Best of Bhutan is an enthralling tour of what the Dragon Kingdom has to offer to the outside world. Basically, the tour covers the three major cities of Bhutan; the green valley of Paro, the tiny capital – Thimphu and the old capital – Punakha. Thimphu unfolds many sightseeing opportunities from a visit to King’s Memorial Chorten to Centenary Farmer’s Market, authentic craft bazaar, etc. In Punakha, witness the Punakha Dzong, arguably the most impressive dzongs in Bhutan. En-route Thimphu to Punakha, take a short hike to the Chimi Lhakhang also known as divine madman’s temple. Back to Paro, you will take the most interesting hike up to the Taktsang Monastery perched in a vertical cliff which is also popularly known as the ‘Tigers’ Nest’. Best of Bhutan is a great way to witness Bhutan visiting the historical, religious and cultural landmarks of the Dragon Kingdom and also experiencing the age-old culture and traditions.
What to expect ?
Witness spectacular bird’s eye view of the world’s greatest mountains series onboard flight in/out from Paro and explore the beautiful city Paro along with the tiny capital Thimphu. Pay a visit to Chimmi Lakhnag a temple of "divine madam" and also visit the most beautiful dzong of Bhutan, Punakha Dzong. Commence the refreshing hike to Taktsang Monastery and witness the phenomenal beauty of Haa Valley.
Day 01: Arrival at Paro (By Druk Air) – Transfer to Thimphu.
Your Best of Bhutan Tour starts with the flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control you will be brief by our guide and transferred to Paro town for lunch drive to visit Rimpung Dzong, built-in 17th century to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The dzong is now used as an administration center and school for monks. Later depart to Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan. The drive will take around 1.5hours. Thimphu has a population of about 100,000. The town is made up of just three lines of shops and is the only capital in the world without traffic lights. Check-in at the hotel. In the evening visit Handicrafts Emporium, this has all types of Bhutanese handicrafts for sale. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 02: Thimphu Sightseeing – Punakha
Best of Bhutan Tour encompasses various sites such as National Memorial Chorten, Textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum and many more. After breakfast drive to visit National Memorial Chorten with its golden spines shining in the sun, its tinkling bells built in honor of third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Institute of Traditional Medicine, where old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practiced. Also visit the Folk Heritage Museum, which is dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibition of items and artifacts used in rural households, Textile Museum, where the art of traditional weaving is still kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in its color and design. Later in the afternoon depart to Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan. Leaving Thimphu the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050 m). This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. After stopping for tea and the view, we descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Punakha. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 03: Punakha – Wangdue – Gangtey
Continuing Best of Bhutan Tour, after breakfast, walk across the bridge and visit Punakha Dzong, the ancient capital of Bhutan, spanning the MoChu and Pho Chu rivers. It is also the winter capital for the monks and the Je Khenpo (chief abbot) and after the visit drive to Lobeysa for lunch. After lunch hike another 20 minutes to Chime Lhakhang, the temple of the “Divine Madman” built-in 1499 and today it is mostly visited by the women who couldn’t bear children. Also, it is known as the temple of fertility. After the visit walk back to the road point and then drive Gangtey. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 04: Gangtey – Wangdue – Paro
After breakfast, a short drive will take you to the monastery of Gangtey Goempo, which was built in the 16th century and renovated and consecrated in 2008. The monastery holds the most sacred relics of all the monasteries throughout Bhutan and its architectural design is amazing. After the visit drives back to Paro via Wangude. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 05: Paro – Hike to Taksang
Enjoying the Best of Bhutan Tour, after breakfast drives the winding road to Drukgyal Dzong, the ruined fort, which was once defended this valley from Tibetan invasions. Mount Jhomolhari, can be seen on a clear day from Drukgyal village. Then drive back to Ramthangkha to hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s nest). The hike to the cafeteria will take around one and a half hours. At the viewpoint, enjoy the stunning view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. Walk back to the road point and then visit Kyichu Lhakhang one of the oldest temples in Bhutan and also one can visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower that is known as the National Museum (converted in 1968). The museum boasts antique thangkha, textiles, weapons and armor, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 06: Paro – Day excursion to Haa Valley – Paro
After breakfast drive over the Chelela pass (3899 m). From the pass, one can get a good view of the Himalayan Ranges and the valley beyond. After having a good view continue your drive to Haa. Haa is made up of five counties and is closed to the outside world until 2002. There is a military camp by the Indian Army. In Haa valley visit Wangchucklo Dzong which dates back to 1915 and visit Lhakhang Nakpo (Black temple) is said to have been built by pigeon emanation of King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and Lhakhang Karpo (white temple). After the visit drive back to Paro. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 07: Paro – Depart (By Druk Air)
Your Best of Bhutan Tour terminates today so after breakfast, your representative will help you with the exit formalities and bid you farewell and wish you a happy journey back home.
- Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
- 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium).
- Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing
- Route Permit
- Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan
- A licensed Bhutanese tour guide
- All land transportation by private vehicle
- Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
- Sightseeing as per itinerary
- Monuments entrance fees where applicable
- Drinking water
- All internal taxes and charges
- A sustainable development fee of $65. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)
- Airfare & Travel Insurance
- Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
- Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.
Where to meet ?
We will provide you meeting location after reservation is confirmed.
During the trip; weather, local politics, transport or a multitude of other factors, that are beyond our control can result in a change of itinerary. It is, however, very unlikely that the itinerary would be substantially altered. We will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but an easy-going nature will be an asset!