10-Day Private Cultural Tour in Bhutan with Samtengang Trek

10-Day Private Cultural Tour in Bhutan with Samtengang Trek

The journey will take you through the core of four western districts of Bhutan: Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, and Wangdue Phodrang with 4 days of memorable trekking which starts from Punakha and finishes in Wangdue Phodrang.

This trek is short and a pleasant journey through pristine forests and passes some of the remote villages of Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang dotted by historical and religious sites. It is a fairly easy trek as the altitude only ranges between 1100m – 1900m and the climate is warm throughout the hike.

The path takes you through forests of rhododendron and oak, through the villages of Sha and Chungsakha, and across the longest footbridge in Bhutan. While this trek is available throughout the winter the best times to embark on this beautiful journey are from March to June and September to November. The trail is approximately 54km in length.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Paro International Airport & Sightseeing in Paro (2200m)

Stop At: Paro, Paro, Paro District
On your arrival at the Paro International Airport, our guide and the driver will receive and then transfer you to the hotel. We will begin with sightseeing in Paro town with a visit to one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, the 7th-century Kyichu Lhakhang built overnight by the Tibetan Kind Songtsen Gampo in his quest to subdue the spirit of demoness causing harm to the propagation of Buddhism in the region.
Leisure time to explore Paro town.
Duration: 4 hours

Stop At: National Museum, Tag-Dzong Rinpung Dzong, Paro 12001 Bhutan
You will also visit the National Museum to get insights into the history and culture of the Kingdom of Bhutan. The museum is housed in a unique 17th-century fortress called Ta Dzong.

Duration: 15 minutes

Meals included:
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Dinner and overnight at Khangkhu Resort of Bhutan Mandala Resort

Day 2: Hike to Taktsang Monastery known as Tiger's Nest / Transfer to Thimphu (2334m)

Stop At: Paro Taktsang སྤ་རོ་སྟག་ཚང་།, Taktsang trail BT, F9R7+PCR, Taktsang trail, Paro, Bhutan
After breakfast, drive to the base of the Taktsang monastery. Taktsang monastery is located on a sheer 800-meter rocky cliff in Paro. The round-trip hike takes about 4-5 hours but you can hike at your own pace. We highly recommend starting the hike early before the sun gets stronger. Oneway horse riding is available on your way up to the midpoint (Taktsang View Point Cafeteria) for a fee of about USD20 per horse. Taktsang altitude is 3,120m/10,230ft.

Duration: 6 hours

Pass By: Thimphu, Thimphu, Thimphu District
After lunch at the Taktsang Viewpoint Cafeteria, we descend back to the base and drive to the capital city Thimphu. You'll spend leisure time exploring Thimphu town and visit the authentic Craft Bazaar along the main street, if interested.

Distance from Paro to Thimphu 55km | Driving time 1.5 hours | Paro altitude 2,200m/7,220ft | Thimphu altitude 2,334m/7,660ft

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Dinner and overnight at Kuenphen Rabten Resort or Hotel Amodhara

Day 3: Explore Thimphu

Stop At: Buddha Dordenma, Kuensel Phodrang Viewing Point, Thimphu 11001 Bhutan
Today after breakfast at the hotel, visit the 169ft statue of sitting Buddha, the tallest bronze statue in the world located on a hilltop overlooking Thimphu valley.

After visiting the magnificent Buddha Statue, do 2-hour leisurely hiking in the outskirts of the capital city from Kuensel Phodrang to the 13th-century Changangkha Lhakhang. You can see the grand overlooking view of Thimphu valley. It is relatively a short hiking trail through sparsely populated pine trees, offering families and nature lovers a perfect opportunity to spend their leisure time. At the end of the hike visit one of the national treasures, the 13th-century Changangkha Lhakhang built by the Tibetan scholar Lama Phajo Drugom Zhigpo who played an important role in the early spread of the Drukpa Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddism which eventually became the state religion of Bhutan.
Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: National Institute for Zorig Chusum, Thimphu Bhutan
From Changangkha, we drive to Folk Heritage Restaurant where a traditional lunch will be served. After lunch, visit the National Institute for Zorig Chusum where 13 traditional arts & crafts of Bhutan are taught including painting, woodcarving, thankas, embroidery, sculpting, boot making, etc. Located in the neighborhood is the National Library & Archives which houses an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts, wooden printing blocks, and other fundamental sources of history and traditional medicines.
Duration: 3 hours

Stop At: Centenary Farmers Market, Main Town, Near the Wangchhu River, Thimphu Bhutan
If interested, visit Bhutan Postal Museum which has various philatelic products and stamp collections. You can also print valid stamps with your own photo. From there visit the Centenary Farmers Market to get insights into the food preference and culture in Bhutanese society. Farmers from across the country bring their farm produce to sell at the market. If time permits, visit the weaving center where you will see both men and women weaving some of the most intricately designed textiles using traditional handlooms.

