bhutan trek and tour

Himalayan Kingdoms: Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Sikkim & Darjeeling Tour-26 Days

Trip Introduction

The Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Sikkim & Darjeeling Tour encompasses almost the entire east and middle Himalaya mountain regions. Nepal, Tibet and Sikkim were once the three Kingdoms of the Himalayas, and Bhutan is still a Kingdom. The region was one of the most secluded ones until recently, and Tibet and Bhutan are still relatively secluded ones. Even India's Sikkim region is relatively little explored than its cousin city Darjeeling. Tour the highlands of Tibetan culture including Lhasa, drive along world's highest mountain roads, visit various monasteries, chortens, temples, and acquaint yourself with the calm and serene spiritual lifestyle. The tour passes through highest mountains, valleys, forests, lowlands, with diverse cultural and geographical variation.

The 26-day Nepal, Tibet, Sikkim and Darjeeling Tour starts from Kathmandu, Nepal. Fly to Lhasa of Tibet after making some sightseeing in Kathmandu. From Lhasa, we drive to Kathmandu along the Friendship Highway. After making some more sightseeing in Kathmandu, we fly to Paro of Bhutan. After making a cultural tour of Bhutan, drive to Darjeeling of India via Phuentsoling. Drive further drive to Sikkim. The tour concludes at Bagdora Airport from where you fly to Calcutta or Delhi on your way to back home.

Our other trans-border Himalanyan adventure tours include: Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet Tour -14 days, Tajmahal to Potala Palace via Nepal - 15 days.

Detail Itinerary

DAY 01 : Arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal (Arrival day in Nepal should be Sunday or Tuesday or Thursday):

Upon your arrival in the Kathmandu airport (TIA) you will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier Trekking (HGT). After completing your custom formalities (Visa, etc) pick up your luggage and look for our representative with a Himalayan Glacier Trekking display board at the arrival gate. You will be then transferred to Hotel Shanker or a similar category hotel. After check in, you will visit HGT office, meet your trekking guide as well as other participants. Later in the evening we will organize a "Welcome Dinner" at an excellent traditional Nepalese Restaurant where you will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program along with a fine meal.

DAY 02 : Kathmandu City Tour:

After breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. The day will also be for finalizing official procedure and other necessary arrangements. You will be also briefed on the nature of the trek, equipments and team composition. Some of landmarks we visit include the World Heritage Sites of Kathmandu Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhu Nath) and Buddhists shrine (Bouddha Nath). In the afternoon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. You can also make your last minute buying of personal items as you will be flying to the Himalayas tomorrow. Overnight in Kathmandu.

DAY 03 : Fly Kathmandu, Nepal to Lhasa, Tibet (3650 m/11972ft):

Your tour starts with your arrival in Lhasa today. There are two ways to arrive Lhasa—one is via Nepal and another via mainland China. If you choose to fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa you will have 1 hour 10 minutes Trans-Himalayan flight which is considered one of the most beautiful air route in the world that takes you over the Everest (8848m), Kanchenjunga (8536m) and other Himalayan peaks. If you are coming via mainland China, you might fly from any major cities or take the world's highest train route to reach Lhasa. You will be received by our Tibetan guide at the airport/train station. Approximately 1.5 hours drive along 93 km road, from the airport/train station, you will reach Lhasa. It's advisable to rest and take it easy for the remainder of the day due to Lhasa's altitude. Overnight in Lhasa.

DAY 04 : Sightseeing in Lhasa (3650 m/11972ft):

Foremost, our tour begins with a visit to Sera Monastery with an experienced tour guide also working as an interpreter escorts. This is a preserved monastery of white-washed walls and golden roofs. Equally adventurous and exciting rhythm builds up while touring Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. Visit to Barkhor Markets can be quite different from other visits as you roam around the city testing every details around the stalls and you may purchase some goods that displays Tibetan culture, custom and tradition. Overnight in Lhasa.

DAY 05 : Sightseeing in Lhasa (3650 m/11972ft):

Today your visit to Potala palace and Drepung monastery will bestow invaluable insights. From the Mar Po Ri Hill where the Potala Palace, the 17th century great monumental structure stands, you can get an awesome view of entire city. Potala Palace, an immense structure, its interior space being in excess of 130,000 square meters has private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Your next visit will be to Drepung Monastery, a residence of Dalai Lama before Potala Palace which was built in 14th century and used to shelter around 10,000 monks some time ago. Tibetans' immensely believe and respect this monastery. Overnight in Lhasa.

