Bhutan Highlights Tour - 6 Days

Overview

Bhutan Highlights Tours is a tour package, in which, you get to spend five nights and six days, in the Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan, visiting places and things that are worthy of note to the Bhutanese culture, tradition, history and religion. This is a guided tour where you are confined to the cities of Thimphu, Paro and Punakha and their surroundings.

Bhutan, where the Bhutan Highlights Tours takes place, is a country that lies in the Himalayan Region to the East of Nepal. It is a landlocked country that is surrounded by India on three sides to the south and the autonomous region of Tibet to the North, from where much of its historical interaction had taken place, giving much in terms of religion, impressing upon its architecture and to an extent, its social norms had been manifested. Though much of what is there in Bhutan presently had independently evolved. Bhutan is the only country on earth where its carbon rating is on the negative side of the spectrum. It has a forest mass coverage of over 60 percent. This is because, not like other countries that measure its economic growth in its gross domestic product, in Bhutan, it is done by its evaluation of gross domestic happiness. Another thing with the country, its total agricultural output is based on sustainable and organic farming. This also makes the country self-sufficient in healthy food. The philosophies of Buddhism are enshrined in its constitution which has not only helped to keep alive its historical artifacts in pristine conditions but is used to instill into the benefit of its people. So much so, the Dragon Kingdom has much to show the world of what it has from the past and what it still frames from it, at present. In this Bhutan Highlights Tours, this is what is highlighted to you in your five nights and six days’ stay here. Plus you might consider taking other Bhutan Tour Package as per your duration or a Bhutan Hike if you like a nice unique rural setting.

What does Bhutan Highlights Tours give you in a period of five days and six nights? Much, if you take the length of time into consideration. Starting off, your entry into the Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan is done afloat the National Carrier of the Nation at its only International Airport in Paro. Coming in from Nepal takes you on a two hour flight over some of the amazing terrain. To the north, it is the High Himalayan with their ever covered snow-capped mountains with heights ranging from six thousand to over eight thousand as if floating in clouds. You fly over the lush green verdure hills dotted with villages atop them, with sloping valleys and fasting flowing rivers oozing from glaciers emancipating from the north and gorges here and there cut because of them. Then you make a dramatic landing in the valley of Paro. It is from here that your tour begins to various destinations of note in the three cities of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha and their surrounding vicinities. Each having something unique to offer in their own ways. In the tours, you visit Buddha’s Point that has a gigantic Shakyamuni Buddha statue made to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the fourth king, King Memorial Chorten, Farmer’s Market, Folk Heritage Museum, Tashichho Dzong, which is a Buddhist monastery on the edge of Thimphu on the west banks of Wang Cho River that was once a fortress. Then, there is Dochula pass (3140m), where if the weather is clear you get a lovely view of the Himalayan snow-capped mountain peaks, Chimi Lhakhang, the fertility temple dedicated to Drukpa Kunley who is also known as the Divine Madman. Then there is the visit to Gangtey while we pass over Wangdue and Phobijikha Valleys supposedly the most beautiful in Bhutan. Then there is the two and half hour hike to Taktsang Monastery where it is believed that Guru Padmasambhava flew on the back of a tigress to meditate. The monastery is atop a vertical cliff. Then again there is the visit to Kychu Lhakhang – the oldest shrine in the country and the Paro Ringpond Dzong. They and much more make this tour amazing for anyone to take a tour of in the Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan.

What is the lodging like on this tour?
You get full board lodging on the Bhutan Highlights Tour where you are lodged at a three-star hotel and above with full meals of Breakfast, lunch and dinner plus while on tour from venue to venue, you are transported by private vehicle with a driver and your tour guide.

Outline Itinerary for Bhutan Highlights Tour
Day 01 : Arrive Paro (2,250m) – Thimphu (2,350m)
Day 02 : Thimphu – Punakha (1,310m)
Day 03 : Punakha – Thimphu (2,350m)
Day 04 : Thimphu – Day excursion to Haa Valley (2,740m) – Paro (2,250m)
Day 05 : Paro – Hike to Taktsang Monastery (3,120m)
Day 06 : Paro depart

Trip Highlights

  • Witness majestic views of the world greatest Himalayas onboard flying in/out from Paro.
  • Explore Paro exploding with colors and tradition.
  • Visit the tiny capital of Thimphu.
  • Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’- one of the most famous monasteries in Bhutan.
  • Visit Punakha Dzong – the most beautiful monastery in Bhutan.
  • Visit Kyichu Lhakhang - the oldest & most sacred shrines in Bhutan.
  • Witness Bhutanese culture, tradition and day to day lifestyles of Bhutanese people.

