The tiny Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan awaits, nestled high in the Himalayas its isolation from the world has cultivated a culture rich in traditions, religion and a benevolent monarchy.
The dramatic landscapes – from snow-capped peaks and deeply forested slopes, to raging, boulder strewn rivers – sit largely undisturbed as the endeared environmental initiatives and religious beliefs leave the Kingdom pristine and virtually untouched by modernity.
This itinerary takes you into the ancient Kingdom for an adventure into the lands of charming farmers, the workplace of fascinating weavers, the hearts of enchanting monks and a look at the country’s charismatic leaders. During your adventure through Bhutan, you will experience Amankora’s exquisite accommodations.
Day 1: Arrival into Bhutan
Today arrive into Paro International Airport where you will weave over the valley for some subliminal views of Bhutan. After lunch, you will have the choice of the National Memorial Chorten, National Textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum, and National Library to visit, and perhaps time to stroll Main Street for some interesting Himalayan artefacts or textiles.
Your stay this evening will be at Amankora Thimphu, one of the five wonderful Amankora lodges in Bhutan.
Day 2: Exploring Thimphu
This morning, head to the north end of the valley to view Trashi Chhoe Dzong, the seat of Bhutan’s government and Royal offices, and pay a visit to Pangri Zampa, two 16th century buildings that now house a monastic training school for astrologers. Back in town you should be able to visit a few of the capital’s cottage industries ranging from traditional paper making to hand rolled incense.
Day 3: From Thimphu to Gangtey
An early departure takes you on a dramatic drive over the high mountain pass of Dochu La and on to the Phobjika Valley. Sights on the way include one of Bhutan’s first fortress monasteries, ancient wall paintings at the Hongtsho Goemba monastery, before climbing a 3,050m mountain pass where on a clear day, towering Himalayan peaks are clearly visible. On arrival you will have time to visit the striking Gangtey Goemba, sitting at the head of the valley, and perhaps have time to stroll through the quaint Gangtey village. Head back to the wonderful Amankora Gangtey, where you can relax by a roaring fire.
Day 4: Visit Black Neck Crane Centre
This morning will start with a visit to the Black Neck Crane Centre and depending on the season, viewing the breeding cranes is a must. Soaking up the beauty of the valley from the Lodge or returning to the revered Goemba for an audience with the Tulkul may be attractive, relaxing alternatives for the day. (Optional: Mountain biking)
Day 5: Trekking from Gangtey Gompa to Gogona
A moderate trek that takes you through meadows and fields then ascends the Tselela pass at 3440m through mixed forest of Juniper, bamboos, Rhododendrons and Magnolias. On this trek you will meet people who speak a different dialect called Bjop-kha (language spoken by nomads in Bhutan). Because of their isolation they continue using their own dialect and a life of their own. Gogona is a small village with an outstanding monastery under the care of Gangtey Gompa.
Day 6: Trekking from Gogona to Khotokha
A gradual climb today takes you to Shobjula pass at 3410m. On the descent, you will reach a wide valley with a spectacular view of the mountains around you.
Day 7: Trekking from Khotokha to Punakha
As you walk down you will notice the changes in the vegetation and finally reach the road at Tikke Zampa where you will be received by your private car for a scenic drive to Phunaka. Tonight you will stay at your third Amankora lodge, Amankora Punakha.
Day 8: Relaxing in Punakha
Spend the morning relaxing after your trek. In the afternoon, explore the hidden village of Talo, home of the Queens’ and the valley’s protective deity Lhakhang. A hike to an ancient monastery on the hilltop behind the lodge can be organized or, for a more relaxing option, visit the farmhouse and the spa of the lodge.
Day 9: Trekking in Punakha
After descending back down from Dochu La, you will follow your way back up the dramatic Wang Chu and Paro Chu river valleys, before crossing thru Paro Town towards the north end of the valley. Evenings at Amankora Paro may include informative lectures on the history, religion, flora and fauna of the region.
Day 10: Punakha to Paro
You will depart from Punakha onwards to Paro, where you will have time at leisure.
Stay: COMO Uma Paro
Day 11: Departure
Early morning transfer to catch your return flight home
|Day 1:||Arrival into Bhutan||Amankora|
|Day 2:||Exploring Thimphu||Amankora|
|Day 3:||From Thimphu to Gangtey||Amankora|
|Day 4:||Visit Black Neck Crane Centre||Amankora|
|Day 5:||Trekking from Gangtey Gompa to Gogona|
|Day 6:||Trekking from Gogona to Khotokha|
|Day 7:||Trekking from Khotokha to Punakha||Amankora|
|Day 8:||Relaxing in Punakha||Amankora|
|Day 9:||Trekking in Punakha||Amankora|
|Day 10:||Punakha to Paro||COMO Uma Paro|
From USD 9,300 per person based on two guests travelling
Notes on our prices
- This price guide provides you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your holiday.
- Prices are generally based on two people travelling together (unless stated otherwise) on a shared room basis.
- Prices can fluctuate depending on season, standard of accommodation, excursions selected (private versus shared) etc.
- This basic structure works very nicely, but don’t forget that Lightfoot Travel can provide a range of experiences and we tailor-make each itinerary based on your travel requirements. Get in touch to start planning your perfect trip with your own travel consultant
- Capital: Thimphu
- Main Language: Bhutanese (Dzongkha)
- Population: 0.7m (2011)
- Time Zone: GMT +6
- Currency: Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN), Indian Rupee (INR)
- Best time to go: September through November, March through May
From USD 9,300 per person