Spa - yoga classes (3) (2).jpg

Bhutan Spiritual Journey

Trip Duration
12 Days
Activity Level
Ascent & Descent
1,771 (- 2,494) m
Max Elevation
3,183 m


Immerse yourself in a unique journey of spiritualism and of mindfulness across Bhutan, enjoying select day hikes along the Trans Bhutan Trail along the way. Enjoy time for meditation, learning about Buddhism, and self-discovery alongside visits to important spiritual and cultural landmarks across the west and center of the country. Round up your visit with a hike to the incredible Tiger’s Nest Monastery.

What's Included

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily (11 breakfast, 11 lunch, 11 dinner)
  • Water during meals and treks
  • Private tour guide daily
  • Transportation 
  • Airport transfer
  • Accommodation
  • Bhutan Sustainable Development Fee
  • Bhutan tourist visa 
  • Activities as indicated in itinerary and description 
  • Support, packing tips and constant communication prior to departure
  • Trans Bhutan Trail passport
  • A Year’s Free Trans Bhutan Trail Membership

What's Not Included

  • Cancellation protection
  • Airfare to and from Paro airport
  • Accommodation or transportation upgrades 
  • Travel insurance 
  • Additional excursions
  • Beverages other than water
  • Laundry


This trip has a mixture of accommodation including four nights at the 5* Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary hotel and other nights spent in guesthouses, locally-owned hotels and at our signature campsites. 



On arrival at Paro International Airport today, you will be met by your guide for the short transfer to your accommodation. A charming town which is ideal for exploration on foot, Paro lies on the banks of the Paro River, overlooked by its imposing Dzong (fortress). After check in, enjoy an optional walk around Paro’s Rinpung Dzong (fortress), meaning ‘Fortress on a Heap of Jewels’. The original construction of this dzong is believed to have been completed in 1458 and it was restored to its present glory by His Majesty the Third of Bhutan, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, to mark his royal wedding in 1951.

The remainder of the afternoon will be at leisure.

In the evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Included Activities:

  • Visit Paro Rinpung Dzong (fortress)

Accommodation: Le Meridien or similar (5*)

Meals Included: Dinner

This morning, enjoy yoga and breakfast before being transferred by private vehicle to the community of Tsendona, where you will be able to walk a section of the Trans Bhutan Trail. The trail rises gently from the village of Tsendona as it traverses the sprawling rice paddies of the Paro Valley, before carving around the northern ridge and descending into the traditional village of Dopshari.

Enjoy a picnic lunch near the Wangchhu River and time for reflection, before heading back to your accommodation for dinner and overnight.

Trek Distance: 3.65 kilometres (2.27 miles)
Estimated Trek Duration: 1 – 2 hours
Elevation Gain: 218 metres (711 feet)
Elevation Loss: 321 metres (1,053 feet)
Starting Elevation: 2,396 metres (7,859 feet)
Ending Elevation: 2,284 metres (7,492 feet)
Maximum Elevation: 2,516 metres (8,254 feet)

Included Activities:

  • Hike on the Trans Bhutan Trail

Accommodation: Le Meridien or similar (5*)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast this morning, head to the airport for a spectacularly scenic domestic flight eastwards to Bumthang.

After checking into your hotel, the remainder of the day will be spent visiting some of Bumthang’s most significant cultural sites, including the majestic Jakar Dzong (fortress), also known as the ‘Castle of the White Bird’. This huge structure dominates the Chamkar Valley and the town below it. It was built in 1549 by the Tibetan Lam Nagi Wangchuk and was Eastern Bhutan’s main defensive stronghold. Later, it became the seat of the First King of Bhutan. Unique features include its 50 metre utse (tower) and a sheltered passage with two parallel walls, interconnected by fortified towers, which guaranteed the fortress’s inhabitants access to water during a siege.

During your visits, you will also receive a detailed introduction to Bhutanese Buddhist ceremony and astrology. Astrology in Bhutan is an ancient and highly respected science and locals will often consult the stars before making major life decisions such as getting married or changing jobs.

Enjoy dinner this evening with your guide in a local restaurant.

