Adventure in the Foothills of the Himalayas

with Jody Jackson

October 19-31, 2017

Trip at a Glance

  • October 19 – 31, 2017
  • Daily yoga practice with local teachers or Jody Jackson
  • Discover the precious gem along the Ganges River, Rishikesh
  • Explore the cultural heritage of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal
  • Enjoy the Kingdom of Bhutan, the “last Shangri-La”
  • Limited to 12 guests
  • $3999 USD per person (based on double occupancy)

Delhi

Rishikesh

Kathmandu

Paro

Thimpu

Punakha

.

Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

October 19  Arrive in Delhi and stay overnight

October 20  Fly to Rishikesh, the birthplace of yoga

October 21 – 23  Over the course of the next few days in Rishikesh we will have the opportunity to experience

  • Yoga at local ashrams
  • Ganga Aarti, a fire ceremony along the Ganges
  • Exploration of the famous Beatles Ashram
  • Shopping for beautiful Indian clothes, jewelry, handicrafts & more
  • Visit the sacred Hindu city of Haridwar
  • Optional additional activities like cooking classes, rafting, massages and spa treatments, and more

October 24   Fly from Rishikesh to Kathmandu, Nepal (via New Delhi)

October 25 – 26    Enjoy the rich cultural fabric of Nepal from your home base in Boudhanath, the Tibetan Buddhist enclave of Kathmandu

October 27   Fly to the Kingdom of Bhutan

October 28 – October 30   Discover the fascinating world of Bhutan in Thimpu, Punakha, and Paro, including iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery (pictured here)

October 31   Fly back to Kathmandu, Nepal

Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

October 19  Arrive in Delhi and stay overnight

October 20  Fly to Rishikesh, the birthplace of yoga

October 21 – 23  Over the course of the next few days in Rishikesh we will have the opportunity to experience

  • Yoga at local ashrams
  • Ganga Aarti, a fire ceremony along the Ganges
  • Exploration of the famous Beatles Ashram
  • Shopping for beautiful Indian clothes, jewelry, handicrafts & more
  • Visit the sacred Hindu city of Haridwar
  • Optional additional activities like cooking classes, rafting, massages and spa treatments, and more

October 24   Fly from Rishikesh to Kathmandu, Nepal (via New Delhi)

October 25 – 26    Enjoy the rich cultural fabric of Nepal from your home base in Boudhanath, the Tibetan Buddhist enclave of Kathmandu

October 27   Fly to the Kingdom of Bhutan

October 28 – October 30   Discover the fascinating world of Bhutan in Thimpu, Punakha, and Paro, including iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery

October 31   Fly back to Kathmandu, Nepal

Rishikesh Itinerary

You’ll fly into New Delhi on the afternoon or evening of October 19th and stay at a hotel close to the airport to relax. After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll depart to the airport for a short flight to Rishikesh (to Dehradun airport, a 55-minute flight).  Upon arrival, we’ll be taken to our home base for the next 4 nights, a lovely retreat center near to the Ganga.

Welcome to Rishikesh, one of Hinduism’s holiest cities and “gateway to the Ganges.” We’ll explore all that Rishikesh and our practices have to offer in this “Yoga Capital of the World,” and we’ll take advantage of the local yoga classes in the many ashrams that dot the landscape along the Ganges River.

We will witness the Ganga Aarti ceremony at the Parmarth Niketan, an ashram that hosts the International Yoga Festival. Ganga Aarti is a devotional fire ceremony that takes place every day at sunset on the banks of the Ganges river.

We can hike to a nearby waterfall and, if you’re feeling up to it, even swim in its clear, brisk waters!  We can also drive about an hour downstream to visit the sacred Hindu city of Haridwar. According to the sacred Hindu texts, Haridwar is one of just four sites where drops of Amrit, the elixir of immortality, has been spilled. Pilgrims from all over India come to Haridwar to bathe in the fast-flowing waters of the Ganges.

We will pay a visit to the Beatles Ashram which just reopened to curious visitors in 2015. The Beatles visited the ashram of Mahareshi Mahesh Yogi in 1968 to learn how to meditate. It’s said that they wrote more than 40 songs during their stay, including some that were later featured on “The White Album” and “Abbey Road.” The ashram now is a hauntingly beautiful collection of ruins and innovative street art.

