|Duration:||13 Days||Trip Code:||HGTBT-0155|
|Primary activity:||Cultural and Historical Tours,Multiple Activities||Secondary activity:||Trekking and Hiking,Adventure Sports|
|Group size:||2-12 people||Max-Altitude:||3,770m/12,365ft|
|Country:||Bhutan||Transportation:||Private vehicles (car or 4WD or Hiace)|
|Arrival on:||Paro, Bhutan||Departure from:||Paro, Bhutan|
|Accomodation:||Standard hotels and camping (tents)|
The 'Bhutan Sightseeing, Trekking and Biking Tour' is an adventure that takes us through rich coniferous forests, glacial lakes and beautiful passes up to the dizzying heights offering amazing views of snow-capped mountains. Experience the remarkable Bhutanese countryside via hiking, trekking and mountain biking all at one go. This tour also covers must-see cultural heartlands of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha,Trongsa and the widest valley of Bumthang. We visit Rinpung Dzong, Kichu Lhakhang temple and the National Museum in Paro then hike to the famous Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery the next day. On our 12-day journey we also tour Jele Dzong, Tashichho Dzong and others.
After a short climb, our trail follows a ridge. On a clear day, the views of Mt. Chomolhari and other Himalayan ranges are sensational. Our trail climbs further up for a little while before reaching the Jimilangtsho Lake at 3700m where we have lunch. Then we descend through fir and rhododendron forests and reach Langrithang where we spend the night. Overnight camping.
We walk through fir and rhododendrons forests following a stream and arrive at Tsaluna Monastery (sacred site of Guru Rinpoche from 8th century). Further down, we reach Tsaluna Village, where we can see beautiful farms. We continue walking for a while then drive to Thimphu. In the evening, we can stroll through the streets of Thimphu and get acquainted with the local lifestyle. Overnight in Thimphu.
After breakfast, we enjoy the scenic drive to Punakha with a stop for tea at Dochu La Pass (3,100 meters), where on a clear day we get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass, we drive downhill through rhododendron, fir and hemlock forests. We then pass through rice fields along river banks and reach Punakha. After lunch, we visit Punakha Dzong. Built between 1637-1638, it is the second oldest and the second largest dzong in Bhutan. Overnight in Punakha.
Biking Option: Downhill from Dochula Pass to Punakha valley and round Punakha valley including to and fro 12 km north till Gasa-Damji road head.
Our plan today is to reach Trongsa, the ancestral home of the royal family. The route is along a spectacular winding road, crossing 3,300-meter-high Pele La pass. On the way we get to admire grazing yaks and the general splendor of the Bhutanese landscape. Lunch will be served at Chendebji which has a Chorten built in the Nepalese style with eyes painted at four cardinal points. We check-in to our hotel on arrival. In the evening, we can browse through the Trongsa shops and town. Overnight in Trongsa.
Biking option: The drop from Pele La Pass to Trongsa, a distance of 70km is said to be the longest downhill stretch in the world.
In the morning we visit Trongsa Dzong, a masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. We also tour the Ta Dzong which is a watchtower built to defend this Dzong. We then proceed to Bumthang, the religious heartland of Bhutan. It is a beautiful town with lush valleys and forests. Along the way we stop at a yathra (textile weaving) factory at Chumey, where the yathras are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang. Here, we can even watch some of the weavers at their looms. Check-in to our hotel on arrival. In the afternoon, we can spend the time as per our wish. Overnight hotel in Bumthang.
Biking option: Ride downhill from Yotong La Pass (3,425m) to Getsa. From Getsa we can bike along the valley till Jakar.
Today's sightseeing includes Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the valley; Jambey Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, dating back to the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan; and Kurje Lhakhang, a sacred place where Guru Rinpoche is believed to have left his body imprint on the cave when he was meditating. After the tour, we have lunch then visit Tamshing Lhakhang, a treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings. In the evening, we can visit local shops. Overnight in Bumthang.
Biking option: Bumthang is the largest valley in Bhutan whose wide landscape offers very good opportunity for biking in Bhutan.You can bike in and around Bumthang.
We begin the day by driving to Gangtey with a stop for lunch at Chendebji. After lunch, we continue our drive through dense forests of oak trees and rhododendrons and arrive at Gangtey village, the highest glacial valley in Bhutan. We visit Gangtey Monastery, the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan. It is located on a hill overlooking the entire Phobjikha valley, the winter habitat of the black-necked cranes, who migrate from the Tibetan plateau to escape harsh winter conditions. Overnight camping.
Biking option: Downhill from Yotong La Pass to Trongsa and Pele La Pass to Gangtey.
Phobjikha Valley to Thimphu (2,320m/7,610ft): 127 km, 4-5 hours
This morning, we return to Thimphu. We stop at Wangdue for lunch. On the way, we also visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is a unique with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. In the evening, we explore the streets of Thimpu. Overnight in Thimpu.
Biking option: Downhill from Lawa La Pass to Wangdue and Dochula La Pass to Thimphu.
1-2 people: USD 4450 per person
3-12 people: USD 3980 per person
(Note: Above price is valid until the end of 2015)