COMPREHENSIVE TRIP (13 DAYS)
Comprehensive trip combines a tour of Bhutan’s cultural western valley’s of Paro, Thmphu and Punakha with a fabulous day camping trek to Bumdra monastery which includes a night in a wilderness campsite high in the Himalaya.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate Trek
Group Size Medium Group
Comprehensive trip combines a tour of Bhutan’s cultural western valley’s of Paro, Thmphu and Punakha with a fabulous day camping trek to Bumdra monastery which includes a night in a wilderness campsite high in the Himalaya. This tour is specially tailored to provide insight into Bhutan’s Buddhist culture at a deep and comprehensive level.
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
The flight to Paro crosses the Himalayan Mountains, affording spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. On arrival you will be greeted by the guide and take you for lunch. After lunch, you will visit the Rinpung Dzong meaning “fortress of the heap of jewels". It has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the courtyard of the Rinpung Dzong are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore. You will walk downhill till the road point crossing the wooden bridge. Your vehicle will be waiting here to take you to the ruins of Drugyal Dzong, which was built to celebrate the Bhutanese victory over Tibetans in olden days. On the way back, you will visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest and the most sacred temple in the country. Later in the evening, you can visit Paro town. Overnight Paro.
Hike to Tiger Nest
After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan 's most famous monastery. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuntse to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. Lunch would be served in the Cafeteria on the way. Hike back to Paro and in the afternoon and visit Kichu Lhakhang and Drugyel Dzong. Overnight at Paro.
Haa Valley- Sagala (Trek Starts)
Your trek begins through an unpaved motor road for less than hour keeping yourself on the left side of the villages. Taking the footpath trail on the right side of the village will lead you to climb up gradually through a yak herder’s camp. And from the end of this yak herder’s camp, you will traverse through two different trails. Take right side trail to make your final climb towards your camp just below Saga La pass, 3550 meters. (The trail towards the left goes to the summer yak herding camp and to the border of China). Overnight camp at Sagala (3150 meters).
From the camp start climbing for 30 minutes to reach the Sagala pass (3550 meters). If the weather is clear you will have a superb view of Mt. Jumolhari and Jitchu Drake. From the pass, walk on the right side of the trail. After making several ascents and descents, walking through the trails of rhododendron tress and meadows, you will finally be on the top of the ridge at 4100 meters which offers great views of Haa Valley. You will again make occasional ascents and descents through forests of Hemlock and Juniper until you reach at your camp 3850 meters.
Ningula- Kungkarpo-Thimphu(Trek Ends)
After breakfast, you will start descending for few minutes, and then follow the ridge through meadows of yak herder’s camp. From the end of meadow, climb uphill toward Kung Karpo pass through the forest of tall rhododendron trees. The trail is pretty small uphill until you reach meadows with lot of stone cairns. The view of Haa valley is spectacular as you climb up through these stone cairns to reach the first pass before Kung Karpo. After hiking on the ridges you will reach Kung Karpo (Sky Burial at 4350 meters). The total hiking time from Yak herder’s camp till Kung Karpo is 2 hours. At Kung Karpo, you may climb on the top of the mountain to see the Sky Burial. From Kung Karpo you will be walking up and down with panoramic view of Paro valley on left and Haa Valley on right. A view of Kila Goenpa Nunnery below is also spectacular. Reach on the final ridge and then walk further downhill until you reach Chelela pass (3980 meters) which is one of the highest motor able passes in Bhutan. The total walking time from Kung Karpo to Chelela pass is one and half hours. Your car and driver will be waiting here to transfer to Thimphu.
Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
Mountain Biking across Dochul La to Punakha
You will have breakfast in ancipation of your first bike ride in Bhutan. You will ride 22 km to Dochula Pass at 3150 meters high from the sea level with an elevation gain of 770 meters. If the weather is clear, you will be greeted with eight spectacular himlayan mountain ranges in the far north. The pass is marked by array of colourful prayer flags and 108 chortens. The 1700 meters downhill ride from the Dochu La into the Punakha Valle through lush forest and jungle spread over a distance of 50 kilometre will leave you speechless. On the way, you will bike along unpaved road through the village to visit the Madman's temple on the hillock. Biking for another 2 km road will led you to the hotel where we put our night here in Punakha.
