Cultural Heartland Tour in Bhutan

 
  • Days: 10
  • Price From US$ 2,750 All Inclusive Price

  • Book This Trip

Overview

Trip facts

Duration: 10 Days

Activities: Tour

Departure From: Paro

Country: Bhutan

Region: Bhutan

Price: USD 2,750

Group size: Min 1-12 Min

 

The Monarchy of Bhutan snuggled high in the peaceful Himalaya is a place rich in bio-diversity, vivacious religion, exclusive arts, ancient history, cultural grandeur, heritage and picturesque landscapes. This cultural heartlands tour is truly designed for those who wish to explore the ancient culture of Bhutan.

Bhutan is a captivating land where time had yet stood still tranquil and is well-maintained the beauty of the magnificence of this mystic land of Mahayana Buddhism. Bhutan is also known as Shangri La - as this land is filled with ceaseless natural surroundings with a unique culture.

The main charisma of this tour is that you get to visit several Dzongs and monasteries in every town and villages, plus the ancient temples. We even hike to the most popular and visited spot by travelers i.e. Taktsang monastery also known as Tiger Nest Monastery (in local language).

The trekking to this thunder dragon land begins with a scenic airstrip to Paro and then we will start exploring Thimpu where we visit the chorten - constructed in the memory of the third king who ruled from 1952 - 1972. Other landmarks we visit are nunnery temple, zoo, museums, arts and painting school, and the Tashi Dzong. Next day, we drive to Punakha crossing through Dochu La pass where we get the amazing view of the Himalayas. We drive through beautiful rhododendron, fir and hemlock forests. (We can observe blooming of this flora in spring).

And on the way to Punakha, we stop over to visit Chemi Lhangkang temple and as we reach Punakha, we explore the Punakha Dzong and many other sites. Next day, we drive on the zigzagged road crossing Pele La pass heading to Bhumthang where on the way we expect to see yak and then visit the Trongsa Dzong. At Bhumthang, we will be visiting some Lhankhang (temple), Dzongs, market and next we drive to Wangdue which is also the habitat of the red panda, leopard, and tiger. On the way, you even get to observe the diverse species of birds and finally we head back to Paro and next day we end our tour by hiking to the Tiger Nest Monastery.

This tour can be done in every season but the perfect time will be from March to June and September to November. For more information about this trip, please feel free to contact or email us.

Below we list our detailed itinerary for Bhutan Cultural Heartland Tour:

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Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Paro then transfer to Thimphu (2,320m/7,610ft): 54 km, 1 hour

Your flights near Bhutan you will be enjoying spectacular view of the Himalayas plus the sacred peak of Mt. Chomolhari and the Jichu Drake peaks. When you arrive at airport our representative from the Accent Himalaya will pick us from the airport and take us to the hotel. As if your flights arrive early then we will start our tour and if not we will began from tomorrow. We will spend our night in Thimpu.

  Welcome Dinner

Day 02: Sightseeing in Thimphu

Early morning we will commence our tour where we will visit Memorial Chorten which was constructed for the memory of the late third king who ruled from 1952-1972. Next we will explore nunnery temple, mini zoo where we get to observe the national animal of Bhutan named Takin. After that we will visit traditional painting school, traditional medicine institute, museum, the royal Tashi Tscho Dzong and traditional paper factory. During weekends most of the landmarks are usually closed so, if reach during weekends we will explore the Thimpu weekend market. We will spend our night in Thimpu.

  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 03: Thimphu to Punakha (1,250m/4,100ft): 76 km, 2 - 3 hours

Today after the breakfast we take a scenic drive to Punakha through Dochu La Pass which is at the altitude of 3100 meter and if the weather is clear we will get awesome view of the Himalayas. After that we will drive downhill via thick fir, hemlock and rhododendron forests. We will stop on the way to visit the Chimi Lhankhang- temple. When we will arrive at Punakha we will head to visit the Punakha Dzong – second largest and oldest Dzong of Bhutan which was constructed in 1637- 1638. We will spend our night in Punaka.

  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 04: Sightseeing in Punakha

After breakfast we will be visiting eye- catching Khansum Yulley Namgyal chorten which is located on the top of the hill with the astonishing view of Punakha valley. This valley is blesses with moderate climate and it is the perfect place for growing crops and fruits. After that we will be visiting Ritsha village which is popular for growing rice and here we will enjoying walking through the rice fields as well as also explore the local culture and their lifestyles. We will spend our night in Punakha.

