Bhutan Rhododendron Festival- 8 Days

Description: Bhutan has a very rich flora and fauna. The habitats found here range from the tropical climatic zone to the high altitude temperate zone. The country has a high percentage of land under forest, with 72% tree cover. The forest from 1200m to 4800m elevation has an abundance of rhododendron species.

During the months of April to July, the forests become enchanted with the brilliant display of blooming rhododendrons. Many species of rhododendron are found to exist in assemblages that vary according to changes in altitude, aspect and longitudinal east-west axis. There are more than 1200 species of rhododendrons worldwide, with diverse forms, ranging from creeping shrubs to moderate sized trees. Flowering with shades of pink, red and yellow, rhododendrons occur in the temperate regions of the world with about 700 species in cultivation, most being Sino-Himalayan species.

In Bhutan, of the 46 species recorded so far, four species have found to be endemic. You can explore one of the world’s last unspoiled frontiers, on this three-week trip that will enthrall you by its natural beauty, mystical religion, vibrant culture, and charming people. 

ITINERARY Over View
  • DAY 01: PARO-THIMPHU
  • DAY 02: THIMPHU
  • DAY 03: THIMPHU-PUNAKHA
  • DAY 04: PUNAKHA
  • DAY 05: PHOBJIKHA
  • DAY 06: PHOBJIKHA-PARO
  • DAY 07: PARO
  • DAY 08: DEPARTURE
DETAILED TOUR
Day 1: Fly Into Bhutan
  • Altitude: 293 meters

The flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks give way to the lush green.

Paro valley as you land. First gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control you will meet our guide.

Afternoon in Paro visit Ta Dzong, once a watchtower, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century, Ta Dzong was inaugurated as Bhutan’s National Museum in 1968.

Afterwards, walk down a hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong. Built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district.

Later Drive to Thimphu.

  • Distance: 54 km
  • Estimated driving time: 1 Hour

In the evening we will visit Tashichho Dzong the main
administrative building of the capital and walk through the town.
Overnight at a hotel/resort in Thimphu.

Day 2: Thimphu Sightseeing.
  • Altitude: 2,320 meters

After breakfast travel to Thimphu and check into your hotel. The full day Thimphu tour includes visit to the following:

  • The national memorial stupa built in memory of the late 3rd king of Bhutan.
  • Visit Buddha Point and offer your prayers to the Largest Buddha statue in the country and walk around to enjoy the great view of Thimphu valley below.
  • Takin Preserve which houses the national animal- takin which is found only in Bhutan. Takin is an extremely rare member of goat family.
  • Changangkha Lhakhang is the main temple of the Thimphu. This popular fortress-like temple perched on a ridge above central Thimphu regularly hums with pilgrim activity. It was established in the 12th century
  • The Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the g Painting School) where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts.
  • The Folk Heritage Museum to get an insight into the typical Bhutanese way of life.
  • The National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts.
  • Centenary Farmers’ Market (open from Thursday to Sunday) where farmers sell their farm produces (vegetables, fruits, cereals, spices, wild vegetable collections, livestock products etc and free interaction with local people who come shopping to this market, especially on weekends and the craft bazaar.

Overnight at a hotel/resort in Thimphu.

Day 03: Tthimphu-Punakha (Rhododendron Festival At Lamperi )
  • Altitude: 1,300 meters
  • Distance: 71 km
  • Estimated driving time: 2 1/2 hrs

After breakfast drive to the Rhododendron festival.

Dochula is one hour drive from Capital and you will have your refreshment tea at Dochula mountain pass.

After Dochula we will drive to Lamperi where the famous flower festival will be held.

Rhododendron Festival is a Bhutanese event that shares the cultures affection for the flower. It brings attendees a local garden walk, traditional foods, storied games and more.

Bhutan boosts 46 various species of Rhododendron and the event’s venue has 29 of them. Not to far from Thimphu, the festival’s rural location offers an authentic look into Bhutanese culture

After festival Travel onto Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body.

Overnight at a hotel in Wangdue/Punakha.

Day 4: Wangdue And Punakha Valley Excursion

Today after Breakfast we will drive onto Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body. We will drive to upper Punakha via Punakha Dzong for a short Hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Temple located at the upper Punakha Valley.

River rafting (only if there are more than 3 pax): When coming back from the hike, if you want to experience river rafting then you can tell guide to arrange it. It will take almost two hours and you can pay to them directly (excluded in the package).

Visit longest suspension bridge in Punakha the later, drive to Wangdue town and walk through nearby village.

overnight in Punakha.

Day 5- Punakha – Wangdue – Gangtey And Phobjikha Valleys.
  • Altitude: 3,000 meters
  • Distance: 198 km
  • Estimated driving time: 2 hrs 30 Minutes

After breakfast, we will go to Phobjikha valley on the way we will stop at Wangdue town and visit the on going Wangdue dzong construction, drive to Phobjikha after lunch.

Phobjikha– is a bowl-shape valley on the western slopes of Black Mountain.
Optional: After lunch or in the next Morning visit Gantey Goempa – This monastery is a major attraction with an old monastery date back to the 16 century.

Later walk around the valley which is also the winter home to the rare black-necked cranes, which migrate, from remote parts of Tibet, China and Siberia during winter to this valley.

