This six night fall tour will center around the cultural and natural riches of Western Bhutan. Your Bhutan tour can also easily be combined with a visit to Eastern Bhutan and/or nearby Nepal (please inquire).
Bhutan is a mountainous and thickly forested Himalayan kingdom (a constitutional monarchy) sandwiched between China and India that has been referred to by National Geographic as "The Last Shangri La". Bhutan has a population under one million, a low population density (~20 people per square km), and a sustainable tourism policy that is "low-volume / high-end." Although the national language is Bhutanese (Dzongkha), English is the language of instruction in schools, and many people are delighted to engage visitors in English conversation about popular topics including their country's "Gross National Happiness," spectacular architecture, Buddhist traditions, cuisine, textiles, flora, and fauna.
We have designed this experience both with comfort and authentic experiences in mind. Five nights will be in modern and comfortable three star hotels, and one night will be in a five-star hotel.
The trip begins and ends at the international airport in Paro (PBH); we can assist with bookings on Druk Airlines, the royal Bhutan airlines and with obtaining tourist visas. Opportunities also exist for trip extensions and/or stopovers in various global hubs (advice provided upon request, with costs according to the customized plan).
Unforgettable historic architecture (e.g. Fortresses, Monasteries, Monuments, Bridges, etc.)
Spectacular Landscapes including Mountain Views
Authentic Cultural Encounters
Culinary Adventures (featuring locally sourced organic ingredients)
Optional mountain river rafting and hiking experiences (with exquisite views)
Visit the most famous monastery – Taktsang – “The Tiger’s Nest”
One night in a 5-star hotel
Total price per person $3,800 double occupancy. $700 single supplement charge (for single travelers requiring their own room).
* itinerary subject to change according to unforeseen circumstances / opportunities
Day 1: Arrival - Paro - Thimphu
Your experience commences the moment your flight lands in Paro International Airport, the only International Airport in Bhutan. Once you clear the custom and immigration procedure, you will be warmly received by our guide and taken you to the hotel for refreshment.
You will start your journey visiting the National Museum (Ta-Dzong). Once the watchtower for the Rinpung Dzong (Fortress), it was converted into the national Museum in 1968. The museum stands on a promontory overlooking the Paro valley in all its glory.
In the evening, drive to Thimphu. Over night in Gangtey Palace, Paro.
Day 02: Paro - Thimphu Sightseeing.
Today sightseeing starts with the National Memorial Chorten, National Library, Textile Museum
After lunch, continued sightseeing in Thimphu. Visit the Takin zoo, General Post Office and vegetable market. Over night in Hotel Bhutan, Thimphu.
Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha (3 hrs)
Start early and head off to the beautiful Dochula pass at 10,000 feet, around 1 hour away from Thimphu. The pass is a popular location among tourists as it offers a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of Eastern Himalayan mountain range. The view is especially scenic on clear, winter days with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass.
After lunch, visit the Punakha Dzong, “Palace of Great Happiness”. Punakha Dzong is the former winter capital and at present day hosts the administrative seat of the district. The Dzong lies between two rivers, the Pochu and Mochu, Male and Female River. Overnight at Drubchhu Resort, Punakha.
Rafting in the evening: for 2-3 hrs at the female river in Punakha
Day 04: Punakha - Phobjikha Valley (~ 3.5 hours)
After breakfast, drive to Phobjikha valley. In the evening, visit Gantey Goenpa, a monastery perched atop a small hill that arises from the floor of Phobjikha valley. It is also the home of migratory black-necked crane (from November till March) and one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan.. Overnight stay in the Dewachen Hotel, Phobjikha
Day: 05: Phobjikha valley - Thimphu ( 5 hrs)
After breakfast, drive to Punakha. After lunch, a visit to Chimi Lhakhang would be arranged to visit the temple of the Bhutan’s foremost saint, Lama Drukpa Kunley, also known as the “Divine Madman”. This temple is called the Temple of Fertility, as it is believed that childless couples who come here to pray for a child is usually blessed with a child. In the evening, drive to Thimphu. Over night in Bhutan Hotel, Thimphu.
Day 06: Thimpu – Paro - Excursion to Tiger’s Nest
Start early and spend the morning hiking up the forested path to Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan’s most famous and scenic icon. The climb is steep and takes about 4-5 hours round trip. An important place of pilgrimage and refuge for more than 1200 years, Taktsang Monastery clings to sheer cliffs two-thousand feet above Paro valley, and from your closest vantage point on a rocky ledge directly across from it, you will still need 200-300 mm lenses and a steady tripod to get right photographs.
This sacred place got its name when Guru Rinpoche rode there on the back of a flying tigress and meditated in a cave behind the present-day monastery. Special permit will be arranged for you to enter the Tiger’s Nest monastery but you will not be allowed to take pictures of the inside shrines. The shrines carries the beautiful auras left by the great saints whom meditated in the past, hence, it has been said one can easily get into a meditational state by just sitting silently.
Over night at Le Meridien Paro Riverfront
Day 07: Depart
End of tour & our services
video caption (above): Bhutanese Dancers performing at the spring Bhutan Rhododendron Festival in the Royal Botanical Park at Lampelri, Bhutan.