Discover the colourful world of Nepal and distinctive, remote Bhutan.
Journey into the heart of Nepal and experience the colourful sights and culture of this enchanting region. Mingle with local villagers and craftspeople, visit tranquil temples and sacred Buddhist sites, travel the cobbled streets of tiny mountain towns and search for unique wildlife. From the whirlwind of Kathmandu to the lush jungle of Chitwan National Park - with plenty of delightful hidden gems in between - take an unforgettable tour of Nepal, brimming with culture, history and natural beauty. Bhutan is the little secret of Asia. Overshadowed and nestled between China and India, it is a relatively new travel spot, with many undiscovered secrets in its natural scenery and quiet townships. The land is dotted with red-clothed monks, ancient Buddhist temples and friendly smiles. It is one calm country, where gross national happiness is more important than money, where chillies are used as a vegetable rather than for spice, and the thunder dragon, Druk, is emblazoned on the national flag, symbolising the people of Bhutan: loyal, patriotic and living with a total sense of belonging within the kingdom.
Beginning and ending in Kathmandu, there's more than enough time to discover the Nepali capital's staggeringly rich cultural and artistic heritage.
This is the perfect trip for those who want a cultural insight into Nepal without strenuous trekking, with plenty of inclusions, as well as free time and comfortable accommodation in each destination.
Whether it's flying, hiking, driving or by canoe, this trip will let you experience Nepal's stunning natural beauty from all angles.
Witness world-class mountain scenery from heavenly viewpoint, with a breathtaking included Everest scenic flight.
Take a jeep safari with a local guide in Chitwan National Park, a beauty brimming with exotic bird life and game - you may be lucky enough to spot rhinos or elusive leopards and tigers.
Get hands-on overview of Nepal's diverse architecture, from the stately Newari dwellings in Bandipur to the hill-perched Buddhist Peace Pagoda in laid back Pokhara.
The happiest land on earth, Bhutan is a hidden paradise with no traffic lights, laws governing minimum forest coverage and some amazing feats of archery.
Only a small number of visitors are allowed into Bhutan each year. It's pretty special.
The climb to Tigers Nest, while tough, is a richly rewarding and sobering experience.
Here's just some of what our past travellers have learned from their travels to Bhutan: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/bhutan-tour-learnings/
While on a map we aren't travelling particularly far, reality of road travel in Nepal is that things always take longer than you expect. Some roads will be bumpy, dusty, or even unexpectedly blocked requiring reroutes and plenty of patience. We fly the farthest distances to make the most of our time together.
Hotels in some destinations may vary in standard and facilities, and on occasion hot water may be limited. There will be times when the location of our accommodation will mean it is practical to eat at the hotel restaurant rather than heading out for optional meals.
You will have some up close and personal encounters with wildlife on this trip, including seeing the small fish eating gharial crocodiles while on the canoe trip on the Rapti river.
While there will be opportunities to spot many different kinds of wildlife, sightings cannot be guaranteed as this is a national park where animals are free to roam rather than a zoo or wildlife park.
You will see tour operators offering elephant riding activities and many tourists taking part in them during your time in Chitwan. Intrepid Travel has a strong elephant welfare policy and as such we discourage travellers from riding elephants in Nepal or anywhere around the world. See the Responsible Travel section of this information for more.
Despite Bhutan being a small country, you'll experience long travel days as most roads are single lane.
The trek to Tiger's Nest is quite vigorous but well worth the climb.
Bhutan is a high-altitude destination, so taking it easy for a day or two makes for a much more comfortable trip. Drinking tea and water and avoiding strenuous exercise will help you acclimatise after arriving.
Please be aware that hot water is limited in some places. Speaking of all things heated, the Bhutanese love chilli and the food can be a touch spicy.
Travel in Bhutan is strictly controlled and to do any independent travel outside of a group tour is extremely difficult and expensive to arrange. We provide a group visa for travellers on our tours in Bhutan, which stipulates that all travellers must arrive and depart on the same days that our tour program starts and finishes. For this reason we are generally not able to provide additional accommodation outside of our tour dates and advise all travellers to book flights in and out of Bhutan that correspond with the start and finish day of the tour. In the rare case that no flights are available and you need to arrive earlier or depart later we are only able to book additional accommodation for you in conjunction with a special individual visa which can add around AUD1000 to the cost of your tour, to be paid at the time of booking.
All meals are included due to the nature of travelling in Bhutan. This means there may be limited choices on some days.
This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2019 to 31 December 2019. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018
1. Airport arrival and departure transfers are included in Nepal and Bhutan.
2. Please provide Intrepid or your booking agent with a scanned colour copy of the personal details page from your passport at time of booking. Failure to do this delays group visa.
3. Please advise all international flight details at least 60 days prior to departure.
4. Please be aware that Bhutan's airlines are renowned for last minute changes to flight timetables into and out of Bhutan. Please allow a min of 6-8 hours transit time between your international flight and flight into Bhutan. Timetables are available on the Druk Airlines and Air Bhutan websites.
5. All travellers must arrive on Day 1 and depart on Day 7 to be eligible for a group visa.
6. A single supplement to have your own room is available on this trip and is applicable for all nights on tour.
7. All meals are included during your time in Bhutan.
8. The transfers and flight between Kathmandu and Paro is included on Day 12. This flight is unaccompanied.
9. As this is a combination trip, the composition of your group, as well as your group leader, will change on Day 12.
10. The weight limit for your internal flights is 20kg for checked luggage and 5kg for your carry on luggage.