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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Kathmandu Tours - Excursions
Kathmandu Tours Guide - TravelPuppy.com
Most tourists reserve organised outdoor activities like mountain-biking, rafting, trekking, and wildlife-viewing in Kathmandu since this is where most of the operators and agents are. Below is a list of recommended Kathmandu-based companies which include the ones that arrange home stays and cultural tours.

Ballooning

Balloon Sunrise Nepal (telephone 424131) has early-morning flights from points in the Kathmandu Valley. One person will be charged at $195; however, if you are willing to go standby, you can pay $150 - an expensive way to get above the smog.

Mountain bike tours

The companies below operate mountain-bike tours out of Kathmandu.

Bikeman, Jyatha Thamel (telephone 240633; srai@mos.com.np). A small outfit that runs tours of the Kathmandu Valley, Nagarkot, Dhulikhel/Namobuddha, Daman and the Tarai. Older equipment.

Dawn Till Dusk, Thamel Northwest, in the front court of the Kathmandu Guest House (telephone 418286; info@frontier.wlink.com.np). Kathmandu Valley back roads, Nagarkot, Dhulikhel/Namobuddha, customized off-road itineraries. Good bikes and repair facilities. Sonam, the owner, is an old hand who embodies the spirit of mountain-biking in Nepal.

Himalayan Mountain Bikes, Thamel Northwest (telephone 419295; info@hmb.wlink.com.np). Nepal's original mountain-bike operator, with the most widest range of itineraries: Namobuddha, Nagarkot, Daman back route, Kathmandu Valley single tracks, Daman, western Tarai, Lhasa to Kathmandu; also Ladakh, Sikkim, Bhutan. Good equipment and repair shop.

River operators

Due to the safety considerations when rafting, it is even riskier to recommend cheap river operators. The ones listed are more reliable, hence more expensive. All run the most popular rivers and can organize trips on other rivers on demand.

Trekking companies

Private cheap trekking companies can't be recommended as the quality of their services can greatly vary from time to time or trip to trip. The following more expensive outfits are known for providing high standards.

Ama Dablam Trekking, Kamal Pokhari (telephone 415372, fax 416029). Scheduled and custom treks - mostly teahouse routes, plus a few trips to more remote areas and trekking peaks.

Above the Clouds Trekking, Thamel North (telephone 416909;
atct@wlink.com.np). Scheduled and custom teahouse treks, remote-area treks (eg, Jaljale Himal), expeditions.

Asian Trekking, Bhagwan Bahal (telephone 424249;
asianadv@mos.com.np). A wide range of scheduled treks on standard and remote routes, expedition support treks, also rafting. Affiliated with Asian Airlines Helicopters, so flights are no problem.

Equator Expeditions, Thamel Northwest (telephone 415782;
equator@mos.com.np). Runs a mountaineering school in the Khumbu.

Guiding and Trekking Expedition Services (GATES)
, Gairidhara (telephone 410417; gates@dendi.mos.com.np). Specializes in short, custom treks - especially good for treks with children.

Himalaya Expeditions
, Kantipath (telephone 226622;
himalaya@mos.com.np). Nepal operator for Classic Nepal, Karakoram Experience and others. Scheduled and custom teahouse treks, fully supported treks, trekking peaks, expeditions.

Journeys Mountaineering & Trekking
, Baluwatar (telephone 412898; journeys@mos.com.np). Nepal operator for US-based Journeys International. Does scheduled teahouse and remote-area treks such as Mustang, Dolpo and Kanchenjunga.

Sherpa Co-operative Trekking, Durbar Marg (telephone 224068;
sherpaco@trekk.mos.com.np). Long-established outfitter that does numerous scheduled treks in standard and remote areas.

Village tourism

Only a couple of Kathmandu-based organizations operate village tourism and home stay programmes, where participants stay in a private home lodging and dining with the family. It is an excellent way to associate with Nepali culture, and it is of particular interest to foreigners wanting to learn Nepali. Host families are trained in health standards for tourists.

Cultural Destination Nepal, Dilli Bazaar (telephone 426996; fax 416417). This is a language institute, so home stays are intended to complement Nepali language study.

Himalayan Explorers Club, Jyatha Thamel (telephone 259275;
info@hec.org). Keeps a file of families that accommodate club members in their homes for $3-7 per day (depending on the family), including two meals a day.

Intercultural Training & Research Centre, on a lane leading north of the Tin Dewal on Tridevi Marg (telephone 412793; raj@itc.mos.com.np). Another home stay programme intended mainly for those studying Nepali.

Lama Adventure Treks & Expeditions, Thamel (telephone 413959; late@mos.com.np). Offers a village tourism programme in Thulo Purselgaun, a Tamang settlement southeast of Dhulikhel. A four-night package costs $160-200 per person, depending on group size.

Mahendra Jyoti Home stay Program (book through Asia Travels Service in Hotel Eurasia, Thamel South: telephone 258327;
asiacomm@wlink.com.np). Spend the weekend with a family in a village near Dhulikhel for Rs800; you can stay on for Rs150 a day.

Nepal Village Resorts, Naksal (telephone 430187;
village@nep.mos.com.np). The pioneer of village tourism in Nepal. Organizes stays in Sirubari, a Gurung village near Pokhara, and is developing other programmes in Junbesi (along the trail to Everest) and in the Annapurna area. A two-night all-in package costs $72-132 per person, depending on group size.