Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Tradition festival buddhist-Bhutan_464476_P

Hiker’s Journey to Bhutan

Wilderness Travel
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
12 days
From: $ 5,995 $ 500 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • Hike and explore the ethereal Bumthang region, spiritual center of this Himalayan kingdom
  • Attend a wildly colorful Buddhist tsechu festival
  • Meet artisans, farmers, Buddhist pilgrims, and red-robed monks
  • Climb the ancient trail to the cliff-perched Tiger’s Nest monastery
  • Overnights in deluxe hotels and welcoming lodges

Short Description

Emerald valleys, deep rhododendron forests, serene villages, exuberant festivals that honor the guardian deities—we invite you to experience a rare Himalayan world on this cultural and hiking adventure. We’ll discover the kingdom of Bhutan’s unique heritage on hikes to pilgrimage sites in the sacred Bumthang Valley, follow trails to cliff-perched Tiger’s Nest Monastery, and meet villagers at work in their fields as we hike to traditional hamlets. We’ve timed every departure to include a tsechu—a festival held at a centuries-old monastery where intricate dance-dramas depict the world of demons and deities. Lovely hotels and mountain lodges welcome us each night, and our Bhutanese Trip Leaders share their passion for their extraordinary country.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Paro, Bhutan
End City Paro, Bhutan

Trip Includes

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations; please note that rooms with double beds are usually not available in Bhutan. Most lodge rooms are twin-bedded.
  • All meals included
  • Government taxes and fees
  • Land transportation, airport transfers for passengers as noted in the Detailed Itinerary

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Itinerary

Days 1-2: Paro / Thimphu

Accommodation: Le Méridien Hotel

Flying to the green Paro Valley, we head to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, where we stretch our legs on a hike up to Cheri, a 17th century monastery and major Buddhist teaching university and retreat center.

Days 3-5: Punakha and Phobjikha Valleys

Accommodation: Dragon's Nest Resort; Drubchhu Resort; Hotel Lobesa; Zhingkham Resort

In the lush Punakha Valley, we hike through riverside villages to Chimi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to the Tibetan Buddhist saint known as “the divine madman” for his unconventional ways. Punakha holds the architectural masterpiece of the Punakha Dzong, Bhutan’s former winter capital, built in 1637 at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Po Chu (“mother” and “father” rivers). This is the seat of the highest abbot of Bhutan. We’ll head to the bowl-shaped glacial valley of Phobjikha for a hike through pine-forested hills and visit gold-spired Gangtey, an important monastery of the Nyingmapa sect of Buddhism.

Days 6-12: Bumthang / Tsechu Festival / Paro

Yangkhil Resort; Zhiwa Ling Hotel; Haven Resort; Le Meridien

The tranquil Bumthang region of central Bhutan has an extraordinary concentration of venerated temples and monasteries. It was here that Buddhism was introduced to Bhutan in the 7th century. We hike to some of the region’s most sacred sites, including 17th century Kurjey Lhakhang, whose temples are the resting place of Bhutan’s first three kings. Flying back to Paro, our final hike is spectacular as we head up the pilgrim trail to reach Taktsang, the Tiger’s Nest, clinging to a cliff 3,000 feet above the Paro Valley. Depart on Day 12 or join our extension.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 5,995
Price Per Day: $ 500 per day
Check Availability
Checking price
Start DateEnd DateDouble StandardSingle SupplementAvailability 
Oct-07-2019Oct-18-2019$ 5,995$ 7,590Limited Reserve
Nov-01-2019Nov-12-2019$ 5,995$ 7,590Limited Reserve
Nov-06-2019Nov-17-2019$ 5,995$ 7,590Limited Reserve
Dec-06-2019Dec-17-2019$ 5,995$ 7,590Limited Reserve
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 1,450

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Wilderness Travel.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Details

Optional Activities

Cancellation And Transfer Fee Schedule

  • Up to 91 days prior to departure: No charge!
  • 61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
  • 46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
  • 45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 15

4-15 members

Accomodations

Le Méridien Hotel: Thimphu, Bhutan

Opened in 2014, Le Meridien’s brilliant white building capped with a vibrant red roof and orange-trimmed windows reveals a modern twist on traditional Bhutanese architecture. Guestrooms are spacious and have wonderful views of Thimphu’s tranquil mountains nearby, and the hotel is within a five-minute walk of the famous Memorial Chorten and close to small shops and markets—the perfect location to immerse yourself in the timeless environment. Le Meridien also has an indoor pool to unwind after an exploratory day in the “Land of the Thunder Dragon.”

