Overview A Bumthang cultural tour takes you on a captivating journey through the cultural heartland of Bhutan, immersing you in the country's rich history, sacred sites, and vibrant traditions. Located in the central part of Bhutan, Bumthang also offers a unique and authentic cultural experience. The tour typically lasts for 3 to 7 days, allowing you to explore the highlights of the region. You'll begin your adventure by visiting Jakar Dzong, an impressive fortress perched on a hilltop. From there, you'll also venture to Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, where you can witness its intricate architecture…
A Bumthang cultural tour takes you on a captivating journey through the cultural heartland of Bhutan, immersing you in the country’s rich history, sacred sites, and vibrant traditions. Located in the central part of Bhutan, Bumthang also offers a unique and authentic cultural experience.
The tour typically lasts for 3 to 7 days, allowing you to explore the highlights of the region. You’ll begin your adventure by visiting Jakar Dzong, an impressive fortress perched on a hilltop. From there, you’ll also venture to Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, where you can witness its intricate architecture and immerse yourself in its spiritual ambiance. Don’t miss the chance to visit Kurjey Lhakhang, a sacred temple complex associated with Guru Rinpoche, and explore its revered cave.
Your journey continues to Tangbi Goemba, a monastery renowned for its stunning murals and serene atmosphere. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the Burning Lake (Mebar Tsho), a sacred site where locals perform rituals and make offerings. Additionally, if your visit aligns with the Bumthang Nye (Bumthang Tshechu) festival, you’ll also witness the vibrant mask dances, religious ceremonies, and cultural performances that showcase the essence of Bhutanese tradition.
To gain a deeper understanding of local life, consider staying in a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse or homestay. This will also provide you with an authentic experience, as you engage with the warm hospitality of the locals and savor delicious Bhutanese cuisine.
For adventure enthusiasts, Bumthang offers biking and hiking opportunities amidst picturesque landscapes. You can also explore the Tang and Ura valleys, or embark on a hike to the remote village of Tharpaling, relishing the natural beauty that surrounds you.
It’s important to note that Bhutan regulates tourism through a “High Value, Low Impact” policy. Therefore, you’ll need to plan your trip with a licensed Bhutanese tour operator who will arrange visas, accommodations, transportation, and guide you throughout your journey.
In summary, a Bumthang cultural tour provides an enchanting glimpse into Bhutan’s cultural heritage. From ancient temples and monasteries to vibrant festivals and breathtaking landscapes, this journey will leave you with cherished memories and a profound appreciation for Bhutan’s unique traditions and way of life.
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 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 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 from Choekhor valley to Tang Valley (2hrs Approx.) En-route Tang valley a short walk to Membar Tsho “The flaming lake” can be taken where Terton Pema Lingpa discover a treasure. After the visit, continue the drive and arrive at Mesethang with a school and few shops. Short distance away from Mesethang is Tang Rimochen Lhakhang, located below an enormous rock, which is a scared place where Guru Rinpoche mediated. A rock in front of the Lhakhang has a body print of Guru and his two consorts. The name Tag Rimoche (an impression of tiger’s stripes) is derived from the tiger stripes that appear on a rock cliff behind the building. Afterwards, continue the drive to reach Kidzom village. From Kidzom, cross the bridge over Tang chuu river and climb up to the hill top Ugyen Choling manor. Ugyen choling palace was originally built by Deb Tsokye Dorji, a descendant of Dorji Lingpa in 16th century. The palace itself has been converted into a museum where they collected all the antique pieces of things posses by their great ancestors. In the museum are kept a lot of old things which provides a better understanding of life in Bhutan during olden days. Back to Bumthang. 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, also known as the cultural heartland of Bhutan, is a district located in the central part of the country. It is famous for its rich history, sacred sites, and traditional festivals. A cultural tour of Bumthang offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in Bhutanese traditions, witness ancient temples and monasteries, and experience the unique way of life of the local people. Here’s some information about a Bumthang cultural tour:
Duration: A typical Bumthang cultural tour can range from 3 to 7 days, depending on your preferences and the activities you wish to include.
Highlights and Activities:
It’s important to note that Bhutan has a policy of “High Value, Low Impact” tourism, which means the number of tourists is regulated to preserve the country’s culture and environment. You will need to plan your trip through a licensed Bhutanese tour operator who will arrange your itinerary, visas, accommodations, and transportation.
Overall, a Bumthang cultural tour provides an immersive experience into Bhutan’s rich cultural heritage, allowing you to explore ancient temples, witness traditional festivals, and interact with the friendly locals.