bhutan trek and tour

Bhutan Cultural Tour with 3 days Bumthang Trek -12 days

Bhutan Cultural Tour with 3 days Bumthang Trek

Trip Introduction

Bhutan the 'Land of the Thunder Dragon' - a small country sandwiched between Tibet in the north and India in the three sides offers a mesmerizing and unspoiled cultural and natural grandeur. Bhutanese landscape is characterized by rugged terrain and steep mountain valleys from subtropical plains in the south, through temperate zone to the Sub-alpine Himalayas exceeding 7000 meters. Bhutan is predominantly a Buddhist country with Vajrayana Buddhism being Bhutan's state religion. Hinduism is Bhutan's second-largest religion mostly followed by the Nepali speaking Bhutanese in the south.

The 12-days Bhutan tour with Bumthang Cultural Trek offers cultural highlights of Bhutan in stunning 9-days cultural tour combined with 3-days Bumthang cultural trek. Our tour starts at the Paro Valley with a hike to famous Tiger's Nest Monastery. Visit Thimphu, the capital city and then drive on to the central Bhutan across picturesque high passes deeply forested valleys, interesting villages and small townships. Then the 3-day trek starts from the splendid Bumthang valley, passing through several villages on its meandering route through Bumthang countryside. This trek provides an exceptional opportunity to discover Bhutanese rural life.

Detail Itinerary

DAY 01 : Arrive Paro - (2250m / 7382ft)

The flight to Paro crosses the Himalayan Mountains, affording spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. On arrival we be greeted by the guide and transfer to the hotel. After lunch, visit the Ta Dzong, once a fortified lookout tower that is now the National Museum. Then walk down the trail to visit the Rinpung Dzong meaning “fortress of the heap of jewels". Next visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. From there we be taken to the Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. On a clear day we can see Mount Jumolhari, Bhutan's second-highest mountain at 7,314meters. Overnight in Paro.

DAY 02 : Paro-Thimphu – (2320m/7610 ft):

1 hr/54 km After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan's most famous monastery situated at 3180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch will be served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up on the mountain. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. After having explored the monastery, we hike down to the valley floor. This evening we transfer to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Overnight in Thimphu.

DAY 03 : Thimphu

After breakfast we visit the King's Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), the radio tower (for a great view of Thimphu Valley and the Thimphu Dzong), and the zoo, which contains the national animal of Bhutan: the takin. From there we visit the nunnery temple, the National Library (which houses ancient manuscripts), and the School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school). After a relaxing lunch, we visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, a traditional paper factory, the majestic Tashichhodzong. In the evening, you can stroll through Thimphu town and observe the life style of the people. Overnight in Thimphu.

DAY 04 : Thimphu-Punakha – (1250m/4100 ft):2-3 hrs/76 km

After breakfast this morning, enjoy the scenic drive to Punakha with a stop for tea at Dochu La (3,100 meters), where on a clear day we get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass, drive downhill through the forests of rhododendron, fir and hemlock. Arrive at Punakha after traversing through rice field and along the bank of Punakha River. After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong, which is stunningly situated in between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship. Overnight in Punakha.

DAY 05 : Punakha-Bumthang – (2850m/9350 ft): 7 hrs/214 km

After an early breakfast we drive to Bumthang, the cultural heartland of the country. The route is along a spectacular winding road, crossing 3,300-meter-high Pele La pass, and at certain times of year it's possible to see yaks. We stop in Trongsa for lunch. After lunch visit to Trongsa Dzong, the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Then proceed to Bumthang with lush valleys and hilly forests. Along the way we stop at a yathra (textile weaving) factory, where the yathras are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang, and we can even watch some of the weavers at their looms. Check into hotel on arrival. Overnight in Bumthang.

DAY 06 : Trek Bumthang-Ngang Lhakhang - (2895m/9500 ft): 5/6 hrs/20 km. Trek starts

The route follows the Chamkhar Chu, a river known for trout. Stop for lunch at Thangbi Lhakhang. From here the trek enters the Ngang Yul (Land of the Swan) at the centre of which lies the Ngang Lhakhang (Swan Temple). In by-gone days, the valley was populated by swans, and hence the name Ngang Yul. Camp at an altitude of 9500 feet.

DAY 07 : Trek Ngang Lhakhang-Ugyen Choling - (2895m/9500 ft): 7/8 hrs walk/23 km

The trek starts with a gradual climb to Phephe La Pass at an altitude of 3353m/11,000 ft, the highest point of the trek route. The trail passes through beautiful forested areas where many stops can be made to enjoy the natural beauty of the place. Along the way, the Ugyen Choling Palace can be seen. Camp at an altitude of 9300 feet.

DAY 08 : Trek Ugyen Choling-Jakar - (2745m/9000 ft): 2/3 hrs walk/10 km. Trek ends

The trail follows the Tang Chu, another trout-filled river. On the bank of the river is the Tang Rimpoche's Lhakhang. The trek will pass the Mebar Tsho (Flaming Lake). From Pangshing, the group will be picked up by transport and driven to Jakar. Overnight in Bumthang.

DAY 09 : Bumthang

Today's sightseeing in Bumthang includes Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the valley; Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, dating from the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan; and Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places, because Guru Rinpoche, a great 8th century spiritual master left his body imprint on the cave when he was meditating. Then visit Tamshing Monastery, which is founded by the great treasure discoverer. You can spend the evening strolling through Bumthang town. Overnight in Bumthang.

DAY 10 : Bumthang-Wangdue - (1240m/4068 ft): 6 hrs/197 km

Begin the day at the Bumthang market, and then drive to Wangdue. Along the way visit the typical Bhutanese town of Wangdue with its dramatic Dzong perched on a ridge at the bend of a river. The nearby villages are known for their slate and stone carvings. Overnight in Wangdue.

DAY 11 : Wangdue-Paro: 3/4 hrs/124 km

TThis morning we return to Paro via Dochula Pass. On the way, we visit Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. If you wish, receive the blessing from the Lama’s wooden phallus! We stop for lunch at Dochula pass. Here we visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is the only of its kind in the country with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. Continue drive to Paro. Evening free time to explore Paro town. Overnight in Paro.

DAY 12 : Depart Paro

Drive to airport for departure. Today we bid farewell to the tiny Himalayan Kingdom and her friendly people. Druk Air generally departs in the early morning to avoid adverse weather conditions. Therefore, after taking breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport in the morning depending on the flight schedule and your destination. Our representative will bid you farewell.

Important Note and Optional Activities

Your safety is of paramount concern whilst traveling with Himalayan Glacier Trekking. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, as this is adventure travel in remote mountain region, we cannot guarantee it! Weather conditions, health condition of a member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.

Dates and Season

We will organize this trip on the dates requested by you. Please contact us for your customized departure date. You can join our Bhutan Tour Programs as per your convenience. Spring season (March to June) and in the autumn season (September to November) are the best time for tour and trek in Bhutan. The months of April and May offer the natural grandeur of rhododendron blooms. The spring season also observes the biggest festivals of Bhutan.

Trip Cost Includes

  • All meals, tea & snacks
  • Government approved A & B category hotels on twin sharing basis in city and camping during trekking
  • Roundtrip airport transfers and other transport as per itinerary
  • Experienced English speaking guides and local staff
  • All city tour
  • Government taxes, permits, sightseeing entrance fees for museums and monuments
  • Bhutan Visa fee
  • Porter and pack animals for the trekking
  • Trekking equipments like 2-men sleeping tents, dining tents, kitchen tents, toilet tents, and sleeping mats

Trip Cost Does Not Include

  • Airfare to/from Paro, Bhutan
  • Items of a personal nature (personal gear, telephone calls, beverages, internet , laundry etc.)
  • Trip cancellation and Medical/Evacuation Insurance
  • Tips for Staff/guide

Health & Experience Required

Trekking in Bhutan is physically demanding because of the distance and abrupt changes in elevation. Depending on the day of the trek, you will have to walk 3-5 hours covering a distance of 10-14 kilometers daily to reach the campsites. Most of the climbs run through deep forests on rocky trails and sometimes the trails traverses through wet mud were you need agility to hop between round river stones. But if you have experience of walking long distances with a back pack and you do not have history of knee pains on descents it should not be difficult for you for trekking in Bhutan.

Accommodations

Hotels in Bhutan are approved and classified by the government as grade A, B and C. These government approved hotels are equivalent to 3-4 star hotels elsewhere. Based on availability at the time of your booking, we provide grade A grade hotels in Paro and Thimphu and B grade hotels in Punkha. We use Hotel Tashi Namgay Resort or similar in Paro, Hotel Migmar or similar in Thimpu, Meri Puensum Resort or similar in Punakha and camping (tent) during trekking. Since the Druk Path trek is designed on twin sharing basis, you share room with your fellow traveler but in case you prefer single rooms we charge USD 270 as single supplement.

Meals

A variety of meals are available in most hotels – the most popular being Indian, Chinese, and the more common continental food. Non vegetarian dishes are generally available in most parts of Bhutan - pork, beef, chicken, and fish. The best advice is to ask the hotel and restaurant to recommend what is fresh and in season. For the actual trekking days, our company will send wide assortment of food. You will be provided 3 meals a day – breakfast, hot picnic lunch on the way, and dinner at the campsites with evening tea and snacks. Our trekking cooks are well trained and can whip up delicious meals at any altitude. If you have any special dietary needs, please let us know prior to the trek departure so that we would be able to take care of it. For the first few days during trekking, you will be served fresh foods and meats and towards the end of the trek, you will be served with high quality tinned foods.

Equipments & Packing List

While packing for "Bhutan Cultural Tour with 3 days Bumthang Trek"certain gears are essential to be considered. Please Click here for the comprehensive packing list for this trip.

Additional Information

Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us by email. If you want to talk to us directly feel free to call us at: US telephone: 704-200-7512

Traveller's Reviews

  • We are having a fantastic time. It is the vacation of our lives. The planning, places, accommodations and people are superb. We know you work very hard to make dream vacations come true and it is appreciated. We are in Paro Hotel and what a rare treat. This place is fabulous. No one could have planned a better vacation.

    Vancouver, Canada
  • We appreciated this local Travel Agency, because of friendly and experienced Staffs, who are working in it. They always tried to do their best, to make everything perfect, on what you agreed before beginning of the trip. This is important for clients, who decide to travel in Asia, because experienced tourists know, that it's not always like this here. I hope, they will remain the same, when their company will grow up.

    Alex, London Read More