Our ‘the Last Shangri-La’ 15-night package is a comprehensive look at the mystical kingdom in all its glory. The tour takes you along the entire breadth of the county that has been bestowed by nature with an incredible diversity in topography resulting in a wide range of flora and fauna. The package includes a cultural visit to all its most important towns and several sacred pilgrimage sites, laden with deep symbolism and regilious mysticism. This trip is guaranteed to demonstate to you why Bhutan is referred to as the last Shangri-La on Earth.
You will arrive at the Paro International Airport where we will greet you in a typical Bhutanese style. After lunch in Paro, we will take a scroll in the Paro town to take in the scenery and the atmosphere of this mystical country. 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 can also visit a local farmhouse and drink tea with a local farmer and his family. 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 drive 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. In Thimphu, we can visit some sacred sites such as the National Memorial chorten, Changangkha Lhakhang, and Buddha Point. Overnight in Thimphu.
A day of sightseeing in Thimphu, where we will visit the Tashichhodzong, the National Library, the botanical garden, 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, and the Folk Museum. We may also be able to visit the weekly vegetable market. Overnight in Thimphu.
We will drive to Punakha in the morning. On the way, we will stop at the Dochula Pass, which offers one of the most beautiful views of Bhutanese landscape. In Punakha, we will visit the Punakha Dzong (fortress), Bhutanese architecture at its finest, and Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility), built in the 15th century by the ‘Divine Mad Man’ (Lama Drukpa Kuenley). Overnight in Punakha.
We will drive to Phobjikha valley in the morning. 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.
We will drive eastward towards Mongar, with spectacular views en route. We will stop at the majestic Thrumsingla Pass, the highest point on Bhutan’s motorable road network. In Mongar, we will visit the Mongar Dzong, one of the newest dzongs in Bhutan, and take a stroll in the sleepy Mongar town. Overnight in Mongar.
In the morning, we will start our journey further eastward. On the way, we will see the famous Drametse Temple, one of the most important monasteries of eastern Bhutan. Then, we will reach Trashigang, the township of the biggest and most populated district in the country. After lunch, we will visit the Trashigang Dzong, the administrative and religious center of the district.
Today, we will take an excursion to Trashiyangtse. En route, we will visit the temple of Gom Kora and the famous weaving villages of Doksum. In Trashiyangtse, we will visit the Trashiyangtse Dzong and the famous white stupas of Chorten Kora. We will also pay a visit to the nearby institute of Zorig Chusum, where students are trained in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts. We will return to Trashigang for overnight stay.
We will drive south to Samdrup Jongkhar. On the way, we will stop by Sherubtse College, the first institution for higher learning in Bhutan. In Khaling, we will stop by the National Institue for the Disabled and the Weaving Centre. We will reach the bordering town of Samdrup Jongkhar. Overnight in Samdrup Jongkhar.
After breakfast, we will drive to Guwahati, the capital town of the Indian northeastern state of Assam, where there are regular flights to Delhi, Calcutta and other nearby destinations. We say good-bye and wish you well on your onward journey. Tashi Delek!
Please be aware that, for security reasons, the route from Trashigang to Samdrup Jongkhar may sometimes be closed. Please check with Cama before taking bookings for this tour.