Overview Embarking on a walking and hiking holiday in Bhutan offers an unforgettable adventure amidst the awe-inspiring beauty of this Himalayan kingdom. With its pristine landscapes, ancient monasteries, and rich cultural heritage, Bhutan is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts seeking an immersive experience. The best time to visit Bhutan for walking and hiking is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons when the weather is pleasant, skies are clear, and temperatures are favorable. These months provide the ideal conditions to explore the diverse trekking routes that Bhutan has to offer. One of the popular trekking…
Embarking on a walking and hiking holiday in Bhutan offers an unforgettable adventure amidst the awe-inspiring beauty of this Himalayan kingdom. With its pristine landscapes, ancient monasteries, and rich cultural heritage, Bhutan is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts seeking an immersive experience.
The best time to visit Bhutan for walking and hiking is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons when the weather is pleasant, skies are clear, and temperatures are favorable. These months provide the ideal conditions to explore the diverse trekking routes that Bhutan has to offer.
One of the popular trekking options is the Druk Path Trek, a 4-6 day journey that takes you through breathtaking landscapes and allows you to visit ancient monasteries along the way. For more experienced hikers, the Jomolhari Trek is also a challenging 8-9 day adventure, offering magnificent views of the Himalayan peaks, remote villages, and serene alpine lakes. The Snowman Trek is also a truly epic adventure for those seeking a longer and more demanding trek. Spanning 25-30 days, it traverses high mountain passes and rewards trekkers with unparalleled natural beauty.
To explore these routes, it is necessary to obtain a visa in advance and book your trip through a licensed Bhutanese tour operator. These operators will take care of permits, accommodations, and transportation, ensuring a hassle-free experience.
Physical fitness and acclimatization are vital for trekking in Bhutan’s high-altitude regions. Prior training and preparation help minimize the risks associated with altitude sickness.
When packing for your trek, consider essentials such as sturdy hiking boots, moisture-wicking clothing, waterproof gear, sun protection, trekking poles, and a suitable sleeping bag. A first aid kit and water purification tablets are also important.
In addition to the natural beauty, Bhutan’s rich cultural heritage and Buddhist traditions add a unique charm to your journey. Respect local customs, dress modestly, and seek permission before entering religious sites to appreciate the cultural significance.
In summary, a walking and hiking holiday in Bhutan promises an incredible adventure filled with majestic landscapes, ancient monasteries, and cultural immersion. Prepare well, choose your preferred trekking route, and get ready to experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the Land of the Thunder Dragon.
Arrive Paro by Bhutan’s national carrier, Druk Air, and it’s a scenic flight as the plane touch down the lush green Paro Valley flying past the world’s highest mountains. Steeping down from the plane, cool, clean and fresh air welcomes the visitor, the first gift of Bhutan. After clearing the customs and visa formalities met by the representatives and transfer to Paro for lunch. Afterwards, visit Rinpung Dzongbuilt in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan. Then drive to Thimphu (1 hour) following Pa Chhu downstream.
In Thimphu, drive on to the Buddha Terrance for a stunning view of the valley and take a drive to visit Takin Preserve to see Takin, Bhutan’s national animal – a strange looking beast which some say resembles a beestung moose! Take a view of the majestic Tashichoe Dzong, the seat of the government before circumventing the Memorial Chorten – a monument erected in memory of Bhutan’s third king H.M. Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Visit Centenary Farmers Market, the new authentic craft bazaar, National Institute of Traditional Medicine that still dispenses traditional herbal medicines to the locals, the Folk Heritage Museum – a 300 year old traditional house converted into a museum. Overnight at Hotel (Lunch/Dinner included)
After early breakfast, drive up the valley towards north along Thim Chhu (river) for a short hike to Cheri Monastery. The short drive along the countryside reaches the Jigme Dorji Wildlife Sanctuary, the largest protected area in Bhutan. The park is home to several endangered species including the Takin, snow leopard, blue sheep, tiger, red panda, and the Himalayan black bear. More than 300 species of birds have been cataloged within the park and it has a rich vegetation.
The hike beings from the small village of Dodena after crossing the covered bridge over the Thim Chhu to climb up steadily to Cheri Monastery. Cheri Monastery is a small monastery atop hill with a view over the Thimphu Valley. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel built this monastery in 1620, and this is where the first community of monks in Bhutan was established. The monastery contains the ashes of Tempi Nima, the father of the first Shabdrung of Bhutan, so the monastery is considered very sacred. Shabdrung also spent three years in retreat here and it’s a renowned meditation place even today. Afterwards, descend back re-tracing the same route keeping our eyes open for the goral (wild goat) often spotted on the cliffs nearby. Then back to Thimphu.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast, drive for about 1 & half hour to Punakha. Climb up the mountain road to Dochula La at 3140m. On clear weather, the pass commands a wonderful panorama of the Eastern Himalayas. From the pass, descend through varied forest and finally emerging into the highly cultivated valley of Punakha. Take a short hike through beautiful rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, who as a favorite saint of the Bhutanese people is known affectionately as “the Divine Madman”. The temple is on a hillside in the middle of rice fields and has become a pilgrimage site for childless couples. Then drive to Punakha. Afternoon: visit Punakha Dzong located at the confluence of the Pho-chu (male-river) and Mo-chu (female-river), the Punakha Dzong is arguably the most impressive dzong in the country. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After a fairly breakfast, hike up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyel Chorten erected by Royal queen mother for the purpose of present king in 2002. It offers a great view of the lower valley. The temple is regarded as one of the most intricate with paintings. At the temple one could see three different sect of Mahayana Buddhism. Then drive towards Paro. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After an early breakfast, we proceed with hike to the Floating statue Temple in Paro not a familiar tourist destination as this site is promoted by few travel agent. The Chumphu Nye hike starts from the upper Dop Shari Valley after a drive for about half an hour on the dirt road from Paro. Then keep walking along the river till reaching a small chorten (stupa). From this point, you can spot Chumphu Nye atop a hill on your left. The walk then is easy as the path way is alongside the river with a mixture of gentle up hill and downhill but at the very end after reaching the small temple from where the temple can finally seen it’s a steep climb up for 45 Mins to reach and see the amazing floating statue of Dorji Pham. Afterwards trace the same route back and to Paro. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast drive towards the base camp of Taktsang for the hike up to the Taktsang Monastery-Tiger’s Nest. It’s about two hours hike up the cafeteria. From this point, enjoy the spectacular view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in 8th century. Then visit the Taktsang Monastery and hike back to the road point then drive to Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in Bhutan. Afterwards, back to hotel. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch the onward flight. Bid farewell to the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappearing again behind its guardian mountains. (Breakfast only included)
Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
• 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium).
• Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing
• Route Permit
• Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan
• A licensed Bhutanese tour guide
• All land transportation by private vehicle
• Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
• Sightseeing as per itinerary
• Drinking water
• All internal taxes and charges
• A sustainable development fee of $200 per person per night. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)
Monuments entrance fees where applicable (Entrance fees)
• Airfare & Travel Insurance
• Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
• Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.
Bhutan is a fantastic destination for walking and hiking enthusiasts, with its breathtaking landscapes, pristine nature, and well-preserved cultural heritage. The country offers a wide range of trekking routes and trails suitable for all levels of experience, from leisurely walks to challenging multi-day hikes. Here’s some information to help you plan your walking and hiking holiday trip to Bhutan:
Remember to check with your tour operator for the latest information on trekking routes, permit requirements, and any travel restrictions or guidelines that may be in place. Enjoy your walking and hiking adventure in Bhutan!