Bhutan, 12 days tour (On Request)

Bhutan, 12 days tour (On Request)

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12 Days From

$4372

$4234

Bhutan, 12 days tour (On Request)

12 Days

Visiting: Bumthang, Semtokha

Tour operator:

Le Passage to India

Tour code:

120928

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Physical rating:

MODERATE

Age range:

Min age:10

Tour operated in:

English

Interests:

Cultural

From: $4372 $4234 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$138

NB: Prices correct on 15-Jul-2024 but subject to change.

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

Join us on this memorable twelve-day tour 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.  

Highlights

  • Thimphu: This unique city boasts an unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions

  • The Kingdom’s capital city is the main center of commerce, religion and government in BhutanGangtey: Known for Ganteng monastery which is an important monastery of Nyingmapa school of Buddhism, located in the Wangdue Phodrang District in central BhutanPunakha: 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 hereBumathang: Bumthang district lies in the north-central region of Bhutan and due to the presence of a great number of temples and religious sites, it is often referred to as the spiritual heartland of the country

  • 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

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1 : 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, jewelry and many interesting items made from local materials.


Overnight in Thimphu.


Day 2 : 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 centre, visiting shops and local market.


Overnight in Thimphu


Day 3 : Thimphu – Punakha (150 Km - 5 Hrs)

Today we will set off for Punakha, the former capital city of Bhutan. It is 77 kilometers from Thimphu and it takes around 3 hours to drive there. On the way, we will stop at Dochula Pass, for a coffee break and to admire the 108 grand stupas. On a clear day, there are great views of the Bhutan Himalaya from the cafeteria. As we continue, we see Chimmi Lhakhang, a Buddhist monastery standing on a round hillock that was blessed by the Devine Madman. Now it is a sacred place, particularly for women seeking blessings to have children. Continuing we reach today's highlight Punakha Dzong, the second of Buddhist's dzongs with majestic structures. Located at the confluence of the Pho Chhu (father) and Mo Chhu (mother) rivers in the Punakha valley, the dazong is a six-storied structure with a scenic and mountainous background. It was the seat of Bhutan's government until 1955 when the capital was moved to Thimphu. Nearby we will visit the longest bridge in Bhutan, a Suspension Bridge spanning the Mo Chu River. On arrival at Punakha., check-in at the hotel and dinner


Overnight in Punakha


Day 4 : Punakha – Bumthang (220 Km - 8 Hrs)

Location: Bumthang

After breakfast, drive to Bumthang upon arrival check-in your hotel. In the evening, take a stroll around the fascinating Gangtey Village.


Overnight in Bumthang.


Day 5 : Bumthang

Location: Bumthang

After breakfast at the hotel, a tour of Bumthang valley including a visit to the 7th-century temple,  Jambey Lhakhang. From here explore the sights on foot  Kurje Lhakhang, where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock, the), Tamshing Lhakhang (housing some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan) and Jakar Dzong (administrative center of the region). 


In the afternoon, take a short hike to Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery.  Located above the main town, about 3 km from Chamkhar town. The monastery has become part of an extensive effort to preserve and revitalize Tibetan culture. The curriculum at the center 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 tantric.


Overnight in Bumthang.


Day 6 : Bumthang (2Hrs Hike)

Tang is one of the four valleys of Bumthang, it is higher than the Choekhor(Jakar) valley. The excursion to the Goempa takes about 2 hrs after the visit continues along the feeder road passing through Jamzhong village and arrive at Mesethang. A short distance from Mesethang is the Tang Rimochen Lhakhang, this is where Guru Rimpoche meditated. The body print of Guru Rimpoche and his two consorts are embedded on the huge rock in front of the Lhakhang. The name Tang Rimochen is derived due to the tiger stripes that appear on the cliff behind the building. This temple was founded by Dorji Lingpa in the 14th century. The road after Rimochen gets even rougher as it approaches Kizum, from Kizum cross over the Tang Chu and climb up the hill to Ugyencholing manor which was built by Tsokye Dorje, a descendant of Dorje Lingpa in the 16th century. The present structure including the temple, servants quarters and a massive residential building, was rebuilt after their collapse in the 1897 earthquake. The complex has been turned into a museum of sorts for religious studies, research, and solitude.


