Scenic Kathmandu, Nagarkot, Lhasa, Paro and Thimphu Tour - 12 days

Scenic Kathmandu, Nagarkot, Lhasa, Paro and Thimphu Tour - 12 days


Scenic Kathmandu Nagarkot Lhasa Paro Thimphu Tour is a short multi-country tour that takes you to three popular destinations – Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan. Within twelve days you can experience the highlights of all these ancient Himalayan nations. Discover historic world heritage sites and cultural landmarks that are thousands of years old. Journey past scenic landscapes and view some of the highest mountains in the world.

You begin your tour from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal and a city with a rich past. Here you will discover medieval palaces of Hindu kings and pagoda temples that are as old as the city. Get surrounded by nature at Nagarkot, where you can de-stress and recharge your soul while savoring views of the Himalayan mountains.

From Kathmandu a scenic flight will transport you to Lhasa in Tibet, the 'Roof of the World'. Once a forbidden city, Lhasa is now open to travelers from all corners of the world. Step inside the palace of the Dalai Lama and witness the lively debates of Tibetan monks at the Sera Monastery.

Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon is your last destination. A tiny kingdom of immense beauty Bhutan will surely steal your heart. This Himalayan kingdom is covered with endless stretches of forests and mountains blanketed with snow.  The traditional fortresses, palaces, and wooden houses of common people look like something out of a storybook. Step inside the royal palace and visit temples blessed by Buddhist saints.  Your trip ends with a spectacular hike to the cliffside monastery known as Tiger's Nest.

Although Scenic Kathmandu Nagarkot Lhasa Paro Thimphu Tour can be done any time of the year, spring and autumn offer the best conditions for traveling. People of all age groups can do this trip. As the trip takes you more than 3000 meters above sea level, please make sure to consult your physician before booking this tour.

How Much Does This Trip Cost?

The trip's price depends on the type of services chosen by our clients and the group size. The cost of each trip we organize is different because we see travelers as individuals having their own particular needs and preferences.

Get ready for an incredible journey tailored to your interests and preferences, whether you're looking for a budget-friendly adventure or a luxurious getaway. Leave the planning to us as we take care of all the details, ensuring your dream trip becomes a reality. You can relax and focus on creating unforgettable memories that will stay with you forever.

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Trip Highlights

  • Cover three Himalayan destinations in one trip – Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan
  • Explore medieval palace squares and UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu
  • Heritage walk at traditional Newari villages of Khokana and Bungamati
  • Himalayan sunrise from Nagarkot
  • Step inside Potala, the former palace of the Dalai Lama in Lhasa
  • Observe the lively debates of Tibetan monks at Sera Monastery
  • Hike to Tiger's Nest and visit a wish-fulfilling temple in Bhutan
  • Learn more about the 13 ancient crafts of Bhutan  

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights
Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) – Transfer to hotel
Day 2 Sightseeing: Boudhanath, Pashupatinath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, and Swoyambhunath
Day 3 Sightseeing: Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Changunarayan, and drive to Nagarkot (2161m/7090ft)
Day 4 Nagarkot Sunrise, Drive to Kathmandu and Sightseeing in Patan, Bungamati and Khokana
Day 5 Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa (3650m/11,980ft) - 1 hour 30 minutes
Day 6 Sightseeing in Lhasa – Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street
Day 7 Sightseeing in Lhasa – Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery
Day 8 Fly from Lhasa to Kathmandu and transfer to hotel – 1:30 hours flight
Day 9 Fly from Kathmandu to Paro (2200m/7200ft) and Drive to Thimphu(2248m/7375ft) - Thimphu Sightseeing
Day 10 Sightseeing in Thimphu, Drive back to Paro and Paro Sightseeing
Day 11 Hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest) (3180m/10,43ft) – 5-6 hours hike
Day 12 Depart from Paro

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) – Transfer to hotel

Flying into Kathmandu during the day will have you enjoying breathtaking views of the mountains. During the night the city is lighted up with millions of lights glimmering in the dark. After your arrival, you can head to the terminal where our guide will be waiting for you. He will drop you at your hotel and help you check-in. Enjoy a welcome drink before heading to your room and freshen up. You can either rest at your hotel or enjoy a stroll around Thamel, the tourist hub in Kathmandu.

Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 2
Sightseeing: Boudhanath, Pashupatinath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, and Swoyambhunath


After breakfast, you will meet your tour guide who will take you to visit some of the renowned UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city. First, you will visit the Boudhanath Stupa, a gigantic Buddhist stupa which is the biggest stupa in South Asia. Dating back to 600 AD the stupa is said to hold the remains of Kasyapa Buddha (one of the reincarnations of Lord Buddha). The stupa stands on a huge mandala representing the cosmos. The place is quite lively with a constant stream of Tibetan pilgrims, locals, and tourists walking about. The stupa is surrounded by a monastery, art gallery, shops, and restaurants. You can light a butter lamp and complete a parikrama(circumambulation) around the sacred stupa.

Next, you will be driven to Pashupatinath Temple, one of the holiest temples dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva. Dating back to the fifteenth century, the temple has survived some of the major earthquakes that the city has suffered from. The temple has strict policy of not allowing non-Hindus inside the temple. If you are a Hindu you can step inside the temple and pay obeisance if not you can view the temple from the eastern bank of the Bagmati River which flows close to the temple. You can also observe the cremation and last rites performed by Hindu families for their dead relatives at Arya Ghat.

The next site you will visit is the Kathmandu Durbar Square. Also known as Basantapur, the royal square lies in the heart of the city and is dotted with palaces, temples, and the house of the Living Goddess, Kumari. You complete your sightseeing tour with a visit to the hilltop temple of Swayambhunath. According to the local legend the temple is connected to the origin of the Kathmandu valley. Buddhist monasteries and stupas sit alongside Hindu temples. This site is the best example of the fusion of Hinduism and Buddhism prevalent in Nepal. You end the day’s tour by savoring a beautiful sunset from the temple's grounds.  You get a sweeping view of the city and the surrounding hills from the top.

Later you will be driven back to your hotel.

Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 3
Sightseeing: Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Changunarayan, and drive to Nagarkot (2161m/7090ft)

Bhaktapur Durbar Square Bhaktapur Durbar Square

You continue your sightseeing tour and visit the medieval city of Bhaktapur. Take a walk around the ancient Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Built by the Malla Kings the square is decorated with pagoda roofed temples, palaces, and museums.  At the pottery square, you can observe the potters busy creating and drying terracotta pots and vessels.

After exploring the Bhaktapur you head to one of the oldest Hindu temples in Nepal, Changunarayan. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple showcases all the avatars or manifestations of Vishnu in stone, wood, and metal. There's also a stone pillar erected by the Lichhavi King Maadeva which has the oldest inscription found in Nepal. The inscription written in Sanskrit dates back to 464 AD.

From Changunarayan you take the road to Nagarkot, a hill station that is a popular getaway for locals as well as foreign tourists. Located on a ridge Nagarkot offers splendid views of the Himalayan Range. Surrounded by nature and traditional farms, Nagarkot is a good place to de-stress and relax. In the evening you can enjoy a magnificent sunset from the hotel's grounds.

Overnight in Nagarkot.

Day 4
Nagarkot Sunrise, Drive to Kathmandu and Sightseeing in Patan, Bungamati and Khokana

Patan Durbar Square Patan Durbar Square - It is another UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains amazing works of art created by artisans from the Malla era.

If the weather is clear you can wake up early in the morning and hike to the observatory to enjoy a sunrise. You can spot Mount Everest as well as other high mountains glistening in the horizon. Later head back to your hotel and have breakfast.

