Bhutan – 7 nights/8 Days Highlights of Bhutan Private Tour

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Duration

12 Days 11 nights

Region

Bhutan

Tour Type

Cultural Tour, Private Tour

Travel Style

Group and Private

Group Size

01 Pax onwards

About this tour

Bhutan is a hidden gem in the Himalayas and is still being discovered by tourists. A Buddhist country where monasteries (known as dzongs) dot the country. See the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery that hangs from the side of a cliff, marvel at the forests and valleys as you drive over mountain passes and around the countryside. Take scenic walks and wander dzongs. Enjoy the richness of the thriving tradition and culture along with the delicious food, gorgeous scenery and friendly people – an incredible holiday.

*Bhutan is land of festivals, you can plan your tour covering one of the many festivals which is a wonderful experience. Please check with us and we will be happy to make suggestions. 

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Bhutan – Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views and peaceful vibes of the Monasteries and grandeur of the
Dzong ( Forts). Enjoy its unsurpassed raw natural beauty and forests covering at least half of the country.

Food – Relish the wholesome Bhutanese dishes that consist of curries, stews and rice, some packed with chilli peppers to maintain a feeling of warmth.

Note: This is a private tour for couple or a family or group of friends with your own private vehicle and personal accompanying guide and drivers. Please raise a request for the same to us and we will revert to you

Imp: Tourism is regulated by Bhutanese government and all foreigners (except Indians) are required to travel with a registered guide, transport and on an organised tour. Only then are visa permits issued (Travelbay will take care of your visa and entry details after booking). A certain level of fitness is required for this tour as there is some walking involved (see Day 7 in particular). We can adjust the itinerary to suit your requirements.

Itinerary

The flight into Paro gives you great views of the Himalayas and foothills. Be greeted by the cool, fresh mountain air as you disembark from the plane. After immigration formalities and baggage collection, your driver and guide will be waiting for you to drive you to Thimpu.

On arrival in Thimphu, check-in to your hotel. The capital of Bhutan is a unique city with an unusual mix of modern development alongside ancient traditions. With a population of about 90,000 it is perhaps still the world’s only capital city without a traffic light and is described as the heart of Bhutan.

In the afternoon visit Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang), discover the largest statue in the country and enjoy a walk around the Point with wonderful views of the valley. Inside you can explore the courtyards and religious statues.Continue on to the King's Memorial Chorten - a stupa continuously circumambulated by people murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Built as a memorial to Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (“the father of modern Bhutan”), it was completed in 1974 after his death and serves as both a memorial to the late King and as a monument to peace. Conclude the day with a visit to Trashi Chhoe Dzong “fortress of the glorious religion”. This is the centre of government and religion, the site of the monarch’s throne room and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot.

Overnight in Thimphu

Meals included: Lunch and Dinner

After breakfast at your hotel, drive to the BBS tower (Sangaygang viewpoint). From here begin your 2 hour walk on the Sangayang - Wangditse loop. Along the way visit Wangditse Goemba, where the inner chapel houses a two-storey statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. Continue on to Pangri Zampa, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan located just north of Thimphu.Here is a monastic school where Buddhist student monks learn Lamaism and astrology based on Buddhist philosophy.

In the afternoon visit the National Library – home to an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts and the Institute for Zorig Chusum (the Painting School) where students undergo a 6 year training course in Bhutan’s traditional arts and crafts. Visit the Textile Museum, which provides insight into one of the most distinct art forms of Bhutan, and Simply Bhutan, a living museum and studio encapsulating the cultural heritage of the Bhutanese people.

Visit the fortress like temple and monastic school of Changangkha Lhakhang perched on a ridge above Thimphu.

In the evening you will have the option to stroll through the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts bazaar where you can browse the many beautiful examples of Bhutan's fine traditional arts.Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangka paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery and much more.

Imp:The National Library is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Government holidays. The Textile Museum is closed on Sundays and Government holidays. The Institute for Zorig Chusum is closed on Sundays, Government holidays and in winter (December to early March). Simply Bhutan is closed on Sundays and Government holidays.

Overnight in Thimphu.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Today drive to Gangtey via Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. 

At Dochula Pass, 108 chortens or stupas known as Druk Wangyal Chortens have been built by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk, the eldest Queen Mother. These chortens are built in three layers, the first lowest level layer has forty-five chortens, the second has thirty-six and the top layer has twenty-seven, built around the main chorten.

 The valley of Gangtey is one of the most beautiful and untouched places in Bhutan.

After a steep climb through dense forest, come to a wide, flat valley without any trees - a rare experience in Bhutan where most of the valleys are tightly enclosed. Visit the Gangtey Gompa (monastery), that sits on a ridge overlooking the valley. Then explore the Phobjikha valley, a beautiful glacial valley and the winter home for the endangered Blacknecked cranes. If you are travelling between November and February you may see these winter visitors. Return to your hotel in the afternoon.

