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Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • A great introductory level, fully supported, 5-day trek from Paro to Thimpu
  • Breathtaking views of the Himalaya, including Chomolhari & Jitchu Drake
  • The 'Tiger's Nest' monastery & the dzongs of Punakha, Wangdue & Tashichho
  • Bhutan visas fees, ALL meals, and flights from Kathmandu to Paro included

Walking the ancient high-level route between Paro and Thimpu, plus visits to all Bhutan's premier cultural sites, KE's Druk Path holiday is the perfect option for anyone looking for a short or introductory trekking experience in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan; The Land of the Thunder Dragon.  After flying to Paro from the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, our first day's walk leads us to the ruined Jeli Dzong, which sits on a high ridge above the Paro Valley and commands breathtaking views across to Chomolhari. During the succeeding 4 days of trekking, we climb above the tree-line and cross several passes, including the Phume La (4210m). En route, we camp beside clear mountain lakes, visit yak herders' encampments and enjoy splendid panoramas of the peaks on the border with Tibet, including Jitchu Drake and Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan and one of the highest unclimbed mountains in the world. Also included is the chance to hike to the gravity defying Taktsang 'Tiger's Nest' Monastery in the Paro Valley, visit Thimpu's impressive Tashichho dzong and an excursion to the equally stunning dzongs at Punakha, Bhutan's traditional winter capital, and at Wangdue. Offering straightfoward, but high level, trekking within a pristine landscape, this popular holiday provides a taste of the unique and utterly fascinating culture of Bhutan.

 

FESTIVAL FEVER!

If you would like the chance to visit one of Bhutan's spectacular festivals during your trip, then be sure to check out our special April and Sept (or Oct 2016) Druk Path departures, which coincide with either the Paro or Thimpu festivals respectively.

 

BOOK EARLY for BHUTAN! With only two airlines operating flights into Paro from Kathmandu, seats are limited and in high demand. Book early to guarantee your place on your chosen departure. We strongly advise booking a year in advance where possible.

 

Is this holiday for you?

Trekking conditions on this short trek are reasonably straightforward, since we are following a route that was formerly an important link between Paro and Thimpu and which has been used for generations by pack-animals. The altitude attained on the trip is not extreme and the passes that we cross should not be snow covered at the time of our departures. However, it should be noted that trekking at even moderately high altitudes is more demanding than the equivalent terrain at lower elevations. You will be walking through a great variety of landscapes; ranging from terraced farmland and some of the finest mixed forest in the world, to open, alpine pastureland and scenic mountain passes. 

 

