Bhutan Culture and Nature Tour with Hiking exploration is the best possible way to know the Land of Thunder Dragon or Gross Happiness kingdom. This tour is an outstanding blend of the Bhutan cultural tour with nature spotting, short hiking, exploring national monuments, mountain vistas, and many more.
During this comprehensive 10 day tour, you will experience the best of Bhutan's culturally and naturally beautiful land. You will get a chance to visit beautiful valleys in Bhutan like Thimphu, a capital city that offers a perfect blend of traditional and modern touch. Not only that, but you will also visit a vast U-shaped glacial Gangtey/ Phobjikha valley, Punakha Valley, and Paro Valley.
Moreover, this Bhutan Cultural tour also includes three amazing hikes- Punakha hike, Kila Goemba hike, and Tiger Nest's Monastery hike. All these beautiful hiking trails offer you breathtaking views and provide an excellent introduction to trekking in Bhutan. Get adventurous walking through these hiking trails and come closer to nature through exploring these unknown paths!
|Day 1||Arrival in Paro- Drive to Thimphu Valley (55km/1 hour and 30 minutes)|
|Day 2||Thimphu Sightseeing|
|Day 3||Drive to Thimphu to Gangtey (2,800 meters) (5-6 hours) (150 km)|
|Day 4||Gangtey Sightseeing|
|Day 5||Gangtey to Punakha (1,310 meters) (2-3 hours) (78 km)|
|Day 6||Punakha Hike- Drive to the Paro Valley (2,250 meters) (3-4 hour drive)|
|Day 7||Chele La Pass (3,988 meters) and Kila Goemba Hike (3,500 meters) (2-3 hours)|
|Day 8||Paro Sightseeing|
|Day 9||Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery (3,180 meters) (5-6 hours)|
|Day 10||Departure from Paro|
Bhutan Culture and Nature Tour with Hiking trip, you will experience a fascinating cultural exploration blended with an exciting hike in Bhutan's mystical places. This cultural tour begins after a scenic flight to Paro Valley. You will start your tour by exploring the Stupa of Memorial Chorten and Kuenselphodrang in the Bhutanese capital city, Thimphu. For the rest of the day, you can walk along with Thimphu's street and experience Bhutan's strong cultural vibes.
Thimphu valley is an ideal travel destination for tourists. The city is dotted with significant tourist attractions such as Folk Heritage Museum, Royal Textile Museum, Tashichho Dzong, Institute of 13 arts and crafts of Bhutan, and School of Astrology, Bhutan.
Likewise, during this 10 day- Bhutan cultural tour, you will get a chance to explore the monasteries and fortresses of this ancient city, Gangtey, and discover the unique Bhutanese culture. Leaving Thimphu behind, you will head towards the Gangtey Valley via Dochula Pass. This beautiful valley is home to the black-necked crane in the winter months.
You will begin your sightseeing tour in Gangtey by visiting Gangtey Monastery. It is generally known as Gantey Goempa, an essential monastery of Buddhism's Nyingma school. This 4 story monastery is built in traditional Tibetian architectural style using large timber wood pillars. The walls of the monastery are white with colorful windows. Each corner of the monster has dragons, garudas that give you an auspicious and spiritual aura.
From Gangtey Monastery, you can also go for a pleasant walk around the Gangtey nature trail to witness Black-Necked Cranes. At the beginning of the trial, you will notice the mani stone wall to the north of the Gangtey Gompa and ends in Khewa Lhakhang. This hike offers you a spectacular view of Phobjikha Valley.
Moreover, you can also opt for a day climb around Phobjikha Valley and visit Black-Necked Crane Information Center. It has an observation room well-equipped with a high-power telescope so that you can capture the best view of the cranes.
Further, you will continue your tour with a short drive towards Punakha Valley. Here you will visit Chimi Lhakhang, which features three Docheys (Courtyards). Inside the Dzong, you will see beautiful decorated carved woodwork and colorful paintings. After exploring this unique Dzong you will continue to Punakha. Bhutan's capital from 1637 to 1907, and the first assembly was hosted here in 1953.
Later in Punakha, you will also visit Punakha Dzong, one of Bhutan's most famous sights. The only way to get into the second largest and oldest Dzong is to cross the Bazam (bridge) as it sits between two major rivers (Pho Chu and Mo Chu) in Bhutan. Next, you will also go for a day hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Monastery. In 2004, the Queen of Bhutan built this monastery on the hill above the Punakha Valley. After exploring the beautiful ancient Punakha valley, you will drive back to Paro Valley via Dochula Pass.
