Highlights

  1. Marvelling at the cliff-side Tiger’s Nest temple
  2. Seeing the Chele La pass’s fluttering white prayer flags
  3. Soothing the muscles in a traditional hot stone bath
  4. Visiting the riverside "Palace of Great Happiness"
  5. Witnessing Bhutan’s living heritage in its villages

Day 1: Arrive in Paro

Marvel at the panoramic Himalayan views on arrival in Paro, a riverside town characterised by beautifully decorated shops and restaurants. After meeting with your guide, the rest of the day is spent exploring Bhutan’s gateway on foot, or heading out into the surrounding valley. Overnight at The Village Lodge.

Day 2: Paro

This morning starts with a trek to Taktsang Monastery. Also known as the Tiger’s Nest, it’s spectacularly positioned 900 metres above the valley floor. Later, visit the ruined fortress of Drukgyel Dzong before sampling a traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath (optional). Overnight at The Village Lodge.

Day 3: Paro

Visit the National Museum of Bhutan, housed in the cylindrical Ta Dzong watchtower, before proceeding to the exquisite Rinpung Dzong. Translating as ‘Fortress on a Heap of Jewels’, the 17th-century dzong was formerly used to protect the kingdom from neighbouring Tibet. Overnight at The Village Lodge.

Day 4: Paro to Haa Valley

Venture south-west into the Haa Valley via the Chele La pass – the highest section of road of its kind in Bhutan – stopping off to climb the path to the cliff-side nunnery of Kila Gompa en route. After seeing the pass’s plentiful prayer flags, the descent begins down to Haa. Overnight at Lechuna Heritage Lodge.

Day 5: Haa Valley

Exploring the Haa Valley – which opened to tourists as recently as 2002 – begins by visiting Yotong, where a 300-year-old gompa overlooks traditional Bhutanese homes. Later, walk beside the Haa Chhu River to Haa town, before proceeding to Lhakhang Karpo and Lhakhang Nagpo. Overnight at Lechuna Heritage Lodge.

Day 6: Haa Valley to Thimphu

See the confluence of the Haa Chhu and Wang Chhu rivers before transferring to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, stopping off at the 16th-century Dogar Dobji Dzong. This afternoon, visit the city’s National Institute for Zorig Chusum, National Library, National Textile Museum and Tashichho Dzong. Overnight at Peaceful Resort.

Day 7: Thimphu to Punakha

Discover Buddha Point and the Memorial Chorten before travelling north-east to Punakha via the Dochula pass. After stopping at Chimi Lhakhang, the temple of fertility, explore the 17th-century Punakha Dzong, the riverside seat of the Bhutanese government until the 1950s. Overnight at The Shengana Lodge.

Day 8: Punakha

Begin today with an excursion to the village of Talo, where traditional farmhouses sit beside flower gardens and slopes adorned with sweet peas and corn. After lunch, proceed to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, a four-storey temple dedicated to Bhutan’s wellbeing. Overnight at The Shengana Lodge.

Day 9: Punakha to Paro

Travel to Paro, stopping off at Rinchengang – a hillside village famous for its tightly packed houses – en route. After lunch, there’s enough time to visit the 12-sided Simtokha Dzong – home of Bhutan’s Institute for Language and Cultural Studies – before an evening spent at leisure. Overnight at The Village Lodge.

Day 10: Paro

Proceed to Paro Airport after breakfast for your onward international return flight.

Activities to consider

  • Indulging in a traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath
  • Exploring Paro and the surrounding valley by bicycle

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