7 Days Bhutan Trip Itinerary
Duration: (06 Nights | 07 Days)
Day 01: Paro Airport to Thimphu
Day 02: Thimphu Local Sightseeing
Day 03: Thimphu to Punakha via Dochu La (10,171 ft.)
Day 04: Punakha: Excursion to Gangtey
Day 05: Punakha to Paro via Dochu La (10,171 ft.)
Day 06: Paro: Tiger’s Nest Monastery or Chele La (13,083 ft.)
Day 07: Paro Airport drop
• Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery
• Drive over the famous Dochu La (10,171 ft.) & Chele La (13,083 ft.)
• Thimphu (2N)
• Punakha (2N)
• Paro (2N)
• Day visit to Gangtey
• Visit famous Dzongs & Monasteries
• Room category & accommodation as desired
• 02 Nights’ stay at Thimphu
• 02 Nights’ stay at Punakha
• 02 Nights’ stay at Paro
• Meals on CP Basis (breakfast included)
• Transportation: All sightseeing tours by non-ac sedan car as per the itinerary
• Paro Airport pick-up & drop
• Fuel, driver allowances
• All applicable taxes
• Entrance fee for monasteries/dzongs, museums, etc.
• Expenses of personal nature, such as laundry, telephone calls, room service, alcoholic beverages, mini bar charges, tips, portage, camera fees, room heater, etc.
• Any meals and services not specifically mentioned in the inclusions
• Any expense incurred or loss caused by reasons beyond our control such as bad weather, natural calamities (landslides, floods), flight delays /rescheduling /cancellations, any accidents / medical evacuations, riots/strikes/war/roadblocks, & force majeure events, etc.
• Medical insurance/travel insurance
• Additional sightseeing charges or extra usage of the vehicle apart from the suggested itinerary
Day One: Kuzuzangpo La!
Arrival – Paro Airport | Transfer to Thimphu
- Post fulfilling the immigration formalities, exit the airport and meet Unplugged’ Life’s representative who will be happily waiting to receive you.
- From Paro airport, you will start your drive towards the Capital of the Country, Thimphu.
- An hour of the pleasant drive will land you at the confluence point of Pa Chu (Paro River) and Wang Chu (Thimphu River). The point is famous as Chunzom and is quite popular among visitors.
- Drive further upstream along with the Wang Chu to pass some Himalayan villages such as Kharbije, Khasadrapchu, and Namseling.
- As you approach Simtokha, you will have the first glance at the capital – Thimphu.
- Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel.
In the evening, go on a short city exploration trip that will include:
- Tashichho Dzong: Tashichho Dzong is a historical monastery which is located right next to the Wang Chhu River with impressive gardens and well-carved lawns. As you enter the monastery, you will retrace the old galleries of the building and will be briefed with a glorious history of its construction and reign. Built-in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was the summer house of the monk body.
- Later saunter along the vibrant and slanting lanes of the handicraft market in Thimphu. Over 50 Government appointed shops sell traditional Bhutanese artifacts and Tibetan crafts.
- To make it more convenient for you, we’ve arranged your hotel stay in the same vicinity.
- Try some Bhutanese delicacies in your dinner and rest the night away.
Day Two: Simply Bhutan
Getaways: Taikin Reserve | National Memorial Chorten | Folk Heritage Museum | Buddha Dordenma | Clock Tower | Sample Local Beer
Day two will mark the tour of Thimphu’s most important sites such as:
- The National Memorial Chorten: A stupa consecrated in the memory of the father of modern Bhutan (The Third king of Bhutan). The tall four-storied Chorten contains statues and iconography of deities from the tantric teachings. A perfect place to meditate and introspect!
- Takin Reserve: Situated 15-minutes northwest of the city centre (Thimphu), Takin Reserve was once a Royal “mini” zoo for Bhutan’s Royal family. Taikin are the national animal of Bhutan and are mostly found in the Himalayan belt of Tibet (China), northwest Myanmar, and northeast India.
- Simply Bhutan: Next up is a museum that bears a resemblance to a quaint Bhutanese village. It gives a quick introduction to the various elements of traditional life in Bhutan featuring cuisines, performances & several demonstrations.
