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Bhutan Cultural Tour lets you discover the cultural highlights of Bhutan, a mountain kingdom where modernity has failed to erase its unique traditions. If you are interested in Bhutanese culture and traditions, then this trip is for you. Here life moves at a slow pace, and you will feel the comforting rhythm as you go about visiting places and meeting people. Visit traditional forts and palaces and monasteries said to be built by Buddhist monks with supernatural powers. Experience nature in abundance and interact with the Bhutanese for whom happiness matters more than material wealth.

Bhutan Cultural Tour takes you to the fascinating cultural hubs in the ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon.’ Explore one of the greenest nations in the world. Journey across a mountain kingdom where ‘Gross National Happiness’ is used to measure prosperity.  You will be one of the chosen few visitors to step on this mountain kingdom that has remained hidden from foreign eyes for centuries. The five days of your Bhutan Cultural Tour will be spent immersing yourself in Bhutan’s unique Himalayan culture.

Your journey begins from the city of Paro and covers the cultural hubs of Thimpu and Punakha. Enjoy cultural immersion with a traditional homestay and a hot-stone bath. Step into ancient fortresses and palaces built by Bhutanese royals. Set your eyes on ancient Buddhist relics and murals. Drive past a high mountain pass Dochula Pass (3100m). Visit local homes and sacred monasteries and interact with monks and locals.

Your itinerary includes a homestay in a traditional Bhutanese house. Amble down busy local markets and paddy fields. Learn how to wear a traditional Bhutanese dress. Enjoy a relaxing soak at the traditional Hot Stone Bath. The finale and highlight of your short Bhutan Cultural Tour is the incredible hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), nestled on a cliffside, high above the Paro Valley. . 

Trip Highlights

  • Bhutan Cultural Tour allows you to immerse yourself in Bhutanese culture.
  •  Visit the most important cultural heritage sites in Bhutan- Buddhist monasteries, dzongs, or traditional citadels and ancient Buddhist temples called ‘Lakhangs.’
  •  Enjoy mesmerizing views of Mount Everest and other 8000m Himalayan peaks while flying into Paro.
  •  Dress up in the traditional Bhutanese attire. Get likes and up your popularity on social media by posting pictures dressed in traditional finery.
  •  Homestay with a local family. Enjoy Bhutanese hospitality and find out how an average family lives in Bhutan during your Bhutan Cultural Tour.  
  •  Pamper yourself with a traditional hot-stone bath. It is therapeutic and has a healing effect. Hot river stones are used to heat the water, and medicinal herbs are added to the bath. 
  •  Hike up to the cliffside Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang Monastery, an architectural wonder.

  Is this trip suitable for you?

  • Bhutan Cultural Tour is a combination of cultural tours and hiking.
  • The hike up to Taktsang Monastery takes 4 to 6 hours on an uphill and downhill gravel trail. You may find it a bit arduous if you are not used to walking. Ponies to the halfway point are available on hire at an additional cost.
  • No technical climbing is involved while hiking. 
  • Clean and comfortable private vehicles provided for overland transfers between cities and cultural sites.
  • Homestay at a local farmhouse. Bhutanese traditional homes are generally made of wood and don't have a modern central heating system or attached bathrooms. Most of the houses have toilets outside. If you prefer to skip the homestay and stay at a hotel, do let us know. 
  • Experienced local guides will guide you throughout your Bhutan Cultural Tour. 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights
Day 1 Arrive in Paro, sightseeing in Paro and drive to Thimphu
Day 2 Sightseeing in Thimphu and drive to Punakha
Day 3 Drive to Paro
Day 4 Hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest)
Day 5 Depart Paro


Route Map

Bhutan Cultural Tour Map Bhutan Cultural Tour Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Paro, sightseeing in Paro and drive to Thimphu

Activities: Visit Ta Dzong (National Museum) & Rinpung Dzong in Paro

Enjoy phenomenal views of sacred Bhutanese peaks - the snowcapped Jumolhari and Jichu Drake- while flying into Paro. Bhutan has only one international airport located in Paro. Your guide will meet you at the airport terminal. Have lunch or some refreshments at a restaurant before heading to Ta Dzong, and an ancient watchtower now converted into the National Museum. The museum houses armors used by Bhutanese warriors in the bygone days, ancient thangkas (scroll paintings), old stamps, festival masks, manuscripts, etc. 

