National Geographic Journeys: Wonders of Bhutan (ADWNG)
Countries Visited: Bhutan All the adventure you want, with a softer landing Handpicked, character-rich accommodations with upgraded amenities services Upgraded and private transport, including flights to maximize time More included meals, activities and transfers
Trip Style: Information Not available
Service Level: Upgraded
Physical Demands Rating: 1 - You'll have to walk around on your own, climb some stairs and carry your own bag. Easy does it.
Group Size: Max 15, Avg 10.
Meals Included: 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners
Accommodations: Not Availaible
Visit one of the most remote countries in the world, enjoy a meeting and lecture with a monk about Buddhist culture in Bhutan, learn how to cook ema datshi (chili cheese) with a local farm family, hike along peaceful nature trails and thrilling cliffs, experience the pristine and peaceful nature of the "Dragon Kingdom"
Find out what lights up the faces of the residents of Bhutan, the only country in the world that measures its well-being in GNH - Gross National Happiness. On a 10-day adventure across this bastion of Buddhist culture, explore remote mountain villages and shrines and climb magnificent heights to the cliff-side Taktsang Monastery, 900 metres (2,953 feet) above the valley floor. Amid the soaring peaks and cultural delights of this ancient place, discover your own capacity for happiness.
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|Offer valid through 3/31/2018|
|Day 1||Paro||Day 1 Paro (1D)|
In clear weather, the flight over the Himalayas offers magnificent views of the world's highest peaks as they give way to the lush green Paro valley. The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step off the plane. After clearing customs and visa control, well be met by our local CEO who will conduct our welcome meeting and orientation. Later, enjoy dinner and visit Rimpung Dzong, a school for monks, and take a walk through the town. Additional Notes: Approx. Altitude: Paro 2,300m Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Rimpung Dzong Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s))
|Day 2||Punakha||Day 2 Paro/Punakha (1B, 1L, 1D)|
After breakfast, drive through dense forests of blue pine, oak, and rhododendrons and enjoy views of the Himalayan range and the valley beyond. After a lunch stop, the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass at 3,050m (10,007 ft). After stopping here for tea and panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain range, we descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Punakha. Additional Notes: Approx. Altitude: Punakha Valley 1,300m Transport: Private Vehicle (7.00-8.00 hours, 180km)
|Day 3||Punakha||Day 3 Punakha (1B, 1L, 1D)|
Visit Punakha Dzong, winter seat of the Je Khenpo and the Monk Body, located between the rivers of the Mo (feMale) Chu and Pho (Male) Chu. Drive to Lobeysa and hike another 20 min to Chime Lhakhang, temple of the "Divine Madman," built in 1499. Today it is mostly visited by women, as it is known as a temple of fertility. Walk back to the road and then drive a short distance to Wangdue for a visit to the Wangdue Phodrang. Well continue on to the suspension bridge and hike through rice terraces, fields, and deep pine forest to Khamsum Yueley Chorten, where the view is superb. Descend until we reach the suspension bridge and the return to the hotel. Additional Notes: Wangdue Phodrang is currently under reconstruction, depending on the status, we may or may not be able to visit. Included Activities: Punakha Dzong Visit Chime Lhakhang Visit Wangdue Phodrang Visit Hike and visit Khamsum Yueley Chorten Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s))
|Day 4||Gangtey Gonpa||Day 4 Punakha/Gangtey Gonpa (1B, 1L, 1D)|
Additional Notes: Approx. Altitude: Gangtey Valley 2,900m Included Activities: Khewa Village Visit Family Farm Meal Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours, 78km)
|Day 5||Gangtey Gonpa||Day 5 Gangtey Gonpa (1B, 1L, 1D)|
The valley is also a centre for crane observation run by the RSPN (Royal Society for the Protection of Nature), an NGO striving to protect Bhutan's environment, flora, and fauna. At certain times of the year, it is possible to spot these magnificent birds. Included Activities: Gangtey Goempa Monastery Visit Phobjikha and Khewa Valley Hike Transport: Private Vehicle
|Day 6||Thimphu||Day 6 Gangtey Gonpa/Thimphu (1B, 1L, 1D)|
Drive to the capital to visit the National Library, Memorial Chorten, and the Institute for Zorig Chusum, an arts and crafts school where we can watch students practicing traditional arts such as woodworking, painting, and ceramics. Meet with a Buddhist monk and scholar to discuss Buddhist beliefs and way of life, as well as values in Bhutan. Additional Notes: Approx. Altitude: Thimpu 2,300m Included Activities: National Library Visit Memorial Chorten Visit Institute for Zorig Chusum Visit Meet a Buddhist Monk Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours)
|Day 7||Haa Dzongkhag||Day 7 Thimphu/Haa Dzongkhag (1B, 1L, 1D)|
Drive to the Haa Valley, one of the most remote and sacred valleys in Bhutan, via the Chelela Pass. En route, hike to Kila Goempa Nunnery, which clings to a rocky cliff. Drive to the valley and visit Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple), and Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple). Additional Notes: Approx. Altitude: Haa Valley 2,600m Included Activities: Kila Goempa Nunnery Hike Haa Valley Temples and shrines Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00-8.00 hours)
|Day 8||Paro||Day 8 Haa Dzongkhag/Paro (1B, 1L, 1D)|
Return to Paro and visit the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong fortress. Additional Notes: Approx. Altitude: Paro 701m (2,300 ft) Included Activities: Drukgyal Dzong Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00-3.00 hours, 65km)
|Day 9||Paro||Day 9 Paro (1B, 1L, 1D)|
Embark on a vigorous hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger's Nest), the most venerated pilgrim site of the Himalayan world. The view is absolutely stunning, with the monastery clinging to a cliff face towering 2,953m above the valley. Later, visit Kyichu Lhakhang Temple and the local archery grounds. Additional Notes: Due to the altitude this climb can be tough. Be prepared to spend about 5 1/2 hours to get up and down with stops, including lunch. Remember to stay hydrated and take your time. The hike is gradual and uphill and takes about 2 hrs to reach the first stop at the cafeteria where you can enjoy views of the monastery. If you choose, you can stop here and wait for the group who choose to continue up to the Monastery. Included Activities: Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery Hike Kyichu Lhakhang Temple Visit Local Archery Grounds Visit Transport: Private Vehicle
|Day 10||Paro||Day 10 Paro (1B)|
Depart at any time. Airport transfer included. Transport: Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s))
Local Flights: N/A
Dossier Disclaimer:The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
Itinerary Disclaimer: While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.