18 Day Himalayan Kingdoms: Nepal & Bhutan

From

$4649

Land Only

$5639*

Air & Land



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2017 Dates & Prices
Dates Land Only Air & Land
Mon, Sep 04  (Sold Out) $5209 $6039*
Sat, Sep 09  (Sold Out) $5109 $5969*
Fri, Sep 15  (Sold Out) $4999 $5859*
Mon, Sep 25  (Sold Out) $5109 $6359*
Fri, Sep 29  (Sold Out) $4999 $6659*
$5209 $6449*
$5209 $6449*
$4999 $6289*
$4649 $5639*
$4649 $5879*
$4649 $6399*
$4649 $6339*

*Not Included:
Prices do not include optional tours, visa fees and gratuities for guides/tour managers.


Additional Information:
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers, but does include flights Kathmandu-Chitwan, Pokhara-Kathmandu, Kathmandu-Paro & Paro-Kathmandu.

A visa is required for entry into Bhutan and is obtained on your behalf by Gate 1 Travel. This visa is required in addition to and separately from an India and/or Nepal visa.


Accommodation Details:
Dec 23 departure will be accommodated at Safari Narayani Hotel

Triple Rooms are not available in Bhutan.


Entry Requirements:
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.



Is This Trip Right for You?

This is an active trip. Our small group covers a lot of ground each day, and we spend 2-3 hours on our feet during tours. Some of our tours require walking over uneven surfaces, many steps or up and down steep slopes. We hike on moderate to difficult terrain and we have many early mornings. We also travel up to 10,000 feet above sea-level. The Tiger’s Nest hike is approximately 5 hours, including over 700 steps to reach the temple. This tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking, have trouble with high altitudes, or who have heart conditions.

Extend Your Stay

Flight Details


Accommodation Details

  • Requests are not guaranteed and are subject to each hotel's discretion and availability

Package Includes

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • Round trip international flights New York-Kathmandu, Kathmandu-New York
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • All intra-flights: Kathmandu-Chitwan, Pokhara-Kathmandu, Kathmandu-Paro & Paro-Kathmandu
  • 16 nights accommodations
    • 5 nights Kathmandu
    • 2 nights Chitwan National Park
    • 2 nights Pokhara
    • 3 nights Thimphu
    • 1 night Punakha
    • 3 nights Paro
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers and sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • 41 meals: 16 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 13 dinners (including 2 home hosted dinners, and welcome & farewell dinners)
  • Bottled water during sightseeing excursions. Bottled water, coffee, and tea with all meals
  • Services of English-speaking tour managers throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features
  • Bhutan Visa
 

Tour Highlights

  • Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.
  • Visit Durbar Square, the ancient palace of Hanuman Dhoka and the Temple of Kumari in Kathmandu
  • Marvel at the Buddhist Stupa of Swayambhunath, designated a World Heritage Site
  • Travel to medieval Bhaktapur, known as the "City of Devotees," dating back to the 13th century
  • Spiritual journey to the World Heritage Site of Pashupatinath, a world-famous Hindu shrine
  • Spend 3 days at a Jungle Resort in Chitwan National Park, adjacent to the Indian Tiger Reserve
  • At Chitwan National Park, enjoy an elephant safari, canoe/boat ride on the river and visit to a Tharu village
  • Tour the Pokhara Valley with its natural wonders including cascading Devi's Falls
  • In ancient Patan, "city of fine arts," tour the square filled with Hindu Temples and Buddhist monuments
  • Travel to the spiritual mountain kingdom of Bhutan with its extraordinary scenery and striking monasteries
  • In Thimphu, a blend of old and new, observe monks serenely strolling in their crimson robes
  • Join Buddhists performing their daily rituals at the whitewashed National Memorial Chorten
  • Drive to Punakha, ancient capital of Bhutan, pausing to view the astounding snow-clad peaks of Bhutan
  • Visit Punakha Dzong, the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan with its towering whitewashed walls
  • Choose to hike to the world-famous "Tiger’s Nest" on the face of a sheer cliff above the Paro Valley

Is This Trip Right for You?

This is an active trip. Our small group covers a lot of ground each day, and we spend 2-3 hours on our feet during tours. Some of our tours require walking over uneven surfaces, many steps or up and down steep slopes. We hike on moderate to difficult terrain and we have many early mornings. We also travel up to 10,000 feet above sea-level. The Tiger’s Nest hike is approximately 5 hours, including over 700 steps to reach the temple. This tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking, have trouble with high altitudes, or who have heart conditions.


