A thrilling journey through the peaks and valleys of the Land of the Thunder Dragon
Embark on a magical journey through Bhutan, exploring its vibrant culture and enchanting landscapes. From Thimphu to Paro, each day promises unique adventures and unforgettable experiences.
Take on this captivating journey through Bhutan's cultural wonders and breathtaking landscapes. Starting in Thimphu, the capital city, you'll explore the Folk Heritage Museum and vibrant weekend market. Visit iconic landmarks like the Buddha Dordenma Statue and Tashichho Dzong, discovering Bhutanese artistry at the National Folk Heritage Museum and Bhutan Post Office. Travel to Punakha, where the stunning Punakha Dzong awaits, along with a hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten. Discover the tranquil beauty of Gangtey, home to the Black Necked Cranes, and explore the Gangtey Monastery. Conclude your journey in Paro with a challenging yet rewarding hike to the Tiger's Nest, followed by visits to Chelela Pass, National Museum, and Rinpung Dzong. Immerse yourself in Bhutan's rich heritage and natural splendor, leaving with cherished memories.
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Day 1: International departure
Head to your nearest international airport and board your overnight flight to Bhutan. An incredible exclusive journey awaits.
Day 2: Arrive Thimphu
Upon arrival at Paro Airport, meet your guide for a scenic drive to Thimphu. Along the way, pause at Tachogang Lhakhang Bridge, an iron chain bridge with historical significance. Immerse yourself in the charming blend of tradition and modernity of Thimphu. Check in to the Hotel Ariya, where you will stay for the next two nights. The evening is free for you to recover from your travels, or explore Thimphu as you wish. Perhaps check out the Folk Heritage Museum if you have time or the vibrant weekend market between Fridays and Sundays.
Day 3: Thimphu day tour
Embark on a private guided exploration of Thimphu. Visit the iconic Buddha Dordenma Statue, offering panoramic views. Explore Tashichho Dzong, Bhutan Post Office for personalized stamps, and the National Folk Heritage Museum. Conclude with an evening stroll along Norzin Lam, Thimphu's main street. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 4: Thimphu - Punakha
After breakfast and check out, it's time for a scenic drive to Punakha, stopping at Dochu La pass to witness the amazing sight that is the 108 Stupas. Visit the unique Chimi Lhakhang and explore Punakha Dzong, a stunning fortress at the confluence of two rivers. Pack your hiking boots as it is time for the first hike, a short one, where you can experience the tranquility that Punakha offers. Post-hike, head to the Zhingkham Hotel in Punakha where you will spend two nights.
Day 5: Punakha surrounds
Good thing you stretched your legs yesterday, as today you will start with a morning hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten, which offers panoramic views of the area. Explore Punakha Dzong, Talo Monastery, Nobgang Village, and the enchanting Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of Punakha. Head back to the hotel for a nice hot shower and a well-deserved rest.
Day 6: Punakha - Gangtey
After breakfast drive uphill towards Lawola Pass (3000 m) and then down the valley to Phobjikha (aka Gangtey), the valley of the ‘Black Necked Cranes’. Break out those hiking boots again for a downhill nature trail hike around the valley.
Later you will be taken to visit the Black Necked Cranes Center, which overlooks the valley, where you will learn more about the endangered Black Necked Cranes, their habitats, and their importance in the day-to-day life of the people of Bhutan.
Day 7: Gangtey - Paro
Visit Gangtey Monastery, a 17th-century marvel overlooking Phobjikha Valley and participate in a monk-led blessing ceremony. Later, venture out on a scenic 4-hour drive to Paro, descending from Dochu La pass and tracing the Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu river valleys. En route, explore Simtokha Dzong, Bhutan's oldest fortress, built in 1629 to subdue a malevolent spirit. Arriving in Paro, nestled at 2280m, once a pivotal trade hub, enjoy a leisurely evening at the Tinzinglin Resort, where you will stay for three nights. The valley stretches from Jumolhari on the Tibetan border to Chuzom, where Thimphu and Punakha rivers converge. Check-in and unwind.
Day 8: Tiger's Nest monastery
Today you will embark on one of the coolest hikes of your trip - to the revered Tiger's Nest, a cliffside monastery in Bhutan. The challenging ascent from Rumtokto (2600m) to the Cafeteria (2940m) provides stunning views. After a refreshing break, climb 45 minutes to a high observation point (3140m) for a spectacular view of the monastery across a deep chasm. Descend via cliff-hanging steps, passing a beautiful waterfall and a hermitage. Explore the monastery's shrines, enjoy a hearty lunch at the Tiger’s Nest Cafeteria, and descend downhill to the starting point. If time permits, visit Kyichu Lakhang on your way back to the hotel for a tranquil evening.
Day 9: Paro exploration
Another day of exploration, starting with an early visit to Chelela Pass (3890m), Bhutan's highest motorable pass. Enjoy a brief uphill hike with breathtaking views of Paro and Thimphu valleys. Witness fluttering prayer flags and vibrant Rhododendrons along the trail. Return to Paro town for an afternoon tour. Explore the National Museum (Ta Dzong), showcasing antique thangka paintings and historic artifacts. Visit Rinpung Dzong, a fortress with intricate wall paintings depicting Buddhist lore. Take a leisurely stroll through Paro town, interacting with locals over tea. Relax at your hotel, nestled in the heart of Paro, as the day concludes.
Day 10: Depart Bhutan
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 11: Onward journey
Whether you've chosen to return home or venture to a nearby destination (India, Nepal, or Thailand are suggested for their accessibility), your departure from Bhutan will be accompanied by incredible memories from the world's happiest country.
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Bhutan holidays, Southeast Asia
From £3,095pp 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.
- 2 nights at Zhingkham Hotel, Punakha – deluxe room, full board.
- 1 night at Hotel Dewachan, Gangtey – deluxe room, full board.
- 3 nights at Tinzingling Resort – deluxe room, full board.
- All transfers and professional English-speaking guides.
- Activities mentioned as included in the itinerary.
- Entrance fees 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.