Day 0119th April 19
- Arrival Paro-Paro Sightseeing. Drive to Thimphu ( D)
Arrive at Paro by the Bhutanese National Carrier flying over the world’s highest mountains and finally landing at the lush green Paro valley. A cool and clean fresh air greets the visitor as stepping down from the plane, the first gift of Bhutan. After clearing customs and visa formalities, meet the representatives and the Bhutanese guide .
We will then have some time to exlore Paro. ( subject to arrival flight timings)
You will visit Paro Dzong, which ranks as a high point of Bhutanese architecture. The massive buttressed walls that tower over the town are visible throughout the valley. It was formerly the meeting hall for the National Assembly and now, like most dzongs, houses both the monastic body and district government offices, including the local courts. Most of the chapels are closed to tourists but it's worth a visit for its stunning architecture and views.
You will also have the chance to visit Paro National Museum. Perched above Paro Dzong, it is ta dzong (watchtower), built in 1649 to protect the undefended dzong and renovated in 1968 to house the National Museum. The unusual round building is said to be in the shape of a conch shell, with 2.5m-thick walls.
Later proceed to Thimphu. ( approx 2 hrs drive)
Welcome dinner. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
Day 0220th April 19
- Thimphu- Punakha (77km 3hrs) ( B)
Today morning we will drive to Punakha stopping at Dochula pass and Rhododendron festival.
Drive towards Dochula pass elevation of 3100m – it is located on the way to Punakha from Thimphu, it is popular among the tourist it provides stunning 360 degree panoramic view of Himalayan mountain range. The view is especially scenic on clear winter days with snow-capped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass. The place is also known as Druk Wangyal, the construction of this stupa was commissioned by the eldest queen AshiDorji Wangmo Wangchuck, this place is spiritual destination for both tourist and the locals.
Attend Rhododendron festival-The festival celebrates the rhododendron flower. The festival features the rhododendron garden walk and exhibition, local culture and cuisines, arts and crafts, traditional games, cultural programs, guided walks and activities. The festival displays different species that are in full bloom in their natural habitat.
Overnight Hotel in Punakha.
Day 0321st April 19
- Punakha- Thimphu (77km 3hrs) ( B)
Early morning visit to Chimmilkahang, known to the English speaking world as The Fertility Temple.It is a Buddhist monastery, in the Punakha District of Bhutan, idyllically placed on a rotund hill. The temple was built over half a millennium ago by Ngawang Choegyel, the 14th Drukpa hierarch. The stupa, meditation hall, was constructed by the “Divine Madman,” the eccentric Yogi and saint Drukpa Kunley, who blessed the entire grounds. The monastery is renowned throughout Bhutan as a fertility inducing magnet, pledging that all who wish to conceive will find guidance at the temple. Thousands pilgrimage to The Fertility Temple in the hopes of having a child, as well as receiving a wang, blessing, from the saint with the ‘magic thunderbolt of wisdom.Ther are many testimony by Tourist who visited Bhutan and were blessed with child- happy couple real life stories
Visit Punakha Dzong-Punakha Dzongkhag has been inextricably linked with momentous occasions in Bhutanese history. It served as the capital of the country from 1637 to 1907 and the first national assembly was hosted here in 1953. Punakha Dzong is not only the second oldest and second largest dzong but it also has one of the most majestic structures in the country.
River rafting-Only a few rivers are opened for rafting considering their safe course and easy access.
The Pho Chu, with its approx 16 km course with about 15 rapids of class 2-4 is the most popular for rafting in Bhutan followed by Mo Chu river with 10 Km course comprising around 10 rapids with 2 - 2+ rapids.
Drifting past imposing 17th century Punakha Dzong (fort cum monastery) watching world’s rarest bird, the white belled Heron in its natural habitat and Kingfishers frolicking on riverbank - all these topped off with spectacular sight of serene lush green alpine valleys, are the most amazing experience you would love to treasure. Rafting in Bhutan is a superb experience in its own right.
Retrace back to Thimphu.
Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
Day 0422nd April 19
- Thimphu (B, L)
Today we will spend the day exploring Thimphu.
