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Glimpses of Bhutan

4 days 3 nights

Code BCT01

Category Bhutan Classic Tours

  • Group Size 2-16
  • Difficulty Level 2
  • Highest Altitude 10,240 ft (3,120 m)
  • Trip Starts From Paro
  • Trip Ends At Paro
  • Type Tours
  • Destination Thimpu Paro
Dates & Prices


2 nights: Thimphu and 1 night: Paro, a delightful addition to most any itinerary, especially for anyone traveling to India or Nepal. If you are traveling in Sikkim or Darjeeling, you can also travel overland or by flight from Bagdogra airport.

This trip covers the two major cities of Bhutan – Paro and Thimphu, the capital city of the tiny kingdom – that together include a panorama of famous Dzong fortresses, museums, art schools, libraries, and textile emporiums that will give you insights into the Bhutanese culture and traditions . You will also have the opportunity to visit some farm houses and meet Bhutanese people and experience rural life. If you are in Thimphu during the weekends, we’ll have a chance to visit the vibrant weekend market.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~Flight to Paro and Transfer to Thimphu

Your flight will likely include breathtaking views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Mount Chomolhari and Jichu Drake of Bhutan.

On arrival at Paro, Bhutan, airport, meet your guide and driver after clearing immigration and customs. You’ll need to present your Visa Approval document, which we will email to you about three to four weeks prior to the trip date. In Paro, you are required to present the document again, and there you will get actual visa sticker on your passport.

After introductions, your guide and driver will transfer you to a local restaurant for lunch. After lunch, visit the National Museum of Paro which gives a good introduction on Bhutan's history, culture and religion. The museum exhibits good of collection Bhutanese textiles, manuscripts, books, murals, armors, crafts, traditional utensils, philatelic collections, and more. Then, we can either descend or visit the impressive Rinpung Dzong Fortress that houses the office of the district administration and monastic bod.

Now, we take scenic one-hour drive to Thimphu, the capital, with a stop for a short walk at the 13th century temple of Tamchog Lakhang. The temple was built by the famous Tibetan iron-bridge builder Thangthong Gyalpo – architect, physician, teacher, and a saint! The temple is owned and maintained by his descendants.

In Thimphu, we’ll have time to settle in before a walking tour of the tiny city. Thimphu is probably the only capital in the world without any traffic lights! We will take a leisurely stroll and visit the memorial chorten (shrine) of the 3rd King of Bhutan Jigme Dorje Wangchuk, and whatever else time and our interest allow.

Overnight: Khang Residency or similar
Meals : Lunch, Dinner
Day 02~Sightseeing in Thimphu

After breakfast, with our guide and driver, the adventures begin as we get a feel for the city. On the weekend, it's worth visiting the weekend market. Archery is the Bhutanese the national sport, and we’ll hope for matches while we’re there. 

Next, visit the National Institute Zorig Chusum that offers a six years course on Bhutan's traditional arts and crafts that include painting, wood carving, embroidery, and statue making. Then, visit the Simply Bhutan Museum, a living museum of Bhutan, resembling to a typical village that promotes the cultural heritage and local lifestyle. Here, you will have chance to wear traditional Bhutanese costumes and pose for photography, if you wish.  

Next stop – the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, dispensary of traditional Bhutanese herbal and other medicines. Other attraction, if time permits and if you wish is textile academy that preserves the centuries old living art of Bhutan. Thimphu's latest addition is Buddha Dordenma, a gigantic 177 ft tall Buddha statue on a ridge overlooking the valley.

Late afternoon, take a short 10-minute hike through the forest to visit the Takin Sanctuary. Takins – a kind of sheep by way of antelope, are the National animals of Bhutan and believed to exist only in Bhutan Himalaya. On the way back to our hotel, we’ll stop at the Zilukha Nunnery in Drubthob Goemba, home to 40-60 Buddhist nuns.

Finally, we visit the Trasichoe Dzong that houses the Royal Throne, National Assembly, and the seat of Chief Abbot of the central monastic body.

An option: hiking enthusiasts keen to experience a monastic lifestyle away from the crowds of town can take a half-day hike to Tango Goemba monastery. You’ll miss some sights listed above; and if you are a part of group, the choice will be made by majority vote. Tango Goebma Monastery is Bhutan's highest learning center for Buddhist studies. All Je Khenpo, the religious head of Bhutan, must complete a nine-year program here and a three-year, three-month, three-day in mediation at the nearby Cheri Goemba Monastery! With luck, the monks will be in recess, and we can join them for tea.

Overnight: Khang Residency or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 03~Paro: Hike the Takstang Monastery hike

After an early morning breakfast, we retrace our drive to Paro.

We will first hike to the famous Taktsang Monastery, also known as the Tiger's Nest, a highlight of any trip to Bhutan. The monastery is dramatically perched on the edge of a 4000-foot cliff above the valley floor; it is an unbelievable sight. The hike up is less than three hours. With a prior arrangement, ponies can take us two-thirds of the way up, but no further. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, known as Guru Rinpoche by Tibetans and Bhutanese, flew on a tigress from Tibet and landed at the monastery’s site. Guru meditated in a cave here, it is said, and subdued the local demons and established the supremacy of Buddhism in Bhutan.

