Complete Bhutan Tour (17 Days)

This journey takes you across the entire Bhutanese landscape, providing you with a wonderful insight into a land that time seems to have forgotten. A perfect journey for those who want to explore the remote country in depth. This adventurous tour has only become possible with the opening of the entry and exit point at Samdrup-Jongkhar a sub-tropical region connecting Gauhati Airport in the State of Assam, India.

Completely off the beaten path you will be able to visit the heartlands of Bhutan including the eastern province of Mongar and Trashigang.

HIGHLIGHTS: Experiences includes the Sub Tropical Region (150 mt. above sea level) to the Highest Thrumshingla Mountain Pass (3700 mt.) and the rural part of the country. A visit to the home of Bhutanese Textile in the village of Rhadi, Tashigang and then to Mongar. Bumthang is the country’s spirituals hub and visits include the Oldest 7th Century Temple and Lunch at Farm House served by the family who had cooked for the Royal families for generations. A visit to the Ta Dzong Museum in Trongsa will reveal the historical arrival of Buddhism, unification of Bhutan and establishment of hereditary monarchy in Bhutan. A night halt at the Glacier Valley of Phobjikha (2900 m). The place gives an insight into the rural live of Bhutan where subsistence farming is still practiced. It is a place with natural beauty and untouched scenery. The largest private Gangtey Monastery from the early 17th century holds a great view of the valley. While in Punakha, visit the most Impressive Punakha Dzong which is majestically located at the confluence of two rivers and experience a leisurely White Water Rafting. In Thimphu, visit the World’s Largest Sitting Buddha Statue. In Paro, a hike to the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery.

  • Day 1:   Arrive Guwahiti Airport, India. Transfer to Bhutan, Overnight at 2+stars hotel in Samdrup Jongkhar.
    Day 2:   Transfer to Tashigang, Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Tashigang.
    Day 3:   Explore Tashigang valley, Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Tashigang.
    Day 4:   Transfer to Mongar, Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Mongar.
    Day 5:   Transfer to Bumthang, Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Bumthang.
    Day 6:   Explore Bumthang valley, Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Bumthang.
    Day 7:   Explore Bumthang valley, Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Bumthnag.
    Day 8:   Transfer to Trongsa, Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Trongsa.
    Day 9:   Transfer to Phobjikha, Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Phobjikha.
    Day 10:  Explore Phobjikha valley, Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Phobjikha.
    Day 11:  Transfer to Punakha valley, Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Punakha.
    Day 12:  Explore Punakha valley, Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Punakha
    Day 13:  Transfer to Thimphu, Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Thimphu.
    Day 14:  Explore Thimphu valley, Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Thimphu.
    Day 15:  Transfer to Paro, Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Paro.
    Day 16:  Trek Tiger nest monastery, Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Paro.
    Day 17:  International Departure.

    No. of Travelers High season Low season
    1 person US $ 4690 US $ 3890
    2 people US $ 9060 US $ 7460
    3 or more people US $ 4050 / person US $ 3250 / person

    High season – Mar, Apr, May, Sept, Oct & Nov
    Low season – Jan, Feb, Jun, Jul, Aug & Dec

    Tour Cost Includes :

    • Visas for Bhutan, Government Royalty, Taxes.
    • All touring and transfers throughout your journey.
    • Daily 3 meals & bottled water daily.(B/L/D) at restaurants or hotels.
    • Accommodation at 3 star hotels.
    • A licensed English-speaking guide throughout the trip.
    • Entry fees and road permits as per the program.

    Tour Cost Does Not Includes:

    • Flight IN and OUT of Bhutan (can be arranged with us).
    • Travel Insurance.
    • Personal expenses – Drinks & Laundry.
    • Tips for the guide and driver.
    Places Nights Hotels
    Samdrup Jongkhar 1 nights Menjong hotel
    Tashigang 2 nights Druk Daejung hotel
    Mongar 1 nights Wangchuk resort
    Bumthang 3 nights Yugharling resorts / Swiss Guest house
    Trongsa 1 nights Yangkhil resorts
    Phobjikha 2 nights Gakiling / Dewachen
    Punakha 2 nights Meripuensum resorts / Damchen resorts
    Thimphu 2 nights Bhutan suites / Rochogphel hotel
    Paro 2 nights Janka resorts / Mandala resorts
  • Day 1 : Guwahati Airport, India – Samdrup Jongkhar, Bhutan (3+ hours)
    Today you will be greeted at Guwahati airport by our Indian ground operator. Transfer by private taxi to the India-Bhutan border and the bustling town of Samdrup Jongkhar where you will spend your first night in Bhutan. Samdrup Jongkhar is your typical border town with little of interest, being slightly chaotic and generally lacking in the charms the rest of Bhutan will unfold to you. The remainder of the day is at leisure to wander about the small bazaar area.

    So please prepare for a ‘hard’ start and your rewards will come as your travel into Bhutan’s heartland. Please also note that hotels in Samdrup Jongkhar are generally only a 2 star standard however from the Tashigang onwards you will notice a distinct improvement in hotel quality.