Overnight in Gangtey.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Early this morning visit the Gangtey Gompa (Monastic School) to witness a prayer ceremony.

Then proceed a pleasant walking excursion on Gangtey Nature Trail. This pleasurable walk will give you a nice feel of Phobjikha valley. From the small hilltop overlooking Gangtey Goenpa, you head downhill through flower meadows to Semchubara village and from here through beautiful forests and into the open valley. The trail ends at local community school after passing a chorten and Khewa Lhakhang ( around 2 hours walk mostly downhill) 

After lunch you be driven to Punakha back across the Dochula pass.On the way visit to Wangduephodrang Dzong. Founded by ZhabdrungNgawang Namgyal in 1638, on the top of high ridge offering fantastic of the valley below, It holds special place in Bhutan’s history due to the strategic location and the Governor of Wangduephodrang had chance to protect the routes to Trongsa, Punakha, Dagana and Thimphu making him the third most powerful ruler after Governors of Paro and Trongsa. The Dzong had been damaged by fire in 2012 and restored to its original grandeur and splendour recently in 2022 

Overnight in Punakha.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

After breakfast, visit the beautiful Punakha Dzong (Palace of Great Happiness) built at the   of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers in 1637.In the past, this majestic dzong served as both the religious and administrative centre of Bhutan. It measures some 180 by 70 metres and has a six-story, gold-domed tower. Inside you can explore the courtyards and religious statues.

Later in the day visit Chimi Lhakhang - a monastery situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley and known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that if couples who do not have children and want one, pray at this temple, they will be blessed with a child. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. A walk through the village near the temple will give you a rare glimpse into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers.

Overnight in Punakha.

Meals included: Breakfast lunch and dinner

Today after breakfast, we drive to Paro 

In the afternoon visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning ‘fortress of the heap of jewels’. Explore the wooden galleries and fine wall paintings as well as the surrounds of the Dzong - also the site where Bernardo Bertolucci's movie ‘Little Buddha’ was filmed.

Continue on to the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.

In the evening your guide can take you on an exploratory walk around the main street and market area.

Overnight in Paro.

Meals included: Breakfast lunch and dinner

After breakfast visit the iconic Taktshang Monastery, also known as "Tiger's Nest Monastery".

It is approximately a 5 hour walk and is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries - you'll see why when you get there!A decent level of fitness is required for the trek. The hike to the first view point is through the forest and there is an option to hire ponies for this section (around USD20 per person and payable directly).This part of the walk is 1.5 hours and there is a cafeteria with a good view of the Monastery. If you are unable/not wanting to do the full climb you can return from this point.Ponies are not permitted from this point onwards.

Later in the afternoon, visit Ta Dzong. Originally built as a watchtower, it is now home to the National Museum with an extensive collection of antique thangka paintings, textiles, weapons and more.Please note: Ta Dzong is closed on Government holidays.

Continue on to Dungtse Lhakhang. This chorten like temple has three floors representing hell, earth and heaven. The paintings inside the temple are said to be some of the best in Bhutan.

On the way back to town stop at Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. Here you will also see typical farmhouses - colourful, decorative and traditionally built without the use of a single nail. The majority of the population of Bhutan continues to live as it has for centuries – in small isolated farms and hamlets, surrounded by terraced fields of rice, maize and buckwheat.

Overnight in Paro.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

After breakfast, you will be taken to the airport for your flight home or onto you next stop. Your guide will help you with the exit formalities and bid you farewell.

Meals included: Breakfast

Hotel Information

Included/Excluded

  • 7 nights' accommodation.
  • Check-in & check-out time: generally, check in is after 2 pm and check out before 12 pm. Early check-in and late check-out are subject to room availability and may generate additional full day room rate.
  • 21 meals as per itinerary - 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners.
  • English speaking guide - you will have the same guide with you from arrival until departure.
  • Personal driver - you will have the same driver (who accompanies you and your guide) with you for the entirety of your tour.
  • All transportation throughout your holiday in a private vehicle (no air con as it is not needed in Bhutan). Depending on the size of your group, the following vehicles will be used:
  • 1 - 2 people: SUV Hyundai Tuscon / Santa Fe
  • 3 - 6 people: Toyota Hiace
  • 7 - 9 people: Toyota Coaster Bus
  • All airport transfers - our guide and driver will be there to meet you on arrival and take you to the airport in time for your departure.
  • Please note: There is one airport transfer on arrival and one airport transfer on departure for the group booked. If within your group you will be arriving separately, please contact us for a quote.
  • All local sightseeing with guide
  • Bhutan visa fee of USD 40. We will arrange this for you after booking.
  • Applicable hotel taxes & service charges calculated at 20%, subject to change.
  • All inland travel permits.
  • Royal Government of Bhutan royalties and taxes.

