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Take this Bhutan Heritage Tour and journey across the cultural hotspots of Bhutan, a fascinating Himalayan kingdom. Explore old cities filled with traditional buildings, hilltop monasteries, and nesting sites of the endangered Black-necked Cranes. Spend a night at a local farmhouse and enjoy traditional Bhutanese hospitality. With zero pollution and abundant greenery, a trip to this serene Himalayan country will leave you energized and recharged.

Our Bhutan Heritage Tour lets you explore centuries-old dzongs (traditional fortresses) and Lakhangs (Buddhist temples) built by Bhutanese kings and spiritual leaders. Step inside monasteries that are the center of important religious and social ceremonies. Walkthrough the bustling local markets and shops for souvenirs. It is one of the best tours in Bhutan (Bhutan Holiday Packages), which will let you experience the rich culture and heritage of Bhutanese.

Take a ride across the picturesque Bhutanese countryside. Visit ancient cities and drive past the picturesque Bhutanese countryside to sparsely populated small towns. Your Bhutan Heritage Tour itinerary includes exploring the oldest surviving Buddhist temple and palace in the country - Kichu Lhakhang and Simtokha Dzong. Drive to the highest motorable pass in Bhutan, Chelela Pass (3,988m), and hike up to the Sky Burial ground, where Bhutanese bring their dead.

This incredible Bhutan Heritage Tour also takes you to Phobjika (Gangtey Valley), the roosting site of the endangered black-necked cranes that migrate to Bhutan from Tibet during winter. Learn more about the Bhutanese lifestyle by spending a night at a traditional Bhutanese home. Walkthrough paddy fields and enjoy a relaxing soak at a traditional hot stone bath. Your trip to Bhutan finally ends with an adventurous hike to the clifftop Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) in Paro. 

Trip Highlights

  • Visit Bhutan’s cultural hotspots - Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Haa, and Gangtey (Phobjika) Valley.
  • Step into ancient traditional dzongs (fortresses) and Lakhangs (Buddhist temples) that dates back to as early as the 7th century.
  • Stay with a local family and experience the traditional Bhutanese lifestyle during your Bhutan Heritage Tour.
  • Visit the roosting site of the endangered Black-Necked Cranes.
  • Step inside the oldest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan- Gangtey Monastery.
  • Hike to Tiger’s Nest, Sky Burial Ground, and Kila Gompa during your Bhutan Heritage Tour.
  • Enjoy a relaxing soak at a traditional hot stone bath.

Is this trip suitable for you?

  • The itinerary of the Bhutan Heritage Tour includes hiking to cultural sites located on hills and mountainsides.
  • Hike to Taktsang Monastery takes around 4 to 6 hours on an up and down gravel trail. Ponies to the halfway point are available on hire at extra cost.
  • Hike to Sky Burial site and Kila Gompa from Chele La Pass – 3 to 4 hours.
  • No technical climbing is required for hiking.
  • Clean and comfortable private vehicles provided for overland transfers between cities and cultural sites
  • Experienced local guides guide you throughout your Bhutan Heritage Tour.

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights
Day 1 Arrive in Paro and sightseeing tour
Day 2 Drive to Thimphu and sightseeing in Thimphu
Day 3 Drive to Gangtey (Phobjika) Valley
Day 4 Sightseeing in Gangtey and drive to Punakha
Day 5 Sightseeing in Punakha and Drive to Paro
Day 6 Day trip to Haa via Chele La Pass and return to Paro
Day 7 Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery
Day 8 Depart Paro


Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Paro and sightseeing tour

Activities – Visit Rinpung Dzong and Kichu Lakhang

Take an international flight to Paro. Bhutan has only one international airport located in Paro. The airport lies at a scenic location surrounded by rolling green hills. Enjoy the sight of the verdant mountains before the plane lands on the runway. Your Bhutanese guide will be waiting for you at the airport’s terminal. Head to a restaurant for lunch/refreshment.

