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Bhutan Traverse from West to East – Tour 15 Days

Exciting Traverse across Bhutan attending festival along the way

Bhutan Traverse from West to East – Tour Trip Map, Route Map View large map

Trip Grading

Trip Price From US$ 3100 | See Details

Trip AccommodationGood hotels (3-4 star) hotels through-out. Best available Guest House in Samdrup Jongkhar.

Trip SeasonsTrips are scheduled at the best times.

Group SizeMaximum 9 members

MealsAll meals included

RouteParo, Thimphu, Punakha, Wangdue, Gangtey, Trongsa, Jakar, Ura, Mongar, Trashigang, Yangtsi, Samdrup Jonggkhar, Guwahati.

Trip Type Cultural Tour

Best MonthsMarch, April, October, November, December

Good MonthsJanuary, February, May, September

Lean MonthsJune, July, August

Trip highlights

Overland Tour across Bhutan incorporating local festivals.

m Bhutan traverse from west to east is extremely exciting journey passing from idyllic west to old fashion charms of  far east through gamut of vegetation, which also gives a fascinating insight into its ever changing landscapes and lesser-known eastern quarter before crossing over the southern border into India.

Combine the colors of the Western and Central Valleys with the wilderness of Bhutan’s un-spoilt forests and the lush tangle of its tropical jungle. You will be surprised at the diversity of its vegetation in such a seemingly tiny and remote Kingdom. The only aspects of the journey which never change are the friendliness of the people and the awe-inspiring views, which delight at every twist and turn of the road.

Our odyssey across this emerald jewel of the Kingdom begins in the West, through towns of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. Then journey through the cultural heartland of Bumthang. Savor the distinct corners of the country as you slowly travel further and further back in time. Work your way to the Eastern-most outpost of the Kingdom, including the remote villages of Trashiyangtse. Exit into India via beautiful and rarely visited Assam. * All small group journeys are scheduled to visit at least one festival, allowing you the unique opportunity to experience lively festivities that attract thousands of villagers from far and near. There are some exciting short walks, most of which are optional.

Ps. Almost always the tour starts in West, but some Bhutan Traverse tours also start in the east and ends in the west to time with the festival and also for favorable weather (eastern part being much warmer)

Outline Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Paro  Arrive by flight into Paro. Upon arrival, meet and transfer to the hotel. Visit Paro Rinphung Dzong, Dungtse Lhankhang and stroll in the town area.
Overnight in hotel in Paro.

Day 2: Paro Valley Tour Visit Dzongdrakha cave temples by short walk from Bondey village. Visit local farm house and village. Later in the afternoon, visit beautiful 7th century Kichu Lhakhang temple complex, Satsam Chorten and the ruins of Drugyal Dzong. Overnight in Paro.

Day 3: Paro (Taktsang hike) Those who wish, may hike to famous Takstang (tiger’s nest monastery), a quintessential Bhutan travel experience. If you are not into hiking, the driver can take you around for further tour of Paro valley. At the end of our hike, drive to Thimphu which takes just over 1hr.
Overnight hotel in Thimphu.

Day 4: Thimphu Valley Tour A full day tour in the capital, which may include visit to Memorial Chorten, Takin sancutuary, Zilukha nunnery, traditional Art School, Indigenous hospital, textile museum, Handicraft Workshops,Zangdopelri temple,Farmer’s market and other sights and attractions as per available time. In the evening, visit great Tashicho Dzong, the main seat of the Govt and monastic body.
Overnight in hotel in Thimphu.

Day 5 & 6: Punakha & Wangdue  Spend the morning of the Day 5 in Thimphu to cover any unseen sights or attractions. Towards afternoon, drive east across spectacular Dochula Pass to Punakha and Wangdue valley. On the pass, we spend some time to enjoy the views and explore. That evening we also visit Chimi Lhakhang temple near Wangdue. Next day, visit Khamsum Yuley Namgay Chorten (by 45 minutes uphill walk). Then visit impressive Punakha Dzong located at the confluence of two rivers. Later visit Punakha town and a nunnery on the hill. As per available time, we will also visit other places in the area.
Overnight in hotel in Punakha/Wangdue.

Day 7:  Gangtey (Phobjikha) – Trongsa  Our drive takes us over the Black-mountain National Park to Phobjikha valley. Visit Gangtey Gompa monastery, followed by an easy walk into the valley to explore and admire in beautiful valley. Among others, we will visit local homes and Nature center. From late October until March, the black-necked cranes are in residence in the valley and so we will spend some time to see them. For most of departures, instead of spending night in Gangtey, we continue further to Trongsa. Overnight hotel in either Gangtey or Trongsa

Day 8, 9 & 10: Trongsa – Jakar, Bumthang  On day 8, visit Trongsa and drive over Youtonga pass to Jakar, visiting Chumey valley en-route. We have two full days for Bumthang to tour and attend the local festivals. Bumthang is considered the cultural heartland of Bhutan. It was here that Buddhism was introduced by Padmasambhava in A.D 746, and the area continues to thrive as a spiritual center. The wide valleys with fields of buckwheat, apple orchards, and chalet-like houses, surrounded by pine forested hills, make Bumthang extremely beautiful.
Overnights in hotel in Jakar, Bumthang.
Please note that one day of Bumthang may be used for Ura or Mongar to attend their respective festivals.

Day 11: Drive to Mongar The long drive east from Jakar to Mongar, passes through Ura village, crosses Thrumshing La pass (3800m)with spectacular mountain views into Sengor village. Then the road descends through ever changing vegetation, until it hits the lowest point in Kuri Zampa at 570m above the sea level. From here it is little over 1100m climb to the town of Mongar located on the hillside. It is a long drive, but nonetheless a scenic one, with opportunity to see wide varieties of flora and fauna. Overnight hotel in Mongar.

Day 12: Mongar – Trashigang  Visit Mongar Dzong and drive to Trashigang, which takes around 3hrs. Along the way, we will visit local village, if possible school etc. Upon arrival, visit Trashigang Dzong and visit the town area.
Overnight in a hotel in Trashigang.

Day 13: Excursion to Tashiyangtse Drive to Tashiyangtse, visiting Gomkora temple, Doksum village along the way. In Trashiyantse, visit traditional Art School, Chorten Kora and stroll around its’ small town.
Return to Trashigang for overnight.
Note: Trashyangtse excursion will be skipped for some trips to Gomkora festival or Trashigang festival respectively

Day 14: Drive to Samdrup Jongkhar  Drive from Tashigang to Samdrup Jongkhar and along the way; stop at some of villages and small towns of eastern Bhutan, such as: Kanglung, Khaling, Wamrong and Deothang. The drive is a long one, but very interesting as we descend down hills and pass through several villages to the frontier town. Overnight in a simple hotel (best available) in Samdrup Jongkhar

Day 15: Exit Bhutan to Guwahati – Departure (B) After breakfast drive across the border into India. (Indian Visa required). Transfer directly to Guwahati airport (just under 3 hrs. drive), in time for your departure flight. Flights from Guwahati connect to Delhi, Bagdogra to Kolkata or you may take one of our Northeast India trips. Flight costs are extra and charged at best available fare. If you arrange this flight yourself, be sure to choose afternoon flight.