Bhutan Heart & Soul

This 9-night escorted tour takes you to both Central and Western Bhutan. Fly to off-the-beaten-track Bumthang Valley in Central Bhutan, the spiritual heartland of the kingdom. Visit ancient temples as well as the local Swiss cheese factory and micro-brewery! Returning to Western Bhutan, visit the quaint city of Thimpu, one of the smallest capital cities in the world. Spend two nights near Punakha, where the Kings of Bhutan have traditionally been crowned. Visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong, and the quirky painted house of Chimi Lhakhang. Return to Paro and hike to the iconic, cliff-hugging Tiger's Nest monastery. 

For a colourful and dramatic Bhutanese festival experience, time your trip to coincide with one of the numerous festivals of the Bumthang Valley. 

Whether you want to tour Bhutan solo, as a couple, with a small group, or a family with children, we have the perfect itinerary for you.

 
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To find out about festival tours to Bhutan, click here

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To find out about other tours to Bhutan, click here


US$3,549*

9 NIGHT tour
DEPARTS: paro, bhutan

Availability:  All year - choose your own dates                                Minimum group size: 1 person (subject to surcharges)

* Price based on twin-share accommodation. Single room supplement available for US$45 per night, subject to availability.
Find out approximate trip price in your own currency here 

TRIP EXCLUSIONS

  • International airfare to Bhutan. (This can be arranged for you. Please contact us for details)

  • Stopover hotel if needed

  • Comprehensive travel insurance. Click here for an insurance quote

  • Additional activities (e.g. massage, hot stone bath)

  • Alcoholic or soft drinks

  • Laundry

  • Tips for guide or driver

Trip Inclusions

  • Transport by private vehicle

  • Return domestic flights from Paro - Bumthang

  • All meals, mineral water, tea and coffee

  • 9 nights handpicked hotel accommodation

  • All entrance fees at monasteries and museums

  • Bhutan daily fee including visa, Bhutan government tourism royalties and local taxes

  • English-speaking Bhutanese guide

 

TRIP OVERVIEW

Your journey begins in the beautiful Paro Valley, where we stay in a charming Bhutanese-style hotel located on the edge of a forest. Wake up to breathtaking views of Himalayan peaks in your rustic villa. Visit Paro Dzong, the National Museum and the famous Nyamai Zam Bridge.  

The next day, take the short flight to Bumthang in Central Bhutan, one of the most beautiful and sacred valleys in Bhutan. Explore this little-visited region with its many hidden delights, including the 16th-century Ugyen Choling Palace. Sample a red panda at the local micro-brewery, nibble on Swiss cheese and enjoy a fondue dinner at the guesthouse run by a Swiss-Bhutanese family. 

After flying back to Paro, drive the short distance to Thimpu. Explore the city and visit Tashi Choe Dzong and the School of Traditional Arts and Crafts.                                                                                              

We continue our journey the next day via the scenic Dochu La Pass, offering stunning panoramic mountain views, to the fertile Punakha Valley. Visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong, situated on the confluence of two rivers. This ancient monastery was built in 1637. Punakha served as Bhutan’s capital for 300 years, and is where the kings of Bhutan are crowned. 

We then return to Paro, where we will visit the Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), Bhutan’s most famous landmark. A hike up through blue pines, passing water-powered prayer wheels, leads you to this holy site. This ancient monastery clings miraculously to a sheer cliff, rising 1,000 metres from the valley floor. The views are magnificent over the Paro Valley, and the only sounds to be heard are prayer flags blowing in the wind.

ITINERARY

 

DAY 1

Arrive in Paro, Bhutan: You will be met at the airport by your guide. Travel to your hotel just outside Paro. Stroll around the town, visit the famous Nyamai Zam Bridge and Kyichu Lhakhang.
Altitude: 2,195 m
Overnight: Paro

DAY 2

Bumthang:  Fly to Bumthang. Visit Jakar Dzong.
Flight time: 35 mins                                                                                           
Altitude: 2,800 m                                                                                                             Overnight: Bumthang

DAY 3

Bumthang:  Visit Kurje Lhakhang and Tamzhing Lhakhang temples. Visit the Cheese factory and micro-brewery run by the Swiss-Bhutanese owners of Swiss Guest House.
Altitude: 2,800 m
Overnight: Bumthang                                                                                                             

DAY 4 

Bumthang:  Visit the Burning Lake, Pemacholing Nunnery and Ugyen Choling Palace in the Tang Valley.
Altitude: 2,800 m
Overnight: Bumthang                                                                                              

DAY 5 

Thimpu:  Fly back to Paro. Drive a short distance to Thimpu. Visit the School of Traditional Arts and Crafts and Trashi Choe Dzong.
Flight time: 35 mins     
Driving time: 1 hr                                   
Altitude: 2,320 m                                                                                                           Overnight: Thimpu.

DAY 6

Wangdue Phodrang: Explore Thimpu in the morning, before travelling via the Dochu La Pass (3,140m) to Punakha. Visit the temple of fertility at Chimi Lhakhang.         
Driving time: 2 hrs                                                                                                          
Altitude: 1,310 m                                                                                                             Overnight: Wangdue Phodrang.

DAY 7

Wangdue Phodrang: Visit Punakha Dzong and visit the Nalanda Buddhist College.  Optional 1.5 hour hike to Nizergang village.                                                                                Altitude: 2,195 m                                                                                                           Overnight: Wangdue Phodrang

DAY 8

Paro: Return to Paro. Visit Kyichu Lhakhang temple.
Altitude: 2,195 m
Overnight: Paro

day 9

Paro: Tiger's Nest excursion.                                                                                      
Altitude: 2,195 m                                                                                                                           Overnight: Paro.

day 10

Depart Paro