Tag Archives: Nepal

6 Best Long Hiking Trails Around The World

The lofty heights of mountains call onto our inner wanderer. We think, what ways lead the wind through that green forest, or what awaits at the top of that snow-capped mountain?

But we cannot sit and wait for getting our answers, can we? We need to pack up and get on our feet!

Below are 6 of the best hiking trails (around the world) that must make it to your bucket list.

KILIMANJARO

It is not a joke to mention Africa’s highest mountain in the top of the list. This 35 miles long hiking trail will lead you to the peak of Kilimanjaro.

Related: Kilimanjaro Travel Guide

With a tour guide, you can complete the hike in 7- 10 days. But if you want to do it by yourself, then you need careful planning. There are alternative routes which will take you to the destination faster.

Then Viola! You see the starry sky unfolding before you.

Read Next: How to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro: Rules of Success

EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK

We included this in our list because it involves the highest mountain in the world. You will be filled with awe once you just have a glimpse of the tip. A 3-weeks trip will do, to make you climb the heights.

Related: Trekking in Nepal: The Complete Guide

You can fly to Nepal during September to November. During this time the cold doesn’t hit in full force so that you can enjoy your cultural as well as historical hike.

GRAND CANYON

Grand Canyon is one of the largest geographical features of the surface of the Earth. You can know the power of its sheer magnificence by the views it grants you.

Hiking from rim to rim will just take a week. But in that time, this 44 miles long hiking trail will offer you some of the best sceneries (that you can ever get on a long hike).

APPALACHIAN TRAIL

A 2180-miles of beauty and mountains is an adventure you will not want to miss. But hiking from Georgia to Maine is not for beginners with limited energy. You should undertake this task, if and only if you are passionate about it.

Completing this journey takes around three to six months depending on your fitness level and pace.

If you do not have that kind of time to dedicate, then you can do the Appalachian trail in smaller sections. There are several shorter and interesting trails within the Appalachian that will equally thrill your senses.

KUNGSLEDEN

When we said about the snow-topped mountains we did not joke. Sweden abounds in the frozen landscape; you can have a look at the beauteous landscape.

It is 275-miles long hike. Hence it will neither take much of your time nor energy. From icy glaciers to alpine vegetation, you will see everything that makes Sweden the dream destination of many.

It does not end here; you will get to see Mount Kebnekaise (the highest peak in the country).

TONQUIN VALLEY

Those looking for short trails are in luck. This Canadian trail in Alberta became viral when Ansel Adams posted photos of it online. From then on, it is on the bucket list of many.

Hiking the Valley takes a week. But you will have to struggle a bit to reach this place. Yes, its accessibility might not be up to the mark, but the scenic charms it exhibits will leave you spellbound.

Trekking in Nepal: A Bucket List Experience

If you are a serious wanderluster, chances are Nepal is high on your travel bucket list. With eight of the top ten highest summits in the world and some of the most beautiful landscapes which are only reachable on foot, trekking in Nepal is one of the unique experiences of South Asia.

Trekking is the most popular tourist activity in Nepal and travelers have a lot of options to choose from on the streets of Kathmandu and Pokhara (the trekking hub).

Kathmandu valley, city view

The huge variety of options allows for people of many ages and capabilities to attempt a trek in the country.

Treks can be anywhere from just a day long to 20 days long. There are easy treks and difficult alpine climbing. There are treks where you’ll have porters and guides and then there are options where you just need a guide to come with you.

Despite what many may perceive, trekking in Nepal is not necessarily wandering alone through an uncharted wilderness.

Trekking through the countryside 

As they walk along the well-marked trekking paths, travelers will often discover quite the opposite; hundreds of locals passing through each day as they haul food, water, and other odd necessities back to their tiny villages, along with dozens of fellow trekkers.

The regularly-spaced villages and tea-houses allow trekkers good opportunities to rest and recover, either for a few minutes or the night.

The strong culture and unreserved friendliness of the Nepalese people can also be witnessed as one traverses the hill tracks.

Best Time for Trekking in Nepal

The best seasons for trekking are the dry and warm seasons, March-June and September-November. During these times, the temperature is bearable and skies are usually clear, although the skies are foggier and the rain begins in May-June.

Note: It is possible to trek out of season, but expect lots of rain and leeches during the summer monsoon season and severe cold and closed passes during the winter months.

Experience and Fitness Level

Trekking independently

As we have mentioned above, there are treks suitable for a wide range of experience and physical fitness.

An easy trek with Nepali support (guide and porter) and tea-house accommodation is quite attainable for anyone who is “reasonably fit”.

Note: Reasonable fitness here means you can walk uphill for a few hours each day. Your backpack is the only thing you’ll carry yourself.

Longer treks, crossing high passes and into remote regions demand a higher degree of endurance. For summiting a mountain taller than 5000m, it is desirable to have some alpine climbing experience (because you may encounter snow and hard ice).

What Supplies to Carry

While trekking in Nepal, your needs will be simple. It is, therefore, best to carry only what you absolutely need and leave the rest behind.

View from Pokhara

Enjoy the scenery and savor the moment. Leave books, gadgets, toys, and fancy cameras. They all make your bag heavy. (If anything, perhaps carry a dairy and a pen).

You can buy or rent everything you need in the Thamel neighborhood of Kathmandu or in Pokhara.

Note: When it comes to shows it is best to use your own footwear that is already broken in. Because you will be walking hundreds of kilometers and a new or misfitting shoe can be quite painful on your feet.

The main essentials to bring are sturdy and comfortable hiking boots, a sleeping bag (depending on your accommodation), a daypack, a few changes of clothes for the varying temperatures, fleeces & down jackets, a water filter & bottle/cup and some essential medicines.

For cold weather, hiking pants, thermals, gloves, neck warmer or scarf, beanie, a warm inner jacket and a windproof and waterproof outer jacket are essential. For the more difficult treks involving mountaineering, crampons and ice axes may be required.

Note: Always carry a map and compass whenever you venture into the wilderness (anywhere in the world).

Other items to bring include a hiking stick or two, waterproof case, fabric bandages such as moleskin, a headlamp, water purification supplies, altitude sickness and other medication, a lightweight camera, and binoculars.

Note: On the popular trekking routes, everyday supplies, such as toilet paper, soap, chocolate bars, and even basic hiking supplies can be purchased along the way, though prices rise dramatically as you go higher in elevation. Try to stock up lower down and buy locally-produced products such as fruit, and biscuits.

You may see several Buddhist statues on your trek

Go Guided vs. Independent?

This is more of common sense or a subjective question than a technical one.

Whether to join an organized group, trek unguided with other independent travelers or to hire your own guide and/or porter is a personal decision based on the difficulty of the trek, your budget, capabilities, and prior experiences.

Note: Guided treks must be legally organized through TAAN registered trekking agencies in Kathmandu and Pokhara. No one else — no hotel, no street broker, no nice person you just met, not even a trekking guide — is legally authorized to organize a trek.

Going Guided

During the main seasons, there are many group treks, and it is generally easy to find a group doing the trek of your choice. Group treks can be the both small or mid-sized. You can shop around for one that fits your needs.

On a guided group trek, all the necessary trekking gear, food, fuel, and other goods are carried by the porters. The cook will prepare all the meals during the camping trek. Trekkers carry only a daypack, as required.

