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BhutanMountains, valleys and festival in Paro

  • Join a group
  • Highlights
Tour itinerary includes
  • Sightseeing
  • Local culture
    Local culture
  • Mountain
  • Learning activities
    Learning activities
  • Local cuisine
    Local cuisine

Your group tour

Day 1: Welcome to Kingdom of Bhutan

During the flight over to Paro, you'll be able to see some of the highest peaks such as the legendary Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and Macula. Upon arrival you'll be met by our representative who will accompany you.

Upon arriving paro, drive to National museum which was built in 1649 and initially it was used as a Ta- Dzong or watchtower, but now houses wide range of religious artefacts, rare stamps, information’s of flora and fauna of Bhutan. The visit to the museum is to familiarize you with the Bhutanese cultural and traditions.

After visiting the museum you can hike to Zuri temple, the beautiful hike takes around 1 hour or more which starts from Ta Dzong and stop at Hotel Uma. You can see spectacular view of paro valley along the bank of Paro river, Paro Dzong, paro city and paro international airport.

Free time in the paro city.

Gangtey Palace (Paro)

Day 2: Paro spring festival

In the morning drive to paro Dzong, attend one of the most beautiful and popular paro festival.

The Tshechu (festival) is a religious event celebrated on tenth day of a month of the lunar calendar corresponding to the birthday of Guru Rinpoche. However the exact month of the Tshechu varies from place to place and temple to temple.

Tshechu are grand events where entire communities come together to witness religious mask dances, receive blessings and socialize. In addition to the mask dances tshechu also include colorful Bhutanese dances and other forms of entertainment.

It is believed that everyone must attend a Tshechu and witness the mask dances at least once to in order to receive blessing and wash away their sins. Every mask dance performed during a Tshechu has a special meaning or a story behind it and many are based on stories and incidents from as long ago as the 08th century, during the life of Guru Rinpoche.

The mask dances are performed by monks and in remote villages, they are performed jointly by monks and village men.

Later in the afternoon, Visit Paro Rimpong Dzong, the original Paro Dzong dates back to the 17th century, built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the man who unified Bhutan, but then it was burnt down in 1907 and was rebuilt in the same year with the same architectural design. Currently, it is the headquarter of the district headed by the head administrator and the monastic body with about 150 monks.

Later in the evening check in to the homestay, Paro is famous for its variety of foods, dumplings either from meat or cheese, greens, datsi (cheese) and chili with different combinations of vegetables and other ingredients. You can taste common Bhutanese dishes served with rice, such as pork, chicken, beef, and yak. You can learn the few Bhutanese dishes and taste how it works.

Also, try archery the national game of Bhutan at the homestay. Later in the evening check in to the homestay, Paro is famous for its variety of foods, dumplings either from meat or cheese, greens, datsi (cheese) and chili with a different combination of vegetables and other ingredients. You can taste common Bhutanese dishes served with rice, such as pork, chicken, beef, and yak. You can learn the few Bhutanese dishes and taste how it works. 


Day 3: Paro to Thimphu 60kms, 1 hours 30 minutes

After breakfast drive to Thimphu, following the Paro and Thimphu River for one hour or more. You can make numerous stops on the way to enjoy the beautiful rice fields; forest and hills dotted with stupas and prayer flags.

Upon reaching Thimphu, visit Memorial chorten in the heart of the town, followed by the Buddha stupa overlooking the Thimphu valley which is the largest siting Buddha in the world.   

Visits centenary farmer’s market a two story building about 400 stall that provides farmers from around the country the opportunity to display their produce and people a chance to support the local agriculture. Vendors from throughout the religion starts arriving from Wednesday and remain till Sunday night. The best time to explore the markets within these four days when the rush of trade is going on. It is also a great way to get acquainted with the locals and learn about the ingredients of a Bhutanese diet. Also watch the resident’s horde the market, choosing the best of the season’s product.

Gyelsa Boutique Inn (Thimphu)

Day 4: Second Day in Thimphu: visit to Chari mediation center

Drive 16 km from Thimphu and hike to the monastery presently acts as a significant retreat and teaching center for the southern Tibetan Buddhism school. People from all walks of life come to tour the historic scenery while still taking some time to learn its history and the religious doctrines. The site is also known to have about 30 monks who ensure safety and are also in charge of the religious activities in the monastery.  These monks are also entrusted with taking care and maintaining the monastery.

