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Spirit of Bhutan

8 days

A private journey for departure any day

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based on 4 Reviews

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In-Depth Sightseeing with your Private Guide

+ Visit a Himalayan reserve to see the takin in its native habitat; with its thick blond coat, this mountain animal is thought to have inspired the legend of Jason and the Golden Fleece.
+ Ascend through the Chele La Pass, the highest paved mountain pass in Bhutan. On a clear day, you’ll have a breathtaking view of Bhutan’s second highest mountain, the impressive 24,000-foot summit of Mt. Jomolhari.
+ Experience genuine Bhutanese traditions at the Dochula Monastery as you light a traditional butter lamp – a Buddhist act of wisdom.
+ Explore the Haa Valley… Only open to international visitors since 2002, this tranquil picturesque region offers pleasant walking trails and a chance to experience enduring traditions and an untouched way of life.
+ Surrounded by pristine forests and mountains, our evocative luxury lodges immerse you in the traditional style and ambience of this fabled Himalayan kingdom.
+ Spend time in the remote village of Talo. Set at an altitude of nearly 9,200 feet, you’ll find picturesque farmhouses surrounded by flowers and vegetable gardens.
+ Embark on an unforgettable, privately guided adventure by horseback and on foot to the iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery, perched on the side of a granite cliff high above the valley floor.

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Day
1

Arrive Paro, Bhutan + Journey to Thimphu

Taj Tashi - Thimphu, Bhutan

On arrival in Paro, you’ll be greeted by your personal guide. Embark on a scenic 1-hour drive through the lovely Paro Valley to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Begin your touring at the King’s Memorial Chorten, a revered landmark with golden spires and tinkling bells; built in 1974, it is continuously circumambulated by devout Buddhist pilgrims chanting mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. You’ll also visit the 17th-century Tashichho Dzong Fortress; with its impressive 3-story towers and triple-tiered red and gold roofs, this imposing landmark has been the seat of government since 1952. Enjoy dinner and two wonderful nights at the deluxe Taj Tashi Hotel.  Meals L+D

Day
2

In and Around Thimphu

Taj Tashi - Thimphu, Bhutan

An enriching day of privately guided touring begins this morning at Changangkha Lhakhang, a magnificent fortress-like monastery set on a ridge above the capital. Established in the 12th century, it is beautifully decorated and offers delightful views of the Thimphu Valley. At the Motithang Preserve, you’ll have a chance to see the takin. Native to the Eastern Himalayas and revered by the Bhutanese as a symbol of their country, this sheep-like creature with its thick blond coat is thought to have inspired the legend of Jason and the Golden Fleece. The reserve is also home to sambar and barking deer.

Then learn about the customs, traditions and daily life of rural Bhutan as you explore the unique exhibits of the Folk Heritage Museum. Before returning to your hotel, you’ll also visit Tashichho Dzong; built in 1641, this impressive medieval fortress is still the country’s administrative and religious center. It also houses the King’s Throne Room.  Meals B+L+D

After breakfast and check out, this morning’s scenic drive into the lovely countryside brings you first to Simtokha Dzong. Built in 1629, this is one of Bhutan’s oldest fortresses and features beautiful murals and an elaborately carved and painted ceiling. Then continue over the 10,300-foot Dochula Pass; on a clear day, you’ll have breathtaking 360° views over the Himalayas. The lone monastery situated near the mountain pass is distinguished by its 108 shrines; stopping here to take in the views, you can also light a traditional butter lamp – a Buddhist act of wisdom. Then descend into the Punakha Valley through captivating landscapes of farming terraces, pristine rivers and fluttering prayer flags to visit the historic Punakha Dzong. Built in 1637 along the banks of a rushing river, this imposing fortress is considered by many to be the most beautiful in the country. By early evening, you’ll be settled in to your room at the Uma by COMO – Punakha, our enchanting luxury lodge set on a forested hillside overlooking the Mo Chu River.  Meals B+L+D

After breakfast, you’ll experience firsthand a facet of Bhutan’s deep spiritual traditions as you spend time with residents at the Sangchchen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery. After lunch, journey deeper into the countryside for a guided walk through tended fields and rice paddies to the village Pana where you’ll visit Chimi Lhakhang. Built in the 15th century, this lovely Buddhist temple is a popular pilgrimage site and especially revered by women for its reputed fertility powers.

