Day 1 Arrival, Transfer to Thimphu, Town Stroll, o/n Amankora Thimphu
Day 2 Transfer to Punakha Valley. Hongtsho Goempa Hike, o/n Amankora Punakha
Day 3 Transfer to Paro Valley, Paro Dzong, National Museum, o/n Amankora Paro
Day 4 Tiger’s Nest Hike, o/n Amankora Paro
Day 5 International Departure
Day 1: Arrival in Paro. Transfer to Thimphu
Your arrival in Bhutan is an unparalleled experience as the flight circles over the dramatic valley below. The transfer to Thimphu is approximately 1½ hours. Upon arrival and following lunch, visit your choice of the National Memorial Chorten, the National Textile Museum, the Folk Heritage Museum and the National Library then stroll the main street browsing for interesting Himalayan artifacts and textiles.
Day 2: Thimphu to Punakha
An early departure brings you on a dramatic drive over the 3,050m mountain pass of Dochu La and on to Punakha Valley. Sights on the way include one of Bhutan’s first fortress monasteries, the 17th-century.
Simtokha Dzong, and ancient wall paintings at the Hongtsho Goemba monastery. The journey continues over the pass offering spectacular views of towering Himalayan peaks on a clear day. The descent into Punakha Valley along the Kingdom’s only east-west highway takes you via the town of Wangdi to visit the rustic Wangdiphodrang Dzong and perhaps the local temple next door. Explore this quaint village and its row of intimate shops before heading to the lodge.
In the afternoon, visit the village of Talo, home of the Queen’s and the valley’s protective deity, lhakhang. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a hike to an ancient monastery on the hilltop behind the lodge.
Day 3: Punakha to Paro
After descending from Dochu La Pass, the road will lead back up the dramatic Wang Chu and Paro Chu river valleys before crossing through Paro towards the north end of the valley. Here, set in a pine forest, is the Amankora Paro lodge and spa. In the afternoon, stroll to the nearby ruins, visit some of the valley’s oldest and holiest religious monuments or amble down Paro’s main street. Evenings at Amankora Paro may include informative lectures on the history, religion, flora and fauna of the region, or a film on the Himalayas.
Day 4: Tiger’s Nest Hike
Spend the morning hiking to one of Bhutan’s most revered monuments, the Taktshang Goempa, more commonly known as the “Tiger’s Nest”. The four- to five-hour return trek offers spectacular views of this sacred monastery perched on a cliff face almost 1,000m above the valley floor. The rest of the day can be spent browsing through shops in town, enjoying the spa or exploring the rich forests that rise behind the lodge.
Day 5: International Departure
Transfer to Paro Airport for International departure