|Group size:||1-12 people||Max-Altitude:||3180m/10433ft|
|Arrival on:||Paro, Bhutan||Departure from:||Paro, Bhutan|
Bhutan Tour with Bumthang is an excellent way to tour Bhutan’s cultural heritages and explore its landscape with several hikes. We begin our 8-day tour with a drive to Thimphu and while there, we tour Changangkha Lhakhang (temple) and the National Memorial Chorten. We also travel to several Bhutanese townships like Punakha, Phobjikha and Bumthang and visit rich cultural landmarks. We hike to Chimi Lhakhang on the second day. Our trip also includes hiking in two different places while in Bumthang, which is a beautiful town with quite a few monasteries, temples and dzongs (fortresses). We end our ‘Bhutan Tour with Bumthang’ with a hike to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Paro.
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.
We visit Changangkha Lhakhang (temple) and the National Memorial Chorten in Thimphu before driving to Punakha. If there is time, we also visit the Folk Heritage Museum. After lunch, we begin our drive to Punakha. 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.
From Punakha we drive to Phobjikha via Wangdue Phodrang. On our drive, we can admire the beautiful tropical trees and plants along with small villages scattered far from each other. We also cross Pele La pass at 3,300m. We then take a road that leads us to Phobjikha. The valley is wide and beautiful with Gangtey Gompa, ideally located on a hill overlooking the valley. Phobjikha valley is also the winter habitat of black-necked cranes that migrate from Tibet in early November and remain in the valley until the second week of March. Overnight in Phobjikha.
We visit the Gangtey Monastery in the morning then after breakfast begin our drive to Bumthang, which is the cultural heartland of Bhutan. We drive over Pele La pass once again and descend through meadows, valleys and a few villages admiring the beautiful Bhutanese countryside. We pass through Chendeji Chorten which was built in the 15th century in a Nepalese architectural style. We stop at Trongsa for lunch and also visit its dzong before continuing our drive to Bumthang. Overnight in Bumthang.
We begin this day with a hike to the Tamshing Monastery which is Bhutan’s oldest monastic school. We also visit several cultural heritages of Bumthang including Kurjey Lhakhang which is believed to house the imprint of a demon’s body which was slayed by Guru Rinpoche. We also tour Jambay Lhakhang and Jakar Dzong. After lunch, we embark on our second hike today, the hike to Thangbi Valley and, if we are lucky, we can witness the Yak Festival. Overnight in Bumthang.
As our flight nears Paro, we can enjoy amazing views of the Himalayas including the sacred Chomolhari and Jichu Drake peaks. We visit Paro’s several landmarks including Rinpung Dzong, meaning ‘fortress of the heap of jewels’. Next, we visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. From here we will be taken to the Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. From here, on a clear day we can see Mount Chomolhari, Bhutan's second-highest mountain, at 7,314meters. Overnight in Paro.
Note: Bumthang flight operates only on specific date(s) and month(s).
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.
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.
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.