DAY 06 : Sightseeing in Lhasa (3650 m/11972ft):

In morning you will visit Tibet Museum. Officially inaugurated in October of 1999 the museum houses a rich collection of prehistoric cultural relics including Buddha statues in different postures, imperial jade seals, gold albums, gifts granted by emperors, colorful Thankas, and various printed Sanskrit and Tibetan scriptures. You can also see variety of folk art such as unique Tibetan handicrafts, costumes, jewelry, and adornments made of gold, silver, and jade, as well as fine Chinese pottery. Despite the collections the museum holds, the museum building complex with its ornamented beams, pillars, lintels, banners and wall hangings exhibit traditional Tibetan architectural styles. In the afternoon, you will be free for shopping. Overnight in Lhasa.

DAY 07 : Drive to Gyantse and sightseeing (3950m/12956ft): 265 km:

Following Friendship Highway, while driving past Khamba La (4794 m), you will have a break to appreciate majestic views of Yamdrok‐Tso Lake, a lake deep blue in color and Nazin Kang Sang glacier standing proud at 7252m. Ahead to westwards, you come across another Karo La pass at 5045m. Glance through the road, you can see huge glaciers tumbling down into the road. After hours of driving for 261 km, you enter town of Gyantse where you will see beautifully landscaped Tibetan villages. Overnight in Gyantse.

DAY 08 : Drive to Shigatse and sightseeing (3900m/12792ft) -92km:

Gyantse prides on Gyantse Dzong and Kumbum. Gyantse Dzong is a historical fort built in the 14th century and overlooks a mesmerizing view of entire Gyantse and surrounding Nyang Chu Valley. Kumbum has large gold domed 35m high chorten(stupa ) and houses with several chapels and Tibetan Buddhist murals. Kubum means 100,000 images in Tibetan. After enjoying and exploring Gyantse, you will take a 90 km drive to Shigatse. Shalu monastery built with Han, Tibetan and Indian style architecture is about one and half hour away from Gyantse on the way to Shigatse. After a brief observation of the monastery you drive further to Shigatse, second largest city of Tibet. Tashilhunpo Monastery is the major attraction of Shigatse being one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet. Overnight in Shigatse.

DAY 09 : Drive to Shegar (4150m/13612ft), visit Natang and Sakya Monastery en route-274km:

Today we transverse along the Friendship Highway amidst picturesque landscape driving past small town of Lhatse and Gyamtso La pass at 5220m. We visit Natang Monastery which is 12 Kms far from Xigatse, again you drive to Sakya Monastery, where you can see the largest book in the world in Sakya's great library written in gold. In the evening time we reach in Shegar. As the route opens into plains, many monasteries and camps of nomadic herders become visible in route to Shegar. Overnight in Shegar.

DAY 10 :Drive to Rongbuk (5050m/16564ft)-Explore Everest Base Camp (5250m/17,220 ft)-130 km- continue drive to Zhangmu (2300m/7, 544ft)-245 km - Hardest day!!!:

Away from Shegar, we drive to the south crossing Pang La pass at 5150m/16890. Along the drive, you can laze around in the splendor of majestic views of snow capped peaks such as Makalu and Shishapangma. After driving for 85 km, you eventually reach Rongbuk from where you get spectacular sight of Mt. Everest. The program today is to explore to Everest Base Camp through the day. Drive to EBC is allowed only for expeditions, so you need to walk 8 km (one way) or take a horse or local bus to reach the Everest Base Camp. We also visit Ronbuk Monastery, a Buddhist pilgrimage site founded in 1902 by a Nyingmapa Lama in an area of meditation huts that had been in use by monks and hermits for over 400 years. Hermitage meditation caves dot the cliff walls all around the monastery complex and up and down the valley. Many walls and stones, carved with sacred syllables and prayers, line the paths. Overnight in Rongbuk.

DAY 11 : Drive to Kathmandu (1350m/4428ft)-123km:

Today, we drive toward Kathmandu. Driving past Tingri crossing Lalung La pass at (5124 m/ 16068 ft) and Shung La pass at (5200 m/ 17056 ft), Nalyam Pass (3800m/12464 ft) which offer enchanting views of the surrounding peaks of Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, Menlungtse and Gauri Shanker, you tumble down from gradually from the dry Tibetan Plateau. Arrive at Zhangmu on the Nepal border.Few kilometers drive away from Zhangmu to Friendship Bridge across Bhote Koshi River brings you closer to Immigration Control in Kodari. Drive to Kathmandu. After 4 hours of driving through deep valleys, you finally arrive in Kathmandu. Overnight in Kathmandu.

