Bhutan Walking & Hiking
- An ancient landscape where life's daily rituals remain sacred
- Hike to secluded temples and monasteries, including the famed Tiger's Nest
- Namgay, our guide and friend, opens doors normally closed to foreigners
- Ascend herders' trails to find valley views and colorful prayer flags
- Admire an exquisite monastery as you raft down the Po Chhu river
Temples & Sacred Peaks in a Himalayan Oasis
It's a place you feel lucky to have experienced. So exotic. So dramatic. Hidden deep in the Himalayas. Restricted by the government. It has a magical essence that's indescribable. It practically rubs off on you. Makes you want to cancel cable. From the deep-rooted Buddhist traditions to its remote location. Temples that cling to the cliffs. People who live unimaginably hard but full lives. A country trying to join the 21st century while retaining its ancient ways. You've discovered something that seemed like it couldn't still exist. But it does. Bhutan is there. See it for yourself, if you're lucky.
Day 1 Namgay, our guide and longtime friend, opens doors normally closed to foreigners; ask him about his tenure in the National Assembly Explore Paro Dzong, a massive fortress and hub for spiritual and community life.
Days 2-3 An ancient landscape where life's daily rituals remain sacred Cresting Dochu La mountain pass, take in a panorama of snowcapped Himalayan peaks Pine forests line our path through Punakha Valley Hike to Chorten Nebu, a 14th-century temple accessible only by foot.
Day 4 Raft down Punakha's Po Chhu river, floating by the exquisite riverside Punakha Dzong, Bhutan's 300-year-old lofty winter capital.
Day 5 Ascend herders' trails to find valley views and colorful prayer flags Visit a giant Buddha statue - at 169 feet, one of the largest in the world and housing an astonishing 100,000 smaller Buddha statues inside.
Days 6-8 Hike to secluded temples and monasteries, including the otherworldly cliff-clinging Tiger's Nest Believe in legends? A giant ogress is said to have inspired construction of 7th-century Kyichu Lhakhang Monastery Paro's shops abound with exotic items Sip a hot brew 9,200 feet up at Taktshang teahouse and savor superb views.
Guests Reviews About This Trip
This trip was the most amazing travel experience I've ever had. The combination of living in and learning about the culture of Bhutan and beautiful hikes to incomparable temples with historic, religious and artistic features was incredible. The local guide was outstanding.- Seattle, WA
This was a phenomenal experience rich in culture, history, architecture and landscape. Bhutan is a beautiful country with beautiful people. It left me wanting to return and see more and learn more about this wondrous place and its people. Bhutan was an amazing experience I will remember forever. There are many other places I would like to visit, but I have to go back to Bhutan!- Chicago, IL
My recent trip to Bhutan with Backroads has to be on the top tier of travel in my life. We were able to get into the real mystique of their culture, scenery, religion and everyday life. Our timing was perfect to see the rice harvest, walking through the fields. We happened upon a religious ceremony, partaking in the solemn occasion. This happened time and time again, things just seamlessly falling into our view. Wow.- Stillwater, MN
Paro (1 night) An upscale hillside retreat with luxurious guest rooms; the main building was formerly a Bhutanese nobleman's home. (pool, spa)
Meri Puensum Resort
Punakha (2 nights) Traditional, very simple lodging with views across the rice fields and orange groves of the Punakha Valley.
Taj Tashi Hotel
Thimphu (2 nights) Designed in Bhutanese dzong architectural style, and just steps away from the lively town square. (pool, spa)
Upper Paro Valley (2 nights) With impressive masonry and elaborate hand-carved cornices, this hotel is set on a verdant mountainside and combines Bhutanese hospitality with modern conveniences. (spa)
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This Trip Is Rated Level 1-4
Routes For All Abilities
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Punakha Dzong guided walk (1 hour)|
|Rafting on the Po Chhu River (2 hours)|
|8||Conclusion of the trip|
The terrain on this trip includes alpine trails, ancient village footpaths and Buddhist pilgrim ways.
The rugged terrain and altitude make the routes more challenging than the mileage suggests.