CENTRAL BHUTAN TOUR (10 DAYS)
Central Bhutan is an exciting destination for all visitors. It includes some of the most significant historical and religious sites in the country.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Long Day Tour
Group Size Large Group
Central Bhutan is an exciting destination for all visitors. It includes some of the most significant historical and religious sites in the country. The district of Trongsa has always been of great political importance to the leaders of Bhutan due to its commanding location in the center of the nation while Bumthang district has some of the most ancient and important temples and monasteries in Bhutan.
You can visit Kurje Lhakhang built in 1652 at the site where the great Buddhist saint Guru Rimpoche meditated. Tamshing Lhakhang, the great religious treasure revealer Terton Pema Lingpa built dating back to 1501. Mebar Tsho: A sacred lake from which Terton Pema Lingpa discovered religious treasures hidden by Guru Rimpoche. The Watchtower of Trongsa Museum: This ancient tower has been made into a museum dedicated to the Wangchuck dynasty and provides visitors with unparalleled insight into Bhutan’s political history, Chendebji Chorten: An interesting and visually striking religious building with eyes painted towards the four cardinal directions. Legend states that it was constructed to subdue the remains of an evil spirit that manifested as a gigantic serpant.
Central Bhutan is a region blessed with great natural beauty and there are miles of pristine alpine and sub-tropical broadlead forests teeming with all manner of flora and fauna. The Thrumshingla National Park is located in this region and is famous for the many rare and endangered birds that inhabit it including the Rufous necked hornbill, Rufous-throated wren-babbler, Satyr Tragopan, Beautiful nuthatch, Ward’s trogon and Chestnut-breasted partridge. Visitors may even catch a glimpse of the exotic animals that live in the park such as the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger or the adorable Red Panda.
Highlights of Tour
- Experience Bhutanese hospitality.
- Immerse yourself in Bhutan’s rich buddhist culture.
- Hike to Amazing Tiger Nest.
- Discover sacred Buddhist monasteries and temples in the Himalaya.
- We tailor our tours for less driving & more sightseeing!
- The price is competitive & well constructed itinerary.
- Transfer to and from the airport
- Twin sharing accommodation in 3 star hotels
- Up-gradation to 5 star luxury hotel available on request
- Camping equipment & haulage for trekking tour
- All meals(Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Baggage handling at all hotels and camps
- Licensed Bhutanese English speaking guided tours
- All entrance, museum & other attraction fees
- Luxurious private transportation throughout the tour
- All applicable internal taxes & service fees(only royalty)
- Mineral water per person per night
- Visa Fee
- International airfare(Round trip from home town departure gateway to destination )
- Travel Insurance
- Discretionary gratuities to guide and driver
- Single supplement room
- Other Personal expenses such drinks, laundry, telephone bills, water in hotels, internet bills, etc
Arrival at Paro - Thimphu
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Our Bhutan Travel Bureau representative will meet you at Paro airport exit doors following customs formalities.
After lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum housing many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical, cultural, and religious past. Next, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centres, which were once strategic forts.
Afterwards, drive to the capital, Thimphu (1.5 hours) following the Pachu River. Before dinner at the hotel there will be an orientation on Bhutanese etiquette by your guide.
Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.
Continue sightseeing in Thimphu. Visit the School for Arts and Crafts, The National Library housing the collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century, the Traditional Paper Factory and a fascinating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum.
If there is time, you may visit the nursing pen for the Takin, the national animal of Bhutan, and Tashichhodzong, ‘the fortress of the glorious religion’ housing some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body. Other options for the day include a hike to Tango and Cheri Monasteries (45 mins), two of the most ancient monasteries in the Thimphu region or a hike to Phajoding Monastery providing a splendid view of the valley.
Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.
Drive 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 (about 3 hrs total driving time). The drive through the countryside affords a glimpse of everyday life in this most remote of Himalayan kingdoms. 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.
Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan. On arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’. It is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location. The three story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. It was here in 1907 that Bhutan’s first king was crowned.
After lunch, enjoy a walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of Drukpa Kuenly. He inherited the Divine Madman title since he revolted against the orthodox Buddhism in his time. He taught the people that religion is an inner feeling and it’s not necessary that one should be an ordained monk. He is also considered a symbol of fertility.
Overnight at your hotel in Punakha/ Wangduephodrang
Morning drive approximately 5-6 hours to Gangtey at 2900 metres. Enjoy the views of the immense and remote Phobjikha valley and the black mountain ranges. Visit Gangtey Gompa (one of Bhutan’s oldest monasteries and recently extensively renovated).
After lunch start hike from the mani (like Chhorten) stone wall to the north of the Ganagtey Gonpa and ends in Khewa Lhakhang. Gangtey nature hike is the most beautiful and shortest of the existing nature trails in Bhutan. The hike takes about 1hr 30minutes through the pine forest and small bamboo plants. You can see the Phobjkha valley so beautifully from this hike. It is one of the best hike places for the Nature lovers. Explore the valley where the villagers continue to live a traditional Bhutanese rural lifestyle. This is the site where black-necked cranes visit in their hundreds in November each year after spending the summer in Tibet.
