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Combination trip - Nepal & Bhutan

Bhutan & Nepal – For that moment

Highlights

  • Tour the hidden kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan in 18 days with a private guide

  • Trekking tour to the world-famous Tiger’s Nest

  • Visit the Buddhist Dzongs & Hindu Sanctuaries

  • Explore the Chitwan National Park on a safari adventure

  • Includes entrance fees, English-speaking guide, and full board in Bhutan

Description

This 18-day trip through Bhutan and Nepal will be an unforgettable experience. You’ll travel through the Himalayan mountains and learn about the hidden kingdom of Bhutan. On an exciting safari in Nepal’s first national park, you’ll get up close and personal with the fascinating animal world, such as rhinos, monkeys, or even a rare Bengal tiger! In Bhutan, visit the world-famous Tiger’s Nest that sits 3000 meters above sea level — enjoy its stunning views over the picturesque Phobijkha Valley and get an insight into the Buddhism and Hinduism worlds. Are you ready to join us for a journey to another world?

Destination

Asia

Kathamandu - Chitwan - Kathmandu - Paro - Thimphu - Punakha - Gangtey - Bumthang - Wangdue - Paro - Kathmandu

Welcome to South Asia! You’ll land at Kathmandu International Airport, a representative from our partner agency will greet you upon arrival. After grabbing all your luggage, they will take you to your first accommodation.

Use the first day to recover from the long journey and get used to the new climate. Depending on your arrival time, the afternoon is free for sightseeing! Visit the 36-meter high Boudha Stupa or the Pashupatinath Temple, a famous and sacred Hindu temple complex. (optional).

Travel time from Kathmandu Airport - Hotel Kathmandu: 6 km / approx. 20 minutes

1 night at Shangri-La Hotel & Resort***** with breakfast in a standard room, Kathmandu, Nepal

After a replenishing breakfast at your hotel, it’s time for a two-hour rafting tour on the Trishuli River in Charaudi. Your guide will give you all of the necessary equipment on-site and teach you about the safety precautions and rafting techniques. Do you feel ready for an exhilarating experience!? Hop onto the water and pass some beautiful streams and passages.

Exhausted but full of adrenaline, return to your car and drive to your next accommodation in Chitwan. Far away from the hustle and bustle, you’ll stay right next to Nepal’s first national park, the Chitwan National Park. Check in to your room, then enjoy a delicious welcome drink or take a bike tour to the Narayani River to enjoy the sunset. Round off the evening learning about the Chitwan National Park during a presentation.

Travel time Kathmandu - Chitwan National Park: 160 km / approx. 4.5 hours

3 nights at Barauli Community Homestay with breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a hut, Chitwan National Park, Nepal

Today you’ll begin a walk through the Tharu tribe’s village. Get an insight into the life of the locals and watch them do their everyday tasks and customs. After lunch, it’s time to go to the national park. This exciting jeep safari will take you past its diverse wildlife, such as Indian rhinos, wild boars, deer, elephants, and monkeys! With a bit of luck, you might even catch a glimpse of the rare Bengal tiger. Don’t be afraid — your guide is always by your side with the best safety tips!

In the evening, you can reminisce about your exciting day during a delicious Tharu dinner made from vegetables and curry! Listen to their stories and try the delicious flavors of their food during this cultural evening.

Get up early and begin your day with a morning canoe trip. Cruise along the Rapti River in a traditional dugout canoe and get up close to the many water birds that fly over the river. The rare swamp crocodile and fish-eating gharial crocodile also call this home. As you listen to the sounds of nature, keep your eyes peeled for a mighty crocodile on the river bank.

You will return to your homestay in the afternoon. Take a break before diving into the world of Nepalese cuisine during a cooking class.

After three eventful days and countless impressions in Chitwan, you’ll say goodbye to the Tharu tribe and drive back to Kathmandu.

The rest of the day is open for you to do as you wish. Did you see something the first day that you didn’t have time to visit? Use the time to go on a discovery tour!

