Nepal Bhutan tour with Multiple Activities- 15 days is a blend of the most exciting scenery, the architectural world heritage sites that include antique holy destinations for Hindus and Buddhists. This multi-country tour altogether is a clear picture of landscape diversity, history, art, architecture, culture and tradition of two Himalayan Kingdoms. The itinerary aims to feature sightseeing of UNESCO world heritage sites in Kathmandu valley and visit Chitwan National Park along with rafting. The tour further adds sightseeing in Pokhara and enjoyable two days Australian Camp trekking from Pokhara. Later your Bhutan trip from Kathmandu includes a visit to the historical treasures of three beautiful cities of Bhutan– Paro,Thimphu and Punakha.
|Day 1||Arrive in Kathmandu|
|Day 2||Sightseeing in Kathmandu and Transfer to Nagarkot|
|Day 3||Drive to Kathmandu (27km/1hr 30mins) and Kathmandu sightseeing|
|Day 4||Drive to Chitwan (164km/5-6 hrs) and rafting en route (2-3hrs)|
|Day 5||Jungle Activities in Chitwan National Park|
|Day 6||Drive from Chitwan to Pokhara (152km/5-6hrs)|
|Day 7||Drive to Phedi (30mins) Trek to Australian Camp-5-6hrs Trek|
|Day 8||Trek to Kande (3-4hrs ) and drive to Pokhara (45mins)|
|Day 9||Sightseeing in Pokhara|
|Day 10||Return from Pokhara to Kathmandu (207km/6-7hrs)|
|Day 11||Arrival in Paro, Sightseeing in Paro and drive to Thimphu (55km/1hr 30mins)|
|Day 12||Sightseeing in Thimphu and drive to Punakha (85km/2-3hrs)|
|Day 13||Sightseeing in Punakha and drive back to Paro (125km/3-4hrs)|
|Day 14||Hike to Paro Taktsang (Tiger's Nest Monastery) (3180m/10433ft/5-6hrs)|
|Day 15||Departure from Paro|
Nepal Bhutan tour with Multiple Activities- 15 days is an excursion that allows you to experience nature and explore the culture of two countries at a time. The tour combines visits to famous artistic heritages of Kathmandu valley, a night stay in Nagarkot hill, a jungle safari in Chitwan National Park, Australian Base Camp trekking followed by sightseeing in Pokhara. Then, the tour advances to explore the historical spots of three cities in Bhutan; Paro, Thimphu and Punakha.
Nepal and Bhutan have been the most chosen countries to spend the vacation among many travel enthusiasts. Similar aspects like diversity for landscapes and cultural values are the primary factors alluring many tourists here every year. Also, Nepalese and Bhutanese are known worldwide for their warm hospitality and harmonious relationship among each other.
Both Himalayan kingdoms receive applauses for their effort to keep the richness in history and historical representations alive till date. It is sure for you to become surprised when the guides narrate you the historical tales.
Your tour begins with a visit to UNESCO world heritage sites in Kathmandu valley. Feel blessed when you take a stroll in the holiest Hindu temple, Pashupatinath. Soothe yourself with the Buddhist mantras playing around Boudhanath while you roam around the stupa. Also, visit another monument, Swayambhunath which is also known as Monkey temple. All these religious sites serve as a great spot to carry out cultural photography.
Astound yourself with the artistic architectures in Patan Durbar Square and Basantapur Durbar Square built during the ruling period of various dynasties in Nepal. These squares consist of temples, idols, museums, open courts around the ancient royal palaces of Nepal. Some elements in both of these places are still undergoing a repair process for the damage that occurred during the massive earthquake of 2015.
In between, you also have the chance to stay one night in Nagarkot. Nagarkot is a beautiful hillside situated in the outskirts of Kathmandu valley at 2,195 meters (7202 ft) altitude. Nagarkot was strategically used as a fort of the Kathmandu to watch over the external activities of enemy kingdoms. Nagarkot offers one of the widest views of Kathamandu Valley, Shivapuri National Park and 8 Himalayan ranges out of 13 ranges of Nepal. The ranges include Everest, Ganesh Himal, Annapurna, Langtang, Manaslu, Jugal, Rolwaling and Numbur ranges.
