The 12 Days Nepal Bhutan Tour is the best Himalayan excursion to South Asia's two culturally unique countries, Nepal and Bhutan. The tour begins in Kathmandu with a visit to historical and religious monuments, followed by a scenic trip to Pokhara and a jungle adventure in the wilderness of Chitwan. This cross-country tour then flies you to Bhutan with excellent aerial views of the Himalayas and takes you on a cultural journey of Paro and Thimpu. Come with us on this guided tour of the home of Mt. Everest and the land of the Thunder Dragon!
Having deep roots in Hinduism, Nepal's culture reflects the same with its temples and palaces, while Buddhism significantly influences Bhutan's. However, the humble people of both countries share the same roof of the Himalayas, along with their unmatched hospitality to the guests. The Nepalese and Bhutanese won't leave any page unturned to make you feel at home, although you're thousands of miles away from your hometown.
The enchanting natural beauty spread across the vast plains, lush green hills, and snow-covered mountains of these two nations will keep your eyes busy while the incredible art and architecture fill your heart with joy. In addition to enjoying natural wonders, you'd also experience the rich culture by eating local delicacies, interacting with the locals, and participating in local festivals.
Neither Nepal nor Bhutan is too small to finish traveling in 12 days, but you can at least catch a glimpse of them in the short time you have. We've thoughtfully included the places that give you the most of Nepal and Bhutan so you don't miss the true essence of these beautiful South Asian countries: nature and culture.
Best Features of the Nepal Bhutan Tour
- Visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu
- Paddle boating in the 2nd largest lake in Nepal
- Glorious Himalayan sunrise from Sarangkot
- Witness rare one-horned Rhinoceros in Chitwan National Park
- Flying over the grand Himalayas with aerial views of snow-capped mountains
- Sightseeing tour of the cultural monuments of Thimpu
- Hike to the epic Tiger's Nest Monastery of Paro
- Enjoy the delicacies of Bhutan and experience their unique culture
Let us brief you about the places you'll visit during your 12 days tour here.
Nepal is the first country you'd visit in this 12 days cross-country tour. Even before you land at Kathmandu Airport, you'd be welcomed by epic mountain views if the weather is clear. Famous as the land of Mt. Everest and the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, Nepal is a tourist-favorite destination to experience raw nature and age-old culture. Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan are some hotspots we will take you to on this tour.
Kathmandu (the City of Temples)
Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, earned its name of "the City of Temples" because of the presence of a large number of age-old temples, stupas, and religious structures like idols, statues, and pictures throughout the city. Some of such sacred sites you'll visit in Kathmandu are the Pashupatinath Temple, the Swayambhu Temple, and the Bouddhanath Stupa.
Pashupatinath Temple is a large Hindu temple dedicated to lord Shiva and situated at the bank of the holy Bagmati river, where the cremation of the dead is held according to Hindu ritual. Although you can't enter the main temple, you can visit the temple premises and observe the architecture and ceremonies. Similarly, you'll visit a Buddhist temple, Swayambhunath (also known as Monkey Temple), at a hilltop and the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal, Bouddhanath Stupa.
Moving on, you'd see the Kathmandu Durbar Square, one of the three Durbar Squares in Kathmandu Valley, which was once used as a royal palace and now serves as a museum displaying the critical details of Nepalese history. All these religious and historic sites are listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Pokhara (the City of Lakes)
The next destination on our Nepal-Bhutan Tour is Pokhara. Popular among trekkers and hikers, Pokhara is the trailhead of most treks in the Annapurna Range. Domestic tourists equally prefer the city due to its proximity to Kathmandu and its beautiful landscape. Glorious mountain sceneries, luscious greenery, pristine lakes, ancient caves, and short hikes, you name it, and Pokhara has it. When your daytime is filled with fun activities like paddle boating in Phewa Lake and sightseeing, the nightlife of Pokhara is equally exciting, if not more.
Chitwan (home to One-horned Rhinoceros)
Located in the southern plains of Nepal, Chitwan houses the oldest national park of Nepal, Chitwan National Park, which is home to the rare One-horned Rhinoceros and Bengal Tigers. You will enjoy adventurous jungle activities in the vast jungles of Chitwan. From waking up to the chirping of birds to going to bed after a traditional dinner with a folk dance show, your day in Chitwan will be full of adventures like an Elephant Back Ride, a Jungle Safari in Jeep, an Exploration of an Ethnic Village and a Visit to Elephant Breeding Centre.
Bhutan, the land of Thunder Dragon, on the other hand, has a whole different atmosphere to it. Situated in the Eastern Himalayas, this clean, green, and happy country prioritizes Gross National Happiness instead of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Bhutan practices sustainable tourism focusing on quality rather than quantity. The government sets a perfect example of balancing modernization and preserving nature and culture. Thimphu and Paro are the two
Cities you'll visit in this 12 Days Tour in Nepal and Bhutan.
Thimpu (a unique capital of Bhutan)
Thimpu is not like any other capital city. It has managed to preserve its ancient art, architecture, customs, and traditions while adapting to the inevitable demands of modernization. Strolling in the streets of Thumpu without any traffic lights makes you feel like you're roaming in some well-managed countryside of Asia with locals dressed in their traditional costumes and tourists clicking selfies.
The Thimphu sightseeing tour begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten, an important landmark as a symbol of world peace, made in honor of the third king of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Tashichho Dzong is another tourist attraction in the northern corner of Thimpu, which acts as the seat of Bhutan's civil government head. It is a monastery cum fortress reflecting traditional Bhutanese architecture. Next on our list is Changangkha Lhakhang, a Buddhist temple built in the 12th century on a hilltop overlooking Thimpu. Popular among locals to seek blessings for their newborns, it is also a great place to learn about Bhutanese Buddhism.
Buddha Dordenma Statue (a large Shakyamuni Buddha statue at a hilltop), Institute of Traditional Medicine Services (where visitors can learn about herbal medical treatments and medicines practiced in Bhutan), Folk Heritage Museum (showcasing typical Bhutanese lifestyle), and Zilukha nunnery are some more sites in Thimpu visited by tourists. The sightseeing tour is usually wrapped up with a visit to Craft Bazaar, where you can purchase Bhutanese handicrafts and souvenirs.
Paro (the land of Tiger's Nest Monastery)
Paro is a scenic Bhutanese town in Paro Valley, where Paro Airport, the only international airport of Bhutan, is located. In this Nepal-Bhutan Tour, Paro is where you land after flying from Kathmandu. With many historical and sacred sites, Paro has great significance in the history of Bhutan. You'll find Bhutanese people dressed in their Gho and Kira (traditional Bhutanese costumes) walking in the streets of Paro decorated with traditional buildings.
Taktsang Palphung Monastery, also known as Paro Taktsang or Tiger's Nest Monastery, is the main tourist attraction of Paro. Legends say that Guru Rinpoche, a Buddhist saint, had flown to the monastery on the back of a tigress and meditated there, hence the name "Tiger's Nest." Paro Monastery, situated at a rock cliff 900 m above Paro Valley's bottom, makes for a perfect morning hike. Drukgyel Dzong, a historic monument built in 1649 as a symbol of victory against the invasion from Tibet in 1644, is another important site to explore in Paro. Similarly, one can also visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, built in the 7th century.
Suitable for all age groups, this leisure Nepal Bhutan Tour - 12 Days, organized by Outfitter Nepal, requires no prior experience or excellent physical fitness. You'll travel in a private vehicle with an official tour guide to make your trip safe and fruitful. It makes for a perfect family vacation, even with kids and the elderly.