Highlights of Bhutan & Nepal - 15 Days

Get off the beaten track and discover the wonders of Bhutan, an isolated nation which has retained its age old customs, traditions and lifestyle. Then continue on to Kathmandu to explore Nepal with its breathtaking mountain scenery, ancient temples, wonderful wildlife and more. Take in the best of these two captivating Himalayan Kingdoms in 15 days.

April 25 - May 9, 2020
$6669 CAD per person
Savings of $2354 CAD per couple

*Land only

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS
• Paro - Enjoy a guided tour of the city, including the National Museum and Rinphung Dzong
• Dochula Pass - See an incredible panorama of Himalayan peaks
• Visit the picturesque villages of Talo or Nobgang - where we explore the ancestral home of the Queen Mothers of Bhutan
• Kathmandu & Kathmandu Valley - Rickshaw ride through the city, explore Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Stupa and Bodhnath Stupa
• Chitwan National Park - Go on a jeep safari in Chitwan, home to the one horned rhinoceros and the elusive Bengal tiger
• Pokhara - Visit the World Peace Pagoda, see the daily prayers at Matapani Monastery and go boating on Lake Phewa
• Thimphu - Explore Bhutan’s capital city on a full day sightseeing tour, including the Memorial Chorten, National Library, Drubthob Nunnery, Folk Heritage Museum and Takin Preserve
• Punakha Valley - Visit the beautiful Punakha Dzong, hike up to Chimi Lhakhand Temple and camp beside the scenic Mo Chu River
• Tiger’s Nest Monastery - Hike up to this famous Buddhist monastery perched dramatically on a cliff face
• Bhaktapur - Roam around the beautiful Durbar Square and test your pottery making skills
• Admire the spectacular views of the Annapurna mountain range
• Patan - Explore the temples and shrines of Patan Durbar Square

INCLUDED
• 14 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 9 dinners including dinner at a Nepali cultural evening
• Airport arrival and departure transfer on day 1 & day 15 (only)
• Economy class flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu
• Chitwan National Park jeep safari in the buffer zone, jungle activities and park fees
• Boating on Lake Phewa in Pokhara
• All relevant transfers and transportation in private A/C vehicles
• All Bhutan government royalties and taxes
• 5 nights 3-4 star hotels and 1 night camping near the banks of scenic Mo Chu River - in Bhutan, 8 nights 4 star hotels - in Nepal
• Guided sightseeing of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and the Punakha Valley, Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur and Pokhara
• Traditional Bhutanese dinner at a farm house, giving you the opportunity to interact with a local family
• Rickshaw ride in Kathmandu
• Escorted by a licensed English-speaking local tour guide
• Entrance fees for all included sightseeing in Bhutan
• Bhutan Visa fee and travel Permit (excludes visa admin fee of USD$20 pp, payable upon arrival)

NOT INCLUDED
• All international flights (including the flight from Paro to Kathmandu)
• Nepal visa and Bhutan visa administration fee payable upon arrival USD$20
• Tipping - an entirely personal gesture
• Entrance Fees: USD$45-55pp, paid in local currency in Nepal

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ITINERARY

Day 1
Paro
Saturday. Welcome to Bhutan and the start of your holiday! You’ll be met at Paro Airport and transferred to your hotel to enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight: Paro  |  Lunch, Dinner

Day 2
Paro sightseeing tour & Thimphu weekend market
Paro - Thimphu. We begin our journey at the 17th-century Ta Dzong watchtower, home to Bhutan's National Museum. After a guided tour, we visit the nearby Rinpung Dzong monastery, which appears in the Hollywood film Little Buddha. Later this afternoon we drive to the capital city of Thimphu and visit the weekend market, where local vendors set up shop and sell their produce every Friday through Sunday.
Overnight: Thimphu  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3
Memorial Chortan & Handicrafts
Today we enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Thimphu. Bhutan’s capital merges its ancient Buddhist customs with a rapidly modernising society, creating a truly different experience. We’ll visit the sacred Memorial Chorten stupa, the vast National Library, the scenic Drubthob Nunnery, the Folk Heritage Museum, and of course the Takin Preserve, home to Bhutan’s goat-like national animal.

