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Wonders of Bhutan

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US$$3,749
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391
10 Days
Availability : Sept to Oct 2018 / Mar to Nov 2019
Paro - Bhutan
Paro - Bhutan
National Geographic Expeditions

TRIP OVERVIEW
  • Explore Bhutan’s capital city as well as remote shrines and temples nestled in the countryside.
  • Talk with a Buddhist monk, visit an arts-and-crafts school, and enjoy a home-cooked meal at a family farmhouse.
  • Hike to the legendary Taktsang Lhakhang (Tiger’s Nest Temple).

ITINERARY

Find out what lights up the faces of the residents of Bhutan, the only country in the world that measures its well-being in GNH—Gross National Happiness. On a 10-day adventure across this bastion of Buddhist culture, explore remote mountain villages and shrines and climb magnificent heights to the cliff-side Taktsang Monastery, 900 meters (2,953 feet) above the valley floor. Amid the soaring peaks and cultural delights of this ancient place, discover your own capacity for happiness.

 
DAY 1: PARO/THIMPHU
Arrive at any time and transfer to Thimphu. In Thimphu, time permitting, take an orientation walk in town and get settled in.
Meals Included:Dinner
Accommodations:Namgay Heritage Hotel (or similar)
 
DAY 2: THIMPHU/PUNĀKHA
In the morning, meet a Buddhist Monk and scholar to discuss Buddhist beliefs and way of life, as well as values in Bhutan. Drive to Punakha, crossing the Dochula Pass and enjoying stunning views of the Himalayas through flickering prayer flags. In the afternoon, drive to Lobeysa and hike 20 minutes to Chime Lhakhang, temple of the “Divine Madman”, built in 1499. Today, it is mostly visited by women, as it is known as a temple of fertility.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Meri Puensum Resort (or similar)
 
DAY 3: PUNĀKHA
Enjoy a full day of exploration including a visit to Punakha Dzong, Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery, and Wangdue Phodrang. In the afternoon, hike through rice terraces and forests to Khamsum Yueley Chorten.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Meri Puensum Resort (or similar)
 
DAY 4: PUNĀKHA/GANGTEY GONPA
Travel to Gangtey and visit the Black-Necked Crane Centre, one of the most ecologically sensitive areas in Bhutan.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Hotel Dewachen (or similar)
 
DAY 5: GANGTEY GONPA
Walk to the monastery of Gangtey Goempa, known to hold the most sacred relics in Bhutan. After, walk across Phobjikha Valley to Khewa Valley, where we’ll visit an old temple and make an offering. This evening, stop at the village of Khewa and visit a local family’s farm for a cooking demonstration and a home cooked dinner.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Hotel Dewachen (or similar)
 
DAY 6: GANGTEY GONPA/THIMPHU
Drive to the capital to visit the Big Buddha and the Institute for Zorig Chusum, an arts and crafts school where we can watch students practicing traditional arts such as woodworking, painting, and ceramics. Receive a lecture on the Gross National Happiness, an index used by Bhutan to measure the nation’s progress.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Namgay Heritage Hotel (or similar)
 
DAY 7: THIMPHU/HAA DZONGKHAG
In the morning, visit Memorial Chorten. Drive to the valley and visit Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple). In the afternoon, spend time exploring Haa town.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Rigsum Resort (or similar)
 
DAY 8: HAA DZONGKHAG/PARO
Drive to the Haa Valley, one of the most remote and sacred valleys in Bhutan via the Cheela Mountain Pass, at 12,500 feet. Hike to Kila Goempa Nunnery which clings to a rocky cliff. Later, visit Kyichu Lhakhang Temple and the local archery grounds.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Hotel Olathang (or similar)
 
DAY 9: PARO
Embark on a vigorous hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s Nest), the most venerated pilgrim site of the Himalayan world. The view is absolutely stunning, with the monastery clinging to a cliff face towering 2,953m above the valley. Return to Paro and visit the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong fortress.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Hotel Olathang (or similar)
 
DAY 10: PARO
Depart at any time. Airport transfer included.
Meals Included:Breakfast
 
 
WHAT’S INCLUDED
  • Accommodation: Hotel/lodges (9 nts).
  • Meals: 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners
  • Transport: Private vehicle, hiking.
  • Arrival and departure transfer
  • Visit the Rimpung Dzong
  • Hike to Punakha Dzong monastery and fertility shrine
  • Visit the town of Wangdue and walk to Khamsum Yueley Chorten shrine
  • Visit the village of Khewa
  • Black-Necked Crane Centre visit
  • Hike to the monastery of Gangtey Goempa
  • Walk across Phobjikha and Khewa valleys
  • Visit the National Library, the Institute for Zorig Chusum (arts and crafts) and the Thimphu Chorten
  • Hike to Kila Goempa nunnery
  • Explore shrines and temples of the Haa Valley
  • Visit the fortress of Drukgyal Dzong and hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest)
  • Visit Kyichu Lhakhang Temple
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
  • Airfare to and from destination
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Any activity not described in What’s Included
  • Meals on your own
  • Gratuities
MY OWN ROOM

During your trip, sometimes it’s just more convenient and comfortable to have your own room. That’s why we offer the “My Own Room” option – a single room all to yourself.

My Own Room Option: From $5,038

ABOUT NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC JOURNEYS

Offered in partnership with G Adventures, our National Geographic Journeys line blends fun, hands-on exploration, meaningful encounters with people and cultures, and more free time and choices—with the structure and security of traveling in a small group.

Via Travel & Cruising
Via Travel & Cruising
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