Nothing can prepare you for Bhutan. It possesses an indescribable magic. The temples that seem to challenge the heights of the Himalaya. The people rooted in history and yet changing with the times. It's not Shangri-La—it's more real than that, balancing the modern with the ancient. It's what you've pictured and what you couldn't have imagined.
1 Our Bhutanese guides open doors normally closed to foreigners | Hike above Paro to a seldom visited temple and behold fantastic views of Paro Dzong, a massive monastic fortress built to commemorate a 1644 victory over the Tibetans | Peruse handicrafts in Paro's tiny traditional shops.
2-3 Pedal amid breathtaking valleys brimming with history and culture | Dochula Pass dazzles with panoramas of snowcapped Himalayan peaks | Ethereal villages and rice paddies enliven your ride to Punakha Valley | Engage with monks in between their meditations | Hike to Chorten Nebu, a remote 14th-century temple accessible only by foot and rarely visited by international travelers.
4-5 Immerse yourself in an ancient landscape with daily rituals steeped in spirituality | Raft down Punakha's Po Chhu to exquisite riverside Punakha Dzong, Bhutan's 300-year-old lofty winter capital | Feast your eyes on vibrant Bhutanese painting, sculpture and textile arts in Thimphu, the capital city | Curious about Buddhism? Our historian will enlighten you | Tackle the steep but stunning walk to Tango Goemba, a 17th-century monastery.
6-8 Trek beneath a rainbow of prayer flags to otherworldly Taktsang Monastery, or Tiger's Nest, the holiest site in Bhutan | Climb an ancient path to the Taktsang teahouse, situated at 9,200 feet and offering superb views of the valley and cliff-hanging monastery.