DAY 1, Monday - Depart for Nepal
Depart for Nepal

DAY 2, Tuesday - Arrive in Kathmandu
Welcome to Nepal! Late morning arrival in Kathmandu, the "Roof of the World," in the shadow of the Himalayas -- you'll be warmly greeted with a traditional flower garland. At your hotel, time to rest, relax and acclimate to your new time zone. Tonight, join your fellow travelers and Tour Manager at a briefing outlining the extraordinary journey that lies ahead
Overnight: Kathmandu

DAY 3, Wednesday - Swayambhunath, Cooking Demonstration, Boudhanath
Rise early this morning to join the one hour optional flightseeing of Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world. Then, on to 1st century Swayambhunath, crowning a hill overlooking the Kathmandu Valley with its golden spire adorned with colorful prayer flags fluttering in the breeze. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most recognizable symbols of Nepal; the painted eyes of Buddha follow all who ascend the worn stone steps. Crowds of pilgrims and red-clad monks circle the complex, spinning the prayer wheels while scores of monkeys prance about. Continue to Durbar Square, an amazing cluster of ancient temples and palaces that symbolize the country's religious and cultural life, including sprawling Hanuman Dhoka, ancient palace of Nepalese Royalty and the Temple of Kumari, home to the Living Goddess. See the stone carved statue of ferocious KalBhairav, a colorful memorial to the Hindu God of Destruction and the Temple of the Goddess Taleju. A change of pace as you arrive at a popular restaurant for lunch and a specially arranged cooking demonstration of MoMo, one of Nepal's national dishes. Afternoon visit to Boudhanath, the largest stupa of its kind in the world. Participate in a prayer ceremony and receive blessings from the Holy Lama at this extraordinary Buddhist monument. After an outstanding day, return to the hotel. Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Dinner at a Nepalese restaurant. Afterwards, we suggest a Rickshaw ride to see the city's astonishing night-lit temples and palaces
Optional: Mount Everest Flightseeing (AM)
Overnight: Kathmandu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4, Thursday - Bhaktapur, Pashupatinath, Mt. Everest Mountaineer
An excursion takes you this morning to the medieval city of Bhaktapur, called the "City of Devotees," a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lined with palaces, temples, statues and squares connected by a maze of pedestrianized streets. The 14th century Dattatreya Temple and the world famous Peacock Window at Tachapal keep visitors spellbound. Marvel at the intricately carved deities of the richly molded Golden Gate and enter the Palace of Fifty-Five Windows with its exquisite wood carvings. See the Lion's Gate with its guarding statues, Nyatapola, the five-storied temple in Taumadhi Square and the astonishing Bhairab Temple, dedicated to Lord Buddha. Then, you visit the Pottery Center where you watch a demonstration of this fine craft by skilled potters. After a village inspired lunch, you embark upon a journey to the World Heritage Site of Pashupatinath, one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world. On the banks of the holy Bagmati River, this temple is renowned for its beautiful architecture along with its cremation platforms spread along the river. You’ll see throngs of devotees meditating and praying on the steps throughout this sacred temple. At dinner tonight, an evening lecture and one-to-one conversation with a Nepalese woman mountaineer who has climbed Mt Everest -- you'll be inspired by her determination and courage
Overnight: Kathmandu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5, Friday - Chitwan National Park, Jungle Resort
Flight this morning to the village of Bharatpur, with its ochre-colored thatched roof houses. Continue past small villages and terraced rice fields to the Tharu villages of Chitwan. Arrive at Temple Tiger Green Jungle Resort, nestled on the banks of the Narayani River and Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meet your naturalist guide for a refreshing Welcome Drink and briefing about the park and the many different activities available during your stay. The resort, within its own surrounding forest, is designed to adjust to the natural harmony. No doubt you'll enjoy this memorable experience in the midst of one of the world's most beautiful nature centers. Time to settle in and savor a leisurely lunch before this afternoon's very special adventure. Begin with a visit to the elephant stables followed by an exciting Elephant Jungle Safari that penetrates the dense grasslands to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Tonight, a slide presentation on the local wildlife by a senior naturalist is followed by dinner at the resort's Round House. Share stories of today's elephant adventure with your fellow travelers
Overnight: Chitwan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Saturday - Chitwan National Park, Jungle Resort
Your day is filled with wonderful adventures starting with a morning Jeep Safari. Afterwards, you can choose to board a boat or paddle a canoe down the Narayani River. There'll be plenty of opportunity to view the Gharial or Mugger crocodiles as well as a variety of water birds. Then, travel a short distance by jeep inside the park stopping for a picnic lunch in this lush natural oasis. A nature walk with a trained naturalist introduces you to some of the wildlife and the huge species of birds. You'll learn more about Chitwan and its conservation efforts during your discussion with the guides. Later, an ox-cart ride to an authentic Tharu Village where you visit the museum and the homes of some of the indigenous people. In the evening, a delicious BBQ dinner accompanied by a performance by the local Tharu dance group
Overnight: Chitwan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7, Sunday - Pokhara's Natural Wonders
