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Paro, Punakha / Himalayan Explorer with COMO Uma

A seven night journey that will take you to the heart of the ethereal kingdom of Bhutan. From the gravity defying Tiger’s Nest monastery to the temple of the Divine Madman, this journey combines spectacular drives, unique nature walks, and fascinating monastery visits. Stay four nights at Uma Paro and three at Uma Punakha, journey deep into the Kingdom’s heartland exploring three distinctly different but important valleys; the bustling capital of Thimphu in a valley dotted with monuments, museums and markets; the almost tropical Punakha valley with its magnificent Dzongs; and the emerald valley of Paro with its rice paddies and ancient temples.

from £5045pp

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 Excludes international flights, exludes flights to Paro.
  • Accommodation for four nights at Uma Paro and three nights at Uma Punakha on a full board basis (excluding beverages) which includes picnic lunches during excursion days
  • Six and a half day privately guided walks with picnic lunch taking in the highlights of the Punakha, Thimpu and Paro Valleys
  • All museum and visitor centre entry fees and road permits
  • The services of an experienced English-speaking Bhutanese Uma Paro guide
  • One COMO Shambhala Massage (60 minutes) per person
  • Private airport transfers and transport in Bhutan
  • Complimentary scheduled one-hour daily Yoga class whilst at Uma Paro (except Sundays)
  • Complimentary use of the library, internet facilities, swimming pool, steam room and gym at Uma Paro

More about our prices
Nights 7

Paro, Punakha /Itinerary

Himalayan Explorer with COMO Uma

7nights

Day /1

Uma By Como, Paro

On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be transfered to COMO Uma, Paro for a short ten minute transfer. After settling in your first foray into the Kingdom, your journey begins with sightseeing in Paro town and a visit to a local temple. The afternoon provides an opportunity to acclimatise to the rarefied air at this altitude and to get to know your guide, who will offer some additional sightseeing options for the rest of the day depending on your interests and energy levels. (D)

COMO Uma, Paro

Day /2

Uma By Como, Phunakha

Uma By Como, Phunakha

The capital Thimphu itself sprawls up the wooded western hillside of the Wang Chhu and is the centre of government, religion and commerce. Drive to the town viewpoint at the Big Buddha statue. If time permits to visit Thimphu, the sightseeing begins with a tour which may include some of the following National Memorial Chorten, Trashi Chhoe Dzong, Folk Heritage Museum. The drive onto Punakha is truly awe-inspiring as it zigzags up to the 3,140m-high mountain pass of Dochu La with its forests of fluttering prayer flags, maze of memorial chortens and, on a clear day, sweeping views of the main Himalayan range. Your stay for three nights, COMO Uma, Punakha. (FB)

COMO Uma, Punakha

Day /3

Punakha Valley

Punakha Valley

A full day for exploring of the scenic Punakha Valley, which at 1,200m is low enough to allow bananas and oranges to grow. On the morning walk discover whitewashed homesteads and farmland to Khamsum Yuley Namgay Chorten, a shrine recently built by the royal family. Head down along the riverside the massive architectural edifice of the 17th-century Punakha Dzong soon looms into view. In the afternoon a short walk across rice paddies will bring you to Chimmi Lhakhang, a fertility temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, a Tibetan Buddhist saint known popularly as the Divine Madman. The temple sits atop a picturesque hill surrounded by rice fields. Drukpa Kuenley built a chorten on the site in the 14th century,and it has long been a pilgrimage site for couples hoping to start a family. (FB)

Day /4

Punakha Valley

Punakha Valley

After breakfast drive to Chorten Nibu, which dates back to 18th Century; the Chorten is a little known treasure with a magnificent statue of Maitreya (the Future Buddha) and fine images of the great lamas of the Drukpa Lineage. This magical spot was once a dense forest inhabited by evil spirits. The great oak tree outside the monastery is said to have grown out of the blazing log that the Divine Madman threw and interestingly, its bark is still black from where it was burnt. In 2005 the Monastery began to house orphans from the nearby village and founded a small Buddhist educational institution for these monks, a place where the children can study both traditional Buddhist scriptures and texts, and also learn Western subjects too. The hike back to Uma Punakha is around 45 minutes and passes through a Khabasa village and past Thodrup lhakhang. (FB)

Day /5

Punakha Valley to Paro

Punakha Valley to Paro

Time to retrace your steps over the Dochu La for a second view of the wonderful Himalayan range. Returning to the Chuzum catch a glimpse of the three shrines in Nepali, Tibetan and Bhutanese style which were built to ward off evil spirits near the checkpoint. Time permitting the journey can be broken with a visit to Tamchhu Lhakhang built by Thangtong Gyalpo, the so-called Iron Bridge Builder. On the final leg the road snakes alongside the Pa Chhu river, through apple orchards and rice paddies, past quaint homesteads to COMO Uma, Paro. Spend the rest of the day relaxing around the property, enjoying the facilities or trying an activity like the Bhutanese national sport of archery or a traditional Bhutanese Hot Stone Bath. (FB)

COMO Uma, Paro

Day /6

Paro Town, Zurig Dzong, Rinpung Dzong, Drukgyel Dzong

Paro Town, Zurig Dzong, Rinpung Dzong, Drukgyel Dzong

Walk to Zurig Dzong, Rinpung Dzong, Ta Dzong, Paro town, Kyichu Lhakhang and Drukgyel Dzong. Wind through pine forests high above Uma Paro to the pretty grounds of the fortress-like monastery of Zurig Dzong. Traverse across to Ta Dzong, home to Bhutan’s National Museum, with magnificent views over Paro, and on down to Rinpung Dzong (Fortress on a Heap of Jewels). The trail then leads across Paro Chhu via the traditional covered bridge Nyamai Zam, and then past the main archery ground, Ugyen Pelri Palace and into Paro town. Driving a few kilometres north of Paro, pay your respects at Kyichu Lhakhang; one of the oldest temples in Bhutan with its magical orange tree that bears fruit all year round. (FB)

Day /7

Highlights of Paro Valley

Highlights of Paro Valley

One of the most amazing and important pieces of architecture in Bhutan is Taktsang Goemba, or Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Legend has it that this cliffside was where Guru Rinpoche landed on the back of a flying tigress, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan from Tibet. An early start this morning ascending to Tiger’s Nest viewpoint., head further up to several remote temples and monasteries. Returning to COMO Uma, Paro in the afternoon there’s time to relax and enjoy the facilities including the steam rooms, swimming pool or a Bhutanese Hot Stone Bath. (FB)

Day /8

Leave Bhutan

Depart Bhutan early morning to Paro International Airport (B)

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