Trip Snapshot

Name of Trip

Bhutan Walking Tour

Trip Length 08 Nights/ 09 Days
Group Size Any
Best Season Through out the year
Trip Start From : Paro, Bhutan
Trip Ends Paro, Bhutan
Accommodation Hotels and Resorts
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Route Map

Bhutan Walking Tour


This program is tailored for our clients who are adventurous and like trekking in Himalayas but do not like the idea of having to camp overnight with various day hikes. The hikes that we have for you will take you through the wilderness to the isolated temples and monasteries, remote and peaceful villages, and to high passes along the forsaken ancient trade route with breathtaking mountain sceneries that are accessible only on foot. Bhutan Majestic Travel has exclusive access to some of your longer hikes where you are not likely to come across any other explorers. We offer eco-tourists and wildlife admirers the wonderful opportunity to explore nature in its pristine state. No doubt! This is an ultimate choice to see Bhutan at its best.
  • Day 01: Arrive Paro
  • Day 02: Hike to Tiger's Nest (5 – 6 hours)
  • Day 03: Chelela Ridge Hike (5 – 6 hours)
  • Day 04: Paro -Thimphu
  • Day 05: Hike to Cheri monastery
  • Day 06: Hike from Dochula Pass to Nahee (7 – 8 hours)
  • Day 07: Hikes in Punakha
  • Day 08: Punakha – Paro
  • Day 09: Departure

Destinations :

Paro, Thimphu and Punakha

Activities :

Hiking, Visit Farm House , Monastery, Museums, Weekend market (Friday, Saturday and Sunday only) Stroll around the City etc.

Tour Highlights :

  • Visit the impressive Dzong (fortresses), former palaces and Buddhist monasteries!
  • Hike through the ridge top Goembas (monasteries) and meet the monks.
  • Hike through the terraced farmlands and villages, visit the farmhouses and meet the villagers.
  • Attend the local festivals and events.
  • Visit the vibrant markets and towns.
  • Visit the traditional arts and crafts workshops, meet the artisans, weavers and painters!
  • And much more...

Bhutan Walking Tour


Day 01

Arrive Paro

Flying in to the country's only airport, in the beautiful Paro valley, the clear mountain air, forested ridges, imposing monasteries and welcoming Bhutanese people in their striking national dress, provides a breath-taking first impression. On arrival at Paro airport, after immigration and custom formalities, your guide from Bhutan Majestic Travel will receive you and transfer you to the hotel in Paro. In the evening, you can stroll along Paro downtown to see the people and the local stores. Overnight- hotel in Paro.

Day 02

Hike to Tiger's Nest (5 – 6 hours)

Today we hike up to the famous cliff-hermitage called Taktsang, the "Tiger's Nest." This monastic retreat is built into a sheer cliff face high above the Paro valley. Legend has it that the Tibetan Buddhist saint Padmasambhava flew across the Himalayas on the back of a tiger and landed here, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. Normally people hike up till the Tiger's Nest and turn around but we will climb further to the temples that are on the ridges way up from the Tiger's Nest and enjoy the views of the valley and the mountains that touches your heart and soul as you look around through the fluttering prayer flags. To go down, we are following a different path that takes us through the pristine thick forest of oaks and rhododendrons festooned with Spanish mosses. Overnight – hotel in Paro.

Day 03

Chelela Ridge Hike (5 – 6 hours)

Today we will take a drive to Chelela (3750m), the highest motor able pass in the country and start our hike following the path that's used by yaks and yak herders. We will enjoy the breathtaking views of the snowcapped mountains while walking above the tree line along the ridge that divides Paro and Ha valley till we get to Dzonglela pass (3765m) which is marked by a cairn of stones. This pass is along the forsaken ancient trade route that we are going to follow from here. Not long time ago this path had the traffic of mules and people being the beast of burden in the same way. From here we have a long descent through the forests of junipers, firs, pines, oaks and rhododendrons. Overnight – hotel in Paro.

Day 04

Paro -Thimphu

Today we will have an easy day with no hikes. In the morning, we will take a drive to Thimphu along the windy road taking about 02 hours and then we will have sightseeing in Thimphu which includes; Visit to the Institute of Traditional Medicine; Bhutan has long and rich tradition of medicine based on natural remedies derived mainly from plants and earth, and some animals. This institute has facility for out patients, training, research and production of traditional medicine. The courses to become traditional doctors, called drungtsho, entail six to eight years of strenuous study after high school. The institute has an exhibition room that imparts excellent look into the tradition. Visit to the School of Traditional Arts and Crafts, the school offers an six-year course in the techniques of traditional art in religious and secular paintings, woodcarving, clay sculpture and traditional mask making. One can see students working through progressive levels practicing precise rules of Bhutanese art. The school also has a showroom from where student works are sold at very reasonable price compared to town for same quality of work. Visit to the Folk Heritage Museum; established in 2001, this is an interesting museum housed in a very old traditional house. The museum is a walk through the fast changing rural tradition, habits and skills, and those of the past. They organize special exhibitions annually on select subject pertaining to Bhutanese heritage. After lunch, you can have free time on your own to walk along the street to see the people and the local stores. Overnight – hotel in Thimphu.