Depart the National Park and travel to Pokhara, the second largest city of Nepal. Along the way, view miles of rice paddies, mustard fields and rural areas dotted with colorful villages. Arrive in scenic Pokhara, home to three of the highest mountains in the world. Lunch at the hotel. Afternoon tour of some of the Pokhara Valley's natural wonders including cascading Devi's Falls, (Hell's Falls) which drops out of sight and is hidden in an underground gorge and the Seti Gandaki River, that flows throughout the city. Visit Gorkha Memorial Museum before continuing to the diverse Old Bazaar with its ethnic traders and stalls selling everything from edibles to gold -- it's definitely an interesting place to stroll. Here you also see the white domed Bindhyabasini Mandir, one of Pokhara's most important shrines, dedicated to the Goddess Bhagwati. The rest of the day is at leisure in Pokhara. Dinner is on your own
Overnight: Pokhara
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8, Monday - Pokhara and the Annapurna Mountains
Early morning hike to the viewpoint at the Peace Pagoda; see the unforgettable sunrise over the mountain peaks. A packed breakfast will be provided. The Annapurna mountain range dominates your northern view while the sweeping expanse of the Pokhara Valley looms over the south and east. This is a not-to-be-missed experience! Afterwards, lunch together at a local restaurant in Pokhara, followed by a visit to the International Mountain Museum. View the many exhibits focused on technique, equipment and materials for hiking, of great interest in a country that is dominated by hikers and trekkers. The museum is in a perfect location, surrounded by the stunning Annapurna mountain range -- a favorite place for adventurers. Linger at the museum or return to the hotel. You're invited this evening for dinner with a local family at their home. There will be lots of opportunity to share great stories, local legends and delicious home cooked food
Overnight: Pokhara
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9, Tuesday - Return to Kathmandu, Ancient Patan, Farewell to Nepal
Return flight to Kathmandu for an excursion to the ancient city of Patan, known as the "City of Fine Arts." Your tour begins at the main square, filled with breathtaking Hindu temples and striking Buddhist monuments. See the old Royal Palace, dominating all others in grace and grandeur and the 16th century stone Krishna Mandir, with its 21 pinnacles dedicated to Lord Krishna. Other landmarks include the Golden Temple, and the terra-cotta temple of Mahabouddha. While in Patan, attend a lecture on Patan's restoration process. Afterwards, time to rest and freshen up before tonight's festivities. A very special home hosted dinner has been arranged just for you -- a perfect conclusion to your wonderful journey through Nepal. The friends and family of the host and hostess will join you as you bid farewell to your Tour Manager and to Nepal
Overnight: Kathmandu
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10, Wednesday - Kingdom of Bhutan
A traditional "khada" ceremony this morning as a symbolic scarf is wrapped around you, with blessings for a serene and safe journey. Travel by flight to Paro in the spiritual mountain kingdom of Bhutan with its striking monasteries and magnificent mountain scenery. Here, you'll also see traditional dzongs dotting the landscape, a distinctive type of fortress architecture with towering exterior walls surrounding complexes of courtyards, temples, and monks' accommodations. Tucked away between China and India in the heart of the Himalayas, Bhutan remains a uniquely distinct country. Upon arrival in historic Paro, drive to the capital city of Thimphu, a fabulous blending of old and new. Time to stroll through the main square and get acquainted with your new surroundings. Tonight, a briefing by your new Tour Manager about the adventure that awaits you in Bhutan, followed by a Welcome Dinner together at the hotel
Overnight: Thimphu
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11, Thursday - Discover Thimphu
In Thimphu, you observe monks strolling serenely in their crimson robes and workers wearing traditional ghos and kiras. Your day begins with a visit to the indigenous Medical Hospital, and the Painting School where students learn thirteen different Bhutanese crafts over the six-year course including paper making, masonry, painting, sculpture, embroidery and much more. At the National Library you view the largest book in the world before proceeding to the Folk Heritage Museum to tour the medieval home used by Bhutan's Queen mothers. Here, you enjoy a lunch of traditional Bhutanese cuisine served in the impressive and historic courtyard. At the Royal Textile museum, view unique displays of textile designs and watch a multimedia presentation before ascending Big Buddha Hill for commanding views of the entire Thimphu Valley and to Tashichho Dzong, a majestic fortress-like building. Dinner at the hotel
Overnight: Thimphu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12, Friday - Memorial Chorten, Big Buddha Hill, School of Astrology, Takin Zoo
This morning, you join Buddhists performing their daily ritual of turning the giant red prayer wheels at the whitewashed National Memorial Chorten with its shining golden finial, dedicated to the third king of Bhutan. Next, drive to the Big Buddha Hill. Here, stop at the Big Buddha Temple for a visit, or for an independent meditation. Afterward, begin a moderate hike around the temple. The area, offers great views of the Thimphu Valley below. End the hike at Kuensel Phodrang Park where a picnic lunch will be provided. Afternoon drive to Pangri Zampa and visit the School of Astrology, where you learn more about this very popular study followed by many families and young monks. Afterwards, drive to the Takin Zoo where you'll finally meet a Takin, the rare national animal of Bhutan. The rest of the day is yours. Perhaps shop in one of the many handicraft stores to bring some treasures back home. At dinner this evening, High School students in traditional dress will join you and bring costumes for you to try. Opportunity to dress as a Bhutanese! It will be a great photo opportunity!
