Day 1: Arrive Paro
On arrival in Paro you will be picked up from Paro International Airport after clearing the immigration and customs formalities and transferred to your hotel in Thimphu for check-in. Flying into Paro is not just to connect Bhutan but also get to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Himalayan ranges, including Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga and Mt. Gangkar Puensum. Travel to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan for an hour journey. Afterwards, visit Tashichhodzong that houses some ministries, the office and throne room of His Majesty the King and the Central Monk Body. Tonight enjoy a welcome drink and dinner with BGT. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 2: Thimphu
We explore the best of Thimphu city at an altitude of 2,300m (the capital of Bhutan), home to approximately 138,736inhabitants. First stop is at the National Memorial Chorten (Stupa), built in memory of the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and also dedicated to the World Peace. Join the elderly Bhutanese people or likeminded devotees circumambulating the stupa. Another must see place to tick off on your list, Kuenselphodrang (the largest Buddha Dordenma statue in the world at 51.5m) on a hill offering a panoramic view of the Thimphu valley. Drive to Motithang Takin Preserve to see the national animal of Bhutan followed by the Zilukha Nunnery with over 70 residential nuns, located on the slopes overlooking the Golf course. Continue on to the Institute of Zorig Chusum (Painting School) to discover a glimpse of novices learning the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan and the National Library, home to ancient Dzongkha and Tibetan manuscripts. Here you will get to see the world's largest book called ‘Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom.’ It weighs over 60 kg, is 1.52 metres high and 2.13 metres wide and its pages are turned once per month. Later,visit the Textile Museum to learn about the Bhutanese living national art of weaving, different types of techniques and style of local dress made by women and men. Usually a small group of weavers are working inside the shop, which features a work from the renowned weaving centre of Lhuentse in Eastern Bhutan.The evening is at leisure to relax – so why not stroll in the great atmospheric Thimphu town? Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 3: Moving to Punakha
After breakfast, travel to Punakha for the distance of 77-km for about 3 hours journey. Punakha, at an altitude of 1,300m, was once the old capital of Bhutan and the seat of government until 1955. En route we will drive up to Tashigang Gonpa in Hongtsho, just outside of Thimphu. From here enjoy one of the most picturesque hikes to the temple of Lungchutse Gonpa, where one can enjoy 360° view of the breathtaking Himalayan mountain ranges from the top of Lungchutse including Jomolhari (7314m), Kang Bum (6494m), Gangchhenta (6784m), Masang Gang (7194m), Tsenda Kang (6,994m), Teri Kang (7304m), Jejekangphu Gang (7190m), Kangphu Gang (7212m), Zongpgu Gang (7,094m) and Gangkar Puensum (7,564m). Behind these major mountains lie the Tibetan plateaus. The trial will take you through a forest of moss-covered rhododendrons, gigantic hemlocks, junipers, and bamboo undergrowth. As you climb up the last 50 meters past a row of fluttering prayer flags, you reach the Lungchutse temple on heavily logged slopes greeted by friendly monks. Then we follow the trail downhill leading tothe Druk Wangyal Chortens (108 stupas), constructed on the crest of Dochula Pass at 3,100m. After lunch, continue your journey into the sub-tropical valleys of Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang.Later, discover the Chimi Lhakhang (temple) built by the legendary Lama Drukpa Kinley (known as the Divine Madman). The temple is known to the English-speaking world as ‘The Fertility Temple’, in the Punakha district of Bhutan, idyllically located on a round hill. Hike to the temple for about one hour (round trip), which is also revered as a sanctum of fertility. Legend has it that the childless couples wishing to have a baby from across Bhutan and occasionally from overseas are blessed with a child after visiting the temple – several Japanese and American couples visited this temple were believed to have blessed miraculously with children. Overnight in Punakha.
Day 4: Punakha
Today’s tour includes a hike to the fascinating temple (Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten) built by the Queen Mother of the 5thKing to bring the universal peace in this world. It is majestically located on a ridge with stunning views of the countryside. There is no temple in Bhutan built as elaborately as this, which took 9 years to build it. A 30-minute drive from the Punakha Dzong takes us to the base of the hill and then cross a suspension bridge and walk through rice fields before climbing a moderately inclined trail surrounded by pine trees for about 1-hour from the car park. Visit the Punakha Dzong, (also known as the Pungthang Dechen Phodrang Dzong), which is strategically located at the confluence of the Phochhu (male) and Mochhu (female) Rivers. Now the dzong serves as the administrative centre of Punakha district and the central monastic body. En route visit Rinchengang village, the important cultural site identified by the Department of Culture based on the cultural heritage values of the country. The evening is at leisure to relax – so why not take a walk to the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan built over the Phochhu River? Overnight in Punakha.
Day 5: Back to Paro
This morning we return to Paro, home to the famous Paro Taktshang (also known as Tiger’s Nest), National Museum, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. The journey passes through the awe-inspiring mountains and lush vegetation along the highway and will photo stops during the journey. If time permits, visit the Ta Dzong (ancient watch tower), which now houses the National Museum of Bhutan, and continue to the Paro Dzong (also known as the Rinpung Dzong), built in 1644 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The evening is at leisure to explore the Paro town and may wish to hunt for souvenirs in Handicraft Shops or visit a local farmhouse to drink tea with the farmer and his family, allowing you to experience the traditional Bhutanese village life. Overnight in Paro.
Day 6: Hike to Tiger’s Nest
This morning you’ll take a short hike to Paro Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), located10 miles north of Paro town (20 minutes drive).No visit to Bhutan would be complete without a trip to Taktshang. It is stunning in its beauty and location. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche (Padma Sambhava) flew to Paro Taktshang cliff in the form of Guru Dorji Drolo, mounted on the back of a flaming tigress from Tibet to tame five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan in the 8thcentury. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, 900m above the Paro floor valley, and it takes between 4 to 5 hours to do the round trip hike plus an hour to tour the monastery. The trail is a wide,uphill the entire way but not overly steep,on the well-maintained trail through beautiful pine forest, trees festooned with Spanish Moss and fluttering prayer flags. The hike starts at the base of the mountain by the car park. Here the locals sell souvenirs, hiking poles and also a horse/pony hiring is available from this start point. Gentle horse/pony rides are available for transport half-way up the trail, where you will be treated to a stunning viewpoint of the monastery clinging to the cliff wall. There is a small cafeteria located along the trail and stop for a rest, drink or lunch. We continue withthe temple of Kyichu Lhakhang. Built by the first King of Tibet Songtsen Gampo, this 7thcentury monastery is one of the oldest and sacred landmarks that introduced Buddhism into Bhutan, while our country was still influenced by the Bon beliefs. Overnight in Paro.
Day 7: End of Tour
Your tour ends this morning with a departure transfer to the Paro Airport for your onward journey. Your guide from Bhutan Green Travel will see you off. Tashi Delek (Goodbye and Good Luck)!
We arrange only Drukair or Bhutan Airlines tickets in and out of Paro International Airport and domestic flight at no extra fee. No other airlines fly into Bhutan except the Drukair (National Airlines) and Bhutan Airlines (Tashi Air Pvt. Ltd) operate to and out of Paro International Airport in Bhutan from the following gateway cities:
Note: Airfares may change due to currency fluctuation, fuel surcharge or changes in statutory taxes or charges. The final airfares can only be confirmed upon issue of tickets.