14-night journey

A 14-night journey

This 14-night adventure takes in all five Amankora lodges – Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey and Bumthang – providing an odyssey of discovery that will reveal not only the Kingdom’s most beautiful scenes and iconic sites, but also the spirit of its people and their enviable culture.

Follow the rising sun as you explore east over mountain passes, discovering the wonders of the capital Thimphu, practicing archery on the banks of the Mo Chhu River, and pausing in awe at the majestic Gangtey Goemba. Hike through pine forests and taste the delights of fertile Bumthang Valley before flying back west to Paro, where the clifftop Tiger’s Nest awaits. ​

Your journey includes

  • Accommodation at Amankora Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang and Paro lodges​
  • All meals and picnics en route to Amankora lodges​
  • House Beverages ​
  • All special sustainable travel and community experiences
  • Activities, hikes and visits as stated in the programme
  • Private English-speaking guide, driver and vehicle for the entire journey
  • Roundtrip airport transfers, laundry and wifi
  • Monument passes and long road permits

Start of journey

Amankora, Bhutan - Experience, Excursion, Thimphu Traditional Thangka painting amankora-bhutan-exterior-thimphu-lodge-suites-courtyard.jpg

Day 1 & 2


Upon arrival at Amankora Thimphu, you will have time to settle before exploring the Textile Museum, the Weaving Centre, the Buddha Dordenma and the National Memorial Chorten. Depending on your arrival time, you may also have time to visit the Institute for Traditional Medicine, the School of the 13 Arts, the Folk Heritage Museum and Simply Bhutan.

On Day 2, a short morning hike will take you to Cheri Goemba monastery. On the way back, pay a visit to the 16th-century Pangri Zampa, which now houses a monastic training school for astrologers. Back in town, explore the capital’s cottage industries, from traditional paper making to hand rolled incense; browse Himalayan artefacts along the main street; and make your own stamp at the post office. At weekends you can visit the Craft Bazaar or vegetable markets. After lunch, head to the north end of the valley to visit the Tashi Chhoe Dzong, the seat of Bhutan’s government and royal offices. As the sun sets, take a stroll past the Takin animal sanctuary for a beautiful view over Thimphu Valley. 

Dochula Pass - Amankora, Bhutan

Day 3 & 4


After a hearty breakfast, hike to Phajoding (elevation: 2,800m) located on the hill overlooking the entire Thimphu Valley from the west. It is a steep climb, taking about 3½ hours up and about two hours down, passing through wooded areas of chir pine and rhododendron. 

Depart early the next morning, driving over the mountain pass of Dochu La and on to the Punakha Valley. Sights on the way include one of Bhutan’s first fortress monasteries, the 17th-century Simtokha Dzong, and ancient wall paintings at the Hongtsho Goemba Monastery. After a stop for a picnic lunch, continue on to Punakha. On the way there, you can visit Chimi Lhakhang, the auspicious fertility monastery built in 1499, to which many couples come to pray for pregnancy and receive a wang (blessing) from the saint with the ‘magic thunderbolt of wisdom’.

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Day 5 & 6


Start the morning with a hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a stunning monument built by the Bhutanese Queen Mother and consecrated in 1999. A popular option for lunch or dinner is the Private Riverside BBQ. Just below the lodge, guests sit in the shade of pine trees and enjoy the sounds of the river, views of rice fields and mountain peaks, and the aromas of food sizzling on the charcoal grill. In the afternoon, try your hand at archery, Bhutan’s national sport. 

Begin the next day with a visit to Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhan, a hilltop nunnery, approximately 15 minutes by car from the lodge. Perched on a ridge amid pine trees, it overlooks the valleys of Toebesa, Punakha and Wangduephodrang. Later, choose to explore Wangduephodrang Valley with its distant views of Wangdue Dzong. Alternatively, you may further explore Punakha Valley on foot or by car or bicycle, including its magnificent suspension bridge.​


Gangtey Monastery & Village - Amankora, Bhutan

Day 7 & 8


The drive to Gangtey takes around 2.5 hours, initially following the Mo Chhu River. On arrival you will have time for a stroll through Gangtey Village before visiting the ancient altars and ramparts of the vast Gangtey Goemba, which overlooks the valley. Should the Gangtey Trulku be in residence, an audience for a blessing can be arranged.

