Immerse yourself in the beauty of Bhutan without having to trek! On this comprehensive cultural odyssey, take a step back in time for a glimpse of traditions and customs disappearing from the rest of the Himalayan world.
Bhutan, a country of deep religious background will impress you through its magic everywhere. Gigantic mountains covered with thick primeval forests, the generous and welcoming attitude of its unassuming people, who have not rejected their spiritual heritage for modern ways, are all but that make up a for a unique cultural experience. As you visit the country’s impressive whitewashed dzongs (fortress-monasteries that are thriving centers of worship and culture) and meet the people on hikes through the countryside, you’ll see how the past remains an integral part of the very vibrant present.
A highlight is the Tsechu religious festival, an exuberant and earthy affair featuring fancifully costumed dancers performing masked dance-dramas before hundreds of onlookers. Mingling with the locals in this joyous celebration—a highlight of their social calendar – is a unique honor, bestowed to only a limited number of visitors each year.
Witness a colorful Tsechu festival – an occasion for dances that are clearly defined in religious context.
Explore the serene Bumthang Valley, the cultural heartland of Bhutan and the unique capital city including the colorful weekend market.
Meet and mingle with the local people on hikes in the countryside
Itinerary: Colorful Festivals of Bhutan
Day 1 – Fly to Paro, Bhutan, scenically situated in a pretty terraced valley.
Days 2-3 – Attend the Tsechu Festival along with locals who come attired in their finest clothing and jewelry. Optional hike to Taktsang Monastery (the “Tiger’s Nest”) on a steep trail through the forest.
Day 4 – Morning drive to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital. Day hikes in the forested countryside near Thimphu.
Day 5 – Scenic drive over the Dochu La (10,000′) to the Punakha Valley. Tour the Punakha Dzong, one of the most scenically situated dzongs in the country, and take a short hike over the rice paddies to the small but charming Chimi Lhakhang (temple).
Day 6 – Drive to Bumthang, enjoying views of snowy peaks and visiting weavers of the Chumey Valley.
Days 7-8 – Explore the monasteries and pilgrimage sites of the Bumthang Valley, the spiritual and cultural center of the country.
Days 9 – Retrace much of our route across the country to Gangtey valley, the winter home to the rare and endangered black necked cranes. Visit the imposing 17th-century monastery.
Day 10– Drive to Thimphu. Sightseeing in the afternoon.
Day 11– More sightseeing of Thimphu valley. Late afternoon drive to Paro.
Day 12– Depart Paro on Druk Air.