CULTURAL DISCOVERY OF BHUTAN

Bhutan has taken pains to preserve its cultural heritage. By giving priority to the peoples’ happiness over economic prosperity, the country preserves its traditions. This is a cultural tour that reveals some of the secrets of Bhutan’s success by visiting dzongs, monasteries, villages, and the ‘Tiger’s Nest’.


The essence of Bhutan's cultural heart

Bhutan is a country that puts GNH (Gross National Happiness) first on the priority list!  It’s a national policy unique to Bhutan and something unheard of in any other country. But peculiarities do not end there when it comes to the Dragon Kingdom. Bhutan is even more fascinating when it comes to protecting its cultural heritage. An extremely well-preserved culture and sense of national pride is what you will find on this trip, as you visit the dzongs, towns, and villages from Paro to Punakha. Traveling in Bhutan is like traveling deep into the culture and heart of the people, discovering unfiltered Buddhist culture. From dzong to dzong, from village to village, to a natural environment of ethereal beauty at the foot of the great Himalayan peaks, it is an invitation to discover the secrets of a unique country. The journey ends with a return flight to Kathmandu; even that is an opportunity to fly over the entire Himalayan range from the Kanchenjunga to Mount Everest: A great emotional moment!

HIGHLIGHTS
- Visit important sites of Bhutan, especially dzongs and Taktsang the “Tiger’s Nest"
- A country where Buddhist culture is extremely well preserved and authentic
- Easy optional walks in Bumthang and Tharpaling
- Comfortable accommodation in traditional style
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Gallery

Itinerary

  • Level of Trek: Easy
  • Best Period: April - May & September - November
  • Duration: 9 Days
  • 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

We catch a flight to Paro; a most interesting flight indeed. Welcomed at the airport and transfer (1 ½ hr) to the hotel in Thimphu, the small capital of the kingdom.
We have our lunch on site. The afternoon begins with a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, house of the Je Khempo, Bhutan’s religious leader, followed by a relaxed stroll through the city of Thimphu.
Accommodation: Hotel

We start our excursions with a drive to Punakha (2 ½ hr drive.). We cross a pass where on a clear day, the view is gorgeous; we get to see the Himalayan peaks. We then walk to the monastery of Chime Lhakhang (1 hr), visit a small temple dedicated to the bawdy monk, Drukpa Kunley. It is a pilgrimage site for infertile women and is located on a hill overlooking the river.
We have our lunch on site, then move on to the Wangdiphodrang Dzong which is being restored. It lies at the confluence of two valleys. Our last visit of the day is to a convent located above the hotel.
- Accommodation: Hotel

In the morning we head for the great Punakha Dzong, the government’s winter offices, and certainly the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan. Then after a 2 ½ hrs drive, we reach Gangtey (Phobjikha Valley) after crossing the Kayche La Pass (3,700 m).
We then visit Phobjikha Valley and Gangtey, a peaceful village built around a monastery of the Nyingmapa (ancient) school. It has the peculiarity of being a monastery of lay meditators who wear the dress but live in the surrounding houses. You get a chance to admire the monk’s paintings as well as their carpentry skills. In this valley, we also get to see the black-head cranes that migrate from neighboring Tibet.
- Accommodation: Hotel

We drive through a dense rhododendron forest on the Black Hills separating western Bhutan and central Bhutan by crossing the Pele La Pass (3,350m). We reach Tongsa where we see a very impressive dzong. In the afternoon we visit another dzong, the Tongsa Dzong, and move on to the outstanding museum that was recently opened in the watchtower (Ta Dzong).
- Accommodation: Hotel

We drive to the Tharpaling Monastery, which is a prominent site for meditation and belongs to the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism. After visiting the monastery, we have the option of hiking to the Kiki La Pass (3,900m) and then descend through the woods to the Bhumthang Valley and the Jakar Dzong.
- Duration of hike: 2 ½ hr 
- Accommodation: Hotel

We go for a walk to the Bumthang Valley and visit the Kurjey Lhakhang, an imposing monastic complex built in a cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated and left behind marks made by his body. Our next stop is the Tamzhing Lhakhang, built in the 15th century by Pema Lingpa. The frescoes found inside are the oldest in the country. We finally head for Jambey Lhakhang which was built in the 7th century and considered as one of the oldest temples in Bhutan.
- Duration of hike: 2 ½ hr
- Accommodation: Hotel

A 30-minute domestic flight brings us back to Paro early in the day. After lunch, we visit the National Museum and the famous Paro Dzong. Afterward, free time for a stroll in the town.
- Accommodation: Hotel

Today we visit the most famous symbol of Bhutan, Takshang which is an important pilgrimage site. Taktsang, also known as the “Tiger's Nest” is perched 600 meters up on a steep cliff in the Paro Valley and has sheltered refugees for more than 1200 years. On the way back, we visit the Kyichu Lhakhang Monastery, one of the oldest in Bhutan.
- Duration of hike: 4hr
- Accommodation: Hotel

*Note: On the spot, option to rent mules for the climb.

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

What's included

- English speaking cultural guide
- Hotel 3 * or similar, or bivouac according to itinerary
- Full board
- Private transport
- Visa
- Domestic flight
- 33% taxes
- Permits and entries

What's not included

- Personal equipment
- Personal expenses
- International flights
- Insurance
Question? Make an inquiry or call (977-1) 441 55 73