Best of the Himalaya Tour

Cultural & Religious Tours

5.00

  • Guaranteed Satisfaction
  • Transparent Price
  • No hidden fees
  • Experience of a More than 10 Years
  • Personal Touch & Professional Service

US$ 5,719 P/P

Trip Info

  • Duration

    25 Days

  • Max. Altitude

    EBC North Side 5200 M m

  • Difficulty

    moderate

  • Starts From

    Kathmandu

  • Trip Ends At

    Bagdora Airport, West Bengal

  • Transport

    Private Car & Flight

  • Best Season:

    • Summer (May,Jun)
    • Autumn (Mid-Sep - Mid November)

The Best of the Himalaya Tour by Himalayan Trekkers comprises the main destinations in the lap of the younger mountain range, mainly the central and eastern part of the Himalayas.

This is a nearly a full month trip that covers Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and northeast India. Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and North East India are neighbors in more ways than one, lying side by side in the formidable Himalayas. Nepal and India, both are multi-lingual, multi-cultural, and multi-religious countries with similar cultures and traditions while Tibet and Bhutan remain mystical and mysterious to many people in the world.

The journey of the Himalayas begins with the exploration of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kathmandu Valley. The thriving capital of Nepal, Kathmandu is a unique blend of unity in diversity with the highest population throughout the country. A Kathmandu trip is ideal for those who want to encounter a mix of modern influences and historic cultural heritage that have been preserved in their original form. Overall, the gateway to Nepal with the only international airport in the country, Kathmandu valley offers an experience of art, architecture, history, culture, nature, and, adventure, all in itself.

Then you will get a wonderful introduction to Shangri-La and Tibet's mysterious worlds. This trip provides a unique glimpse into the Tibetan people's culture and traditions, from the stunning plateaus and valleys to the historical Buddhist temples and communities. You will visit Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse, Shegar, and Rongbuk in Tibet. Rongbuk also has an Everest base camp from the Tibet side. 

Furthermore, you will also visit Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Haa Valley, and Phuntsholing in Bhutan. Bhutan can be described as a country with wonderful monasteries, rich culture, and spicy cuisines. The country of “the Thunder Dragon” is also considered “the Last Shangri-La” due to its wealth and sense of commitment to nature and the environment. It is also the only country in the world that emits no carbon. 

Finally, you make your way out of Bhutan via Phuentsholing to make the exploration the around, Himalayan part of India, i.e. to the northeast part. You will visit Darjeeling, Gangtok, and Kalimpong. These towns are a few of the most beautiful places in the country with natural diversity which attracted the British during the Anglo Gorkha War. The British East India Company brought many changes to these places; they established tea plantations, a Himalayan railway, and private schools in British Style attracting travelers from all around the world. 

This trip includes all kinds of weather, people, culture, traditions, foods, and the glamorous natural beauty of the South Asian region. This journey is a twenty-five-day journey. The starting point of this journey is Kathmandu and the ending point is Delhi. You probably spend 6 days in Nepal, 8 in Tibet, 6 in Bhutan, and the last 5 days in India. The tour is ideal for those planning a multi-country tour of the Himalayas, hills, cultures, and traditions in a single timeframe that saves Time, Budget, Interest, and Energy.

Best of the Himalaya Tour offers a combination of experiences from 4 different countries at a very reasonable cost that involves the cost of a flight. This tour is also fully customizable. To learn more or have any questions, feel free to email us. 

Note: 

1. The permits and entrance fees for the temples, monasteries, or heritage sites mentioned as per the itinerary are all included in the package cost. Also, the 250 USD per day tariff in Bhutan is covered in the package.

2. Nepal is the main gateway to Tibet. Also, only Nepal has direct flights to Gonggar International Airport in Lhasa which is short and scenic.

Highlights of Nepal Tibet Bhutan & North East India Tour

  • Opportunity to get a glimpse of once hidden Himalayan Kingdoms: Nepal Tibet India Bhutan in a single trip
  • Explore Nepal, a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious country and the home of the highest peak, Mount Everest. 
  • Discover significant cultural and historical wonders of Kathmandu Valley listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Admire the landscape and the grand Buddhist Monasteries of the “Roof of the World”
  • Enjoy the serenity in the holy Yamdrok Tso Lake in Tibet
  • Wonderful chance to be in the lap of the highest peak in the world, Everest on the northern side 
  • Get amazed by the only carbon negative country, Bhutan, and its only capital with no traffic lights
  • Take in the picturesque dzongs, fortress, and markets of the “Land of Thunder Dragon”
  • Get insight into the different forms of Buddhism and its teachings 
  • Relish the green Darjeeling surrounded by the tea plantation everywhere
  • Witness a sunrise view over the Kanchenjunga Peak from Gangtok
  • Overall a hassle-free multicountry trip with the wonderful and laid-back itinerary 

Best Time for the Best of the Himalaya Tour 

All four countries Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and northeast India share a four-season climate system. But, they have different traveling peak seasons depending upon different activities and altitudes. Summer is usually the greatest time to visit Tibet because the weather is the hottest, despite some minor rainfall due to the "monsoon" season. However, it is monsoon season in Nepal, Bhutan, and India at that time, and the rain is considerably stronger and more frequent there than in Tibet.

