The Mystical Wonders of Bhutan

March 12-18, 2023

6 Nights / 7 Days

from $8,299 per person

A Himalayan breeze cools your face, as it whips a stream of prayer flags into a frenzied dance. The mountain forests whisper with the echoes of centuries, tales of countless other journeys through this kingdom in the clouds. Something sacred seems woven through your snow-flecked surroundings. It permeates the cliffside castles and ancient temples, where Buddhist monks sit draped in serenity and flowing red robes.  

For centuries, the kingdom of Bhutan lay hidden away in the Himalayan mountains, a treasure far too priceless to toss into the churning machinery of modern mankind. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that the country cracked open its door to the exclusive handful of travelers who are allowed to experience its magic each year. 

As a result of its strict tourism policy, Bhutan has retained a deep cultural authenticity and an immaculate environment, making it one of Asia’s most beguiling and unforgettable destinations. Be among the privileged to explore a civilization untouched by time, when you join Source Journeys for our small luxury gay group travel tour through Bhutan. Take this journey on its own or embark on the ultimate gay vacation by adding it as an extension to our India and the Colors of Holi Festival tour.  

Visitors to Bhutan will feel the tangible spiritual energy of Buddhism throughout the land. Prepare to take in intricately carved monasteries that unfurl among a sea of majestic mountains. Marvel at incredible forts and temples perched impossibly on soaring cliffs. Enjoy a backdrop of spectacular scenery, from temperate subtropical plains and valleys cloaked with dense forest, to lofty sub-Alpine mountains capped with snow. Lose yourself in a culture where happiness is celebrated by royal decree.  

Explore the mysteries of the past amid the comforts of Bhutan’s finest luxury retreats, as you set out to one of the most magical LGBT holiday destinations the world has to offer. Step into a land laced with daydreams, as you answer the call of Bhutan on a mystical journey that will transform you for a lifetime.

JOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS:

 

 

  • Tour of Thimphu’s arts and cultural sites
  • Tour of Paro city’s handicraft markets
  • Hike the Taktsang Walk and Kyichu Lhakhang
  • 5-Star Taj and Como Hotels Accommodations
  • Hike up to the sacred Tiger’s Nest Monastery
  • Admire soaring Himalayan peaks and the natural beauty of Paro
  • Learn about the Kingdom’s rich history and culture

Itinerary

MAR 12

Thimphu

Arrive in Thimphu transfer to Taj Tashi Hotel.

The afternoon is at your leisure but we’d suggest visiting the spectacular 15th century Tango Gompa or the imposing, stately 350-year-old Tashicho Dzong Fortress is currently used as the administrative centre of the county and is also the king’s office. Visitors can explore the gold-spired Memorial Chorten, a revered Buddhist shrine; see the intricate frescoes and slate carvings at Simtokha Dzong, and discover the Bhutanese way of life through exhibits and folk dances at the fascinating National Folk Heritage Museum.

Overnight:  Taj Tashi Hotel

 

MAR 13

Thimphu

Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan and is known for its spectacular scenery and rich culture. It is also the largest city in the country. The city is known for historical architecture and ancient traditional elements that juxtapose with contemporary buildings. We will start our day with a tour of Thimphu with stops at the National Memorial Chorten, Bhutan’s National Library, The Institute of Arts and Crafts, The Folk Heritage Museum, The Institute of Traditional Medicine Practices, The National Textile Museum, and the handicrafts Emporium. 

Following lunch, at the hotel, we will visit the Tashichhodzong and Thimphu markets. Tashichhodzong is situated on the banks of Wang Chu. It is home to the National Assemble and the summer residence of the capital’s venerated monastic community.

Overnight: Taj Tashi Hotel

MAR 14

Punakha

This morning we will drive to Punakha via the spectacular Dochula Pass with some of the most enchanting views of Bhutan. On arrival, check-in at COMO Uma Punakha Hotel. 

During the afternoon, walk alongside the river over a suspension bridge downstream and contours through lush farmland and homesteads up to Bale Lhakhang, a tiny temple with sweeping views down the valley past Uma Punakha. As you walk up alongside the Mo Chhu River you will see a large building called Botakha Palace. It was built during the 1950s by the late Third King. When the capital of Bhutan was shifted to Thimphu it lay empty. The palace gardens are full of mature fruit trees and the local farmers still pay homage to a mythical serpent by offering it rice from each harvest.

Overnight: Uma by COMO Punakha

MAR 15

Punakha

Guests have the option to enjoy the facilities at the hotel or to explore the surrounding hills via a hike. Guests can hike along the banks of Mo Chhu through terraces of rice, chilies, and cabbage, to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a three-story monument housing beautiful and complex paintings built by the Queen of Bhutan.

Overnight: Uma by COMO Punakha

MAR 16

Paro

Transfer by road to Paro which is approximately a 4 hours drive. On arrival, check-in at COMO Uma Paro Hotel.

