Travel to the “top of the world” in Nepal and Bhutan and meet the people of these distant lands, home to Buddhist monks and Hindu deities. 

Starting at: $6,574 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The final pathway up to Taktsang Monastery, or Tiger's Nest, in Bhutan   Duchula Pass Prayer Flags  View of the Himalayas from Nagarkot, Nepal  Durbur Square, Kathmandu, Nepal  Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal  The center of Kathmandu, Nepal  The Buddha's eyes, stupa in Nepal  Sculpture at the temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal  Frieze at the Golden Temple, Patan  Prayer Wheels in Patan, Nepal  Monk with prayer wheel  View of the Himalayas from Nagarkot, Nepal  Cliff-side Taktsang Monastery with prayer flags, Bhutan  Taktsang Monastery Prayer Wheel  Punakha Dzong, Bhutan  Punakha Monastery Buddhist Painting  Chorten Stupa, Bhutan  Punakha, Bhutan  Punakha Dzong  Buddhist Monastery Dzong, Thimphu

Himalayan Kingdoms

A Journey to Nepal & Bhutan

15 days from $6,574 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Travel to the “top of the world” in Nepal and Bhutan and meet the people of these distant lands, home to Buddhist monks and Hindu deities. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Hyatt Regency Kathmandu

Kathmandu, Nepal

The Hyatt Regency in Kathmandu is a mere ten minutes walking distance from one of the most holy shrines of Tibetan Buddhism outside of Tibet – the Bodnath Stupa. It is also very close to the business and shopping district. There are two restaurant choices within the hotel, one with a fantastic view of the Bodnath Stupa and its surroundings. Other onsite services include 24-hour room service, a beauty salon, and concierge services. The rooms include a hair dryer, a mini-bar, a coffee maker, a morning newspaper, wireless Internet access, and an in-room safe. While staying at this hotel, many guests visit the Club Oasis Spa. The spa features a fitness centre, a swimming pool, three tennis courts, and a health and beauty spa.

Number of nights: 3

Club Himalaya Nagarkot

Nagarkot, Nepal

Club Himalaya Nagarkot sits at 7,200 feet and commands spectacular panoramic views of the valley and of the snowcapped Himalayans, particularly at sunrise or sunset.  The hotel offers several restaurants and bar, rooftop observatory, indoor swimming pool, fitness center, spa with sauna and massage treatments, and library.  Each of the 52 air-conditioned guest rooms features private bath with hair dryer, private balcony, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Druk Hotel

Thimphu , Bhutan

Centrally located in the heart of Thimphu, Druk Hotel is a close walk to many cafés and restaurants. The 53-room hotel offers a modern and elegant atmosphere; and its design is influenced by nature with each floor subtly representing water, air, earth, fire, and sky. Amenities include a restaurant, bar, spa, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, and laundry and dry cleaning services. Each of the air-conditioned guest rooms has a private bath, tea- and coffee-making facilities, mini-bar, TV, and phone. 

Number of nights: 2

Khuru Resort

Punakha, Bhutan

Opened in 2016, the Khuru Resort is nestled among the hills of Punakha and sits on the banks of the Punakha river. This simple but comfortable hotel offers a restaurant, bar, spa, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, and laundry facilities.  Each of the 48 guest rooms has a private bath, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Zhiwa Ling

Paro, Bhutan

Zhiwa Ling means "Place of Peace," and this hotel certainly lives up to its name. It has elaborate hand-carved wooden cornices and stunning stonework. There is also a traditional Bhutanese outdoor hot-stone bath, a Tea House, and a Meditation House. Honoring the spiritual heritage of this ancient Buddhist kingdom, a temple has been built into the second floor of the hotel, made with 450-year-old timbers from the famous Gangtey Monastery. There are two restaurants, one with international cuisine, and the other which focuses on classic Bhutanese dishes. Each of the rooms comes equipped with oak-wood floors, hand-knotted rugs, and furniture which reflect the heritage of the country, as well as the skill of the local craftsmen.

Number of nights: 3



Activity Level

Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active


Expectations: Most trips will feature long touring days, many full-day excursions, and a full and active itinerary with a faster pace and longer distances. Some tours may have activities with higher intensity and more active choices/options. Excursions require standing and walking for extended periods of time over more difficult terrain (cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, limited or no access to elevators, muddy/slippery walking/hiking trails), and walking to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Specific itineraries may feature hiking, use of local transportation, extended overnight train travel, extensive use of Zodiac crafts or other smaller ship conveyances, or multiple internal plane rides. Some itineraries may require early morning departures and later evening returns. Travelers may be in remote and/or rugged regions, and may be touring at higher altitudes with steep ascents/descents. Leisure time may be limited (sometimes only in the later evenings). Certain tours feature more active excursions (such as moderate hiking, swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, bicycling, rafting, or kayaking), though another choice may be offered for an alternate skill level. Walking/hiking tours may feature up to six-mile walks/hikes.  

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, lead active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities, and expect some physical exertion. 

Reading List
The Snow Leopard (Penguin Classics)
By: Peter Matthiessen
An unforgettable spiritual journey through the Himalayas by renowned writer Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014), the National Book Award-winning author of the new novel In Paradise In 1973, Peter Matthiessen and field biologist George Schaller traveled high into the remote mountains of Nepal to study the Himalayan blue sheep and possibly glimpse the rare and beautiful snow leopard. Matthiessen, a student of Zen Buddhism, was also on a spiritual quest to find the Lama of Shey at the ancient shrine on Crystal Mountain. As the climb proceeds, Matthiessen charts his inner path as well as his outer one, with a deepening Buddhist understanding of reality, suffering, impermanence, and beauty. This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction by acclaimed travel writer and novelist Pico Iyer.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
So Close to Heaven: The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas
By: Barbara Crossette
For more than a thousand years Tibet, Sikkim, Ladakh, and Bhutan were the santuaries of Tantric Buddhism. But in the last half of this century, geopolitics has scoured the landscape of the Himalayas, and only the reclusive kingdom of Bhutan remains true to Tantric Buddhism. As she travels through Bhutan and its neighbots, Crossette introduces readers to a world that has emerged from the middle ages only to find itself peering into the abyss of modernity.
Lonely Planet Nepal (Travel Guide)
By: Lonely Planet, Bradley Mayhew, Lindsay Brown, Stuart Butler
#1 best-selling guide to Nepal* Lonely Planet Nepal is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Soak in the hustle-and-bustle of Kathmandu's Durbar Square, trek to the base of the world's highest mountain, or raft the rapids of the Bhote Kosi; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Nepal and begin your journey now! Inside Lonely Planet Nepal Travel Guide: Colour maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - history, religion, art, literature, cinema, music, architecture, politics, landscapes, wildlife, environmental issues. Over 11 colour maps Covers Kathmandu, Kathmandu Valley & Around, Pokhara, The Terai & Mahabharat Range, and trekking, biking, rafting and kayaking routes and more The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Nepal, our most comprehensive guide to Nepal, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled. Looking for more extensive trekking coverage? Check out Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya for all you need to know to have a safe and rewarding trek. Looking for a guide focused on other countries in the region? Check out our Lonely Planet Bhutan guide, India guide, and Tibet guide for a comprehensive look at all the region has to offer; or Discover India, a photo-rich guide to India's most popular attractions. Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Bradley Mayhew, Lindsay Brown and Stuart Butler. About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves. *Best-selling guide to Nepal. Source: Nielsen BookScan. Australia, UK and USA
Himalayas Nelles Map (English, French, Italian and German Edition)
By: Nelles Maps
Up-to-date, detailed, highly readable shaded relief map for the Himalayan Region with major roads and point-to-point distances clearly indicated. Includes TIbet, Kashmir, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Pakistan and Sikkim. Locates places of interest to travelers directly on the map. Scale 1:1,500,000.
Altitude Illness: Prevention & Treatment (Mountaineers Outdoor Expert)
By: Stephen Bezruchka
How the body responds to high altitude - the classic study revised for the latest scientific findings.
Lonely Planet Bhutan (Travel Guide)
By: Lonely Planet, Bradley Mayhew, Lindsay Brown
Lonely Planet Bhutan is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Join the pilgrims at colourful Changangkha Lhakhang, hike to the dramatic cliff -hanging Taktshang Goemba, or explore the busy weekend market at Thimpu; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Bhutan and begin your journey now! Inside Lonely Planet Bhutan Travel Guide: Colour maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - festivals, architecture, Buddhism, customs, wildlife, history, traditional arts Over 37 maps Covers Thimphu, Paro Dzongkhag, Trongsa Dzongkhag, Mongar Dzongkhag and more About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves. The world awaits! Lonely Planet guides have won the TripAdvisor Traveler's Choice Award in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. 'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' -- Fairfax Media 'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times
Lonely Planet Nepali Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, Mary-Jo O'Rourke, Bimal Man Shrestha, Krishna Pradhan
Lonely Planet: The world's #1 phrasebook publisher* Lonely Planet Nepali Phrasebook & Dictionary is your handy passport to culturally enriching travels with the most relevant and useful Nepali phrases and vocabulary for all your travel needs. Know how to organise your mountaineering trip safely and responsibly, bargain with humour in the local bazaars, or order the best momos this side of Mount; all with your trusted travel companion. With language tools in your back pocket, you can truly get to the heart of wherever you go, so begin your journey now! Get More From Your Trip with Easy-to-Find Phrases for Every Travel Situation! Feel at ease with essential tips on culture, manners, idioms and multiple meanings Order with confidence, explain food allergies, and try new foods Save time and hassles with vital phrases at your fingertips Never get stuck for words with the 3500-word two-way, quick-reference dictionary Be prepared for both common and emergency travel situations with practical