5 Days Bhutan: Culture, Nature & Tiger's Nest

Duration5 Days
Trip GradeEasy
Maximum Altitude3120
ActivitiesTours
Group Size2
StartsParo
EndsParo
Best TimeRound of the Year

Explore the mystical charm of Bhutan with a captivating 5-day tour encompassing the enchanting cities of Thimphu, Punakha, and Paro. Immerse yourself in the rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, and serene ambiance of the Land of the Thunder Dragon.

Begin your journey in Thimphu, Bhutan's vibrant capital city, where tradition meets modernity. Discover ancient monasteries, bustling markets, and ornate dzongs nestled amidst the picturesque Himalayan foothills. Uncover the secrets of Bhutanese craftsmanship as you explore local artisan workshops and witness the intricate art of thangka painting and wood carving.

Continue your adventure to Punakha, a tranquil valley town renowned for its historic significance and stunning natural beauty. Marvel at the majestic Punakha Dzong, an architectural masterpiece set against the backdrop of verdant rice fields and meandering rivers. Take a leisurely stroll across the iconic Punakha Suspension Bridge, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Conclude your journey in Paro, a charming town nestled in a picturesque valley renowned for its sacred sites and timeless charm. Embark on a pilgrimage to the iconic Paro Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) monastery, perched precariously on a cliffside amidst lush forests. Delve into Bhutan's spiritual heritage as you visit sacred temples, including the revered Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the Himalayan region.

Throughout your tour, indulge in Bhutan's culinary delights, savoring traditional dishes such as Ema Datshi (spicy chili and cheese stew) and Momos (steamed dumplings) bursting with flavors unique to the region. Experience warm Bhutanese hospitality as you interact with friendly locals and gain insight into their customs and traditions.

Whether you're a nature enthusiast, cultural aficionado, or spiritual seeker, a 5-day tour of Bhutan promises an unforgettable journey filled with awe-inspiring moments and soul-stirring experiences. Immerse yourself in the timeless allure of the Himalayan kingdom and create memories to last a lifetime.

Experience the essence of Bhutan as you embark on a journey of discovery through Thimphu, Punakha, and Paro, where every moment is a testament to the kingdom's enduring beauty and spiritual richness.

Highlights

Thimphu:

  • Tashichho Dzong: This majestic fortress houses the throne room and offices of the King of Bhutan. It's an architectural masterpiece and a significant religious and administrative center.
  • National Memorial Chorten: A prominent landmark and a sacred site, the chorten is dedicated to world peace and is adorned with intricate religious paintings and statues.
  • Buddha Dordenma Statue: This colossal statue of Buddha overlooks the Thimphu Valley and offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
  • Changangkha Lhakhang: A 12th-century temple perched on a hilltop, offering stunning views of Thimphu and providing a peaceful atmosphere for meditation and reflection.

Punakha:

  • Punakha Dzong: Often referred to as the "Palace of Great Happiness," this fortress-monastery is one of Bhutan's most beautiful and historically significant dzongs. It is located at the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers.
  • Punakha Suspension Bridge: Spanning the Mo Chhu River, this suspension bridge is one of the longest in Bhutan and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding valley and mountains.
  • Chimi Lhakhang: Also known as the "Temple of the Divine Madman," this fertility temple is dedicated to Drukpa Kunley, a revered saint known for his unorthodox teachings and playful nature.
  • Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery: Perched on a ridge overlooking the Punakha Valley, this picturesque nunnery offers panoramic views and houses a large bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion.

Paro:

  • Tiger's Nest (Paro Taktsang): One of Bhutan's most iconic landmarks, this sacred monastery clings to a sheer cliffside high above the Paro Valley. It is a strenuous hike but offers unparalleled views and a profound spiritual experience.
  • Paro Dzong (Rinpung Dzong): A fortress-monastery that serves as the administrative center and religious hub of Paro, known for its stunning architecture and rich history.
  • National Museum of Bhutan: Housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower), the museum showcases Bhutanese art, artifacts, and cultural heritage, providing insight into the kingdom's history and traditions.
  • Kyichu Lhakhang: One of Bhutan's oldest and most sacred temples, believed to have been built in the 7th century by the Tibetan Emperor Songtsen Gampo. It is revered for its spiritual significance and architectural beauty.
Itinerary
Trip PlanExpand all

Your journey begins with your arrival at Paro International Airport, where you'll be greeted by the stunning landscape of the Paro Valley, surrounded by majestic Himalayan peaks. After completing immigration formalities, you’ll meet your guide and embark on a scenic drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.

As you wind through the mountainous roads, you'll pass picturesque villages, terraced fields, and rushing rivers, offering glimpses of traditional Bhutanese life. Keep an eye out for the iconic Tachog Lhakhang Iron Bridge, a marvel of Bhutanese architecture spanning the Paro Chhu river.

Upon reaching Thimphu, check into your hotel and take some time to rest and freshen up. In the evening, you can explore the lively streets of Thimphu at your leisure. Visit the Clock Tower Square, a bustling hub of activity surrounded by shops, cafes, and handicraft stores. Enjoy a delicious dinner at a local restaurant, sampling traditional Bhutanese cuisine, before retiring for the night.

