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Trip Extensions

Everest View Mountain Flight

Duration: 1 days

Enjoy the magnificent Himalayas close up. You'll have a bird's-eye view as you fly along the full length of the Nepal Himalayas. This is the best way to see Everest. *This trip is available from Kathmandu, Nepal when booked with conjunction with a Ne... read more

Dhulikhel Lodge Visit

Duration: 3 days

Lovely lodge with traditional architecture, private gardens and panoramic views; village and short treks nearby.

Bangkok Hospitality

Duration: 3 days

If you are passing through Bangkok and want more than a transit stop, ask for our three day/two night Bangkok Hospitality Extension. We meet you at the airport and transfer you to an attractive centrally located hotel. This extension also includes yo... read more

Phuket

Duration: 4 days

Phuket is the largest of Thailand's islands. It is incredibly varied with rocky beaches, long broad sandy beaches, forested hills, and clear waters great for snorkeling and relaxing. There is no better way to end a trip!

Kathmandu Hospitality

Duration: 3 days

Kathmandu is worth spending a few days before setting off on an Asia adventure.

Angkor Wat 3-Day Odyssey

Duration: 3 days

This excursion focuses on the amazing ruins of Angkor in Siem Reap. Angkor Wat, a spectacular architectural legacy of a period of bizarre regimes, is the most famous and confusing of the ruins in southeast Asia. This makes a perfect extension to any ... read more

Angkor Wat 5-Day Odyssey

Duration: 5 days

This excursion takes you to Siem Reap where you explore the magnificent Angkor sites followed by a ride on the Tonle Sap to see the local fishing villages. Then a short flight to Phnom Penh where you visit interesting museums, including Toul Sleng, a... read more

Delhi Hospitality Package

Duration: 3 days

The capital city of Delhi has a history that dates back to the sixth century BC.  In Old Delhi, you'll visit some of the most important ancient sites, many that are currently listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. New Delhi, which was built by the... read more

Chitwan National Park

Duration: 3 days

Chitwan National Park is probably the world’s best habitat for the rare Bengal Tiger and the One-horned Rhinoceros. Ride elephants in search of these animals and the hundreds of other animals and birds found here. Almost 700 sq. miles of lush river... read more

Ko Samui

Duration: 4 days

Relax and explore the beautiful island of Ko Samui. A perfect extension to any Asia tour.

Thimphu-Paro Cultural

Duration: 4 days

This trip extends for an additional four days of extraordinary sightseeing in these two largest towns of Bhutan. Walk around Paro and savor the feeling of a country that seems to be existing in an earlier century. From the dress of the people to the ... read more

Nepal Chitwan and Everest

Duration: 6 days

Fly to Kathmandu for a quick taste of the high Himalayas and the fabulous Chitwan National Park where we will take elephant back safaris into the most famous tiger reserve in Nepal. You will also get a close up look at Mt Everest from a special fligh... read more

Nepal Rafting and Chitwan Jungle Safari

Duration: 6 days

A complimentary extension to a relaxing Nepal experience.

The Kathmandu Valley: Bhaktapur & Dhulikhel

Duration: 3 days

Explore the heart of the Kathmandu Valley outside the bustling capital with an excursion to ancient Bhaktapur city and a stay in the town of Dhulkhel. The culture here is Newar; the homes are traditional red brick trimmed with finely carved wood.  B... read more

Day 1: arrive in paro & drive to thimphu

The flight into Paro is quite dramaticThe flight into Paro is quite dramatic

Fly to Paro from Bangkok, Delhi, or Kathmandu (arrival dates and times into Paro may vary according to city of origin). This is a spectacular flight with beautiful views of the Himalayan range, including Mt. Chomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake inside Bhutan. On arrival, you'll be met by your guide and immediately driven about one hour to Thimphu (7,656'), the capital of Bhutan. Thimphu is the political and ecomomic center of Bhutan and contains most of the important political buildings in Bhutan including Dechencholing Palace, the official residence of the King. Depending on your arrival time, you may want to spend some time visiting some of the local sites such as the Folk Heritage Museum for a fascinating insight into the Bhutanese culture. At the National Library of Ancient Texts, you will find an excellent collection of sacred religious books and manuscripts. If you're interested in art, The Zorig Chusum School of Traditional Arts is a great place to see traditional works of art such as paintings, wood carving, sculptures, weaving and embroidery, and paper making. The school was establilshed in 1971 to preserve traditional arts and you will be impressed with the skill of the young students that are taught here.  Those in the health-care field might be interested in visiting the Institute of Traditional Medicine, which supplies traditional medicines and medical services, trains doctors, and conducts research on traditional medicinal plants.

