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 Paro 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. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax – so why not stroll in the great atmospheric Paro town for photography? Perhaps you’ll have time to capture images of the Paro valley from the Ta Dzong (ancient watch tower), which now houses the National Museum of Bhutan. Walk down to the Paro Dzong (also known as the Rinpung Dzong), built in 1644 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Tonight enjoy a welcome drink and dinner with BGT. Overnight in Paro.
Day 2: Paro – Bathpalathang Domestic Airport in Bumthang
Today take a short flight (35-minutes) from Paro International Airport to Bathpalathang Domestic Airport in Bumthang by ATR42-500. Drukair currently operates a single ATR42-500 and three A319-100s. The ATR 42-500 is used for domestic flights service and also flies to the nearby cities of Kathmandu, Kolkata, Guwahati, Gaya and Bagdogra. It is a 48-economy seater but takes a maximum of 22 passengers for domestic flights due to a short runway. On arrival you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel in Bumthang. The evening is at leisure to relax, enjoy explore the delightful surroundings of Bumthang valley at 2,600m. Overnight in Bumthang.
Day 3: Bumthang
Today enjoy a sightseeing tour in one of the most beautiful and rich spiritual valleys of Bhutan. Bumthang valley is wide, filled with green countryside, fast flowing mountain streams and snow-capped mountains. Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan in the late 8thcentury, is believed to have meditated in many local caves in the Bumthang valley.From the hotel you can walk to Jambay Lakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built in the 7thcentury by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet (so full of history and mystery). Next, take a farm track along the valley floor and walk for 30 minutes to reach Kurjey Lakhang (the important seat of religious activities in Bumthang), a series of three large templesbuilt in 1652 and named after the body imprint of Guru Rinpoche who subdued a local demon. Walking down the temples you cross a bridge over the rushing Chamkhar Chu river and walk through paddy fieldsaround 20-minutes to Tamshing Lhakhang, the most important Nyingma temple in Bhutan, built in 1501 (16thcentury) by Terton Pema Lingpa (the founder of religious treasures). End your daywalking here from where your transport will meet you outside the temple. En route visit the Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery, perched on the hill just above the town of Bumthang.Here the monks are busy with their prayers, chantings and the drums in the backdrop. Or opt for a visit to the Jakar Dzong (administrative seat of Bumthang).Overnight in Bumthang.
Day 4: Ura Valley
After breakfast, take a scenic drive to the quaint Ura valley for photo shoot, passing through amazing mountain landscapes and several small villages. First we’ll visit the Mebar Tsho (flaming lake) located towards Tang village, where the renowned treasure reveller, Terton Pema Lingpa, discovered religious treasures from the lake in the late 15thcentury. Stop at Ura Shelthangla, where you will enjoy a magnificent view of the Bhutan’s highest peak, Mt Gangkar Puensum at 7,500m. Later, enjoy some sightseeing and visit a local temple in the Ura village. Travel to Trongsa through Nangar– Ura (32-km) bypass highway. Enjoy a visit to the Tower of Trongsa (Ta Dzong or ancient watchtower), theancestral home of the present Royal Family of Bhutan (where the Institutional Monarchy of Bhutan was born). The evening is at leisure to relax, explore and enjoy the idyllic atmosphere of the Trongsa town. Overnight in Trongsa.
Day 5:Trongsa – Gangtey
Today begin the day with your photo shoot at the majestic architectural masterpiece of Trongsa Dzong with a distinctive yellow roof. We visit the dzong and then continue to Gangtey (120-km) for about 4-5 hours via Pelela Pass at an altitude of 3,300m. The pass marks thephysical boundary between western and central Bhutanand takes you over the Black Mountains (now Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park). It is not uncommon to encounter grazing yaks by the roadside along the highway.En route stop off at the Chendebji Chorten located below the road. Built in 18thcentury by lama Zhida, the temple resembles Kathmandu’s Boudhanath stupa in Nepal, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points. Along the way, stop to photograph the scenic, changing landscapes from the awe-inspiring mountains and lush vegetation. There are other charms in the glacial valley of Phobjikha including a picturesque Gangey Gonpa and some very traditional villages where potato farming is the main income for the locals.The evening is at leisure to relax and enjoy, we have allowed some time for this and also to explore the delightful surroundings of Gangtey in Phobjikha valley. Overnight in Gangtey.
Day 6: Gangtey Nature Trail
Phobjikha valley is delightful for day hikes, where you can take numerous walks into the countryside. A walking tour through the valley allows you to see the villages, the local life and the mountains including the chance to spot the Black-Necked Cranes and some other birds. Enjoy a full day hike around Gangtey beginning your walk from the Black-Necked Crane Information Centre. The centre is equipped with lots of information on the wintering habitats of Black-Necked Cranes. From here we’ll walk to Beta village, stopping at the small school if you like. We continue on to Gangtey Gonpa monastery, located on a hillock overlooking a beautiful view of the Phobjikha valley. Then we come Gangtey Nature Trail (4-km) at an altitude of 2,900m. Head down to Semchubara village through forests of blue pine trees on the ridge of the valley. We continue our walk to the end of the nature trail past Kingathang village where you have the opportunity to visit a temple built by the Queen Mother. We then return to the hotel following the Yusa village. Overnight in Phobjikha.
