Join us on this memorable ten-day private trip that will stay with you for a lifetime!. Explore Bhutan's ancient monasteries and shrines of historical and archaeological interests in the heartland of three major towns of the Dragon Kingdom; Thimphu, Punakha and Paro. Hike across the spectacular mountain scenery of Tiger's Nest , a backdrop to pristine forests and picturesque valleys and discover Ganteng Monastery in Gangtey.
Thimphu: This unique city boasts an unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions
The Kingdom’s capital city is the main centre of commerce, religion and government in Bhutan
Gangtey: Known for Ganteng monastery which is an important monastery of Nyingmapa school of Buddhism, Located in the Wangdue Phodrang District in central Bhutan
Punakha: Blessed with a temperate climate, Punakha has been inextricably linked with momentous occasions in Bhutanese history
One of the most majestic structures in the country is located here
Paro: Wide and verdant Paro valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan with many sacred sites and historical buildings scattered through the area
Arrival Paro - Thimphu ( 55 Km – 1.5 Hrs)
After landing at Paro International Airport, a tour representative will meet and greet you before guiding you to your transfer to the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu. En route stop at Chuzom, the confluence of Thimphu and Paro rivers. Shortly before reaching Chuzom, you will see on your left the Tschogang Lhakhang, “the temple of the excellent horse”. On arrival at Thimphu, check-into the hotel. The remainder of the day is free at leisure for you to enjoy on your own an exploratory walk around Thimphu’s Main Street and market area. Also, visit the local Crafts Bazaar and browse through some of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, Thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery and many interesting items made from local materials.
Overnight in Thimphu.
After breakfast, head out on a sightseeing tour in the Thimphu valley, including a visit to The National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts; the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts. Later, visit the Textile Museum, which provides an insight into one of the most distinct art forms in Bhutan. Also visit Simply Bhutan, a living museum and studio encapsulating the cultural heritage of the Bhutanese people. After lunch, take a short drive (15 km) to Pangri Zampa, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan and a monastic school where Buddhist monks learn Lamaism and astrology based on Buddhist philosophy. Afterwards, visit the Buddha Point (Kensal Phodrang), which offers panoramic views of the Thimphu. Then visit the Memorial Chorten, erected for world peace and prosperity and you will always see people from all walks of life circumambulation and chanting mantras or spinning prayer wheels. Later, visit the Trashichhoedzong, one of the most important dzongs in the country, before your return back to the hotel. In the evening spent time on your own strolling through Thimphu city center, visiting shops and local market.
Overnight in Thimphu,
Thimphu – Gangtey (150 Km - 5 Hrs)
After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Punakha across the beautiful Dochula pass (3O8Om). In Bhutan, the passes are marked by a large Bhutanese Chorten (stupa) and prayer flags. Dochula pass offers the most spectacular view of the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas on a clear day. The Druk Wangyel Stupas (hundred stupas) are a sight to behold against this backdrop. The highway follows the scenic Dang Chhu before climbing through forests of bamboo and oak into Gangtey/Phobjikha valley. On arrival at Gangtey, Check-into the hotel. In the evening, take a stroll around the fascinating Gangtey Village.
Overnight in Gangtey.
Gangtey – Bumthang (155 Km - 6 Hrs)
After breakfast, drive to Bumthang crossing the Pele-la pass (3300m) via Trongsa. Pele La is marked by a large white Chorten and colorful prayer flags. There is an abrupt change in vegetation at this point, with mountain forest replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo. Stop en-route at Chendbji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s famous Swayambhunath Stupa. After lunch at Trongsa visit the Trongsa Dzong, built-in 1648. It was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Also visit the Ta Dzong, a cylindrical stone structure of five stores, built-in 1652 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa. After more than 350 years, it has been resurrected into a museum that represents a tasteful blend of tradition and modernity. A further drive of 68 km across the Yutong-La pass (3400m) brings you finally to the wide-open scenic valley of Bumthang.
Overnight in Bumthang.
After breakfast at the hotel, a tour of Bumthang valley. Bumthang is the general name given to a combination of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and URA with altitudes varying from 2,600m to 4,000m. It is home to many of the prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries. Visit Kurje Lhakhang, where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock, the Jambey Lhakhang (7th century temple), Tamshing Lhakhang (housing some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan) and Jakar Dzong (administrative center of the region). Stroll in the village, visit the little handicrafts shop at the entrance to the town, and perhaps take refreshments at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, take a short hike to Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery. Located above the main town, about 3 km from Chamkhar town, the monastery was founded by Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche in 1984 who was recognized at a very young age by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama and H.H. 16th Karmapa as the reincarnation of a Tibetan lama. The monastery has become part of an extensive effort to preserve and revitalize Tibetan culture. The curriculum at the centre includes reading, memorizing the daily prayers, learning dharma dances, drawing mandalas, learning the melodies of sacred rituals, learning the use of ceremonial instruments and the art of making sacrificial objects, grammar and poetry along with the basics of contemplation and instruction on the different stages of tantra.
Overnight in Bumthang.
Bumthang – Punakha (205 Km - 8 Hrs)
After breakfast, check-out from the hotel and drive to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan. On arrival in Punakha; Check-into the hotel
Overnight in Punakha.
After breakfast, visit the Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. It was the capital of Bhutan until 1955, and still serves as the winter residence of the monk body. Next, visit the Chimi Lhakhang. From the hotel it is about 15 min drive up to the motorable road from where the walk starts through paddy fields and villages. (About 1.1/2 hour walk, to and fro). The Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley is also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that childless couples who pray at this temple are usually blessed with a child very soon. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. A walk through the village near the temple will give you rare glimpses into the daily lives of the people in the community.
Overnight in Punakha.
Punakha –Paro (125 Km – 4 Hrs)
After breakfast in the hotel, hop on your transfer to Paro and en-route stop to visit Simtokha Dzong. The sacred shrines inside will offer you solace and peace of mind. Later in the day after checking into the hotel, visit the Ta Dzong, originally built as a Watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique Thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armor, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. Then visit Rinpung Dzong, (fortress of the heap of jewels), which has a fascinating history. Along with the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as the Four Friends, the Old Man of Long Life, and the Wheel of Life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.
Overnight in Paro.
Paro – Tiger’S Nest Hike (14.5 Km - 5 Hrs Hike)
After breakfast in the hotel, head out on an excursion to Taktsang Monastery (approx. 5 hrs walk): It is one of the most famous monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived on the back of a tigress and meditated here and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site is recognized as one of the most sacred places in Bhutan. On the way back to town, you can enjoy an optional activity and stop at the base of Drukgyel Dzong, a fortress that was in ruins for a long time which is now being rebuilt as an important national heritage. It is the fort from where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, "Mountain of the Goddess'' can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong. Evening, visit the 7th-century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by the Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.
Overnight in Paro.
Wake up to one last breakfast at the hotel before your transfer to Paro Airport, where you’ll catch your onward flight to your following destination.
Comfortable and light clothing is the most suitable for travelling. Visitors should not wear sleeveless shirts, shorts, short skirts or skimpy clothing when visiting temples, religious or official buildings. Shoes should be removed before entering a temple or private house. Sun protection, sunglasses, a hat and mosquito repellent can be very useful during your stay.
During the Cold Season (September – March) it is advisable to pack : Thermal underwear, Dawn Jacket,Warm Trousers and sweaters, Woollen Shirts full slip, Hat (ear cover), Gloves & woollen shocks. During the Warm season (April – August) it is advisable to pack: Comfortable trouser,T-shirt, Windproof jacket , Fleece jacket & Scarf