WESTERN BHUTAN

The western circuit comprises of the six western Districts in the country that includes Thimphu, Paro, Haa, Wangdue Phodrang, Punakha and Gasa. It is has the infusion of both Rural and Urban life. The west region of Bhutan is where most tourists pay to visit. Apart from being the most populated region and it is also a home to the major airport, the capital, the most popular festivals and the most spectacular Dzongs (fortmonastery) in the kingdom. Whether it's the beginning of your trip or the only part of Bhutan that you will explore, the west is a spectacular introduction to this magical country.

  • DAY 1: (Paro - Haa) (8,894 feet)
    The Flight to Paro gives you a breathtaking with 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 Bhutan Entire Season Traveler will be there to receive you as you exit the Airport.
    After lunch, Begin your journey to Haa (via Chelela Pass) (13,083 feet) through blue pine and rhododendron forest. Haa was closed to travelers until recently it has opened its door to travelers. The valley is considered one on the spiritual and holy place to visit for. Our team will stop at Chelela pass, the highest motorable pass in Bhutan for you to have a superb 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 at Haa. (Overnight at Haa)
  • DAY 2: Haa - Thimphu: (7,710 feet)
    You will begin the day early by exploring the Haa Valley by foot, visiting Wangcha Village to get a glimpse of rural life and its culture in Bhutan. If you wish to we can arrange you a rural life experience with the local farmer there. The place is silent and offers to with great time for retreat.
    Followed by a visit to Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) established in the 7th century by Tibetan king Songtsen Gempo in his mission to build 108 monasteries in one day. He built Lhakhang Karpo and Lhakhang Nagpo in the Haa Valley. According to a legend, a black and white pigeon were released to select sites to build the temples. These two temples stand as the guardian sentinels keeping watch at the south entrance of the valley. The white pigeon landed on the foothills of the three towering mountains worshipped as Rigsum Gonpo and is where the Lhakhang stands today. The temple was named Karpo (white) as it was built on the site where the white pigeon landed.
    Drive to Thimphu, approximately of 3 hours. Upon arrival in Thimphu, explore the town by foot and indulge in some handicraft shopping. Our team will then escort you for a dinner specially made in Bhutan cuisine. Our team from Bhutan will join the dinner with the travelers so that they can enjoy the lively welcoming company with the local brewed wine. (Overnight at Thimphu)
  • DAY 3: Explore Thimphu
    You will embark on a leisurely hour-long walk to the 18 Century Wangditse monastery, situated atop Thimphu. On your way back from Wangditse, stop by the Motithang Takin Preserve to see the Takin, Bhutan's National Animal. Followed by a visit to Changangkha Lhakhang, the oldest temple in Thimphu built in 12th century. It is hovering over a ridge above Thimphu, near lower Motithang. The Lhakhang houses Chenrizig "Bodhisattva of Compassion" an 11-headed, thousand-armed manifestation of Avalokiteswara as the central statue. The prayer books in this Lhakhang are larger than the usual Buddhist texts. There are large prayer inside the Lhakhang and small on the walls outside the Lhakhang. Our team will then escort you for a lunch. There is much to do in Thimphu. You will visit key cultural sites such as the Trashichoe Dzong, Memorial Chorten, Textile Museum, Handmade Paper Factory, National Library, the Zorig Chusum Art School and the Folk Heritage Center. After lunch you will continue to visit many of Thimphu cultural heritage sites. (Overnight at Thimphu)
  • DAY 4: Thimphu - Punakha (4,200 feet)
    You will start your morning by visiting the Buddha Dordenma Statue, this massive statue of Buddha Shakyamuni measures in at a height of 51.5 meters, making it one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world. The statue is made of bronze and is gilded in gold. The Buddha Dordenma is located atop a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park and overlooks the Southern entrance to Thimphu Valley. You will then depart for Punakha, The Ethereal Ancient Capital. The drive will take about 3 hours. Enroute you will stop by the Dochula Pass (10,100feet) - this pass is a popular location among visitors as it offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of Bhutanese a Himalayan range. The view is especially scenic with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of the 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens gracing the mountain pass.
    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 Punakha)
  • DAY 5: Sightseeing Punakha Valley (4,200 feet)
    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 and holds an example of Bhutan's fine architectural and artistic traditions and the only one of its kind in the world. Our team will then serve you with a picnic lunch before you drive back to Punakha. Chimi Lhakhang (popularly known for fertility temple) and learn about Bhutan's most beloved saint, Drukpa Kinley, the Divine Madman who is popular is his orthodox way of teaching Buddhism in Bhutan with rest of the afternoon as open. Followed by a visit to one of the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan to have a heart pumping experience. The bridge is being used by local in olden days to transport their farm produce for trading. (Overnight at hotel in Punakha)
  • DAY 6: Punakha - Paro (7,382 feet)
    Enroute you will visit Tachog Lhakhang (monastery), built in the 14th century. One must actually cross one of Drubthob Thangtong Gyalpo (iron chains) bridges to get to the Monastery. Drubthob Thangtong Gyalpo built the iron chain bridges in Bhutan in the late 1300s, and is said to have built 108 of these bridges around Tibet and Bhutan. Some of the bridges are still in use today. Followed by a rest for the next day hike. (Overnight at hotel in Paro)
  • DAY 7: Hike - Paro Taktshang Monastery 10,100 feet)
    In order to avoid the crowds 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 2952 feet above the Paro Valley.??At about an altitude of 10,100 feet, Taktshang was first built in 1692 at a cave where Guru Rinpoche (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.
    Visit Paro Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest Lhakhang built by King Songtsen Gempo, to subdue the demon that lay across the Himalayan region and walk around the village around the temple. You will then explore Paro town for some last minute handicraft shopping. (Overnight at hotel in Paro)
  • DAY 8: Depart Paro.
    Our team will escort you to Paro airport for your departure.