Bhutan Cultural Tour - 7 Days

Bhutan
Bhutan
Thimpu
Duration7 Days
Trip GradeEasy
Maximum Altitude3120 M
ActivitiesTours
Group Size2
StartsParo
EndsParo
Best Timeround of the year

Start on a magical journey through the serene landscapes and vibrant culture of Bhutan with a 7 days tour encompassing the enchanting cities of Thimphu, Gangtey, Punakha, and Paro. From breathtaking mountain vistas to ancient monasteries, this tour promises an unforgettable experience immersed in Bhutanese beauty and spirituality.

Thimphu: Begin your adventure in the capital city of Thimphu, where tradition meets modernity. Explore the bustling markets filled with colorful handicrafts and sample delicious Bhutanese cuisine. Visit iconic landmarks such as the majestic Tashichho Dzong, a fortress-monastery overlooking the Wang Chhu River, and the iconic Memorial Chorten, a sacred monument honoring Bhutan’s third king. Don't miss out on a visit to the National Folk Heritage Museum to delve into the rich cultural heritage of Bhutan.

Gangtey: Journey to the serene valley of Gangtey, nestled amidst the verdant hills of the Phobjikha Valley. Marvel at the breathtaking natural beauty of the valley, home to the rare black-necked cranes during the winter months. Explore the Gangtey Monastery, a 17th-century Buddhist monastery perched on a hilltop, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of this remote valley and experience the timeless charm of rural Bhutan.

Punakha: Continue your exploration to the historic town of Punakha, known for its ancient dzongs and picturesque landscapes. Visit the Punakha Dzong, an architectural masterpiece located at the confluence of the Mo Chhu and Pho Chhu rivers, and soak in its grandeur and beauty. Take a leisurely stroll through the lush terraced fields and quaint villages, experiencing the traditional way of life in rural Bhutan. Don't forget to hike to the breathtaking Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, offering panoramic views of the Punakha Valley.

Paro: Conclude your journey in the charming town of Paro, home to Bhutan's only international airport and some of the country's most iconic landmarks. Explore the sacred sites of Paro, including the iconic Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) monastery, perched precariously on a cliffside overlooking the valley below. Wander through the streets of Paro town, lined with traditional Bhutanese architecture and bustling markets. Don't miss the chance to visit the National Museum of Bhutan, housed in a 17th-century watchtower, and learn about the rich history and culture of the kingdom.

Indulge in the beauty and spirituality of Bhutan on this 7-day tour, where every moment is a journey of discovery and wonder. Whether you're captivated by ancient monasteries, mesmerized by stunning landscapes, or enchanted by traditional culture, Bhutan offers an experience like no other.

Top Highlights

  • Tashichho Dzong: This majestic fortress-monastery is the seat of the Bhutanese government and houses the throne room and offices of the king. Its stunning architecture and rich history make it a must-visit.
  • Memorial Chorten: Built in memory of Bhutan's third king, this sacred monument is a hub of religious activity and offers a glimpse into Bhutanese spiritual practices.
  • National Folk Heritage Museum: Delve into Bhutanese culture and tradition at this museum, which showcases artifacts, costumes, and exhibits depicting rural life in Bhutan.
  • Buddha Dordenma Statue: Standing tall at 169 feet, this bronze statue of Buddha overlooks the Thimphu Valley and is a symbol of peace and happiness.
  • Gangtey Monastery: Also known as Gangtey Gonpa, this 17th-century monastery is perched atop a hill and offers stunning views of the Phobjikha Valley. It is a center of Buddhist learning and spirituality.
  • Phobjikha Valley: Known for its natural beauty and as the winter habitat of the endangered black-necked cranes, this valley offers serene landscapes and opportunities for birdwatching and hiking.
  • Black-Necked Crane Information Center: Learn about the conservation efforts to protect the black-necked cranes and their significance in Bhutanese culture at this informative center.
  • Nature Walks: Explore the pristine beauty of Gangtey with leisurely walks through pine forests, pastures, and traditional villages, immersing yourself in the tranquility of rural Bhutan.
  • Punakha Dzong: One of the most beautiful and historically significant dzongs in Bhutan, Punakha Dzong is situated at the confluence of two rivers and is known for its stunning architecture and intricate woodwork.
  • Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten: Embark on a hike to this breathtaking chorten, offering panoramic views of the Punakha Valley and surrounding mountains.
  • Chimi Lhakhang: Also known as the Fertility Temple, this revered monastery is dedicated to the Buddhist saint Drukpa Kunley and is visited by couples seeking blessings for fertility and childbirth.
  • Punakha Suspension Bridge: Cross the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan, spanning the Po Chhu River and offering thrilling views of the valley below.
  • Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest): Perched precariously on a cliffside, this iconic monastery is one of Bhutan's most famous landmarks and is reached by a scenic hike through lush forests.
  • Paro Rinpung Dzong: Explore this impressive fortress-monastery, which houses the district administrative offices and religious institutions, and admire its stunning architecture and rich history.
  • National Museum of Bhutan: Housed in a 17th-century watchtower, this museum showcases Bhutanese art, artifacts, and cultural heritage, providing insight into the kingdom's history and traditions.
  • Kyichu Lhakhang: Visit one of the oldest and most sacred temples in Bhutan, believed to have been built in the 7th century by the Tibetan emperor Songtsen Gampo, and marvel at its ancient architecture and religious significance.
Itinerary
Trip PlanExpand all

