Tour Spotlight

Annapurna Panorama

13 days from USD $2,399

Experience a wonderfully varied and easy-paced trek through the stunning Annapurna region, while lodging in quaint Track...

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Sample Itinerary - REF INDIA 2650

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A Bhutanese Archer in Paro - photo courtesy of Tourism Council of Bhutan	[

Day 1: Paro

Welcome to the Kingdom of Bhutan. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Overnight Hotel Olathang

Ready for battle! Photo courtesy of Tourism Council of Bhutan

Day 2: Paro - Thimphu

This morning you are transferred to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan. Driving through the Paro valley gaze out upon silvery Pa Chu (Paro River) meandering its way through the thick forested ravine. Although a new city, Thimphu contains a number of sites of historical significance and importance. The most prominent landmark is the Tashichho Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion). It is used both as a religious centre for lamas and as an administrative building. Enjoy a city tour visiting the famous landmarks. Overnight Hotel Puntso Perli

Khamsung Yulley Monastery photo courtesy of Tourist Council of Bhutan

Day 3: Thimphu - Punakha

After breakfast drive to Punakha stopping at the lofty Dochu La Pass to view the rugged eastern Himalayas. After crossing Docho la the vegetation changes from predominantly Blue Pine forest to a greater variety of plants and trees. Punakha retains the serene atmosphere of a place with a regal past and is home to what is considered to be the country’s most beautiful dzong. Punakha Dzong was constructed in 1637 and is now the winter residence of Bhutan’s Central Monastic Body. Overnight Kingaling Hotel

Chorten Kora near to Punakha photo courtesy of Tourist Council of Bhutan

Day 4: Punakha - Paro

After breakfast visit Wangdue Phodrang Dzong en route to Chimi Lhakhang. A beautiful temple standing alone 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. This afternoon return to Paro. Overnight Hotel Olathang

A colourful and lively masked dancer in Paro - photo courtesy of Tourism Council of Bhutan

Day 5: Paro

Taktshang Pelphung monastery or Tiger's Nest as it often referred to, is one of the most venerated and famous of Bhutan's monasteries. It is located on the face of a sheer 900m cliff above the floor of Paro valley. Today take a scenic hike to view this spectacular and unmissable sight! Overnight Hotel Olathang

Day 6: Paro - Kathmandu

Take to the skies today with a flight to Kathmandu where you will be transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure in Nepal's colourful capital. Overnight Holy Himalaya

Day 7: Kathmandu

Enjoy guided sightseeing of the top spots of Kathmandu. First we admire the view from Swayambhu stupa, believed to be 25 centuries old it is one of the world’s oldest Buddhist Chaityas and a World Heritage site. Continuing on we visit another World heritage site Pashupatinath Temple, one of the most sacred Hindu shrines before driving northeast to Bodhnath stupa, again another World Heritage site. You can see many artistic monasteries here which provide an excellent insight into Tibetan culture. Overnight Holy Himalaya

Day 8: Kathmandu - Chitwan N. P.

Today we take the long drive to Chitwan National Park, the first national park of Nepal established in 1973 to preserve a unique ecosystem. Hailed as one of Asia’s finest game parks, Chitwan is home to elephants and rhinos, sloth bears and striped hyenas. Overnight Chitwan Paradise

Day 9: Chitwan N. P.

You have free time to choose from the various optional activities available in Chitwan National Park. Take a nature walk, a jungle drive, ride on an elephant or journey in a dugout canoe and admire the scenery - if you are lucky you may even see an elusive tiger! Overnight Chitwan Paradise

Day 10: Chitwan N. P. - Pokhara

Today we journey to the picturesque town of Pokhara known for its stunning panoramic views of the Himalayas and lakes and is a tranquil town to relax in. Enjoy a visit to Phewa lake, the second largest lake in the kingdom is the centre of all attractions in Pokhara. The enchanting lake is an idyllic playground. Brightly painted wooden boats and sailboats can be rented on reasonable cost around lakeside. Overnight Pokhara Village