Overnight in Bumthang.


Day 7 : Bumthang – Gangtey (170 Km - 6 Hr)

Start your journey back west to Gangtey in the remote Phobjikha valley. Visit the Ta Dzong, a cylindrical stone structure of five stories, built-in 1652 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa as a Watch Tower. After lunch visits the Trongsa Dzong, built-in 1648.  It was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Continue your drive towards Gangtey. This is the site where black-necked cranes visit in their hundreds in November each year after spending the summer in Tibet. Overnight in Gangtey. 


Overnight in Gangtey.


Day 8 : Gangtey

Following breakfast at the hotel, you will enjoy a full-day explore beautiful Phobjikha valley. Visit Gangtey Monastery, its an institute for monks following the Nyingmapa sect in the country.  


A few kilometers beyond the Gangtey Monastery, on the valley floor, lies the village of Phobjikha. This quiet, remote valley is the winter home of black-necked cranes, which migrate from the arid plains of Tibet in the north, to pass the winter months in a milder climate. Phobjikha, at an altitude of 2900 m, falls under the district of Wangduephodrang lies on the periphery of the Black Mountain National Park. The valley boasts two beautiful meandering rivers, Nakay Chhu (Chhu Naap-black water) and Gay Chhu(Chhu Karp-white water). According to a local legend, the two rivers actually represent a snake and a boar. The two animals once raced each other with an agreement that if the snake (Nakay Chhu) won, Phobjikha valley would be able to grow rice, but if the boar won, then rice could never be cultivated in the area. The snake lost since it had to meander all the way during its journey. Rice cannot be cultivated in the valley even today. Explore the valley by taking one of the shortest & breathtaking treks, the Gangtey Nature Trail that would take approximately 02 hrs. It passes through the Senchumbara village & on towards the Kewa Lhakhang.


Visit Black Necked Crane Information Centre: Situated on the edge of the forest and wetland along the main road of Phobjikha valley, the black-necked crane information Centre has an observation room equipped with high power telescope and spotting scopes for catching the best view of the cranes. The center also offers display information that outlines the natural and cultural history of the area. 


 Overnight in Gangtey.


Day 9 : Gangtey –Paro (170 Km - 5.5 Hr)

Location: Semtokha

After breakfast at your hotel then depart to Paro via Dochula Pass (3150M).En-route visit Semtokha Dzong. This dzong, built-in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Cultural Studies. Arrive Paro and check-in the hotel.


Overnight in Paro.


Day 10 : Paro – Haa – Paro ( 150 Km - 5.5 Hrs)

Location: Semtokha

After breakfast at your hotel then depart to Haa valley via Chelela Pass. The drive will give you the opportunity to drive you through the deep pine forest and into the narrow valley of Haa. Haa is closed to the outside world until 2002. There is a military camp by the Indian Army. Visit lhakhang Nakpo (Black temple) is said to have been built by pigeon emanation of King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. After lunch drive back to Paro via Chelela pass (3,810 m) which takes two hours drive to cover 68 km. From the pass you will get a good view of the highest mountains of Bhutan and the Himalayan peaks. 


If time permits, 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. Bhutan’s exquisite stamps exhibited here to offer another interesting collection.


This is followed by a short walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong), meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and 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


Day 11 : Paro – Tiger’S Nest Hike (14.5 Km - 5 Hrs Hike)

After breakfast, excursion to Taktsang Monastery (approx. 5hrs 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. It was also visited by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and is now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of the building. However, this iconic monastery has been restored to its original splendor.


