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Bhutan Trek & Cultural Discovery

Buddhist Traditions & Hike to the Tiger's Nest

 

The enchanting Kingdom of Bhutan is an earthly nirvana filled with natural beauty and Buddhist tradition. This MT Sobek-exclusive itinerary highlights the best of Bhutan through three days of ridgeline trekking and camping, with the remaining time allocated for easy touring and scenic day hikes. Visit Bhutan's most famous monasteries, learn about Bhutanese folk art, discover the Paro Valley, explore the remote and magical Haa Valley, and lose yourself amid some of the world's most exciting peaks. This short visit will stay with you for a lifetime!

  • Explore the gems of Bhutan on this exclusive adventure designed for the short-on-time traveler

  • Immerse yourself in Bhutan's rich Buddhist traditions, visiting the famous Taktsang and Lhakhang Karpo monasteries

  • Discover the less visited Haa Valley while trekking and camping amidst great Himalayan views

Arrive:

Bangkok, Thailand

Depart:

Bangkok, Thailand

Duration:

11 Days

Activity Level:

4

Departures:

See Dates

Price: from $5,195

  • Arrive in Bangkok

    Day 1

    Welcome to Bangkok! Transfer to the hotel via a free 24-hour shuttle bus. Note that most airlines arrive late at night into Bangkok, and your flight from Bangkok to Paro departs very early the next morning.

    Accommodation: Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel

    Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel

    The Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport is a four-star hotel located a short walk from Bangkok's international airport. Boasting 612 comfortable and contemporary rooms, the hotel also offers two bars and four restaurants, a beautiful pool, a fitness room, and a spa! With a 24-hour airport shuttle running every 10 minutes, accommodations here couldn't be more convenient.

  • Enter the Kingdom of Bhutan

    Day 2

    Board an early-morning flight to Paro, Bhutan. Vie for a seat on the left side of the plane: Weather permitting, you'll have spectacular views of the eastern Himalaya, including Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Kanchenjunga - five of the highest peaks in the world! - and peaks in Bhutan such as Chomolhari, Jichu Drake, and Tsering Kang. After clearing customs, drive into Paro for lunch, then on to Thimphu (7,725'), the capital of Bhutan, set in the Wang Chu Valley. The remainder of the day is free to rest and relax.

    Accommodation: Druk Hotel

    Druk Hotel

    Experience the legendary hospitality of the Bhutanese people at this fine Himalayan hotel. Located in the heart of the capital city, the Druk Hotel is close to shopping, culture, and the bubbling Thimphu River. Pleasant rooms are outfitted with comfortable beds, tiled bathrooms, soaking tubs and modern amenities, while the spa rounds out the offering.

    Transportation: 4-hour flight transfer & 45-minute private van transfer

    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike to Cheri Monastery

    Day 3

    After breakfast, drive to Thimphu and then to our trailhead where we set out on our hike: a steep, hour-long climb to Cheri Goemba, constructed in the 17th century. The monastery houses the relic stupas (ashes of the father of Shabdrung, the founder of Bhutan) and is also considered one of the earliest monasteries of Bhutan. We have lunch, then drive back to Thimphu and up to Wangdi Tse for a peaceful one hour loop hike where we can enjoy wonderful views of Thimphu, but see few others on the trail. Return to Thimphu for dinner and overnight.

    Accommodation: Druk Hotel

    Druk Hotel

    Experience the legendary hospitality of the Bhutanese people at this fine Himalayan hotel. Located in the heart of the capital city, the Druk Hotel is close to shopping, culture, and the bubbling Thimphu River. Pleasant rooms are outfitted with comfortable beds, tiled bathrooms, soaking tubs and modern amenities, while the spa rounds out the offering.

