Complete Bhutan Experience | Yampu Tours

Custom Travel Experiences Since 1998

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Complete Bhutan Experience

PRIVATE TOUR - 14 DAY SAMPLE ITINERARY

FROM $6931+

Private Tour Highlights

  • Enjoy breathtaking views of highest mountain peaks in the world
  • Cross over the beautifully flowing Paro River
  • See how the Paro Dzong encompasses Bhutanese society
  • Get some insight into how the Monastic schools work
  • Explore eastern spirituality
  • Marvel at the area’s unique architecture
  • Check out the alpine wetlands of the Gangtey Valley
  • Gaze into the nearly translucent Membartsho Lake
  • Hike to the upper extremes of the Taktsang Monastery
  • On clear days, experience views of the white domed sacred Mount Jomolhari
Interested in this tour?   Let us build you a customized quote based on your budget.

Tour Overview

This two week tour takes you to the last Shangri La, the mountain kingdom of Bhutan. Over 70% of the country is forested, and unlike other Himalayan countries, most of Bhutan’s original forest remains intact and in pristine condition. Including Paro and Thimphu, this tour will also take you to the remote Gangtey Valley and the Bumthang district to explore the hidden gems of this natural kingdom.

As the main point of entry for the country, Paro offers a great introduction to Bhutan, but also hosts an array of must-see sites for any visitor. Among its impressive collection of sacred buildings are the Rimpung Dzong, Ta Dzibgm Jtucgy Lhakang and the Drukgyel Dzong, but perhaps the most impressive of all is the famous Taktsang Monastery, or Tiger’s Nest, that is impressively built into a sheer cliff wall. On a clear day, flying into Paro you will be able to see the towering mountains that jut out of its lush valley floor.

The capital of Bhutan, Thimphu is the country’s center of government, religion and commerce. With an intriguing mixture of tradition and modernity, this city is home to many Buddhist monks, businessmen, politicians, expatriates, civil servants and most importantly the Kings and the Royal Family members. You will be taken to many significant cultural sites including temples, chortens, museums, the National Library, the Painting school and much more.

Driving further into central Bhutan, the remote Gagntey Valley is a rural scenic outpost that is famous for its dominating monastery, the migratory black necked cranes (reside here in winter months) and the great views and friendly villages. Also experience the center of Bhutan’s historic legacy in the Bumthang district, visiting several more significant dzongs, monasteries and palaces.

Inclusions
Price Includes:
Round trip regional flight from New Delhi to Paro, All accommodations, Daily meals at hotels, Service of chauffeured air-conditioned vehicle, One time entrance fees at all monuments, Services of English speaking local guide for excursions, Bottled water on intercity drives, All currently applicable taxes including service tax

Notes:
* Additional supplements may apply during the weeks immediately preceding and following the Lunar (Chinese) New Year. The dates vary each year, but fall sometime between January 21st and February 20th:
2016 – Monday, February 8th
2017 – Saturday, January 28th
Best Time to Travel
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Best Good Consult

Package Price: $6931
Pricing Details

Prices shown above are per person. Hotel categories do not adhere strictly to international ratings; Yampu has evaluated the hotels according to destination and availability. Prices include local airfare (where applicable), hotel accommodation including daily breakfast; all transfers with baggage handling, all guided tours in English and all entrance fees.

Please note that prices are subject to change based on availability and seasonality, especially during the holiday season from December 20th through January 5th each year. Please contact a Yampu Travel Specialist for more information on best times to travel.

Trip Type:

All our trips are operated on a private basis unless specified otherwise. This is only a sample itinerary; your Yampu Tour Consultant will personalize this trip for you according to your available dates, interests and type of hotels. This is your trip and we will work on making it perfect!

Tour Itinerary

Day
1

International flight to New Delhi

Overnight international flight to New Delhi.

Overnight international flight to New Delhi.

Day
2

Arrival in New Delhi

Upon arrival, airport reception and check in at the airport hotel for the evening.

Note: For optional New Delhi tours please ask a Yampu travel consultant for more details.

Upon arrival, airport reception and check in at the airport hotel for the evening.

Note: For optional New Delhi tours please ask a Yampu travel consultant for more details.

