Take this Nepal Bhutan Package Tour and visit two Himalayan nations renowned for their dramatic landscapes, outstanding mountain views, generous hospitality and fascinating culture. For centuries outsiders were forbidden to enter these two Himalayan kingdoms. While Nepal opened its doors to outsiders during the late 1960s, tourism in Bhutan was introduced only in the mid 1970s. Following a strict policy of sustainable tourism to safeguard its environment and culture, Bhutan allows only a handful of tourists to visit the country each year. Embark on an unforgettable journey and explore Bhutan and Nepal.
Your Nepal Bhutan tour begins from Kathmandu. Stroll down the cobbled streets of a medieval palace square- Patan Durbar Square filled with ancient temples and pagoda-roofed palaces. Witness the religious fervor of the devotees and mysticism at two of the most important sacred sites in Nepal - Boudhanath and Pashupatinath Temple. Get mesmerized by the endless stretch of snow-covered Himalayan peaks as you fly into Paro, Bhutan. Explore the ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’. Walk through its centuries-old dzongs (fortresses) and monasteries. Visit ancient lakhangs (Buddhist temples) and palaces. Interact with the friendly locals and seek blessings from the learned monks. Your Bhutan visit ends with an epic hike to the cliffside monastery of Tigers' Nest (Taktsang). Before you finally head home, you sample more of Kathmandu’s cultural delights. Discover medieval Bhaktapur, Panauti and Sanga. Wind up your Bhutan Nepal Holiday with an unforgettable hike down the forested trail of Nagarkot to Changu Narayan, one of the oldest Hindu temples in the world. If you want to focus on the spiritual aspect and are searching for a purely Buddhist experience then we have a special itinerary for you. Please check our Nepal and Bhutan Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour. If you want to tour either Nepal or Bhutan you choose our popular Best of Nepal Tour or Bhutan Heritage Tour.
We recommend Spring, Autumn and early Winter as the best seasons to take this trip. During these months the daytime temperatures are just right, neither too hot or cold. It may be a little chilly during the early mornings and evenings in Autumn and early Winter.
Nepal: Kathmandu has a whole lot of high-end as well as mid-range and budget restaurants and eateries. In Thamel you will find a selection of specialty and multi-cuisine restaurants and eateries. Breakfast, welcome dinner and farewell dinner will be complimentary.
Bhutan: In Bhutan, restaurants and eateries serve continental, Indian and Bhutanese dishes. Bhutanese dishes are usually made with chilies, cheese, meat, mushrooms, red rice and buck wheat. All meals are included in the trip price.
As you fly into Kathmandu, you will be greeted by an endless stretch of ice-covered mountains and green hills. Our representative will be there to meet you at the Tribhuvan International Airport. He will escort you to your hotel and help you check in. In the evening one of our travel consultants will brief you about your tour itinerary. Take rest or stroll around Thamel, a popular tourist hub in Kathmandu. Later in the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at an authentic Nepali restaurant. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Your sightseeing commences with a drive to Boudhanath Stupa, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world. Festooned with colourful prayer flags, this ancient stupa is an important centre of Tibetan Buddhism. According to local legend the remains of Kasyapa Buddha (previous incarnation of Buddha) lie buried beneath this stupa. Join the pilgrims and walk around the stupa clockwise spinning the prayer wheels. Head to Pashupatinath Temple, an important Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The pagoda-roofed temple which dates back to 400 AD is one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites in the world. ‘Aryaghat’ the Hindu cremation lies nearby and you can observe Hindu cremation rites from the eastern bank of the river Bagmati(which flows beside the temple). Wind up your sightseeing tour with an interesting visit to the medieval city of Patan. Visit Patan Durbar Square another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built by the Malla rulers, the palace square is filled with temples, Buddhist shrines and a pagoda-roofed palace(now converted into a museum). Overnight in Kathmandu.
The scenic flight to Bhutan lets you experience the Himalayas from the comfort of your plane. Once you land in Paro, your guide will meet you and apprise you about your Bhutan Trip itinerary. He will take you for a sightseeing tour after lunch/refreshments. Head to Ta Dzong, a traditional watchtower which dates back to the 17th century. This impressive building now houses the National Museum. The museum showcases the battle regalia of ancient Bhutanese warriors, traditional Buddhist paintings, old stamps, religious relics, bronze statues etc. Later head to Paro Dzong, also known as Rinpung Dzong (Heap of Jewels Fort). This ancient fortress was built by Zabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who is known as the founder of Bhutan. The old traditional fortress now houses administrative offices and a monastery. After your sightseeing tour drive to the capital city of Thimphu. Check into your designated hotel and take rest. In the evening take a stroll down this picturesque capital and observe the locals or shop for souvenirs. Overnight in Thimphu.
