Bhutan: The Hidden Kingdom7 days & 6 nights, Private Journey
Handcrafted itineraries for one or more travelers with on-the-ground support, a private guide, and a private vehicle. Private Journeys represent the best of the custom programs we've designed over the years. Our insider knowledge and destination expertise make these innovative journeys truly unique experiences.Private Journey
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Day 1Arrive Thimphu
Upon arrival in Paro, take a scenic drive through the river valleys and hills of the Bhutanese countryside to the nation's capital of Thimphu.Taj Tashi - 2 Nights (L, D)
Spend the day visiting the highlights of Thimphu, including the Memorial Chorten, erected in 1974 as a sign of hope for world prosperity; the traditional school of arts and crafts; the Folk Heritage Museum and National Library, the takin (a goat-antelope) sanctuary; and a viewpoint for a superb panorama of the Thimphu valley.Taj Tashi (B, L, D)
Day 3To Punakha
After your drive to Punakha, visit Chimi Lhakhang, the Temple of Fertility, a small structure with a golden roof and spire. Local women often come to the temple to receive blessings for their future children. Prospective parents can also name their children here by picking one of the bamboo slips placed in the altar that are inscribed with the names of boys and girls. Later drive to Nobgang and walk around the villages and visit a farmhouse. If time permits, see the impressive Punakha Dzong, built at the junction of the two rivers in the 17th century.Uma by COMO, Punakha - 2 Nights (B, L, D)
The valley of Gangtey is one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan. The surprise of finding such a wide, flat valley without any trees after the hard climb through dense forests is augmented by an impression of vast space, an extremely rare experience in Bhutan where most of the valleys are tightly enclosed. Your first stop today is the Gangtey Gompa. Perched on a small hill that rises from the valley floor, the Gangtey Monastery is the only Nyingmapa monastery on the western side of the Black Mountains and is also the biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. The monastery is surrounded by a large village inhabited mainly by the families of the 140 gomchens who are trained in Buddhism and take care of the monastery. Later, explore the fascinating Phobjikha valley. This place is the winter home of black-necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north.Uma by COMO, Punakha (B, L, D)
Day 5To Paro
Depart for the scenic drive back to Paro. Upon arrival, explore the National Museum, which houses a collection of relics, religious thankga (scroll) paintings and a natural history exhibits. Afterwards, head to the 17th-century Rinpung Dzong for an exploration of this historically important religious center and fortress.Uma by COMO, Paro - 2 Nights (B, L, D)
Hike (or ride on horseback) to the picturesque Taktsang ("Tiger's Nest") Monastery, which clings to a cliff 3,000 feet above the valley floor. Legend has it that Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) flew to this location on the back of a tiger in the 8th century. Once arrived, he is said to have meditated in one of the caves that dot the mountain for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours. The Bhutanese people credit Guru Rinpoche with introducing Buddhism to their country, and the Taktsang Monastery is one of the principal pilgrimage destinations in Bhutan. Spend the day among the monks as they pray, chant and pursue their sacred duties. Late this afternoon, drive through the Paro Valley to visit the ruins of some of Bhutan's most ancient Buddhist shrines.Uma by COMO, Paro (B, L, D)
Day 7Depart Paro
Today, your journey through the mountain kingdom of Bhutan comes to an end. Bid farewell to the soaring peaks, pristine lakes, swaths of virgin forest and high-altitude valleys that constitute this modern-day Shangri-La. After a tasty breakfast, you will be escorted to the Paro Airport to board your onward flight.(B)
In the Indian Subcontinent, there are completely different customs when it comes to road use and road craft, and all manner of vehicles, people and animals can be found moving about, even on the main roads. To most visitors, road journeys in the Indian Subcontinent can seem quite startling at first; however, all Cox & Kings drivers are very experienced and in tune with other road users, allowing you to relax and absorb the extraordinary sights and sounds en route.
For Escorted Groups, Cox & Kings uses air-conditioned buses of an appropriate size for the number of people traveling, while on Private Journeys, Cox & Kings uses mid-size cars with an option to upgrade to luxury segment vehicles, available on request. They all feature air-conditioning and our drivers are experienced. Please refer to page 51 for further details.
Important Note: Road conditions in the Indian Subcontinent change throughout the year, due to monsoon rains and extreme weather patterns and journey times can vary enormously at all times of the year which is beyond the control of Cox & Kings.
Air travel in the Indian Subcontinent is more affordable now. There are full service brands that operate domestic and international flights and then there are low cost airlines that have gained popularity due to low cost airfares being offered.
Flight Delays & Insurance: Due to increase in air traffic, government restrictions and changing weather conditions, flight delays have become more commonplace. Domestic flights in India can incur last minute schedule changes, delays, over flying, and / or cancellation without prior notice. November through January, fog can also create delays in Northern India airports, causing flight postponement or cancellation.
