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Bhutan Sightseeing, Trekking and Biking Tour-12 days

Thimpu City Square Thimpu City Square View from Dochu La Pass View from Dochu La Pass Jakar Dzong of the Bumthang District in central Bhutan Jakar Dzong of the Bumthang District in central Bhutan Tiger's Nest Monastery Tiger's Nest Monastery

Trip Introduction

Experience the wondrous Bhutanese countryside via hiking, trekking and mountain biking all at one go.  This tour also covers must-see cultural heartlands of Paro, Thimphu, Wangdue, Punakha to Trongsa and the widest valley of Bumthang.  We visit Bhutan's famous Tiger's Nest Monastery, Jele Dzong, Tashichho Dzong among others during our tour. The 'Bhutan Sightseeing, Trekking and Biking Tour' is an adventure that takes us through rich coniferous forests, glacial lakes and beautiful passes up to the dizzying heights offering amazing views of snow-capped mountains.

Important Note :
Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Himalayan Glacier. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.

Trip Cost

1-2 people: USD 4450 per person
3-12 people: USD 3980 per person

(Note: above price is valid only until the end of 2014!)

What Is Included

  • Bhutanese visa fee
  • Pickups and drops from hotels and airport
  • All meals (including tea and snacks)
  • Government approved A and B category hotels on twin-shared basis in cities and camping (tent) during trekking
  • English speaking, trained and experienced guide(s) and staff
  • All fees for museum and monuments visits as per the itinerary
  • All necessary government taxes and permits
  • Porter and pack animals services for the trekking
  • Trekking equipments like 2-man sleeping tents, dining tents, kitchen tents, toilet tents, and sleeping mats
  • Mountain Bike

What Is Not Included

  • Airfare for international flights to and from Bhutan or any flight(s) within Bhutan
  • Items of a personal nature (personal gear, telephone calls, beverages, internet, laundry, etc.)
  • Trip cancellation and medical/evacuation insurance
  • Tips for staff/guide

Accommodations

Hotels in Bhutan are approved and classified by the government as grade A, B and C. These government approved hotels are equivalent to 3-4 star hotels elsewhere. Based on availability at the time of booking, A and B grade hotels will be provided. We use Hotel Tashi Namgay Resort in Paro, Hotel Migmar in Thimpu, Meri Puensum Resort in Punakha, Hotel Peling or similar in Bumthang, Hotel Dewechen or similar in Phobjikha Valley and camping (tent) during trekking. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost USD 560.

Meals

A variety of meals are available in most hotels – the most popular being Indian, Chinese, and the more common continental food. Non-vegetarian dishes are generally available in most parts of Bhutan - pork, beef, chicken, and fish. The best advice is to ask the hotel and restaurant to recommend what is fresh and in season. For the actual trekking days, our company will send a wide assortment of food. We will be provided 3 meals a day – breakfast, hot picnic lunch on the way, and dinner at the campsites with evening tea and snacks.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 01:  Arrival and sightseeing in Paro (2,250m /7,382ft)

As our flight nears Bhutan, we can enjoy amazing views of the Himalayas including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks. At the airport, we will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier who will take us to our hotel. Today, we will visit Rinpung Dzong which was built in 1646 and now houses the district Monastic Body and government administrative offices of Paro Dzongkhag. We will also visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country and Drugyal Dzong, built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. Overnight in Paro.

Day 02:  Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery then return to Paro
After breakfast, we hike for 4 -5 hours to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan's most famous monastery situated at 3,180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch will be served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up the mountain. After having explored the monastery, we hike down to the valley floor and drive back to Paro. Overnight in Paro.
Day 03:  Trek begins: Paro to Jele Dzong(3,480m/11,415ft): 10 km, 4-5 hours

First we will drive to the start of our trek to Jele Dzong. From there, we hike for a short while (around an hour) to the Dzong.  The trail ascends gently through a forest before reaching our campsite. Above the camp on top of the hill is Jele Dzong. From here, the Paro valley can be seen with snow-capped mountains as its back drop.  Built in the 15th century, Jele Dzong is mostly in ruins but there is a Lhakhang (Buddhist temple) with the statute of Buddha Sakyamuni.  Overnight camping.

Day 04:  Jele Dzong to Jangchulakha (3,770m/12,365ft): 10 km, 3-4 hours

Today we embark on about 2 hours of trekking. We begin with a gradual ascent (310m) then descend (50m). The trail passes through thick alpine and rhododendron forests and reaches Jangchulakha.  We still walk for some time and arrive at the campsite, which offers scenic views of the amazing landscape below. Overnight camping.

Day 05:  Jangchulakha to Tsaluna (2,700m/8,856ft): 17 km, 5-6 hours: Trek ends

After a short climb, the trail follows a ridge. On a clear day, the views of Mt. Chomolhari and other Himalayan ranges are sensational.  After a short descent, we arrive at Jimilangtsho Lake (3,700m) where we have our lunch.  Then the trail descends further down to Tsaluna alongside a stream and through fir and rhododendron forests. Further down, we reach Tsaluna Village, where we can see beautiful farms.  In the evening, we explore nearby villages to experience the lifestyle of rural farmers. Overnight camping.

