Mountain lovers of all kinds – from luxurious travelers to hard-core adventurers – will have their desires thoroughly fulfilled by Nepal, where outdoor exploration and accommodation go hand in hand. Despite its small size, Nepal is a country of extremes, as the subtropical lowlands at 100 meters of elevation change dramatically to mountain peak after mountain peak over 7000 meters. Each level of elevation promises a new adventure for visitors. Be at your most independent and hire a car to fully discover this phenomenal country. Whether you plan on exploring the region around Kathmandu, or trekking beyond, such as on the five-hour drives to Chitwan National Park or Pokhara, car rental provides you the most authentic and intimate look at Nepalese life and times.
The best time of year to visit the foothills and mountains of Nepal is just after the monsoon season from October to December, though if you’re planning on undertaking longer mountain expeditions while in Nepal, April to June is a better bet. Do note that many roads are impassable during the monsoon season from June to September.
Nepal is an incredibly diverse country, as is evident by the number of languages spoken by its inhabitants. While Nepali is the major language of the country, many Nepalese speak a different first language at home. Hindi and English are also widely spoken as a third or fourth language throughout the country. Still, it’s well worth your time to pick up some basic Nepalese terms to help you navigate during your stay.
The currency is the Nepalese rupee, which is pegged to the Indian rupee at a rate of 1.6 Nepalese rupees to 1 Indian. If you’re arriving from India, note that 500 and 1000 rupee bank notes are prohibited in Nepal.
If you’re arriving by air, you’re most likely to land at the Tribhuvan International Airport just outside of Kathmandu. Kathmandu is the best – and likely only – place for you to pick up a rental car and driver. Roads in Kathmandu are very congested at almost all times of the day, so plan some extra time into your travels as you leave to explore Nepal’s breathtaking landscapes. Automobile hire is by all means the best way to make the most of your visit, as some of Nepal’s most incredible sights are not accessible by public transportation.
Cars are almost always rented with a driver in Nepal, which is often a very positive thing, as road conditions are poor. Whether you hire a car and driver or find a way to self-drive, navigating Nepal by rental car is an independent and affordable way to discover this incredible country.