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Bhutan Paro Festival Tour

Himalayan Explorer

  • Travel to Bhutan via Sikkim and Darjeeling
  • Sunrise on Tiger Hill with views of  Mt. Kangchendzonga, the 3rd highest peak in the world!
  • Join the locals to celebrate the colorful Paro Festival
  • Enjoy striking Himalayan beauty: snow-capped peaks, terraced fields and tea plantations
  • Optional day hikes through charming, friendly villages

Join us on an adventurous but relatively easy journey overland as we travel to Paro, the gateway to Bhutan, via Sikkim and Darjeeling in India. En-route we visit marvelous monasteries and enjoy the dramatic beauty of Gangtok, Rumtek and Pemayangtse. A stunning drive through forests of oak, pine and orchids with the towering snow-capped Kangchendzonga range in the background brings us to Darjeeling. The tranquil environs with quaint villages, cascading waterfalls and the surrounding hills is a perfect setting for the tea estates and monasteries. A highlight in Darjeeling is a ride on the famous toy train up to Ghoom Monastery.

Savor a relaxed drive from Darjeeling to Bhutan with stunning views of plains, jungles and traditional Bhutanese farm houses. We celebrate the vibrant Paro Festival for two days before setting out for Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and the winter residence of the Central Monastic Body. We continue to Bumthang, the cultural heartland of Bhutan, Trongsa, the ancestral home of the Bhutanese Royal Family, and Thimphu, an enchanting blend of the old and new.


Day 1: Arrival in Calcutta
Transfer to hotel near airport.

Day 2-3: Darjeeling
One hour flight departing at noon for Bagdogra and a pleasant drive to Dajeeling where we spend two glorious days in Darjeeling, perhaps the most beautiful city in the Himalayas. Cherish a sunrise visit to Tiger Hill, a ride on the toy train to Ghoom and visits to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the Rail Museum. Enjoy lovely walks at your leisure.

Day 4: Darjeeling-Pemayangtse
We depart to Pemayangtse on a stunning drive through forests of aok, pine a nd orchids with the Kangchendzonga range in the background. Visit Pemayangtse Monastery and Sangacheoling Monastery.

Day 5-6: Gangtok & Rumtek
Drive to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Visit monasteries, dharma centers, cottage industries and enjoy the impressive view of Mt. Kanchendzonga.Excursion to Rumtek Monastery

Day 7: Gangtok-Phuntsholing
Drive to the Bhutanese border.

Day 8-9: Paro
Attend the Paro Festival. Visit the Dzong and other sites around Paro.

Day 10-11: Thimphu
Thimphu is an enchanting blend of the old and new. We visit the Memorial Chorten, National Library, Institute of Traditional Medicine and the bustling bazaar. A special treat here is a visit to the School of Arts and Crafts.

Day 12-13:Punakha
Explore Punakha Dzong, located in the middle of the river, where many women go to pray for progeny, and then visit nearby villages.

Day 13-14:Gangtey (Phobjikha Valley)
Visit the ancient Gangtey Gompa and stroll around the beautiful Phobjikha Valley.Optional walks.

Day 15: Trongsa
Enjoy a picnic at the site of the Chendibji Stupa. Visit Trongsa Dzong, a magnificent example of Bhutanese architecture.

Day 16-18: Bumthang
In Bumthang tour Tamshing Lhakhang, a treasure house of religious Buddhist paintings, Tamshing Monastery, one of the most sacred Nyingmapa monasteries, and Mebartso, the burning lake. A day excursion to the remote village Ura.

Day 19: Fly to Paro
Arrival and lunch at local restaurant. Afternoon independent.

Day 20: Paro
We start out early on our hike of Taktsang Monastery (aka Tiger's Nest Monastery). Everyone at your own pace; go as far as you like. Return to Paro and continue visits.

Day 21: Depart
Fly to Bangkok or Kathmandu for your flight home.

Trip Details

21-day trip begins in Calcutta and ends in Paro
14-day trip begins and ends in Paro (Bhutan Only)
2018 DATES
March 20-April 9
March 27-April 9 (Bhutan Only)
From $4990 full tour
Bhutan Only: $3650
Does Not Include Flights
4/5-star hotel Calcutta airport, 5 star in Darjeeling; Best traditional guest houses in Sikkim and rest of Bhutan
4-12 guests
All breakfasts, all meals in Sikkim, Darjeeling and Bhutan
Breakfast only in Phuntsholing, border town India-Bhutan

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