Truly Bhutan

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13 Days

Himalayan Paradise

Travel to one of the most preserved and pristine places on earth- Bhutan. Discover exceptional hiking through untouched natural landscapes and culturally flourished valleys across stunning scenery. Enjoy hoards of unique travel experiences and acquire lifelong memories as you get to know the life of locals driven by its unique happiness philosophy.

Bestowed with all the goodness of Mother Nature, Bhutan is a dream destination for nature lovers. Its deep valleys, silent wilderness, and historical monuments provide an exclusive blend of nature to explore and a unique cultural and traditional experience.

With 81% of the landmass under forest cover; some of the well-known hiking trails pass through protected national parks with diverse flora and fauna. Some hiking trails on the beaten paths provide opportunities to visit magnificent temples and monasteries perched on hilltops, offering panoramic views of lush greenery and exciting photographic opportunities.

In the western districts of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, and Wangdue the hiking trails are well maintained and offer rich glimpses of diverse flora and fauna. Paro Valley is famed for its broad landscape and rich cultural history. The hike across Chelela pass to the Kila Nunnery Centre and to the popular Tiger’s Nest offers adrenalin-pumping adventure and the opportunity to experience nature in its purest form.

The experience and memories you will carry back home will be etched forever in your heart.

From

$6466

per person

Detailed Program

Upon arrival in Paro, transfer to Thimphu. A day of acclimatization in Thimphu (2,400m). After lunch, visit the Changangkha temple. Then drive to the takin reserve to see the national animal of Bhutan.
From here drive to the viewpoint and take a short hike to Wangditse temple. Descend by car to visit the impressive Dzong. Overnight in Thimphu.

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Start early for a short hike to the Tango monastery. Drive along country lanes on the way to the trail and then hike uphill for just under one hour before reaching Tango Monastery. A picnic lunch will be served near the riverside before returning to Thimphu.
In the afternoon, visit the Folk Heritage Museum and the Institute for the 13 Traditional Arts (Zorig Chusum). In the early evening visit Buddha point and take a stroll around the Memorial Chorten (stupa). You may wish to visit the Post office where you can see the stamp collections. Overnight in Thimphu.

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Start early and drive towards Punakha. On the way, stop at Dochula pass (3,000m) to take in the views of the Himalayan peaks. Take a 40-minute downhill hike through rhododendron forests before you start on a beautiful two-hour walk through villages and farmland.
Enjoy a picnic lunch in the fields, near a temple, and continue for another 2-hour walk through villages until you reach the road where your vehicle will meet you. Proceed towards Punakha (1,200m) and visit the dzong (fortress). Overnight in Punakha.

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Today you will do two short hikes. Start off early in the morning for a short hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal stupa for views over the Punatsangchu River. Then drive to visit the Chimi Lhakhang temple, the seat of the so-called “Divine Madman.” Post lunch, drive towards Talo monastery. A series of short hikes will take you below the monastery crisscrossing the main road at various intervals and ending with a two-hour downhill hike past a village, a school, and through some forested area that will lead you back to Punakha dzong. Alternative option: half day of river rafting in the Punatsangchu River (book with us in advance).

Overnight in Punakha.

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Drive from Punakha via Wangdi to the high glacial valley of Phobjikha (3½ hrs, which is at an altitude of 2,800 m. Here you are likely to see grazing yaks. This valley has some idyllic-looking rural scenery and consists of a central marshland, winter home of the rare black-necked cranes, and farms where potatoes and other high-altitude crops are grown. Take an afternoon hike of 3 hours through the valley, alongside the pristine river, and through forests and villages.

Overnight in Phobjikha.

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Drive to Trongsa or Chumey (193 km, 7 hours)
Visit Gangtey Monastery and the RSPN information center, to learn more about the black-necked crane.

Option 1: Start a 3- 4-hour hike from Phobjikha towards the valley of Sephu and Rukubji. This is a fairly strenuous hike, which starts from above the Gangtey monastery and climbs for about 1½ – 2 hours to the Gyeche-La Pass, (3,580m), following the old routes before the road was built. Visit Kumbu monastery before reaching the pass and then continue downhill into the valley where you will pass through several villages until you eventually meet your vehicle and continue on the journey towards Trongsa. Drive to Trongsa (2hrs). Overnight in Trongsa.

Option 2: A shorter hike: Stop at the viewpoint before reaching Trongsa and take the old path that used to be the main access to Trongsa dzong. Descend sharply to a wooden cantilever bridge and then climb back up towards the dzongs main entrance. This 1½hour hike will make you realize quite how the dzong dominated the route between the east and west of Bhutan. Visit Trongsa Dzong. Drive to Chumey Village (1½hrs). Be sure to wander around a little to see daily life in a very typical rural village in the Chumey valley. Overnight at Chumey.

