Bhutan Vistas Tour – 5 Days
- Country: Bhutan
- Duration: 5 Days
- Trip Level: Easy
- Max Altitude: 3,050 m/10,004 ft
- Activity: Cultural Tour (Sightseeing and Cultural Tour)
- Meals: Included ()
- Accomodation: Hotel ()
- Best Season: Jan-Jun, Sep-Dec
- Sightseeing in Thimphu
- Trashichho dzong
- Taktsang Monastery (The Tiger’s Nest)
- Handicrafts emporium
- Punakha Dzong
- Drugyel Dzong victory fortress
We have taken the best of Bhutan and combined our rich culture, exquisite heritage, unique way of life and scenic beauty into a 4 nights/5 days Bhutan vistas tour to make your stay here in the Magical Kingdom a flight of fantasy.
This can be a great trip extension for those who want to enjoy the holiday for more days and experience the most of the highlights in Bhutan.
Day 01 – Arrival at Paro (by Druk Air) then transfer to Thimphu
You can take flight to Paro from Bangkok, New Delhi, Kathmandu, Dhaka etc. We recommend you to fly from Bangkok because Druk air offer everyday flight from Bangkok – Paro – Bangkok whereas Druk air do not operate everyday flights from other sectors.
The flight to Bhutan offers scenic views of some of the highest peaks in the world.
Paro is at an altitude of 2280m above sea level and this valley serves as an ideal area for rice, apple, wheat, potatoes and vegetable growing.
Our Bhutanese tour guide will meet you at Paro airport, traditionally welcomed with silk scarves and after completion of arrival formalities we take we take an hour long scenic drive to the capital (Thimpu) past rice fields, hamlets & wayside mountain villages, Brief stop at the confluence where Thimpu River meets the Paro river with the three styles of stupas commonly found in the Himalayas.
These kinds of monuments are built to ward off evil spirits believed to be haunting the places where rivers and spurs meet. These kinds of monuments are also used as trail markers. Most of these monuments are built by high monks or by layman contains holy Buddhist relics.
After a brief rest at your hotel in Thimpu, we embark on a leisurely exploration / walking tour of the Thimpu Market Area. We will also take some moment to witness a game of the national pastime, archery- at the local archery range. Thimphu has a population of about 98,000. The town is made up of just three lines of shops and is the only capital in the world without traffic lights.
- Overnight at a Hotel
- Lunch and Dinner included
Day 02 – Drive to Punakha from Thimpu.
After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Punakha across Do Chula pass (3, O8Om). In Bhutan, the passes are marked by a large Bhutanese Chorten and prayer flag. Do Chula pass offers the most spectacular view over the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas on a clear day.
Afternoon visit Punakha Dzong (Palace of Great Happiness), built at the junction of the Phochu and Mochu rivers in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. In the past, this majestic dzong served as both the religious and administrative center of Bhutan. Later in the day excursion to Chimi Lhakhang.
The Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the center of the valley, is also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and want one if they pray at this temple are usually blessed with a child very soon. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. A walk through the village near the temple will give you rare glimpses into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers. Visit Punakha Dzong.
- Overnight at a Hotel
- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 03 – Drive from Punakha to Paro.
After breakfast drive back to Paro descending back down from Dochu La, following the way back up the dramatic Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu river valleys, before crossing through Paro Town towards the north end of the valley.
En route visit Simtokha Dzong, the place of profound tantric teaching, this dzong now houses a school for studying the Dzongkha language. Proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique Thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armor, household objects, and a rich assortment of natural and historical artifacts.
Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, and Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandalas.
- Overnight at Hotel
- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 04 – Excursion to the Taktsang Monastery (The Tiger's Nest)
After breakfast excursion to Taktshang Monastery (5hrs hike): It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognized as a most sacred place and was visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1646 and is now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of the building but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendor.
Along the way, visit the 7th-century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by the Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.
Spend the evening with an exploratory walk around the Mainstreet and market area.
- Overnight at a hotel
- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 05 – Transfer to international airport for your final departure
After early breakfast at the hotel, drive to the airport for the flight to your onward destination. Our representative will help you with exit formalities and then bid you farewell.
- All (international and domestic) airport transfers on a tourist vehicle
Standard government-approved accommodation (in twin sharing rooms) for the duration of the tour.
Full-board meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea & snacks – for the duration of your stay.
Tented accommodation and equipment during the camping trek. (We will provide fully water proof two men tents, dining tents, kitchen gear, dining table, chairs, toilet tents, shower tent etc.)
Drinking water for the duration of the tour.
Country presentation and tour Briefing on the evening of Day1 with welcome drinks.
