Bhutan has been isolated and disconnected long from the rest of the world and opened its doors only in the 1970s to visitors. Tourism had been restricted in numbers even in recent times hiding away a beautiful, legendary and otherworldly country that seems arrested in time. The main religion in Bhutan is Buddhism in the Mahayana Vajrayana tradition founded in the 8th century, by Guru Padmasambhava - also referred to as Guru Rinpoche. Its walls are adorned with colorful elaborated tapestries representing deep links to Buddhist way of life. Bhutanese people are deeply spiritual, warm and shyly amusing and happy. We cannot forget they are ‘Gross National Happiness’ champion.
Traveling to Bhutan is surely a heavenly experience. Unique culture, remarkable architecture and picturesque landscapes and less- affected by modern civilization have always been an outstanding feature of Bhutan. The tranquility and sense of peace signals travelers to look at life from different kaleidoscope. Some of the "must visit" sights in Bhutan are covered in this week-long trip. Along with the regular attractions of Thimphu and Paro, this quick tour includes some of the finest hikes and walking tours, you will hike to the legendary Takstang Monastery (also known as the Tiger's Nest Monastery) and Chele La ridge from our base in Paro. This tour also features a kaleidoscope of opportunities for the visitor - the pleasant trials, paddy fields, villages, and forests of blue pine, spruce and rhododendrons, remarkable Himalayan landscape etc to spellbind any visitors. You will feel the sense of pleasure as you walk at your own pace and as you interact with the happy locals, capture the beautiful scenery with your camera while visiting local homes with distinctive Bhutanese architecture.
Some of the best days of your life await here to be unfolded so come and join us in this Kaleidoscope of Bhutan tour and experience the joinery with us. It would be a pleasure revealing some of these amazing places.
Day 01: Flight to Paro
Flight to Paro. You will met and greeted by our representative at the airport and transferred to you hotel. After some rest, in the evening your guide will take you to Paro for an orientation with the place and its people.
Day 02: Hike Taktsang Monastery and Tour the Paro Valley
The legendary Taktsang Monastery, which is also called Tiger's nest, perched some 2,000ft/600m up on a sheer cliff overlooking the valley, is a popular hiking destination. The Monastery was first built in 1692, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for three months in the 8th century. The return trek to the road-head is downhill and takes about half the time it took to come up. On the way back, you will visit a typical Bhutanese village home and gain first-hand insights into the lifestyle of Bhutanese villagers. Then drive back to your hotel in the evening.
Day 03: Chele La Hike (B/L/D)
Today you will take a scenic drive of about one and half hours to Chele La pass. At an altitude of approximately 3900m/13000ft, it is the highest point on the national highway. From here we enjoy spectacular views of Paro Valley on one side and Haa Valley on the other. We hike up to a cluster of shelters built on sheer cliffs, toa rock cave and then to a temple that house some 50 or so nuns.
You will walk back to take your transport and drive back to Paro where we visit Bhutan's national museum, a fascinating place housed in an old watchtower above the huge Paro Dzong. You also visit the Rinphung Dzong, a large Drukpa Kagyu Buddhist monastery and fortress. It houses the district Monastic Body and government administrative offices of Paro Dzongkhag.
Day 04: Drive to Thimphu
After breakfast, you drive for two and half hours to Thimphu; it is the least visited of all the Himalayan capitals. Check in hotel and after some rest, we embark on the tour of Thimpu, beginning from a Nunnery on the outskirts of town. You then visit the School of Arts and Crafts, the Textile Museum, the Heritage Museum, Changgangkha Lhakhang (temple), the National Library, a Traditional Hospital and a traditional paper factory. At the end of the day, we may also pay a visit to the great Tashichho Dzong, seat of Bhutan's administrative and religious center.
Day 05: Tour the Thimphu Valley and hike Cheri Gompa
Early in the morning, you will visit the Memorial Chorten, a shrine built in the memory of the late king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, where people gather to pray and pay homage. Today, you also hike to Cheri Gompa Monastery. The monastery built in 1620, is now a major teaching and retreat center of the Southern Drukpa Kagyu order. It sits on a hill above the end of the road at Dodeyna and it takes about an hour’s walk.
This is a pleasant rural walk, gently up a valley through paddy fields and woodland via a Tibetan village. You can enter the courtyard of the Gompa but entrance to the main shrine is not permitted for Non Buddhists. We descend to the bottom of the hill, meet our transport and drive back to Thimpu.
Day 06: Hike to Chokortse Monastery
This morning, you hike to Chokortse monastery which is situated on a saddle. The walk is uphill for 40-50 minutes and passes through forests of blue pine, spruce and rhododendrons. From here, the view of Thimphu valley below is breathtaking. It takes about 2 hours for the round trip. In the afternoon, we browse the markets of Thimphu and later drive to Paro for overnight.
Day 07: Depart Paro
Transfer to airport for your departure flight to next destination.