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Luxury Western Bhutan

Trip Duration
6 Days
Activity Level
Ascent & Descent
   102 (- 2,561) m
Max Elevation
3,413 m


Hike some of the most memorable sections of the Trans Bhutan Trail without sacrificing comfort by staying in some of Bhutan’s finest luxury properties. Take in remote mountain passes, ancient temples, and majestic dzongs (fortresses) on your way as you traverse the heart of Western Bhutan on this 6-day itinerary.

What's Included

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily (5 breakfast, 5 lunch, 5 dinners)
  • 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 includes every night being spent in a 5* hotel. You have a range of options to choose from, please speak to our Sales team for more details. 



On arrival at Paro International Airport today, you will be met by your guide. You will be driven by private vehicle towards Bhutan’s capital city, Thimphu. With elevations ranging between 2,248 metres (7,375 feet) and 2,648 metres (8,688 feet) above sea level, Thimphu is the fifth highest capital city in the world by altitude; and it is also the only capital city in the world without any traffic lights. The city offers a unique blend of the modern world alongside striking Bhutanese tradition.

Check in to your hotel, Amankora Thimphu Lodge which is designed to look like a traditional Bhutanese Dzong (fortress). The hotel is located within a tranquil pine forest above the hustle and bustle of the city. The remainder of the day will be at leisure, so perhaps you want to indulge in a spa treatment to wind down from your flight. 

Accommodation: Amankora Thimphu Lodge (5*)

Meals Included: Dinner

After breakfast at your hotel, you will be transferred to the Dochula, a mountain Pass east of the capital city. At 3,116 metres (10,224 feet) above sea level, you will be able to enjoy excellent views from Dochula at clearer times of the year. 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.

While at Dochula, you will see the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (temple), built in honour of His Majesty the Fourth King Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck and to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Bhutanese Monarchy. The paintings in this temple are unique insofar as they combine modern flourishes with century-old techniques. The Temple hosts a yearly tshechu (festival) which pays tribute to the wise leadership of His Majesty the King and the ongoing efforts of the Royal Bhutanese Army in protecting Bhutan’s sovereignty. You should also visit the Druk Wangyal Chorten (stupa), also known as the ‘108 Chortens’, and its nearby meditation caves.

Head down into the adjacent valley and join a section of the Trail known as the ‘Divine Madman Trail’. You are now following in the footsteps of the Divine Madman himself, Drupka Kuenley, when he came to Bhutan from Tibet in the 16th century to fulfil his destiny of suppressing evil energies. Over the coming days, you will come across a number of important cultural sites and extraordinary stories related to the life of Drupka Kuenley. 

Make a stop at the pleasant village of Thinleygang, where you will enjoy a traditional, hot Bhutanese lunch, served in a local farmhouse. After lunch, visit the Thinleygang Lhakhang (temple) before rejoining your vehicle for a transfer to your hotel in Punakha. On arrival, you will check into the Uma Como Punakha Hotel. The accommodation offers wonderful views of the lush Punakha Valley and the Mo Chu River. The rest of the day is at your leisure, we recommend experiencing a traditional hot stone bath within the wellness facilities of the hotel. 

Trek Distance: 9.14 kilometres (5.7 miles)
Estimated Trek Duration:  4 – 5 hours
Elevation Gain: 44 metres (144 feet)
Elevation Loss: 1,337 metres (4,387 feet)
Starting Elevation: 3,116 metres (10,224 feet)
Ending Elevation: 1,770 metres (5,807 feet)
Maximum Elevation: 3,116 metres (10,224 feet)

Included Activities: 

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

Accommodation: Uma Como Punakha Hotel (5*)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast at your hotel, you will visit the Nalanda Monastery, home to a group of monks who are pursuing higher Buddhist studies and learning English as well. You will be able to interact with the monks and chat with them. They will be more than happy to practice their English language skills with you!

After the visit, you will be transferred to Sew Drangsa, where you will find a clearing marked with prayer flags, which is where the monastic body stops for lunch when they transfer between its winter residence in Punakha and summer residence in Thimphu. From here, you will rejoin the Trans Bhutan Trail and descend towards Punakha Dzong (fortress), enjoying spectacular views of the Punakha Valley on the way.

