Alpine Explore Nepal
Himalayan of Nepal

Cultural Tours in Bhutan: Dragon Heart Experience:

11 nights / 12 days

Outlined Itinerary

Day 01 Flight to Paro
Day 02 Sightseeing in Paro
Day 03 Sightseeing in Paro and drive to Thimphu
Day 04 Drive around Pass Punakha
Day 05 Day excursion to the Gangtey Gompa valley
Day 06 Drive to Trongsa Dzong and Bumthang
Day 07 Sightseeing in Bumthang
Day 08 Excursion around Ura village and swiss farm.
Day 09 Drive to Wangduephodrang.
Day 10 Drive to Paro via Lobesa.
Day 11 Hike to Taktsang monastery.
Day 12 Transfer to airport and fly out.

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 01 FLIGHT TO PARO
Arrive Paro by Druk air BAe 146-100 series, the only national carrier. The flight offers you beautiful view of mountains and landscapes. On arrival and after visa formalities you will be received by our members. Afternoon / evening time at leisure. Overnight Kichu Resort.

DAY 02 SIGHTSEEING IN PARO
Paro Sightseeing - 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. Proceed through the beautiful valley to the watch tower or locally known as Ta-Dzong. It was housed into the National museum in the 1960s by the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The seven floors museum highlights various aspects of Bhutanese culture and history dating back to the 7th century. A short walk downhill to the Rinpung Dzong which serves as the administrative center and school for monks. Walk further down crossing the traditional bridge into Paro Town. Evening drive 2 hours to Thimphu and will be a pleasant one mainly due to the well maintained road through out Bhutan. Overnight at Hotel Druk or River view.

DAY 03 SIGHTSEEING IN PARO AND DRIVE TO THIMPHU
AM sightseeing - visit the Indigenous hospital where traditional old art of healing is still practiced, Art & Craft school, National library, Royal goldsmith workshop and Handicraft centers. PM visit the Memorial chorten built in the memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, 15 century Changangkha monastery, Motithang mini zoo to see the rare "Takin" national animal of Bhutan and drive further down with good view of the Thimphu valley. Visit the new Drupthob nunnery temple and free time in the market. Overnight same.

DAY 04 DRIVE AROUND PASS PUNAKHA
Drive 3 hours to Wangduephodrang via Punakha crossing the Dochula pass 3100 meters. On fine weather you will see the eastern Himalayan ranges including the highest mountain in Bhutan Mt.Gangar Punsum 7520 meters. The drive from the pass is all the way downhill dropping to the lower and warmer valleys of lobesa. Visit the Punakha Dzong which served as an old capital of Bhutan. This remarkable fortress is built between two rivers and has survived many glacial floods and fire. Every year during the month of February a procession known as the Punakha Serda takes place to commemorate the victory over the Tibetans. Proceed 45 minutes to Wangduephodrang and view the Dzong from outside and stroll around the market area. Check into Wangdi Kichu Resort.   

DAY 05 DAY EXCURSION TO THE GANGTEY GOMPA VALLEY
Day excursion to the Gangtey Gompa valley at an altitude of 2800 meters. The only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan is located here. This beautiful valley is also home to the rare Black Necked Cranes migrating from the Tibetan plateau to escape the harsh winter. Currently there are 200 to 300 cranes residing in this valley and the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) is taking every measures to ensure the safety of the Cranes. While the cranes reside in the winter valley for 4/5 months the village folks are not allowed to make load noises or fish in the river that runs through the valley. Explore the fascinating glacier valley and return to the Resort.

DAY 06 DRIVE TO TRONGSA DZONG AND BUMTHANG
Today will be a long drive almost 6 / 7 hours crossing 3 passes over 3000 meters. The route offers magnificent views of the Himalayas and beautiful landscape through scattered hamlets and forest of rhododendrons and pine. Picnic lunch will be served at the 18 century Chendebji chorten. After one and half hour arrive at a small town known as Trongsa meaning new village. The town mainly consists of fresh Tibetan refugees but the most impressive of all is the Trongsa Dzong. The whole of eastern Bhutan was controlled from this fortress during the mid 17th century. Visitors are not allowed inside the building. Proceed another 2 hours to Bumthang visiting the Chume weaving center. Overnight at Karma Tobden Guest House.

