Himalayan Harmony: A Nepal & Bhutan Adventure

Nov 7 - Nov 19, 2025

Kathmandu • Pokhara • Kathmandu • Thimphu • Punakha • Paro • Kathmandu

Himalayan Harmony: A Nepal & Bhutan Adventure

Nov 7 - Nov 19, 2025

Kathmandu • Pokhara • Kathmandu • Thimphu • Punakha • Paro • Kathmandu

Himalayan Harmony: A Nepal & Bhutan Adventure

Nov 7 - Nov 19, 2025

Kathmandu • Pokhara • Kathmandu • Thimphu • Punakha • Paro • Kathmandu

Himalayan Harmony: A Nepal & Bhutan Adventure

Nov 7 - Nov 19, 2025

Kathmandu • Pokhara • Kathmandu • Thimphu • Punakha • Paro • Kathmandu

Himalayan Harmony: A Nepal & Bhutan Adventure

Nov 7 - Nov 19, 2025

Kathmandu • Pokhara • Kathmandu • Thimphu • Punakha • Paro • Kathmandu

Get all your information on Olivia's upcoming Himalayan Harmony: A Nepal & Bhutan Adventure.

Day Description Arrival Departure
Friday, November 7, 2025 Kathmandu, Nepal

Namaste and welcome to Nepal. The word “namaste” comes from Sanskrit and is used as a greeting and means “bowing to you” or “I bow to you”.

Upon your flight’s arrival to Kathmandu, you will be met after you exit your plane with a meet & greet service where you will be escorted to and assisted with the immigration and customs process and purchasing of your Nepal entry visa. You will be assisted with your luggage and transferred to your hotel. Check-in time at your hotel is 2 pm.

Depending on your arrival time, you are welcome to do some exploration on your own or take the time to relax after a long flight. This evening dinner is on your own.

Overnight at the Kathmandu Marriott Hotel.

Saturday, November 8, 2025 Kathmandu, Nepal

After breakfast at the hotel, you will gather your things and depart for a full day’s adventure in Kathmandu.

The morning will begin with a tour of Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Known as Bhaktapur, meaning "city of devotees," this place is home to medieval art and architecture. Located 9 miles east of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur was founded in the 9th century and is shaped like a conch shell. The city sits at an elevation of 4,600 feet above sea level. Historically called Bhadgaon, Bhaktapur features Durbar Square, where you can explore an array of temples, including the Palace of 55 Windows built by King Bhupatindra Malla. Another notable site is the Nyatapola Temple, also constructed by King Bhupatindra Malla. This exemplary Pagoda-style temple stands on five terraces, each adorned with pairs of figures: two famous strong men, two elephants, two lions, two griffins, and two goddesses.

After lunch at a local restaurant in Bhaktapur, you will board your coach to visit the Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF) and NGO supported by Olivia and Olivia guests for the past many years. Founded by Olga Murray in 1990, NYF has helped over 60,000 children and families in Nepal gain access to high-quality education, healthcare, shelter, and freedom. As Nepal’s education system, healthcare infrastructure, social safety nets, and economy grow, NYF takes flexible and targeted steps to promote equality and prosperity for children across the country. The children supported by NYF are becoming Nepal’s teachers, engineers, NGO leaders, doctors, lawyers, green farmers, role models, care workers, and more. They are building strong families and giving back to their communities in remarkable ways.

After visiting NYF and learning all about their current programs, you will return to your hotel to get refreshed for your 6-course Welcome Dinner at Krishnarpan at the Dwarikas Hotel. 

Overnight at the Kathmandu Marriott Hotel.

Sunday, November 9, 2025 Kathmandu / Pokhara, Nepal

After breakfast at the hotel, you will board your coach for you transfer to the airport for your flight to Pokhara.

The rare combination of snow-clad peaks and snow fed lakes and rivers has helped to make the valley of Pokhara one of the most picturesque natural attractions in the kingdom. Sitting on Phewa lake it is located on the main road between Kathmandu and Bhairawa, there may be no other place in the world from where Great Himalayas’ peaks can be admired from such a close distance.

After checking into your hotel and a quick refreshment, you will head to a non-profit fair-trade organization known as the Women’s Skills Development Organization (WSDO), that has been working since 1975 to empower women who face difficult and significant social and economic hardships—being differently abled, abused, widowed, divorced, single, orphaned or of marginalized castes.

