Day 01: Arrival in Delhi (India), drive to Agra
After our arrival at the Delhi airport, a representative from Himalayan Glacier will pick us up from the airport and drive us to Agra. The Indian city of Agra is famous for housing the Taj Mahal. Overnight in Agra.
Day 02: Sightseeing in Agra: Taj Mahal, Jama Masjid and others, drive back to Delhi
We tour popular landmarks in Agra today beginning with the Taj Mahal, the famous testament of love built by the grieving emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his late wife, Mumtaz. Next, we visit Jama Masjid, Etmad-Ul-Ah and two other UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Later we drive back to Delhi for an overnight stay.
Day 03: Fly from Delhi to Paro, sightseeing in 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 Himalayan Glacier representative 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. Then we visit Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. Overnight in Paro.
Day 04: Paro to Thimphu (2,320m/7,610ft): 54 km, 1 hour, 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. We drive to Thimphu for an overnight stay.
Day 05: Sightseeing in Thimphu, drive to Punakha (1,250m/4,100ft): 76 km, 2 - 3 hours
After breakfast, we visit the Memorial Chorten, Changangkha Monastery, the mini zoo (to see Takin, the national animal of Bhutan), the painting school and the Buddhist nunnery. After the tours, we drive to Punakha via Dochu La Pass (3,100m), where on a clear day we get spectacular views of the Himalayas. On the way, we visit Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility temple dedicated to the Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. Overnight in Punakha.
Day 06: Punakha to Paro (2250m/7382ft): 140 km, 4 hours
We visit Punakha Dzong after breakfast. The fortress was built between 1637-1638 and is the second oldest and the second largest dzong in Bhutan. Today, we return to Paro. Upon reaching Dochu la pass, we visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is the only one of its kind in the country with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. Overnight in Paro.
Day 07: Fly to Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft): 1 hr flight, fly to Bharatpur airport, drive to Chitwan National Park: 25 mins flight, 30 mins drive
After our arrival at the international airport in Kathmandu, we continue to the domestic terminal and fly to Bharatpur. A Himlayan Glacier representative will pick us up from the Bharatpur airport and drive us to the Chitwan National Park. After checking in to the hotel, there will be a briefing on the activities we will be engaged in during our stay in Chitwan. Later, we can walk on the banks of the Rapti River to enjoy the sunset in the sub-tropical jungles of Chitwan. In the evening, we enjoy dinner along with a brief cultural program showcasing the tribal dances unique to the Chitwan region of Nepal. Overnight in Chitwan.
Day 08: Chitwan National Park
Early in the morning, we will be mounted on elephant backs for a jungle safari through dense grasslands to witness wildlife in their natural habitat. After breakfast, we visit the elephant stables and even enjoy bathing the elephants. During the afternoon we can either drive through the jungles followed by a canoe ride down the Rapti River. While canoeing, we may get a close look at the Gharial and Mugger crocodiles along with fresh water dolphins, otters and varieties of water birds. Or, we may even go for birdwatching or nature walks and come closer to a variety of wild flora and fauna found in the park. Overnight in Chitwan.
Day 09: Drive to Pokhara (823m/2,700ft): 134km, 4-5 hours
We leave for Pokhara, the Lake City after breakfast. From Pokhara we get great views of the Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchhre and Annapurna mountains. After checking-in to our hotel and freshening up, we visit a few of 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. Overnight in Pokhara.
Day 10: Catch the morning sunrise from Sarangkot Hill then fly to Kathmandu
Early in the morning we leave for Sarangkot, a hill in the north-west region of Pokhara that overlooks the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges in the north and the main city in the south. We start our hike from Naudanda and get to Sarangkot. We stop at a tea-house in Sarangkot and enjoy amazing views of the sun as it rises in the mighty Himalayas. From here, we also get a view of the Pokhara city below and the abundant Fewa Lake. Next, we fly back to Kathmandu. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 11: Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa (3,650m/11,972ft)
From Kathmandu, we can enjoy a beautiful hour-long trans-Himalayan flight that takes us over Everest (8,848m), Kanchenjunga (8,536m) and other Himalayan peaks and glaciers. Upon our arrival in Lhasa, a representative from Himalayan Glacier will pick us up either from the airport or the train station 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 12: Sightseeing in Lhasa: 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 13: Sightseeing in Lhasa: 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 hundred. 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. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 14: A day excursion to Ganden Monastery and Drayerpa Cave: 5 - 6 hours
In the morning, we drive to Ganden Monastery, located at the top of Wangbur Mountain (3,800m) in the Lhatse County, 57km east of Lhasa. It is the oldest and one of the ‘great three’ of the six Gelug Sect monasteries in Tibet. Ganden Monastery has extremely delicate and fine murals and sculptures. It also keeps a suit of armor decorated with gems, which was worn by Emperor Qianlong and was bestowed to the monastery as an offering to Tsong Khapa, founder of the Gelug Sect. During the afternoon, we drive to Drayerpa Cave located in a beautiful valley with a stunning landscape. There are more than 30 caves for Lamas who wish to meditate in a silent environment. In the evening, we drive back to Lhasa and spend the night.
Day 15: Fly from Lhasa to Kathmandu, sightseeing in the city
We take a morning flight to Kathmandu. After arriving in the city we check-in to our hotel and freshen up before beginning our sightseeing tour of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These include the architecturally rich Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the interesting 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambunath) and Bauddha Nath Stupa which is one of the largest stupas in the world. In the evening there will be a farewell dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier to celebrate the successful completion of our trip. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 16: Final Departure
Our amazing journey in South-Asia comes to an end today. A company representative will pick us up from our hotel and drop us off at the airport 3 hours before our scheduled flight.