Get the unique chance to visit a hidden, sacred kingdom in the Himalayas which only recently opened up its borders to tourism and ranks their GDP on communal happiness. Hike in some of the most beautiful and pristine terrain in a country that boasts 60% of its land as conservation zones. Learn the craft of telling stories about landscape and experiences in culture as our travel writing guide leads you in your expedition. Tour stunning monasteries and temples, learn about ancient Buddhist practices, and see amazing biodiversity as you grow your portfolio and participate in writing workshops.
Trip Summary: Bhutan | 7 - 11 Days
Trip Dates: Year Round by inquiry
Group Size: Max 16 Persons
Price From: $3800 per person
Expedition Dates & Prices:
Bhutan Expedition: $3800
Single Room Supplement: + $300 / person
All inclusive package including accommodation for all nights, in-country transport by private bus, train, or flight, lecture and instruction materials from our expert guides, all activities, and meals as listed on the itinerary. *International Airfare and Visa Fees are not included.
This Acanela Expedition © is the perfect fusion between comfort & adventure. Embark on this small group exploration and have hands-on encounters with local peoples and cultures, while experiencing all the historical & culinary highlights along the way.
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- Get the rare chance to visit Asia’s hidden gem that rests under the beautiful Himalayas
- Participate in special cultural celebrations (such as the Ura Yakcho Festiva) in remote villages throughout the country.
- Hike to the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery & other beautiful destinations.
Itinerary | 7 - 11 Days
Day 1, Arrive in Paro Valley: Fly into the quiet and beautiful Paro Valley where you will meet your guide and learn about the history of Bhutan - a city of 155+ monasteries and temples! As your flight nears Bhutan, you can enjoy amazing views of the Himalayas including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake Peaks. At the airport, you will be greeted by an Acanela Representative. Visit the Rinpung Dzong meaning “fortress of the heap of jewels". It has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the courtyard of the Rinpung Dzong are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore. You will walk downhill till the road point crossing the traditional wooden bridge. Your vehicle will be waiting here to take you to your hotel. You may come across an archery match. If not today, you may see on other days of the tour as the matches are carried out when people get time on ad hoc basis. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Day 2, Paro-Haa Valley: After breakfast, you will drive to Haa Valley across Chela Pass at 3990m. Walking along the high ridges dotted with colorful Buddhist prayer flags offers
stunning views of Mount Jumolhari and other mountains on clear weather, plus incredible vistas into the valleys below the pass. From the pass, drive downhill for about 26km through the forests of blue pine, fir and oak and arrive at
Haa – it is a picturesque remote valley, which has only recently been opened to tourists. Your accommodation in Hatoey village will be in a traditional lodge. In the afternoon, you can explore local villages on foot, visit their homes and meet the families. Overnight hotel in Haa.
Day 3, Paro and Thimphu: In the morning, drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan via Chele La Pass again. After arrival, visit the School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the Institute for Zorig Chusum) and Kuenselphodrang overlooking Thimphu valley and where giant Buddha statue is located. The 169 feet statue is reputed to be the largest bronze Buddha statue in the world. You can spend some time taking pictures here. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
Day 4, Thimphu to Punakha: After breakfast, you will drive to Dochula
La (3,100 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the
Himalayas. After tea and snacks, you will drive downhill through the forests of
rhododendron, fir and hemlock. You will arrive at Punakha after traversing through rice field and along the bank of river. Visit the Punakha Dzong, which is stunningly situated in between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship. The dzong was the ancient capital and is the most beautiful in Bhutan. Overnight hotel in Punakha.
Day 5, Punakha to Paro: Morning you will drive back to Paro. En route, hike through rice paddies up to the Chimi Lhakhang Temple. This temple is dedicated to the great Yogi in the 14th century known as Drukpa Kuenley, or the "Divine Madman," who is believed to bless women who seek fertility. Along the way you can also explore the nearby local farmhouses to experience the life of farmers. Then you will drive to Thimphu for lunch. If it is the weekend, visit the Farmer’s Centenary Market where you can see the variety of food of the country, including basket upon basket of fiery chilies, fresh cheese, and fruits. After lunch, continue drive to Paro. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Day 6, Hike to Tiger's Nest: Today you will hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery. It is absolutely breathtaking, situated at 10,400 feet and perched on the edge of a steep cliff about 3,000 feet above the Paro Valley. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuntse to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch is served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up the mountain. Explore the monastery and hike back down to the valley floor. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Day 7, Depart Paro: After breakfast, you will drive to the airport for departure where your Acanela Guide will bid you farewell.
Ask about extended 11-day Tours to Bhutan (both Classic & Active)
Optional Extension, Kathmandu, Nepal (4 days): On your way out of Bhutan through Nepal, join us on a trip extension as we enjoy the picturesque Durbar Square, a UNESCO Heritage site, a local Nepalese cooking course, a mountain biking tour in the countryside, and explore traditional buildings in Bhaktapur, an old Newari Kingdom.
Optional Extension, Delhi & Taj Mahal, India (4 days): On your way out of Bhutan through India, join us on a trip extension to Northern India and have the opportunity to visit the cities of New Delhi & Agra and visit the Majestic Taj Mahal.