    Overnight at 2+ stars hotel in Samdrup Jongkhar.

    Day 2 : Samdrup Jongkhar – Trashigang (6 hrs)
    An early morning departure from Samdrup Jongkhar to Trashigang. En-route visit the small and relatively undeveloped village of Womrong which will offer your first view of a small Bhutanese Dzong and soon after the Zangto Pelri Lhakhang (temple). Next stop is Khaling, the site of an historic battlefield and location of the National Hand loom Centre, where young girls from all over Bhutan are trained in traditional hand weaving and vegetable dyeing. Finally visit the university town of Kanglung.

    Trashigang is a lively and interesting town and the bars are worth a visit this evening although they do close early at 8.00pm.

    Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Tashigang.

    Day 3 : Sightseeing in the Trashigang region.
    Eastern Bhutan is the heartland of weaving in the Kingdom and Bhutanese weavings and textiles are generally acknowledged as amongst the finest in the world. You will have an excellent opportunity to both trade and interact with the weavers themselves on today’s excursion to the weaving village of Radi, approx. 2.5 hours (each way) eastwards from Trashigang.

    For those who wish to have the day at leisure you are welcome to spend time exploring Trashigang on your own or to take a short hike. The Dzong is worth visiting and offers excellent views from a high promontory overlooking the confluence of the Drangme Chhu (river) and Gamri Chhu. Up until the beginning of the 20th century all of eastern Bhutan was governed from this Dzong.

    Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Tashigang.

    Day 4 : Trashigang – Mongar (4 hrs.)
    Enjoy a leisurely start for your journey westwards to Mongar today. There are no major points of interest in Mongar however it is essential to stop here en-route to the central Bumthang valleys and avoid a tortuous 11.5 hour road trip. When you descend into the valley of the Kuri Chhu you pass extensive cornfields and at the valley floor rice terraces, and tropical fruits such as mango and pineapples, flourish.

    When traveling though eastern Bhutan the dominant language is Sharchop which is different enough from Dzongkha (the national language of Bhutan) . The towns between west and east Bhutan also differ as in western Bhutan most towns are situated in valleys whereas in eastern Bhutan most towns, including Mongar, are situated at the tops of hills or ridges.

    Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Mongar.

    Day 5 : Mongar – Bumthang Region. (7 hrs)
    Early morning departure to Jakar, in the Choekhor Valley, for this second and final longer drive on your journey through the Kingdom. The route between Mongar & Jakar is one of the most spectacular drives in the country. When crossing the Thrumsing La (Bhutan’s highest pass at 3780 metres) you are now officially departing eastern Bhutan & entering western Bhutan.

    En route visit the Ura valley, the highest valley in Bumthang, and believed by some to have been the home of Bhutan’s earliest inhabitants. The cobbled streets of the very traditional village of Ura give a medieval feel and the old women of this region still wear sheepskin shawls on their backs which double as a blanket and cushion.

    Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Bumthang.

    Day 6 : Sightseeing in the Bumthang.
    Today your sightseeing includes visits to the Wangdicholing Palace and one or both of the Jambay & Kurjey Lhakhangs, these are the oldest two monasteries in the kingdom and all the Kings of Bhutan are cremated at Kurjey Lhakhang. Time permitting, other options include the Tamshing Monastery where we can see the oldest wall painting in Bhutan.

    Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Bumthang.

    Day 7 : Leisure in Bumthang Valleys today.
    A free day to take some suggestions above or enjoy one of the many hikes available in this region.

    Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Bumthang.

    Day 8 : Bumthang – Trongsa (2 hrs 30 mins)
    Today transfer to Trongsa via the Chhume valley for the opportunity to shop for local handicrafts and textiles. This region is renowned for its exceptionally high quality weavings. Traverse the Yotu La (pass) and continue on to Trongsa where the Dzong is the ancestral home of the Royal Family of Bhutan. The Dzong has recently added the excellent Tower Of Trongsa Museum into its ancient watchtower, which you will visit this afternoon, followed by an excursion to the Dzong itself.

    Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Trongsa.

    Day 9 : Trongsa – Phobjikha Valley (2 hrs)
    Continue westwards via the Pele La (Pass) which crosses through the Black Mountains National Park and divides western and central Bhutan. This is the best place in Bhutan to see yaks from the road. You will pass the village of Rukubji surrounded by extensive fields of mustard, potatoes, barley and wheat and keep a watchful eye out for Rhesus Macaques.

    Until recently the Phobjikha valley’s only electricity came from solar or mini hydro plants. In 2011 underground cabled electricity is gradually connecting the valley to the national grid. Potatoes are this region’s primary cash crop once exported to India. Phobjikha is a glacial valley on the western slopes of the Black Mountains and is one of the most beautiful open valleys in Bhutan. It is also one of the most important wildlife preserves in the country and the winter home (late October to early February) of the rare black necked crane, which annually flies in from Tibet. There are also barking deer, wild boar, sambar, Himalayan black bear, leopard and red foxes.

    Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Phobjikha.

