Bhutan, the Last Shangri-La – Cultural Tour & Trek

Upcoming fixed-departure trips: 20 - 26 Apr 2019  & 27 Apr - 3 May 2019

 

A trip to the last Shangri-La is a must on any serious travel buff's bucket list. This beautiful Himalayan kingdom that was hitherto inaccessible to the outside world opened its doors to low-impact, high-value tourism not too long ago. Bhutan fiercely guards its ancient cultural heritage, religion, traditional arts and crafts and natural heritage.

 

You are transported into a different land, in a different era, the moment you land in the Land of the Thunder Dragon, as Bhutan is called. Here is a country that values Gross National Happiness (GNH) over GDP. There is so much to pack into a trip to Bhutan! Lovely treks in the lap of the Himalayas, Buddhist monasteries and goembas, interesting museums, festivals, wildlife sanctuaries and much more.

 

Discover Gross Personal Happiness on this 7 days/6 nights trip! While you get to see the best of the sights in Thimphu and Paro, you will also go on a 1/2 day's hike from Thimphu as well as a 2 days/1 night hike to Bumdra and Takhtsang monasteries. Learn about Bhutanese culture, their religion, take in the panoramic vistas of the Bhutanese Himalayas, visit quaint temples and monasteries and sample local cuisine. You will do all this while staying for 5 nights in comfortable 3-star hotels and 1 night in a semi-luxury camp.

 

Difficulty Level Medium
Season March to June, Sep to Dec
Duration Trip Duration: 7 days/6 nights
Trek Duration: 3 days
Max Elevation 3800 m (Bumdrak)
Region Western Bhutan
Costing For a group size more than 12: Adults: Rs. 39,000, Children under 12 yrs: Rs. 30,000

For smaller groups, contact us for a quote

Inclusions Ground transport from Paro airport on Day 1 to Paro airport on Day 7, five nights in 3-star hotels, one night's camping, food, entry fees to museums and monasteries, guiding charges.

 

Day Start Finish Description
Day 1 Paro airport
Thimphu
After collecting our bags, we shall drive to the capital city of Thimphu situated about 45 km away. Enroute, we shall stop at Tachogang Lhakhang to visit one of the famous iron chain bridges built in the 14th century. In the afternoon, we shall visit the view point of Tashichoe Dzong the beautiful fortress which houses most of the Bhutan government’s offices and the king’s throne room. Later in the evening, we will have some time for strolling in the marketplace and do some shopping
Day 2 Thimphu
Thimphu
The morning session includes a hike to Cheri monastery in the outskirts of Thimphu. The afternoon session includes visits to Bhutan Post, the folk heritage museum and the 'Big Buddha'.
Day 3 Thimphu
Punakha After breakfast, we will drive to Punakha via Dochula pass (3100 meters) . We will stop at Dochula to catch panoramic views of the eastern Himalayas, if the weather is clear. we shall visit the impressive Punakha dzong. From there, we will also do a short hike to the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan, which is across Po Chu. Those interested can also indulge in some adventure, can do white-water rafting on Mo Chu.
Day 4 Punakha Paro After breakfast, we shall set off for Paro.The day's sight-seeing includes a tour of Paro and see some of the popular sights such as the Paro Dzong and the national museum. In the afternoon, we shall visit Kyichu Lakhang, one of the oldest temples of Bhutan. In the evening, it's time for some souvenir shopping in Paro town.

 

Day 5 Paro  Bumdra After an early breakfast, we drive for about 20 minutes to reach Sang Choekor monastery (2800 m) the starting point of the trek to Bumdra.
The first 2 hours of the trail passes through thick vegetation draped with lichen. Then we reach a clearing from which one can enjoy commanding views of Paro and Do Chhu valleys. Another couple of hours from here brings us to Choe Tse Lakhang, which is our stop for lunch.
The trail then ascends steeply for about 20 minutes but is fairly flat after that until Bumdra, and passes through a juniper forest with dwarf rhododendrons.
Day 6 Bumdra Tiger's Nest  After breakfast, we shall visit the ancient Bumdrak monastery  at 3800 m just beyond the campsite. Optionally one can hike further up to the 'open burial' ground (4050 m) beyond the monastery. This stiff climb should take take about 45 min but we will be suitably rewarded with splendid views of snow-capped mountains, including Mt. Jhomolhari.

 

Day 6 Tiger's Nest Paro The trail from Bumdra monastery to Tiger's Nest descends steeply through an ancient forest of juniper, hemlock, fir and blue pine. A 2.5 hour descent takes us to Zangto Perli monastery at 3260 m. A further hour's descent through an oak and rhododendron forest takes us to Takhtsang Lhakhang or Tiger's Nest. This awe-inspiring temple, perched atop a cliff that rises 900 m from the floor of the Paro valley, was built in the 17th century. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche flew to this place on the back of a tigress. He meditated here for 3 months.
After visiting the temple and stopping for a well deserved lunch, we shall descend down for about 45 minutes to reach the floor of the Paro valley.
Day 7 Paro Your city Our Bhutan trip comes to an end! Pack up after breakfast and head to the airport to catch a flight.