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Bhutan Travel Guide

It's not every day that you get to experience Bhutan's enchanting lands, so take advantage of the unique experience with a Bhutan Tour. Bhutan is highly reserved and only allows visitors accompanied by a tour guide, so it's the only way you'll get to access one of the best-preserved heritage countries in Asia. Bhutan is a place full of wonder as you discover sacred temples, monasteries, and breathtaking views in the Himalayas. There's no country like Bhutan, and a tour gives you an immersive experience of the destination! With tour operator volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 40% versus assembling the same itinerary on your own! Book your Bhutan tour today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted tour headquarters.

Bhutan Travel Guide
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Bhutan Travel Guide

Bhutan Tours Highlights

  • Hike to the famous Tiger's Nest Monastery for the best views of the Paro Valley.
  • Enjoy the panoramic views of Thimphu from the top of the National Memorial Chorten.
  • Visit Buddha Point to see the largest Buddha statue in Bhutan.
  • Attend the daily flag ceremony held at the Tashichho Dzong.
  • Witness live demonstrations of hand-weaving art at the National Textile Museum.
  • See Kangchenjunga, the world's third-highest peak from the Cheli La Pass viewpoint.
  • Go for a hike or sightseeing the wildlife surrounding the Chagri Dorjeden Monastery.
  • Enter the Chimi Lhakhang temple to learn about the "Divine Madman" and the peculiar art adorning the temple and nearby village.

Bhutan Tours Travel Tips

  • Bhutan is a relatively new country open for tourism – it has strict regulations on the number of visas it issues, so be sure to apply with enough time before you're planning to go to be sure you'll receive it.
  • Bhutan is only accessible via tours. If you're looking to travel to specific attractions and landmarks, you should find a corresponding tour that goes there.
  • English is common in Bhutan. Many people can communicate in English, so it's simple to get around. The tours cater to international travelers, so it should be no issue finding one that speaks your language!
  • Dzongs are religious sites, although popular tourist attractions, so you must wear appropriate clothing if you're planning to visit them.
  • Be mindful of the elevation. Several regions on Bhutan are very high altitudes, so for some, it will be easier to fatigue from lack of oxygen and hiking strain.

Bhutan Tours Things To Do

  • Hike to the famous Tiger's Nest Monastery for the best views of the Paro Valley
    Hike to the famous Tiger's Nest Monastery for the best views of the Paro Valley

    Tiger's Nest Monastery is an iconic symbol of Bhutan and one of the most famous tourist attractions. It's a cliffside temple overlooking the Paro Valley giving incredible views. It's also considered one of the most sacred sites in the country. Tiger's Nest Monastery, or officially Paro Taktsang Monastery, was built in the late 17th Century. The nickname derives from a nearby cave called the Tiger Cave, where Padmasambhava (who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan) meditated.   Visitors can explore the monastery and enjoy views of the valley.  

    You Should Know

    The Tiger's Nest Monastery is only accessible via hiking up more than two miles one way. There are various stops along the way, including a restaurant and a viewpoint. Visitors must leave all belongings in a locker at the security checkpoint before entering the monastery – cameras and cellphones are not allowed.

  • Enjoy the panoramic views of Thimphu from the top of the National Memorial Chorten
    Enjoy the panoramic views of Thimphu from the top of the National Memorial Chorten

    Bhutan has several chortens – religious sites - built around the country, but its most popular is the National Memorial Chorten in the capital, Thimphu. The Chorten is a symbol of world peace and honors the head of state of Bhutan. Built in 1974, National Memorial Chorten is a large stupa adorned with Buddhism symbolism and relics. It's one of the city's most visited sites with its grand scale and beautifully manicured lawns. Some of the notable features of the site include prayer wheels, sculptures, and wall engravings.  

    You Should Know

    Tourists can enter the stupa to explore its four levels with a unique shrine on each. The top level gives a panoramic view of Thimphu.  

     

    Best Time To Visit

    Visit the chorten in the evening when it hosts evening prayer and chants. You'll see local monks circling the stupa clockwise while spinning the prayer wheels. It's also a popular place for prayer festivals.

