Yoga and Wellness Exploration in Bhutan

Main destination Bhutan 9 Days Tour

GettyImages-939798422.jpg GettyImages-802928878.jpg GettyImages-1183079736.jpg GettyImages-1177283637.jpg GettyImages-657878860.jpg GettyImages-1212125259.jpg
Yoga and Wellness Exploration in Bhutan
Bhutan – Land of the Thunder Dragon also known as the Kingdom of Happiness is 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. Wedged between the world's giants, India and the Tibetan region of China, Bhutan is today slowly opening up to the world through a sensitive approach to tourism. 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. Let us take care of your needs on your tour of this little-known kingdom. Bhutan is a landlocked country wedged between the autonomous region of Tibet, China, in the north and India in the south along the lofty mountains of the eastern Himalayas. Bhutan is the land of complex gorges and valleys, soaring snow-peaked mountains and steep slopes, humid jungles and foothills, magnificent lakes and waterfalls, fast-flowing rivers and streams and the richest biodiversity of flora and fauna.

Hotels

  • Thimphu: Terma Lina Resort- Deluxe
  • Paro: Naksel Boutique- Deluxe

Inclusions

  • 8 nights’ accommodation at the hotels mentioned above.
  • Total meals: 24 [Breakfast – 8; Lunch – 8; Dinner – 8]
  • Transfers, excursions and drives shall be through the air-conditioned vehicle.
  • Service of an accompanying English-speaking guide for a 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 other items of personal nature

Mandatory

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

Day 1

Arrival in Paro and transfer 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 & SPA
GettyImages-1208681819.jpg
Day 2

Thimphu

Start your morning off with a leisurely breakfast before we get ready to hike to Cheri Goemba. 
After a short 30-minute drive, we will eventually reach the base point towards the north of Thimphu. This monastery was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1620. The trail commences by crossing a traditional wooden bridge that spans the Thimphu Chhu, then climbs steeply to the monastery. Cheri Goemba has numerous hermitages and small temples located on its slopes. Once reaching the bridge and stupa, we will enjoy a yoga session before continuing to lunch. 
After lunch, we stop at the Institute for Zorig Chusum painting school and the Folk Heritage Museum. During both visits, you will see students learning the various skills taught at the painting school and connect to the Bhutanese rural past through the museum exhibits, demonstrations, educational programs.  
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Thimphu- Terma Linca Resort & SPA
GettyImages-1051463070.jpg
Day 3

Thimphu

After breakfast drive to Sangaygang view point.
Sangaygang view point is situated at an elevation of 8,809 feet and presents a wonderful view of Thimphu valley. A two-hour walk from the viewpoint leads one to the Wangdi Tse loop. The trail leads through ubiquitous prayer flags, oak, blue pine and rhododendron forests until you reach Wangditse monastery. This monastery was founded in 1750 and the inner chapel houses a two-storey statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. The trail also provides excellent views of the Samteling Palace, home to the fourth King. The walking trail ends at Sangaygang view point.
Changangkha Lhakhang Blessing Ceremony:
From Sangaygang view point you board your vehicle and drive on to Changangkha Temple. Changangkha Lhakhang is an old fortress like temple perched on a ridge above Thimphu, south-east of Motithang. It was established in the 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drukgom Zhigpo, who came from Ralung in Tibet. The central statue is Chenrezig in 11-headed manifestations, and the books in the temple are larger in size than usual Tibetan texts. There is an excellent view of Thimphu from the courtyard.
After lunch at a local restaurant, visit National Memorial Chorten was built in 1974 to honor the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. A chorten is a hemispherical shaped memorial stupa. Known as the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan, it is used as a place of meditation.
Continue to Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory where you will witness the art of papermaking. Craftsmen demonstrate how Deh-sho paper is made using the bark of two local tree species. Buddhist monks use Deh-sho to write prayers and for woodblock printing.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Thimphu- Terma Linca Resort & SPA 
GettyImages-1209674076.jpg
Day 4

