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Testimonial:
I was absolutely blown away by the views that stretch for hundreds of miles, the deep hums of a hundred monks chanting 1,000 year old prayers, and of course the night spent at the foot of Mt. Everest. My guides were knowledgeable and friendly and made the trip that much more enjoyable. Simply spectacular. THANK YOU!!! -- Steve and Susan Dorsey, world travelers from New York, NY
Print Itinerary
(PRIVATE) Tibet & Nepal: 13 Day Classic Overland Through the Himalaya (with Mt. Everest Base Camp)

GEC Trip Type: PRIVATE TOUR (for 2+ people booking together)

Join a Group Tour!: Want to experience your next adventure with other like-minded people in a small group setting? Then be sure to check out all of our Upcoming Group Tours! Perfect for the Solo Travelers. Ideal for friends. All are welcome! We also provide free roommate matching for solo travelers, helping you to avoid mandatory single supplements!

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This is the classic overland route between two very exotic Asian cities, Kathmandu, Nepal and Lhasa, Tibet, with an excursion to the foot of the mother of all mountains, Mt. Everest base camp. From the vast and barren beauty of the Tibetan Plateau to majestic views of the mighty Himalayan mountain range to the lush hills of Nepal, you are treated to spectacular views, are given special insight into Tibetan and Buddhist culture, and are introduced to the land that is Shangri-La.


Please note that the prices and departure dates listed to the right are for fixed tour small group departures. Private tours for 4 or more people are available for this tour with daily departures. Please contact us for custom pricing and availability.

Due to limited airline seating, it is important to book your Tibet tours as early as possible.



Places Visited:

Lhasa, Tibet, Mt. Everest Base Camp, Kathmandu, Nepal, Himalayan Mountains


Trip Itinerary:
B: Breakfast

Brief Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu. Evening Orientation.
Day 2: Guided Tour of Kathmandu. (B)
Day 3: Fly Kathmandu to Lhasa. (B)
Day 4: Lhasa tour. (B)
Day 5: Lhasa tour. (B)
Day 6: Lhasa to Gyantse. (B)
Day 7: Gyantse to Shigatse. (B)
Day 8: Shigatse to Xegar. (B)
Day 9: Xegar to Mt. Everest Base Camp (B)
Day 10: Mt Everest Base Camp Area to Nyalam. (B)
Day 11: Nyalam to Kathmandu. (B)
Day 12: Free Day in Kathmandu. (B)
Day 13: Trip Ends. (B)


Detailed Itinerary:

Day 1
Arrive Kathmandu. Afternoon Orientation Meeting (4,600f/1,400m)

Arriving in Kathmandu, if you purchased airport transfers through us then you are met at the airport and transferred in a private vehicle to one of the best hotels in Kathmandu which is located just outside the heart of the exotic, energetic Thamel neighborhood. Or if you did not purchase airport transfers through us then you simply meet at the designated hotel for the afternoon Orientation/Adventure Briefing.

In the late afternoon (around 5:00pm - exact details to be provided before departure), you will need to attend the mandatory 'Orientation/Adventure Briefing' where you will get to meet your fellow traveler mates for the next 13 days (if it's not a private trip). You will also meet our Nepal local guide, who will ask you to complete the China/Tibet Group Visa application form. You will be required to submit this form to our local guide, along with your passport and two passport photos (you must bring these with you to Nepal) so he can take care of all the formalities at the Chinese Embassy the next day.

The remainder of the day is yours to relax and enjoy the hotel or take a walk through the vibrant streets of the famous Thamel neighborhood.

NOTE: It is highly recommended that you arrive very early in the day or, even better, fly in a day or two early to avoid any pre-trip delays as well as to visit the exciting and vibrant city of Kathmandu on your own (extra night hotel available on check out).


Day 2
Guided Tour of Kathmandu. (4,600f/1,400m) (B)

Today you will take a guided tour of Kathmandu. Our English speaking Local Guide will introduce you to the magic of this amazing city and its peaceful Buddhist & Hindu culture. The tour will include many interesting attractions including the old Royal Palaces in Durbar Square, the Hindu temple of Pashupatinath and Buddhist temple of Swayambhunath. The afternoon is a great time to pick up any last minute personal equipment you may need. Kathmandu is a great place to buy supplies for your overland trip, such as extremely inexpensive, yet quality warm weather clothing, snacks, etc. Get a good night of sleep tonight, as tomorrow you fly to Tibet!