Optional activity:


On the way back to town 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.


Day 12 : Departure Paro

After early breakfast at the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination. Our representative will help you with exit formalities and then bid you farewell.



What's Included

TOUR GUIDE:

  • Operated with accompanied English- speaking guide. 

ACCOMMODATION: 

  • 11 nights' accommodation.

ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS


Day 1-2 Thimpu:

Standard Hotel Category = Phuntsho Pelri or similar 3*

Day 3 Punakha:

Standard Hotel Category = Meri Puensum Resort or similar 3*

Day 4-6 Bumthang:

Standard Hotel Category = Hotel Ugyenling or similar 3*

Day 7-8 Gangtey:

Standard Hotel Category = Dewachen or similar 3*

Day 9 -11 Paro:

Standard Hotel Category = Paro Eco Lodge or similar 3*

MEALS:

  • 11 Breakfasts; 11 lunches and 11 dinners

TRANSPORT:

  • Inbound/Outbound transfers from/to Paro International Airport
  • Non-Air-conditioned transportation

ENTRANCE FEES AND ACTIVITIES: 

  • All entrance fees to monuments as indicated in the itinerary: sightseeing in the Thimphu valley, visit of The National Library, the Institute for Zorig Chusum, Textile Museum, Simply Bhutan museum, Pangri Zampa, the Buddha Point, the Memorial Chorten, the Trashichhoedzong, cross the Dochula pass, Gangtey Goempa, explore the wide Phobjikha valley, Black Necked Crane Visitor Centre, Punakha Dzong, Chimi Lhakhang (exterior visit), Simtokha Dzong, Ta Dzong, Rinpung Dzong, excursion to Taktsang Monastery, Kyichu Lhakhang 

OTHER:

  • Meet & Greet on arrival at Paro International Airport 
  • Govern royalty and taxes
  • Bhutan Visa fee

What's Not Included

  • Any airfares or airport taxes, supplements for which are quoted separately if applicable
  • International or domestic flights
  • Expenses of personal nature like tipping, laundry, telephone/fax calls, alcoholic/non- alcoholic beverages, video camera fee at monuments, medical expenses, any insurance etc.
  • Any visit not mentioned in the programme
  • Optional tours and activities
  • Travel Insurance, any loss or extra cost arising due to unforeseen circumstances such as flight delays, accidents, etc

Requirements

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 


Please Note

  • Please note that local conditions prevalent at the time of travel may result in modifications to the tour contents without prior notice 
  • The standard hotel check-in / check-out time is 14:00 / 12:00. In some cases it may vary
  • Day 12: Drop off at Paro international Airport at 11 hrs
  • The distances and travel times described in the itinerary may vary. 
  • Please note we are able to accept clients request for Vegan meals. 
  • Closing days of Some of the Monuments mentioned in the Itinerary (Sightseeing / visits will be adjusted on every departure based on the closing days): 
  1. Ta Dzong – Paro (national museum) : closed on Government Holidays
  2.  National Library – Thimphu : closed on Sat, Sun &  Government Holidays
  3. Textile Museum – Thimphu: Closed on Government Holidays & on Sunday. On Sat open from 9.00 a.m to 4 p.m
  4. Institute of Zorig Chusum (Painting School) - Thimphu: Closed on Sun & Government Holidays. On Sat open from 10 a.m to 12 o’clock. Also closed in winter (Dec-early March).
  5. Simply Bhutan – Thimphu: Closed on Sun & on Government Holidays
  6. Folk Heritage Museum – Thimphu: Closed on Sunday & on government holidays
  7. Choki Traditional Art School – Thimphu: Closed on Government Holidays & on Sunday. On Sat open from 9.00 a.m to 12.30 p.m
  8. Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, Punakha: Closed due to maintenance
  9. Tashi Chhodzong- 5.30 pm-6.30 pm (summer) and 4.30 pm-5.30 pm (winter).  9am-4 pm (Govt. holidays and Saturdays & Sundays)  