Licensed English-speaking Bhutanese tour guides.
Private transportation and a designated driver within Bhutan. Toyota 4WD luggage vans and light trucks for group travel. Luggage will be hauled by horses, mules or yaks at higher elevations.
Monument and museums entrance fees for all sightseeing locations detailed in the itinerary.
Cultural afternoon/evening sessions with traditional mask and folk dances (with beverages). Only for group tours.
Bhutan visa fees and processing assistance.
Government royalty (35% of $200), which goes to the country’s health and education projects.
All route access and monument entry permits and fees.
All government taxes, official expenses and tourist service charges.
International airfare and airport departure tax.
- Travel insurance along with high-altitude emergency evacuation coverage
Tips for tour guides, porters, driver, hotel lobby and in restaurants. (Tipping is expected)
All items of personal nature like drinks, laundry etc.
Alcoholic and cold drinks.
- Any expenses other than the Price Include section
Gears and Equipment
All you need to bring for this Tour is simply some comfortable clothes; there is no any requirement of special equipment on the tour. However for your ease, the following gives you the general idea about the personal items you need to manage for the trip. The personal items referred here are optional and depends upon your choice. The most important factor to be considered while choosing the equipments and your Bag-pack, is the time of the year you are travelling.
In a tour, the vehicle transfers all the heavy items and equipments. But the Personal belongings of the clients which is required at any moment like money, water bottle, camera, suns cream and toilet paper etc. should be carried by yourself. It is therefore advisable that you pack the personal belongings into your daypack.
If you are going bhutan from kathmandu, we will supply complimentary water and wind proof duffel bag, which you can use on the tour for your shopping purpose. The duffel bag is yours to keep.
List of Recommended Equipment
- Duffel or Rucksack bag or suitcase (We will provide one complimentary ACE duffel bag for you to keep.)
- Warm wool or synthetic hat that cover your ears (only if you are travelling in the cold season i.e January, February and December)
- Goggles or sunglasses for sunbeam, dust and wind.
- A neck warmer is another piece of gear for extra warmth if you feel you will need it and is for cold season i.e January, February and December.(optional)
- 1 pair warm gloves (This is required if your are travelling in cold season i.e January, February and December).
- T-shirts (2).
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket (preferable if you are travelling in rainy season from June to September.)
- 1 pair cotton pants (loose jeans/khakis), 1 pair shorts.
- 2 pairs lightweight long underwear/thermals (if you are traveling in winter January, February and December).
- 2 pairs of liner socks, synthetic or capilene.
- 1 pair light camping shoes or sneakers..
- 1 pair sandals (Optional).
Medicines and First Aid Kits
(Please note our guide will also carry the first aid kit bag during the trek. However we still recommend you to bring your personal first aid kit as well)
- Extra Strength Excedrin for altitude related headaches.
- Ibuprofen for general aches and pains.
- Immodium or Pepto bismol capsules for upset stomach or diarrhea.
- Diamox (commonly prescribed as Acetazolamide) 125 or 250mg tablets for altitude sickness. Please discuss with us before starting to take this medicine.
- 1 small personal sized first-aid kit with blister treatments such as mole skin, band-aids, some waterproof tape, anti-infection ointments, etc. Your guides will have more extensive medical gear, but you should have the basics for general use.
- Passport and extra passport photos (4 copies).
- Airline ticket (Please make a copy and leave on at our office in KTM just in case if you need to change the date of your).
- Durable wallet / pouch for travel documents, money & passport.
- Lip balm. At least SPF 20, 2 sticks. A string taped to the stick is helpful, to hang around your neck and some are now being sold with a cord already attached. Handy as it avoids you from having to stop and look for it.
- Sunscreen. SPF 40 is recommended and should be relatively new since it loses its’ effectiveness over time.
- Pocket knife or small Swiss Army type.
- Water purification Iodine tablets or Polar-pure crystals.
- Toiletry kit. Be sure to include toilet paper stored in a plastic bag, hand wipes, and liquid hand sanitizer, towel, soap, etc.
- 2 bandanas.
- 1 pair adjustable trekking poles. Although these are listed as optional, these can be of great assistance to people who may think of themselves and generally clumsy or with bad knees, ankles, etc, especially when going downhill (Optional).
- Favorite snack foods, no more than 2 pounds (Optional).
- Paperback books, cards, mp3 player (there are a couple of stops where you could recharge. Avoid players with moving hardware as it may not function. Remember, keep these items light weight (Optional).
- Binoculars (Optional).
- 1 light weight point & shoot camera or 1 large SLR. Digital cameras are ok, but you must keep the batteries warm when not in use (Optional).
