Photo by Devendra Basnet

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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


  • 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

My first organized trip and I loved it. Thank you!Lillian M.—Scarsdale, NY

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.


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.

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 & Leaders

May 19-Jun 3, 2016   Saga Dawa Festival

Aug 30-Sep 14, 2016   Shoton Festival

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

Extension Costs
Scenic Everest Flight
   from: $255
Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge Extension
   from: $640
Temples of Angkor Extension
   from: $755
Laos: Luang Prabang Extension
   from: $840
Burma Extension
   from: $2595
Bangkok Extension
   from: $645
Phuket Extension
   from: $795
Chiang Mai Extension
   from: $470

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $600
90 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Up to 91 days prior to departure: No charge!
61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

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 to the arrival and from the departure cities listed below. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

2016 Departures

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.

Please note: On Day 1, you will take an early morning group flight from Chengdu, China, to Gongkar, the airport that serves Lhasa (this flight is booked by Wilderness Travel).
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.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Devendra Basnet

Departure Dates: May 19-June 3, 2016

Devendra Basnet was born in the foothills of the Himalayas in Darjeeling, India, and makes his home in Kathmandu, Nepal with his wife and two children. A WT Trip Leader since 1987, “DB” leads our cultural and hiking journeys into the Himalayas, across India, and along the ancient silk ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Steve Webster

Departure Dates: August 30-September 14, 2016

Steve Webster was born in the Jersey Channel Islands of the United Kingdom and traveled to Nepal in the early 1980s to work with the famous Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge. He spent five years in the jungles of Nepal, managing several lodges and camps and studying wildlife, and he trekked extensively in ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Optional Extensions

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


Burma Extension

Yangon and Bagan

Cultural Adventures
6 days  -  Level 2


angkor wat cambodia temples

Temples of Angkor Extension

Exploring the Glories of a Bygone Khmer Civilization

Cultural Adventures
4 days  -  Level 2


Laos: Luang Prabang Extension

Gilded Temples and Traditional Buddhist Culture of Laos

Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 2


Burma Extension

Yangon and Bagan

Cultural Adventures
6 days  -  Level 2


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


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

My first organized trip and I loved it. Thank you! Lillian M., Scarsdale, NY I so enjoyed the beauty and enchantment of Tibet and Nepal! Stinceon D., Greenwich, CT 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 have traveled with many other companies and this trip tops everything so far. Lilly P., McLean, VA This was truly the experience of a lifetime—a great trip in an exotic and magical place. Carl T., Annapolis, MD