Included Activities:

  • Visit Jakar Dzong (fortress)
  • Introduction to Bhutanese Buddhist ceremonies 
  • Introduction to astrology 

Accommodation: Yugharling Resort or similar (3*)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Bumthang is the general name given to a group of four valleys: Chhumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura, with altitudes varying from 2,600 to 4,000 metres (8,530 – 13,125 feet).  This area is home to many ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries.

Three Temples-Valley Visit: Start at Jambay Lhakhang which was built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. It is one of 108 monasteries which he built to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region. Then continue to Kurjey Lhakhang, heading further into the valley through farmlands for half an hour. Kurjey Lhakhang comprises three temples. The one on the right was built in 1652 against the rock face where Guru Padmasambhava meditated in the 8th century. The middle temple is built on the site of a cave containing a rock with the imprint of the Guru’s body, and is therefore considered to be the most holy. Both Jambay and Kurjey Lhakhang are located on the left banks of Chamkhar Chhu (river).

Then continue towards Tamshing Lhakhang located across the river from Kurjey Lhakhang. This temple was founded in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa, a reincarnation of Guru Padmasambhava. There are very old religious paintings around the inner walls of the temple, which was restored at the end of the 19th century.

Enjoy a traditional lunch at a farmhouse. You will be served a combination of the local Bumthap cuisine consisting of items made from buckwheat (which is widely grown in this region) and other Bhutanese dishes.

In the evening, head back to your hotel and relax.

Included Activities:

  • Visit Jambay Lhakhang (temple)
  • Visit Kurjey Lhakhang (temple)
  • Visit Tamshing Lhakhang (temple)

Accommodation: Yugharling Resort or similar (3*)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast at your hotel, follow the Trans Bhutan Trail up out of Bumthang and back down into the Tang Valley. Your hike for the day will end at the Pema Choling Nunnery. Women and girls who enrol here follow a nine-year course in the Nyingma Peling Buddhist tradition and are known for a particular drum ceremony known as “chod”.

After visiting the nunnery, head further south on the trail towards the sacred Mebartsho (burning Lake), where, in the 15th century, the great treasure hunter Pema Lingpa is said to have discovered several of Guru Rinpoche’s hidden treasures. Lingpa had a dream in which he was summoned to this particular location on the Tang River and, when he arrived, he saw at the bottom of the river a temple with many doors, one of which was open. He then swam down into a large cave where he was handed a treasure chest by a one-eyed woman. He would later repeat the feat in the presence of the local people and whilst holding a lit butter lamp which did not go out underwater – and it is because of that that this pool was named “burning lake”.

After visiting the lake, you will be transferred to the Ogyen Choling Palace and Museum, which will be your home for the next three nights. The Ogyen Choling Foundation seeks to contribute to the preservation and promotion of Bhutan’s historical and cultural heritage and, in so doing, also support the social and economic well-being of the local community. The history of Ogyen Choling began with the visit of the great Tibetan master of Buddhism, Longchen Rabjam (1308-63). Longchen Rabjam is the most celebrated writer and philosopher of the Nyingmapa School of Tibetan Buddhism and is regarded as the synthesizer of the doctrine and methods of Dzogchen, ‘School of Great Perfection’.

Dinner will be served at the Ogyen Choling guesthouse.

Trek Distance: 10.73 kilometres (6.66 miles)
Estimated Trek Duration: 4 – 5 hours
Elevation Gain: 826 metres (2,709 feet)
Elevation Loss: 794 metres (2,604 feet)
Starting Elevation: 2,574 metres (8,443 feet)
Ending Elevation: 2,600 metres (8,528 feet)
Maximum Elevation: 3,047 metres (9,997 feet)

Included Activities:

  • Hike on the Trans Bhutan Trail
  • Visit Pema Choling Nunnery
  • Visit Mebartsho (burning Lake)

Accommodation: Ogyen Choling Guesthouse (3*)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, enjoy yoga and breakfast before heading out to explore the village homes.

Start off your excursion with a visit to this ancient historic house which was converted into living museum in the year 2001 by the very descendants of the house. The Ogyen Choling manor built in 1898, is a historic, cultural site, with its origin going back to the 14th Century. Because of its association with the great Tibetan masters; Longchen Rabjam and Dorji Lingpa the Ogyen Choling estate is of considerable importance for Bhutan as well as for the Tibetan Buddhist world.