Upon your arrival at Paro International Airport, you'll be greeted by our representative who will assist you with the immigration formalities and transfer you to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. As you drive from Paro to Thimphu, you'll be treated to mesmerizing views of lush green valleys, terraced fields, and traditional Bhutanese houses. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and covers a distance of about 55 kilometers.

After checking into your hotel in Thimphu, you can spend the rest of the day at leisure, exploring the vibrant streets of the capital city. You may choose to visit the bustling local markets, where you can shop for traditional handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs. In the evening, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the scenic Thimphu River or relax and unwind at your hotel.

Max Altitude: 2,320 meters Accommodation: Hotel

Today, embark on a full-day sightseeing tour of Thimphu, immersing yourself in the rich culture and heritage of Bhutan. Begin your day with a visit to the revered Tashichho Dzong, an impressive fortress-monastery that serves as the seat of the Bhutanese government and the summer residence of the Chief Abbot. Admire the intricate architecture and colorful frescoes as you explore this important religious and administrative center.

Next, proceed to the National Memorial Chorten, a sacred shrine dedicated to world peace and prosperity. Take a moment to circumambulate the chorten, observing the devout locals as they offer prayers and spin prayer wheels.

Afterwards, visit the National Folk Heritage Museum, where you can learn about Bhutanese culture, traditions, and way of life through exhibits of artifacts, household items, and historical artifacts.

In the afternoon, visit the Changangkha Lhakhang, a 12th-century temple perched on a hilltop overlooking Thimphu valley. Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and receive blessings from the resident monks.

Before returning to your hotel, take a leisurely stroll through Thimphu's vibrant streets, stopping to admire the colorful murals and traditional architecture. In the evening, you may choose to attend a cultural performance or dine at a local restaurant, sampling delicious Bhutanese cuisine.

Max Altitude: 2,320 meters Accommodation: Hotel

After breakfast, embark on a scenic drive from Thimphu to Gangtey, located in the beautiful Phobjikha Valley. The journey takes approximately 5 hours, covering a distance of about 150 kilometers. As you ascend into the mountains, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, dense forests, and picturesque villages.

En route, make a stop at the Dochula Pass, a mountain pass adorned with 108 memorial chortens known as "Druk Wangyal Chortens." On a clear day, you can enjoy panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain range, including Bhutan's highest peak, Gangkhar Puensum.

Continue your journey to Gangtey and upon arrival, check into your hotel and relax amidst the serene surroundings of the Phobjikha Valley. In the evening, you may choose to take a leisurely walk through the valley, soaking in the tranquility and natural beauty.

Accommodation: HotelDuration: 5 HRSDistance: 150 KMS

After breakfast, explore the scenic Phobjikha Valley, home to the endangered black-necked cranes that migrate here from Tibet during the winter months. Visit the Gangtey Goenpa, an important monastery perched on a hilltop overlooking the valley. Marvel at the stunning architecture and serene atmosphere as you explore the monastery and interact with the resident monks.

Next, embark on a picturesque drive to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan. The journey takes approximately 3 hours, covering a distance of about 75 kilometers. En route, you'll pass through dense forests, terraced fields, and quaint villages, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Upon arrival in Punakha, check into your hotel and then visit the historic Punakha Dzong, one of the most beautiful and significant fortresses in Bhutan. Explore the intricate architecture, ornate paintings, and sacred relics as you learn about the dzong's fascinating history and cultural significance.

In the evening, take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers, enjoying the tranquil ambiance and stunning sunset views.

Accommodation: HotelDuration: 3 HRSDistance: 75 KMS

After breakfast, bid farewell to Punakha and embark on a scenic drive to Paro, the picturesque valley town nestled amidst the Himalayan foothills. The journey takes approximately 4.5 hours, covering a distance of about 120 kilometers. As you descend from the mountains into the Paro Valley, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of terraced fields, traditional farmhouses, and ancient monasteries.

Upon arrival in Paro, check into your hotel and then visit the Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower that has been converted into the National Museum of Bhutan. Explore the museum's exhibits, which showcase Bhutanese art, artifacts, and cultural heritage, providing insight into the kingdom's history and traditions.