Our tour will also introduce us to local arts and cuisine, with stops at various workshops producing a range of lovely handicrafts.
Overnight: Thimphu  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4
Punakha, Chimi Lhakhang Temple & Camp by the Mo Chu River
Thimphu - Punakha. This morning, we drive through lush forest to the 3050m-high Dochu La Pass, stopping briefly before proceeding to the Punakha Valley. We'll trek up to Chimi Lhakhang Temple, dedicated to Drukpa Kunley, a lama known as the 'Divine Mad Monk' for his unorthodox teaching methods. We then continue to the beautiful Punakha Dzong, one of Bhutan's most architecturally striking monasteries, which is located at the confluence of two rivers.

Later this afternoon we head to our campsite on the banks of the Mo Chu River, where we have time to settle. Perhaps try a traditional hot stone bath and local drinks in the early evening before dinner.
Overnight: Punakha Valley (camping)  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5
Punakha Valley Sightseeing
Punakha - Paro. After breakfast, we embark on a scenic hike (2-2.5 hrs) to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a small but majestic hill temple looking down on the Punakha Valley. We'll also drive to the picturesque villages along the valley ridge. After stopping for a picnic lunch, we visit Sangchen Dorji Lhendrup Nunnery, with fantastic views of the Punakha and Wangdue valleys. Apart from religious training, the nuns are taught skills such as embroidery, tailoring and statue making. After our visit to the nunnery, we drive to back to Paro.
Overnight: Paro  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6
Tiger's Nest Monastery
Today we embark on a 4-6 hour hike to the incredible sight of Taktshang Pelphung (Tiger’s Nest), one of Bhutan's most sacred monasteries. Built on the face of a sharp cliff 900m above Paro Valley, Taktshang itself is only accessible on foot, though you can ride a pony for part of the journey (must be arranged in advance).

From the main trail, we take a steep hour-long walk up to a cafeteria for a short break, with views of the monastery. The trail continues uphill for another 45 minutes to a high vantage point, then descends past a dramatic waterfall and hermitage, before a flight of steep steps leading to the monastery.

After exploring the monastery's shrines and temples, we return to the cafeteria for lunch, before trekking back to Paro. This evening we enjoy a traditional Bhutanese dinner at a farm house, giving you the opportunity to interact with a local family and learn about the local cuisine of Bhutan.
Overnight: Paro  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7
Paro
Friday. Paro - Kathmandu. Our tour of Bhutan concludes after breakfast today. A departure transfer will take you to Paro airport for your flight to Kathmandu in Nepal.

Note: The flight from Paro to Kathmandu is not included in the cost of the tour. Drukair fly direct. If you provide us with your flight details, we will be there to meet you at Kathmandu airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Overnight: Kathmandu  |  Breakfast

Day 8
Kathmandu
Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, seamlessly merges ancient tradition with cosmopolitan crowds. In the morning we visit the significant worship site of Bodhnath stupa, home to spinning prayer wheels and prostrating pilgrims. We then travel to the ancient town of Bhaktapur, a World Heritage site famed for its art and architecture, including the vast Bhaktapur Durbar Square. We’ll watch local families make the unique Ju Ju dhau (yoghurt), and try crafting pottery ourselves. Our final stop is the old Newari city of Patan, which has its own Durbar Square. We end the evening with dinner and a traditional Nepali dance performance.
Overnight: Kathmandu

Days 9-10
Chitwan National Park
Kathmandu – Chitwan. On day 9 we travel by road to Chitwan National Park, arriving in time for lunch. Hailed as one of Asia’s finest game parks, Chitwan is home to more than 500 species including the vulnerable one horned rhinoceros, gharial crocodile, Indian elephant, sambar deer, bison, striped hyenas and vultures. This afternoon or tomorrow, we'll take a jeep safari through the buffer zone that adjoins the national park. The remainder of our stay offers free time for you to choose from the various optional activities available in Chitwan National Park. You can opt for additional safaris within the park or buffer zone, take part in a nature walk or journey in a dugout canoe and admire the scenery - if you are lucky you may even see an elusive and endangered Bengal tiger!
Overnight: Chitwan National Park  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2