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided.
  • Fly to Paro in the Kingdom of Bhutan.
  • Visit Paro Dzong (2300m) and trek across the Jili La (3490m).
  • Trek to Rawana (3780m).
  • Trek over the Jangchu La (3880m), descend to Jimilangtso Lake (3780m) and up to camp at Janeythso.
  • Simkotra Tsho to Phajoding Monastery (3960m)
  • Trek to Thimpu.
  • Visit Punakha Gompa. Drive to Wangdi.
  • Return to Paro.
  • Visit the Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery.
  • Morning flight to Kathmandu. The afternoon is free for independent sightseeing.
  • Departure day. Transfers to Kathmandu Airport are provided.
2016
Mon 10 Oct - Fri 21 Oct Code DRK /03/16/
Adult$3,560 Status Sold Out Call Us
More information
  • The Druk Path Trek - Druk Path and Thimpu Festival
  • The departure reference for this tour is DRK /03/16/
  • This tour begins on Mon 10 Oct and departs on Fri 21 Oct
  • Single Supplement $245 - 5 group hotel nights in Kathmandu and Bhutan, excluding the 2 nights in Paro during the Festival (single tent not included).
  • Single Tent $95
2017
Fri 07 Apr - Tue 18 Apr Code DRK /01/17/
Adult$3,855 Status Provisional dates Book now
More information
  • The Druk Path Trek - Druk Path and Paro Festival
  • The departure reference for this tour is DRK /01/17/
  • This tour begins on Fri 07 Apr and departs on Tue 18 Apr
  • The dates and prices for this departure are provisional. Please call our office for more information prior to confirming your booking.
  • Single Supplement $245 - 5 group hotel nights in Kathmandu and Bhutan, excluding the 2 nights in Paro during the Festival (single tent not included).
  • Single Tent $95
Fri 29 Sep - Tue 10 Oct Code DRK /02/17/
Adult$3,855 Status Available Book now
More information
  • The Druk Path Trek - Druk Path and Thimpu Festival
  • The departure reference for this tour is DRK /02/17/
  • This tour begins on Fri 29 Sep and departs on Tue 10 Oct
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $1,000
  • Single Supplement $245 - 5 group hotel nights in Kathmandu and Bhutan, excluding the 2 nights in Paro during the Festival (single tent not included).
  • Single Tent $95
Mon 09 Oct - Fri 20 Oct Code DRK /03/17/
Adult$3,855 Status Available Book now
More information
  • The Druk Path Trek - Druk Path - Classic trek
  • The departure reference for this tour is DRK /03/17/
  • This tour begins on Mon 09 Oct and departs on Fri 20 Oct
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $1,000
  • Single Supplement $315 - 5 group hotel nights in Kathmandu and Bhutan, excluding the 2 nights in Paro during the Festival (single tent not included).
  • Single Tent $95
Mon 23 Oct - Fri 03 Nov Code DRK /04/17/
Adult$3,855 Status Available Book now
More information
  • The Druk Path Trek - Druk Path - Classic trek
  • The departure reference for this tour is DRK /04/17/
  • This tour begins on Mon 23 Oct and departs on Fri 03 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $1,000
  • Single Supplement $315 - 5 group hotel nights in Kathmandu and Bhutan, excluding the 2 nights in Paro during the Festival (single tent not included).
  • Single Tent $95
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Kathmandu, Nepal. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Kathmandu International airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' section in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

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Map & Itinerary

Current version:

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • trek
  • internalflight

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided.

    Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Complimentary Airport transfers are provided for all KE clients. KE Land Only package services begin with the evening meal.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Fly to Paro in the Kingdom of Bhutan.

    We transfer to the airport for the flight to Bhutan’s only airport, at Paro. The flight from Kathmandu to Bhutan is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. From the left side of the plane Everest, Makalu and Kangchenjunga, three of the world’s highest mountains, are clearly visible. The total flying time is only 45 minutes and soon we are descending into the Paro Valley, enjoying the splendid views of alpine forests, small monasteries, temples and flat-roofed farmhouses. The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane, and the warm welcome from our Bhutanese hosts. After being welcomed by our Bhutanese guide, we will check in to our accomodation in Paro with time to stroll and acclimatise to the thinner air.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Visit Paro Dzong (2300m) and trek across the Jili La (3490m).

    We start the morning with a visit to Paro Dzong and the start of our trek. The roadhead is at an altitude of 2300 metres close to the fascinating Bhutanese National Museum. This is housed in Ta Dzong, the ancient watch-tower situated above Paro Dzong. Depending on the time we may be able to have a quick tour of the museum before setting off on trek. We meet our trek crew and the horses just above the Ta Dzong and we begin trekking through apple orchards and cultivated terracing. We take lunch before continuing our steady climb through temperate forest up to the Jili La (pass) at 3490m. We camp just below the pass in a meadow on the ridge. This is a splendid spot to camp high above the Paro Valley.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Distance 12km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Trek to Rawana (3780m).

    We follow the ridge to the remote Jili Dzong which in ancient times was one of the shelters on the main route between Paro and Thimpu. There are great views from the ridge of Chomolhari and the slender Jitchu Drake. Our trail is undulating today as we cross several spurs sometimes plunging through thick forest and at others in meadows above the tree line. We make our second camp along the ridge in a meadow at 3780m.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Distance 11km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Trek over the Jangchu La (3880m), descend to Jimilangtso Lake (3780m) and up to camp at Janeythso.

