Our ‘Journey to the heart of Bhutan’ 11-night package combines all the elements of the ‘Bhutan at a glance’ tour and adds a scenic journey to the breathtaking valleys of Phobjikha and Bumthang. A valley often referred to as ‘the Switzerland of Bhutan’, Bumthang has numerous important Buddhist monasteries and pilgrimage sites. In addition, the valley is the seat of fascinating myths and legends about Kings, Buddhist masters and Serpents, making it the cultural and historical center of Bhutan.
You will arrive at the Paro International Airport where we will greet you in a typical Bhutanese style. After lunch in Paro, you will be driven to the capital town of Thimphu, which is a short one-hour drive. On the way, we will stop at the magnificent Tamchhog Lhakhang, the hereditary place of worship for Bhutan’s iron bridge builder. Overnight in Thimphu.
A day of sightseeing in Thimphu, where we will visit the National Memorial Chorten, the National Library, Changangkha Lhakhang, Tashichhodzong, and the National Painting School. Other places that you can choose to visit are the Thimphu Zoo to see the magnificent takin, the National Textile Museum, the Folk Museum and the breathtaking Buddha Point. We may also be able to visit the weekly vegetable market. Overnight in Thimphu.
We will drive to Phobjikha valley in the morning. On the way, we will stop at the Dochula Pass, which offers one of the most beautiful views of Bhutanese landscape. Once at Phobjikha, we will drive/walk around the breathtaking valley that has been declared as the first eco-tourism destination of Bhutan. We will look for the rare and endangered black necked cranes (grus nigricllis) that fly into the valley during winters from Tibet. Overnight in Phobjikha.
In the morning, we will visit the Observatory to get a closer look at the mystical black necked cranes. Then, we will visit the Sacred Gangtey Monastery before continuing our journey towards Central Bhutan. We will reach the sleepy town of Trongsa, the gateway to central Bhutan. Overnight in Trongsa.
We will visit the majestic Trongsa Dzong, one of the largest in the country and of great historical significance. Then, we will visit the ancient Ta Dzong (watch tower) dedicated to the Royal Wangchuck dynasty. After lunch, we will drive to Bumthang, which is about 2-3 hours away. We can make a quick stop at Chumey Valley, where one can see women weaving traditional attire of exquisite design called the Yathra. Overnight in Bumthang.
A day of sightseeing in the fascinating valley of Bumthang, where we will visit important religious and historical sites including Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang and Tamshing Lhakhang. We will also visit the Jakar Dzong (Bhutan’s largest) and the famous Swiss cheese factory. Overnight in Bumthang.
We will take an excursion to the remote Tang valley. We will visit the Membartsho (the burning lake), which is one of Bhutan’s most sacred pilgrimage sites. Then, we will visit Drangchel, which is the birthplace of one of the most revered Bhutanese saints, Pema Lingpa. We will also visit Ugyenchholing Palace (now a museum) that will give a fascinating insight into the lives of Bhutanese aristocrats in the last century. Throughout the day, you will be able to see picturesque villages and temples, and meet with the locals to get a sense of life in this enchanting valley. Return to Bumthang for overnight stay.
Today will be a full day drive to Punakha with sightseeing en-route. Overnight in Punakha.
In the morning, we will visit the Punakha Dzong, Bhutanese architecture at its finest, and Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility), built in the 15th century by the ‘Divine Mad Man’ (Lama Drukpa Kuenley). Then we will travel to Paro towards the evening. Overnight in Paro.
Today will be a full day of sightseeing in Paro. In the morning, we will visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong (‘the fortress of the heap of jewels’) and the National Museum (Ta Dzong). After lunch, we will visit the Drukgyel Dzong (‘fortress of victory’) and the sacred Kyichu lhakhang. We will also visit handicraft shops to look for souvenirs of your trip. Overnight in Paro.
We will hike up to the ‘Tiger’s Nest’, the sacred Taktshang monastery and have lunch at the Takshang cafeteria overlooking the beautiful Paro valley. On the way back, we can visit the Dumtse Lhakhang, a temple built by Thangthong Gyalpo, the iron bridge builder. Overnight in Paro.
We will say good-bye to you at the Paro International Airport. Tashi Delek!