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Adventure Coordinators is affiliated with Vision Travel.  TICO license 50023501

©Adventure Coordinators

Toronto, ON, Canada

855-550-7487

In a land where the Buddhist tradition ensures a respect and reverence for nature, you will find soaring Himalayan peaks rising above deep ravines cloaked in untouched forest. Throughout the land you can visit fortress-like dzongs and monasteries, witness traditional dance festivals and meet the engaging people. Bhutan may not be 'Shangri La', but it's as close as it gets.

Bhutan

Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by

Robert Frost

When to go

The best time to travel to Bhutan is October through April.   From October through December expect pleasant weather with clear skies.  Winter is a quiet time offering dry crisp weather and the chance to see the rare black-necked crane (November through February).  Late spring sees the spectacular bloom of the rhododendron.  Bhutan's main festivals are held in spring and fall.

Must-See Places

Signature Experiences

 
 

Thimphu

While Bhutan's capital is no longer the quiet backwater it once was, it is still an intriguing place where monks and government officials go around in traditional dress and where cafes, bars, nightclubs and restaurants stand shoulder to shoulder with traditional dzongs and chorten. Day trips can be made into the Thimpu Valley with its many cultural attractions, pleasant walks and nature reserves.

 

Paro

The wooden shop-lined main street of Paro makes for an interesting few hours of discovery after a day of sightseeing. But most people come here to visit the impressive Paro Dzong, one of the most impressive fortresses in Bhutan as well as Kyichu Lhakhang one of the country's oldest and most beautiful temples. The excellent national museum is another popular destination.

 

Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest Monastery)

The archetypal image of Bhutan is that of the Tiger's Nest Monastery clinging to the side of a cliff. Here the only sounds are those of wind and water and the prayer wheels creaking. The hike up to the monastery is a highlight for many visitors to Bhutan.

 

Kila nunnery

En-route from Paro to the Haa valley, an hour's hike brings you to a viewpoint with magnificent views over the staggering Kila nunnery, a collection of 7 small temples.

 

Dochula Pass

Following the road from Paro to Punakha, you will climb steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with bearded lichen, until you reach the heights of the Dochula pass. Sip some butter tea while enjoying the panoramic views of the Himalaya.

 

Punakha

Vying with Paro Dzong for the crown of the most impressive dzong in Bhutan, Punakha Dzong is certainly considered one of the most beautiful, especially when the jacaranda trees bloom in spring.

 

Bumthang (Chokhor) Valley

Often referred to as the spiritual heart of Bhutan, the Chokhor Valley in Bumthang is a little-visited area of small villages, beautiful temples, dense blue-pine forests, meadows and bamboo groves.

 

Phobjikha (Gangtey) Valley

A large flock of rare black-necked cranes winter in this valley making the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park one of the most important wildlife preserves in Bhutan.

 

Trongsa

The sleepy town of Trongsa sits perched above a gorge right in the centre of the country. The dzong by the same name is one of the most spectacularly sited in Bhutan, sitting as it does on a cliff high above the river.

Culture galore...

Due to its philosophy of low-volume-high-value tourism, Bhutan's culture, while by no means unchanged, is one of the least Western-influenced cultures in the world. Witness it in the architecture, the festivals, the monasteries and temples, the handicrafts and the food and most of all, in the educated, fun-loving people.

 

...and Nature Untouched

By law 60% of the country must remain forested forever.  As a result you will find beautiful forests, rhododendrons blooming in spring,  splendid mountain vistas and passes and unique flora and fauna.

 

Trekking in Bhutan

Most multi-day treks in Bhutan reach high altitudes. But the rewards are great, as you trek through rhododendron forests and alpine meadows set against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks, while getting a true cultural immersion. Some of the more famous treks are the Laya to Gasa and Jhomolhari treks (rated challenging), Chomolhari Base Camp Trek (rated moderate) and the Snowman Trek (Entry Level Mountaineering). One trek within the abilities of most people is the Druk Path trek, leading from Paro to Thimpu.

 

Hiking in Bhutan

For those wanting lighter activity there are plenty of day hikes to be done. Walks in the Haa Valley or to Zuri Dzong are rewarding, as are hikes in the remote Bumthang or Phobjikha Valleys. Walks through valleys and past temples are truly rewarding cultural immersions.

