based on 9 nights inc. flights & daily experiences
* Pricing is a guideline only and excludes special offers. Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
International economy flights and taxes from the UK
per person based on 2 people sharing.
Stay in Bhutan's most luxurious hotels with your own private driver/guide at your disposal on a tailored private itinerary
Choose from a wide choice of experiences, from the more active trekking, to cultural experiences or simply just enjoying the views
All meals and house beverages, including house wines and spirits are included at Amankora hotels.
Scott Dunn will tailor-make a bespoke itinerary, offering unique experiences to bring Bhutan to life
Best time to visit is October to December and February to May. There are a number of festivals celebrated in Bhutan, in particular Tshechu, which takes place during late summer and autumn with Thimpu Tshechu being the most popular. Losar, or lunar New Year, is also a much celebrated event but exact dates are difficult to predict, it tends to be celebrated around February or March.
Maybe fly via Bangkok and add on some beach time in Thailand after your cultural element in Bhutan
Maybe fly via Bangkok and add on some beach time in Thailand after your cultural element in Bhutan
This itinerary lets you uncover Bhutan in style, staying in Aman hotels throughout. The service and attention to detail of Aman is legendary and with a similar design, each property is intended to make you feel that you are coming home no matter which lodge you are staying in, in Bhutan. Throughout your time in Bhutan you will have a personal guide and driver, discovering both the highlights and the more off the beaten track hidden gems of this beautiful country.
Your journey begins with a night in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan since 1961. Flying into Paro, you’ll be met by your private guide on arrival and taken directly to your first Aman which is just under an hour and a half drive away. The charming town of Thimphu is full of things to do and see including the National Textile Museum, the Painting School and the Memorial Chorten. A visit to the bustling weekend market is also a fascinating experience and gives you a taste of the Bhutanese way of life, which we will of course include for you should your dates in Thimphu fall on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
From Thimphu you will then drive on to Punakha which will be just over two and a half hours. On the drive you’ll notice the climate and topography changing due to the lower altitude becoming more and more tropical. The dzong (fort-monastery) is particularly impressive here and this low valley is also a popular place for rafting and mountain biking, and we have included a trip along the Pho chu River for you which is a brilliant way to see the incredible Dzong, a highlight in Bhutan. Over your three nights in Punakha your guide will be on hand showing you all the highlights. However, as your trip and guiding are completely private, if you decide to have an afternoon relaxing, enjoying the comforts of the Amankora Punakha this can of course be arranged.
From Punakha you will continue further east to Gangtey, again accessible by car with a drive time from Punakha at just over two hours. Gangtey, located in a picturesque glacial valley is renowned as a conservation area for rare black-necked cranes that migrate here every year from the Tibetan plateau. Gangtey is ideal for nature walks and treks as it is fairly flat. Over your three nights here, with your guide, you’ll have plenty of time to get into the surrounding countryside with a visit to the 16th century Goemba (monastery) also included.
For your final stop, you’ll drive back west to Paro where you’ll have two nights. Home to the world-famous Tiger’s Nest, this breath-taking monastery is located 900m above the valley floor and the views from the top between the clouds are stunning – you will have saved the best for last as you make the climb to the monastery on your first full day in Paro. We then recommend enjoying some much-deserved downtime at Amankora Paro where you’ll be pampered with spa treatments and time to relax and reflect on your amazing adventure.
For those enamored of First World comforts, traveling the circuit of five Amankoras will be the only way to see the worlds last surviving Himalayan Buddhist kingdoma heady mix of disquieting verticality, palpable spiritual energy, and unrivaled exclusivity. Apart from experiencing the trademark Aman treatment (flawless service, understated luxe surroundings), guests are furnished with a guide and driveressential in a country traversed mainly via a single-lane, guardrail-less road bracketed by a sheer cliff face and a precipitous drop-off. Above all, what a ticket aboard the Aman express buys is access: no chorten, nunnery, temple, or dzong (the nations signature fortress-monasteries) is off-limits. And in a country widely thought to have the worlds worst cuisine, chef Patrick Sullivans yak specialities are itself worth the trip.
A superb itinerary taking in Bhutan's key highlights whilst staying in the ultra luxurious Amankora hotels. Your own driver and expert guide, from start to finish, allows total flexibility and gives a fascinating insight to this incredible country.