phrases and terminology Meet friends with conversation starter phrases Get your message across with easy-to-use pronunciation guides Inside Lonely Planet Nepali Phrasebook & Dictionary: Colour throughout User-friendly layout organised by travel scenario categories Survival phrases inside front cover for at-a-glance on-the-fly cues Convenient features Key Patterns Sustainable Travel Listen For - phrases you may hear Look For - phrases you may see on signs Shortcuts - easy-to-remember alternatives to the full phrases Q&A - suggested answers to questions asked Covers Basics - time, dates, numbers, amounts, pronunciation, reading tips, grammar rules Practical - travel with kids, disabled travellers, sightseeing, business, banking, post office, internet, phones, repairs, bargaining, accommodation, directions, border crossing, transport Social - meeting people, interests, feelings, opinions, going out, culture, activities, weather Safe Travel - emergencies, police, doctor, chemist, dentist, symptoms, conditions Food - ordering, at the market, at the bar, dishes, ingredients The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Nepali Phrasebook & Dictionary, a pocket-sized comprehensive language guide, provides on-the-go language assistance; great for language students and travellers looking to interact with locals and immerse themselves in local culture. Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Mary-Jo O'Rourke, Bimal Man Shrestha and Krishna Pradhan. About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet is the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, and has been connecting travellers and locals for over 25 years with phrasebooks for 120 languages, more than any other publisher! With an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community, Lonely Planet enables curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves. The world awaits! Check out our Fast Talk Phrasebook mobile app for on-the-go language needs. (Available languages: German, Latin Spanish, European Spanish, French, and Italian.) *#1 phrasebook publisher. Source: Nielsen Bookscan UK, US & AUS
Kathmandu by Thomas Bell (2016-04-15)
By: Thomas Bell
The Blessings of Bhutan (A Latitude 20 Book)
By: Russ Carpenter, Blyth Carpenter
"A captivating and splendid account of a complex nation on the cusp of tradition and modernity. Bhutan is distinctive--from its social structures to its development philosophy of Gross National Happiness. The Blessings of Bhutan is based on extensive travel and interviews. Written in an accessible style, the authors blend narrative about the country's history, religion, arts, and governance with lively personal anecdotes. It is an excellent contribution to the study of contemporary Bhutan that will appeal to laymen and scholars alike." --Karma Ura, Director of the Centre for Bhutan Studies "The blessings of Bhutan are many, including the appearance of this lyrical account of the country's many unique and fascinating aspects. Because they are among the Westerners most familiar with Bhutanese life, Blyth and Russ are able to penetrate well beyond the Shangri-la myth and show that, while parts of such an otherworldly myth apply, this Himalayan Kingdom is brimful of surprises, contradictions, and modern dilemmas." --K. E. S. Kirby Dorji, writer/editor, United Nations consultant, longtime resident of Bhutan.
Himalaya: Personal Stories of Grandeur, Challenge, and Hope
By: Brot Coburn
Both a magnificent celebration and a call for compassion, Himalaya is a panorama of the unique history and uncertain future of the world's highest region and its colorful inhabitants. The awesome beauty of these lofty peaks, including Everest, Kanchenjunga, and Annapurna, is brought to life by gifted photographers like Steve McCurry, Art Wolfe, and many more, while such notable contributors as Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama, Sir Edmund Hillary, Tenzing Norgay, and over two dozen others share vivid personal tales of Himalayan life, recount their efforts to encourage hope and opportunity, and emphasize the urgent need to preserve the vibrant variety of these ancient landscapes and cultures as they face the mixed blessings of the modern world. The book begins by introducing the region: its astonishing biodiversity, its mountaineering history, its rich ethnic heritage, and the interplay between two major religions, Hinduism and Buddhism. Himalaya addresses challenges to these mountainous domains: political turmoil, population growth, touristic demands, and ecological stresses. Finally, a compelling conclusion comes in the stories of doctors, conservationists, environmentalists, and volunteers of every kind, whose efforts provide a global model for practical results and lasting relief, still respecting, honoring, and protecting the magic of a place unlike any other on Earth.
Himalaya: The Exploration and Conquest of the Greatest Mountains on Earth
By: Philip Parker, Peter Hillary
The Himalayas are home to the 14 greatest mountains on the planet—each towering over 26,246 feet. In breathtaking images and panoramic mountain maps, Himalaya marks the 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay's landmark ascent of Everest, as well as the 50th anniversary of the first successful American expedition. It examines the region's geographical origins, peoples, and discovery by the West, along with heroic pioneering ascents—including K2, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna, Kangchenjunga, and Lhotse—and new frontiers, routes, and mountaineering techniques. Includes contributions from the world's preeminent mountaineers and alpine writers including Stephen Venables, Mick Conefrey, Peter Gillman, Stewart Weaver, and Amanda Faber as well as legendary passages from the likes of Maurice Herzog, Edmund Hillary, and Hermann Buhl. A series of 20 brand-new “vulture's eye'”panoramic mountain maps bring the world's highest peaks, and the routes by which they were conquered, into sharp focus for the very first time. 
What Makes You Not a Buddhist
