tang valley

Bhutan Cross Country Tour

Tour Duration- 12 Nights and 13 Days

Tour Highlight-

Cycling: The rugged, mountainous landscape of Bhutan lends itself well to both on-road or off-road mountain biking and the sport is seeing increasing popularity among both visitors and Bhutanese alike.

Trekking: (Druk Path): Bhutan with almost 77% covered by forest, it has been a dream for every adventurers to go for trekking in Bhutan. With almost 17 different trekking routes in different part of the country, it has always been a greatest adventure for those people who loved trekking and mountains.

Water sport:  whitewater sports are becoming popular on Bhutan’s fast flowing and powerful rivers. During this meticulously organized river rafting trip, you journey through the most scenic and secluded miles featuring incredibly blue water and breath-taking alpine scenery

Cultural: Besides adventure, we ensure that you get to see and understand some of the unique tradition and culture we have in the country. You will be visiting few temples and monasteries and also get to see the culture show which Colorful Bhutan Travels will arrange on the last day of your stay here in Bhutan. The main reason behind arranging the cultural show is that after you leave Bhutan, we the team from Colorful Bhutan Travels want all of you to cherish some of the folk songs and dances which you might not have seen anywhere else on this planet.

 Places Covered- Thimph, Paro, Punakha

Tour Overview

Bhutan Cross Country Tour is created based on peoples’ interest in adventure. With this tour you will not only experience the unique tradition and culture Bhutan has to offer but you will be getting a chance to see and experience some places which most tourists may not have been or seen. This tour is all about Adventure yet we have customized this tour in such a way that you will also get to understand and see like other tourists who visits Bhutan to experience its rich culture and tradition.

Detailed Itinerary

Activities –

Day 1 – After you arrive in Paro international airport, you will be received by our representative from Colorful Bhutan Travels.

The flight into Paro on Druk Air/Bhutan airlines (only international flight) is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of Bhutan. If the weather is clear you can see magnificent views of the peaks, give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land on arrival at Paro international airport.

Check in Hotel with welcoming tea or coffee. After lunch we will drive towards the ruins of Drugyel Dzong, the dzong was built in 1649 under the behest of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate victory of an invasion from Tibet. In early 1950s, the dzong was almost completely destroyed by fire. It is listed as a tentative site in Bhutan’s Tentative List for UNESCO inclusion. On the way to Drugyel Dzong we will stop for a while at the view point where you can see the Tigers Nest which you will be hiking on your last day of the tour. Today’s short drive is mainly to let you all acclimatize to the altitude. If time permits take a leisurely walk around Paro town.

Overnight halt in a hotel at Paro-.

 

Day 2: Paro – Paro (Day Hike to Tiger Nest)

After breakfast we will drive to the base of Taktsang (Tigers Nest) and start the hike to the magical temple known as Taktsang (the “Tiger’s Nest). This hike is mainly kept on the second day in order to acclimatize. Taktsang is one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites in the Himalayan World. The temple itself is perched on a granite cliff that drops 2,000 feet to the valley floor. The name is derived from a legend that Guru Rinpoche flew across the mountains to this spot on the back of a tigress,

Reaching a cave in which he meditated for three months, converting the people of Paro Valley to Buddhism during his stay. The path takes us through a forest of oak and rhododendron, arriving at a small chorten surrounded by prayer flags. With a little more effort, we will reach a tea-house and a spectacular view of Taktsang. That will be our lunch stop. Those who choose can hike further, to an overlook that is almost at eye level with the temple.

overnight at Paro

Day 3: Paro to Thimphu (60 Km)

Today after breakfast, we will drive towards Thimphu the capital city of Bhutan. On the way we will stop at Tamchog Lhakhang to see one of the oldest Iron Chain Bridge from 15th century. Later once we reach Thimphu we will check in to the hotel first. Then after taking a rest for a while, we will take a ride towards the big Buddha Statue. The biking trail (3.5 Km) starts from Kuenselphodrang (Buddha Statue) and ends at debsi. Once we reach at the end point of the trail, we will be riding back to the capital.