Day 06:  Tsaluna to Thimphu (2,320m/7,610ft)

We walk along farm roads through the village. After a few hours walk, we drive to Thimphu for lunch. After lunch, we visit the King's Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), the National Library which contains Bhutanese history in the form of religious and historical literature. Next, we drive to Kuenselphodrang where there is a giant Buddha statue on a plateau overlooking Thimphu Valley and the Thimphu Dzong.  Also, we visit the traditional paper factory and the majestic Tashichhodzong. Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 07:  Thimphu to Punakha (1,250m/4,100ft): 76 km, 2-3 hours

After breakfast, we enjoy the scenic drive to Punakha with a stop for tea at Dochu La Pass (3,100 meters), where on a clear day we get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass, we drive downhill through rhododendron, fir and hemlock forests. We then pass through rice fields along river banks and reach Punakha. After lunch, we visit Punakha Dzong. Built between 1637-1638, it is the second oldest and the second largest dzong in Bhutan. Overnight in Punakha.

Biking Options: Downhill from Dochula Pass to Punakha valley and round Punakha valley including to and fro 12 km north till Gasa-Damji road head.

Day 08:  Punakha to Bumthang (2,580m/9,350ft): 214 km, 8-9 hours

After an early breakfast, we drive to Bumthang which is the cultural heartland of Bhutan.  The route is along a beautiful winding road. We cross Pele La Pass (3,300m) and  stop at Trongsa for lunch.  After lunch, we visit Trongsa Dzong, a masterpiece in Bhutanese architecture. We continue to Bumthang and pass lush valleys and hills on the way. We also stop at a yathra (textile weaving) factory, where the yathras are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang. Overnight  in Bumthang.

Biking options:  The drop from Pele La Pass to Trongsa, a distance of 70km is said to be the longest downhill stretch in the world. Ride downhill from Yotong La Pass (3,425m) to Getsa.  From Getsa valley we can bike along the valley till Jakar.

Day 09:  Sightseeing in Bumthang

Today's sightseeing in Bumthang includes Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the valley; Jambey Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, dating back to the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan; and Kurje Lhakhang, a sacred place where Guru Rinpoche is believed to have left his body imprint on the cave when he was meditating.  After the tour, we have lunch then visit Tamshing Lhakhang, a treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings. In the evening, we can visit local shops. Overnight in Bumthang.

Biking options: Bumthang is the largest valley in Bhutan whose wide landscape offers very good opportunity for biking in Bhutan.  You can bike in and around Bumthang.

Day 10:  Bumthang to Phobjikha Valley (3,000m/9,840ft): 129km, 5-6 hours

We begin the day by driving to Gangtey with a stop for lunch at Chendebji.  After lunch, we continue our drive through dense forests of oak trees and rhododendrons and arrive at Gangtey village, the highest glacial valley in Bhutan. We visit Gangtey Monastery, the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan. It is located on a hill overlooking the entire Phobjikha valley, the winter habitat of the black-necked cranes, who migrate from the Tibetan plateau to escape harsh winter conditions. Overnight camping.

Biking options: Downhill from Yotong La Pass to Trongsa and Pele La Pass to Gangtey.

Day 11:  Phobjikha Valley to Thimphu (2,320m/7,610ft): 127 km, 4-5 hours

This morning, we return to Thimphu. We stop at Wangdue for lunch. On the way, we also visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is a unique with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. In the evening, we explore the streets of Thimpu. Overnight in Thimpu.

Biking options: Downhill from Lawa La Pass to Wangdue and Dochula La Pass to Thimphu.

Day 12:  Final Departure:

Today we bid farewell to the tiny Himalayan Kingdom and her friendly people. After early breakfast, we leave Thimpu for Paro airport. Druk Air generally departs in the early morning to avoid adverse weather conditions. Therefore, after taking breakfast, we will be taken to the airport in the morning for final departure.

Equipment and Packing List

While packing for Bhutan Sightseeing, Trekking and Biking Tour certain equipments are essential. Please Click here for this trip's comprehensive checklist.

Best Season

Spring (March to June) and autumn (September to November) are the best times to visit Bhutan.

Trip Start Dates and Price

Check available trip start dates and price for Bhutan Sightseeing, Trekking and Biking Tour

Additional Information

Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us.
Trip Facts

Price From

$ 4450 USD

Trip Code

HGTBT-0155
  • Activities: Trekking and Hiking, Cultural and Historical Tours, Cycling and Mountain Biking
  • Trip Duration:12 Days
  • Trip Grade:Easy 
  • Altitude:Maximum: 3770m / 12365ft
  • Accommodation: Standard hotels and camping (tents)
  • Meals:All meals
  • Transportation: Private vehicles (car or 4WD or Hiace)
  • Group Size: Maximum of 12 people
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