Himalayan Wilderness TourThis is an adventure that will take you up to the dizzying heights of the Tigers Nest Monastery. Also trek leisurely across the most beautiful Himalayan meadows. Rafting and mountain biking also form part of the package. Rafting trip takes you on the rivers that flow past the formidable Punakha Dzong. Our off-road dirt trails that are developed on ancient mule tracks wind through rough terrain making a wonderful experience in Bhutan. Just traversing Bhutan’s lateral highway is an exhilarating adventure in itself. Fresh air, limited traffic and the scenic beauty of the routes make mountain biking a most worthwhile way of enjoying Bhutan.
During the flight, if weather permits, you can see breathtaking views of Himalaya Mountains, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. On arrival you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel. In the evening you can stroll through the Paro market and town. Overnight hotel in Paro.
After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan ‘s most famous monastery. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuntse to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. Lunch would be served in the Cafeteria on the way. Hike back to Paro and in the afternoon and visit Kichu Lhakhang and Drugyel Dzong. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Today is a short trekking day. The day starts with a short climb to Jele Dzong. The trek trail is rather gradual up till the camp and if the weather is clear the Paro valley can be seen with snow-capped mountains behind. Above the camp is Jele La Dzong (3,400m) and Jele Dzong is mostly in ruins and there is a Lhakhang with the statute of Buddha Sakyamuni. Overnight camp at 3300m.
Begin with an hour and half climb and then ascend gradually up. The trail takes you through thick alpine forests and rhododendrons and arrives at the Jangchulakha. After walking for some time, you will arrive at the campsite, which offers scenic views beneath. You can also see yak herders around your campsite ((3600m).
After a short climb trail follows a ridge, which on a clear day you can have sensational views of Mont Jumolhari and other Himalayan ranges. After a short descent, you will arrive at Jimilangtsho Lake (3700m) where you will be served your lunch. Then the trail descends further down to Langrithang through fir forests. Overnight camp at 3500m.
The trail takes you through forests of fir and rhododendrons following the stream and arrives at Tsaluna Monastery (sacred site of Guru Rinpoche from 8th century). Further down, you will reach Tsaluna Village, were you can see beautiful farms. In the evening, you will explore nearby villages to experience the lifestyle of rural farmers. Overnight camp (2700m).
You will walk along the farm roads through the village (option: ride a car). After few hours of leisurely walk, you can ride a car to Thimphu for lunch. After relaxing lunch, visit the famous Weekend Market. Stroll through the market to see the variety of food of the country, including basket upon basket of fiery chilies, fresh cheese, and mangoes. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. This is perhaps good opportunity for photography and to mingle with locals who comes from the nearby villages to sell their farm products. In the evening, you can stroll through Thimphu town and absorb the life style of the people. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
After breakfast this morning, enjoy the scenic drive to Punakha with a stop for tea at Dochu La (3,100 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass, drive downhill through the forests of rhododendron, fir and hemlock. You will arrive at Punakha after traversing through rice field and along the bank of Punakha River. On the way, you will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to Devine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. Receive a special fertility blessing from Lama’s wooden phallus if you wish. After lunch, you will visit Punakha Dzong, which is stunningly situated in between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship. Overnight hotel in Punakha.
Biking options: Downhill from Dochula Pass to Punakha valley and round Punakha valley including to and fro 12 km north of the valley till Gasa-Damji road head.
After breakfast, you will hike through a forest of pines and farmlands along the bank of Phochu River for about 2 hours till you reach Samdhingkha (put-in). Your rafting crew will be waiting here for you. Then start rafting along the Pho Chu River coming across stretches of Class II and IV rapids. Upon arriving at a beach-like stretch of sand, some distance from a Chorten, you will be served lunch on the sandy embankment. The post-lunch rafting session will continue till you reach the relatively placid section of the river below the formidable Punakha Dzong. End of rafting session. Overnight hotel in Punakha.
After breakfast you will drive to Bumthang, the cultural heartland of the country. The route is along a spectacular winding road, crossing 3,300-meter-high Pele La pass, and at certain times of year it’s possible to see yaks. You will stop in Trongsa for lunch. After lunch you’ll visit Trongsa Dzong, the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Then you’ll proceed to Bumthang with lush valleys and hilly forests. Along the way you will stop at a yathra (textile weaving) factory, where the yathras are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang, and you can even watch some of the weavers at their looms. Check into hotel on arrival. Overnight hotel in Bumthang.
Biking options: The drop from Pele La to Trongsa, a distance of 70km is said to be the longest downhill stretch in the world. Downhill ride from Yotong La Pass (3,425 meters) to Getsa. From Getsa valley you can bike along the valley till Jakar.
Sightseeing and free day biking in the broad valley of Bumthang. Overnight hotel in Bumthang.
Biking options: The largest and broad valley of Bumthang offers very good opportunity for biking in Bhutan. You can bike in the around Bumthang.
Morning visit to Jambay Lhakhang, the monastery built in 7th century by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. Then drive to Punakha with lunch en route. While in Wangdue you will also visit the typical Bhutanese town of Wangdue. Overnight hotel in Wangdue.
Biking options: Downhill Yotong La Pass to Trongsa and Pelela La Pass to Wangdue.
After breakfast visit Rinchengang Village on the opposite side of the Dzong which is known for their slate and stone carvings. Then drive to Thimphu across Dochula Pass. On arrival check into hotel. Evening is free time for shopping in town. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
Biking options: You can ride bikes downhill from Dochula Las Pass and along the new express before reaching Thimphu and also in and around Thimphu city in the evening. Last day of biking in Bhutan.