At night, tents for dining, sleeping and washing are provided and set up. Mattresses, sleeping bags, tables, and seating are arranged by staff. For large group treks, a chief guide is employed to pre-arrange and then to oversee the entire program.

A Sherpa (Assistant Guide) is also hired to lead the staff and assist the Sirdar (Chief guide). All land transportation, local permits, taxes, porter insurance, port dues, and entrance fees to National Parks or sites that are part of the trip are arranged by the agency.

Note: When signing up with an agency, you should speak with several and make detailed inquiries about the differences in service besides just the base cost. Having someone along who is experienced, professional, attentive, and can speak your language could be very important.

Annapurna Trail, Nepal

Tipping in Nepal

If you are employing the services of guides and porters, it is customary to present a tip to the head guide at the end of the trip. This will be divided up between the various people employed in your group.

Note: Like most tips, the amount will vary depending on the quality of services provided, but it could be between 5% and 10% of the total cost of your trek.

Going Independent

Independent trekking is quite easy in the main trekking areas. You can also team up with an experienced local person.

If hiring staff independently and without an agency, be mindful of your responsibilities to ensure that your guide is suitably equipped for the job and stays safe.

Note: Know that foreigners on a tourist visa are not legally allowed to hire any staff directly.

Donkeys are often used to haul supplies

Get the Required Permits

Police checkpoints are numerous and unavoidable and park officers can check your permits at any time, with a fine of double the normal cost if you are caught without the proper permits.

Note: Do not try to bribe officers or police personnel; it might get you in more trouble than you think. You must purchase conservation or national park entry and TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) card.

TIMS card

The Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card is required for several treks in Nepal.

There are two types of TIMS cards:

  • Green (independent trekkers) – more expensive
  • Blue (trekkers in a guided tour) – less expensive

Individual TIMS (green cards) are obtainable only from Nepal Tourism Board offices in Kathmandu and Pokhara and from the Trekking Agents Association of Nepal office.

Note: Make sure that you bring the required insurance documentation, a photocopy of your passport, and passport-sized photographs when applying.

Treks in Annapurna, Khumbu, & Langtang

Treks in these areas only require national park entry tickets (prices vary per park) and a TIMS card, but do not require “special permits”.

Treks in Restricted Areas

Restricted areas such as Dolpo, Mustang, Manaslu, and Kanchenjunga require “trekking permits” (but not the TIMS card), which are obtainable only through trekking agents.

Trekking Mountain Peaks

There are 33 mountain peaks in Nepal of 5,650-6,500 m height classified as trekking peaks. Trekking Peaks require a qualified “climbing guide”, permits and deposits to cover camp waste disposal.

Climbing permits for these peaks can cost anywhere from $350 USD for one to four members to $500 USD.

Trekking Tips & Good Habits

  • Trek legally: If you trek independently, you are not allowed to take any staff by law. For this, you need a trekking agency authorized to employ staff for foreign trekkers. Do not hire staff or “independent guides” through hotels, unless they have a trekking agent license or offer this service through an affiliated trekking agent.
  • Please make sure you take all of your trash, including bottles and cans from goods consumed in restaurants, to the nearest truck-accessible road for the most proper disposal available. You may note pollution and lack of trash management in villages on treks—including trash-clogged rivers and mounds of discarded beer bottles. Nepal is struggling with its rapid development and hasn’t yet figured out how to dispose of its waste. Don’t contribute to the problem any more than necessary!
  • Filter your own water: Plastic water bottle use is increasing around the Himalayas. Try to use locally available water; you can use purification tablets, which are easily available, and most tablets make water drinkable within 30 minutes.
  • After your trek, you can donate your clothes to the porters’ clothing bank, which is managed by the KEEP association. This bank is in the Thamel neighborhood of Kathmandu and provides clothes to the trekking porters and their families.

Top Trekking Itineraries

The Himalayas in Nepal

The Great Himalayan Trail

The Great Himalayan Trail is a 1,700-km trek that connects all the main trekking areas. It is possible to make this trek with a coterie of very good guides, cooks, porters, equipment (including technical gear) and payment of many expensive fees.

The window for completing this trek is exceedingly short as snow closes the high passes for much of the year.

Annapurna Region Treks

Annapurna

The Annapurna Region, north of the middle hills city and the trekking base city of Pokhara, includes Annapurna I, the 10th tallest mountain in the world at 8,091 m above sea level, as well as thirteen additional peaks over 7,000 m and 16 more peaks over 6,000 m.

All of these treks offer amazing views of this mountain range.

  • Annapurna Circuit (18-21 days) – circling the Annapurna Mountains
  • Annapurna Sanctuary (14 days) – an oval-shaped plateau 40 km north of Pokhara, at 4,000 m above sea level. Trek through the sanctuary to Annapurna Base Camp.
  • Annapurna Base Camp (7-10 days) – can be reached via various routes.
  • Poon Hill (3-5 days), at 3,210 m above sea level, northwest of Pokhara, is the most famous viewpoint in Western Nepal.
  • Jomsom Muktinath Trek (5-10 days) – treks to Jomson, a village on the other side of the Annapurna mountains that can also be reached by air, and Ghorepani, a village that is 2,750 m above sea level. This area is always very windy.
  • The Royal Trek (3-4 days) – an easy trek with excellent views of the mountains and local villages. The trek was made famous by Prince Charles.
  • Mardi Himal (5,587 m) (4-7 days) – a trek that offers amazing views at the summit of Mardi Himal.
  • Khopra/Khayer Lake Trek (7-14 days) – a sacred lake at 4,500 m asl, reachable via a moderate/strenuous hike.
  • Sikles Trek (4-7 days) – a camping and homestay-based trek through the villages and the Gurung settlement of Siklis.
  • Panchase Trek (3-5 days) – a popular easier trek with great views.
  • Kande to Australian Camp to Pothana to Dhampus to Phedi, or reverse (3-4 days) – an easy trek for those that do not want to try the more challenging treks. Spend a night in each location to enjoy the sunrise and the sunset.
  • Gurung Heritage Trek (5-7 days) – Hike through the villages of the Gurung ethnic group, known for being humble with a great sense of humor.
  • Upper Mustang Trek (12-16 days) – the former Kingdom of Lo that has a culture very similar to Tibet, has amazing Trans-Himalayan scenery although it is a difficult trek because of high altitude, exposed terrain, and continual strong winds. This trek requires a restricted area permit of US$500 per 10 days, making it less favorable for budget travelers.
  • Naar-Phu Valley Trek (12-15 days) – a hidden Tibetan valley just north of the Annapurna Circuit.
  • Dolpa Trek (15-21 days) – Upper Dolpa is the remote Land of the Bon, almost as Tibetan as Nepali. Lower Dolpa is more accessible and can be reached by plane.
  • Manaslu Trek (14-21 days) – Manaslu is the 8th highest mountain in the world at 8,156 m above sea level. Hike unspoiled trails through remote villages and over the Larke pass at 5,135 m to circuit the mountain. You are required to have special permits and the services of a guide.

