Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300 m/4,264 ft)
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 country's food culture. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 02: Chinese visa processing, city tour: Boudhanath Stupa and Pashupati Nath Temple
We visit two UNESCO World Heritage Site, Boudhanth Stupa and Pashupatinath Temple. Boudhanath is one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world. The sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath is one of the most revered spot for Hindu devotees; meet the famous holy men while you are there. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 03: Sightseeing in Patan and Bhaktapur and sunset views from Nagarkot( 2,195m/7201ft)
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 04: Sunrise view from Nagarkot then drive to Pokhara: 135 km, 7 hours
Early in the morning we watch the sun as it rises from the mighty Himalayas. Next, we have breakfast then leaving for Pokhara, also known as The Lake City owing to the large number of lakes in the city. Upon our arrival in Pokhara we are rewarded with magnificent views of the Himalayas including Dhaulagiri (8,167m/26,794ft), Manaslu (8,156m/26,759ft), Machhapuchhre (6,993m/22,943ft), the five peaks of Annapurna and others. We then check-in to our hotel and take a rest. We may also stroll in the streets of Pokhara and just enjoy being in one of the most beautiful cities of Nepal. Overnight in Pokhara.
Day 05: Sightseeing in Pokhara
Early in the morning we leave for Sarangkot, a hill that overlooks the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges in the north and Pokhara city in the south. From here, we catch amazing views of the sun as it rises in the mighty Himalayas. We then head back to Pokhara and continue touring the city’s landmarks. Davis Falls is a unique waterfall that flows directly into a narrow and deep canal which has no end. The Shiva Cave is located near Davis Fall and houses a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, a primary Hindu God. We also do some boating in Phewa Lake, the largest lake in Pokhara and visit Bindyabasini Temple located at the center of the Lake. We visit the famous International Mountain Museum (IMM) that records, documents and chronicles the past and present development of mountaineering activities in the world and the Himalayas in particular. We also tour the Tibetan refugee camp and witness how the refugees keep themselves busy by producing and trading woolen carpets and other handicraft items. Overnight in Pokhara.
Day 06: Drive back to Kathmandu: 205 km, 6 hours
After breakfast, we say goodbye to the beautiful northern skyline of Pokhara and drive towards Kathmandu. This will be a journey along river banks with wonderful views of hills and the rural Nepalese lifestyle. After reaching Kathmandu, we take a rest or do some souvenir shopping. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 07: Fly to Lhasa (3,650m/11,972ft): 1hour 30 minutes flight
Upon our arrival in Lhasa, a representative from Himalayan Glacier will pick us up either from the airport for about an hour’s drive to our designated hotel in Lhasa. We are advised to take plenty of rest for the remainder of the day in order to minimize altitude sickness. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 08: Lhasa sightseeing: Potala Palace, Norbulingka Palace and Tibet Traditional Hospital: 5-6 hours
We begin sightseeing in Lhasa after breakfast. Today is the day we visit the beautiful Potala and Norbulingka Palaces. Built in the 17th century, Potala Palace provides amazing views of the entire city and houses the private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Norbulingka Palace is the summer palace of the Dalai Lama and houses what is considered to be the largest man-made garden in Tibet. Next, we visit the Tibet Traditional Hospital which is the center for the treatment, training, research and production of Tibetan medicine. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 09: Lhasa Sightseeing: Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar: 5-6 hours
After breakfast we visit Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar. Drepung Monastery, which was built in the 14th century, is believed to have sheltered around 10,000 monks in the past but as of now there has been quite a declination resulting in only a few hundreds. The history, culture, and religious beliefs of the Tibetan people are strongly concentrated and centered in this marvelous monastery. Sera Monastery is a preserved monastery of white-washed walls and golden roofs. Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep-seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. We further stroll through Barkhor Bazaar (market). With its open air stalls, shops and crowd of pilgrims, it is the nerve centre of Lhasa.
Day 10: Lhasa to Gyantse (3,950m/12,956ft) via Karo La Pass and Yamdrok Tso Lake: 325km, 5-6 hours
Today, we take a scenic drive to Gyantse. On the way we cross the Khamba La Pass (4,794m) with a brief halt to savor the beauty of the Yamdrok Tso (Turquoise Lake), one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet and the beautiful Nazin Kang Sang glacier (7,252m). Soon, we come across another pass, The Karo La Pass (5,045m). From our vehicle, we can enjoy views of huge glaciers tumbling down into the road before reaching Gyantse. In Gyantse, we visit the Khumbum Stupa, Phalkot Monastery and Gyantse Dzong (Fortress), which is one of the best preserved dzongs in Tibet. Overnight in Gyantse.
