This is a Global Expeditions Travel Club Trip:
Group will travel Sept 18 - Oct 4, 2014
Join other like-minded club members on this group tour and travel deep into the majestic and awe inspiring Himalaya Mountains with a Global Expeditions Travel Club
overland group tour to Tibet and Nepal (with a stopover visit to the amazing Taj Mahal in India). Join us as we explore the ancient monasteries, friendly villages and amazing scenery of Tibet, the exotic and vibrant city of Kathmandu, and the breath taking, Seven Wonders of the World
Taj Mahal... all in one awesome group tour.
After meeting at Newark airport in New Jersey, our group flight will first take us to the energetic city of Delhi, India, where we will spend 2 days and 2 nights, including a day trip to the incredible Taj Mahal via first class train.
Leaving India, we fly to the exotic, Indiana Jonesish city of Kathmandu, Nepal. After exploring the vibrant streets of this memorable city, we will fly over the Himalayan Mountains (including Mt. Everest) and arrive in the city of Lhasa, Tibet. Here the group will be met by our Tibetan guides, board our 4X4 Land Cruisers and begin our exciting journey across the high Tibetan Plateau, through the Himalaya, down the lush southern slopes of the mountain range and finally back to Kathmandu.
Along this ancient overland route between two very exotic Asian cities; Kathmandu, Nepal and Lhasa, Tibet, we will make a much anticipated stop at the foot of the mother of all mountains, Mt. Everest base camp (no hiking necessary, but it is available if you wish).
From the incredible beauty of the Taj Mahal, to the vast and barren beauty of the Tibetan Plateau, to majestic views of the mighty Himalayan mountain range, to the lush hills of Nepal, the group is treated to spectacular views, given special insight into Tibetan and Buddhist culture, and are introduced to the land that is Shangri-La.
This classic group tour has all the makings of a 'Trip of a Lifetime'. It has the fun, exploration, adventure and the opportunity to make life-long friends! But that is, after all, what the Global Expeditions Club is all about: Make Friends. Travel the World.
NOTE: Due to very limited airline seating, it is important to book your spot on this group tour as early as possible (seats can fill as early as Spring 2012!).
Make Friends. Travel the World.
The Global Expeditions Club is a unique and exciting social travel club open to anyone interested in traveling to exciting destinations around the world with other like-minded adventurers. Membership is free. Please see The Global Expeditions Club
website for more details about the club.
Want to hear what club members are saying about the club trips? Check out the Global Expeditions Club's Testimonial Page!
Lhasa, Tibet, Mt. Everest Base Camp, Kathmandu, Nepal, Himalayan Mountains, Taj Mahal, Delhi, Agra, India
B: Breakfast | L: Lunch
Day 1 (Thu- 09/18): Group flight departs Newark (EWR) at 6:30 PM.
Day 2 (Fri - 09/19): Arrive Delhi, India.
Day 3 (Sat - 09/20): Day tour of Taj Mahal. (B)
Day 4 (Sun - 09/21): Fly Delhi to Kathmandu. (B)
Day 5 (Mon - 09/22): Free day in Kathmandu. (B)
Day 6 (Tue - 09/23): Fly Kathmandu to Lhasa. (B)
Day 7 (Wed - 09/24): Lhasa tour. (B)
Day 8 (Thu - 09/25): Lhasa tour. (B)
Day 9 (Fri - 09/26): Lhasa to Gyantse. (B)
Day 10 (Sat - 09/27): Gyantse to Shigatse. (B)
Day 11 (Sun - 09/28): Shigatse to Xegar. (B)
Day 12 (Mon - 09/29): Xegar to Rongbuk Monastery (Mt. Everest Base Camp). (B)
Day 13 (Tue - 09/30): AM Mt Everest Base Camp visit. Drive to Nyalam. (B)
Day 14 (Wed - 10/1): Nyalam to Kathmandu. (B)
Day 15 (Thu - 10/2): Free day in Kathmandu. (B)
Day 16 (Fri - 10/3): Fly Kathmandu to Newark (EWR). (B)
Day 17 (Sat - 10/4): Arrive Newark (EWR) at 12:30 PM. Trip Ends.
