Join Boundless Journeys for an awe-inspiring adventure that combines the highlights of the Dragon Kingdom—Bhutan—with hikes through the foothills of the Annapurna Mountains of Nepal. This is truly an epic journey through Himalayan landscapes, infused with harmonizing cultures, beautiful vistas, and a revitalizing trek amid the highest mountains in the world.
While in Bhutan, you’ll explore the monasteries and fortresses of this ancient kingdom and discover the unique Bhutanese culture that few outsiders are privileged to encounter. In Nepal, jaw-dropping mountain scenery, terraced hillsides, beautiful forests, and friendly villagers greet you on our cultural trek. There’s even an opportunity to take a flight across the Himalayan range, passing the world’s tallest peaks, including Mount Everest. With a Boundless Journeys custom tour in Bhutan and Nepal, you’ll experience the best of two complementary worlds.
A private version of our epic Himalayan Kingdoms trip, this journey into the kingdoms of Bhutan and Nepal is for just you and your friends or family, on the dates of your choice. The walks and hikes for this trip are easy to moderate, generally from 2-6 hours in length with minimal vehicle support. Elevation gains and losses vary from approximately 500'-3,000' in one day. These hikes can be modified to best suit your interests and ability levels.
Paro | Thimphu | Punakha | Annapurna Himalayas | Pokhara | Kathmandu
Day 1: Arrival in Paro; transfer to Thimphu and city exploration by foot
Day 2: Hike to Cheri Goemba; Choki School of Arts
Day 3: Transfer to Punakha; walk to Temple of the Divine Madman
Day 4: Khamsung Yuely Namgyel Temple to Punakha Dzong hike
Day 5: Transfer to Paro; visits to Bhutan's National Museum, Paro Dzong & Kyichu Lhakang
Day 6: Tiger's Nest Monastery hike
Day 7: Fly from Paro, Bhutan to Pokhara, Nepal (via Kathmandu)
Day 8: Pokara to Lamkhet hike
Day 9: Lamkhet to Ghandruk hike
Day 10: Ghandruk to Landruk hike
Day 11: Landruk to Dhampus hike
Day 12: Dhampus to Pokhara hike
Day 13: Departure from Kathmandu; Mount Everest flight (optional)
The Bumthang region encompasses four major valleys: Choskhor, Tang, Ura, and Chhume. The dzongs and the most important temples can be found in the large Choskhor Valley, commonly referred to as the Bumthang Valley. Different from most other valleys in Bhutan, Bumthang is broad and ideal for walkers and hikers.
There are numerous Buddhist monasteries and pilgrimage sites to explore, making it the cultural and historic center of the country. It would be difficult to find as many important temples and monasteries in such a small area anywhere else in Bhutan -- and almost every little valley or hill has its own background of interesting myths and legends about kings, Buddhist masters, and serpents.
With views of the pine wood forest and historic Wangduechoeling palace, Bumthang Mountain Lodge is one of the oldest hotels in Bumthang. The family-owned property offers simple, comfortable accommodations and warm service. All 27 rooms are appointed with wood paneling, heated by firewood stoves (or Bukhari), with ensuite baths. Featuring an attentive professional staff and in-house restaurant, the lodge is within walking distance of the Wangduechoeling palace, Jakar Dzong and Chamkhar Town.
Jakar Village Lodge is a popular four-star lodge located below the Jakar Dzong, commanding majestic views of the Bumthang Valley. The property features 14 rooms, beautifully painted in traditional style, comfortably and tastefully furnished with the latest fittings and efficiently heated, each with its own balcony. The ensuite bathrooms are fixed with stylish jet showers and bathtubs. The lodge serves a range of widely renowned delicious cuisine ranging from local delicacies to continental dishes.
One of the loveliest valleys in all of Bhutan, Gangtey is home to pine and bamboo forests, spectacular views of the remote Phobjkha valley, and the Gangtey Goemba (monastery). Must-do activities include a hike on the Gangtey Nature Trail -- renowned as one of the most beautiful nature trails in the entire country. Along the way, you may also catch a glimpse of the black-necked cranes that make their journey from Tibet.