Day 05

Hike to Cheri monastery

This morning a short drive through the countryside surrounding Thimphu brings us to the Jigme Dorji Wildlife Sanctuary, the largest protected area in the country. The park is home to several endangered species including the takin, snow leopard, blue sheep, tiger, red panda, and the Himalayan black bear. More than 300 species of birds have been cataloged within the park. Our walk begins from the small village of Dodena. Our trail starts by crossing a covered bridge over the Thim chhu and we climb steadily to Cheri Goemba, a small monastery perched on the hill with a view over the Thimphu Valley. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel built this monastery in 1620, and this is where the first community of monks in Bhutan was established. The monastery is considered very sacred as it contains the ashes of Tempi Nima, the father of the first Shabdrung of Bhutan, and beautiful frescoes of Buddhist saints. Shabdrung also spent three years in retreat here and it's a renowned meditation place even today. After our visit to the monastery, we descend back the way we came, keeping our eyes open for the goral (wild goat) that are often spotted on the cliffs nearby. Back at the village of Dodena we will have picnic lunch along the clean and unpolluted Thimphu River. After lunch, we follow a riverside trail via Begana to Cabesa, home to the Choki School of Arts. The Choki School is private and provides free skills-related education in the traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan to Bhutanese children who are unable to attend or complete their formal education. After visiting the school we continue along the riverside trail and pass through small rural villages before returning to Thimphu. Overnight – hotel in Thimphu.

Day 06

Hike from Dochula Pass to Nahee (7 – 8 hours)

(First Day of Trek) We take a drive for about an hour along the east-west highway till Dochula Pass (3050m) to begin yet another hike. From here one can have a spectacular view of the Himalayas to the north when the sky is clear. The pass is marked by 108 chortens (Stupa) which are Buddhist reliquaries, memorials to the teachings of the Buddha. Sometimes actual relics of the Buddha or revered monks are inserted into the dome of the stupa, but whether or not there are relics inside, the stupas mark the landscape with reminders of the Buddha's teachings. Today's hike takes you to the isolated temple called Lungchuzay with a gradual uphill climb of about two hours. It goes through the forest of rhododendrons, magnolias, birches, firs, hemlocks and bamboos, occasionally passing by meadows that are being used as the yak pastures. From the temple, the path is level as we walk along the ridge towards southwest till there is a short steep descent to Helela Pass on the old trade route. On this stretch, you may see some pheasants. Here our path turns from yaks trail to the centuries old abandoned trade route, we will keep track of the old trade route leading down to sub-tropical region of Punakha and Wangdue ultimately. Overnight – hotel in Punakha

Day 07

Hikes in Punakha

In Punakha, we will visit the Dzong that was built by Shabdrung, in 1637, on a strategic junction at the confluence of Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers. The Dzong has played a hallowed role in the history of Bhutan. It served as the seat of Shabdrung's government, several foreign delegations were received here in 18th and 19th century, the election and coronation of the first King was observed in 1907 and the Third King convened the first National Assembly in the Dzong. The central monastic body continues to reside here in winter. The embalmed bodies of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Terton Pema Lingpa are housed on the top floor of the main tower. Damaged by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been fully restored by the present King from the latest fire in 1987. Next in line is a short hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten in the northern part of the valley. Newly built and it is a more elaborate version of the Memorial Chorten in Thimphu. It has an astounding work of frescoes and intricate statues. After lunch, we will take a drive for about an hour to Talo, the native home town of the queens for our short downhill hike following the beautiful track that links the village of Talo and Nobgang. Overnight – hotel in Punakha.

Day 08

Punakha – Paro

It's a return journey now; the countryside that you missed after Dochula Pass while we were on hike will be seen today. We will have a short hike to the 15th century temple of Divine Madman before we start the five hours drive back to Paro. Tonight, before we have our farewell dinner, we will have a traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath. A long soak in a hot stone bath will be so good after all your hikes in Bhutan. Overnight – hotel in Paro.

Day 09

Departure

Early morning drive to Airport and board flight, wishing you safe journey and thanks for visiting Bhutan with us and wishing to visit Bhutan Again.