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival Paro (2250m) – Thimphu (2350m)

Today you arrive in Paro aboard a flight at the International Airport where you will be welcomed by the staff and guide of your tour in Bhutan. On completing lunch, you will be driven for an hour to Thimphu where you will visit Buddha Point built in the 1960 to commemorate the fourth Kings sixtieth anniversary. Then it is, the King Memorial Chorten from where, it is straight to farmer’s market to see handmade handicraft and organic products on sale. And from there it is to the Tashichho Dzong. Then we go to your hotel in Thimphu for your night’s stay.

Day 2
Thimphu - Punakha (1,310m)

Today after completing breakfast, we head for Punakha via Dochula Pass at 3,140 metres, where if it is a clear day, we get majestic Himalayan snow-capped views. Further on the way, we take a short hike to Chimi Lhakhang which is the temple for fertility in honour of Drukpa Kunley. In Punakha we check into a hotel for the night.

Day 3
Punakha - Gangtey (2,320m)

Today we drive from Punakha to Gangtey passing through Wangdue to the Phobijikha Valley, which happens to be the most beautiful in Bhutan. In Gangtey, we take a trip to the Gangtey Monastery. We stay the night at a hotel.

Day 4
Gangtey - Paro (2,250m)

Today, we drive back to Paro by the same way we came here and passing Dochula Pass. At Paro, we check into our hotel for the night.

Day 5
Paro - Hike to Taktsang Monastery 'Tiger's Nest' (3,120m)

Today, we go by vehicle to the base of Taktsang and hike the hill to the Taktsang Monastery in about two and half hours. It is beleieved that the Guru Padmasambhava came to this place flying on the back of a tigress to meditate for three months in the 8th century. It is built vertically on the edge of a cliff. Later we visit Kychu Lhakhang – the oldest shrine in the country and Paro Ringpond Dzong. We stay the night at a hotel.

Day 6
Depart Bhutan

Today, we are taken to the International Airport in Paro, where we are bid farewell for our outbound flight to our next destination.
At Breakfree Adventure, our only hope is that we provided you with a fabulous tour of Bhutan, where we take your security and comfort of high importance.

Cost

What is Included

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
  • 3-star accommodation throughout your Bhutan stay (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium).
  • Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing.
  • Route Permit.
  • Three meals per day - Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner (only breakfast on last day)
  • A licensed English Speaking Bhutanese tour guide.
  • All land transportation by a private vehicle.
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary.
  • Monuments entrance fees wherever applicable.
  • Bottled drinking water.
  • All internal taxes and charges.
  • A sustainable development fee of $65. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)

What is Not Included

  • Airfare & Travel Insurance.
  • Expenses of personal nature, Tips & Gratuities.
  • Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.
Where is Bhutan located?

Bhutan is located in the eastern Himalayas and a landlocked country. Bhutan is surrounded by three sides by India with The Tibetan autonomous region of China in the north. The three sides that connect Bhutan with India are Arunachal Pradesh in the east, Assam and West Bengal in the south and Sikkim in the West. Bhutan is ruled by a king and only one Buddhist nation in the world.

When is the best time to visit Bhutan?

The best time to visit Bhutan is spring (March-May) and Autumn/fall (September-November). It will be clear weather and great climate in spring with Varieties of flowers and plants in bloom. Autumn has mild weather with cold mornings and evenings. Summer (June-August) and winter (December to February) also draw tourists to Bhutan. Winter season (December to February) is less crowded and it may snow with temperature level going down below freezing point.

Do you need a visa to enter Bhutan?

Visa to enter Bhutan is required for any international travelers. Visa needs to be applied through a licensed Bhutanese travel agent of one of it’s international partners. One can’t individually apply for Bhutan visa. But Indian nationals including Bangladesh, Maldives citizens won’t require a visa.

