Tour duration – 8 days/ 7 nights
Tour destination – Paro, Punakha, Phobjikha, and Thimphu.
Tour overview – With a forest cover of more than 72 percent and 51 percent of its land-mass as protected areas, Bhutan is a nature lovers paradise and ornithologists. While its location and wide geographical and climatic variations have bestowed Bhutan with a rich and diverse eco system, the Buddhist value of respecting the natural environment has ensured its pristine state. Bhutan plans to keep it that way and its Constitution mandates that a 60 percent forest cover must be maintained for all times to come. Birds in Bhutan can be found from the glacial alpine regions of the north to the sweltering tropics of the south. The geography and altitude is also the most diverse of bird habitats ever found in a single country. With more than 800 species you could spend many months in Bhutan trying to spot them.
Day 01: Arrival in Paro.
The flight to Bhutan provides the most spectacular view of The Himalayas. As the plane approaches Paro, you will see the beautiful snow peaks of Himalaya range. The first gift from Bhutan will be cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. Our representative will meet you and escort you to the hotel.
After lunch you will start to discover beautiful Paro at 2280 metres by visiting the National Museum of Bhutan (Ta Dzong), originally built as watchtower around 1649. It is on top of the hill above Rinpung Dzong to defend Paro Rinpung Dzong and Paro valley during times of war, in an unusual circular construction resembling a conch shell. This dzong was converted into the National museum of Bhutan in 1968. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Then we head to the Paro Rinpung Dzong, meaning the fortress of The Heap of Jewels, is one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. It was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal between 1642 and 1646. This dzong now houses monk body and administrative offices of Paro and is symbolic as the religious and secular center of all affairs of the valley. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.
Afterwards we will visit the Sangay Handmade Bowl and Cup Factory, nearby Paro Rinpung Dzong. You will see demonstration of traditional wood turning skills by local artisans who make traditional wooden bowls and cups. It calls Shagzo – the art of wood turning, one of thirteen traditional Bhutanese arts. You can try your hand as well if you wish.
In the late afternoon you will walk along the Paro Chhu (river) and begin our birding programme. In this area you can find birds such as Oriental Turtle Dove and Common Hoopoe, Pied Wagtail, White-capped and Plumbeous water redstarts, Blue Whistling Thrush, Crested Goshawk, Common Kestrel, Kalij Pheasant, White-collared Blackbird, Long-tailed and Gray-backed shrikes, Black-faced and Chestnut-crowned laughingthrushes, Brown Parrotbill, Brown Dipper, Chestnut-tailed Minla and Eurasian Kestrel.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 02: Explore Paro Valley
In the early morning we drive to the Jana Gompa . It will take 1 hour to drive, your breakfast will be served at this monastery. If you are lucky enough you may get chance to see care taker of monastery is feeding the Himalayan monal. After breakfast we will hike up above monastery as much as you want for bird watching. You have chance to see Blood Pheasant, Alpine Accentor, Stayr Tragopan, Kalii Pheasant, Himalayan Bluetail, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-bliied Blue Magpie, Spotted Nutcracker, White-capped Water Redstart, Himalayan Buzzard, Fire-tailed Myzonrnis, ect.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 03: Tiger’s nest Hike
In the morning we take a hike to the Taktsang Monastery as good acclimatization for the trek. Taktsang Monastery also known as Tiger’s Nest. It is one of the most holy sites in Bhutan, clings to a cliff more than 3000 metres above sea level and 900 metres above The Paro valley floor. The legend says that Guru Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) arrived here on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. Subsequently, he meditated here for three months. You will have lunch at Taktshang cafeteria from where you get a spectacular view of the monastery. On this hike we may see bird species such as Coal and White-throated, Spotted Laughingthrushes, Chestnut-crowned, Black-faced, Spotted Nutcracker, Yellow-billed Blue Mabpie, White-tailed Nuthatch, Green-backed and Grey-crested act.
Up at the monastery by the rocky ledges we will scan for flocks of Snow Pigeon and Alpine accentor while the waterfall, next to the monastery often gives us the opportunity to see Little Forktail and White-capped and Plumbeous water redstarts.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 04: Paro to Punakha.
- Altitude in Punakha:1300m
- Distance: 125km
- Estimated time: 5hrs
Today we drive to Punakha, on the way we will stop at at Dochula pass for a hot drink and enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the Eastern Himalaya ranges. Dochula pass is high on top of a mountain, overlooking the Himalayas with 108 chortens (stupas) known as “Druk Wangyal Chortens” and Druk Wangyal Lhakhang, built in memory of Bhutanese sol-diers killed in the 2003 battle against Assamese insurgents from India. The Queen Mother, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, commissioned the monument after the Fourth King, His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck was victorious in the struggle to dislodge the rebels who were using Bhutan as a base to raid India.
