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Tucked away deep in the eastern Himalayas between mighty neighbours – China to the north and India to the south, there lies a tiny independent country. Bhutan is one of the most beautiful and least travelled countries in the world and the last living Vajrayana Buddhist Kingdom.
Hidden by the staggering mountains of the Himalayas, Bhutan chose to remain on self-imposed isolation until it opened its door to the outside world in 1960s and to this day, it still remains largely untouched by the worldly influence and holds strongly on to its age-old traditions.
Bhutan is the only carbon negative country in the world with 70% of its land under forest cover and the constitution mandates that 60% of the land must remain under forest cover at all times. Guided by the development philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH), it embraces modernization and globalization with utmost care balancing economic development with spiritual and social wellbeing, environmental sustainability and cultural preservation all within the framework of good governance.
On this 7 Days 6 Nights adventures through the hearts of 4 western districts of Bhutan, you will explore rural villages and magnificent fortresses and climb to the most recognized iconic landmark in Bhutan, the Taktsang monastery perched on a sheer 800 meters rock cliff. Delve yourself into the soaring Himalayan peaks and pristine natural environment, gain firsthand experience on its rich ancient Buddhist culture and discover happiness. Below are some of the highlights you can expect on this trip:
You’ll also venture out on nature hikes and appreciate pristine natural environment, explore and ramble through rural villages and gain firsthand experience on its culture and people, explore one of the most unique and extraordinary countries in the world.
Paro International Airport, Bhutan
All year round
During the months of January, February, June, July, August & December
US$1480– for single person traveller
US$1420 per person – for a couple or group of 2 people
US$1240 per person – for a group of 3 people & above
During the months of March, April, May, September, October & November
US$1780– for single person traveller
US$1720 per person – for a couple or group of 2 people
US$1540 per person – for a group of 3 people or more
|Distance to Thimphu||55km|
|Driving Time||1.5 Hours|
On your arrival at the Paro International Airport, you will be received by our guide and the driver and then you will be taken on your first adventure in this beautiful Kingdom. After lunch you will be transferred to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.
Note: The coverage of the tour on the first day depends on your flight arrival time.
Visit the National Museum of Bhutan housed in the 17th century watch tower/fortress called Ta Dzong. The collection of artefacts at the museum displays a snap-shot of the rich cultural traditions of Bhutan. Visit Paro Rinpung Dzong which literally translates to “Fortress of the heap of jewels”. Built in 1646, this Dzong serves as office of the governor and head of the monk body of Paro district. From there walk to the beautiful traditional wooden cantilever bridge that runs over Paro river.
After lunch, you will be transferred to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Lunch time and venue will depend on your arrival time. Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan and it is home to approximately 115,000 residents. This bustling little city is the main centre of commerce, religion and government in the country. It is the only capital city in the world without traffic lights and even commercial billboards.
On arrival in Thimphu, visit the 169ft Buddha Dordhenma Statue located at Kuensel Phodrang overlooking the Thimphu valley. From there drive to visit the Weaving Center (Optional) to learn about weaving culture and tradition of the Kingdom of Bhutan. You will see women at work weaving simple plain textiles to one of the most intricate designs and patterns of traditional Bhutanese costumes.
Later in the evening after 5PM, visit Tashichho Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion) which houses the Throne Room of the King and summer residence of the Chief Abbot of Bhutan.
Dinner and overnight at Kuenphen Rabten Resort OR Hotel Amodhara.
|Round Trip Hiking Time||2-3 Hours|
|Tango Monastery Altitude||3,060m/10,040ft|
Today, after early breakfast, we will do 2-3-hour return hike to Tango Monastery and then after lunch do some sightseeing in Thimphu town.
Located at about 14km north of Thimphu on a pristine mountain side, Tango Monastery was originally founded in 13th century by the Tibetan saint Phajo Drugom Zhigpo who first established the Drukpa Kagyu School of Buddhism in Bhutan and subsequently became the state religion. The return hike takes about 2-3 hours for most visitors.
Drive back to Thimphu town where a traditional lunch will be served at the Folk Heritage Museum Restaurant. If interested, you can also visit the Folk Heritage Museum.
After lunch, visit National Library of Bhutan considered as national treasure of Bhutan and fundamental source of Bhutanese history, religion, medicine, arts and culture. Opens during working weekdays & on Saturdays 10am – noon. Just nearby is the National Institute of Zorig Chusum (Institute of Traditional Arts & Crafts) where 13 traditional arts & crafts of Bhutan are taught. If the class is in session, you can hop in and observe while the students gets hands-on training. Opens during working weekdays & on Saturdays 10am – noon.
From there visit the Centenary Farmers’ Market to learn about the food preference and culture in Bhutanese society. Farmers from all over the country bring their farm produce to sell. The market opens from Friday – Sunday. From there pass by the Changlimithang Archery Range and witness the game of archery if the match is in progress. You will see archers dancing and singing each time they hit the target from a distance of 145 meters. Archery is the national sport of Bhutan.
Leisure time in Thimphu town.
Dinner and overnight at Kuenphen Rabten Resort OR Hotel Amodhara.
|Distance to Punakha Valley||74km|
|Driving Time||2.5-3 Hours|
After breakfast, drive to Punakha valley. En route stop briefly at Dochula – a sacred mountain pass at an elevation of 3150m and enjoy a grand view of some of the highest mountains of Bhutan on a clear day. Good opportunity for photos! From there continue driving towards Punakha and gradually descend to a subtropical valley within an hour.