After checking in to your room, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Paro city visiting Zurig Dzong, Rinpung Dzong, Ta Dzong, and Paro market. While walking, you’ll wind through pine forests to the beautiful grounds of the fortress-like monastery of Zuri Dzong. Enjoy Ta Dzong and explore Bhutan’s National Museum. Afterward, take in the magnificent views over Paro, and hike down to visit Rinpung Dzong – ‘Fortress on a Heap of Jewels’. The trail then leads across Paro Chhu (river) via a traditional covered bridge (Nyamai Zam) and then past the main archery ground, Ugyen Pelri Palace, and into Paro town.

Overnight: COMO Uma Paro

MAR 17

Paro

Today we will hike the Taktsang Walk and Kyichu Lhakhang. This moderate to hard guided hike will take us to one of the most amazing and important pieces of architecture in Bhutan, Taktsang Goemba. We will be hiking early to the famous Tiger’s Nest viewing point. Legend has it that this cliffside was where Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) landed on the back of a flying tigress, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan from Tibet. After viewing the Tiger’s Nest we will Descend steeply, and then climb up to the monastery, passing a waterfall. We retrace our steps and head further up to several remote temples and monasteries. Later we pay our respects at Kyichu Lhakhang one of the oldest temples in Bhutan with its magic orange tree which bears fruit all year round.

Overnight: COMO Uma Paro

MAR 18

Paro

Transfer to Paro International Airport

Extension

Pre-Trip: Splendors of India and Holi Festival, March 1-12, 2023

Continue the adventure and join the Source Journey’s team to experience India and the Colors of the Holi Festival. India’s vibrancy will astound you, as will the warmth of its people. Begin in Delhi, the bustling capital of India. After touring the colorful bazaars and ancient UNESCO sights of Old Delhi, continue to Agra for a sunrise visit of the timeless Taj Mahal, the world’s greatest monument to love. Rajasthan unfolds like a beautiful tapestry. From the pink sandstone City of Jaipur to the picturesque and romantic City of Udaipur, there are hill forts, palaces, gardens & temples. This trip of a lifetime will showcase the best of India without sacrificing luxurious accommodations. 

Accommodations

Taj Tashi Hotel

5-star luxury awaits guests at Taj Tashi Bhutan, in the heart of Bhutan’s Thimphu Valley. Featuring elaborate Bhutanese architecture, the hotel provides a fitness center, luxurious spa, and 4 dining options available. Set in the heart of Bhutan’s Thimphu Valley, Taj Tashi makes an ideal base to explore the city. After enjoying the city’s tours guests can unwind in The Jiva Spa, featuring a spa menu of Indian healing therapies.

Uma by COMO Punakha

This luxury lodge is located at the far western end of the lush Punakha Valley. With two villas and eight rooms, the intimate lodge is designed to be part of the landscape. Nestled on a hillside at a bend in the Mo Chu river every room commands sweeping views of the Punakha Valley and the Mo Chu as it winds its way through the rice fields and orchards. This remote hotel is ideal for spiritual wellness seekers. 

COMO Uma Paro

COMO Uma Paro is a 29-room resort featuring the most exclusive private villas in Bhutan. Villas at Uma by COMO Paro are entirely private, with soul-stirring views of the forest, mountains, and the surrounding valley. Each villa occupies its own glade planted with azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, and hydrangeas. Paro is home to the COMO Shambhala Retreat, a holistic health spa with an open-air yoga pavilion overlooking the Paro Valley. The Shambhala retreats feature two private Bhutanese hot-stone bathhouses, as well as a large indoor pool with an al fresco sundeck facing the mountains across the valley. There are separate steam rooms for men and women and a state-of-the-art gym. The yoga studio has floor-to-ceiling views of Paro, flooding the room with natural daylight, where complimentary yoga classes are held daily by their resident yoga instructor. 

Pricing

CategoryDouble OccupancySingle OccupancyAvailabilityBook Now
Deluxe Room$8,299 / person$11,899 / personAvailable BOOK NOW

Included in this Journey

  • 5-Star Deluxe Accommodations throughout
  • Daily Breakfasts
  • Welcome Dinner
  • 2 Lunches & 2 Dinners
  • Private English-speaking guide
  • Transfers and excursions by private modern vehicles
  • All entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Buthan Government Royalty Fees
  • Portages at Airport
  • Fully escorted by Source Journeys

Not Included in this Journey

  • International  & Domestic Airfares
  • Gratuities
  • Meals not mentioned in the program
  • Travel Insurance (Highly recommended)
  • Personal Expenses
  • Entry Visa
  • Airport taxes (if any)
  • Covid-19 Test (if applicable)

Passports: Your valid passport should have at least two consecutive blank pages and should be valid for at least six months after your planned departure from the country you are visiting. An entry visa is required. Arrival and Departure Airport (PBH). Or return to Dehli (DEL) for the flight home.