Itinerary #1: Highlights of Bhutan
This exciting five-day introduction to Bhutan takes you to several of the kingdom's key highlights, including Punakha Dzong, Dochu La Pass, and the iconic Tiger's Nest Monastery.
|Day 1||Arrive in Paro & Transfer to Thimphu||Thimphu|
|Day 2||Sightsee in Thimphu & Drive to Punakha||Punakha|
|Day 3||Explore Punakha & Dochu La Pass||Paro|
|Day 4||Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery||Paro|
|Day 5||Depart from Paro|
Welcome to Bhutan! The trip begins in the capital city of Thimphu. Visit the grand Tashicho Dzong, a fortress-like compound that's both a Buddhist monastery and the seat of the Bhutanese government. Watch the sunset from the giant golden Great Buddha Dordenma statue. On day two, go on a half-day city tour before traveling to Punakha, enjoying gorgeous mountain views from the Dochu La Pass at an elevation of 10,000 feet (3,050 meters). Tour the impressive Punakha Dzong and attend an evening prayer ceremony at a nunnery.
Next, you'll hike to Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility temple that's a popular pilgrimage spot for Bhutanese people. You'll go on another hike to the temple of Lungchutse Lhakhang, a two-hour trek through native forests, to reach the spot. Enjoy a picnic lunch there in the fresh mountain air. On the last full day of the trip, hike to the iconic Paro Taktsang, (Tiger's Nest Monastery). Stop at Bhutan's oldest temple, Khyichu Lhakhang, on your descent. You'll fly out of Paro the next day. Learn more
Itinerary #2: Cultural Tour & Trekking in Bhutan
One of the best ways to discover the beauty of Bhutan is on its mountain trails, as you'll see on this lively five-day trip that also features plenty of cultural sightseeing.
|Day 1||Arrive in Paro & Get Oriented in Bhutan||Paro|
|Day 2||Sightsee in Paro||Paro|
|Day 3||Explore the Thimphu Valley||Paro|
|Day 4||Drive to Chele La Pass & Hike to Kila Goemba||Paro|
|Day 5||Depart Bhutan|
Kick off the adventure in Paro. You'll spend some time sightseeing here and in the surrounding valley on the first day or two, visiting Paro Dzong (the "Fortress of a Heap of Jewels"), one of the finest examples of traditional Bhutanese architecture in existence. Tour Ta Dzong, a watchtower housing the National Museum, to see thangkas (Buddhist paintings on cloth) depicting Bhutan's important saints and teachers.
Move on to the Thimphu Valley on day three. Take in views from the fortress-like temple Changangkha Lhakhang, perched on a ridge above Thimphu, then visit some of the city's cultural sites, monuments, and temples. At the post office museum, you can get your photo printed on a real Bhutanese stamp. On day four, enjoy the beautiful drive to Chele La Pass, then hike down to Kila Goemba, the serene home of Buddhist nuns who lead an undisturbed life of religious studies, prayer, and meditation. Learn more
Itinerary #3: Discover the Dagala Trek
Hike the famous Dagala Trek, also known as "the thousand lakes trek" due to the many beautiful lakes along the trail, on this active five-day adventure in Bhutan.
|Day 1||Begin the Dagala Trek||Gur|
|Day 2||Hike from Gur to Lambatama||Lambatama|
|Day 3||Rest day at Lambatama||Lambatama|
|Day 4||Trek from Lambatama to Panka||Panka|
|Day 5||Continue from Panka to Chamgang & Depart|
Hit the ground running after arriving in Thimphu, transferring immediately to the village of Gyenekha, where the trek starts. Hike to Gur, an area full of yak pastures, where you'll camp in a tent at an altitude of 10,793 feet (3290 meters). The next day, trek across high ridges through meadows filled with wildflowers (in summer), enjoying a striking view of Kanchenjunga (on the border of Nepal and India). Descend into the Labatama Valley, where your campsite is right next to the lake.
You'll have a free day in the mountains midway through the itinerary. It's the perfect time to explore the valley, making short trips to some of the pristine lakes that give this trek the nickname "the thousand lakes trek." You'll spot Himalayan peaks, including Mount Everest, from the trail on day four. Hike along the river until you reach Panka, where you'll camp once more, this time at an altitude of 13,123 feet (4,000 m). Continue to Chamgang on day five, then transfer by car to Paro to catch a flight out. Learn more
Itinerary #4: Adventure on Druk Path Trek
Breathe in the fresh mountain air on this popular five-day trip along Druk Path Trek, enjoying views of blue pine forests and high ridges along the way.
|Day 1||Start the Druk Path Trek to Jele Dzong||Jele Dzong|
|Day 2||Visit Jele Dzong & Camp by a Lake||Jangchulakha|
|Day 3||Enjoy Mountain Views from the Trail||Jimilangtsho Lake|
|Day 4||Descend to Simkota||Phajoding|
|Day 5||Trek to Thimphu & Depart|
Start the trek at the trailhead, which is located near Ta Dzong Museum. You'll begin trekking uphill, crossing Jili La Pass and descending to the area near Jele Dzong, where you'll camp in a meadow. The next morning, visit Jele Dzong, an isolated fortress built hundreds of years ago to provide shelter to trekkers. Hike to spectacular views of Jomolhari Mountain, then camp near the lake in Jangchulakha.
Take the high trail to Langye Ja La (Ox Hump Pass), which offers views of Jomolhari (a mountain nicknamed "the bride of Kangchenjunga”) and the peak of Jichu Drake. A steep descent leads to your lakeside campsite at Jimilangtsho Lake. Continue to Phajoding, home to a famous Buddhist meditation center that consists of ten temples. You'll camp once more on the last night of the trip before heading back to Thimphu to end the trip. Learn more
More Great Bhutan Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Bhutan? Check out these other Bhutan itineraries, with trekking adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.