Overnight in Thimphu

Day 4. Thimphu to Punakha ( 75 Km)

Today will be a major hill challenge to the pass at Dochula,(45 Km from Thimphu) which is known for its spiritual energy and 108 Chortens that are atop the pass. On a clear day you will see Eastern Himalayan Mountain Ranges.  After lunch descend down the pass through pristine forest.

Later in the evening we will visit Punakha Dzong: Dzong located in between two rivers, mo Chu (Female River) from its left and pho Chu (Male River) from its right, it was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in commanding position at the confluence. The Dzong was called Druk Pungthang Decchen Phodrang (the palace of Great Happiness) in olden days and arguably the country’s most attractive Dzong.

Overnight at Punakha

Day 5: Punakha – Punakha

After breakfast drive through Punakha Valley. For further exploration of this scenic valley, the destination for this morning, hike up through the farm land to Khamsum Yuelay Namgyel Chorten,a shrine built by royal family a startlingly ornate and elaborate structure with images of VajraKila and superb view of Punakha Valley. The hike will take around 2 hours.

Then while coming back we will stop at the suspension bridge where the white river rafting starts. Mo Chu river with 20 Km course comprising around 15 rapids with 2 – 2+ rapids.

Drifting past imposing 17th century Punakha Dzong, watching world’s rarest bird, the white belled Heron in its natural habitat and Kingfishers frolicking on riverbank – all these topped off with spectacular sight of serene lush green alpine valleys,  are the most amazing experience you would love to treasure and we will be stopping at the old Wangdiphodrang Dzong.

Overnight at Punakha

Day 6: Punakha – Thimphu

Today we will be driving back to Thimphu. There will be no programs related to adventure today. Today we will be spending our time by visiting temples and other cultural sightseeing.

On the way we will be stopping at Dochula Pass and we will be spending some time. Later we will check into the hotel and then we will start our program. We will be visiting The National Institute of Zorig Chusum: is the center for Bhutanese Art education. It was set up by the Government of Bhutan with the sole objective of preserving the rich culture and tradition of Bhutan and training students in all the traditional arts forms. The curricula cover a comprehensive course of drawing, painting, wood and slate craving, embroidery, sculptures, weaving and paper making. Then we will be visiting Folk Heritage Museum: it is a restored three-story traditional rammed mud and timber that resembles the rural household in the Thimphu area during the mid-19th century, domestic tools equipment that were used by rural families of that period and also provides you a glimpse of lifestyle, items and artifacts of Bhutanese villages and rural households.

Later we will Visit National memorial Chorten which was built in 1974 in the  memory of our Third king H.M Jigme  Doji Wangchuk , who had wished to erect a monument to world peace and prosperity, died before his plan came to fruition. However the Royal family and Cabinet resolved to fulfill his wishes. Later in the evening we will be visiting Tashichhoe Dzong the “Fortress of Auspicious Religion” where today like most of the other fortresses in Bhutan serves as the Administrative and Religious Center. Evening at leisure in Thimphu town.

Tomorrow we will be going for a trekking which starts from Thimphu and ends in Paro. It will take 6 days to complete. You can leave your luggage with Colorful Bhutan Travels and they will transfer your language to Paro. Make sure you carry your own Sleeping bag and other necessary trekking equipment. Your Trekking Guide will brief you in the evening at the hotel.

Overnight at Thimphu

Trekking over view

Druk Path Trek is one of the finest short treks in Bhutan. Leading through an ancient trading route, over high mountain passes, it connects the valleys of Paro and Thimpu. Trail passes through spectacular rhododendron forests, alpine yak pastures and beautiful lakes stocked with snowy mountain trouts.

Day 7: After Breakfast you will be driving towards the radio station from there the trekking will start.

