November 17 – November 22, 2023
Join Ryan & Malaka Hilton as they travel to the Great Kingdom of Bhutan. Bhutan is a wild, spiritual and majestic mountain kingdom where tranquility reigns and everything is off the beaten track. November affords our Admiral guests the perfect opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in their most magnificent cool and crisp splendor. Witness the willow trees shed their golden leaves and the changing light casting Himalayan summits – including some of the world’s tallest unclimbed peaks – into sharp relief.
Cost: TBD / Please inquire
Call 1.888.722.3401 to secure your space on this unique journey (scroll down for journey details)
November 17, 2023: Arrival into Bhutan and transfer to Aman Kora Thimpu
The Flight into Paro valley is a spectacular journey over the Eastern Himalayas (weather permitting). After collecting your luggage, you will be received at the airport by your guide who will travel with you until drop back to Paro airport.
From the airport we drive to the capital, Thimphu which is 65 kms. At an altitude of 7,700 ft (2,200 meters), Thimphu lies in a steep valley and is the only city in the world without a single traffic light.
This evening, enjoy a walk through the main town square of Thimpu. The square is full of life with lots of cafes, art studios, restaurants and in the evenings lots of young Bhutanese perform with their local bands etc.
Return to the hotel for a relaxed dinner and your guide will also give you an overview of the tour for the next few days.
Set in the upper reaches of the Motithang area, the 16-Suite Lodge of Amankora Thimphu is built in the style of a traditional dzong fortress. Within reach of the capital’s shops and sights, the lodge remains a secluded retreat from which to explore both all the city has to offer and the wild Himalayan landscape.
Amenities include king-size beds, traditional wood-burning stoves and banquette window-seats, while bathrooms feature terrazzo-clad bathtubs, twin vanities, a separate shower and toilet.
Himalayan and Western culinary cultures meet on the menu, which features the best of Bhutan’s natural ingredients, offering guests inventive interpretations of local dishes.
November 18, 2023 – Touring in Thimpu – Welcome to your first sunrise in glorious Thimpu. Awaken to a gorgeous vista of picturesque mountains covered in ever-green fir trees. Take in the crisp, cool breeze as you sip on our unique “eye-opener”, a refreshing morning drink to jump start your day.
After a hearty breakfast, start your tour with a drive to the iconic Tashichhoe Dzong, popularly known as the Thimphu Dzong (or ‘Fortress of the Glorious Religion’, is Bhutan’s administrative and religious centre and houses the throne room of His Majesty the King, government ministries, the nation’s largest monastery and headquarters of His Holiness the Je Khenpo and the monk body. As the summer residence of the Je Khempo the central monastic body will be in Thimphu during the month of April. The attention to detail and finish given to this building adds to its grand appearance – the outer walls are built of trimmed neatly fitted granite blocks, unlike other Dzongs, which were made of roughly dressed stones. Similarly, the courtyard is paved with rectangular stone slabs.
After Lunch, visit the iconic Buddha Dordenma Statue, one of the world’s largest statues of Gautam Buddha, at nearly 05-stories tall, located 20 minutes away from the hotel.
After taking a selfie or two with the Big Buddha, travel to the famous Changankha Monastery – a 15th century monastery, and the oldest in the city, perched on a hill overlooking the valley. At the temple sanctum, make a wish while turning the ancient khorlos (or prayer wheels) located in the inner sanctum – as per myth, the more often you turn the wheels, the more positive the karma you will receive. Take a scenic drive to the city’s outskirts, and visit the Takin Preserve, a sanctuary within the city’s peripheral for the national animal of the country, the curious Takin. Within the sanctuary, enjoy feeding the antelope while also seeing Sambhar and Barking Deer.
Visit to the nunnery is located in Zilukha, Thimphu overlooking Tashichodzong and is a few minutes’ drive from the town. It is popularly known as the Zilukha Anim Dratshang. It was built in 1976 by the 16th emanation of Thangtong Gyalpo, Drubthob Rikey Jadrel. Currently, the nunnery is home to about 60 nuns.
