Breath-taking landscapes + vibrant culture on our mountain bike tour Nepal
Many mountain bike routes lay claim to the title of the World’s Greatest, but only on our mountain bike tour Nepal will you be surrounded by five-mile-high peaks, and stay in teahouses run by local villagers stocked with good food and cold beer. Following a few days in the Kathmandu Valley, exploring the network of fabulous trails high above the hustle and bustle of the city, we’ll head into the Himalayas to conquer Mustang.
Adventure photographers Dan Milner and Trevor Clark have both joined us on our mountain bike tour Nepal and perfectly captured the majesty of the Himalayas and the rich culture of the Nepali people. Take a look through the gallery to get a feel for mountain biking on the roof of the world…
“This trip is not a normal bike tour, it is really a trip of a lifetime. I have done a lot of trips in different countries, but this one is really incredible. I expected cool trails in a spectacular landscape, but this trip is so much more. From the minute Suman picked me up at the airport, everything was just perfect.” Joerg W., Germany
Is this mountain bike tour Nepal for you?
We want you to have the best experience in Nepal, so it’s important to be sure that this is the perfect mountain bike adventure, with the right level of challenge, for you.
You’re an experienced mountain biker, riding at least twice a week through the season and comfortable on: long climbs on double track; steep, loose singletrack descents; rough, rocky trails, some with exposure; rutted, uneven terrain; and suspension bridges. Read more on our intermediate+ skill level.
Tour dates 2021
- 4 – 15 October (TRIP FULL)
- 1 – 12 November (TRIP FULL)
- 29 Nov – 10 Dec
If you’d like to travel with a group of your friends/family contact one of our expert team about creating your own private trip.
As well as experiencing spectacular mountain biking in the Himalayas and the Kathmandu Valley, here are some other special moments you can look forward to on our mountain bike tour Nepal:
- Walking round the ancient city of Bhaktapur
- Sharing tea with local farmers on their rooftops in the mountains
- The world’s most exhilarating flight from Pokhara to Jomsom
- Eating apple pie in Marpha
- Riding among the highest peaks in the world
Mountain Bike tour Nepal Itinerary
The itinerary for our 12-day mountain bike tour Nepal has been designed so that we gain altitude very gradually, allowing your body to acclimatise before gaining further height, thus minimising the potential for altitude sickness.
- +Arrival in Kathmandu - refresh + prepare for your adventure
If you’re travelling a long way or across several time zones to Nepal then we suggest arriving into Kathmandu a day or two early to allow your body to adjust and to make sure any flight or luggage days don’t spoil your trip.
We recommend Hotel Ambassador in the Lazimpat area of Kathmandu as a good place to stay pre-trip. It is well located and within walking distance of central Kathmandu. It’s also where we’ll be meeting on the afternoon of day 1, so if you’re not staying at the Ambassador you’ll need to make your own way there for pick-up.
- +Day 1 - Group Meet + Transfer to Nagarkot
On the first day of your mountain bike tour Nepal you’ll be met by our guides at Hotel Ambassador and transferred to your accommodation in the beautiful hill-top village of Nagarkot, located 1.5 hour East of Kathmandu at an altitude of 2,000 meters above sea level.
When we arrive you’ll be welcomed with a glass of Sherpa beer and a view to die for. You’ll be introduced to your support crew and will have time to build bikes and get settled into your rooms.
With bikes built, tuned and readied for a prompt roll-out the following morning, we’ll settle down to dinner on the terrace around the fire, looking over the valley far bellow us. Suitably fed and watered we retire to rest up for tomorrow for the start of our shared adventure!
Accommodation: Hotel in Nagarkot
Meals included: Dinner
- +Day 2 - Nagarkot Enduro Trails
After a delicious breakfast we’ll ride straight from our ridgetop home climbing up towards the summit of Nagarkot Hill. Winding our way up initially on a paved road and then on a dirt track at a fairly grunty gradient, climbing all the way to 2,150m.
Once we’ve caught our breath and taken enough photos, we’ll peel onto a fast and flowy descent through pine forests, and local houses. A short mid-descent climb later, we will ride through the forest again, all the way down to the valley floor. This will warm up the legs, lungs and brain in anticipation for the rest of the adventure.
We will catch a van ride back to our hotel for a scenic lunch before venturing out to an afternoon ride, where we’ll be introduced to the famous Nepali steps. Popularly known as the Eco Trail, it features a combination of flowy singletracks and steep steps down to Kartike Bhanjyang. What goes down must go up, and the day will end with a 30 minute climb back to our lodge.
Following our first full day’s exploring we will be treated to an evening meal giving us a taste of the local flavours up on the terrace and end the day by watching the sun set over Kathmandu.
Distance cycled: 30km (app. 5 hours)
Elevation gain: 965m
Elevation Lost: 1,770m
Accommodation: Hotel in Nagarkot
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 3 - Nagarkot to Bhaktapur
Today we pack our kit into the van and bid our hill-top home farewell as we ride to the medieval city of Bhaktapur. There is no need to be too sad though; although this wonderful trail signifies the end of our adventure in the Kathmandu valley it heralds the beginning of our two-wheeled fun in the high mountains.
After a short but steep climb to Nagarkot summit, we set off on a fun forest singletrack descent that continues through villages (watch out for hens and ducks!). There are a couple of rocky sections before we’re dropped out onto the road, and start a 20-minute climb on gorgeous forest singletrack.
This will give us a spectacular view from the summit, out over the valley, and the monastery, which is our next goal.
The final leg of our ride takes us through villages and rice paddies, all the way to Bhaktapur. Here, weary legs can rest in a fabulous local guest house, or go for a guided walk and soak up the daily life that is bustling around this ancient city.
Distance cycled: 25km (app. 4 hours)
Elevation gain: 460m
Elevation Lost: 1,020m
Accommodation: Guest house in Bhaktapur
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 4 - Flight to Pokhara + day off
Bleary eyes abound as we take a very early morning flight to the lake city of Pokhara. Once there we are rewarded with breakfast, and the opportunity to rest up for the day and experience some more of the local sights, sounds and smells of this lakeside town.
Today we have the day off to allow your bikes to be transported up into the high mountains. Your time can be spent easing hard-worked muscles in the hotel spa or perhaps a trip around the town and its lively markets is more your speed.
This might start off as a ‘normal’ cultural outing but could end up with a pedal boat race! The day can be as quiet or as busy as you choose and also offers the chance to catch up on some laundry duties if required.
A small, family-run local hotel will provide another warm Nepalese welcome for us this evening on our short stay in Pokhara.
Accommodation: Spa hotel in Pokhara
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 5 - Flight to Jomsom + acclimatisation ride
Another early morning, another early flight. Only this time it is, what is readily described as, the world’s most dramatic plane journey, a spectacular mountain flight which winds its way through the Himalayas into Jomsom – the heart of the Kali Gandaki valley (which also happens to be the world’s deepest!).
With luggage and bikes safely returned, and the prospect of any turbulence safely behind, we settle down to coffee just as the sun is creeping over the shoulder of an 8000m peak rising across the valley.
Before we ride out we will each be presented with a Khaada for good luck on the rest of our journey. What then follows will be one of the most spectacular and emotional mountain bike rides of your life as we climb to the small town of Kagbeni at 2,900m.
You’ll encounter your first of many long suspension bridges, and have your first experience of climbing at real altitude.
In keeping with our approach to local and cultural immersion, we will visit a local villager to join him for tea on his rooftop mid-ride. After tea, we’ll make our way back along the valley, crossing over our suspension bridge again, which will be slightly more ‘interesting’ than before, as the wind will have picked up in the afternoon.
We’ll roll into Kagbeni mid-afternoon and check into our mountain home for the next two nights, then enjoy a delicious and well-deserved lunch of dal bhat.
Distance cycled: 16km (app. 4 hours)
Elevation gain: 550m
Elevation lost: 400m
Accommodation: Mountain Lodge in Kagbeni
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 6 - Lupra Trails
A shuttle ride to Muktinath provides a slightly slower start to the day, but with the ever present nervous anticipation that comes with any day of riding in Nepal.
Today’s first task is the 300m ascent to the breath-taking trail through the Lupra Pass at 4,100m. This starts off on pristine singletrack that will make you wish you had the lungs to ride it hard. Then the gradient really ramps up and for 20 mins makes riding a real challenge.
At the top you’ll be gasping for air but, fortunately, the unbelievable view will be what really takes your breath away. After a series of photo calls it’s time to drop the saddles and settle in for one of the main trail highlights of the trip as we drop more than a vertical kilometre down to the Valley floor.
The first part of the descent from the top is fast, flowing and amazing fun. Then things get a bit trickier as the trail becomes steeper and looser, with a series of tight switchbacks to keep you on your toes.
We drop all the way down to the river and then into the riverbed, for some rocky riding back to the road, which will lead us to Kagbeni where we’ll have the chance to re-fuel with lunch.