With its spectacular setting and sweeping views over the whole valley, Gangtey Goenpa Lodge acts as a luxurious base for exploring one of Bhutans most secluded valleys. Plush leather sofas of an informal lounge invite guests to share the day’s adventures around two impressive fireplaces encased in local stone. The 12 beautifully-appointed guestrooms, each with their own cozy fireplace, reflect the rich cultural heritage with warm fabrics and earthen tones.
Nestled in the thick pine forests of Phobjikha—home to rare, black-necked cranes—the Dewachen offers a relaxed setting, in-house restaurant, and breathtaking views of the valley below. Sixteen comfortable, double rooms each contain ensuite bathrooms, colorful bedding, and balconies. Rooms are heated by iron stoves, with hot water bags for the bed on the valley’s coldest nights.
Paro is the home of the national airport and where all of our custom tours in Bhutan begin. The Valley itself is a green bowl surrounded by jagged Himalayan Mountains and forested hillsides, crossed by beautiful rivers, and dotted with medieval fortresses.
One of the most scenic valleys in Bhutan, Paro has kept its bucolic nature and has a feeling of peacefulness rare in most other Asian cities. The houses are considered to be among the most beautiful in the country, and Paro is believed to be one of the first valleys to have received the imprint of Buddhism.
Amankora, Paro is situated in a secluded part of the valley in a tranquil setting surrounded by pine forests and mountains. This property offers 24 suites which consist of a lounge and bedroom furnished with a king-size bed, banquette window seat, and traditional bukhari wood-burning stove. A stay at Amankora is a true retreat embodying the monastic tradition of blending meditation in a physical space with harmony of its natural surroundings.
This exquisitely located hotel blends the heritage of traditional Bhutanese architecture with the comfort of modern amenities. Naksel is an eco-friendly, community-based propertyits traditional windows, mud-bricks, framework and furniture were locally crafted in Ngoba Village. All rooms feature in-floor heating in room and ensuite bathrooms, as well as a restaurant, bar and cozy coffee house. The beautifully crafted interior of this elegant hotel matches the breathtaking surroundings.
Raven’s Nest Resort is situated in the upper Paro Valley, set amidst farmhouses and rice fields, and very near to the trailhead for Tigers Nest Monastery and the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong. Featuring 21 spacious rooms with ensuite baths and balconies, the hotel also has a library, meditation room, spa with a sauna, steam bath and massage services, and a restaurant serving Bhutanese, Indian and western style dishes. Your stay here is the perfect place to unwind and will be a welcome respite in a tranquil, rural setting.
Uma Resort, Paro, combines local artisanship with contemporary style in an intimate, 29-room resort. With an enviable location in the Paro Valley, the property is within striking distance of the country?s great cultural landmarks. The interior combines the colorful accents of traditional Bhutanese craftsmanship with clean-lined contemporary design. Other luxury amenities include a spa and award-winning cuisine; the Bukhari restaurant is a royal favorite.
Set on a beautiful 10 acre property, Zhiwa Ling offers many guest amenitiesspa, fitness center, sauna, steam room, traditional Bhutanese outdoor hot-stone bath, tea house, meditation house, greenhouse and even a temple, honoring the spiritual heritage of this ancient Buddhist kingdom made with 450-year-old timbers from the famous Gangtey Monastery. The two hotel restaurants specialize in contemporary international cuisine and classic Bhutanese dishes. Each of the 45 suites affords splendid views.
The road to Punakha offers great views of the eastern Himalayan Mountains, and as you cross the 10,230' Dochu La pass, you're soon surrounded by some of Bhutan's most picturesque countryside. Punakha is an idyllic place, filled with magnificent pine and rhododendron forests, terraced rice fields, small villages, and spectacular views.
