• Duration:

    6 days/5 nights

  • Level:

    Luxury

  • Best Time:

    March – June

  • Price valid

    Valid until 31 Dec. 2017

  • Route
    • Jakarta/Singapore – Paro(Bhutan) – Jakarta/Singapore (via Bangkok)
Enjoy the nature, wildlife, and culture in the land of the monks, at an exclusive rather than mass tourism destination. Stay at intimate and most exclusive private villas in Bhutan with an enviable location in the Paro Valley. Visit the Taktsang Tiger’s Nest Monastery, one of Bhutan’s most important pieces of architecture and a national landmark. This journey is ideal for those who wish to explore this remote Himalayan Kingdom.

day-1Day 1: 

Upon arrival at the airport you will be greeted by the Uma Paro team before embarking on the 10-minute transfer to the property. After you check-in and spend some time settling into your new surroundings, we will take you on your first foray into this remarkable Himalayan kingdom, with sightseeing in Paro town and a temple visit. The afternoon trip allows you to acclimatise to the rarefied air at altitude as well as the chance to get to know your guide.

Overnight: Uma Paro

day-2Day 2: 

Walk to Zurig Dzong, Rinpung Dzong, Ta Dzong, Paro town, Kyichu Lhakhang and Drukgyel Dzong

Wind through pine forests high above Uma Paro to the pretty grounds of the fortress-like monastery of Zurig Dzong. Traverse across to Ta Dzong, home to Bhutan’s National Museum, with magnificent views over Paro, and on down to Rinpung Dzong (also known as ‘Fortress on a Heap of Jewels’). The trail then leads across the Paro Chhu river via the traditional covered bridge Nyamai Zam, and then past the main archery ground, Ugyen Pelri Palace, and into Paro town. Driving a few kilometres north of Paro, we pay our respects at Kyichu Lhakhang. This is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan with its magical orange tree that bears fruit all year round. Time permitting, we drive further up the valley to Drukgyel Dzong, built in 1648 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to control the northern route to Tibet.

Duration: 5 to 7 hours (depending on time spent in National Museum and Paro). Difficulty: Easy to moderate. Overnight: Uma Paro

day-3Day 3: 

Thimphu Day Out

Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, sprawls up the wooded western hillside of the Wang Chhu a one-hour drive from Uma Paro. Please note museum, monastery, temple and Dzong opening days and times can and do vary with national holidays and events such as a visit by a member of the Royal Family or auspicious ceremonies. Below lists activities and places of interest in the capital. There will not be time to visit all, with the day organised according to guests’ particular interests.

Market Days: It’s easy to lose a couple of hours wandering through Thimphu’s colourful stalls before heading into town for more shopping. Main market days are Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

National Memorial Chorten: Bhutan’s third king, H.M. Jigme Dorji Wangchuck died before his plan to erect a monument to world peace and prosperity came to fruition. However, the Royal Family and Cabinet resolved to fulfill his wishes; they erected this memorial to perpetuate his memory.

View of Trashi Chhoe Dzong: The ‘Fortress of the Glorious Religion’ was built in 1641 and then rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s. Trashi Chhoe Dzong is home to government ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body. Entrance is granted to guests only after 5pm. The nine-hole golf course alongside makes for a quirky photo opportunity.

National Institute of 13 Arts and Crafts (Zorig Chusum): Watch the rows of young students learning Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts of carpentry, masonry, carving, painting, sculpture, casting, weaving, bamboo work, embroidery, woodturning, papermaking, blacksmithing and gold and silversmithing.

Kuensel Phodrang: Buddha Dordenma is a gigantic statue of Buddha Shakyamuni made out of bronze and gilded in gold. It is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, at a height of 51.5 metres (169 feet). The Buddha Dordenma is sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuck, the thirteenth Druk Desi, and overlooks the southern approach to Thimphu.

Royal Textile Academy Museum: The museum features a royal collection comprising the Raven Crown (the royal wedding crown) as well as wedding dresses. This museum also shows the national art of weaving, the changing styles of ‘Gho’ and ‘Kira’ over the years, with weavers demonstrating their skills on traditional back looms.

Folk Heritage Museum: This replica of a traditional Bhutanese house is exactly as it would have looked 100 years ago. Duration: 7 to 10 hours

Difficulty: Easy (guided with picnic or sample typical Bhutanese fare in local restaurant). Overnight: Uma Paro

day-4Day 4: 

Chele La Pass and hike to Kila Nunnery Shedra (optional bike descents)

Start early for the drive to Chele La Pass which, at 3,988m, is the highest road pass in Bhutan, snaking upwards through blue pine and rhododendron forests for 35km. On a clear day the view sweeps away to the snow-dome of Bhutan’s second highest peak, Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314m), and down to the Haa Valley, which only opened to foreigners in 2002 due to its proximity to the border with Sikkim and Tibet. This unspoiled valley harks back to a simpler, more traditional time. Striding out along the Edelweiss-covered ridge, we pass a sky burial site and then descend through the dense rhododendron forest, possibly sighting shaggy yaks. Kila Nunnery Shedra is an ancient nunnery nestled in a craggy patch on the mountainside below – one of the seven oldest nunneries in the Kingdom. Dupthob Chhoeje Norbu and Dupthob Temba established it in the early 19th century as a place for meditation. Having made our offerings and perhaps been blessed, it is time to descend further. An hour later, we are back at the road where we can saddle up on a mountain bike and freewheel down to Paro Valley. For those who prefer a leisurely sightseeing day there is the option to drive from Chele La Pass down the other side to the Haa Valley. In case Chele La Pass is not accessible during the winter months, your guide will propose an alternative for this day excursion.

Duration: 7 to 9 hours
. Difficulty: Moderate (guided with picnic, Kona Cinder mountain bike, helmet, gloves). Overnight: Uma Paro

day-5Day 5: 

Paro Valley–Taktsang Walk

The historical Paro Valley is the focus of today’s activities, culminating in a visit to the Taktsang ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Monastery, which is one of Bhutan’s most important pieces of architecture. According to legend, this cliffside is where Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) landed on the back of a flying tigress, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan from Tibet. The trip starts early in order to avoid the hot sun during the two-hour climb to the Tiger’s Nest viewpoint. We have a steep hike passing a waterfall and end among beautiful murals at the monastery’s main entrance. If time allows, there is the possibility of heading further up to visit remote temples. After lunch – either a prepared picnic or from the charming Taktsang cafeteria – you return to Uma Paro, where you can recharge on your final night, enjoying the steam rooms, gym and swimming pool or indulging in one of our COMO Shambhala treatments.

Duration: 6 to 8 hours
. Difficulty: Moderate to hard. Overnight: Uma Paro

day-6Day 6: 

Depart Bhutan

Flights from Bhutan usually depart in the morning, so after breakfast your 10-minute transfer to Paro International Airport will be arranged according to your flight schedule.

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