The estate provides an excellent insight into the lifestyles and living conditions of a typical landed family over the last century. The heirs of Ogyen Choling decided to convert parts of their ancestral home to a museum. This decision was made with the hope of sharing this heritage with as many people as possible and at the same time to preserve and maintain Ogyen Choling as a religious and cultural center.

Included Activities:

  • Visit Ogyen Choling Heritage House
  • Explore villages homes

Accommodation: Ogyen Choling Guesthouse (3*)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast at the hotel, head out for yet another excursion down into valley.

It is a revered sacred site located at the crossroads of several trails which have been in use for centuries. You have the option to spend time in meditation, meeting with scholars, engaging in community activities and taking walks in this beautiful remote glacial valley.

Included Activities:

  • Explore the valley

Accommodation: Ogyen Choling Guesthouse (3*)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, after breakfast, board a private vehicle for a transfer westward, out of the Tang Valley and towards the historic town of Trongsa. Trongsa is Bhutan’s geographical center point and is very closely linked to the Bhutanese Royal Family: the first two hereditary Kings ruled from Trongsa Dzong (fortress) and the crown prince still traditionally serves as the Penlop (Governor) of Trongsa before acceding to the throne.

In addition to enjoying the incredible scenery along this meandering journey, you will make a number of stops for short village and forest walks at Chhumey, Geytsa, and Yotongla.

On arrival in Trongsa, check into your hotel and enjoy dinner with your guide at a local restaurant.

Included Activities:

  • Visit Trongsa Ta Dzong Museum
  • Visit Trongsa Dzong (fortress)

Accommodation: Yangkhil Resort or similar (3*)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast this morning, enjoy a tour of Trongsa Dzong (fortress), which was first built by Ngagi Wangchuck as a small meditation room in 1541, after he discovered self-manifested hoof-prints belonging to the deity Pelden Lhamo on the same spot. Trongsa, which means ‘new village’ in the local dialect, soon sprung up around the site. The Dzong (fortress) was built in its present form in 1644 and then enlarged again at the end of the 17th century. It is home to some 450 district monks who spend their winters in Trongsa and their summers in Bumthang. You will visit a selection of the Dzong’s 23 lhakhangs (temples), before heading to the Trongsa Ta Dzong (watchtower), which now houses the interesting Royal Heritage Museum.

Afterwards, there will be the option to undertake a challenging hike from the West Gate of Trongsa Dzong (fortress) down into the Mangdechhu Valley and over the old cantilever bridge. The trail then heads up the opposite valley side, with incredible views of Trongsa and its Dzong (fortress) behind you, as far as the viewpoint, where you will rejoin your vehicle.

From Trongsa, head to the village of Toeb Chandhana, in the Punakha Valley. Visit the Toeb Chandhana Lhakhang (temple), also known as the Chandhana Lhakhang, meaning ‘where the arrow landed’. Legend has it that when the Divine Madman, Drukpa Kuenley, fired an arrow from Tibet to determine his course, it landed here in Toeb Chandhana. The temple itself was built in the 15th century to ward off the evil energy of a demoness and then served as the religious seat of Ngawang Chogyal. The two hills at each end of the temple resemble knees and are said to be the knees of Ngawang Chogyal herself.

Next door to the Temple is the house of Toep Tshewang, which Drukpa Kuenley’s arrow is said to have struck when it landed. Legend has it that, dressed as a hunting beggar, Kuenley courted Tshewang’s wife and that, in a fit of jealous rage, Tshewang drew a sword which Drukpa Kuenley miraculously knotted. Realizing Kuenley’s divine power, Tshewang offered him his wife as a gift to aid him in fulfilling his prophecies. The building still houses the eleven-stepped wooden ladder that Kuenley’s arrow is said to have struck; and the descendants of Tshewang have preserved the house as a monument for fifteen generations.

