Off the beaten trail
Responsible Peak into Nepal

Quick Info

Minimum: 2 persons
Price: US$ 1398
Duration: 12 days 
This trip combines the best that Nepal has to offer a deep cultural immersion and soft adventure with education on responsible travel, as it is practiced in the ground. The trip consists of two parts, a basic shell which focuses on the cultural immersion, environment protection, philanthropic activities and responsible shopping, and the second component which is an extension offering different levels of soft adventure activities.

This trip is also offered by Ethical Travel Portal, Norway

Fixed departure: On request

 

itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu and Nepal.
Arrival Kathmanu, the capital of Nepal. You will be picked up at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Later in the evening enjoy a welcome dinner, A pleasant culture shock of a four course Nepalese meal at a heritage restaurant. Overnight at a responsible managed hotel where you also will learn about their efforts and how it function.

Day 2: Responsible Tourism Sessions.
After breakfast you will meet representatives from socialtours who will brief you about your trip including responsible travel elements and learn how our partner socialtours work in the field. Enjoy lunch in one of the nearby restaurants.After lunch continue sessions with socialtours before you will start the heritage trail ofKathmandu. walk into back alleys and get a real feeling of the town interpreted by the locals themselves. Overnight at one of the heritage sites of Bhaktapur.

Day 3: Heritage Trail of Kathmandu Valley.
Early morning before sunrise continue the heritage trail. Enjoy the atmosphere of a city preparing for the day. After your morning walk enjoy your breakfast. The trail continues in Bhaktapur before going to Patan, the third city in Kathmandu Valley. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Learn about the conservation of these sites which are still in daily use by the locals. Return back to Kathmandu and rest of the day at own leisure. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 4: Trek Chepang Hill Trail.
Nepal is a trekkers paradise and the next couple of days will be spent in the Chepang Hill Trail. This trail treks into Chitwan National Park. Theme here is a classic case where problems as well as potential of responsible trekking can come into light. Diffeent isues will be highlighted during the trip. Lunch at a local home in Chepang. Dinner and overnight in homestay where you also will be introduced to the concept of homestay and how the network of trekking homestay is function in Nepal.

Day 5: Trek Chepang Hill Trail.
Early morning bring your packed breakfast to the trail to hit the Sirachli peak at 1940m. This is the highest point in this trek. From here you can see all the way to the Himalayas! Later you will meander through some really interesting trails. Enjoy your packed lunch along the trail. Later trek through forests which have one of the best concentrations of birds in the area. Homestay for the night. Homestays in the Chepang hills will directly contribute to the economy of the region plus giving the communities confidence in their tourism product.

Day 6: Chitwan National Park.
Before breakfast trek ten minuted up to the Uppardangadhi Fort which used to be a customs office in the days of old. Back to your homestay for breakfast. Today you will trek mostly downhill till you come to a river. The river will be crossed several times before you reach Shaktikhor, the roadhead for lunch. After lunch drive to Chitwan National Park.Arrive your hotel and rest for a while. After rest you will get a brief about the lodge and its consept. Later visit Tharu Village Museum where you will get an insight of the culture. Dinner and overnight at your lodge.

Day 7: Chitwan National Park. The Tourist Day.
Today you will explore how it is to be a real tourist in Chitwan National Park including different jungle activities. Before breakfast you will enjoy a canoe trip on the river. After your Nepalese breakfast you will continue jungle activities. Take part in jungle walk and immerse yourselves in the slow pace of the jungle, see the protected one horned rhino and if lucky the Royal Bengal Tiger. Seeing an elephant trundle through town is a normal thing. Culture show in the evening. Dinner and overnight at your lodge.

Day 8: Chitwan National Park. Exploring Responsible Tourism.
Breakfast will be served where you stay. Today you will learn about responsible tourism initiatives from the locals. You will visit the Elephant dung Paper making project which will give the locals confidence as well as promote this very important ecological drive of making hand made paper from Elephant dung! Other community initiatives you will visit are the local library, a biogas village, Tharu Village handicraft centre and other village initiatives in and around Chitwan National Park. Dinner and overnight at your lodge.

Day 9: Return back to Kathmandu.
After breakfast you will drive back to Kathmandu. Here you will have time on your own to explore the city. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 10: Kathmandu.
Enjoy your breakfast at your hotel before a short walk to socialtours office. Here you will have a briefing about your experience the past few days. Rest of the day at your own leisure. Overnight at your hotel.

Day 11: Responsible Shopping Day.
After breakfast you will visit some local handicraft artists where you will get an insight in their work and also buy from them directly. After the visit you will stop at a fairtrade store where you have more oportunities to buy your presents and souvenirs. After some rest debriefing session about the trip and responsible tourism with socialtours. Contribute with your views and suggestions to make the trip better and even more responsible! The trip ends with a grand dinner at a restaurant in Kathmandu which boasts the signatures of all the Everest summiteers so far! Overnight at your hotel.

