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10-Day Nepal and Bhutan Essence Tour

A Trip to Discover Rich Culutre Beautiful Landscapes of Nepal and Bhutan

Explore the majestic Kathmandu Valley, home to ancient temples and rich cultural heritage, before venturing into the serene beauty of the Himalayas. Experience the spiritual ambiance of Bhutan as you explore the ancient monasteries and immerse yourself in the local way of life. From the stunning views of Mount Everest to the pristine valleys of Paro and Punakha, this Essence Tour offers a perfect blend of natural wonders and cultural immersion. Discover the hidden gems of Nepal and Bhutan on this unforgettable 10-day adventure that will leave you with a profound sense of awe and enlightenment.

We can customize this trip by adding anything you're interested in and scheduling days to fit your pace. We would happily organize a unique theme or activities for birthdays, young children, anniversaries, etc.

  • Days:10±
  • Best For:Slow Pacers and Couples
  • Departure date: Up to you
  • Sample Price:From US$3, 999p/p, (2 per room)*
  • Flights: SE Asia's included (international on request)

*The price is based on a private tour for 2 people.

Tour Highlights

Here are the fantastic attractions, the most must-do activities selected by Asia Highlights (AH Hand-Picked), and exclusive cultural experiences offered by Asia Highlights (Only With AH) included in this tour:

Marvel at the colossal golden statue of Shakyamuni Buddha, radiating serenity and peace.

Shakyamuni Buddha

Admire the beautiful gardens and well-kept lawns in Thimphu Dzong.

Thimphu Dzong

Witness the breathtaking panoramic views of the Eastern Himalayas when pass through Dochula Pass.

Dochula Pass

Time travel to the Middle Ages in splendid Kathmandu Valley.

the ancient buildings in Kathmandu

Explore the captivating Kyichu Lhakang, which is dating back to the 7th century.

Kyichu Lhakang

Find the most beautiful dzong (administrative monastery) in Punakha, and experience the inner peace of Tibetan Buddhism.

Punakha Dzong

Hike to Taktsang Monastery, one of the world's 10 highest monasteries, and meditate like the founder of Tibetan Buddhism is reputed to have done there.

Taktsang Monastery on the cliff

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Suggested Itinerary for Inspiration

The itinerary serves as a mere example of a personalized tour, designed exclusively for you.
Your preferences will shape the authentic journey. We are fully prepared to craft an tailor-made tour that fulfills your desires.

Day 1
Kathmandu Arrival

Your private guide will be ready to meet and greet you at the arrival hall in Kathmandu. A comfortable private car with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel. Your guide will help you to check-in.

Day 2
Kathmandu to Paro by flight | Paro to Thimphu by private car

After breakfast, board a flight from Kathmandu to Paro, where your journey to Thimphu truly begins. On arrival at Paro International Airport, you'll be welcomed by your guide. Embark on a picturesque one-hour drive alongside the Paro and Thimphu river valleys to reach the charming capital city of Thimphu, situated 2320 meters above sea level. En route, make a stop at Tamchhog Lhakhang, an impressive temple historically associated with Bhutan's iron bridge builders. Immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings and witness the architectural beauty of this sacred site.

Start your tour with a visit to the majestic Thimphu Chorten, a grand Tibetan-style structure that holds immense religious significance. This iconic landmark is a focal point for daily worship among the Bhutanese people. Built in 1974 as a memorial to the revered third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the chorten offers a serene ambiance, especially during the early morning hours. Witness elderly devotees performing their rituals while sprightly school children make their way to pay homage, creating a unique and vibrant scene.

Next, venture to Buddha Dordenma, also known as Buddha Point, an awe-inspiring site atop a hill. Marvel at the colossal golden statue of Shakyamuni Buddha, radiating serenity and peace. Admire the 125,000 smaller Buddha statues within the main Buddha statue and explore the spacious meditation hall located beneath it. Take a moment to reflect and find tranquility in this spiritually significant location.