How much is Bhutan visa fee?

Bhutan visa fee is US$40 per person which must be paid including your entire tour cost before your Bhutan arrival. Afterward, a visa clearance letter is sent to you and the actual visa will be stamped on your passports only upon arrival in Bhutan.

How do I get to Bhutan?

You can either get to Bhutan by flight or overland. Only two airlines fly to Bhutan, Druk Air- the national flag carrier and Bhutan Airlines – private company. They also fly from only certain cities like Kathmandu, Delhi, Bangkok, Singapore, Dhaka. Via overland is from Indian border only – Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar.

Is travelling solo in Bhutan possible?

Travelling solo in Bhutan is possible but one must book/come through a tour operator that means you can’t individually travel or apply for visa like in other countries. You can either join a group or have your private tour.

What is Bhutan travel cost per day?

Bhutan travel cost per day is $200 per night (low season) and $250 per night (high season) per person. It includes 3 star accommodations, costs for food, an experienced guide and transportation (with driver). This cost also includes $65 per day royalty that goes towards free education, free healthcare and poverty alleviation,

Is there a limit on the number of tourists entering Bhutan each year?

There is no limit on the number of tourists entering Bhutan each year. The Bhutanese government has adopted a strict policy of “High Value, Low Impact Tourism” to protect it’s culture, traditions and natural environment. This policy is aimed to attract discerning tourists who will respect Bhutan’s unique culture and values of the Bhutanese people.

What currency is used in Bhutan?

Currency is used in Bhutan is called Ngultrum. Its value is tied up to the Indian Rupee which is also accepted as legal tender. Ngultrum is divided into 100 smaller units called Chetrum (Ch). The latest series of Ngultrum has the denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. Coins are available in denominations of Ch1, Ch5, Ch10, Ch25, Ch50 and Nu1.

What is the food like in Bhutan?

Bhutanese cuisine specialty is its spiciness. Nearly every dish has chilies and most Bhutanese won’t enjoy a meal without the spiciness. Rice is the main part of Bhutanese meal which is accompanied by one or two side dishes of meat or vegetables. Most often pork, beef or chicken is eaten. You can also find many restaurants with a great selection of western and Indian foods.

I am a vegetarian, is it okay?

No worries. Most of the hotels will serve good vegetarian dishes though there are very limited vegetables in operation.

Can I stay at the farmhouse or home-stay?

Yes, you can and farmhouse or home-stay is available and you need to inform your travel agent during booking your tour.

Can I have the game of archery?

Surely, you can which your friendly guides shall be happy to assist you with.

Are there luxury hotels in Bhutan?

There are many luxury hotels in Bhutan at places like Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey and Bumthang. They are world-class 5 star luxury hotels with state of the art facilities. Such hotels include Taj Tashi, Amen Kora, Uma Paro, Uma Punakha, Le-meridian etc. Plus there are also several 4 star hotels which are equally great.

How is road transportation in Bhutan?

Transportation in Bhutan is getting better with rapid growth in it’s infrastructures. Earlier it was difficult with no proper means of transportation and only mule/horse are available or traveling has to be on foot. But modern Bhutan is now connected with highways and Different luxurious cars, SUVs, buses and coaster buses are available for tourists.

How is shopping in Bhutan?

One can find many things for shopping in Bhutan which include handicrafts, fabrics, textiles etc. Major Bhutanese cities have many shopping stores. These goods are manufactured in Bhutan showcasing it’s unique culture and traditions. Items on sale will be handwoven fabrics, carved masks, woven baskets, wooden bowls, handmade paper, postage stamps, finely crafted metal objects, thangkha paintings, bamboo bowls, handmade papers, prayer beads, singing bowls incense, prayer flags, ornaments etc.

What are the major festivals of Bhutan?

Festivals in Bhutan are called ‘Tschechu’ which is attended by locals and tourists alike. Major festivals of Bhutan include Paro Tschechu, Thimphu Tschechu, Punakha Tschechu, Jambay Lhakhang Drup, Black-necked crane festival among many festivals celebrated round the year in Bhutan.

