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The ‘Sightseeing, Trekking and Biking Tour in Bhutan’ 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 Sightseeing, Trekking and Biking Tour in Bhutan we also tour Jele Dzong, Tashichho Dzong and others.
|Day 01 Arrival and sightseeing in Paro||2,250m/7,382ft|
|Day 02 Hike to Tigers Nest Monastery then return to Paro||3,180m/10,434ft||4-5 hrs|
|Day 03 Trek begins: Paro to Jele Dzong||3,480m/11,418ft||1 hour|
|Day 04 Jele Dzong to Jangchulakha||3,770m/12,369ft||3-4 hrs|
|Day 05 Jangchulakha to Jimilangtsho, then to Langrithang||3,880m/12,730ft||4-5 hrs|
|Day 06 Trek to Tsaluna, drive to Thimphu, Trek ends||2,320m/7,612ft||4 hrs|
|Day 07 Thimphu to Punakha||1,250m/4,101ft|
|Day 08 Punakha to Trongsa||2,180m/7,153ft|
|Day 09 Trongsa to Bumthang||2,850m/9,351ft|
|Day 10 Sightseeing in Bumthang||2,850m/9,351ft|
|Day 11 Bumthang to Phobjikha Valley||3,000m/9,843ft|
|Day 12 Phobjikha Valley to Thimphu||2,320m/7,612ft|
|Day 13 Final departure||-|
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. Overnight in Paro.
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 and drive back to Paro. Overnight in Paro.
First we will drive to the start of our trek to Jele Dzong. From there, we hike for a short while (around an hour) to the Dzong. The trail ascends gently through a forest before reaching our campsite. Above the camp on top of the hill is Jele Dzong. From here, the Paro valley can be seen with snow-capped mountains as its back drop. Built in the 15th century, Jele Dzong is mostly in ruins but there is a Lhakhang (Buddhist temple) with the statute of Buddha Sakyamuni. Overnight camping.
Today we embark on about 2 hours of trekking. We begin with a gradual ascent (310m) then descend (50m). The trail passes through thick alpine and rhododendron forests and reaches Jangchulakha. We still walk for some time and arrive at the campsite, which offers scenic views of the amazing landscape below. Overnight camping.
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.
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.
Today we bid farewell to the tiny Himalayan Kingdom and her friendly people. After early breakfast, we leave Thimpu for Paro airport. Druk Air generally departs in the early morning to avoid adverse weather conditions. Therefore, after taking breakfast, we will be taken to the airport in the morning for final departure.
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Varieties of meals are available in most hotels, the most popular being Indian, Chinese, Nepalese, Bhutanese, Tibetan and the more common continental food. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are also available in every restaurant and hotel.We will be served all meals in Bhutan while only breakfast will be provided in Nepal and Tibet. On arrival day at Kathmandu, we will be provided a typical Nepalese welcome dinner.
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. We use Hotel Tashi Namgay Resort in Paro, Hotel Migmar in Thimpu, Meri Puensum Resort in Punakha, Hotel Peling or similar in Bumthang, Hotel Dewechen or similar in Phobjikha Valley and camping (tent) during trekking. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost USD 690.
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