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. En route stop off at Tachog Lhakhang on the base of a mountain across the Pa Chhu River along the Paro – Thimphu highway. The Bhutan’s great architect and builder of iron chain bridges, saint Dupthop Thangtong Gyalpo, built the 13thcentury temple.Tonight enjoy a welcome drink and dinner with authentic traditional Bhutanese recipes at the Folk Heritage Restaurant. Foods served are fresh and organic that is cooked over open fire in the Bhutanese traditional style of cooking. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 2: Thimphu
Today we explore the best of Thimphu city at an altitude of 2,300m. Thimphu is a small city but has many attractive places to visit around. A 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. We travel back tothe 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. Our next stop is at the Institute of Zorig Chusum (Painting School) to discover a glimpse of novices learning the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. In the afternoon you’ll drive for less than a mile up to Motithang Takin Preserve, the national animal of Bhutan. Then continue to the Sangaygang Hill next to the Bhutan Broadcasting Service Tower where you’ll have great views of the Thimphu valley and Tashichhodzong, that houses some ministries, the office and throne room of His Majesty the King and the Central Monk Body. From here enjoy a short hike to Wangditse Gonpa for about 1.5 hours. The trail takes you through nature contouring the beautiful hills until Wangditse Gonpa. You’ll have time to visit the Gonpa or walk down to Dechen Phodrang Monastic School where your transport will pick you up. Use your free time to relax or explore the great atmospheric Thimphu town. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 3: Moving to Punakha
After breakfast, travel to Punakha (77-km) for about 3 hours. Punakha, at an altitude of 1,300m, was once the old capital of Bhutan and the seat of government until 1955. En route stop off at the Druk Wangyal Chortens (108 stupas), constructed on the crest of Dochula Pass at 3,100m (45-minutes from Thimphu). On a clear day, you will enjoy an amazing 360-degree panoramic view of 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). Continue your journey descending into the sub-tropical valleys of Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang. Later, discover the Chimi Lhakhang (temple) built by the most popular saint Lama Drukpa Kinley (known as the Divine Madman) before checking-in to your hotel. The temple is known to the English-speaking world as ‘The Fertility Temple’, idyllically located on a round hill. Hike to the temple across the paddy fields 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. 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 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. Next, take the opportunity to make our way to the Sangchen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery Buddhist College in Wolakha, Punakha, built by the Queen Mothers' parents. You have plenty of time to relax or explore the Punakha–Wangdue Phodrang valley at your own way. This evening we’ll have dinner at Dago Zam Farmhouse, located nearby by the Chimi Lhakhang temple built. Overnight in Punakha.
Day 5: Back to Thimphu
After breakfast we travel back to Thimphu for about 3 hours.Bhutan’s capital is not a concrete jungle that you see in other parts of the world. Thimphu is set in a lovely rural valley with beautiful natural scenery on all sides and buildings built in the traditional Bhutanese style without traffic lights. You’ll still find the police directing traffic with an intricate ballet of hand signals at the main intersections. En route discover the Royal Botancal Park at Lamperi.The park falls within 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. The evening is at leisure to relax, enjoy & explore the delightful surroundings of Thimphu town. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 6: Thimphu – Haa
Today we head to Haa (115-km) for about 3- 4 hours drive, adjacent to the Chinese border. The journey passes through the lush valleys and the awe-inspiring mountains with rushing white water rivers. 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 7: Haa Summer Festival
Immerse yourself today by attending Haa Summer Festival. The festival showcases the rich alpine flowers, folklore and culture – you will be given details of the programme list. Overnight in Haa.
Day 8: Haa – Paro
Set off for a scenic, meandering drive to Paro (65-km) for one hour and a half, home to the famous Paro T aktshang (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. 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 Gonpa), 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 fulfilment and leading undisturbed life of religious studies, prayer and meditation. If time permits, you’ll 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. The evening is at leisure to explore the Paro town and may wish to hunt for souvenirs in Handicraft. Overnight in Paro.
Day 9: 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. Afterwards, why not relax rest of the afternoon in hot stone bath in a farmhouse in Paro? Then we’ll have delicious farewell Bhutanese feast at Aum Choden Farmhouse, a 108-year old humble traditional house. The house serves Bhutanese cuisines, can play archery and relax in stone bath. Overnight in Paro.
Day 10: 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.