Wonders of Bhutan
Anyone with an interest in Buddhist culture will be fascinated by this 10-day adventure into the heart of Bhutan, the only country in the world that measures its productivity in GNH Gross National Happiness. Explore remote villages and shrines in the mountains. Climb magnificent heights to the cliff-side Taktsang Monastery, 900m (2,953 ft) above the valley floor. Discover your own capacity for happiness within Bhutan's ancient culture.
Visit one of the most remote countries in the world, enjoy a meeting and lecture with a monk about Buddhist culture in Bhutan, learn how to cook ema datshi (chili cheese) with a local farm family, hike along peaceful nature trails and thrilling cliffs, experience the pristine and peaceful nature of the "Dragon Kingdom"
Private vehicle, walking, hiking.
Hotel/lodges (9 nts).
Arrival and departure transfer. Visit the Rimpung Dzong. Hike to Punakha Dzong monastery and fertility shrine. Visit the town of Wangdue and walk to Khamsum Yueley Chorten shrine. Visit the village of Khewa. Lunch and cooking demonstration at a family farm. Walk to the monastery of Gangtey Goempa. Walk across Phobjikha and Khewa valleys. Visit the National Library, the Institute for Zorig Chusum (arts and crafts) and the Thimphu Chorten. Lecture on Buddhist culture. Hike to Kila Goempa nunnery. Explore shrines and temples of the Haa Valley. Visit the fortress of Drukgyal Dzong and hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest). Visit Kyichu Lhakhang Temple. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Day 1 Paro (1D)
Arrive at any time and transfer to hotel. Later, enjoy a welcome dinner and visit Rimpung Dzong, a school for monks, and take an orientation walk in the town.
Day 2 Paro/PunÄkha (1B, 1L, 1D)
Drive to Punakha, crossing the Dochula Pass and enjoying stunning views of the Himalayas through flickering prayer flags.
Day 3 PunÄkha (1B, 1L, 1D)
Enjoy a full day of exploration including a visit to Punakha Dzong, and hikes to Chime Lhakhang and Wangdue Phodrang. In the afternoon, hike through rice terraces and forests to Khamsum Yueley Chorten.
Day 4 PunÄkha/Gangtey Gonpa (1B, 1L, 1D)
Travel to Gangtey, visiting the village of Khewa en route. This evening, visit a local family's farm for a cooking demonstration and home cooked dinner.
Day 5 Gangtey Gonpa (1B, 1L, 1D)
Walk to the monastery of Gangtey Goempa, known to hold the most sacred relics in Bhutan. After walk across Phobjikha Valley to Khewa Valley, where we'll visit an old temple and make an offering.
Day 6 Gangtey Gonpa/Thimphu (1B, 1L, 1D)
Drive to the capital to visit the National Library, Memorial Chorten, and the Institute for Zorig Chusum, an arts and crafts school where we can watch students practicing traditional arts such as woodworking, painting, and ceramics. Meet with a Buddhist monk and scholar to discuss Buddhist beliefs and way of life, as well as values in Bhutan.
Day 7 Thimphu/Haa Dzongkhag (1B, 1L, 1D)
Drive to the Haa Valley, one of the most remote and sacred valleys in Bhutan, via the Chelela Pass. En route, hike to Kila Goempa Nunnery, which clings to a rocky cliff. Drive to the valley and visit Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple), and Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple).
Day 8 Haa Dzongkhag/Paro (1B, 1L, 1D)
Return to Paro and visit the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong fortress.
Day 9 Paro (1B, 1L, 1D)
Embark on a vigorous hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger's Nest), the most venerated pilgrim site of the Himalayan world. The view is absolutely stunning, with the monastery clinging to a cliff face towering 2,953m above the valley. Later, visit Kyichu Lhakhang Temple and the local archery grounds.
Day 10 Paro (1B)
Depart at any time. Airport transfer included.