A Taste of Bhutan – 7 days/6 nights

Punakha Dzong

We love Bhutan….it really is the most wonderful, rewarding destination! We are very fortunate to travel to Bhutan annually to ensure our itineraries and inclusions are the very best possible for our valued clients. Below is an itinerary designed for private travellers and can be tailored to suit your exact requirements.

Tour Itinerary Overview.

  • 2 nights Thimphu – sightseeing, hiking & shopping.
  • 2 nights Punakha valley – monastery & Dzong visits plus hiking.
  • 2 nights Paro valley – Taktsang Monastery hike, exploring & shopping.

OR CALL THE BHUTAN TRAVEL EXPERTS ON
AUS toll free, James – 0412 416 111, Nicola – 0413 598 669

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 Why Book with Bhutan & Beyond?

  • 17 years experience, service & knowledge.
  • We personally visit Bhutan at least once every year.
  • Competitive pricing and luxury hotel upgrade options.
  • Exceptionally well constructed & flexible itineraries.
  • Experts at combining Bhutan with India & Nepal.
  • ATAS Accredited via our parent company MTA Travel
  • Access to our exclusive travel app COMPANION
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner & full support from Bhutan & Beyond
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Your Bhutan Land Package Inclusions:

  • Personal guide & driver with SUV or minibus.
  • All touring & transfers throughout.
  • Traditional 3 star hotels with private bathrooms.
  • All meals and bottled water daily.
  • All sightseeing & entrance fees.
  • Sustainable development fee & local taxes.
  • Bhutan visa fees & processing.
  • Bank transfer & communications fees..
  • Professionally operated by Bhutan Tourism Corp.
  • Comprehensive Bhutan visitor guide & full support from Bhutan & Beyond.
  • ATAS Accredited via our parent company MTA Travel
  • Access to our exclusive travel app COMPANION
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Optional Activities:

Please ensure your travel insurance covers you for these activities.

  • White Water Rafting – Punakha Valley. US$250.00 for up to 5 persons.
  • Archery in Paro @ US$7.00 pp.
  • Mountain bike hire in Paro & Thimphu from US$25 pp per day.
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Your Bhutan Land Package Excludes:

  • Airfares to/from Bhutan.
  • Personal items incl laundry, drinks, designer coffee’s telephone calls, tips etc.
  • Upgrade costs for luxury hotels are additional.
  • Travel Insurance – mandatory to enter Bhutan.
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Cancellation Conditions – Land Tour:

  • Deposit date until 35 days prior arrival in Bhutan – Land tour deposit is refundable less B&B service fees.
  • 35 days or less prior to arrival in Bhutan – No land tour refund permitted.

Please note: – These conditions cover land travel arrangements only not airfares which are subject to their own cancellation conditions.

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Day 1:

Paro Valley to Thimphu Valley (1 hr 30 mins)

After clearing immigration and customs you will be greeted by your BTCL guide and driver and transferred to Bhutan’s capital Thimphu. Travelling through the spectacular countryside, en-route make a stop at the Tachogang Lhakhang (iron bridge). All the houses and buildings in the Kingdom are painted and constructed in traditional Bhutanese style.

On arrival into Thimphu check-in to your hotel and take lunch. Enjoy the remainder of the day to explore Thimphu, both by vehicle and on foot. Your options include visits to the National Memorial Chorten; the celebrated Royal Textile Academy (closed Sun & PH) and the Takin Preserve – home to Bhutan’s most unusual national mammal.

Overnight Thimphu – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel

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Day 2:

Exploring in Thimphu.

Today we highly recommend you visit the following.

The Buddha Dordenma statue located at Kuenselphodrang (just outside the city). The statue is made of bronze and gilded in gold. It is considered the largest Buddha Shakyamuni statue in the world. There is also an excellent 3 km hike option through the adjacent Kuenselphodrang Nature Park which offers sensational valley views.

View the majestic Trashichhoe Dzong (visits are only possible after business hours on weekdays or at the weekend) and visit the (nearby) beautiful Tara Lhaden Zhingkham lhakang (temple).

Visit the ‘Simply Bhutan’ display village including a traditional Bhutanese lunch. At ‘Simply Bhutan’ you can experience ara tasting (local spirit); suja tasting (butter tea); try your hand at archery and enjoy a cultural performance of song & dance during the lunch, plus much more. 

Other recommended places to visit, depending on your preference, & in consultation with your guide are.

