This central Bhutan tour will take you deep
into the heart of the beautiful Bumthang valley,
considered the Switzerland of Bhutan. Our route
crosses three high mountains passes: Dochula
at 3100m, Pelela at 3300m and Yotongla, the
highest at 3400m.
Bumthang is considered to be the spiritual
home of the Bhutanese people. The entire Bumthang
valley is dotted with some of the oldest historical
monuments and Nyes (sacred places) in all of
Bhutan, some dating back to the 7th century
A.D., a period of which there is little modern
This tour also travels to Paro, Thimphu, Punakha,
Wangdue and Trongsa. Besides these destinations,
we also include highlights such as a visit to
the Gangtey valley to spot the black-necked
crane. This rare bird is an endangered species
which migrates in winter from the plateau of
Tibet and Siberia. Another visit features the
Kuenga Rabten Palace, a ruling home of Bhutan’s
second King, Jigme Wangchuk, for a decade.
Myth of Central Bhutan 11 Nights /
12 Days Itinerary
DAY 01 : Paro. Altitude: 2250 M
Fly into the Kingdom of Bhutan. On the flight,
you can see breathtaking views of the Great
Himalayan Mountains. Upon arrival at Paro International
Airport, you will be welcomed to the Kingdom
by your guide from the Travel Agent and lunch
at hotel. Start the day by visiting the National
Museum (Ta- Dzong). Once it was watchtower for
Rinpung Dzong (Fortress) was converted into
the National Museum in 1968. The museum stands
on a promontory overlooking the Paro valley
in all its glory.
Visit Paro-Rinpung Dzong. The flagstone path
rises gradually from a beautiful wooden bridge
with shingle roof and abutted by two guardhouses
to the Dzong. Today, this massive fortress built
in 1646 AD is the seat of the district administration
as well as home for the monastic school. The
central watchtower (Utse) of the Dzong, with
its superb woodwork, is one of the most beautiful
in the country. Night Paro.
DAY 02 : Day Excursion to Taktsang.
Hike or take a horse ride to Taktsang Monastery
viewpoint. Taktsang meaning “Tiger’s
Nest” is built around a cave in which
Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) meditated clings
seemingly impossible to a cliff at 3000 feet
above the valley floor. For the local people
it is a place of pilgrimage, but for a tourist,
a hike up to the viewpoint opposite the monastery
can be exhausting, thrilling and mystical. The
legend has it that Guru Rimpoche is had flown
to the site of monastery on the back of tigress
from Tibet and meditated in the cave there for
Although the main building of the temple was
destroyed by fire on 19 April 1998, the hike
up to the viewpoint is still worth the effort
as the temple has been restored to its original
When we are coming back and reach to main road
we turn right and drive further to Drukgyel
Dzong. It was built in 1649 by Shabdrung Ngawang
Namgyal. It was damaged by fire in 1951.
On way back we will visit one of the oldest
monasteries that we have in Bhutan. It is called
Kichu Lhakhang and built in the 7th century
by the first King of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo to
spread the Buddhist Dharma throughout Bhutan.
DAY 03 : Paro – Thimphu. 65
KM. 2 Hours Drive. Altitude: 2350 M
After breakfast a two-hour drive will take you
to Thimphu (7,700 feet), the only Capital City
in the world without traffic lights.
Drive through the Paro Valley, which lies
beneath chomolhari, One of the Bhutan’s
“Mountain of the Goddess.” The drive
from Paro to Thimphu is spectacularly scenic.
In the spring season in Bhutan, you will find
nature in a festive mood with rushing turquoise
rivers which can be heard from miles away and
mountains transformed into Master artist’s
palette of brilliant vermilion, yellows, purples,
pink, oranges and reds to dazzle your senses.
Wild cherry, mountains plums, cotton silk and
forests of rhododendron trees bloom with astonishing
beauty and abundance especially in spring. Enjoy
the magnificent monasteries, stupas in the valleys
and the mountains. Experience the “Last
Buddhist Himalayan Kingdom” on earth.
DAY 04 : Thimphu Sightseeing.
Visit the General Post Office and purchase the
world’s most beautiful postage stamps,
collector’s items and postcards at face
Visit the Arts and Crafts school where one
can see young children at work.
Visit the Traditional Medicine Institute where
the ancient healing arts are still practiced.
Visit the Memorial Chorten built in 1974 to
honor the memory of the Late King Jigme Dorji
Wangchuk, popularly known as the Father of Modern
Bhutan. A multi storied stupa that will introduce
you to the vitality of Tantric Buddhism.
Observed traditional paper making from Daphnia
and Edgeworthia shrub to the finished product
and maybe purchase some beautiful writing sets
from the factory.
Visit the mini zoo/sanctuary where one can see
the Takin, the National Animal of Bhutan.
Drive up to the viewpoint and take a hike for
about an hour to see clear uninterrupted views
of the Thimphu valley.
Explore Thimphu on foot, visiting the Handicrafts
Emporium and other Arts & Crafts stores.
Buy stunning Kiras that can be used as bed covers
or wall hangings, jewelry and much more. Night
DAY 05 : Thimphu-Punakha –Wangdue.
77 KM. 3 Hours Drive. Altitude: 1350 M
The drive begins with the ascent to the Dochula
pass at an altitude of 3150 meters. On a clear
day, you can see the whole range of the Bhutanese
Himalayas from here. The pass has 108 Druk Wangyel
Chortens. Then descend to Punakha. Punakha was
the winter capital for over 300 years until
the time of the second King. Punakha Dzong that
dominates the whole area was built in 1637 by
Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, and established the
central monastic body with 600 monks.