Day 11
Pokhara
Chitwan NP - Pokhara. We continue to Pokhara, the lakeside city at the gates of the famous Annapurna Range, consisting of five mountains over 7200m and the 7000m Machhapuchara Mountain, considered so sacred by locals that it is closed off to climbers. Enjoy an afternoon of rest in the city, and perhaps wander round its museums and markets.
Overnight: Pokhara  |  Breakfast

Day 12
Boating on Lake Phewa
This morning, watch the sunrise from the Pokhara World Peace Pagoda, which offers impressive views of the Annapurna range from its hilltop location. A two-hour walk through Raniban forest takes us down to Lake Phewa for a short cruise. In the afternoon we visit a Tibetan refugee camp and a local school, before observing daily prayers at Matepani Monastery.
Overnight: Pokhara  |  Breakfast

Day 13
R&R in Pokhara
Today is a free day for you to explore Pokhara and participate in optional activities such as paragliding, ultra-light flight, zip line, bungy jump, mountain biking, cycling, boating and horse riding, or if you prefer, simply relax down by the lake.
Overnight: Pokhara

Day 14
Kathmandu
Pokhara - Kathmandu. This morning, we take a short flight back to Kathmandu. We continue exploring the city in the afternoon, admiring the views from the beautiful Swayambhunath stupa before walking to Kathmandu Durbar Square, home to over 50 incredible temples and shrines. We’ll also traverse the city streets by rickshaw, from Hanuman Dhaka to Thamel, immersing ourselves in Kathmandu’s daily life. We finish the day with an evening walk around the vibrant Thamel Market.
Overnight: Kathmandu

Day 15
Kathmandu
Saturday. Our tour comes to an end today with a transfer to Kathmandu Airport. An optional Everest scenic flight is offered on the morning of day 8 or day 15 (subject to availability) so if you’d like to book this please ensure that your onward flight on day 15 does not depart before midday.
Breakfast

Terms & Conditions: 
Prices quoted are per person, based on double occupancy, reflect ALL applicable savings, and are land only. Airfare extra. Save 15% applies to On The Go Tours Signature Tours - 8 days or longer only. New bookings only. Not combinable with any other offer except past passenger discount. Offer valid from November 11 - 25, 2019. Offer reliant on space availability and may be withdrawn at any time, and is subject to availability until booked. Subject to On The Go Tours Booking Terms and Conditions.


Paro - Enjoy a guided tour of the city, including the National Museum and Rinphung Dzong
Dochula Pass - See an incredible panorama of Himalayan peaks
Visit the picturesque villages of Talo or Nobgang - where we explore the ancestral home of the Queen Mothers of Bhutan
Kathmandu & Kathmandu Valley - Rickshaw ride through the city, explore Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Stupa and Bodhnath Stupa
Chitwan National Park - Go on a jeep safari in Chitwan, home to the one horned rhinoceros and the elusive Bengal tiger
Pokhara - Visit the World Peace Pagoda, see the daily prayers at Matapani Monastery and go boating on Lake Phewa
Thimphu - Explore Bhutan’s capital city on a full day sightseeing tour, including the Memorial Chorten, National Library, Drubthob Nunnery, Folk Heritage Museum and Takin Preserve
Punakha Valley - Visit the beautiful Punakha Dzong, hike up to Chimi Lhakhand Temple and camp beside the scenic Mo Chu River
Tiger’s Nest Monastery - Hike up to this famous Buddhist monastery perched dramatically on a cliff face
Bhaktapur - Roam around the beautiful Durbar Square and test your pottery making skills
Admire the spectacular views of the Annapurna mountain range
Patan - Explore the temples and shrines of Patan Durbar Square