With Kagbeni’s finest dal bhat in our stomachs, we’ll board the vans to Muktinath for another climb back up to the Lupra Pass. This time, about 10% into our descent we will veer off the trail, and ride down what is the signature descent of the trip. A fast, flowy, thin ribbon of singletrack with the massive Dhaulagiri towering high in the background. Riders will almost reach supersonic speeds, riding over Rampage-like terrain in spots. Simply an amazing descent!
Distance cycled: 30km (app. 6 hours)
Elevation gain: 600m
Elevation lost: 2,100m
Accommodation: Mountain Lodge in Kagbeni
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 7 - Yakagawa Basecamp
After a shuttle ride to the 3,800 metre-high holy site of Muktinath, we will spend the morning gaining the last 500 metres to the highest point of the trip at 4,300m.
Having wiped the sweat and dust from our brows and fuelled up, we will be appropriately ‘switched on’ for the unbelievable trail that follows; a stunning singletrack descent that twists and weaves through tight Nepalese villages, past grazing buffalo and workers in their fields.
We then drop onto a fast, open and sometimes technical descent back down the valley, along to Kagbeni and afternoon coffee and cake in Appleby’s cafe, where you will have a direct view into Upper Mustang.
Distance cycled: 34 km (app. 5 hours)
Elevation gain: 600m
Elevation lost: 2,050m
Accommodation: Mountain Lodge in Kagbeni
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 8 - Jomsom to Kalopani
Today gifts us a beautiful ride, leaving the arid, open landscape of Kagbeni and leading to the lush high alpine forests of Kalopani.
Meandering through ancient villages, alleyways, apple orchards and some of the most pristine forest singletrack’s in the Himalayas, we follow the mighty Kali Gandaki River all the way to the Thakali village of Tukche. A spot which also happens to be home to the most famous apple crumble in Nepal.
After lunch, the ride continues along the Kali Gandaki through more undulating singletrack all the way to Kalopani – the designated exit of the Lower Mustang Valley.
Distance cycled: 39 km (app. 6 hours)
Elevation gain: 650m
Elevation lost: 900m
Accommodation: Small Lodge in Kalopani
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 9 - Kalopani to Tatopani + Transfer to Pokhara
A day of dirt trails today in what are our last few hours on the bike in the Mustang region of Nepal. It may be a dirt road, but in Nepal everything on the bike seems bigger, better, more involved and it is a place where dirt roads are fun!
This is one of the biggest no-shuttle / minimal climb descents most people do in their lives. Waking up in the gorgeous town of Kalopani, we will exit the Mustang today and head back to Pokhara. We’re not using planes this time, however, so it’s bikes all the way down!
We will start the ride with beautiful pine forest singletrack that will pop us into what is probably the most fun ‘road’ mountain bike descent in the world! With a great mix of dirt roads and cobbled village trails littered with children and animals running alongside us, this is a true highlight of our Nepal trip.
2.5 hours of non-stop descending over 24 kilometers, will take us to Tatopani for lunch. Then after lunch and a couple more hours of swooping, shredding, chatting and laughing we reach the town of Beni. It’s time to quickly pack the van, and transfer back to the comforts of our Pokhara hotel (3 hour drive away).
Distance cycled: 42 km (app. 5 hours)
Elevation gain: 380 m
Elevation lost: 1,900m
Accommodation: Spa hotel in Pokhara
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 10 - World Peace Trail
Our last day of riding is a short one as we give some time for our bikes to be transported by land to Kathmandu.
After a leisurely breakfast, we will drive to the famous World Peace Pagoda, perched on a hill across the lake from Pokhara overlooking the city. One quick ‘kora’ of the Pagoda later and then we’re descending on a fun, flowy, yet tricky forest singletrack back down to the base of the hill. If time permits, we might be able so squeeze in a second lap as well!
At the end of the trail, we will ride all the back to our hotel for some relaxing by the pool.
Distance cycled: 8 km (app. 1.5 hour) (Or DOUBLE that!)
Elevation gain: 100m
Elevation lost: 400m
Accommodation: Spa hotel in Pokhara
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 11 - Flight to Kathmandu
After the last morning flight of the tour we make it back to Kathmandu, transfer to our hotel, and make sure all kit and bikes are safely tucked away for our respective return journeys.
The rest of the day revolves around hitting the town for our private dinner, drinks, exchanging stories and cementing new friendships. The ideal way to finish a tour that is so spectacular that only those you shared it with can truly understand its majesty.
Accommodation: Hotel in Kathmandu
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 12 - Departure
On your last morning in Nepal we will transfer you and your kit to Kathmandu airport in good time for your flight and with a little bit spare to allow for long and fond farewells.
Meals included: Breakfast
Please note: Our mountain bike tour Nepal is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in guiding mountain bikers in the Himalayas of Nepal and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience.
- +Tour price
Mountain bike tour Nepal Price
£2,700 GBP / $3,915 USD / €3,375 EUR per person (ex. flights, based on two sharing a room)
We welcome solo travellers on our adventures and if you are happy to share a room with another solo rider you do not need to add the single supplement. If, however, you wish to have a room by yourself, a single supplement of £725/ $1,052/ €907 will be payable.
Please note: accommodation is limited in the areas we’ll be riding, so if you can share with another guest (of the same sex) it would be appreciated.
H+I Adventures is bonded by the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT), so you can be sure that when you book with us your money will be safe.
- Services of fully-qualified, English speaking expert mountain bike guide(s) for the duration of the trip
- All meals starting with dinner on day one and ending with breakfast on day 12
- 11 nights’ accommodation
- National park and trekking permits
- All ground costs
- Back-up vehicles and luggage/ bike transfer (as required) for duration of your mountain bike trip
- Three internal flights
- All group safety equipment
- Airport/ H+I recommended hotel pick-up on day 1 and drop-off on day 12 of tour (specified times apply)
- Global Rescue emergency evacuation services
- International flights
- Bike hire – we can arrange bike hire for you at a cost of £450/ $653/ €563 for the duration of the trip
- Travel and activity insurance
- Nepalese visas – these must be purchased on arrival
- Tips in restaurants and hotels
- Alcoholic/ non-alcoholic beverages
- Personal safety and cycling equipment
- Any other items not mentioned as included
- +Skill + fitness levels required
- Does this sound like you?
Your vacation time is precious and we want to be absolutely sure that you’re making the most of it, by finding the perfect adventure for you. Be honest with yourself, if this adventure isn’t right for you, we have other tours that may well be a better fit for your mountain biking experience and ability.
Please note: The skill level required reflects an overall rating for the trails on the trip but you should expect to find sections and obstacles that push your ability levels.
- You are generally comfortable riding most types of terrain in different conditions: singletrack, double track, muddy, dry, loose, bedrock…
- You can brake, use gears and corner instinctively
- You’ll have a go on moderate technical features, such as small rock gardens, small drops and steeper sections, but may get off and walk certain technical features
- You mountain bike two or three times a week throughout your biking season
- And the ‘+’ part of ‘Intermediate+’ means that you will be aiming to tackle more of those moderate technical features
- You have a good level of bike fitness, exercising at least three times every week throughout the year, for an hour at a time
- You can ride a mountain bike for up to six hours a day at a moderate pace, with snack and photo stops, for three or more consecutive days
- You can tackle two or three fairly significant climbs a day, up to 600 metres each
Typical trails you’ll be riding
- Double track: undulating and sometimes steep forest roads made up of hard-packed dirt, and loose double track roads with golf ball- to fist-sized rocks
- Singletrack: ancient walking paths, at times very loose, with golf ball- to head-sized rocks, some deep ruts, and some sections of sand
- Forest trails: dirt tracks crossed with roots and sometimes very narrow through the trees
- Trail surfaces may be dry and sandy, or muddy, depending on the weather, and you will encounter river crossings
- You may have to carry your bike for 100m or so to reach the summit of climbs
- Suspension bridges are also typical in Nepal, you can ride or walk these
- +Arrival + departure details
- Your mountain bike tour Nepal will start and end in Kathmandu. Your guide and/or driver will meet outside, just across the road, when you leave the arrivals area of Tribhuvan International Airport, which is the only international airport in Kathmandu, and he will be holding an H+I Adventures sign.
If you’re arriving one or two days before the tour start date airport transfer to your hotel is included in the tour price. We recommend staying at Hotel Ambassador in Kathmandu, and we can make your booking for pre-/post-tour nights for you. This will also be our start point on day 1, and if you’re not staying at Hotel Ambassador you will need to make your own way there for pick-up on day 1.
The first and last days of your mountain bike tour Nepal are dedicated travelling days and, we would ask you to arrive no later than 12 noon on day 1, and depart no earlier than 10am on the final day.
However, we recommend arriving in Kathmandu a day or two before the tour start date, to allow for any travel delays and to adjust to local time, and we have put together this handy guide to spending 24 hours in Kathmandu.
If you wish to extend your trip to Nepal please contact us and we can help you to organise this.
- +Travelling to Nepal
- Passengers traveling from Europe, Africa, and the Atlantic coast of North/South America are advised to travel via Middle East Asian cities (namely Doha, Bahrain, or Abu Dhabi).