Day
3

New Delhi – Paro

Afternoon read more...

Afternoon flight to Paro. In clear weather, the flight into Paro is a befitting introduction to Bhutan, as there are aerial views of the highest mountain peaks in the world that rise out of the lush green Paro Valley. Upon arrival, airport reception and transfer to the hotel for check-in.

Also visit the Paro Dzong also referred to as the Rimpung Dzong. Constructed in 1644, today it encompasses a Monastic school and several government offices, including that of the local governor. Afterwards, enjoy a short walk down the nearby hill, where a traditional cantilever bridge over the beautifully flowing Paro River will be crossed.
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Paro's-Dzong-bhutan
Day
4

Paro – Thimphu

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Morning departure for Thimphu. Upon arrival, check into the hotel and set out for some sightseeing, beginning with the National Memorial Chorten. Erected in 1974 to honor His Late Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, this large Tibetan styled chorten (or stupa) exhibits many religious paintings and tantric statues that reflect several aspects of Buddhist Deities.

Carry on to Changangkha Lhakhang, an old fortress styled temple. Also the site of a monastic school, this temple offers excellent views of Thimphu as it is perched on a ridge above the city. From here, a brief trip to the mini zoo (essentially a large fenced in area) is in order, where one can see the Takin – the national animal of Bhutan.

Then, travel to Thimphu’s telecommunication tower, which is situated on a hillside (2865m) offering great photographic scenes of Thimphu Valley. Covered in prayer flags, the complex houses the Bhutan TV studio and although it cannot be photographed, the views of the valley are definitely worth the trip. With the remaining time in the day, enjoy a visit to the Paper Factory, where traditional Bhutanese paper is produced from the Daphne plant.
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Amankora-Thimphu-Bhutan
Day
5

Tour of Thimphu

Today, begin with a visit to the National Library, which was founded in 1967 and preserves many ancient Dzongkha and Tibetan texts. On the upper floor, one can see traditional Tibetan styled books that are written on long strips of handmade paper, stacked between pieces of wood and wrapped in silken cloth. Also, see several wooden blocks that are used for printing books and prayer flags as well as a collection of more contemporary books.

Next, visit the National Institute for Zorig Chusum, Thimpu’s popular painting school that offers a six year course with teachings of traditional Bhutanese arts. Beginning with drawing, the students follow a curriculum that progresses to painting, woodcarving, embroidery and statue making.

Also on the list for the day is the National Institute for Traditional Medicine, which is an impressively large lab that dispenses herbal and other medicines. Follow this with a leisurely visit to the National Textile Museum to learn about the national art of weaving. The Folk Heritage Museum is also worth a visit, as it is a unique three story mud and timber building that acts as a living museum to give visitors insight into the ancient Bhutanese lifestyles.

Lastly, visit the Tashi Chhoe Dzong. Built in 1216, this dzong houses the Throne Room and offices of the Bhutanese King and Ministers. The northern portion of the building is the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and the Central Monk Body. Tourists are allowed to visit only after 5 pm and may only enter the courtyard. In the evening, visit the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese souvenirs can be purchased.
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Day
6

Thimphu – Gangtey Valley

Disembark for a journey east to the Gangtey Valley (130 kms, 5-6 hours). Traveling on windy mountain roads, this will be a spectacular alpine journey, with great views of the Northern Himalayan Range as the ascent the Dochu La pass is made (3199 m/10170 ft). Built along the pass, take a brief stop to visit the 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens.

Disembark for a journey east to the Gangtey Valley (130 kms, 5-6 hours). Traveling on windy mountain roads, this will be a spectacular alpine journey, with great views of the Northern Himalayan Range as the ascent the Dochu La pass is made (3199 m/10170 ft). Built along the pass, take a brief stop to visit the 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens.

