Nepal & Bhutan - 10 days
FROM USD $4,629
Combine two beautiful Himalayan Kingdoms in one magical tour. Enter the serene & spiritual lands of Nepal & Bhutan, & experience the countries' rich histories & unique cultural heritages. From the brightly coloured fluttering prayer flags of Nepal to the elaborate traditional dress of the Bhutanese, these captivating lands cannot fail to enchant.
Welcome to Nepal and the start of your holiday! Pick up and complete a landing card on the plane or in the airport before you go through customs. Upon arrival you will be met by our representatives and transferred to your hotel where you will receive a welcome drink and a briefing about your trip. Overnight - Kathmandu
Day 2: Pashupatinath Temple
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley. Our first port of call is Swayambhunath - believed to be 25 centuries old it is one of the world’s oldest Buddhist Chaityas and a World Heritage site. It is a sacred shrine and worshipped by all the Buddhists around the world. From Swayambhunath we drive to Kathmandu Durbar Square - the Royal Palace complex built during the 17th century. We may also visit the special living Goddess “Kumari”. Many local festivals take place in this area, you may be lucky enough to witness one!
After lunch drive to Pashupatinath, on the banks of The Bagmati River. Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most sacred Hindu shrines and is also a World Heritage site.
After exploring the area drive northeast to Bodhnath stupa, another World Heritage site. You can see many artistic monasteries here which provide an excellent insight into Tibetan culture. In the evening, Buddhists walk around the stupa with prayer wheels, praying, or prostrating as they pray to Buddha. Many butter lamps provide a unique feeling of Nirvana. We drive back to the hotel to freshen up. In the evening enjoy an authentic Nepali meal with unique cultural dances depicting the various religions of Nepal at a typical Nepali restaurant. Overnight - Kathmandu
Day 3: Paro
Kathmandu – Paro. This morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Bhutan. Upon arrival at Bhutan/Paro airport you will be met by our local representative and transfered to your hotel. Check in to the hotel and freshen up. After lunch, enjoy a visit to the Paro Rinpung Dzong “the Fort of the heap of Jewels” which houses the Paro Monastic body, Paro District Civil Administration and the Paro District Court. A smaller Dzong was first built sometime in the 15th century and rebuilt by the Shabdrung in 1645. It caught fire in 1905 but was immediately rebuilt to its original splendor by the Paro Penlop Dawa Penjor. On way back to the hotel visit Kyichu Lhakhang, built in 638 AD under the order of the Tibetan King Songtsengampo, it is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. Overnight - Paro (B, L, D)
Day 4: Thimphu
Paro - Thimphu. After an early breakfast, drive for approx 1.5 hours to Thimphu, capital of Bhutan. Thimphu is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, located in a narrower valley than Paro and more crowded. It is a modern city but still preserves traditional architecture and traditions.
This afternoon visit the Memorial Chorten built in memory of Late His Majesty, the 3rd King of Bhutan. Also visit a handmade paper unit. Bhutan boasts of some of the best handmade papers in the world. The Handicrafts Emporium is yet another interesting place to visit, where you will fine an excellent variety of well woven Bhutanese textiles. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore the Thimphu market. Overnight - Thimphu (B, L, D)
Day 5: Punakha
Thimphu - Punakha. After breakfast walk around Thimphu city and then drive on to Punakha. Stop for lunch at Docho la, where if the weather permits you’ll be treated to an incredible panoramic view of the Bhutanese Himalayas. Punakha is a 2.5 hour drive from Thimphu. After crossing Docho la the vegetation changes from predominantly Blue Pine forest to a greater variety of plants and trees. In spring, it is colorful with all the Rhododendrons and Magnolias in bloom. Upon arrival in Punakha check into hotel, refresh and then drive up the valley to visit the Dzong in all its splendor. Overnight - Punakha (B, L, D)
Day 6: Chimi Lhakhang
Punakha - Chimi Lhakhang - Paro. After an early breakfast visit Wangde Dzong en route to Chimi Lhakhang. A beautiful temple standing all alone on a small hill overlooking the Puna Tshangchu river belt, Chimi Lhakhang is the Holy place of Lama Drukpa Kuenley, also known as Divine Mad man. The temple is very sacred for the Bhutanese and thousands of people who visit Chimi Lhakhang do so to pray for children - either people with no children seeking fertility or those who have children, seek protection for them. Return to your hotel for lunch before driving back to Paro. Overnight - Paro (B, L, D)
Day 7: Evening tea with a local family
After breakfast, tour Ta Dzong (watch tower) which was built between 1656-1667 and now houses the National Museum. The Museum is considered one of the best of its kind in Asia. It boasts an exhaustive collection of Bhutanese Textiles, Armoury, Earth & Stone Wares, Buddhist Scriptures and Manuscripts. After lunch visit a local farm house and Paro market. Enjoy evening tea with a Bhutanese family in the farm house. Overnight - Paro (B, L, D)
Paro - Kathmandu. On day 8 fly back to Kathmandu where you will be transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure in Nepal's colourful capital. The following day visit Bhaktapur and enjoy a guided tour of the Durbar square, ancient Royal Palace and the local town, which is very cultural and traditional. Overnight - Kathmandu
Arrangements end after breakfast today with an included transfer to Kathmandu Airport for your flight home. Alternatively consider extending your stay and take a spectacular scenic flight over Everest and the majestic Himalayas! (B)