Bhutan’s Paro festival is the most popular and takes place in the imposing Ringpung Dzong.
This 11 day trip concentrates on western Bhutan (Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and Gangtey), with a focus on the Festival. We recommend using Kathmandu as the access point into Bhutan as the 55 min direct flight flies straight past Mt Everest!
After a morning arrival from Kathmandu, we drive straight to the capital Thimphu and spend 2 nights here exploring the town and area. There is no shortage of things to see and do: the historic Library, varied craft shops, the Takin Reserve, the Radio Tower (great views) plus just strolling around the streets and markets.
Leaving Thimphu, we drive over the Doche La Pass (3000m) affording excellent views of the eastern himalaya before descending into the lush valley that is home to Punakha and its superb Dzong. After an overnight stop, drive further east to the remote Phobjikha valley and the black mountain ranges (Gangtey). We then head back to Paro for the main event.
The Paro Festival takes place in and around the hugely impressive Ringpung Dzong over several days. Your Guide will escort you and explain what is happening as the dancers perform and entertain. It is Bhutan at its colourful best with the locals dressed in their finest clothes. You can come and go as you please, mixing this with seeing other parts of Paro.
We visit the iconic Tigers Nest Monastery as part of the Paro visit and the next day you fly back to Kathmandu and subsequently onto London. This is a popular time in Bhutan; very early booking recommended.
- Paro’s colourful and grand festival
- Tour western Bhutan, including Thimphu
- Experience Bhutan’s unique culture
- Fly straight past Mt Everest from Kathmandu
Clothing and Equipment – No specialist equipment is required. Please refer to our Kit List webpage.
Date and Prices Content
Min number to guarantee the trek’s departure – 1
If Sole Occupation is requested – £185 (includes 7 nights hotel in Bhutan and 2 nights hotel in Kathmandu)
The above prices are based on the relevant month of travel (high season) and an overall min group size of 3. If the overall group size is less than 3, the price will be adjusted; ask for a quote.
International flights are from London to Kathmandu and subsequently into Bhutan. Adjustments can be made for flights into Bhutan from other cities such as Delhi and Bangkok for example; ask for details.
Meet In Country prices (Land Only), exclude any flights.
Low Season months: Jan, Feb, Jun, Jul, Aug, Dec
High Season months: Mar, Apr, May, Sep, Oct, Nov
Quick links to: Kit Lists, Travel Insurance, Travel Health, High Altitude Trekking
When we guarantee a trip and you book it, we guarantee that:
- The trip will not be cancelled
- The trip will run on the dates as advertised
- You will not be surcharged
What the Price Includes
- International flights London – Kathmandu return and Kathmandu – Paro (Bhutan) return (if flight inclusive)
- 2 x overnight hotel stays (B&B basis) including all airport transfers (if applicable)
- Guide, dedicated vehicle and driver in Bhutan
- All hotel accommodation in Bhutan
- All meals in Bhutan
- All entrance fees to local sights, Monasteries and the Festival
- Tourist visa for Bhutan
What the Price Does Not Include
- Travel Insurance
- Nepalese visa
- Tips for Guide and driver
- Personal spending
Tailor Made Option
We can tailor make this trip to suit you; dates, extensions, reductions, adjusted trek itinerary, just about anything. Additional charges only apply when additional services or time are added.
This itinerary uses Kathmandu as the access point into Paro, Bhutan. It is possible to adjust this, OR you can choose Land Only.
For Land Only, we meet you on arrival at the airport in Bhutan; you organise your own flights.
This 2017 itinerary will be replaced by the 2018 one shortly.
2 Apr 2017, Depart UK, fly to Kathmandu
3 Apr, Arrive Kathmandu (Nepal), Transfer to hotel
On arrival in Kathmandu, you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay at the comfortable Manang Hotel (3*).
4 Apr, Arrive Paro
You will be greeted at the airport and taken on a relaxing drive to the capital Thimphu. Relax into your surroundings with a stroll along the main street.
5 Apr, Thimphu Sightseeing
Today, you can concentrate on Thimphu. There are so many sights to see in an around here that you will be spolit for choice. There are plenty of short walks, many cultural sights including traditional Thangka paintings, paper factory (hand made), craft making and a nunnery. You can also visit the Radio Tower, which affords excellent views over the town and don’t miss the Takin reserve; the Takin is Bhutan’s National animal and is unique to Bhutan. Overnight Thimphu.
6 Apr, Drive to Punahka
The drive to Punahka take you through some lovely countryside and over the 3000m Doche La Pass. Be sure to stop here and enjoy the vast views of the Eastern Himalaya. In the afternoon, visit the imposing Punakha Dzong followed by an hours stroll through the local area. Overnight Punahka.
7 Apr, Drive to Gangt ey
A beautiful drive further east to the remote Phobjikha valley and the black mountain ranges. Visit Gangtey Gompa (a very old Monastery and recently renovated). Overnight will be in Phobjikha. This is the favoured place of the black-necked cranes (November).
8 Apr, Drive to Paro via Wangdue
It is a long drive back to Paro in preparation for the festival. The journey is nicely broken up by visiting the Wangdue Dzong. It is small in comparison to some but impressive. It is then back over the Doche La Pass and continue on to Paro. Overnight Paro.
9 Apr, Paro Festival
The Paro Festival is one of the largest and most spectacular in Bhutan. Enjoy this colourful extravaganza in and around Paro’s imposing Dzong. Your Guide will escort you and explain what is happening as the dancers entertain all day. This is Bhutan at its colourful best; lots of people dancing and entertaining. The dances often tell stories where good triumphs over evil. You will see locals dressed in their finest clothes and watch the masked dances. This is a social occasion allowing the locals to break from their daily routine. You can go and come back as you please. Overnight Paro.
10 Apr, Paro Festival and Sightseeing
The final act of any festival is the unfurling of the huge religious painting down the side of the Dzong. It takes place in the early hours of the morning! The remainder of the day is used to see the parts of Paro that you have yet to see, including the Tigers Nest. The trek up to the iconic ‘Tiger’s Nest’ (locally known as Taktshang) is a stiff 90 min – 2 hrs. Make sure that you are adequately prepared footwear wise; it is quite steep in places. The Monastery is perched 900 metres above the valley floor and Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown to the site riding on a tigress. He meditated here for three months. The Tigers Nest is a must see for all visitors to Bhutan. The National Museum sit majestically above the town and can also be visited today. Overnight Paro.
11 Apr, Fly Paro to Kathmandu, overnight
Your Guide and driver will escort you to the airport for your flight to Kathmandu. On arrival, you will transfer to your hotel for the night. B
Note, that you can elect to remove this overnight stop and connect to a flight straight back to London in the evening but please read the information in the box (bottom left).
12 Apr, Depart Kathmandu for London
You will be transferred to the airport for your day flight back to london, arriving same day. B
Note – B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner