Spiritual Enlightenment through Bhutan
Henrietta Loyd invites you to join her on a revitalising Bhutan group tour, focused on escapism, spirituality and wellness.
This remarkable, eight-night exploration of the Kingdom of Bhutan has been meticulously crafted for a small group of like-minded individuals, leaving no stone unturned to ensure that you discover as much of this incredible country (and yourself) as possible.
Enjoy immersion in nature with gorgeous hikes through valleys to hidden monasteries, dzongs (fortresses) and chortens (shrines), plus fascinating excursions to museums and markets. Expect warm greetings from the monks as you discover their culture, then trek to remote villages for a rare glimpse into rural life before trying your hand at archery, the national sport of Bhutan.
Food will also play a central role in this luxury small group trip, with an opportunity prepare Bhutanese delicacies with expert chefs. In a land where pesticides are banned, local produce is by default organic, which allows intense, natural flavours to sing through in every mouthful.
We begin in Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, a unique city offering an unusual fusion of contemporary lifestyle offset by ancient traditions. Our journey continues into the Punakha valley, one of the most glorious and fertile regions in all the Kingdom, rich with lush green pine forests and expansive views of the Eastern Himalayas. We finish in the mesmerizingly beautiful Paro valley, home to a heritage steeped in myths and legends, as well as the spectacular Tiger’s Nest monastery.
This sensational trip has been designed for individuals looking to discover the beauty of Bhutan in ultimate comfort and style, combining stays at charming local lodges and luxury 5-star hotels to ensure our group experiences a diverse taste of the Kingdom.
If you’re looking for exclusive access to the places and people that make Bhutan so enchanting, get in touch and reserve your place on this small group trip today.
10th - 18th October 2023
per person based on two sharingReserve A Spot
SPEAK TO AN EXPERT
What makes this trip spectacular?
Bhutan Small Group Tour Highlights
Special prayer + blessing ceremony
An exclusive prayer ceremony for peace, prosperity and good health has been arranged, led by a team of monks. This will be followed by the Buddhist tradition of lighting butter lamps, a unique and cherished Buddhist tradition that symbolises wisdom and knowledge.
Visits to Bhutanese villages
Quaint Talo village in the Bhutanese countryside is believed to be a blessed site; let the residents show you around as they share their way of life. We will also explore Rinchengang village, one of the oldest in Bhutan, comprising traditional mud houses and surrounded by terraced rice fields.
A final farewell dinner has been arranged at an exclusive venue hidden within the Paro valley for a night of feasting and revelry. This extra-special private outdoor event includes traditional dancing around a roaring bonfire – the perfect way to end your journey in this magical kingdom.
The Journey You Will Take
A revitalising and spiritual journey through the captivating Kingdom of Bhutan
Day by Day Itinerary
Welcome to Bhutan
On your arrival there will be a driver waiting to take you to your first stop on this incredible journey – Thimphu. Marvel at the magnificent architecture en route, including Tamchog Lhakhang, a temple built by the pioneer who introduced suspension bridges into Bhutan. Thimphu is a unique city with an unusual mixture of modern development with ancient traditions. The evening commences with a visit to the Trashichhoedzong, followed by an authentic Bhutanese dinner.
Where you will be staying for two nights
Hotel Druk is simple yet oozes Bhutanese charm, with a rustic design combined with modern amenities. Expect a traditional, deep Bhutanese soaking tub and views that extend across the Thimphu River and the city beyond. Chef Santanu Kundu cooks Chinese, Indian, Thai and Bhutanese delicacies, all of which use the freshest produce available. We love this hotel’s unique character and its authentic, homely atmosphere.
Embark on a glorious nature walk to Cheri Monastery. Steep but serene, once you reach the peak, enjoy spectacular views and a great lunch. Archery is the national sport of Bhutan, which you will experience during a visit to the Changlimithang stadium. Next up is a visit to the Buddha Dordenma, a statue said to emanate peace and happiness. In the afternoon, visit the National Memorial Chorten, for insight into Buddhist philosophy before a stroll around the colourful ‘weekend’ market.
Discover Bhutanese arts and culture with a visit to the Textile Museum, the Postal Museum which showcases an insight into the rare stamps issued over the years, and the National Institute for Zorig Chusum, an institute that teaches the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. Lunch is served at a heritage home before you journey onwards to Punakha valley, with a stop at Wangduephodrang Dzong where your guide will talk you through its fascinating history.