DAY 12 : Kathmandu City Tour: Bhaktapur, Thimi and Changunarayan:

After breakfast, we head toward Thimi. Thimi is a medieval pottery village, which is rapidly changing into modern settlement these days. The medieval town of Bhaktapur, or the Town of the Devotees, preserves medieval arts, architecture, culture, and lifestyle to this date. One is sure to feel like travelling back into the past while walking along the Bhaktapur thoroughfares, squares and streets. Changu Narayan, the oldest temple in the Kathmandu valley, boasts of being the oldest pagoda of Nepal. The route to Changu Narayan passes through small villages and farmlands with farmers work their fields. Overnight in Kathmandu.

DAY 13 : Kathmandu Valley: Patan, Bungmati and Khokana:

Patan, also nicknamed as "The City of Fine Arts" is full of ancient places, temples and shrines, noted for their exquisite carvings. The Patan Durbar Square is also a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. Khokana village dates back from the medieval age, and the village has been nominated to be listed as a World Heritage Site, with its mustard-oil seed industrial heritage. Bungmati is another medieval sleepy little village with a beautiful temple in the village square and medieval houses hanging onions and red chilies from their windows. Overnight in Kathmandu.

DAY 14 : Fly Kathmandu, Nepal to Paro, Bhutan:

Today, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Paro (2,135m/7,000 ft) that offers fascinating views of the eastern Himalayan range of Nepal including the Mt. Everest. On arrival, our Druk Yul representative will pick you up and transfe:r to the hotel for a short rest and lunch. Later the day, you will explore around the Paro valley, visit one of the strategic but ruined fortress of Drugyul Dzong. From here, on a clear day you can see Mount Jumolhari, Bhutan's second-highest mountain at 7,314meters. You will continue through the beautiful valley to visit the watch tower, known locally as Ta-Dzong which is now the National Museum of Bhutan. Overnight at hotel in Paro.

DAY 15 : Paro Sightseeing:

Today, after breakfast, we make a sightseeing tour of Paro. We hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is Druk Yul most famous monastery situated at 3180 meters. Guru Rinpoche 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. Overnight at hotel in Paro.

DAY 16 : Drive Paro-Punakha (1250m/4100 ft): 130km/4 hrs:

Enjoy the scenic drive to Punakha. The road leads through the Paro Valley to the confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers at Chuzoum. Three different styles of Chortens adorn the confluence. A short way beyond, on the left is the Tachogang Lhakhang built in 15th century by Thangthong Gyelpo, a trader who first introduced Iron Bridges in Bhutan. Stop for tea at Dochu La (3,100 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass, drive downhill through the forests of rhododendron, fir and hemlock. You will arrive at Punakha after traversing through rice field and along the bank of Punakha River. On the way, you will 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 Devine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. If you wish, receive the blessing from the Lama's wooden phallus! Overnight hotel in Punakha.

DAY 17 : Hike to Khamsum Yulley Chorten, Afternoon drive to Thimphu (2320m/7610 ft):76km/3 hrs:

After breakfast, we drive 12 km north of Punakha Valley and from the road point, you will hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten, which is located on a beautiful hillock overlooking the villages. It contains elaborate paintings dedicated to Old sect of Buddhism. After lunch, you will drive to Thimphu via Dochu la. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.

DAY 18 : Thimphu Sightseeing:

Today, we visit the Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), Changgangkha Monastery, and the zoo, which contains the national animal of Bhutan: the takin. From there you will visit the nunnery temple, the National Institute of Traditional Medicine and School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school). After a relaxing lunch, you will visit Folk Heritage Museum, traditional paper factory, majestic Tashichhodzong and giant Buddha statue on a hill overlooking Thimphu which is reputed to be the largest Buddha Shakyamuni in the world. In the evening, you can stroll through Thimphu town and absorb the life style of the people. Overnight in Thimphu.

DAY 19 : Thimphu to Phuntsholing (300m/985 ft): 176 km/7- 8 hrs:

Today, we take a 6 hour drive from Thimphu to Phuentsholing, the border town with India. The Highway is also consdired the lifeline of Bhutanese economy. Hence, it's the most heavily trafficked road of Bhutan. There may be traffic jams that may last upto hours. Still, it's a scenic drive from the hills to the plains along a hair-raising mountain roads. Overnight in Phuntsholing.