Later, you will go lakeside for an evening of ‘Food Adventure’. Dotted along the lakeside there are numerous local shops, selling seasonal produce diced with fragrant spices. Most of these shops are run by local women, we will stop at one of these shops where a local female cook will teach you how to create some of the most delectable local dishes. This is also an evening for a chat and exchanging experiences with these women, besides the feasting.

Overnight is at the Sarangkot Mountain Lodge Pokhara.

Monday, November 10, 2025 Pokhara, Nepal

Start your day with a morning Yoga Session at The Mudra Studio. The studio is located Lakeside and offers beautiful views of the lake. This morning you will practice different forms of yoga including sun salutations with a serene sound bowl vibration to loosen your Chakra. Your class will be filled with some advanced students, who will make sure that everyone enjoys the class and is shown any modifications needed.

After your yoga class and breakfast, you will head to the International Mountain Museum. The mountains and the history of mountaineering are rich with stories that deserve to be preserved forever. To achieve this, the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) established the International Mountain Museum (IMM) in Pokhara. The museum's primary objective is to record, document, and chronicle the past and present developments in mountaineering worldwide, with a special focus on the significant achievements in the Himalayan peaks. The Himalayan range in Nepal holds immense importance not only for mountaineers but also for geologists, environmentalists, and sociologists. It harbors countless mysteries and facts that scientists and researchers continue to explore. All these values and mysteries are showcased in the unique International Mountain Museum.

This afternoon, you will meet with women from The Amma Samuha (Mothers Group), a voluntary organization of local women dedicated to raising awareness about gender, social, and other issues affecting women in Nepal. The group began in the western part of Nepal, particularly among the Gurung community, a local hill tribe of the western Himalayas. With many of their spouses serving in the Army, these women took on the responsibility of managing daily village affairs. Over time, they formed groups to organize cultural activities for trekkers visiting the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri regions. The Amma Samuha would sing and dance to local tales, using the proceeds to improve trail conditions, maternal and child health, and other social initiatives.

This afternoon, you will have the opportunity to spend quality time with some of the local Ama Samuha. You will hear about their current projects, future plans, and ongoing struggles, and engage in local celebrations with dancing and singing. The day will conclude with a group meal at a local restaurant in Pokhara’s lakeside area.

Overnight at the Sarangkot Mountain Lodge Pokhara.

Tuesday, November 11, 2025 Pokhara / Kathmandu, Nepal

After breakfast you will checkout of your hotel in Pokhara and go to the airport for your flight back to Kathmandu.

Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will visit Patan Durbar Square, one of the three royal cities in the valley. Patan is a haven for connoisseurs of fine arts, featuring intricate wood and stone carvings, metal statues, and ornate architecture. The city boasts dozens of Buddhist and Hindu temples and over 1,200 monuments. Patan is believed to have been built in the 3rd century B.C. by the Kirat dynasty, expanded by the Lichhavis in the 6th century A.D., and further developed by the Mallas in the medieval period.

Durbar Square, akin to its Kathmandu counterpart, is a captivating blend of palace buildings, artistic courtyards, and graceful pagoda temples. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this former royal palace complex is the heart of Patan’s religious and social life. It also houses a museum that displays a diverse array of bronze statues and religious artifacts.

Next, you will continue to the Boudhanath Stupa, one of Nepal's oldest and largest Buddhist monuments. Boudhanath is revered as one of the holiest structures, standing at a height of 118 feet with three massive, Mandala-style platforms. It is surrounded by colorful buildings where families reside, creating a welcoming and friendly atmosphere.

Afterward, you will meet with a member of Seven Summit Women, a team of Nepali females who joined forces to summit Mt. Everest in 2008. Despite facing various socio-economic challenges, each member successfully reached the world's highest peak. Following this milestone, the team set out to conquer the tallest mountain on each continent. In 2014, they achieved another historic feat by becoming the first all-female group in the world to summit the Seven Summits. During lunch, you will have the opportunity to meet with one of the summiteers and hear about their journey to conquer all seven peaks.

The remainder of the day and evening are yours to rest or to explore Kathmandu at your leisure. You can visit Thamel, the city’s main nightlife area, which is brimming with restaurants, bars, and markets. Take some time to shop, enjoy a meal, and soak in the lively atmosphere of Kathmandu.

Dinner is on own and overnight at the Kathmandu Marriott Hotel.