Where you will be staying for three nights
COMO Uma Punakha
Uma Punakha is situated on the western side of the Punakha Valley, perched on a hill overlooking the Mo Chhu river. Rooms are decorated with ‘sheesham’ or wooded furniture and wall paintings by local artisans. Rooms are spacious, the bedlinen is Italian, and the bathrooms are designed with a deep bathtub and separate shower. The restaurant is home to a traditional fireplace and serves wholesome, hearty food, that is full of flavour. We love Uma Punakha for its perfect location, hidden amongst orchards and rice fields, deep in the Himalayas.
Explore Punakha Dzong or ‘the palace of great happiness’, which has served as both a religious and administrative centre of Bhutan in its time. Your guide will describe its history as you wander through the pristine courtyards, before a visit to Chimi Lhakhang, known as the ‘temple of fertility’. Lunch will be served in a traditional farmhouse before a visit to Talo village to interact with the community and witness their peaceful way of life. The final visit of the day is to Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery, offering commanding views over the valley.
Feeling creative? Join a cooking session held at a local restaurant where chefs will teach you how to prepare local Bhutanese delicacies. This is an optional experience that you can include at the time of booking.
Hike to the regal Khamsum Yuelley Namgal Chorten, built to promote peace, stability and harmony through removal of negative forces in an ever-changing world, followed by a picnic lunch on the riverside with magnificent views of the valley. The afternoon is spent in Rinchengang village, one of Bhutan’s oldest and home to a close–knit community that live in traditional mud-houses. Meet the locals and learn about the ancient culture and way of life.
Drive to the mesmerizingly beautiful Paro Valley, the setting of many ancient myths and legends. Lunch is served at a traditional Bhutanese restaurant in a picturesque location, before a visit to Ta Dzong that houses the National Museum, with its extensive collection of antiques and art, plus a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. A short walk leads towards Rinpung Dzong meaning ‘fortress of the heaped jewels’, which your guide will bring to life. Explore at leisure before dinner at the hotel.
Where you will be staying for three nights
COMO Uma Paro
Nestled on a forested hill and handcrafted wood, stone and tiles, we love this hotel as it is effortlessly Bhutanese yet has all the luxuries of a five-star hotel. A COMO Shambhala Retreat, expect has a full range of holistic, Asian inspired treatments, as well as Bhutanese hot stone baths to destress and soothe the body. Dining at Uma Paro is exquisite and filled with bountiful fresh ingredients, with much of the produce grown in the organic kitchen garden or accessed through partnerships with local farmers.
No trip to Bhutan would be complete without a hike to the Taktshang Monastery, famously known as ‘Tigers Nest’, and perched on the side of a cliff some 900 metres above the valley floor. You will hike through dense forest to be greeted with one of the most spectacular views in all of Bhutan, while an expert guide details the history and legends for which the monastery is renowned. A light lunch is served at Taktsang Cafeteria, before an afternoon to make the most of the amenities at your hotel.
Fancy a bit of time to yourself?
We can include a traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath, known as a Dotsho, practiced in Bhutan for centuries as a medicinal soak. This is an optional experience you can include at the time of booking.
Drive the Chele-La Pass
Drive the Chele-La pass, one of the highest motorable passes in Bhutan, which is decorated with hundreds of colourful prayer flags and astonishing views. Expect to see abundant flora – cascades of wild roses, purple and yellow primulas and swathes of deep blue irises – then hike to Kila Goemba, home to Buddhist nuns that have dedicated their life to spiritual enrichment. After an alfresco lunch, return to Paro for a trip to the newly restored Drukgyel Dzong, built in 1646 to commemorate an early military victory over Tibetan invaders. A final farewell dinner to reminisce and make merry rounds off the trip.
This morning, your private driver will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the airport for your return flight home. You will take your lovely memories of this bespoke Nepal and Bhutan tour with you.
Meet Your Host
Henrietta Loyd, of cazenove+loyd will personally host this Bhutan tour. Henrietta founded cazenove+loyd almost 30 years ago and has travelled the globe extensively, hosting many small group trips. She knows exactly how to make the most of every moment and form lifelong friendships. Henrietta alongside her team of Destination Experts are assiduously devising every detail of this fabulous itinerary to Bhutan.
Price: £7,320 / $9,150
Per person based on two sharing. Single supplement cost applies.