Overnight: Thimphu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13, Saturday - Lobesa, Chimi Lhakhang Monastery, Punakha
An early start this morning as you drive through the scenic terrain of the Himalayas to Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan, pausing at Dochhula Pass to view the astounding snow-clad peaks of Bhutan (on a clear day.) You pass over one hundred monuments and see many colorful prayer flags along your route on your way to the Royal Botanical gardens. After lunch in the village of Lobesa, continue to Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery and fertility temple dedicated to a famous monk also known as "the divine madman." Famous for being unorthodox and trying to make Buddhism more relaxed, he is considered a hero in Bhutan. The monastery is also a fertility temple and couples often come here who want to have children. Later, you experience the soothing sounds of chants and spiritual music as you enter a nearby nunnery or temple. Before dinner at the hotel, you gather to learn how to create a Mandala out of colorful rice, a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism that represents the Universe
Overnight: Punakha
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14, Sunday - Punakha Dzong, Sisina Farm House, Tachogang Lhakhang, Paro
Visit Punakha Dzong, center of power until 1907, considered the most beautiful dzong in the country with its towering whitewashed walls accented by elaborately painted gold, red and black wood. By tradition, all of the Kings of Bhutan are crowned here in the 100-pillar Coronation Hall, decorated with massive gold statues and murals depicting the life of Buddha. After, you continue to Paro, stopping along the way at the legendary Wang Sisina Farm House for a delicious traditional Bhutanese meal served in original earthenware by the hostess. An interesting cultural show and tour of the vast courtyards of this 300 year-old-home will also be arranged. After, you drive to Tachogang Lhakhang near Chuzom, one of the temples founded by a Tibetan saint who also designed and erected many iron suspension bridges in the early 15th century, making parts of Bhutan accessible for the very first time. At an incense making shop you learn more about this craft, and how this has become a popular small industry in this area. Arrive in the town of Paro for an orientation walk before heading to your hotel for dinner and overnight
Overnight: Paro
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 15, Monday - National Museum, Rinpung Dzong, Temple of Kyichu
Morning tour of Paro's National Museum, housed in an old hilltop watchtower resembling the shape of a conch shell. You're guided here by a local historian/writer who interprets for you the museum's valuable collection of antique paintings, festival masks, religious statues and stone carvings. Next, on to Rinpung Dzong, one of the most impressive dzongs in Bhutan, a masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Don't miss the unique painting of Milarelpa, considered the master of meditation by the Buddhists. Walk down to the cantilevered wooden covered bridge that spans the Paro Chhu, a reconstruction of the original bridge washed away in 1969. After lunch at a local restaurant, on to the 7th century Temple of Kyichu; tour the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong, built as a symbol of victory when the Mongolian and Tibetan invaders from the north were defeated. Enjoy a wonderful afternoon tea served inside the ruins of this astonishing setting. Dinner at the hotel
Overnight: Paro
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 16, Tuesday - Ascend to "Tigers Nest"
If you’re adventurous and physically fit, get ready for a memorable hike to world-famous "Tiger's Nest" or Taktsang Palphug Monastery. Located on the face of a sheer cliff above the floor of the Paro Valley, this not to be missed site is accessible only by walking or by a mule or pony (optional and pre-arranged only). This sacred pilgrimage site is where the great tantric mystic, Padmasambhava flew on the back of the tiger and brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan (mythical belief). The Monastery clings to a cliff soaring 3,000 feet above the valley floor at an altitude of 10,000 feet. Along the way, you can hang prayer flags for world peace, or for people who are hungry, ill or in pain (in Buddhism, a prayer flag is considered a blessing). Stop for lunch and savor the breathtaking views from the cafeteria before slowly descending. Tonight, bid a fond farewell at dinner to your newfound friends and Tour Manager with whom you shared this extraordinary journey in Bhutan
Overnight: Paro
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 17, Wednesday - Depart Bhutan, Arrive in Nepal
Early this morning, depart from the airport in Paro on a flight that takes you back to Kathmandu, Nepal. The remainder of the day is at leisure for individual pursuits, or join the optional Dhulikhel & Panauti Tour, where you will do some off the beaten path exploring of the Kathmandu Valley. Start out in Dhulikhel, an ancient town located about 20 miles east of Kathmandu city. You’ll hike among the rolling green hills, admiring the mountains stretching into the distance and traditional architecture that dots the area around this historic trading center along the old commercial route linking Nepal to Tibet. Along the way you’ll climb up to Devi Temple and stop at Shanti Ban, a serene forest that is home to a giant statue of Gautama Buddha. End the hike in Panauti village, a traditional Newar settlement rich in rural character. Here, you will see several temples, including the Indreshwar Mahadev and Bhairav Temples, along with magnificent Rana-era mansions and stupas
Optional: Dhulikhel & Panauti Tour
Overnight: Kathmandu
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 18, Thursday - Depart Nepal
Morning at leisure to prepare for your departure. In the late afternoon you head to the airport for the flight back home later this evening
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 1, Friday - Depart for Nepal
Depart for Nepal

