In 1972, the King of Bhutan told a reporter from the Financial Times “Gross National Happiness (G.N.H) is more important than Gross Domestic Product (G.D.P)” and this is reflected in the warmth and hospitality of the people that inhabit this beautiful country. With one of the most dramatic mountainscapes in the world, Bhutan is a rewarding destination for those looking for something a little bit different.
- Traverse the 3,088 metre high Dochu-la pass from where 7 mountain peaks over 6960m can be viewed.
- Sample traditional life with a visit to a local farm house to see how people make their lives in the mountains.
- Experience the incredible and unforgettable Taktsang Monastery, perched on the edge of a 900m cliff.
Private Touring Programme
Meals and sightseeing as per itinerary
Day 1: Paro – Thimpu (D)
In clear weather, Druk Air’s flight to Bhutan provides a wonderful view of Himalayan scenery.
Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkata, it is a fascinating journey, culminating in an exciting descent past forested hills into the kingdom.
On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met by our representative. On completion of airport formalities, there will be an interesting drive of about 2 hour’s duration to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan. Evening free after dinner.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 2: Thimphu (BLD)
Thimphu, perhaps the most unusual capital city in the world, is the seat of government. This bustling town is home to Bhutan’s royal family, the civil servants, and foreign missions with representation in Bhutan. It is also the headquarters for a number of internationally funded development projects.
Morning visit to National Library which houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature, with some works dating back several hundred years. Visit the nearby Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School), where a six year training course is given in the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. Also visit (outside only), the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, where the medicinal herbs abundant in the kingdom are compounded and dispensed.
After lunch, visit the National Memorial Chorten. The building of this landmark was originally envisaged by Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace. Visit the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and privately owned craft shops, which offer a wide range of handcrafted products, including the splendid thangkha paintings and exquisitely woven textiles for which Bhutan is famous. Also visit the folk Heritage and National Textile Museums, opened in 2001.
Later in the evening visit Trashichhodzong, the beautiful medieval fortress/monastery which houses most of the Government's office and King's Throne room. It is also the summer residence of Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 3: Thimphu – Punakha (BLD)
After early breakfast, drive up to Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m), Jejegangphugang (7,158m), Kangphugang (7,170m), Zongphugang (7,060m), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana - finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.
Later visit to Punakha Dzong, the 17th century fortress which has played important role in building up of modern Bhutan followed by visit to local market. Then visit, Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten, the newly built stupa.
After that drive to Wangduephodrang visiting local market.
Optional itinerary change: Wangduephodrang can be replaced with Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang nunnery. Perched on a ridge amid pine trees and overlooking valleys of Punakha and Wangduephodrang, gleams the magnificent structures of Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang (Temple). The temple houses a 14-foot main bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara (Chenrigzig chagtong chentong). This statue, one of the biggest in the country, was the handiwork of entirely local Bhutanese artisans.
The temple complex also houses a permanent higher learning and meditation centre for nuns where, apart from religious trainings, it provides life skill training such as tailoring, embroidery, statue making and thangka painting.
Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
Day 4: Punakha – Paro (BLD)
After breakfast drive to Paro en route visit Simtokha Dzong. This dzong, built in 1627 is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies.
Afternoon in Paro, visit Ta Dzong. Once a watchtower built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century, Ta Dzong was inaugurated as Bhutan’s National Museum in 1968. Afterwards, walk down a hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, which has a long and fascinating history.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 5: Paro (BLD)
After breakfast drive up the valley to view the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, 18 km from Paro town on the northern side of the valley. It was from here that the Bhutanese repelled several invading Tibetan armies during the 17th century. Nearby, visit a traditional Bhutanese farm house which offers a good insight into the lifestyle of local people.
Next, take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery view point, the most famous of Bhutanese monasteries. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery hence it is called “Tiger’s Nest”. The excursion to the monastery’s view point takes about 5 hours for the round trip.
While returning to Paro town visit en route Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 6: Paro (B)
After breakfast drive to the airport for your onward flight.
- Accommodation on twin sharing basis as per the itinerary
- All meals - Breakfast and dinner at hotel they stay & lunch at the best restaurant town/packed from the hotel.
- Private transfers and sightseeing as per the given itinerary
- Services of an accompanying English speaking guide from arrival till departure
- Entrance fees – for single visit only
- royalty and taxes
- Bhutan Visa fee
- International airfares
- Optional tours and excursions
- Port Taxes and fuel surcharges
- Tipping/Gratuities (please refer to tour notes for a recommended guideline)
- Personal Expenses
- Departure taxes
- Hotel charges for minibar or any extra charges
- Visas (unless specified)
- Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above
Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Special VIP meet and assist offers are valid for New Zealand passport holders, for other nationalities please check at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.