Our Small Group Tour and Conference to Nepal and Bhutan in October 2019 — Kingdoms of the Himalayas — sees us traveling to the rooftop of the world. Prepare for an immersion into a way of life truly unfamiliar to your own.
The Himalayas is no ordinary destination — a wonderfully varied landscape of snow capped mountains, bright blue glacial rivers and verdant valleys with colourful prayer flags spreading goodwill swaying in the breeze. Home to eight out of the ten highest peaks in the world, not to mention the Earth’s highest mountain, the awe-inspiring Kingdoms of the Himalayas tour is simply not to be missed.
The Kingdoms of the Himalayas itineraries — Nepal and Bhutan offer particpants exceptional value for money. The all-inclusive travel packages cover luxury accommodation, touring, all entrance fees as well as many specially arranged activities not available to the general public. We also include all meals and take great care to ensure those with special dietary requirements are looked after.
Expertly curated by our staff, every details has been meticulously crafted to ensure . . . it’s not just a conference, it’s an experience!
We hope you can join us as we travel through the Himalayas in October and November 2019. As with all Amaco Conferences, the maximum number of participants on this conferenceto is capped at just 40 people. This help ensure your comfort and touring pleasure. Register today or risk missing out!
Temples, palaces and pilgrimage sites line the Kathmandu Valley, while the capital itself presents you with an assortment of spice bazaars, shrines and artisan workshops. The Nepalis’ complex blend of religious beliefs and traditions is reflected in the exquisite thangkas, gold-painted stupas and intricate carvings seen at every turn.
Further west, by the serene Phewa Tal Lake, lies the adventure capital of Pokhara at the foothills of Nepal’s Annapurna range. To the south, on the grass plains of the Terai, is Chitwan National Park, where visitors ride on elephant-back in search of Bengal tigers or one-horned rhinos. The tiny mountain kingdom of Nepal has an almost mythical quality with the ever present Everest ranges forming the backbone of the country.
Your Himalayan adventure begins in Nepal’s chaotic capital Kathmandu with 3 nights in a luxurious Junior Suite at Dwarika Hotel, a historic complex of palatial buildings considered one of the most exclusive and culturally rich hotels in Kathmandu.
Home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the city also boasts unique cuisine and an intense religious devoutness. Your time in Kathmandu will include visits to Pashupatinath Temple —dedicated to the Hindu God of destruction, Boudhanath Stupa, one of the most imposing landmarks of Kathmandu, Durbar Square — surrounded with spectacular architecture and the famous Thamel District with its handicraft and souvenir shops selling a variety of exclusive Nepalese specialties.
You will venture further into the Kathmandu Valley with a visit to the ancient cities of Bhaktapur & Lalitpur Patan. Both cities are architectural masterpieces, filled with pagodas, temples and artisan shops offering pottery and wood carvings. A spectacular Nepalese degustation dinner will certainly be a culinary highlight of your stay.
An exhilarating once in a lifetime transfer between Kathmandu and Chitwan National Park is planned for you. Begin by boarding a specially chartered helicopter and fly to Mount Everest. Moving up the valleys of the Khimbu region, your helicopter will be surrounded by the snow capped Himalayan peaks. You will fly between some of the highest mountains in the world and over Everest Base Camp. Only a privileged few have the opportunity to fly at these dizzying heights and witness such awe inspiring scenery up close. Even fewer are able to access the remote landing areas we’ve been granted permission to use. As your flight continues, you’ll be able to enjoy views of the world’s most majestic peaks that are often only available to the best mountaineers.
Your helicopter journey breaks for breakfast — at an altitude of nearly 4000m where you’ll be presented with uninterrupted views of Mount Everest. After breakfast, board the helicopters and continue your spectacular journey arriving in style at your jungle accommodation in Chitwan National Park. For details on this amazing helicopter excursion, click here.
Lying at the foothills of the Churia Ranges, Chitwan National Park is a preserved area in the Terai Lowlands of south central Nepal. You will spend 2 nights here at Barahi Jungle Lodge as your base. Your days will be filled with jungle walks, elephant safaris and gentle canoeing along the Rapti River. The dense tropical jungle is teeming with diverse wildlife and exotic birds. Join expert naturalist as they go in search of the endangered one-horned rhino and the Royal Bengal Tiger.
You continue your Nepal adventure with a fixed-wing charter flight to Pokhara — the gateway to the Annapurna Range. Also known as the ‘Valley of the Lakes’ this region is known for gorgeous lakes and mountain vistas.
The scenic valley of Pokhara is an enormous sunlit playground surrounded by forested hills, waterfalls and terraced fields. During your 2 nights here you will enjoy an evening boat ride on Phewa Lake, an early morning trip to Sarangot for the exceptional sunrise views amidst the mountain peaks. You also have the option of driving or hiking to the World Peace Pagoda and Barahi Temple — the island temple situated in the Phewa Lake surrounded by marvellous views. Your final evening in Nepal will be back in Kathmandu for a final Farewell Dinner.
Fiercely independent, Bhutan has managed to remain largely untouched by the influencesof the modern world and its powerful neighbours. A deep-rooted belief in Buddhism and adherence to the traditional way of life lie at the very heart of Bhutanese society. Its people are proud to wear national dress every day and the country’s development is measured not in economic terms, but by ‘Gross National Happiness’.
Your Bhutan itinerary begins with 2 nights in Thimpu — Bhutan’s Capital. At an altitude of 2350m, Thimphu lies in a steep valley surrounded by richly-forested mountains whose sides are dotted with ancient monasteries and Lhakhangs or temples. The town is centred around the quaint Clock Tower and is home to many attractions including the National Textile Museum and the Folk Heritage Museum.
While in Thimpu, you will visit one of the oldest traditional villages in the valley, a perfect introduction to the Bhutanese way of life. Over the next two days you will also experience a Chipdrel Ceremony and visit Changangkja Lhakang — an old fortress like temple and monastic school. Other highlights of your stay in Thimpu include the prominent landmark Memorial Chorten, the impressive Tashichho Dzong, the National Library of Bhutan, the Buddha Dordenma — the gigantic 51 metre tall statue of Buddha overlooking the entrance of the Thimpu Valley. A specially arranged visit to the National Institute of Traditional Medicine will illustrate how this small nation is striving to merge the allopathic and traditional systems of healing.
Next on your itinerary is the valley of Punakha. While transferring to Puakha, you will stop at Dochula Pass for a 360 degree panoramic view of the Himalayan Mountain range. Over the next couple of days you will visit the Suspension Bridge — the longest in Bhutan, Punakha Dzong — the 17th century temple where the embalmed body of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal lies in state and Chimi Lhakhang — the famous monastery dedicated to “the Divine Madman”, best known for his unorthodox ways of teaching Buddhism and his use of phallus symbols on walls and housetops. Included in the interary is a leisurely hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, arguably the finest example of Bhutanese architecture and artistic traditions.
Your journey continues to Paro where you spend your final three nights. Over the course of the next few days, you will have an opportunity to play a central role in a traditional blessing ceremony at Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the most important Himalayan Buddhist Temples in Bhutan.
A hike to Takstang Monastery, better known as Tiger’s Nest is also planned. Perched on the side of a vertical cliff, it is the most famous Buddhist Monastery in Bhutan — and probably the most impressive. A visit to the National Museum and the Paro Dzong are also included.