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Nepal Annapurna Trek and Bhutan Tour with day hikes combines the sightseeing tour with hiking and trekking in Nepal and Bhutan. We arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal and fly to Pokhara the next day. From Pokhara, we drive for about half an hour and begin our trek in one of the world’s most popular trekking destinations, the Annapurna region. After completing our trek, we enjoy a sightseeing tour in the beautiful lake city of Pokhara with sunrise views from the Himalayas and visits to several amazing landmarks which will highlight the rich natural and cultural gems of Nepal. We fly back to Kathmandu and take a flight to Paro, Bhutan the following day. In Bhutan, we travel to several townships and commence day hikes which will allow us to appreciate the peaceful Bhutanese landscape. While there, we also visit several landmarks that showcase the rich culture of Bhutan.
|Day 01 Arrival in Kathmandu||1,350m/4,429ft|
|Day 02 Fly to Pokhara, drive to Nayapul and trek to Ulleri||2,050m/6,726ft||6 hrs|
|Day 03 Ulleri to Ghorepani||2,850m/9,351ft||4-5 hrs|
|Day 04 Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani||3,210m/10,532ft||6-7 hrs|
|Day 05 Tadapani to Ghandruk, then drive to Pokhara||827m/2,713ft||6-7 hrs|
|Day 06 Early Morning Sightseeing in Pokhara, fly to Kathmandu||1,350m/4,429ft|
|Day 07 Fly to Paro , city sightseeing||2,250m/7,382ft|
|Day 08 Paro to Thimphu, hike to Taktsang Monastery||3,180m/10,434ft||4-5 hrs|
|Day 09 Hike to Wangditse Gompa followed by sightseeing in Thimphu||2,320m/7,612ft|
|Day 10 Thimphu to Punakha, Hike to Lungchutse Monastery||1,250m/4,101ft||2 hrs|
|Day 11 Punakha to Paro, Hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten||2,250m/7,382ft||2 hrs|
|Day 12 Final departure||-|
Upon our arrival in the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, we will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier who will drop us off at our hotel. After checking in, we take a rest or visit Himalayan Glacier’s office. We may also stroll in the streets of Thamel, a tourist hub in Kathmandu for some souvenir shopping. 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 Nepalese food culture.
We fly to Pokhara early in the morning. We can catch amazing views of the Himalayas from the right side of our airplane. Upon our arrival in Pokhara, the beautiful lake city, we are rewarded with magnificent views of the Himalayas including Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchhare, the five peaks of Annapurna and others. After taking a rest, we drive to Naya Pul and start the trek. We pass through sub-tropical valley forests, sometimes on the carved trail on the side of the cliff. After lunch, we cross the Modi Khola (river) via a suspension bridge to the village of Tikhedhunga. The Ulleri Hill with thousands of steps and boulders that continually go upward will really prove a test of our stamina. We reach Ulleri by late afternoon. Overnight in Ulleri.
After breakfast, we ascend to the Ghorepani village. The name Ghorepani in Nepali means ‘horse water’ due to it being an important campsite for traders before it became a trekker’s stop. Ghorepani is an interesting place with small shops and stalls for selling local products and crafts. The town has two parts: one in a saddle and the other a few hundred feet lower. We stop at the higher part of the Ghorepani village that offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains including Annapurna South and Nilgiri mountains. Since Ghorepani lies quite higher than our previous stop, we begin to feel the chilly weather especially in the evenings. Overnight in Ghorepani.
To catch the sunrise over the Himalayas, we make an early morning climb along the steep trail to the viewpoint of Poon Hill (3,210m/10,529ft), the most popular trekking destination of the Annapurna region. It is also a great viewpoint to enjoy the amazing views of Mustang, Pokhara and more than 20 of the highest mountains including the close-up views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. The snowy peaks of the high mountains loom above and around us glowing in the morning light. After taking photographs, we return back to Gorepani. After breakfast, we head east and climb a nearby ridge. We descend through rhododendron forests, pass by spectacular waterfalls and reach Tadapani to spend the night.
The trek from Tadapani until Ghandruk will be through a thick forest of rhododendron trees. After trekking for a while, we enter the village of Ghandruk, a slope settlement with stone houses mostly inhabited by the Gurung people. From here, we enjoy the towering views of the Fishtail, Annapurna South, and Hiunchuli mountains. From here, we drive to Pokhara for an overnight stay.
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 visit 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 Falls 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. Next, we fly to Kathmandu in the afternoon. We can rest in our hotel room for a while or catch up on some last minute shopping.
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 7,314 meters. Overnight in Paro.
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 to spend the night.
In the morning, we drive to BBS Tower and then hike for 1 hour to Wangditse Gompa on a leveled trail with a great view of Tashichho Dzong. From here, we also get an amazing view of the Samtenling Palace, home to the fourth King and Dorje Drak meditation retreat on the hillside above. After touring the Gompa, we return to Thimphu. On the way, we visit the mini-zoo to see the Takin, national animal of Bhutan. After lunch, we visit the King’s Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), the nunnery temple, the National Library (which houses ancient manuscripts) and the National Institute of Traditional Medicine. We may also visit the Textile Museum, the Handicraft Emporium, the traditional paper factory and the majestic Tashichho Dzong. In the evening, we enjoy strolling in the streets of Thimphu and observe the local lifestyle. Overnight in Thimphu.
After breakfast, we drive to Dochula pass (3,100 meters), where on a clear day we can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. We will begin the 2 hours hike to Lungchutse Monastery from 108 chortens. The trail passes through rhododendron forests. Walking along the high ridges dotted with colorful Buddhist prayer flags offers us stunning views of Himalayas, plus incredible vistas into the valleys below the pass. Next, we hike back to Dochu La Pass. After lunch, we drive downhill through the rhododendron, fir and hemlock forests. On the way, we 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 Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. Overnight in Punakha.
At dawn, we drive 12 km north of Punakha and begin our 2-hour hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten. It is located on a beautiful hillock called Ngezergang and contains elaborate paintings dedicated to the old sect of Buddhism. We hike further towards Punakha. On the way back, we visit the Punakha Dzong which was built in 1637. It is also the second oldest and the second largest Dzong in Bhutan. In the afternoon, we drive to Paro and spend the night there.
Today we bid farewell to the tiny Himalayan Kingdom and her friendly people. Druk Air generally departs in the early morning to avoid adverse weather conditions. Therefore, after breakfast, we will be taken to the airport in the morning for final departure.
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Breakfast will be provided in Kathmandu and Pokhara . All meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner will be available in Nepal trekking and Bhutan. Most hotels in both the countries provide a variety of meals the most popular being Indian, Chinese, Nepalese, Bhutanese, Tibetan and the more common continental food. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are also available in every restaurant and hotel.
All accommodations are on twin-shared basis for this trip. Single supplement is available and will cost an additional USD 495
Bhutan: We use A category hotels in Paro and Thimphu and B category hotel in Punakha.We will be staying at Hotel Tashi Namgay Resort in Paro, Hotel Migmar in Thimphu and Meri Puensum Resort in Punakha.
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