May 2019

Champaca Journeys is very fond of spring time in Bhutan. The Kingdom comes alive as farmers till and plant their fields, and the result is vivid green plots and rice terraces. Wild flowers and rhododendrons begin to blossom, weaving a tapestry of color over fields and forest.  Near ideal temperatures are the norm. On this 12-night journey we visit 4 different areas in Bhutan, offering you a good look at the country and plenty of opportunity to meet its people. You will meet our many local friends as you travel across this lovely country. Prepare for a journey that both stimulates and relaxes as we explore this remarkable land.

Bhutan, green and tan rice terraces Cow In Phobjikha Valley G Palace grounds Erythina Bhutan Punakha V, by Uma Smiling Bhutanese Students chortens,d-la

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Arrive Paro and check into the Gangtey Palace Hotel. After getting settled we go into Paro town to explore and then introduce you to Bhutanese food at one of our favorite restaurants.  Afternoon visit to Kyichu Monastery, one of the oldest and most revered temples in Bhutan. Spend the late afternoon and evening relaxing at the hotel, a former palace as the name implies. Welcome dinner at hotel.

Morning visit to Paro Dzong, a fortified monastery, constructed nearly 4 centuries ago and still in use today, followed by visit to nearby museum. Ninety-minute afternoon drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Our Bhutanese friends will join us for an evening on the town. 

Overnight at Druk Hotel.

Full day to explore Thimphu. We’ll visit the School of Traditional Arts, paper making factory, and Folk Heritage Museum. Afternoon free to explore Thimphu on your own or with guides. Dinner with our Bhutanese friends. 

Overnight at Druk Hotel.

Morning 2-hour hike to Cheri Monastery. Built in 1750 and impressively perched above the Thimphu valley, surrounded by pine and rhododendron forest. Few foreigners visit this sacred site, with its impressive Buddha statues and religious school. Return to Thimphu for lunch, then we drive 3 hours to Punakha, the drive takes us over the scenic pass of Dochu-La, at 10,300 feet. 

Overnight at Drubchhu Resort.

The morning will be spent exploring the lovely Punakha Dzong (fortified monastery), architecturally and aesthetically one of the most beautiful of Bhutan's dzongs. Optional afternoon hike to Chimi Lhakhang, AKA the Temple of the Divine Madman, built in 1499 and one of the most interesting temples in Bhutan. 

Overnight at Drubchhu Resort.

We drive high into the hills above Punakha to visit Talo Monastery. Both remote and beautiful, and seldom visited by tourists, both the drive to the mountain top location and the temple temple visit are fascinating. After exploring the monastery, we begin our downhill hike, though forest and field and tiny villages. Our vehicle awaits us to take us back into town for lunch and then back to hotel. Cooking demonstration by hotel chefs prior to dinner this evening.

Overnight at Drubchhu Resort.

Morning departure for Phobjikha Valley. The 4-hour drive takes us to this broad glacial valley, unique in Bhutan, and renown for its beauty. We’ll have the afternoon free to wander near the hotel, the lovely Dewachen Lodge.

This morning we drive to the main village in the valley to visit the Gangtey Monastery. Under renovation for the past several years, we may see craftsmen at work as we explore this ancient temple. From the monastery we make a gentle downhill hike though forest and field to the valley floor and then return to the hotel for lunch. Afternoon at leisure. 

Overnight at Dewachen Lodge.

We depart after breakfast for the 7-hour drive to Thimphu. Rest of day free in Thimphu. Dinner with our Bhutanese friends. 

Overnight at Druk Hotel.

Another day to explore Thimphu, visit the National Textile Museum, Buddha Point statue, incense making factory, artists studios, or for those who prefer a more relaxed day, optional visits to local spa, cafes, and shopping. 

Overnight at Druk Hotel.

Early afternoon departure for Paro. Afternoon free to explore Paro town or relax at hotel. 

Overnight at Gangtey Palace Hotel.

After breakfast we drive 20 minutes to base of mountain where Taksang is located. Also known as Tiger’s Nest Monastery, and probably the most iconic building in all Bhutan, it is perched on a cliff 2,700’ above the valley floor. It is said that the Guru Rimpoche arrived here in the back of a flying tiger is 746 CE, and meditated in a mountain cave for 3 months. The site has since been sacred and a monastery has been constructed to commemorate his visit. It is a pilgrimage site for all Bhutanese who gain merit by making the ascent. You too can gain merit while by making the 3-hour ascent and visiting the monastery seemingly glued to the barest concavity of the cliff face. After descending we’ll have lunch in Paro, then optional hot stone bath at our hotel, Gangtey Palace Hotel, followed by farewell dinner.

Breakfast at hotel, then transport to airport for onward flight.

prices & registration information

(Inclusive of food, beverages, accommodations, ground transportation, entrance fees, services of licensed Bhutanese guide and driver, services of USA based trip leader, Bhutanese visa and airport taxes.)

$5300. (Based on double occupancy)
$6000. (Based on single occupancy)

NOTE: International airfare, gratuities, alcoholic beverages other than local beer with meals, laundry, souvenirs, items of a personal nature and travel insurance are NOT included.

General Information


Bhutan is accessed most easily from Bangkok, Thailand from where there are daily flights. Flights always depart in the early morning and participants should give themselves at least 24-hour layover in Bangkok in the event flight to Bangkok is delayed. Fares are subject to change without notice.


Flights are with DRUKAIR, ROYAL BHUTAN AIRLINES, operating Airbus 319 jets.