Buddha DordenmaBuddha Dordenma

In Thimphu, take a leisurely late afternoon stroll through the town, absorbing the magical atmosphere. Explore vibrant shops and bustling bazaars, and marvel at locals proudly donning their traditional national dress, presenting many photo opportunities along the way.

Day 3
Thimphu Discovery | Tashichho Dzong and the National Folk Heritage Museum

Begin your exploration at Tashichho Dzong, also known as Thimphu Dzong. This impressive structure is located near the Wangchhu River, surrounded by well-kept lawns and beautiful gardens. Serving as the seat of government since 1952, it houses the king's throne room, secretariat, and various ministries.

Next, visit the National Folk Heritage Museum, set in a traditional 19th-century house. Immerse yourself in Bhutanese material culture and rural lifestyle. Explore exhibits showcasing household objects, tools, and customs. Engage in demonstrations of rural traditions and customs while enjoying educational programs, making it a rich experience for all ages.

Continue to Simtokha Dzong, located 5km south of Thimphu. This ancient fortress, built in 1629, guards the entrance to the Thimphu valley. Legend has it that it protects a vanished demon, hence the name. Explore its intricate architecture and immerse yourself in the history and folklore of Bhutan.

Day 4
Thimphu to Punakha by private car | Punakha Dzong and Chimi Lhakhang

Begin your journey with a visit to Punakha Dzong, one of the most magnificent fortresses in Bhutan. Set at the confluence of the Phochhu and Mochhu rivers, this Dzong holds immense beauty and historical significance. It was at this very location that the first King of Bhutan was crowned in 1907. Immerse yourself in the grandeur of Punakha Dzong as you explore its impressive architecture and cultural heritage.

Punakha DzongPunakha Dzong

Next, venture to Chimi Lhakhang, also known as the temple of fertility. Perched on a hillock in the heart of the valley, this sacred temple is believed to bless couples who desire children. Take a leisurely stroll through the village surrounding the temple, gaining rare insights into the local way of life and traditions.

Embark on a scenic drive from Thimphu to Punakha, taking approximately three hours. Along the way, you'll pass through Dochula Pass, located at an elevation of 3,050 meters. Pause for a hot drink and revel in the breathtaking panoramic views of the Eastern Himalayas. Notice the change in climate and vegetation as you descend to the low-lying Punakha at 1,250 meters.

Take a pleasant one-hour walk across the terraced fields of Sopsokha village to reach Chimi Lhakhang. This temple, built in the 15th century by the eccentric 'Divine Madman,' Lama Drukpa Kuenley, offers a unique blend of spirituality and folklore.

Conclude your day with a visit to the impressive Punakha Dzong, also known as the "Palace of Great Happiness." Strategically located at the confluence of the Po Chu and Mo Chu rivers, this fortress was built in 1637. Explore its awe-inspiring architecture and immerse yourself in the rich history and cultural heritage it encapsulates.

Day 5
Punakha to Paro | Rinpung Dzong and Ta Dzong National Museum

Begin your adventure in Paro with a visit to the majestic Rinpung Dzong. This Buddhist monastery and fortress houses the district Monastic Body and administrative offices of Paro. It is also a potential UNESCO World Heritage site.

Next, venture to the Ta Dzong National Museum, where you can delve into Bhutan's rich heritage. Discover natural history and heritage galleries featuring unique artifacts and a 3D map of Bhutan.

Ta Dzong National MuseumTa Dzong National Museum

Journey from Punakha back to Paro, enjoying a scenic drive that takes around four hours. Upon arrival, embark on a cultural tour of Paro Valley, visiting the remarkable Paro Rinpung Dzong and the relocated National Museum.

Day 6
Paro Discovery | Taktshang Goemba

Begin your journey with a visit to Taktshang Goemba, famously known as the "Tiger's Nest." According to legend, Guru Rimpoche flew on the back of a tigress to this sacred site in the 8th century. He then meditated in a cave for three months, which later became the monastery. This cave is believed to be the birthplace of Buddhism in Bhutan.

