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  • Trip Excludes
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Eco-conscious, framed by the majestic Himalayas, steep in tradition and spirituality, in Bhutan you are a world away from the daily grind.

Let yourself dazzled by the splendor of the festivals and the ritual dances performed in a riot of color and sound. Love the ambiance in the streets of Thimphu and Gangtey as you join two of the most famous festivals of the year: Thimphu Tshechu and Gangtey Tshechu. See monks performing with outstanding energy sacred mask dances like the Dance of the Stags.

Explore remote mountain villages and climb the magnificent Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Enjoy a traditional hot stone bath and learn about traditional Bhutanese herbal medicine. Make merry and Himalayan memories in this wonder-full 8 days journey. Visit Bhutan before it changes.


Day 1: Touch down in magical Bhutan

Step off the plane at Paro Airport and breath in the fresh mountain air. Welcome to Bhutan! Your private guide and driver will wait for you.

Enjoy a scrumptious buffet-style lunch and drive the spectacular mountain road to Thimphu, Bhutan's capital city.

Although Thimphu is the biggest and busiest city of Bhutan, with no traffic lights and plenty of cultural events, you can call it the most pleasant capital in world.

Make a stop to the National Memorial Chorten, a white imposing stupa, with spires of gold dedicated to World Peace.

Admire the largest Buddha structure in the world, 51.5 meters tall.

Visit one of the most interesting facilities in Thimphu, the National Institute of Traditional Medicine.

Then, time for dinner. Relax, enjoy, you are in the world’s happiest place.

Highlights of the day:

  • Marvel at exquisite paintings /sculptures at the National Memorial Chorten
  • Admire the largest Buddha structure in the world
  • Learn about the traditional Bhutanese medicine a unique and holistic health care system


  • Hotel Namgay Heritage/Osel/Khang Residency or similar

Day 2: Rejoice at Thimphu Festival

Today is all about enjoying one of the most famous festivals in Bhutan: Thimphu festival.

It’s believed that everyone must attend a Tshechu at least once in their lifetime. Watching the festivities is considered by many Bhutanese to be a blessing and essential in order to gain enlightenment.

One of the grandest Tshechus in Bhutan is the Thimphu Festival, which was first established in 1670 by the fourth Temporal Ruler Tenzing Rabgye.

It attracts entire communities from all over the country who come in their finest clothing to witness mystical dances performed by trained monks and laymen, socialise and receive blessings.

Undoubtedly, the Thimphu Tsechus is one of the best ways to experience the ancient living culture of Bhutan, gain insight into the nation’s religion and admire the deep faith and devotion of the Bhutanese people.

Highlights of the day:

  • Join locals in a colorful celebration of Bhutanese culture and faith at Thimphu Festival
  • Witness sacred dances and rituals
  • Experience a carnival-like atmosphere in one of the most remote countries in the world


  • Hotel Namgay Heritage/Osel/Khang Residency or similar

Day 3: Phallus art and tales of mad saints

Begin today in a lovely, quiet way with a one to two hours meditation class at Dechen Phodrang Monastery.

Then, make the 3 hours journey from Thimphu to Punakha by car, via Dochula.

Prepare for some truly awe-inspiring landscapes as you zigzag up to the 3140 m high Pass of Dochula. Once you get to the top, admire the sweeping view of the eastern Himalayas, including Bhutan's highest mountain, the majestic Gangkar Punsum (24,770 ft/7,550 m.) Have a cup of tea, then descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Punakha.

After lunch, hike for 30-45 minutes to the beautiful Chhimi Lhakhang, a fertility temple built in 1499 by lama Drukpa Kunley, charmingly known as “The Divine Madman.” On this site, The Divine Madman subdued the Demoness of the Dochula using his “magic thunderbolt of wisdom,” also known as his phallus.

Drive to the impressive Punakha Dzong, the winter seat of the Je Khenpo and the Monk Body. With its three towers and wonderful location at the confluence of two rivers, the Mo (Female) Chu and Pho (Male) Chu, it is considered the most beautiful of Bhutan’s 21 Dzongs.

Photographers, you’re welcome!

Highlights of the day:

  • Meditate with monks at Dechen Phodrang Monastery
  • Visit Chimi Lhakhang, an unusual monastery dedicated to Buddhism's "Divine Madman"
  • Get a marvelous view into Dzong architecture


  • Hotel Meri Puensum/Zangtopelri/Zingkham or similar

Day 4: Dzongs and endangered cranes

Today, we depart Punakha to make our way towards the East, passing through villages, deep ravines with dizzying drops to the quaint rural settlement of Gangtey. The drive is approximately 3.5 hours long.

On arrival we visit the striking Gangtey Goemba, a more than 450 years old monastery.

Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613, and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second re-incarnation, built the temple. The present Abbot, Kunzang Pema Namgyal is the ninth re-incarnation.

