Trip Name: Bumthang Cultural Trek
Trip Id: TIB1421
Trip Duration: 13 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
Bumthang Cultural Trek is specially designed combining both sightseeing and trekking through the villages and heritage sites in the valley of Bumthang. The beautiful Bumthang valley is the cultural heartland of Bhutan and home to some of the oldest Buddhist monasteries and temples in the region. The trek passes through remote villages, ancient temples and even a manor of Ugencholling. Initially the tour begins after a scenic flight over the world’s tallest mountains to the lush valley of Paro. Then proceeds to Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey and towards Bumthang. En-route visit several historical and religious landmarks like Punakha Dzong, Wangduephodrang Dzong, Chimi Lhakhang, and also involves crossing over the Dochula Pass at 3140m. Another interesting feature of the program is hike to the Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ perched in a vertical cliff. Throughout the journey, enjoy the picturesque high passes, deeply forested valleys, remote settlements, small townships and get to know the Dragon Kingdom historically, religiously and culturally.
- Witness spectacular bird’s eye view of the Himalayas while flying in/out from Paro. Experience Bhutanese culture, tradition and lifestyles of simple country.
- Explore the tiny town of Paro exploding with colors and tradition.
- Trek into the Bhutan’s cultural heartland – Bumthang Valley.
- Discover the tiny capital Thimphu.
- Visit Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’- one of the most famous monasteries in Bhutan. Punakha Dzong – the most beautiful monastery in Bhutan.
- Trip to the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong.
Day to Day Itinerary:
Day 01: Arrival Paro (2250m) – Thimphu (2350m)
Arrive Paro by the Bhutanese National Carrier flying over the world’s highest mountains and finally landing at the lush green Paro valley. A cool and clean fresh air greets the visitor as stepping down from the plane, the first gift of Bhutan. After clearing customs and visa formalities, meet the representatives and the Bhutanese guide, and a short tour brief by the guide then transfer to Paro town for lunch. Then drive towards Thimphu (the capital of Bhutan) for about hour.
In Thimphu, visit Buddha point for a stunning view of Thimphu city and Takin Compound- on the way to the viewpoint over Thimphu is the home of Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin. Then continue to Tashi Choe Dzong- the fortress of the glorious religion was initially constructed in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in the 1960s, Folk Heritage Museum – a 300 year old traditional house converted into a museum, Centenary Farmers Market, the new authentic craft bazaar. Overnight at Hotel (Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 02: Thimphu – Punakha (1310m)
After breakfast, drive for about 1 & half hour to Punakha. Climb up the mountain road to Dochula La at 3140m. On clear weather, the pass commands a wonderful panorama of the Eastern Himalayas. From the pass, descend through varied forest and finally emerging into the highly cultivated valley of Punakha. Take a short hike through beautiful rice fields to Chimmi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, who as a favorite saint of the Bhutanese people is known affectionately as “the Divine Madman”. The temple is on a hillside in the middle of rice fields and has become a pilgrimage site for childless couples. Overnight at Hotel(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 03: Punakha – Gangtey (2,900m)
Drive to Wangduephodrang Dzong, which is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers. The position of the Dzong is remarkable as it completely covers the spur and commands an impressive view both up and down the valley. Then drive up a winding mountain road through oak and rhododendron forest, and over a high pass down into the Phobjikha valley, surely one of the loveliest high altitude valleys in Bhutan. Phobjikha is one of Bhutan’s few glacial valleys, and chosen winter home of black-necked cranes, migrating from the Tibetan plateau. Enjoy 1½ hours Gangtey nature trail from the monastery through the jungle before emerging to the valley floor. Overnight at Hotel.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 04: Gangtey – Bumthang (2,800m)
Today, we drive 5 hours to Bumthang valley. The road climbs rapidly through a series of hairpins out of Trongsa and there are great views back to the Dzong and out across the valley. After passing through cultivated fields for a while, the trail re-enters the forest and reach the Yotong La (3400m). Descending to a low point of 2650m at a village called Chumey; the scenery is once again totally different as the route enters the wide-open Bumthang valleys. It takes about an hour to get to the roadside at Chumey, the first of the four valleys in Bumthang. Overnight at Hotel.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 05: Bumthang Sightseeing (2,800m)
