Day 1 – 3 Arrival and Paro Valley Sightseeing (D)
A guided tour of the enchanting Paro Valley over the next 3 days – the 17th century Paro Dzong, towering over the valley below, the National Museum houses collections of Bhutanese treasures and artworks. Walking through Paro town lined with willow trees, large white monuments tower over the town’s local archery field, over a traditional wooden bridge and into the heart of the valley.
Magnificent views abound from the Cheli La Pass an offering of prayer flags, a Buddhist ritual, then descending into the time forgotten Haa Valley. A spectacular day hike to the magnificent Taktsang Monastery (or Tiger Nest) at 3140 meters, perched cliffside an important Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Himalayas. The highly revered ancient 7th-century temple Kyichu housing an impressive statue of Chenrezig ‘god of compassion’ with its 11 heads and 1000 hands.
Day 4: Paro – Punakha (B)
Day 4 begins with a road trip to Punakha, a low altitude fertile valley, en route we visit the oldest fortress in the Kingdom, the Simtokha Dzong. Constructed in 1627 and home to the Institute for language and cultural studies, the ornate interior is a display of some of the most beautiful artistry in Bhutan. A further 45-minute road trip to Dochu La, take in the views of the Himalayan ranges, colorful displays of Buddhist prayer flags and the 108 memorial monuments.
Approaching Wangdue Phodrang the valley opens up into a wide turquoise blue river, we stop off for a short hike through rice fields to Chime Lhakhang – the abode of fertility. Arriving in the beautiful Punakha Valley, located at the meeting of the mother & father rivers the valley abounds with terraced rice crops, orchards, and plantations. We spend the afternoon exploring the Punakha Valley, and an afternoon hike to Yuley Namgay Chorten.
Day 5: Punakha to Gangtey – Phobjikha Valley (B, L)
After breakfast, make our way to Wangduephodrang to explore the vibrant local market and head to Wangduephodrang Dzong which was constructed in 1639 on a spur at the confluence of two rivers. We then drive up a winding mountain trail. En route, we pass through beautiful oak and rhododendron forests and the picturesque Phobjikha valley will widely open for us to enjoy.
We visit Gangtey Goemba, Nyingmapa Monastery, and explore the gorgeous Phobjikha Valley.
Overnight at the hotel/ homestay.
Day 6: Black-necked Crane Festival Tour (B, L)
In the morning, we get into the local Black Necked Crane festival which features numerous traditional and cultural programs celebrated by the locals. During the festival, you will witness a performance of students displaying the crane dance. Small stalls surrounding offers several vibrant local items like yak tail dusters, turquoise, Bhutanese handicrafts, or butter teacups.
This time of the year, we can also witness the Black-necked Cranes, head to the Information Centre, and joyfully experience the stunningly natural trails throughout the valley.
Overnight at the hotel/ homestay.
Day 7 & 8: Thimphu Sightseeing (B)
Thimphu possesses a real charm, situated at 2350 meters, this capital lies in a steep valley, with alpine forests and numerous golden topped monasteries scattered throughout. A Tibetan style monument in design, the Memorial Chorten, with its golden spire, this impressive Stupa was constructed in honor of the ‘mind of Buddha’ – one of the three traditional pillars of Buddhism and in memory of the 3rd King.
Sprawled along the Thimphu Chhu river is the Trashi Chhoe Dzong a pleasant late afternoon walk from town to the Thimphu Dzong, as it is commonly referred to. A farewell dinner to savor traditional cuisine and celebrate the incredible journey in this kingdom of mythology and ancient traditions.
Day 9: Depart (B)
The day at leisure until the driver pick you up for a flight to your departure. The trip ends. Hope you enjoyed this Bhutan festival tours and wish that we could serve you next time in Bhutan.