Bhutan highlights tour, 7 days
Description of Bhutan highlights tour, 7 days
On this tailor made Bhutan Highlights tour you’ll spend seven days exploring this magical Himalayan kingdom. The country didn’t open up to tourists until 1974 and today it remains one of the most exclusive destinations on the planet - with a daily levy for travellers that keeps tourism low volume and therefore low impact. Travellers will be bowled over by its ancient culture and dramatic landscapes as well as the genuine warmth of the people.
On your journey you’ll visit Thimpu, Bhutan’s capital city and a beguiling mix of ancient and modern; Punakha, the former capital where two of the country’s major rivers meet and home to the stunning Punakha Dzong; and the bucolic valley of Paro, which brims with storied temples and monasteries and is the setting for hundreds of myths and legends. Highlights of the holiday will include:
-Experiencing Bhutanese culture in traditional villages
-Eating meals with local families
-Visiting Dzongs and other ancient sites
-Hot stone bath
The best time to visit Bhutan is September to April.
1 Reviews of Bhutan highlights tour, 7 days
Reviewed on 02 Jan 2020 by Suzanne Dinning
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Landing at Paro airport - not for the faint hearted!
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Take an old thick pair of socks to walk around the temples in (the floors can be cold)!
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
We saw very few tourists so yes I think are being their benefited local people.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
It was absolutely brilliant; the food (simple but tasty), the local people (friendly and welcoming); and the scenery (stunning).
PlanetThe charming mountain kingdom of Bhutan is the only country in the world that measures its citizens’ Gross National Happiness. By visiting Bhutan you help to preserve and sustain one of the world's 10 most biodiverse regions, with 72% of pristine forest cover.
On your trip we will ensure that we respect the country´s sustainability & happiness rules and customs to the most by working with local partners, using local food and resources, and by educating our staff and our guests as much as possible - we will take you on a continuous journey of learning and remembering that nature is a gift that we should respect and cherish.
We are trying to keep the extra unneeded waste to a minimum in all our tours and leave the smallest footprint possible on all our hikes and treks. In our head office we also choose to have no printed brochures or material to avoid our carbon footprint and we are dedicated recyclers (just as Bhutan´s entire country is going paperless also).
By visiting Bhutan´s parks and treks, you will directly contribute to conserve its native wildlife and natural environment, including more than 770 species of birds and over 165 species of animals, which roam free in the country’s 5 million acre network of protected areas. Unique species in Bhutan include the red panda, the black neck cranes, blue sheep, snow leopards and the Himalayan bear. We work with licensed local trekking guides who are officially trained in the necessary trekking, mountaineering, environmental and cultural issues relevant to the country’s eco-tourism policies.
Selection of Accommodation
We focus on promoting the culturally most authentic accommodation experience. Priority is given to boutique hotels or accommodation directly managed by the local owners, where the travelers can find the natural hospitality and ambience suitable to the areas’ archeology, environment and culture.
We have selected for example the Gangtey Lodge in Gangtey, where Bhutan’s concept of Gross National Happiness is fully embraced by pursuing a harmonious balance between respecting nature and promoting cultural preservation and sustainable development. The house's personal philosophy is to create luxury escapes and amazing experiences that enable travellers to connect physically, spiritually, and emotionally with their surroundings. Their belief is that travel should not only be meaningful but should also impact positively on the people and places that we visit.
You are invited to reconnect with nature and hike the numerous trails through the valley, find spiritual enrichment through the experiences with the 17th Century Gangtey Monastery, and explore the rich culture of the local community, unchanged for centuries.
During October one of the world’s rarest migratory birds – the Black-necked Crane – arrives from Tibet, before flying out again in March. Gangtey (Phobjikha) Valley is one of the best places in the world to view these amazing birds, with over 10% of the world’s population spending the winter months here.
You can also stay with the Taj resort in Thiumpu, part of the TAJ group, who are representing EARTH (Environment Awareness & Renewal at Taj Hotels), a project that reiterates the conscious effort to commit to energy conservation and environmental management. EARTH has received certification from EarthCheck, the only worldwide environmental certification program for travel and tourism.
We can also bring you to the UMA COMO in Paro, with their private villas and rooms, supporting a hotel that combines culture, art and sustainability. Built of handcrafted stone, wood and tiles, the villas feel at once Bhutanese and luxurious with wood furniture vividly painted with flowers by local artists. Indian cotton bedcovers have hand-stitched patterns paying homage to Bhutan’s Buddhist culture and colours, and hand-knotted rugs come from nearby Nepal. COMO commits to reduce energy consumption, source locally and sustainably. The hotel in Paro also helped a local female entrepreneur set up Bhutan’s first prayer flag printer and shop.
We will take you to the most sacred sites, temples and villages in Bhutan which will directly help conserve the country´s traditional values and culture. Many of the monasteries and temples you will visit are kept alive thanks to your contribution, such as the Tiger's Nest - the monastery structure is a man-made wonder and it is difficult to believe how this structure was built on such a location.
PeopleWe only work with local Bhutanese guides that come from the very region you are visiting, giving back to their families and communities. The hotels we choose are dedicated to empowering and creating opportunities for the local community through training and employment and respecting the environment through low impact design and green operational practices.
If you do want to shop, we will guide you to local markets where local artisans craft their products or local farmers sell their organic produce, which will help keep the money earned in that very community. In Thiumpu for example we will take you to the local traditional market where all village people assemble to sell their products (vegetable, fruits etc.).
We will take you to local town restaurants with typical Bhutanese red rice and curry. There are also several Handicrafts shops: A wide assortment of colorful, hand woven textiles and other craft products.
Local experiences and interacting with the locals are important to us. We take you to a Bhutanese farm house in Thiumpu as well as in Paro, where you can gain an insight into the lifestyle and culture of the local people – an exchange of cultures and wisdoms which will benefit both the family and you. Other local experiences include a traditional hot stone bath, you can try yourself in Archery, river rafting and embrace the magic of the traditional folk shows and festivals.
Most importantly, we are helping you to create lifelong memories by reconnecting you with yourself and your loved ones in this unique country.