Day 3
Fly Kathmandu to Lhasa. (11,975f/3,650m) (B)

Today our Tibet overland trip begins. After an early breakfast you head out to the Kathmandu airport. You will be assisted and escorted to the airport by our local staff.

FLIGHT TO LHASA: Probably the most spectacular flight in the world! Leaving Kathmandu the plane skirts the Himalayan range where Cho Oyo (8,153 m), Lhotse (8,501 m), Everest (8,848 m) and Makalu (8,463 m) are visible. Looking back as the plane leaves Kathmandu it may be possible to also see Manaslu (8,125 m) and Annapurna I (8,091 m). Turning North the plane typically crosses between Kanchenjunga (8,586 m) and Makalu. From the left side of the plane the east face of Everest and Makalu are visible and from the right Chomo Lhari in Bhutan (7,315 m). The flight is a spectacular chance to see eight of the world's fourteen 8,000 m peaks. The flight duration is about one hour.

ARRIVAL AT THE GONGAR AIRPORT LHASA (11,975 feet) After completion of airport formalities you will be met by our friendly English speaking Tibetan guides. There will be a two hour drive and we should arrive at the hotel about 4:00 PM local time (there is a 2 hour & 15 minute time change - later than Nepal).

This evening you are free to relax and explore. Visit the Barkhor Plaza, an excellent place to walk around, and have dinner.


Day 4 & 5
Lhasa tour. (11,975f/3,650m) (B)

The next two days are based in Lhasa. Arranged sightseeing will try to include guided visits to the spectacular Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple and the surrounding Barkhor market, Drepung and Sera monastery, the Dalai Lama's former summer palace Norbulinka, and perhaps a visit to a Tibetan Medical Clinic to hear a talk on ancient Tibetan and Chinese medicine still used to this day.

POTALA PALACE The former winter residence of the Dalai Lama, the palace is named after Mt. Potala in India, one of the holy mountains of the Hindu God Lord Shiva. The Potala is a place of spiritual pilgrimage and an amazing tribute to Tibetan architectural skills. Built by the fifth Dalai Lama in 1645, the Potala was from then on the winter residence of all Dalai Lamas. Today it is still occupied by monks.

BARKHOR PLAZA (in front of Jokhang Temple) This is Lhasa's inner pilgrim circuit, shaped roughly like an octagon, and runs around the Jokhang Temple. The market place has everything a Tibetan pilgrim would need and is a good place for people watching. Tibetan pilgrims spin prayer wheels and prostrate themselves as they circumnavigate the Temple. The surrounding area is a good place for shopping, including everything from trinkets to Tibetan carpets and paintings to very inexpensive Western brand name winter clothing and handmade Tibetan sweaters.

JOKHANG TEMPLE - in the heart of old Lhasa, it is the most sacred temple in Tibet. It was established in the 7th century by King Songtsen Gampo, the King who brought Buddhism to Tibet. One can see the statue of Buddha (Jowo Shakyamuni) brought by the Chinese wife of the King as part of her wedding dowry. King Songtsen Gampo also had a Nepalese wife who was the force behind the use of Nepalese craftsmen in designing the Jokhang.

NORBULINKA - The summer palace of the Dalai Lamas was started by the Seventh Dalai Lama in 1755. This large complex of small palaces and chapels is within a walled garden and is about 2.5 miles west of the Potala.

SERA MONASTERY - founded in 1419, it is located on the outskirts of Lhasa. Home of the Gelukpa Order (the Dalai Lama's sect). Sera was at one time famous for its fighting monks, who spent years perfecting the martial arts. Here, as at Drepung, many monks renounced their vows to take up arms during the uprising of 1959.

