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Great Buddha Thimphu Bhutan min

Classic Bhutan

9 days from £2,495pp (excl. international flights)
Paro  → Thimphu  → Punakha  → Paro

Non-stop action and culture in this incredible adventure

Take an enchanting journey through Bhutan's cultural gems and natural wonders.

Begin in Thimphu, the capital, by exploring the city's highlights, such as the Buddha Dordenma Statue, Tashichho Dzong, and the National Memorial Chorten. Journey to Punakha, visiting Dochu La pass, Druk Wangyal Chortens, and Chimi Lhakhang. Explore the spectacular Punakha Dzong before returning to Paro. Engage in a challenging hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten and explore Paro's heritage sites like Kyichu Lhakhang and Drugyel Dzong. Conclude with a trek to the iconic Tiger's Nest and a scenic excursion to Chelela Pass, offering panoramic views of Paro and Haa Valleys. Immerse in Bhutan's rich history with visits to Ta Dzong and Rinpung Dzong. Stroll through Paro town, interact with locals, and savor the serene atmosphere. The journey blends cultural exploration with natural beauty, ensuring lasting memories of Bhutan's captivating landscape and heritage.

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The itinerary…

Day 1: International departure

Board your international flight for Paro in Bhutan, get ready for a truly unique holiday!

Day 2: Arrive Thimphu

Lhakhang Monastery Bridge Paro river Bhutan

Tachogang Lhakang Bridge

Upon landing at Paro International Airport, your guide awaits outside the arrival hall. A scenic 1.5-hour drive to Bhutan's capital, Thimphu, reveals Paro Valley's forested hills, the meandering Pa Chu (Paro River), and the striking Paro Dzong and Ta Dzong on hills above the town. A stop at Tachogang Lhakhang Bridge offers a glimpse of Drupthob Thangtong Gyalpo's iron chain bridge leading to the renowned Tachogang Lhakhang Dzong. Thimphu blends tradition with modernity, boasting a unique charm with no streetlights but the graceful guidance of traffic policemen. Check in at the Hotel Ariya, where you will stay two nights and, if time permits, visit the Folk Heritage Museum.

Day 3: Thimphu day tour

Buddha point Thimphu Bhutan min

Buddha point Thimphu

Today you will explore Thimphu with your private guide. Begin at Buddha Dordenma Statue, a majestic 51m-tall steel figure atop Kuenselphodrang Nature Park, adorned with 125,000 smaller Buddha statues. Next, visit Tashichho Dzong, the government's seat since 1952, housing the throne room and key ministries. Don't miss Bhutan Post Office Headquarters for personalized stamps and postcards. Pay respects at the National Memorial Chorten, and learn about papermaking at Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory. Conclude your day with a stroll along Thimphu's main street, Norzin Lam, where you will see many incredible places the Bhutanese crafts bazaar and Royal College of Astrology.

Day 4: Thimphu - Punakha

Punakha dzong B Hutan min

Punakha Dzong

Embark on a journey to Punakha, Bhutan's former capital, situated at 1300m elevation. A 3-hour drive leads through Dochu La pass, where Druk Wangyal Chortens (108 Stupas) memorialize lives lost in a 2002 conflict. Admire breathtaking views of the eastern Himalayas on clear days. Pause in Sopsokha village to stroll through rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, a pilgrimage site for childless couples. Explore Punakha Dzong, a medieval fortress turned modern government seat and winter residence for the Central Monk Body. Check in to Zhingkham hotel, where you will stay overnight, then savour leisure time amidst the enchanting surroundings.

Day 5: Punakha - Paro

Mountain view Paro B Hutan min

Today begins with a post-breakfast adventure involving a scenic 30-minute drive to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten, followed by a 45-minute uphill hike through picturesque rice fields. Explore the three-leveled chorten dedicated to the 5th King, showcasing vibrant protectors and offering stunning views of the Punakha Valley. In the later morning, embark on a three-hour drive to Paro, descending from Dochu La pass, and follow the dramatic Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu river valleys. Arrive in Paro, and explore the heritage farmhouse, Kyichu Lhakhang, and Drugyel Dzong. Conclude the day by checking in at the Tinzingling Resort, where you will stay the next three nights.