  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 05: Punakha to Bumthang (2,850m/9,350ft): 214 km, 7 hours

Early morning after breakfast we will drive to the cultural heartland Bhutan- Bhumthang. The trail we will be heading is through the windy road and crossing the Pele La pass which is at 3300 meter and on the way we may also get to spot yak. For the lunch we will be stopping at Trongsa. After having our lunch we will head to visit the Trongsa Dzong and finishing exploring the Dzong we will continue our drive to Bhumthang and on the way we will stop at textile factory and observe the weavers deigning different unique patterns. We will spend our night in Bhumthang.

  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 06: Sightseeing in Bumthang

Bhumthang is the holy region of Bhutan where you can find lots of sacred temples, monasteries and all. Today we will be visiting numerous temples also known as Lhakhangs which are Kurje, Tamshing and Jambay. After that we will be exploring Jakar Dzong which was constructed in 15th century and after that we will be visiting the well-known Wangdicholing Dzong which was built in 1857 and it was the private abode of the legendary warrior named Penlop Jigmee Namgyal. We will spend our night in Bhumthang.

  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 07: Bumthang to Wangdue (1,240m/4,068ft): 197 km, 6 hours

Today we will start by exploring the Bhumthang market and drive towards Wangdue. Wangdue with varied climate and the region rich in natural resources is the abode to diverse animals like tiger, leopards etc. and also rare animals like red panda can be found. Even you can finds varied birds like black necked crane, eagle and white bellied heron. We will then explore the beautiful Phobjikha valley which is also a home of rare black necked cranes. Wangdue village is also recognized for stone carvings. We will spend our night in Wangdue.

  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 08: Wangdue to Paro: 124 km, 3 - 4 hours

Today in morning we will retrace back to Paro through Dochu La Pass and during our drive we will stop to visit the Chimi Lhankhang- temple. At Dochu la pass we will have our lunch and after the lunch we will be visiting the Druk wangyal monastery which showcases exclusive paintings which depict present realm and their works. After exploring the monastery we will continue our drive to Paro. In evening we will be leisurely -walk around the Thimpu street market. We will spend our night in Paro.

  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 09: Hike to Tiger Nest Monastery (3180m/10,430 ft.)

Today we will hike to the main notable monastery of Bhutan which is Taktsang monastery which is also termed as Tiger Nest monastery. There is story behind this monastery which is said that the Buddhism spiritual master Guru Rimpoche had flown on the back of the Tigress back to meditate into this cave which now called as tiger nest monastery or Taktsang. The monastery is positioned in 3180 meter and from the monastery one gets the stunning view of Paro valley. Lunch will be serve at the restaurants which is located at midway up to the mountain. After having lunch and exploring the monastery in depth we will retrace back to the valley and head to Paro. We will spend our night in Paro.

  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10: Final Departure

Today your journey cultural heartlands of Bhutan finally comes to an end and after the breakfast we will head to the airport early morning as our representative from the Accent Himalaya will be dropping you at the airport. As the Druk air frequently departs in morning due to avoid such adverse weather conditions.

  Breakfast

Includes and Excludes

 

What's Included

  • Bhutanese visa fee
  • All airport pickup and drop
  • All meals, tea, and snacks
  • Government approved A and B category hotels and standard lodge on twin- shared basis
  • Transportation in comfortable private vehicle(s)
  • English speaking, trained and experienced guide and local staff
  • All entrance and permit fees for visits to monuments and museums as per the itinerary
  • All required government taxes

Not Included in the Cost

  • All airfares
  • Personal items (personal gear, telephone calls, beverages, internet, laundry, etc.)
  • Trip cancellation and medical/evacuation insurance
  • Tips for staff (guide and driver)
  • Travel insurance

Trip Note

 

Accommodation in Bhutan

Accent Himalaya manages its best to provide comfortable accommodation. Bhutanese hotels are approved and classified by the Government of Bhutan as grade A, B, and C which is equivalent to 3 or 4 - star hotels elsewhere. Based on availability at the time booking, Grade ‘A' hotels will be provided in cities like Thimpu, Paro and so. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. A single supplement can be served on request with an additional charge.

Meals and Drinks in Bhutan

All the meals and breakfast required for you are included as in our package. A variety of meals are available in most hotels - the most popular being Indian, Chinese, and the more common Continental food. Non-vegetarian dishes are generally available in most parts of Bhutan such as pork, beef, chicken, and fish. Also for the best is to ask the hotel and restaurant to recommend for seasonal and fresh food. Dinner and breakfast will be served in the same hotel where you spend overnight and the team leader or guide will find you a good place for lunch on the way to your destination. We recommend you to carry water purification pills along with you as normal water will be provided free of cost. But if you wish to drink bottled water, they are also available. However, bottled water and liquors are not included in the package.

