Bhutan: Kingdom of Dragons
This once forgotten destination has recently been rediscovered and Bhutan’s centuries of old traditions are far from forgotten. Its traditional Buddhist culture carefully embraces modern global developments while preserving its cultural identity. Bhutan is now a highly regard destination for tourists from all around the world.
Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Buddhist culture and amazing Himalayan scenery. Bhutan is filled with sacred temples and impressive architecture. Visiting the unbelievable “Tiger’s Nest” Monastery is found to be one of life’s rare pleasures. The gentle treks in the valley await you, as well as a visit to the national park which is home to over 300 species of birds, wildlife and replete with natural wonders.
Join us to visit Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon!
13 Days, 12 Nights: Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Trongsa, Bumthang, Gangtey
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS TOUR
Meet Up at Paro (PBH) - Thimpu | National Memorial Chorten
Thimphu is the Bhutanese capital and the centre of government, religion and commerce. It is the world’s only capital city that eschews traffic lights.
Later this afternoon we visit the National Memorial Chorten, the stupa built in the memory of Bhutan's Third King who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan. The paintings and statues inside this monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.
Thimphu | Tashichho Dzong, Folk Heritage and National Textile Museum, Handicrafts Emporium, Arts & Crafts School
Then visit the Folk Heritage and National Textile Museum and a Bhutanese traditional handmade paper factory. Also visit the National Library which houses a wonderful collection of Buddhist text and manuscripts.
After lunch visit the Handicrafts Emporium which offers a wide assortment of beautifully handcrafted products, including the splendid Thangka paintings and exquisitely woven textiles for which Bhutan is famous. Also visit the Arts & Crafts School, famous for traditional thangka paintings. Here you will see students at work producing intricate designs on cloth.
Thimphu - Punakha | Dochu-la pass, Punakha Dzong
Enjoy the scenic drive through Dochu-la pass (3,080 m or 10,000 ft) that heralds the most enchanting views of Bhutan. Take a photo stop and some light refreshments whilst enjoying breathtaking Himalayan views.
Continue drive to Punakha. Check in at your hotel and freshen up. Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955.
This afternoon visit Punakha Dzong (‘the palace of great happiness or bliss’) built at the junction of the two rivers in the 17th century. In the evening, enjoy a stroll in the local market.
Punakha | Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten, Chimi Lhakhang
Later in the afternoon we hike up to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of the Divine Madman) situated on a hillock in the center of the valley. It is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kenley who in the late 15th century used his unorthodox ways of humor, songs, outrageous behavior and sexual overtones to dramatize his teachings and hence came to be known as ‘The Divine Madman’. This temple is also known as the ‘temple of fertility’ and is popular amongst couples wanting a child. It takes about 30 minutes to walk across the field to reach the temple.
Punakha - Jigme Dorji National Park
Some of the prominent species found in the national park are Takin, Snow Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Royal Bengal Tiger, Himalayan Blue Sheep, Black Musk Deer, Himalayan Black Bear, Red Panda, Indian Leopard, and Pica. The Jigme Dorji National Park is also home to over 300 species of birds including the Tibetan Black Necked Crane. Interestingly this the only national park in Bhutan where the national animal, flower, bird and tree can be found together.
Punakha – Trongsa - Bumthang | Pele-la pass, Chendebji Chorten, Trongsa Dzong, Yutong-la pass
Drive through Pele-la pass (11,122 ft), marked by a large white chorten and prayer flags. There is an abrupt change in vegetation at this point, with mountain forests being replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo.
Driving through Bhutanese villages, we take a photo stop at Chendebji Chorten, patterned after Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa. This was built in the 19th century by Lama Shida from Tibet to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was believed to be killed here.
Continue drive to the town of Trongsa. Here we stop for lunch and visit Trongsa Dzong, one of the most impressive Dzong (fortress) in Bhutan. Built in the 17th century this was once the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat.
Continue drive to Bhumthang. The last stretch of your drive across the Yutong-la pass (11,269 ft – the highest pass on your journey) finally brings you to wide open cultivated Bhumthang valley. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel for an overnight stay.
Bumthang | Wangdicholing Palace, Kurjey Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang
Visit Kurjey Lhakhang, the sacred site of 3 temples surrounded by 108 stupas, considered to be one of Bhutan’s most auspicious places. Also visit the nearby temple of Tamshing Lhakhang, to appreciate some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan.
Later in the afternoon, visit some unique cottage industries of the region– Red Panda Brewery, Bhumthang Cheese / Dairy Facility and Bhumthang Distillery.
Bumthang – Gangtey
Gangte | Gangtey Gompa | Phobjikha valley
Gangtey – Paro
Paro | Simtokha Dzong, National Museum (Ta Dzong), Paro Dzong (Rinpung Dzong)
Followed by a visit to the National Museum (Ta Dzong) which houses an interesting assortment of costumes, artifacts, thangka paintings and world-renowned stamps, bringing alive the history of Bhutan. And then visit Paro Dzong (Rinpung Dzong) the political and religious center of Paro district, built in the 17th century.
Paro | Taktshang Monastery, Drukgyel Dzong, Kyichu Lhakhang
Return trip hike takes approx. 5 hours; alternatively, if you don’t wish to hike, you may ride a pony.
This monastery is one of the most sacred sites of Bhutan, visited by all Buddhists at least once in their lifetime. The climb is steep, so en-route you may stop for refreshments at a local cafeteria located halfway up the trail overlooking ‘Tigers Nest’. Once we reach the Tigers Nest, enjoy the beautiful views and waterfall along with a visit to the monastery.
Then we visit the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, built in the 17th century to commemorate the Bhutanese victory over Tibetans. Visit a nearby traditional Bhutanese farm house which offers an insight into the everyday lifestyle of local people.
Drive on to visit the temple of Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Bhutan, built in the 7th century.
Dates & PricingPrivate Tour, Daily Departure
|Tour Date||2 Persons *||4 Persons *||6 Persons *|
|2019: Mar, Apr, May, Sep, Oct, Nov||$7,790||$7,160||$6,895|
|2019: Jan, Feb, Jun, Aug, Dec||$6,795||$6,225||$5,980|
|2020: Mar, Apr, May, Sep, Oct, Nov||$7,790||$7,875||$7,585|
|2020: Jan, Feb, Jun, Aug, Dec||$6,795||$6,850||$6,580|
Booking Your FlightWe can find the best flights and airfares for your tour.Buying your own air tickets? No problem.
- ‣ 4-Star Hotel Accommodations
- ‣ Airport Transfers
- ‣ Daily Breakfast and All Meals (See tour plan for more details)
- ‣ English-speaking Local Guide
- ‣ Entrance Fees to Monuments
- ‣ Visa Fee
- ‣ Any Travel Insurance (Valid Travel Insurance Required)
- ‣ Medical Expenses
- ‣ Domestic/International Air Fares and Airport Departure Taxes
- ‣ Gratuities
- ‣ Laundry Service
- ‣ Telephone Calls
- ‣ Professional camera/video camera fees at monuments
- ‣ All the other services which are not mentioned in the inclusions