Day 12: Departure.
Enjoy your breakfast at your hotel. Free day till departure. We hope you have had some memorable days in Nepal and learned a lot about responsible tourism in the field. We advise you to spend more time in Nepal and see our suggestions below.


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Adventure Extensions:
Trekking: easy two days trekking in mid / low hills, 3-7 days moderate trekking, 7-14 days, moderate to difficult trekking, or above 14 days strenuous trekking.
Mountain Biking: 1-7 days biking around the valley to 19 days Lhasa to Kathmandu 1000 km rides
Rafting: 1-8 days on the river in rivers of different grades. Time of the year will make a difference in these trips
Paragliding: Tandem paragliding with the backdrop of 8000 meter peaks. Need to go to Pokhara
Bungy Jumping: A jump or swing over a gorge 170 meters high from a suspension bridge. Needs an overnight trip.
Canyoning: One or two day canyoning trips

responsible tourism benefits

Your learning experience in responsible tourism:
Throughout the trip you will learn about responsible travel efforts and how and why socialtours do what they do. Some of your learning experiences include heritage trips in Kathmandu, visiting seven world heritage sites, as you get struck by the melting pot of cultures that is Kathmandu Valley. In Chitwan visit a local community project, including a paper making project, which looks pretty normal, except they are making paper out of elephant dung. Lean about the projects and its initiative as you go around followed by local experts.

Responsible tourism benefits:
Travel through this company makes a direct impact in the economy of Nepal. All trips are tailor made with the purpose of promoting and preserving Nepal's rich cultural and ecological diversity. Every trip is organised striving to exceed travellers expectations, whilst minimising the impact of the environment and maximising the contribution to the local economy. Being in the leading position in the responsible tourism movement in Nepal responsible tourism is at the heart of their operation. Read more about the benefits of responsible tourism in local communities at the end of the itinerary.

Responsibility audit:
Socialtours have in place and are constantly modifying an internal audit mechanism that gauges our work in responsibility, and works towards improvements on a constant basis.

On the Trek:
Socialtours only run small group/private treks staying in homestays and family-owned teahouses to ensure maximum contribution to the local economy. They use a core group of guides who are trained in responsible tourism practices and principles. Throughout the trek the guides encourage their travellers to make decisions that will minimise their impact on the environment and maximise their contribution to the local economy.

Guides & Porters:
Where possible socialtours hire guides and porters from the local area that the trek is operating in. They encourage all of their travellers to hire porters. Giving local people employment is a great way of directing money straight back into the local economy. Their porters are not allowed to carry more that 20kg. This is well below the national recommendation of 30kg. Each guide is paid up front and is required to take a signed receipt for each porter used to ensure the correct wage has been paid.

At the Office:
Socialtours take their responsibility towards looking after the environment very seriously and as a company they try to run their offices in as environmentally friendly manner as possible. Year on year they work towards reducing their energy consumption and waste production. their office is totally furnished in locally made furniture and handicrafts.

All staff members are local Nepalese and from a range of ethnic backgrounds. They do not discriminate on gender or age. 10% of profits are budgeted for staff development and welfare.

Philanthropy:
Socialtours take their impact on the local community very seriously. Almost all personnel are involved in some form of social/charitable work. Time and funding are given to allow them to support these ventures up to 10% of the company's profits. On top of this 10% of the company's profits also goes directly into employee benefits.

Ethical Travel Portal

Ethical Travel Portal, Norway are marketing partners for this trip.

Ethical Travel Portal was established to meet the growing demand for in-depth knowledge in the field of sustainable and responsible tourism. Passionate about responsible travel, we realized that the best way to close that gap was to bring travellers to the destinations and learn from the local experts.

This unique concept provides a learning experience in responsible travel to various destinations. The trips are tailor made in cooperation with our local partners who are specialists in their communities. They use tourism as a tool to 'create better places for people to live in and visit'. Travellers get an insight on how they have successfully created positive impact in the local community and the surrounding environment.

Our trips focus on giving the traveler a deeper understanding about responsible tourism and ethical issues. Travelers are encouraged to use the achieved knowledge in their future jobs, travels and daily life. Or simply spread the message about responsible tourism and how to be a responsibe tourist. Our destinations and partners are handpicked by Ethical Travel Portal. We are convinced that our travelers will benefit from the trips thanks to our and our partners’ knowledge of each destination.

Linda Veraasdal,
Founder and Director
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Tridevi Marg,Thamel, Kathmandu | Tel: +977 1 4412 508, +977 9801 1234 01 (available 24/7) | e-mail: info@socialtours.com

(open: 10:00 - 17:00 Mon - Fri) At TriDevi Marg, opposite of the Himalayan Bank, you will see a small lane on the left of the SALEWA Store. We're at the end of the lane.