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Treasures of Bhutan - 9 days/8 nights

Paro - Thimphu - Wangdue - Gantey - Punakha - Paro

Visit all major historical sites in Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha and visit the beautiful Gangtey Valley for a taste of rural Bhutan. From Bhutan’s most ancient monasteries to its rarest wildlife, this tour encompasses the heart of Bhutan.

Privately-Guided! Whether you are a single person, a couple, or a group, you'll have your own guide and driver for all airport pickups, dropoffs, and daily excursions. 
 
Choose Your Own Dates! This is not a fixed-departure-date tour. Just let us know the dates that work best for you and we will arrange everything.
 
Customizable! Need more time? Less time? Want to see or do something that isn't included? Just let us know, and we will arrange it for you and let you know the change in costs.
 
Click here to read what our clients have told us after they return.

Trip Highlights

  • Rare wildlife in the fascinating Phojibka valley
  • Capital city, Thimphu
  • Punakha Dzong
     

Itinerary

Day 1:  Paro to Thimphu (7,700 ft.)
Upon arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed by our representative and drive an hour to your hotel in Thimphu.  After settling in, you will visit the major historical sights of Thimphu. Visit the National Memorial Chorten, built in honor of late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, the Folk Heritage Museum and the Takin Preserve where you can see a Takin, Bhutan’s national animal and a rare member of the goat family that can only be found in Bhutan. Overnight in Thimphu. (Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 2:  Thimphu (7,700 ft.)
After breakfast, you can stop by a swanky local café if you’re up for some good western style coffee. Drive up to Buddha Point and offer your prayers to the largest Buddha statue in the country while enjoying great views of Thimphu valley below. Continue to the Changangkha monastery and the Drupthob nunnery temple. Stop by the craft bazaar where artisans and craftsmen come across the country to sell their products. Have some time to explore the streets of Thimphu before dinner time. Overnight in Thimphu. (All Meals)
 
Day 3:  Thimphu to Wangdue (4,300 ft.)
Today you will drive eastwards for about 3 hours towards Punakha valley. You will cross the Dochula Pass (3,140m) and have a glimpse of the Himalayan mountain range if the sky is clear. Arriving in Punakha valley, you will stop at Lobesa for a short walk through farm houses and fields to Chimme Lhakhang, a monastery built in 1499 in honor of Tibetan Lama Drukpa Kuenley, popularly known as the "Divine Madman". This temple is also known as fertility temple as it’s very popular for couples praying for children. After, continue on to your hotel by a scenic riverside. If time permits, it’s possible to visit a village close by. Overnight in Wangdue. (All Meals)

Day 4:  Wangdue to Gantey (9,200 ft.)
This morning, you will drive 3 hours to Gantey where you will explore the beautiful Phojibka Valley on the western slopes of the Black Mountains. During winter time, this valley is an important wildlife reserve to the rare Black Necked Cranes that migrate from the Tibetan plateau. Spend your afternoon exploring this fascinating glacier valley and visit the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan, the Gangtey Goemba. It is also possible to spend the night here in a typical local farmhouse. You will interact with your local hosts and experience a traditional hot stone bath. Overnight in Gantey. (All meals)
 
Day 5:  Gangtey (9,200 ft.)
Spend time today meeting local farmers, learn about their daily lives and explore their farmlands. There are also several easy hiking trails you can enjoy in this valley, walking through local villages on mostly flat paths. Overnight in Gantey. (All meals)
 
Day 6:  Gangtey to Punakha (4,300 ft.)
After breakfast, you will drive 3 hours to Punakha, which served as the capital for over 300 years. Visit the Punakha Dzong which was the administrative center and seat of the Government of Bhutan till 1955. Situated on the confluence of the Mother (Mo) and Father (Pho) rivers, this beautiful Dzong was built in 1637 and is the second largest in Bhutan. Overnight in Punakha. (All meals)
 
Day 7:  Punakha to Paro (7,780 ft.)
Today, you will drive 4 hours over the Dochula Pass to Paro. In the afternoon, visit Kichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. Later, do a short hike of 15 minutes up to Drukgyal Dzong, a defense fortress built in 1647 and now in ruins. If the weather is good, you can catch a glimpse of the snow-covered Mt. Chomolhari, a 23,000ft. peak. Overnight in Paro. (All meals)
 
Day 8:  Paro (7,780ft.)
After breakfast take a 2 to 3 hour hike to the famous Tigers Nest (Taktsang) Monastery, an incredible monastery built on the side of a 3,000 foot cliff. The trail goes through blue pines and switchbacks uphill to the ridge. First built in 1692, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup, a cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for 3 months in the 8th century.Afternoon, visit the Paro Dzong and stroll around the streets of Paro town. Overnight in Paro. (All meals)
 
Day 9: Depart Paro
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (Breakfast)
 

Inclusions and Exclusions

Our Package Rate Include

  • Flights in/out of Paro from India, Nepal or Bangkok
  • Private airport transfers
  • Daily accommodation with breakfast
  • Daily lunch and dinner at local restaurants
  • Private vehicle transportation for all excursions per itinerary
  • Services of a local, English-speaking guide for all visits and excursions
  • All tours and activities mentioned in the itinerary, including entrance fees
  • Bhutan tourism development fee
  • Bhutan visa application fee

Rate Do Not Include

  • International airfare
  • Supplements for stays and meals at upgraded hotels such as the Uma Paro, Uma Punakha, Taj Tashi, Haven Resort, or Zhiwaling
  • Beverage during included meals
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for guides and drivers
  • Expenses of a personal nature
     

To Book This Tour

Please call us toll free at 1-877-362-2793 and let us know that you are interested in this tour. To prepare a proposal, we'll ask questions about how many people are traveling, your preferred travel dates, standard and types of accommodation, and any special interests that we may be able to accommodate.

Once we have finalized a customized price quote for you, your agent will inform you a per-person non-refundable deposit to initiate reservations (typically 20% of tour cost). Final payment is due 75 days prior to departure.

If your reservation is made less than 75 days prior to departure, the non-refundable deposit will allow us to initiate reservations. Full payment will be due immediately upon confirmation of all hotels and transportation services. If the services quoted cannot be confirmed, alternate accommodation or transportation will be arranged and the price will be adjusted accordingly.

Payments can be made by personal check, bank wire transfer, or credit card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will initiate your reservations and send you a statement showing your payment. Approximately 2 weeks prior to your departure, we will send you a final confirmation containing your itinerary and detailed information on the logistics of your trip.
 
Please review our complete terms and conditions:
Booking Terms and Conditions

Cancellation/Refund Policies

- Cancel more than 60 days prior to departure - forfeit your deposit.
- Cancel between 30 and 60 days prior to departure - forfeit 50% of the tour cost.
- Cancel less than 30 days prior to departure - NO REFUND of tour cost.
- Cancellations must be made in writing and sent via mail, fax, or email to Red Lantern Journeys.
- Refunds will be processed within 30 days of receipt of your written request.
- No refunds are available for unused services or tours during your trip.
 


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