While the winters in Nepal, Bhutan, and India are relatively mild, making it a good season to travel, the winters in Tibet are much colder and do not provide the best vacation experience, leaving only autumn and spring. The weather during these in all four sites is ideal for all types of activities, from trekking and climbing to sightseeing and relaxation, and the temperatures are pleasant and comfortable throughout this period.

However, all seasons except winter are great for this particular combined trip to Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and India. Also, the best recommended months from the three seasons are April, May, June, July, October, and November.

Visa Requirements for the Best of the Himalaya Tour 

Nepal Visa: All foreign travelers except Indian nationals require Nepal Visa to enter Nepal. One can get the visa on arrival at the airport or at the borders, online, or via the Nepal Embassy or Consulate in their respective countries. However, a few countries such as Afghanistan, Cameroon, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iraq, Liberia, Nigeria, Palestine, Somalia, Syria, and Zimbabwe need to get a visa before they travel to Nepal. 

Also, we recommend you obtain Online Nepali Visa (eVisa) or get one from the Nepal Diplomat to make the process easier and prevent long lines at the airport.

Tibet Visa: Once being a restricted region, Tibet accepts only visitors with Tibet Travel Permit and Chinese Group Visa as per the Chinese immigration regulations. Travelers only obtain both travel documents from an authorized travel agency. For this, you have to confirm the trip first.

Once you confirm the trip and sign the contract, you need to send us the photos of your passport. Then we will gather your travel information and submit your Tibet Permit application to Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB). It takes around 3-4 weeks to send the Visa Invitation to the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu from TTB. However, we suggest you apply for the Tibet Permit a couple of months prior to secure your flights as flights from Kathmandu-Lhasa/Lhasa-Kathmandu are limited. This also helps you to travel within a comfortable time frame.

Next, once you arrive in Kathmandu, we will collect your original passport and personal photo, and visa fee and fill out the application form and submit it to the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. It takes around 3-4 working days to collect the Chinese Group Visa. So, we suggest you arrive at least 4 days earlier before entering Tibet.

We then collect your Chinese Group Visa and hand it over to you, after which you can either fly or drive to Tibet as per the itinerary. For the Tibet Travel Permit, your Tibetan guide will collect it from TTB before receiving you. He/she will carry the permit throughout the journey in Tibet and display it at the required points.

Bhutan Visa: Bhutan visa applications cannot be processed through embassies, are not available online, and there is no Visa on Arrival service. The only option to secure a visa for Bhutan is to book a tour with a registered tour operator or travel agent sending an electronic copy of your passport photo and scanned copies of your passport. After your trip confirmation, the application is submitted on your behalf by your tour operator. 

Once the complete payment of your holiday (including a USD 40 visa fee) has been wire sent and accepted in the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) bank account, the visa will be processed. The visa clearance will be completed within 72 working hours after it is received.

You will be needed to show your visa clearance letter at the point of entry, after which the visa will be stamped into your passport.

Indian Visa:For the Indian Visa, travelers themselves need to obtain the visa. Once the trip is confirmed, we suggest you apply for the Online Indian Visa at least a month prior to the trip departure as the processing time may take a week to more, sometimes a month depending on the visa regulations.

In case, travelers could not get the Indian Visa prior the departure, they can apply for the Visa upon arriving in Nepal if there is sufficient time and condition applies. However, it might affect the itinerary days as the visa process can take 7 to 30 days. 

 

Itinerary in Details

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

🕑 30 Min Drive to Hotel

Max Altitude: 1350 M

On arriving at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, a representative from Himalayan Trekkers will greet you and escort you to the designated hotel in the center of Kathmandu.

Depending upon your arrival time, we will escort you for the guided sightseeing to Boudhanath Stupa. Boudhnath (or Boudha), located 7 kilometers from Thamel, is likely near the top of the list of Kathmandu's most beautiful tourist attractions. It is Nepal's most prominent Buddhist stupa. The stupa is breathtaking, from its whitewashed dome to the prayer flags floating around it. Seeing Buddhist devotees do koras (circumambulations) around the stupa in the mornings and evenings is also a beautiful sight.

Later in the evening, we will drive from Boudhanath to Pashupatinath Temple to join the Aarti Ceremony. The Aarti ceremony, which takes place on the river bank opposite the Pashupatinath Temple, is identical to the Aarti ceremony held by the Ganges in Varanasi. Offerings are made to Goddess Bagmati (the Bagmati River), Lord Shiva (Pashupatinath), his spouse Parvathi, and all other Hindu gods and goddesses present at the temple. Over the top, Pashupatinath Temple is one of Nepal's most important holy attractions. Non-Hindus are limited to viewing only the temple exteriors, burial ghats, and the river.

Then, we will return to the hotel or you can opt. to have a walk around the streets of dazzling and busy Thamel

Meals: Welcome Dinner

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 2: Kathmandu City Tour

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 1350 M

After your breakfast at the hotel, your guide will pick you up at the hotel for the full-day guided sightseeing on a private vehicle. We will explore the landmarks and the places listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you didn’t get to explore Boudhanath Stupa and Pashupatinath Temple on the day of your arrival, we will cover those today. Otherwise, we will visit the places as: 

Kathmandu Durbar Square: It is one of the most important cultural and historical sites in Nepal which is also known as Hanuman Dhoka or Basantapur Durbar Square. There are numerous beautiful monuments that you will not want to miss once you arrive. We will visit the magnificent Kastamandap Temple (the city's name is derived from the word 'Kasthamandap'), which is made entirely of wood from a single tree. Then you'll have the chance to visit the Kumari Goddess's temple (the only living goddess in Nepal). 