It's also home to the Punakha Dzong. Constructed in 1637, this was the second of Bhutan's dzongs, and for many years it served as the seat of the government. Today, Bhutan's spiritual leader, Chief Abbot Je Khempo, lives here with 1,000 monks during the winter months, due to Punakha's relatively low altitude by Himalayan standards (4,000').
Amankora Punakha resembles the design of a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse built by a former Je Khenpo (chief abbot of Bhutan). The property is accessible via a suspension bridge over the Mo Chhu River, and features 8 suites that consist of a lounge and bedroom furnished with a king-size bed, banquette window seat and traditional bukhari wood-burning stove. Views from each suite are of an orange orchard and rice terraces, capturing the countryside of Bhutan. A stay at Amankora is a true retreat embodying the monastic tradition of blending meditation in a physical space with harmony of its natural surroundings.
Overlooking rice paddy fields and farmhouses, Drubchhu was constructed on the ruins of a former, 100-year-old granary. Today, the family-owned property boasts modest and comfortable accommodations, a fine restaurant, roadside café, and cozy barplus its own natural spring, believed to be a Drubchhu (healing, miraculous water). Modern amenities such as goose down bedding and walk-in showers add comfort to your journey.
This elegant, contemporary hotel in the Punakha valley features traditional architecture, with intricately chiseled stone and views of the mountains, paddy fields, and the Punatshang Chhu River. Tucked away from the commotion of the new Punakha town in Walakha, Punakha, Kunzang Zhing offers 17 well-appointed guestrooms with sitting areas and private balconies. Bhutanese culture resonates throughout the property, which offers a touch of modernity in serene surroundingsmaking for a luxurious ambience.
Uma Resort, Punakha, is an intimate, luxury lodge located at the western end of the lush Punakha Valley, offering guests exceptional access to some of Bhutan’s most celebrated landscapes and historic sites. With 9 hillside Valley View rooms, and two free-standing luxury private villas (one and two bedroom), Uma Punakha provides luxury in the wilderness. The Bukhari restaurant serves both local and international cuisine, while the stand-alone COMO Shambhala Retreat offers traditional holistic therapies.
Before becoming Bhutan's official national capital in 1961, and home of the royal family, Thimphu was a simple rural farming valley. However, nowadays, Thimphu is becoming increasingly popular with world travelers.
It is a city ideally explored on foot, and filled with many interesting sights including the newly built National Textile Museum, the Thimphu Dzong (seat of the government and main monk body), the School of Traditional Arts and Crafts, the Heritage Museum, and the Handicrafts Emporium, which displays the rich traditional crafts of the kingdom. Small and secluded, it is unlike any other capital in the world.
Set away from the hustle and bustle of Bhutan’s capital city, Amankora Thimpu offers a peaceful setting, yet accessible to the main sights of Thimpu. This property features 16 suites with a bedroom and lounge, a banquet window seat and a traditional bukhari wood-burning stove, each with nice views either across a landscaped courtyard or of a stream and pine forest. A stay at Amankora is a true retreat embodying the monastic tradition of blending meditation in a physical space with harmony of its natural surroundings.
Hotel Druk is located in the center of the city’s landmarks, near the famous Thimphu clock tower and within walking distance of the main markets. Constructed in traditional Bhutanese style, this distinctive, four-star deluxe hotel is relaxed yet elegant, with all the necessary comforts and amenities. Hotel Druk offers newly refurbished, modern guestrooms with spacious accommodations; a soothing spa; and a stylish bar and restaurant.
The Taj Tashi hotel is a blend of Bhutans Dzong architecture and modern design. Adorned with classical hand-drawn Buddhist murals, its 66 luxuriously-appointed rooms pamper guests with the finest amenities. Guests may sample Bhutans fiery cuisine at one of the hotel’s four restaurants, or simply relax with a special Bhutanese Hot Stone Bath at the Jiva Spa. Taj Tashis location makes it the ideal base from which to explore the Kingdom of Bhutan.
