7 Days Bhutan Tiger Nest Tour 2022 / 2023

Duration: 7 Days   |   Based on 3 Reviews PhotosDownload

Bhutan Tiger Nest tour 7 days offers you an extremely rare insight into the entire kingdom of Bhutan including Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, and the awe-inspiring hike to the famous Tigers Nest Monastery, built into a sheer cliff face, high above the valley.

Tigers Nest Monastery is the most sacred monastery in the entire kingdom, believed to be the birthplace of Buddhism in Bhutan. One of the most glorious monasteries in the world, it is perched precariously on a cliff at a dizzying height of 10,000ft or 3,048m above sea level. The Tiger Nest Monastery truly is the bejeweled crown of Bhutan.

The name Tiger Nest came through the legend of Guru Rinpoche, also known as Padmasambhava, one of the holiest figures in Mahayana Buddhism. The legend goes that in the 8th Century, Guru Rinpoche flew to this exact spot from Tibet on the back of a tigress (which was a manifestation of his divine consort). He came to slay a demon and then took residence in the Taktsang Senge Samdup cave, where he would meditate for 3 years, 3 months, and 3 days. He then started the conversion of the Bhutanese to Buddhism. The monastery was built in 1692, around the cave in which Guru meditated. Today it is a global cultural icon Bhutan and a trip to the kingdom is not complete without a visit to this sacred site. 

Good News: Bhutan is re-opening with stress-free travel protocols from September 2022. Drukair and Royal Bhutan airlines have announced their flight schedules to/from the Paro International airport. We are eager to welcome you to the Land of Thunder Dragon - Royal Bhutan. Please free to contact us for more information on the Bhutan tour cost, itinerary and flight booking.

Best time to visit the Tiger’s Nest Monastery

October to December is the best time to visit Bhutan when the weather is clear and cool. The weather remains clear through the winter, although it can get quite cold during this time. The spring season can also be a nice time to visit Bhutan. Things begin to really heat up in May, and from June through September the monsoon arrives.

Photographing the Tiger’s Nest

The best lighting for photography is midday. Getting here early helps to avoid some of the crowds, but you will still need to wait until midday for the best photographs.

How fit do you need to be to do this hike?

Anyone of average fitness can complete this hike. Take your time, it is not a race. You may want to bring hiking poles to help out your knees on the descent.

What to bring for Tiger's Nest hike 

Hiking shoes, at least 3 liters of drinking water, a few snacks, and your camera. You can buy lunch or tea at the cafeteria.

Punakha Dzong was the capital of Bhutan since ancient times until it was replaced by Thimphu as the Bhutanese Capital in 1961. The Punakha Dzong continues to remain as the winter residence of the Central Monk Body. The Dzong is typically a complex of courtyards and temples which are now mostly used as government buildings. It has a strategically important Dzong for Bhutan – hence it is frequently visited by the King and Royal family members. The Punakha town is located at the confluence of two rivers: Pho chhu and Mo chhu. The river Pho is believed to be the male while the River Mo is the female. Walk along the river, the calm atmosphere of the bank keeps you smooth and refreshed. The town is a small one a stretch of slightly more than a kilometer covers the entire town. The regions of Thimphu, Gasa, and Wangdue Phodrang Dzongkhag border the Punakha District.

The Punakha valley is a low-lying but fertile valley of Bhutan at an altitude of about 1350 meters. It’s one of the most scenic valleys in Bhutan. The Punakha Dzong is the capital of the Punakha district. The place is also important as the burial site of the founder Monarch Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Among the attraction in Punakha Valley are the treks to historic the Chimi Lhakhang built late in the 15th century and the ritual worship of auspicious phalluses, and the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten which dominates the upper Punakha Valley and with superb views towards the mountainous peaks of Gasa. Punakha Tshechu is a special religious and historical festival celebrated during the springtime every year which is famous for its colorful events. Entry to the Punakha Dzongkha is only allowed with proper permits and in the accompaniment of licensed tour guides.

