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Bhutan Cultural Tour with 3 days Bumthang Trek-12 days

Punakha Dzong, located at the confluence of the Pho Chhu (father) and Mo Chhu (mother) rivers Punakha Dzong, located at the confluence of the Pho Chhu (father) and Mo Chhu (mother) rivers Tashichho Dzong, built by the first spiritual leader, who also founded the Lho-drukpa sect of Buddhism Tashichho Dzong, built by the first spiritual leader, who also founded the Lho-drukpa sect of Buddhism The ruins of Drugyal Dzong which was built in 1647 to celebrate the Bhutanese victory over the Tibetans The ruins of Drugyal Dzong which was built in 1647 to celebrate the Bhutanese victory over the Tibetans The National Museum of Bhutan The National Museum of Bhutan Great view from the Dochu La pass Great view from the Dochu La pass Jakar Dzong of the Bumthang District in central Bhutan Jakar Dzong of the Bumthang District in central Bhutan

Trip Introduction

On Bhutan Cultural Tour with 3 Days Bumthang Trek, we visit popular Bhutanese landmarks like Tiger’s Nest Monastery, various dzongs (fortresses) in Paro valley and walk through the alleyways and townships in Thimpu. The 12-day journey also provides one the opportunity to get acquainted with the Bhutanese rural life through a three-day Bumthang Trek. Throughout our tour, we also get to enjoy the picturesque high passes, deeply- forested valleys, interesting villages and small townships.

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 4070 per person
3-12 people:
USD 3520 per person

(Note: above price only valid until the end of 2014)

What Is Included

  • Bhutanese visa fee
  • Pickups and drops from hotels and airports
  • All meals, tea and snacks
  • A and B category hotels on twin sharing basis in city and camping during trekking
  • English speaking, trained and experienced guide and local staff
  • All city tour
  • Government taxes, permits, sightseeing entrance fees for museums and monuments
  • Porter services
  • Trekking equipments

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

Accommodations

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 booking, A and B grade hotels will be provided in this trip. We will be accommodated in A grade hotels in Paro and Thimphu and B grade hotel in Punakha,Wangdue and Bumthang/Jakar. We use Tashi Namgay Resort in Paro, Hotel Migmar in Thimpu, Meri Puensum Resort in Punakha, Dragon’s Nest Resort in Wangdue, Hotel Peling in Bumthang/Jakar and camping (tent) during the trek. All accommodations are on twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost USD 630.

Meals

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. The best advice is to ask the hotel and restaurant to recommend what is fresh and in season. For the actual trekking days, Himalayan Glacier will send a wide assortment of food. We will be provided 3 meals a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner at the campsites with evening tea and snacks.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 01:  Arrival and sightseeing in Paro (2,250m / 7,382ft)

As our flight nears Bhutan, we can enjoy amazing views of the Himalayas including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks. At the airport, we will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier who will take us to our hotel. Today, we will visit Rinpung Dzong which was built in 1646 and now houses the district Monastic Body and government administrative offices of Paro Dzongkhag. We will also visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country and Drugyal Dzong, built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. Overnight in Paro.

Day 02:  Paro to Thimphu (2,320m/7,610ft): 54 km, 1 hour, hike to Taktsang Monastery

After breakfast, we hike for 4 -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 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. This afternoon, we will drive to Thimphu, and spend the night.

Day 03:  Sightseeing in Thimphu

In the morning, we visit King's 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 and the radio tower (for a great view of the Thimphu Valley and the Thimphu Dzong). After lunch, we visit other landmarks of Thimpu 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 Thimpu during the weekends, we explore the Weekend Market instead. Overnight in Thimpu. 

Day 04:  Thimphu to Punakha (1,250m/4,100ft): 76 km, 2 - 3 hours

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.

Day 05:  Punakha to Bumthang (2,850m/9,350ft): 214 km, 7 hours

After an early breakfast, we drive to Bumthang, the cultural heartland of Bhutan. The route is along a spectacular winding road, crossing 3,300-meter-high Pele La pass. There is even a chance of spotting yaks on the trail at certain times of a year. We stop in Trongsa for lunch. After which we visit Trongsa Dzong, a masterpiece in Bhutanese architecture. Then, we proceed to Bumthang through lush valleys and hilly forests. Along the way we stop at a yathra (textile weaving) factory, where the yathras are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang, and we can even watch some of the weavers at their looms. Overnight in Bumthang.

