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Bhutan Adventure Tour - 6 Days

Bhutan Adventure Tour

Trip Facts:

Trip Name: Bhutan Adventure Tour
Trip Id: TIB1410
Trip Duration: 06 Days
Max. Altitude: 3,120m/10,240 ft (The Tiger Nest Monastery)
Best Season: March to May and September to November
Meal: Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Accommodation: Government approved 3 stars and Above
Transportation: Private car, van or bus (Depends on group size)
Trip Type:  Private Tour

Trip Overview:

Bhutan Adventure Tour truly explores the adventures side and the cultural aspects of Bhutan. Being a mountainous country, there are several adventure activities like rafting, cycling which is the ideal way to discover Bhutan. Bhutan Adventure tour visits many cultural, religious and historical sites in places like Paro, Punakha and Thimphu. These includes age-old monasteries, temples and shrines like Paro Ringpong Dzong, Punakha Dzong – arguably the most impressive dzongs in Bhutan, Kyichu Lhakhang – the oldest temples in Paro town, Chimi Lhakhang – the temple of fertility dedicated to Drukpa Kunley en-route Thimphu to Punakha, Do-chula pass (3140m) commanding great Himalayan panorama. Last but not the least is the popular hike to the Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ at 3120 meters just outskirts of Paro town. The cycling ride from Thimphu to Punakha is an exhilarating experience passing along high mountain road with spectacular sceneries. Rafting in Punakha at Po-chu (Male River) is an easy rafting experience rafting along the Punakha Dzong. All in all Bhutan Adventure tour is a great way to discover Bhutan and what the best Bhutan has to offer.

Trip Highlights:

  • Majestic views of the world’s highest peaks onboard flight to/from Paro and excitement level builds up as the plane cuts through different hills towards the deep valley of Paro
  • Guided city tour of the tiny capital Thimphu.
  • Rafting at the Po-chu River in Punakha
  • Exhilarting cycling from Thimphu to Punakha
  • Explore Paro exploding with colors and tradition
  • Visit the Bhutan’s old capital city – Punakha
  • Hike up to Taktsang Monastery – the Tiger’s Nest
  • Punakha Dzong – the most beautiful monastery in Bhutan

Outline Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrive Paro (2250m) & transfer to Thimphu (2350m)
Day 02: Thimphu to Punakha (1310m) – Cycling
Day 03: Rafting in Punakha & Khamsum Chorten hike (1500m)
Day 04: Punakha – Paro (2250m)
Day 05: Paro – Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ (3120m)
Day 06: Paro – depart

Day to Day Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrive Paro (2250m) & transfer to Thimphu (2350m)
Arrive Paro by Bhutan’s national carrier, Druk Air, and it’s a scenic flight as the plane touch down the lush green Paro Valley flying past the world’s highest mountains. Steeping down from the plane, cool, clean and fresh air welcomes the visitor, the first gift of Bhutan. After clearing the customs and visa formalities met by the representatives and transfer to Paro for lunch. Afterwards, visit Rinpung Dzongbuilt in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan. Then drive to Thimphu (1 hour) following Pa Chhu downstream.

In Thimphu, drive on to the Buddha Terrance for a stunning view of the valley and take a drive to visit Takin Preserve to see Takin, Bhutan’s national animal – a strange looking beast which some say resembles a beestung moose! Take a view of the majestic Tashichoe Dzong, the seat of the government before circumventing the Memorial Chorten – a monument erected in memory of Bhutan’s third king H.M. Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Visit Centenary Farmers Market, the new authentic craft bazaar, National Institute of Traditional Medicine that still dispenses traditional herbal medicines to the locals, the Folk Heritage Museum – a 300 year old traditional house converted into a museum. Overnight at Hotel (Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 02: Thimphu to Punakha (1310m) – Cycling
The road to Punakha begins with a 22km ride and a height gain of 670m up to Dochu La Pass (3,100 meters). The hillsides are covered in a luxuriant temperate forest of abundant rhododendron and magnolia and several species of deer and monkeys make their home in this forest. Stop for lunch at Dochu La where on a clear day you will have a spectacular view of the Himalayan Mountains. The downhill ride from the Dochu La into the Punakha valley will leave you speechless as you glide through lush forest spread over a distance of 50 kilometers.

After refreshing in the hotel in Punakha, visit Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’. It is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers) and is the winter residence of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu in the colder months. The three story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 03: Rafting in Punakha & Khamsum Chorten hike (1500m)
Drive to the rafting-start-point following a short drive and after safety briefing; proceed with a soft rafting at the Pho-chu (Male River). A little paddling is required and you pass along the Punakha Dzong which is located on banks at the confluence of two rivers, Pho-chu & Mo-chu. The rafting is expected to be about 90 minutes with rapids of class 2-4.

After lunch, hike up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyel Chorten erected by Royal queen mother for the purpose of present king in 2002. It offers a great view of the lower valley. The temple is regarded as one of the most intricate with paintings. At the temple one could see three different sect of Mahayana Buddhism. Afternoon: visit Punakha Dzong located at the confluence of the Pho-chu (male-river) and Mo-chu (female-river), the Punakha Dzong is arguably the most impressive dzong in the country. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 04: Punakha – Paro (2250m)
After early breakfast, drive from Punakha to Paro re-crossing Dochula pass and stopping at Thimphu for lunch. Upon arrival in Paro visit Rinpung Dzong built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan; the Dzong continues its age-old function as the seat of the district administration, district court and the monastic body. The southern approach to the Dzong has a traditional roofed cantilever bridge called Nemi Zam. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 05: Paro – Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ (3120m)
After breakfast drive towards the base camp of Taktsang for the hike up to the Taktsang Monastery-Tiger’s Nest. It’s about two hours hike up the cafeteria. From this point, enjoy the spectacular view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in 8th century. Then visit the Taktsang Monastery and hike back to the road point then drive to Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in Bhutan. Later on, back to hotel. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 06: Paro – depart
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch the onward flight. Bid farewell to the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappearing again behind its guardian mountains. (Breakfast only included)

Cost Details:

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Includes the following service during Bhutan tour:
• Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
• 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium).
• Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing
• Route Permit
• Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan
• A licensed Bhutanese tour guide
• All land transportation by private vehicle
• Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
• Sightseeing as per itinerary
• Monuments entrance fees where applicable
• Drinking water
• All internal taxes and charges
• A sustainable development fee of $65. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)

Excludes in the package cost:

• Airfare & Travel Insurance
• Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
• Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.