We will visit The Buddha Dordenma - located atop a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park and overlooks the Southern entrance to Thimphu Valley. The statue fulfils an ancient prophecy dating back to the 8th century A.D that was discovered by Terton Pema Lingpa (Religious Treasure Discoverer) and is said to emanate an aura of peace and happiness to the entire world.
Visit Zhorigchusum center- Showcasing the 13 arts and crafts of Bhutan.
Our next stop is Folk heritage museum. The museum gives you a glimpse of the traditional Bhutanese lifestyle, in addition to artifacts from rural households; it also displays an impressive collection of typical household objects, tools and equipment. The museum also organizes regular demonstrations of rural traditions, skills, habits and customs as well as hosting educational programs for children.
Bhutan Post Museum- it showcases and tells the story of evolution and postal system of Bhutan you can create your own post stamp.
Craft Bazar-Bhutanese Textile and craft shops.
Day 0523rd April 19
- Thimphu –Paro (55km 2hrs)( B)
Morning scenic view of Thimphu Dzong- Tashichho Dzong has been the seat of the government since 1952 and presently houses the throne room and offices of the king, the secretariat and the ministries of home affairs and finance. Other government departments are housed in buildings nearby.
We will also visit weaving center and Traditional Paper making factory.
National Memorial Chorten (stupa) which was constructed in 1974 as a memorial for the third King of Bhutan, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is widely regarded as the father of modern Bhutan. The term ‘chorten’ literally means ' seat of faith' and Buddhists often call such monuments the 'Mind of Buddha'. Meet the elderly generation in circumambulation.
Drive towards Paro.
Overnight hotel in Paro
Day 0624th April 19
- BumdraTrek starts (B, L, D)
After breakfast, a short drive will take you to Sangchen Chokhor which is the most important college in Bhutan and the trek-start-point. You will then climb steadily up the mountainside through thick forests of Himalayan blue pine, oak, rhododendron until reaching ‘Chochong-Tse’, a small 17th century temple and meditation cave. The trail then proceeds with short steep climb to a panoramic viewpoint; walk along the ridgeline trail above the valley floors witnessing great views of surrounding lush valleys and snow-capped peaks. You will then pass through beautiful forests and meadows of wildflowers approaching the tree line and to our campsite which provides panoramic views of the surrounding Himalayas. Overnight Camp
Camp:Our home for the night is tucked away just under Bumdra Monastery at 3800 m (Cave of a Thousand Prayers) and offers unimpeded views of the Himalayan range. The camp is preset comfortable permanent camp. After lunch we can visit the Monastery (if it is occupied) and also climb the peak to the north (about 4000m) for even better views, returning in time for a well-earned dinner.
Duration: 3–4 hours to camp. Optional 2–3 hours return trek to peak
Overnight: Comfortable camping
Day 0725th April 19
- Bumdra trek ends/ Hike to Tiger Nest (Taktshang) (B, D)
After a hearty breakfast, it is time to either head straight back into the valley or spend a little extra time soaking up the view. Eventually we have to drop back into the ancient pine and rhododendron forest on the zig-zagging trail.
After one to two hours of descent we catch glimpses of the golden roofs of temples below. The path snakes across the mountain side between these monasteries before reaching the gardens of ZangtoPelri (Heaven on Earth) from which you can, if you are brave, peer over the edge, straight down onto the ornate rooftops of Taktshang Monastery perched against the cliff-face far below.
An hour later and we are at the gates of Taktshang looking across the gorge; a steep descent to a waterfall then up some steps and you’ll reach the Tiger’s Nest itself. 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. Retracing our steps we begin the final descent of about 45 minutes to reach our vehicle. After Lunch, visit drive to Drukgyel Dzong which is built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders. Though largely destroyed by fire in 1951, the towering outer walls and central keep remain an imposing sight. On clear day you can see the splendid view of Mt. Jhomolhari (Alt.7321).
Overnight hotel in Paro
Duration: 5 – 7 hours depending on time taken in monasteries
Day 0826th April 19
- Departure Paro (B)
In the morning after breakfast transfer to the airport for departure flight.