- Hydration bladder with drinking tube and tube insulator (Optional).
- A pee bottle for men and pee funnel for woman, some swear by them to avoid that chilly late night trip (Optional).
- 1 small stainless steel thermos (Optional).
This list is only a guide. While you are required to bring everything on this list, there are numerous options, brands, and versions of each piece of equipment. Use your experience and the listed features to find the best gear for you.
FAQs for Bhutan Vistas Tour
Why travel with Ace the Himalaya?
Ace has a reputation for successfully leading treks with knowledgeable leaders and staff taking care of all your travel needs. We are a certified sustainable travel company that also endorses the idea of giving back to the community by participating in various philanthropic activities. Here are 17 reasons to hike with Ace the Himalaya.
What essential documents do I need to bring with me on tours?
Here are some documents that you will need to carry with you:
- Valid Passport – must be valid for up to 6 months after you return from your tour (Keep a separate photocopy)
- Travel insurance (Keep a separate photocopy)
- Cash and Traveller’s Cheques (Keep numbers and proof of purchase separately)
- Flight tickets
- Emergency contact numbers for T/C’s, banks, insurance, family contacts
Weather and Temperature
What is the best season for this tour?
The best time for Bhutan tours is between February to June and September and December.
What is the weather and temperature like on the tour?
It depends on the season you’re travelling. During winter (December to February), it is colder at night and relatively warmer during the day, with the temperature ranging from 4°C at night to 22°C. Between March and May, the weather stays prefect as the temperature averages 25°C during the day. From September to December, following the monsoon, the temperature gets cooler and allows for a great time to travel. The average temperature during this season is 20°C. The vehicles and the hotels during the trip will be air-conditioned making your travel very comfortable.
Arrival and Visas
Do I need to obtain VISA for Bhutan?
We will handle the visa procedures for you. The Govt. will sanction the VISA only after the receipt of full payment in advance. The visa fee is included with our tour price. Actual Bhutan VISA will be stamped in your passport on arrival on Paro airport. Without visa clearance number, tourists cannot board the flight or enter the country.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs forwards a copy of this visa clearance to the concerned Druk Air stations and other entry points; we also fax a copy of the visa clearance document to our clients for their reference. While the actual visa is stamped on arrival, the initial visa clearance is also required at the time of issuing Druk Air Tickets.
All you need is to carry 2 copies of original passport-sized photographs, which are required on arrival in the country. Please e-mail us the clear color copy of the passport for the visa procedures.
Will somebody come to pick me up at the airport upon my arrival?
Yes, our airport representative will be there to greet you at the airport. S/he will be displaying a sign board with your name on it at outside the airport terminal. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel by our tourist vehicle.
Payments and extra costs
How much additional money do I need per day?
It depends on your spending habits. Generally, all the foods, accommodation and hot drinks are included in the price. You can allocate USD 10 to USD 15 for chocolates and a few drinks during the trip.
Can I use credit cards in the places visited in tour?
There are just a few ATM’s in Bhutan for credit card (Master card / Maestro) & only few establishments in Bhutan accept credit card payments hence US Dollars (cash or Amex travelers cheques) or Euros Cash is suggested and convenient to cover any personal expenses (eg. beverages , laundry ,phone bills , tipping , shopping etc) that the Pax may make in the Kingdom. 1US$ is equivalent to Nu. 55 & 1 Euro is equivalent to Nu.69 as of today (the day we writing this text). NU= Ngultrum, the Bhutanese currency.
Who Can Participate?
How fit do I have to be and is this tour for me?
This culture tour is suitable for any kind of person, no previous experience is required.
What sort of accommodation can I expect in tour?
Hotels vary in style and quality. All Government approved hotels are clean and well maintained with hot and cool water, telephones with international dialing and fax facilities. We use three to four star hotels for this trip. All the meals and hot drinks are included in the trip price.
What sort of food can I expect in tour?
Most of the restaurants serve Bhutanese, Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisine always plenty to choose from. Local Bhutanese food are spicy like the Indian food.
Is the water available drinkable? Do I need to bring purifying tablets/filter?
The trip price included the drinking water for the all Bhutan trip. You don’t need to bring any bring purifying tablets/filter or pay for the water.
Will it be possible to get any clothes washed/Laundry ?
Laundry service is easily available at your hotel. Please note that laundry service is not included in the package price.
Can I charge my digital camera or other equipments on my trip?
These facilities will be available in most of the places in your hotel. Remember to bring travel adapters!
Health and Safety
Is Ace the Himalaya's staff insured?
Our company insures all our trekking staff members, including guides, cooks, Sherpa, and porters. Please browse through our legal docment page to view insurance details.
