866 862 3031

Discover Bhutan's cultural and natural highlights on this classic and comprehensive tour in complete Jacada style.

Personalised journeys from start to finish

Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel

Every detail taken care of

What's Included

  • Exclusive, tailored tours including a hike to Tiger's Nest
  • Completely private tour options in Paro, Bumthang, Gangtey, Punakha and Thimphu
  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Meet and greet airport service
  • Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

Enjoy the very best of this fascinating and intriguing country, from authentic cultural gems to natural wonders, on an exclusive journey through Bhutan. Explore the treasures of dzongs, temples and beautiful valleys on seamless tours with our insider recommendations.

From Paro to Bumthang to Gangtey, Punakha and Thimphu, we’ll tailor your stay entirely around your needs and wishes, taking care of every detail in complete Jacada style. Our expert guides will show you historical sights including the country’s showstopper: Tiger’s Nest. We’ll take you to meet monks, nuns and locals for sincere cultural experiences and then to explore lush rice paddies that stretch to Himalayan views for the perfect Bhutan introduction.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days 1-2

Paro

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Paro hotel

Accommodation in Paro

One day enjoying Paro One day enjoying Paro

The pretty valley of Paro is one of the kingdom's widest and is covered in fertile rice fields crisscrossed by a beautiful meandering river. While Bhutan is famous for its splendid monuments and monasteries, perhaps the most impressive can be found here. You'll encounter the "Tiger's Nest" Monastery, medieval style-bridges, imposing dzongs and a town filled with traditional architecture.


The main street of the town was only built in 1985 but it's lined with cheerfully painted wooden shop fronts and restaurants in a classic Bhutanese style. Facing up the mountain, you'll be awed by the 8th-century Taktsang or "Tiger's Nest" Monastery, perched high on the sheer cliff face. Just outside of the town, lie both the dominating Paro Dzong - a prime example of Bhutanese architecture, and the 7th-century Kyichu Lhakhang which was one of the first Buddhist temples built in the country.

Afternoon Tour of Paro with National Museum, Rinpung Dzong and Drugyal Dzong Afternoon Tour of Paro with National Museum, Rinpung Dzong and Drugyal Dzong

Today you will enjoy a tour of the town of Paro. Your day begins with a short 30 minute drive in a private vehicle to the National Museum, which lends itself to spectacular bird’s eye views of the main Paro Valley. The museum houses over 3000 pieces of Bhutanese art, covering more than 1,500 years of Bhutan's cultural heritage. It has a formidable collection of antiques from Buddhist temples, and artefacts once used by both the nobility and common folk. Highlights include masks, armour, paintings, prehistoric items and natural history exhibits.

A short drive from the museum takes you to the Rinpung Dzong, a large Buddhist monastery and fortress that's regarded as one of Bhutan's most impressive and well-known dzongs - and perhaps the finest example of Bhutanese architecture. From the 17th to the late 19th century, dzongs served as defending fortresses and were built with strong walls, false doors, reservoirs for water and food and hidden armouries. Dzongs were also headquarters for the religious and the political administrations. Once you've seen inside the Rinpung Dzong, enjoy the short walk across a wooden cantilever bridge on the dzong grounds.

If time permits we will take a tour around the ancient ruins of Drugyal Dzong in the upper part of Paro. The name of the dzong means "Victory" and it is a testimony to the valour of Bhutanese fighters against invaders from the north. A walk around the ruins and a visit inside gives an insight into the building techniques of Bhutanese dzongs.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Paro Airport

Flight

Flight from Paro to Bumthang

Days 2-4

Bumthang

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer from Bumthang airport to Bumthang hotel

Accommodation in Bumthang

Two days exploring Bumthang Two days exploring Bumthang

Spend your days in Bhutan's rural and most historic region, Bumthang, exploring the vast number of ancient temples and sacred sites among the farming lands. Comprised of four mountain valleys, Bumthang means 'beautiful land' and is home to quaint farming villages, an intricate and imposing dzong and two national parks where you can see the Bengal tiger, snow leopard and Himalayan black bear.

Half Day Tour of Kurjee and Jambay lhakhang Half Day Tour of Kurjee and Jambay lhakhang

Today you will be taken on a tour of important Bumthang sites. First visit Kurjee whose name means "the temple where the body image has been engraved". Legend has it that the 8th century Buddhist Master Guru Rimpoche, often referred to as the Second Buddha, meditated here and left his body imprints on the rocks. It's also renowned as the final resting place of the remains of the first three kings of Bhutan.

