Explore the Himalayan trails of your choice, your way!
Explore the Himalayan trails of your choice, your way The Himalayan Range…Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and India. The names echo with mystery and the thrill of exploration and have fuelled travellers’ dreams for centuries. Whether you are into high adventure and physical challenges, or prefer to take your time exploring subtle elements of landscape and culture, this region is a treasure trove. We are a local company with an international team of dedicated and experienced travel lovers. What makes us special is that we all live in this part of the world and are passionate about it, so we take great pleasure in exploring new places and designing new adventures for you. We specialise in designing customised trips which enable you to gain rare insight into the real lives of people of the Himalayas. Your interests determine how we combine elements of culture, history, food, nature and religion with trekking, mountain biking, classic motorbikes, rafting, paragliding, canoeing, wildlife safari and much more. With our experience and our connection with this region, we are perfectly placed to help you plan and enjoy the perfect travel experience, so you are free to immerse yourself in exploring the Himalayan trails of your choice, your way. Why travel with us? We love to travel, and the Himalayas are our favourite part of the planet! As travellers ourselves, we understand how important it is to have a professional and experienced operator who delivers what you want. Our careful planning and expertise in trip design delivers you a truly unique set of experiences, with full attention to those many details that make such a difference. Our long and valued relationships in the areas we travel ensure that you make real connections with the places and people you visit. We deliver exceptional products at very good value for money, however, you can be sure that this is not at the cost of the environment or our social responsibilities. What’s more, with us there are no hidden costs …what you see is what you get. This brochure is designed to introduce you to the exciting possibilities of travel in the Himalayan region and what we can do for you. To find out about specific trips or tours, we invite you to explore our website www.himalayan-trails.com
We are serious about Responsible Travel Your choice to travel with Himalayan Trails allows you to make a valued contribution to the lives of the people and places you visit. As all of our team members are based here and many of our families still live in the mountain villages, we have a very strong connection with the environment and the cultures of this region. By choosing to travel with us, you support our commitment to the people whose places we visit, their diverse cultures and the precious environment that we all depend on. Our responsible travel policy ensures that:
We contribute a minimum of 10% of our profit to the local communities, so your travel provides support to the communities you visit. In addition to this contribution, many guests choose to give time, materials or money to support communities. To date we have supported communities to deliver education, health, income generation and environmental benefits to their villages and local areas;
We fully insure all our staff, including our vital helpers, the porters;
We pay our staff at above industry rates as we value the relationship, the experience and the knowledge of our exceptional team;
We minimise environmental impact through our rigorous trekking and camping practices…please see our website for more information (www.himalayan-trails.com);
We minimise the impact on the local cultures and people by advising our guests of local customs and beliefs and ensuring that our visits do not offend, for example, by what we wear, how we behave and where we go;
We have long established and strong relationships with the people and places we visit, based on respect and cooperation. This gives you the chance to make a real connection and gain rare insights into the places and cultures we visit;
We contribute to local economies in as many ways as possible. This includes employing local staff wherever possible, buying local products and services, and through our community support efforts.
Customised journeys Our team is dedicated and we are highly experienced in providing exceptional travel in the Himalayan region. We love this part of the world and we love to share it with our guests. We want you to experience the best possible combination of activities, sights, sounds, food, learning and, of course, fun! So we design trips by learning about what you want and then we combine unforgettable experiences from our vast pool of ideas to come up with the best possible combination for you. All you need to do is tell us what you want to see, do and experience, and we will make your ideas happen, your way. The following pages have some great ideas to get you startedâ€Ś
Nepal Nepal! The name echoes with the mystery of ancient cultures living against the backdrop of the world’s highest mountains. Most famous for high adventure in rugged mountains, Nepal is also a treasure trove of ancient historical and religious sites, with unmatched natural and cultural diversity. Nepal’s splendid natural environment includes everything from the icy alpine landscape of the highest mountain in the world, to the serene mid-hills, to lush tropical jungles where elephants, rhinos and tigers still roam in their ancient forests. This natural diversity is matched only by Nepal’s fascinating cultural diversity, with Nepal being home to over 60 different ethnic groups, each with their own language, dress, food and architecture. Nepal is a place that holds people in thrall. Did you know that there are seven World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley alone? Imagine visiting Kathmandu’s timeless bazaars and ancient temples, taking a breathtaking flight along the great Himalayan Range, trekking through traditional villages and terraced rice fields with their stunning mountain backdrops, trying your hand at rafting, mountain biking, elephant safari and much more! There is truly something here to suit every interest and we love to design incredible adventures. Trips have options for your own pace and style, they combine the best of culture, history and nature with the adventure activities of trekking, rafting and cycling not to mention the bits that are just pure fun, like a rickshaw ride through the ancient city of Kathmandu!
