How to Choose a Tour in Nepal: Pro Tips from an Insider

With so many options to pick from, it can be tricky to know where to start when selecting a tour operator. Our insider Cassie shows you how to decide on the right tour for you.


Photo © iStock/AleksandarNakic

Home of breathtaking mountain vistas, incredible wildlife, ancient temples and bottomless dal bhat, Nepal really does have something for everyone.

From cultural getaways to adrenaline-fueled adventures, more and more people are choosing to discover the highlights of this amazing country as part of an organized trip or tour.

Types of Tours

Forget about the old days of big coaches, matching T-shirts, umbrella hats and megaphone- wielding guides, these days, organized tours are designed to offer an array of options to suit everyone’s needs, from backpackers to families, older travelers, couples, thrill-seekers and even photographers.

Tailored to suit every budget and style of travel, tours take the stress out of visiting a new destination, allowing you to maximize your time, meet new people, connect with the local community, and embark on new activities and challenges, like conquering Everest Base Camp or the Annapurna Range.

What’s the Difference Between a Trip and a Tour?

Generally, tours are multi-day adventures that take care of all your travel needs as soon as you hit the tarmac.

With transfers, accommodation, transport, guides, activities, and permits taken care of, it’s easy to kick back and enjoy the ride.

Alternatively, trips are normally locally-organized one or two-day additions to holidays and independent travel experiences.

While there are plenty of internationally renowned tour companies offering their take on Nepal, there are also some great local tour companies who will happily take care of all your travel, transport, and trekking arrangements in-country.

Although these may be cheaper, it’s always worth doing your research and comparing options before committing to anything.

The Nepal Association of Tour Operators (NATO) and the Society of Travel and Tour Operators Nepal (SOTTO) are good places to start.

Why Choose a Trip or a Tour?

  • Maximize your time while enjoying stress-free travel.
  • Share amazing experiences with new travel companions.
  • Security and safety, especially for first time travelers and trekkers.
  • Gain a unique insight with a local guide.
  • Immerse yourself in the local culture and give back to the community.
  • Focus on sustainable, eco-friendly travel.
  • You’re guaranteed to have a good time!

How to Choose Your Tour Company?

Research, research and more research!

Although I swear by G Adventures, Dragoman and Intrepid for tours to Nepal, there are plenty of other international tour options including IVHQ and Kandoo.

I recommend reading reviews online of the particular tour that you are interested in, checking out a day-by-day breakdown of the itinerary, making sure there are no unexpected costs to pay on arrival and even looking through photos online to see if you can picture yourself having the time of your life in someone else’s shoes!

For local trips, treks, and tours, it’s worth talking to your guesthouse about different options, comparing prices, being open about your expectations and finding out what’s actually included before you take the plunge.

But, with local travel agencies offering tailor-made, entirely off the beaten path trips throughout Nepal and even over the border to Tibet, booking your tour locally can truly result in a once in a lifetime experience.

Get our FREE Insider’s Guide to Nepal!

Whether you're off for the trek of a lifetime, an unforgettable safari, or just to soak up the amazing culture, get our FREE Insider's Guide to Nepal to make the most of your trip.

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