Thimphu

After a morning yoga session and breakfast, we will depart towards the Dochula Pass.
The drive from Thimphu to Dochula pass is one of the most scenic drives in Bhutan where you have the opportunity to view the snow-capped peaks of the eastern Himalayas. Perched at an altitude of 10,300 feet, Dochula Pass is the highest motorable point of Thimphu. 
Festooned with colorful prayer flags, Dochula Pass is considered as a historic and religious site in Thimphu. With the surreal vista of shimmering Mt Gangkhar Puensum looming over the enclosing Thimphu Valley, Dochula Pass has become one of the must visit places in Bhutan and a favored sightseeing place in Thimphu.
At the top of the Dochula Pass, we stop to enjoy one of the most rejuvenating and picturesque hikes in the region while visiting the Lungchutse temple. The trail will take you through a diverse forest of hemlock, rhododendrons and junipers until you reach the temple on the ridge. On a clear weather day, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the Himalayas from the ridge. Some of the notable mountains include Jumolhari, Masang Gang in the region of Laya, Zongfu Gang and Gangkhar Puensum which is the highest peak in Bhutan. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Thimphu- Terma Linca Resort & SPA
GettyImages-868400944.jpg
Day 5

Thimphu - Paro

After a morning wellness activity and breakfast, you will be driven back to Paro.
En route to Paro, we stop to visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the country constructed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1629. The name Simtokha literally means ‘Atop a Demon’ and the legend associated with the dzong’s construction tells us that it was built in order to subdue an evil spirit that was harassing travelers in the region.
Later in the day after lunch, proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangka paintings, textiles, weapons & armor, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Before arriving in Paro, we make a final stop at Rinpung Dzong, meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore.  
Upon arrival and check in, spend the remainder of the evening at the SPA, or just embracing the beauty of the property that offers a panoramic view of Mount Jomolhari. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Paro- Naksel Boutique Hotel & SPA
GettyImages-1209673941.jpg
Day 6

Paro

After a morning yoga session and breakfast, you will proceed for an excursion of Chelela Pass.
Chelela Pass is the highest motor-able pass in Bhutan. We will begin with a gradual hike uphill from the right side of the road where you will have great views of both Paro and Thimphu valleys below. The hike is incredibly scenic and overwhelming as you pass Mt Jumolhari and other Himalayan peaks including the world’s 3rd highest peak, Kanchenjunga in Sikkim during the clear weather. During the journey, be on the lookout for many fluttering flags hoisted for people’s good luck. These flags make your walk along the trail more enchanting and set up a picture-perfect photo opportunity! After the hike, return to the hotel for dinner and relaxation.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Paro- Naksel Boutique
GettyImages-973679206.jpg
Day 7

Paro

After morning yoga and breakfast, you will proceed for Taktsang.
Taktsang or 'Tiger's Nest' is often referred to for Taktsang Palphug monastery, is one of the most venerated and famous of Bhutan's monasteries. It is located on the face of a 900m sheer cliff and only accessible by foot, or by riding a mule. 
Start the walk from the trailhead at Rumtokto to the cafeteria where you can eventually get a good close-up view of Taktshang. Upon arriving at the high observation point of the monastery, you will immediately be awestruck as you savor the views that are nothing short of spectacular. 
Once inside the monastery, there are several shrines or temples with few monks in residence. After visiting Taktsang monastery's many shrines, we head back for a well-deserved lunch. After lunch, retrace back to the road-head where you started in the morning where we will eventually make our way back to the hotel where you can enjoy the onsite Menchu Himalayan Herbal Spa facilities before a relaxing dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Paro- Naksel Boutique Hotel & SPA
GettyImages-1071090480.jpg
Day 8

Paro

After a morning wellness activity and breakfast at the hotel, you will proceed for the city tour. Highlights of the city tour include:
Sangchen Choekhor Monastery
High above the north bank of the Paro Chhu, the Sangchen Choekhor Buddhist Institute commands outstanding views of the valley below. While the buildings will be of interest to Buddhist scholars, most people visit to enjoy the fine valley views with the road access bringing it within reach of travelers unable to make the long climb up to Taktsang Lhakhang.
Kyichu Lhakhang
The temple dates back to the 7th century. According to the Bhutanese legend, Songtsen Gempo, the first Buddhist King of Tibet, established a temple here on the left knee of an ogress in order to subdue her. The temple was restored in the 19th century and a similar one was added in 1968 by Ashi Kesang, the grand Queen Mother of Bhutan.
Dungtse Lhakhang
The little three storied chorten-shaped temple, was built in 1421 by Thangtong Gyelpo to subdue the ogress on the top of whose head it is said to be built. It was restored in 1841 by the 25th Head Abbot of Bhutan, Sherab Gyeltshen and the names of the Paro donors can still be seen written on the wooden pillars of the ground floor.
After the city tour, return to the hotel for an evening at leisure and farewell dinner. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Paro- Naksel Boutique
GettyImages-856104978.jpg
Day 9

