Paro, Thimphu, Punakha & Haa
→ Visit the four most popular tourist attractions of Thimphu, Paro, Punakha and Haa. Discover ancient monuments and sacred temples, witness myriad art and architecture, enjoy local delicacies and culture, learn Bhutanese history, lifestyles and folklore, stay in high quality hotels and enjoy breathtaking views.
Day 2: Whole day sightseeing in Thimphu.
Day 3: Travel to Punakha and explore its attractions the same day.
Day 4: Travel to Paro and explore some of its attractions the same day.
Day 5: Visit Haa via Chelela Pass
Day 6: Visit Paro Taktsang(Tiger’s nest).
Day 7: Depart from Paro International Airport.
If you are arriving on a bright sunny day, your holiday begins with the panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges from the windows of your aircraft, where you’ll be greeted by Mt. Everest and Mt. Kanchenjunga, and our very own Mt. Jomolhari. Upon arrival you’ll be received by our friendly professional representatives who will help you settle into your comfortable luxury transport and will drive you to Thimphu.
While on the way to the capital city, you will visit Tachongang Lhankhang and Chunzom bridge. Tachog or Tachogang Lhakhang is located along Paro-Thimphu highway, just after Isuna village and before Chhuzom, on the base of a mountain across the Pa Chu River.
Chuzom means river confluence. The confluence here forms with Paro River and Thimphu River. The bridge on this confluence connects four districts of Paro, Haa, Chhukha and Thimphu. You will also be able to see three Stupas, built in Bhutanese and Tibetan style at Chuzom. From this bridge, it is 31 km to Thimphu, 24 km to Paro and 141 km to Phuntsholing, a border town of Bhutan with India.
We will transfer you to our partner hotel upon arrival and after refreshments or rest for a while you can explore the city in the evening/night.
Overnight stay in Thimphu.
Day 2: Whole day sightseeing in Thimphu.
Your second day in Bhutan now comes with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten (stupa) right after breakfast. National Memorail Chhorten is a large white structure crowned with a golden spire. It is located close to the center of Thimphu city and is one of its most iconic monuments.
After a short visit to this Chhorten, we will take you to Buddha Dordenma. It’s a massive statue of Shakyamuni which measures in at a height of 51.5 meters, making it one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world. The statue is made of bronze and is gilded in gold. 125,000 smaller Buddha statues have been placed within the Buddha Dordenma statue, one hundred thousand 8 inch tall and twenty five thousand 12 inch tall statues respectively.
After your visit to Buddha Dordenma, you will visit the the National Folk Heritage Museum and National Institute of Zorig Chusum(school of 13 traditional arts and crafts). National Folk Heritage Museum – also known as the Phelchey Toenkhyim, the museum is a complete living example of the Bhutanese rural life.
After this, we will take you back to the city and stop at one of our selected and top rated restaurants where you will be served with the lunch. After the lunch you will start your journey again with a visit to Motithang Takin Preserve, Tashichhodzong and Craft Bazar. Takin is the National Animal of Bhutan and Motithang Takin Preserve is located at a short distance up the road towards BBS tower. It is a trail leading to a large fenced enclosure that was originally established as a zoo. It’s worthwhile taking the time to see these oddball mammals.
After a visit to Takin Preserve, you will descend towards a beautiful valley where you will see a beautifully built big structure located along the Thimphu river and it’s a Tashichho Dzong. Tashichho Dzong - meaning the fortress of the glorious religion houses the office and throne of the present king along with the Central monastic Body and Administrative offices.
After spending around an hour in the Dzong, you will visit the Authentic Bhutanese Crafts Bazar. The Authentic Bhutanese Crafts Bazaar also known as the handicraft market of Thimphu is a perfect place to get a glimpse inside the art and craft of Bhutan. We will then transfer you back to the hotel and if you wish to explore the night life of Thimphu, our guide will take you around.
Overnight stay in Thimphu.
Day 3: Travel to Punakha and explore its attractions
After an early breakfast, you will start your journey to Punakha. While on the way, you will come across Dochula Pass where you will stop for a while and enjoy its beauty.
Dochula Pass is located on the way to Punakha. The pass is a popular location among tourists as it offers a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of Himalayan mountain range. The view is especially scenic on clear, winter days with snow-capped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of the 108 Chortens(stupas) gracing the mountain pass.
