Set amid the beautiful scenery of the Himalayas, the small mountain kingdom of Bhutan is a unique destination which retains a distinct character largely untouched by the modern world. On this luxury Bhutan tour, you will immerse yourself in authentic Buddhism and discover its impact on this unique and untouched country, witness the magnificence of the famed “Tiger’s Nest” monastery with a spectacular hike to the clifftop, visit local marketplaces with authentic local arts and crafts and so much more. Includes six nights of luxury hand-picked accommodation, daily breakfast, daily lunches and nightly dinners, local expert guides, Bhutan visa fee, private luxury airport transfers, private luxury transportation throughout the tour, exclusive insider experiences and more.
The Sights – Experience the magnificence of the famous “Tiger’s Nest” and surround yourself with the natural beauty of the Himalayas
Geographically, Bhutan is nestled between China and India but with a population under a million, the country feels something of an anomaly. Famous for its sacred Buddhist sites, Thimpu will be your first stop. The capital of Bhutan is a unique fusion of modern development and ancient traditions. Discover local marketplaces selling traditional crafts and Bhutanese arts, witness the beauty of the 16th-century Pangri Zampa—Bhutan’s oldest monastery—where you’ll have the unique opportunity to interact with local monks, tickle your tastebuds with lunch at a local eatery and experience breathtaking views over Thimpu Valley from Buddha Point – which is also home to the largest Buddha statue in the country.
Journey through dense forest, past views of the towering Himalayan peaks and over the high mountain pass of Dochula to Punakha. Visit one of the oldest villages in Bhutan—in a secluded corner of quaint Punakha Valley-fringed by terraced rice, maize and buckwheat fields and be transported back in time with traditional architecture and an old-world way of life that remains today. Hike through fields of chilies, cabbages and other vegetables and witness the grand structures and temples of Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang nunnery.
Witness the splendor behind Paro Taktsang (a.k.a “Tiger’s Nest)”—one of the most famous Bhutanese monasteries—as it sits peacefully perched on the edge of a cliff, floating 900 meters above Paro Valley. A hike to the top of the cliff is rewarded with a viewing of arguably the country’s most sacred site, visited by all Bhutanese at least once.
Plus, extend your tour with four exciting nights in Nepal (Add on Luxury Kathmandu Trip) where you’ll discover the regal beauty of famous Kathmandu, the spectacular mountainous backdrop of Nagarkot. Throughout the trip Luxury Holidays Nepal offers Luxury accommodation and Luxury Transportation.
Welcome to the mountain kingdom of Bhutan. On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met and transferred to your luxury hotel located in the heart Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan. The center of government, religion and commerce, Thimphu is a unique city with an unusual mixture of modern development fused with ancient traditions. With a population of about 90,000, it is perhaps still the world’s only capital city without a traffic light.
Later you’ll take an exploratory walk around the local market place located a few minutes’ walks from the hotel, where you’ll visit the local craft bazaar, offering up an abundance of genuine Bhutanese arts & crafts.
After breakfast, you will drive to visit the oldest monastery in Bhutan. Built-in the 16th century, Pangri Zampa is now a monastic school where Buddhist student monks learn Lamaism and astrology based on Buddhist philosophy.
You will continue your sightseeing in Thimphu valley with a visit to the Simply Bhutan Heritage Museum, offering an excellent display of ancient Bhutanese architecture which is slowly being lost to modernization. Another highlight is a visit to the Institute for Zorig Chusum. Commonly known as Arts & Crafts School or Painting School, the Institute offers a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan where you can see students learning the various skills.
After lunch in one of Thimphu’s local eateries, you will continue your drive to Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang) – home to the largest statue of Buddha in the country and offering breathtaking views of the Thimphu Valley. Later you will visit Tashichho Dzong: “Fortress of the Glorious Religion”. This is the center of government and religion, and presently houses the throne room and offices of the king. Built-in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in the 1960s in a traditional Bhutanese manner – without nails or architectural plans.