What are Places to Visit in Bhutan?

Most popular and visited Places to Visit in Bhutan are Paro – where Bhutan’s only international airport is, Thimphu – the tiny capital, Punakha – the old capital as well as Gangtey – where the beautiful Phobijikha Valley is located then further up to Bumthang. Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ located outskirts of Paro town is the major highlight of any Bhutan travel.

What’s the communication system in Bhutan?

Basic communication facilities are available in most of the major towns and cities. These includes telephone, faxes and internet services. Wi-fi and internet are available at most of the big hotels. Bhutanese sim card can also be bought. Bhutan postal service sends or receives any parcels from outside. DHL or FedEx is also there in the capital city.

What is the packing list for Bhutan trip?

Packing list for Bhutan trip depends upon your time of travel. In October, November, December, January and February very warm clothes are required. It’s warm during April, May, June, July, August and September so carrying light cloths is recommended. Rain gears are highly recommended during the rainy season (June-August). Since Bhutan is a religious country so shorts, skirts, tight clothing, sun caps need to be avoided at monasteries or temples. For any trekking programs, your tour operator shall provide the necessary trek equipment as per the trekking grade.

Trip Information

Bhutan Visa Information:
The citizen of Bangladesh, Maldives and India do not require VISA to enter Bhutan. People from other countries except from Bangladesh, Maldives and India need a VISA permit while traveling to Bhutan. The VISA processing for Bhutan requires a readable color copy of passport via email that has at least six month of validity from the date of exit from Bhutan. The file Scan Copy should be forwarded to via email in JPEG or PDF format. The passport number and picture of the applicant should be visible in the e-document.

The application should be processed at least 10 days prior to the date of entry to Bhutan. The tourism council of Bhutan then issues a VISA clearance letter and fax or email it to the local travel agent. Please note that the VISA service is not offered in Bhutan, travelers have to buy full service package from the local tour operator. Travelers traveling by air are required to produce a printed VISA clearance copy at the time of check-in for Druk Air flight. People traveling by land to enter Bhutan via Phuentshoking or Samdrup Jonkhar are required to produce a VISA clearance letter at the immigration center. The actual VISA is stamped in your passport on your arrival in Bhutan.

Flights to Bhutan:
There are several cities that have direct flights to Bhutan. There are two airlines Druk air and Bhutan airlines running the flights to Bhutan. Druk air is the national carrier of Bhutan. With its fleet of Airbuses A319-115 and ATR 42 the airlines fly from different Asian countries to the Paro international airport, Paro (PBH); which is only the international airport in Bhutan. There are daily direct flights from Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu to Paro International Airport.

The flights from Indian cities to Paro International Airport with the airport name and their codes are listed below:
Bagdogra Airport, Bagdogra (IXB)
Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi  (DEL)
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata (CCU)
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai (BOM)

Likewise, there flights from other countries with the codes are as follows:
Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand (BKK)
Shahjalal International Airport, Bangladesh (DAC)
Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore (SIN)

Note: The flight schedule and timings are subject to change. If you want to know more about the flight schedules and tour to Bhutan please feel free to contact us. We can also help to find you the cheapest fares available.

Best time to visit Bhutan:
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan lies in south Asia between China and India. Climate and weather vary according to the altitude, season and place of visit. Bhutan is open all year around for the visitors but it is better to make the travel arrangements as per your preference and nature of visit.

The ideal time to visit Bhutan is spring (March-May) and Autumn/fall (September-November). These are considered to be the best time to visit Bhutan to get the maximum adventure and trouble free experience. Summer and winter also have their own specialties that could draw the attention of tourists during these seasons.  During the spring the weather mostly remains clear and climate is fantastic. It is also the best time to visit for the nature lovers to experience the mystifying beauty of nature. Varieties of flowers and plants bloom in this season that makes your adventure an exotic one. The route opens for Jomolhari and Druk Path treks from mid-April to May.

Summer (June-August) in the other hand could get tricky at times due to the early arrival of monsoon. The month of June would be great for traveling if the monsoon is pushed further. Usually monsoon is in full swing by early July. Travelers who would strive to get some trekking experience on muddy trail while witnessing swollen rivers, green forests and flourishing paddy field could choose late summer to plan their adventure. The view of open clear blue sky after the rain is something that strikes you with its mystifying beauty.