Besides, you will get a chance to drive to Chele La Pass on this tour, the highest motorable pass. This pass lies between Haa and Paro valley and throws an outstanding view of the high Himalayan mountains such as Mt. Jomolhari and Jichu Drake. After enjoying the mesmerizing sights, you can hike down to Kila Goemba. In Kila Goemba, you can also learn some Buddhist philosophy. You will enjoy the fantastic view of Paro valley from the prayer hall of Goemba. The ancient statues of Chenrezig and Guru Rimpoche will stun you. You will get an opportunity to get a close insight into the life of nuns living in the Goemba.
Further, you will also visit Kyichu Lhakhang, situated in the north of Paro valley. It is one of the quiet and wonderful temples in Bhutan. Initially, it was small in size, but after multiple visits by the Buddhist saints, the temple is expanded both in grandeur and size. It is believed that, in the 8th century, Guru Padmasambhava had visited and hidden a variety of treasures in this old temple. Moreover, you will also do an excursion to Paro Dzong and Drugyel Dzong, other famous archaeological sites in Bhutan.
Undoubtedly, without Hiking Tiger Nest's Monastery, the Bhutan Cultural Tour is incomplete. It is also known as Paro Taktsang, one of the most visited sacred sites in Bhutan. If you are a religious person seeking inner peace, then this place is worth visiting. This place is quiet and serene, with a spellbinding view of Paro valley.
Ultimately, Bhutan Culture and Nature Tour with Hiking exploration ends as you depart to your Paro International Airport destination on the 10th day.
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Once you land in the Paro Valley, you will get a different feeling of entering another world. Once you land at Paro Valley, your Bhutanese Guide will meet you and accompany you to Bhutan's capital city, Thimphu.
You may choose to rest or explore a few points of interest depending on your arrival time. On the first day, an excellent place to start sightseeing is Memorial Chorten. This monument was built in memory of Bhutan's third king, who reigned from 1952-1972.
Moreover, you can also visit the Kuensel Phodrang overlooking the Thimphu valley, where Buddha's giant statue is located. With 169- foot in height, this statue is considered one of the world's most gigantic bronze Buddha statues.
You can also stroll around the local market, where there are many stalls containing Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. In fact, this is an excellent opportunity for taking photos and interacting with locals who come from the nearby village to sell their products. You can end your day with a delicious dinner at a nearby restaurant, known for its delicious traditional Bhutanese cuisine.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Thimphu.
Depending on your interests, you can explore Thimphu valley. The following are some beautiful places you can explore during the Bhutan tour. You will go to the Folk Heritage Museum and the School of Arts and Crafts, famous as the painting school.
Your day trip will continue with a visit to the Royal Textile Museum. Here you can learn about artistic weaves and beautiful textiles. Similarly, you can also take an excursion to the Folk Heritage Museum, where you will get a glimpse of traditional Bhutanese life. Here you can witness a remarkable collection of ordinary household objects, tools, and equipment.
In the evening, visit the fantastic Tashichho Dzong, famous as a fortress of the glorious religion. Since 1952, it has been the government seat, and at present, it hosts the throne room, offices of the king of Bhutan, and the secretariat. It is an iconic building and offers perfect scenic views both from inside and outside. Overnight stay at a hotel in Thimphu.
Leaving Thimphu behind, you will head towards another beautiful valley of Gangtey. This small valley is home to the rare blacked-necked cranes. The drive ascends gradually through to the Dochula Pass, which is over 10,300 feet. You will enjoy the splendid view of the Himalayan range from the pass.
Moreover, on the way, you will visit Dochula Monastery, which is a tribute to the king's service and leadership. You will witness a unique cluster of 108 chortens. On the way, you will pass through the town of Wangdiphodrang, the last village on the highway, before entering central Bhutan. From here, you will continue your drive to Gangtey (Phobjikha Valley), home of rare migratory black-necked cranes in the winter season. You can stroll around the valley and take some shots and enjoy the fresh air from pristine nature. Overnight stay at Gangtey.
After having an early breakfast, you will go on a sightseeing tour of Phobjikha Valley. Located on the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park's borders, Phobjikha valley is a beautiful bowl-shad glacial valley. You will start your excursion with a Gangtey Monastery visit, which was founded in 1613 using timber wood and native stones.
Further, you can also enjoy the Gangtey Nature Trail. This trail is one of the shortest and beautiful nature trails in Bhutan, leading you through the pine and bamboo forests. The trial offers you a spectacular view of the Phobjikha Valley. This beautiful valley is also home to rare black-necked cranes that migrate from the Tibetan plateau's high plains. In the evening, you get back to Gangtey valley for an overnight stay.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Gangtey.