Day 11: Pokhara

An early start today as we drive to Sarangkot enjoying the views and observing local people, villages and farms. We visit the thundering waterfall known as Devi’s falls and afterwards stop in at a Tibetan refugee camp, a local school and monastery. There will be the chance to pick up some souvenirs from small stalls and a carpet-weaving hall. Overnight Pokhara Village

Day 12: Pokhara - Bhaktapur

After breakfast continue on to Bhaktapur, a typical Newari town (option to fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu) Despite its close proximity to Kathmandu, Bhaktapur seems worlds apart. This enchanting old town is peacefully traffic free and has retained its centuries old traditions, crafts and trades. Bhaktapur Durbar Square is home to beautifully carved Malla dynasty palaces and pagodas and the cobblestone streets, temples, shrines and squares are full of character. Overnight Cozy Hotel

Day 13: Bhaktapur - Zhangmu

A morning drive to the Nepal-Tibet border town of Zhangmu, after clearing customs & Immigration continue on to Nyalam once a town of stone buildings and tin roofs. Overnight Adun Guest house

Day 14: Zhangmu - Shigatse

Travel to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet and an important trading and administrative centre. Shigatse is the location of the huge Tashilunpo Monastery, the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama, second in authority to the Dalai Lama in the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The Tashilunpo is a huge monastic compound of golden-roofed venerable buildings and cobbled lanes, which dates from 1447 when founded by Gendren Drup, the first Dalai Lama. Overnight Mansarover

Day 15: Shigatse - Lhasa

Transfer to Lhasa today via Gyantse the third largest town in Tibet but most influenced by Chinese attractions. A prominent town in Tibet located in the fertile plain of the Nyang River Valley, it was once an important centre for trade between India and Tibet and today lies along the Friendship Highway that connects Kathmandu in Nepal with Lhasa in Tibet. The town was originally surrounded by a 3km long wall and the Gyantse Dzong (Gyantse Fort) guarded the southern approaches to the Tsangpo Valley and Lhasa. The fortress was constructed in 1390 and today, a 20-minute hike will take you to its upper limits for amazing views of Gyantse and the surrounding Nyang-chu Valley. Overnight Kyichu or Shambala

Day 16: Lhasa

Begin explorating this mythical city by visiting Potala Palace. The winter home of the Dalai Lamas and a masterpiece in design; the Potala Palace is 13 stories high and contains thousands of rooms. The palace really is the heart of Tibet. Then we take a short journey to the 15th century Drepung Monastery. Formerly one of the largest monasteries of Tibet, housing 10,000 monks. Overnight Kyichu or Shambala

Day 17: Lhasa

Enjoy a tour which includes the Sera monastery, which is still a working retreat 600 years after its foundation as a main teaching monastery. It once housed more than 5500 monks. The highlight of the day is a visit to the holiest shrine in Tibet, the 7th Century Jokhang Temple, which houses a solid gold shrine of the enlightened Buddha. The exterior of the temple isn’t exceptional but the electric atmosphere and buzz of activity inside is truly captivating. The final stop of the day will be the bustling Barkhor Bazaar. Overnight Kyichu or Shambala

Day 18: Lhasa - Shigatse

Leaving Lhasa behind we return to our hotel in Shigatse where the rest of the days is at your leisure. Overnight Mansarover

Day 19: Shigatse - Kathmandu

Xegar is a small town at the base of Mount Everest in Tibet. The town was built at the foot of the ruins of the impressive Xegar Dzong (fortress). Xegar was once the capital of the Tingri region and used to be an important trading post where Sherpas from Nepal exchanged rice, grain and iron for Tibetan wool and salt. Today it is a busy hub for hikers from around the world. We drive from Shigatse to Xegar and onward to Zangmu. Overnight Zangmu Hotel

Flags leading up to a beautiful monastery - photo courtesy of Tourism Council of Bhutan

Day 20: Kathmandu

We drive back to Kathmandu today, the rest of the afternoon is yours to relax. Overnight Holy Himalaya

Day 21: Kathmandu

Today is at leisure to explore Independently. Overnight Holy Himalaya

Day 22: Kathmandu

Sadly your tour with us comes to an end today, you will be transferred back to the airport in time for your departure flight.