Festival schedule: 25th–  27th February 2018Punakha is located in the western part of Bhutan about 2 hours drive from the capital city Thimphu. It is the winter home of the Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot of Bhutan. Historically, Punakha has been of critical importance since the time of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 17th century.

DAY 01: Arrive Paro & transfer to Thimphu (55km, 1 ½ hour drive)

Your exciting vacation in this land of happiness begins. After completing your immigration formalities, you will be received by Pinehill Bhutan Travels representative who will be your tour guide throughout your tour. Then drive to Thimphu and check into hotel. The evening consists of an exploratory walk around Thimphu main street and market area. Overnight in Thimphu. (Altitude 2,320 m).

DAY 02: Thimphu 

Drive to Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang) to see the giant Buddha statue. Located at a short drive from Thimphu city centre, visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley. Then, visit King’s Memorial Chorten. Afterwards visit Textile and Folk Heritage Museums, a fascinating testimony of the Bhutanese living traditions.

Post lunch, visit the National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts and the Institute for Zorig Chusum (Painting School).Later, drive to Takin Preserve. The Takin is national animal of Bhutan, and looks like a cross between a cow and goat. Towards evening, visit Trashichhoedzong (fortress of the glorious religion).

Evening time can be spent strolling through the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts bazaar, to browse through example of Bhutan’s fine traditional arts. Overnight in Thimphu.

DAY 03: Thimphu to Punakha & Wangduephodrang (75 km, 3 hours)

Drive to Punakha across Dochu La pass. Located at a height of 3,088 m, Dochula is adorned with prayer flags and the 108 stupa. If skies are clear, it may be possible to see the following beautiful mountain peaks from this pass.

Later in the day, visit Chimi Lhakhang, also known as the temple of fertility. A walk through the village near the temple will give you rare glimpses into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers. Thereafter, visit Punakha Dzong (Palace of Great Happiness). Overnight in Punakha / Wangduephodrang. (Altitude 1,300 m).

DAY 04: Punakha festival

After breakfast we will drive to Punakha dzong to witness festival. You will witness Buddhist mask dance, folk lore, cultural events and variety of stalls.

Overnight in Punakha / Wangduephodrang. (Altitude 1,300 m) 

DAY 05: Punakha & Wangduephodrang to Paro (125 km, 4 ½ hours) 

Drive back to Paro descending from Dochu La. En route visit Simtokha Dzong, one of the oldest fortresses of the country and known as the place of profound tantric teaching. This dzong now houses a school for the study of the Dzongkha language.

Later in the day after checking into hotel, proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses National Museum. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (fortress of the heap of jewels) which has a long and fascinating history. Overnight in Paro. (Altitude 2,280 m).

DAY 06: Paro

Today is another hallmark of the tour. You will drive to base of Takshang  Monastry which takes about 1 hr and then hike up to Taktsang Monastery, also known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’. The round trip will take about 5 hours hike with rest and lunch. You will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff.

On the way back, you will visit Kyichu temple built in the 7th century. Evening an exploratory walk around main street and market area. We call the day off after the visit.

DAY 07: Depart Paro 

Drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination. We hope to serve you again with our other exciting tour packages in the future.