Classic Bhutan

Trip ideas
Duration (in days): 8

From: Paro

To: Paro

From

£1,540

Exc. International flights (per person, based on 2 sharing) 
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Overview

Explore the magical kingdom of Bhutan, from the ancient cities of Thimphu and Paro to the small villages tucked under the snowy peaks of the Himalayas. Trek amongst the lush rice terraces, spotting Buddhist monasteries and temples clinging to cliff tops and tucked next to rivers. A great way to explore the Himalayas, this is a fantastic way to explore the culture and traditions of Bhutan.

This 8 day trip takes you to 3 of Bhutans key cities; Paro, where you can learn about Bhutans' history, Thimpu, the only capital city in the world without traffic lights and the ancient capital of Bhutan, Punakha where you will get to visit the monastry of Punakha Dzong which spans the rushing Mo Chu & Pho Chu rivers. You will then depart on a 3 day trek, travelling through sand oak forests, rice terraces and local villages along the way, witnessing spectacular scenery and learning about the local way of life. 

Highlights

  • Visit the Tashi Chhoedzong monastry and fortress in Thimpu
  • Visit Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan
  • Trek into the valleys of Shengana & Limuka
  • Camp under the Himalayan stars
  • Drive along the stunning Dochula Pass

 

 

Itinerary

 

Itinerary in brief:

  • 1 night Paro
  • 1 night Punakha
  • 1 night Limukha Village
  • 1 night Chungseykha
  • 2 nights Paro

Day 1: Arrive in Paro

Arrive in Paro after enjoying the scenic views of the Himalayas from the plane as you fly into Bhutan. You will be met at the airport and transferred to Paro town for lunch before visiting the National Museum of Paro, where you can learn about Bhutanese history. Later you’ll be driven to Thimpu, the only capital city in the world without traffic lights. In the evening you’ll visit the Tashi Chhoedzong, the beautiful monastery and fortress at the edge of the city before checking into your hotel for the night.


Day 2: Thimphu – Punakha

This morning you’ll be driven north of Thimphu Valley for a hike through the dense forests of rhododendrons and pines to the old monastery at Tango, dating back to the 14th Century. Around 235 monks pursue higher studies here, learning meditation and Buddhist philosophy. Heading back to Thimphu for lunch you’ll depart for Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan along a road that often offers panoramic views of the Himalayas. Descending along the hairpin bends down into the Punakha Valley you’ll visit the Chime Lhakhang, the temples of the “Divine Madman” built in 1499. Explore local life in the village of Lobeysa before continuing on to the city of Punakha where you’ll check into your hotel for 1 night.


Day 3: Punakha – Limukha (start of trek)

After breakfast you’ll visit Punakha Dzong, an ancient monastery that spans the rushing Mo Chu and Pho Chu rivers. After exploring the area you’ll be driven to the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan and the start of your 3 day, 2 night trek. The trail leads you into the valleys of Shengana and Limuka, you’ll visit the locals in Dompala village enroute and learn about their way of life. Tonight you’ll camp in Limukha village under the Himalayan stars. (Distance today: 12kms, Walking Time: 4-5 hours)


Day 4: Limukha – Chungseykha

Today the trail leads you through the sand oak forest into the village of Chungsekha, visiting an old temple used by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in the 14th Century enroute. Depending on the time of year, the rhododendrons might be in bloom, with pink blooms lining the path you follow through the trees. You’ll interact with the locals and learn about the way of life for the people who live deep in the valleys of Bhutan. You’ll camp overnight in the village. (Distance today: 11kms, Walking time: 4-5 hours)


Day 5: Chungseykha – Samtengang

Up bright and early today you’ll set off on your final trek, across the river and up the hill into the Sha Valley of Wangdue, where the still waters of the green rice terraces shine in the sun. You’ll visit Seygang Lhakang, a monastery which dates back to the 12th Century before having dinner in a local house, where you’ll also stay the night. (Distance today: 13km, Walking time: 5 hours)


Day 6: Wangdue – Thimphu - Paro

After breakfast you’ll be driven back along the stunning Dochula Pass to Thimphu for your lunch before spending an hour or two browsing the markets of Thimphu, watching as farmers sell their produce and even spotting bargains of your own. Later you’ll head back to Paro and enjoy the rest of the afternoon exploring, admiring the quaint architecture of the city, checking into your hotel for 2 nights.


Day 7: Paro

This morning you’ll drive along the winding road north of Paro to visit the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong, built in 1647 and burnt down in a more recent accidental fire, left in ruins as a reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. On a clear day you’ll enjoy views of Mount Jhomolhari before driving to Ramthangka to hike to the famous Taktsang (Tigers Nest) monastery. The view of the monastery is unforgettable and one of the most iconic images of Bhutan, a wonderful sight to end your time in this magical country.


Day 8: Departure from Paro

Unfortunately your time in Bhutan has come to an end and you’ll be transferred from the hotel to the airport to catch your onwards flight.


 

Info

March-May & Sept-Nov are the best months to visit Bhutan, be sure to book in advance as accommodation options can be limited. Himalayan views are best in October and the rhododendron blooms peak in March and April. Savings can be made if you travel outside of peak season, the weather is still pleasant although it can be cold in December and January. Monsoon rains put an end to most treks from June until August.

All of our itineraries are tailor-made to give you an idea of just some of what is possible; this means we can adjust as necessary to completely suit your needs!  Let your travel consultant know how long you plan to spend away, what you like to do, what properties you like to stay in and an idea of your budget and we will do the rest!

*Local payment of 40USD (visa fee) and 10USD (Tourism development fund)* to be paid locally

What's included: 

  • Tours specified in the itinerary
  • 7 nights accommodation (3* and above)
  • All meals
  • All transport
  • Services of experienced and English speaking guides
  • All trekking equipment
  • Trekking guide and trekking cook with supporting staff
  • Pack ponies
  • Medical facilities
  • Mineral water
  • Welcome and farewell drinks with bonfire and cultural programme
  • All permits

Not included: 

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Drinks other than those specified
  • Personal costs
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Single supplement charges
Accommodation

7 nights in 3* or above standard accommodation


 

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