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Bumthang Valley Cultural Trek

Bumthang Valley Cultural Trek

Trip at a Glance

  • Country

    Country: Bhutan

  • Trip grade

    Trip grade: Moderate

  • Destination

    Destination: Bhutan

  • Activities

    Activities: Cultural Sightseeing/Hike

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation: 3-Star hotels/tented camps

  • Meals

    Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

  • Transportation

    Transportation: Private vehicle/Plane

  • Maximum altitude

    Maximum altitude: Taktsang Monastery (3120m)

  • Group size

    Group size: 2 pax min

  • Trip Start / End

    Trip Start / End: Kathmandu - Kathmandu

  • Best Season

    Best Season: Jan-Jun, Sep-Dec

The Bumthang Cultural Trek is a custom created tour that combines trekking and sightseeing through the communities and historic sites in the Bumthang Valley. The stunning Bumthang valley is Bhutan's cultural center and the location of some of the oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries in the area.

The journey passes via isolated communities, historic temples, and even a Ugencholling house. The vacation starts out with a breathtaking flight over the tallest mountains in the world to the verdant valley of Paro. thereafter travels to Gangtey, Punakha, Thimphu, and Bumthang. Visit a number of historic and sacred sites en route, including the Chimi Lhakhang, Wangduephodrang Dzong, and Punakha Dzong, and traverse the Dochula Pass at a height of 3140 meters. 

The program's hikes to the Taktsang Monastery's "Tiger's Nest," which is positioned atop a sheer cliff, is another intriguing aspect. Enjoy the scenic mountain passes, densely forested valleys, isolated hamlets, and small townships while traveling, and learn about the historical, religious, and cultural background of the Dragon Kingdom.

Bumthang Valley Cultural Trek Highlights:

  • Enjoy scenic flight to/from Paro with stunning Himalayan views.
  • Experience Bhutanese culture, tradition and lifestyles of simple country. 
  • Explore Paro town with colors and tradition. 
  • Trek into the Bhutan’s cultural heartland – Bumthang Valley. 
  • Discover the tiny capital Thimphu. 
  • Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Hike- one of the most popular monasteries in Bhutan.
  • Visit Punakha Dzong in beautiful Punakha Valley.

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival Paro (2250m) – Thimphu (2350m)
Day 02: Thimphu – Punakha (2320m)
Day 03: Punakha – Trongsa – Bumthang (2800m)
Day 04. Trek Jakar – Nagang Lakhang
Day 05: Trek Ngang Lhakang – Ugyenchholing
Day 06. Trek Ugenchholing – Jakar (2320m)
Day 07: Bumthang – Puankha (2320m)
Day 08: Punakha – Paro (2250m)
Day 09: Paro – Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ (3120m)
Day 10: Paro depart

Upon your arrival in Paro, situated at an altitude of 2250m, you will be greeted by the awe-inspiring landscapes of Bhutan. After completing the necessary arrival procedures, you will be transferred to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, at an altitude of 2350m. Enjoy the scenic journey and take in the beauty of the surrounding mountains and valleys as you make your way to Thimphu.

Hotel
Lunch/Dinner included

Leave Thimphu behind as you head towards Punakha, located at an altitude of 2320m. The road will take you through mesmerizing landscapes and offer glimpses of traditional Bhutanese villages. Explore Punakha, known for its majestic Punakha Dzong and serene natural surroundings. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of this picturesque town and take in the beauty of the surrounding valleys.

Hotel
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Embark on a scenic journey from Punakha to Trongsa, passing through the heart of Bhutan. Enjoy the stunning views of the Himalayan mountain range and lush green valleys as you make your way to Bumthang. Bumthang, located in central Bhutan, is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and sacred sites. Explore the town and immerse yourself in its spiritual ambiance.

Hotel
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Begin your trekking adventure as you hike from Jakar to Nagang Lakhang. Traverse through pristine forests, cross sparkling streams, and witness the untouched beauty of the Bhutanese countryside. Reach Nagang Lakhang and immerse yourself in the serene surroundings. Settle into your camp and spend the night amidst the tranquility of nature.

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Continue your trekking journey as you hike from Ngang Lhakhang to Ugyenchholing. Trek through picturesque valleys, encounter the local wildlife and discover hidden gems along the way. Immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere and connect with nature as you make your way to Ugyenchholing. Set up camp and enjoy a night under the starry Bhutanese sky.

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

On this day, complete your trekking adventure as you hike from Ugyenchholing back to Jakar. Reflect on the experiences and memories created during the trek as you traverse the scenic trails once again. Arrive in Jakar and reward yourself with a well-deserved rest. Take the time to explore the charming town and its cultural attractions.

Hotel
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Bid farewell to Bumthang as you journey back to Punakha. Enjoy the scenic drive through the Bhutanese countryside and take in the natural beauty that surrounds you. Arrive in Punakha and relish the peaceful ambiance of this enchanting town.

Hotel
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Leave Punakha behind and head back to Paro, the place where your Bhutanese adventure began. Enjoy the scenic drive and soak in the breathtaking landscapes one last time. Arrive in Paro and take the opportunity to explore the town, visit local attractions, and interact with the friendly locals.

Hotel
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Embark on a memorable hike to the iconic Taktsang Monastery, also known as the Tiger’s Nest. Trek through lush forests and climb uphill to reach the monastery perched on a cliff at an elevation of 3120m. Marvel at the breathtaking views and soak in the spiritual atmosphere of this sacred site. After exploring the monastery, descend back to Paro and reflect on the incredible journey you’ve had.

