Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
This 14-day luxury itinerary showcases Bhutan's must-see sites, with time spent in the major cities of Paro and Thimphu, plus visits to remote mountain villages and farmhouses. There's plenty of history and culture in this tour – you'll see ancient fortresses, far-flung monasteries and countless chortens, fluttering prayer flags and ancient Buddhist sites. Each night you'll bed down in style, staying in a selection of Bhutan's most luxurious Himalaya resorts.
You start your Bhutan odyssey in Paro, where you'll visit the ancient fortresses the Rimpung Dzong and Drukgyel Dzong, the latter a UNESCO-protected location and perhaps the most important archeological site in the country. After that, visit the Kyichu Lhakhang – a centuries-old Buddhist temple – and in the evening check into a luxurious Paro hotel. We recommend Amankora or the Uma by Como.
Get an early start to see more of picturesque Paro. First, see the Kila Nunnery located on a cliffside, then learn a bit about local history at the National Museum. In the afternoon, get some insight into local life with a home visit to a farmhouse before enjoying a relaxing night back at your hotel.
Today, make your way to Punakha, a 4-hour drive away and the old capital of Bhutan, enjoying the views from Dochu La Pass on the way. There are many historic sites to explore in Punakha, including the island fortress Punakha Dzong and the Chime Lhakhang, a uniquely-adorned 15th century temple said to bless visiting couples with fertility. Tonight, stay at the luxurious Amankora or Uma Punakha for a restful night's sleep.
Get out into the fresh mountain air today with a hike to Khamsum Yuley Monastery and the elaborate temple chorten that took 10 years to complete. After that, enjoy rafting along the Mo Chu River. There is the option to visit a local farmhouse today before checking back into your hotel for the evening. The Amankora and Uma Punakha by Como are both excellent choices.
You'll head to Gangtey today, located some 3 hours away in the picturesque and treeless Phobjikha Valley. It's here in the wetlands that the black-necked cranes nest and you'll get to learn more about this intriguing species at the Crane Center. This is also the home of the beautiful old Gangtey Monastery with its elaborate gate and breathtaking valley views. Tonight, check into the Amankora or Gangtey Goenpa Lodge – both luxurious properties that command unforgettable mountain vistas.
Gangtey in Phobjikha Valley offers plenty of opportunities to hike, with marshlands, lots of flat open terrain and, being away from the more heavily touristed areas, ultimate peace and serenity. After a day exploring the area at your leisure, you can check back into your hotel for a gourmet dinner and relaxation.
The pretty mountain village of Trongsa, 2 hours' drive away, is your next destination. Here, you'll see the famous fortress Trongsa Dzong, perched over the village on the mountainside. Next, you'll have the chance to learn about Bhutanese history at the Trongsa Museum of Monarchy, with more than 100 years of royal history on display. Tonight, check into the luxurious Yangkhil Resort, offering stunning views over the dzong.
Today you'll head 2 hours away to Bumthang, which is home to a high concentration of sacred sites. You'll visit the Yathra Center in Chume, the beautiful Kyichu Lhakhang Temple – the oldest monastery in Bhutan – and see the Swiss Farm, which makes its own cheese using Jersey cow milk and brews the national beer, Red Panda. In the evening, enjoy a comfortable night's sleep in the luxurious Amankora or Yugharling Resort and Spa, both excellent properties with a fantastic array of amenities.
Rise early for a visit to Tang Valley, where farm houses and fields are dotted between heavily-forested mountains. You'll see Mebartso, the "Burning Lake", a deep pool in the river gorge with religious significance. Today you'll also visit Pemacholing Nunnery, a monastic school with nuns from 12 to 70 years of age, situated at the start of Tang Valley. Ura Village is also on the itinerary today, the highest village in Bumthang, with resident sheep and yak herders. Enjoy dinner back at your luxury resort in Bumthang.
There’s a lot of ground to cover in Bumthang, and today you’ll see more of the region, starting with a trip to Ugyencholing. The 16th century palace here has been converted into a museum where you can enjoy an al fresco lunch in the sunshine, complete with valley views. Afterwards, browse historic artifacts in the galleries and learn more of Bhutan’s monarchy. In the evening, you’ll return to the comfort of your resort in Bumthang.
Today you begin your journey back to Thimphu, starting with a flight to Paro, then a 1-hour drive on to Thimphu. Visit the Royal Textile Academy detailing the traditional Bhutanese craft of weaving, then continue to the National Library, a major repository for Buddhist scripture holding many rare manuscripts. Tonight, check into the luxurious Amankora resort or the Taj Tashi - two of the best hotels in Thimphu.
As Bhutan’s cultural heart, Thimphu has much to offer travelers. Today you will visit the Folk Heritage Museum, where you have the chance to try a hearty Bhutanese lunch, then it’s off to the paper mill, where paper is recycled into items such as bags and lampshades. Before returning to your Thimphu resort for the night, you’ll visit Buddha Dordenma, where a 149-foot bronze statue of the Buddha presides over the capital.
You’ll return to Paro today and embark upon a hike to the Taktsang Palphug Monastery, also known as the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Taktsang Palphug is perched on a cliff overlooking Paro Valley and is one of Bhutan’s most iconic sites. The monastery is home to sacred paintings, a prayer wheel, several buddhas and many religious relics. After exploring the temples here you will return to Paro for your final night of this tour. The Amankora and Uma Paro are both recommended resorts.