Wonders of Bhutan

Comfort, Paro to Paro

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

For lovers of Buddhist culture wanting to dig deeper, this 10-day trip through Bhutan's magnificent mountain terrain promises stunning photographs and encounters with a people who care more about GNH—Gross National Happiness—than GDP. As you explore tiny towns and remarkable monasteries, you'll receive unparallelled opportunities for cultural interactions and blessings from Buddhist monks. With the direction of an expert local guide and comfortable accommodations at the end of the day, immerse yourself in a land that prides itself on its remote isolation and happiness.

What’s included

  • Arrival and departure transfer
  • Visit the Rimpung Dzong, a school for Monks
  • Hike to Punakha Dzong monastery and fertility shrine
  • Visit the town of Wangdue and walk to Khamsum Yueley Chorten shrine
  • Visit the village of Khewa
  • Walk to the monastery of Gangtey Goempa and visit a Community School
  • Walk across Phobjikha Khewa Valleys
  • Visit the National Library, the Institute for Zorig Chusum (Art and Craft) and the Memorial Chorten
  • Hike to Kila Goempa nunnery
  • Explore the Haa Valley including the Wangchuk Lo Dzong shrine and the Lhakhang Nagpo and Lhakhang Karpo Temples
  • Visit the fortress of Drukgyal Dzong and hike to Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s Nest)
  • Visit Kyichu Lhakhang Temple and the local archery grounds
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Visit one of the most remote countries in the world
  • Take a moment to reflect at ancient buddhist temples and shrines
  • Hike along peaceful nature trails and thrilling cliffs
  • Experience the pristine and peaceful nature of the 'dragon kingdom'.

Itinerary

Day 1 Paro (1D) In clear weather, enjoy magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks as they give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control, you are met by your local CEO who will conduct your welcome meeting and orientation. Later, enjoy dinner and visit Rimpung Dzong, a school for monks, and take a walk through the town. Additional Notes: Approx. Altitude: Paro 701m (2,300 ft) Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Rimpung Dzong Visit Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 2 Paro/Punākha (1B, 1L, 1D) After breakfast, drive through the dense forest of blue pine, oak, and rhododendrons and enjoy the view of the Himalayan range and the valley beyond. After a lunch stop, the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050m/10,007 ft). This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain range. After stopping for tea and the view, we descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Punakha. Additional Notes: Approx. Altitude: Punakha Valley 396m (1,300 ft) Transport: Private Vehicle (7.00-8.00 hours, 180km)
Day 3 Punākha (1B, 1L, 1D) Visit Punakha Dzong, winter seat of the Je Khenpo and the Monk Body, remarkably located between the rivers of the Mo (female) Chu and Pho (male) Chu. Drive to Lobeysa and hike another 20 min to Chime Lhakhang, temple of the “Divine Madman”, built in 1499. Today, it is mostly visited by women as it is known as a temple of fertility. Walk back to the road point and then drive a short distance to Wangdue, one of the major towns and district headquarters of Western Bhutan, where we make a short stop and visit the Wangdue Phodrang. Continue to the suspension bridge and hike through rice terraces, fields, and deep pine forest to Khamsum Yueley Chorten; the view from here is superb. Descend the trail until you reach the suspension bridge and return to the hotel. Included Activities: Punakha Dzong Visit Chime Lhakhang Visit Wangdue Phodrang Visit Hike and Visit Khamsum Yueley Chorten Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s))
Day 4 Punākha/Gangtey Gonpa (1B, 1L, 1D) Travel to Gangtey, visiting the village of Khewa en route, where their main production is potato farming and dairy products. Additional Notes: Approx. Altitude: Gangtey Valley 884m (2,900 ft) Included Activities: Khewa Village Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours, 78km)
Day 5 Gangtey Gonpa (1B, 1L, 1D) The valley is also a centre for crane observation run by the RSPN (Royal Society for the Protection of Nature), an NGO striving to protect Bhutan’s environment, flora, and fauna. At certain times of the year, it is possible to watch these magnificent birds. Included Activities: Gangtey Goempa Monastery Visit Community School Visit Phobjikha and Khewa Valley Hike Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 6 Gangtey Gonpa/Thimphu (1B, 1L, 1D) Drive to the capital to visit the National Library, Memorial Chorten, and the Institute for Zorig Chusum, an arts and craft school where we can watch students working with paints and clay, as well as woodworking and other traditional arts. Included Activities: National Library Visit Memorial Chorten Visit Institute for Zorig Chusum Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours)
Day 7 Thimphu/Haa Dzongkhag (1B, 1L, 1D) Drive to one of the most remote and sacred valleys in Bhutan via the Chelela Pass. Later, hike to Kila Goempa Nunnery, which clings to a rocky cliff. Drive to the valley and visit the Wangchuk Lo Dzong shrine, Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple), and Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple). Additional Notes: Approx. Altitude: Haa Valley 853m (2,800 ft) Included Activities: Kila Goempa Nunnery Hike Haa Valley Temples and shrines Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00-8.00 hours)
Day 8 Haa Dzongkhag/Paro (1B, 1L, 1D) Return to Paro and visit the ruined fortress of Drukgyal Dzong. Additional Notes: Approx. Altitude: Paro 701m (2,300 ft) Included Activities: Drukgyal Dzong Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00-3.00 hours, 65km)
Day 9 Paro (1B, 1L, 1D) Embark on a vigorous hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s Nest), the most venerated pilgrim site of the Himalayan world. The view is absolutely stunning, and the monastery clings to the rock, towering 900m (2,953 ft) above the valley. Later, visit Kyichu Lhakhang Temple and the local archery grounds. Included Activities: Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery Hike Kyichu Lhakhang Temple Visit Local Archery Grounds Visit Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 10 Paro (1B) Depart at any time. Airport transfer included. Transport: Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s))
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