CENTRAL BHUTAN

Central Bhutan is an exciting destination for all visitors as there are the most significant historical and religious sites in the country. From Trongsa District which has always been of great political importance to the leaders of Bhutan to Bumthang district where most ancient and important monasteries, Central Bhutan has it. Some of the important landmarks in central Bhutan are: Kurje Lhakhang (monastery) built in 1652 and the site where the great Buddhist saint Guru Rimpoche meditated. Tamshing Lhakhang built in 1501by the great religious treasure revealer Terton Pema Lingpa. Mebar Tsho, a sacred burning lake from which Terton Pema Lingpa discovered religious treasures hidden by Guru Rimpoche and the Watchtower Trongsa Museum (Ta Dzong), which provides visitors with unparalleled insight into Bhutan’s political history.

  • DAY 1: (Paro - Haa) (8,894 feet).
    The Flight to Paro gives you a breathtaking views of Major Himalaya peaks such as Everest, Kanchenjunga and Makalu, and Bhutan's own snowy peaks, the sacred Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsherimgang on a clear day. As you enter Paro valley, you will sweep past forested hills with the silvery Pa Chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley below. Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watchtower) on the hills above the town will be a fine sight. Upon arrival into Paro, and completing your visa and customs formalities, a representative of BEST Bhutan Co.., Ltd. will be there to receive you as you exit the Airport. Our team will then depending upon your flight timing will take you for a lunch.
    After lunch, Begin your journey to Haa via Chelela Pass (13,083 feet), through blue pine and rhododendron forest. Haa was closed until quite recently it opened its door to travelers around the world. The place is considered one of the holy shrine in the country and there are temple's dating back from 7th century. Our team will stop at Chelela pass, the highest motor-able pass in Bhutan for you to enjoy and the nature and take pictures. From the point on one can have splendid view of the majestic Mt. Jomolhari (24,035 feet) and Jichu Drakey (22,930 feet). Upon arrival in HAA, you will check into the Hotel. (Overnight at hotel in Haa)
  • DAY 2: Haa - Paro (7,300 feet).
    The Haa town has been developed along the Haa Chu River and can be divided into two distinct sectors; the Northern part of town has the central bazaar, main shops and restaurants while the Southern half of town is occupied by an IMTRAT (Indian Military Training Team) camp and a Bhutanese army training camp. Start the morning with a short walk to Wangcha village to enjoy the authentic rural life of Bhutan and followed by a visit to most blesses temple and local monastery And then visit Haa town prior to lunch. After Lunch on your return journey to Paro, Stop by Bhutan's oldest nunnery – the Kila Nunnery, dating back to the ninth century. The Nunnery is situated along the mountainside, at an altitude of over 9,800 feet. The nunnery is home to over 40 nuns. After visiting the Nunnery continue your journey to Paro, approximately an hour. (Overnight at hotel Paro)
  • DAY 3: Paro - Bumthang (8,464 feet):
    You will have an early Morning drive to Bumthang. You will be exploring the valleys of Bumthang (Choekhor, Tang, Ura and Chumey) over the next couple of days. (Note: You can have a local flight from Paro to Bumthang with additional flight fee). Taking flight is worth it as you will enjoy the valley below thorough the plane window.
  • DAY 4: Bumthang sightseeing
    While your schedule is flexible, we suggest you start by visiting Tamshing Lhakhang, a temple built by the Buddhist Saint Pema Lingpa, which contains some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan and an iron coat of mail (supposed to have been crafted by Pema Lingpa) as well. You can then return to your hotel for lunch and after lunch you will continue your exploration of Bumthang by visiting Jambay Lhakhang built in the 7th century by King Srongtsen Gampo of Tibet and along with Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro (which you will visit) is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. Sightseeing continues with the visit down the valley to Kurje Lhakhang, a 17th century temple that is part of a complex of temples of great historical importance. This Lhakhang holds the imprint of Guru Rinpoche, the revered Buddhist saint who brought Buddhism to Bhutan and much of the Himalayas. After your visit to Kurje you will return to the hotel for the evening. (Overnight at Hotel in Bumthang)
  • DAY 5: Bumthang: Day halt in Bumthang.
