In Search of Hidden Treasures (12N/13D)

Prices start from USD $3986 per person

Taktshang - Tiger Nest

Journey of Discovery in Bhutan

In Search of Hidden Treasures (12N/13D)

Overview

A true Journey of Discovery in Bhutan. Explore the Buddhist heartland and combine short hikes and farmhouse visits with cultural sightseeing.

Day 1

WELCOME TO BHUTAN AND THE RICE FIELDS AND VILLAGES OF PARO.

Arrive in Paro and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon sightseeing in Paro valley. Visit the impressive Rinpung Dzong, which featured in Bertolucci’s film “Little Buddha” and then descend on foot to the traditional bridge and into Paro town, where you can spend some free time.

O/N Paro

Day 2

SIGHTSEEING IN THIMPHU: CRAFTSMEN AND DZONGS.

Drive to Thimphu (1 hr) and up to the huge Buddha statue with a great view over the city.  Visit the Folk Heritage Museum to get an idea of life in an ancient Bhutanese farmhouse. At the Institute for the 13 Traditional Arts (Zorig Chusum) students learn one of 13 skills such as statue-making, Buddhist painting or silk embroidery.

If you are interested in traditional herbal-based medicine you can choose to visit the Institute of Traditional Medicine. Alternatively, at the Textile Museum you will learn about the intricate silk weaving which is very much a part of Bhutanese culture. Finally, visit the impressive Thimphu Dzong(Trashichodzong) which is a fortress-like building housing important offices of both the government and the monastic body as well as a number of temples. Dinner in one of our favourite restaurants in the city.

O/N Thimphu

Day 3

DAY EXCURSION TO TANGO AND A LEISURELY AFTERNOON IN TOWN.

Today, a very pleasant and leisurely hike brings you to Tango Monastery, which is the Institute for higher Buddhist studies,  A 40-minute drive along through rural scenery brings you to the start of the footpath that leads up to the monastery. From here you can get stunning views of the valley below and visit the main temples.

In the afternoon visit the Chang-gangkha Temple, where locals take their children to be named. Drive up to the Takin Reserve to see the national animal. Archery is the national sport of the Bhutanese so spend some time at the archery ground today where you are sure to find some archers honing their skills.  Enjoy some free time browsing in the small capital city. We suggest a visit to the Post office museum to see the stamp collection or to make your very own stamp and a visit to the handmade paper workshop or the various weaving centers.Finally, take a stroll around the Memorial Chorten where you will meet people of all walks of life circumambulating the stupa.

O/N Thimph

Day4  

TEMPLES AND DIVINE MADMEN IN PUNAKHA.

Drive to Punakha (2½hrs). A one-hour drive from Thimphu brings you to the Dochula Pass at an altitude of 3,000m. Stop to circumabulate the 108 chorten and enjoy the view of the Himalayan peaks in the distance.  Then descend to 1,200m and visit Chimi Lhakhang, the temple of 15th Century Lam Drukpa Kuenley, also known as the “Divine Madman”. Continue towards Punakha Dzong, which was the former fortress capital of Bhutan. The monks live here during the winter months,moving from their cooler summer residence in Thimphu Dzong.For those who enjoy village walks and hiking, we have a choice of two wonderful walking tours that you can opt for today.

O/N Punakha

Day 5

MORNING HIKE AND AFTERNOON DRIVE TO PHOBJIKHA VALLEY

Start early with a hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal chorten. As well as visiting the chorten you will get a lovely view of the Punakha river valley from here. Today you have the option to take a rafting excursion on the river too.In the afternoon, drive to the lovely, high-altitude Phobjikha valley (3½ – 4hrs). Visit Gangtey Monastery and the school for novice monks known as a ‘shedra’.

O/N Phobjikha

Day 6

HIKE ON THE NATURE TRAIL AND DRIVE TO TRONGSA

Spend the morning in Phobjikha, either relaxing, visiting a farmhouse or hiking.  This is an ideal place for some easy hiking and spending time watching the huge black-necked cranes during the winter month. Visit the black-necked crane information centre to learn more about the birds or view them through the telescope. .

Pack your bags in the car and set out for a hike that can be of anything between two hours and 4 hours depending on your preferences. You can hike through the forest, on the Nature Trail, passingthrough some small villages and farmland. Alternatively, you can hike on the Longtey trail over the pass and on to Rukubi village, where your driver will meet you to continue the drive to Trongsa.

You will cross the Pele-La Pass (3500mts) today and stop at a stupa built in the same style as Boudinath in Kathmandu. A long, winding road (3½ hrs driving), leads to Trongsa, a small town with an impressive Dzong perched on a promontory. Visit the beautifully restored watchtower museum which has a collection of pieces related to the history of the monarchy.