Passengers traveling from the Pacific coast of North/South America, and Australia or New Zealand are advised to travel via South East Asian cities (namely Bangkok, Singapore, or Hong Kong).
You must book your bike on to your flight in advance, otherwise you could face a heavy charge at the airport. Here are some tips and video on how to pack your bike for travel.
Please note: Included in your mountain bike tour Nepal are three internal flights in small, light aircraft to transfer you up into the Himalayas. If you are not a good air traveller, then this mountain biking holiday is not for you.
Short-term tourist visas can be purchased on arrival at Kathmandu airport and should be bought in cash in US Dollars. Travelers’ cheques, personal cheques and credit cards are not accepted as payment for your visa at the airport.
Alternatively, to save time after your long flight, you can purchase your visa online in advance at VisaHQ although this is a slightly more expensive service. You must also have two clean pages in your passport for travelling to Nepal.
- +Preparing yourself + your bike for the trip
Please read the full kit list before you start packing for your mountain bike tour Nepal, so that you have everything you need!
Our mountain bike tour Nepal is for intermediate+ mountain bikers with level 4 fitness. The ideal bike for our mountain bike tour Nepal is a good quality full-suspension mountain bike with around 120mm of travel front and rear.
We can arrange hire of a good quality full-suspension mountain bike for the duration of your trip.
To get the most out of your mountain bike tour Nepal you should do plenty of training in advance of your tour, and we have put together this great training plan to help you on your way.
It is essential that, if you’re bringing your own bike, you ensure that it has been professionally serviced, including all suspension, before the trip. If you would prefer we can arrange rental of a good quality full suspension mountain bike (Yeti 575 limited sizing and availability) for you, and have the bike ready for your arrival.
- +Your mountain bike guides in Nepal
- Our local mountain bike guides in Nepal are of the very highest standard. They are qualified in first-aid, and have the knowledge and experience to lead a group safely in these very remote, wild and unpredictable parts of Nepal.
Our guides have years of experience in the saddle on the Nepalese trails and will be able to enhance your holiday with facts and fables on local history, flora and fauna. They’re also genuinely nice people and will do their best to make sure that everyone in the group has a great time.
Meet Mandil, our head guide in Nepal.
- +Accommodation + food
- The majority of accommodation that we use in this mountain bike tour Nepal is family owned and operated teahouse lodges. Whilst basic by western standards, these hospitable lodges provide relative luxury in what is possibly one of the most remote areas on the planet.
We have researched these areas extensively to select the most comfortable accommodation in the region, and we have planned the itinerary accordingly.
In Kathmandu, instead of staying at regular hotels in the tourist districts, we will be staying at off-the-radar locations that provide us with an authentic and traditional Nepalese experience.
While we encourage you to eat what the locals eat – organic traditional Nepalese food – there is also the option of ordering from the extensive menu that ranges from Himalayan style lasagne to the good old Yak steak.
- +Health + safety
- No specific vaccinations are needed to enter Nepal, but visitors are recommended to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B, typhoid fever, rabies and Japanese encephalitis. The most common illnesses suffered by travellers to Nepal are stomach-related due to consumption of contaminated food or water.
You should refrain from consuming water or ice that hasn’t been purified. Bottled mineral water is available almost everywhere.
Altitude sickness is a common ailment above 2,500 metres if you ascend too quickly. Headaches and nausea are the first indications of this malady. It’s easily avoided by taking your time as you gain elevation to let your body acclimatise.
Also, be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen, and sunglasses when biking at altitude. The sun in the Himalayas is extremely strong. Drink plenty of water while biking, even if it’s cold and you don’t feel thirsty.
It is wise to carry basic medicines such as paracetamol or aspirin for fever and pain and Pepto-Bismol for stomach upset. You should always consult your own doctor or physician before travelling to new countries to seek their advice on matters concerning your health abroad.
Your health and safety is on tour our top priority so when you travel with us you also have the peace of mind knowing that you will be covered by Global Rescue emergency medical and evacuation services.
- +Currency + foreign exchange
The currency in Nepal is Nepali Rupees (NPR). Even though most international currencies such as US Dollars, Pound Sterling, Euros, or Australian Dollars are widely accepted, it is advisable to exchange into the local currency upon arrival at the airport or any bank.
ATMs are only available in Kathmandu and Pokhara, so you will need to carry enough cash for extra expenses through the trip. Note: you can’t exchange money in your home country, it is a closed currency, so you will need to exchange money on arrival.
We suggest a tip of 10% of the cost of your tour should be paid to your mountain bike guide at the end of the trip, which will then be divided between all drivers, support staff and fixers, if you feel you have had a good experience on your mountain bike tour Nepal.
- +Holiday insurance
- You are required as a condition of booking to be insured against medical and personal accident risks. In this policy you must include cover for mountain biking and we recommend that you take out a policy which covers cancellation and baggage.
We work closely with WorldNomads whose policies are specially designed for mountain bike holidays and you can arrange your insurance cover directly with them.
Please note: Our mountain bike tour Nepal is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in guiding mountain bikers in the Himalayas of Nepal and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience.
Mountain Bike tour Nepal Reviews
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If this is your first H+I trip, i would recommand Nepal.
Not only the peaks around this country but also the local culture, landform, vegetation change and your new friends.
instead of monotonous terrain, Nepal trail change day by day when you follow Mandil team, you will experience wet and slippery DH trail, after long and steep climbing on local fireroad, and you will roaming around the local village at lower altitude ;
You will climbing in the morning at Mustang valley on dry and rocky terrain, stunning scenary and windy weather awaiting after the climb, what accompany you is loose switchback along downhill and shiining peaks.
Landscape keep changing everyday and you will feel you are riding different places on the earth, the fact is Nepal terrain are changing so quick along the trip. The loneliness will surrounding you when you cycling those mountain.
What you found in this trip is not only the exciting track, also your new friends. We from 5 different continent and gather in Nepal, share the stories and skill, discover fun along the track, push the bike puffy together at long steep climb...
Those friend from Australia, Scotland, Utah, San Francisco, Alaska, Canyon, include our guides from Nepal and me from Singapore experencing the adventure together,
Those made unforettable memories in my life, even when I flashback those amazing photos, laughing sound still ring around my ear.
While you are enjoying the amazing trip, Mandil's team include Rajesh and Suman they will provide you instand solution for every difficulty or machanical issue along the trip, together with strong logistic team with seamlessly travalling experience. Like Brint mentions: Plan your own Nepal trip might a bad idea 🙂
It’s now two months since I arrived back in New Zealand from our adventure in Nepal. I’ve delayed posting this deliberately, so I could be sure that I didn’t write the review in the afterglow of what felt like an amazing trip, and to ponder whether it was as good as I thought it was at the time. On reflection it wasn’t as good, it was better… so much better. I was pinching myself while I was there, and I continue to have to pinch myself to remind me that I really was in Nepal in November 2019. I still look at the photographs in disbelief, and they really don’t do it justice.
Nepal has been on the bucket list for the thick end of 50 years. Ever since reading, as a child, of the great expeditions to this remote and mystical place. For many years it was trekking that I thought about until moving to New Zealand and, 15 years or so ago, discovering the joys mountain biking. Early in 2019 the germ of a plan started developing for a father and son trip; a celebration of a graduation and marking an imminent birthday of significance. Nepal just had to be involved and after research H+I stood out as the obvious choice for the tour.
Roll on 1 November 2019, arriving at Kathmandu airport, emerging from the chaos with our packs and bike bags to be greeted by the irrepressible and engaging Suman. It immediately felt right and that it was going to be a good trip. The riding group gradually assembled at the hotel, ready for the off; an eclectic bunch if ever… the magnificent seven!
The next 12 days were spent with a great bunch of people: both us tourists and the guides. Mandil comes across as laid back and easy going; this veneer hides his consummate professionalism and impeccable attention to detail. This was an essential element for the success of the trip: everything was always under control, the logistics perfect, the accommodation superb, the choice of trails outstanding and the guides seriously world class. Ah yes, the guides: RJ Ripper and Suman two of the nicest, most humble, fun, caring and professional young guys you could ever hope to meet. Nothing was too much trouble for them, giving up a dropper post and swapping a wheel being just two examples of their support for the riders.
I always expected to be challenged by the riding, that was one of the attractions. So yes, I was the crash test dummy on the first day, and yes riding at 4300 metres is quite exhausting… there were indeed one or two Zen moments, focusing on the journey being much more important rather than the seemingly distant destination. In all honesty though, those moments were far outweighed by the times the destination came, disappointingly, way too soon. With the support and encouragement of my guardian angels, RJ and Suman it was always enjoyable, my confidence increased, and skills improved throughout the trip.
I’m not a spiritual person but there is indeed something special about the high mountains and the simplicity of life in that part of the world. It’s not every trip you get to spend time in a converted Buddhist monastery, still with its shrine.
Lasting memories will be: riding through small villages, high fiving young kids on their way to school, spinning prayer wheels to spread the mantra, hurtling down a dusty mountain road passing motorbikes, cars, buses and trucks, remembering to pull up my buff to avoid eating the yak poo flung up from my tyres.
