Best of Nepal & Bhutan
Route : Kathmandu Pokhara Kathmandu Paro Thimphu Punakha Trongsa Wangdue Paro
Upon your arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met by our representative at the airport. After a warm welcome you will be escorted to your hotel. This evening, enjoy time at leisure at your hotel and acclimatize to the high altitude of Kathmandu.
Today, visit Boudhanath Stupa, meaning the ‘Lord of Wisdom’. This Tibetan Buddhist monument is the largest stupa in Nepal and one of the largest in the world.
Also visit Pashupatinath Temple, a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world, on the banks of Bagmati River. Although only Hindus are allowed inside the temple, visitors can clearly see the temple and the activities performed inside, from the eastern bank of Bagmati River.
Later this evening visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, the historic seat of Nepalese royalty built between the 12 - 18 centuries. The Durbar square is famous for its exquisite architecture, museums, temples and artistic embellishments. You also get an opportunity to buy some interesting souvenirs here.
After breakfast, visit Swayambhunath Stupa, one of the world’s oldest Buddhist chaityas, acclaimed to be more than 2500 years old. Situated on a hillock, 3 kms west of Kathmandu this is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal.
Later, embark on a scenic drive to Pokhara.
Continue drive to Pokhara. Surrounded by beautiful snow-capped mountains, with a magnificent lake of crystal-clear Himalayan water, Pokhara is a serene hill town in the foothills of Himalayas. Pokhara offers fascinating view of Annapurna range including the fish tail peak of Machapuchare. The locals, called Pokhralis, will greet you with warm smiles and unforgettable hospitality. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel for 2 nights stay.
Rise early this morning, for a short drive to Sarangkot, to view a spectacular sunrise over the Annapurna ranges. Later, drive back to Pokhara.
Spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful town of Pokhara, visiting the Devis Fall and the nearby Gupteshwor Cave popular for the natural artwork forms made of limestone deposits. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a boat ride in Phewa Lake, the second largest lake of Nepal, offering splendid views of the surrounding Himalayan ranges.
[Sarangkot altitude: 1620M]
After breakfast, embark on your return drive to Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu, check in at your hotel.
After breakfast, transfer to Kathmandu airport to catch your flight to Paro.
Upon arrival in Paro, drive to Thimpu and check-in at your hotel for 02 nights stay.
[Thimphu altitude: 2400M]
Today, enjoy discovering the serene and beautiful city of Thimphu, world’s only capital city without traffic lights. Visit Tashichho Dzong, the beautiful medieval fortress which houses most of the Government offices and the King’s throne room.
Then visit the Folk Heritage and National Textile Museum and Bhutanese traditional handmade paper factory. Also visit the National Library, which houses a wonderful collection of Buddhist text and manuscripts.
After lunch visit Handicrafts Emporium which offer a wide assortment of beautifully handcrafted products, including the splendid Thangkas paintings and exquisitely woven textiles for which Bhutan is famous. Also visit Arts & Crafts School, famous for traditional thangkha paintings. Here you will see, students at work producing intricate design on cloth.
This morning embark on a short drive to Punakha, the erstwhile winter capital of Bhutan.
Enjoy the scenic drive through Dochu-la pass (3140m) that heralds the most enchanting views of Bhutan.
Upon arrival check in at your hotel for a night stay. Enjoy the evening at leisure in Punakha.
[Punakha altitude: 1350M]
Today, enjoy visiting Punakha Dzong dating back to the 17th Century and the newly built Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten.
Evening at leisure on your own.
Early this morning embark on an eastward drive to Trongsa.
Drive through Pele-la pass (3300m), marked by a large white chorten and prayer flags. There is an abrupt change in vegetation at this point, with mountain forest replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo.
Driving through Bhutanese villages, we take a photo stop at Chendebji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa. This was built in the 19th century by Lama Shida from Tibet, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was believed to be killed here.
Continue drive to the town of Trongsa. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and freshen up. Later this afternoon visit Trongsa Dzong, one of the most impressive Dzong in Bhutan. Built in the 17th century this was once the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second Kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat.
[Trongsa altitude: 2200 M]
Early this morning, embark on a return westward drive to Wangdue (Wangdiphodrang), along the scenic mountain highway.
Enroute drive into Gangtey valley. Here we visit the Gangtey Gompa and the nearby Phobjikha village, the winter home of the black necked cranes that migrate from Siberia.
Continue your drive to the beautiful town of Wangdue, and upon arrival visit the local market famous for its bamboo products, slate and stone carvings. Overnight stay in Wangdue.
[Wangdue altitude: 1350 M]
This morning, continue your westward drive on to Paro. En-route view Simtokha Dzong, one of the oldest fortress of the Kingdom which now houses the school for religious and cultural studies.
Upon arrival in Paro, check in at your hotel and freshen up.
This afternoon, visit the National Museum (Ta Dzong), which houses an interesting assortment of costumes, artifacts, thangkha paintings and world-renowned stamps, bringing alive the history of Bhutan. Also visit Paro Dzong (Rinpung Dzong), the political and religious centre of Paro district, built in the 17th century.
[Paro altitude: 2250M]
Early this morning, hike to Taktshang Monastery, popularly known as Tigers Nest, perched on a cliff, overlooking Paro valley. Return trip hike takes approx 5 hours; alternatively, if you don’t wish to hike, you may ride a pony. This is one of the most sacred sites of Bhutan, visited by all Buddhist at least once in their lifetime. The climb is steep, so en-route you may stop for refreshments at a local cafeteria, located halfway up the trail overlooking ‘Tigers Nest’. Once we reach the Tigers Nest, enjoy the beautiful views and waterfall along with a visit to the monastery.
Then, we visit the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, built in the 17th century to commemorate the Bhutanese victory over Tibetans. Nearby visit a traditional Bhutanese farm house which offers an insight into the everyday lifestyle of local people.
Drive on to visit the temple of Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Bhutan, built in the 7th century.
After breakfast you will be transferred to Paro airport to catch your flight for onward destination.