Another natural heritage you visit is Chitwan National Park, the first national park of Nepal. As the park guards more than 900 sq km of vegetation, it is considered one of the top national parks to view wildlife in Asia. The park is a shelter to some endangered animals like the One-horned Rhino and Royal Bengal Tiger. Here you get a chance of going on a jungle safari and visit the elephant sanctuary. Also, stay in Chitwan is great learning of Tharu culture and their lifestyle. En route to Chitwan, this itinerary also facilitates an exciting rafting experience in the Trishuli River.
The most exciting element of this tour would be the visit to Pokhara- the tourism capital of Nepal. Pokhara is also called the city of lakes and the gateway to all Annapurna region treks. You sightsee various attractions in Pokhara such as attractive Phewa Lake, Barahi Temple, mysterious Davis falls and Mahendra Cave. The lakeside streets that look amazingly beautiful at night offer a lot of antique souvenirs you can buy to gift your loved ones.
You also trek up to the Australian Base Camp from Pokhara, which is one of the shortest, yet enjoyable routes one can do in the Annapurna region. The elevation of the base camp is only 1890 m (6200 ft) above sea level, so it is also effortless trekking. The famous Machhapuchhre peak (Fishtail) is always visible throughout the trail. This two days trek is also an insight into the daily lives of ethnic Gurung people residing in the villages.
After Chitwan and Pokhara visit, on the way to Kathmandu, you get a chance to view the changing landscapes. The mountains, lush forests, agricultural farms, villages, small businesses and rivers are the sights to savor from the window. The next day you fly to Bhutan from Kathmandu via a scenic flight. Enjoy the view of the glorious mountain ranges of Nepal and Bhutan.
Then, your guided tour continues in Bhutan in three cities; namely Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. Visit historical museums, lhakhangs (temples), stupas and dzongs (fortresses) dating back to many centuries. Bhutanese emperors used the fortresses to defend the valleys from foreign invasions. There are still many festivals celebrated by Bhutanese to mark the victory against enemy countries. Hear and be surprised by many other interesting tales of Bhutan’s ancient treasures.
On the fourth day in Bhutan, you hike to the Taktsang Lhakhang or Tiger's Nest that ranks within the top 20 places to visit in the world. An ancient history record says that in the 7th century, Buddhist Guru Rinpoche flew to Paro on a tigress and meditated there. It is a good idea to spend the evening wandering around the Towns and do some shopping as the remembrance of Bhutan. You may as well talk to the locals and discover their cultural awareness.
Finally, your 15 days tour ends as you fly back to your destination from Paro Airport.
You land at Tribhuvan International airport in Kathmandu. One of Third Rock Adventures’ representatives will welcome you there, drop you to the hotel and help you check-in. You will be given a brief explanation of the whole trip. You may then freshen up and take rest.
Depending on the schedule of your arrival, if you have leisure time left, you may self explore nearby hotel streets and markets. Overnight in Kathmandu.
After breakfast, your guided sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley takes place in three UNESCO world heritage sites. Firstly, you visit the sacred shrine of Hindus- Pashupatinath Temple situated in Bagmati riverbank. Then you travel 2 km northeast from Pashupatinath to view Boudhanath Stupa- the monument that holds holy faith for Buddhists.
Your tour then proceeds toward Bhaktapur Durbar Square situated in the ethnic Newari settlement. The Durbar square is full of architectural museums, palace and temples that date back to 16th to 18th centuries. After sightseeing in these heritages, you head towards Nagarkot, 12.5 km away from Bhaktapur square via a 35 minutes drive. From the Nagarkot view tower, beautiful sunset along with Himalayan ranges can be observed. Overnight at Nagarkot.
Early in the morning, you watch a beautiful sunrise view from the Nagarkot view tower that arrives after a short walk from the hotel. Then you head to Kathmandu for sightseeing other UNESCO world heritage sites. In Kathmandu, you visit Basantapur Durbar Square- the palace square that has numerous temples and architectures. The artistic crafts date back to the period during the reign of the Malla dynasty in Nepal. You also have a chance to visit Kumari house, the residence of the living goddess.
Your guided tour continues to Swayambhunath Stupa- a religious Buddhist monument worshipped by both Hindus and Buddhists. The construction of the Stupa is a symbolic representation; the white dome denotes the earth. The 13-tiered tower-like structure at the top denotes the 13 stages to Nirvana. The nose-like mark below the pierced eyes is the Nepali number one that signifies unity. And a third eye above suggests all insights of the Buddha.
Just 3.6 km away from Basantapur, it takes only 10 to 15 minutes to reach the Swayambhunath. From the top, you can view the full-fledged scenery of Kathmandu and Patan as well. Overnight in Kathmandu.
