Wonders of Bhutan - 7 Days
From 2020-02-29 to 2021-12-25
6 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners.
5 nights 3-4 star hotels and 1 night camping near the banks of scenic Mo Chu River.
Airport arrival and departure transfer on day 1 & day 7 (only).
Guided sightseeing of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and the Punakha Valley.
Traditional Bhutanese dinner at a farm house, giving you the opportunity to interact with a local family.
Escorted by a licensed English-speaking local tour guide.
All relevant transfers and transportation in private A/C vehicles.
Entrance fees to all included sightseeing.
All Bhutan government royalties and taxes.
Bhutan Visa fee and travel Permit (excludes visa admin fee of USD$20 pp, payable upon arrival).
Itinerary / more information
Day 1 - Paro Saturday. Welcome to Bhutan and the start of your holiday! You’ll be met at Paro Airport and transferred to your hotel to enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 2 - Thimphu Paro - Thimphu. This morning we enjoy a guided tour of the National Museum, housed within the old watch tower Ta Dzong perched on a hilltop overlooking the city. After browsing the museum’s exhibits we head to the impressive Rinphung Dzong, the backdrop for the Hollywood film Little Buddha. Later this afternoon, we drive to Thimphu and visit the weekend market. From Friday onwards vendors from surrounding villages travel to Thimphu to display their wares until Sunday afternoon when the market ends.
Day 3 - Thimphu An intriguing blend of modernity and antiquity, Thimphu - Bhutan’s capital, allows travellers to step away from the typical tourist experience and be part of something wholly unique. Today we enjoy a full day of sightseeing, including stops at the Memorial Chorten - a beautiful stupa built in the memory of Bhutan’s third King, and the National Library - which has a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts, manuscripts and modern academic books. We’ll also visit the Drubthob Nunnery, Folk Heritage Museum and the Takin Preserve where you can spot Bhutan’s national animal.
For those that appreciate local crafts we’ll stop at various workshops to see a wide assortment of beautifully hand-woven and crafted products, including a visit to the Handicrafts Emporium.
Day 4 - Punakha Thimphu - Punakha Valley. An early start this morning takes us on the road to Punakha, climbing up through oak, pine and rhododendron forest to reach Dochu La Pass (3050m). After a short break we continue onto the spectacular Punakha Valley, where we enjoy a scenic 1.5 - 2 hour walk up to Chimi Lhakhang Temple - dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kunley (also known as the Divine Mad Monk). After our hike, we visit the impressive Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the confluence of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, and an exemplary masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture.
Later this afternoon we head to our campsite for some time to relax or explore the natural surrounds. In the early evening, you can opt for a hot stone bath served with local drinks, followed by dinner.
Day 5 - Punakha Punakha - Paro. After an early breakfast, we hike for approximately 2 - 2.5 hours, up through rice fields and along the banks of the Mo Chu river to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a stunning temple located on a hill with picturesque views of the valley below. We continue our exploration of the area with a drive to the charming villages scattered along a ridge above the Punakha Valley. Later this afternoon, we'll stop for a picnic lunch before visiting Sangchen Dorji Lhendrup Nunnery, perched on a ridge with spectacular views of the Punakha and Wangdue Valleys. Apart from religious training, the nuns are also taught skills such as embroidery, tailoring and statue making. After our visit to the nunnery we drive to Paro.
Day 6 - Paro Taktshang Pelphung Monastery or Tiger’s Nest Monastery as it is often referred to, is one of the most venerated and famous of Bhutan’s monasteries. It is located on the face of a sheer 900m cliff above the floor of Paro Valley. Today we embark on a scenic 4 - 6 hour hike, to view this spectacular and unmissable sight. The monastery is only accessible on foot or you can ride a pony part of the way (this must be arranged in advance by your guide).
From the trail (2600m) we take a steep one hour walk up to a cafeteria where you can enjoy refreshments and the wonderful views of Taktshang (2940m). Those who wish to proceed further must travel on foot, the trail continues uphill for another 45 minutes to a high observation point (3140m) where there is a Chorten (stupa). From this vantage point, the lookout to the monastery is incredible and seems almost close enough to touch. Continuing down a flight of cliff-hanging steps on the narrow trail you’ll reach a beautiful waterfall that plunges down the deep chasm and alongside is a retreat hermitage, jammed dramatically into a rock crevice. Then, the final climb up the flight of steep steps to the monastery. At any point during this walk, you can return if you find it too difficult, though we would like to note that client feedback highlights today's trek as one of the most rewarding and worth continuing to reach the top.
Once inside the monastery, there are several shrines and temples to explore, and you will see a few monks in residence too. After exploring the monastery, we walk back to the cafeteria for lunch before retracing our steps back to the road to journey back to Paro.
This evening we enjoy a traditional Bhutanese dinner at a farm house, giving you the opportunity to interact with a local family and learn about the local cuisine of Bhutan.
Day 7 - Paro Friday. After breakfast, our tour concludes and we bid you farewell, after transferring you to Paro airport to meet your onward flight.
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