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Bumthang Valley Tour

Overview A tour to Bumthang Valley offers an enchanting journey into the heartland of Bhutan, where ancient traditions, breathtaking landscapes, and sacred sites await. Nestled in the central region of the country, Bumthang Valley is also a treasure trove of cultural and natural wonders. The journey begins with a scenic flight or a picturesque road trip from Paro or Thimphu, the major entry points to Bhutan. As you arrive in Bumthang, you'll also be greeted by a serene and picturesque valley surrounded by rolling hills and lush forests. The valley is home to numerous monasteries, temples, and dzongs (fortresses) that…


A tour to Bumthang Valley offers an enchanting journey into the heartland of Bhutan, where ancient traditions, breathtaking landscapes, and sacred sites await. Nestled in the central region of the country, Bumthang Valley is also a treasure trove of cultural and natural wonders.

The journey begins with a scenic flight or a picturesque road trip from Paro or Thimphu, the major entry points to Bhutan. As you arrive in Bumthang, you’ll also be greeted by a serene and picturesque valley surrounded by rolling hills and lush forests.

The valley is home to numerous monasteries, temples, and dzongs (fortresses) that showcase the rich Buddhist heritage of Bhutan. One of the highlights is Jakar Dzong, a majestic fortress-monastery perched on a hilltop overlooking the valley. Its intricate architecture and panoramic views make it a must-visit site.

Sacred Serenity and Natural Splendor: Exploring Bumthang Valley’s Spiritual Treasures and Scenic Trails

Exploring the spiritual side of Bumthang, you’ll come across ancient temples like Jambay Lhakhang and Kurjey Lhakhang. These sacred sites are deeply revered by locals and are steeped in myth and legends. The monasteries also offer a tranquil atmosphere, where you can observe monks engaged in their daily rituals and prayers.

Nature enthusiasts will be delighted by the scenic beauty of Bumthang Valley. Hiking trails lead you through pristine forests, picturesque villages, and gushing rivers. One of the most popular hikes is to Tangbi Goemba, a hilltop monastery that also rewards you with sweeping views of the valley.

To truly immerse yourself in the local culture, visit the Bumthang Swiss Cheese Factory. Here, you can also learn about traditional cheese-making methods and sample delicious Bhutanese cheese. The factory showcases the unique blend of Bhutanese and Swiss craftsmanship.

The valley also holds religious significance, with sites like Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake). This sacred spot is where the legendary saint Pema Lingpa discovered hidden treasures. Legend has it that he jumped into the lake with a burning lamp and emerged with the lamp still lit and treasures in his hand.

As you explore the valley, you’ll witness the warmth and hospitality of the Bhutanese people. Engage with locals, taste the authentic Bhutanese cuisine, and experience the vibrant culture during local festivals.

Conclusion and Summary

A tour to Bumthang Valley is a soul-stirring experience that allows you to delve into Bhutan’s spiritual heartland. From ancient temples to scenic hikes, the valley offers a captivating blend of natural beauty and cultural immersion. Prepare to be captivated by the serene ambiance and the enchanting treasures that await in Bumthang Valley.

Trip Highlights

  • Witness spectacular bird’s eye view of the Himalayas while flying in/out from Paro. 
  • Explore the tiny town of Paro exploding with colors and tradition. 
  • Discover the tiny capital Thimphu. 
  • Visit Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’- one of the most famous monasteries in Bhutan.
  • Punakha Dzong – the most beautiful monastery in Bhutan. 
  • Explore beautiful Gangtey Valley. 
  • Visit Bumthang- the religious heartland home to oldest monasteries & temples 
  • Visit Kurje Lhakhang, Jambey Lhakhang & Tamshing Lhakhang in Bumthang 
  • Jakar Dzong – “the castle of the white bird” 

Itinerary Expand All

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 early breakfast, drive towards Punakha for about 1 & half hour passing along Dochu La Pass at 3140m. On clear weather, the pass commands a wonderful panorama of the Eastern Himalayas. From the pass, the road descends through varied forest and finally emerging into the highly cultivated valley of Punakha. 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”.