Meals
Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Bhutanese style hotel

Day 2: explore thimphu

Admire the Bhutanese architectureAdmire the Bhutanese architecture

After discussing with your guide the types of sites and activities you would like to see and do, you'll set out to explore Thimphu. There are many options available including a visit to Tashichhoe Dzong, originally built in 1216 without the use of nails or written plans. It's current structure was rebuilt in 1968, but is still one of the finest in the country; The 12th century Changangkha Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Thimmphu. From here, there are great views overlooking the Thimphu Valley; The National Memorial Chhorten is an important historical landmark in Thimphu, constructed in memory of the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who died in 1972; The tallest Buddha image in Bhutan, Sakyamuni, which sits on a hill overlooking the Thimphu Valley. It was designed to commemorate the coronation of the fifth and current King, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck in 2008; The Mothithang Takin Preserve to see these very unique creatures that are endemic to the Himalayan region. They look like a cross between a gnu and a bison.

If you like, you can do a light, few hours warm-up hike to Wangditse Gompa, founded in 1750 by the attendants of Bhutan's eight desi, Druk Rabgye. From here, it's a short hike to Zilukha Nunnery, the largest nunnery in Bhutan, followed by a steep descent to Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Bliss). This is an active monastery with about 450 monk students and containing a number of important historical Bhutanese artifacts.

If you prefer a more challenging hike, you can hike the Tango-Drolay loop with the Cheri Goemba hike. You'll begin by hiking to Chagri Dorjeden (Cheri) Goemba, the first monastery built in Bhutan and a major teaching and retreat center of the Drukpa Kagyu order. You'll then hike about 45 minutes to the Tango Goemba, founded by Lamas Gyalwa Lhanampa and Drukpa Kunley in the 12th century. The hike continues up to the Drolay Goemba from where you'll have amazing views overlooking the Thimphu Valley. Total trekking time will be about five hours.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Local hotel

Day 3: wangdue & trongsa

Drive through spectacular mountain sceneryDrive through spectacular mountain scenery

After lunch, drive to Wangdue (approx. 3 hours). En route, enjoy beautiful views of the Himalayan ranges from Dochu Pass, weather permitting of course. The drive from Wangdue to Trongsa takes about another five hours, but offers some of the most spectacular scenery you'll ever see. En route, visit Chendenbji Chorten, which was built in the same style of Bodhanath Stupa in Nepal to subdue harmful, anti-religious demons.  Trongsa was once the seat of power and Jo Dungshing is a sacred mountain for some people of Shemgang and the Monpas. Deep in the heart of Bhutan, you can feel the sanctity of the place and the grasp of ancient traditions still in place.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Bhutanese style hotel

Day 4: trek begins, riotala to nimshong

Relax at your campsiteRelax at your campsite

Drive via Shemgang to Riotala. At this point you have arrived at a place in Bhutan where few foreigners have traveled and about which very little is written. Numerous waterfalls are visible from the road. Here, you begin the trek to Nabji-Korphu. From the motor road, descend very steeply along a dusty trail for about 1,000' to the Mangdichu River. You then climb up for about 2,000' to Nimshong, which is at an elevation of 3,800’ and is a small farming village with about 58 households. This is probably the hardest hiking of the trip. Keep an eye out for the golden langur, which is endemic to Bhutan. This is also a location to look for the threatened rufous-necked hornbill. During the winter, you can see carpets of yellow flowers all around the village, surrounding the community school. Nimshong is within the Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park. In the evening, the local community members may perform a cultural program as this is the customary way of entertaining visitors. Overnight in a tented camp. Enjoy your first of many delicious camp dinners alfresco or in the dining tent.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Camping

Day 5: trekking to nabji

Nabji's landscape is captivatingNabji's landscape is captivating

Today’s trek to Nabji will take about eight hours. The walk is very pleasant along lush green forest and there are no steep climbs or drops. There is no human settlement until you reach the village of Nabji. This is also the habitat for leopard, himalayan bear, golden langur, sambar deer, and most notably, horn bills, pheasants, sunbirds, and many other species of birds. There are several plants of ethnobotanical interest that are used as vegetables and medicine by the local people. As you enter the village of Nabji, you are greeted by the villagers with tea and arak, the local brew. The village is located on an alluvial flood plain. Rice is the main agricultural crop, and the landscape should be beautiful if you arrive just before the harvest of paddy.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Camping

