Tibet Explorer from Nepal - 27 days/26 nights
This adventure/pilgrimage begins and ends in Kathmandu. Spend a couple days exploring Kathmandu, then fly to Lhasa (3,600m) to see the Potala Palace and monasteries. Hop on land cruisers for the journey to Kailash, visiting Gyantse and Shigatse enroute before heading out to Saga. Once past Saga, you will be traversing the western Tibetan highlands of Ngari to Lake Manasarovar and Kailash. Join hundreds of local pilgrims for a 3-day trek around Mt. Kailash. Drive back to Kathmandu via the Friendship Highway.
Privately-Guided! Whether you are a single person, a couple, or a group, you'll have your own guide and driver for all airport pickups, drop offs, and daily excursions.
Choose Your Own Dates! This is not a fixed-departure-date tour. Just let us know the dates that work best for you and we will arrange everything.
Customizable! Need more time? Less time? Want to see or do something that isn't included? Just let us know, and we will arrange it for you and let you know the change in costs.
Click here to read what our clients have told us after they return.
- Kathmandu city tour including Monkey Temple and Patan Durbar Square
- A drive through the beautiful Yarlung Valley
- Lhasa's Potala Palace
- Trekking through Tibet's vast landscape and rural villages
Day 1: Kathmandu (4,400 ft)
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy a free day to rest or explore the city at your own pace. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner in the Thamel district. Overnight in Kathmandu. (Dinner)
Day 2: Kathmandu (4,400 ft)
Spend a day touring Kathmandu. Visit Swayambhunath, the monkey temple, and then proceed to Kathmandu Durbar Square to explore this maze of temples and palaces. Drive 15 minutes to Patan for lunch and a visit to the Patan Museum, followed by a tour of Patan Durbar Square. With time-permitting, visit the Tibetan Refugee Centre. Overnight in Kathmandu. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 3: Kathmandu to Tsedang (11,500 ft)
Fly from Kathmandu over the Himalayas to Tibet’s Gongar Airport. Your Tibetan guide and driver(s) will meet you at the airport and drive you 1.5 hours to Tsedang. Overnight in Tsedang. (All meals)
Day 4: Tsedang (11,500 ft)
In the morning visit Samye Monastery – Tibet’s first monastery built in the mid-eighth century. After lunch, drive through the Yarlung Valley – the cradle of Tibetan civilization. Then take a walk up a ridge to the Yambu-Lakhang, the first palace and earliest construction in Tibet. Overnight in Tsedang. (All meals)
Day 5: Tsedang to Lhasa (11,800 ft)
Drive 4 hours to Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. Transfer to your hotel and have the rest of the evening free. Overnight in Lhasa. (All meals)
Day 6: Lhasa (11,800 ft)
In the morning, visit the Potala Palace and the Norbulinkga (Jewel Park) – the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. In the late afternoon, watch pilgrims making the circuit around Barkhor Square, the social centre of Lhasa. Overnight in Lhasa. (All meals)
Day 7: Lhasa (11,800 ft)
Visit the two major Gelugpa centers of Drepung and Sera. At Sera monastery, founded in 1419, observe resident monks debate in the courtyard. Overnight in Lhasa. (All meals)
Day 8: Lhasa to Gyantse (12,900 ft)
After breakfast, embark on a day-long drive over the 4,750m/15,700ft Kamba La Pass and along the turquoise Yamdrok-Tso Lake to Gyantse. You will also drive across the 5,045m/16,600ft Karo La with its beautiful roadside views of the Nojin Kangtsand Glacier. Overnight in Gyantse. (All meals)
Day 9: Gyantse to Shigatse (12,800 ft)
In the morning, visit Pelkor Chode monastery and Gyantse Kumbum stupa.
In the late morning, drive 2 hours to Tibet’s second largest city, Shigatse. Enjoy lunch and then visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery. Overnight in Shigatse. (All meals)
Day 10: Shigaste to Saga (15,100 ft)
After breakfast embark on a 7-8 hour drive to Saga where you will meet your Nepali camp staff. Beginning today, you will sleep in tents and eat meals prepared by our friendly and experienced trekking crew. Your Tibetan guide will still be accompanying you, along with the Tibetan drivers and vehicles. Overnight in camp. (All meals)
Days 11-13: Drive to Manasarovar Camp
These are long driving days across the Tibetan highlands. You will be rewarded with amazing vistas and expansive views of the Tibetan plateau while the Himalayas will follow you along the south as you head westwards. In addition to the nomads of the Ngari highlands, you are likely to see Tibetan antelopes and wild donkeys (kiang) as you drive along. Overnight in Camps. (All meals)
Day 14: Manasarovar Camp to Chiu Gompa
In the morning take a pleasant 30km drive around Manasarovar Lake to Chiu Gomba. Along the way stop and visit Seralung, Trugo and Gossul monasteries. Enjoy an evening soak in a hot spring bath house in the village. Overnight in Camp. (All meals)
Day 15: Chiu Gompa to Dharchen (15,000 ft)
Drive to Dharchen from Chiu Gompa. In Dharchen, the Tibetan guide will arrange for yaks and/or porters to carry your equipment on the kora (trek) around Kailash. Overnight in Darchen. (All meals)
Day 16: Darchen to Deru Phuk
Hike from Darchen to Deru Phuk stopping along the way in Tarboche to see the flagpole that is replaced each year during the Saga Dawa Festival. Take an optional visit to the Sky Burial Site. Total trekking time is around 6 hours. Overnight near Dera Phuk. (All meals)
Day 17: Dera Phuk to Zutul Phuk
In the morning begin your trek to the Drolma La (18,500 ft) via Shiva-tsal (17,500 ft) – a rocky expanse dotted with stone cairns draped with items of clothing. Here, pilgrims undergo a symbolic death leaving their old life behind, along with an item of clothing. At Drolma La, a rocky pass festooned with prayer flags, will be several pilgrims prostrating and offering homage. Descend to Zutul Phuk. Total trekking time is around 6 hours. Overnight in Zutul Phuk. (All meals)
Day 18: Zutul Phuk to Tirthapuri Hot Springs
The final day’s walk is a much easier “stroll” compared to what you have just accomplished over the Drolma La. End your kora with the walk back to Dharchen and drive to Tirthapuri Hot Springs. Total trekking time is about 3-4 hours. Overnight in Tirthapuri. (All meals)
Day 19: Contingency Day
A contingency day has been scheduled for this kora to allow for bad weather or slow progress.
