This is one of our most popular trip packages. The trip will in a week enable one to get to expereince the essence of Bhutan - the traditional Buddhist culture, the rich history as well as its modern developments. This package includes a varied mixture of hiking, adventure, spiritual tour & cultural interaction with locals. A great variety of stay options – from standard to luxury hotels to camping, etc. to choose from for your ultimate travel experience.
- Explore the vibrant capital city, Thimphu
- Check out traditional arts and craft, heritage museum
- Visit the Buddha Dordenma - the largest Buddha statue in the World
- Dochula pass - at over 3000m above sea level, offers a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range
- Punakha valley and the majestic Punakha Dzong - the winter residence of the monastic order’s head
- River Rafting (optional)
- Hiking to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (Taktsang) - one of the most popular travel destination in the world
- Visit the Ta Dzong, a 17th century monument, which now houses the National Museum with an excellent collection of Bhutanese antiques & Natural History.
Day 1 & 2: Thimphu
Arrive to Thimphu, the Capital city straight from Paro International Airport. Visit the Textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum, and the Memorial Chorten on the first day. Continue exploring Thimphu on the second day including the School for Traditional Arts and Crafts, the traditional Paper factory, the Zilukha Nunnery, the Craft Bazar, the Buddha Dordenma site, and the Tashicho Dzong.
Day 3: Dochula Pass
Start early and head off to the beautiful Dochula pass at 10,000 feet, around 1 hour away from Thimphu. The pass is a popular location among tourists as it offers a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of Himalayan mountain range. The view is especially scenic on clear, winter days with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass.
Day 3 & 4: Punakha
From Dochula pass, en route to Punakha hike and visit the temple dedicated to the Divine Mad Monk - Drukpa Kuenley. The hike takes about an hour and about 40 minutes return to the car road. Next day begins with a short hike through rice fields, chilies and cabbage, to the Khamsum Yuley Namgyal Chorten, a monument dedicated to the King of Bhutan. The next stop will be the magnificent Punakha Dzong built on the confluence of the Po and Mo (male and female) rivers. This fortress is the winter residence of the monastic order’s head. After lunch visit a farmhouse and meet with the farmer and family.
Day 5 & 6: Paro
After breakfast, retrace the journey back to Paro and reach by lunch time. After lunch, visit the Ta Dzong, a 17th century monument, which now houses the National Museum with an excellent collection of Bhutanese antiques. It served as a watch tower during the Tibetan invasion and played a strategic role in Bhutan’s successful defenses. Next, visit the Paro Dzong. This again as with all Dzongs, is the centre for civil and religious activities. The evenings are free to look around the small quaint town of Paro.
Day 6: Taktsang
After breakfast, drive to Satsam Chorten to start the pilgrimage to Takstang - The Tiger's Nest. This serene monastery clings to a steep granite cliff about 700 meters above the valley floor. Being one of the most revered Buddhist sites, thousands of pilgrims travel here each year from all over the World. Lunch can be served at the cafeteria on the way, from where one can get a most spectacular view of the monastery on the opposite cliff. It takes about 2 and half hours to get there and about 2 hours to return down.
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- Passport (with at least 6 months’ validity from the date of your exit from Bhutan)
- Photocopy of picture page of passport showing number, etc. Keep this in a separate place in your baggage. If for any reason you lose your passport, this will expedite the process of applying for a new passport.
- Print out copy of the visa & International air tickets.
- Temperatures will fluctuate greatly depending on elevation and time of day. You should be prepared for a minimum temperature of 04 degrees and a maximum of 35 degrees. You have to plan for layered clothing to be prepared for such a wide-ranging temperature fluctuations.
- Drink only bottled water, sodas, beer, etc.
- Stay away from any cold salad! These are normally rinsed in tap water before or after being sliced and are a major cause of traveler’s gastro-intestinal distress.
- All tipping is optional and by no means mandatory, however if you feel that your staff and drivers have performed at a good or excellent level, it is a great way to let them know you appreciate their efforts.
A few items to keep in mind:
- Accept or offer items with the right hand or, more politely, with both hands. Using both hands to give or receive signifies that you honor the offering and the recipient or giver.
- When you visit Buddhist shrines or temples, it is appropriate and a sign of respect to walk around the building in a clockwise direction (so that the structure is to your right side). This is also true for mani walls (walls built of stone tablets with Buddhist mantras carved on them) and Chorten (small Buddhist shrines.)
- Your guide will give you additional tips along the way, when in doubt, check in with them. You will be travelling into areas that have had relatively few foreign visitors. Your positive attitude and interaction is needed and welcomed to maximize this adventure.
What should I bring with me for the trip?
- Good walking shoes
- Sunscreen (highest possible)
- Headgear for sunny days
- Bug/Insect repellent
- Cotton clothing for summer days, light woolen clothes for evenings. Heavy woolens for winter.
- Shorts for hiking and walking around town are fine. Out of respect, please don't wear shorts in public buildings or monasteries. Have a pair of long pants or longer skirt for these locations.