Day 6: nabji/korphu

Admire the curves of terraced cropsAdmire the curves of terraced crops

There are many interesting places to visit while in Nabji. You can start with a visit to the local community school and/or the Park Ranger Office. You will learn about conservation programs within Nabji and Korphu and the park ranger may join you for a meal. Visit the Nabji Lakhang, an ancient temple. The name Nabji derives from the word “Ngaa” or oath that was taken by the two warring kings in the presence of Guru Rimpoche to stop fighting. The caretaker of the Lakhang will explain the legend. After lunch you start for Korphu village, perched on a small plateau above Nabji. The name of the village derives from the word “Gorphu” which in Khengkha means “slanted rock”. There is a community in Lakhang that you will be permitted to enter. The village has a unique setting resembling a scene from a wild west movie. The view of Nabji from Korphu is spectacular, with scallops of paddy fields stacking along the river valley. There is excellent birding in this area. Camp overnight, with possible villagers welcoming you with dance.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Camping

Day 7: trekking to kudra

Meet the Monpa people (photo by Ahinsajain)Meet the Monpa people (photo by Ahinsajain)

Today you will enter the world of the Monpa people. It is believed that there are only 42 households consisting of just over 250 Monpas left in the region. The Monpa have a distinct culture, tradition, and language. This seven-hour walk from Nabji to Kudra is all within pristine forest, and you should be alert for bird and wildlife sightings. The tropical vegetation around you feels like a different world. As you enter the village of Kudra, you see several "Nges" of the great Guru Rimpoche, who supposedly spent one night in this place, and who is believed to have created the trail you walk in the eighth century. Local people may perform a cultural program for you this evening.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Camping

Day 8: trekking to phumzor

Camp at a monastery with great viewsCamp at a monastery with great views

Enjoy an easy walk of about four hours. There is little human evidence en route, and you can hear the calls of rufus-necked hornbills and barking deer calling their mates. The view of the Mangdichu River along the narrow gorge is breathtaking. Your campsite at a monastery offers a spectacular view.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Camping

Day 9: phumzor/shangbi

Share the day's stories around the fire on your last night of campingShare the day's stories around the fire on your last night of camping

After visiting the Guru “Nge” at Phumzor, you start for Shangbi. The descent from Phumzor to Shangbi is quite steep as you walk down through lush green forests. Halfway down the path, you can see Guru Rimpoche's phurba (ceremonial dagger) embedded into a rock, meant to subdue evil. As you approach Shangbi, climb up among Chir pine forests and through fields of lemon grass. Here, pass by is a community school, an orchid garden, and a camping site. This is the last Monpa village on this route.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Camping

Day 10: trek ends/drive to phobjikha valley

Keep an eye out for primates as your trek endsKeep an eye out for primates as your trek ends

Today is the easiest walk on the route as your trek sadly comes to an end. It takes about three hours to reach the road head passing through chir pine forests. You may be greeted by a troop of golden langurs and pairs of hornbills. Your drive to Trongsa will take just two hours, arriving in time for a hot lunch. After lunch, continue driving another five or so hours to the Phobjikha Valley (9,800') a designated conservation area and one of the most important wildlife preserves in Bhutan. It is also home to the endangered Black-necked Cranes (Grus nigricollis). These exotic creatures are an important part of life for the local people of the Phobjikha Valley and you will find that the cranes are reflected in the local culture, traditions and beliefs. Other wildlife you might see include barking deer, wild boars, Himalayan black bears, and even leopards if you are lucky. The Phobjikha Valley provides some wonderful short hiking and exploration opportunities. It is also the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the scenery. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Bhutanese style hotel

Day 11: gangtey to paro

Scene from the Phobjika ValleyScene from the Phobjika Valley

This morning, you'll have some time to explore the area as you like. Afterwards, visit the Gangtey Gompa, a monastery that dates back to the 17th century and overlooks the Phobjikha Valley. Its complex includes monks' quarters, meditation centers, a school, and a small hotel. If you join the November departure, you'll have an opportunity to witness the Black-necked Crane Festival, a colorful festival welcoming the black-necked cranes. You'll see a variety of cultural programs including folk songs and masked dances performed by the local people as well as crane dances performed by school students, dressed as cranes. 