You will have picnic lunch at the Royal Botanical Park. The Royal Botanical Park in Lampelri is the first botanical park in Bhutan. After lunch, you will take up a bird watching for a while such as Streaked-breasted, Scimitar Babbler, Himalayan Bluetail, white Throated laughingthrush, Asian Barbets, Warbs trogon, ect. Lately afternoon, you can drive towards the river of Punakha to see Bellied Heron which is listed as an endangered bird and one of the rarest bird species in the world.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro
Day 05:Explore Punakah Valley
Today we will drive towards to the Jigmi Dorji Wangchuk National Park for bird watching.
You will camp at Tashi Thang where you can see a variety of birds, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Maroon Oriole, White-tailed Nuhatch, Orange-bellied Leaf Bird, Speckled Piculet, Pygmy Wedge Babbler, Spotted Wren Babbler, Shrike-babbler, Black-eared, Yellow-throated, Rufous-winged, Green Shrike-babbler, Lesser Shortwing, Blue-fronted Robin, Hoary-throated, Rusty-fronted Barwing, White-throated Fantail, Yellow-bellied Fantail, Buff-barred Warbler, Lemon-rumped Warbler, Tickell’sLeaf Warbler, Golden-spectacled Warbler,Grey-hooded Warbler, ect.
Over night at camping at Tashi Thang
Day 06: Tashi Thang to Phobjikha
- Altitude at Phobjikha: 3000m
- Distance: 75km
- Estimated time: 3hrs
We will drive towards to Phobjikha after breakfast. The Phobjikha village is one of the most important wildlife preservation in the country and it serves as the ground nesting for the endangered Black-necked Crane in winter, then in summer, they are back to Tibet. The bird species found in this valley are White-tailed Nuthach, Scarlet Finch, Red-headed Bullfinch, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Spotted Laughing Thrush, Black-faced Laughinthrush, Blue Rock Thrush, Ward’s Trogon, Amur Falcon, Fire-capped Tit, Tickell’s Trush, Scaly Thrush, Whiskered Yuhina, Rufous-vented Yuhina, Fire-tailed Sunbird, ect.
Overnight at Phobjikha
Day 07: Phobjikha to Thimphu
- Altitude at Thimphu: 2320m
- Distance: 130km
- Estimated time: 5hrs
After breakfast drive to Thimphu, on the way we will stop at Dochu La Pass. After lunch, we go into forest, start climbing through the Hemlock forest ( 3530m). The trails go through different vegetation zone and finally see Lungchutshe Monastery, an old temple built in the 14th century. On this trail you can see fir, rhododendron, oak and bamboo forests prime, also view Satyr Tragopan, Rufous-breast Bush Robin, Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, fire-tailed myzornis, etc.
Take a short hike to Hongtsho Goemba, a monastery built in 1525 by Lam Ngawang Chogyal, the older brother of Drukpa Kuenlay. The trail leads up passing farm lands Apple orchards, potato fields, and vegetable gardens. The Hungtsho Goemba stands overlooking the village below and serves as the Buddhist community centre.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu
Day 08: Depart Paro.
After early breakfast at the hotel, your guide will accompany you to the airport for flight to your onward destination. Tashi Delek (goodbye and good luck) and hope to see you again.
- Single traveler: US$ 3,230 per person
- Group of 2 people: US$3,055 per person
- Group of 3 people: US$ 2,810 per person
OFF PEAK SEASON
- Single traveler: US$2,880 per person
- Group of 2 people: US$2,670 per person
- Group of 3 people: US$2,460 per person.
- If you are planning to travel Bhutan with a group of 4 people and more, please feel free to contact us to get the cost for your group.
|The cost includes||The cost excludes|
|Bhutan visa fee.||Laundry/beverages/telephone calls and any personal expenses.|
|3 star categories hotel/resort twin sharing room.||Travel insurance.|
|Accommodation in the best 3 star hotels/resorts in Bhutan.||Airfares.|
|All meals in day.||Airport taxes if any.|
|Bottled water on the trip.||Excess baggage charge.|
|A sustainable development fee.||Tips to guides and drivers.|
|Museum fees and other special entry fees.||Services not mentioned.|
|Internal transportation with experienced driver throughout the trip.|
|Sightseeing as per itinerary with English speaking guide.|