    A longer hike today but a delightful day’s walking, first through coniferous forests, then rhododendron forest and finally through more open country and fields of wild onions, some of which our cooks will crop for tonight’s dinner. We reach the Jangchu la (3880m) from where we have a sensational view of the valleys below and weather permitting, of the distant Himalayan peaks. We can also see journey’s end for the day below us at Jimilangtso Lake. There is a trail junction here with a well beaten path leading into the mountains and over passes to the dzong at Lingshi. Our trail descends to the valley floor and past the lake at 3780m. Legend has it that the lake is home to a mystical ox and local farmers bring their cows to the lake in the hope that they can produce the strong and valuable offspring of such a creature. A steady climb then takes us up to another small lake calley Janeytsho, where we make camp for the night.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Distance 15km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Simkotra Tsho to Phajoding Monastery (3960m)

    Today's hike is on good trail with several small passes to cross. We begin with a short climb to the larger Simkotra Lake before we reach a saddle at 4180m, below some rocky peaks. The peaks are sacred and are used for ‘sky burial’. Finally we reach Phumela pass (4210m) with its unmistakable stone cairn decorated with colourful prayer flags. In clear weather we are rewarded with a splendid Himalayan panorama including Gangar Puensum, the world’s highest unclimbed mountain. We also have a bird’s eye view of Thimphu which is now directly below us. We descend to a camp near Phajoding monastery (3960m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Distance 13km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs trekking

  • Trek to Thimpu.

    Today is short and all downhill through a forest of blue pine. At a leisurely pace, it will take no more than 3 hours to reach the road where our vehicle will be waiting to take us the last mile or so into Thimpu. We check into our hotel and have lunch. The afternoon is free for sightseeing and for shopping. There is a variety of crafts and garments for sale and also highly decorative postage stamps of which Bhutan is quite famous.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3hrs trekking

  • Visit Punakha Gompa. Drive to Wangdi.

    We set off on the exciting drive to Punakha on Bhutan's east-west highway. The road winds its way up to the Dochu La (3050m), passing through Hongsto, an ancient village founded in 1525 by the 14th Drukpa hierarchy of Tibet. We also drive through some magnificent temperate forest, with an abundance of rhododendron and magnolia. We may be lucky enough to see several species of deer and monkeys. Many prayer flags and a large chorten mark the pass. A viewpoint just above the chorten offers one of the finest panoramas in the Eastern Himalaya, stretching out over Lunana and the peaks of - Masangang (7158m), Tsendagang (6960m), Terigang (7060m. and Gangkar Puensum (7497m.. After 3 hours, we reach the Punakha Valley and turn north to reach another most impressive dzong at the junction of the Mo and Po (mother and father) rivers. This is Punakha, the traditional winter capital of Bhutan. Punakha Dzong is the winter home for over 1000 monks. Every year the Punakha Festival celebrates the famous victory over the Tibetans, who were repulsed whilst trying to recapture the sacred statue of Avalokiteshvara, brought to Bhutan by Shabdrung in 1637. This is a fascinating and highly photogenic monastery and we shall spend some time here before making our way on to Wangdi, home of yet another incredible monastery, also known as Wangdue Phodrang, dramatically situated on the bend of a river.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Return to Paro.

    We make the return drive from Wangdi passing the turn-off for Punaka and climbing to cross the Dorchu La. If the weather is clear we will certainly make a stop here and walk along the ridge for a superb view of the Himalayan chain. Descending Thimpu we will stop here for lunch before continuing to Paro where we check into the group hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Visit the Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery.

    We have a day for sightseeing, including the hike up to Taktsang Monastery. The Takstang or ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Monastery has a most stunning location, perched on a ledge of a cliff high above the Paro Valley. The monastery was partly destroyed by a fire in 1998 but, thanks in part to international aid, is now completely restored to its former magnificence. To reach the monastery involves a return trek of around 5 hours. High up, there is a classic viewpoint for Takstang, looking across the gorge to the monastic buildings which cling, seemingly impossibly, to the cliff wall opposite. There is a small café located at this viewpoint and this makes a great lunch spot. This evening will be our last in Bhutan and we will celebrate by sampling some excellent Bhutanese cuisine.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Morning flight to Kathmandu. The afternoon is free for independent sightseeing.

    We have an early transfer to Paro Airport for the morning flight to Kathmandu. The flight takes only 45 minutes and on arrival we transfer to our comfortable hotel. The remainder of the day is free to explore the city or for shopping in the bazaars. In the evening, we will have a celebratory meal.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. Transfers to Kathmandu Airport are provided.

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. Transfers to Kathmandu airport are provided. There are lots of extensions that can easily be added to your holiday. Why not pre-book a simple full day-tour in the Kathmandu Valley, or a multi-day excursion to wildlife reserve at Chitwan. Contact the KE office for more details.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • Experienced English-speaking local leader
  • Flights between Kathmandu and Paro
  • All transfers and land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described
  • All meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Once on trek a full service including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)
  • A guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu
  • Travel Insurance
  • Nepalese visa costs
  • Tips for porters and other trek staff
  • Departure taxes on leaving Kathmandu and Bhutan
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

Hotels in Thimpu and Paro generally offer a range of dishes including those designed for the Western palette. On trek the emphasis is on providing a high-carbohydrate and largely vegetarian diet, which we have found to be easily digestible at high altitude. Breakfasts will consist of cereal or muesli, eggs, toast, beans, sausage or bacon with tea and coffee. Lunch is usually a hot meal which is cooked at breakfast time and carried in insulated pots. Dinner is a 3 course meal starting with soup and finishing with a sweet. Main dishes will be a mix of local and ‘international’ cuisine, with the ingredients mostly purchased in Bhutan and cooked for us by highly trained trek cooks. In Kathmandu we take our meals in some of the finest restaurants the city has to offer.

All meals are included in the trip price from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 12
All clients will be met at Kathmandu Airport on arrival and transfered to the group hotel. Complimentary return transfers are also provided for all clients. Land Only clients must provide us with full details of flights and should let us know if transfers are NOT required. Hotel contact details and an emergency phone number will be provided with your booking confirmation.
During this trip the group will spend 2 nights in Kathmandu at a centrally located comfortable hotel. In Bhutan, we use a comfortable tourist standard hotel accommodation. Whilst on trek there will be a total of 4 nights camping. All accommodation is allocated on a twin sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. It is possible to hire a single tent while on trek for an additional cost. (Please note single tent hire does not include single rooms in hotels). It is also normally possible to book a single room for the hotel nights in Kathmandu and Bhutan, or extra nights if you plan to arrive early or depart later than the group trip dates (subject to availability). Please note that it will not be possible to book single rooms in Bhutan for the nights spent in hotels while attending festivals and these nights are not included in the single supplement price. Please refer to our website for single tent prices, single supplements and additional hotel night prices (note that hotel prices can change).

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

Shortly after first light (around 6 a.m.) one of the cook crew will wake you with a cup of tea or coffee brought to your tent. You will have plenty of time to get up and pack your kitbag before sitting down to a hot breakfast, during which camp will be struck and the pack-horses will be loaded. Setting off in the cool of the morning, we will generally reach our lunch stop by mid day. A hot lunch transported in insulated pots, is served on route, or at the camp-site if the day is sufficiently short. The horses or usually catch up with the group during lunch and are well on their way to camp which we hope to establish by well before dusk. It is usual for the afternoon’s walk to be shorter than the morning session. On arrival at camp, the trek staff will quickly put the tents up and a hot drink will soon follow. Dinner is a 3-course meal served in the mess tent. This is a great time of day for reliving the events of the trek so far and for general socialising. After dark, the temperature quickly falls and everyone is soon tucked up in sleeping bags.

