fbpx
3.227.235.216
North AmericaUnited States New Set

Ultimate Bhutan

Thimphu, Punakha, Khotokha, Gangtey, Bumthang, Paro

Meet Katie

This example itinerary

from £11,400 $15,000 pp

10 days

HOME > DESTINATIONSBHUTAN  Ultimate Bhutan

The TRUE experience

Your big ideas – designed by our specialists and delivered with meticulous attention to every single detail. Just sit back and enjoy the experience.

We offer an open book pricing approach and our transparency is one of the reasons so many first time clients become lifetime clients.

Whether it’s supporting conservation programs, sustainable hotels or expert local guides, you will have a positive impact on the people and places you visit.

Highlights

  • Meditate with the chief Abbot at Punakha Dzong
  • Enjoy dinner with a member of parliament
  • Warm yourselves by the fire with local farmers and enjoy their home brewed fiery arra liqueur
  • Join locals and compete in an 8 a side archery tournament in Paro
  • Meet with Buddhist monks and hike along the pilgrimage trail to the iconic Tigers Nest

This example itinerary

from £11,400 $15,000 pp

10 days

Speak to Katie

+44 (0)203 137 1247

+1 (0)800 635 8124

What’s Included

  • 9 nights Full Board
  • Daily private guiding
  • Daily excursions and activities
  • International Economy class flights
  • All domestic flights and private transfers

Example Itinerary

Day 1-2

THIMPHU, Bhutan

  • Spot the enormous golden Buddha that sits atop a meditation hall
  • Meet with a member of Parliament for your first banquet dinner

Bhutan’s capital city is the heart of the country and home to Thimphu Valley, the giant Buddha and an abundance of monasteries.

Begin in Thimpu, where you’ll spend one night at Six Senses Thimpu – a luxury hotel in the shadow of the Himalayas with sweeping views over Thimphu Valley and Great Buddha Dordenma. With a guide, visit the golden Buddha statue and the National Memorial Chorten.

Pre-dinner, you will meet with a Member of Parliament to give a short talk. This special session strives to give you more insight and understanding of Bhutan – whether it’s the Gross National Happiness, history, religion, culture or politics of this special country.

Day 2-4

PUNAKHA, Bhutan

  • Meditate with the Chief Abbot in the inner Sanctum of Punakha Dzong, a 17th century riverside palace
  • Visit the Temple of Fertility, hike to Kham Yuelley Temple, meet with monks and visit a Buddhist College

Once the capital of Bhutan, Punakha is full of interesting history, monuments and scenic views over the Pho River.

Travel to Punakha over the Dochula Pass, winding past exceptional views of the snow-capped Himalayas. Prior to arrival in Punakha, visit Chimi Lhakhang which is an easy 15-minute walk from the road. This is known as the Temple of Fertility.

Reaching Amankora in time for lunch, spend two nights at Amankora Punakha, an elegant hideaway set amidst farmland, on the riverfront. In the afternoon you will visit Punakha Dzong and chant in the inner sanctum with the chief Abbot.

The following day, hike along the Butterfly Trail to the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten. For those wishing to ramp up the adrenaline, we can arrange white water rafting along the Pho River. In the evening, sip on riverside cocktails and soaking up the majestic scenery. For lunch, we will lay on a riverside BBQ lunch. In the afternoon, we will take a drive to Talo before visiting Nalanda Dorjidhen, a Buddhist college, where you will be able to sit and talk to monks speaking English.

Day 4-5

KHOTOKHA, Bhutan

  • Watch an exclusive festival celebration in Khotokha with monks and stylised masked dancers
  • Wander the village tracks and enjoy a candlelit dinner in a local farmhouse

This large glacial valley is home to farming communities and serene scenery.

After breakfast, take a drive to Khotokha valley. It is a large glacial valley with few inhabitants and various sacred sites. All the settlements are subsistence farmers and mostly involved in potato cultivation. The plains are too breathtaking to miss, as well as the sacred sites of Khotokha. This is a truly magical valley, but very few tourists are able to visit.

Upon arrival, you will have an opportunity to immerse yourself in a lively and vibrant festival celebration, created just for you, with a series of highly stylised masked dance rituals. Those attending will be adorned in astounding colours from surrounding villages and you will have the chance to join the locals, receive blessings and interact with the monks. Wander the streets of the local village, before enjoying a candlelit dinner in a local farmhouse. You will then camp overnight, under a canopy of stars in the wild.

Day 5-6

GANGTEY, Bhutan

  • Hike from Khotokha valley, towards the Phobjikha valley, spotting black-necked cranes, muntjacs and sambars
  • Embark on a spiritual cleansing and private prayer flag hoisting

The secluded nature of Gangtey offers endless adventurous hikes in outstanding mountainous scenery.

This trek begins from your camp in the beautiful Khotokha valley, towards the Phobjikha valley (3,000m), one of the few glacial valleys in Bhutan, which lies in the mountains east of Wangduephodrang.