Wednesday, November 12, 2025 Kathmandu, Nepal / Thimphu, Bhutan

After breakfast today, you will fly to Bhutan. The flight to Paro offers some of the most spectacular views in the Himalayas, as you soar along the majestic mountain range.

Upon arrival in Bhutan, you will drive to Thimphu, the capital city. The route takes you through the Paro valley to the confluence of the Paro and Thimphu rivers at Chuzom. Just before reaching Chuzom, you'll see Tamchog Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to the 13th-century saint Thangthong Gyalpo, who built the bridge over the river.

After checking in at the hotel, you will visit the National Memorial Chorten, a large white structure crowned with a golden spire, located near the center of Thimphu. This iconic monument attracts many locals who come to circumambulate the chorten, spin the large red prayer wheels, and pray at a small shrine inside the gate. The paintings and statues within the monument offer deep insights into Buddhist philosophy.

This evening, you will attend a presentation by a local expert on Bhutan’s Developmental Philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH). Coined by King Jigme Singye Wangchuck in 1972, GNH emphasizes a holistic approach to progress, valuing non-economic aspects of well-being equally with economic growth. It aims to build an economy rooted in Bhutanese culture and Buddhist spiritual values rather than material development measured by GDP. Today, GNH guides Bhutan's five-year planning and development policies.

Dinner and overnight at the Pemako Thimphu.

Thursday, November 13, 2025 Thimphu, Bhutan

After breakfast, you will go on a 4-mile nature hike, with an elevation gain of 1,000 feet, to Cheri monastery, a Buddhist monastery in Bhutan established in 1620 by Ngawang Namgyal, 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche, the founder of the Bhutanese state. An elaborate decorated silver chorten inside the upper monastery enshrines the ashes of Zhabdrung's father. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche meditated in a cave above the monastery when he came to Bhutan in 8th century. The trail commences by crossing a nicely covered traditional wooden bridge that spans the Thimphu Chhu (river) and then heads steadily up to the monastery. The steep nature trail is serene, tranquil on which you get chance to breathe through cool, breezy fresh area under the magnificent, wooded area while the view from top is stunning.

After your visit to Cheri Monastery and enjoying a picnic lunch in a scenic location, you will visit the Handmade Paper Factory and try your hand at the art of papermaking. The factory uses bark from Daphne and Dhekap trees to produce traditional paper. Here, you can observe the entire process of making handmade paper using ancient methods practiced for generations.

Next, you will take a short drive to Buddha Dordenma, located atop a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park. This massive bronze statue of Shakyamuni, gilded in gold and standing 169 feet tall, fulfills an ancient prophecy discovered by Terton Pema Lingpa in the 8th century A.D. It is said to emanate an aura of peace and happiness to the world. Inside the Buddha Dordenma statue are 125,000 smaller Buddha statues, each also cast in bronze and gilded in gold.

The remainder of the day is at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the Pemako Thimphu.

Friday, November 14, 2025 Thimphu, Bhutan

After breakfast, drive to Pangri Zampa for an astrology session. Founded in the early 16th century, this complex is a college for traditional astrology. Buddhist Astrology helps understand cosmic cycles in relation to Buddhist philosophy and mythology. It emphasizes interdependence, a core Buddhist belief, highlighting the balance between our physical world and the conditions we were born into from a karmic perspective. This understanding helps us navigate life's choices while honoring the dynamic forces influencing us.

Next, you will visit the Bhutan Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAOWE), an NGO dedicated to empowering economically challenged women and girls. BAOWE identifies business opportunities and provides training in entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Its mission is to alleviate poverty, generate income, and improve the livelihoods of disadvantaged women and girls. You will meet some of the members to learn more about the organization and its impact.

After, you will go to Heritage Home, Babesa for a cooking session on authentic Bhutanese cuisine, followed by lunch and then a visit to the Bhutan Nuns Foundation.

Founded in 2009, the Bhutan Nuns Foundation (BNF) supports girls and women in nunneries and nearby communities across Bhutan. BNF empowers and educates women, improves living conditions, boosts rural economies, and preserves Bhutan’s culture amid rapid development.

Later, you will visit Tse Organics and the Gagyel Lhundrup Weaving Centre.

Tse Organics is founded on the belief that creating a balance with the elements of nature is essential for wellness. They hand-blend unique luxury oils and skin products using traditional Bhutanese wisdom alongside contemporary technology.