Fall (September-November) is another favorable and crowded season after spring. The weather gets mild despite cold mornings and evenings. Tourists from all around the world thong to Bhutan during this season to witness Black-Necked-Crane festival. The month of October has its own significance and the valley turn into a shade of gold as the farmers prepare to harvest their rice crops during this month.

Winter season (December to February) is not that crowded with tourists in comparison to other seasons. Planning your adventure during the winter could be a better idea if you want to avoid the hustle-bustle of the peak season. During the winter Bhutan may see some snow fall. The temperature level goes down (even below freezing point) during some winter days.

VACCINATION FOR BHUTAN:
No vaccinations are presently required However, the following vaccinations are recommended:
Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A is a virus that infects the liver. The disease is distinctly unpleasant, with profound nausea, loss of appetite, and weakness.
Tetanus: Tetanus bacteria can infect small wounds and cause a fatal infection.
Typhoid Fever: Typhoid fever is caused by infection with Salmonella typhi bacteria, passed in human feces and acquired by eating contaminated food or water.

WEATHER IN BHUTAN:
Bhutan lies in South Asia between China and India in the Himalayas, weather in Bhutan depends upon the altitude. In the northern parts of the country where mountains rise up to 7,000m, weather conditions are similar to arctic. Southwards, closer to India, the weather is hot and humid in the summer and cool in winter. The monsoon rains are usually heavy. Winters can be a good time to visit the lower parts, but then the highest areas are freezing.

The best times to visit Bhutan are spring (March-May) and autumn (late September – November) when the weather is warm, dry and sunny but always throw in a couple of warm clothes into your travelling gear when you travel to Bhutan regardless of the season.

WHAT TO WEAR AND BRING:
Layering Clothing
Bring your clothes according to the season and region of your travel. Based on your activity and the weather, you can make quick adjustments, by putting on more clothing if it is cold or taking off layers as it warms up. In the summer time, days can be quite warm, especially in the lowlands of Punakha and Phuentsholing, light cotton clothing is recommended for day time. But in most of the tourist and trekking areas, light woolen clothes for evenings and heavy woollens / down jackets for winter are necessary. A waterproof windbreaker is important for trekking and outdoor activities.

Comfortable and Sturdy shoes.
You have a lot of opportunity to walk around in Bhutan, you will be glad you wore sturdy shoes that keep your feet comfortable. Good shoes will let you explore the rural and allow you to have a long day walk. Bring sandals or slip ons to take off easily when entering temples.

Long pants / skirts
Wear particularly conservative clothing in the towns, women should wear long pants or long skirts, men should wear long pants and shorts are not appropriate for anyone. In the dzongs and temples, the legs and arms must be covered, and even threequarter-length capri pants are not acceptable for women.
Rain gear
Be prepared for occasional shower. A folding umbrella is a good idea to bring with.

Hat, Sunglass, Sunscreen & lip protection.
The sun can be scorching in Bhutan. Be sure to apply sunscreen in the morning and throughout your day.

Other requirements:
-A quality sleeping bag.
-Waterproof gators.
-A headlamp torch and a normal torch. (Including spare batteries.)
-Binoculars and Camera.
-Small day pack.
-Water bottle
-Towel
-Small medical kit that includes aspirin, motion sickness tablets, diamox.(The guide carries a larger Medical kit but please bring own travel medications)
-Antiseptic hand gel for disinfecting hands without water.
-Mini-flashlight

DIFFERENT CURRENCY ACCEPTED BY BHUTAN BANK:
Credit cards are accepted only in major international hotels and high-end shops in Bhutan.

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Bhutan Highlights Tour

Trip Facts

  • Bhutan
  • 05 Nights/06 Days
  • March to May & September to November
  • Private vehicle
  • Taktsang Monastery (3,120m)
  • Easy
  • Paro, Bhutan
  • Paro, Bhutan
  • Sightseeing/Hiking
  • Cultural & Nature Tour
  • Taktsang Monastery, Paro Ringpng Dzong, Buddha's Point
  • Government approved 3 stars and Above

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