Swayambhunath Stupa: It is a beautiful historical site that offers some of the best views of Kathmandu, with almost 360-degree views sitting on a hilltop. It is also said to be one of the oldest temples in Nepal and has a connection with the formation of the Kathmandu Valley.  It is commonly referred to as "Monkey Temple" by visitors due to the excessive presence of the monkeys. 

Patan Durbar Square: It is another one out of three durbar squares in Nepal that is situated in Lalitpur or Patan district which also goes by the city of arts. The major highlights of this area are the Durbar Square complex (former Patan Royal Family's mansion), Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk, Keshav Narayan Chowk, Krishna Temple, Bhimsen Temple, and the Golden Temple of Hiranya, etc. The structures and environs are excellent examples of Newari architecture from the past.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square: This durbar square is in the smallest district of Nepal namely Bhaktapur which is also called the ‘city of devotees.’ Ancient arts and cultural heritage abound in this city with a dense collection of temples, monuments, courtyards, and traditional residences built at various times in history. Its main attractions include Nyatapola Temple, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Changunarayan Temple, 55-window palace, Dattatraya area, and Sidda Pokhari. Bhaktapur is also noted for its 'Juju Dhau', earthenware pottery, and intricate wood carvings.

After exploring all these landmarks to the fullest, we shall return to Kathmandu.  

Meals: Breakfast at Hotel

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 3: Day Hike to Champa Devi Hill

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 1350 M

Today is set aside for the hike to the third-highest hill that surrounds the Kathmandu Valley, Champadevi Hill at 2285 metersabove sea level. From the summit, we get the chance to enjoy the panoramic Himalayan views including Ganesh Himal, Langtang Lirung, Annapurna, Mount Gaurishankar, Jugal, and Dorje Lakpa, and even Mount Everest in clear weather day. The hilltop also offers an incredible view of the Kathmandu valley, Kirtipur, and Pharping village districts. There is also a pilgrim site named Champadevi Temple, dedicated to Champadevi Mata/goddess. 

We start the journey with a drive from Thamel to Taudaha Lake. Then the hiking starts on an easy trail through the dense forest of pines. It takes 3-3.5 hours to reach the top on average. After we reach the summit of the hill, we eat our lunch and spend an ample amount of time admiring the scenery, the peacefulness of the environment, and the cool breeze. 

Then we can return to Taudaha and head to Thamel. Or, we can descend to Kirtipur at Machhegaon and explore the ancient old Newari communities and the historical temples and stupas. After exploring the town, we will drive to Thamel. 

Note: Today’s hike is planned for the purpose of acclimatization before heading to the high-altitude Tibet Autonomous Region.

Meals: Breakfast at Hotel

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 4: Visa Collection & Drive to Dhunche

🕑 5 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 2030 M

After breakfast, we prepare for the journey and after the official hour starts, we collect our Chinese Group Visa. In the afternoon, we start our journey with a scenic ride to Dhunche along with wonderful views of the vast canyons and snow-capped mountains. We spend the night at Dhunche today so that we can travel comfortably tomorrow after border formalities to Kerung. 

Meals: Breakfast at Guest House

Accommodation: Guest House

Day 5: Drive to Kerung Tibet via Nepal-Tibet Border

🕑 3/4 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 2700 M

We will drive to the Nepal-Tibet border early in the morning, passing through lovely terrain. We cross the Nepal-Tibet border and drive another 25 kilometers to Kerung town after completing the requisite border formalities and meeting with your Tibetan guide. Kerung also called Gyirong is surrounded by steep snow-capped mountains and deep forests. Afternoon stroll to Paba Temple, a Gelugpa temple established by Tibetan King Songtsan Gambo for his bride Nepali princess Bhrikuti. 

Meals: Breakfast at Hotel

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 6: Drive to Rongbuk Monastery/Everest Base Camp via Tingri

🕑 6/7 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 5000 M

After breakfast, we begin the journey to Tingri on a well-paved high-altitude road that passes over the Tibetan plateau and offers breathtaking mountain views from the Lablung-La pass (5050m). A day trip uphill to the world's highest plateau with a classic Tibetan environment provides the sensation of standing on the world's roof. Tingri, of course, is an old town from which you can get even greater vistas of Mt. Everest and Mt. Cho-Oyu (8201m).

After lunch at Tingri, we continue to Rongbuk Monastery, the world’s highest monastery through the smooth snakey road. If the weather is clear enough, we will be able to glimpse the Himalayan panorama as we drive through untamed meadows, steep mountains, and deep river gorges. Mt. Lhotse (8516m), Mt. Everest (8848m), Mt. Cho Oyu (8201m), and Mt Makalu (8463m) are the four 8,000-meter peaks in the range, and they are easily seen in good weather. 

You can halt the journey here or further drive to the Northern Everest Base Camp which is 8 kilometers from Rongbuk Monastery. 
Overnight at a Monastery guest house or tented camp at Base Camp.