Rishikesh is rich with Ayurvedic treatments and nourishing massages that you can take advantage of during your down time. The shopping around Rishikesh is also a delight for those interested in local art, jewelry, textiles, and more.

On October 24, we’ll leave early in the morning to catch a flight back to Delhi (55 minutes), and we’ll continue our way to Kathmandu, Nepal (a 100-minute flight).

Kathmandu Itinerary

Kathmandu is one of the three ancient kingdoms of Nepal (along with Patan and Bhaktapur). Kathmandu is a fascinating city, but certain areas can feel a bit overwhelming at times. This is why we choose to stay in the peaceful enclave of Boudhanath, one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in all of Tibetan Buddhism.

Boudhanath, or “Boudha,” is a very special place, where pilgrims circle the stupa day and night in a clockwise direction, creating an energy unlike any other. Much like one spins a prayer wheel clockwise, walking clockwise around the site ‘activates’ the compassionate prayer of the stupa itself. Multi-colored prayer flags blowing in the breeze, chants and music floating out of the surrounding monasteries, and the smiles of pilgrims on their kora await you.

Our guesthouse at Boudha is a 90-second walk to the stupa. Our accommodation is part of a non-profit that directly helps underserved children and women in the Boudha area; we’ll get a chance to tour the children’s home and women’s workshop that makes this charity so special.

The area around Boudhanath is safe and relaxed, and the circular pedestrian street surrounding the stupa is lined with delightful cafes and shops to satisfy cravings of any sort!

We will also visit nearby Pashupatinath, the biggest Shiva temple in Nepal & one of the 12 most important Shiva temples in the whole world. This temple is devoted to Pashupati, Shiva’s incarnation known as the “Lord of the Animals.” The graceful deer and mischievous monkeys here drive this point home! Early morning joggers and athletes take advantage of these vast grounds, and you can see Boudhanath stupa from high on the hill. The temple grounds straddle the Bagmati river, which provides one of the most important sites for Hindu cremation in the Kathmandu Valley.

On October 27th, we’ll say our farewells to Kathmandu and take a short flight (65 minutes) into Paro, Bhutan.

 

Bhutan Itinerary

Welcome to the Kingdom of Bhutan! If you were watching out the airplane windows, you may have already noticed how special this place is, with over 70% of Bhutan still forested!  You will be received by your Bhutanese guide and driver at the airport and be driven to Thimphu (~1 hour drive). On the way, we’ll view Tamchog Monastery built by Thangthong Gyalpo in the 15th century. He built 108 bridges across Tibet and Bhutan, out of which 8 were built in Bhutan.

After breakfast on your first full day in Bhutan, you’ll drive from Thimpu to Punakha via Dochula pass (~3 hour drive). If the weather is clear, we stop for a while at Dochula pass to view Higher Himalayas, and then drive further down and visit the Royal Botanical Garden at Lamperi. The Royal Botanical park, also known as the Rhododendron Garden at Lamperi is about half and hour drive towards Punakha/Wangdue. With your spirits still high from the visit to the awesome sites of Dochula Pass with its 108 stupas and the beautifully arranged Himalayan mountain ranges, you will descend down to Rhododendron Botanical Garden, a nature reserve rich in flora (46 species of plants!) and fauna.

The takin is the national animal of Bhutan. Although closely related to the goat, it is more similar physically to the muskox. On this tour you’ll visit the Motithang Takin Preserve in Thimpu to see these gorgeous beasts in person!

Enroute, we can stop a while to view the “Temple of Fertility” built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley, also popularly known as “Divine Madman,” in the 15th century. Lama Drukpa Kuenley (1455 – 1529) was one of the Bhutan’s favorite saints; he traveled throughout Bhutan and Tibet as a “Neljorpa” (Yogi) using songs, humor and outrageous behavior to dramatize his teachings.

While you are in Punakha, you will visit Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 and situated between Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government.