Accommodation options

ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

Day 1-2 Thimpu:

  • Standard Hotel Category = Phuntsho Pelri or similar 3*

Day 3 Punakha:

  • Standard Hotel Category = Meri Puensum Resort or similar 3*

Day 4-6 Bumthang:

  • Standard Hotel Category = Hotel Ugyenling or similar 3*

Day 7-8 Gangtey:

  • Standard Hotel Category = Dewachen or similar 3*

Day 9 -11 Paro:

  • Standard Hotel Category = Paro Eco Lodge or similar 3*

Check out our Q&As

  • Is there any option for solo traveller?

    Yes of course. Please note that the default selection shows the price per person per double room. For solo travellers, you will have to select a single room when available.

  • Do you offer any travel insurance?

    We do not offer Travel Insurance but would strongly recommend that you purchase a comprehensive Travel Insurance Policy prior to departure. 

  • When are there specific hotel names confirmed?

    Confirmed hotel names are informed latest 10 days prior to client's arrival

  • What does the price include?

    What is included is stated specifically on the product Description. Gratuities are at your discretion. Prices do not include (unless stated otherwise) - gratuities to the guide, driver or tour manager.

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    You can change it by logging into your profile and click on Bookings. Please check your cancellation policy.

  • Are Visa fees included in the price?

    No, visa fees are not included

  • Are flights included in the tour?

    No, they are not included

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Booking confirmation with Itinerary and confirmation vouchers

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Friday - Tuesday

Aug 16, 2024 - Aug 27, 2024
$4372 $4234

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$138

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Sep 01, 2024 - Sep 12, 2024
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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$138

Monday - Friday

Sep 16, 2024 - Sep 27, 2024
$4372 $4234

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$138

Tuesday - Saturday

Oct 01, 2024 - Oct 12, 2024
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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$138

Wednesday - Sunday

Oct 16, 2024 - Oct 27, 2024
$4372 $4234

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$138

Friday - Tuesday

Nov 01, 2024 - Nov 12, 2024
$4372 $4234

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$138

Saturday - Wednesday

Nov 16, 2024 - Nov 27, 2024
$4372 $4234

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$138

Sunday - Thursday

Dec 01, 2024 - Dec 12, 2024
$4372 $4234

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$138

Monday - Friday

Dec 16, 2024 - Dec 27, 2024
$4372 $4234

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$138

Thursday - Monday

Jan 16, 2025 - Jan 27, 2025
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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$154

Saturday - Wednesday

Feb 01, 2025 - Feb 12, 2025
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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$154

Sunday - Thursday

Feb 16, 2025 - Feb 27, 2025
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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$154

Saturday - Wednesday

Mar 01, 2025 - Mar 12, 2025
$4896 $4742

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$154

Sunday - Thursday

Mar 16, 2025 - Mar 27, 2025
$4896 $4742

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$154

Tuesday - Saturday

Apr 01, 2025 - Apr 12, 2025
$4896 $4742

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$154

Wednesday - Sunday

Apr 16, 2025 - Apr 27, 2025
$4896 $4742

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$154

Thursday - Monday

May 01, 2025 - May 12, 2025
$4896 $4742

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$154

Friday - Tuesday

May 16, 2025 - May 27, 2025
$4896 $4742

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$154

Sunday - Thursday

Jun 01, 2025 - Jun 12, 2025
$4896 $4742

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$154

Monday - Friday

Jun 16, 2025 - Jun 27, 2025
$4896 $4742

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$154

Tuesday - Saturday

Jul 01, 2025 - Jul 12, 2025
$4896 $4742

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$154

Wednesday - Sunday

Jul 16, 2025 - Jul 27, 2025
$4896 $4742

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$154

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  • Low Deposit

    Le Passage to India requires a minimum deposit of 20% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of le passage to india charges.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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