Day 7: Gangtey – Punakha
After breakfast, we drive to Wangdue Phodrang (65-km) for about 2-3 hours,the last town before entering into the isolated areas of central Bhutan. En route you will see Wangdue Phodrang Dzong. The fortress-like building was gutted by fire in 2012, which is under reconstruction. En route to Punakha stop for a late-afternoon photo shoot at 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. Then continue to Punakha for further 13-km journey. Punakha, at an altitude of 1,300m, the old capital of Bhutan and the seat of government until 1955.Overnight in Punakha.
Day 8: Hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten
This morning enjoy a short 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. Leaving the grounds of the chorten via a different gate you descend to join a contouring path which ultimately leads you to the small village of Yabesa and you then follow the Mo Chu downstream past Sonagasha, the King's Palace and on to Punakha Dzong. 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. After your visit you may have time to extend your walk southwards down the valley for a further hour or so to reach the large settlement of Khuruthang.Overnight in Punakha.
Day 9: Moving to Thimphu
Today we head to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan (77-km) for about 3 hours. En route explore the Royal Botancal Park at Lampelri,whichfalls under the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park, one of the protected areas in Bhutan.Take a leisurely tour in and around the park at an altitude range of 2,100m to 3,800m between the Thimphu and Punakha districts, which covers an area of 47 sq. km having a rich biodiversity of high conservation value. It is a great learning destination for the students, researchers and nature lovers. Later, stop off at the Druk Wangyal Chortens (108 stupas), constructed on the crest of Dochula Pass at 3,100m. On a clear day, you will enjoy an amazing 360-degree panoramic viewof the snow capped mountain peaks of eastern Himalayas including Mt. Masanggang at 7,570m, the highest peak of Bhutan (locally known as Mt. Gangkar Puensum).The evening is at leisure to relax, enjoy & explore the delightful surroundings of Thimphu town. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 10: Thimphu
We spend the day photographing the best scenes of Thimphu city at an altitude of 2,300m, 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 followed by Motithang Takin Preserve, the national animal of Bhutan.Then we leave the hustle and bustle behind, and we take a short drive (14-km) out of the capital of Bhutan. Among sacred sites, we will visit Cheri Monastery, built in 1620, by Ngawang Namgyal, founder of the Bhutanese state. Cheri Monastery is home to many sacred relics, located north of Thimphu. Cheri is a meditation center, accessible by a gentle hike through the forest. A visit to Cheri is spiritually purifying. You will also have the opportunity tointeract with Buddhist monks including retreat, meditations, mindfulness movement experiences, teachings, dialogue, transmissions, and a religious ceremony. Overnight in Thimphu
Day 11: Thimphu – Haa
This morning, travel through the lush valleys and the awe-inspiring mountains with rushing white water rivers to Haa (115-km) for about 3-4 hours drive, adjacent to the Chinese border. Haa valley is located in South West of Paro and is one of the most beautiful and isolated areas in the Kingdom, adorned with pristine alpine forests, tranquil mountain peaks and countryside filled with forests and farm land clinging to sides of the mountains.. Haa also offers countless monasteries and other sights for tourists. Selected sightseeing includes a visit to the Lhakhang Karpo (white) and the Lhakhang Nagpo (black) temples in a small village called Dumchoe. Other places of interest include the Haa town and surrounding areas. Enjoy some leisure time in Haa valley in the evening. Overnight in Haa.
Day 12: Haa – Paro
Set off for a scenic, meandering drive to Paro (65-km) for one hour and a half, home to the famous Paro Taktshang (also known as Tiger’s Nest), National Museum, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. En route you’ll see yak-herder huts and grazing yaks. Stop off at Chelela Pass at an altitude of 3,500m for photography. There are spectacular views of Mt. Jomolhari and Jichu Drake on a clear day. The journey passes through the awe-inspiring mountains and lush vegetation so have you camera ready. Continuing down the road, you’ll cross the Kila Gonpa Nunnery (also known as Chelela Gompa), straddled on the cliff-side facing Paro. There are about seven small temples and several huts, the serene home of around 100 Buddhist nuns who have dedicated their life for spiritual fulfillment and leading undisturbed life of religious studies, prayer and meditation. 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 13: 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. You’ll also visit the Ta Dzong (ancient watch tower), which now houses the National Mu seum of Bhutan, and continue down o the Paro Dzong (also known as the Rinpung Dzong), built in 1644 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Overnight in Paro.
Day 14: End of Tour
Your tour ends today. Transfer to Paro International Airport for your return scheduled flight accompanied by your guide from Bhutan Green Travel. Goodbye and Good luck! Tashi Delek!
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.