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Bhutan Tours & Travel. The best experience for your vacations

Guided Tours with Local Operators. The Real Travel Experience!

Bhutan Tour Packages for 2018 - 2019

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Standard
from
$3872
14
days
bhutan

Druk Path Trek in Bhutan

In this tour you will do the six-day Druk Path Trek, the most popular trek in Bhutan. The trek takes you through a spectacular natural landscape of blue pine forests, high ridges and pristine lakes. You will pass along some ancient lhakhangs, dzongs (fortresses) and villages and camp besides yak herders. You will end your trip with a visit to the charming valley of Phobjikha, the winter roosting grounds for the endangered black-necked cranes.

itinerary: Paro - Thimphu - Wangduephodrang - Bumthang - Phobjikha - Thimphu - Paro
Standard
from
$5087
19
days
bhutan

Far East Bhutan

This amazing tour will take you to the less travelled remote corner of Trashi Yangtse in eastern Bhutan. You will visit numerous dzongs (fortresses) and ancient monasteries along the way. Experience quaint villages and interact with the locals in remote villages. End your trip visiting the iconic Taktsang Monastery (the Tiger’s Nest) in Paro.
itinerary: Paro - Punakha - Bumthang - Mongar - Trashi Yangtse - Bumthang - Trongsa - Phobjikha - Punakha - Thimphu - Paro
Standard
from
$2322
8
days
bhutan

Hightlights of Bhutan

Visit some of the vibrant towns and valleys in western Bhutan, including the capital city, Thimphu. The highlight of your tour will be your visit to the charming glacial valley of Phobjikha, the winter roosting ground for the endangered black-necked cranes. You will visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong and the famous Chimi Lhakhang, the ‘Temple of Fertility’. End your trip with a hike to the iconic Taktsang Monastery (The Tiger’s nest) in Paro. This tour can be arranged in November when the 'Crane Festival' takes place in the valley.

itinerary: Paro - Thimphu - Phobjikha - Wangduephodrang - Paro

Bhutan Travel Guide

Country Guide

Bhutan - Land of Mountains and Spirituality

As tiny as it seems Bhutan has plenty to offer, and although the most popular tour packages to Bhutan focus predominantly on the western districts, the central and eastern districts also have much to offer to the discerning visitor.

Bhutan Top Destinations

Tigers Nest Monastery, Bhutan

Hike to the cliff-top Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Photograph the ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Monastery of Taktsang Palphug, which perches precariously on a rocky mountainside overlooking the Paro Valley. Built in the 8th century at a site where the Second Buddha is said to have meditated, it is reached along a two-hour trail that affords magnificent views.

Yak, Himalayas, Bhutan

Trek through the Bhutanese Himalaya

Embark on a multi-day, high altitude trek, such as the Druk Path, Laya Gasa or the challenging Snowman Trek, to experience the majesty of the Bhutanese Himalaya. Or enjoy short strolls through remote villages and valleys, backed by spectacular, snow-capped peaks.

Dochu La Pass, Bhutan

Take in the panoramic Himalaya views from the Dochu La Pass

Witness the 108 chortens and fluttering prayer flags of the Dochu La Pass, located en route from Thimphu to Punakha. Picnic with locals while taking in the spectacular 360-degree panoramic Himalayan views and experience the fusion of old and new at the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang temple.

Black necked cranes, Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan

See rare black-necked cranes in the Phobjikha Valley

Join a birdwatching tour to witness elegant black-necked cranes as they migrate into the glacial valley of Phobjikha during winter. Traversed by the Nakay and Gay Rivers, the Phobjikha Valley is also a good place to spot barking deer, leopards, red foxes and the Himalayan black bear.

Tashichho Dzong, Bhutan

Admire the grandiose architecture of Tashichho Dzong

Witness the whitewashed facade and golden-tiered towers of Tashichho Dzong, or the “Fortress of Glorious Religion”, which lies on the outskirts of Thimpu. Built in the 17th century as a Buddhist monastery, today it serves as the seat of the Royal Bhutanese Government and is surrounded by beautiful gardens to explore.

Bhutanese Unique Experiences

Thimpu, Bhutan

Experience the fusion of ancient and modern in Thimpu

Thimpu is Bhutan’s capital and most modern city, where bustling markets, cafes and bars are juxtaposed against historic monasteries and landmarks, like the prominent National Memorial Chorten. Get a glimpse into the country’s traditional cultures at the National Folk Heritage Museum and Royal Textile Academy, and take in the magnificent views over the Thimphu Valley from the Statue of Sakyamuni Buddha.