Flights to Bhutan

It is possible to fly to Bhutan from Kathmandu, Delhi, Bangkok and Singapore, as well as from Dhaka and several regional airports in India. Our preferred port of transit for this holiday is Kathmandu, which has daily flights to Paro and a good tourism infrastructure. In addition, Nepal visas are easily obtained on arrival and are relatively inexpensive. Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines are the only airlines operating flights to Bhutan and seats can be limited, particularly around the time of the major festivals. Early booking is essential. It is not always possible to confirm seats immediately and it is not uncommon for passengers to be ‘waitlisted’ for several weeks until their booking clears. In rare circumstances, it may be necessary to route our groups or individual clients through an alternative airport if waiting lists are not cleared in good time.

The group will be met and escorted in Kathmandu by a local KE representative. Once in Bhutan the group will accompanied throughout by an experienced English-speaking Bhutanese tour leader. During the trek the tour leader will be assisted by local guides and a full trek crew including cooks, baggage animals and their handlers.

Approximately $200 - $250 should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including those mentioned below. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of cash, since you will exchange the majority of this on arrival (into Nepalese rupees in Kathmandu, and Bhutanese Ngultrum at Paro Airport). Sterling and US Dollars are equally acceptable in Nepal and in Bhutan. You should allow approximately $60 - $75 for tips to local staff. If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly (credit cards can be useful in this respect). You can withdraw cash from ATM's in Kathmandu. In Bhutan money can be easily exchanged but you cannot rely on withdrawing money from ATM's.

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local guides and porters. They do not form part of their wages. KE always pays local crews the best rates of pay, no matter what country they are in and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not a duty or a prerequisite but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that was given. For your local guide and trek crews we recommend that you give a tip if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction. We recommend that these tips are given by the group as a whole rather than individually and you should decide as a group on how much you wish to give. As a rough guide we suggest that each group member contributes US$60 - 75 (in local currency equivalent) to a group tipping pool.

Your baggage on trek will be carried by pack animals. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15 kgs. It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on the trek at the group hotel in Kathmandu and also in Paro.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude. On this trip we carry a portable altitude chamber (PAC-bag) and/or bottled oxygen for use in emergencies.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

The packed weight of your trek bag while trekking should be no more than 15 kgs.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots

  • Socks

  • Trekking trousers

  • Waterproof overtrousers

  • Baselayer shirts

  • Casual shirt and/or T-shirts

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Smart clothes and shoes (if your holiday includes visiting a festival)
  • Waterproof jacket

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Gloves or mittens

  • Headtorch and batteries

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottles 1 Litre x2

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Small towel

  • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)

  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)

  • Daypack 30 litres

  • Sleeping bag (comfort rating to -10°C)*

  • Warm jacket (down)*

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are also a good idea.

The following items are optional:

  • Training shoes or similar for camp use

  • Spare laces

  • Shorts

  • Baselayer – thermal leggings

  • Sleeping bag liner

  • Scarf or buff

  • Swimwear (for the hotel pool in Kathmandu)

  • Travel clothes

  • Trekking poles

  • Gaiters (highly recommended due to muddy conditions)
  • Insect repellent – (DEET)

  • Camera

  • Pen-knife (remember to pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

Notes

*Available for hire/rental through KE Adventure Travel

Please make all requests at least 6 weeks prior to the trip departure date. Please note all hire / rental equipment is issued in Bhutan. Please remember to allow room in your trek bag for these items.

