|Day 1||Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel|
|Day 2||Exploring UNESCO Heritage sites of Kathmandu Valley|
|Day 3||Flight to Paro|
|Day 4||Chumphu Monastery Hike in Paro|
|Day 5||Tiger’s Nest Hike in Paro|
|Day 6||Drive via Thimpu to Phajoding & Hike to Goenpa Hike|
|Day 7||Morning Hike to Lungchutse Monastery and later drive to Punakha|
|Day 8||Morning Sightseeing in Punakha and Later Hike to Khansum Yuelley|
|Day 9||Via Sightseeing Tours in Thimpu – Return Drive to Paro|
|Day 10||Flight to Kathmandu & Drive to Bhaktapur|
|Day 11||Hike from Bhaktapur to Nagarkot via Changu Narayan|
|Day 12||Hike from Nagarkot to Dhulikhel|
|Day 13||Hike from Dhulikhel to Panauti via Namo Buddha|
|Day 14||Hike to Tamang Village|
|Day 15||Return Back to Kathmandu – Free Time|
|Day 16||Departure to Airport|
Royal Mountain Travel is a Nepal-based sustainable tourism operator. We specialize in curating once-in-a-lifetime experiences to showcase indigenous and community based tourism projects. We work with travel agents and tourism companies to help plan travel experiences that highlight authentic, local lifestyles throughout some of the most unique landscapes on earth.
Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel
Arrival in Kathmandu by flight at the capital of Nepal, at Nepal’s only International Airport, Tribhuvan Airport. The first day of tour is simply an arrival day with no pre – organized activities. Our representative will brief you about our company and general information, and the meeting time will be scheduled about the program during on the way to hotel.
Exploring UNESCO Heritage sites of Kathmandu Valley
Patan Durbar Square: It is surrounded by a fascinating array of temples in different architectural styles. The Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust (KPVT) offices are also here – opposite one of the largest and oldest (and as yet un-restored) temples of Patan. Most aptly its offices are marvels of restoration. In Patan Durbar Square we will be also visiting Golden Temple and Patan Museum. Golden Temple – it is one of the best example of courtyard temple architecture. This temple is mixture of both Buddhist and Newari culture so it have its own religious believes like shoes and leather articles must be removed to enter the temple. Patan Museum – it is one of the royal palaces for the Malla kings of the Kathmandu valley which shows the beauty of Nepalese art and architecture.
Pashupatinath Temple: Pashupatinath Temple is one of the sacred Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva -national deity – Lord of animals. Pashupatinath Temple is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites’ since 1979. Though only Hindus are permitted to enter the main courtyard of the temple, tourists, however, can view the temple from the eastern side of the Bagmati River; such vantage point offers the pleasing Kodak-moment of the temple.
Pashupatinath is also one of the 14 places in the capital, where cremations take place. Hindus believe it is a performance of getting Nirvana, after death, as the Bagmati river eventually meets with the holy Ganges River. Along with various temples and monuments at the site, one can also see many Sadhus with their amusing avatars, imitating like Lord Shiva.
Boudhanath Stupa: One of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal with its distinctive architectural design; a stupa dome set above the Mandala base, Boudhanath Stupa is the faith-bowl for hundreds of pilgrims, who gather every day, around the stupa, to make a kora (ritual circumnavigation) of the dome. Tibetan monks in maroon robes with shaved heads wander the prayer-flag–decked streets while pilgrims spin prayer wheels and light-up butter lamp as their ritual devotion. There is an ancient belief that even if a person who has committed great sins, circles around the stupa, even once, shall granted one chance to atone for his sins.
Flight to Paro
The flight into Paro on our national carrier is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control you are met by your guide and transfer to Thimpu, the modern capital of Bhutan. Thimpu has a population of about 100,000. The town is made up of just three lines of shops and is the only capital in the world without traffic lights.