Day 06:  Trek to Ngang Lhakhang (2,895m/9,500ft):10Km, 2 - 3 hours, Trek begins

The trek starts from Thangbi Goemba, near the small village of Thangbi and follows the Chamkhar Chu, a river known for trout fish.  After an hour, we will pass the Zangling Lhakhang on the hill to the right.  Stop for lunch at Thangbi Lhakhang.  From here the trail enters the Ngang Yul (Land of the Swan), at the centre of which lies the Ngang Lhakhang (Swan Temple).  In bygone days, the valley was populated by swans, and hence the name Ngang Yul. We will camp tonight at an altitude of 2900m.

Day 07:  Trek to Ugyen Choling (2,895m/9,500ft):18Km, 6 - 7 hours  

We will begin today's trek with a gradual climb to Phephe La Pass at an altitude of 3360m, the highest point of the trek route.  The trail passes through beautiful forested areas where many stops can be made to enjoy the natural beauty of the place. We descend to Tang valley before arriving at Ugyen Choling Village. Our camp tonight is by the side of the river at an altitude of 2760m.

Day 08:  Trek to Jakar/Bumthang (2,745m/9,000ft): 2Km, 1.5 hours : Trek ends

In the morning, walk up to the Ugyen Choling Palace, which is a repository for artifacts of ancient nobility. We will then take a short walk downhill to Kizam where our vehicle will be waiting to pick us up.  From here it is 25km drive to the junction of the road near Mebartsho. We can visit the Mebertsho Lake (burning lake) where Terton Pemalingpa, is said to have discovered religious treasures in the 15th century.  This lake is very sacred and visited by many Bhutanese on auspicious days. Overnight in Bumthang. 

Day 09:  Sightseeing in Jakar/Bumthang

Today we visit impressive landmarks in Jakar. Jakar Dzong is the administrative center of the valley. Jambay Lhakhang is one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, dating back to when Buddhism was first introduced here.  Kurjey Lhakhang is one of the most sacred monastaries in Bhutan. It is said that, Guru Rinpoche, a great 8th century spiritual master left his body imprint on the cave when he was meditating. We also visit Tamshing Monastery which is now a seat of Lama Sungtrul Rinpoche. We may spend the evening strolling in the streets of Bumthang town. Overnight in Bumthang.

Day 10:  Bumthang to Wangdue (1,240m/4,068ft): 197 km, 6 hours

We begin the day by touring Bumthang market then drive to Wangdue.  It is a typical Bhutanese town with its dramatic Dzong perched on a ridge at the bend of a river. Other villages nearby the Wangdue village are also known for their slate and stone carvings. Overnight in Wangdue.

Day 11:  Wangdue to Paro: 124 km, 3 - 4 hours

This morning we return to Paro via Dochula Pass. On the way, we visit Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. We stop for lunch at Dochula pass. Here, we visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is the one of its kind in the country with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. We continue our drive to Paro. The evening will be free for us to explore the town. Overnight in Paro.

Day 12:  Final Departure

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.

Equipment and Packing List

While packing for Bhutan Cultural Tour with 3 days Bumthang Trek certain equipments are essential. Please Click here for this trip's comprehensive checklist.

Trip Start Dates

We will organize this trip on the dates requested by you. Please contact us for your customized departure date. Spring (March to June) and autumn (September to November) are the best time for touring and trekking in Bhutan.

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.
Trip Facts

Price From

$ 3520 USD

Trip Code

HGTBT-079
  • Activities: Trekking and Hiking, Cultural and Historical Tours
  • Trip Duration:12 Days
  • Trip Grade:Easy 
  • Altitude:3,360m/11,023ft
  • Accommodation: Standard hotels and camping (tent)
  • Meals:Full Board
  • Transportation: Private vehicles
  • Group Size: Maximum of 12 people
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