Day 1 (Thu- 09/18)
Group flight departs EWR at 6:30 PM.
We meet at the assigned airport location in Newark airport (EWR) at 2:00 PM for an 'Adventure Briefing' and for a chance to get to know your Adventure Group Leaders and your fellow travelers for the next 16 days. Around 5:00 PM we board our group flight to Delhi.
NOTE: It is highly recommended that you arrive very early in the day or, even better, fly in a day or two early to avoid any pre-trip delays as well as to visit the great city of New York on your own.
Day 2 (Fri)
Arrive Delhi, India.
Crossing the Atlantic Ocean, we arrive in Delhi in the evening.
Day 3 (Sat - 09/22)
Tour of Taj Mahal. (B)
Created as a tribute to eternal love, the Taj Mahal is easily one of man’s most stunning achievements. So glorious and serene does she sit in the midst of a frenzied modern city, an oasis of calm and tranquility that can soften the heart of even the most ardent skeptic. Her allure too powerful for mere mortals to resist the gift of peace and harmony she bestows on anyone blessed enough to witness her beauty.
Today, we will become one of the blessed few to have witnessed her beauty. Today, we journey to this architectural wonder.
Boarding a first class train in Delhi, we make an early start for the city of Agra. Upon arrival, we will make our long awaited visit of the Taj Mahal. Following our visit, we will stop for lunch at a 5 star hotel, followed by visits to the famous Red Fort and other impressive historical sights. Later that evening, full of memories and delight, we again board our first class train and return to Delhi.
Day 4 (Sun)
Fly Delhi to Kathmandu. (4,200 feet) (B)
In the early afternoon, we travel to the airport for our flight to Kathmandu. We arrive in the afternoon, are met at the airport, and transferred in a private vehicle to one of the best known hotels for climbers and trekkers alike located in the heart of the exotic, energetic Thamel neighborhood. We then meet with our local guide, who will ask you to fill out a China/Tibet visa application form. You will be required to submit this form with your passport and two passport photos (you must bring these with you to Nepal) so he can take care of all the formalities the next day.
The remainder of the day is yours to relax and enjoy the gardens of the hotel or take a walk through the vibrant streets of Thamel with your fellow club members.
Day 5 (Mon)
Free Day In Kathmandu. (4,200 feet) (B)
Today is a free day to explore the exotic streets and markets of Kathmandu or relax in the beautiful surroundings of the hotel. This is a great day to pick up supplies for your trip to Tibet, such as inexpensive, yet quality warm weather clothing and snacks. There will be a late afternoon briefing to go over any final trip details, and you will be given your passport with Tibet permit and your air ticket for Lhasa. Tomorrow we begin our Tibet overland adventure.
Day 6 (Tue)
Fly Kathmandu to Lhasa. (11,975 feet) (B)
Today our Tibet overland trip begins. After an early breakfast we head out to the Kathmandu airport. We will be assisted and escorted to the airport by our local staff. Departure time for Lhasa is typically 10:00 AM (or possibly earlier).
FLIGHT TO LHASA: Probably the most spectacular flight in the world! Leaving Kathmandu the plane skirts the Himalayan range where Cho Oyo (8,153 m), Lhotse (8,501 m), Everest (8,848 m) and Makalu (8,463 m) are visible. Looking back as the plane leaves Kathmandu it may be possible to also see Manaslu (8,125 m) and Annapurna I (8,091 m). Turning North the plane typically crosses between Kanchenjunga (8,586 m) and Makalu. From the left side of the plane the east face of Everest and Makalu are visible and from the right Chomo Lhari in Bhutan (7,315 m). The flight is a spectacular chance to see eight of the world's fourteen 8,000 m peaks. The flight duration is about one hour.
ARRIVAL AT THE GONGAR AIRPORT LHASA (11,975 feet) After completion of airport formalities we will be met by our friendly English speaking Tibetan guides. There will be a two hour drive and we should arrive at the hotel about 4:00 PM local time (there is a 2 hour & 15 minute time change - later than Nepal). After you are settled in, the Lhasa program will be outlined by our guide.
This evening you are free to relax and explore. Visit the Barkhor Plaza, an excellent place to walk around, and have dinner.