After lunch at a restaurant in Punakha, enjoy an afternoon of sightseeing around the charming town of Punakha. Start off at the Bazam (bridge) across the river from Punakha Dzong (fortress), where you will need to be wearing formal Bhutanese dress, including a gho for men and a kora for women, in order to cross on foot. Once on the other side, enjoy a tour of the Dzong (fortress), which was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in around 1637 at the confluence of the Phochhu (male river) and the Mochhu (female river). Arguably, it is the most beautiful Dzong in the country. The Dzong guards Bhutan’s most treasured relic, the Rangjung Kharsapani, an image of Chenresig kept away from the public in the utse (tower). It has survived Tibetan invasions, numerous fires, floods and a glacial lake burst. The Dzong served as the capital and seat of the Bhutanese Government until the early 1950s; and the coronation of His Majesty the First Druk, Gyalpo Ugyen Wangchuck, took place here. The building currently serves as the winter residence for the monastic body.

Dinner will be served at your hotel.

Trek Distance: 7.25 kilometres (4.51 miles)
Estimated Trek Duration: 2 – 3 hours
Elevation Gain: 43 metres (141 feet)
Elevation Loss: 552 metres (1,811 feet)
Starting Elevation: 1,752 metres (5,748 feet)
Ending Elevation: 1,226 metres (4,023 feet)
Maximum Elevation: 1,752 metres (5,748 feet)

Included Activities:

  • Hike on the Trans Bhutan Trail
  • Visit Nalanda Monastery
  • Punakha sightseeing tour 

Accommodation: Uma Como Punakha Hotel (5*) 

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, you will be heading towards Gangtey, a home to the rare Black Necked Cranes migrating from the Tibetan plateau to escape the harsh winter. An estimate of 200 to 300 cranes reside in this valley during the winter months and the Royal Society for Projection of Nature (RSPN) take extreme measures to ensure the safety of the Cranes.

Stop en route at Pelela: at 3,413 metres (11,198 feet) above sea level, the Pass is one of Bhutan’s highest and is traditionally considered to mark the boundary between west and central Bhutan. Local craftspeople often sell fine yak-hair products at the pass. At Pelela join the Trans Bhutan Trail heading east: as you descend through the meadows below Pelela, keep an eye out for the remote yak herder camps which can be seen scattered around the valley. Stop in a traditional farmhouse in the village of Rukubji to enjoy a hot lunch, before visiting Rukubji’s village Lhakhang (temple), also known as Kuenzang Choling. It is thought that this temple was built some 300 years ago by a Lama named Tshendhen Duelwa. Unlike most temples, it is not built on a ridge with a view out over a valley, but rather on an extended plateau and close to two rivers: the reason for this is that the Lama is said to have built the temple on top of the head of a snake-demoness which he subdued in the same location. Rukubji is also famous for its unique local language, and you will have the chance to learn about it from the villagers over tea. The dialect, called Ngyen-Kye, is a mix of other dialects from across Bhutan and even some English words, and is now only spoken by a dozen or so households.

Afterwards, rejoin your vehicle for a transfer to Gangtey. On arrival, visit the 17th century Gangtey Gonpa (monastery), an important monastery in the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism and the main seat of the Pema Lingpa tradition. After your visit, head to your hotel, the intimate Gangtey Lodge nestled in the beautiful landscapes of the Gangtey Valley. It is a boutique hotel offering a traditional style stay but with a luxurious touch. Unwind in the 'Farmhouse Suites' and soak in an indulgent slipper bath that offer spectacular views.

Trek Distance: 8.98 kilometres (5.58 miles)
Estimated Trek Duration: 3 – 4 hours
Elevation Gain: 15 metres (49 feet)
Elevation Loss: 672 metres (2,205 feet)
Starting Elevation: 3,410 metres (11,188 feet)
Ending Elevation: 2,738 metres (8,983 feet)
Maximum Elevation: 3,410 metres (11,188 feet)

Included Activities:

  • Hike on the Trans Bhutan Trail
  • Traditional farmhouse lunch 
  • Visit Rukubji Lhakhang (temple)
  • Visit Gangtey Gonpa Monastery

Accommodation: Gangtey Lodge (5*)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, you will get to visit the Black Necked Crane Center and learn more about these endangered species. After, rejoin your vehicle for a transfer back to Paro. A stop will be made for lunch en route.

On arrival in Paro and after checking in to your hotel, head out for a final cultural visit to Ta Dzong and Paro Rinpung Dzong (fortress). The Ta Dzong, or the ‘watchtower’, was originally built in 1649 to protect Paro Dzong from the Tibetan military. In 1968, Ta Dzong became Bhutan’s National Museum, and is now home to a number of exhibitions including sculpture, painting and artifacts depicting Bhutan’s magical past. Afterwards, head to Paro 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.

Dinner will be served at your hotel.

Included Activities: 

  • Visit the Black Necked Crane Center
  • Visit Paro Ta Dzong Museum 
  • Visit Paro Ringpung Dzong (fortress)

Accommodation: Uma Como Paro Hotel (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.


Cookery Class

Cookery Class

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking