Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft)
Upon our arrival in Kathmandu, a Himalayan Glacier representative will pick us up from the airport. We will then be transferred to our hotel. We can either visit Himalayan Glacier’s office in Thamel or take a rest at our hotel room during the late afternoon. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier. For dinner, you will be served excellent authentic Nepalese cuisine which will introduce you to the Nepalese food culture. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambhunath and Bauddhanath
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.
Day 03: Fly to Paro (2,250m/7,382ft)
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.
Day 04: Paro to Thimphu (2,320m/7,610ft): 54 km, 1 hour drive then hike to Taktsang Monastery
After breakfast, we hike for 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 the mountain. After having explored the monastery, we hike down to the valley floor and drive to Thimphu for an overnight stay.
Day 05: Thimphu to Wangdue Phodrang (1,310m/ 4,300 ft)
In the morning we begin our sightseeing tour of Thimphu. We visit memorial Chorten built in memory of the late third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the 15th century Changangkha Temple, the traditional hospital, the National Library with its treasure troves of manuscripts and ancient texts and lastly the traditional painting school where education is free for students who wish to learn the ancient skills of traditional painting. Later on, we drive through the beautiful countryside to Wangdue Phodrang across the Dochula Pass, where on a clear we can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass, we drive downhill through rhododendron, fir and hemlock forests and finally reach Wangdue Phodrang where we spend the night.
Day 06: Wangdue Phodrang to Paro
Before leaving for Paro via Punakha we visit the Wangduephodrang Dzong which was built in 1638. Next, we reach Punakha and visit the Punakha Dzong which was built between 1637-1638 and is the second oldest and the second largest dzong in Bhutan. On the way to Paro, we also visit Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility temple dedicated to the Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. We continue our drive to Paro via Dochu La Pass. Here, we visit the Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is the only of its kind in the country with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. We stop at Thimphu for lunch. Overnight in Paro.
Day 07: Fly to Kathmandu
Upon our arrival in Kathmandu, a Himalayan Glacier representative will pick us up from the airport. We will then be transferred to our hotel. After freshening up we can visit Himalayan Glacier’s office in the afternoon and enjoy the rest of the day souvenir shopping in Thamel, Kathmandu’s major tourist hub. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 08: Sightseeing in Patan and Bhaktapur and sunset views from Nagarkot
Listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Patan Durbar Square is rich in ancient arts and architecture. We also visit Bhakatpur, an irresistible city with an authentic local lifestyle preserved over centuries of isolation from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu. While in the city square, we get to admire the Nyata-Pola Temple, the Golden Gate, water spouts and the 55 Window Palace which merge together to provide an ambiance of a magical outdoor theater to its visitors. We also immerse ourselves in the authentic delicacy of the locals in Bhaktapur. Then we drive to Nagarkot, a village renowned for its sunrise and sunset views of the Himalayas and enjoy spectacular sunset views amidst the Himalayas. Overnight in Nagarkot.
Day 09: Final departure
Our Nepal and Bhutan tour comes to an end today. There is nothing else to do but shop for souvenirs or just take a rest. A representative from Himalayan Glacier will take us to the airport an hour before the scheduled flight.