Leisure time around Thimphu town.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Dinner and overnight at Kuenphen Rabten Resort of Hotel Amodhara

Day 4: Thimphu / Transfer to Punakha Valley (1200m)

Stop At: Dochula Pass, Thimphu Bhutan
After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Punakha valley which lies at a subtropical valley at 1200m/3,940ft. En route, stop briefly at a sacred mountain pass Dochula (3,150m/10,335ft above sea level). On a clear day, you can see a grand view of some of the highest mountains of Bhutan. From Dochula Pass, the drive towards Punakha is all downhill passing through some villages. You will feel the drastic change in altitude within an hour and a half from 3,150m to a warmer subtropical valley at 1,200m above sea level.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Chimi Lhakhang Temple, Punakha Bhutan
Just about 11km before reaching Punakha town, we visit the famous Chimi Lhakhang popularly known as "Temple of Fertility". A gentle 20 – 30 minutes walk through beautiful terraced rice fields and traditional farmhouses bring you to the temple. The history of Chimi Lhakhang is associated with the 16th-century Lama Drukpa Kunley who was affectionately known as "Divine Madman" for his unorthodox ways of teaching Buddhism. He would often use phallus as a tool to subdue malevolent spirits. Using the phallus was also intended to free up the social inhibitions enforced by the socially established values. Today, one of the relics of Chimi Lhakhang is a phallus. The blessing of the phallus is considered sacred, particularly to couples who are unable to have children as it brings fertility giving them the ability to bear offspring. Because of this belief, people like to call Chimi Lhakhang as “Temple of Fertility”.
Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Punakha Dzong, Punakha 13001 Bhutan
After lunch at one of the farmhouses with a local family, we continue to drive to Punakha town to visit 17th-century Punakha Dzong considered the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. The sacred wall paintings and main artifacts inside the dzong, the intricate woodworks and the architectural structure of the dzong display fine examples of Bhutanese arts and craftsmanship which continue to influence Bhutanese architecture even today.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Dinner and overnight at Meri Puensum Resort or Dhumra Farm Resort

Day 5: Trek Begins - Punakha / Camp at Lingmukha (1980m)

Stop At: Lingmukha Lhakhang, HW8F+GPM, Punakha, Bhutan
After passing majestic Punakha Dzong you cross Bhutan's longest suspension bridge over the Pho Chhu and walk up to Shengana village passing through beautiful terraced rice fields. You will have the opportunity to try your hand in rice harvesting during the winter months of November and December. You then climb gradually through the forest until you reach Lingmukha. We have to carry enough water as you won’t find any on the way to Lingmukha.

Distance: 12km | Time: 4-Hours | Ascent: 880m | Camp Altitude: 1980m/6495ft
Duration: 4 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Full-service outdoor camping at Lingmukha

Day 6: Lingmukha / Camp at Chungsakha (1550m)

Stop At: Samtengang Central School, GX8H+2J7, Wangdue Phodrang, Bhutan
The path leads through rhododendron and oak forests crossing ridges and small valleys and finally brings you to Chhungsakha. Chungsakha is a small village of about 10 houses. You’ll find a holy stone and an impressive Cyprus tree here that are reminders of Drukpa Kuenley, the “divine madman”.

Distance: 14km | Time: 5-Hours | Descent: 430m | Camp Altitude: 1550m/5085ft.
Duration: 5 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Full-service outdoor camping at Chungsakha

Day 7: Chungsakha / Camp at Samtengang (1830m)

Stop At: Samtengang BHU II, GX8G+9M9, Wangdue Phodrang, Bhutan
You walk downhill until you cross a suspension bridge over Bey Chhu and a moderate climb through the village of Sha on your way to Samtengang. Near the school in Samtengang, you will see a small lake and your campsite is right next to it. After lunch at the campsite, you'll have plenty of time to relax or explore the Samtengang village.