Later visit two of Paro’s historical landmarks - Rinpung Dzong and Kichu Lhakhang. Rinpung or Paro Dzong is an ancient fortress built in the 17th century on a monastery built by Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche. The fortress is also known as the ‘Fortress on a Heap of Jewels.’ It now houses a government office and a monastery. Some portion of the Hollywood movie ‘Little Buddha’ was shot at Rinpung Dzong.

Kichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Bhutan. Built by the Tibetan emperor Songtsen Gampo, the temple dates back to the 7th century. Kichu Lhakhang houses some of Bhutan’s oldest and priceless religious relics. After your sightseeing tour, head to your hotel.

Overnight in Paro.

Day 2: Drive to Thimphu and sightseeing in Thimphu

Activities – Visit Memorial Chorten, Thangton Dewachen Nunnery, Changangkha Lakhang, Simtokha Dzong, Crafts Bazaar, Taschichho Dzong and Buddha Dordenma
National Memorial Chorten National Memorial Chorten

Have an early start and drive to Thimphu. A short drive from Paro brings you to the capital city. Your sightseeing tour commences as soon as you reach the city. Visit the Memorial Chorten (built-in memory of the third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorje Wangchuk) and a Buddhist nunnery, Thangton Dewachen Nunnery. Later, head to Changangkha Lakhang, an ancient Buddhist temple dating back to the 12th century. The temple sits atop a hill overlooking the city. Parents of newly born babies come here to have their babies blessed and named by the monks residing at the temple.

Also, visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest surviving traditional palace and fortress in Bhutan built by Zabdrung Ngawang Namgyal( the ruler who unified Bhutan). Stroll through the colorful Crafts Bazaar and shop for souvenirs. You can buy Bhutanese textiles; bamboo, traditional paper, and wooden items; traditional Bhutanese jewelry; Thankha (traditional scroll painting), etc.

In this Bhutan Holiday Package tour, your visit to Thimphu is incomplete without a trip to Taschichho Dzong. Step inside this impressive building and witness the regal splendor of the palace. The dzong houses the government’s secretariat and the king’s throne room.

Wind up your sightseeing tour with a short drive to the hilltop vantage point, where a large statue of Buddha watches over the valley. The statue known as Buddha Dordenma is 51 meters tall and is built on the ruins of an old palace Changri Kuensel Phodrang.

After the sightseeing tour, you will be driven to your hotel. Take a well-deserved rest.

Overnight in Thimphu. 

Day 3: Drive to Gangtey (Phobjika) Valley

Activities: Traditional Village Tour
Phobjikha Valley Phobjikha Valley

Start early and drive to Gangtey Valley, the nesting site of the endangered Black-Necked Cranes. Your drive takes you past the picturesque Dochula Pass, from where you can enjoy a 360-degree panorama of the Himalayan peaks. The pass is decorated with chortens or Buddhist memorials dedicated to the Bhutanese army-men who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Drive downhill to Wangduephodrang, a sleepy town filled with terraced farms and few houses. Phobjika is a glacial valley located in central Bhutan. Every winter, hordes of black-necked cranes (an endangered bird species) fly into this valley from Tibet. These birds are sacred to the Bhutanese, who regard them as the symbol of longevity. According to local legend, the first of these birds which enter Bhutan during their annual migration circle the Gangtey Monastery thrice before heading to the marshlands.

After reaching Gangtey, head to your hotel, freshen up, and take a rest. Afternoon, take a stroll down the village. Afterward, head back to your hotel for a well-deserved rest.

Overnight in Gangtey.

