Bhutan Discovery

5 days from $1995 *
  • Journey up through the forest to the cliff-top Taktsang Monastery.
  • Search for treasures at the Handicraft Bazaar and market.
  • Visit a traditional farmhouse for a look at the local culture.
  • Private transfers throughout.
  • Featuring expertly selected hotels.
Request a Quote

This happy nation in the Himalayas is cut off from the wars and worries of the modern world. Discover the last independent Buddhist kingdom on Earth with an expert private guide.

Be among the few people who have the chance to see what life looks like in in mystical Bhutan. This remote and spiritual land nestled between Nepal, Bangladesh, and Burma has been protected from mass tourism, and from the outside world, for centuries. The kingdom's pristine natural environment is matched only by the centuries-old richness of its cultural traditions. You’ll visit Thimphu’s stunning temples that date back as far as the 12th century; learn about ancient local healing practices; take in the sights and sounds of the vibrant markets; observe the art of traditional paper making; and explore the extensive collection of antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and armor housed in Bhutan’s National Museum. Trek to Taktsang monastery, also known as Tiger's Nest, precariously perched on the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. ... Show More »

With a focus on authentic experiences, you'll see why Bhutan is called the Last Shangri-La. Your expert guide will facilitate a memorable visit to a school, an evening with a local family in their traditional farmhouse, and encounters with Bhutanese craftsmen and artisans. You’ll stay in premium hotels where Bhutan’s warm hospitality shines through.

Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance. « Show Less

Day
Activities Hotel & Meals
Hotel & Meals
  • Day 1 Paro to Thimphu
    Paro to Thimphu
    • Visa Fee - Visa Fee Included
    • Airport Meet & Greet
    • Supplement - Guide/Vehicle
    • Paro - Thimphu - Vehicle/Guide
    • Tour - Private - Explore Thimphu - Vehicle/Guide
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 2 Thimphu
    Thimphu
    • Tour - Private - Cheri Monastery, Thimphu Valley & Weekend Market - Vehicle/Guide
    • Supplement - Guide/Vehicle
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 3 Thimphu to Paro
    Thimphu to Paro
    • Thimphu - Paro [via Semtokha Dzong] -
    • Supplement - Guide/Vehicle
    • Tour - Private - Explore Paro
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 4 Paro
    Paro
    • Tour - Private - Taktsang Monastery & Dumtseg Lhakhang
    • Supplement - Guide/Vehicle
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 5 Paro
    Paro
    • Transfer - Private - Depart Airport - Vehicle/Guide
    • Supplement - Guide/Vehicle
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
Kensington Advantage
Personalized itinerary with private guide & driver. Award winning value.
  • Personalized itinerary that fits like a glove
  • Full attention of your own private guide & driver
  • In-country offices for 24/7 peace of mind
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  • 30,000 delighted clients

With the inside track on the new, the old, the off-the-beaten track and the out-of-this-world, you won't find a more knowledgeable team of destination specialists.

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Day 1: Paro - Thimphu

Upon arrival in Paro, you will be required to present two passport photos to the immigration official for your Bhutan visa (included), which will be stamped into your passport. Once you pass through customs your guide and driver will be waiting for you.

For your added comfort, your guide will be waiting for you outside the customs area with a sign with your name on it. Your guide will assist you to co-ordinate meeting up with your private driver and accompany you to your accommodation.

You will be met on arrival at Paro airport by our local guide. Once you have completed all airport formalities, you will begin your drive toward Thimphu. This is a scenic journey and takes roughly 1.5 hours. On arrival in Bhutan's modern capital, you will check in at your hotel.

Visit the Changangkha Lhakhang, built in the 12th century, this is the oldest temple in Thimphu. It is hovering over a ridge above Thimphu, near Motithang. Lama Phajo Drukgom Zhigpo who hailed from Tibet chose this site to build this Lhakhang. The Lhakhang houses Chenrizig, an 11-headed, thousand-armed manifestation of Avolokitesawara. The prayer books in this Lhakhang are larger than the usual Buddhist texts. You can purchase some of the world’s most beautiful postage stamps, collector’s items and postcards at face value from the general post office, and you will also see the Bhutan National Bank. Next head to a local arts and crafts school, to visit with some local children, and then carry on to the Traditional Medicine Institute where ancient healing arts are still practiced. Finally, visit the Motithang Takin Preserve, which is a local wildlife reserve. Later, if time permits, take a stroll through the main streets to see the interesting Himalayan artifacts and textiles that make Bhutan famous.

