Truly Bhutan

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11 Days

Dharma Neykor

Bhutan has a stronghold on Vajrayana Buddhism; many meditation techniques have the Buddhist way of life at the heart. Hence, Bhutan is a great place to learn and practice Meditation. There are many small retreat centers and hermitages all over Bhutan.

These can be next to temples, dzongs, monasteries, and other areas. You will not have much difficulty in finding a place for meditation in Bhutan. Devout Buddhists in Bhutan tend to disappear into the mountains for retreats. If the Bhutanese way of meditation interests you, we can help you arrange those too.

Meditation is usually done in a peaceful environment, especially for beginners. Bhutan is the perfect destination with many secluded and serene environments. Bhutan has many hermitages and monasteries. Most of these support meditation practitioners from 1 day to several years.

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Detailed Program

Welcome to Bhutan. We will visit Kyichu Lhakhang one of the most sacred temples in the Paro Valley. It features a strikingly unusual Guru Rinpoche statue that almost smiles! There is also a full-size statue of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche in the temple. Dilgo Khyentse’s former house is quite close to the temple. We then drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Thimphu, with a population composed mainly of government employees, monks, the royal family, and, business people has a distinctive Bhutanese character.

After checking in to the hotel, we will visit some of the tourist highlights. The School of Arts and Crafts actively promotes traditional local skills. There will also be a visit to the Folk Heritage Museum. Visit the Takin sanctuary, home to the national animal. The famous biologist George Schaller called it a “bee-stung moose,” referring to its bulbous nose. Drive to Sangaygang and get a birds-ey view of Thimphu city and the valley.

Overnight in Thimphu.

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After breakfast, visit the main shrines in the Thimphu Dzong including one of the largest Buddha in Bhutan in the main shrine and the Guru Rinpoche shrine room, if open, which features a huge Guru Rinpoche with a flame-like swirl of copper cultured adornments around the figure.

After lunch, visit the gigantic Buddha statue overlooking Thimphu and then the national memorial chorten (stupa) – if you like participating in circumambulating the chorten with other devotees. Evening takes a leisurely walk in the town.

Overnight in Thimphu

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This morning, transfer to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan, crossing Dochula Pass at an altitude of 10,300 feet amidst majestic Himalayan peaks. Hike up to the small but beautiful Lungchutse temple that sits at the top of the mountain. It takes about 2 hours hiking up and coming down about 1 and half hours through beautiful rhododendron forest and interesting bird life.

The shrine room features an amazing Guru Rinpoche statue and it is wonderful to meditate “above the clouds” in this remote temple. Lunch at the Dochula cafeteria. This afternoon, we visit the Punakha Dzong, the winter residence of Chief Abbot and the Central Monastic Body. The Dzong, damaged by fire in 1986, was recently renovated using traditional building techniques that eschew the use of nails, written plans, or power tools.

Overnight in Punakha

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Today drive to Jakar, via Trongsa. Proceed across the Pele La Pass (11,300 feet). This afternoon, visit Trongsa Dzong, the ancestral home of Bhutan’s royal family and perhaps the most impressive Dzong in the kingdom. The landscape around Trongsa is spectacular and the Dzong can be seen for miles. Upon arrival at the hotel, relax and dine.

Overnight in Bumthang

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Bumthang and Paro are very sacred because these are the valleys where Guru Rinpoche spent more time and blessed both the temples and the entire landscape with his presence. We will visit some of the most sacred temples in Bumthang such as Kurjey Lhakhang. Guru Rinpoche meditated at this site for 3 months and left his imprint on the cave wall. The Queen Mother built a special temple to honor Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche that features the life-size statue of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche – it is incredibly inspiring to sit in his presence.

Jambay Lhakhang and Tamshing Goemba (one of the most important Nyingmapa temples in the country. Located across the river from Kurjey Lhakhang, this temple was founded in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa, a reincarnation of Guru Padmasambhava).

Overnight in Bumthang

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Early this morning, depart on a 90-minute drive to the last of the Bumthang valleys, Ura. The day will be spent in this picturesque agrarian village, set in a high valley (10,200 ft.). This farming village is renowned for its good harvest, despite harsh climatic conditions, owing to the hard work of the locals who inhabit the area. Learn of their traditional agricultural techniques and rural customs. Visit a farmhouse in Ura. There will be about 1-hour hike to URA Village.

Overnight in Bumthang

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Return to the Wangdue Punakha area today. The drive, with various stops, takes about eight hours. In the late afternoon, arrive at a comfortable resort with time to relax, dine and enjoy the surroundings.

Overnight in Punakha/Wangdue

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After breakfast drive north of Punakha. Hike to Khamsum Yuley Namgyal chorten. It takes about 45mins hiking up. Hike back through a farm village that will take about 1 hour and a half. You will get a beautiful view of the Punakha valley. After lunch drive to Paro. It will take about 3 hours and 45mins. Check into the hotel with time to relax before dinner.

Overnight Paro

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After early breakfast transfer to Satsam Chorten for the steep hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, the icon of Bhutan. This magical monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff 3,000 feet above the valley floor and is built around a sacred cave that Guru Rinpoche, who first brought Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century, meditated in.

Guru Rinpoche, in the wrathful form of Dorje Drolo, flew there from Tibet on the back of Yeshey Tshogyal – whom he transformed into a flying tigress. Lunch at the cliff-side café or packed lunch for those who wish to lunch nearby Taktsang and reenter when opened after the lunch break. It is possible to meditate in Yeshey Tsogyal’s cave during the lunch break.

Overnight in Paro

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Drive to Chelela pass (4000mts above sea level) and hike uphill on the ridge for a few hours. Have picnic lunch on the Pass. (Alternatively, visit Dungtse Lhakhang and more sacred sites in Paro Valley). Take a leisurely drive back and stroll in the town. Tonight, enjoy a wonderful Bhutanese farewell dinner in the hotel or local restaurant.

Overnight in Paro

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Depending on the time of your flight we will have a light breakfast and go direct to the airport or visit some other sacred sites in Paro Valley.

Tashi Delek(Good Luck)

  • Inclusion
  • Exclusion
  • Insurance
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
  • 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium update).
  • Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing
  • Route Permit
  • Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan
  • A licensed Bhutanese tour guide
  • All land transportation by private vehicle
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary
  • Monuments entrance fees where applicable
  • Drinking water
  • All internal taxes and charges
  • A sustainable development fee of $200. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, and poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)
  • Airfare & Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
  • Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.

Package does not include insurance of any kinds, and that you are required to obtain separate coverage from your home country before your trip begins.

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 unique culture. 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.

Sonam Wangchuk

Sonam Wangchuk | Culture Expert

Dechen Dema

Dechen Dema | Culture & Trekking Expert

host

Pelden Dorji | Culture & Trekking Expert

Trek guide

Jigme Dorji | Culture & Trekking Expert

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