Highlights

  • Explore Paro valley, Taktsang Monastery aka Tigers Nest and Thimphu, the capital city of Royal Bhutan and Punakha, an old winter capital of Royal Bhutan  
  • Journey to Taktsang, commonly known as the Tiger's Nest, the small monastery clinging to a rocky cliff 900 metres above the valley floor, and soak in its magnificence
  • Hike to the top of Excursion to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a monastery built to bring peace to the world, and enjoy breathtaking views of the valley and surrounding rice terraces

Note: 

We can assist in arranging international flights to Bhutan, including flights from Bangkok or Nepal should you be traveling in the region. 

Upon arriving in Bhutan, you will need to declare the following personal items to customs officials: personal cameras and video recorders, laptops, mobiles, or any other electronic device. Upon departing the country, a check will be made to ascertain that these items have indeed been left with you.

If bringing in tobacco products to the country you will need to pay a tobacco tax upon arrival. Ensure that you have taken enough with you to last the duration of your visit as the sale of tobacco products in Bhutan is prohibited.

How to book or enquiry about this trip?

For INSTANT BOOKING or QUICK ENQUIRY, please call us now +977 9851036844 (Ram Kumar) 24 hours available on WhatsApp WeChat, Viber or send us an email at[email protected] for the best quote and detailed itinerary. 

Outline Itinerary

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Day 01:Arrival at the Paro airport (ex: Kathmandu or Bangkok), transfer to Thimphu

Welcome to Bhutan: the mysterious Thunder Dragon Kingdom. Upon your arrival at the Paro Airport, one of our tour guides greets you and transfer from Paro airport to Thimphu, the modern capital city of Bhutan. You can enjoy the surrounding scenery while driving. The one and a half-hour drive give you time to acclimatize to the altitude.

On your arrival at hotel, our guide will help you check-in the rooms, rest for a while and explore the city of Thimphu. First, visit Memorial Chorten, the main sight in Bhutan. You will surely marvel at the architecture and design of the building. You will visit Thimphu Tashi Cho Dzong which is the current headquarters. You can visit the local Markets, where you can shop for local products. Overnight at the hotel.

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Thimphu
  • Maximum Altitude:2,320m

Today’s full day of sightseeing in Thimphu Valley includes the National Library, which has a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and printing blocks for prayer flags. See the Thimpu Painting School, famous for traditional thangkha paintings. You'll continue to Kuensel Phodrang, known locally as Buddha Point - the largest Buddha statue in the country. There are marvelous views of the city from this vantage point. 

Your tour continues to Memorial Chorten, a beautiful stupa built in the memory of Bhutan’s third King. Visit the sprawling monastery of Trashichhodzong and opt to see beautiful hand-woven and crafted products at the Handicrafts Emporium. Overnight at hotel. 

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Thimphu
  • Maximum Altitude:2,320m

After breakfast, transfer to Punakha, an old winter capital of Bhutan. En route stop at the lofty Dochu La Pass (3,048m) to view the rugged eastern Himalayas, including Bhutan's highest mountain, Gangkar Punsum (7,550m). The road then drops down into the lush Punakha Valley.

Continue your day with a hike to Chimi lhakhang - the temple of the Divine Madman which was built by Lama Drukpa Kunley in 1499. Legend has it that he subdued the demoness of the Dochu la with his ‘magic thunderbolt of wisdom.’ A wooden effigy of the Lama’s thunderbolt is preserved in the Lhakhang and childless women go to the temple to receive a wang (blessing) from the saint. Continue across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana. There are very few monks at the temple, which is surrounded by a row of prayer wheels and beautiful slate carvings.

This afternoon visit the impressive Punakha Dzong, the 'Palace of Great Happiness', which is located on the confluence of two rivers (Phochu and Mochu). It was built in 1637 and serves as the winter residence for the Chief Abbot - the religious head in Bhutan. The building was damaged and rebuilt several times due to flooding, fire and earthquakes. It is an exemplary masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Overnight at hotel. 

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Punakha
  • Maximum Altitude:1,242m

Today we hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a stunning monument and temple located on top of a hill, with breathtaking views of the valley, paddy fields and the Mo Chu River.

After lunch, drive to the picturesque villages of Talo or Nobgang to explore the ancestral home of the Queen Mothers of Bhutan. The villages are scattered along a ridge above the Punakha Valley at an altitude of around 2,800m. Sangchen Dorji Lhendrup Nunnery is your next stop - perched on a ridge with spectacular views of the Punakha and Wangdue Valleys. The temple houses a complex for higher studies and is a meditation centre for nuns. It is also home to a 14 foot bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara, one of the biggest in the country. The statue was handcrafted exclusively by local artisans.

