Our Glimpse of Bhutan tour encompasses the entire panoply of all that this stunning and sacred country has to offer. Serene temples, formidable fortresses, and haunting stupas. Peaceful forests and sublime views of the Himalayas. Art and architecture invested with the very beliefs and spirituality of a culture steeped in the teachings of Buddha. And above all the opportunity to meet and observe a humble and cheerful people at peace with their lives and ever ready to greet visitors as if they're guests being welcomed into their own homes.
We’ll explore the trails and nature of the country, visit monasteries such as Wangditse, Changangkha and the famous Tiger’s Nest, wander the fascinating streets of Thimphu, the capital, and take in cultural delights such as the Folk Heritage Museum and Textile Museum.
Day 01: Arrive Paro International Airport
Day 02: Thimpu to Kuensel Phodrang/Buddha Point
Day 03: Thimphu to Punakha and Wangdue (1250m, 76 km 3 hrs drive)
Day 04: Punakha to Paro (130km, 4 hrs drive)
Day 05: Excursion to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest)
Day 06: Departure from Paro
The flight to Paro from Kathmandu doubles as a scenic flight, with glorious views to the Himalayas and the breathtakingly beautiful landscapes of Bhutan as we approach our destination. En route to our hotel in Thimphu we’ll pause at Chuzom to take in the spirituality and calm surroundings of the three stupas situated by the river.
Our day begins at the Memorial Chorten, built to honor the third king of Bhutan, a revered figure considered the founder of modern Bhutan. From there we make the sojourn to Buddha Point to pay our respects to the 50 meter high statue of Buddha, then visit the ancient temple of Changangkha Lhakhang perched on a hill above Thimpu. The afternoon comprises a visit to the Takin Reserve to observe the extraordinary creature unique to Bhutan, after which we’ll embark on a cultural tour of the city that takes in the National Library and its priceless Buddhist manuscripts, the textile museum and its exceptional display of various weaving styles, the Institute for Zorig Chuzom for its deep insights into the artistic culture of the country, and finally the Folk Heritage Museum with its fascinating walk through on the nation’s history. The day concludes with a visit to Tashichhodzong, the venerable fortress situated on the shores of the Thimphu River.
The day’s first destination is the pass of Dochula and its scenic outlook, with prayer flags fluttering nearby as we gaze out across the panoramic views towards the Himalayan massif and the range of 7000 meter peaks towering over the landscape. From there it’s on to Punakha, the former capital of the country, where we visit the glorious edifice of Punakha Dzong, a massive and gold-towered structure that hints of the Potala Palace in Tibet. The day’s last destination is Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery in picturesque surroundings held to be a fertility temple for childless couples seeking divine intervention.
Our drive takes us on to Simtokha Dzong, an imposing fortress that formerly stood guard over the region, then we continue to Ta Dzong, another fortress now functioning as a National Museum that houses a fine collection of artifacts, art, textiles and other objects of historical interest. Our day of touring fortresses is rounded out with one of the finest, Rinpung Dzong, a historic structure renowned for its murals and wooden galleries. We conclude by settling in for the evening back in Paro.
Our fifth and final day in Bhutan brings us to what many consider the highlight of a visit to the country, a hike to enchanting Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s Nest) and its stunning cliffside setting in the mountains. The walk there and back typically takes five hours and is an experience in its own right.
Breakfast, then an early morning departure for the return flight to Kathmandu.