Altitude: 4000m Country: Bhutan Season: Autumn, Spring Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Overview
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Bhutan is not only very friendly country with Nepal, but also is quite similar to the topographical views as both countries enjoy majority of the Himalayan climatic conditions and are brilliantly touched by the great teaching of Buddhism. From Kathmandu the capital city of Bhutan; Thimpo – is connected by Druk Air flight for an hour and quarter. From a longtime back, Kathmandu has been one of the major gateway points for the travelers to visit Bhutan. Alpine Exodus organizes numerous exciting trips that are just tours with luxury vehicle drive to trek trips that involve adventurous walking on the hills, from three-four day long to one week to 10 days. The tours or treks are to be matched with the flight schedule leaving from Kathmandu and return and for the interested parties having the entry visa to India we also provide optional circular route to Kathmandu via Gangtok – Sikkim – Darjeeling of India. Phuentsholing is the entry point to India from Bhutan and Kakarvitta is to Nepal. The return home flight is even can be connected from Paro, Bhutan to Bangkok of Thailand or to Delhi, India if one of those is in your flight route. But Paro ex flight are very limited so it is to be checked in detail before making the final decision. Bhutan has controlled tourism policy; therefore the daily tour price is quite expensive comparing to Nepal. But, if the price is not a bar for you, then this is the exact place where you have to be for culture, nature and adventure!

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Day 1

Arrival at Paro Drive To Thimphu

Your journey to Bhutan begins flying on DrukAir/Bhutan airline arriving to Paro Valley before noon. The remarkable and steep descent into the Paro valley is an awe-inspiring beginning to an adventure of a lifetime with its transparent purity of the air and its absorbing serenity. Paro retains its bucolic nature in spite of the existence of development projects. Fields of brown or green depending on the season covers most of the valley floor while hamlets and isolated farms dot the landscape. After visa formalities and collection of baggage, you will meet the representative, who will take a 1-hour leisurely drive towards the Capital of Bhutan, Thimphu. Passing through hills and some astounding countryside. Thimphu is situated in a large valley traversed by the Wangchu River and overshadowed by high peaks. Enroute you will view Tachogang monastery, “the temple of excellent horse” built by Thangthong Gyalpo (Iron chain builder in Bhutan) before reaching to Chunzom (confluence). At the confluence of Paro – Thimphu River, stop for vehicle registration, you will see three forms of Chortens in different styles i.e. Nepalese, Tibetan and Bhutanese. We drive following the Thimphu River upwards passing through several villages. Upon reaching Thimphu, check in the hotel and after settling down lunch will be served. Visit the weekend market (ONLY ON Friday, Saturday & Sunday), a colourful open-air bazaar where everything from yaks to chillies to textiles are traded, and providing you an opportunity to mingle with local people. Nearby you may see an archery competition taking place, the country’s national sport. Town excursion. Overnight Hotel

Day 2

Thimphu Sight Seeing

After breakfast at the hotel, visit the Memorial Chorten with its golden spires shining in the sun, its tinkling bells, and an endless procession of elderly people circling around it. Erected by the Royal Grandmother, Ashi Phutsho Choegran, in memory of her son, King Jigme Dorje, it contains a fine collection of Buddhist statues and is a center of Tantric Buddhism. A short drive away is the Folk Heritage Museum founded by Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Dorje Wangchuck. Its function is to connect the Bhutanese people to their rural past through the exhibition of items and artifacts used in rural households and the demonstration of rural customs, traditions, and skills. The museum building, itself an interesting artifact, is a traditional, rammed mud-and-timber house. It contains everyday household objects and traditional domestic tools still used by rural Bhutanese families. Afternoon visit the Changangkha Lhakhang which is an old fortress like Temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu. South east of Mothithang which was established in the 12 century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo. Late afternoon we will visit the Tashicho Dzong, the “fortress of glorious religion,” and seat of the national government. Its majestic architecture in finely balanced proportions is complemented by artistic decorations and paintings. Followed by a walk up and down the high street lined with little shops of all descriptions is fascinating. There is always a colorful gathering passing from ubiquitous monk bodies to Bhutanese businessmen, to nomadic farmers that come to trade supplies We then drive to visit the weaving centre where you will see a traditional weaving demonstration. Evening at Leisure. Overnight Hotel.