In the evening, take a leisurely walk through Paro's charming streets, stopping to explore the local markets and sample delicious Bhutanese cuisine at a traditional restaurant.

Duration: 4½ HRSDistance: 120 KMS

Today, embark on an unforgettable excursion to the iconic Tiger's Nest (Paro Taktsang), one of Bhutan's most sacred and spectacular sites. After breakfast, drive to the base of the mountain and then hike uphill to the monastery, which is perched precariously on a sheer cliffside high above the Paro Valley. The hike takes approximately 2-3 hours each way and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Upon reaching Tiger's Nest, explore the monastery and its sacred temples, chapels, and meditation caves, soaking in the spiritual atmosphere and awe-inspiring surroundings. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, meditated here for three years, three months, three weeks, and three days in the 8th century.

After visiting Tiger's Nest, descend back to the base of the mountain and return to your hotel in Paro. In the evening, you may choose to relax and unwind at your hotel or explore the local markets for souvenirs and handicrafts.

Max Altitude: 3,120 m Accommodation: Hotel

After breakfast, bid farewell to the enchanting kingdom of Bhutan as you transfer to Paro International Airport for your onward

Did not find what you are looking for?Reach out to our travel experts.
Customize Trip
Cost Details
Included
  • Airport Transfers: Arrival and departure transfers between Paro International Airport and your hotel.
  • Transportation: Comfortable and air-conditioned vehicle for all sightseeing and transfers as per the itinerary.
  • Accommodation: 6 nights of accommodation in well-appointed hotels in Paro, Thimphu, Gangtey and Punakha.
  • Meals: Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner as specified in the itinerary (B/L/D).
  • Guided Tours: Professional English-speaking guide for sightseeing tours in Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, and Wangdue.
  • Sightseeing: Entrance fees to all monuments and attractions mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Cultural Experiences: Visits to cultural sites such as temples, dzongs, and museums, providing insights into Bhutanese history and traditions.
  • Taxes: All applicable government taxes and service charges.
Excluded
  • Airfare: International flights to and from Paro International Airport.
  • Visa Fees: Bhutanese visa fees and processing charges.
  • Personal Expenses: Expenses of a personal nature, such as laundry, telephone calls, beverages, and gratuities.
  • Optional Activities: Any optional activities or excursions not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Travel Insurance: Comprehensive travel insurance coverage for the duration of the trip.
  • Additional Meals: Any meals not mentioned in the itinerary or specified as included.
  • Medical Expenses: Any medical treatments or medications required during the tour.
  • Tips: Gratuities for guides, drivers, and hotel staff are not included and are at your discretion.
Essential Information

Important Notes

  • Visa Requirement: All travelers to Bhutan must obtain a visa before arrival. Visa applications are processed by licensed Bhutanese tour operators, and a visa clearance letter must be obtained prior to travel.
  • Minimum Daily Package: Bhutan has a "Minimum Daily Package" requirement for all tourists, which includes accommodation, meals, transportation, and a licensed guide. This daily fee varies depending on the season and group size.
  • Sustainable Tourism: Bhutan is committed to sustainable tourism and environmental conservation. Visitors are encouraged to respect local customs, traditions, and the natural environment during their stay.
  • Altitude Sickness: Some areas of Bhutan, especially in the Himalayan regions, are at high altitudes. Travelers should be aware of the risk of altitude sickness and take necessary precautions, such as acclimatizing gradually and staying hydrated.
  • Cultural Etiquette: Bhutan has a rich cultural heritage, and visitors should be respectful of local customs and traditions. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites, remove shoes before entering temples, and refrain from taking photos of religious ceremonies without permission.
  • Trekking Permits: Trekking in Bhutan requires a permit, which must be obtained through a licensed tour operator. Certain trekking routes also require a minimum number of participants and a certified guide.
  • Currency: The currency of Bhutan is the Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN), which is pegged to the Indian Rupee (INR). Credit cards are not widely accepted, so it's advisable to carry sufficient cash in Ngultrum or Indian Rupees.
  • Health Precautions: Travelers should ensure they are up-to-date on routine vaccinations before traveling to Bhutan. It's also advisable to carry a basic medical kit and any necessary medications, as some remote areas may have limited access to healthcare facilities.
  • Weather: Bhutan experiences a diverse climate, ranging from subtropical in the south to alpine in the north. The best time to visit is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and dry.
  • Travel Insurance: It's recommended to purchase travel insurance before your trip to Bhutan, covering medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and evacuation in case of emergencies.

Remember to check the latest travel advisories and regulations before planning your trip to Bhutan. Enjoy your journey to this enchanting Himalayan kingdom!