17 days and 16 night’s tour from West to East of Bhutan will cover all the historical landmarks. This tour will take you through sightseeing and short hiking amidst the beautiful forest. Your arrival and departure will be via Paro international airport.
Day 1 – Paro to Thimphu
On arrival at Paro airport, you will be received by Charisma Bhutan representative, who will be your tour guide throughout the travel in Bhutan.
On the first day:
- Relax, rejuvenate and then visit the historical National Museum, the Ta Dzong (watchtower). It was established as a museum on 1968. It contains about 3000 artifacts which spans over the period of 1500 years. This will act as a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of Bhutan.
- Trail walk to Paro Dzong to experience unique Bhutanese Architecture.
- Drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan with 2hours of magnificent view of Paro valley with the Chuzom (confluence) being one of the highlights.
On arrival to Thimphu you would check into hotel where you would halt for the night.
Day 2 – Thimphu Sightseeing
Sightseeing in Thimphu includes visit to:
- The National Library: The national library of Bhutan was established on 1967 with the purpose of acting as an archive for historical documents for the reference of future generations.
- The folk heritage museum: The museum has preserved traditional 19th century buildings which has aged over 150 years. It represents traditional Bhutanese architecture which utilizes rammed mud and timber. The museum also comprises of paddy, wheat and millet fields, traditional kitchen and much more.
The School of Arts and Crafts: Zorig Chusum or the school of 13 arts provides training and instruction for 13 forms of traditional Bhutanese arts. Some of which includes wood carving, embroidery, statue making and canvas painting (thangkas)
- Buddha Point: One of the highest point in Thimphu which provides a spectacular view of Thimphu Valley.The Buddha Dordenma (Giant Buddha Statue) is situated on the top and faces the southern part of Thimphu valley.
- The Memorial Chorten: Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928–1972), is known as the father of modern Bhutan. The memorial chorten was built in 1974 to honor him and thus comprises of the third Druk gyalpo’s photo in ceremonial dress. The memorial chorten is one of the most visible religious structure in Thimphu.
- The Tashichhoe Dzong: It is the largest Dzong (fortress) in Bhutan and is the central hub for all administrative operation. It is also a site for religious festivals like Thimphu Tshechu (mask dance).
- Local crafts shops: The handicraft shops consist of various samples of fine Bhutanese traditional art. You can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelry, and other interesting items made from local materials.
On the second night you would halt in a hotel in Thimphu.
Day 3 – Thimphu Short Trekking to Tango Monastery
On the third day after breakfast, you would be taken for 45 minutes’ drive to the Tango Monastery. Here you can hike up to the Monastery to experience a breath taking view on the top. Tango is the center for higher studies for monks.
Upon reaching back to Thimphu town we would take you on a leisure stroll through Thimphu town.
You would halt the third night in Thimphu.
Day 4 – Thimphu to Punakha / Wangdue
- After Breakfast, you will be driven to Punakha via the Dochula pass. You will get to view the Eastern Himalayas on a clear day with a powerful binocular telescope. You will get to see the highest mountain in Bhutan that is Gangkar Phuensum which stands at 7570m above sea level. You will get to visit the beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo for the wellbeing of His Majesty the 4th King of Bhutan.
- After lunch, you can visit the Divine Madman’s Monastery- Chhimi Lhakhang located on the way to Punakha. It is popularly known for its fertility shrine, where one can receive a special fertility blessing.
- You will be then driven towards Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the head of the religious body the Je Khenpo and the central monks. You will get to visit the Punakha Dzong, the only Dzong located on the island of the Pho-Chu (male) river and the Mochu (female) river. You can also visit the Dho Jha Gha Lam Temple.
You will halt the night in a hotel in Punakha.
Day 5 – Punakha to Phobjikha
- After breakfast, you will be driven to Phobjikha Valley. You will be able to witness the extraordinary view of the landscapes leading to western part of Bhutan.
- You can visit Gangteg Gompa and trail walk through beautiful natural valley. You can also witness the presence of endangered species of black-necked crane if you visit it the valley in the right season.
You would be halting overnight in the Phobjikha hotel.
Day 6 – Phobjikha to Bumthang vai Trongsa
- After early breakfast, you will be driven to Trongsa via Pele pass which is at an altitude of 3150 meters. It would provide you with a wonderful opportunity for taking photographs of the Himalayan landscape. You will halt in Trongsa and visit the magnificent Trongsa Dzong followed by the Ta Dzong (museum). It was originally a temple built bu Nagi Wangchuk in 1543 but then was reconstructed as a Dzong by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1647. It is an epitome of Bhutanese architecture.
- You will be then driven to Bumthang, which is one of the most beautiful valleys of the country and carries much historical and cultural significance. You can visit Yatha weaving center, an initiative of national women association of Bhutan where women of the region sell textiles and Yatha specialty.
- You will then halt overnight at Bumthang Hotel.
Day 7 – Bumthang Sightseeing
Sightseeing includes visit to the following:
- Jambay Lhakhang: it is one of the 108 monasteries built by Songtsen Goempo of Tibet so that Buddhism can flourish. It was mainly built to subdue the evil spirits of the Himalayan region.
- Kujey Lhakhang: It was built Minjur Tempa in 1652. It was built around the cave in which Guru Rinpoche meditated and left his body print.
- Tamshing Lhakhang (Temple of the Good Message) – It was built by the first Terton (Treasure discoverer) Pema Lingpa in 1501. The temple consists of his portrait on the walls.
