The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountain peaks on earth. Our representative will meet you at Paro airport after you have completed your customs formalities.

After lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum which houses many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great peep into Bhutan’s historical, cultural, and religious past. Next, visit the Rinpung Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Afterwards, drive to the capital, Thimphu (1.5 hours) following the Pachu River. Before dinner at the hotel our guide will brief you about Bhutan’s culture and Bhutanese etiquette.


After breakfast, drive to Tashichhodzong to attend the Thimphu Tshechu (festival of mask dances. You will see locals dressed in their finest attire who have walked miles to partake in the festivities. They come to watch the mask dances, to pray, and to feast. While the underlying purpose of the festival is spiritual, dances are more often like plays, telling stories where good triumphs over evil, or depicting significant historical events, especially surrounding the life of Bhutan’s patron saint, Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche). There is inevitably a great deal of socialising as well.

Tashichhodzong, ‘the fortress of the glorious religion’. Initially erected in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was rebuilt in the 1960s during the reign of Bhutan’s third king in the traditional style, without any layout plans or nails. Tashichhodzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.


Enjoy a morning of sightseeing, including a visit to the 12th century Changangkha Temple, and the National Memorial Chorten, built in memory of the Third King of Bhutan. This temple was first initiated by the Third King as a protection from the negative elements of modernisation, and as a monument to world peace. The Royal Queen Mother completed it as a memorial stupa for the Third King who passed away in 1972.

In the afternoon return to Tashichhodzong to further experience the colourful events of the Thimphu tshechu. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.


Drive over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of the Himalayan peaks before descending into the balmy Punakha valley (about 3 hrs total driving time). The drive through the countryside affords a glimpse of everyday life in this most remote of Himalayan kingdoms. In the Dochu-La area there are vast Rhododendron forests that grow to tree size and bloom in late April/early May covering the mountains in a riot of glorious spring colour.

Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan. On arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” built in 1637 by the Zhabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’. It is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (male and female rivers) and is the winter headquarter of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location. The three story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional Bhutanese architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. It was here in 1907 that Bhutan’s first king was crowned.

After lunch, enjoy a walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of fertility founded by the divine madman, Drukpa Kuenley. He inherited the Divine Madman title as he revolted against the orthodox Buddhist practice of his time. Overnight at your hotel in Punakha/ Wangduephodrang.


In the morning drive to Yabesa village and hike through rice fields and up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by her majesty the Queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck. Perched high on a hill on the bank of the river, the Chorten houses paintings belonging to the Nyingmapa Traditions.

Drive back to Thimphu where you will visit The National Library which houses a collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century and a fascinating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum. You will also have an opportunity to visit several handicraft and souvenir stores. If your visit to Thimphu coincides on a weekend, you can walk through the Centenary Farmers’ market in Thimphu to see the variety of food available in Bhutan, including basket upon basket of fiery hot chillies, fresh cheese and a variety of fresh greens. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items.

Afterwards proceed to Paro, On arrival, check into the hotel. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.


After breakfast hike to Taktshang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk which lasts approximately 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometre above the Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to the viewing point). The view of Taktshang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 meters above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists. The great Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He then meditated in a cave for
four months where the monastery was later built. We will stop at a nearby teahouse for refreshments.

In the afternoon drive to the almost fully reconstructed Drukgyal Dzong.  The original monument (destroyed by fire in 1951)  was built by the Zhabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644.  In fine weather, the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop. On the return drive to Paro, visit other sights in Paro valley. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.


Breakfast in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.