A Sherpa village on the way

Kathmandu Valley Region

  • Nagarkot (2 days) – offers a great spot for watching surrounding mountain ranges at sunrise or sunset from atop the hill.
  • The Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail (5 days), includes treks to Nagarkot and Dhulikhel
  • Shivapuri Hiking Trek (5 days) displays the best of Nepal’s rural culture, biodiversity and stunning Himalayan views. Trekking routes to Nagarkot, Gosainkunda, Helambu and the Langtang National Park (see Langtang region).
  • Indigenous Peoples Trail – a cultural delight with marvelous viewpoints through the Ramechhap district, just east of Kathmandu

Langtang region

  • Helambu & Gosainkunda Trek – a short taxi ride from Thamel to the roadhead at Shivapuri leads to a trail through the middle-hills countryside of Helambu, either circuit around and return to Kathmandu or cross the pass to the sacred Gosainkunda lake (4,380 m), descend and then hike up the Langtang valley
  • Langtang Valley Trek – start in Shyaphru Besi (bus from Kathmandu) and hike up the Langtang valley beneath stunning mountains that form the border with Tibet. Reach Kyanjin Gompa (3,830 m), where you can decide to continue further, climb the peaks just above the village, or descend back.
  • Tamang Heritage Trail (5-7 days) – cultural trek to meet the Tamang people, as well as enjoying great scenery in the Langtang Himalayas.

Mount Everest region

Gokyo Lake, Mount Everest, Nepal

  • Everest Base Camp Trek and the ascent of Kalar Patar – Visit the Buddhist Tengboche monastery for the Mani Rimdu festival in November. Explore the Gokyo valley with its sacred lakes and stupendous views of four 8000-m peaks. Or a circuit of the region crossing the high passes or Cho La and Renjo La.

Namche bazaar sherpa village

  • Khumbu – Take the bus to Jiri or fly to Lukla then hike up to Namche Bazar, capital of the Sherpa lands at the foot of Everest.
  • Island Peak Trek (trekking peak) – takes in some of the most spectacular scenery in the Himalayas.
  • Mera Peak (trekking peak) – During the ascent of Mera Peak (6461 m), enjoy panoramic views of Mt. Everest (8,848 m), Cho-Oyu (8,201 m), Lhotse (8,516 m), Makalu (8,463 m), Kangchenjunga (8,586 m), Nuptse (7,855 m), and Chamlang (7,319 m).
  • Makalu Barun is the 5th highest mountain in the world. This trek gives the opportunity to see rhododendrons, orchids, snow leopards, red panda, musk deer, wild boar, wild yak, and Himalayan Thar.
  • Numbur Cheese Circuit (12-14 days)

Mount Everest Base Camp Trek

Chitwan Region

Chitwan National Park

  • Chitwan Chepang Hills Trail (from the Trishuli River to the Terai)

Far Eastern Nepal

  • Milke Daada Ridge (7 days) – Spectacular views at 3,500 m asl and a visit to the bazaar town of Chainpu.
  • Kanchenjunga (21 – 28 days) – The 3rd highest mountain in the world. It is in far-eastern Nepal on the border with Sikkim in India. Peak 5950 is a more doable trek along this mountain.

Mount Kanchenjunga

Far Western Nepal

  • Rara National Park (8 days) – a remote trek that is hard to get to. The mountain views are not as nice as some of the other treks, but the highlight of this trek is a view of Nepal’s largest lake
  • Humla and Mount Kailash (18 days) – a trek that includes entrance into Tibet.
  • Api and Saipal Himal (16 days) – a remote off the beaten track trek to the mountains of far-western Nepal
  • Khaptad National Park (7-10 days) – a remote trek to Khaptad National Park that stretches over four districts of Province No.7 namely, Bajhang, Bajura, Achham and Doti.

Hiking in the Himalayas

Where to Sleep

Tea houses (lodges) at settlements at various points on the trek offer dorm room accommodation and simple basic meals reflective of what the local people in the area eat.

Although many tea houses and hotels in the hills and mountains are reasonably comfortable, some may be dirty and rather basic.

Note: Bedrooms and dorm rooms will not be heated. Note that linens are not provided by the lodges, and nights can get very cold, so it makes sense to bring a sleeping bag even for teahouse treks.

A Himalayan village in Nepal

Camping can be conducted almost anywhere in the country. Camping treks can be fully organized and supported by a team of guides, cooks, and porters to accompany you.

Homestays in local villages can also be organized by your guide.

Safety Tips

Always carry a head torch or lamp, water, some food, and a mobile phone with helicopter evacuation number in case of emergencies.

Altitude sickness

Please read up extensively on Altitude sickness. Click the link to refer our page on acute mountain sickness (AMS). Be familiar with the symptoms and do not ignore them. Be sure to keep to a conservative ascent schedule and drink plenty of fluids.

If you or anyone in your party begins to experience symptoms of AMS, do not ascend any further, and if they do not improve, then descend to a lower altitude.

Note: Carry some Diamox (Acetazolamide) pills, which can be bought at local pharmacies in Nepal. Diamox forces the kidneys to excrete bicarbonate in the urine, therefore making the blood more acidic, which stimulates breathing, increasing the amount of oxygen in the blood. Diamox is not an immediate fix for acute mountain sickness; rather it speeds up part of the acclimatization process which in turn helps to relieve symptoms.

Drink More Water

One thing that is often overlooked is that your body requires large amounts of water at altitude to counteract sickness so be sure to drink more than you are used to.

Water Contamination

Buy antibiotics for stomach infections at a local pharmacy when in Kathmandu or Pokhara. Getting a med for bacterial and amoebic infections is recommended.

For drinking water, the best practice is to treat all water as being contaminated, especially water in the cities.

Please do not buy bottled water on the trek as there are no rubbish disposal systems on the trek. It is both less expensive and better for the environment to treat your own water.

The main two options for trekkers are to use the safe drinking water stations along the trek for a small fee or bring your own water purifiers.

Chlorination and iodine tablets are available in the main cities.

You can also use a filter with a ceramic cartridge or a UV treatment system such as a Steripen which should remove anything 1 micron in size or larger. You might want to combine two of these systems just to make sure you have made the water completely safe.

Note: Use treated water for brushing your teeth.

Get Rescue Insurance

Before the departure check that your travel insurance covers trekking activities and the conditions.

Note: Be aware that “some” insurance companies view even walking in the mountains as “mountaineering” and will not provide coverage. So you may have to shop around.

Most reputable trekking agencies will require proof of rescue insurance before you start on your trek. It would be very costly to pay a helicopter rescue at 5000 meters.

Trekking Solo in Nepal

Make sure you trek with other people—especially on side treks with unclear paths. If a problem occurs, it is much easier to get help if others are nearby.

Note: Many people have gone missing or died on treks.

If you do not have a trekking partner, then look for one in Kathmandu or Pokhara. It is usually easy to find other like-minded people with similar travel plans. But do not trust any strangers blindly. If in doubt, go for a guided tour.

5 Monastery Stays Which Brings Wanderlust In You

The Art of Traveling is not just about exploring new places and chasing after the experiences. Travel accommodation (where you stay) also has a key role in bringing the wanderlust in you.

I am a traveler who looks forward to life-changing experiences rather than luxurious travel. And, this time I ended up in search of some unique ‘monastery stays’ which are open to travelers and allows them to explore age-old traditions and cultures.

Even though monastery stays are not much popular among travelers, it opens a great opportunity for travelers to have a close encounter with the customs and lifestyle of monastery communities who are living isolated from the outer world. It is fascinating, to say the least.

Monastery Stays

Here is the list of five monastery stays from around the world which are open for travelers and that invokes an inner wanderlust in you.

Hemis Monastery, India

Photo by Madhav pal/cc-by-2

Hemis monastery is one of the most famous Buddhist monasteries in the Himalayas on the foothills of Indus valley, located few km away from the popular tourist spot Leh, in North India.