Accommodation: Hotel Druk (4*)

Experience the unique and legendary hospitality of the Bhutanese people at, "The Druk. The Druk Group of Hotels, part of the "Tashi Group of Companies" offers you the warm hospitality of Bhutan in all its finesse and warmth. In a land rich in its heritage, culture and its warm hospitable people. The Druk brings to you hotels that define quality in its true meaning. Located in the heart of the capital city of Thimphu, this truly wonderful hotel offers you the most impeccable amenities and quality service that are unique for a memorable stay. In the heart of rolling mountains and drifting mist, the Thimphu Druk, offers a choice of Executive floor and Regular Floor with 53 elegantly appointed rooms.

Thimphu
Thimphu
Hotel Druk
Hotel Druk

Day 2: Thimphu

After breakfast begin your day of sightseeing with a visit to the weekend market to see local people selling and purchasing their staples. The market also has a few souvenir shops for visitors. Then embark on a drive 12 km north of Thimphu where you will participate in an hour long hike to Cheri Monastery. There will be enough time for individual contemplation, journaling, meditating, etc while visiting the monastery. Later, drive back to the hotel or to a local restaurant for lunch. In the afternoon observe traditional paper making from Daphnia and Edgeworthia shrub, and have a chance to purchase some beautiful writing sets from the factory. Next, visit the Handicraft Bazaar, a new project initiated by the Government that promotes locally produced handicrafts. Buy stunning kiras which can be used as bed covers or wall decoration, jewelry and much more.  Finally, visit Memorial Chorten built in 1974 to honor the memory of Late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, popularly known as the Father of Modern Bhutan. A multi-storied Stupa will introduce you to the vitality of Tantric Buddhism. Finish up back at your hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel Druk (4*)
Memorial Chorten
Memorial Chorten

Day 3: Thimphu - Paro

This morning, set off for Paro after an early breakfast and en route visit Semtokha Dzong, “the place of profound tantric teaching”, which stands on a hill a few kilometers out of town. On arrival in Paro, check in at your hotel.

After lunch today, you will visit Ta Dzong, originally built as a watchtower, which now houses Bhutan’s National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armor, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. Walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore, such as the legend of the four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount Sumeru and other cosmic mandalas. Along the way you will also see the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of 108 temples built in the Himalayas by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. In the evening visit a traditional farmhouse for an opportunity to interact with a local family and gain insight into the local lifestyle and cultures.

Accommodation: Nak-Sel (4.5*)

Naksel, a community-based project that is eco friendly and Energy Saver efficient, blends the heritage of traditional Bhutanese architecture and the comfort of modern amenities. Elaborate hand-carved pillars and beautiful stonework exemplify the essence of Bhutan while tapered mud-brick walls provide insulation and restful silence.

Paro
Paro
Nak-Sel
Nak-Sel

Day 4: Paro

Today you will embark on an excursion to view the spectacular and famous Taktsang monastery. The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest with many trees festooned with Spanish moss and the occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. The hike will take you past a small cafeteria if a break is needed.  Built in 1600’s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. It is believed that, in the 8th century Guru Rimpoche, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tigress to subdue a demon. Guru Rimpoche is believed to have meditated here for three months and this place is considered as a ‘Mecca’ for Buddhists. Lunch will be served at the cafeteria. After the hike, you will visit Dungtse Lhakhang. The uniqueness of this temple lies in the fact that it is in the form of a chorten, one of the very few that exists in Bhutan. The lhakhang was built in 1421 by the famous Tibetan lama, Thongten Gyelpo (1385-1465) who was also known as Changzampa or the builder of iron bridges. It is believed that a demoness was terrorizing the Paro valley and the very hill that the temple is built on turned out to be the demoness’s head. So he built a chorten shaped temple over the demoness’s head or the hills to overpower her, as chortens most of the time play the part of a nail that immobilizes a demon. This evening, once back to your hotel, you can take a leisurely guided walk of the town of Paro.

