Exploring the spiritual heart of Bhutan, its scenic trails, temples & vibrant Buddhist culture
Group | 12 Days | Moderate Touring
Dates: September 29 ~ October 10, 2019;
October 29 ~ November 09, 2019
Take this beautiful fall hiking journey exploring the breathtaking central highlands of Bhutan, stopping at some of the most scenic temples and monasteries in the kingdom and learning about the ancient Himalayan Buddhist culture that shapes life in Bhutan to this day. Take optional hikes along forested mountain trails, country walks skirting terraced rice fields, and experience an exciting mask dance festival as well as magnificent Tiger's Nest monastery.
Enjoy a Bhutanese feast prepared by a curator of Bhutanese food traditions
Meet interesting Bhutanese people from many walks of life
Watch a traditional mask dance festival
Visit exquisite temples and monasteries
Markets, monuments, optional hikes and more
FROM OUR PHOTOGALLERY
This scenic journey during Bhutan's lovely fall season covers the highlights of western Bhutan before taking us overland on an in-depth exploration of our home region of Bumthang. We visit central Bhutan's enchanting valleys and monasteries, take informative walking tours and enjoy insightful experiences of the kingdom's balanced and, some would say, profound way of life. A return domestic flight west brings us back to the cultural centers of Paro. Other valleys included in this journey include Punakha, Thimphu Wangdue and Trongsa with a possible overnight excursion to Gangtey. We also meet interesting Bhutanese people and celebrate a vibrant annual mask dance festival at one of the most anticipated events of the annual Buddhist calendar!
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
The activities on this trip are rated as moderate and suits a wide range of interests and physical fitness levels. Trip members should be in good health and comfortable standing or walking for extended periods of time and confident navigating mixed and steep terrain that may include rocky trails, slippery conditions and, or, steps and stairs. Daily activities include city walking tours, hiking to and entering monasteries, temples and fortresses, driving over winding mountain roads and easy to moderate hiking with some strenuous options where possible. The general elevations in the valleys will mostly range from 6,800 ft to 9,000 ft, with drives that will take us over higher passes before descending to the average elevations mentioned above. The final hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery is 10,000 ft.
The high-end accommodations on this journey feature traditional Bhutanese style with modern elements. The lodges are handpicked for regional character, comfort, and hospitality, including our beautiful family lodge in the central highlands of Bhutan, the Mountain Resort (see more on the Mountain Resort below). In peak season, depending on availability, we may use lodges comparable to the ones we have listed or advertised.
Every expedition is curated by expert native-born guides and trip leaders who also facilitate meetings and learning experiences with other locally knowledgeable people along the way. Our experienced team shares valuable insights and local expertise to ensure a culturally rich adventure of discovery through the Himalayan landscape and traditions of Bhutan.
Mountain Resort - Bumthang, Bhutan
Set against a sacred cloud forest a short distance below Bumthang's Jakar Dzong (fortress), our family-run lodge in Central Bhutan features the best elements of traditional architecture, including flagstones of river rock, the beautiful wood-and-stone masonry construction of Central Bhutan, and spacious rooms with wood paneling and post and beams of fragrant pine. Guests can enjoy a healing soak in traditional "hot stone" baths enhanced, in accordance with indigenous practices, by mugwort and other medicinal herbs. It's our perfect base for exploring the ample beauties and blessings of the central highlands of Bhutan.
DATES & PRICES
October 29 - November 09, 2019
September 29 - October 10, 2020
October 29 - November 09, 2020
Prices are per person based on double occupancy and do not include international airfare to/from your destination or internal flights during the expedition. Single traveler prices are available upon request. Internal flights are $980 per person & $175 per person where a short-duration flight is included on the itinerary. Surcharges may apply to certain travel dates based upon international or local holidays, as well as local events and festivals. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars and subject to change.
All ground transportation, visas for Bhutan and airport transfers
All meals, including excursions to try well-known local restaurants
The expertise and services of your Bhutanese Trip Leaders, Guides & dedicated trip field staff
Courtesy booking services & arrangements for round-trip regional flights from gateway cities (such as Bangkok) to Bhutan & any internal domestic flights (airfare is additional).
Sightseeing, special events & receptions, visits and entry fees
All environmental national parks & conservation fees and permits
All Trek Arrangements (if you signed up for a trek), including community camping and commissary equipment (comfortable and roomy two-person tents, kitchen and dining tents, and other community equipment), camp, cook and support staff
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
Airfare to and from destination, as well as internal airfare where applicable
Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
“Through the eyes of a select few informed leaders we saw the dilemmas of a culture: A hitherto sheltered nation discovering the arguments for and against remaining a cloistered society in this 21st Century. I loved the adventure, and I loved the discovery. Unlike anything else I have ever experienced!”
~ Lola W
Fly from your home city to Bangkok, Singapore, New Delhi Kolkata or Kathmandu (Main Gateway Cities)*
Fly from Gateway City to Paro, Bhutan.
Important: Bhutan Himalaya Expeditions makes round-trip flight arrangements from the Gateway City of your choice to Bhutan as a courtesy to our travelers. Airfare is not included in trip price.
For further details please email us using the contact form on our Request Full Details page.
*Bangkok is the primary Gateway City & offers the most frequent and most reliable flights to Bhutan.
CUSTOM JOURNEYS TAILORED JUST FOR YOU
Did you know we also arrange custom journeys throughout the year? Just tell us what you need from your trip and we will put it together for you.
TRAVEL EXTENSIONS TO
CAMBODIA & LAOS
(with optional Bangkok Transit arrangements)
If you'd like to spend a little more time exploring the magnificent World Heritage sites of Cambodia and Laos before or after Bhutan with arrangements in and out of Bangkok, we can take care of those details as well. Tie in a visit to the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor Wat or explore the quaint streets of Luang Prabang where French Colonial meets a distinctly unique Asian sensibility.