You head towards Chitwan along Prithivi Highway with about 5 hours drive (excluding rafting duration). Throughout the way, you pass across many villages, agricultural fields, green forest hills and glacial rivers. The itinerary also incorporates about 3 hours rafting in the Trishuli River en route.
Trishuli River rafting is one of the most popular destinations for white water rafting in Nepal. With carefully followed guidance, this white water rafting is easy and safe even for non-swimmers. Flowing and bouncing along with the waves of water is an exciting experience.
Once you get to the end spot of the rafting, you again ride the vehicle to reach Chitwan National park. If you are not willing to raft, you can travel via road and enjoy the scenic view from the vehicle window. Overnight in Chitwan.
Your day involves a Jungle Safari in a natural UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chitwan National Park. Elephant ride is a popular activity in Chitwan to observe the park's offerings. A jeep safari lets you explore more of the inner areas inside the park. During the safari, you may have the chance of spotting sloth bear or leopard, which many do not. You also visit the Elephant Breeding Centre, where you meet up with mother elephants and their calves.
In the evening, you get to see an appealing sunset from the Narayani Riverbank. You also attend a Tharu program in the cultural center. In the center, a group of people entertains all guests with their Tharu songs and dances. It is a fun idea to join the group in the stage and dance along. Overnight in Chitwan.
You take a road drive and move towards Pokhara, the city of lakes and the gateway to all Annapurna region treks. Some even call Pokhara by the name Amsterdam of Nepal as it looks lively at all seasons. The path to Pokhara presents you with lovely sights of rivers and green hillsides coated with trees.
As you approach near to Pokhara, views of mountains also begin to appear nearer. The approaching mountains will only make you excited about the Australian Camp Trek that starts the following day. When you arrive at Pokhara, you may wander around the alleys for self-discovery. The evening time in Pokhara is always lovely with restaurants and bars offering good food and live music. Overnight in Pokhara.
A 30-minute drive from Pokhara along the Baglung highway with a scenic view of river banks takes you to Phedi. Phedi is the starting point for your trek to Australian Base Camp. From Phedi, you hike for about 3 hrs across typical villages full of lush forests and agricultural farms to reach beautiful Dhampus.
Dhampus is a classic Nepalese village where spending leisure time is a pleasure. From there, you get to see a close view of mountain ranges and green hills. From Dhampus again, you need to hike about 2 hrs through dense rhododendron jungles to arrive at Australian Base Camp. The sunset view from the camp accompanying the splendid view of Machhapuchre, ranges of Annapurna and Manaslu is jaw-dropping. Overnight in Australian Base Camp.
After enjoying the sunrise view over Mount Annapurna from base camp, you descend to Kande. The trail distanced about 13.5km from the Camp to Kande requires about 3-4 hours of walk. As you walk down the trail along with the ethnic villages and beautiful terrace farms, you glance at the gorgeous mountain vistas. Arrive at Kande and drive back to Pokhara via a 45 minutes road ride.
You can stroll around the vibrant lakeside market and do some souvenir shopping to utilize leisure time in Pokhara. A lot of stuff like locally made cloths, ornaments and antique decorators are available at the shops. Overnight in Pokhara.
Your day involves sightseeing at Pokhara, a famous tourist destination in Nepal. The Phewa Lakeside gives you a serene feeling when walked in a fresh morning. The reflection of Machhapuchhre (Fish Tail) twinkles happily in the water surface. Visit Barahi temple via enjoyable boating in the Lake and take blessings. You explore Davis Falls, a waterfall that mysteriously flows into an underground tunnel.
Also, enter into the Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave where Davis falls disappearing down is seen from the bottom crack. You go through the International Mountain Museum where different types of equipment and gears used in various Himalayan expeditions are on display. The museum also contains many icons and data related to the Himalayan ethnic culture and lifestyle of Nepalese. Overnight in Pokhara.
You return to Kathmandu from Pokhara with a road drive for about 7 hours. The path along the Prithivi Highway offers you a pleasant sight of the changing green hill landscapes, mountains, river gorges and villages. On the way, you see cable cars used to reach Manakamana Temple, also known as Goddess of Fulfilling Wishes.
Once you reach the hotel, you can relax and prepare for your next trip to Bhutan. If you have enough time, you may also walk out to see if you can find something interesting to buy in the nearby markets like Thamel and Ason. Overnight in Kathmandu.