This afternoon, you’ll also spend time in the remote village of Talo. Set at an altitude of nearly 9,200 feet, you’ll find picturesque farmhouses surrounded by flowers and vegetable gardens. Take in the views of the surrounding villages and countryside before returning to your luxury lodge in Punakha.  Meals B+L+D

After breakfast and check-out, you’ll set out once again with your personal driver and guide. Delight in the mountain scenery and commanding views as you travel to Rinpung Dzong. Founded in the 15th century and revered as one of the country’s finest examples of traditional Bhutanese architecture, this landmark also houses a monastic school with nearly 200 resident monks. Your guided visit also reveals inviting courtyard galleries with fine Buddhist paintings. Then cross the Paro River over the nearby Nyamai Zam - a traditional, covered wooden bridge. In ancient times, it could be disassembled and removed to protect the Dzong from invading forces!

Continue to the Uma by COMO – Paro, our delightful resort here in the lovely Paro Valley. The rest of this day is yours to enjoy and explore as you wish. This is a wonderful opportunity to stroll in the town of Paro – visiting the small shops, engaging with local residents, and immersing in the tranquil and timeless pace of life.  Meals B+L+D

Day
6

Excursion to the Haa Valley

Como Uma Paro - Paro, Bhutan

This morning’s drive up to the Chele La Pass takes you through captivating vistas of spruce and larch forests - interspersed by rushing rivers, groves of rhododendron, and the occasional grazing yak. From the summit, the highest paved pass in the country, there are magnificent views of the Paro and Haa Valleys and surrounding Himalayan peaks. On a clear day, you can even see Mt. Jomolhari; soaring to 24,000 feet, this is Bhutan’s second highest peak.

Descending into the Haa Valley, you’ll find yourself in a tranquil, virtually untouched region where traditions and daily life endure as they have for generations. Bordering Sikkim and Tibet, the Haa Valley has been open for international visitors only since 2002. With your own private car, driver and guide, your exploration here can be tailored to your personal interests and style. Active travelers will find pleasant walking and hiking trails; for the culturally curious, the Valley’s remote villages and the township of Ha offer a chance to engage with residents and experience a slice of rural life. The return journey to your resort in the Paro Valley takes you back across the Chele La Pass.  Meals B+L+D

Day
7

The magnificent Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Como Uma Paro - Paro, Bhutan

Today’s adventure begins with a scenic drive to Ramthanka, the base for one of the world’s most unforgettable experiences. As you make your way up the forested trail on horseback and by foot, you’ll have breathtaking glimpses of Taktsang Lhakhang; popularly known as the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, this iconic landmark is perched on the side of a granite cliff some 3,000 feet above the valley. About 90 minutes into your privately guided ascent, you’ll reach an inviting café – the perfect place to recharge and take in the fresh mountain air. Continuing your ascent, you’ll stop along the way to hoist your own prayer flag – a traditional ceremony for Buddhist pilgrims. About an hour after leaving the café, you’ll reach the sacred monastery. On your way back down, stop for lunch at the café and then continue your descent back to Ramthanka.

Before returning to your hotel, you’ll enjoy a private tour of Kyichu Lhakhang. Dating back to the 7th century, it was expanded in the early 1800’s with additional buildings and a spectacular golden roof. Today it is considered to be one of the oldest and most beautiful temples in the Himalayas. Your evening at leisure offers a final opportunity to stroll in town and maybe shop for gifts and mementos.  Meals B+L+D

Day
8

Depart Bhutan

After breakfast, you’ll be chauffeured to the Paro airport for your onward journey.  Meals B

Private Tour Add-Ons

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Save $1,000 Per Couple
+ $500 Solo

Pay in full at time of booking.

Occupancy

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  • Jan

    2020
  • Mar

    2020
Date RangeFromAvailabilityDeparture Note
1/1/2020 - 2/29/2020$6,899Available
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Standard Accommodations$6,899Available
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
3/1/2020 - 4/30/2020$7,399Available
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Standard Accommodations$7,399Available
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking

Prices are per person, land only. Holiday surcharges may apply. We offer air on Emirates. Add extra nights. There is a surcharge for singles traveling alone in their own vehicle.

Pay-In-Full

Save $1,000 per couple + $500 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you pay-in-full at time of booking.

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Combine our limited-time pay-in-full discount with our Family & Friends offers and save even more:
  • Save $50 more per person when 3 guests go
  • Save $100 more per person with 4 people
  • Save $150 more per person with 5 people
  • Save $200 more per person with 6 or more people!

Book Your Air

Ask about international air service, including business class. See your travel agent or call us for current international airfare associated with this program. We offer both economy and business class fares. Prices are in U.S. currency and are per person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted. Availability is limited.

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