    Day 10 : Sightseeingin Phobjikha Valley.
    While in Phobjikha visit the Black Crane nature information centre and the sacred Gangtey Goemba (Monastery) plus take a wander through the quaint village of Gangtey and hike the Gangtey Nature Trail.

    There are many more wonderful strolls & hikes in the Phobjikha Valley and your guide will recommend a suitable hike for your fitness and to suit the conditions. Alternatively just enjoy the serenity and beauty of this very special place.

    Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Phobjikha.

    Day 11 : Phobjikha – Punakha Valley (3 hrs)
    This morning depart westwards for the Punakha valley. As you pass the dramatic Wangdue Phodrang Dzong(destroyed by fire in June 2012). Noticed the large cacti that cover the surrounding hillsides. These were planted long ago to discourage invaders from climbing the steep slope to the Dzong. From this point you can also view Rinchengang, one of Bhutan’s oldest villages, which did not have access to water, electricity or schooling until the early 1990’s. The craftsmen of Rinchengang are stonemasons, originally from India, and sought after for their skills in construction of Dzongs and Lhakhangs (temples).

    Punakha holds the title as the winter capital because of its more temperate climate. Arriving into the valley visit Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley (also known as the Divine Madman or Mad Monk), which is a pleasant, easy 20 minute walk across paddy fields. It is believed that childless women who visit the temple will conceive after receiving a “wang” (blessing) from the resident monk. Continue on to the local Nunnery which was built by the maternal grandfather of the king.

    Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Punakha.

    Day 12 : Sightseeing and hiking in Punakha.
    This morning visit the dramatic Punakha Dzong, which formally served as the seat of the government and is still the winter residence of the Central Monk Body. This is Bhutan’s most spectacular Dzong and an excellent example of how a medieval fortress, and a centre of both monastic and administrative functions, has adapted and evolved for modern day use.

    This afternoon travel up the valley & hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten along the river bank and through tiny villages surrounded by vegetable fields and rice paddies. This Chorten holds very special significance being consecrated in 1999 and dedicated to the protection of the former Crown Prince, today’s current King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, by his mother who was one of the 4 former Queens.

    Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Punakha.

    Day 13 : Punakha – Thimphu (3 hrs)
    This morning transfer by road to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, via Dochu La (Pass). At the pass view the 108 Stupas, commissioned by a former Queen, and a memorial to those who lost their lives during the low intensity conflict in late 2003 when Bhutan evicted Indian rebels camped in the jungle on the Bhutan – Indian border. On a clear day you will witness a breathtaking view of the eastern Himalaya.

    Visit the Semtokha Dzong built in 1629, the oldest fortress of its kind that guarded Thimphu.

    Take time to wander Thimphu’s main streets which are safe and do consider a visit to a local bar this evening.

    Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Thimphu.

    Day 14 : Sightseeing in Thimphu
    This morning visit the biggest sitting Golden Buddha statue offering wonderful views of Thimphu city. Continue with the visit to the National Memorial Stupa, the celebrated Royal Textile Academy. Next visit Zorig Chusum – the Institute for the 13 Arts & Crafts of Bhutan where you can interact with the students (week days except holiday/exam time and has restricted hours.

    This afternoon other visit options are the colorful weekend markets, the Craft Bazaar on main street, the Folk Heritage Museum and the Post Office where you can have a stamp produced with your image on it and the Handmade Paper Factory.

    For those who have an interest in quality weavings and local art check out the Gagyel Lhundrup weaving centre, where you ca interact with the weavers.

    Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Thimphu.

    Day 15 : Thimphu – Paro (1.5hrs)
    Depart Thimphu at leisure for your short drive on Bhutan’s best road to the Paro Valley with a few short stops for sightseeing en route. Take lunch at a Paro town restaurant followed by an orientation tour of Paro valley’s main sights including the Rinpung Dzong with its cantilever bridge; Kyichu Lhakang, a most revered temple boasting an Orange Tree that perpetually bears fruit and the ruins of the Drugyel Dzong. This Dzong is the site of the Fort of Drukpa Victory from which the Bhutanese effectively repelled constant attacks from Tibet.

    Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Paro.

    Day 16 : Paro Valley Hiking & Sightseeing
    This morning end your Bhutan adventure on a high with a pilgrimage hike to the majestic Taktsang Monastery, also known as ‘Tigers Nest’. This is a pilgrimage all Bhutanese Buddhists endeavor to make at least once in their lives and each step they make along the trail counts as credits towards a bright future.

    Choose between a 1.5 to 2 hour hike to the monastery viewpoint, with a café offering excellent Bhutanese vegetarian food & refreshments, or be bold and take the 5 hour round trip hike into the monastery itself – recommended only for the fit and active as this can be quite a strenuous hike with many, many, stairs to contend with. The result is well worth it all the same.

    Time permitting we encourage a wander along Paro’s main streets for some final shopping for souvenir or step into the best fresh coffee shop called Champaka.

    Overnight at 3 stars hotel in Paro.

    Day 17 : International Departure to your onwards destination.