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Bhutan Discovered


Experience the majestic landscapes and joyful culture of little-visited Bhutan on this enchanting 7-day adventure. Begin in Thimphu, Bhutan’s busy capital, where you’ll meet local artisans and visit enlightening museums. Take in unbeatable views of the Himalayas on your way to Punakha, where your local leader will introduce you to ancient dzongs, bridges and monasteries. Tuck into a homecooked meal at a farmhouse in the Paro Valley, try your hand at archery, Bhutan’s national sport, and hike to the legendary Tiger’s Nest monastery. You’ll soon see why Bhutan’s people are considered some of the happiest on earth.

7 days, from

$3,483

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

3
Trip code: HJKB
Style: Comfort
Theme: Explorer

Details

Countries Visited:  Bhutan
Accommodation: Hotel (6 nights)
Transportation: Private vehicle
Included Meals:

  • 6 breakfasts
  • 6 lunches
  • 6 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12
Minimum Age: 15

  • Hike to Taktsang, commonly known as the Tiger's Nest, the small monastery clinging to a rocky cliff 900 metres above the valley floor, and soak in its magnificence.

  • Discover the 15th-century fertility temple of Chimi Lhakhang, and visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong, an ancient fortress and religious centre that sits at the confluence of two rivers.

  • Feel the heat of Bhutanese cuisine when you tuck into traditional meals made with red rice, local cheese and lots of tastebud-tingling chillies.

  • Experience Bhutanese hospitality in the Paro Valley when you enjoy a homecooked meal at a rustic farmhouse and try your hand at archery, the country’s favourite sport.

  • Spend a day exploring Thimphu, from the city to the woodlands, visiting the Cheri Dorji Dhen monastery, National Memorial Chorten, Drubthob Nunnery, Choki Traditional Art School and National Textile Museum.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Paro - Thimphu

After arriving at Paro Airport and making your way through immigration and customs formalities, you will be greeted by your guide and driver and warmly welcomed to the enchanting Land of the Thunder Dragon. Drive alongside mountains, rivers, and fields of red rice to Thimphu, Bhutan's capital city. If you arrive in the morning, you'll have lunch and then head out for some sightseeing. Stop in at the Nado Poizokhang Incense Factory, Bhutan’s most famous traditional incense maker, as well as the colourful Gagyel Lhundrup Weaving Centre. If you arrive in the afternoon, you'll meet the rest of your group in the evening for a welcome meeting before heading out together for dinner. Take an evening wander through the fascinating streets of Thimphu, the world’s only capital city without a traffic light!

Day 2: Thimphu

Today begins with a pleasant walk that meanders gently up the valley through paddy fields, pristine woodlands, and a Tibetan village, a trail that continues uphill (1 hour) to the Cheri Dorji Dhen monastery – built in 1620 by Shabdrung, the first ruler of Bhutan. Enjoy a picnic lunch before returning to Thimphu for an afternoon of sightseeing. Begin by visiting the National Memorial Chorten – many Thimphu residents consider this to be the heart and soul of the city and gather here every day to pray and walk clockwise around the chorten. Afterward, visit Drubthob Nunnery, the Choki Traditional Art School, and the incredible National Textile Museum. If you’re in the mood for a spot of shopping, the National Handicrafts Emporium offers high-quality traditional goods and a small family-run enterprise that manufactures paper and paper products using traditional methods.

Day 3: Punakha

This morning, drive to Punakha – the ancient winter capital of Bhutan. Stop at Dochula Pass for a breathtaking view of the eastern Himalayas, including Bhutan's highest mountain, the majestic Gangkhar Puensum. Continue the journey before taking another break. Enjoy a short walk to visit Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility temple built in 1499 by lama Drukpa Kunley. With its three towers, and wonderful location at the confluence of two rivers, it is considered by many to be the most beautiful of Bhutan’s 21 Dzongs. Arrive in Punakha for a good night’s rest before another day of exploration tomorrow.

Day 4: Punakha

Head down to the convergence of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu Rivers, two of the main rivers of Bhutan, and admire breathtaking views of the majestic Punakha Dzong, the second oldest and second-largest Dzong in the country, as well as the cantilever bridge that spans across the river. Afterward, you might like to join your leader for an optional hike to Khamsum Yulley Monastery – an elaborately decorated chorten, built to ward off evil spirits and bring peace and harmony to all living things. As with many monasteries in Bhutan, your leader may need to hunt around for the caretaker with the keys to have a look inside!

Day 5: Paro

This morning head back over the Dochula Pass and continue to Thimphu. The roads in Bhutan are narrow, and while the distances don’t appear to be very far, due to the nature of the roads and the many valleys they pass through, travelling can take some time – so this is a good chance to relax and enjoy the passing scenery. After lunch in Thimphu, continue into the Paro Valley. This evening, experience Bhutanese hospitality and a taste of tradition with a home-cooked meal at the rustic Tshering Farm House. Soak up the friendly atmosphere and try your hand at Bhutan's national sport, archery, with an introductory lesson.

Day 6: Paro / Tiger's Nest Monastery

After an early breakfast followed by a short drive, prepare for your hike to see the legendary Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) – a magnificent monastery, clinging on a rock cliff 900 metres above the valley floor. After approximately 1 hour ascending the mountainside, reach a small teahouse that has a wonderful panoramic view of the temple and the ideal place to enjoy lunch. For those interested, it’s possible to get a closer view by hiking another 45 minutes to 1 hour (each direction) to reach the small chorten directly across from the temple. Anyone not interested in hiking any further can relax at the teahouse and enjoy the view. Afterwards, return to your accommodation in Paro for the night.

Day 7: Paro

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before a departure transfer to Paro airport for your flight out of Bhutan.