Sikles is one of the best kept secrets in Nepal. This quintessential hillside village preserves the feel of old Nepal, with its cobble-stone paths and staircases, farming lifestyle carried on in front patios, and pride of culture amongst its primarily Gurung residents.
Nowadays accessible by unpaved road, Sikles offers a chance to escape to the picturesque countryside outside of Pokhara -- with full-frame views of the specatuclar snow-topped Annapurnas -- without trekking (unless you choose to).
While in Sikles (three nights), you’ll sleep in a simple lodge with mattressed beds, solar hot water shower and electricity.
In line with KarmaQuest's commitment to supporting nature conservation and local communities through ecotourism, you'll meet with a village women's group in Sikles that is keeping the footpaths clean and preserving and sharing Gurung traditions. In association with a non-profit that KarmaQuest Director Wendy Lama leads -- Chandra Gurung Conservation Trust (CGCT). Please inquire how your visit can
help contribute to ongoing assistance to village women weavers.
After your stay in Sikles, you’ll return by road to Pokhara and then travel to Chitwan National Park for a two night visit to one of Asia’s best national parks for viewing wildlife. You’ll go on jungle safaris with trained naturalists who know the plant and forest ecology well. There is a good chance of seeing a One-Horned Rhinoceros, as well as several types of deer, monkeys, wild boar, sloth bear, crocodile and perhaps even the Royal Bengal tiger. Birding is excellent as well.
The trip begins and ends in the Kathmandu Valley, visiting several of the historic World Heritage sights, with time to stroll the ancient cobble stone lanes of Bhaktapur and to shop in Kathmandu's flurry of arts and crafts shops at your leisure.
Time and the school schedule permitting, you'll pay a visit to the Paropakar Girls' Orphanage in Kathmandu. KarmaQuest is a long-term supporter of
Virtues Children Nepal, which provides scholarships and enhanced educational opportunities to disadvantaged children of Nepal.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu: Rest and overnight in Bhaktapur.
Day 2: Hike to Changu Narayan, the oldest temple in Nepal with 4th century sculpted images. Explore Bhaktapur, the loveliest of the Kathmandu Valley ancient cities. Overnight in Bhaktapur.
Day 3: Sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley: Visit several of the Valley’s impressive historical sites, all of UNESCO World Heritage status, including Patan and Boudhanath. Overnight in Bhaktapur.
Day 4: Fly to Pokhara, drive to Sikles (4+ hrs) A drive through the countryside passes through compact villages and terraced hillsides, climbing to your first close up views of the Himalaya.
Days 5 & 6: Make your home in Sikles (approx 6500 ft): Savor the majestic views of the some of the Annapurnas and the traditional life of the Gurung people in this picturesque hillside village rimmed by marigolds and terraced farmlands. Enjoy time with the villagers including cooking lessons, weaving, and singing and dancing. Take an optional day hike to 8,000’ for views of Annapurna IV, II and Lamjung Himal. Overnight in a lodge.
Day 7 & 8: Drive to Pokhara and overnight in a hotel near Phewa Tal (lake). Enjoy a day exploring on your own, gliding on the lake or shopping for souvenirs.
Days 9 to 10: Chitwan National Park: Fly south to Nepal’s Terai lowlands, bordering the India border. Explore Chitwan National Park by elephant-back safari and on jungle walks, jeep rides and a boat excursion. Overnight for two nights in a comfortable jungle lodge on the edge of the Park.
Day 11: Fly to Kathmandu: Rest or explore Kathmandu on your own. Overnight in a hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 12: Day in Kathmandu: Visit Swayambhunath, an iconic Buddhist stupa on a hill and an orphanage (school schedule permitting), with time for shopping before a Farewell Dinner. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 13: Depart Kathmandu: Transfer to the airport for your homeward flight.
Optional Trekking Trip to Sikles: Please inquire about trekking to Sikles (one way) as an alternative to driving. This overnight trek takes you through spectacular well-preserved forests alive with bird calls and unspoilt beauty.
Trip Cost: From $3,250/person
Optional Trip Extensions: Should you wish to extend your stay in Asia, please inquire. We organize tours throughout India and South East Asia that can easily to tagged on to this Nepal trip.