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Bhutan – 6 Tage

Immerse yourself in Bhutan’s cultural heritage and extraordinary landscape with our five-night ‘Himalayan Explorer’ package. Combining stays at our two Bhutanese lodges – Uma by COMO, Paro and Uma by COMO, Punakha – our experienced guides lead guests through the Paro, Punakha and Thimphu Valleys, with activities including day walks, visits to Dochu La, Punakha Dzong, Taktsang ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Monastery and a day in the bustling capital Thimphu. The itinerary also allows ample time to relax at our lodges, where you can channel the calming spirit of Bhutan into your personal wellbeing with holistic therapies at COMO Shambhala Retreat.

Day 1

Arrive at Paro International Airport from Delhi. Paro is situated in a beautiful valley at 2280 metres and is a fitting introduction to this charming kingdom. Your flight arrives late afternoon and your guide will meet you and take you to your hotel. Later if you would like to you can go for a stroll around Paro town and start to take in the atmosphere and culture of this beautiful country and its gentle way of life.

Overnight in Paro (Uma Paro – one bed villa)

Day 2

This morning take a short one-hour drive along the Paro and Thimphu river valleys to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, at 2320 metres. You can stop on the way to take in the magnificent Tamchhog Lhakhang, the hereditary place of worship for Bhutan’s iron bridge, builder. In Thimphu we will visit the weekly market, the revered Memorial Ghorten and the School of Traditional Arts. You could visit Changangkha temple, perched on the hilltop overlooking the town. Devotees flock throughout the day to circumambulate and turn the prayer wheels. The temple also contains beautiful wall paintings and hundreds of religious scriptures written, in gold. Or visit the Radio Tower (offering splendid views of the city from a hilltop festooned with prayer flags), the Takin Reserve showcasing the unique national animal, the Takin, browse the striking collection of intricate textiles at the National Textile Museum or visit the Folk Heritage Museum. In the afternoon drive approximately 3 hours to the old capital, Punakha, via Dochu La pass at 3050 metres, where we will stop for a hot

drink and enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the Eastern Himalaya ranges. You will notice the change of climate and vegetation as we approach low-lying Punakha at 1250 metres.

Overnight in Punakha (Uma Punakha – deluxe twin)

Day 3

In the morning visit the imposing Punakha Dzong, “Palace of Great Happiness”. Built in 1637, it is strategically placed at the confluence of two rivers, the Po Chu and the Mo Chu, Then take a pleasant walk for an hour or so across terraced fields to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility) built in the 15thcentury by the ‘Divine Madman’ (Lama Drukpa Kuenley).

Then we return to Paro – a drive of around 4 hours. Back in Paro visit the impressive Paro Rinpung Dzong, one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. This evening you can sort out your luggage for the trek. Anything you don’t need to carry with you will be kept safely in Paro to await your return.

Overnight in Paro (Uma Paro – one bed villa)

Day 4

BUMDRA MONASTERY TREK

Today we will take a camping trip over two days high up on the hillside outside Paro, The trek begins with a 1-hour drive from Paro to Sang Ghoekor Buddhist College where you start walking at an altitude of about 2800m. You climb gradually upwards through blue pine and juniper forest. After about 3 hours’ walking you will reach Chhoe Chhoe Tse Lhakhang (temple). Carry on climbing for another 20 minutes or so until you re-enter the forest. After about 40 minutes more you will emerge onto a large meadow where you will find many chortens and prayer flags. Your camp for the night is below the nearby Bumdra Monastery, at about 3800 metres, where there are wonderful views across the Himalayas. Later you can visit the monastery, and if you are feeling strong climb the 4000m peak to admire the views before returning to camp.

Overnight in camp (Uma tent)

Day 5

Today we descend again through the forest. After a couple of hours you will start to see numerous temples – from the gardens of Sangtopelri you will be able to look down and see the roofs of Taktshang monastery far below. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown to the site riding on a tigress. He subsequently meditated here for three months. It is one of Bhutan’s most holy sites and draws pilgrims not only from Bhutan but also from neighbouring Buddhist countries. Keep on descending and you can visit the Splendid Tiger’s Nest monastery itself. From here it is about an hour down to the bottom where you can meet your vehicle to return to Paro. On the way back you can visit Dumtse Lhakhang, a temple built by Thangtong Gyalpo, the iron bridge builder. If there is time you can also visit the ruined Drukgyel Dzong (fortress of victory), constructed to commemorate the victory over Tibetan invaders in 1644 and destroyed by a butter lamp fire in 1951 and the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, a temple of historical significance and one of the most sacred shrines in Bhutan.

Overnight in Paro (Uma Paro – one bed villa)

Day 6

Early in the morning your guide will accompany you to the airport to see you off onto your flight and wish you Tashi Delek (goodbye and good luck).