January is the off-season of Nepal for high altitude treks in the Himalayas. Still, more than thousands of tourists visit Nepal in January.
January is one of the coldest months of the year, so it is considered the off-season to visit Nepal. It is because Nepal welcomes many tourists for trekking and peak climbing activities, and January is not the perfect time to go on high altitude.
But that doesn’t mean January is the worst time to visit Nepal. It is a month to enjoy sightseeing and tours around cities. Also, it is one of the best times to enjoy on foothills of Himalayas. January is the time to do some best short treks in Nepal.
Manageable cold temperatures in lower altitudes, beautiful mountain views from nearest hill stations, and clear skies make January one of the perfect time to visit Nepal.
Weather in Nepal in January
January is the winter season in Nepal, and it is the coldest month of the year. Snowfalls in high altitudes are frequent during January. In January, the maximum temperature in Kathmandu is 16°C, while the minimum is 2°C.
Generally, nights are colder than in the daytime. The weather is foggy during the early morning time, and dew covers the grass and trees.
Similarly, on high altitudes, the day temperatures can sometimes reach as high as 25°C, and it drops to less than 0°C during the night. The minimum temperature is -20°C in high altitudes above 5,000 meters.
So it is the perfect time to plan a holiday to lower altitudes below 4,000 meters. In below 4,000 meters, you can enjoy the medium temperature of 15/20°C during the daytime, and it drops to 0°C during the night and minimum -5°C sometimes, which is bearable for everyone. Warm clothes, Sleeping bags help you to keep warm to tolerate the cold temperature during the night.
In January, fog and mist may obstruct the view in the morning, but during the sunny day, you will get to see the clear picture of mountains and surrounding places.
What to do in Nepal in January
From trekking to cultural activities in Kathmandu and Pokhara, and one-day activities like paragliding, mountain flights all are possible in January. Even high altitude trekking trails like Everest base camp and Annapurna circuit remain open during January.
It is winter season, so it is better to enjoy lower elevation to avoid the heavy snowfall and too much cold.
Do sightseeing around Kathmandu valley. Visit UNESCO World heritage sites like Swyambhunath, Pashupatinath, Durbar Square, and many more. Add your tour to other cities like Pokhara, Chitawan, and Lumbini.
You can do Annapurna mountain flight from Pokhara, Paragliding, hot air ballooning, etc. Also, there are many places around Pokhara to visit, such as Phewa Lake, Sarangkot viewpoint, mountain museum, etc.
Likewise, Chitwan is famous for its wildlife tour. You can enjoy jungle safari at Chitwan national park at Sauraha. You can also do an elephant ride if you want.
Similarly, Lumbini is famous for Buddhist spiritual tours because it’s a birthplace of Lord Buddha.
You can also visit other winter-friendly and beautiful places in Nepal, such as Daman, Bandipur, Gorkha, etc.
Trekking trails to go in Nepal in January
If you are a highly experienced trekker, you can go on high altitude treks with a professional trekking guide and necessary preparations. Otherwise, choose a low altitude trek to enjoy trekking in Nepal in January.
Poon Hill, Tengboche, Nagarkot, and Langtang valley are some of the best short treks in Nepal that you should consider trekking in January.
For a taste of Everest trekking, you can do Everest Tengboche Trek from where you will see panoramic views of 8,000 meters mountains, including Mount Everest.
Similarly, Poon Hill is also budget-friendly and nearest hill station from Pokhara from where you can see breathtaking mountains of the Annapurna region, including Dhaulagiri Machapuchre and Many more.
Likewise, Langtang valley is the nearest trekking trail from Kathmandu, and it offers fantastic views of mountains such as Dorje Lakpa, Lantang Lirung, Gauri Shanker, and many more.
Reasons to visit Nepal in January
- Since it is offseason of Nepal, you will get massive discounts on travel packages, Flights, Hotels, and restaurants.
- Off seasons mean fewer tourists, which allows you to enjoy crowd-free trekking trails/ tour places.
- December and January are the months when you can enjoy snowfall in Nepal, even at the nearest hill stations from Kathmandu like Kalinchowk. You can plan a snowfall trip to Nepal in January.
- In winter, the chances of rainfall are meager. Hence you can enjoy your vacation without a raincoat. No rain also means unobstructed views. Also, you can avoid some obstacles to rainy seasons like leeches and other insects.
- You can celebrate two major festivals in Nepal in January, such as Lhosar and Basanta Panchami. New Year in Nepal is also the best place to welcome it. Late-night open DJ party at Thamel and Lakeside Pokhara are famous places to celebrate New Year in Nepal.
Reasons not to visit Nepal in January
- It is the coldest month of the year, even in Kathmandu too. If you intend to trek in high altitude, the weather of January is not favorable for you.
- Sunlight lasts for roughly 6-8 hours in January. You may not get the proper time to enjoy your day. You need to finish your daily activities fast. You may have to walk quickly to reach the destination.
- Cold weather requires more clothes to feel warm. You need to pack clothes in layers along with jackets, which makes your baggage heavy.
Tips to Travel Nepal in January
- Start your tour early in the morning and finish it or reach your destination before sunlight ends.
- Hire a local professional guide for your trekking and tour. Listen carefully and follow their guidelines to stay safe.
- Enjoy touring the cities and experiencing local places rather than trekking high altitude.
- Choose a trek that your physical fitness supports. Carry enough clothes to keep you warm at night, or you can book a luxurious Hotel with heated beds.
Can we do Everest base camp trek in January?
Yes, Everest base camp trek is perfectly doable in January too. In Fact, you can do any trekking in January; it’s not as hard as people sounds. Yes, the cold is one of the main reasons that make trekking difficult, but it is not so extreme that trekking becomes impossible. Do prepare yourself for cold weather, pack your bag with winter clothes and start your trek; you can do it.
Is it safe to visit Nepal in January?
It is safe to visit Nepal every month and yes in January too. Do not go high altitude in January if you are not a professional trekker. Otherwise, there are no other obstacles for tours and low altitude treks, pack winter-friendly warm clothes, visit Nepal, and enjoy your holiday.
What to pack for Nepal in January?
It is a winter season and one of the coldest months, so that pack warm clothes and gears while visiting Nepal in January. Down jacket and sleeping bag with liner, warm sock, gloves, long-sleeved t-shirts and pants, Hat, are some of the clothes that you must pack for your January trip to Nepal. You can also include sunscreen, lip balm, Vaseline, coffee, and extra battery for your electronic gadgets.
Like other months you can visit Nepal in January too. The only obstacle of January is the coldest weather of winter season, but it’s not too much. It is bearable. You just need to pack your luggage with warm clothes.
Let’s plan a perfect winter trip to Nepal for you. Contact us today; we are always available to show the beauty of Nepal anytime, any season, and every month.