By: Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse
So you think you're a Buddhist? Think again. Tibetan Buddhist master Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, one of the most creative and innovative lamas teaching today, throws down the gauntlet to the Buddhist world, challenging common misconceptions, stereotypes, and fantasies. With wit and irony, Khyentse urges readers to move beyond the superficial trappings of Buddhism—beyond the romance with beads, incense, or exotic robes—straight to the heart of what the Buddha taught.
The History of Bhutan
By: Karma Phuntsho
In 2008, Bhutan emerged as the world s youngest democracy and crowned the world s youngest monarch. Today, it continues to enchant the rest of the world with its policy of Gross National Happiness and has become a popular travel destination. But despite its growing popularity and the rising scholarly interest in the country, Bhutan remains one of the most poorly studied places on earth. Karma Phuntsho s The History of Bhutan combines both traditional perspectives and modern academic analysis and tells the full story of Bhutan for the first time in the English language. Primarily a historical account, it also includes substantive discussions of Bhutan s geography, culture and society to give readers an incisive introduction to the country.
Bhutan: The Land of Serenity
By: Matthieu Ricard
“Color-drenched images . . . capture the vibrant rainbow palette of intricate Bhutanese weavings, ceremonial garb, painted pottery, and the ubiquitous wind-whipped prayer flags.” ―Passport Magazine Tucked away between China and India in the heart of the Himalayas, Bhutan remains a uniquely distinct country. Few photographers have been granted permission to reside in this long-inaccessible kingdom, now a democracy, where life quietly unfolds to the rhythm of traditions amid the magnificent, unspoiled landscape. Matthieu Ricard, a monk and photographer, spent eight years in Bhutan with Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, a revered Tibetan Buddhist master, and has continued to return to the “land of the thunder dragon” throughout his life, discovering on each occasion another of its invaluable treasures. His experiences are recorded here in this exceptionally beautiful book, a voyage to the heart of Bhutan, a land where spirituality and daily life are intimately linked. 184 color illustrations
My Journey to Lhasa: The Classic Story of the Only Western Woman Who Succeeded in Entering the Forbidden City
By: Alexandra David-Neel
An exemplary travelogue of danger and achievement by the Frenchwoman Madame Alexandra David–Neel of her 1923 expedition to Tibet, the fifth in her series of Asian travels, and her personal recounting of her journey to Lhasa, Tibet's forbidden city. In order to penetrate Tibet and reach Lhasa, she used her fluency of Tibetan dialects and culture, disguised herself as a beggar with yak hair extensions and inked skin and tackled some of the roughest terrain and climate in the World. With the help of her young companion, Yongden, she willingly suffered the primitive travel conditions, frequent outbreaks of disease, the ever–present danger of border control and the military to reach her goal. The determination and sheer physical fortitude it took for this woman, delicately reared in Paris and Brussels, is inspiration for men and women alike. David–Neel is famous for being the first Western woman to have been received by any Dalai Lama and as a passionate scholar and explorer of Asia, hers is one of the most remarkable of all travellersߴales.
Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest
By: Wade Davis
On June 6, 1924, two men set out from a camp perched at 23,000 feet on an ice ledge just below the lip of Mount Everest’s North Col. George Mallory, thirty-seven, was Britain’s finest climber. Sandy Irvine was a young Oxford scholar of twenty-two with little previous mountaineering experience. Neither of them returned.   In this magisterial work of history and adventure, based on more than a decade of prodigious research in British, Canadian, and European archives, and months in the field in Nepal and Tibet, Wade Davis vividly re-creates British climbers’ epic attempts to scale Mount Everest in the early 1920s. With new access to letters and diaries, Davis recounts the heroic efforts of George Mallory and his fellow climbers to conquer the mountain in the face of treacherous terrain and furious weather. Into the Silence sets their remarkable achievements in sweeping historical context: Davis shows how the exploration originated in nineteenth-century imperial ambitions, and he takes us far beyond the Himalayas to the trenches of World War I, where Mallory and his generation found themselves and their world utterly shattered.  In the wake of the war that destroyed all notions of honor and decency, the Everest expeditions, led by these scions of Britain’s elite, emerged as a symbol of national redemption and hope.   Beautifully written and rich with detail, Into the Silence is a classic account of exploration and endurance, and a timeless portrait of an extraordinary generation of adventurers, soldiers, and mountaineers the likes of which we will never see again.From the Hardcover edition.
Annapurna: The First Conquest Of An 8,000-Meter Peak
By: Maurice Herzog
Top 100 Sports Books of All Time, Sports Illustrated “Those who have never seen the Himalayas, those who never care to risk an assault, will know when they finish this book that they have been a companion of greatness.”―New York Times Book Review In 1950, when no mountain taller than 8,000 meters had ever been climbed, Maurice Herzog led an expedition of French climbers to the summit of an 8,075-meter (26,493-foot) Himalayan peak called Annapurna. But unlike other climbs, the routes up Annapurna had never been charted. Herzog and his team had to locate the mountain using crude maps, pick out a single untried route, and go for the summit. Annapurna is the unforgettable account of this heroic climb and of its harrowing aftermath, including a nightmare descent of frostbite, snow blindness, and near death. Herzog's masterful narrative is one of the great mountain-adventure stories of all time. This new edition―due for publication shortly before the sixtieth anniversary of the Annapurna ascent on June 3, 2010―will feature a new foreword by Conrad Anker.