DREPUNG MONASTERY - founded in 1416, is located on the outskirts of Lhasa. At one time Drepung was the largest of the Gelukpa Monasteries (10,000 monks) and was a major center of religious power. The Ganden Potang (garden palace) was built by the second Dalai Lama and was used as a residence for the Third, Fourth and Fifth Dalai Lamas. The remains of the second, third and fourth Dalai Lamas are here. Just below Drepung lies the Nechung Monastery, which was once the seat of the Oracle of Tibet.

TIBETAN MEDICINE CLINIC - A tour of this establishment is highly recommended. An English speaking Tibetan medical doctor will give you a short history of Tibetan medicine, an interesting tour of the clinic, and show you a small Tibetan museum complete with medical Thangkas. If there is time, try to arrange this visit through your Tibetan guide.

NOTE: The Potala, Jokhang, Sera and Drepung have set hours and may limit the number of visitors per day. However, the tour schedule is set up to best ensure that you get in to all these places.


Day 6
Lhasa to Gyantse. (11,975f/3,650m) (160 miles/259km) (B)

The drive to Gyantse takes a full day and includes crossing two impressive passes: Kamba La (4,794 m / 15,729ft. ) and Karo La (5,010 m / 16,438 ft. ). When you look down from Kamba La Pass, you can see the breathtaking view of the scorpion shaped Yamdruk Lake (Turquoise Lake) which is so large that you cannot see its full extent during the hour or so you are driving along its banks. The Karo La Pass is between two snowcapped mountains: Nozin Khangsa (7,223 m / 23,700 ft.) which is recognizable by its large hanging glacier on the right and Ralung Mountain (6,236 m / 20,460 ft.).

GYANTSE - a small town on the northern bank of the Nyang Chu River. During the 15th century it was the capital of a small kingdom. Towering over Gyantse on a steep hill are the ruins of an old and famous fort. Gyantse is very Tibetan in feel and style as it has not suffered from modern expansion. There are many shops and simple restaurants where you can easily get Tibetan food such as Momos (dumplings), Chang (millet beer) and Thukpa (noodles).

Highlights include the KUMBUM TEMPLE (founded in 1440) and the PELKOR CHODE (central monastic building - started in 1418). This is possibly the most beautiful temple in Tibet. It was constructed in the 15th century by Newar artisans and is the best preserved example of Newari art to survive in Tibet. It has 112 Chapels. Remember to circumambulate clockwise in all temples and chapels. Many of the original statues remain intact.


Day 7
Gyantse to Shigatse. (12,467f/3,800m) (55 miles/90km) (B)

Today we head out to Shigatse, the capital of the province of Tsang and the second largest city in Tibet. Along the way we stop for sightseeing of Pelkhor Choede and Kumbum Stupa.


Day 8
Shigatse to Xegar. (14,891f/4,539m) (151 miles/244km) (B)

Before leaving Shigatse, we stop to visit the Tashilumpo Monastery. Enroute to Sakya, we cross our high point, the LHAKPA LA (5,220 m / 17,127 ft.) This panoramic high pass has many prayer flags fluttering in the strong winds strung above traditional mani stones placed there by local Tibetans to supplicate the spirits and assure safe travel.

TASHILUMPO MONASTERY - Founded in 1447, it is the historical seat of the Panchen Lama (the traditional teacher of the Dalai Lama). Among the many interesting sights is the 86 foot (26m) high statue of the future Buddha which is gilded with gold and decorated with valuable jewels. The main monastery is the largest and contains prayer halls, printing blocks, and statues of many deities. It is not uncommon to see monks and lamas studying and debating nearby.


Day 9
Xegar to Mt. Everest Base Camp Visit. (16,141f/4,920m) (37 miles/60km) (B)

After leaving Xegar, we turn off the smooth Friendship Highway and head south on rougher roads over the Pang La pass 16,900 feet (5150m) towards the main Himalayan range. The view from the top is incredible with uninterrupted views stretching from Makalu to Shishapangma. Below the pass, Everest initially is hidden from view, but as we turn the corner into the Rongbuk Valley it reappears, more impressive than ever. This will be one of those truly awe inspiring days.