A few kilometers past the Gompa on the valley floor is the fascinating valley of Phobjikha.

Located at 3,000 metres above sea level, this broad glacial valley with its gently slope is a place of astonishing beauty. It has been described as” the most beautiful valley in the most beautiful country of Himalayas”. It is the winter home to the endangered black-necked cranes. These graceful birds are so culturally important that the government chose to bury cabling for the electricity underground rather than have cables on poles, to protect the birds. It was an extravagant measure for what is a still developing nation.

We visit the Black Necked Crane Information Centre and meet "Karma", an injured crane now well taken care of.

The Phobjikha Valley is a haven for hikers. We go for a 45 minutes unforgettable walk around the Gangtey Nature trail.

Highlights of the day:

  • Visit a more than 450 years old monastery, home to the ninth reincarnation of the Gangtey Tulku
  • Meet Karma, an endangered black-necked crane
  • Hike in the happiest valley of all, Phobjikha


  • Hotel Dewachen/ABC Eco lodge or Farm House

Day 5: Beauty and splendor at Gangtey Festival

Today you’re in for a totally unique experience: welcome to Gangtey festival.

This festival is celebrated to commemorate the great deeds of 8th century Tantric master Guru Padmasambhava who brought Mahayana Buddhism in Bhutan.

Adorned with colorful costumes, the dances are performed by both monks and villagers with outstanding energy and locals gather to witness in their finest hand woven bright dresses.

Blaring horns, booming drums, and clashing cymbals accompany them as they whirl and leap around the courtyard of the monastery.

The festival is blessed with indefinite virtues and prayers: a mere visit cleanses one of sins, fulfils wishes and guides the path to Nirvana (Liberation from the cycle of existence).

Highlights of the day:

  • See all the ceremonies and enjoy the close contact with monks, local authorities, and plenty of the valley people of all ages


  • Hotel Dragon Nest Resort/Punatsangchhu/Hotel Lobeysa or similar

Day 6: Botanical gardens & stunning natural beauty

We depart in the morning and make our way to Paro.

To stretch our legs, we stop at the beautiful Botanical Garden of Dochula to admire the different varieties of Rhododendrons, Magnolia, Cherry and other flowers in bloom.

We continue our journey, cross the Paro Chhu via Nyamai Zam, a traditional wooden covered bridge, and pass by Ugyen Pelri Palace, the residence of the Queen’s mother.

The evening is ours to relax, refresh or take a stroll around the streets of Paro.

We have a big day tomorrow.

Highlights of the day:

  • Travel through a landscape in which prayers from prayer flags and wheels fly out across the mountain landscape to subjugate demons
  • Journey through the scenic mountain pass of Dochula  perched at an altitude of 10,200 feet
  • See wild rhododendrons in their full glory at the Botanical Garden of Dochula
  • Discover the meditation caves tucked into the hills just above the pass resembling Hobbit homes
  • Cross a traditional wooden covered bridge


  • Hotel Metta Resort and Spa/Hotel Olathang/Tenzingling or similar

Day 7: Tiger’s Nest Hike – Bhutan’s Jewel Trek

Load up on a filling breakfast this morning before we tackle the world-famous Taktsang monastery.

Taksang (meaning Tiger’s Nest) is a magnificent, gravity-defying monastery clinging on a rock cliff 900 meters above the valley floor.

Taktsang is said to be the holiest site in Bhutan. The legend has it that the Great Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhawa), the father of Mahayana Buddhism, flew here from northeast Bhutan on the back of a tigress to subdue the demons of Paro Valley. Finding shelter in a series of caves, he meditated for three years and then set about converting the Bhutanese to Buddhism.

It’s a steep climb to Taktsang, but the going is fairly easy if taken slowly.

The entire area is wrapped in colorful prayer flags, while crevices in the rock are crammed with tsa-tsas, small stupa-shaped clay statues that sometimes have the ashes of loved ones embedded in them, meant to liberate their souls.

The feeling once you reach the Monastery cannot be described in words. It is not uncommon for people to have some kind of spiritual experience at Taktsang.  Expect to come back changed.

In the evening there will be a unique demonstration of mandala painting by a well-known artist. If you’d like you can try too.

Mandala is an elaborate ‘cosmic diagram’ – a spiritual tool used in Tantric Buddhism. Every pattern and shape within the mandala is deeply symbolic of Buddhism’s spiritual truths. The artists follows a set of iconography rules, prescribing the exact proportions and elements of each work.

Dinner will be arranged at a local farm house for us to enjoy a home-cooked traditional Bhutanese meal.

Optional: traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath  supposed to be very curative with numerous healing and medicinal properties.

