Everest , Chitwan and India
This is an incredible adventure through Nepal and India. Trek to see the world's highest mountain, explore the wilderness of Chitwan National Park and take an unforgettable journey through India and the spectacular state of Rajasthan. An unforgettable experience.
Day 1 - KathmanduToday is an arrival day and no activities are planned, so you may arrive at any time. Please ask at the hotel reception for suggestions of things to see and do in Kathmandu. A pre-departure meeting takes place this evening at the hotel. Please also check the noticeboard for details of this meeting and for any other messages from your tour guide. Please also bring your passport and travel insurance documents to the meeting. Afterwards we have the opportunity to go out for an optional group dinner.
Day 2 - Phakding(Walking time: approx 3 hours) In the morning we fly from Kathmandu to Lukla (2827m). The flight itself is awe-inspiring as we fly parallel to the Himalayan giants bordering Nepal and Tibetan China. Flight time is about 40 minutes and we land at an airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpas in the mid-1960s. After landing we meet our porters who will carry our equipment during our trek. We also have time to explore the village before hitting the trail. The trek starts with a descent towards the Dudh Kosi River, where we join the main trail to Namche Bazaar. (Dudh means 'milk' – the waters of the river are a strong milky white from glacial melt.) The walk is easy and after passing through the small village of Ghat (2550m), we soon reach our lodge at Phakding.Breakfast
Day 3 - Monjo - Namche Bazaar(Walking time: approx 8 hours) It is a long day, but also essential that we ascend slowly on the route that eventually leads to Everest Base Camp. Sensible acclimatisation will ensure we are feeling good on our final days approaching the peak of Everest. We make a start from Phakding and cross the river to walk through tracts of blue pine and rhododendron forest that is very spectacular in the spring, when the flowers are in bloom. We cross the Dudh Kosi at Benkar and enjoy great views of the snow-capped peaks of Kusum Kanguru (6369m) and Thamserku (6623m). From here it is only a short walk to Monjo (2835m), where we arrive in time for lunch. Then the walking gets a little tougher and includes a steep ascent to Namche Bazaar. It is a short walk to the entrance of the national park, where our permits are checked before we descend quite steeply to again cross the Dudh Kosi to Jorsale (2805m). The trek continues upstream on generally flat terrain, crossing back to the right bank, to the confluence of the Bhote Kosi and Dudh Kosi rivers. After crossing a large and stable suspension bridge high above the river we climb steeply to the village of Namche Bazaar. A slow and steady pace is recommended on this section of the climb and we are encouraged to make the most of the fantastic photographic opportunities as the peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Taweche come into view for the first time. You may notice you are travelling a little more slowly as the effects of altitude start to become apparent. Take your time on this path which is used by the local peoples as a 'foot highway' on this important trading route. At Namche we stay in a lodge in the heart of the village and there is plenty of time to bargain in the shops for Tibetan artefacts or relax and marvel at the beautiful scenery.Breakfast
Day 4 - Namche Bazaar(Acclimatisation Day) We stay at Namche for a second night to allow for proper acclimatisation to the high altitude and to enable full exploration of the town and its surrounds. Namche is a prosperous village, situated in a large, protected hollow. It gained its importance during the period when Tibetan salt was traded for the lowland grains of Nepal. Today quite an amount of trade continues at Namche and Tibetans are sometimes seen in the village trading rugs and Chinese-made goods, clothing, salt and dried meat. It is recommended that you take the opportunity to see both the sunrise and sunset views from the national park headquarters above the village. The panorama can be stunning at both times of the day with a superb view of the Khumbu peaks, including great sightings of Everest. After breakfast there are various options, including perhaps a walk towards Thami (3810m), up the beautiful and generally flat Bhote Khola River Valley, with a series of great peaks rearing to well over 6,000 metres just to the west. Alternatively you can visit the national park headquarters to see the interesting displays of Sherpa lifestyle and culture. Your guides will be on hand to offer advice and to escort you on the walks. Another option is the steep climb out of the village bowl to the flatter areas around and above Shyangboche where beautiful views abound.Breakfast