- Folk Heritage Museum: In 2001, one of the oldest houses in Bhutan was transformed into the Folk Heritage Museum in Thimphu. It gives an insight into the traditional lifestyle of the Bhutanese ancestors. Time to travel back in time (150 years to be precise).
- Buddha Dordenma: Buddha Dordenma is a 169 feet high sky-touching Buddha Statue. The world-famous marvel is engraved with 1,25,000 smaller statues of Buddha. It encompasses an unmatched view of Thimphu valley.
- To spend some fun time, head to the Clock Tower and try local beer at Thijha Cafe with some local snacks; fall in love with the flavours of Bhutan!
- Return to your hotel for dinner. Take a goodnight’s sleep!
Day Three: Happiness Awaits in Punakha!
Punakha – Thimphu | DochuLa | Simtokha Dzong | Chimi Lakhang | Punakha Dzong
Gorge on a delicious breakfast & pack your bags for a breathtaking drive to Punakha from Thimphu. Punakha is a Himalayan town that is recognised by a number of landmarks that you will visit on day three.
The following places comprise the first leg of the journey:
- Dochu La: Dochu la pass which is undoubtedly recognised among the most beautiful passes in the Asian continent. Enjoy the 360-degree views of the Himalayas.
- 108 beautiful Chortens: Built by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. From here, on a clear day, you can have a superb view of the highest peaks, the sharp peak being Masagang (7200m) dominating the region, others are Tsendagang (6960m), Terigang (7060m), Jejegangphugang (7158m) and Kangphugang (7170m).
- Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (temple): Built-in honour of the fourth Druk Gyalpo (head of the state of Bhutan), Jigme Singye Wangchuck the open grounds in its front yard is a venue for the annual Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival.
After breathing in the captivating amphitheatrical vistas of the mountains, we will resume the downhill drive towards Punakha. You will stop for lunch in the afternoon. To burn the extra fat that you just devoured on, it is time to take a beautiful hike on the paddy fields to reach your next destination – Chimi Lhakhang (fertility temple).
- Chimi Lhakhang: Chimi Lhakhang is a temple built after a divine Mad Man called Drukpa Kuenley. Go for easy walks in the paddy field and come back to resume the second leg of the journey. It is a short walk that will consume an hour as you to-&-fro.
- Punakha Dzong: As we near the Punakha Valley, you will stop to navigate across the valley to reach Punakha Dzong. It is the most bewitching Dzong in Bhutan. The establishment dates back to 1637 as an old capital that served as the winter residence of the monk body. It is now the winter residence of the Central Monastic Community and administrative headquarters of Punakha district.
- Get ready for the next stop which is one of the longest suspension bridges in Bhutan. An off-the-beaten 350meter long bridge suspended on the very swift Po Chhu river. The bridge connects the town of Punakha and the Punakha Dzong and is mainly used by locals.
- Dinner & overnight stay at the hotel.
Day Four: Venturing Out in the Wild!
Punakha: Excursion to the Glacial Valley of Gangtey (Phobjikha)
- Fill your stomach with a healthy & tasty breakfast meal before leaving for Gangtey today. Gangtey (3000m) is a serene glacial valley of rolling hills and undulating meadows. Peer at the serrated mountains loomed in the distance to identify the picturesque Black Mountain range in the beautiful Phobjikha Valley.
- Perched atop a small hill in the valley is Gangtey Gonpa – a timeless monastery surrounded by a large village inhabited mainly by the families of the 140 Gomchens (Lay Monks).
Interesting Fact: The Gangtey Gonpa is the biggest and the only Nyingmapa Monastery on the western side of the Black mountains.
- Besides the Gangtey Monastery, the Black Necked Crane center is adored for the famous Black Necked Cranes who migrate from Tibet to call it their winter home.
- Before the sun slides down the horizon, make your way back to your hotel in Punakha.
- Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel!
Day Five: Adventure & Culture!
Punakha to Paro via Dochu La | Tachog Lhakhang | Ta Dzong | Paro Dzong | Cantilever Bridge
After an early breakfast, you will set off for Paro via Dochula Pass and Simtokha.