Highlights of the day:

  • The majestic Tiger’s Nest
  • Mandala painting demonstration
  • Dinner at a local farm house
  • Bhutanese Hot Stone Bath ( optional )


  • Hotel Metta Resort and Spa/Hotel Olathang/Tenzingling or similar

Day 8: Back to reality

Today signals the end of our Himalayan adventure, so after breakfast, it’s time to make your own way back to the airport.

Wherever you head to next, let the spirit and energy of Bhutan fuel you on your way.

You’ve unleashed your inner explorer in a remote land of unspoiled beauty.

What more could you possibly want...


Day 1

Date : September 13, 2024

Touch down in magical Bhutan

Day 2

Date : September 14, 2024

Rejoice at Thimphu Festival

Day 3

Date : September 15, 2024

Phallus art & tales of mad saints

Day 4

Date : September 16, 2024

Dzongs and endangered Tibetan cranes

Day 5

Date : September 17, 2024

Color and splendor at Gangtey festival

Day 6

Date : September 18, 2024

Botanical gardens & stunning natural beauty

Day 7

Date : September 19, 2024

A world wonder: Tiger’s Nest

Day 8

Date : September 20, 2024

Back to reality

Trip Includes

Accommodation (twin sharing basis). REST easy.

Our hand-picked Bhutanese style 3 stars and above hotels offer excellent service and are set in beautiful locations. We test the beds to assure you have the best holiday. Take a look at some of the hotels you'll be staying in. 

All meals. FEAST on local specialties.

We ensure the tastiest local treats are on the menu wherever you go. 9 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 9 dinners. Bhutanese style or Western style. Tea/Coffee with snacks as and when required. If you have any dietary requirements, allergies or intolerance, please let us know and we’ll try our best to accommodate you.

Guide, Driver and Transportation. Just RELAX!

The services of an Expert English-speaking guide and driver tending to your every need. Private airport transfer and private transportation in an AC deluxe vehicle throughout.

Exclusive Insider Experience

A unique trip without the price tag. Meditate with a Buddhist monk, learn archery, discover the secrets of mandala painting, soak in a unique hot stone bath, listen to a traditional Bhutanese herbal medicine doctor and more.

Peace of Mind

  • We have an office in Melbourne, Australia, staffed by a professional and passionate team. With us your money and your holiday is safe.
  • Each trip is managed by our wonderful Bhutanese team with whom you will have direct access.
  • All our itineraries are designed by us, not bought ‘off the shelf’ from local companies.
  • Our trips are all-inclusive. No hidden or extra costs.
  • Our founder, Carol Vorvain is a travel writer and publishing speaker. A percentage of all income generated by our trips goes to projects supporting literacy in Bhutan.

Additional services

  • All museum, entry fees and road permits
  • All Bhutanese Government visa fees and royalties
  • All 10% service charge and 10% sales tax
  • Mineral bottled water throughout your tour
  • There will be sweat, laughter and plenty of “aha” moments. But, most importantly there will be free WiFi.
* Please note the prices shown are in USD per person and based on two persons sharing a twin or double room.
  Optional Single Supplement $500

Trip Excludes

International Flights

  • There are direct flights from Bangkok, Singapore, Delhi, Kolkata, Dhaka, Kathmandu and Guwahati.

Optional Tours and Activities

  • Whitewater rafting ($100/pp extra)
  • Hot Stone Bath ($150/pp extra)

Personal Expenses 

  • Laundry, gifts, telephone calls, etc


Travel Insurance

  • Mandatory

Single accommodation supplement

  • Available on request at extra cost

All nationalities require a visa for Bhutan. Travellers can only enter Bhutan as part of a group visa. Independent visas are not issued. The cost of the visa is included in your tour price.

To arrange the visa for you, please provide us with the following:

- scanned colour passport copy
- travelling email address
- Arrival and Departure flight details for Paro

These details need to be submitted to us 40 business days before departure.

Due to the nature of travel in Bhutan the group visa can only be submitted once we have ALL travellers details. Failure to advise any of the information as above can slow the visa issue process and delay the group visa. Generally visas are issued within 5 days of departure and as close as 48 hours prior to travel into the country. We will send your group visa to your travelling email address. Please print this visa and carry with you at time of boarding your Bhutan flight.

You must show the copy of your Bhutan Group visa at the check-in for your flight to Bhutan and on arrival at immigration in Bhutan where you will have your Bhutan visa stamped into your passport.

Travel insurance is compulsory for our trips.

When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that you must have medical coverage including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

We will need a copy of your policy showing the policy number and the emergency hotline phone number.

Please note: A reasonable level of fitness is required to enjoy all our Bhutan tours. When hiking to the Tiger's Nest, travellers will encounter steep flights of steps. For most of the trip you will be at altitudes of over 2500m, so be prepared to be a little breathless. When selecting your trip please carefully read the itinerary and assess your ability to cope with the included activities. We advise speaking to your doctor if you have any health concerns.