This afternoon, make the drive back to Paro (about 7 hrs) for your overnight.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Bhutanese style hotel

Day 12: hike to tiger's nest monastery

Make the hike up to Tatksang Monastery Make the hike up to Tatksang Monastery

After an early breakfast, drive to Satsam Chorten where you’ll hike to the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery, elevation 10,240 ft. This will no doubt be one of the highlights of your stay in Bhutan. Legend says that "the Precious Teacher," Guru Rimpoche, came from Tibet on the back of a flying tigress and landed at what is now Taktsang Monastery. Clinging to the cliff side, the monastery is a pilgrimage site that all Bhutanese try to visit at least once in their lifetimes. The actual monastery is closed to visitors, but you can approach it to a point from which you can appreciate this extraordinary building. After lunch at Taktsang Jakhang, visit one of the holiest "Lhakhang" of Bhutan, the Kyichyu. Built in the seventh century A.D., this temple dates back to the time of the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. If time permits, visit Ta-Dzong Museum and the Paro Rimpung Dzong, very unique and beautiful structures. The museum houses an exceptional collection of art and ceremonial objects including some of the most exquisite Thangka paintings you will ever see. Return to Paro for your overnight.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Bhutanese style hotel

Day 13: paro/onward

Bid farewell to this enchanting landBid farewell to this enchanting land

After an early breakfast, transfer to the Paro Airport for your onward flight.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
None

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$4,250
- $4,650
Group size 2-3 costs: $4,650 Group size 4+ costs: $4,250 Druk airfares to/from Paro add $550-1,200 (estimate - depending on city of origin)
Single Supplement:
$400
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Privately on Request
Nov 1-13, 2016
Nov 1-13, 2017
Nov 1-13, 2018

Need to Know

Druk Air or Bhutan Air operates on a “daylight restricted” basis only and is totally dependent on weather. Therefore, flights can sometimes be delayed. It is highly recommended that passenger’s allow at least 24 hours transit time for connecting flights from Bangkok, Kathmandu, or Delhi. It is also recommended that you travel on non-restricted tickets so that if a connection is missed, it can be rerouted or endorsed onto another carrier. This itinerary may require amendment due to local air schedules, which are subject to change.

Duration:
13 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Modest hotels, tents
Activity Level:
●●●●○
(see full descriptions)
This is a trek with some steep trails but no high altitude trekking
Group Size:
2-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in Journeys Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. Custom trips and private departures require $800 per person deposit. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure.  Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well.  Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted via our website, mail or fax. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: Journeys can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

From the Bird's Word Blog

Travel to Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon

Not very many people travel to Bhutan, but when they do, fabulous stories of this isolated and exotic destination emerge. From forests to monasteries and everything in between, read …

Nabji's landscape is captivating
Nabji's landscape is captivating
Soak up amazing vistas on your hike
Soak up amazing vistas on your hike
Relax at your campsite
Relax at your campsite
Admire the curves of terraced crops
Admire the curves of terraced crops
Meet the Monpa people (photo by Ahinsajain)
Meet the Monpa people (photo by Ahinsajain)
Camp at a monastery with great views
Camp at a monastery with great views
Share the day's stories around the fire on your last night of camping
Share the day's stories around the fire on your last night of camping
Keep an eye out for primates as your trek ends
Keep an eye out for primates as your trek ends
Bid farewell to this enchanting land
Bid farewell to this enchanting land
Make the hike up to Tatksang Monastery
Make the hike up to Tatksang Monastery
Punakha Monastery
Punakha Monastery

Black Mountain Trek

Spectacular scenery, ancient trails and visits in our guides' villages

overview

Fully experience the Buddhist character, spectacular scenery, and ancient trails of Bhutan. Trek to the home village of your guide near the remote Black Mountains. You will encounter rich natural habitat and possibly see rufous-necked and great hornbills, golden langurs, and numerous other species of birds and animals in Bhutan’s virgin subtropical forests. The trails are sometimes steep, but this is one of the easier treks in Bhutan. High altitude, cold temperatures, or unbridged stream crossings are not concerns. You will, however, travel and camp in a remote part of the country. You'll spend several days hiking through Monpa communities. These hospitable and welcoming people, although extremely isolated, are among the oldest of all Himalayan cultures, and only a few thousand of them remain on earth. Very few non-Bhutanese have visited this area, and you are unlikely to see other foreigners on your visit. If you are unsure of your physical fitness for the trip, it is possible to reserve a mule for riding the uphill sections of the trail. At the beginning of the trip, prior to the trek, you'll take a warm-up hike to the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Paro.

