The essence of Bhutan's cultural heart

Bhutan remains a privileged destination because only few tourists visit the country each year. It has a unique policy of cultural and environmental preservation and a perennial and preserved religious life.  This trip allows an extensive cultural discovery of Bhutan, villages, dzongs and monasteries. It offers encounters, few nights at homestay and hiking as well as a beautiful approach to the essential sights of the Kathmandu Valley. No real trek but walks to approach the daily life of the Bhutanese and the natural diversity of Bhutan.

HIGHLIGHTS

- Visit of the top cultural places of Bhutan: Paro, Bumthang, Punakha, Taktsang
- Daily walks between villages, terraced cultures and lost hermitages
- Visit of dzongs, military administrative and monastic fortresses
- A few nights and meals at the inhabitant to be closer to the people
- The beautiful mountain flight between Kathmandu and Paro and the domestic flight
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Gallery

Itinerary

  • Level of Trek: Easy
  • Best Period: April - May & September - November
  • Duration: 14 Days
  • Highest Altitude: 3 Meters
  • Flights: Kathmandu - Paro - Kathmandu
  • Accomodation: Hotel

For your next trek with us in the Himalayas, travel light and aware: Base Camp offers you a biodegradable soap made in Nepal, to leave no trace ...

Day
Airport pick- up, transfer to hotel and check-in.
- Accommodation: Hotel

Day to discover the gems of the Kathmandu Valley: Pashupatinath, a Hindu site dating from the 12th century, which is a cremation place dedicated to Shiva where pilgrims come to bathe in the holy river Bagmati. Then, we go the sumptuous pedestrian city of Bhaktapur, 15 km-far from Kathmandu, the most beautiful royal cities of the valley. Visit. Then return to the hotel in Kathmandu.
- Accommodation: Same hotel

Morning transfer to Kathmandu airport for a 1h30mn-flight to Paro. Reception by a Bhutanese representative and transfer to the hotel.
After lunch, visit to the National Museum. Originally a watchtower, this building was transformed into a museum by the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in 1969. There are rare collections of Thangkas (religious paintings) and statues. The visit to this museum is an excellent introduction to the natural history and culture of Bhutan. Then, visit to the Paro Rinpung Dzong. Typical of the Bhutanese culture, the dzongs (fortresses) house the country’s political and religious administration. The Paro Dzong was built in the 17th century by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the founder of Bhutan. 200 monks live and mingle with the district administration. We descend to the famous wooden bridge and reach Paro.
- Free time in town.
- Accommodation: Hotel

Stop at the Tachhog temple. Then, we cross a metal suspension bridge of the 14th century, built by the Great Buddhist engineer and poet, the Lama Thang Tong Gyalpo, also known as the Lama Chakzampa. In Thimphu, visit to the School of painting. All religious paintings in temples, monasteries, houses and dzongs have been carried out by the graduate students of the school. Visit to the temple of Changangkha. Built in the 13th century, it is the most famous temple in Thimphu. We can appreciate a remarkable statue of Avalokitesvara (the Bodhisattva of compassion). Depending on the weather, visit to the Tashichho Dzong. It is the residence of Bhutan’s spiritual leader, the Je Khenpo. 350 monks live there in the summer. The king’s office is also in this fortress. In the late afternoon, you can visit one of the temples and take pictures in the inner courtyard.
- Free time in town.
- Travel time by car: 1 hour
- Accommodation: Hotel

Stop at the Dochu La Pass (3 150m). Panoramic view of the high Himalayan peaks of Bhutan.
As we go downhill, dramatic changes are observed: a semi-tropical vegetation appears. We have lunch and then walk to village of Nyzergang , walk until the temple of Khamsum Yuley Namgyeland stroll in the rice fields and villages.
On the way back, little walk to Chime Lhakhang in a lovely setting. Visit to the temple of one of Bhutan’s first saints: Drukpa Kunley, better known as the divine fool.
- Travel time by car: 3h 
- Hours of walking: 2h 
- Accommodation: Hotel
In the beautiful morning light, visit to the dzong of Punakha. Built in 1637, between Po Chhu (male river) and Mo Chhu (feminine river). This fortress-monastery is the winter residence of the Timphu monks. Then, drive on the Pele La Pass (3 425m), via the Black Mountain Ranges. They were the border of Eastern and Western Bhutan. Stop in Gangtey. The villagers are descendants of 140 gomchen (lay meditators). The monastic school of Gangtey was built in 1613. It is the largest school in Western Bhutan. After visiting school, descent to the Phobjikha Valley to watch lack-collar cranes (from November to February only).
- Travel time by car: 3h
- Hours of walking: 1h
- Accomodation: Hotel

It is one of the most beautiful roads in Bhutan. The summits are adorned with stupas, flags and prayer mills. We cross the villages of Rukupji, Chendebji and Tangsubjii. Stop to visit a Nepalese-style chorten built in the 19th century to subjugate the local demons. Approaching Trongsa, there is an impressive view of the dzong and its tower. Visit to the dzong, built in the 17th century, the most impressive and strategic of Bhutan. There live 200 monks.
- Travel time by car: 4h
- Accommodation: Hotel

Visit to Ta Dzong, a watchtower turned into a museum in 2008. There are 244 objects of the Wangchuck dynasty including the famous 'Raven crown' worn by the first king. It is said that the crown protected him during the wars. Drive to the Chume Valley and visit to the Tharpaling Monastery. Then, easy walk (3h) to the Jakar Valley, following the old path used by the first kings. We cross an easy pass (45mn) with an outstanding view. Then we go downhill without difficulty through a pine forest to reach the Jakar Dzong. In the evening, free time in Bumthang.
- Travel time by car: 2h
- Hours of walking: 3h
- Accommodation: Hotel

Day in the Jakar Valley and visit to the Jakar Dzong. It was also built in the 17th century. Called, the White Bird Dzong, it played an important role in the country’s defense. It is now the residence of 60 monks and the headquarters of the district administration. We continue the day at the Wangdicholing Palace. Built in 1900, it was the summer residence of the first two kings. Though it has been abandoned, very detailed paintings are beautiful. Visit of Jambay Lhakhang, built by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet. It is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. It is dedicated to the Buddha of Future "Buddha Maitreya" (In Tibetan “Jampa”).
Just before lunch, we go to Kurjey Lhakhang. Kurjey means footprint. Here, the Guru Rinpoche came for the first time to Bhutan in the 8th century and converted the king and the people to Buddhism. We can see the cave where he meditated and left body marks. Surrounded by 108 chortens, this place is one of the most revered in the country. Lunch in a farm to try out the real Bhutanese cuisine.
On the program, in the afternoon: visit to Tamshing Lhakhang. Built in the 15th century by Pema Lingpa who is venerated as the only great religious treasure born in Bhutan. Pema Lingpa was an artist and a major architect. The paintings inside the temple are the oldest in the country. A metal chain, used by Pema Lingpa, is still inside. Pilgrims can take a tour of the temple with this chain to purify their sins. Little tour of the town to end the day on a high note.
- Accommodation: Same hotel

Short walk to reach the beautiful Tang Valley, less visited by tourists. Visit to the House of Ogyen Choling, property of a Shabdrung descendant. Perfectly conserved, it is a first-rate museum. Stroll through the pastures near village houses. After a lunch by the river, 2 hours of walk in villages meeting schoolchildren in spree, houses and a sheep farm. Back to the hotel by car.

- Hours of walking: 2h
- Accommodation: Hotel

Traduction en Anglais. Flight to Paro in the morning (or afternoon): 35mn. According to the flight time, free morning in Bumthang and free afternoon in Paro.
- Accommodation: Hotel

Place of pilgrimage for more than 1200 years. Taktsang (the Tiger's nest) is hung at 600 meters on a steep cliff of the Paro Valley. Originally, this place was visited by Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan countries. Many masters have meditated in these temples. It takes about 4 hours to walk from the car park (back and forth). Visit of Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan (7th century).
- Hours of walking: 4h
- Accommodation: Hotel

In the morning, flight to Kathmandu. Welcome and transfer to the hotel. Visit to the sites of ancient Kathmandu, Patan and Bodhnath, depending on the time.
- Accommodation: Hotel

Transfer to the airport for the return flight.
End of our services.

What's included

- All land transportations
- Nights in full board in Bhutan
- 3 nights at Kantipur Temple House in Kathmandu on a BB basis
- Visits of the historic sites of Kathmandu and entrance fees
- Visa fees for Bhutan
- Entrances to the monuments in Bhutan
- 2 days visit in kathmandu with  english speaking cultural guide
- English speaking guide for entire trip in Bhutan

What's not included

- Meals in Kathmandu
- Visa for Nepal
- International flights and flights to Bhutan
- Repatriation insurance
- Tips, drinks, etc.
Question? Make an inquiry or call (977-1) 441 55 73