Flight delays can cause problems with onward connections, hotel and holiday arrangements. Although the airline will sometimes make arrangements to get you to your next destination at no extra cost, costs may be involved for you, in the form of additional accommodation, transfers and onward tickets. Unfortunately, since most services are paid for in advance, any services missed due to delays are non-refundable. Please note many international flight tickets are restricted and nonrefundable. Therefore, Cox & Kings requires that you are insured against such eventualities, and recommends traveling with a comprehensive Travel Insurance Policy from your point of origin.
Early Starts: A number of flights within the Indian Subcontinent arrive / depart early in the morning and, while we will endeavor to schedule your tour with a flight which arrives / departs at a reasonable time, sometimes there is little or no alternative and early check-in / check-out times may be required.
Special Requests: Cox & Kings will endeavor to request any specific meals or services, on the condition that we are told at the time of booking. Specific seat requests with most major airlines can now only be requested if traveling in one of the premium classes. We are able to request general seating preferences for Economy Class passengers. However, all special requests are at the discretion of the airline and cannot be guaranteed.
Travel within the Indian Subcontinent is an adventure at every moment. We will endeavor to keep all clients apprised of any changes and or alterations to the program due to flight arrival or departure re-scheduling or other situations that may occur throughout your travel.
Important Note: Airlines and train schedules and fares are subject to last minute change. In the event that any amendment or cancellation arises or increase in fare, Cox & Kings cannot be held liable for the same.
The Indian Subcontinent has made an indelible mark in the area of hospitality. The distinctive features of these hotels are high standard and quality accommodation and service along with contemporary facilities at par with world standards. The availability of hotels in the Subcontinent ranges from Deluxe, Luxury, First Class and Budget to Heritage and Boutique.
Accommodation standards vary dramatically throughout the Subcontinent and in general cannot be compared to the West. In larger cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, the hotels we use are fully modernized with excellent facilities, while in other cities and towns the hotels are smaller but still offer good facilities. In the desert cities of Rajasthan, areas of Southern India and small hill towns, many hotels we use are small, privately owned properties or converted palaces, retaining much of their original ambience, but the room size, shape and design can vary enormously (even in the same price bracket). On certain circuits in Rajasthan, enjoy the experience of staying at one of the marvelous Heritage hotels – once the residence of Maharajas. Although palace hotels often have simple facilities and service can be slow, we ask for your patience as this is more than compensated for by their atmosphere and charm.
Check-in & Check-out Times: Most hotels work on a check-in of 1400 hours and check-out of 1200 hours. If a flight arrives in the morning, you may be taken for breakfast or sightseeing before check-in. We will endeavor to get your room as early as possible in these instances.
Game Parks & Remote Areas: Even when you travel off the beaten track with Cox & Kings,you can be sure that your accommodation in game lodges, smaller hotels and tented camps is the best available. Sometimes the best hotel may be the only hotel, which may be very modest. In these cases we feel that the simplicity of such accommodation is outweighed by the experience. Game park accommodation cannot be compared to that available in parts of Africa and is often reached down narrow and makeshift roads.
Meals: Meals included in the tour program are indicated in the itineraries at the end of each day with codes: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L) and Dinner (D).
Maps: Type of travel is indicated in the maps at the beginning of each itinerary with symbols:
Road Travel (), Train Travel (),Air Travel (), Day Excursion ( ).
Cox & Kings is happy to arrange for you to extend your stay in the Indian Subcontinent. We have suggested possible extension options for the tours in this brochure, however we would also be delighted to design a custom extension, either pre or post tour, to fit in with your particular interests. Please note that tour extensions are operated on the same basis as Private Journeys.
Many of the sites in the Indian Subcontinent necessitate a reasonable amount of walking, either to the site or around it. Whilst the walking is normally easy going, a full-day’s sightseeing can be quite tiring and sometimes strenuous. In addition, at ancient monuments there are many steep sections and uneven surfaces. A reasonable amount of fitness is required.
Population: 2 million
Official Language(s): Drongkha
The welcoming Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan may just be the world’s last Shangri-La. With its traditional culture and lifestyle still largely intact, this mountain land offers stunning Himalayan scenery, sacred temples, colorful festivals and a rich collection of wildlife including snow leopards, blue sheep and nearly 800 species of birds.
What To See
Visit the Memorial Chorten and the National Library in Thimphu. Discover the fortified dzongs and temples of Punakha. Learn more about this vibrant culture by arranging a visit to a local home for some tea and conversation. Soak up the alpine scenery in the gorgeous Phobjikha Valley. Outside Paro, hike to the Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan’s holiest monastery, for incredible views.
Bhutan: The Hidden Kingdom
Please select an option before proceeding to Booking Request.