Just about 11km before reaching Punakha town, visit the famous 15th century Chimi Lhakhang popularly known among tourists as “Temple of Fertility”. A gentle walk through the terraced rice fields and traditional farmhouses painted with phalluses will give you a unique experience. Walk and explore the village.
After lunch at a nearby hotel, drive to Punakha town and visit the most beautiful 17th century Punakha Dzong which displays fine Bhutanese arts and craftsmanship which continues to influence the Bhutanese architecture to this day. You will spend sometime appreciating the intricate wood works and sacred wall paintings. From there walk to Bhutan’s longest suspension bridge if interested.
If time permits, drive to Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Buddhist College for Nuns located on a quiet and peacefull hilltop overlooking partial Punakha Valley. You will have an opportunity to meet and mingle with nuns and spend some peacefull moment.
Dinner and overnight at Meri Puensum Resort OR Hotel Pema Karpo
|Round Trip Hiking Time||2-2.5 Hours|
|Distance to Phobjikha Valley||80km|
|Driving Time||3 Hours|
After breakfast, hike to the picturesque Khamsum Yuellay Namgyel Chorten on a peaceful hilltop and enjoy a nice view of fertile Punakha valley. After lunch transfer to Phobjikha valley and then venture out on Gangtey Nature Hike through the pristine valley.
Khamsum Yuellay Namgyel Chorten is located on a serene hilltop overlooking the fertile Punakha valley with glacial fed Mochu river meandering through the valley. The hike leads through the terraced rice fields and takes about 2.5-hours round trip for most visitors. Retrace your footstep back to the roadhead and drive back to the town for lunch.
After lunch, you will transferred to Phobjikha valley in Gangtey. Phobjikha is a vast U-shaped glacial valley at an elevation of about 3,000m/9,840ft and it is a winter home for endangered Black Necked Crane from November to March and migrates back to Tibetan Plateau by the beginning of spring season. As part of the conservation effort, Phobjikha valley has been declared as a protected area.
Upon arrival in Phobjikha valley, you will go on an exciting Gangtey Nature Hike. The trail is about 5km and takes approximately 3 hours through the woods surrounded by splendid nature all around, wonderful meadows, beautiful traditional village houses, farm lands and crystalline streams. This short nature trail gives you a great feeling of the valley and understanding of the livelihood of the people living there. Lots of opportunities to take beautiful pictures!
After the hike, visit a beautiful farmhouse/homestay for an authentic home-cooked local cuisine. You can participate/learn how to prepare some of the popular Bhutanese dishes.
strong>Note: A visit to farmhouse/homestay for home-cooked local cuisine can be arranged if the group size is 8 people or less. A group size of less than 4 people can choose to stay overnight at homestay to experience the life of a typical Bhutanese farmer.
Overnight at Yue-Loki Guest House OR Homestay
|Distance to Paro||175km|
|Driving Time||5-5.5 Hours|
After breakfast, visit one of the largest monasteries in Bhutan – Gangtey Goenpa and then you will be transferred back to Paro.
The 17th century Gangtey Monastery popularly known as Gangtey Goenpa is one of the largest monasteries in Bhutan. Gangtey literally means “Hilltop” and Goenpa “remote place” and is usually a place of religious significance. You will meet peace-loving monks who studies Buddhist Philosophy.
Then drive back to Paro valley. Lunch will be served on the way. Upon arrival in Paro and if time permits, visit one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang which is believed to have been built overnight by the Tibetan Kind Songtsen Gampo.
Leisure time in Paro town. Good time to buy Lungta prayer flags if you are interested to hoist at Chelela Pass tomorrow.
Dinner and overnight at Khangkhu Resort OR Yewong Eco Lodge.
|Round Trip Hiking Time||4-5 Hours|
Today, on the 6th day of your trip, you will hike to the famous 17th century Paro Taktsang Monastery popular known as the “Tiger’s Nest”. Originally built in 1692, the iconic sacred site Taktsang is perched on the 800m rock cliff and it is the most visited place in Bhutan. The round-trip hike takes about 4-5 Hours for most visitors.
After lunch at the Taktsang Cafeteria, descend back to the base and drive to Paro town where you will spend some leisure time.
Later in the evening, visit a beautiful traditional farmhouse for an authentic dinner comprised of home-cooked local cuisine. You can also soak up in the therapeutic traditional hot stone bath for an additional fee of about US$15 per person.
Overnight at Khangkhu Resort OR Yewong Eco Lodge.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Paro International Airport depending on your flight departure time.
All tour services we provide are independent with flexible itineraries which can be customized to suit your interest and requirement. You can form a group to get discounts. Apart from the predesigned packages which have proven successful, Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel can also arrange the following add-on activities to enrich your experiences in Bhutan. These activities can be fitted into any tour itineraries.
Please note that some of the activities may involve extra fees.
All your deposits and any payment less administrative fees of US$100 per person will be refunded if you notify us at least 30 days prior to your arrival date. Refer the cancellation fee schedule below to determine the applicable charges:
|DAYS TO ARRIVAL||CANCELLATION CHARGES PER PERSON|
|30+||US$100 administrative fee per person|
|16-29||50% of the total cost|
|8-15||20% of the total cost|
|0-7 days||No refund is available|
In case the trip is cut short or duration lost due to unforeseen reasons after arrival in Bhutan, no refund is available as the payment would have been already made to hotels and other logistics.
There shall be no charges for the number of days of delay either during arrivals or departures or both, due to weather conditions, communication problems, cancellation or delay in Bhutanese airline flights, sickness or any other legitimate reason as Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) may deem reasonable. However, the Tourist will be charged on the actual expenses on accommodation, food, transport and any other services provided.