Central Bhutan Tour-10 Days

Duration: 10 Days 9 Nights
Locations: Thimphu, Paro valley, Punakha, Bumthang.
Highlight: Visit the beautiful and hidden gem of Bhutan, the central valleys of Bhutan know as the Switzerland of Bhutan ‘Bumthang’

ITINERARY OVERVIEW
  • DAY 01 : ARRIVE – PARO – THIMPHU
  • DAY 02 : THIMPHU SIGHT SEEING
  • DAY 03 : PUNAKHA SIGHT SEEING
  • DAY 04 : WANGDUE – BUMTHANG
  • DAY 05 : BUMTHANG SIGHT SEEING
  • DAY 06 : BUMTHANG – TANG VALLEY
  • DAY 07 : BUMTHANG –PHOBJIKHA
  • DAY 08 : PHOBJIKHA – PARO
  • DAY 09 : HIKE TO TIGER NEST MONASTERY
  • DAY 10 : DEPARTURE FROM BHUTAN
DETAILED TOUR PROGRAM
Day 01 : Arrival to Paro
  • Elevation: 2334 m
  • Driving time: 2 hours

Fly into Paro by Druk Air, Bhutan’s National Airline. The great snow-capped peaks of the inner Himalayas rise up to the heavens can be seen during clear weather. As the plane approaches Bhutan, if you look down farmhouses as dots on the hillsides can be seen.

As the aircraft enters the Paro valley, you will see Paro Dzong on the hillside overlooking the Paro Chu (river), with Ta Dzong, formerly a watchtower and now the National Museum, above it.

You will be received by the representative of Yelha Bhutan Tours and Travels (Bhutan tour operator) who will be your Bhutan travel guide throughout your tour.

After meeting with the guide and driver then drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Check into the hotel and rest for a while and then visit Buddha Dordenma (the larges Buddha Statue at Kuenselphodrang), Memorial stupa, Tashi Chhodzong and the stroll through the town in the evening.

Other place to visit

  • Tashi Chodzong, Timphu
  • Tamchog Temple
  • Thimphu Town (city without traffic lights

Overnight in Thimphu resort

Day 02 : Thimphu Sightseeing Tour

After the breakfast, we will visit Institute of Zorig Chusum (Institute of 13 Arts and Crafts) where students undergo 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts.

Changzamtog National Weaving CentreTakin Preserve which houses the national animal- takin which is found only in Bhutan. Takin is an extremely rare member of goat family.

Then visit Changangkha temple and end with Centenary Farmer’s Market where farmers sell their farm produces ( vegetables, fruits, cereals, spices, wild vegetable collections, livestock products and free interaction with local people who come shopping to this market, especially on weekends.

And visit lots of other exciting places as per time permits – Its your private tour.

Day 03 : Thimphu to Punakha via Dochula Pass
  • Elevation: 1300 m
  • Driving time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

After breakfast, travel to Punakha through Dochula Pass (3,088m/10,130ft). If you have a clear sky, the view of the Himalayan Mountain ranges is spectacular and you can even see the Gasa Dzong as a white dot in the horizon.

Visit the beautiful 108 stupas built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo for the security and wellbeing of His Majesty the King of Bhutan. Travel onto Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body.

Visit the Punakha Dzong, located on the island of the Pho – Chu (male) river and the Mochu (female) river.

Overnight in Punakha resort
Day 04 : Punakha – Bumthang
  • Elevation: 2650 m
  • Driving time: 7 hours

After breakfast, drives to Bumthang via Pelela pass at the altitude of 3,150 meters, a wonderful opportunity for photographs. En-route stops at Chummy village to visit yathra weaving central. Which Yathra are made into colorful scarves, bags, blankets and sweater.

Continue drive to the beautiful valley of Bumthang  and check into the hotel and take a rest.

Overnight in Bumthang resort

Day 05 : Bumthang Valley Tour

Whole day sightseeing in Bumthang, which is the most beautiful place in Bhutan and we normally say, “Switzerland of Bhutan”. In the morning visit the Jakar Dzong.

The fortress is now used as an administrative center of the valley and summer residence of monks. Chakhar Lhakhang (Iron Castle). It is the site of the palace of the Indian King Sendha Gyab also known as Sindhu Raja.

Also visit Kurjey Lhakhang (Kurjey means, “Body imprint”). The temple to the right was built by Minjur Tempa in 1652. It was built around the cave in which Guru Rinpoche meditated and left his body imprint.

Jambay lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the King Songtsen Goempo of Tibet. In his effort to propagate Buddhism he had a plan to build a total of 108 temples in Tibet and neighbouring kingdoms. Then visit small Bumthang town and take leisure time by walking through villages nearby.

Overnight in Bumthang resort. ( Minimum best 3 Star Resort )

Day 06 : A Days Excursion to Tang Valley

Driving time: 2 hours

After breakfast drive to Tang valley via Mebar tsho (burning lake). Tang is one of the four valleys  of Bumthang, it is higher than Choekhor (Jakar) valley. The road from Jakar follows the west-east towards Ura for about 10 km until it diverts towards North ascending uphill towards the narrow gorge of Tang.