Travel time Chitwan National Park - Kathmandu: 160 km / approx. 4.5 hours

1 night at Shangri-La Hotel & Resort***** with breakfast in a deluxe room, Kathmandu, Nepal

The long wait is finally over: today, you will fly to Bhutan. After breakfast, pack your bags before your guide takes you to the Kathmandu International Airport. Begin your 45-minute flight to Paro in a small propeller plane. If you’re lucky with clear weather, you’ll be able to enjoy spectacular views of the Himalayan mountains and Mount Everest. This flight will be one you never forget.

After landing at Paro Airport, a representative from our partner agency will pick you up and help you complete all immigration formalities. Now your adventure through the land of the thunder dragon can begin!

Your first stop is Ta Dzong, the National Museum of Bhutan. Its stunning location in a historical observation tower offers excellent photo opportunities and insights into the country's culture and traditions. Numerous exhibited works of art, textiles, and jewelry allow you to immerse yourself in the beautiful world of the hidden kingdom. The Rinpung Dzong Buddhist Temple is your next destination — it is the administrative center of the dzongkhag and offers lovely views over the Paro valley. Did you know that 200 monks still live here?

In the late afternoon, you’ll reach your hotel.

Flight time Kathmandu - Paro: approx. 1 hour

1 night at Metta Resort & Spa*** with breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a standard room, Paro, Bhutan

Before you set off to Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, your trip’s highlight awaits: visit the famous Tiger’s Nest monastery.

Since you can only reach the monastery by foot or on horseback, you and your guide will set off after breakfast for the two-hour hike. Don’t forget to pack your hiking boots because the narrow paths wind through the lush deciduous and fir forest. As you climb the 3120 meters on a stony path, you’ll meet pilgrims who also make the trek to pray in the monastery. The higher you get, the more remarkable the views. When you arrive at the Taktsang cafeteria, unbeatable views of the famous Tiger’s Nest will reward you.

The beautiful monastery is built on a steep mountain slope, about 700 meters above the Paro Valley, and an impressive masterpiece that will take your breath away.

Where does the name Tiger’s Nest originate? Legend says that Buddhism’s founder, Buddha Guru Rinpoche, flew to the monastery on a tiger in the 8th century.

After capturing unforgettable photos of the Tiger’s Nest, return to your transfer vehicle in the late morning and continue to the Drukyel Dzong Buddhist monastery. Then you will visit the 7th-century Kyichu Lhakhang temple, one of the most beautiful and oldest temples in the country.

Use the last leg of the day to drive to Thimphu. The capital is home to 100,000 inhabitants and is the most modern city in the kingdom. Even though it’s the most modern, they don’t have traffic lights! So the mix of old and new won’t be a surprise.

Travel time Paro - Thimphu: 66 km / approx. 1.5 hours

2 nights at Namseling Boutique Hotel*** with breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a standard room, Thimphu, Bhutan

What better way to start the day than with a sightseeing tour of Thimphu Valley? Your first destination is Thimphu’s oldest temple, Changangkha Lhakhang. It was built in the 12th-century and offers excellent views over the city. Next, you’ll visit the Memorial Chorten (constructed in 1974 in honor of the country’s third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck) and the National Library, which is home to a great collection of religious books, philosophical works, and numerous manuscripts in the local language, Dzongkha.

In the late afternoon, you’ll continue to the fortress-like monastery complex Tashichhodzong, built in the 13th century and extensively expanded in the 1960s in traditional style without nails and blueprints. The monastery has served as the seat of government since 1952 and is also the summer residence for the religious leader Je Khenpo.

If you have time before dinner, visit the Handicrafts Emporium. Get an insight into Bhutan’s finest craftsmanship — you can marvel at hand-woven textiles and other handicraft products.

Round off the evening at the hotel bar, reminiscing about all of the new impressions of Buddhist culture.

If you’re in Thimphu on a Saturday, don’t miss the traditional weekend market. Here you’ll find everything your heart desires: from fresh fruits, vegetables, and musical instruments. Browse through the colorful objects, and perhaps you might even find a souvenir for your loved ones at home.