Day 20: Tirthapuri
Enjoy a day of rest at Tirthapuri Hot Springs. You can also choose to walk the hour-long Tirthapuri kora or visit the Guru Rinpoche Monastery nearby. Overnight in Tirthapuri. (All meals)
Day 21-23: Tirthapuri to Saga
Retrace the drive to Saga. Camp en route. (All meals)
Day 24: Saga to Nyalam (12,300 ft)
After breakfast set out on a 7 hour drive to Nyalam. Drive by stunning Peiku-Tso (Lake). Past Lamlung La, leave behind the dry scrub Tibetan highland and start descent to Nyalam, a fast-growing town with numerous guest houses and internet and phone facilities. Tonight is the last night with Tibetan and Nepali staff. Overnight in Nyalam. (All meals)
Day 25: Nyalam to Kathmandu (4,400 ft)
Begin your drive back to Kathmandu. The road from Nyalam further descends into the border town of Zhangmu (2,300m). At Zhangmu, you will go through the Chinese exit formalities at immigration. The Tibetan vehicles will drop you at the Friendship Bridge, which you must walk across. Your Nepali vehicle and staff will be waiting for you across the border at Tatopani to bring you to Kathmandu. Overnight in Kathmandu. (All meals)
Day 26: Kathmandu (4,400 ft)
After breakfast, take a half-day of sightseeing in Kathmandu of Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Bodhnath stupa. Enjoy a farewell dinner in the evening at a typical Nepali cultural restaurant in Kathmandu. Overnight in Kathmandu. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 27: Depart Kathmandu
Transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport for your flight home. (Breakfast)
Per Person Rates (based on double occupancy) start from:
- All airport transfers
- 4 nights at Hotel Shangri-La (4 star, deluxe rooms) or similar on double-occupancy basis
- Sightseeing and transportation as per program with English-speaking guide
- Welcome and farewell dinner
- Airfare: Kathmandu to Lhasa
- All airport transfers
- Tibet visa
- Camping staff and equipment
- Transfer as per itinerary in land-cruisers
- Sightseeing as per itinerary with English-speaking Tibetan guide
- Transfer: Kodari - Kathmandu
Rates Do Not Include
- International airfare to and from Kathmandu
- International airport departure tax
- Nepal multiple-entry visa
- Travel Insurance
- Tips and expenses of a personal nature
To Book This Tour
Please call us toll free at 1-877-362-2793 and let us know that you would like to book this tour. Then follow these instructions:
- Download, print, and fill out the Reservation Form for each person.
- Fax the form to us at 206-529-4803, or mail it to:
Red Lantern Journeys
1000 N. Northlake Way, Suite H
Seattle, WA 98103
- Pay a non-refundable $500 per person deposit and we will initiate your reservations. Please note that for flights to/from Lhasa from Kathmandu, airfare is due at the time of booking in addition to the deposit.
- Final payment is due 75 days prior to departure.
If your reservation is made less than 75 days prior to departure, the non-refundable deposit will allow us to initiate reservations. Full payment will be due immediately upon confirmation of all hotels and transportation services. If the services quoted cannot be confirmed, alternate accommodation or transportation will be arranged and the price will be adjusted accordingly.
Payments can be made by personal check, bank wire transfer, or credit card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will initiate your reservations and send you a statement showing your payment. Approximately 4 weeks prior to your departure, we will send you a final confirmation package containing your itinerary and detailed information on the logistics of your trip.
Forms to Download (pdf file)
Reservation Form with Complete Terms and Conditions
- Cancel more than 60 days prior to departure - forfeit your deposit.
- Cancel between 30 and 60 days prior to departure - forfeit 50% of the tour cost.
- Cancel less than 30 days prior to departure - NO REFUND of tour cost.
- Cancellations must be made in writing and sent via mail, fax, or email to Red Lantern Journeys.
- Refunds will be processed within 30 days of receipt of your written request.
- No refunds are available for unused services or tours during your trip.