Meals: Breakfast at at Lodge

Accommodation: Basic Lodge/Tented House

Day 7: Drive to Shegar

🕑 6/7 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 4330 M

As the sun rises above the mountains, framing Everest in its morning glory in the distance. The view of Everest from Rongbuk is breathtaking, with the peak towering over us. We proceed to Everest Base Camp early in the morning. After touring EBC and collecting as many pictures we will return to Rongbuk for breakfast and a tour of this incredible monastery. The monastery is the world's highest monastery and is part of the Nyingmapa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism and is unique in that both monks and nuns live in the same monastery.
After Rongbuk, we will drive back to Tingri and then to Shegar known as New Tingri for the night.

Meals: Breakfast at Guest House

Accommodation: Guest House/Local lodge

Day 8: Drive to Shigatse via Sakya & Sightseeing

🕑 6/7 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 3836 M

Following breakfast, we travel to Shigatse, one of Tibet’s historic towns leaving Shegar behind. On the way, we will stop at Sakya Monastery also known as Pel Sakya, one of Tibet's largest Buddhist monasteries for the Sakyapa sect of Mahayana Buddhism. It was built in 1073 AD by the illustrious Lama, Khon Kunchok Gyalpo.
Once in Shigatse, we will visit the Tashilungpu Monastery, the official Panchen Lama’s residence, built-in 1447. Shigatse is also the second-largest city in Tibet. 

Meals: Breakfast at Hotel

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 9: Drive to Gyantse & Sightseeing

🕑 3 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 3980 M

Morning visit to the Tashilungpa Monastery and witness the monastery's Barley Mill and the surrounding barley fields (in season), as well as how barley is crushed into flour for Tibetans' main diet, tsampa.

Following that, we will drive the short distance to Gyantse to see the famous Pelkor Monastery and Kumbum Stupa. The monastery is Gyantse's primary Buddhist monastery, housing hundreds of Buddhist sutras, writings, and antiques, as well as numerous paintings that have had a significant influence on Tibetan art. We will also see the magnificent Gyantse Fortress and stroll around the old street of the town. 

Meals: Breakfast at Hotel

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 10: Drive to Lhasa via Karo La Pass & Yamdrok Tso Lake

🕑 7/8 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 3656 M

Today, we will move to the capital of Tibet, Lhasa following the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) River, Tibet's longest and greatest river. We drive past the Karo La (5,010 m) and Kamba La (4794 m) passes. The road also runs alongside the bank of Yamdrok Tso (Turquoise Lake), one of Tibet's three largest sacred lakes and the site of a Tibetan goddess's transformation. 

The scenic, blue waters of Lake Yamdrok, one of Tibetan Buddhism's three holy lakes, and the majestic Nyenchen Khangsar Mountain, the highest peak near Lhasa, mark the end of the arduous journey. We will cross the Brahmaputra River and arrive at Lhasa.

Meals: Breakfast at Hotel

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 11: Full day Lhasa Sightseeing

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 3656 M

After a delightful breakfast at the hotel, we will proceed for our sightseeing of Lhasa. Today, we will cover some of the most culturally and historically important landmarks of Tibet.

We pay our first visit to the world-famous grand Potala Palace.  It is undoubtedly Tibet's most well-known tourist attraction. It is a magnificent structure with gold roofs that soar high over the valley perched atop the Red Hill named Marpori. The palace was originally built by King Songtsen Gompo in the 7th century with thousand rooms which were later destroyed by war and lightning. The present form was built during the 5th Dalai Lama’s regimen. Since the 17th century, the palace has served as the Winter Palace for Dalai Lamas until 1959. It is now a state museum, a fine example of Tibetan architecture, and is one of the grandest monasteries in the world. 

We will have lunch after exploring Potala Palace, and then travel southeast to the Jokhang Temple, the most sacred temple for Tibetan Buddhists. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site alongside the Potala Palace and Norbulingka Palace. The temple was also built by King Songtsen Gompo with Han, Tibetan, and Nepalese architectural techniques. We will see the sculptures of Padma Sambhava (Guru Rinpoche), the Future Buddha (Maitreya), and the major statue of 12-year-old Jowo Shakyamuni. The temple’s roof offers a spectacular view of Lhasa and the Potala Palace.

We then walk on the most famous walking street in Lhasa, Barkhor Street which surrounds the Jokhang Temple. It only takes 20-30 minutes to complete the walk and we will walk in a clockwise direction. It is also one of the best places to buy Tibetan-related souvenirs, from sacks of incense, chunks of yak butter, Tibetan books, paintings, and statues, to a variety of other items. You can also stop by one of the restaurants on Barkhor Street with spectacular views of the street, the Jokhang's roof, and, on rare occasions, the Potala Palace. We return to our hotel for the night.

Meals: Breakfast at Hotel

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 12: Second day of Lhasa Sightseeing

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 3656 M

Norbulingka was the summer palace of the successive Dalai Lamas from the 1780s until 1959. It is located 2 kilometers east of the Potala Palace in Lhasa's western rural districts that were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.  The palace is Tibet's largest man-made garden, with an area of roughly 36 hectares (89 acres). Kelsang Phodrong, Golden Linka, and Takten Migyur Phodrong are the three main portions of the Norbulingka complex, each with 374 rooms. The palace of the 14th Dalai Lama, Takten Migyur Phodrong, is the most important destination to see in Norbulingka.

