Essence of Bhutan

Explore the country's exquisite scenery, vibrant culture, and sacred festivals

  • See the highlights of Bhutan, staying in luxurious accommodations and taking advantage of new in-country flight to reduce driving time
  • Join locals to celebrate one of their sacred festivals, colorful expressions of Bhutan’s Buddhist culture
  • The gorgeous Bumthang region’s forested valleys and lively markets
Bhutan with GeoEx
Trip Type: Scheduled Departure
Trip Length: 12 Days
Activity type(s): Cultural Tour, Day Hiking
Trip Extensions: Angkor Extension
Laos Extension

We created Essence of Bhutan as a summary of all that draws us to this surprising nation: outstanding people, sweet scenery, and a vibrant, proud culture. We’re certain that because of our long experience in the country, our deep affection for it, and our matchless know-how, no company can showcase Bhutan like GeoEx.

Staying in wonderful local hotels and rambling amid remote villages and hidden valleys, we immerse ourselves in this unique island of sanity and peace. We attend one of the country’s festivals, joining hundreds of villagers to soak up their reverential yet rollicking celebrations with mesmerizing dancing and drumming. Our journey begins in the Paro Valley, where dzong stand watch and politics and religion intermingle. Next we fly east into central Bhutan, arriving in the spectacular Bumthang region (its beauty rivals that of any Swiss vista), famous for woodcarving and weaving. Working our way west by road, we stroll near wetlands that black-necked cranes call home in winter, cross alpine passes, and descend into the semitropical surroundings of Punakha. We get to know Thimphu, Bhutan’s largest city, where Himalayan and Western sensibilities mix, and rejoice in the essence of a country that seems to have gotten it right and is determined to keep it that way.

Bhutan cultural tour map

Itinerary at a Glance

  • Day 1: arrive in Paro
  • Day 2: fly to Bumthang region
  • Day 3: explore Bumthang
  • Day 4: drive to Trongsa
  • Day 5: on to the Phobjikha Valley
  • Day 6: Phobjikha walks
  • Day 7: drive to Punakha
  • Day 8: explore the Punakha Valley
  • Day 9: continue to Thimphu
  • Day 10: visit Thimphu, return to Paro
  • Day 11: hike to Taktsang Lhakhang (the Tiger's Nest)
  • Day 12: depart Paro.