Day 3

Thimphu – Punakha

After breakfast, head for the Punakha Valley, winter capital of Bhutan for three centuries. Enroute visit the Dochu La Monastery, also known as Druk Wangyal Khangzang Chorten, pays tribute to the service and leadership of the king. The design is a cluster of 108 chortens. Our drive to the Punakha Valley ascends gradually to the Dochu La Pass, 10,300 feet above sea level. From here, get magnificent views of the Himalayan range. On our descent into Punakha, observe the fluttering prayer flags that add to the already rich topography of terraced farms and flowing rivers. Before lunch take a gradual hike through the Lobesa village and rice fields to visit the Chimi “Lakhang” a temple built in 15th dedicated to the “Divine Madman”, an eccentric monk famous for many his many amusing, Rabelaisian folklore stories. It is a popular pilgrimage site for all Bhutanese and is especially revered by women for its fertility powers. After lunch Visit historic Punakha Dzong sprawled at the confluence of the Phochu and Mochu rivers. Built by Shabdrung Nawang in 1637, it serves as the winter residence of the head abbot, Je Khenpo, as well as headquarters of the district administration. Overnight Hotel

Day 4

Punkha – Paro

Paro retains its bucolic nature in spite of the existence of development projects. Fields of brown or green depending on the season covers most of the valley floor while hamlets and isolated farms dot the landscape. Afternoon visit the National Museum, located in Paro Dzong’s 17th-century watchtower. The building itself boasts an unusual shape said to resemble a conch shell. It was in this tower that Ugyen Wangchuck, the future first king of Bhutan, was imprisoned in 1872, when he came to put down a revolt. See a fine collection of old thangka paintings and textiles, ancient weapons, and Bhutanese artifacts. The museum, by the way, is considered a temple due to the religious objects it houses, and as such we are requested to remove our shoes and to move inside in a clockwise direction. To Paro Dzong itself, also called Rinpung Dzong, the Fortress of a Heap of Jewels. Constructed in the early 15th century as a diminutive fort, it was presented to the religious and political authority of Shabdrung Ngarvang, who developed it into a much more commanding fortress in 1646. This is without doubt one of the kingdom’s finest examples of traditional Bhutanese architecture. Rinpung’s central tower and galleries are notable for their superb woodwork and classical paintings of Buddhist cosmology. We see representations of the universe as interpreted by two different philosophies.

Almost burnt to the ground in 1907, it was restored with money raised from a special tax levied throughout Bhutan. Today the dzong is the administrative seat of the district of Paro, and it also serves the state’s 200-member monastic community. Cross a nearby traditional wooden bridge called Nyamai-Zam, which spans the Paro River. In times of war, the bridge would be removed to protect the dzong from Bhutan’s enemies. Evening at leisure. Overnight Hotel

Day 5

Hike to Tiger's Nest

Morning take a hike to Tiger’s Nest one of Bhutan’s most revered Buddhist pilgrimage sites, Taktshang Lhakhang, locally known as Tiger’s Nest Monastery (altitude: 900 feet). The complex also includes the Temple of Phorbu, which contains a phorbu, a triple-bladed dagger used to stab demons.Our trail offers spectacular views of this sacred monastery perched precariously on a sheer rock face 3,000 feet above the valley floor. Legend has it that Guru Rimpoche arrived in Paro Valley more than a millennium ago on a back of a tigress. He meditated for three months in a cave that was later converted into this monastery. The only sounds heard here are the murmurs of wind, water, and the chanting of monks. Overnight Hotel

Day 6

Drive to Phuentsholing

Bhutan border. Overnight Hotel.

