Western Bhutan Immersive

Western Bhutan Immersive

This immersive tour is a perfect hands-on introduction to Bhutanese culture and scenic beauty. Opportunities to hike, mountain bike and go river rafting make it ideal for active travellers and families with teenagers who prefer their cultural fix served with a side-helping of adrenaline.

We focus on Western Bhutan – the heartland of the Drukpa people, home to the treasures of Paro and Thimphu, and of the most spectacular dzongs in the kingdom. As you fly into the dramatic, mountain-bound Paro valley, it soon becomes clear that you have arrived at a special destination. Prayer flags fluttering everywhere, people dressed traditionally, chortens and stupas dot the landscape, and fortress-like monasteries command the craggy mountains.

Amidst peaceful scenery and welcoming smiles, your adventure awaits.

9 DAYS
FROM £2025
Idea
Themes:
Activity Levels
Moderate
WHAT'S INCLUDED
  • Activities and excursions as specified
  • Entrance fees/tickets for the above
  • In-destination transfers & transport
  • Accommodation & Meals as specified
  • English speaking guides
  • 24/7 support while you travel

Explore this itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Paro - Thimpu

On your fight into Bhutan you will have breath-taking views of the High Himalayan peaks. At Paro airport you will be welcomed by our representative.

Drive east into Thimphu (2 hrs) on well maintained roads, through the beautiful Paro valley. Settle into your Thimphu hotel in time for lunch, followed by a visit to the Weekend market. It is a colourful and interesting place, where you will find many photographic opportunities.

As time permits, visit Thimphu’s many cultural sights: the Textile Museum, the Institute of Traditional Medicine, Folk Heritage museum, the School of Fine Arts where you can see the detailed precision that is required in painting thangkas, weaving textiles and sculpting; the paper and incense work-shops; the National library with its vast collection of ancient manuscripts; the Post Office where you can purchase unique and beautiful stamps; and the National Memorial Chorten providing a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.

On our way back to the hotel, stop by Changlimithang Stadium, the national archery ground to see the Bhutanese practicing their archery skills!

Lunch, Dinner
Day 2: Thimphu Cultural Tour

Today, you’ll continue exploring the capital city, starting with Cheri Goemba where there are great photography opportunities.

Returning to Thimphu city, visit Motithang Takin Reserve to meet one of Bhutan’s most enigmatic mammals, the Takin. Later, you’ll visit Trashi Chho Dzong.

Your guide will be able to tailor your day based on your interests, and plan visits to any of the museums and places of interest you may not had time to visit the previous day.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: Thimphu - Punakha

An early morning drive (3hrs) east to the milder and warmer climate of Punakha climbs through apple orchards and forests of blue pine before entering pristine mixed forests. The pass at Dochu La (3,116m), is an awe-inspiring sight; with prayer flags strewn across its width. Sip warm tea until dawn breaks over the snow-capped Himalayan peaks.

Proceed down to the green terraced fields, famous for growing red rice around Punakha. A gentle walk to the temple of Chemmi Lhakhang; perhaps in time to hear the monks at prayer in this tranquil rural landscape.

In the afternoon visit Punakha Dzong (1637). This pristine environment is also a nature-lovers paradise where we may catch sight of the rare and endangered White-bellied Heron.

Punakha Dzong is considered to be one of the most beautiful Dzongs in Bhutan. Inside the dzong is the Kuenrey, a beautiful temple housing the ‘hundred-pillar’ assembly hall with exceptional murals, enormous 18th century golden statues and high ceiling, exquisitely painted with hundreds of dragons. We prefer to visit during the afternoon when the light is perfect to bring out the richness of the paintings and a quieter time to enjoy the ambience of this remarkable dzong.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: River Rafting

Today, hike up to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, which sits amongst the beautiful landscapes of the upper Punakha Valley. The hike takes you through fields of chillies, cabbages and rice along the banks of the Mo Chhu river and has some truly unforgettable views. At the chorten, take the time to enjoy the artistic and architectural beauty in a magnificent setting.

Next, you’ll have the thrill of river rafting. You can choose at the time of booking your holiday whether you wish to raft on the scenic Mo Chu river, which is ideal for beginners or families, or immerse yourself in white-water rafting on the Pho Chu River which offers a buzz for the more adventurous.

After enjoying your river rafting adventure, drive back to Paro and relax for the rest of the evening.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: Haa Valley

Today, explore the wonderful, off-the -beaten-track, isolated Haa Valley, just southwest of the Paro valley, hidden behind the high ridge of the Cheli La.