On the way, visit Mebartsho which is short walk from the car parking. After few hours’ drive, it will takeyou to Masethang village. A short distance from Mesethang is the Tang Rimochen Lhakhang, this is where Guru Rimpoche meditated. The body print of Guru Rimpoche and his two consorts are embedded on the huge rock in front of the lhakhang. The name Tang Rimochen is derived due to the tiger stripes that appear on the cliff behind the building.

This temple was founded by Dorji Lingpa in the 14th century. The road after Rimochen gets even rougher as it approaches towards Kizum, from Kizum cross over the Tang Chu and climb up the hill to Ugyencholing manor which was built by Tsokye Dorje, a descendant of Dorje Lingpa in the 16th century.

The present structure including the temple, servants quarters and a massive residential building, was rebuilt after their collapse in the 1897 earthquake. The complex has been turned into a museum of sorts for religious studies, research and solitude.Overnight in Bumthang resort. ( Minimum best 3 Star Resort )

Day 07 : Bumthang – Phobjikha
  • Elevation: 2900 m
  • Driving time: 7 hours

After breakfast drive to Trongsa and visit Trongsa Dzong, seat of the district administration, built in 1648.

Then drive to Phobjikha (lunch on the way). It is a bowl-shape valley on the western slopes of Black Mountain. Visit Gantey Goenpa – This monastery is a major attraction with an old monastery date back to the 16 century. Later start short short hike from Gangtey Goenpa to beautiful phobjikha valley.

Place to visit

  • Trongsa Dzong
  • Gangtey Goenpa, Gangtey, Wangdue
  • Black Necked Crane (can see in winter only)
  • Bowl shape Phobjikha Valley

Overnight in Phobjikha resort

Day 08 : Phobjikha – Paro
  • Elevation: 2280 m;           
  • Driving time: 6 hours

Today after well rest we will drive to Paro. After reahing Paro, check into the hotel and in the evening, visit Paro Rinpung dzong, built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now being used as an administration center and school for monks.

Visit Taa dzong which was built in the 17th century as a watchtower for the Paro Dzong. This dzong was converted into the National museum in 1967 and is filled with antique thankha paintings, textiles, weapons and amour.

Place to visit

  • National Museum (Ta-dzong)
  • Punakha – Paro Highway
  • Paro Rinpung dzong
  • Nyamey ZAmpa (traditional wooden bridge)
  • Paro town

Overnight in Paro resort

Day 09 : Hike to Tiger’s Nest
  • Elevation: 3120 m
  • Hike time: 5 hours (up and down)

After breakfast, drive up to the base camp of Taktsang and then hike up to the most famous Monastery in the entire kingdom of Bhutan perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley.

The hike to the viewpoint will take about an hour and it will take 2 hours to the monastery. Till view point, you can experience horse ride by paying USD 15 to USD 20 per horse but if you prefer to hike, then it is great.

Lunch at Taktshang Café just above view point or you can have picnic lunch.

On the way back to hotel from the tiring hike, visit Kyichu temple and then you will be visiting one of the farm houses in Paro to experience Bhutanese life-style and the organic Bhutanese dinner. You can also experience hot-stone bath at farm house (US $ 25 per person).

Benefits of Hot stone bath:

It is a good remedy for skin diseases, joint pains, body aches and to relax after a hard day’s work. No scientific study has been done but it’s believed that the herbs and the chemical in the stones are a good source of medicine.

Families in olden days would soak after their seasonal farm work in winter. The long, healing bath relaxed their tired bodies and helped cure backaches and joint pains.

Place to visit

  • Tiger’s Nest Monastery
  • Hot stone bath in Farm house
  • Farm house in Paro
  • Organic cuisine at Farm house
  • Kyichu Temple
  • Experience archery at Farm house
Day 10 : Departure from Paro

After the breakfast, our representatives will escort you to the International Airport accordingly with the departure time. You have to reach the airport 2 hours prior to the departure time.

End of Tour
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Inclusions
  • •    Deluxe rooms on twin sharing basis.
    •    Meals (Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner, Tea/Coffee with snacks as and when required)
    •    Accommodation in the best 3-4 star Resorts/hotels in Bhutan.
    •    Brand new Bus, SUVs’ (not exceeding 4-5 years)
    •    1 complimentary Bhutan air ticket if group exceeds 17 Pax
    •    Tea, coffee and snacks during the long drive and tour.
    •    Complimentary 1 Hour cultural program and farewell dinner for 8 plus pax.
    •    All Trekking Equipments (2 men sleeping tents, Kitchen Tents, Dining tents, Toilet Tents, Cooking Utensils etc.
    •    Trekking Guide and trekking cook along with supporting staffs
    •    Medical Facilities on free of cost (consulting doctors & medicine)
    •    Mineral water on long trips both on trek and cultural tours
    •    Museum fees and other special entry fees.
    •    A sustainable tourism Royalty of $65. This Royalty goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.

Exclusions
  • • Airfare
    • Laundry/Drinks / Telephone calls and any personal expenses.
    • Travel Insurance (Recommended but not available in Bhutan)
    • Excess baggage charges.
    • Single room supplement USD$40 per night.
    • Tips and Gratuities

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