This trip takes you for a complete immersion in the Himalayas. A discovery of two authentic countries: Nepal and Bhutan with the Himalayas, the highest peaks in the world, as the backdrop. Your journey takes you from the discovery of the Kathmandu Valley between religious fervour and medieval royal cities to Pokhara, the gateway to Annapurna and a safari in the incredible Chitwan National Park.
Then, you fly above the Himalayan mountain range to the mythical and mysterious kingdom of Bhutan. You visit the capital's must-sees, discover the subtropical valley of Punakha and its incredible Dzong (a distinctive type of fortress architecture), the most beautiful of Bhutan. You continue then to Paro where you take a scenic trek to reach the famous "Tiger’s Nest" Monastery, perched on a cliff.
This trip invites you to discover the most sacred cultural and natural sites of Nepal and Bhutan. It reveals the unique traditional architecture that marks some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world and allows you to meet its inhabitants and gain an insight into their preserved cultures and traditions.
Sit back and let Shanti Travel take care of the organization of your entire trip, starting with a warm welcome from your Travel Expert in Kathmandu. A local professional guide and private driver will accompany you throughout your trip to Nepal and Bhutan to ensure you return home with unforgettable memories.
A perfect holiday for...
If you are interested in discovering the world of the Himalayas, this magnificent trip has everything to satisfy you. A perfect balance between nature, culture and local encounters, be prepared to create unforgettable memories on this adventurous journey between Nepal and Bhutan.
Start of your trip to Nepal
The highlights of Kathmandu
This morning, your guide will meet you at your hotel and bring you to visit the most emblematic sites of Kathmandu. Your first stop is the Boudhanath Stupa, the biggest stupa in Nepal that you admire as you take part in a clockwise circumambulation. Not far away, the Hindu site of Pashupatinath, which borders the sacred Bagmati River, gives you an experience of great religious fervour. In the afternoon, you will explore the golden dome of Swayambunath Temple, also called Monkey Temple. From here, you can admire the view of the surrounding landscapes and royal cities from the heights of Kathmandu. Night at the hotel.
Discovery of the Kathmandu Valley
Wake up early to reach the city of Bhaktapur. Once the rice granary of the valley, today it is a place of great religious devotion. On the Durbar Square, visit the famous five-roofed temple called Newari Nyatapola dedicated to the goddess Siddhilaxmi. Legend says that the king of Bhaktapur and all the local population participated in its construction. Spend a beautiful day strolling the streets of this old Newar city, which has preserved all of its medieval character. Try to see if you can spot the places where some scenes of the film Little Buddha were shot. Return to your hotel in the afternoon.
The Bengal Tiger Refuge
Today, you take the road to the Royal Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Nestled at the foot of the Himalayas, Chitwan offers particularly rich fauna and flora and is home to one of the last populations of single-horned rhinoceros. It is also renowned as one of the last refuges of the Bengal tigers. You settle down in your lodge and enjoy a free afternoon to rest in the heart of the jungle. Do not hesitate to walk around. With its magnificent landscape, lush vegetation and the Himalayas in the background, the park is an area of rare beauty. Overnight in the lodge.
Safari in the national park
At the gateway to the Annapurna
Hike to the village of Dhampus
This morning, your driver will bring you from Pokhara to Phedi. From there, put on your walking shoes and set off for an easy 3h30 walk through the beautiful forest and countryside to reach Dhampus. A stunning village in itself, it is also an excellent spot from which to see a panoramic view of the Himalayas, in particular, the Machhapuchhare and Annapurna Ranges. Enjoy the fresh mountain air and spectacular view before making your way back to Phedi (1h30 - 2h walk), where your car will be waiting to bring you back to your hotel in Pokhara.
Road through beautiful Newar countryside
The capital of Bhutan
After breakfast, your driver will bring you to the airport to catch your flight to Paro International Airport. Your local guide and driver will welcome you to the "Land of the Thunder Dragon" and you immediately take the road to the capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan. Your first glimpse of the landscape will amaze you and offer a magnificent view of the majestic Mount Jomolhari, whose summit reaches 7,316m. You can also see the Simthoka Dzong, one of the characteristic fortress-monasteries of the country. Enjoy a free afternoon in Thimphu where you can stroll in the city centre and soak up the traditional architecture of Bhutan with its paintings and Buddhist motifs that the government puts in the spotlight. Night at the hotel.
Beautiful road in the valleys of Bhutan
Punakha Dzong, one of the jewels of Bhutan
Wake up early to visit Punakha Dzong, punctuated with stories and legends. Located at the confluence of the rivers Po Chu and Mo Chu, it is one of the largest dzongs in Bhutan and one of the most elaborately-decorated. Then take the road to the rich and fertile Phobjikha Valley, the gateway to the Black Mountain National Park. Spend a day exploring this magnificent valley on foot, hiking from village to village. After around 30 minutes, you will reach a magnificent viewpoint where you can observe traditional villages and farmers tending to their fields of buckwheat, potatoes and turnips. Don't forget to make a stop at the village of Wangdue (1,300 m), famous for their mastery of bamboo, stone and slate, and admire the imposing Wandduephodrang Dzong before returning to your hotel.
Beautiful hikes in the Punakha Valley [Chorten Nebu Hike]
After breakfast, you will head to Kabjisa, the starting point for a wonderful hike in the Punakha Valley. You walk along a path that climbs slightly and gradually, and observe the local rural life as you pass pretty villages surrounded by orange orchards. The atmosphere is cheerful and serene and the nature resplendent. You arrive at the top of a hill overlooking the valley of Punakha where you can find the Nebu chorten, slightly off the beaten path, where the monks will certainly invite you to share some tea. In the afternoon, your guide takes you on foot, through farms and rice fields to reach the Chimi Lhakhang Monastery, the temple of fertility. Night at the hotel.
The famous "Tiger's Nest" Monastery
In the early hours of the morning, go for a nice walk to the Taksang Monastery, nicknamed "The Tiger's Nest". Perched on the cliff, as if defying gravity, this is the most sacred site in Bhutan. Legend has it that in the eighth century, Guru Rinpoche, the father of Bhutanese Buddhism, arrived on the back of a tigress to the cave nicknamed "The Tiger’s Nest" to meditate. It has now become a hermitage where every three years a monk comes to isolate himself. With your driver, you then join the ruins of Drukyel Dzong from where the view on Jhomolari is magnificent. Night at the hotel.
For those who wish, the climb can be done on horseback but the descent can only be done on foot.
The art of ancestral Bhutanese weaving
This morning, why not take advantage of your last hours in Bhutan to discover Paro, a pleasant and charming little town. Along the main street, many stalls are perfect for finding take-away souvenirs for you and your loved ones. Let yourself be tempted by sumptuous traditional and colourful Bhutanese fabric. This handicraft of Bhutan, which follows the ancestral methods of weaving, is the pride of the kingdom. Your private driver then picks you up at your hotel to accompany you to the airport for your flight to Kathmandu in Nepal. If not too tired, don’t hesitate to visit the historic Durbar Square. Night at the hotel.
Walk in the tourist district of Thamel and return flight
This morning, in the heart of old Kathmandu, you can stroll the streets of Thamel to find your last souvenirs and sip a delicious masala tea (a spicy sweet tea with a touch of milk) on the one of the many sunny terraces of the neighbourhood. Then, your driver will accompany you to Kathmandu International Airport for your return flight. Your suitcase, your heart and your mind are filled with unforgettable memories. We wish you a pleasant return flight and hope to see you again soon in Asia with Shanti Travel team. Do not hesitate to contact our Himalayan Travel Experts who will be happy to answer all your questions and your requests.
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