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Best time to visit Nepal

Discussion in 'Nepal' started by Bawa, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. Bawa

    Bawa New Member

    Next year I want to make it a point to go to Nepal. Being a country which I know very less about I need some help in finding out when the best time to visit Nepal is?

    I don't know when the tourist season is, so it would good to know when that is as well.

    If there is more than one good time to visit Nepal, then please mention which time you think would be better, according to the weather and things that can be done.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Bawa! Welcome to the forum!

    So first of all, let us divide Nepal into three regions to clearly identify the climate variations around the country. Nepal can be divided into three regions, namely: the Terai region, the Hill region and the Himalayan/Mountain region. Here's a picture that can identify these regions:


    Because the topography of Nepal is highly different in various regions, its climate also differs extremely. So when you're visiting Nepal, you need to take into account which region you are visiting so you can understand its climate and topography. This way, you'd know what type of clothes to bring and what activities you can do in that region during a specific season. Now, let us discuss the climate variations between the different regions of Nepal:

    1. The Terai Region - This simply means the plains region of Nepal. It can be subdivided into the Inner Terai, Bhabhar and the Outer Terai. One of the districts located in this region is Chitwan. This region experiences mostly a hot and humid climate almost all-year round. Here's a breakdown of the different seasons in this region:
    • Summer - This is between the months of March until May. Summers can get extremely hot in the Terai region of the country. Temperatures average between 37°C to 40°C. During the peak of the summer season, in April, temperatures can even go beyond 45°C. It's not a good time to visit the region as the intense heat can be very uncomfortable for sightseeing and doing adventure activities. This is considered as off-peak tourist season so if you're in a budget, then you might get discounts for hotels during this time. However, do bring your umbrella, cap and hydrate as much as you can, as the heat can tire you out. If you're planning to visit the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the region, this is the best time for that as animals would venture into the water holes for some relief from the heat.
    • Monsoon - This is between the months of June to September. Temperatures can get a bit lower but humidity would still be high during this time. A unique feature of the rainfalls in the region is that they mostly occur during night time so you can still enjoy some sightseeing during the day. It's not unusual though for rains to occur at a few days consistently. The Terai region also receives moderate to heavy rainfall during the monsoon season. So you do have to bring your rain paraphernalia like umbrella and raincoat. It is also considered as an off-peak tourist season so you get good discounts in many hotels and tour agencies. On the other hand, if you do enjoy the lush greenery brought about by the rains, then this would be the best season for you to visit the region as it's mostly surrounded by grasslands and forests.
    • Winter - This is between the months of October to February. Temperatures range between 7°C to 23°C during these months. It's the peak tourist season for the region as the climate is pleasant enough for sightseeing. Rains are very rare to occur during this time as well. As a downside, rates for hotels might be higher and you might see a surge in crowds especially for the popular tourist places. The Terai region also has the most pleasant climate out of all the regions during winter season so it is the best place to visit during this season. Do bring your light woollen clothes as nights can be a bit chilly.
    2. The Hill Region - This is the middle region, between the Terai and the Himalayas. Thus, this region experiences the most pleasant climate out of all the three. Pokhara, the second largest city in Nepal, is located in this region. Generally, the region experiences a humid subtropical climate. Here's a breakdown of its different seasons:
    • Summer - This is between the months of March until May. Summers are very pleasant in the region, with temperatures averaging between 25°C to 34°C. Temperatures can sometimes reach 40°C but this rarely happens. A visit to the national parks or wildlife sanctuaries in the region is highly recommended as the climate is pleasant enough for spotting wildlife and exploring the terrains. Even sightseeing during summer season is possible in this region. Trekking is also possible during this season as the region is surrounded by many hills. Thus, if you only have the summer season to visit Nepal, the Hill region is one of the best options for you.
    • Monsoon - This is between the months of June to September. The Hill region generally receives the highest rainfall out of the three regions. So if you do not enjoy rain, it's better to avoid this region during monsoon season. It does not rain all day though, it mostly rains during late afternoons and evening times. Trekking is best avoided during this time as leeches and muddy terrains are not uncommon. But if you'd like to do some sightseeing, there are many museums and monuments around the region that you can visit. Rates for hotels are also lower during this time as it is off-peak tourist season. But since it receives the most rainfall, be prepared to be drenched but also enjoy the lush greenery all around.
    • Winter - This is between the months of October to February. Temperatures range between 7°C to 20°C with December and January as the coldest months. There is no snowfall within the region but the surrounding hills do receive snowfall. Trekking is very much possible during this time but bring your thicker woollen clothes and other winter items. Your enemy during this time would be the fogs surrounding the hilly region especially during early mornings. Otherwise, it's still a great time to visit the region because the climate is pleasant and enjoyable for sightseeing.
    3. The Himalayan/Mountain Region - This region is the highest out of all three regions, with an average elevation of 3,300 metres above sea level. As a result, this region receives lower temperature as compared to the other regions, especially during winter time. Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is located in this region as well. Here's a breakdown of the seasons in the Himalayan region:
    • Summer - This is between the months of March until May. Temperatures vary depending on the location but the southern foothills have an average of 30°C while the middle Himalayan regions have an average of 25°C. The higher altitude areas have temperatures between 14°C to 18°C. Those regions above 4,500 metres above sea level have temperatures below zero and also covered with snow all-year round. This is actually the best season for trekking in the region. This is the peak tourist season in the region and you might actually notice a surge in trekkers in the area.
    • Monsoon - This is between the months of June to September. There are these rain shadow areas in the Himalayan region which are suitable for trekking during this time. So if you only have the monsoon season to visit the region and would like to indulge in trekking, do consider the rain shadow areas of Mustang, Dolpa, Rara Lake, Annapurna and Humla. These regions don't receive rain and are quite safe to trek even during the monsoon season in the Himalayan region.
    • Winter - This is between the months of October to February. Temperatures also vary during this season depending on the location of the place. Of course, higher altitude areas receive lower temperatures ranging from below zero to a few degrees. On the other hand, the capital Kathmandu, has temperatures between 4°C to 24°C. Many adventurous trekkers go for the Everest Circuit during this time but you do need thick clothes, winter essentials like good grip shoes, thermal clothing, socks and gloves. However, accommodation options in higher altitude areas might be scarce during this time as the residents move to lower lying areas.
    I hope this guide helps you even a little bit and enjoy your trip!