    Activity: 3-4 hours/4 miles hiking

    Transportation: 2-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Thimphu & Paro

    Day 4

    Begin the day at the School of Arts and Crafts (or "painting school"), where Bhutanese children follow a six-year program in traditional arts, such as drawing, painting, woodcarving, and sculpture. Also visit the Textile Museum, National Institute of Traditional Medicine, and Folk Heritage Museum. In the afternoon, drive back to Paro and visit the National Museum, housed in an old watchtower above the Paro Dzong. The museum's collections include spectacular thangkas (religious scroll paintings), bronze statues, and Bhutan's beautiful stamps. Time permitting, also visit the Paro Dzong itself, built in 1644.

    Accommodation: The Zhiwa Ling-Paro, Bhutan

    The Zhiwa Ling-Paro, Bhutan

    The Zhiwa Ling is a luxurious retreat that combines the sensibilities of a fine Bhutanese guesthouse with the best of modern comforts. The exquisite architecture and manicured gardens create an authentic, inviting atmosphere. Guest rooms, spread out on 10 acres of pristine land, feature modern amenities and comfortable furnishings. Enjoy a traditional outdoor hot-stone bath, a teahouse, a meditation house, and two restaurants.

    Transportation: 45-minute private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike to Taktsang Monastery

    Day 5

    Today it's a steep hike to a traditional teahouse for a great view of Taktsang Monastery, perched on a cliff 2,700 feet above the Paro Valley floor. Taktsang, meaning "tiger's nest," is Bhutan's most spiritual place and a major pilgrimage spot. Partly destroyed by fire in 1998, Taktsang has been completely rebuilt. After a tea break, you can sit outside and admire the monastery and its beautiful surroundings or, if you feel energetic, continue another hour to a closer viewpoint. Enjoy free afternoon time to explore Paro on your own.

    Accommodation: The Zhiwa Ling-Paro, Bhutan

    The Zhiwa Ling-Paro, Bhutan

    The Zhiwa Ling is a luxurious retreat that combines the sensibilities of a fine Bhutanese guesthouse with the best of modern comforts. The exquisite architecture and manicured gardens create an authentic, inviting atmosphere. Guest rooms, spread out on 10 acres of pristine land, feature modern amenities and comfortable furnishings. Enjoy a traditional outdoor hot-stone bath, a teahouse, a meditation house, and two restaurants.

    Activity: 5 hours/2.6 miles hiking with 1,707' elevation gain/loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Go Deep in the Unspoiled Haa Valley

    Day 6

    Take a morning drive to the wooded Haa Valley, lying along the western border of Bhutan. Haa was closed to visitors until 2001, so to behold it is still a rare gift. Tonight's lodge is in a beautiful setting at the edge of a blue pine forest overlooking Haa La, and you may even be able to visit a local family today. Enjoy an afternoon visit to Lhakhang Karpo (Temple of the White Dove), a famous monastery believed to have been built in the 8th century by a Tibetan king.

    Accommodation: Lechuna Heritage Lodge-Haa Valley, Bhutan

    A beautiful farmhouse converted into a lovelyaccommodation in the heart of one of Bhutan's least visited regions, the Lechuna Heritage Lodge is trulya unique getaway. Its seven rooms are simply but comfortably appointed, and the on-site restaurant features Himalayan cuisine from Tibet, Nepal, and, naturally, Bhutan.

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Trek to Camp Below Saga La

    Day 7

    Lace up your boots! Begin your trek on a gradual uphill through a blue pine forest and farmland. The terrain steepens as you climb, and you'll walk along streams past rhododendron, juniper, spruce, and birch trees. Lunch in a grassy meadow at about 11,200 feet, then continue to camp at 11,800 feet, about 45 minutes below Saga La (pass). Weather permitting, take an afternoon hike up to Saga La for views of sacred Chomolhari (24,035'), several other peaks, and panoramic views of the Haa Valley.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Haa Valley

    Enjoy the wonders of the Haa Valley from your beautiful camp at 12,700-feet elevation. High in this idyllic setting you may come across cattle and herders and be rewarded with great views of Chomolhari, Jichu Drakey and the Haa and Paro Valleys. Enjoy the comfort of roomy 2+ person Mountain Hardwear tents and thick sleeping pads - custom-made in Nepal! At the end of the day, dine on hearty camp food cooked up by your trekking team.