Next it's on to Jambay lhakhang, one of 108 Buddhist temples built in the 8th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. Considered one of the oldest landmarks in Bhutan, this temple dates back to the 7th century. You'll be granted special entry to the inner chapel where you'll see the statues of the preaching Buddha and the eight enlightened ones, popularly known as the Bodhisattvas or “Compassionate Minds”. The physical structure of the temple has undergone numerous rebuilding but the inner chapel statues are original. This temple also holds a unique Tshechu or festival.


After these two important temples we will walk up to a farmhouse for a good rural lunch. Once we've had our lunch, we will take a pleasant walk through the village farm road. We take an opportunity to visit Tamshing Temple which has un-restored paintings from the 15th century. The great master called Terton Pema Lingpa built this temple and painted the frescoes. After his demise no one dared to restore his dilapidated works as a mark of respect to the great man. Such works are often considered as relics and Buddhists will try their very best to keep in its original state. If time permits we will visit the monastery of Kharchhu where more than 300 monks live and practice.

Full day tour of Wangdicholing Palace and Tamshing temple with lunch Full day tour of Wangdicholing Palace and Tamshing temple with lunch

Today you will explore the treasures of Bumthang on a full day excursion. We start the day with a tour of the Old Wangdicholing Palace. The palace can be found in Amankora’s backyard as the buildings were built to share the palace courtyards. Once the summer seat of administration for the first two kings, the palace is now being turned into a museum. For those who are interested, we can arrange a very special tea or dinner with some of the courtiers of the Second King who ruled Bhutan from 1926-1952. You'll be accompanied by a guide who can translate.

Next, we head for Tang to visit the Orgyen Choling Palace. To break up the two-hour drive, we'll stop to visit the sacred Mebartso Lake, a pool that lies over the deep ravine on the Tang River. The builder of Tamshing Temple, Terton Pema Lingpa, was believed to have entered this part of the river and brought out scrolls and relics that became important teachings. We will also visit the beautiful Tang Rimochen temple, which was also founded by Terton Pema Lingpa. Legend has it that an important relic in the form of a book was discovered by a cliff close to the temple. 'Terton' means 'relic discoverer' and is a very mysterious and important tradition in Himalayan heritage. Relics, usually in the form of statues and books, are thought to lie hidden for a long time before a Terton comes along by destiny to rediscover them and use them as an important teaching.

After our visit to Tang Rimochen, we'll carry on to the suspension bridge in the main Tang village. From here we'll hike for an hour to the palace, stopping for lunch in the palace garden and enjoying the views of the Tang Valley. After lunch we will take a tour of the palace. The palace is now a museum and our tour will be conducted by one of the descendants of the nobility who once lived here. We'll see fascinating items from the medieval era and paintings that give a great insight into the history of Bhutanese trading. We will then hike for about an hour back to our vehicle and return to Amankora for dinner.

Days 4-6

Gangtey

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private scenic transfer to Gangtey via Tower of Trongsa

Accommodation in Gangtey

Two days enjoying Gangtey Two days enjoying Gangtey

Spend your days in the wide valley of Gangtey, one of Bhutan's most beautiful spots, enjoying its stunning setting on nature walks and treks. The Gangteng Valley, also known as the Phobjikhii Valley, is a glacial basin populated with an alluring mix of forests. Visit the impressive 17th century Gangteng Goempa - Bhutan's largest Nyingmapa monastery - and its surrounding quaint village. You'll have our list of recommended tours, restaurants and attractions to make sure you make the most of your time here.

Full day tour of Gangtey Full day tour of Gangtey

Today your will enjoy a full day tour of Gangtey. Hike a nature trail, stop for a picnic lunch, visit farmhouses and the famous temple of Gangtey. Perched atop a small hill, Gangtey Temple, or Monastery, is surrounded by a large village inhabited mainly by the families of the 140 Gomchens who take care of the Monastery. This is the only Nyingmapa monastery on the western side of the Black Mountain’s and is also the biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan.

Days 6-8

Punakha

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private scenic transfer to Punakha via Wangdue and temples

Accommodation in Punakha

Two days exploring Punakha Two days exploring Punakha

Capital of Bhutan and seat of the government until 1955, the little town of Punakha still enjoys a serene and regal ambience left over from its stately days. Found in a fertile valley at a relatively low 12,000 metres above sea level, visitors come here for warm, sultry days filled with plenty of activities such as mountain biking, trekking and river rafting. Then step into the area's history with a visit to the town's show-stopping Punakha Dzong.