Day 7 & 8 (Wed & Thu)
Lhasa tour. (11,975 feet) (B)
The next two days are based in Lhasa. Arranged sightseeing will include guided visits to the spectacular Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple and the surrounding Barkhor market, Drepung and Sera monastery, and Norbulinka, the Dalai Lama's former summer palace.
POTALA PALACE (now a museum, but still visited by Tibetan pilgrims as a holy site). Former winter residence of the Dalai Lama and named after Mt. Potala in India, one of the holy mountains of the Hindu God Lord Shiva. The Potala is a place of spiritual pilgrimage and an amazing tribute to Tibetan architectural skills. Built by the fifth Dalai Lama in 1645, the Potala was from then on the winter residence of all Dalai Lamas. Today it is still occupied by monks.
BARKHOR PLAZA (in front of Jokhang Temple) This is Lhasa's inner pilgrim circuit, shaped roughly like an octagon, and runs around the Jokhang Temple. The market place has everything a Tibetan pilgrim would need and is a good place for people watching. Tibetan pilgrims spin prayer wheels and prostrate themselves as they circumnavigate the Temple. The surrounding area is a good place for shopping, including everything from trinkets to Tibetan carpets and paintings to very inexpensive Western brand name winter clothing and hand made Tibetan sweaters.
JOKHANG TEMPLE - in the heart of old Lhasa, it is the most sacred temple in Tibet. It was established in the 7th century by King Songtsen Gampo, the King who brought Buddhism to Tibet. One can see the statue of Buddha (Jowo Shakyamuni) brought by the Chinese wife of the King as part of her wedding dowry. King Songtsen Gampo also had a Nepalese wife who was the force behind the use of Nepalese craftsmen in designing the Jokhang.
NORBULINKA - The summer palace of the Dalai Lamas was started by the Seventh Dalai Lama in 1755. This large complex of small palaces and chapels is within a walled garden and is about 2.5 miles west of the Potala.
SERA MONASTERY - founded in 1419, it is located on the outskirts of Lhasa. Home of the Gelukpa Order (the Dalai Lama's sect). Sera was at one time famous for its fighting monks, who spent years perfecting the martial arts. Here, as at Drepung, many monks renounced their vows to take up arms during the uprising of 1959.
DREPUNG MONASTERY - founded in 1416, is located on the outskirts of Lhasa. At one time Drepung was the largest of the Gelukpa Monasteries (10,000 monks) and was a major center of religious power. The Ganden Potang (garden palace) was built by the second Dalai Lama and was used as a residence for the Third, Fourth and Fifth Dalai Lamas. The remains of the second, third and fourth Dalai Lamas are here. Just below Drepung lies the Nechung Monastery, which was once the seat of the Oracle of Tibet.
TIBETAN MEDICINE CLINIC - A tour of this establishment is highly recommended. An English speaking Tibetan medical doctor will give you a short history of Tibetan medicine, an interesting tour of the clinic, and show you a small Tibetan museum complete with medical Thangkas. If there is time, try to arrange this visit through your Tibetan guide.
NOTE: The Potala, Jokhang, Sera and Drepung have set hours and may limit the number of visitors per day. However, the tour schedule is set up to best ensure that you get in to all these places.
Day 9 (Fri)
Lhasa to Gyantse. (12,956 feet) (163 miles) (B)
The drive to Gyantse takes a full day and includes crossing two impressive passes: Kamba La (4,794 m / 15,729ft. ) and Karo La (5,010 m / 16,438 ft. ). When you look down from Kamba La Pass, you can see the breathtaking view of the scorpion shaped Yamdruk Lake (Turquoise Lake) which is so large that you cannot see its full extent during the hour or so you are driving along its banks. The Karo La Pass is between two mountains: Nozin Khangsa (7,223 m / 23,700 ft.) which is recognizable by its large hanging glacier on the right and Ralung Mountain (6,236 m / 20,460 ft.).
GYANTSE - a small town on the northern bank of the Nyang Chu River. During the 15th century it was the capital of a small kingdom. Towering over Gyantse on a steep hill are the ruins of an old and famous fort. Gyantse is very Tibetan in feel and style as it has not suffered from modern expansion. There are many shops and simple restaurants where you can easily get Tibetan food such as Momos (dumplings), Chang (millet beer) and Thukpa (noodles).