The Drepung Monastery, located 5 kilometers from Lhasa, is the most prominent Gelugpa monastery. It is one of the 'Three Great Monasteries,' (the other two are the Ganden Monastery and the Sera Monastery). It was founded in 1416, covering an area of 250,000 square meters (299,007 square yards) and at its peak, it housed 7,700 monks, making it the largest-scale monastery of its sort. Drepung Monastery translates to "rice-collecting monastery" in Tibetan.

One of the Three Great Monasteries, Sera Monastery has been known for its prominent "Buddhism debating" from the past to the present. Built-in 1419, Sera is located at the foot of Utsé Mountain in the northern outskirts of Lhasa, about 10 kilometers from the city center. The name comes from the fact that the monastery was built in the middle of a field of wild roses that were in full bloom at the time. It once housed almost 8,000 monks, second only to Drepung Monastery in terms of population. It is the Tibetan region's second-largest monastery.

Meals: Breakfast at Hotel

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 13: Fly to Kathmandu from Lhasa

🕑 1 Hours Drive & 2.5 Hours Flight

Max Altitude: 1350 M

We say our goodbyes to the spectacular 'Roof of the World' and fly over the magnificent mountains, green hills, and valleys before landing in Kathmandu.
Once you are in the hotel room, you can rest and spend the remainder of the day upon your interest. You can opt. to explore the unvisited sites or hit the best spa and massage centers to unwind or take a stroll around the markets of Thamel, Ason, and Indrachowk to buy some items as a memento of Nepal to take home. 

Meals: Breakfast at Hotel

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 14: Fly to Paro Bhutan & Paro Sightseeing

🕑 1.1 Hours Flight

Max Altitude: 2235 M

Today is the day to fly to the country of the Thunder Dragon. The flight from Kathmandu to Paro is considered the world's most spectacular international flying route that passes over numerous high mountain ranges, including Mt. Everest. Upon arrival in Bhutan, you will be greeted by the Bhutanese representative of Himalayan trekkers and transferred to the hotel.

After a brief rest and our first Bhutanese meal, we will right away head to Ta Dzong. Ta Dzong was a Watchtower, which was later refurbished and converted into the National Museum in 1968. It houses a beautiful collection of national costumes and fabrics, a gallery of thangkas, an excellent stamp gallery, and additional galleries showing armor and silverware, including the handsome Royal teapots. 

We will also make our visit to Drugyel Dzong, which is mostly in ruins presently. The Dzong, which means Victorious Bhutanese Fort, was built in 1647 by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyel to celebrate the triumph over Tibetan Invaders.

We will also explore the grand Rinpung Dzong commonly known as the Paro Dzong. It is one of the best specimens of architecture and has a profoundly spiritual environment rewarding the visitors with a breathtaking view of the surrounding valleys. The dzong is beautifully lit up at night. 

If time allows, we will also make our way to Kyichu Lakhang which is believed to be built in one night in the 7th century. It is also one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. 
We return to the hotel and spend the night

Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 15: Hike Taktsang Monastery & Drive to Thimpu

🕑 2/3 Hours Hike & 2 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 2330 M

After a warm breakfast at the hotel, we will hike up to the Tiger's Nest, locally known as the Taktsang Monastery. This monastery has been the identification in Bhutan for a long time because of its religious significance and also because of its location. According to the legends, the Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava flew on a back of a tigress and meditated at the cave where the monastery is present currently for 3 years, 3 months, 3 days, and 3 hours. 

The vistas from the top will surely fascinate anyone. After exploring the monastery and taking pictures outside the monastery (photography inside is not allowed) we walk down back to the highway. While coming down we will have lunch halfway down the hill and continue to Paro. We return to the hotel, pick up our belongings and hop on the vehicle, and further drive to the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu city. We will pass through some magnificent Bhutanese landscapes and attractions on our journey. 

After we arrive at our designated hotel in Thimphu we will rest. In the evening, we can stroll around the streets and markets of the capital and get a glimpse of the Thimphu lifestyle.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 16: Full-Day Thimpu Sightseeing

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 2330 M

We will begin the day by visiting Buddha Dordenma and praying for an exciting day ahead of us. Buddha Dordenma is a masterpiece of architectural wonder and one of the world's largest Buddha sculptures, standing at 51.5 meters tall. Aside from that, it houses 125,000 more Buddha statues that encircle the Buddha statue. On a mountaintop overlooking Thimphu's picturesque city, the statue rises majestically. It's an ideal location for getting stunning photos of the Buddha or the city in the background. This Buddha statue exudes serenity and tranquility as it sits royally atop a large meditation hall.

Our next sightseeing place will be Tashichho Dzong, a must-see attraction in Bhutan's capital city. The fortress is one of Bhutan's most aesthetically pleasing dzongs that stretch along the Thimphu River. The fort now houses the King of Bhutan's office, and government administrative offices and a substantial portion of it serves as a religious center for the district monk body. The fortress is a wonderful example of a Bhutanese building, showcasing Bhutanese artisans' distinctive skills.

After our delicious Bhutanese lunch, we will go and meet the national animal of Bhutan, Takin in Takin Reserve. We will also discover some important landmarks of the country such as the National Memorial Chorten, National Folk Heritage Museum, Clock Tower Square, National Library, National Institute for Zorig Chusum, Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory, etc. as per the time and interest. 

