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
Buddha Point (Approx. 2 hrs round trip)
- Buddha point, the world’s largest sitting Buddha, an immense statue housing a monastery and visitors center. Enjoy a stunning view of Thimphu city from this point.
Later in the evening ride back to the capital City to visit Memorial Chorten (Approx. 1 Hr)
- 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”.
Evening: Free to explore Thimphu town
Overnight in Thimphu
Day 02: Thimphu Sightseeing
After breakfast start riding 15km (45mins) from capital city to Cheri Goemba (monastery). On the way stop in Dechencholing, where you can visit Pangri Zampa monastery (Astrology learning centre) and then ride through to Beygana for your hike to the Goemba.
- 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 the visit ride back to capital city for the lunch. Post lunch visit the following places:
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
In the evening take a leisurely ride to Sangaygang (Approx 2hrs)
- Located North West of the Thimphu Valley is the popular spot taking a walk and jog up hills from the base area through the blue pines. It’s around miles drive from the Thimphu valley. The Places has the top hillswhich give a clear picturesque view of the entire Thimphu valley in a nutshell and the feeling from there is just fantastic
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.
En-route Hike to Lungchutse (Dochula)
Distance: 4 hrs approximately (round trip)
Altitude: 3600mts / 11811ft
Elevation Gain: 550 meters
Difficulty level: Medium
The hike starts from the large chorten in the middle of Dochula. The trail slowly climbs a ridge through a forest of hemlock, birch and rhododendrons until reaching an open meadow. Again, you will enter into forest of moss-covered rhododendrons, gigantic hemlocks, junipers, and bamboo undergrowth. A small trail leads you the last 160 ft / 50 meters past a row of fluttering prayer flags up to Lungchutse Temple. On clear days, the view from the temple is fantastic.
You will have a 360° view of the Himalayas including views of Jumolhari, Masang Gang Zongophu Gang and Gangkhar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan and the highest unclimbed peak in the world. You can also see Gasa Dzong, as a tiny white speck in a sea of green almost 50 kilometres to the north
After lunch drive to Punakha and 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. Evening: Free to explore Punkaha Town.Overnight in Punakha
Day 04: Punakha – Sightseeing
Morning: Khamsum Yulley Temple Hike (45mins – 1hr)
- This Chorten is 30 meters (100 feet) tall and can be seen in the distance when driving or walking up from the footbridge towards the lodge. The three-leveled chorten took eight and a half years to build and was consecrated in 1999. It is dedicated to the 5th King and serves to protect him as well as the country. It is therefore filled with every form of colorful protector imaginable.
After lunch: 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 Punahka 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+ are chosen for our white water 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, you 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 and it’s an extra $190 – 200 per boat.
Towards early evening visit the following places:
- 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.
Overnight in Punakha
Day 05: Punakha – Haa
Distance: 70km (2.5hrs)
Elevation: 1,140mts / 3,740ft
Haa is the smallest Dzongkhag in the country. This tiny region is one of the most beautiful and isolated areas in the kingdom, adorned with pristine alpine forests and tranquil mountain peaks. Haa is home to a number of nomadic herders
After breakfast in the hotel you will be driven till Chelela Pass (Approx. 1.5 hrs)
- Chele-la Pass stands at elevation of 3,988 meters. It is also marked by hundreds of prayer flags fluttering in the wind. Here, visitors can see cascades of wild roses; purple and yellow primulas; and swathes of deep blue iris covering the forest floor. The top of the pass bloom with rhododendrons in a variety of colors-pale pink, deep pink, burnt orange, mauve, white and scarlet. On the clear day, you can be able to see high peak of Jomolhari Mountains.
Here onwards drive ride till Haa Valley (Approx. 1.5 hrs). After reaching check into hotel and visit the following places:
Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple)
- It was established in the 7th century by Tibetan king Songtsen Gempo in his mission to build 108 monasteries in one day. A legend says that a white and a black bird flew from Tibet and sat on the place where the Lhakang now stands.
Lhakhang Nakpo (Black temple)
- This monastery was established in the 7th century by King Songtsen Gampo in his mission to build 108 monasteries in one day. It is situated towards the north of Lhakhang Karpo.The temple was named Nagpo (black) as it was built on the site where the black pigeon landed.
Evening: Free to explore Haa Town
Overnight in Haa
Day 06: Haa – Paro
After breakfast following the same route drive till Chelela Pass and hike to Chelela
Max Altitude: 4000m
Min Altitude: 3500m
Difficulty Level: Easy
Your hike along the ridge will join the ancient trail which was used by people during the olden times. For the first one hour, you will hike towards the sky burial at an elevation of around 4200m; the trail ascends through the ridge with the views of Paro and the Haa valley with the background of the distant Himalayas.
After the visit to the sky burial, the trail descends gradually for around 45mins through the forest of rhododendron, fir, hemlock etc. leading to the Nunnery of Kila Goemba, nestled in a craggy patch on the mountainside and perched precariously along the rock face.
Lunch will be arranged near the Kila Goenpa Nunnery or you can have in the restaurant at Paro if you wish too. After lunch visit Kila Goenpa Nunnery
- This small nunnery is home to many nuns who have renounced their worldly life and have chosen to lead the path to enlightenment. Kila Goemba is historically significant as a sacred meditation site. Many renowned Buddhist saints have come here to find peace and seclusion. The main temple houses ancient statues of Chenrezig (Compassion Buddha) and Guru Rimpoche among others. The temple itself is surrounded by numerous meditation huts and many hidden caves lie inside the rocky cliffs.
After visiting the nunnery than ride back to Paro (2hrs). After reaching check into the hotel and relax for the day or you can leisurely explore Paro Town if you are not too tired
Overnight in Paro
Day 07: Paro – Hike to Taktshang, Tiger’s Nest (3-4hrs)
After breakfast drive to Taktshang base where your hike begins
- Bhutan’s most scenic icon or the most important 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. You can visit three different temples inside the main Takshang complex. Riding Ponies provided upon request.
After lunch, ride on a bicycle till Paro Town. En-route visit Kyichu Lhakhang (Approx. 1hr)
- 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.Evening: In the evening leisurely ride towards the ruins of Drugyel Dzong (Optional)
- This Dzong, which was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders, was destroyed by fire in 1951. On a clear day, this point offers bird’s eye view of the Mt. Chomolhari (7329m). Explore the village just below the dzong and get a feel of rural Bhutan.Overnight in Paro
Day 08: Departure
After breakfast, transfer to Paro Airport for departure