The privately owned Gagyel Lhundrup Weaving Centre produces the finest traditional hand-woven textiles in the region. It promotes the traditional Bhutanese art of weaving and is renowned for producing ceremonial textiles.

You will end your day with a visit to Tashichho Dzong, also known as Thimphu Dzong, is an impressive fortress that serves as the seat of the Royal Government of Bhutan. It houses the throne room, offices of the king, secretariat, and the ministries of home affairs and finance. Other government offices are located in nearby buildings. Tashichho Dzong has been the seat of the Royal Government of Bhutan since 1962, following the relocation of the capital from Punakha to Thimphu.

Overnight at the Pemako Thimphu.

Saturday, November 15, 2025 Thimphu / Punakha, Bhutan

After breakfast on your way to Punakha, you will drive over Dochu-la Pass (10,130 feet). You'll stop briefly to admire the view and the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags that decorate the highest point on the road. On clear days, you can see several peaks from this pass, including Masagang, Tsendagang, Terigang, Jejegangphugang, Kangphugang, Zongphugang, a Table Mountain in Lunana, and Gangkar Puensum, Bhutan's highest peak at 7,497m (24,596 ft).

At Dochula Pass, you will find 108 chortens or stupas known as Druk Wangyal Chortens, built by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk, the eldest Queen Mother. These chortens are arranged in three layers: the first layer has forty-five chortens, the second has thirty-six, and the top layer has twenty-seven, all built around the main chorten.

Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan and seat of government until 1955, and it remains the winter seat of the Je Khenpo, the chief abbot. Blessed with a temperate climate and natural drainage from the Pho Chhu (male) and Mo Chhu (female) rivers, the fertile Punakha valley produces abundant crops and fruits. Located at an elevation of 1300m (4265ft) above sea level, Punakha enjoys mild winters and is a popular year-round destination.

After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong, also known as the ‘Palace of Great Happiness’, built at the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. This majestic dzong served as both the religious and administrative center of Bhutan in the past. It features a six-story, gold-domed tower and courtyards with religious statues that reflect the depth of history and spiritual tradition here. Your guide will provide insights into this intricate culture that has been established here for centuries.

Next, you'll take a short excursion to Chimi Lhakhang. Situated on a hillock in the center of the valley, Chimi Lhakhang, is also known as the Temple of Fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children, but wish for one, are usually blessed with a child soon after praying at this temple. The trail to the temple leads across rice fields to the small settlement of Pana, which means ‘field’. A walk through the village near the temple will offer you rare glimpses into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers.

Dinner and overnight at Dhensa Boutique Resort Punakha.

Sunday, November 16, 2025 Punakha, Bhutan

In the morning, after breakfast, you will visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery. Perched on a ridge amid pine trees and overlooking the valleys of Punakha and Wangduephodrang, Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup temple gleams brightly. It houses a 14-foot bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara, as well as statues of Guru Padmasambhava, Gautama Buddha, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, Tsela Namsum, the 21 Taras, and Tsepamay (Buddha of Longevity). The temple complex also includes a permanent higher learning and meditation center for nuns, where they receive religious training and life skill training such as tailoring, embroidery, statue making, and thangka painting.

Next, head to Gatshothang Farmhouse to meet Aum Karma Yangchen, the owner of this farmhouse built in 1970. A suspension bridge connecting the farm to the main road was added in 2008. The 21-acre property includes cowsheds, cornfields, vegetable gardens, a stone bath shed, and plenty of open space. Here, you'll experience farm life by helping with chores such as milking cows and making fresh butter and cheese.

Aum Karma is an award-winning designer and expert in traditional Bhutanese textile dyeing. She received a Seal of Excellence in 2010 for her handcrafted products and designed the Royal Gho for the King's Coronation in 2008. Today, Aum Karma will teach you about traditional dyeing in a hands-on workshop using organic plants and minerals.

You will enjoy lunch at the farmhouse before heading to Wangdue Phodrang town to visit Wangdue Phodrang Dzong. Founded by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1638, the dzong is situated on a high ridge between the Punak Tsang Chhu and Dang Chhu rivers, offering fantastic views of the valley below. Wangdue Dzong holds a special place in Bhutan’s history. Its strategic location allowed the Penlop (Governor) of Wangduephodrang to protect routes to Trongsa, Punakha, Dagana, and Thimphu, making him the third most powerful ruler after the Governors of Paro and Trongsa. The dzong was damaged by fire in 2012 but has recently been restored to its original grandeur.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Dhensa Boutique Resort Punakha.