After breakfast, drive to Cheli La Pass, from where a short hike along the ridge takes in the stunning vistas of Bhutan’s sacred mountains - Jhomolhari and Jichu Drake. An hour’s hiking down the gentle slope brings you to Kila Nunnery where you may be able to meet resident Buddhist nuns. It is reputedly the oldest nunnery in Bhutan.

Your next adventure is a short mountain biking descent from a high mountain, a thrilling way to approach the Haa valley below.

Relax at your hotel, or enjoy short local walks in the vicinity.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: Explore Haa Valley

Today, you’ll visit Haa Dzong and explore the Haa valley. There are around a dozen monasteries in the valley, and hiking trails of various lengths. Your guide will able to help plan your day based on your preferences.

Later, return to Paro and check into your hotel.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: Paro

Your day is spent exploring the delights of Paro, beginning with the National Museum and the Rinpung Dzong. Walk around the city streets and markets.

Next, there is a special immersive treat in store at a local farmhouse, where you will have hands-on experience of traditional Bhutanese cooking in a cooking lesson. Try your hand at archery, Bhutan’s national sport. Your hosts will help you try putting on the traditional Bhutanese dress, and give you a tour of the farm, sharing vignettes about Bhutanese life. Before you leave the farm, there is one last indulgent treat – a traditional hot stone bath to soak away any tiredness and refresh your senses.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8: Tiger's Nest & Paro

After breakfast, put on your hiking boots and prepare to hike up Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Walk up to the cafeteria and have refreshments before continuing to the top. Should you not wish to continue to the top, you will be able to wait in this area. There are mules available if you wish to ride to the top, but you’ll have to walk down on foot.

After the spectacular hike, drive to Drukgyel Dzong, commemorate a victory over the Tibetan invasion of 1644. This picturesque ruin standing on a hillside above the lovely village of Drukgyel with imposing views of Jhomolhari from the approach roads is a photographer’s dream.

Finally, we hope to have time to visit one of the most important and oldest (659) religious sites: Kyichu Lhakhang. Over the years it has been added to and contains some impressive statues.

Return to your hotel and enjoy your last evening in Bhutan at leisure.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9: Departure
Today we will say goodbye hoping you have had a wonderful stay in this magical kingdom and that one day you will visit Bhutan again.
Breakfast
Day 1: Arrival in Paro - Thimpu

On your fight into Bhutan you will have breath-taking views of the High Himalayan peaks. At Paro airport you will be welcomed by our representative.

Drive east into Thimphu (2 hrs) on well maintained roads, through the beautiful Paro valley. Settle into your Thimphu hotel in time for lunch, followed by a visit to the Weekend market. It is a colourful and interesting place, where you will find many photographic opportunities.

As time permits, visit Thimphu’s many cultural sights: the Textile Museum, the Institute of Traditional Medicine, Folk Heritage museum, the School of Fine Arts where you can see the detailed precision that is required in painting thangkas, weaving textiles and sculpting; the paper and incense work-shops; the National library with its vast collection of ancient manuscripts; the Post Office where you can purchase unique and beautiful stamps; and the National Memorial Chorten providing a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.

On our way back to the hotel, stop by Changlimithang Stadium, the national archery ground to see the Bhutanese practicing their archery skills!

Lunch, Dinner
Day 2: Thimphu Cultural Tour

Today, you’ll continue exploring the capital city, starting with Cheri Goemba where there are great photography opportunities.

Returning to Thimphu city, visit Motithang Takin Reserve to meet one of Bhutan’s most enigmatic mammals, the Takin. Later, you’ll visit Trashi Chho Dzong.

Your guide will be able to tailor your day based on your interests, and plan visits to any of the museums and places of interest you may not had time to visit the previous day.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: Thimphu - Punakha

An early morning drive (3hrs) east to the milder and warmer climate of Punakha climbs through apple orchards and forests of blue pine before entering pristine mixed forests. The pass at Dochu La (3,116m), is an awe-inspiring sight; with prayer flags strewn across its width. Sip warm tea until dawn breaks over the snow-capped Himalayan peaks.

Proceed down to the green terraced fields, famous for growing red rice around Punakha. A gentle walk to the temple of Chemmi Lhakhang; perhaps in time to hear the monks at prayer in this tranquil rural landscape.

In the afternoon visit Punakha Dzong (1637). This pristine environment is also a nature-lovers paradise where we may catch sight of the rare and endangered White-bellied Heron.