The main attraction of Hemis monastery is the Hemis festival, a cultural celebration of colorful dances and unique rituals of Buddhist monks which is conducted every year in the month of June or July.

Tourists can have a stay at this monastery if informed beforehand and get an insight into the Buddhist culture from the friendly monks.

 

www.artoftravel.store/

 

Read: 30 Best Inspiration Travel Quotes

Kopan Monastery, Nepal

Photo by Dr.blofeld/cc-by-2

Kopan monastery comes second in the list of monastery stays, established in Kathmandu, the downhills of the Himalayas in Nepal.

It provides facilities for travelers to stay in their adobe and be a part of their community as a guest. They also provide meditation courses for travelers who are interested.

Travelers can walk around the monastery to feel the calm and serene ambiance, can meditate in the gardens or meditation halls, visit the prayer wheels and communicate with the monks to know about their customs and rituals.

Read: 30 Awesome Travel Quotes To Inspire Your Wanderlust

Sanctuary of the Madonna Di Pietralba, Italy

The third monastery stays on the list is the Sanctuary of the Madonna Di Pietralba in Italy which is beautifully located between Nova Ponente and Monte San Pietro with an astonishing backdrop of snow-covered Dolomite valleys.

Thousands of pilgrims come to visit here annually to worship the miraculous statue of Lady of Sorrows. Sanctuary of the Madonna Di Pietralba has a history which dates back to 18th century.

Being a tourist you can enjoy the pristine atmosphere of the chapel by immersing in its historical stories; enjoy trekking, golf and mountain bike tours during summer; can visit the religious sites connecting to the sanctuary.

New Norcia Benedictine Community, Australia

Photo by Chris Fithall /CC-by-2

New Norcia Benedictine community is located in the monastic town called New Norcia in Western Australia. This monastery was found by Spanish Benedictine monks in the year 1847.

They welcome tourists to experience their monastic life and to explore the New Norcia town. They conduct day tours for visitors which includes visiting the Abbey church, an old Flour mill which dates back to 1879 and other activities.

There are self-guided tours where one can learn the Benedictine community’s history in the art gallery; experience the 1500-year-old tradition of the community in their private chapel; visit the New Norcia hotel and taste a glass of Abbey wine.

 

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Sisters of Nazareth Convent, Israel

Photo by Tele2001 /CC-by-2

Sisters of Nazareth Convent in Jerusalem, Israel has got interesting historical facts. The convent was built by a group of French nuns who came to Jerusalem in 1881. Later archaeological evidence was discovered in the convent premises, which includes underground rooms, built walls and rooms which dates back to the 1st century AD.

The area where the convent was built was a Jewish burial site in the Roman period. Today this convent runs a school for deaf and blind kids and they also provide accommodation for pilgrims.

Travelers can stay here and experience the peaceful atmosphere and they can visit the Jewish remains after taking an appointment. 

Have you ever thought how life would be for a person who lives in a monastery leading a religious life? What would be there perception about travel?

Travel is about exploring places, exploring the culture and exploring people. If you are a traveler who seeks for unique travel experience, then never miss a chance to stay in a monastery at least once in your travel life.

Related: The Ultimate Travel Bucket List

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Author Bio

Sneha Thomas is a budding travel blogger and a freelance travel writer for hire, who is out on her travel shoes to explore the world after finishing her Pharm.D graduation.

Her writing and marketing skills have helped her quickly land clients. When she isn’t writing you can find her traveling to cultural and offbeat destinations. 

You can learn more about Sneha on her travel blog at Earth’s Tenant and join in her travels at her Instagram stories.

Top 40 Exotic Places To Visit In The World

If you are an adventurous soul in the mood to travel off the beaten path, check out our top 40 exotic places to visit in the world. These 40 unique or unusual places have made it to the top of our adventure travel destinations list.

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Also known as Boka, this marvelous bay attracts numerous travelers with its emerald waters and picturesque mountains.

The shore is spotted with beautiful medieval towns, such as Perast, where you can stop for a meal and interact with locals.

Petra, Jordan

The lost city of Petra, which rises out of the cliff between the Red and the Dead Seas, still holds many secrets.

It has several tombs and carved structures, which spread across its sandy landscape. The big blockbuster “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” was filmed here.

Gozo, Malta

The enchanting Gozo Island is a part of the Maltese archipelago. It is one of the top diving destinations in the Mediterranean region. Gozo also boasts of mystical backwaters, historic forts, and amazing panoramas.

Great Blue Hole, Belize

This submarine sinkhole is present on every diver’s bucket list. Even if you are not a diving enthusiast, it is still worth visiting for a breathtaking view.

Amer Fort, India

Because of its majestic structure and architecture, Amer Fort is a prime example of Mughal and Hindu cultural influences.

The fort is constructed of red sandstone and white marble. It consists of courtyards, palaces, halls, and gardens.

Forest of Knives, Madagascar

Photo by Moq CCSA3.0

The razor sharp vertical rocks provide a truly magnificent view. It is surprising that wildlife can even exist in this place.

You can hike around the bizarre pinnacles of limestones and observe different kinds of birds and lemurs.

Namche, Nepal

This place has no roads, and the only way to get to the Nepalese village is through a series of footpaths. On the way, you can admire the views of Mount Makalu, the world’s fifth-tallest peak.

Pisco Elqui Valley, Chile

Surrounded by fabulous Andean mountains, this village has perfect weather all year round. It is wonderful to camp here and gaze at the stars in the night sky.

Cappadocia, Turkey

This region offers caves, clefts, pinnacles and pointed rock formations, known as “fairy chimneys.” Numerous volcanic eruptions formed a surreal moonscape. This area is Turkey’s most visually striking region.

Con Dao, Vietnam

The Islands of Con Dao offers fascinating hiking and exploring opportunities, as well as empty coastal roads, deserted beaches, and a chance for observing the wildlife.

Con Dao National Park, which protects Vietnam’s most important sea turtle nesting grounds, occupies most of the area.

The Cook Islands

There is a popular opinion that the Cook Islands are the best-kept secret in the Pacific Ocean. The 15 islands boast perfect climate and exotic beauty all-year-round.

Isle of Skye, Scotland

The misty Cuillin Hills offer stunning sceneries, beautiful hikes, and spectacular photo opportunities. From the Isle of Skye, you can enjoy these beautiful rolling hills. 

Mount Rainier, Washington

This is one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes. On a clear day, you can watch the mountain from many points in the area.

However, for a more up-close experience, you can walk through the alpine fields, hike the massive glaciers and see waterfalls cascading around nearly every bend.

Mount Roraima, Venezuela

This place serves as the natural border between Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana. It is a truly extraordinary natural geologic formation. The area inspired Conan Doyle’s “Lost World” and “Avatar.”

Cano Cristales, Colombia

Called the “Liquid Rainbow,” this Colombian wonder is a must-visit place if you travel to South America. It is probably the most beautiful river in the world.

The best time to visit is from July to November. During these months, the river is full of colors: green, blue, black and red.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

It is the world’s largest salt flat, and it is utterly breathtaking, especially after a rain when they create a mirror effect. In the center, the salt is about 10 meters thick.

Socotra, Yemen

Photo by Boris Khvostichenko CCBYSA4.0

This isolated area looks like a set for a sci-fi movie. It hosts around 800 rare species of flora and fauna. About a third of them do not exist anywhere else in the world.

