10 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 10 dinners
When you travel across the world to a previously unexplored land, take the time to delve into it and delight your senses. When you take a 10-day trip to Bhutan, you’ll have plenty of time to meet locals, take in the knowledge of the red-draped monks, taste chili-infused food and wander the narrow, winding roads. The 10-day trip to Bhutan lets you fully explore the world’s happiest country, reveling in the beauty of the landscape, touring through old Buddhist temples and learning why Bhutan citizens are so in love with the place that they call home.
*Restrictions may apply for age. Please let your travel advisor know if you will be traveling with children under the age of 15.
After lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum housing many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical, cultural, and religious past. Next, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centers, which were once strategic forts. Afterwards, drive to the capital, Thimphu (1.5 hours) drive from Paro.
Overnight at hotel in Thimphu
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing, including: the Buddha Dordenma statue at 51 m tall; a visit to the National Memorial Chorten which was completed by the Royal Queen Mother as a memorial stupa for the Third King who passed away in 1972; the 12th century Changangkha Temple and Zilukha Nunnery; the Simpley Bhutan museum where you can see the lifestyle of Bhutanese people. If there is time, you may visit Tashichhodzong, ‘the fortress of the glorious religion’ housing ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body.
Return to hotel in Thimphu for dinner and overnight.
Drive to Phobjikha Valley (5.5-6 hrs). Drive over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters) which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley. The drive through the countryside affords a glimpse of everyday life in this most remote of Himalayan kingdoms. Continue on through the bustling market town of Wangduephodrang, and up winding mountain roads through mixed forests and over high passes before descending down into the wide and picturesque Phobjikha Valley. Hike natural trail where you can see black necked cranes dancing with their partners. Phobjikha is one of Bhutan’s few glacial valleys, and it is the chosen winter home of black necked cranes (November – March) migrating from the Tibetan plateau.
Following breakfast visit the Phobjikha Sanctuary to view the majestic black necked cranes (Nov-Mar only) and Gangtey Gompa (Monastery), dating back to the 16th century. Afterwards drive over the Pele La pass (3,420m) on the Black Mountain range towards Trongsa (4.5 hrs). En route visit the beautiful 18th century Chendebji Chorten. Trongsa is the ancestral home of Bhutan’s ruling dynasty. Visit Trongsa Dzong, the largest Dzong in Bhutan and the Ta Dzong museum housing a collection of historical artifacts of the Royal Family. Continue driving towards Bumthang (2.5 hrs), the spiritual center of the kingdom. Bumthang is home to some of Bhutan’s oldest Palaces, Buddhist temples and monasteries.
Overnight at hotel in Bumthang
In the morning, visit Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom where Bhutan’s patron saint Guru Rimpoche meditated. Here is located the 7th century Jambay Lhakhang, which dates back to the origins of Buddhism in Bhutan and is one of the Kingdoms oldest temples. Here also is the Kurji temple from which we walk towards the Tamshing temple. Return to hotel for lunch before continuing sightseeing to include Jakar Dzong and Kencho Sum Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pemalingpa and containing interesting and ancient Buddhist wall paintings.
Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.
Depart for Punakha stopping along the way at the Chumey weaving center and at Trongsa for lunch.
Overnight and dinner at your hotel in Punakha.
Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan. Visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness”, built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’ as predicted by the great Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava). It is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en mass from Thimphu to this warmer location. The three-story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. It was here in 1907 that Bhutan’s first king was crowned. Next excursion on foot to Yabesa village and a hike through rice fields and up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by her majesty the queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. Perched high on a hill on the bank of the river, the Chorten houses paintings belonging to Nyingmapa Traditions. In the afternoon you have an option of returning to Punakha hotel for time at leisure, or a short excursion to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of Drukpa Kuenly.
Overnight and dinner at your hotel in Punakha.
Drive back to Thimphu where you will have an opportunity to visit some of the handicraft shops and souvenir stores. Afterwards proceed to Paro. Enjoy your evening at leisure.
Overnight and dinner at your hotel in Paro.
After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The walk of approximately 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometre above the Paro valley (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to the viewing point). The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. In the evening enjoy a hot stone bath and dinner with a local family.
Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before driving to the airport for flight to your onward destination.
10 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 10 dinners
Hotel (9 nights)
All entrance fees are included
Tips for the guide and driver are not included and they are expected
Any incidentals (snacks, any additional food you would like to purchase, gifts, etc
Any additional excursions (White water rafting in Punakha)
All tourists must obtain a visa prior to arrival in Bhutan. FS Travel Advisors will facilitate the visa process through our representative in Bhutan.
You are required to send us your photo-page of your passport in addition to your permanent address, occupation and whether this is your first time to Bhutan. (If this is not your first time to Bhutan please inform us of the date(s) that you have previously visited Bhutan). We will then apply for your visa. The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) will process the visa once the full payment of your tour (including a USD $65 visa fee) has been forward by us and received in the TCB bank account.
You will be emailed a visa clearance letter. Please print this out, as you will be required to show your visa clearance letter at your point of entry into Bhutan. Once you enter Bhutan an official visa will then be stamped into your passport.
Please email us the following on: firstname.lastname@example.org
– The photo page of your passport
– Your permanent address
– Your occupation
– Whether you have visited Bhutan before. If so, please provide dates of your previous visits.
* Please ensure that all your details are correct. Supplying incorrect details will only slow down the process.
“Breathtaking landscapes and incredible culture! Just flying into Bhutan you can tell that you're going to a very special place. Once you are there you'll be captivated by the natural beauty and the architecture of the incredible buildings and temples. Tshering and his team make you feel welcome and comfortable right from the start and are great at communicating and explaining things every step of the way. You will enjoy watching/experiencing how the people of today still fully embrace their ancient culture and heritage. We watched archery matches, climbed to the Tiger's Nest, went river rafting, got a hot stone bath, visited many temples, and much more. It was all amazing and this was a trip that I will talk about the rest of my life. I will return at some point.” Tim Tipton, McKinney, TX
“Bhutan! How can I say enough good things? We had such an incredible time during our first visit to this wonderful and beautiful country that is surrounded by China, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. From the stunning Himalayan mountains to the beautiful forests to the flowing rivers, the landscape is absolutely breathtaking! We loved all the hiking we go to do and it was difficult to choose from so many of the outdoor adventures that the country has to offer. We also were able to experience firsthand many of the many of the country’s numerous historical and cultural sites, including the world famous “Tiger’s Nest”, a not to miss visit while in Bhutan! The best part was the beauty and warmth and hospitality of the Bhutanese people that we were able to get to know and spend time with during our trip – so wonderful! I am already planning my return trip!” Mark Zeigler, Dallas, TX