Temples and Trails, from Paro to Bumthang

Overview

Bhutan is a hiker’s paradise, with lush rhododendron and evergreen forests, pure mountain air, and serene valleys where the rhythms of rural life remain unchanged. Our exquisite hiking journey explores this rare Himalayan world, from the famed “Tiger’s Nest” in the Paro Valley to remote Bumthang, a little-visited realm of tranquil hamlets, traditional artisans, and ethereal temples. Our experienced Trip Leaders share their homeland with you, and we’ve timed each departure with an enchanting festival—a great opportunity to witness a vibrant Tibetan Buddhist pageant and mingle with the locals in a joyous gathering.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-5
Paro / Thimphu / Punakha and Phobjikha Valleys (Domkhar Festival Departure)

After meeting in Paro, head to Thimphu for a hike up to Tango, a Buddhist monastery and school, where you’ll see monks performing their daily rituals and prayers. In the Punakha Valley, our hikes bring you through riverside villages, to the Khamsum Yuley Namgay shrine for grand vistas of the valley, and to Chimi Lhakhang, a renowned fertility temple dedicated to a popular Tibetan Buddhist saint and folk hero. After exploring the Punakha Dzong, magnificently set at the confluence of two rivers, head to the scenic Phobjikha Valley for hikes in a beautiful alpine setting.

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Days 6-12
Bumthang / Domkhar Festival / Paro

In Bumthang, forested mountainsides shelter centuries-old monastic complexes and religious retreats, and our hikes lead to some of Bhutan’s most sacred pilgrimage sites, including the 17th century Kurjey Lhakhang. While here, join the locals to watch the whirling masked dancers and drummers of the age-old Domkhar Festival, a spirited expression of Bhutan’s Buddhist culture. Flying back to Paro, take the pilgrimage hike up to Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest,” a breathtaking monastic retreat clinging to a cliffside. Depart on Day 12.

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Highlights

Highlights

Hike local paths to venerated hilltop temples and explore remote Bumthang, the spiritual heartland of Bhutan
Attend an exuberant Buddhist festival with masked dances and drummers
Meet artisans, farmers, Buddhist pilgrims, red-robed monks
Overnights in a combination of deluxe hotels and welcoming lodges

Details

Length: 12 days
Cost From: $5795  
Arrive: Paro, Bhutan
Depart: Paro, Bhutan
Lodging: 4 nights deluxe hotels, 7 nights rustic lodges
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

7 hiking days on moderate trails, 2-6 hours a day, altitudes between 4,100-12,000 feet