Lake Baikal, Russia

It is the world’s oldest and deepest lake, and it is a paradise for ice-lovers. You can kayak, skate or bike here. The most adventurous travelers even drive or walk on the frozen water.

Giant’s Causeway, Ireland

The result of a 60-million-years-ago volcanic eruption, this place is an important part of Ireland’s natural heritage.

A fascinating feature of this destination is the large polygonal columns of basalt arranged in perfect horizontal sections.

Lake Retba, Senegal

Photo by Arnault CCBYSA2.0

The bizarre pink color of Lake Retba is a real natural phenomenon, which is worth seeing, at least once during a lifetime.

Badab Soort, Iran

Photo by Samaee CCBY3.0

It is a scenic natural wonder, which consists of sedimentary rock and water flowing from two distinct mineral springs.

Sossusvlei, Namibia

This destination is full of picturesque sand dunes, surrounded by clay pans. The most surreal attraction in the region is the Deadvlei, where the dead acacia trees contrast the white shiny salty floor of the pan.

Derweze, Turkmenistan

Photo by Tormod Sandtorv CC-BYSA2.0

Would you like to stand at the “Hell’s Door”? Derweze is a giant illuminated hole, rich in natural gas, in the middle of the Karakum Desert. The crater has existed for over 40 years now, and the flames have been burning ever since. There is no plans to put this fire off.

Icehotel, Jukkasjarvi, Sweden

Are you afraid of the cold weather? Jukkasjarvi lies approximately 124 miles above the Arctic Circle and hosts the Icehotel, though only during the winter months.

The hotel is almost entirely made of ice, including beds. There is also a church, a hall, and a bar, where glasses are carved from ice.

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

This destination offers the most exotic hike in the United States. These unique landforms are the tallest dunes in the country and rise to over 700 feet in height. However, if you hike up to the top, you will get the reward of panoramic views of endless dunes.

Dean’s Blue Hole, Bahamas

The name “blue hole” comes from the bright blue color, which you can see from above the hole. Dean’s Blue Hole is the deepest in the world. Its depth is around 600 feet.

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Maldives

The restaurant is located 16 feet below sea level. The sides and the roof are made of clear glass, which allows guests to observe the sea life, while they dine.

Pamukkale Thermal Pools, Turkey

Multiple natural hot springs cascade down and fill these thermal pools with water. The place is not just great for relaxation, but also offers a breathtaking view. So, don’t forget your camera!

Aleutian Islands, Alaska

The Aleutian Islands are not a destination for beach-lovers and sunbathing enthusiasts. This is a place for exploring nature, and it is a real paradise for adventure lovers!

One of the most remote places in Alaska, these islands boast of abundant wildlife, harsh climate, stormy seas, and active volcanoes. While there are a few settlements on larger islands, you’ll probably still meet more animals than people here.

Arashimaya Bamboo Forest, Japan

This place is just filled with famous tombs and temples. Close to the “Moon Crossing Bridge,” the forest is definitely worth exploring.

North Tanzania

Tanzania is one of the best places to go on a safari. It is also home to Mount Kilimanjaro. Make sure to visit the Tarangire National Park, one of the last undiscovered jewels of Africa.

Chernobyl, Ukraine

There are very few people in the world who haven’t heard of this place. Now abandoned, the city of Pripyat once housed thousands of families. The families of the plant workers were forced to leave after the 1986 disaster.

There are numerous striking photos of the ghost town on the Internet. Besides the crumbling houses and rusty machinery, there is a new side of the city.

In 30 years, Pripyat has been overtaken by lush greenery and transformed into a forest. The area is open for tours nowadays, though only with authorized guides. It is almost entirely radiation-safe.

Castle Stalker, Scotland

Castle Stalker is one of the most intriguing tourist spots in Scotland. The strange mountainous setting and historical design make the destination very attractive to travelers.

Today, Castle Stalker remains under private ownership, but visitors can visit during the summer season. Even though it may be difficult to get to the island, the area is definitely worth visiting.

Road to Tusheti, Georgia

Tusheti is a region in northeast Georgia, located at 5,413-14,740 ft above sea level. Such altitudes gave rise to captivating scenery. Because Tusheti is on the northern slopes of the Caucasian Mountains, it is challenging to arrive there.

The road to Tusheti is one of the most dangerous roads in the world. It lies on mountain slopes and goes up 9,842 ft over the gorges of Tusheti. So, if you are up for a little adrenaline rush, you should take a drive up to this road.

Holy Meteora, Greece

Although most tourists visit Greece in search of the sea and beach relaxation, somewhere above 400 meters lies an unforgettable sightseeing opportunity.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Meteora, is situated on a 60-million-year-old rock formation. In Greek, Meteora means “suspended in the air,” a fitting name for this destination. Even if you are not into pilgrimage sites, hiking to the Meteora would be an unforgettable travel experience.

As an easier plan, you can take a bus or a rental car up to the top, and enjoy the spectacular sunset from the specially designed viewing point.

Vinicunca, Peru

When you hear Peru, you probably immediately think of Machu Picchu. However, not many people know about the breathtaking natural setting of Vinicunca. It is a haven for hikers, although you should be in good physical condition, as the trek is rather challenging.

Getting to the location takes at least six days depending on your speed, but it is totally worth it! Each of the mountain peaks in this area is covered in wide lines of pastel blue, intense red, green, pink and yellow.

Thanks to the bright coloration they are known as the Rainbow mountains.

Lake Kaindy, Kazakhstan

Being almost a century old, the deep blue Lake Kaindy is not easy to find in the Kungey Alatau Mountains. Even though getting there is not easy, it is certainly worth visiting. When you arrive at the lake, you will see dozens of dark brown trunks rising from the water.

Also, the color of the water varies from glimmering blue to alpine green. These features make the place a genuinely surreal wonder hidden in the deep forests.

Alberobello, Italy

When you arrive at Alberobello, a small town in Southern Italy, and see the long series of small dimensional houses, you will surely think you are in a fairytale hobbit’s world.

Looking rather fragile, Trulli (specifically-built tiny roundhouses), is surprisingly over five centuries old. Locals, as well as tourists, still live there.

Nyaung Ohak, Myanmar

Another fairytale destination lies right next to Lake Inle in Myanmar. It is an impressive series of history sightseeing objectives, which won’t leave anyone indifferent.

Nyaung Ohak offers a unique combination of history, complex architecture, and nature, and it is surely worth the effort.

Uluru Waterfalls, Australia

The Uluru rock formation is over 600 million years old, which makes it one of the oldest in the world. Due to the climate conditions of the region, it only rains a few times during the year.

However, those who are lucky to visit after the rain, are amazed by the beauty of the water show. The large quantities of water run from the top of the rock, creating an illusion of numerous small waterfalls.

Also, the wet rocks change their color and turn from gray into various shades of red, dark red, and brown.

For the Best View of Mt. Everest, Go to Kala Patthar

Kala Patthar, meaning “black rock” in Nepali and Hindi, is a notable landmark located on the south ridge of Pumori in the Nepalese Himalayas above Gorakshep.

Although not a proper mountain, the ascent of Kala Patthar is very popular with trekkers in the region of Mount Everest since it provides the most accessible closeup view of Mount Everest.

Due to the structure of the Everest Massif, its high summit is blocked by Mount Nuptse from much of the surrounding region.

