Central Bhutan Tour - 10 days

Central Bhutan is a repertoire of the most significant historical and religious heritages of Bhutan. This tour takes you through three passes (Dochula at 3100m, Pelela at 3300m and Yotongla at 3425 m) and the beautiful valleys of Phobjikha, the home of black necked crane; and Bumthang, the spiritual heartland of Bhutan. You will also visit historically and spiritually important places including Tashichho dzong, temple of fertility, Punakha dzong, Jambay Lhagang, Kurji monastery, Burning lake, Rimpong dzong, Kichu monastery etc. This tour that starts from Paro retraces back at the end through Thimphu, Phobjinkha, Bumthang and Punakha. This tour offers a meaningful insight into the history and culture of Bhutanese people along with the authentic experience of unspoilt Bhutanese country life.

Day 01: Flight to Paro and transfer to Hotel
Day 02: Sightseeing around Thimphu
Day 03: Visit Phobjinkha and monastery with mountain views
Day 04: Phobjikha to Bumthang
Day 05: Bumthang Tour and Sightseeing
Day 06: Bumthang to Punakha
Day 07: Punakha halt
Day 08: Punakha to Paro
Day 09: Paro halt
Day 10: Exit Bhutan

Day 01: Flight to Paro and transfer to Hotel (2195 m)

Crossing over the Himalayan mountains, the flight to Paro offers spectacular views of awesome peaks, including the sacred Jomolhari and Jichu Drake peaks of Bhutan. On arrival you will be greeted by the guide at the airport and transferred to the hotel.

Day 02: Sightseeing around Thimphu (2320m)

After your breakfast, you will drive to Thimpu, the capital city, which can be reached in two hours’ time. You will have a sightseeing tour to the immediate area of Thimpu like the Memorial Garden, National Library, School of traditional Arts, Changangkha Temple, Simtokha Dzong (one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan), Radio Tower, weekly market etc.

Day 03: Visit Phobjinkha and monastery with mountain views (2900m)

You will continue to Phobjikha today. Phobjikha valley 2900 m, which falls in the periphery of the Black Mountain National Park, is a heavenly place for nature lovers. There are many places good for hiking. You can visit Gangtey Gompa, the largest and the only monastery of the Nyingmapa sect in western Bhutan. You will get an opportunity to mingle with the villagers. The wide valley is also the home of migratory black necked cranes during winter. Exploring the valley will offer you one of the authentic experiences of Bhutanese rural life.

Day 04: Phobjikha to Bumthang (2800m)

Today you will drive to Bumthang passing through many spectacular valleys.  You will stop en route at the Chendibji Chorten at the top of a pass. Another en route attraction is Trongsa Dzong, a golden roofed impressive monastery built on the steep ridge overlooking the valley.  After the visit of the monastery, you will continue your drive to Bumthang via Yotongla pass (3400 metres). You can also visit the wool project at Chumey valley. Finally, the road winds down into the beautiful valley of Bhumthang.

Day 05: Bumthang Tour and Sightseeing

The wide valley of Bumthang is a cultural epicenter of Bhutan with great religious significance. The valley is full of Buddhist monasteries and temples strewn all over the places. Chakhar Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang, where the “body imprint” of Guru Rimpoche is found, Tamshing Lhakhang, Jakar Dzong, ” castle of the white bird” etc are the major attractions of this place. Bumthang is also popular for its woolen products. Visits to these places will take you into the insightful spiritual journey you will never forget. Bumthang is also the home of Pema Lingpa, a great Buddhist saint of Nyingma sect.

Day 06: Bumthang to Punakha (1200m)

The drive from Bumthang to Punakha takes about 7 hours. Now, onwards you will start retracing your journey. Enjoying the fleeting valleys, highlands, amazing view of grazing yaks and monasteries, you will arrive at Punakha.

Day 07: Punakha halt

Punakha is the older capital of Bhutan and is comparatively warmer. You can visit beautiful Punakha dzong (fortress) built between the confluences of two important rivers the Pho (male) river and Mo (female) Chu. The other places to visit are Chimi Lhakhang, Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten built by the Queen of Bhutan for world peace, Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery, Limbukha, Talo, Nalanda Buddhist College etc.

Day 08: Punakha to Paro

En route to Paro, you can visit Chimi Lakhang, built in honor of popular saint Drukpa Kuenley, also known as divine Madman. The Lakhang is situated at a hillock. You will continue via Dochula Pass and visit the Simtokha Dzong. At Paro, you can explore Ta Dzong, once a fortified lookout tower that is now a national museum. Then you will walk down the trail to visit the Rinpung Dzong meaning “fortress of the heap of jewels”.

Day 09: Paro halt

After breakfast you will hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, Bhutan’s most famous monastery. Guru Rinpoche (8th century saint) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuentse to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. The hike to reach the viewpoint of the monastery makes for a nice half-day excursion. Later you can visit the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong and have a brief visit to Kyichu Lhakhang. In the evening you can explore the vibrant Paro Town. Overnight hotel in Paro.

Day 10: Exit Bhutan

Depending on the flight timing, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight. The Representative of Bhutan office will see you off with warm farewell.