After you leave Thimphu, drive over the 3,130-meter high Dochula Pass to Punakha. When you reach the top of the pass, countless colorful prayer flags and 108 stupas will great you. Make a quick stop here and enjoy a delicious cup of tea paired with fantastic views. It is gorgeous here on a clear day, where all you can see is blue skies and sharp images of the Himalayan mountains. Don’t forget to charge your camera and take memorable photos of your surroundings before starting your onward journey into the 1,250 meters deep Punakha Valley. As you drive downhill, you’ll see that the landscape slowly begins to change: vast rice fields and lush fruit trees dominate the landscape.

When you arrive in Punakha, you will visit the majestic Punakha Dzong, also known as the “Palace of Happiness.” It is the second oldest and one of the most important monasteries in the country. The incumbent King Jigme Namgyel Wangchuk married his wife here in 2011. In addition, the magnificent three-story palace is the official residence of the religious leader Je Khenpos during the winter months. Experience the traditional architecture that will cast a spell over you.

After a refreshing lunch made from local products, head to the Chime Lhakhang temple, constructed in 1499 on a hill to honor the Tibetan master Drugpa Künleg. Completely renovated in 1999, the temple is still an important meeting point for women worldwide who have an unfulfilled desire to have children.

Travel time Thimphu - Punakha: 62 km / approx. 2 hours

1 night at Hotel Lobesa*** with breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a standard room, Punakha, Bhutan

Today you will embark on an unforgettable hike to the Khamsum Yueley Chorten. The temple complex was built by the king’s mother and is dedicated to the welfare of the country and all living beings. During this 60-minute drive to your next destination, you’ll pass lush rice fields and dense pine forests. Far above the rooftops of Punakha, you’ll experience a great example of Bhutanese architecture, where spectacular views of the city will reward you.

Your travel itinerary continues south to Gangtey. Drive uphill again and pass dense forests mainly consisting of oaks and rhododendrons. Finally, you will reach the small picturesque town of Gangtey, which nestles on a hill above the impressive Phobjikha valley. Check into your hotel for the next two nights.

Travel time Punakha - Gangtey: 62 km / approx. 2 hours

2 nights at Hotel Dewachen with breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a standard room, Gangtey, Bhutan

Today you’ll wake up in one of the most beautiful valleys in the Himalayas. Strengthen yourself with a rich breakfast before you plan the day according to your wishes. Here are some suggestions of sights that you shouldn’t miss:

The Gangtey Monastery, also called Gangtey Gompa, sits enthroned on a small hill above the green Phobjikha Valley. It’s one of the most important monasteries of the Nyingma-Pa school of Buddhism. A large village that’s home to 140 Gomchen, families who follow the teachings and take care of the monastery, surrounds the area.

The picturesque Phobjikha Valley is an important nature reserve because it’s where the rare black-necked cranes hibernate from November to February. The sacred birds are good luck charms in Bhutan! There’s a small information center where you can find photos, videos, and interesting brochures for those who are curious and want to find out more about them.

In the early morning, you’ll set off for the next part of your adventure: Bumthang. The drive there is an experience in itself. As you drive uphill at a 3300-meter altitude, you’ll pass green meadows and dense forests along the Pele La Pass, which is the official border between east and west Bhutan. Do you notice all of the colorful flags blowing in the peaceful wind?

After you have crossed the pass, the vegetation changes into Alpine highlands. And best of all: you can enjoy spectacular views when there’s clear weather! With a bit of luck, you might even be able to see the 7326-meter high Jomolhari in the west. Drive past the Buddhist temple, Chendebji Chorten, and stop halfway in Trongsa. Replenish yourself with a delicious lunch before visiting Trongsa Dzong and Ta Dzong. Trongsa Dzong is an impressive fortress constructed in 1644 and is where the first king’s coronation took place about 100 years ago. Ta Dzong is a former observation tower that is home to a museum where you can learn about the kings of Bhutan.

After the sightseeing, continue over the Yotongla Pass to Bumthang.

Travel time Gangtey - Bumthang: 150 km / approx. 4 hours

2 nights at Rinchenling Lodge with breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a standard room, Bumthang, Bhutan

Today is all about learning the city’s cultural heritage. On your sightseeing tour, you’ll visit the Jambay Lhakhang temple, one of the oldest temples built in the 7th century. Every fall, the famous five-day Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival takes place in this temple. If you’re in Bumthang during this time, you must not miss this spectacle: religious dances and ancient traditions await you!