  • Zorig Chusum – the Institute of the 13 Arts & Crafts of Bhutan (closed Sat/Sun/PH & sometimes closed to visitors at other times.)
  • The National Library, which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts. (closed Sat/Sun & PH)
  • Hand-made paper making factory. (closed Sat/Sun & PH)
  • Visit the Thimphu Post Office to get your personalized postage stamp printed. (Mon-Fri & Sat am)
  • The weekend market (Fri-Sun) where everyone goes to buy an array of fresh fruits & vegetables; home-wares, handicrafts and clothes.
  • Take a wander along Thimphu’s main street, Norzin Lam, which offers good shopping and the Craft Bazaar.
  • For those interested in quality weavings and local art visit the Gagyel Lhundrup weaving centre. Here you can interact with the weavers.
  • The adjacent S. Bishwa art gallery is also worth a visit. (both closed Sat/Sun)
  • The city bars & coffee shops are also worth checking out. Your guide will advise you the best options. Please note Tuesday is ‘dry day’ in Bhutan and most bars in the city will remain closed.
  • Travel up the valley & hike to Tango Monastery which houses a university of Buddhism for monks.
  • There are other 1/2 day/ day hikes possible in the Thimphu valley & your guide will recommend suitable hike options depending on the season and your prior hiking experience. 

Overnight Thimphu – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel.

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Day 3:

Thimphu to Punakha Valley. (3+ hrs)

This morning you will be transferred by road eastwards to the Punakha Valley. En-route pass the Semtokha Dzong built in 1629 the oldest fortress of its kind that guarded the Thimphu valley, which today is a monastery. Continue ascending to Dochu La (pass) to view 108 Stupas, commissioned by a former Queen as a memorial to those who lost their lives during a low intensity conflict in late 2002 when Bhutan evicted Indian rebels camped in the jungle on the Bhutan – Indian border. On a clear day you will witness a breathtaking view of the eastern Himalaya.

On arrival into the Punakha valley stop and visit Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley (also known as the Divine Madman or Mad Monk) who has a very colourful history, and which is an, easy 20 minute walk across paddy fields. It is believed that childless women who visit the temple will conceive after receiving a “wang” (blessing) from the resident monk.

After lunch enjoy an orientation tour of the valley including the nunnery and, time permitting, consider a visit to the small very traditional village of Talo where you can wander through the serene grounds of the monastery with its beautiful gardens.

Overnight Punakha Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel.

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Day 4:

Sightseeing in Punakha today.

This morning visit the dramatic Punakha Dzong, which formerly served as the seat of government and is still the winter residence of the Dratsheng (Central Monk Body). This is Bhutan’s most spectacular Dzong and an excellent example of how a medieval fortress and a centre of both monastic and administrative functions, has adapted and evolved for modern day use.

This afternoon we especially recommend you travel northwards up the valley and take a fascinating hike through fields of vegetables and tiny hamlets to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten. This Chorten holds very special significance being consecrated in 1999 and dedicated to the protection of the former Crown Prince – today’s current King, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

Alternatively take the afternoon at leisure and don’t forget the markets if you are there on a Saturday morning. If of interest white-water rafting is available in this valley at extra cost. Your guide will advise if the conditions are suitable. Please ensure your travel insurance covers this activity first!!

Overnight Punakha Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel.

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Day 5:

Punakha Valley to Paro Valley. (4+ hrs)

Depart Punakha early morning for your transfer westwards to the Paro Valley, once again traversing Dochu La, and arriving in Paro town in time for a late lunch.

This afternoon enjoy an orientation tour of the major features in Paro town including Paro Dzong with its cantilever bridge and the National Museum, to view the fine collection of ancient Thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and other artefacts. Finally take a wander along the main streets which offer good shopping for jewellery and handicrafts.

Overnight Paro Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel.

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Day 6:

Hiking Pilgrimage & Sightseeing in the Paro Valley.

Early this morning take a pilgrimage hike to the very revered Taktsang Monastery (aka as Tigers Nest) is one of the most scared and revered monasteries in the Kingdom and all Bhutanese Buddhists desire to make a pilgrimage visit to Taktsang at least once in their lives. Each step taken towards the monastery gains merit points towards their future.

Choose between a 1.5 to 2 hour round trip hike to the monastery viewpoint or a longer 5 hour and more strenuous hike into the Monastery itself. Tigers Nest clings impossibly to a cliff of rock at over 800 metres above the valley floor and where Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress to subdue the local demons followed by 3 months meditation in a cave still visible in the monastery. In 1998 the monastery was seriously damaged by fire and has since been painstakingly reconstructed to its original condition and consecrated by the 4th King in 2005.

Take a Bhutanese vegetarian lunch at the Taktsang Viewpoint and, returning from the hiking trail, visit nearby Kyichu Lhakhang – one of Bhutan’s oldest and most beautiful temples boasting an orange tree that perpetually bears fruit.

Overnight Paro Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel.

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Day 7:

Early morning departure from your hotel to Paro airport for your onward flight.

Please scroll down the page to locate the interactive map of Bhutan.

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Name of Tour: A Taste of Bhutan – 7 days/6 nights

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    This private tour visits Thimphu, Punakha & Paro Valleys.
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