Royal Highlander Festival of Laya

6 Days

Royal Highlander Festival is being celebrated to convey the message to the world about climate change. The Highlander people from Laya participate in this festival. Experience the Royal Highlander Festival in Bhutan, a celebration of mountain culture and traditions. Witness unique events, from yak races to traditional sports, showcasing the resilience of highland communities.

The Royal Highlander festival was first introduced on the 16th Of October in 2016 to mark the celebration of the birth of HRH the Gyalsey, 400 years of Shabdrung Rimpoche and the Rabjung (60 years cycle) birth year of Guru Rimpoche. The Royal Highlander festival shares the beauty and the wonders of Gasa Dzongkhag through its nature, history and age-old tradition and culture, to share Gasa’s vision of “Good to Great Gasa” and finally share all these authenticity and the simplicity of life of the Highlanders with our guests.

What to Expect during the Royal Highlander Festival?

During the festival, visitors can witness the community of Laya offering Buelwa (gift offering) and Auley (a traditional epic poem/song recitation tradition that originated during Zhabdrung Rinpoche’s days) to show loyalty and respect for the dynamic and visionary leadership of our successive monarchs.

Layaps from Laya Village will perform a variety of cultural programs. They will hold various competitions involving highland animals, including yaks, horses, and mastiffs, as well as competitions in traditional songs and dances.

Royal Highlander Festival date

The festival consists of a series of stalls ranging from locally based yak produce to highland technology, highland agriculture technology, medicinal herbs & plants and others. The festival is scheduled from 20th October to 29th October 2024

Royal Highlander Festival of Laya Tour Itinerary

  • Day 1 Arrival at Paro International Airport and Relax
  • Day 2 HIke the Popular Tiger Nest Temple
  • Day 3 Take a Helicopter ride to Laya Village for the Highlander Festival.
  • Day 4 Attend Highlander Festival
  • Day 5 Take a Helicopter Ride back to Paro and drive to Thimphu
  • Day 6 Thimphu to Paro airport and See Off.

Royal Highlander Festival Tour Cost

  • Solo Traveller Cost USD
  • 2 Pax Group Cost USD
  • 3 to 4 Pax Group Cost

Similar Tours and Sightseeing in Bhutan

Royal Highlander Tour Itinerary

Upon arrival at Paro airport our team from Tour Bhutan will receive you and take you to Hotel. You shall be briefed on the program. Evening on your own.

After breakfast, we drive to Satsam Chorten, where the trail climbs through a lovely pine forest with Spanish moss draped trees and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) for a rest and some small snacks before walking a short distance until we see Taktsang monastery plainly and appearing within reach. The major Lhakhang was built in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay, around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave. This amazing monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, is claimed to have arrived on the back of Dorji Drolo, a flying tiger who was thought to be his favorite consort.

After lunch, go to Ta Dzong, a historic watchtower that currently houses the National Museum (built in 1656 and refurbished in 1968). The Rimpung Dzong (literally “Heap of Jewels”), erected in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, is the center of civic and religious authority in this region. Overnight stay in a hotel.

Today we shall begin our journey by helicopter. You have two options here. Either you trek to Laya or take the easy route out on the Heli tour.

First held in 2016, the Royal Highlander festival’s goal is to spread awareness about the beauty and wonders of the Gasa district – its pristine nature, history, and venerable tradition and to introduce Gasa’s vision of “Good to Great Gasa”. Beyond that, it is to share with guests the beauty right in the simple life of the Highlanders.

There are a variety of and events which take place during the festival. You will have the chance to witness the traditional offering of Buelwa (gift offering) with Auley (traditional epic poem/song recitation tradition originated from Zhabdrung Rinpoche days). This ritual is to show the loyalty and respect of the Laya community for the dynamic and visionary leadership of their monarchs.

Cultural programs performed by the Layaps range from traditional songs and dances to competitions on highland animals such as Yaks, horses, and Mastiffs. There will be plenty more performances you can experience at the festival.

Fly back to Paro and drive to Thimphu. Enjoy the Thimphu city tour. Helicopter Joy Ride to The Laya Valley otherwise known as Bhutan’s ‘Hidden Paradise’, Punakha Valley, Paro Valley, Jhomolhari Mount View, Gasa Dzong, and Paro Valley are amazing views you will see during the tour.

Your festival tour ends here today.

Cost Inclusion

  • Helicopter Pick and Drop
  • Fullboard Meals
  • Guided Tour
  • Airport Pick and Drop
  • Transportation

Cost Exclusion

  • Insurance Premiums
  • Bills of Personal Nature
  • Tips for Guides and Driver


What is the tour cancellation policy?

90% refund for the tour cancelled 45 days prior to arrival date, payment transfer charges will be charged 75% refund for the tour cancelled between 30 to 45 days prior to arrival date No refund for the tour cancelled less than 30 days of arrival date and for the change of itinerary Booking made for 4 star and 5 star hotels have to follow individual hotel’s cancellation policies.

What is the flight cancellation policy?

70% refund for cancellation made before 30 days prior to arrival date (Documentation charge USD 25 applicable) 30% refund for cancellation made between 15 to 30 days of travel date NO refund for cancellation made less than 15 days of travel date Documentation charge applicable for the change of dates, sectors etc (issued tickets only, USD30/ticket)

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Royal Highlander Festival of Laya
From $6,500
/ Adult
  • Paro
  • Paro
  • English-speaking Guide
  • 3800M
  • Private
  • 3 Star Hotel in Paro and Thimphu and in Tent while attending the Festival
  • Fullboard throughout the Trip.