The views of Everest, Nuptse, and Changtse are spectacular from Kala Patthar and there are glimpses of the northern flank and summit of Mount Lhotse as well.

View of Mount Everest, Mount Nuptse, & Mount Lhotse

Sunrise on Mount Everest

Note: Kala Patthar is considered the highest altitude most will reach without an Everest climbing permit, which must be obtained in Kathmandu, at the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

So, if you are planning to do the famous Everest Base Camp (EBC) Trek, you can trek up until Kala Patthar.

Fun Fact: The world’s highest webcam, Mount Everest webcam, is located here.

How To Climb Kala Patthar

Everest view from Kala Patthar

The ascent of Kala Patthar begins at Gorakshep (5,164 m or 16,942 ft), the original base camp for Mt. Everest.

After a brief dip to an ancient lake bed (which now contains a small lake and a helipad), the ascent makes its way up to a series of steep switchbacks before leveling off somewhat as it traverses to the eastern side of the mountain.

Mount Everest from Tibet, Tschomolangma peak

The trail then becomes steep once again until it reaches the wind-swept summit ridge. From there, a 5-to-10 minutes scramble over boulders takes one to the top, which is marked with prayer flags.

Note: There is also a geocaching trackable named Kala Pattar Yeti attached near the summit. Its trackable code is GS9EBG.

Elevation & Hiking

The full ascent usually takes between 1.5 and 2 hours. If the attempt is made starting from Lobuche, an additional two to three hours (one way) is required.

The elevation is commonly listed as 5,545–5,643 m (18,192–18,514 ft). It is possible that since Kala Patthar is merely a minor summit on a ridge leading to Pumori, different people may have measured different summits.

The summit traditionally referred to as Kala Patthar is, however, completely festooned with prayer flags, making it quite readily recognizable.

It is quite clear that the point trekkers climb to is a local maxima on the Pumori ridge, not the summit of Kala Patthar proper.

Safety Tips

Clinics are a sparse resource in Khumbu. However, should you require medical attention there are two possibilities:

Kunde Clinic, in Kunde Village (above Namche) has Western-trained doctors and is a surprisingly well-equipped facility – they even have a decompression chamber for those suffering from severe altitude sickness.

On your return journey, you might like to donate your unused medicines to Kunde Clinic, though ensure that they are clearly labeled in English – even the most valuable medicine is useless if there are no instructions on how to use it.

The Himalayan Rescue Association operates a clinic staffed by western physicians in Pheriche. They give a daily lecture on taking care of your health in the Khumbu region, and, for very little money you can check your blood oxygen level and pulse rate.

This is a good place to stop at even if you are not experiencing any health problems. Check out their t-shirts, scarfs and hats, the proceeds of which go towards operating the clinic.

Local medicine

The Healing Center in Namche offers treatments using natural formulas. It is next to the Camp de Base hotel but entered from the path in front of the library.

This clinic provides free treatment for porters and other patients on a low income. In order to continue this service, donations are greatly appreciated.

Along the trail, you will also see small medical stations. These stations generally have very rudimentary facilities and can only realistically offer treatment for very minor ailments, such as cuts and bruises and (non-altitude sickness related) headaches, etc.

Namche also has a dental clinic, on the right side slope of the village when looking up.

Don’t drink the water no matter how pristine it appears. Use iodine tablets as a purifier or purchase boiled water.

Exceptions: Namche and Phortse have clean water supplies that the locals drink directly from the faucet. However, this may not be a good idea for outsiders lacking immunity to local bacteria, but it may be OK for brushing teeth.

Read Next

Visiting Lumbini: the Birth Place of Buddha in Nepal

Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal. It is a popular pilgrimage site for all Buddhists.

Lord Buddha was a prince named Siddhartha Gautam before he achieved enlightenment and it was Lumbini where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to him.

Lumbini: the Birth Place of Buddha

The holy site has a very pure spiritual vibe and holds temples, historic monuments, monasteries, and museum.

The main temple called the Mayadevi temple has foot imprints of Lord Buddha with the stone carving of the birth of Buddha.

Another important historic landmark is the Holy Pond where according to ancient scriptures rituals were performed during Buddha’s birth and he had his first bath in the same pond.

Lumbini also holds centuries-old remains. There is a pillar erected by Indian Emperor Ashoka during his visit marking the site as the birthplace of Buddha.

 

Lumbini has various temples and monasteries established by different countries like China, Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and countries following Buddhism.

The entire architecture of Monasteries is unique and interesting. At the site, there is holy flame symbolizing eternal peace. It burns 24 hours throughout the year in the temple area.

Peace, compassion, love, truth, purpose of life, morals are some of the key phrases is Buddhism. People come to Lumbini to experience and feel the path of enlightenment Gautam Buddha has set.

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. “Happiness never decreases by being shared”, said Buddha.

Getting Around Lumbini

Vehicles are not allowed inside the temple gate. The sites are spaced out and by foot, it takes about 2-3 hours to see most of the places.

The summer months can be very hot in Lumbini as it is in the southern belt of Nepal. If you are not interested in walking in the hot sun, there are rickshaws inside and around the temple available to see all the temples and Monasteries.

How To Get Here

Lumbini is 281 km from Kathmandu. Roughly it is a 7 hours drive from Katmandu to Lumbini. There are also domestic flights operated from Kathmandu, which is only 35 minutes of total flight time.

Many tourists and locals visit both Chitwan National Park and Lumbini together as Lumbini can be covered easily on a day trip.

Chitwan National Park is home to different species of wildlife, flora, and fauna. The distance between Chitwan and Lumbini is 153 km.

Check out our Nepal Travel Guide and Kathmandu Travel Guide for a detailed list of things to do in Nepal.

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17 Fun Facts To Know Before You Travel To Nepal

Locked between the snow peaks of the Himalayas and the seething Ganges plain, Nepal has long been home to wandering ascetics and tantric yogis. It has eight of the world’s 10 highest peaks, including Mount Everest, the world’s tallest, on the border with Tibet.

Sadhus and Ascetics 

The Nepali flag is the only flag in the world which is triangular in shape.

The word Himalaya means “abode of snow”. It’s a Sanskrit word which has two parts, “alaya” meaning “dwelling or abode” and “him” which means “snow”.

Mount Everest

The geological age of the Himalaya is approximately 70 million years. The Himalayas were formed because of the collision of the Indo-Australian Plate with the Eurasian Plate.

Ravi – Himalayan River

The Himalayan rivers are older than the Himalayan peaks. The five main rivers of the Himalayas are the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej.

In Nepal, there are 8 of the world’s 14 highest mountains above 8000 meters, including Mt. Everest.

Kanchenjunga

Other seven are namely Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Annapurna.

Nepal has 8% of the total species of birds found in the world.

The highest lake on earth, Tilicho, is in Nepal. It rests at 15,748 feet. It’s higher than Lake Waiau on Mauna Kea in Hawaii which is 13,000 feet.

Frozen Lake Tilicho

Nepal has the deepest lake at the highest elevation. She Phoksundo is 145 meters deep and rests at 3600 meters.

The Kali Gandaki is the deepest gorge on earth, dropping 1200 meters.

Nepal also has the lowest valley on earth, the Arun valley.

Lumbini in Nepal is the birthplace of Buddha – the apostle of peace.

