Are you looking for an insider’s adventure travel guide for the best outdoor activities in Pokhara, Nepal?
As part of our Adventure City Guide series, Lisa from We Said Go Travel shares with you her expert insider tips on the top adventure and outdoor activities to do in Pokhara; including how to get there and costs.
Why visit Pokhara for adventure?
When most people think about Nepal, their first thought is of climbing Mount Everest. While this high altitude mountain trekking has been a main draw for hundreds of years, after two months there, Pokhara is my top choice for adventure in Nepal. Set on a large lake, the town is small, accessible and filled with opportunities.
Adventure Activities to do in Pokhara
Travel Tips: Walk
Cost: Free (if you walk through the jungle without a guide, or take a boat for 300Rp)
At Fewa taal (Fewa Lake), the second largest lake in Nepal, you can rent a boat to paddle around or take the service to the other side to climb up to the Peace Pagoda. We choose to walk through the jungle and ignored the touts offering us their guiding service. Two soldiers in uniform called out to us to stop.
They said it was not safe for us to walk through the jungle so they would accompany us to the Peace Pagoda. It does say in the Lonely Planet that there have been a few serious incidents with solo travelers on this walk. They were enjoyable company and taught us many words in Nepali. The view from the top is spectacular and we enjoyed our day. We came back by stairs and boat (300Rp or $3.50usd).
Sunrise at Sarangkot
Travel Tips: Walk up the hill and stay overnight
Cost: Free if you walk up and back and do not go to viewing platform. Staying overnight ranges from 900Rp and up.
For Sunrise at Sarangkot, we left Pokhara by foot the day before. The four-hour uphill climb was mainly on a stone staircase and takes you from the Lake at 884m to the view point at 1590m. We were preparing for our upcoming treks and it was a perfect day hike. You can also go by taxi or motorbike.
Staying at Sherpa Resort (www.sherparesort.com) made more sense to me as it had a mountain view, nearly all the other lodges had a view of the lake. This lodge has great wifi, restaurant, rooftop views and you can see sunrise over the Himalayas without going to the viewing platform, which can get crowded and has asmall entry fee. From Sarangkot, the sunrises over views of Annapurna South and Machhapuchhare (Fish Tail) if there are no clouds. We had a clear sky and memorable vistas.
I highly recommend it!
Travel Tips: Go now. We heard that within five years you will no longer be able to paraglide in Pohkara.
Cost: 20 minute (80Euros) and 45 minute (120Euros) para-gliding experience options
Website: Blue Sky Paragliding www.paragliding-nepal.com
Do you want to glide through the air with a backdrop of the Himalayas? This is the place and now is the time. There are seventeen paragliding outfits to choose from and five years left to enjoy it. As Max, a trained paragliding instructor from Italy, explained to us, a new international airport is slated for the area. Once it is operational, the paragliding will not be allowed in the area above Pohkara at Sarangkot.
There are 20 minute (80Euros) and 45 minute (120Euros) para-gliding experience options as well as pilot courses, multiday paratrekking and parahawking, where a hawk eats out of your gloved hand while you soar through the sky.
Best time of the year to visit Pokhara for adventure?
Travel in Nepal is busiest from September-October, with the best weather. During our stay from early February to mid-April, the early part was cold and rainy, March or April would be the best time to visit.
Finally, the reason I love Pokhara for adventure is because…
of the mountains. At first, I was afraid to go to Nepal as I did not think I would be able to trek. After eight days trekking outside of Pokhara at Poon Hill, I can say I am a good trekker even surviving a late Winter rain which gave us one day in snow and ice in the Tadapani pass to Ghandruk. We took the public bus from Pohkara to Nayapul (42 kilometers) to start our adventure and had no guide or porter.
Namaste Yeti Trekking Shop run by Kamal and Sushita rented us all our gear and sold us fleeces to keep us warm. Pricing in Pokhara unlike Kathmandu is standardized by the TESA (Trekking Equipment Shop Association). A microfleece set is 850Rp (83 rp to $1usd), and it is 100Rp/per day for down jacket. 80Rp/day for sleeping bag, 60Rp/day for trekking poles. Trekking permits for two people costs nearly $100usd and there are several check points. Overall we had good food and accomodation and the trail was easy to follow.
Get involved in Pokhara: I highly recommend eating at Everest Momo which started serving in December 2012. Their tagline says: “The Momo Addiction starts here!” I asked for more information from Prem, he told me, “This PEP Nepal Youth empowerment income source generating program is supported by Purna Yoga and Treks and Team 5 Nepal who opened a Momo house so that trekking porters have a job in the off season and can make some money.” Order vegetarian (45rp), cheese (75rp), Buff(50rp) or chicken (70rp) momo but they also have chow mein and delivery service. Personally I love the cheese momo, they reminded me of cheese tortellini. The food tastes better on their environmentally friendly leaf plates made from the ancient Nepalese technology “Tapari.”
Lisa Niver Rajna is a passionate writer, speaker and global citizen who has traveled to over one hundred countries and six continents. She and her husband, George, co-authors of Traveling in Sin, are spending a sabbatical year in Asia, follow their journey at We Said Go Travel.
Have you visited Pokhara or Nepal before? What are your favourite Outdoor Activities in Pokhara?