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Bhutan Private Journey

Bhutan, Asia

from $4,195* per person 10 Days September-May
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 4
Operator: Wilderness Travel 15 people max
  • Paro, bhutan
  • Active & Adventure trips
In the serene, secluded Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, spirituality permeates every aspect of daily life, traditional festivals are living manifestations of a national faith, and the king decrees “Gross National Happiness” as the standard by which to measure the country’s wealth. On this lodge-based Private Journey with your own private guide, hike to tiny villages of whitewashed homes, through magical forests, and up to mountainside chortens (shrines) bedecked with colorful prayer flags. Along the way from Thimphu, the capital, to the beautiful Paro, Punakha, and Haa valleys, meet villagers, farmers, and red-robed monks, explore colorful markets, and marvel at the Shangri La setting of sublime fortress-monasteries reigning over wooded valleys. After your Bhutan journey, enjoy a four-day optional extension to visit Cambodia’s magnificent Angkor Wat, one of the archaeological wonders of the world.

Locations visited/nearby

Bhutan, Asia

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Special information

  • May accommodate certain types of disabilities. Contact the operator for more information.

Itinerary

Days 1-2
Thimphu Valley

Bhutan possesses a vibrant traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture and a stunning Himalayan setting. Spirituality permeates every aspect of daily life, time-honored festivals are living manifestations of a national faith, and the king decrees “Gross National Happiness” as the standard by which to measure the country’s wealth. In this magical and mountainous land of demons and deities, explore the serene retreat of Tango Monastery, with views of the valley and a beautiful inner courtyard, and enjoy an afternoon hike through riverside villages of traditional architecture, with a picnic lunch. Overnights in the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu (7,600’), so small it doesn’t have a traffic light!

Days 3-5
Punakha and Wangdi

A spectacular road journey across the Dochu La Pass, with its summit shrines festooned with prayer flags and astounding views of the Bhutanese Himalaya (weather permitting), brings you to the subtropical Punakha Valley. Hike forested riverside trails and explore the magnificent Punakha Dzong, 17th century seat of Bhutan’s kings, set at the confluence of two rushing rivers. Walk across rice fields to the fascinating Chimi Lhakhang, a small and charming temple dedicated to Bhutan’s renegade saint, Lama Drupka Kinley, and visit the town of Wangdi, with its ancient fortress-dzong perched dramatically on a bluff above a river.

Days 6-7
Haa Valley

The pristine Haa Valley, ancestral home of Bhutan’s Queen Mother and long closed to outsiders, is surrounded by forested hillsides full of ancient shrines, while the narrow valley floor is dotted with fields of millet, barley, and potatoes. Its farmhouses are adorned with intricately painted wooden cornices and ornately carved window frames. Your hikes lead to serene hamlets and remote monasteries below mountain peaks, including Chundu Gompa, dedicated to the chief protector-deity of the valley.

Days 8-10
Paro and Taktsang, the Tiger’s Nest

From the Chelila Pass (13,200’), enjoy stunning views of Chomolhari (23,997’), Bhutan’s divine mountain, and majestic Jichu Drake (22,700’) as you descend by road to Paro. In Paro, explore the National Museum, whose collection includes ancient artifacts, weapons, and Bhutan’s beautiful stamps. Your fitting grand finale hike brings you up through forests draped in Spanish moss to the striking monastic retreat of Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest,” built in the 17th century into a sheer cliff face about 2,700 feet above the Paro Valley. Taktsang is the most famous temple in Bhutan, with one of the most spectacular settings in the world.Depart on Day 10.

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