Day 1: Arrival: Paro
On arrival, guests will be received at the airport by our representative who will orientate you on the driving rules and regulations of Bhutan.
Drive to Paro town for lunch and to freshen up. After lunch, visit the National Museum and ParoRinpungDzong, the District Administrations’ and Religious activities’ centre.
Overnight at a Hotel / Resort in Paro
Day 2: Paro Halt
Early in the morning drive toward Tiger’s Nest monastery, one of the most sacred and the most visited holy sites in the country. It lies perched on a rocky cliff and legend has it that Guru Rinpochhe (Padmasambhava) come to this place on a flying tigress from Eastern Bhutan and meditated for 3 months.
The hike up to the monastery and back takes about 5 hours on an average including time taken for lunch at half way point.
After visiting Tiger’s Nest, drive towards DrugyalDzong ruins. The name means Bhutan’s Victory Fortress, built after driving back the invading Tibetan forces. The ruins sits on a small hill near a beautiful village and if the day is clear Mount Jomolhari Makes a splendid backdrop for a striking picture. Then drive back to Paro town along the lone road and up the windy road to the 17th Century ParoRinpungDzong, the district’s local administrations and monastic center.
Relax in the evening, maybe try the popular hot-stone bath.
Overnight at a Hotel/ Resort in Paro
Day 3: Paro – Haa - Thimphu
After breakfast,we ride up the mountains towards Haa, about an hour later you will reach Chelela pass (3800m), the highest motorable road in the country. On a clear day you can see a wonderful vista of the Himalayas, you will even be able to see Mt. Jomolhari and Mt. Kanchenjunga at a distance. It is also pretty windy at the top. Continue riding towards Haa, it’s all downhill with many switchbacks. Ride around Haa valley, have lunch and ride towards Thimphu, it is a nice ride and you will come across many villages along the way. Later, once you reach Thimphu in the evening, walk around town, try some local bars and relax.
Overnight at a Hotel/ Resort in Thimphu
Day 4: Thimphu Halt
After a leisurely breakfast go sightseeing to a few places of interest such as School of Arts & Crafts, National Library and the Takin Preserve to see the National animal of Bhutan. From the Takin preserve we can drive a bit further up to the BBS tower to get a bird’s eye view of Thimphu city. Then ride to KuenselPhodrang aka, the Buddha Point, the tallest ‘sitting Buddha’ statue from where we will get a panoramic view of Thimphu valley, the whole of north valley and the southeast valley. Drive down to town for lunch and relax. Free for the rest of the day, you can walk around town, visit shops and bars and relax.
Overnight at Hotel/ resort in Thimphu.
Day 5: Thimphu – Punakha (78 kms)
After Breakfast ride to Punakha. Punakha was the old capital of Bhutan. En route visit the 108 DrukWangyelChortens at Dochula Pass (3100m), then further down we stop at Lobeysa to enjoy the local market which is full of incredible faces and food, then we will visit ChimmiLhakhang, and have lunch then continue riding to PunakhaDzong, considered to be one of the most beautiful dzongs in the country. PunakhaDzong was the capital of Bhutan until 1965. Then rest for the day.
Overnight at Hotel in Punakha valley.
Day 6: Punakha – Phobjikha (78 kms)
After breakfast, ride up to KhamsumYueleyNamgyalChorten base and hike up (45 minutes), it is a one of a kind stupa and the site offers a great view of Punakha valley to the South. Then ride back down to Punakha and then to Wangdue and continue towards Phobjikha. The road at some points are rough but overall it’s a nice ride until you reach Phobjikha valley where the black top has come off all over. Visit Gangtey Monastery in Phobjikha and go check in at your hotel. Later in the afternoon you can go for a walk around the valley, which is very beautiful and is the Winter roosting grounds of the Black Necked Cranes that come from the Tibetan plateau around November and fly back around March.
Overnight at a Hotel/ Guest house in Phobjikha.
Day 7: Phobjikha – Trongsa – Chumey (145 kms)
Ride towards Trongsa, on the way we will cross another pass, Pele La (3300m) which crosses the Black Mountains, traditional boundary between west and central Bhutan and we will descend towards pretty villages like Rukubji and Chendebji. We will have lunch at Trongsa with a beautiful view of TrongsaDzong and continue a very nice ride to Bumthang. After the Yotung la pass (3400m), the dramatic scenery changes to gentle spruce and fir covered slopes. Bumthang is known as the ‘Switzerland in Bhutan’. Our hotel is in the first valley overlooking DomkharTashicholing palace at Chumey Village.
Overnight at Chumey, Bumthang
JakarDzong overlooking Chamkhar valley
Day 8: Chumey – Chamkhar (25 kms)
After a leisurely breakfast ride towards Chamkhar, the second and the main valley of Bumthang. On the way stop at Yathra Weaving Centre, they produce textiles made from Yak wool. Continue riding towards Chamkhar, on the way you will cross Kikila pass marked with a lot of prayer flags, it is not really a pass but has been considered one since this hill separates Chamkhar from Chumey.
Visit JambayLhakhang and KurjeyLhakhang before going back to town for lunch. Check in at your hotel after that and rest for a while, either at the hotel or in town. Later in the afternoon, visit TamshingLhakhang and while coming back down, the Cheese factory and Red Panda beer factory where you can chat with the Manager, who’s very friendly (if he is there) while enjoying a bottle of Weiss beer.
Overnigtht at a Hotel/ Resort in Chamkhar, Bumthang
Day 9: Chamkhar – Ura (50 kms)
Have breakfast and ride towards Mebartsho (The Burning Lake), it is not a lake as such but a small stream instead which gets collected into a small pool. Get down to the highway and continue riding further towards Ura valley. From among the four major valleys in Bumthang, Ura is the highest, widest, coldest and considered the most beautiful. The village is a fine example of a Bhutanese cluster settlement.
Overnight at a Hotel/ Resort in Chamkhar, Bumthang
Day 10: Bumthang – Paro – Delhi
Have early breakfast, board the domestic flight to Paro and from there take the International flight to Delhi.