Afterward, head down to Rinpung Dzong, also known as Paro Dzong or the ‘Heap of Jewels Fort.’ The exhibits at this ancient fort include exquisite paintings depicting the life of Lord Buddha. ‘Little Buddha,’ a movie by Bernardo Bertolucci was filmed here. Later take a scenic drive to Thimphu, the country’s capital.

Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 2: Sightseeing in Thimphu and drive to Punakha

Activities : Visit Changka Lakhang, Thimphu Local Market or School of Traditional Arts, Do Chula Pass. Dress up in Bhutanese Traditional Attire.
Dochula Pass Dochula Pass

Head to one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the valley Changkha Lakhang. The temple is about eight hundred years old and sits high above the city of Thimphu. Parents of newborn babies bring their infants to this temple with the hope that they could get an auspicious name from one of the resident monks.

Later head down to the main city and try dressing up like the locals. Your guide will take you to a shop where you can rent a traditional dress. The male’s traditional attire is known as ‘Gho’ while the female's is known as ‘Kira.’ The shop’s attendant will help you get dressed. Take pictures and commit this moment to memory. Later visit the local market or the school of traditional arts.

Late afternoon, bid goodbye to Thimphu and drive to Punakha, the winter residence of Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and his council. En route, stop briefly at Dochula Pass and enjoy mesmerizing views of Himalayan peaks. The pass is dotted with 108 memorial chortens built by the Queen Mother. After a brief stopover, continue driving towards Punakha. Head to a traditional local home where you will spend the night.

Overnight in Punakha.

Day 3: Drive to Paro

Activities: Hot stone bath. Visit Punakha Dzong and Chimi Lakhang Temple

Enjoy a traditional Hot Stone Bath before heading to Punakha Dzong. The Hot Stone Bath is taken in a traditional wooden or stone tub where hot stone slabs are immersed in the bathwater to heat it. After the traditional bath, head to Punakha Dzong, a traditional fortress dating back to the 17th century. This grand whitewashed monument lies at the Mo Chhu (silent mother) confluence and Pho Chhu( noisy father) rivers. Cross a wooden cantilever bridge to enter the dzong. One of the most beautiful and ancient dzongs in Bhutan, Punakha Dzong, now houses a monastery and a government office.

Later drive to Paro. On the way, stop at Lobesa and walk past traditional farms and mustard and paddy fields to Chimi Lakhang Temple. The temple is dedicated to a Buddhist ascetic named Drukpa Kuenley, or the ‘Divine Madman,’ who lived during the 14th century. He is known as the ‘Mad Saint’ or ‘Divine Madman’ for his unconventional methods of preaching Buddhism. After visiting the temple, you continue driving towards Paro. Cross the picturesque Dochula Pass and the capital Thimphu before finally arriving in Paro. Upon reaching Paro, head to a hotel and take a well-deserved rest.

Overnight in Paro.

Day 4: Hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest)

Activities: Taktsang Monastery Hike
Taksang Monastery Bhutan Taksang Monastery Bhutan - Sacred Buddhist site located in Paro and constructed in 1692

This day is packed with adventure. Have an early start and drive to the starting point of Taktsang Monastery Hike. The monastery hangs precariously on a rocky cliff 3000 feet above Paro valley, and It is a steep ascent right up to the monastery. Pony rides are available till the halfway point. Though the hike up to the monastery may be tough, you are rewarded with astounding 360-degree views of the Paro valley and the surrounding peaks once you reach the top.

Visit the monastery and pay obeisance to the guardian deities. It is said that Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche have blessed this place. The monastery is also known as Tiger’s Nest because, according to legend, Padmasambhava flew to this cliff on a tiger and meditated here.

Overnight in Paro

Day 5: Depart Paro

Drive to Airport-Catch your international flight

After a delightful stay, it’s time to bid farewell to Bhutan. Your guide will drive you to the airport on time to catch your international flight.

Bhutan Cultural Tour FAQs

If you want to add extra activities and sites to your itinerary it can be done. Our Travel Consultant will help you customize your trip. Just let us know which places you want to visit and what you want to do and we will add these in your itinerary.

We usually provide private comfortable vehicles to individual tourists. For groups we provide comfortable luxury buses for pick up and drop-offs.

While tipping is not mandatory it is a nice way of showing your appreciation to the people who have helped you enrich your holiday experience. It all depends on how far you are pleased and satisfied with their services. There is no fixed amount, but many of our clients offer 8-10 percent of the total tour price as tips.   

No, this is not possible. The government of Bhutan has made it mandatory for tourists (except Indian nationals) to book a tour with a registered travel agency. In order to get a tourist visa in Bhutan, you need to book a tour with an agency. Your guide is selected by the agency with whom you book your tour.

