Explore the valleys of Thimphu, Punakha and Paro with a private guide, taking in ancient monasteries, majestic mountains and much more of this high-altitude Himalayan Kingdom. This itinerary, like all Amankora expeditions, can be adjusted to suit preferences, both before arrival and on the ground.
VOYAGE THROUGH FORESTED MOUNTAINS DOTTED WITH MONASTERIES AND TEMPLES TO THIMPHU, BHUTAN’S CAPITAL AT 2,350M ABOVE SEA LEVEL
Day 1 : – Paro
On your arrival at Paro International our local representative will meet you and transfer Thimphu Amankora Resorts for your night stay. Post visit National Memorial Chorten, National Museum and Folk Heritage Museum and National Library. Overnight stay at Amankora Thimphu
Day 2 : – Thimphu
After breakfast In the morning, visit the north end of the valley to view Trashi Chhoe Dzong, the seat of Bhutan government and Royal offices, and Pangri Zampa, two 16thcentury buildings that now house a monastic training school for astrologers. At the head of the valley, should you wish to stretch your legs, a short hike will take you to Cheri Goemba, the monastery where the first monastic body was established in the Kingdom. Back in town, visit a few of the capitalcottage industries ranging from traditional paper making to handrolled incense. Overnight stay at Amankora Thimphu.
Day 3 : – Punakha
An early departure brings you on a dramatic drive over the 3,050m mountain pass of Dochu La and on to Punakha Valley. Sights on the way include one of Bhutanfirst fortress monasteries, the 17thcentury Simtokha Dzong, and ancient wall paintings at the Hongtsho Goemba monastery. The journey continues over the pass offering spectacular views of towering Himalayan peaks on a clear day. The descent into Punakha Valley along the Kingdomonly eastwest highway takes you via the town of Wangdi to visit the rustic Wangdiphodrang Dzong and perhaps the local temple next door. Explore this quaint village and its row of intimate shops before heading to the lodge. In the afternoon, visit the village of Talo, home of the Queen and the valleyprotective deity, lhakhang. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a hike to an ancient monastery on the hilltop behind the lodge. Overnight stay at Amankora Punakha
Day 4 : – Punakha
Begin the day with a hike from Punakha Lodge through terraces of rice, chillies and cabbage to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten a monument recently built by the Queen of Bhutan. Afterwards, drive back up the valley towards Khuruthang, passing Punthsho Pelri Palace and several other winter homes of the royal family before reaching the impressive Punakha Dzong. This ancient fortress is the winter residence of the monastic orderleadership and still serves as the administrative headquarters for the Punakha region. A picnic lunch is served on the banks of the Punak Chu, prior to visiting the village of Lobesa. From there, enjoy a short walk to Chimi Lhakhang, the auspicious fertility monastery built in 1499. Overnight Stay at Amankora Punakha.
Day 5 : – Paro
After descending from Dochu La Pass, the road will lead back up the dramatic Wang Chu and Paro Chu river valleys before crossing through Paro towards the north end of the valley. Here, set in a pine forest, is the Amankora Paro lodge and spa. In the afternoon, stroll to the nearby ruins, visit some of the valleyoldest and holiest religious monuments or amble down Paro main street. Evenings at Amankora Paro may include informative lectures on the history, religion, flora and fauna of the region, or a film on the Himalayas. Overnight stay Amankora Paro.
Day 6 : – Paro
The day starts with a visit to the National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong watchtower. Here, a collection of arte facts provides a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. Just a short walk downhill lies the dominating Paro Dzong, a fine example of Bhutanese architecture. From the Dzong, cross Nyamai Zampa, a traditional cantilevered bridge, to reach the town temple built in 1525. Enjoy a
Picturesque picnic or a visit to a traditional farmhouse for lunch with a local family. The afternoon brings a choice of excursions visitors interested in further immersion in Bhutan culture and religion must experience the Kyichu Lhakhang, Dumtse Lhakhang and the Drukgyel Dzong altar room. Hikers can follow a beautiful trail behind the lodge which passes Drukgyel Dzong and winds along the Paro Chhu, crossing a suspension bridge and ambling through terraced farmland and forests before looping back down the river to a second bridge and returning to the lodge. Overnight stay at Amankora Paro.
Day 7 : – Paro
Spend the morning hiking to one of Bhutan most revered monuments, the Taktshang Goemba, more commonly known as the Tiger Nest. The 4-5 hrs return trek offers spectacular views of this sacred monastery perched on a cliff face almost 1,000m above the valley floor. The rest of the day can be spent browsing through shops in town, enjoying the spa or exploring the rich forests that rise behind the lodge. Overnight Stay at Amankora
Day 8 : – Paro
Early morning transfer to airport with a lots of wonderful experience