Bhutan | Central Bhutan Walking Adventure
Explore the Land of the Thunderdragon
9 Days / 8 Nights
Activity LevelActivity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
Bhutan is the last Mahayana Buddhist Kingdom and the teachings of this school of Buddhism are intrinsic to the daily life of its people. Explore the Land of the Thunderdragon on this active adventure that follows Buddhist teachings that we are not set apart from nature but rather that we are part of it. Approach the country actively by biking in villages, walking up to pilgrimage sites in the hills and trekking along trails in search of bird life in the Gangtey Valley. View the stunning Himalayan scenery from high passes decorated with prayer flags. Wander through ancient dzongs and marvel at Tiger’s Nest Monastery, perched high above the valley on the side of a cliff. Explore the remote Haa Valley where you have the option to stay in a family farmhouse. Here, the spinning of prayer wheels, the murmur of mantras and the glow of butter lamps in the houses are still important features of the everyday life.
A few more reason you have to go:
Visit Tiger's Nest Monastery
See Black-necked cranes in Phobjikha Valley
Explore the remote Haa Valley
Paro International Airport PBH
Paro International Airport PBH
Arrival in Bhutan - Thimphu
Your flight is a spectacular introduction to Bhutan! In clear weather you will have magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks and the the lush green Paro Valley as you land. Transfer to Thimphu and explore the capitol of Bhutan. In the evening visit the National Memorial Chorten.
About Tashi Yoedling
Situated within the heart of the Thimphu valley and overlooking the National Memorial Chorten, Tashi Yoedling is a 19-room hotel that captures the best of both worlds: it offers easy access for city exploration but still has amazing views of the Tashicho Dzong and the glorious mountains that adorn Bhutan. Each room is heated and features wifi, an in-room safe, and tasteful Bhutanese furnishing.
Awake to a spectacular breakfast at a viewpoint overlooking the Thimphu valley. During your short transfer to the view point, stop to visit Bhutan’s National animal, the Takin. After breakfast, steadily climb for an hour or so through forests of blue pine, oak and dogwood to Wangditse Goemba temple at 8,700 feet where the views of the Thimphu Valley are spectacular. Explore the weekend market in Thimphu and visit the Chamglmithang Archery Ground to watch Bhutan’s national game.
Thimphu - Gangtey
Depart for the drive to Gangtey, stopping at Gochela Pass which offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges and is marked with 100 stupas on a small hillock. Continue on to the gentle sloping hillsides of Phobjikha Valley which is described as “the most beautiful valley in the Himalayas”. This is the winter home of black necked cranes that migrate from arid plains in the north to pass winter in the milder lowland climate.
About RKPO Green Resort
RKPO Green Resort is located in Gangtey Gonpa. The rooms are decorated in a mix of both modern and traditional Bhutanese decor, all with private see through big windows with comfortable seating area. Facilities include spa, hot tub, bar, lounge, and restaurant with a menu of Western classics, traditional Asian favorites, and dishes that offer a taste of Bhutan. Rooms include wifi, en-suite bathrooms with bath tub.
Punakha and Wangdue
Begin your walk today at the Khamsung Yuely Namgyel Temple where you will enjoy grand views of the Mo Chu River Valley below. Descend from the temple and follow a well-worn path down the valley through rice fields and small villages. Continue walking to the Punakha Dzong, which was constructed in 1637.
About Zhingkham Resort
Overlooking majestic Punakha Dzong, river and magnificent surrounding hills, Zhingkham Resort offers 40 comfortable, spacious and elegantly furnished rooms. Each room offers private balconies featuring beautifully carved wooden railings which are well positioned to take advantage of the striking views of the valley. Rooms are air-conditioned with en-suite bath, wifi, TV, and safety boxes. The bar and restaurant provide Bhutanese, Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisine overlooking the lush valley.
Punakha - Haa Valley
Visit Kila Gompa, a nunnery perched on a steep cliff at 10,000 feet. This site houses 7 small temples and about 70 nuns. You may opt to stay overnight at Haatoe, a farmhouse at Haa at 2955m which is located near a local temple.
