Best Tour of Bhutan showcases the diverse Bhutanese landscape and the rich vibrant culture of the kingdom that calls itself the Land of the Thunder Dragon. The 10-day trip combines touring well-known landmarks in Paro, Punakha and Thimphu and gaining some hiking experience by walking in the country’s most spectacular landscapes including the famous Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery. Our next stop will be Bumthang, also believed to be the religious heartland of Bhutan and home to some of its oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. One of the must-see landmarks of the region is the Jambey Lhakhang, a temple built in 659 A.D. by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. In Wangdue we appreciate the beauty of Phobjikha Valley and the beautiful slate and stone carvings of the area. We drive via Dochu La pass to Paro and end our Cultural Heartlands of Bhutan tour with a hike to the much revered Tiger’s Nest Monastery the next day.
As your flight nears Bhutan, you can enjoy amazing views of the Himalayas including the sacred Chomolhari and Jichu Drake peaks. At the airport, you will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier who will take you to your hotel in Thimphu for a good night's sleep. However, if your flight arrives early and you want to visit a few places in Thimphu then it can be arranged too. Overnight in Thimphu.
In the morning, we visit Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), nunnery temple, mini zoo to see Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. Today, we also visit other landmarks of Thimphu including the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Bhutanese traditional painting school, folk heritage museum, the majestic Tashichho Dzong and the traditional paper factory. However, some of the landmarks are closed in the weekends (Saturdays and Sundays). Therefore, if we are in Thimphu during the weekends, we explore the Weekend Market instead. Overnight in Thimphu.
After breakfast, we drive to Punakha via Dochu La Pass (3,100m), where on a clear day we get spectacular views of the Himalayas. Next, we drive downhill through rhododendron, fir and hemlock forests. On the way, we visit Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility temple dedicated to the Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. After reaching Punakha, we also visit Punakha Dzong which was built between 1637-1638 and is the second oldest and the second largest dzong in Bhutan. Overnight in Punakha.
Today we visit the attractive Khansum Yulley Namgyal Chorten which is perched on the top of a foothill and provides outstanding views of the Punakha Valley. Blessed with temperate climate and natural drainage, Punakha valley is the primary crops and fruits producing region in Bhutan. Today, we also visit Ritsha village which is considered as a model rice growing village in western Bhutan and enjoy the local farmers lifestyle and the amazing landscape of rice fields. Overnight in Punakha.
After an early breakfast, we drive to Bumthang, the cultural heartland of Bhutan. The route is along a spectacular winding road, crossing 3,300-meter-high Pele La pass. There is even a chance of spotting yaks on the trail at certain times of a year. We stop in Trongsa for lunch. After which we visit Trongsa Dzong, a masterpiece in Bhutanese architecture. Then, we proceed to Bumthang through lush valleys and hilly forests. Along the way we stop at a yathra (textile weaving) factory, where the yathras are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang, and we can even watch some of the weavers at their looms. Overnight in Bumthang.
Bumthang is a deeply spiritual region of Bhutan and is shrouded in religious legends. Today we visit several temples (Lhakhangs) like Jambay, Kurje and Tamshing. While here we also visit Jakar Dzong which was built in the 15th century as a monastery and the very famous Wangdichholing Dzong which was constructed as a private residence in 1857 for Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyel, a legendary Bhutanese warrior. The dzong (then a palace) was also the birthplace of the first King of Bhutan. Overnight in Bumthang.
We begin the day by touring Bumthang market then drive to Wangdue. With its diverse climate and rich natural resources Wangdue is home to many rare and exotic animals like Red Panda, Tiger and Leopard. There are also a large numbers of rare birds such as the Black Necked Crane, White-Bellied Heron and the Spotted Eagle. One of the most notable sites in the district is Phobjikha Valley. This valley is the habitat of rare and endangered Black Necked Cranes that roost there during their annual migrations. Villages in Wangdue are also known for their slate and stone carvings which we get to admire during our visit. Overnight in Wangdue.
This morning we return to Paro via Dochula Pass. On the way, we visit Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. We stop for lunch at Dochula pass. Here, we visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is the one of its kind in the country with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. We continue our drive to Paro. The evening will be free for us to explore the town. Overnight in Paro.
After breakfast, we hike for 4 -5 hours to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan's most famous monastery situated at 3,180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch will be served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up the mountain. After having explored the monastery, we hike down to the valley floor and return back to Paro for an overnight stay.
Druk Air generally departs in the early morning to avoid adverse weather conditions. Therefore, after having breakfast, we will be transferred to the airport depending on the flight schedule.