From here, you’ll continue the discovery tour to Kurjey Lhakhang, an important temple complex named after the body print of Guru Rinpoche. It nestles on the side of a hill and has three temples and 108 chortens. Legend says that Guru Rinpoche defeated a local demon in one of the temples!

The Tamshing Monastery is one of the oldest and holiest monastery schools in Bhutan. It was constructed in 1501 and is one of the few places where young monks are still being taught in the tradition of the Nyingmapa school founded by Guru Rinpoche. It’s also home to fascinating paintings of its history and local surroundings, as well as 36 impressive wall paintings. Every year, the Tamshing Phala Chhoepa Festival takes place here. It’s a festival full of magic, traditions, and striking autumn colors.

Round off the evening with a visit to the Nyingkhe Ningpo Temple, where young monks play or devote themselves to their studies in the courtyard.

Today marks two weeks in South Asia! You’ve already experienced so much, but don’t worry: your trip is far from over. After breakfast at your hotel, pack your bags and head back west. Pass the Yotongla and Pele La passes until you reach your destination, Wangdue, after about seven hours.

Check into your hotel and enjoy a traditional dinner made from local products at the in-house restaurant.

Travel time Bumthang - Wangdue: 203 km / approx. 7 hours

1 night at Kichu Resort*** with breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a standard room, Wangdue, Bhutan

On the way to Paro, you’ll make a quick stop to see the kingdom’s first dzong. Simtokha Dzong was built around 1629 and is the oldest surviving dzong in Bhutan. Since 1961, it’s an institute for languages and other subjects.

Continue the journey another 60 minutes to today’s destination. Once you’re in Paro, visit the city temple Druk Choeding Stupa, which was constructed in 1525 and serves as the locals’ place of worship.

Check into your hotel and enjoy a delicious dinner.

Travel time Wangdue - Paro: 120 km / approx. 4 hours

2 nights at Metta Resort & Spa *** with breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a standard room, Paro, Bhutan

About 47 kilometers from Paro is the heavily traveled pass road, Chelela Pass. It sits at an altitude of 3899 meters and offers short walks to viewing platforms at an altitude of 4000 meters. Soak in the remarkable 360° views of the Himalayan mountains.

After capturing beautiful photos of the landscape, hike slightly downhill to the Kila Gompa nunnery. Similar to the Tiger’s Nest, the nunnery sits atop a rock wall. It’s the oldest nunnery in Bhutan and is still home to about 40 nuns.

Return to Paro in the late afternoon. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Today is your last day in Bhutan. After breakfast, pack your bags and hop into your transfer to the Paro International Airport. Fly back to Kathmandu, where a representative from our partner agency will greet you. Together you will drive to Panauti before spending your last night in Kathmandu.

In the evening, you will return to Kathmandu and check into your hotel.

Flight time Paro - Kathmandu: approx. 1 hour

1 night at Shangri-La Hotel & Resort***** with breakfast in a deluxe room, Kathmandu, Nepal

Today you will take your flight home. Hasn’t the time passed by quickly? After breakfast, you will leave the hotel and take your transfer to the Kathmandu International Airport. We hope you had an unforgettable time in South Asia!

If you would like to adjust the details of the trip, contact us! We are happy to organize an extension for you in Bhutan, Nepal, or in another region.

itravel — for that moment.

Shangri-La Hotel & Resort*****, Kathmandu, Nepal (3 nights)

The luxurious resort is in the heart of the city, nestled in an oasis of calm. All the rooms come modernly furnished and have a cozy living room, a private bathroom, complimentary toiletries, and a safe. Other amenities include a TV and free WiFi. After long days of adventure, relax by the outdoor pool or book an exquisite treatment at the spa area. The in-house Pan Asian Restaurant offers authentic dishes from Indian, Chinese, and Vietnamese cuisine, and the James Hilton Bar specializes in creative cocktails. Thanks to its central location, you can easily reach all of the city’s significant sites.

