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What is the best time to visit Nepal?

The best time to visit Nepal is from late September to late November. However, it also depends a lot on the kind of activity or the places within the country that one hopes to explore. The autumn season is touted as the best time for trekkers who are rewarded with clear skies and breathtaking views. The next best time to visit Nepal is in the spring season from March-April. The rhododendrons are in bloom, and the temperatures are warm, yet not scorching hot. The Terai or southern region of the country offers a splendid display of flourishing wildlife and vegetation and trekking remains a favourite activity during spring. Autumn and spring, seasons works best for trekkers, whereas, for those wishing a vacation in Kathmandu and low-lying areas, the winter months are ideal. Nepal has four distinct seasons, and though it is a comparatively small country, it experiences extreme variation in temperature and climate across its various elevations.

Nepal Peak Season

The autumn months from late September to late November are the central peak season for Nepal tourism. A lot of travellers and trekkers make their way to the various trekking routes and mountain climbing base camps during this time. The weather is dry, and there is a beautiful view once the dust is washed away in the monsoons. It is also the time for important festival celebrations, such as Dashain and Tihaar.

Often also called the second-best time to visit the country, the spring season from the end of February to April, is also a great time to explore the country. Trekking and mountaineering remain the top attractions; however, the skies may get a bit hazy during spring and thus block mountain views. The trekking trails are busy during this time of the year. The most significant development in the country’s landscape is the beautiful blossom of various floras. It is an exceptional time to visit the Terai region, especially the Chitwan National Park where the grasses are cut for a perfect sighting of wildlife. The only downside is that bookings are full and usually tariffs are high during the peak season. Planning and booking in advance is thus a must.

Offseason in Nepal

The summers from early May to early September are hot and humid with temperatures touching 37 degrees. The monsoons set in from June onwards and continue till early September making it the off-season months of tourism in Nepal. The temperatures and humidity are high, and the rains usually obstruct the mountain views. The trekking trails are muddy, and landslides and leaches are frequent. Trekking in the rain shadow areas of Dolpo or Mustang is possible during the rainy seasons. The monsoons are also the time for various festivals, such as Dancing with Shamans, Kora and Ropain.

Shoulder Season in Nepal

The winter season from December to February can be classified as the shoulder season for Nepal. During winter the temperatures fall, and the northern regions of the country experience sub-zero temperatures. The dry winters are also a great time to catch unobstructed views of the beautiful mountains. Trekking may get difficult due to the snow cover, and some trekking trails are also closed for the winters. In the southern low plains and Kathmandu valley, the temperatures do not take a very drastic fall hovering around 9 degrees Celsius. The landscape and wildlife at Chitwan and Bardia National Park are also wonderful during this time. The shoulder season ensures that the rates are not too high and the crowds are much lesser. The Street Festival in Pokhara, as well as the Tibetan New Year celebrations in January, is reason enough to explore Nepal during its winter months.

Autumn Season in Nepal (Late September - November)

Nepal Weather in Autumn
Nepal’s most loved season, autumn is its peak season and when most crowds and trekkers throng to the country. Early September rains still prevail, however by the end of the month the dry season kicks in. The dust washed off by the rains exudes freshness in the scenic views of the country and with clear skies and moderate temperatures trekking, and sightseeing are best done in autumn. In Kathmandu, the temperatures vary from 8-13 degrees with a good 6 to 7 hours of sunshine every day. In higher mountain regions the temperatures drop to -2 degrees in November. Specific destinations, such as Dhulichel, Nargakot and Bandipur are beautiful with the mountains visible from the comfort of the rooms. Similarly, the national parks, Kathmandu valley and cultural destinations, such as Bhaktapur, Lumbini and Tansen are enjoyable during autumn. 
 
Events and Festivals in Autumn in Nepal 
  • Dashain, one of the most important festivals of the country is held in October. Celebrated for almost two weeks, this extravaganza is about prayers, rituals, feasting and a rich culture. It is a beautiful time to visit the country and understand its traditional festivities and meanings. 
  • Tihar is another significant festival of the autumn season. It is an equivalent of the celebration of Diwali in India and is called the Festival of Lights. It is usually a five-day festival and celebrated best in Thamel which is one of the most happening neighbourhoods of Kathmandu. 
  • The Mani Rimdu festival is a Sherpa celebration held in the Everest Region at the Tengboche Monastery. The festival is about masked dances, prayers and plays.

Spring Season in Nepal (March - April)

Weather in Spring in Spain
The spring season from the end of February to April is a peak season for tourism in Nepal. With the increase in temperature after the winters, the rhododendrons start blooming along the valleys and slopes. The days are longer, which make it excellent for trekking. However, the night temperatures may be low in the mountain regions, so be sure to carry warm clothing. At altitudes of more than 2000m the temperatures vary from 0-4 degrees during spring. The temperatures in Chitwan are between 12-17 degrees during spring. Kathmandu is a popular destination during the spring season, with mild temperatures and a dry climate with temperatures at 16-20 degrees.