Hotels in Bhutan are approved and classified by the government as grade A, B and C. These government approved hotels are equivalent to 3-4 star hotels elsewhere. Based on availability at the time of booking, you will be accommodated in A grade hotels in Paro and Thimpu and B grade hotel in the rest of the places we stay. We use Hotel Amodhara in Thimphu, Meri Puensum Resort in Punakha and Hotel Peling in Bumthang and Mandala Resort in Paro. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. If you want the luxury accommodation of 5 star then contact us for cost detail.
All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are included during your stay in Bhutan. A variety of meals are available in most hotels the most popular being Indian, Chinese, and the more common continental food. Non-vegetarian dishes are generally available in most parts of Bhutan - pork, beef, chicken, and fish. The best advice is to ask the hotel and restaurant to recommend what is fresh and in season.
3. Water Facilities:
We will provide mineral water throughout your trip.
4. Transportation on Journey:
Luxury Holidays will provide you private luxury vehicle throughout your trip.
5. Trip Start Dates:
We will organize this trip on the dates requested by you. Please contact us for your customized departure date.
6. Group Leader during the journey:
Luxury Holidays will facilitate you with the trained travelling guide in your group. The most significant thing that makes this tour enjoyable and memorable is the skilled, experienced, courteous and helpful leader. Our trip will be led by only the best and most professional leaders. All of Luxury Holidays leaders are carefully selected on the basis of their appropriate experience, leadership skills and personal aptitude. With an objective of sustaining local communities, Luxury Holidays only employ local staffs who have adequate knowledge about culture, ecosystem, flora, fauna, geography, and history of their local regions.
7. Payment of the Due Balance:
The rest amount of your trip can be paid in our office after your arrival or via online payment before your arrival in Nepal (Online payment). If you choose to settle your holiday balance by credit card a handling charge of 4% on the outstanding balance is made. There is no handling charge for payment by bank transfer.
If you have purchased a voucher for the tour, please inform us which tour date suits you as soon as you are certain. We need time to purchase your domestic air ticket and make other arrangements so please confirm your spot on a tour at least 2 months prior to the commencement of the tour. Your booking on a particular tour date is subject to availability of spots. Also, please send us your redemption code and voucher number through this link (Voucher Redemption).
9. Bhutan Passport and Visas:
All clients must have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity from the return date. As you are unable to obtain visas to Bhutan you need to send your passport details to Luxury Holidays Nepal for visa applications at least 30 days prior to the departure date. (For more information about Bhutan visas)
10. Bhutan Travel Group Size:
Luxury Holidays don’t require a minimum and maximum size of the group for any private tours to Bhutan. If travelers like to travel in Bhutan with friends, families, colleagues are welcome to choose any tour packages at your convenient time frame. We will be happy to organize a small group like minded people to give them an unforgettable experience and opportunity to interact with each other in a fun-filled environment.
11. Access to Travel Bhutan:
Bhutan’s national flag carrier Druk Air operates flights to Paro from Bangkok, Kolkata, Dhaka, Kathmandu and New Delhi. Travelers can fly to Bhutan International Airport in Paro as per their convenient destinations and departure tax will cost Ngultrum (Nu) 300 about US$ 7 for any destinations.
The overland entry and exit point is from the Indian state of West Bengal into Phuntsholing of southwest Bhutan. Phuntsholing is 4 hrs drive from Bagdogra, the nearest Indian airport, and 6-7 hrs drive from both Gangtok (Sikkim) and Darjeeling. The drive from Phuntsholing to Thimpu capital city of Bhutan takes about 6 hrs.
Note: Flight cost is not included in the trip price. Flights cost are different as per the flights sectors that you are taking. Druk air offer flights from the following location. We recommend you to book your flight to Bangkok as they have an everyday flight to Paro and from Paro as well.
Please let us know which route is more convenient to you, the cost of the flights are as below.
12. Personal Travel Insurance:
We highly recommend you to secure by personal travel insurance. Which should adequate to cover the loss of baggage or other personal belongings, medical expenses, cancellation, helicopter evacuation and other emergency costs, etc. If you do not have travel insurance you must have a credit card with at least a US$5000 balances. (See travel insurance page)
13. Trip Extensions/ Add on trips:
If you like our service and you want to extend your trip, then we can further organize your trip to India and Tibet. And other trekking and activities of Nepal and Bhutan like Everest Trek, Bhutan Trek, Annapurna Trek, Manaslu Trek, Peak Climbing, Nepal Tours, etc.
For more information about Bhutan Please click here.
During the trip; weather, local politics, transport or other factors, that are beyond our control can result in a change of itinerary. It is however very unlikely that the itinerary would be substantially altered. If alterations are necessary the leader will decide what is the best alternative taking into consideration the best interests of the whole group. Where a change does occur, we do everything we can to minimize its effect.