The Sanskrit name "Annapurna" can be translated as "Goddess of the Harvests" or "The Provider" -- which is particularly apt, as trekking in the foothills of the Annapurna Mountain Range will provide you with an array of unforgettable moments. The views are spectacular, combining a variety of landscapes such as rhododendron forests, sub-tropical valleys, and charming villages, all set against a backdrop of some of the highest mountains on Earth.
This simple lodge is perched on a ridge overlooking the beautiful Phedi and Mardi Valleys and the span of the Annapurna range to the north. The property features 8 rooms with ensuite baths, providing a comfortable respite after trekking. From the lodge you may explore the old village of Dhampus, or simply relax and soak in the tranquility of its location.
The lodge is built along the lines of a traditional Nepalese village, complete with tribal-style houses and a manicured garden. Each of the 11 rooms typifies a Gurung house with ensuite baths and encompassing views of the surrounding valley and mountains. Explore the nearby villages of Majgaun and Patleket by foot, visit the local school or ascend the famed Gurung Hill to gain better views of the impressive Himalayan peaks.
Located at the highest point of the tour at approximately 6,600, this former mountain home is perched over the ancient village of Ghandruk. The Annapurna Range is in full view from each of the 11 rooms, which have ensuite baths and are decorated with local cultural motifs. You may explor Ghandruk by foot or ascend the hills above the lodge to see the impressive terraced fields and towering Himalayan peaks above.
La Bee lodge is the newest lodge in the region, located in Landruk, a typical village of the Gurung community who are known as the famous Gurkha soldiers. La Bee has 12 rooms featuring local designs and affords glorious views of the Annapurna range. Explore the nearby cliffs dramatically rising from the Modi River, also known for the famed honey hunters of Nepal.
The Sanctuary lodge is situated near the tranquil village of Birethanti along the Modi River, offering stunning views of the sacred Fishtail Mountain, Machupuchure, in the distance. The property features 18 simple rooms with ensuite baths and touches of local style. You may unwind on the open grounds over a cup of Nepali tea, or explore the nearby village on foot.
Stunningly situated in a bowl-shaped valley and encircled by some of the highest peaks in the world, Kathmandu is the largest city in Nepal, as well the namesake of the Kathmandu Valley. It's home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites of medieval temple complexes and royal palace squares, plus Buddhist monasteries and religious statues, although some of these incredible sites were damaged in a 2015 earthquake. However, the resilience and strength of the Nepalese are helping restore this incredible capital back to its former glory.
Dwarikas is a five-star heritage hotel, espousing Newari-style architecture and Nepalese charm and hospitality. It is well-located near the famous Pashupatinath and Boudanath Temples, as well as the international airport. Unwind over live music at the fusion bar or dine at the famous Krishnapan restaurant, featuring the best in contemporary Nepali cuisine. Choose to relax at the swimming pool or treat yourself to a traditional ayurvedic treatment at the Pancha Kosha Himalayan spa.
The rural capital of western Nepal and the second largest city in the country, Pokhara is considered the starting point for most treks in the Annapurna Mountain Range. It's a bucolic place, situated on Phewa Lake, with stunning views of the snow-capped Annapurna Mountains. Pokhara is also an adrenalin lover's paradise, with a variety of active adventures to do including boating, whitewater rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, paragliding, and naturally, trekking and hiking.
Set next to the river and accessed only by boat, Seti River Camp provides rustic and relaxing accommodations in Nepal’s verdant forests near Pokhara. This permanent tented camp features 16 roomy safari-style tents with beds, verandahs and ensuite baths, including hot showers and flush toilets. Around camp guests can relax in the hammocks, loungers and around a cozy fire pit that is lit nightly.
A deluxe hotel located within walking distance from Pokharas bustling lakeside, this boutique property combines distinctive architecture of the region with western standards and amenities. The hotel has a pool, beautiful gardens, and rooms tastefully decorated with Nepali and Tibetan art. Enjoy intimate dining and contemporary cuisine at the Bay Leaf restaurant, or a cocktail at the casual Island Bar. Temple Tree is a great place to pamper yourself either before or after a trek in the mountains.