After collecting your bags you will be driven back to Kathmandu. On the way you stop at another medieval city called Patan and explore the Patan Durbar Square. It is another UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains amazing works of art created by artisans from the Malla era. The Krishna Temple, Patan Palace Museum, Golden Temple, and other ancient structures are the cultural gems decorating this Durbar square.

After exploring the royal square, you will enjoy a drive towards the Newari villages of Bungamati and Khokana. You can observe the village lifestyle and traditional architecture while walking through the village alleys. Khokana is known for its mustard oil which is prepared using traditional methods. You can visit an old oil mill where oil is extracted using traditional oil pressers.

Later return to your hotel and take a rest.

Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 5
Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa (3650m/11,980ft) - 1 hour 30 minutes

You will be transferred to the international airport from where you catch a flight bound for Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. After arriving at the Gonggar International Airport in Lhasa, our Tibetan representative will meet you at the airport and drive you to your hotel. The airport lies about 62 kilometers away from the main city and it takes a little over an hour to reach the downtown area. Upon your arrival at your hotel, you can check in and take a rest.

As Lhasa is located at an elevation of 3650 meters it's normal to have some symptoms of altitude sickness – headache, nausea, or breathlessness. These symptoms will subside after you take rest and keep yourself hydrated. If it get severe you can take some medication and supplementary oxygen which is readily available at the hotel.  Relax inside your hotel room and don't engage in any strenuous activity. Let your body adapt to the decrease in the oxygen level by resting.

Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 6
Sightseeing in Lhasa – Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street

Potala Palace Potala, which was once the winter residence of Dalai Lama, has two palaces - the White Palace and the Red Palace.

You kickstart your Lhasa tour by visiting the majestic Potala Palace. The palace which was built by the Tibetan emperor Songsten Gampo dominates the skyline of the city. Potala, which was once the winter residence of Dalai Lama, has two palaces - the White Palace and the Red Palace. You can explore the regal halls and walk through a museum that has artifacts of the Dalai Lama and the ancient Tibetan military. There are also murals, thankas, and valuable Buddhist manuscripts showcased at the museum.

Next, you will be guided to the Jokhang Temple one of the oldest temples in Tibet. It was built by the Tibetan Emperor Songsten Gompa to house the Buddhist relics brought by his two queens from Nepal and China. Outside the temple, you can see rows of pilgrims prostrating and praying. After visiting the temple, you can walk around the lively Barkhor Street lined with souvenir shops and cafes. You can take pictures and shop for souvenirs while strolling down the street.

Overnight in Lhasa

Day 7
Sightseeing in Lhasa – Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery

Drepung Monastery Drepung Monastery is the largest Buddhist Monastery in Tibet.

Today is yet another eventful day filled with insightful visits to two of the most important monasteries in Tibet – Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery. These institutions of Buddhist learning have been imparting knowledge to monks for several centuries. Located 8 kilometers west of the main city, Drepung Monastery is the largest Buddhist Monastery in Tibet. Established in the fifteenth century it is one of the major monasteries of the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism. You can visit the assembly hall, the Palace of the Dalai Lama, and the chapels. The monastery is an active place of learning and you can see monks studying or chanting mantras.

The next stop is the Sera Monastery which lies north of the city. It is one of the important sites of Buddhist learning in Tibet. Every day pupils or young monks gather in the courtyard of the monastery and have heated debates on Buddhism and principles of 'dharma'. It is a lively scene to witness the monks clad in maroon robes clapping and debating among themselves. You can observe their energetic debates, take pictures and explore the monastery before returning to your hotel.

Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 8
Fly from Lhasa to Kathmandu and transfer to hotel – 1:30 hours flight

You will be driven to the Gonggar International Airport on time to catch your flight to Kathmandu. In Kathmandu, you will be met by our guide who will escort you to your hotel. After reaching the hotel you can take a rest or explore Thamel. Have an early night as you will have to catch a morning flight to Paro tomorrow. 

Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 9
Fly from Kathmandu to Paro (2200m/7200ft) and Drive to Thimphu(2248m/7375ft) - Thimphu Sightseeing


The flight to Paro is yet another amazing aerial experience. You can enjoy the aerial views of the Himalayan mountains – Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Langtang, etc. As you approach Paro you will be greeted with the Bhutanese peaks like Jichu Drake and Jomolhari. The plane flies past high mountains and lands at a narrow airport nestled beneath the mountains. It's an amazing experience. Surrounded by fields and traditional houses the Paro International Airport is housed in a pretty building.

 After immigration, our representative will welcome you and accompany you to the country's capital Thimphu. The drive takes you on a scenic road that weaves past green hills and villages.  On reaching Thimphu you can check in at your hotel and freshen up. Your guide will later take you on a sightseeing tour to some of the city's chief attractions.

Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan is dotted with royal palaces, monasteries, Buddhist temples, and government buildings.  You can visit the National Memorial Chorten, Tashicho Dzong, and the National Institute for Zorig Chusum. Each of these sites will give you a glimpse of Bhutan's rich cultural heritage. You can explore the throne room of the Bhutanese royals at the Tashicho Dzong. At the National Institute of Zorig Chusum you can observe students learning about the 13 traditional crafts of Bhutan. Later you can visit the Jungshi Paper Factory and get an insight on how traditional paper is made from wood pulp and leaves. After your sightseeing tour, you have your dinner and return to your hotel.

Overnight in Thimphu.  

Day 10
Sightseeing in Thimphu, Drive back to Paro and Paro Sightseeing


After breakfast, you resume your sightseeing tour and visit the hilltop shrine of Buddha Dordenma. Located on a hill on the outskirts of Thimphu, Buddha Dordenma holds a gigantic bronze statue of Lord Buddha which in turn holds 1,25,000 miniature statues of Buddha inside. Completed in the year 2015, this huge statue rises to a height of 51.5 meters.  It is one of the tallest statues of Gautama Buddha in the world. A view of the entire Thimphu Valley can be enjoyed from the hill.

The next attraction on your list is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, Changkangka Lakhang. Located on a hill overlooking Thimphu, this beautiful temple is known as a 'wish-fulfilling' shrine. Parents bring their newly born babies to be named at this temple.

Later you leave Thimphu and return to Paro. On reaching Paro you will get to visit the majestic Paro Dzong located beside the Paro River. This fortress is a prime example of the Bhutanese style of architecture and houses Buddhist shrines and government offices. You can also visit the National Museum which is located close to the Paro Dzong.

Overnight in Paro.

Day 11
Hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest) (3180m/10,43ft) – 5-6 hours hike

Taktsang Monastery Taktsang Monastery, the monastery also known as Tiger's Nest lies perched on a rocky cliff.

After an early breakfast, you will be dropped at the base of a hill where the famous Taktsang Monastery is located. The monastery also known as Tiger's Nest lies perched on a rocky cliff. This monastery is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists as Padmasambhava is believed to have flown here astride a tigress to meditate at a cave that is now housed inside the monastery.

The trail goes up past a thick forest of pine and tall cedar trees. It's well-maintained and there are rest stops along the way. Pony rides are offered (at an extra charge) up to the Taktsang cafeteria which is the mid-point of the hike. You can have your lunch at the cafeteria and rest for some time before proceeding to the monastery. A concrete staircase built on the side of the cliff brings you to the monastery. After the sacred visit, you make your descent down to the hill where our vehicle will be waiting for you. Once you are back in the city, you can enjoy a stroll around the local market and shop for souvenirs.

Overnight in Paro.

Day 12
Depart from Paro

Your ‘Scenic Kathmandu Nagarkot Lhasa Paro Thimphu Tour’ has come to an end and it's finally time to head home. Bid goodbye to Paro and head towards the airport to catch your flight. Our guide will drop you off at the airport at least three hours before your flight departs. If you want to further explore Bhutan or Nepal, you can get in touch with us. Our travel consultant will work with you together and plan yet another amazing Himalayan journey.



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