This afternoon will be a dream fulfilling day, as we have the opportunity to explore Mt. Everest Base Camp 17,598 feet (5364m). Base Camp itself is dry and barren, but the views of Everest are beyond breathtaking. It is a truly awe-inspiring place with the sheer north face of the highest mountain in the world towering above us. You can hike the 4 miles up the valley to visit Mt. Everest Base Camp OR take a ride with our Tibetan guide in the group vehicle.

Tonight we stay high in the Himalaya at a simple hotel with incredible views of Mt. Everest down the valley, yet so close you feel like you can touch it! Be sure to sit out on the hotel deck and watch the dramatic multi-colored sunset on the entire side of Mt Everest!


Day 10
Mt Everest Base Camp Area (17,598f/5,364m) to Nyalam (12,303f/3,750m) (132 miles/214km) (B)

In the morning after witnessing the sun rise in the heart of the Himalaya, we leave for the border town of Nyalam.


Day 11
Nyalam to Kathmandu. (4200 feet) (93 miles/150km) (B)

In the morning we leave for Nepal. If the road is clear, our Tibet guide will arrange a vehicle down the hill to the border. If the road is washed out (not an uncommon occurrence) or blocked with trucks waiting to clear customs, we will be in for a short walk, but our guide will arrange for baggage porters.

Arriving at the FRIENDSHIP BRIDGE (Nepal - Tibet border) we will say goodbye to our Tibetan guide and cross back into Nepal (guides are not allowed to cross borders). Immediately crossing the border we will be met by our Nepalese driver/guide at the bridge. Bags will be loaded onto a mini bus by porters and we will then proceed to Nepal Customs and the Immigration inspection. Remember to turn your watches back 2 hrs 15 mins.

The drive from the Friendship Bridge, down the southern slopes of the Himalaya, and to Kathmandu is approximately 5 hours under normal conditions. The first hour is through a deep and verdant river valley. We should arrive back in Kathmandu around 4:00 PM. Tonight we will again stay at one of the best hotels in Kathmandu... a very pleasant treat after the simplicity of Tibet. The evening is free to relax and enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the local restaurants.


Day 12
Free day in Kathmandu. (4,600f/1,400m) (B)

Today is a free day to enjoy the vibrant city of Kathmandu and its many shops and restaurants with your fellow travel mates (today also serves as a buffer day in case of delays getting back to Kathmandu due to road conditions). Be sure to pick up any last minute gifts or outdoor gear/clothes for yourself.


Day 13
Trip Ends OR Join Nepal Trek. (B)

Trip ends after breakfast. If you purchased airport transfers through us, then at the scheduled time you are picked up at the hotel and transferred to the airport. OR,why not stay in Nepal and join us for another one of our incredible Himalayan adventures, such as a trek in the Annapurna or Mt Everest region!


Important Information

This tour requires a minimum group size to run. Prices are bases on double occupancy. An additional single supplement applies to individuals in their own room (unless we can match you up with other travelers).

All Prices are LAND ONLY. You are responsible for making your own international flight arrangements between your home city and Kathmandu (we book your Kathmandu to Lhasa airfare as part of the Tibetan Visa process - this is mandatory add-on cost) and for arriving at the designated departure location as per the itinerary. However, flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you receive a written guarantee from us that the Land Only portion of your trip has been fully booked.

*Note: The purity, remoteness, beauty and emerging status of Tibet's distant Himalayan region is one of the primary reasons people choose to take this amazing adventure. However this authenticity and emerging status means that Tibet's tourist infrastructure tends to be limited in the more remote areas. Although rare, detours and itinerary changes may be required due to weather, road conditions or government restrictions. Additionally, accommodations in Tibet (especially in the more remote areas) can be very basic and possibly lack heat, showers and/or western toilet facilities.

DO NOT, under any circumstance, bring or carry any pictures of the Dalai Lama, free Tibet posters, literature or T shirts, Tibetan flags or any political magazines, books, etc. This is a very sensitive matter in Tibet and the Chinese government takes it very seriously.

Nepal visas are not included. A 15 day, multiple entry visa is about $25 US ($40 for a 30 day) and you will simply purchase it upon arrival at the Kathmandu airport (for citizens of most western countries including the US and Canada... be sure to check with the nearest Nepal Embassy for current requirements.)