Accommodation: Nak-Sel (4.5*)
Taktsang Monestery
Taktsang Monestery

Day 5: Paro

Your guide will escort you to the airport for departure from Paro.

Accommodation:
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

Trip Terms & Conditions

  • Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $350). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.
  • Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
  • Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
  • Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
  • Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at www.kensingtontours.com/terms-and-conditions
  • Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.

Hotel Druk (4*): Thimphu

Experience the unique and legendary hospitality of the Bhutanese people at, "The Druk. The Druk Group of Hotels, part of the "Tashi Group of Companies" offers you the warm hospitality of Bhutan in all its finesse and warmth. In a land rich in its heritage, culture and its warm hospitable people. The Druk brings to you hotels that define quality in its true meaning. Located in the heart of the capital city of Thimphu, this truly wonderful hotel offers you the most impeccable amenities and quality service that are unique for a memorable stay. In the heart of rolling mountains and drifting mist, the Thimphu Druk, offers a choice of Executive floor and Regular Floor with 53 elegantly appointed rooms.

Hotel Druk
Hotel Druk

Nak-Sel (4.5*): Paro

Naksel, a community-based project that is eco friendly and Energy Saver efficient, blends the heritage of traditional Bhutanese architecture and the comfort of modern amenities. Elaborate hand-carved pillars and beautiful stonework exemplify the essence of Bhutan while tapered mud-brick walls provide insulation and restful silence.

Nak-Sel
Nak-Sel
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
  • Steven T. — June 15, 2016 — Asia

    We found Kensington of great assistance in helping us extend our recent trip to Japan with days on private tour to Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Miyajima. Astrid Di Paolo was our Kensington travel designer and was a delight to work with - very conscientious and attentive to every detail of our trip.

  • Sydney L. — June 08, 2016 — Asia

    This trip was unforgettable. I start medical school in July and wanted to do one last family trip before starting school (and no longer having summers). China and Tibet were unbelievable. The Holy Lake and Great Wall pictures alone were worth the money spent on the trip. My father loved the monasteries in Tibet as well. He is a history nerd and loved hearing the stories from 600 AD and witnessing the great stupas. Nepal was amazing as well, although I would have loved to have seen the sites before the earthquakes. All of our guides were friendly, knowledgeable and took the time to make sure we had enough water and were safe. Would recommend Kensington Tours to all of my friends and will definitely book again using them!

  • Ma. Cecilia J — June 01, 2016 — Asia

    Everything was great!

  • Loretta H. — May 19, 2016 — Asia

    Very enjoyable trip. We had a private guide and driver. All very knowledgeable. Always met us at the airport and even waited for us when our flight was delayed. The price was well worth the money spent. Thank you Kensington Tours!

  • Marnie T. — May 19, 2016 — Asia

    The local guides were very sweet, knowledgeable and accommodating to our itinerary desires.

  • Diana S. — May 19, 2016 — Asia

    The local guides in Japan were all so pleasant and very knowledgeable of the areas we visited. They often shared personal stories which further enhanced our enjoyment of the tours.

  • Byron M. — May 19, 2016 — Asia

    That was the single greatest experience of my life.

  • James G. — May 19, 2016 — Asia

    We were very impressed by the quality of the tour. Everything worked as planned - our guides met us on time every time, the hotels were well selected and met our needs precisely, the itinerary was well chosen. We would like to call out the expertise and friendliness of our guides. They added immensely to the success of the trip. All of the guides were great but we want to especially express appreciation for the guides in Ho Chi Minh City and Angkor Wat. They helped make us feel like we were speaking with friends about the countries and places they lived in.

  • Jessica A. — May 19, 2016 — Asia

    My guide, Michi, was an absolute doll! She was so helpful and so accommodating when I wanted to alter the itinerary. She went above and beyond to ensure I had a great experience. Jessica Clements is a saint. I don't know how she deals with me and my 1,000,000 questions and tendency to change my mind every other day. Rock on.

  • Ann S. — May 18, 2016 — Asia

    Fabulous Japan tour! Loved our stays in Tokyo, Hakone and Kyoto. Superior hotels! Top-notch guides! Exciting sites! Thank you to our outstanding agent, Sunita Singh, for this extraordinary experience! We've already booked out next Kensington Tours trip.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

* USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change.

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