Experience the wonder of Bhutan. From landing in Paro, amidst Himalayan grandeur, to exploring vibrant monasteries and serene landscapes, each step unveils a new marvel. Enjoy warm hospitality, local delicacies, cultural experiences, and 5-star accommodations at AndBeyond Punakha River Lodge and Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary. Discover the magic of this Himalayan kingdom, where every moment invites you to embrace wonder.
Day 1: Arrival Thimphu
Welcome to the land of the thunder dragon, Bhutan remains a mystery to many, and landing in Paro is where the excitement starts. Cruising over the treeline, slowly zigzagging into the country, the international airport pops up pretty last minute, but with only a few pilots that are trained enough to fly this route, it’s going to be smooth sailing. Upon arrival, you will be mesmerized by the small, artsy, and chrematistic airport and customs will feel like being greeted by an old friend rather than a government clarity. You will be greeted by your personal guide and driver and take off to the capital city of Thimphu where you will check into Pemako Thimpu and relax at the hotel before you have a chance to explore the nightlife or any of the restaurants in Thimphu.
Day 2: Thimphu
Today you will start your day with some sightseeing in the capital city, don’t worry if you are not a city person, Thimphu feels like a developed village rather than an Asian metropolis. You will start with a visit to Buddha Point where you will visit the impressive Buddha and see more than 100,000 small Buddhas inside. You will take off for a hike of 2 hrs back to town via the forest and enjoy the views over the city. After you arrive back in the city you will visit Simply Bhutan, a lively and interactive museum that showcases the tribes and life of the Bhutanese. After lunch, you will visit the memorial chorten, an important landmark in the city where people from all over the city visit daily for their prayers for good health and luck. You will pass by the famous intersection where a traffic officer is arranging the traffic, by now you might have noticed that neither Thimphu nor Bhutan counts any traffic lights. In the evening you will be dropped back to Pemako Thimpu where you will spend some time relaxing and can use their spa facilities. If you want to go out for a night in town and explore the karaoke scene or go for a local dinner, feel free to let your guide know.
Day 3: Thimphu – Punakha
After an amazing breakfast, you will depart to your first stop of the day, Dochula Pass. It is an amazing mountain pass at just over 3100 meters where, on a clear day, you will have great views over the Himalayas. You can go for a short hike up to the caves and enjoy a hot coffee or tea at the cafeteria while you take in the wonderful views. After your stop, you will continue to Lobesa, the village of the divine madman also known as the fertility village. You will enjoy your lunch here overlooking the village and the temple before you take a walk to the village where you will be surprised by the “decoration” on the local's houses. You will visit the temple where you can get to know all about the story of the divine madman and why this temple is so important for young families trying to conceive. You will continue your ride to Punakha, checking into the wonderful AndBeyond Punakha River Lodge just in time to enjoy their sundowners.
Day 4: Punakha
In the morning you can decide to have breakfast at the lodge or hike for 45 min to the chorten and have your breakfast served outside the chorten overlooking Punakha valley, definitely worth the hike! If you are feeling active you can also decide to add the yoga class to your morning. After breakfast your guide will pick you up and take you to the Punakha Dzong, this is the most impressive dzong in the country where in 2011 the royal wedding took place. After a visit to the dzong, you will go and cross the longest suspension bridge in the country before you return to the lodge for lunch and the rest of the evening at leisure. Want to take a dip in their pool, enjoy a spa treatment, or go for a walk in the Bali village?AndBeyond Punakha River Lodge is the perfect place to just relax.
Day 5: Punakha – Gangtey
After breakfast, you will depart to the wonderful valley of Gangtey & Phobjika. The valley is one of the most protected wildlife areas in the country and has a very interesting story to tell about the black-necked cranes. After your arrival to the valley, you will visit the black neck crane conservation center and learn more about this rare and protected bird that migrates from Tibet to this valley every winter. You will check into Gangtey Lodge for the rest of the evening at leisure. Enjoy the bathtub overlooking the valley from the comfort of your room or book a hot stone bath at the lodge. Sit at the fireplace and enjoy the sun setting in the valley.
Day 6: Gangtey
Today you will have a day to spend at your own pace and the only activity scheduled for today is the nature trail that will take you across the valley. You can also decide to go for a bike tour or a hike to the top of the valley if you are feeling active. Spend the rest of the evening relaxing at Gangtey Lodge
Day 7: Gangtey – Paro
After breakfast, you will depart to Paro which is quite the drive and will take about 5-6 hrs. We will stop in Thimphu because by now you might have taken some nice photos of your stay in Thimphu where you will make your own personalized stamps. Send a card home to your loved ones using your own stamp, such a nice souvenir! After another 1 hr drive to Paro you will check in to the wonderful Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary, the first and only 5-star inclusive wellness retreat. The sanctuary is a wonderful place to focus on yourself and enjoy their complimentary treatments. You have a chance to meet with a local medicine doctor who, based on some questions and feeling your pulse, will decide what treatments would work best for you and also give you a plan to maintain this at home. Enjoy one of their many teas and their delicious farm-to-table meals.
Day 8: Tigers Nest
Tigers Nest is something that can’t be missed while in Bhutan. Set off in the morning to Tsaktsang and enjoy the hike up to this wonderful and mysterious monastery. After you return from the hike you will be taken back to the lodge where you will have time to relax and rejuvenate from this wonderful hike. We highly recommend that you book a hot stone bath for the evening so that you won’t wake up with muscles aching tomorrow from today’s hike. The nutritious meals at Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary will make up for the tough hike today.
Day 9: Paro
Today will be your last full day in Bhutan and this day can be spent relaxing at the lodge and using all their facilities or exploring Paro and going for some last-minute souvenir shopping or perhaps still feeling active and motivated after yesterday's hike? Go for a hike at the wonderful Chelela Pass, the highest motorable pass in Bhutan. Of course, you can also decide to relax for the rest of the day at Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary.
Day 10: Paro departure
It’s time to bid farewell to the last Shangri-La. Your guide and driver will escort you to the airport for your departure flight out while you take in the wonderful Himalayan views one last time.
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Everyone is different and therefore no request is too crazy. Customise your trip down to the finest detail.
Need any help booking? Call us anytime: +1 (757)-656-3391
Bhutan might not be known for mass tourism, but that makes this country so unique and definitely worth visiting. Bhutan has always tried to protect its environment and getting there isn't the easiest. The country is known for its colourful Dzong's, impressive festivals, beautiful and friendly people and untouched nature.
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