The final stop of the day is Nalanda Monastery, where monks pursue higher Buddhist studies. They will be delighted to speak with you to further their English studies. Overnight at hotel. 

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Punakha
  • Maximum Altitude:1,242m

After breakfast, drive back to Paro via the scenic Doch La Pass, enjoying spectacular views of the towering Bhutan Himalayas. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the Paro Valley and visit the National Museum, which is housed in an old Ta Dzong (watchtower) and holds an intriguing collection of artifacts. Discover Dungtse Lhakang, an incredible three story Chorten-style building which was constructed in 1433 and the beautiful 7th century Kichu Lhakang, one of the oldest and most sacred temples in Bhutan. Overnight at hotel. 

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Paro
  • Maximum Altitude:2,200m

Taktshang Pelphung Monastery or Tiger's Nest Monastery is the most famous site in Bhutan. It's located on the face of a sheer 900m cliff above the floor of Paro Valley. Today you'll take a scenic hike to view this spectacular and breathtaking sight. The monastery is only accessible on foot or you can ride a pony part of the way (this must be arranged in advance by your guide). Take a steep one hour walk up to a cafeteria where you can enjoy refreshments and wonderful views of Taktshang.

Those who wish to proceed further must travel on foot. The trail continues uphill for another 45 minutes to a high observation point (3140m) where there is a stupa with incredible views of the monastery. Continuing down a flight of cliff-hanging steps on the narrow trail you'll reach a beautiful waterfall that plunges down the deep chasm. Then climb up the flight of steep steps to the monastery. At any point on this walk, you can always return if you find it too difficult. Once inside the monastery, there are several shrines to see with few monks in residence. After exploring the monastery walk back to the cafeteria for lunch, before retracing your steps and returning to Paro. Overnight at hotel. 

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Tiger's Nest Monastery - Paro
  • Maximum Altitude:3,120

Your journey in Bhutan concludes after breakfast and an onward departure transfer to Paro Airport for your international flight. Have a safe journey and see you again. 

  • Accommodation:None
  • Meals:None
  • Place:None
  • Maximum Altitude:None

Inclusion

  • 6/7 day's full board package in Tourist standard Hotel in Bhutan
  • Arrival Pick up and Departure drop from Paro Airport.
  • All land transportation by luxury vehicle, depending upon group size
  • 3 meals a day (Breakfasts, Lunch and Dinners with tea or coffee) during the tour.
  • Accommodation of Hotel during the tour
  • All kind of Permit, National Park entry fee, and movement charge
  • Guide and Private Vehicles will be available for sightseeing as per above Itinerary
  • Escorted English speaking tour guide during the tour period as per Itinerary.
  • Entrance Fees to museum and monuments.
  • Bottle of mineral water during long road drive.
  • Evening tea with snacks
  • All hotel taxes/ service charges
  • Farewell Dinner before departure.
  • Alpine Eco Trek’s service charges
  • All necessary paper works, office Service charge and Government Taxes
  • International and domestic Flight Ticket
  • Alcoholic beverages, Bhutan visa fee & Personal nature expenses
  • Emergency rescue evacuation if required.
  • Personal accident insurance or Helicopter rescue.
  • Nepal entry visa fee, Visa issuance is easy at the arrival
  • Mineral water, laundry, phone calls, internets.
  • Tips, gifts, souvenirs.

Useful Information

Taktsang (also known as Tiger's Nest)  is a temple perched high in the Himalaya mountains of Bhutan. It was originally just a network of caves used for meditation by Padma Sambhava, the man who brought Buddhism to Bhutan. 

Visa for Bhutan

Your passport must have at least 6 months’ validity. You will also make sure that you have an additional page for a visa for Bhutan, as well as space for the visas for any countries you are visiting en route. If you need to get a new passport please do so well before your planned trip so that there is no delay in applying for your Bhutanese visa. The visa is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within Bhutan as Bhutan has very few embassies abroad. No foreign missions abroad grant Bhutan tourist visas. You may apply in advance through a tour operator such as Alpine Eco Trek and receive confirmation that your application has been approved before you travel to Bhutan.