Chumphu Monastery Hike in Paro
Chumbo Monastery is a 15th century temple founded by terton (treasurer discoverer) Drugda Dorji. Due to its unique statue, it is a very popular pilgrimage site. There are many miraculous marks of high religious significance that can be seen on the way to the temple. This statue is said to be miraculously floating in the air. At a first glance, you might think that the statue is standing on the ground, however if you get a flash light and a piece of paper, you will experience that you can easily slide the piece of paper between the firm ground and the Buddha’s foot. The temple ground is a serene place for a picnic lunch before exploring the small waterfall above the temple. The five minute walk to the waterfall is steep and can be very muddy. It is most common to follow the same route down, however an alternative route exists which takes you past another beautiful water fall and numerous caves. However, this route is very steep and risky at times, and somewhat difficult as you have to navigate across wet areas.
Tiger’s Nest Hike in Paro
Tiger’s Nest Monastery is one of the most Sacred monastery which is built in 1692. This place is believed to be birthplace of Buddhism in Bhutan. The view of monastery and the cliff wonderful and dramatic . Tiger’s Nest Monastery is the one hanging on the right side. the even highest structure sitting on the top of the left cliff is the monastery where the monks are meditating.
Drive via Thimpu to Phajoding & Hike to Goenpa Hike
Phajoding takes its name from the saint Phajo Drugom Zhigpo, who meditated there in the 13th century and is considered to be one of the most sacred meditational sites in Bhutan. The monastery itself is an open complex that comprises many holy buildings and relics and a State monastic school that currently houses 40 monks. The trek to Phajoding is an uphill climb through forested area of blue pine, fir and spruce. Bhutan is the least deforested country in the world, covered with 70% virgin blue pine forest. The walk, at a leisurely pace, takes about four hours. Phajoding provides an excellent view of Thimphu Valley and is also a retreat center for monks and nuns. You can visit some ancient monasteries and commune with the monks. Later by evening, you walk down the trail back to the city.
Morning Hike to Lungchutse Monastery and later drive to Punakha
This is one of the most rejuvenating and picturesque hikes in the Thimphu region. It can be done as a loop starting from Dochula and finishing at Hongtsho village with Lungchutse gomba and Trashigang gomba visit. At Lungchutse one can enjoy 360° view of the Himalayan mountain range. You will start your hike from the large chorten in the middle of Dochula, the pass between Thimphu and Punakha at 3140 meters (10300 feet) above sea level. From here the trail slowly climbs a ridge through a forest of hemlock, birch and rhododendrons until reaching an open meadow. Again, you will enter into forest of moss-covered rhododendrons, gigantic hemlocks, junipers, and bamboo undergrowth. A small trail leads you the last 50 meters past a row of fluttering prayer flags up to Lungchutse temple.
On clear days, the view from the temple is fantastic! You will have a 360° view of the Himalayas including views of Jumolhari (7314 m / 24000 f), Masang Gang in the region of Laya (7158 m / 23500 f), Zongophu Gang – a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana (7060 m / 23160 f) and Gangkhar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan and the highest unclimbed peak in the world (7497 m / 24600 f). The trail leading down from the front of the temple zigzags quite steeply down the side of the mountain until reaching a farm road which takes you up to the main road. Unless you have had enough hiking for one day, you might also want to visit Hongtsho village temple on the hill side to the right on the opposite side of the road.
Morning Sightseeing in Punakha and Later Hike to Khansum Yuelley
Punakha was the old capital of Bhutan and it is still the winter residence of Central Monastic Body. Punakha Dzong is the most Magnificent and Largest Dzong in Bhutan located beautifully in between the two largest rivers of Bhutan. After the visit, get the combination of visits to the beautiful Khamsum Chorten, the old hilltop temple Giligang and end your route at Punakha Dzong with the opportunity to experience stunning views of the valleys on both the Mo Chhu and Po Chuu side, this is an enjoyable yet challenging hike.
The hike takes you through rice paddies and up the twirling trail to Khamsum Chorten where you can take a well deserved rest whilst admiring this impressive structure and the beautiful view of the valley below. From here, the trail climbs slowly upwards on the mountainside all the way to Giligang. There are numerous places on the way with inspiring views of the surrounding temples, rice paddies, mountain tops and green forests. Giligang is a perfect spot to enjoy your picnic lunch. If you are lucky, the charming old couple who resides in the temple might offer some ngaja and join you for some food and good laughs.