This afternoon, visit a typical Bhutanese farm family and their colorful farmhouse, made up of wood without use of a single nail! With prior arrangement, we can share a traditional meal with the family.

Experience Traditional Hot Stone Bath (Optional):

After such an active day, we recommend a traditional Bhutanese Hot stone bath, an ancient Bhutanese method of curing skin ailments, joint pains, hypertension, stomach disorders, arthritis, and many other diseases. Your guide needs one day advance notice to arrange the hot stone bath and it can be taken at some hotel or a private farm house. Estimated cost is approximately $25-$30 per person.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 04~Departure

You are transferred to airport in time for your flight to your next destination.

Meals : Breakfast

Trip Map

Trip Info

Trip Includes

  • Accommodation on double occupancy basis on choice of your hotels.
  • All transfers and sightseeing by a private vehicle.
  • Three meals a day.
  • English speaking local tour guide.
  • Sightseeing admission fee.
  • Bhutan visa fee.
  • Service of airfare reservation.

Trip Does Not Include

  • Airfare to and out of Bhutan.
  • Expenses of personal nature such as drinks, tip, laundry, phone etc.
  • Extra expenses due to nature and unforeseen events.
  • Travel Insurance.

Trip Difficulty Level, Road and Transport

This motor vehicle-based trip will accommodate all travelers in general good health. The trip’s highest altitude is at Dhochu La Pass (10,000 feet or 3,048 meters); our stop there is brief, and our overnight stays are all in lower, far more comfortable elevations. The trip requires some easy walking and hikes, all of which are optional. Bhutan roads – cut into steep hillsides and mountains, alone winding rivers, and sometimes unpaved – can be a challenge. We use Japanese cars, micro buses, and minibuses, depending on group size. SUVs are available for an additional charge.


Thimphu and Paro are the major cities of Bhutan and offers some choices of accommodation. The standard tour includes the 3* hotels (indicated as variation A) with private bathroom, running hot and cold water. For those seeking more comfort and luxury, we have 4* (Variation B) and 5* hotels and exclusive properties such as Uma in Paro and Tat Tashi in Thimphu (variaion C).


Your trip features 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners. Most meals are arranged in tourist class restaurants in town or if you are staying in variation A hotels, some meals will be arranged at your hotel. You will mostly have fixed set menu served in buffet style, that means all the guests in the hotels or restaurants are eating the same food. Meals include rice, bread, curried vegetables, noodles or spaghetti and chicken or pork. As Bhutan is a Buddhist country, they don't slaughter animals in Bhutan and the meats are imported.

Beware: traditional Bhutanese food always features chilies, and the most popular dish, ema datshi, is made with large, green hot chilies in a cheese sauce.


Our guides are college-educated Bhutanese, proficient in English, and trained and licensed by local tourism authorities. Just as important, they are friendly and committed to deliver the best services.

International and internal airfares:

Currently there are two airlines- Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines and flight to Bhutan come from Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Kathmandu, Singapore and Mumbai. So, you need to first fly to one of these cities; spend a night there and next day, you can fly to Bhutan. You can buy the tickets either on the airline website or we can help you book these flights for you. Both the airlines have one flight a day from Bangkok but fewer flights from other destinations.

Passport and Visa

Remaining validity of your passport must be minimum 6 months beyond your return date. Make sure, you are not running out of blank visa pages. Bhutan visa needs one blank visa page (Not the endorsement page) and some blank spaces for entry and departure seals.

If your travel starts from India, you should obtain Indian visa beforehand as India does not grant visa on arrival.

Best time for this trip:

This trip can be undertaken throughout the year but definitely October and November are the best months when temperatures are mild, skies are clear and we have clear visibility. The second best season is from March through early May.

Booking Deposit and Payment Schedule

Tour Deposit: US$ 300 per person

If your trip involves internal air tickets, we may have to get the tickets issued within the deadline given by the airlines and we may request you the cost of the ticket along with the tour deposit. After we receive the tour deposit, we process the booking of internal air tickets and hotels, and will get back to you with the confirmation within a week. If some internal airfares require immediate purchase, we will ask you to wire the payment for. Some hotels and supplier may ask for a non-refundable deposit to guarantee the booking and we will request to include this in the second payment.

Balance payment

The balance and final payment is due 90 days prior departure. If your trip involves internal air or train tickets, we may also request the cost of the tickets with booking deposit to guarantee the lowest fare. Credit card payment attracts additional 3.5% fee. We accept the payment from traveler's account only. However, we reserve the right to refuse certain form of payment. Wire transfer fees are to be borne by the traveler.

Cancellation and refund

  • 180 days prior departure: No penalty unless stated as non-refundable.
  • 90 days prior departure: Administrative fee US$ 150 per person.
  • 60-89 day's prior departure: US$ 300 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • 45 days to 59 days prior departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • 30 days to 44 days prior departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Less than 30 days: 100%.

Cancellation and refund of air tickets cost will be as per rules and regulations of the concerned airlines plus a service charge of US$ 25 per segment will be levied. Cancellation terms and conditions of certain services may vary which will be informed per case to case basis.

No refund or adjustment to other services will be made for any unused land or air services for any reason whatsoever, once tour begin. We highly recommend that all travelers purchase trip cancellation insurance.


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