Trip Note

Visas to Bhutan
All citizens except India, Bangladesh and Maldives require visa to enter Bhutan. It requires a readable color copy of your passport and the passport should have at least six months of validity from your Bhutan exit date. Visa fee is US$40 per person. Tour’s full payment must be made before your arrival in Bhutan as per the tourism council of Bhutan – TCB.

Visa procedures
To apply for the visa, you need to send a clear copies of your passports to your travel agent in JPEG or PDF formats via mail. Upon full tour payment receipt, the tourism council of Bhutan then issues the visa clearance letter to your travel agent which in turn will send it to you. Please bring this letter and show at the Paro International Airport in order to get your passport stamped with the actual Bhutan visa. Please note that the VISA service is not offered in Bhutan, travelers have to buy full service package from the local tour operator. Printed copy of visa letter also needs to be shown during the check-in at the Druk Air counter. Entering Bhutan overland via Phuentsholing or Samdrup Jokhar, one needs to produce the visa letter at the immigration office.

Accommodation
There’s a wide selection of hotels in Bhutan from 3 star to world-class 5 star hotels at the prominent places like Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey etc. 3-5 star hotel are officially government approved hotels. Besides, there’s hundreds of standard and budget hotel scattered throughout Bhutan including homestays, farm house stays. Travelers daily cost includes stays at the 3 star hotels and using 4 star or 5 star will require additional premium. Top 5 star hotels in Bhutan include Le-meridian, Taj Tashi, Como Uma etc.

Meals
During Bhutan stay all meals are included from breakfast to lunch and dinner. Breakfast and dinners will be at the hotels where travelers are staying and lunch might be at the restaurant during the sightseeing tour. However, on the last day of the tour the travel agent are oblige to provide breakfast only and any lunch/dinner will be traveler’s on own. Meals in Bhutan include mix of Indian, continental including Bhutan special cuisines such as Ema Datshi, Momos etc.

Transportation
Traveling in Bhutan is easy nowadays with Bhutan rapidly developing it’s infrastructures on it’s road-system. Until 1961 traveling in Bhutan was quite difficult with no proper means of transportation in the country. One has to travel either on foot or on mule/horse back. After 1961 modern road construction began with most of the districts and towns getting interconnected via roadways. Nowadays comfortable ground transports and public vehicles are accessible in major cities. Different luxurious cars, SUVs, buses and coaster buses are available for tourists.

Guides
Every guide in Bhutan must complete a training course so that visitors get high quality professional service. Over 1000 licensed active tours guides are working in the country. Guides specialize either in cultural or adventure tours. All Bhutanese guides are helpful and friendly and proficient in English. Many guides have also learnt other languages like German, Japanes, Thai or others for better communication with travelers from these countries. All tour operators must employ only registered and certified guides.

How to get Bhutan
There are two options to get into Bhutan by air or by land. One can fly to Bhutan and land at the only international airport of Bhutan – the Paro International Airport. Alternatively, by land one can enter Bhutan via Phuentsholing from west connecting with Bagdogra Airport, Siliguri-West Bengal or Kakarbhitta-Nepal. Gelephu is the entry point if you are travelling from the central region and Samdrup Jongkhar from the east. Exiting through Samdrup Jongkhar in southeast Bhutan is to connect with Guwahati of India. From Guwahati, you may fly into other Indian cities like Delhi, Bombay or Kolkata. Even though Bhutan shares its border with Tibet, there are not treaties established yet to open the border crossing between these two countries.

Flights to Bhutan
Only two airlines connect Bhutan with the rest of the world, Druk Air (the national flag carrier) & Bhutan Airlines (Privately owned air). These airlines fly into the Paro International Airport in Paro – the only international airport in Bhutan. They too flies from certain cities only like Kathmandu, Delhi, Singapore, Bangkok, Kolkata, Bagdogra. Airlines flight schedules changes by season but there are several flights per week from Kathmandu, New Delhi, Singapore and Bangkok, either direct or via Dhaka, Kolkata or Bagdogra. Flights into Paro are dependent upon the weather conditions due to geographical location of Paro airport, so flight timings are subject to change. Therefore, all passengers are advised to maintain a minimum of 24 hours connection time to avoid disconnection.

Best time to visit Bhutan
Best time to visit Bhutan is spring (March-May) and Autumn/fall (September-November). Weather mostly remains clear during spring during when mystifying beauty of nature can be witnessed and varieties of flowers and plants bloom. June-August is the summer season and monsoon starts from June. Fall (Sep-Nov) is the another high season after spring during when tourist arrives Bhutan for festivals like Thimphu tshechu, Gangtey tshechu, Jambay Lhakhang drup. Winter season (Dec-Feb) isn’t crowded during when temperature level goes down (even below freezing point) and Bhutan may see snow fall. Trekking won’t be possible at high elevations in winter due to snow.

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