|1||Arrival to Bagdogra, drive to Jaldapara||Arrival by flight to Bagdogra airport. Drive to Jaldapara National Park and accommodation. There are two options to sleep. Tourist Lodge which has comfortable rooms and cottages outside the park or Hollong Bungalow inside, with more basic facilities but possibilities to see the animals right from the window (on extra cost and need to be booked ahead).|
|2||Jaldapara – Thimphu||Safari on the elephant starts early in the morning. Riding the elephant is interesting experience itself. It's surprising how silently the giant animal moves through the jungle. If you're lucky, you might glimpse one horned Indian rhino and other animals like muntjak or sambar deers, peacocks, gaurs (wild cows) and various birds living here in jungles around Torsa river. After safari start drive to Thimphu. In the bizarre twin border town of Phuntsholing/Jaigon you will have lunch and while fixing your immigration formalities. Also visit o beautifully decorated Kharabandi gompa. From here you can clearly see how the Himalayas are swiftly raising from Indian plains. Driving further, you'll reach to high altitude soon. The climate and nature character will change vastly. By the evening you will reach the capital city Thimphu.|
|3||Thimphu – Wangdue||Early morning drive to Buddha Dordenma, the gigantic statue of Buddha overlooking the valley and walk to striking city viewpoint. See Memorial Chorten, always busy with devotees. Walk in Norzin lam street and see the traffic police signaling in junctions. Thimphu is only capital in the world without the traffic lights. Finish walk at handicraft market where many interesting Bhutanese souvenirs can be seen and bought for reasonable price. Excursion to Taking reserve. Here the animals are kept in safe and bred to be released to wild nature from time to time. Usually you can also see muntjak (barking deer) and himalyan spotted deer here. These animals are kept here after being found injured in the wild for recovery. After that drive to Changankha lhakhang, the oldest place of worship in the valley. Transfer to Wangdue or Punakha over Dochu-la pass (3010 m) with visit of royal temple Druk Wangyel lhakhang.|
|4||Wangdue||Early morning hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten with wonderful view of the valley and it‘s terraced paddy fields. While we descend back to river, there will be rafts ready for us. We will do rafting all the way down to Punakha dzong (about 10 km). After landing, we will visit this castle which counts as the most intricately decorated in Bhutan. Hike to Chhimmy lhakhang temple, devoted to 15th century saint Drukpa Kunley, know as “Divine madman”, who did taught Buddhism by singing, drinking and rampant sexual behavior. We can also drive (or hike) to nunnery overlooking Wangdue valley. Overnight in hotel.|
|5||Wangdue – Paro||Early morning drive to Dochu-la pass with beautiful 108 stupas. In the morning, we have good chance to glimpse some snowy peaks to the north, including Gangkhar Punesum (7540m), highest mountain of Bhutan and highest peak never summited by man. Visit to royal chapel Druk Wangyel lhakhang with depictions of 4th king. Form pass we will start 4-5 hours round hike to the Lungchusey gompa with 360° mountains panorama viewpoint. Descend to Tashigang gompa and reaching back to road in Hontsho. After lunch drive to Paro. Overnight in hotel.|
|6||Paro||Morning visit of Kyichu lhakhang, the temple built in 8th century by Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Climb to Taktsang gompa (Tiger's Nest), most venerated and holy place in Bhutan overlooking valley from the steep cliff. Afternoon visit of National Museum and Paro dzong, castle where Bernardo Bertolucci’s Little Buddha film was shot. Overnight in hotel.|
|7||Paro – Haa||Drive over the Chele-la pass (3890 m) to rarely visited Haa valley. On the way we will do hike to Kila gompa, oldest nunnery in Bhutan from 14th century. From there we continue through the ancient forest up to the summit of Chele-la pass in which we can even reach the 4000 meters high summit. Panoramic view in clear weather are outstanding. From the pass, we will take a ride on the bicycle. Long descend to Haa will be great fun. We will also ride bicycle to reach Haa's temples and monasteries. Overnight will be spent in local farmhouse as a guest of local family, with trying local delicacies like salty butter tea, and ara spirit. Accommodation facilities are rudimentary but experience is worth of it. Optionally you can spend night in hotel. Evening option to try hot stone bath, traditional Bhutanese treat.|
|8||Haa – Paro||At the morning we will play traditional game of khuru (darts) and archery. Then we will say good bye to our hosts and will ride by bikes through the scenic road in direction to Chuzom. Whenever you got enough of ride, you can continue by car. Finally we reach Paro in the evening. Overnight in hotel.|
|9||Departure||Depart from Paro airport by flight or drive to land border in Phuntsholing.|
Tour variants, extensions and combinations:
- Combine with trekking: This tour can be quiet nicely extended by moderate high altitude treks, making this tour even more exciting. See our trekking itineraries.
- Gasa Hot springs (+1 or 2 days): Gasa is highland region north of Punakha, just recently connected by road. Apart from beautiful dzong and vistas of nearby high peaks, you can enjoy the natural hot springs, so called "tsachu". There is number of pools with different temperatures. Water is sulfurous and it's believed it's beneficial for number of skin ailments. It's great relax in luxurious pools anyway. Additional experience can be spending overnight here in local farmhouse to try authentic Bhutanese hospitality.
- Going opposite way: Tour might also be organized in opposite direction, landing in Paro, finish in Jaldapara and departure from Bagdogra. Please inquire for itinerary.