On your arrival at the Paro Airport, you will be received by your Tour guide from Sakten Tours and Treks and escorted to your hotel. After a brief rest and some refreshments at the hotel visit the Ta-Dzong, the National Museum (closed on Sundays and Mondays), which was originally the watch tower of the Paro Dzong and stands imposingly on a hillock overlooking the Paro valley. A short visit here will give you an idea of the cultural and ecological richness of Bhutan. Next, visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong, the 'fortress of the heap of jewels' and on to Dungtse Lhakhang by crossing Namai zampa (a traditional cantilever bridge). This Lhakhang is conceived as a 'mandala' with the different storeys corresponding to different levels of initiation and has a remarkable collection of some of Bhutan's most interesting paintings. O/n: Hotel Gangtey Palace/Olathang, Paro
Drive up to Drugyal Dzong to see the ruins of the Dzong, the Dzong played an important role in defending the Paro valley from Tibetan invasion. On the way back to the town, stop at Satsam chorten and hike up to the Taktsang Monastery. The Taktsang Monastery is situated perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of about 900 m. It is said that during the second half of the eight century, Guru Padma Sambhava, known as the second Buddha in Bhutan arrived here flying on the back of a flying Tigress and meditated on the same spot where the monastery is situated today for over 3 months to subdue the demons in this region. The round trip hike with picnic lunch at the cafeteria takes about 4-5 hours. On the way back, visit a traditional Bhutanese farm house to experience the Bhutanese hospitality. O/n: Hotel Gangtey Palace/Olathang, Paro.
Early morning, drive to Punakha. On the way, stop at the Dochula pass with its fluttering prayer flags and 108 beautiful miniature chortens built by the eldest Queen of Bhutan. On a clear fine day, you will also get breathtakingly beautiful glimpses of the towering Himalayan peaks around. Lunch at the Dochula cafeteria. In Punakha, check into the hotel and visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong strategically situated between two rivers known as Phochu ( Male river) and Mochu (Female river).. Evening: A leisure stroll in the small town of Punakha. O/n: Hotel Zangdopelrig/Meripunsum, Punakha
Morning, hike up to Khamsum Yule Chorten - a three storey shrine with beautiful and complex paintings built by the Queen of Bhutan. It's a mild walk of about 20 minutes uphill. Visit Chimi Lhakhang in the village of Lobesa (20 mins from Punakha), the auspicious fertility temple built by the famous divine madman. It's a beautiful 30 min walk amidst terraces of paddy fields, chilly plantations and typical Bhutanese houses. Picnic lunch on the way back. Drive on to the small town of Wangduephodrang. It's a scenic 45 min drive. Visit the Dzong here which is one of the most beautiful Dzongs in Bhutan. Check out the small unique town of wangduephodrang and drive back to Punakha. O/n: Hotel Zangdopelrig/Meripunsum, Punakha
Drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. On the way, at the Dochula pass (2 hrs from Punakha), stop for some tea and snacks. On arrival at Thimphu, check into the hotel. After lunch at the hotel, visit the National Library which has a vast collection of ancient manuscripts and the Zorig Chusum (Institute of traditional arts and crafts) where young students are taught the art of making mud/wooden statues, painting of Thankhas and various traditional arts and crafts Also visit the Handicrafts emporium where a vast collection of Bhutanese textile/fabrics and arts/crafts are displayed and can be purchased. O/n: Hotel Phuntshopelrig/Jumolhari, Thimphu.
Visit the Changankha Lhakhang and then drive on to Sangaygang view point. The entire view of the Thimphu valley can be seen beautifully from here. On the way visit the Mini Takin Zoo (Bhutan's National animal). Drive past Zilukha nunnery to see the most amazing view of Tashichhodzong. Visit the Dzong in all its grandeur which serves as the seat of Bhutan's government. After lunch, visit the traditional hospital, the traditional gold and silver smith unit and the Bhutanese paper making unit. Evening: At leisure or shopping. O/n: Hotel Phuntshopelrig/Jumolhari, Thimphu.