​Start the next day by putting on your hiking boots for Gangtey Lodge's Nature Trail Walk or the Tongpushing Hike, or even both, if you'd like to do a complete loop of the valley. ​If time permits, visit the Black Neck Crane Centre. Depending on the season, spend time on the deck to spot these rare birds that migrate from Tibet in winter to breed.​

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Day 9 & 10


After a hearty breakfast, drive 30 minutes towards Trongsa to begin the stunning Longtey Hike. From the trail head, the hike takes you through the rhododendron forest and on reaching the top of the ridge, you will have breathtaking views of the Gangtey Valley beneath. Back at the lodge, enjoy a Potato-Shed Dinner (chargeable activity). Set in a stone hut, enjoy a delicious Bhutanese meal surrounded by hundreds of flickering candles and warmed by a traditional bhukari wood-burning stove. 

On Day 10, embark on the five-hour drive to Bumthang, a journey along the country’s only east-west highway. Following a brief stop at Chendebji Chorten, which according to legend was built to cover the remains of a demon spirit, you will carry on to Trongsa, the original home of the royal family. Here, you can stroll the village and perhaps visit the large Trongsa Dzong. The drive onward to Bumthang takes you over the picturesque Yotong La Pass and down into the Chhume Valley, home of Bhutan’s famous Yathra weaving. ​Upon arrival at the lodge, you will have time to explore our neighbouring palace, Wangdichhoeling, previously home to the second King and renowned for its auspicious prayer wheels.


Day 11 & 12


​Heading up the valley, today you will visit Jambay Lhakhang, home to the early-winter festivals that draw thousands of Bhutanese for their annual blessings; and then the grand Kurjey Lhakhang, once the resting place of Guru Rinpoche and considered one of the country’s most auspicious monuments. A short drive away, enjoy a Bumthap farmhouse lunch, then head back into town and across the Bumthang Chhu to visit the sin-alleviating Tamshing Monastery.​

On Day 12, begin early for an excursion to Tang Valley, a seldom-visited area of temples and monasteries that are truly off the beaten path. En route, stop off at the Burning Lake (Membartsho), where the story goes that Pema Lingpa (a famous Buddhist saint from Tang) had a dream that he dove into the river pool carrying a burning butter lamp in his hand and returned with treasures and the lamp still burning. Guests can also visit the nunnery as well as Ta Rimochen Lhakhang, built by Pema Lingpa in the 14th century, its temple dominated by an enormous rock at which Guru Rinpoche meditated.​

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Day 13 & 14


Today take a domestic flight from Bumthang to Paro. After the scenic 45-minute flight, guests will be driven through the town towards the north end of the valley. Here, Paro lodge lies hidden in pine forest.​ After settling in, visit the National Museum. Here, an intriguing collection of artefacts provides a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. Just a short walk downhill lies the imposing Paro Dzong where one of the most important monastic bodies and cultural treasures reside. After lunch, visit the unique stupa-shaped Dumtse Lhakhang followed by a stroll around Paro’s old town. ​

​In the morning, hike up to view one of Bhutan’s most dramatic monuments, the Taktsang Goemba. More commonly referred to as the Tiger’s Nest, it is built on a sheer cliff face at an altitude of 2,950m (9,678ft). The four-hour trek offers spectacular views of this sacred monastery perched on the rocks, 900m above the valley floor. 

From: US$1,785++ per Suite per night based on double occupancy 

A Continuous Journey

For stays of seven nights or more in any Lodge, or a combination of Lodges, a tailor-made Bhutan itinerary will include complimentary road permits, private transport with a driver and guide, and one 60-minute Spa treatment. To begin your journey, please make an enquiry.*

*Bumthang is not included in journeys of seven to nine nights