Our flights to Nepal and back are on the following airlines with the corresponding schedules. We recommend that you arrive at the airport at least 3 ½ hours before the scheduled departure. If you are planning a connecting flight, please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing immigration and customs. Flight schedules are subject to change.
|2024: Feb. 7||Qatar Airways||New York (JFK)||10:00 AM||10:00 PM|
|2024: Mar. 6||Qatar Airways||New York (JFK)||10:00 AM||11:00 PM|
|2024: Apr. 17||Qatar Airways||New York (JFK)||10:45 AM||10:30 PM|
|2024: All Other Dates
2025: All Dates
|TBA||New York (JFK)||TBA||TBA|
ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT AND FREQUENT FLYER MILES
Airlines do not assign seats in advance for group fares – seat assignments are arranged upon check-in at the airport. smarTours is not involved with seat assignments. If you require a specific seat due to a medical condition, please obtain a doctor’s note you can present to the airline at check-in.
International flights to/from the U.S. are not included. Land-only travelers are responsible for arranging entry and exit flights, as well as their arrival and departure transfers. smarTours cannot be held responsible for any damage caused by air schedule changes and delays. Unused land services are non-refundable.
Generally, check-in at hotels is not before 4:00 PM and check-out is prior to 12:00 PM. If arriving early or departing late, hotels usually allow travelers to store their luggage in the luggage room.
PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION
Travelers must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. Both Nepal and Bhutan require a visa for U.S. passport holders. Apply for an e-visa online with the Nepali government in advance of travel, or apply upon arrival in Nepal. Please note we recommend applying online in advance to avoid long wait times upon arrival in Kathmandu. smarTours includes the Bhutan visa in the cost of your tour package. Before your trip, review travel requirements and restrictions by country including passport and visa requirements. You can also learn more about passport and visa services. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.
TICKETS AND FINAL DOCUMENTS
Final instructions, documents, and travel tips will be emailed to you 10–14 days before the scheduled start of your tour. If you have not received your final documents, please check your spam folder or contact smarTours.
Immunizations are not currently required, however, you may wish to consult your personal physician or local health authorities for their suggestions. The CDC recommends you stay up to date on routine vaccinations, and consult your physician at least one month prior to travel. Learn more about the CDC’s destination-specific recommendations for Nepal and Bhutan.
In Nepal, travelers should expect cold temperatures with clear skies, spectacular views, and fewer crowds from December through February. March through May, travelers will experience warmer weather and may see the rhododendrons burst into bloom as we enter late Spring. June through August is typically the hottest and wettest time of the year with higher rainfall and humidity. September through November is the most popular time to visit thanks to the sunny weather, and beautiful views. Bhutan has a similar seasonality with clear fresh air and sunny skies from October through December. Travelers can expect cold temperatures from January through February with pleasant dry weather until April.
CREDIT CARDS AND LOCAL CURRENCY
The official currency is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR) in Nepal and the Ngultrum (BTN) in Bhutan. In both Nepal and Bhutan, you can exchange money at banks and some authorized hotels, or withdraw local currency from an ATM machine. Note that these services are prevalent in major cities like Kathmandu, Pokhara, Thimphu, and Paro but may not be available in smaller towns. Some hotels and stores may accept major credit cards. When major credit cards (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted, payments by credit card may be subject to an additional fee (typically 2–5%). For “street shopping” or in areas that do not accept credit card payments, you will need local currency or U.S. dollars. It is recommended that you bring cash in small denominations.
Nepal operates on 220-240 volts/50 Hz and uses three different round-pin plug types (C, D, M). Bhutan operates on 220-240 volts/50 Hz and uses two different round-pin plug types and one three-prong plug type (C, D, G). Please check any electronic devices you plan to bring to determine if you need an adaptor (which allows you to plug your devices into a different-shaped outlet) and/or a converter (which allows you to convert the voltage for single-voltage electronics).
Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage and one carry-on piece. Please check with the airline for the maximum weight and size for luggage. We recommend that you do not over-pack and that you take a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind. For the intra-tour flights between Nepal and Bhutan, travelers may bring one piece of checked-in luggage and one carry-on piece with a maximum weight of 65 lbs (30 kg).