Paro is a small town in the west of Bhutan, set in a stunning valley surrounding the ancient Rinpung Dzong - this fortress and monastery was built in the 17th Century as a defence against Tibetan invaders.
Paro is most famous as the gateway to Bhutan's most iconic structure - the phenomenal Taktshang Monastery, commonly known as the Tiger's Nest Monastery, lies 10 kms from Paro clinging to the face of a sheer 1,000m-high cliff. The trek up to the monastery from Paro is a beautiful 2 hour walk through forests along paths lined with colourful Buddhist flags, and coming around the final corner to get face-to-face with the monastery is an unforgettable and breathtaking moment! The monastery is highly sacred to the Bhutanese, as they believe that the founder of Bhutanese Buddhism, Guru Rinpoche, flew here on the back of a tigress before meditating there for over 3 years, which gives the Taktshang its wonderful nickname! The monastery was founded here in 1692 CE.
Paro is also home to Bhutan's only international airport - the approach path to land or depart from Paro Airport snakes through several mountainous valleys and is known as one of the most spectacular and challenging airports in the world, so much that only a handful of pilots are currently certified to land at it!