A STROLL IN BHUTAN

This is an enjoyable tour of Bhutan after a day of sightseeing in Kathmandu, Nepal. The exhilarating flight to Paro prepares you for an adventure filled with visits to 7th-century temples, restored fortresses, old palaces, monasteries, terraced rice fields, and local peoples’ homes in rural Bhutan.

The essence of Bhutan's cultural heart

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

HIGHLIGHTS
- Prominent cultural spots of Bhutan: Paro, Bumthang, Punakha, Taktsang.
- Daily walks through villages, terraced fields and lost hermitages.
- Visit dzongs, administrative and monastic fortresses.
- A few nights with locals sharing meals and getting closer to the people.
- Spectacular mountain flight between Kathmandu and Paro.
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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

Enjoy the sights and sounds of Kathmandu Valley as you walk among monumental gems: Pashupatinath, a Hindu shrine dating back to the 12th century, which serves as a site for cremations and religious ceremonies. Dedicated to Shiva where pilgrims come here to bathe in the holy Bagmati River. We then travel 15 km to reach the old city of Bhaktapur which retains much of its old-world charm. We walk around discovering five-story pagodas and latticed windows besides exquisite metal works. We then return to our hotel in Kathmandu.
- Accommodation: Same hotel

Morning transfer to TIA (Kathmandu Airport) for a 1 ½ hr flight to Paro. Received by a Bhutanese representative and transfer to the hotel.
Soon after lunch, we visit the National Museum. Once a watchtower, this building was transformed into a museum in 1969 by the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. There are rare collections of thangkas (religious scroll paintings) and statues. The artifacts in the museum give insight into the natural history and culture of Bhutan. Our next stop is at the Paro Rinpung Dzong. Typical of Bhutanese culture, the dzongs (fortresses) house the offices of the country’s political and religious administration. The Paro Dzong was built in the 17th century by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the founder of Bhutan. The 200 monks in residence here mingle with the district’s administrators. We then descend to the famous wooden bridge to return to Paro.
- Free time in town.
- Accommodation: Hotel

From Paro, we move on to Thimpu where we visit the Tachhog temple. We then come to a metal suspension bridge from the 14th century. It was built by the Great Buddhist engineer and poet, Lama Thang Tong Gyalpo, also known as the Lama Chakzampa. We go on to visit the School of Painting in Thimpu. The graduate students of the school produce all the religious paintings for temples, monasteries, private homes, and dzongs in Bhutan. We then head for the most famous shrine in Thimphu, the temple of Changangkha which was built in the 13th century.  We get to appreciate a remarkable statue of Avalokitesvara (the Bodhisattva of compassion). Our next stop calls for clear weather, which is mandatory for a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, the residence of Bhutan’s spiritual leader, the Je Khenpo., About 350 monks live here during the summer months and the king’s office is also here within this fortress. In the late afternoon, you can opt to visit one of the temples and take pictures in the inner courtyard.
- Free time in town.
- Duration of drive: 1 hr
- Accommodation: Hotel

After leaving Thimpu, we stop at the Dochu La Pass (3,150m) and enjoy panoramic views of the high Himalayan peaks of Bhutan.
Then going downhill, we notice dramatic changes in topography as semi-tropical vegetation begins to appear. We have lunch and walk to the village of Nyzergang, visit the temple of Khamsum Yuley Namgyeland, and take a stroll by the rice fields and villages.
On the way back, we make a small diversion to Chime Lhakhang in a lovely setting. We then stop at a temple dedicated to one of Bhutan’s first saints, Drukpa Kunley, better known as the ‘Divine Fool’.
- Duration of drive: 3hr 
- Duration of hike: 2hr 
- Accommodation: Hotel

In the early hours of the morning, we head 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 Thimphu monks. From here we drive on the Pele La Pass (3,425m), via the Black Mountain Ranges. We then stop at Gangtey. The village is inhabited by descendants of 140 gomchen (lay meditators). The monastic school of Gangtey was built in 1613 and is the largest school in western Bhutan. From the school, we descend down to the Phobjikha Valley to watch Black-collared cranes that migrate from Tibet and are here from November to February.
- Duration of drive: 3hr
- Duration of hike: 1hr
- Accommodation: Hotel