Wake up early and head to the King’s Memorial Chorten with your guide. This giant chorten was built as a memorial to the third Bhutanese king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Afterwards take a drive to the hilltop shrine of Buddha Dordenma, one of the most frequented tourist destination in Bhutan. A giant metal statue of Buddha is placed on top of a hill overlooking Thimphu valley. The169 foot statue holds 1,25,0000 miniature statues inside its bronze body. According to locals, the Buddha statues outnumber the total human population of Thimphu which is around 1,00,000. Before leaving Thimphu, head to Tashichho Dzong, the seat of the Bhutan royal government. This magnificent traditional fortress houses the king’s throne room and government secretariat. Next take a drive to Punakha en route the picturesque Dochula Pass. From the pass enjoy panoramic views of mountains and forests. The pass is decorated with 108 memorial chortens(dedicated to soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty). Once you reach Punakha head to your hotel and take rest. Overnight in Punakaha.
Punakha is the winter residence of Bhutan’s Chief Abbot (Je Khenpo) and his aides. It was seat of the government before the capital was shifted to Thimphu. Coronation ceremonies of all the Bhutanese kings have been held here. Commence your sightseeing tour with a visit to Punakha Dzong. One of the most beautiful dzongs in Bhutan, the Punakha Dzong lies in a picturesque location, at the confluence of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers. One has to cross a wooden cantilever bridge to enter this ancient fort. This majestic building is a classic example of traditional Bhutanese architecture. Besides ancient religious relics and historical artifacts, Punakha Dzong houses the sacred remains of Zabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (the founder of Bhutan) and Pema Lingpa. Later on make your way past paddy fields and local farms to Chimi Lakhang Temple. Also known as ‘Fertility Temple’, the shrine is dedicated to the ‘Divine Madman’ Drukpa Kuenley, the patron saint of Bhutan. Locals believe women who visit this temple are blessed with fertility. Parents also bring their new born babies to this temple to seek blessings and receive an auspicious name from one of the monks residing at the temple. Afterwards the visit is over, drive to Paro. Overnight in Paro.
Today you visit one of the most iconic places in Bhutan, the Taktsang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest. Padmasambhava, also known as the Second Buddha, is believed to have flown on the back of a tigress and meditated at the site where this monastery is built. Taktsang Monastery is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Buddhists in Bhutan.
Get up early in the morning and drive to the trailhead. Once you reach the trailheadyou begin your hike to Taktsang Monastery. It is uphill all the way. If you don’t feel like straining yourself, you can take (hire) a pony ride till the halfway point. Ponies are only allowed up to a certain stretch. You will have to cover the remaining part of the journey on foot. The trail goes through a dense forest filled with pine trees. Once you reach the top, the views will mesmerize you and make you forget the hard climb. The close up view of the monastery perched on the side of the rocky cliff will take your breath away. Visit the monastery, take pictures and walk down back to the highway. Hop onto the waiting vehicle and head back to your hotel. Overnight in Paro
Your guide will drive you to the airport well on time to catch your flight to Kathmandu. As the plane leaves Bhutan, feast your eyes for the final time on the verdant Bhutanese landscape. Savor breathtaking views of snowcapped mountains and rolling green hills. In less than an hour you reach Kathmandu. Your guide will meet you at the airport and take you to Bhaktapur, one of the three medieval cities in Kathmandu. Stroll around Bhaktapur Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and step inside centuries old pagoda-roofed temples and palaces. Palace of 55 Windows, Nyatapol Temple, Golden Gate, Bhairavnath Temple etc. are some of the architectural wonders dotting this beautiful palace square. Next up, your destination is Panauti – a medieval Newari town located south-east of Kathmandu valley. This atmospheric town is filled with ancient temples and Newari traditional houses. Walk through the narrow lanes and cobbled streets and iinteract with the locals. Afterwards take a delightful ride to Sanga and stand beneath the world’s tallest statue of Lord Shiva. Known as Kailashnath Mahadev, the statue is 143 feet (43.5 metres) tall and has been built using copper, zinc, steel and concrete. This magnificent statue stands amidst a picturesque landscape filled with rolling green hills and terraced farms. Later head back to your hotel in Kathmandu. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Get up before dawn and head to Nagarkot, a hilltop resort renowned for its panoramic views and stunning sunrises and sunsets over Himalayan peaks. The drive to Nagarkot is a pleasant one filled with delightful sights of pine forests, rolling hills and traditional farms. Once you reach Nagarkot head to a vantage point and wait for the sun to rise. Witness an almost magical phenomena as the sun rises from behind dark mountains coloring and lighting up the whole landscape in hues of red, pink, orange and yellow. This incredible sight is sure to remain with you forever. Head down to a restaurant and have breakfast. Later on drive to Telkot and hike down a forested path to the ancient shrine of Changu Narayan. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu the temple of Changu Narayan is one of the oldest Hindu temples in the world. Here you will find representations of the different avatars of Lord Vishnu in stone, wood and metal created by artisans living during the Lichhavi and Malla eras. Inside the temple, in a stone pillar is the oldest (464 AD) Sanskrit inscription found in Nepal. Later on , you will be driven back to your hotel. Late afternoon, take a stroll around Thamel and shop for souvenirs. Attend a farewell dinner (complimentary) and celebrate the completion of your wonderful Himalayan adventure. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Bid goodbye to Kathmandu. Our representative will drive you to the international airport three hours before your flight’s scheduled departure. If you feel like discovering more of this incredible country, just let us know. We have a range of products - tours and adventure holidays – for travel buffs like you.
If you want to upgrade your accommodation to a Five Star hotel, it can be done. Just let us know via email or call us.
Click this tab for a detailed Trip Note containing essential information about this trip, including gear and equipment lists and practical information.Essential Trip Information
We (my wife and I) plan to tour the whole of Asia in the next couple of months. So far we have visited almost all the countries in south-east Asia and now are exploring south Asia. We recently visited Nepal and Bhutan and enjoyed our tour immensely. As we are in our late sixties we find it easier to book an organized tour with an agency instead of going through the hassle of arranging everything ourselves. We booked our Nepal Bhutan tour with Third Rock Adventures. We wanted a customized itinerary and the staff at Third Rock Adventures worked with us closely to plan our perfect tour. We made a lot of changes in the itinerary and the sales staff were patient and gracious enough to incorporate all the changes. They also had some good suggestions up their sleeves.
Kathmandu was chaotic but we loved the ambience of the city, which is a mix of both modern and traditional. We visited the Monkey Temple (Swoyambhunath), Boudhanth and Patan Durbar Square. All these places had an old world feel. Bhutan was like a wonderland. It is commendable how the Bhutanese are trying to preserve the environment and traditional culture. We enjoyed our visits to the old palaces, fortresses, and monasteries. It was a different experience and we loved it totally. Though we had viewed a lot of youtube videos on the Tiger’s Nest hike, doing this by ourselves had a different feeling. It was exhilarating to stand next to the monastery that was precariously hanging on to a rocky cliff. The views were magnificent. We would like to thank Third rock Adventures and all our guides for making this trip such a memorable one. As the guides were locals they had so much local information to share with us, information that we do not get to read in guidebooks. The stories and legends that they shared opened our eyes and gave us a better understanding of the local culture. We highly recommend this company and its guides.
It was my privilege and honor to have a wonderful vacation in the Himalayan capitals of the world. I embarked on this journey with high hopes and at the end of the of it, i came back much more satisfied, awestruck and mesmerized. Back home we live in a world where there is cut-throat competition, in Nepal and Bhutan, all I saw was smiles and pure natural beauty. No worries, no tension, such wonderful laid back perspective towards life. No wonder these are the happiest nations in the world. I think I'll retire here. I am definitely coming back.
I had been planning to visit Nepal and Bhutan for a long time now, finally, I had the wonderful opportunity to experience these beautiful countries this December. If I had to summarize my entire experience to just one word, that word would be 'Phenomenal'. It was exactly this as these countries proved to be more beautiful and naturally more powerful than I had imagined. I am totally hooked and mesmerized. I would recommend everyone to take a tour of these Himalayan nations, atleast once in their lifetime.