‘Thermarest’ inflatable camping mats are provided

 

Bhutan Festivals

  • FESTIVAL DRESS CODE

If your holiday involves visiting any of the ‘tsechu’ or festivals in Bhutan, we would like to advise you that there is a dress code that you need to be aware of when attending any festival. The Bhutanese always come dressed in their finest for a festival and it is important that you to bring a smart set of clothes if you plan to attend. You will need to wear long sleeves, long trousers (no jeans) and no trainers, boots or open toed sandals. Hats should not be worn and umbrellas are not acceptable.

  • FESTIVAL ETIQUETTE

Festivals are religious events. The ground where they are held is purified and consecrated by lamas, so when you are watching a festival you are, in essence, on the perimeter of an outdoor religious ground. The conduct of the onlooker should be governed with this in mind. The dancers, whether monks or laymen, are in a state of meditation. They transform themselves into the deities which they represent on the dance ground. They generate a spiritual power, which cleanses, purifies, enlightens and blesses the spectators.

Any behaviour which may be deemed obtrusive, disrespectful or discourteous is out of place at such an event. The dance ground is not a place to eat, drink, smoke, talk or laugh loudly at inappropriate times. You should not use flash photography or intrude on the dance space. Common courtesy should rule one’s action when photographing dances or onlookers.

Festivals are not pageants or entertainment events. They are not held as tourist attractions. They are genuine manifestations of religious traditions thousands of years old which outsiders are given the privilege of witnessing. We would like to see that privilege retained. In the past, the actions of a few unthinking visitors have caused shock and dismay to the local people. Any recurrence of such unfortunate events may lead to future restrictions on attendance at festivals. We hope that KE groups will always display courtesy, sensitivity and respect to the people of Bhutan who have welcomed them to attend these beautiful and sacred events, and will visibly demonstrate their respect by dressing as well as their circumstances permit on such occasions.

 

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport for each country that you visit.

Visa Nepal

All nationalities require a visa. The visa fee is $25 for 15 days, $40 for 30 days, $100 for 90 days and is obtainable on arrival. Payment must be made in cash and USD, GBP or Euros are accepted. You will require 2 passport photos.

For all the regions of Nepal that we visit an additional permit is required. This is included in the holiday price and KE will apply for it, with your full passport details and 1 passport photo (sent by post or emailed). You must supply this to us at least 4 weeks prior to departure.

For the following holidays, in addition to the above, we will also require you to supply a copy of the information page of your passport (sent by post or emailed).

These trips are: Kanchenjunga (KAN), Mustang (MUS), Dolpo (DOL), Manaslu (MAN), Hidden Valleys of Naar and Phu (NAP), Naar to Mustang (NTM), Humla and Limi Circuit Trek (HUM), Naya Kanga and the Ganja La (NKG), Yala Peak and the Ganja La (YPGL), Tent Peak (TPK), Ramdung and Parchemo (RAM), Mera Peak, Island Peak and the Amphu Labsta (MIP), Island Peak Climber (IPC), Peaks and Passes on Nepal (MTR); Mera Peak Climb (MER); and Chulu Far East & the Tilicho La (CTL); Tabsar Peak and the Tsum Valley (TVC), Mukot Peak (MKP).

Visa Bhutan

All nationalities require a visa. KE will apply for the visa for you. The visa fee is $40 and this will appear on your final invoice. We require copy of the information page of your passport. A colour scan must be emailed or posted to us at the earliest opportunity.

Transit via India

If you are travelling via India (Delhi or Calcutta) to your destination you may also require a visa for India. This may apply even if you are not leaving the airport unless your baggage has been checked all the way through to your destination. Generally, if you use the same carrier for both legs of your journey, you will not need an India Visa. Please download the detailed information document: Visa PDF India.

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The unit of currency in Bhutan is the Bhutanese Ngultrum.

