Day 1: Flight to Paro & drive to Thimpu, Bhutan – 1 night (approx. 1 hr, 65km)
After early breakfast, transfer to the airport for a flight to Paro. Upon arrival in Paro we will be met and drive for approximately 1 hour through hamlets following the Paro and Thimpu rivers, to the capital, Thimpu. We will then visit the takin sanctuary.
Day 2: Thimpu & to Punakha – 2 nights (approx. 3hrs, 70 Km)
This morning we will take a walk around Thimpu, visiting the handicraft stores and the Arts & Craft School where students are trained in the 16 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. We will also visit the National Memorial Chorten. We drive to the Punakha valley via Dochula pass (3200m / 10499ft). En route there will be approx. one and half hour hike (3km total hike) through a small village to Chimi Lakhang, also commonly known as the “Divine Madman Temple”. The site is still believed to hold fertility power for women who want to conceive. We arrive in Punakha later this afternoon and check into our hotel.
Day 3: Punakha valley
Today, drive an hour to Kabisa take and then approx. 4 hour hike (app 3-4km) to Khamsung Yuelley Namgyal Stupa. This is a moderately easy hike through rice fields and picturesque untouched landscape. After descending from the temple, we will follow a well-worn path down the valley through rice fields and the small villages of Soneagasa. After lunch we will visit the Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 and the winter residence of the monk body.We will also take a walk to explore Punakha town.
Day 4 The Phobjikha valley – 1 night (approx. 4 hrs drive, 90Km)
This morning we travel into the Phobjikha valley. En route we take a walk around Wangdue before continuing through the village of Sha to the valley.From here we continue into the valley and we will take an easy hike of around approx. 2 hours ( 4km) .
Day 5: To Trongsa (approx. 120Km drive)
Today we will drive, approx 4 hours, close to the Black Mountains, crossing the Pelela pass. Reaching Trongsa we are greeted by panoramic views over the town and its Dzong. A moderate walk for approx. 3- 4 hours into the surrounding forest will allow us to explore the flora and fauna of this semi-tropical region, notable for its interesting bird life.
Day 6: Trongsa and to Bumthang – 2 nights (app 70Km)
This morning we will visit Trongsa Dzong. This afternoon we will drive for approximately 2½ hours to the Jakar valley. We stop en route at the Yotongla pass and Chumey valley. Here you can see locals weaving the intricate ‘Yathra’ woollen fabric. Arrive in the Bumthang valley and enjoy approx. 2-2½ hour easy walk.
Day 7: Bumthang exploration
Morning drive for an hour and take a moderate hike of around approx. 7 – 8 hours(10Km) in the Bumthang valley, situated in the heart of the kingdom, an area that seems to be totally untouched by the passage of time. The valley has a rich heritage and we will walk to some of the peaceful monasteries and temples. If time permits, we will take a short hike to Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake).
Day 8: To Punakha – 1 night (approx.10hrs, 200km)
Today we will take the approx. 6 hour drive back to Punakha. . After lunch, we will walk around the Chendibji Stupa for approx. 10min. which is built in the same style as the Boudhanath Stupa in Nepal, and we will stroll in the picturesque surroundings. We will arrive at Punakha later this afternoon and overnight here. This afternoon we walk to the nearby villages and stretch our legs.
Day 9: To Paro – 3 nights (approx. 5hrs, 130KM)
This morning we depart to Paro, where we will have time to do some cultural sightseeing, and visits en route. Weather permiting, we have fantastic views of Mt Jhomolhari, Mountain of the Goddess, at 7,329m the highest mountain in Bhutan. Short easy walks approx. 1hr , 2km) through the fiddler road to this afternoon take us Kyichu Lhakhang.
Day 10: Walking & sightseeing around Paro
Morning walk about approx. 2 hours,3Km. Visit Museum and Paro Dzong. Lunch will be served in the Town. After lunch enjoy an easy walk taking approx. 2hours. This winds through the pine forests to the peace and tranquillity of Tse-tho monastery.
Day 11: Taktsang Monastery
This morning we will take the famous moderate hike to Taktsang Monastery (approx 5 hours,7Km), also known as the Tiger’s Nest.This magical monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff, 3,000ft above the valley floor. This is a 4 hour hike with steep gradients, but your guide will always be on hand for any difficulties and a mule can be hired if needed. Those not wanting to go all the way to the top can wait at a pleasant café about half way up with views of the monastery.
Day 12: Departure
Transfer to the airport for our departure flight.