Hiking and Exploration in Bhutan

Main destination Bhutan 11 Days Tour

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Hiking and Exploration in Bhutan
Welcome to Bhutan, also known as the Kingdom of Happiness. Bhutan is known as one of the most exotic destinations in the world today. This kingdom often referred to as the last Shangri- La is a land of outstanding people, remarkable scenery and natural wonders, and a proud and vibrant culture. Bhutan has a pristine environment, almost no pollution, and a living culture where festivals and cultural events are a part of daily life and not creations for tourism. Enjoy learning about the culture and awe-inspiring views as you hike through the postcard image landscape each day.

Hotels

  • Thimphu: Terma Linca Resort- Deluxe
  • Phobjikha Valley: Dewachen Hotel & Spa- Deluxe
  • Punakha: Dhensa Boutique Resorts- Deluxe
  • Paro: Naksel Boutique- Deluxe

Inclusions

  • 10 nights’ accommodation at the hotels mentioned above.
  • Total meals: 30 [Breakfast – 10; Lunch – 10; Dinner – 10]
  • Transfers, excursions and drives shall be through air-conditioned vehicles.
  • Service of an accompanying English-speaking guide for the complete tour along with all applicable entrances and fees.
  • All currently applicable taxes, bottled water during transfers/excursion/drive, dry/wet tissue.

Exclusions

  • Any airfare
  • Gratuities
  • Visa charges
  • Airport taxes
  • Table drinks
  • Telephone calls
  • Camera fees
  • Laundry
  • Any additional items of personal nature

Mandatory

  • Complete passport details for issuance of airfare tickets, train tickets and game drives (if applicable).


Day 1

Paro – Arrival & Drive To Thimphu

This day you will arrive at Paro International airport. Paro valley extends from the confluence of the Paro Chhu and the Wang Chhu rivers at Chuzom upto Mt. Jomolhari at the Tibetan border to the North. This picturesque region is one of the widest valleys in the kingdom and is covered in fertile rice fields and has a beautiful, crystalline river meandering down the valley. Accentuating the natural beauty are the many elegant, traditional-style houses that dot the valley and surrounding hills. Paro town has been growing rapidly in recent years and there are plenty of restaurants, bakeries and cafes to choose from. One of the distinctive features of Paro town is that it is situated in a flat valley bottom and follows a grid-like pattern. 
Upon arrival you will proceed to Passport Control for immigration followed by baggage collection and clearing customs formalities. After collecting your luggage, meet your guide who will escort you to a hotel in Thimphu. 
Meals: Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Thimphu- Terma Linca Resort


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Day 2

Thimphu

We start our morning with a 20-minute drive before beginning our 2 hour hike uphill along a broad path through lush vegetation to the beautifully positioned 17th century Chagri Dorjeden monastery ‘Cheri’. After visiting the monastery, we return to the valley floor where we continue on a 2 hour walk through rural landscapes and villages. 
After lunch, we visit the Choki Traditional Art School and then further explore Thimphu. After our school visit, we will have the option of one final hike or returning back to the hotel for time at leisure.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Thimphu- Terma Linca Resort

GettyImages-1192643607.jpg
Day 3

Thimphu

We begin our day with a 6-mile hike up to a seldom-visited monastery located at about 2000 feet above the valley floor. The path, which is very open, provides excellent views of the Thimphu Valley and the surrounding mountains. 
In the afternoon we visit the remarkable statue of Buddha Point. The massive three-storey base houses a large chapel, while the body itself is filled with 125,000 smaller statues of Buddha. The 51 meter high Buddha looks best in morning light, or at night when it is illuminated.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Thimphu- Terma Linca Resort

GettyImages-1190013579.jpg
Day 4

Thimphu – Phobjikha Valley

After breakfast we depart for Phobjikha Valley. En-route you will visit stop briefly at Dochula pass to view and admire the chortens, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the high Himalayan peaks towards the north east will be revealed in all their glory. It is often cloud covered, but on clear days you will be able to see these spectacular views of the Himalayas. 
We begin our 5-mile hike by following a wide track that gently climbs through subalpine meadows and past a small rural settlement of livestock owners. The track soon becomes a forest path that ascends through an enchanted moss-covered rhododendron forest mixed with hemlock and spruce. We arrive at a high pass where the magnificent glacial Valley of Gangtey opens up before us. We zigzag on a path down a grassy slope to the valley and eventually arrive at our pickup point where we are driven to our hotel. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Phobjikha Valley- Dewachen Hotel & Spa
GettyImages-484323779.jpg
Day 5