In the evening, we’ll head back to Thimpu. The next morning we’ll visit Memorial Chorten, a monument dedicated to the Third King of Bhutan, the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The paintings and statues here provide a very rare insight into Buddhist Philosophy.  Afterwards, you’ll visit one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, the Buddha Dordenma, an impressive 169 feet (52 meters), perched high on a hill over Thimpu. We’ll take a 1-hour drive back to Paro and eat lunch there. After lunch, we’ll visit the Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower and the national museum of Bhutan. We’ll then explore Rimpung Dzong (Paro Dzong) built in 1646; the Dzong presently houses administrative offices. In the evening you can visit a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse.

Your last full day in Bhutan includes a visit to Bhutan’s iconic Tiger’s Nest (Taktsang Monastery).  A short drive from town takes us to the trail, which climbs through a beautiful pine forest. We’ll stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktsang monastery. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger. Unfortunately, we don’t have any flying tigers for rent today!

On the morning of October 31, we’ll head back to the airport in Paro and say farewell to Bhutan. You’ll take a quick flight back to Kathmandu where this journey officially comes to a close. Ready to go home and share stories, or do you want more adventure? We can help plan your extended travels in this area!

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Price & Inclusions

This journey is $3999 USD per person (double occupancy) at the minimum of 6 guests. The more guests that sign on (up to a maximum of 12), the price gets lower (all the way down to $3499 at 12 guests).

If you prefer to have your own room, the single supplement is $499 USD and will be added to your last payment. (Click here to understand why this single supplement is necessary). Please note that we cannot guarantee you a roommate for this trip, and if you room alone, you will be responsible for the single supplement.

An $800 deposit holds your space.  The second installment of $1500 is due by June 21, 2017 (120 days before start of trip) and the balance is due by August 20, 2017 (60 days before start of trip).  Single supplement ($499) is due along with the last installment.

Price Includes:

  • Roundtrip airfare from Delhi to Rishikesh
  • Flight from Rishikesh to Kathmandu (via Delhi)
  • Roundtrip flight from Kathmandu to Bhutan
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • All meals in Bhutan
  • Some meals in India and Nepal (see below for meals not included)
  • All site fees
  • Daily classes yoga classes
  • Bhutan visa fee

Price does not include:

  • International airfare to India and from Kathmandu, Nepal (although we can and will be more than happy to help you decide on arrangements)
  • Indian visa fee (~$50 to $75, depending on nationality)
  • Nepal visa fee (~$25 USD)
  • Yoga mats and accessories are not included in this journey.
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Meals in Delhi on October 19th
  • Lunches and Dinners in Kathmandu
  • Meals and snacks in airports
  • Tips to porters, bellboys, and housekeeping
  • Tips to guide and driver in Bhutan
  • Extras such as rafting in Rishikesh, cooking classes, massages and spa treatments

NOTE: 

  • There is a minimum of 6 guests that must sign up in order for this trip to take place. We will hold your deposit & payments until the minimum number of guests have signed up.  Please do not purchase any airfare until you get the go-ahead from us that we’ve reached our minimum number of participants.  
  • If the minimum number of guests have not signed up 3 months prior to the departure date, we’ll give you the option to transfer your reservation to another tour or fully refund your money.
About the Altitude
  • Rishikesh altitude   1220 feet / 370 meters
  • Kathmandu altitude   4500 feet / 1400 meters
  • Paro, Bhutan altitude   7200 feet / 2195 meters
    • Excursion to Tiger’s Nest Monastery altitude    10,200 feet / 3120 meters

Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to worsen at high altitude, so it is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your physician. Certain medications are utilized to aid acclimatizing to high altitude; please discuss these options with your doctor or a local travel physician.

Click here to read BJ’s take on how to prevent altitude sickness, as someone who has traveled extensively at high altitudes and never had ill effect, and is an avid reader on the subject.

Click here to read Lauren’s suggestions to natural therapies to begin before your trip. Lauren is a Board-certified Acupuncture Physician and Doctor of Oriental Medicine with a specialty in the world of dietary supplements.

 *All of the information here is for reference purposes only and is not intended to substitute for advice from a licensed health care professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any health condition or disease. If you are experiencing medical issues, you should contact your medical healthcare provider.

Physical Fitness Requirements

Guests should be comfortable walking one mile unassisted on this trip, as well as climbing and descending 2 flights of stairs at a time.

There are excursions which may be more physically demanding, including a waterfall hike in Rishikesh and the hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan. Guests can decide for themselves whether or not they wish to join these activities.

The hike to Tiger’s Nest takes ~2 to 2.5 hours each way, depending on your speed, but it is not a difficult hike. It is a steady walk uphill on a dirt path (~2.6 miles / 4.2 km) with several sets of stairs during the last stretch. Anyone of average fitness can accomplish this at their own pace, and you may wish to rent hiking poles to make it easier on your knees during your descent.

Suggested Packing List and Weather

Based on historical averages, we expect these to be the highs and lows experienced during your trip:

  • Rishikesh   65-95°F (18-35°C)
  • Kathmandu   52-78°F (11-26°C)
  • Bhutan  30-57°F (-2 – 14°C)

In the sun in Bhutan it can still feel quite warm, so layers are going to be your best friend on this trip!

Click here to see the current weather in Rishikesh

Click here to see the current weather in Kathmandu

Click here to see the current weather in Paro, Bhutan

Note: The strict weight limit on your internal flights will be 44 lbs (20 kg), not the 50 lbs that you may be used to internationally. If you prefer to only bring a carry-on, you’re welcome to do that, as well.

One more tip: Using packing cubes may make your life easier. BJ and Lauren swear by them, and they’ve been living out of their suitcases since the beginning of 2013!

Clothing

Although more and more South Asians are adopting Western wear, traditional clothing is very prevalent and modesty is the name of the game.  Please do not wear clothes that are tight, transparent or show too much skin or underarms. This means no tank tops or mid-riff baring tops. We also discourage wearing form-fitting “skinny” jeans and shorts/skirts above the knee. Instead, we recommend wear loose fitting clothing such as long skirts, pants, capri-length pants, and blouses or tunics.

  • 8+ pairs undergarments; you can always have them washed or wash them yourself in your bathroom.
  • 3-5 pair pants or long skirts.  You may want to bring leggings or long johns (2 or 3 pair) to wear under your long tunics, skirts or pants on chilly mornings or evenings (again—it’s all about the layers!) Fleece pants might be nice, and good to sleep in during chilly nights.
  • 4-5 cotton t-shirts, blouses, or long sleeve shirts.
  • A thicker sweater or jacket for cold Bhutan mornings and evenings. A windbreaker or shell might prove useful if your jacket doesn’t protect you from the wind or rain.
  • Comfortable clothes for yoga
  • A warm hat and scarf for chilly mornings and evenings.
  • 2-3 pairs of socks. Wool (like SmartWool) or tech socks work very well, but whatever socks you have will be just fine.
  • Warm sleeping attire
  • Comfortable walking shoes. Boots aren’t necessary and can be cumbersome when going in and out of monasteries and temples. Sneakers or comfortable slip-ons will suffice.
  • Walking sandals (such as Teva’s, Chaco’s, or Merrell’s) also work very well.
  • A hat with a brim is a very good idea for our daytime adventures.

 Note: In Bhutan, you must wear long sleeves and long skirt/pants (ankles must be covered) inside religious sites. In many religious sites you will also be required to remove your shoes. Take thick long socks to cover your ankles, which you will appreciate on the often-cold stone floors.

Accessories

  • Travel yoga mat. Because of the unique nature of this on-the-go retreat, you will need to bring your own mat. We like these Khataland mats because of their unique folding pattern (that way, the bottom of your mat never has to touch the top of your mat); if you use the link above or the promo code “MATT,” you’ll get 5% off at checkout. (This style of mat is also available elsewhere.)
  • Photocopy of your passport and your visa, just in case you need them.
  • Ear plugs and eye shades to help you sleep better and recover from jet lag more quickly. BJ swears by thisclick here to read an article he wrote on the topic.
  • Good sunscreen. Lauren prefers mineral-based ones: good for you, good for the environment. How do you know if it’s mineral based? If the active ingredient is either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide—that’s it. MyChelle and Devita make good ones.
  • Daypack or camera bag. (If you need a recommendation on a camera, BJ would be happy to help, depending on what type of photography you like, how much you want to spend, and how much you want to carry around.)
  • If you do bring your camera, don’t forget extra batteries or your charging cord. You may want to think about an extra memory card, too.
  • Toiletries (shampoo and soap are provided at the hotels, but rarely conditioner).
  • People tend to think they need to bring toilet paper to India—not true! However, bringing a few packs of travel tissues is a good idea, to keep on you for public restrooms.
  • Wet wipes or hand sanitizer.
  • Any necessary feminine hygiene products.
  • Plug adaptor for electronics: you’ll need a 2 pin adaptor common across Europe. Here’s a nice example of a great universal adapter and here’s one with USB ports, as well.
  • An external battery charger, such as this one, may be useful for USB-powered objects. Given the remote location of this retreat, electricity can be finicky, so it is best to have a secondary way to charge your phone or camera.
  • VERY IMPORTANT!  A print out of your RETURN airline ticket itinerary; you’ll need this to enter the airport to get home. You can also have a copy (we recommend a screenshot) on your phone.
  • A small travel umbrella. It can work for rain OR as a parasol.
  • A small flashlight or headlamp for pre-sunrise or post-sunset exploration (or just getting back to your room!)
  • Notebook and pen for journaling purposes
  • Enough of any prescription drugs you need, as well as over-the-counter needs.
  • Your smartphone or tablet (in airplane mode to avoid any unwanted charges!), and please don’t forget your chargers. We recommend setting up Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, or another wifi-based calling service before leaving home, and familiarizing your loved ones with it before you leave.

Registration Questions and Contract

Please click here or the green button below to complete the registration questions and contract. Your spot is considered reserved when you have submitted your deposit and completed these questions.

Please click here to download to view and download PDF of the contract for your records.

Click here to access the registration questions

Payment Details

Please refer to the Price tab for specific information about price & what is included on your journey.

For those with U.S. accounts, we accept payments via check (which we prefer) and credit card (via PayPal).  (Please see another option below for international account holders!)

  • Paying by Check: Checks can be made out to Insight Travels, LLC and sent to 8821 NW 14 Street, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024.
  • Paying by Credit Card or PayPal balance: You can pay with credit card or PayPal balance through the following the red buttons below.  Please click the appropriate amount to be taken to PayPal’s homepage to complete your transaction. All PayPal transactions must be in USD.  Note that you do not have to pay with your PayPal balance, but can pay with any debit or credit card. Click here for further instruction.

Final installment due on August 20, 2017. We’ll provide you the amount and invoice via PayPal before the due date.

Click here to pay the $800 deposit by credit card (via PayPal)

Click here to pay the $1500 installment by credit card (via PayPal) [due by June 21, 2017] 

 

TransferWise

We have a great new system for some of our international guests which can save a lot of money on currency conversion fees. We LOVE TransferWise! (Click here for our post about them). They are a reputable company and have the lowest fees around for moving money internationally.  If you use our link to sign up, you actually get a discount on your first transfer. 

PayPal charges you 2.5% on top of the current exchange rate (in addition to the 3.9% fee it charges us). TransferWise uses the current exchange rate and only a small fee. Click here to see if TransferWise supports your home currency. 

Please click the button below to get started on TransferWise, or we can send you an invoice through TransferWise.

 Click here to save money on your first TransferWise payment.

Please write Lauren for the transfer details if you choose to use TransferWise.

About your Daily Practice

In Rishikesh, you will experience meaningful classes with teachers at local ashrams in this holy city along the Ganga.

In Kathmandu, you’ll enjoy classes with a local teacher who will come to you in your garden guesthouse.

In Bhutan, you’ll be under the expert instruction of Jody Jackson!

Please note you will need to bring a travel yoga mat with you on this adventure. Please see the packing list for details and recommendations. 

FAQ: information about your visa, vaccines, money, food & more

Please click here for our Bhutan-specific FAQ. 

PASSPORT/VISA

  • What do I need to know about the visa?    

First and foremost, your passport MUST be valid at least 6 months beyond the end date of the trip (that is, April 30, 2018), and you’ll need 5 empty pages in the Visas section of your passport (make sure they are in the Visa section, not the Amendment or Endorsement section). 

India visa: You will need to arrange an Indian visa before you arrive, and you are eligible for an e-Tourist visa to India (Please click here to make sure your country is eligible for a Visa on Arrival).  You can apply for a Visa on Arrival 4 to 120 days in advance of your arrival on this website. Please click here to read our blog about how to apply for this visa. 

Nepali visa: You will pay for this 15-day visa upon arrival for $25 USD.  You do not need to apply beforehand.

Bhutan visa: We take care of this for you before you arrive in Bhutan, and the fee is included in your trip.

FOOD

  • I have special dietary needs—can I be accommodated?

Vegetarians should have no problem anywhere on our travels. The only thing that might prove difficult is veganism in India. Although meat is entirely avoidable, India is the world’s largest consumer of butter, and it is almost unavoidable in most of their curries, stews, and even breads. Many vegans that we have known to travel through India adopt what is locally referred to as a “pure veg” diet: no meat, no eggs, but it allows for dairy consumption.  (It is worth nothing that some of the reasons for avoiding dairy consumption in the west is slightly mitigated here, as there is less factory farming and antibiotic use in livestock.) Milk can be avoided by not consuming creamy dishes or milk tea.

Gluten is also avoidable in our travels by choosing rice over chapatis and other local breads. Celiactravel.com has GREAT printable cards in local languages to present to restaurants and hotels about your intolerance of gluten. Click here for the Hindi version and here for the Nepali version. We will inform your Bhutan guide well in advance of any allergies. If you have multiple dietary needs, it may be worth your while to check out these specialty cards, available in 60 different languages.

When you register for the trip, you will answer a set of registration questions, including those about food allergies. We’ll take a look at your answers and let you know if we have any suggestions or concerns.

Note: Due to its holy nature, Rishikesh is a vegetarian town, although it is possible to get eggs. No alcohol can be consumed in Rishikesh.

Click here for our very own Indian Food Primer!

  • Can I drink the water?

In a word, No. Although many cities around the world are getting more advanced public water systems, we don’t recommend it.  Not only from a pathogen standpoint, but it’s a different set of bacteria than your body is used to. Why risk an upset stomach if you don’t have to? We recommend drinking only bottled water, and you will want to rinse your toothbrush off in bottled water.

HEALTH

  • What vaccines do I need?

None are required to enter India, Nepal, or Bhutan, but we suggest you work with your physician or your area’s travel health expert to decide what options are best for you.  You can read the CDC’s recommendations here.

  • What about the altitude?

Please see our separate toggle on this web page about the altitude.

  • What about motion sickness?

Bhutan’s mountains roads can be very curvy and can induce motion sickness. We recommend bringing Dramamine (Dimenhydrinate) as a precaution (if it is safe for you to do so), or bringing ginger chews/candy and using Sea Bands.

  • What about malaria? 

Malaria is not a risk in our destinations, but again, we request that you work with your physician or travel doctor when making these choices. Please see our blog about this topic for more information.

  • What are the physical requirements for this trip?

Please see the separate toggle on this page for that information. At minimum, we recommend that guests feel comfortable walking one mile unassisted and climbing/descending 2 flights of stairs. There are excursions (like Tiger’s Best in Bhutan) which will be more demanding but are entirely optional.

  • Do I need travel insurance?

We require that our guests carry travel insurance.  It’s a relatively small expense but affords huge peace of mind!  When choosing a travel insurance policy we require that you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We also recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance, as this may cover cancellation penalties in certain circumstances if you have to cancel your trip unexpectedly due to illness, injury or unforeseen circumstances. We like

We like World Nomads, but ultimately you have to choose the one that is right for you. If you’re 70 years old or older, you’ll need to use a different company. We’ll be asking for confirmation of your travel insurance 60 days before your departure. Please click here to get a quote. We love the services of these companies so much that we became affiliates, so we would ask that if you do choose to purchase these policies, you do it through our links.

MONEY

  • How much money should I bring?

That mostly depends on how many “extras” you wish to indulge in (spa treatments, massages, extra activities). The meals not included in India and Nepal will cost anywhere between $5 and $10 depending on your tastes (a bit more if you order at the hotel in Delhi).

  • How do I get the local currency?

You can either exchange cash in each country or use a local ATM (which we prefer). Just make sure you call your bank and credit card company to let them know you’ll be traveling in these areas, so they don’t put a hold on your card when they see it being used halfway across the world.

HOTELS

  • What kind of hotels will we be staying at?

In Rishikesh, we’ll be staying at a hotel on the west bank of the river, near to Lakshman Jhula. It is simple, clean, has hot water, an attached bathroom with a western toilet and shower, air conditioning, ceiling fan, and wifi.

In Kathmandu, we’ll be staying at a guesthouse with a lovely garden and cafe/bakery, that has wifi, hot water, an attached bathroom with a shower and western toilet.

In Bhutan, your hotels have hot water, an attached bathroom with a western toilet and shower, wifi, and you can request a heater for your room.

We will provide you with all hotel names and contact information before the start of the trip.

  • What kind of electronic adaptor do I need?

Be sure to bring along a 2-pin European style converter. Better yet, grab a Universal Travel Adaptor that can go with you anywhere in the world!

COMMUNICATION

  • How can my family get ahold of me in an emergency?

Before the trip begins we will give you the contact information for our hotels. If you choose to bring your cell phone or tablet, you can use VoIP services such as Skype, WhatsApp, and FaceTime to connect with your loved ones at home, as well.

Travel Insurance

We require that our guests carry travel insurance because it just makes sense.  It’s a relatively small expense but affords huge peace of mind for very little cost. When choosing a travel insurance policy we require that you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We also recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance, as this may cover cancellation penalties in certain circumstances if you have to cancel your trip unexpectedly due to illness, injury or unforeseen circumstances.

We like World Nomads, but ultimately you have to choose the one that is right for you. If you’re 70 years old or older, you’ll need to use a different company (we can advise you if you like). We’ll be asking for confirmation of your travel insurance before your departure.

Travel Insurance. Simple & Flexible.

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    Please use the form below or email [email protected] if you have any questions about this journey. Please indicate in the form below which trip you are inquiring about.

    About Jody Jackson

    I have lived Internationally for 28 years in 7 countries–I would call myself a global adventurer. I currently live in the Middle East and continue to love exploring the world.

    I studied yoga in Bali and Rishikesh to receive my RYT- 500 hour for Hatha Flow and Ancient Hatha Yoga, with 100 hours in Yoga therapy. My passion for yoga started 9 years ago while living as an International Expat in Malaysia.

    Previously, I used to source, market, and sell cottage industry goods while living abroad. Another passion of mine was to organize art exhibitions for a famous South East Asian artist. Some of my travels I have previously enjoyed include New Zealand, Australia, Tahiti, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan, Africa, Seychelles, France, Canada, and the USA. Over the last 15 years, I have spent over 10 weeks in India traveling. I am looking forward to this next Adventure in the Foothills of the Himalayas!

    About BJ and Lauren of RetreaTours

    BJ & Lauren created RetreaTours in 2010 with one goal in mind: to make world travel accessible, authentic, and astounding. In order to focus fully on this passion, they moved out of the U.S. in January 2013 to reside full-time overseas. Each day is spent exploring new destinations, strengthening local ties & relationships, and creating memorable and transformative retreats and tours (aka, RetreaTours!)

    BJ & Lauren take great pride in the itineraries they plan, as they can personally vouch for every hotel, every restaurant, and every activity that you will experience. They craft each element of the trip with intention, and they understand that it is this careful attention to detail that sets them apart. Fueled by their passion, armed with know-how, and supported by knowledgeable local professionals in all of their destinations, BJ & Lauren set the scene for the vacation of a lifetime. The dynamic duo are available to answer any and all questions before the trip begins. From giving advice on the best flights and travel insurance to providing a packing list, FAQ, and even a tiny “phrasebook,” BJ & Lauren pride themselves on these ‘nuts & bolts’ of personalized service.

    Photo Album

    Please click a photo to see an enlarged version; you can use your arrow keys or mouse to navigate within the album. All photos have been taken by BJ and Lauren during their travels in these areas.