The beautiful glacier valley of Gangtey is home to the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan. Apart from this, it is home to exquisite looking Black-necked cranes which migrate from Tibetan plateau to escape the harsh winter. The Gangtey Valley tour is an exquisite opportunity to explore the age-old well retained the heritage of Bhutan a matter of pride of this country.

Walk through farm houses and fields, explore cities of Paro, Thimpu, and Punakha and explore the age old monasteries with Buddhist manuscripts. This tour is a chance to explore the reason why Bhutan is renowned as the happiest country on earth.  Explore the best locations of Bhutan, added with the chance to explore the Gangtey Valley on foot.

Experience the natural beauty of Himalayas, well-retained culture and sacred destinations. A perfect way to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, come experience this journey to the heart of Asia.

  1. Day Arrival in Paro

    Arrive in the city of Paro through Kathmandu. Explore the views of the sky high Himalayas during the flight and drive to the capital Thimpu. Evening visit to the medieval fortress of Tashicchodzong. Approximately 2.5 hours of flight.

  2. Day Sightseeing around Thimpu

    Visit the Institute of ZorgChusum, the craft school in Bhutan followed by the visit to the National Library, which holds an exquisite collection of manuscripts. End the day with the visit to the National Memorial Chorten and The Giant Buddha statue.

  3. Day Drive from Thimpu to Punakha

    Through the Dochula pass (3050m), drive to the city of Punakha. Explore locations like the enchanting Punakha Dzong and the newly built stupa of the Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten, known for its bamboo products. Approximately 3 hours of drive.

  4. Day Drive from Punakha to Gangtey Valley

    This day marks the highlight of the trek as we visit the mesmerizing glacial valley of Gangtey. It is home to the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan, along with an abundance of migratory Black-necked Cranes. Approximately 2.5 hours of trek.

  5. Day Drive from Punakha to Gangtey Valley

    Drive through farm houses to Punakha, followed by a drive to the monastery Chime Lhakhang, dedicated to Lam Drukpa Kunley or the divine madman. Follow it with a drive to the Simtokha Dzong.

  6. Day Drive from Punakha to Paro

    Drive to the Chelela pass (3988m), one of the highest motorable passes and the botanical paradise of Bhutan.  After witnessing the stunning views of the Jumolhari Mountain and the colorful prayer flags, we visit the Ta Dzong and the Rinpung Dzong.

  7. Day Sightseeing around Paro

    It is finally time to visit the most well-known monastery in Bhutan, the Tiger’s Nest monastery of the Taktsang Monastery. Drive to Ramthangka and hike to the monastery nestled on the top of a hill. Visit Kyichu Lhakhang on your way back, to explore the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom.

  8. Day Depart transfer

    After exploring the beauty of Bhutan, it is finally time to bid goodbye to this wonderful nation, with a promise to return for more.

  • Day Arrival in Paro

    Today you arrive in the beautiful city of Paro via the only national carrier, the Druk Air. After being received by the representative we will embark on a drive to the capital of Bhutan, Thimpu. After being transferred to the hotel, the remaining time can be utilized in resting around the premises of the hotel, or in sightseeing around the perfect location of Thimpu. Approximately 3 hours’ drive.

    • Lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at hotel in Thimpu
  • Day Sightseeing around Thimpu

    Visit the Institute of ZorgChusum, the craft school in Bhutan followed by the visit to the National Library, which holds an exquisite collection of manuscripts. There are several mind-boggling locations in Thimpu to visit. Thimpu is home to the School of Traditional Painting of Arts and Crafts. Students here undergo a six-year course to learn the 13 traditional arts and crafts in Bhutan. Visiting this site is surely set to make your minds wonder about the exquisite art created by the students here.

    Another worthy location to visit is the Takin Preserve, which is home to the national animal of this country, Takin. Takin is found only in Bhutan and is a rare member of the goat family. Takin live on grass and bamboo and are exceptional looking creatures worth visiting. Another location to visit is the Kuenselphodrang. It houses the largest Buddha statue in Bhutan. It is situated on a hillock, which overlooks down to the Thimpu valley.

    Tashicchodzong, also known as “the fortress of the glorious religion" is the center of the government and religion site.  This fortress was built of 1641 by ShabdrungNgawangNamgyal and was made without nails or architectural plans. End the day with the visit to the National Memorial Chorten and The Giant Buddha statue.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at hotel in Thimpu
  • Day Drive from Thimpu to Punakha

    Today, we will visit the city of Punakha by embarking on a drive from Thimpu. We reach Punakha through the Dochula Pass (3088m). Punakha panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks are vividly visible from the Dochula Pass. This pass also showcases the 108 stupas built by AshiDorjiWangmoWangchuck at a distance. While in Dochula Pass, a major attraction worth visiting is the DrukWangyalLhakhang temple.

    On the way to Punakha, we also drop off at the Lobesa Village to explore the Devine Madman’s Monastery, known locally as the ChhimiLhakhang, this temple is known best for its fertility shrine, where it is believed that prayers related to fertility become true.