Stupa at Lumbini, the Birth Place of Gautam Buddha

Nepal is the only country where people worship the living goddess called Kumari, a young virgin girl.

Nepal has the densest concentration of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Kathmandu valley alone has 7 World Heritage Cultural sites within a radius of 15 kilometers.

In Nepal, there are as many as 80 ethnic groups speaking more than 100 different languages.

Wild honey hunting Gurung tribe in Central Nepal

Dang Valley situated in the mid-western development region of Nepal is the largest valley of Asia.

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6 Adventure Sports in Tatopani, Nepal You Can’t Miss

If you want to get away from the hustling and bustling of Kathmandu city and experience the bumpy ride across Himalayan hills, “The Last Resort” is a place to visit on your Nepal trip.

It is a place full of dare and fear, so if you want to get some adrenaline rush, experience gravity-defying adventure, and to test the adventurer in you, read on.

The Last Resort is about 3 hours drive from Kathmandu and is located close to the Tibetan border in a place called Tatopani.

 

The resort is beautiful and very accommodating. It lies on top of the Bhotekoshi river gorge where you can view the beautiful valleys terraced slopes, the flowing high current river, and greenery all around.

Not only the location and the scenery is perfect for relaxation, but there are also other things that you can do to make your experience more rewarding and meaningful.

How To Get To Tatopani?

There are a lot of day trips as well as stay in at the resort options and packages to choose from with adventure sports.

The drive from Kathmandu to Tatopani is not long (about three hours, 102 km) but taking early morning transportation will save you some time.

Kathmandu city (rooftop view)

 

If you only want to do one activity and experience the resort a day trip back and forth from Kathmandu can be done. If you choose to do a couple of activities and experience the nature and serenity at Tatopani, then stay at last resort.

The drive is pretty interesting. One of the highlights of the trip will also be the experience of the drive from one hill to another and then circle around the hill up and down to another hill.

I loved the drive which I call “edge of the road drive” and at some points, you will see a truly breathtaking view of the array of valleys. Once you get to the resort there are lots of thrilling and fun activities to do.

Note: Prebooking the activity is always recommended to reserve your spot.

Adventure Sports To Try In Tatopani

Have you ever thought of jumping from a 160m high bridge where all you can see below is a flowing river?

No kidding! Nepal has one of the world’s most breathtaking Bungee jump and the world’s highest canyon swing.

Bungee Jumping

Bungee is most popular with tourists as well as Nepali residents. The jump is from a 160m high bridge with the roaring Bhotekoshi river beneath. It is definitely an experience you won’t forget.

Canyon Swing

One of the world’s largest swing from the 160m high bridge.

Tandem Swing

Don’t worry if you don’t want to jump alone, partner up and do the jump together.

 

 

Canyoning

Connect with nature and explore the hidden gems of nature, get wet under the waterfall.

High Ropes

This is an interesting Zip lining and the adventure course in the midst of the woods.

White Water Rafting

Nepal has some best rivers for white water rafting. Bhotekoshi river which is formed by the snow and mountain glacier is great for rafting.

 

Keep exploring the world and keep that connection with our earth strong.

Namaste!

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Related Posts

Nepali Citizen On H1B Visa: Countries You Can Visit Without Needing A Visa

Last updated: Jan 2020

Here is the ultimate checklist for Visa-free travel for Nepali citizens on H1 or F1 or B1 visa and living in the United States.

There are several countries that would allow a Nepal citizen to enter their borders with a valid US single or any multiple-entry visa for tourism purposes for up to 6 months.

Are you happy? Let’s take a look at this list of countries.

Jaipur, India

H1B VISA FREE Travel for Nepali Citizen

  • Mexico (Visa not required for any valid USA visa holders to enter Mexico with tourist, transit & business purposes)
  • South Korea (30 days visa free entry for people holding valid visa for Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand or the USA)
  • Serbia (90 days visa free entry for valid visa holders or residents of the European Union member states and the USA)
  • Georgia (90 days visa-free entry for Nepalese citizens who are holders of valid visa or residence permit issued by USA, UK, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, South Korea, Schengen and GCC countries)
  • American Samoa (Citizens of Nepal living in the United States can travel to American Samoa using their valid United States visa)

Cancun, Mexico

Note: As of January 2020, Nepalese citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 37 countries and territories, ranking the Nepalese passport 98th in the world according to the Visa Restrictions Index.

  • India (Nepalese citizens may live and work freely in Nepal under the terms of the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship.) Read more: 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship
  • Mauritius (Visa not required, maximum 90 days)
  • Micronesia (Visa not required, maximum 30 days)
  • Pakistan (Visa not required, maximum 30 days)
  • Philippines (Visa not required, maximum 30 days)
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (Visa not required, maximum 30 days)
  • Singapore (Visa not required, maximum 30 days)
  • Dominica (Visa not required, maximum 21 days)
  • Gambia (Visa not required, maximum 90 days)
  • Haiti (Visa not required, maximum 3 months)
  • Samoa (Entry Permit on arrival, maximum 60 days)
  • Seychelles (Visitor’s Permit on arrival, maximum 1 month)
  • Madagascar (Visa on arrival, maximum 90 days)
  • Malawi (Visa on arrival. Generally 30-90 days)
  • Maldives (Visa on arrival, maximum 30 days)
  • Mauritania (Visa on arrival. Generally 30-90 days)
  • Palau (Visa on arrival, maximum 30 days)
  • Tanzania (Visa on arrival, maximum 3 months)
  • Timor-Leste (Visa on arrival, maximum 30 days)
  • Togo (Visa on arrival, maximum 7 days)
  • Tuvalu (Visa on arrival, maximum 30 days)
  • Uganda (Visa on arrival. Generally 30-90 days)
  • Bolivia (Visa on arrival, maximum 90 days)
  • Cambodia (Visa on arrival, maximum 30 days)
  • Cape Verde (Visa on arrival. Generally 30-90 days)
  • Comoros (Visa on arrival. Generally 30-90 days)
  • Djibouti (Visa on arrival. Generally 30-90 days)
  • Guinea-Bissau (Visa on arrival, maximum 90 days)
  • Iran (Visa on arrival, maximum 30 days)
  • Laos (Visa on arrival, maximum 30 days)

e-Visa and Special Permits

Sunset in Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka (Electronic Travel Authorization [ETA] for 30 days can be obtained online. Must hold return or onward ticket.)
  • Myanmar (An eVisa for 28 days can be obtained online. eVisa holders must arrive via Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw or Mandalay airports.)
  • Georgia (eVisa can be applied online)
  • Kenya (eVisa can be obtained for 3 months)
  • Somalia (Visa on arrival for 30 days, provided an invitation letter issued by the sponsor has been submitted to the Airport Immigration Department at least 2 days before arrival)
  • Vietnam (Prearranged visa obtained online through travel agencies available at Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc or Da Nang airports. Up to 30 days.)
  • Egypt (Conditional visa on arrival can be obtained but not a guarantee)
  • Australia (Visa can be applied and obtained online)
  • Rwanda (Visa can be applied and obtained online)
  • São Tomé and Príncipe (Visa can be applied and obtained online)

As many of you have messaged me or commented that how can you keep track of the changes in future visa status? Well, here is the easy answer. You can bookmark this website. VisaHQ

Just type in your citizenship, where you currently live and where you would want to visit.

Online Application, Visas Requirements

Usually, things do not change for years or decades. And when they do, they are often “very good” or “very bad”. In other words, either your country has made new agreements with another country or a country has severed its ties or changed its visa rules and/or relationships with your country.

