The Last Shangri-La Tour-7 days

 
  • national nemorial chorten in thimphu
  • Monastery in Punaka
  • Punakha
  • Bhutan Culture
  • Punakha-Dzong-(Palace-of-Great-Happiness)
  • Bhutan Culture


Trip Introduction

The Last Shangri-La Tour is our effort to introduce you to the rich cultural heritage of this tiny Himalayan kingdom also known as the last Shangri-La. Our week-long tour in Bhutan begins with sightseeing in the country’s capital, Thimphu, where we visit the Memorial Chhorten, mini- zoo, National Institute of Traditional Medicine, folk heritage museum and the majestic Tashichho Dzong (fortress). Next, we travel to Punakha via Dochu La pass (3,100m) and tour the Chimi Lhakhang temple on the way. We also visit the Punakha Dzong and explore the amazing Gangtey village before heading to Paro. In the beautiful Paro valley, we visit Rinpung Dzong and Kichu Lhakhang temple. Our cultural journey ends with a hike to the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery which is a perfect way to end one's journey in the last Shangri-La.

Important Note :
Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Himalayan Glacier. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.

Trip Cost

1-2 people = USD 2220 per person
3-12 people = USD 1920 per person
(Note: Above price valid until end of 2015)

What Is Included

  • Bhutanese visa fee
  • Pickups and drops from hotels and airports
  • Government approved A and B category hotels on twin- shared basis
  • All meals, tea and snacks
  • Transportation in comfortable private vehicle(s)
  • English speaking, trained and experienced local guide and staff
  • All entrance and permit fees for visits to monuments and museums
  • Company services and all required Bhutanese government taxes/royalties

What Is Not Included

  • Airfare for international flights to and from Bhutan
  • Items of a personal nature (personal gear, telephone calls, beverages, internet, laundry, etc.)
  • Trip cancellation and medical/evacuation insurance
  • Tips for staff (guide and driver)
  • Travel insurance

Accommodations

Hotels in Bhutan are approved and classified by the government as grade A, B and C. These government approved hotels are equivalent to3-4 star hotels elsewhere. Based on availability at the time of booking, we will be accommodated in A- grade hotels in Paro and Thimphu and a B- grade hotel in Punakha. We use Hotel Migmar in Thimphu, Meri Puensum Resort in Punakha and Tashi Namgay Resort in Paro. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost USD 420.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 01:  Arrival in Paro then transfer to Thimphu (2,320m/7,610ft): 54 km, 1 hour

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.

Day 02:  Sightseeing 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.

Day 03:  Thimphu to Punakha (1,250m/4,100ft): 76 km, 2 - 3 hours

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.

Day 04:  Excursion to Gangtey: 164 Km, 5-6 hours

In the morning, we explore Wangduephodrang. The nearby villages are known for their slate and stone carvings. We then drive through dense oak and rhododendron forests to Gangtey, a beautiful village surrounded by amazing snow-capped mountains. From here, we enjoy views of the picturesque Black Mountain ranges as well as the beautiful Phobjikha valley, the winter habitat of the black-necked cranes. At this time of the year, we can see cranes that migrate from Tibetan plateaus to escape harsh winter conditions. Gangtey Monastery is perched atop a small hill that rises from the valley floor. We explore Phobjikha villages before driving back to Punakha for an overnight stay.

Day 05:  Punakha to Paro (2,250m/7,382ft): 130 km, 4 hours

After breakfast, we begin our drive to the Paro valley. In Paro, we visit Rinpung Dzong which means “fortress made from a heap of jewels.". We also visit the the Ta Dzong, once a fortified lookout tower but has now been changed into the National Museum. The museum has a wide assortment of ancient paintings, armors, philatelic displays and a “field of Buddhas,” which helps one visualize while meditating. Next, tour Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. Overnight in Paro.

Day 06:  Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery

After breakfast, we hike for 4 to 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 the 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. Overnight in Paro.

Day 07:  Final Departure

Today we bid farewell to the tiny Himalayan Kingdom and her friendly people. Druk Air generally departs in the early morning to avoid adverse weather conditions. Therefore, after breakfast, we will be taken to the airport in the morning for final departure.

Route Map

Route maps are just representation of the trekking routes. This does not represent the exact geographical conditions.Click here for The Last Shangri La Tour route map

Equipment and Packing List

While packing for The Last Shangri-La Tour certain equipments are essential. Please Click here for this trip's comprehensive checklist.

Meals

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.

Best Season

Spring (March to May) and autumn (September and October) are the best time to visit Bhutan. The months of April and May offer the natural grandeur of rhododendron blooms whereas Bhutan observes its biggest festivals during spring. Bhutan can also be visited during summer and winter if one wishes to avoid crowd. However, the summers are wet and winters are cold which might not sit well with everybody.

Trip Start Dates and Price

Check available trip start dates and price for The Last Shangri-La Tour. If the given date is not favorable then please contact us and we will happily customize your trip on dates more appropriate for you.

Additional Information

Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us.

Price From

$ 1920 USD

Trip Code

HGTBT-0131
  • Activities: Cultural and Historical Tours
  • Trip Duration:7 Days
  • Accommodation: Standard hotels
  • Meals:All meals
  • Transportation: Comfortable private vehicle(s)
  • Group Size: Maximum of 12 people
 
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