    After witnessing the beauty of the Lobesa village, we will reach the PunakhaDzong located on the island of the male river (Pho-Chu) and the female river (Mo-Chu). The Dzong had been damaged by catastrophic fires and an earthquake in the past but has been restored to its former glory. The highest standards of intricate woodwork can be viewed in this architecturally rich location.  We will also visit the massive Kuenray. Keunray is the Coronation Hall of Bhutanese Kings. Approximately 3 hours of drive.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at hotel in Punakha
  • Day Drive from Punakha to Gangtey Valley

    This day marks the highlight of the trek as we visit the mesmerizing glacial valley of Gangtey. It is home to the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan, along with an abundance of migratory Black-necked Cranes.

    The GangteyGompa valley stands proud and tall at the altitude of 2800 meters. It is home to the only Nyigmapa monastery in Bhutan. The rare Black-necked Cranes are other added attractions of this beautiful valley, located in a strategic topography. The Valley accepts the birds which are migrating from the Tibetan plateau to escape the harsh winter, 200 to 300 black cranes are known to be residing in the valley.  The safety of the cranes and their protection is being ensured by the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN). When the cranes are in the area, for 4 to 5 months during winter, locals are not allowed to fish in the valley or make noises, in order to retain the cranes in the valley. The fascinating glacier valley becomes even more exciting to visit after this information is made available to you.  Approximately 2.5 hours of trek.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at hotel in Gangtey
  • Day Drive from Punakha to Gangtey Valley

    Gangtey- Punakha

    Drive through farm houses and files to Punakha, followed by a drive to the monastery Chime Lhakhang, dedicated to Lam DrukpaKunley or the divine madman. Follow it with a drive to the SimtokhaDzong.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight hotel in Punakha
  • Day Drive from Punakha to Paro

    We start the day with some sightseeing around the ChimmeLhakhang or the madman monastery in Punakha. After this, we embark on a scenic drive to Paro. Paro is home to several sightseeing locations, which can be visited depending upon the time available.

    To explore the lifestyle of a farmer, it is a good idea to visit the Farm House in the Paro valley. Another special location worth visiting is the ParoRinpungDzong. A dzong is basically a fortress. The dzong was built in the year 1645 to ward off the Tibetan invaders. The dzong currently works as a school for monks as well as an administrative center. From here, one can walk down the Rimpung Bridge, which is the oldest bridge in Bhutan.

    Another important location is the Kyichu Temple, which was built by the Tibetan King SongstenGampo, along with 108 other temples in the 7th century. According to myths, a giant demon lay across the whole area of Tibet and visit the 108 temples were created to ward her off.  The ruined fortress of the DrugyelDzong is a strategic location worth visiting too.

    Another sightseeing location is the Ta-Dzong which was housed in the National Museum on the 1960’s. There are seven floors of the museum, each signifying separate aspects of Bhutanese culture and history. Local handicraft shops, displaying exquisitely carved handicraft, is another added attraction in Paro. All the sightseeing locations are made even more cheerful by the backdrop of the beautiful Mount Chomolhari (7320m) shining down at us. Approximately 4 hours of drive.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at hotel in Paro
  • Day Sightseeing around Paro

    The Taktsang Monastery, known better as the Tiger Nest Monastery, is one of the most beautiful and the most visited locations in Bhutan. The hike to the monastery is totally worthwhile as the views of the massive structure, handing on the side of a cliff, is surely not a picture to be forgotten.

    According to a myth, Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to this place, to meditate in the cave for 3 months. This monastery is considered to be a pilgrimage spot for many Bhutanese, who believe that visiting this place is absolutely essential. The monastic complex contains the Lhakhang monastery which is said to have been created back on 1692. After returning from the monastery, the remaining of the day can be spent in sightseeing around missed locations in Paro. BLD included.

     We return to Paro and visit the KyichuLhakhang, one of the oldest shrines in Bhutan. This is considered to be a sacred spot for Bhutanese and is a pilgrimage location.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at hotel in Paro
  • Day Depart transfer

    After exploring the beauty of Bhutan, it is finally time to bid goodbye to this wonderful nation, with a promise to return for more.

    • Breakfast included

Trip Info

  • Accommodation & meals

    • Four or Five star hotel accommodations on room sharing basis during the trip.         
    • Full board basis during the trip.
  • What's included

    • Sightseeing with an English speaking guide as per the program
    • Entrance fee
    • Bhutan visa fee.
    • First Aid Kit.
    • All Govt. taxes including service charges.
  • What's not included

    • Emergency evacuation fee
    • International airfare
    • Personal Insurance
    • Personal expenses (Alcoholic beverages, bottled drinks, telephone calls, laundry etc)
    • Any services not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Transportation

    All transfers will be conducted on a private vehicle.

  • Visa & documentation

    A visa is required to visit Bhutan, and Makalu Travels will organize it. The cost of the necessary visa for Bhutan is US$ 40 and entrance Fee and TDF (Tourism Development Fund) $10. To apply for a visa, you will need a clear copy of your passport. Passport is essential when applying for a visa in Bhutan before your arrival. You should make sure that the copy of the passport is received by us no later than six weeks before departure. The passport copy can be scanned or sent by post. The passport’s copy needs to be very clear and should be in color. Passport should be valid for more than six months while doing a tour. 

    If you are in need of a new passport for the trip, then this should be applied for immediately too. You can send us a copy or scanned document of the new passport. It is mandatory that the information you give us is 100% correct. The copy of the passport that you send us should be the actual one that you will use when traveling to Bhutan. Visa regulations, however, can change without notice. We hence recommend you to check the current regulations before moving forward with the visa procedures.

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