Bhutan, officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the India and to the north by the People Republic of China. Bhutan is separated from the nearby country of Nepal to the west by the Indian state of Sikkim, and from Bangladesh to the south by the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal.
Day 01: Arrival in Paro & drive to Thimphu
Day 02: Visit Painting school, Folk Heritage Museum, National Library, Textile Museum, Mothitang Takin Preserve centre
Day 03: Walking Tour around Thimpu
Day 04: Drive Thimphu to Punakha
Day 05: Drive Punakha to Trongsa
Day 06: Drive Trongsa to Bumthang
Day 07: Visit Bumthang / Chokhor valley
Day 08: Visit Bumthang / Ura valley
Day 09: Drive Bumthang to Phobjikha
Day 10: Visit Phobjikha
Day 11: Drive Phobjikha to Thimphu
Day 12: Drive Thimphu to Paro
Day 13: Visit Paro Dzong / Ta Dzong & Drugyel Dzong
Day 14: Excursion to Chele La Pass / Haa Valley
Day 15: Hike to Taktsang Monastery
Day 16: Departure
Day 01: Arrive Paro International Airport and transfer to Thimphu: You will be met by our representatives who will greet you in traditional fashion and escort you to your private vehicle to begin the journey to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital city. The drive is 56km and takes approximately 1 ½ hours through beautiful countryside and past spectacular monasteries. If you like, you may visit Tamchoe Lhakhang en route, a privately owned temple where you can admire and cross of
one the loveliest suspension bridges in Bhutan. Upon reaching Thimphu check in to your hotel for lunch. The remainder of the day is free for activities as you choose.
Day 02: Visit Thimphu: Awake at your leisure for breakfast and begin cultural touring in and around
Thimphu. Some of the sights include the National Institute for Zorig Chusum (Painting School), Folk Heritage Museum, National Library, Textile Museum, Mothitang Takin Preserve, the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Trashi Chhoe Dzong, National Memorial Chorten, Zilukha Nunnery, and Changangkha Lhakhang.
Day 3: Visit Thimphu: The day is free for activities as you choose. Enjoy a walking tour of Thimphu,
Schedule a round at one of the world’s highest golf courses, or hike to a remote monastery.
Day 4: Drive Thimphu to Punakha (approximately 3 hours): After breakfast finish any last minute sightseeing in Thimphu and begin the journey to Punakha. On the way pass over the breathtaking Dochu La Pass and pass the 108 Dochu La chortens. At over 10,000 feet, on a clear day you get an amazing view of the eastern Himalayan mountain range. If you like, stop for tea and snacks nearby at the quaint Dochu La Hotel which offers fabulous views and a nice gift shop.
Before reaching Punakha, visit Chimi Lhakhang which can be reached by a 20 minute gentle walk through rice fields. Also known as the Divine Madman’s, people now visit to receive blessings for fertility from his wooden phallus. Later visit the Punakha Dzong, which is often considered one of the most beautiful Dzongs in Bhutan. Originally built by the first Shabdrung in 1637, it lies between 2 rivers and is now the winter residence of the Monk Body and its Chief Abbot. After seeing inside the Dzong, take your time exploring the neighboring grounds and walk across the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan.
Day 5: Drive Punakha to Trongsa (approximately 5 ½ hours): Today’s journey takes you over Pele La Pass and the Black Mountains, the gateway to central Bhutan. Stop en route at Chendebji for a traditional pack lunch alongside the spectacular Chendebji Chorten. Afterwards, as you near Trongsa, there is an optional 1 ½ hour gentle hike which takes you just below the Trongsa Dzong. The evening is free for wandering the small town.
Day 6: Drive Trongsa to Bumthang (approximately 2 ½ hours): Begin the day with a visit to the Trongsa Dzong, the ancestral home of the royal family. Afterwards visit the Ta Dzong, which is now home to a new museum. Later continue on towards the Chokhor valley of Bumthang, with a stop en route to witness the last day of the Domkhar Tsechu in Chummi.