Paro, Bhutan

Witness the traditional wooden architecture of Paro

Situated on the banks of the Paro Chhu and home to Bhutan’s only international airport, Paro is most visitor’s first impression of the country. Wander its main street, lined with vibrantly painted wooden buildings, admire the sacred masks and costumes in the Paro Dzong, and take in the views from the ancient Ta Dzong watchtower that towers above.

Drubchen, Bhutan

Join the celebrations of the Punakha Drubchen

Situated within the rice-growing landscapes of the Punakha Valley, this former capital is home to the magnificent Punakha Dzong and Chimi Lhakhang Monastery. Experience the colour and traditional culture of the annual Punakha Drubchen festival and hike to the beautiful mud-stone hamlet of Ritsha.

Meditation retreat, Bhutan

Embark on a meditation and retreat tour

Visited by monks and Buddhist devotees, Bhutan’s meditation retreats are open to all seeking a respite from daily life. Find spiritual solace within beautiful mountainous locations and adjacent to some of the country’s most impressive temples and monasteries.

Bhumtang Valley, Bhutan

Embark on a cultural trek through the Bumthang Valley

Explore Bhutan’s cultural heart while hiking through the beautiful Bumthang Valley, which is home to ancient temples and monasteries, a diversity of flora and fauna, and views of Mt. Gangkar Puensum. Visit the Kurje Lhakhang Monastery where Guru Rinpoche is believed to have meditated and features richly ornamented temples and a wall of 108 chortens.

Trongsa Dzong, Bhutan

Explore the immense Trongsa Dzong

Dominated by its magnificent Dzong, the largest of its kind in Bhutan, the small town of Trongsa sits perched above and offers fantastic views over the surrounding valleys. Explore the interior of its multi-levelled, 17th-century fortress and immerse yourself in the history of the region at the Ta Dzong museum.

Mongar, Bhutan

Travel along the Thrumsing-La Pass to Mongar

Drive along the highest road in Bhutan over the Thrumsing-La Pass, which leads towards the hilltop settlement of Mongar. Admire its modern Dzong, built without nails using traditional construction methods, and experience East Bhutan's cultural diversity on hikes through the surrounding region.

Flowered field, Bhutan

Take a spring botanical tour to discover Bhutan’s unique flora

Embark on a specialist-led spring botanical tour to gain a better understanding of the country’s harmonious approach to living with the natural world. Discover the biological diversity of Bhutan’s unique flora, including more than 300 orchid species and 50 rhododendron species.

Haa Valley, Bhutan

Meet the nomadic communities of the Haa Valley

Explore the magnificent hiking and biking trails of the little-visited Haa Valley, with sweeping views of the sacred Mount Jhomolhari from Chele La Pass. Immerse yourself in the ancient lifestyle of the nomadic Bhutanese herders that call its slopes home and join in the festivities of the annual Haa Summer Festival.

Trashiyangtse, Bhutan

Shop for traditional crafts in Trashiyangtse

Situated in a picturesque river valley, the small town of Trashiyangtse is renowned for its traditional wooden bowls and containers that are exhibited in the Institute of Zorig Chusum. Wander Tashiyangtse’s 8th-century Dongdi Dzong and visit the spectacular white stupa of Chorten Kora that lies on the riverbank below.

Visit Bhutan’s healing hot springs

Indulge at one of Bhutan’s hot springs, known as 'tshachus', which are revered by locals for their medicinal properties. Trek through pine-covered hills to the popular Gasa hot springs, located on the banks of the Mo Chu River.

Best time to visit Bhutan

Spring (March-May)

With flowers in full bloom, warm temperatures and the Paro Tshechu Festival in early April, Spring is an excellent time to visit, particularly for those heading to the Himalaya to trek.

Summer (June-August)

With hot temperatures and monsoon rains, the wet Summer months are marked by short afternoon showers followed by blue skies. If you want to avoid the crowds and the Winter cold, then opt to travel in June before the worst of the monsoon hits.

Autumn (September-November)

With mild temperatures, little rain and plenty of festivals, including the Thimphu and Black-Necked Crane Festivals, Autumn is the peak tourist season in Bhutan.

Winter (December-February)

Few venture to Bhutan during its cold winter, but with snowfall generally seen from mid-January to early February, December is still a good time to visit if you want to see the Black-necked cranes and blue skies across the Himalaya, as well as the colourful festivals of Punakha and Trongsa.