Trek Distance: 2.87 kilometres (1.78 miles)
Estimated Trek Duration: 1 – 2 hours
Elevation Gain: 276 metres (906 feet)
Elevation Loss: 318 metres (1,040 feet)
Starting Elevation: 2,081 metres (6,828 feet)
Ending Elevation: 2,122 metres (6,962 feet)
Maximum Elevation: 2,122 metres (6,962 feet)

Included Activities: 

  • Hike on the Trans Bhutan Trail
  • Visit Trongsa Dzong (fortress)
  • Visit Toeb Chandhana Lhakhang (temple)

Accommodation: Deluxe Camping

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast at camp, board your vehicle for a transfer to Dochula, a mountain Pass at 3,116 metres (10,224 feet) above sea level. Mountain passes are some of the most sacred places in Bhutan and so it is customary to burn incense as an offering in places such as this. You may also wish to join locals in hanging colourful prayer flags as a sign of respect to the Gods.

From Dochula, enjoy a scenic and pleasant walk across meadows and through dense rhododendron forest towards the village of Yusipang, where you will rejoin your vehicle.

Your next stop will be what the locals call it, ‘Buddha Point’, home to Thimphu’s most recognized landmark, the Buddha Dordenma. Guarding the entry to the Thimphu valley, this 51 metres (167 feet) gilded bronze statue is filled with 125,000 miniature statues and sits atop a three-storey base housing a chapel and thousands of donated statuettes. The statue was commissioned to mark His Majesty the Fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck’s 60th birthday and was originally made in China before being transported to Thimphu in pieces.

Continue to Paro, where you will return to your hotel to enjoy the spa and wellness facilities on offer. 

Trek Distance: 7.28 kilometres (4.52 miles)
Estimated Trek Duration: 4 – 5 hours
Elevation Gain: 160 metres (525 feet)
Elevation Gain: 601 metres (1,972 feet)
Starting Elevation: 3,116 metres (10,224 feet)
Ending Elevation: 2,645metres (8,678 feet)
Maximum Elevation: 3,183 metres (10,443 feet)

Included Activities:

  • Hike on the Trans Bhutan Trail
  • Visit Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (temple)
  • Visit Dru Wangyal Chorten (stupa)
  • Visit Buddha Dordenma

Accommodation: Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary or similar (5*)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast this morning, head northwest out of Paro by private vehicle for a visit to the iconic Taktshang Goemba, more commonly known as the ‘Tiger’s Nest Monastery’. Precariously perched on a sheer cliff face 900 metres (2,950 feet) above the Paro Valley floor, the Tiger’s Nest is undoubtedly Bhutan’s most famous religious building. It is built on the site where Guru Rinpoche is said to have arrived on the back of a tigress when he came to subdue the local demon, Singye Samdrup. After subduing the demon, Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated in a cave here for three whole months.

The Monastery is only accessible by foot via two to three hours hike up the valley side. The trek offers spectacular views from the ridge and passes a small chorten, a basic monastery, and a waterfall on its way.

Once you have reached the Tiger’s Nest, you will have a chance to visit the cave where Guru Rinpoche meditated, as well as the extensive network of Lhakhangs (chapels) which house images, murals, chortens, and a holy spring. You may also wish to make a diversion to the attractive Machig-phu Lhakhang (temple) on the way back down to the access road.

After the visit, you will head back to your hotel in Paro, where you will be able to relax for the remainder of the day or do some last-minute shopping for souvenirs.

In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner with your guide at a nearby restaurant.

Trek Distance: 9.15 kilometres (5.69 miles)
Estimated Trek Duration:  6 – 7 hours
Elevation Gain: 724 metres (2,375 feet)
Elevation Loss: 724 metres (2,375 feet)
Starting Elevation: 2,584 metres (8,478 feet)
Ending Elevation: 2,584 metres (8,478 feet)
Maximum Elevation: 3,152 metres (10,342 feet)

Accommodation: Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary or similar (5*)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast this morning, you will be transferred to the airport for your international departure flight.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Additional Activities

Looking for something more? These activities are examples of excursions or activities that are available to travellers that are not included in this trip fee. These activities can be subject to availability. Contact us with any questions regarding these additional activities.
Ara Ceremony

Ara Ceremony

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking