With a week to spend in Bhutan, many travelers choose a highlights tour that includes visits to monasteries and the opportunity to do some hiking in the mountains. If you're interested in a more active trip, consider an itinerary that combines outdoor activities—including a rafting trip and a cycling tour—with cultural sightseeing. For even more of an adventure, try a trekking trip through the Himalayas, or go off the beaten path with an itinerary that focuses on the ancient temples and quiet valleys of Western Bhutan. Read on to learn more about your itinerary options.

Itinerary #1: Bhutan Highlights

This lively tour takes you to Bhutan's top highlights, from sacred temples and monasteries to quiet mountain trails and one of the world's largest Buddha statues.

The sacred Paro Taktsang, also known as the Tiger's Nest Monastery 
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Sightsee in Thimphu  Thimphu
Day 2 Visit Changangkha Lhakhang Thimphu
Day 3 Explore the Punakha Valley Punakha
Day 4 Hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal  Paro
Day 5 Tour Historic Paro Paro
Day 6 Trek to Tiger's Nest Monastery Paro 
Day 7 Depart Bhutan  

Welcome to Bhutan! You'll do some sightseeing in Thimphu on Day 1, visiting the Memorial Chorten and the Buddha Dordenma—one of the largest Buddha statues in the world at 169 feet (54 m) tall. The next day, tour Changangkha Lhakhang, a 12th-century fortress-like temple, and the 17th-century Tashichho-Dzong, home to the throne room of the king of Bhutan. Cross the Wangchu River on a traditional wooden bridge to reach Cheri Lhakhang monastery.

Explore the temples and monasteries of the Punakha Valley on Day 3. You'll hike to another monastery, Khamsum Yulley Namgyal, the next day, followed by a visit to the Royal Botanical Park. Buddhist temples await on the next day's tour of Paro, and on Day 6, you'll enjoy one of the classic Bhutan travel experiences—the hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery, built into the side of a cliff at 3,000 feet (914 m) above the valley floor. You'll finish the trip back in Paro. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Culture & Outdoor Adventure in Bhutan

Discover Bhutan's natural wonders and cultural highlights on this action-packed seven-day itinerary that includes a river rafting trip, a cycling tour past ancient temples, and an overnight in a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse.

Rafting in the Punakha Valley
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Paro & Transfer to Thimphu Thimphu
Day 2 Go on a Guided Tour of Thimphu Punakha
Day 3 Explore the Punakha Valley on a Rafting Trip Punakha
Day 4 Hike to Lungchutse Goemba Ha
Day 5 Enjoy a Cycling Trip to Paro Paro
Day 6 Trek to Paro Taktsang Paro
Day 7 Depart Bhutan   

Start the trip in Thimphu, where you'll visit key attractions in the capital city on a guided tour and try your hand at archery at Changlimithang Stadium. You'll enjoy a scenic drive across the Dochula Pass to Punakha with wonderful views of the eastern Himalayas. Visit Chimi Lhakhang, a famous fertility temple, before taking off on a rafting adventure down the Po Chu River in the beautiful Punakha Valley. You'll return to shore to visit the impressive Punakha Dzong.

Hike to Lungchutse Goemba, a high-altitude temple, on Day 4. You'll take off on a bicycle the following day, taking a break at the cliffside temples of Dzongdrakha, then pedaling along roads lined with willow trees, apple orchards, and whitewashed farmhouses, ancient temples, and terraced fields of rice. An early-morning trek to the famed Tiger's Nest Monastery is the perfect way to wrap up the adventure. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Bhutan Trekking Tour

Get up close with dazzling Jomolhari Mountain, traverse a high-altitude landscape in the Himalayas, and camp out under the stars as you take on this seven-day trekking adventure with a professional crew.

Trekking in Bhutan
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Start the Trek to Thongdu Zam Thongdu Zam
Day 2 Hike to Soi Tangthanka Soi Tangthanka
Day 3 Continue Through a Juniper Forest to Jangothang Jangothang
Day 4 Rest & Get Acclimated in the Mountains Jangothang
Day 5 Hike Across Bhonte La to Soi Yaksa Soi Yaksa
Day 6 Trek to Thongbu Shong & Camp in the Valley Thongbu Shong
Day 7 Drive to Paro  

Kick off the tour in the Paro Valley, driving along a dirt road to Shana, the starting point of the trek. Meet your trekking crew, then start hiking for three to four hours on a trail that leads gradually uphill along the banks of the Pa Chu River. You'll camp in a tent at Thongduzam. The following day, trek for a short distance as your body gets used to the lack of oxygen. You'll get your first view of Jomolhari, the mountain known as "the bride of Kangchenjunga." The campsite is a short hike ahead at Soi Tangthangka.

Hike through an open landscape of high ridges and snow-capped peaks on the way to the next campsite in Jangothang. You'll have a free day to rest here—luckily, it's one of the best campsites in the Himalayas, and you can do a short day hike for a close-up view of Jomolhari and its glaciers. The next day is the trek's most challenging: climb to high-altitude Tshopu Lake, then cross Bhonte La Pass toward a fabulous view of the peak of Tserim Kang. Cross the eastern ridge of the Soi Yaksa Valley and camp in a wide, grassy valley on the last night of the journey. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Discover Western Bhutan

Focus on beautiful Western Bhutan on this week-long itinerary that features a high-altitude picnic in the mountains, hiking in the glacial valley of Phobjikha, an evening prayer ceremony in Punakha, and the classic trek to Tiger's Nest Monastery. 

Monks in the garden of Simtokha Dzong in Thimphu
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Thimphu & Sightsee Thimphu
Day 2 Tour Thimphu's Cultural Attractions Phobjikha
Day 3 Explore Phobjikha, the "Valley of the Cranes" Phobjikha
Day 4 Attend a Prayer Ceremony in Punakha Punakha
Day 5 Take in Sweeping Mountain Views at Dochu La Pass Paro
Day 6 Hike to the Tiger's Nest Monastery Paro
Day 7 Depart Bhutan  

Begin in Thimphu, where you'll get oriented in Bhutan with a half-day tour of the city's historic temples and monuments. Then travel through the forest to Dochu La Pass to enjoy spectacular mountain views. Continue onward to the Phobjikha Valley, also known as the "Valley of the Cranes." The next day, hike along a nature trail to the wetlands where black-necked cranes reside in winter, then learn about the species at a dedicated information center.

Visit Punakha Dzong and the fertility temple of Chimi Lhakhang before attending a prayer ceremony at a nunnery. You'll return to Dochu La Pass for a high-altitude hike, enjoying a picnic lunch outside Lungchutse Temple. Take some time in the evening to explore the lovely Paro Valley—stop at the Ta Dzong (watchtower), which houses the National Museum—before wrapping up the trip with a hike to the Tiger's Nest Monastery on Day 6. 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. 


Map of 1 Week in Bhutan - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 1 Week in Bhutan - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas