This tour combines a journey to the Central part of Bhutan with one of the most sought after trek, Bumthang Cultural Trek. Bumthang is well known as one of the main cultural centres of Bhutan and there are many opportunities to visit temples and small Bhutanese villages along the trek route. Although the trek is on the easy side, it involves a few major climbs like the one up to Pephe La with an ascent of about 500 m.
Day 1 :Arrival Paro
Arrive at Paro by flight.
The flight over world’s highest glacial peaks is one of the most scintillating experiences. On entering Paro valley, you will see the spectacular Pa Chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley, the Paro Dzong and Ta Dzong.
On arrival, warm reception at airport and transfer to the capital city of Thimphu. Stay overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.
Day 2 : Thimphu
Full-day sightseeing in Thimphu valley.
The sights include National Library, Painting School, Traditional Medicine Institute, Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, Memorial Chorten, Trashichhodzong and Handicrafts Emporium that displays wide collection of beautifully hand-crafted products.
Stay overnight at Thimphu.
Day 3 : Thimphu – Trongsa
After breakfast, drive to Dochula pass (altitude 3050 m). Later drive to Wangduephodrang and then Trongsa across Pelela pass.
At Dochula Pass, if weather permits, you will see a range of picturesque Himalayan peaks like Masagang (7158 m), Tsendagang (6960 m), and Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at an altitude of 7497 m. Wangduephodrang valley is quite a long valley. Pelela pass is the traditional boundary between the east and the west.
Arrive at Trongsa and check into the lodge.Bhutan Tours
Day 4 : Trongsa – Bumthang
After breakfast visit Trongsa Dzong and Ta Dzong. Then drive to Bumthang (3 hours). On arrival, check into the lodge.
Visit the Jambey Lhakhang, Tamshing Monastery, Jakar Dzong and Swiss Farm House. Kurje Lhakhang is a temple where saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock.
Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Start of Bumthang Cultural Trek. (2 nights 3 days)
Day 5. Jakar – Nagang Lakhang:
The trek will take to Chamkhar river. You will across many villages and temples. This is a very easy and relaxing day. Arrive at the village camp at the altitude of 2900 meters. Walking time wil take 6 hours.
Day 6: Ngang Lhakang – Ugyenchholing: The trail ascends gradually towards the Phephe la pass, going through the forest of junipers, until you arrive at the pass at an altitude 3340 meters. After the pass descend to Tang Valley, finally arriving at Ugyenchholing village. Camp by the side of the river at the altitude of 2850 meters. Walking time will take 7-8 hours.
Day 7. Ugenchholing – Jakar:
Morning walk towards Ugyenchholing Fortress and the surrounding village, then drive to Jakar following the Tang river until you arrive at the main road junction. On the way visit the Membertsho Lake, where Terton Pemalingpa, the reincarnation of guru Padmasambava is supposed to have discovered religious treasure in the 12th century. This lake is very sacred and is visited by many Bhutanese during auspicious days to offer butter lamps. Overnight at the lodge.
Day 8.Bumthang (Excursion to Ura valley):
After breakfast, drive to Ura valley. Packed Lunch will be served. In the evening, drive back to Bumthang. Over night in Bumthang.
Day 9: Bumthang – Phobjikha valley:
After breakfast, drive to the beautiful valley of Phobjikha/Gangtey. Visit Gangtey Gompa Monastery from outside. Explore Phobjikha valley, famous for the Black Necked Cranes during winter. Dinner and overnight at the Guest House.
Day 10: Phobjikha – Punakha :
Breakfast in hotel and go around the heavenly valley of Phobjikha to observe the BlackNecked Cranes in its roosting place till lunch. The lunch will be served at hotel in Phobjikha. Visit the Wangdue Dzong on the way to Punakha for night, the old capital of Bhutan till 1955.
Day 11: Punakha – Thimphu:
Early breakfast in hotel and visit Punakha Dzong. Punakha Dzong is a massive structure built at the confluence of two rivers. It was the capital of Bhutan until 1955, and still serves as the winter residence of the monk body. This Dzong has withstood several damages from fire, earthquake and flood.
Drive to Lobesa from where you can hike to Chhimi Lhakhang, popularly known as the fertility temple. Lunch at Dochula cafeteria. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 12: Thimphu (Sight seeing) :Thimphu- Hiking- Tango & Cheri Monasteries
After breakfast, drive north to the trail to the Tango Monastery. The climb about 280m passes through beautiful forests that are excellent for bird watching, before arriving at the monastery in slightly more than an hour. The Tango monastery (8500m) was built by Lama Gyalwa Lhanampa in the 12th Century and the present building was built in the 15th century by the Divine Madman, Lama Drukpa Kunley. History states that in 1616 The Shabdrung Nawang Namgyal visited Tango and meditated in a cave near the goenpa. His meditations helped ensure the defeat of the invading Tibetan army.
The picturesque three-story tower and several surrounding buildings were built in the 18th century by the 8th Desi, Druk Rabgye. The golden roof was added by the Shandrung Jigme Chhogyel in the 19th Century. The Tango monastery as well as the Cheri monastery are the only two Buddhist monasteries that offer a Degree and are the highest centers of Buddhist education. At the monastery you can interact with students of the university and view the great architecture. Nearby are many small retreat centers where many monks meditate for 3 years or 12 years solitary meditation.
Later descend down and enjoy a picnic lunch on the way. Overnight in Thimphu
Day 13 : Thimphu – Paro
Morning drive towards Paro and visit en route traditional Bhutanese farm house. Enjoy sightseeing in Paro valley. After lunch drive to Drukgyel Dzong and see en route Kyichu Lhakhang.
During the sightseeing tour visit the National Museum that served in the past as a watch tower, Paro Dzong – a five hundred year old fortress, Drukgyel Dzong that commemorates Bhutanese victory over the Tibetans in war of 1644, and Kyichu Lhakhang – one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom.
Day 14 : Paro (Taktshang excursion)
The Tiger’s Nest or the Taktshang hangs precariously from the cliff at 900 metres from the floor of the Paro valley, which is about two-hour arduous walk from the road head at the base of the cliff. The legend has it that Guru Rinpoche came to Taktshang in a miraculous manner, flying on the back of a tigress from Khenpajong in the region of Kurtoe and meditated for three months in a cave where the monastery stands today and converted Paro valley into Buddhism. Many Buddhist saints including Milarepa, the famous Tibetan yogin Machig Labdoenma, Phajo Drugom Zhigpo, Thangthon Gyalpo and Drukpa Kuenlay, the divine madman, have visited the sacred site.
Day 15 : Chelila Pass- Haa
This Morning, drive to Haa via the Chelila Pass, the highest road in Bhutan at 4000 meters. On a clear day there are superb views of Mt. Jhomolhari and the Eastern Himalayan Range from this point. If weather permits, you will hike towards the Haa Valley and enjoy the mountain scenery. Continuing on to Haa (8,811ft), descending all the way for another 22km or approximately one hour’s drive. After a picnic lunch by the river near the new Haa Dzong, you visit two famous monasteries, Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) and Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple). The central shrine in Lhakhang Nagpo is said to be almost identical to that of the Jowo temple in Lhasa. Legend has it that local deities assisted in the construction of Lhakhanga Karpo. The Bhutanese come here to offer prayers and adorn the hills with prayer flags to pray to the Mountain Gods.
The three giant hills looming over the fringes of Haa are popularly known as ‘RigSum Goenpa’ signifying three deities, Jambayang, Chana Dorji and Chenrezig. These are the three principal bodhisattvas among the thousand future Buddhas to come.
Return to Paro and this evening consider exploring the town on your own.Paro
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 16 : Depart from Paro
After breakfast drive to the airport for a flight to your onward destination.
(Please note: The above itineraries can be furthur customized or modified according to clients needs. Factors like weather, flight scheduled, health of the visitors, preferences etc, may dictate change in itineraries. Therefore we reserve the right to change this scheduled in the interest of the visitors.)