Essence of Bhutan

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

  • Join locals to celebrate one of their sacred festivals, colorful expressions of Bhutan’s Buddhist culture
  • Taktsang Lhakhang: the gravity-defying, cliff-clinging Tiger’s Nest Monastery
  • The gorgeous Bumthang region’s forested valleys and lively markets
Bhutan with GeoEx
Trip Type: Scheduled Departure
Trip Length: 14 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 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 local guesthouses and making day hikes to 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 head up over an alpine pass and down into the semitropical surroundings of Punakha. Then it’s on to the spectacular Bumthang region (its beauty rivals that of any Swiss vista), famous for woodcarving and weaving. En route back to Paro, we stroll near wetlands that black-necked cranes call home and alight in Thimphu, Bhutan’s largest city. Here, where Himalayan and Western sensibilities mix, it’s appropriate to 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: drive to Punakha
  • Day 3: explore Punakha
  • Day 4: on to Trongsa
  • Day 5: by road to Bumthang
  • Days 6 & 7: walks in the sacred valleys
  • Day 8: drive to Phobjikha Valley
  • Day 9: Phobjikha Valley exploration
  • Day 10: drive to Wangdiphodrang
  • Day 11: by road to Thimphu
  • Day 12: tour Thimphu, return to Paro
  • Day 13: hike to Taktsang Lhakhang
  • Day 14: depart Paro.

  • Please note:

    2016 departures differ slightly.