ARRIVE PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – PARO
In the journey, one can experience a spectacular view of Mt. Everest and other Himalayan Mountains including the sacred Mt. Jhomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport you will be received by Bhutanese friends from Makalu Adventure. Lunch at the hotel. Then discuss about Tour Programme with the Tour Guide. After noon sight seeing. Overnight: Hotel in Paro.
PARO – A DAY EXCURSION TO TAKTSANG MONASTERY
Drive about 10 km from Paro town (Satsam Chorten) from there walk up to Taktsang Monastery ("tiger's Nest). The Monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff drop of nearly 4000 ft. and overlooks the Paro valley and the river. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padam Sambhaya is known as the second Buddha in Bhutan meditation on this spot where the Monastery is situated having alighted there on the back of a flying tigress. Picnic lunch at the Taksang cafeteria. The round hike takes about 4 Hr. After lunch: Visit Druhyal Dzong (a ruined forester), 16 kilometer away from Paro town. Although it has been in ruin but this Dzong has its own historical importance for the people of Bhutan. It was a place where the Bhutanese finally defeated the Tibet invasion and drove them back. In a clear day person can see Mt. Jhomolhari (Mountain of Goddess) - its altitude is 7,329m. Also visit the Kyichu Lhakhang (Lhakhang means temple) which was built in 659AD by the King Songtsen Gompo of Tibet, which is one of his 108, such monasteries over various places to spread Buddhism. It exists in between the Paro town and Drugyal Dzong. It is also one of the holiest places in the country, which marks as a Buddhist country. After visit National Museum which is used to be a watch tower for Paro Rimpong Dzong (Fortress) and was converted in museum 1968. Visit Paro Rimpong Dzong, the Dzong was built in 1646AD; you can see a traditional bridge of ancient style within some walk down the town. Overnight: Hotel inThimphu.
THIMPHU – SIGHT SEEING
After breakfast: Visit the Memorial Chorten (a great stupa) built in memory of the Third King of Bhutan who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972. Visit mini Zoo in which national animals were kept and drive to Sangeygang where you can have a spectacular view of Thimpu valley. Visit the wood craft and painting schools where traditional arts and crafts are still kept alive through the structure of painting and curving also Visit the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts and crafts are displayed and can be purchased. Also Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. Visit Tashi Nancha Folk studio, the traditional folk and dances are learned and practice. Early lunch in hotel in Thimpu. After lunch, drive towards Dodena. Trek along Thimphu Chu inside Jigme Dorii Wangchuck Park. Overnight in Hotel in Thimphu.
THIMPHU – PHUNAKHA
Drive to Punakha through Dochula Pass (3150m). On the way you can take photo at Dochula Pass which is 26km away from Thimpu valley. Take tea and snacks and to enjoy the most spectacular view of eastern Himalayan snow capped Mountains and also the great view of Gasa Dzong at a distance (if weather is clear). Kochula is a home to 16 species of Bhutanese Rhododendrons. It is also harbors different species of Primula, Lauraceae such as Littsea, Cinnamomum, Neolitsea etc.Oaks, Virburnaum, Magnolia, Daphne, Arisasema spp. Gentian, Himalayan Acer, and many others. Recently, on the pass of Dochula, 108 small chortens were erected which add beauty to the natural setting of the area. Then trek downwards, 30-40 minutes following the old route to have better idea of natural forest which continues through varying scenes of greenery all the way to Punakha. Visit Punkha town. The Punakha Dzong lies between two great rivers Phochu (Male River) and Mochu (Female River) with the wonderful views of Punakha Dzong. The Dzong serves as the winter residence for the Je Khenpo, Chief Abbot of the Central Monastic Body and the office of the district Administration. Overnight: Hotel in Punakha.
PUNAKHA – SIGHT SEEING
Drive to Tashithang, a part of Jigme Dorii Wangchuck National Park, the largest park in Bhutan. Tashithang is situated in warm subtropical zone and vegetation is mainly of subtropical. Different epiphytic orchids such as Dendrobium, Cymbidium, Bulbophyllum, Coelogyne, Lipares, Pleione etc. as well as ground orchids such as Englegerdia, Goodyera, Cephalanthera, etc. are also found there. Wild Bananas (Musa) also thrives their. Tree species are Engleherdia, Taulum, Magnolia, Symploccus, Litsea, Cinnamomum, Rubus ssp. Overnight: Hotel in Punakha.
