Nepal has become an increasingly popular destination among modern travelers, thanks to the country's reputation as the jewel of the Himalayas. The country is a haven for extreme natural beauty, endless opportunities for cultural and historical exploration, and tremendous outdoor adventure. Though once considered a hippie haunt back in the 1960s, these days Nepal is attractive to travelers of all stripes who are looking for a variety of vacations and experiences. Nepal seems to be shaking off the dust and setting forth on a new path from troubled and violent times with Maoist rebels to a fresh, modern era. Meanwhile, the country still seems to retain an ancient charm and a respect for its fascinating, if politically troubled, history.

Nepal tourism initially landed on the traveler radar when intrepid souls first headed to the country to experience the excellent, and now famous, Nepal trekking and mountaineering adventures in the 1950s. These days on the Nepal trekking scene, the Annapurna circuit is one of the most revered journeys to complete. From leisurely walks throughout mountainous areas to grueling hikes up the highest possible peaks for some of the most astounding views in the country, if you have the motivation, Nepal trekking may be one of the most rewarding experiences to have during a Nepalese holiday. In Nepal travel to many areas in the country will produce a multitude of trekking opportunities, though none quite as formidable as the Annapurna Circuit.

Since the 1990s, several bans and restrictions pertaining to tourists have been lifted. Since that time, Nepal tourism has snowballed, and thousands more people are able to explore this beautiful country. Turmoil amongst the Maoist rebels, though not completely gone, is much less of an issue today and many more areas are accessible, making travel to Nepal more popular than ever. Skirting the Himalayan Mountains, this ancient kingdom is a reservoir of cultural and scenic splendors; it features some of the most breathtaking scenery, ancient temples and hiking and climbing trails in the world. Dining and transportation are much more modernized and a flight to Nepal is much more accessible and also cheaper than it once was.

Beyond the Himalayan Mountains, Kathmandu is a top destination for those who want to travel to Nepal. A place almost torn between old and new, all the influences of the past are still vividly evident in the many exquisite, ancient temples, while modern life is very much reflected in the increasing urban sprawl and smog-choked avenues. Old Town Kathmandu is often the main focus of city travel. Trips through Old Town untangle a dramatic history revealed through many venerable buildings and districts.

During travel to Nepal, a trip into Chitwan National Park in the south should not to be missed. Chitwan, apart from being a great tourist destination, is the best place for wild-animal sightings in the country. It sits on its own river, the Rapti. With rare marsh birds to massive rhinos to Bengal tigers, Chitwan is one place animal-lovers won't want to miss. The protected area, listed as a World Heritage Site, is an ideal destination in Nepal for enjoying jungle safaris, elephant walks, river-rafting, canoeing and many fascinating cultural pursuits.

Natural beauty also abounds in and around Pokhara, another excellent destination to explore during Nepal vacations. Known as one of the adventurous hearts of Nepal, this interesting area is situated in a serene valley. It is the point of embarkation for a multitude of rafting, trekking and other outdoor adventures. Around Phewa Lake, scores of tourists can be seen kicking back at the many restaurants and bars, where the atmosphere is spirited and laid back. It's a great place to meet like-minded travelers and get helpful tips for Nepal travel plans, accommodations, tours and much more.

Nepal tourism offers travelers a chance to explore and experience a country famed for not only its abundant natural beauty, but also for its fascinating culture and friendly people. In Nepal vacations take on many different forms and accommodate many different styles of travel, from relaxed to intrepid. Throughout the country, there are countless options for accommodations, dining, World Heritage Tours, self-guided excursions, and sightseeing. From the cloud-brushed mountains of Annapurna to the Kathmandu valley and in between, Nepal beckons travelers to uncover the best of a mysterious and intriguing country.

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