Paro – Departure

After your last morning of yoga and a leisurely breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for flight to onward destination.
Meals: Breakfast

The activity Level for this tour is:

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival in Paro and transfer 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 & SPA
GettyImages-1208681819.jpg
Day 2

Thimphu

Start your morning off with a leisurely breakfast before we get ready to hike to Cheri Goemba. 
After a short 30-minute drive, we will eventually reach the base point towards the north of Thimphu. This monastery was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1620. The trail commences by crossing a traditional wooden bridge that spans the Thimphu Chhu, then climbs steeply to the monastery. Cheri Goemba has numerous hermitages and small temples located on its slopes. Once reaching the bridge and stupa, we will enjoy a yoga session before continuing to lunch. 
After lunch, we stop at the Institute for Zorig Chusum painting school and the Folk Heritage Museum. During both visits, you will see students learning the various skills taught at the painting school and connect to the Bhutanese rural past through the museum exhibits, demonstrations, educational programs.  
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Thimphu- Terma Linca Resort & SPA
GettyImages-1051463070.jpg
Day 3

Thimphu

After breakfast drive to Sangaygang view point.
Sangaygang view point is situated at an elevation of 8,809 feet and presents a wonderful view of Thimphu valley. A two-hour walk from the viewpoint leads one to the Wangdi Tse loop. The trail leads through ubiquitous prayer flags, oak, blue pine and rhododendron forests until you reach Wangditse monastery. This monastery was founded in 1750 and the inner chapel houses a two-storey statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. The trail also provides excellent views of the Samteling Palace, home to the fourth King. The walking trail ends at Sangaygang view point.
Changangkha Lhakhang Blessing Ceremony:
From Sangaygang view point you board your vehicle and drive on to Changangkha Temple. Changangkha Lhakhang is an old fortress like temple perched on a ridge above Thimphu, south-east of Motithang. It was established in the 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drukgom Zhigpo, who came from Ralung in Tibet. The central statue is Chenrezig in 11-headed manifestations, and the books in the temple are larger in size than usual Tibetan texts. There is an excellent view of Thimphu from the courtyard.
After lunch at a local restaurant, visit National Memorial Chorten was built in 1974 to honor the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. A chorten is a hemispherical shaped memorial stupa. Known as the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan, it is used as a place of meditation.
Continue to Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory where you will witness the art of papermaking. Craftsmen demonstrate how Deh-sho paper is made using the bark of two local tree species. Buddhist monks use Deh-sho to write prayers and for woodblock printing.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Thimphu- Terma Linca Resort & SPA 
GettyImages-1209674076.jpg
Day 4

Thimphu

After a morning yoga session and breakfast, we will depart towards the Dochula Pass.
The drive from Thimphu to Dochula pass is one of the most scenic drives in Bhutan where you have the opportunity to view the snow-capped peaks of the eastern Himalayas. Perched at an altitude of 10,300 feet, Dochula Pass is the highest motorable point of Thimphu. 
Festooned with colorful prayer flags, Dochula Pass is considered as a historic and religious site in Thimphu. With the surreal vista of shimmering Mt Gangkhar Puensum looming over the enclosing Thimphu Valley, Dochula Pass has become one of the must visit places in Bhutan and a favored sightseeing place in Thimphu.
At the top of the Dochula Pass, we stop to enjoy one of the most rejuvenating and picturesque hikes in the region while visiting the Lungchutse temple. The trail will take you through a diverse forest of hemlock, rhododendrons and junipers until you reach the temple on the ridge. On a clear weather day, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the Himalayas from the ridge. Some of the notable mountains include Jumolhari, Masang Gang in the region of Laya, Zongfu Gang and Gangkhar Puensum which is the highest peak in Bhutan. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Thimphu- Terma Linca Resort & SPA
GettyImages-868400944.jpg
Day 5

