Day 1: Arrival-Paro Vicinity Visits
On arrival at the Paro airport, you will be greeted by the guide and transferred to the hotel. After lunch, you can stroll in Paro town. Walking around the market and meeting with the people will be an enjoyable experience.
Day 2: Paro-Thimphu
After breakfast, you will visit the Ta Dzong, Rinpung Dzong and the Kichu Lhakhang. After lunch, you will drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Check into your hotel on arrival.
Day 3: Thimphu
After breakfast, you will visit Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), Changangkha Monastery, Nunnery temple, School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school) and Folk Heritage Museum. After relaxing lunch, you will visit traditional paper factory, majestic Tashichho dzong and giant Buddha statue on a hill overlooking Thimphu, which is reputed to be the largest Buddha Shakyamuni in the world. Later in the evening, you can stroll through Thimphu town and absorb the lifestyle of the people.
Day 4: Thimphu-Punakha
After breakfast, you will enjoy the scenic drive to Punakha with stop at Dochu La Pass (3,150 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass, drive downhill through the forests of rhododendron, fir and hemlock. You will arrive at Punakha after traversing through rice field and along the bank of Punakha River. Visit the Punakha Dzong, which is stunningly situated in between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship.
Day 5: Punakha-Gelephu
After breakfast, you will drive to Gelephu, the southernmost district of Bhutan bordering with India. You will stop for lunch on the way. Seven hours journey leads through 3150m Dochula Pass, along the bank of Wangchu River and meandering through sub tropical forests, villages and small townships of Tsirang and Sarbhang before you arrive Gelephu.
Day 6: Gelephu-Gongphu
Take the 150km drive from Gelephu to Gongphu and enjoy the ascent from 280m-1450m. You will pass through Surey village where mandarin and cardamom farming is the main cultivation. From Surey you can also see Jo Dungshing peak on clear days. This peak is the highest in the Black Mountain range. Gongphu is the northern most tip of the Royal Manas Park. The area gets maximum rainfall in the country. This makes the area a thriving sub-tropical ecosystem. This is the haven for wildlife such as langur, tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, samber, and large number of bird species. Overnight in Eco-camp.
Day 7: Gongphu-Panbang
Today you will drive to Panbang through forests of mixed broad-leaved forests and thick undergrowth with numerous birds such as barbets, hornbills, bulbuls, doves, woodpecker and cuckoos. The camp is on the way to a village and provides a good view of the area due to being located at a higher alleviation. Overnight in Eco-camp.
Day 8 & 9: Royal Manas National Park
You can walk, drive or take wooden boat ride to reach Manas core area. It is a 12km drive and may take another forty-five minutes. On foot it might take few hours but the boat ride takes only thirty minutes. Many prefer boat rides to enjoy the scenic beauty and watch birds. You can explore the park through various activities like – bird watching, river rafting elephant safaris, picnicking along the river and walking through the Park’s Eco Trail. Overnight at guesthouse or at Eco-camp.
Day 10: Panbang-Trongsa
After breakfast, you will drive to Trongsa. As you drive you will notice that the vegetation changes from sub-tropical to broad-leaved evergreen forests. This route has one of the richest forests and has many varieties of trees and orchids and other botanical plants. Check into your hotel on arrival.
Day 11: Trongsa-Gangtey/Phobjikha Valley
In the morning, you’ll visit Trongsa Dzong, the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. You will then drive to Gangtey. You will stop at Chendebji Chorten for lunch. After lunch, you will continue driving to Gangtey through dense forests of oak trees and rhododendrons. On taking the diversion from the highway, and crossing Lawala pass blanketed with dwarf bamboos, you will arrive at Gangtey. From Gangtey, you can see the picturesque Black Mountain range as well as Phobjikha Valley, the winter habitat of the black-necked cranes. Visit Gangtey Goenpa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan. You can spend some time interacting with the monks studying here. The college offers nine-year course in Buddhist studies.
Day 12: Gangtey-Punakha
Today you will hike through Phobjikha valley to explore the nearby villages. The valley is mostly covered with high altitude dwarf bamboo, hiking trails, pine trees and farmhouse with impressive art and woodcarving. Any of the houses will be happy to have you walked into their houses for a cup of locally made wine, “ara” or Butter Tea. After lunch, you will drive back to Punakha. On a clear day, you can see views of Jichu Drake, Kang Bum and other peaks en route. On the way, you will stop at Lobesa to hike through rice paddies up to the Chimi Lhakhang Temple. This temple is dedicated to the great Yogi in the 14th century known as Drukpa Kuenley, or the “Divine Madman,” who is believed to bless women who seek fertility. Check in to hotel on arrival.
Day 13: Punakha-Paro
Today, you will then drive back to Paro. On the way, you will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to the Devine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. If you wish, receive the blessing from the Lama’s wooden phallus! You will stop at Dochula for lunch. Continue drive to Paro. Check into hotel on arrival.
Day 14: Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery
After an early breakfast, you will hike to the legendary Tiger’s Nest Monastery, clinging on a rock cliff 900 meters above the valley floor. According to the legend, it is believed that Guru Rimpoche, the 8th century Spiritual Master flew to this location on the back of a tigress to subdue the demons of Paro Valley. The guru then meditated in the holy cave that is the site of the monastery today.
Day 15: Depart Paro
After breakfast, you will drive to the airport for departure. Our representative will bid you farewell.