Or call +975-17603507
Ringed by the staggering peaks of the Himalaya, Bhutan is a remote Buddhist kingdom where age-old traditions hold strong. Amid verdant valleys dotted with ancient fortresses and shrines, delve into Bhutan’s rich culture with a private guide, discovering how everyday life is intertwined with Mahayana Buddhism. Meet with monks, nuns, farmers, and artisans; witness ancient rituals; and witness firsthand the cautious evolution of this tiny kingdom.
The adventure begins on your way to the kingdom in the clouds, before your feet even touch the ground. On a clear day, your flight to Bhutan offers extraordinary views of the Himalayan range’s highest peaks, including Mount Everest. Upon landing in Paro, travel to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, home to the Royal Family, and the best place to witness the country’s newly embraced modernity. Meet your Bhutanese guide and driver, who will travel with you throughout your stay. Then spend an afternoon in the city at leisure, browsing its handicraft shops, exploring neighborhoods where the old vies with the new, or mingling with locals at a karaoke bar. Overnight in hotel.
Delve deeper into Thimphu on a private tour of the city. Gain insight into rural Bhutanese life at the Folk Heritage Museum, a replica of a traditional mud-and-timber farmhouse. Observe the delicate artistry involved in creating deh-sho, or locally handmade paper, at the Jungshi Paper Factory. Walk alongside local parents to Changangkha Lhakhang, a 12th-century monastery popular for providing blessings to newborns. End your excursion at a wildlife sanctuary for the takin, Bhutan's national animal, described as having the body of a cow and the head of a goat. Overnight in hotel.
This morning, visit Thimphu's Royal Textile Academy and admire the displays of intricate and diverse Bhutanese weavings, which are considered spiritual expressions. Journey to Punakha by way of the Dochu La pass. With its circular formation of 108 chortens set against a panoramic backdrop of majestic mountains, the pass is an awe-inspiring and spiritual place. Upon arrival in Punakha, set out on a hike through the surrounding rice paddies to Chimi Lhakhang—a temple blessed by Drukpa Kuenley, known as the “Mad Saint”. Also called the fertility temple, childless hopefuls visit the lhakhang to get blessed by the main relic- a wooden phallus. Overnight in hotel.
Spend the day discovering Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan that still retains its regal feel. Hike to the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, a colorful temple poised on a scenic mountain ridge overlooking the Punakha valley. After lunch, explore the elaborately designed fortress of Punakha Dzong; its positioning at the confluence of the Mo (mother) and Pho (father) Rivers helps make this dzong one of the most beautiful in the country. End the day with a blessing from the nuns at the Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup temple and nunnery. Overnight in hotel.
Return to Paro and journey through the emerald rice paddies and quaint farming villages of the Paro valley, and visit Jangtsa Dumtseg Lhakhang, a unique temple designed in the architectural style of a chorten. Visit the seventh-century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest temples, and walk the archery grounds. Overnight in hotel.
Spend the day discovering Paro. Visit the National Museum of Bhutan, and admire the impressive architecture of the Paro Dzong, a stronghold that once defended the country from Tibetan invasions. Explore the ruins of the Drukgyel Dzong fortress, which once also defended this valley from invasions. Lunch at a farmstead. Overnight in hotel.
Your journey through Bhutan culminates at the kingdom’s most iconic site: Taktsang Lhakhang, famously called the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. This majestic structure is poised high above the Paro valley, built dramatically on the ledge of a granite cliff face. Legend has it that the eight century Buddhist Tantric master, Guru Padmasambhava, came to this place riding on a flaming tigress to subdue the demons wreaking havoc on the valley below. Make the steep, strenuous trek to the temple or hike to a nearby viewpoint, taking in a landscape dotted with pine trees, prayer flags, and ancient shrines. Enjoy lunch at the home of a local farmer before returning to Paro for the evening. Overnight in hotel.
Your guide and driver will accompany you to the airport and on behalf of Bhutan Spicy Shangri-La will bid you farewell with a fervent prayer that your life may be filled happiness and success!
This trip has an activity rating of moderate. Travelers should be physically fit and prepared for multiple hours of hiking over several days on high mountains. Excursions may include navigating uneven terrain, climbing stairs without handrails, and walking on paths with steep ascents and descents.
Throughout the trip, we stay in 3-star hotels with many amenities. With additional fee, arrangements to stay in high-end 5-star hotels can be made. Stay in traditional farm-houses come free with the tariff. Let us know what you like.
A Bhutan Spicy Shangri-La guide will accompany you for the entire journey.
|March-May/September-November||ONE PERSON TRAVELLER||Contact us for pricing|
|March-May/September-November||TWO-THREE PERSON TRAVELLER||Contact us for pricing|
|March-May/September-November||GROUP OF 16 (MAX)||From USD 1,750 per person|
Prices are per person based. There is 50% discount for kids below 12 years and 20% discount for students below 25 years. From the total price a chunk goes as Royalty to the Bhutanese government which is used for providing free education and health care, build roads and bridges, and as tourism development fee. If you want to close your trip with a night stay in a high end resort, the price will be a little higher. Let us know.