Distance: 13km | Time: 5-Hours | Ascent: 650m | Descent: 270m | Camp Altitude: 1830m/6005ft
Duration: 5 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Full-service outdoor camping at Samtengang

Day 8: Trek Ends - Samtengang / Chuzomsa / Wangdue Phodrang (1300)

Stop At: Wangdue Phodrang District, Wangdue Phodrang District
Today is the last day of trekking. The trail leads steeply downhill following the ridge with sparse trees until you reach Tikke Zampa where the driver will be waiting.

Distance: 4km | Time: 3-Hours | Descent: 490m

We then drive to Wangdue Phodrang for lunch. Wangdue Phodrang once boasted of having a four-century-old architectural wonder (Wangdue Phodrang Dzong) that stood majestically on a ridge at the confluence of Puna Tsang Chu one of the major river systems of Bhutan and Dhang Chu river before it was burned to the ground in June of 2012.

Today, the Dzong is being rebuilt to its former glory and is expected to be completed by 2023. Originally built in 1638, Wangdue Phodrang Dzong was the third fortress of the many built by the nation's founder, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel to unify the country.
Duration: 4 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Dinner and overnight at Hotel Lobesa or Hotel Kingaling

Day 9: Wangdue Phodrang / Transfer to Paro (2200m)

Stop At: Tashigang Gonpa, FP9M+6HV, Hungtsho, Bhutan
Today after an early breakfast, we will drive back to Paro. En route, do a short easy hike from Dochula Pass to 18th-century Tashigang Gonpa. Later after lunch in Thimphu, continue the journey to Paro. On reaching Dochula Pass, you can do a short easy hike to Tashigang Gonpa (optional). This wonderful hiking takes you downhill through pristine forests of Juniper, Hemlock, and blue pine among many others. It offers a great opportunity to photograph nature and landscapes. You'll also come across different species of birds along the trail. The hike downhill takes about an hour to reach the Gonpa.

Tashigang Gonpa is a monastery located on top of a mountain below Dochula Pass. It was built in 1768 by the 12th Abbot of Bhutan, Je Kunga Jamtsho. The monastery houses priceless relics and several statues of past Abbots of Bhutan. Today, the monastery serves as a monastic school for dozens of monks. You'll have an opportunity to visit the monastery and get blessings.
Duration: 3 hours

Stop At: Paro Village View Home Stay, Bondey-Haa Hwy, Paro, Bhutan
The driver will be waiting here at the monastery. From here, continue driving to Thimphu for lunch. After lunch, continue driving to Paro.

Dinner and overnight at Paro Village View Home Stay. Located above a quaint village amidst apple orchard overlooking south Paro valley, this homestay is a perfect place to experience the life of an ordinary Bhutanese family. Apart from comfortable accommodation and delicious home-cooked local cuisines, they also have an in-house traditional hot stone bath believed to have a therapeutic and revitalizing effect. Specially select river stones are heated in the wood-fired fireplace and dropped into the chamber of wooden tub releasing minerals.

If this homestay is fully booked, similar accommodation will be provided or you can stay at Khangkhu Resort/Bhutan Mandala Resort.

Total driving distance from Wangdue Phodrang to Paro 100km | Driving Time 3-hours, Thimphu altitude 2334m | Paro Altitude 2200m
Duration: 3 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Dinner and overnight at Paro Village View Homestay

Day 10: Transfer to Paro International Airport for Departure

Stop At: Paro International Airport - Bhutan, Airport Road Paro, Paro 12001, Bhutan
After breakfast, depending on your flight time you will be transferred to Paro International Airport for your onward journey.
Duration: 30 minutes

Meals included:
• Breakfast
No accommodation included on this day.