Married to Bhutan: How One Woman Got Lost, Said "I Do," and Found Bliss
By: Linda Leaming
       Tucked away in the eastern end of the Himalayas lies Bhutan—a tiny, landlocked country bordering China and India. Impossibly remote and nearly inaccessible, Bhutan is rich in natural beauty, exotic plants and animals, and crazy wisdom. It is a place where people are genuinely content with very few material possessions and the government embraces “Gross National Happiness” instead of Gross National Product.        In this funny, magical memoir, we accompany Linda Leaming on her travels through South Asia, sharing her experiences as she learns the language, customs, and religion; her surprising romance with a Buddhist artist; and her realizations about the unexpected path to happiness and accidental enlightenment.        As one of the few Americans to have lived in Bhutan, Leaming offers a rare glimpse into the quirky mountain kingdom so many have only dreamed of. For over ten years, Leaming has lived and worked in the town of Thimphu, where there are no traffic lights and fewer than 100,000 people. “If enlightenment is possible anywhere,” she writes, “I think it is particularly possible here.”        The Bhutanese way of life can seem daunting to most Westerners, whose lives are consumed with time, efficiency, and acquiring things. But Leaming shows us that we don’t necessarily have to travel around the world to appreciate a little Bhutan in our own lives, and that following our dreams is the way to be truly happy.      
Radio Shangri-La: What I Discovered on my Accidental Journey to the Happiest Kingdom on Earth
By: Lisa Napoli
Lisa Napoli was in the grip of a crisis, dissatisfied with her life and her work as a radio journalist. When a chance encounter with a handsome stranger presented her with an opportunity to move halfway around the world, Lisa left behind cosmopolitan Los Angeles for a new adventure in the ancient Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan—said to be one of the happiest places on earth. Long isolated from industrialization and just beginning to open its doors to the modern world, Bhutan is a deeply spiritual place, devoted to environmental conservation and committed to the happiness of its people—in fact, Bhutan measures its success in Gross National Happiness rather than in GNP. In a country without a single traffic light, its citizens are believed to be among the most content in the world. To Lisa, it seemed to be a place that offered the opposite of her fast-paced life in the United States, where the noisy din of sound-bite news and cell phones dominate our days, and meaningful conversation is a rare commodity; where everyone is plugged in digitally, yet rarely connects with the people around them. Thousands of miles away from everything and everyone she knows, Lisa creates a new community for herself. As she helps to start Bhutan’s first youth-oriented radio station, Kuzoo FM, she must come to terms with her conflicting feelings about the impact of the medium on a country that had been shielded from its effects. Immersing herself in Bhutan’s rapidly changing culture, Lisa realizes that her own perspective on life is changing as well—and that she is discovering the sense of purpose and joy that she has been yearning for. In this smart, heartfelt, and beautifully written book, sure to please fans of transporting travel narratives and personal memoirs alike, Lisa Napoli discovers that the world is a beautiful and complicated place—and comes to appreciate her life for the adventure it is.From the Hardcover edition.
Walking The Himalayas
By: Levison Wood
Following his trek along the length of the Nile River, explorer Levison Wood takes on his greatest challenge yet-navigating the treacherous foothills of the Himalayas, the world's highest mountain range. Praised by Bear Grylls, Levison Wood has been called "the toughest man on TV" (The Times UK). Now, following in the footsteps of the great explorers, Levison recounts the beauty and danger he found along the Silk Road route of Afghanistan, the Line of Control between Pakistan and India, the disputed territories of Kashmir and the earth-quake ravaged lands of Nepal. Over the course of six months, Wood and his trusted guides trek 1,700 gruelling miles across the roof of the world. Packed with action and emotion, Walking the Himalayas is the story of one intrepid man's travels in a world poised on the edge of tremendous change.
Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey into Bhutan
By: Jamie Zeppa
Jamie Zeppa was 24 when she left a stagnant life at home and signed a contract to teach for two years in the Buddhist hermit kingdom of Bhutan. Much more than just a travel memoir, Beyond the Sky and the Earth is the story of her time in a Himalayan village, immersed in Bhutanese culture and the wonders of new and lasting love. Whether you're travelling to Bhutan, looking for the best travel writing around, or wishing to be transported to a culture, mindset, and spiritual ethos wonderfully different from your own, Beyond the Sky and the Earth is a joyous and lush memoir that will transform the way you think of faith, Western life, and love.
The Naturalist's Guide to the Birds of India: Including Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan by Bikram Grewal (2014-12-11)
By: Bikram Grewal; Garima Bhatia;
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Smithsonian Journeys includes an on-tour Provided Insurance Plan through Travel Guard with the price of your tour. This travel insurance plan includes On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only, not including U.S. Territories). Travel must be more than 100 miles from the Insured’s primary residence.