Phobjikha Valley

After a brief drive to the royal family’s temple located at the opposite side of the valley, we set off for an 8 mile hike up an unexplored side valley passing through inspiring agricultural land and traditional mountain villages. Our journey will continue along the edge of the main valley walking parallel to the marshland that serves as an important habitat for the black-necked crane a few months out of the year. A short climb takes us to the ancient Gangtey Goemba, with its ramparts, altars, school, quarters for monks and meditation facilities. 
After lunch and a tour of the monastery, there is the option to continue on foot for 3 miles to the black-necked crane interpretation centre, or to get a lift to the centre, which is not far from our hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Phobjikha Valley- Dewachen Hotel & Spa
GettyImages-497020181.jpg
Day 6

Phobjikha Valley - Punakha

We start our morning off with a 20-minute drive before taking a 5 hour hike up through woods and meadows to a mountain pass following a historic migration route that the Gangteps used to take in order to reach the lower valleys in the autumn. From the pass, we continue downhill through a pristine old-growth Rhododendron forest passing many other species of trees and plants before arriving at Phama Hotel Khelika
After your hike, we continue our journey with a drive to Punakha along the eastern side of the river following Trashigang-Simtokha Highway to Khuruthang. If time permits, we shall visit the magnificent 17th century Punakha Dzong imposingly situated at the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers.
The Punakha valley produces abundant crops and fruits due to its temperate climate and owing to its natural drainage from the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers. During the day you will be enamored with splendid views of the distant Himalayas at Dochula pass on Thimphu Punakha road.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Punakha- Dhensa Boutique Resorts
GettyImages-158903291.jpg
Day 7

Punakha

We start our day with a hearty breakfast before continuing on an hour jeep ride to our hike which starts at Punakha Dzong. From here, we proceed to walk over the suspension bridge to the other side of the Mo Chhu River. *Packed lunch to be carried from the hotel. *
Enjoy this 6 hour walk while taking in expansive views of the valley and river below. We eventually arrive at the top of a ridge and then continue gently downhill through mixed woods until reaching an isolated temple with lovely grounds and a spectacular panorama of the better part of the Punakha district. 
After lunch, we continue to descend on a wide path until arriving near Punakha Dzong. From here, we continue our drive to Sandhingkma brige near Dawakhana that eventually leads to Sewla Sherdra Goempa.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Punakha- Dhensa Boutique Resorts
GettyImages-673124140.jpg
Day 8

Punakha - Paro

After breakfast, we depart Punakha for Paro. En route, we will make a stop to visit to Chimi Lhakhang Temple and enjoy a 45-minute trek. The Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, who in the late 15th century used humour, songs and outrageous behavior to dramatize his teachings and due to this also known as 'Divine Madman'. This temple is also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon. Prior to your arrival, you will enjoy a 30-minute walk across field from the road to the temple. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. It then follows a tiny stream downhill to Yoaka and across more fields before making a short climb to Chimi Lhakhang. After your visit, you will return to the hotel for the remainder of your day at leisure. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Paro- Naksel Boutique

GettyImages-1129316155.jpg
Day 9

Paro

After breakfast we shall be driven to Chele La Pass. The Chele La Pass is the highest motor-able pass in Bhutan. At the top of this pass, we will begin our gradual uphill hike from the right side of the road. You will have great views of both Paro and Thimphu valleys from the road. The slope of this hill is also filled with many fluttering flags hoisted for people’s good luck making your walk along the trail more enchanting, and you will see the Rhododendrons, Primulas and several other flowers. The scenic hike will leave you feeling overwhelmed with beauty as you see Mount Jumolhari and other Himalayan peaks including the world’s 3rd highest peak, Kanchenjunga in Sikkim in the distance. 
After enjoying the remarkable views, we embark on a 4 mile walk along an ancient route through a delightful stretch of forest to the oldest nunnery in Bhutan, which was established as a meditation site in the 9th century. From the nunnery it is an easy descent down a drivable track to the main road. From here, we drive to the Paro Rinpung Dzong fortress. Built in the 16th century on the site of a monastery founded by Guru Rinpoche, the fortress is revered for having established Buddhism in Bhutan. After visiting the dzong, we conclude our day with a visit to Bhutan’s National Museum. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Paro- Naksel Boutique