Thimphu - Paro

After a morning wellness activity and breakfast, you will be driven back to Paro.
En route to Paro, we stop to visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the country constructed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1629. The name Simtokha literally means ‘Atop a Demon’ and the legend associated with the dzong’s construction tells us that it was built in order to subdue an evil spirit that was harassing travelers in the region.
Later in the day after lunch, proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangka paintings, textiles, weapons & armor, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Before arriving in Paro, we make a final stop at Rinpung Dzong, meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore.  
Upon arrival and check in, spend the remainder of the evening at the SPA, or just embracing the beauty of the property that offers a panoramic view of Mount Jomolhari. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Paro- Naksel Boutique Hotel & SPA
GettyImages-1209673941.jpg
Day 6

Paro

After a morning yoga session and breakfast, you will proceed for an excursion of Chelela Pass.
Chelela Pass is the highest motor-able pass in Bhutan. We will begin with a gradual hike uphill from the right side of the road where you will have great views of both Paro and Thimphu valleys below. The hike is incredibly scenic and overwhelming as you pass Mt Jumolhari and other Himalayan peaks including the world’s 3rd highest peak, Kanchenjunga in Sikkim during the clear weather. During the journey, be on the lookout for many fluttering flags hoisted for people’s good luck. These flags make your walk along the trail more enchanting and set up a picture-perfect photo opportunity! After the hike, return to the hotel for dinner and relaxation.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Paro- Naksel Boutique
GettyImages-973679206.jpg
Day 7

Paro

After morning yoga and breakfast, you will proceed for Taktsang.
Taktsang or 'Tiger's Nest' is often referred to for Taktsang Palphug monastery, is one of the most venerated and famous of Bhutan's monasteries. It is located on the face of a 900m sheer cliff and only accessible by foot, or by riding a mule. 
Start the walk from the trailhead at Rumtokto to the cafeteria where you can eventually get a good close-up view of Taktshang. Upon arriving at the high observation point of the monastery, you will immediately be awestruck as you savor the views that are nothing short of spectacular. 
Once inside the monastery, there are several shrines or temples with few monks in residence. After visiting Taktsang monastery's many shrines, we head back for a well-deserved lunch. After lunch, retrace back to the road-head where you started in the morning where we will eventually make our way back to the hotel where you can enjoy the onsite Menchu Himalayan Herbal Spa facilities before a relaxing dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Paro- Naksel Boutique Hotel & SPA
GettyImages-1071090480.jpg
Day 8

Paro

After a morning wellness activity and breakfast at the hotel, you will proceed for the city tour. Highlights of the city tour include:
Sangchen Choekhor Monastery
High above the north bank of the Paro Chhu, the Sangchen Choekhor Buddhist Institute commands outstanding views of the valley below. While the buildings will be of interest to Buddhist scholars, most people visit to enjoy the fine valley views with the road access bringing it within reach of travelers unable to make the long climb up to Taktsang Lhakhang.
Kyichu Lhakhang
The temple dates back to the 7th century. According to the Bhutanese legend, Songtsen Gempo, the first Buddhist King of Tibet, established a temple here on the left knee of an ogress in order to subdue her. The temple was restored in the 19th century and a similar one was added in 1968 by Ashi Kesang, the grand Queen Mother of Bhutan.
Dungtse Lhakhang
The little three storied chorten-shaped temple, was built in 1421 by Thangtong Gyelpo to subdue the ogress on the top of whose head it is said to be built. It was restored in 1841 by the 25th Head Abbot of Bhutan, Sherab Gyeltshen and the names of the Paro donors can still be seen written on the wooden pillars of the ground floor.
After the city tour, return to the hotel for an evening at leisure and farewell dinner. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Paro- Naksel Boutique
GettyImages-856104978.jpg
Day 9

Paro – Departure

After your last morning of yoga and a leisurely breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for flight to onward destination.
Meals: Breakfast
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