Steeped in tradition whilst embracing modernity, the last
Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is a land like no other. It is home to many Himalayan
peaks such as Chomolhari /Jomohari, (7,326m), Jitchu Drake (6.970m), Masang
Kang (7,194m) and Gangkar Punsum (7,541m).
Bhutan, a Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern edge, is known for its monasteries, fortresses (or dzongs) and dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. In the High Himalayas, peaks such as 7,326m Jomolhari are popular trekking destinations. Paro Taktsang monastery (also known as Tiger’s Nest) clings to cliffs above the forested Paro Valley.
Whether you are looking for a day hike or an extended and strenuous 31 day trek, Bhutan has it all. It offers pristine azure blue mountain lakes, imposing hanging glaciers, stunning valleys and some of the world’s most endangered species of the Himalayas.
There are a few different treks in the Kingdom of Bhutan so it really depends on the level of difficulty and time involved. Bhutan has trekking routes including several variations of the epic 28 day Lunana Snowman trek which traverses northern Bhutan along the border with Tibet. It
covers 356km and crosses eight Himalayan mountain passes. There is also the Chomalhari / Jomolhari Base Camp Trek , the Jomolhari loop, the Laya Gasa, Dhagala Lakes trek and the Druk Path, which are shorter itineraries starting on the same trail as the Snowman trek.
We have listed a few options here but can arrange any trek or tour in Bhutan.
If you wish to read some frequently asked questions click here, or go here to read our blog posts.
This amazing six-day trek takes you high into the foothills of the
Himalayas, to an area where a multitude of crystal clear lakes shimmer
in the bright sunlight.
Located in the area of Thimphu and Paro, the Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek is one of the iconic trekking trails in Bhutan
The Jomalhari (Chomalhari) trek, is one of the most popular treks in Bhutan. This trek passes through fields
from Drukgyel Dzong into deep forested valleys, which gradually lead to high
Ranging in altitudes from 2500 to almost 5000m, the trek covers diverse
landscapes with the opportunities to see Mount Jomalhari from
Chomalhari Base Camp.
Bhutan is nestled in between India and the Tibetan region of China. Bhutan was known as ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, and often also referred as the last Shangri-la.
Yes a visa for Bhutan is required for every foreign traveler and has to be processed by a local tour operator, as no foreign embassy abroad grants tourist visas. The visa cost is currently $40 and your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after you leave Bhutan.
Tap water is not safe to drink so you would need to buy mineral water which is readily available. Mineral water is readily available throughout the country. While on trek the guides will ensure that the water is boiled.
As a traveller from USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand you will need an adaptor for types C, E, F, D, M, G. As a traveller from England you will need an adaptor for types C, E, F, D, M. As a traveller from South Africa you will need an adaptor for types C, E, F, G.
The best to come to Bhutan for trekking is in the spring, from March to May, or the autumn, from September to November. Skies are clear and bright, the sun is usually shining, and the temperature is warm, though sometimes a little chilly in the evenings.
Summer, from June to August, is the monsoon season in Bhutan, and while the rain mostly falls at night or in the evenings, there are times when it can rain all day long.
These two treks are different. the Jomolhari Loop Trek is called a “loop” trek, because the trek heads out to Jangothang and then comes back to Gunitsawa Village following a slightly different route that you went up on returning instead via Thongbu. The loop trek from Gunitsawa Village to Jangothang and back takes around seven days, and covers a distance of around 82 kilometers, or around 50 miles. By comparison the base camp trek is longer and also at higher altitude as it includes two high passes.
All meals on trek are prepared for by the support team. We can also cater for vegetarian and any other ditary requirements.
Bhutan has ‘High Value, Low Impact’ tourism policy to preserve its cultural heritages and environment. Thus, with a high rate, it welcomes responsible travelers and few visitors. The policy is built on a daily “visa” fee of US$250 during the high season (which runs March to May and September to November), and US$200 during the low season (all other months). The amount sounds alarming, but is actually a minimum spending requirement that includes meals, three-star (minimum) accommodations in city hotels or countryside resorts, land transport, and guide service for every day spent in the country.
The weather in the mountains is difficult to predict as it varies from one month to the next and also on altitude gain. Nights are generally colder (-2C to -15C) than the daytime (5C to 20C). It is also important to make sure that you stay warm and dry in all weather conditions.
The elevation gain is around 530m or 1700 feet so it is a substantial climb and takes around 5-7 hours in total. However it is well worth the effort. By doing this at the start of the tour it helps with acclimatisation.
Hotels in Bhutan are rated according to a National 5 star rating system. This does not mean all hotels are 5 star, but rather that every classification of accommodation from home stays to guesthouses, have to adhere to a set of government standards. As such, the standard hotels, lodges and guesthouses are usually good, often small and with a great ambiance. All tour operators are required to provide their guests with a minimum of 3 Star accommodations so you can be assured of your comfort. Most hotels provide their guests with television, room service, fitness centers, spas and wi-fi. However the exact services available will vary from hotel to hotel. The more popular tourist destinations like western and central Bhutan usually have the higher standards of star rated European and Asian properties. There are a few luxury hotels and resorts, but they are rather expensive. If starting in Nepal, we spend two nights in 3-star, Thamel Eco Resort, well situated within the heart of Thamel, or, if it is full, a similar category in Kathmandu. At the end of the tour we return to the same hotel.
This is one of the most often asked questions - "how will I cope with the altitude". To be honest, this is an 'unknown' factor as no-one can predict how your body will cope at altitude. People who have been to altitude many times in the past without problems, may on one climb suddenly develop problems. There are many factors that play a role. The only way to help combat this, is to take all of the necessary precautions, and walk slowly, acclimatise correctly, don't ascent too quickly and drink plenty of water.
There is very little that Namche lacks. It even boasts the world’s highest Irish pub offering everything from Jameson whiskey to Guinness. It sports a sign as you enter that strikes to the heart and soul of what Namche and her people are all about.… Continue reading
Well for a start the three passes trek is incredible and if you can do all three then do. Each pass has its own difficulties. Renjo is a long slow pass and more of a ridge than a pass itself. It is spectacular and more remote than the other two as it goes via the … Continue reading
How hard is it to hike to Everest Base Camp compared to Kilimanjaro? Most people think Everest Base Camp is higher than Kilimanjaro but surprise surprise, it is not. Base camp of Everest (or rather Kala Pathar – the little hill you climb up above base camp) is actually 5545m, whereas Kilimanjaro summit is 5895m.Continue reading
We are often asked which is the better of the two treks, Everest
advanced base camp from Tibet (north side) or Everest base camp from
Nepal (south side). It really is not an easy question to answer as it
all depends on what you are hoping to get out of the trek. Advanced
Everest Base Camp - 6340m Tibet … Continue reading
Altitude is much like elevation only it refers to the distance measured
above a specific planetary point, and in most places, this is the
distance above sea level. So if we live at the sea, how do we train for
high altitude? Getting technical about O2 and altitude At sea-level, the
concentration of oxygen in … Continue reading
Well the answer is quite simple – snuggle up with all of your batteries
at night or as soon as the temperatures drop. Packing a spars pair of
warm thermal and mohair socks will go a long way to creating a nice warm
package for all of your batteries. Continue reading
Well, let’s cover some history first… the history of this area has been subjected to several issues over time. For a start, Tibet is to be closed to tourists between 30 January 2018 and April 1 April 2019 as usual.Continue reading
The terms seem to be used interchangeably on many websites and travel books. It becomes even more confusing when some companies sell their boots as 'trekking boots' and then proceed to state that they can be used on long hikes. And when is a walk a trek and when is it a hike? It becomes … Continue reading