Paro Festival Tour Bhutan 11D/10N, 10 - 20 APR 2025

Paro Festival Tour Bhutan 11 Days/10 Nights, 10-20 APR 2025

Updated: 17 April 2024


After the awesome flight into Paro experience the 4 valleys of Paro, Thimphu, Phobjikha & Punakha. You will be amazed by the colour & spectacle of the famous Paro Tshechu (festival).   Furthermore, it features the most important sights in Thimphu city; the remote beauty of the Phobjikha valley and the splendour of the magnificent Punakha Dzong. Finally a special pilgrimage hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tigers Nest) in Paro. In addition to witnessing the Paro Tshechu, this tour combines the very best sites the Kingdom of Bhutan has to offer in western Bhutan.

This small group tour caters only to a maximum of 8 persons. BOOK NOW to avoid disappointment.

Tour Itinerary Overview.

  • 2 nights Paro valley with exploring & festival visits.
  • 2 nights Thimphu with sightseeing, hiking and shopping options.
  • 2 nights Phobjikha valley for hiking and exploring.
  • 2 nights Punakha valley with monastery & Dzong visits.
  • 2 nights Paro valley with Taktsang Monastery hike, shopping & exploring.

PRICE: From US$3733.00 pp twin/dbl share

Paro Festival Tour Map

AUS toll free, James – 0412 416 111, Nicola – 0413 598 669

Reasons To Book This Small Group Tour

  • We only take a maximum of 8 persons on this tour.
  • Maximise your Bhutan experience  with one of our top rated Bhutanese guides.
  • Witness the spectacle of the Paro Tshechu (festival).
  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant Buddhist culture of Bhutan. 
  • We tailor our tours for less driving and more sightseeing!
  • Bhutan & Beyond offers 21 years experience, service & knowledge.
  • Competitive pricing & well constructed itineraries.
  • Access to our exclusive travel app COMPANION
  • Our comprehensive Bhutan Visitor Information planning guide.
  • ATAS Accredited via our parent company MTA Travel.

Tour Inclusions:

  • English speaking guide, driver & private coach.
  • All touring & transfers throughout your journey.
  • Bhutanese style 3* hotel accom with private bathrooms.
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) including two 500 ml bottles of water daily.
  • All monument & entrance fees, hiking & sightseeing as per the itinerary.
  • Bhutan visa fees & visa processing.
  • Sustainable development fee (SDF) & local taxes.
  • The spectacle of the Paro Tshechu (festival). (subject to scheduled dates being realised.)
  • Bhutan & Beyond bank transfers for payments to Bhutan suppliers.
  • Professionally operated by Bhutan Tourism Corp Ltd. (BTCL)
  • Access to our exclusive travel app COMPANION giving access to your travel docs on your smart device.
  • Our comprehensive Bhutan Visitor Information guide. (regularly updated)
  • ATAS Accredited via our parent company MTA Travel.

Tour Exclusions:

  • Flights to/from Paro are additional.
  • Personal bank charges incurred making payments to Bhutan & Beyond.
  • Personal items: phone  calls, laundry, drinks, designer coffee’s etc.
  • Tipping – we will advise your tipping regime.
  • Travel Insurance is mandatory to enter Bhutan.
  • Any COVID-19 PCR or RAT tests required.

Available On Request:

  • Upgrade to Business Class on your flights.
  • Ex-Australia airfares.
  • Stopovers & additional Bhutan, India or Nepal arrangements.

Cancellation Conditions:

  • Deposit date until 45 days prior arrival in Bhutan – Land tour deposit is refundable less B&B service fees.
  • 45 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.



Thursday 10 April:

Paro Airport to Paro (20 mins)

After clearing immigration and customs you will be greeted by your BTCL guide & driver and transferred to Paro town. Here you can enjoy a wander through the colourful festival markets. You will mingle with the local Bhutanese before taking lunch at a local restaurant.

This afternoon witness the colour & spectacle of the Paro Tshechu. The festival is held annually at the Rinpung Dzong, just as it has been for hundreds of years. Because the local Bhutanese dress in their finest clothes the proceedings are raucous & joyous affairs. Finally check in at your Paro hotel.

Overnight Paro Valley– Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel.

Lango Paro Bhutan
Prayer Flags - Paro

Friday 11 April:

Half day excursion to Chele La & Festival

After breakfast enjoy a morning excursion to Chele La (pass) on Bhutan’s highest motorable road at 3988 metres. Take an optional short walk near the pass, which can afford spectacular mountain vistas on a clear day. Visit the nearby Kila Nunnery, the oldest in Bhutan, before returning to Paro for a late lunch.

This afternoon make a return visit to the festival, or enjoy the afternoon at leisure.

Alternatively, for those keen to spend as much time as possible at the festival, you have the option of spending the entire day there. (A picnic lunch will be provided to enjoy while at the festival.)

Overnight Paro Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel.


Saturday 12 April:

Paro Valley to Thimphu (1 hr 30 mins drive time)

Firstly consider the early morning option to attend the festival for the unfurling of the Thongdrel. This takes place at the Rinpung Dzong at around 3.00 am. It is an intensely religious experience for the Bhutanese. The extremely large thongdrel is a painting (Thangka) which is not allowed to be struck by the direct rays of the sun. Therefore it must be rolled back up by 7:30 AM. The mere sight of the Thongdrel is said to cleanse the viewer of sin. 

After a leisurely breakfast this morning, transfer to Thimphu city, Bhutan’s quirky capital, with a stop at the Iron Bridge and temple en-route. On arrival in Thimphu visit the celebrated Royal Textiles Academy, followed by lunch at a local Bhutanese restaurant.

