Please Note : All prices are based on the current rate, it is subject to change anytime.
Distance: 53 kms/32.9 miles
Drive Time: 1hr approx
Altitude: Paro: 2195 m/7200ft
Fly into Paro by Druk Air or Bhutan Airlines. On a clear day you will get a view of the snow-capped peaks of inner Himalayas on a clear day, and possibly a glimpse of the Everest. As the plane approaches Paro, little farmhouses dotting the hillsides and meandering Pa Chhu form a picturesque view.
After visa formalities at the airport you are met by our guide. Then drive to Thimphu. Once in Thimphu we will visit the Tashichho Dzong. This dzong is an impressive structure also known as ‘the fortress of the Dharma Raja’, build roughly around the Renaissance period in Europe. After the capital moved from Punakha, it seated the Druk Desi, the secular head of Bhutan before the establishment of monarchy. Currently it serves as the home to the Central Monastic body and the office of His majesty the king, and other important offices.
Note: Tashichho Dzong is open during weekdays after office hours (5pm onwards) and from 9am to 5pm on weekends.
Altitude at Thimphu: 2320m/7710ft
We will drive toward the Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang) after breakfast for a hike. At 51.5m, the Buddha Dodenma is said to be the largest sitting Buddha statue in the world. It is located on a little hill overlooking the entire Thimphu valley. We can take a nice and pleasant hike from the Buddha toward Changagkha Lhakhang. The hike takes you approximately 2 hours across a couple of little spurs shaded by pine, rhododendron and many other shrubs. This trail is often used by the 4th King of Bhutan as his biking trail. Stop by Changahkga lhakiang and have lucn hat the local restaurants.
After lunch Visit Institute of Traditional Medicine.Bhutan has a rich history of traditional plant based of medicines which has been carried out and maintained in the Institute of Traditional Medicine.It has a facility for patients, training, research and production of traditional medicine. The courses to become traditional doctors, called drungtsho, entail six to eight years of strenuous study after high school.
Stop by the School of Traditional Arts and Crafts, the school offers a six-year course in the techniques of 13 traditional Bhutanese art such as religious and secular paintings, woodcarving, clay sculpture, traditional mask making, and many more. The school also has a showroom where the student’s works are sold at a reasonable price.
Visit to the Folk Heritage Museum housed in an old traditional house in 2001. The museum is a walk through the rapidly changing rural tradition, habits and skills, and those of the past.
We can also check out the Bhutan Postal Museum down town and get your very own personalized stamps. After that we can walk along the street to see the local Craft Bazaar and Handicraft Emporium.
Approximate Walking Time: 03 hours.
Altitude at Thimphu: 2320m/7710ft
In the morning, we will drive apprximately 40mins to reach the starting point of our hike to the Monastery. It is a nice picturesque drive through the countryside crisscrossing Wangchu ( Thimphu river ) On the way to Cheri you will see a beautiful birthplace of the Fourth King of Bhutan and some old prominent Buddhist temple. Just before reaching the car park you will bypass the most well known Buddhist University of the country.
After reaching the car park, you can start the hike crossing a beautiful cantilever bridge over Wangchu and and you will be greeted by a big white stupa with a small medow and you will see some prominent Buddhist figure sculpted on a natural rock. The hike goes up through oak and rhododendron forest. There is yet another white stupa with a holy water and a canopy where you can stop to take back your breath. We climb steadily to Cheri Goemba, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel the man who unified Bhutan in the early 17th century, is said to have meditated inside the cave and later he established the first ever Buddhist Order in 1620 which is now known as Central Monastic Body. Today Cheri Goemba is used as a major retreat center by the monks. You can visit the temples inside the monastery and get a glimpse of some of the ancient valuable artifacts of holy relics. You might spot some Goral ( Mountain Goat ) grazing peacefully near by the Monastery. If the day is bright sunny day there is a beautiful picnic spot near by the river, Picnic lunch is recommended
After lunch, you can drive back the same way till Begana where you can choose to drive from the left side of the Wangchu through the village of Kabesa, this once a scattered farm village is now a hustling bustling town. This road with join the main highway near the Pangrizampa Buddhist collage of Astrology. You can also visit the beautifully built 21 Tara Temple adjacent to the collage. After that you can continue drive back to Thimphu and evening at your leisure.
Distance: 76kms/ 47 miles
Time: 3 hours 30 minutes approx.
Altitude: Punakha-1,242 m / 4075 ft.
On the 4th day we will drive to Punakha, over Docula Pass, visit Chimmi Lhakhang on the way.
Dochula pass : Located on the East West high way the pass offers a breath taking panoramic view of the Eastern Himalayan range. Set up against the crisp blue sky and majestic mountains, You can walk around the 108 Chortens also known as Druk Wangyal Chortens. It was constructed by the eldest Queen Mother, Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk in 2004. The pass also serves as a spiritual destination for both locals and tourists because an important temple is located on the crest of Dochula pass. It was built to honor the Fourth Druk Gyelpo’s triumph over the Indian militants in 2003. You can also visit a cafe for a hot cup of tea/coffee and use the facility before you start driving down to Punakha valley.
Chimmi Lhakhang : After an hours drive you will reach Punakha valley, you can stop at Sopsokha village, the distinctive feature of the village is the painting of Phallus on the walls of the houses, locals believe that the phallus of Lama Drukpa kuenley will ward off all the evil forces and bring fertility to the family. You can choose to hike first or have lunch at the village according to the time. If you hike from the village it is approximately 40mins walk through the paddy fields and farmhouses or else you can drive to make your hike shorter.
