Bhutan Gateway Travels

Bumthang Ura Festival


The Bumthang Ura Festival, held in Bhutan, is a vibrant celebration of traditional culture. It features masked dances, religious rituals, and a gathering of locals in colorful attire. This festival offers a deep insight into Bhutan’s spiritual heritage and brings communities together in joyous reverence.

April 11 Arrive at Paro

paro airport

On arrival you will be greeted by Bhutan Gateway Travel and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon drive to Drugyal Dzong (a ruined fortress – 16kms from Paro town). Although in ruins, this Dzong is of great historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the peak of Mount Jumolhari (“Mountain of Goddess”) can be seen on a clear day. In the evening you can explore Paro town.


Overnight in Paro.

April 12 Paro to Thimphu (2-hour drive)


After breakfast you can visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong. It was built in 1646 and now houses government offices and religious institutions, as do all the dzongs (forts) currently. You will visit the National Museum, formerly the watchtower for the dzong. It now houses a collection of fine arts, paintings, thankas, statues, and antiques. You can then visit Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. In the afternoon you will drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. The drive to Thimphu is along a winding road following the Paro and Thimphu rivers.


Overnight in Thimphu.

April 13 Thimphu sightseeing

Memorial Chorten, Thimphu

After breakfast you will visit the King’s Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), Changgangkha Monastery, the radio tower (for a great view of Thimphu Valley and the Thimphu Dzong), and the Takin reserve, which contains the national animal of Bhutan. From there you will visit the nunnery temple, the National Library (which houses ancient manuscripts), and the School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school). After a relaxing lunch, you will visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, a traditional paper factory, the majestic Tashichodzong, and Simtokha Dzong (the oldest fortress in the kingdom).


Overnight in Thimphu.

April 14 Day hike Tango and Cheri monasteries

buddhist tempal

After breakfast you will drive 12km north of Thimphu to hike to Tango and Cheri monasteries. It will take about 45 minutes to hike to the monastery. Tango Monastery is a Buddhist college, and it’s the residence of the Desi Tenzin Rabgye, a young boy who is the reincarnation of the 16th-century monk who built Tango. Afterward, if you wish, you can wander through Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Park.


Overnight in Thimphu.

April 15 Thimphu - Wangduephodrang (3-hour drive)


After breakfast you will drive to Wangduephodrang, with a stop en route for tea at Dochu La (3,100 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. After lunch you will drive to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan, and visit Punakha Dzong, which is noteworthy both for being one of the most beautiful dzongs in Bhutan and also for having been built by the first Shabdrung in 1637. On the way back from Punakha, you will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lakhang, which is a fertility temple.


Overnight in Wangduephodrang.


April 16 Wangduephodrang - Trongsa (5-hour drive)


You will begin the day by driving to Gantey. You’ll pass through dense forests of oak trees and rhododendrons and arrive at Gantey village, where you’ll visit Gantey Gompa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan. From Gantey, you can see the picturesque Black Mountain range as well as Phobjika Valley, the winter habitat of the black-necked cranes. From there you’ll head to Trongsa, the ancestral home of the royal family. The route is along a spectacular winding road, crossing 3,300-meter-high Pele La, and at certain times of year it’s possible to see yaks. You can browse through the Trongsa shops and town in the afternoon.


Overnight in Trongsa.

April 17 Trongsa - Bumthang (3-hour drive)

bhutan village

In the morning you’ll visit Trongsa Dzong, the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture, and you’ll also see Ta Dzong, the watchtower built to defend this dzong. After lunch, you’ll proceed to Bumthang, the religious heartland of the nation, with lush valleys and hilly forests. Along the way you will stop at a yethra (textile weaving) factory, where the yethras are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang, and you can even watch some of the weavers at their looms. You can spend the evening strolling through Bumthang town.


Overnight in Bumthang.

April 17 Bumthang sightseeing

bhutanese food

After breakfast you will visit the following places:

  • Jakar Dzong (fortress)
  • Jambey Lhakhang (one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan)
  • Kurjey Lhakhang (temple of Guru Rinpoche’s body print)
  • Tamshing Lhakhang (see old Buddhist paintings)
  • Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake)
  • Short hike to Thangbi Monastery in the afternoon

You can spend the evening exploring Bumthang town.


Overnight in Bumthang.

April 19 Day hike to Petsheling monastery


Today you will hike to Petsheling Monastery, It is located about three hours’ hiking distance above the Swiss Guesthouse on a steep incline. It offers fine panoramic views of the central Bumthang valley. You can also hike beyond the monastery across the ridge and feel the spirit of the mountains and monastery. In the evening you can relax in the town. Overnight in Bumthang.


Overnight in Bumthang.

April 20 Bumthang Ura Festival

bhutan mask dance

Today you will attend the Ura Festival. At the festival you will get to see Bhutanese from around the area gathered in all their finest clothing. There will be mask dances, music, feasting, and religious blessings. It is an exciting tradition to witness.


Overnight in Bumthang.

April 21 Bumthang – Wangdue (6/7 hour drive)

prayer wheel

You’ll begin the day at the Bumthang market, and then drive to Wangduephodrang, where you can stroll through the town and visit the shops. The nearby villages are known for their slate and stone carvings and bamboo work.


Overnight in Wangduephodrang.

April 22 Wangduephodrang – Thimphu (3-hour drive)

buddhist tempal

In the morning you will drive back to Thimphu and you will have free time in the afternoon.

Overnight in Thimphu.

April 23 Thimphu to Paro (Tiger's Nest Monastery)


In the morning you will drive to Paro and in the afternoon you will hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. The hike to reach the viewpoint to the monastery makes for a nice half-day excursion.

In the evening you can visit a traditional farmhouse and, if you wish, enjoy a typical Bhutanese dinner and a hot stone bath at a farm house.


Overnight in Paro.

April 23 Depart Paro


All that starts well must end well. In the morning your guide will accompany you to the Paro International Airport to see you off onto your flight and wish you Tashi Delek (Goodbye and Good luck).

Price Includes

Price Excludes

FAQ related to visa

Your visa will be taken care by Bhutan Gateway Travel. You are requested to email us a clear valid passport with validity of six months or more prior to your visit to Bhutan.

Once approved, Bhutan Gateway Travel will email you the electronic visa (e-visa) approved by the Department of Immigration. You will print and hand carry a copy of the approved e-visa.

In case of emergency, based on the merit of the case, we will pursue with the relevant authority and get it extended. However, under normal circumstances, it is not possible to get the visa extended.

Three to five government working days.

FAQ related to SDF

The new SDF of US$100 per person per day will become effective from 1 September 2023.

The new SDF shall remain effective for four years until 31 August 2027.

Any guest who already paid the SDF for their upcoming visit to Bhutan is eligible for a refund of the excess SDF amounts paid.

When applying for a visa to enter Bhutan, you will need to pay the SDF. Visas can be applied for at the Department of Tourism’s website.

No, the incentives introduced in June 2023 have been revoked and are no longer applicable. However, the 24-hour SDF waiver for border towns in Bhutan remains valid.