DAY 2, Saturday - Arrive in Kathmandu
Welcome to Nepal! Late morning arrival in Kathmandu, the "Roof of the World," in the shadow of the Himalayas -- you'll be warmly greeted with a traditional flower garland. At your hotel, time to rest, relax and acclimate to your new time zone. Tonight, join your fellow travelers and Tour Manager at a briefing outlining the extraordinary journey that lies ahead
Overnight: Kathmandu

DAY 3, Sunday - Swayambhunath, Cooking Demonstration, Boudhanath
Rise early this morning to join the one hour optional flightseeing of Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world. Then, on to 1st century Swayambhunath, crowning a hill overlooking the Kathmandu Valley with its golden spire adorned with colorful prayer flags fluttering in the breeze. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most recognizable symbols of Nepal; the painted eyes of Buddha follow all who ascend the worn stone steps. Crowds of pilgrims and red-clad monks circle the complex, spinning the prayer wheels while scores of monkeys prance about. Continue to Durbar Square, an amazing cluster of ancient temples and palaces that symbolize the country's religious and cultural life, including sprawling Hanuman Dhoka, ancient palace of Nepalese Royalty and the Temple of Kumari, home to the Living Goddess. See the stone carved statue of ferocious KalBhairav, a colorful memorial to the Hindu God of Destruction and the Temple of the Goddess Taleju. A change of pace as you arrive at a popular restaurant for lunch and a specially arranged cooking demonstration of MoMo, one of Nepal's national dishes. Afternoon visit to Boudhanath, the largest stupa of its kind in the world. Participate in a prayer ceremony and receive blessings from the Holy Lama at this extraordinary Buddhist monument. After an outstanding day, return to the hotel. Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Dinner at a Nepalese restaurant. Afterwards, we suggest a Rickshaw ride to see the city's astonishing night-lit temples and palaces
Optional: Mount Everest Flightseeing (AM)
Overnight: Kathmandu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4, Monday - Bhaktapur, Pashupatinath, Mt. Everest Mountaineer
An excursion takes you this morning to the medieval city of Bhaktapur, called the "City of Devotees," a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lined with palaces, temples, statues and squares connected by a maze of pedestrianized streets. The 14th century Dattatreya Temple and the world famous Peacock Window at Tachapal keep visitors spellbound. Marvel at the intricately carved deities of the richly molded Golden Gate and enter the Palace of Fifty-Five Windows with its exquisite wood carvings. See the Lion's Gate with its guarding statues, Nyatapola, the five-storied temple in Taumadhi Square and the astonishing Bhairab Temple, dedicated to Lord Buddha. Then, you visit the Pottery Center where you watch a demonstration of this fine craft by skilled potters. After a village inspired lunch, you embark upon a journey to the World Heritage Site of Pashupatinath, one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world. On the banks of the holy Bagmati River, this temple is renowned for its beautiful architecture along with its cremation platforms spread along the river. You’ll see throngs of devotees meditating and praying on the steps throughout this sacred temple. At dinner tonight, an evening lecture and one-to-one conversation with a Nepalese woman mountaineer who has climbed Mt Everest -- you'll be inspired by her determination and courage
Overnight: Kathmandu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5, Tuesday - Chitwan National Park, Jungle Resort
Flight this morning to the village of Bharatpur, with its ochre-colored thatched roof houses. Continue past small villages and terraced rice fields to the Tharu villages of Chitwan. Arrive at Temple Tiger Green Jungle Resort, nestled on the banks of the Narayani River and Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meet your naturalist guide for a refreshing Welcome Drink and briefing about the park and the many different activities available during your stay. The resort, within its own surrounding forest, is designed to adjust to the natural harmony. No doubt you'll enjoy this memorable experience in the midst of one of the world's most beautiful nature centers. Time to settle in and savor a leisurely lunch before this afternoon's very special adventure. Begin with a visit to the elephant stables followed by an exciting Elephant Jungle Safari that penetrates the dense grasslands to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Tonight, a slide presentation on the local wildlife by a senior naturalist is followed by dinner at the resort's Round House. Share stories of today's elephant adventure with your fellow travelers
Overnight: Chitwan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Wednesday - Chitwan National Park, Jungle Resort
Your day is filled with wonderful adventures starting with a morning Jeep Safari. Afterwards, you can choose to board a boat or paddle a canoe down the Narayani River. There'll be plenty of opportunity to view the Gharial or Mugger crocodiles as well as a variety of water birds. Then, travel a short distance by jeep inside the park stopping for a picnic lunch in this lush natural oasis. A nature walk with a trained naturalist introduces you to some of the wildlife and the huge species of birds. You'll learn more about Chitwan and its conservation efforts during your discussion with the guides. Later, an ox-cart ride to an authentic Tharu Village where you visit the museum and the homes of some of the indigenous people. In the evening, a delicious BBQ dinner accompanied by a performance by the local Tharu dance group
Overnight: Chitwan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7, Thursday - Pokhara's Natural Wonders
