Destinations Covered: Thimpu, Punakha, Paro
Tour Price: Price will vary depending on no. of people, types of activities as per guest's interests, preferences and tastes. Please send your tour queries to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will give you a quote.
Inclusions: Tourist Visa to Bhutan, hotel accommodation, breakfast, lunch & dinner, airport transfers, sightseeing activities, accompanying English-speaking local guide, private AC vehicle & driver. For full list of inclusions, refer to Inclusions section in Program tab.
Exclusions: International flight to Bhutan, travel insurance, tipping, personal expenses. For full list of exclusions, refer to Exclusions section in Program tab.
Best time to travel: March-May, September-November.
For queries/bookings, pls email us at email@example.com .
Bhutan often referred to as ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ or ‘the last Shangri La’ on earth, is situated in the lap of Eastern Himalayas between India and the People's Republic of China. Covering an area of 38,394 sq km, the tiny Himalayan Kingdom is one of the most isolated nations in the world. Spectacular mountain terrain, varied flora and fauna, ancient Bhutan Buddhist monasteries, and magnificent landscape of Bhutan have made it an exemplar tourist destination. Bhutan is bestowed with rich bio-diversity harboring around 300 medicinal herbs and 165 endangered species. Each part of Bhutan has its own historical, geographical, cultural, traditional and religious significance.
With its beautiful and largely unspoiled Himalayan setting, its rich flora and fauna and its vibrant Buddhist culture, Bhutan really is an idyllic place to visit.
Day 01: Arrive Paro (Bhutan) by Flight & transfer to Thimphu (55km, approx. 1.1/2-hour drive)
Note: Limited international flights into Paro, Bhutan. You can fly Druk Air from Singapore, Bangkok, Kathmandu (Nepal) or the main cities of India.
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. Flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu, the journey offers fascinating views and an exciting descent into the Kingdom. Bhutan’s first gift to you as you disembark from the aircraft will be cool, clean fresh mountain air. After immigration formalities and baggage collection, you will be met by our representative, and afterwards drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan with en-route stop at Chuzom, the confluence of Thimphu and Paro rivers. Three different styles of stupas; Tibetan, Nepalese and Bhutanese adorn this confluence.
On arrival in Thimphu, check-into hotel.
The capital town of Bhutan and the centre of government, religion and commerce, Thimphu is a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. Although not what one expects from a capital city, Thimphu is still a fitting and lively place. Home to civil servants, expatriates and monk body, Thimphu maintains a strong national character in its architectural style.
Afternoon: Take a short drive to the north of town to Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang). Located at a short drive from Thimphu city centre, visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from the Buddha point (Kuensel Phodrang). You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in the country and then walk around and take a glimpse of the valley.
Followed by visit of King’s Memorial Chorten which is continuously circumambulated by people, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace.
On the way back, take an evening stroll through the Craft Bazar recently established under patronage of Department of Cottage & Small Industry and in collaboration with the Department of Culture, Tourism Council and the Department of Agriculture Marketing and Cooperatives, this market offers genuine Bhutanese arts & crafts thus contributing in promotion, protection and preservation of traditional arts and the main town of Thimphu.
Dinner and overnight stay hotel in Thimpu.
Day 02: Thimpu sightseeing (B,L,D)
After breakfast, visit Pangri Zampa, 16th century monastery in Bhutan located just north of Thimphu. Here is a monastic school where Buddhist students’ monks learn Lamaism and astrology based on Buddhist philosophy. Guests can interact with monks.
After lunch: Spend a meaningful afternoon at Drubthob Goema / Zilukha Nunnery. It is the only nunnery in capital known as Zilukha Anim Dratsang, once belonged to the Drubthob (Realized One) Thang Thong Gyalpo often referred to as The King of the Open Fields (In the early 15th century with his multiple talents he popularly became the Leonardo da Vinci of the Great Himalayas). You may interact here with some of the nuns who have devoted their life to spirituality and Buddhism.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha (3 hours) (B,L,D)
Morning after breakfast drive up to Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft), stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana, and finally Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.
