Photo by Devendra Basnet

display information about this photo
Magical Tibet route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $6295  
Length: 16 days
Arrive: Lhasa, Tibet
Depart: Kathmandu, Nepal
Lodging: 15 nights comfortable hotels and basic lodges
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level: Rugged road travel with light walking, altitudes between 11,800-16,900 feet
3

Highlights

  • Explore Tibet’s most sacred monasteries and cultural sites
  • Traditional Buddhist festivals—Saga Dawa or Shoton—on each departure
  • Encounter Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims and nomads with their families
  • View the icy ramparts of the stupendous North Face of Everest
  • Discover Kathmandu’s bustling bazaars


This was truly the experience of a lifetime—a great trip in an exotic and magical place.Carl T.—Annapolis, MD

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Our magnificent adventure into the heart of Tibet brings you from Samye, its most historic monastery, to the soaring ramparts of the North Face of Everest. Tibet’s magic is revealed in places like the Barkhor market, where we mingle among pilgrims and swashbuckling Khampa traders, and in striking fortress-monasteries of the Tibetan Plateau, where flickering yak-butter lamps illuminate ancient Buddhist frescoes. Reaching the foot of Everest, the dazzling glaciers of the world’s highest peak seem almost close enough to touch. Our journey ends with a crossing of the spine of the Himalaya to Nepal and the bustling bazaars of Kathmandu.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-4
Lhasa, Tibet

We join the pilgrims who gather at the candle-lit altars of the Jokhang, Tibet’s most sacred temple, and walk the Barkhor, a pilgrimage circuit surrounding the Jokhang. We also explore the majestic Potala Palace and journey to sprawling Ganden Monastery (13,700'), where we have a chance to walk the pilgrim kora (sacred circuit). While in Lhasa, we enjoy a special traditional festival: Saga Dawa (May departure) or Shoton (August departure).

Days 5-12
Tibetan Plateau / Everest Base Camp

In the remote Yarlung Valley, we explore 8th century Samye, whose remarkable collection of wall paintings vividly depicts the legends and religious history of Tibet. Crossing the Tibetan Plateau, we head to the historic outpost of Gyantse, crossing two high passes and visiting holy Yamdrok Tso (“Jade Lake”), a site of pilgrimage. In Shigatse, the magnificent, gold-topped Tashilumpho, one of Tibet’s most breathtaking monasteries, sprawls across the foot of a mountain, and in Shegar, views of Everest and Cho Oyu rise dramatically over the sweeping Tibetan landscape from its hilltop fortress. Arriving at Rongbuk (16,500'), the highest monastery in the world, we feast our eyes on the ramparts of Mt. Everest, where the legendary British mountaineers Mallory and Irvine disappeared into the mists of history. Higher still, we bring you right to Everest Base Camp for the most breathtaking views of Everest, its sheer North Face soaring above the ice of the Rongbuk Glacier.

Days 13-16
Lalung La / Zhangmu, Tibet / Kathmandu, Nepal

We head up and over the Lalung La (16,600'), where Himalayan peaks pierce the sky in every direction, then descend to Kathmandu. Depart on Day 16.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

The trip is Level 3, Moderate. It is an adventurous overland journey with 15 nights in comfortable hotels. While not a hiking trip, there are two or three optional two-hour hikes on the trip, including the optional walk circling the pilgrim kora at Ganden Monastery and an optional hike from Rongphu to Everest Base Camp.

We will be at altitudes of at least 12,800 feet during the entire trip until we descend into Nepal. The highest altitude we reach is about 17,000, by vehicle. Individuals vary widely in both their physical response to high altitude. It is not uncommon to experience mild headaches or sleeplessness for a day or two when you first arrive at high altitude. Most people gradually adjust within a few days, and our three-day stay in Lhasa at the start of the trip will aid us in acclimatization.

The weather will likely be quite comfortable, with blue skies most days, but nights can be chilly. No matter what, at high altitude, the weather is unpredictable, and the effect of the wind-chill factor can create very cold conditions.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures

2016
May 19-Jun 3, 2016
Aug 30-Sep 14, 2016

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2016
$6295 (10-14 members)
$6895 (7-9 members)
Single supplement: $860
Forced single supplement: $660
Internal airfare: $330 (subject to change)
more on pricing

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
90-46 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Internal Airfare Payment, Change, and Cancellation Fee Schedule:* Payment for Internal Air will be collected from each trip member approximately three to six months (or even more) prior to departure, depending on flight availability and seasonal ticketing deadlines. Once issued, internal air tickets are subject to a $100 per person fee for any changes or cancellation until 60 days prior to the trip. Within 60 days of the trip, all tickets are non-refundable. The name on your tickets must match your passport exactly, and any name changes are subject to these same fees. We therefore request that you send us a scanned copy of your passport photo page immediately upon reserving your trip. Internal Air payments and cancellation fees are in addition to Trip Cost payments and cancellation fees as noted above.