Depart the National Park and travel to Pokhara, the second largest city of Nepal. Along the way, view miles of rice paddies, mustard fields and rural areas dotted with colorful villages. Arrive in scenic Pokhara, home to three of the highest mountains in the world. Lunch at the hotel. Afternoon tour of some of the Pokhara Valley's natural wonders including cascading Devi's Falls, (Hell's Falls) which drops out of sight and is hidden in an underground gorge and the Seti Gandaki River, that flows throughout the city. Visit Gorkha Memorial Museum before continuing to the diverse Old Bazaar with its ethnic traders and stalls selling everything from edibles to gold -- it's definitely an interesting place to stroll. Here you also see the white domed Bindhyabasini Mandir, one of Pokhara's most important shrines, dedicated to the Goddess Bhagwati. The rest of the day is at leisure in Pokhara. Dinner is on your own
Overnight: Pokhara
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8, Friday - Pokhara and the Annapurna Mountains
Early morning hike to the viewpoint at the Peace Pagoda; see the unforgettable sunrise over the mountain peaks. A packed breakfast will be provided. The Annapurna mountain range dominates your northern view while the sweeping expanse of the Pokhara Valley looms over the south and east. This is a not-to-be-missed experience! Afterwards, lunch together at a local restaurant in Pokhara, followed by a visit to the International Mountain Museum. View the many exhibits focused on technique, equipment and materials for hiking, of great interest in a country that is dominated by hikers and trekkers. The museum is in a perfect location, surrounded by the stunning Annapurna mountain range -- a favorite place for adventurers. Linger at the museum or return to the hotel. You're invited this evening for dinner with a local family at their home. There will be lots of opportunity to share great stories, local legends and delicious home cooked food
Overnight: Pokhara
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9, Saturday - Return to Kathmandu, Ancient Patan, Farewell to Nepal
Return flight to Kathmandu for an excursion to the ancient city of Patan, known as the "City of Fine Arts." Your tour begins at the main square, filled with breathtaking Hindu temples and striking Buddhist monuments. See the old Royal Palace, dominating all others in grace and grandeur and the 16th century stone Krishna Mandir, with its 21 pinnacles dedicated to Lord Krishna. Other landmarks include the Golden Temple, and the terra-cotta temple of Mahabouddha. While in Patan, attend a lecture on Patan's restoration process. Afterwards, time to rest and freshen up before tonight's festivities. A very special home hosted dinner has been arranged just for you -- a perfect conclusion to your wonderful journey through Nepal. The friends and family of the host and hostess will join you as you bid farewell to your Tour Manager and to Nepal
Overnight: Kathmandu
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10, Sunday - Kingdom of Bhutan
A traditional "khada" ceremony this morning as a symbolic scarf is wrapped around you, with blessings for a serene and safe journey. Travel by flight to Paro in the spiritual mountain kingdom of Bhutan with its striking monasteries and magnificent mountain scenery. Here, you'll also see traditional dzongs dotting the landscape, a distinctive type of fortress architecture with towering exterior walls surrounding complexes of courtyards, temples, and monks' accommodations. Tucked away between China and India in the heart of the Himalayas, Bhutan remains a uniquely distinct country. Upon arrival in historic Paro, drive to the capital city of Thimphu, a fabulous blending of old and new. Time to stroll through the main square and get acquainted with your new surroundings. Tonight, a briefing by your new Tour Manager about the adventure that awaits you in Bhutan, followed by a Welcome Dinner together at the hotel
Overnight: Thimphu
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11, Monday - Discover Thimphu
In Thimphu, you observe monks strolling serenely in their crimson robes and workers wearing traditional ghos and kiras. Your day begins with a visit to the indigenous Medical Hospital, and the Painting School where students learn thirteen different Bhutanese crafts over the six-year course including paper making, masonry, painting, sculpture, embroidery and much more. At the National Library you view the largest book in the world before proceeding to the Folk Heritage Museum to tour the medieval home used by Bhutan's Queen mothers. Here, you enjoy a lunch of traditional Bhutanese cuisine served in the impressive and historic courtyard. At the Royal Textile museum, view unique displays of textile designs and watch a multimedia presentation before ascending Big Buddha Hill for commanding views of the entire Thimphu Valley and to Tashichho Dzong, a majestic fortress-like building. Dinner at the hotel
Overnight: Thimphu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12, Tuesday - Memorial Chorten, Big Buddha Hill, School of Astrology, Takin Zoo
This morning, you join Buddhists performing their daily ritual of turning the giant red prayer wheels at the whitewashed National Memorial Chorten with its shining golden finial, dedicated to the third king of Bhutan. Next, drive to the Big Buddha Hill. Here, stop at the Big Buddha Temple for a visit, or for an independent meditation. Afterward, begin a moderate hike around the temple. The area, offers great views of the Thimphu Valley below. End the hike at Kuensel Phodrang Park where a picnic lunch will be provided. Afternoon drive to Pangri Zampa and visit the School of Astrology, where you learn more about this very popular study followed by many families and young monks. Afterwards, drive to the Takin Zoo where you'll finally meet a Takin, the rare national animal of Bhutan. The rest of the day is yours. Perhaps shop in one of the many handicraft stores to bring some treasures back home. At dinner this evening, High School students in traditional dress will join you and bring costumes for you to try. Opportunity to dress as a Bhutanese! It will be a great photo opportunity!
