Overview Embarking on a tour to Bumthang and Ura Valley in Bhutan promises an enchanting journey through awe-inspiring landscapes and a glimpse into the country's rich cultural heritage. Spanning over 300 words, here's an overview of what you can expect on your trip: Nestled in the Eastern Himalayas, Bumthang and Ura Valley revered for their natural beauty and spiritual significance. The journey begins with your arrival in Paro, Bhutan's international airport. From there, you can either take a domestic flight or embark on a scenic road trip, which offers breathtaking views of the Bhutanese countryside. Discover the Enchanting Beauty and…
Embarking on a tour to Bumthang and Ura Valley in Bhutan promises an enchanting journey through awe-inspiring landscapes and a glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage. Spanning over 300 words, here’s an overview of what you can expect on your trip:
Nestled in the Eastern Himalayas, Bumthang and Ura Valley revered for their natural beauty and spiritual significance. The journey begins with your arrival in Paro, Bhutan’s international airport. From there, you can either take a domestic flight or embark on a scenic road trip, which offers breathtaking views of the Bhutanese countryside.
Bumthang, also known as the “Switzerland of Bhutan,” is a district consisting of four main valleys: Chokhor, Tang, Ura, and Chhume. The town of Jakar, located in Chokhor Valley, serves as the gateway to this region. Here, you’ll find the imposing Jakar Dzong, a fortress-monastery that offers panoramic views of the valley.
Exploring Bumthang allows you to visit significant religious sites such as Jambay Lhakhang, an ancient temple believed to have been built in the 7th century. Another notable attraction is Kurjey Lhakhang, a sacred monastery housing the final resting place of Bhutan’s first three Kings.
Ura Valley, situated in Bumthang district, enchants visitors with its tranquil countryside and traditional houses. The valley is known for its annual Ura Yakchoe festival, a vibrant celebration of Bhutanese culture and spirituality. During the festival, locals don traditional attire and perform masked dances, offering a unique glimpse into Bhutan’s living traditions.
Immersing yourself in the local culture is a key highlight of the trip. You can witness traditional Bhutanese festivals, explore local handicrafts like handwoven textiles and woodwork, and savor the distinct flavors of Bhutanese cuisine. Don’t miss the opportunity to try dishes like ema datshi (spicy chili and cheese) and momos (dumplings) while enjoying the local favorite, “ara,” a traditional alcoholic beverage.
Accommodations in Bumthang range from hotels and resorts to cozy guesthouses, providing comfortable stays with varying budgets. Ura Valley offers a more rustic experience with limited accommodation options.
It’s important to note that travel to Bhutan requires a visa obtained through authorized tour operators, who also assist in securing necessary permits for visiting Bumthang and Ura Valley. These operators ensure a well-organized and hassle-free experience, while also adhering to Bhutan’s high-value, low-impact tourism policy.
With its natural splendor, ancient monasteries, and vibrant cultural heritage, a trip to Bumthang and Ura Valley promises an unforgettable adventure in the heart of the Himalayas.
Arrive Paro by the Bhutanese National Carrier flying over the world’s highest mountains and finally landing at the lush green Paro valley. A cool and clean fresh air greets the visitor as stepping down from the plane, the first gift of Bhutan. After clearing customs and visa formalities, meet the representatives and the Bhutanese guide, and a short tour brief by the guide then transfer to Paro town for lunch. Then drive towards Thimphu (the capital of Bhutan) for about an hour.
