Find out what lights up the faces of the residents of Bhutan, the only country in the world that measures its well-being in GNH—Gross National Happiness. On a 10-day adventure across this bastion of Buddhist culture, explore remote mountain villages and shrines and climb magnificent heights to the cliff-side Taktsang Monastery, 900 meters (2,953 feet) above the valley floor. Amid the soaring peaks and cultural delights of this ancient place, discover your own capacity for happiness.
Explore Bhutan’s capital city as
well as remote shrines and temples
nestled in the countryside.
Talk with a Buddhist monk, visit an
arts-and-crafts school, and enjoy
a home-cooked meal at a family
Hike to the legendary Taktsang
Lhakhang (Tiger’s Nest Temple).
Itinerary - 10 Days
Day 1 — Paro
Arrive at any time and transfer
to our hotel. Visit Rinpung Dzong, a school for
monks, and take an orientation walk in town
before dinner. (1D)
Days 2 & 3 — Punakha
Drive to Punakha,
Bhutan’s ancient capital, crossing the Dochu
La pass (10,000 feet) and enjoying stunning
views of the Himalaya through flickering prayer
flags. The next day, visit the Punakha Dzong,
an elaborate fortress guarding the southern
end of the valley at the confluence of the Pho
(male) and Mo (female) Rivers. Hike to the
Chime Lhakhang temple and continue on to
the town of Wangdue Phodrang. In the afternoon,
hike through rice terraces and forests to
Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, a spectacularly
situated temple, and take in sweeping
views of the valley below. (2B, 2L, 2D)
Days 4 & 5 — Gangtey Valley
Travel to the
village of Khewa before continuing on to the
Gangtey Valley to get a taste of Bhutanese
life. Visit the farm of a local family and enjoy
a home-cooked dinner. The next day, walk
to Gangtey Goemba, one of the oldest
Nyingmapa monasteries in Bhutan, perched
atop a hill amid a cluster of cottages. Explore
the restored temple complex and examine
some of the finest craftsmanship in Bhutan.
Visit a community school, followed by a spectacular
walk through the valley to visit an age-old
temple and make an offering. (2B, 2L, 2D)
Day 6 — Thimphu
Drive to Thimphu, the capital
of Bhutan and home to the royal family. Visit the
National Library and observe pilgrims circling
the beautiful National Memorial Chorten, a
whitewashed stuppa stopped by a golden spire.
Then head to the National Institute for Zorig
Chusum, an arts-and-crafts school where we
can watch students practicing traditional arts
such as woodworking, painting, and ceramics. Meet with a Buddhist monk
and scholar to discuss Buddhist beliefs and
traditions. (1B, 1L, 1D)
Day 7 — Haa Valley
Drive to the Haa Valley,
one of the most remote and sacred valleys
in Bhutan, via the Cheli La pass (12,500 feet).
En route, hike to the Kila Goemba nunnery
and take in spectacular views from the temple
complex, which was built on a steep cliff face.
Drive to the valley and visit the Lhakhang
Nagpo (Black Temple) and Lhakhang Karpo
(White Temple). (1B, 1L, 1D)
Days 8 & 9 — Paro
Return to Paro and explore
the ruins of the Drukgyel Dzong fortress,
which once defended this valley from invasions.
Embark on a vigorous hike to the famed
pilgrimage site of Taktsang Lhakhang or the
Tiger’s Nest Temple, which
clings to a vertical granite cliff nearly 3,000
feet above the valley floor. Take in some of
the best views in the region. Later, visit the
seventh-century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of
Bhutan’s oldest temples, and walk the local
archery grounds. (2B, 2L, 2D)
Day 10 — Paro
Depart at any time. Airport
transfer is included. (1B)
Offered in partnership with G Adventures, our National Geographic Journeys line blends fun, hands-on exploration, meaningful encounters with people and cultures, and more free time and choices—with the structure and security of traveling in a small group.
Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.
Contact Us: 1-800-281-2354
Call to speak with a specialist about this trip.
All trip prices are per person based on double occupancy. If you're traveling on your own, we'll pair you up with a roommate of the same gender so that you can pay the same rate as other travelers. Prices are subject to change without notice and do not include airfare. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars.
My Own Room
During your trip, sometimes it's just more convenient and comfortable to have your own room. That's why we offer the "My Own Room" option - a single room all to yourself.
My Own Room Option: From $1,509
Arrival and departure
transfers, transport between destinations and
to/from included activities, and activities as
listed in the itinerary.
Accommodations Comfortable, mid-range
hotels and lodges that reflect the local character
Meals Included 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches,
Transportation Private vehicle, hiking
You can do whatever you wish during your free time on tour, but if you're in need of suggestions, we've got them. Details about any optional experiences for this trip will be available during the booking process. Please note, these are at an additional cost.