Overnight: Thimphu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13, Wednesday - Lobesa, Chimi Lhakhang Monastery, Punakha
An early start this morning as you drive through the scenic terrain of the Himalayas to Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan, pausing at Dochhula Pass to view the astounding snow-clad peaks of Bhutan (on a clear day.) You pass over one hundred monuments and see many colorful prayer flags along your route on your way to the Royal Botanical gardens. After lunch in the village of Lobesa, continue to Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery and fertility temple dedicated to a famous monk also known as "the divine madman." Famous for being unorthodox and trying to make Buddhism more relaxed, he is considered a hero in Bhutan. The monastery is also a fertility temple and couples often come here who want to have children. Later, you experience the soothing sounds of chants and spiritual music as you enter a nearby nunnery or temple. Before dinner at the hotel, you gather to learn how to create a Mandala out of colorful rice, a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism that represents the Universe
Overnight: Punakha
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14, Thursday - Punakha Dzong, Sisina Farm House, Tachogang Lhakhang, Paro
Visit Punakha Dzong, center of power until 1907, considered the most beautiful dzong in the country with its towering whitewashed walls accented by elaborately painted gold, red and black wood. By tradition, all of the Kings of Bhutan are crowned here in the 100-pillar Coronation Hall, decorated with massive gold statues and murals depicting the life of Buddha. After, you continue to Paro, stopping along the way at the legendary Wang Sisina Farm House for a delicious traditional Bhutanese meal served in original earthenware by the hostess. An interesting cultural show and tour of the vast courtyards of this 300 year-old-home will also be arranged. After, you drive to Tachogang Lhakhang near Chuzom, one of the temples founded by a Tibetan saint who also designed and erected many iron suspension bridges in the early 15th century, making parts of Bhutan accessible for the very first time. At an incense making shop you learn more about this craft, and how this has become a popular small industry in this area. Arrive in the town of Paro for an orientation walk before heading to your hotel for dinner and overnight
Overnight: Paro
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 15, Friday - National Museum, Rinpung Dzong, Temple of Kyichu
Morning tour of Paro's National Museum, housed in an old hilltop watchtower resembling the shape of a conch shell. You're guided here by a local historian/writer who interprets for you the museum's valuable collection of antique paintings, festival masks, religious statues and stone carvings. Next, on to Rinpung Dzong, one of the most impressive dzongs in Bhutan, a masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Don't miss the unique painting of Milarelpa, considered the master of meditation by the Buddhists. Walk down to the cantilevered wooden covered bridge that spans the Paro Chhu, a reconstruction of the original bridge washed away in 1969. After lunch at a local restaurant, on to the 7th century Temple of Kyichu; tour the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong, built as a symbol of victory when the Mongolian and Tibetan invaders from the north were defeated. Enjoy a wonderful afternoon tea served inside the ruins of this astonishing setting. Dinner at the hotel
Overnight: Paro
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 16, Saturday - Ascend to "Tigers Nest"
If you’re adventurous and physically fit, get ready for a memorable hike to world-famous "Tiger's Nest" or Taktsang Palphug Monastery. Located on the face of a sheer cliff above the floor of the Paro Valley, this not to be missed site is accessible only by walking or by a mule or pony (optional and pre-arranged only). This sacred pilgrimage site is where the great tantric mystic, Padmasambhava flew on the back of the tiger and brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan (mythical belief). The Monastery clings to a cliff soaring 3,000 feet above the valley floor at an altitude of 10,000 feet. Along the way, you can hang prayer flags for world peace, or for people who are hungry, ill or in pain (in Buddhism, a prayer flag is considered a blessing). Stop for lunch and savor the breathtaking views from the cafeteria before slowly descending. Tonight, bid a fond farewell at dinner to your newfound friends and Tour Manager with whom you shared this extraordinary journey in Bhutan
Overnight: Paro
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 17, Sunday - Depart Bhutan, Arrive in Nepal
Early this morning, depart from the airport in Paro on a flight that takes you back to Kathmandu, Nepal. The remainder of the day is at leisure for individual pursuits, or join the optional Dhulikhel & Panauti Tour, where you will do some off the beaten path exploring of the Kathmandu Valley. Start out in Dhulikhel, an ancient town located about 20 miles east of Kathmandu city. You’ll hike among the rolling green hills, admiring the mountains stretching into the distance and traditional architecture that dots the area around this historic trading center along the old commercial route linking Nepal to Tibet. Along the way you’ll climb up to Devi Temple and stop at Shanti Ban, a serene forest that is home to a giant statue of Gautama Buddha. End the hike in Panauti village, a traditional Newar settlement rich in rural character. Here, you will see several temples, including the Indreshwar Mahadev and Bhairav Temples, along with magnificent Rana-era mansions and stupas
Optional: Dhulikhel & Panauti Tour
Overnight: Kathmandu
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 18, Monday - Depart Nepal
Morning at leisure to prepare for your departure. In the late afternoon you head to the airport for the flight back home later this evening
Meals: Breakfast