Today we travel on one of Bhutan’s most beautiful roads. The summits are adorned with stupas, flags and prayer wheels. We come across the villages of Rukupji, Chendebji, and Tangsubjii. We stop to visit a Nepalese-style chorten which was built in the 19th century to subjugate local demons. As we approach Trongsa, there is an impressive view of the dzong and its tower. We then visit a dzong built in the 17th century, the most impressive and strategic dzongs of Bhutan with about 200 monks residing there.
- Duration of drive: 4hr
- Accommodation: Hotel

We visit Ta Dzong, a watchtower turned into a museum in 2008. It has on display 244 artifacts belonging to `the Wangchuck dynasty including the famous 'Raven crown' worn by the first king. It is said that the crown protected him during the wars. We drive on to the Chume Valley and stop at the Tharpaling Monastery. After the monastery, it is an easy 3- hour walk to the Jakar Valley, following the old path that was used by the first kings. We cross an easy pass (45min) with an outstanding view. Then we make an easy descent through a pine forest to reach the Jakar Dzong. In the evening, free time in Bhumthang.
- Duration of drive: 2hr
- Duration of hike: 3hr
- Accommodation: Hotel

We spend a day in the Jakar Valley and visit the Jakar Dzong which was also built in the 17th century. Known as the ‘White Bird Dzong’, it played an important role in the country’s defense and is now the residence of 60 monks and the headquarters of the district administration. We continue on to the Wangdicholing Palace, the summer residence of the first two kings, built-in 1900. Though it was abandoned, it still has beautiful, extremely detailed paintings. Our next visit is to Jambayn Lhakhang which was built by the famous King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet and is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. It is dedicated to the Buddha of Future "Buddha Maitreya" (“Jampa” in Tibetan).
Before our lunch stop, we go to Kurjey Lhakhang (Kurjey means footprint). This place was visited by the Guru Rinpoche on his first visit to Bhutan in the 8th century when he converted the king and the people to Buddhism. We visit the cave where he meditated and left marks with his body. Surrounded by 108 chortens, this place is one of the most revered in the country. We stop for lunch in a farm and try out some authentic Bhutanese cuisine.
The afternoon’s program starts with a visit to Tamshing Lhakhang which was built by Pema Lingpa in the 15th century. Pema Lingpa who was an artist and a major architect is venerated as a great religious treasure born in Bhutan. The paintings inside the temple are the oldest in the country. A metal chain, used by Pema Lingpas still remains and pilgrims are allowed to take a tour of the temple with this chain to cleanse themselves of their sins. We end the day with a little tour of the town.
- Accommodation: Same hotel

Today’s hike takes us to the beautiful Tang Valley, which is not frequented by tourists. We visit the House of Ogyen Choling, property of a Shabdrung descendant. Perfectly conserved, it is a first-rate museum. We take a stroll through the pastures near houses in the villages. After lunch, we walk by the river for 2 hours to reach a village where we meet school children outside their homes and sheep farms. We then drive back to the hotel.
- Duration of hike: 2hr
Accommodation: Hotel

We catch a 35 minute- flight to Paro in the morning (or afternoon). Depending on the flight time, free morning in Bhumthang and free afternoon in Paro.
- Accommodation: Hotel

Today we visit one of the most famous shrines of Bhutan. An important place of pilgrimage and a refuge for more than 1200 years, Taktsang (the Tiger's Nest) is perched 600 meters up on a steep cliff in the Paro Valley. Made famous by the visit of Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan countries, Taktsang symbolizes Bhutan. Many masters have meditated in these temples. It is a 4 - hour walk from the car park and back. Our last stop of the day is at Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, dating back to the 7th century.
- Duration of hike: 4hr
- Accommodation: Hotel

Catch the morning flight to Kathmandu. Welcome in TIA and transfer to your hotel. Spend the last day visiting ancient sites of Kathmandu, Patan, and Boudha, depending on time available.
- Accommodation: Hotel

Transfer to TIA (Kathmandu Airport) for your 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