This seven night fall tour will center around the cultural and natural riches of Central & Western Bhutan.
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. One night will be camping, one night will be in a rustic guest house, four nights will be in modern and comfortable three star hotels or lodges, and one night will be in a spectacular and new 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. $460 single supplement charge (for single travelers requiring their own room).
Round trip international airfare between Bangkok and Paro, Bhutan
Domestic airfare from Paro to Bumthang (one way)
Seven nights accommodation as described in itinerary
All food and drink (including alcohol)
River rafting and camping fees
Ground transportation in well-maintained vehicles including driver
Guides & Porters
Tour Does Not Include
Medical or Trip Insurance
Expenses of a personal nature ( e.g. laundry, cell phone SIM card & phone charges, etc)
Medical Expenses including Medical Evacuation
NOTE: This Bhutan tour can also easily be combined with a pre-tour or post-tour visit to Eastern Bhutan and/or nearby Nepal (please inquire).
* itinerary subject to change according to unforeseen circumstances / opportunities
Day-by-Day Tour Itinerary
Day 1: November 3rd, Arrival in Paro
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 Dorji and taken you to the hotel for refreshment, the Gangtey Palace, Paro. (a former palace mentioned in National Geographic Magazine in 1914!).
Feel free to rest, and those with energy for seeing sights have the option to visit 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.
Optional traditional hot stone bath, and traditional farm house welcome dinner.
Day 02: November 4th, Paro - Bumthang
After breakfast, morning flight from Paro to Bumthang in central Bhutan. This is the religious heartland of the nation and home to some of its oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. Tales of Guru Padmasambhava and the tertons (“religious treasure-discoverers”) still linger in this sacred region. Orientation drive and walk.
Have lunch and then enjoy optional afternoon area orientation / exploration such as a visit to the “Burning Lake",” hiking, and exploration of temples and local activities (bees, apples, cheese, beer, and textiles).
Overnight at the Swiss Guesthouse in Bumthang.
Day 03: November 5th, Bumthang Hiking & Camping
Today we will explore nature and camp at a camp site set up for us.
After early breakfast, drive till Ngalangkha and hike till Kizom (5+ hours). Relax around a camp fire and sleep in a tent. Camping gear such as sleeping bags will be provided (basic quality).
Day 04: November 6th, Bumthang - Phobjikha
After breakfast, strike camp and drive to Phobjikha valley. Optional orientaition walk. Overnight in Gakiling Guesthouse, Phobjikha valley.
Day 05: November 7th, Phobjikha - Punakha
After breakfast, visit Black necked Crane center and drive to Punakha. After lunch, visit the Punakha Dzong, “Palace of Great Happiness”. This Dzong is the former winter capital and at present day hosts the administrative seat of the district. It lies between two rivers, the Pochu and Mochu, Male and Female River.
In the evening, easy rafting trip for 2-3 hours down the Female river. Overnight at Drubchhu Resort, Punakha.
Day 06: November 8th, Punakha - Thimphu
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 07: November 9th, 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 abbreviated hike or horse ride to a midway lunch spot is an option. The Taktsang Monastery has been an important place of pilgrimage and refuge for more than 1200 years. The monastery clings to sheer cliffs two-thousand feet above Paro valley..
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 inside the shrines. The shrines are places where great saints meditated in the past, and are ideal places for your own silent contemplation & meditation.
Over night at 5-star hotel, the Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary, Paro.
Day 08: November 10th, Depart Paro
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.