Exotic Bhutan Tours and Treks

Bumthang Cultural Trek

Bumthang Cultural Trek

Day 1: Your flight descending over the final Himalayan ridge brings you to Paro International Airport, elevation 7500 feet. Your Druk Air experience has been highlighted with breathtaking views of Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Mount Chomolhari and Jitchu Drake in Bhutan. Your excitement mounts and you are received at Paro Airport by your tour representative, visas are processed and you are escorted to your hotel for lunch and check-in. After lunch visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong). Once the watchtower for the Rinpung Dzong, it was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The conch shaped museum stands on a promontory overlooking the Paro valley in all its glory. On the way back visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong. "Fortress of the heap of jewels". A flagstone path rises gradually from a beautiful wooden bridge with shingle roofing and abutted by two guardhouses. Today the Dzong is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. Evening we visit Paro town, built in traditional architecture with rows of shops lining the main street. Dinner in cozy local restaurant. Overnight Hotel.

Bumthang Cultural Trek

Day 2: Drive to Thimphu (2-hour drive) capitol of Bhutan. Visit famous weekend market; fresh produce, rice, chilies, jewelry, local art, handicrafts and enchanting local shoppers. Check in at our hotel, enjoy lunch, and drive to embark on a vigorous hike up the mountain to Tango Goemba Monastery one of my favorite experiences in Bhutan. Tango is one of Bhutanese' most important Buddhist colleges. Its name, meaning 'horse's head', is derived from the horse-head shaped rock at the top. It is a beautiful dzong built in the 18h century by the 8th Desi, Druk Rabgye. Today Tango is home to the eight-year-old reincarnate Lama, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgye. Meet with monks for discussions. Tonight join Soenam, your Bhutanese host, for reception dinner at her home. Hotel Druk.

Day 3: Drive to Wangduephodrang (3 - hour drive) across Dochula Pass (10,500ft). Prayer flags send prayers on the wind. Enjoy spectacular views of the Eastern Himalayan Mountains. Stop at Lobesa for lunch. Early afternoon visit the Punakha Dzong, "Palace of Great Happiness". Punakha Dzong is the former winter Capital and at present day hosts the administrative seat of the district. Also the winter residence of the central monastic body and its Chief Abbot. The Dzong lies between two rivers, the Pochu and Mochu, male and female rivers…the location is strategic. It was built in 1637 AD It was here on 17th December 1907, Bhutan's first king was crowned. We will visit the Fertility Temple Chimi Lhakhang and in the evening tour the Wangdu Dzong courtyard. Overnight Dragons Nest Resort.

Day 4: After an early breakfast we depart for Bumthang in Central Bhutan. A long drive on a scenic and breathtaking highway rewarded by a stop at the Trongsa Dzong, the ancestral home of the royal family. An architectural wonder built by Chogyel Minjur Tempa, the Third Desi, in 1648 it is presently the administrative seat of the district and home of the monastic school. Built at split-levels on a narrow spur, the Dzong is an architectural wonder. Views from here are extensive creating strategic location of this Dzong. Lunch in Tronsga town. Continue to Bumthang. Overnight at the River Lodge.

Day 5: BHUMTANG TREK begins: After a hearty breakfast we drive to embark on our wonderful trek to Nganglhakhang. Today we will hike for approximate five hours passing though villages, fields and forests and also crossing over suspension bridges. Our trek will follow the Chamkhar River. Here the trout are plentiful! Fishing anyone? We will visit Thangbi Lhakhang enroute before entering "Swan Land" (Ngang Yul). Here is "Swan Temple" (Nganglhakhang). Swans first inhabited this part of the valley. Overnight camp 9,500 ft (2,800M).

Day 6: Today a gradual climb to Phephela Pass brings us to the highest point of our trek. 12,000 ft. The trail to the pass leads through one of the most beautiful forested areas of this region, with mini bamboo pasture, and forests of rhododendrons and Mixed Conifer. Our seven-hour trek today will allow for many stops to enjoy nature's rare beauty. Overnight camp near Ta Houng village in Tang valley. Enjoy a wholesome delicious Bhutanese gourmet meal.

Day 7: Today we pass Ugyenchholing in Tang Valley. Beauty again overwhelms our senses. You will visit the Ugyenchholing Palace, now housing the Family Museum, a place that will transport you to another world and time. You will view permanent exhibits recreated to capture the ambience of the lifestyle of the Trongsa Penelop (Governor) Tshokey Dorji and his household. Bhutan's history unfolds. Continuing from Ugyenchholing, we reach the Rimochen Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Guru Rimpoche, the Patron Saint of Bhutan. This is the last point in the trek route from where we drive on through Pangshing village to Jakar, Bumthang, stopping to visit farmhouse on the way. Overnight at the River Lodge Guesthouse to unwind from the trek over a sumptuous dinner and local Ara.

Day 8 & 9: The next two days we will sightsee and tour in Bumthang, Central Bhutan. The Bumthang area of Bhutan hosts four of the most beautiful valleys anywhere, Ura, Tang, Choskhor and Chhume…Nature at it's finest! Day hikes can be arranged. We will stroll through the medieval village of Bumthang, (Choskhor Valley) and are transported back through time. We visit Jakar Dzong, Jambay Khakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang). Shopping is a delight in Bumthang, which is famous for its textile weavings. We also include a visit to the Swiss Farm, with beer and cheese factory for local flavor. Overnight at River Lodge.

Day 10: Departing Bumthang, stopping once again in Trongsa we will now visit the medieval Watchtower. This ancient structure gives unobstructed views of the valley, and it's winding river and roads. The WatchTower is located strategically above the Trongsa Dzong. It is a treat to climb the ancient ladders to the top, as you view warrior armor and aging altars, immersing yourself in the presence unchanged within its walls. Dragons Nest Resort for dinner and hotel.

Day 11: Return to Thimphu. Visit the exceptional Textile Museum, featuring masterpieces from the Royal Family of Bhutan and splendid fabric and exquisite Thangkas. Visit Takin Zoo to see the National animal of Bhutan. After lunch we depart for our hike to the famous Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest). The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 800 meters. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava, the saint who converted Bhutan to Buddhism, alighted here upon the back of a tigress. Overnight Dechen Hill Resort

Day 12: Breakfast and departure for airport.

We hope you will enjoy the Bumthang Cultural Trek.

Tashi Delek!