BBS tower to Phajoding:

Distance 4-5 km, 4 to 5 hours, 1,130 m ascent, camp altitude 3,750 m.  After reaching the tower you will be walking uphill through a forested area of mostly blue pine. Once you reach the Phojoding Monastery, the trekking staff will be ready with your tents pitched and waiting for you with tea and some snacks. You can go and visit few monastery and interact with monks and teacher.

Camp at Phajoding

Day 8: Phajoding – Simkotra Tsho (lake)

Distance 10 km, 6-7 hours, 680 m ascent, 130 m descent, and camp altitude 4,110 m. The day begins with a gradual climb. If the weather permits, you will have a spectacular view of Mount Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan and several other Himalayan peaks. The campsite is close to Simkotra Tsho Lake.

Camp at Simkotra Tsho

Day 9: SIMKOTRA TSHO – JIMGELANG TSHO

Distance 11 km, 4-5 hours, 400 m ascent, 820 m descent, camp altitude 3,870 m.

The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and past Janetso Lake. You may come across some yak herder camps where you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of a nomad’s life. This lake is known for its giant sized trout. The campsite is close to the Jimgelang Tsho Lake

Day 10: JIMGELANG TSHO – JANGCHULAKHA

Distance 11 km, 5-6 hours, 330 m descent, 230 m ascent, and camp altitude 3,770 m.

The trail follows a ridge and on a clear day the view of the mountains and valley are simply stunning. You may see herders and their yaks around your campsite.

Camp at Jangchulakha

Day 11: JANGCHULAKHA – JILI DZONG

Distance 10 km, 2-3 hours, 50 m ascent, 310 m descent, camp altitude 3,480 m

You begin with a steep climb for about an hour and a half, then the slope evens a bit and the ascent is more gradual. The trail takes you through thick alpine forests and dwarf rhododendron tress.

Camp at Jili Dzong

Day 12: JILI DZONG – PARO

Distance 7 km, 2-3 hours, 1,090 m descent, today we will be descending all the way to Ta Dzong (National Museum) in Paro. Our car will be waiting for us. Then we will directly drive towards our hotel where you can take shower and rest for some time. Later we will drive towards the town for shopping.

We will try Hot Stone Bath at Paro before the Cultural Show Program

Later in the evening we will arrange a Cultural Show. You will be witnessing our traditional folk dances and also mask dances which are usually performed during the famous festival called Tshechu here in Bhutan. Colorful Bhutan Travels arranges cultural show for their clients to take back home not only the memories of natural beauty of the kingdom of Bhutan but also some memories of our unique culture (songs and Dances) and traditions which you may cherish throughout your life.

Day 13Paro

After breakfast, depart from Paro Airport. Your guide will be there to see you off on behalf of the company.

Cost Inclusion

  1. All meals – American plan include
  2. English Speaking Guide for the tour
  3. All Entrance Fess of all Places of interest
  4. Internal Transport within Tour Activity: Cultural/Hiking/cycling/trekking/rafting/kayaking
  5. Accommodations – minimum of 3* hotels or resorts
  6. Camping Equipment- sleeping Tents (double sharing basis),baggage hauling on mules or yaks, dining tent, latrine tent, chairs and tables, cook, helper staff.
  7. All Government Taxes

Cost Exclusion

  1. Travel Insurance
  2. Laundry Services
  3. Shopping and Telephone services
  4. Tipping for service providers
  5. Air fare

Tour cancellation & refund policy

Tour Programs booked and subsequently cancelled shall be subject to cancellation charges as follows:

  • 45 days or more prior to arrival date in Bhutan– no charges
  • 45-30 days prior to arrival date in Bhutan – 20% of rate
  • 22– 29 days prior to arrival date in Bhutan – 30% of rate
  • 15-21 days prior to arrival date in Bhutan – 50% of rate
  • Less than 15 days prior to arrival date in Bhutan – No Refund
  • An Administration fee of USD75 will be applicable for all cancelled tours

In the event of cancelled or shortened trips due to unforeseen reasons after arrival in Bhutan, no refund will be made due to the company already having paid for hotels and other logistics.

No refund will be made for missed connections or no show at the airports.

Tashi Delek!