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Nepal Trek and Bhutan Cultural Tour let you experience the best of Nepal trekking and Bhutan cultural tour. Trek in Nepal and head to Poon Hill, the most popular Himalayan viewpoint in the Annapurna. Discover the cultural treasures of Kathmandu valley, which are protected UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Fly to the ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’, Bhutan and explore the cultural treasures of this idyllic mountain kingdom.

Your Nepal Trek and Bhutan Cultural Tour begin from Kathmandu from where you take an incredible flight to Pokhara for your short Nepal trek to Poon Hill. Walk past lush rhododendron forests, paddy fields, and traditional Gurung and Magar villages to reach Poon Hill from where you enjoy a magical Himalayan sunrise. Also, experience indigenous Gurung culture while stopping at mountain villages en route. In Kathmandu, explore the famed UNESCO World Heritage sites and medieval cities.

Your Bhutan Cultural Tour begins with a spectacular mountain flight. Enjoy jaw-dropping views of the world’s highest peaks. Explore this green paradise and immerse yourself in Bhutanese culture by visiting 3 Bhutanese cities – Paro, Punakha, and Thimphu. The highlight of your  Nepal Trek and Bhutan Cultural Tour is your hike to the cliff-top Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang Monastery. Some other multi-country trips that might interest you - Nepal and Bhutan Trek - 14 days, Nepal and Bhutan Tour - 9 days, Nepal and Bhutan Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour - 12 days, and Bhutan Nepal Tibet Tour - 14 days. 

Trip Highlights

  • Nepal Trek and Bhutan Cultural Tour is a short trip that combines trekking adventure with a cultural tour in two Himalayan countries- Nepal and Bhutan. Experience Hindu culture in Nepal and Buddhist culture in Bhutan.
  • Himalayan trekking in Nepal to Poon Hill along the Annapurna trail, one of the easiest and most beautiful treks in the Himalayas. Witness a magical sunrise and experience Gurung and Magar mountain culture.
  • Discover the medieval kingdoms of Patan and Bhaktapur, Pashupatinath Temple - the most sacred Hindu shrine in Nepal and Boudhanath Stupa- the largest Buddhist stupa in South Asia.
  • Hike to Taktsang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan’s spectacular monastery is built on an overhanging cliff. Delightful drives across the Bhutanese cities of Paro, Punakha, and Thimphu. Immersion in Bhutanese culture by exploring traditional Bhutanese fortresses (dzongs), palaces, and Buddhist monasteries.
  • Our knowledgeable local guides will offer rare local insights not found in guidebooks during your Nepal trek and Bhutan Cultural Tour.

Is This Trip Suitable For You?

  • Poon Hill Trek is an easy trek, ideal for beginners and families traveling with kids (8 years and above). It would be best if you were reasonably fit. If you are able to climb stairs and walk for an extended period without any difficulty, you can do this trip.
  • You spend 4 days on your Poon Hill trek.  You will be spending around  3 hours minimum and a maximum of 6 hours walking on the trail. On average, you walk for 3 to 5 hours each day. The highest point reached during your trip is Poon Hill at 3,210m
  •  Best available teahouse accommodation on the mountain while trekking
  •  Hike to Taktsang Monastery involves a 4 to 6 hours walk on an uphill and downhill trail. Ponies to the halfway point are available on hire at an additional cost.
  •  No technical climbing was involved.
  •  Easy walking on level ground while exploring heritage sites during your Nepal Trek and Bhutan Cultural Tour. Overland transfers via clean and comfortable private vehicles.

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights
Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,593ft)
Day 2 Fly to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft), drive to Tikhedhunga (1,570m/5,170ft) and trek to Ulleri (1,970m/6,463ft)
Day 3 Trek to Ghorepani (2,874m/9,429ft)
Day 4 Visit Poon Hill (3,210m/10529ft) and trek to Tadapani (2,600m/8,530ft)
Day 5 Trek to Kimchi (1,640m/5,380ft) and drive to Pokhara
Day 6 Fly to Kathmandu and sightseeing in Kathmandu
Day 7 Fly to Paro, sightseeing in Paro and drive to Thimphu
Day 8 Drive to Punakha via Dochula Pass
Day 9 Drive to Paro
Day 10 Hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) in Paro
Day 11 Fly to Kathmandu and explore Bhaktapur
Day 12 Depart Kathmandu


Route Map

Nepal Trek And Bhutan Cultural Tour Route Map Nepal Trek And Bhutan Cultural Tour Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,593ft)

It’s a real treat to arrive in Kathmandu during the daytime as you get to see some amazing views of the Himalayan peaks and rolling mountains. Once you are outside the airport terminal, you will be met by our representative. He will have a placard with your name or Third Rock Adventures written on it.

