Jewels of Nepal and Bhutan tour takes you on a wonderful journey of discovery. Discover the cultural riches of these two Himalayan destinations. This unforgettable Nepal-Bhutan trip will let you experience unique mountain cultures and traditions that have remained untouched by modernity. Explore ancient heritage sites and step inside sacred temples and monasteries. Gain insight into the vibrant spiritual traditions. In less than ten days you will get to experience the major highlights of these two fascinating destinations...
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 (tiger nest monastery). 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 can choose our popular Best of Nepal Tour or Bhutan Heritage Tour.
Please note international flights from Kathamdu-Paro-Kathmandu not included in the package cost. If you have decided to book this trip, we urge you firstly to check whether flights to/from Paro-Ktm is available on the dates you will be travelling. It will be a hassle for you if you book your trip and later on discover there are no seats available on the day you are supposed to fly out. Do book this trip only after your flight tickets have been confirmed. Alternately, you can send us a request to book your flight tickets. Just let us know when you will be travelling and we will book your tickets in advance.
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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.
We recommend Spring(March-May), Autumn(September-November) and early Winter(December) 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.
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Monument entry fees during Sightseeing tour
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.
Kathmandu, Nepal: In Kathmandu, you will be accommodated at Hotel Shanker, a 4 star hotel. The hotel is centrally located, close to Thamel. The hotel offers luxurious rooms with en suite bathrooms, spa, restaurant, swimming pool, bar, cafe and a spacious garden.
Bhutan: Stay at the beautiful Tashi Namgyal Resort overlooking the Pa Chu River in Paro. The resort lies close to the international airport and offers comfortable deluxe rooms, cottages and executive sites with attached bathrooms. At Thimphu, you will be staying at the attractive Namgay Heritage Hotel. These hotels offer luxurious deluxe rooms and premium suites.
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.
Journey at your personal timeframe. Choose your own travel date and book this trip. All departures guaranteed and no minimum group size. Trip guaranteed to run even with just one person booked.
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While tipping is not mandatory it is a nice way of showing your appreciation to the people who have helped you enrich your holiday experience. It all depends on how far you are pleased and satisfied with their services. There is no fixed amount, but many of our clients offer 8-10 percent of the total tour price as tips.
Yes, you can purchase local SIM cards for your cell phone at both these countries. You may have to fill up a form and submit a passport photograph and a photocopy of your passport. The price for these SIM cards is nominal and may cost about a dollar (US). It will be easier for you to connect with your family and friends and access internet using these SIMs.
No, this is not possible. The government of Bhutan has made it mandatory for tourists (except Indian nationals) to book a tour with a registered travel agency. In order to get a tourist visa in Bhutan, you need to book a tour with an agency. Your guide is selected by the agency with whom you book your tour.
Yes, for a first time traveller to Nepal and Bhutan, the Jewels of Nepal and Bhutan itinerary is the perfect one. This tour introduces you to the main highlights of both these countries. While you get to explore World heritage Sites at one of Nepal’s oldest cities Kathmandu, in Bhutan you get to visit three major cities in Bhutan – Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. The exploration walks are easy and doable. The places and sites that have been incorporated in this itinerary are an integral part of these countries cultural heritage. By visiting these sites with our knowledgeable guide you will get an insight of these Himalayan nations unique cultures and traditions.
You can certainly join a group if there are travellers willing to form a group and travel during your time frame. But please do note travelling with a group can be a bit restrictive. Your experiences will be dictated by the needs of the group and not your personal needs. Alternately we can also arrange a private tour for you. A private tour gives you the luxury of making your trip your own. Your itinerary will be flexible- you can skip or add some sightseeing places as per your interest.
You can get your Nepal visa on arrival at the airport or any of the entry points in the country. You need to fill the visa form and pay a certain amount to get the visa. Here's the link to Department of Immigration's Nepal Visa page http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa. You will find all the information related to Nepal Visa here.
We will arrange your visa for Bhutan. Please note your passport must have validity of at least 6 months from your arrival date in Bhutan.
Yes, you can ride on it to go up. But you will have to pay extra for the pony ride. Please note the ponies can only reach upto a halfway mark. Beyond this point, you will have to cover the rest of the journey on foot.
Kathmandu to Nagarkot by road takes around one and a half hour. Yes, you can do that. We can customize your itinerary as per your needs.
No, it is not possible. Bhutan government has made it compulsory for tourists to move around the country with a certified local guide.
I undertook the Jewels of Nepal and Bhutan Tour with Third Rock Adventures five months ago. I had been meaning to post a review but I was kept rather busy, until now. From the moment I arrived in Kathmandu to the moment my trip ended, the team took very good care of me. The initial email communications were prompt and precise. As I am not too good with computers (I hardly use them), I had some issues booking the trip online. But Hari ironed out the problems and made the process very easy for me. Kemal introduced me to some of the oldest Hindu and Buddhist temples in Kathmandu. I found the Nepalese very friendly and open. In the west, strangers hardly make eye contact, but in Nepal it is not uncommon for virtual strangers to meet and talk like long lost friends. I met strangers who offered their help (when I suffered from a nasty fall while on a late evening stroll alone) without asking anything in return. Bhutan was lovely and peaceful. Ogyen, my guide had a wealth of information to share. The hike to Tiger’s Monastery left me huffing and puffing, but the views more than made up for the hard climb. It is hard to believe that this monastery, which lies straddled on a huge rock face, was built by humans. Faith does move mountains and this seems to particularly true in this part of the world. Bhutanese culture is very unique and I felt privileged to have the opportunity to experience it. I do hope that the Bhutanese people will retain their culture and not let western influence change their perspective. I highly recommend this tour and look forward to many more journeys with Third Rock Adventures.