About Soednam Zingkha Heritage Lodge
Soednam Zingkha Heritage Lodge is an immaculately restored traditional farm house nestled in the village of Hatey that combines heritage with modern comfort. Situated on two acres of land, the lodge boasts fifteen guest rooms, a reception area, a fully equipped kitchen, a dining area, and lounge. Hand-painted murals adorn the earthen walls and ancient timber throughout the lodge. Comfortable bedding, heated rooms, and modern bathrooms to create an unforgettable atmosphere of authentic Bhutan. There is a Choesham (altar room), where you can spend time in meditation
Explore Haa Valley
On the Western side of Bhutan lays the Haa Valley, the least populated and smallest district in Bhutan. As this area opened to tourism less than 10 years ago, it is less developed compared to Paro, Thimphu and Bumthang. Here you will find dense forests, fields of wheat and barley, and families raising livestock. Visit the Black Temple and White Temple and drive to Yotong village by the Haa Chhu River where you can hike to a 300-year-old Gompa dedicated to the Guru Rimpoche.
Paro and Tigers Nest
Drive the winding road to Drukgyal Dzong, the ruined fortress, which once defended this valley from Tibetan invasions. Continue to Ramthangkha, from where you will hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s Nest), which clings to the rocks towering 2600 feet above the valley. On the way back, visit Kychu Lhakhang, the oldest Buddhist temple in Bhutan, built in the 7th century by the first king of Tibet. Also explore Paro Rimpung Dzong, one of Bhutan’s most impressive and well-known temples. Walk from the Dzong to the old traditional covered wooden bridge and stroll along the west bank of the river.
About Khangkhu Resort
Perched in the mountains above the Paro airport, and opposite the Paro Dzong and the National Museum, Khangkhu is strategically located. Here you have amazing views of the Paro valley from your room and dining verandas. Facilities include restaurants, bar, spa and lounge. Each room is equipped with attached bathroom, cable TV, coffee/tea maker and high-speed internet.
Arrival & Departure
Your trip begins on Day 1 with your arrival into Paro International Airport. On arrival, you will be met by an Austin Adventures representative who will transfer you to Tashi Yoedling for check-in. On Day 9, you will be transferred to Paro International Airport for your flight home approximately 3 hours prior to check-in
- Tiger’s Nest Monastery
- Black-necked cranes in Phobjikha Valley
- Farm stay
- Village hiking
- Punakha Dzong
Bhutan is the last Mahayana Buddhist Kingdom and the teachings of this school of Buddhism are intrinsic to the daily life of its people. Explore the Land of the Thunderdragon on this active adventure that follows Buddhist teachings that we are not set apart from nature but rather that we are part of it.
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions are included as indicated by itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in the Trip Price
- Standard Accommodation, as noted or similar
- Bhutan Visa (Wildland will obtain approval letter in advance)
- All meals while in Bhutan
- A/C vehicle and driver including airport transfers
- Specialist full time guide-escort in Bhutan
- Guided tours and excursions including entrance fees
- Airport-hotel transfers on scheduled dates
- Complimentary water during all transfers, drives and sightseeing
Not Included in the Trip Price
- International airfare and Druk Air flights
- Airport taxes
- Tips and gratuities
- Drinks, alcoholic beverages, water in restaurants, and meals other than listed above
- Personal expenses for extra services, optional activities, or changes beyond our control
- Travel insurance for trip cancellation, medical services, or evacuation
- Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
- Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
SOUTHEAST ASIA EXPERT
Curtis brings more than 10 years of professional travel experience to Austin Adventures. During this time he has explored some of the world’s most distinctive and culturally rich destinations. Highlights include riding the rails of India, teaching rural health education in the Peruvian Andes, learning to scuba dive in Australia, gorilla trekking in Uganda, mentoring students in Costa Rica, trekking through Asia’s Golden Triangle, exploring Cuba’s countryside by horseback, and learning to tango in Buenos Aires. Curtis’s professional resume includes years on the ground in Southeast Asia supervising a destination management company as well as roles in product development with several of North America’s largest young adult and adventure travel companies.