Central Bhutan Cultural Tour focuses on the landmarks and attractions of Central Bhutan. Central Bhutan is home to such ancient and modern places as Paro, Thimpu and Bhumthang. The tour offers a unique opportunity to visit and learn about the history of Bhutan. We will visit Dzongs (fortresses), monasteries, museums, handicraft centers such as Punakha Dzong- one of the oldest and most important religious centers of Bhutan-Jampa Lhakhang, Kurje Lhakhang, Tamshing Monastery, Konchosum Lhakhang, Lama Gompa, Drugyel Dzong et al.
We will also enjoy scenic drive through dense forests of pine rhododendron and magnolia. The natural landscape stretches into miles of pristine alpine and sub-tropical broadlead forests that are home to such rare and endangered birds as Rufous necked hornbill, Satyr Tragopan, Beautiful nuthatch and Ward’s trogon.
Kathmandu - Paro – Thimphu
Fly from Kathmandu to Paro on a Druk Air flight which offers the most fascinating aerial views of the Himalayas including Everest and Kanchendzonga. At first glimpse, the Bhutanese landscape will mesmerize you with its green rolling mountains, river valleys, waterfalls and the great snowcapped Himalayan peaks.
The flight takes about 1 hour to arrive at Paro Airport. We will stop at Paro for Lunch and then drive to Thimphu. In the evening, we will use our free time to explore the city. Overnight in a hotel in Thimphu.
Sightseeing in Thimphu.
After early breakfast, we will visit the National Library to see ancient Buddhist manuscripts and traditional art school. The Traditional Medicine Institute showcases ancient Bhutanese practices of making medicine.
We will further visit Handicraft Emporium, an art and textile center, Bhutanese traditional paper making factory, the Memorial chorten built in the memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and 15th century Changangkha monastery.
After lunch you will hike to Tango Monastery. The trail up to Tango is a climb of 280 meters which takes about an hour. Stay overnight at hotel in Thimpu.
Thimphu to Trongsa
We will take morning drive from Thimphu to Trongsa via Dochula Pass (10500ft) and Pelela Pass (11,122ft). Both the passes offer spectacular views of the Himalayas including Mt. Chomlohari (7314m) or Mountain of the Goddess. On the way we will stop over at Chendebji Chorten for lunch. The Chendebji Chorten was built by Tshering Wangchuk in accordance with the prophecy of the Second Gangteng Tulku Tenzin Lekpai Dhundrup in order to subdue harmful, anti-religious demons. Overnight in a hotel in Trongsa.
Trongsa to Bumthang
Today we will head towards Bumthang, one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan. Bumthang hosts highest number of ancient sacred sites and lies in the country’s protected area network.
En route you will visit the ancient watchtower of Ta Dzong, which carries rich political history of Wangchuck dynasty, and Trongsa Dzong, the largest fortress in Bhutan, where over 200 monks live a monastic life.
Further ahead lies the Yutola Pass which is the gateway to Chume valley, famous for woolen cloth called “Bumthang Yathra”. These are made by local women through traditional method. We will arrive at Bumthang by late afternoon. Overnight in a hotel in Bumthang.
Today we will take a day excursion to Ura Valley. It is one of the highest among the many valleys that lie in Bumthang district and is a sacred site once visited by Guru Rinpoche. The elevation of the valley reaches 3100m, and is located just below Thrumshing La pass (3800m). We will visit the beautiful Membartsho Lake and Tang Chhu River that drains the valley.
Overnight in a hotel.
Bumthang to Trongsa
Following early morning breakfast we will visit Wangdichholing Palace (summer residence of the Bhutnese King), Swiss Farm House and the Tamshing Lhakhang (seat of Lama Sungtrul Rimpoche).
After lunch, drive back to Trongsa. Overnight in a hotel in Trongsa.
Trongsa to Punakha
We will go on a 4 hours drive to Gangtey. Gangtey Valley is a nature’s paradise and is home to many rare and endangered species such as Black-Necked Cranes. The valley is drained by two beautiful meandering rivers, Nakay Chhu (black water) and Gay Chhu (white water). We will visit the Gangtey Monastery, the biggest Nyingmapa sect monastery in Bhutan.
By late afternoon, we will drive back to Punakha.
Punakha to Paro
Morning drive to Punakha Dzong, the residence of Je Khenpo or the Chief Abbot of Bhutan. The Dzong is situated in the middle of two rivers (Pho chu and Mo chu).
Then we will drive back to Thimphu for lunch. Afterwards we will head back to Paro. Overnight in a hotel in Paro.
We will spend the whole day today visiting some of the important landmarks of Paro. We will tour Ta Dzong, which houses the National Museum, the ruins of Drugyel Dzong and the courtyard of 7th century Kichu Lhakhang. Kichu Lhakhang was built by Tibetan King Trsongsan Gampo, and is one of the 108 chortens he built all across the Himalayas to suppress the influence of demons. Overnight in a hotel in Paro.
Paro to Kathmandu
You will take morning flight to Kathmandu from Paro Airport.