You can buy handicrafts from local artists in the Craft Bazaar. It's a fantastic souvenir purchasing spot for those who like handcrafted items. 
After the day full of activities, we return to the hotel and rest for the remainder of the day and spend the night. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 17: Scenic Drive to Punakha & Sightseeing

🕑 3/4 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 1350 M

We start the day in the morning with a drive to Punakha via Dochu La Pass (3100m). We will stop at the pass for a coffee break and to observe the huge 108 stupas on your journey to Punakha. Take in the breathtaking vistas of Mt. Himalaya if the weather permits.

After passing through the pass, we will make a brief visit to the fertility temple known as Chimi Lhakhang. You can receive blessings of fertility with a phallus (A symbolic representation of a male sexual organ) from the Lama. 

Upon arrival at Punakha, we will visit the Punakha Zhong and local markets in the evening. Punakha Dzong is one of the most beautiful dzongs in Bhutan that sits at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu Rivers. This is the second oldest dzong in Bhutan that was built by Ngawang Namgyal, the first Zhabdrung Rinpoche. The six-story structure with a central tower is most beautiful in spring when the lilac-colored Jacaranda trees are in full flower with a beautiful mountainous backdrop.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 18: Drive to Haa Valley & sightseeing

🕑 4 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 2670 M

Today, we will get to see the rural area of Bhutan called Haa Valley which was just opened in 2002 for foreign travelers. We drive from Punakha to Paro and to Chele La Pass at 3988 meters from where we can view Paro valley on one side, while on the other, we can see Haa valley. 

The Haa Valley is tucked away in the Western Bhutanese Himalayas and visitors. This has contributed to the preservation of Haa as it has always been, rich in folklore and myth with Bhutanese families leading simple and traditional lives. Haa is known for its pristine natural beauty as well as outstanding specimens of ancient Buddhist architecture.

Once we reach the valley, we will discover the Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) and Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple), both built in the 7th century and situated in the Meri Puensum mountains foothills. We can also visit the Wangchuklo Dzong, which was erected in 1915 and is nearby, or visit the Katsho Village and the Katso Lhakhang.
We spend the night at one of the families there as there are no standard lodges. This will give us an insight into Bhutanese rural life deeply. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Farm house

Day 19: Drive to Phuentsholing via Paro & to Jaigaon

🕑 6/7 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 213 M

Today we have a long and scenic drive to the town of Phuntsholing, a bordering town near the Bhutan-India Border via Paro town. The drive goes past the hilly road and on the way, we will make a few stops, for photography and short breaks.

Once at the Bhutan Border Town, we will go through the border formalities and go to the Indian Border Town, Jaigaon and spend the night. We can see the culture and atmosphere on the other side of the border differed significantly. Also, the landscape transformation from the hilly Phuentsholing to the flat Jaigaon is straightly noticeable. 
You can take a stroll at the Indian border markets in the evening. 

Note: Today, we start a little bit earlier than usual because it is a long drive from Haa to Phuentsholing, and also we have to reach the border for border formalities on time. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 20: Drive to Gangtok

🕑 4 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 1650 M

The drive from Jaigaon to Gangtok is pleasant. Gangtok is a lovely, tiny little town tucked away in the heart of Sikkim's mountains, and it's one of the state's best-kept secrets. Despite its tiny size, the town has a lot to offer: adventure, nature, culture, and peace. With magnificent green rainforests covering the mountains along the path and clouds floating just above our heads, the landscape is breathtaking as we drive to Gangtok. 

We reach Gangtok by lunchtime. We check in, take our lunch, and rest briefly. The remainder of the day can be spent exploring the town. If the weather favors us, we will visit the Tashi and Ban Jhakri Falls.
You will have free time in the evening to visit the Lal market and local shops around the MG Marg. The town is small yet cozy with a different environment than Bhutan. There are unique and cute pubs and bars with attractive restaurants with Tibetan, Nepali, Indian, and Bhutanese menus. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 21: Full-day sightseeing in Gangtok

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 1650 M

Today, we will have a full-day “seven-point” guided sightseeing in Gangtok town. The seven-point includes the places like: 
Tashi Viewpoint: Gangtok, home to India's highest peak, the beautiful Mt. Kanchenjunga, attracts thousands of hikers and adventure seekers each year to marvel and gape at its towering majesty. And, Tashi Viewpoint is the best place to see the Kanchenjunga along with the Sinolchu Range and the faraway settlements within Sikkim. The hill station is noted for having some of the best sunrise and sunset views.

Enchey Monastery: It is one of the oldest monasteries in the town that is located on a hilltop. The monastery complex is small but is lavishly decorated with vibrant murals, statues, and a significant collection of masks used in ritual dances. You can also enjoy a great view of Kanchenjunga.

Ganesh Tok:  To the northeast from Enchey Monastery is Ganesh Tok with flying prayer flags. There is a Ganesh Temple, cafes, and gift shops there. One can see a panoramic view of the entire town of Gangtok, the Raj Bhavan complex, and Mount Kanchenjunga, which is a breathtaking sight.

Himalayan Zoological Park: The Himalayan Zoological Park, located across from Ganesh Tok, is one of India's best-kept zoos, with a natural forest setting. It is home to a variety of rare species, such as Himalayan bears, snow leopards, Tibetan wolves, and red pandas. 