In Thimphu, visit Buddha point for a stunning view of Thimphu city and Takin Compound- on the way to the viewpoint over Thimphu is the home of Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin. Then continue to Tashi Choe Dzong- the fortress of the glorious religion was initially constructed in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in the 1960s, Folk Heritage Museum – a 300 year old traditional house converted into a museum, Centenary Farmers Market, the new authentic craft bazaar. Overnight at Hotel (Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast, drive towards Gangtey via Wangdue. The road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050 m). This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges in a clear day. After stopping for a tea, descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Wangdue. Wangdue Phodrang Dzong is dramatically located on the spur of a hill at the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers. Then a gradual climb goes into the valley of Gangtey (Phobjikha). There is an old monastery of Gangtey Gompa dating back to the 17th century. A few kilometers past the Gompa on the valley floor are the fascinating valley of Phobjikha. The gentle sloping hillsides of Phobjikha are described as “the most beautiful valley in the Himalayas”. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Early start with drive to the central valleys of Bhutan. The drive to Bumthang via Trongsa is about six hours crossing over Pelela Pass (3,300 m) and Yotongla Pass (3,400 m). The road climbs steadily passing through semi-tropical vegetation and then to Pelela Pass(3,300m) with an alpine environment of rhododendrons and dwarf bamboo. This pass is traditionally considered the boundary between west and east Bhutan. If the weather is clear, particularly the peak of Jhomulhari (7314 m) to the west can be spotted. En-route cross Chendebji Chorten built to suppress a demon. After lunch, go out to view the impressive Trongsa Dzong, ancestral home of the ruling dynasty. In olden days the Dzong commanded the passage between east and West Bhutan. Finally drive towards Bumthang valley (described as “one of the most beautiful spot in the Himalayas” across the Yotongla Pass (3,400 m) Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
In the morning visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom as Bhutan’s “patron saint”, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) meditated here. From Kurje monastery, a tarmac road heads south along the right bank of the river to Jambey Lhakhang. This temple, erected by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, is one of the two oldest in Bhutan (the other being Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro). After lunch, hike to Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pema Lingpa. It contains interesting and ancient Buddhist wall paintings. Later, visit Jakar Dzong, “the castle of the white bird”, and then take a stroll through Bumthang’s market area before returning to the hotel. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast, drive towards the Ura valley which is 42 kilometers from Bumthang. The road reaches the Ura Shelthangla from where a magnificent view of Bhutan’s highest peak, Gangkhar Puensum (7,500 m) can be spotted. The road then descends into Ura valley by long loops across fields and pastures. Ura’s main occupation is raising sheeps, yaks and the introduction of potato farming has brought a certain degree of prosperity of people. In Ura, visit Ura Lhakhang and picnic lunch will be served at one of many inviting spots. Afternoon: drive back to Bumthang. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast, re-trace the same route back towards Gangtey and the road journey today is bit longer with 8 hours of drive. Upon arrival at Gangtey, check-in hotel. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After early breakfast, drive towards Punakha for about 3 hours. En-route take a short hike through beautiful rice fields to Chimmi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, who as a favorite saint of the Bhutanese people is known affectionately as “the Divine Madman”. And Punakha Dzong located at the confluence of the Pho-chu (male-river) and Mo-chu (female-river), the Punakha Dzong is arguably the most impressive dzong in the country. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast, trace the route back to Paro. In Paro, visit Rinpung Dzong built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan; the Dzong continues its age-old function as the seat of the district administration, district court and the monastic body. The southern approach to the Dzong has a traditional roofed cantilever bridge called Nemi Zam. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast drive towards the base camp of Taktsang for the hike up to the Taktsang Monastery-Tiger’s Nest. It’s about two hours hike up the cafeteria. From this point, enjoy the spectacular view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in 8th century. Then visit the Taktsang Monastery and hike back to the road point then drive to Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in Bhutan. Afterwards, back to hotel. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch the onward flight. Bid farewell to the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappearing again behind its guardian mountains. (Breakfast only included)
Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
• 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium).
• Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing
• Route Permit
• Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan
• A licensed Bhutanese tour guide
• All land transportation by private vehicle
• Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
• Sightseeing as per itinerary
• Drinking water
• All internal taxes and charges
• A sustainable development fee of $200 per person per night. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)
Monuments entrance fees where applicable (Entrance fees)
• Airfare & Travel Insurance
• Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
• Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.
Bumthang and Ura Valley are beautiful regions located in the Kingdom of Bhutan, a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. These areas are known for their stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and spiritual significance. If you’re planning a tour to Bumthang and Ura Valley, here is some information to help you plan your trip:
It’s important to note that Bhutan follows a high-value, low-impact tourism policy, which requires tourists to book their trip through authorized tour operators. These operators handle all logistics, including transportation, accommodation, and permits, ensuring a hassle-free experience.
When planning your trip, it’s recommended to consult with a Bhutanese tour operator who can customize the itinerary based on your preferences and provide up-to-date information regarding travel regulations and requirements.
Enjoy your trip to the beautiful Bumthang and Ura Valley in Bhutan!