Highlights include the KUMBUM TEMPLE (founded in 1440) and the PELKOR CHODE (central monastic building - started in 1418). This is possibly the most beautiful temple in Tibet. It was constructed in the 15th century by Newar artisans and is the best preserved example of Newari art to survive in Tibet. It has 112 Chapels. Remember to circumambulate clockwise in all temples and chapels. Many of the original statues remain intact.
Day 10 (Sat)
Gyantse to Shigatse. (12,870 feet) (38 miles) (B)
Today we head out to Shigatse, the capital of the province of Tsang and the second largest city in Tibet. Along the way we stop for sightseeing of Pelkhor Choede and Kumbum Stupa.
Day 11 (Sun)
Shigatse to Xegar. (14,272 feet) (153 miles) (B)
Before leaving Shigatse, we stop to visit the Tashilumpo Monastery. Enroute to Sakya, we cross our high point, the LHAKPA LA (5,220 m / 17,127 ft.) This panoramic high pass has many prayer flags fluttering in the strong winds strung above traditional mani stones placed there by local Tibetans to supplicate the spirits and assure safe travel.
TASHILUMPO MONASTERY - Founded in 1447, it is the historical seat of the Panchen Lama (the traditional teacher of the Dalai Lama). Among the many interesting sights is the 86 foot (26m) high statue of the future Buddha which is gilded with gold and decorated with valuable jewels. The main monastery is the largest and contains prayer halls, printing blocks, and statues of many deities. It is not uncommon to see monks and lamas studying and debating nearby.
Day 12 (Mon)
Xegar to Rongbuk Monastery (Mt. Everest Base Camp Area). (16,400 feet) (42 miles) (B)
After leaving Xegar, we turn off the Friendship Highway and head south over the Pang La pass 16,900 feet (5150m) towards the main Himalayan range. The view from the top is incredible with uninterrupted views stretching from Makalu to Shishapangma. Below the pass, Everest initially is hidden from view, but as we turn the corner into the Rongbuk Valley it reappears, more impressive than ever. This will be one of those truly awe inspiring days. Tonight we stay high in the Himalaya at the foot of Mt. Everest. Tomorrow in the morning you can hike the 4 miles up to visit Mt. Everest Base Camp OR take a ride with our Tibetan guide in the 4x4.
Day 13 (Tue)
Mt Everest Base Camp visit. (17,000 feet) to Nyalam. (7,544 feet) (113 miles) (B)
This morning will be a dream fulfilling day, as we have the opportunity to explore Mt. Everest Base Camp 17,060 feet (5200m). Base Camp itself is dry and barren, but the views of Everest are beyond breathtaking. It is a truly awe-inspiring place with the sheer north face of the highest mountain in the world towering above us. In the late morning, we leave for the boarder town of Nyalam.
Day 14 (Wed)
Nyalam to Kathmandu. (4200 feet) (73 miles) (B)
In the morning we leave for Nepal. If the road is good enough, our Tibet guide will arrange a vehicle down the hill to the border. If the road is washed out (not an uncommon occurrence), we will be in for some short walking, but our guide will arrange for baggage porters.
Arriving at the FRIENDSHIP BRIDGE (Nepal - Tibet border) we will cross back into Nepal. Remember to turn your watches back 2 hrs 15 mins. We will be met by our agent at the bridge. Bags will be loaded onto a mini bus by porters provided by our agent, and we will then proceed to Nepal Customs and the Immigration inspection. If there is a landslide blocking the road, porters will be provided to carry our bags to the check post.
The drive from the Friendship Bridge to Kathmandu is approximately 5 hrs under normal conditions. The first hour is through a deep and verdant river valley. We should arrive back in Kathmandu around 4:00 PM. Tonight we will again stay at one of the best know hotels for climbers and trekkers alike. The evening is free to relax and enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the local restaurants.
Day 15 (Thu)
Free day in Kathmandu. (4200 feet) (B)
Today is a free day to enjoy the vibrant city of Kathmandu and it's many shops and restaurants. Be sure to pick up any last minute gifts or outdoor gear/clothes for yourself.