You will be driven to your hotel, and our representative will help you check in. After getting refreshed and a bit of rest, attend a trip briefing either at your hotel’s lobby or at our office. You will meet your guide, who will brief you about your upcoming trek. If you have any queries, you can clear your doubts. Later you can relax at your hotel or explore Thamel, the city’s tourist district.

Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 2: Fly to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft), drive to Tikhedhunga (1,570m/5,170ft) and trek to Ulleri (1,970m/6,463ft)

Duration: 25 minutes flight, 2:30 hours drive, 3-4 hours (4 km) trek

You take an early flight to Pokhara. The views are amazing, and you get to view some of the highest peaks in the world. It is a short flight, and you will reach Pokhara in about half an hour. Once your plane lands, you will be met by the rest of the crew- porters and assistant guide. You board a vehicle and head towards Tikhedhunga via Nayapul.

The ride is pleasant, filled with delightful views of rustic settlements, green hills, and paddy fields. The trailhead begins at Tikhedhunga, and once you arrive at Tikhedhunga, you carry your daypack and start walking. Follow your guide up the steps to Ulleri.

This first day of your trek is tough as you need to climb more than 3000 steps. The stone steps are well laid, and the trail winds along a green and verdant mountainside. You can take your time and climb at your own pace enjoying the views. Once you arrive at Ulleri, you make your way to a teahouse and rest your tired feet.

Overnight in Ulleri. 

Day 3: Trek to Ghorepani (2,874m/9,429ft)

Walking Distance: 4-5 hours (9 km) trek

Leave Ulleri behind and walk towards Ghorepani. The trail goes past a lush rhododendron jungle. If you make this trek during Spring, you will be walking under canopies of blooming red and pink rhododendron trees. A heavenly experience, which the trekkers’ call “a walk through paradise”.  The trail to Ghorepani lies along an ancient salt trade route, In the bygone days traders from India, Nepal and Tibet used this trail to make their way to Tibet. Though the caravans of traders no longer ply on this route, this route is still lifeline of mountain communities living in the Annapurna Region.

After walking for around 4 to 5 hours you reach the busy village of Ghorepani. This used to the watering hole of caravans in the bygone days, so the name Ghorepani (Horse Water). Make your way to your teahouse where rooms have been booked for you, You can enjoy the majestic view of the mountains from your teahouse or lodge.

Overnight in Ghorepani.

Day 4: Visit Poon Hill (3,210m/10529ft) and trek to Tadapani (2,600m/8,530ft)

Walking Distance: 5-6 hours (9.5 km) trek
Poonhill Poon Hill - Located in the Annapurna region of Nepal at an elevation of 3210m

Wake up before dawn and make your up a hill that lies right above the village. You climb up a series of steps to reach the top of the hill. Known as Poon Hill, this is the most popular viewpoint in the Annapurna Region.

From here you get to enjoy panoramic views of Annapurna Range (including Annapurna I, 10th highest peak in the world), Machapuchhre (Fishtail Peak), Dhaulagiri (7th highest peak in the world), Manaslu (8th highest peak in the world), Gangapurna and a host of other peaks. As the sun rises slowly, you are mesmerized to view the glorious spectacle of the warm golden sun lighting up the white frozen peaks in pink, red, purple, golden, and yellow colors. It is a magical experience one that will cherish forever. Take pictures and selfies and later walk down to your teahouse. Gather your belongings and proceed onwards to Tadapani.

En route, you pass the Magar village of Banthanti and Deurali Dandi, another picturesque lookout point. The typical Nepalese landscape of terraced fields, hilltop villages, rolling green hills and towering snowcapped Himalayas will steal your heart. Your overnight stop is Tadapani, a quaint Gurung village with wonderful views of Mardi Himal,

Overnight in Tadapani. 

