Bhutan Uncovered

Go on this amazing trip which will take you right across Bhutan to the beautiful valley of Bumthang in central Bhutan. You will visit the enchanting glacial valley of Phobjikha, the winter roosting ground of the migrating, black-necked cranes. Take in the vibrant tapestry of the rich Bhutanese culture and tradition and witness the Himalayan landscapes up close. Your trip will end with a hike to the iconic Taktsang Monastery (The Tiger’s nest) in Paro.

Duration – 12 days, 11 nights in Bhutan

Dates: 18-29 Apr 2024; 09-20 May 2024

Price: from £3,715 land price only

Tour highlights

  • Visit the Tiger’s Nest (Taktsang) Monastery
  • Immerse yourself in Thimphu’s various museums and sights
  • Visit the old capital, Punakha and its grand dzong
  • Explore the glacial valley of Phobjikha, and Bumthang, the Buddhist heartland of Bhutan
  • Walk the beautiful valleys and engage with the locals
  • Experience traditional hot stone bath in a farm house
  • Exclusive cultural programme

Price includes

  • All accommodation (3* deluxe, twin sharing basis) and meals
  • Transportation within Bhutan incl airport pick-up & drop-off
  • Flight from Bumthang to Paro
  • English speaking experienced guide
  • Entry into all monuments and temples (listed in tour)
  • Visa fees and relevant taxes, including SDF
  • Talk by a prominent artist in his art gallery
  • Travel book on Bhutan (authored by Simply Bhutan Founder)

Call us at 020 3719 7007 or email us at bhutan@simplybhutan.com

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Arrive. Paro to Thimphu
Arrive at Paro by flight. Your flight into Bhutan takes you over the mighty Himalayas with the spectacular views of the snow-peaked mountains. On arrival, you will be received by your guide and your driver. After refreshment, make your way slowly to Thimphu, the capital city. On the way, stopover along the highway to make a detour to visit the charming Tamchhog Lhakhang, situated across the river. In the evening, sample local cuisine for dinner at a popular restaurant.
Night halt: Thimphu

Day 2: Full Day Sightseeing
Today, you will visit some of the landmarks in the city. Make your way across the town to visit the Zorig Chusum Institute, which literally translates as centre for the thirteen (chusum) arts and crafts (zorig) of Bhutan. You will meet the talented artists and students at work. Visit Simply Bhutan – the ‘living museum’ that depicts Bhutan’s ancient cultural heritage. After lunch, take a walk in the town, visit the Royal Postal Museum to learn about Bhutan’s development story through the evolution of communications and postal system. Later, take a short drive to the Takin Nature Preserve and see the unique animals grazing on the mountainside. Later in the evening, take a short drive to see the giant statue of Buddha Dordenma, standing at a height of 51.5 metres, it is one of the biggest and tallest Buddha statues in the world.
Night halt: Thimphu

Day 3: Thimphu – Punakha
After breakfast, make your way to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan. Stopover at Dochhu La (3,050m) to enjoy the view of the spectacular Himalayan ranges in the horizon and visit beautiful 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens. Stopover at the Lampheri Botanical Park where you will see the rhododendron flowers in full bloom in their natural habitat this time of the year.
Continue your journey to Punakha. Stopover at Lobesa to visit the famous Chimi Lhakhang (monastery) which sits snugly on a hilltop. Visit the lovely Punakha Dzong (fortress) – the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan and one of the most majestic structures in the country. Evening at leisure
Night halt: Punakha/Wangduephodrang

Day 4: Punakha – Phobjikha
After breakfast, spend the morning to visit the charming Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten (stupa) which sits on a ridge overlooking the valley. The view of the lush valley below from the top is breathtaking. After lunch, you will slowly make your way to Phobjikha valley, 80 kms away. You will pass the newly renovated Wangdue Dzong. Soon you will leave the highway and drive down a narrow winding road to Phobjikha Valley.
It is one of the three winter roosting grounds in the country for the endangered black-necked cranes, who fly in every winter from Tibet and Central Asia to escape the bitter cold.
Night halt: Phobjikha valley

