ESSENCE OF NEPAL
with Soña Hernandez
EXPERIENCE the real Nepal
Breathtaking landscapes, ancient cultures and warmth of the local people are part of what makes Nepal so special.
EXPLORE diverse landscapes
Journey from the bustling city of Kathmandu to the jungles and grasslands of Chitwan National Park. Hike through Himalayan valleys, forests and rice terraces to ancient temples and waterfalls.
CONNECT with local people
Participate in day-to-day life in a traditional Tharu village and connect with locals while supporting projects that empower Nepali women and their communities.
our original route
December 9-21, 2017
13 days / 12 nights
Day 1: Kathmandu Arrival Day (Dec 9th)
★ Free time to explore
★ Welcome meeting
★ Dinner on the town
Welcome to Nepal with diverse landscapes that stretch from the Himalayas to lush river valleys and barren plateaus. Steeped in nearly 2000 years of history, Kathmandu is an intoxicating mix of ancient cultures, contemporary living and a tourist mecca. During the day there are no planned activities so check into our boutique hotel and enjoy free time to explore the city. Evening welcome meeting followed by dinner.
Day 2-5: Chitwan
★ Wildlife encounters
★ Cultural connections with a Tharu village
★ Yoga and meditation with Soña Hernandez
★ 4 nights at a locally-owned eco-lodge that supports community-based tourism and sustainable development projects
We’ll journey from the bustling city of Kathmandu to the jungles and grasslands Chitwan. Our eco-lodge is nestled at the edge of Chitwan National Park famous for its wildlife including rhinos, elephants and Bengal tigers. We’ll have up-close encounters with elephants with free time for optional excursions like jungle safaris to see rhinos in the wild and travelling by dug out canoes for early morning bird watching.
We’ll immerse ourselves in traditional Tharu culture by spending time in the nearby village. There will be opportunities to connect with local people by participating in their daily activities and learning to cook traditional meals.
Enjoy free time to ride a bicycle through the countryside, get a Henna tattoo, or treat yourself to a relaxing Ayurvedic massage.
Yoga & Meditation
Our days will be interspersed with yoga teachings and meditations with Soña as she guides us on a journey into our own true essence. She’ll share her knowledge of the transformative power of yoga and the benefits of a holistic lifestyle.
Day 6-10: Village to Village Trek
★ 5-day low attitude trek
★ Friendly village homestays
On Day 6, we travel to Pokhara, a town nestled between a picturesque lake and majestic white peaks of the Himalayas in the distance. This popular town is our gateway to the Himalayas.
Next we embark on a 5-day low altitude trek that will take us through diverse landscapes with spectacular mountain views. We’ll hike through forests, across rice terraces, visit ancient temples and an underground waterfall.
This is a relatively easy trek at low altitude for all fitness levels. We’ll hike an average of 4-5 hours per day at 820 -1515 meters (2690 – 4970 feet). On Day 10 we return to Pokhara.
Day 11: Pokhara
★ Free day to relax, rejuvenate, shop and explore.
Spend your day strolling through the colourful street market, drink chai at a cafe, paddle a boat to the middle of the lake, hike through the forest to the World Peace Pagoda lookout, treat yourself to massage or go paragliding!
Day 12 & 13 (Dec 21): Kathmandu
★ Fly to Kathmandu
★ Free time to shop and explore
Today we fly to Kathmandu. Free time for last minute shopping and exploring the city markets and streets, followed by dinner and our last night on the town.
On Day 13 there are no planned activities and you are free to depart at any time. Bon voyage!
tap into your essence
Join Soña Hernadez as she guides us on a beautiful journey into the true essence of ourselves.
Soña is a Conscious Entrepreneur, Yoga Instructor, Certified Holistic Practitioner, Reiki Master, music and dance enthusiast, and Artist. Her love for yoga comes from her own deep personal transformation. She devotes her life to sharing the wisdom of self-healing with others, believing fully that we all have the deep rooted capacity to take charge of our destiny, heal ourselves and invoke lasting personal transformation in our lives.
Trained in Kripalu based philosophy, Soña’s teaching conveys the depth of her experience and lifelong dedication as a student of holistic health and yoga. Her style reflects the teachings of her sages Bhava Ram, Anne Mascelli, Laveta Piemme, Jennifer Yost, Eric Schiffmann, Donna Farhi, Desiree Rumbaugh, Lauren Walker, Max Strom, and many others.
Soña approaches life with compassion for all, creatively sharing her knowledge to inspire and awaken students to the transformative power of yoga and a holistic lifestyle.
meals & accommodation
Eco-Lodge in Chitwan
We’ll stay at an eco-lodge located at the edge of Chitwan National Park. Each room is decorated in authentic Tharu style with comfortable beds, ceiling fans, and a balcony or veranda. Enjoy panoramic views from the open-air terraces and our yoga and meditation platform.
We’ll eat healthy organic food with ingredients sourced locally and from the gardens, both Nepali and western style dishes.
Our lodge supports small local businesses and development projects with proceeds of our stay going towards community-based tourism, women’s skills development, fair-trade, micro-finance, health and education projects.
On our village-to-village trek we’ll stay with local families that welcome us into their hearts and homes in an area untouched by mass tourism. Homemade food is authentic and cultivated from their gardens.
Accommodations are simple. Twin-share rooms with shared bathrooms.
These home stays give us an opportunity to support local people and experience the lifestyle of Gurung and Magar ethnic groups which have gone unchanged for centuries.
Kathmandu & Pokhara
12 nights of double-occupancy accommodations are included in the cost of the tour. If you wish to upgrade to private, single occupancy accommodation, please inquire for cost. Single occupancy rooms are not available for the trek.
Extra nights of accommodation at our hotel in Kathmandu are available upon request if you wish to extend your stay before or after the tour.
Nepalese food is a hybrid of Tibetan, Indian and Thai cuisine.
A popular dish is Dal-Bhat which is eaten throughout the country. Dal is a soup made of lentils and spices served over bhat, a grain which is usually rice, accompanied with small dishes of vegetable curries, condiments and chutneys.
Momos are Tibetan style dumplings which are also one of the most popular dishes in Nepal, usually filled with chicken, meat or vegetables.
European influence has brought baked goods, bread, cheese, pastries and pizza which originally catered to tourists but are now popular with locals too.
★ Meals: 12 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
★ Accommodation: Double-occupancy (12 nights)
★ Domestic flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu
★ Transportation: Local buses, private vehicles, domestic flight
★ Trekking Guide and Assistants
★ Yoga and meditation instructor Soña Hernandez
★ 5-day village-to-village trek
★ 3-day yoga, wildlife and cultural retreat
★ Encounters with elephants
★ Cooking class with Nepali women
What’s Not Included
★ International Airfare
★ For meals not included – budget $250USD
★ Taxis from Kathmandu airport to hotel on arrival and departure days
Step back in time on a journey that connects us with local people, ancient cultures, spectacular wildlife & majestic mountain views with yoga & meditation woven throughout.
Essence of Nepal
Dec 9-21, 2017
In partnership with Canada’s premier lifelong learning institute.
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