About Wonders of Bhutan
In clear weather, the flight over the Himalayas offers magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks as they give way to the lush green Paro valley. The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step off the plane. After clearing customs and visa control, we'll be met by our local CEO who will conduct our welcome meeting and orientation. Later, enjoy dinner and visit Rimpung Dzong, a school for monks, and take a walk through the town. Additional Notes: Approx. Altitude: Paro 2,300m Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Rimpung Dzong Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s)).
After breakfast, drive through dense forests of blue pine, oak, and rhododendrons and enjoy views of the Himalayan range and the valley beyond. After a lunch stop, the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass at 3,050m (10,007 ft). After stopping here for tea and panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain range, we descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Punakha. Additional Notes: Approx. Altitude: Punakha Valley 1,300m Transport: Private Vehicle (7.00-8.00 hours, 180km).
Visit Punakha Dzong, winter seat of the Je Khenpo and the Monk Body, located between the rivers of the Mo (female) Chu and Pho (male) Chu. Drive to Lobeysa and hike another 20 min to Chime Lhakhang, temple of the “Divine Madman,” built in 1499. Today it is mostly visited by women, as it is known as a temple of fertility. Walk back to the road and then drive a short distance to Wangdue for a visit to the Wangdue Phodrang. We'll continue on to the suspension bridge and hike through rice terraces, fields, and deep pine forest to Khamsum Yueley Chorten, where the view is superb. Descend until we reach the suspension bridge and the return to the hotel. Additional Notes: Wangdue Phodrang is currently under reconstruction, depending on the status, we may or may not be able to visit. Included Activities: Punakha Dzong Visit Chime Lhakhang Visit Wangdue Phodrang Visit Hike and visit Khamsum Yueley Chorten Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s)).
Additional Notes: Approx. Altitude: Gangtey Valley 2,900m Included Activities: Khewa Village Visit Family Farm Meal Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours, 78km).
The valley is also a centre for crane observation run by the RSPN (Royal Society for the Protection of Nature), an NGO striving to protect Bhutan’s environment, flora, and fauna. At certain times of the year, it is possible to spot these magnificent birds. Included Activities: Gangtey Goempa Monastery Visit Phobjikha and Khewa Valley Hike Transport: Private Vehicle.
Drive to the capital to visit the National Library, Memorial Chorten, and the Institute for Zorig Chusum, an arts and crafts school where we can watch students practicing traditional arts such as woodworking, painting, and ceramics. Meet with a Buddhist monk and scholar to discuss Buddhist beliefs and way of life, as well as values in Bhutan. Additional Notes: Approx. Altitude: Thimpu 2,300m Included Activities: National Library Visit Memorial Chorten Visit Institute for Zorig Chusum Visit Meet a Buddhist Monk Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours)
Drive to the Haa Valley, one of the most remote and sacred valleys in Bhutan, via the Chelela Pass. En route, hike to Kila Goempa Nunnery, which clings to a rocky cliff. Drive to the valley and visit Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple), and Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple). Additional Notes: Approx. Altitude: Haa Valley 2,600m Included Activities: Kila Goempa Nunnery Hike Haa Valley Temples and shrines Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00-8.00 hours)
Return to Paro and visit the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong fortress. Additional Notes: Approx. Altitude: Paro 701m (2,300 ft) Included Activities: Drukgyal Dzong Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00-3.00 hours, 65km).
Embark on a vigorous hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s Nest), the most venerated pilgrim site of the Himalayan world. The view is absolutely stunning, with the monastery clinging to a cliff face towering 2,953m above the valley. Later, visit Kyichu Lhakhang Temple and the local archery grounds. Additional Notes: Due to the altitude this climb can be tough. Be prepared to spend about 5 1/2 hours to get up and down with stops, including lunch. Remember to stay hydrated and take your time. The hike is gradual and uphill and takes about 2 hrs to reach the first stop at the cafeteria where you can enjoy views of the monastery. If you choose, you can stop here and wait for the group who choose to continue up to the Monastery. Included Activities: Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery Hike Kyichu Lhakhang Temple Visit Local Archery Grounds Visit Transport: Private Vehicle.
Depart at any time. Airport transfer included. Transport: Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s)).