The Chimmi Lhakhang Temple is a temple of fertility dedicated to the Buddhist saint known as the Divine Madman. A short walk through paddy fields takes you to the temple and is popular with Bhutanese families wanting to start a family.
Take a morning cycling up the beautiful Pho Chhu River, famous for the White-Bellied Heron and dramatic scenery. Take a walk into the local village for a spot of tea before having a lovely picnic lunch overlooking the river before returning to Punakha.
You can easily fill an afternoon or day exploring Thimphu. It is worth visiting the Tashiccho Dzong, where essentially Bhutan is governed from. Also of interest is the Simtokha Dzong, Memorial Chorten, Changagkka Temple & Folk Museum.
Anyone who works in Bhutan must wear traditional national dress, and you can have the chance to dress up for a few hours to see how it feels. The Bhutanese absolute love visitors doing it!
The Drukgyal Dzong is located further up the Paro Valley from the Tiger's Nest Monastery and was built in 1649 by Tenzin Drukdra to celebrate victory over an invading army from Tibet.
Evening prayers at a Buddhist Monastery is something you should do at least once on a tour of Bhutan. You will witness monks chanting traditional prayers, helping them prepare for meditation.
The Gangtey Goenpa monastery, or Gangteng Monastery is the main seat of the Pema Linpa tradition of the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism. Dating from the 17th century, it has superb views and guests usually visit before taking the Gangtey Nature Trail.
Giligang has a 300-year old temple and a wonderful way to escape other tourists and see an authentic side to Bhutan, and can be added on to a visit to the Khansum Yulley Namgyal Chorten and Butterfly Trail.
Take the short hike up to the Khansam Yulley Temple where you can sit back in awe at the wonderful views down the Mo Chhu Valley before heading off on the one-hour Butterfly Trail, stopping off for tea in the local home.
The Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, dating from the 7th century and constructed by the Tibetan Emperor Songtsan Gampo.
Your children can have the opportunity to meet a monk their own age. 10% of Bhutan's population are monks and they can hear stories of getting up each day before first-light for prayers and their daily routines.
This fantastic experience combines the Sangchen Nunnery, the Nalanda Buddhist College and the Nobgang Village walk which takes you from the high hills above Punakha and winds gently down to the Punakha Dzong - you approach it almost vertically!
The Paro Dzong, or Rinpung Dzong as it is otherwise called, looms above the town of Paro. On the hill above the Dzong in the former watchtower you can visit the National Museum.
If you are in Paro on a Sunday then absolutely visit the local market. See a variety of vegetables on offer from 0630 until about 1000, and you can then see the archery ground following your visit.
Take a day walk around the Phobjikha valley, an ideal hike to see the black-neck cranes from November to late March, or simply to experience the villages and farms along the way. See the Crane Information centre at the end.
Punakha Dzong, otherwise known as the Pungtang Dechen Photrang literally means the palace of great happiness or bliss, and is the finest of its kind in Bhutan, dating from the 17th century and located on the confluence of the Mo Chhu and Po Chhu Rivers.
Khuruthang Saturday Vegetable Market is located in the small town next to the Punakha Dzong. On Sundays, you can visit the Wangdue Market, about a 30-minute drive away. Wander around the stalls, selling local fruit and vegetables.
Visiting a local home in Bhutan is an exceptionally interesting experience given the lovely hospitable nature of its people. Try traditional butter tea, or even some locally made rice wine 'Ara'.
Take the Butterfly Trail which is a one hour trek through local villages and paddy fields, stopping for tea in a local home before hiking to the Khamsum Yulley Chorten and then rafting back to the main Dzong of Punakha.
The unspoilt Haa Valley is located close to Paro and offers a fantastic day out. Drive over the Chele Pass, Bhutan's highest road, and choose to free-wheel on bikes into the Haa Valley. Explore the local monastery, have a picnic and return to Paro.
You shouldn’t miss the weekend market in Thimphu. People from nearby valleys arrive on Thursday afternoon and stay to sell their goods – vegetables, other foodstuffs and handicrafts – until Sunday evening.
The Tiger's Nest Monastery is spectacular; legend has it that this cliffside was where Guru Rinpoche landed on the back of a flying tigress, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. Set off for the 2-hour walk to the viewpoint before continuing onto the Monastery.
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and can be seen played throughout the Kingdom. Traditional bows are made from bamboo and witnessing an archery competition is an absolute highlight. We can easily arrange for you to have a go should you wish.
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