- Jakar Dzong: Dzong was built on the spur of the hill where a big white settled. This was considered as a good omen. It was built in 1667. It is now used for administrative purposes and is the summer residence of Trongsa monks.
You would halt overnight at Bumthang.
Day 8 – Bumthang to Mongar
- You will continue the journey towards the east and your drive will include a spectacular view of the mountains. The overall journey would take about 6 hours. You will pass through Ura village in Bumthang and reach the 2nd highest road pass in Bhutan that is Thrumshingla pass. You will then gradually drop down with the view of waterfalls along the way. The descent will stop at 2130 ft. on the bridge in Kuri chhu. You will then witness the beautiful pine trees, maize fields and eastern hamlets on the way to Mongar town.
- You will witness yet another Dzong that is Mongar Dzong. It can be considered as the modern day dzong as it was built in 1930. But it carries the same architectural principles on which the previous Dzongs were built.
You will halt the night in Mongar.
Day 9 – Mongar to Trashigang
- After breakfast you would be driven towards Trashigang. The road towards Trashigang begins with thick forest and ferns as it reaches towards Kori la pass. You would then reach Yadi village as you descend towards the cornfield and banana groves. As you follow the Gamri river you would reach the junction of Dramestsi temple. This temple, on top of a steep hill was founded by Nun Choden Zangmo in the 16th century. Dramtse Temple is renowned for Drametsi Nga Chham, mask dance with drums.
- Trashigang is 30 km ahead of Dramestsi temple. At 3775 ft. it lies east side of the valley Drame chuu and meets the Gamri chhu.
- After lunch you would then visit Khaling Dzongkhag where you find the weaving center under the women association of Bhutan. You can witness the overall process involved in traditional weaving.
You would return back to Trashigang and halt the night there.
Day 10 – Day Excursion to Trashiyangtse
- After breakfast you would have an excursion to Trashiyantse Dzongkhag 22km away in Gom Kora. The temple carries important religious significance as Guru Rinpoche meditated in this place and left a body impression on the rock.
- You would be driven back to Trashigang and halt the night.
Day 11 – Trashigang to Mongar
- After breakfast you will be driven back to Mongar which will be the beginning of the return journey. You would halt overnight in Mongar.
Day 12 – Mongar to Bumthang
- You would travel back to Bumthang and halt overnight in Bumthang.
Day 13 – Bumthang to Wangdue
- You would be driven back to Wangduephodrang from Bumthang and you would halt the overnight.
Day 14 – Wangdue to Thimphu
- You would be taken to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten temple built by the queen of Bhutan for Peace and Stability.
- You would then be driven back to Thimphu and visit the Simtokha Dzong which was the first Dzong Built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. It was built in 1627. It serves as an institute of language and cultural studies in Bhutan.
- You would be driven to the Takin Zoo to observe the national animal of Bhutan which is found only in Bhutan. You would be driven further to Sangaygang to get the bird’s eye view of Thimphu Valley in the evening.
- You would be halting overnight in the Thimphu Valley.
Day 15 – Thimphu to Paro
- After breakfast you will be driven to Paro. You would have the opportunity to visit Kichu Temple which is one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. It is said that there was a demon which prevented the spread of Buddhism Himalayan. In order to subdue the demon King Songsten Gampo decided to build 108 temples on her body.
- After lunch you would visit Drugyel Dzong which is 18 km from Paro town on the north side of the valley. The Bhutanese soldiers repelled several invading Tibetan armies during the 17th century. You will be guided through the shops in Paro for a leisure walk in the evening.
- You would be halting overnight at Paro.
Day 16 – Paro Hike to Taktsang OR Drive to Chelila Pass
- After breakfast you will be driven to Satsam Chorten and then taken for a hike to Taktsang Monastery also known as the tiger’s nest. The monastery was built in 1692 around Taktsang Senge Samdup cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for three years, three weeks and three months.
- You will then be driven to Chelila Pass which is the highest pass in Bhutan between Paro and Haa. There will be beautiful view of the mountain ranges and rhododendron flowers in bloom.
- You will be halting overnight at Paro.
Day 17 – Paro Departure
- Accommodation in 3 Star Hotels.
- Transportation in comfortable vehicles with experienced driver – (SUV cars of Toyota and Hyundai up to 4 persons, for more than 5 persons Toyota Mini bus and in Toyota coaster bus more than 9 persons).
- All meals – (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner).
Experience Licensed English-speaking tour guide.
Royalty Taxes (Sustainable Development fee) of US $65 per person per night spent in Bhutan.
- All Entrance fees to all tourist sites (Dzongs, Museums and Monuments).
- Refreshment (Tea and snacks during the day Tour).
- Mineral water bottle during the day Tour.
- One-time Bhutan Visa Fee of US $40.
- Surcharges for solo and 2 traveler $40 and $30 per night per person respectively but more than 3 travelers’ surcharges is not applicable.
- Pick and Drop till Airport included
- Flight Airfare (both international and domestic)
- Travel insurance
- Beverages, Laundry and Tips.
- Any cost incurred due to flight cancellation, delayed flight or road blockage
- Hard and Soft drinks.
The total tour cost, minimum daily tariff, surcharges and Bhutan visa fees for booking 17 Days Tour in Bhutan are as follows:
(March, April, May, September, October &November)
Single Traveler: USD $ 4680
2 travelers: USD $ 4520 per person
3 and Above: USD $ 4040 per person
(December, January, February, June, July & August)
Single Traveler: USD $ 3880
2 travelers: USD $ 3720 per person
3 and Above: USD $ 3240 per person