We recommend you apply early for the visa because the process takes a little more time than a normal visa application. Once you send your personal information, Alpine Eco Trek submits your application first to the Department of Tourism (DOT) and then to the Foreign Ministry, both based in Thimphu. The visa is not issued until the DOT has checked that the tour payment has been received into its bank account. The confirmation and reference number then sent to Alpine Eco Trek and a copy will be sent to you. You have to show this at the check-in desk for Druk Air. You cannot board the Druk Air flight without this document so it is very important to have it along with your passport.

Upon your arrival in the country, either at Paro Airport or at Phuentsholing/Samdrup Jonkhar (if you are entering by road) the actual visa is stamped on the passport. At this time at the place of entry you have to present a passport photo with your passport number written on the back and pay the visa fee, directly to the immigration officer. The going rate is US$50 cash. Before departing for Bhutan you have to prepare the cash in advance. Please keep in mind that the visa is issued for exactly the same number of days and dates as booked by you. If circumstances arise for a visa extension once you are in Bhutan it can be arranged.

Customs

The Bhutanese authorities strictly monitor the export of any religious antiquities or antiques of any kind from the Kingdom. Personal videos, cameras, personal computers, portable telephones or any other electronic device should be registered with the customs authorities on arrival at Paro and will be checked by the same on departure.

Accommodations in Bhutan

There is no star categorization of hotels in Bhutan but five-star standard accommodations are also available in Bhutan. We at Alpine Eco Trek provide the best hotels available. There are comfortable hotels built in traditional design at all tourist destinations. Read more about hotels in Bhutan

Meals in Bhutan 

Traditional Bhutanese food is hot and spicy. For our visitors, however, Chinese, Indian, and Continental fares are also served. The more adventurous can try hot Bhutanese dishes. Meals are normally served buffet style in the hotels but you can always order your own meals of your choice at all the restaurants and hotels.

Bhutan Cuisine & Food:

  • Cucumbers with Onion and Cheese 
  • The Bhutanese serves soothing side dishes like this one to temper pepper laden entrees. 
  • Buckwheat Dumpling with Bok Choy & Poppy Seed 
  • The spicy filling provides a sharp contrast to the subtle flavor of the pasta
  • Buckwheat Noodles with Egg Strips and Scallion 
  • Tossing the noodles with egg, scallion, and tomato gives this delicious dish a shot of color.

Climate in Bhutan

Temperatures vary according to elevation. Temperatures in Thimphu, located at 2,200 meters above sea level in west-central Bhutan, range from approximately 15° C to 26° C during the monsoon season of June through September but drop to between about -4° C and 16° C in January. Most of the central portion of the country experiences a cool, temperate climate year-round. In the south, a hot, humid climate helps maintain a fairly even temperature range of between 15° C and 30° C year-round, although temperatures sometimes reach 40° C in the valleys during the summer.

Time Difference 

Bhutan is 6 hours ahead of GMT and 15 minutes ahead of Nepal.

Transportation in Bhutan

The country has a fairly good internal road network, measuring about 3,200 km. The main routes consist of an east-west highway and four north-south highways. The road network connects all dzongkhags and 16 dungkhags. Major towns and villages are also connected by motor roads. However, some areas can only be reached by mule tracks, foot trails, cantilever and suspension bridges.

Social Conventions

The lifestyle, manners, and customs of the Bhutanese are in many respects unique to the area. The strongest influence on social conventions is the country's state religion, and everywhere one can see the reminders of Buddhism and the original religion of Tibet, Bonism. There are no rigid clan systems and equal rights exist between men and women. The majority of the Bhutanese live an agrarian lifestyle.

Major Bhutan Holidays  

Nov 11th, Birthday of HM Jigme Singye Wangchuck
Dec 17, National Day of Bhutan

Photography in Bhutan

The photography opportunities on the trip are immense. Carry plenty of films and batteries. Photo-shops in Bhutan does not sell equipment or accessories. Places to photography in Bhutan 

Travel Insurance 

TO protect against unforeseen accidents and mishaps, we advise you to have a travel insurance policy from your country. Alpine Eco Trek regrets the unavailability of such policies in Bhutan. 