From providing accommodation options based on your budget, to recommendations on pre- or post-tour travels, to assisting you with booking regional air, to meeting you at the airport when you arrive: Boundless Journeys can help you with each step in planning your custom tour. We will seamlessly guide you, so that you can simply relax and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime in Bhutan and Nepal.
Our custom tours in Bhutan begin in Paro, which is situated at 7,300 feet in the foothills of the Himalayas. Generally, our walks and hikes will take place at elevations from 4,300 feet to 9,000 feet. There is time to move at a comfortable pace, allowing ourselves to adjust to the mountain air. Keeping hydrated, avoiding excessive alcohol, eating frequent, light meals, and getting plenty of rest will help with any effects of altitude that you may feel.
In spite of being among the highest peaks in the world, you will not be trekking at a high elevation, and the elevations you will experience on our Bhutan/Nepal custom tours are not extreme. Kathmandu is at 4,500 feet, Pokhara about 3,080 feet, and during the trek we will range from 3,000 to 8,000 feet.
Bhutan and Nepal are generally delightful for hiking in the spring and fall. The driest weather and clearest skies are typically in October and November. In the months of March and April, beautiful flowers are in bloom, and you will encounter fewer travelers in these months. As the temperatures are lower in winter months, there are very few visitors at this time of year.
It is important to reserve your trip early, as the Bhutanese national airline will only accept reservations with the full payment of the ticket. Therefore we are unable to hold group seats in advance of reservations. Space can only be confirmed upon receipt of your deposit, as well as the payment for these flights. Please contact our office with any questions regarding these important policies.
Leki is a well-educated local guide who has lived his entire life in Bhutan and who currently resides just outside of Thimphu. He completed his extensive training in 2006 and enjoys trekking adventures on his own when not leading guests on cultural and active tours of his homeland.
With his infectious love and passion for the country, Leki carries the adventurous spirit of a true Bhutanese guide. He loves sharing his country and culture with travelers and tries his hardest to make guests feel more like they are at home rather than visitors.
Kinley (or Kelly, as he is known among his Bhutanese coworkers) joined our local staff of guides after completing extensive training in 2006. Kinley is extremely knowledgeable about the local area and culture and is always determined to make each trip special by taking guests’ personal interests into consideration to make the trip a richer experience.
Kinley has led many tours for Boundless Journeys and is a favorite among our guests for his friendly, down to earth manner. Guests have enjoyed his joyous, enthusiastic nature and commented on his deep love and respect for his country and its people.
Dawa has led a variety of Boundless Journeys tours from treks in the mountains to festival celebrations in the valleys. He has experience leading groups at high altitude and as a native of Bhutan, he knows the hidden gems and local characters.
Dawa’s local knowledge and amicable personality make him a real treasure to have on the trail, and he always ensures that our guests come away with an outstanding experience and a deep appreciation of his country and culture. Many guests have mentioned his fun sense of humor and described him as “exceptional in every way!”
Madhav’s family and forefathers are from the hills surrounding the Kathmandu Valley. After completing his initial schooling, he began leading treks and has worked his way up to guiding in the spectacular Annapurna region.
Madhav has traveled extensively in his beloved country of Nepal and enjoys sharing his knowledge and culture with guests. He is quick to assess and respond to the needs and dynamics of groups and has a knack for spotting wildlife. Madhay’s friendly attitude, attention to organization, prioritization of safety, and wealth of local information make him not only a spectacular guide, but also a great traveling companion.
With a Boundless Journeys guide, your experience is that of friend and local adventurer. We believe strongly in working with local guides, experts in the areas to which we travel, and they hold the keys to unlocking the hidden delights of your chosen destination. Although you will never know they are at work—the mark of a truly great leader—our guides make magical things happen and add a dimension to your trip that you could not experience on your own. Over the years we have forged bonds with some of the best guides in the world, and we typically work with a small team of guides in each region. You will be informed of the guide for your trip one month prior to your departure.
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