Bhutan Essential Tour (8 days 7 nights)

Bhutan, Himalayas

Tour Code: BHU Escorted Tour
Private transportation and English speaking guide provided
Starting from $1,790 per passenger
Visiting Thimphu for 3 nights: Gangtey Gompa, Phobjikha Valley. Punakha Dzong  for 1 night: Wangdue and fortress. Paro Velley for 3 nights): Drugyal Dzpng, Taktsang, or Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
Stay in decent 3 or 4 star local hotels, standard accommodations.

Day 1.  Arrive in Paro – Thimphu 
(L, D)
Upon arrival in Paro, you will meet our representative and transfer to Thimphu in a private vehicle (1hr). Along the way, you can stop in several places according to your interest. After lunch, visit different sights and attractions of Thimphu.

Day 2: Thimphu Sightseeing 
(B, L, D)
Full day tour of Thimphu’s cultural sites and monuments including Tashicho Dzong, Traditional Art School, Markets, Indigenous Hospital, Nunnery, Takin Sanctuary. Our guide can also change the tour to incorporate your interest and you may visit as much or as little.

Day 3: Thimphu – Gangtey, Phobjikha Valley (B, L, D)

Drive across the spectacular Dochu La Pass to Gangtey, Phobjikha Valley (5 hr).  The scenery is stunning and ever-changing as the road climbs and descends. Along the way, you can stop at several places. Upon arrival, visit ancient Gangtey Gompa Monastery and take a short walk to visit local homes. Overnight at Dewachen Resort (standard).  

Day 4: Gangtey – Wangdue – Punakha (B, L, D)

In the morning, take a short easy walk in the valley and also visit the Nature information centre. One of the main attractions of the valley is the endangered black-necked crane, which reside in Phobjikha from late October till March. Later drive back and descend into sub-tropical valley of Punakha – Wangdue (2-3hrs). Visit the township of Wangdue and its massive fortress. In the evening, take a short easy walk to see Chimi Lhakhang temple a small village.

Day 5: Punakha -Thimphu- Paro (B, L, D)

In the morning, visit the impressive Punakha Dzong at the confluence of Pho and Mochu rivers. If you wish, you can also take a short (40 minute each way) walk to visit Khamsum Yuelley Chorten.  On the return drive to Thimphu, we spend some time below Dochula pass to explore the botanical park and nearby surrounding for birds for diverse flora. Lunch could be planned at Dochula pass. After descending into Thimphu, continue short drive to Paro.

Day 6: Paro Valley Tour (B, L, D)

If you are interested more in the walks and to visit off-the-beaten sights, your guide can take you for drive up to Chele pass and hike to Kila Gompa nunnery. Along the way, you will also pass through wonderful forests. Also short distance from Paro in Bondey village, you can take a short walk to visit Dzongdrakha Gompa. The popular attractions within Paro include visiting Rinphung Dzong, National Museum, temples of Kichu and Dungtse, visiting local home and the stroll around the township. Overnight in Paro.

Day 7: Paro Valley (Takstang)  (B, L, D)
Before the hike, you can visit the ruins of Drugyal Dzong. Then follow it by day excursion to famous Taktsang or Tiger’s nest monastery. We can arrange pony ride for the uphill part but you must be able to walk down hill. This is expected to take all day.If for some reason, you wish skip Taktsang, our Guide and driver can arrange other interesting alternatives based on your interest. Return to Paro for farewell dinner. Overnight in Paro.

Day 8: Paro Departure 
 (B)
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Paro Airport in time for your departure flight. Most flights out of Bhutan depart in the morning.
__________________________________________________________
B:  Breakfast      L: Lunch      D: Dinner     SD: Specialty dinner

Months Price (2-5 Passengers) Price (6-9 passengers)
Jun. Jul. Aug. $1,990 $1,790
Sept. Oct. Nov. $2,390 $2,260
December $1,990 $1,790
Jan. Feb. $1,990 $1,790
March, April, May $2,390 $2,260

Single Supplement: $480

The tour prices are based on standard accommodations.

The prices including:
• Bhutan visa
• Arrival and departure transfers
• Help with hotel check in and out
• Air-conditioned transportation
• Meals listed in the itinerary
• English speaking tour guide and professional driver
• Sightseeing and attraction admission fees

The prices not including:
• International flights
• Travel insurance

Unique experiences:
Visiting Gangtey Valley 
Drukgyel Dzong

Flights:
International flights available upon requests.

Tour operation:
English speaking tour guide escorted
Air-conditioned transportation and driver provided
Airport arrival and departure transfers
Hotels check in and checkout assistance
Flight check in assistance
Optional programs available

Varieties of hotel choices are available in Thimphu and Paro but fewer choices for Punakha – Wangdue and Gangtey.

If you wish to stay at luxury type; our recommendations are Uma Resort or Zhiwaling in Paro and in Taj Tashi in Thimphu. In Punakha and Gangtey, the only luxury choice is in Aman Resorts. Alternatively, you can stay in luxury resorts in Paro and Thimphu and while at other places, stay in regular tourist hotels.

Standard choice hotels we recommend are following:

In Paro: Tenzinling, Tashiling, Gangtey Palace or Olathang.
In Thimphu: Kisa Hotel, Namgay Heritage, Wangchuk Resort, Jumolhari, River View and if you are looking for home /local family experience, then stay at Gayul Home.
In Punakha or Wangdue:  Punatsangchu, Damchen or Meri Phuensum. 
In Gangtey: the only good standard accommodation is Dewachen. All others in Gangtey are basic.