  • Visit Buddha Point to see the largest Buddha statue in Bhutan
    Visit Buddha Point to see the largest Buddha statue in Bhutan

    Buddha Point, or Buddha Dordenma, is the largest Buddha statue in Bhutan. It's 52m tall and inside holds 125,000 smaller Buddha statues. It's an impressive sight on the hilltop overlooking Thimpu and beautiful natural surroundings. Buddha Point is centered on a former major palace site but now designated as the Kuensel Phodrang Nature Park. The statue is of a seated Buddha made of bronze and gilded gold. Completed in 2015, it represents world peace and prosperity.  

    You Should Know

    Buddha Point is the most famous Thimphu landmark. Visitors can enjoy various views of the Buddha with the mountain backdrop or views of the city below.

  • Witness live demonstrations of hand-weaving art at the National Textile Museum
    Witness live demonstrations of hand-weaving art at the National Textile Museum

    The National Textile Museum in Thimphu is one of the main cultural venues in Bhutan. It's where you'll see the vast creativity and heritage of Bhutanese textiles. It was established in 2001 to promote local craftsmanship and accomplishments, inspire, and preserve textile art in Bhutan. Visitors can explore various exhibitions showcasing notable achievements in textile crafts, the purpose of the skill, and decorative examples. The Royal Collection is an exhibit holding pieces worn by Bhutan kings and the Royal families. After a tour of the museum, visit the shop to purchase handmade textiles.  

    Best Time To Visit

    Visit the museum when it hosts demonstrations of the weaving skills to see how the textiles are made. It also hosts competitions for the best textile design from locals, and visitors can vote on their favorite pieces.

  • Go for a hike or sightseeing the wildlife surrounding the Chagri Dorjeden Monastery
    Go for a hike or sightseeing the wildlife surrounding the Chagri Dorjeden Monastery

    Visitors can explore Bhutan's oldest monastery after hiking to the Chagri Dorjeden Monastery. It's located on a hilltop in the Thimphu Valley just outside of the capital. It holds a lot of history and currently serves as a school for Tibetan Buddhism. Chagri Dorjeden Monastery was built in 1620 by Ngawang Namgyal, the founder of Bhutan – it's one of the first places he resided after arriving from Tibet. It's a spiritual site for prayer and honor of its founder. There is a temple inside of the monastery temple which holds relics left by the father of Ngawang Namgyal.  

    You Should Know

    Chagri Dorjeden Monastery is a popular day trip from Thimphu. In addition to visiting the monastery, it's fun to explore the surrounding nature for hikes and sightseeing wildlife.

  • See Kangchenjunga, the world's third-highest peak from the Cheli La Pass viewpoint
    See Kangchenjunga, the world's third-highest peak from the Cheli La Pass viewpoint

    Cheli La Pass is one of Bhutan's most scenic drives that also provides lots of fun daytime activities for visitors. It's located on mountainous highlands that run between the Paro Valley and the Haa Valley, over 4,000 meters high. Cheli La Pass is known for its views of nearby mountain peaks – you can see a few of the highest peaks in the Himalayas, including Kangchenjunga, the third-highest peak in the world. There are lots of stopover points to take in the views along the drive.  

    You Should Know

    Some of the popular activities in Cheli La Pass include mountain and forest hiking, sightseeing wildlife, and visiting historical nunneries.  

     

    Best Time To Visit

    Visit Cheli La Pass during the warmer climate to enjoy the outdoor scenery and activities. Due to the high elevation, it can get extremely cold.

  • Enter the Chimi Lhakhang temple to learn about the "Divine Madman" and the peculiar art adorning the temple and nearby village
    Enter the Chimi Lhakhang temple to learn about the "Divine Madman" and the peculiar art adorning the temple and nearby village

    Each Buddhist temple in Bhutan has unique characteristics to make it special, but one temple, particularly Chimi Lhakhang, will be one of the most unique you've ever seen. It holds many myths, history, and a current perception that makes it a must-visit for tourists in the region. Chimi Lhakhang was founded by the "Divine Madman," named for his untraditional methods of teaching Buddhism. Aside from his teaching style, the temple also showcases phallic imagery to ward off evil spirits. Many people call it the Temple of Fertility, where women go to be blessed with an abundance of children.  

    You Should Know

    It's worth learning about the temple's history and the imagery to give it more context during your visit. The nearby villages prominently showcase phallic art and souvenirs for tourists passing through en route to the temple.

