced jump masters in the business. The jump takes place from a 166 m wide steel suspension bridge that joins two sides of a deep valley over the raging Bhoti Kosi River. The place has spectacular scenery with dense forests covering the top of the cliff. One can overnight here and go rafting and rock climbing, too.
Rafting / Kayaking / Canoeing
Nepal boasts some of the best whitewaters in the world, thanks to its mountainous steep terrain. What really makes a rafting trip worthwhile is the magnificent vistas of traditional houses on hillsides, terraced paddy fields, deep gorges, valleys and flat plains that you encounter on the way. While exploring the rivers, you can either go paddle rafting as a team or go kayaking and canoeing alone.
The tropical jungles of Nepal's Terai preserve some of the best wildlife habitats of South Asia. Some of the wildlife attractions of Nepal's jungles include the rare one-horned rhinoceros, the elusive Royal Bengal tiger, snow leopard, red panda and musk deer. Jungle safaris can be enjoyed on elephant back or in jeeps at Chitwan National Park, Bardia National Park, Parsa Wildlife Reserve and Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve, all located in the Terai. The national parks provide a wide range of tourist facilities in and around the areas.
Paragliding / Ultralight / Cable Car
Paragliding is a relatively new adventure sport in Nepal, and is the simplest, safest and least expensive way of discovering the joys of flying alone to experience the aerial views of the magnificent Himalayas. Sarangkot, at 1,592 m above Lakeside in Pokhara Valley, is the jumping off point for paragliders. From here, one can take in stunning views of three of the world's Eight Thousanders, namely, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu.
Mountain Flights Offer
Mountain flights offer the luxurious option of a Himalayan experience. The one-hour mountain flight from Kathmandu takes one close to the highest peaks, including Mt. Everest.During the flight, you get to see Gosaithan (also called Shisha Pangma), Dorje Lhakpa, Phurbi Chyachu, Choba Bhamare, Gaurishanker, Melungtse, Chugimago, Numbur, Karyolung, Cho-Oyu, Gyachungkang, Pumori, Nuptse and, of course, Everest. Mountain flights are offered by several airlines in the morning from the domestic airport in Kathmandu. Flights from Kathmandu reveal the Eastern Himalaya, while flights from Pokhara take you on a bird's eye view of the Western Himalaya.
Nepal’s diverse terrain makes it one of the best for mountain biking. Bike through the country and discover villages and small towns in the midst of rural serenity. Time permitting, it is even possible to explore the entire length and breadth of the country on a mountain bike. Bikes can be hired in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
[Source : Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation]
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