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology: 
The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is worth seeing for those interested in Buddhism and Tibetan culture. Its traditional Tibetan-style building, which opened in 1958, has a museum and a library with one of the world's greatest collections of Tibetan texts outside of Tibet.
Do-Drul Chorten: At a short distance walking from Namgyal Institute, a white Do-Drul Chorten may be found. Its golden top with a god enshrined on it can be seen from a long distance. 

Rumtek Monastery: Rumtek Monastery is one of Sikkim's largest and most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites. The monastery, originally known as the Dharma Chakra Centre, belongs to the Kagyu sect of Buddhism. It houses a golden stupa, exquisite sculptures, personal possessions of the 16th Karmapa, collection of scriptures, manuscripts, and holy materials.

In the evening enjoy the local Haat bazaar. 

Add on Tour: Though Gangtok is a tiny town, there are wonderful places to visit surrounding it. If you are interested to visit some natural resources of this Himalayan region, you can add some of the following places, which are the most popular and beautiful in the town into the itinerary at additional cost. 

Please inform us in prior if you are wanting. 
Tsomgo (Chhangu) Lake: Tsomgo Lake, also known as Chhangu Lake and Tsongmo Lake, is one of Sikkim's most renowned tourist spots at an elevation of 3753 meters. This magnificent oval-shaped glacial lake is sacred to the locals. . The lake's surface changes colors with the seasons and remains frozen during the winter. 

Nathula Pass: Nathula Pass at 4300 meters is also a beautiful spot that can be added to the trip. It is near Chhangu Lake which connects Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. It is also one of the three open trading border stations between India and China. 

Note: As these places are in a restricted area, special permits are very essential. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 22: Gangtok Morning Exploration & Drive to Kalimpong

🕑 2 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 1247 M

Morning exploration around Gangtok town. In the afternoon, we move to another beautiful town of Kalimpong. Once at the destination, we check in at the hotel and rest. In the evening, you can explore the local markets and stroll around the streets. 

Note: You can also opt. to visit Martam village en route to Kalimpong. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 23: Explore Kalimpong & Afternoon Drive to Darjeeling

🕑 3 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 2042 M

After a delicious breakfast, we complete all checkout procedures and depart for a half-day sightseeing tour of Kalimpong. 
We begin the exploration from Deolo Hill, which is the highest point in Kalimpong. On a clear day, we may be able to see the snow-capped Alps of Sikkim from here. Then we head to the Science City. This is the place to go if you enjoy puzzles and have a scientific bent of mind. The dinosaur park in this town is also a unique attraction for children. 

Our next destination will be Durbin Danda Hill. It is one of the two mountains that Kalimpong is situated atop. The two hills are connected by a crest that provides a panoramic view of Kalimpong, as well as the Teesta River and its valley.

Finally, we pay a visit to the Monastery of Jang Dong Palriffo Brang and the Pine View Cactus Nursery. The monastery is an excellent spot to find peace and relaxation away from the stresses of everyday life. The Pine View Cactus Nursery, on the other hand, has been known for over 40 years for its unusual collection of over 1500 kinds of cactus acquired from all over the world.

Ending today’s exploration, we will be driving to Darjeeling, which is famous as ‘The Queen of the Hills’. As we approach Darjeeling we see a lot of tea plantations and the railways from the time of British Colonization. We check in, rest, and explore the markets in the evening. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 24: Full-day Darjeeling Sightseeing

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 2042 M

Our day starts before sunrise as we take a short drive to Tiger Hill for a sunrise view over Kanchenjunga Peak.  This famous hill also offers a view of some of the highest mountains in the Himalayas including Mt. Kanchenjunga. 

We return to the hotel after spending an ample amount of time at the hill. We will stop by Ghoom Monastery and Batasia Loop along the way. The Ghoom Monastery is one of the oldest Mahayana Monasteries in Darjeeling. It houses a Maitreya Buddha image and safeguards the extremely rare handwritten Buddhist manuscripts.

The Batasia Loop is a section of the train track that arcs around a hilltop before vanishing through a tunnel. It offers an enthralling view of Mt. Kanchenjunga & other snowcapped Himalayan Peaks on a clear day. 

We proceed back to the hotel for further full-day Darjeeling sightseeing. We will visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute after breakfast. It is the oldest mountaineering museum in India that houses a fine collection of paintings, literary works, objects, and models relating to alpine life. 
Then we go to Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park which is home to a variety of species and Himalayan animals. There are Tenzing and Gombu Rocks which are well-known rock climbing destinations.

We will also walk to the Japanese Temple and the Peace Pagoda, and enjoy an outside view of the Chitrey Tea Garden, which is the birthplace of Darjeeling's delicious tea. The panoramic views of the environment and Kanchenjunga range from these locations are spectacular. 
In the evening, you can go for a stroll along Mall Road and Chowrasta and pick up some mementos to take home. 

Note: You can ride the Toy train that makes a complete loop ride at the Batasia Loop with Gorkha War Memorial stands at the center at an additional cost. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: 3* Standard Category Hotel

Day 25: Drive to Bagdogra airport & fly to Delhi

🕑 3 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 136 M

Today is the final day of the trip where a representative of Himalayan trekkers will transfer you to the Bagdogra airport for connecting flight back to your hometown. 
This is how the “Best of the Himalaya Tour” ends. Hope you enjoy it a lot and please remember us for other exciting trips within the Himalayas.