  • Attend the daily flag ceremony held at the Tashichho Dzong
    Attend the daily flag ceremony held at the Tashichho Dzong

    Tashichho Dzong is the hub for the Bhutan government as the seat of the head of Bhutan. It's a Buddhist monastery that includes government offices such as the King's office and throne room. The site is open to the public to explore the monastery grounds. Tashichho Dzong is an entire complex consisting of multiple towers, temples, shrines, and a courtyard. It's one of the best examples of Bhutanese architecture topped with gilded roofs. Visitors can walk the grounds and enter some of the buildings to explore.  

    Best Time To Visit

    Visit Tashichho Dzong at the end of the day for the daily flag ceremony. Government officials lower the flag to symbolize the workday's end - many people gather for the event. The complex also illuminates at night, which happens shortly after, so you'll get to enjoy the sights of both events.

Bhutan Tours When To Visit

Quick Facts

The best time to visit Bhutan is during the fall or the spring season when the weather is the nicest to experience the outdoors. Bhutan is a very scenic country with lots of natural landmarks that you won't want to miss during your trip!

  • Fall – September to November – Best Season

    Fall is the most popular time to visit Bhutan thanks to the incredible weather – early fall still experiences heavy rainfall. The fall is characterized by a mild climate and high visibility of the mountains so that you can enjoy the scenic views from above. It's the best time to go hiking and other outdoor activities. 

  • Winter – December to February – Low Season

    Winter in Bhutan is when the extremely cold weather arrives. The high elevation leads to many of the highland regions to reach negative Celsius frequently during the season. Also, there is a lot of snow in the mountainous ranges. Due to the infrastructure in Bhutan, many villages and destinations are inaccessible because of the weather.   For travelers who enjoy the snow (and cold), the winter is a very sunny season.

  • Spring – March to May – Good Season

    Springtime in Bhutan has similar weather to the fall, although it's a short season. As the weather warms up from the winter, the lush natural settings undergo their bloom, giving it a stunning appearance. Spring is also the festival season, where you'll see various activities across the entire country.

  • Summer – June to August – Low Season

    Summer is typically a favorite travel time, but it's when the Indian monsoons arrive in Bhutan. Bhutan receives heavy rainfall for the entire season, making it difficult to enjoy the outdoors.

Bhutan Tours Frequently Asked Questions

What are Bhutan Tours?

Bhutan Tours provide access for visitors to travel to Bhutan. You'll get the chance to explore Bhutan will a full itinerary dedicated to delivering the best tour experience. The tours are the primary way to venture to some natural wonders and learn about religious and cultural heritages. Bhutan Tours give you the trip of a lifetime to Bhutan!

Can I travel to Bhutan?

Bhutan is newly opened for tourism, but it places high restrictions on visa access. Anyone can apply for a Bhutan visa, but only travelers registered with a tour company can enter.

What's included in Bhutan Tours?

Bhutan tours offer immersive experiences in many of the iconic sites and landmarks across the country. Visit the famous Tiger's Nest Monastery or see the country's largest Buddha statue. You'll tour cultural venues in Thimphu or trek through the mountainous Himalayan regions. Some of the tours also provide trips to Nepal.

Are Bhutan Tours expensive?

Due to the exclusivity of traveling to Bhutan, tours are higher priced compared to other Asian countries. However, thanks to our bulk tour purchasing, we're able to provide you the best rates and present affordable tour options. You can find week-long excursions or choose to stay for much longer. You won't find better prices for traveling to Bhutan! 

Reviews for Bhutan Tours and Vacations

The trip was was well organized a and we had good weather. The next group had several cancellations of excursions. All guides were outstanding and actually had two guides in Bhutan. They were very interesting and beautiful countries.

Herbert Y

The Luxury Gold catalog states: Embark on a leisurely hike to Tiger's Nest. In as far as this went it was accurate. What NEEDED to be in the description was that the terrain was rocky and uneven. The above clarification is needed. That being said, even though I had sustained an ankle injury on the trip, my fellow travelers and the guide and bus driver made my trip an everlasting good memory, I probably would not have gone if the description had been accurate. Our guide was exceptional and accurately described this trip from his point of view having never been on a trail in the USA which was I had expected. The poor description was an Insight Error.

Catherine A

Well organized tour. Tour directors were excellent. Hotels were very good and food provided was very good. For the senior citizens, there is a need for little down time/rest in the middle of the day in Nepal. That will help with the jet-lag also. Bhutan trip was very special.

Arvind S

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