This hiking tour will take you deep into the heart of central Bhutan. You will travel across the three high mountains passes of Dochula at 3,100 meters, Pelela at 3,300 meters and Yongla, the highest at 3,400 meters. The tour highlights include travel to Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Wangdue and Trongsa and Bumthang. It also includes a visit to the Gangtey Valley, winter habitat a rare bird and an endangered species, which migrates in winter from the plateau of Tibet and Siberia.
Upon arrival at Paro, your guide will meet you and drive you to the Paro Rinpung Dzong, the centre of civil and religious authority in this region. We will have lunch in the Paro town before our drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Have dinner and overnight in the hotel at Thimphu.
The next day begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten built in honour of our late king Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. We then drive to the viewpoint of Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body and Folk Heritage Museum. After lunch, we will be visiting the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive and finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium and shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Enjoy dinner and overnight at hotel.
After breakfast, we will drive to Trongsa, through the Dochula Pass. It is very popular pass for viewing the eastern Himalayan mountain ranges on the clear days. Then the road will descend to 1,300 meters above sea level in Wangduephodrang Valley. The vegetation is made up of rhododendron, magnolia bloom in early spring and through the subtropical and broadleaf forest. We will have dinner and overnight at hotel in Trongsa.
In the morning, we will visit the magnificent Trongsa Dzong and then drive to Bumthang through the dense forest of rhododendron, conifers, alder and oak. The road then comes out into the Chumey Valley, the first of Bumthang four valleys. From here, the road goes on straight until we see Jakar Dzong and then drops into bends before straightening out again in the main valley at Chamkhar. After lunch, we will visit Jakar Dzong and the Chamkhar town before our dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Bumthang.
Today begins with a visit to Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, built in 7th century. After lunch, we will visit Mebertsho, or Burning Lake. This is a very sacred lake for Bhutanese people. Have dinner and overnight at hotel.
After breakfast, we will drive to Gangtey, Phobjikha. After lunch, we will walk around the Phobjikha Valley, a glacial valley and the winter home of the Black-Necked Cranes. This valley is a designated conservation area and borders Black Mountain National Park. Enjoy a dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Phobjikha.
The next day will see us drive to Punakha. At Wangduephodrang, we will visit Wangduephodrang Dzong, founded by the Lama Zhamdrung in 1638. After lunch, we will visit Punakha Dzong, the winter capital of Bhutan until 1955 when the capital was permanently shifted to Thimphu. Then we will drive to the viewpoint of Khamsum Yule Namgyel chorten. Have dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Punakha.
After breakfast, we will drive to Paro via Dochula pass. At Lobesa, we will visit Chhimi Lhakhang, which is located at a hilltop. We have to walk about 25 minutes from the road point. After visiting this, we will continue our journey to Paro. We will have dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Paro.
In the morning, hike to the viewpoint of Taktsang Monastery. We walk about 1.5 hours up from the road end. The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. After enjoying the view, photographs and refreshments at the viewpoint, we will walk back. After lunch, we will visit National Museum of Bhutan and Kyichu Lhakhang. Take an evening stroll around the Paro town. Dinner will be served in the farmhouse with an overnight stay in the hotel at Paro.
Today, we will drive to Paro international Airport to catch the flight to your next destination.