Eleven-day Birding Tour

himalyan monalZhemgang can be rightly called the birding paradise of Bhutan for the number of exotic birds we spot here. Here we see some endangered birds like rufous-necked hornbill, beautiful nuthatch, and Ward’s trogon.
Day 1
Arrive in Paro
Our company guide will receive you at the Paro International Airport and transfer you to the hotel. If you arrive early, you will be taken to a local sightseeing tour. We will visit the National Museum – locally known as Taa Dzong or the Watch Tower – Rinpung Dzong and some other places of historical importance. Towards late afternoon you may like to walk along Paro town, which has a number of handicraft items for sale.
Day 2
Chelela Pass
Today, we leave early in the morning to Chelela Pass. We have our picnic breakfast at the pass. This pass between Paro and Haa valleys, at an elevation of 3,988 metres above the sea level, provides a spectacular view of the valleys below. If the sky is clear, Mt. Jomolhari and Jichudrake can be seen from here. The pass is colourfully forested with prayer flags. Our guide will explain to you the significance of prayer flags. Here we may spot colourful Himalayan monal, blood pheasants, kalij pheasants, grosbeaks, bullfinches, and cutia.
We then descend back to Paro town and take a rest for a while. After lunch, we will take you for a cultural and religious tour. Just a short trip north of Paro is Kyichu Monastery built in the 7th century. This historic temple was built as part of construction of 108 temples by a Tibetan dharma king to subdue a demoness. Two such temples were constructed in Bhutan. The other one is Jampa Lhakhang in Bumthang. Our guide will explain to you the significance of these monasteries in Bhutan.
Day 3
Halt in Thimphu
After breakfast we drive to Cheri towards north, which is 15 km from Thimphu. At Cheri, from where Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park starts, we may spot spotted laughing thrush, fire-capped tit, golden-breasted fulvetta, yellow-backed flower packer, and maroon-backed accentor. We will have picnic lunch at Cheri. We will make several stopovers en route.
After lunch, we will have a sightseeing tour of Thimphu. We will visit the popular Memorial Choeten, the traditional weaving centre, the heritage museum, the Bhutanese paper factory, and the post office. The post office sells stamps with birds pictured on them.
Dinner and overnight stay are arranged in Thimphu.
Dinner and overnight stay is arranged in Thimphu.
Day 4
Thimphu to Punakha
Today, we start early in the morning. The road to Punakha passes across Dochula Pass which is 3,150 m above sea level. We will stopover here for a while and enjoy the spectacular views of Jigme Singye Wangchuck mountain ranges. There are 108 stupas built at this pass which adds beauty to the already magnificent mountain pass.
On the way to Punakha we may spot: Gold-naped finch, rufous-breasted bush robin, satyr tragopan, slender-billed scimitar babbler, and tree creeper. From Dochula, we descend to Lobesa where we will have our lunch. After lunch, we visit Chimi Lhakhang, which is 25 minutes hike from the road point. Also known as fertility monastery, this lhakhang built by Tibetan Lama Ngawang Chogyal, is today associated with his cousin Lama Drukpa Kinley, popularly known as Divine Madman. This temple is believed to bless childless couples with fertility.
After the temple visit, we drive to Punakha. In Punakha, we visit the magnificent dzong. This dzong was built by the founder of Bhutan, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, in 1637. Built in the confluence of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu, this dzong was the winter capital of Bhutan in the past.
Dinner and overnight stay are arranged in a hotel in Punakha.
Day 5
Punakha to Trongsa
As we drive east from Punakha and Wangdi, the road gets narrower. However, we will enjoy the constant change in the vegetation. Because of different vegetation cover, a variety of birds is spotted here. Some of them which we may spot on the way to Trongsa are: Blood pheasant, yellowish-billed bush warbler, great parrot bill, white-winged grosbeak, fire-tailed myzornis, and maroon-backed accentor. As we pass across Pelela Pass, our guide will explain to you the importance of mountain passes in Bhutan.
If we arrive early in Trongsa, we will visit the Trongsa Dzong and Taa Dzong Museum above it. This dzong is historically important to Bhutan. It was the seat of Trongsa Penlop before the institution of Monarchy, a century ago. Bhutan’s crown prince still assumes the role of Trongsa Penlop before becoming the King.
Dinner and overnight stay are arranged in Trongsa.
Day 6
Trongsa to Zhemgang
Today, we drive south-east to Zhemgang from Trongsa. We carry our packed lunch. On the way to Zhemgang, among others, we may spot chestnuts breasted partridge, ward’s trogon, rufous-necked hornbill and great horn bill, blue-napped pitta, blue-fronted robin, wedge-billed and bar-winged wren babblers.
We will have dinner and overnight stay in a tent in Zhemgang.
Day 7
Zhemgang to Tingtibi
Today, we explore the birds of Zhemgang until Tingtibi. Tingtibi is said to be another habitat of the white-belled heron.
Dinner and overnight stay will be arranged in a tent in Tingtibi.
Day 8
Tingtibi to Trongsa
In the morning, we drive back to Trongsa. We will have a picnic lunch at a convenient place. We will make several stopovers whenever we spot birds.
Dinner and overnight stay in Trongsa will be arranged in a hotel.
Day 9
Trongsa to Wangdi
With limited stopovers, we will complete Trongsa-Wangdi journey in about five hours. We will stop for lunch at Nobding in a local restaurant. We will have dinner and overnight stay in a hotel in Wangdi.
Day 10
Wangdi to Paro
After breakfast, we will drive to Paro via Thimphu. Lunch will be arranged in a hotel in Thimphu. If there is time, we will go for sightseeing. After lunch, we will drive to Paro that will take about 90 minutes. We will reach Paro early today. There will be enough time for last minute shopping in Paro.
Day 11
Paro town to airport
Our driver and guide will drop you to the airport to catch your flight back home. The guide will see you off with a traditional silk scarf.