So, thank you Carl, Dan Joerg, Mandil, RJ, Sherief, Stephen, Suman, Sylvain and the HI Crew for helping to make it the trip of a lifetime.
The only challenge now is… where next?
Our mountain bike trip to Nepal with H+I was one of the most unique experiences of our lives. My wife Pip and I decided to do the tour for our honeymoon and it was an adventure that surpassed all expectations. We mountain biked all kinds of amazing terrain, from lush rainforests in the foothills to moon-like, high alpine deserts surrounded by towering white-capped peaks. The mountain biking catered to a variety of levels and while everyone on the trip was a strong rider, it certainly didn't feel like you had to be a 'pro' to have a great time. When we were planning the trip, I remember that at one point, we thought maybe we could organize it ourselves (man, would that have been a mistake!). Nepal is no easy place to adventure, but H+I makes it feel that way and takes the challenge out of all of the complicated travel logistics. They know the secret trails, have access to the best lodging/accommodation, and have the right local knowledge to make sure everyone feels safe and taken care of.
While the mountain biking alone would have been enough to give H+I 11 out of 10 stars, the best part for us was the people. The guides, Mandil, Suman, and RJ were second to none and went above and beyond to ensure everyone had a best in class experience. Our group was also awesome, consisting of a diverse set of riders hailing from Scotland, Australia, Singapore, Kenya, California, Utah, Alaska, and beyond. It was like a more fun version of adult study-abroad (but you adventure outside instead of read books). We can't wait for our next H+I adventure and are already planning where to go next!
I got in Nepal primarily because of my best friend whose dream was to MTB in Nepal. I couldn’t let him alone on this trip, so I was his chaperon. Having spent most of the Spring and Summer on a sailboat, I was unsure if I was capable of following the group as my training was limited to a 2-month period prior departure. It's worth to note that this was my first biking trip as well.
In the weeks leading to Nepal, Victoria at H+I did a great job to answer my numerous questions. She’s not pointing you to a FAQ page, but genuinely caring that you’re well-prepared with detailed, personalized answers.
At the moment you set foot in Nepal, one of the world’s poorest country, you’re left in the hands of Mandil and his team. Self-confessed with ADD — which probably explains his incredible multitasking abilities — Mandil shines early on as being curious and interested to learn about everyone. He’s on top of every details of this trip and he’s making sure that you’re being cared in style and luxury, just as if you’d be in one of the world’s richest country. Food and lodge will keep you fit and alert for the riding to come.
The riding in Nepal is not for everyone. If you think you’re awesome, think again. Mandil, RJ and Suman are the best riders in Southeast Asia and you’ll see how average you really are. Fortunately, they’ll patiently wait for you to catch your breath after every climb. If you’re not really up to the challenge, they'll find you alternatives ways to go up. They’ll fix your bike after you crash (or replace failed parts with some from their own bike). They’ll share tricks and stories and inevitably, you’ll be a better rider at the end of the trip. And if your wear spandex, they’ll really make fun of you.
More than just a MTB aventure, this trip is more of a journey in time and space. You’ll be blown away by the sheer cultural diversity of Nepal. Kathmandu, Pokhara and Mustang are very different regions and each will seduce you in different ways (without even resorting to HE massages). People, landscapes and buildings are incredibly photogenic. Your Instagram friends will be amazed by your talent at taking pictures — even if you don’t have any.
Was the trip worth it? Absolutely. In fact, you’d be crazy not to go. It would be like missing a date with the most gorgeous girl in town.
This was my first full trip with H+I and as expected, I was blown away by it.
The Himalaya's are truly jaw dropping and give you a new sense of what a mountain is. As the days go by the views get better and better. You'll truly feel like you are being taken on a journey of Nepalese culture, riding through farms, villages and ancient cities is something truly special.
The stand out part was flying in to the Mustang, the scenery is jaw dropping and the flight is kinda crazy, you feel as though you're brushing by the mountains.
The trails are very varied from big mountain to tight in the trees and each have their own character, adding to the trip but if I'm honest the Mustang has to be a ride on every Mountain Biker's bucket list.
This review wouldn't be complete without mentioning the professionalism of the team guiding us through the rugged terrain, we couldn't get over the level of detail they went too to ensure we had everything we needed and if you didn't already know then Mandil, Suman and RJ rip on a bike.
There are no shortage of good times and I've gone home with some incredible memories.
This trip is not a normal bike tour, it is really a trip of a lifetime. I have done a lot of trips in different countries, but these one is really incredible. I expected cool trails in a spectacular landscape, but these trip is so much more. From the minute Suman picked me up at the airport, everything was just perfect. Accommodation, transfers, bike transfers, food etc.
The trails where really amazing and every day different, so it is really hard to tell which day was the best. It is really hard to describe to somebody who was not on the trip what makes these trip so special. These are all the little amazing details every day. Big thanks to RJ for your unbelievable job with the camera. The pictures are just awesome. Besides mountain biking you can start a second career as a photographer. And thanks to RJ and Suman to take care of the bikes over the 12 days. It was really cool to ride with the two best Mountain bikers from Nepal. Besides biking it was really nice to meet all the extremely friendly people in Nepal.
Big thanks to Mandil, RJ and Suman for the best MTB trip I have ever done.
As you will see from all the reviews, and cliché as it may sound, this is a whole experience rather than a simple mountain bike trip.
I did not know what to expect starting out. I knew there would be incredible mountain views, some crazy altitude and the epic flight in Jomsom. I was not quite so prepared for the unique riding through the villages, the amazing food and really high quality accommodation. Despite all the travel to the different places Mandil and his team never missed a beat, whether it was shuttles or booking spas, the trip was so smooth it allowed all of our group just to focus on the moment. This is particularly impressive considering the crazy roads, insane traffic and inevitable delays at the various airports. Not once were unsure of what was happening.
As for the riding, it is hard to describe without being there. Again, I did not know what to expect but the team outdid themselves. I certainly could not imagine there would be so much quality single track in a place where mountain biking is not (yet) a massive thing. It all just kept on getting better and better! There is always the question of "what was your favourite day?" but everyone struggled to pick just one. Each day of riding is so unique that it is almost impossible to compare. You really have to see it to believe.
The opportunity to ride these amazing trails was matched with the opportunity to ride with probably the two best mountain bikers in Nepal. Watching them have fun on their bikes and shred the trails was an experience in itself! And at the end of the day Mandil and the whole team, from the guides to the drivers, maintained a high level of professionalism. It really was the trip of a lifetime. There is so much to this trip that you cannot ever hope to fit it all in words. A massive thank you to H+I as well as Mandil and the team.
When I registered for this bike trip, the bar was set really high. I expected nothing less than awesome views & bike. Well - my expectations were exceeded.
It is hard to describe the experience we had over those 12 days of biking. Of course, the views are awesome. Of course, we had great days of riding, always different from one day to another. But this trip was so much more.
The experience we lived during this trip is truly memorable. Nepal has a rich an interesting culture that we got to experience. Food. Temples. Living & riding in small remote villages. Having a tea in a lost village of Mustang. High fives to children as we ride in their villages.
The logistic & support that Mandil put together is also very impressive. The food & accommodations were perfect. But all the magic that happens behind the scene so we do not have to worry about anything is quite something. In all time we had 3 awesome guides with us - Mandil, RJ & Suman - in addition to the support crew to take care of transportations & all. RJ & Suman did magic a number of times to fix mechanical problems that are bound to happen in such a trip. Always with a smile. We simply had to ride and have fun.
I did a few mountain bike trips around the globe. This one is in a different league.
A big thank you to Mandil, RJ, Suman, the support crew & Catherine from H+I.
There is a reason why this ride consistently gets 5 star reviews.
Quite naturally I had a lot of anticipation leading up to trip, and H+I do an amazing job of trying to describe and prepare you for what to expect, but the truth is from day 1 exceptions where blown away daily.
Since returning, I have been consistently asked what was my favourite part of the trip, and what is a seemingly a simple question is actually quite difficult to answer because the whole experience is something that trumps any expectation I had coming into this.
The MTB ride in Nepal has every flavour of trail you can imagine, from grunty climbs, technical and flowy descents, to mindlessly fast drops. It's a mountain bikers paradise, although that perhaps is superseded by the natural surroundings which are breathtaking. The riding crew catered for all the skill levels within the group, which I was thankful for particularly with my tendency to crash a lot.
Mandil and his superstar support crew made everything seamless, and they are such a personable team. From accommodation, meals, transfers, and pre-ride briefings, everything was very well organised….. all I had to do was Eat -> Sleep -> Ride -> Repeat.
In short, this trip would be an undersell if it was just a Mountain Bike ride. This trip is about experiencing the Himalayas….. the people, the culture, and the natural wonders of such a sacred place, and all shared with other enthusiast riders from all over the world. A lifetime of memories.
Thanks H+I,Catherine, Mandil, Rj, Suman (and the other guys behind the scenes) for creating and sharing what is a true life experience.
