7Nights / 8Days Tour
This popular Bhutan cultural tour provides an in-depth view into the ancient way of life and rich culture that still thrives in Bhutan today through the western valleys of Paro, Haa, Thimphu, Punakha and Wangduephodrang. It is a well paced tour, designed to provide the opportunity to really savour the unique highlights of Bhutan’s western districts which offer diverse mountainous landscapes, a rich Buddhist heritage including monasteries, temples and chortens, historical fortresses and an extremely hospitable people. You will discover the vibrant history of Bhutan visiting the Ta Dzong Museum, Rimpong Dzong with its wooden cantilevered bridge and the infamous Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) in the beautiful Paro Valley. In Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, you will visit the The National Memorial Chorten, 12th century Changangkha Temple and the National Library exhibiting ancient scriptures before crossing the 3050m Dochula Pass with its 108 chortens, numerous prayer flags and spectacular Himalayan views into the sub-tropical Punakha Valley featuring the incredible Punakha Dzong and Chimi Lhakang, temple of the ‘Divine Madman’.
Day 1: Paro Sightseeing – Thimphu
Arrival in Paro international Airport. The representative from Bhutan Everest Tours & Treks will receive you at airport.
After lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum housing many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical, cultural, and religious past. Next, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centres, which were once strategic forts.
Afterwards, drive to the capital, Thimphu (1.5 hours) following the Pachu River.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Thimphu
Day 2: Thimphu Sightseeing
After breakfast, enjoy a full day of sightseeing, including a visit to the National Memorial Chorten., Kuenselphodrang, where the largest statue of sitting Buddha is located. It offers a stunning panoramic view of the whole of the Thimphu city. Changangkha Lhakhang, BBS Tower,
After lunch visit Tashichhodzong (the administrative headquarters of Bhutan) and Craft Bazaar where craftsmen and artisans from across the country display and sell their handicrafts and National Textile Museum.
Dinner and overnight stay in the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 3: Thimphu – Punakha Sightseeing
After breakfast, drive to Punakha. On the way to Punakha, halt in Dochu-La Pass (3140 m) for photography. Visit Royal Botanical Park at LamPelri. Upon reaching Lobesa, visit Chimi Lhakhang – dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley also known as “Divine Madman”. Halt in Lobesa town for lunch.
After lunch, visit to Punakha Dzong – Built in 1637, the dzong continues to be the winter home for the clergy, headed by the Chief Abbott, the Je Khenpo. It is a stunning example of Bhutanese architecture, sitting at the fork of two rivers, portraying the image of a medieval city from a distance. The dzong was destroyed by fire and glacial floods over the years but has been carefully restored and is, today, a fine example of Bhutanese craftsmanship.
Dinner and overnight stay in the hotel in Punakha.
Day 4: Punakha Sightseeing – Thimphu
In the morning drive to Yabesa village and hike to through ricefields and up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by her majesty the queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. Perched high on a hill on the bank of the river, the Chorten houses paintings belonging to Nyingmapa Traditions. After lunch drive back to Thimphu.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Thimhpu.
Day 5: Thimphu – Haa Sightseeing
After breakfast visit drive to Haa the extraordinarily beautiful Haa Valley is newly opened to Tourists. Haa is a picturesque fertile valley ideal for mountain biking and hiking. Visit Lhakhang Karpo and Nagpo (white temple and black temple) that was built in the 8th century by the Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo, after he sent two doves (one black and one white) to find a sacred place to build a monastery. Enjoy strolling around the small and beautiful township of Haa
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Haa.
Day 6: Haa – Paro
After breakfast drive to Paro via Chelela Pass where you will enjoy an panoramic views of the Paro and Haa Valleys as well as Mt Jumolhari and the beautiful Himalayan ranges of Bhutan. From Chelela drive down through a deep pine forest and into the narrow valley of Paro.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day 7: Paro Sightseeing
After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 1.5 to 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometer above the Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to cafeteria). The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He then mediated in a cave there for three months where the monastery was later built. The cave is said to be the origin of Buddhism in Bhutan. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for refreshments before returning to Paro for lunch.
In the afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, an historic monument built by the Shabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop.
On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Kyichu is built in a manner similar to the Jokhang in Lhasa. Inside there is a great golden image of Buddha Shakyamuni.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day 8: Paro
After breakfast drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.