DAY 20 :Phuntsholing (Bhutan) to Dooars to Darjeeling (India): (2,134m/7,000ft): 200 kms/06 hours:

Today, we drive to Darjeeling. Complete the boarder formalities. Our drive passes through the Doors, through deep forests criss-crossed at many points by the Tista and other rivers. Then pass along the vast plains with tea plantations. Enjoy being among the vast Tea fields. From the plains, we climb to the hilly Darjeeling region via Ghoom and along the famous narrogaze steam engine railway. Overnight in Darjeeling.

DAY 21: Darjeeling sightseeing:

Today early morning Transfer to Tiger Hill to see the view of Sun rise over Mt Kanchendzonga. While returning visit Yiga-Choling (Ghoom). Then to the Hotel for Darjeeling Tea Breakfast and after breakfast transfer for sightseeing around Darjeeling the places you will be visiting are as follows. Some of the places we visit include Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Center, Tea Garden and Tea Factory, Peace Pegoda. Then in the evening back to the hotel. Overnight in Darjeeling.

DAY 22 : Darjeeling - Gangtok (1700m/5,600ft): 115 Km/4 Hr:

Today after breakfast take a 4-5 hrs drive (105 km) from Darjeeling to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. First we make a steep descent through the tea plantations and forests. Complete the formalities at the Tista Bridge, the entry point of Sikkim, before climbing toward Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Check in at hotel at Gangtok. Overnight in Gangtok.

DAY 23 : Sightseeing Gangtok Area & Martam(1450m/4,428 ft):

Today early morning visit Tashi View point About 8 km From Gangtok. It is a resting shed. Astounding view of Khangchendzonga and the Siniolchu Range is the main attractive of this point. The distant north Sikkim monasteries are also visible from this point along the North Sikkim highway. Then back to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast you will be visiting these places. Directorate of Handicrafts and Handlooms or Government Institute of Cottage Industries Enchey Monastery, Research Institute of Tibetology, Rumtek Monastery, Tashi View Point. Overnight in Martam.

DAY 24 : Martam – Kalimpong(1247m/4,100 ft): 4 hrs:

Drive to Kalimpong. Kalimpong is a small town established for the Trade with Bhutan and Tibet by India. Check in at Hotel at Kalimpong. Make a sightseeing tour of the some landmarks and markets. Overnight in Kalimpong.

DAY 25 :Kalimpong Sightseeing:

Today visit the Shri Diwakar Vahara Institute in Kalimpong and other sightseeing places like Dello View point and Hat Bazar. Then in the evening free at leisure. Overnight at Kalimpong.

DAY 26: Kalimpong to Bagdora to Delhi or Calcutta:

Today, you are saying goodbye to the Himalayas. We hope you enjoy your great journey in the Himalayas with us. After breakfast you will be transferred to Bagdogra Airport (Flights connects from Delhi and Kolkata) for your flight for onward tour.

Important Note and Optional Activities

Your safety is of paramount concern whilst traveling with Himalayan Glacier Trekking. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, as this is adventure travel in remote mountain region, we cannot guarantee it! Weather conditions, health condition of a member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of joining any of our trips that be protected against comprehensive expenses potential to incur due to medical issues or accidents (to include air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please be noted that we don't arrange or sell insurance. For more information

Information about Visa and Travel Permits

Aside from visas for China, travelers to Tibet must also obtain permits from the Tibetan Tourism Bureau. Himalayan Glacier Trekking will organize your Tibet travel permit. Please send copy of your passport if you are planning to enter Tibet via Nepal as soon as you book the trip. In the condition you are planning to enter Tibet via China; you need to send us copy of your passport and Chinese visa as soon as you book the trip. Read More

Additional Information

Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us by email. If you want to talk to us directly feel free to call us at: US telephone: 704-200-7512

Traveller's Reviews

  • We are having a fantastic time. It is the vacation of our lives. The planning, places, accommodations and people are superb. We know you work very hard to make dream vacations come true and it is appreciated. We are in Paro Hotel and what a rare treat. This place is fabulous. No one could have planned a better vacation.

    Vancouver, Canada
  • We appreciated this local Travel Agency, because of friendly and experienced Staffs, who are working in it. They always tried to do their best, to make everything perfect, on what you agreed before beginning of the trip. This is important for clients, who decide to travel in Asia, because experienced tourists know, that it's not always like this here. I hope, they will remain the same, when their company will grow up.

    Alex, London Read More