 

Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery

The hike to the legendary Tiger’s Nest Monastery (Takshang Lakhang) is for many the highlights of their trip to Bhutan.

 

Cuisine

It is said that you have not been to Bhutan unless you have tried its national dish Ema Datsi (literally chilies and cheese). Sour cheese (datshi), mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns, (suja) butter tea, arra (a smoky tasting alcoholic drink) and yak meat are specialties.

 

Drive the roads

Travelling Bhutan's roads can be a harrowing experience. But the experience of travelling through a country where time has almost stood still, with its beautiful forests and views of the Himalaya is an experience not easily forgotten.

 

Markets

Markets in Bhutan are a sensory experience, with different foods competing with prayer flags, handicrafts and textiles. Thimpu's weekend market is an experience not to be missed.

 

Festivals

Festivals in Bhutan are colourful affairs attracting throngs of locals. They are great opportunities for photography and to immerse yourself in local culture while seeing monks dance and witness performers with fabulous masks and costumes. Some of the most famous festivals are the Paro Tshechu (held in spring) and Thimphu Tshechu, Thangbi Mani, and the Wangdue Tshechu (all in fall)

 

Suggested Tours

Highlights of Bhutan

 

Tour code: GHOB

 

Why we love this trip: A great introduction to Bhutan by the people of National Geographic

 

Places visited: Paro, Rimpung Dzong, Dochula Pass, Punakha, Punakha Dzong, Chime Lhakhang, Wangdue Phodrang, Khamsum Yueley Chorten, Gangtey, Gangtey Gompa, Phobjikha & Khewa Valleys, Thimpu, Haa Valley, Kila Nunnery, Drukgyal Dzong fortress, Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s Nest).

 

Signature Experiences: Culture galore, nature untouched, trekking in Bhutan, hiking in Bhutan, hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery, cuisine, drive the roads, markets, festivals

 

Length: 10 days

 

Accommodation: hotels, lodges & guest houses

 

Included meals: 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners

 

Transport: Private vehicle, walking, hiking.

 

Departures: Set small-group dates and daily private departures, March through November

 

Customizable? Yes, price on request

 

Price: Small group departures priced from $3699

Bhutan in Depth

 

Tour code: WBID

 

Why we love this trip: a full two weeks in Bhutan seeing all the highlights and travelling off the beaten trek, both on foot and by vehicle

 

Places visited: Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest), Kila gompa, Haa Valley, Dogar Dobji Dzong, Thimphu, Tango & Cheri Monastery, Dochu La, Royal Botanical Park, Wangdi, Gangtey Valley, Gangtey Nature Trail, Trongsa Dzong route, Tamshing & Kunchusom monastery & Kurjey Lhakang, Bumthang, Lobesa, Paro, Drugyel Dzong

 

Signature Experiences: Culture galore, nature untouched, trekking in Bhutan, hiking in Bhutan, hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery, cuisine, drive the roads, markets, festivals

 

Length: 14 days

 

Accommodation: comfortable 3 to 4 star accommodation in hotels hand‑picked for their local character and charm

 

Included meals: 13 breakfast, 12 lunches, 12 dinners

 

Transport: Minivan & on foot

 

Departures: Set small-group dates and daily private departures between September and April

 

Customizable? Yes, price on request

 

Price: Small group departures priced from $3799

Trekking in Bhutan

 

Tour code: WTIB

 

Why we love this trip: we offer the full range of treks in Bhutan, from 9-days in the Haa Valley, 11 days exploration on foot, 12-days Chomolhari or Bhumtang, 18 days High Trails Via Laya, 20 days in Sikkim & Bhutan and the 28-day Snowman Trek

 

Places visited: mostly remote mountainous areas, monasteries and villages

 

Signature Experiences: culture galore, nature untouched, trekking in Bhutan, cuisine, drive the roads

 

Length: 9 - 28 days

 

Accommodation: mid-range hotels where available, camping in remote areas

 

Included meals: all meals are included

 

Transport: private vehicle to/from trail head, on foot

 

Departures: set small-group dates September through April, depending on route chosen

 

Customizable? we can treks for private groups - price on request

 

Price: Small group departures priced from $269-299 per day