PUNAKHA – GANTEY VALLEY
After breakfast drive to Gangtey valley. About 20 minutes walk you will find the famous Chhimi Lhakhang where Devine Madman meditated in 14th century which is also known as "Temple of Fertility", It is strongly believed that any couple who do not have any children after long years of marriage goes there and pray and next month the women gets conceived. Then drive to warm valley of Wangdiphodrang towards Gantey Gonpa. Lunch at Wangue Phodrang. On the way drive through part of Pele La (commonly known as Black Mountain) pass that separates western Bhutan from Eastern. During the drive, you can see different species of Rhododendrons, Legumes, Magnolia, weeping Cypress (national tree of Bhutan) etc. Overnight: Hotel in Phobiikha Valley.
GANGTEY VALLEY – BUMTHANG
Drive to Bumthang valley (200km), about 6 hours through Pelela Pass which ascends up to 3340m. You can see wonderful views of Himalayan Mountain and the Pass separates the western from the other regions of the country. The journey will be through thick dwarf bamboo (grows in higher altitude), a winter place for Yak, and through thick Rhododendrons forest with beautiful colors of red, white and yellow. Lunch in Chendebii. After lunch, drive to Trongsa. On the way view the spectacular view of Trongsa from distance and take a photo from the view point. Visit the Trongsa Dzong, one of the largest Dzong in the country, the ancestral home of the Royal Family of Bhutanese. It was built by Chogyel Miniur Tempa, the third Desi, in 1648. The Dzong is the office of the district Administration and central monastic body. Also visit the Ta Dzong (Watch Tower) and stroll through the small Trongsa town. Drive to Bumthang Valley across the Yutla Pass. Journey takes about 3 hrs and is one of the most scenically beautiful journeys to Bhutan; also enjoy the hospitality of Bhutanese family in farm house. Overnight: Hotel or family owned guest house in Bumthang valley.
BUMTHANG VALLEY – URA VALLEY
Then after breakfast, drive to ura valley, one of the most impressive village in country. On the way drive to Mebar Tso (Burning Lake) and with several stops to see the different species like Rhododendrons, Rubus, Acer, Aconitum, Delphinium, Ranunculus, Clemantis, few species of orchid such as Coelogyne, Pleione, Cephalenthera, conifers such as fir, hemlock, pine, Juniperus, Primulas, Androsac etc. If time permits join the local people at the Ura monastery to witness the second day of annual festival in the remote village. Overnight: Lodge of Camp or Ura Village.
URA VALLEY – BUMTHANG
Early drive to Thriumshing La National Park, established in 1998 which covers Bumthang, Lhuentse, Zhimgang, and districts too. In 2001, Royal Government of Bhutan designated one of the areas close to pass as insitu-Rhododendron garden. Thumshing La National Park is many endemic species viz. Daphne ludlowii, Lobelia nubigena, Vanda griffithii, Rubus sengorensis, and Pedicularis spp. It also home to some of the fauna species such as Red Panda, reptiles, amphibians and one can watch different avian fauna. In the afternoon, dive back to Bumthang.
BUMTHANG – WANGDUE PHODRANG
Drive back to Wangdue. During the return journey stop in many places to see what u have left out. Overnight: Hotel in Wangdue.
WANGDUE PHODRANG – HAA VALLEY
After breakfast drive to Thimpu, lunch at Thimphu, then drive to Ha valley. Haa valley was recently open for tourist which is situated In the temperate region among the Blue pine forest, Ha used to be very important district in ancient times as a gateway to western Bhutan. During the drive you will be able to see different species of both flora and fauna. Trees such as Populus, Altingia, Hammelidaceae, Pine, Acer, and shrubs such as Leycesteria, Lonicera, Coriaria, Rubus. Cotoneaster, Philadelphus, Hydrangea, and many herbeceous species. Overnight: Hotel in Haa valley.
HAA VALLEY – PARO VALLEY
After breakfast: Drive to Paro valley via Chele La Pass to Paro. Chele-la (3800m) Chele-la that divides Haa valley and Paro valleys and has been one of the important routes in olden days for any travelers that would visit Bhutan from Northwestern India. It has been mentioned repeatedly in most of the writings by British Political envoys such as George Boyle, J.C White as well as other botanists. The account of Ludlow and Sherriff, two naturalists who visited Bhutan seven times and collected historical records of 21,000 Bhutanese plants have crossed this pass during their visit in 1938. Chele-la harbors one of the most exciting sites for Bhutanese flora. Many special of Primulas, Rhododendron, Iris, Betula, Lilies (such as Notholirion, Lloydia and Fritillaria), Saxifrage, Bergenia, Aconitum, Pedicularis, Gentians, and other grows extensively and will make any visitor's heart a delight. Overnight: Hotel in Paro
PARO – PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT FOR DEPARTURE
Early morning drive to Paro International Airport and your Bhutanese friend from Makalu Adventure will accompany you to bid farewell as you embark on your onward journey to back.