Distance 20 kms from Punakha
Altitude at Punakha: 1242m/4075ft
Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten: After your breakfast you will drive approximately half an hour to the northern part of Punakha valley. Following the Mochu ( Female river ) you will bypass the Punakha dzong and drive through beautiful villages. When you reach Nyenzergang bridge, this is the starting point of the hike. Khamsum Yulley Namgyal chorten is a fine modern example of Bhutanese architecture and artistic traditions. An hour long hike on a moderately inclined trail through rice fields and pine trees, this stupa offers a beautiful view of the Punakha Valley. It was dedicated to the long life of the present king when is was a crown prince and to peace in the world at large. Although you are not allowed to take photographs inside the temple, we recommend you to take your cameras with you to capture the breathtakingly scenic view from the parapet of the stupa.
Punakha dzong Zhabdrung rimpoche built this magnificent dzong in 1637 according to the prophecy of Guru rimpoche , it is the second oldest dzong in Bhutan. Punakha dzong served as the administrative center and seat of government until 1955 when the capital was moved to Thimphu. It is the winter capital for the Chief Abbot and the central monastic body, they migrate to Thimphu in summer. This historic dzong is one of the important venue for very important national events such as the coronation of the kings and their wedding ceremony. Perhaps the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan, it is a must see dzong.
Day 6 Punakha – Gangtey
Driving Time: 03 hours approximately.
Altitude at Gangtey: 3000m/9500ft
After breakfast, drive around 25mins you will reach Bajo town ( Wangdue Phodrang ). You can have a quick stop to stroll around the town. After a brief stop in the town prepare yourself for few hours drive up a winding mountain road through the villages of Shar Dagay, driving through beautiful terrace fields, rhododendron,oak forest you will reach Nobding, a small satellite town of Wangdue. you can stop for a hot cup of coffee and to use the facility. From there its just 35mins drive to Lawala pass marked by a white stupa. You might see some yak herders camp, drive further down the valley to Gangtey, you can stop and visit the Gangtey monastery. The amazing feature of the monastery is the age old Peling tradition of Buddhism and the intriguing architecture. Driver further down to Phobjikha valley, this wide open valley is the winter habitat for the Blacked Necked Crane.
Walking Time: 03 hours approximately
Altitude at Gangtey: 3000m/9500ft
After breakfast drive over Lawala pass and Pele la pass ( 3420m/11,220ft) to the Village of Longtoe where you will start your hike. Pele La pass marks the division of East and West of Bhutan. The inhabitants of Longtoe are a semi nomad people, they are very much depended on Yaks for their livelihood. This beautiful hikes goes up from Longtoe through rhododendron and birch forest all the way up to Keche la, a small pass. Going little further down from the pass you will reach a place where you can get amazing view of the whole Phobjikha valley. Continue climbing down to Kumbu village where you will meet your car. After lunch if you still feel energetic there is yet another short easy hike called Nature trail which goes around the Ramsar land which is a protected area for the Blacked Necked Crane.
Distance: 188 km
Drive Time: 6hrs approximately Altitude at Paro: 2200m/7200ft
Take an early morning walk to explore the village, and then return to Paro. The road gradually descends into the balmy Wangdue valley, and then begins a long climb back up to the Dochu La. A stunning field of white chortens and colorful prayer flags send blessings up to the Himalayan sky; snow peaks line the horizon here. We will Stop here for lunch, then continue to Paro (just under 2 hrs).It is one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan with its slate-roofed farmhouses, graceful willow trees and rushing glacial river beneath snow covered peaks.
After getting to Paro we will visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo (only three remain). It is one of the two oldest Buddhist temple in Bhutan (the other is Jambe Lhakhang in Bumthang). Kyichu is built in a manner similar to the Jokhang in Lhasa. Inside there is a great golden image of future Buddha.
Drive time: 1-2 hours approx
An early morning scenic drive will take you to beautiful Chele La pass ( 3990m/13,083ft) Whereby the Paro valley and Haa valley falls on either side of the pass. This hike begins from a short descent below the pass. It takes about a half hour uphill and shorter coming down hill. It brings you to a clusters of shelters built on sheer cliffs, under a cave and a temple which houses around 50 nuns.
On your way back to Paro, we will stop at Dzondrakha Monastery which looks similar to famous Tiger’s Nest monastery, often monikered as the “Mini Taktsang”. Upon reaching the Monastery you can enjoy the view of fertile Paro valley with its beautifully terraced paddy fields and colorful houses.
Your guide will brief you on the hike to Tiger’s Nest hike which probably would become your highlight of the Bhutan tour.
Walking Time: 06 hours (up and down approximately)
Altitude at Paro: 2200m/7200ft
After early morning breakfast, drive to Ramthangka where you will start your hike to the famous Taktshang monastery. There are ponies available for riding up till the half way but we would like to suggest you to hike by yourself to avoid any misfortune riding pony on steep narrow trail. It is around 900m high above the Paro valley and 3100m from the sea level. Miraculously built on a sheer rock cliff in the 17th century by the Fourth Druk Desi Tenzin Rabgay upon the command of Zhabdrung Rimpoche. The cave inside the monastery dates back to 8th century. Hiking up the dirt trail you will reach the cafeteria where you can stop to use the facility and cup of tea if you wish for it. Continue hiking up to the highest level from where you will get a breathtaking view of the valley. There are proper steps and handrailing to make your hike much easy to reach the monastery however you need to procced with caution. The monastery is associated with Guru rimpoche who visited this place during his second visit to Bhutan. Your guide will narrate you many interesting stories about the establishment of the temple on this particular place.
Hike back the same way, for the average walker it takes 5 hours
Evening at your leisure
After breakfast drive to airport for your departure flight