Arrival in Punakha
Today you’ll travel to the Chelela Pass at 3,000m. At the top you can have a quick lunch break and soak up the spirit of the snowy Himalayan peaks. The climate is milder in the Punakha Valley and instead of pine forests, you’ll find fruit trees and vast rice fields. You’ll stay in a hotel, just outside the town. You could spend the afternoon taking a stroll to the Temple of the Divine Madman, in honour of a Tibetan monk who had a very unorthodox way of teaching Buddhism…
From Punakha to Homestay
After breakfast on you’ll have some time to explore the village of Punakha. Take a walk along the banks of the river past the mighty Dzong. The colourful towers and white walls of this characteristic building form a striking contrast to the emerald green scenery and the turquoise rivers. This area is perfect for growing rice due to the large volumes of melt water from the mountain glaciers.
Here you’ll find the rarest rice in the entire world; red rice, harvested only once a year. After lunch, you’ll travel into Bhutan’s countryside, arriving at a local bed & breakfast late in the afternoon. This is where you’ll spend the night. The accommodation is simple and functional and you’ll have your own private room. This is a real opportunity to get a glimpse of Bhutanese village life.
Departure from Homestay
For breakfast you can enjoy a typical Bhutanese meal (likely containing chillies as they’re grown widely in this area). After breakfast you could take a hike through the valleys, across rice fields and a small uphill stretch to the road. Here your driver can wait to take you to your next destination.
Optional Day/Overnight Trip - Hot Springs
In Bhutan, hot springs are found all over the country and just a 3 hours drive from Punakha lies the Gasa hot springs. On arrival, you’ll take a walk to the springs located on the valley floor. This is a place for you to relax but the springs are also known for their healing powers. They’re believed to cure rheumatism, arthritis, ulcers, indigestion and even skin diseases! You can spend the day here or stay overnight in the local guesthouse – just let your travel specialist know.
A peek at your accommodation