On our cultural tours you really travel in style and comfort from place to place, accompanied by your guide and driver. Turn huge prayer wheels in temples dating back to the 7th century. Enter the vast courtyards of impressive fortress-monasteries known as dzongs and encounter the red-robed monks of all ages at prayer and at play. Visit the National Museum, the Folk Heritage Museum, textile workshops, art schools and the Centre for Traditional Medicine.
If you like walking, we include some short hikes so that you can easily access some of the villages a short distance from the road or hike to a temple, situated on the top of a mountain. Consider our suggested Village Walking Tour if you really want to meet the people in and around their homes in rural settings. Otherwise, enjoy the sights, without exertion, from the comfort of your vehicle.
Immerse yourself in the colours of the Bhutanese landscape – the dark green of the forests, deep blue gushing rivers, bright blue skies and snow-capped mountain peaks – colours that mingle and contrast with the vivid art of the temple murals, silk thangka paintings, wall hangings, exquisitely carved dragons and other mystical beasts.
Depending on the season, enjoy the local delicacies such as red rice, fern shoots, matsutake, chantrelle and other mushrooms, delicious vegetable dumplings and exotic fruits from the lower altitudes. Taste the spicy Bhutanese breakfast of chillies and cheese – if you dare! And you must taste the local alcoholic ‘ara’ which is made from fermented rice, wheat, corn and other cereals. It tastes very similar to Japanese sake.
Enjoy shopping for arts and crafts and items for every-day use at the Handicraft center and in the local shops. The best Bhutanese crafts are the intricately woven silk ‘kira’ textiles, wooden bowls and silver brooches and boxes for betel nut, with gold-coated designs such as dragons or one of the eight auspicious symbols.
Most of our guests do the four-hour hike to the renowned Taktsang temple, also known as the “Tiger’s Nest”. Perched on the edge of a steep 1000-metre precipice, at an altitude of 3000 metres, this is a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists and is sure to be a highlight of your visit to Bhutan. Since it does require a certain level of fitness, please consider whether it is suitable for you. Horses are available for hire to take you to a certain part of the way up but everybody must walk back down.
Visit during a festival time by opting for one of our festival packages and experience a truly memorable visit to the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. You will find a list of festival dates here.
The services we offer on all are tours are of a superior quality, delivered with care and attention to detail. Every tour includes accommodation, 3 meals a day, an English-speaking guide (other languages on request), private Japanese or Korean vehicle with expert driver, museum entrances, one bottle of mineral water, government royalties and surcharges, taxes and service charges.
Our Superior Packages are fully-inclusive of Deluxe accommodation in a thoughtful selection of the best 3-star hotels available in Bhutan with some some nights in 4-star boutique hotels. If you wish, you can easily upgrade to a 4 or 5 star hotel for just one or two nights. The few 4* hotels available in Bhutan are mainly boutique hotels with a cosy atmosphere.
Tailor-made Luxury Package
We offer a small selection of beautiful, exclusive 5* hotels and a range of rooms from Superior and Deluxe to Suites, and lovely one and two-bedroom Villas. Treat yourself to a spa treatment and a traditional hot-stone bath; enjoy gourmet dining and relax to the full.
Brief Summaries of the Tours
A special weekend treat for city-dwellers or an escape from the hot weather in Bangkok or Delhi and an easy extension from Kathmandu. Relax in the scenic, peaceful valley of Paro.
Enjoy the impressive Himalayan mountain scenery around Paro and Thimphu. Visit some of the most important places of cultural and historical interest and gain an insight into the daily life of the Bhutanese people.
Visit both the summer and winter residences of the monk body at Thimphu (2,400m) and Punakha (1,200m), as well as the historic sites of the Paro valley. Descend from the 3,000 metre Dochula Pass through rhododendron and Magnolia forests to the warmer climes of the Punakha valley. Visit the beautifully restored Dzong and take a charming walk across neatly terraced rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, the temple of Drukpa Kuenley, the so-called “Divine Madman.”
Phobjikha, with its small villages in a wide, glacial valley, is winter home of the rare black-necked crane (November to early March). And, back in Paro, don’t miss the exhilarating experience of walking up to Taktsang monastery (4 hours round trip). Taktsang is truly one of the wonders of the whole Buddhist world.
Cross the impressive Black Mountain range at 3,300m. to reach the geographical and cultural heartland of Bhutan. Trongsa Dzong appears and reappears in the distance as you wind your way towards the small town, birthplace of the first king of Bhutan.
In the Bumthang valley (2,700m) you will spend a few days exploring the many important temples and pilgrimage sites linked to Guru Rimpoche (Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel) and Pema Lingpa. The Shabdrung introduced Buddhism to Bhutan in the 7th Century and Pema Lingpa was a great “treasure-discoverer” of the 16th Century.
The longer tours incorporate short walks and day-treks to enjoy the beautiful scenery – forests, villages, temples, rivers and mountain ranges. Additional attractions in Bumthang include weaving centres, traditional farms and even cheese, apple juice and honey, produced using Swiss methods.
The journey further east from Bumthang to LINK Mongar, Tashigang and Tashiyangtse takes you to rarely-visited parts of the country to encounter a life-style that has changed little over the centuries. Beyond Bumthang the roads are rougher and accommodation in lodges is more basic. You will cross several passes, one of them reaching 4,000 mts and enjoy views of the high peaks. Excellent weaving, paper-making and wood-carving are the special handicrafts of the East.
An optional detour to Lhuntse leads to one of the oldest Dzongs in the country. In Tashiyangtse the huge stupa of Chorten Kora sits next to the gushing Kholong-chu river. The Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary is home to Black-necked Crane in the winter months. Hike or drive there through a pastoral idyll of terraced rice fields tracing the path of the river.
Finally, retrace your steps to Thimphu which now, more than ever, seems to be a bustling centre of activity! Alternatively, travel south to Samdrup Jongkhar and cross the border into India for a flight connection from Guwahati.