The only national carrier. The flight offers you a beautiful view of mountain and landscape. On arrival and after visa formalities you will be received by Y Not Bhutan members. Sight seeing if time permits. Afternoon / evening time at leisure. Overnight Tenziling Resort or similar
AM – visit the ruined fortress of Drugyel dzong which still attracts visitors due to the strategic location of the fort. The fort defended the Paro valley from the Tibetan invasion from the north in the early 17th century. On clear weather Mount Chomolhari 7320 meters can be seen towering over the dzong.
PM visit National Museum and Rinpung Dzong, The trail then leads across Paro Chhu River via a traditional covered bridge and into Paro town. Overnight at Tenzinling Resort.
After breakfast drive to the beautiful valley of Haa which has remained secluded until quite recently. Stopovers in Chele La Pass, Bondey town, Dzong Drakka village. After another 30 minute drive from here, on the right is a Monastery clinging to the cliff. This is Kelly Gompa, which houses about 50 nuns living there in seclusion. Slowly ascend about 3990 m to reach Chelela Pass marked with prayers Flags. This is the highest mountain pass accessible by car. If the weather is clear, we can have wonderful views of the mountains to the west which mark the border with Tibet. As we descend further we can see the square yellow roof of the main monastery/fortress, Namgyal Dzong which is now used as a military base. Haa town lies few kms further to the north-west and is really quite attractive with traditional two story shops lined in 2 rows. Visit Lhakhang and Karpo. They now serve as seat for monastic community in Haa. Overnight Haatoe Farmhouse (2955 meters).
Today we follow an old trading trail that leads to the Tibetan border via an Army Camp and Yak herders’ huts that should take us about 2 hours to an elevation of 3250m. A light lunch will be served here so we shall have enough time to study the lore of a herder’s life, the raising of yak, their grazing habits, the milking and the process of churning of butter and the making of cheese. In the afternoon we shall take the lower road along first the Haa Chhu and after the confluence with the Wang Chhu, along the latter towards the capital at Thimphu, 115kms to the East a drive of about 3-4 hrs. En-route stop at Dogar Dobji Dzong, a 16th century structure, built by the brother of the Divine Madman, Drukpa Kinley. Legend has it that the statue of the Guru Landrachen housed here, complained when the apostate Tibetan monarch Langdharma tried to smash it with a hammer. This dzong became Bhutan’s first jail in 1976 but has since returned to its monastic origins. Overnight at Hotel River View or similar.
Tango Monastery – The trail to the Goemba is a climb of 280m & takes about half an hour if you follow the steeper shortcut, or about an hour if you take the longer, more gradual trail. Lama Gyalwa Lhanampa founded the goemba in the 12th century. The present building was built in the 15th century by the ‘Divine Madman’, Lama Drukpa Kunley.
Afternoon visit Memorial Chorten, Changangkha monastery, Handicraft centers and free time in the market for shopping. Overnight same.
Drive 45 minutes to Dochu La pass (3000m). From here we walk about an hour downhill to Lamperi (2700m). During spring season the forest is covered with lots of rhododendrons, Magnolia & Daphne flowers. We visit the Royal Botanical Park at Lamperi before driving 1 and half hours to Punakha. Overnight Damchen Resort or similar.
After early breakfast drive 2.5 hours to Gangtey by Wangdue Visit Gangtey monastery, the only Ningmapa monastery in Bhutan. Then start Gangtey nature trail walk (Duration: Half day- two hours at a quicker pace) The most beautiful and shortest of the existing nature trails. From Gangtey monstery the walk heads south and ends over the meandering chhu Nap ( Black river) near Khewang village. Afternoon visit the Black necked crane observation center & then drive 3.5 hours to Trongsa. Overnight Yangkhill Resort or similar.
Today we walk from the Trongsa Dzong view point to Trongsa Dzong (1.5 to 2.5 hours). This hiking route also referred as “old” historical route and will add to the experience of tourists traveling to Trongsa. The steep and dense forest has huge variety on fauna and flora. A short stop at the traditional cantilever bridge for taking pictures would be a memorable experience. Visit Trongsa Dzong and Tronsga museum before driving to Bumthang. Overnight Mountain lodge or similar.
Am – take a short walk to nearby Tamshing & Kunchusom monstery. Then walk about 30 minutes to Kurjey lhakhang. This lhakhang is complex of three temples, on the right beneath a giant cypress tree, the main temple built in 1652 by Minjur Tempa, Trongsa Penlop. This temple houses the cave where Guru Rimpoche had meditated and left his body imprint. The middle temple was built by the First King of Bhutan during his tenure as Trongsa Penlop in 1900. The third temple is recently constructed under patronage of Her Majesty queen mother Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuk, which is located opposite of Kurjey Lhakhang on the other side of the river. If was built by Terton Perma Lingpa. Then walk further up to visit Jamabay lhakhang where one of the most sacred festivals of Jambay Lhakhang Drup takes place every year. Then drive towards Jakar Dzong. The road to the dzong starts near the junior high school and climbs westwards to a parking lot. The final approach to the dzong is made on foot along a stone-paved path. Overnight same.
Drive around 30 minutes and visit the old house which is one of the richest house in Tang Valley and recently converted into museum in 2012 and if you like you can make a village walk and walk down to the newly built Zangtopelri (Paradise temple) which takes around 1hr and visit Membar Tso meaning Burning Lake.
Drive back to Punakha. Overnight Damchen Resort Resort or similar.
Drive to Lobesa and take a short walk through farm houses and fields to Chimme Lhakhang. This monastery was built in the 15 century and dedicated to the famous Lam Drukpa Kunley or divine mad man. He is one of the most famous saints in Bhutan and his temple is visited mostly by childless couples. Proceed to the Punakha Dzong, built strategically at the Junction of Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers in 1637 to serve as the religious and administrative centre of the region. Then drive 4-5 hours back to Paro. Overnight Tenziling Resort.
Day hike to the Taktsang monastery (4-5 hours) The monastery clings to a huge granite cliff 800 meters from the Paro valley. It is believed that the great saint Padmasambhava came in the 7th century on a flying tigress and meditated in a cave for 3 months. The demons were subdued who were trying to stop the spread of Buddhism and converted the Paro valley into Buddhism. During the end of the 17 century a monastery was built on the spot where the saint mediated and it is a pilgrimage site for every Bhutanese to visit once in their life time. Stroll back to Resort. Evening at leisure.
After breakfast drive to the airport for departure.