The unit of currency in Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. For this trip you need to be aerobically fit and also comfortable with walking up to 6 - 7 hours each day. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime. Regular hiking in mountain or hill country is the best preparation but jogging, squash and swimming are also good for developing better stamina. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

In general the climate of Bhutan is colder and damper than one would expect to find in the Himalaya of India or Nepal. The monsoon usually arrives in June, and lasts until mid September, bringing with it the heavy rainfall which is responsible for the lush vegetation which carpets much of Bhutan. March and April, as well as late September through to December are the best months to visit Bhutan. Pre-monsoon the weather is generally very good, with bright, sunny mornings and sometimes a moderate build up of cloud in the afternoons. Day-time highs of around 20°C / 68°F can be expected at altitudes around 2000 metres.

  • Bhutan. A Trekker's guide. Bart Jordans. Cicerone Press.

  • Bhutan. (Lonely Planet Guide). Stan Armington.

  • Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon. Owen Edmunds.

Bhutan Himalaya. 1:380 000. ITMB Publishing

Indexed general road map with street plans of Thimpu and Paro.

Extend Your Holiday

Extensions

When booking your holiday, you will be able to 'add an extension option'.

Once we have received your booking we will contact you to discuss additional services required for the extension and to take any additional deposit.

Chitwan Jungle Extension

The jungles of southern Nepal are an interesting counterpoint to trekking in the foothills or the high Himalaya. Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge provides a relaxing and comfortable base for a wildlife safari and cultural village experience. During two days of wildlife viewing in the Chitwan National Park 'buffer zone' - the interface area between visitors and the animals that live at Chitwan – you will be accompanied by expert guides on safaris by jeep by boat and on foot. 



Chitwan Jungle Extension

From $1100 per person

More info

Kathmandu Tour - Nagarkot and Bhaktapur

The Kathmandu Valley contains the cities of Patan, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu itself, all of which were once independent kingdoms. An exploration of the valley’s historic and cultural sights is an excellent way to begin or end your adventure in Nepal. Highlights of this tour includes a very early drive up to Nagarkot on the Kathmandu Valley rim, the perfect place to watch a Himalayan sunrise. This is followed by a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bhaktapur, renowned for its temples and traditional buildings. 

 

Kathmandu Tour - Nagarkot and Bhaktapur

From $145 per person

More info

Malla Hotel

From $100 per room per night

Gokarna Forest Resort Kathmandu

From $138 per room per night

Shanker Hotel

From $100 per room per night

Situated next to the grounds of the former Royal Palace and only a 10-minute walk from the popular Thamel district, this former Rana residence was converted into a hotel in 1964. The original architecture was based on a French palace and the hotel has a grand appearance. Set in a large and beautifully tended garden, it provides a hideaway from the hustle and bustle of city life and is an ideal base from which to explore Kathmandu. All its rooms which are en-suite have been recently refurbished and the hotel facilities include 2 restaurants, 2 bars and a swimming pool where you can also order drinks.

Shangri La

From $119 per room per night Another of Kathmandu’s original ‘luxury’ hotels. While the sophistication of its amenities may be upstaged by Kathmandu’s more modern concrete and glass hotels, the Shangri La maintains an old world charm that cannot be beaten. Located in the diplomatic enclave of Lazimpat, away from the hustle and bustle yet just 10 minutes walk from tourist centre of Thamel, the hotel is set in a pleasant garden and facilities include a pool, tennis court and massage therapist. The hotel has a speciality Indian restaurant and a garden café serving international cuisine as well as a bar.

Dwarikas Hotel

From $279 per room per night Dwarika’s is a heritage hotel modelled on the grandeur of the palaces of the Newar Kings. Consisting of several buildings arranged around a quiet courtyard, the hotel incorporates many original 15th – 17th century features in its architecture from the lifetime collection of its founder. The rooms are in the same Newari style and lavishly luxurious in their appointments. Its location close to Pashupathinath and Bouddhanath is perfect for exploring this side of Kathmandu. There are 3 restaurants serving Nepali, Japanese and international cuisine, a bar, spa and fitness centre, and a swimming pool.

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