Culture The incredible countries in the Himalayan region are well known for their spectacular scenery, their diverse cultural groups, their fascinating ancient religions and ways of life. Let us present you with some ideas about how you can experience the sights, the sounds, the food, and meet the people that make this region so unforgettable… Possible activities
Tours Walks Courses Lectures / discussions Home stays Volunteering
Take spiritual teachings and learn from a respected Buddhist lama…
To learn about …. Culture, religion and history Artisans and artistic heritage Architecture and design Spiritual learning Food and cooking Daily life of the Himalayas
Why not travel with a professional photographer to learn more about getting the best out of your shots? Let us show you Kathmandu’s incredible 7 World Heritage Sites from the back of a classic Enfield motorbike or by leisurely cycle tour… Learn about how Buddhist monasteries were laid out across vast landscapes and multiple countries to pin down the bodies of demons… Join us in visiting local artisans to learn the process of creating timeless works of art and beautiful textiles… Come with us to a vibrant annual festival celebrated together by Hindu, Buddhist and Shaman peoples… Combine learning with the sublime relaxation of a retreat, where world-class healers specialising in fields such as yoga, reiki, meditation or massage lead your retreat and can even teach you the arts… Why not learn to play a traditional Himalayan musical instrument… Stay in a local house, cook and eat traditional food with your host family and learn about the enduring cultures of the region… Volunteer your time to help build a local school … Travel with us south to the Terai and learn about the ‘malaria resistant’ Tharu people, the original people of these vast plains… Learn about conservation efforts and living culture initiatives from a professional in the field with a passion for conservation!
These are just some ideas; we’re looking forward to discussing these and more with you in planning your perfect travel experience.
Nature The Himalayan region is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. Tiny Nepal, with just over 0.1% of the earth’s land surface, supports 4.2% of all mammals…and that’s just Nepal! We arrange nature trips with only the most knowledgeable guides and the highest level of support to help you find what you are looking for. Here are some ideas… Possible activities
Nature tours and treks Jungle wildlife safari Jungle walks Bird watching Research or exploratory expeditions Wildlife lectures/ discussions
Come with us in search of the elusive Snow Leopard or Himalayan Blue Poppy…
To discover… The Himalayan region’s unique flora, such as the Himalayan Blue Poppy Incredible wildlife, including the Snow Leopard and Bengal Tiger Abundant birdlife, including rare species like the Spiny Babbler
Combine your nature trip with ancient Ayurveda in a luxury spa… Let us arrange for an expert in the birdlife of the region to accompany you on your bird watching tour… Join us riding on the back of an elephant tracking wildlife in one of the region’s renowned National Parks… Step from your traditional canoe for a picnic after a leisurely ride to spot birdlife and other river dwellers…perhaps even a dolphin! Travel with expert guides and interpreters to learn about fragile Alpine ecosystems, including massive glaciers and snow-fed river systems… Cycle through traditional villages to reach a National Park, getting to know local people and their connection with the surrounding jungle… Come with us visiting Ramsar listed sites in Nepal, learning from an expert about efforts to preserve and protect these internationally important places… Learn about the multitude of medicinal herbs and plants in the region, visiting mountain communities sustainably harvesting and marketing their traditional medicines… Be guided through the complex maze of issues around development and environmental conservation from a professional in the field… Join us and revel in the incredible biodiverse landscapes of the Himalayan region in as much luxury as you could wish for or rough it in remote places way off the beaten track…
There is so much to do here, these are only some of the ideas possible! Contact us to discuss more and together we’ll craft your ideal nature travel experience.
Adventure Tales of Himalayan adventures have fuelled our imaginations for centuries, making us dream of following ancient paths amid incredible scenery and unknown cultures. There are a multitude of adventure activities possible here and we can help you experience them in complete luxury or roughing it in the back of beyond! Check out these ideas… Possible activities
Trekking Trekking peaks Mountain biking Heli – biking Touring on classic Enfield motorbikes Cycle touring Bungy jumping Paragliding Whitewater rafting Kayaking Overland travel Mountain flights Helicopter sightseeing Skiing and heli-skiing Snowboarding
Test out your mountain biking skills against the backdrop of the world’s highest mountains… careful where you look! Head into the Alpine region for the ultimate challenge of climbing a Himalayan peak in the footsteps of the explorers of old… Step out of your luxury heritage hotel, which is more like a conservation project, step onto your classic Enfield motorbike and start exploring… Join us on a multi-week exploratory trek deep into the heart of the Himalayas… Help create and sustain professional career opportunities for women in the region by taking your own women’s group with our qualified and experienced female guides and crew… Take a leisurely cycle tour combined with jungle safari to discover the secrets of the Terai, or southern plains… Ramp up the energy level and boost your skills in your favourite adventure sport with expert guidance and plenty of practice in the Himalayas! Come with us to join the Honey Hunters of Nepal in their age old practice of tracking down wild bees in towering cliffs to bag some honey…. Design your own multi-adventure trip to combine everything from trekking, biking, motorbike touring, rafting, mountain flights, bullock carts, rickshaws and any other way we can think of to get from A to B …no down time in vans and plenty of variety to mix it up on the most awesome holiday ever…don’t forget to mix in your interests for nature, culture, history, the arts and more!