Night stay at hotel in Gangtey
Today we will have a scenic drive to Bumthang, the most historic dzongkhag with extraordinary sceneries. After breakfast, we depart from Gangtey, cross the Pele La Pass and visit the Chenbdji Chorten, a large white structure beside a stream. Later stop at Trongsa for lunch and visit its huge white Trongsa Dzong with a distinctive yellow roof. After that continue your adventure to Bumthang after crossing the Yutong La Pass.
Overnight at your lodge in Jakar, Bumthang.
In the morning visit Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom where Bhutan’s patron saint Guru Rimpoche meditated and 7th century Jambay Lhakhang. It dates back to the origins of Buddhism in Bhutan and is one of the Kingdoms oldest temples. After lunch, visit Jakar Dzong and Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pemalingpa and containing interesting and ancient Buddhist wall paintings. Afterwards enjoy exploring the village of Jakar, Bumthang’s main township.
Overnight at your lodge in Jakar, Bumthang.
This morning we take a short time to stroll around the town and later start for a long drive to Punakha (210km, Approx. 7 hrs). This is a scenic drive, passing many small villages, waterfalls with spectacular landscape, crossing Black mountains, the ever-changing vegetation and finally arriving in the warm valley of Punakha. As the valley is at a lower elevation of about 1250m (4100 ft.) above sea level, it enjoys subtropical climate with warm summers and pleasant winters. After a short rest at the hotel, we guide you to today's highlight -Punakha Dzong. It is a very beautiful Bhutanese architecture located at the confluence of Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers.
Overnight at your lodge in Punakha.
Today we return to Paro, a drive of approximately 7 hours, via Wangdi. Wangdi (also known as Wangdue Phodrang) was originally considered Bhutan’s secondary capital and it commands an important central position. Sadly Wangdi Dzong was gutted by fire in June 2012, destroying in a few hours not only a magnificent building that had stood proudly for hundreds of years, but also the painstaking work that had been in progress for many months to rebuild recent earthquake damage using traditional construction methods. There is little now to see in Wangdi and after a brief stop for lunch continue on your way.
Overnight at hotel in Paro.
Hike To Tiger Nest
After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The walk of approximately 1.5 to 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometre above the Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to cafeteria). The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for refreshments before returning to Paro for lunch.
In the afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, built to commemorate a 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 drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo.Alternatively, day 10 could be spent on a day trip to the Haa Valley, one of the most picturesque districts in Bhutan. Reached via the beautiful Chelila Pass, Haa Valley is characterised by its surrounding rugged and mountainous terrain.
Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
Breakfast in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.
When is the best time to visit Bhutan?
The most favorable seasons to visit Bhutan is from March-May in spring and august to Nov in fall.In these seasons you will enjoy the scenery of Bhutan and will be more rewarding experience in your life time.See more detail about when to visit Bhutan and what you can able to see.
How is weather through out the year?
The weather may change depending on season and it depends on when you want to travel.Bhutan in summer(June-mid-September) are warm, humid and wetter and Winters (Dec-early March) cooler and dry. Winter nights are cold however the days are often clear, sunny and surprisingly mild in the valleys. The western valleys only average 2 snow falls per annum. The wettest period is August/early September.
What do i need to carry to wear?
Some of your casual cloths are fine while you visit Bhutan, but you would do well to have some set of dress up cloths such as jacket and appropriate smart pair of pants for women.Remeber Bhutan is a country with national dress code and will not be permitted to enter with inappropriate dress while visiting government offices, some of the monasteries and festivals. Even in summer it can be cool in Paro and Thimphu and the day be quite warm, especially in lower region like punakha and phuntsoling and the night time and morning will be cool. Use a layering system, starting with thermal underwear and adding a shirt, pile jacket and wind breaker or parka as necessary.If you are going for trekking you much always thrown some warm cloths and extra gears as you have to walk more than 3000 m.
Is internet available in Bhutan's hotels?
Most of the standard tourist class hotels now have WiFi and plus have a business center where you can use the hotel PCs . WiFi is free for at least a 24 hr use. All of the luxury resorts & lodges offer a wireless internet facility however not necessarily in guest rooms.Some more remote valleys, like Phobjikha, have limited power and internet supply so please you may face some inconsistency as you travel.Purchasing a local SIM card for your smart phone or iPad will give you wifi most of the way through the Kingdom for those who need more connectivity.
Is traveller's cheque accepted in Bhutan?
You can cash traveller's cheque in any Bank, hotels and foreign-exchange counter in airport but there is bank charges of 1% for cheque.You should carry only well know brand such as American Express,Visa, Thomas Cook, Citibank or Barclays..
How can i prevent altitude sickness?
Bhutan is a mountain country, most tourists will travel from 2280 meters,when landing in Paro, until 3500 meters (the passes on the lateral road) or higher when trekking. Bumthang is 3000 meters high. Consult with your doctor before you visit to Bhutan and get a prescription for Diamox.
How much does the visa cost?
International tourist visas a cost of USD $40 applies. This can be paid in advance to you tour operator or travel agent. For Indian passport (or VIC) holders, Bangladeshi nationals and persons from the Maldives there is no cost incurred.