Day 4: Sightseeing in Gangtey and drive to Punakha

Activities: Visit Gangtey Monastery and Chimi Lakhang

Wake up early and head to Gangtey Monastery. The monastery, built in the traditional Bhutanese style of architecture, is located atop a hill. The beautiful monastery is a photographer’s delight. The artful façade, ornamental balconies, and multi-tiered roof appear splendid. The monastery lies surrounded by a traditional village inhabited by Gomchens, caretakers of the monastery. Each winter, the monastery’s courtyard becomes the venue of the Black-Necked Crane Festival. The festival held annually is observed to celebrate the arrival of the black-necked cranes from Tibet. The monastery was built in the 17th century and is the biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. Visit the inner shrine and interact with the little monks. Afterward, take a couple of hours' drive to Punakha. The drive takes you past verdant forests of birch and pine and pristine rivers snaking down past the green hills.

Your Bhutan Tour itinerary also includes a visit to one of the most sacred temples dedicated to the ‘Divine Madman.’ Head to Chimi Lakhang, a temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley (the Divine Madman), a 14th-century Buddhist saint known to bless women with fertility. As Drukpa Kuenley is regarded as the patron saint of Bhutan, this is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Bhutan.

Overnight in Punakha.

Day 5: Sightseeing in Punakha and Drive to Paro

Activities: Visit Punakha Dzong and a Bhutanese traditional farm
Punakha Dzong Punakha Dzong - Second oldest and second biggest dzong of Bhutan

Visit the famous Punakha Dzong before driving towards Paro. The traditional fortress lies at the confluence of Po (Father) Chhu and the Mo (Mother) Chhu rivers. To reach the dzong, one has to cross the wooden cantilever bridge. The fortress houses government offices, sacred Buddhist relics, and temples. Punakha Dzong serves as the winter capital, and the country’s religious head and his assistants reside at the dzong during the winter months.

After the sightseeing tour, take a scenic drive to Paro. Once you are in Paro, you will be driven to a local farm. Meet your host family and interact with them. Tonight you will be enjoying a local ‘home-stay. Spending time with a local family in a traditional home offers you an authentic experience of the Bhutanese lifestyle and culture.

Overnight in Paro.

Day 6: Day trip to Haa via Chele La Pass and return to Paro

Activities: Visit Chele La Pass, Sky Burial Ground and Kila Gomba

Take a day trip to the sky burial ground at Haa via one of the highest motorable high mountain passes in Bhutan, the Chele La Pass. Visit the sky burial ground, a place where the Bhutanese leave the dead. According to Buddhists (Vajrayana) belief, the corpse is an empty vessel and should be disposed of to benefit the other living creatures. The dead body fulfills a need when the scavengers (vultures and wild beasts) feed on it.

Enjoy panoramic vistas of Jomolhari and other Himalayan peaks from Chele La Pass and the burial ground. Afterward, hike down to Kila Gomba, an ancient nunnery. Meet the Anis(Buddhist nuns) living there before finally descending to the highway. Board the vehicle and drive back to Paro. Once in Paro, head to a hotel where you will be staying overnight.

Overnight in Paro.

Day 7: Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Activities : Hiking and taking a traditional hot stone bath
Taksang Monastery Bhutan - Sacred Buddhist site located in Paro and constructed in 1692 Taksang Monastery Bhutan - Sacred Buddhist site located in Paro and constructed in 1692

Wake up early in the morning and drive to the trailhead that leads to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery. Perched high on the side of a rocky cliff, the monastery is an iconic Bhutanese landmark.  It is believed that Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche (known as the Second Buddha in the Himalayas) flew on the back of a tiger to the site where this monastery now stands. The trail follows a steep incline. If you wish, you can ride on a pony. But please be informed ponies are not allowed beyond the halfway point, and you may have to walk the rest of the way to the monastery. Once you reach the top, the awe-inspiring views of the monastery as well as the surrounding mountains will make you forget all your aches and pains. Explore the monastery. Take photographs and selfies and hike down to the highway where your vehicle will be waiting for you.

Later, head to a local farmhouse and enjoy a relaxing soak at the traditional hot stone bath.

Overnight in Paro.