Druk-Chortens-Bhutan
Day
7

Tour of the Gangtey Valley

The Gangtey Valley overlooks the lush green expanse of the much larger Phobjikha Valley, which has many alpine wetlands along its Black Mountain range. A prime habitat for black necked cranes, this is a pristine conservation area for these majestic birds that winter in the area, before returning to Tibet. The best chance to see these birds are between November and February. After some exploration of the valley, visit the Gangtey Monastery, a significant place for the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism. Established in 1613, the prayer hall of the monastery is constructed in a Tibetan style and is one of the largest in Bhutan. Within its walls is a Buddhist college, as well as a retreat and mediation center for monks. ...read less

Monks-bhutan
Day
8

Cultural Immersion in Gangtey

Spend the entire day exploring the valley and enjoy the natural setting and the scenic views. Also take some time to visit local farmhouses and villages to get immersed in the culture for a wholesome experience.

Spend the entire day exploring the valley and enjoy the natural setting and the scenic views. Also take some time to visit local farmhouses and villages to get immersed in the culture for a wholesome experience.

prayer-flags-bhutan-valley
Day
9

Gangtey – Bumthang

The drive today will take about 5 – 6 hours. The drive crosses over the Pele La Pass at 3, 420 meters. Before reaching Trongsa stop to view the Chendebji Chorten – a large white structure beside a stream at 2, 430m. The chorten is patterned after a Nepali style stupa in the 19th Century by Lama Shida from Tibet to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was killed on this spot. Stop to view the impressive Trongsa Dzong, the ancestral home of the ruling dynasty. In olden days the dzong commanded the passage between East and West Bhutan. Also visit the Ta dzong, an ancient watchtower, above the main dzong, which has an interesting display of Mongol armor and most of the rare pieces of antiques in Bhutanese history.

Then proceed to Bumthang, crossing the Yotong La Pass at 3,440 m. The Bumthang region encompasses four major valleys: Choekor, Tang, Ura and Chhume. The valley is considered as one of the most beautiful landscaped valley of the Kingdom holding roots to many Buddhists holy sites and holy shrines. It can also be described as the Switzerland of Asia.
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stream-bhutan-countryside
Day
10

Tour of Bumthang

Enjoy a tour of Bumthang, including the Jakar Dzong, Jambey Lhakang, Kurjey Lhakhang, Membartsho and the Ugyen Chholing Palace. The picturesque Jakar Dzong – known as the Castle of the White Bird, was built in 1667 and is believed to be the largest Dzong in the Kingdom. Located on a small hill top overlooking the Choekor valley, the dzong houses the office of the local governor, some administrative offices, a small court and the monk’s quarters. The Jambey Lhakhang is a monastery that is believed to have been built in the year 659 CE by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. After a brief visit here, move onto the Kurjey Lhakhang, which is named after the body print of Guru Rinpoche that remains preserved in a cave inside the oldest of the three buildings that make up the temple complex. The oldest temple in the complex was built in 1652 by a local governor (Penlop), the second temple was built in 1900 by the first King of Bhutan and the third by the present Queen Mother in 1984.

Membartsho – The Burning Lake is a 5 minute walk from the road side in the Tang valley. This lake occupies a wide place in the Tang Chhu (River). Terton Pema Lingpa – a renowned treasure revealer in the 15th century, found several of Guru Rinpoche’s treasures in this lake. A wooden bridge crosses the river and is a good vantage point to look down into the lake. Perhaps the temple that is said to exist in the lake’s depths will be spotted. The importance of the site is indicated by the extensive array of prayer flags and the small clay offering. The Ugyen Chholing Palace is located in the Tang valley – this is a 16th century palace that was built by a Temporary ruler (deb). The present structures including a temple, servants’ quarters and a massive residential building, are more recent, having been rebuilt after their collapse in the 1897 earthquake. The family that owns this Palace turned the complex into a museum to preserve its legacy and provide a place for religious studies, research and solitude. Permanent exhibits in the main building are captioned with extensive, informative descriptions of the lifestyle and artworks of a Bhutanese noble family.

Other visits in the Bumthang valley will include visits to the Woodcarving Factory, the Sheep Breeding Center and the Beekeeping Project.
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tibetan-prayer-flags
Day
11

Bumthang – Punakha

Return drive to Punakha via the same route. The drive will take 7-8 hours to cover the distance of approximately 210 kilometers. Once there, spend the rest of the evening at leisure.