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Discovery Tours itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
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Mount Everest Flightseeing

Enjoy an early morning flight on a small aircraft, with a window seat, for an hour of spectacular scenery over the tallest mountain peak on earth. You will be able to view some of the most incredible, and famous sights that Nepal has to offer. This is weather permitting so tour might be delayed or an alternative day may be scheduled.

Approximate tour duration is 3 hours.

Day #3 20 Jan 2016 - 30 Nov 2017 $275.00
01 Dec 2017 - 31 Jan 2018 $275.00
Mount Everest Flightseeing Thumbnail
Dhulikhel & Panauti Tour

This morning you will have the chance to do some exploring off the beaten path near the outskirts of the Kathmandu valley. We start out in Dhulikhel, an ancient town located about 20 miles east of Kathmandu city. We’ll hike among the rolling green hills, admiring the mountains stretching into the distance and traditional architecture that dots the area around this historic trading center along the old commercial route linking Nepal to Tibet. Along the way we’ll climb up to Devi Temple and stop at Shanti Ban, a serene forest that is home to a giant statue of Gautama Buddha. Our morning trek ends in Panauti village, a traditional Newar settlement rich in rural character. Here we will see a number of temples, including Indreshwar Mahadev Temple dedicated to Shiva and Bhairav Temple, along the idyllic, brick-paved streets lined with magnificent carved rest houses and stupas.

Please be advised this tour will involve 2-3 hours of walking and hiking over potentially rough, uneven terrain and a climb of 1000 steps with a brief break. Approximate tour duration is 5 hours.

Day #17 01 Sep 2016 - 31 Dec 2017 $69.00
01 Jan 2018 - 31 Jan 2019 $85.00
Dhulikhel & Panauti Tour Thumbnail
Mount Everest Flightseeing

Enjoy an early morning flight on a small aircraft, with a window seat, for an hour of spectacular scenery over the tallest mountain peak on earth. You will be able to view some of the most incredible, and famous sights that Nepal has to offer. This is weather permitting so tour might be delayed or an alternative day may be scheduled.

Approximate tour duration is 3 hours.

Day #3 20 Jan 2016 - 30 Nov 2017 $275.00
01 Dec 2017 - 31 Jan 2018 $275.00
Mount Everest Flightseeing Thumbnail
Dhulikhel & Panauti Tour

This morning you will have the chance to do some exploring off the beaten path near the outskirts of the Kathmandu valley. We start out in Dhulikhel, an ancient town located about 20 miles east of Kathmandu city. We’ll hike among the rolling green hills, admiring the mountains stretching into the distance and traditional architecture that dots the area around this historic trading center along the old commercial route linking Nepal to Tibet. Along the way we’ll climb up to Devi Temple and stop at Shanti Ban, a serene forest that is home to a giant statue of Gautama Buddha. Our morning trek ends in Panauti village, a traditional Newar settlement rich in rural character. Here we will see a number of temples, including Indreshwar Mahadev Temple dedicated to Shiva and Bhairav Temple, along the idyllic, brick-paved streets lined with magnificent carved rest houses and stupas.

Please be advised this tour will involve 2-3 hours of walking and hiking over potentially rough, uneven terrain and a climb of 1000 steps with a brief break. Approximate tour duration is 5 hours.

Day #17 01 Sep 2016 - 31 Dec 2017 $69.00
Dhulikhel & Panauti Tour Thumbnail

Himalayan Kingdoms: Nepal & Bhutan, March 2016
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The guides and their teams in both Nepal and Bhutan were phenomenal- dedicated, tireless and caring. Don't change anything. The highlight for me was meeting the female Sherpa, Maya and I will be looking for a trek to base camp. Everything was exceptional. Bhutan exceeded my dreams and I hope to go back and see more of the country. One of the finest trips of my life and as I am well traveled I believe I know what I am talking about! Thank you.

Angelica F. Woodland Hls, CA