Yes, of course the MTBing is amazing. It is Nepal, the Himalayas, what did I expect? Highlight for me; the 30mph singletrack descent that takes you onto the spine of a ridge like you are on Red Bull Rampage (but is actually rideable by pretty much anyone, even me with my vertigo, just...).
The extra things I didn't expect:
- The quality of the accommodation & food. The spa hotel & pool in Pokhara, the 3 nights in a 300 year old Buddhist monastery & all the care that Mandil and team had put in to make sure that the accomm & food was far above normal local tourist standards.
- The guides; Mandil, RJ and Suman were awesome. How often do you get to ride with a group with 5 national MTB championship wins? Their riding was unbelievable and inspiring.
- The flexibility of the trip. Great descents for the skilled, but the vast majority rideable for the low-average skilled MTBer and no pressure - walk it if you need to. The climbs - enough to feel like you have got some exercise, but plenty of uplift in the van planned into ensure that this was still very much a holiday.
- Yak-donalds. No I didn't. But its just the fact that I could have...
- The local people, villages, monasteries, yaks and chickens with no road sense - so much more than 'just' the spectacular 8000m+ peaks.
A truly awesome trip for any MTBer.
It took a while to come down from this trip and we will be talking about it for a long time. Absolutely loved every day, each one so different from the last. Thank you Mandil and your amazing team for your support and for creating so many incredible memories that will be with us for years to come.
Incredible from start to finish. Awesome riding set in the most stunning scenery you can imagine. The climbs are really worthwhile for the views and epic descents.
The trip is organised so seamlessly it appears effortless and gives you a chance to unwind and fully focus on the riding and culture. Hats off to Mandil and the team - they really know what they’re doing and nothing is too big an ask.
I can't recommend this trip enough and haven't stopped talking about it to all my biking friends. It's a once in a lifetime experience that shouldn't be missed!
The Nepal trip is an absolute must do! Having done the New Zealand trip with H+I previously I knew to expect big things, but Mandil and the crew managed to step it up another few notches! Incredible variety of trails and scenery, highly professional team looking after us and our bikes, and a pretty awesome group (#bestgroupever)!
The rides were a good mix of ascents and downhills - while some of those hills really get the lungs going, you can be sure the descent at the top will be worthwhile. I was also surprised by the variety of trails - some tight and technical, others wide-open roads that last for hours and that any gravity rider would find fun. And you get straight into the good stuff - the first day is fast and challenging and really sets the tone for the rest of the trip!
Mandil and his team’s experience shines through on a regular basis - be it seeing RJ casually build a wheel ready for the next day of riding, or the seamless itinerary that rewards you with a rest day at just the right time. They work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure all you have to worry about is riding your bike, and make it look effortless at the same time. Plus Mandil’s name dropping always makes for a good story!
Haven’t been able to stop carrying on about the Nepal trip since I’ve been back (or showing-off the Instagram photos!) - highly recommend this trip for any rider after their trip-of-a-lifetime!
If there were extra stars I would give 100! WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS HOW INCREDIBLE THIS TRIP IS!...Not only do you get VIP service to some of the most remote and gnarly mountain bike trails in Npeal..(think surrounded by Everest size Mountains hiking a bike on a trail with a sheep herd traffic jam).
Mandil, Sumon, RJ Ripper, and Raj are my favorite people. They will make you laugh, but make the trip so seamless behind the scenes. They were so mindful of our safety and enjoyment that they always went out of their way to make sure we were having a good time and still coming home in 1 piece. They pay attention to every detail and the entire trip is beyond expectations. They pack every thing you can think of into 2 weeks.
There's no way you could even experience 1/10th of what they show you if you weren't in their hands. You get to ride with the top riders nepal has to offer on the best trails while eating unique and delicious flavors and of course drinking Everest & Sherpa local beers.
I came home 2 days ago and I am officially an H+I addict. THE BEST way to experience a country and have the time of your life. #bestgroupever.
One of the greatest trips of my life! Hard to explain how lovely everything was from start to finish. The guides, culture, scenery, and riding all surpassed my expectations. Coming away from this trip a more skilled rider, and with a whole new set of friends. This trip needs to be at the very top of every mountain bikers destination list. Truly was the "best group ever!"
HUGE thanks to H+I and the entire crew in Nepal for making this trip so wonderful!
This was a bucket list trip and I can tick the box with the fattest green marker I can find!
It is a very well thought through itinerary in which biking on different trail types, culture, regions and accommodation choice just add up to a superb overall experience and memories for a lifetime.
We had "the best group ever :)". Fun on and off the trails. The guides are super friendly, helpful and skilled. If you go on this trip you will ride with the best mountain bikers in Nepal as guides.
Look at the pictures, if you think it looks great: go there. In real it is at least double the sensation!!
Mandil and the entire guide staff were incredible! We hit mindblowing trails, learned about and saw so much of Nepali culture, ate amazing food, and had a ton of fun with the group.
This was by far the best tour I’ve ever been on and the only way to do Nepal if you love mountain biking!!
This trip was highly recommended to us by some other H+I'ers that we have traveled with. So, we knew it had to be really good.
When you book a trip with H+I you see the photos, videos and read the itinerary. Justifiably you get quite excited about the trip. Even with the hype H+I still is able to over-deliver! This is our third trip in fourteen months with H+I and the Mountain Bike Nepal tour did not disappoint.
The trip was a true feast for the senses. Incredible views, medieval villages and great local food were on tap every day along with well thought out and super fun riding. One ride in the high mountains of the Mustang you might see yaks before launching into what seems like an endless descent. A few days later riding in the forest near Pokhara you might see monkeys crossing the trail!
Mandil has this trip perfectly organized. He did an outstanding job with his team of RJ and Ram to make the trip run seamlessly.
Just another H+I trip of a lifetime!
After having heard from several fellow travellers on previous trips that Nepal was their favourite adventure, expectations were naturally high. As usual though, the H+I adventures lived up to all of them!
The trails varied from technical to fast and flowy, from dry and rocky to forest soil or steps - and often seemed to last forever! All of it set before a massive range of mountains so majestic to take the last bit of your breath away when finally reaching the top of the climb! Plus, I've never in my life ridden with a group of monkeys before!
Apart from the riding, there were a lot of cultural things to see, remote villages to explore, and local food to be enjoyed. The accommodation and organisation was top and Mandil, RJ and team did a great job. Simply H+I!
Nepal was my sixth H+I adventure so it is fair to say that I am already a big fan and could easily real off a list of superlatives to describe my trip.
They definitely deserve the 5 star reputation that they have built.
The organisation beforehand and during was, as ever, top notch and the trails, oh the trails. With 8,000 metre peaks as a backdrop. Simply amazing. A mix of beautiful scenery, local culture and great company, Mandil and RJ both did a tremendous job of introducing us to Nepal and the variety of trails it has to offer. They ranged from technical rocky sections or Nepalese steps, to fast flowing trails where serious speeds could be reached. The descents were incredible and so, so long, worth every ounce of effort required to get to the top and more. The accommodation and food was superb, even though at times we were staying in quite remote areas. Just one final detail to sort now, where to go for my 7th trip??
As ever, I have no doubt H+I will have the answer.
Just back from the H+I October tour to Nepal, I can say this was not just an MTB tour right out of the very top draw, but a really outstanding multi-faceted holiday, and enjoyable in so many different and unexpected ways. We learnt much about Nepal, fell in love with the people, the gentle, largely Buddhist culture, the healthy and invariably delicious meals and the well-fed stray dogs and sacred cows which seem to populate every street of every town and village along the way. Go with the idea that it’s really not ONLY about the riding, it’s so much more…. but then the riding IS something else quite special as well.
The riding is very varied, from deep green woods and sunken river beds to wide open spaces so vast, so imposing and so colourful you will wonder if you are still on the same planet. Technically varied as well, from a few decent rock gardens and steep-ish and rooty trails on riding days 1, 2 and 8 to switchbacks and long and flowing trails during the scenic Mustang valley days. It is by no means all downhill and expect to be pushed on the big ascents even if you are very fit. If you worry about being not fit enough, don’t, the guides will talk and walk with you for as long as it takes.
The three guides led by Mandil are outstanding riders but more importantly really friendly, supportive and amusing, both on the trails and during the down time afterwards. Really, really hard not love this one and go back again!
Awesome organization, an eye for detail in everything and great value for money. Just loved it from start to finish!
When my husband initially brought up the idea of mountain biking in Nepal I didn't know what to expect. I knew it would be beautiful and challenging but this trip is way more than just mountain biking. Mandil and his team do an extraordinary job making you feel at home from the moment you land. From our warm welcome at 2:00am after traveling for 24 hours. To ensuring that every logistical piece connects perfectly!
They were even able to find my husband's garmin after he lost it deep in the woods! The culture, food, & trails are one in a million! If you're ready for an adventure that will open your eyes to what "big mountains" truly mean then don't think twice! We only live once and this is a trip you don't want to miss!