Day 8: Depart Paro

Your incredible Bhutanese adventure ends today. Bid goodbye to this beautiful country and the people you have befriended. You will be driven to the international airport on time to catch your flight.

Route Map

routemap

Bhutan Heritage 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.
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Based on 4 reviews
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Laura Vestergaard
flagsDenmark
Jun 04, 2019
Wonderful Heritage tour to Bhutan
Bhutan felt like a paradise; coping with the modern times while keeping together the integrity of their nation. We were particularly interested in dzong and temples and our guide gave us a lot of information too. The hike to Tiger’s Nest was challenging for a couple of late ’50s but we made it. It’s beautiful more than words could do justice. Visiting Bhutan made me realized that while running after the materialistic luxuries of life we have forgotten to cherish small happiness of life. Don’t underestimate the roads of Bhutan it’s ofcouse thrilling but it will be a nightmare if you suffer from motion sickness. It will be wise to keep medicine handy. It is a nation with rich culture and history, amazing people and abundance of natural beauty! Had a wonderful opportunity of ‘home-stay’ with a local family. They were warm and welcoming which made us feel like we were home. Hot stone bath is very relaxing and the best way to end your tour.
It was surreal to see Tiger's Nest in front of your eyes and the hike was challenging but more rewarding!
Karoline Dahl
flagsNorway
May 20, 2019
One time visit to Bhutan isn't enough!
What a wonderful trip to Bhutan couldn’t have asked for more. It is a different world in itself. Abundance of natural beauty lives Bhutanese and happiness is given a priority. Buddhism is found in every aspect of Bhutan and they treasure their culture and tradition. The dzongs are an architectural marvel. Traditional dresses aren’t worn just to show tourist! A visit to Bhutan isn’t enough so will definitely be returning for longer period.
Wearing the traditional Bhutanese dress and visiting Punakha Dzong
Bhutan is too beautiful to put in words; you need to visit yourself to understand why it is so much adored by travelers.
Harald Burr
flagsAustria
Feb 07, 2019
An amazing tour
I had an amazing trip to Bhutan, thanks to the excellent planning and suggestions from the team at Third Rock Adventures. I had an excellent guide Mingma and a good driver Tenzing. They both were friendly, professional and fun to be with. The road trip was fascinating. The hikes were wonderful and the visits to dzongs and monasteries insightful. The drive to Haa Valley was beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed my homestay with a Kenzung’s family at their farmhouse. Though the food they prepared for me was a bit spicy, it was a novel experience tasting Bhutanese cuisine for the first time. Thanks to the team for this wonderful experience. Can’t wait to return to this country again.
Best Destination,
Yes
Because I am interested in eastern culture.
Haa Valley, Phobjika and Tiger's Nest.
You should visit Bhutan.
Erik Hanson
flagsSweden
Sep 14, 2018
An insight into Bhutanese culture
We did the 8-day Bhutan Heritage Tour with Third Rock Adventures. Overall we had a fantastic experience. It was a huge relief to know that the agency would handle all the hassles related to visa and permits before the start of our tour. We just booked the holiday and made our way to Bhutan. The journey through this wonderful country was a treat to our senses. Though this is the 21st century, it is good to know that the Bhutanese continue to preserve their culture and traditions. We visited sleepy villages with grand traditional houses and walked through paddy fields. The old monuments and monasteries were magnificent. The most memorable part of our trip was the hike to Tiger’s Nest monastery. It was mind blowing! Thanks to our guide, Tashi, and driver Ugyen, we had a wonderful time. They were humble, knowledgeable, caring, and went out of their way to ensure that we had a great time. We highly recommend this trip to anyone looking for a different experience!
Good Value and I liked the itinerary.
Yes.
We chose this trip because we wanted to explore Bhutan.
Though the whole trip was enjoyable, the hike to Tiger's Nest stands out as a memorable experience.
The per day cost may sound high but you should realise that that cost covers all the services(transportation, food, guide, accommodation).

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