An essential overview of the Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom. This tour imbues you with a subtle appreciation of the Bhutanese situation and way of life. Bhutan’s character is underpinned by a culture rooted in its traditional past. Monastic-fortress centers epitomize formal authority. Small, secluded, self- sufficient communities are spread thinly over the rugged landscape. Unity is established through an enduring intensity of faith. We journey through the cultural heartland of Eastern, Western and Central Bhutan. From the un-interrupted East to modernizing center of Thimphu, through the birthplace of the Monarchy at Trongsa, to the erstwhile 17th Century capital at Punakha. From the sacred temples of Paro, into the spiritual sanctuary of Bumthang, and then on to the seat of a high reincarnate lama at Gangteng. You will experience broader social, cultural and ecological aspects of the landscape: taking invigorating hikes through distant village settlements and the rich untainted surrounding countryside; visiting some of the most venerable Bhutanese monasteries; and attending a community festival, a fascinating and unpretentious fusion of high culture and everyday community life.