You must bring four (4) passport sized photos with you to Nepal. Two will be needed (in your carry-on bag) for your Nepal Visa that you obtain on entry into Nepal at the airport. The other two will be needed to process the Tibet visa and travel permit (see below).

China/Tibet visas and travel permits are obtained on a group basis by our local representative in Nepal upon your arrival in Kathmandu. You will need to email us a scan of the photo/detail page of your passport so we can pre-arrange the group Visa. Additionally, our local representative will collect your passport in Kathmandu 2 days before departure to Tibet in order to obtain the group Visa. We highly recommend you arrive in Kathmandu 1 day early to allow for any flight delays, adjust to the time zone change, and to further enjoy the vibrant and exciting city of Kathmandu.

This overland group tour reaches altitudes of over 18,400 feet (5,608m), including one night spent at Mt Everest Base Camp in Tibet at approximately 17,060 feet (5200m). Please confer with your doctor prior to purchasing this trip to ensure that you are physically capable of completing this adventure safely.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months following the last day of the tour.

Due to limited airline seating, it is important to book your place on this group tour as early as possible.

Please note that the prices and departure dates listed on this trip are for fixed tour small group departures. Private tours for 4 or more people are available for this tour with daily departures. Please contact us for custom pricing and availability.

While in Nepal, why not add on a trip to the Annapurna or Mt. Everest regions or Bhutan.

Trip ID: AS1020
PRICING
Pricing not available at this time. Please e-mail us at reservations@gectravel.com or call us at 1 (888) Trip Find.

Price Includes
  • Travel overland through the mighty Himalayan Mountain range with Tibetan guide & driver
  • Fully guided small group tour of Tibet with English speaking Tibetan Guide
  • Overnight at Mt. Everest Base Camp in Tibet in a Monastery Guesthouse*
  • Excursion to Mt. Everest Base Camp in Tibet (light hike or ride to base camp)
  • Scenic flight over the Himalaya with views of Mt. Everest
  • Visits to numerous active Tibetan monasteries that date back 1,000+ years
  • Guided tour of Kathmandu with English speaking guide
  • A chance to explore the exotic city of Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • Spectacular views of mother nature at her best and of an ancient civilization that has changed little over the past 1,000+ years
  • Accommodation on a twin share basis*
  • Breakfast daily

  • *Note: The purity, remoteness, beauty and emerging status of Tibet's distant Himalayan region is one of the primary reasons people choose to take this amazing adventure. However this authenticity and emerging status means that Tibet's tourist infrastructure tends to be limited in the more remote areas. Although rare, detours and itinerary changes may be required due to weather, road conditions or government restrictions. Additionally, accommodations in Tibet (especially in the more remote areas) can be very basic and possibly lack heat, showers and/or western toilet facilities.
Price Does Not Include
  • International airfare to/from Kathmandu, Nepal (KTM)
  • Group airfare between Kathmandu & Lhasa (this is an additional mandatory add-on during checkout as group must travel together on one Tibetan Group Visa that we arrange)
  • Tibet Group Visa (this is an additional mandatory add-on during checkout as group must travel together on one Tibetan Group Visa that we arrange)
  • Nepal Visa (see Important Information section)
  • Airport departure taxes and fees
  • Travel medical insurance (details) mandatory
  • Personal expenses
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Costs arising from unforeseen events outside our control, i.e., landslides, road blocks, transport strikes, flight delays/cancellations, government/political issues, etc.
Group Leader
  • English speaking local guides and drivers
Number of Days
  • 13 total
  • 3 nights in Kathmandu
  • 9 nights in Tibet
Accomodation Included
  • 4 nights in Kathmandu - Nepalese mid-range level hotel
  • 8 nights in Tibet - Tourist Hotels & Guest Houses (see *Note in Important Information Section)
Transportation Included
  • Private tourist coach
Meals Included
  • Breakfasts daily
Budget
  • $400 - $600 depending on spending habits and souvenir purchases - Note: average cost for lunch & dinner in both Nepal and Tibet is about $10 each. Budget $10 per day for tips.
Seasonal Info
  • Best: April-May and September-October
  • Good: June-August (warmer, but expect some rain)


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