Located in the heart of the Himalayas, Nepal has captivated mountaineers and adventurers for centuries -- but you don't need to brave Mount Everest or search for the elusive Yeti in order to make the most of your stay in the so-called "abode of the Gods." While 35% of Nepal's total land area is reserved for natural sanctuaries, the capital city of Kathmandu is a colorful hub that is sure to intrigue the culturally curious. Boasting a host of Buddhist and Hindu shrines and temples and diverse collection of museums and markets, before you book your flight, take our advice on what to expect from the weather in Nepal.
Nepal's climate ranges from tropical to arctic depending on topography and altitude. The Terai region in the southernmost part of the country is known to get up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer, while in the northern mountainous region the climate is considerably colder. Weather in Kathmandu remains moderate year-round. Winter temperatures tend to hover around 50 degrees, while in the summer it does not get much hotter than 80 degrees.
Aside from the variable temperatures throughout the country, another factor to consider while planning your trip is the monsoon season. The monsoon season begins in June and lasts through September, but the rain generally falls at night, leaving the morning air clean and clear. For optimal weather in Nepal, the best time to visit is in the early spring (March and April) and the fall (October and November), when the weather is dry and temperatures are ideal for outdoor exploration. Bear in mind, however, that these are also the high tourist seasons. If crowds aren't your thing, the trekking conditions remain good in December, as well, and the temperatures of Kathmandu are still mild. If you want Nepal all to yourself, visit during monsoon season -- but don't forget an umbrella! Though not ideal for heading to the hills as the trails get muddy and slippery, you can still bask in the zen-like glow of this mystical country and save the mountaineering for another visit.
After all, is one trip to Nepal ever enough?