Your adventure begins once you board the flight to Paro. You will experience breathtaking views of the Himalayan Peaks including the sacred Chomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake.
A visa is required for all nationalities except Indian citizens. A&S Signature Journeys undertakes to handle your visa which will be issued on arrival.
- Visit the Choki Traditional Art School.
- Ancient monasteries and Dzongs.
- Chortens of Punakha.
- Hiking through lush green valleys and villages with opportunities to interact with the locals.
- Black-necked cranes of Phobjikha valley.
- Ta Dzong built in the 17th century and now a national museum.
Arrive Paro / Thimphu
On arrival at Paro International Airport you will be received by our representative who will be your guide; he will accompany you throughout the tour. Take a 1.5 hour drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan and check into your hotel.
After lunch visit the King’s Memorial Stupa built in 1974 and drive to the gigantic Shakyamuni Buddha statue with picturesque views of the Thimphu valley. The evening is at leisure. Overnight in Thimphu.
Today you will visit the Choki Traditional Art School (CTAS), the only charitable art and craft school for the economically disadvantaged students in Bhutan. A campus tour to the classrooms will be arranged where the guests can interact with the students.
In the afternoon, visit the Takin Reserve to witness the unique national animal of Bhutan and then the Folk Heritage Museum. The museum portrays the lifestyle of a genteel family in the Thimphu valley in the olden days.
In the evening visit the Tashichho Dzong. The ‘Fortress of the glorious religion’ houses the throne room of His Majesty the king, the main secretariat building and the central monk body. Its courtyard is open to visitors during the off-office hours. Overnight in Thimphu.
Thimphu / Gangtey
A 45 minute drive from Thimphu brings you to the Dochu La Pass from where you can see the 108 beautiful chortens built by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. On a clear day, you can view the highest peaks in Bhutan.
After lunch at Dorchula pass, continue to the Phobjikha Valley which is considered to be the most beautiful valley in the Himalayas. It is a glacial valley on the western slopes of the Black Mountains. Because of the large flock of black-necked cranes (Grus nigricollis) that winter here, it is one of the most important wildlife preserves in the country. The cranes arrive every year in October/November from Tibet to escape the harsh winter. Sightseeing in Phobjikha. Overnight in Gangtey.
Gangtey / Punakha
Visit the 17th century Nyingmapa monastery, Gangtey goemba which sits prominently on a hill top. After the visit undertake the beautiful nature hiking trail of the Phobjikha Valley (1-2 hours). After lunch drive to Punakha valley. A half-hour walk through mustard fields brings you to Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery and fertility temple dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, a Tibetan Buddhist saint known popularly as “the divine madman” and considered a folk hero in Bhutan for his unconventional ways. Overnight in Punakha.
Drive to Nezigang village and hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (2-3 hours), a shrine built by Her Majesty the Queen, Ashi in 1999. The shrine is perched high on a hill on the opposite bank of the Mo chu river offering superb views of the Punakha valley. A beautiful place for meditation. After a picnic lunch, visit the Punakha fortress, built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It stands majestically at the junction of the two rivers – Pho Chu and Mo Chu (the Male and Female rivers). The Punakha Dzong is an architectural wonder and it has played a prominent role in the civil and religious life of the Kingdom. The official name of Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang translates as “the palace of great happiness.” Overnight in Punakha.
Punakha / Paro
After breakfast drive to Paro via Dochula (approx. 4 hours). Enjoy a hot cup of coffee at a café atop, and continue to Paro. Visit Ta Dzong, built in 17th century as a watch tower for Paro Dzong. This Dzong was later converted into the National Museum in 1967, and is filled with antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and armour. Also visit the Rinpung Dzong, built in 17th century to defend valley against Tibetan invaders. It is now used as an administrative centre and home of monastic community. Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest monastery of the kingdom is another place of interest. Overnight in Paro.
This morning, hike to the famous Taktshang Lhakhang “The Tigers Lair”. Clinging to a black rock face, (3,000 ft) above the valley floor, nestles Taktshang Lhakhang, one of the holiest and the most beautiful site of Bhutan. Taktshang, the tiger’s lair, acquires its name from the legend of its foundation, when in the 8th Century Guru Rinpoche, widely revered as the second Buddha, arrived from Tibet flying across the mountains on the back of a tigress. He meditated at the site for three months, from where he used the religious cycle of the Kagye to subjugate the Eight Categories of Evil Spirits, and thus converted the region to Buddhism. A meditation at this scared place will be the best way to end the journey in Bhutan. The hike to the Monastery is a gradual climb through the quiet approach path winds through lush meadow, oak and rhododendron forest, past quaint hamlets, fluttering prayer flags and rotating prayer wheels. The hike takes about 4-5 hours from the car park. Afternoon at leisure or for shopping. Overnight in Paro.
Paro / Departure
The end to an exciting tour and you are ready to drive back to Paro International Airport. Our representative will acommpany you to the airport.
- Meet and greet on arrival at Airport.
- Accommodation and meals as indicated in the itinerary (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner).
- Entrance fees where applicable.
- Tours as indicated in the itinerary.
- Professional English-speaking guide/driver guide.
- Travel Protection is offered on all packages at an additional cost.