The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to explore Thimphu on foot. Enjoy a wander along Thimphu’s main street Norzin Lam and visit the craft bazaar which which focuses on Bhutanese produced handicrafts. Alternatively for those with an interest in weaving visit local weavers at the Gagyel Lhandrup Weaving Centre, and/or check out the S. Bishwa art gallery, which showcases the emerging & vibrant arts scene in the city. 

Overnight Thimphu – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel.


Sunday 13 April:

Exploring in the Thimphu Valley

This morning visit the awesome Buddha Dordenma statue located at Kuenselphodrang, close to Thimphu 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 Kuenselphodrang Nature Park which offers sensational valley views.  Returning to Thimphu visit the National Memorial Chorten followed by the Takin Preserve – home to Bhutan’s most unusual national mammal. 

Continue on to view the majestic Trashichhoe Dzong and visit visit the ‘Simply Bhutan’ display village, where you can experience traditional Bhutanese village life; ara tasting (local spirit); suja tasting (butter tea); try your hand at archery and more. 

After lunch at a local Thimphu restaurant, this afternoon visit the daily Centenary farmer’s market for fresh produce includes the sale of clothing & homewares & souvenirs (Fri-Sun). Thimphu also enjoys a booming ‘coffee-culture’ so take time to sit, relax and people-watch from one of many local cafes.

Overnight Thimphu – Bhutanese 3* Hotel.

Buddha Dordenma aka The Golden Buddha is actually made from bronze Thimphu Bhutan
Buddha Dordenma - Thimphu

Monday 14 April:

Thimphu to Phobjikha Valley (4+ hrs)

This morning drive eastwards to the Phobjikha Valley. Ascend to Dochu La (pass-3116 m) to view the 108 Stupas. These were commissioned by a former Queen as a memorial to those who lost their lives during the low intensity conflict in late 2002. This is when Bhutan evicted Indian separatist rebels camped in the jungle on the Bhutan-Indian border. On a clear day you will witness a breathtaking view of the eastern Himalaya.

When the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong comes into view, notice the large cacti that cover the hillside below. These were planted long ago to discourage invaders from climbing the steep slope to the Dzong.

Phobjikha is a glacial valley on the western slopes of the Black Mountains. It is one of the most beautiful open valleys in Bhutan and, in addition, also one of the most important wildlife preserves in the country. Phobjikha is the winter home (late OCT to early FEB) of the rare black necked crane which annually flies in from Tibet. There are also barking deer, wild boar, sambar, Himalayan black bear, leopard and red fox.

While you are in Phobjikha you will visit the Black Crane nature centre & the sacred Gangtey Goenpa (monastery). Furthermore enjoy time to wander through Gangtey village and hike the Gangtey Nature Trail. Take an excursion to the remote Phobji area of the valley for an easy, flat hike through farm houses and temples.

Overnight Phobjikha Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel


Tuesday 15 April:

Exploring Phobjikha Valley

Explore the Phobjikha valley as per the above suggestions. Plus visit a local family & farmhouse for a traditional Bhutanese lunch.

Overnight Phobjikha Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel.


Wednesday 16 April:

Phobjikha to Punakha Valley (2+ hrs)

Depart this morning to the Punakha valley. This holds the title as the winter capital because of its more temperate climate. Arriving into the valley wander through the local markets at Mesina. Next visit Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley (also known as the Divine Madman), which is a pleasant 20 min 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 at a local restaurant take an excursion along a scenic country lane to the very traditional village of Talo. Here you can stroll through the beautiful & serene gardens of the local monastery. Finally, time permitting, visit the Sangchen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang & Nunnery.

Overnight Punakha Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel.

The Punakha Dzong, it is the second oldest and second-largest dzong in Bhutan
Punakha Dzong

Thursday 17 April:

Exploring & hiking in Punakha

This morning perhaps enjoy a walk over the Punakha suspension bridge which offers excellent valley & river views, followed by a visit to the dramatic Punakha Dzong, which formally served as the seat of the government. It is still the winter residence of the Dratsheng (Central Monk Body). This is an excellent example of how a medieval fortress, and a centre of both monastic & administrative functions, has evolved for modern day use.

After lunch at a local restaurant we recommend the hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten. This is a delightful hike through tiny hamlets, fields of vegetable and rice paddy. The Chorten holds very special significance being consecrated in 1999. It is dedicated to the protection of the former Crown Prince – today’s current King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. Alternatively you can take the afternoon at leisure at the hotel.

Overnight Punakha Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel


Friday 18 April:

Punakha Valley to Paro Valley (4 hrs)

Depart Punakha this morning for your transfer westwards to the Paro Valley. Once again traversing Dochu La and arriving in Paro town for a late lunch at a local restaurant.

This afternoon visit the National Museum to view the fine collection of ancient Thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and other artefacts, before a visit to the CSI daily market which offers locally produced goods from cottage and small industries in Bhutan. 

Overnight Paro Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel.


Saturday 19 April:

Hiking & Exploring in the Paro Valley

After early breakfast we take a ‘pilgrimage’ hike to the Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tigers Nest. All Bhutanese Buddhists desire to make this pilgrimage at least once in their lives. As a result each step they take along the trail counts as 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 800 m above the valley floor. Furthermore, this is where Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress to subdue the local demons. This was 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. It was then consecrated by the 4th King in 2005.

Take a Bhutanese vegetarian lunch at the Taktsang Viewpoint and, returning from the hiking trail, continue down the valley to view the recently restored Drugyel Dzong (14km from Paro). This is the historical site of the Fort of Drukpa Victory, from which the Bhutanese used to repel the Tibetan invaders again and again. Followed by a visit to Kyichu Lhakhang – one of Bhutan’s oldest and most beautiful temples boasting an orange tree that perpetually bears fruit.

Overnight Paro – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel.


Sunday 20  April:

Day of Departure

Early morning transfer to Paro Airport for your onward flight.