Day 01: Arrive at Paro Transfer to Thimphu/Travel Time: 01 hour
The spectacular scene of snow-capped mountains of the great Himalayas will be the very first sight when the Aircraft descends down to land at Paro International Airport. The colorful wonder valley stretches to accommodate the runway alongside the river Pa Chhu. The majestic Rinpung Dzong with Ta Dzong above it, can be seen towards the north of the Airport. The representatives of Jamtsho Bhutan Tours will have already reached there at the terminal to receive you.
After the visa formalities you will be transferred to Thimphu and checked into a Hotel. In the afternoon in Thimphu, you will be taken to Motithang Takin Preserve, home to Bhutan’s National Animal, the Takin. This unusual animal is often described as looking like a moose that was stung by a bee. Formerly a small zoo, the king decreed that penning up animals was contrary to Buddhist beliefs, so they were released. The takin had difficulty adapting, so the preserve was established to care for these gentle creatures.
Travelling back along the foothills, you will be taken up to the Buddha View Pointwhere the Buddha Dordenma statue sits. At 169 feet tall, this bronze statue can be seen from just about anywhere in Thimphu. One of the largest statues in the world depicting a seated Buddha, it is the perfect place to enjoy stunning, panoramic views of the city.
On the way back to the city, you will drop by at National Memorial Chorten, which was built in 1974 to honor the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. A chorten is a hemispherical shaped memorial stupa. Known to be the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan, it is used as a place of meditation. Typically you will meet lots of elderly people circumambulating this Chorten all around the clock.
The next stroll before retiring for the day will be visit to the Craft Bazaar where artisans & craftsmen from across the country come to sell their products. You can spend time on your own shopping gifts for your family back home.
Day 02: Thimphu – Phobjikha/Travel Time: 05 hours
After breakfast, drive to Phobjikha via Dochula pass and Punakha valley. An hour drive from Thmphu will take you to this Dochula pass (3140M) where one can have a superb view of the Eastern Himalayas on a clear day. Visit the beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck for the security and well being of His Majesty the King of Bhutan. Also visit Druk Wangyel Temple which was built to honor His Majesty, The Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The past and future appear to merge in the details of the temple that tells the story of a supreme warrior figure whose vision pierces the distant future. Continue your journey to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body.
Visit Punakha Dzong, located on the island of the Pho-Chu (male) river and the Mochu (female) river. Enjoy the view of Divine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where couples unable to conceive come here for blessing.
Travelling through the pristine mountains of central Bhutan, a beautiful bowl-shaped valley borders the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park and the entire area is a wildlife preserve. Here you may see the black-necked cranes which migrate here from November to March. You might also see other native animals, such as sambar, leopard, red fox and yak. On a hill overlooking the entire valley is the Gangtey Goempa, a large 17th-century monastery. Phopbjikha is one of the most beautiful highland valleys in Bhutan and winter home of black necked cranes.
Day 03: Phobjikha – Paro /Travel Time: 05 hours
After exploring Phobjikha valley and Gangtey gompa, drive back to Paro for overnight stay.
Day 04: Hike to Tiger Nest Monastery/2 and half hour hike
After breakfast, take a hike to Taktsang Monastery, popularly known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Monastery. The hike up to the view point will take about 2 hours & from the view point you will enjoy the spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of a high cliff. Stop for a refreshment at Cafe at the view point.
Tiger Nest Monastery was first built in 1692, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup, a cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for 3 months in the 8th century. It is believed that Guru Padmasambhava flew to this location from Khenpajong in Tibet on the back of a Tigress and subdued a demon. He then performed meditation in one of the caves here and emerged in 8 incarnated forms (8 manifestations) and blessed the place. Subsequently, the place came to be known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’.
In the afternoon, visit to Ta Dzong, built in the 17th century as a watchtower for the Rinpung Dzong. This dzong was converted into the National museum in 1967 and is filled with antique thankha paintings, textiles, weapons and armor. Rinpung Dzong was built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now being used as an administration center and school for monks. Take a look around the Paro town in the evening, overnight stay in Paro.
Day 05: Depart to Paro International Airport for onward destination
Note: Numerous factors such as weather, tour conditions, group options and the physical condition of participants, may dictate itinerary changes either before departure or while on tour. We reserve the right to change this schedule in the interest of our guests, safety, comfort and general well-being. Driving time in the program is approximate and is subject to the traffic, weather and road conditions.