Ura Yakchoe - 12 days

Ura Yakchoe is both a festival and a dance. It is the festival, which is based on the story of an old woman. The woman was visited by a lama outside her house. The lama asked her for water, but when she came with water, she saw only a sack. When she opened the sack, she saw a statue. Since then, the statue has been passed on from the generation to generation of that woman. Every year, the people worship the statue in Ura Yakchoe to receive a blessing.

Ura Yakchoe is also related to Guru Padmasambhava, who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century. Guru Padmasambhava passed through Ura village. Since then, the village has been known as Urbay, but the villagers call it Ura. Ura is nestled in a valley at an altitude of 3200 m, and is surrounded by trees, such as spruce, pine, larch, fir, juniper, bamboo, and rhododendrons.

Before attending Ura Yakchoe, you visit the National Library, where you see a collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, as well as you visit Zorig Chusum, where you see a collection of paintings. Other places of interest that you visit are textile and Folk Heritage Museum. The museum provides an insight into Bhutanese material culture life.

May 6

Arrival at Paro (by Druk Air) then transfer to Thimphu. Stay overnight in a hotel.

May 7

ightseeing around Thimpu. Stay overnight in a hotel.

May 9

Punakha to Bumthang. Stay overnight in a hotel.

May 11

Bumthang to Ura. Stay overnight in a hotel.

May 12

Ura to Bumthang. Stay overnight in a hotel.

May 14

Wangdue to Gangtey. Stay overnight in a hotel.

May 16

Hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s nest). Stay overnight in a hotel.

May 17

Departure from Paro (by Druk Air)

