NEPAL AND BHUTAN - HIMALAYAN KINGDOMS

12 Night / 13 Day Sample Itinerary

This trip is 100% customizable.


Travel to the “top of the world” in Nepal and Bhutan and meet the people of these distant lands, home to Buddhist monks and Hindu deities.   


Enthralling and thought-provoking, a journey to the Himalayan kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan can be spiritual and life changing. We can add one-of-a-kind meditation experiences, or ceremonial events to your trip...just let us know! 

Highlights Include:

Nepal: Explore the ancient temples and palaces of legendary Kathmandu and other notable Buddhist sites such as Swayambhunath, Patan Durbar Square, Boudhanath, and Kopan Monastery. Watch the sun rise over the Himalayan peaks from mountain-top Nagarkot and stop at Nepal’s holiest Hindu shrine.


Cultural Enrichment: Dine in the homes of local families and attend a cultural performance in Bhutan. Plus, stop at Dochula Pass, amid the Himalayan peaks, to follow the sacred tradition of raising prayer flags.


Bhutan: In Thimphu view cultural treasures and visit the Tashichho Dzong monastery and Memorial Chorten, one of Bhutan’s best-loved religious landmarks. Elsewhere, explore the attractive fortress monastery in Punakha and raft down the Mo Chu River. Your journey concludes with a pilgrimage hike to Paro Taktsang, the sacred Tiger’s Nest monastery and temple complex.


> Luxury Experience from $8990 pp based on shared accommodations, customized for 2 travelers.  

> Opulent Experience from $14,230 pp based on shared accommodations, customized for 2 travelers. 



CONTACT US TO CUSTOMIZE THIS EXPERIENCE >> 1-866-269-2659 

Have a group of 6 or more?  Contact us for discounted pricing.  

SAMPLE ITINERARY

Days  1: ARRIVE KATHMANDU 

Meet and Greet services and private car transfer to your hotel. 


Welcome to an ancient Himalayan nation that offers a fascinating culture, incredible scenery, and very warm and friendly people.  With the exception of congested Kathmandu, Nepal has charming, laid back cities and towns, along with picturesque wildlife parks that are home to many endangered species. 


The unfortunate picture (of the effects of the 2015 earthquake) painted by the media, like much of what they do, is severely exaggerated. For example, the three ancient temples, all UNESCO World Heritage sites, in Kathmandu received very little, or no, damage. The three Durbar Square’s (all of which are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites) in the queen cities of the Kathmandu Valley did receive fairly heavy damage, but most of their monuments are still standing and still provide wonderful insights into the local culture over the last millennia.


Overnight: Kathmandu at Dwarika's Hotel 




DAY 2: PATAN

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast, then get your first look at this Himalayan nation in Durbar Square, a jumble of ancient temples, palaces, courtyards, and streets. Next visit hilltop Swayambhunath, the iconic Buddhist temple dating to about A.D. 500. A 365-step climb brings you to the sacred World Heritage stupa, with its white dome, gilded spire, and all-seeing “eyes” of the Buddha. 


This afternoon travel through Kathmandu Valley to Patan, known for its rich culture and artistic tradition. On a walking tour through the World Heritage site of Patan Durbar Square, see some of the city’s many Buddhist monuments and Hindu temples. 


Late afternoon return to the hotel, where you may relax and enjoy an amazing dinner. 


Overnight: Kathmandu at Dwarika's Hotel  (B,D) 

DAY 3: KOPAN   

Today see different aspects of Nepali life up close. First, travel through the beautiful Kathmandu Valley to hilltop Kopan Monastery, home to 360 monks and lamas. With majestic views of the valley below, the monastery and associated nunnery welcome seekers and visitors to study, meditate, and learn about the Mahayan Buddhism practiced here. 


After your visit, enjoy a small group highlight as you share lunch with a local family in their home. Later visit Shechen Clinicand Hospice, a humanitarian project that provides sustainable medical services to local residents; then tour Boudhanath, one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage sites. 


Overnight Kathmandu at Dwarika's Hotel  (B,L,D) 

DAY 4: NAGARKOT 

Leaving Kathmandu today, stop at Nepal’s oldest and holiest Hindu shrine, ornate Pashupatinath Temple. Here see sadhus and sages who, in following the lifestyle of Lord Shiva, wear loincloths and cover themselves with ashes. You also may witness cremation ceremonies along the river banks; displaying appropriate respect to the mourners is requested of all visitors. 

Continue to Bhaktapur, the least developed of the valley’s three cities. Virtually a living open-air museum with its unspoiled ancient square and warrens of medieval streets, Bhaktapur is known for its fine artisans and many temples. 


Enjoy time to explore then continue the scenic drive to Nagarkot, a hilltop village commanding a spectacular vista of Nepal’s major Himalayan peaks. 


Overnight Nagarkot at Mystic Mountain Hotel  (B,L)

DAY 5: NAGARKOT

Early this morning you have an opportunity for an unforgettable experience: watching the sun rise over the fabled Himalaya.  Later, embark on an easy walk around the village, where you have the chance to meet local people. The remainder of the day is at leisure amid the stunning Himalayan scenery. 