DAY 07 SIGHTSEEING IN BUMTHANG
Bumthang altitude 2600m, has an individuality that charms its visitors and separates it from other regions. Comprised of four smaller valleys, the deeply spiritual region of Bumthang is shrouded in religious legend. Here tales of Guru Padmasambhava and his re-incarnation known as Tertons still linger in most nooks and corners. It is also known for its woolen material (yathra) which can be seen hung outside of houses for sale. Sightseeing - Visit the Jakar Dzong, 7th century Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey monastery, Tamshing and Kunchosum monastery. This sightseeing is a round trip so it is more interesting done on foot. Overnight same.

DAY 08 EXCURSION AROUND URA VILLAGE AND SWISS FARM
Excursion 2 hours to Ura village and visit the new Ura monastery. On the way visit the Mebartso meaning burning lake. Stroll around the village and return back to Guest house. Evening walk to the swiss farm where apple juice, cider, cheese etc... are made.   

DAY 09 DRIVE TO WANGDUEPHODRANG
Drive back to Wangduephodrang. Overnight at Wangdi Kichu Resort.

DAY 10 DRIVE TO PARO VIA LOBESA
Drive 3/4 hours to Paro via Lobesa and a short walk through farm hoses 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. Lunch at Thimphu and drive to Paro visiting the visiting the oldest building in Bhutan, the Simtokha Dzong. It now serves as a Buddhist university. Overnight Kichu Resort.

DAY 11 HIKE TO TAKTSANG MONASTERY
Day hike to Taktsang monastery. Horses can be arranged with an extra cost. The hike which is all the way uphill takes about 2 /3 hours through villages and pine forests. The monastery which clings to a huge granite cliff 800 meters from the Paro valley was devastated by fire in 1998 but the Royal Government has taken immediate steps to restore the monastery to its original structure. 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. Overnight Kichu Resort.

DAY 12 TRANSFER TO AIRPORT AND FLY OUT
Transfer to airport where the guide will help you with final departure formalities.

 The following information will allow you to better plan your budget for tours or treks. A range of costs is given. These costs are dependant on:
  • The mix of Touring and/or general Trekking,
  • The remoteness of the areas visited,
  • The number of guides or porters required,
  • The standard of accommodation required (if there is a choice), 
  • The type of ground transport used,
  • The length of your visit, and
  • The size of your group.

Depending on group size the costs of treks and tours range from:
1 to 3 pax     US$ 88 to 163  P/p per night.
4 to 8 pax     US$ 78 to 148  P/p per night
9 to 14 pax.  US$ 75 to 135 P/p per night.
15 to 20 and above US$ 60 to 110 P/p per night
Single supplement US$ 40 to 70 per night.

Note: The itinerary and cost for Peak climbing, Mountaineering, Tibet, Bhutan and India tours and trek are conditional apply.

Notwithstanding the costs shown above, we can tailor tours to suit almost any budget. Feel free to email us for more information.
 
Note: One tour leader will be free of cost for tours with 15 or more paying guests only. 

Children's bellow three years is free if sharing with their parents. And need to pay if they are participating on the trekking, and above three to nine year children half of the price.

Cost Includes: Accommodation in 3 to 4 star hotels in the cites as your choice, basic accommodation in a lodge or tea house or camping (depending on your itinerary and choice) during treks, guides and porters on treks, all land transfers by private vehicle, 3 meals a day on treks, all jungle safaris, all sightseeing tours as per itinerary and all necessary entry fees, permits and airport transfers.
 
Cost Excludes: Personal expenses, domestic air tickets, airport tax, drinks (soft drink, mineral water and alcoholic beverages and hot-shower on the trek), personal insurance, and extra cost due to natural calamities or accidents outside of our control.

Remarks: The cost of the trip determines with the services included during the trip so that it might be varies with the services, hotel and transfer of your wish.

Please note that our guides speak the following English languages and if required we will provide your language spiking guide on extra cost.

Note: Please contact exploretrek@wlink.com.np for more information and prices

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Contact Information:

Alpine Explore Nepal
P.O. Box: 4546, Kathmandu, Nepal
+977 1 4700714 / 4700175 / 4701974
Fax: +977 -1 - 4700970
Email: alpinetravel@wlink.com.np
          exploretrek@wlink.com.np
Skype Address: explore.alpine
MSN Messanger: explorealpine
Yahoo Messanger:explorealpine

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Our Guest Says

SteveAnyon-Smith
18 April 2000

This was my third trek in Nepal, having visited the Annapurna Region in 1995 and with Bharat and Dave in the beautiful and wildlife-filled Langstang Valley in1998. Bharat's company "Explore Alpine Adventure"....
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