Spirit of Bhutan Tour
Detailed Itinerary (Spirit of Bhutan Tour)
Arrive Paro International Airport (2280 meters)
Upon arrival at Paro International airport, you will be welcomed by our company representative and the tour guide will receive and escort you to designated Hotels. In the afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, an historic monument built by the Zhabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop. On the return visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Overnight at Paro.
Paro – Thimphu (Altitude 2320 m, 54 km)
After breakfast, drive to Thimphu – world’s smallest capital. Upon arrival at Thimphu you will start sightseeing tour visiting Memorial Chorten built in memory of the 3rd King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972. Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. Further, we will visit the Zorig Chusum – 13 Arts & Crafts Institute where traditional arts and crafts are still kept alive. The visitors can see students of different trades at work like: Sculpting, Thanka Painting, Wood Carving and other skills. In the evening free for a leisure walk to explore Thimphu city – the world’s smallest capital and the only capital city where Traffic Lights are absent. The walk around the city is easy and would be enjoyable to experience the Bhutanese way of life. Overnight at Thimphu.
Thimphu – Punakha (1310 meters): (72 Km, 3 hrs drive)
Today you drive to Punakha, an ancient capital of Bhutan over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley. In the Dochu-La area there are vast Rhododendron forests that grow to tree size and bloom in late April/early May covering the mountains in a riot of glorious spring colour.
On arrival at Punakha, visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’. It is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers) and is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location. It was here in 1907 that Bhutan’s first king was crowned. Overnight at Punakha/ Wangduephodrang.
After breakfast drive to Yabesa village and hike to through rice fields and up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by her majesty the queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. Take a picnic lunch on a picturesque riverside.
Afterwards drive back into the Punkha valley for a short walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of the Drukpa Kuenly who is also known as the Divine Madman. He inherited the Divine Madman title since he revolted against the orthodox Buddhism in his time. He is considered a symbol of fertility and most childless couples go to his temple for blessing. Overnight at Punakha/ Wangduephodrang.
Punakha – Paro
Today drive back to Paro Valley. The Paro Valley is home to many of Bhutan’s old monasteries and temples. The country’s only Airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the valley. The following are some of the prominent places to visit in Paro. Paro Dzong also known as Rinpung Dzong, this 15th century massive fortress/monastery, is also the administrative center of the dzonkhag. A morning drive, north of Paro valley brings us to the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong. Built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the Dzong was destroyed by an accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate.Explore the ramparts and relive the memories of a glorious past.
Paro – Haa
Drive to Haa through Chele La Pass (3,988 m) where you will enjoy an panoramic views of the Paro and Haa valley. You can also have a picnic at Chele La if you like to. In Haa, some sightseeing and then going to katsho village and visiting the Katso Lhakhang. The extraordinarily beautiful Haa Valley is newly opened to Tourists in 2002 and Haa is the least visited valley in Bhutan due to the lack of Tourist infrastructure). In the late afternoon transfer to Paro for overnight.
After early breakfast, Excursion to Taktsang Monastery
Hike to Tiger’s Nest, one of the most sacred Taktshang monasteries in Bhutan. It is perched on the cliff where Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown to the site riding on a tigress. He subsequently meditated here for three months. You can have lunch at the Taktshang cafeteria from where you get a spectacular view of the monastery.
Return to Paro, where we may have more time for stroll around the town. Farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight at Paro
Departure (Altitude 2280 m): Early morning, drive to the Airport and Farewell.
Note: The Bhutan tour package includes:
a. All Meals [Breakfast /Lunch/Dinner]
b. Accommodation [Twin Sharing] Single Room Supplement Extra.
c. All transportation within the country including airport transfers.
d. Royalty & Govt. Taxes.
e. Entrance fees for Museums and Monuments.
f. Visa Fee.
g. English speaking Local guide.
i. Bottled water.