Informacion Adicional
"Confirmation will be received at time of booking"
"Not wheelchair accessible"
"A minimum of 2 participants are required to run this tour and can be run on a private basis."
"We highly recommend booking at least a few months before the departure date so that we have enough time to ensure the flights are available. If you already have flight tickets to and from Bhutan, we can take bookings up to a week before the departure date. To process visa, it only takes 4-5 business days."
"There are only two airlines that connect Bhutan with the outside world and so securing air tickets can be difficult, especially during the months of high season. Currently, Bhutan is connected with these cities - Bagdogra, Bangkok, Delhi, Dhaka, Guwahati, Kathmandu, Kolkata, Singapore. We recommend you book your international flights a few months in advance especially if you plan to visit during the high season months of March to May and September to November. If you need help in arranging flights to/from Bhutan, please let us know much in advance."
"After you book the tour, kindly send us clear passports copies of all the participants. A biodata page including the machine-readable zone must be seen clearly. Passports should have a minimum of 6 MONTHS validity from the day you depart from Bhutan. You may also want to check the passport requirements by your next destination country after Bhutan. A copy of your e-Visa will be emailed to you once it is approved. It only takes 4-5 business days to get visa approval and it is 100 percent guaranteed as long as we receive clear passport copies of all the participants. The actual visa will be stamped on your passport upon arrival. Send the passport copies to the Local Supplier E-mail address."
"Youth 18 years old MUST send us a copy of their valid Student Photo ID Card/Document to keep the discounted price. Without a copy of valid Student Photo ID Card/document, the full adult price will apply. Youth MUST also be accompanied by at least one full-paying adult ."
"Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level"
"This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers"
"Face masks required for travelers in public areas"
"Face masks required for guides in public areas"
"Face masks provided for travelers"
"Social distancing enforced throughout experience"
"Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas"
"Gear/equipment sanitized between use"
"Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized"
"Guides required to regularly wash hands"
"Regular temperature checks for staff"
"Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival"
"Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required for travelers"
"COVID-19 vaccination required for guides"
"Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required for travelers
RT-PCR negative test results taken prior to arrival NOT required as of April 2022."



Start Time: Suppliers and travelers coordinate start times within the given time periods. 8/29/2022 - 11/30/2022
Monday:07:00 AM - 06:00 PM
Tuesday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Wednesday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Thursday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Friday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Saturday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Sunday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
12/1/2022 - 12/10/2022
Monday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Tuesday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Wednesday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Thursday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Friday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Saturday:07:00 AM - 06:00 PM
Sunday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
2/26/2023 - 5/31/2023
Monday - Sunday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
6/1/2023 - 6/5/2023
Monday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Thursday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Friday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Saturday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Sunday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
8/29/2023 - 11/30/2023
Monday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Tuesday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Wednesday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Thursday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Friday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Saturday:07:00 AM - 06:00 PM
Sunday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
12/1/2023 - 12/10/2023
Monday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Tuesday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Wednesday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Thursday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Friday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Saturday:07:00 AM - 06:00 PM
Sunday:07:00 AM - 06:30 PM

Duration: 10 Days
Start location: Traveler pickup is offered
Our guide and driver will receive you at Paro International Airport

Airports

  • Paro Airport, Paro Bhutan



Cancellations and refunds: If you cancel at least 7 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.
If you cancel within 2 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.

Included

  • 9x Breakfast
  • 9x Dinner
  • 9x Lunch
  • Accommodation included: 9 nights
  • Visa Fee & Processing. You'll receive your e-Visa within 4-5 business days.
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) and light snacks
  • 6 nights accommodations at a 3-star hotel on a twin sharing basis
  • 3 nights full-service outdoor camping in pristine wilderness
  • Porters & Ponies
  • All ground transportation including round trip airport transfers
  • Experienced English-speaking licensed tour guide
  • Sleeping bag liner (not sleeping bag)
  • All entry fees and trekking permit
  • Medical treatment at a hospital in Bhutan if you sustain injuries while in Bhutan
  • All internal taxes for the services listed above
  • Entry/Admission - National Museum
  • Entry/Admission - Buddha Dordenma
  • Entry/Admission - National Institute for Zorig Chusum
  • Entry/Admission - Centenary Farmers Market
  • Entry/Admission - Dochula Pass
  • Entry/Admission - Chimi Lhakhang Temple
  • Entry/Admission - Punakha Dzong
  • Entry/Admission - Lingmukha Lhakhang
  • Entry/Admission - Samtengang Central School
  • Entry/Admission - Samtengang BHU II
  • Entry/Admission - Tashigang Gonpa
  • Entry/Admission - Paro Village View Home Stay

Not Included

  • Travel insurance is mandatory
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Alcoholic beverages, laundry services, telephone call charges
  • Tips to Guide and Driver
  • Sleeping bag & travel pillow (you need for camping during trekking)
  • Any other expenses of personal nature
  • USD20 per horse ride

Facilities


This website uses cookies to obtain statistical data on the navigation of its users. If you continue browsing we consider that you accept its use. More information in privacy policies