Bhutan is aptly called as the Land of the Thunder Dragon. The expressive name arises from the fact that this country is swept by the whipping thunderstorms that come down through the valleys from the Himalayas. The light of the thunderbolts was actually believed to be the red fire of a dragon. The Druk or the Dragon is the Bhutanese national symbol and the appeared on the flag. It represents, wealth, and prosperity and eventually happiness and these features are exactly what Bhutan is made up of.  Considered one of the countries with a great happiness index, it can surely be said that visiting Bhutan will make anyone who visits, a happy person for sure.

Come explore the major cities of The Land of Thunder Dragon, and known what Bhutan is actually made of. Explore the nooks and crannies of this wonderful country and return home with a sense of happiness. Explore cities like Paro, Thimpu, and Punakha, and witness the architectural and mystical locations of Bhutan. Explore the dramatic landscapes that quickly change from subtropical plains to steep valleys and mountains. Explore its monasteries and fortresses with the backdrop of the beautiful views of mountains such as the Jomolhari (7326 m).

Itinerary

  • Day Arrival in Thimpu

    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 in Thimpu

    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.

    Tashiccho dzong, 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 Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and was made without nails or architectural plans. BLD included.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at 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 Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck at a distance. While in Dochula Pass, a major attraction worth visiting is the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang temple.

    On the way to Punakha, we also drop off at the Lobesa for lunch and then we will reach the Punakha Dzong 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 hotel in Punakha
  • Day Drive from Punakha to Paro

    We start the day with some sightseeing around the Chimme Lhakhang 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 Paro Rinpung Dzong. 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 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 Hike to Taktsang Monastery and Kyichu Lhakhang

    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 Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest shrines in Bhutan built by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo, along with 108 other temples in the 7th century. According to myths, a giant demon lay across the whole area of Tibet visit and the 108 temples were created toward her off.  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 a wonderful experience in the lap of the Himalayas and in the Land of the Thunder Dragon, Bhutan, it is finally time to depart back to one’s own country.

    • 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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