The November 1 departure has been coordinated to attend the Black-necked Crane Festival in the Phobjika Valley on Day 10.

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

Fully experience the Buddhist character, spectacular scenery, and ancient trails of Bhutan. Trek to the home village of your guide near the remote Black Mountains. You will encounter rich natural habitat and possibly see rufous-necked and great hornbills, golden langurs, and numerous other species of birds and animals in Bhutan’s virgin subtropical forests. The trails are sometimes steep, but this is one of the easier treks in Bhutan. High altitude, cold temperatures, or unbridged stream crossings are not concerns. You will, however, travel and camp in a remote part of the country. You'll spend several days hiking through Monpa communities. These hospitable and welcoming people, although extremely isolated, are among the oldest of all Himalayan cultures, and only a few thousand of them remain on earth. Very few non-Bhutanese have visited this area, and you are unlikely to see other foreigners on your visit. If you are unsure of your physical fitness for the trip, it is possible to reserve a mule for riding the uphill sections of the trail. At the beginning of the trip, prior to the trek, you'll take a warm-up hike to the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Paro.

The November 1 departure has been coordinated to attend the Black-necked Crane Festival in the Phobjika Valley on Day 10.

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

  • Day 1: arrive in paro & drive to thimphu
    The flight into Paro is quite dramaticThe flight into Paro is quite dramatic

    Fly to Paro from Bangkok, Delhi, or Kathmandu (arrival dates and times into Paro may vary according to city of origin). This is a spectacular flight with beautiful views of the Himalayan range, including Mt. Chomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake inside Bhutan. On arrival, you'll be met by your guide and immediately driven about one hour to Thimphu (7,656'), the capital of Bhutan. Thimphu is the political and ecomomic center of Bhutan and contains most of the important political buildings in Bhutan including Dechencholing Palace, the official residence of the King. Depending on your arrival time, you may want to spend some time visiting some of the local sites such as the Folk Heritage Museum for a fascinating insight into the Bhutanese culture. At the National Library of Ancient Texts, you will find an excellent collection of sacred religious books and manuscripts. If you're interested in art, The Zorig Chusum School of Traditional Arts is a great place to see traditional works of art such as paintings, wood carving, sculptures, weaving and embroidery, and paper making. The school was establilshed in 1971 to preserve traditional arts and you will be impressed with the skill of the young students that are taught here.  Those in the health-care field might be interested in visiting the Institute of Traditional Medicine, which supplies traditional medicines and medical services, trains doctors, and conducts research on traditional medicinal plants.

    Meals
    Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Bhutanese style hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: explore thimphu
    Admire the Bhutanese architectureAdmire the Bhutanese architecture

    After discussing with your guide the types of sites and activities you would like to see and do, you'll set out to explore Thimphu. There are many options available including a visit to Tashichhoe Dzong, originally built in 1216 without the use of nails or written plans. It's current structure was rebuilt in 1968, but is still one of the finest in the country; The 12th century Changangkha Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Thimmphu. From here, there are great views overlooking the Thimphu Valley; The National Memorial Chhorten is an important historical landmark in Thimphu, constructed in memory of the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who died in 1972; The tallest Buddha image in Bhutan, Sakyamuni, which sits on a hill overlooking the Thimphu Valley. It was designed to commemorate the coronation of the fifth and current King, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck in 2008; The Mothithang Takin Preserve to see these very unique creatures that are endemic to the Himalayan region. They look like a cross between a gnu and a bison.

    If you like, you can do a light, few hours warm-up hike to Wangditse Gompa, founded in 1750 by the attendants of Bhutan's eight desi, Druk Rabgye. From here, it's a short hike to Zilukha Nunnery, the largest nunnery in Bhutan, followed by a steep descent to Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Bliss). This is an active monastery with about 450 monk students and containing a number of important historical Bhutanese artifacts.