Due to its rich history, Pictorial view and impressive hiking adventure, the Cheri Goemba monastery has become a favored tourist destination especially for learners who are interested in learning the Buddhist philosophy. The place is also an essential venue for meditation, hikes retreats and studies.

In the evening visit Trashichhodzong, Built in the 17th century, this Dzong is the summer residence of the central monastic body headed by the Je Khenpo (chief spiritual leader).  The king’s office is also located inside this Dzong. The woodwork and the paintings are among the finest in the country. You may take pictures in the courtyard and visit the assembly hall of the monk.

Free time in the town and dinner in local restaurant.

Gyelsa Boutique Inn (Thimphu)

Day 5: Over the Dochula pass and to the rice fields of Punakha 77kms, 3 hours

After breakfast drive to Punakha, on the way Stop at Dochula pass (3150m), enjoy the panorama of the Bhutan Himalayas. Here you can spend some time walking around and photographing the 108 Druk Wangyel Chorten, Built in 2004 to “celebrate the stability and progress that His Majesty has brought to the nation,” this hill of 108 religious monuments in the middle of the pass reflects Bhutan’s spiritual and artistic traditions.

Visit Punakha Dzong. Built in 1637 between the confluence of the Po chu (male river) and Mo chu (female river), this fortress monastery is the winter residence of Bhutan’s spiritual leader, the Je Khenpo or Head Abbot, and the central Monk Body comprising of over 350 monks. In the afternoon take your family for white water rafting in Mo Chu River in Punakha.  

Night at Hotel Vara (Punakha)

Day 6: Punakha to Trongsa 139kms, 5 hours

This part of drive is one of the most scenic, you will be crossing streams, waterfalls, prayer wheels turned by water, yaks with their herders, remote and picturesque villages and lots of birds.

As we approach Pelela pass (alt. 3400m), you will get the first glimpse of Black mountain ranges, the traditional boundary between east and west. Large prayer flags on the pass makes the pass spectacles. En-route, we will stop at Chendbji Chorten (Stupa), which was built in the 18th century by a lama named Shida. The stupa is Nepalese in style with eyes painted at four cardinal points.

After lunch visit Tongsa Dzong, built by Zhabdrung in 1647. Another majestic architectural masterpiece, it is very historic and every King, before ascending the Throne must, as the Crown Prince serve as the Penlop (Governor) of Trongsa.

You can also visit the Ta Dzong (watch tower) which was built in 17th century and now converted to museum in 2008. The museum has about 244 items used over the years by the Wangchuck dynasty. It also displays the famous Raven Crown used by the first king.

Yangkhil Resort (Trongsa)

Day 7: Trongsa to Bumthang the cultural heart land of Bhutan 68kms, 3 hours

Drive to Bumthang which is about 3 hours’ drive from Trongsa on the way stop at Yutong La pass (alt. 3,450 m) and  further drive 2 hours or less, the road enters into a wide, open and cultivated valley known as Chumey valley. Stop at Chumey and Zungney village known for its woolen and yak hair textiles called Yathra.

Upon reaching Bumthang visit, Jambay Lhakhang, which was built in the 7th century by Songsten Goembo, the Tibetan Buddhist King. Hike to next temple Kurje Lhakhang where the Great Indian Saint Guru Padsambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock. Try your lunch in local framers house in Bumthang, where you can get variety of food that are popular in Bumthang valley.

After lunch visit Tamshing Lhakhang built in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa (the founder of religious treasures).  If time permits visit Kunchosum Lhakhang which was built in 9th century. Later in the afternoon visit famous Jakar Dzong, The Jakar Dzong (the fortress of white bird) built in the 17th century by Tenzin Rabgay (the fourth Desi) is another famous landmark.

Trongsa, Bhumtang
Gongkar Guesthouse (Bhumtang)

Day 8: Day excursion to the beautiful Tang valley

 In the morning drive to Tang valley the most remote of Bumthang's valleys. It is higher than Chokhor so there's not as much agriculture here, although in places where the soil is fertile and deep the Arcadian scenes are picture-perfect. Hike to the Ugyen Choling museum crossing a suspension and walk through the village for around 40 minutes to reach the museum, later visit Tag Rimochen lhakhang.  
Later afternoon hike from Nunnery monastery to the Dhungmi thang (Sheep breeding center) and enjoy the stunning landscape, fresh air etc...