GettyImages-1209674018.jpg
Day 10

Paro

We embark on a 2 mile walk following a well trodden path up to the picturesque Taktsang Monastery, set on a sheer granite cliff at about 1,600 feet above the sea level. Above the Paro valley revered as the place where Guru PadmaSambhava, known as the second Buddha in Bhutan, is said to have meditated, having reached the spot on the back of a tiger. After visiting the monastery, you have the option to either return down the same path or ascend above the monastery and continue down a much lesser known scenic forest path.
Once returning to the hotel, the rest of the afternoon shall be at leisure to explore the town on own and get some souvenirs before having a farewell dinner at the hotel. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Paro- Naksel Boutique

GettyImages-856649736.jpg
Day 11

Paro - Departure

After breakfast, we shall be transferred to the airport for flight to onward destination.
Meals: Breakfast


The activity Level for this tour is:

Itinerary

Day 1

Paro – Arrival & Drive To Thimphu

This day you will arrive at Paro International airport. Paro valley extends from the confluence of the Paro Chhu and the Wang Chhu rivers at Chuzom upto Mt. Jomolhari at the Tibetan border to the North. This picturesque region is one of the widest valleys in the kingdom and is covered in fertile rice fields and has a beautiful, crystalline river meandering down the valley. Accentuating the natural beauty are the many elegant, traditional-style houses that dot the valley and surrounding hills. Paro town has been growing rapidly in recent years and there are plenty of restaurants, bakeries and cafes to choose from. One of the distinctive features of Paro town is that it is situated in a flat valley bottom and follows a grid-like pattern. 
Upon arrival you will proceed to Passport Control for immigration followed by baggage collection and clearing customs formalities. After collecting your luggage, meet your guide who will escort you to a hotel in Thimphu. 
Meals: Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Thimphu- Terma Linca Resort


GettyImages-542208802.jpg
Day 2

Thimphu

We start our morning with a 20-minute drive before beginning our 2 hour hike uphill along a broad path through lush vegetation to the beautifully positioned 17th century Chagri Dorjeden monastery ‘Cheri’. After visiting the monastery, we return to the valley floor where we continue on a 2 hour walk through rural landscapes and villages. 
After lunch, we visit the Choki Traditional Art School and then further explore Thimphu. After our school visit, we will have the option of one final hike or returning back to the hotel for time at leisure.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Thimphu- Terma Linca Resort

GettyImages-1192643607.jpg
Day 3

Thimphu

We begin our day with a 6-mile hike up to a seldom-visited monastery located at about 2000 feet above the valley floor. The path, which is very open, provides excellent views of the Thimphu Valley and the surrounding mountains. 
In the afternoon we visit the remarkable statue of Buddha Point. The massive three-storey base houses a large chapel, while the body itself is filled with 125,000 smaller statues of Buddha. The 51 meter high Buddha looks best in morning light, or at night when it is illuminated.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Thimphu- Terma Linca Resort

GettyImages-1190013579.jpg
Day 4

Thimphu – Phobjikha Valley

After breakfast we depart for Phobjikha Valley. En-route you will visit stop briefly at Dochula pass to view and admire the chortens, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the high Himalayan peaks towards the north east will be revealed in all their glory. It is often cloud covered, but on clear days you will be able to see these spectacular views of the Himalayas. 
We begin our 5-mile hike by following a wide track that gently climbs through subalpine meadows and past a small rural settlement of livestock owners. The track soon becomes a forest path that ascends through an enchanted moss-covered rhododendron forest mixed with hemlock and spruce. We arrive at a high pass where the magnificent glacial Valley of Gangtey opens up before us. We zigzag on a path down a grassy slope to the valley and eventually arrive at our pickup point where we are driven to our hotel. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Phobjikha Valley- Dewachen Hotel & Spa
GettyImages-484323779.jpg
Day 5

Phobjikha Valley

After a brief drive to the royal family’s temple located at the opposite side of the valley, we set off for an 8 mile hike up an unexplored side valley passing through inspiring agricultural land and traditional mountain villages. Our journey will continue along the edge of the main valley walking parallel to the marshland that serves as an important habitat for the black-necked crane a few months out of the year. A short climb takes us to the ancient Gangtey Goemba, with its ramparts, altars, school, quarters for monks and meditation facilities. 
After lunch and a tour of the monastery, there is the option to continue on foot for 3 miles to the black-necked crane interpretation centre, or to get a lift to the centre, which is not far from our hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Phobjikha Valley- Dewachen Hotel & Spa
GettyImages-497020181.jpg
Day 6

