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Spirit of Bhutan

Experience our best-selling tour!

Experience the best of Western Bhutan at a leisurely pace on the 8-night Spirit of Bhutan journey, our most popular, best-selling tour. Soak up the rich culture and stunning scenery, visit Bhutan’s charming small cities, traverse high mountain passes from the comfort of your vehicle, and explore ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries. End with an unforgettable day hike to the unmissable, iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery, perched on the edge of a rugged cliff. 

Spend your first night in the beautiful Paro Valley, waking up to breathtaking mountain views. Travel over the Cheli La Pass, one of the highest in Bhutan, and down into the lush hidden valley of Haa, where a rustic and spiritual village awaits you. Spend two nights near Punakha, where the Kings of Bhutan have traditionally been crowned. Visit Thimpu, one of the world’s smallest capital cities, and the only one in the world without traffic lights! Before leaving Bhutan, climb to the iconic Tiger's Nest Monastery, high on a cliff overlooking a stunning valley. 

On the Spirit of Bhutan tour you will see and experience several of Western Bhutan’s greatest natural and cultural wonders, and enjoy the Bhutan vacation of a lifetime. This is an ideal tour for first-time visitors to Bhutan who want to delve into the country’s unique and authentic character.

 
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To find out about other tailor-made Bhutan tours, click here

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To find out about walking holidays in Bhutan, click here

“A huge thank you  for a fabulous trip. So wonderfully orchestrated and so very amazing, so much colour, so many patterns , so much history and of course so many temples and monasteries along with fabulous walks.” —Gillian, New Zealand

US$2,845*

8 NIGHT tour
DEPARTS: paro, bhutan

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

* Price based on twin-share accommodation. Single-room supplement available for US$45 per night, subject to availability. Please note that groups of two people will also need to pay a two-person supplement.
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 mini bus

  • All meals, mineral water, tea and coffee

  • 8-nights handpicked hotel accommodation

  • All entrance fees at monasteries and museums

  • Bhutan visa, Bhutan government tourism royalties and local taxes

  • English-speaking Bhutanese guide

 

Trip Overview

Beyond The Clouds’ Spirit of Bhutan tour is our best-selling trip, and it’s easy to see why. Travellers get to experience many of Bhutan’s greatest sights and activities, so it’s a perfect choice if you’re looking for a thorough overview that includes a lot of variety. Enjoy an unforgettable Bhutan vacation.

Your journey begins in the beautiful Paro Valley, where you’ll 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 wooden Nyamai Zam Bridge. Cross the Cheli La Pass (3,810 metres) to the picturesque Haa Valley. This valley remains one of the least-visited areas in the country and retains the air of an unspoiled, primeval forest. The wooded hills of Haa provides an ideal location for hiking and mountain biking. Haa is home to a number of nomadic herders. In Haa, visit the 7th century Black & White Temples, and go on a day hike to suit your interests and needs.

Continue on to Thimphu, the little capital of Bhutan. With its buildings painted and constructed in traditional Bhutanese style, it’s nothing like what most people imagine a capital city to be. In Thimphu you’ll get the chance to visit the Tashi Choe Dzong, which has the seat of Bhutan's government since 1952, and the School of Traditional Arts and Crafts, the best place to see traditional arts being created and to buy souvenirs from the fixed-price gift shop next door.

From Thimphu, travel over the Dochu La Pass (3,140 m) to the Punakha Valley. Visit the Temple of Fertility at Chimi Lhakhang. In Punakha, the beautiful dzong stands magnificently on the spit of land where two rivers meet. Spend time exploring, and also visit the Nalanda Buddhist College. If you like, take a short hike to Nizergang village, to experience rural Bhutanese life.

Return to Paro and visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang temple, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in Bhutan, and prepare for an unforgettable hike to the Taktshang Gomba (Tiger’s Nest Monastery) the next day. The hike is 3-4 hours, and reaches 3,120 metres altitude. This is Bhutan’s most important landmark and clings to the side of a steep cliff 300 meters above the Paro Valley. The original temple was built in the 17th century, but tragically it was consumed by fire in 1998. However, like a phoenix it emerged from the ashes, being rebuilt to its full glory in 2003. It’s considered to be the 10th-holiest site in the Buddhist world. The trek to Tiger’s Nest is spectacular and not quite as hard as you may expect.

ITINERARY

 

DAY 1

Arrive in Paro, Bhutan: You will be met at the airport by your guide. Travel to your hotel just outside Paro. Visit Paro Dzong, the National Museum and the famous Nyamai Zam Bridge.  
Overnight: Paro
Altitude: 2,195 m

DAY 2

Paro to Haa: Drive to Haa via the Cheli La Pass at 3,810 metres. Visit the black and white temples.   
Driving time: 2 hrs                                                                                                                     Overnight: Haa
Altitude: 3,056 m                                                                                                          

DAY 3

Haa: Day hike in the picturesque Haa Valley. 
Overnight: Haa
Altitude: 3,056 m 

DAY 4 

Thimphu: Drive to Thimphu. Do a city walk, and visit the Tashi Choe Dzong and the School of Traditional Arts and Crafts.  
Driving time:  3 hrs
Overnight: Thimphu
Altitude: 2,320 m

DAY 5 

Wangdue Phodrang: Explore Thimphu and and after lunch drive via the Dochu La Pass (3,140 m) to the Punakha Valley. Visit the Temple of Fertility at Chimi Lhakhang        Driving time: 2 hrs                                                                                                                     Overnight: Wangdue Phodrang
Altitude: 1,310 m                                                                                                          

DAY 6

Wangdue Phodrang: Visit Punakha Dzong and the Nalanda Buddhist College.  Optional 1.5 hour hike to Nizergang village.
Overnight: Wangdue Phodrang 
Altitude: 1,310 m

DAY 7

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

DAY 8

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

DAY 9

Depart Paro