Day 11: Gyantse to Shigatse (3,900m/12,795ft) via Shalu Monastery: 95km, 2 hours
After breakfast, we drive towards Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. On the way, we visit Shalu Monastery. Founded in 1040, Shalu Monastery is known for its beautiful and ancient mural paintings. Next, we continue to Shigatse. In Shigatse, we visit the popular Tashilhunpo Monastery which holds both historical and cultural importance for being founded by Gendun Drup, the First Dalai Lama in 1447. After sightseeing in Shigatse, we will have the remainder of the day free for resting. This will help us with acclimatization and the next day’s long drive. Overnight in Shigatse.
Day 12: Shigatse to Rongbuk (5,000m/16,400ft) via Sakya Monastery: 355km, 8-9 hours
After breakfast, we leave Shigatse for Rongbuk. On the way, we visit the Sakya Monastery which is the ancestral temple of Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. After the visit to Sakya Monastery, we continue driving towards Rongbuk. Here, we visit the Rongbuk Monastery, which is located at the foot of the mighty Everest and is the highest monastery in the world. While here, we also enjoy the stunning mountainous scenery all around us. Overnight in Rongbuk.
Day 13: Rongbuk to Zhangmu (2,300m/7,544ft) via Everest Base Camp: 257km, 5-6 hours
We leave Rongbuk in the morning to visit the Everest Base Camp (5,250m/17,220ft). On our way, we enjoy spectacular views of high mountains like Cho Oyu (8,201m/26,906ft), Shishapangma (8,013m/26,289ft) and, of course, the mighty Everest (8,848m/29,028ft) also known as Mt. Chomolongma in the Tibetan side. Today, we accomplish one of the major highlights of our trip, reaching the base camp of Mt. Everest. We make approximately a 16km round trip around the Everest Base Camp. The base camp itself is dry and barren, but the view of Everest is more than compensating. After spending some quality time at the base of Mt. Everest we make Zhangmu our next destination. On the way, we cross the Lalung La Pass (5,124m/16,068ft), Shung La Pass (5,200m/17,056ft) and Nyalam Pass (3,800m/12,464ft), which offers enchanting views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks. We further drive downwards towards the verdant and fertile vegetation of Zhangmu in the Nepalese border. Overnight in Zhangmu.
Note that on rare occasions due to bad weather or political riots the local government may close down the road to the Everest base camp for safety reasons and without prior notice.
Day 14: Zhangmu to Kathmandu (1,350m/4,428ft): 153km, 4-5 hours
A few kilometers drive from Zhangmu to Friendship Bridge over the Bhote Koshi River brings us to Immigration Control in Kodari where we are expected to complete some custom formalities. We then depart with our Tibetan guide, walk across the river where a Himalayan Glacier representative will be waiting for us. After around 4 hours of driving through deep valleys, we reach Kathmandu. To celebrate your journey, we will have a farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 15: Fly to Paro, city sightseeing (2,250m / 7,382ft): 1 hour 10 minutes flight
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 16: Hike to Taktsang Monastery, drive to Thimphu (2,320m/7,610ft): 54 km trek, 1 hour drive
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. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 17: Sightseeing in Thimphu
In the morning, we visit King's Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), the nunnery temple, the mini-zoo to see Takin, the national animal of Bhutan and the radio tower (for a great view of the Thimphu Valley and the Thimphu Dzong). After lunch, we visit other landmarks of Thimphu including the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Bhutanese traditional painting school, folk-heritage museum, the majestic Tashichho Dzong and the traditional paper factory. However, some of the landmarks are closed on the weekends (Saturdays and Sundays). Therefore, if we are in Thimphu during the weekends, we explore the Weekend Market instead. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 18: Final Departure
Our adventure in the Himalayas comes to an end today! A representative from Himalayan Glacier will take us to the airport approximately 3 hours before our scheduled flight. On our way home, we have plenty of time to plan our next adventure with Himalayan Glacier.