Full day tour of Punakha with Khamsum Yuelling and Chorten Ningpo Temples Full day tour of Punakha with Khamsum Yuelling and Chorten Ningpo Temples

Today, we will hike to one of the most beautiful temples of Bhutan, the Khamsum Yuelling Temple. The hike will take about two hours and leads us to the riverside where we cross a suspension bridge and head south through forests. We reach another suspension bridge and head east through fields of rice and vegetables before a gradual climb up stone steps to the temple.

Built on a hillock that commands fantastic views of the upper Punakha Valley, the temple is filled with paintings, statues and frescoes. We'll climb the stairs from its base to the topmost lookout. After visiting the temple, we then hike down to the second suspension bridge where our vehicle brings us to the hotel for lunch.

This afternoon, we take a 30 minute drive to Chorten Ningpo and hike to its temple. The temple is associated with the Buddhist master Drukpa Kinley, often referred to as the Divine Madman. The Divine Madman is famous for his use of phallic cultural which is identified with old animistic faiths and Hinduism. The Divine Madman used the phallus as a tool for treating psychic repression and people who revere the Divine Madman still adorn the walls of their houses with phallus paintings to ward off evil spirits, curses or to bring fertility into their homes.

After visiting the temple, we hike downhill through trails of oak, chestnut, dogwood, wild pears and Sycamore. Within an hour we reach the village school from where we detour south towards Yuwo Village. The surrounding rice fields will be bright green in summer and golden in autumn. We then return to the hotel for the evening.

Days 8-9

Thimphu

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private scenic transfer to Thimphu via Lamperi Botanical Garden, Dochhula Pass and Druk Wangyel Temple

Accommodation in Thimphu

Overnight in Thimphu Overnight in Thimphu

Spend your time in Bhutan's capital exploring the market, Taschichho Dzong and small, chock-a-block shops. A wander around this relaxed and friendly city gives a look at a more urban side of Bhutan which accompanies a wide display of traditional art, architecture and Buddhist sights steeped in ritual. A visit to the Arts and Crafts School, the Textile Museum and the Traditional Medicine Hospital are recommended. Your Travel Designer can help you to plan your stay here according to your interests.

Days 9-11

Paro

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer from Thimphu to Paro and on to your hotel

Accommodation in Paro

Two days in Paro Two days in Paro

While Bhutan is famous for its splendid monuments and monasteries, perhaps the most impressive can be found here. You'll encounter the "Tiger's Nest" Monastery, medieval style-bridges, imposing dzongs and a town filled with traditional architecture. Facing up the mountain, you'll be awed by the 8th-century Taktsang or "Tiger's Nest" Monastery, perched high on the sheer cliff face. Just outside of the town, lie both the dominating Paro Dzong - a prime example of Bhutanese architecture, and the 7th-century Kyichu Lhakhang which was one of the first Buddhist temples built in the country.

Full day tour with hike to Tiger's Nest and a hot stone bath Full day tour with hike to Tiger's Nest and a hot stone bath

Today you’ll experience Bhutan’s most valued attractions and one of the main reasons people come to Bhutan, the famous Taktshang monastery or "Tiger’s Nest". This spectacular temple clings to a 1,000 foot high cliff and was built in 1692 by a prominent historical figure named Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgye. We hike for about three hours to reach the Tiger's Nest, climbing steeply uphill from the valley floor with a break at a tea house along the way. The Tiger’s Nest is one of the most sacred sites for the Buddhists. It's said that in the 8th century, Guru Padma meditated here for three months. Guru Padma, also known as the 2nd Buddha, first initiated Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche flew to this location from Tibet on the back of a tigress from Khenpajong and built this temple as a result. For Buddhists, the story of the temple is an important lesson about taming the inherent forces of Anger, Ignorance and Greed.

We then hike for approximately two hours back downhill. On your return, treat your weary limbs to an indulgent soak in a hot stone bath.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Paro Airport

Use the navigation to jump down to a particular part of this example trip
What's Your Dream Trip?
We design private journeys for people who wish to go beyond the typical and experiencing something truly special. Our amazing team of travel designers, concierges and local guides work together to create unique journeys that get deep under the skin of where you’re visiting.

Get in Touch

Classic Bhutan Explorer

11-Day Example Trip
 
1
Simply complete the form below or give us a call
2
We'll get in touch within 24 hours and work with you to perfect the details of your trip.
3
Sit back and relax while we plan the perfect itinerary for you.
Travel Information
    Please enter the number of passengers.
    Your Trip
    Please leave a message so we can start planning your bespoke trip.
    Budget
    Your Details
    You haven't entered your name.
    Please enter a valid phone number so we can get in touch.
    Please enter a valid email address so we can get in touch.

    How We Work

    We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.

    Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.

    From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.