And this is just the beginning! Get in touch with us to talk about yet more ideas and plan your most awesome adventure ever.
Nepal Nepal is quite simply our favourite place to be and travel around in! Our team is based in Kathmandu, and most of us are Nepali or ‘foreigners’ who have been living here for many years. Nepal’s incredibly rich cultural and natural diversity continues to astound us. We are constantly out and about exploring new places, new experiences and getting to know more amazing people. Some of our favourite things here are trekking in the remote far west of Nepal, where the culture is so unique; exploring the Kathmandu Valley by bike on timeless paths through terraced fields and traditional villages; learning more about the ancient religions and diverse cultures, how they are unique but also intertwined, showing that one of Nepal’s greatest strengths is not only its immense cultural diversity, but its intercultural connections as well.
Bhutan Druk Yul; Land of the Thunder Dragon. The name says it all really. Bhutan is a place where myth and legend are part of everyday life and any visit here is simply magical. We have explored Bhutanâ€™s stunning towns and along the narrow mountain roads, but it is through trekking that we truly discovered Bhutan! Walking through gorgeous pristine forests, past serene farm houses and Dzongs built in the stunning design so unique to Bhutan, and meeting the locals whose warmth and charm is so legendary, is a truly winning combination.
Tibet This amazing region draws us back again and again. The sense of immense space highlights how small we are and gives a heady edge to the adventures that are waiting for us here! Our most incredible experiences in Tibet include walking in through Nepalâ€™s remote northwest to the holy Mt Kailash and Lake Manasarovar; learning about the evolution of Buddhism in Tibet through visiting the earliest and the most remote monasteries; and of course, viewing Mt Everest from the North will always be a â€˜must-doâ€™ in Tibet and we think that trekking the little travelled paths to Kangjung North Face is truly incredible.
India India â€Śwhat is there left to say? India is perhaps the worldâ€™s most incredible destination. The sheer size and diversity of the place makes mockery of most attempts to describe it, so we will just stick to our favourite bits. We love India for its contrasts, continually surprising with its heady combinations. We love to explore ancient trade routes, constantly learning more about the history of migration and about how livelihoods, food and conversations have changed over time. We are constantly amazed and humbled by the resilient cultures of the Himalayas.
What gives us our edge... Active adventure doesn’t mean discomfort…while most of our trips are active adventure, we ensure great accommodation and time to relax, take in the amazing scenery and reflect on your time here.
Off the beaten track in style…while we can take you off the beaten track, we have great fun combining this with truly great accommodation so you can experience essential Himalayas and also spoil yourself with some luxury!
Your down time is not in a van…you will not have to sit around in vans or transfer vehicles as we pride ourselves on how we link sights and experiences - because getting there should be fun too. Your down time is for real relaxation!
Make a real connection with the region, not just take its photo…We have real connections with the people whose places we visit, we have helped in the communities for many years so people are pleased to see us back and to interact with our guests.
Variety – mix it up…we ensure plenty of variety in activities and in pace, keeping everyone fully engaged and having a great time without wearing you out! Off the beaten track…away from the crowds of tourists who flock to the standard trekking and tour routes, we love to take you off the beaten track so you get to see the real life of the Himalayan region. Authenticity…We ensure your well-being while giving you a truly authentic experience.
Some small print...What’s with the logo? All across the Himalayan region we encounter giant pairs of eyes staring out from atop Buddhist Stupas. We see the Buddha’s eyes not only on stupas but also on prayer stones piled into cairns on mountain summits, at auspicious places and holy sites, crossroads where travellers pass, the list goes on… It is a striking sight and becomes an inseparable part of your Himalayan memories. The eyes look out in the four directions symbolising the omniscience of a Buddha and reminding us to have compassion towards all, being vigilant in staying on the true path. What’s our true path? For us to have a brilliant time showing you a brilliant time, giving back to community and environment while doing it!
Relax – we’ve got it! We pay as much attention to the big sights as we do to the tiny details. Even before you arrive we’re taking care of all the small things that make your holiday a success and set you free to relax and enjoy it. This can even include a tip kitty so you don’t have to worry about what’s appropriate and how to give it! Travel is as much about the small details and fleeting moments as it is about the big sights…
Explore the Himalayan trails of your choice, your way!
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This Himalayan Trails brochure details the allure of each of the countries we work in, and includes inspiration to get your imagination star...