Bhutan

Exclusive Bhutan

Get to know the real Bhutanese culture and lifestyle. This tour gives you the unique experiences of staying in homes with locals and to get to know their lifestyles. This trip is designed in such a way that you will get everything what Bhutan could offer including the must-see places, staying overnight with locals and trekking in Himalayas.

The tour starts in paro with must see places in paro including the most popular Taktsang Monastery and takes you high in the Himalaya at the altitude of 3770 m and further to Punakha via Thimpu.

  • Age Requirement

    16 Above
  • Activity

    Trekking
  • Duration

    8 days
  • Starting Location

    Kathmandu
  • Final Destination

    Kathmandu
  • Difficulty

    Medium
  • Max. Altitude

    3770 meters
  • Accommodation

    Hotel / camp / homestay

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Paro

After a short spectacular flight, we land at paro. Our representative will greet you on arrival, and then drive you the short distance to the hotel. Visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower. Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646. Dinner and overnight in Home stay.

Altitude: 2280m

Day 2: Paro : Excursion to Taktsang Monastery

A very special day, with an excursion to view the spectacular Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) monastery - After early breakfast, a short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten, The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktsang monastery. The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in the 1684by the Penlop of Paro Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favourite consort.

After Lunch, visit the Drukgyel Dzong, now in ruins was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invaders in1644; the dzong name’s means indeed “victorious Druk “. The Dzong was used as an administrative center until 1951 when a fire caused by butter lamp destroyed it. Then visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest and most sacred monasteries dating from the introduction of Buddhism in the 8th century. This temple is said to have been built in 659 by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet. It holds down the left foot of an ogress whose body is so large that it covers Bhutan and most of eastern Tibet.


Day 3: After breakfast, drive to Jele Dzong (Start of Trek)

Today is a short trek. The trek begins above the National Museum; we climb till we reach camp. If the weather is clear the Paro valley and the snow-capped mountains can be seen.  The campsite is near the old Jele Dzong.  If the caretaker is there you can visit the Dzong.

Camp Altitude: 3560m, Distance: 10km
Walking Time: approx.4-5 hours (1090 meters ascent)

Day 4: Jele Dzong - Jangchulakha

The trek starts with a short climb and then passes through a thick alpine forest of rhododendron and gradually climbs till we reach camp. You may see yak herders around your campsite.

Camp Altitude: 3770m, Distance: 10km
Walking Time: approx.3-4 hours (Ascent 310 meters, descent 50 meters)

Day 5: Jangchulakha - Chaluna

The trail follows the ridge and on a clear day the views of the mountains and valleys are beautiful. Then we walk down to Chaluna valley where the vehicle will pick you up and drive to the Hotel.

Walking time: approx.4 hours

Day 6: Thimphu Sightseeing - Punakha

The day begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. We then visit Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls), Folk Heritage and Buddha Point.

 After Lunch, drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, we stop for a while at Dochula pass to view Higher Himalayas. On the way, view Chime Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley. He subdued the demons with his “Magical Thunder bolt”. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”.

  • Lama Drukpa Kuenley (1455 – 1529) was one of the Bhutan’s Favourite Saints who was born in Tibet, trained at Ralung Monastery and was a contemporary and a disciple of Pema Lingpa. He Travelled throughout Bhutan and Tibet as a “Neljorpa” (Yogi) using songs, humour and outrageous behavior to dramatise his teachings of Salvation through sex.
Altitude: Sightseeing 2320m, Punakha1310 m
Driving Time: approx.3 hours

Day 7: Punakha – Paro

After breakfast, After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male river) and Mo Chu (Female river). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche, who predicted, “…a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant”. There was a smaller building here called Dzong Chu (Small Dzong) that housed a statue of Buddha. It is said that Shabdrung ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in front of the statue, while Palep was sleeping, the Shabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. From his vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong, which in keeping with the tradition, was never committed to paper. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). The war materials captured during the battle with Tibetans are preserved here. Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the new national Assembly here in 1952.

We then hike to Khamsum Yule Lhakhang.

After lunch, drive to Paro. On the way, view Tamchog Lhakhang built by Thangthong Gyalpo (Popularly known as Lama Chazampa, which literally means, the Iron Bridge builder) in the 15th century.

  • Thang Thong Gyalpo (1385 – 1464) was a wonder working saint from Tibet who came to Bhutan in 1433 looking for Iron Ore. He built 108 bridges across Tibet and Bhutan, out of which 8 were built in Bhutan. His only surviving bridge is in Duksum (Tashi Yangtse in Eastern Bhutan).
Altitude: 2320 m, 130km
Driving Time: approx.4 hours

Day 8: Paro: Departure

Early morning, drive to the airport and farewell.


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  • Understood exactly what we were looking for first time

    Jackie Wlakers
  • "Thank you for the trekking to Ghorepani and Poonhill. The trek was beautiful, the Daal Bhaat was tasty, my guide's experience and the service left nothing to complain about!
    Wish you all the best,"

    Linda
  • I had a wonderful time trekking the Tamang Heritage Trail with Highlander Nepal. Our guide and porter were highly professional and experienced. The views on the trail are amazing, and I highly recommend both Highlander Trekking & Expedition and the Tamang /Langtang region.

    Anna
  • It was wow experience to be in the team for ABC trekking. Weather was not so good, but my bad, can't blame on that to Highlander. All the best for the team and hopefully I could manage EBC next year.

    Smriti P
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    Hanna and Linda ( Sweden)
  • Congratulation to you and your team, you made it possible for us to complete our fist trek. This is not a small accomplishment as it made a guy of 125 kg able and happy to endure the trek with great joy. We will definitely have Nepal with fond memories of Nepal, the Nepalese people and the excellent service of Highlander.

    Vibeke and Hans
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