    Activity: 4.5-5 hours/4-5 miles hiking with 1,500' elevation gain

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Over Saga La to Ningula

    Day 8

    In the morning, hike up to Saga La and follow the ridge up and down to 13,200 feet, from where you may be able to catch a glimpse of Taktsang Monastery. Continue steeply up through dwarf rhododendron to 13,700 feet and down through narrow grazing paths. Camp is set up for you at Ningula, in a rhododendron forest from where you have a beautiful view of the peaks of Chomolhari and Jichu Drake (21,857').

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Haa Valley

    Enjoy the wonders of the Haa Valley from your beautiful camp at 12,700-feet elevation. High in this idyllic setting you may come across cattle and herders and be rewarded with great views of Chomolhari, Jichu Drakey and the Haa and Paro Valleys. Enjoy the comfort of roomy 2+ person Mountain Hardwear tents and thick sleeping pads - custom-made in Nepal! At the end of the day, dine on hearty camp food cooked up by your trekking team.

    Activity: 7-8 hours/7-8 miles hiking with 1,500' elevation gain

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Surround Yourself with Himalayan Peaks

    Day 9

    This morning climb steeply back up to the ridge and cross Kale La (12,900'), with views of Paro and the Haa Valley. Weather permitting, you'll also have a terrific view of the Paro Dzong and surrounding peaks including Kanchenjunga (28,208'), the third-highest peak in the world! Ascend up to Kung Karpo (13,500') for more stellar views, then descend and traverse toward Chele La (13,080'). All day, enjoy clear views of the mountains, and the Paro and Haa Valleys (again, weather permitting). Once at Chele La, meet your bus and drive to Paro where you'll be treated to a festive farewell dinner.

    Accommodation: The Zhiwa Ling-Paro, Bhutan

    The Zhiwa Ling-Paro, Bhutan

    The Zhiwa Ling is a luxurious retreat that combines the sensibilities of a fine Bhutanese guesthouse with the best of modern comforts. The exquisite architecture and manicured gardens create an authentic, inviting atmosphere. Guest rooms, spread out on 10 acres of pristine land, feature modern amenities and comfortable furnishings. Enjoy a traditional outdoor hot-stone bath, a teahouse, a meditation house, and two restaurants.

    Activity: 7-8 hours/7 miles hiking with 1,200' elevation gain

    Transportation: 1-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Return to Bangkok

    Day 10

    Bid a fond farewell to the "happiest country in the world" as you take an early morning transfer to the Paro airport for departure to Bangkok. Upon arrival, take the shuttle to the hotel. The remainder of the day is free to shop, sightsee, and enjoy lunch and dinner on your own.

    Accommodation: Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel

    Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel

    The Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport is a four-star hotel located a short walk from Bangkok's international airport. Boasting 612 comfortable and contemporary rooms, the hotel also offers two bars and four restaurants, a beautiful pool, a fitness room, and a spa! With a 24-hour airport shuttle running every 10 minutes, accommodations here couldn't be more convenient.

    Transportation: 4-hour flight transfer

    Meals: Breakfast

  • Depart from Bangkok

    Day 11

    Take the hotel shuttle to the international terminal and depart on your homeward-bound flight.

    Accommodation:

    Meals: Breakfast

Bhutan Trek & Cultural Discovery

Detailed Itinerary

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What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

MT Sobek is a legendary outfitter in the Himalayas, offering pioneering cultural and hiking adventures since 1969.

Reason #02

Our team of local guides are true experts, with over 20 years' experience in Bhutan.

Reason #03

This top-selling Bhutan itinerary expertly combines rewarding hikes in nature with the wonders of cultural touring.