Bhutan Walking Tour


Cost Includes:

  • Receive and Transfer to Airport
  • Double/Twin in 3 Star Hotel
  • 3 Meals every day with Evening Tea
  • Toyota SUV for FIT & Toyota Bus for Group with Driver
  • English Speaking Guide
  • All Sightseeing
  • Museum Fees
  • Bhutan Visa
  • All Permits
  • Bottled Mineral Water
  • Walks and Hikes

Cost Does Not Include:

  • Donations to Monasteries
  • Insurance
  • Alcohol & Beverages
  • Tips for Guide, Driver & Hotel Staff
  • Gifts & Souvenirs
  • International Telephone Calls
  • Round Trip Air fare
  • Inbound Airfare

Accommodations and facilities:

There are limited choices of accommodations in Bhutan. With a few exceptions of highly over priced international chain properties, hotels in Bhutan are small with 15 to 20 rooms. The hotels have been categorized by local authorities as Star 1, 2 and 3, with 3 Star being on the top level 1Star at the bottom and naturally we have pick the 3 Star category hotels and resorts which are local architecture with Bhutanese décor, well maintained and staffed with the friendly locals. There is disparity in the rooms in most of the hotels and travelers of the same group may end up in two different types of rooms although you have paid the same amount. You will have private bathroom with 24 hour running cold and hot water. They provide some fundamental toiletry supplies but hair dryers, iron and ironing board etc may not be available. Hotels in Paro and Thimphu do have internet access in office or reception areas. There are some new deluxe properties and international chain resorts which are above the traditional classification criteria and in the higher side in terms of price and can be booked with supplemental cost. Hotel listed on the itinerary are suggestions only and during peak season and tours timed with festival, we may not get the same hotels and in that case, we will book you in the similar property or upgrade you to the higher level.

Guide and Escorts

Our Tour Guides are local individuals with college degree, government certification, experienced and with knowledge on the destination, history, culture and religion and most importantly they are easy going, detailed oriented, patient and high level of customer service skills. They will uncover the wonders of the destinations for you which you would never find on your own. They ensure that everything goes well with your tour without a hitch.

Vehicle:

We use good condition Toyota SUV and Toyota Coaches for all transfers and tours. Driver and guide is not the same person. Driver may speak little or no English but they know the road and are skillful to fix the problem in case of mechanical breakdowns. Depending on group size, we will use Japanese made Sedan cars, SUVs or minivan for entire transfers and tours.

International and Internal Flights:

All internal flights are part of travel plan and are locally booked by us. You will be emailed e-ticket receipts once the reservation is booked and tickets issued. But you have liberty to book your international airfare on your own. We can certainly help you book international flight if that originates from the city that you live in. Once you receive itinerary, it's your responsibility to verify the itinerary and reconfirm the schedules.

Visa and Permits:

Passport should be valid for 6 months or more at the time of travel. We will take care of Bhutan Visa and permits. Bhutan Visa Fees of USD 20 which will be collected with the Tour Payment in advance. You will need to provide a copy of your passport which should be sent to us by email for Bhutan Visa Processing. Bhutan visa is preprocessed by us and we will provide you a copy the Visa Approval Letter before your trip which you will need to present at Druk Air counter at the time you check in for flight to Bhutan. You will get actual visa seal on your passport upon arrival at Paro airport.

Trip Activity Level:

This trip is basically motor vehicle based sightseeing with some short hikes and village visits and suitable for all travelers with regular health conditions. When we are driving from one city to another, we will be driving from 3-6 hours with occasional stops for photography and for refreshments. Roads are narrow and some portions may be rough and damaged. The itinerary allows enough acclimatization for you and it's advisable that you should keep physically fit and start mild exercises like jogging, swimming, cycling or practice some aerobics about 2-3 months ahead of the trip. It's your responsibility to determine that you are fit for this trip and if you have any health conditions, please consult with your physician before you sign up for this trip.

Note on Itinerary:

We do our best to adhere to the itinerary but it should be taken as a generic guideline in terms of what you expect to do or see during the tour and may differ in the practical ground from exact sequence or order of the sights to the overnight places depending on the local conditions.

Booking:

When you are sure you are traveling, please don't delay in booking so that we can confirm you in preferred hotels and flights. A 100% of both the Tour and Airfare is requested along with a completed trip application form plus copy of the photo page of your passport.

Cancellation:

  • 100% Refund if tour canceled within 60 Days from the start of the tour.
  • 50% Refund if tour canceled within 45 Days from the start of the tour.
  • 25% Refund if tour canceled within 30 Days from the start of the tour.
  • No Refund if tour canceled less than 30 Days from the start of the tour.

Final Trip Dossier:

A final trip dossier with local contacts, hotel lists, check lists, travel notes and relevant information will be sent about a month ahead of the trip.

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