    After Breakfast you will have a visit to the Wangduechhoeling Palace, built by Jigme Namgyal and used by his son, Ugyen Wangchuck, the first king of Bhutan, as his principal residence. Sightseeing continues with the visit to Jakar Dzong. The Jakar Dzong is one of the largest and most impressive dzongs in Bhutan and houses the administrative and monastic offices for the Bumthang district. After Lunch you will then continue up the valley to visit the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and the Environment (UWICE), which is considered the premier institute for research and training in forestry and environmental science for Bhutan and the Asian region. (Overnight at Hotel in Bumthang)
  • DAY 6: Bumthang - Ura (10,170 feet)
    Depart Jakar in the morning and drive 48kms southeast to URA valley. Ura village is one of the largest traditional clustered villages of Bhutan. It is nestled in a valley at roughly 3200m above sea level and surrounded by forests of spruce, pine, larch, fir, juniper, bamboo and rhododendrons where wildlife such as tigers, leopards, bears, boars and red pandas roam. Its’ beautiful landscape, bestrewn with the farmhouses, watermills, temples, stupas and prayer flags, provides a wonderful balance between pristine nature and thriving traditional life. It has some sixty-three households and about three hundred residents. Staying in the village gives you a direct experience of the rural country life in Bhutan. (Farmhouse)
  • DAY 7 Ura - Tang - Bumthang
    After early breakfast depart to Tang. You will spend the day exploring the Tang Valley by visiting the Ugyen Choeling Palace, now converted into a museum which houses permanent exhibits on three floors of the main building.
    After lunch at Ugyenchholing Begin your journey toward to Jakar with a stop by Mebar Tsho (The Burning Lake) where Pema Lingpa, one of Bhutan's most revered saints and Terton (Discoverers of Hidden Treasures), dove into the lake with a lighted lamp, only to emerge back with the lamp still burning holding a statue and a chest containing sacred Buddhist texts. (Overnight at Hotel in Bumthang)
  • DAY 8 Bumthang - Trongsa
    After breakfast depart toward Trongsa. Upon arrival in Trongsa, visit Trongsa Dzong - Built 463 years ago. The dzongs street-like corridors, wide stone stairs, beautiful flagstone courtyards and sacred temples have been witness to many significant events that have shaped Bhutanese history since the 16th century. It is also the Avenue where future Kings formalized their ascension as Chhoetse Penlop before ascending the Golden Throne. If time permitting, visit the restored Ta Dzong at Trongsa, which has been made into a museum covering the history of the monarchy of Bhutan. (Overnight at Hotel in Trongsa)
  • DAY 9 Trongsa - Phobjikha
    After breakfast you will drive for 2 hours to Phobjikha crossing Pele La Pass (11,250 feet) from where you will see Mt. Jhomolhari, Mt. Jichu Drakye and Mt. Kang Bum, three of Bhutan’s prominent peaks. From Pele La Pass, Phobjikha is a short drive away.
    After Lunch at Phobjikha explore the Gangtey Goempa (monastery picture on the sight side) founded in 1613. The current Gangtey Trelku is the 9th reincarnation of Pema Lingpa, the famous Buddhist saint from whom the Royal Family is descended. In the afternoon enjoy a lovely walk down through the valley that provides opportunities to see the cranes and other wildlife. (Overnight at Hotel)
  • DAY 10 Phobjikha - Punakha (4,265 feet)
    Depart Phobjikha crossing Lawa La pass and then descend to the Punakha Valley (Three Hour Drive). Along the Puna Tsang Chu, we will look out for sightings of the critically endangered white-bellied heron (about 30 are in Bhutan with a total world pop. of 200).