This quiet, remote valley is the chosen winter home of the rare black-necked cranes, which migrate here annually from the Tibetan plateau. This moderate trek visits the villages of Gogona from Khotokha, passing through meadows and fields, then forests of juniper, magnolia and rhododendrons. From Gogona, there will be off-road vehicles waiting to transfer you to Gangtey. Gangtey is one of the most secluded spots in the world, where you’ll spend a night at Gangtey Lodge. Set in a protected reserve nestled up high in the mountains, the lodge is home to adventure, comfort and spiritual awakening.

Day 6-8

BUMTHANG, Bhutan

  • Join Jakar Festival in the courtyard of Jakar Dzong, to include folk songs and dances
  • Visit a local farmhouse, drink butter tea and try their home-brewed liqueur – the fiery arra

Considered as Bhutan’s most historic district, Bumthang brings temples, monasteries and sacred sites.

After breakfast, we have arranged for you to partake in a spiritual cleansing. The ritual is also used to self-cleanse all the bad spirits surrounding us and to be blessed with good luck. Spiritual cleansing involves the burning of selected herbs. This normally takes place in the early morning hours and is in the presence of a senior monk from the Shedra. After an early lunch, you will then make the journey to Bumthang. We will stop on the way for a private prayer flag hoisting. Hoisting a prayer flag is considered to bring good luck and merit to all sentient beings.

Further on your journey, you will reach the viewpoint of Trongsa. Then down the valley after Yutong La Pass, at an altitude of 11,000 feet and continue through farmlands toward Zugney Village, home to many skilled weavers. Take a scenic drive through dramatic landscapes of farmland, gorges and farmhouses to reach Bumthang where you’ll spend two nights at Amankora. Home to 29 monasteries and temples, Bumthang is coined as the spiritual heart of the country.

The following day after breakfast, visit Jakar Festival. This festival is held in the courtyard of Jakar Dzong. The festival showcases several sacred masks dance. This festival also hosts different types of folk songs and dances. Then visit a local farmhouse with colourfully decorated outer walls and lintels, traditionally built without the use of single nail. Enjoy a delicious buttermilk tea and snacks and home-brewed liqueur. A visit to a farmhouse gives an interesting glimpse into the lifestyle of a farming family.

Day 8-10

PARO, Bhutan

  • Take part in an archery tournament against a local team
  • Hike through the mountains to the Tiger’s Nest monastery, precariously built into the cliffside

Set in Western Bhutan, the valley town of Paro is perfect for exploring its surroundings on foot, as well as promising an immersive spiritual and wellness retreat.

Today you will take a scenic flight to Paro. On arrival, you will visit the Kyichu temple, where you can light 108 Butter lamps.  You will then visit the National Museum with a top curator.

We have arranged a private archery tournament for you, where you can join and compete against a local team. Each team is encouraged by its supporters who dance and sing, extolling their team while teasing and mocking the opponents to make them lose their concentration. Each time an arrow hits the bulls-eye, there is celebratory mayhem! Toward the evening, you will take e-bikes on a short tour to experience a little more of the Paro Valley.

After an early breakfast, take a day hike to Taktsang Monastery, perched on the side of a vertical cliff at 3000m altitude north of Paro. This monastery creates an extraordinary sight and is the unofficial symbol of Bhutan. It is one of the most famous Buddhist Monasteries in Bhutan and is also to as the ‘Tiger’s Nest’. An hour and a half hike up to a small wooden teahouse provides a close view of the monastery where you take a breather and enjoy some light snacks. A further hike of an hour leads you to the glorious Taktsang Monastery. That evening, you will be able to enjoy the spa and ease those blessed aches from the morning’s pilgrimage.

Finally – to finish the trip in style, we have arranged an enchanting final dinner with live musicians, dancers and a meal fit for Bhutan’s Royal Family.

Georgina

We want to thank you both so much for making our holiday one of the most memorable experiences of our lives. We will be ambassadors for this magical country forever. We have already persuaded several friends to go to Bhutan!

Travelling with TRUE

Curated Adventures

Honest Pricing

Positive Impact

Full Support

Financial Protection

Unrivalled Private Access

Start planning your truly bespoke itinerary by contacting one of our destination specialists.

Call +44 (0)203 137 1247

Call +1 (0) 800 635 8124

OR

Zero deposit, zero risk.

The TRUE rating

INDULGENT:

These accommodations are the best of the best, showcasing top hospitality, exceptional design and world-class food, in the most exclusive locations around the world.

EXCEPTIONAL:

A very high standard of five-star properties, with top-notch service and a wide range of amenities and experiences ensuring an unforgettable stay.

EXCELLENT:

These four to five-star accommodations offer the high level of service that our team look always look for, with a range of facilities on offer.

CLASSIC:

Four-star properties which offer enough amenities for a comfortable stay. We may offer these for a more price-competitive option, or in more remote areas which don't offer the most luxe hotels.

EXPERIENTIAL:

These properties won't necessarily offer all of the typical luxurious facilities, but will always provide memorable experiences, from camping out in the bush to climbing up to a treehouse.