OverviewFor those looking for a spiritual experience in self-awareness, this tour is for you. We will focus on the cultural richness and natural splendor of Bhutan as we take the time to learn about the basic doctrines of Buddhism and the four noble truths. Bhutan is the only country in the world where Mahayana Buddhism is still vibrant and practiced widely by its people. Bhutan was first introduced to Buddhism in the 8th century by a Buddhist saint, Padmasambhava popularly known as Guru Rinpoche and sometimes referred to as the Second Buddha. On this tour, we will visit many sacred sites blessed by Guru Rinpoche. The sites are believed to be vested with great spiritual energy and power. You will have the opportunity to learn from local monks about Buddhism and achieve a personal life balance.
On arrival at the Paro International Airport, your tour guide and driver will warmly welcome you. Depending on the time of the day you can have your lunch or tea/coffee/snacks in Paro town and then start your magical experience of Bhutan by first visiting the 7th-century temple, conduct a short prayer ceremony to welcome you can bless the journey ahead. Overnight hotel in Paro.
After breakfast check out of your hotel and drive for about 2 hours to Wangdue and Punakha valleys. En-route stopover at the Dochulaa Pass (3150 meters) and enjoy the spectacular views of the snow-capped Himalayan Mountains. The road from the Pass winds down to the warm and fertile valleys of Punakha and Wangdue. Upon arrival in Lobesa visit the Fertility Temple standing on a picturesque hilltop. The Lhakhang is famous for its fertility wish grants to couples. Inside the walls of the Lhakhang are beautiful frescoes depicting the colorful life of Lama Drukpa Kuenley, the Divine Madman regarded for his crazy methods of teaching that included blessing women in the form of copulation! Next visit the impressive Punakha Dzong, the Fortress of Great Bliss built-in 1673 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. The Dzong is located between two rivers and the winter capital of the central monastic body. After visiting Dzong enjoy a short walk through a beautiful pathway of giant flowering trees and flowers and on to the longest iron suspension bridge.
Drive interior to a remote area of Sha and walk 1-2hrs to Beylandra Ney. The sacred site lies at an elevation of about 2500m above sea level. It is a sacred place where Guru Rimpoche, in the form of Guru Ugyen Dorji Gur subdued local diety Terdak Langdra (Demonic Force), who terrorized the local people and concealed many spiritual treasures in the 8th century. Among others, Kunkhyen Longchen Rabjampa visited in 1356 followed by his son Tersay Drakpo Ozer and Terton Dorje Lingpa where he had revealed secrete treasure. You may also visit Kathok Yosel Samtenling Monastery and your overnight will be arranged here.
Spend the morning in Beylangra Ney. Afternoon drive to capital Thimphu. Upon arrival in Thimphu make visit to Samtokha Dzong, It was built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who unified Bhutan. It is the first of its kind built in Bhutanvernight in hotel
Begin the day with a drive to take a short hike to Cheri and Tango Goempa. Located 18km north of Thimphu, it takes about 30 minutes’ drive to get there, followed by an hour-long walk through shaded rhododendron forests. Though steep, the trail is well pathed and you can take your time to enjoy the views here. Spot deer and mountain goats along the way. while back you can visit Pangrizampa Astrological institute. Overnight in Thimphu.
Circle the Memorial Chorten, a regular sight for a congregation of devout Buddhists circumambulating the Chorten from dawn till dusk, and Giant Buddha statue, a 51-meter bronze Shakyamuni Buddha statue gilded in gold with the devotees and pilgrims. Then visit a few notable attractions of Thimphu such as Changangkha temple on the hilltop and the Tashi Chodzong. In the evening, enjoy a traditional dinner and cultural show.
After breakfast, drive to Paro then to Kila nunnery, established as a meditation site in the 9th century and reputedly the oldest nunnery in Bhutan. Today there are around 50 nuns pursue higher Buddhist college studies in a series of buildings that are pressed dramatically against the cliffs. En-route visit Dzongdrakha temple.
Today drive about 45 minutes through farm road and trek 3 hours through dense oak, conifer, and bamboo forests. Chumphug is situated at about 3100m on a steep mountain slope. It is one of the most sacred pilgrimage places in the Himalayas. The main relic in the temple is a self-arisen image of Vajravarahi, a form of Varja Yogini. There are lots of unusual shaped rocks and imprint of Guru Rimpoche in the area. Locally believe that only karmic connection individual could make there otherwise no.
After breakfast, we will drive to the trailhead and hike to the famous Tiger’s Nest monastery (3120m/10,200ft). Visible from afar, this magical monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff 1,000 feet above the valley floor. It is one of the most amazing and important pieces of architecture in Bhutan. If you are uncomfortable hiking all the way, you will have the option to hire a pony to take you to the ½ waypoint (which is also a great viewpoint and cafeteria). However, you must be able to walk all the way back down. After a short tour of the monastery, we will return to Paro. Upon arrival visit Dungtse temple and others as per availability of time.
Depart to onward destination
Spiritual Cost inclusion and exclusion
- All meals, evening tea/coffee with snacks
- All land transfers and transportation
- English speaking Buddhism Guide
- Daily Tourist Fees & Taxes
- Bhutan Visa and all applicable permits
- Sightseeing with entrance fees to all monuments
- Bottled water in the vehicle
- Flights into and out of Bhutan
- Optional Travel/Medical
- Insurance Personal expenses such as bars, beverages in the hotel, telephone, laundry, trips, and others
Yes, you can! We suggest if you want to take a shorter tour, that you request a private tour. If you want to extend your tour, we can work with you to make that happen too!
Yes, if you do not wish to join a group, we can arrange for a private tour (for either a solo traveler or for a family). Just talk to one of our travel specialists and we can customize any tour.
The daily tariff that you pay, pays for your tour guide, driver, hotels, and all your meals. The only money you need to budget for is for alcohol, souvenirs, and tips. It is best to bring cash and exchange it for local currency at the airport in Paro. There are ATMs available in some locations, but they work sporadically.
It depends on what time of year you go. The fall or the spring are the best times to travel to Bhutan. Typically, the days are cool and sunny, and the nights are cold. Some places, like Punakha, are sub-tropical and you can expect warmer temperatures.
Druk Experience provides vehicles based on tour size. For small tours we provide 4 door SUV type cars, for larger tours, we provide smaller tour buses that can accommodate 8-10 individuals. Our cars are in excellent shape and our drivers are always safe and careful. All vehicles will be equipped with air conditioning or heaters.
Pack light for all of our tours, soft suitcases/duffel bags are best. Dressing up will not be necessary, dress for comfort. Layer, layer, layer. Wear sturdy shoes for walking/hiking. When we visit holy sites, you will be asked to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
Yes, please feel free to take as many pictures as you would like. However, you will be asked to not take pictures in our temples. If you have any questions about when you can take pictures, please ask your guide.
If you would like to have a snack (protein bar, etc.) while hiking/trekking, or if you just think you might miss your favorite snack – then yes, please bring some snacks with you. However, they are not necessary. Druk Experience will make sure that you are well fed on your tour.
Yes, we suggest giving money is probably the most useful and flexible thing to provide in the donation boxes or to personally. So they can buy the relatively simple things they need locally.