Phobjikha Valley - Punakha

We start our morning off with a 20-minute drive before taking a 5 hour hike up through woods and meadows to a mountain pass following a historic migration route that the Gangteps used to take in order to reach the lower valleys in the autumn. From the pass, we continue downhill through a pristine old-growth Rhododendron forest passing many other species of trees and plants before arriving at Phama Hotel Khelika
After your hike, we continue our journey with a drive to Punakha along the eastern side of the river following Trashigang-Simtokha Highway to Khuruthang. If time permits, we shall visit the magnificent 17th century Punakha Dzong imposingly situated at the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers.
The Punakha valley produces abundant crops and fruits due to its temperate climate and owing to its natural drainage from the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers. During the day you will be enamored with splendid views of the distant Himalayas at Dochula pass on Thimphu Punakha road.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Punakha- Dhensa Boutique Resorts
GettyImages-158903291.jpg
Day 7

Punakha

We start our day with a hearty breakfast before continuing on an hour jeep ride to our hike which starts at Punakha Dzong. From here, we proceed to walk over the suspension bridge to the other side of the Mo Chhu River. *Packed lunch to be carried from the hotel. *
Enjoy this 6 hour walk while taking in expansive views of the valley and river below. We eventually arrive at the top of a ridge and then continue gently downhill through mixed woods until reaching an isolated temple with lovely grounds and a spectacular panorama of the better part of the Punakha district. 
After lunch, we continue to descend on a wide path until arriving near Punakha Dzong. From here, we continue our drive to Sandhingkma brige near Dawakhana that eventually leads to Sewla Sherdra Goempa.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Punakha- Dhensa Boutique Resorts
GettyImages-673124140.jpg
Day 8

Punakha - Paro

After breakfast, we depart Punakha for Paro. En route, we will make a stop to visit to Chimi Lhakhang Temple and enjoy a 45-minute trek. The Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, who in the late 15th century used humour, songs and outrageous behavior to dramatize his teachings and due to this also known as 'Divine Madman'. This temple is also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon. Prior to your arrival, you will enjoy a 30-minute walk across field from the road to the temple. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. It then follows a tiny stream downhill to Yoaka and across more fields before making a short climb to Chimi Lhakhang. After your visit, you will return to the hotel for the remainder of your day at leisure. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Paro- Naksel Boutique

GettyImages-1129316155.jpg
Day 9

Paro

After breakfast we shall be driven to Chele La Pass. The Chele La Pass is the highest motor-able pass in Bhutan. At the top of this pass, we will begin our gradual uphill hike from the right side of the road. You will have great views of both Paro and Thimphu valleys from the road. The slope of this hill is also filled with many fluttering flags hoisted for people’s good luck making your walk along the trail more enchanting, and you will see the Rhododendrons, Primulas and several other flowers. The scenic hike will leave you feeling overwhelmed with beauty as you see Mount Jumolhari and other Himalayan peaks including the world’s 3rd highest peak, Kanchenjunga in Sikkim in the distance. 
After enjoying the remarkable views, we embark on a 4 mile walk along an ancient route through a delightful stretch of forest to the oldest nunnery in Bhutan, which was established as a meditation site in the 9th century. From the nunnery it is an easy descent down a drivable track to the main road. From here, we drive to the Paro Rinpung Dzong fortress. Built in the 16th century on the site of a monastery founded by Guru Rinpoche, the fortress is revered for having established Buddhism in Bhutan. After visiting the dzong, we conclude our day with a visit to Bhutan’s National Museum. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Paro- Naksel Boutique

GettyImages-1209674018.jpg
Day 10

Paro

We embark on a 2 mile walk following a well trodden path up to the picturesque Taktsang Monastery, set on a sheer granite cliff at about 1,600 feet above the sea level. Above the Paro valley revered as the place where Guru PadmaSambhava, known as the second Buddha in Bhutan, is said to have meditated, having reached the spot on the back of a tiger. After visiting the monastery, you have the option to either return down the same path or ascend above the monastery and continue down a much lesser known scenic forest path.
Once returning to the hotel, the rest of the afternoon shall be at leisure to explore the town on own and get some souvenirs before having a farewell dinner at the hotel. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Paro- Naksel Boutique

GettyImages-856649736.jpg
Day 11

Paro - Departure

After breakfast, we shall be transferred to the airport for flight to onward destination.
Meals: Breakfast


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