Memorial Chorten, Thimphu
Chorten Prayerwheels, Thimphu
Wangdiphodrang Ruin Dzong
Phobjikha Nature Hike
Ta Dzong National Museum, Gangtey
Dochula Pass, Punakha
Arrive Paro International Airport. Our guide will meet you at the arrival lounge and take you on a short one-hour drive along the Paro and Thimphu river valleys to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, at 2320 metres. Enroute stop on the way to take in the magnificent Tamchhog Lhakhang, the hereditary place of worship for Bhutan’s iron bridge builder. Stay overnight in Thimphu.
After a leisurely breakfast, proceed to explore the major Landmarks of the capital city of Thimphu. Visit the National Memorial Chorten, the National Library, the National Painting School and Changangkha Temple. Browse the striking collection of intricate textiles at the National Textile Museum and visit the Folk Museum. Stay overnight in Thimphu.
After a leisurely breakfast, drive to Punakha enroute stop at Dochu La Pass for a hot drink and to enjoy views of the Eastern Himalaya ranges. In the afternoon visit Punakha Dzong, Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility), built in the 15th century by the ‘Divine Mad Man’ (Lama Drukpa Kuenley). It is quite popular among childless women, who go to the temple to receive blessings from the saint. Stay overnight in Punakha.
Drive from Punakha to Bumthang via Trongsa, the gateway to central Bhutan. Stop to visit the impressive Trongsa Dzong which commands the eye from miles away. Visit the new museum in the watchtower dedicated to the Royal Wangchuk dynasty, which tells the stories of the Dzong and features personal belongings of the Kings and Queens of Bhutan. Continue your journey through some of Bhutan’s most beautiful landscapes to Bumthang. Overnight in Bumthang. Stay overnight in Bumthang.
A day of sightseeing in the Bumthang valleys. Your guide will take you on a fascinating tour of a variety of sacred sites including Jamba Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang and Tamshing Lhakhang. Visit Jakar Dzong (Bhutan’s largest) and you may be interested to see Bumthang’s famous swiss cheese factory. Stay overnight in Bumthang.
After a leisurely breakfast, take an excursion to the remote Tang valley. Stop to visit Membar Tsho (the burning lake), which is one of Bhutan’s most important pilgrimage sites. Then on to Drangchel, Pema Lingpa’s birthplace. You will also see some picturesque villages and temples and can walk up to visit Ugyenchholing Palace, which is now a museum and gives an interesting insight into life in an aristocratic family in the last century. Return to Bumthang for the night. Stay overnight in Bumthang.
After breakfast, check out and start your journey back towards west to Gangtey in the remote Phobjikha valley. Visit Gangtey Gompa (one of Bhutan’s oldest monasteries and recently extensively renovated) and explore the valley where the villagers continue to live a traditional Bhutanese rural lifestyle. This is the site where black-necked cranes visit in their hundreds in November each year after spending the summer in Tibet. Stay overnight in Gangtey.
The day is free to explore and enjoy the sights of this beautiful rural valley. If it is winter you can view the black-necked cranes. If you like hiking your guide will suggest a day or half day hike in the valley. Overnight in Gangtey.
After breakfast, check out and return back to Paro, enroute visit Wangdi. Sadly Wangdi Dzong was gutted by fire in June 2012 and rebuilding will take many years. There is little now to see in Wangdi so after a brief stop continue on your way. Arrive Paro and explore the local handicrafts shops to buy souvenirs or memorabilia for your trip. Stay overnight in Paro.
A full day of sightseeing in and around Paro including Paro Rinpung Dzon, which serves as the administrative center and school for monks, and the National Museum. After lunch visit Drukgyel Dzong (‘fortress of victory’) - which still attracts visitors due to the strategic location of the fort and the sacred Kyichu Lhakhang (temple). Stay overnight in Paro.
After a leisurely breakfast, take a day hike to the ‘Tiger’s Nest’, the sacred Taktshang monastery which clings to the rock face 900 metres above the valley floor. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown to the site riding on a tigress. He subsequently meditated here for three months. On the way back you can visit Dumtse Lhakhang, a temple built by Thangthong Gyalpo, the iron bridge builder. Stay overnight in Paro.
After a leisurely breakfast, check out and transfer to Paro International airport for onwards flight.