Via Sightseeing Tours in Thimpu – Return Drive to Paro
Right after breakfast, pay your visit to Memorial Chorten.This stupa was built in 1974 in the memory of Bhutan’s third King, His Late Majesty, and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy. After there, you can visit the institute for Zorig Chusum, commonly known as Arts & Crafts School or Painting School, the Institute offers a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. On a visit, one can see students learning the various skills taught at the school. After lunch, your visit would be a leisure one visiting the Zilukha Nunnery. Perched on a promontory, overlooking picturesque Trashichhoedzong and Golf course, it is the only nunnery in capital known as Zilukha Anim Dratsang, once belonged to the Drubthob (Realized one) Thang Thong Gyalpo. You may interact here with some of the nuns who have devoted their life to spirituality and Buddhism. In the evening, drive back towards Paro.
Flight to Kathmandu & Drive to Bhaktapur
Fly back to Kathmandu and transfer to Bhaktapur.
Bhaktapur is the essential Newari City with some of the finest, and authentic architectures of Nepal. Among the three cities, of the Kathmandu Valley, it was the largest city of Newari Kingdom and capital of Nepal during the Malla’s period. It is one of the fascinating places to explore the traditional crafts of pottery, metalwork, art, and the finest woodwork hand skills of Nepalese artists. As time goes by, this place has become an energetic atmosphere, a modern melting pot – to be precise, where one can encounter the old street and temples, whose existence dates back to centuries, and to another hand, modernization has brought the sense of responsibilities to preserve the culture and to catch up the rest of the world. You may find any kind of cuisines, for instance, Chinese, or Italian, or Indian, in the Bhaktapur Durbar square.
Hike from Bhaktapur to Nagarkot via Changu Narayan
This day, we will trek all the way up to Bhaktapur. On the way, you will see from close quarters, the lifestyle of local Newari farmers. Nagarkot offers wonderful Himalayan views. (32 km, 1.3 hr). Nagarkot is situated at east of the Kathmandu Valley at an elevation of about 1800 meters. This spot is popular for mountain views particularly for sunrise and sunset. From this place some mountains above 6000 meters which are Annapurna (8091m), Manasalu (8165m), Ganesh Himal (7446m) and Lantang Lirung (7245m) can be seen.
Hike from Nagarkot to Dhulikhel
Trail to Dhulikhel starts 1.5 km from the bus station at Nagarkot – right off the main road that goes towards “ Tower”. Trail starts out wide – is actually a dirt road and there are several lodges and resorts. Once you leave the last set of resorts behind the trail narrows somewhat. Thick vegetation – giant ferns and bushes hug the trail. Great thing about this trail is that you hike on the side that faces the mountains not the side that faces the valley. So if it is clear you will see all the mountains most of the time during your hike. After hiking slight uphill the trail now goes downhill sharply. Lots of pine trees and rolling hills along the way.
Hike from Dhulikhel to Panauti via Namo Buddha
Dhulikhel – Namo Buddha – Panauti hiking is one of the best hiking that takes you to the very beautiful Buddhist stupa of Namo Buddha(1982m), situated on a hillock above Panauti. Namo Buddha is a legendary place that is related to the pre – incarnation of Lord Buddha. The place has its own story and history.
Panauti’s Community Homestay is a historical and hidden gem of Nepal. Panauti still holds an apex reputation for its beautiful temples, arts & crafts, festivals and tradition. The Community Homestay is a nonprofit organization, operates with the involvement of the particular community in terms to uplift the community and its inhabitants.
Hike to Tamang Village
Tamange village provides you a great opportunity to explore the culture and tradition of the Tamang people’s. A true insight of Tamang culture with home stays and cultural program can be adept here. This colorful village provides a life time experience with most incredible scenery and fascinating village.
Return Back to Kathmandu – Free Time
Drive back to Kathmandu from Panauti. (35 km, 1 hr).
This day you can enjoy early morning Mountain Flight, local shopping in market, visiting tourist area – Thamel, cooking course, observing local market – Asan.
Departure to Airport
Departure to the airport for flight onwards journey.