  • Day 01 Arrival at Paro Airport
    Fly to Paro from either Bangkok or New Delhi or Kathmandu or Dhaka. Of all, there is a daily flight from Bangkok to Paro. Our airport representative will welcome you at Paro Airport and he/she will take you to hotel by a tourist vehicle. In a clear day, you can see the magnificent view of the world’s highest peaks as well as lush Paro valley from the window of an airplane. As you come out of the airplane, you can feel cool, clean fresh air. From the airport, you will be driven to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. The drive is about 1 hour.
    Stay overnight in a hotel (Lunch, and Dinner Provided)
  • Day 02 Sightseeing in and around ThimpuIn the morning, you drive to Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan. It is a 90 min drive. Sightseeing in Thimpu valley includes National Library, which stores a collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, as well as you will visit the institute of Zorig Chusum, which is commonly known as Painting School. The remaining sightseeing places are textile and Folk Heritage Museum, which provides an insight into Bhutanese material culture and everyday way of life, as well as the National Memorial Chorten, Trashichho dzong, and Bhutanese Handicrafts, which consist of a wide range of beautifully hand-woven textiles. In the evening, you will explore the vibrant Thimphu Bazaar.Stay overnight in a hotel (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Provided)
  • Day 03 Thimphu to Punakha
    You will drive for 3 hours on a steep road that traverses the forest of pine and cedar, near the Dochula Pass (3,050 m). This pass offers the panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain ranges on a clear day. You will see rhododendrons, magnolias, junipers, and pine trees as well as you will hear the chirping of the rare species of birds of Bhutan. You will drive further to Lobesa to do a short hike to Chimi Lhakhang Temple. It is believed that the temple blesses women who seek fertility.
    Stay overnight in a hotel (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Provided)
  • Day 04 Punakha to Bumthang
    Today, you start early for a scenic drive to the central valley of Bhutan. The drive to Trongsa via Gangtey is about 6 hours crossing over Pele La pass (3,300 meters) and Yotongla pass (3,400 meters). The central road, across the Black Mountains brought great changes to the people of central Bhutan. You drive through Wangdue, one of the major towns, where you make a short stop to view the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, which is dramatically located on both the spur of a hill and at the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers. You then climb steadily passing through semi-tropical vegetation to Pelela Pass (3,300 m), which has an alpine environment, consisting of rhododendrons and dwarf bamboo. This pass is considered the boundary between west and east Bhutan. If the weather is clear, you can see Jhomulhari peak (7,314 m). En route, you cross Chendebji Chorten, which was built many centuries ago to suppress a demon.
    Stay overnight in a hotel (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Provided)
  • Day 05 Bumthang Excursion and Sightseeing
    In the morning, you hike to Tamshing Monastery, one of the oldest monastic schools built by Terton Pema Lingpa and Kurjey Lhakhang, where the Guru Rinpoche subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock. You also visit Jambay Lhakhang , one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built in 7th century and Jakar Dzong, which is the seat of the district administration. In the afternoon, you drive towards Bumthang valley to visit Membar Tsho (burning lake).
    Stay overnight in a hotel (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Provided)
  • Day 06 Bumthang to Ura
    After breakfast, drive to Ura Valley. Today, you will witness Ura Yakchoe in Bumthang. Ura is one of the holiest valleys of Bhutan. Today, Bhutanese from different parts of Bhutan will gather to pay respect and to receive blessing. They will also wear their finest clothes and jewelry to attend the Ura Yak Choe for spiritual blessing. You will also see an array of colorful brocades whirling through the air as the dancers spin and do the “thunderbolt steps” in Ura Yak Choe. Masks of demons and animals arouse your senses as you watch the dance as well as when you see the Atsara (clown). Festival deities will bring good luck to you.
    Stay overnight in a hotel in Ura. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Provided)
  • Day 07 Ura to Bumthang
    Drive back to Bumthang.
    Stay overnight in a hotel. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Provided)
  • Day 08 Bumthang – Trongsa – Wangdue
    After breakfast, you will drive to Wangdue via Trongsa and Pelela pass.
    Stay overnight in a hotel. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Provided)
  • Day 09 Wangdue to Gangtey
    In the morning, drive to Gangtey, en route visit Wangdue Dzong and continue your drive to Gangtey, which lies in the east of Punakha, and you would see Wangdue on the flanks of the Black Mountains. There is an old monastery called Gangtey Gompa dating back to the 17th century. A few kilometers past the Gompa on the valley floor are the fascinating valley of Phobjikha. The gentle slope of Phobjikha has been described as “the most beautiful valley in the Himalayas.” This is a winter home of black-necked cranes, which migrate from the arid plain of the Tibetan Plateau. In the afternoon, you will walk through the valley and observe the rare “Black Necked Crane” and its habitat. You can get full information on this bird from the observation center.
    Stay overnight in a hotel (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Provided)
  • Day 10 Gangtey to Thimphu to Paro
    After breakfast, drive back to Paro and stop for lunch at Thimphu.
    Stay overnight in a hotel.(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Provided)
  • Day 11 Hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest)
    In the morning, you drive to Paro. On the way, you stop to visit Ta Dzong, which houses the National Museum as well as Paro’s Rimpung Dzong. You also come across the 16th century cantilever bridge. Also, you will visit Drugyel Dzong, a victory fortress, built in 1647, which is 18 kilometer away from Paro. You will also explore the magnificent ramparts of the erstwhile fortress, which defended the country against several incursions. On a clear day, you can also view the sacred Mount Jomolhari, from the northern battlements. You will also visit a farmhouse and observe the traditional Bhutanese way of life.The trail to Tiger’s Nest traverses beautiful forest of pine and rhododendron. You stop at the cafeteria, which offers the up-close view of the Tiger’s Nest. Then you start hiking for a short time till you see Taktsang monastery. Built in 1600 s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 m into the valley. History states that Guru Padmasambhava, the Tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tiger and meditated here for three months.

    Stay overnight in a hotel.(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Provided)

  • Day 12 Transfer to International Airport for Departure
    After breakfast, our Airport Representative will drop you at Paro International Airport for departure.
    (Breakfast Included)

Cost Includes

  • Pick up from and drop off at the hotel and the airport in a tourist car / van /minibus.
  • Standard government-approved accommodation (in twin sharing rooms) for the duration of the tour.
  • Full-board meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea & snacks - for the duration of your stay.
  • Drinking water for the duration of the tour.
  • Country presentation and tour Briefing on the evening of Day 01 with welcome drinks.
  • Licensed English-speaking Bhutanese tour guides.
  • Private transportation and a designated driver within Bhutan. Toyota 4WD luggage vans and light trucks for group travel. Luggage will be hauled by horses, mules or yaks at higher elevations, if required.
  • Monument and museums entrance fees at all sightseeing locations detailed in the itinerary.
  • Cultural afternoon/evening sessions with traditional mask and folk dances (with beverages). Only for group tours.
  • Bhutan visa fees and processing assistance.
  • Government royalty (35% of $200), which goes to the country's health and education projects.
  • All route access and monument entry permits and fees.
  • All government taxes, official expenses and tourist service charges.
  • International airfare and airport departure tax.
  • Your travel insurance (mandatory for the trip, see the travel insurance page).
  • Expenses of personal nature, such as laundry.
  • Alcoholic and cold drinks.
  • Personal clothing and equipment.
  • Tips for tour guides, porters, driver, hotel lobby and in restaurants. (Tipping is expected)
  • Other expenses not mentioned in the Price Includes section.