Day 5: Trek to Kimchi (1,640m/5,380ft) and drive to Pokhara

Walking Distance: 3 - 4 hours (10 km) Trek, 2:30 hours drive

This is the final leg of your Annapurna Trek. Make your way down to one of the best known villages on the Annapurna trail, Ghandruk, Ghandruk is a Gurung Heritage Village. Filled with whitewashed stone houses and neat alles, this village is home to brave Gurkha soldiers serving in the British Army. After stopping briefly at this village, you continue your descent down to Kimchi. On reaching Kimchi, board a vehicle and drive to Pokhara.

Overnight in Pokhara.

Day 6: Fly to Kathmandu and sightseeing in Kathmandu

Flight Duration: 25 minutes, Activities: Sightseeing at Bouddhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple and Patan Durbar Square
Pashupatinath Temple Pashupatinath Temple- one of the holiest Hindu shrines in the world.

A short flight from Pokhara brings you back to Kathmandu. Your sightseeing tour begins after you land in the city. You will be met at the airport by your guide who will escort you to your first sightseeing spot the Pashupatinath Temple. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the temple is one of the holiest Hindu shrines in the world. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the three major gods in the Hindu pantheon. As only Hindus are allowed inside the temple you will get to view the temple from the eastern bank of the Bagmati River that flows right beside the temple. ‘Arya Ghat’, the Hindu cremation site is located right below the temple and you can view funeral pyres and people performing the last cremation rites of their dead relatives. Later head to Boudha and visit another UNESCO World Heritage site, Boudhanath Stupa.

The grand and iconic Boudhanath Stupa is Nepal’s largest Buddhist stupa. An important center of Tibetan Buddhism, this ancient stupa lies on the old Tibet trade route. Adorned with colorful prayer flags and a golden turret with the all-seeing eyes of the Buddha painted on it, the stupa is believed to hold the remains of Kasyapa Buddha (the earlier incarnation of Lord Buddha). The impressive white dome rests on a giant plinth designed as a mandala (the Buddhist representation of the cosmos). This, like other historical sites in Kathmandu, is an active spiritual site and there is a constant flow of devotees, pilgrims, and monks around the stupa. After spending an hour or two at this site, make your way towards Patan.

Patan or Lalitpur is known as the ‘City of Artisans’. One of the three medieval kingdoms, the Patan Durbar Square is the old city’s crowning glory. The durbar square or palace complex, built by the Malla Kings, is filled with temples and structures with intricate ornamentation. The highly advanced craftsmanship of the local artisans is displayed in the filigreed woodwork, stone carving, and metal sculptures.  The Patan Palace Museum, Krishna Temple, Golden Temple and scores of other shrines are the main attractions of this medieval palace complex.  Later, drive to your hotel and have a well-deserved rest.

Overnight in Kathmandu. 

Day 7: Fly to Paro, sightseeing in Paro and drive to Thimphu

Duration: 1 hour flight, 1 hour (55km) drive | Activities : Sightseeing at Ta Dzong, Rinpung or Paro Dzong
Budha Dordenma Buddha Dordenma Statue- The statue is made of bronze and is gilded in gold which symbolizes indestructibility

You take an early flight to Paro. Filled with mesmerizing vistas of soaring Himalayan peaks, including four 8000 meter peaks (Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, and Makalu). Once you arrive in Paro, you will be greeted by your Bhutanese guide. After lunch or refreshment, your sightseeing tour begins.

 You will be driven to Ta Dzong, an ancient Bhutanese watchtower that dates back to the 17th century. This grand structure is now the National Museum and home to several ancient artifacts and relics. Later head to Rinpung or Paro Dzong.  This dzong or fortress was built by the founder of Bhutan, Zabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Paro’s most important festival, Paro Tsechhu is held here. A monastery and some government offices are housed inside this impressive dzong.

After your sightseeing tour you take a 1-hour drive to Thimphu. Once you arrive at the capital city you head to your hotel, check-in, and take a well-deserved rest.

Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 8: Drive to Punakha via Dochula Pass

Duration: 2-3 hours (76 km) drive | Activities: Visit King’s Memorial Chorten, Buddha Dordenma & Tashichho Dzong. Cross Dochula Pass
Dochula Pass Dachula Pass - The pass is decorated with 108 chortens, from where you can enjoy picturesque views of the Bhutanese mountains.

Your Thimphu tour begins with a visit to the beautiful King’s Memorial Chorten at the center of the city. The chorten is dedicated to the third Bhutanese king Jigme Dorje Wangchuk. Later you drive up to a hill and explore the gigantic statue of Buddha Dordenma. This large statue of Lord Buddha watches over Thimphu city. Standing tall at 169 feet, the statue holds 1,25,0000 small Buddha statues inside its bronze body.

Next you head to Tashichho Dzong, a magnificent traditional fortress that houses the King’s throne and the seat of the Royal Bhutan Government. Later you take the road to Punakha via the Dochula Pass. There will be a stopover at the pass from where you can enjoy picturesque views of the Bhutanese mountains and pristine forests.

The pass is decorated with 108 chortens or memorials dedicated to martyred soldiers.  After savouring the panoramic views and taking pictures you continue your drive towards Punakha. Upon reaching Punakha you head to your hotel and call it a day.

Overnight in Punakha.

Day 9: Drive to Paro

Duration: 4-5 Hours (130 km) drive | Activities: Visit Punakha Dzong, Chimmi Lakhang Temple

After breakfast commence your sightseeing tour. The beautiful city of Punakha, the capital of Bhutan till the 1950s.  You visit to Punakha’s iconic landmark the Punakha Dzong. Located between the Po Chu and Mo Chu rivers, this ancient castle is the winter residence of Bhutan’s Chief Abbot (Je Khenpo). You cross a traditional cantilever bridge to reach this magnificent castle. The dzong houses historical artifacts and Buddhist religious relics as well as the mortal remains of Zabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the founder of Bhutan.

Afterwards head to Chimmi Lakhang or the Fertility Temple. To reach the temple you need to take a short walk through paddy fields and local farms. It is a great opportunity to observe rural Bhutanese lifestyle. The Chimmi Lakahang Temple is dedicated to Bhutan’s patron saint Drukpa Kuenley. Women who have fertility issues and couples wishing to have kids visit this sacred temple. It is believed that Drukpa Kuenley, also known as the Divine Madman, blesses those who seek his blessings with fertility. The monks use a wooden or metal ‘phallus’ to bless the devotees. Later take a picturesque drive to Paro.

Overnight in Paro.

Day 10: Hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) in Paro

Duration: 30 minutes (12km) drive, 4-5 hours (6 km) hike | Activity: Hike Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest)
taktsang monastery bhutan Taksang Monastery Bhutan - Sacred Buddhist site located in Paro and constructed in 1692

Wake up early and prepare for the most memorable hike you will ever take, the Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang Monastery Hike. After breakfast, you will be driven towards the base of the hill where the monastery is situated. This magnificent monastery lies high above the hill, hugging an overhanging cliff. A man-made marvel, this monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site in Bhutan, The monastery is said to have been the meditation cave of Guru Rinpoche or Padmasambhava (also known as the Second Buddha) who is believed to have flown there from Tibet on the back of a flying tigress( thus the name Tiger’s Nest).

On reaching the trailhead you take the upward path to the monastery. It is an uphill ascent all the way. The gravel path winding along a lush pine forest is easy to walk and no technical climbing is involved. If you find it too strenuous to make the hike up to the top, you can hire (to be paid by yourself) a pony to ride up halfway to the top. There is a café before reaching the monastery and you can stop there for refreshment.

The monastery looks amazing from this point and you can take pictures from here. You need to walk through a series of stone steps cut on the side of a precipitous gorge before you reach the monastery. Visit the sacred monastery and interact with the monks living there. Later retrace your steps and head down to the highway. Get on the vehicle and return to your hotel.

Overnight in Paro.