In the morning visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom as Bhutan’s “patron saint”, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) meditated here. From Kurje monastery, a tarmac road heads south along the right bank of the river to Jambey Lhakhang. This temple, erected by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, is one of the two oldest in Bhutan (the other being Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro). After lunch, hike to Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pema Lingpa. It contains interesting and ancient Buddhist wall paintings. Later, visit Jakar Dzong, “the castle of the white bird”, and then take a stroll through Bumthang’s market area before returning to the hotel. Overnight at Hotel. (Walking Duration: 4-5 hrs)(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 06: Trek to Ngang Lhakhang (2,895m)
Today the trek starts near the small village of Thangbi from Thangbi Goemba, and follows the Chamkhar Chu, a river known for trout fish. After an hour of walking the route will pass the Zangling Lhakhang on the hill to the right. Stop for lunch at Thangbi Lhakhang. The then trail enters the Ngang Yul (Land of the Swan), at the centre of which lies the Ngang Lhakhang (Swan Temple). The valley was populated by swans in the old days, and hence the name Ngang Yul. Overnight in Camp.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 07: Trek to Tahung ‘Meadow Camp’ (2,790m)
Visit the Ngang Lhakhang Goempa at the start of your trek. From Ngang Lhakhang it is a gradual climb for about 1 hour and then steep climb till Phephela pass at 3360m, the highest point on this trek. After descending reaches the camp. Todays trail is through beautiful forested areas with lots of leisure and stops. Overnight in Camp.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 08: Trek to Gamling/Mesithang
Today start at Tahung and the trail leads to the Tang Chu and the Tang Bridge. The diversion to the 2 camp sites is here at the bridge. If camping at Mesithang then cross the bridge and continue otherwise keep to the left of the bridge and camp at Gamling. Camping at Gamling will provide an opportunity to take an easy side trip to Ugyen Chholing. Overnight at Camp. (Walking Duration: Gamling 2-3 hrs/Mesithang 6 hrs)(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 09: Trek to Bumthang (2,800m)
If camp was at Gamling then walk for 1 hour before crossing the Tang Chu where the vehicle will be waiting otherwise from Mesithang it is a 15 km dirt road drive to the junction of Bumthang – Mongar highway and then a 30 minute drive to Bumthang. Option: Visit Membar Tsho at this road junction. Overnight at Hotel. (Walking Duration: Gamling 2-3 hrs/Mesithang 6 hrs)(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 10: Bumthang – Gangtey (2320m)
After breakfast, re-trace the same route back towards Gangtey and the road journey today is bit longer with 8 hours of drive. Upon arrival at Gangtey, check-in hotel. Overnight at Hotel(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 11: Gangtey – Paro (2350m)
Drive to Paro re-crossing Dochula and the drive today is a bit longer about 5 hours drive. Overnight at Hotel. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 12: Paro – Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (3,120m)
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. (The hike demands a certain level of fitness and a pony ride to the monastery can be arranged at additional cost) 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 and Paro Ringpong Dzong. Afterwards, back to hotel. Overnight at Hotel(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 13: Paro depart
After breakfast, drive to the Paro airport in time to catch the onward flight. Bid farewell to the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.(Breakfast only included)
To obtain a special price for this trip, please kindly contact us using Request a free quote form below ↓
• 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.)
• 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.
• On the day of departure, the ‘local agents’ host obligation shall be limited to providing breakfast only and any extra requirements shall be payable on a usage basis.
Our entire Bhutan tours are private journeys and tailor made programs suited for any independent travelers according to their chosen traveling dates. Should you wish, the tour can be easily customized as per your interest and activities you wish to get involve in or spend more time in your places of interest. Contact us to customize this tour as per your requirements. This tour can be undertaken round the year.
Normally during the monsoon seasons (Jun, Jul & Aug), the road condition in between Thimphu to Bumthang will be muddy road and bumpy ride. Other than Land-cruisers it’s not an easy journey but still with cruisers will be a bumpy ride. Another option will be flying into Bumthang and drive back or vice-versa. But in other seasons, such is not the case.