Note: You can catch the connecting flight from Delhi to onward your destinations.

Itinerary Notes:
After the completion of this trip in Darjeeling and traveling to Bagdogra for the connecting flight, you can extend the itinerary to the cities of India like Delhi,  Kolkata, Mumbai, Rajasthan, South India, etc. if you are interested. It will save you time, money, and energy. 

Meals: Breakfast

Includes

  • All airport transfers
  • Twin/Double Sharing Accommodations at 3* Standard category hotel/Resorts 
  • Daily Breakfast at Hotel as per Itinerary
  • Best available local guest house/lodge accommodations in the places like Dhunche, Tingri, Shegar, etc. while traveling to Lhasa 
  • All three meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) in Bhutan 
  • All required ground transfers on a private A/C vehicle & as per the itinerary
  • Guided city sightseeing as per the itinerary 
  • Experienced English Speaking Guide 
  • Tibet Permit Fees
  • Bhutan Visa 
  • Airfares (KTM-Lhasa, KTM-Paro) as per the itinerary
  • All Heritage & Entrance fees
  • All applicable government taxes

 

Excludes

  • International Airfares and Airport Taxes (Except Bhutan and Lhasa mentioned in includes)
  • India and Nepal Visa Fee
  • Meals (Lunch and Dinner) except in Bhutan
  • Any bar bills (alcoholic, non-alcoholic, hot, cold) 
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenses (laundry, phone calls, tips to guide and driver, liquor, etc.)
  • Any costs occurred under unavoidable circumstances (flight delay or cancellation, road blockade, etc.)
  • Any other expenses not included in the includes section

Himalayan Trekkers offers clean hygienic and comfortable accommodations for our valuable guests. We provide 3-star standard category hotels/resorts with breakfast at the hotel on a twin/double sharing basis in the city areas for this “Best of the Himalaya Tour”.  Most of the destinations in our itinerary have 3 standard category accommodations but they might not meet the exact international level. 

For the destinations like Nepal-Tibet Border, Tingri, Shegar, and surrounding places while traveling to Lhasa, we provide the best possible locally owned basic lodge/guesthouse accommodations as there are no accurate star hotels. Though they are basic, they are neat and clean with private bathrooms, rooms with heating or air-con services, and rooms with mountain views in the mountain areas in Tibet. 

Note: This is a minimum standard tour so we provide the above-mentioned accommodations. However, travelers can modify/upgrade the accommodations as per their interest with additional cost. 

Meals during the Himalayan Countries Tour

Breakfast is included in every package we provide. We did not include lunch, dinner, or drinks in this package because you can select from a broad variety of cuisines and restaurants/cafes/pubs accessible in the cities.

However, we can recommend you the places to dine in as per your preferences those serving healthy and hygienic foods. You can go for an authentic traditional menu or eat the continental or western cuisines. The choice is up to you. 

But, every package in Bhutan is based on a full board basis, which includes all meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). 

Note: Alongside authentic restaurants, there are pubs, bars, and western restaurants on a wide range in popular cities like Kathmandu, Lhasa, Paro, Thimphu, and Sikkim. Interested can visit one of the best ones and enjoy as per your preferences. 

Drinking Water: We travel in a private vehicle/car for the entire trip, and we provide safe bottled drinking water. Also, we suggest you carry a Thermos Bottle to keep the water warm if you prefer warm water. 

 

Reviews

Susan Boone

USA

Best of Himalaya Tour October 2018

Raj helped us organize a fabulous month-long trip through Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and northern India. He was extraordinarily responsive and helpful--before we left and during our travels...always checking to make sure everything was going well. The trip went very smoothly and was a remarkable adventure.

We highly recommend using Himalayan Trekkers(Formar Adventure Mission NepalTreks).

Lorraine

USA

Month-long Best of Himalaya Tour

A friend and I booked a spectacular one-month Himalayan trip with the help of Raj at Himalayan trekkers. My friend has written a detailed review (“Best of Himalaya Tour October 2018”) about our journey that took us through Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and India. I would like to echo her comments as well as the positive comments made by the other reviewers on this site. It seems that my friend and I were not the only clients who thought of Raj as a friend even before meeting him for the first time!

I’d like to add that we had the opportunity to spend more time in Nepal with Raj (and Madan, our guide extraordinaire) than originally expected because of a last-minute change in our plans. Raj’s natural warmth and kindness are readily apparent to everyone, but he also works extremely hard, often behind the scenes, to make everything run smoothly and to keep track of everyone’s whereabouts. That same warmth and kindness that he shows to his clients extend to his employees as well. Not only does he greatly respect them, but he treats them like family. We felt fortunate to be able to work with someone who has those values.

Raj, thank you for a wonderful trip. Namaste!

John Butler

United Kingdom

Amazing Trip experience with Himalayan Trekkers

Our trip with Himalayan Trekkers was just great! Interesting, very well organized, and most of all great fun!

Will meet Raj very soon for trekking in Nepal. 

Shira Penelope

Canada

Awesome Experience

Excellent trip and great experience of Himalyan Trekers....Best services at a reasonable price.... Enjoyed all Himalyan nation trip...

Highly Recommend To All....

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