Punakha Dzong is considered to be one of the most beautiful Dzongs in Bhutan. Inside the dzong is the Kuenrey, a beautiful temple housing the ‘hundred-pillar’ assembly hall with exceptional murals, enormous 18th century golden statues and high ceiling, exquisitely painted with hundreds of dragons. We prefer to visit during the afternoon when the light is perfect to bring out the richness of the paintings and a quieter time to enjoy the ambience of this remarkable dzong.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: River Rafting

Today, hike up to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, which sits amongst the beautiful landscapes of the upper Punakha Valley. The hike takes you through fields of chillies, cabbages and rice along the banks of the Mo Chhu river and has some truly unforgettable views. At the chorten, take the time to enjoy the artistic and architectural beauty in a magnificent setting.

Next, you’ll have the thrill of river rafting. You can choose at the time of booking your holiday whether you wish to raft on the scenic Mo Chu river, which is ideal for beginners or families, or immerse yourself in white-water rafting on the Pho Chu River which offers a buzz for the more adventurous.

After enjoying your river rafting adventure, drive back to Paro and relax for the rest of the evening.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: Haa Valley

Today, explore the wonderful, off-the -beaten-track, isolated Haa Valley, just southwest of the Paro valley, hidden behind the high ridge of the Cheli La.

After breakfast, drive to Cheli La Pass, from where a short hike along the ridge takes in the stunning vistas of Bhutan’s sacred mountains - Jhomolhari and Jichu Drake. An hour’s hiking down the gentle slope brings you to Kila Nunnery where you may be able to meet resident Buddhist nuns. It is reputedly the oldest nunnery in Bhutan.

Your next adventure is a short mountain biking descent from a high mountain, a thrilling way to approach the Haa valley below.

Relax at your hotel, or enjoy short local walks in the vicinity.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: Explore Haa Valley

Today, you’ll visit Haa Dzong and explore the Haa valley. There are around a dozen monasteries in the valley, and hiking trails of various lengths. Your guide will able to help plan your day based on your preferences.

Later, return to Paro and check into your hotel.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: Paro

Your day is spent exploring the delights of Paro, beginning with the National Museum and the Rinpung Dzong. Walk around the city streets and markets.

Next, there is a special immersive treat in store at a local farmhouse, where you will have hands-on experience of traditional Bhutanese cooking in a cooking lesson. Try your hand at archery, Bhutan’s national sport. Your hosts will help you try putting on the traditional Bhutanese dress, and give you a tour of the farm, sharing vignettes about Bhutanese life. Before you leave the farm, there is one last indulgent treat – a traditional hot stone bath to soak away any tiredness and refresh your senses.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8: Tiger's Nest & Paro

After breakfast, put on your hiking boots and prepare to hike up Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Walk up to the cafeteria and have refreshments before continuing to the top. Should you not wish to continue to the top, you will be able to wait in this area. There are mules available if you wish to ride to the top, but you’ll have to walk down on foot.

After the spectacular hike, drive to Drukgyel Dzong, commemorate a victory over the Tibetan invasion of 1644. This picturesque ruin standing on a hillside above the lovely village of Drukgyel with imposing views of Jhomolhari from the approach roads is a photographer’s dream.

Finally, we hope to have time to visit one of the most important and oldest (659) religious sites: Kyichu Lhakhang. Over the years it has been added to and contains some impressive statues.

Return to your hotel and enjoy your last evening in Bhutan at leisure.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9: Departure
Today we will say goodbye hoping you have had a wonderful stay in this magical kingdom and that one day you will visit Bhutan again.
Breakfast

Interested in this itinerary? It's great as is, but we'll be happy to tailor it for you.

INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS

Price Includes

  • Visa, SDF and all other government taxes
  • Experienced, English speaking Tour Guide
  • All activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All accommodation (3* standard hotels approved by Tourism Council)
  • All meals
  • Tea/coffee and snacks
  • Bottled water throughout the trip
  • Ground transportation
  • All necessary camping equipment’s if tour involves camping
  • All entrance fees for national parks
  • Religious Monument Entry Fee

Price Excludes

  • Travel insurance (Mandatory)
  • Laundry, phone calls and alcoholic drinks
  • Any other personal expenses
  • Charges incurred as a result of circumstances beyond our control
  • Flights
  • Gratuity/Tips

Our prices do not include international flights unless explicitly stated.

The price shown is per person, based on two people travelling and sharing a room, outside peak periods. Prices may vary depending on the time of travel, and single supplements may apply.