In addition, you may want to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your investment from unforeseen events, such as missed flight connections, lost luggage, and cancelled plans. There are many plans you can consider. For your convenience, you may visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1.800.208.6142 to learn more.

Terms and conditions

Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engage travelers in the mission of the Smithsonian – “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian’s 19 museums, National Zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

What Is Included in the Tour Cost

  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys expert, tour director and local guides throughout the tour
  • All gratuities for the expert, tour director, on-tour guides and drivers
  • On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. residents only)
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
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What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

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  • Airfare from your hometown to your departure city (for air inclusive guests only).

Registration

To submit a reservation request, please use our secure online system at SmithsonianJourneys.org or contact a Cultural Travel Specialist, at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time). Submitting an online request does not guarantee space on a tour.  You will be notified by a Reservation Specialist of your status once your request has been received and processed.  Please note: No new registrations can be accepted within 30 days of most tours. Some tours are more restrictive; please see individual tour pages for these exceptions.

To complete your reservation, the following information is required.
In accordance with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight program, for all international tours, passport information is required, including the following:   Full name as it appears on your passport, Date of birth, and Gender (for further information, please visit www.tsa.gov).

For tours that include round-trip international airfare: If you provide incorrect information to the ticketing agent, or if you use a different passport than originally cited, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Payments

A deposit of $500 per person for a land tour reservation, unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on a tour.  All payments may be made by credit card or check to the tour operator.  Deposits are applied to final payment of the tour price.

Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure, unless otherwise noted.  Balance is due upon invoicing.  If full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the tour.

Late Registration

Any registration received within 95 days (180 for Alaska) of departure is considered “on-request” and is subject to specific confirmation. Some tours are more restrictive. Payment in full must be made immediately by credit card, or by check sent by overnight mail to the tour operator, before confirmation is possible.

Once confirmed, cancellation penalties apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full. Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the tour within the designated late registration period for that tour.

For additional information, please contact a Cultural Travel Specialist, at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu and SmithsonianJourneys.org.

