Known as the Land of the Thunder Dragon, Bhutan is a small kingdom squeezed between the two most populated countries of the world: China and India. The limit to visitors is restricted with a government regulated tour and tariff system. This policy ensures protection of its natural habitats and also that every Bhutanese benefit from the income generated by tourism. Ecologically, Bhutan is a hot spot in the Himalayas. And 65-70% of the land is decreed by law to be kept under forest cover. Clean air, pristine countryside, exotic flora and fauna, unique architecture, smiling people and preserved social and cultural heritage make this kingdom an exotic and a singular destination. Geographically, Bhutan is an interesting place (not dissimilar to Nepal) with the sub-tropics in the south; to temperate vegetation in the middle regions and then to Alpine vegetation. This variation gives many species of fauna and flora to thrive in many different zones.
Your memorable journey will begin with your arrival at the Paro — one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan and home to the famous Tiger’s Nest. Then you will leave and traverse through farming valley of the beautiful Paro and across 12,000ft high passes of Pelila and Chelela Pass to the remote eastern Bhutan where you will witness a rare opportunity to see the annual Tsechu (festival) taking place at the unbelievable Bumthang valley. During the festival the mountains will echo with the booms of highland horns, accompanied by bells, drums, gongs and conch shells. In an atmosphere of mystical power unchanged for centuries, silk-robed masked dancers will leap, twirl and whirl in a kaleidoscope of color as they celebrate the ancient Himalayan Buddhist rituals. The festivals in Bhutan are pure and genuine, representing a tradition that dates back thousands of years. You will also be a rare participant to witness the Nature Festival in honour of the Sacred Birds of Bhutan, the Black Necked Cranes.
On this special winter wanderings you will have wonderful times at a religious festival and a nature festival. On this exceptional tour designed for you, you will wander around the weekend markets, wind your way across the spectacular Dochu La pass and into the balmy Punakha valley, then cross high passes into central Bhutan and explore the beautiful and historic Bumthang Valleys. You will stop at Trongsa and the see the largest fortress Dzong of the kingdom. Then you will visit Gangtey, the high, remote and beautiful village surrounded by the mysterious and the dreaded Black Mountains–and the winter home to the endangered Black Necked Cranes and the venue for your Nature Festival in honour of these Sacred birds. Your very special exploration will end with a pilgrimage hike up to the Tiger’s Nest– the most revered of all temples in the kingdom. Intensive sightseeing, short hikes, and a wealth of visual, cultural and nature wanderings from Bhutan Travel will create an exhilarating visit to one of the world’s most untouched and fascinating places during a fascinating time.