Activities in Spring Season in Nepal
Some of the popular trekking routes of the spring season are the treks to the Larkya La, Kongma La and Thorung La Pass, which fall under the Manasula circuit trek, Three Passes trek and Annapurna circuit trek respectively. Trekking to the Kala Pattar and Gokya Ri in the Everest region are also carried out during this time for seasoned trekkers. 
The lowland regions are warm, and national parks of Chitwan and Bardia are sprawling with beautiful wildlife species, including the tiger, rhinos, elephants and monkeys. 
 
Events in Spring Season in Nepal
Spring is also the time for the Nepali New Year called Bisket Jatra Navavarsha and is celebrated with enthusiasm in all parts, especially in the culturally enthralled town of Bhaktapur. The New Year usually falls in April and is celebrated with feasts and parades in traditional costumes and music. The festival of Holi in March/April is also celebrated with enthusiasm in Nepal and is an excellent time to visit the colourful festivities. Ghode Jatra or the horse parade festival also takes place during the spring season in the Kathmandu valley. The festival involves a display of horsemanship, horse racing and motorbike performances. The royal family troops also take part in this performance.

Nepal in Summer (May-September)

Nepal Weather in Summer
The Summer Season in Nepal begins from May onwards. May is the usually the hottest month with temperatures reaching 29-30 degrees in Kathmandu valley and the lower Terai plains, such as Nepalganj to 37 degrees. From June onwards the monsoon season commences and precipitation as well humidity rise considerably. Rainfall is often predicted during the night and early mornings. This means that one can visit attractions during the daytime, though you need to carry an umbrella and be prepared in case there is a downpour. The summers and monsoons are Nepal?s offseason because trekking is difficult and trails turn muddy and leach infected. However, May to early June trekking is popular, but with the advent of rainfall, this changes. The lowlands and Terai region are quite hot, and the monsoons can because of last-minute cancellation of flights and road transports. The humidity in Kathmandu is above 80% throughout the summer season. However, if you don?t mind the heat and have a flexible travel plan then visiting Nepal during the offseason could mean encountering lesser crowds and managing your vacation on a reasonable budget. The rates at Chitwan, Pokhara and Bandipur take a drop as average rainfall from June- September is 120-370mm.

Activities and Events in Summer in Nepal
  • One can trek in the rain shadow areas, such as Upper Mustang, Upper Dolpo, Limi Valley and Nar Phu. These areas have a desert/semi-desert type climate where precipitation does not cross 150mm.
  • The monsoons also mean lush green views of the valleys and Marsyangai Valley and Tilicho Lake are beautiful during this time.
  • The monsoon also means the time of various festivals. The rice planting festival of Ropain in June is when locals, travellers and farmers together plant rice crops along with competitions, songs and dances. The festival is best celebrated in the villages around Pokhara. 
    Shamanism is a healing practice that is popular in Nepal.
  • The Shamans use spiritual and mystical traditions and a tour to observe their methods is a highlight for many tourists. The Shamans celebrate various festivals, most of which fall during this time of the year. 
  •  
    Full moon pilgrimage in August to Shiva and Kali shrines is one of the most famous Shamanism festivals.  
     
  • The Kora Cycling Competition takes place in July which sees the participation of thousands of cyclist in the Himalayan region.

Winter in Nepal (December ? February)

Winter Weather in Nepal
With temperatures dipping to sub-zero Nepal shivers during the winters. The valleys remain chilly but not drastically cold, making the winters the shoulder season for Nepal tourism. The day temperatures hover around 7-8 degrees through the nights can get cold. January is the coldest month, and the clear skies give way to magnificent scenic views of the snow-capped Himalayas.
 
Activities in Nepal in Winter
The high trek routes are usually off the bounds due to the heavy snow cover, but foothills of the Himalayas below 4000m are good trekking routes. Treks near Pokhara, lower Solu and south of the Everest region are quite popular during the winters. Also, the crowds are much lesser, and hence, one can enjoy some alone time amongst the fascinating peaks. Besides, one can enjoy breathtaking views from viewpoints, such as the Poon Hill in Nagarkot. Sporting activities of mountain biking and motorbiking are also favourite during this season.
The lowlands of Chitwan and the valley areas are also perfect for exploration and checking out the various tourist and natural attractions. 
 
Events and Festivals in Nepal in Winter
The winters also ring in various festivities, such as Christmas and the New Year. However, other local festivals include the Tibetan New Year called Losar, which falls in February. Various celebrations, such as the Gumpa dance, prayers, and great Nepalese cuisines are highlights of the New Year. The Pokhara Street Festival held in December/January allows visitors and locals to enjoy the carnival rides, food, and parades held in the city.

Monthly Weather in Nepal

Month Avg. Minimum (°C) Avg. Maximum (°C)
January 4 20
February 7 23
March 10 25
April 14 30
May 17 30
June 21 31
July 21 28
August 21 30
September 19 29
October 16 28
November 9 24
December 6 21
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