“Come and explore the beauty of the snow-clad mountains, the luscious green forests, the untouched traditions, the peaceful monasteries and the smiling faces of Bhutan!”
Nestled in the Himalayas, Bhutan is a stunning country of fresh clear air, bright colours, mountains and plains. Arriving at Paro airport, you will head to the capital to stay with a homestay host and explore the area and cultural history.
Visit Kuensel Phodrang Nature Park swathed in green and blue, and wonder breathlessly around monasteries. See the iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery clinging perilously to the edge of a cliff and watch prayer flags flutter in the breeze.
Hike through the stunning natural landscape, taste incredible local food, and relax in hot stone baths.
All of the in-country guides are local people, who know the area so you know you will get the insider’s view as well as giving back to the local economy. The tour works with rural communities to encourage homestay based experiential travel with a focus on rural micro-entrepreneurship and skill development. It sets out to promote sustainable and responsible travel in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals set out by the UN.
Arrive at Paro International Airport, where you will be collected by your guide and driven to the capital, Thimpu. You will arrive at your homestay, settle in, and get to know your host. You will also have a chance to do some sightseeing in the city. You will have some time to get to know your new surroundings. You can visit the Thirteen Traditional Arts and Crafts School and the Folk Heritage Museum, before continuing to the National Library and the Traditional Paper Making Factory.
Fuel up on a delicious breakfast in your homestay, before heading out to do some sightseeing in the city... Begin at the National Memorial Chorten (stupa), constructed in 1974 as a memorial for the third King of Bhutan King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is widely regarded as the father of modern Bhutan. The term ‘chorten’ literally means ‘seat of faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments the ‘Mind of Buddha’. Next, head to Kuensel Phodrang Nature Park. Here you can see the 169 feet bronze statue of Buddha Dordenma, Vajra Throne Buddha. It is one of the largest statue’s of the Buddha in the world. Finally, head to Tango Monastery. Located 14 kilometres to the North of Thimphu, the Tango Monastery was founded by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo in the 13th century. The elegant building clings to the verdant hillside. Consisting of six temples, each with unique architecture, it is a beautiful example of the aesthetic culture of Bhutan.
After breakfast, you will take a car to Punakha and stop at the Dochula Pass for a coffee break. Here, you can see the 108 stupas (sacred structures) built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. On a clear day, you will have breathtaking vistas of the Himalayas. Later, you will hike to the Divine Madman’s Monastery - Chimi Lhakhang, known for its fertility shrine. Continue on to Punakha Dzong, a spectacular Bhutanese creation located at the confluence of Po Chu and Mo Chu Rivers. It was the religious and administrative centre of Bhutan until 1950 when the capital moved to Thimphu. You will also visit the nearby suspension bridge, the longest bridge in Bhutan. In the evening, return to Thimphu.
Today visit Paro Dzong, an impressive example of Bhutanese architecture, both elegant yet intimidating. It was once a meeting hall for the National Assembly and now houses a monastic body and government offices. Ta Dzong is equally beautiful and acts as the National Museum. Take your time to appreciate the beautiful culture housed in what was once a 17th-century watchtower, and still offers panoramas of the Bhutanese landscape. In the afternoon, you will visit the auspicious Kyichu Lhakhang, a sacred monument pinning down the left foot of a treacherous ogress, which is built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Tonight you will stay in Paro.
Today is a little more strenuous as you take a hike to see one of Bhutan’s most iconic sights: The Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Clinging to a cliff about 3000 meters above the Paro Valley, this spectacular building is truly a sight to behold. The climb to the viewpoint will take about 1.5 hours. You will have a chance to stop here for refreshments at the viewpoint cafe, then walk a further hour up to the monastery itself. Relax in a herbal hot stone bath at the end of the day to soak away any tension.
Begin your day with a trip to the Haa Valley, where you will find Meri Puensum, three small mountains symbolizing Rigsum Gonpo: Jampelyang (Manjushri), Chana Dorje (Vajrapani) and Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara). You will drive past the mighty Chele-la Pass where you will admire the breathtaking view of Mt. Jomolhari on a clear day. You will have a chance to explore the remote village, 30 minutes walk away, and Lhakhang Karpo (the White) and Lhakhang Nagpo (the Black) temples. Here you can be mesmerised by tales of how the mountains were formed. You will also be walking in the footsteps of many of the people of Haa who have traditionally made pilgrimages here.
Head onwards on more adventures or head home with memories you will cherish for a lifetime!
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* All meals
* All activities
* Transport and other transfers
* Royalty fee and governmental taxes, etc
- Personal expenses