Rafting at Punakha
In the morning, you will visit Punakha Dzong, lying at the junction of the Mo (female) Chu and the Po (male) Chu. The Dzong that looks like an anchored ship is the winter home for over 1000 monks. Every year the Punakha festival celebrates the famous victory over the Tibetans, who were repulsed whilst trying to recapture the self-emerged sacred statue of Avalokiteshvara, brought to Bhutan by Shabdrung in 1637. Then you will hike through a forest of pines and farmlands along the bank of Pho Chu River for about 2 hours till you reach Samdhingkha (put in). Your rafting crew will be waiting here for you. Then start rafting along the Pho Chu River coming across stretches of Class II and IV rapids. Upon arriving at a beach-like stretch of sand, some distance from a Chorten, you will be served lunch on the sandy embankment. The post-lunch rafting session will continue till you reach the relatively placid section of the river below the Punakha Dzong.
Drive to Bumthang from Punakha for Culture sightseeing
After breakfast, we head eastwards through the forests of fir, spruce and hemlock and after climbing for 3 hours we reach the Pele La pass (3300m.). There is an opportunity to see langur monkeys in the forest on this section of our ride. At the pass, the forest widens for a while and we might find yaks grazing by the side of the road. It is possible to see Chomolhari (7219m.) if you look back from the pass. From the pass to Trongsa follows an amazing descent of 1530 metres and almost 60 kilometres ride. You will have lunch at Chendebji at the roadside cafeteria. After lunch you will continue riding. Crossing a bridge at Nikkachu, and entering dramatic section of the road and with final 300-meter climp, we arrive Trongsa. From Trongsa, the road climbs rapidly through a series of hairpins with great views of the Dzong behind and out across the valley. After passing through cultivated fields for a while, you re-enter the forest and at after biking for 30 kilometres, we reach the Yutong La pas (3400m.). From the pass, you will descend to a low point of 2650 metres at a village called Chumey, which is the first out of four great valleys of Bumthang. After a short climb to Kiki La pass, we turn to a corner for a great descent to Jakar. From almost 20 kilometres away you will be greeted by the Jakar Dzong, high above the village.
Overnight in Jakar, Bumthang.
Today you have an option either to ride on bikes or do sightseeing in car. Sightseeing in Bumthang includes Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the valley; Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, dating from the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan; and Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places, because Guru Rinpoche left his body imprint on the cave when he was meditating. You can also meditate for few hours here. After lunch, you will also have a chance to tour Tamshing Lhakhang, a treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings.
Overnight hotel in Bumthang.
You'll begin the day at the Bumthang market, and then head to Wangdue. You can ride on bikes intermittantly till you reach Wangdue. Stop at Chendebji Chorten for your lunch. Chendebji Chorten was built in 18th century by a lama named Shida which is a Nepalese style with eyes painted at four cardinal points. After long exhilarating journey passing through two spectacular high passes, you will arrive Wangdue. The nearby villages of Wangdue are known for their slate and stone carvings.
Overnight hotel in Wangdue.
This morning you return to Thimphu. On reaching Dochula, you can visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is the only of its kind in the country, with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. After lunch, you will catch a busy Weekend Market at the bank of Thimphu River where people from nearby villages come here to sell their vegetables. You can stroll through the market to see the variety of food of the country, including basket upon basket of fiery chilies, fresh cheese, and mangoes. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. It's fun to wander the aisle, taking in the bustling atmosphere of the market. Perhaps this market scene offers wonderful opportunity for photographs and to mingle with local people.
Overnight hotel in Paro.
Hike to Tango Monastery
In the morning you can hike to Tango Monastery, which was built by the "Divine Madman" in the 15th century. It's a center of study for monks, and it affords a great view of the Thimphu Valley. After lunch, hike back to Thimphu. Evening is the free time for shopping in Thimphu town.
Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
After breakfast drive to the airport for departure. Our representative will bid you farewell.
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.