In Search of the Black-Necked Cranes

In Search of the Black-Necked Cranes tour takes you to the beautiful glacier valley of Phobjikha, which is one of the roosting grounds for the heavenly birds, who fly in every winter from northern Tibet to escape the bitter cold. The week-long travel takes you through the vibrant tapestry of the rich Bhutanese culture and tradition and opportune you to witness the natural wonder up close.

Duration – 7 days, 6 nights (can be extended to cover other parts of Bhutan / Festivales)
Places of visit – Thimphu, Punakha, Wangdue Phodrang (Phobjikha) and Paro
Best time to travel – Late October to Mid of February

Day 1: Arrive at Paro by flight. Your guide will meet you at the airport. After refreshment, visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower, now the National Museum of Bhutan. In the evening, you will leave for Thimphu, the capital city, 60 km away. En route, you will visit the Tamchhog Lhakhang.

Night halt: Thimphu

Day 2: Full day sightseeing in Thimphu. Visit some of the important landmarks in the city – Trashichho Dzong, Folk Heritage Museum or the Simply Bhutan Museum, Institute of Zorig Chusum and the impressive statue of Buddha Dordenma to name a few.

Night halt: Thimphu

Day 3: Drive to Punakha with a stopover at Dochhu La (3,050m). Enjoy the view of the spectacular Himalayan ranges in the horizon on a bright day. Descend to the warm Punakha valley. In Punakha, visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong and the lovely Khamsum Yuelley Chorten (stupa), which sits on a hill overlooking the Punakha valley.

Night halt: Punakha

Day 4: Today, you will make your way to the lovely valley of Phobjikha, 60 km away. The bowl-shaped glacial valley is arguably the most beautiful valley in Bhutan and the winter home to the migrating black-necked cranes. Visit the Gangtey Monastery and the Royal Society for Protection of Nature. You might catch the sight of the heavenly bird if visiting early spring/late autumn. The wide valley provides plenty of trails to take easy walks.

Night halt: Phobjikha

Day 5: After breakfast you will drive back to Thimphu. En route, take an easy hike through the paddy fields to visit the famous Chimi Lhakhang, dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley – the Divine Madman. Take a short hike up the highway to visit the charming village of Rinchengang. Slowly drive back to Thimphu.

Night halt: Thimphu

Day 6: Take a short drive to see the giant statue of Buddha Dordenma and visit the Memorial Chorten (stupa) in the morning. In the afternoon, slowly make your way to Paro. Take a stroll in town and check out some local handicrafts and souvenir shops. Evening at leisure.

Night halt: Paro

Day 7: Today, you will trek up the mountain to view the enchanting Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) that clings dramatically on a huge rock cliff, 900m above the valley. The 2-3 hours hike (each way) takes you through pine forests with spectacular view of the valley below. In the evening, visit a traditional farmhouse.

Night halt: Paro

Day 8: Your guide will see you off at the Paro International Airport.