  • International airfares to and from Bhutan (if you would like a quote, please contact us).
  • Meals not outlined in the itinerary
  • Entrance fee at monuments and sights – Payable directly
  • Drinks for all meals.
  • Travel insurance. Please contact us if you would like a quote.
  • Surcharge for high season.
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Personal expenses such as telephone, laundry etc.
  • Optional activities and attractions as stated in the itinerary.
  • Others not indicated in the inclusions.

Booking Process & Information

Upon raising request for quote of your tour online, Travelbay will go through your request and will contact you with details regarding price, availability or any other details that you have requested. Our response is typically with-in 24 hrs . Once you give us a go ahead, we will request you to send us a booking advance and start holding accommodation and transportation for your tour.

As soon as we have confirmed the dates (usually within 48 hours sometimes a little longer at weekends) we will email you your booking confirmation. 

We will request further information from you to ensure that all your personal preferences are taken care of. This will include details such as  dietary requests, allergies, health issues, emergency contact and any special requirements. We will also request a copy of each traveller’s passport and the arrival and departure details.

Bhutan Information 

Interesting Facts 

Tourism in Bhutan is unique as it is referred as the “Switzerland of Asia.” From quant farming villages to magical forests to mountains where Yeti’s supposedly live, Bhutan is a place which has escaped the civilized touch of the rest of the world. It is The Land of “Gross National Happiness” whose philosophy is being practiced worldwide.

With its beautiful and largely unspoiled Himalayan setting, its rich flora and fauna, the mesmeric rolling hills and towering crags magnificent mountains, dense forests, pure air, delightful people and its vibrant Buddhist culture, Bhutan the “Land of the Thunder Dragon” or ‘Druk Yul’ has become an increasingly popular destination for international tourists. Bhutan often revered as, is still regarded as one of the last “Shangri-La’s” in the Himalayan region because of its remoteness, its spectacular mountain terrain, varied flora and fauna and its unique ancient Buddhist monasteries besides timeless images of its history.

The tiny kingdom of Bhutan shares with Nepal the world’s greatest concentration of mountains and living heritage of Buddhism. Flight to Paro can truly be described as a flight into fantasy. During the flight, a firsthand close up view of Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga and other famous peaks of the Himalaya range become a reality.

Language: English is widely spoken by an average Bhutanese. However, the official language of Bhutan is Dzonkha, though many regions have retained their dialects due to their isolation.

Local time: Six hours ahead of GMT and half an hour ahead of Indian Standard Time and one hour behind Thailand. Bhutan is eleven hours ahead of New York City.

Country code: The country code is 975.

Currency: Ngultrum is the local currency of Bhutan. It is equal in value to the Indian Rupees which is frequently used in place of Ngultrum. All major currencies like US Dollars, Sterling Pounds, Euros, Indian Rupees etc. and travelers’ cheque can be exchanged at the Paro Airport, Banks and Hotels.

Also Indian Rupee is acceptable all over Bhutan except Rs 500 and Rs 2000 currency notes. Credit Cards have limited acceptability and payment through credit card is accepted mainly by deluxe hotels and few selected Handicrafts establishments only.

There are ATMs in Bhutan but currently they only operate with their respective Bhutanese banks. Since the ATMs currently do not function with outside banks, ATM facility cannot be used by visitors. Traveler’s checks / cash are best option if you need additional money.

Weather in Bhutan

Autumn (Late September to Late November) is the ideal time for trekking and for travelling throughout the country, when skies are generally clear and the high mountain peaks rise to a vivid visible against clear blue sky.

Spring, (Mid-March to May), is recognized as the second best time to visit Bhutan for touring and trekking. Although you may experience more clouds and rain than in the autumn, you can also get good view of the high Himalayan peaks. The magnificent rhododendrons, magnolias and other wildflowers are in bloom and birdlife is abundant.

The monsoon usually arrives in early June and lasts till mid-September. Light to heavy rain expected mainly in the afternoons and evenings.

Winter (December to early March), the sky is bright and sunny but cold, especially when the sun hides behind the mountains in the mornings and evenings. At night, the temperature falls below zero.

How to get there

This tour starts and ends in Paro, Bhutan.

To and From Paro Bhutan, you can either take connecting flights via Delhi, Kolkata or even cities like Kathmandu, Nepal  and Bangkok . Please let us know and we will be happy to suggest a suitable flight connection which you can book directly from your country of origin.

Visa information

For Bhutan we will just require a copy of  your passport and will take care of your visa on arrival

Please note: We attempt to provide you with the latest information and links. However, please be aware that it is each traveller’s responsibility (and not Travelbay’s) to ensure that you have a valid visa if required for any country you visit.

Durations

Multi Day

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Private Tour Packages

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Package:
₹ 138844 / person on twin share
Superior
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₹ 180122 / person on twin share
Deluxe
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₹ 235994 / person on twin share
* Prices may vary depending on dates of travel
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