After an early breakfast enjoy a dramatic drive (approx. 5 hours including scenic stops) over the high mountain pass of Dochu La (3,080m) to Punakha passing through dense forests of oak and rhododendron trees.
The journey continues over the 3,080m mountain pass where on a clear day, the towering Himalayan peaks are clearly visible. The highway follows the scenic Dang Chhu before climbing through forests where you will stop briefly at Dochula Pass to take in the grand vista of eastern Himalayan Range.
On arrival in Punakha, you will have time to rest before visiting Punakha Dzong, built strategically at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers in 1637, by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Serving as the religious and administrative center of the region, Punakha Dzong has played an important role in Bhutan's history.
Following this, you will visit the nearby Rinchengang Village, one of the oldest villages in Bhutan. Here you will experience traditional architecture and delightful local people in a remote corner of sleepy Punakha Valley, where an ancient way of life has remained unchanged for generations. The majority of the population of Bhutan continues to live as it has for centuries – in small isolated farms and hamlets, surrounded by terraced fields of rice, maize, and buckwheat.
Early morning, take a short hike up through fields of chilies and cabbages to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, which was built to remove negative forces and promote peace, stability and harmony in the changing world. The Chorten dominates the upper Punakha Valley with commanding views across the Mo Chhu River and up towards the mountainous peaks of Gasa and beyond.
After lunch, embark on an excursion to the village of Talo – located just above Punakha Valley. Built on a plateau with majestic views across the valley, this charming village showcases beautiful farmhouses where flowers, corn and sweet peas are grown in abundance.
Following this you will visit the Nalanda Buddhist College - locals call this place ‘Dalayna’ while the monks refer it as ‘Nalanda Buddhist College’. Spend the afternoon enjoying buttered tea adorned by a spectacular view and interactions with local monks.
You will also take a short drive to the hilltop overlooking the vast paddy fields and vibrant orchards, to Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang nunnery. Perched on a ridge amid pine trees and overlooking valleys of Punakha and Wangduephodrang, gleams the magnificent structures of Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang (Temple) which houses a 14-foot bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara (Chenrigzig Chagtong chentong) as well as other examples of statues made entirely by local Bhutanese artisans.
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed for a walking excursion to Chimi Lakhang. Situated on a hillock in the center of the valley, it is also known as the temple of fertility where locals travel to pray to be blessed with children.
Afterward drive (approx. 5 hours) back to Paro, descending back down from Dochula, and following the road back up the dramatic Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu river valleys. En route, you will visit Simtokha Dzong, the place of profound tantric teaching, which now houses a school for the study of the Dzongkha language.
Upon arrival at Paro, check into the hotel. The beautiful valley of Paro encapsulates within itself a rich culture, scenic beauty and centuries of myths and legends. It is home to many of Bhutan's oldest temples and monasteries.
After some time to rest, you will visit Ta Dzong, originally built as a watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique Thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armor, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. Following this you will take a short walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, directly translating to “Fortress of the Heap of Jewels”, which has a long and fascinating history. Along with the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as the old man of long life and scenes from the life of Milarepa.
After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, you will travel to Satsam Chorten, stopping en route at the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.
On arrival at the trail-head point, embark on a walking excursion to Taktshang Monastery – one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognized as a most sacred place, visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime.
Enjoy lunch at the base of Tiger’s Nest before returning to the hotel for a well-earned rest.
Note: Due to its location, the only way to get to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery is by hiking. There are no vehicles that make the drive up to the monastery. On average it takes between four and five hours to do the round-trip hike, a reasonable level of fitness is required.
After a few days of fun and excitement, the day to bid farewell has arrived. Our representatives will escort you to the Paro International Airport as per your flight time.
After the wonderful opportunity to organize this tour for you we wish you a safe and happy journey ahead.
Hotels in Bhutan are approved and classified by the government as grade A, B and C. These government approved hotels are equivalent to 3-4-5 star hotels elsewhere. Based on availability at the time of booking, you will be accommodated in A grade hotels in Paro, Thimpu and Punakha.
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 flight's 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 for 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.