11 days & 10 nights in Bhutan

Yellow line in the map indicates you’re Departing & Orange line in the map indicates you’re Arriving.
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The lovely Bumthang valley is the religious heartland of the nation and home to some of its oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. This three day trek passes through several villages on its meandering route through Bumthang countryside, and provides an exceptional opportunity for contact with Bhutanese rural life.

Season: the trek is recommended from March to May and then again from September to November.

Day 01: Arrive Paro

On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met by your BHUTAN TRAVEL ZONE representative and transferred to the hotel on completion of arrival formalities. You’re holding tonight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 02: Paro

Today you’re sightseeing full day in Paro. In the morning, we are going to visit Ta Dzong, built in 1651 as a watchtower for Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong) and in 1968 inaugurated as the National Museum. The museum collection includes ancient Bhutanese art and articrafts, weapons, coins, stamps and a small natural history collection. Also we are visiting Rinpung Dzong, built in 1664 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. It now houses the district administration offices and Paro’s monastic community.

After lunch, we drive up the valley to Drukgyel Dzong, built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over Tibetan invaders. We may also have time to visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries of the kingdom.

Your sleepover is at the hotel in Paro.

Day 03: Paro – Thimphu

In the morning have breakfast and drive to Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan. About 7 km. before Thimphu, we will pause briefly to admire Bhutan’s ancient fortress the Simtokha Dzong (built in 1627), It rises up from a small hilltop on the right side of the road.

After having lunch, we will visit as time permits: the National Memorial Chorten (built as a memorial to our Bhutan’s third king and as a monument to world peace); then we will visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine (outside only) where the herbal medicines are made up and dispensed and where traditional medicine practitioners are trained; then we will visit the Institute for Zorig Chusum, where students learn the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan; the National Library, which houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature including many ancient Buddhist texts in block-printed format; Tashichhodzong, (‘the fortress of the glorious religion’), which houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body.

Your hold tonight is at the hotel in Thimphu.

Day 04: Thimphu – Trongsa

Today at the morning we will drive to Trongsa via Dochu-la pass (3,088m). On a clear day there is a superb view from here of Bhutan’s highest peaks. On a clear day, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendegang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m, Jejeganphugang (7,158m), Kangphugang (7,170m), Zongaphugang (7,060m) a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana, and finally, Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.

We will continue our drive to on Wangduephodrang town, which we will also stop for our afternoon lunch. Then we will drive to Trongsa over the Pele-la pass (3,300m), the traditional boundary between east and west. Your sleepover is at the lodge in Trongsa.

Day 05: Trongsa – Bumthang

In the morning we will visit to striking Trongsa Dzong, ancestral abode of Bhutan’s royal family. Then we will visit the Ta Dzong, built as a watchtower to guard Trongsa Dzong. Then after that we will proceed to Bumthang and in the afternoon we will visit the 17th century Jakar Dzong and then Kurje monastery, which was built in 17th century to mark the place where Guru Padmasambhava had meditated in the 8th century, leaving his body imprint on the rock. Your sleepover will be at the lodge in Bumthang.

Day 06: Bumthang – Ngang Lhakhang

14m, 6 hours
The trek which you are taking will begin today. The trek route follows to the Chamkhar Chu (river), taking us through meadows, forests of blue pine and scrub bamboo. We will pass by many villages and temples, on this very relaxing and easy day. We will camp tonight at the village (2,900m).

Day 07: Ngang Lhakhang – Ugyenchholing

19km, 7-8 hours
The trial ascends gradually through juniper forest towards Phephe-la pass (3,340m). From there, the path descends to Tang valley, finally arriving at Ugyenchholing village (2,850m). We will again camp tonight at the side of the river near the village.

Day 08: Ugyenchholing – Bumthang

11km, 4 hours
In the morning, we will walk up to Ugyenchholing Palace, where there will be a beautiful private mansion which also houses a small eco-museum, and then we will drive to Jakar (Bumthang) following the Tang Chu until when we arrive at the main road. On the way to our journey we will visit the Mebar Tso Lake, where Terton Pema Lingpa is said to have discovered religious treasuers in the 15th century. This lake is very sacred, and on auspicious days many Bhutanese people go there to offer butter lamps. Your hold tonight will be at the lodge in Bumthang.

Day 09: Bumthang – Punakha

Today morning we will visit the Jambay Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songten Gampo, who is believed to be the reincarnation of Jambey (Avalokitesvara), the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Tamshing Lhakhang, across the river, is also important place to visit, as it houses old and interesting religious paintings. We will then drive to Punakha en route with stopover for lunch. Then today your hold tonight will be at the hotel in Punakha.

Day 10: Punakha – Paro

Today we will drive to Paro. It will be a relaxing day, as we reach Paro by lunch time. Today it will be a free day for you at the leisure or free for the last minute shopping in the afternoon. You can take a stroll around Paro market in the evening. Your last holding will be at the hotel in Paro.

Day 11: Depart Paro

You will have your early breakfast at the hotel and then we will drive to the airport for your onward destination.