Return drive to Punakha via the same route. The drive will take 7-8 hours to cover the distance of approximately 210 kilometers. Once there, spend the rest of the evening at leisure.

Punakha-Valley-bhutan
Day
12

Thimphu – Paro

Return to Paro via Thimphu. On arrival in Paro, visit the Ta Dzong - an unusual round building said to be in a shape of a conch shell which houses the National Museum of the Kingdom. The museum displays a spectacular collection of Thangkhas, extensive philatelic collection, ancient bronze and stone objects, statues, ancient weapons and shields. In the afternoon, visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the two oldest lhakhangs in the country built in 659 CE by the Tibetan King Songsten Gyampo. It is one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan King and is said to hold down the left foot of a demoness. In the evening explore the Paro town. ...read less

Thimphu-bhutan
Day
13

Tour of the Taktsang Monastery

Morning read more...

Morning hike to the famous Taktsang Monastery (Alt.3100m). Taktsang literally means - Tiger's nest. This monastery was built in the 1600s and clings to a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900m above the valley. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, in the form of Dorji Drolo arrived at this site on the back of a flying tigress believed to be his consort, to subdue the eight evil spirits who were preventing the propagation on Buddhism in the area. A fire destroyed the monastery in 1998, cause of which is still unknown. It has recently been rebuilt in its original form. Its 1 hr 30 minutes walk up hill to the cafeteria, lunch will be served here.

After lunch walk back to the base and drive a short distance further north to visit the Drukgyel Dzong built in 1649 by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyal to commemorate Bhutan's numerous victories over the Tibetan invaders. The Dzong was destroyed by an accidental fire and is now left in ruin. On a clear day, the 24, 000 ft (7314m) white domed sacred Mount Jomolhari can be seen.
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takshang-bhutan
Day
14

Paro – New Delhi – International flight home

Transfer to the airport for a connection to New Delhi and flight home or continue with an optional Yampu Tours add-on.
Due to the limited availability of flights between New Delhi and Paro, an extra night in Paro may be necessary. Please check with a tour consultant.

Transfer to the airport for a connection to New Delhi and flight home or continue with an optional Yampu Tours add-on.
Due to the limited availability of flights between New Delhi and Paro, an extra night in Paro may be necessary. Please check with a tour consultant.

Paro, Bhutan

Thimphu, Bhutan

Gangtey Monastery, Wangdue Phodrang, Bhutan

Bumthang, Bhutan

Punakha, Bhutan

Places You'll See

  • paro-valley-bhutan

    Paro

    Visit the many historical sites scattered throughout the small, yet exquisite town of Paro. Hike up to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, precariously perched on the edge of a cliff, or see the display of Bhutan’s historical artifacts at the National Museum of Bhutan. Walk along the streets lined with traditional architecture and beautifully decorated buildings housing shops and restaurants.

  • monk-bhutan

    Bumthang

    Meaning “beautiful field”, Bumthang is the most historic district of Bhutan. Visit Kurjey Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s most sacred monasteries, or Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake), where Guru Rinpoche’s scriptural treasures were discovered. Take a trek to the Duer Hot Springs or the weaving houses of Chhumey.

Hotel Options

4 Star Properties

Indira Gandhi International Airport : New Delhi Airport Transit Hotel

Paro : Olathang Hotel

Thimphu : Hotel Druk

Thimphu : Hotel Galingkha

Thimphu : Phuntsho Pelri

Gangtey : Duwachen Hotel

Bumthang : Peling Hotel

Bumthang : Yugharling Hotel

Punakha : Meri Puensum Resort

Luxury Properties

Paro : Amankora Paro

Thimphu : Amankora Thimphu

Gangtey : Amankora Gangtey

Bumthang : Amankora Bumthang

Punakha : Amankora Punakha

Testimonials

Joan A.

Traveled April, 2013

As usual, everything went like clockwork

Recently I went to Bhutan with Yampu Tours. With multiple flights and visas, this is not the easiest of tours but, as usual, everything went like clockwork. I say, as usual, because this is the third trip with Yampu and I have nothing but praise for their handling of everything. The professionalism, attention to detail, economical prices, keeps me returning to their services when I want to travel. I highly recommend them.

Traveled To

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