Known as the Druk Wangyal Chortens- the construction of these 108 Stupas was commissioned by the eldest Queen Mother, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. The pass is also popular spiritual destination for both locals and tourists because an important temple is located on the crest of Dochula Pass.
Before reaching proper Punakha and after crossing Lobesa, you will visit Chimi Lhakhang, well known by all the travelers as the temple of fertility. Chimi Lhakhang is located on a hillock below the Metshina–Punakha road, it was built in 1499 by the cousin of Lama Drukpa Kunley in his honour after the lama subdued the Demoness of the nearby Dochu La with his ‘magic thunderbolt of wisdom’.
Upon reaching Punakha, you will make a visit to the most amazingly built ancient fortress of Bhutan, the Punakha Dzong.
Punakha is located in the western part of Bhutan and is the winter home of the Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot of Bhutan. Punakha is also well known for its beautiful valley, pleasant climate with warm winters and hot summers. Owing to the favorable climatic conditions, rice grows very well in this region and is the main cash crop cultivated here. It is also a paradise for River rafting and Kayaking. Every tourist during their stay in Punakha would always enjoy this adventure.
Punakha Dzong which is amazingly built at the confluence of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu, two major rivers in Bhutan. It has been inextricably linked with momentous occasions in Bhutanese history. It served as the capital of the country from 1637 to 1907 and the first national assembly was hosted here in 1953. It is the second oldest and second largest Dzong in Bhutan and one of the most majestic structures in the country.
Day 4: Travel to Paro and explore some of its attractions
After your leisurely breakfast at your hotel, you will travel to Paro and upon reaching there, we will first visit Paro Ta Dzong, the national museum of Bhutan. After a visit to Ta Dzong, you will go to Paro town and have lunch at one of the best restaurants in Paro. After the lunch, you will visit Drukgyel Dzong and Rinpung Dzong.
Drukgyel Dzong is located 14km away from Paro town. It was just a ruins till 2016 but now major renovation work is going on to bring to its former glory.
Paro Rinpung Dzong is a high ranking point of Bhutanese architecture. This massive structure is beautifully visible from almost all parts of Paro valley. It was formerly the meeting hall for the National Assembly and now, like most dzongs, houses both the monastic body and district government offices, including the local courts. Most of the chapels are closed to tourists but it’s worth a visit for its stunning architecture and views.
An interesting side note: scenes from Bernardo Bertolucci’s Little Buddha (1995) were filmed here. After visit to Rinpung Dzong, you can stroll around the town for few hours to give you some time for shopping or buying souvenirs for your loved ones back home. After this, our day ends here and we will take you to the hotel in Paro for overnight stay or we can also arrange for some cultural programs if you want. Your dinner will be served in the same hotel.
Day 5: Visit Haa Valley via Chelela Pass
After early breakfast at your hotel in Paro, we will start our journey towards Haa valley. While on the way, you will come across Chelela Pass, the highest road pass in the country. You will stop here for a while and can enjoy the beautiful views of the mountain ranges. You will then visit Haa Dzong and then Lhakhang Karpo and Nakpo(ancient monastery).
Haa - Located in South West of Paro and covering an area of roughly 1706 sq. km. Haa is the smallest Dzongkhag in the country. This tiny region is one of the most beautiful and isolated areas in the kingdom, adorned with pristine alpine forests and tranquil mountain peaks.
Lhakhang Karo and Nagpo are the two different monasteries considered the most important site in Haa valley. Lhakhang Karpo (white chapel) is the official residence of Ha monastic body (Rabdey). Lhakhang Nagpo (Black chapel) on the slopes nearby is a smaller chapel with a small lake inside the shrine. Both the temples are said to have been built by Pigion emanation of Tibetan King Songsten Gampo in 7th century in a single day.
With this your journey to Haa ends and after the lunch, you will start our journey back to Paro. We will take you to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 6: Visit Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest Monastery)
Visit the Paro Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan’s most iconic landmark and religious site. The name Taktsang translates to “The Tiger’s Nest”. This temple is one of the most holy sites in the kingdom and clings impossibly to a sheer cliff face 900 hundred meters above the Paro Valley. No trip to Bhutan would be complete without a visit to this remarkable heritage site. You can either have lunch on the way as picnic lunch or have lunch back in the town.
Day 7: Departure
After the breakfast at your hotel, proceed to the Paro International Airport to depart Bhutan.
- Mosquito Repellent
- Hiking Boots
- Sun Hat
- Walking Stick