Durations: 7 Days, 6 Nights
Locations: Thimphu,Paro,punakha valley.
Highlights: Visit to the Ta Dzong (National Museum), Worlds tallest bronze Buddha statue, Tigers nest hike, 7th Century Jampa Lhakhang, Souvenir shopping at Paro and Thimphu town etc
One arrival in Paro you will be picked up from the airport and taken to our hotel. For those who have the energy and are not jet lagged we take a little time in the afternoon to see some of the sights of Paro.
You will get to visit Ta Dzong, 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 armour. Paro Dzong,A dzong is an incredibly grand Bhutanese fortress which were constructed at strategic locations throughout the country. Evening stay at Paro in a beautiful resort located on the hill top of Paro valley.
Overnight in hotel/resprt in Paro.
Paro sits at a height of 2200m so we take it easy today and do a short ride to get used to the altitude, warm up the legs,get used to the bikes and see a little more of Paro Valley. Visit a ruined Drugyel Dzong, near the end of the paved road, 14km from Paro, stand the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong. This dzong was built in 1649 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in a location chosen for its control of the route to Tibet.
The dzong was named Druk (Bhutan) gyel (victory) to commemorate the victory of Bhutan over Tibetan invaders in 1644. One of the features of the dzong was a false entrance that lured the returning Tibetan invaders into an enclosed courtyard during a second attack. Later visit a farmer’s house and enjoy a traditional games on this relaxing day out.We will ride to Chele la Mountain pass the highest mountain pass road in Bhutan Riding altitude 3,988 Distance: 71 km ( two ways ) Estimated driving time: 2 hrs Over night stay in Paro valley.
It is time to leave Paro and begin the ride across Bhutan. This first point to point ride is the easiest, our Bhutanese friends describe this day as flat as you will only be riding between 2100m and 2350m throughout the ride,
although the road does undulate and there are actually no flat roads!
In the afternoon take a leisurely walk of the Thimphu Market area and explore the Thimphu Dzong, a fortress of the glorious religion.It was built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and was reconstructed into present structure by the late King,His majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the year 1962-1969. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room and the office of the king, and the central monk body.
Overnight in hotel/resort at Thimphu.
The first pass of the trip, Dochu La, beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo for the security and wellbeing of His Majesty the King of Bhutan.Also visit Druk Wangyel Temple which was built to honor His Majesty, the fourth king Jigme Singye Wangchuck.
The past and future appear to merge in the details of the temple that tells the story of a supreme warrior figure whose vision pierces the distance future Travel onto Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan Evening, walk through the Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, Known for its fertility shrine, where couples unable to conceive come here for blessing. Located near Lobesa, it stands on a round hillock and was built in 1499 by the 14th Drukpa hierarch, Ngawang Choegyel, after the site was blessed by the “Divine Madman” the maverick saint Drukpa Kunley (1455–1529) who built a chorten on the site.
Overnight in hotel/resort at Punakha
We take a day to explore the beautifully situated Dzong at Punakha, once the summer capital. Riding a back road that is largely unsealed we get great views of the river and Punakha Dzong.
Punakha Dzong is arguably the most beautiful dzong in the country, especially in spring when the lilac-coloured jacaranda trees bring a lush sensuality to the dzong’s characteristically towering whitewashed walls.
This dzong was the second to be built in Bhutan and it served as the capital and seat of government until the mid-1950s. All of Bhutan’s kings have been crowned here. The dzong is still the winter residence the dratshang (official monk body).But before the Dzong you must cross a terrifying or exhilarating suspension foot bridge (the feeling depends on your perspective).This is the longest and highest suspension foot bridge in the country stretching over 200m above the Pho River. After a picnic en route back to the hotel, the rest of the afternoon is free for some relaxation.
This morning we drive back to Paro via Dochula Pass. In the afternoon there is an option to trek up to one of Bhutan’s most venerated places, the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, also known as Tiger‟s Nest‟. The climb up to the viewpoint will take around 1 ½ hours and from there you will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff. Stop for refreshment at the View Point Cafeteria.
Then walk further up to the monastery which will take about 1 hour. It is said that in the 8th century Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this place and meditated in a cave here for 3 months. The principal Lhakhang (monastery) of the present monastic complex dates from 1692. Taktsang was damaged severely by fire in 1998 but has now been fully restored to its former in the entire kingdom of Bhutan perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. Over night at Paro valley.
The tour ends with your transfer to the Paro Airport in
time for your departing flight.
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 strol through the town in the evening.
Places to visit:
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 Centre, Takin 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.
Place to visit
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.
Place to visit
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 Bumthang and check into the hotel and take a rest.
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.
Place to visit
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.
Places to visit
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 armour.
Places to visit
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 $ 20 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.
Places to visit
After the breakfast, our representatives will escort you to the International Airport accordingly with the departure time. You have to reach there at the airport 2 hours prior to the departure time.
• 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.
• 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