Even with just five days to spend in Bhutan, travelers have a variety of options. The classic highlights tour takes you to key attractions like Dochu La Pass and the iconic Tiger's Nest Monastery, while trekking tours — including one along the Dagala Trek and the other along the popular Druk Path Trek — take you away from civilization to explore Bhutan's alpine scenery. Alternatively, combine cultural sightseeing and outdoor adventure on an itinerary that features both. Read on to learn more about possible 5-day itineraries around Bhutan.

Itinerary #1: Highlights of Bhutan

This exciting 5-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.

Bhutan's capital city, Thimphu, in the foothills of the Himalayas
Day Highlights Overnight
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 5-day trip that also features plenty of cultural sightseeing.

Looking down at the Paro Valley
Day Highlights Overnight
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 5-day adventure in Bhutan. 

The Dagala Trek in Bhutan
Day Highlights Overnight
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 (4000 meters). 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 5-day trip along Druk Path Trek, enjoying views of blue pine forests and high ridges along the way.

Mountains along the trail to Jele Dzong
Day Highlights Overnight
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 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. 

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.

Map

Map of 5 Days in Bhutan - 4 Unique Itineraries
Map of 5 Days in Bhutan - 4 Unique Itineraries