Day 01: Arrival: Paro – Thimphu (65kms/1.5hrs):
Arrival at Paro airport, you will be received by our representative guide and driver. Drive to Thimphu. It is a small, charming capital city nestled in the heart of the Himalayas with a population of about 100,000 people.
Checked into hotel, settling in, and rest.
Later sightseeing in and around Thimphu city. Drive to Memorial Chorten: This stupa was built in 1974 to honor the 3rd King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Later visit the world’s largest sitting Buddha, an immense statue housing a monastery and visitors center.
After lunch continue with your sightseeing, walk in to National Textile Museum. This museum is worth a visit to learn about Bhutan’s living national art of weaving and Crafts.
Later visit School of Thirteen Arts & Crafts: It is the primary center of learning for Bhutanese artists. And then Discover the Tashichho Dzong: Tashichho Dzong has been the seat of the government since 1952 and presently houses the throne room and offices of the king, the secretariat and the ministries of home affairs and finance.
Evening: Explore Thinphu Town/ Handicrafts Stall/Centenary Farmer’s weekend Market
Day 02: Thimphu – Punakha (77kms/3hrs):
Punakha Altitude: 1300m/4265ft. Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan during the time of Zhabdrun Ngawang Namkgyal, the founder of Bhutan. Today it is the administrative and religious center of the district and the winter home of Bhutan’s Central Monk Body. It is blessed with temperate climate and owing to its natural drainage from Pho Chhu (male) and Mo Chhu (female) rivers.
Start your morning by enjoying and taking pictures of the Dochula Pass (3150m/10,000ft) with its panoramic views of the Himalayas. The pass is decorated with 108 Druk Wangyel Chorten, which were built to celebrate the stability and progress, brought to Bhutan by His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King.
Later proceed to Punakha.
After lunch visit Chimmi Lhakhang: take a short hike through the rice field to Chimmi Lhakhang, the 15th-century monastery built by Lam Ngawang Chogyal on the spot where his cousin Lam Drukpa Kuenley (popularly known as “the Divine Madman”) subdued a powerful demon. This monastery is also referred to as the “Abode of Fertility” and believed that any couple who gets blessing from this temple is blessed with a child in the next year or so.
Punakha Dzong: The name means Palace of Great Bliss. This dzong stands magnificently on the spit of land where two rivers (Pho chu and Mo chu) meet. Punakha Dzong has special significance in Bhutanese history as the place where Bhutan’s first King, Ugyen Wangchuck, was crowned in 1907. It is also the winter residence for the Je Khenpo (spiritual leader) and the entire central monk body.
Punakha suspension bridge: this is an exciting bridge for photography enthusiasts.
In the evening, visit Farm House (traditional village house): Bhutanese farm houses are very colorful, decorative and traditionally built without the use of single nail. All houses follow the same architectural pattern. A visit to Farm House is very interesting and offers a good glimpse into the lifestyle of a farmer.
Day 03: Punakha – Paro (137kms/4 – 5hrs):
Drive to Paro after breakfast and visit following place in Paro:
In the afternoon visit: National Museum: Ta- Dzong (the watchtower) was built in the 17th century to guard the Paro Rimpong dzong (fortress) below. It was said that the future first king was kept in this tower as a prisoner for a week. It was the third king who restored the Ta-dzong and converted it into the National Museum. The visit to the museum will familiarize you with the Bhutanese way of life and will also acquaint you with the natural and cultural history.
Paro Rimpong Dzong: Regal and imposing, dzongs are arguably among the most distinctive and important structures in Bhutan. This Dzong is the headquarters of the Paro district, housing the head administrator and staff, as well as a monastic body with about 200 monks.
Kyichu Lhakhang: It is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom dating back to 7th century (the other is Jambey Lhakahng in Bumthang). The lhakhang complex is composed of two temples. The first temple was built by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and in 1968, H.M. Ashi Kesang, the Queen Mother of Bhutan, built the second temple in original pattern.
Evening: Explore Paro town.
Day 04: Paro – Hike to Taktshang, Tiger’s Nest (3-4hrs):
Morning: hike to Bhutan’s most scenic icon or the most important landmark, Taktshang the Tiger’s nest clings to the side of a steep cliff 300 meters above the Paro valley. The place was first visited by Guru Rimpoche, founder of the tantric form of Buddhism in Himalayan countries, in the 8th century. It was said that he meditated there for about three months.
The original temple was built in the 17th century, but tragically, it was consumed by fire in 1998. Like a phoenix, the temple was rebuilt to its fullest glory in 2003. Takshang is considered to be the 10th-holiest site in the Buddhist world. You can visit three different temples inside the main Takshang complex. Riding Ponies provided upon request.
Lunch at Taktsang Cafeteria. Afternoon – relax at hotel or explore neighboring village.
Day 05: Departure: Paro:
Breakfast at hotel. Later transfer to Paro airport for departure, according to the schedule of your flight.