A Note about Costs

All prices are based on two persons sharing a room/cabin. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a presumptive minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.   Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.).  Details and costs will be advised prior to departure.

Wait List

If the tour of your choice is fully subscribed, you may choose to be placed on a waitlist by contacting a Reservation Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu. Individuals on the wait list will be contacted if space becomes available and can inquire about tour status by contacting a Reservation Specialist. If you choose to withdraw from a wait list, please notify us.  

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Following enrollment, a participant’s withdrawal from the tour for any reason, including, but not limited to, illness, injury, family engagements, work-related issues, or geopolitical concerns, etc., will be deemed a cancellation. Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.

Per person cancellation fees are based on date of written notice to Smithsonian Journeys. Tour operator will refund on the following basis:

  • Cancellations within 7 days of booking:  Full Refund (unless it is within final payment date, 95 days before departure)
  • Cancellations after 7 days of booking:  Full Deposit Retained
  • Cancellations made within final payment date, 95 days before departure:  No Refund
  • Cancellation by Smithsonian Journeys:  Full Refund or Credit

Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.

If your flights are delayed or if for any reason you are prevented from joining the tour on the scheduled departure date and time, or if you choose to leave the tour early, we cannot provide a full or partial refund or credit toward a future tour.

Smithsonian Journeys reserves the right to cancel any tour due to low enrollment and when a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning is issued for the destination.

Air Service

For tours that include round-trip international airfare, rates are based on economy class from designated departure cities as shown.  Airfares from other cities are available upon request.  Airline upgrades at additional cost may be available on request for the international portion of your flight.  If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, the cost of the overnight will be at your expense.  For tours that include round-trip international airfare, the tour operator  will be happy to help with arrangements. Please note that seat assignments for your international flights is usually done at airport check-in. The tour operator is unable to guarantee any seat assignments.

When planning our tours that include international round-trip airfare, the tour operator contracts with those airlines that they feel provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates that enable us to offer you the best possible travel value. Please note that frequent flyer mileage credits are issued at the discretion of the airline(s) and may not be available for the flights on your tour. If you prefer to make your own airline reservations, “land only” pricing is available on most of our tours.

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

International and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time. Tours can also be canceled due to low enrollments. If you make your own airline reservations, we recommend that you do not purchase nonrefundable tickets or tickets with high penalties for changes. 

We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased independently in conjunction with a tour.

Travel Insurance- Cancellation/Delay/Lost Baggage

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.  Learn more at TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys.

Travel Documents and Information

Participants are responsible for obtaining any documents required for their participation in the tour such as a valid passport, all visas, vaccination certificates, and any other documents. If your tour requires a visa or other entry documents, we will send you the appropriate information after you make a reservation.  Failure to obtain documents does not negate the terms and conditions, and any extra costs incurred for rerouting or delay due to travel without the necessary documents will be the participant’s responsibility. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your embassy or consulate to ensure you obtain the proper documentation.

For all international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens on all tours. The U.S. Department of State will no longer add visa pages into U.S. passports beginning January 1, 2016. The decision to discontinue this service was made to enhance the security of the passport and to abide by international passport standards. Beginning January 1, 2016, applicants in need of additional pages in their valid passports must obtain a new passport. For more information on how or where to apply, please visit Travel.State.Gov/ApplyEarly or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778/1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TTD).

For more information about traveling to destinations abroad, we recommend the “Learn about your destination” section on the U.S. Department of State travel website www.travel.state.gov.  For medical information, we recommend contacting the Centers for Disease Control at (877) FYI-TRIP or www.cdc.gov/travel

Physical and Medical Considerations

To enjoy the travel experience, participants should be in good physical and mental health. All tours require an element of walking (up to two miles per day over uneven terrain) and of climbing stairs, often without handrails. Participants should have sufficient stamina to keep pace with an active group of participants on long days of touring. If you have any questions about your ability to participate in a tour, please call us at 855-330-1542. Any physical condition, diet, or special request for accommodation must be identified in writing on the Personal Information Form when the reservation is made. Some tours have additional information regarding physical and medical considerations, which may be discussed with the Reservation Specialist at 855-330-1542.

Please be aware that health care standards, facilities, and services abroad may be different or even inadequate for treating certain health conditions.  It is essential that you inform us in writing (on the provided Personal Information Form) of any existing condition for which you may require medical attention or accommodation during the tour. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the needs of our participants; however, services of a personal nature cannot be expected or guaranteed. By forwarding the deposit for pre-registration or registration in full, you affirm that you do not have any physical or other limitations that would create a hazard for yourself or other participants or would require adjustments to the tour for other participants.

