Pur. Hiking path to the famous Paro Taktsang or Tiger's Nest monastery, Bhutan.

Highlights of Bhutan and 2-day Bumdra trek

Trips/Discover Bhutan

8 days

Join us on an adventure where we take you to some truly breathtaking and culturally rich spots in western Bhutan, including Tiger's Nest, Buddha Point and Punakha fortress. We also introduce you to some out-of-the-way villages and landmarks. We love that this trip introduces you to the culture of Bhutan while also offering some great hikes, including a two-day trek into the towering Himalayas!

Detailed Itinerary

Bhutan map

Day 1: Arrival day

Your guide meets at the airport after a descent into the town of Paro that showcased some incredible mountain scenery! You're then driven to Thimphu, which sees you passing Tschogang Lhakhang, a beautiful 15th-century Tibetan Buddhist temple that you can only reach by walking across a flag-adorned footbridge. En route to Thimphu you also stop at Chhuzomwhere the Thimphu and Paro Rivers converge and there are pretty Tibetan, Nepalese and Bhutanese stupas to appreciate. After checking into your hotel, enjoy an evening walk along the main street and explore the market and crafts bazaar.

The gate leading to the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu

Day 2: Visit Buddha Point and do a pretty nature walk (2 hr)

Today we visit Buddha Point, which has the largest statue in the country and offers a great view of Thimphu valley. From here we do an easy two-hour hike along a pretty forested trail that passes villages and thousands of prayer flags. The trail ends at Changangkha Lhakhang, an historic temple and monastic school. After lunch, we take a short drive to Pangri Zampa, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, and then to visit a traditional paper-making factory. In the evening we visit Tashichho Dzong, which houses the king's throne room and various government bodies.

Pangri Zampa, Tibetan Buddhist dzong, Thimphu region, Bhutan

Day 3: Short hike to Chimi temple (1.5 hr) and explore Punakha fortress

After breakfast we drive to Punakha by way of Dochu La, a mountain pass that's 3,O8O m asl. Here you get out and appreciate the chortens (Buddhist shrines) as well as the incredible view, which includes the peaks of the eastern Himalayas on a clear day! After checking into the hotel, we walk through farmland and villages to visit Chimi Lhakhang, the so-called temple of fertility. Later, we head to Punakha Dzong, a massive fortress-monastery that sits at the confluence of two rivers. The town of Punakha is very beautiful, and was the capital of Bhutan until 1955.

Punakha Dzong and the Mo Chhu river in Bhutan

Day 4: Explore the best spots and culture of Punakha

After breakfast, we hike up through fields of chillies, cabbages and rice along the banks of the Mo Chhu to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a stunning monument built this century by the Queen Mother. Later, we visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery, which is perched on a ridge amid pine trees and overlooks the valleys of Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang. The temple complex is a higher learning and meditation centre for nuns where they can also learn tailoring, embroidery, statue-making and thangka painting.

Thangka painting hanging on wall at the Trongsa Dzong, Trongsa, Bhutan

Day 5: Drive to Paro (4.5 hr) and explore three incredible fortresses

After breakfast, we drive to Paro along a scenic highway. En route, we visit Simtokha Dzong, the country's oldest fortress, built in 1627. Once in Paro, we have lunch and then visit Ta Dzong (a dzong is a fortress), which was originally built as watchtower but now houses the National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangka paintings, textiles, weapons and armour. We then do a short walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, which means 'Fortress of the heap of jewels'. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore.

Buddhist Monk holding a drum at colourful mask dance at yearly buddhism Paro Tsechu festival in Bhutan monastery temple location.

Day 6: Hike to Bumdra Wilderness Camp (3-4 hr)

Today we hike from Sang Choekor Buddhist College (2,800 m) to a yak pasture below Bumdra Monastery (3,800 m) where we camp for the night. The trail starts by climbing up to a ridge that's decorated with prayer flags and offers great views of both Paro and Do Chhu valleys. After some more trekking we find Chhoe Tse Lhakhang, a temple nestled in the mountainside. The trail then undulates for a while before climbing steeply to a pretty temple that enjoys commanding views south over Paro and north towards the snowcapped Himalayas. We end by hiking through ancient forest till we reach our meadow campsite.

Ours. Bumdra trek tent, view from inside sleeping bag, Bhutan (2)

Day 7: Hike to Tiger's Nest monastery

Today we hike via the Zangtho Pelri monasteries to visit Taktsang monastery (2,900 m), more popularly known as Tiger's Nest. It's Bhutan's most famous monastery, as it sits perched on a cliffside nearly a kilometre above Paro valley. After hiking down from the monastery, we drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Mt Jomolhari can be seen en route. In the evening we visit the seventh-century Kyichu Lhakhang, a temple that's considered to have been the start of Buddhism in the country.

Tiger's Nest viewpoint

Day 8: Departure day

After breakfast at the hotel, your tour guide drives you to the airport in Thimphu and helps you with the exit formalities for your flight home. We feel confident that you're going to be leaving Bhutan with incredible memories that you will make you smile for decades to come!

Tschogang Lhakhang temple/dzong, night-time Thimphu scene, Bhutan

Inclusions

Price Includes

Daily visa (which is a sustainable development fee, or SDF)

All ground transport, including airport transfers

4-star hotel accommodation

Breakfasts, lunches and dinners

2 bottled waters per person per day

Experienced and knowledgeable English-speaking tour guide and driver

Price Does Not Include

International flights

Travel insurance

Sleeping bag

Drinks

Snacks

Tips for tour guide and mountain trekking crew (customary)

Where you'll stay

Exterior facade of Tenzinling Resort, Paro, Bhutan

Tenzinling Resort

This beautiful resort is ideally situated for you to explore Paro on foot. Room service is available, and there's range of cuisine on offer in case you're feeling homesick for a familiar meal.

Grey deluxe room Hotel Druk, Thimphu

Hotel Druk Thimphu

Newly renovated, most of the rooms at this stylish hotel offer a lovely view of the Wangchu (Thimphu River) and the city beyond.

Twin bedroom of 4-star Zhingkam Resort, Punakha, Bhutan

Zhingkham Resort

This resort sits on a mountain high above the Punakha valley, offering incredible views. There's a spa onsite if you feel the need for some pampering.

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Gallery

archery Bhutan travel guide
Bhuddist monastery called Paro Taktsang, the Tigers Nest in Himalayan mountains. Paro District, Bhutan.
Bhutan prayer flags
Outdoor picnic with Bhutanese dishes, food
Green and peaceful kingdom of Himalaya with beautiful tiny stupas found everywhere, Bumdra trek