An incredible trip to Bhutan not to be missed! You will be transferred to many cities throughout Bhutan and enjoy the opportunity to immerse yourself in this beautiful country's history, nature and culture!
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DAY BY DAY ITINERARY:
Day 1: PARO - THIMPUProvided the weather is good on your flight from Delhi the view of the eastern Himalayas is absolutely spectacular. Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to Thimphu, the capital and largest city in Bhutan. The one and a half hour drive is very scenic passing many villages and small towns, the most interesting being Simthokha Dzong. Upon arrival check-in to the Druk Hotel, a well appointed guesthouse located in the city center.
Day 2: THIMPU – PUNAKHAThis morning after breakfast embark on a private guided tour of the city including the Memorial chorten, an excellent introduction to Tantric Buddhism and a visit to the National Handicrafts and Emporium Centre. Continue exploring the region with visits to Dechenchholing and Tashinchhodzong, a 13th Century religious and administrative building.
In the afternoon start the incredible drive up to to the 3,140m-high mountain pass of Dochu La with its forests of fluttering prayer flags, maze of memorial chortens and, on a clear day, sweeping views of the main Himalayan range. Explore the area including a visit to the Chimmi Lhakhang, a fertility temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, a Tibetan Buddhist saint known popularly as “Divine Madman.” In the late afternoon check-in to the Meri Puensom Hotel in Punakha.
Day 3: PUNAKHA – TRONGSAThis morning after breakfast continue your exploration of the Punakha valley. Visit the massive architectural edifice of the 17th century Punakha Dzong (fortress/monastery) and the Druk Pungthang Decchen Phodrang (the Palace of Great Happiness), arguably the country's most attractive dzong. It served as the seat of the Kingdom's government until the time of the second King and today serves as the winter home of Je Khempo, the head abbot of Bhutan, along with a retinue of 1,000 monks. After a stroll through the quaint bazaar at Wangdue Phodrang to visit its dzong continue on to Trongsa. Drive through the Pele La Pass (3420m) in the Black Mountains before winding through the forest to Trongsa Dzong. Check-in to the Yankhil Hotel in Trongsa for the evening.
Day 4: TRONGSA – BUMTHANGBuilt in 1648, Trongsa Dzong was the ancestral home of the ruling dynasty and the district administration office of the Trongsa district. After exploring the Dzong continue on to the Ta-Dzong, an ancient Watch Tower of the Trongsa Dzong located on top of a steep hill overlooking the town. After lunch embark on the journey to Bumthang along one of the most scenically beautiful routes in Bhutan, passing pretty villages and monasteries dotted across wide open farm and woodland. After reaching Jakar, the market town serving the four valleys that encompass Bumthang, check into the Swiss Guesthouse, a rustic but charming hotel.
Day 5: BUMTHANGFor the next two days continue exploring the incredible Bumthang region. The area is of great spiritual significance in Bhutan, being strongly associated with local myth and legend. The area is famous for the production of honey, cheese, apples, apricots and Red Panda beer. There is endless variety of excursions in Central Bhutan and your guide will help you plan day walks and visits to Jakar Dzong, Wangdichholing Palace, Lamey Goemba and the impressive Kurjey Lhakhang Temple on the western side of the Bumthang Chhu River. A trek in the Ura Valley is not to be missed and this is also the perfect opportunity for local village walks
Day 6: BUMTHANG – PHOBJIKAAfter three nights in the idyllic apple orchard setting of the Swiss Guesthouse it is finally time to start back west to explore the exquisite glacial Phobjikha Valley. The valley is famous as the seasonal home of the rare black-necked cranes, who spend the winter months here. This is a designated conservation area and has a nature center for conservation studies and the education of local farmers and students funded by the Bhutanese government with assistance from the World Wildlife Fund. The valley is the perfect place for observing wildlife and the serene landscapes of Bhutan in addition to visiting local villages. Check in to the Hotel Dewachan, a locally owned guesthouse with views of the sweeping vistas.
Day 7: PHOBJIKA – UMA PAROThis morning after breakfast begin the longest drive of the trip retracing the route over the Dochu La for a second chance of the incredible view of the Himalayan range. Returning to the confluence you will see the three shrines in Nepali, Tibetan and Bhutanese style which were built to ward off evil spirits near the checkpoint. On the final leg of the drive the road snakes alongside the Pa Chhu through apple orchards and rice paddies. Tonight check-in to Uma Paro, a beautiful hotel with a truly global reputation for sustainability, cultural relevance and luxury. Unwind from your travels with a massage or a traditional stone bath before dinner.
Day 8: UMA PAROToday after breakfast join one of the hotels expert guides as you wind through pine forests high above Uma Paro to the pretty grounds of the fortress-like monastery of Zuri Dzong. Visit Bhutan’s National Museum with magnificent views over Paro, and Rinpung Dzong the ‘Fortress on a Heap of Jewels’. Spend the day exploring the area before returning to the hotel for the evening.
Day 9: UMA PAROOn your last day in Bhutan visit the incredibly important Taktsang Goemba, a cliffside monastery that defies logic and gravity and is one of the most holy sites in the country. Legend has it that this is where Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) landed on the back of a flying tigress, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan from Tibet. In the afternoon you can continue trekking through the area or return to the hotel.
Day 10: UMA PARO – ONWARDThis morning after breakfast transfer to the airport for your return flight to Delhi.
Price Includes:• All airport transfers, private guided tours and in-country transportation• Full board accommodation in Traditional Guest Houses, Country Hotels and Uma Paro for the duration of your stay• Bhutanese Visa and Tourism Development taxes• All entrance fees and local taxes
Price does not include:• Airfare on Druk Air• Items of a personal nature• Tips for guides, drivers and porters• Departure tax
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
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