Meet your guides

Namgay Dorji

Namgay Dorji

Namgay Dorji is the senior manager of MT Sobek's Bhutan office and has been leading treks and tours for over 10 years. He is very knowledgeable about Bhutan's history, culture, and religion and speaks seven languages: English, Japanese, German, Spanish, Hindi, Nepalese, and Urdu. Namgay is a graduate of Bissau College, Meghalaya, India and received his diploma in tourism from the Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management in Salzburg, Austria. His many personal interests include bird watching, rock climbing, trekking, and archery. He looks forward to sharing his experience and the wonders of Bhutan with you.

Tandin Nidup

Tandin Nidup

Tandin is a graduate of Bangkok University, Thailand, majoring in Tourism and Hospitality Management. He has been leading treks and cultural tours in Bhutan since 2000, including MT Sobek's Chomolhari Trek and new Bumthang Owl Trek. He is extremely knowledgeable about the cultures, religions, and traditions of his home country and enjoys sharing his experiences with guests-immersing them in the wonders of Bhutan every step of the way. Tandin speaks English, Nepali, Hindi and passable Thai in addition to his native Bhutanese.

Activities

Three days of moderate-to-strenuous ridgeline trekking on scenic paths, plus easy cultural touring and scenic day hikes.

Lodging

Warm Bhutanese guesthouses and inns combined with two nights of camping in the beautiful Haa Valley.

Climate

Daytime temperatures: 50°-70°F. Nighttime temperatures: 30°-45°F. Rain or snow possible.

FAQ

Who will meet me on arrival?

Your trip leader will meet you on arrival at Paro Airport.

Do I need a Bhutan visa?

Yes, we handle the group visa for you.

Do I need to bring a sleeping bag for this trip?

Sleeping bags are available to rent free of charge. Please contact your Adventure Coordinator if you would like to reserve one. If you wish to bring your own sleeping bag, we recommend a rating of 10°F to 20°F for the springtime and -10°F to -5°F for the mid October and November trips.

Do we book our flights from Bangkok to Paro?

No, we provide that service and book those flights for you, as they are not easy to book on your own.

Do I need to bring a sleeping pad for this trip?

No. We provide a 3" sleeping pad. If you prefer to bring your own, that is fine, too.

Where do I fly to?

This trip begins and ends in Bangkok, so make your roundtrip air to Bangkok.

  • 2021
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom

2021

Scheduled Dates

Additional costs

  • $1,075 Internal Airfare
  • $815 Single Supplement

Price Includes

  • Expert leadership from experienced adventure guides
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the daily itinerary
  • Potable water and snacks throughout
  • 1 glass of wine or beer at dinner
  • All tips and gratuities for support staff with the exception of your lead adventure guide(s)
  • All necessary camping gear
  • All group entrance fees, activities, and ground transportation
  • Arrival and departure day hotel shuttle airport transfers

Price does not include

  • International airfare, any airport taxes, or excess baggage charges
  • 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, and 1 dinner
  • Optional tips to your lead adventure guides
  • Personal expenses such as medical immunizations, phone calls, laundry, or souvenirs
  • Optional travel protection

Contact An Expert

1.888.831.7526

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Private

Go Private

Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private Trip.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

Private Trip Pricing:

4 to 5 guests from $6,295 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $5,995 per person double occupancy

8 to 15 guests from $5,595 per person double occupancy

	

Take Over One These Dates

Make Your Own Dates In These Months

Additional costs

  • $1,075 Internal Airfare
  • $815 Single Supplement

Price Includes

  • Expert leadership from experienced adventure guides
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the daily itinerary
  • Potable water and snacks throughout
  • 1 glass of wine or beer at dinner
  • All tips and gratuities for support staff with the exception of your lead adventure guide(s)
  • All necessary camping gear
  • All group entrance fees, activities, and ground transportation
  • Arrival and departure day hotel shuttle airport transfers

Price does not include

  • International airfare, any airport taxes, or excess baggage charges
  • 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, and 1 dinner
  • Optional tips to your lead adventure guides
  • Personal expenses such as medical immunizations, phone calls, laundry, or souvenirs
  • Optional travel protection

Contact An Expert

1.888.831.7526

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure

Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.