    If you prefer a more challenging hike, you can hike the Tango-Drolay loop with the Cheri Goemba hike. You'll begin by hiking to Chagri Dorjeden (Cheri) Goemba, the first monastery built in Bhutan and a major teaching and retreat center of the Drukpa Kagyu order. You'll then hike about 45 minutes to the Tango Goemba, founded by Lamas Gyalwa Lhanampa and Drukpa Kunley in the 12th century. The hike continues up to the Drolay Goemba from where you'll have amazing views overlooking the Thimphu Valley. Total trekking time will be about five hours.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Local hotel
  • Day 3: wangdue & trongsa
    Drive through spectacular mountain sceneryDrive through spectacular mountain scenery

    After lunch, drive to Wangdue (approx. 3 hours). En route, enjoy beautiful views of the Himalayan ranges from Dochu Pass, weather permitting of course. The drive from Wangdue to Trongsa takes about another five hours, but offers some of the most spectacular scenery you'll ever see. En route, visit Chendenbji Chorten, which was built in the same style of Bodhanath Stupa in Nepal to subdue harmful, anti-religious demons.  Trongsa was once the seat of power and Jo Dungshing is a sacred mountain for some people of Shemgang and the Monpas. Deep in the heart of Bhutan, you can feel the sanctity of the place and the grasp of ancient traditions still in place.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Bhutanese style hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: trek begins, riotala to nimshong
    Relax at your campsiteRelax at your campsite

    Drive via Shemgang to Riotala. At this point you have arrived at a place in Bhutan where few foreigners have traveled and about which very little is written. Numerous waterfalls are visible from the road. Here, you begin the trek to Nabji-Korphu. From the motor road, descend very steeply along a dusty trail for about 1,000' to the Mangdichu River. You then climb up for about 2,000' to Nimshong, which is at an elevation of 3,800’ and is a small farming village with about 58 households. This is probably the hardest hiking of the trip. Keep an eye out for the golden langur, which is endemic to Bhutan. This is also a location to look for the threatened rufous-necked hornbill. During the winter, you can see carpets of yellow flowers all around the village, surrounding the community school. Nimshong is within the Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park. In the evening, the local community members may perform a cultural program as this is the customary way of entertaining visitors. Overnight in a tented camp. Enjoy your first of many delicious camp dinners alfresco or in the dining tent.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Camping
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: trekking to nabji
    Nabji's landscape is captivatingNabji's landscape is captivating

    Today’s trek to Nabji will take about eight hours. The walk is very pleasant along lush green forest and there are no steep climbs or drops. There is no human settlement until you reach the village of Nabji. This is also the habitat for leopard, himalayan bear, golden langur, sambar deer, and most notably, horn bills, pheasants, sunbirds, and many other species of birds. There are several plants of ethnobotanical interest that are used as vegetables and medicine by the local people. As you enter the village of Nabji, you are greeted by the villagers with tea and arak, the local brew. The village is located on an alluvial flood plain. Rice is the main agricultural crop, and the landscape should be beautiful if you arrive just before the harvest of paddy.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Camping
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: nabji/korphu
    Admire the curves of terraced cropsAdmire the curves of terraced crops

    There are many interesting places to visit while in Nabji. You can start with a visit to the local community school and/or the Park Ranger Office. You will learn about conservation programs within Nabji and Korphu and the park ranger may join you for a meal. Visit the Nabji Lakhang, an ancient temple. The name Nabji derives from the word “Ngaa” or oath that was taken by the two warring kings in the presence of Guru Rimpoche to stop fighting. The caretaker of the Lakhang will explain the legend. After lunch you start for Korphu village, perched on a small plateau above Nabji. The name of the village derives from the word “Gorphu” which in Khengkha means “slanted rock”. There is a community in Lakhang that you will be permitted to enter. The village has a unique setting resembling a scene from a wild west movie. The view of Nabji from Korphu is spectacular, with scallops of paddy fields stacking along the river valley. There is excellent birding in this area. Camp overnight, with possible villagers welcoming you with dance.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Camping
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: trekking to kudra
    Meet the Monpa people (photo by Ahinsajain)Meet the Monpa people (photo by Ahinsajain)

