Dates: September 20-28, 2018

10-Day All-Inclusive Land Package:  $4,588

Collaborate with Aaron and master musicians to document Bhutan's historic music treasures.

Preserve Himalayan heritage music by assisting with live on-site recordings at private locations and sacred sites. 

For Individuals or Groups




Sept. 20  Thimphu - Music of Bhutan Research Center
Sept. 21   Thimphu - Tshechu Festival
Royal Academy of Performing Arts
Cheri Monastery
Sept. 22   Thimphu - Tshechu Festival & Cheri Monastery
Sept. 23   Phobjikha - Gangtey Tshechu Festival
Sept. 24   Phobjikha - Fortress & Village Immersion

Sept. 25  Punakha - Bhutan Rural Folk Music & Cuisine
Sept. 26    Punakha - Dzong & Talo Monastery
Sept 27 -  Paro - The Music of Archery &
Sounds of Silence Prayer Wheels & Flags
Sept. 28   Paro - Tiger's Nest Hike & Kyichu Lkakhang
Sept. 29   Paro - Departure & Goodbye Ceremony

Travel into the heart of the Himalayas with Italian Maestro Aaron Carpene on a musical discovery journey across Bhutan. 

During your 10-day journey with the world-renowned creator of Opera Bhutan, you will be immersed into the unique traditions of Himalayan music and dance. 

This bespoke experience combines authentic local cuisine, spiritual ceremonies and private access to unexplored musical venues in the Last Shangri-La.

Maestro Aaron Carpene

Aaaron Carpene Profile

“Directing from the harpsichord, the Australian-born, Italian-based Aaron Carpenè shaped a superb account of Handel's most effusively lyrical score."
Opera - John Allison (Handel’s Acis and Galatea, October 2011, Macau)

“Handel’s irresistible little English opera “Acis and Galatea,” seemed to be from another world entirely. It was given a fine performance by Western soloists and the excellent Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, artfully led from the harpsichord by Aaron Carpenè.”
The New York Times - George Loomis (Handel’s Acis and Galatea)

“It was beyond the beyond, one of those rare moments in life when one is thrilled to be alive for the privilege of hearing/seeing/feeling a genius of a creation. Aaron Carpenè succeeded in producing an opera that links antiquity with modernity with a seamless result that lifts the soul as with the greatest art.”
The Hudson Review - Paula Deitz (Japan Orfeo, October 2016 Kamakura)

Aaron Carpenè: conductor, harpsichordist, organist, pianist and early music specialist, has forged a unique path in today’s music performance panorama.

The combination of a profound knowledge and performance experience in 17th and 18th century European music and the desire to interact with some of the world’s great and unique performing arts traditions has led to the creation of the pioneering projects Opera Bhutan. 

Opera Bhutan is a critically acclaimed intercultural operatic performance of G. F. Handel’s Acis and Galatea in the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan that incorporated traditional Bhutanese music, dance and costume and Japan Orfeo, an integration of Monteverdi's first operatic masterpiece and Noh Theatre, Nihon Buyo and Gagaku music. 

Cheri Monastery

“I think of monasteries as places of retreat and silence, of chanting and prayer, a place that connects the physical world with experiences from the spiritual realm. The Cheri Goemba is nestled high above the Thimphu River in the remote northerly corner of the valley.

My first visit there as a lone traveller has remained fixed in my memory. Once inside the lower courtyard the blanket of silence allows other sensorial information to flow in, the visual delight of the well- planned architecture of wood and stone and its colourful decoration, the pungent smell of burning butter lamps.

The quiet was abruptly interrupted by a thunderous sound from above. The tumultuous explosion of Himalayan trumpets and reeds, the clashing of cymbals sent shock waves through me and I raced up the small temple on the upper level of the complex. Breathless, I was invited to join the small congregation of monks as they performed a ritual connecting us with the hereafter.

It was my first taste of the centuries old and largely unaltered tradition of Bhutanese sacred music and even as a noninitiate the experience changed forever my concept of music, its relationship between nature, humanity and the supernatural.”

Zilukha Nunnery

The friendly community of nuns open their doors to morning prayers in the main temple hall. Chanting and musical accompaniment, burning incense and a welcome cup of tea and biscuits make the experience all the more fulfilling.

The Music of Bhutan Research Center

The Music of Bhutan Research Centre was founded in 2008 by renowned musician Kheng Sonam Dorji to document, preserve and promote the traditional music of Bhutan.

The motto of the centre is “Promoting Gross National Happiness through music and dance”.

“Kheng Sonam never fails to impress me when I have the good fortune to meet him: he is always ready with his drangyen (Bhutanese lute) or flute to strike up a tune or sing an engaging folk song.”

He is also a master ethnomusicologist and spends a lot of his time travelling to remote villages throughout the kingdom to record and document fast-vanishing music traditions.

Thimphu Tshechu

Ritual, dance, masks, costumes, music, pageantry and spectacle enthrall and enchant the onlooker at the annual tschechu, an occasion that brings together the district community from far and wide, city folk and villagers attired in their finest costumes. The dances are mystical but can also vaunt an earthly humor as the comic atsara in their red mask and costume wreaks laughter-drawing havoc among performers and audience alike. According to Bhutanese Buddhist belief, the very act of watching a tschechu dance represents a step towards enlightenment.

Royal Academy of Performing Arts

The Royal Academy of Performing Arts in Thimphu was founded by the third king Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in 1954 in an effort to preserve traditional Bhutanese culture. The Academy trains young dancers from all over the country in both religious and secular folk music and dance.

They joined the Opera Bhutan team in the first historic opera performance in Bhutan in 2013, touring to the USA in 2014. The RAPA is pleased to give private performances in the promotion of their activity and the Bhutanese culture they represent.

Punakha Village Life

Village life offers an extraordinary opportunity to witness authentic folk music in its true context. The villages of Lobesa and Talo in the Punakha district possess vivacious musical traditions of song and movement often connected to annual agricultural practices such as rice planting and pounding.

Apart from motivating the workers in the field, the song is also a way for the community to pray for a good harvest. The Aungli or buffalo horn is played by cow herders in the morning and evening for the cows while during the day it is sounded to protect them from tigers, leopards and other predators.

Phobjikha Valley

The entrance into the remote Phobjikha Valley is the doorway to a microcosm of Bhutanese society, its customs and traditions, its cultural heritage and history and its unique offering of flora and fauna.

The sprawling valley is carpeted with the exotic dwarf bamboo where the black-neck cranes feed and roost during the winter season.

Designated as a conservation zone, the locals are meticulous in maintaining the necessary conditions of environmental unobtrusiveness to ensure the continuing migration of the endangered cranes.

While the valley enchants for its wealth of natural beauty and resources, the village of Gangtey boasts the historic Gangtey Goenpa.

Gangtey Monastery
Phobjikha Tshechu

The 15th century Terton (treasure-finder) Pema Lingpa prophesied that a monastery would be built on this site overlooking the valley, fulfilled in 1613 by his grandson Rigdzin Pema Thinley.

The monastery underwent recent major renovation and received funding from the British Library’s Endangered Archives Program to digitize its immense manuscript collection from the 17th century that is a unique testament of the Nyingma tradition, the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

The Gangtey Tshechu offers an opportunity to witness a sacred festival with special ties to core spiritual values of the nation.

Prayer Wheels & Flags

Prayer water wheels rotate with the flow of water, a silvery bell chimes with every rotation, the mantra is repeated perpetually; flags flap in the wind as their prayers become wind-borne. The fusion of nature and man-made is the symphony of sound that beckons the ear in the abundance of examples throughout the land, each unique in manufacture and location.

Talo Monastery

Talo Monastery: Perched high on the mountaintops overlooking the valley and 2000 meter climb to Dochu La pass, the rarely visited Talo Monastery provides a glimpse into the authentic monastic life in Bhutan. 

Expect to be enthusiastically welcomed by Buddhist students of all ages who are eager to share their traditions with the rare visitor.  Light Butter Lamps, learn about purification incense, and hang prayer flags during this spiritual immersion.

Talo Monastery

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FREE Travel Visa Special Offer Ends:
March 28, 2018


There's A Lot More To This Trip
Than Just Music








Experience the mystical Kingdom of Bhutan as never before: where nature and cultural are center-stage and we are small, awed spectators, moved by wonder.

Each day's rich slate of activities consist of scenic group runs and cultural encounters with local people and officials.

Wether you come as a spectator, volunteer or runner, this once-in-a-lifetime adventure culminates with your participation in the Bhutan International Marathon or Half Marathon. 

Amidst the wonders of high mountains and deep valleys where compassion and wisdom are the benchmarks against which all things are measured, you will experience the ancient and harmonious Buddhist traditions resonating in all living things, where the King rules by “Gross National Happiness."


Privately hosted exprience with Aaron Carpene & Team

All 3+ plus Accommodations & Meals

All government visas

All guides, vehicles & drivers

Standard non-alcoholic beverages

All in-country transportation

All cultural activities & entrances

All private access music activities


Airfare from your hometown to the arrival city of Paro, Bhutan 

Passport fees and visa photos as required

Personal items such as wines, liquors, a-la-carte orders, meals other than specified.

Any overnight stays or costs in Bangkok, Thailand prior to or after the package trip to Bhutan.



A $250 Package Value
For Bookings Made By: March 28, 2018 

And so much more!

Let's Connect!