Later in the day, head out to Tango-Cheri Monastery base, a 13th century monastery complex, widely considered to be one of the most reputed schools for Buddhist learning. Nestled deep in the hills of Thimphu, it is also the summer capital for the monastic body in Bhutan. The base of the monastery complex meanders along the crisp, clean waters of the Thimphu Chu, the great river of Thimphu.
If preferred, take an hour hike to the Cheri Monastery (the residential complex of Tango-Cheri), and visit the monks and their temple. Drive back to the city (or the hotel) for lunch, or, should you prefer, carry a packed lunch and enjoy a beautiful afternoon picnic at Cheri-Tango.
Overnight at the hotel.
November 19, 2023 Travel to Paro
This morning enjoy your hotel and around 11 a.m. your guide will provide a visit to the fabulous Textile Museum in town and a talk with a textile expert from Bhutan will be arranged. Also visit the local bazaar for some interesting handmade gifts from Bhutan.
Continue to Paro where the tour of Paro town will be arranged prior to reaching the hotel.
Visit the Paro National Museum: previously the watchtower of the valley, it displays an intriguing collection of artifacts that illustrate the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. A short walk from the National Museum takes you to the base of the Paro Dzong, across a traditional, cantilevered, covered bridge.
Visit the Kyichu Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. The origin of Kyichu Lhakhang dates back to the seventh century, it is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Bhutan (the other is Jambey Lhakhang in Bumthang). Kyichu Lhakhang is composed of twin temples, the first temple was built by Buddhist Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and in 1968, H.M. Ashi Kessang, the Queen Mother of Bhutan, arranged for a second temple to be built alongside the first one, in same style.
Traditional Bhutanese Painting
Tiger’s Nest Bhutan
November 20, 2023 – Hike to Tiger’s Nest – In the morning, hike up to view one of Bhutan’s most dramatic monuments, the Taktsang Goemba, more commonly referred to as the Tiger’s Nest, built on a sheer cliff face at an altitude of 2,950m (9,678ft).
The four-hour trek offers spectacular views of this sacred monastery perched on the rocks, 900m above the valley floor. Accommodating mules and donkeys will be on hand to lessen the exertion for the climb up, if so desired. Your guide will check with you in advance if you would like to avail this service.
An elaborate Bhutanese style Picnic lunch will be arranged exclusively for the guests in a private Chilli field near the River.
After the lunch, head back to the hotel. Enjoy a relaxing foot massage, or a much-recommended full body spa treatment at the hotel’s spa.
November 21, 2023 – Hike to Haa Valley –
Today a full day hike to the beautiful Ha valley will be arranged. The Haa Valley is one of the western-most districts of Bhutan, bordering China and the Indian state of Sikkim. A relatively unexplored, but extremely picturesque valley, Haa beautifully captures the simple country life enjoyed and treasured by the local populace.
The two monasteries, Karpo (White) and Nagpo (Black) Lhakhang, and the Haa Dzong are the highlights of this sleepy town.
Return back to Paro town where a special blessing ceremony with lighting 108 butter lamps at a Private temple will be arranged and learn about the ancient Buddhist traditions that are still practiced today.
Special dinner tonight at the hotel where you will dress up in traditional Bhutanese style.
November 22, 2023: Departure
Morning transfer to the airport for Delhi flight.
Details of this program are still being finalized. Please call our office to be placed on our notification list. 941-951-1801
Cost: Being Finalized / Please inquire
We request $250 per person as a ‘good faith deposit’ to secure space on this departure until pricing is available. Once pricing is available, this will be applied to your final balance. Should you decide to remove your space, these funds will remain on file for a future ATI travel experience.
Once bookings are finalized, a $50 per person Admiral Travel Booking Fee will apply.
- Founder’s Journey will always be priced at or below published rates, but never higher.
- Travel with like-minded individuals on these exclusive departures.
- Enjoy a welcome cocktail party to meet your fellow travelers.
- A hosted dinner will be offered during one night of the trip with the Hiltons.
- On many occasions, optional shore events are offered as an option that only our group is invited to join.
- Special global relationships that the Hiltons have formed over the years will allow you privileged access opportunities.
- Trips are offered well in advance to give ample time for your future planning.
- Minimum numbers must be met in order for the Hiltons to host the journey.
- The Hiltons reserve the right to adjust the duration of their participation should any schedule conflicts arise.