Duration: 11 Nights / 12 Days
Destinations Covered: Paro - Thimphu - Punakha - Wangdue Phodrang - Gangtey Valley - Trongsa - Bumthang - Wangdue Phodrang - Thimphu - Paro
Day 01: Arrival Bhutan - Paro
Arrival at Paro Airport by Druk air BAE 146-100 series, the only national carrier of Bhutan. Enjoy breathtaking views of mountains and landscapes while flying and landing at the airport. After visa formalities at the airport, you will met our representatives and transfer to Kichu Resort. Afternoon / Evening at leisure. Relax at the Resort or stroll around the market. Overnight stay will be in the Kichu resort at Paro.
Day 02: Paro -Thimphu
Enjoy morning sightseeing tour of Paro. Visit the strategically located ruined fortress of Drugyel Dzong, known for its rock-solid defensive structure. The Fort defended the Paro valley from the Tibetan invasion from the north in the early 17th century. On clear weather, you can enjoy an enchanting view of Mount Chomolhari (7,320 m) that appears like towering over the Dzong. Proceed through the scenic valley to arrive at National Museum, which houses an amazing watchtower, locally known as Ta-Dzong. The tower was housed into the National Museum in the 1960's by the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The 7- floors Museum showcases various aspects of Bhutanese culture and history dating back to the 7th century AD. Later visit the Rinpung Dzong, situated at a walking distance downhill. Rinpung Dzong serves as the administrative center and school for monks. Walk further down crossing the traditional bridge into Paro Town.
In the evening, we drive to Thimphu (65km- 2 hours), the capital of Bhutan. Overnight stay will be at Hotel River View or similar.
Day 03: Thimphu
In the morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of Thimphu. Visit the famous native hospital, known for traditional old art of healing, Art & Craft School, National Library, Royal Goldsmith Workshop and Handicraft Centers in Thimphu. In the afternoon, visit the Memorial Chorten built in 1974 in the memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (who died in 1972) and the 15th century Changangkha Monastery. Later visit the Motithang mini Zoo to see the rare 'Takin', the national animal of Bhutan. Thereafter, we drive further down with good view of the Thimphu valley to visit the new Drupthob Nunnery Temple. Enjoy leisure time at the market. Overnight stay will be at your hotel in Thimphu. Overnight stay will be at Hotel River View or similar.
Day 04: Thimphu - Punakha - Wangdue Phodrang
In the morning, we drive to Wangduephodrang (3 hours) via Punakha crossing the scenic Dochula Pass (3,100 m). On fine weather you can see the majestic eastern Himalayan ranges including the Mt.Gangar Punsum (7,520 m), the highest mountain ranges in Bhutan. The drive from the pass is all the way downhill dropping to the lower and warmer valleys of Lobesa. Visit the Punakha Dzong, which was once the old capital of Bhutan. Built between two rivers, this remarkable fortress has survived many glacial floods and fire. A colorful procession, known as the Punakha Serda, is taken out every year in the month of February, to commemorate the Bhutanese victory over the Tibetans.
Later, we proceed to Wangdiphodrang (45 minutes) to view the Dzong from outside and stroll around the market area. Check into Wangdi Kichu Resort at Wangdue Phodrang.
Day 05: Wangdiphodrang -Gangtey Gompa-Wangdiphodrang
In the morning, enjoy a daylong excursion to the famous Gangtey Gompa Valley, situated at an altitude of 2,800 meters. The place is famous for the only Nyingmapa Monastery, located in western Bhutan. Also known for its unique wildlife population, this beautiful valley is home to the rare Black Necked Cranes, who migrate from the Tibetan Plateau to escape the harsh winters. According to estimates, there are around 200-300 cranes, residing in this valley, under the strict supervision of the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN). During their stay of 4/5 months in the winter valley, the village folks are not allowed to make loud noises or fish in the river that runs through the valley. Explore the natural beauty of this fascinating glacier valley. Return back to the Resort. Overnight stay will be at Kichu Resort in Wangdue Phodrang.
Day 06: Wangdue Phodrang -Trongsa - Bumthang
In the morning today, we start for a relatively long drive (almost 6 / 7 hours) crossing 3 passes, all located at an altitude of over 3,000 meters. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the majestic Himalayas and beautiful landscapes on your to Trongsa. Enjoy your Picnic lunch at the 18th century Chendebji Chorten. Later, after about 1 ½ hour drive, arrive at Trongsa, a small town. The town mainly consists of fresh Tibetan refugees but the most impressive of all is the Trongsa Dzong. During the mid 17th century, the whole of eastern Bhutan was controlled from this impressive fortress. Visitors are not allowed inside the building. Thereafter, we proceed to Bumthang (2 hours). Visit the Chume weaving center at Bumthang. Overnight stay will be at Karma Tobden Guest House in Bumthang.
Day 07: Bumthang
Located at an altitude of 2,600 m, Bumthang is known for its exceptional scenic location and natural beauty that charms its visitors. Comprised of four smaller valleys, the deeply spiritual region of Bumthang is shrouded in religious legend. Visit the magnificent Jakar Dzong, the 7th century Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey, Tamshing and Kunchosum Monasteries in Bumthang. Overnight stay will be at Karma Tobden Guest House in Bumthang.
Day 08: Bumthang
Enjoy a 2-hours morning excursion to Ura Village to visit the new Ura Monastery. On the way to the monastery, visit the Mebartso, which means burning lake. Stroll around the village. Later return back to the Guesthouse. Enjoy an evening walk to the Swiss Farm where apple juice, cider, cheese etc. are made. Overnight stay will be at Karma Tobden Guest House in Bumthang.
Day 09: Bumthang - Wangdue Phodrang
In the morning, we drive back to Wangduephodrang. Overnight will be at Wangdi Kichu Resort.
Day 10: Wangdiphodrang -Thimphu- Paro
In the morning, we drive to Paro (3/4 hours) via Lobesa Valley. A short walk through farmhouses and fields takes us to Chimme Lhakhang. This 15th century monastery is dedicated to the famous Lam Drukpa Kunley or divine mad man. He is one of the most famous saints in Bhutan. His temple is visited mostly by childless couples. Later, enjoy your lunch at Thimphu and drive to Paro en-route visiting the Simtokha Dzong, the oldest building in Bhutan. The Dzong now serves as a famous Buddhist university of Bhutan. Overnight stay will be at Kichu Resort in Paro.
Day 11: Paro
In the morning, enjoy a day hike up to the view- point of the famous Taktsang Monastery. The hike, which is uphill all the way, takes about 2-3 hours through unique villages and beautiful pine forests. Horses can also be arranged with an extra payment. The monastery, which stands majestically on a huge granite cliff at an altitude of 800 meters from the Paro Valley, was devastated by fire in 1998 but the Royal Government took immediate steps to restore the monastery to its original structure. It is believed that the great saint Padmasambhava visited the place in the 7th century on a flying tigress and meditated in a cave for 3 months. The demons were subdued who were trying to stop the spread of Buddhism and converted the Paro valley into Buddhism. Around the end of the 17th century, a monastery (Taktsang Monastery) was built on the spot where the saint mediated and it is a pilgrimage site for every Bhutanese to visit at least once in their lifetime. Stroll back to Resort. Evening at leisure. Overnight stay will be at Kichu Resort in Paro.
Day 12: Paro - Departure
On time transfer to the airport to board a flight for your onward destination or way back home.