A huge thank you to Mandil, Nish & RJ! You all did an outstanding job! We are so excited to book our next H+I trip! I am sure it won't disappoint!
After almost a year of looking forward to this trip and building it up in my mind, it definitely did not disappoint. While the riding was awesome, this trip was more about the whole experience of Nepal and the Himalayas. Riding through villages and getting high fives from the children was a high point. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming it's hard not to love this country.
The logistics of the trip were so well planned by H+I that I barely had to think - I could just sit back and enjoy the scenery and riding. The accommodations were all top notch and the food was superb. I especially appreciated the beautiful and tasty cake that arrived after dinner on my Birthday. The H+I team really takes care of their customers!
Thank you Mandil, Nish, + RJ for all the fun, as well as for wiping the blood off:-) What a blast. South America next???
The H+I Nepal trip is absolutely the way to go. Lots of people go to BC, Colorado, the Alps, but on this trip you’ll be off Himalayas in the Mustang region of Nepal: the roof of the world. The 3 guides on the trip: NIshant, RJ, and Mandil are world class. They are expert riders and mechanics. But more importantly they are so much fun to ride with and they are all smiles. This trip had no logistical flaws.
H+I was always ready waiting for us, accommodations were fantastic (especially the coolest village in the world: Kagbeni), food was excellent, and it was everything I could have asked for.
Great pictures, great memories, and great riding.
After Scotland’s Coast to Coast, we put our trust in H+I for Nepal. Their organization and logistics made the decision simple and Mandil’s team on the ground in Nepal was so well run, even our flights were on time. Mostly...
Smooth operations aside, the trip is expertly crafted to contrast the chaos of Kathmandu with the calm in Nagarkot. The subtropical forest and rice patties around Bhaktapur with the windswept Mustang Valley and hanging glaciers of the Annapurna region.
Hundreds of photos and none will convey the shear scale of the Himalaya, the steepness of terrain or the power of the wind. They will show incredible sights, happy riders, and the face of winded exhaustion approaching the top of Lubra Pass.
Let’s not forget the riding. Euan undersold the riding to us while we were in Scotland. The trails were spectacular. From the rooty drops of Nagarkot to the wide open speed runs of Lubra, each trail had its own character and challenge. Yes, we all walked something. Sometimes up, sometimes down. We crashed, we laughed, we bled a little, but that is why we are out on mountain bikes away from the confines of a tour bus.
Of course there are also the people. The Nepali people were warm and welcoming. We always felt safe for ourselves and our gear. Mandil is amazing. A great guide and rider, but also a wealth of global pop culture which kept meals, shuttles and tours entertaining and educational.
The support crew had our bikes and luggage ready, always on time and in the right place. RJ and Nish had our backs on the trail for fast tube swaps or maintenance between rides.
Lastly in the people department are the types of individuals H+I attracts. While each group will have a different makeup and character, you find yourself building friendships over the course of the trip. Shared suffering on the climbs and post descent survival adrenaline seems to help with those bonds.
All in all, another amazing adventure thanks to H+I.
Every mountain biker should ride in the Himalayas, and the best way to do this would be with H+I - simply superb and exceeded all of my expectations.
Every aspect of the trip was really well organised. From initial contact with Catherine at H+I HQ's right through to the final transfer back to the airport. Amazing trails (a "bit" like the Peak District), a chance to witness local cultures, and great support throughout the trip. The Lubra and La Thoronga days being particular highlights of the riding, amazing single-track descents after a hard earned ascent, but also really impressed with the trails in the Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara.
Great guiding by Mandil - as he said at our last evenings meal it was like riding with friends rather than a guided tour. I've had previous experiences with other companies whereby unfortunately it felt as though you were just trying to tag along with them on their own personal ride - definitely not the case though with these guys. Much respect too to RJ, Nish, and the rest of the crew who handled all of the logistics - how they got everything to run like clockwork and so smoothly is beyond me.
Amazing food and accommodation in amazing locations. The accommodation was a particular highlight - I had imagined that we would be "roughing it" to a certain extent but all of the accommodation was a pleasant surprise - either very nice hotels/resorts or the lovely old monastery in the Mustang befitting of the surroundings. It was also great to have Mandil to point us in the right direction for the little things such as the laundry facilities in Pokhara.
I would highly recommended both this trip and H+I, and am looking forward to checking out the H+I website to see where my adventures may take me next.
NEPAL, 8-19 OCT 2018: Two years in the planning, and as what I have now learned is most properly called a "roadie b*tch", I dreamed of riding in Nepal and coming face-to-face with the highest mountains on the planet, the unique culture and landscape of Nepal and its wonderful people and trails which would thrill and challenge in equal measure, as a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Well H+I has ruined it... because it was, by such a distance, the best adventure I have experienced that I will be back riding with H+I again. And again. And again.
I can't thank enough trip leader Mandil, super-guides RJ and Nish, my beloved rented Banshee, Catherine, Donald and the entire behind-the-scenes operation, and the amazing group of like-minded adventurers with whom I shared the Mustang trails. Yukon, Slovenia and New Zealand, here I come.
Surpassing all of my expectations. Wonderful trails in a backdrop that just takes your breath away. From riding through villages that look like they haven't changed for the last 500 years, to descending over the Lubra Pass on dry and dusty trails that go on forever. Fabulous food, first rate accommodation, knowledgeable and flexible guides.
An adventure I will never forget. Most highly recommended. Special thanks to Mandil and RJ for making the trip such a special one and for providing some great photos as mementos of our journey.
I can’t recommend this trip enough. It is so much more than a mountain bike trip. As well as riding in the highest mountains in the world you are immersed in the culture of a truly wonderful country. The food and accommodation was spot on. Mandil, RJ and the rest of the crew just make life easy, altogether a very well organised and professionally run tour.
I would definitely book again and would not hesitate to book a different tour with H+I.
Few weeks after the trip and I am still amazed of how fantastic it was. Everything was so perfectly organised... All you need to do is focus on having fun.
Great guides, great trails, great food, great people, great experience. If you are a mountain biker you should definitely put this trip on your bucket list.
And yes, it is as beautiful as in the pictures.
Nepal has long been on the list of must-ride destinations and my trip with H+I Adventures was the perfect way to enjoy this beautiful, colourful country. From the moment we landed, the focus was simply on soaking up the experience and having fun! Mandil and team were nothing short of excellent and the trip format was an ideal way to experience everything from the foothills to the remote Mustang region. Huge thank you H+I Adventures!
Hands down the BEST mountain bike tour company in the world. H+I sets the standard for international mountain bike travel.
A top notch company with top notch staff. They go above and beyond to ensure you have the best possible experience. I booked my Nepal mountain bike trip with H+I and it was one of the best trips I've ever done. Here's to more adventures with H+I!
WOW - what a trip!! From the lush green hills surrounding Kathmandu to the dusty trails of the Mustang Valley, this ride has it all.
The rides are exhilarating and the scenery is to die for!! The overnight accommodation is ideal and the food is delicious.
We were lucky enough to be joined by H+I owners Euan & Cat on the ride, who along with our friendly guides Mandil, RJ & Nishant, they made this trip an unforgettable experience.
A big thank you to Nishant for lending me his special edition MTB in my hour of need !!!!
H+I are a fantastic friendly and professional company and I can highly recommend them
By far the BEST trip I’ve EVER done on two wheels!!!
From start to finish everyone at H+I took care of everything and made it just an EPIC journey and adventure. The riding was incredible and hugely rewarding, the scenery just breathtaking.
I made a lot of friends on the trip and it was a journey which will be deeply ingrained in my mind forever!!
Experiencing Nepalese life and seeing first-hand how friendly everyone is, experiencing food, sights and sounds from Kathmandu to the Mustang Valley was just truly EPIC!! I will definitely be doing more trips with H+I and will be ticking off lots from my bucket list in the process!!
I would just like to say a HUGE thanks to Euan, Cat, Mandil, RJ and Nishantshah. Those guys looked after us every step of the way and it was just epic fun all riding together, tearing up every downhill and riding at the limit (sometimes over it!) was what made the trip truly special to me.
A great challenge and a proper adventure. Can’t recommend H+I and Nepal enough!
Best MTB adventure trip of the many I've done through the years. The guys at H+I take you deep in the Mustang valley in Nepal..through hidden and nearly inaccesible trails where only a reduced and select group of bikers (mostly professional athletes) have ever ridden. Their knowledge of the terrain and their local guides are second to none and every last detail like food, lodging, logistics is meticulously planned to make a one of a lifetime experience. There was only one thing that I didn't like about this trip...When it ended!
I've traveled a lot around the world, but few places match Nepal. Especially the Himalayas! To ride in this environment was really awesome, and H+I with Mandil made sure the riding would be anything but boring! But this trip was about more than just the sensory experience and awesome riding, it was an adventure riding trough local villages, "high-fiving" local children as we rode trough, sampling local cuisines, and even learning about local customs and Nepalese Buddhism. Very much recommended for a holiday out of the ordinary!