Dragon's Nest Resort: Days 3 to 4 (2 nights), Wangduephodrang, Bhutan

The Dragon’s Nest Resort is a rustic country hotel nestled in the Punakha Valley on the banks of the Puna Tsang Chu River. Guestrooms are simple, but clean and comfortable, with en suite bathrooms and hot-water showers, and the hotel property is well maintained. All 18 of the guestrooms have views overlooking the river and the valley. Meals are served buffet-style in the separate central dining room.

Drubchhu Resort: Days 3 to 4 (2 nights), Punakha, Bhutan

The charming Drubchhu Resort, surrounded by paddy fields and farmhouses, and adorned with lovely gardens (where the owner grows her own fruits and vegetables), is a simple and pleasant retreat in Punakha. Large rooms have comfortable beds and a spacious bathroom, and all have views of the lush environment where you can watch the clouds roll over the mountain tops and cascade into the valley. A short walk from the hotel brings you to lively markets, and the friendly staff is always quick to help with directions.

Hotel Lobesa: Days 3 to 4 (2 nights), Punakha, Bhutan

Perched on the slopes of plantations overlooking the Punakha Valley, and managed by a family who has resided in the Punakha Valley for generations, Hotel Lobesa is a clean and relaxing respite. Rooms are comfortable, have Wi-Fi, and the hotel is near the famous Temple of Fertility, Chimi Lhakhang. If you have time and are feeling adventurous, experience Bhutanese nightlife with a visit to the nearby karaoke lounge.

Zhingkham Resort: Days 3 to 4 (2 nights), Punakha, Bhutan

Overlooking the Punakha Valley, Zhingkham Resort is a privately owned hotel with a relaxing atmosphere. Comfortable guestrooms have white-linen beds, and private balconies feature beautifully carved wooden railings. For a great photo op, head to the open-air lounge area with sweeping vistas of the mountains and valley and perfectly placed with full views of the Punakha Dzong.

Yangkhil Resort: Day 6 (1 night), Trongsa, Bhutan

After a long day of travel through the countryside, the Yangkhil Resort is a welcoming oasis. Built in traditional Bhutanese style, this hillside hotel, with its breathtaking views of the mountains and imposing Trongsa Dzong, features spacious chalet-style rooms that are simple but comfortable, modern, and clean. A dining terrace overlooks a tranquil flower-filled garden with fish ponds, a stream, and water-driven prayer wheel. The staff is friendly and helpful.

Zhiwa Ling Hotel: Days 10 to 11 (2 nights), Paro, Bhutan

Located on 10 acres in a serene setting in the green Paro Valley, the deluxe Zhiwa Ling is a wonderful example of traditional Bhutanese architecture, every bit of it hand-carved in Bhutan by local craftsmen. The 45 rooms (all suites) are airy and large, with balconies opening onto views of world-famous Taktsang Monastery. At the hotel’s Menlha Spa, enjoy a sauna or a Bhutanese-style massage, perfect after a long day’s hike, while the tea room offers local safflower and cinnamon herb teas. The hotel has two restaurants, plus the Mad Monk bar, a great spot for winding down. The Zhiwa Ling has appeared on Conde Nast Traveler’s annual “Gold List.”

Haven Resort: Days 10 to 11 (2 nights), Paro, Bhutan

Set in the hills above Paro, the Thai-owned Haven Resort is decorated in modern yet traditional Bhutanese style. The Bhu Thai Restaurant, the hotel’s main dining room, serves Thai and continental cuisine and offers panoramic views of the surrounding orchards and forest. Spa facilities, including massage and hot stone bath, are available.

Le Meridien: Days 10 to 11 (2 nights), Paro, Bhutan

Set along the riverfront, this hotel offers a little bit of luxury in the heart of Paro, while still being conveniently located near the Paro Airport, Bhutan's only international airport. Guestrooms are clean and modern with beautiful wall decorations, wood floors, marble bathrooms, and serene views of the mountains and Paro River. During your free time, relax on the outdoor terrace or enjoy a walk to the river.

Trip ID#:

HikBhuWil

Trip Excludes

  • International airfare, hotels in Bangkok
  • Airport transfers for individual arrival or departure, airport departure taxes
  • Optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff
  • Pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas
  • Other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)

Meals Included:

All meals included

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