    Visit the Punakha Dzong, the most spectacular Dzong in Bhutan, built at the confluence of the Mo Chhu (Female River) and Pho Chhu (Male River) in 1637. This huge fortress/monastery was the national capital until 1966 and is the place where the country's kings have been crowned and the site for the 5th King's Royal Wedding in Oct. 2011. (Overnight at hotel in Punakha)
  • DAY 11 Punakha - Thimphu
    Hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, built by Her Majesty the Queen Mother, this temple is dedicated for her son Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and for the well being of the kingdom and the benefit of all sentient beings Khamsum Yulley stands majestically on a strategic ridge above the Punakha valley. You will picnic lunch on the way back from the Chorten.
    After Lunch, Visit Chimi Lhakhang and learn about Bhutan's most beloved saint, Drukpa Kinley, the Divine Madman who is popularly known for his orthodox way of teaching religion. After visiting the Lhakhang. Depart to Thimphu. Enroute you will stop by the Dochula Pass, (10,100 feet). The pass is a popular location among visitors as it offers a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of Bhutanese Himalayan range. The view is especially scenic with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of the 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens (Stupas) gracing the mountain pass. (Overnight at Hotel in Thimphu)
  • DAY 12 Thimphu: Day halt in Thimphu
    After breakfast, embark on a leisurely hour-long walk to the 18 Century Wangditse monastery, situated atop Thimphu. The Lhakhang houses the statues of the guardian deities Yeshey Goenpo (Mahakala), Palden Lhamo (Mahakali) and Tsheringma (the goddess of longevity).
    From the monastery one will have a view of whole Thimphu valley. On your way back from Wangditse, stop by the Motithang Takin Preserve to see the Takin, Bhutan's National Animal. There is much to do in Thimphu - you can visit key cultural sites such as the Tashichho dzong, the Parliament, National Chorten, Textile Museum, Handmade Paper Factory, National Library and the Zorig Chusum Art School and the Folk Heritage Center. Today, you also have the option of relaxing (or) exploring Thimphu town and doing some handicraft shopping. (Overnight at Hotel in Thimphu)
  • DAY 13 Thimphu - Paro
    The journey to Paro will take approximately one hour. Along the journey you will get a glimpse of village life, see monasteries perched high atop hilltops and traditional bridges. One of the monasteries you will visit is the Tachog Lhakhang (monastery), built in the 14th century. One must actually cross one of Drupthob Thangtong Gyalpo (iron chains) bridges to get to the Monastery. Drupthob Thangtong Gyalpo built the iron chain bridges in Bhutan in the late1300s, and is said to have built 108 of these bridges around Tibet and Bhutan. Some still in use today. Upon arrival in Paro, visit key cultural sites such as the Paro Rinpung Dzong (Built in 1644 is known as the fortress of the heap of jewels), is the administrative seat of the district of Paro. Followed by a visit to Paro National Museum (Ta Dzong) initially the watch tower to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century. Since 1967 Ta Dzong is serving as the National Museum of the country. It holds fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings and Bhutan's exquisite postage stamps. The museum's circular shape augments its varied collection displayed over several floors. (Overnight at Hotel in Paro)
  • DAY 14: Paro (Hike to Taktshang Monastery)
    In order to avoid the crowd and escape hiking under the day sun, you will begin our journey to Taktshang (Tigers Nest) by 7am. At a very moderate pace, you can be up at the monastery by 9:30am and back at the base by 2pm. Taktshang Monastery is Bhutan's most iconic landmark and religious site. The name Taktshang translates to "The Tiger's Nest". This monastery is one of the most holy sites in the kingdom and clings impossibly to a sheer cliff face 2,900 feet above the Paro Valley. At about an altitude of 10,200 feet, Taktshang was first built in 1692 at a cave where Guru Rimpoche (learned reincarnate monk) meditated in the 7th century A.D. No trip to Bhutan would be complete without a visit to this remarkable heritage site.
    Afternoon,Explore Paro town for some last minute handicraft shopping, followed by a relaxation after a long day. (Overnight at Hotel in Paro).
  • DAY 15: Depart to Paro
    After Breakfast, Our team will escort you to Paro Airport for your departure.