    Today you will enter the world of the Monpa people. It is believed that there are only 42 households consisting of just over 250 Monpas left in the region. The Monpa have a distinct culture, tradition, and language. This seven-hour walk from Nabji to Kudra is all within pristine forest, and you should be alert for bird and wildlife sightings. The tropical vegetation around you feels like a different world. As you enter the village of Kudra, you see several "Nges" of the great Guru Rimpoche, who supposedly spent one night in this place, and who is believed to have created the trail you walk in the eighth century. Local people may perform a cultural program for you this evening.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Camping
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: trekking to phumzor
    Camp at a monastery with great viewsCamp at a monastery with great views

    Enjoy an easy walk of about four hours. There is little human evidence en route, and you can hear the calls of rufus-necked hornbills and barking deer calling their mates. The view of the Mangdichu River along the narrow gorge is breathtaking. Your campsite at a monastery offers a spectacular view.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Camping
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: phumzor/shangbi
    Share the day's stories around the fire on your last night of campingShare the day's stories around the fire on your last night of camping

    After visiting the Guru “Nge” at Phumzor, you start for Shangbi. The descent from Phumzor to Shangbi is quite steep as you walk down through lush green forests. Halfway down the path, you can see Guru Rimpoche's phurba (ceremonial dagger) embedded into a rock, meant to subdue evil. As you approach Shangbi, climb up among Chir pine forests and through fields of lemon grass. Here, pass by is a community school, an orchid garden, and a camping site. This is the last Monpa village on this route.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Camping
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: trek ends/drive to phobjikha valley
    Keep an eye out for primates as your trek endsKeep an eye out for primates as your trek ends

    Today is the easiest walk on the route as your trek sadly comes to an end. It takes about three hours to reach the road head passing through chir pine forests. You may be greeted by a troop of golden langurs and pairs of hornbills. Your drive to Trongsa will take just two hours, arriving in time for a hot lunch. After lunch, continue driving another five or so hours to the Phobjikha Valley (9,800') a designated conservation area and one of the most important wildlife preserves in Bhutan. It is also home to the endangered Black-necked Cranes (Grus nigricollis). These exotic creatures are an important part of life for the local people of the Phobjikha Valley and you will find that the cranes are reflected in the local culture, traditions and beliefs. Other wildlife you might see include barking deer, wild boars, Himalayan black bears, and even leopards if you are lucky. The Phobjikha Valley provides some wonderful short hiking and exploration opportunities. It is also the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the scenery. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Bhutanese style hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: gangtey to paro
    Scene from the Phobjika ValleyScene from the Phobjika Valley

    This morning, you'll have some time to explore the area as you like. Afterwards, visit the Gangtey Gompa, a monastery that dates back to the 17th century and overlooks the Phobjikha Valley. Its complex includes monks' quarters, meditation centers, a school, and a small hotel. If you join the November departure, you'll have an opportunity to witness the Black-necked Crane Festival, a colorful festival welcoming the black-necked cranes. You'll see a variety of cultural programs including folk songs and masked dances performed by the local people as well as crane dances performed by school students, dressed as cranes. 

    This afternoon, make the drive back to Paro (about 7 hrs) for your overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Bhutanese style hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 12: hike to tiger's nest monastery
    Make the hike up to Tatksang Monastery Make the hike up to Tatksang Monastery

    After an early breakfast, drive to Satsam Chorten where you’ll hike to the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery, elevation 10,240 ft. This will no doubt be one of the highlights of your stay in Bhutan. Legend says that "the Precious Teacher," Guru Rimpoche, came from Tibet on the back of a flying tigress and landed at what is now Taktsang Monastery. Clinging to the cliff side, the monastery is a pilgrimage site that all Bhutanese try to visit at least once in their lifetimes. The actual monastery is closed to visitors, but you can approach it to a point from which you can appreciate this extraordinary building. After lunch at Taktsang Jakhang, visit one of the holiest "Lhakhang" of Bhutan, the Kyichyu. Built in the seventh century A.D., this temple dates back to the time of the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. If time permits, visit Ta-Dzong Museum and the Paro Rimpung Dzong, very unique and beautiful structures. The museum houses an exceptional collection of art and ceremonial objects including some of the most exquisite Thangka paintings you will ever see. Return to Paro for your overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Bhutanese style hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 13: paro/onward
    Bid farewell to this enchanting landBid farewell to this enchanting land

    After an early breakfast, transfer to the Paro Airport for your onward flight.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    None

