Bhutan Tour – Paro Festival

Himalayan Explorer: Darjeeling, Sikkim and Bhutan

Join us on our Bhutan tour with Paro Festival this Spring.

The tour starts by traveling to Sikkim and Darjeeling. OR you may join us in Paro for a shorter tour.

This is an adventurous but relatively easy journey.

The full tour travels overland to Paro via Sikkim and Darjeeling in the Indian Himalayas.

En-route to Paro, we visit marvelous monasteries and enjoy the dramatic beauty of the Himalayan Mountains. In addition, visit ancient cities 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. One highlight in Darjeeling is a ride on the famous toy train up to Ghoom Monastery.

Enjoy the drive from Darjeeling to Bhutan with stunning views of plains, jungles and traditional Bhutanese farm houses.

We celebrate the vibrant Paro Festival. Then set out for Thimphu and then Punakha, the winter residence of the Central Monastic Body.

The tour continues to Bumthang, the cultural heartland of Bhutan. Onward to Trongsa, the ancestral home of the Bhutanese Royal Family.

  • 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
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  • 1
    Calcutta, India
    Day 1: Arrival in Calcutta

    Transfer to hotel near airport.

  • 2
    Day 2-3: Darjeeling

    One hour flight to Bagdogra and a pleasant drive to Darjeeling where we spend two glorious days. Darjeeling is perhaps the most beautiful city in the Himalayas. 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.

  • 3
    Day 4: Darjeeling-Pemayangtse

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

  • 4
    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.

  • 5
    Day 7: Gangtok-Phuntsholing

    Drive to the Bhutanese border. Overnight in Phuntsholing.

  • 6
    Paro, Bhutan
    Day 8: Arrive Paro

    Those who are driving from Phuntsholing will be picked up at hotel at 7:30 am.

    Those that are joining Bhutan only tour, will arrive by flight this morning.

  • 7
    Day 9: Paro

    Attend the Paro Festival. Visit the Dzong and other sites around Paro.

  • 8
    Day 10-11: Thimphu

    Morning attend Paro Festival.

    Afterwards, depart to Thimphu.

    Thimphu is an enchanting blend of the old and new. Visits include 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.

  • 9
    Day 12:Punakha

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

  • 10
    Day 13-14:Gangtey (Phobjikha Valley)

    Phobjikha Valley is a glacial valley located on the western slopes of the Black Mountain at an altitude of 9840 feet. It is the winter home to the rare black-necked crane that migrate from high plateaus of Tibet in late Fall.

    Visit the ancient Gangtey Gompa and stroll around the beautiful Phobjikha Valley. Optional walks.

  • 11
    Day 15: Trongsa

    En-route, we visit the beautiful the Chendibji Stupa. This afternoon, visit Trongsa Dzong, a magnificent example of Bhutanese architecture.

  • 12
    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.

  • 13
    Day 19: Fly to Paro

    Arrival and lunch at local restaurant. Afternoon independent.

  • 14
    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.

  • 15
    Day 21: Depart

    Fly to Bangkok or Kathmandu for your flight home.

    OR join our tour of Tibet.

  • Trip Length

    21-day trip begins in Calcutta and ends in Paro
    14-day trip begins and ends in Paro (Bhutan Only)

  • Dates

    Full Tour: April 3-23, 2025
    Bhutan Only: April 10-23, 2025

  • Land Cost

    2025 Sikkim-Darjeeling-Bhutan: $8565 based on minimum 4 people; Single Room Supplement: $1320
    2025 Bhutan Only: $6560 based on minimum 4 people; Single Room Supplement: $640

  • Accommodations

    4/5-star hotel Calcutta airport, 5 star in Darjeeling and Sikkim, best traditional guesthouses in Bhutan

  • Group Size

    4-12 guests

  • Included Meals

    All breakfasts, all meals in Sikkim, Darjeeling and Bhutan
    Breakfast only in Phuntsholing, border town India-Bhutan

  • Reading List

    Suggested Reading

  • Extend Your Trip

    Treasures of Tibet
    Follows Bhutan Tour

Calcutta, West Bengal, India

Darjeeling, West Bengal, India

Pemayangtse Monastery, Sikkim, India


Thimphu, Bhutan

Punakha, Bhutan

Trongsa, Bhutan

Phobjikha Valley, Wangdue Phodrang, Bhutan

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