Day 01-Arrive into Bhutan via Druk Air,which is Bhutan’s National carrier.
Day 02-Paro to Punakha and Wangdue Valleys
Day 03- Punakha & Wangdue Tour
Day 04 –Punakha To Phobjikha Valley in Gangtey
Day 05 –Phobjikha Tour then Thimphu
Day 06 –Thimphu sight-seeing like the National Animal Takin Zoo.
Day 07 –Thimphu to Paro: Paro sight-seeing.
Day 08 –Best for the Last. Hike to the Tiger’s Nest called the Taktsang Monastery.
Day 09 –Depart Bhutan
Description: This 8 nights Bhutan Tour is a combination of Cultural, Leisure Tour, along with some Day Hikes.
Day 1: Arrive into Bhutan via Druk Air,which is Bhutan’s National carrier.
During the journey to Paro, one will experience from the left hand side of the plane, breath taking view of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Jhomolhari and Mount Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport and after your Visa Formalities you will be greeted by the Representatives from Bhutan Jewel Travel. Freshen Up in Hotel and if time permits start touring the valley of Paro. Your Guide will guide you henceforth. Night Halt in Paro to acclimatize to the Bhutan altitude and climatic changes.
Day 02: Paro to Punakha and Wangdue Valleys
Altitude of Punakha is 1300 meters so a warmer than Paro. Drive Time is about 4 hours from Paro but could take a little longer due to rests on the way.
Enroute to Punakha enjoy the halt and tea and snacks at the Dochula Pass.
Dochula Pass is a Great place to feel the cool air and see thousands of prayer flags fluttering high on tree tops. There are 108 stupas and a Temple build by the Queen Mother for the long life of the Fourth King and the well being of all sentient beings. From this pass you can see the entire Himalayan range of Mountains if the weather is clear.
After Dochula Pass visit the Botanical garden with the sacred lake. Night Halt in Punakha.
Day 03: Punakha & Wangdue Tour
After breakfast, Drive north of the valley and hike for about 45 minutes crossing over a suspension bridge to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten, a temple built by the Queen Mother of Bhutan, the paradise of Guru Rimpoche. Walk through the rice fields and village of Niengergang. The view from the temple to the valley below is photogenic.
After the Hike and a hearty lunch, drive to visit the Punakha Dzong. “Dzong” means Fortresses. Punakha Dzong is the most impressive dzong in Bhutan situated in the confluence of Pho-chhu & Mo-chhu (male & female rivers). It looks like a giant ship with excellent wood work and detail of paintings. It was here that the first King was crowned in 1907. It was capital of Bhutan until 1955 and then it was shifted to Thimphu. This dzong was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1637. Punakha dzong is still serves as winter resident of the chief lama of Bhutan and houses both administrative & religious center of Punakha district.
Day 4: Punakha To Phobjikha Valley in Gangtey
Altitude is 2900 meters and Drive Time is about 3-4 hours from Punakha.
Enroute visit the the famous and sacred Chimi Lhakhang(Temple) or even named as the “Temple of fertility” cause couples without Children are blessed here with a wooden phallus to bear children. Continue journey to Phobjikha Valley.
Phobjikha Valley is home to the endangered Black Necked cranes and from the end of November to early February you can enjoy watching and photographing the Endangered Black Necked Cranes. Phobjikha is very remote and the highest wide valley in Bhutan. Here there are no electric poles standing as cranes could get caught in the lines. Thus the whole wide valley is peaceful and only the nomadic locals reside in Phobjikha.
This place is rural and you can enjoy the Nature trail hike and visit the local farm Houses. Night halt in Phobjikha .
Day 5: Phobjikha Tour then Thimphu
Continue Nature walks in Phobjikha and visit the monk’s school and great for nature photography. After lunch Phobjikha to Thimphu: Thimphu is the Capital City of Bhutan. Altitude is 2500 meters and drive time from Phobjikha to Thimphu is about 5 hours.
Before entering Thimphu,and if time permits a stop at the oldest Dzong of Bhutan “Simtokha Dzong”. Night Halt in Thimphu
Day 6: Thimphu sight-seeing like the National Animal Takin Zoo.
The site of the Tallest Sitting Buddha in the World. And many local sites like watch an archery match, visit handicrafts shops,Memorial Chorten/Stupa and the Crafts Bazaar. Night Halt in Thimphu
Day 7: Thimphu to Paro: Paro sight-seeing.
Altitude of Paro is at 2240mts. EnRoute to Paro visit the Tamchog Monastery that has an ancient bridge and if you are strong hearted then you can walk over this bridge woven out of ancient iron chains. Visit the Rinpung Dzong built in 1646 AD. A flag stoned path leads toward the Dzong. This Dzong overlooks the Paro valley and you will also cross over an ancient wooden bridge with guard houses at the sides of the Bridge.
Paro Dzong and its bridge is the location where the holly wood movie “The Little Buddha” starring Keanu Reeves was filmed. Rinpung Dzong presently houses the Government Administrative offices, the Judiciary and a section is used by the Paro Monastic Body. Also the Annual Paro Festival takes place here in the courtyards.
Visit the Ta-Dzong (watch Tower) which was converted into the National museum of Bhutan in 1968. Here you will see many ancient artifacts of Bhutan, like the rare Horse Egg, rare ancient stamps, ancient thankas (Sacred Scrolls)etc.Presently the Taa Dzong is undergoing heavy rebuilding works after it was destroyed by by the recent Himalayan earthquake.
Paro Rinpung Dzong show cases the wooden architecture and wall paintings. Also you will see underground ancient stone drainage system in these courtyards.
Night Halt in Paro
Day 8: Best for the Last. Hike to the Tiger’s Nest called the Taktsang Monastery.
The Monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff drop of nearly 4000 ft. and overlooks the Paro valley and the river. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava known as the second Buddha in Bhutan meditated on this spot where the Monastery is situated having alighted there on the back of a flying tigress, who was believed to be his favorite consort who the Guru had transformed to a Tigress. Tiger’s nest is a world heritage site.
This Hike will take more than half a day from start to finish and is best that you start early morning before the sun’s heat starts affecting you.
After the hike, dive to the Victory Fortress called “Drugyel Dzong” which was built during war with Tibet. It’s a beautiful ruined fortress and can see the Jumolhari Mountain Peak.
Evening you can take a walk through the Paro Villages and enjoy the last evening in Bhutan.
Day 9: Depart Bhutan
You will be escorted to the Paro Airport for your departure..
REMARKS: Where ever time permits, you can visit as many sites as possible. It is not mandatory that you follow only what’s in this itinerary. Your Guide will be briefed to take you visiting to local markets, watch the archery matches, and visit handicrafts and souvenirs shops.
Only condition is that there should be no night halt changes as Hotel will be pre booked, and last minute cancellation means that you will have to bear the cancellation charges and pay the new hotel charges.