Day 5 - Monjo(Walking time: approx 4 hours) In Namche Bazaar where enjoy a final opportunity to visit the shops in the bazaar. We then descend steeply down to the large suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi and follow the trail through Jorsale and back to Monjo, where we spend the night.Breakfast
Day 6 - Lukla(Walking time: approx 5 hours) There is no rush today as we retrace our steps back to Lukla. We take lunch in Phakding and although, the final ascent up to Lukla is a surprise for most trekkers, reach the airport in the early afternoon. Lukla is famous for its end of trek celebrations, although we should not overdo it, as the plane ride back to Kathmandu is not best enjoyed with a hangover!Breakfast
Day 8 - KathmanduToday is a day at leisure and no organized activities are planned, so you explore Kathmandu at your pleasure. You may wish to wander down to Durbar Square, which is the spiritual heart of the city located only 10 minutes walk from our hotel. A pre-departure meeting for the second part (India) of your tour takes place this evening at the hotel. Please also check the noticeboard for details of this meeting and for any other messages from your tour guide. Please also bring your passport and travel insurance documents to the meeting. Afterwards we have the opportunity to go out for an optional group dinner.Breakfast
Day 9 - KathmanduToday we visit Bodhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world, where we observe Buddhist monks in prayer in the monasteries surrounding the stupa. We also visit Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here we see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the ghats. The rest of our time in Kathmandu is free for further sightseeing and exploration. You may wish to wander back into the centre of town, scour the shops in Thamel or just relax in the hotel gardens. Alternatively you may wish to arrange for a taxi to take you out to Bhaktapur, probably the most fascinating of the medieval towns in the Kathmandu Valley.Breakfast
Day 10-11 - Chitwan National ParkWe catch a morning bus that climbs to the rim of the Kathmandu Valley on the Rajpath (Prithvi Highway) and then descend steeply on the other side to follow the banks of the Trisuli River. We then descend to the village of Sauhara in the Terai, on the edge of the flat Chitwan jungle region at the base of the mighty Himalayan range. During our lodge stay we ride elephants into the jungle and, accompanied by a wildlife guide, go in search of Indian rhinoceros, sloth bear, deer and a multitude of different birds. Tiger sightings are very rare these days; however, luck may be on our side! We also have time at for some optional activities such as jeep and canoe safaris.Breakfast
Day 12 - Lumbini - SonauliIn the early morning we leave Chitwan National Park by private vehicle and travel across the plains to Lumbini, the birthplace of Prince Siddharta Gautama - founder of the Buddhist religion. We visit the various temple complexes that have been constructed by Buddhists from Japan, China and Myanmar, as well as the ancient Ashoka Pillar and Maya Devi Temple. We spend the night in a lovely jungle camp - a great base for a walk or bike ride.Breakfast
Day 13-14 - VaranasiIn the morning we cross into India. After customs and immigration formalities are completed, our Nepalese tour guide will bid us farewell and hand us over to his Indian counterpart. We then continue our journey to Varanasi. It’s a long day of travelling (approximately 8 hours), but done in the relative comfort of our own vehicles with several rest stops made along the way. On arrival in Varanasi, there is another tour briefing, this time on information relevant to the Indian sector of our tour. Please bring along your passport and travel insurance documents. Regarded as the spiritual heart of India, Varanasi is the city of Shiva built on the banks of the sacred Ganges River. Thousands of pilgrims flock to the great ghats to bathe in the holy waters - a ritual that is believed to wash away all sins. The city claims to be one of the oldest in the world and it’s a magical place where we are able to witness the rituals of life and death on the ghats, on an early morning boat ride. Our tour guide also takes us for a walk through the back lanes and crowded alleyways of this timeless city. After our time in Varanasi we board our overnight sleeper train and head westward to Agra.Breakfast
Day 15 - AgraAgra is home to India’s most famous site - the majestic Taj Mahal. After settling in we visit this amazing 17th century marble mausoleum, built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his second wife who died giving birth. Started in 1631 the project was completed in 1648 and employed a workforce of over 20,000 people. Construction materials were brought from all over India with the marble from Rajasthan transported by over 1000 elephants. Our tour guide can also help us arrange an optional visit to Agra Fort.Breakfast
Day 16 - Tordi GarhOne of the features of a Gecko’s trip through Rajasthan is visits to small, out of the way villages. Tordi Garh is a small town that we have identified is a true ‘off the beaten track’ experience. After a 4 hour bus trip from Agra, we are met by jeeps and drive a couple of hours through beautiful countryside to Tordi. Very few travelers have even heard of Tordi and even fewer visit it, because it’s hard to get to on your own. We explore the village, meeting potters, visiting an old village temple, walking though markets and meeting families on the way. Ruined temples and a fortress lie further afield and we enjoy a visit to these sites. Our host is the owner of the palace at Tordi. He is a direct descendant of the feudal lord who built the palace in the 16th century. The accommodation has unforgettable ambience and charm and really makes the visit to Tordi a special highlight.Breakfast
Day 17 - 18 - JaipurThis morning we travel by jeep to Jaipur - the vibrant and colourful capital of Rajasthan. Here, traditionally dressed Rajput men wearing colourful turbans and sporting magnificent moustaches make their way through crowded streets packed with cars, camel carts, rickshaws, trucks and bicycles. On our second day in Jaipur we travel 11 kilometres out to the stunning medieval Amber Fort. This fort was built in 1592 by Maharaja Man Singh and is a superb example of Rajput architecture. Several hours are needed to explore this huge fortification and we include the services of a local site guide for our tour. Our tour guide also takes us to an area known as the Old Bazaar where the Hawa Mahal, better known as The Palace of the Winds, is situated. This five-storey façade with its pink, honeycombed sandstone windows is one of Jaipur's best-known landmarks. We also have ample free time in Jaipur and there are many interesting things to see and do; our tour guide will be happy to assist us with getting to some of these places.Breakfast
Day 19 - DelhiWe return to Delhi by bus and are transferred to our hotel. Our tour guide then takes us into the old city's market area known as Chandni Chowk as well as Connaught Place - the commercial heart of New Delhi. The rest of the day is free for relaxing or doing some further sightseeing on our own. Red Fort and the impressive Jama Masjid (Great Mosque) are two of the city's most notable landmarks, whilst Raj Ghat is a monument that marks the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. In the final evening we have the opportunity to head out for a final group dinner (optional) before saying our goodbyes.Breakfast
Day 20 - DelhiOur trip ends today around breakfast time. If you wish to stay on in Delhi, please pre-book your post-tour accommodation before you commence your travels. Delhi has many interesting museums and monuments. If you are interested in historical and cultural matters, it is recommended that you to extend your stay and visit some of these places. Humayun's Tomb and Safdarjang's Tomb are other great examples of Mughal architecture and design. Hauz Khas Village is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown - a chic artistic enclave set right next to the remnants of a historical site.Breakfast
What to Know
• Gecko’s expert English-speaking regional leader throughout the tour, and local site guides at some sites.
• 5 day trek along the classic route to Everest Base Camp.
• Return local flights from Kathmandu to Lukla.
• Twin-share lodge accommodation, generally in rooms with sleeping mattresses.
• Porterage on trek.
• Gecko’s kit bag and first aid kit.
• Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Agra including the Taj Mahal; Jaipur including Amber Fort, Old Bazaar and The Palace of the Winds; Bikaner including Junagarh Fort; Jaisalmer including Jaisalmer Fort and a walk around the havelis; Jodhpur including Meharangarh Fort and Sardar Market; and Delhi including Chandni Chowk and Connaught Place.
• Off-the-beaten-track experience in Tordi Garh – village walk, a visit to ruined temples and a fortress, and a jeep safari. Overnight accommodation in 16th Century Tordi Palace.
• Express train from Delhi to Agra, and local train from Bikaner to Jaisalmer.
• Overnight sleeper trains from Delhi to Bikaner. Accommodation in air-conditioned sleeper class with three-tier sleeping berths (two sheets, a blanket and a pillow provided per person).
- International flights, arrival and departure transfers, airport/departure taxes, visas, pre or post tour accommodation, all other meals, optional tours sightseeing or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature, laundry and flights unless specified. Some places that we visit charge additional fees if you are entering with a camera or camcorder - your city guide will advise on these and they can be paid for locally.
Trip Dates and Prices
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