Barauli Community Homestay, Chitwan, Nepal (3 nights)

This unique accommodation is an authentic experience. Immerse yourself in the world of the Chitwan National Park and Tharu tribe. During your stay, you’ll get to know the culture and gain insights into the locals’ everyday life. Stay in one of the 12 small huts, each with a private bathroom and usual amenities. You'll find a community house in the middle of the village where you can eat together and drink a couple of schnapps.

Metta Resort & Spa***, Paro, Bhutan (3 nights)

This charming resort is only 15 minutes from Paro’s city center, making it an ideal starting point for adventures in Bhutan. The 23 comfortably furnished rooms have a private bathroom, a TV, and tea/coffee making facilities. During your stay, the attentive service is there to help at any time of day. The in-house restaurant specializes in Asian dishes, and the spa offers soothing massages.

Namesling Boutique Hotel***, Thimphu, Bhutan (2 nights)

The cozy boutique hotel boasts typical and traditional style and welcomes you to its ideal location next to the city’s main highlights. Stay in one of the 24 rooms, which has a walk-in shower and good internet. After an eventful day, relax at the in-house restaurant where you can order varied dishes and refreshing drinks. And don’t forget to visit the Crystal Ballroom — the hotel’s luxurious disco where you can end the evening with a fruity cocktail and good music from local and international DJs.

Hotel Lobesa***, Punakha, Bhutan (1 night)

At this hotel, stunning views of the lush green rice fields and Punakha Valley will pamper you. The 14 rooms come with a balcony, perfect for relaxing after a day full of adventures. When you eat at the in-house restaurant, be sure to try its traditional Bhutanese specialties and excellent breakfast.

Hotel Dewachen, Gangtey, Bhutan (2 nights)

The award-winning hotel welcomes you amidst a beautiful natural landscape and pure authenticity. All 16 rooms come furnished in a traditional, Bhutanese style and a private balcony that looks over the Phobijkha Valley. At the in-house restaurant, you can order local, Indian, Chinese, and other international cuisines; the cozy bar invites you for refreshing drinks in a lovely atmosphere. The hotel also offers a spa area and a fully-equipped fitness studio.

Rinchenling Lodge, Bumthang, Bhutan (2 nights)

The hotel awaits you in a dreamlike setting. It nestles in a picturesque garden and is the ideal starting point for discovery tours and relaxing moments. Curl up in the cozy lounge with your favorite book or visit the Jambey Lhakhang and Kurjey Lhakhang (both are less than 5 kilometers away). In the 30 spacious rooms and suites, modern design meets traditional architecture, and they all have private bathrooms and free WiFi. The in-house restaurant serves delicious international, Bhutanese, Indian, and Chinese cuisine, all prepared from home-grown vegetables or organic products from the region. For breakfast, enjoy homemade jams and buckwheat pancakes. If you’re looking to relax, take a dip into a warm herbal bath and let your mind wander.

Kichu Resort***, Wangdue, Bhutan (1 night)

Hospitality and friendly service are of utmost importance at this accommodation. The 26 cozy rooms and suites have private balconies where you can enjoy beautiful views of the rushing river. There’s also free WiFi and a private bathroom with complimentary toiletries. At the in-house restaurant, they only serve fresh, vegetarian dishes from international and local cuisines.

Duration of the trip: 18 days / 17 nights

Including

Nepal

  • 6 nights in the mentioned hotels or similar

  • Catering according to the program (6x breakfast, 3x lunch, and 3x dinner)

  • Private transfers

  • Rafting tour on a group basis

  • Activities in Chitwan National Park on a group basis

  • Local guide in Panauti

Bhutan

  • 11 nights including full board (breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as coffee, tea, and small snacks) in the mentioned hotels or similar

  • Private transfers

  • Continuous support from a local, English-speaking guide with tours and hikes by arrangement

  • Entrance fees and all necessary permits to enter the dzongs, monasteries, and monuments

  • Visa fee and Tourism Development Fund

Excluding

  • International flights

  • Domestic flights

  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the scope of services

  • Entrance fees and excursions not mentioned in the scope of services

  • Personal expenses, such as minibar and tips

  • Insurance

  • Visa

Additional experiences

Scenic flight over Mount Everest

  1. Per person from 218 € excl. Flight
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