You fly from Kathmandu to Paro airport, the only airport in Bhutan. Our Bhutanese guide will receive you there. You visit the Kyichu Lhakhang (Kyerchu Temple), an ancient temple surrounded by the fields, flowers and hills. The temple contains many icons related to Buddhism such as an eight-year-old Buddha statue, Buddhist sculptures, highly structured paintings and remains from history.
Besides, your guided tour involves Paro Rinpung Dzong, also called Fortress of the Heap of Jewels, located in the neighborhood of Paro City. Rinpung is a fortress built to defend Bhutan from foreign invasions back in the 17th century. As it is situated at the height of 2200 m (7218 ft), it allows you to view the panoramic view of the Paro valley.
In the evening, you travel to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, 55km away from Paro. Overnight in Thimphu.
As Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan, it is a quite busy city than Paro. Today’s sightseeing begins with the exploration of the National Library, Folk Heritage Museum, Hand-made Paper Factory, the School of Arts and Crafts and Memorial Chorten. While you tour to these places, you gain some knowledge about the history of Bhutan and also discover the traditional way of making handicrafts.
The next exciting heritage for today is Tashichho Dzong (Thimphu Dzong), a fortress that is now the Bhutan government`s headquarter. In the evening, you travel towards Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan that lies northeast from Thimphu. During the drive to Punakha, you also visit Dochu La Pass (3,100m) which is a perfect spot to watch a clear scenic view of the Great Himalayas. Overnight in Punakha.
Early in the morning, you visit Punakha Dzong, one of the most beautiful Bhutanese Dzong that stands at the junction of two rivers; Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu. Bhutanese celebrate the Punakha festival in this fortress around mid of February.
Later, you head to the National Museum of Bhutan that appears like a circular watchtower. You learn many incidents from Bhutanese history and explore the cultural arts of local people. Completing the Punakha tour, you travel to Paro again. In Paro, you visit Drukgyel Dzong, a fortress that offers a full-fledged view of the nearby villages. Overnight in Paro.
Your hike to Paro Taktsang (Tiger's Nest Monastery) begins in the morning. It is one of the most iconic heritage of Bhutan offering a panoramic view of Paro Valley. The Monastery lies approximately 12 km away from Paro town towards the north. Also known as Tiger's Nest Monastery, it is situated in a granite cliff at about 900 meters (2953 ft) above the Paro. The uphill distance of the monastery and its base is approximately 6 km.
7th-century history states, Buddhist Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) flew to Paro on a tigress and meditated there for three months. Overnight in Paro.
Today is your departure day. Our Bhutanese guide will drop you at the Paro airport as per your scheduled time. Cherishing all memories you had on this tour, you fly back to your destination. If you want, we can extend your tour either in Bhutan or to other destinations like Tibet and India.
Also, if you are looking for shorter multi-country tours, Third Rock Adventures offers other short Bhutan Tour packages from Kathmandu.
Nepal Bhutan tour can be done all round the year. However, spring (March-May) and autumn (September to November) seasons are the best time to embark on this 16 days trip. The weather in these months offers an unobstructed view of the natural landscape and scenery.
As you do not reach snowfall places, winter (December to February) is as well okay to do this tour. But, rafting during the cold season may not be comfortable for everyone. So we can exclude rafting in the package to customize for your convenience.
Although summer (June to August) has high chances of rainfall in both Nepal and Bhutan, these months are suitable for undertaking this tour. But, river rafting and jungle safari in Chitwan National may not be feasible during rainy days. Nevertheless, this tour can still be done with rafting and jungle safari skipped from the itinerary.
You are traveling to Nepal and Bhutan on this tour, so you need to get the visas from both countries. And, your passport should have at least six months' validity to obtain the visas.
For Nepal, you can apply for a visa in the Nepalese embassy or consulate in your own country through online application procedures. Another easy way is to get on arrival visa once you land at Tribhuvan International Airport which costs about 30 US $ per 15 days. More information : https://www.immigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa
Bhutan does not allow foreigners to travel independently. Once you book the tour with operators like us, we can go through necessary visa procedures on your behalf. After approval, the Foreign Ministry of Bhutan issues your visa in the form of a clearance number. The ministry then sends the visa confirmation letter to us, to other necessary checkpoints and airlines of Bhutan through the Tourism Council. You get an original visa stamp once you reach Paro airport in Bhutan.