What immunizations will I need?
No vaccinations are compulsory for traveling in Nepal, but we do recommend you are covered for diphtheria & TB, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, *malaria, typhoid, polio and tetanus.
We also recommend:
- A dental check-up prior to traveling
- That you know your blood group in case of emergency
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions which might affect you on tour, you make these known to your tour leader and Ace the Himalaya at the time of your booking.
What is your cancellation policy?
Notice should be provided 20 days before the trip start date in case of cancellation. The trip can be canceled for justifiable reasons. Once the trip is canceled, a fee of 30% of the trip cost is retained for administrative costs.
However, the trip amount is entirely non-refundable if the cancellation is not made before the 20 days as per our terms and conditions. For submitting a claim to your insurance company after the cancellation, we can assist with documentation such as a receipt of monies paid. Refund will not be provided for unused accommodation in case of trip cancellation caused by personal reasons/sickness/weather.
More information about our cancellation policy can be found here in Terms and Conditions page.
Do I need to tip my guide and porters? How much would that be?
This is a difficult thing to gauge. We have seen everything from USD 20 to USD 1000 per person for guides and porters. Tipping is not required, but a small gesture of thanks to your guides and local porters thanks for their help. The level of the tip should reflect the level of satisfaction from and personal involvement with your guide.
Are there any communication facilities during the trip?
Telephones and Internet and international calls are readily available in most of the town for this trip.
Are there any photography restrictions?
You will have many photo opportunities during the trip. Please ask for permission before taking a person’s photo. Photography in, monasteries, shrine rooms of Dzongs and religious institutions is generally not permitted, but outdoor photography is. To be sure when visiting such places, you may consult with your guide just to make sure. Carry plenty of films and batteries. Photo shops in Bhutan do not sell equipment or accessories.
Can I add extra days to my trip?
No, because we can’t change your Druk air flight once it is booked.
Is there a minimum and a maximum number for your groups?
We cater to all group sizes, while maintaining the field staff ratio to give you the best quality and experience.
Transportation and flights
Do we book our international flights and Druk air flights?
Yes, you need to book your own International flights. We are a local agent and it would cost you significantly higher to book through us. Please find more information in the International Flight page.
Druk air is the only airline to and from Bhutan. We can ebook the Druk air flight to and from Bhutan and e-mail you the e-ticket.
Druk air flight cost is not included in the trip price. Druk air flights cost are different as per the flights sectors that you are taking. Druk air offer flights from following location. We recommend you to book your flight to Bangkok as they have every day flight to Paro and from Paro as well.
Please let us know which route is more convenient to you, the cost of the flights are as below. Please contact us for the up-to-date Druk air flight rate.
- Bangkok – Paro – Bangkok = US$890
- New Delhi – Paro- New Delhi = US$875
- Calcutta – Paro- Calcutta = US$510
- Kathmandu – Paro- Kathmandu = US$520
- Bangkok – Paro – Kathmandu = US$ 860
- Bangkok – Paro – New Delhi = US$ 875
What mode of transportation do you use?
Ace the Himalaya is all about providing you with local insights, lifestyle as well as adventure. Using a variety of private transport is an integral part of our Himalayan tours, enhancing the experience!
We use private tourist vehicles for sightseeing, city tours and pickups; whereas we use the best 4WD SUVs as our support vehicle. These vehicles are extremely sturdy, spacious and reliable and they make the journey as comfortable as possible. For larger groups, we also use supported trucks to carry your luggage.
Are there any weight restrictions on Druk air flights?
Druk Air allows only up to 20 kgs of luggage per person, after which the excess baggage charge is USD 5 per kg.
I want to extend my holiday, any recommendations?
Yes, you can extend your holiday. Ace the Himalaya offers many options and alternatives for your holiday extension. For more information, you can visit our Day trips pages.
What makes this trip different ?
Our CSR with Sambhav Nepal
- Ace the Himalaya believes in giving back to the communities that surround and support tourism in Nepal. Ace provides logistical support and, if needed, cash donations to the projects of Sambhav Nepal (a local NGO).
- Sambhav Nepal and Ace work together to plan volunteer programs that will bring in foreign volunteers and make use of their enthusiasm, time, and talents in a variety of projects.
Sustainability and Responsible Tourism
- Of the few Travelife Partners in Nepal, Ace the Himalaya is one. We respect the procedures for sustainable tourism. Our excursions are socially and environmentally conscious, leaving the lowest possible impact in the Himalayas.
- About 80% of Ace the Himalaya’s staff members are natives of the regions where our trips are organized. It is one of our sustainable and responsible efforts to help local communities, support small businesses, and promote regional culture and way of life.