Max Altitude: 2320m Meals: DinnerAccommodation: Hotel

After breakfast, embark on a scenic drive to Punakha, a historic town nestled in the lush valleys of central Bhutan. En route, you’ll pass through the spectacular Dochula Pass, located at an altitude of 3,100 meters (10,170 feet), offering panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges on clear days.

Continue your journey towards Punakha, descending into warmer climates as you pass through subtropical forests and terraced rice fields. Upon arrival in Punakha, visit the majestic Punakha Dzong, an architectural masterpiece situated at the confluence of the Mo Chhu and Pho Chhu rivers. Explore the intricate artwork, colorful murals, and serene courtyards of this ancient fortress-monastery, which serves as the winter residence of the Chief Abbot of Bhutan.

After lunch, take a leisurely stroll through the charming town of Punakha, surrounded by verdant hills and scenic landscapes. Visit the nearby Chimi Lhakhang, also known as the "Temple of Fertility," dedicated to the 15th-century saint Drukpa Kunley. This unique temple is adorned with phallic symbols and is believed to bless couples with fertility and good fortune.

In the evening, check into your hotel in Punakha and enjoy a relaxing dinner, surrounded by the tranquil ambiance of the Himalayan foothills.

Max Altitude: 1250m Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & DinnerAccommodation: Hotel

After breakfast, bid farewell to Punakha and embark on the scenic journey back to Paro. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Bhutanese countryside as you wind through mountain passes and lush valleys.

Upon reaching Paro, check into your hotel and take some time to unwind. In the afternoon, visit the Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower that has been converted into the National Museum of Bhutan. Explore the museum's extensive collection of art, artifacts, and historical treasures, providing insights into Bhutanese culture, history, and religion.

Next, stroll down to the Rinpung Dzong, a majestic fortress-monastery that overlooks the Paro Valley. Explore the intricate architecture, colorful frescoes, and sacred relics of this iconic landmark, which plays a significant role in Bhutanese religious and administrative affairs.

In the evening, enjoy a leisurely walk through the charming streets of Paro, lined with traditional Bhutanese buildings and handicraft shops. Indulge in a delicious dinner at a local restaurant, savoring the flavors of Bhutanese cuisine, before retiring for the night.

Max Altitude: 2320m Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & DinnerAccommodation: Hotel

Today, after breakfast, embark on an unforgettable excursion to the Taktsang Monastery, also known as the "Tiger's Nest." Perched precariously on the edge of a cliff, this sacred monastery is one of Bhutan's most iconic landmarks and a must-visit destination for all travelers. Begin your hike from the base of the mountain, passing through pine forests and rhododendron groves, while enjoying panoramic views of the Paro Valley below.

After a challenging yet rewarding trek, reach the monastery and marvel at its breathtaking architecture and spiritual ambiance. Explore the temple complex, visit the various shrines and meditation caves, and soak in the serenity of this sacred site. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, the father of Bhutanese Buddhism, meditated here for three years, three months, three weeks, and three days.

After descending from the Tiger's Nest, enjoy a leisurely lunch at a nearby restaurant, surrounded by the tranquil beauty of the Himalayan landscape. In the afternoon, visit the Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most revered temples in Bhutan, dating back to the 7th century. Explore the temple complex and pay homage to the sacred relics and statues housed within its walls.

In the evening, you have the option to explore more of Paro at your leisure or relax at your hotel. Enjoy a farewell dinner, reflecting on the memories and experiences of your Bhutanese adventure, before retiring for the night.

Max Altitude: 2320m Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & DinnerAccommodation: Hotel

After breakfast, bid farewell to the enchanting kingdom of Bhutan as you transfer to Paro International Airport for your onward journey. Take with you cherished memories of your time spent exploring the cultural richness, natural beauty, and spiritual heritage of this Himalayan paradise. As you board your flight, carry with you the warmth and hospitality of the Bhutanese people, leaving with a promise to return someday to this mystical land.

Meals: Breakfast
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 in Thimphu, Punakha, and Paro.
  • Transportation: Comfortable and air-conditioned vehicle for all sightseeing and transfers as per the itinerary.
  • Accommodation: Four nights of accommodation in well-appointed hotels in Thimphu, Punakha, and Paro.
  • Meals: Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner as specified in the itinerary (B/L/D).
  • Guided Tours: Professional English-speaking guide for sightseeing tours in Thimphu, Punakha, and Paro.
  • Sightseeing: Entrance fees to all monuments and attractions mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Local Experiences: Cultural experiences, such as visiting monasteries, dzongs, and temples, including the Punakha Dzong, Ta Dzong, and Rinpung Dzong.
  • Trekking Arrangements: Assistance and arrangements for the hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest) and other trekking destinations.
  • 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.

Please note that the inclusions and exclusions may vary depending on the tour operator and specific package details. Be sure to review the inclusions and exclusions carefully before booking your Bhutan tour.