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You will have a full-day picnic hike to Tharpaling Monastery. Drive up a rough road that leads all the way to Tharpaling monastery, which is perched on the mountain at 3,500m. Visit the monastery at Tharpaling. From the monastery hike directly uphill to the stupa of Ngulshey Khen Rimpoche, a teacher of the Dalai Lama. From here it is a 1-hour hike to the ridge, from where you will get good views of the mountain ranges in the distance. Your vehicle will meet you at Lama Goemba and drive to your hotel in Jakar. (For a tougher hike, this itinerary can be done in the opposite direction but must be planned in advance since you will stay overnight in Jakar).

Overnight in Jakar.

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Visit Jakar dzong (fortress), Jambay Lhakhang (temple), and Kurjey Lhakhang and have lunch in a village farmhouse before setting out on a short village hike to Tamshing monastery. Return towards town, stopping off at Kharchu Drastang.

Overnight in Jakar.

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Start with a visit to Ugyenchholing Palace Museum. From here take a short hike through the villages of Ugyen Chholing, Gamling, and Kharab before reaching Namkhar Lhakhang where you will meet the vehicle. Return towards Jakar, stopping at Lake Membartsho (burning lake).

Overnight in Jakar.

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En route, visit weavers at Zungney village and stop to visit the dzong (if not already visited), and climb the steps to the Trongsa Museum, housed in the beautifully restored watch tower.

Overnight in Wangdi.

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Drive from Wangdi to Paro (3⅓hrs). En route to Paro, you can see perched on the hill, Simtokha Dzong, the first dzong built in Bhutan by the Zhabdrung. Post lunch in Paro town, cross the traditional bridge, and visit the impressive Rinpung Dzong, which is featured in Bertolucci’s film “Little Buddha.” Descend into Paro town for some free time.

Overnight in Paro.

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Hike or horse ride to Taktsang temple, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, which is built into the sheer rock face at an altitude of 3,000 meters. This is a highlight of the tour and involves a 2-hour uphill hike. The visit to the temple and the return downhill to the base make this a 5-hour round trip. This hike requires a certain level of fitness but is not excessively difficult.

In the afternoon, drive towards the ruined fortress Drukgyel Dzong from where you can get a view of the distant Jhomolhari Mountain and enjoy the rural scenery of the valley. Visit Kyichu Lhakhang upon return which is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. You may wish to book a massage or a hot-stone bath at one of several hotel spas to relax after your busy day. Overnight in Paro.

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Drive to the airport for the flight to your onward destination. We hope to serve you again with our other exciting tour packages in the future.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You will have a wide range of cuisines to choose from, including Bhutanese, Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, and Thai, as well as Continental. Bhutanese rice is the main staple diet, which is accompanied by the most popular dish, “Ema datshi,” which is made of chilies and cheese. Bhutanese people eat a lot of meat and vegetables. Our partner hotels and restaurants are always aware of your eating habits and cater to your preferences. Even if you want to try Bhutanese, it is not as spicy as we are accustomed to

The official language of Bhutan is Dzongkha, though many other dialects are preserved in each region of the country. Because English is the official language of Bhutan, most Bhutanese people understand it.

There is only one Indian embassy in the country. The Netherlands, Kuwait, and Canada all have consulates here. International embassies are located in Delhi, India, Kathmandu, Nepal, and Bangkok, Thailand.

We do not require any screening to enter Bhutan, but for your own safety in the region, please check the Centre for Disease Control website (www.cdc.gov/).

Bhutan’s currency is called Ngultrum. The value of Ngultrum is equivalent to the Indian rupee. You cannot purchase Ngultrum before traveling to Bhutan, but once there, you can easily exchange your currency for Ngultrum at banks or even at your hotel. Please visit www.bnb.bt to view the current exchange rates.

Our Host

Bhutan is one of the most unusual and beautiful countries in the world. You’ll find a land that is blessed with abundance, a deep connection to the past, and a culture that is unique. Truly Bhutan’s Host is second to none. Handpicked, highly experienced, and scrupulously trained, they bring a wealth of skill and knowledge to each trip. They are fun and friendly, whose aim is to ensure that each trip remains an unforgettable experience. Creating colorful, discovery-oriented tours in a combination of safety and comfort is the mission of our guides. All Host have earned the tour guide’s certificate from the Tourism Council of Bhutan.

Damchoe Lhendrup

Damchoe Lhendrup | Culture & Trekking Expert

Dechen Dema

Dechen Dema | Culture & Trekking Expert

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