Day 6: Taktsang Tiger's Nest

Tigers Nest Bhutan

Tiger's Nest monastery

Today begins with an exhilarating morning hike to Bhutan's iconic Tiger's Nest monastery, perched on a sheer cliff. The trail, adorned with prayer flags, leads from Rumtokto to the Cafeteria, offering a close-up view of the monastery. Continue uphill to an observation point for spectacular scenery. Descend cliff-hanging steps to a waterfall and climb to the monastery's shrines. Enjoy a hearty lunch at the Tiger's Nest Cafeteria, savoring the breathtaking panorama. After descending, meet your driver and consider a visit to the historic Kyichu Lakhang. Return to the hotel, unwind, and perhaps indulge in a spa session after this awe-inspiring day.

Day 7: Chelala Pass and Paro exploration

Cat on a hiking trail, Paro

Wake up energized for an exciting excursion to Bhutan's highest pass, Chelela, where you can revel in panoramic views of Paro and Haa Valleys. Return to Paro town, exploring the captivating Ta Dzong with its diverse collection. Visit the historic Rinpung Dzong, adorned with intricate wall paintings depicting Buddhist lore, and learn about its transformation from a fortress built in 1645 to a multifunctional center. Take a leisurely stroll around Paro town, immersing in local life, engaging with friendly locals over tea, and discovering chortens near the bridge. Conclude the day at your Paro hotel, cherishing the memorable experiences of cultural exploration.

Day 8: Depart Bhutan

Traditional dancers Thimphu Tshechu Tashichho Dzong Thimphu Bhutan min

Bhutanese festival

After breakfast, depending on your flight time, you might have the morning free for leisure until your transfer to the airport. Once there, its time to say goodbye, Bhutan!

Day 9: Onward journey

Whether you've flown home or headed to a secondary destination (we recommend India, Nepal, or Thailand due to their relative accessibility from Bhutan), you will leave Bhutan with amazing memories of the world's happiest country.

Duration: 8 nights

Location: Bhutan holidays, East and Southeast Asia

Price: £2495pp

From £2,495pp based on two people sharing, excluding international flights.

The trip includes all accommodations and activities specified above. Rooms and meals as follows:

  • 2 nights at Hotel Ariya, Thimphu - deluxe room, full board.
  • 1 night at Zhinkham Hotel, Punakha - deluxe room, full board.
  • 3 nights Tinzingling Resort, Paro - deluxe room, full board.

Also includes

  • Private guides and all transfers.
  • Activities that are mentioned as included in the itinerary.

This trip excludes:

  • Single Supplements.
  • International flights.
  • Any activities, meals, or drinks not mentioned as included.
  • Anything else e.g. park fees not mentioned as included.

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When to go to Bhutan

A month-by-month guide of when to visit Bhutan

  • Best
  • Good
  • Mixed
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec


Bhutan experiences a chilly January with temperatures hovering around 4°C. It's the coldest month, and while the landscapes are serene, outdoor activities may be limited.



February sees a slight rise in temperature, reaching around 7°C. The weather is still cool, but it's a better time for those who prefer milder conditions compared to January.



March marks the onset of spring, with pleasant temperatures of around 10°C. It's an ideal month to visit, offering a balance of comfortable weather and picturesque landscapes.



The weather starts to warm up, meaning it's a great time for outdoor activities, with lush greenery enhancing the overall experience.



Much like April, the weather is warm and it is a great time for hiking and exploring cultural sites.



Temperatures peak in June at around 23-24°C. A great time to visit for outdoor exploration.



Monsoon season arrives, meaning it is not a great time for outdoor exploration.



Monsoon season prevails, bringing frequent rains. While the landscapes flourish, it might not be the optimal time for extensive outdoor exploration.



Monsoon season continues, beautiful scenery but some areas may not be accessible due to heavy rains.



October is characterized by crisp weather and clear skies, making it an excellent month for sightseeing and cultural experiences.



Cool temperatures continue in November, offering a pleasant environment for exploration. It's another ideal month for visiting Bhutan.



December sees a drop in temperature, making it the coldest month after January. While the landscapes maintain their charm, visitors should be prepared for cooler conditions.


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