Most of our tour guides speak English, which is a common communication medium. They are also trained, experienced and know the areas very well.





Trip Reviews

Travel experiences of our clients who recently returned from their trips.
100%

Based on 5 reviews

Arnold Parker
flagsUnited Kingdom
Dec 08, 2019
Superb Services by Third Rock
I am writing this review to let everyone know that Third Rock is the best travel agency. Let me be honest, before the trip, I didn't know about the Company. I was googling about Bhutan trip and stumbled upon the website of the company. I had to make sure that I am looking for the right company for my trip. I studied more about the website and decided to contact. Mr Naba was connected to me, he replied to my email and the very first email impressed me. He greeted me, and cleared my doubts. But still I had to make sure about the trip, so he connected me to one of his consultants. We had lots of email exchanges. I asked a lot of questions about the trip. And impressively, all my emails were replied on time. When it comes to pay, I had a doubt, but the company again won my trust. Now comes the operation. The flight was booked on time, the hotels were comfortable, and the food were great. My country-guide was friendly and attentive. He had great knowledge of Bhutan. Every day was fantastic.
Gerald Hopkins
flagsNew Zealand
Jul 04, 2019
Bhutan Journey
We had a fabulous trip to Bhutan. Our guide Sonam had so much information to share about the many monasteries and dzongs that we visited. As my wife is a botanist she greatly appreciated his vast knowledge about the local flora and fauna. It was clear that he was keen bird watcher from the way he explained their habits and tweets. The accommodation and food was superb. Though a bit spicy, we really enjoyed trying out the chili and cheese dishes. The hikes were comfortable and tailored for our fitness level. The hot stone bath was therapeutic and relaxing. Observing the local archers battling it out at the archery ground was fun. The dancing and singing cheerleaders really livened up the event. Wish we could have stayed for some more days. Thanks to Third Rock for planning this fantastic vacation. Anyone planning of a Bhutan trip should get in touch with these guys!
We had always wanted to visit Bhutan.
Isabella Poulsen
flagsDenmark
May 19, 2019
One of the best destinations in the world
I wanted to visit Bhutan for years and this year I made it a point to visit it with my husband. We only had a week to spare but we had a wonderful time in Bhutan. Mystical Himalayan country Bhutan takes pride in its tradition and culture; amazing people and hospitality. Tiger’s Nest overwhelmed me and the hike will remain as one of the best hikes of my life. The dzongs are an artistic and architectural delight. Taking a traditional hot stone bath was very relaxing. Even a drive in Bhutan is scenic; driving beside a river with the view of lush hills and mountains is awesome!
Best Destination,I like itinerary,
Yes
Getting dressed up in traditional Bhutanese attire!
It worth your time and money; do visit Bhutan!
Becky Chapman
flagsUnited Kingdom
Apr 08, 2019
Best Trip!
My wife and I traveled to Bhutan in March 2019. Our trip was wonderful. In fact, I would not mind saying it the best trip. Naba was superb. He ensured we had enough time to think about the trip, replied to our emails promptly and helped in every way. From booking a flight to staying at a hotel, every operation was smooth and without any problems. This clearly reflected their core value, and professionalism. At times, when we wanted time, the guide gave us time. We wanted to enjoy the moment and Third Rock never said no. The car used was comfortable, the hotels were great and the services were impressive. The four days went so fast, but they made sure we enjoyed to the fullest. Thanks Third Rock for great services. We highly recommend them, specially if you want to enjoy a trip to Bhutan.
Alexey Vasechkin
flagsRussian Federation
Sep 16, 2018
Bhutanese fortresses, monastries and homestay with a local family
It was a fantastic trip. I really had a great time. Bhutan is an ideal destination if you like peaceful places, greenery and are interested in Buddhism. Being a Buddhist I found the visits to the monasteries and Buddhist shrines enlightening. After a tiring hike to Tiger’s Nest, it was good to spend some quiet time meditating. I enjoyed the homestay with a local family as well as the hot stone bath. The family was so warm and welcoming. Thanks to my guide Ugyen and driver Sonam. They were attentive, friendly and full of information about the local practices and culture.
I liked the itinerary.
Yes.
I have been visiting all the Buddhist countries as a sort of pilgrimage. Bhutan, being a Buddhist country, made it to the destination list.
Visiting all the monasteries and temples.
Try to interact with the local people and understand their culture.

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