- £7,320 /$9,150 Per person based on two sharing
- Single supplement: £3,032/$3,790
- Accommodation, tours, transportation, meals, and transfers as set out in the above itinerary
- All entrance fees to national parks and museums
- Local guides
- Activities as described
- All sightseeing and experiences as per the itinerary.
- Bhutan Visa fee
- Sustainable Development Fee in Bhutan ($200 per person per night)
- Monastery Donations
- All government taxes
- International flights
- Alcoholic beverages
- Spa + massage treatments
- Optional activities as outlined in the above itinerary
- Increase in VAT or other tourism taxes, which may occur at any time.
- Excess baggage charges, departure fees and airport taxes.
- Gratuities for guides, drivers and hotel services
- Telephone, laundry, or any personal items
- Travel insurance
- Entrance fees when you are not travelling with our guide
- Any surcharge levied on payment by Credit Cards
- Any changes you may choose to make during your holiday
Email [email protected]
What You Need to Know
The Benefits of Small Group Travel
Our hand-picked specialists, guides and leaders ensure unrivalled insider access that you wouldn't normally be able to achieve unless you were travelling as a group, allowing guests to experience the destination in a very special way.
Small group travel gives you an amazing opportunity to spend time with true experts in their field. Each trip is accompanied by a cazenove+loyd Destination Expert– as well as top specialists, guides, and leaders.
DESIGNED BY EXPERTS
Each Small Group Trip is hand-crafted by one of our Destination Experts. Using their passion, knowledge, and curiosity for a destination they create a bespoke journey that showcases the wonders of the place you’re visiting.
MAKE NEW CONNECTIONS
Our Small Group Trips often form the beginning lifelong friendships. Much of the journey is spent as a group, however there is always plenty of time to relax and enjoy your own space too. Our trip leaders are brilliant at reading the group and being proactive and reactive to the flow of the trip.
Getting It Right Every Time
Secure your Small Group Trip spot
Personalise + Extend
We work in some of the most ecologically and culturally sensitive parts of the world, so have always been conscious of operating in a way that has a positive impact on both the environment and the people.
When you join one of our Small Group Trips, we will make a contribution on your behalf to one of the following charities: All About the Light Foundation in Africa, ABOUTAsia Travel & Schools in Cambodia, the Alalay Foundation in Bolivia and Scott Polar Research Institute in the Polar Regions.
If you are interested, we are always keen to get clients involved in local projects and conservation efforts. Whether it be whale counting in Antarctica or rhino relocation in Kenya, you will leave knowing your actions have made a difference.
The price of all our Small Group Trips includes domestic flights but excludes international flights. We suggest flights for our clients that work well with the itinerary and are happy to book and manage these flights. However, you can also book your own international flights if you would prefer. We can also organise private charters and private jet travel for both international and domestic flights.
We have a fantastic VIP service in place to help you navigate the airport and make your journey as smooth and easy as possible. We can collect you from your home, take you to the airport and escort you through check-in and immigration to avoid any queues, straight through to the airport lounge before boarding your flight. The same service can be put in place on your return journey.
We understand that one of the most important factors to our clients is flexibility in order to give you peace of mind when booking your trip. If you would like to discuss the latest updates on flexibility on any of our luxury small group tours, feel free to contact us.
We have excellent relationships with a handful of insurance companies who provide various forms of cover. Each one offers a different policy with varying terms and conditions, so we strongly recommend getting a series of quotes and discussing your personal requirements in detail with them in order to find the best one for you.
Booking and travelling with an accredited tour operator is more important than ever. cazenove+loyd is a bonded tour operator and is ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Our ATOL number is 3208. This means that the UK government guarantees all funds paid out to a bonded operator and is bound to pay in full if the bond holder is unable to deliver as contracted. This gives our clients peace of mind and full financial protection. Please see our booking conditions for further information.
We have put the relevant measures in place on every one of our Small Group Trips, so that we are ready to welcome you safely. Sanitation and hygiene in our vehicles and the properties in which we will be staying is extensive, with cleaning protocols followed rigidly as well as other necessary safety requirements.
Each trip has a set price per person that is dependent on the intricacies of the itinerary. We have detailed above everything that is included, excluded and the cost of a single supplement if applicable. For the latest details on deposit and balance payments and schedules, please get in touch to speak to an expert.
10th - 18th October 2023
£7,320 / $9,150
Per person based on two sharing.Register Your Interest
Speak To an Expert
Email [email protected]