O/N Bumthang

Day 7

BUMTHANG: THE RELIGIOUS HEARTLAND ON A 2,700-METRE PLATEAU.

A two-hour drive brings you to Jakar town on the Bumthang plateau. Today’s cultural sightseeing in Bumthang includes visits interspersed with optional short walks to JakarDzong and the important temples of Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang and Tamshing monastery. See the monks debating in Tibetan style at Karchu Monastery. Try Bumthang specialties including honey and Swiss-style cheese.

O/N Bumthang

Day 8

DAY EXCURSION TO THE RURAL TANG VALLEY.

A 2-hour drive on a rough road takes you to this isolated village at an altitude of 2,900 meters. The Ogyen Choling palace is an interesting living museum of life in feudal Bhutan. It’s one of our favorites. After lunch in a local guesthouse, return to Jakar and visit Lake Mebartsho, en route. This is a deep pool in a steep gorge so you must follow your guide’s instructions carefully. It is a site of pilgrimage where Pema Lingpa, a localsaint and “treasure-reveler” emerged from the lake with a burning butter lamp in his hand. You may also wish to stay overnight in the valley but please note that the accommodation is in a simple guesthouse.

O/N Bumthang

Day 9

HIKING OR EXCURSION OPTIONS ACCORDING TO YOUR PREFERENCE.

Today you can choose your preferred option – either to take a picnic excursion by car to Ura Village, about 45km away and visit the small village and temple as well as enjoy the countryside scenery. Alternatively, you can choose between several hiking options that take you to to Kunzangdrak or Tharpaling monasteries and afford views of the mountain peaks and pleasant hikes along forest trails. If you are visiting during festival time, today will be set aside for attending the festival.

O/N Bumthang

Day 10

RETURN DRIVE

Return drive to Wangdi (5 – 6 hrs).En route, visit weavers at Zungney village and stop to visit Trongsa Dzong. Today is a long day of driving but you can stop along the way to stretch your legs and relax.

O/N Wangdue

Day 11

DRIVE TO THIMPHU FOR LUNCH AND ON TO PARO

Drive to Thimphu (2½hrs) where you can spend some free time before lunch. After lunch, a one-hour drive brings you to Paro. En-route to Paro you can see perched on the hill, Simtokha Dzong, the first dzong built by the Shabdrung. Also stop at the chain-link bridge at Tamchog Lhakhang. Free time in Paro.

O/N Paro

Day 12

MORNING HIKE TO THE TIGER’S NEST: A TRUE PILGRIMAGE.

Hike or horseride to Taktsang temple, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, which is built into the sheer rock face at an altitude of 3,000 metres. This is a highlight of the tour and involves a two- hour uphill hike. The visit to the temple, and the returndownhill to the base makes this a 4-hour round trip. This hike requires a certain level of fitness but is not excessively difficult.In the afternoon drive towards the ruined fortress Drugyel Dzong from where you can get a view of the distant Jhomolhari mountain and enjoy the rural scenery of the valley with its small villages and farms scattered here and there.  On the return to town, visit Kyichu Lakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. You may wish to book a massage at one of several hotel spas to relax after your hike.

O/N Paro

Day 13

Flight departure from Paro. Tashi Delek!

The Cost IncludesAccommodation in 3* 4* and 5* tourist hotels according to the package chosen.
Three meals a day.
English-speaking Guide services for the duration of your stay (Other languages on request).
Comfortable vehicle and driver for the duration of your stay.
All transfers between airport and hotel.
Sightseeing and entrance fees as per itinerary.
Government Royalties and Surcharges and all taxes.
Complimentary processing of Bhutanese visa and flight booking service.
The Cost Does Not Includes Visa Fee: payable at the time of booking your tour ($ 40).
Flights: your flight costs are itemized separately.
Upgrades to a higher category hotel accommodation on request.
Drinks and other expenses of a personal nature (laundry, telephone etc.)
Tips for guide and driver.
Travel & Health Insurance: we strongly recommend that you purchase a comprehensive travel insurance to cover medical expenses, baggage loss, and trip cancellation.
All extra expenses incurred due to forces of nature or unforeseen events.

12N/13D Tour Prices

 1 person2 person6 -12 person
High SeasonN/AN/AUSD $3,986
Low SeasonN/AN/AN/A
Visa FeeUSD $40
FlightPlease see separate tab for flight options and prices.
High Season: March, April, May, September, October, and November
Low Season: January, February, June, July, August, and December

Return flight prices to Paro

Sector Economy Business
DelhiUSD $606USD $765
BangkokUSD $646USD $780
KathmanduUSD $379USD $469
KolkataUSD $406USD $489
SingaporeUSD $818USD $1,478
BagdograUSD $208USD $352
GayaUSD $390USD $694

Journey of Discovery in Bhutan


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