I wish I could give Mandil and the team a 10 instead of a 5, I could not have asked for anything more and they went above and beyond the entire trip. The knowledge of the guides, their riding ability, professionalism and character were outstanding. I would be honored to ride, hang out with them anytime and hope to see them again in the future.
It was awesome and I hope to do it again. Thank you H+I for making it happen.
I had high expectations of this trip - they were met many times over. Each day provided something different, an outstanding view, an incredible ride, a new cultural experience. Each day was so intense, and yet so well planned. I've enjoyed a lot of amazing 'holidays', but this is one of the best and it will certainly be one of the most memorable.
The riding begins in a beautiful cottage high above Kathmandu - an oasis of calm after the noise and dust of the city. Days two and three offer some of the best riding - great single track, combined with the pleasure of riding through Nepali villages and paddy fields. But, already we were being shown some 'sights' - a buddhist stupa and the Durbar square in Bhaktapur.
An early morning flight took us to Phokara and a well deserved rest. The hotel is great and the rest welcome. Next day an even more dramatic flight took us to Jomsom and the lower Mustang. We were suddenly in the high Himalaya - it felt remote and wild. We experienced our first bridge crossing, and then three days of startling views and challenging single track. Each day absorbing in different ways, challenging riding, challenging situations and beautiful settings. Eventually our ride ended at Beni and a transfer back to Pokhara.
The riding was intense, fun and memorable. The cultural experiences were not added on, they were an intrinsic part of the trip. The guiding provided by Mandil and his assistant, RJ, was brilliant. They are skilful, knowledgeable, professional and continually smiling.
We followed this trip with a short trek. It was worth doing, and it was enjoyable, but it showed us how good a trip we'd experienced. Many of the villages on our trek were full of teahouses - the villages on our ride were 'real', full of normal villagers going about their lives. We had great views on our trek, but nothing like the views on the ride. We had great experiences on our trek, not least the experience of doing something on our own, but nothing like the shared experiences on our mtb ride.
It's nearly fifty years since I first hitch-hiked to Chamonix in 1969. I've had lots of amazing experiences each year since then, but this topped them all. An extraordinary holiday, well planned, well conceived and brilliantly led. Magic!
It's hard to find words to adequately convey both the substance and magic of this trip. The days of riding are sequenced in a way that maximize enjoyment and fitness, while upping the ante on scenic wonders in a continually jaw-dropping progression. Mandil and his assistant guide, RJ, were professional, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and inspiring; they helped us all to grow as travelers and mountain bikers.
Not only was the riding excellent from a cyclist's perspective, the cultural immersion was genuine. We weren't tourists on a bus staring out at locals- we were riding through the villages and daily lives of the Nepalese, sharing joyful moments with their children and learning about their customs, beliefs, cuisines, and lifestyles.
There is no way to pick a favorite moment when recalling this trip- each day brought us new wonders, rewards, and appreciation for living life to its fullest. This tour coordinates complex logistics in a way that no solo traveler could ever accomplish.
It was an incredibly good value, and I hope to return another year for more breath-taking Himalayan cycling with H+I.
Sitting at the Hotel Tibet decompressing from the awe-inspiring last nine days. I lost count after day 4.
The trip is exceptional: well planned, very well executed and stunning start to finish.
The guiding (c/o Mandil Pradhan) is a credit to the H+I team and the incredible crafting of the journey, the integration with local culture and the riding… well what can I say... it would just be more adjectives and superlatives!!!
I've done Guatemala, Utah, Azores and Slovenia over the past five years and this is tied for first place with Slovenia. An exceptional trip all-round. This is the mountain bikers' mountain bike trip of a lifetime.
H+I are the gurus of guiding! The trip to earthquake rattled Nepal was nothing short of epic, these guys know the country's they guide in because they have locals on the ground but also because they have the modern methods & systems to make it a special experience. I've booked again!
What a great once in a life time adventure and vacation. Not only I got to ride on a great bike trail with majestic views but to also experience the people, towns, and culture.
I highly recommend this trip
Set your rad meter to high and get on this trip. Right now Nepal needs you. Over the last 8 months the people of Nepal have endured earthquakes, fuel and gas shortages, yet still remain as steadfast as the Himalayas surrounding them. The spirit and heart of the Nepalese is something that we all need to experience, and what better than from the saddle of your bike with the amazing folks from H&I. Don't for a second hesitate to do this trip........it's that good!
I've always wanted to visit the Himalaya's and to have the opportunity to do it on a mountain bike only made this experience that much more amazing and memorable. From the moment we arrived, it was obvious we were in very capable hands. Mandil and his staff had all the details taken care of. The accommodations were excellent and exceeded my expectations. Each day of riding always seemed to better than the last, which is mind boggling in and of itself. Being able to ride through small villages high up in the Mustang valley and witness the culture of the people is priceless. Simply Incredible. Well done!
The experiences on this trip were nothing less than amazing. The tour strikes a perfect balance between travel comfort, adventure, riding challenges and culture emersion. The staff was amazing. The local guides are inspiring riders and Mandil is world class in his ability to organize a great trip and deliver excellent service along the way. If you have ever dreamed of seeing the Himalaya up close, and you enjoy riding a mountain bike, I don't think there's a better to experience this magical place!
Utterly amazing, from the pre-trip organisation to every last detail on the trip outstandingly put together. Mind blowing experience of a spell bounding country. Best way to have experienced Nepal. H+I's standards of trip logistics are second to none, we will definitely be booking another trip with you.
What an outstanding adventure, what brilliant riding, what fantastic guides, what seamless logistics...what more can I say!
From the great trails around beautifully ugly Kathmandu to the indescribable cultural experience of riding through the Himalayan communities. Great food, excellent accommodation, 2 amazing and 1 absolutely incredible internal flight, all transfers....one of the best and most perspective enhancing experiences of my life. Stop reading. Book. Go.
What can I say; everything in this trip was even better than my expectations- which were pretty high to start with.
The accommodation was great.
The culture was awesome.
There was so much food I don't think I finished a meal the whole time- even though the food was great.
The guides looked after everything, right down to which seat to sit on when we got on the plane to get the best view.
And the riding was AWESOME. Mustang was just another word so much more impressive than any of the videos or photos can show. Kathmandu had some great tracks and some great descents.
Was just 12 days of an incredible trip.
This was an awesome trip no questions about it. The logistics were seamless, the guides fantastic and the riding, oh boy the riding. Simply the best I've ever undertaken.
It's not for the feint hearted at times what with hairy jeep rides up mountain pass and some pretty interesting small plane flights but every heart stopping moment is replaced by an even better welcome at the other end.
Some of the climbs were tough esp at altitude but we acclimatised well and i would rate the 'big climb day' as one of my favorite days.
Accommodation and food were basic but warm and dry and everything we needed at the end of the day.
If you are looking for a mountain bike adventure not just a holiday then sign up. You wont regret taking this trip.
Thanks to the Team in Nepal, Mandil, Suraj, Arjay, plus the other support staff for an unforgettable time.
Best trip I have ever taken. The people, the food, the riding...all top notch. If you are on the fence about booking this trip, just do it - it is impossible not to love it. There is no other experience quite like it!
I promise, your heart will not be big enough to take in all the happiness this country and its people have to give. Riding though the Himalaya mountains and its villages was a double win situation. We had a blast riding our bikes and at the same time put huge smiles on peoples faces who were enjoying watching us having fun. Namaste Nepal, I'll be back.
I was genuinely surprised at how everything was better than what I had imagined. All the accommodation was brilliant especially in the Mustang valley considering it is so remote there. Some really great food too.
When it came to the riding the trails were awesome, the climbing was tough at altitude and my fitness was not the best in the group, but the guides did not make a big deal as long as you could keep moving and keeping some pace and it given the rest of the group the chance to take photos. When the trails came to pointing downwards though I had massive smiles on my face, looks of deep concentration and on a few occasions a face full of terror. All three of the guides were brilliant on a bike and that made for a lot of fun as you can really open it up and shred down the trails.
I am so glad I decided to book this holiday, a great group of people, not just the customers, the guides and the drivers and I would definitely like to ride with everyone again.
It was way more than expected...trails, people, guides, food, accommodations, culture...impossible to beat that....probably best way to describe it: I woke up every day with a huge smile on my face (and that at 6 in the morning)!!
I could never have imagined I would experience the best trip of my life! Shredding across landscapes I would only usually see in my wildest dreams! Being dipped into what can only be described as the most friendly and kind hearted country I have ever experienced! And to meet what can only be described as friends for life.... Sounds cheesy but 100% true! Was looked after from start to finish and felt priviladged to experience what I did. I wouldn't change a single day! This was more than just riding and culture; meeting best friends was a massive bonus.
All in all, our Nepalese experience ranked at number 1 for mountain biking and cultural experiences. The food was superb throughout and the guiding and logistics by H&I Adventures were near-perfect and seamless.
