Bhutan Insight Tour-8 days
Thimpu City Square
Punakha Dzong, the ancient capital of Bhutan
Tiger Monastery Bhutan
Join our 8-day Bhutan Cultural Tour - one of the most exotic places on earth in the midst of the Himalaya mountains and Buddhist tradition. Enjoy Bhutan's mesmerizing and unspoiled cultural and natural grandeur - a country full of curiosities. This introductory package gives you cultural and natural exposure to Bhutan's rugged terrain and steep mountain valleys. Visit the monasteries, dzongs, temples, chortens and museums. A predominantly Buddhist country, Bhutan fiercely guards its traditional mode of life from outside influence. Bhutan retains the religious tradition of Tantric Mahayana Buddhism, the only country in the world following that variety of Tibetan Buddhism. Besides the unique Bhutanese culture, you will also experience breathtaking views various Himalaya mountains.
Enjoy strolling through the traditional market place on the open air to see the variety of food of the country, including basket upon basket of fiery chilies, fresh cheese, and other seasonal fruits and vegetable. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. Discover the religious festivals that are unique to each district. And also have firsthand experience on how proud Bhutanse people are for their own way of life - from their relationship with nature to religion, language and even clothing.
Our tour starts at the Paro Valley. Visit Thimphu, the capital city and then drive on to the central Bhutan across picturesque Valley. We also visit Punakha with unique Bhutanese culture and lifestyle. An excursion into the Gangtey Valley will pass through dense forests of fir, hemlock, oak trees and rhododendrons. Moreover, enjoy the hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery - Bhutan's most famous monastery situated at a height of above 3120 m/ 10200 ft.
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.
= USD 2590 per person 3-12 people
= USD 2240 per person ( Note! above price valid until end of 2014 )
What Is Included
- All meals, tea & snacks
- Government approved A and B category hotels on twin sharing basis
- All airport pick up and drop
- Ground transport in comfortable private vehicle
- Experienced English speaking guides and local staff
- All city tour with permits, entrance fees for museums and monuments
- Government taxes
- Bhutan Visa Fee
What Is Not Included
- Airfare to/from Paro, Bhutan
- Items of personal nature (personal gear, telephone calls, beverages, internet , laundry etc.)
- Trip cancellation and Medical/Evacuation Insurance
- Tips for Staff (guide and driver )
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 your booking, we provide grade A hotels and B category hotels in Bhutan Insight Tour-8 days. We use A category hotel in Paro and Thimpu. We use Hotel Tashi Namgay Resort or similar in Paro and Hotel Migmar or similar in Thimpu. We use Meri Puensum Resort or similar (B category) in Punakha. Since the Bhutan Cultural Tour is designed on twin sharing basis, you share room with your fellow traveler but in case you prefer single rooms we charge USD 490 as single supplement.
All your meals 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.
Day to Day Itinerary
Arrive Paro (2250m / 7382ft):
Crossing over the Himalaya Mountains, the flight to Paro offers spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. On arrival you will be greeted by the guide at the airport and transferred to the hotel. After lunch, visit the Ta Dzong, once a fortified lookout tower that is now the National Museum. Then walk down the trail to visit the Rinpung Dzong meaning “fortress of the heap of jewels". Next visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. Our next visit would be the Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. On a clear day you can see Mount Jumolhari, Bhutan's second-highest mountain at 7,314 meters. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Paro-Thimphu (2320m/7610 ft): 1 hr/54 km
After breakfast, we drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. The road leads through the Paro Valley to the confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers at Chunzom (confluence). Three different styles of Chortens adorn the confluence. A short way beyond, on the left is the Tachogang Lhakhang built in 15th century by Thangthong Gyelpo, a trader who first introduced Iron Bridges in Bhutan. Check into your hotel on arrival. In the afternoon, sightseeing in Thimphu includes, Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), Changangkha Monastery, Takin Reserve, School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school) and Nunnery Temple. After a relaxing lunch, we visit Folk Heritage Museum, traditional paper factory and majestic Tashichhodzong and giant Buddha statue on a hill overlooking Thimphu which is reputed to be the largest Buddha Shakymuni in the world. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
In the morning, we visit the busy Weekend Market at the bank of Thimphu River where people from nearby villages come to sell their farm products. Stroll through the market to see the variety of food of the country, including basket upon basket of fiery chilies, fresh cheese, and mangoes. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. It's fun to wander the aisle, taking in the bustling atmosphere of the market. Perhaps this market scene offers wonderful opportunity for photographs and to mingle with local people. A few minutes' walk towards south of Weekend Market is the Changlingmethang Archery Range. Perhaps you will come across people playing archery. Afternoon will be spent visiting different handicraft shops and shopping. In the evening, you can stroll through Thimphu town and absorb the lifestyle of the people. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
Thimphu-Punakha (1300m / 4265 ft): 76km/3hrs
After breakfast this morning, enjoy the scenic drive to Punakha with a stop for tea at Dochu La (3,100 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass, drive downhill through the forests of rhododendron, fir and hemlock. We arrive at Punakha after traversing through rice field and along the bank of Punakha River. After lunch, visit the Punakha Dzong, which is stunningly situated in between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship. Overnight hotel in Punakha.
Excursion to Gangtey (2900m/9512 ft, To & fro 170km/5 hrs):
After breakfast, we drive to Gangtey. En route visit the Wangdue Dzong perched on a ridge at the bend of a river. Continuing on to Gangtey, you will pass through dense forests of fir, hemlock, oak trees and rhododendrons. On taking the diversion from the high-way, and crossing a small pass blanketed with dwarf bamboos, you will arrive at Gangtey. From Gangtey, you can see the picturesque Black Mountain range as well as Phobjikha Valley, the winter habitat of the black-necked cranes. You will visit Gangtey Goenpa, the only Nyingmapa Monastery in western Bhutan; RSPN Education Center and crane roosting places. Later in the day, you will drive back to Punakha. Overnight hotel in Punakha.
Punakha-Paro: 4 hr/140 km
Today, we return to Paro. On the way, stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to the Devine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. If you wish, receive the blessing from the Lama’s wooden phallus! Continue driving to Paro. On reaching Dochula, visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is the only of its kind in the country with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. You will stop in Thimphu for lunch. Later in the afternoon, you will drive to Paro. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (54Km/1 hr):
Today you will hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery. It is absolutely breathtaking, situated at 10,400 feet and perched on the edge of a steep cliff about 3,000 feet above the Paro Valley. Guru Rinpoche (the great Buddhist spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch is served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up on the mountain. Explore the monastery and hike back to the valley floor. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Drive to airport for 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 taking breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport in the morning depending on the flight schedule and your destination. Our representative will bid you farewell.
Equipment and Packing List
While packing for Bhutan Insight Tour certain equipments are essential.
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Trip Start Dates
We will organize this trip on the dates requested by you. Please contact us for your customized departure date.
You can join our Bhutan Tour Program as per your convenience. Spring season (March to June) and in the autumn season (September to November) are the best time to visit Bhutan. The months of April and May offer the natural grandeur of rhododendron blooms. The spring season also observes the biggest festivals of Bhutan.
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.