Nepal and Bhutan: Heart of Himalaya - Black Diamond Expedition
  • Phunakha - Bhutan
  • Kathmandu Durbar Square

Nepal and Bhutan: Heart of Himalaya

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  • Duration
    Duration:9 Days
  • Accomodation
    Accommodation: 3 Nights (Nepal)
    5 Nights (Bhutan)
  • Meals
    Meals :8 Breakfast, 6 Lunch
    7 Dinner
  • Location
    Service: Airport to Airport
  • Trip Grade
    Trip Grade :Difficult
  • Max Altitude
    Max Altitude:

Overview

Nepal and Bhutan: Heart of the Himalaya is an exciting trip to visit two Himalayan countries of Nepal and Bhutan in a single trip. There are many beautiful sights in both the countries such that you feel like having a lifetime experience after visitng these two countries. Nepal gain its fame as an open museum where centuries back monuments, temples and craftsmanship are gratis to observe in 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites within 10 km radius in Kathmandu Valley. Similarly, the land of natural wonder, the Pokhara Valley offers incredible dramatic close view of beautiful Himalayas and tranquil Lakes. Whereas Bhutan is one of the most exotic and preserved destinations in the world which is also admired as the last Shangri-La. This prestigious tour let you get insight of Bhutan’s pristine cultural, historical and natural treasures.

Highlights

  • Centuries back monuments, temples and craftsmanship
  • 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Land of natural wonder, the Pokhara Valley
  • Incredible dramatic close view of beautiful Himalayas and tranquil Lakes
  • Pristine cultural, historical and natural treasures

Itinerary

Day 1Arrival : Paro, Bhutan

As our flight nears Bhutan we can enjoy amazing views of the Himalayas including the sacred Chomolhari and Jichu Drake peaks. At the airport, we will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier who will take us to our hotel. After lunch, we visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning ‘fortress of the heap of jewels’. Next, visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. From here we will be taken to the Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. On a clear day we can see Mount Chomolhari, Bhutan’s second-highest mountain, at 7,314meters. Overnight in Paro.

Meals: Dinner

Day 2Thimphu

After breakfast, we hike for around 4 -5 hours to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery situated at 3,180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch will be served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up on the mountain. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. After having explored the monastery, we hike down to the valley floor and leave for Thimphu. Overnight in Thimphu

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3Thimpu to Punakha: Hike to Lungchutse Monastery

After breakfast, we drive to Dochula pass (3,100 meters), where on a clear day we can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. We will begin 2 hours hike to Lungchutse Monastery from 108 chortens. The trail passes through rhododendron forests. Walking along the high ridges dotted with colorful Buddhist prayer flags offers us stunning views of Himalayas, plus incredible vistas into the valleys below the pass. Hike back to Dochu La Pass. After lunch, drive downhill through the rhododendron, fir and hemlock forests. On the way, we stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to the Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. Overnight in Punakha.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4Punakha to Paro

At dawn, we drive 12 km north of Punakha and begin our 2-hour hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten. It is located on a beautiful hillock called Ngezergang and contains elaborate paintings dedicated to the old sect of Buddhism. We hike further towards Punakha. On the way back, we visit the Punakha Dzong which was built in 1637. It is also the second oldest and the second largest Dzong in Bhutan. In the afternoon, we drive to Paro and spend the night there.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5Paro to Thimpu

In the morning, we drive to BBS Tower and then hike for 1 hour to Wangditse Gompa on leveled trail with great view of Tashichho Dzong. From here, we also get an amazing view of the Samtenling Palace, home to the fourth King and Dorje Drak meditation retreat on the hillside above. After touring the Gompa, we return to Thimphu. On the way, visit the mini Zoo to see the Takin, national animal of Bhutan. After lunch, we visit the King’s Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), the nunnery temple, the National Library (which houses ancient manuscripts) and the National Institute of Traditional Medicine. We may also visit the Textile Museum, the Handicraft Emporium, the traditional paper factory and the majestic Tashichho Dzong. In the evening, we enjoy strolling in the streets of Thimphu and observe the local lifestyle. Overnight in Thimphu.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6Kathmandu

After breakfast, we begin our sightseeing tour by visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites within Kathmandu. Kathmandu Durbar Square showcases Nepalese art and architecture at its best. The architecture is typical of the Malla dynasty who ruled over Nepal from the 12th to the 18th century. Swayambhunath Temple is popular among the foreigners as the Monkey Temple owing to the large monkey population residing in the area. Pashupatinath Temple is situated on the banks of river Bagmati and is one of the principal temples of Lord Shiva. The Bauddhanath Stupa is one of the largest stupas in South Asia which is built on the ancient trade route to Tibet.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 7Kathmandu

This morning you will learn about two major religions of Nepal: Hinduism and Buddhism. We visit the two most important heritage sites of Kathmandu, the Pashupatinath Temple, which is famous amongst Hindus and the Boudhanath stupa, famous amongst Buddhists. It is a very interesting morning and gives us a deeper understanding about the people of Nepal. This afternoon we have a briefing about our trek, as well as some free time when we can relax in the peaceful gardens of our hotel.