Ethnic Groups of Bhutan

Ngalops

The Ngalop people originated in Tibetan, migrating to Bhutan from the 9th century where they established a semi-subsistence agricultural lifestyle in the country’s western regions, bringing the now widespread Vajrayana Buddhism with them. They are known for their ornamental Dzongkha language, together with traditional zheys dances.

Tshanglas

Considered the indigenous inhabitants of eastern Bhutan, the Tshanglas (also known as Sharchops) are agriculturalists who farm cereals and vegetables, along with tending domestic animals. They produce beautiful woven products, with their raw silk garments particularly special.

Lhotshampas

Inhabiting the southern foothills of Bhutan, the Lhotshampas are believed to have migrated during the early 19th century from Nepal when the kingdom was undergoing major construction works. Unlike many of Bhutan’s people, they follow Hindu beliefs and their villages are surrounded by orange trees, cardamom and ginger plantations.

Bhutan Festivals

Thimpu Tshechu

Thimphu Tshechu Festival

Bhutan’s biggest tshechu is held in the capital over three days of the 8th lunar month. It sees people from across the country descend on the courtyard of the Tashichho dzong to receive blessings, pray for good fortune, and watch masked dances and educational plays being performed by lay monks and atsaras ‘clowns’.

Paro Tshechu festival

Paro Tshechu Festival

Held over five days in Paro every spring (2nd lunar month), the Paro Tshechu is a religious festival that draws the community together to receive blessings and witness masked dances re-enacting the legends of local Buddhist history. One of the highlights and culmination of the festival is the viewing of the 350-year old Buddhist religious scroll which stretches four stories high.

Haa Summer Festival

Celebrating the lifestyle and culture of the Haa Valley’s nomadic herders, the Haa Summer festival takes place over two days each July. It features traditional Bhutanese sports such as yak riding and the performance of ancient songs, as well as feasting on authentic local dishes.

Black-necked Cranes Festival

Celebrated within the courtyard of Gangtey Gonpa in the Phobjikha Valley, the annual Black-necked Crane Festival celebrates the arrival of this iconic bird and promotes awareness regarding its conservation. Folk songs, masked dances and plays themed around the magnificent crane are performed, with this one-day festival taking place in November each year.

Bhutanese Food and Drink

Featuring hearty soups and stews that utilise locally sourced meat such as yak, pork, and lamb, together with vegetable based dishes, the cuisine of Bhutan is distinctively spicy, with chilli an essential component. These are almost always accompanied by a staple carbohydrate that differs depending on local climatic conditions, with nutty-flavoured red rice, buckwheat and barley all cultivated. Locally produced cheeses, made from both cow and yak milk, also feature, with butter tea known as suja a popular beverage.

Momos, Bhutanese dish

Momos

The steamed dumpling known as momo is traditionally filled with meat, such as chicken, beef or pork, and spiced with cumin, coriander and garlic, but today vegetarian versions are also widespread, including those with yak cheese.

Ema Datshi, Bhutanese dish

Ema Datshi

One of Bhutan’s most famous dishes and popular throughout its rural areas, ema datshi is a rustic stew made from either cow or yak cheese, together with chilli peppers, tomatoes and coriander, and served with a side of red rice.

Jasha Maru, Bhutanese dish

Jasha Maru

Combining spicy minced chicken with tomatoes, potatoes, chilli, garlic and onion, jasha maru is a hearty rural dish served up at local restaurants country wide.

Shopping in Bhutan

With its traditional arts and crafts officially categorised by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay in the 17th century, Bhutan is proud of its cultural heritage and Thimpu’s Handicraft Emporium offers one of the best selections of souvenirs within the country. Traditionally dressed women sell shawls, clothing and trinkets in ‘Bhutia’ markets throughout many of the country’s towns and cities, although buyers should be aware that the purchase of antiques is strictly forbidden.

Bhutanese Textiles

Woven garments

A long-established and integral part of Bhutanese culture, skilled weavers are found in all regions of Bhutan, each with their own distinctive designs. Shawls made from both cotton and silk, woven with elegant motifs, can be found, together with yak and sheep wool sweaters.

Thangka Painting

Thangka paintings

The ancient Bhutanese painting known as Thangka is exhibited throughout the country’s dzongs and monasteries, as well as on religious scrolls, and purchasing one of these individual works of art, made using natural soil pigments, make for a unique souvenir.

Prayer Wheels

Bhutanese Handicrafts

Woven cane and bamboo art, known as Tshar Zo, is best exhibited in the basket work of the Kangpara and Bjokap people, while wood, stone and slate carvings, together with precious stone-embedded silverware, are both long established handicraft traditions that are widely available.

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