Today you will head towards Punakha Valley, one of the oldest capital in Bhutan. On the way, you will come across scared Chimmi Lhakhang, known as the fertility temple. Here you can witness unusual traditional ceremonies. You will also get to see ancient Thai architecture with paintings and carvings of phalluses on the walls.
After exploring Chimi Lhakhang's temple, you will pay a visit to Punakha Dzong, a Buddhist temple. It is one of the most incredible and beautiful Dzongs in Bhutan. Punakha Dzong sits at the confluence of the Mo Chhu (Female) and Pho Chhu (Male) rivers.
You will spend your night at Punakha Valley.
Today you will start your day with an early hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Monastery. After a 30-minute drive for Punakha Dzong, you will reach the hill's base on which the temple is built. After crossing a suspension bridge, you will traverse through rice fields. From here, the trail is slightly inclined and you will start climbing. The surrounding scenery is so beautiful you will witness pine trees on the path.
After exploring the temple, you will hike down to drive towards Paro Valley. It will take around 3-4 hours to reach Paro Valley via Dochula Pass. You can stop here for some time to relish the natural beauty of Bhutan. It offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range of Bhutan.
Overnight stay at Paro Valley.
After early morning breakfast, you will start with a drive to Chele La Pass, one of Bhutan's highest road passes. On a clear day, the pass rewards you the mesmerizing view of Bhutan's second-highest peak, Mt. Jhomolhari, along with Jichu Drake and adjoining mountains to the North West. On the way, you will also encounter various pleasant sights such as a river, waterfall, rhododendron forest, and yaks grazing. You will also get a view of both Paro and Haa Valley.
From Chele La Pass, you will gradually hike down along the rugged mountain road to the Kila Goemba, a cliffside oldest nunnery. In the early ninth century, Drupthob Choeje Norbu and Temba built this home for Buddhist nuns as a meditation site. After admiring the simplicity and the awe-inspiring view of Paro Valley now, you will descend further and drive to Paro Valley. Overnight stay at Paro Valley.
After breakfast, you will visit Paro Dzong or also known as Rinpung Dzong, or the Fortress of a Heap of Jewels. It was built in the 15th century as a small fort. You will witness one of the finest examples of traditional Bhutanese architecture. Further, you will visit Ta Dzong, which is located above Rinpung Dzong on the bank of River Mangde. It is a conch-shaped fortress in Paro and one of the must-visit places in Paro valley for the inquisitive travelers in Bhutan.
Next, you can also explore Kyichu Monastery, one of the quiet ancient monasteries in Bhutan. It is one of the ancient monasteries in the country. Built-in the 7th century by Tibetan King Songsten Gampo to overcome the giant ogress that lay across Tibet and the Himalayas, preventing Buddhism's spread. It is considered to be the sacred treasure of Bhutan.
Likewise, another site worth visiting in Paro valley is Drugyel Dzong, another famous archaeological site in Bhutan. It lies on a ridge in the upper Paro Valley. However, you can also opt to hike to Drakharpo Monastery, a popular Bhutanese pilgrimage site. You can drive to Shaba, and from here, it will take one hour hike to reach the monastery. Here you can witness the miraculous footprint of Guru Rinpoche.
After completing all sightseeing tours, you can walk around the Paro valley and observe local people's lifestyles and culture. Overnight stay in Paro.
After breakfast, you will drive for 25 minutes and begin your hike to one of Bhutan's famous landmarks, Taktshang Lhakhang. A popular pilgrimage site for Bhutanese people, this sacred monastery is also known as the Tiger Nest's Monastery.
The hiking trail offers a spectacular view of this sacred monastery nestled between the Himalayas above 3000 feet above the valley. From the top of the monastery, you will get a breathtaking view of the entire Paro Valley. After having priceless moments around the monastery, you will hike down at Paro Valley. This trek is moderate and takes 2-3 hours in total up and down. Overnight stay at Paro Valley.
It's time to say farewell to beautiful country Bhutan! Enjoy your last moments in Bhutan with a hearty breakfast. Our Bhutanese guide will meet you at your hotel and drive you to the airport for your respective flight. It's good to be at the airport at least two hours before departure time.
Besides, there are plenty of options and choices to extend your holiday before or after the trip. Lastly, if you are shorter on time and Bhutan is a must on your adventure, you can opt for 3 days of Short Bhutan Tour or 5 days of Bhutan Cultural Tour.
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