Itinerary or Tour Modifications

Smithsonian Journeys strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, at our sole discretion, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute elements of the tour.  These elements include, but are not limited to:  hotels, staff, speakers, experts, and services for any stated in the itinerary.

Every effort will be made to carry out the tour as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary has been sent to you. Please note that weather and other conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise tours. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule.

Hotel Accommodations

Smithsonian Journeys chooses hotels based on a combination of location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and tours in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used.  Tour prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bath.

Singles and Roommates

Hotel rooms are always reserved for single participants, however, the number of single rooms available on a tour may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you register early. Please note that a single supplement will most likely apply for a single room.  If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room/cabin, we will do our best to find someone of the same gender and smoking preference to share with you. If you are matched with a non-smoking roommate, it is mutually agreed that you cannot smoke in your hotel room/cabin. When a roommate cannot be found, a single supplement will be charged. Please note that the single rooms in many foreign hotels may be smaller than those to which you are accustomed.

Children

All tours except family journeys, are designed for adults. Some may be suitable for children 16 and older. Regardless of age, children must pay full price unless otherwise noted, moreover, a parent or guardian must accompany those under 18.

Special Travel Arrangements

Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel after the tour. Our tour operators will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability.  . For participants using air, only post tour extensions are offered. Tour operator may be able to assist land only participants with pre-tour arrangements.

Should you decide not to participate in certain parts of the tour or use certain goods included in the tour, no refunds will be made for those unused parts of the tour or goods.

Dispute Resolution

If a complaint arises, the participant should first inform a member of the on-tour staff, so that the staff can attempt to rectify the matter. If the issue remains unresolved, the individual should submit the complaint in writing to Smithsonian Journeys within 30 days of the completion of the tour.

The Smithsonian Journeys staff will make a good faith effort to resolve any dispute.  In the event that the parties are unable to resolve the dispute, the parties may agree to use a method of non-binding Alternative Dispute Resolution to resolve the dispute.  In the event that the parties are unable to agree on the method of Alternative Dispute Resolution to use, or in the event that either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of that alternative dispute resolution method, such efforts shall not constitute a waiver by either party of the right to file suit.

Photography and Video

Participants on tour may be photographed or recorded (audio and video) for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution and Smithsonian authorized third parties.  This content may be used in marketing publications and posted on websites to promote Smithsonian Journeys without compensation to the participant. Participants who prefer that their name, voice and/or image not be used must notify us in writing prior to the beginning of the tour.

Smoking Policy

 For the comfort of all participants, we ask that there be no smoking during all group activities, including excursions and meals. On certain cruises, there is no smoking aboard the ship. Your pre-tour bulletins will provide further information.

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

Smithsonian Journeys tours are organized and administered by professional tour operators hired as independent contractors. The use of designated tour operators allows the Smithsonian to offer participants a wide array of educational travel opportunities. The tour operator acts only as an agent for the respective suppliers by making arrangements for transportation, accommodations, and other services. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator shall be held liable for personal injury, death, property damage or accident, delay or irregularity arising out of any act or omission of these suppliers. The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of tour participants.

The Smithsonian Institution and its designated tour operator also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw the tour announced, to decline to accept any person as a participant in a tour, or to require any participant to withdraw from the tour at any time (including, but not limited for inappropriate, or offensive behavior) when such action is determined by tour staff to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the tour group or the individual participant.

Dates, schedules, tour details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication on the website, in the brochure or catalog, are subject to change and revision.

AS A CONDITION OF ACCEPTANCE OF ANY APPLICATION, EACH APPLICANT MUST AGREE TO THE STATEMENT SET FORTH BELOW:

The undersigned has read carefully the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer set forth above, the schedule of activities for this tour, as well as the terms and conditions of application and participation as set forth in the tour materials, and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour and the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour materials. The undersigned further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel tour, including but not limited to the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness, and damage to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour staff or others. In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in the tour, the undersigned, on behalf of himself, his dependents, heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, agrees to release the Smithsonian Institution, its Regents, officers, employees, representatives or agents, the United States, and the tour operator and its officers, employees and agents, from liability for personal injury, death, property damage or loss suffered by any person in connection with this tour, even if caused by the negligence (but not the reckless, willful, or fraudulent conduct) of tour staff or other related persons or entities. In addition, by registering for this tour, the applicant certifies that he or she is mentally and physically capable of full participation in this tour. By registering for a Smithsonian Journey, the participant agrees to the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer and the Terms and Conditions herein.