On this immersive journey, we'll take in the breathtaking sights of western and central Bhutan, beginning with the new and old capitals of Thimphu and Punakha. From the subtropical greenery of these small cities, we'll then pass into the beautifully isolated Phobjikha Valley and on to Bumthang, Bhutan's spiritual heartland. We'll dedicate two days to the Jambay Lhakhang Festival, one of the country's brightest and liveliest celebrations. Our adventure ends with an ascent to the dramatic Taktsang Lhakhang (Tiger's Nest Monastery).
The total cost of this trip is $3,890. For travelers wishing to have single accommodations during the trip, an additional $325 will be due at the time of the final payment.
We recommend a medium level of physical fitness, since we'll be embarking on very active days together. You should be comfortable walking between three and five miles per day without difficulty, and spending extended periods of time on your feet. For those interested in trekking, there will be opportunities for longer and more challenging hikes on certain days of the trip. Some of the places visited on this trip are extremely remote. It can take days to reach the nearest modern medical facility. If you're uncertain about whether this trip is a good fit, please contact us and we'd be happy to discuss with you further.
The elevations reached on this trip range from approximately 4,000 feet in Punakha to approximately 11,000 feet when crossing the journey's highest pass, the Dochu La, by road. Travelers should speak with their doctors about appropriate precautions to take, and consider spending an extra night en route to rest and recover from jetlag before continuing on to Bhutan. It's important to bear in mind that high-quality emergency medical care may be a day or more way due to the remoteness of some of the areas we'll visit.
We'll be spending twelve nights in a range of local accommodations, from rustic (but clean and comfortable) lodges in Gangtey and Bumthang to a beautifully designed upscale Bhutanese-style hotel in Paro. Single travelers should be prepared to share a room with another traveler of the same gender, depending on the composition of the group. Single travelers who would like to have a room to themselves can book private accommodations with a single supplement of $325.
Once you have signed up for the trip, we will get in touch to help book your Druk Air flights in and out of Bhutan. While our group itinerary begins in Paro, Bhutan, on Day 1 you should plan to arrive and overnight in Bangkok the prior night in order to connect with your onward flight to Bhutan the following morning. Flights in and out of Bhutan are prone to schedule changes and tend to sell out, so we do not recommend a tight connection in Bangkok.
The trip ends in Paro, Bhutan on Day 13. Again, we will be in touch to assist in booking your flight out of Bhutan. You should plan to depart Bangkok any time after 9 p.m. that evening, leaving plenty of time for schedule changes or delays on the flight out of Bhutan.
Yes, a visa is required for travel to Bhutan, but we will secure it on your behalf.
Early October is typically a beautiful time of year in Bhutan. Temperatures vary widely from one town to another due to the range of altitudes, but in general you can expect daytime highs in the 60s and nighttime lows in the 40s, with perhaps a day or two of light rain over the course of the trip. That said, weather in the Himalayas is very unpredictable and it's best to be prepared for a variety of possible conditions.