Hotel
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

On the final day of your Bhutanese adventure, bid farewell to Paro as you depart for your next destination. Carry with you the memories of the scenic landscapes, cultural experiences, and warm hospitality of Bhutan. Depart with a sense of fulfillment and the desire to return to this enchanting kingdom in the future.

Breakfast included

What is included?

  • Airport pick up and drop services by private transportation.
  • Guided sightseeing tour as per the itinerary.
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking.
  • Accommodation in Bhutanese government-approved tourist standard hotels throughout the trip.
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
  • Entrance and monumental fees during sightseeing.
  • Bhutan visa fees and processing assistance.
  • Remuneration to the Bhutanese government-certified English-speaking local tour guide.
  • Bhutanese government’s royalties, and taxes.

What is not included?

  • International airfares.
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Nepal entry visa fee – Visa can be obtained upon your arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu.
  • Other expenses of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry, bottled water etc.).
  • Bar bills, alcoholic drinks & beverages.
  • Tip for the tour guide or driver. 

FAQ's

1. What is the Bumthang Valley Cultural Trek?
The Bumthang Valley Cultural Trek is a moderate-level trekking experience that takes you through the picturesque Bumthang Valley in Bhutan. This trek offers a unique opportunity to explore the cultural heritage, ancient temples, and traditional way of life in one of the most sacred valleys of Bhutan.

2. How long does the Bumthang Valley Cultural Trek last?
The Bumthang Valley Cultural Trek usually lasts 3 days.

3. What are the major highlights of the Bumthang Valley Cultural Trek?
The major highlights of the Bumthang Valley Cultural Trek include visiting the sacred monasteries and temples of Bumthang, such as Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang, and Tamshing Lhakhang. You will also pass through picturesque villages, farmlands, and beautiful landscapes, offering a glimpse into the traditional Bhutanese way of life.

4. Is the Bumthang Valley Cultural Trek suitable for beginners?
Yes, the Bumthang Valley Cultural Trek is considered suitable for beginners and trekkers with moderate fitness levels. The trek involves walking through undulating terrain with some uphill and downhill sections, but it is not too strenuous.

5. What is the best time to go on the Bumthang Valley Cultural Trek?
The best time to go on the Bumthang Valley Cultural Trek is during the spring (April to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. These months offer pleasant weather, clear skies, and blooming landscapes, providing an enjoyable trekking experience.

6. What are the altitude and acclimatization considerations for the trek?
The trek takes place at altitudes ranging from approximately 2,800 meters to 3,600 meters above sea level. While the trek itself is not extremely high, it is essential to take proper acclimatization precautions, especially if you are arriving in Bhutan from lower elevations.

7. Are there teahouses or lodges along the trekking route?
Yes, there are teahouses, lodges, and guesthouses available along the Bumthang Valley Cultural Trek route. These provide basic accommodation and meals for trekkers, making the trek relatively comfortable.

Equipment


When packing for a tour of Bhutan, it's important to consider the country's climate, culture, and the diverse range of activities you may participate in. Here's a comprehensive packing list to help you prepare for your Bhutan tour:

Clothing:

  • Weather-Appropriate Clothing:
  • Lightweight, moisture-wicking and breathable clothing for lower elevations
  • Warmer clothing for higher elevations and cooler temperatures
  • Long-sleeve shirts and pants for sun protection
  • Rain jacket or poncho for the monsoon season (June to September)
  • Insulating layers like fleece or down jackets
  • Comfortable walking shoes for cities and towns
  • Hiking boots for trekking or rural walks
  • Sandals or comfortable shoes for casual wear
  • Swimsuit (for hotel pools or hot springs)

Cultural Attire (for visiting temples and monasteries):

  • Modest clothing that covers shoulders and knees
  • Scarf or shawl to drape over shoulders
  • Comfortable slip-on shoes (you'll need to remove your shoes at some religious sites)

Travel Essentials:

  • -Passport and Visa:
  • Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date.
  • Obtain the necessary Bhutanese visa, which is typically arranged through a Bhutanese tour operator.

Travel Documents:

  • Flight tickets, tour itineraries, and hotel reservations
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Photocopies of important documents

Money and Security:

  • Bhutanese Ngultrum in cash (as ATMs are limited)
  • Credit/debit cards and backup payment methods
  • Money belt or neck pouch for valuables

Health and Medications:

  • Prescription medications and necessary medical supplies
  • Basic first-aid kit with bandages, antiseptic, pain relievers, and stomach medications
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with high SPF
  • Travel-size toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, etc.)

Travel Accessories:

  • -Daypack:
  • Small backpack for day trips

Electronics:

  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Camera, extra batteries, and memory cards
  • Power adapter for charging devices (Bhutan uses Type D and Type F plugs)
  • Power bank for recharging devices on the go
  • Universal travel adapter

Entertainment and Comfort:

  • Books or e-reader
  • Notebook and pen
  • Travel pillow and earplugs for comfortable rest during long journeys
  • Outdoor Gear (if you plan to trek or do outdoor activities):

Optional Items:

  • Snacks (energy bars, nuts, etc.) for on-the-go

Specific Items for Bhutan:

  • Tour Confirmation:
  • Copies of your tour confirmation and itinerary
  • Air tickets in/out of Bhutan
  • Passport of 6 months validity beyond your return date
  • Visa clearance letter from your travel agent

Gratuity:

  • Small denominations of currency for tipping your tour guides and drivers

Be sure to research the specific regions and activities you plan to undertake in Bhutan to tailor your packing list accordingly. Bhutan's weather can vary significantly depending on the time of year and the region you're visiting, so it's important to check the local forecast before packing. Additionally, respect for Bhutan's culture is essential, so make sure you have appropriate clothing for temple visits and other cultural activities.

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