Day 16 (Fri)
Fly Kathmandu to Newark. (B)
At the scheduled time, we will transfer to the airport by private vehicle for our return flight to Newark.
Day 17 (Sat - 10/4)
Arrive Newark Airport (EWR) at about 12:30 PM. Trip Ends.
Brimming with new friendships, incredible experiences, and so many memories, our flight takes us across the Atlantic Ocean, arriving at Newark (EWR) around 12:30 PM.
This is a Global Expeditions Travel Club group tour that is open to anyone.
This is a very popular time of the year to travel to Tibet, as the weather in the Himalaya is optimal at this time. Flights to Lhasa are VERY limited and on a first come, first served basis, it is HIGHLY recommended that you book as soon as possible to help ensure your spot on the trip.
Prices are based on double occupancy. If you would like your own hotel room (where available), please choose the optional single supplement at check out. If you do not mind being paired up with a roommate of the same gender, then the single supplement does not apply on this group tour.
Nepal visas are not included. A 15 day, multiple entry visa is about US$25 and you will simply purchase it upon arrival at the Kathmandu airport (for citizens of most western countries including the US and Canada.)
You must bring two passport sized photos with you to Nepal. These will be needed to process the Tibet visa and travel permit.
China/Tibet Visas are obtained on a group basis by our local representative in Nepal upon our arrival in Kathmandu. Our local representative will collect your passport 2 days before departure to Tibet in order to obtain the group Visa.
India visas are not included. India visas must be obtained prior to arrival in India from the Indian Embassy or Consulate in your home country. There are no provisions that allow for India visas to be obtained on entry. Please allow 30 - 60 days to obtain your visa from the Indian Embassy. Please contact us if you have any questions.
This overland group tour reaches altitudes of 18,400 feet.
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months following the last day of the tour.
Due to limited airline seating, it is important to book your place on this group tour as early as possible.
Trip ID: AS1116
- Excursion to Mt. Everest Base Camp in Tibet
- Passing through the mighty Himalayan range in a comfortable 4X4 Land Cruiser (or similar)
- Scenic flight over the Himalaya with views of Mt. Everest
- Visits to numerous active Tibetan monasteries that date back thousands of years
- Spectacular views of mother nature at her best and of an ancient civilization that has changed little over the past 1,000+ years
- A visit to the beautiful Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
- A chance to explore the exotic city of Kathmandu, Nepal.
- Accommodation on a twin share basis*
- Airport transfers in Delhi, Nepal and Tibet
- Visits to 1,000 + year old monasteries
- Breakfast daily
- Comfortable and modern 4 wheel drive Land Cruisers (or similar) in Tibet
- Guided tour of the Taj Mahal
- First class train to Agra
- Fully guided tour of Tibet with English speaking Tibetan Guides
- GEC Trip Leader (English speaking)
*Note: The purity, remoteness, beauty and emerging status of Tibet's distant Himalayan region is one of the primary reasons people choose to take this amazing adventure. However this authenticity and emerging status means that Tibet's tourist infrastructure tends to be limited in the more remote areas. Although rare, detours and itinerary changes may be required due to weather and road conditions. Additionally, accommodations in the more remote areas of Tibet can be basic and possibly lack heat, showers and/or western toilet facilities.
Price Does Not Include
- International group airfare between Newark, New Jersey (EWR), Delhi, Kathmandu & Lhasa (this is an additional mandatory cost of $1,949)
- Personal travel arrangements between your home city and Newark airport in New Jersey
- Nepal Tibet and India visas (see Important Information section)
- Airport departure taxes and fees
- Travel insurance (required)
- Personal expenses
- Meals not mentioned
- Tips and gratuities
- Costs arising from unforeseen events outside our control, i.e., landslides, road blocks, transport strikes, flight delays/cancellations, etc.
Minimum Group Size
Typical Group Size
- GEC Club Leader
- Local Guides and Drivers
Number of Days
- 2 nights in Delhi, India - 4 star hotel
- 4 nights in Kathmandu - 4 star hotel
- 8 nights in Tibet - Tourist Hotels & Guest Houses
- Private Land Cruisers/Coach
- Shuttle vans
- First class train
- Best: April-May and September-October
- Good: June-August (expect some rain)