For much of the 20th century, the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan was all but forgotten by the world; indeed, in a country where television has only been allowed since 1999, the modern age passed much of Bhutan by. A land of deep valleys and dzong (fortresses) perched on precarious peaks, it is one of the most isolated and least developed nations in the world. Its continued isolation is no longer an accident: Bhutan’s traditional culture is strictly protected and visitors carefully regulated. In the only country in the world where tobacco sales are banned and the capital has no traffic lights, the opportunity to experience a place time forgot isn’t a vacation, it’s a privilege. This tour gives those short on time the perfect introduction to this amazing country.
Bhutan short tour: Day 1: Arrival and transfer to Thimphu (Driving Time – 1.5 hours)
As your Druk Air flight weaves through the valley, arrival in Bhutan is like no other. As you touch down, keep your camera at the ready, as we have noticed how passengers slowly disembark and then stand on the tarmac totally bewildered. Then move through to immigration where you will present your Visa Approval letter and Passport for the official stamp. As you clear the Immigration check, please make your way to the baggage delivery area and here you will meet your Guide for the first time. The transfer to Thimphu is approximately 1 ½ hours and upon arrival and after settling in; you will have the choice of the National Memorial Chorten, National Textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum, National Library to visit, and perhaps time to stroll the Main Street for some interesting Himalayan artifacts or textiles. (Overnight at hotel)
Bhutan short tour: Day 2: Tour of Thimphu
This morning you will 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. At the head of the valley, should you wish to stretch your legs; a short hike will take you to Cheri Goemba, the monastery where the first monastic body was established in the Kingdom. 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. Later in the evening drive to Kuensel Phodrang, (Buddha Point) is another place from where one can get a complete view of the town of Thimphu. The point has the largest statue of the Buddha (Overnight at hotel)
Bhutan short tour: Day 3: From Thimphu to Punakha (Driving Time – 3 hours)
We opt for an early departure for a dramatic drive over the high mountain pass of Dochu La and on to the Punakha Valley. Sights on the way include one of Bhutan’s first fortress monasteries; the 17th century Simtokha Dzong, The journey continues over the 3,050m mountain passes where on a clear day, towering Himalayan peaks are clearly visible. The descent down thru the Punakha Valley along the Kingdom’s only east-west highway will loop you through the Valley of Wangdi and perhaps the local town temple next door. Time will be afforded to walk this small village and explore its row of intimate shops before heading back into Punakha Valley. This afternoon you will have a choice to visit the village of Talo, home of the Queens’ and the valley’s protective deity lhakhang. Rest of evening at your leisure (Overnight at hotel)
Bhutan short tour: Day 4: Punakha Valley Exploration
The day in Punakha Valley begins with a beautiful hike along the Mo Chhu, takes to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a monument recently built by the four queens of Bhutan. Following the hike you will drive back up the valley towards Khuruthang passing Punthsho Pelri Palace and several other winter homes of the royal family before reaching the impressive Punakha Dzong. This ancient fortress is the winter residence of the monastic order’s head and still serves as the administrative headquarters for the Punakha region. A picnic lunch is served on the banks of the Punak Chu, before visiting the village of Lobesa where a short walk ends at Chimi Lhakhang, the auspicious fertility monastery built in 1499. (Overnight at hotel)
Bhutan short tour: Day 5: From Punakha to Paro (Driving Time – 4 hours)
After descending back down from Dochu La, you will follow your way back up the dramatic Wang Chu en route visiting a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse, to gain an insight into the lifestyle and culture of the local people. The sightseeing at Paro starts with a visit to the National Museum. Here, an intriguing collection of artefacts provide a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. Just a short walk downhill lays the dominating Paro Dzong, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture. From the Dzong, the tour crosses Nyamai Zampa, a traditional cantilever bridge, and guests are then driven to the town temple, built in 1525, to view ancient wall paintings. Rest day at your leisure (Overnight at hotel)
Bhutan short tour: Day 6: Paro Valley Exploration
The day starts with an hike up to view one of Bhutan’s most revered monuments, the Taktshang Goemba, more commonly referred to as the “Tiger’s Nest”. The four-hour trek offers spectacular views of this sacred monastery perched on a cliff face 900m above the valley floor. In the evening, there is an opportunity for a quick stroll to the nearby ruins, a visit to some of the valley’s oldest and holiest religious monuments or a ramble down Paro’s main street. (Overnight at hotel)
Bhutan short tour: Day 7: Departure Day:
Morning transfer to airport
Please note that some of the sights/itinerary may change due to season, weather, national holidays, and special events. We maintain the rights to alter the itinerary since tours are made in advance and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve your overall travel experience in Bhutan
The driving and hiking times mentioned are approximate times and do not include breaks in the journey for sightseeing, photo/tea/meal/rest stops. There may be delays in transfer time due road conditions, road repair/widening works, inclement weather and other unforeseen circumstances. During the treks/hikes, there may be delays or diversion of hiking trails due to trail conditions, inclement weather and other unforeseen circumstances. Please note that at the moment there are numerous areas where road conditions are not very good due to road widening/repair works and you may experience rough and bumpy drives.
Bhutan short tour: Pricing due to currency fluctuations and seasonal changes please inquire for the best possible price.
Bhutan short tour: Departs daily on request, this is a private tour
Rates vary frequently. Please contact us to get the best possible price based upon your travel period and specific touring needs, private basis not join in, please inquire for pricing which varies depending on accommodation standards.
Bhutan short tour: Suggested hotels used are:
Day 1-3 Thimphu Hotel Phuntsho Pelri or Similar Hotel Standard Room
Day 3-5 Punakha Hotel Zangtopelri or Similar Hotel Standard Room
Day 5-7 Paro Hotel Udumwara or Similar Hotel Standard Room
Bhutan short tour: What’s Included:
Assistance on arrival & departure at airport / hotel by a Distant Frontier representative
Transport using A/C Transport as detailed in the program.
Accommodation on Single / Twin sharing basis for a total of 6 nights.
All Meals included in the program.
English speaking Accompanying guide for sightseeing as mentioned in the itinerary.
Entrance fees at the monuments and places of visit. (Only one visit to all the monuments).
Bhutan Visa Fee
Tourism Development fee. (Bhutan)
Govt royalty and taxes. (Bhutan)
Bhutan short tour: What’s NOT Included:
Visa fees / airport tax
Meals not specified.
Camera / Video Charges
Personal expenses like telephone bills / laundry charges / table drinks / tips of any nature to driver / guide / restaurant boys etc
Christmas and New Year Dinner.
Bhutan short tour: Creating Unique Touring Experiences
All the touring itineraries on this website have been carefully crafted. However, we understand that every travel experience should be as unique and individual as each traveler. We can tailor or custom design a Bhutan tour to your individual specifications, contact us now.