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations in hotels and lodges
  • All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner
  • Land transportation, airport transfers, and sightseeing as noted

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, internal flights, hotel nights en route to and from Lhasa or Kathmandu, transfers for independent arrival or departure, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessary due to airline schedule changes or other factors; pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation arriving to Chengdu, China, and departing from Kathmandu, Nepal. For more detailed information, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip and have reviewed your proposed air schedule with our office. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule so we can reserve your airport transfers.

Meeting Place:
Lhasa, Tibet
Date: Day 1

Suggested Arrival Airport:
Chengdu, China  (airport city code: CTU)
Arrival Time: Trip members must be in Chengdu, China, at least one day prior to Day 1 of the trip. 

Departure:
Kathmandu, Nepal
Date: Day 16

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal (airport code: KTM)
Suggested departure time: anytime

Kyichu Hotel

Kyichu Hotel

Days 1 to 4 (4 nights), Lhasa, Tibet

Conveniently located just a few minutes walk from the Jokhang Temple, Barkhor, and Potala Palace, the Kyichu, run by a Tibetan family, is ideally ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Tse Dang Hotel

Days 5 to 6 (2 nights), Tsetang, Tibet

In the heart of Tsetang and close to the historical sites, this large, modern, four-story hotel is an ideal base for exploring Tibet’s third largest city. Guest rooms with attached bath feature telephone, cable TV, and air-conditioning. Several restaurants are on the premises, and there is a tranquil garden where we can relax after a day of exploring.

Gyantse Hotel

Day 7 (1 night), Gyantse, Tibet

The Gyantse Hotel, featuring 120 spacious guest rooms with private bathrooms, has a central location in the town of Gyantse, within walking distance of the main monastery and stupa.

Shigatse Hotel

Day 8 (1 night), Shigatse, Tibet

In Shigatse, we stay at the Shigatse Hotel, with its clean, comfortable guest rooms and spacious lobby with traditional, elaborately painted Tibetan decor.

Tibetan Plateau Hotels

Tibetan Plateau Hotels

Days 9 to 13 (5 nights), Tibetan Plateau, Tibet

On our overland journey across the Tibetan Plateau, we stay in a variety of basic hotels and rustic lodges that range from larger government-built ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Hotel Shangri-La

Hotel Shangri-La

Days 14 to 15 (2 nights), Kathmandu, Nepal

This well-regarded hotel is renowned for its friendly staff and also has two excellent restaurants. The Shangri-La is located just a 25-minute walk ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

Burma

Burma Extension

Yangon and Bagan

Cultural Adventures
6 days  -  Level 2

Cambodia

angkor wat cambodia temples

Temples of Angkor Extension

Exploring the Glories of a Bygone Khmer Civilization

Cultural Adventures
4 days  -  Level 2

Laos

Laos: Luang Prabang Extension

Gilded Temples and Traditional Buddhist Culture of Laos

Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 2

Myanmar

Burma Extension

Yangon and Bagan

Cultural Adventures
6 days  -  Level 2

Nepal

everest flying views himalaya

Scenic Everest Flight

Admire the Giants of the Himalaya from a Close Perspective!


Level 1

tiger mountain pokhara lodge

Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge Extension

Spectacular Scenery and Enchanting Villages of the Annapurna Foothills

Cultural Adventures, Hiking / Trekking, Walking
3 days  -  Level 3

Thailand

wat arun bangkok thailand

Bangkok Extension

Discover the Beautiful Cultural Monuments of Bangkok

Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 1

Chiang Mai Extension

Explore the Wonders of Northern Thailand

Cultural Adventures, Walking, Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 2

Phuket Extension

Explore a Jewel Set in the Andaman Sea

Cultural Adventures, Sea Kayaking
4 days  -  Level 2

Client Comments

This was truly the experience of a lifetime—a great trip in an exotic and magical place. Carl T., Annapolis, MD I have traveled with many other companies and this trip tops everything so far. Lilly P., McLean, VA This was one of the most memorable trips we have ever taken. The guides were fabulous and, all in all, Tibet touched our souls deeply on so many levels. Jane R., Davis, CA
I so enjoyed the beauty and enchantment of Tibet and Nepal! Stinceon D., Greenwich, CT My first organized trip and I loved it. Thank you! Lillian M., Scarsdale, NY