I searched the website and the agent you are talking about. They seem to be an India based international agent operating eco trips. I saw the itineraries and prices for Nepal and seems they are quite expensive. The same program with Nepalese outfitter will cost nearly 40% less than quoted on that site. Not sure how the agent was posted in NYTimes but you can write to Nepali agents with the plans to get quotations from here.
Thank you for the info. Any company you would suggest?
I own an agency myself so I am not sure about other agencies. You can search in the internet or browse TAAN Members directory.
I haven't heard of this entity - but if you want your money to go to the local community
i would suggest to stay away from anyone that is based outside of Nepal
and instead hire locally within Nepal
most of these agencies based outside of Nepal
keep hefty chunk for themselves while outsourcing to same local agencies back in nepal
may be this Village Ways is a legit - i don't know
but for for each hald way decent one there are ten others making profit for thesleves while window dressing the mssion as "comminuty based" "voleunteering" "helping poor" etc etc.
just an opnionEdited: 22 November 2013, 06:41
Hi Art B
Good info is already posted.
Another thing about booking by an agent based aoutside Nepal is that due to laws in Nepal, foreign agents have to subcontract with a Nepal based agent. So you will end up using a local anyway, but at a much more expenssive price, than if you had cut out the middleman and booked directly.
Most of the regular members posting in here, is using the same agent again and again.
You are welcome to PM me, if you want information about the agent, I use in Nepal.
The best holiday of our lives! We booked direct with Village Ways - they have an excellent website - and stayed in Binsar walking between the villages. Good basic accommodation, knowledgeable friendly English speaking guides and every rupee goingback into the local communities. Can't recommend them highly enough.
I have no idea about the service they provide....but the prices they quote on their website for a single traveller on a 10 days village trek, is certainly indicating an extremely high standard. In my experience village treks doesn't bring that kind of luxury!
So I would still recommend to book directly at a Nepal based agent and save a good pile of USD's.
Have travelled with Villageways several times - which should indicate that we like their approach to village-based trips. Have just returned from their new Nepalese villages and also visited the Thar Desert in Rajasthan this time. Have previously walked in Binsar and the Saryu and Pindar valleys.
I work for Village Ways, and can reassure you about our responsible tourism credentials. Our partner communities own and manage their guesthouses, which are simple but clean, comfortable and welcoming. Local people are trained and employed as cooks, guides etc, and everyone is paid a fair wage for their work. Guests have a private guide who accompanies them on walks. These are not standard trekking trips, so pricing comparisons may be difficult. We feel our prices offer good value for money. Our sales office is in India but on our trips you will deal with local people who benefit from your visit. For more, see our website www.villageways.com. Many thanks to those who have endorsed our trips!
David Quick, Village Ways
Two years ago when we were in India on a six week trip, we looked into Village Ways Binsar trek and decided it was too expensive and we didn't have the time anyway. But, we did go on our own to Khali Estates (where this company starts and ends their treks) and spend several nights there. From there we were able on our own to hire a guide for day treks. We did walk into one of the villages advertised, met the residents and were served tea. These were not really what we would term "villages" but rather very small communities of perhaps ten to thirty people living clustered together. In the end we were extremely happy that we did it the way we did because we didn't feel that there was the diversity of villages that we had assumed there would be......
I know nothing about the Nepal experience with this company, but this is what we discovered about one of the Indian treks/tours o9ffered by this company.