Monday, November 17, 2025 Punakha / Paro, Bhutan

After breakfast, you'll drive along the scenic highway to Paro. Upon arrival, you'll check into your hotel before embarking on a day of exploration in Paro.

The picturesque valley of Paro encapsulates a rich culture, scenic beauty, and numerous myths and legends. It is home to many of Bhutan’s oldest temples and monasteries, the National Museum, and the country’s only international airport. At the northern end of the valley, Mount Chomolhari (7,314m / 23,996 ft) stands in white glory, with its glacial waters plunging through deep gorges to form the Pa Chhu (Paro River). Paro is also one of the most fertile valleys in Bhutan, producing a significant portion of the locally famous red rice from its terraced fields.

After lunch, you'll visit Ta Dzong, originally built as a watchtower and now home to the National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangka paintings, textiles, weapons and armor, household objects, and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.

Next, you'll visit a traditional farmhouse for a session of Archery and Khuru. Bhutanese farmhouses are colorful, decorative, and traditionally built without using a single nail. The majority of Bhutan’s population continues to live as it has for centuries—in small, isolated farms and hamlets, surrounded by terraced fields of rice, maize, and buckwheat.

Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and an integral part of all special occasions. During village tournaments, teams of archers use bamboo bows (though modern compound bows are now common in cities) to shoot at targets only 30 centimeters in diameter from a distance of 130 meters. Archery competitions are among the most picturesque and colorful events in the country.

Khuru, a popular outdoor team sport, is often played during festivals and archery tournaments. The heavy wooden darts, pointed with 10-centimeter nails, are thrown at a paperback-sized target 10 to 20 meters away.

After playing a few games of Khuru and trying your hand at archery, you'll attend a special blessing ceremony at the farmhouse with the presence of a lama. This will be followed by the lighting of 108 butter lamps.

Dinner and overnight at the Zhiwaling Heritage Hotel Paro.

Tuesday, November 18, 2025 Paro, Bhutan

After breakfast, you will embark on a hike up to Taktshang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest. The round trip takes approximately 5 hours. This monastery is one of Bhutan’s most famous landmarks, perched on the side of a cliff 900 meters (2952 feet) above the Paro valley floor. According to legend, Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery, giving it the name ‘Tiger’s Nest’. Recognized as a sacred site, it was visited by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and is now a pilgrimage destination for all Bhutanese to visit at least once in their lifetime.

During your hike, you will participate in a special ceremony of hoisting prayer flags. These flags are a significant part of Bhutanese culture and religious heritage, often seen around monasteries, chortens, dzongs, homes, bridges, and mountain roads. The colorful flags—red, blue, green, yellow, and white—add a vibrant touch to the landscape. Bhutanese people believe that with each flutter, the prayer printed on the flag is released into the air, carrying it to the heavens. The more the flag flaps, the greater its divine value, making this ceremony an integral aspect of Bhutanese spirituality.

In the late afternoon, you will visit the newly restored Drukgyel Dzong, located at the end of the valley. Built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 to commemorate an early military victory over Tibetan invaders, the dzong's name means "Fortress of the Victorious Drukpa." Since its construction in 1649, Drukgyel Dzong served as an important defense base in the region until 1951 when it was destroyed by fire. Despite the destruction, the ruins continued to be protected as an important monument linking the people of Bhutan with the significant events that helped maintain the country’s sovereignty. On a clear day, visitors can enjoy a commanding view of Mount Chomolhari.

This evening, after donning traditional Bhutanese attire, you will enjoy a Farewell Dinner accompanied by a traditional cultural program. Bhutanese art, dance, drama, and music all have deep roots in Buddhist religion, with music playing a key role in transmitting social values. Traditional Bhutanese music spans various subgenres, from folk to religious songs. The dances, performed in ornate costumes and masks, each carry symbolic meanings. The extraordinary grace and vibrant colors of these energetic and dramatic dances often leave a lasting impression on visitors.

Overnight at Zhiwaling Heritage Hotel Paro.

Wednesday, November 19, 2025 Paro, Bhutan / Kathmandu, Nepal

This morning after breakfast you will go to the airport for your flight back to Kathmandu and then your international flight home. May the memories of this once-in-a-lifetime trip fill your soul for years to come!

*Itinerary is subject to change.