Overnight Nagarkot at Mystic Mountain Hotel  (B,D)




DAY 6: TRANSFER TO BHUTAN

Enjoy another chance to see the sun rise over the peaks sacred in both Buddhism and Hinduism. Then return to Kathmandu for the flight to Bhutan


Upon arrival in the Dragon Kingdom, travel to the capital of Thimphu and your hotel.  Check in, relax, and later enjoy dinner in your hotel. 


Overnight Thimphu at Taj Tashi Thimpu  (B,D)




DAY 7: THIMPHU 

Today’s excursion begins at a local factory where paper is made by hand in the traditional way, followed by a visit to the Textile Museum, housing exquisite weavings from the 16th century to modern times. 


Later visit Tashichho Dzong, the historic fortress and monastery that today houses temples and government offices, including those of the king; then Memorial Chorten, one of Bhutan’s best-loved religious landmarks. Tonight attend a Bhutanese cultural performance then dine in the home of a local family. 


Overnight Thimphu at Taj Tashi Thimpu (B,L,D)

DAY 8: THIMPHU AND PUNAKHA  

En route to Punakha today, visit Kunselphodrang, the recently built Buddha Point where the world’s largest sitting Buddha presides over the Thimphu valley. Then continue to Punakha via Dochula Pass (alt. 10,000 feet), which offers views of snow-topped Himalayan peaks and where you follow the sacred tradition of raising prayer flags in the name of peace and compassion. 


Eat lunch here then continue on your way, stopping to visit a local rice farming village. Next, amble through rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang then see the temple built by the “Divine Madman” in 1499, now a pilgrimage site for couples struggling with infertility. Late this afternoon reach Punakha, which sits at the confluence of the Mo Chu (“Mother”) and Pho Chu (“Father”) rivers in a sub-tropical valley. 


Overnight Punakha at Dhensa Boutique Resort (B,L,D)




DAY 9: PUNAKHA 

Embark this morning on an exhilarating rafting trip on the Mo Chu River. This afternoon visit Punakha Dzong, winter home of the central monastic community and one of the country’s most attractive fortress monasteries, set on a spit of land where the rivers meet. 


Overnight Punakha at Dhensa Boutique Resort (B,L,D)




DAY 10:  TRANSFER TO PARO 

Set out early to return to Thimphu, where you'll see more sites, including the National Library with its immense collection of Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School, where students learn traditional Bhutanese arts. 


Late this afternoon depart for Paro, nestled in the center of a valley dotted with rice paddies, wheat fields, and scattered settlements. 


Overnight Paro at  Naksel  Boutique Hotel and Spa  (B,L,D)

DAY 11: PARO

Begin your tour of this historic town at Ta-Dzong, the national museum showcasing Bhutan’s rich cultural heritage dating from at least 2000 B.C. to the present day. 


Built in 1648 as a watchtower, the cylindrical-shaped museum houses a fine collection of Bhutanese art and artifacts. Also visit Rinpung Dzong, a superb example of Bhutanese architecture. After lunch, call on the sacred 7th-century pilgrimage temple of Kyichu Lhakhang and the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, a 17th-century victory fortress. 


Overnight Paro at Naskel Boutique Hotel and Spa (B,L,D)




DAY 12: TIGER'S NEST 

Today embark on a highlight of any trip to Bhutan: a visit to Paro Taktsang, the sacred Tiger’s Nest monastery and temple complex perched on a cliff some 3,000 feet above the upper Paro Valley – itself at an altitude of 10,200 feet. Embark on the scenic uphill hike early this morning (rental horses are available to take visitors about two-thirds of the way). Those not wishing to climb all the way up can see excellent views of Tiger’s Nest from a waystation cafeteria.   


Late afternoon return to the hotel, where tonight you celebrate at a farewell dinner. 


Overnight Paro at Naskel Boutique Hotel and Spa (B,L,D)




DAY 13: TRANSFER TO KATHMANDU 

Fly this morning to Kathmandu, where you have day rooms and opportunities for exploring on your own before your mid-afternoon departure for the airport and overnight international flight home.  (B,L)

TRIP DETAILS

Trip Inclusions for Sample Journey

Expert English speaking guides  throughout your travels. 

Private Meet and Greet services upon arrival. 

All ground and flight transfers mentioned in trip itinerary, plus luggage assistance 

Luxury or Opulent accommodations as follows:


> 3 Nights in Kathmandu at Dwarika's Hotel 

> 2 Nights in Nagarkot at Mystic Mountain Hotel 

> 2 Nights in Thimphu at Taj Tashi Thimpu

> 2 Nights in Punakha at Dhensa Boutique Resort 

> 3 Nights in Paro at  Naksel  Boutique Hotel and Spa

  

Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner)

All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary

All Taxes and Fees

All suggested donations to Temples

Trip Protection Insurance to protect your vacation investment



What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

> Passport and all visa fees and photos; immunization(s)

> Personal items, unless otherwise stated, such as wine, liquors, a-la-carte orders

> Airline baggage fees 

> Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, internet, etc.)

> Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included


 

> Luxury Experience from $8990 pp based on shared accommodations, customized for 2 travelers.  

> Opulent Experience from $14,230 pp based on shared accommodations, customized for 2 travelers. 



CONTACT US TO CUSTOMIZE THIS EXPERIENCE >> 1-866-269-2659 

Have a group of 6 or more?  Contact us for discounted pricing.  


CONTACT US TO CUSTOMIZE THIS TRIP

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