Currency in Bhutan 

Currency used is 1 Ngultrum (NU), broken into 100 chetrums (Ch). The Ngultrum is pegged to the Indian Rupee (which is also accepted as legal tender). Notes are in denominations of NU100, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are in denominations of NU1, and 100, 50, 25, 10 and 5 chetrum. Leading foreign currencies are accepted but travelers' cheques are preferred as the exchange rates are better. These can be exchanged in any Bank of Bhutan branches or at all BTCL hotels. You are advised to carry your money in the form of Traveler's Checks (preferably American Express) OR cash (US Dollar) which might be needed for incidental expenses.

Banks in Bhutan do not accept credit cards. Visa Card and American Express credit cards are accepted in a few shops. No other credit card is accepted so far. 

Communications in Bhutan 

Bhutan country code is + 975. Telephone communication is very reliable. Free Wi-Fi, Internet service is available in every tourist lodge/hotel as well as in town Cafes at cheaper rates.

Night Club in Bhutan 

Thimphu has around five licensed night clubs that operate on a weekly basis, on Saturday night and some of them on Wednesday as ladies' night.

Tipping in Bhutan 

Small gifts, such as pictures or objects from your home country, are appreciated. For guides, drivers, cooks, and porters on tours and treks, cash is appropriate, as is clothing or items you wish to give.

Shopping in Bhutan 

Traditional handicrafts, textiles, jewelry, baskets, and masks. Paintings and woodcarving make good buys. The Handicraft Emporium is a nice place to shop, located on the main street of Bhutan's capital city. It is open daily except for Sunday and offers a magnificent assortment of hand-woven and handcrafted goods.

Equipment for Bhutan Tour

Casual clothes are fine. Use a layering system, starting with thermal underwear and adding a shirt, pile jacket, and windbreaker or parka as necessary. 

  • Backpack
  • Woolen/Cotton trousers (warm clothes for mornings and evenings)
  • Down jacket (wind stopper) - especially for higher altitudes 
  • T-shirts or long-sleeved shirts (not sleeveless) • Sandals or flip flops 
  • Sun hat 
  • Comfortable shoes (sneakers) 
  • Pairs of socks and vests 
  • Torch (flashlight) 
  • Sunglasses, spare glasses and contact lenses
  • Sunscreen lotion 
  • Insect repellent cream and your personal medical kit
  • Thermal underwear and long jorns will be of essential use

You will be outside a lot, and much of this time is at altitudes above 2,500 m (7,800 ft); so there is plenty of sun and wind. Bring a supply of sun cream and some lip protection, such as Blistex; these items are not available in Bhutan.

Essential extras 

  • Be sure to carry earplugs (and spares) to reduce the noise from the barking dogs at night. The Bhutanese are Buddhists and do not euthanize or pound stray dogs.
  • There are occasional electric outages throughout the country; so you should always keep a torch (flashlight) beside your bed. You will also need while visiting some monuments and monasteries as some monasteries do not have electricity in order to protect the artworks and paintings.
  • Carry a pair of sunglasses (as protection from high altitude glare).
  • A Swiss army knife has many uses, such as cutting cheese and opening bottles. 
  • You will also want a small rucksack or backpack to carry your camera, water bottle and other essentials in the vehicle and when you are hiking or visiting monuments.

Tours Booking 

  • Tours must be booked through a recognized Bhutanese Tour Operator such as Alpine Eco Trek, with entire land arrangements provided by one and the same operator.
  • For cultural tours, booking arrangements must be completed 60 days in advance, but for cultural tours during festivals, arrangements must be completed 90 days in advance. The spring and autumn festivals are our prime times for tourism; if the booking is not done early it can be difficult to confirm flights and hotels.
  • Booking arrangements should be completed at least 90 days in advance for trekking groups, as this activity requires a lot of detailed planning. Alpine Eco Trek offers you a choice of the most excellent and finest organized holiday experiences in the entire Himalayas.

Need Customize This Trip?

If the above itinerary could not meet your needs and requirements, we can design a tailor-made itinerary to suit your needs. It is also possible to combine with some other activities such as white water rafting, hiking tours, and wildlife safari in Nepal or Tibet tours and Mount Kailash tours.

Client Reviews

Ram Kumar Adhikari
Talk to Leader
Mr. Ram Kumar Adhikari

+977 98510 36 844 (Call/Whatsapp/Viber/skype)