Day 11: Fly to Kathmandu and explore Bhaktapur

Duration: 1 hour flight | Activity: Sightseeing at Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bid goodbye to Bhutan and return to Kathmandu. The flight is a memorable filled with enticing views of Himalayan peaks. Once you arrive in Kathmandu you will be driven to Bhaktapur, one of the valley’s three medieval cities. Visit the old city, one of the best preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site in the city.

The Bhaktapur Durbar Square is divided into three squares- Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square and Dattareya Square. Temples and palaces, which are the finest specimen of traditional Nepalese architecture, adorn these squares. The nine-tiered pagoda roofed Nyatapole Temple, Palace of 55 Windows, Golden Gate, Pujari Math, Bhairavnath Temple are some of the historic and artistic gems that decorate the Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

You can take a leisurely walk with your guide around the old city and watch the local potters at the Pottery Square going about their work – moulding terracotta pots and figurines, drying out their wares in the open courtyard or firing up their kiln. Visiting the square will take you to another time and place.

Later you will be escorted to your hotel. Check-in and take a well-deserved rest. In the evening celebrate the completion of your memorable trip with a farewell dinner with one of our representative.

Overnight in Bhaktapur.

Day 12: Depart Kathmandu

Our representative will drop you off at the airport 3 hours prior to your scheduled departure. If you wish to explore more of Nepal or other Himalayan destinations do let us know. We have a wide range of itineraries you can choose from.




Trip Reviews

Travel experiences of our clients who recently returned from their trips.
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Based on 3 reviews
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Andrew Williams
flagsNew Zealand
Apr 15, 2020
Memorable Nepal-Bhutan trip
We were so lucky to make this trip before the terrible Covid-19 pandemic made travel impossible. We were deliberating to take this trip during March-April when it would turn a bit warmer, but then Alice (my partner) could only schedule her holiday during Jan last. We thank our lucky stars now, that we had a change of plans. We would have been stuck somewhere if we had postponed our trip. Well, overall we had a great trip. During the short 12 days of our holiday we made some really good memories that will last forever. The Annapurna trek to Poon Hill, the medieval temples and palaces in Kathmandu, the monasteries and pristine nature in Bhutan – all these were a treat to our senses. The guides were humble and knowledgeable. In fact everybody we met during our trip seemed so kind and helpful. We highly recommend This company and plan to travel with them in the near future.
Prompt response and good value.
Yes.
Celestina Banner
flagsUnited States of America
Feb 16, 2020
awesome trek and cultural tour
Finally got time to write my experience. Amidst this hard time, I am reminiscing my beautiful trip to Nepal and Bhutan. Imagine a marvelous trek and cultural tour in just 12 days? I was looking for this adventure and finally found- hosted by Third Rock Adventures. I wanted to visit to the Himalayan country, Nepal and Bhutan, and luckily Third Rock offered me their unique trip and unbeatable service. Had I been with some other company, I would not have enjoyed much. Flying to Pokhara was a beautiful experience. And when I was walking through the beautiful trail to Poon Hill, I was overwhelmed and excited. The stunning mountain views from Poon Hill was breath-taking. I always wanted to live in the mountains for few days and explore Bhutan. Bhutan was fabulous. Nepal is now the best country for me. My guide was helpful and friendly. The company bestowed what I say- quality service.
Yes
Tygo Jansen
flagsNetherlands
Oct 19, 2019
Cultural Bhutan and Himalayas of Nepal
The multi country trip to beautiful countries of Asia, Nepal and Bhutan was my best choice ever. I have just returned from an amazing holiday organised by Third Rock Adventures. I visited Bhutan for 4 days and did a 4 day hike in the Nepalese Himalayas with few days tour around Kathmandu. The experience was incredible. The guide in Bhutan and Nepal were very knowledgeable - taken to all the main sites which included temples, stupas and a festivals. The highlight was the trek up to the Tiger's Nest Temple. Beautiful mountains and scenery. My hike in the Nepalese Himalayas was also admiring. We went to Ghorepani and Poon Hill for the trek in Nepal which was really beautiful viewpoint from where we can see sunrise and panorama of the Himalayas. My guide Deepak was excellent - very attentive and helpful. The most wonderful sunrise at Poon hill - was worth the 4 am wake up. I would highly recommend this company and trip if you want to experience unspoiled Bhutan and hiking in Nepal.

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