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$4,250
- $4,650
Group size 2-3 costs: $4,650 Group size 4+ costs: $4,250 Druk airfares to/from Paro add $550-1,200 (estimate - depending on city of origin)
Single Supplement:
$400
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Privately on Request
Nov 1-13, 2016
Nov 1-13, 2017
Nov 1-13, 2018

Need to Know

Druk Air or Bhutan Air operates on a “daylight restricted” basis only and is totally dependent on weather. Therefore, flights can sometimes be delayed. It is highly recommended that passenger’s allow at least 24 hours transit time for connecting flights from Bangkok, Kathmandu, or Delhi. It is also recommended that you travel on non-restricted tickets so that if a connection is missed, it can be rerouted or endorsed onto another carrier. This itinerary may require amendment due to local air schedules, which are subject to change.

Duration:
13 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Modest hotels, tents
Activity Level:
●●●●○
(see full descriptions)
This is a trek with some steep trails but no high altitude trekking
Group Size:
2-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in Journeys Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. Custom trips and private departures require $800 per person deposit. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure.  Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well.  Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted via our website, mail or fax. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: Journeys can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Everest View Mountain Flight

Duration: 1 days

Enjoy the magnificent Himalayas close up. You'll have a bird's-eye view as you fly along the full length of the Nepal Himalayas. This is the best way to see Everest. *This trip is available from Kathmandu, Nepal when booked with conjunction with a Ne... read more

Dhulikhel Lodge Visit

Duration: 3 days

Lovely lodge with traditional architecture, private gardens and panoramic views; village and short treks nearby.

Bangkok Hospitality

Duration: 3 days

If you are passing through Bangkok and want more than a transit stop, ask for our three day/two night Bangkok Hospitality Extension. We meet you at the airport and transfer you to an attractive centrally located hotel. This extension also includes yo... read more

Phuket

Duration: 4 days

Phuket is the largest of Thailand's islands. It is incredibly varied with rocky beaches, long broad sandy beaches, forested hills, and clear waters great for snorkeling and relaxing. There is no better way to end a trip!

Kathmandu Hospitality

Duration: 3 days

Kathmandu is worth spending a few days before setting off on an Asia adventure.

Angkor Wat 3-Day Odyssey

Duration: 3 days

This excursion focuses on the amazing ruins of Angkor in Siem Reap. Angkor Wat, a spectacular architectural legacy of a period of bizarre regimes, is the most famous and confusing of the ruins in southeast Asia. This makes a perfect extension to any ... read more

Angkor Wat 5-Day Odyssey

Duration: 5 days

This excursion takes you to Siem Reap where you explore the magnificent Angkor sites followed by a ride on the Tonle Sap to see the local fishing villages. Then a short flight to Phnom Penh where you visit interesting museums, including Toul Sleng, a... read more

Delhi Hospitality Package

Duration: 3 days

The capital city of Delhi has a history that dates back to the sixth century BC.  In Old Delhi, you'll visit some of the most important ancient sites, many that are currently listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. New Delhi, which was built by the... read more

Chitwan National Park

Duration: 3 days

Chitwan National Park is probably the world’s best habitat for the rare Bengal Tiger and the One-horned Rhinoceros. Ride elephants in search of these animals and the hundreds of other animals and birds found here. Almost 700 sq. miles of lush river... read more

Ko Samui

Duration: 4 days

Relax and explore the beautiful island of Ko Samui. A perfect extension to any Asia tour.

Thimphu-Paro Cultural

Duration: 4 days

This trip extends for an additional four days of extraordinary sightseeing in these two largest towns of Bhutan. Walk around Paro and savor the feeling of a country that seems to be existing in an earlier century. From the dress of the people to the ... read more

Nepal Chitwan and Everest

Duration: 6 days

Fly to Kathmandu for a quick taste of the high Himalayas and the fabulous Chitwan National Park where we will take elephant back safaris into the most famous tiger reserve in Nepal. You will also get a close up look at Mt Everest from a special fligh... read more

Nepal Rafting and Chitwan Jungle Safari

Duration: 6 days

A complimentary extension to a relaxing Nepal experience.

The Kathmandu Valley: Bhaktapur & Dhulikhel

Duration: 3 days

Explore the heart of the Kathmandu Valley outside the bustling capital with an excursion to ancient Bhaktapur city and a stay in the town of Dhulkhel. The culture here is Newar; the homes are traditional red brick trimmed with finely carved wood.  B... read more

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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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