Day 7: Visit Bumthang (Chokhor valley): Enjoy a full day of cultural touring. Often considered the religious heartland of the country and home to some of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, Bumthang offers many places and sights of interest, some of which include Kurjey Lhakhang, Jambey Lhakhang, Jakar Dzong, Tamshing Lhakhang, and Wangdichholing Palace. There are also many optional walks and day hikes in the valley. Visit Jakar town in the evening for shopping and to mingle with the locals. Dinner at your hotel or indulge in some fondue at the Swiss Guest House.
Day 8: Visit Bumthang (Ura valley): Leave Chokhor after an early breakfast for the 1 ½ hour drive to Ura where you will spend the day at the Ura Yakchoe. Participate if you like by wearing the national dress of gho and kira.
Evening return to Chokhor for your overnight stay
Day 9: Drive Bumthang to Phobjikha (approximately 6 ½ hours): Get an early start for the long journey of approximately 6 ½ hours to Phobjikha where you will rest for the night. Arriving into the alpine valley at Gangtey village is like stepping back in time, where, due to conservation measures, no electricity is allowed (hotels have generators or solar power).
Day 10: Visit Phobjikha: The day is free for exploring Phobjikha valley and Gangtey village, including a visit to the Gangtey Gompa Monastery, which dates back to the 17th century and is the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan. If you prefer more active touring, there are also several short and half day hikes available in the area.
Day 11: Drive Phobjikha to Thimphu (approximately 6 hours)l: The day’s drive will be long, but you will stop mid way in Wangdue for lunch and to visit the Wangduephodrang Dzong and town. Another option is to exit the valley via the Shashi La Nature Trail, an old migration route, which will take you near to Wangdue where your vehicle will be waiting. Late evening arrival to Thimphu.
Day 12: Drive Thimphu to Paro: The drive to Paro from Thimphu takes about 1hr. covering distance of 56 km. The road has been recently broadened. The western branch of lateral highway from Thimphu, runs close to the Wangchu river in the valley floor, through the suburbs and villages of Thimphu to arrive at the river confluence of Chuzom, which is also the hub of road network going to Paro, Haa, Thimphu and Phuntsholing. From Chuzom, it is north-west for about 20 minutes, following Pa Chu river upstream, passing Tachogang temple on the other side of the river, then through relatively straight road, into the villages and farm houses of Paro valley.
Day 13: Visit Paro: Awake at your leisure and begin cultural touring in the Paro valley. Some of the
optional sights include the Paro Dzong and Ta Dzong, now home to the National Museum; Kichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan; and Drugyel Dzong, or “Bhutan Victory Fort,” from where you can see Mount Jumolhari, Bhutan’s second highest peak at 7,329 meters. Spend the afternoon wandering Paro town, or relax in your hotel.
Day 14: Visit Paro: The day is free for activities as you choose. Continue sightseeing, enjoy a hike, or
take a picnic lunch and drive towards Chele La Pass and/or Haa valley. Along the way you pass Kila Goemba, an enchanting nunnery perched on the steep mountainside. Stop for pictures or take a short hike (approximately 2 hours return trip) up to the nunnery and enjoy lunch alongside a chorten overlooking the valley.
Day 15: Visit Paro: After an early breakfast at your hotel, hike to Taktsang Monastery or “Tiger’s Nest” (approximately 4 hours roundtrip). The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a
sheer drop of nearly 3,000 feet and overlooks the Paro valley. It is one of the most
venerated pilgrim sites in the Himalayan world and houses 13 holy places. If you aren’t up for hiking, horses are available to take you part of the way to a teahouse which offers amazing views. Spend the remainder of the day as you like; perhaps visit a traditional farmhouse or
enjoy a traditional hot stone bath (cost not included).
Day 16: Depart Paro: Wake up early for breakfast and then transfer to the airport for your onward flight. Your guide and driver will bid you farewell after assuring all flight formalities are taken care of.