In the afternoon, visit 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)

Today drive to Gangtey crossing over Wangduephodrang Dzong, which is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers. The position of the Dzong is remarkable as it completely covers the spur and commands an impressive view both up and down the valley. Then drive up a winding mountain road through oak and rhododendron forest, and over a high pass down into the Phobjikha valley, surely one of the loveliest high altitude valleys in Bhutan. Phobjikha is one of Bhutan’s few glacial valleys, and chosen winter home of black-necked cranes, migrating from the Tibetan plateau. Enjoy 1½ hours Gangtey nature trail from the monastery through the jungle before emerging to the valley floor. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Today, we drive 5 hours to Bumthang valley. The road climbs rapidly through a series of hairpins out of Trongsa and there are great views back to the Dzong and out across the valley. After passing through cultivated fields for a while, the trail re-enters the forest and reach the Yotong La (3400m). Descending to a low point of 2650m at a village called Chumey; the scenery is once again totally different as the route enters the wide-open Bumthang valleys. It takes about an hour to get to the roadside at Chumey, the first of the four valleys in Bumthang. 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, 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 breakfast, drive back to Paro cross Dochula pass which is about 5 hours drive. PM: Stroll around the streets of Paro. 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. Also 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, 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)

What's 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.)

What's Excluded

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.

Trip Information

Bumthang Valley, located in central Bhutan, is a beautiful and culturally rich destination that offers a unique travel experience. Known as the “spiritual heartland” of Bhutan, Bumthang Valley is home to numerous ancient temples, monasteries, and sacred sites. Here is some information to help you plan your Bumthang Valley tour trip:

  1. Best Time to Visit: The ideal time to visit Bumthang Valley is during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). These seasons offer pleasant weather, clear skies, and vibrant landscapes.
  2. Getting There: The main gateway to Bhutan is Paro International Airport, and from there, you can take a domestic flight to Bathpalathang Airport in Bumthang. Alternatively, you can also travel by road from Thimphu or other major cities in Bhutan.
  3. Duration: A typical Bumthang Valley tour lasts around 4 to 7 days, depending on your preferences and available time. This duration allows you to explore the key attractions and immerse yourself in the local culture.
  4. Attractions and Activities:
    • Jakar Dzong: Visit the impressive fortress-monastery that overlooks the valley and offers panoramic views.
    • Jambay Lhakhang: Explore this ancient temple, believed to be one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo.
    • Kurjey Lhakhang: Discover the sacred complex that houses the temple and three large chortens, containing the remains of Bhutanese kings.
    • Tamshing Lhakhang: Visit this important Nyingma monastery, renowned for its ancient religious paintings.
    • Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake): Witness the sacred site where the renowned Buddhist saint Pema Lingpa discovered religious treasures.
    • Ura Valley: Take a scenic drive to the picturesque Ura Valley, known for its traditional houses and the annual Ura Yakchoe festival.
    • Bumthang Swiss Cheese Factory: Visit the cheese factory to learn about the local cheese-making process and taste delicious Bhutanese cheese.
    • Hike to Tangbi Goemba: Embark on a trek to Tangbi Goemba, a hilltop monastery with stunning views of the valley.
  5. Accommodation: Bumthang Valley offers a range of accommodations, including hotels, guesthouses, and resorts. Options vary from budget to luxury, and you can choose based on your preferences and budget.
  6. Permits: Traveling to Bhutan requires obtaining a visa and paying a daily tariff for the duration of your stay. You must book your tour through a registered Bhutanese tour operator who will handle the visa and permit process for you.
  7. Local Culture and Etiquette: Bhutan is known for its unique culture and traditions. It’s important to respect local customs and etiquette, such as removing shoes before entering temples, dressing modestly, and asking for permission before taking photographs of people.

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Trip Facts

Duration 8 Day(s)
Activities Bhutan Cultural Tours
Group Size 1 to 20
Best Season January to December
Start/End Point Bhutan / Bhutan
Difficulty Level Easy

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