Day 01: Arrival: Paro – Thimphu
Distance: 65km (1.5hrs)
Elevation: 2,250mts / 7,382ft
Paro: It is a broad and beautiful green bowl valley surrounded by jagged Himalayan Mountains and forested hillsides, crossed by beautiful rivers and dotted with medieval fortresses. It was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 AD and has been the legislative, executive, judicial and religious centre for the people of Paro. Also the nations home of National Museum and International Airport. The flight to Paro is considered one of the most spectacular flight experiences in the world. While flying in and out of Bhutan, one can see Mt.Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makula, and other high peaks such as Jumolhari, Jichu Drakey, and Tsrim Gang.
Following a warm greetings from your tour guide and driver, you will be to capital city of Bhutan Thimphu crossing Tamchog monastery connected with iron Bridge en-route.
After reaching check into the hotel for some refreshment and visit the following places
- Built in 2006, world’s largest sitting Buddha housing over Hundreds of Thousands of small statues inside. It is the center of attraction to all the people radiating its splendor in all directions and harbinger of happiness and peace.
- Built in 1974 as a monument for the 3rd king of Bhutan Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It signifies the “Seat of Faith” otherwise “Mind of Buddha”.
- Tashichho Dzong has been the seat of the government since 1952 and presently houses the throne room and offices of the king, the secretariat and the ministries of home affairs and finance. Other government departments are housed in buildings nearby.
Evening: Free to explore Thimphu Town and Bhutanese Authentic Local Crafts Bazaar.
Overnight in Thimphu
Day 02: Thimphu – Sightseeing
Morning: Hike to Cheri Monastery (15km/30-45min)
- It was established in 1620 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The monastery is now a major teaching and retreat center of the Southern Drukpa Kagyu sect. The Monastery serves as the monastic school for study of Buddhist Philosophy, metaphysics, mathematics, poets and many other Buddhist studies. According to legend or history of Bhutan the place was first visited by Padmasambhava in the 8th century. In the 13th century it was visited by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo the Tibetan Lama who first established the Drukpa Kagyu tradition in Bhutan. Zhabdrung spent three years in strict retreat at the monastery and stayed for many years.After lunch visit the following places in the capital city
School of Thirteen Arts & Crafts
- It is the primary center of learning for Bhutanese artists. Depending upon the student’s interest, one can specialize in any of the thirteen arts and crafts, including painting, weaving, sculptures, blacksmithing, embroidery, etc. It is the best place for visitors to learn about traditional Bhutanese arts and crafts.
National Textile Museum
- This museum is worth a visit to learn about Bhutan’s living national art of weaving. The ground floor focuses on cham costumes, while the upper floor introduces the major weaving techniques, styles of local dress and type of textiles made by women and men. There is usually a small group of weavers working their looms inside the shop, which features work from the renowned weaving centre of Lhuentse in northeastern Bhutan
Centenary Farmer’s Market (Open: Thursday – Sunday)
- Take a walk through this market and shop/interact with the local farmers. Thimphu’s new weekend market is by far the largest domestic market for the farmers in Bhutan. Farmers come from all over the country to sell their farm products in the market. With its wide assortment of fresh, organic produce, the Farmer’s Market has become a favorite spot for tourists and a recreational place for people from all walks of life.
Overnight in Thimphu
Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha
Distance: 77km (2.5hrs)
Elevation: 1,200mts / 3,900ft
The journey to Punakha includes the 108 Druk Wangyel Chorten commonly known as Dochula standing at 3150m above the sea level. The Druk Wangyel Chorten was built to celebrate the
Stability and progress brought to Bhutan by His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth king of Bhutan. The pass provides spectacular 360 degree panaromic view of Himalayan Mountain Range.
After checking into hotel do River Rafting
Length: Approximately 7km (2 hrs)
Difficulty: Class III-IV
Flow: 2000 -3000 CFS
Drive to Serigang (30 min) & do Rafting down the scenic Mo Chhu River and end near Punakha Dzong. Mo Chu River originating in the mountainous hills of Northern Bhutan and Po Chu River fed by Glaciers in upper Punakha glacial valley offer tremendous rafting opportunity.
Mo Chu River with 10 Km course with 10 rapids of class 2 – 2+ is chosen for our whitewater rafting packages in Bhutan. After the confluence of these two rivers near Punakha Dzong, the main river is known as Puna Tsang Chu which offers even more exciting river run acknowledged mostly for its culturally stimulating and exciting rapids. During this meticulously organized river rafting trip, your journey through the most scenic and secluded miles featuring incredibly blue water, breath-taking alpine scenery, sighting world’s rarest birds and amazing rapids on the backdrop of striking 17th century Punakha Dzong.
One boat fits 6-8 people
Later in the afternoon visit the following places:
Chimmi Lhakhang (45 min hike round trip)
- Situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, who in the late 15th century used humor, songs and outrageous behavior to dramatize his teachings and due to this also known as “Divine Madman”. Commonly known as fertile temple among and is frequented by childless couples and others alike for blessings.
- The name means Palace of Great Bliss. This Dzong stands magnificently on the spit of land where two rivers (Phochu and Mochu) meet. Punakha Dzong has special significance in Bhutanese history as the place where Bhutan’s first King, Ugyen Wangchuck, was crowned in 1907.
- This Bridge is located near Punakha Dzong and is the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan. The bridge connecting the nearby villages and mountains adjacent gives a magnificent view.
Evening: Free to explore Punakha Town
Overnight in Punakha
Day 04: Punakha – Paro
Distance: 130km (4-5hrs)
Elevation: 1,200mts / 3,900ft
After breakfast drive to Paro. Check into the hotel for some refreshment and visit the following places:
National Museum (Ta Dzong)
- Was built in the 17th century to guard the Paro Rimpong dzong (fortress) below. It was said that the future first king was kept in this tower as a prisoner for a week. It was the third king who restored the Ta-dzong and converted it into the National Museum. The visit to the museum will familiarize you with the Bhutanese way of life and will also acquaint you with the natural and cultural history.
Paro Rimpong Dzong
- Regal and imposing, dzongs are arguably among the most distinctive and important structures in Bhutan. This Dzong is the headquarters of the Paro district, housing the head administrator and staff, as well as a monastic body with about 200 monks. From the dzong, hike down to the bridge and then take a short drive for an opportunity to explore the town of Paro.
- Visit a local farm house for an experience for authentic Bhutanese lifestyle and unparalleled hospitality of a Bhutanese host. Enjoy a meal with the family here (optional)
Evening: Free to explore Paro Town
Overnight in Paro
Day 05: Paro -“Hike to Tiger’s Nest” (approx. 4-5 hr)
Bhutan’s most important and beautiful landmark, Taktshang the Tiger’s nest clings to the side of a steep cliff 300 meters above the Paro valley. The place was first visited by Guru Rimpoche, founder of the tantric form of Buddhism in Himalayan countries, in the 8th century. It was said that he meditated there for about three months. The original temple was built in the 17th century, but tragically, it was consumed by fire in 1998. Like a phoenix, the temple was rebuilt to its fullest glory in 2003. Takshang is considered to be the 10th-holiest site in the Buddhist world. The programs afterward are optional to the guest
Later in the afternoon visit Kyichu Lhakhang
- It is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom dating back to 7th century (the other is Jambey Lhakahng in Bumthang). The lhakhang complex is composed of two temples. The first temple was built by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and in 1968, H.M. Ashi Kesang, the Queen Mother of Bhutan, built the second temple in original pattern.
Overnight in Paro
Day 06: Departure
Following breakfast in the hotel, transfer to Airport for your onward destination