Continue further to Punakha which served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955, and is still the winter seat of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot). Blessed with a temperate climate and fed by the Pho Chhu (male) and Mo Chhu (female) Rivers, Punakha is the most fertile valley in the country.
En route visit the Royal Botanical Park spreads over 12,000 acres of protected land at Lamperi on the Thimphu-Punakha highway. The park features a rhododendron garden, one of the hot spots for bird watchers, a children’s playground, and an information center for visitors. It also has a cafeteria, short hiking trails, a lake and fire camp place. Around 300 different plant species can also be found in the park.
Upon arrival check in at the Hotel and after some rest, proceed to visit Punakha Dzong, built strategically at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative centre of the region.
Later in the afternoon take a short excursion to Chimi Lhakhang. This Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, is also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, are usually blessed with a child very soon. A walk through the village near the temple will give you rare glimpses into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers.
Evening can be spent exploring Punakha village located right on the bank of river.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Punakha.
Day 04: Punakha to Paro (125km, approx 4 hrs drive) (B, L, D)
Morning after early breakfast drive to Paro, enroute visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery.
Perched on a ridge amid pine trees and overlooking valleys of Punakha and Wangduephodrang, gleams the magnificent structures of Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang (Temple). The temple houses a 14-foot main bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara (Chenrigzig Chagtong Chentong). Other statues include those of Guru Padmasambawa, Gautama Buddha, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, Tsela Namsum, the 21 Taras and Tsepamay (Buddha of Longevity). The Avalokiteshvara statue, one of the biggest in the country, is the handiwork of entirely local Bhutanese artisans.
The temple complex also houses a permanent higher learning and meditation centre for nuns where, apart from religious trainings, it provides life skill training such as tailoring, embroidery, statue making and thangka painting.
Proceed further to Paro:
The beautiful valley of Paro encapsulates within itself a rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myths and legends. It is home to many of Bhutan's oldest temples and monasteries, the national museum and the country's only airport. Mount Chomolhari (7,314m) reigns in white glory at the northern end of the valley and its glacial water plunge through deep gorges to form Pa Chhu (Paro River). Paro is also one of the most fertile valleys in the Kingdom, producing a bulk of the locally famous red rice from its terraced fields.
Stop at Dochu la Pass for a short break and to freshen up.
After a short break, we continue to Paro descending back down from Dochu La, follow the way back up the dramatic Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu river valleys, before crossing through Paro Town towards the north end of the valley. Visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the country which now houses the School for Buddhist studies.
On arrival check into the hotel, followed by lunch.
After lunch: Your first visit in Paro will be Ta Dzong. Once a watchtower, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century, Ta Dzong was inaugurated as Bhutan's National Museum in 1968. Today it holds a fascinating collection of art, relics, religious Thangkha paintings and Bhutan's exquisite postage stamps. The museums circular shape enhances its varied collections displayed over several floors.
Drive to visit Rinpung Dzong, which has a long and fascinating history. Built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge called Nemi Zam. A walk through the bridge, over a stone inlaid path, offers a good view of the architectural wonder of the Dzong.
Evening at leisure.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Paro.
Day 05: Paro sightseeing (B,L,D)
Embark on a walking excursion to Taktshang Monastery. It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’.
This site has been recognised as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung 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 building but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendour.
Afternoon at leisure for personal activities / exploring the charming traditional architecture town in Paro, along with some shopping opportunities.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 06: Depart 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.
-Full-board accommodation including breakfast, lunch & dinner
-Airport transfers in private A/C car or van
-Activities as per tour including entrance fees
-Sightseeing tour with English-speaking local guides
-Meeting and assistance by local representatives on arrival/departure at airport/hotel
-Private transfers and transport between airport, hotel and sightseeing spots
-All government taxes
-International return flight to Bhutan
-Horse-riding excursion fees (Tiger’s Nest)
-Excess baggage charges
International Flight Info:
Druk Air flies from Singapore / Bangkok / Kathmandu and major cities of India, to Paro.
For queries/bookings for this tour, pls email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
For queries/bookings for this tour, pls email us at email@example.com .