Day 1: Paro – Thimphu
The flight into Paro will provide you with a spectacular view of the Himalayan mountain ranges. During the descent one can enjoy a panoramic view of the Paro valley. Upon arrival you will be received by our representative at the Paro International Airport exit doors.
After lunch you will visit Ta Dzong “Watchtower” Museum complex which houses an impressive collection of old and new thangkas (painted or embroidered religious pictures), religious relics and festival dance masks among other collections with historical value. The Museum also has a natural history collection on display.
Next you will visit Rinpung Dzong which is a perfect example of Bhutanese architecture with its thick buttressed walls. Dzongs were used as forts during times of war and this fort was used numerous times to thwart invasions from Tibet. At present, it is used to house the monastic body as well as district government offices.
Afterwards we will drive to the capital city Thimphu which is a short 1- 1hr 20 minutes drive from Paro. You will spend the night in Thimphu.
Day 2: Thimphu
After breakfast start the day off with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten, built in 1974 as a memorial to the third king of Bhutan. The next item on the itenary will be a visit to Changangkha Lhakhang which is a popular fortress like temple perched on a hill overlooking the Thimphu valley. We will then move towards Buddha Point where a 50m tall Buddha Dordenma is currently in the final stages of completion.
After lunch, we will continue sightseeing with a visit to the Folk Heritage Museum where you will get to visit a restored medieval farmhouse. Next is a visit to the National Institute of Zorig Chusum (The 13 arts and crafts) where they offer specialization in courses of Thangka making, woodcarvings, embroidery, and sculpting to the students.
If your visit coincides with the weekends, you can pay a visit to the Thimphu market to experience the sights, smells and sounds of the bustling weekend market.
If time permits, the day will end with a visit to the Mothithang Zoo to see the takins which is the national animal of Bhutan. On the drive back to your hotel, you will see the Tashichodzong which houses His Majesty’s secretariat, office of some of the ministries, and the central monk body. You will spend the night in your hotel in Thimphu.
Day 3: Thimphu to Punakha
After breakfast, we will start the 3 hour journey towards Punakha. On the way, we will make a brief stop at Dochu-la pass (3,140 m above sea level) where on a clear day one can enjoy an incredible view of the Himalayan mountain ranges. This is the place where an impressive collection of 108 chortens (hillside marked by an array of prayer flags) can be seen. As you drive down towards Punakha Valley, you can enjoy the view of the hillsides filled with rhododendrons in full bloom during the months of April and May.
Before entering Punakha, you will pay a visit to Chime Lhakhang, built by the cousin of Lama Drukpa Kuenley who is more famously known to the western world as the Divine Madman. Drukpa Kuenley is considered a symbol of fertility and couples having difficulty conceiving often visit the temple to receive blessings. After lunch at the Chimi Lhakhang cafeteria we will head towards Punakha.
Punakha was the old capital of Bhutan till the mid 1950’s. The Dzong was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637. It is the winter residence of the chief abbot Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move from Thimphu to Punakha and reside here during the winter months. It is a perfect example of Bhutanese architecture with pillars carved out of cypress tress adorned in gold, red and black colours, thick buttressed walls, and three large courtyards. You will spend the night in your hotel in Punakha.
Day 4: Punakha to Paro
On day 4 after breakfast, we will start the 4.5 hour journey towards Paro. On the way, we will stop at Dochu-la for lunch at Dochula Cafeteria. We will then continue towards Paro.
Upon reaching Paro, we will check you into the hotel and in the evening we will head towards Paro town for a shopping trip to the handicraft and souvenir shops. You will spend the night at your hotel in Paro.
Day 5: Paro
After breakfast we will start the 2 hour hike to Taktshang Goemba which rests at an altitude of 900 metres above the valley. Taktshang, meaning the ‘Tiger’s Nest’ is one of Bhutan’s most venerated pilgrimage sites and is a very popular site for all tourists visiting Bhutan. According to legend, Guru Rinpoche miraculously flew here on the back of a tigress, meditated in a cave here for three months and converted the whole of Paro valley to Buddhism.
On the way down we will halt at Taktshang Cafeteria for lunch. In the afternoon, a trip to visit to the ruins of Drugyel Dzong, built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetans in 1644. Drukgyel means ‘the fortress of the victorious Drukpas.’ On the way back, if time permits we will take you to see Kyichu Lhakhang, which is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. It was built in the 7th century by the famous Buddhist Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. You will spend the night in your hotel in Paro.
Day 6: Final Depature.
After breakfast at the hotel our representative will bid farewell to you at the airport, we wish you a safe journey towards your next destination. Tashi Delek.