Day 7

Drive to Darjeeling

Completing the custom procedures to enter into India, at Phuentsholing Custom Office; meet our representative and drive to Darjeeling. Darjeeling (195kms/6hrs), once the summer capital of India is a land of infinite variety and charm. It will cater you a mix-experience of lively nature charming Himalayan people. Surrounded by Tea gardens; this little town faces some of the highest peaks of the Himalayas . Take a rest and then a walk around town to appreciate the new culture you are in. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 8

Darjeeling Sightseeing

Early morning starts for Tiger Hill to watch the spectacular sunrise and its amazing effects on the Mt. Kanchanjunga (the 3rd tallest peak on the earth), Visit Ghoom Monastery and Batashia Loop War Memorial while returning to the Hotel. After breakfast followed by Half day best point local sightseeing covering Japanese Temple, Peace Pagoda, Padmaja N. Zoological Garden, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Tibetan Refugee Self-help Center and Rock side. After that visit to the Mall (Chowrasta) along with local Market for City Life. Overnight at hotel.

Day 9

Darjeeling– Pemayangste

After Breakfast drive to Pemayanste 2085 M/110 KM for nearly 04 hrs. On the way we enjoy the beautiful scenery of river Rangit and various tea gardens. Arrive Pemayangtse and check in hotel then have free time to stroll around. Evening take a pleasant walk enjoying the sun set over Mt. Kanchanjunga. Overnight at hotel.

Day 10

Pemayangste Visit & Drive to Yuksom

In the morning visit the Pemayangtse Monastery. This is a premier monastery of Sikkim built in the 17th century. Afternoon a short walk to Sangobhholing Monastery (02 km/45 min) located on a hillock above the hotel. On a clear day the view of the mountain range is breathtaking and continuing drive to Khecheopalri Lake is one of the sacred Buddhist mountain lake where it is believed that whatever is wished in front of the lake comes true. Myth has its that when a leaf falls on the placid clear water surface is picked by a bird. A further drive takes you to Yuksom (the meeting place of three monks) – the first capital of Sikkim. O/N at hotel.

Day 11

Yuksom to Gangtok

After breakfast in the morning drive to Gantok (1600 M) once the capital city of Sikkim. The drive takes nearly 5 hrs for 117 KM. It is a pleasant drive through the semi tropical forests, cardamom plantations and small villages almost every half an hour or so. Upon arrive at Gangtok, check in hotel and after noon relaxing. Overnight at hotel.

Day 12

Gangtok Sightseeing

Early morning we drive to Tashi View Point for Sunrise scenery. While returning to Hotel we also visit the places like Hanuman Tak, Ganesh Tak etc. All these points provide excellent scenery of Mt. Kanchanjunga and other more snowy peaks of Nepal. And after breakfast stroll around Sikkim bazaar covering various iconic Chortens, Stupas, Tibetology Institute, Institute of Handicrafts and Hand-looms along with Rumtek Monastery & Dharma Chakra Centre (24Kms). There is a beautiful flower show as well – we will have time for it. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 13

Gangtok to Kakarvitta (145kms /6hrs) and to Kathmandu

After breakfast transfer to Kakarvitta border to Nepal and drive to Bhadrapur (about an hour) and flight to Kathmandu. Hotel in Kathmandu.

  • Air port pick up and transfers as program,
  • Flight ticket to Paro/Bhutan from KTM & return via Bhadruapur/NP,
  • Round the trip(Kathmandu, Bhutan, Sikkim/Darjeeling); comfortable drive with air conditioned (with jeep or van).
  • Hotel with full board (daily 3 meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with hotdrinks & drinking water),
  • Experienced staff comprising of 1 Tour Guide (English speaking), Driver etc.
  • Entry Permits for Sikkim/Darjeeling as well as to all the tour places in Bhutan,
  • The TDF, Bhutan Visa fee,
  • Cold drinks, bar bills, personal expenses,
  • India visa fee, Nepal visa fee; flight to Kathmandu and return (except domestic and flight to Paro Bhutan),
  • There will be extra cost if repeated entry or anything altering the program,
  • Any cost incurred because of landslide or similar kind of unforeseeable disturbances,
  • Single supplement will cost extra,
  • Any tipping or loyalties to your guide or driver etc.
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