You will not be able to forget about this journey to one of the worlds most mountainous and exotic locals. From booking to arrival, logistics, food, bike repairs, accomodations, cultural interaction and of course mountain biking, everything was top notch. Mandel, Rocky, Snowmonkey and all the H & I staff ensured all went swimmingly. Nepal is such a gorgous and dramatic place as is but the combination of mountian biking makes it almost dreamlike. I cannot say enough good things about Nepal and the experience H & I provided. If your on the fence about this trip, just "book it". You will be joyful you did!
The trip went above and beyond anything i could have ever hoped to expect going on a tour like that. It ran very smoothly, the guides were fantastic. The food, locations, environment, people were all amazing, i doubt i could come up with any "real" suggestions to make the experience better.
The greatest experience on two wheels i could have ever imagined having.
I have to say I think the guide, Mandil really made the trip (along with Rocky, Snow Monkey, Robbie, and REM- yes these are real people...!) I thoroughly enjoyed their company (and humor!) and learned some great Nepali language and culture from them. They guided us through adventurous biking, insane plane rides, delicious food (way better than I was expecting!), unique accommodations, and amazing towns through the Himalayas and around Kathmandu. Nepal is such a unique place, I highly recommend it! The scenery is unreal, the culture is so rich and the people are incredibly friendly. Being able to experience on a bike made it even more rewarding!
This was my first guided mountain bike tour & it fully exceeded my expectations. The diversity in the biking from Kathmandu to Mustang was exciting & challenging, coupled with stunning scenery & unexpected adventure. I throughly enjoyed the Nepali culture, the delicious food & attempting to learn the language. The entire H&I Adventures staff, the comfy accommodations & the company of our new friends on & off trail really made this a trip to remember!
What can I say..... this was my first guided ride and from the very first email enquiry it all fell into place.
Catherine is an absolute gem and had all the answers to my questions with prompt and direct replies.
I'd recommend arriving at least a couple of days earlier and just settle into Kathmandu, it's amazing people and culture. Mandil even organised accommodation for me outside of the tour dates which was central &extremely comfortable. His local knowledge and rapport with all he comes in contact with is a must, things run smoothly.
Riding Kathmandu valley was a perfect start. The riding was a blast, nice flowy sections, technical climbs & descents.The Terrace house was inviting, comfortable and like home. We wanted for nothing.
This set the tone for the rest of the trip, each day was something new. The riding was a wicked, loved every minute. Pokhara, Jomsom, Kagbeni, Marpha and so many places in between and off to the side we didn't need to worry about a thing which enabled us to absorb as much as we could of the culture, history and the most humble and toughest breed of people on the planet.
And the riding, did I mention the riding.
I could go on for days about it!
If you are looking at these reviews to make a decision on whether to go or not go all I can say is 'DO IT'.
Mandil, thanks mate, look for forward to hitting some trails with you again.
Catherine and Euan, an absolute pleasure, you will see me for another ride, definitely.
Tough climbing & exhilarating down-hills, coupled with an immersion into a fascinating and amazing cultural, this trip has to be one of the most memorable vacations we have ever taken!!! Thank you Mandil and H&I Adventures for an experience that will never be forgotten.
Thank you H&I Adventures. We had the best time in Nepal. Epic scenery, rich culture, wonderful food, remote villages, historical cities, hot springs, great company. The mountain biking was thrilling and challenging and off the beaten track. A bit of everything from prayer flag strewn valleys and jungle to breathtaking Himalayan moonscapes. We would never have made it as far as Kagbeni without your extra help arranging bespoke travel arrangements for us so thank you all for making this trip of a lifetime possible for us.
What a great way to do a trip in Nepal! We did our share of sucking air on the high elevation climbs, but the trip is set up so well to acclimatize it wasn't such an issue. And the descents made those thin air climbs well worth it. We went lured by stories of awesome mountain biking in a beautiful place and those stories proved to be right on. But it wasn't just about great fun on mountain bikes. The cultural experiences added so much and made for such a full, well rounded trip. A trip of a lifetime for sure!
If you love the idea of riding some awesome trails in the Himalayas then this is a must. If you also love the thought of mixing this with a cultural experience unlike any other then even better. Every day is special in its own different way making this without a doubt one of the best adventure experiences you'll ever have.
Ride in the shadows of the Himilayas from rainforest to baron wastelands it feels like riding on mars. If you really want to see all that Nepal has to offer and I mean ALL book it!
The most amazing trip you will ever do!
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) for mountain bike tour Nepal
- Q. How many people will be in the group?
We only run small group adventures to ensure that everyone has the best experience possible, and there will generally be between eight and 12 people in each group. The minimum number of people we require to run our mountain bike tour Nepal is six.
- Q. What’s the age range of people who come on this holiday?
Our mountain bike tour Nepal caters for a wide age range; typically between 30- and 55-years-old. As long as you have a good level of physical fitness and good bike handling skills you will enjoy this mountain bike tour no matter what your age.
- Q. What style of mountain biking vacation is it?
This mountain bike tour Nepal is a guided mountain biking holiday, ideal for intermediate+ mountain bikers. Riding here, on the roof of the world you’ll experience some tough climbs and descents, as well as some lovely flowing singletrack. You’ll take three internal flights to minimise the time required to travel between the most spectacular riding spots. Altitude is a factor in this trip and we have some tips for riding at high altitudes and managing the effects of altitude.
- Q. How far will we be mountain biking each day?
The distances we cover each day range from 15km to 50km, in accordance with the altitude and height gain/ loss on each stage. We will gain height gradually over the course of the trip to ensure that your body becomes accustomed to the increased altitude. Each evening your guides will chat with you about the following day’s mountain biking and give you an idea of the sorts of trails you can look forward to. If there’s anything you feel anxious about, your guides will be happy to discuss it with you.
- Q. Do we have to carry all our gear with us?
No, you only need to carry a 20 litre day pack with you whilst riding. We have a support vehicle and driver who will transfer your luggage to your next accommodation each day, and have it ready and waiting for your arrival.
- Q. What if I come across a section of trail I can’t ride?
Your guide will be very happy to give you some bike skills training during your trip to help improve your confidence and your enjoyment of your mountain bike tour Nepal. If there is a section that you would prefer not to ride, then you can simply hop off your bike and walk. You won’t be the only one to walk certain sections and it’s not a competition in biking ability; it’s a mountain biking holiday!
- Q. Who will be guiding us?
Your mountain bike guides are local to Nepal and experienced professionals who have a real passion for mountain biking and for the culture and landscape of Nepal. Your safety is their number one priority, closely followed by your enjoyment of the tour. They will always be on-hand to answer any questions or requests you may have throughout your trip. Meet your mountain bike guide in Nepal…
- Q. What sort of accommodation will we be staying in?
On this mountain biking holiday in the Kali Gandaki Valley of Nepal you will be staying in the best quality accommodation available in each area. This ranges from a hill-top cottage outside Kathmandu to local tea houses in the heart of the valley. Accommodation in the more remote villages up in the mountains is very basic, but you’ll often be staying in family homes, which gives you the chance to get to know the local Nepali people and understand something of their way of life.
- Q. Which meals are included in the tour price?
All meals starting with dinner on day one and ending with breakfast on day 12.
- Q. What type of mountain bike is best for the trip?
A good quality full suspension mountain bike with 120mm travel front and rear will be ideal for this mountain bike tour Nepal. The terrain you will be riding is rough in places and you will feel more comfortable on a full suspension bike for the duration of the trip. It is possible to ride every day on a hard tail, so if this is your preference, then feel free to come with your hard tail. There can be thorns on the trails in Nepal so we recommend that you bring tubeless tyres or tyres with thicker walls and extra thick inner tubes. We do advise that you travel with your own bike to Nepal.
- Q. What about our luggage, what happens to that?
Your luggage will be transferred with the support vehicle each day, and your bike bags will be stored in Kathmandu, to collect on your return and re-pack your bike.
- Q. What about tourist visas, how do I get those?
Short-term tourist visas can be purchased on arrival at Kathmandu airport and should be bought in cash in US Dollars. Travelers’ cheques, personal cheques and credit cards are not accepted as payment for your visa at the airport. Alternatively, to save time after your long flight, you can purchase your visa online in advance at VisaHQ.
- Q. What will the weather be like in Nepal?
The weather during our mountain bike tour Nepal will typically be very dry and sunny, with daytime riding temperatures around 20C/68F. The temperature at night drops significantly to around 0C/32F, so make sure you bring warm clothing for the evening.
- Q. What clothes and kit should I bring?
The daytime and nighttime temperatures vary greatly in Nepal, so you must make sure that you have plenty of layers of breathable clothing to ensure that you are always warm enough and can remove a layer if you get too hot, and you should bring a down jacket for the evenings. You should also bring cycling shorts/trousers, gloves, padded undershorts, flip-flops, specific shoes for cycling, sun cream, insect spray, and Advil or Ibuprofen. Read the full kit list to find out what you need to pack for your mountain bike tour Nepal.
- Q. Can I bring a drone with me?
Unfortunately not. We are working hard to provide each and every customer who rides with us an unparalleled mountain bike experience in every destination we ride. This takes years of experience, riding and planning to get right, and a drone adds a very real danger to the group’s riding experience and health & safety.