Best Time to Travel

Best Seasons to visit Bhutan are in spring (March-May) and autumn (September-October). The months of April and May offer the natural grandeur of rhododendron blooms although Bhutan observes its biggest festivals during spring. Bhutan can also be visited during summer and winter if one wishes to avoid the crowd. However, summers are wet and winters are pretty cold which might not suit everyone.

Luggage or Backpack for tour

You will be carrying a small backpack with your water bottle, camera, tissue paper, towel, or other gears that you need to use frequently on the trip. The clothes and gears that you don't need can be packed and left in the locker or safe deposit box in the hotel free of cost.

Druk Air has a 44 pound (20 kg) weight limit for checked luggage and another 11 - pound weight limit for carry-on luggage on their flights. Your carry-on bags are restricted to one piece, and the size should not exceed 17" x 13" x 8". You have to remember following things before packing:

Official Papers

  • Passport with minimum validity of 6 months
  • Copy of the first page of your passport
  • Airline tickets
  • Visa approval for Bhutan (should be brought with you)

Packing List for Cultural or City Tours

  • 2 pairs of lightweight long pants
  • 2 pairs of dress pants/dresses for evening
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 4 short-sleeved shirts/blouses
  • 1 long-sleeved shirt for sun protection (also while visiting Dzongs, temples and monasteries).
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Sleepers
  • Warm jackets (if the trip falls in Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan & Feb)
  • 1 sweater or lightweight jacket
  • 1 pair of comfortable walking shoes

Personal toiletries

  • Insect repellent
  • Spare nylon duffel bag for purchase
  • Sunscreen rated 20 SPF or higher
  • Lip balm
  • Sunglasses, prescription glasses
  • 1 visor/sun hat
  • Daypack/Hip pack for day trips
  • Prescription medications
  • Essential drugs such as for diarrhea, headache pills, pills for cold and cough
  • Anti-bacterial wipes or lotion (for face and hands)

Personal Expenses on Trek

Your personal expense literally depends upon your personal habit; whether you are alcoholic or non-alcoholic, extravagant or thrifty and so on. Normally, the cost of the meal and accommodation during the trek are covered in our package and you will be liable to pay for table drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages), snacks while trekking, souvenirs, hot shower (available in some places), tips to the guide and porters. Tips to the guide and porter are your personal choice. However, we suggest you give tip and allocate 10-15 percent of your total tour cost if you are satisfied with their service.

Our Greetings at Airport

We advise you to flow the information of your international flight details after you confirm Bhutan Cultural Heartland Tour with Accent Himalaya for our meeting and greetings. Right after you cross the Customs and check out of the terminal building, you will find our representative holding a placard with your name or the name of the company (Accent Himalaya) and drop you to your hotel in a private car. In case you have booked the hotel by yourself, we suggest you inform us in advance the name of the hotel you are about to stay so that our representative can drop you to your hotel and would be easier to meet with the team leader or the guide.

Itinerary and Possible Changes on it

Our normal Itinerary includes 10 days for Bhutan Cultural Heartland Tour which is the most usual and practical. In the package, the days of your arrival and departure and a day of city tour are also counted. In case you managed further schedule, you want to exclude those days for our service and just want us to help you with the trekking part, upon your request, we can rearrange and adjust the itinerary and let you know about the final cost for the trip.

Also, you can extend or shorten your trek if you feel it's necessary with consulting our guide on the way to your destination. We recommend you to finish the trek within the last day mentioned in our package as many unforeseen circumstances may befall at any time.

Insurance/Rescue/Evacuation

Health, Safety, and Security of the clients are always our top most priority. So, In case of a serious sickness or any mishaps, while you are in Bhutan Cultural Heartland Tour (which we believe will not happen), we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital to save your life and you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation/rescue. So, please make sure that these expenses are covered by your insurance policy before assigning for the trek or you have to pay on your own after getting back to Kathmandu. Please ensure that you've insured yourself before doing the trip and visit Travel insurance page for more info about it.

Booking and Payment

You are required to make 20% (nonrefundable) payment in advance in order to confirm and book Bhutan Cultural Heartland Tour along with a photocopy of your passport and flight details (arrival detail, flight name, number and time) and the remaining 80% balance is due when you arrive in Nepal. You have an option of paying the advance by bank transfer or credit card. So, do let us know which modes of payment are convenient for you, then we will forward the details of payment. We also accept transactions via Pay Pal.

Inquire about this trip

Before you book, you can customize this trip with the help of a trusted local specialist.

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