This Bhutan cultural travel itinerary take in the country’s finest historical museums and fortresses through seven beautiful picturesque valleys, separated by beautiful high passes. Vibrant and colorful festivals are held in this region but times vary each year according to the lunar calendar.
During the flight you will have views of the mighty Himalaya Mountains, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. After landing at Paro in a pretty valley dotted with farmhouses and with the turquoise colored Pachu River meandering through it, you will be greeted by a local tour representative and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon visit Ta Dzong, built in 17th century as a watchtower to defend the Paro Dzong (fortress) and the valley.
Ta Dzong was later converted into the National Museum in 1967 and is filled with antique Thangka paintings, textiles, weapons and Bhutan’s renowned postage stamps. Below Ta Dzong, is fascinating Ringpung Dzong meaning “fortress of heap of jewels”. In the evening exploring Paro is a good opportunity to observe the unique Bhutanese lifestyle and appreciate Bhutanese architecture. Overnight in Paro.
After breakfast, drive to Thimphu the capital city of Bhutan for sightseeing starting with the Memorial stupa built in 1974 by her Majesty the Queen Ashi Phuentso Choden Wangchuk in memory of her son, the third King of Bhutan. You can also visit the giant Buddha overlooking the Thimphu valley which is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world measuring 51.5 meters.
Have lunch at a local restaurant to try typical Bhutanese dishes. Visit the Takin zoo to see Bhutan’s national animal, visit the school of thirteen arts and crafts where you will discover the talents of young Bhutanese students. Also visit a traditional paper factory and the National Library of Bhutan to see the largest book published in the world. Later in the evening visit the majestic Thimphu Fortress which is
the main secretariat Building and the office of the King of Bhutan. Overnight in Thimphu.
Today drive for about three hours to Punakha with a tea stop in the stunning Dochula Pass (3150 meters above sea level) with great mountain views, followed by a downhill drive through forests of rhododendron, fir and hemlock.
In Punakha you’ll have lunch and then you can hike for about half an hour through the paddy field of Mesina village to the temple of fertility locally known as ‘chimmi Lhakhang’. Next, visit the stunning Punakha Fortress, built in 16th century by the great Buddhist master Zabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and serving as a secretariat building of Punakha district today. Overnight at Punakha.
After breakfast, drive back to Paro through Dochu La pass to visit the Druk Wangyel temple, a mix of modern and traditional Bhutanese architecture. After lunch, visit the textile museum in the heart of Thimphu city, followed by an hour’s drive to Paro. Overnight in Paro.
After breakfast hike for about three hours to Takshang (the Tiger’s Nest), Bhutan’s most famous monastery situated at 3180 meters ave sea level on the cliffs of the upper Paro Valley. Guru Rimpoche (a spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of tigress to meditate in a cave where the Takshang monastery now stands. Lunch is served in the cafe about half way up the mountain. Explore the monastery, then hike back down to the valley floor, a satisfying conclusion to your stay in Bhutan. Overnight in Paro.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure.
Trip length: 5 nights 6 days
Activity type: Cultural tour