Taktshang GoembaTaktshang Goemba

Next, explore the captivating Kyichu Lhakang. Dating back to the 7th century, it is one of the oldest and most beautiful temples in Bhutan. This temple holds historical significance as it was one of the 108 temples established in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. Learn about the introduction of Buddhism to Bhutan and listen to intriguing stories of the Tibetan kings.

Alternatively, you can explore a manor house turned museum in a local village. This 17th-century house provides insight into the culture of medieval rural Bhutan, showcasing the heritage and traditions of the region.

Day 7
Paro to Kathmandu by flight | city transfer

Your tour guide will transfer you to Paro Airport for the next destination: Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, your private guide and driver will greet and transfer you to the hotel.

Day 8
Kathmandu to Nagarkot by private car | Patan Durbar Square

Start your adventure in Patan City, formerly known as Lalitpur, which was once a thriving independent city-state. Located just a short distance from Kathmandu, Patan retains its ancient charm while being connected to the bustling capital by the Bagmati River.

Make sure to visit Patan's Durbar Square, even more impressive after the 2015 earthquake. This UNESCO World Heritage site showcases a stunning collection of temples and palaces, making it the finest in Nepal. Marvel at the exquisite architecture and absorb the vibrant atmosphere of this historical square.

Patan's Durbar SquarePatan's Durbar Square

Beyond its architectural marvels, Patan offers a unique opportunity for shopping and dining. The city caters to the needs of NGO workers and diplomats residing in the surrounding suburbs, resulting in a diverse array of shops and restaurants. Explore the local fair-trade shops, which not only offer superior handicrafts but also contribute to empowering marginalized communities in Nepal.

Next, venture to Bhaktapur, aptly named "the city of devotees." This culturally rich city is renowned for its elegance, vibrant festivals, and traditional Newari lifestyle. Bhaktapur Durbar Square is a must-visit as it showcases a remarkable collection of temples and architectural wonders. Marvel at the famous 55-window palace and the intricately designed Batsala Temple, both recognized as UNESCO World Heritage sites.Textexaam.

Day 9
Kathmandu Discovery | Kathmandu Durbar Square

Start your journey at Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring the old Royal Palace, fascinating temples, and the iconic Kumari Ghar. Admire the ancient artistry of Nepal in this architectural masterpiece.

Visit Boudhanath Stupa, one of the world's largest stupas, known for its four pairs of eyes symbolizing righteous behavior. Explore the serene surroundings and discover the rich Buddhist heritage.

Discover Swayambhunath, a 2000-year-old Buddhist Stupa with a remarkable conical spire adorned with painted eyes of Lord Buddha. Explore the hill and marvel at the small Chaityas and Pagoda temples.

SwayambhunathSwayambhunath

Witness the awe-inspiring sight of Mount Everest at sunrise, along with seven other magnificent mountains, for an unforgettable experience.

Day 10
Kathmandu Departure

Our guide will help you transfer from your hotel to Kathmandu Airport for departure with independentcar/van and guide.

Design Your Ideal Trip with Our Travel Expert

Exceptional experiences can be added to brighten a honeymoon trip, a family vacation, a birthday, or satisfy personal interests.

Our Service Includes:

10 days from
US$3,999 p/p
Private tour for 2 people in low seasons. Price varies based on program, travel date, number of people, chosen hotel. We accept payments in multiple currencies (GBP, AUD, CAD, EUR...).
  • Private transfers and English-speaking tour guide
  • All guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
  • Hand-picked star-rating accommodations
  • Breakfasts at hotels and lunches for every guided day
  • Governmental taxes

Tour code: ah-cx-32

Why Asia Highlights (10,000+ reviews & 98.8% 5-star rating)

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  • Celebrate Your Journeys:
  • Specially-crafted family adventures
  • Celebrate milestones with style!

Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries

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Maximize Your Flexibility

Maximize Your Flexibility

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  • Explore at your own pace.
  • Unparalleled flexibility, impossible on a group tour.
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Ensure Your Satisfactory

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Celebrate Your Journey

Celebrate Your Journey

  • Family adventures
  • Celebrate milestones with style!
  • Photographer service for special moments

Where Can We Take You Today?

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