Please note: Inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc.

We reserve the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group

You must be over 18 years to travel on our tours.

Sure you can. You will just need to pay the Single Supplement. Contact us.
Otherwise, single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin share room with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. If there is no one available of the same sex as you, we will arrange a single room for you at no extra cost.

Your flights into Paro, Bhutan, must be booked by you online. Please visit the following airline websites to do so:
Druk Air

Bhutan Airlines

Flights can be booked from: Singapore, Bangkok, Kathmandu, Delhi or Kolkata (please check Visa requirements if flying via India).

Please advise all international flight details at least 60 days prior to departure, including dates, time of departure/arrival and flight numbers.
Please be aware that Bhutan's airlines are renowned for last minute changes to flight timetables into and out of Bhutan.
Please allow a min of 24 hours transit time between your international flight and flight into Bhutan. Timetables are available on the Druk Airlines and Air Bhutan websites.

We aim to use quality, interesting and beautifully located accommodation – usually the best available – as we believe the right accommodation can enhance the overall experience.
They are all 3 stars and above and we hope you will love them as much as we do.
After all, you are on holiday!
However, perhaps they might not be exactly like what you are used to back home. Perhaps they might even be better.

Due to weather conditions, electricity, Wifi and water can be sporadic. Don't worry, this is rare.

All meals are included with the cost of your trip in Bhutan. Generally meals will be buffet style and taken in your hotel or guesthouse. Lunches and dinners will generally include a selection of western- style (often pasta), Chinese or Indian dishes, with some local specialties on occasion. Rice and vegetable dishes are always present for every meal. Usually at least one meat dish is available (on some occasions, there can be shortages, as all meat is imported from India).
Bottled and alcoholic drinks are not included with meals and are paid for separately.

If you have any dietary requirements, allergies or intolerance, kindly let us know.

Internet access is generally fast and very good in both Thimpu and Paro. There may be limited internet access in smaller towns and villages. WiFi is generally free in the lobby and restaurant section of a hotel but charges may apply for internet use within your room.

All meals, transport and accommodation are included on your Bhutan trip. You will only need extra spending money for souvenirs, drinks and tips. Best to bring cash, as it is easily exchanged into local currency. ATMs are available only in Thimphu and Paro. Credit cards are accepted only in larger tourist shops for large purchases.

The official currency of Bhutan is the Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN). You can exchange all major currencies at the airport on arrival. When leaving Bhutan, please remember it is not possible to exchange BTN outside of Bhutan so convert any remaining currency back before you leave.

Tipping is not expected in Bhutan and it is certainly not compulsory. But it does show an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. The amount is up to you; however as a guideline USD20-30 per person, per week can be used.

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure.

Bhutan is a notoriously peaceful country and so far, we did not have any incidents of any nature.

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safekeeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Swimming and other water based activities are always at your own risk.

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana or the exploitation of prostitutes is not acceptable for our travellers. Our group leader or local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.

If, for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact us, leaving a detailed message and contact information so that we could assist you as soon as possible.

Your airport arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this.

Emergency Contact Number:

Mr Tshering Dhendup
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Bhutan Local Time): +97517110866

Small is good! Our group trips average 10 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16.

Bhutan, being a Buddhist country believes in ahimsa so to some people the barking of dogs can be at times annoying. It's advisable to bring earplugs. Just in case.

Bring comfortable clothing, appropriate to the weather conditions that you are likely to meet. Bring hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes.
During the winter months, for protection against cold, particularly at night, dress in layers.
Windproof jacket, a hat/bandana and sunscreen are essential. Thermal underclothes, being small and light, can also be very useful.
Bhutan is a conservative country and while it is not mandatory, shoulders and knees should be covered when possible. When entering buildings of a religious nature and family homes, please make sure your legs and shoulders are covered.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge.

The roads in the mountains can be bumpy. If you do suffer from motion sickness, we recommend you bring medication for the drives.
We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. We reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our guide or tour leader they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

You will need a day pack/bag to carry your water, cameras and other electronics like ipads and mobile phones. We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as your are expected to carry your own luggage.

The tour may include hiking, rafting (optional) in addition to walking.
When selecting your trip please carefully read the itinerary and assess your ability to cope with the included activities.

Don’t be shy. Reach out. We are here for you! If you have any questions about the tours, then please don't hesitate to contact us and we will get back to you latest within 24 hours!

We can arrange a holiday based on any of our itineraries or create a bespoke itinerary for you according to your requirements.
You will have complete flexibility over dates of travelling, standard of accommodation and sightseeing.
You will use services of Qupido Travel' experienced Guides
Full Qupido Travel expertise and support, both before and during the trip. We'll help you plan your dream holiday to Bhutan.
Contact us.