Places Covered: Thimphu 4N - Paro 1N - Punakha/Wangdue 1N
Day 1. Paro Airport – Thimphu
(Distance: 65 km / Driving Time: 1.5 hr / Altitude of Thimphu: 2350 m)
Meet & Greet on arrival at Paro Airport and then transfer to Thimphu (7,710 ft.) the capital city of Bhutan. On the way, stop to view the Tamchog Lhakhang. You may also choose to walk through the Chuzom Bridge (subject to time permit). On arrival in Thimphu, check in at the hotel. In the evening walk around the Thimphu town. You may choose to relax in the hotel as well. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 2. Thimphu – Punakha/Wangdue – Thimphu
(Distance: 76 km (One Way) / Driving Time: 2.5 hr (One Way) / Altitude of Punakha/Wangdue: 1310 m)
After breakfast drive to Punakha. On the way stop at Dochula Pass at 3150 m to view the higher Himalayas. The pass is approximately 25 kms away from Thimphu and is the highest point between the Thimphu and Punakha/Wangdue Valley. Another attraction is the 108 chorten/stupas (Druk Wangyel Chortens) built close to each other surrounded by numerous colorful prayer flags. Further, one the way to Punakha enjoy the winding roads and the nature at its best. While in Punakha, take a short and easy hike to visit the Chhimi Lhakhang which is also known as the “The Temple of Fertility” and was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley, “The Devine Mad Man”. Then, visit the Punakha Dzong. Built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal the Dzong served as the seat of until the time of the Second King of Bhutan. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). It is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo. If time permits, visit the Suspension Bridge, which is one of the longest in Bhutan. In the evening, drive back to Thimphu. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 3. Thimphu Sightseeing
After breakfast visit the Kuenselphodrang (Buddha Statue). Located at a short drive from Thimphu City Centre, Kuenselphodrang offers a good overview of the Thimphu valley. The largest statue of Buddha in the country sits here which houses over one hundred thousand smaller Buddha statues. Then visit the National Memorial Chorten built in the memory of the Third King of Bhutan. Finally visit the Folk Heritage Museum. Afternoon visit Sangaygang View Point, Changangkha Monastery and the Takin Preserve Centre. Takin is the national animal of Bhutan. In the evening visit Tashichho Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion). Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 4. Thimphu – Paro - Thimphu
(Distance: 65 km (One Way) / Driving Time: 1.5 hr (One Way) / Altitude of Paro: 2280 m)
After breakfast drive to Paro. While in Paro, visit the Ta Dzong which now houses the National Museum of Bhutan with an excellent collection of arts, relics, religious thangka, etc. Then visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong which literally means the "fortress of the heap of jewels". The Dzong now serves as the administrative and judicial seat of Paro Dzongkhag. Then explore the Paro Town. Afternoon, visit the Kyichhu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan and then drive further to visit the ruins of the Drukgyel Dzong built by Tenzin Drukdra in 1649 at the behest of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate the victory over Tibetan invasion. On the wayback take a photostop to catch the view of the Taktshang Monastery (Tiger Nest). Further ahead stop at the Paro Airport View Point to enjoy the view and the soothing breeze for a while. Drive back to Thimphu. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 5. Thimphu – Paro Airport and Departure
(Distance: 65 km / Driving Time: 1.5 hr)
After breakfast check out from hotel and transfer to Paro Airport for your onward journey.