Himalaya’s Hidden Treasures
12 Days / 11 Nights
Kathmandu • Thimphu • Punakha • Trongsa • Bumthang • Paro
PRICE AND DATE
Departure dates and prices are available on request. Please call 1-800-387-0387 or email: email@example.com
DAY 1 Arrive Kathmandu (800m)
Met on arrival and transferred to your hotel.
Hotel: 4★+ Crowne Plaza Kathmandu-Soaltee or similar (3 nights)
DAY 2 Kathmandu B
Spend the day visiting the oldest city in the valley, Patan City, also known as Lalitpur or the city of fine arts and architecture with 136 bahals or courtyards and 55 major temples. Continue to Bhaktapur Durbar Square, known as the “City of Devotees” and home to beautifully preserved medieval art & architecture and Changu Narayan, the oldest Hindu temple in the valley. Optional: See amazing views of the Himalayan peaks, glaciers and lakes on a 50-minute Everest Mountain flight.
DAY 3 Kathmandu B
A full-day sightseeing takes you to Boudhnath Stupa, a place of worship for Buddhists and Pashupatinath Temple, considered one of the holiest sites dedicated to Lord Shiva.
DAY 4 Kathmandu ✈ Paro – Thimphu B, L, D
Fly to Paro, Bhutan. Upon arrival, you will be met and driven to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.
Hotel: 3★ Namgay Heritage or similar (2 nights)
DAY 5 Thimphu (2350m) B, L, D
Your full-day sightseeing highlights Bhutan Post Office, The National Library (a treasure trove for priceless Buddhist manuscripts), Folk Heritage Museum, a replica of medieval farm-house patronized by HM the Queen Sangay Choden Wangchuck; Traditional Paper Factory, Memorial Chorten (large Tibetan-style chorten built in 1974 in memory of Bhutan’s third king) and Trashichhoedzong, a medieval fortress/ monastery which houses most of the government offices and the King’s Throne room.
DAY 6 Thimphu – Punakha (1350m) B, L, D
After breakfast, visit Changangkha Temple, and Drubthob Monastery which houses the Zilukha Nunnery (female monks); National Institute of Traditional Medicine and the View Point for a spectacular view of Thimphu town. Drive to Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan. Stops are made at Hongtsho Monastery, founded by 14th Drukpa hierarch of Tibet in 1525, and Dochu-La Pass (3,088m/10,13ft) surrounded by prayer flags and little chortens (stupas). Visit Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (monastery) overlooking the unique 108 spiral of Khangzang Wangyal Chortens. Continue your drive to Punakha Dzong, built strategically at the Junction of Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers in 1637 to serve as the religious and administrative centre of the region. If time permits, you will also visit Chime Lhakhang Temple.
Hotel: 3 ★ Drubchhu Resort or similar (1 night)
DAY 7 Punakha – Trongsa B, L, D
Drive to Trongsa (central Bhutan) with en route stop at Wangduephodrang Dzong built in 1638. Continue on to Trongsa across Pele-La Pass (3,300m/10,830ft).
Hotel: 3★ Yangkhil Resort or similar (1 night)
DAY 8 Trongsa – Bumthang B, L, D
This morning’s tour highlights Trongsa Dzong, the most impressive dzong in Bhutan built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1647. Climb up a steep path to visit the Ta Dzong (watchtower), dedicated to the epic hero, King Gesar of Ling. Continue your drive to Bumthang over the Yutong La Pass (3,400m/11,155ft). Bumthang is the heartland of Buddhism and home to many ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries.
Hotel: 3★ Mountain Resort or similar (2 nights)
DAY 9 Bumthang (2700m) B, L, D
Your day begins with visits to the Jambey Lakhang, built in 7th century by Tibetan King, Songsten Gampo, when Buddhism was first introduced to Bhutan. The rest of the day’s highlights include: a visit to Tamshing Lhakhang which houses old and interesting religious paintings; Kurje Lhakhang, where the saint’s body is imprinted on a rock; Konchogsum Lhakhang, founded in the 8th century and the Temple of the Three Jewels.
DAY 10 Bumthang ✈ Paro B, L, D
Fly to Paro and check in your hotel. Visit Dumtse Lhakhang and Kyichu Lhakhang, builit in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo.
Hotel: 3★ Tenzinling Resort or similar (2 nights)
DAY 11 Paro (2280m) B, L, D
This morning, embark on a hike (3-4 hrs) or ride on a horse to the Taktsang Monastery (Tiger Nest Monastery), perched on a cliff more than 2000 feet above Paro Valley. The monastery is considered sacred by pilgrims of all walks of Mahayana Buddhism. Continue your tour with visits to the Drukgyel Dzong and Kyichu Lakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the kingdom dating back to the 7th century and marking the advent of Buddhism in the country.
DAY 12 Paro Departure
Transfer to the airport.
Day 2 – Patan City
Day 3 – Bouddhanath Stupa
Day 6 – Punakha Dzong
Day 8 – Trongsa Dzong
Day 11 – Taktshang Goemba Temple
Gangtey Extension (from Bumthang)
2 Days / 1 Night
DAY 10 Bumthang – Gangtey (2800m) L, D
Drive to Gangtey Gompa which now houses one of the only Nyingmapa Monastery in Bhutan. The valley is also the winter home to the rare black-necked cranes (Grus Nigricollis), which migrates to the valley from remote parts of Tibet, China and Siberia in winter.
Hotel: Tourist Class Dewachen or similar in Phobijikha (1 night)
DAY 11 Gangtey – Paro (2280m) B, L
This morning, you will see the great birds at their feeding ground along the river flat. From Gangtey, the road gradually descends into the balmy Punakha Valley, then climbs up and over the Dochu La for lunch at the café. Drive to Paro and continue to Day 10 of Himalaya’s Hidden Treasures.
Day 11 – Punakha Valley