Bhutan Trip – Group Travel | Atlas Obscura Trips
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history • 11 days, 10 nights

Festivals and Temples of Bhutan

history • 11 days, 10 nights

Festivals and Temples of Bhutan

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  • Group Size 10 People Maximum
  • Activity Level
  • Travel Style
    Overland Adventure
from $4,235 USD per person
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Traveling with Atlas Obscura during COVID-19

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Learn more about:

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Trip Overview

Nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, the Kingdom of Bhutan is a tiny country home to pristine forests, extraordinary architecture, and rich cultural traditions. Join us as we journey from bustling Thimphu to the Phobjikha Valley, lush with greenery and wildlife, and finally through the small village of Haa. We’ll witness an annual festival and visit ancient dzongs, art studios, incense factories, and nature preserves—meeting artisans, monks, and farmers along the way. Our adventure will culminate with an ascent to the Taktsang Lhakhang, also known as the “Tiger’s Nest”—the striking cliffside Buddhist temple where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for four months.

  • Centuries-old temples and monasteries
  • Conversations with artists, farmers, and spiritual leaders
  • Experience the traditional Thimphu tsechu (festival)
  • Dramatic mountaintop views and natural wonders


Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.

Additional Info


The listed price of the trip is per person based on double occupancy.

Sustainable Development Fee mandated by Bhutan is $2040 per person.

Flights from Bangkok to Paro and return are $950 per person. 

Traveling Solo?

You’re in good company. Solo travelers typically make up about half of our small groups. With curiosity at the center of our experiences, there’s a natural camaraderie that develops over the course of a trip. We have two options for you: 

Shared Room (subject to the latest Covid-19 guidelines): You'll be matched with another solo traveler of the same gender.

Private Room: Have your own room, subject to availability, for a supplemental cost of $550 per personAfter booking your trip, please request a single room when you fill out your traveler information form and we’ll send a separate invoice for the cost.

Activity Level

Travelers should be comfortable walking between three and five miles per day without difficulty, and spending extended periods of time on their feet. For those interested in trekking, there will be opportunities for longer and more challenging hikes on certain days of the trip. Some of the places visited on this trip are extremely remote. It can take days to reach the nearest modern medical facility.  Travelers prone to vertigo are discouraged to do the Suspension bridge walk in Punakha. The Tiger's Nest Hike on Day 11 is a challenging hike that requires uphill trekking and stairs. For those concerned with the difficulty level, there is the option to hike half way at a slower pace and enjoy the view from the cafe at the halfway point. 

If you're uncertain about whether this trip is a good fit, please contact us and we'd be happy to discuss with you further.

Arrival & Departure

The trip begins in Paro, Bhutan on Day 1. Your tour guide will meet you at the Paro airport arrivals area. 

Atlas Obscura will coordinate and book flights from Bangkok to Paro and return on your behalf as part of your entry visa (priced separately).  As flights in and out of Bhutan are prone to schedule changes, we recommend arriving in Bangkok the night before the trip start date.

The trip ends in Paro, Bhutan on Day 11. You will be transferred to the Paro airport to catch your return flight to Bangkok.  We recommend booking outward flights from Bangkok from 10pm onwards.

Entry Requirements

A tourist visa is required for U.S. and Canadian passport holders for entry into Bhutan and must be arranged prior to departure. Atlas Obscura will make all arrangements to obtainyour visa authorization. To obtain this pre-authorization, we require a scanned color copy of your passport and a color copy of a passport photo at least 75 days prior to departure.  In addition to this, proof of insurance covering COVID-19 is also required (any amount).

Elevation, Health, and Safety

The elevations reached on this trip range from approximately 4,000 feet in Punakha to approximately 11,000 feet when crossing the journey's highest pass by road. Travelers should speak with their doctors about appropriate precautions to take, and consider spending an extra night en route to rest and recover from jet lag before continuing on to Bhutan. It's important to bear in mind that high-quality emergency medical care may be a day or more away due to the remoteness of some of the areas we'll visit. 


On this trip, we will be staying mostly in local 3* Bhutanese-style hotels and guesthouses. For the one night in Haa we will be hosted in a local farmstay. Our accommodations here will be comfortable, but rustic, with bedding consisting of mattresses placed on the floor, shared western toilet facilities, and a homecooked meal. While there is running water for washing, separate drinking water, tea, and coffee will be provided. There will be no shower or bathing facilities at the farmstay for this one night.

  • Accommodation throughout the trip at comfortable local hotels, including one local farm stay
  • All meals as described in the itinerary
  • Transportation throughout the trip, including arrival and departure airport transfers in Paro
  • An experienced Trip Leader to accompany you for the duration of the trip as well as special guests throughout
  • Admission to all proposed activities, locations, and events
  • Your Bhutan entry visa
  • 24/7 emergency assistance during your trip, provided by Global Rescue (terms apply)
  • Special access to unique places and extraordinary experiences
  • A curious group of fellow Atlas Obscura travelers!
  • International airfare to and from Bangkok
  • Airfare from Bangkok to Paro and return (Atlas Obscura will book these flights - to be paid separately)
  • Sustainable Development Fee as mandated by Bhutan
  • Pre-and-post trip accommodations in Bangkok
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including most alcoholic beverages
  • Passport and visa fees, if applicable (outside of Bhutan visa arranged through Atlas Obscura)
  • COVID-19 testing requirements as needed
  • Customary gratuities for drivers, restaurants, hotels, and your Trip Leader
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Trip FAQ

Yes, a visa is required for travel to Bhutan, but we will secure it on your behalf. We will require a color copy of your passport at time of booking. 

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Upcoming Departures

  • Sep 29–Oct 9, 2023
    from $4,235
    Few Spots Left
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