Day 5: Phobjikha – Trongsa
In the morning, visit the lovely 17th century Gangtey Monastery that sits on a ridge surrounded by the clustered Gangtey village. Later visit the Royal Society for Protection of Nature Centre (RSPN), a conservation NGO, to learn more about the cranes.
After lunch, you will slowly make your way to Trongsa, 125 km away.
As you drive along, you will soon come across the lovely Chendibji Chorten (stupa), a white-domed shaped stupa constructed in similar style to the famous Boudhanath stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal. You will soon come upon the magnificent Trongsa Dzong. The16th Century Trongsa Dzong is the largest and most impressive dzong in the country.
Night halt: Trongsa

Day 6: Trongsa – Bumthang
After breakfast, visit the lovely Trongsa Dzong and later leave for Bumthang. You will pass Yotong La pass (3551m) from where you will descend down and enter Bumthang district. Bumthang is also known for the local textile called yathra, woven from sheep and yak wool.
Night halt: Bumthang

Day 7: Bumthang full day sightseeing
Today, you will spend a leisurely day in the beautiful valley of Bumthang, often called the ‘spiritual heartland’ of the country as the valley houses some of the most revered and ancient monasteries in the country. Some of the them are – the lovely seventh century built Jambay Lhakhang and the three temples of Kurjey Lhakhang. The sprawling Bumthang valley is a delightful place to explore on foot. Evening at leisure.
Night halt: Bumthang

Day 8: Bumthang full day sightseeing
Continue your tour of Bumthang valley. Take a scenic drive to the lovely Tang valley to visit the Ogyen Choling Museum. You will pass by several villages and ancient monasteries and pilgrimage sites along the way. On the way back to Chamkhar town, visit Mebar Tsho (the Burning Lake), one of the most revered pilgrimage sites in Bhutan, located just off the highway.
Night halt: Bumthang

Day 9: Bumthang – Paro
After breakfast, you will fly back to Paro. The flight is less than half an hour.
In Paro, drive across the valley to visit the lovely Ta Dzong (fortress), the National Museum of Bhutan. The conical shaped building was once a watchtower and now holds fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha (scrolls), paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamp collection. Just below the Museum is the lovely Rinpung Dzong, built in 1644 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the founding father of Bhutan. Evening at leisure.
Night halt: Paro

Day 10: Haa Valley visit
After breakfast, leave for the Haa valley for a day visit, 70 km away.
The drive to Haa will take you up the Chele la pass (3810m), one of the highest motorable passes in Bhutan. Stopover at Chele La pass to enjoy (given it’s a clear day) the panoramic view of the mountains, including Mt. Jomolhari (7,326 m) and its companion peak Mt. Jitchu Drake (6,794) in the distance.
Drive along the winding road, down to the valley below. The wooded hills of Haa provides an ideal location for hiking to see and visit the dozen or so local temples. Visit the two monasteries of Lhakhang Karpo (white) and the nearby Lhakhang Nakpo (black). The former is one of the most important monasteries in the country, built sometime in the seventh century.
Night halt: Paro

Day 11: Hike to Taktsang Monastery
Today, you will trek up the mountain to view the magnificent Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) that clings dramatically on a huge rock cliff, 900 m above the valley.
The 2-3 hours easy-medium hike (steep climb towards the end) takes you along winding footpaths and through pine forests with spectacular views of the wide valley below.
Later in the afternoon, drive along the scenic route to see the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong (built 1647 which is currently under renovation. On a clear day, you will see the magnificent Mt. Jhomolhari (7313m) in the distance.
Night halt: Paro

Day 12: Depart from Bhutan
Your tour ends and depart from Paro on your onward journey.

Additional notes

  1. No minimum group size apply. Tours of all group sizes can be arranged.
  2. To keep our tour intimate and personalised,  group size is usually smaller than 10 guests.
  3. Four * and luxury hotels available. This can be discussed during booking.
  4. All our tours are family friendly. We run this tour only for families as well.

Call us at 020 3719 7007 or email us at bhutan@simplybhutan.com