Lastly, yes, any valid multiple-entry visa (such as H, B, F, etc) will be qualified.

Note: Always double check the destination country’s immigration website before booking any flights or trips. As many of you have rightly said, things can change and you don’t want to be caught off-guard.

Related: Indian Citizen On H1B Visa in USA: Countries You Can Visit Without Needing A Visa

Happy travels!

 

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US Green Card Holder: Countries You Can Visit Without Needing A Visa

Updated: Feb 2020

U.S. Green Card Holders (aka Permanent Residents of the United States of America) can travel to 23 sovereign countries and several dependencies without needing a Travel Visa. This is true regardless of your country of citizenship.

As long as you are a US Green Card holder, there are many countries and dependencies that you can visit just like an American citizen with an American passport.

Green Card Visa Free Travel

Photo: A sample green card from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

The Reality is that your permanent residency status in the USA doesn’t influence your need for Visas, while your actual citizenship does. So your passport issuing country is more critical to your international traveling abilities.

If you stay in the US as a Permanent Resident, popularly known as the Green Card holder, your ability to travel to other countries without a Visa depends on which country issued your passport.

For the majority of countries (not listed below), you will need to check individually whether they require a Visa from the citizens of your passport-issuing country.

Visa Free Countries for Green Card Holder

Here is a list of countries that will let you in without a Travel Visa, regardless of your citizenship, provided that you are US Permanent Resident (i.e. Green Card Holder).

Listing Alphabetically

  • Albania: Visa free travel up to 90 days with a valid passport and US Green Card.
  • Antigua and Barbuda: Visa free travel up to 30 days with a valid passport (6 months validity) and US Green Card.
  • Bahamas: Passport and green card are necessary when traveling to the Bahamas.
  • Barbados: Visa free travel (30-90 days depending on your passport issuing country). Cruise ship passengers (from any country) arriving and departing do not need a visa. More information here.
  • Belize: Passport must be valid for at least six months past the end date of stay. With prior approval from Belizean immigration, green card holders receive a Visa upon arrival. The fee is $50 USD.
  • Bermuda: A green card is enough when traveling to Bermuda via cruise. Passport and green card are both necessary if flying into Bermuda.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: Visa free travel up to 90 days with a valid passport (6 months validity) and US Green Card.
  • British Virgin Islands: Passport, proof of accommodations on the island, and proof of return journey, and your US Green Card is required for the entry. You do not need any travel visa.
  • Canada: Under the “good neighbor policy,” regardless of your country of citizenship, green card holders are allowed to enter Canada without a Visa. When traveling by land or sea directly from the U.S., you will only need to provide proof of your U.S. lawful permanent resident status (such as your Green Card). However, if flying or transiting thorough Canada, you will need to present both a) Green Card, and b) Valid Passport
  • Cayman Islands: Green card holders can stay in the Cayman Islands for up to 30 days without having a Tourist Visa.
  • Costa Rica: Passport & Green Card must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry into the country. (Exception: If you have a refugee status you will need to apply for a restricted visa, a process which may take some time. Read more here.)
  • Dominica: Visa free travel up to 6 months with a valid passport (6 months validity) and US Green Card.
  • Dominican Republic: Passport, green card, and tourist card required. (Note: Anyone who can legally travel or reside in the U.S. does not need a Visa to travel to the Dominican Republic for tourist purposes.)
  • Guatemala: Carry your passport (with 6 months of validity) and Green Card. Up to 90 days of visa free stay.
  • Haiti: You need your Green Card and Passport with at least 6 months of validity. All foreign passport holders traveling to Haiti must pay a tourist fee set at $10.00 at the airport. (Exception: Unfortunately, this Visa waiver does not apply to Green Card holders who are citizens of Syria, Libya, Iran, Vietnam, Yemen, Chechnya.)
  • Honduras:  Carry your passport (with 6 months of validity) and Green Card. Up to 90 days of visa free stay.
  • Jamaica: Passport, green card, and round-trip tickets to the U.S. or onward tickets to another destination required. (Exception: Unfortunately, this waiver does not apply to Green Card holders who are citizens of Taiwan.)
  • Kosovo: Visa free travel up to 15 days with a valid passport (6 months validity) and US Green Card.
  • Mexico: Under the “good neighbor policy,” regardless of your country of citizenship, green card holders are allowed to enter Mexico without a Visa. You must carry a valid passport and your U.S. Permanent Resident/Green Card at all times.
  • Montenegro: Visa free travel up to 30 days with a valid passport (6 months validity) and US Green Card.
  • Nicaragua:  Carry your passport (with 6 months of validity) and Green Card.
  • Panama:  Carry your passport (with 6 months of validity) and Green Card. Up to 90 days of visa free stay.
  • Serbia: Visa free travel up to 90 days with a valid passport (6 months validity) and US Green Card.
  • South Korea: Visa free travel for 30 days for US Permanent Resident. You can transit through and stay in South Korea for 30 days, but South Korea must NOT be your final destination.
  • Taiwan: Visa free travel up to 30 days with a valid passport (6 months validity) and US Green Card.
  • Turks and Caicos Islands: Visa free travel up to 30 days with a valid passport (6 months validity) and US Green Card.
  • U.S. Virgin Islands: (Not a sovereign country but a US territory). Anyone traveling between the U.S. and its territories (including US Virgin Islands) is not required to show a passport or green card for entry. This is because they are essentially on home soil. The same applies to Puerto Rico, American SamoaGuam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Visa Free Caribbean Netherlands

  • Aruba: Passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry, and a green card is necessary. No need for a Visa to enter.
  • Curacao: Passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry, and a green card is necessary. No need for a Visa to enter.
  • Bonaire: Passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry, and a green card is necessary. No need for a Visa to enter.

Besides the ABC Islands of the Caribbean Netherlands, you can also travel to the following Caribbean islands (also part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands).

  • St. Maarten: Passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry, and a green card is necessary. No need for a Visa to enter.
  • St. Eustatius: Passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry, and a green card is necessary. No need for a Visa to enter.
  • Saba: Passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry, and a green card is necessary. No need for a Visa to enter.

Travel With Care

Photo: Do your research and travel with care / The Art of Travel Partners

Many of you have messaged me or commented asking how you can keep track of future changes in Visa status? Well, here is the easy answer.

Usually, things don’t change for years or decades. When they do change, they are often excellent or awful.

In other words, either your passport issuing country has made new agreements with another country or a country has severed its ties or changed its Visa rules and/or relationships with your passport issuing country.

Note: Always double-check the destination country’s immigration website before booking any flights or trips. As many of our readers have rightly said, things can change, and you don’t want to be caught off-guard.

Note: Green Card holders who stay out of the US for more than 1-year risk having their green card canceled by USCIS (The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). When you are traveling abroad, remember, your time out of the country must not exceed one year.

Common Question

Question: Can I travel to [xyz destination] with a Green Card only?

Answer: If you are wondering if you can travel to Canada or Mexico with a Green Card only, unfortunately, the answer is you will still need your passport if you are traveling by air. If you are driving through, legally you only need your Green Card but it’s a good practice to carry your passport as well.

PS: Please comment below if I am missing any other countries or territories. This list of Visa-free travel is for U.S. Green Card holders regardless of their country of citizenship.

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