Later in the evening visit the home stay for a special local cuisine of Bumthang. 

Overnight Yu Garling Resort: Bumthang or similar.


Day 9: Bumthang to Phobjikha valley: 140km, 5 hours

As you retrace our journey back, you can make numerous stops on the way to enjoy the beautiful nature and to visit remote villages.

As we approach Pelela pass (3420m/10825ft), you will get the first glimpse of Black mountain ranges. In olden days it was used as border between east and west. Before reaching the pass.

We will take right towards the valley of rare and famous Black Necked Cranes. First stop is at the village of and Gangtey (30000m), followed by Gangtey Gompa.

The villagers are said to be descendants of about 50 Gomchen or lay monks who settled there long time ago. After the School hike to the glacial valley of Phobjikha (2900m/10440ft). This is one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan. It is the nesting ground of the rare Black necked Cranes in winter.

Bhumtang, Phobjikha
Dewachen (Gangtey)

Day 10: Phobjikha valley to Paro via Punakha and Thimphu: 170km, 5 hours

From the hotel drive back to back to Lawa la pass, from where you will be taken for a breathtaking hike called the Gangtey 360° or you can start from Gangtey lodge but is more challenging. You will set off on a 45-minute hike up towards the meditation cliff at 3,400m. The hike takes you up a sloping lined pathway, through towering bushes of jade-hued bamboo. During the spring months, the woodlands on either side of the valley look particularly stunning, with an array of coloured rhododendrons. In the winter months, the views from the top offer up the snow-capped Himalayas to the north.

When you reach the top you are rewarded with unobstructed 360° views on all sides; Gangtey Valley as far as the eye can see and the Himalayas. Afterwards head down the ridge towards the Shedra (Monk College) and return to the lodge.

Later continue to drive to paro and on the way stop to visit, Simtokha Dzong was the oldest Dzong built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal the founder of Bhutan.

The name Simtokha literally means “A top a Demon” and the legend associated with the dzong’s construction tells us that it was built in order to subdue an evil spirit that was harassing travelers in the region. The dzong was modeled after the Gyal Gyad Tshel Institute of Ralung (Tibet) and is quite distinctive as its Utse or central tower has 12 sides.  The site was also a vitally strategic location from which to protect the Thimphu valley and the passage east to the Dochu La and eastern Bhutan.

Phobjika, ParoPunakha
Gangtey Palace (Paro)

Day 11: Excursion to Takshang

After breakfast, drive 15 minutes to the starting point in order to hike to Takshang Monastery (the “Tiger’s Nest”).  Visited and sanctified by Guru Rinpoche, this place is one of the most venerated pilgrimage sites in the Himalayan world.  Over the years, many great Buddhist masters have visited and mediated here.  Later, in the year 1692 AD, the fourth temporal ruler of Bhutan built the monastery over the cave where Guru.

Rinpoche and his consort Khandro Yeshi Tshogyal mediated.  The monastic complex clings to the rock towering 800 meters above the valley (2950 meters above sea level).

Free time in the town.

Gangtey Palace (Paro)

Day 12: Departure

Drive to the airport for departure.



Price and dates for group departures

Details of the group

Minimum group size: 3 people
Maximum group size: 15 people

Included in the price:

  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • In-trip ground transportation
  • Activities according to the trip itinerary
  • Airport transfers
  • 24/7 local agency support
  • Full time trip guide

Not included in the price:

  • Arrival and departure flights
  • Meals and beverages not indicated
  • Personal expenses
  • Service gratuities
  • Visa fees
  • Travel insurance
Book your flights to Bhutan
International flights are not included in this trip. Thanks to our partnership with Option Way, you can take advantage of booking your flights directly with your local agent.
Check out the many benefits:
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  • All-inclusive prices with no hidden fees
  • Your local agent Lobzang, in Bhutan, will inform you of any changes to your flights
For more information or to book your flights directly, head to our partner site.

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