Kathmandu Valley has been a tourist dreamland for centuries and on this full-day sightseeing tour you will learn about its long history of Buddhist and Hindu cultures. As its political, commercial and cultural hub, Kathmandu City is the first stop for the majority of visitors to Nepal, providing the gateway to the great treks of the Himalayas and the Valley. Once a separate kingdom in itself, the Valley contains three fabled cities – Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Out of 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal, 7 are located in the Valley. The history of the Valley begins with the Buddhist saint Manjushree who slashed a passage through the surrounding hills to drain out the primordial waters and make it inhabitable. Over the centuries, a refined urban civilization emerged, built on a unique synthesis of Hinduism and Buddhism. This tour will take you on a fascinating journey that combines history with the unique world of present day Kathmandu. You will have the services of an English and multi languages speaking guide and travel by air-conditioned vehicle as you explore sights such as Durbar Square, with its array of temples overlooked by the ancient palace of Nepalese Royalty.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8Kathmandu

The journey today is also full of excitement as you will travel to the town of Thimi in Bhaktapur (approximately 1 hr drive) where we meet the carvers who make the traditional wooden masks. They will show us the workshops and the techniques that they use for making a Nepali Mask. We then choose our mask and spend a few peaceful hours painting our mask under the expert advice of the carver. We have lunch here and finish our masks before driving back to the hotel. We take our masks with us, which makes an excellent personalised souvenir to take home with us.

The powerful and characteristic style of traditional Himalayan Masks is drawn from diverse cultures: from shamanism and village myths to the classical traditions of Buddhism and Hinduism. Tibetan and Nepalese Masks depict numerous Buddhist and Hindu deities in a style characterized by elaborate symbolic decorations and ornaments. All the Nepalese Hindu and Buddhist Masks are hand made by Master wood-carvers in their workshops and follow the rules of ancient Buddhist and Hindu iconography. Soft wood is used to carve the masks and they are much lighter than you would expect. The Masks can be placed on external or interior walls, above or beside doors and windows, to invoke the aid of popular Hindu and Buddhist deities. Carved from a single piece of wood, these masks symbolize prosperity and good fortune. Today, you will learn how these masks are made. You can also have an option to draw and design your own mask the way you want it to look. The master carver will be at your side to guide you step by step in the carving process. After the carving is done, you will paint your mask on your own.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9Departure Day / Kathmandu

Our adventure in Nepal and Bhutan ends today. A Black diamond representative will drop you off at the Tribhuwan International Airport a few hours before the scheduled flight.

Meals: Breakfast

Included

  • All hotel/airport transfers, other transfers and sightseeing by private vehicle as per itinerary
  • Kathmandu to Paro t o Kathmandu Airfare
  • Bhutan Visa Fee
  • 5 nights accommodation in Nepal in 4 star hotels
  • 4 nights accommodation in Bhutan in A and B category hotels
  • Daily breakfast in Kathmandu
  • Meals in Bhutan
  • Welcome dinner in Kathmandu at classic Nepali Restaurant with cultural program
  • Entrance fees and permit to visit monuments
  • Guide during sightseeing
  • Farewell dinner
  • All government taxes and service charge

Excluded

  • Nepal Visa
  • Travel Insurance
  • Beverages
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Tips, portage or any expense of personal nature
  • Expenses occurred due to unavoidable Events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.

Accomodation

During your tour of Nepal, accommodation will be provided at Hotel Encounter Nepal in Kathmandu, or a hotel of a similar category. Similarly, in Bhutan, hotels are categorized by the government into grades A, B, and C, where government-approved hotels equate to 3-star standards. Our company ensures bookings in A-rated hotels in Paro and Thimphu, and B-rated hotels in Punakha. Most hotels offer twin-sharing rooms, each with an attached bathroom and hot shower facilities. Single supplement rooms are available for an additional charge. We always strive to secure the best accommodations for your Druk Path Trek experience.

Meals

As for meals, your meal plan in Kathmandu includes breakfast, providing the perfect start to each day. During the Bhutan tour, you will be served three-course meals featuring a variety of cuisines such as Indian, Chinese, Nepalese, Bhutanese, Tibetan, and Continental. Black Diamond has also arranged special Welcome and Farewell dinners for our guests, accompanied by captivating cultural performances, creating a memorable and delightful experience.

When to Travel?

The best season for the tour to Nepal and Bhutan tour is  Autumn(September to November) and Spring (March to May). The weather conditions are favorable with moderate temperatures, clear skies, and mesmerizing natural views.  Additionally, during the autumn season in Nepal, you can immerse yourself in the festival vibes of Dashain and Tihar. Similarly, In Bhutan’s protected areas and Nepal’s Chitwan National Park, spring and autumn are the best times to see wildlife. The good weather makes it easier to spot different animals and birds while out on a hike.

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