Cost does not include


Please note: Druk air flight cost are not included in the trip price. Druk air flights cost are different as per the flights sectors that you are taking. Druk air offer flights from following location. We recommend you to book your flight to Bangkok as they have every day flight to Paro and from Paro as well. Please let us know which route is more convenient to you, the cost of the flights are as below. Please contact us for the up-to-date Druk air flight rate. Bangkok - Paro - Bangkok = US$890 New Delhi - Paro- New Delhi = US$875 Calcutta - Paro- Calcutta = US$510 Kathmandu - Paro- Kathmandu = US$520 Bangkok - Paro - Kathmandu = US$ 860 Bangkok - Paro - New Delhi = US$ 875  

How fit do I have to be and is this festival tour for me?

This festival tour is suitable for any kind of person, no previous experience is required.

Will somebody come to pick me up at the airport upon my arrival?

Yes, our airport representative will be there to greet you at the airport. S/he will be displaying signboard with your name on it. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel.

What sort of accommodation can I expect in tour?

Hotels vary in style and quality. All Government approved hotels are clean and well maintained with hot and cool water, telephones with international dialing and fax facilities. We use three to four star hotels for this trip. All the meals and hot drinks are included in the trip price.

What sort of food can I expect in tour?

Most of the restaurants serve Bhutanese, Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisine always plenty to choose from. Local Bhutanese food are spicy like the Indian food.

What mode of transportation do you use?

Ace the Himalaya is all about providing you with local insights, lifestyle as well as adventure. Using a variety of private transport is an integral part of our Himalayan tours, enhancing the experience! We use private tourist vehicles for sightseeing, city tours and pickups; whereas we use the best 4WD SUVs as our support vehicle. These vehicles are extremely sturdy, spacious and reliable and they make the journey as comfortable as possible. For larger groups, we also use supported trucks to carry your luggage.

What is the weather and temperature like on the tour?

It depends on the season you’re travelling. During winter (December to February), it is colder at night and relatively warmer during the day, with the temperature ranging from 4°C at night to 22°C. Between March and May, the weather stays prefect as the temperature averages 25°C during the day. From September to December, following the monsoon, the temperature gets cooler and allows for a great time to travel. The average temperature during this season is 20°C. The vehicles and the hotels during the trip will be air-conditioned making your travel very comfortable.

Can I charge my digital camera or other equipments on my trip?

These facilities will be available in most of the places in your hotel. Remember to bring travel adapters!

Are there any photography restrictions?

You will have many photo opportunities during the tours. Please ask for permission before taking a person's photo. Photography in, monasteries, shrine rooms of Dzongs and religious institutions is generally not permitted, but outdoor photography is. To be sure when visiting such places, you may consult with your guide just to make sure. Carry plenty of films and batteries. Photo shops in Bhutan do not sell equipment or accessories.

Are there any communication facilities during the trip?

Telephones and Internet and international calls are readily available in most of the town for this trip

Can I use credit cards in the places visited in tour?

There are just a few ATM's in Bhutan for credit card (Master card / Maestro) & only few establishments in Bhutan accept credit card payments hence US Dollars (cash or Amex travelers cheques) or Euros Cash is suggested and convenient to cover any personal expenses (eg. beverages , laundry ,phone bills , tipping , shopping etc) that the Pax may make in the Kingdom. 1US$ is equivalent to Nu. 55 & 1 Euro is equivalent to Nu.69 as of today (the day we writing this text). . NU= Ngultrum, the Bhutanese currency

How much additional money do I need per day?

It depends on your spending habits. Generally, all the foods, accommodation and hot drinks are included in the price. You can allocate USD 10 to USD 15 for chocolates and a few drinks during the trip.