Along the way, you will explore:
- Chuzom: Chuzom is the place where Paro Chhu (Paro River) and Wang Chhu (Thimphu River) meet. At the confluence point, look out for the 3 ancient Chortens (stupas) – each characterizing Bhutanese, Tibetan, and Nepalese styles of architecture.
- Tachog Lhakhang: As you drive a few kilometers on the Paro-Thimphu highway after Chuzom, you will take a small photoshop at Tachog Lhakhang. It is a private temple owned by the descendent of the famous Tibetan bridge builder, Thangthong Gyelpo (famous as the Iron Chain Bridge Builder). The 15th-century landmark (the bridge) is marked with fluttering prayer flags and strong wind; commanding every visitor’s attention!
Upon arrival in Paro, check-in at the hotel. After a filling lunch, the second leg of the expedition will follow where the next stops will be:
- Ta Dzong: Ta Dzong is the cultural museum of Bhutan which was built in 1968 and houses some of the most impressive exhibits in the country. The displays include a rare collection of thangkas, and fearsome festival masks. Several sections also boast ancient textile work, jewelry, and handicrafts along with a few galleries of stuffed animals and butterflies from Bhutan.
- Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong): Established in the 15th century, the Rinpung Dzong is a Buddhist monastery and fortress. It is an imposing square fortress with a central tower and courtyards housing the administrative quarters; it stands today as a marvel of Bhutanese architecture
- Bhutanese Cantilever Bridge: Following the museum & fortress visits, sped downhill to cross the Bhutanese Cantilever Bridge – one of the finest specimens in Bhutan with its shingle roof and two guard-houses at each end.
Day Six: The Hanging Temple!
Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) | Chele La (13,083 ft.)
Hike to Taktsang Monastery – Make an early start to Taktsang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest monastery.
- Paro Taktsang or Tiger’s Nest, as christened popularly is a prominent temple complex that appears to have clung on the cliffside of the upper Paro valley. The temple was built around 1692 and is devoted to Padmasambhava. Magnetizing hordes of tourists from all across the world, it is famed as the face of Bhutan on the internet which makes for a good trekking adventure and a spiritual escape.
- The trek to the temple through the pine tree and sweet aroma of the air invokes mountain vibes as you walk uphill on the well-marked trail for 3 hours until you reach the cafeteria (lunch point) that imparts every visitor with the best views of the Temple (the one you see on the internet).
- Post Lunch, there is a 2-hours long walk to the monastery. After the visit, it is an easy descent of another 5 to 6 hours.
- As you reach the start point, we’ve arranged a comfortable vehicle to take you back to the hotel.
Take an excursion to Chele La
- Embark on a drive to Chele La (3,988m) – a high-altitude mountain pass that encompasses a breathtaking view of the Paro Valley.
- At 13,083ft. Chele La is one of the highest motor-able passes in Bhutan where you reach after a 45-minute drive on the winding mountain road to Haa (another valley) from Paro.
- Soak in an unreal & unhindered view of Mount Jomolhari & Jichu Drakey.
- Things to do: Stroll in the Pine & Rhododendron forests around the area. Click unlimited pictures for drool-worthy Instagram posts.
- After witnessing some Himalayan peaks up-close, drive back to Paro. The rest of the evening at leisure.
- Overnight stay at the hotel.
OPTIONAL AT EXTRA COST
BHUTANESE HOT STONE BATH (has to be booked in advance)
There can be nothing better than to soak your body in the traditional tub after the Taktsang Hike.
Similar to in Japan, Bhutan offers a traditional form of bath called the hot stone bath. Originally practiced for health or luxury purposes, a Bhutan hot stone bath takes a lot of time and effort to prepare. Particular stones are handpicked from the river which is heated up in the open fire until they turn blood red. The traditional wooden tub is filled with cold water and then the red-hot stones are dipped in until the water warms up. Herbs are added to the water and the experience can be compared to that of a natural hot tub minus the jets. The herbs used varied according to family and the recipe often was treated as a family secret, which was passed down from generation to generation. It is a very natural experience that includes the elements of water, fire, and earth. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day Seven: Tashi Delek!
Depart Paro: Transfer to Airport
In the morning, you’ll be dropped at the airport to bid goodbye to this wonderful place.