Bhutan Walking & Hiking , Rural Areas

Walking and Hiking holiday in Bhutan is witnessing Bhutan’s natural beauty and the majestic snow-capped mountains views by means of day hiking around Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. The program also allows sightseeing visiting popular tourist landmarks like Paro Rinpong Dzong, Punakha Dzong – arguably the most beautiful dzongs in Bhutan, Kyichu Lhakang- the oldest Buddhist shrine in Bhutan, Buddha’s point – a beautiful viewpoint closer to Thimphu, the capital city and many more. Day hikes such as Cherry Monastery hike in Thimphu, Khamsum Chorten hike in Punakha and the ever popular hike to the Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ will take you to some of the exotic locations in Bhutan and also observe beautiful landscapes, natural vegetation, wonderful Buddhist monasteries including unparallel mountain panorama.

Day 01: Arrival Paro (2250m) – Thimphu (2350m)
Arrive Paro by Bhutan’s national carrier, Druk Air, and it’s a scenic flight as the plane touch down the lush green Paro Valley flying past the world’s highest mountains. Steeping down from the plane, cool, clean and fresh air welcomes the visitor, the first gift of Bhutan. After clearing the customs and visa formalities met by the representatives and transfer to Paro for lunch. Afterwards, visit Rinpung Dzongbuilt in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan. Then drive to Thimphu (1 hour) following Pa Chhu downstream. In Thimphu, drive on to the Buddha Terrance for a stunning view of the valley and take a drive to visit Takin Preserve to see Takin, Bhutan’s national animal – a strange looking beast which some say resembles a beestung moose! Take a view of the majestic Tashichoe Dzong, the seat of the government before circumventing the Memorial Chorten – a monument erected in memory of Bhutan’s third king H.M. Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Visit Centenary Farmers Market, the new authentic craft bazaar, National Institute of Traditional Medicine that still dispenses traditional herbal medicines to the locals, the Folk Heritage Museum – a 300 year old traditional house converted into a museum. Overnight at Hotel (Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha (1310m) – Chimi Lhakhang short hike
After breakfast, drive for about 1 & half hour to Punakha. Climb up the mountain road to Dochula La at 3140m. On clear weather, the pass commands a wonderful panorama of the Eastern Himalayas. From the pass, descend through varied forest and finally emerging into the highly cultivated valley of Punakha. Take a short hike through beautiful rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, who as a favorite saint of the Bhutanese people is known affectionately as “the Divine Madman”. The temple is on a hillside in the middle of rice fields and has become a pilgrimage site for childless couples. Then drive to Punakha. Afternoon: visit Punakha Dzong located at the confluence of the Pho-chu (male-river) and Mo-chu (female-river), the Punakha Dzong is arguably the most impressive dzong in the country. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 05: In Paro – Day hike to Chumphu Temple
After an early breakfast, we proceed with hike to the Floating statue Temple in Paro not a familiar tourist destination as this site is promoted by few travel agent. The Chumphu Nye hike starts from the upper Dop Shari Valley after a drive for about half an hour on the dirt road from Paro. Then keep walking along the river till reaching a small chorten (stupa). From this point, you can spot Chumphu Nye atop a hill on your left. The walk then is easy as the path way is alongside the river with a mixture of gentle up hill and downhill but at the very end after reaching the small temple from where the temple can finally seen it’s a steep climb up for 45 Mins to reach and see the amazing floating statue of Dorji Pham. Afterwards trace the same route back and to Paro. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 07: Paro depart
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch the onward flight. Bid farewell to the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappearing again behind its guardian mountains. (Breakfast only included)

Day 02: In Thimphu –Day hike To Cheri Monastery (2850m)
After early breakfast, drive up the valley towards north along Thim Chhu (river) for a short hike to Cheri Monastery. The short drive along the countryside reaches the Jigme Dorji Wildlife Sanctuary, the largest protected area in Bhutan. The park is home to several endangered species including the Takin, snow leopard, blue sheep, tiger, red panda, and the Himalayan black bear. More than 300 species of birds have been cataloged within the park and it has a rich vegetation.

The hike beings from the small village of Dodena after crossing the covered bridge over the Thim Chhu to climb up steadily to Cheri Monastery. Cheri Monastery is a small monastery atop hill with a view over the Thimphu Valley. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel built this monastery in 1620, and this is where the first community of monks in Bhutan was established. The monastery contains the ashes of Tempi Nima, the father of the first Shabdrung of Bhutan, so the monastery is considered very sacred. Shabdrung also spent three years in retreat here and it’s a renowned meditation place even today. Afterwards, descend back re-tracing the same route keeping our eyes open for the goral (wild goat) often spotted on the cliffs nearby. Then back to Thimphu.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 04: Punakha – Khamsum Chorten hike – Paro (2250m)
After a fairly breakfast, hike up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyel Chorten erected by Royal queen mother for the purpose of present king in 2002. It offers a great view of the lower valley. The temple is regarded as one of the most intricate with paintings. At the temple one could see three different sect of Mahayana Buddhism. Then drive towards Paro. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 06: Paro – Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ (3120m)
After breakfast drive towards the base camp of Taktsang for the hike up to the Taktsang Monastery-Tiger’s Nest. It’s about two hours hike up the cafeteria. From this point, enjoy the spectacular view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in 8th century. Then visit the Taktsang Monastery and hike back to the road point then drive to Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in Bhutan. Afterwards, back to hotel. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Trip Highlights:

  • Witness Sepctacular Himalayan views including Mt. Everest during in/out flights to Paro
  • Sightseeing tours of Paro, thimphu & Punakha
  • Visiting age-old monasteries, Dzongs, shrines, stupas
  • Explore rich Buddhist & Tibetan culture & traditions
  • Observe varieties of floras & faunas during hikes
  • Shop around for Bhutanese arts and crafts
  • Hiking in the beautiful valleys, glaciers and other lush natural surroundings
  • Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Hike (3,120m) outskirts Paro
  • Hiking and walking day trips for about 4-6 hours amid exotic natural settings with Himalayan panorama