Are there any weight restrictions on Druk air flights?

Druk Air allows only up to 20 kgs of luggage per person, after which the excess baggage charge is USD 5 per kg.

Do your guides have guide certificates from the Hotel Management and Tourism Center? Have they received first aid training for high altitude?

Yes, they have all received a 45-day training from the Hotel Management and Tourism Center. The guides have also received high altitude first aid training

Do I need to obtain the visa for Bhutan?

We will handle the visa procedures for you. The Govt. will sanction the VISA only after the receipt of full payment in advance. The visa fee is included with our tour price. Actual Bhutan VISA will be stamped in your passport on arrival on Paro airport. Without visa clearance number, tourists cannot board the flight or enter the country. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs forwards a copy of this visa clearance to the concerned Druk Air stations and other entry points; we also fax a copy of the visa clearance document to our clients for their reference. While the actual visa is stamped on arrival, the initial visa clearance is also required at the time of issuing Druk Air Tickets. All you need is to carry 2 copies of original passport-sized photographs, which are required on arrival in the country. Please e-mail us the clear color copy of the passport for the visa procedures.

Do we book our international flights and Druk air flights?

Yes, you need to book your own International flights. We are a local agent and it would cost you significantly higher to book through us. Please find more information in the International Flight page. Druk air is the only one airline to entre and exit Bhutan. We will book the Druk air flight to and from Bhutan and e-mail you the e-ticket. Druk air flight cost is not included in the trip price. Druk air flights cost are different as per the flights sectors that you are taking. Druk air offer flights from following location. We recommend you to book your flight to Bangkok as they have every day flight to Paro and from Paro as well. Please let us know which route is more convenient to you, the cost of the flights are as below. Please contact us for the up-to-date Druk air flight rate. • Bangkok - Paro - Bangkok = US$890 • New Delhi - Paro- New Delhi = US$875 • Calcutta - Paro- Calcutta = US$510 • Kathmandu - Paro- Kathmandu = US$520 • Bangkok - Paro - Kathmandu = US$ 860 • Bangkok - Paro - New Delhi = US$ 875

Do I need to tip my guide and porters? How much would that be?

This is a difficult thing to gauge. We have seen everything from USD 20 to USD 1000 per person for guides and porters. Tipping is not required, but a small gesture of thanks to your guides and local porters thanks for their help. The level of the tip should reflect the level of satisfaction from and personal involvement with your guide.

Is the water fine to drink? Do I need to bring purifying tablets/filter?

The trip price included the drinking water for the all Bhutan trip. You don’t need to bring any bring purifying tablets/filter or pay for the water.

Are the Ace the Himalaya's staff insured?

Our company insures all our staff members, including guides, cooks, Sherpas and porters. Please browse though Company Information pages to view insurance details.

What essential documents do I need to bring with me on tours?

Here are some documents that you will need to carry with you: • Valid Passport – must be valid for up to 6 months after you return from your tour, keep a separate photocopy. • Travel insurance, keep a separate photocopy • Cash and Traveller’s Cheques, keep numbers and proof of purchase separately • Flight tickets • Emergency contact numbers for T/C’s, banks, insurance, family contacts.

Can I add extra days to my trip?

No, because we can’t change your Druk air flight once it is booked.

I would you like to extend my holiday, any recommendations?

Yes, there are a plenty of options and choices to extend your holiday before or after your main trip.

Is there a minimum and a maximum number for your groups?

We cater to all group sizes, while maintaining the field staff ratio to give you the best quality and experience.

Will it be possible to get any clothes washed/Laundry ?

Laundry service is easily available at your hotel. Please note that laundry service is not included in the package price.

What immunizations will I need?

No vaccinations are compulsory fro travelling in Bhutan, but we do recommend you are covered for diphtheria & TB, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, *malaria, typhoid, polio and tetanus. We also recommend: • A dental check-up prior to travelling. • That you know your blood group in case of emergency. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions which might affect you on tour, you make these known to your tour leader and Ace the Himalaya at the time of your booking.

Tailoring your Trip

A great trip starts with the specialist; make the best-suited trip to you.

  • Your entire holiday is designed around your requirements.
  • Create the perfect trip with Ace Holidays' specialists.
  • Explore your interests at your own speed.
  • Select your style of accommodation.
Make an Enquiry!