After breakfast drive to the airport for departure. Our representative will bid you farewell.
Cost Includes on Trek
- Sleeping tents
- Dinning tent
- Toilet tent
- Sleeping mats
- Trekking chef
- Pack animals Horses
- Government levy
- All meals
- Tea and snacks
- Visa fee
- Entrance fees
- Guide services
- Air fares
- Sleeping bags (on trek)
- Drinks and beverages
- Phone / internet
- Other personal bills
What trekking is like?Trekking in Bhutan is different from Nepal. There are no teahouse or lodges ontrail where you can backpack and find your meals at the teahouses and lodges on the way. Horses or yaks carry all your trekking gears, equipment and food supplies. We do not use human porters. You will be sleeping inside a tent pitched at different night halt places. Trained trekking chef is being assigned to you to cook hot meals at the campsites. You will also get hot lunch served on the way.
For a group of two trekkers, you will have 6 people trekking with you – these include a trekking guide, chef, assistants and horsemen. You will have 8 horses carrying luggage.
FitnessThere is no blue print setting standards for your fitness level for treks in Bhutan. Cardio-vascular training, stamina building and leg strength development may be necessary but not compulsory. If you do not have time for such fitness preparation, you should not bother much — with bit of cooperation with your guide and observing some precautionary measures while trekking, you can successfully complete your trek. In more than a decade of our high altitude treks operation; we have a record of completing Snowman Trek by person as old as 72 year and other treks by people with no past trekking experience.
If you are to hit by altitude sickness, you will be prone to it even if you have climbed K2 before. It can hit any one irrespective of age, past experience and time. So just pack right gears and hit your trails.
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) & PrecautionAcute Mountain Sickness or simply high altitude sickness is caused when your blood stream does not get enough oxygen in higher altitude. If not taken care, this would become fatal.
All trekkers must take precaution to avoid AMS. It’s a holistic approach – cooperation, using right and appropriate gears, eating proper meals, protecting from heat and cold, maintaining your fluid balance and ultimately allowing enough time to acclimatize your body.</ p>
Temperature of trekDuring the day it will be warmer with temperature ranging from 12-18 degree celcius. While during the night the temperature will fall below zero degree celcius. In Oct and November, the night temperature will be negative 5-6 degree celcius. You must carry warm sleeping bags.
Trekking Guide & Handling EmergencyOur trekking guides are trained and certified by the government to handle AMS and other emergencies on treks. You have access to mobile networks on some point of trails and a daily contact is being maintained with the office back in city.
Meals on trekWe have set standard food menus on trek to keep you healthy and energized. Our trekkers often remark that our trek food is better than in city hotels. You will be provided with toasts, tea/coffee, butter, honey, fruit jams, milk, fresh fruits, juices, ham, sausages, chocolates, corn flakes, egg, chicken, pork, beef, fish, rice and variety of vegetables. You will be served hot meals always including lunches.
Trash ManagementLittering is not allowed on all trek routes. Hand over your wastes to your trekking staff. They will put in a garbage bag and carry along with them to city to be thrown into proper bins.
Group sizeTo facilitate group dynamic we limit our group size to 12 people maximum. However we will run the trip even for FIT or one and two individuals.
FlightsParo international airport in Bhutan is being connected to cities like Bangkok, Kathmandu, Singapore, Dhaka and Indian cities like Kolkotta, Guwahati and Bagdora. Local airlines Drukair and Bhutan Airlines services to and from these cities. For journey originating from Europe Delhi should be the best connection and Bangkok from America.
When to book?Bhutan has bottlenecks in trip planning. We have limited hotels and flights. You are advised to book at least 6 months in advance to secure flights and hotel rooms.
Visa and PassportTourist’s visas need to be arranged in advance through local tour operators. No foreign missions abroad grant tourists visa. You will have to make an advance payment to approve your visa. Once your visa is been approved, visa clearance letter (VCL) will be sent to you. You must carry this letter to be shown at the check-in counter from where you board your flights to Bhutan. Actual Bhutanese visa will be stamped on your passport on arrival at Paro international airport.
Your passport should have minimum six months validity from the date on entry into Bhutan and at least one full blank page for visa. You will not need to carry passport size photos for visa.
Tips and GratitudeAlthough tipping is not compulsory, your service provider might expect from you. You can consult with the company office with regards to tipping slab.
- Down parka
- Warm fleece jacket
- Comfortable trekking boot (we like lowa)
- Lightweight shoes
- Rain gears
- 4 pair trekking socks
- 2 long sleeve capilene shirts
- 2 capilene bottoms (mid & heavy weight)
- 2 trekking shirts (non-cotton is best!)
- Trekking pants (zip off shorts are nice)
- 1 pair shorts
- 1 bandana
- Warm gloves
- Flip flop (or similar camp shoes)
- Warm hat
- Sun hat
- 2 pair sunglasses
- Small daypack
- Warm sleeping bag (negative 8-10 degree celcius)
- Trekking poles
- Mud guard
- Headlamp and a normal torch
- Camera and extra batteries
- 2-liter water bottle (if camelback, bring also a nalgene)
- Insulated drinking mug
- Small towel
- Various size plastic bags to keep gear dry and separate
- Anti bacterial hand gel for disinfecting hands
- Medical kit that includes – aspirin, motion sickness tablets, cough drops, diamox, bites/burn cream and small bandage.
- Lightweight toilet articles (shampoo, soap-travel size)
- Sunscreen, lip screen and insect repellent
- Water purification tablets (iodine or chlorine)
- High calorie snacks and energy bars
- Prescription medications
- Some books to read at camp