Overnight Resorts/Hotels: Phobjikha

Day 06: Phobjikha-Paro
  • Altitude: 2,280 meters
  • Distance: 190 km
  • Estimated driving time: 5hrs, 30 min

Today after well rest we will drive to Paro. We will do some sightseeing on way and also stop at Thimphu for while if there are any last minute shopping.

Visit the Tachog Temple. This 600 year old bridge crosses the Paro Chhu (Paro River) and was traditionally restored in 2005 after being washed away during a 1969 flood.

The bridge was originally built by the legendary Tibetan architect, physician, blacksmith and civil engineer Thangtong Gyalpo who is an important figure in Bhutanese and Tibetan history.

Later stroll through the town and rest in Resort.

Day 7: Taktsang Monastery – Highlight Of Your Trip

After breakfast, drive up to the base camp of Taktsang and then hike up to the most famous Monastery in the entire kingdom of Bhutan perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley.

The hike to the viewpoint will take about an hour and it will take 2 hours to the monastery. Lunch at the viewpoint or at Paro town.

Later we will visit the Kichu Lhakhang. Its is one of the oldest and sacred temples in the Kingdom built 1300 years ago by the Tibetan king Songtshen Gyalpo to subdue the Ogress.

Overnight at a hotel/resort in Paro.

Day 8 – Departure From Paro International Airport

After breakfast, drive to Paro International Airport, your tour guide and driver will bid you farewell and we hope you had a pleasant visit and hope to see you soon again in Bhutan.

 

we hope to provide the ultimate best value for all our guests. We choose some of the finest hotels, offer free upgrades to make our visitors feel the most welcomed and well-taken care of while traveling in Bhutan. We take pride in providing first class accommodations for our travelers.

A wide variety of accommodations are available ranging from luxurious 5-star hotels to cozy little hotels, homestays in traditional Bhutanese homes to camping under the stars. Visitors can be assured of comfort, ambiance and hospitality.

The types of accommodations can be divided into:

  • Government Categorized 3 Star Hotels and Resorts
  • Luxurious 4 Star Hotels & 5 Star International Hotel Chains
  • Village Homestay
  • Camping
  • Government Categorized 3 Star Hotels & Resorts

Hotels in Bhutan are rated according to a National 5 Star rating System. All Tour Operators are required to provide their guests with Government Categorized Hotels and Resorts, a minimum of 3 Star accommodations so you can be assured of your comfort. Most hotels provide their guests with Basic Necessities, Room Service, Free Wi-fi, Television and some of them also have Fitness Centers and Spas

Luxurious 4 Star Hotels & 5 Star International Hotel Chains

The luxury packages are based on 4 star luxury hotels and 5 star International Hotels Chain (Aman Kora, COMO Uma, Zhiwaling, Le Meridien and Taj Tashi) with extra charges in addition to the Mandatory Daily Tariff of USD $250/person/night.

Village Homestay

Visitors also have the option of spending a night in a traditional Bhutanese Farm House with a Bhutanese family. Agriculture is still one of the major sources of livelihood among the Bhutanese people and a farm-stay will give you an excellent glimpse into the day-to-day life of a typical Bhutanese family. You’ll be able to observe age old Bhutanese farming traditions as the family goes about its daily tasks. You’ll enjoy delicious home-cooked meals and the unparalleled hospitality of a Bhutanese host.

Camping

There’s nothing like camping in some of the most breath taking landscapes of Bhutan. Visitors embarking on long treks will be provided with tents and whatever other camping equipment is deemed necessary. Regardless of where you stay, visitors can be assured of their comfort and traditional Bhutanese hospitality.

What is included in this tour?

  • Wedding ceremony in Bhutanese style
  • Tours specified in the itinerary
  • Accommodation in 4 star hotel/ Complimentary Deluxe rooms.
  • Meals (Breakfast; lunch; dinner, mineral water) as per your choice
  • Transportation within Bhutan (Toyota Hiace Bus/High roof)
  • Services of experienced and licensed culture tour guide
  • Museum fees and other special entry fees
  • US $ 10 per pax for Tourism Development Fund
  • Visa fee of US$ 40 per person
  • Tax and government royalty

 

Whats not included in this tour.

  • Air fare
  • Travel and health Insurance( All medical facilities in Bhutan is free )
  • Laundry, telephone, mobile, fax and Internet bills (Hotels in Bhutan provide free wifi facilities)
  • Tips for guide and driver
  • Alcohol, beverages in resorts.
  • Shopping and Entertainment

How can we confirm our Bhutan visa and tour?

Your Bhutan Visa and Bhutan tour will be 100% confirmed once the company receives your full payment. You will receive you Bhutan Visa and confirmed tickets 24-48 hours after you transfer us the full tour payment.

 

When is the best time to travel Bhutan?

You can visit western Bhutan (Thimphu, Paro, Punakha and Wangduephodrang) anytime of the year. Avoid central and eastern Bhutan during the monsoon months of July and August when the weather is sometimes a little wet for sightseeing

 

Would we need travel insurance?

All visitors in Bhutan are advised to get their insurance coverage from their own country.

 

Is a tipping standard practice in Bhutan?

Yes, tipping is a standard practice in Bhutan and it is part of a Bhutanese culture. All your service staff such as guide, driver, hotels staff will expect tips from you at the end of the service.

 

What kind of travel guides can we expect?

Licensed Bhutanese travel guides will introduce you to the many facets of this interesting country. The English-speaking guides undergo regular training and, where required, specialized guides will lead you on bird watching, botany or other special tours.