Today, Punakha is still the home for Je Khenpo
(chief Abbot) and the central monastic body.
It was built at the confluence of two rivers
called the PO-CHU and MO- CHU. Which means,
Male & Female. After lunch continue driving
to the town of Wangdue. Another Dzong built
1 year after that of Punakha Dzong. Which it
is the District Head Quarters of Wangdue. Night
DAY 06 : Wangdue – Trongsa.
128 KM. 5 Hours Drive. Altitude: 2200M
We will drive to Trongsa. It is 128 kilometers
and 5 hours drive from Wangdue. The road will
climb all the way to the Pele-la pass. It is
at 3300m. It is a landmark between east &
west, and from here we will drive on to Trongsa.
On the way we will come across Yak herders camps
and encounter Yaks especially during winter.
We will see high Himalayan villages like Rukubji
and Chendebji. All the houses cluster at one
place and fields at another.
The road then descends through Rukubji village
further down to Chendebji village. Here you
will see the 18th century Nepalese style stupa
built by saint Shida. The drive to Trongsa from
here is about an hour and half with great views
of the historical Dzong and valley. Night Trongsa.
DAY 07 : Trongsa – Bumthang.
68KM. 3 Hours Drive. Altitude: 2600 - + M
In the morning after breakfast we will take
an excursion drive to Kuenga Rabten. It was
the winter Palace for our beloved 2nd King Jigme
Wangchuk. It is 23 kilometers from Trongsa and
it takes about 2 hours by car. Although, it
is mostly empty with only one room occupied
for the library. This palace is under Special
Commission of cultural Affairs and we do not
require any permit to visit the interior.
The trip from Trongsa to Kuenga Rabten will
give you an intimate insight into the early
days of Bhutan’s Monarchy. Beside you
will see the beautiful large expanse of rice
terraces in the lower Mangdu-Chu valley and
as well the big waterfall before the drive back
to Trongsa for lunch.
Visit Trongsa Dzong. It was built at different
periods on a spur over looking the Mangdu-Chu
River and it is one of the longest & most
impressive Dzongs in Bhutan along with Trashi
Chhodzong in Thimphu. How did Trongsa get its
name? Well many centuries ago the horse of Palden
Lhamo (Bhutan’s guardian deity) appeared
before Lam Naggi Wangchuk who has settled in
this village of yueli, a few kilometers above
today’s fortress of Trongsa. For Naggi
Wangchuk, the presence of Lhamo-Pal den’s
horse was an auspicious event. In order to immortalize
the miraculous event, he built a small meditation
hut- Tshamkhang and started to meditation there,
gradually more and more meditating huts arose
near by & the place looked more like a village.
People of yueli called it Dzongsar (New Village)
and because they pronounced it as Trong –Sar
the name stuck.
The evening drive to Bumthang will climb all
the way to the Yotong la pass 3400m.It will
be the highest pass on your trip to Bhutan.
After the pass we will go down through the Chhumey
valley before we reach Jakar. This valley is
famous for yathra weaving in central Bhutan.
DAY 08 : Bumthang – Bumthang.
After breakfast make a hike to Thangbi Mani
countryside. It is a very easy trail and we
will come across a few villages. Here they have
a very old monastery with Gomchens & the
local community school. We will return for lunch
After lunch we visit Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey
Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang, Guru Lhakhang,
and the Swiss Cheese Processing Unit. Here they
produce cheese, apple juice and herbal brandies
etc. Visit Jakar Dzong and more if time permits.
DAY 09 : Excursion to URA Valley.
Excursion to the Ura valley is (48Km) that takes
us across blue pine forests & wonderful
views of the Choskar & Chhumey valleys.
Visit Ura Lhakhang, which will give you an insight
into the lifestyle of the people of central
Bhutan. Visit some local houses in village and
talk to the local people casually and understand
their daily way of life. Ura is one of the most
beautiful and interesting villages in Bumthang.
The landscape of the Ura valley is different
to others, with round sweeping slopes, rich
pasture and wide fields. At the bottom you will
see the large and unusual village with its cluster
of big houses united by paved alleys of stone,
a rare sight in Bhutan. The big community monastery
dominates the village. Which is dedicated to
Guru Rinpoche (the great teacher) and they have
Ura festival, which usually take place in the
2nd week of May or sometimes in June, dependent
on Bhutanese lunar calendar. Thimshingla National
park starts here and if one wishes to see it
they have a field office at Ura. It is open
Monday to Friday except on holidays. Night Bumthang.
DAY 10 : Bumthang - Gangtey –
Gangtey Goemba was built on a small hillock
surrounded by blue pine trees. The descendant
of Pema Lingpa founded it. The great Bhutanese
saint from Bumthang, in the 16th century. At
the end of 17th century it was enlarged once
and at present it is headed by the 9th reincarnation
called Gangtey Trulku. At present it is under
renovation and it is ringed with the family
houses of Gomchens (Lay man) who work and worship
at the monastery.
Further down you will reach the Phobjikha
valley. This place is reserved for the migration
of the black Neck Crane. The people out here
have become friendly with the endangered species
and every consecutive year starting from 2nd
week of November to 1st week of April. The fields
and marshes of this undisturbed valley are alive
with the sight of these rare cranes.
After having a picnic lunch here and drive to
wangdue. Night Wangdue.
DAY 11 : Wangdue –Thimphu -
Paro. 142 KM. 5 Hours Drive
An early breakfast then drive to Thimphu for
our lunch, as well as shopping for souvenirs
and then an evening drive to Paro. Night Paro.
Day 12 : Departure.
Representative from our company will bid you